A Cup of Kindness
by Maureen B. Ocks
Disclaimer:  Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Frank and Jordan Black
and all other familiar X Files characters belong to Chris Carter,
1013 Productions and FOX. 
No copyright infringement intended.
Archive -- OK.
Spoilers:   "Millennium"
Keywords - Proudly entering year 4 of no keywords.
Alexandria, VA
January 1, 2000
I don't remember when I dozed off but I was awake in time to
feel the car slow down.
"Do you want me to come up with you?" Scully asked.
Yes, then I'd like you to never leave.  I heard her stop
unbuckling her seatbelt.  "I said that out loud, didn't it?"
"Yes.  I guess you want me to stay."
"Yeah."  Doped up and in pain is no way to be trying to dig
myself out of this hole.  "The roads are going to have a bunch
of drunks and Y2K nuts driving around.  It's probably safer to
stay here."
"Your apartment is safer?"
"In theory."
That was about as neutral an OK as I've ever heard.  She got
out of the car and with some help from her, so did I.  
Everything has been very neutral since the waiting room.  The
kiss seemed like a good idea - it really did.  I looked at Scully
as we walked to my front door, glad that the internal
monologue was staying internal.  It wasn't a good idea, it was a
great idea.  And she smiled.  She really smiled.
It had gotten weird in the car.  Granted, the pain killers kicked
in around forty miles into the ride home but it was a very quiet
ride.  At least I think it was, I probably kept my thoughts to
"No you're not."
"Excuse me?"
"You aren't keeping your thoughts to yourself."
I tried to cram my left hand into my right pants pocket to get
the keys to the building out.  "It's the pain killers talking." 
"They sound a lot like you.  Here, let me."  
"Oh, so you're trying to take advantage of an injured, one-
armed man.  And me, defenseless like this."
She shook her head as she slid her hand into my pocket.  
Oh boy.  Her hand finds the key and carefully makes the
journey out of my pocket.  "You have lovely and talented
hands, Scully."
"You're saying that out loud." She starts to unlock the front
door to the building.  
"I intended to."
She smiled again.  I'm on a roll.
"While you were dozing off in the car," she walked to the
elevator with me pulling up the rear, "nothing happened.  There
was no great computer crash, no accidental missile launches,
nothing.  All that worry for nothing."
"There were zombies." I point out as she hits the elevator
button for the fourth floor.
"And Mr. Black got to spend the night with his little girl.  A
happy ending for him."
"So zombies is a happy ending for me."  I leaned on the
elevator wall, only to shake my shoulder.  "Ouch."
"Zombies were part of your happy ending."
The elevator stopped on four.  "Part of my happy ending, you
think a zombie attack was how I wanted to spend my New
Year's Eve?  Maybe I had a party to go to, maybe I wanted to
stand on the Mall and watch the fireworks, maybe..."
"What, Langley would have been better company than me?  A
hundred thousand strangers on the Mall?  You didn't want to
bring in the New Year's with your partner, your friend?"  Scully
teased as she opened my front door.
"Well, yeah, that was OK."
She pushed the door open and then reached up on her tiptoes. 
She whispered in my ear "Only OK?"
She turned to open the door but I grabbed her with my good
hand.  "Did the zombie do something to you?"
"Nope, just enjoying the New Year."
We walked into my apartment - same bad lights in the windows
bought in 1989, an origami Christmas tree Jeannie Wu in
accounting made for me three years ago and a poinsettia I
bought at the Walgreens last week.  Happy Mulder holidays.
"Same to you."
"I'm talking out loud again, aren't I?"
"It's charming in its own way."   Scully moved into the kitchen
while I negotiated my way to the living room lamps and then
the couch.  "You got any Scotch?"
"In the cabinet above the dish rack."  The bad arm had me
sitting on the far side of the couch.  All the better to see her
grand return to the festive living room setting, I guess.
"Do you know you have a menorah in your kitchen?"
"OK."  I heard her opening cabinets, what has to be the freezer
and just making herself at home.  "Any reason for that?"
"Several thousand years ago, the Maccabees rededicated the
Temple with a small flask of oil that lasted eight days."  
Scully walked in with a small tray and that I'm barely tolerating
you face.  "I am aware of the history and traditions of
"My mother sent me a box of things just after Thanksgiving. 
Some photos, a painting she did one summer of me with the
neighbor's dog, some things from around her house.  The
menorah was one of them.  Peace offering, I guess."
She parked her ass and the tray right on the coffee table.  She's
got a scotch for herself and an iced tea for me.   "Peace
"After I was feeling better a few weeks ago, we had a little talk
about her choices of medical care for me."
"I'm sure she thought she was doing the right thing."  Scully
was back to neutral as she handed me the ice tea.
"She thought wrong."  I wasn't so neutral.  "So what are you
drinking to, Agent Scully?"
"Agent Scully?"  That sounded more melancholy.  She took a
deep breath.  "We had your perfect New Year's complete with
zombies.  We survived Y2K.  You're healthy if a bit banged up,
I'm healthy if a bit banged up myself and as you pointed out
earlier, the world didn't come to an end."  She lifted her glass
and gave me a little salute.  "To 2000."
"To 2000."  I don't lift my glass, instead kissing her again when
she's done with her drink.  This was not the dry, we're-in-
public-so-behave-yourself-kiss we shared about three hours
ago.  "That was my perfect New Year's, Scully.  The zombies
and the world not coming to an end were an added bonus."
She looked down at her drink and then again at me.  "I thought
seeing Frank Black reunited with his daughter was the best
ending for the night, but this is better."
"Want to  watch them ring in the New Year's in L.A.?"
"You really should get to sleep."
"You use the bed, won't be the first time I'm dozed off on the
couch watching TV."  I flipped on the TV and find CNN
starting the west coast countdown.  "Just the first time I fell
asleep watching CNN."
"You said that out loud."
"I meant to."  We sat there for a few minutes.  There were
fireworks over the Hollywood sign, fireworks by the Space
Needle.  Not quite Times Square but still pretty good.  "Happy
New Year's plus three, Scully."
She was asleep.  
I picked up my iced-tea.  "Here's to your perfect 2000, Scully." 
I gave her a little salute with the glass.  "And I have to
remember to say that to you out loud tomorrow."
Happy Holidays and a great 2004!
As always, Shari rocks!

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