his underwear drawer and there on top was another one, and so it went. There
was one on the pillow on the side of the bed he didn’t use. Another in
front of his fish food, one stuck to his remote. In the kitchen she’d left
one in the coffee container, one on the faucet and one in the coffee carafe. He
found one in his left sneaker. Number’s ten and eleven were in his leather
coat and stuck to his keys respectively. That was all he could find, eleven. He tore his apartment apart searching for the elusive number twelve. His place hadn’t been so clean in years but still the damned card remained lost. Mulder was completely frustrated.
A look at
the time showed him that he needed to get ready to go to Scully’s. After
his exertions he was in a serious need of another shower. Forty five minutes
later he’d cleaned up and was dressed and on his way to Scully’s with his booty of cards in tow.
at Scully’s at six on the dot. She answered the door and gave him a huge
hug and a tender birthday kiss. “How’s the birthday boy after last night?”
His nostrils detected a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen. He saw
the table was set with her best china.
“better than this morning and,” he held out the pile of cards, “much better because of your gift. Thanks Scully, not only did I get all these great cards I cleaned my apartment without even realizing it.”
I see my plan worked. So did you find them all?”
quite I only found eleven.”
you still have some work to do. Come on dinner is ready. Go sit and I’ll bring everything out and no I don’t need you to help. Tonight you are to just relax and enjoy.”
later they were tucking into his favorites; medium rare steak, baked potatoes (real butter and sour cream) and because she
couldn’t help herself, Scully had made a broccoli and cheese salad but she didn’t nag at him. He had some anyway. Their conversation was light and not once
did work even get mentioned.
him to the living room while she cleaned up. Fifteen minutes later she came in
tonelessly singing Happy Birthday and carrying a beautiful pale yellow iced cake with one candle on top. She placed the cake down on the table in front of him. “Hold
on a minute and I’ll get the coffee and plates.” She started back
toward the kitchen. “You wouldn’t tell me your favorite cake so you
have to settle for my favorite, lemon chiffon.” When she returned under
the tray holding, the coffee, plates and utensils was a gaily wrapped package.
On the top
of the package was a card marked ‘12 of 12.’ “Scully! Do you know how nuts I was trying to find this?”
welcome Mulder, now open your present. And don’t you dare say I shouldn’t
into the wrapping to find a scrapbook. Inside were pictures of the two of them
at various stages of their partnership. There were newspaper clippings, snapshots
and a formal portrait of the two of them from a lecture they gave at a conference on the paranormal. With each of the news articles she’d written informal notes.
His feelings deepened with each page turned. This was not a gift. No, this was a piece of Scully and she was the gift.
the book and pulled her to him. “Thank you Scully.” Tears were threatening.
the cake Mulder. I’m in the mood for a sugar rush.”
the cake and she dished it out. “Oh Mulder, in case you haven’t been
paying attention, I love you.”
reminded of something from somewhere. ‘Love doesn’t come in with
trumpets. It was a quiet thing.’
“I love you too Scully.” He leaned over and captured her lips.
a hell of a birthday!