Recipes for Caring
sat on his couch brooding. It had been a hellacious couple of months. He’d just about had it with Scully and her solicitations and civility. Oh, she did nothing but act the complete professional. And it was driving him insane!
used every bit of nonsense in his arsenal to get her to open up so they could get back to where they’d been before everything
went to hell. Before she’d had his friends root around in Diana’s
background and present him with spurious rumor and innuendo.
was something else he didn’t understand, why had they followed her blindly? Just
accepting her request and running with it. It really didn’t make sense
because they knew Diana from before. So what did Scully say or do that made them
just forget everything they knew about Diana and check out her background?
that was where he needed to start; with the guys. Then maybe he could figure
out how to deal with Scully.
was parking his car when he saw Scully’s car pulling out. She’d been
to the Gunmen behind his back again and he was furious. It was just the aroma
of the two large ‘everything but the kitchen sink and anchovies’ pizzas he’d picked up to smooze the guys
with that stopped him from following her.
opened the door after the third time he pounded. Mulder shoved the pizzas at
him then bellowed, “what the hell was Scully here for this time? Digging
up more unfounded ‘proof’ of Diana’s so called duplicity?” He
stood at full intimidation height with his hands on his hips.
was here for dinner,” Frohike called from across the room where he was wiping off a table. “And what business is it of yours who we have visit us?”
The man may look like a demented domestic in his apron, rubber gloves and a cloth in his hand but Mulder knew not to
be deceived. Frohike had once been Special Forces; it was during his service
that he’d honed many of the skills that worked so well for them in their new roles as watchdogs. It was also where his disdain and suspicion for the Government types was born.
backed down, he needed information from these men and antagonizing them would not help.
“Sorry, you’re right.” He made a pointed sniff of the
air, “whatever you had sure smells better than these pizzas. Any chance
there might be some leftovers?”
three men exchanged glances and then Byers started dishing out a plate for Mulder. The
four sat at the table while Mulder ate. “This is great Frohike, what is
it? I mean, I know it’s chicken but what is this sauce, it’s incredible.”
don’t know, Dana made it. She really is a great cook.”
head shot up at the mention of Scully’s name. “Scully made this?”
laughed slightly, “what is it, Mulder, another one off the many things you don’t know about your partner?” He cleared his throat, “did you even know that she has a certificate from some
fancy cooking school?”
took the opportunity to chime in, “she took classes while in pre-med. She
said she wanted a practical application for chemistry and her mother suggested she learn to cook, she even worked in the kitchen
at La Fortuna’s. She did so well that she was offered a scholarship to
the Agency got to do with cooking?” Mulder asked in all ignorance.
that CIA, the one in Hyde Park New York, the Culinary Institute of America.” Frohike told him flatly then he gave him an incredulous look. ”I find it really hard to believe you don’t know this about her. Don’t you ever talk about anything not work or injury related?”
looked down at his plate, how did he not know about this? How many other ‘secrets’
did he not have a clue about? Why didn’t he know these things? Something ugly was building in his head, he didn’t know because he never bothered to find out.
um, ah, tell me how did you find all that out?”
told us a long time ago. She asked us over, oh hell when was that?” Frohike looked to the other two to help him figure it out. “I guess it was a month or two after you introduced us. She
wanted to get to know us better and for us to know her better.” He smiled
mischievously. “She teased us about it saying she wanted us to know the
things our background check wouldn’t find.”
get together every once and a while. Agent Scully and Frohike share recipes and
she and Langly compete on video games. She and I play Scrabble and Chess. I have never beaten her at either. She
knows all those medical terms. I used to challenge them occasionally but now
I just don’t bother, she never fakes anything,” Byers added from
the kitchen doorway.
just looked at his friends. They’ve had this relationship with Scully for
years and he never knew about it. He didn’t know what he thought but somehow
he always believed that when she wasn’t with him she was either doing chores or seeing her mom. “Is that why you helped her when she came to you about Diana?”
a way but there was more. We trust Dana, she’s always been there for us
when we needed her. And she’d give up her life for you without even blinking
an eye. Remember when we thought it was the end, when she was in the hospital
for the cancer the last time?” Frohike’s voice was solemn and his
sentences broken. “She called me to do her a favor.” He wiped away an errant tear before it tracked down his left cheek.
“She had us frame her for the murder of that man found in your apartment.”
Mulder nearly jumped out of his chair. “She wanted you protected
no matter what happened to her reputation. She told her mom too. Dana didn’t want her to be shocked when the evidence came out.”
couldn’t talk for being choked up so Byers continued. “But even that
wasn’t what made us do it.”
what did?” Mulder asked in a quiet voice.
Praise, he was the deciding factor. You told us yourself how in Arizona he sought you and, particularly,
Scully out.” Mulder gave him a ‘yeah so what’ look. “Mulder, Gibson Praise knows people; he reads their minds.
Gibson knew that the people with the power were Fowley and Spender. They
were the ones that had the best opportunity to help him yet he didn’t go to them.
He found Scully. Why avoid the people who controlled the situation and
align himself with the outsiders?” Byers could see the light coming on
for Mulder. “Gibson knew who he could trust and who he couldn’t.”
was it? That is all you had to go on so you invaded Diana’s privacy?”
we had Dana Scully, a woman of extreme integrity and a friend, ask us to look into it.
We had the fact that Diana Fowley dumped you years ago and couldn’t clean her hands fast enough ridding herself
of the X-Files
stench without even a reason. We had Gibson Praise seemingly not trusting her. But mostly we had our own suspicions.”
Langly finally took a breath before finishing with, “you put that all together and it adds up to a lot of reasons.”
didn’t know what to say so he decided not to say anything.
was two in the morning and Mulder found himself parked in front of Scully’s building.
He’d left the Gunmen’s around nine and just drove around thinking.
The conversation had moved from the Scully/Diana topic to less explosive ones.
When he was leaving Byers took him aside for a moment and told him that even though they were still his friends they
didn’t trust Diana and as long as he associated with her he shouldn’t be expecting any major leads from them. When he asked why he was telling him that, Byers just said it was the fair thing to
do. For the first time he faced the possibility that he might be wrong about
Diana. It was hard to argue when not only your best very friend tells you something
you don’t want to believe. But when your three best friends support her
accusations and a boy who reads minds might also think the same way it was time to stop looking at the past and face the present.
looked up at her windows and saw that a light flickered in her living room. Mulder
opened the door and exited his car. He had to force himself to move toward the
knock on her door startled her. She knew instinctively who it was. Who but Mulder would be at her door at this hour? A wave of
melancholy washed over her when she realized how long it had been since Mulder interrupted her night. Sure he still called on occasion but never just because he couldn’t sleep or he had a nightmare. Now it was always work. She knew she
was as much to blame as he but he’d hurt her and for the first time in her life she didn’t know how to bounce
back so she pulled back. She was trying to give him the space he seemed to want.
got off the couch and muted the movie. As is her habit, she checked the spy hole
and saw Mulder standing there. For the first time in months he didn’t have
that petulant smirk on his face that she wanted to smack off of him. He looked
a little shook up; like someone had undermined his beliefs.
opened the door moving out of the way so he could enter. She had to call to him
before he realized the door was open. He walked in but his usually lithe movements
were missing. It was as if he were navigating through a vat of molasses.
followed him to the couch but at the last moment moved to the side chair. For
some reason she just didn’t feel ready to be close to him. His questioning
look was not lost on her but she chose not to comment. She waited for him to
say something. To tell her what brought him to her home in the middle of the
sat and watched as she fiddled with her hands. He loved Scully’s hands. They were small but powerful, like the woman herself.
Her hands have held his life in them many times. His eyes moved up her
torso to her face. She spared only the briefest of glances his way. She seemed unnerved, scared even at his presence. ‘Oh, Scully.
Have we drifted so far that a late night visit from me upsets you like this; like it did the first year we were partnered?’ His mind asked silently all the while knowing the answer.
we need to talk but I don’t know where to start.” He hoped she would
take the opportunity to jump in but she didn’t; remaining silent and looking everywhere but at him. “I saw you leaving the guy’s building tonight. They
told me that you get together every once and a while to have dinner. That you
and Frohike swap recipes.”
smiled and nodded, “yeah he just gave me one for Chiles Rancheros that he said will knock my socks off.”
had them and he wasn’t kidding.” He stopped and moved to the other
end of the couch so he was inches from her. “Scully, we talked about a
lot of things. I think,” he took a quick breath and forced it out, “I
think I may have been wrong about Diana.” He quickly added, “I’m
still not convinced that she is as bad as you implied but I think I may have ignored some things.”
thought this confession would touch her but she only nodded several times. She
was thinking about something but she wasn’t ready to say anything just yet.
you like something to drink?” She asked as she stood and walked to the
I thought you’d be happy that I’m willing to entertain the fact that someone who was once the closest person to
me might not be as trustworthy as I thought.” His voice rose with each
word; his anger growing.
stopped mid stride. “I would have been happy if it hadn’t taken someone else’s judgment to change your mind. If for once you had listened to me and acknowledged that maybe, just maybe I might
know what I was talking about. If you had just trusted me not to,” her
words broke off. She took a deep breath trying to regain her voice, “I
don’t know what it will take for you to believe in me. Trust what I say
enough to act on it even when you don’t fully believe. To treat me like
you expect me to treat you.” She looked at him for the first time since
he arrived and he wished she hadn’t. What he saw in her eyes scared him.
felt like he’d been kicked in the stomach. He wanted to shake her and yell
‘I do trust you’ but the words would be hollow. He hadn’t trusted
her. He’d dismissed her suspicions, left her alone; only seeking her out
when he needed something from her. She saw it the moment he understood.
shoulders slackened, his eyes softened and his head bent and she exhaled a breath she’d been holding for months.
eyes went up as she silently gave a prayer of thanks. Thanks that Mulder was
finally listening to her. She suddenly felt the exhaustion flow over her and
the anger abated. It really was tiring to carry that much anger and hurt around
all the time. She suspected that Mulder felt the same and she decided to let
him off the hook. “How about those Knicks?”
looked up at her and smiled, he knew she was offering an olive branch. “I
didn’t catch the game, didn’t even hear the score.”
be replaying on ESPN right about now. I’ll get the drinks while you find
hours later, Mulder’s head was back against the couch and he was lightly snoring with Scully nestled into his side with
her head on his shoulder.
notes: I’ve read quite a number of stories that implied that our Scully
doesn’t cook. I say hogwash. In
‘Beyond the Sea’ she had her parents over for a home cooked dinner, you don’t do that if you can’t
cook (you make reservations instead).
idea of Scully taking classes for chemistry application came from a friend of mine who actually did just that. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is real and fabulous. If
you ever travel to Hyde Park
be sure to go, (it used to be a min. of three months for dinner reservations but I recall they have a lunch that is easier
to get into). For those who are really into cooking (I’m not) they published
at least one cookbook and there was a series on PBS and here is their website: http://www.ciachef.edu/