THE X-FILES: "The Real Thing"

teleplay by Abbie Anderson (amanders@att.net)
Originally completed mid-June, 1994; last revision 3/2/96

Summary: Scully invites Mulder to go to a wedding with her, making them both start to think about what they might be missing. Utter self-indulgence on the part of the author.

Disclaimer: The universe of The X-Files and the characters therein are the intellectual property of Chris Carter, Fox Television, and Ten-Thirteen Productions, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended; I'm just having a good time. If you like what I've done, feel free to share it, but of course do give me credit for it and provide the sharees with my e-mail address. If it provokes a reaction, positive or negative, please let me know. Constructive criticism especially welcome.

Note: I originally wrote this bit of fluff between seasons 1 and 2, before Mulder's mother had been introduced on the show (before a lot of things had happened on the show!). In this story I have Mulder treat his mother as a trusted confidante--and I've left it that way despite the fact that we now know they have no such relationship (to put it mildly). We also didn't know Scully's mother very well yet, so she doesn't really ring true here any more, either. In fact, none of this rings very true any more after everything our heroes have been through since the end of first season. But I warned you: it's a piece of fluff. Just deal with it if you decide to read this one. :)

WARNING: This teleplay has been known to induce hyperglycemic shock in sensitive individuals. Contains excessively corny material. Reader discretion is advised. **Includes no actual X Files case-work: subject-matter is limited to the paranormal of the interpersonal.**

Formatting reduced for posting to Internet. E-mail author to request hard copy in teleplay format.

Notes re: conventions of teleplay format:
"INT."="interior" (i.e., a scene set indoors)
"EXT."="exterior"
"V.O."="voice-over" (i.e., the line is not spoken by a character in the scene, but is heard superimposed on the action--as in a narrator's voice, a voice on the telephone, or when we "eavesdrop" on a character's thoughts)

I have not fully conformed with teleplay format standards (for instance, character's names in "stage directions" are not in all-caps; sound effects and special effects are not marked, for the most part), nor am I good with camera angles or other technical aspects that ought to be in a serious teleplay. I'm definitely an amateur, here, and it shows.


TEASER

FADE IN:
1. INT: FBI HEADQUARTERS PARKING GARAGE
Scully and Mulder walk out to their cars at the end of the day.

SCULLY
I've got another wedding to go to next Saturday. It's out in Maryland and I don't want to do the drive by myself. You want to come?

MULDER
Scully, are you asking me out?

SCULLY
Call it whatever you want, Mulder, but you don't want to miss this one. Linda's dad has hired the best caterer on the Eastern Seaboard: the cheesecake will be to die for. Besides, there will be crowds of desperate single women there, just aching for your charm and savoir-faire.

MULDER
Well, if you put it that way....

SCULLY
Good. It'll be fun.

She gets in her car, and Mulder watches her drive off.

FADE TO:
2. INT: MULDER'S APARTMENT, NIGHT
Mulder is lying awake in the dark on his sofa. He sits up, picks up his phone and punches in a number.

MULDER
Mom? Yeah, I know it's late. I can't sleep. Can I talk to you about something?

FADE TO:
3. INT: CHURCH SANCTUARY
The church is elaborately decorated for the wedding; most guests are already seated. Mulder and Scully approach an usher at the door, who hands them programs.

USHER
Bride or groom?

SCULLY
Bride.

The usher extends an arm for Scully, and Mulder follows as they are led to a pew and seated. Mulder looks around, seeming a little uncomfortable.

MULDER
This is unreal.

SCULLY
Haven't you been to a wedding before, Mulder?

MULDER
Sure I have. I think they overdid the flowers, though. Sometimes I think these things are more a status display than some kind of mystical joining.

The organ strikes up an announcing chord, and the groom's party files in behind the minister at the front of the church.

SCULLY
Look at the groom: I don't think he'd agree with you.

She's right: the guy is beaming.

MULDER
I don't think the joining he's got on his mind is particularly mystical.

Scully refuses further comment. The music changes, and the bridesmaids begin their procession from the back of the sanctuary.

CUT TO:
4. INT: RECEPTION HALL
A small combo is playing, and the bride and groom are waltzing alone while the guests watch (including Scully and Mulder).

MULDER
I'm going for some more punch. Can I get you anything?

SCULLY
No, thanks, I'm OK.

He goes off. A friend of Scully's comes up to her.

SCULLY
Hey, Cheryl. How've you been?

CHERYL
Fine, thanks. So who's the stud?

SCULLY
Excuse me?!

CHERYL
That guy you brought!

SCULLY
You mean Mulder?

CHERYL
Ooh, that guy you work with? I'm impressed, Dana--you've been holding out on me.

Cheryl pauses to check Mulder out again. He has stopped to chat briefly with someone (probably one of those desperate single women).

CHERYL
He doesn't look weird.

SCULLY
Believe me, Cheryl: beneath that boyish exterior lies the complex soul of a certified nut-case.

CHERYL
I thought you liked him.

SCULLY
I do. We've been through a lot together.

CHERYL
Just no sparks, huh.

SCULLY
Sure, there are sparks--just no fire. It's not written in stone that two people have to go to bed together just because they like each other, you know.

CHERYL
Yeah, right. Well, if you're not interested I can think of at least three people I could set him up with.

SCULLY
Forget it, Cheryl. We're talking about the world's most dangerous obsessive, here. The man's already taken--by some mutant space babe he met in a previous life.

Mulder comes up with his punch (he probably caught the bit about the space babe).

SCULLY
Mulder, this is my friend Cheryl Snyder. Cheryl, meet Fox Mulder.

Cheryl and Mulder shake hands.

CHERYL
Pleased to meet you, Fox. Dana was just telling me how much she enjoys working with you.

MULDER
Oh, was she?

The vocalist has joined the band, and they strike up "Who Do You Love". People start going out to join the wedding couple on the dance floor. Mulder sets his punch down and turns to Scully.

MULDER
Would you like to dance?

Scully hesitates a second, glancing at Cheryl.

SCULLY
Sure.

Mulder takes her hand and they go out.

MULDER
You looked like you could use some rescuing.

SCULLY
Thanks for the thought, but I don't know if this is going to help much. Cheryl's already convinced I ought to have you proposing to me by now.

MULDER
Maybe she's smarter than she looks.

Mulder gets reckless.

MULDER
Who do you love, Scully?

SCULLY
What?!

MULDER
Who do you love?

SCULLY
I'm not telling!

The music shifts to "Only You", and they come closer together for the slow dance.

SCULLY
You know I'm not seeing anybody. Why ask the question?

MULDER
Sorry. I got carried away. It's in the air around here.

Scully lets it go.

MULDER
Did I tell you you look great today?

SCULLY
Thanks.

She's not sure what to think, and pulls back to see his face. Mulder's looking awfully serious all of a sudden.

MULDER
What would you do if I kissed you right now?

SCULLY
I don't know--it hasn't happened yet.

Before he can do anything about it, the bride bubbles up for a hug from Dana.

BRIDE (LINDA)
Oh, Dana, I'm so glad you came! You've been such a good friend!

SCULLY
Linda, I'd like you to meet my partner from the Bureau, Fox Mulder.

MULDER
Congratulations.

LINDA
Oh, I've heard a lot about you. Now you be good to Dana, you've got somebody really special here.

MULDER
Yeah, I know, thanks.

He's grinning as the bride squeezes Dana again and bubbles off somewhere else. Scully is embarrassed.

SCULLY
Maybe I shouldn't have asked you to this.

MULDER
No, I've having a great time!

SCULLY
Yeah, I'll bet. You just like seeing me squirm, Mulder.

MULDER
Personally, I think these people are scarier than a lot of things we've come across. (pause) The punch is good, you should have some.

She shakes her head as he walks the short distance back to the table, retrieves his cup and drinks.

SCULLY
Only if you can walk a straight line. Either that stuff is spiked, or you have finally lost your mind.

He walks steadily heel-to-toe back to her, looking serious again, and hands her his cup.

MULDER
I guess I must be crazy.

Scully looks at him and takes a sip.

SCULLY
No, you're right, it's good.

Now he grins at her again.

MULDER
You want some cake?

She shakes her head at him, smiling.

FADE OUT.

ACT ONE

FADE IN:
5. INT: SCULLY'S CAR, AFTERNOON: GOING HOME
Mulder sprawls in the passenger seat as Scully drives.

MULDER
So what kind of wedding do you want, Scully?

SCULLY
I don't know; I've never really thought about it much.

MULDER
Ah, come on. Every girl I know has the whole thing planned, from the music to the mints.

SCULLY
I'm not every girl you know, am I?

MULDER
You got me there.

SCULLY
All I know is I'd look ridiculous in one of those poofy dresses.

Pause, silence. She glances at him as she drives.

SCULLY
Are you OK, Mulder? You look exhausted.

MULDER
Nah, I'm fine. I just haven't been to a wedding in a while. Kinda gets you right here, you now?

SCULLY
You surprise me, Mulder. I wouldn't have pegged you for the type to cry at weddings.

He just looks at her, no comment.

MULDER
Thanks for inviting me along today, Scully. It's been fun.

SCULLY
Yeah, it's kind of nice to spend time with you when there aren't any dead bodies lying around or mysteries to confront.

MULDER
Mysteries abound, Scully, mysteries abound.

FADE TO:
6. EXT: OUTSIDE MULDER'S APARTMENT BUILDING
Scully pulls up and parks the car to let Mulder out.

CUT TO:
7. INT: SCULLY'S CAR

SCULLY
Home sweet home, Mulder. Thanks for coming with me.

MULDER
Hey, Scully, you got any plans for dinner tonight?

SCULLY
Not particularly, why?

MULDER
I make a mean spaghetti; and I've got a quart of Chocolate Chunk Supreme in the freezer that I haven't opened yet. You want to join me?

She thinks a second.

SCULLY
Sure, why not. Do you mind if I go home and change first?

MULDER
Just promise me you're really coming, OK?

SCULLY
I'm really coming, Mulder, I promise.

She watches him go in, wondering, and drives off.

FADE TO:
8. INT: MULDER'S APARTMENT
Mulder lets Scully in, wiping his hands on a towel.

MULDER
Come on in, I'm just finishing up in the kitchen.

SCULLY
Can I help with anything?

MULDER
No. Just come in and talk to me.

They enter the kitchen. A pot of spaghetti sauce with zucchini and mushrooms in it is on the stove, a skillet is in the sink; a pot full of water for the spaghetti is just coming to a boil. Mulder breaks up the pasta and puts it in the water, and then reaches into the fridge to prepare salad fixings as they talk.

SCULLY
All right, Mulder, what do you want to talk about?

MULDER
Tell me about...first grade.

SCULLY
First grade?

MULDER
Yeah: what you did, who you knew, what was important. First grade.

She looks doubtful.

MULDER
OK, I'll make it easy on you, I'll start. In the first grade, I hated my sister Samantha. She was two years old and she could get away with murder because everyone thought she was so cute, and I felt like I got blamed for everything. But I had an edge on her, see, (he gestures with the knife he's using to cut up a tomato) 'cause I was in school and I could read and write now. So I took the letters of her name and scrambled them to make something really horrible, to reveal the true identity of everybody's little angel.

SCULLY
You got started early, Mulder. What did you come up with?

Mulder is enjoying this.

MULDER
My sister became Santa Ham.

SCULLY
You're kidding.

MULDER
She hated it, but I thought it was the best thing I ever did. Me and my buddy Joey would sit up in the treehouse drawing pictures of Santa Ham, all dressed up and ready for Christmas dinner, with forks sticking out of her and everything.

SCULLY
Mulder, that's awful! (gently) That couldn't have anything to do with you felt when she was abducted six years later, could it?

MULDER
Bingo. Be careful what you wish for, Scully. I never became a model older brother. I thought maybe I made them take her away, I made them notice her and think we didn't want her.

SCULLY
I'm sorry.

MULDER
It's nothing you didn't know about already. Your turn: first grade.

A big grin spreads on Scully's face as she remembers.

SCULLY
In the first grade, I was engaged to be married!

MULDER
Oh-ho! Who was the lucky guy?

SCULLY
His name was Craig Richardson. He was a third-grader. I already knew how to read--my Dad started teaching me when I was four, he said I need to keep up with my older brother--and so during reading time I was sent up to the third grade. We're talking about eight-year-old kids here, so naturally they treated me like pond scum. Except for Craig. He stuck up for me 'cause he was a weirdo, too. The teacher made him my tutor, and the rest was fate. (pause) He must have been some kind of child genius, he was writing poetry at that age that was positively eerie. I thought what he could do with words was wonderful. There was probably some kind of abuse going on at home, but I didn't figure that part out 'til later.

MULDER
Didja ever kiss him?

SCULLY
Yes, actually. We made this big ceremony out of it; he liked that kind of thing. We snuck out of our houses in the middle of the night and met in this big vacant lot, and there under the full moon we pledged to love each other forever 'til we were old enough to get married.

Mulder laughs; Scully is suddenly shy.

SCULLY
I feel silly telling you about it. I haven't thought about Craig in a while.

MULDER
No, it's a great story. Whatever happened to old Craig?

SCULLY
We stayed in touch for a long time, even after my family moved away. Our parents thought it was cute. We usually got to see each other once or twice a year, in the summer or during the holidays. We wrote piles of letters, I could publish a book of his poetry. (pause) Then in High School he got in with a wild bunch of kids, and I didn't hear from him so often.

MULDER
Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, huh?

SCULLY
Something like that.

MULDER
The American Way of Teenagerhood.

SCULLY
It was more than that for him, though. When he was seventeen he got a girl pregnant, and he jumped off a bridge. Only he didn't die, he just fused the bones of his legs together from the impact with the water. We were living in the same general area at the time, so I went to the middle-way house where he was staying. I was this virginal straight-A overachiever, I had skipped a couple grades along the way and was already making my college plans; I had no idea what I would say to him, but I knew I had to go. A pledge is a pledge. (pause) But he wouldn't let me see him. I didn't know if it was because of his legs or what. I got a letter from him later telling me I was a bourgeois Navy brat who couldn't possibly know who he was, and if I wanted to see him I should stick my head in a toilet and flush, 'cause that's where he'd be.

MULDER
Yow.

SCULLY
I wrote him back telling him I still cared about him and I would always be his friend no matter where he was or what he did, but I don't know if he even read it; I never heard from him after that. (pause) I'm still afraid I'm going to hear about him on the news someday--"Underground poet kills self and four others in violent orgy"--or maybe he'll have turned himself around and become a national hero, inspiring kids across the country to find hope in life. I don't know.

MULDER
You should see about getting those poems published: that might get somebody's attention.

SCULLY
I don't know. It's kid stuff, mostly. (pause) Sometimes I think I'm still looking for Craig. Jack was kind of like him, with most of the dangerous parts taken out. My version of the ideal man is probably some combination of Craig and my Dad, as unlikely as that sounds: someone I look up to, someone who inspires me; someone who's better than me at some things but not at others, who appreciates what I'm good at, who makes me stretch...who can look at my face, know what I'm thinking and make me laugh or cry without saying a word.

Scully hears what she's saying and stops herself short.

SCULLY
I'm sorry. I shouldn't be talking like this.

Mulder ignores the disclaimer.

MULDER
I don't know if I have just one Ideal. Probably just someone I can talk to, who thinks I'm hot stuff, and isn't crazy. That's hard to find in my chosen field of interest.

Scully is still thinking, she hasn't quite heard him.

SCULLY
You remind me of Craig a little, too, Mulder. Mr. Intense, could go either way.

MULDER
Don't worry, I'm not planning on jumping off any bridges.

SCULLY
Give me a break, Mulder: you do it on every single case. Why do you think I get so mad at you? I don't want to see you self-destruct the way Craig did.

He puts a hand to her face so she'll look him.

MULDER
I'm not Craig. Or Jack. Or your father. I'm not going anywhere.

SCULLY
I know....

Her eyes well up, and she can't keep the tears back, close to breaking down as he takes her wordlessly in his arms for comfort.

SCULLY (into his shirt)
This is ridiculous. We're supposed to be having dinner, not a therapy session.

MULDER
It's all right. You've had a lot to grieve for.

SCULLY
Yeah, and you almost died on me, too, you jerk.

She wipes at her eyes.

MULDER
Come on, let's eat this spaghetti. Have a tissue.

He hands her a box of kleenex sitting on the counter.

FADE OUT.

ACT TWO

FADE IN:
9. INT: MULDER'S LIVING ROOM
They're watching a movie on TV (something like "Day of the Triffids") and eating ice cream. Mulder is lying on the sofa and Scully is sitting casually next to him on the floor, towards the foot of the couch. Mulder looks thoughtful again.

MULDER
I'm being a pig, aren't I, making you sit on the floor.

SCULLY
No, I'm fine, you've been a great host. We ought to do this more often.

She puts her bowl down on the coffee table and reaches up to pat his knee, looking at the TV as she talks.

SCULLY
The spaghetti was great, and I had a good cry, too. I should probably go home and let you get some sleep.

Mulder is looking at her, stretching a finger to touch the edge of her hair against the couch.

MULDER
Scully?

SCULLY
Hm?

MULDER
Could you do something for me?

SCULLY
What's that?

MULDER
Could you stay with me tonight?

She turns all the way towards him in surprise, and he drily answers the look on her face.

MULDER
I swear to you no harm will come to your maidenhood.

SCULLY
Oh. Darn.

MULDER
I just don't want to go to bed by myself tonight. I've been having a hard time sleeping. It would mean a lot to me if you would stay.

SCULLY
You want me to be your teddy bear, Mulder?

MULDER (vulnerable)
Yeah. I'll wear clothes and everything, I promise.

Something in his face and voice persuades her.

SCULLY
OK, I'll stay. I've got an overnight bag I keep in the car, I'll go down and get it.

He sits up as she pushes to her feet.

MULDER
Thanks, Scully.

CUT TO:
10. INT: MULDER'S BEDROOM
[Remember: before season 6 I was free to imagine any permutation of Mulder's bedroom I wanted to, since they never showed it. In 1994 decided to pretend he actually had a usable one.] Scully is walking in front of Mulder into the room, his right hand on her shoulder. She's carrying her bag, and they're both in night-clothes.

SCULLY
Are you sure this isn't weird, Mulder?

MULDER
Yes, I'm sure. What's weird is when two grownup people can't be close and not have sex.

SCULLY
Funny, that's what I told Cheryl today.

Mulder gently turns her around with both hands on her shoulders.

MULDER
Please, let this be as simple as it is. I just want you near me now, and that's all. I'm asking for your help. You can call it whatever you want to, Dana, but I will never betray your trust in me.

She smiles a little and puts a hand up to his arm.

SCULLY
I know.

MULDER
So what side of the bed do you want? I promise the sheets are clean.

She looks at it, and looks uneasily back at him.

SCULLY
The right side.

He gestures for her to go ahead, and lets his hand slide down her arm as they part around the bed and get under the covers. She turns on her side with her back to him; he puts one arm under her head and the other across her side, like holding a teddy bear, and settles down with a weary sigh.

MULDER
Good night, Scully.

SCULLY
Good night, Mulder. Sleep well.

She lies there with her eyes open, but after a moment she relaxes and smiles, closing her eyes.

FADE TO:
11. INT: MULDER'S BEDROOM, MORNING
Scully wakes up, still on her side. Mulder is rolled over on his back, sound asleep, with his mouth open. She turns over and looks at him and smiles, shaking her head. She reaches up and lets herself touch his cheek, biting her lip, a little surprised at the tenderness of her feelings. He stirs and wakes up, and she draws her hand back.

SCULLY
Good morning.

MULDER
You're really here. I thought I was dreaming.

SCULLY
Nope, I'm for real. I could get used to this, Mulder. You're cute when you drool.

She playfully reaches up and wipes at the corner of his mouth, then realizes what she's doing when she sees the look on his face and moves her hand back between them, balling her fingers a little and looking down at her hand.

SCULLY
My Mom says this is when she misses Dad the most: waking up in the morning.

She laughs, remembering something.

SCULLY
I don't believe she told me this. She said that every morning without fail, when they woke up he would kiss her and say, "Good morning, Keeper of the Seventh Heaven!"

Mulder smiles.

MULDER
Seventh Heaven, huh? The man had class.

SCULLY
Yeah, he did.

Pause while they look at each other.

SCULLY
Mulder, this may sound a little funny, but I'm going to miss you when I wake up in my own bed tomorrow and you're not there.

MULDER
That's not so funny. (pause) Do you mind if I shower first?

SCULLY
Hey, it's your house. I'm not supposed to be here!

MULDER
Sure you are.

He smiles and gets up to pad off to the bathroom. Scully watches him go, still on her side, then sits up, drawing up her knees and resting her head on her arms.

CUT TO:
12. INT: MULDER'S BEDROOM
When Mulder gets back, in a bathrobe and with a towel around his neck, Scully is standing at his open closet door (still in her pajamas), looking at his ties hanging there on the inside of the door.

SCULLY
Mulder, there's something I've been meaning to ask you.

MULDER
What's that?

SCULLY
Where do you get these ties?

MULDER
My Mom gives 'em to me, most of them. Why?

SCULLY
I hate to tell you this, Mulder, but your mother dresses you funny.

Mulder smiles, but it does sting a little.

MULDER
What, you don't like my ties?

Scully fingers one of them, and grins at him.

SCULLY
Oh, I like 'em. They remind me of you: funny-looking in an interesting kind of way, with plenty of weird stuff to jump out at you when you're not looking. They kind of grow on you.

MULDER
Look, are you gonna stand there ragging on my ties, or are you gonna get out of here and let me get dressed?

He moves his hands pointedly to the sash on his bathrobe, getting ready to take it off. She stops him with a look, serious again and self-conscious.

SCULLY
Mulder, I thought you got enough of me arguing with you and telling you you're crazy all week long. Why did you want me here?

He shrugs.

MULDER
I don't know. My Mom says that knowing how to fight and still like each other is the hallmark of an enduring...friendship.

Scully catches the near slip ("marriage") and starts to go past Mulder to leave the room, stooping to pick up her bag from the foot of the bed.

SCULLY
I think I need to meet this Mom of yours.

He just smiles as she goes past him.

MULDER
There's a clean towel in the bathroom if you want a shower.

SCULLY
OK, thanks. You know, Mulder, if I didn't know better I'd think you planned this.

MULDER
You see right through me, Scully.

When she's gone he blows out his breath.

CUT TO:
13. INT: MULDER'S LIVING ROOM
They are dressed, and Scully is getting ready to leave.

SCULLY
Thanks for sharing your Corn Pops with me, Mulder.

MULDER
Hey, any time.

SCULLY
You know, nobody's going to believe we did this.

MULDER
Who's going to know? (pause) Thanks for doing this for me, Scully.

SCULLY
No, thank you. It was sweet. I owe you one.

He gives her a hug, more tender than she expected.

SCULLY
You gonna be OK?

He nods.

SCULLY
I'll see you tomorrow, then.

MULDER
Sweet dreams, Scully.

She smiles at him and goes out. He leans in the door a minute, watching her go. Then he closes the door, goes to the phone and punches in a number.

MULDER
Hi, Mom. I don't believe it, you were right. Yeah, she just left.

He looks out the window after Scully's departing car.

MULDER
She wants to meet you. (pause) I don't know, Mom. Don't get your hopes up. I'm still trying to figure this one out.

FADE OUT.

ACT THREE

FADE IN:
14. INT: SCULLY'S LIVING ROOM
Scully and her mother are sitting on the sofa together.

MOM
You certainly have an unusual friend, Dana.

SCULLY
I guess that's one word for him.

MOM
From what you've told me I don't think you have much to be upset about. Did it bother you to spend time with him like that?

SCULLY
No, that's just it. I don't think I've woken up that happy since I was a kid. Mom, I think I'm going to miss him tomorrow when I wake up by myself.

MOM
That's really not so surprising. You just had a very tender, intimate, comfortable experience with someone you care about. Of course you're going to miss that.

SCULLY
But nothing happened, Mom. We didn't do anything.

MOM
Exactly. I think he must care about you a great deal. Most men would act first and decide what they really wanted later. It sounds like Fox is doing it the other way around.

SCULLY
You don't know him the way I do, Mom. I'm telling you, he's weird, he could be up to anything.

MOM
Be honest with me, Dana. What do you feel for him?

SCULLY
If you had asked me that before this weekend, I would have said I like him, I respect him, I trust him.... He's my partner, we rely on each other a lot. And yes, I'm attracted to him. But he's already got a pretty big commitment, something I've never felt I could trespass on. He's a man with a mission. He believes in UFO's and ESP, Mom, he's nuts.

MOM
And what do you believe?

SCULLY
I don't know. We've run into a lot of things that won't submit to conventional explanations. I'm just not willing to go as far as he does so fast. He starts out from off the deep end, most of the time.

MOM
And now, after this weekend? What would you say about him now?

SCULLY
I don't even want to think about it. I mean, what if I'm falling for him?

MOM
Would that be so awful, Dana?

SCULLY
Mom, I work with the man. Workplace relationships are always a bad idea, right?

MOM
That would certainly be convenient for you.

SCULLY
Mom, I need your help here!

MOM
I'm not going to help you convince yourself to ignore your feelings, Dana. You're too prone to that, even without my help. When your father died I lost the love of my life, I'm not going to help you turn yours away.

SCULLY
We're not talking about the love of my life, we're talking about Fox Mulder!

MOM
Oh?

SCULLY
Listen to me, Mom, this is not a good idea. The man is not safe!

MOM
Who ever said love was safe? That's what makes it so exciting. I think that's why so many marriages fail: people want the exciting part of love to last all the time, without ever expecting to work at it or risk anything for it. You and Fox already know quite a bit about risk and work in your partnership. If you both want it, I think you could make something very special.

SCULLY
I don't know, Mom. What if the whole thing really didn't mean anything to him, what if it was as simple as he said and he just wanted help getting to sleep? I don't want to do anything stupid.

Mom gives her daughter an affectionate smile.

MOM
I have rarely known Dana Scully to do anything stupid. You are your father's daughter, after all. But I really don't think you need to work yourself up over this just yet. If you want my advice, here it is: don't worry about this. Just let what has happened be whatever strange and pleasant thing it is. Act towards him as you normally would. If it turns out that your feelings for each other are deeper than just working together, then maybe I'll get a son-in-law after all; if not, then you still have a very special friend and colleague. Don't push yourself into anything: but don't push yourself out of anything, either, just because you haven't seen it before and it scares you.

Scully still doesn't know what to think, but she's glad for her mother's words.

SCULLY
Thanks, Mom.

MOM
Just promise me you won't rule out the possibility entirely.

SCULLY
OK, OK, I'll think about it.

MOM
I think you ought to invite him over for another pajama party: see if you have the strength to do for him what he did for you.

Reaction: gulp.

CUT TO:
15. INT: THE X FILES OFFICE, MONDAY MORNING
Mulder is whistling as he flips through some files on his desk. Scully enters.

MULDER
G'morning, gorgeous. What took you so long?

SCULLY (amused, but wary)
We're in a good mood today, aren't we?

MULDER
Didja miss me?

SCULLY
As a matter of fact, yes, I did.

She comes around his desk to look at the papers he's working with.

SCULLY
Anything interesting come in yet?

MULDER
Nope. Looks like we get to catch up on our deskwork today.

SCULLY
Good. I didn't want to have to go out of town again so soon.

She goes to her desk and sifts through the papers on it. She doesn't really look at Mulder throughout the next exchange.

SCULLY
Are you doing anything this evening, Mulder?

MULDER
Not that I know of. Are you going to make me an offer?

SCULLY
I make a mean Szechuan chicken. Remember, I owe you one.

MULDER
OK, I guess I can risk it.

SCULLY
Do you mind if it's hot?

MULDER
No, I like hot things.

SCULLY
Good.

MULDER
Should I bring anything?

SCULLY
Like what?

He approaches her desk.

MULDER
I don't know: dessert, some Tsing Tao...my jammies....

She looks up at him finally, and smiles.

SCULLY
Sure, Teddy Bear: I dare ya.

FADE TO:
16. INT: SCULLY'S APARTMENT
Scully and Mulder are seated at the dining table, already eating.

SCULLY
Mulder, can I ask you something?

MULDER
If you're going to start on my ties again, I'm leaving.

SCULLY
No, Mulder, it's not about your ties. (pause) When they assigned me to work with you, you knew they wanted me to control you, to report on you. But you opened up to me, you didn't hold back on what you cared about or try to shut me out. Most of the time, anyway. You took a big risk.

MULDER
Well, it worked, didn't it? (pause) All I had going for me was the evidence. If you were looking for the truth--if you were curious enough and brave enough to really want the truth, no matter how far it took you--I just might find an ally. The risk paid off: you've got more guts and a sharper mind than anyone I've worked with.

SCULLY
Even though I dispute your ideas every step of the way.

MULDER
I can take that, so long as you're willing to come with me when I'm right. (pause) They probably thought if they sent me a pretty girl I might be dissuaded from my untoward interest in little green men. They got more than they bargained for, didn't they?

SCULLY
They definitely didn't count on me backing you up. It makes me angry that they think you're a bad influence: they don't give me credit for making my own decisions. (pause) Forget it, I'd rather not talk about the Bureau. I shouldn't have brought it up. So, Mulder. Tell me about the second grade.

Mulder thinks a second.

MULDER
In the second grade, I had the world's biggest crush on the babysitter. She had red hair, and eyes that were sometimes green and sometimes blue, depending on the light and what she was wearing. She was tough, she wouldn't let me get away with anything. After my sister went to sleep she'd take me out in the back yard and help me build rockets and stuff, or we'd do chemistry experiments in the kitchen. I thought she was the neatest thing since Froot Loops. I figured heck, I was almost eight, that meant she was only eight years older than me; when I'd be 18 she'd still be only 26. That's not too old, I thought, she could wait for me that long. Then I found out.

SCULLY
She had a boyfriend.

MULDER
Not just a boyfriend, the ultimate boyfriend: captain of the swim team and the debate team, headed to MIT on a chemistry scholarship. I knew I was finished.

SCULLY (smiling)
He was leaving, you could've edged him out once he was gone.

MULDER
Nah, it was over. I couldn't do chemistry with her any more because I knew she had to be thinking of him the whole time. I was devastated.

SCULLY
What did you do?

MULDER
I couldn't stand it, so I told my parents I hated her and I didn't want her to take care of us any more, and I screamed and broke a few things 'til they gave in without asking any questions.

SCULLY
Good people-management skills, Mulder. Do you think she knew how you felt?

MULDER
Who knows? She was sixteen; I was just spare change to her. If she noticed anything she probably just thought it was cute. She probably told her friends and they all had a good laugh. (pause) Your turn: second grade.

SCULLY
Let's see, second grade. In the second grade, I discovered horses. My best friend Robin was getting riding lessons and took me along one time, and I was in love. I read every horse book I could get my hands on, and started collecting model horses with a passion. We had little horse shows and everything. Of course when I found out in High School that the horse thing was supposed to be a big sex symbol I was mortified. Sex is such a big hairy deal at that age.

MULDER
Well, a horse is a big hairy deal.

SCULLY
I never did get the connection, though. I mean, why a horse?

MULDER
The horse is a friendly beast. It's got a lot of power and a lot of mystery because it's a big, beautiful animal; but the critical part is that you can control it, you can tame it and be friends with it, ride it and become one with it. It makes a good metaphor for a young girl to explore her sexuality, before adolescence hits and she has to deal with the untamed reality: BOYS.

Scully shakes her head.

SCULLY
I would have been better off sticking with horses.

MULDER
What do you mean?

SCULLY
I didn't do too well in the Boys Department, Mulder. Nobody was interested; I didn't have a real boyfriend 'til my Junior year in college.

MULDER
I don't believe you.

SCULLY
I was not an attractive teenager. I was a science geek, for one thing, and that just made me unfit as a female being. I had braces, and glasses, and I tended to be a little chunky: the whole nine yards.

Mulder shakes his head, grinning.

MULDER
There must have been some poor guy who followed you around like a puppy dog, and you didn't know he was alive. Or worse--worse, you liked him, but just as a friend.

SCULLY
Well, sure, most of my science buddies were guys, but....

MULDER
Ten to one, Scully, you were a heartbreaker and you didn't even know it.

SCULLY
Mulder, you are nuts.

She gets up and starts picking up the plates.

SCULLY
If somebody felt something for me, he ought to have said something. It would have spared me a lot of teenage angst, I can tell you.

MULDER
It's not that easy, Scully. Never underestimate the fear of rejection.

She gives him a dubious look and goes into the kitchen.

SCULLY
I've got some peach cobbler if you want dessert.

Mulder gets up and goes over to the stereo, looking over her tapes and Cds.

MULDER
Sounds good. Do you mind if I put some music on?

SCULLY
Go right ahead, if you find anything of mine you like.

As Scully dishes up the cobbler Mulder picks out something mellow but not too obvious (probably light jazz). She comes in and sets the dishes on the table. Mulder takes her hand and spins her into his arms.

MULDER
Dance with me, Scully.

SCULLY
I'll say it again, you're nuts.

But she snuggles up against him a little, anyway. Neither of them says anything for little while.

SCULLY (not looking up)
I got together with my Mom yesterday.

MULDER
Yeah? What did you talk about?

SCULLY
You.

Pause.

MULDER
What did she say?

SCULLY
She says I have an unusual friend.

Now she pulls back to look him in the face.

SCULLY
That much I knew already. She said you must care about me a great deal.

MULDER
Smart lady. What else did she say?

SCULLY
She said I shouldn't worry about it. I should let it be whatever it is and just enjoy myself.

MULDER
I like your Mom more all the time.

SCULLY
Have you talked to anybody?

Mulder gives a little-boy smile.

MULDER
I called my Mom.

SCULLY
So what does she think?

MULDER
She thinks I've found the real thing. She wants grandchildren.

Mulder moves in closer; she raises a hand to his neck, playing with his hair a little. She grins.

SCULLY
My Mom's bucking for a son-in-law out of this.

Pause. We feel a dangerous kiss coming on, but Scully remembers something.

SCULLY
She challenged me to have you over here. To see if I have the guts to do for you what you did for me.

They both get serious and back down somewhat painfully from the aborted kiss. He holds her close and they dance in silence, cherishing each other very carefully.

FADE OUT.

ACT FOUR

FADE IN:
17. INT: SCULLY'S BATHROOM AND HALLWAY
Scully and Mulder are in their p.j.'s, brushing their teeth together in front of the mirror. They finish.

MULDER
Race ya back.

She's too fast for him and gets out the door first, but he tackles her and they struggle on the floor. She elbows him hard in the side and throws him on his back, pushes up his shirt and delivers the ultimate in tickling offense: the tummy blow. This is almost impossible to defend against, not only because the tickle is intense but because the sound is so funny. Mulder is quickly rendered helpless.

MULDER
Uncle! Uncle! I give up! You win!

She stops and rolls off him, and they both try to get their breath back.

MULDER
Where did you learn that?

SCULLY
I thought everybody knew that one. When you've got two brothers you have to have a few tricks.

MULDER
You ought to try that in a crisis situation.

SCULLY
Nah, you have to be able to get the shirt up in a hurry or you lose the advantage.

MULDER
I'll keep that in mind.

Pause.

SCULLY
I'm still gonna beat you to bed.

She scrambles up and dashes off; he grunts as he gets up (she got him pretty hard in the side) and follows.

CUT TO:
18. INT: SCULLY'S BEDROOM
In bed; Scully turns out the light and settles down, draping herself over Mulder with her head on his chest. She's still a little giddy from the wrestling.

SCULLY
Good night, Teddy Bear.

MULDER
Good night, Scully.

SCULLY
How long do you think we can keep this up?

She's cuddling on him a little too happily for him to take at the moment. He looks down at her wonderingly.

MULDER
I don't know. But you better settle down or I won't be responsible for my actions.

She looks up at him and sits up a little.

SCULLY
I must be enjoying myself too much.

MULDER
This isn't just playing around, you know.

SCULLY
I know. I feel it, too. It's a little easier for a girl, I guess.

She lies back down and turns her back to him like the first night, and sighs.

SCULLY
Only a little.

They laugh, and quiet down. They both know they're not going to do anything, but they both know they're both interested: so it's funny. Mulder gets wicked.

MULDER
There's something I didn't tell you about the babysitter.

SCULLY
The one who broke your heart?

Mulder leans over to whisper in her ear.

MULDER
Her name was Dana.

This either gets a pillow fight, or she just beats on him ("You jerk! I bet you made the whole thing up!" "No, I swear, only the part about the eyes--leave me alone, I'm innocent!").

FADE TO:
19. INT: SCULLY'S BEDROOM, MORNING
Mulder is already awake, watching Scully sleep. Her pajama top is pushed up a little, and he puts his hand on the bare spot. She stirs a little in her sleep and turns toward him. Looking at her face he whispers, half to himself:

MULDER
Dana Scully, will you marry me?

Unexpectedly she rolls all the way over and cuddles against his chest.

SCULLY
Yes.

Mulder is more than a little startled.

MULDER (aloud)
You weren't supposed to be awake.

SCULLY
I'm not.

She smiles a little, her eyes still closed.

SCULLY
Don't worry, Mulder, I won't hold you to anything. You can try again later if you want to.

She sighs and starts going all the way back to sleep. Mulder starts laughing.

MULDER
You say *I'm* nuts!

Scully can't really stay asleep on his chest while he's laughing, so she pushes up on one elbow.

SCULLY
I don't think it would be so nuts to marry you, Mulder. Our Moms would love it.

Then she starts laughing, too, not taking herself seriously.

SCULLY
Race you to the shower.

As she jumps up and starts running:

SCULLY
If it's a tie, we go in together!

CUT TO:
20. INT: HALLWAY
Now he's coming after her. He grabs at the back of her p.j.s to slow her down...

SCULLY
**Cheater!**

...and they plunge throught the door together.

CUT TO:
21. INT: SCULLY'S BATHROOM
Scully and Mulder catch their breath.

SCULLY
Get out of here, Mulder.

He starts taking off his shirt.

MULDER
But you said if it was a tie....

SCULLY
I didn't know you'd cheat. (pause) Mulder, we can't. It's Tuesday, we have to go to work. If we're going to get naked together we'd better have time to do it right, OK? Maybe we'll go off to Hicksville on a case and we'll have some little motel all to ourselves tonight, we can tear the place apart. Now get out of here.

MULDER
You promise about the motel?

SCULLY (serious)
Mulder, I already said yes.

She puts her right arm up to point the way out.

SCULLY
Go.

With her other hand she pushes him out the door, and he acquiesces with a groan. She closes the door behind him and leans her head against it a moment.

FADE TO:
22. EXT: AT THEIR CARS ON THE STREET
Of course they're dressed now, in office clothes.

MULDER
Listen, I'm going to be a little late coming to work. I need to go home and pick up a few things.

SCULLY
OK, then, I'll see you there.

Hug; he caresses her face, and gets in his car, and she watches him drive off.

CUT TO:
23. INT: MULDER'S APARTMENT
Mulder is looking through several drawers. He finds a small jewelry box, and flips it open: it holds an antique-looking gold ring set with a medium-size emerald and two small diamonds. He shuts the box and slips it into his pocket.

CUT TO:
24. INT: X FILES OFFICE
Mulder comes in and hands Scully a folder with a plane ticket sticking out.

MULDER
They asked me to give this to you on my way in.

Scully looks over the contents of the folder, and her face falls.

SCULLY
I don't believe this: they're sending me to Denver for a forensics consultation. By myself. I get back Thursday night.

MULDER
I know, I looked. Your plane leaves in two hours.

SCULLY
I guess this means we can forget about the motel.

MULDER
Go on, get going. I'll see you when you get back.

SCULLY
This is just great. I can't wait to see what happens next.

She picks up her things and leaves. Mulder draws the ring box out of his pocket and tosses it in his hand, assessing. Shaking his head and smiling at himself, he puts the box back in his pocket.

FADE TO:
25. INT: MULDER'S APARTMENT
Mulder picks up his phone and somewhat awkwardly punches in a number from a piece of paper he's holding.

MULDER
Hello, Mrs. Scully? (clears his throat) This is Fox Mulder, Dana's partner.

There is a slight pause on the other end.

SCULLY'S MOM (V.O.)
Oh, what a nice surprise. Is anything wrong?

MULDER
No, I don't think so. I need to talk with you about your daughter.

FADE TO:
26. INT: AIRPORT TERMINAL
Scully disembarks from her plane, carrying a garment bag: and there's Mulder, waiting for her at the gate.

SCULLY
Mulder, what are you doing here?

MULDER
Picking you up at the airport, what does it look like I'm doing?

He takes the garment bag from her, and they start walking through the terminal.

MULDER
How was Denver?

SCULLY
Boring. Except for this mysterious phone call I got from my Mom. She never calls me like that when I'm traveling. Mulder, she said that you called her, but she wouldn't tell me why.

MULDER
What did she say?

SCULLY
She said you had a nice chat. Mulder, what would you want to call my mother for?

MULDER
I told you I like her.

SCULLY
So you called her, just like that.

MULDER
Just let me take you home, Scully.

SCULLY
You're a strange man, Fox Mulder.

But she takes his arm as they walk.

CUT TO:
27. EXT: OUTSIDE SCULLY'S APARTMENT
Mulder walks Scully to the door, carrying her garment bag again, but hangs back when she opens the door.

SCULLY
You're not coming in?

MULDER
No, I didn't bring my jammies.

He brings a hand to her face and half-whispers:

MULDER
I'm telling you, Scully, there was a ghost following me around while you were gone.

SCULLY (subdued)
Sounds like an X File.

MULDER
This is too weird for an X File.

He kisses her gently on the forehead.

SCULLY
Mulder....

Mulder drops his hand and takes one of hers in his.

MULDER
Um, listen. A friend of mine has a cabin in Virginia, he said I could use it this weekend if I wanted to get away. Will you come with me?

SCULLY
Good things come to those who wait, is that it?

MULDER
Something like that.

She takes him in a hug.

MULDER
Please be saying yes.

SCULLY
Yes, Mulder, yes.

She pulls back, her hands still on him.

SCULLY
All right, then. I'll see you tomorrow. But it's your fault if I can't sleep tonight.

MULDER
Good night, Scully.

She takes her bag from him and starts going in.

SCULLY
Good night, partner.

She shuts the door behind her; Mulder blows out his breath in relief and goes to his car.

CUT TO:
28. INT: THE CABIN
The place is actually pretty swank, with lots of polished hardwood, windows and skylights, and a glow from the late-evening sunlight. Scully and Mulder enter. Scully looks around, impressed.

SCULLY
This is a cabin?

MULDER
My friend likes to live well. There's a jacuzzi in through here.

SCULLY
How many girls have you brought up here, Mulder?

MULDER
Only you.

SCULLY
OK. So, we talked about third grade and fourth grade in the car, and we ate on the way out here. What do you want to do now?

MULDER
Come on, let's take a walk. I'll show you the lake.

CUT TO:
29. EXT: THE LAKE
It is very pleasant, quiet and private, and the sun is setting. Mulder puts his arm around Scully's shoulders as they stop to take in the view.

SCULLY
It's lovely. You even arranged to have a sunset.

She puts an arm around his waist, leans her head on him and sighs, squeezing him close a little.

SCULLY
You're perfect, Mulder. Don't ever change, no matter how much I yell at you.

Mulder looks down at her, smiling.

MULDER
The time for not talking about this is over, Scully. I've got something for you in my pocket.

Scully is startled by the possible double-entendre (which tells us where her mind is).

SCULLY
Mulder!

MULDER
My coat pocket, Scully. Here.

He holds out the pocket; she draws out the ring box.

SCULLY
Mulder, what is this?

MULDER
Open it.

She does.

SCULLY
It's beautiful.

MULDER
It was my grandmother's. It was supposed to go to Samantha, but it came to me instead.

SCULLY
Mulder...?

MULDER
This'll be easier if you sit down.

SCULLY
Mulder....

She sits down on the grass and he kneels beside her, taking the ring out the box and putting the box back in his pocket. She gets up on her knees, too.

SCULLY
No. If this is what I think it is, we face each other.

He smiles, takes her left hand, and eases the ring onto her ring finger.

MULDER
Dana Scully, I will love you 'til I die, which may not be much longer if we don't do something about this. Will you promise to always question what I do, and always trust what I am?

SCULLY
Yes, Mulder. You already had that much.

MULDER
I asked your Mom, and she said it would be OK.

He clears his throat.

SCULLY
Mulder, you already have my answer. You don't have to do this.

MULDER
Yes, I do. This is for keeps, Dana. Will you let me be your husband?

She laughs at the wording, still not quite believing this is happening.

SCULLY
Mulder, you've got class. May I please be your wife?

MULDER
Yes.

They both laugh. They're still on their knees, holding hands, just kinda looking at each other.

SCULLY
You know, after all this we still don't know what I'd do if you kissed me.

She touches his face again, tracing his lips with her fingers. He nuzzles at her neck, then takes a line of hisses up to her mouth, and pulls back, hesitating.

SCULLY
I love you, too, Fox Mulder.

They have the kiss. Scully is suddenly seized with a fit of giggles, and drops her head to his shoulder.

MULDER
What, you'd laugh?!?

SCULLY
Mulder, you have made an art form out of taking me to extremes. Please don't stop.

They lie down together on the grass as the sun is going down.

PULL UP AND FADE OUT.

THE END




APPENDIX

Addendum to Scene 2 (Mulder's conversation with his Mom; the "audience" can't be in on it at the time, but I had fun imagining it). This doesn't sound at all like Mulder's mother as we have met her, of course, and it also seems highly unlikely at this point that Mulder would think of calling his mom in the middle of the night when something is bothering him, but I enjoyed myself so I'll leave it as is. I suppose one could introduce some other person Mulder has as a treasured confidante--say, an aunt or an old teacher--but that would be too much diversionary work. This is fantasy, after all! Mulder told Scully in the Return of the Liver Man episode ("Tooms") that he even made his parents call him Mulder, and although the writers completely ignored that statement when they introduced Mulder's parents (ahem), I'm being true to it here.

MULDER
Mom? Yeah, I know it's late. I can't sleep. Can I talk to you about something?

MOM
All right, son, what is it?

MULDER
It's my partner at work, Dana Scully.

MOM
The smart one, with the big eyes, who doesn't pay enough attention to you?

MULDER
Doesn't always take my ideas seriously, Mom. Yeah, that's the one. She asked me to go to a wedding with her next Saturday.

MOM
Now you've got my attention. Are you going?

MULDER
Yeah, I said I would.

MOM
So what's the problem you had to call me in the middle of the night for? You like her, don't you?

MULDER
What's not to like? She fights me on everything, but she's probably the best friend I've got.

MOM
You always were one for a good fight, Mulder. Isn't that why you have that job of yours? (pause) I can tell you one thing from painful experience: being able to fight and still like each other is the hallmark of a lasting marriage. That's something your father and I forgot how to do.

MULDER
Whoa, Mom, what's with this marriage stuff? We just work together.

MOM
Then why the phone call, son?

MULDER
It's just...I don't know. This invitation got me thinking.

MOM
All right, I'll play Mother's 20 Questions. Yes or no: Are you afraid that she may or may not want to be closer to you?

MULDER
Yes.

MOM
Are you worried because you're not sure what you want where she's concerned?

MULDER
Yes.

MOM
So this is an uncertainty problem. You're not used to being unsure of yourself, are you?

MULDER
No, Mom, I'm not.

MOM
Well, son, I can't tell you what you feel, much less what she feels. All I know about this partner of yours is what you've told me, and what you've told me makes me think she's pretty special to you. I take it you haven't come to any conclusions yourself yet, if you're calling your mother at--oh, Lord, Mulder, it's 1:30!

MULDER
If I can't call my Mom, who can I call?

MOM
Well. Let's call this Mother's Instinct, Mulder, because I don't have much else going for me at this hour. Do you want to know what I think?

MULDER
What?

MOM
I think you need to think less, and sleep more. And I think you ought to ask this girl to spend the night with you.

MULDER
Mom!

MOM
I'm not suggesting anything kinky, son. I just think it might clarify matters for you if you put things to a little test. See if she'll sleep with you, just like you've been married for a few years and don't need to make love every night, or like friends having a stay-over. If she agrees, you'll learn something about how you both feel being close to each other.

MULDER
Mom, she'll think I'm crazy.

MOM
Really, Mulder, I think she would have made up her mind on that one before now. You're my son, and I love you dearly, but you're not exactly Mr. Even Keel.

MULDER
Gee, thanks, Mom.

MOM
Don't call me at 1:30 in the morning if you don't want the truth, dear.

MULDER
So you think I should ask her to stay with me. That's a very interesting idea, Mom.

MOM
I thought it might be. Get some sleep, Mulder. Have a good time at the wedding.

MULDER
Thanks, Mom. You're a real pal.


This, of course, is sheer and utter dripping-sappy fantasy, and could never actually happen on the show (but boy did I have fun!). Besides, the FBI doesn't let married couples work together, and what's the fun of getting them married if they can't be partners any more? I suppose they could always go work for Lone Gunman or something, but without the FBI badge and access to crimes/mysteries it would be harder to generate and sustain their adventures (besides, the X Files belong to the FBI; not only would our heroes lose all their work, but you'd have to change the name of the show if you're a real stickler for detail). Of course, it has always seemed a little odd that a guy who's dedicated to exposing government conspiracies is working for the FBI.

The "tell me about first grade" stuff is based on what my husband and I did together after we had realized we had Fallen In Love (once we stopped panicking, anyway), something we continued after we were engaged, in order to know each other's backgrounds and thoughts as fully as possible. It was fun, too, and built the friendship further. And of course the horses bit was taken from my childhood, too. I like that section of dialog so much that I've planned to work it into a story I've sketched but not yet written as of 8/5/96. Dissertation first (ha!).


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