A story by Government Patsy
I can't believe he's Matthew's teacher. I finally know his name at least. Mulder. Fox Mulder.
I was afraid I'd made him more handsome in my head. I'd had a few drinks the night we met so I thought he might be more amazing in my memories of him. But he wasn't. He was just as charming and devastatingly handsome as I had remembered him. Damn.
Mulder had followed us out of the school and I was now driving home with a very quiet Matthew.
"Did… did it go okay? You're so quiet," the teenager sighs.
Oh. Maybe I was the one being quiet.
"It went well, Matthew," I chuckle. "Nothing to worry about. I told you I was just going to ask for a status report kind of thing. I just want to make sure you're okay."
"Yeah, I know," he smiles vaguely. "What did you think of them? Mrs. Miller and Mr. Mulder."
"Mrs. Miller did most of the talking. She seems to really like you," I smile at him and he seems happy at that.
"And Mr. Mulder?" he seems worried. "Was he mad at me?"
"Not at all," I assure him. "He understands where you're coming from. He wanted me to call him if I figured out what he'd done to irritate you so much though."
"Oh," Matthew's lips tuck a bit at this and he shrugs. "He hasn't done anything really."
"Yeah?" I feel like Matthew is hiding something from me but I can't put my finger on it.
"I guess he just got on my nerves, I don't really know why, I can't explain it…" Matthew suddenly seems a bit sad again.
"Hey, don't worry, Matthew," I try to cheer him up. "Mulder still seemed to like you - I think he just wants to win you over."
The grin was back on Matthew's face and he nodded.
As we got home we ordered a pizza and had a quiet night in. I was so happy that Matthew seemed to be doing better. After we had eaten he'd asked if he could go play some online game on his PlayStation with some of his friends from his old school. I obviously said yes.
I'd only just cleaned up after dinner and poured myself a glass of red wine as I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket.
I sat down in my couch and watched the unknown number on the display. My heart skipped a beat; I had a good feeling as to who this might be.
"Dana Scully," I said, picking it up.
"Hi, Dana," I heard Mulder's voice on the other end. "It's me. Mulder."
"Wow, Mulder," I chuckled. "You waited this long to call me?"
"Well," he chuckled back. "I hope I'm not too eager?"
"No, you're cute," I tell him and blush. "But I haven't really been honest with you Mulder. I have a boyfriend."
"You do?" he seems shocked. "A serious boyfriend?"
"Well… yeah it's- I guess it's serious," I sigh. "I'm really sorry I led you on, Mulder."
"I don't know, you don't seem like the cheating kind… and you don't seem too sure about how serious this boyfriend is…"
"I don't know, Mulder!" I feel so confused about this whole thing and finally just let it out with this man on the phone. "I don't know how to end it with him. I… I work with him. I haven't even seen him outside of work for over a month. He just thinks it's because of everything that's happened… with my brother and taking care of Matthew… I just don't know what to do."
I feel embarrassed already by over sharing like this.
"I can see how it's complicated when you work together, Dana," Mulder's voice is sympathetic and soothing to me. "But if you don't want to be with him then don't. And I'm not just saying this because I have something to gain from you being single."
I can't help but chuckle at that last comment.
We end up talking for a good while. I tell him all about how much I'm struggling with my residency. The work is so overwhelming and I don't feel like I have enough time with Matthew. I've worked so long to become a doctor but it's not what I thought it would be. And I keep feeling like I'm letting Matthew down every time I have to work late and can't be there for him. I enjoy talking to Mulder. I practically spill my heart out to him.
The next few days we talk on the phone every night.
That Thursday when I come into work I know what I have to do. This will be my last shift at the hospital. I've printed out my resignation and signed it. I would have to turn this into Dr. Krycek if he was here. But I've chosen a day he's not working, cowardly.
It's quite late when I come home but I can't help myself. I call Mulder right away. Matthew is already sleeping. Luckily Mulder hasn't gone to bed yet and he answers right away. He can't believe I actually did it and neither can I to be frank.
"I really enjoy talking to you, Dana. It's become the highlight of my day," he tells me sweetly.
"Me too, Mulder," I chuckle. "Matthew is leaving for the weekend tomorrow. My parents are picking him up after school. He's staying with them till Sunday, visiting his friends and what-not."
"Do you want to hang out then?" he seems cheery at the prospect.
"Sure," I say happily. "I don't feel like going out - do you want to come over for dinner maybe? We can just order in."
"That sounds perfect!"
I sit down at my usual table in the teachers' lounge with my lunch. Sue and Harry are already sat down. The three of us always eat our lunch together.
"What's so funny?" I ask them, as they're laughing when I sit down.
"Sue just told me about your meeting on Monday with Matthew Scully's aunt," the older man says, pushing his glasses back on his nose as they had slid down a little bit.
"Damn you, Sue," I can feel my ears redden and I shake my head at her.
"Well, she was very pretty, Fox," Sue winks at me.
"I can't believe you just froze like that, Mulder. I honestly thought you had more game than that," Harry continues to tease me.
I just shrug. I can't very well tell them how I'd kissed my student's aunt in a bar, not knowing her name or who she was. I couldn't tell them I was meeting with her tonight, that I'd talked to her on the phone every day since Monday. I knew it was kind of shitty towards Matthew. I wasn't putting the moves on his mother but it was pretty close with Dana being his guardian now. But I just had to see where this was going. I had to see her again.
Finally my last period arrives. Although as luck would have it, I'm teaching Matthew's class this Friday afternoon. Matthew has actually improved greatly in my classes this week though. Apparently that meeting with his aunt, with Dana, really helped. Whatever she's said to him, I'm deeply grateful. He actually participates and damn the kid is smart.
As I dismiss the class people stagger out rather fast - which is always the case on Friday afternoons. There's never anyone sticking around to ask questions after class like there usually is. As I look up there's a kid sitting on one of the tables though. He's wearing a striped long sleeved t-shirt underneath a band t-shirt with a band he's way too young to have even heard of, his shirts tucked into his beige ankle cropped pants with a black belt - showing off his bare ankles leading down to his black vans. I realize it's Matthew. I hardly recognized him without his hoodie over his head.
"Matthew, what's up?" I smile at him.
"Just wanted to say thanks for putting up with me, I guess," he shrugs.
"You look different, Matthew," I say leaning back against my own desk. "Are all your hoodies in the wash?"
"Ha-ha, Mr. Mulder," he says sarcastically but smiles. "Very funny. No this is just how I usually dress. How I use to. Lately I didn't care too much what I wore. This morning I just felt like looking a bit nicer, I guess."
"Well, you look good, kid. A bit more stylish," I approve nodding.
"Thanks," he chuckles and it looks like he's blushing - I guess he doesn't get a lot of compliments. "I just wanted to set things straight, Mr. Mulder."
"Thanks, Matthew. I appreciate it," I smile at him.
"Well," he gets up from the table he was lounging on. "Have a nice weekend, Mr. Mulder."
"You too, Matthew," I pat his back as he walks out of the classroom.
I finally pack up all my stuff and head home. I send a quick message to Dana and can't help but smile as I think about her.
Message me when you're alone
I think about adding an emoji but I don't know if the kissing one my finger is hovering over is appropriate so I just press send.
I throw the phone on my bed and have a quick shower just to wash off the day and change into something a bit more casual than the dress pants and shirt I wear to work.
I pull on some fresh boxers and socks and opt for some black jeans and a dark red t-shirt. It's very casual but nice. I check my phone and see her message that checked in two minutes ago.
You can come over now
Followed by another message with her address. I already knew the street she lived on from when I asked her after meeting her in the bar and following her some of the way home. Now I know the house too. It's only a few blocks away so I decide to just walk. I pull on my leather jacket and my white trainers and head out the door.
It's not even 5 o'clock yet but I'm happy she accepted to have me over already. I don't think I could wait much longer to see her again. I know I'm walking faster than I usually do but I can't help it. As I turn onto her street I find her townhouse - it's quite similar to mine. A lot of the townhouses here look very much alike with their European style, a reminiscent of New England's origin story.
I knock on her door after the five-minute walk there.
"Hi, Mulder," she smiles greatly at me as she opens the door. "You were quick."
She's wearing little white socks, some faded blue jeans and a cozy-looking white sweater with a round neck, showing off her little gold cross pendant. Seeing her like this, in her home - not wearing any shoes but just her little socks - somehow it fills me with a sense of intimacy. I like it.
"I just live a few blocks away, I walked here," I remember to talk as she catches me staring at her.
"Well, come on in," she moves back and holds the door open for me as I walk into the little snuck hallway of her house. There's a stair leading upstairs, coats hanging on the wall over a shoe-rack on the floor next to a full-length mirror.
I take off my shoes and hang up my jacket as she closes the door.
"I cleaned today," she seems excited as she tells me this - I can honestly say that's an excitement I'll never share. "Do you want a house tour?"
"Did you clean because I was coming over?" I wonder out loud.
"No, Mulder," she blushes and shakes her head. "I just finally had the time for it."
"I'd love a house tour," I say - and I mean it… because that means I'll get to see her bedroom, right?
The downstairs holds a small living room and an even smaller kitchen - it's all quite similar to my own house with little differences like the stove in the kitchen being on the other side and a window here or there that's placed differently. It's much nicer than my house though; I have to admit. Dana really knows how to make this very modest house feel like a home. There's little decorative items everywhere, a few candles here and there, a nice plush carpet under the couch area, plants and herbs in the kitchen. I love her home already.
After seeing the downstairs we go up the stairs. There's a door right as you come up, the door is open and the room is filled with boxes, a bed and a desk.
I walk into what I know is Matthew's room. The queen size bed is pushed into the corner next to his desk. On the opposite wall there's a closet with the doors left open, clothes thrown in there, some of it half out the closet on the floor. There's some shelves too but they don't hold anything - I guess a lot is still in the four moving boxes, some of them open and clearly gone through, my guess is whenever he needed something he'd just gone through the box and not bothered unpack in the process. I can very much relate to this room, my own had been much worse growing up. I notice the computer on his desk. It's a stationary and it looks rather good. Next to it is a monitor, keyboard, mouse and a headset dumped over the keyboard. I notice the box of tissues next to the computer and can't help a grin on my face. Tissues next to the computer… classy, Matthew. I doubt Dana will know what this means but every man certainly does.
I walk out his room again suddenly feeling a bit uncomfortable being in my student's bedroom.
"He doesn't let me clean up in there," Dana says somewhat apologetically and it clearly bothers her to have a room in her immaculate house that looks like this. "Or help unpack."
"Can't say my own room looked much different at his age," I chuckle.
"Wow," she rolls her eyes and shakes her head at me but I notice her smile too.
When you turn left after coming up the stairs there's a railing and two doors. The door closest to Matthew's room is the bathroom - again very nice: Who even thinks to put candles in the bathroom?
The last door is her bedroom. She opens the door and I bite my lip as I walk in. It smells so nice in here.
It's a small room and she has settled for a queen size bed. The bed is neatly made and I notice the wooden bedframe and wonder if the headboard would bang against the wall if we… oh God, I feel my pants tighten a bit at the thought and quickly look elsewhere. Her side tables match the bedframe and have some nice lamps on them and an open book and some reading glasses on what I assume must be her side of the bed. There's a dresser on the opposite side of the room and she's even managed to fit in a comfy armchair next to the dresser, in the corner of the bedroom. On top of the dresser I notice some purple candles among the knick-knack. The candles are in a glass type thing and it looks kind of cool.
"What's that?" I ask her, pointing to the candle.
"Mulder," she chuckles. "It's a scented candle."
"Scented?" I'd heard of that before - I pick it up and sniff it and I find the source of the amazing smell in her bedroom.
"It's lavender," she says shyly and I put it down again.
"Very nice," I nod approvingly.
She ushers me out the room and I sigh as I leave it. I want to be back there again. With her. Some day.
We go downstairs and plop down in the soft cushions of her white couch.
"I love your home, Dana," I tell her.
"You do?" she grins.
"Mmmh," I just mutter as I slide further down into the couch - she simply smiles at this.
"I'm seeing Alex tomorrow," she tells me, biting her lip nervously.
"Alex?" I'm at a blank here.
"My… colleague… ehm- boyfriend," she's flustered now.
When she first told me about her boyfriend I couldn't believe it. But after she told me about their relationship and how strained things had been because they worked together and she wanted to end it, I'd kind of forgot about it again. I honestly thought she would have ended it with him already.
"You are?" I can't hide the disappointment in my voice.
"I set it up a few days ago," she says carefully. "I… I'm gonna end it with him."
"Good," I simply say and smile at her. "You deserve to be happy."
"Yeah," she blushed. "I don't look forward to it though… at least I won't have to see him at the hospital since I quit. Not that, that's why I quit!"
"I know," I appease her, seeing her frustration with the whole situation. "Do you know what you're gonna do now that you don't have a job?"
"Well, I'm going to start looking for one on Monday," she sighs. "I have no idea where to begin though."
"There's an open position at the school," I tell her - not even thinking about it until this very moment, but it's perfect! "One of the science teachers are retiring - the Physics teacher."
"Really?" she seems to contemplate this. "I majored in Physics in college but I never thought about teaching."
"Neither did I," I tell her honestly. "But I really love it, I think you would too."
"Can you set up an interview for me?" she asks hopefully.
"Of course," I smile at her. "Oh, I hope you get it!"
"Yeah…" she trails off smiling - then suddenly a thought hits her. "Oh, what about Matthew… Do you think he would hate me for working at his high school?"
"Well," I chuckle. "I'm not sure - he would probably find it a bit awkward. But he wouldn't be in any of your classes. I'm pretty sure he's taking Physical Science and not pure Physics… most of the humanities students do."
"Yeah he does," she nods still contemplating it.
"Well, do the interview and if you're offered the job you can talk to him about it before accepting," I try to persuade her - seeing her every day would be a dream come true.
She's about to say something but there's a knock on the front door.
"Expecting anyone?" I wonder.
"No," she shrugs as she gets up and moves into the hallway to answer the door.
I hear her open the door and then…
"Alex!" her voice is clearly surprised.
I sit up straight in the couch.
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