Title: Minya Minuet
Author: Mish
Feedback: mish_rose@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13
Category: S, some H, MSR, post-ep for Empedocles
Timeline: Assumes "Requiem" took place in September
Spoilers: Through Empedocles
Disclaimer: Not mine.

Summary: Mulder and Scully do Fred and Ginger while Godzilla DJs.

Note: This story, while not part of the "Intuitive Reasoning" series, takes place in that universe. I borrowed one little tidbit from "Inexpressible" that I couldn't resist using again. There are also vague references to that story, but I really think it's not necessary to read it. Though it can be found here, if you'd like to see where the 'tidbit' came from: http://www.reocities.com/mish_rose/Mishsite/Reasoning.html


"I miss the cheesy rubber suit and the dancing karate lizard."

He sees her steal a glance at him but he doesn't react other than reaching for another slice of pizza. With one bite, it's cut in half. His appetite lately is ravenous; it's a wonder his forty-ish metabolism hasn't given up the ghost yet.

Maybe it's a by-product of his trip to the great beyond. He once told her that the dead, if and when they get a chance to come back, want only to eat, drink, dance and make love.

Well, pizza makes a pretty damn good meal and the cold beer in his hand certainly qualifies as drinking. So it's two down, two to go. Too bad the 'two to go' are the ones he's sure to miss most. And he's not much of a dancer, unless you count the ballet he and Scully have perfected in lieu of personal discussion.

He tries hard to shove that out of his mind.

There's been too much skirting around the issues since his return and he *ain't* Baryshnikov.

But that doesn't mean he wants to abandon their version of "Swan Lake." Just take a commercial break, sort of.

Tonight, he just wants to relax with his best friend and pretend he's her number one pizza man. But he can almost hear the lilt of that haunting oboe coming from the imaginary speakers perched on either side of the couch.

Pas de deux, anyone?

"So do I."

What? Did he just recite wedding vows in his beer-induced stupor?

"Godzilla. I miss the old version, too," she explains. Picking at the lone slice on her plate, she pops a mushroom into her mouth.

At her soft admission, he turns to give her an astonished smile, hiding his relief. These days, his tongue seems to have an agenda separate from his brain. "You do? You of the 'if it doesn't have subtitles, it's not worth the celluloid' camp?"

Nice recovery, he thinks.

The smile she gives him in return is luminous in the lamplight. "And this surprises you?"

Everything she does, everything she is now is...

soft. He's amazed at how much he likes it.

Sometimes, he's tempted to rile her, just to hear her biting logic and see her ice blue determination.

But there's plenty of time for that - later, when things settle down. Right now, he likes her smoothed out edges. It means that he gets to be responsible for making sure her velvet surface isn't crushed.

Her eyebrow rises, making a familiar dent in her covering of patience and perseverance.

"Mulder?"

With a lopsided grin, he colors and turns his head, faking interest in Godzilla's trouncing of New York City. "Sorry... just thinking." He brings his beer to his lips and takes a bracing gulp, forcing the cobwebs down his throat.

"About what?"

About... dancing? Pizza men? Pink and blue tutus wrapped around storks? How God damned soft and kissable she looks?

If he told her, she'd likely kick his ass.

Well, not that she *could* at this point in time. But she'd certainly bristle at his conclusions and he's not willing to risk the mellow evening for one moment of telling the truth.

Good thing those ballet slippers still fit.

"Until you embrace 'Plan Nine from Outer Space' Scully, you're still a cheese aficionado."

Humor works better than the truth. Always has, always will.

She hands him her plate and wordlessly, he sits up to lay it on the coffee table, waiting for her response. It's a doozy, knocking him over with feathery purpose.

"Well, it's not a record like yours, but I'm up to twenty-two. Does that count as 'embracing?'"

Snapping his head in her direction, he says, "Twenty-two?"

"Third shelf on the left," she answers, with a tilt of her chin at the bookshelf in the corner.

"It needed a good home."

As he settles back into the couch, he spies it.

Squinting, he notices it between 'Jane Fonda's Workout' and 'Caddyshack.' And right down the row from 'Lamaze Made Easy.'


"So... was this Samantha's doll, or was it yours?" It sits in the spot recently vacated by her plate, perched on the roundness of her stomach. Her fingers cradle it, picking off imaginary fuzz from the brown strands of yarn hair.

The question is almost lost in the blare of the Mountain Dew commercial, and he picks up the remote to mute the sound. She's so much quieter now and he can tell that too much noise gets on her nerves.

He thinks he knows why, though he's never asked her. It's very difficult to get used to life again after living in limbo for months.

Major difference in their respective limbos, however. His is one big empty chalkboard, with only a flash of white memory now and then that is erased as soon as it hits the green board.

Hers has been marred with the scrape of fingernails, the almost-permanent grief and frustration etched into her face with tiny lines. Though she's still as beautiful as she ever was, maybe even more so these days, those new lines scratch into his soul, making him hurt for her.

"Whose do you think it was?"

However nonchalant his question, he feels a wave of anxiety at her answer override the muted air between them. He knows it comes from him, but he's unable to stop it. It's not the question he really wants to ask. He doesn't think he'll ever be able to bring himself to ask.

"Doesn't matter, I guess. It's mine now."

Minutes ago, she beamed at the gift. Now, her eyes shift away from him. Typical, he thinks.

He can't ask and she can't answer. But he so wants to know. However, the time for questions has passed, and it saddens him to see the fire of the chase gone from her.

Still, he's not comfortable with point blank demands for the truth and apparently, from her listless slump on the couch, neither is she.

But despite his awkward walk through life these days, he still remembers how to dance. And he knows she does too. Dana Scully was never a wallflower and she's not about to start now, not if he can help it.


"If he starts flying, I'm gonna scream."

"Mulder -"

"No, Scully. This is crap."

"You've seen this movie before," she says with a resigned sigh.

His head lolls in her direction as he delivers a murmured, "No, I haven't."

You haven't? her eyebrow asks.

"If memory serves, that was the summer of '98.

The only movie I saw that year was on a plane from Miami to Rio de Janeiro. And the military transport to Antarctica wasn't big on in-flight entertainment."

Her face closes in just a bit and her eyes drop.

"Ah, I see."

For a moment he regrets bringing up the subject of that awful summer, but he brushes it aside.

In fact, he's glad he can take the opportunity to so something he's waited years for.

"I discovered something else that summer, you know." At his soft declaration, he sees her head sag onto her right shoulder as she mirrors his lazy pose.

"Hmm... what's that?" The eyes that look up at him again are clear, but jaded and resigned. He knows she expects to hear him say once again that the truth laid under that ice.

But what he really wants to say is that the biggest discovery of his life wasn't a mile-wide spaceship, or corn crops in the Texas plains.

It was the fact that he realized once again just how important she was - *is* - to him. But their emotional dance is still tentative, despite the way they'd once perfected the heavy, sensuous rhythm of physical intimacy. They're not yet ready to resume such a momentous drum beat, especially since he found it difficult to approach her across the huge gulf of the ballroom once he'd returned from the dead.

Instead, he completes their twirl around the subject, keeping a loose hold on her with his serious gaze.

"Having to suffer through 'Hope Floats' was worth every painful minute."

Her sobriety matches his, though he swears her eyes widen just a millimeter before she answers, "Well, at least it wasn't 'Dumb and Dumber.'"

"What?"

In the warm glow of the lamp, he sees those new lines in her face smooth out as the corners of her mouth flirt with a grin.

"D.C. to Tacoma. February 1995."

His lips part in a smile, the bittersweet remembrance of his trip to Deadhorse, Alaska giving him sheepish pause. He's not sorry he ditched her to chase after the shapeshifter those many years ago; he wouldn't have burdened her with the dangerous path he'd taken.

But he can say with conviction that he's so very glad she came after him. And at this point in their lives, he doesn't want to bring up the obvious stress he put her through. He'll never forget her smile when he woke up, just as he'll never forget the circles under her eyes and the paleness of her face.

"One of my favorites," he murmurs, eager to banish thoughts of the past. "I can't believe you didn't enjoy one of the finest examples of cinematic low comedy."

"Oh, I didn't say I didn't enjoy it."

His heart skips a beat. Panic flirts in his chest as he asks, "You liked it?" He can't fathom the thought that she relaxed enough on that flight to get into a movie. He had trouble even remembering the name of the film shown on the Miami flight, but he wanted to prove a point....

"I didn't say I liked it, either."

It's worse than he thought. She actually took the time to form an opinion, for Pete's sake.

"Then how *did* you feel about it?" he snaps, tired of this tango already.

She reaches for his hand and gives it a gentle squeeze, her attempt at calming him having the opposite effect. Especially when she turns her gaze back to the TV.

"Let's just say I want to watch it next time it's the Sunday afternoon Superstation matinee."

"Why?" Jesus, she sat there and calculated every camera angle? Caught every hair out of place on Jim Carrey's helmet head?

"Because I hardly remember any of it except for the idiotic title. That flight is a blur to me." Piercing him with her eyes once again, she finishes, "I was preoccupied."

His breath catches and he nods in total agreement, mostly because he's unable to speak past the lump in his throat.

Her eyes suddenly brim with mischief, breaking the spell of remembered anxiety and frustration.

"But I *do* remember everyone laughing. Quite a lot, actually. Is it really that funny?"

"Classic slapstick, Scully. *Classic.*" Though he's in for it when she finally does see the film; it's not exactly her cup of tea and he knows it.

"Good. Next weekend, we rent both videos. Low comedy *and* high romance... what do you say?"

"I say... 'Hope Floats' is *not* high romance."

She dips him so low he's immediately dizzy.

"And you speak from experience?"

He's stunned, but not for long. The joy at her fancy footwork makes him bold and he recovers, leaning in to whisper, "Back seat of Skinner's limousine, 12:20 a.m.... champagne and strawberries, 1:16 a.m.... black satin sheets, 2:37 a.m.... and one very *long* bubble bath, 3:18 a.m. Beverly Ernesto Hotel, May 1, 2000.

Ring a bell, Scully?"

She gives him her profile as she falls silent for a moment. When she does answer, he can feel the warmth in her cheeks radiate to his face.

"Ding, ding, Mulder," she concedes in a dry whisper, but he hears the tremor in her voice.

Without looking his way, she clears her throat and speaks up, in control in a flash. "Now, watch the movie."

With a grin, he leans back to his side of the couch.

"Yes, Mom."

If looks could kill, he'd be dead. Again.


"Oh, come *on*... first we get techno-Godzilla.

*Now* we get hundreds of techno-babies? Gimme a break."

"Mulder...."

"It pisses me off. It just isn't... normal.

Godzilla reproduces asexually? He's not a frog, you know."

"If I remember correctly, Godzilla was never shown to reproduce sexually. Certainly not in the early movies. Yet, later on he had a son.

Explain *that.*"

"Ah, but he was never shown laying eggs. He *found* an egg on Monster Island. Which leads me to believe he can't reproduce at all, sexually or asexually."

She pauses and he waits.

"Well, sex is as sex does."

Is that a commentary on his version of high romance? He gulps, then hazards a look her way.

Nope. Her profile is playful, the corners of her mouth twitching with mirth.

She got him, but good. He has no choice but to put on the disco moves. His 'Hustle' is rusty, but it does the job.

"Scully...."

"What?"

"You have my copy of 'Forrest Hump' too, don't you?"

That earns him her rendition of the 'Bump.' "Mulder!"

For a small fist, it packs a punch. His arm smarts... for about two seconds.

Because though her lips may not smile, her eyes do.


"Well, it looks like Godzilla's kids are chips off the old block, wouldn't you say?"

This time, he doesn't mute the television; he just turns the sound down until it's a low, pleasant hum. He studies her profile and is startled by her wry observation. The corners of her mouth go up; he can tell she's trying hard not to smile.

"With or without sex, nature seems to have found a way," she continues, as if explaining the birds and the bees to junior high biology.

He can't find his voice. Godzilla has perched on his chest and he finds that his levity gene, heretofore invincible, is squashed under the awesome weight.

So he says nothing, just turns back to the TV and keeps his eyes glued to the screen. He also ignores the cold sweat breaking out under his tshirt.

He began the evening with a repertoire of dances that rivaled Fred Astaire. And to be honest, the reason he did it was to arrive at this very moment.

But suddenly, he's got two left feet.

Scully doesn't press him; from the corner of his eye, he sees she hasn't moved either. She appears to be fascinated with the movie. But her next words make Godzilla shake, rattle and roll.

"Amazing, isn't it... 'Monster Boy.'"

Though her feet tend to swell these days, those dancing shoes still fit.

After a few moments, he's settled enough to say, "All this talk of Godzilla side, 'Mrs. Spooky'-"

He feels the couch shake with her chuckles.

"Things are... normal... aren't they?" He has to ask. No matter what lies between them, no matter the outcome, he has to know.

Sobering, she nods and replies, "After the Hendershot fiasco, the Gunmen helped me find Dr.

Speake. She can be trusted, Mulder."

He knows this already. It's not the integrity of her doctor that's in question here. "But are you sure?"

"One hundred percent? No."

Blinking, he gulps and turns away from the uncertainty he's brought upon them.

"But I'm ninety-nine percent sure. Normal results just like millions of other women.

Ultrasound and amnio show no green blood, or atomic breath... just a normal, healthy baby."

He faces her, searching her eyes for doubt. But there is none. The smile at her attempt to lighten the mood is small, but heartfelt.

"No atomic breath, huh?" That's not the only thing he wants to know, but it will do for now.

"Unless it's the cause of my ever-present indigestion, no."


Pregnancy hasn't dulled her senses or her wit, especially as far as he's concerned. He imagines he can hear the workings of her mind.

She's planning her next move and he's not sure he's ready for it. She brings the glass of milk to her lips and takes a small sip, then returns it to the table at her left, knowing he's watching her every move from the corner of his eye.

He grimaces at the combination. Milk and pizza definitely do *not* go together.

"Godzilla didn't have sex with anyone else, Mulder. Neither did Mrs. Spooky."

His sigh roars in his ears, outweighing Godzilla's growl. What a move. She just skipped the waltz and went straight to the jitterbug.

"Scully, Godzilla never had sex, *period.*"

He pauses and she waits.

"And Mrs. Spooky and Monster Boy only got some once, after...."

He bites his lip over the words, sudden sorrow at all they've lost making him ache. No use bringing up the failed IVF attempt, or their one and only dance before he joined the ranks of the mostly dead.

After the trip to Los Angeles, Scully had approached him about the possibility of a baby.

Though her trip with Spender had built a wall between them that seemed insurmountable, he couldn't deny her the chance. It took so long for them to recover from the loss, to regain what they'd once had. Her brush with the spiritual had helped her gel again; they'd spent his first night home from England sleeping in each other's embrace, not wanting to rush into the physical side of their relationship once again. But it wasn't until *his* brush with a genie that he realized he wanted it all again.

And his wish came true when she said she wanted it as well.

She pinches his thigh, rousing him from introspection. "More than once, as I recall.

'Caddyshack' closing credits... two a.m. wakeup call... and, if I'm not mistaken, early morning shower. August 22, 2000. Three times, if my math is correct. Ding, *ding* Mulder."

Astonishment at her memory makes him scramble for a reply, though he really shouldn't be surprised. That night is seared upon his brain, so why shouldn't it be the same for her?

This lambada is making him squirm. But in a good way... though he groans inwardly at the only thing he can think of to say.

"Three times, one night. Counts as once." He feels his face heat up at the hoarse attempt at deflection.

"Counts as three, Monster Boy."

"Whatever." He was really into this an hour ago. Now it seems the tables have turned.

One thing he should have thought of - Scully was always a much better dancer than he was.

He hears her grunt, shifting on the couch.

"What? What is it?" He's up in an instant, towering over her, his heart racing.

She smiles up at him, assuring him with a soft touch at his waist.

"Nothing. I'm okay, Mulder. I'm just hot and uncomfortable." She struggles with her sweater and he helps her remove it. "I need to stretch out a bit. Sit down, you're making me nervous."

He tightens his jaw, but complies. In moments, she's curled up against him, burrowing like a kitten, the doll tucked under her neck. He imagines he hears a purr...

"Whether it was once or three times," she says quietly, "it still counts."

He shifts, putting his arm around her. It feels good, and he allows his breathing to slow, to match hers. "Yeah, well... we're good at 'onces' aren't we?" His dry question hovers in the air.

She doesn't miss a beat in her reply. "'Onces' are better than 'nevers' - ask Godzilla. At least *we* got some."


The credits roll as her head rests against his chest. He doesn't know how exactly it happened, but they lie on the couch now, Scully stretched out upon him. He breathes in the scent of her hair... already she smells of milk and babies.

It warms him and he glances down, letting a smile go at the sight of the doll, still clutched in her sleepy fingers.

"Mulder?" The hand not holding the keepsake snakes into his own.

"Yes?" Her bare feet brush against his and he brushes right back, liking the way their toes are lit by the television screen. They are stars in the universe of her living room.

"Let's say, for argument's sake, that Godzilla the new *improved* techno-Godzilla - *did* get some once. It only takes one time, you know."

He allows the hand resting lightly upon her hip to move to the swell of her belly. That makes twice he's braved the amazing. Well, not counting the times Monster Boy 'got some.' This time, her slight form is noticeably larger. And his hand is not trembling near as much.

Neither is his question, breathed into the down of her cheek. "Even for Monster Boy and Mrs.

Spooky?"

She looks up and meets his gaze, answering the biggest question of all with her grin.

"*Especially* for Monster Boy and Mrs. Spooky."

His grin complicates matters, but he manages to raise her hand to his lips. First he brushes the delicate web of veins on the back, then turns it over to press his open mouth to her palm. It's soft, so soft.

He feels her gaze, but doesn't meet it, just lowers her hand to meet his other on her stomach. Their hands make a sandwich of interlocked fingers.

He's not surprised it took them this long to reach the last dance. Even after the 'three' times that he considers 'once' they didn't take the opportunity to just sway on the floor like lovers do, murmuring sweet nothings before leaving together.

Almost nothing surprises him anymore. Especially where Scully is concerned.

What *does* surprise him is the flutter beneath his palm. The sudden firmness within the more yielding woman by his side.

"Hey Scully?"

"Yeah?" She nestles into his side, her eyelids drooping as she yawns.

He rests his head lightly upon hers, his own lids slipping low. "You think after the miracle child here finally makes an appearance, Monster Boy and Mrs. Spooky can...."

"Do the horizontal mambo again?"

He takes a deep breath and ventures softly, "I was thinking more along the lines of 'the wedding dance', but the mambo is good."

She stills and he waits.

When she finally answers, her voice is shaky and her heart thuds against his chest. "Well, barring the appearance of 'Godzuki' anywhere on the birth certificate... I'd say the odds are pretty good. For both."

He laughs, relief warming him. "Minya."

"Come again?"

"Godzilla's son was named Minya." He says this through lax lips; the blockbuster has worn him out. The one on TV was pretty action-packed, too. "Godzuki was Godzilla's nephew in the cartoon version."

"Minya, Godzuki, whatever. Our child will have a nice, normal name. To go with his or her nice normal parents."

The dance is over, call it a night. But he can't resist dipping her one more time.

"Then I think I should inform you the doll was Samantha's. The bracelet was mine."

Her head snaps up. "What?"

His hand lifts from hers and picks up the doll's skirt, revealing a dusty leg. Around which is wrapped a small, blue baby bracelet.

M-U-L-D-E-R.

A flood of tears swims in her eyes as she spies it, then looks back to him.

"Aw, Scully, if I'd known you were gonna cry I'd never have gotten the damned thing back... Karen told me she'd never given it to you, so I figured - stop it, okay?" Her cheeks are sopping now and she hiccups, trying to speak, which makes him feel even worse.

"I'm - I'm pregnant, you idiot," she says, tremors of happiness lending her voice a sexy rasp. "What do you expect?"

"Just stop it... you know I can't stand it when you do that. Shit."

As if she just connects the dots, she asks, "Karen? Karen Kosseff?"

Right now, he doesn't feel like explaining why Karen was in possession of the bracelet.

Especially since it's guaranteed to bring a fresh barrage of waterworks. Maybe he'll tell her during next weekend's 'low comedy vs. high romance' film festival.

"Next band break, Mrs. Spooky," he promises, doing the only thing he can to shut her up, though it involves a dip of neck-cracking proportions.

When she scoots up his body and sighs into his mouth, he congratulates himself on his fancy footwork.

Ladies and gentlemen, the lights go out in the ballroom.

END


Author's Notes: This little ditty has been sitting on my hard drive for quite some time. I thought about throwing together a Valentine's Day piece of fluff to break the angst I seem to be wallowing in lately, then found this once again. No, it has nothing to do with Valentine's Day, but it makes me smile.

Many thank to Musea for the long-ago beta; I know this is coming out of nowhere, but I couldn't resist resurrecting it. Happy Valentine's Day, ladies!

And a Happy V-Day to the wonderful people at the Haven Fic Board. Going back to angst now, I promise. :)

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