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18 August 2008 @ 10:59 pm
FIC: White Board  
TITLE: White Board
AUTHOR: Amal Nahurriyeh
SUMMARY: It was The Feminine Mystique, starring Wolfman. 
PAIRING: Mulder/Scully
RATING: R (language, implied sexy goodness)
SPOILERS: Through IWTB
TIMELINE: Post-The Truth through IWTB
DISCLAIMER: Intellectual property is a capitalist fiction designed to oppress the working fic-writer.  That said, I don't own them either.

Many thousands of thanks to scullyseviltwin for a quick and fabulous beta'ing. 



***********

Scully climbs the steps, keys leaden in her hands.  Can she ask him this?  Can she say the words they say you can come out now and resist the temptation to staple-gun him to the floor to keep him from evaporating in front of her eyes?  This remarkable little house is her home only because he was in it.  

The living room is silent; he must be in his office, though she can barely call it that without thinking the air quotes.  She sets her things down, makes her assessment: orange juice bottle on the table, where it had sat next to his breakfast this morning.  Papers piled up.  A thin layer of--there was no other word for it--stuff coated the entire room.  She is sure that at least half of it would have been gone by seven-thirty, when she would have gotten home.  But still, there it is. The room is a mess.  

Well, Dana, she thinks to herself brusquely, you have two choices.  One, walk into the office, unclip his collar, and release the Wild Mulder back into the investigative habitat.  Two, have another fight about the white board.  

Wild Mulder is better than white board.  She took a breath and went to find him.


***


The first few weeks on the run were a blur of sensation and absolutely no thought.  Driving through the night, spending all day naked in cheap motels just because if they were skin to skin they were both sure it was real, watching the hot red sun wax and wane over them and the miles and miles of nameless minor roads.  Desert turned to mountains turned to plains and they kept going, going, motion and sex and concealed weapons all they knew, clinging because it might all melt at any minute.  

Somewhere, July-ish it must have been, she walked in to their hotel room with the dinner she had picked up and stopped.  The trash was the first thing she noticed--last night's lunch and dinner remains, newspaper spread out and marked up, the packaging from the hairbrush she had bought three days ago (three days?  Why hadn't they moved yet?  Why hadn't she thought this through?) still sitting where she had opened it on the dresser, the shockingly embarrassing trail of condom wrappers around the bed.  

But it wasn't just the trash.  She hadn't known he had bought this many pairs of socks until she started counting them as they lay across the floor.  And why was her other bra on that chair?  (Oh, yes, that.  But that was two days ago.)  His notes on where they were going and what they were doing covered not just the ramshackle table, but the top of the TV.  A pile of them fallen behind the dresser, where, for Christ's sake, they could forget them and someone else would see them and then what would happen?

In a daze, she heard the toilet flush and the bathroom door open.  "Scully?" he said, a note of terror in his voice.

"Mulder," she said, as calmly as possible, "this room is a mess."  

He was panic-faced, as still as a rabbit avoiding a predator, trying to figure out what this new moment meant.  "I suppose it is."

What were his shoes doing over there?  "We have to clean this up."

"OK."  

She made eye contact for the first time since she'd walked in the door.  "I'm not living like this, Mulder."

"OK.  So we won't."  And that was that.  Every time they stopped for more than twenty-four hours, she would have a moment where the blur lifted from her eyes and she saw the disaster that was their car, their hotel room, their suitcases, and she would hold out a hand and say, stop.  They tidied up, put the trash out, folded socks, vacuumed the floormats and the upholstery.  It got better.  

***

They bought the house cash, no mortgage, with the last of the first of their secret emergency accounts, two years on.  It was small enough that they didn't rattle and no one suggested it was perfect for a family, twisted that knife yet again.  Far enough out that he could never leave and no one would notice, but commuting distance to three different hospitals, each with openings.  (None in pathology.  No more corpses, she had ruled, and he had acquiesced with terrified calm.)  A big plot of land; he began spinning absurd, sweet stories of putting in an orchard and keeping chickens and maybe even a few goats.  "Cheese.  We'll be urban refugee cheese farmers.  That's our cover."  

"Mulder, I'm not certain I trust you to ferment milk properly.  Nor do I think any self-respecting goat will let you milk it."  They were sleeping in what would be a bedroom, once they got some furniture, in the unrolled sleeping bags that she would insist they get rid of.  Soon.  Once she was sure they won't need them.

"You'll handle that part.  I think you've got the touch."  She kicked him about the knees.  He pinned her down.  The night got off track.  

The furniture came in dribbes; she bought the major stuff at the big box stores along her commute, he ordered bits and pieces online and had them delivered to the post office box she kept.  (He didn't exist; the real estate agent had called him Mr. Scully, much to his amusement, and had tried to resist being judgmental when Scully had insisted that only her name would be on the deed.  "You're a kept man," she had whispered in his ear, that first night, amidst the pinning.)  She would come home with the day's Overstock.com bounty, crook an eyebrow at him as he played kamakaze interior decorator while she laid on the couch, feet up, with half a pizza and a pint of ice cream, and tried to recover from being a resident again.  

It was hilarious.  For a few months.

One morning, trailing the exhaustion of thirty-six hours on, twelve with the covers over her head in the on-call room, another thirty-six on, then two hours home in the snow as dawn slid up around her, she walked in the door and seriously considered walking back out.  She counted twelve bowls, sixteen glasses, four individual running shoes separated by at least six feet, what looked like the entirety of the newspaper for several days running, a milk carton which was on its side, two different orange juice cartons, and Mulder asleep on the couch.  He stirred, looked up at her.  "Hey, Scully."

"Mulder, what the fuck?"  She threw her purse at the dining room table, where it knocked over a glass, which slid into a bowl and pushed it off the table, spilling cereal sludge onto the rug.  

He muttered something confused, mostly consonants.  

"Seriously.  I've been gone, what, four days? And the house looks like a fucking frat party."  Her coat hit the coffee table with the full force of her fury, sending books and papers flying.  She was moving into screechy territory.  "I know you must be terribly busy, what with your pretend cheese farming and, and trying to overthrow the government via the internet, but Jesus Christ, are you incapable of picking up after yourself like a grown human being?"

"Scully," he said, and she could hear the hurt and confusion coming off him in waves, and she just did not have the energy.

"I am walking out this door, and I will be sitting in my car for the next ten minutes.  And when I come back in, there will be a clear path to the bedroom, which will not be disgusting, and I will go to sleep.  And when I wake up, we will have a conversation about this."  And she slammed the door.

She was too tired and angry to care that her car keys were in her purse and her coat was now a part of the disaster, and fell asleep on the porch.  At some point he must have carried her to bed before she got hypothermia.  When she woke, he was sitting on the other side of the bed, glasses on, circling things in the newspaper and taking notes one of his yellow legal pads.  He heard her stirring and looked down at her.  "You know, you're kind of evil when you're tired."

"Bad opening gambit."  She faced away from him, pushed her back into his warm flank.  

"Overthrowing the government via the internet is hard work."  He hooked an arm around her neck.

"I'm familiar with the process."  She ran her toes up and down his calves.

"Don't think being all snuggly is going to absolve all sins."

"Don't think being grouchy is going to make me forget that you trashed my house."  She groped behind her, found the other arm, started pulling.  "Sleep now.  Fight later."  

"Fine, fine."  The papers were still rustling when she drifted off again.

***

They came up with a system.  The piles of paper and notes and newspaper clippings that he was beginning to accumulate went in his office.  And stayed there. And did not come out.  

If she was at work for more than thirty-six hours, he relocated all dishes into the kitchen before she came home, and made sure neither bedroom nor upstairs bathroom was an abject disaster.

Dishes got done within twenty-four hours of their creation.  Whether or not she was home.  

Spoiled food was not put back in the fridge when it was discovered.  

She thought it was a good system.  In theory.  Like communism.

***

"Tell me again what we're doing."  He poked through the bowl of fruit on the table.

"We're having a meeting."  She wrestled with the Walmart bag, almost too big to carry comfortably.

"I feel like Skinner needs me to account for paperwork."  That apple must have met with his approval.  He took a bite without washing it.

"That's exactly it, Mulder.  I am the Skinner of the house, and we are having a staff meeting."

"Kinky."

"Seriously, Mulder."  She attached the shiny new white board to the kitchen wall, snapped the blue marker into its holder.  "I did this in med school.  There were six of us living together.  We made a chore chart on a white board so we could keep track of what needed to be done.  Surprisingly, it worked."

"There are only two of us."  He laid the core on its side on top of his newspaper.  Which was yesterday's newspaper, and therefore should not have been in the kitchen.  

"And yet, the current system is nonfunctional."  She sat down at the table and folded her hands in front of her.  "Here, as I see it, are the facts.  Both of us managed to live most of our adult lives alone, without needing to share our space with anyone else.  Our working relationship only rarely required the sharing of space outside of actual work time.  Despite the fact that we are fully committed to our relationship, and have been for a while, the past five years have been out of the ordinary, to say the least.  So we have come to the point where, despite our best intentions, we are living with each other without ever having realized that we want totally different things out of a living space or having had time to work things out.  I want a home that is kept fairly tidy, cleaned regularly, and decorated simply.  You..."  She struggled not to say rival a class-3 hurricane in your destructive potential.  "Have a more relaxed attitude towards housecleaning."  She cleared her throat.  "Given that living apart is not an option, both out of preference and because of your unique legal status, we have no option but to reach some sort of negotiated settlement about housekeeping tasks and the proper levels of maintenance of living spaces."

He had moved on to a pear.  "That was excellent.  It deserved a PowerPoint presentations.  Graphs and things."

"If you're willling to let me go first, I have some suggestions for how to proceed."

"Proceed away."  

She tried not to let the fact that he looked amused annoy her.  "My schedule is less flexible than yours, in that I generally have set hours at the hospital.  Granted, as I finish my residency, it appears I'll move back to a fifty-hour work week, which is a big improvement, but still, my schedule means I am better suited to doing tasks which can be done all at once on a regular basis rather than ongoing maintenance tasks.  At the same time, I think we can both agree that I have higher standards when it comes to subjects like the cleanliness of living spaces like the living room and the bathroom."

"I think we can."  

"So I would like to propose that you take charge of daily, regular tasks that can be done when you have time during the day.  The dishes and the laundry are primary in that regard.  It would also be a help if you could maintain the grocery list, and email me with what we need, so that I'm more efficient when I'm shopping on my way home.  I, on the other hand, will clean the living room, bedroom, and both bathrooms on a weekly basis, at least."

His eyes narrowed.  "What about the rest of the house?"

"Trust me, Mulder.  Your office is safe from me."  

He nodded, vaguely reassured.

"Some tasks can be shared, or at least alternated.  Changing the sheets, for instance.  And I assume that every few months we'll do a real cleaning, mop the floors, things like that, and that I'll have your assistance in this."  She pressed her hands into the wood of the table.  "I think, given a system like this, as long as we check in regularly to make sure it's working, we can maintain the house at a reasonable level of cleanliness without too much anxiety on anyone's part."

"So what's the white board for?"

She stood and went over to it.  "Here, we keep a list of who does what, and we can check it off when it's done." She divided the board into two pieces: M and S.  Under M, she wrote Dishes - Daily.  Laundry - Three Times A Week.  "When a chore has been done, you check it off.  That way, you remember what still needs to be done."  Fridge/Grocery Check - Daily.  She moved on to the S side of the board.  Living room - Weekly.  Powder Room - Weekly.

"What the hell's a powder room?"

"It's the downstairs bathroom.  Because it doesn't have a bath."  Bedroom - Weekly.  Bathroom - Weekly.  Kitchen - Weekly.  She drew a line across the bottom, labeled it "alternating."  "I'll take first turn at the sheets."  Sheets - Weekly - S.  "Are there any other chores you want put on here?"

"Whatever you want, Scully."  

This pricked her spidey sense for MulderPain.  She turned around.  He was sitting unusually still, making a little pyramid of fruit cores on top of the paper.  Less of it was ripped out than usual.  "Mulder?"

"Seriously."  He looked right in her eyes.  "This matters to you.  Whatever you want."

"OK."  She took a deep breath, recapped the pen.  This could work.

***

It was not working.  

At some point, she realized that the sentences all took the same form.  Deep breath, voice calm, say his name, pause, then state the blindingly obvious.

Mulder, you haven't done the dishes in three days.

Mulder, I ran out of underwear again.  

Mulder, it's your turn to change the sheets.  And has been for three weeks.

Mulder, you can't put bras through the dryer.

Mulder, there's no milk.  Or orange juice.  Or coffee.  Or protein.  Or vegetables.  Or food at all, actually.

Each time she pointed something out, he would do it. But the next time, it was the same thing, or a subtle variation.  Mulder, my work shirts need to be ironed, not folded.  Mulder, the glasses were put away wet and smell like mildew.  Mulder, underwear. Again.  

Some part of her realized she was being a little rigid.  Surely there was some sort of compromise they could reach, where she was not harping all the time and he was not sullenly following orders.  But then she would come home, tired and sick of watching children's brains rot in front of her, following the beacon of the little glowing house up the long driveway.  And he'd be holed up in his little office, which was beginning to look worse than the basement ever had, staring intently into his computer screen like it held the secrets of the universe.  The dishes would be piled up and there'd be nothing to eat in the kitchen, and all she would want was to lay down and stay there, but there was his shit on the couch and she'd have to cook dinner if she wanted to eat something that actually had nutritional value and she was just so tired.

Every so often, she'd call another meeting.  Qualifications were added about how chores had to be done, and how frequently.  Notes were taken and refined; checklists and color-coding added to the various chores.  He'd sit there and never argue, never propose an alternate way, with a faraway light in his eye.  He watched her too closely at these moments, which drove her to be stricter in her words, sharper.  His passivity brought out her anger, made it drive away the fear that started to rise when she thought about him in that room, talking to no one but her, and that she wasn't really listening very hard.  

*****

She hit the fucking wall, is what she did.

What the hell was he doing all day?  Sure, the idea was that he was trying to save the world, but she'd been noticing the computer staying off for days lately, the notes on the yellow pads slower coming, the piles of clippings more about strange comings and goings than about impending doom.  She thought it was possible the world was being left to save itself, while he cut things out and puttered with the idea of the untouchable, the unattainable, the freely moving.  She was too tired to get him up now.  He has made his bed, and he will lay in it, the only comfort that she is in it too.  She was not that savior anymore.

So he smiled up at her with too much cheer for someone who had abandoned a crusade to become the Unabomber (but not even that, she'd have to send his bombs for him and she'd have noticed) and ten minutes later he had the nerve to ask what's for dinner.

Her hands curled into fists.  The twilight spring night outside was pleasant and cheerful, and she heared birds talking to each other across the sky.  There was a basket of clean laundry in the living room, half-piles, mostly-sorted, stacked on the furniture in such a way to make it clear he was doing it while watching Passions and then wandered away without finishing the job.  She could not think of a single thing to say to him and she refused to hit him for something so minute.  

"Mulder," she said, "I'm changing the white board."

"Look, if you want me to make dinner--"

"I'm changing it."

She walked into the kitchen, grabbed a paper towel, wiped the thing clean.  She didn't care if he was behind her or not.  She redrew the line down the middle and started writing.

Scully:
Earn a living
Have my name on the bills and then pay them
Do anything that involves leaving the house

Mulder:
EVERYTHING ELSE

She turned around.  He was standing by the kitchen table, looking over her shoulder.  She was struck suddenly with his fragility.  This was the man she loved, loved more than anything, and she could hurt him so easily.  But she could not live like this.  She refused.  If they are going to give up, the least they can do is be happy.  I need this, she said with her entire body, and the telepathy must have been working again.

"OK," he says.  

"I'm going to take a bath."  She touched his arm as she walks past.  It was thinner than she remembers.

*****

He learned his lines, and he played them well.  The laundry was away when she came home, always, now.  He had apparently hid some arcane knowledge of how to wash a floor somewhere, and the smell of Murphy's Oil Soap hid under his nails.  She could conduct surgery on the powder room floor.  The first few weeks dinner was overcooked, but then he apparently discovered that the internet had recipes on it and that some girl in Brooklyn had cooked all of Julia Child in a year and that cream sauce covered a multitude of sins.  Her house became a home, and he tended it like a mother hen, if you remembered that chickens were not actually that smart, or that good at taking care of things.

He has stopped shaving for good, it seemed.  His office was full of so much clipped paper so that she checks every now and then that his eyes aren't yellow and no one has chewed on her liver lately.  She asked, every evening, how it was going, what he'd done, and the answers got shorter, less full of content.  He wanted to know about the hospital, so she told him, every fight with that sanctimonious Father Ybarra, every snagged bit of gossip about who was ending up in the on call room with whom (amazing how easy it was to listen when it wasn't about you), every case that she thought was going well enough to be willing to talk about.  

She tried to ignore the lingering sulking. She knew, if she asked, if she tried to bring any words to the feeling, he'd deny it.  He was doing this for her, as much as everything he'd done for her, ironing performed in the same spirit as breaking into government facilities.  But this left him empty, unfulfilled.  She felt like she was conducting a study on the production of subservient mentality via household labor.  It was The Feminine Mystique, starring Wolfman.  

She knew she should feel bad.  Honestly, she should.  He was stifling here, in hiding and housework.  But there was dinner on the table every night, clean underwear everytime she reached into the drawer, a solicitous voice who asked how her day had been and seemed to really listen.  And there was something unbearably hot about knowing the man drilling you into the sheets at night had to wash them in the morning.  

For his birthday she bought him an apron, one of those retro-tacky things she had picked up in a charming hipster store full of useless items.  Alongside the campy drawing of a housewife with a sliced roast, it read "The secret ingredient is resentment."  He laughed, at least, and it sounded real.  

For Christmas he asked for cookbooks.  She bought him some.  A wok, too.  

****

Investigation.  Fighting in the hospital locker room, dangling threats over him in desperation.  (He'd never been to her hospital before, she realized.)  Trying to remember how to hold his hand in front of other people when they could barely figure out how to speak to each other.  Two-headed dogs and a baseball bat and sewing up a girl's neck when all she wanted to do was go and curl her body around him and keep him warm and promise him he would never have to wash the floor ever again, ever ever, if he could just please not almost die.  

****

The day of Christian's second surgery, she climbs their porch steps in exhaustion.  There is a pie on the table.  Apple.  His first dozen lattice-works were a disaster, but he's gotten the hang of it.  The laundry is sitting by the couch, unfolded; today's paper is next to it, and an empty glass.  Shockingly, she doesn't care at all.

The door to the office is open.  She hears--miracles of miracles--typing.  

She slips through the door into his office.  He glances at her, a little wary.  She smiles, places her hands on his shoulders.  "Filing cabinets."

"What?"  He is slow on the uptake, old fears chasing her meaning around his brain.  

She pets his head, the oldest gesture she can put between them.  "You need filing cabinets.  This tacking things to the walls makes it impossible to find anything when you need it."

"I know where it all is," he huffs.

"What if I need to find something? What if the FBI calls me and says, Dr. Scully, we desperately need Mr. Mulder's assistance, and you're in the middle of overthrowing the government on the internet?"  His ears are warm and flexible under the pads of her fingers.  She loves seeing his chin again, seeing his hands move to do something other than keep her near.

"So what you're saying is, you need filing cabinets."  He curls his head into her chest, burrowing.  

"I'm just saying, your booking agent should have a piece of the action.  Maybe that could be my area."  She gestures towards the corner near the window.  

"Mmm, I suppose."

"So when you're done with the revolution for tonight, you should order me some filing cabinets."  She rests her face against the top of his head, breathes in the slightly sour smell of his scalp.  "I'm going to go microwave some of that chicken thing from last night.  You want any?"  

He nods into her chest.  "I'll be out in a minute."  He inhales her shirt, turns back to the computer.  She leaves him in his office, full of industry and early-evening light, and tries not to wonder how socks got on the kitchen counter.  Some questions are best left unanswered, she thinks. 



Notes: 

I like author's notes.  Therefore I've decided to do them.

I saw a lot of chat about the messy living room and Scully's reaction.  That got me thinking.  This story was inspired by the fact that I spent most of my twenties living in lesbian communes.  I was the one who thought the house was clean enough already.  Always.  ALWAYS.  Though I have definite opinions on the proper making of ice cubes.  

I dedicate this to Leigh, who married me anyway.

The apron in question. I nearly conned Leigh into buying it for me, once, but it was too expensive.  The store I'm thinking of is Faces in Northampton, Massachusetts, though I'm sure it has an analogue in every hipster town.  

Find the hidden Buffy reference!  Internet apple pie for winners.  My lattice work is far behind Mulder's in quality, but my cornmeal pie crust is a winner.  I bet he doesn't have proper cutting technique.
Tags:
 
 
Current Location: living room
Current Music: polevaulting
 
 
 
Dasha: XF- Serious Gilliandashakay on August 19th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
You had me at the hilarious disclaimer.

No, seriously, this touched a nerve as it reminded me of "conversations" (read: reenactments of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf") I've had all summer with my husband who is working only part-time while on break from law school about the care and feeding of our housework. I felt for Scully as she sat on the porch, fuming and eventually falling asleep. Oh, yes I did.

This was wonderful. I'm glad you decided to dip your toes into the fic pool. There were so many lines that I just adored:

"Cheese. We'll be urban refugee cheese farmers. That's our cover."

So THAT's the story behind the yuppie cheese-makers at my farmer's market.

I know you must be terribly busy, what with your pretend cheese farming and, and trying to overthrow the government via the internet, but Jesus Christ, are you incapable of picking up after yourself like a grown human being.

One of those lines where I wanted to stand up and and yell, "I am so with you on that, Scully!"

And the socks. Oh, the socks.

You do realize that now I'll be poking you for more fic, right?
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
Urban refugee cheese farmer is totally on my list of back-up careers if this academia thing doesn't work out.

I'm really glad you liked it, especially enough to rec it! My inner approval monkey does a happy dance. I certainly hope I have more in me...
(no subject) - meamna on August 20th, 2008 11:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
Namarie: IWTBnamarie24 on August 19th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
This is wonderful! And oh-so-true to the whole learning to live with people thing.

...when all she wanted to do was go and curl her body around him and keep him warm and promise him he would never have to wash the floor ever again, ever ever, if he could just please not almost die.

Awwwwww. I love them.

(btw, here at Dasha's rec)
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it...and glad that there is apparently something universal in fighting about socks, and it's not just me.
Mack the Spoon: Mulder and Scullymack_the_spoon on August 19th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
Oh, this is wonderful!

It's hilarious and sort of quietly heartbreaking and very much Mulder and Scully. *happy sigh*

Too many marvelous lines to quote, so I'll just say I love your writing style!
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
hilarious and sort of quietly heartbreaking

Amazingly, that was *exactly* what I was going for, so thank you!
(no subject) - mack_the_spoon on August 19th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
frey: XF a dark couch a dark gun // mefrey_at_last on August 19th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
This is hilarious, touching, real, just generally fantastic. And Mulder and Scully being domestic and having a difficult time is so stinking hot! Thanks, I totally enjoyed! (But as the messy one, I was definitely feeling for Mulder.)
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, I am so the Mulder of my household. Only it's dissertation notes and bras, not newspaper clippings and socks. :) Thanks for the lovely comment!
girl, you're a dandelionsarken on August 19th, 2008 06:45 am (UTC)
"That's exactly it, Mulder. I am the Skinner of the house, and we are having a staff meeting."

Hee! Great line. Great fic as a whole, actually. I love getting a look at the more ordinary aspects of Mulder and Scully's life together.
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
Penumbra: Spooky Mulderpenumbra23 on August 19th, 2008 06:53 am (UTC)
This is an utter delight, Amal.

"That's exactly it, Mulder. I am the Skinner of the house, and we are having a staff meeting."

Mulder:
EVERYTHING ELSE


Mulder was a bit of a mystery in this fic, but Mulder's always a bit of a mystery, isn't he? This movie has made me so sad about Mulder, but things like this force me to take on a bit more perspective.
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
Mulder is usually a bit of a mystery. I think part of what I was doing in writing this was trying to figure out the journey from the SuperSpy!Mulder we see at the beginning of The Truth to the rather broken Mulder we get at the beginning of IWTB. I ended up rooting it in a clinging to Scully--both as his link to the outside world, and as the thing he has left that matters. My hope is that, now that he can come out, he can break through some of that paralysis. Amazing how one can talk about fictional people like they're real, no?

I am so glad you liked it; it means a lot, coming from someone whose work I respect so much.
Conscious Dust: X-Files - CSM - Disappearssamincittagazze on August 19th, 2008 10:20 am (UTC)
I was watching Arcadia the other day and pondering how Mulder and Scully reconciled their different living habits when they finally moved in together. Lo and behold, it appears a few days later! I loved this, love that their lives are such a mix of world saving and domestication and all sorts.
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
It is a question, isn't it: how are these two crazy kids going to make it happen? I am glad this fit in your meditations!
scrubschick: XF-they're backscrubschick on August 19th, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)
"Given that living apart is not an option, both out of preference and because of your unique legal status, we have no option but to reach some sort of negotiated settlement about housekeeping tasks and the proper levels of maintenance of living spaces."

'Unique legal status.' *giggle*

His office was full of so much clipped paper so that she checks every now and then that his eyes aren't yellow and no one has chewed on her liver lately. LOL

"I'm just saying, your booking agent should have a piece of the action. Maybe that could be my area." She gestures towards the corner near the window. Oooo! Great line!

Loved this! Funny and sad and great characterizations. The recurring sock theme is so Mulder. Well done!

PS: dashakay sent me. *g*
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
I am just so glad that no one in my household wears socks voluntarily. Oh, the drama it would cause.

Really glad you liked it!
Susescapersuse on August 19th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
Here at Dasha's rec, and I'm glad I dropped in! Fun and funny and a little sad (for Mulder).

And yeah, I tend to be the slob too. Heh.
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm with Mulder here. Why do we need a chore chart? What's wrong with my newspapers? :) Glad you liked it!
Nic: Doctor Rosejedinic on August 19th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
OMG... I am so going to be Scully if I ever find a significant other to live with. This story felt so real. Beautifully done, and true to their characters!
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Hee. I'm glad it felt real to you! Thanks!
tarzanic on August 19th, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
Here via dashakay's rec.

This is hilarious and so very true to life.

Some of my favorite lines:

"That's exactly it, Mulder. I am the Skinner of the house, and we are having a staff meeting."

"Kinky."


Hee!

Her house became a home, and he tended it like a mother hen, if you remembered that chickens were not actually that smart, or that good at taking care of things.

Yes.

Two-headed dogs and a baseball bat and sewing up a girl's neck when all she wanted to do was go and curl her body around him and keep him warm and promise him he would never have to wash the floor ever again, ever ever, if he could just please not almost die.

Oh, Mulder and Scully.

Wonderful done. Thank you.

Edited at 2008-08-19 01:21 pm (UTC)
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! And found it funny. I was a smidge worried the humor would fall flat. So yay!
Bob Loblaw's Law Blog: Scrubs: He's an AIRPLANEscullyseviltwin on August 19th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
Oh yay! You posted! I'm so excited for you! You already know what I think of this so yeah, hahaha.

Great job! :)
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
I can't thank you enough for your help with this; let me know if you want to call in the reverse favor!

OMG your icon! hah! I love that episode.
(no subject) - scullyseviltwin on August 19th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Seoirse: M&Sseoirse_1013 on August 19th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
Dasha sent me here. :)

There are so many things to love about this fic - I am truly taken with your words. It's very real, all of it. The transition from fugitives to living in a house together, especially for two people who are inherently loners. I like the idea of Mulder being a kept man (who wouldn't?! LOL) and his whimsical ideas for being cheese farmers - and Scully's response to that ("Nor do I think any self-respecting goat will let you milk it." - fantabulous line!)

I certainly look forward to more of your writing.
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 19th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
Fox Mulder: Kept Man. Available on toy store shelves in time for Christmas. :) Glad you liked it!
Velenavelena on August 19th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
Came here from crack_van, and I'm so glad I did. Hilarious and awesome, I loved it. You really nailed their voices. It was nice to see moping!Mulder turn into happy!glowy!Mulder. Thanks for the great read. :)
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 20th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
So glad you liked it! Thanks!
(no subject) - velena on August 20th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amalnahurriyeh on August 20th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mosinging1986 on August 20th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
yendrie on August 19th, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
This?

WAS AMAZING!

Yeah, not even capslock can express it well. ♥
Amal Nahurriyehamalnahurriyeh on August 20th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
I have earned my first capslock! I'm so excited. Thanks!