neighbor

by ocpwff


All disclamers you have ever read are true here. Dana Scully, Monica Reyes, and John Dogget are NOT my characters. I give full credit to Chris Carter, FOX, and the X-files team for them. I only hope to do each of them justice in the following story.

THIS IS MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT ANY SORT OF FANFIC. So, please be kind, but honest. There is much work to be done on this story, and I understand that. I just knew that if I waited for it to be perfect, I would never post it, and I really wanted to get it out there. So, if you love it, hate it, or are somewhere in between w/ helpful criticism, please contact me. I can be reached at: OCPWFF@yahoo.com because I truly believe that Only Crazy People Write Fan Fic. :^)

The following story is rated R, for language and mild lesbian sex.

Wednesday, 5:45 PM

Hooooooooooooooooly shit, what the hell was she doing here? She had finally made it. She was in D.C. The place she had dreamed of being at since she was a teenager, but it still didn't seem right. She was a Captain in the Air Force. A middle rank that usually had some level of responsibility and excellent opportunities for leadership-whatever that meant. But now she was at headquarters. She was the lowest of the low. She may as well be giving tours and showing people where the restrooms were. She didn't amount to anything here-and she knew it. But, this was what she had asked for. And she did really want it. It just scared the hell out of her is all.

Well, it didn't matter now. She was in the middle of moving into her new apartment. This was where she was going to be for the next few years. Suck it up and do the best you can. One step at a time. She was given a couple days to get settled. Do that. Deal with your job after. Back to the task at hand. "You sure you got that big guy?" "Of course! I don't work out for nothin'!" By shear luck, a good friend of hers was stationed near by, and had promised to help with moving. She couldn't have been more appreciative of Josh. He really was the best guy.

Her load was starting to get heavy. She had made it to the elevator and rested it on the rail. He had been right behind her. She looked back. There he was. Chatting up someone that looked like she belonged in this building...and she didn't look too happy. Riley quickly found herself starring. My god, no wonder he had stopped, she was beautiful. She wasn't just beautiful; she looked like no one Riley had ever seen. This petite redhead exuded confidence, hell, almost power. Well, that, and she looked damn good in that suit she was wearing. She couldn't quite pin it down, but this woman was special. And right now, she looked like she wanted the hell out of the conversation she was in. Poor Josh didn't have a clue. Looked like they both needed rescuing.

"Hey, Hercules, let's go! I want to be moved in today! I'm not paying you to annoy my neighbors."

Josh glanced up and looked embarrassed. He mumbled some sort of apology to the redhead and headed toward the elevator.

"You're not paying me, remember?"

"Hey, beer is a legal form of tender in some countries."

"Not in this one sister. My price just doubled."

"What the hell are you gonna do with two cases of beer besides get drunk and trash the new digs? One case. Of the good stuff. And I'll throw in a pizza if you get movin."

He stepped aboard. "Thanks a lot. Jealous?" he shot at her playfully, under his breath. "Oh, yeah. You know what you do for me-absolutely nothing." They had always had a brother/sister bickering relationship. From the first day they met. And they wouldn't have it any other way. The redhead had finished checking her mailbox and was headed towards the elevator. Josh lit up (and Riley had to admit, she kind of did too) "going up?" he asked, hopefully. She looked at both of them, and the huge boxes they had in hand, and politely declined. "Looks pretty crowded, I'll wait for the next one." And with that, the doors closed.

"Listen Herc, I'd like to be moved in today number one. And two, I don't want you scaring my neighbors off before I even get the chance to talk to them for Christ's sake! You know I hate people, I don't need folks avoiding me before I decide whether or not to avoid them."

"Hey, I saw her first." Riley could just smirk and shake her head. He loved to play the lesbian card. Never ceased to crack him up. They had been friends for years now. They were stationed together very early in their respective careers. Riley never had problems making friends, but she inherently didn't care much for people, so the friends she made were life-long ones. She would much rather be close to a few people, than surrounded by dozens. Not to say she wasn't always friendly; and she could small talk with the best of them. She just hated it was all.

She and Josh had become friends quickly. Feelings got involved somewhere along the way and so she had to tell him why she couldn't be with him. He had been amazing, and was basically just relieved it wasn't him. All he had said was "so it really isn't me, it's you? I've never believed that line before now," and smiled. That was it. It had made them closer and Riley was always thankful for him. They hadn't lived near each other in two years. And maybe only talked every couple months or so, but there was never any problems sinking right back into their routine. They didn't have to talk every day to know that the other one would always be there. It was hard to say who had been more excited when they found out they would be stationed within a few hours of each other. And he was still the only person in the military that knew she was gay. It was nothing she was ashamed of, but even now it was something that had to be carefully guarded if she wanted to keep her career. A fact that was a major source of frustration, but she felt what she did was important enough for a little self-sacrifice.

"Hey! I thought you said today!" Riley snapped to, and followed her friend to her new apartment. Time to get back to work.

Thursday, 10:12 AM

Riley had been in her place for just about a day and was starting to feel ok about it. Josh had gone back to his base. It wasn't next door, but it was close enough for comfort. She actually did quite well by herself, but it didn't hurt to have a friendly face near by. She had just come back from checking in with her unit. Everyone had been friendly enough and her commander gave her a few more days to get settled in. She had just needed to go in and show her face. Traffic was horrendous. Riley was glad she hadn't sold her motorcycle like she had planned. She was starting to feel that maybe she should start acting like a grown-up and get rid of her toy. But when it had come down to it, she just couldn't do it. She loved that thing and how it made her feel to ride it. And, as it turned out, it was pretty convenient in this type of traffic to hop on her bike and head to work. She had just parked out front and checked her mail. She heard a "ding" and headed for the elevator. Then there she was. Just coming into the building. The beautiful redhead her friend had been all over before. "Hold the elevator?" She smiled as she stepped in. "4 please." Riley smiled back "Just where I'm headed." Wow, with witty conversation starters like that... Riley rolled her eyes at herself. And then realized she was still in all her safety gear. She immediately ripped off her helmet. God it was hot. Shook out her helmet hair. She hated how she looked after taking that thing off. She pretended not to be vain, to be comfortable how she was. And truthfully, she pretty much was. She knew she was no model, but she certainly didn't frighten small children. She was better than average. Tall, brunette, and very nice hazel eyes. Carried herself with confidence and was very easy to talk to. Things that made good, better. She maybe wasn't a woman you would cross a room to talk to after locking eyes; but she was certainly someone that, if you found yourself talking to, you wouldn't leave looking for better. She would never give herself that much credit, but those are all things that she did have inkling were true about herself. But at the moment she was extremely self-conscience about this whole event, riding with a woman such as her passenger on this trip. Moments were passing and she wasn't taking advantage of this opportunity. Damn! Say something. Staring at her boots wasn't really helping anyone. So she just opened her mouth.

"I'm really sorry about my friend 'The Incredible Hulk' the other day. He's pretty straight forward-and obnoxious," she smiled. The redhead smiled slightly, but didn't look at her.

"He was ok, don't worry about it."

God this elevator was slow. This woman made her nervous and she didn't know why. She liked it, but she was quickly running out of "clever" things to say. "He's a good guy, and pretty much the best moving help you can get on a case of beer these days."

"I thought he was getting a pizza too." Riley was surprised. She had been paying attention to them. Did that mean anything? Of course not you moron, she scolded herself internally. But she did like the fact she had been listening.

Ding. They had arrived at their floor. There was an awkward (on Riley's part) smile and they each headed out the door. Riley let the redhead go out first. Shortly, they reached the doors nearly across from each other. "Looks like we're neighbors" the redhead said with an easy smile. "Looks like it," is all she could get out. Dammit! And they both disappeared into their apartments.

Riley looked around at all the boxes and knew she had to get to work. She quickly changed out of uniform started setting up her new home.

Thursday, 3:56 PM

It was hot in her place. D.C., in the middle of summer, whoulda thought it? The A/C was cranked but it wasn't really helping. She had opened the door because it seemed cooler out in the hall. She was steadily making her way through boxes. The radio was going. Things were good. Well, with the exception of the heat. There was knock at the door: "hello?" Riley looked up. It was her. Riley was suddenly very aware of her ripped up, paint stained old shorts and her "Mr. Bubble" t-shirt. Why was she wearing that?! Well, she knew why, it was her favorite work shirt, but sometimes she wished she wasn't such a dork. But, the fact remained she could be dressed fantastically and it wouldn't change the fact she was sweaty, and basically a wreck from working.

"I was headed out and saw your door was open."

"Oh, gosh, I'm sorry. Is the radio too loud?"

"No, no. Nothing like that. I just realized it was pretty rude of me not to introduce myself before, being that we're neighbors and all now," she smiled.

"Oh, well in that case, I'm equally at fault. Riley Logan. Nice to meet you." Riley crossed the room and extended her hand.

The redhead took it and smiled. "Dana Scully. It's Captain Logan, isn't it?" Riley was surprised.

"Well, yeah, but only in uniform. Mr. Bubble just doesn't quite command the respect you would think it does." She smirked. "Are you military?"

"Oh, no. My father was Navy, but their rank is so different from everyone else...I'm government. FBI."

Wow. "Ah, well in that case it's 'Agent' Scully then?"

She smiled. "Dana' will do just fine."

"Then so does Riley." There was a slight pause in the conversation. Riley didn't want things to end. "Well, like it or not, it's official. You're the only person I know in the town."

"I thought your friend..."

"He's stationed at Langley. Not quite around the block."

"Well, then as your ambassador to the District of Columbia, I feel it important to tell you if you need anything, I'm just across the hall. I'll let you get back to work now, I know what a pain moving is. I just wanted to introduce myself."

Riley thanked her, and with that, Dana was gone. Unpacking was suddenly more pleasant, partly because her mind wasn't on it at all. That exchange was wonderful. And she cursed herself because she knew she would have never walked over there and done the same. Maybe they would have exchanged names in weeks, even months after seeing each other in the hallway several times. She just never wanted to be a bother to people, the way they sometimes were to her. Ahhh! Why was she like that? How many opportunities to meet good people had she passed up over the years? She thought about that for a second and realized probably not as many as one might think. She was actually a very good judge of character and could almost instantaneously decide whether or not she liked someone. It was something she prided herself on, and had really never been proven wrong before. She smiled. She knew she liked Dana.

Thursday, 4:01 PM

Dana headed to her car. She was smiling to herself. She wasn't exactly sure what made her go over to Riley's, but she was glad she did. Well, scratch that. She knew why she went over there, but she didn't know why she had actually acted on her impulse. That wasn't her. Scully was very calculated in her actions, and in her life in general. But when she saw the door open, she decided to act before she could rethink it. The only thing she did know was that tall brunette had been on her mind since she first saw her. Her exchange with her friend had been memorable. He friend seemed like a nice enough guy, and Riley's nicknames of 'Hercules' and 'Hulk' were accurate. He was a big guy. Very impressive. Probably had no problems getting dates with anyone he wanted. Dana was flattered, in a way, that he seemed to be hitting on her, and she was sure that if men interested her, she would have been very attracted to him. But, that was the thing, she wasn't interested in men. What did impress her was the playful, straightforward manner Riley had handled the situation of him hitting on her. Both to save her friend embarrassment, and to save Dana from embarrassing him. She would have thought they were a couple with how they bickered if he hadn't been looking at another woman right in front of her. That and Riley hadn't corrected her when she referred to him as a "friend."

Dana was finding herself attracted to her new neighbor, which was very rare for her. She didn't know this woman at all, and Dana wasn't one to pursue strangers. Most of her relationships had developed from friendships. She was acting ridiculous. You know nothing about her Dana! Not only do you not have a clue whether or not she's gay, you certainly don't know if she's single. But she found herself hoping Riley was both. The brief exchanges she had had with her made her definitely want to get to know her better. She was attractive, funny, confident (she'd have to be to be-a grown woman in a Mr. Bubble shirt...), not to mention the fact she had looked damn good in her flight suit earlier that day. Why were uniforms so sexy? And especially so on people that could wear them well? Dana did have to admit to herself, the motorcycle had been kind of sexy. She chided herself; she wasn't some 15-year-old giddy schoolgirl, impressed by the dangerous motorcycle rider. Get a grip Dana.

Friday, 6:20 PM

Riley had been unpacking for two days solid now. Things were coming right along. By the end of the weekend, she'd be pretty much moved in. She had decided to quit a little early this afternoon, get cleaned up, and head to the grocery store. She was in the mood for real food. A week of fast food and pizza was starting to make her feel gross. She was just putting the finishing touches on her meal when she reached for her second beer. God, what was it about beer after working all day? She was a woman that appreciated the finer things in life, but deep down she was still a simple, mid-western girl, and was proud of it. Fine wine was a perfect accompaniment to a fine meal, just as beer was to a hard day of work. As she was setting a place at her table she looked at the mountain of food she had prepared. I swear, after all these years of cooking for one, you think I'd be better at it. She thought for a second. Started to talk herself out of it, and then suddenly took a swig of beer, announced "what the hell?" aloud (she had a terrible habit of talking to herself), glanced at herself in the mirror, and walked across the hallway before she could talk herself out of what she knew was a stupid, stupid idea. She knocked on the door, took a deep breath, and fought the urge to either run or throw up. Dana answered the door and smiled. Riley couldn't help but smile back.

"Uh, hi Dana. I guess this is kind of weird, but I just made dinner, and I made way too much. The idea of eating leftovers for the next few days just wasn't appealing. So I thought I'd see if you've eaten. Yet." Whew. She made her way through it, but it didn't mean she felt like any less of a jackass.

Dana thought for a second-only a second-smiled and said: "I was actually just heating up some leftovers myself, but your idea sounds much better. Can I bring anything?"

"No, don't worry about it. I think I'm pretty much covered. Just come over whenever you like."

"I'll be there in just a sec."

Shit, shit, shit, Riley thought to herself as she set another place at her table. What was she doing? How weird are you? You don't just go ask someone you don't know over to your place...at least she had said yes. How awkward would that have been? "Uh, no you freak, I don't want to have dinner with you. I don't even know you." For someone that always thought everything she did through, she sure was surprising herself.

8:15 PM

Dana, what are you doing here? She had been asking herself that question since she had agreed to come. Having Riley show up at her doorstep was a wonderful surprise, and she was having a great evening. Riley kept her smiling. There have been very few people in her life that have been able to do that. Dana had always been a serious person, even as a little girl. And after all the things she had seen with her job, it was a good thing. They had been chatting non-stop, and it had been easy. Riley was very engaging in conversation; and had an amazing smile, that was on her face more often than not. Nothing they had discussed had been monumental. Mostly run of the mill conversations that you have when you first meet someone. But they both seemed to be genuinely interested in the other's life stories. The conversation flowed so easy. Dana liked this woman. A lot. She wanted to get to know her better. She could see a friendship developing. She somehow knew already that she would like more than that.

I can't believe she's here, Riley thought to herself. Maybe acting on impulse can be a good thing from time to time. God knows had she been thinking at all, she would be alone right now, back to unpacking. They had been talking non-stop for almost two hours. There have been very few people in her life with which she could do that. Mindless chatter became almost painful at times to her, but she was hanging on Dana's every word. She liked this woman. A lot. She could feel a bond developing between the two. Promising...

Dana finally left close to ten. And Riley was sorry to see her go. But she was exhausted from her week. At least she knew her dreams would be pleasant.

7 weeks later

Riley had been in D.C. nearly two months already. She couldn't believe it. It was turning out to be quite the assignment. He job was a lot of hard work. And a lot of long hours. But she felt satisfied with it. It was both frustrating and exciting to see how such major decisions were made. She, of course, was only a tiny fraction of the big picture. Miniscule really. She would pass on her research and job experience that would, more than likely, be ignored. And sometimes she felt like little more than a secretary. She hadn't been so outranked since her first day in. It was "sir" and "ma'am" and "General" all day long. And she was getting pretty good at fetching coffee (which did bug the hell out of her). But there had been a few times when her input had been used. And that felt good.

So, job was good. And personal life was good. Frustrating and exciting as well, but in a different way. She and Dana's friendship had been growing rapidly. They spent a ridiculous amount of time together since that first dinner. Dana had shown her the city, and helped her really get settled in. They had dinner at least twice a week. And saw each other nearly every day, even if it was just a quick stop at the other's apartment. That is, they spent this time together when Dana wasn't gone. Her job kept her busy, and out of town quite often. Riley knew that if that weren't the case, they'd probably see each other even more often.

Riley's feelings for Dana had grown from a silly schoolgirl fascination to a real admiration, even love. Well, she knew it was love. She knew she was in love with Dana Scully, but that was insane. Even if all the pieces were to fall into place, it would be very complicated. But she had no idea about any of "the pieces." It was almost comical how much she didn't know about relationship history for Dana. Just as Dana knew nothing about her in that area. Riley was frightened that if she told Dana she was gay that might frighten her off, just because she had experienced that in the past. Straight women being uncomfortable with the fact she was gay, even if she had no romantic interest in them at all. But that wasn't the case here, she certainly did have a romantic interest in Dana, and she wasn't positive she was straight. There had been clues here and there, but Riley was pretty sure it was wishful thinking on her part. Then there were the stories of Mulder. Riley could tell there was a deep love and caring for this man, but she was fairly sure it was like her relationship with Josh. But again, she didn't know. She could always just tell her how she felt, but that wasn't really an option for her. She wanted Dana to be in her life and vice versa, and she couldn't risk that. She'd just have to continue to hide her feelings. She'd done it before, she could do it again. But it was never like this. This was going to be a real test...

Same time, different place

Dana lay in her hotel bedroom, staring at the ceiling. Thinking about Riley. Like she had done countless nights since she first met her. "What is it about her, Scully, that's got you so worked up?" She could answer that pretty easily. Everything. She made her feel like no one ever had before. At ease, like she could be herself. Hell, she was seeing sides of her she didn't even know existed. Then, there was that smile, nearly always followed by that laugh. And those eyes...god she'd never seen that color green before. And she loved how those eyes looked at her. How can you be so sure after just two months?! You're going to have to tell her how you feel, you know. This is making you crazy. You don't think she's straight, but what if you're wrong? What if you've just been seeing things that aren't really there? But there's how she looks at you. No one's ever looked at you like that. Even the most casual touch is electric. And is it normal for two people-two (in theory) straight women-to spend as much time together as we do? Well, no it isn't, but that could be just because she knew at least one of them was gay. I've spent more time with her than anyone I've ever dated. But I don't make friends like her either, I can't risk that friendship. There it was, the internal sensibility that had kept her from doing anything before now. Though god knows at least once a meeting she wanted to lean in and kiss her. Part those full, pink lips. And it was going to take an act of god to keep her from doing so much longer. So, what are you going to do about it? You can't just kiss her. What if she has no clue what's going on in your head? God that would be bad if Riley could read the thoughts she sometimes had. Well, who was she kidding? Continually had. She sighed heavily both in frustration with herself and dreamily as she thought about 'her.' God, get a grip Scully. And with that rolled over and turned off the bedside lamp. She needed to get some sleep. She knew she couldn't sleep with Riley on her mind, but Riley took her mind off of what a horrific case this had been. God, it seemed like nothing had gone right this entire week. The case hadn't been that difficult, there had just been so much red tape and bureaucracy. She never ceased to be amazed at how the Bureau put so much in place to slow good detective work, all in the name of improving efficiency. She and her partners had had enough and had gone outside the narrow line that the Bureau thinks best. Nothing new, but with so much else on her mind, she wasn't looking forward to an ass chewing first thing Monday either. Sometimes she just couldn't take it anymore. This happened to be one of those weeks. At least it was over, and she was headed home tomorrow. Seeing her would make her feel better. She didn't know how Riley always did that, but she did.

Friday, 5:59 PM

"Hey Dana, I think you're supposed to get back today. Just wondered if you got home in time and weren't too tired, you'd want to grab dinner? Hope the case went ok. Talk to you soon." Dana could always count on a welcome home message from Riley. Always made her smile. She had told her partners, Reyes and Doggett, she would meet them for dinner and a drink in about a half hour. She was hoping to see Riley, but they all needed a drink after this week. Hopefully she hadn't made other plans and wouldn't mind spending an evening with the FBI. She freshened up a bit then headed across the hall. Riley opened the door smiled, gave Dana a quick "hello hug" (as they seemed to have gotten in the habit of giving each other if they went more than a few days without seeing one another-Scully definitely didn't mind), then stepped back, and cocked her eyebrow a little. Scully knew she did it too, but she liked the way Riley did it better. God, I'm so sentimental towards this woman it's disgusting.

"You look like hell Dana."

Dana was so used to being called Scully-and truthfully, had preferred it before she met Riley. No one called her that so often as Riley, and she liked it. She didn't usually let people get close enough for a first name basis. She smiled a tired smile at the comment. "Thanks. If it makes you any better, I feel much worse than that."

Riley's brow furrowed with heartfelt concern for the woman she loved. "Is everything ok?"

Dana was amazed at how much emotion could be portrayed in one look, but Riley had that ability. It was one of the things she loved about her. She knew that Riley was genuinely concerned for her friend, and that she would do anything in her power to make it better. Dana assured her everything was fine, it had just been a rough case. She then explained why she was there: to extend a dinner invite. Riley agreed, grabbed her purse, and they were on their way.

Riley could tell things must have been hard for Dana. She rarely showed emotion, even to Riley, so for her to appear so tired, she knew it must have been bad. "You want me to drive? I think you could use a drink." Dana thankfully agreed.

6:37 PM

They walked in the restaurant, and Riley immediately recognized Agent Doggett sitting with a woman that must be Reyes at the bar. She had met Doggett once before when he had stopped by Dana's apartment. She had never met Reyes. They both stood when they approached. Dana apologized they were a little late. Both the Agents were already most of the way through their first round.

"Agent Doggett," Riley held out her hand.

He sheepishly smiled, "John, please. Have you met Monica yet?" Riley shook her head. "Captain Riley Logan, meet Agent Monica Reyes."

"My god John. Enough with formalities. Riley, please." She smiled that huge, infectious smile of hers as she shook Reyes' hand. She was impressed by this Agent. Not only was she beautiful, had a smile that lit up the room, she was also nearly Riley's height. Riley stood just under 6ft. Monica was 5'10" at least. She could never figure out why, but women her height had always fascinated her in a kind of "hmm, there are others out there" way. Like it was some sort of secret society. Again, I'm such a dork! crossed her mind. She always felt almost silly walking next to Dana who was, by all accounts, a tiny woman. She looked even more so now that she was standing a good 6 inches shorter than anyone she was keeping company with. She smirked to herself, but her mind returned to this Agent Reyes. Deep down-liar, it was just under the surface-she felt a pang of jealousy. Dana worked with this amazingly beautiful woman every day. And they've got to be close what with all they been through. Christ, if Dana wanted women, this would be the woman to have. Her jealously turned to a pang of sadness. She rolled her eyes internally get a grip Riley!

Dinner was pleasant. But Riley could tell these Agents had had a difficult week. She would have felt she was intruding, if it hadn't been for the fact they seemed appreciative of the conversation. Riley had a feeling it would have been a far more somber occasion had they been left to their own devices. Dana was fairly quiet throughout dinner, but she had expected that. She could tell she was troubled, and it bothered her.

Meanwhile, Doggett and Reyes seemed to be hanging on her every word. She was notorious for not knowing that someone was interested in her, but she got that distinct feeling as the night went on. Reyes truly surprised her. Where the hell were all these beautiful woman throwing themselves at you when you weren't in love with someone else? Which brought her back to Dana. God she wished she could take away the frustration and, yes, almost pain, she could see on her face. She loved this woman. And there was nothing she wouldn't do for her.

Dana stared at her drink. How many had she had now? She was starting to feel it. But that wasn't surprising. She wasn't much of a drinker. It usually wasn't her method of dealing with things. But it had been a rough week, and the "Riley problem" only continued to get worse. She felt like she deserved to feel good, even if it was a false, alcohol high. She was glad Riley had come. Because of her, the evening was as pleasant as it possibly could have been. Her only problem (well, other than the standard one) was how her partners were looking at Riley. She could tell they both found this woman fascinating, and how could she blame them? But the jealously was festering. She knew about Reyes, and Reyes knew about her. Reyes had feelings for Dana. Well, she had anyways, once upon a time. And very well could still. But they had decided pursuing that was a bad idea. They had been through so much together, and Monica was the closest female friend Dana had for such a long time, but it would have been too difficult with the work situation. Also, Dana realized they couldn't have been that strong of feelings because she knew that if she worked with Riley, and they both felt for each other, nothing would stand in her way of being with her.

10:01 PM

"Well, I think it's about time I poured myself into a cab and called it a night. You want to share a cab Monica?" Doggett stood up. "Sure, that sounds good. I might get to be a handful if I stick around much longer." John nodded towards Scully and asked Riley: "you ladies gonna be ok?" Always the gentleman. Riley smiled. "We'll be just fine. Probably head out here ourselves shortly." The Agents said their goodbyes, and Riley shook both their hands. Reyes' was a lingering one with a smile to go with it. "Pleasure to meet you." Riley smiled, and she could feel her face get a little warm, but she was able to get out an "all mine." Damn! How awkward was that? The two walked away and she sat back down. She was seated beside Dana in the booth as she had been all night, but now it seemed a little uncomfortable, as it was just the two of them. But she thought getting up and walking around to the other side would be even more so. She looked at Dana. Dana looked like she was feeling pretty good. She didn't think Dana was much of a drinker; she wouldn't like the loss of control, so she knew there was a lot on her mind for this evening to happen. Riley was there to take care of her, and wanted to be the one to do that. If Dana was going to go out and do this no matter what, she was glad she was the one there.

"Well what do you think Scully, should we follow their lead?" She smirked at her and raised the eyebrow. She only called her 'Scully' when she was messing with her and Dana knew it. But it melted her every time.

"One more?" She was getting that warm fuzzy feeling which felt great, but she knew it might get her into trouble. Sober enough to know better, drunk enough not to care. A dangerous position to be in. But she loved being here. Just Riley and her. She hadn't seen her in almost a week, which felt like an eternity. She wanted this to last as long as possible because she knew when they left, Riley would first make sure she was ok, completely taken care of, do anything she could to be sure Dana would be alright...and then go back across the hall to her place.

"Sure, if that's what you want. I've got all the time in the world." Dana seemed to be waffling between hazy, happy drunk, and melancholy. Why wouldn't she just tell her what was wrong? "Is there anything you want to talk about Dana? I'm here for you. Always. You know that." She touched the hand that was sitting on the table.

Damn, how can one little simple touch do that me? Dana looked from her hand into those beautiful hazel eyes. "I know you are Riley. I really do. I'm just not ready to talk about things yet. It just helps to be here with you. Thank you for doing this."

"Doing what? It's nothing you wouldn't do for me Dana. I'm happy you want me here."

"I do." They locked gazes for what seemed like an eternity. Dana wanted to lean in so bad. Shit, lighten the mood. She sat back in the booth. "So, I think my partners have the hots for you."

Riley burst out laughing. "You think so? I kind of got that impression. Hope they don't fight over me in the cab ride home." She grinned and winked at Dana.

It was like Dana hit a wall; all of a sudden she was really feeling her drinks. And she knew if conversation kept flowing, and she would say something she shouldn't. "Wow. Um, maybe we should head out. I'm feeling really good all of a sudden."

10:40 PM

Riley had paid the bill as quick as possible. If Dana was ready to get home, she was going to get her there fast as possible. She could tell now that Dana was fairly lit. It was becoming more and more apparent with the passing minutes. She was giggly, and a little touchy-feely. Definitely not standard Agent Scully operating procedure. Riley held onto her to keep her steady. She was doing all right, but could use someone to steady her from time to time. Plus Riley wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to hold Dana close to her. She felt guilty thinking that, but it was the truth. She got Dana into her apartment and sat her down on the couch. She immediately found the biggest glass she could find and filled it with water. And after a little digging found a couple Advil. She delivered the hangover preventor to her patient who was lying down. She sat her back up fairly easily, sat down beside her, and directed her to take the painkillers and drink the whole glass of water. As soon as she finished Dana lay back down how she was, except this time that put her in Riley's lap. "Oh boy," Riley thought to herself.

"Riley?"

"Yeah Dana, what is it?"

"I'm sorry about this. I didn't want you to have to baby-sit me. I don't drink. You don't have to take care of me."

Riley laughed, and stroked Dana's hair gently. "Don't apologize. Something's going on right now that made you want to go out and do this. I understand that. And I wouldn't want to trust this job with anyone else."

Dana smiled and closed her eyes. Shit, I gotta get her into her bed; she can't spend the night on her own couch. "Dana sweetheart?" Crap! Don't say that. "I need you in bed." Shit! Could have worded that better. What, do you have sex turrets all of a sudden?! "Can you walk?"

No real response except a definite smirk came across Dana's face. Hmmm. Riley heaved her up. Dana was a small woman, but as dead weight, this was difficult. She wasn't going to be able to just carry her. She hadn't passed out, she wasn't that drunk, but she was definitely asleep. What now hot shot? Thankfully, after a few seconds Dana seemed to be awake again and helped (a little) getting herself to bed. Riley sat her down on the edge of the bed. Removed her shoes and jacket. She thought about changing her into her pajamas but quickly realized that would be a bad idea. Dana would be thoroughly embarrassed by that fact the next morning, and Riley knew she couldn't trust herself not to stare or do something else stupid. She got Dana settled and tucked in. Dana was appreciative. Riley shut off the light, whispered 'good night' to her, and started to walk out of the room.

"Riley?"

"Yeah?"

"Will you stay here tonight?"

"I was going to. If you need anything at all, I'll be right out on the couch."

"No, I mean here."

Oh boy. "There?"

"Um-hmm." Dana's words were said dreamily. Riley wasn't sure if she knew what she was asking.

"You don't want me there. You need to get some sleep. I'll just make it crowded. I'll be 20 feet away in the living room." She was backing out of the room. Almost home free...

"Please?"

Damn. God knows she wanted to, she'd give anything to curl up in bed next to her, but Dana was drunk. It was not a good idea. Unfortunately, Riley had next to no willpower when it came to this woman. She decided that she could lie there until she fell asleep and then move to the couch. Not that it took that much convincing...

She walked over to the empty side of bed, took a deep breath, told herself she was a good person that wouldn't take advantage of someone drunk, and laid down, clinging to the edge. Immediately Dana had closed the open space, and was snuggled up to Riley. Her head lay on her shoulder, arms around her waist, and her leg thrown over Riley's. Ohhhhhhhh-kay. This is gonna be much harder than you thought. "Thanks." Dana nuzzled her neck. "S-sure."

Dana broke the silence. "Can I tell you something?"

"Of course." Riley wasn't able to answer in more than one or two syllables. She was having a hell of a time at the moment. She was trying to move as little as possible. She wanted to put her arms around Dana and stroke her hair and back, but she knew she couldn't. Any movement would have given away how turned on she was at the moment. She was pretty sure she could cut glass with her nipples, and her panties were soaking where Dana's knee was enticingly placed. Get a hold of yourself for Christ's sake!

"You're the most amazing woman I've ever met." Dana knew what she was saying. She knew she probably wouldn't have said it if she wasn't drunk. She certainly wouldn't be in this position if she hadn't been. But she didn't care. It was every bit as wonderful as she had imagined it night after night. She wanted to sleep next to Riley, to have her in her bed. She also knew that she could play this off to being drunk tomorrow, so she could have what she wanted now. She also got the feeling that Riley's rigidness wasn't due to the fact she didn't like a woman touching her, but because she did. God, Dana hoped that was true.

"Aw come on. You just don't know that many women..."

"No, I mean it." What the hell, she was going to go for it. "I love you."

Wow. Riley smiled in the dark. She knew that could mean many things. But it didn't matter. She at least knew Dana cared a great deal about her, in whatever way. "I love you too Dana."

Dana was letting her hands drift around the woman's body. She let her hand slip under Riley's shirt. Just to gently stroke her stomach. God, that feels good. It was smooth and soft, but she could feel the muscles just below. She loved how her stomach felt.

Oh my god woman! If you had any idea what you were doing...Riley closed her eyes, and swallowed hard. "Um, Dana sweetheart, what's going on?"

Dana leaned up on her elbow and looked the other woman directly in the eyes. She was sobering up fast, but she had practiced this speech so many times in her head she didn't need to have been. "Riley, I can't hide how I feel about you any longer. You're all I ever think about. I don't just mean I love you, I mean I'm in love with you. It's been making me crazy. I'm terrified of risking our friendship by telling you this, but I can't hold it in any more."

Riley had a wave of emotions wash over her. She had never felt such happiness. She loves me! The woman I'm in love with loves me. But she knew she couldn't trust this. Not the amount Dana had to drink. Although she sounded dead sober at the moment. But Riley wouldn't take that risk. She wanted to reach up and pull Dana to her, and kiss her like she had dreamed about almost since the moment she first saw her. But instead she did what she knew she had to. "Dana, I can't tell you how happy it makes me feel to hear that, but you've been drinking. And I think this is a discussion we should both be 100% ourselves for. If you remember this tomorrow, and it's something you want to talk about, I've been waiting over two months to have this talk."

Dana understood, and knew it was because Riley respected her, but she wanted her so badly. Her response had sounded promising. Well, she had waited this long to say something, she could wait another night. Dammit, why had she gotten drunk? Though she knew she probably wouldn't have let herself say anything otherwise. Ah, liquid courage, what a complicated thing. "Just promise me you'll stay the night? Can we sleep like this?"

"I'm not going anywhere. This is fine, if it's ok with you."

6:03 AM

The sun was peaking through the curtains. Dana was fast asleep in her arms. Riley, on the other hand, hadn't slept a wink all night. She didn't want this moment to end. Because she knew it could all be over so easily. It was possible for Dana to be mortified of the whole situation once she woke up. Sober. Or she could possibly not remember it at all. Riley really didn't think that would be the case, but she didn't want to get her hopes up. It would be devastating if nothing came of last night, but she truly didn't expect it too. For the moment, she was trying to figure out how to get out of there without waking Dana up. She didn't want her to have to deal with all this first thing in the morning. Not to mention the fact she might very well be hungover. She was able to ever-so-slowly slip out from under Dana's arms. She stirred but didn't awake entirely. Riley replaced her body with a pillow and Dana drifted off again.

8:12 AM

Dana opened her eyes. Ugh. The sun. And she had a bit of a headache. Not near what she expected to have, but last night had been a sobering experience. She was disappointed Riley was nowhere to be found, but how could she blame her? Her friend just confessed her undying love to her-I'd probably get the hell outta there too, she thought. At least she didn't leave immediately. Guess I've got a talk ahead of me. But she still remembered Riley's response "I can't tell you how happy it makes me feel to hear that..." That could only mean one thing, right? Dana was hesitant to get her hopes up, but she felt things might be all right. She rolled over and looked at her bedside table. On it were Advil, a glass of water, and a note:

Mornin' Sunshine!

Figured there might be a chance you'd need these. Hope you're feeling ok. Sorry to ditch but I thought you could use some uninterrupted sleep. See you tonight?

Dana smiled. So she was expecting to see her today. That was a good sign. The note was very vague. Riley was probably terrified about how in control of myself I was. She took the Advil, drank the water, and then rolled back over and drifted off again with a smile on her face. It's a date.

Riley was laying in her own bed now, trying to get some much needed sleep. She laughed to herself, if only Dana had known how long it took to write that note. She had wanted it to be perfect. Vague enough that if she didn't remember anything, it wouldn't jog her memory. But cryptic enough she would know what she was talking about. She hoped she had succeeded. Good god, she didn't think if was possible to be so terrifyingly nervous and thrilled at the same time. She wished it were tomorrow morning so that she didn't have to deal with whatever was coming tonight...Always gotta complicate things, don't ya?

Saturday 5:00 PM

Goddamn this day is going slow, Riley thought to herself as she stirred the simmering pan on the stove. She was cooking slightly for the fact that she needed to make dinner, but mostly for the fact it was something to do. She had laid in bed until about noon starring at the ceiling. Finally giving up and had done god knows what around the house all day just to keep from sitting still and thinking. She was a bundle of mixed emotions. Some excited "this is it," some terrifyingly nervous "oh, god this is it...," but mostly a very frightened "what if this isn't it?" She knew Dana would come today, one way or another. And she decided to cook so their whole reason for getting together wouldn't just be talking. She wanted things to be as casual as possible. She hadn't spoken to her all day, but she knew Dana would probably come by around six. That seemed to have become their usual meeting time when one would cook dinner. She just hoped she knew her like she thought she did.

6:03 PM

She was painfully aware of the time. How could she not be? For the past fifteen minutes she had been seated on her couch glaring at her clock, hardly even blinking. God, what are you going to do? She could be here any se...

knock knock

Shit. She headed slowly towards the door, giving herself a quick once over in the mirror. She had spent forever picking out what to wear. And all it was was a v-neck and jeans. She didn't want to look like she had spent too much time looking good if it was nothing, but if it was something she didn't want to look like ass. Whatever. Answer the damn door.

She did. Dana stood there with a kind of sheepish grin on her face, and a bottle of wine in hand. Ohthankgod, Riley thought, if I don't relax I'm going to throw up. Nice.

"Hi." Dana extended the bottle.

"Hey." Riley smiled and took the bottle and stepped aside so Dana could enter. As they headed for the kitchen Riley looked over her shoulder, "How ya feelin'? I'm surprised you can even look at alcohol."

Dana returned an embarrassed smile, "Well, I wasn't near as hung over as I thought I might have been. In fact, I felt pretty good today." Dana hoped that was what she wanted to hear. Not "oh my god, I was soooooo drunk, I don't remember a thing from last night!"

Riley smirked well, that could be promising. Ugh. Stop reading into things. She opened the bottle of wine.

"I don't think I want to look at scotch for a while though..." Dana continued on.

Riley filled two glasses and turned to hand Dana hers. Their hands touched ever so slightly as the glass transferred possession. Their eyes immediately locked. They both stood there for what seemed like an eternity, neither one letting go of the glass. Well, there was something there. It was undeniable to both. Riley came to first, quickly looking away as Dana took her glass.

"Thanks."

"You're welcome." Riley started to take a drink.

Awkward silence ensued.

Well, this could go on all night. Shit, Dana! Step up. "Listen Riley, about last night..."

Riley choked ever so slightly but managed to swallow her drink. She smiled but couldn't look into Dana's eyes. This was it. "So, we're getting right into it then?"

"It's there, we might as well."

"All right then, shoot." Riley leaned back against the kitchen counter, casual as can be, crossed her arms and continued to grasp her glass.

"Well, I thought you might have something to say in reaction to what I said..."

"Ohhhhhhhh, no. Not getting out of it that easy. The way I figure it, you brought it up last night, and never really finished. Still you're turn." She smiled. She wanted to keep this as light as possible, keep it from turning into a "thing" if it didn't have to be.

Oh, boy. Well, you wanted to get right to it Dana, just spit it out! Here goes: "Fair enough. Well, if you're concerned or hoping I forgot what happened, on the contrary, I quite remember it. And I hope you're not hoping I forgot. I meant every word I said. And it almost sounded like you might feel the same, but I could be reading into things. If this is a problem, we can forget it happened, <yeah, right> but if it's not, well, then..." she broke off.

Riley stood there contemplating the contents of her wine glass. After what felt like an eternity to Dana, she finally spoke. But she still wasn't looking at her. Dana wondered what that meant.

"Hmm...so, you remember everything you said last night?"

"Yes."

Riley's hopes climbed higher, but she still couldn't look at her, least she explode with excitement. "And everything you did?"

"Yes."

Hopes higher still-and she didn't think that was possible at this point. "And you remember everything I said?"

"Vividly. Yes." Well, that does it. It doesn't seem healthy to have this much pent up excitement.

Smiling a huge smile on the inside, and staying as calm on the outside as possible, Riley started to take a long drag from her wine glass.

Jesus, what's going on? is all Dana could think. "Riley?"

Riley just continued her drink and gave her the universal 'just one sec' sign. Riley knew she must be torturing her, which pleased her wicked side, but she was also mustering up courage.

At last she slowly set her glass down. She could feel Dana watching her every move, quite puzzled. She stood up straight, finally off the support of the counter and turned to face Dana. Starring directly into those beautiful, blue eyes, Dana could feel the heat coming from Riley's piercing gaze. Riley reached out and took Dana's wine glass from her, never releasing her from that look. It fell from Dana's hands so easily she was afraid she had dropped it. Riley, still ever so slowly, set Dana's glass on the opposite counter. Then, before Dana knew what was happening, she closed the few feet between them, wrapping one arm around Dana's waist, and entangling the other in her silky, auburn hair. She pulled Dana in quickly, but gently. Their lips met and it was more intense than either had ever imagined it could possibly be. They couldn't hold each other tight enough as they began to explore one another with their tongues. Dana let out a very soft, very hungry moan, and Riley had to turn so that Dana was up against the fridge for support. Jesus! My knees are going to buckle...keep it together!

Dana couldn't think clearly. The only thought she had was pure ecstasy. Riley pressed her up against the fridge and moved her thigh in between hers. She pressed hard up against her as her hands traveled down Dana's body to her chest. She gently cupped them causing Dana to moan harder. Damn, I'm going to explode before we ever even make it out of the kitchen...

Riley began kissing her neck, while still caressing her chest. Dana had to grab onto her tighter as she let her head fall back. Riley worked her way up to her ear. Between nibbles and suckles, Riley was able to form the question: "Bed?" Which was answered with a very enthusiastic, if breathy "mm-hmm." So with one last passionate kiss, Riley nudged Dana towards her bedroom. If they hadn't been ripping off their clothes along the way, they would have been running.

9:18 PM

Riley's eyes were closed, getting some much needed rest, but she couldn't shake the very large, goofy grin on her face. Dana was mostly on top of her, resting herself. Riley had one arm behind her head, but the other was stroking Dana's hair. How many times was that? She thought about it for a while, but couldn't decide if it was one giant marathon or at least a handful of times. She hadn't been with anyone in a while, but it had never been like this. When they had first reached the bedroom, they basically went after each other like animals. Satisfying what was (for her anyway) months of lust-filled, wicked thoughts. From how Dana had been, she assumed the feeling was mutual. But after the initial hunger was slightly appeased, they made love to each other. For two hours. And it had been amazing. Riley could honestly say she'd only ever made love to one other woman, and that had been long ago. She never confused fucking with making love. Some people didn't understand the difference, but to her they were unable to be confused. Once she had experienced making love, she could never go back to the other. God knows she tried, just to get 'her' out of her head, but it never held the fun her youthful indiscretions did. She would feel guilty, the momentary satisfaction not worth the weeks of self-chastisement she put herself through. She had forgotten what this felt like. Hell, she wasn't sure she'd ever felt like this. She really did love her. She looked down at her lover, then at the mess they'd made of the bed. How the hell did the comforter get over there? Ah well, she couldn't be cold with her newly acquired Dana-blanket. She kissed her on the crown. Dana lazily opened her eyes and looked up at Riley.

Again, that sheepish grin. "Hi."

"Hey."

Dana pushed back a strand of Riley's hair, leaned up and kissed her, and with that, the marathon began again.

Sunday 6:57 AM

Dana lay in bed, dreamily looking out the window. Riley was spooned up against her, her arm wrapped around Dana's waist, holding her hand. Her face was nuzzled into her neck, and she was sound asleep. Whew. That was something. Dana wasn't sure if she'd ever been so tired-or happy for that matter. My god, they had been in bed almost twelve hours and had spent as much time as was humanly possible making love. They had taken a break around 11 to get something to eat and drink some much needed water, but had quickly come back to bed and started anew. Dana could tell she was going to be sore (you couldn't have a work out like that and not be) but she definitely wasn't complaining. She was so damn happy. This is definitely not you Scully, what's going on? She paused. You've found her, that's what stupid. Dana had slept with people she cared a great deal about, but she had never felt for someone that she slept with, what she felt for this woman. She had never experienced anything quite like what last night had been. She only hoped Riley felt close to the same way, and couldn't help but assume so, seeing as how Riley had made love to her. With complete and utter devotion.

Dana was just beginning to think how happy she was it was Sunday and they would have the whole day together, and hopefully tonight too (if Riley wanted), before they had to go into work Monday morning, when her cell rang. Damn!

Dana tried to ease out of bed to turn it off when Riley pulled her back close. "Mmmmm, nooooo..."

Dana laughed, "It's my cell, just trying to find it to shut it up. It was in my pants pocket..." She had slipped out of bed and was frantically looking around the bedroom. Riley propped herself up on her elbow. Her hair was tousled and her eyelids were heavy. In short, she was about as adorable as could be, Dana thought. Riley was staring. She knew it and she didn't care. A mischievous grin slowly spread across her face.

"What?" Dana couldn't help but ask.

"Well, if I remember right, your pants are somewhere in the living room. I tossed them over my shoulder. Somewhere near the couch I'd say..."

Dana blushed. "Oh. Right. Thanks."

"Mmmmmm, sure. Hurry back."

By now the phone had quit ringing, but as soon as Dana picked up her pants, it went off again. She pulled it out. Damn. It was Reyes. It would be important, otherwise she wouldn't be calling at 7am on a weekend. Damn. Damn. Damn.

Riley heard Dana carry on a brief conversation in the other room. She was very disappointed to see her walk back in the bedroom half dressed again. She had a look of pure apology and sadness on her face.

"You have to go?" Riley was sure she sounded as disappointed as she felt.

Dana came and sat by her on the bed, pushed the many stray strands of hair back, and bent down and gave her a long, fervent kiss. "I'm afraid so honey. I'm so sorry. I was looking forward to staying in bed with you all day. Doggett and Reyes are already on their way to my place. They need me to check something out for them.

Sigh. "Duty calls, I guess. That's what I get for falling in love with a g-woman. Government always takes precedence." She smiled.

"If it makes you feel any better, I won't be able to concentrate on a thing but you today, I promise."

Riley was up, tossing on her bathrobe. "Autopsies and crime scenes make you think of little ole me? Awwwwww...I'm all a-flutter inside. How does a girl get so lucky?" They were kissing again. At this rate, Dana wouldn't ever get out of this apartment, and she had a hard time caring.

Dana was tossing on her shoes; she didn't really know why as she only had to walk about ten feet across the hall to her own place. But it was keeping her from leaving just that much longer.

Riley was unlocking to the door to fetch the paper. "Can I fix you some breakfast or anything before you go Da--?"

Dana hadn't noticed she hadn't finished her sentence and was slowly standing back up. "No thanks beautiful. I've got to get going and get a shower before they make it here. But I'll call you as soon as I can alright?" She was just coming close enough to Riley to noticed she had a very large, embarrassed grin on her face, was bright red, and seemed to be frozen. An instant later, she realized why. There, right across the hall, were Agents Reyes and Doggett, standing outside Scully's apartment. They had just seen Dana come into view, could see she was very haphazardly dressed, and had very likely heard her call Riley 'beautiful.' Hmmm...well this is about as awkward as it gets. Of course Reyes already knew about her, and she assumed Doggett must, or at least have a suspicion, but still, it was embarrassing to be seen coming out of someone else's apartment where you obviously spent the night. Riley gave her a very clear "I'm soooooo sorry" look. And Dana could just shrug. She repeated just loud enough for Riley to hear "I'll call you. Soon." And walked out the door.

Dana strode over to them, acting very nonchalant. "I didn't realize by 'We'll be right over' you meant right over. I'll just be a second. Come on in"

Riley closed the door, fell back against it, and burst out laughing. What a very interesting end to a perfectly wonderful evening...

Friday 6:39 PM

Shit. Fuck. Motherfucker. "GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!" Dammit! Riley was furious. Weaving in and out of traffic. She was supposed to be there at seven, and with this traffic, it'd be 40 minutes before she made it home. Why, tonight of all nights?! She and Dana hadn't really seen each other since Sunday morning and she was dying. Dana ended up having to go out of town a couple days on that case. And work had just gotten insane for Riley this week. They had talked on the phone nearly every night. And were able to spend one night together during the week. But they had been so exhausted they had really just slept. Which had surprised them both, but it had felt fabulous just having Dana in her arms. Knowing the other side of her bed had been meant for her. Thankfully, it looked like they were both going to have the entire weekend free. And Riley had been counting the seconds until the weekend began. They had considered going out to dinner, but they both just really wanted alone time. Dana had said she would be home and settled by Friday afternoon so why doesn't she fix them a nice, romantic dinner? Riley couldn't have thought of anything better. Her plan had been to sneak out of work a little early, which was almost acceptable on Fridays. And it's something she never did, so she felt she deserved this one. She had almost been home free. She was heading out the door at 4:45, which would have been perfect. It was about a 20 minute drive home on good days, which would give her enough time to go home and get cleaned up for her evening. Riley feverishly dialed Dana's number.

"Hello?"

"Dana honey, it's me. I am soooooooooooooooo sorry. I'm going to be a little late. I was on my way out the door when the Colonel caught me. Apparently whatever it was, it couldn't wait until Monday morning. And I have no clue as to what it was because I was so furious I couldn't even listen."

"It's ok Riley, I'll be here. Don't drive too wild. What time do you think now?"

Riley grimaced as she looked at the clock once again. "7:30?"

"7:30 it is then, see you soon."

Riley hung up, feeling like a complete ass. Their first real date, and she couldn't even be on time?! What a fucker. She was glad she had already picked up the bottle of wine she wanted to bring, but she also wanted to pick up flowers. Well, what's another 5 minutes at this point? Luckily there was a florist just down the street from their apartments. She screeched to a halt out front of the store and ran in. Took about 30 seconds finding the nicest dozen roses she could find in that amount of time and took them to the counter. As she madly signed the credit card slip, the kindly florist offered: "he's a very lucky man." Riley smiled. "I'm sure he is," and headed quickly out the door.

Come on, come on! She willed the elevator to speed up. She needed to stop by her place ever so briefly. She practically shoved in her front door. She took five minutes to brush her teeth and touch up her hair and makeup. She'd looked better, but at least she didn't look like hell. She grabbed her keys, the flowers, and the wine and bounded across the hall.

She glanced at her watch 7:33. She took a deep breath and knocked on the door. 33 minutes late...way to show her how you care.

The door opened. Riley immediately thrust the wine and flowers out in front of her, and braced herself for the slap in the face she thought she deserved "Oh god, I'm so sorry Dana. Please don't be mad." Silence. She felt Dana lower her arms. "Riley, I told you it was fine. I understand work and bad timing." Riley could hear a smile in her voice, so she slowly opened her eyes and turned towards...wow. Riley's jaw literally dropped. Dana looked absolutely amazing. She wore a knee length black flowy dress that clung in all the right places. The thin straps showed off her beautiful shoulders and neckline. She stood there undressing the exquisite redhead with her eyes.

"Riley?"

Whoa. Earth to Riley. Stop starring at her and tell her how wonderful she looks you goof! But all she could get out was "hmm?"

"You're still standing in the hall..."

Ok, that did it. She was back. "I'm sorry Dana. It's just...you look..." Dana cocked her eyebrow. "Yes?"

"...so ravishing words fail me."

"I'd say I couldn't ask for a better reaction." And she pulled Riley inside and into a long, passionate kiss. "I've missed you. For me?" She looked hopefully at Riley's gifts. "Well, the wine is, but the flowers are for my other incredibly hot date I have later on this evening. I just thought maybe you could put them in water for me so they won't wilt?"

Dana shot her a look that meant she'd pay for that later. At least that's what she hoped it meant. Dana gave her another quick kiss as she relieved Riley of her burden. Riley followed her into the kitchen happily watching her from behind. Halfway there, she stopped dead in her tracks, she had just thought of something. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh Riley you freakin' idiot!" Dana screeched to a halt and spun around. "What is it?"

"What is it?! You look more amazing than anyone has the right to look, and I show up like this. I wore...my fucking...uniform. Who does that? I couldn't have taken another minute to change?!"

Dana beamed. Setting everything down, she walked up to Riley and threw her arms around her neck. "Nope. 33 minutes was my threshold. 34 and I wouldn't have answered the door. Besides, have I never told you how incredibly sexy I think the flight suit is?" Riley just rolled her eyes and threw her head back in disbelief. Dana took her face in one hand and made Riley look at her. "I'm being serious Riley. Ever since I saw you in the elevator that day, I've been dying to see you in it again. You hardly ever get to wear it..."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah." And Dana kissed her in such a way Riley thought she might not just be being nice.

Saturday, 6:03 PM

Riley was smiling to herself, she could get used to these 24hour "dates." Dinner had been delicious. At least she thought it was, she hadn't really tasted it. She couldn't take her mind of Dana. They had enjoyed the meal and the wine, but both were anxious for bed. They spent their rest periods talking, which was something they hadn't done in a while, they were both a little embarrassed to admit. They had slept in, fixed a nice brunch, and had-at some point-made it to Dana's couch...where they had, of course, made love again. Riley lay back, staring at the ceiling, Dana lay on top of her, head resting on her chest. They were deep in thought trying to figure out what to do with themselves for the evening. Neither was too excited about the idea of leaving their current situation, but were afraid they had become hermits.

Dana was just dozing off when Riley's cell phone rang. She grabbed for it as fast as possible while trying not to disturb Dana. Riley crinkled her eyebrows, she didn't recognize the number.

"Captain Logan." Ugh Dana thought, she only answered the phone with her proper title if it was work, or if she thought it might be. It's Saturday, what do they possibly need her for now?

Riley immediately recognized the voice and her face lit up. "Hey baby!" At that Dana lifted her head and shot her a playful, but still potent 'and just who the hell is that?'look. Riley smiled and silently mouthed 'It's Josh' to her. Oh. Dana's face got a little red with embarrassment.

His voice came over loud and clear. Dana could almost hear him as well as Riley could. "Listen kid, I don't care what the hell you're doing, drop it. The guys and I decided we were going to come into 'the city' for a big night out, and you're coming too. We should be there about 8."

"Oh, gosh, babe, I'd love to, it's just that Dana and I are..."

Dana immediately grabbed the phone from her with a wicked smile.

"Josh? It's Dana. I'm not going to be the reason she doesn't see her best friend tonight. She'll be there."

"Well hello! You'd damn well better be there too Agent, you haven't passed 'the best friend test' yet. Either of you don't show, and I tell her she's never to see you again."

"Well, we can't have that. Where we going and when?"

8:17 PM

They had hammered out the details with Josh, gotten cleaned up, and were just walking into the bar. It was a small place, but it was fairly packed. Riley loved these kinds of places. She wasn't much into clubs. She liked places where you could have fun by catching up with your friends. She knew the boys would head out to 'party' later, but she was glad they were starting the night here.

Riley let Dana ahead of her. She smiled to herself. She was so protective of this woman, she always wanted to know where she was in relation to her. She knew it was partly because she cared so much about her, and she had a tendency to want to be the protector of those she cared about. She knew another part of it was that she knew Dana had gone through so much in her life, had spent so much time in hospitals due to her job. That fact made her want to make sure nothing like that ever happened when she was around; but it was that very fact that made her protectiveness so ridiculous. Dana was more than capable of taking care of herself. In fact, she was pretty sure Dana could whoop her if she ever had the mind to. Riley rolled her eyes to herself, I swear to god woman, you think about the most random shit... She was brought back to reality when she spotted Josh and his table full of buddies. This was easy, as even though Dana was in front of her, she had no problems seeing over her much smaller stature.

Dana let Riley get to Josh first as he was Riley's best friend, not hers. Dana was surprised that she received the same giant bear hug that Riley had just received. Dana didn't handle affection from many people well, but she didn't mind it so much because she knew how important this man was to the woman she loved. Riley was busy greeting the couple other men that were there. She had explained on the ride over she had met a couple of them once or twice before while visiting Josh and while some were very loud and still stuck in their early twenties mentally, she assured Dana they were all 'very good guys.'

Josh was introducing Dana to the first couple men, when one returned from what she assumed had been the restroom.

"Riley! Where have you been gorgeous? Nothing's the same without you!" He threw a huge hug around her, placed a couple sloppy kisses on her neck, and professed his undying love with a huge smile. Riley was smiling a huge, very embarrassed grin, and was giving Dana a 'I'msosorry' look over the shoulder of the man accosting her. Dana was giving her another 'fake' (in fact is was a very poorly masked truth) look of jealously. Riley pulled back from the hug and smiled. "Yeah? Well take a number Ernie. You know I'm a very popular girl." He feigned hurt, but his eyes were already traveling to the extremely attractive redhead that had come with her. Riley introduced them and told Dana as soon as possible that this was a good friend of Josh's, and while a huge flirt, he was completely harmless. Dana politely shook his hand, but it was slightly icier than everyone else had gotten. Riley couldn't help but smirk just a little bit.

11:36 PM

Dana couldn't believe they had been in this one little bar for over three hours, but she had to admit she had been having a great time. She had been chatting quite a bit with Josh, which she thought was important because she knew what he meant to Riley. She also knew that-while it had been a joke on the phone-it really was important to hit it off with one's significant other's friends. That, and she just plain like him. She could see how he and Riley were so close, and why she spoke so highly of him. Plus she also enjoyed being out with her new woman. She really hadn't had a chance to watch her interact with many people and she just enjoyed sitting back and watching her. Though Riley didn't know Josh's friends very well-with the exception of Ernie-she was enjoying herself immensely and was absolutely captivating her audience. Dana was amazed. Though Riley had often said she didn't like people in general, if she did like you, you couldn't help but adore her back. Dana was at times nauseated by how giddy and out and out mushy, she felt about this woman, but she realized that must be love, because no one else in her life had ever made her think like Riley did.

While chatting with 'the boys' Riley couldn't help but be excited. She could see Dana and Josh were hitting it off which made her extremely happy. She had known it wasn't going to be a problem, but it was just nice to see. Both those people meant so much to her, it gave her a great sense of satisfaction they seemed to like each other. She was having a fabulous time, but could see Dana's eyelids were starting to droop a bit, and she had to admit she was exhausted herself. It's not as if either of them had gotten quality sleep the night before.

As she wrapped up the current conversation, she slyly placed her had on Dana's thigh. Dana instinctively placed her hand on top of Riley's. Riley leaned over to her and quietly asked if Dana was about ready to go. She admitted while having fun, she was getting tired so Riley assured her they'd leave shortly.

"So where're you boys staying tonight?" Riley asked their ringleader, and her best friend.

"We figured we'd find a hotel close to whatever club we ended up at."

"That's ridiculous. You remember where I live?"

"Yeah." And he spouted off the address.

Riley took a key off her key chain and tossed it at Josh. "You guys can crash at my place tonight and maybe we can do breakfast before you have to head back home."

Josh cocked an eyebrow, leaned in and quietly asked with a grin, "and just where will you be staying young lady?"

She gave him a good smack in the arm. "With any luck, directly across the hall..." And with that she gave Dana a double eyebrow lift in the most obnoxious way she knew how.

Dana grinned. "Oh reallllllllllllllllllly? Are we already to the point where you just think you're invited? What if I have other plans?"

"Baby, you ain't got nothing more exciting in the works than me, I guarantee." She couldn't even keep a straight face through that sentence. "Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to run to the ladies room before we take our final leave."

"I'll go take care of the tab then" Dana started to get up as well. Riley started to protest when Dana stated firmly "I want to. Let me do this." Riley reluctantly nodded and headed in the appropriate direction to complete her mission.

A couple minutes later, Riley was headed out of the restroom, held the door open for another woman, smiled, and began to head back to her friends. She had crossed about half the room when she saw Dana at the bar, apparently still paying the tab. She looked more than a little perturbed, which seemed odd. Then Riley noticed a man sitting on a barstool was talking to her...and he had a hold of her wrist. Riley was immediately furious and quickened her pace, closing the distance quickly. It seems Josh was just noticing the situation from their booth nearby. He rose to his feet, fists clenched. He saw Riley who shot him a very clear 'I'll handle this' look. He nodded, but didn't sit back down. Riley was glad to know that the largest man in the bar would be there for her and Dana in about half a second if she needed him. She told herself to calm down, you don't know what's going on; it could look much worse than it is. As she got closer she heard the man.

"Come on baby, let me buy you just one drink." He was drunk and his speech was slurred, but it didn't change the fact he was grabbing Dana-pretty hard from the looks of it.

"Listen asshole, if you don't let go of my wrist..." That was it, Riley had heard Dana specifically ask to be released and he didn't. He had his one chance. Dana saw Riley just before she acted. Dana had a very definite 'don't...' look on her face.

In one fell swoop Riley kicked the man's bar stool out from underneath him. He fell onto his back, very dazed and confused. Before he could catch his breath, Riley was on him. She kneeled on his chest and was pressing her forearm down on his throat. She leaned in close to him, so they were the only ones that could here their conversation. "You need to rethink you method of meeting women you bastard. The lady explicitly asked you to let her go. I should crush your throat right here and now..." Riley was angry. She kept the pressure firm on his throat. She wasn't going to kill him. She wasn't even going to cut off his air long enough for him to pass out...but she wanted him to remember this. She wasn't going to let up for a few more seconds. She felt a hand on her shoulder. She knew without looking it was Dana's. She immediately stood back up. The man stayed on the floor coughing, muttering what a bitch she was along with a few other choice phrases. Riley's heart was still banging in her chest, but she was under control. Dana had a hold of her arm and gave a very firm "let's go." Josh cut them off before they reached the door. "Are you guys ok? Damn Riley, you took him down." Riley just silently nodded, and mumbled something about seeing them in the morning.

They reached the car silently. Dana took the driver's seat. There were only a few moments of silence before:

"I'm sorry Dana. I...overreacted."

"Jesus Christ Riley, you think?" Dana's voice was angry, but Riley could sense what she thought might be fear in there as well.

More silence. Dana finally broke the second round. Quietly, she stated: "I didn't know you had a temper like that."

Riley couldn't even look at her, she was ashamed. "I do have a pretty bad temper, but it only comes out for one reason."

"And what's that exactly?"

"When someone abuses someone I care about, either physically or verbally. Nothing else sets me off like that Dana, I'm so sorry. I just saw him, and how he had a hold of you, and I just kind of, well, lost control. I couldn't believe someone would do that. And then when I heard you expressly tell him to let go and he wouldn't, that was kind of the last straw."

"I can take care of myself you know."

"I know Dana. God, I know. I was just thinking that earlier tonight. I know how protective I am, and I know you don't need that. That's just how I am. I'm so sorry. I'm not a violent person. That wasn't me."

"Well, you could have fooled me." And then, a little more timid, "it was a little scary. I thought you were really going to hurt him"

"Dana, look at me. You don't think I could ever direct my temper like that at you, do you? I have never done anything like that before in my life. I swear to you. I have never raised my hand at anyone. Ever. He was hurting someone I love. The person I love more than anyone on this earth, and I didn't think before I acted. Dana, I'm sorry. That's not me. You know me." Her eyes searched Dana's face. And finally Dana nodded. She understood and took Riley's hand for the rest of the ride home. She wasn't the least bit worried Riley would ever strike her and told Riley so, she was just surprised to see that level of temper in someone she otherwise knew to be so kind.

"Well, thank you for coming to my rescue, if that's what you call what you were doing. Just remember, I'm not a damsel in distress, I carry a gun around for god's sake." She gave Riley's hand a little squeeze. Riley gave a little crooked smile and looked down. "Yes ma'am."

They went home, talked more about the evening's events, and went to bed. Dana understood what had happened. She certainly couldn't say much, lord knows she had been in her share of skirmishes in her job, and more than one had been due more to temper than necessity. She had just never seen that side of Riley before, but she was sure it was just as Riley had said, not the norm for her. Her shame of the whole affair proved that.

Deep down Dana was flattered, well maybe flattered wasn't the right word, but she was amazed that the want to defend her had driven such a basically calm, level headed woman to such lengths. And she did have to admit was impressed with how fast she had incapacitated that man. Yet again Dana laughed at how pretty much anything Riley did made her love her more.

Sunday 2:37 AM

Riley was awakened by Dana talking in her sleep. She couldn't quite make it out, but Dana was obviously very upset. She was thrashing around, and making sounds somewhere between a whimper and a sob. Riley sat up, and tried to calm her down. "Dana honey, wake up." She went to gently shake her, when Dana let out a resounding "NO!" Out of the darkness there was a searing pain just below her left eye. Dana's fist has connected with her flesh. Hard. Jesus Christ that hurt! She was knocked loopy for a moment. She was confused briefly as to why Dana had hit her, but she very quickly realized Dana was simply flailing her fists wildly, she was just lucky enough to have caught one with her eye. Riley caught hold of both Dana's arms and continued to try and wake her up.

"Dana. Dana! Wake up baby, you're having a bad dream. Come on baby, wake up."

Dana was still mumbling something when her eyes began to flutter open.

"That's right baby. Wake up. You're ok. It's just a dream."

Dana's body tensed up again so Riley tightened her grip again. She didn't want another shot from this surprisingly strong woman. "Hey, hey...it me honey. It's Riley. You're ok. It was just a dream."

"R-Riley?" Dana's body relaxed and so did Riley's grip.

"Yea babe. It's me."

"Oh, god..." Dana sat up in bed and threw her arms around her.

"What is it honey? It's ok. I'm here. You're ok. I'm here." She held her tight, kissed her on the cheek and then gently pushed Dana back just enough so she could see her face. It was then that she finally saw that Dana had been crying in her sleep. She immediately reached up, caressed her cheek, kissed her tears. "Dana, what is it, what did you dream about? What's wrong?"

"I don't know. I just know it was awful. I, just...will you hold me?"

"Of course Dana. I won't let you go. It's ok now, whatever it was, ok? I'm here. I'm not going anywhere."

8:03 AM

Dana was halfway between awake and sleep. The sun was definitely up outside but she had no plans on getting out of bed for several more hours. Riley was snuggled up tight behind her. She was engulfed in her arms, their fingers interlaced. It was amazing how safe and comfortable this woman made her feel. She was more than a little embarrassed by her dream outburst last night. She still didn't know what had upset her so much, but she also wasn't sure if she really wanted to. Those little moments didn't happen often, but they still did happen. Dana had seen so much in her life since joining the X-files, and had been through so much personally for them, those emotions built up. She refused to deal with them-or rather she refused they were in need of being dealt with-so they sometimes came out in dreams. God she hated when she would wake up from those, in a cold sweat, often crying, never quite knowing if what she dreamt about actually occurred or not. Those nights usually resulted with an end to sleep. She was never able to go back to sleep after that. But then again, she had never had Riley there before. Just by her being there, holding her, kissing her, offering words of comfort, Dana had been ok. She had even been able to go back to sleep. In fact, Riley had stayed awake until she knew that Dana was back asleep soundly. Without even thinking about it, Dana squeezed Riley's hand, just to show her how happy she was she was there. Her right hand hurt a little which she couldn't quite figure out, but she assumed she must have somehow slept wrong on it.

She got a little squeeze back. A very groggy "Mmmmmmm...good morning." came from over her right shoulder, followed by a small kiss on the neck.

Dana rolled over for a real good morning kiss, and a different position to fall back asleep again. She got out a "good morn..." before she saw it. High on Riley's left cheekbone was a pretty good size bruise that was just starting to turn a fairly dark purple. Dana could tell it was going to be a good one. Instantly she was up on her elbow.

"Oh my god Riley, what happened?"

"Huh?"

"Your face sweetheart, what happened?"

"Hey, blame my parents, I was born this way..."

"Riley! I'm serious, where'd that bruise come from?"

She chuckled a little before she realized it hurt to smile. "Ow. So I got a bruise from that? Thought I might. It was a pretty good punch."

"Did that bastard hit you last night?" She hadn't thought he had, but maybe? And then it occurred to Dana why her hand hurt. A feeling of complete self-loathing and guilt washed over her. "Oh god Riley. Did I do that?"

Riley's kidding mood immediately left her when she saw Dana's look of concern. "Um, oh, well..."

"Oh, god. I did. Riley I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. After the lectures I gave you last night, and then I hit you." She was starting to tear up.

"Dana, no. No, don't do that. You didn't punch me or anything. You were just having that nightmare and I happened to get in the way before I could wake you up. It's not your fault, it's nobody's fault. It's just one of those quirky things that happen. I'm fine. I swear I'm fine. You didn't do anything you need to apologize for..."

Dana was actually crying now. "I won't forgive myself. I hit you."

Riley wrapped her arms around her. Dana tired to fight free but Riley kept her grip. "Dana, sweetheart, listen to me. It's ok, it was an accident. It's ok. I'll live. It doesn't even hurt. Calm down baby. It's all right."

9:38 AM

They were just finishing up breakfast. Dana still couldn't look her in the eye. Not with the proof of what she had done staring her right in the face. Riley had to spend about a half hour with her calming her down. Dana was completely disgusted with herself. Riley seemed perfectly ok with the situation, continually promising her she knew it was an accident. And Dana knew it was of course, but it didn't matter, she had still hit her. Christ, she gave her a fucking black eye.

Dana stood up and began to clear the plates. On her second trip, Riley grabbed her wrist and pulled her down into her lap.

"You know, you're going to have to look at me sometime. And speaking would be nice too." She gently cupped Dana's face in her hand and turned her to meet her gaze.

"I'm not going to feel ok about this Riley." Tears began to well up in her eyes all over again.

Riley looked into her eyes for a moment and then stood them both back up. She began to pull off her bathrobe. She pulled down the waistband of her pajama pants slightly on the left side revealing her hipbone...and a very dark, yet small bruise. "See this? I ran into my desk the other day." She put her pants back in place, put her leg up on the table and lifted up her pants leg. "See this one?" This one was rather nasty. Large, starting to turn a little green, and had a scratch in it. Dana's eyes widened a little. How had she not noticed that the past couple days? "I scraped this on the bike the other day. Hurt like hell." And then before Dana could register that, she had stood back up normally and pulled up her sleeve showing off yet another dark area about a quarter size. "I have no freakin' clue where this one came from." She put her sleeve back, and gently rested her hands on Dana's shoulders, crouching down just enough so that she had to look up into the much smaller woman's eyes. "Dana do you need me to go on? I could. At any one time, I've got at least half a dozen bruises somewhere on my body. One, I bruise fairly easily, but two I'm hard on my body. I'm clumsy and I'm rough on myself. Hell, I don't know how I get most of them. Dana, you didn't hit me that hard and most importantly you didn't do it on purpose. It was a freak thing. My god woman, if I thought you had, do you think I'd be trying so hard to convince you it was ok?"

Dana just fell into her arms, shook her head 'no' and let Riley hold her. She knew it wasn't her fault, but she felt horrible just the same. But she honestly believed this woman was fine with what had happened and that made her feel the slightest bit better.

Friday 5:23 PM

God bless government work and the three-day weekends that came with them Riley thought and she pulled her motorcycle up on the curb in front of her building. She had what she felt was, in almost every way, a perfect day. She slept in which felt fantastic except when Dana had had to wake up early and go to work; fixed herself a nice breakfast at around eleven, took a nice long shower, and then went on what amounted to about a 200 mile ride on her bike. She loved going on rides like that, and getting out of the city. There were few things that brought a bigger smile to her face than finding a nice rural road and taking her bike someone over the 100mph mark. Riding always helped her clear her head. When she wanted to think about things, she took a drive in her car, when she wanted to think about absolutely nothing, she went for a bike ride. She glanced at her watch. Dana should be home soon she thought. She had no idea what they would do with their evening, but she knew it would be spent together and that was enough for her. She also knew she'd better hurry up and get showered. She hadn't told Dana she was going on a ride simply because it tended to cause unnecessary worry for her. Riley was pretty sure Dana had found the whole motorcycle thing sexy at first, but as her feelings grew for her, she became concerned for her safety. Riley hoped Dana never asked her to give it up. She would because she loved her, but god, she would miss it. She cut off the engine, began removing her gloves and unbuckling her helmet. She heard her cell phone beep indicating a voicemail message. She'd brought it instinctively, but hadn't heard or checked it all day. Give me a second; I'll get to you.

As she came up out of the parking garage and towards the building's front door she saw a woman struggling with grocery bags, trying to get in the front door. Amazing, she thought. People just kept walking by, no one offering to hold the door or anything. People killed her sometime.

"Can I give you a hand?" Riley grabbed the door and smiled at the woman. She instinctively smiled back, a warm, but cautious smile. She seemed to be in her 60's, but still had dark brown hair. Riley also noticed her sparkling brown eyes.

"Thank you."

"It's not a problem. Can't believe no one did it earlier. Can I take one of those for you? I'm headed in this building myself."

"Oh, no, I don't want to inconvenience you."

"I assure you, you're not. Please, I'd be happy to. Are their any more in your car?"

The woman seemed amazed at her helpfulness. Riley grabbed the two bags from her, while the woman retrieved the last one from her trunk.

The woman again smiled. This one was a little more genuine. Not quite as cautious as the one before. Riley broke the silence "Do you live in this building? I don't think I've seen you before, but I haven't been here that long." That was a true statement; she didn't think she'd seen her in her building before, but she couldn't shake the feeling she was somewhat familiar.

"Oh, no. But I'm here quite often. My daughter lives her. That's who these groceries are for. I'm fixing her dinner this evening." They stepped on the elevator, and the woman pushed the button for floor 4.

The light bulb in Riley's head finally went off. "Are you Mrs. Scully?"

"Yes..."

"Well of course! No wonder you look familiar. I've seen your picture a number of times. I live across from your daughter. We've become very good friends since I've moved to the area. It's a pleasure to meet you"

The older Scully smiled, Riley could see the family resemblance in the smile, and the gleaming eyes. "The feeling's mutual, Ms...?"

"Logan. Riley Logan. Here we are." She let Mrs. Scully step off the elevator first. She found herself yet again uncomfortable with her looks after a motorcycle ride, on the elevator, with a Scully. She smiled to herself, but she did very much wish she was dressed and looked a little better to meet her girl's family. Her cell phone beeped again. Ugh. I'll be with you in a second! She let Dana's mother reach her door first, giving the appropriate space. She wasn't sure if Dana would feel weird she had met her mother. Usually something like that is somewhat planned. She did find it odd though Dana hadn't told her she was coming into town. She felt a little sad knowing they wouldn't be spending the evening together, but was happy for Dana she was going to spend time with family. Riley understood the importance of that.

Dana answered the door. "Mom! You're early. Was the drive ok?" She hugged her mother while taking the grocery bag from her. "This can't be all...I'll go down to the car and grab the rest."

"Not necessary honey, I got some help." Dana cocked an eyebrow, in obvious confusion as she hadn't noticed the "help" yet. Riley stepped into better view, arms full of groceries, and wearing a very large, somewhat apologetic grin. A smile slowly spread across Dana's face, but the eyebrow remained fully cocked. "I see. Come on in Riley."

As Riley stepped in the apartment she whispered a little "sorry. I...we..."

Mrs. Scully spoke from the kitchen. "I was having quite a hard time getting into the building with my arms full when this very nice lady came to my rescue. We became acquainted on the elevator ride. You have nice friend's Dana."

Riley set the groceries down on the counter and smiled "oh come on now Mrs. Scully, I was just using the training I learned as a Girl Scout, be nice to others or something along those lines. I can't quite remember. I was only one for about a week. Couldn't do the uniform."

The Scully's both chuckled. "I'll get out of your all's hair now and let you get to your dinner." She was backing towards the door. She was enjoying herself, but didn't want to intrude on family time. "It was very nice to meet you Mrs. Scully. Dana, I'll talk to you soon." Riley gave Dana a wink that only she could see. She had no idea what Dana's mom knew, so figured better safe than sorry.

Dana was just getting out a "No, Riley..." When Mrs. Scully piped in. "Can't you stay for dinner Ms. Logan? Dana said she was hoping a friend was coming for dinner as well. I was very much hoping it was you."

Riley looked at Dana not quite sure what to answer when Dana rolled her eyes and turned to her mother. "Well, in fact, Riley was who I was hoping would come for dinner, but that would be extremely awkward if that wasn't the case would it not Mom?"

They exchanged smirks. "Well, I suppose so, but I think she's quite deserving of a dinner invitation, don't you? Even if she wasn't on the original guest list, we'd still have plenty of food to offer."

Riley was silent, still not knowing what to do. She thought she'd let this little 'argument' play out and stay out of the crossfire. She knew how she was with her mother, always good-natured kidding, and that's what seemed to be unfolding in front of her.

Dana then turned to Riley. "Well, it's decided, my mother would like you to stay, and I suppose I wouldn't mind too much myself." She beamed at her. Riley melted as usual.

"I'd love to stay for dinner. I'm sorry I'm not a little more prepared. I just didn't know..." just then her cell beeped yet again.

Dana gave a smirk "Well, I would assume that beeping is your cell phone trying to inform you of one of the many voicemails I left you today asking you to dinner once I found out mom was coming to town." She looked Riley up and down at her attire. "Perhaps had you not been trying to kill yourself in the countryside, you might have known."

Riley turned red with embarrassment. "Busted. It was such a beautiful day...I..." and then seeing the futility in arguing this with a woman who was convinced motorcycles would be the death of her love, she could only get out "sorry. If you could give me a sec, I'll run back to my place and get a little more ready for dinner."

Mrs. Scully called out from the kitchen. "Of course dear, dinner won't be ready until close to seven. Take your time."

Riley began to head across the hall and was surprised that Dana was following her. "I'll be right back mom."

As soon as Dana's door was closed: "I'm sorry Riley, I didn't mean to spring a surprise meeting with my mother on you. She called me at work today, and wanted to come up. I haven't been by to see her in a while, and I know she gets lonely. I didn't want to spend the evening without you...I wasn't sure what to do." Riley unlocked her apartment and the went inside.

"Well, I could kill you for the fact that the first time I meet your family I look like this, but I guess that's my fault for being a little unreachable today. I'm sure I'll pay for that later, but all is forgiven on my end." She pulled Dana into her arms and into a long kiss. She had hated even going those few moments after not seeing her all day without any sort of physical contact.

"Oh, you can bet you will, but that's an entirely different subject. You know how much that worries me."

Riley gave a bashful grin, "I know babe, that's why you weren't supposed to know."

"Oh, you'll pay for that one too. But seriously honey, you're not too freaked out about this evening?"

"No. I mean, I'm nervous, I want to do well, and I feel like I'm starting off wrong to begin with. But I'm excited to meet her. If my family were in town, I'd love for you to be meeting them now too. Just so I'm sure though, what exactly does she know, so I know where to sit on the 'friend spectrum?"

"She doesn't know anything about us yet, but that's just because I haven't been able to really talk to her in a while. Just quick little 'hi' conversations. She knows I'm gay, so that's not a problem. And I'm sure she's starting to figure out I'm dating you. So just be you babe. She's already impressed by you. She's never herself in front of new people."

"So it runs in the family then?" Riley winked, and kissed her again. Short, but passionate. "Ok, get back over there. I just want to freshen up a bit and I'll be over shortly. I promise."

Riley showered and made herself presentable as fast as she could, and was back knocking on Dana's door within half an hour.

"Hope you ladies weren't waiting on me. I brought red and white, wasn't sure what would go best."

"Well thank you Ms. Logan, that's very thoughtful. And we still have plenty of time before dinner, so perfect timing."

"Oh, please Mrs. Scully, call me Riley. I go all day without anyone calling me by my first name. If I don't hear it when I'm not at work, I'm liable to forget it."

"Well then by all means, call me Maggie. Now that all the formalities are out of the way, Dana would you mind opening this?"

9:16 PM

Dinner had been a fabulous time. They had enjoyed, a long relaxing meal, had already done the dishes, and were all chatting in the living room. Riley and Maggie had hit it off famously. The three had hardly drawn breath all night. Dana and her mother had a wonderful relationship. They had been through a lot as a family over the past decade or so, and had become very close. Riley could tell there was a great deal of love and caring between them. Riley was close to her family as well, but hardly ever got to see them, so she reveled in the family atmosphere.

Maggie rose to her feet. "Well ladies, I'm afraid I'm going to have to call it a night. I had a wonderful time."

"Oh mom, are you sure you just don't want to stay the night? It's a long drive."

"Thanks honey, but I really need to get back home. I told some of the ladies I'd have lunch with them tomorrow. Thanks though." She began to gather up her things. "Riley it was so nice meeting you, I very much enjoyed this evening."

Riley smiled and got Maggie's purse for her. "I assure you the pleasure was all mine Maggie. Thank you for such a wonderful dinner." She held out her hand, but Maggie disregarded it and gave her a hug instead. She shot a surprised but pleased look over to Dana who returned it with a similar one. Riley stepped aside so the Scully family could say their evening's goodbyes.

Riley washed out the wine glasses while Dana walked her mother to her car. She was pleased with herself. She had really enjoyed the evening and Maggie. And she really thought Maggie had felt the same way. That hug had to mean something right? Dana seemed to take after her mother in many ways and she certainly didn't hand out hugs like candy to people she didn't like.

After a few minutes Dana returned. She shut the door behind her and Riley looked at her with a very anxious "well?" Dana gave her a huge grin, crossed the room, threw her arms around Riley and gazed up at her. "You could not have been any more perfect!"

Riley feigned smugness. "You expected less?"

"Of course not, but that couldn't have gone any better. She loved you!"

"Aw, come on babe. I don't think she hated me, but I don't think it went that well..."

"No, Riley, you don't understand. I can tell mom really likes you. It's very rare she lets people call her Margaret, much less 'Maggie.' That's huge. And she doesn't hug anyone. I almost fell over. That, and she told me how much she thought of you in the elevator. You did very well."

Saturday, 10:43 AM

Dana was awake, but had no desire to get out of bed. Plus she wasn't sure she could have, even if she had wanted to. Riley was sound asleep halfway on top of her, with her arm gently, but firmly, across her. Dana picked up her head just enough to give her lover a kiss on the forehead, then lay back down staring at the ceiling. She rested her head on one hand, and gently stroked Riley's bare back with the other. She smiled to herself. Riley could still sleep like a teenager. She was perfectly happy to spend most of the day in bed. It was very difficult to get her up to run mundane errands. Almost impossible on a Saturday. She was a little more likely to do so on Sunday. Dana didn't care. If she ever really wanted to do anything, Riley would drop everything-even sleep-so they could. Besides, between both their jobs, these moments were very rare. More often than not, at least one would have to spend some time in the office on the weekends. And while they spent every night both were in town at one or the other's apartment, there was a lot to be said for spending countless hours "cuddling." She hated that word, but that was what they were doing.

"What are you thinking about?"

Dana was surprised, she thought Riley was still out. She looked down, Riley's eyes were still shut tight and looked every bit as asleep as she had been. "You haven't even opened your eyes yet sleepy, how do you know I'm thinking?"

Still unmoving, but with a slight smirk. "Because I know you. I have no idea what time it is, but I already know you've been awake for hours, staring at the ceiling, deep in thought."

"Wow. You are good."

"That's what she said."

Dana rolled her eyes, and smacked Riley's shoulder. Firm and aggravated, but still playful. "I swear to god, are you sure you were never in a frat? Your level of humor seems to be right on par with those kids."

"Ow. No. I was in a few sororities. But those were just the occasional sleepovers..." She rolled over as quickly as she could and got in a protective fetal position from the fury she knew would come her way.

"Oh reallllllly? Do tell." And with that, Dana set on her. Riley was stronger than her, not by much, but she knew she was. But she did have one formidable weakness: she was more ticklish than any one she had ever known. She was going to make her pay.

Riley was crying she was laughing so hard. She knew she deserved it, but she wasn't going to be able to take much more of this. She waited until Dana had positioned herself right where she wanted her, then Riley rolled them both over. She kept Dana's body under control with hers and held both her wrists above her head. She was careful not to grip hard enough to cause Dana any discomfort, but hard enough to make damn sure she couldn't get free and start tickling her again.

Dana struggled for a second, but knew she had been defeated. She looked up at Riley, cocked an eyebrow, and feigned disgust. "Sorority girls, huh?" Riley just smiled down at her, and leaned into kiss her. Dana turned her head away. No way was she giving in that easily. Riley pulled back in mock hurt. "Baby, don't be like that..."

"Ohh no. I know now I'm not your type. While poor, studious girls such as myself spent our time studying, reading books, and spending Saturday night in the library-you know, getting a college education, at college-you spent your time chasing socialites in short skirts who liked to get drunk and 'experiment' with other girls."

"Well sure I did. I was a red-blooded, American, 18-yr-old lesbian! What'd you expect me to do? And, if it's any consolation, had any of the girls spending their Saturday nights in the library at my college looked like you, I would have spent much less time drinking, and much more time with the studious crowd. Besides, I'm older and wiser now. I not so much into the ridiculously short designer dresses as I am a government issued .9 mm. Now that's hot." And before Dana could protest, she leaned in for an extremely sensual, sexually charged kiss. Dana protested for only a second before Riley felt her arms and body relax in pleasure. She released her hold so her hands could go elsewhere.

Sometime later

Christ she hated meetings. It was a wonder anything ever got done in government work. Riley was on a 10-minute break from the latest of what looked to be a day of meetings. Truth be told, she wasn't even really sure what this one was about. She had faded out a while ago and only knew they were put on a break when everyone else in the room got up. She made a b-line to her office. She was in great need of more coffee.

She walked past the office secretary and gave a small nod and smiled. "Oh, Capt Logan, I have a message for you from an Agent...Reyes. Said it was important for you to call back."

"Thanks Sandy." Riley stopped and took the post-it from her. Sandy was the real pulse of the office. Riley couldn't have done anything without her. She was in no way Riley's secretary-Riley was about 10 years of service from having her own-but they were friends and Sandy looked out for her. Riley closed the door to her office, looked down at the pink note, and crinkled her brow. It was odd that Monica would call her at work. She felt a small twinge of worry as she dialed the number, but cursed herself for her paranoia.

"Reyes."

"Monica, hi. It's Riley. Had a message to call you?"

"Oh, Riley, yeah. Hang on a sec." There was a pause as Monica, it seemed anyways, moved to a more quiet area. "Thanks for calling me back."

"Not a problem. Sorry I couldn't get back to you earlier. What can I do for you?"

"Right. Well, was wondering if you had any idea where Dana was."

Riley paused, confused by this line of questioning. "No, I can't say that I do. I would assume at work, but if you don't know where she is, then I'm clueless. Is there anything wrong Monica?"

"No, no, no. I don't want to worry you. It's just that...I was hoping to find her."

"Monica, I know you wouldn't call me unless you needed to find her, or were worried. Tell me what's going on."

There was a sigh on the other end of the line. "You're right. Truth is, Riley, I'm a little worried I can't find her. There was a prison break today upstate. A few hours from here. Very nasty guy got away during a prisoner transfer. Killed one guard, injured another pretty badly. Riley...Mulder and Scully put this guy away. He was pretty unhappy about it. I'm worried he'd try to come after her, and I haven't been able to get a hold of her. Was hoping you might know something. I'm on my way to her apartment now."

Riley was already on her feet, putting on her jacket and gathering her things. "I'll meet you there." She could hear Monica protest as she hung up the phone. She breezed past Sandy, calling over her shoulder. "I'm on my way out. If they come looking for me...make something up."

Riley drove like a NASCAR champion, dialing all of Dana's various numbers on her way. You over reacting Riley, everything's fine. If you just broke out of jail, why would you do something to get you put right back in? Because you're a fucking psycho, which is why you were put there in the first place. She pushed the accelerator even farther towards the floor.

She made it to their apartment building in record time and screeched to a halt out front. She didn't really know what she was doing, but she needed to know that Dana was in her apartment, just fine, and for whatever reason just wasn't answering the phone. Yeah, right. That's what's going on.

As she made her way into the building, she heard a familiar voice behind her. "Riley!" It wasn't Dana, but Monica running towards her. Looks like she had just pulled up as well.

"Riley just what the hell do you think you're doing?"

"I'm going to see if Dana's home. That's all."

"That's not a good idea. Wait here while I check it out." Monica unsnapped her sidearm.

"Whoa, whoa, Monica, if it's bad enough you're going in there, weapon drawn, I'm coming with you."

"That's ridiculous, just stay here, I'll be right back. I just want to check it out first." She started to walk away when Riley grabbed her, and put her up against the wall.

"God damn it Monica, I'm going in there with you. Before I was military, I was a cop. I can help you. I can be back up. Whatever reason you need, but know that I'm going in there. Now, you can either give me your backup that I know you have on you, or I'm taking this one, do you understand? I have to go." Riley's eyes were firm. Monica knew she wasn't bluffing, but there was a hint of pleading in her eyes as well. Monica knew it probably wasn't the best idea, but she also knew that if situations were reversed, she wouldn't be left behind either. She nodded and Riley released her. She unhooked her backup pistol from her right ankle and handed it to Riley. "Thank you Monica." Reyes nodded and they both headed up the stairwell.

Monica called over her shoulder before they exited onto the 4th floor. "You do know we're overreacting. A lot."

"I know." And with that they headed for Dana's door.

They placed themselves on either side of the doorframe and Monica knocked. Silence. So they knocked again. "Dana? If you're there, open up. It's important." Silence still. Riley reached in her pocket and got out her key and held it up for Monica to see. Monica nodded. As Riley positioned herself to unlock the door, Monica moved behind her to cover her. Riley pushed the door open and moved out of the way so Monica could go first. Riley was right behind her, and what she saw confirmed her worst fears.

Dana sat on the couch and a man Riley had never seen before was standing not 10 feet from her with a gun trained on her.

What happened next, happened fast. Monica was screaming at the man to lower his weapon, he was yelling the same to her. Dana and Riley locked eyes briefly and they both saw fear in each other's eyes. Not for their own life, but for the life of the other. A shot was fired. Make that two. Riley didn't know from what gun. Dana dove from the couch but screamed in pain. The man fell to his knees. Dana lay on the floor, not moving, and he grimaced in pain. Monica yelled again for him to drop his weapon that he still held limply by his side. The blood started to seep through his shirt. He just smiled and raised his gun. Monica squeezed the trigger, but there was only a deafening 'click.' Riley sprang into action. She took two giant steps towards Monica then leaped at her. She grabbed Monica and turned them both in their fall in order to put her body between Monica and him. There was another loud noise and Riley felt a searing pain in her shoulder. She fell in a heap on the floor and the world turned black.

27 hours later

Riley had been by her beside since the moment the doctor had tied off her last stitch. She'd almost knocked him over on her way out the door. Riley still wasn't sure exactly how everything had happened, but near as she could figure, Monica's gun jammed and she took a bullet meant for Reyes. She wasn't sure if Monica had used the gun in Riley's hand or she got hers to work. Either way, the bastard was dead. Riley had been lucky, the bullet had passed clean through. Dana hadn't been so lucky. The fact she had dove as he squeezed the trigger may have saved her life, but she still wasn't 100% in the clear. Instead of going into her chest, the bullet went into stomach. Dana had been out of surgery and under sedation for over 20 hours now. She was purposely kept asleep for several hours, but now they were just waiting for her to wake up.

The door to the hospital room opened. It was Monica carrying two cups of coffee.

"Anything yet?" The tall brunette had been there for both Dana and Riley this entire time. She was there when Riley came to, to inform her of everything.

Riley took the coffee and smiled. "Nope. Nothing yet."

Monica winked. "Won't be long now." She took a seat in the easy chair at the foot of Dana's bed. "You know, I owe you my life. Thank you."

Riley looked at her and nodded slightly. "It was nothing Monica. Nothing you wouldn't have done. Thank you for stopping him."

"Not before he shot both of you. I'm so sorry Riley." She covered her face and began to cry silently.

Riley set down her cup of coffee and crossed over to Monica, kneeling down beside her. She put her arms around her. "Monica, you did all you could. You couldn't shoot him without proper cause. I know that. I only hope my being there didn't make things worse. I just couldn't not go...I guess I shouldn't have."

"No. Riley. No. You saved my life. You didn't hurt anything. Things just went..."

"It's all right Monica. That was some crazy shit back there. I'm fine, you're fine, Dana will be fine, that's all that matters. It's ok Monica. It's ok." Monica collapsed in Riley's arms.

"If I'm interrupting you two, I could just go back to sleep..."

Monica and Riley both sat straight up and looked in shock at Dana whose eyes were groggily opening. She had the faintest hint of a smile on her face.

Riley shot to her bedside almost sliding to a halt. She took her hand and hovered over her in disbelief wanting desperately to kiss her but not wanting to hurt her in any way. Dana looked up at her, her eyes focusing in a little more. "Hey you." Riley knelt down beside her, brushing back her hair. "Hey. I've missed you. How you feelin?"

"Like I've been shot. In the stomach." She smiled. "How long have I've been out?"

"About 20 hours. Had me worried kid. Don't do that again."

"Yes ma'am." He brow furrowed and reached up and gently touched Riley's bloodstained uniform shirt. "What about you?"

"Aw, that's nothing babe. Just a scratch. I'm fine."

"Bullshit that's just a scratch." Monica went to Dana's other side and grabbed her hand. "Your girl here saved my life. Reflexes of a seasoned agent. I owe her a great deal."

Riley blushed. Dana cocked an eyebrow. "That true?" Riley turned an even darker shade of red, and smiled a crooked grin. "Not a word of it."

Monica squeezed Dana's hand. "Bullshit. I'll tell you the whole story in the office on Monday. I'm glad you're doing ok Dana. I'll see you soon." Monica winked at Riley and left the room.

Riley sat on the bed next to Dana. Dana sat herself more upright with a grimace. "So are you gonna kiss me good morning, or what?"

Months later

It was morning, on a weekend. Riley rolled over. Dana was lying in her side, facing away from her. God, she loved the color of her hair, just as she loved everything about her. Riley crossed this distance in the bed between the diminutive redhead, and herself. She wrapped her arm around her, and slipped her hand under Dana's t-shirt. She never liked the feel of material under her fingertips when she knew Dana's skin lie just beneath. She had to let her skin touch hers. Riley gently stroked Dana's stomach. She made sure it was firm enough not to tickle, but not so hard as to disturb her lover. Her fingertips ran across the scar of the wound she had received from that horrible day. It made Riley tear up still. What would she have done had she lost her? How would she have lived with herself?

Riley didn't go back to sleep that morning. Instead she wrapped Dana Scully in her arms, the woman whom she loved above all else, the woman whom she couldn't imagine herself being without. The woman whom she would do anything for. With each passing day, Riley's love grew, and with each passing day her relationship with Dana grew. They had been living together for a few months now. Riley wanted to take her from that apartment, and they had both wanted to be with each other as much as possible.

Riley's tour at the Pentagon was only two years. Decisions would have to be made soon. But already she knew what the answer would be. She wouldn't leave her Dana. Not now, not ever. Her time in the military was coming to a close, and her new life with an FBI agent was truly about to begin.
 

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to ocpwff