Title: The Broken Glass
Summary: A Halloween romance, or is it?
The antique shop was tucked away in a side street, sandwiched between a bakery and a car showroom. Special Agent Dana Scully discovered it by accident. She had been looking for a costume hire shop to try and find something to wear to the Annual FBI Halloween Ball. Why had she agreed to go to the stupid thing? She hated parties. Lots of people getting drunk and doing things they'd regret when they were sober.
There was one reason and one reason only why she'd agreed to go. Mulder. He'd asked her casually if she was thinking of going. When she'd said no, he gave her his little boy lost look, his hazel eyes boring into her soul. She could never refuse him anything when he gave her that look. It surprised her that he actually wanted to go. It was unusual for Mulder to want to do anything which could be construed as the bureau mainstream and so she had reluctantly agreed to go with him.
They'd had dates before, and it was getting difficult to keep their relationship secret. Was this Mulder's way of telling her that he didn't want it to be a secret anymore?
She closed her eyes, imagining Mulder's lips pressing down on her own, so soft and forceful at the same time. "Ow!" a cramp in her leg soon put a stop to that little daydream. She was daydreaming a lot more now, and not just about his kisses. She felt the heat in her face at the memories and smiled to herself.
As she massaged the calf of her leg, something glinted in the shop window.
She walked over to take a closer look. There, lying on a dark blue satin cushion lay a crystal champagne flute. It was broken. The broken piece lay next to it, it was in the shape of a heart. A very jagged shaped heart, but a heart all the same. Scully couldn't stop staring at it. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
Without meaning to, she found herself pushing the door of the shop open and going up to the glass top counter. Without her knowledge or consent, her finger pushed the buzzer to summon someone from the depths of the storeroom.
A tall, lanky man emerged, his piercing blue eyes seeming to see into her very soul. It felt like a dream until he spoke.
"Good afternoon," his voice had the trace of some foreign accent, but one she couldn't place.
"Hello. I was interested in the glass in the window."
"The broken one?" he arched an eyebrow at her.
"You do not want that. It is cursed."
"Cursed?" Scully stifled a laugh. She wished Mulder was with her. He would love this! A cursed champagne glass!
"Mock if you will," said the man. "But it will still be true."
"What's the origin of the curse?" asked Scully, genuinely interested.
"The glass is over one hundred years old. It was an engagement present from a man called Nathaniel Roberts to his intended, Dolores. Do you know what Dolores means?" he asked her.
"Sorrow, isn't it?"
"Yes. The night before they were due to wed, Dolores took very ill. No cause or cure could be found for her strange illness. She died on what would have been their wedding day. In a fit of grief, Nathaniel threw the glass across her bedroom, where it broke in the shape of a heart. He cursed whoever would have the glass after him, would also have a broken heart, just like him. Not one person who has ever owned the glass has ever been happy in love."
"Even you?" asked Scully.
"Yes. Even me. I would recommend that you go home and think about your purchase. If you still wish to buy the glass in a few days, I will be here."
"There's no way the curse can be lifted?" asked Scully, interested, if not entirely convinced that the story was true.
"There is one way, but it is very unlikely."
"What is it?"
"The curse may be lifted if the glass can be fixed. Many have tried and failed. It can only be mended by someone who has already lost someone dear to them. Someone who already has a broken heart."
"That's a sad story," sighed Scully.
"Sad and true," said the man pointedly.
"Okay, I'll think about it, like you said."
Scully hurried back to the office, eager to tell Mulder all about it.
Scully went back to the shop the very next day, unable to sleep for thinking about the glass. She decided she would buy the glass, cursed or not. It was a nice story, but she didn't believe in curses. Nothing would happen if she didn't believe.
She stopped short, her mouth open in an "O" of surprise. The antique shop wasn't there. In it's place was a record and CD store, full of noise and rowdy customers. It was impossible. The antique shop looked as though it had been there for years.
How could it disappear overnight, with this in its place?
Scully went in and asked for the manager.
"I'm the manager," said the boy she spoke to. He had spiked purple hair and looked about twelve years old.
"I was wondering what happened to the antique shop that was here? I went there yesterday."
"I didn't see you. I would've recognised a pretty lady like you," he leered at her and she tried not to shudder. She suddenly had a nasty suspicion.
"How - how long have you worked here?"
"Two years, but the shop's been here ten. It's my Dad's."
"Sorry, my mistake."
Scully rushed outside into the fresh air. It was frosty and as she took some deep breaths, her throat began to ache. Her legs felt rubbery and she felt as though she might faint. It couldn't be, could it?
<You don't believe in ghosts>
<That doesn't mean they don't exist>
How else to explain it? Everything else was the same. It was the same street, the same shops on either side, but the antique shop just wasn't there. There was no tall man and no broken glass.
Scully paced up and down in her apartment waiting for Mulder to show. He was over an hour late already. She smoothed down a non-existent crease in her costume and glanced in the mirror. Would he like it? She was going as "Sleeping Beauty". Her costume consisted of a floor length velvet gown in forest green. It had wide sleeves which were trimmed in gold braid as was the neck-line. A gold sash was draped around her hips and a small gold circlet holding a white veil in place completed the outfit.
Finally the doorbell rang and she went to answer it. Mulder stood there in a pair of baggy black trousers, a puffed sleeve white shirt, the top buttons undone so she could see a bit of his chest hair. Over his left eye he wore a black patch. A red and white spotted bandanna was around his forehead.
"A pirate, Mulder?" asked Scully, smiling.
"A princess, Scully?" he returned the smile.
"Actually, it's supposed to be "Sleeping Beauty".
"But you're not asleep."
"No, but an evening in your company might remedy that!" She enjoyed teasing him, just to see the look of surprise on his face when she did.
"I'll only allow you to fall asleep on one condition," he said seriously.
"Oh? What's that?"
"That I get to kiss you awake."
"I think that might be arranged," she said as they walked to the car, trying to hide her elation. "Why are you late anyway?"
"I'm not. I'm early," Mulder looked at his watch and then shook it. "Damn! It's stopped. Sorry, Scully. I hope you didn't think I was going to stand you up."
"Never mind," said Scully. "If we're late, it'll give them something to talk about. What could we have been doing for an hour or so?" she gave him one of her most dazzling smiles and was astonished to see him blush.
The party was in full swing by the time they arrived. The place was decorated with pumpkins, witches and skeletons. Mulder spied an empty table and escorted her to a chair. They watched people dancing, Scully tapping her foot along to the music, but Mulder just looked down at the floor.
Mulder coughed, looked at her, and then down at his shoes. What was the matter with him tonight? He was acting as nervous as a teenager on a first date. It wasn't as if this was even *their* first date. Maybe he didn't want the whole of the bureau to know that they had fianlly gotten their act together?
Scully didn't think it would come as a surprise to anyone.
Mulder coughed, looked at her, then looked down at his shoes again.
"Er, Scully, would you like to dance?" he stood up and offered her his hand.
"I thought you'd never ask," she bounced up and took his hand, almost dragging him onto the dance floor. After a while a slow song came on and Mulder held her very lightly, as though he didn't know where to put his hands.
"You can hold me tighter than that, Mulder. I won't break," she whispered.
Mulder pulled her close rather abruptly, it took her breath away.
"Like this?" he looked down into her eyes. There wasn't even a gap of air between them.
"Yes," sighed Scully and leaned her head on his chest, closing her eyes. She just followed Mulder's body and revelled in the sensation of being so close to him. Heaven couldn't be much better than this. Suddenly the music stopped and they pulled apart awkwardly. Mulder looked at the floor again, hopping from one foot to the other.
Someone was speaking from the makeshift stage. They both turned their heads to look.
"And now ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for!" The crowd cheered and Scully reached out for Mulder's hand. He was acting so strangely tonight, what was up with him? Okay, so maybe he was nervous, it was the first time they'd actually been out together in front of their colleagues, but it wasn't the first time they'd been out.
"The winners of the costume competition are the pirate and the princess. Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully! Come up and claim your prize!"
Scully felt all eyes in the room on them as they made their way onto the stage. The prize was for a romantic dinner for two, at one of the most expensive restaurants in town. Mulder stared at the envelope, with a kind of subdued awe.
"I've never won anything before," he said quietly. People came up to congratulate them, shaking hands, slapping them on the back. Where were all the 'spooky' jokes now?
"Do you feel like some fresh air, Scully? It's getting a bit hot in here."
"Sure," Scully linked her arm through his and followed him to the terrace. A few benches were occupied with couples kissing. They walked further away, not wanting to intrude on anyone's privacy.
"Did I tell you how beautiful you look in that dress?"
"No, you haven't actually. Did I say how sexy you look in that pirate outfit? Are you going to ravish me?" she asked, laughing.
"Don't say anything."
"But Mulder -"
"Ssh, no words. Not tonight."
Mulder lifted her up and stood her on the low wall encircling the terrace, so that they were almost the same height. Mulder put his arms around her waist and pulled her close to him, so that their lips were only inches apart. She closed her eyes as she felt that first brush of his lips, so soft that she wanted to sink into them. It was a long, deep kiss, one she didn't want to end. She was falling, falling, and suddenly Mulder was there to catch her and scooped her up in his arms. It was though she weighed nothing.
"Mulder! Put me down!" she giggled at him.
"Not until you answer a question correctly," he kissed her forehead.
"What question?" But in her heart she knew. She'd always known.
"Will you marry me?"
"Yes! Now put me down!" He obliged, but he still held her around the waist, as if afraid she might run away or be nothing more than a figment of his vivid imagination. She understood this need of his. It was one she shared. Sometimes only the bad times felt real, were the good things only a dream?
"Wait here, Scully, I'll be right back," he kissed her briefly, too briefly in Scully's opinion, and dashed off towards the car. He seemed to be gone an eternity. Now that they'd finally agreed to marriage, she didn't want to let him go for a second.
He came bounding back, a big grin on his face, like a child who just got exactly what they wanted from Santa. She joped he would always look at her that way, with such unabashed joy.
She felt tears prick her eyes. She loved him, she was happy, so why was she crying big silly tears? Sometimes she loved him so much, it hurt.
"Hey, what's wrong?" he asked concerned, tracing the tracks of her tears with a delicate touch of his fingers.
"Nothing. I can't believe how happy you've made me!" she sobbed at him and buried her face in his chest until the tears ceased flowing.
Mulder handed her a blue box, tied with a white ribbon.
"Open it!" he urged, more excited than she was. She didn't need presents to know how much he loved her. It was there in his eyes for the world to see.
"It's instead of an engagement ring, but we can get you one if you want. I just thought this was more appropriate."
Scully opened the box and felt the ground rushing up to meet her. It couldn't be, it couldn't.
"I don't understand," said Scully weakly. She felt as though she might be sick.
There on a velvet cushion, lay the champagne glass from the shop which didn't exist. And it was no longer broken.
"I bought it for you. I knew how much you liked it. It was easy to fix."
"When did you buy it?" Scully tried not to sound too hysterical.
"Mulder, I've been back to that shop. It doesn't exist. It's now a record store."
"But I bought it this afternoon. The man was very helpful, he said you would like it. Come on, I'll show you," Mulder grabbed her hand and they walked all the way to the store. Scully's stomach was in knots. She didn't want to go there.
"There!" said Mulder triumphantly, pointing to the darkened windows.
"Mulder look. Look at the sign," said Scully.
He looked up. They could both see the neon sign blinking out its message, 'CREATIVE SOUNDS'.
Mulder fell to his knees on the ground.
"But - but that means..."
"Yes, Mulder. I think we saw a ghost. Maybe we've just become an X-File!" She laughed to try and lighten the mood, but Mulder just stared at her, or rather beyond her.
Scully turned around slowly, cursing the fact that she didn't have her gun. There wasn't anywhere to put it in these silly costumes.
There were two figures in the shadows behind her, a tall man and a short woman. Mulder and Scully shivered at the same time, briefly aware of another consciousness, and then there was nothing.
"It is over, Dolores," said Mulder. "The curse is broken. Now we can be together again."
"Do you think they know?" asked Scully.
"How can they? They are but vessels. But such a long wait for the right two! Come, my beloved, we must find shelter," said Mulder.
"I love you, Nathaniel," said Scully.
"And I you, Dolores," said Mulder.
Feedback very much appreciated!
check out my X-Files fanficiton at http://homepages.which.net/~annette.gisby/index.htm