SUMMARY: You can't remember the last time you had a proper vacation.
WORD COUNT: 1,845
DATE POSTED: July 2008
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me and no copyright infringement is intended on my part.
NOTE: Thanks so much to icedteainthebag for amazing beta and to aloysiavirgata for letting me run a few thoughts by her.
You can't remember the last time you had a proper vacation. It's difficult to even think back that far.
Once you joined the Bureau, your time was never your own, especially after you were assigned to the X-Files. You and Mulder were constantly on the road, traveling to every nook and cranny of this great nation. Little fun and even less relaxation was had on those trips.
Sure, sometimes you took a few days off to visit your family on the holidays, but that was time spent listening to your mother nagging you to "spruce yourself up, let yourself shine and get out there!" and watching your sister-in-law breed. Between being abducted any number of times, the tumor in your nasal cavity and being shot, there wasn't much time for lolling on beaches. You did go to Antarctica once and even Ivory Coast, where there was a beach but nary a pina colada in sight. And there was your weekend in Maine, when you attempted to get away from it all. Look how that turned out.
You've never gone on a real vacation with Mulder. The two of you had a couple of nights at the Beverly Ernesto Hotel and that was lovely, Bureau credit card and all, but much too short. There was plenty of travel (and cheap motels) during that terrifying year on the run, but you wouldn't call that a holiday of any sort.
Let's face it, you're exhausted. In your late thirties, you started all over again as a lowly pediatric resident. On-call rotations, overnight shifts, cramming new knowledge into your head while wolfing down a Lean Cuisine in the residents' lounge. Vacation to you was getting a single day off to spend at home with Mulder--cooking spaghetti, watching a DVD, taking a long bath, attempting to put in a garden.
There's a lot to celebrate now. Christian is stable and much improved. While he'll never regain all of his cognitive abilities, he's well enough to go home and start physical and occupational therapy. And Mulder is a free man. The presidential pardon is official. He can now fully emerge from his cluttered lair and attempt to resume some sort of normal life again.
The last six years have been a challenge, all right. Hell, the last fifteen have been one. But you've both made it.
It's high time for a vacation.
It's time to plan.
Where to go? Anywhere outside of the United States is out of the question for the time being. Mulder's passport expired years ago and you don't want deal with untangling the immense amount of red tape involved in issuing a passport to a former fugitive. It's bad enough that you have to ask Skinner to call in some favors to expedite the removal of Mulder's name from the watch lists.
San Francisco? Too chilly this time of year. Florida? No, you're not retired or on spring break. Arizona? Probably too much golf there. You want to smell like sunscreen and dig your toes in wet sand.
Yes, that's the ticket. Clear blue ocean and palm trees. Gentle breezes. Fragrant orchid leis.
You Google Hawaii and find a small, intimate resort on Kauai. Thatched-roof bungalows right on the water, beachside massages and 400 thread count Frette sheets.
2. Vacation time.
Since you've never taken more than a handful of days off at Our Lady of Sorrows, this is relatively easy to arrange. Dr. Palmer, the pediatrics attending, actually seems relieved. She's probably glad to get you out of her hair for a while. "You need it," she says. "Get a tan, get laid."
You fight the desire to politely inform her, "I get laid plenty, thank you."
Being a woman is hard work. And expensive. Haircut, highlights, manicure, pedicure. A facial and a salt glow body scrub. Eyebrow, leg and (eek!) bikini waxing. After a week of appointments during your lunch hour, you're wiped out.
Mulder, on the other hand, trims his hair in the bathroom with your cuticle scissors and he's good to go. No fair.
4. Pack razors and shaving cream for Mulder.
The beard will not make a return appearance.
You have nothing to wear for the tropics. Dana Scully is not tropical. She wears tidy suits from Ann Taylor and lab coats. Colors are solid and muted--a limited spectrum of navys, blacks, grays, and creams.
You have a slight panic attack at Nordstrom. The riot of colors and fabrics in the resort department gives you a headache and confuses the hell out of you. Does hot pink work with strawberry blonde hair? Are you too old, at forty-three, for miniskirts? You shut your eyes and wish, for one ridiculous moment, that you'd booked two weeks at a nudist colony. Finally, a nice saleswoman named Elise takes you in hand and helps you pick out some sundresses. They feature actual colors and patterns. Sexy, even. This is new.
Shoes are much easier. You've always had a deep, dark addiction to shoes. Buying sandals is a rare treat, though. Hello toes, peeking out from a delicious pair of bronze Kate Spade slides.
The swimwear department is somewhat of a horror. It's time to face facts and admit that you're no longer a young, hard-bodied thing. True, you work out three times a week and you're still slender, but gravity has taken its toll.
You're not sure if you can get away with a bikini. You have a bullet scar on your belly and stretch marks from pregnancy. Bikinis are out. Maybe it's time for one of those suits with a little skirt to hide the cellulite.
But then you imagine the look on Mulder's face if he were to see you in a bikini and you think, fuck it. Bikinis are in. Three of them--forest green, black and chocolate brown. God invented Lycra and underwire for a reason and swimsuit wraps can cover a multitude of sins.
This is a no-brainer. You slap down your Visa card at Victoria's Secret and never look back.
7. Reading materials:
The Journal of the American Medical Association
The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Probably something trashy you wouldn't dare to read at home.
8. Reading materials for Mulder:
What Color Is Your Parachute?
The Age Advantage: How to Make the Most of Your Mid-Life Career Transition
It's too bad there's not a book titled How to Explain a Six-Year Resume Gap Because You Were Framed for the Murder of a Supersoldier and Sentenced to Death by a Military Tribunal and Forced to Go on the Lam.
9. Get Cipro script.
If you managed to contract a urinary tract infection after only two days in Beverly Hills with Mulder, just imagine the possibilities after two weeks in Hawaii. Better safe than sorry.
10. Buy condoms.
And lots of them.
One of these days, someone's going to have to get something surgically snipped. Your vote is for Mulder. Until then, you're not taking any chances, as minute as they may be. A box of 48 Trojan Her Pleasure condoms should do nicely.
If you're really honest with yourself, you'll admit that things have slowed down somewhat. You're not quite ready to sing "The Thrill is Gone," but after six years of semi-fugitive domestic bliss, paired with your truly insane work schedule, the two of you are no longer like rabid bunny rabbits. Maybe once a week, on your day off. Comfy, sweet sex, always in bed, Mulder almost always on top. Satisfying? Sure. Exciting? Not so much. At least, not all the time.
You're ready to dive back into it, to revel in the taste and smell of Mulder, to indulge in one of the marathons that once kept you both agreeably occupied during that all too short and blissful period so many years ago.
Moonlight on a deserted beach, the waves lapping at your toes as he thrusts into you. A quickie on clean resort sheets, the morning birds singing. Wandering fingers in the Jacuzzi on your bungalow's terrace. His hands all over you, branding marks into your soft flesh. Re-discovering what makes Mulder growl, that special touch or flick of the tongue that make his eyes roll back in his head.
Which reminds you--
11. Pack Pocket Rocket and extra batteries.
12. Swim trunks for Mulder.
He is NOT going to bring the red Speedo. The horror.
As consolation, you buy him several of the loudest Hawaiian shirts you can find.
13. The element of surprise.
It's difficult to be sneaky around Mulder. First of all, he was an FBI agent and profiler for years. Second, he's almost always hanging around the house.
You're forced to order him out of the house for the afternoon to play basketball at the YMCA. He whines a little because it's freezing cold outside and he says he has a headache. You shove him out the door all the same, saying, "I'll have to shoot you if you come home before 6:00. I need some private time."
The look in your eyes tells him that arguing would be a big mistake.
When he returns, you have "Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho on the stereo. You're wearing the black bikini and a red silk wrap, a plastic lei around your neck. You drape one around Mulder's neck and hand him a Mai Tai garnished with pineapple and a pink umbrella.
He looks at you as if you've finally lost your mind.
"I'm almost afraid to ask what this is all about," he says.
You kiss him on the cheek and hand him a wrapped package. He gleefully tears open the paper to find a pair of red swim trunks.
"Is this a not-so-subtle way of telling me I need to exercise more?" Mulder asks.
You laugh because, for once, you've managed to surprise him. "Look inside," you say.
Pinned to the inside of the trunks is an envelope. He opens it and his eyes widen to see an e-ticket for two round trips to Kauai and a confirmation of your reservation for a two-week stay at the Hanalei Island Resort.
"I can't believe it," he says, the smile dawning on his face.
"We've never gone on vacation together."
"It's about damn time, Scully," he says.
14. A toast.
You clink your Mai Tai glass against his because you're finally going on vacation. You'll drink to that.
Mai Tai Recipe (makes two servings)
2 oz (4 tablespoons) dark rum
2 oz (4 tablespoons) amber rum
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 oz (2 tablespoons) Cointreau or triple sec
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons orgeat syrup or 2 drops pure almond extract
2 teaspoons superfine granulated sugar
Dash of grenadine
Garnish: pineapple slices and pink umbrellas.
Preparation: Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 2 cups ice cubes, then strain into 2 glasses filled with ice cubes. Drink with a loved one, preferably Mulder.