Category: M&S UST & a little something I call MulderTorture "Lite"
(do I write anything else??)
Rating: PG 13 for a couple of words.
Spoilers: Tiny, minor spoilers through season 5.

Summary: It's Scully's birthday and much to Mulder's chagrin, she chose
the restaurant.

Archive: Yes.

Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully belong to 10/13 productions and Chris
Carter. Since I have learned to play nice in the sandbox, I am only
borrowing them and promise to return them at the end of the story.
Honest. I promise. Believe me. Please, because I couldn't afford to be
sued on my salary. Jun, however, belongs to me. Now, if you're ever in
need of his services, you may borrow him, but in the words of the great
gizzie, just don't kill him off.

Introduction: This is a little stand alone piece that I came up with while
procrastinating successfully from doing my report cards. Also, an
effective way to avoid the writer's block I'm having while trying to write
the next story in the "Abah" series. (After report cards,I promise)

Thanks again to Vickie Moseley for being patient and checking this little
ditty over for me. Love ya, my friend!

Birthday Dinner
by Susan Proto

Part 1/1

"Scully," he whined ever so slightly, "are you going to tell me where
you're taking me or not?"

"Mulder, you said I get to choose the restaurant since it's my birthday,
right?" she replied.

"Yeah, but__," he began.

"__No buts, G-Man. It's my birthday and my choice and not another peep
out of you!" she admonished with a smile.

Scully, who got the rare opportunity to drive, (since she knew where she
was going while Mulder did not,) pulled the car over to the curb and
parked easily. "The Gods are smiling upon us, Mulder. Great parking

"We're here?" he asked uneasily. Mulder looked around to see if he could
spot the eatery.

"Yep, we're here. Let's go," she said as she eased herself out of the
driver's seat and crossed over to the sidewalk where Mulder extricated
himself from the Taurus. "C'mon Mulder," she urged as she latched on to
his arm to lead him to the restaurant.

They walked several yards and when Scully came to a stop. "Here we are,"
she announced. They stopped in front of a tiny store front, plainly
decorated with a small sign proclaiming the name of the restaurant.

"Hayama?" Mulder questioned. "I didn't know you liked Japanese food. I
love hibachi cooking, Scully! Aside from the fact it's usually a great
show, you know with the hibachi chef tossing the knives up in the air, and
making a flambe out of everything in sight, I can get steak and shrimp.
Hell, Scully, I even like those vegetables the chef cooks up on the grill!
Of course, I usually need a double order of everything, but__"

"__Umm, I don't think so," she interrupted with a wry smile.

"What." Mulder looked at his partner and realized that something was not

Scully looked at her partner and outwardly smiled, while on the inside she
was hysterically laughing. She knew Mulder's usual eating habits didn't
exactly mesh with tonight's planned cuisine, but it was _her_ birthday,
and it was _her_ choice, and who knew? *Maybe,* she thought to herself,
*he'll actually like the food, if he gives it half a chance. Then again,
this is Mulder.*

For a split second, Scully considered turning around, but she forged on
and remarked aloud, "Mulder, hibachi cooking is not the only style of
Japanese cuisine."

"Scully?" he asked warily. "What are you doing to me?"

"Oh Mulder, stop! You act as though I'm getting ready to poison you, for
crying out loud."

The two agents, partners and friends, entered the tiny, but immaculate
restaurant. There were less than a dozen small tables inside the dining
room; some meant for couples while others seated larger groups. Scully
led Mulder to none of these, but instead led him to the small counter with
the clear glass window. There were four chairs standing by the counter,
and Scully took her jacket off and draped it over the back of one.

"Good evening, Dana. It's so nice to see you tonight," said the young man
behind the counter.

"Hello Jun. It's great to be here, as usual," replied Scully. "Jun, this
is my partner, and best friend, Mulder. Jun, he's a newbie."

"Ahh, so we must break him in gently, Dana?" Jun asked.

"Well, we can start out gently, but I think, with his experience, we can
give him the crash course," she replied chuckling.

"Scully, talk to me," Mulder interjected. "Please tell me you're not
feeding me what I think you're feeding me."

"Mulder, Jun is one of the finest sushi chefs I've ever had the pleasure
of meeting. He also serves the freshest fish in Maryland, so stop pissin'
and moanin' before you've even had a taste," she reprimanded.

"But Scully, it's raw fish. I can't eat raw fish," Mulder whined.

"Excuse me, Mulder? I will make you some delicious sushi that has no raw
fish in it, okay? Please, sit. Relax. How about some saki, Dana?
Mulder?" Jun asked.

"We would love some saki. Since Mulder's treating me for my birthday, we
would like to buy you a saki too, Jun," Scully replied.

"Your birthday? Ahh, I am honored to partake in a glass of saki to toast
your birthday. I thank you, Dana, and you too, Mulder," Jun replied.

Jun called over one of the waiters and ordered three glasses of saki. He
then turned to his customers and asked Dana what she would like to begin

"Well, since we want to break the poor boy in slowly at first, how about a
couple of California rolls, and one shrimp tempura roll." Turning to
Mulder she remarked, "I __know__ you will love that one, Mulder. It's
tempura fried shrimp. It'll have a lower grease factor than you're used
to, but it should take care of your little cholesterol fix."

As they waited for the food, Mulder looked around the restaurant and
observed he and Scully were the only customers in the present. "Umm,
Scully, if this place is so good," he began in as discreet a whisper as
possible (which was barely possible as Jun was standing practically on top
of them behind the counter) how come no one else is here?"

"Well, it's usually very slow when the restaurant first opens on Thursday
nights, which is why I love coming here on Thursdays. I get Jun just
about all to myself. Later on it will get much more crowded and forget it
on the weekends. We'd have at least a two hour wait to get seated,
anywhere, much less the sushi bar.

"Mulder, believe me, Hayama has the best sushi in this area of Maryland,"
Scully said encouragingly.

"I thank you Dana, for those very kind words," Jun interjected, as he
placed a beautifully arranged platter of California roles before each of

"You're welcomed, Jun. They're well deserved. Look Mulder, isn't this
the loveliest presentation you've ever seen? Jun, you've outdone yourself
again," Dana complimented.

Sitting on the plate was the beautifully designed California roll.
"Mulder, this is a reverse roll, because the rice is on the outside.
Those little tan seeds are sesame seed, and the orange topping is fish .
Inside is nothing more exotic than imitation crab meat, avocado, cucumber,
and since Jun knows I like scallion, that's in there too.

"Now the pale orange mound of food is ginger. It's spicy but sweet too,
and Jun also knows I can make a meal of that all by itself," she said with
a childlike smile.

"What's this green stuff?" Mulder asked, still very unsure of the food
placed before him. Sure, it looked beautiful. Hell it looked like art,
but he sure as hell wouldn't consider eating the Mona Lisa, now would he?

"Ahh, that my dear Mulder, is wasabi. It's basically Japan's answer to
Cajun hot sauce. It's extremely hot, Mulder. If you use some, you should
only start out with a very small drop," Scully cautioned. However she
started the countdown to herself, because if there was one thing she knew
about her partner, it was he couldn't turn down a challenge. Even if it
wasn't directly made as a challenge, he couldn't turn it down. *Five,
four, three, two, one__,* she thought.

"Aw, c'mon Scully. I love hot and spicy foods. I'm the one who always
orders the Szechuan take out from the Chinese restaurant." And with that
he picked up his chop sticks and put a heaping amount on top of a piece of
the California role. He deftly picked it up, dipped it a little into the
soy sauce as he'd watched Scully do, and then popped the whole thing into
his mouth.

Scully meanwhile, placed her glass of water next to Mulder's and then
motioned to the waiter to bring a third glass. She watched Mulder as he
chewed the food and then began to turn a deep shade of red.

"Mulder?" Scully asked gently. "You okay?"

He nodded in the affirmative, but Scully knew better. Any second, she
knew he was going to cave in and grab for the water. Any second, as in

Mulder actually knocked over a glass in his desperate haste to reach for
one to soothe the fire now emanating from his throat, tongue, and palate.
"Ohmigod, Scully! Why_ didn't_ you _ warn_ me?!" he called out in
between gasps of air and gulps of water.

"Mulder, I _did_ warn you. You just _never_ listen to me," she replied
with a tiny bit of attitude. Scully refused to feel guilty for his
stubbornness. "Here's some more water," she said quietly. "Next time,
when I say a tiny bit, maybe you'll believe me."

"Yeah, well, right. I'll try it without. I think I have enough of this
wasabi stuff in my taste buds to last the rest of the evening and then
some," he said grudgingly. Mulder hated to be wrong, but he hated to be
proven wrong even more.

They continued on with their meal. Mulder ate the California roll and
stated it wasn't too bad. Next he wolfed down the shrimp tempura roll and
even ordered another. Next, Scully decided it was time to break him to
the finer aspects of sushi. Slowly.

"Jun, how about a teka maki roll for us to share?" she asked.

"Very good choice, Dana. I think Mulder will like that," replied their
expert chef.

"What's a teka maki roll?" Mulder asked suspiciously.

"It's a very simple roll. Be patient, okay?" she answered.

In just moments, Jun placed a beautiful tray with the teka maki roll
sliced in perfect sixths. Mulder looked at it. Actually, it was more
like he inspected it. Carefully. He saw the seaweed or nori, as Scully
informed him, was wrapped around rice and a dark, reddish substance. Not
as dark as liver, but Mulder shuddered at the thought just the same.

"C'mon, Mulder. Be brave. You liked the Tempura roll and the California
roll, right?" she cajoled.

"Yeah, but those were cooked, Scully. Somehow I don't think this one is,
is it?"

"Mulder, just try it, okay?"

He picked up one of the circles of rice and fish, dipped it in the soy
sauce (having decided to completely omit the wasabi for now) and popped it
into his mouth. He chewed, and though he was prepared to make a face, he
realized he didn't need to. He liked it.

"Hey, Scully, this isn't half bad. What is it?"

Jun took the question as his cue to educate Mulder on some of the finer
things in life. "This is made with tuna, Mulder. Now there's medium
tuna, which is what your teka maki roll is made from. There is also
something wonderful called toro. It is a fattier cut of tuna and it is
very, very good. It also tends to be expensive, and unfortunately, we do
not always have it on hand.

"We do not have any toro tonight, Mulder, but we do have some wonderful
yellow tail and salmon. I think you would like both of these types of
fish. Very mild. Maybe even some fluke," Jun concluded.

"Well, Jun, you haven't poisoned me yet, so why not?" Mulder acquiesced.

Scully smiled and ordered a piece of yellow tail sashimi and salmon
sashimi as well, while Jun prepared yellow tail and salmon sushi pieces
for Mulder.

"What's the difference between sushi and sashimi?" Mulder asked curiously.

"The rice, or lack thereof, actually. Sashimi is served without rice,"
Scully explained. "I'm getting full, but I love yellow tail and I
couldn't live without a piece of salmon. That, along with toro, is the
absolute best!"

Once again, Jun placed a beautifully arranged tray before each of them.
Mulder's had two pieces of sushi, one a lovely orange color, and the other
an off white, almost yellowish color piece of fish on a small mound of
rice. Scully's on the other hand, had two pieces of each kind of fish
arranged on some Japanese radish and greens.

Mulder ate his and proclaimed the yellow tail good, but the salmon
nirvana. "I think I'd like another one of those, please," he requested.

"Ah, I think Dana, we have a convert," laughed Jun. "Now, as my birthday
gift to you, I would like to serve you a beautiful piece of red clam.
Unfortunately, we do not have giant clam today, but the red clam is very,
very fresh."

"Thank you, Jun. I would be honored to accept your gift," replied Scully

Jun went through the door on the side of the bar and entered the kitchen.
He returned with a clam shell in his hands. He expertly opened the clam
shell and removed the tender meat from the inside of the clam shell.
Next, he formed a small mound of rice with his hands and then placed the
red clam meat on top of the rice.

He then wrapped a thin piece of nori around it, as if it were ribbon tied
around a present, and placed it on a tray. He put a small amount of
wasabi and ginger on the tray, as well as some greenery and radish for
color. As he placed it in front of Scully, Jun repeated his claim that it
was indeed very, very fresh.

"Oh yeah?" Mulder voiced as if he were playing the straight man to Jun's
comedic one, "and just how fresh is it?"

"Very. Watch." And with that, Jun picked up a chop stick and gently
nudged the fish that laid atop of the mound of rice.

It moved.

On its own.

It actually wriggled.

"Scully? You're not honestly going to eat that thing, are you?" Mulder
asked in a pinched voice.

"Well, of course I am, Mulder. Why would I not?" she asked, but she knew
full well what his objections were.

"Why not? Scully, for crying out loud, it's alive!" he cried out.

"Well, just barely. Mulder, I've had giant clam and red clam before, and
it's a delicious delicacy," claimed Scully.

"Now, Mulder," Jun placated. "Do not let our friend Dana here fool you.
The first time I served clam to her, she stared at it for a full fifteen
minutes before she would even consider picking it up. When she finally
did eat it, her eyes were closed tight! But she did proclaim it
delicious, and has had it many times since, with no live little clams
taking over her body."

"You know, Mulder, for someone who has faced down liver eating mutants,
living and breathing flukemen, and has even driven a stake into the heart
of a so-called vampire, you are nothing but a queasy, chicken shit,
amateur! Now watch a pro at work," Scully commanded.

"A pro, Scully? Are you trying to turn me on, because if you are, you are
succeeding," Mulder teased. Scully smiled at him and then moved to attack
her clam.

Since the clam was a rather decent size, Scully bit off half of the clam
and held the other half in her chop sticks. She chewed with vigor, and
pronounced it to be superb. "So, Mulder, feel like going all the way
tonight?" she teased right back.

"Oh Scully, you are trying to turn me on__!" Mulder retorted, but as soon
as his mouth opened wide enough, Scully shoved the other piece of clam
into his mouth.

"Wha' ??" Mulder choked.

"C'mon Mulder, be a big boy and chew it up and swallow!" Scully ordered
while unsuccessfully stifling a cascade of giggles.

Mulder, on the other hand, was beginning to turn several shades of the
rainbow. First red, then white, then a lovely tinge of green.

Jun saw the other man's distress and pointed immediately toward the rest
rooms. Mulder jumped out of his seat and ran toward them. Scully looked
at Jun and immediately adopted the look of a guilty child who got caught
by the teacher after teasing her friend unmercifully.

"Oh no. Why did I do that?" she asked quietly aloud.

"Now Dana, you didn't know he would react like that," Jun responded.

"But I should have, Jun. I should have," Dana answered.

Meanwhile, Mulder dashed into the men's room and promptly puked up the
entire contents of his just eaten sushi dinner. He hugged the bowl and
tried valiantly to keep the vomit in the bowl and off of him.

After several minutes passed, and Mulder was reduced to merely dry
heaving, he heard a knock on the door. "Mulder, are you okay?" he heard
Scully ask.

"I'm fine, Scully. Just give me a couple of minutes."

"Mulder, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have shoved the clam__," Scully tried to
apologize, but at the mere mention of the clam, Mulder began vomiting

"Mulder, I'm coming in," she announced in full doctor mode.

"I'm _ okay_ Scully_ I _ just_ need _ to _ catch _ my _ breath _, he
gasped in between heaving. At which point he began throwing up again.

Scully leaned over and grasped his forehead in an attempt to provide
support. She knew he would develop a killer of a headache as a result of
this little episode, so Scully wanted to do whatever was possible to
minimize the pain before it began.

"Oh Mulder, I am so sorry. I'm so, so sorry," she lamented for the next
few minutes.

When Mulder finally came up for air, he looked at Scully through very
blood shot eyes. She noted he broke a few blood vessels in his left eye
from the strain of the vomiting.

"How are you?" she asked gently.

"Okay, I think."

"Still nauseous?" she asked concerned.

"I think I'll live."

"Mulder, I really am sorry."

"I know. It's just that I was doing so well in there. I mean, I was
actually enjoying the stuff, Scully, and then you, you___," he stammered.

"__didn't think worth a damn," she said and completed his thought. "I
didn't think about you, Mulder. All I thought was about me and teasing
you and how much fun I was having__," she berated herself.

"__fun? You were having fun?" he asked tentatively.

"What? Well, of course I was having fun, Mulder," she replied

"Guess I went and ruined it then, didn't I?" he replied sadly.

"Ruined it? You think you ruined it? Mulder, why would you think that?"
she asked.

"Well Scully, would you kindly look around you. This is not exactly the
decor one would expect to be sitting in while celebrating one's birthday!"
Mulder replied.

She looked around the small bathroom, complete with sink, toilet, and
men's urinal and could only think that, since this was Mulder she was
with, and what with his crazy health history, somehow it was the most
appropriate place for them to be.

"Oh Mulder, the only reason we're hanging out in the bathroom together is
because I didn't listen to you. But now it's time to get out of here and
continue this party. My dinner is not over until I have some green tea
ice cream, and I bet your throat would find it pretty soothing at the
moment too."

She stood up and held out her hand. He grasped it, and allowed her to
pull him up. He then gingerly walked over to the sink and rinsed off his
face, while also trying desperately to rinse out his mouth.

"Here," she said, as she handed him a tiny, travel size tube of

"You're still coming on to me, right, Scully?"

"You'll just have to stick around with me long enough to find out,

His lips curved up into his most beautiful smile in response. Then,
he uncapped the tube and squeezed a small amount of toothpaste onto his
finger. He rubbed it around his teeth and gums, as then even placed a
little more onto his tongue. Next, he cupped some water into his hands
and brought it up to his mouth in order to better rinse the toothpaste and
rancid taste out of his mouth.

Mulder handed the toothpaste tube back to his partner. He looked at her
thoughtfully as she replaced it in her purse. *So, she wants me to stick
around, does she? Forever. She's got me forever,* he thought mutely to

"C'mon Scully, let's see if you can turn me on to green tea ice cream."

"Why, Fox Mulder! Are you trying to come on to me?" she asked coyly.

"Let's stick around one another for a long time and find out, okay?" he

"Yeah, Mulder. Let's do that." And she grasped his arm and led him back
to the sushi bar for some green tea ice cream.

And when they got back to her place?

They had some desert.

End of 1/1

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