10 Reasons & Starry Night by Blackwood

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10 Reasons & Starry Night by Blackwood

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TEN REASONS by Blackwood


From: Compass420 <>

Date: 31 May 1999 04:43:14 GMT

Subject: Repost! Ten Reasons 1/3 by Blackwood

TITLE: Ten Reasons

AUTHOR: Blackwood


ARCHIVE: Anywhere, with these headers attached; just let me know

CATEGORY: Story; post ep “One Son” and “Arcadia”

KEYWORDS: Mulder/Scully UST

RATING: R for some sexual imagery

SPOILERS: A scattering through US Seasons 1-6 and FTF

SUMMARY: On a late night flight home, Scully tries to convince herself that a platonic relationship is just fine. Mulder has other ideas.

DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to 1013 Productions and Chris Carter. I earn nothing but personal pleasure from doing this. No infringement intended.

AUTHOR’S NOTES: Thanks to Suzanne, a writer’s guardian angel. You really are one of the nicest people out there.


TEN REASONS by Blackwood


The flight from Denver was interminable. Dana Scully stared out of the tiny window to her right and shifted uncomfortably. They had spent an extra day at the San Diego field office, finishing up paperwork before heading to the airport in the evening. Their original flight had developed engine trouble early on, forcing a hasty descent to the nearest airport and a mad scramble to find an alternative return route. She hated flying and their unscheduled landing had left her emotionally ragged.

The last minute commuter flight Mulder had managed to get them onto held few amenities, but it would get them home by morning. A “redeye” back to D.C., it was populated with busy people leading busy lives: Type A’s who just couldn’t wait until morning to meet their agendas. Laptops were everywhere and Scully suspected that a tally of cell phones would render a high yield. Her own computer sat perched on the tiny tray table in front of her, open to a random file. The blank white screen spoke of her lassitude and the cursor blinked lazily back at her, daring her to begin. She was dog tired, but unable to rest.

Yawning, she arched her back, stretching the cramped muscles there with a small groan before leaning back against the wall of the narrow plane. It was an older craft with a single aisle separating two rows of double seats. Of course, Mulder had insisted on sitting beside her, in spite of the fact that the plane was relatively empty. She scanned the cabin routinely before allowing her gaze to settle upon her lanky partner slouched in the seat beside her, arms crossed over his chest, legs sprawled out into the aisle, already asleep. For someone who claimed insomnia as a personal virtue, Mulder never seemed to have a problem sleeping on a plane. She wondered what his Oxford-trained mind would say about the psychological significance of that anomaly. Honestly, the man could eat anything, sleep anywhere and never miss a beat; she mused, studying his profile from half-lidded eyes. His chestnut locks were slightly tousled and the shadow of new beard was showing on his angular, handsome face. She watched the slow rise and fall of his chest for awhile, then allowed her eyes a long, slow perusal of his form. It was a luxury she rarely permitted herself.

He was wearing her favorite suit, a dark blue worsted that accentuated his height and slim build. The old saying “clothing makes the man” could easily be “Mulder makes the clothing.” He carried himself with easy grace and made everything look good, whether it was an expensive Armani or an old T-shirt and jeans. The image of a scruffy Mulder sprang to mind, making her smile. She always acknowledged his good looks, but rarely permitted them to register on her in any significant way. Not while they were working. It would be altogether too distracting. And Special Agent Dana Scully did not tolerate distraction when it came to work.

She had one cardinal rule: nothing interfered with the job at hand. Personal feelings, she had learned early on in her academy training, had a way of turning one’s attention from what needed to be done. That rule held twice as true for women at the Bureau as it did for the men; a necessary code of behavior that allowed her to operate effectively within the male-dominated construct of the FBI. Which is why she carefully kept her own feelings safely tucked away, especially when it came to her partner. Growing up in a military family, she had developed an immutable selfdiscipline that had saved them many times over in the field, as well as provided her safe refuge from the emotions that seethed just under the surface between herself and the man who slept beside her. Still, this last case had tested her limits sorely.

Just what had Skinner been thinking? She wondered at her A.D.‘s mindset when he had asked them to go undercover, posing as a married couple, in order to infiltrate The Falls at Arcadia, a deluxe planned community that seemed to be hiding more than its fair share of secrets. She would have much preferred pursuing the investigation outright. Things between she and Mulder were still somewhat strained. It had only been a few weeks since their last contact with Cassandra Spender, along with her son and Diana Fowley. She was still smarting from the argument she and Mulder had exchanged at the Gunmen’s lab about Diana’s motives. How could he not see her duplicity? After their reassignment to the X-Files, they had mended some fences and tacitly agreed to disagree, but she asked the boys to continue their mining expedition on Diana’s activities overseas.

It was at that point that Skinner brought them into his office with their California assignment. He had worn an unreadable look as he outlined the case to them. Undercover work? Mulder’s interest had been clearly piqued and his purposeful glance as they sat in Skinner’s office warned what lay ahead.

Scully knew she was in for a challenge, albeit a manageable one. After nearly six years, she had turned sublimation into a fine art.

Yes, she had held her emotions in check very well these last few days, but Mulder could be downright persistent when seeking her attention. Not that she minded much. She was accustomed to fielding his innuendo with aplomb, but he had really overdone it this time. Their stay at Arcadia had placed them in close proximity without their usual barriers in place, which is to say: standard issue wardrobe, complete with matching Sig Sauers; separate but equal motel rooms; and no need to pretend they were anything but the highly capable federal agents they were. No, this time they were posing as civilians, sans weapons, sharing a comfortable house and pretending to be married. Mulder seemed to be having fun. He had kept up a steady stream of suggestive remarks, as well as having taken every opportunity to close the gap in their personal space, touching her time and time again.

It had taken every ounce of her professional will to maintain her composure and keep him focused. She knew he was bored with their first assignment back on the X-Files and so he amused himself by pestering her. She had parried with her best efforts, even a deliberate attempt at over-familiarity. It only seemed to encourage him. And in spite of his flippant manner when he had invited her to join him on their supposed communal bed, she knew better than to think he wasn’t half-serious. Make that totally serious. Just what would he have done if she had decided to take him up on his very attractive offer? No, she really couldn’t think about that right how. Maybe not ever. Things between she and Mulder were complicated, at best, and after years of steering clear of physical intimacy, starting now would require more energy than she honestly thought she could manage. And that wasn’t all.

There were many reasons why she and Mulder would and probably should keep their relationship strictly platonic. Honestly, there were. She could feel her mind forming the beginnings of a counterargument she did not want to hear. If I put it down in black and white, she thought, it will be clearer. With that, she turned to her laptop and opened a folder in the directory containing her personal journal. Leaning over to her partner, she softly called his name. He stirred slightly, but did not waken. Convinced of his unconscious state, she began typing in an even rhythm, allowing herself to relax and settle into her thoughts as she worked—



… March 1

Why Making Love With Mulder Is Not A Good Idea

1. The FBI has rules about these things.

Actually they don’t, not between two consenting adults at any rate. It would be easier if they did. If there really were an ironclad non-fraternization clause in the Bureau’s Big Book of Rules, I wouldn’t have to be the one to always put on the brakes every time Mulder insinuates himself into my personal space.

He’s been doing it for years. At first, he used it to keep me off guard as he figured out if he could trust me. Later, it became his way of staying connected, as if touching me created some sort of psychic bond he could draw upon at will. I wonder if he realizes the havoc he wreaks on my senses every time he wakes me with a touch of his hand on my cheek after I’ve fallen asleep in the car; or pushes a stray lock of my hair back into place or guides me through a doorway with his hand against my back.

That’s the easy stuff, by the way. What really gets to me are his eyes, especially when he turns them on me full of the desire and love he thinks he is hiding from me. With rules to confine me, I could ignore the meaningful glances he casts to me in a silent language that years of teamwork have honed to a fine degree. I could dismiss the way they soften when he is teasing or widen when he thinks I am in danger. Yes, I see it. I feel it. I want it.

I’d be stone if I were immune to Mulder’s intensity.

Then there’s the voice; an incongruous blend of gravel and velvet that caresses my name and speaks low into my ear words no one else hears. The topic can be a voodoo death curse or statistics on alien abductions; the subliminal message is always the same: only you, Scully. Only you.

Let’s not even talk about that incredible mouth.

Yes, it would be a hell of a lot easier to resist Fox Mulder if I could rely on protocol to command my Irish Catholic guilt about regulations and being a dutiful government agent. As things stand now, however, it’s just me holding the line I know he wants to cross; the line I want him to cross; the line we must not cross because—

2. It would ruin a successful working relationship.

Individually, we are both highly competent field agents. Together, we are unstoppable. Our solve rate hovers at about 80%. That’s pretty damned impressive by anyone’s standards. Mulder and I have always had great respect for one another’s talents. We counterpoint each another, maximizing strength and minimizing weakness. Our differences, combined, give us an edge over our adversaries few can match. Most people can’t handle style differences when they work together. We seem to thrive on it. I honestly can’t say why. For me, it’s always been a challenge to understand just where Mulder is coming from, to get him to see my point of view. He tries, he really does. Over the years, I’ve learned to trust his instincts, most of the time. He leans on me for the rational response that our superiors demand and I depend on his passion to help me escape conventional thinking.

His integrity is unquestionable, even if his actions often gain him nothing but derision in public. So I stand with him, protect him and cover for him in spite of the fact that he continually rebels against my scientific, pragmatic approach. His intuitive leaps of deduction frequently astound me. Mulder is like a laser beacon, burning anyone or anything that dares stand in its way as it shoots clear and fiery towards its goal. If we were to-become involved, the delicate balance we’ve constructed could be upset. One of us might get hurt.

I don’t think I could take that. I know that Mulder couldn’t. He’d inevitably blame himself for whatever went wrong and we could lose what has come to mean so much to me, to the both of us—.

3. It would ruin a wonderful friendship.

I’ve never had a friend like Mulder. Friends, yes. Like Mulder, never. He has seen me at my very worst and never said a word. Okay, he did once make a snide remark about my feet, but that was under bizarre circumstances. When we are working a case, we can be in close quarters for days on end. We had better be friends; otherwise we’d kill each other. When we are on, the work flows, Mulder’s humor is in full gear and things generally get done quickly and well.

When we are off, he becomes morose and sulky. It passes. We forgive each other’s frailties. I am no longer surprised when he disappears unexpectedly.

Just irritated. In return, he puts up with my PMS and petty tantrums. Trust me, it isn’t pretty.

He supports and defends me before our superiors. He respects my opinions, even when he doesn’t agree with them. He is not a religious man, but he believes in miracles. I don’t think I could have gotten through my cancer ordeal without his faith that we would find a cure. He’s put himself in harm’s way so many times for me I can’t even begin to repay my debt of gratitude to him. Yes, I owe him, no matter what he said to the contrary, standing in his hallway nearly a year ago. I remember his arms around me then, strong and solid.

We have stood like that before. From the beginning, I have looked to him in the moments when logic flees, when the demons of my life come flying at me and I am no longer the very professional Dr. Scully or the very capable Special Agent Scully of the FBI. I have sought him on instinct, in times of blind panic or pure emotion. The first time I ran to him, I was young, inexperienced, and half-dressed in an Oregon motel room. Then, as now, he took my fear into himself and banished it with gentle reassurance that it would be okay, that I was safe with him.

How often I have turned to that offer of quiet strength when I needed it most — against the almost unimaginable terror that followed in the wake of Donnie Pfaster; against the desperate and gut-clenching fear of death as an alien invader called Cancer claimed my body, no stranger than those without and perhaps, stranger because it came from within; against the screaming dread that I had truly and finally lost him when he disappeared into the Russian wastelands only to return, like Lazarus from the dead, whole and beautiful, still railing against the wind that always threatens to drown out his clarion call. No, I have never had a friend like Mulder before and probably, never will again. Not even my family has done for me what Mulder has done. Speaking of which—.

4. My brother, Bill, hates him.

Then again, Bill has hated every male who showed any interest in me, even when I was a kid. I still remember what he did to my first crush in the second grade. Joey Antonelli sat across from me at lunch and was always trading me his meager bread-and-butter sandwiches for mom’s more abundant fare, replete with homemade cookies. He always made it seem like I was getting the better deal somehow, but I didn’t care because he seemed so sweet and sad. Guess I’ve always been a sucker for the melancholy type. Anyway, Bill found out about the lunch swapping one day and pinned poor Joey against the chain-link fence surrounding the Crowley Elementary schoolyard. I cried hot tears of protest, but Joey never stood a chance, much to my dismay.

I hardly dated in high school, feeling awkward with my good mind but less-than-perfect body. Bill’s reputation for being “that hothead Scully” kept most of the boys at arm’s length. Funny, Missy never shared that problem with me. “Just tell him to buzz off, ” she’d once said during one of our late-night bull sessions. Wish I could, but I’ve always had difficulty dealing with Bill’s stubborn temper. Not Missy. She always stood her ground when she thought she was right. I like to think I’ve learned that from her; she’d like that.

During college, I could still feel Bill’s disapproving stares as I introduced first one, then another young man to the Scully clan. No one was good enough.

Missy, on the other hand, liked everybody. She liked Mulder, too. Mom says they often talked after I was abducted. They refused to believe I was really gone, in spite of everything that spoke otherwise. God, I miss her. So does Bill. I know that he blames Mulder for her death and my illness, even if I do not. I know that he perceives Mulder to be just another guy sniffing around his little sister, Dana, even though I’ve never said a word to make him think that we are anything but partners. Are we that obvious? I can just imagine what he would say if he suspected how I really feel about Mulder. I can just imagine what everyone would say if they suspected covert (read, “between the sheets”) activity between the two of us. Oh, yes-5. Rumors at the Bureau would fly faster than a stealth bomber.

I know. The rumors are already thick and heavy. I am Mrs. Spooky, after all.

Still, I can dismiss the stares and the whispers at my back when I enter the elevator because I know they’re only conjecture. I can ignore the appreciative glances women give Mulder as he walks beside me because it doesn’t matter to me, right? We are only partners, I remind myself.

Even our A.D. wonders about us. I’ve seen the curiosity in Skinner’s eyes as he observes us together. His look is neither approving nor disapproving, merely interested as his mind tries to discern the truth from rumor, to connect the pieces of the puzzle that is us. Yes, rumors abound. They are not true.

If they were, keeping a poker face all day would be a nightmare of extreme proportions. Working beside Mulder on a daily basis is difficult enough with his remarks, his glances and his touches constantly stoking the embers of my unfulfilled desires. Working beside Mulder knowing that I could have him, were we truly lovers, would be a maddening secret to maintain. Besides6. Stop there. Six sounds too much like sex, which I don’t want to think about.

Except most nights, when I’m lying in my bed, alone, I wonder what Mulder’s hands on me would feel like, what he would do and how I would respond. I always promise myself that I will not give in to the demands my body begs of me, for the release that my own touch can provide. I try to think of other things to distract, to comfort, to deter me, without success. Inevitably, I find my hands slowly perusing my body in a familiar dance that I know well.

All the while, I am thinking of him. In my mind’ s eye, I see his face above mine, imagine his breath warm against my cheek; then his mouth on mine, moving to my breast; his hand at my core, as I establish a pleasing rhythm. My soul battles with my body to stop before it goes further. My body is victor.

They say that the mind cannot distinguish reality from fantasy as it processes emotion; that our body responds to the fantasy and to the reality in equal measure. If that is so, then Mulder and I are already lovers. I picture us together in my bed, limbs entwined, his long form covering mine as we wordlessly commune our need, our passion, our love for one another. When I finally reach the pinnacle, it is his name that steals from me, a broken tormented whisper and I tumble down, down, down into the swirl of my physical pleasure and the anguish of denied emotion. I am always stunned by the power of these images, and moved. Sometimes, I am overcome with grief and sometimes, with a deep need to finally tell him something, anything to change the status quo. But-7. My life is too complicated right now.

Ironic. Every time I think that things can’t become any crazier or difficult or impossible to manage, they do. Perspective is everything. Growing up, all I wanted was to live in the same house for more than a couple of years. At college, I wanted recognition from my professors; at med school, respect from my peers. I entered the FBI, partly to prove to my family, as well as to myself, that I was an independent, modern woman who would make a difference in the world. That meant focusing on my goals and minimizing the detours. Even my relationship with Jack Willis was carefully monitored to ensure no deviation from my chosen path to the professional fast track. I had no idea just how far off-track my life would go. I put off marriage and family, sure that those things would come later. And if not, at least I would be well respected by my peers and valued by my government.

When I was first assigned to work with Mulder, I was certain that my role was vital, that this “loose cannon” was a subtle danger to everything for which the Bureau stood. Keeping tabs on him and proving him unworthy of his position would be a noble assignment. I knew there were ulterior motives at play, a grander design unbeknownst to me of which I was only a part and which I did not question because there was no need to know. Still, his dossier was fascinating and I found myself wondering how such a talented individual could have fallen so far from so high. Meeting him for the first time, I was surprised. He was intelligent, quirky and charming in an odd sort of way. Not at all threatening, except to my heartbeat, which increased exponentially considering his extreme good looks and flirtatious manner.

As I came to know him, I discovered a man of honor whose tender sensibilities were shielded in self-preservation against the harsh realities he endured. My original assignment became subverted to my curiosity and personal commitment to him—secondary to his quest, a quest pursued by a modern-day hero in pursuit of an elusive dream. Yes, Mulder is a dreamer when it comes to his sister or his belief in the absurd. He is a champion of the innocent and a fearless advocate for those he believes to be misled and abused. He is also a hardened realist when it comes to seeking out the truth of things; about a government that conspires against its own people and about individuals who use their power to protect a few at the expense of many. That is not what I had imagined for myself. So, I sided with St. George, a.k.a. Fox Mulder, and we fight the dragons with ferocity and skill. It is madness, like I told him once, a “folie a deux” and we are bound together in it. Becoming lovers would be dangerous folly, wouldn’t it? The Powers That Be are already after us, angered with us, determined to destroy us—.

8. It scares me.

I would walk through fire for Mulder. I would. And I know he would do the same for me. We have seen much in our travels together, things easily and not so easily explained. My hands and eyes have sought secrets from the dead in hopes of learning still-living truths from beyond the grave. I have faced demons, both real and imagined. I have walked the line between sanity and madness. I remain whole because Mulder is with me, always. Even when we are working separately, we are still together, united in a way I can not understand, let alone describe.

Since we began down this long, dangerous path, I have come to believe that the government I once trusted entirely may not be worthy of my trust and while the truth is out there, it is also here within us. Yet, I still find it difficult to believe what happened to me last summer when I was stung by a mutant bee and carried off, unconscious, to Antarctica. Antarctica, for Chrissake. How Mulder found me, I still don’t know. He never speaks about that time or the kiss we almost shared that sultry afternoon in June when he thought I was leaving him. I haven’t pressed him on it, either. I think he is afraid that what followed then will happen again, or worse. We are both afraid. Sadly, we suspect that the distance we keep is a heart-breaking necessity in light of the Consortium’s determination to keep us, him, under tight control, using whatever means necessary. Still, the memory of that almost kiss burns in my memory and9. It excites me.

“You made me a whole person.” Words I thought I would never hear from him, I can recall as if it were happening now. Tenderness was in his eyes as he silently asked permission to breach the barrier between us. Tears ran hot down my cheeks with desire and fear for I am powerless to stop him when he approaches so seriously, without the pretense of humor to save us from ourselves. His hands, as he held my face, seared me as his lips inched closer to mine until-a sharp throbbing startled me and I sank into darkness, our rendezvous aborted. Had an errant insect not interrupted us, we might have returned to his apartment and allowed five years of sexual sparring to finally progress into something substantial. It was not to be, but we both wanted it.

More than anything, I wanted to trust Mulder with all of myself, completely and without reservation; to move closer and lose myself-in him.

This is what stirs, and frightens, me: his power over me, my surrender to his will, my willingness to forego all that has preceded us just to keep that wondrous feeling of him joined to me. It is a heady experience and a terrifying one. In matters of the heart, I am the coward. Mulder is courageous, even foolhardy, but courageous nonetheless. Months later, he lay in a hospital bed after being rescued from an ill-considered enterprise. Half-awake and full of tranquilizers, he tells a crazy story about how I saved the world. “Scully-I love you,” he says. Maybe it is the drugs, maybe he is still dreaming. Maybe he doesn’t understand what he is saying, but he says it anyway. To me. I will hold those words as dear as his life and for the rest of mine. I can only hope beyond reason that one day we will find our way back to a moment when the space between us narrows from a chasm to a thread, a thread tied from my heart to his, but I fear it is wasted effort because-10. It will never happen.

We are caught in a web woven by master spinners. Our fate is tied to forces whose breadth and scope we are just beginning to comprehend. We are only people, Mulder and I, ordinary people. Truly. We laugh and cry, love and hate. We sleep and eat and worry and dream. We wonder what tomorrow will bring and then wonder if there will be a tomorrow. The bond we share is wonderful and special. We are partners, but so much more. We are friend and family to each other and close in so many ways that making love would just be a minor expression of everything we have come to mean to each other. There is so much at stake and the risks are high. We don’t need to tempt The Fates.

I still want to. …

“So do I,” Mulder’s voice murmured beside her. Scully gasped and sat frozen, like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a truck. Then, without hesitation, her hands moved to close the laptop, her palms resting against its smooth surface. She closed her eyes, willing herself to keep breathing while a slow burn rose along her cheeks. Taking a deep breath, she opened them again, releasing the air slowly all the while wishing it was a dream. With a slight turn of her head, she glanced towards her partner. His seat was still reclined, but he was angled towards her, his hands lying motionless in his lap.

The plane was hushed, except for the low whine of the engines. The cabin lights were dim and most of the occupants were asleep. They were virtually alone.



Turning to face him, she found herself unable to meet his eyes. He waited.

How much had he read? She could feel a tingle of fear at her periphery, but what exactly was she afraid of? This was Mulder. Her partner — her best friend. Wasn’t friendship about being honest with each other? She quickly thought back to her last words about tempting The Fates. Even if he was ready to do so, she wasn’t sure if she was. Still, she couldn’t just ignore him.

Finally, she lifted her head. His hazel eyes were nearly gray in the softly shadowed space. They held hers steadily and she shivered at the hunger she found there. A sudden warmth rose between her legs as her pulse increased and her skin flushed. One part of her brain was cataloging the simple mechanics of human sexual arousal with an oddly clinical detachment, while the other half was screaming for selfcontrol. Mulder just watched, a slight smile playing around the corners of his mouth. She frankly couldn’t decide what was affecting her more: her discomfort at her passion laid bare or her irritation at his temerity.

A flash of anger shot through her. “Didn’t your mother ever teach you that it’s rude to read over someone’s shoulder?” she questioned as calmly as she could, hoping he didn’t catch the slight tremor in her voice.

“Yes, as a matter of fact, she did,” he replied with a raised brow, “but I’ve never been the obedient type. Besides, you never know what interesting information will turn up if,” he paused, “you just know where to look.” He was bantering, throwing back at her words she had said to him, so long ago. He was giving her a way out if that was what she wanted. She relaxed, a little.

Mulder the Tease she could handle. He just seemed so damned pleased with himself.

She had to ask. “Just how much of my personal journal entry did you read?”

“Oh, I woke up somewhere near No. 7-maybe.” His voice was silken as his eyes bored into her own. Oh God. Had he…she couldn’t even consider how much more he might have seen. She looked away, her nerves jangled again. Her hands were trembling just a bit and she was finding it difficult to breathe properly. He sat forward and reached over then, covering both of her hands with one of his own. He leaned close to her ear and she could smell a trace of the cologne he wore, musk mixed with his own unique scent. His breath fell warm on her neck.

“Scully,” he practically whispered, suddenly serious, “I once told you that I never wanted you to feel that you had to hide anything from me. Do you remember?” She sighed quickly, wetting her lips. She nodded her reply. “So, why are you hiding now?” His breath fell along her ear, as he nudged her with the tip of his nose, his lips barely brushing the tender place on her neck just behind the lobe. His touch was light, tentative, but it sent chills along her body.

“I’m not — hiding — anything, Mulder,” she said unevenly.

“Liar,” he breathed, his voice laced with amusement and sensuality. His hand gently manipulated one of hers over, his fingertips tracing indiscriminate patterns along the palm and between her delicate fingers, the subtle tactile sensation ricocheting through her. She watched with fascination, wondering how he could do this to her with only a touch. Her breathing had become shallow and she could feel her heightened awareness of him coursing through every fiber of her being. She was geared for “fight-or-flight” and she knew it, but she was essentially trapped between the body of the plane and Mulder. She wanted to move, to get away from him. But it felt so good, so right, to have him there. She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to remember why they shouldn’t be doing this. She could hear him speaking to her, but she was having difficulty focusing on his words. “I know we’ve been at odds, Scully,” he was saying, “but I was hoping that going to California, working on the X-Files again, could somehow-fix things.”

“Wait a minute,” she said as much to herself as to him. She was trying to concentrate on his words, but she was being distracted by his seemingly innocent touch. Fix things? Did he honestly think that all it took was a little sweet-talk to make everything all right? Her muzzy brain was battling for clarity. Anger helped. Pulling slightly away from him, she disentangled her hands from his and put them up at him, as if to keep him at bay while she collected herself. She met his eyes squarely, her voice steady. “How could that happen, Mulder? After everything we’ve been through in the last year, everything that’s been said, do you really think we could just go back and pretend it all never happened?” Her hands turned in open supplication, before dropping into her lap.

He pulled away then, confusion written on his face. “To what, exactly, are you referring?” She wondered how he could be so brilliant and so dense at the same time. “Forget it, Mulder,” she said simply, hoping they could leave things where they were. He wasn’t having any of it. “No, Scully. I-I won’t,” he responded. “I just thought that we had already covered this ground. We are talking about Diana, aren’t we?”

Were they? Scully reflected on the last year’s events. It was true. Since Diana Fowley’s reappearance in Washington nearly a year ago, things had definitely changed between she and Mulder. Their partnership, which she had always taken for granted, suddenly seemed more fragile. Mulder’s interest in Diana had unexpectedly jarred her. Not even his past history with Phoebe Green had affected her so acutely. Things were better following their return from the South Pole, but still precarious in ways she hadn’t anticipated. Again, it was Diana invading their space, their time, their bond. For the first time, Dana Scully fully understood the meaning of the words “murderous jealousy.” It both shocked and appalled her.

Mulder was waiting for her response. She had to be honest with him. Still struggling with the intensity of her own emotions, she proceeded with caution.

“I don’t understand you, Mulder,” she began. “I know we agreed to “let it lie,” but I don’t think that I can do that and still allow you…in. I don’t even know what Diana means to you or why you defend her so vehemently. Frohike told me that the two of you were involved a long time ago. Is that why? Is it some sort of past loyalty that binds you to her?”

He looked downwards. “Diana was there for me when no one else gave a rat’s ass about what happened to me, Scully. She stood by me when I was basically kicked out of the VCU and thrown into the basement. Do you have any idea what that felt like?” His voice was bitter. When he met her eyes, they were filled with long-repressed hurt and anger.

“No,” she replied gently, suddenly pained by his torment. “It must have been humiliating.”

“To say the least.” He closed his eyes briefly. When he opened them again, she noted their brightness. He hardly ever mentioned his work at the VCU, what his early career had been like: the accolades, the honors, the assurances that he was destined for great things. And later, the whispers, the envious rumors, the final anonymous betrayal of trust that had brought him down. These were things, she knew, he could recall in vivid detail, without the balm of human forgetfulness to ease their sting.

Instinctively, she reached out, laying her hand along his arm. Her voice softened. “Mulder, I can understand you being grateful to someone who supported you at that time. But people change and the evidence we’ve gathered on her is incontrovertible and it is damning.”

“Scully, listen to me. I know there are things about Diana that you don’t trust.” She moved to speak, but he silenced her with a look. “And, yes, I have done some investigating on my own. I haven’t come up with anything concrete.”

“Don’t you think that if she’s that well connected, she can cover her tracks?”

Her eyes held his with entreaty and challenge.

He nodded slightly. “I’ve thought of that, but I refuse to turn on someone who has proven themselves to me until I have hard evidence. I wouldn’t do that to you, Scully; or Byers, or Langly, or Frohike…or Skinner, for that matter.

And I won’t do that to her.” He was resolute. She still believed Diana was using him to meet her own agenda, but she respected his loyalty and had no choice but to count on his integrity to continue seeking the truth, just as he always had. There was, however, still something she wanted — no, needed, to know.

“Were you lovers?” she queried softly.

“Briefly. It complicated things; got in the way of the work.” He said it simply, factually.

“In other words…you tempted The Fates…and lost.” Tears rose, unbidden, stinging her eyes. She fought them back, confused by her reaction. She would not allow him to see her this way. They agreed it seemed, yet she was suddenly broken-hearted. Her efforts to conceal her feelings only further revealed them. Mulder’s expression became one of concern as he noted her distress. He leaned in, just a bit.

“It was different, Scully. Diana basically pursued me. I was young and she was older, more experienced. I was flattered by the attention. I’ve never been very good at relationships. After Phoebe, I was wary, but Diana was easy to talk to and I guess I just needed someone to care.”

“But she hurt you.”

“When she left, yes. But I wasn’t surprised. We had never been especially close, in spite of the fact that she supported my work on the X-Files. We were intimate for the wrong reasons. It was all backwards, an attempt to become closer emotionally by being closer physically. Good sex is still good, but it wasn’t much of anything else. I care about Diana because she’s a friend, but—” he hesitated, then. She looked away, uncertain if she wanted to hear any more. Mulder spoke slowly, measuring his words, “but she’s not you. I would never do for her what I’ve done for you.” His voice was low, rough with emotion as he continued. “And no one, Scully, has ever done for me…or given to me… what you have. It’s really very simple…I just can’t lose you again.”

Scully’s head was bowed, her auburn hair falling across her cheek. Reaching out with his hand, Mulder gently tucked the coppery tresses behind her ear with an endearing familiarity. At his touch, she raised her face to meet his own.

She went absolutely still. His eyes probed hers, seeking answers to questions they had long left unspoken. His fingers brushed against her cheek as his eyes dropped to study her mouth, so close to his own. He ran his thumb back and forth across her lower lip slowly. She was unprepared for the rush of feeling that flooded her, drawing her focus inwards to him, his touch and this moment in time. Their faces were close, just as they had been nearly a year ago. They were at that place once more and his expression told her that he recognized it, too.

His eyes met her own for a moment and he slowly shook his head, as if to ward off inner warnings demanding notice. Then, he kissed her—a gentle caress of his lips against hers that merely lasted seconds before he pulled away, only to come back at her quickly a second and third time with soft, hungry kisses that stole away her breath. The sensation was achingly sweet. Warning bells were going off at the back of her mind, telling her to stop the madness now, for it was madness. In a matter of seconds, he had completely and irrevocably crashed the barriers she had so carefully constructed between them. She was dizzy, her resolve jarred by his proximity. She wanted nothing more than to fall into his lovely mouth, knowing she would gladly drown in him if she did. He paused for a moment, visibly affected by their exchange. It was only a moment, but it gave Scully the space to finally hear the voice in her mind, her own voice, telling her to stop, stop now.

He moved to kiss her again. She could feel, as well as hear, his breath sough against her mouth as she moved her lips away from his so slightly as to be unnoticeable. Still, he felt it. Their reflexes, calibrated to the slightest shift of nuance between them, signaled her retreat and he would press no further without her willingness. She felt his soft sigh as she lowered her head against him, his mouth trailing against her cheek, her eyelid, her brow.

When she pulled away from him, she immediately missed his warmth. “We can’t do this, Mulder,” she whispered, unable to look at him. “It’s too dangerous. We—I have to be—rational about this.” She looked at him, then. “Please understand.” She knew she was hurting him by the look on his face, but it had to be said. He opened his mouth as if to tell her something and stopped, knowing that once she made a decision, there was little he could do to change her mind. He turned from her with a deep sigh.

She sat staring at him, her tears threatening to fall. Laying a hand gently against his back, she leaned her head against his shoulder. She struggled to find her voice, as well as the words that would help him understand her conflicted emotions. “Mulder,” she began and paused. What could she say? If he had read her journal, he knew how she felt. How could she deny it? She had hoped for this moment and now, here they were—no bees, no case, nothing to prevent her from finally telling him the simple truth. She loved him. But the truth wasn’t simple at all, was it? It never had been, for them. She wanted him. So? Would that protect them from the insanity that lay in wait? Would it make any difference at all if what Cancer Man had told Mulder were true? It only validated her fears.

Her heart was heavy when she spoke again. “Everything I am belongs to you, Mulder. You should know that by now.” She couldn’t see his eyes, but she knew he was listening intently. “I hardly remember a time when you weren’t a part of me. But I— can’t allow us to take that final step. It’s not our time.”

Mulder dropped his head back towards her. “Ah, Scully,” he said in a voice full of longing, “will it ever be our time?”

“I don’t know,” she replied simply.

He sighed deeply again and turned back to face her once more. “What difference could it possibly make? We’re already in so deep, we can’t walk away.” She wasn’t sure if he was talking about the conspiracy or their feelings. Then again, did it really matter? Either way, it was truth, but she had no answer for him.

They stayed like that a long while, their voices silent, their eyes unwilling to break their quiet communion. At last, he broke the silence. “I’m a patient man, Scully,” he told her. “I can wait for what I want. I can wait until you think it’s our time.”

“I don’t know when that will be,” she replied apologetically, hating herself and wishing she weren’t so damned realistic, just for once.

“Well, I do,” he said with a curious lilt in his voice. His eyes were still sad, but the edges of his mouth were slowly curving upwards. “I’ll just have to wait until you get tired of Number Six,” he chided, placing his hand gently atop the closed laptop where it sat. Her jaw nearly dropped, as she closed her eyes, a flush running straight through her. He had assessed their options, choosing hope over despair and rebounding with mischief. That was Mulder.

“You just say the word, Scully,” he purred. “Just pick up the phone, write, send an e-mail, whatever. I’ll be there.”

Needing to gain a small measure of control of the situation and herself, she mustered her nerve and opened her eyes to meet his smug grin. “Oh, I don’t know, Mulder,” she tossed at him, suddenly brazen. “Your fantasy precedes you.” A slow smile lifted one corner of her mouth as she cast him a look that told him exactly what she meant. His slow blink as he exhaled told her she had met her mark. He shot an impenetrable look at her, then stood and stretched.

He faced her, then, and leaned down, one arm at the back of the seat ahead of her, the other fingering the golden cross at her neck. “Not for long, Scully,” he admonished. “Definitely. Not for long.” He paused. “I’ll see you at Dulles.” He turned and without a backward glance, moved toward the front of the plane. Had he looked back he would have seen a look of wonder on Scully’s face, accompanied by a blush of sheer pleasure. That, and a very uncharacteristic heart on her left sleeve.


STARRY NIGHT by Blackwood


ARCHIVE: Yup, with these headers and all pieces intact. Just let me know so I can say ‘thanks’ and come visit.

CATEGORY: PWP disguised as a Story



SPOILERS: A scattering through US Seasons 1-6 and FTF, disregarding Field Trip and Biogenesis.

SUMMARY: Mulder makes good on a promise. Follow up to Ten Reasons, although it stands alone quite nicely.

FEEDBACK: Of course

DISCLAIMER: Gerald & Jenny belong to me. Mulder & Scully belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. I earn nothing but personal pleasure from doing this. No infringement intended.

AUTHOR’S NOTES: Thank you Sue, Lynne, Audrey and Sharon. You kept me writing, you kept me on target, you kept me honest and you let me fly. Those of you under 17, read one of my other stories, please? Contributing to the corruption of minors is not my intent; everyone else, you’re on your own ; )


STARRY NIGHT by Blackwood


Albert Einstein once said that happiness is nothing more than good health and a poor memory. I’ll buy that. Good health I got. Chalk it up to a fortuitous blend of genes, decent medical coverage or fate, but the Mulders are a hardy lot. That is, when they aren’t being abducted by aliens, shot by double crossing FBI agents-cum-spies, or seduced by cigarette smoking bastards.

Like I said to Scully once, the Mulders pass genetic muster. We’re what psychologists are fond of calling “survivors.” As for the memory thing, I’m sorry to say my memory is too good.

Eidetic. Photographic. A pain-in-the-ass. I remember things I’d just as soon forget and far too well. Which is fine if your reminiscence is of a newly recovered alien corpse; John Lee Roche bleeding to death by your hand; or a beautiful Scully giving you the once over when she thinks you aren’t looking. It’s quite another when you’re remembering a hallway engulfed in flames, being trapped in a Russian gulag, or an unconscious Scully pale on the floor outside of your apartment. Either way, you’re a victim of your own devices in vivid detail and it never goes away. Oh, I can push the images aside, but they’re always there, if I concentrate long and hard enough.

Right now, I’m having a tough time dealing with the memories of the last 72 hours. Scully and I have just finished up a case in Kennings, Vermont. Ski country in springtime; lots of pretty hills and antique fairs. Only for the residents of Kennings, springtime brought more than April showers and May flowers. For the last six weeks, Kennings has harbored a peculiar brand of spring fever, one that’s caused the general population to go slightly mad: making wild accusations of one another from grand larceny to demon possession, e-mailing a variety of threats to known government agencies from the FBI to the FDA and generally behaving like an asylum gone amok. The final straw was the mayor driving into Montpelier, demanding access to the governor’s mansion while brandishing a pitchfork, claiming independence for Kennings.

We were sent up to investigate at A.D. Skinner’s request. After a day of interviews and site checks, we effectively isolated the source of the problem—mushrooms. Seems the town’s resident celebrity is a gourmet chef who was cultivating an unidentified hybrid and using them in his locally renowned quiche. The tox screen revealed high levels of hallucinogenic material being ingested by the affected population. Shades of Lewis Carroll, I thought; you know, Alice in Wonderland meets Paul Prudhomme.

All pretty routine until we realized that I had eaten some of the aforementioned mushrooms for dinner the night before. Now I understand why they say, “Men—don’t eat quiche.” Sounds funny, but what followed, unfortunately, wasn’t. The hallucinogens kicked in and I ended up pulling my weapon on an eighty-year-old grandmother of seven and shooting her dog. Luckily, Grandma Plunkett is fine, but my ass is grass with Skinner and the kids hate me because I shot “Bubba.”

Just standard operating bullshit in the life of Fox Mulder. The only nice thing that’s happened is that Scully and I got to stay at one of those bed-and-breakfast places, instead of a lousy motel. It’s quiet in the off-season. Nobody here but us and the owners, an older couple named Dorset. They’re curious, but they respect our privacy. We do paperwork here because Scully insists I rest, like this will make a difference in my already fubar life.

It’s a nice old house with a covered porch that wraps itself all the way round. Reminds me of Chilmark. I’m sitting at the top of the stone steps after dinner, just like I did when I was a kid, watching night fall amidst the pine and hemlocks that surround the place. The moon hasn’t risen yet and stars emerge in a black sky.

Living in D.C., you forget what the night sky is supposed to look like, lit with distant fire. I’m sorry to say I’ve lost the ability to view it with innocent wonder, but I still find it impressive. Moths flutter against a dim lantern beside the doorway, while the rest of the porch lies in deepening shadow.

The air is still cool at this time of year and thick with the scent of flowers. Scully follows me outside and stands at the bottom of the stairs, breathing in the lilacs. Their fragrance is strong as they bloom so fiercely purple and white. It’s a melancholy scent for me, conjuring up memories of long ago.

In my mind’s eye, I can see Sam and me in our yard, where I’m pitching softballs to her as she does her best to crack the bat just right. “How’m I doin, Fox?” she always yells at me and my reply is a standard “Don’t quit yer day job.” My mother comes to the back door with a basket on her arm, pruning shears in hand.

She moves around the perimeter while we play, clipping tulips and wood hyacinths from the flower beds, adding them to her basket before turning to the lilac hedge that engulfs the side yard, trimming off large sprays to bring indoors. The images take form and I feel contentment prickle me like a woolen sweater, uncomfortable but warming nonetheless.

Scully turns and looks at me quietly. Nothing of import in her eyes, just a moment between us, a familiar reflexive action.

We’re dressed down today and she’s wearing dusky, silk trousers with a black knit tunic that hangs long and loose on her small frame. Black. She almost always wears black, now. Mourning becomes Scully. I remember when she wore lavender, a girl’s color: sweet, innocent. The changes in her wardrobe haven’t been lost on me. I know she still grieves and in spite of her assurances, she is not fine. Still, it’s nice to see her soften, like the vernal wilds of New England after a long winter. It’s even nicer to watch her in clothes that not only reveal, but highlight her femininity. Her sweater is sort of open at the neckline and casually falls off her shoulder, revealing clavicle, bare skin and the strap of a top underneath.

It’s a quiet moment in a hectic world and I start thinking back on the events of the last few days, the last few weeks—monthsyears. Contentment barely gains a foothold in my psyche before being beaten back by depressing reminders that I can screw up with the best of them. The scent of lilacs is no longer a comfort, but an indictment and I’m overcome by feelings of loss. Shit. Just what I need, a pity party. I run both hands over my face, pulling my eyelids taut. A shudder runs across my shoulders as I lean into the arch created by my hands above my face.

The first indication of her presence is her perfume. She sits on the step below me, one of her hands resting on my knee. Her face is angled towards mine. “Are you okay?” she asks. My hands drop.

She’s observing me and her features are all concern and care.

Under cover of starry night, I allow myself to be seen by her.

Being the subject of a Scully scrutiny is never easy. I’ve seen her turn those discerning eyes of hers on a suspect with a ferocity that made me wither and actually feel sorry for the poor bastard. I’ve seen them flash with anger and with humor, both at me; and it never fails to impair my autonomic functions when she turns them on me, soft and tender, like they are right now. The impulse to draw her up into my arms and taste that pretty mouth of hers is powerful, but I know better.

I stand abruptly, crossing the porch until I turn the corner onto a secluded niche on the windowless side of the house. A heavy, wicker divan is set against the wall and I drop into its cushions with a sigh, head thrown back, eyes closed. I hear Scully slowly approach. I open my eyes and she is standing before me, arms crossed. “Hey, Scully,” I begin, “think I should turn myself in now or wait until morning?” She arches a perfect brow at me as I continue, “It just seems anticlimactic that I should go to prison for murdering a Great Dane.”

She regards me soberly. “No one is going to prison, Mulder. The vet told me “Bubba” was 15 years old with a heart condition and a bad habit of rummaging through the garbage. They found undigested quiche in his stomach so he obviously got into some leftovers, with the resulting hallucinations triggering aggressive behavior.

The dog attacked you, remember? You shot in self-defense. There was nothing anyone could have done to prevent what happened. You did nothing wrong.” She emphasizes those last words.

“Let’s face it. I’m poison, Scully,” I mumble, averting my eyes because I know just what I am doing and I’m a bastard for doing it. Playing on Scully’s sympathy is pathetic, I know. Her eyes narrow as they study my face. She’ll either console me or skewer me, but I’ll take my chances on the former. Regardless, I expect only a verbal response. Instead, she steps in and runs the fingers of her right hand through my hair, soothing me, like I was a child. I know I shouldn’t, but I reach for her other hand and clasp her fingers. This feels good and I can’t help myself. I need this right now. She moves closer, positioning herself between my legs as she leans her head down towards mine. I involuntarily move towards her. Her voice drops in volume and she speaks in that calm, collected way of hers that runs like cool water across my fevered mind. “No, Mulder. You’re an honorable man. You can’t think that way.” We are closer, right now, than we’ve been in some time.

There has always been an easy familiarity in our physical contact with one another. Scully’s accused me of being a tease on more than one occasion. Sexual attraction is definitely a part of it, but partnership and friendship have always superseded personal desire when it comes to my partner. So, when did the comfortable banter and bodily contact become so laced with meaning? Maybe it was after I told her how much I needed her last year or after she nearly died in New York with that jackass, Ritter. I can’t pinpoint it, but a major shift has occurred in our relationship and, somehow, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we’ll never be able to go back to those casual exchanges again. I’m going to miss that, actually. Flirting is distraction and god knows, I need distractions. Her hand is still threading its way through my hair and I sigh from sheer comfort. I lean into her touch and close my eyes.

It’s peaceful under Scully’s touch. Her left hand has joined the first one in its ministrations, fingers stroking lightly through my hair, against the scalp. One of her hands slowly moves until it reaches the back of my neck, where it circles against the fine hairs, simultaneously lulling and arousing me. It’s a peculiar sensation, though not unpleasant. Mind you, I’m not complaining, but this is hardly typical Scully. Something’s going on.

I’ve often wondered what she would do if I tried to kiss her again. Probably deck me. She’d have good reason, too—ten, actually; ten very good reasons why we should keep things just the way they are. She’d listed them in her laptop on the return flight from Arcadia, when she thought I was asleep. Truth is, I woke up shortly after she began. At first, I thought she was filing routine paperwork. That is, until the phrase “Mrs. Spooky” jumped out at me. I focused then, believe me, as I began reading the private thoughts of the eminently logical Dr. Scully with only a niggle of guilt.

It was all there—her hopes, her fears, her needs; and I was full of wonder and desire. She loved me? She wanted me? Damn the FBI, the Consortium and the fucking bees combined. She had ten reasons why we shouldn’t be involved and the only reason I could understand was if she didn’t want to be. But she did. She said so. I made my presence known, then. Scully was flustered, but also clearly aroused as her secret was revealed. Or was she flustered because she was aroused? It was an interesting hypothesis and one I relished testing. Yet, even as her resistance weakened, she managed to compose herself and steer me into a conversation about Diana. Jeez. Just how do women do that?

I didn’t intend on telling her as much as I did, but she was suddenly so there and after days of sharing that damned house and being able to touch her so openly, I blathered. And, in spite of my own good self-advice after last summer’s debacle, I went and kissed her anyway-once, twice, three times before she finally reined me in. But man, oh man, it was zero to one hundred in fifteen seconds flat and, for a few moments, I tasted Dana Scully’s passion, the stuff she keeps stowed away under that unflappable exterior. Trust me, it’s certifiably dangerous. I hate every man she’s ever been with, especially Jack Willis for hurting her and even Ed Jerse, the one she never talks about. I hate them blindly, unreasonably because they’ve had a part of her that I want, but will probably never have for reasons I don’t quite understand. Well, maybe I do. Not only am I no Eddie Van Blundht, I’m nobody Dana Scully could take seriously as a potential mate. There are a lot better pickings out there than my sorry ass and she deserves better.

She said it was too risky. I suppose she’s right. I don’t want to venture losing what we’ve got, either. But I want more, even if I can’t commit to anything beyond our day-to-day existence. I meant it when I told her I loved her and she knows that on some level. Meanwhile, the days roll on and we do nothing. Years of hard, investigative fieldwork have left their mark on us both.

We’re different people than when we first met in that dammed basement office—six years older, unfortunately wiser, warier and worn. Frankly, I don’t give a damn about me. Scully’s another story.

Yet, in a strange way, the last few years have been good. The sound of the demon gnawing at my soul has gone from a howling to a drone and my routine self-flagellation is cut short under Scullywatch. I told the truth when I said I couldn’t do it alone, not any more. Still, why she stays is a question I can never answer with any satisfaction. The one time I actually tried to send her away from me, she refused. Even now, after months of miscommunication and my self-admitted piss-poor attitude, she is here: stroking me, comforting me, loving me.

Loving me? Hold it. My thoughts stop cold and I open my eyes.

Looking up at her, I find her eyes transfixed, sight turned inward on some inner vignette. Her features are so familiar, yet a stranger’s. Despite endless miles of ground covered, innumerable meals and uncounted acts of bravery undertaken on behalf of one another, we are strangers. Our lives brought together by design but shared by choice, are Yin and Yang, light and dark. We are so different in temperament, in approach, in style. How could she ever love someone like me?

I mean, sure, she loves me. We’re partners, friends even. It’s her nature to care. Scully is decidedly the cool hands/warm heart type. She brakes for animals and watches the road when school begins in September. She even has an honest-to-goodness family that she actually visits. She’s generous to a fault and I’ll take whatever I can get from her. Her brother pegged me right when he called me a sorry son-of-a-bitch. He should have added “selfish” because when it comes to Dana Scully, I most definitely am.

No, hoping that she could be “in love” with me would be too much to ask. But she desires me. At least she said she did. And I want her, badly. Have wanted her, in one form or another from the outset. Meaningless sex, fine. A friendly fuck between friends, no problem. Sex as part of an intimate, if cool, relationship, doable. So, when had it changed? When did I stop just wanting and start needing her as much as I need breath?

She’s deep in thought, even as her hands continue to caress. Her breathing has gone shallow and quick, as she contemplates some singular thought that stirs her. Her tongue darts against her upper lip and she twitches, slightly. My breath catches with hers and I wonder what images are playing in her mind. Our sudden movements jar her from her reverie and she becomes aware of herself. Her hands stop their soothing, coming to rest on my shoulders. She looks down at me.

Questions fly without need of conversation. <You okay, Scully?> <I’m fine, Mulder>. We read each other well. People think it’s uncanny, although any undergraduate psych professor will tell you it’s just the culmination of shared experiences and keen observations of body language that explains our silent communication. Only, sometimes, I need to hear the words. Like now.

“Earth to Scully. Where’ve you been?” I question, a small smile tugging at one side of my mouth.

“Oh, no place significant.” She’s hedging. I’m intrigued.

“All by your lonesome?”

“Not exactly.” A pause. “You were there.” Hmm.

“Now there’s an interesting thought.” She gives me half a smile.

“You seemed pretty out there. Anything you’d like to share?” She pulls away slightly, but I gently place my hands at her waist, keeping her close.

“Mom always taught me that it’s good to share,” she volunteers.

“I like Maggie. What exactly were you and I sharing?” My tone is deceptively light, but inside I feel like the spider to the fly.

Her voice, when she finally speaks, is so soft that I have to lean in to hear it. “A kiss,” she breathes. Oh. O-kay. I draw in a breath and let it out as my pulse jumps a notch and a tingle skitters down my spine. Just exactly who is the spider and who is the fly? She looks away and slowly continues. “Several, actually…” She wets her lips, teeth gently drawing on her lower lip. “On the plane…” she falters. I nod slowly, recollecting in detail the brief, seductive exchange we shared a few months ago.

Even now I can recall how she looked, how she felt, how she tasted. Only it wasn’t meant to be. Scully’s rebuff left me backpedaling furiously, leaving her with an ambiguous promise of an encore. Just male macho bullshit because I sure as hell wouldn’t be the one to raise the issue again for some time. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve thought about that night and Scully’s list every night since. It’s not entirely committed to memory, but the important lines are, especially the ones about her thinking about me in the dark with her hands on herself. Now there’s an image I’ve spent a lot of time detailing and I’m getting hard just thinking about it. She’s stepped in and is focusing those blue eyes of hers onto mine reminding me, of all people, of a scenario I’ve relived nightly since it happened.

“So,” I begin, “You’ve been thinking about that night?” I try to keep my tone noncommittal, but interested. I sound like Jack Webb on Prozac. Scully doesn’t seem to notice.

“You could say that.”

“And what, exactly, are your thoughts on the issue?”

“Is this a poll, Mulder?” She tilts her head at me, brow raised, a slight smile on her lips.

“If you like.” I smile back at her; can’t help it. “You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”

“You first.” She’s shadow boxing, emotionally speaking. That’s my Scully. I know she thinks I prefer brainless women, “bimbos”

as she would say, because it puts me in control. Fact is, the most dangerous woman to me is the one who knows what she wants.

And if she’s a forensic pathologist with eyes that can drop you in a second and a mouth made for kissing, so much the better.

I shake my head slowly. “Sorry, my mother also taught me ‘Ladies First.’” In all things, I add to myself.

“I thought you said you weren’t the obedient type.”

She remembered me saying that? So, she’s committed some of that night to memory, too. I sense opportunity here, but before I can stop myself, I wisecrack, “Depends on who’s asking what and does it involve black leather?”

I wait for the killer stare. Instead, I watch her eyes blink slowly, while a pink flush rises across the dusting of freckles on her cheeks. She’s charming and I can’t take my eyes off her.

“I’ve been thinking” she begins, her fingers slowly playing along my shoulders. “I may have overreacted that evening.” Am I hearing right? Her tongue darts against her upper lip a second time and my eyes drop to that mouth. I feel my own tongue against the back of my teeth as I inhale and my body rises to the occasion.

“Oh?” is all I can manage.

“Um-hmm.” Her face nears until inches alone separate us.

“And?” I’ve gone senile before forty. At least I know enough to stay still.

“I’ve been wondering…” her eyes are on mine, pupils wide.

“Wondering…” whispered.

“How you’d feel about…” She pauses, eyes bright.

I want to pull her head down to me, her lips onto mine and plant a SOLD sign on them, but I wait. I wait. I wait. I mean, there’s the possibility that I’m completely wrong about this whole thing.

Shit. Why is this suddenly haunting me? I don’t want to think about this. I want Scully to kiss me, so I can kiss her back.

That’s it. I don’t want a conscience and I don’t want to secondguess this. I have to do something before her mood changes, so I say the only word that’s in my head right now, one syllable that says everything I’m feeling at the moment, the answer to the question I think she’s asking. I whisper “yes.”

I hear her sigh a split second before I feel her lips on mine.

“Kiss me,” she says softly against my mouth. I don’t need a reminder. I pull her down into my lap, into my arms, my hand behind her head guiding her to me, pressing my lips against hers softly, at first, but with growing ardor. A whimper escapes her and it is the sound of an angel.



My mouth languishes on hers, slanting against her lips from one direction and then another, in open kisses she responds to with eagerness. Her mouth is soft, compliant. I am conscious of every inch of her pressed against me, yielding and fragrant. She shifts position until her face is below mine. One of her arms wraps around my waist, while her free hand grabs the front of my sweater. I’ve held Dana Scully in my arms before, usually in my fantasies and occasionally in my dreams. In reality, I’ve had far less opportunity and it’s usually a signal that something is definitely wrong. Take Antarctica. I held her then: frozen, semiconscious and fighting for breath. A warm and responsive Scully is altogether different and that difference is about to undo me.

She leans into me, resting against the cradle of my arm. My tongue plays against her lips, until they part, allowing me entry.

I could say that she tastes like heaven, but I don’t believe in heaven, unless it’s this, and there is nothing saintly about the way her tongue is sliding against mine. The truth is, she tastes like the chocolate ice cream we had at dinner: cool and sweet.

She tastes like a goddamned box of candy and I want every piece.

We continue like that for precious minutes: lips venturing, tongues exploring and colliding unchecked. I hear my sighs echoed in her own and see my desire reflected in her eyes. Every reason we shouldn’t do this incinerates in the fire that flares between us. Her hand trails down my arm as our mouths refuse to part, unwilling to separate after too-long denial of our deepest desires. My mind says savor her slowly, but the rest of me has other ideas, driving me headlong into this heat.

I maneuver her gently onto the cushions until she is lying on her back beneath me and I am resting half atop her. Our legs are entwined and I feel like a teenager again, necking on the family sofa and hoping that her parents don’t come home any time soon.

Her hands are feather light against my face. My heart races and my skin flushes as I struggle to stay in control of my emotions, which are haring off in opposite directions. Typical.

Intimacy has always been difficult for me; my natural desire usually thwarted by my fear of abandonment. This accounts for my porn habit and lack of — dates, shall we say? It makes relationships complicated, at best, and sexual intimacy a rare, if exquisite, journey. Nothing ventured, nothing lost, I say. I’d long ago resigned myself to the condition. Somehow, though, Dana Scully has managed to creep under my skin in ways I didn’t think possible. I trust her implicitly and I’m reminded of the adage “to be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.” Both feelings apply when it comes to Scully. And now, she is here, beneath me and I want her more than I’ve ever wanted anything.

It’s not just physical: she is my soul mate and to possess her is a pilgrimage to a better version of myself.

I pull back long enough to catch my breath and the moment in my mind. Scully’s hair is mussed, her color is high and her lips are wet and swollen from our kisses. She is panting softly. Her eyes are dark with need, but as they register with mine they alight with such tenderness, I am stunned. I know she can’t see it, but I am afraid. Not of the outside world with its plots and machinations, those we can handle. We have so far. What terrifies me is that I may be the one to let you down and hurt you, Scully, like so many others. Her eyes dim for a moment and I see the question there <Is everything all right?>.

I can’t think about this right now, not with her body pressing up against mine and her fingers tracing against my mouth. I kiss those digits, teeth running lightly along the index finger, taking it into my mouth and sucking lightly as she draws it out. “You taste good,” I murmur. A playful smile twitches on her lips.

“Careful, agent. You don’t want to get hooked, now do you?”

“Fait accompli,” I reply with a frankness born of passion.

Affection and something more shine in her eyes at my confession.

I’m too captive to my emotions to logically consider what she is silently communicating, but the warmth of her gaze feels like sunlight on a heart kept in the shadows for too long. She proceeds to place each finger against my lower lip so I can repeat the process. By the time we get to her pinky, I’m intoxicated on the taste of her. Her hands move to hold my face and she whispers, “we’ll see,” before pressing her mouth to mine, still and open, while her tongue slips along my upper lip. My tongue parries with hers before her next kiss takes me over, full and sensuous, robbing me of breath, sight and prudence.

I’m overcome by the awareness that this is actually happening.

With Scully. Sensations are flooding me, ripples of pleasure pulsing through every fiber of my being, demanding more. I rise above her, resting on a forearm as my free hand moves of its own accord under the edge of her sweater, making its way along her heaving sides against the cotton top she is wearing, to discover she is not wearing a bra. Hey, sometimes you just get lucky. Her hand moves through my hair and down along my neck and shoulder, as my fingers pass lightly over the nipple of her breast. My hand caresses the soft swell that presses up against my touch through her top. Suddenly, without warning, I see a flare of panic in Scully’s eyes. “We shouldn’t” she protests half-heartedly. I pinch the nipple through the fabric and she inhales sharply.

“You started this,” I remind her with a grin as I slowly gather the fabric together and my hand slips under to reach soft bare skin. Her eyelids blink slowly at me. She’s beautiful, but I’ve known that for years. That, by itself, gave me cause to desire her. Now, with her body conformed to mine, I am caught in the delicious rush of arousal heightened by the fact that this is no illusion, but a flesh-and-blood woman; one that I have silently loved for more years than I care to admit.

“I wasn’t thinking,” she replies.

I read both hesitation and want in her eyes while my thumb teases the tender bud of her nipple and my fingers memorize the curve of her breast. “No, you were feeling and that’s okay, Scully,” I say quietly.

“Is it?” Her eyes glisten.

I’m taken aback. My hand moves until it is laying quietly above her heart. I respond to her in soothing tones. “It’s a human response. We are only human after all, remember?” She turns her face from me, so that only her profile is visible. A single tear slips across the bridge of her nose. Her distress cuts into me and I press my lips to her brow. “Or is Dr. Scully not allowed?”

Crickets serenade the darkness beyond and a newly risen moon rides low in the sky. Its light creeps across the floorboards and partially onto us. Scully’s chest rises and falls beneath my hand, her heart beating quickly. Her changing expression reveals an inward dialogue. When she finally speaks, her voice is hushed.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve tried to hide my feelings.

It just made me feel stronger not to give in to the things I felt as we moved from place to place. It was always ‘take it on the chin, Starbuck.’ I wanted to be like Bill and Charlie-a tough little sailor. But, I was really very shy and every new school meant leaving behind old attachments and starting all over again.

I hated it.” She pauses and I watch her sad, bright eyes. “Every birthday, I’d wish on my candles for the same thing.”

“What was that?” I gently ask.

“To stay put; to have a relationship I wouldn’t have to leave behind. I just wanted to be a regular kid.”

“Just one of the crowd.” Her eyes return to mine and I know I’ve tapped into something deep within her.

“But I always stood out. Academics-you know?” I nod, acknowledging the validity of her words to me. “Everyone said I was so well-adjusted. Truth was, I was scared to death, afraid that people would notice how inadequate I really was.” She pauses. “I guess I still worry about that.”

“Even with me?”

“Especially with you.” I’m dazed by her response, but she is deadly serious, eyes intent on mine. “Mulder, it’s important to me that we act as equals in whatever we do. I never want you to feel that I’m some fragile female you have to protect.”

I have to smile at that one. “Fragile? I’ve seen you take down guys twice your size. In fact, if memory serves, I’m usually the one who gets an ass kicking.” That coaxes a small smile from her in return. It’s at my expense, of course, but it serves. Her eyes soften and my hand begins to caress her again. “Unfortunately,” I begin, planting small kisses under her chin, moving along her neck towards the earlobe, “thinking of you as something other than female is not possible.” She hums softly. “Not right now, anyway.”

“And you won’t think me weak?” I look up and meet her eyes.

“Scully, is this your version of ‘will you respect me in the morning’? Cause if it is, I can’t do anything but. You’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. I depend on it.” My thumbnail flicks against her taut nipple and she shivers, eyes closing. I return my attentions to her, dropping my head to nudge the hair away from her ear with my nose. She smells like jasmine and the Ivory soap from the common bath we’re sharing.

“That’s just it…I’m not strong at all…” she states between softly jagged breaths. “I do everything but face up to my feelings.”

“Tell me about it,” I whisper in her ear before running my tongue along its outer rim, pulling the lobe into my mouth and gently giving a tug. I feel more than hear the quiet intake of breath as she involuntarily reveals the effect of my efforts. No, facing feelings is something the rational Agent Scully doesn’t do, even when confronted with her own mortality. I still recall her clinical detachment as we stood facing x-rays damning her with cancer and a half-dozen other moments when I was desperate to reach into that stoic facade and wrench her to me because I was rattled for me and her. But now, just now, I sense that coolness beginning to dissipate into something infinitely warmer.

I want more. My lips find their way to the tender place just behind her ear, the pulse strong and steady against a mouth that wants to devour her.

“Always have…high school, college, even Quantico…Hmm…just went with what I knew…my job Mulder what are you doing to me?”

“I know how that is,” ignoring her question. It’s a curious dance of seduction. With each step towards deeper candor, she allows me physcially closer. Maybe Scully likes to talk during sex. Hell, I don’t care if she wants to recite the Gettysburg Address, as long as I get the chance to find out. Which isn’t to say that I’m not listening, because I am and I tell her so.

She goes on, “Inside, I just felt lonely.” I feel the pain of that loneliness resonate within myself. I kiss her forehead tenderly… “I became a glorious overachiever…” Her eyelid…

“I always got noticed for my mind…” Beside her mouth… We are not so different after all.

“And they forgot to notice the pretty woman?” I murmur as her eyes flutter open. She searches mine for something unknown.

“I’m pretty?”


“I mean, I was always the smart one. Missy was the pretty one.”

She is sincere in her doubt and I shake my head in disbelief. Can she truly not see herself as she is to me? Does she really not notice the way men rake her with their eyes when she walks through the Bureau? I do and it kills me not to say something to wipe the smiles off their horny, bastard faces as they ponder doing what I’m doing right now.

“You are more beautiful than I can say,” I quietly tell her, my hands still. “I suppose there are a lot of things I should have said before now. It just never seemed the right time or place.

Dales tried to tell me when we were in Florida.”

“What did he say?”

“He said I should let you know how special you are to me. I think I’ve done that already. And he told me not to give up. So… I’m not.”

This delicate exchange is nothing short of amazing to me. We trust one another as partners; it’s a necessity. But I want her to trust me as a man, to let down her guard and just be a woman.

Until a few months ago, I was convinced that my non-platonic feelings were a one-way street; but her ‘laptop’ revelations have carved themselves a wide, deep channel in my gray matter and I can’t let them go. She’s brought us to this place in time and I’ll stop if she asks, only… only…my fingers are worshipping the contours of her body and I’m contemplating my next move. Sue me.

My hand moves from her breast and slowly trails fingertips against the warmth of her stomach, pausing at the top of her trousers, where I finger the silken ribbon that gathers the fabric at her waist. She stiffens slightly and her breathing quickens. Our eyes hold steady as I ask, “Afraid?” An imperceptible nod follows.

“Of me.” It is half statement, half question.

“No, not of you, ” she says softly. “Never you.”

“Then what?” I question on a sigh.

“There’s so much working against us.”

“I’ll take it all on, if it means I can have you.”

“You already have me,” she says with a wry smile.

“Not completely. I told you I was a patient man, Scully, but my patience is worn thin.” I look down to where my hand is slowly pulling at the tail of the bow that unravels easily under my fingers. “Well, happy birthday to me,” I murmur.

“Mulder—” Scully softly rebukes, but her eyes glow when I look at her and a smile twitches at her mouth. Our gaze holds steady as my hand inches under the fabric until I reach the smooth satin of panties. My breathing has gone shallow and I am well aware of the erection pressing inside my jeans, against her legs. Scully takes note of my condition with a shift of her leg.

“It’s been awhile,” she states. I’m not sure if she means me or her.

“Yeah, but I hear it’s like rollerblading. Once you learn…” I trail off with a wag of my brows.

“Rollerblading? You mean riding a bicycle, don’t you?”

“It’s the nineties,” I shrug. Scully begins to giggle and the irony of the moment hits us. We’ve argued scientific theory and method and contemplated the world’s fate, but we’ve never talked about sex. I’m not about to start, either. As Jim Morrison so wisely admonished, “The time to hesitate is through.” She is suddenly serious as my fingers slip under the thin elastic, moving through the curls that delineate her sex. She shifts sensually to allow my hand access and her heat against my touch is galvanizing.

Timing is everything, they say, and I am using every ounce of restraint to gauge her reactions and control mine. “I want you,”

I tell her simply, earnestly.

She closes her eyes and lays one hand on my chest, pushing back ever so slightly. “Mulder?” she whispers and I hear a trace of hesitancy beneath the husky contralto that betrays her desire.

She has reservations about this. Hell, so do I. Still, I’ve never been one to pull up short when the truth of something is on the line; and there is a truth between us on the line right now.

“Tell me you don’t want this,” I say roughly against her ear, my voice suddenly thick as my middle finger seeks her opening and enters her part way. Her eyes fly open as a gasp escapes her. Our eyes lock as I withdraw and insert it again, slowly. She holds herself still against me, poised between resistance and surrender.

I watch her eyes for signs of rejection. What I find is a combination of curiosity, confusion and behind it all, the flicker of pleasure. There. I feel illicitly pleased with myself.

I reenter her moist center time and again with unhurried, deliberate actions, the palm of my hand grazing her folds as I move within the confines of her clothing. It’s awkward, but a deep sigh comes from her as her back arches and her head falls back. Her sweater falls to one side and I nuzzle the tender place between her throat and her shoulder, biting down lightly, drawing her flesh into my mouth. She moves beneath me, setting in motion an entirely different set of sensations where her hips rock against my lower body.

She’s allowing this, but this can’t happen by default. She voices a small groan of frustration from her as I withdraw. I want her conscious consent. After years of waiting and wanting, I’ve earned it. “Should I stop?” I ask softly. Her response is a clear shake of her head. I shake mine slowly in return, a slight smile on my lips. “Not good enough, Scully. I need to hear the words.” She seems puzzled. “The words,” I repeat, my voice dropping to a whisper. “Tell me what you want.”

“I can’t,” she responds, her pitch matching mine. Scully wordless? I don’t think so.

“Yeah, you can. Tell me.”


“Scully, it’s me.”


“Say it.”

She reaches up and kisses me, her tongue invading me, sliding against my own. We claim one another until she pulls away slightly and against my open mouth murmurs, “touch me,” before returning to our kiss. The blood is pounding in my ears, passion inflamed by her request.

We part and I raise myself to nearly a sitting position, running my hands over her hips. Her legs are still entwined with mine as I tug the flimsy trousers down her thighs. My hand covers the dark blue satin triangle that conceals her most choice asset.

What I want to do is tear the lacy scrap of cloth off and put my mouth to her there and then, but I move slowly. This is Scully: not Diana, who only liked it rough; nor Phoebe, who played elaborate sex games; or Sally Corrigan, my lab partner at Franklin High, who taught me basic female anatomy; or Mrs. Walden, my mother’s bridge partner, who seduced me when I was 14. Everything pales compared to the depth of feeling I bear for this woman and if I screw up now, I’ll lose her for good.

I slide back down beside Scully, my arm snaking around her to hold her close to me while my fingers seek their way through damp curls to find the small nubbin of flesh that is the center of her pleasure and begin a slow, circular rhythm against her. Patient, yes. Persistent, absolutely. She is uttering small sounds, her breath warm against my neck, as I watch my hand move between us.

I want to please her, satisfy her, take her out of herself, if only for a few stolen moments, away from the daily grind of selfdiscipline and denied emotion. I turn to view her face and observe the reward of my effort. Her eyes are closed and her expression has transformed from worry to carnal delight.

Her hands trace fire on me as they move under my sweater, against the cotton of my teeshirt, to rest against my chest. “Mulder,”

she finally sighs, her hands winding around to embrace me as our mouths meet again. It’s a gesture of surrender and I recognize what she is offering: not just her body, but her need to hide herself from me, as well. Her hips rise against my hand in a slow roll. She does it again, seeking just the right angle and pressure, using me as a point of resistance. She is finding her own pleasure now and granting me mine in her abandon. I feel her breath and, to my surprise, the nip of little Scully teeth at my throat as she establishes a lazy rhythm against my hand. I respond to her cadence with a quicker counterpoint at her core.

My body is screaming for release, so I shift until my throbbing flesh is flush with her gyrating hip, appreciating the friction generated by flesh against fabric. It is sweet madness.

I push aside all extraneous thought from my mind save Scully and the conscious experience of what is happening, to be cached in my personal hard drive. My finger teases her clit before delving the folds below. Each penetration draws a muted moan from her.

“More…” she purrs and I oblige, increasing tempo at a steady pace.

A soft, intermittent hum emanates from her and I feel the rising tension in her body through the pressure of her hands on my back.

The pads of my fingers thrum against her until I hear her breathe, “yes…God, yes,” with hardly a sound.

All at once she stills, a series of shuddered gasps escapes her as she trembles, hands clutching me, and succumbs to the orgasm that rocks her against me. My fingers continue to gently tease as she writhes beneath me, extending her climax. As her shudders subside, I cease, my hand laying still and wet against her.

She is a long time coming back to herself. When she meets my eyes again, there is passion and pleasure in her half-lidded eyes. I note a feral quality there, one I don’t quite recognize as Scully.

I definitely like it. It reminds me that there is still much to discover about this woman and I intend to learn chapter and verse.

We read each other’s eyes and our wordless <You okay, Scully?> <I’m fine, Mulder> generates a smile from us both.

We disentangle and rise from the divan. She barely has time to put herself in order before I pull her up against me, eager to feel the length of her again. She pushes me backwards until we stumble against the wall of the house. Grabbing for the buttons on my jeans she practically growls, “Turnabout is fair play, Gman.” Yup. Timing is everything, but I’m looking for the long haul and not the short run. So, hard as it is, yes pun intended, I grab her hand before I’m rendered brainless and propel us both towards the front door of the house.



I tug Scully along with me, anxious to make our way up the stairs to the corner bedroom I occupy. Her hand feels small in mine, but she clasps it tightly, signaling her agreement with this decision.

We have come a long way to this point, against daunting odds, and I’ve decided that short of the alien colonists landing in the front yard, this will happen.

We round the corner of the house and take several steps further before I realize that the Dorsets are coming up the walkway in front of the house. Shit. Shit. SHIT. I stop short, causing Scully to collide into me from behind. She doesn’t see them, yet, and I’m quickly taking stock of the situation, weighing options and assessing Scully’s frame of mind. Of course, I’m additionally confronted with the state of my erection, which is uncomfortably reminding me of its existence. I’m tempted to ignore the Dorsets and just keep going, but somehow I know that will never fly with Scully, even now.

“I thought you said we had the house to ourselves?” she asks, slightly bewildered as she comes around to my side, catching sight of the elderly couple. I exhale heavily in frustration, running a hand over my face and covering my mouth to keep from venting a choice epithet. I hear Scully’s chagrin in the small sigh she emits with a whimper. I gaze down at her, shaking my head with more than disappointment in my eyes. I shouldn’t be surprised by this latest event in the twisted mockery of my life, but I am devastated. She must see it because she takes a step ahead of me and turns back to face me, eyes intent on mine, radiant and glowing, a smile playing on her lips. Okay, so she still wants me and I feel better, but not a lot. She drops my hand and walks to the top of the steps, just as Jenny Dorset reaches the bottom.

“Let me get that for you,” Scully offers, taking the brown grocery bag from the plump, gray-haired woman. Jenny is amiable and while I want to be rude, I know it wouldn’t be justified. Besides, I had better play nice or Scully won’t play at all.

“Well, thank you, Ms. Scully. That certainly is kind of you.

Such nice manners. Don’t you think, Gerald?” She turns to her husband, Gerald Dorset, a reedy man sporting a salt-and-pepper shock of hair and trim beard. He follows with two more bags. I descend the steps quickly to meet him, taking both bags in hand.

“I’ve got it,” I say with a saccharine smile. I take both bags, which he relinquishes immediately. The bags weigh a ton. Just what the hell did they buy? I take a quick peek and notice that the sacks aren’t filled with groceries at all, but books. I glance at the title of a worn, red leather-bound volume sitting at the top of the bag: “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin.

Hmm. A quick appraisal of the second bag reveals “The Virtue of Selfishness” by Ayn Rand. I have to admit I’m begrudgingly impressed, although I can’t say why.

We carry the bags into the softly lit living room and place them down on the low coffee table that sits between the paired loveseats running perpendicular to the brick fireplace. Gerald begins laying kindling onto the grate as he prepares a fire.

Jenny excuses herself to prepare some tea. “Tea?” I mouth with exaggerated emphasis to Scully who stands at the opposite end of the sofa between us. She shrugs her shoulders slightly with a wistful look on her face. I draw in a deep breath to calm myself, exhaling slowly through pursed lips. I’m in control of myself again, although the images of the previous hour are replaying themselves a little too vividly in my mind. I can’t help but allow my eyes a leisurely perusal of Scully from head to toe and back, taking in every curve along the way. I note the fingers tapping against her thighs, the quicker than usual rise and fall of her chest, the parted lips and finally, those incredible blue eyes, grown wide with desire. I’ll never make it through this intact.

Gerald is going on about the recent events in Kennings. “Damn fools” he calls his neighbors. Scully sits down and we make polite conversation about our work with the FBI, skirting the more intrusive questions. Jenny emerges from the kitchen with a china tea service on a silver tray, a plate full of warm scones and homemade apricot jam. I rationalize that if I can’t satisfy one sensual pleasure, I’ll indulge another. I sit beside her and down three scones in record time, no jam, no tea. “Just a little hungry, aren’t we?” Scully chides playfully, throwing me a lazy smile from her perch in the corner of the sofa, diagonally across from me.

“I’ve always had a good appetite,” I retort, eyes boring into hers. She lets it go at that, but I can see her the faint flush that rises to her cheeks.

Gerald has the fire blazing before coming to sit beside me. He downs a scone in two massive bites and begins emptying the bags of their contents, one by one. He admits to being a hopeless bibliophile. “Eyah, the books just get to me.”

Jenny smiles at her husband, adding, “We planned on using the evening to shop for a new car over in Brigham Falls, but we got sidetracked by a used book fair at the town hall. Gerald just can not resist the smell of old paper. He goes positively loony.”

Jenny, apparently, is used to such fanciful changes of plan.

“And damn worth it, woman,” Gerald scolds affectionately. “Just lookit here.” He rises and walks to the bookcases flanking the mantle. Most of the books are just old editions of classics and specialty pieces; but he also owns several impressive items. He points out to Scully and me his more treasured possessions: a first edition of Samuel Clemens’ “Tom Sawyer”, an original folio by Audubon and his favorite, a signed copy of “Tropic of Cancer”

by Henry Miller. “It just doesn’t get better than this,” he says slyly. Jenny rolls her eyes, covers her mouth with two fingers and blushes. Scully and I exchange a glance.

The conversation and the hour wears on. Scully is polite, but I begin to get the feeling that her mind is elsewhere. From time to time she grows pensive, staring into the fire. It’s nothing any one but me would notice and I attempt to catch her attention. She refuses to meet my glance and a shiver of fear steals over me.

With the heat of the moment passed, I’m sure she’s changed her mind about the remainder of the evening. I feel the familiar pull of emotional distancing and begin to think of ways to politely disengage.

I observe the Dorsets, wondering how they manage to stay connected after so many years. My parents ended up bitterly estranged, unable to deal with each other in a civil fashion for more than a few hours. Growing up with their example, could I possibly hope to do things differently? What was I thinking? I look across to Scully, who sits quietly, staring at her hands in her lap. Did I really want to turn our partnership, our friendship, into a sexual conquest without hope of any legitimate future? Could I do that to her and still live with myself?

The mantle clock chimes eleven. Gerald rises and stretches.

“Well, Jenny, it’s time for us old folk to leave the young folk to their wiles.”

“Gerald, behave.”

“Behave, my foot, woman. It’s time to go.” He casts her a wink and she begins to take her leave. It’s a complete turn of events, but I’m suddenly anxious about being alone with Scully.

“You know,” I begin, standing up, “there’s no need to retire on our account. We’re just—” I catch Scully’s eyes on me, “partners.” The word sticks in my throat even as I say it.

Jenny looks at Scully and back to me. She gives me a long look from under raised brows. “If you say so, Mr. Mulder, but Gerald and I always retire at a reasonable hour, together. It’s a habit we got into after our children finally left and went off on their own. Marriage is like a plant— needs tending, you know. Most relationships do.”

“Eyah,” Gerald pipes in. “And now that the little bratties are gone, I’ve got Jenny all to myself again.” He gives his wife a squeeze. She chortles in mock surprise and they smile warmly at one another. I glance over at Scully. She is watching them with an unreadable look on her face. She glances down at the carpet for a moment and then, me. A sudden uncomfortable silence hangs between us.

The Dorsets seem not to notice as they rise together and carry the tea tray into the kitchen. There is the sound of scuffling from behind the swinging door and Jenny emerges fixing her hair and flushed. Gerald is smiling. “Well, g’night, young folk. Don’t do anything we wouldn’t do,” he teases with a wave of his hand. I nod wordlessly and Scully gives a low “Good night.” Jenny heads down the darkened corridor while Gerald lags behind. “By the way,”

he says softly, “our room is all the way at the back of the house and we never sleepwalk.” Then he is gone.

The room is deadly quiet. Scully is staring into the fire, which has burned itself into smoldering embers, rapidly growing colder.

Like us, I muse. I walk over to the fireplace and grabbing the poker, lean over trying to rekindle the flame that roared only a short time ago. Ironic. My efforts have limited success, as the flame that suddenly bursts is quickly gone.

“It needs more kindling.” Scully’s voice is steady. I want to face her, but I can’t. I want to say I’m sorry for being an inconsiderate ass, but I don’t. I’ve been called arrogant and self-centered. It’s true, but it’s never bothered me before.

Right now, though, I’m berating myself for being the selfish bastard that I am and ashamed that I could dismiss her so quickly, so thoughtlessly, so easily. Just partners? I am a horse’s ass. I should say something, but it would sound self-serving. I was so wrapped up in self-preservation, I forgot about her; what she wants, what she needs, how much she deserves and how Godawful I’d be at providing it. Yes, I love her. Yes, I want her, more than ever. But I don’t deserve her. Never did, Fox. Only the heartless ones survive with you, boy. Phoebe. Diana. And they left eventually, too. As it should be.


I’m brought back into real time by the realization that she is standing beside me, taking the poker from my hand. She kneels down and begins placing wood from the kindling stack onto the existing embers. Removing the bellows from its hook beside the hearth, she gently forces air under the crisscrossing structure.

Her features are intent, as they always are when she is absorbed by a task, and she coaxes the flames back to a decent burn. It’s not a roaring fire, but it’s still burning. Curious. She looks up at me from where she is kneeling and at last, I meet her eyes.

I expect to find anger or hurt or disappointment. There is none.

“Go and sit down,” she says low. I usually argue with direct instruction, but I’m feeling contrite, so I obey silently.

She stares wordlessly into the flames for a long minute before turning towards me. Crossing the floor, she heel-toes the Chinese slippers from her feet as she approaches. At the edge of the braided carpet, she suddenly detours and begins making a tour of the room. My eyes never leave her as she pauses to admire a book or trinket that obviously holds meaning for the couple who went to their shared bed some time ago. She pauses at a side table that holds framed photographs of the Dorset family. One, especially, captures her attention and she picks up the frame, studying the portrait therein with a smile. Setting it down, she continues her circuit, extinguishing lights as she goes, so that the room lay ensconced in increasing shadow and flickering firelight.

When she completes the circle, she comes to stand beside where I sit, facing the fire. Her face is in shadow, but her eyes are softly gleaming. She looks at me in silence and then, without a word, climbs onto the sofa and into my lap, straddling my legs.

My heart is beating foolishly fast and I am breathing harder. Her eyes never leave mine as she lazily pulls her sweater over her head and tosses it aside. I fight the urge to reach out for her.

Trust me, I’m not that much of a gentleman. I just need to know, after six years of imagining this moment, just how much she wants this, wants me. She reaches beneath my sweater with both hands and begins to pull at my teeshirt. I want this so badly I can taste it. But, suddenly, I can’t. Somehow, it feels wrong. I place my hands over hers, where they lay against my stomach, my shirt bunched in her hands.

“What’s wrong?” she whispers, bafflement clear on her features.

“We had an arrangement, didn’t we? You show me yours, I’ll show you mine?” She leans in with half-lidded eyes and kisses me gently, her tongue darting out to lap against my upper lip.

Still, I don’t move. Somehow, I know that unless we go into this on equal ground, it will never be right. If I take her now, like this, it will be dishonest and, if nothing else, we have always been honest with one another. The slippery slope we stand on is not what I want for us. I owe her more.

She pulls back, sensing my reticence. My hands slide along her thighs and up, under her top until they encircle her waist. Eyes meet. “This isn’t about an arrangement. It’s just you and me, Scully. There’s nothing you have to do; nothing more you need to give.”

“I want—” she begins.

“I know,” I stop her mid-sentence. “I want it, too. But I won’t use you.”

“You couldn’t.”

“Never overestimate the intentions of a man sitting with a sexy redhead in his lap.” I glance down, noting the evidence of her arousal to me, the peaks of her breasts pressing against the thin fabric of her top. I raise my eyes to find her mouth set in a small smile.

“Mulder, I know you better than that.” Her words set off another round of self-recrimination and doubt. I feel my passion chill, steeling myself against the inevitable hurt that must follow. I bite my lower lip, a dead giveaway that I’m anxious about this.

“Do you? What do you know about me, really? We talk about work, we talk about Samantha or your family, but never about us. It’s not your fault, Scully; it’s just a fact. It’s who I am. It’s why I became a psychologist—easier to keep people at a distance by listening to them instead of talking about myself.” This is already more information than I’m comfortable sharing and normally, I’d have already fled to escape significant, personal disclosure. This time, however, I’ve got a seriously aroused Gwoman pressed against parts of me that haven’t felt the feminine touch in ages and the current running between us is practically arcing. Blame or thank Mother Nature, but I’m not going anywhere, yet.

The look on her face says ‘tell me something I don’t know, Mulder,’ but she says nothing. We lapse into silence. The fire has died down again and the embers glow with a dull redness on the grate, casting soft shadows around us. We watch one another’s eyes for a sign of what’s to come next in this drama. My confidence of early evening has dissipated into thin air, even as the feel of her skin under my hand invites further exploration.

Why is this so hard for us? I don’t get it. Other folks feel mutual attraction and just act on it. No brainer. Not us. We parse, overanalyze and dissect every nuance of word, voice and gesture in spite of our obvious need for each other. Like twin stars, we encircle but never join, fearful of cataclysm.

Finally, Scully closes her eyes and exhaling a long sigh begins to pull away from me. We’ve gone further over the line than ever, but it’s still a familiar routine. What catches me completely off-guard is the loss of her warmth against me as she rises to leave. The cool rush of air that invades our space cuts into me like a physical slash. And perhaps it has cut into a portion of my mind that’s lain dormant for too long, because my reaction is involuntary. My hands are still on her, resting at her hips now.

She is slowly rising, moving away from me, but my grip on her strengthens and I hear myself say, “don’t go.”



Scully looks down at me, coppery locks falling forward over one ear. I’m tempted to reach up and tuck them away, like I usually do, but I won’t release her. Slowly, I pull her back down to me until she is once again, nestled against me and we are face to face. Equals. Partners. And that’s where I begin, voice low, in the tone I reserve only for her.

“What I said to Jenny before—I don’t even know where to begin. I’m sorry would probably be a good start, right?”

“It wouldn’t hurt.”

“So…I’m sorry, Scully, for so many things—Emily, Melissa, your cancer, your implant, you name it. Without me in your life, you’d probably be in a nice, normal relationship with a nice, safe man who could give you everything you deserve. Much as I want you, Scully, you deserve better.” She is thoughtful and it’s quiet but for the slow hiss and crackle of the fire.

She slowly shakes her head. “No.” she says. “You may think so, Mulder, but I know better than that. I would never have found Emily at all, if not for our work together and my implant would still be a part of me. Worse yet, I might have removed it and be dead by now, just like the others. As for Melissa, she was a believer in fate and she’d probably say it was meant to be, although I wish it wasn’t so. Mulder, our lives are bound together, somehow, so forget the ‘you’d be better off without me’ speech.”

“I pushed you aside tonight…even after everything that’s happened. Scully— you’re so much more than just my partner.”

“But I am your partner,” she states, pausing to look away and collect her thoughts before bringing her eyes back to mine. “I walk at your side by choice. I hope you can accept that, believe that, because it’s true. Being “just partners” isn’t so bad. I’m actually proud of our—“distinction”—in the Bureau. We’re good, Mulder, so good together.” Her hands rest against my chest.

“And, yes, we are friends. I don’t know anyone else who has my apartment key, or who takes care of me when I’m sick, or any other living soul who would travel to the ends of the earth to find me at risk to their own life. My God, Mulder, you redefine the word ‘friend.’”

“And lovers?” I can’t help but look down at our relative positions and ruefully smile. When I look back up, I see her noting our positions, as well. She lifts her face, and then her eyes to mine. The look I saw earlier is lurking in their blue depths and I feel like the canary being watched by the cat. Uh-huh. I involuntarily wet my lips and watch in fascination as Scully slowly inhales, her tongue running the length of her upper lip, her eyes watching my mouth. Being the focus of her intense perusal is unsettling and arousing as hell. The thought that this may yet turn out well makes its appearance in my muzzy brain.

“Let’s just say I’m tired of running scared. Mulder, I don’t know the future or if this,” she says briefly glancing down between us, “is the wisest course of action. And we will have to face those difficult questions about one another. I just don’t want reach the end of my life wondering what it might have been like.” She pauses. “Do you?”

I shake my head. “You know the odds are against us.”

She casts her head towards the corridor. “They seem happy. It is possible.”

“I can’t make any promises to you, Scully.”

“Then don’t. I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself. I know what I don’t want—and what I do, finally.” Her devil-may-care attitude knocks me on my figurative ass and I probably look as surprised as I feel because she shakes her head and smiles at me just before her lips brush mine briefly. She pulls away a scant inch or so and then returns to kiss me softly once more, a tad longer. Again, she retreats. Taking my face in both of her hands, she begins to make love to my mouth with hers, the tip of her tongue occasionally reaching out to caress my lip or to meet my own. Whenever I try to intensify the contact, she stops, pulls back and shakes her head at me. She’s asking for control and I finally relent, enjoying the seduction. She comes at me over and again with kisses against my mouth, my face and along my neck to the spot that I am so very fond of on her, just behind the earlobe. My blood runs like fire in my veins.

She pulls back and this time, when she reaches for my sweater, I don’t stop her as she helps me remove it, followed by the tee underneath. I lean back against into the corner of the sofa and run the back of my knuckles against her flushed cheek. Laying her hands flat against my stomach, she presses them against me, slowly inching their way upwards along flesh and muscle, threading through the short hairs there. She lightly runs the tips of her fingers over the hard nubs of my nipples, evoking a sudden sough of breath from me. She lingers there for a few moments before continuing her sweep upwards, along my shoulders. Heat radiates from my groin to my fingertips and every square inch of my body tingles.

Placing her arms on either side of my head, she leans into my chest, clasping her hands behind my head. Her breasts, unfettered under the tank top she is wearing, rub against me sinuously. I want to touch them again, see them, see her, all of her. Her face is near and I smell her perfume, along with the heady scent of her arousal as she slowly bandies her nose against mine. Logical thought is rapidly deteriorating under her assault, but I make one last attempt at clarification. “You know, Scully,” I manage to croak out, “You seemed preoccupied earlier tonight and I, uh, thought you might have changed—” She pulls back until her face is even with mine.

“Mulder—shut up,” she chides, looking into my eyes. “I love you, okay?”

Time passes as the import of her words reach my five remaining brain cells and I feel a heaviness lift off of me, so real that I swear it’s physical. “Okay,” I breathe, not quite comprehending.

The smile in her eyes and the way she is slowly grinding her hips against me signals that I haven’t misread her and from the way my cock is twitching against her from its denim-confined prison, she can’t be misreading my intentions either. I feel a grin possess me like an idiot. I can’t help it and she knows it.

“Enough” I finally rasp hoarsely, propelling myself forward and Scully back until she is once again pinned beneath me. There is no hesitation as I pull the tank over her head and set myself to task. Her breasts are round and firm, with a small rosy areola surrounding a dusky pink nipple. I admire its perfection for about three seconds before latching onto it with my mouth and suckling her. Her moans are sweet music. I’m not exactly quiet, either. While my mouth is occupied with one breast, my hand teases the other, rolling the nipple between my fingers until she gasps. After a time, I switch, granting equal attention to the other side. She’s a liberated woman, after all, and I want to be equitable. Her hands rake through my hair and down my back with nails just long enough to hurt so good.

I rise up and kiss her deeply, my tongue swiping through her mouth before I move to kneel beside the sofa, swiftly undoing her trousers and dragging them off with her panties, until she is prone and naked to my eyes, her arms raised above her head. And there I stop. I have no choice as I am granted the sight of a beautiful, naked Scully panting with desire, eyes wild, hair splayed beneath her. Her inside leg is bent while the leg nearest me falls open, trailing her foot to the floor. It is a wanton pose struck without guile. She is an unknowing seductress and I’m left breathless knowing that I can actually touch her, taste her, take her. “Scully, you’re…” She is watching me curiously, confused by my loss of vocabulary.

“What, Mulder?” she queries.

Taking my index finger and placing it at the base of her throat, I run it slowly down between her breasts and over her midsection, my other fingers trailing with it. All the while my eyes follow the same path until I reach the apex of dark auburn curls. There it stops as I look back up to meet her eyes.

“What?” she repeats in a breathy whisper, eyes dark.

“Mine, ” I growl. Her eyes close and she visibly trembles. “All mine,” I repeat with mischief as I pull her towards me and make myself comfortable between her legs. The view of Scully from this particular perspective is one I’m definitely adding to the Mulder erotica permanent collection, seeing as it tops any and all possible videos I own, with the exception of one we’d make ourselves. Hmm. Catalog for future investigation. The advantages of a large nose are obvious, as I nudge the swollen bundle of flesh at her core. She moans as I forestall the inevitable, my mouth hovering just above her throbbing flesh, savoring the moment just before, as the Japanese say, until I hear a plaintive “Mulder, please.” I have to smile. She says it so pretty, I’d like to hear it again. “What’s that, Scully? I can’t hear you.”

“Oh, you are impossible”, she scolds and I smile more broadly.

Agent Scully is having a temper tantrum because I won’t go down on her. Who’d have thought? I blow a delicate stream of air across her and she twitches visibly. “Mulder,” she breathes. Her voice commands, “Now—” followed by a plaintive “please.” You can’t argue with that. So I submit, kissing those other lips and delighting in the jolt that runs through me at the contact of her on my mouth. We both moan as her hips thrust against me and my tongue swirls around her, sampling her sweetness. I pleasure her leisurely, alternating the pressure and the timing of my tongue’s strokes, my fingers invading her in rhythmic imitation of what I still want to do to her with parts of me yet uninvolved. She squirms wickedly, an occasional epithet escaping her lips. Tough little sailor, indeed.

My hands grab the firm roundness of her buttocks and she grabs my hair with one hand. I feel her muscles contracting around my slick fingers as I glance upwards at her. She is biting down on her free hand to stifle the moan she can not suppresss in her ecstasy. I remind myself that we should definitely start with this the next time. She is all around me and in me and the time has come for the main event. I kiss the flat of her stomach before standing.

She is moving with some lethargy and sighing to herself. Picking up the sweater she tossed earlier, she slips it over her head and pulls her legs up around her, arms clasped around her knees. She looks up at me, contentedly. I can’t resist remarking, “What, no comments, Scully? No counterarguments, scientific analysis or general objections?”

She says nothing, but slowly unwinds from the sofa, like a sleek black tabby, a mysterious smile on her face. She rises and her sweater falls mid-thigh like a very sexy, short dress. She gathers up the rest of her garments, except for her shoes, and clutches them to her. I’ve already thrown back on my sweater and tee and stand waiting. “All set” she whispers, placing a finger to her lips and tiptoeing past me. I reach for her, dragging her backwards into a quick embrace. She struggles against me.

“Mulder, we are never going to get upstairs at this rate.”

“I know, but it’s fucking fun.”

“Now that is something we have yet to attend to,” she states while she tilts her head back at me. Right. Just like Scully to get the heart of the matter. She takes my hand and leads me towards the stairs as quietly as possible. I’m right behind her, which is the perfect vantage point from which to watch her hips sway under the sweater that reveals nothing and everything to me.

At the top of the stairs we turn right and head to the end of the corridor. Our rooms sit opposite one another and although Scully attempts to enter hers, I steer her towards mine. We enter the room and I turn, closing the door behind us and throwing the latch. Scully drops her things into a chintz-covered chair and pads over to the open window where white, gauzy curtains flutter in the night breeze. Moonlight streams through, bathing the room in its argent glow. I undress, throwing the garments to the floor, and go to where she stands so still and quiet. Approaching from behind, I place my hands on her shoulders and kiss the nape of her neck. She raises her arms languidly and I lift the sweater from her. She leans back against me then, and sighs. My hands trace along her shoulders and down the smoothness of her arms, drawing hers along with mine as they cross over her chest, quietly holding her there, my chin resting just atop her head, drawing in the scent of her hair.

Like I said before, sometimes I need to hear the words and sometimes I don’t. Right now, there is nothing left to say. She turns in my arms and our height difference puts her at a disadvantage. “Come here” I murmur. With sure hands I grasp her by the waist and lift her to me. She understands my intent immediately and throws her arms around my neck, wrapping her legs around me. I feel her heat slide against my stomach as we kiss deeply. I turn with her and take the few steps towards the bed.

Gently laying her down, she scoots back into the pile of down pillows angled against the massive brass headboard and props herself up on her elbows, taking a long look at my body as I stand there. I allow her time to study me, a priori, noting the appreciative want in her eyes, committing to memory this last, pure moment as we stand at the threshold between what we were and what we will be, ad finem.

After years of anticipation, I’d have figured on being nervous.

I’m not. In fact, I’m perfectly calm as I mount the bed and make my way towards the gorgeous redhead who beckons me with azure eyes, parting her legs to welcome me, while a brilliant smile flashes at me. It’s an extraordinary sight, even with everything I’ve witnessed. She reaches down between us to take me in hand, running cool fingers around me and I’m at her mercy. My mouth is on hers, my tongue pushing deeply into her. She sucks on it and pushes back in kind. All the while she is stroking me, running her fingers along the underside of me and back to cup my balls in her hand. We part, breathless. “That’s it,” I exhale as her hand sweeps back to the head, taking the pearl of moisture that emerges from the tip and smoothing it back along my length. I groan, intoning her name.

She pushes up at me, scrambling until I am on my back and she is alongside of me, one leg casually slung across mine. “Equals, remember?” she says so seriously, just before a grin twitches the corner of her mouth. She decends on me, tasting and teasing, her tongue trailing across my chest to delicately lap first one, then the other, nipple. The subtle tactile sensation shimmers through me. Her lips are hot and moist against the tautness of my abdomen and for one brief moment, she stops to turn her head at me, casting me a frisky look. The sight of that auburn head slithering southward along my body, trailing small kisses as she goes, nearly finishes me then and there. I place my hands on her shoulders to gain just a moment to recover myself. She glances upwards through thick lashes. “Feeling shy?” she questions impishly. I open my mouth to tell her that she doesn’t have to do anything she’s not comfortable with but nothing comes out, except a soundless “oh” because she’s preempted my speech with her mouth on my cock. Words fail. My eyes close, savoring the sensations as she works her way up and down me: kissing, licking, sucking and generally making me crazy.

Finally, the urge to bury myself in her is more than I can stand.

I move from below her, pulling her upwards and rolling her under me. A sudden, bizarre memory of Scully in full martial arts mode blazes across my mind. The fact that she could immobilize me in ten seconds flat and outright kill me with one blow is a sobering thought. It’s also a wondrous one because she is completely relaxed and supple, my hands large against her tiny frame, trusting me completely as I situate her where I want her to be. I guide myself to her and part her folds with just the tip of my cock, running it along the length of her sex before entering her.

She emits a gravelly moan. “Ready?” I ask roughly.

“Since forever,” she responds. Her words trigger a rush of emotion that startle and enfold me in their meaning. My hardness penetrates her body as my mind penetrates the depths of her soul revealed in blue irises. I take it slow, filling her gradually until I am deep within her. With every inch, I feel a tightening in my chest that has nothing to do with my cardiac muscle and everything to do with my heart.

“Love you,” I whisper before I’m even aware of the words.

“Know that,” she returns, eyes shining. It’s a given ever understood.

Just why we hesitated to bring things to this point is beyond me right now. I move within her, stroking long and slow. “Ah, Scully,” I murmur, “so beautiful…wanted you…so long. God, you feel incredible.” And she does. Hot and wet and tight around me.

It’s been forever since I’ve done this and frankly, I’ve never been intimate with a woman who even came close to reaching into my psyche and my soul like Dana Scully. It’s better than anything I have imagined or can actually remember and, believe me, I’m a pro at both.

Time ceases its normal course and I’m not sure how long we engage in our passionate duet. I feel buzzed, drunk on the meade that is her wanton beauty, her unique fragrance, the soft longing in her voice as she sighs her pleasure to me. I open my eyes and spy a shimmer of gold as her cross slips along the chain at her slender neck. Personally, I wonder if we’ve broken any of her commandments, because this feels sinfully good. She is gently rocking against my rhythm, pushing me harder against her as her legs wrap themselves around me. Reaching past her, I grab one of the pillows and lifting her hips to me, settle it beneath her.

Her hands move across her breasts and stomach. “Don’t stop,” I whisper, certain that the lust flickering in her eyes reflects my own. Her hand trails slowly downward until her fingers are between us, gently moving against where we join. The sight of what I have imagined is intensely erotic and I feel my selfcontrol slipping. I want this to last, but I know I can’t hold out much longer. I’m 38, after all; young enough to still appreciate the appetites of the flesh, but old enough to know that nothing lasts forever.

“Scully?” I question, stroking steadily, breath uneven, a fine sheen of sweat breaking over my skin. Somehow, she knows what I’m asking because her eyes meet mine and she says “Let go, Mulder.

I’ll catch you.” A flurry of strong thrusts take me to the brink.

A groan from a deep, nameless place within myself crosses my lips as I climax, flying over the precipice where I fall. And fall.

And fall…into a sightless vortex: red and black swirling behind my eyelids, heart pounding, lungs gasping for life’s breath as my body capitulates to the waves of pleasure that spasm over me and propel the essence of all that I am to her.

I slump down onto her for just a moment, spent, before rolling onto my back beside her. For several minutes we lay silent, unmoving, unwilling to break the spell we have cast. A cool breath of air gusts over us, raising goosebumps over my superheated flesh. I hear Scully shiver as she reaches down, drawing up the soft, cotton coverlet that lays at the foot of the bed to cover us. I turn towards her as she arranges it around me and settles her back against my chest. I hold her tightly against me, encircling her in my arms, her feet brushing against my calves, my face buried in her neck. That this woman—so good, so strong, so kind should give me herself and her love is something I never thought possible. It has saved me and there is nothing I would not do for her.

I fight back the sting of tears that burn unbidden as I silently acknowledge both the joy and the sorrow of our coupling; love that brings us together, but can never bring her the child she craves, the child she deserves and the child that deserves her. I have to admit that I’m still afraid of all of this and where it’s going.

Scully talked about tempting the Fates, once, and I understand her apprehensions. We are poised on the brink of something. Only, I’m feeling warm and comfortable right now. I don’t want to think about the potential horrors: either without, via the scattered Consortium or within, through personal selfishness or indifference. Frankly, it’s been a very long time since I’ve felt so utterly at peace.

“Mulder?” Scully’s voice is softly muffled under the covers. She sounds sweetly younger, a throwback to our earliest days together.

“Um-hm?” I murmur, kissing her shoulder, my eyes closing as deep drowsiness envelops me.

“Could we do this again, some time?”

I smile. “I certainly hope so.”

“Good. I liked it.”

Her open vulnerability, rare as it has been throughout our relationship, deeply stirs me and, in spite of her clear protestations, I know that I will spend the rest of my life trying to keep her safe from harm.

I will never tell her.



Be well,



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