Emotional Risk by Exley_61

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From: Exley_61 <>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 1999 13:47:19 -0400
Subject: xfc: NEW:“Emotional Risk” by Exley_61 (1/4)

From: Exley_61 <>

TITLE: Emotional Risk

AUTHOR: Exley_61 ()

RATING: NC-17 (language and sexual situations)

CATEGORY: MSR, HEAVY ANGST, ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIP

DISTRIBUTION: Want to archive it? Sure, just let me know where.

DISCLAIMER: Not mine, ‘nough said.

SUMMARY: Mulder & Scully are weathering the storm of loves emotional risks, will they survive the deluge?

FEEDBACK: Please do, I want to hear from you, the more the merrier I’ll be. No flames… not that I’ve gotten any before, but well… doesn’t hurt to add, right?

–—

EMOTIONAL RISK

by

Exley_61

() –—

I claim her, clasping her to me with the pull of my lips. My tongue slides out tasting the berry lip gloss that coats her soft, pliant mouth. My hand travels across her waist, skimming her stomach atop her starched cotton shirt. I’ve memorized the curves and indentures of the muscles beneath the fabric, but I read them again like a treasured book that offers new interpretations. Pressing her into the blanket covered ground, it’s thin layer protects her from the crinkling grass beneath us while my body protects her from above.

Tugging the blouse out of the jeans waistband, I slide my hand beneath the material, the tips of my nails lightly scratching against her heated skin. I wait for the shudder that answers the questing question of my hand but it never comes. Instead, the lack of response rips away the desire-dipped fog that my senses were busy swimming in.

Pulling back, I look at her. Scully’s eyes are sealed against me and her body is still — unresponsive.

“Scully?” I ask, laying my hand against the side of her flushed cheek. If her skin hadn’t been splotched with a collection of rosy hues I might have started to seriously worry. She flutters her eyes open, turning her gaze upon me. The edge of her tongue slides past her lips, reapplying the moisture I had just licked off.

“What is it?” I ask. Wisps of auburn hair lash at her features. I thread it back behind her ear. I’m not sure if the fly-away strands irritate her as much as me, but I don’t want my view of her obscured, not even by the wind in her hair.

She remains silent, averting her gaze to look at the neighboring field of tall, billowing grass, a field that runs parallel with the lake we are lying beside.

I follow her glance, then turn my head around searching out the rest of the area.

All I see is said stretch of land. Bordering on one side is a swaying collection of leafy trees cha-cha-ing with the end of summer wind. On the other, the lake, which I note is duck-dotted as it drifts past us. We lay on our blanket, beneath this massive oak tree.

Our oak tree, actually.

It’s the one that Scully had brought me to a little over five months ago, where our occasional grazes evolved into a parade of touches, each one bringing us together in a heated frenzy that rocked my world.

This is our tree, our secluded spot along Strawbridge Lake where no one goes because you have to trek to East Jabipe to get here. It’s worth the distance.

Or is it?

I grip Scully’s chin, turning her eyes back to me. I don’t like what I’m seeing within them, not at all.

“Scully, what’s going on here?”

I know it’s a desperate measure bringing her back to this spot, but I also know that something isn’t right, hasn’t been right for the past month or so, an amount of time that is way too long in my book. So, I guess you could say being here is a last ditch effort to find out what’s at the heart of the problem. Hell, I’ll settle for just knowing what the problem actually is.

My previous attempts at getting her to open up have failed miserably, resulting in the now dreaded tertiary refrain of “Everything’s fine,” “We’re fine,” and my personal, all time favorite, “I’m fine”.

Like Hell!

She has definitely been pulling away from me, doing so as if I had done something stupid or crass. Which I won’t say isn’t impossible, but I’d want to think I’ve gotten better at being more considerate of her — particularly now in our relationship. Yet what I’d really want to think is that she’d tell me if I had done something that upset her.

Sometimes you just don’t get what you want.

Damn it, I don’t understand this… this.. attitude. Everything seemed to have been coasting along pretty well. Sure there were the occasional, minor relationship hiccups. I mean, both of us can be pretty damn stubborn but we manage… have always managed, and I thought that we could continue to do so.

Apparently, I was wrong.

I’ve racked my brain over and over again, failing miserably to come up with a reason for Scully’s seemingly sudden distance.

No luck.

And I’ll admit it — I’m… hell, I’m scared.

You know, it would be just like her to simmer and stew and not bring any issues to the proverbial table. Just like her. It’s one of the things that pisses me off, actually.

I’m finding that less and less, I really don’t know what’s going on up in that head of hers. It seems she keeps the lighthouse beacon dimmed for me, letting me crash upon the ragged cliffs before sharing with the class how, in her opinion, Fox Mulder has screwed up once again.

I brace my hands on either side of her, levering my body off of her to stand.

I pick up the cable knit sweater she gave me, debating whether to put it back on over my t-shirt. Giving a weary sigh, I angrily stuff my arms into it, tugging the off-white material over my head.

I grip my waist, turning away from her and blindly watching the ducks’ antics upon the water.

Christ, it had been so warm but now it’s gettin’ friggin’ cold.

I glance back at her then turn away, giving a violent toss to my head, grimacing in exasperation.

Shit. Damn. Fuck!

I’ve done it again — worked myself up into this familiar anger when I’d sworn that answers were going to be given. I thought that by bringing her here, the place where our relationship changed, truly would be a good idea. It would be a safe, sentimental spot that might actually provoke her into opening up the frayed lines of communication.

Ultimately, that really is the root of most of our problems lately and I’m tired of it. When we do talk, I want more than a verbal sparring partner. I want her to really talk to me.

I know I can be the strong silent type, the annoyingly silent type, maybe… but not now. Not when I feel that to maintain my quiet could result in much more damage then opening my big mouth. Communication. Shit, I don’t know, maybe making love has heightened my perception to the dire importance of this existing issue.

I can feel my anger growing again, coloring my thoughts and I can’t help it. I take a quick glance behind me once more and see she is beginning to gather up our picnic gear.

Damn it! Yeah, she might open her legs…but I’m not just any guy. I’m a 38 year old man who wants more than just a fuck buddy. I want a partner not just at work, but at home.

For a long time I thought I could never have that, not with her… but then things changed, we changed, and I did have that. For a short time it falsely lead me to believe that I could continue having it.

What I am discovering is that Scully will give me the intimacy of her body… but she won’t hand over the intimacy of her heart. Call me a crazy son of a bitch, but I want to share, to experience the culmination of feelings in her mind and mine and know that we still accept each other. But that’s just not happening. Maybe it was a foolish pipe dream, I don’t know… what I do know is that the status quo is unacceptable, at least it is for me.

The clinking of silverware subdues and again, I look over at her, seeing her arms crossed over her chest, her gaze absorbed by the swaying grass that is a few yards away. I watch, incredulous as she remains silent. Sensing my eyes upon her, she uncrosses her arms and continues to gather the picnic paraphernalia.

I’m so angry that I find myself walking over toward her and kicking the wine glass she’s about to grab. We both watch as it flies through the air and descends within the grass. It lands on a rock or something equally as hard because I hear the glass shattering within the forest of blades.

I face her.

“Scully, God damn it, are you going to talk to me?” I reach down and pull her up, gripping her arms. She hits at me and I let her go.

My breathing is labored with emotion. I’m so fucking confused and irate. I had thought we were beyond this modus operandi.

“Ah, shit!” I raise my hands, spinning away from her. Walking off the blanket, I cross over to the lake. The edge is bordered by a collection of lily pads that are being pulled to the right by the increase in wind.

I look up at the sky and see that the sun is being edged out by varying shades of thick, charcoal gray.

Fucking great… rain too.

I cross my arms, leaning forward over the little cliff of earth and peer at the spot of water left bared of floating greenery. I spy my reflection, it shakes, constantly moving upon the increased current. I see myself… alone… without her.

I don’t like it.

Drawing in a new wave of determination, I become even more resolute. I am not going to pull away from this, or let her pull me away by the fluctuating tides of her emotions. We’ve been through too damn much to fall apart at this juncture in our lives. I won’t accept this situation and I will no longer allow her to hold her silence. This… no, we are too important.

X*X*X*X

I close the lid on the picnic basket with a snap. My Fingers trace the grain of the wood. I don’t know why he is so angry. What does he want me to tell him?

I’m tempted to get up and walk away… but we’re in a different relationship now and walking away is not an option, no matter how tempting it can appear to be at times.

I’m willing to concede that I’ve been a bit distant. But, maybe, just maybe, our new shared intimacy has all been a monumental mistake? Perhaps we weren’t meant to evolve. But even as I think this, I know it to be incorrect.

Evolution is necessary for everyone’s survival – as such, the real question lies in whether or not Mulder and I were ever meant to evolve together?

The proof — the answer — I’ll admit, has been elusive.

When he looks at me, what does he see? Certainly not what I do. I see myself as someone who lives in a world of constants. And this relationship threatens these constants, wreaking havoc with my barely balanced world.

I knew that there would be changes, but I don’t think I truly understood to what degree they would affect my — no — our lives.

I think Mulder has always had the ability to provoke me with a gaze, causing a confusion that could unsettle me. Before we were intimate, I was able to handle — to control, any feelings that he would stir within me.

Now that I’ve succumbed to his touch, I’m finding it extremely difficult to control anything, and this confusion is driving me insane! I tried to look upon us as two people who love each other, two people who enjoy a certain closeness, but he keeps attempting to push me beyond the sexual intimacy of our relationship, beyond mere friendship and admiration… and I don’t understand why.

I would think that he’d find our relationship satisfying enough as it’s been. Yet, he asks me these questions that I’ve been forced to turn away from — and he doesn’t necessarily question with words. He doesn’t need to. So often, words are merely superfluous between us.

No, he asks me with a look, a caress, or a desire that seems to burrow into my soul and expose me to the world or… or maybe just to him.

Letting go of the basket, I stand up to re-button my shirt and tuck in the flaps. Sticking my hands into my jeans back pockets, I turn and look at the hypnotic flow of grass once more as the wind combs through the blades, creating a green sea of movement. It’s so beautiful and tranquil — a feeling that I have not been able to attain lately. But even as I look, trying to halt these continuous contemplations, my last thought imprisons me.

Expose myself to him…

The truth is I don’t want that exposure. No. So I’ve been shutting down, battening the hatches as Ahab would call it. Desperate, I’ve struggled to maintain the method of behavior that has been dictated to me through these past seven years of experience.

I know the part, I’ve breathed it every day of my life during those years, even through the multitude of losses I’ve sustained, through the horrors I’ve endured — I have remained a brave sailor in a sea filled with confusion and strife.

Mulder is asking me to trade in my dedicated post. He is asking me to resign from the storm ravaged sea that has become my life and join with him completely.

I feel tears slip down my cheeks and I hastily brush them away, glad that I’m not facing him right now and he is not facing me. I’m glad… glad.

He wants me to love him with all of my being and I just can’t.

I won’t give up what little of myself there is left. I don’t think I can, particularly to him. Because, if I do, this battered vessel that I am may just drown within him and never be found.

I can’t risk that emotional dependency.

I shudder out a sigh and wipe my face again before turning toward Mulder. He still stares off into the water and I wonder what he sees there.

As I watch him, I can’t help feeling my heart beat a little faster. The wind stirs his hair and his sweater sculpts perfectly to his back. It also molds his brown, silk, pleated pants to his body, touching against his skin as I like to do.

I can still see the anger in his stance and I secretly envy his ability to display it no matter where he is or who he is with. It’s probably given him more in his life than my silence will ever give me in mine.

But what do I want to get… with him?

I… I just want… I… I don’t know what I want. No, I do know. I want things to be like they were in the beginning of this new phase between us. I want things to stay that way, but as I’ve already acknowledged, that’s an impossiblity.

It’s become a virtual tug of war between us. I hold one end of myself and he, the other.

I think it’s time to buck up and give my final pull, and if his hands get burned by the slipping rope — well, they’ll heal eventually.

X*X*X*X

A loud clap of thunder scares the ducks, causing them to noisily fly away, startling me and breaking my harrowing daze.

I can’t stand here staring at myself all day. I remove my hands from my hips and turn a quick glance back at Scully.

Oh, she’s looking at me. How wonderful, I really do exist in her world, now.

What I need to do is calm down. Take a few deep breaths. I sigh, biting my lip hard to block my anger with a bit of pain before I about face and march back over to her.

I shove my hands into my pockets and watch as my feet stomp down on the overgrown blades of grass. My Bruno Malies disappear beneath the tangled patchwork with each step.

Finally, my feet are free of the overgrowth as I cross over to the shorn portion of earth beneath the undercarriage of the tree.

Okay, look up now and don’t explode.

She is standing before me with her back ramrod straight. Her features are collected in a visage of determination, but I can’t help thinking its a lie, that there is a crack in the porcelain she is presenting me.

I meet her eyes and for a moment she is unable to hide her vulnerability from me. You see, you can’t revert to the silence of communication without it exposing more than words would.

It’s a flutter of exposure, but I see it nonetheless and because of this I’m able to hold my cool when she finally deigns to talk to me, spitting out her words. I almost want to reach for my handkerchief and wipe it against my face, just to be sure I’m not soaked in the bitter, unpalletable words.

I manage to control myself, if only barely.

“Mulder, I… I can’t go on like this,” she begins. She knows I am watching her, using my tricks of the trade to dissect her. Her jaw is jutting out angrily and her eyes accuse me of playing dirty, but at this point, I don’t give a shit. I will do anything to understand.

“I can’t be… I can’t…,” she stutters then stops herself, visibly swallowing and collecting her thoughts as she closes her eyes. I can see her cheeks coloring and I know that it’s in response to her inability to express herself as she wants to.

“You can’t what, Scully?”

Her eyes reopen as we both physically cringe at the volume of my voice and how loudly it carries around us. I didn’t mean to be so loud. I don’t want to provoke her into silence once again.

She raises her eyes and determinedly holds my gaze, staring at me with this new resolve, this new intention that drives my heart beat into overdrive, as if I’d been struck by lightening.

“I can’t… I can’t do this,” she says. Her hand indicates the blanket, the trees, the whole area. But most significantly, her gesture ends upon me.

“I’m sorry… um… what?” I can’t quite under…, no I can’t quite believe what she is implying.

“I can’t do this, be like this with you,” she explains. Her face is still flushed but her body language is now solid and unflinching. “I thought I could. I thought I wanted to, but it’s just… .”

“Just what, Scully?” I ask, trembling in shock, anger — you name it.

She licks her lips before meeting my eyes again, “It’s nothing like what I thought it would be.”

My nostrils flare and my eyes narrow. I expected… hell, I don’t know what I expected, but I never expected her to give up, to quit… not Dana Scully. So times aren’t exactly candy and roses right now, so what? So she wants to quit us?

No way!

As I’ve said before, sometimes you just don’t get what you want.

I swallow loudly, feeling a lump jabbing my throat as I glare at her.

“Oh, is that it? I thought you were going to say something that would really matter.”

My anger flares. Damn her!

“Mulder,” she sighs, stepping forward to lock her hand around my forearm, as if she were admonishing a recalcitrant child.

“I believe this is the best course of action,” she says.

I look at her, amazed. After all we’d been through, after all she’s been through!

“You can’t be serious, Scully! For Christ’s sake, why? Why the hell are you doing this to us?”

My voice cracks as I desperately search the stony features of her face, hoping for a fissure in this ludicrous wall she is erecting.

I take a step forward and ever the captain’s daughter, she holds her ground. I want to throttle her, shake her until she regains her senses — until she steps away from the shadow that is manipulating her actions.

Then I remember and realize that she just may get, not what she wants, but what her puppet master desires. Yes, I saw it pulling her strings — the brief moment of exposed revelation.

Fear.

Dress it up, take it out, do whatever you want, but I know Scully and she never backs down in her life… except for one thing. It’s the same thing that has always managed her heart.

Fear, the master manipulator.

I feel sick, because I know she will not be cutting herself free of its strings. And just as surely as I know that, I also know that she will be severing the few threads I’ve managed to gather away from this fear.

My anger disperses with that knowledge, but my emotions continue to betray me. It’s almost comical as I catalogue each reaction. Heart beat pounding in my ears? Check. Lump in my throat, dry mouth? Check. The feeling that someone is rearranging my insides? Double check. I’ve been close to death many times, but this is the first time I have truly felt like I am dying. If only a bolt of lightening could strike me down right now and put an end to my misery.

I ignore the tears trickling down my face as I turn to face her. She stares at me, her face frozen behind a mask of the woman I had come to know over the years. A mask I had thought she’d finally destroyed as we acknowledged what we had denied ourselves for so long, the freedom to reach for one another.

How the fuck can she do this to us now?

I shake my head no, negating what it’s telling me. She’s lying more to herself than she is to me, even as she crushes me and steals pieces of my faith in her… in us, away with every second that passes by.

I do the only thing I can think to do.

I close the distance between us and clasp the back of her head pulling her mouth up to mine and plundering her lips as if to punish.

She doesn’t whimper or try to fight me, but allows me this desperate anger as if in penance — an apology for making me believe in a future she’s pulling away from me, from us. Her passivity succeeds in scaring me most of all.

Finally, I lessen the harsh pressure I apply to the delicate skin of her mouth and begin to kiss her softly. I lean into her, pressing my waist against her stomach, obliterating any microscopic distance as I cling to her, chest to chest, lips to lips. If I can just touch her, wipe away the insecurity that is forcing her away from me, then maybe, just maybe…

I curse the damn sweater I’m wearing. I can’t feel her body against me as well as I want to.

She begins to respond, sliding her tongue between my lips and tasting me like I so desperately want to taste her, do taste her. And in that one last moment, a surge of hope flickers. That is, until she pushes me away from her, raising her hand to stave me off.

“No,” she gasps, holding the back of her other hand against her lips. My fingers slide from her soft skin as she begins to back away from me.

I feel a moment of remorse as I see that her lips are swollen and probably slightly bruised from the assault of my kiss.

“I… I have to go… , ” she says. Her composure flustered, yet she determinedly walks backward, holding my gaze until her legs hit the tall grass.

She turns around, turning away from me, from us.

I want to continue to be angry, enraged, but all I feel are the hairs on my arm raising and sweat beading on my skin despite the breeze that tries to chill it.

In some perverted torture, I watch her walking away, unable to drag my gaze away.

My hands are left held out, supplicant by my sides. I can’t… I can’t breathe, she stole my voice with a kiss meant to be the last. My heart is gripped by both her hands and twisted until I feel it the lingering threads finally snap, tearing completely apart.

Falling to my knees, I gasp in disbelief as she retreats further. Her image becomes blurry as anguished tears of loss and betrayal sodden my face and drown my gaze.

As if finally being let up for air, I loudly gulp oxygen into my lungs and when I exhale, I scream her name.

“Scully!”

X*X*X*X

Part 2 – “Emotional Risk” by Exley_61

X*X*X*X

I manage, just barely, to turn and walk away from him. I feel so hollow, my soul left in broken shards as it cracks and falls out and off my body with every step away from him that I take.

I… I didn’t think it would be… would be so hard… .

I… I’m doing the right thing… nothing has changed. His words, his touch… his touch… .

No, I… .

“Scully!”

I freeze, the grass slapping against my knees as the wind gets stronger.

Oh please no. Please no. The cultivated numbness I barely hold onto, the frozen tundra of emotion that enables me to leave him, boils away with the heat and the depth of agony that pierces me, draining my blood with the scythe of his cry.

I turn around.

Mulder, fallen to his knees.

His call feels like it still echoes around me and not just within my soul. It seems like the wind is at his bidding as it grips at my clothes and makes my hair lash at my face, punishing me for the pain I am inflicting upon him.

I hear the distant rumbling roll of thunder announcing the rain’s imminent arrival. The sky darkens into that surreal atmosphere where everything seems heightened: from the increasing cadence of the insects, to the brilliance of the surrounding colors… the eye before the storm.

There is Mulder, broken before me, drenched in a devastation that… that I have caused.

I squeeze my eyes closed against the vision only to be eclipsed by the memory of another one, another time… perhaps the true beginning of this end… .

ONE MONTH AGO

Mulder and I exit his car and begin to walk up the cemented pathway that leads to my apartment building’s front door. After having debriefed and detailed our latest escapade from East Nowhere, Wisconsin to the eagerly demanding ears of A.D. Skinner, all I want to do is sink into my comfortable, familiar bed, with Mulder’s comfortable and deliciously familiar body.

As usual, he accompanies me to my door, his arm looped around my back, tugging my tired bones against him as we traipse the distance to the door.

“Mulder, you’re becoming a second skin,” I teasingly complain as I rope my own arm around his waist. “What will Mr. B say?”

“What he always says?”

“And that is?” For some perverse reason, I want him to say it, to hear it from his lips.

“When am I going to marry you, already?” Yes, that was it. That sounds really scary coming from his mouth but I still want to hear it.

Mr. B, or more specifically – Mr. Bernstein, is my apartment building’s own grandfather figure. In a city where people don’t know neighbors’ faces, let alone names, Mr. B is considered the glue of my building that everyone knows and everyone loves. The antics of Mr. B and his self-proclaimed hallway patrol are little eccentrics that make living in a building such as I do more a family of sorts.

Gossip and a trusted ear can be found with him. He just makes you want to talk to him. Plus, Mrs. B’s coffee could be dubbed out of this world.

Mulder accuses Mr. B of working his own brand of mojo on me.

Whatever.

I just know that seeing Mr. B almost every time I walk through the door adds a bit of spice and delight, particularly when it’s been a frustrating day. His antics are only ever curtailed by his lovely wife, who gives as good as he does when it comes to teasing.

Both are warm people and when I had Queequeg, they insisted I let them take care of her, insulted if I fussed that they shouldn’t have. I think I even saw a tear of remorseful saddness in Mr. B’s eye when I had to tell him the news about Quee quie. The Bernsteins had been away that particular weekend.

“Marry, hmm?”

“Yeah, and if I don’t hurry up and act on it, he may steal you away from me,” Mulder continues Mr. B’s refrain, burying his nose against my ear and snuggling it into my hair, causing my body to thrill in anticipation.

“He couldn’t do that,” I assure him, squeezing his waist.

“I don’t know, Scully, Mr Bernstein is a fast one,” Mulder says, teasing as we climb the front steps. “Ever since he got those mag wheels put on his walker. Besides, I don’t want him even thinking about movin’ in on my lady.”

“Mr. B. is over seventy years old, Mulder.”

“Age doesn’t discriminate when recognizing beauty, Scully.”

“He’s been married forever, Mulder.”

“Seven year itch, then.”

“It would be more like thirty.”

It is as we reach the top of the steps that Mulder’s words register… my lady.

My Lady… mmm, I like that, caveman mentality or not.

I turn toward him, halting his hand as he reaches to open the building door. I grab his palm within mine and place it around the back of my waist.

Needing no further coaxing, he wraps his other arm around me, locking his fingers together and pulling me close against his chest.

“Your lady?” I ask, my words vesper whispers.

His breath, coffee dipped and Certs fortified, fans my face as his eyes drink in the smile framing my features. My heart jack hammers beneath my breast… I am vaguely surprised that it doesn’t break through the bone and sinew.

“Oh yeah, Scully… my lady,” he murmurs against my lips, playing with the top then the bottom before taking them both.

“Mmm,” I moan, pulling back a few inches.

His chest matches the racing beat of my own.

“You know what? You are going to get SO lucky tonight,” I whisper, taking my turn to reach for his lips and seal the proclamation.

I pull back and look at him, expectant as he hurriedly grabs the door handle. We both burst into laughter as he fumbles to turn it.

Entering the foyer, I reluctantly pull away from him with a groan, going to unlock my mailbox. We’ve been away in the field for the past two weeks and I want to at least gather the stockpile of envelopes before they erupts from the small metal confine.

“Scully, couldn’t that wait?” Mulder questions, his voice very low, still throaty thick and licking tingles over my skin from way over there.

My heart beat flutters. With my back to him, I open the box and hurriedly capture the avalanche of letters, bending down to pick up two or three pieces. “Just a sec.”

“Scully?”

“A minute, Mulder,” I say, quickly paging through the collection of bills.

“Scully.”

“Mmm hmm?”

“Dana!”

I lift my head up, feeling a chip of fear slice into my soul. He never calls me that, not really. Only when there is something really, really wrong…

I turn around, facing him.

“What?”

“Look,” he says. His voice is soft, cautionary, as he nods his head to indicate Mr. B’s door beyond the foyer enclosure.

Oh… Oh no.

Mulder steps back as I absently stuff my mail into my pocket, a few pieces of it falling out as I walk over to the glass door leading into the first floor apartment hallway. I wrench it open, walking down a bit of corridor with Mulder behind me. We stop at Mr. B’s apartment.

There are floral arrangements, funeral flowers, and cards of sympathy taped to the door… a mini-memorial.

“Mulder?” I turn to him, my eyes wide and beginning to water.

Mulder looks grim, coming over to stand against me and wrap his arms around my waist, his fingers stroking my belly. I shake my head, reading a card.

“Sorry for your loss Mr.B.”

“Oh no, Edna died,” I whisper, looking at the date scribbled on the corner of the card.

“Ah geez, poor guy,” Mulder whispers, his breath fanning the top of my head as his arm tightens around my waist.

“Over a week ago.”

I pull from his arms as I lean forward and touch the card at the date. Upon my touch, the door pushes open.

I turn back and glance at Mulder and then push the door completely open. “Hello, Mr. Bernstein? Mr. B? It’s Dana… Dana and Mulder.”

The room is dark, the lights left off as the dusk gets slowly pushed into the lingering moments of twilight The room smells of anticeptic and stale air.

Mulder finds an overhead switch on the wall and flicks it on. The living room bursts to light. We can hear creaking but as yet haven’t seen anything.

Turning the corner, there is Mr. B rocking in his wife’s wooden rocking chair. He does not acknowledge our presence, he just keeps rocking and stroking a woven green and orange blanket that he holds, spread across his lap and clutched within his hands.

Quickly walking over to him, I note his pallor and lethargy. He looks dehydrated and malnourished. He’s thinner than last I saw him which was just before Mulder and I left — where he had been, once again, ribbing Mulder about me.

It’s apparent that he hasn’t been eating, at least not enough.

I sigh and shake my head, closing my eyes for a moment before kneeling down beside his chair.

I hear Mulder cross the room, his shoes tapping against the hardwood floor as he comes to stand behind me.

I look at Mr. B’s face. All I see is pure, pristine and biting loss mixed with fear, reflected upon his features.

“Mr. B?” I call to him again. Finally, as if emerging from a trance and perhaps he is, Mr. B speaks, his voice a rasped whisper.

“I used to place this around her lap, a ritual, tucking it in… then I would kiss the top of her ratty old hairdo… I liked to tease her about it. I’d kiss her forehead, her eyes, and finally her lips. I almost forgot I was the one that used to do that… .”

I slowly close my eyes again, feeling myself drown in his utter anguish.

“Then I couldn’t do it, not anymore and Edna… she said… and I remember this so, so clearly… she said it was her turn. Lordy, why didn’t I remember this before. From then on she would remove my walker, tuck me into my TV chair, bed, wherever and take her turn to perform the ritual I’d always done.”

“Mr. Bernstein… .”

“She… Edna… She was…”

“Mr. Bernstein!” I call to him, grasping his liver spotted hand — gnarled by age. I squeeze it. His skin is papery thin and I loosen my grip so I don’t bruise him.

He turns to face me and there is such fear, such loss and utter devastation marring his features that I feel my heart break over and over again. He clasps my hand with his other one, trapping it in a desperate grip.

“Dana? Dana… What… what am I gonna do now?”

I open my mouth and no words come. I’m caught within his gaze, but no, it’s more than that. I’m mirrored within his glance. In an instant I feel my heart crush as his anguish becomes mine, his loss my own as I look and see not him, but myself. My thoughts freeze upon the fearful devastation that I will be him.

That this is how lost I will be when Mulder dies.

And like Mr. B, I can’t cope. Tears trickle from the corners of my eyes and I blink. When I reopen them, Mr. B is seeing me and nodding his head. He has read my heart. I know it because he leans forward, the chair creaking again, and places the brittle skin of his cheek against mine. He rubs his face against my skin as he whispers for my ears alone, “Yes, just like this. Will you be able to bear it?”

He pulls away, leaning back in his chair. His eyes unfocus. I am stunned, frozen as I stare at him in shocked disbelief as he begins to rub her blanket again, fading away from us.

Such fear, such dependency… leaving him completely lost. I shake my head no, I can’t… .

I can’t… .

***

I can’t stand for that to be me.

Thick drops of rain begin to splatter against my skin as my gaze freezes on Mulder’s defeated form. The wind tugs at his hair, rifling through it with angry jabs.

This isn’t about control or losing a part of myself.

Not entirely, no.

It’s losing him. I’d tried so hard to ignore the fear that was creeping up over my soul and it is fear… it is.

I tried to tell myself that Mr. B had over thirty years with his wife… that the devastation was only natural.

Loss was unavoidable.

Then I would look at Mulder while he slept at night, while he ate his breakfast, while he touched me and I realized that there was always a very strong possibility that I wouldn’t even have thirty hours, thirty weeks even… leaving me a lifetime of despair as intense as Mr. B was now suffering through.

Yes, loss is unavoidable.

I think I can attest to that fact better than most. It doesn’t matter how much I wish for the contrary to that statement to be true.

But over the past seven years, experience has taught me that wishing, more often than not, is a fruitless endeavor.

Fruitless, like so many other things in my life…

I grimace, shaking my head before I turn around, cutting through the high grass and walking back to Mulder.

My clothes begin to stick to my skin in wet patches as the rain falls harder.

I blink, my heart jumping a little as a streak of lightening reaches across the gray mantle of sky. It illuminates my reasonings for having done this but I’m not so sure it supports my actions.

So I made this break, turning away from him but when he screamed my name I realized I have no choice.

As tears begin to stream down my cheeks, I realize that I was and am already lost.

It’s too late to ever turn away.

X*X*X*X

My world is spinning on the tip of a pin, siphoning down to this moment.

I am abandoned, again in my collection of abandonments. But, this is the worst one of all.

I never thought that she would really leave me.

“Mulder,” she calls.

I am so lost in my own thoughts that I jump when she speaks my name.

Great, she’s decided to come back and see me in all my devastation. This does not stop me from questioning her. “Why, Scully?”

It suddenly occurs to me how pathetic I must appear right now. I can feel the mud soaking into my pants as I kneel before her, crying like the broken man that I am.

My throat feels raw, as if it’s been scraped by razors. She is silent, always so fucking silent. I raise my head and swipe angrily at the tears flooding my eyes.

I stare at her, compelling her to speak to me. She’s taken my pride, the least she can do is answer my damn question.

“Just tell me why,” I demand. I rub at my irritated eyes again in an angered, dismissive manner as I wait for her answer.

Then I realize she’s crying.

Welcome to emotion’s party, Scully. Nice to see you didn’t get lost.

I hold her gaze and she begins to shake her head in small, side to side jerks as her lips part.

“God Dammit Scully, talk to me!” I yell, my voice cracking in desperate anger.

“Because,” she whispers. “I’m afraid.” The gentle roar of thunder tries to intrude. It startles us both, but it doesn’t succeed in blocking her words.

We both jump at the loud grumble, feeling like it has slapped us both.

Afraid… afraid. I just look at her, the rain pricking her skin and mine in sharp diagonal shards.

“You’re afraid?” I growl. “You’re afraid?” I lean back and stumble to my feet, turning away from her.

“Yes, I’m afraid. Is that so hard to believe, Mulder?” Her voice pleads with me to listen. “Don’t you realize how you affect me?”

Affect her? Shit, I thought I had, but obviously I’ve been wrong these past five months. I mistakenly took silence for acceptance.

I turn around and look at her once again, running a hand over my face in an attempt to clear the rain from my eyes. “Scully, are you telling me that something CAN affect you, let alone me?”

I know I’m being cruel, unreasonable, and I don’t care.

“It’s a little hard to know what to believe, Scully. It’s hard to know anything when you won’t even speak to me! I’m not a fucking mind reader!”

I see her flinch before whipping my head away to look at nothing, anything besides her.

I can feel my skin crawling with tiny swirling worms of anger being hammered into my body by the force of the rain that is beginning to hinder visibility. I close my eyes, opting not to see anything.

“Mulder, this isn’t helping either of us. Talk to me,” she asks, grabbing my arm.

I roughly tug free of her wet fingers, not wanting her to touch me because to touch me now is to hurt me. I can’t bear to feel her skin against mine… not now.

I turn around and face her, unleashing my maelstrom of attacking, stalking, anger — forcing her back.

“Talk to you?” I say in amazement, stepping forward. “Oh, that’s rich, Scully! What a joke!”

I’m an avenging angel, whisking down through the storms of heaven to strike back, despite my bleeding wounds.

“Scully, you ARE afraid… afraid to live,” I say, stepping closer, leaning so close that my breath fans her ever reddening face, rain water drips off my nose and onto her. “You’d rather destroy us than face us. So what?… You’ve had your fun, is that it Scully?”

I want to push her and push her and push her, goad her into really speaking to me, for once.

“God Mulder, how can you say that?” she counters, halting her receding steps. “You know that isn’t true.”

“I don’t know anything!” I seethe, staring down at her upturned face. “All I know is, you don’t want me!”

“I do want you, but… ,” she stammers.

“But you’re afraid,” I mock, throwing her words back at her.

I see her spine stiffen, and her eyes harden. Good.

“You’re such an asshole! I AM afraid. Do you really want to know what I see when I look at you? I see myself, alone, because for that final time you took off and risked your life and our future. You wagered and risked my heart rather than think of me, rather than think period.”

“So this is about the X-Files? You want me to give them up?” I ask, my eyes wide and astonished. The rain narrowing into drizzle.

“No, damn it! I would never ask that. You know the X-Files are just as important to me as they are to you. I don’t want you to give them up, but I just want you to realize that it’s not just your life you’re putting on the line anymore. It’s our lives, it’s us! We’ve been together for five months and in all that time you’ve continued to be just as reckless as you’ve ever been… reckless with my heart”

“With your heart?” I am astonished as I look at her. My brow creases in confusion.

“Yes, my heart,“she says, pausing, her eyes filling with tears, “Don’t you know… don’t you… Mulder, don’t you know you carry it?”

I feel my breath rush out of my chest, hit center in the solo plexus by her words… words that blindside me, taking their turn to blurry my view.

Yet, even after she says them, I still watch as she turns and walks away from me, again.

I gruffly rub the collected tears away.

Another round of thunder breaks in, filling my ears. The wind is stronger. The rain starts to fall harder, slanting. No, not harder, it’s begun to pour. I watch as it pounds on her while she walks away from me.

I’m still watching her when she stops. I can see the struggle of her emotions revealed in her stiff, rocking stance. She lifts her head and turns back, walking toward me, tugging me sideways so that the rain fall is not blinding her as she speaks. “Damn it, Mulder, Don’t you get it? Don’t you understand how hard this is for me?”

“Nobody said love was easy,” I answer, my voice still biting.

“I’m afraid!” she repeats as if I were too dense and hadn’t heard her.

“So, you say,” I answer, but she ignores my comment as she continues.

“You’re dangerous to me… you ask for more than I have ever given to anybody… even myself. And I’m afraid if I give you what you want, if I give you everything, then what will there be left for me? Nothing.”

I draw back as if slapped, and I feel slapped.

“Nothing? Are you saying I give you nothing in return? So love, partnership, trust, understanding… all of those things fall under your category of nothing, is that it?”

My anger returns, full force.

“Mulder.”

“No, Scully, you can SAY all you want. But in the end, what you’re offering me is nothing but excuses.”

“Excuses?!?”

I step forward and this time she is backing away. I can tell from her face that she is desperately trying to find a way to counter my words, but she can’t. She may lie for me but she doesn’t, she can’t lie to me. And, to counter what I have said would necessitate her doing so.

I continue to step forward until she gasps, her back hitting the thick tree trunk… Our tree… what a fucking laugh.

She is shrinking before me, but I seem to be unable to stop myself as my words continue to strike, to lacerate.

“Hell yes, excuses!” I am relentless, stepping closer still. “You want the truth? “You had your taste of me? No more sampling necessary? Is that it, Scully? You got to fuck me and now you FUCK me!?!

Her eyes widen with shock. I deliberately want to throw her off balance and it surprises me when I actually succeed. I want to hurt her like she is hurting me. I want her to feel the way I do, like my heart is being burned away by her acidic words.

“God Mulder, no!” she gasps. “You don’t… you don’t understand!” Her arms are behind her, her fingers gripping the wet, knobby tree trunk as the rain continues its deluge.

“I don’t understand all right!” I scream, the limit of my control stretching as I step closer and closer. I’m tempted to shake her as I bear down on her.

I reach forward to grab her arms, to make her see me… look at me and know what she is doing. I want her to see the devastation that she has wrought and not just the half truths she has given.

She buckles her knees and closes her eyes, shrinking before me while raising a shaking hand between us.

At first I am confused. I don’t fully comprehend her posturing until a blaze of lightening illuminates us, followed by the companion clap of thunder. Only then do I see, only then do I begin to understand —

and only then do I finally feel and truly hear the rain ravaging my skin and sky as I stand before her with my mouth gaping.

Her actions and her posture replace my rage with a horror so malignant to me that I find myself grasping my side, my fingers sinking into the sopping wool of my sweater as I trip back and away from her.

I gasp out words that churn my stomach and pulverize my heart, leaving me weakened and slapped into stunned disbelief. “Scully? Are you really so afraid of me that… that you think I’d hit you?”

Suddenly I feel sick… so sick that I want to gag, and I almost do. “Do you really think I would ever harm you? Six years together, Scully.” I shake my head in disbelief. “Six years, and you claim you love me?”

I see her open her eyes and take note of her stance. She lowers her hand and straightens, standing away from the tree. She turns and looks at me with such horror at her actions, at me, at everything. Her perfect little world of order is thrown into a chaotic storm.

She doesn’t know what to do and I feel no pity for her.

I regain my equilibrium, standing straight yet hollowed as my broken heart and bruised soul color my resolve into a new anger, a betrayed anger of everything we ever were to each other. I look at her once more, holding her anguished glance. I don’t care if she feels pain, I don’t!

“You say I carry your heart, that I risk your heart,” I begin, taking more staggering steps back. “Well, you crush mine! You claim you love me… . well… well… you don’t know what love means, lady!”

I turn away, cutting my path through the field, my steps fast as I walk, blinded not by the roaring storm that pelts my life, not only by that, blinded by a depth of agony I never knew existed.

X*X*X*X

Part 3 – “Emotional Risk” by Exley_61

X*X*X*X

Lady.

I am revisited by a flash of memories… .

//

“Your lady?” I ask, my words silken whispers.

“Oh yeah, Scully… my lady,” he murmurs against my lips. He gently plays with the top then the bottom before taking them both.

//

I can’t breathe. I’m drowning by the hydrant spray of anguish.

As much as the fear, anger, and loss of what I had perceived to be my motivation compelled me, it is nothing… .

It is nothing in comparison to the reality of hearing him whisper those words against my skin, letting me know that, for as long as I’m alive, I am his… his lady.

It’s been a relatively new role in my life, but it’s one I find I so desperately want to keep.

I close my eyes, trying to hear him again but it gets muddled.

“My lady…”

“…you don’t know what love is, Lady!”

Why did I think he would hit me?

A man hitting a woman is perhaps the most repugnant thing in his mind and I’ve just intimidated that I thought he would strike me.

“Oh Lord, Jesus, what have I done?” I cry, my irrational and unfounded fear slips off me as I register my actions.

I don’t think, I don’t rationalize, perhaps for the first time in my life as, startled out of my fear induced fugue, I pull myself off the tree and run after him.

He has gotten so far, his legs devouring the distance… the rain is drowning me but not as much as my sense of devastation. I can’t let this happen… I can’t!

I run, tripping, slipping on the wet grass as it slides under my feet. I scramble up, racing after him.

I round my way in front of his path, reaching for him. Clasping his hand in mine, I lock my fingers around his wrist in a vice that would have to be soldered off.

I fall to my knees, for once, humbling myself as he had and has for me. My eyes plead, grabbing for his gaze, demanding he see me before him.

He doesn’t pull away, but he is frozen in place. I crawl closer resting my forehead against the back of his hand, kissing it. My tears and breath bathe his skin in ragged sobs.

I choke out a word, one word that holds the balance of my future in one syllable. “Please.”

He is so quiet, the world is quiet. The lightening and thunder themselves seem to hold their breath, pausing for his reaction as I do.

The only sound that greets my ears is the wind that rustles through the trees and the tapping rain that beats against the earth, our clothes, our skin.

“Please, please, please,“I chant against his chilled hand, punctuating each word with a kiss against the outside of his palm.

Gone is my visage of control and decorum. Gone is my modesty and vanity. All are desperately shed. I can no longer afford to wear them, not right now. I fling it all off, leaving just us here within this skipped moment of time, suspending us in a bubble before the needle pricks or picks up the record’s track once again. The question is, where will it fall? The only one who can answer that now is Mulder.

When he speaks, his voice is unreadable but I listen to every sound, searching for a clue to my future.

“You’re not the only one who’s scared, Scully,” he says raggedly. “You want to talk about dangerous? Let’s talk about you and your inability to connect.”

He takes a deep breath, and I can hear the determination returning to his voice. “It’s not that you would be left with nothing. It’s your unwillingness to open up. How do you suppose that makes me feel, safe?”

He finally looks at me.

I want to protest, habit rearing its ugly head to cloak me in a net of safety that doesn’t exist anymore. I squelch it, grinding it beneath my will.

I can hear the wind still bending the trees in a swaying sea of greenery but the intensity of movement has lessened. Everything is still paused, as what I say next may determine what happens forever.

I let my heart cry with the honesty that both he and I have waited for. “I hadn’t known you felt that way. Mulder, I’m so sorry, so very sorry.”

“You didn’t want to know, Scully. You’d rather deflect your reasons upon me than look into yourself.” He doesn’t say it with rancor, but,with absolute certainty.

And it’s true. God, it is true.

His eyes search my face. His hands reach to touch me but waver just centimeters away.

Touch me, please Mulder touch me again.

“I know… I know… I’m sorry.”

“Love involves taking risks, Scully.

His finger finally fall against my cheek, lightly stroking before he continues.

“Risks, not just those involved with our work… but emotional risks. How… . How can you say I carry your heart when you haven’t really given it to me?”

I hang my head, the rain slides off my hair and into my face, into my eyes, washing them, perhaps washing away the blinders that I have fastened myself.

I feel the pressure of his hand atop my head and I let out a keening sob, a cry that shakes my whole body and his gripped arm.

Any moment he is going to say good-bye and leave me here with my crippling insecurities to keep me company.

But he doesn’t. I hear him sink to his knees, placing us on equal footing as he pulls his clasped wrist behind him, successfully wrapping my arm around his back. I let go of his arm and delve my hand beneath his soddened sweater, clutching at his clammy skin.

My head falls forward against his chest as his other arm grips me around my back, pulling me against him, trapping my other hand between our bodies.

I curl my fingers into the wool, latching on and afraid to let go, afraid to believe that all is not lost. My face stays buried against his sweater and I breath in the wet heat of his chest as the sweater abrasively scratches my face.

I feel his lips kiss the top of my head and I clutch him fiercely, a wild cat’s claws could not have dug deeper. One of his arms pulls away from my body and I am again afraid that he is abandoning me.

But he isn’t. Instead, his cold fingers slip against my soaked skin, cupping my chin and raising my head so that my eyes must meet his.

I keep them closed, afraid to look. Afraid to have the final answer that screams at me that this is just a good-bye, that I have lost him due to my pride and insecurities.

“Look at me, Scully,” he whispers. My heart lunges in my chest, smacking against my breastbone. I am quaking from a cocktail of growing cold and clinging fear. I don’t want to look at him, I want to put off the inevitable.

“Scully… Scully… Dana,” Mulder says tenderly, his fingers caressing my cheeks. My senses jumble at his touch and the gravelled whisper of my christian name.

I blink like a new born as I struggle to open my eyes. They feel glued shut, but with a rapid trio of flutters, I am able to see him.

Emotional risks, Scully,” he continues. “It’s too late not to take them now.” He scoots closer to me, his pants ruined as they slide against the trampled grass. We kneel before each other. Mulder holds my face in his hands while I have my hands around his waist, holding him fiercely.

“It’s too late to hide,” he says shaking his head. “I’m not perfect, neither of us are… .”

I search his eyes, astonished and daring to hope. My gaze travels from side to side, lingering on his every facial feature… his cheek bones, the tip of his nose, his lips… his lips that are quivering as I realize mine do as well.

I blink rain drops out of my eyes as I trail my gaze back up to meet his questioning view. Finding the strength, I ask the question that I should have asked so very long ago, “You want to, you still want to, to risk your heart with me?”

He closes his eyes, and for a moment I am staked with fear. But then he opens them again, and the spike is removed as he answers me with one word.

“Yes.”

And with that word, he slides an arm around my legs and stands up. Pulling me against him as he cradles my body against his chest, walking us back… back to our tree, our true beginning.

I can hardly believe what is happening, but there is no denying it. He bends his head down, nuzzling his nose in the wet strands of my hair, searching out the warmth of my ear.

We break through the tall grass and step under the canopy of the tree. He lays me upon the soaked blanket, following after me.

I slide my hand against his chest and hook my arm around his neck, bringing his mouth closer, pulling him down to my trembling lips, crushing my body against his. He sinks on top of me, and I love that feeling, luxuriate in it.

“I will always want to risk my heart with you, Scully,” he whispers against my lips. “Always.” I cry some more at his words, my tears becoming small hiccups of relief.

I don’t think I have ever felt this vulnerable, open and accepted in my entire life. It’s a strange sensation but with Mulder, it isn’t petrifying, not anymore.

“Okay,” I answer, searching his face, then staring into his eyes, holding his penetrating gaze as the rain slips through the branches above us and splatters against our bodies.

His eyelids close for a moment. When he reopens his eyes, he smiles at me in restored faith, letting the pain I’ve caused, start to heal.

And like so many things — he wants to believe. And I want him to believe too. Not just in me, but in us.

The feel of his weight against my body rockets through my senses. But I want to feel more than this weight pressing me into the earth, I want to feel him inside me, all around me. I want to block out the world and taste and tangle with him, in him.

My lips press firmly against his as my hands race up his body and grip his neck. Slicking my fingers into his wet hair, water splashes off the strands as my nails crawl over his scalp.

I am electrified, perhaps more so than the echoing shafts of lightening that have once again pricked the gray clouds above us.

The intensity of our emotions and our touches are reflected, mirrored within the returned intensity of the storm, but I don’t care… I don’t.

All I want is to touch him, to lick my tongue against his skin and re-aquaint myself with his scent, his feel, his flavor.

His hand cradles my hip then slides up, under my shirt. His fingers massage against my scarred stomach, rubbing against the puckered skin of my latest gunshot wound. A wound that had almost cost me my life and instead had been what paved my future, our future those five months ago.

I had brought him to this lake not even a two months after that New York incident, believing myself ready to open up and truly let him into my life.

Yet, it wasn’t just the fact of being shot that changed everything for us. It was the fact that it had happened when we were apart. I think it showed us that opportunity can sometimes be fleeting. That we can be pulled away from each other for any reason, the possible consequences unfolding because neither of us were there to protect or prevent the incident. It scared me. I think, no, I know it shook him as well.

Like Mr. B, I had forgotten that I had been the one. I had been the one that brooked this change between us and I was almost the one that destroyed it, us.

Shaking my head, I concentrate on the here and now as his fingers trace my angry stomach tissue, caressing the scar with his gentle touch.

My body goes beyond mere trembling to full on quaking as I am reminded of his tenderness. I suddenly feel myself doused with suffocating splashes of remorse.

How could I have ever believed he would touch me with anything but tenderness?

I still his hand upon my skin, halting his movements and mine.

Holding his gaze, I try to speak. My voice is wobbly, raspy and filled with such emotion that at first I can’t talk, eliciting only unintelligible noises.

Finally able to clear my throat, I begin to speak over the muting lump of emotion that plants itself within my wind pipe.

“I love you,” I whisper, craning my neck to brush a kiss against his forehead. “I just wanted you to hear it, to know it now and… and know that I mean it with every fiber… every ounce of my being.”

He blinks his eyes, hopefully taking the time to read and register the depth of my sincerity and, more specifically, the truth of my words.

“Thank you,” he says, smoothing the fingertips of his other hand over my forehead. He dips the calloused pads into the wells of my eyes, forcing them shut before his touch climbs out over my cheek bones. Their journey ends on my lips.

My breath rises rapidly in my chest, pumping through my lungs at a marathon rate, its speed inspired by his tender touch. I exhale against his fingertips, then kiss the long appendages with a soft brush of my lips.

“I love you… ,” he whispers, leaning over me and blocking the scattered rain fall from my face, “I love you so very, very much.”

He demolishes the distance between us, substituting the feel of his fingers with the fullness of his lips as he claims my mouth, silencing the burst of emotions that rips through my throat.

X*X*X*X

Her tears are subsided and the heat of our bodies begin to generate a burning desire between us both.

Her teeth clamp upon my bottom lip, and I lazily slide it free. I take my own turn at devouring her mouth, enjoying the opportunity to tug and tussle with my lips and tongue.

It’s become freezing outside, but now I’m only remotely aware of the elements. The downpour merely provides a peripheral nuisance.

As my mouth claims and capitulates, my hands begin once more to stroke her body. She moans against my mouth as my fingers crawl up the inside of her pants leg, sliding along the inseam until I am pressing the heel of my palm through the light material and against her center.

She gasps, softly tossing her head from side to side. I move my lips with hers, refusing to let her pleasure escape into the air. Yes, this is what I like to see. This is what I love most to provoke within her.

Not anger, not fear… I want to seal our heart hearts. I want this to be a new beginning and, I think… I think it will be.

I feel myself hardening, pressing against the loose confines of my rain soaked pants. My excitement is inspired by her slow, peaking pleasure. I dictate the rate of her ascending desire with my calculated touches.

I want to hear her scream; I want to hear the intensity of release that I know is within her but has yet to be brought to the surface. There will be no control or suppression allowed in this moment.

Too much of that has colored our lives already.

My fingers crawl over the wet fly of her zipper. I give a frustrated grunt. I can’t get the waistband unbuttoned.

“Hey Scully, ” I breathe against her neck. “How about a little help here, huh?” My fingers continue to struggle with the top button as she moves my fingers aside. I can feel her lips chuckling against my throat.

“Go ahead, laugh it up,” I threaten, before sinking my teeth into her skin.

My actions are rewarded with a yelp.

I want to let the harshness of our words fade away into the memory of this moment, into the love and acceptance of this time. Even the growing, teasing of our touches and responses are wanted, needed to release the tension that drenches our souls. I know that and am willing to cater to this need.

“Now, be good Scully,” I whisper in her ear. “Or better yet, be real bad.” I drag my head back to stare at her face, smiling.

Strands of wet hair stick to her cheeks. Having neglected her pants button, I reach up and thread my fingers through her wet hair, pulling the wayward strands back from her face.

I let my hand trail back down her body, letting my fingertips temporarily linger against her blouse, touching the hardened nipples, squeezing and rubbing them through the material before continuing down her stomach, back to her now unbutton jeans.

I can see her breath increasing, causing her chest to rise and fall in rapid movements. Again, I smile.

There will definitely be no more suppressing for the rest of the day.

I rub my fingers against her zipper then tug it, trying to open the teeth. I’m about ready to rip the damn pants apart with my bare hands when finally, after within three swift jerks, it slides down.

I’m tempted to do a victory dance but I manage to control myself.

I plunge my hand beneath the cover of her panties, clamping down and squeezing her mound with the pressure of my palm as my fingers easily slide within her. Her body bucks beneath me.

Oh God, she feels so good. I lean down and roughly kiss her lips as she moans and responds. I feel myself aching with the friction of my underwear and pants against my prodding erection.

She is so wet, and I’m not referring to the rain that continues to swirl around us, keeping our writhing bodies company.

I press in deeper, my fingers slick within her as I piston them back and forth. God, YES!! My mouth captures hers, kissing in her cries of release.

Yessss, that’s it. That. is. it!

I feel her hands gripping my waist, pulling on the belt loops of my pants with one hand as she slides the other one beneath the material of my clinging boxer briefs. She grips my ass, clutching me closer to her.

I press back against her hold, making sure that her fingers brand my skin.

I growl, shaking from her touch and wanting more. Her hand releases me and travels beneath the wet material, around my waist. Her fingers slide against my skin and goose bumps rise as her touch rounds the front of me.

My breath comes out quicker and quicker. I’m burning up from her touch, but I don’t dare stop working my fingers against her, within her, at an increasing intensity.

Releasing her mouth from mine, I rest my head against her hair. My neck strains as I gasp at the first tentative touches her fingers place against my erection.

Oh Jesus, yes!

I bend down, biting then licking kisses on her throat. My lips rove lower until they are impeded by her wet clinging, white oxford shirt.

Resting my weight upon an elbow, I use my free hand to tug at her shirt buttons. Damn, I’m batting a thousand.

My fingers are now chilled and not as adept as they usually are when freeing the pearled fragments from those tiny holes.

My stomach muscles suck in as her hand fondles beneath the waist of my dress pants. With the extra room added from my retracted stomach muscles, her hand delves in deeper, clasping me at the base of my erection.

“Christ, Scully, you… you’re driving me insane!” I say against the side of her neck.

“So I feel,” she whispers in response before sliding her tongue around my own as we taste each other in wet and sloppy kisses. Perfect.

“Mmm, you’re such a smartass,“I say pulling my lips away from hers. She laughs, tossing her head back and I’m glad to hear it. Glad to know that she is letting herself thrive in this moment instead of succumbing to the anguish of earlier.

We need this… we so desperately need this. Come rain or shine, we will take this moment in time. We will reaffirm what we have lost and acknowledge what we have gained.

I smile at her laugh, licking her throat before saying, “Smartass. I know, that whole pot and black kettle thing, right?”

She doesn’t answer and I really don’t care as her other hand pulls down the zipper to my slacks. Meanwhile, the one that was already trapped within my boxers continues to stroke me into what I am suspecting could be considered pure lunacy.

Have me committed now!

In response to her touch, I slide my hand between two eyelets of her shirt and pull, snapping the buttons from their threads. The shirt falls open against the sides of her breasts, revealing my favorite lacy bra.

“Oh, Scully, you’re wearing it,” I groan before clamping my mouth over first one lace covered breast, then the other.

My teeth sink into her skin, nipping as my tongue swirls against the material, her nipples hardening within the heat of my mouth.

I jerk as I feel her fingers grip me completely, alternately squeezing and giving small strokes. She lowers the band of my underwear, exposing me to the chilled air.

I move my mouth from her nipple and into the freckled valley between her breasts, burying my lips against her skin and sinking my nose against that sexy smell, her smell. I inhale deeply as she responds beneath me.

I can see and feel her cheeks splotching with layering reds of warmth.

“Yeah, that’s it. Bloom for me, Scully.”

Let us continue to grow together.

She moans again at my rasping voice. Her breath hitches in that familiar pre-orgasmic gasp thing. I slide my hand from inside her. I don’t want her to come, not yet. She cries out with a fiercely frustrated and jagged, “No!”

“Shh,” I whisper, heavy and hungry as I crawl lower, nuzzling my nose against her stomach. I blow on the small fuzz of her stomach before giving it a licking stroke.

She grazes her fingers into my hair, scratching my scalp with her nails before tangling her fingers within my wet mane. Consequently, as I slink lower down her body, her hand slips free of me, leaving my hardness to sway in the breeze. I tuck it back into my bvds before continuing on.

I miss the feel of her fingers wrapped against that particular area, but they’ll be back. Besides, I’ve got a self-appointed agenda to fulfill.

Continuing my exploration, I suck and kiss my way down her body, letting my tongue delve into her navel. Her hands grip my hair a bit more fiercely, and I groan as she pushes me down, closer to my destination.

My hands move to her hips and she raises them off the ground. Grabbing her pants and lace panties, I tug the clinging material down to her knees, exposing her to the elements and my starving view.

Oh Lord, she’s undulating.

X*X*X*X

Part 4 – “Emotional Risk” by Exley_61

X*X*X*X

Oh Lord, she’s undulating.

Since my body is too far away for her to explore, she’s traversing her own. Freeing her breasts from the lacy cups, she squeezes her nipples. My erection jumps at the sight as her hands explore her body while I hover a moment above her.

Done with my inspection, my hands tug her pants down a bit further. I gently pull her shoes off and she lets me slide the cotton material completely off her.

Bless her!

I crawl between her legs a bit, pressing them further apart, spreading them so that I can see and explore more of her.

I feel my forehead beading with sweat and mixing with the downpour. Yeah, the downpour.

Christ, it’s raining!

In one rapid movement, I strip both my undershirt and sweater over my head, leaving my back and chest as bare as Scully’s chest and well, the rest of her.

I travel my hands up her inner thighs, my tongue following. I can taste sweat, earth and rain, all of which is a heady combo as I continue to lick and flick my descent toward her beckoning, jutting, apex.

Having traveled the distance of her thighs, I let my breath cloud over her mound, mixing with the chilled air begins to turn my exhalation into a phosphorus cloud.

Diving through the smoke, I flick my tongue out and drink from her.

“Jesus Christ, Mulder,” she gasps. Again, her hand tightens upon my head. I ignore the pain and concentrate on her pleasure.

I’m a sieve, catching all of her as my tongue sops up the sweet wetness that I have become addicted to for over the past five months. Her taste and reactions are home to me. Gulping her down, she slides a leg up against my side. I barely pay attention, that is until she insinuates her foot beneath my waist, sliding it down lower against my erection.

I curse myself for slipping the hardness back into my underwear. Ah well, such is life.

I groan against her, the vibrations humming against her skin. She cries out,her voice spearing the air. Yes… exactly… no suppression… none! Only release and joining — only us, here and now.

The hidden birds squawk, the sound of their wings flapping against the wind as I accompany that groan, sucking harder and causing her to arch her back.

I raise my head to get a better view of this and see her fling her arms out to her sides, her hands grasping at clumps of grass beyond our blanket, pulling them free from the roots.

My eyes widen and I smile before getting back to work.

Her toes curl against me and I jump, pressing my erection against them, bucking my hips.

Oh God! I can’t take this build up anymore! With one final tug of teeth and suction of lips, I release her, letting her fall flat against the ground… (and saving the grass from her plowing grasp).

I can see quivers still writhing her body and I rub her thigh, soothing her, calming her back into her senses.

I close her legs and she moans in protest.

“Ah, Scully, don’t you worry,” I say as I crawl up her body. Straddling her as I bend over, I brace my elbows on the slicked blanket. Touching my scully-balmed lips to hers, I explore her mouth with my tongue, knowing that she can taste not only me but herself upon my taste buds.

I feel her arms encircle my back, squeezing the muscles and pressing my chest against hers. I move my lips from her mouth and slide my tongue along the edge of her jaw to her earlobe. Sucking the skin within my mouth, I tug until she pulls free from my lips.

Burying my nose against her ear, I breathe against her skin. I’m finally able to speak, my desire barely banked as hers begins to build once more.

All flippancy aside, I look at her, really look at her, and let the memories of earlier show on my face. I want her to see them and recognize that they are only memories, that from now on we are creating our future.

“This is the gift of emotional risk,” I whisper, dipping my tongue in her ear. She squirms, her voice catching at the ticklish touch. I smile against her cheek before whispering, “I love you.”

Pulling my head back, I look into her face. Her eyes are filled with tears again. The rain can’t disguise them from me. Blinking, the water sweeps away from her view and she is able to see me without any impediment, my face above and level with hers.

“No, this is the joy of emotional risk,” she replies, her face serious and her eyes warm and assuring.

I close my own eyes as her words sink in. She reaches up to tenderly kiss each closed lid, then the tip of my nose and finally my lips.

As much as I try to comfort her, she meets my effort — reaches and soothes me in a blanket of her love, made warmer by the yellow of friendship and the orange flush of warm emotions.

“Mmm, that’s nice,” I whisper, nodding my head as she settles back against the blanket. “Yes, Scully… the joy.”

I reach down and pull her from the ground, clutching her to me, chest to chest. I love feeling her heart beating against mine, I mean… I really do.

X*X*X*X

My face presses against his body, my nose tickled by his wet matted chest hair. I feel my spent desire rekindling like a brush fire as I smell the clinging aroma of him. It’s a combination of sweat and rain, mixed with the scent of his spiced deodorant.

It’s the smell that clings to my bed sheets in the morning and the scent that fills my soul as he moves above me and around me… and even when he isn’t there — the memory of it still strokes my senses.

I almost lost this.

My hand is clamped around his bicep while the other is curled around his neck, my fingers threading through his hair.

I feel like a blubbering idiot or try to but Mulder’s touches heal and sooth, exciting me and making me forget myself.

I need to forget sometimes.

I turn my cheek and bury my nose against his defined chest muscles, taking another deep inhalation of his smell. My desire is slowly thrumming through my nerve endings as the synapses in my brain rekindle the familiar fire.

I turn my face a tad and let my tongue slide out and tag his nipple. He yelps, and I grin before licking it again.

“Evil, Scully, pure evil… but, don’t you dare stop!”

His hand grips me tighter around the waist. My legs lie straight out before me, the wet blanket soaking my skin, causing the material to cling to the back of my calves and thighs. Mulder is literally sitting on my thighs, straddling me and I can feel the heat of his backside toasting my skin.

How so much fear can cause so much loss is something I hope never to be faced with again. I may lose him, he may lose me, but we have each other right now.

Now is what matters. I will live in this moment until it passes into the next and then I will live in that one, and so on, and so on… .

I smile, flicking out my tongue once more. Reaching forward, I close my mouth around his rigid nipple, latching onto his skin. My hand slips from his neck and traces along his shoulder blade. I take my turn tracing my fingers against the scar tissue of his shoulder.

An eye for an eye.

A scar for a scar.

A love for a love.

Suddenly I release his nipple and pull him down closer, needing to reach my lips to his faded injury.

My mouth comes in contact with the area and I lave it as if I can take it away with the heat of my mouth, burn it off with my kisses. But the best I can do is stroke it with my tongue and place a gentle kiss over the mark, which I do, which I always do.

Mulder pushes me back against the ground again, and I shiver at the chilled wetness against my back. The sensation passes as I twist and turn him so that he is on the soaked blanket.

Our breath is coming out in faded white clouds, it’s cold… but not that cold. Not nearly cold enough to stop this moment… to stop us from reconnecting and combining our souls with a sea of sighs and a tempest of touches.

He gasps, I’m sure motivated by the blanket and my straddling touch as I sink my knees around his waist.

I grind my center against him. He’s warm, so warm and hard. My breath is heaving, anticipating when he will be driving himself into me. I moan in excitement. I brace myself above him, pressing my palms against his chest.

Bending down, I tantalize his other nipple that I’d previously neglected, warming his skin with the furnace of my mouth and the stroke of my tongue. When I pull away, his skin is reddened.

“Beautiful,” he says, tracing a finger against my chin.

“What?”

“You look so beautiful,” he says and I believe him. Both of us are drowned rats but in our eyes we are just us… tasting, touching, and fusing.

Slithering down his thighs, he watches me as his silken pants lets my body easily sink down to his thighs. I lick my lips, shaking from desire as I reach and free him from his underwear.

“How did that get back in there?” I ask, pulling him free of the material.

Mulder’s raised head falls to the ground, groaning. “Needed to keep the boys safe while I was occupied with… um… other matters.”

I squeeze him and he groans again.

“Definitely evil,” he mutters.

He grows harder, filling my hand as I stroke him back to complete excitement. I slide down lower so that I can take him within my mouth and taste him but Mulder has other ideas. Sitting up, he grabs my forearms and pulling me up, sliding my flesh against his body until my mouth hovers before his, our breath mingling in twin clouds.

I look up into his eyes and see a riotous fire rampaging within his stare.

“Now, Scully. Right now.

That’s a theory I won’t bother arguing with. Now sounds good to me.

Rolling over, he is once again above me. I spread my legs wide, cradling his hips against my inner thighs.

With no further preamble, he dips down and angles against my center, placing himself at my entrance then looking up. With his other hand, he braces his body above me. I clamp my hand on his forearm, as we stay positioned.

“The joy,” he says, his eyes hardening with desire. I’m sure it matches my own. That thought causes me to spread my legs more. He holds my stare as he sinks into me.

We both moan, his loud and overwhelming my own.

I shake at the filling intrusion, catching my breath and releasing it in tiny convulsing gasps, my fingers dig into the muscle of his arm.

My skin is sizzling from the tips of my toes to the roots of my hair as I am overcome by the beauty of cherished familiarity and yet more than that. His warmth is solid and delicious.

We watch each other, the flickering contraction of facial muscles, the hitched breathing. The peripheral exposure of neck tendons as our eyes connect along with our bodies.

He enters me through his gaze, thrusting within me and I catch him, clutch him, sharing in this view just as I share in our throbbing, thrusting lower half.

I am caught by his gaze as I am eagerly plundered by his sex and I know… I truly know so completely that it shocks me into further gasps…

We don’t have to fear anything, not when we are together.

I feel like I am sinking in quick sand only to be rescued by the magnetic draw of his eyes as I convulse with each dip and rhythmic thrust of his hip bone meeting mine.

He is igniting me, pushing deeper and deeper into a recaptured ecstasy, taking me back to where our bodies and hearts have met before, over and over and over again. Meeting there and going further.

I scream out, letting my heart break open and my senses take over, lossing myself so that he can find me and he does… he does like I knew he would.

He is grunting above me and my skin is prickling, the goose bumps hardening my nipples even further than the brushing caress of his hand. I can see his excitement building, noting the tell tale signs of his approaching orgasm — the fluttering eyelids, the biting of his lower lip alternating with the protrusion of the tip of his tongue.

He begins to move more rapidly, sinking into me deeper and deeper. I feel the sands of my need gathering together within my center, circling in a swirling whirlpool and collapsing into a funnel that is ending in a precise point — a point that pierces my scattered senses in red hot heat. His fingers reach and rub against my sex and I sky rocket.

I ride this sea, this need, drenching myself in it.

Oh god! Oh God! I try so hard to keep my eyes on him but they blink shut with each level of arousal that clamours for release. I note the protrusion of the tip of his tongue again, he is so close… so close behind me…

His hips dip and dive deeper in long strokes then alternate in rapid thrusts… my heart is cracking open and I am forced to toss my head back, arching my chest to his mouth that is clamping down on my nipple as he clutches his arms around my waist, dragging himself deeper within me.

Oh God, yes!

I hear him yell out, his cheek now presses against my breast as he rides out the crashing, thrashing waves that are tumbling over him and drenching me, pitching me into the very recent memories of my own release as he slides deeper and deeper, and then freezing us in a snapshot of release. He cries out and I clasp him to me.

X*X*X*X

I sit across Mulder’s legs, turned in toward his chest, feeling sated and safe. My arms wrap under his, my hands on his firm back. I stroke his skin as he rhythmically trails his fingers through my hair, extending the length through his fingertips until it falls free of his hand and drifts back against my neck.

I reach up and kiss his chin, meeting his smile. Luxuriating in his touch, I relax in the hypnotic caress of his touch.

Closing my eyes, I rest my head against his chest while he lays his cheek against my hair.

Eventually, I reopen my eyes and am almost shocked to discover that the rain has been reduced to a fine mist.

The sky is already beginning to clear, letting the sun peak out in random shafts and causing the air to feel once again like summertime as it burns the remaining veil of rain away.

“Here, turn around, Scully,” he says, his voice still low and raspy. I love when he sounds like that.

I relinguish his waist and turn myself to lean my back against him. I squeeze his knees which are bent and hugging my sides.

My fingers brush down some of his blonde leg hair, I love playing with it. I feel his chuckle rumbling against my back. He knows what I’m doing. I can’t help it. He says I like to pet him.

I guess I do.

He sighs out another chuckle as he clasps his hands in front of me, his palms coming to rest against my stomach.

I look up and see that the storm has finally skittered away, taking its lumbering clouds with it. The wind has down graded into a breeze that plays among the branches. The leaves gently rustle, sounding like multi-layered sighs.

We’ve just made it through the toughest storm of our lives, made it through and survived — yet the storm was more than just weather.

It was the cold front of my fear clashing with the warmth of my love. And, like a storm, it had to release its pent up energy before giving in to the relief of rain.

Risk, emotional risk… I will no longer hide my heart behind a dark, nebulous could… I will no longer churn in anxiety and dread.

The rain released me… cleansed me… replenished my soul with hope and understanding.

I realize now that death isn’t the end to love. It’s not constrained by time or lack of it.

I am finding that if I have only thirty days, thirty weeks or even thirty months… it will never be about the quantity of time shared with him… but the quality of how I will live every moment.

Laying my head back onto his chest, I tilt my head and look into his face. Reaching a hand up, I cup his chin between my thumb and index finger, bringing his lips down to touch on mine.

“The storm is passing,” I say against his lips.

“Think we scared it away?” he asks, smirking but there is a serious question behind the joke, one last need for reaffirmation.

I tilt my head, smiling as I say, with one word, one word that holds so much, “Yes.”

His eyes, such a shade of jade green right now, slide closed and then softly blink open.

“Good,” he says, kissing my forehead. I turn my head back toward the lake and watch the varied terrain around us starting to dry in the late day sun.

The light slices through the remainder of clouds and hits our skin, warming us in its yellowed heat as well.

Risk, Mulder was right when he said it was more than our jobs. I didn’t let myself bare my heart and I almost lost him.

Emotional risk IS the joy but it’s also the validation of a life well-lived, a life well-loved.

I don’t really know how I will handle Mulder’s death when the time comes and right now I don’t care.

I situate myself more snug against him. I again angle my head back, this time kissing his neck. He smiles and turns his head, moving his lips against mine. Squeezing his arm I snuggle against him some more, basking not just in the warmth of the sun, but mostly in the warmth of his loving touch, in him.

“Look, the ducks are back,” he says, nodding his head toward the birds, his breath rustling my hair that has begun to dry.

I look at the lake and see the birds’ fluttering return to the calmed waters.

He kisses my temple as his strong fingers gently stroke my belly, strumming my stomach, his nails deliciously scratching patterns against my skin.

I sigh, smiling.

I would trade thirty years of nothing for thirty seconds of this. I’d do it in a heart beat because then I would have known that in my life, I’d have taken love’s emotional risk… taken it and won.

For now, I don’t have to make that choice, and hopefully, I’ll never have to…

F E E D B A C K A P P R E C I A T E D

 EMOTIONAL RISK

by Exley_61 () XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

5th story written: Completed: Sept 26, 1999 Posted: Sept 26-27, 1999

ALL MY STORIES CAN BE FOUND AT MY WEBSITE:

http://members.dencity.com/Exley_61

AUTHOR’S NOTES:

YOU MADE IT TO HERE, EXCELLENT!!!

First I’d like to thank my beta supreme… her Mulder to my Scully, Paige Caldwell. If not for her this story would have had a different vibe that might have been nice but wouldn’t have been as provoking.

She rocks the cazbah!! Sheri ff does like it! My undying thanks to a brilliant author and equally fantabulous beta.

I’d like to also thank Michelle at Xfiles Fan Fic Addicts. She really helped me whip Mulder into shape and her devotion and time to my story is much appreciated.

Special thanks to TBishop27… she let me bounce ideas off her and gave me some mighty fine help.

It takes a village to write a story… hehehehe, or so it is seeming.

Also thanks to Kimberly at Clinique’s Hidden Gems, she let me rant to her when I feared my muse would never come back and helped keep my bastard, <that’s my muse’s name> helped get him in line.

Audrey Roget, a fantastic author, my tech. extra-ordinaire.

I give a mighty thanks for all of your efforts and individual insights that helped tweak this story. All hands welcomed in this pot!!

And thanks to the reader, for giving me a whirl.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE CURIOUS: Still here? good… I am still in the process of writing my casefile. With School, and the intricacies of the story, I know it wouldn’t come out as brilliantly as I want it to… so I am working on it slowly.

-Exley_61 ]

Exley_61’s Xtravaganza

http://members.dencity.com/Exley_61/

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The X-Files remain the property of Chris Carter, Ten-Thirteen and Fox, unfortunately. The original stories and art remain the property of their talented creators. No copyright infringement is intended. Any copyright concerns can be addressed to .

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