Spin by Rachel Lee Arlington

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Spin by Rachel Lee Arlington

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MSR – NC17 – (!dubcon – both drunk)

Summary: Alcohol makes people do the strangest things …

DISCLAIMER: I disclaim all knowledge of and responsibility for this story. Nina is turning me into an MSR sausage factory. I can’t remember the last time I got to write about the corner of Krycek’s mouth.

CERT NC17: I hope you realize the only reason you have this story is that I’m on one side of the ocean and my honey is on the other. Come December you’ll be looking in vain for Arlington smut. I’ll be too busy doing it to waste time writing about it.

AUTHOR’S NOTES: My contribution to the dreaded ‘Inspired By A Song’ genre of fanfic. Freely (ie, not under duress) adapted from the Gin Blossoms song, ‘Hold Me Down’.

DEDICATION: For Nina. Like everything I do.


“Mulder, my main man. What are you drinking? Choose your poison,” Danny challenged.

“Oh, no, I’m not drinking. Got any soda?” Mulder asked bleakly. He’d promised to look in on the party, though he had strenuously underlined the phrase ‘for a minute’ in his undertaking, but now that he was here, he would rather have been anywhere else. The buttkicking he’d taken from Skinner in the morning, together with the almost row he had with Scully in the afternoon over who’d lost the receipt for the rental car had put him in a bad mood. Coming direct from work, in his most anally retentive charcoal suit and white shirt with the fine grey thread stripe and grey and burgundy paisley tie, to one of Danny’s legendary ‘hot chicks in tight clothes’ parties was the final straw. He just wanted to stay long enough to avoid offending Danny, who was after all a vital resource, and then go home and indulge his annoyance in peace.

“Soda.” Danny looked around his tiny kitchen, at the six packs and cans and bottles and pitchers on every surface; at the ice trays and half lemons and blender jug on the table. “We’ve got beer – import export and Newport. Whisky, vodka, bourbon, gin, tequila … LOTS of tequila, brandy, wine and surgical spirit. I wouldn’t drink the wine though, it has a screw cap.”

“No soda.”

“Mulder, Mulder.” Danny’s voice slowed and thickened into a credible impersonation of Marlon Brando in ‘The Godfather’. “What have I done that you treat me wid such disrespec’? You come into my house, you accept my hosbidalidy an’ then ask for a soda. This I cannod du.”

“Okay, okay.” Mulder lifted his hands in a gesture of surrender. He really couldn’t afford to piss Danny off too, or work would be not only unbearable, but difficult. Mulder was supposed to have authorization to pull phone records and such like, but Danny showed admirable disregard for such niceties.

“Here, try this.” Danny reverted to his own crisp east coast accent and filled a highball glass with the pale orange opaque liquid in the blender jug.

“What is it?” Mulder asked cautiously, lifting the glass to the light. There was something organic floating in it.

“I have no idea,” Danny said, pouring one for himself. “I was making margaritas and I had to go and take a piss, and when I got back some dickwad had done this to it. Lock an’ load.” He lifted his glass, saluting Mulder, and took a long swallow. “SHIT!” He banged the glass down, coughing and gasping, his eyes full of tears. “That’s good shit,” he husked.

“I think I’ll go mingle,” Mulder said hastily.

“Sure. Me casa es su casa,” Danny croaked.

Mulder wedged his way back out of the kitchen past the group of people standing directly outside the door, guys in sleek shiny suits and girls with graphic hairstyles and explicit outfits.

“And what?” One of the guys was asking.

“And nothing,” a tall angular girl with glossy black hair in a glossy black dress laughed. “He was a complete geek.”

Mulder smiled weakly as he passed between them, and they seemed to still for a couple of seconds, looking him up and down with lofty bemusement. Mulder was past them before he realized he’d overshot the doorway of the living room, and he was too self conscious to push back through them a second time. Plus the clamour of voices and laughter and the clink of glasses and the thud of the sound system coming through the door were pretty daunting. So he walked on down the hallway, as if that was where he had intended going all along.

The only other door in the downstairs hallway was into the small dining room which Danny used as a combined office and play room. From the doorway Mulder could see only the swivel chair and cheap flatpack desk with the high spec PC and full peripherals, and the side of the genuine wood look laminate bookcase crammed with books and manuals and comics hanging out, and stacks more on the floor in front. The poster over the desk advised ‘conserve gas – quit farting’.

Mulder wandered in, intending to check out Danny’s reading selection. It wasn’t till he was in the door that the click of pool balls off each other warned him that the room wasn’t actually empty. The two guys, one in a sharkskin suit and the other in a disreputable looking leather jacket, moving around the pool table had already glanced up and seen him, it was too late to just turn round.

“Hey. How you doin’.” Mulder was using his coolest most casual voice, and most dudelike lift of his head, but he couldn’t kid himself that it was even beginning to compensate for his damn suit.

“Hi.” They acknowledged him with benign indifference.

Mulder was in the act of turning his attention to the bookshelves when he caught a sidelong glimpse of the guy in the suit goosing the guy in the leather, and Mulder’s composure was in no way helped by the gesture being greeted with suppressed laughter, and the words ‘it’s your ball’ said in a significant tone of voice.

Mulder scanned his eyes blindly along book spines, his cheeks starting to burn. He had to get out, but he couldn’t just turn around and walk off, it would be too obvious. Besides, he didn’t want to give the impression he was offended, he wasn’t. He was just … embarrassed. Trying for a degree of ease, Mulder sipped at his drink. The effect was electric. He was so absorbed in trying not to convulse into coughs and splutters that he was blissfully unaware of anything else. It worked so well he repeated the exercise a couple more times. Sadly the law of diminishing returns prevailed: by the fourth mouthful most of his throat lining was already history, and it hardly hurt at all.

Salvation. The doorbell, which had been ringing every other minute when Mulder first arrived, had quieted down for a short while; but now it trilled loudly.

“I’ll go.” Mulder spun and made it to the front door in three long strides. He opened the door to what seemed to be a mob of people, liberally sprinkled with beer crates and paper wrapped bottles and helium balloons.

“Oh. This is Danny Verbasky’s house, right?” The girl in the lead inquired, from under a floss of teased bleached hair.

“Yeah, this is Danny’s house,” Mulder replied wearily, feeling about a million years old. Somehow the seven years separating his age from Danny’s had turned into a yawning chasm.

“Oh great.” They started to pile in, pushing through the door, spilling into the dining room and down the hall. Danny appeared from the kitchen, pitcher in hand, to be greeted by shrieks of delight.


“Baby you look great!” Danny was swept by an adoring hoard into the dining room. “Get those butt bandits off my pool table! If I want spunk stains on my pool table I can do it myself. Jesus!”

The last of the newcomers were filing through the door, a small dark haired girl with her arms around a guy taller than Mulder, with buzzed hair and a lot of metal in his ear.

“Agent Mulder!” The girl said, as if she’d been longing to see him all her life. Mulder looked at her in complete bewilderment. It seemed to take forever for him to resolve her features from the unaccustomed setting of tousled hair tied up in a broad blue net bow, and her tight little grey velvet dress.

“Holly?” He ventured.


She left him bemused, watching while she slipped out from under her companion’s arm and was taken into the heart of the group still blocking the door to the kitchen. Mulder lifted his glass, took a deep breath, drained it.

“Come on assholes, move.” The group at the kitchen door laughingly pressed against the walls, making room for someone to come out into the hall. It was the girl with the glossy black dress and hair to match. She catwalk swayed down the hallway, each foot placed with precise grace, a tray of drinks braced against her front, causing her to thrust her hips forward at each step. The effect was not unlike that of Danny’s mystery drink.

She paced towards the dining room door, noticed Mulder, stepped nearer.

“Want a drink?” Up close you could see how unearthly her eyes were, green as a beer bottle.

“I’m not really drinking. Got any soda?”

“Hmm … try that.” She indicated a tall glass of clear sparkling liquid and a lot of ice by lifting her chin. “It’s either tonic or mineral water.”

“Thanks.” Mulder took the glass, tried to unhook his eyes from her sharp collarbones and high hard cleavage.

“You’re not from around here, are you?” She smiled.

“It’s that obvious?” Mulder sighed.

“Oh don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see someone who doesn’t have to make a statement all the time.” Her smile turned from bright and brittle to dim and hot. She did something with her eyelashes that made Mulder’s heart try to climb out his mouth, and then turned away and sashayed into the dining room.

Mulder lifted his glass and gulped. He choked, spluttered, couldn’t believe what he tasted, tried another mouthful to be sure. In the kitchen Holly was jumping gleefully up and down.

“See, see? It does so work, you can so put vodka through a Sodastreamer!”

Mulder looked into his glass ruefully. If he could find something to dilute it with, it wouldn’t be too bad, and he could spin it out for half an hour and then he’d go home. He fought his way back into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door in search of orange juice.

“Great.” The large glass jug on the shelf was full. He lifted it, sniffed carefully. Yeah, orange, definitely orange. He topped his glass. Sipped. Better, much better. There was a certain indefinable sweetness to the taste that he hadn’t expected, but he figured his taste buds were just shot by now.

It was getting hot in the small house, flushed bare skin and loud voices and the backbeat of the music all heating the air. Mulder drank rather faster than he had intended, but it didn’t matter: it was the last one he was going to have. He cruised back into the dining room, looked at the bookshelves now that the room was crowded, people sitting on the pool table, on the floor, in the window recess. Every two seconds someone was coming in or going out, and there was a constant passing of drinks and popping of cans and clinking of glasses.

Mulder emptied his glass, left the room. He intended leaving his glass on the drainer and making his apologies to Danny and going home. As he came into the kitchen he was running his tongue around his mouth, frowning. Whatever was in the mystery concoction there must have been sugar: lots of it. Mulder’s teeth felt like they were glued together. He opened the refrigerator again, poured himself another glass of orange juice. He took a mouthful, hoping to clear his palette. But the strange sweetness he had noticed before was even more pronounced without the counter effects of the carbonated vodka. He frowned into the jug.

“Something wrong?” Green eyes and a cap of glossy black hair greeted him over the top of the open refrigerator door.

“Oh, hello again. I think someone’s spiking the orange juice.”

She frowned, beautiful furrowing of snow white forehead, jet black arcs of eyebrows drawing a little closer together. She came round the door, stood right beside him. The white light from the fridge interior bleached over her bare throat and arms. He could see each fair hair stand up, pulling tiny peaks of flesh.

She took the jug from him, hard smooth fingers lingering over his. Lifted it, looked at it critically.

“Orange juice? This started out as a jug of bacardi. Some idiot is putting orange juice in the bacardi.” She put the jug back on the shelf and raised her glass to Mulder. “Here’s how.” She slugged back half of whatever the red and orange concoction was.

“Cheers.” Mulder whacked back a long draft of the ex orange juice. He had just realized that it was the perfect time to ask her what her name was, when she pivoted on one high patent leather heel and swung out through the door, down the hallway, to be swallowed up by the crowd.

Mulder sighed, closed the refrigerator and pushed his way out into the hall. The worst of the crush had moved up to the door of the dining room, so the path of least resistance was to go into living room.


“I’m tellin’ ya, it’s inhale. You know, kinda snort it.”

“It’s exhale. You exhale when there’s effort. And drinkin’ that is an effort.”

“It’s inhale, I’m tellin’ ya. Hey, there’s Mulder, ask Mulder, he’s a doctor.”

“I’m a doctor of psychology, I don’t know how much help I’m going to be.” Mulder made his way over to the couch and coffee table, where Danny was sitting on the floor in the midst of a sprawling crowd, arguing the finer points of tequila shots.

“Do you inhale or exhale when you hit?” Danny asked, filling half a dozen shot glasses with an unsteady hand. Salt shakers and lemon wedges were scattered over the glass table top.

“Is it physically possible to inhale and swallow at the same time without choking?” Mulder asked idly.

“See? See?” Danny looked around triumphantly, as if vindicated. “That’s why this man is a genius. Because he’s intelligent. Have a drink Mulder.” He offered a shot glass filled to the brim, spilling only a very little.

“No, thanks. I have a drink.” Mulder lifted his highball glass. Somehow or other there was only an inch left.

“That’s a punk’s drink. You need a real drink. Tequila’s a real drink. Mano a mano.”

Mulder knew she was there before he saw her. He knew the whisper and slither of her glossy black dress, and the sweet aggressive scent of her glossy black hair, and the way the air turned charged and his heart took off. She came round behind him and knelt down at the table, graceful predator movement, perfect cybernetic creature showing admirable compassion for their organic flaws.

“Tequila? Yummy.” She bridled, smiled, took up a glass, narrowed her eyes, hit. She put the glass down with complete indifference, looked up at Mulder. “It’s good, not too raw. Want some?” She held one up to him.

“Yeah.” Mulder knelt, uncomfortable in suit pants and laced shoes, but too absorbed in her eyes and skin and challenging silence to really notice. He knelt like an acolyte at an altar, was inducted into the mysteries of salt and lemon, took his hit, managed to keep his reaction to a slight flinch, a sudden inhalation through his nostrils. She smiled approvingly, took up the bottle, filled glasses around the table.

“See, I was supposed to shoot this guy, an’ I missed,” Danny was saying in a nasal Brooklyn accent. “So to square things, they’re gonna let me shoot somebody else – which is really very nice.”

Mulder took up his glass, saluted her, hit. Easier this time.

“How come you ended up in the FBI Danny?” She was talking to Danny, but Mulder could feel her attention on him as she shook the bottle, trying to decide if there was enough left in the bottom for another round.

“The FBI, Francine, is a very fine and wonderful organisation.”

“Francine?” Mulder asked, casting her a sideways look.

She nodded, asked softly, under the sound of Danny holding forth:

“And you?”

“Fox Mulder.”

“Fox? How appropriate.”

Mulder swallowed hard. The tightness in his throat slowed the headlong fall of the next tequila shot, and he scarcely felt it. He slipped his jacket off, leaving it on the arm of the couch, pulled his tie open a little and undid his top button. He looked back at her, and the way her eyes were locked on his fingers at his collar sent a hot little ripple over his skin.

“You want some more?” She asked, in a voice that threatened him with heaven. It took him a second to realize she was holding a tequila bottle in her hand.


“I’ll get another bottle, there’s nothing but worm left in this.” Mulder felt a stab of annoyance at himself for saying yes, when it meant she had to get up and go. Then he took back the unkind things he was about to say to himself, as her endless legs in their ultra sheer black nylons unfolded in front of his enraptured eyes. She stood, her hands smoothing her dress, making a little hip wriggle to help. Mulder felt his throat go dry and his heart go supersonic.

With Francine gone, Mulder had nothing better to do than listen to the conversation. Some joker had put AC/DC on the sound system and Danny, still sitting on the floor, was headbanging which looked pretty strange given that his jet black hair was only a couple of inches long and spiked together with gel.

“I’m telling ya. Someday the FBI will run the world. Especially the computer records administrators. Ain’t that right baby?” He tossed his head towards Holly, who was reclining along the couch, watching him with every indication of interest.

“That’s right Danny. We’ll take over the joint. The Director and the AD’s and the SAIC’s and the ASAIC’s and the SA’s who aren’t in charge of anything but do all the work will have to do our bidding.” She waved one regal hand like a little queen. “And that means you.” She pointed imperiously at Mulder.

“I need to piss.” Mulder struggled back onto his feet.

“Yeah well, come the revolution pissing will be the first thing up against the wall,” Danny vowed as he shook the worm out of the empty bottle into his glass.

Mulder walked down the hallway, trailing his fingers along the wall. He seemed to be having a problem maintaining a straight line. Strange. He turned the corner to the stairs, looked up. There were two girls at the top of the flight, one sitting on the topmost step, her companion one step lower. Of the girl at the top, all he could see was a mass of dark brown curls and a pair of bare tanned arms around her friend. Her face was buried in the nape of the other girl’s neck. The one getting nuzzled was a beautiful little thing, with a face like an elf and hair the colour of pomegranate seeds.

Mulder got hold of the handrail and laboriously pulled himself up the stairs. He had to climb by the two girls, and as he did so he murmured:


“‘Sokay.” The little elf blinked lazily at him and smiled. As Mulder reached the landing he heard her companion say to her:

“We’re in the way. Let’s go somewhere else. Let’s go to bed baby.”

Their soft cooing voices followed him till he shut the bathroom door. He opened his fly, took a piss, felt vaguely discontented. He zipped up and then opened his cuffs, rolling his shirt sleeves up to his elbows, and pulled his tie off and rolled it up and stuck it in his pants pocket. He opened another couple of shirt buttons, raked his fingers through his hair in front of the mirror. He was trying to picture Francine, trying to evaluate his chances there. But strangely, he couldn’t seem to get an image of her in his head. He was mentally verbalizing to himself a description of her: five feet nine or ten, hundred and twenty pounds, black hair, green eyes … But he couldn’t picture her. Weird.

He washed his hands, splashing water on his face too. He took the towel from the rail, fumbling slightly, dried his face. Went to hang the towel back up, but somehow or other he managed to miss the rail and the towel fell on the floor. Mulder looked at it. The floor was a million miles away, it would take weeks for him to get all the way down there and pick it back up again.

“Fuck it.” He left it where it was.


The girls were gone from the staircase. Mulder had his hand on the rail and his foot out over the first step when he saw something bright on the carpet of the next step down. It was vitally important that he know what it was. He sat down with a thump on the top step, picked up the point of light. It was a sequin, pale pink and opalescent like a fishscale. It must have come off the little elf’s tulle skirt.

Mulder held it up to his eyes, turning it this way and that. He tried to look through it, hoping to see a pale pink opalescent world, but it was too small to focus through. He bent it double between his fingertips. Like a snakescale. That rattled round in his head for a minute. Someone had tracked down a fugitive through finding a snakescale … who the hell was that? Reggie Purdue? Reggie would have been smart enough to do that. Couldn’t have been Jerry Lamana, Jerry couldn’t find his dick in his pants. Tom Colton? Mulder sniggered. The only thing Tom found was himself out in the cold. He’d been so sure Scully would take his side. And she had suspected he was in the right, but there was no way she’d admit that to him, not when he’d just pissed all over Mulder. No sir. She slapped him down hard and mean, just like the Ice Queen she was supposed to be.

Harrison Ford. Mulder’s photographic memory managed to overcome the blurring effects of the alcohol. Harrison Ford had found Zora through a snakescale.

The sequin flipped free from between Mulder’s fingers, flying off in a pink and light arc into nothingness. Mulder’s mind flipped back to Scully drawing herself up to her full five foot two and managing to look down her nose at Coulton who was five foot ten. “Tom, I can look out for myself.” Understatement of the year. Decade. Century. Mulder grinned to himself. She could look out for herself, and she could look out for him. No sir, no one was gonna get away with sneering at him while Scully was on the case. That was her department anyway.

“I need to lie down. Oh boy. Long day. Long long day.” Mulder turned onto his hands and knees, got slowly and unsteadily to his feet. He felt his way around the landing. The first door was slightly ajar, but the soft ripple of feminine laughter and the creak of bedsprings told him where his two friends from the stairs had disappeared to. A soft voice resolved itself out of the laughter, saying gently ‘I love you’. Mulder backed from the door, smiling.

“That’s nice. Love is nice,” Mulder allowed. He got to the other bedroom door, pushed it open cautiously, put his head in. Empty, and in half darkness: the lights in the room were off, but the drapes were only half closed and the streetlight outside was enough to see by. This must be Danny’s own room: the print over the bed was an enormous steel framed poster for ‘Scarface’ – the original 1932 version.

Mulder stumbled towards the bed, fell face down on the black glazed cotton quilt cover, heeled his shoes off so that they thudded onto the floor, rolled over. The ceiling was wheeling.

“Rotating ceiling Danny. Very cool.” Mulder watched it for a few minutes, but it was making him sick, so he closed his eyes and watched the spangles and sparkles in the darkness there wheeling and swirling instead. His last conscious thought, as he heard the doorbell buzz a thousand million miles away, was of Decker the replicant bladerunner demanding of Tyrell, ‘it doesn’t know what it is – how can it not know what it is?’

“Late arrival, late arrival!” The frontdoor was opened amidst much hilarity, and the newcomer was dragged inside and hugged and kissed by complete strangers. She managed to work her way through to the living room, where Danny and the tequila sewing circle were playing strip snap with a deck missing half the court cards. “Baby!” Yelled Danny when he saw her.

“Hi Danny. Sorry I’m so late, I was out with two friends from way back and I completely lost track of the time, and then I couldn’t seem to find a cab. And I couldn’t drive, I’m soused.”

“You need a drink.”

“I need two, one for each hand. Thank you. And thank you.”

“Why didn’t you bring your friends with you?” Asked Holly, lifting her head reluctantly from Danny’s shoulder.

“They’re suits, you wouldn’t have liked them.”

“Suits are great. We’ve got a suit already,” the girl sitting on Mulder’s jacket volunteered. “Well, half a suit. I don’t know where the rest of him’s gone.”

“He went to the bathroom, a year ago.” Francine missed the card being turned and slapped her head peevishly. “Dammit. I lose again. Do I have to take both sides of my bust off or will one do?”

“Well he’s going to have to quit doing whatever he’s been doing for the last hour, I’m dying to go. Here, give me a drink to take with me in case I get thirsty.” She stooped and picked up another pair of slammers, then swayed on elegant heels out into the hall and up the stairs with stately and stocious grace.

The bathroom door was open, though there were about half a dozen people in there, and another half dozen sitting or lying on the stairs. The group in the bathroom were trying to aid someone bent double over the washbasin.

“Let me through, let me through!” She elbowed her way in. “I’m a medical doctor, and this is an emergency.”

“It’s okay, she just got her earring caught on the faucet,” someone reassured the world.

“No, I mean it’s an emergency ‘cos I need to pee.” She extricated the earring from the washbasin with expert ease, and started to shove people out the door. “Out, get out, get out.” She closed the door on them and dragged her dress up and her panties down with reckless haste.

She flopped onto the toilet, peed and peed and peed for what felt like years. She got bored sitting there, started to make tap dancing motions with her feet. Finally she was finished. It took forever to get herself pulled up and smoothed down. She started laughing for no reason. She opened the door and nearly fell over the people camped out on the landing floor.

“It’s the doctor!” Someone whooped. “What were you doing in there all alone Doctor?”

“Doctor things. Anyone got a drink on them?”

>From somewhere down in the hallway a highball glass full of freshly iced margarita was passed hand to hand till it reached her. She took a long swallow and sighed happily. Just as she had decided to try and pick her way back downstairs, she heard the tuneless breathy tones of a man’s voice floating through the slightly open door of one of the bedrooms.

“… I guess I musta just been … heard myself say no … here I … go … when you’re in the company … or just the strangers you call friends … hold me down … “

She stepped over the body lying across the landing and pushed the door open a little further. It sure sounded like …

“… If you’re at the … tailend … of the evening and … ha ha … ” The offkey singing blurred into laughter and then into silence.

She crossed to the bed, put her hand on his forehead.

“You’re hot,” she observed.

“Baby, you have no idea.” His answer came from another universe: his eyes were closed and he was more than half asleep.

Mulder was having the weirdest dream. Francine was trying to take his shirt off. He could feel her cool hard fingertips opening his buttons, grazing off the skin of his chest, flapping the collar of his shirt back and forth as if to fan his skin. She pulled the end of the shirt up out of the front of his pants, and the slide of the cotton up from where it had been tucked down made him stretch and sigh.

“You keep doing that and I’m gonna get horny,” he told her.

The two open sides of his shirt were lifted away from his torso, and he could feel her hands on his beltbuckle, pulling it open, trying to slide it free from the belt loops on his pants. He tried to lift himself, to help her, but he weighed about a ton and was rivetted to the bed and he had to just let her take care of it. After a certain amount of struggling, she got it free. He sighed pleasantly, more comfortable with it gone. Then he felt her fingers at his waistband button.

“You need any help from me, you just let me know,” he assured her blurrily as his button came open.

“Turn over.”

“Say what?” He frowned distantly. “That won’t work unless … ha ha! I knew it! You’re a man. Never trust a woman with long legs. Pheobe had long legs. Couldn’t trust her. Couldn’t trust her with your best friend. Or his best friend. Or his best friend’s brother. Or the guy he used to vaguely know from highschool … couldn’t trust her. Scully.”

“Yes, just roll over, onto your front.”

“You can trust Scully. Little. Doesn’t have long legs.” Mulder turned over as instructed.

“Hmm.” Francine was smoothing his hair back off his forehead. Her hands felt nice. Not so stony as he had thought, just firm.

“Nice legs. Got curves. I’m no fool. Never got her a desk. If she has a desk she’ll stop using the high stool and then I won’t be able to see her legs. Little Scully. Beautiful little Scully.” The hand on his forehead went still, came away, rested on his shoulder. “Beautiful beautiful. Know what?”

“What?” The dream Francine asked.

“Never even kissed her. Not once. Not Christmas, not birthdays, not nothing. Give a lot to kiss Scully. Give anything.” He sighed heavily, settling his cheek in the cool pillow.

“Why don’t you?” Her voice was moving closer, down near his ear. He could feel her breath on his cheek, hot and sharp and full of tequila fumes.

“Oooh no … no no. Can’t do that. Get your butt kicked. She’d find something to stand on and kick your ass for tryin’. And Skinner wouldn’t like it. Jealous. Dead jealous. Pendrell. All jealous. Don’t blame them. Beautiful little Scully. We all love her.”

“All?” From the soft dark depths of almost sleep, Mulder could only barely hear the amused tone of the question.

“Oh yeah.” He clipped the words out, like swatting a fly.

“Including you?” Still amused, but something was putting a sharper more interested edge to her voice. Mulder smirked into the pillow, lifted one heavy hand and rubbed his face, then let his hand fall again like a lead weight.

“Oh yeah. Me worse than anyone. Scully Scully … ” Mulder’s voice trailed off into a hum and a sigh. He felt one small hand hook under his shoulder, lifting him, trying to push him over onto his back again. He frowned, grumbled softly. After making him turn over, his dream was now making him turn back. He heaved over onto his spine, his eyes still closed, his hand flung out to the side of the bed.

Scully eased one knee onto the edge of the mattress, leaned down over Mulder. For a moment she was taken by how familiar this seemed. How many times she had watched his sleeping face, hoping for some flicker, some sign that he knew she was there. Then she realized that this was really very different. He wasn’t hurt; he wasn’t ill or injured or in danger of death. Scully smiled to herself, a little sly secret smile. She could afford to just look, and not have to worry for him.

She bent down a little more, her fingers brushing back the messy tossed lock of hair that lay on his forehead. One of his eyebrows was ruffled from him rubbing his face, and she stroked her fingers over that too, smoothing it out again. She studied the long brown crescents of his eyelashes resting on the skin of his cheeks, and the curve of his face softly silvered by the streetlight outside the window. Her gaze followed the turn of temple and cheekbone down to his mouth. Unconsciously her own lips parted, and the tip of her tongue traced over her mouth as she let her eyes wander unchecked over those luscious extravagant lines, the flesh so soft and flushed under fine silky skin. She could just imagine how soft that mouth would be …

“Oh boy, I’m really drunk.” Scully made a full and free confession and then leaned down, resting her arm by Mulder’s head, and let her mouth take those delicious lips.

Somewhere in the blissful dizzy darkness, Mulder felt the flutter of softness and warmth against his mouth. The light touch of a tongue, the clean salty sharp taste of a margarita. His brilliant vaulted intellect struggled to reconcile that flavour and the sticky sweet sunrise Francine had been drinking, but it wasn’t making sense, and it was far more important to scrape up whatever lucidity was left to him to concentrate on how that mouth was coaxing and cradling his own.

Mulder felt fingers on his face, cupping his cheek, stroking gently back into his hair, while his palm, lying open on the cover, was softly filled by a small hand, little fingers entwining in his and clasping both hands together. He tried to refocus the sensation, to resolve it into Francine’s long narrow cool fingers, to feel the soft blade edge of her long lacquered nails. But still the hand in his remained small and warm.

Then the kiss lifted away from his lips, tracked softly down over his chin, down his throat. Mulder felt his body leap to life, the instant pulsing desire that floods a dream in the space between one heartbeat and the next. He dragged his hands upwards, upwards, out of the leaden depths of sleep, up and up till they floated, till they found the form above him. His fingers tingled in anticipation of the heavy glossy swing of her satin hair.

Soft. Fine and airy as spun silk. He bent his head, his chin against the softness. That gentle insistent mouth was moving over the notch at the base of his throat, down onto his bare chest. He inhaled deeply, and savoured the scent of …

What? It nagged at him, the faint indefinable tint of something like flowers or fresh air or rain. He knew it, he just couldn’t name it.

His hands floated away from the delicate floss of hair, seeking. Found. Found the curve and turn and bone of shoulders, the kitten paw kiss of velvet, the creamy damp heat of flesh. His fingers flexed, moulded themselves to the form beneath them. Small. Small and soft, flesh like a gift, flesh so rich and sweet, with only the peak of a bone here and there and the sense of rounded muscle underlying it.

The image of Francine’s hard narrow limbs and the mirror cold gloss of her dress skittered and shattered against the warmth and softness under his touch. Mulder’s dream was developing a mind of its own. He dreamed his eyes open. Slow, slow. The swirling sparkling wheeling darkness behind his eyelids gave way to the glowing wheeling darkness in Danny’s bedroom.

The woman leaning over him lifted her head, flashed him a look that was startled and guilty and reckless and hopeful.

“Oh man, you gotta be kiddin’.” Mulder took one hand from her shoulder and clapped it to his forehead, laughing helplessly. He’d had some pretty weird dreams in his time, but this was right out there. Francine wasn’t just a man, she was an alien, a shapeshifter. She was trying to fool him, she was trying to make him think she was Scully, but she was miles off.

For one thing, Scully never wore her hair in those tousled loose curls, with wisps trailing over her forehead and cheeks and into her eyes. She didn’t paint her eyelids with something that made them gleam and glitter in the half light, and her eyelashes weren’t black and heavy and she didn’t paint a long kohl line along each eye that made her look like a sleepy sensual kitten.

Scully didn’t own a black velvet dress that somehow contrived to cover her neck right up to her chin and the tops of her arms to just above the bicep, yet still left a slash of flesh naked across the top of her cleavage.

And Scully definitely wouldn’t be lying on top of him and kissing his bare chest. And she wouldn’t be looking at him with that hungry and faintly offended look in her midnight eyes.

“What’s so funny?” She was arching up from him, making herself lighter and lighter, ready to leave him.

“You, just you.” Mulder eased up against her, took hold of her again, pulling her gently down. It was a crazy stupid dream, and he wasn’t entirely sure what was motivating his mind to replace Francine’s pristine and painless image with Scully’s considerably more charged and challenging associations. But here she was, and here he was, and …

Scully’s brain was trying valiantly to figure out exactly what kind of reaction she had expected, given that the one she got seemed so utterly incredible. But it was hard enough to get her half pickled intellect around the fact that she had somehow ended up on Danny Verbasky’s bed with Mulder under her and she had finally given in the lure of that mouth after keeping her eyes on the road and her mind on business for over three years. Oh well, better late than not at all. Still, she really hadn’t thought he’d just laugh about it. Shock, dismay, embarrassment, self immolation … she’d have been less surprised by any of those than by this easy acceptance.

And for a moment she almost hung back, almost faltered, almost wanted something more anguished from him, something that was deeper and bitterer, something more truly his.


He was lifting his mouth to hers, and she closed her eyes and let the spinning darkness waltz her while she lay in his arms. His mouth was soft and hot and tasted of orange and peach and vodka and tequila and a very tiny part of Scully’s brain that was still concerned with whys and hows wondered how much Mulder had had to drink.

Dance. Wheel and turn and spin and feel his flesh a constant centre in a turning turning world. His mouth losing its tender gentle ease and turning harder, hungrier, so that the softness of his lips was flashed and slashed by the demands of tongue and teeth. The fever heat of his skin, of his bare torso, of the tendoned stretch of his throat, of the rasp and tang of his jaw and back to the giddy taste of his mouth.

Hands fluttering and feeling and finding out the solid sweeps and hard curving muscles and smooth burning skin, under the irritation of starched cotton. She dragged the back of his shirt out from under him, they lifted together, she dragged the garment off his shoulders, eyes closed, seeing more clearly with her hands than she could have with her sight. Seeing with her fingertips the flawless gold and speckle of his back and the tan of his forearms and the silky pelt of fair hair on his arms and the airy curls on his chest.

Felt him shape out her back and arms and throat with his wide hot hands, felt her zipper slide and split and part and him pull her dress away from her like a husk. She struggled up onto her knees, dragged it off over her head, flung it away and plunged back to him. The bare flesh of her stomach scorched against his.

Mulder’s hands went from soft skin to the rasp of lace to skin to lace to the slick slide of nylons. He lifted his head, dragged his eyes open long enough to confirm that the alien Francine was so far off course with trying to copy Scully that it imagined black lace bra and panties and lace top stockings were suitable attire. Though he had to admit there was something deeply seductive about the contrast between the crisp black lace and her soft pale skin.

Suddenly the dizzy loose limbed lethargy seemed to fall away from him, he felt awake and focused and hungry. He surged up, rolled her over, pressing her into the pillows and quilt, his hands cupping her bare hot shoulders. He brought his mouth down on hers, eating up the taste of tequila and salt and lemon, eating up the faint undertone that was such a perfect note of Scully. A flavour that he almost knew, from a thousand times she had leaned over to say something to him, a thousand times he had leaned down to her to listen to her, and her breath had been so close he could taste it. The trace that he now savoured more fully.

His hands were seeking and testing. The soft spun silk of her hair, just as blindingly liquidly soft as it looked, all the times she had blinked with a tendril of red gold whipping into her eyes in the wind. The little kitten bones of her face. He had grown used to her size, grown used to the gestures of leaning and dipping and stooping that bridged the gap between his height and hers. But now he felt again the wonderstruck sense of how tiny she was, how small and soft and sweet. He gathered her up, his arms wrapping around her bare back, lifting her off the pillows, kneeling up, drawing her with him for no other purpose than to feel how light she was.

She twined her arms around his neck, and he felt the airy glancing flame of her skin, and her little hands stroking and smoothing his hair from his forehead, cupping his jaw, combing from his ears to the back of his skull. Then down his neck to his shoulders, down his spine, back over his shoulders and down onto his chest. Pleasure like a slow flowing wave over his skin, running ahead of her small strong fingers, his flesh wakening as it recognised her touch. Recognised the firm fearless honest way her hands went over his skin, just as surely as they did when she touched him to comfort him or draw his attention to something or tend an injury.

“Dana.” Her name was muffled in their kiss, and all the response he got was a sort of wordless sound of affirmation from deep in her throat as he pulled her into his lap, straddling his groin.

Scully managed to drag herself away from the narcotic softness and heat and sweetness of his mouth, her gaze devouring his eyes and skin and lips as if seeking the right place for her lips. The mole on his cheek. She’d lost count of the number of times she’d surfaced out of a daydream and realized she’d missed whatever Mulder had been saying because she’d been too busy watching that damn mole. Her mouth pressed against it, the tip of her tongue finally paying it back for all that distraction.

His hands were at the back of her bra, and she smiled against his cheek at the quick efficient way he flicked it open. There were definitely things about Mulder that just didn’t add up. He slipped the scrap of black lace down her arms, off her, held it bunched in the palm of his hand, lifted it to his lips. The gesture went over her bare flesh like fire, like hot honey, there was something so greedily sensual about it. She watched him, mesmerized, as he watched her, and kissed the lace in his hand.

He looked so young. He looked so easy, so natural, so thoughtless. His forehead was smooth, the two deep frown lines that had become etched between his eyebrows wiped away by the relaxing effects of drunkenness. A smile shadowed and rippled over his lips, an expression of open fearless amusement and anticipation she had never seen on his face before.


He broke the spell on her when he dropped the bra and sleeked his hands down her spine and around her sides and cupped her breasts in his warm palms. She breathed out in long shuddering sigh, her eyelids fluttering closed so that she could kneel in the darkness and feel him. Feel the scorching silk of his shoulders and arms and the satin of his hair and the warm clasp of his hands on her breasts.

She let her head fall back, her spine bowed, leaning back on his thighs as his mouth trailed from the side of her throat down over her collarbones, out to the tips of her shoulders, down over her chest, down to her nipples. She hummed and smiled and rocked forward again, cradling his head in the crook of her arm, her cheek against his hair. His tongue was velvet, his teeth the edge of a crescent moon. When at last he lifted his head again and met her eyes, she could only stroke his hair back and say softly:

“You should drink more.”

“Yeah. Yeah.” He said it as an admission drawn out of him by the sheer force of the evidence. Then that expression narrowed and hardened in his eyes, turned to something more focused, more immediate. His hands went round her waist, testing the small span, then into the curve of her spine, then cupping her behind, his fingertips finding the heat and dampness and lace between her legs.

Scully caught her breath, held it, let it go. Feeling the feather light touch of his hands, the slow encroachment of fingers under the crotch of her panties. Quiet. Gentle. Sure. After all this time, all the reasons for this not to happen, it was coming now with the simple tranquil inevitability of night.

He eased the lace away to one side, holding it out of his way while his fingers slicked into her wetness, teased her. But only for an instant. He took his hand from her and slid it between their bodies. She lifted off him, giving him room to open his belt, to fumble open his button and fly. He eased up off his heels for a second and slid his pants down onto his thighs, pushed his shorts down after awkwardly working the waist over his erection.

He knelt again, pulled her in closer to his lap.

Hover. Wait.



“Oh … “

Float and fall and never hit the ground. Turn and turn and yet be the centre of all turning. They clung to each other, dizzy, snatching breaths, hearts beating hard, hands holding shoulders, stroking faces, mouth to mouth, a kiss that broke and found itself over and over in the gentle rock and surge of their bodies.

“Lie down.”

He was the vault of heaven over her, his shoulders a wide arch from horizon to horizon. He struggled off his pants and socks with one hand, not leaving her, and naked he was ancient and elemental and a stranger she had wanted for years. She let her head rest in the cool deep pillow and above her was the crisp wiry curls of hair on his chest and the notch between his collarbones and the long tendoned line of his throat. Each thrust lifted her and rocked her and knocked her breath free from her lungs.

She wrapped her legs over his hips, lifting herself off the bed, pulling herself tight against him. His hands were under her, lifting her higher still. She smothered a cry as he drove so deeply into her that she felt her throat tighten.

He snatched her up, dragging her into his lap again, his arms tight across her back, his face buried in her hair, thrusting up into her, surging against her.

“Oh God. That’s good.”

“Tell me what you want.”


She pushed him back till he was the one lying down, his head at the edge of the end of the bed, and she was the one on top, lifting and dipping, driving a strand of low faltering groans out of his body. His hands sleeked over her thighs, skimming lightly over the sheer nylon of her stockings.

“Like this?” He was driving up into her, mastering her though he lay under her.


“And this … ” He twisted, and she held him tight as they rolled together, till he was on top and she was on her back. He drew away from her, his eyes on fire as she made a little puzzled sound, then caught her breath, wide eyed, as he turned her hips to one side, then took her again, pushing into her in one long merciless slide that made her groan out loud. The angle was deeper and rawer, the friction sweeter and sharper. He rocked against her, her behind cupped and cradled against his narrow hips.


“Oh God yes.” The words came out of her in breathy jerks, caught on the rhythm of his thrusts. Her body was being forced past the loosening softening effects of all the tequila, winding and tightening and sharpening its focus, till she could feel him and her and the burning interface between them with acid clarity. She was going to –

White out. White fire. The perfect heart of heat without the power to burn. Hot waves that drenched softly over her skin, through her flesh. A pulse that beat outwards, trying to overwhelm the cadence of his body beating against her. Two hot tears slid from the corners of her eyes down her cheeks into her hair.

He went on. A steady relentless building rhythm, taking that tribute of heat and softness and flushed skin as no more than his due. For a second or two she wanted him to stop, lifted her hands to his chest to push him away, but the touch of his damp skin was so delicious, and the thrust and rock and slide of his body had a fascination of its own, and she forced herself to relax and accept him.

Slick. The muscles of his arms were carved out in the sidelight, twisting and flexing with each stroke as his weight shifted slightly. His ribs, the heavy muscle of his chest. There was a gleam of sweat on his upper lip, and his hair hung damp on his forehead.

“Like this.” His hands guided her, turning her onto her stomach, bringing her up onto her knees. She groaned as he pushed in, deeper than deep, making her spine arch and curve as she struggled to know whether it was pain or pleasure that was tightening her nerves to singing wires.

“Christ. Yes.” His breathless words seemed to answer her uncertainty. Her body melted, a silent soft unshowy falling away into pure pleasure that so surprised her she was unsure it had happened till after it had finished. She was liquid and heat and utterly utterly exhausted. She slid downwards onto her stomach, her hands limp and her eyes closed. He went with her, rocking, thrusting, something harder and more reckless than he had been.

“I can’t … ” Her voice was hoarse and further muffled in the quilt. He mustn’t have heard her, or if he did he chose to ignore it. She felt his body turn to stone, to steel, yet lighter and lighter, tensing. His breath had turned to a harsh ragged rasp, and she could swear she heard the beating of his heart, like something frantic for escape.

She felt him. Felt the pulse that beat into her, the fiercely withheld tension of his body turn itself into a single wave that broke and flowed away, slackening him, untying him, leaving him powerless and helpless, his body dropping down on hers, pressing her into the bed, his hands clinging to her sweat slick skin as he drowned. After a few seconds he managed to turn onto his side, bringing her with him, and he curled around her, cradling her head against his throat, his body cupping hers, and then the darkness came up and had its way with both of them.

Scully came awake with a jerk, turning her face into the quilt, frowning and grizzling and trying to swallow, though her throat was like dry sand. She dragged her eyes open, managed to haul her arm up from over the side of the mattress and raise her wristwatch to in front of her face. Just after five. Plenty of time before she had to think about getting her sorry ass to work. Wouldn’t do to have Mulder thinking –

Mulder. MULDER.

She knew it wasn’t true, she knew she hadn’t. Then the sensation of warm naked flesh against hers and the steady ebb and flow of breath behind her resolved itself out of a general sense of disorientation, and she knew she had.

She sat up gently, gingerly disengaging herself from Mulder’s embrace. He stirred slightly, but as she waited with her heart in her mouth, he curled up, sighed in his sleep, and his breathing settled once again.

Scully got off the bed as quietly as she could and gathered up her clothes and picked up her shoes. She went to the door, peeked out and found the landing empty and the bathroom door lying open. She ducked out and into the bathroom, closed the door and dropped her things and stood with her spine against the cold tiles of the wall and wished she were dead.

She snatched at her clothes and pulled them on, anger at herself making her movements jerky and abrupt. You idiot, she railed at her reflection in the mirror as she splashed some water on her face. Nearly four years of good behaviour down the drain. It took this long for the Bureau to forget about Jack Willis, all those little comments about it not being the Federal Marriage Bureau. If this gets out you’re sunk, goodbye Dana Scully Agent In Charge.

It won’t get out, she reasoned with herself. Mulder may have plenty of faults, but he knows when to stay quiet. It’s not like he’s one of the good old boys round the coffee maker in the morning, swapping tales of sexual prowess. No one talks to him, and he doesn’t talk to anyone except me. No one will know.

Except us. Oh GOD.

She knew she was gaining nothing by getting panicstricken. She had to go home and try and get herself together. She fled down the stairs, found her coat on the table in the hallway and pulled it on, looking frantically for her purse on and under and around the table, but it wasn’t there. She hurried into the kitchen, scanning over the debris of glasses and bent cans and bottles with dregs left in the end. Then she remembered she’d put left the purse down on the coffee table when she went upstairs to go to the bathroom.

Danny and Holly were asleep on the couch, entwined in each others arms, Holly’s blue net hair bow wrapped round Danny’s wrist, and playing cards scattered over them like leaves. Among the glasses and bottles and pieces of lemon rind on the table top was a paper napkin with their names enclosed in a roughly drawn heart, and right beside that, Scully’s purse.

Nine twenty five. She couldn’t wait any longer, she had to go in. For the fourth time Scully put her hand on the doorknob of the basement office door, trying to make herself open it.

You just have to face this, she admonished herself silently. You were the one who was dumb enough to drink all that tequila and then lose what little sense you have. Remember what your father used to say, there’s no shame in taking a drink, but you have to be able to face down whatever you do afterwards.

While she had been showering and dressing and forcing breakfast down, she had tried to convince herself that the whole thing had been some kind of reverse blackout, her alcohol addled brain inventing something that hadn’t happened. But even without the wet aching emptiness between her legs and the flushed swelling of her mouth, she couldn’t pretend to herself that it had been anything but real. She couldn’t close her eyes for fear of seeing again the dazzling fragments of memory, his skin, the shape of his mouth, his hands on her body, the dip and turn of his hips.

She envied people who could get dead drunk and pass out and remember nothing afterwards. She was cursed with a Scully tolerance for alcohol. The drinking Irish: she could drink most men under the table, get reckless and giddy and horny, and then wake up the next morning with a dull head and a slightly sulky stomach, and remember every detail with horrifying clarity.

She took a deep breath, turned the doorknob and plunged through the door before she had a chance to stop for second thoughts. She had her face locked in an expression of grim determination, and she had worn her most severe black suit, the one she wore everytime she was summoned before the OPC to answer for some transgression of Mulder’s. She felt a deeper sense of dread than she ever did on those occasions. This time she was facing a stricter tribunal: that of her own sense of professionalism.

Mulder was at his desk, his head down on his folded arms, his hair a tossed heap of brown lying on scattered pages and file covers. He stirred fractionally at the sound of the door opening, but didn’t look up.

“Mulder?” Scully closed the door, concern overcoming all other considerations for a moment. He stirred again, made a muffled meaningless sound against the desk. “Mulder, are you okay?” Her voice sharpened, anxious now. She put her document case on top of the filing cabinet and went to the desk.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m … ” Mulder had to stop talking, every word was going through his skull like a trip hammer. He dragged his head up off the desk, lifted his eyes to Scully’s face despite the stabbing pain that went from each eye socket to the nape of his neck.

“What – ” Scully veered off. She had been about to ask what had happened. She knew only too well what had happened.

“I went to a party last night, Danny Verbasky, you know the guy in computer records, he had a party. I ended up drinking a whole lot more than I should have.”

Scully nodded once, a slow uncertain movement. She figured this was leading up to a ‘I was drunk and I didn’t know what I was doing’ conversation, which was fair enough, but she was having a slight problem computing the comment about Danny.

“And?” She was waiting for more, but Mulder seemed to be retiring back to the surface of the desk.

“And my head is gonna do a short extract from ‘Scanners’.” Mulder put his fevered cheek against a cool expenses sheet.

“I meant about last night.” After dreading this conversation all morning, Scully suddenly felt compelled to force the issue. They had to confront this, it couldn’t just be ignored.

“Uh … ” Mulder groaned. “I don’t think it matters … “

Scully’s mouth dropped open. Intellectually she knew that Mulder was probably doing the right thing. Just treat the whole thing as a momentary lapse of sanity and move past it. But somehow she didn’t want to be let off so easily. She at least wanted to know that walking away from the experience was costing him something. This matter of fact attitude was more than a little insulting. Scully suddenly realized that she knew very little about Mulder’s social life. Maybe these little indiscretions happened often enough to have lost any sting of embarrassment for Mulder.

“It matters to me Mulder. I’d like to hear what you have to say.”

“Oh God … ” Mulder’s stomach was threatening revolution, after the uneasy truce reached following a battle kneeling on the bathroom floor and contemplating the toilet bowl and the half used contents of his digestive system. His head was pounding, a steady banging of red hot hammers inside his skull. The pain was interfering with his ability to think rationally, or to exercise discretion. He failed to wonder why Scully was insisting, and he answered with thoughtless honesty.

“I don’t know. I remember drinking tequila shots with this girl, Francine, and then … I’m not sure. I think we must have … ” He trailed off. Even the hangover from hell wasn’t going to make him tell Scully that the blank in his memory was so complete that he had been reduced to examining the bed and his own body for trace evidence to confirm that he had been with a woman. “I think we … I woke up with my feet on the pillows and my head near the floor and that’s it.”

Scully had to take hold of the edge of the desk to hold herself up, the wave of relief that washed down over her was so strong. For one second she wondered if he was lying, purposely sparing both of them, but she knew he wasn’t. She knew him too well to doubt the bleakly honest tone of his voice. Now that the repercussions of her actions been miraculously wiped away, she wasn’t going to be ungrateful enough to second guess fate.

“Do you want some coffee?”

“Uh … no, I’ll just take a minute and I’ll be okay.”

“Alright. Well I’m going to run upstairs and see if the lab results have come through on those samples. You’ll be okay?”

“Yeah I’m fine, no problem … ” Mulder made a ‘go away’ gesture with one leaden hand. As soon as he heard the door close behind Scully he groaned out loud, both hands over his head as if to protect himself from falling debris.

After a couple of minutes he yanked himself off the desk, gasping with pain as he jerked back in his chair, but gritting his teeth and forcing himself to focus on the papers scattered on the desk. “Okay Mulder, get a grip,” he hissed through clenched teeth. “Get your head on straight. Scully was seriously not impressed, you better have your act together when she gets back.” He lifted a page and tracked his eyes laboriously along the lines of text, hoping that his brain would rouse itself enough to take an interest before he got to the end. But somehow he tracked right off the edge of the paper and found himself gazing vacantly into space, watching the images in his head.

For all his struggles with insomnia, Mulder often had dreams of almost hallucinogenic vividness. He often woke disorientated and confused, still caught in the almost reality of his own mind. But last night was in a class of its own. Even now, hours later, the scraps and fragments of the dream, of Scully’s creamy flesh and soft mouth and of her body turning and flexing and moving against him still seemed as real and true as his memories of Francine and her hard narrow limbs and cool slender fingers and slick controlled lovemaking.

He wrenched his attention back to the page in his hand. He owed it to Scully to at least try and do his share of the work today, and to refrain from any further allusions to his less than savory social life. Though that thought knocked a smile free. ‘A social life’ implied some kind of continuity. A once a year dead drunk one night stand hardly constituted a ‘life’, social or otherwise. No wonder his subconscious was spinning images of Scully in his dreams.

Mulder shook out the page he was looking at and started again at the top, this time cutting the text with his eyes. If he had inappropriate feelings towards Scully sometimes, and there was no ‘if’ about it he had to admit, well that was his problem. Scully had never treated him with anything but sibling kindness, and he wasn’t going to be the jerk who took that to mean any more than it did.



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