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Want and Need I & II by Tess
From: Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 22:10:05 -0500 Subject: Want and Need – R by Tess Source: direct
Title: Want and Need (1 of 1)
Distribution: I can’t remember ever telling anyone no, but I would still like to know first
Spoilers: Brief reference to Closure
Disclaimer: Property of CC, 1013 and Fox. I’m using without permission, but also not for profit.
Summary: Love isn’t always hearts and flowers. Sometimes it’s all about wants and needs
Want and Need I
Mulder pulled smoothly into the parking space outside of their motel rooms. Climbing out of the car, he walked quickly around to the other side. He caught one of Scully’s hands with his own and pulled her along behind him. Without saying a word, he pulled a key from his pocket and opened the door to his room. He led her across the room and stopped next to the bureau. Bowing his head, he concentrated on unfastening the tiny buttons of her blouse. When he released the uppermost button, he smoothed his hands over collarbones revealed by the gaping shirt, pushing the material off her shoulders until it slid to the floor. He cupped her face in both of his large hands, tunneling his fingers into her hair as he tilted her head back to receive his kiss.
His mouth closed hotly over her lips and he slid his tongue into her mouth to tangle with hers. She moaned softly, wrapping her fingers around his wrists and tore her mouth from his.
“Mulder,” she panted. “Wait…”
He leaned back against the bureau and drew her between his spread legs. He wrapped a strong arm around her waist and pulling the lacy cup of her bra away from her breast, he opened his mouth over the soft pink tip. She cried out, sagging in his grip and he wrapped his other arm around her waist, bending toward her and forcing her to arch back into his embrace. He sighed against her soft flesh and turning his head, nudged the other cup of her bra down so that both breasts were bared to his wandering lips. Scully groaned as his mouth roved over her.
He straightened up and backed her a few steps across the room, tumbling her onto the bed and following her down. He stretched his long body alongside hers, capturing her lips in another devastating kiss while his busy hands stripped the loosened blouse and bra from her body. Mulder’s fingers quickly unzipped the side closure of her skirt and he pushed it and her pantyhose down and off her legs.
Once again, Scully pulled away from his kiss. She arched helplessly against him when he buried his lips against the pulse pounding in her neck, one denim-clad thigh sliding between hers. She turned her face away from him, exposing her throat to his wandering mouth. She tangled the fingers of one hand into his hair and clamped her legs around his hard thigh, trapping him against her, while at the same time, pushing against his shoulder with her other hand.
Gasping, Scully loosened her grip on him and used both hands now to push him back.
“Wait…stop! Mulder!” She twisted her fingers into his hair again, this time pulling his head away from her.
“Mulder,” she began again. “Just wait…let’s think about this for a minute!”
Eyes closed, he pulled away from her restraining fingers and once again latched onto the tender flesh of her throat. “I don’t wanna think, Scully,” he muttered as he trailed his mouth down her body to nibble on the upper swell of her breast.
“Mulder, please.” She pushed against his shoulders again.
He looked at her, pulling his body up so that he loomed over her, pressing her deeper into the covers bunched up beneath them.
“I don’t want to think,” he repeated. “I just want to make love to you.”
He framed her face in his hands. “When we kiss, I don’t have to think. When you hold me, I don’t have to remember. When I’m inside of you, I don’t have to grieve.
Scully closed her eyes and turned her head on the pillow, pressing her lips against the palm of his hand. He had turned to her each night since he had come to terms with his mother’s suicide and the end of his search for Samantha. For three nights he had sought refuge in her embrace, burying his grief and loss as he sank into her body.
“I need you,” he whispered against her hairline.
“I know,” she said, opening her eyes to stare into the pleading hazel of his. “I know,” she repeated. “But what about next week? Or the week after? What happens when you aren’t grieving anymore?”
“What are you talking about?” Mulder asked, bewildered.
“I know you need comfort. You need to forget for a little while. I don’t know that you need me. I don’t know that you want me.”
Mulder shook his head, more confused than ever. “Not need you? Not want you? How can you even ask that!” he demanded.
“Because before your mother died, you only kissed me once. Because before you found out what happened to Samantha, you never touched me like this. And because you don’t…you don’t…” Her voice trailed off and she turned her face away from his again.
He pressed his fingers against her jaw, forcing her to look at him. “Because I don’t what?” he asked.
“You don’t…” She licked her lips and took a deep breath, blowing it back out and finishing in a rush. “You don’t wait for me!”
The color drained from his face and flamed in hers at her words. He quickly averted his eyes, closing them and burying his face in his hand. His lips moved as he muttered soundlessly and his body tensed against hers.
She rushed to comfort him. “Mulder, it’s not…I mean you feel so—and you make me feel so…” She broke off, frustrated, trying to make him understand. “It just…it takes me a long time…” A tear trickled down her cheek. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.
Mulder’s head shot up. “No, Scully. You have nothing to apologize for. It’s me who should…I don’t know what to say.” He shook his head. “I just…I get so lost in you.” He stroked his fingers down her cheek. “I’m not usually that selfish,” he finished.
Scully pressed her face into the warm palm of his hand. “I need to be sure, Mulder. Sure of you. Sure of us. I don’t want to be hurt. I don’t want to find out this was a mistake.”
He nodded and moved off of her, settling onto the mattress beside her.
“Okay,” he said softly. “I’m sure. I know what I want and what I need. I know whom I want and whom I need. But you need proof. You always have. You always will.” His lips quirked up in a tiny smile.
“We’ll wait. And I’ll prove it to you.”
She stared at him for a few moments and then nodded, pressing her lips fiercely to his. She sat up, clutching the sheets against her breasts, looking around for her clothes.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
She gestured toward the door. “To my room.”
She turned and saw the pleading look on his face.
“Stay,” he repeated. “Stay here. Sleep here. With me.”
“I don’t…I don’t have anything to wear,” she faltered.
Mulder sat up and stripped out of his T-shirt. He pulled it over her head and guided her arms through the sleeves. His thumb brushed across the satiny skin of one breast in a final caress before he tugged the soft cotton down to her hips. He urged her back down onto the mattress and curled up behind her. He threw an arm around her waist and nudged one of his legs between hers. Scully nestled her face into the coolness of the pillow beneath her cheek and slept, wrapped up in the warmth of his shirt and the strength of his embrace.
Want & Need II
He figured she would expect an aggressive campaign of seduction. Indeed, male pride demanded that he awaken her to a screaming orgasm. Studying the woman sleeping peacefully beside him, Mulder felt a wave of tenderness wash over him. He stroked his fingers down Scully’s cheek.
“Mulder.” She sighed and rolled onto her side, pillowing her cheek in the palm of his hand. She wrapped her fingers around his wrist, her thumb gliding across the soft skin over his pulse, before settling back into a deep sleep. Her movements had caused the blankets to slide down to her hips. Looking down at the soft roundness of Scully’s unbound breasts beneath the well-washed cotton of his T-shirt, he felt a familiar tightening in his groin and a surge of lust tempered by a love that he had never felt for any other woman.
In his fierce need for Scully and desperate to bury his loss and grief in her body, he had taken without giving. In the unfrenzied peace of the morning, Mulder knew that he could give Scully the physical pleasure that he had unknowingly denied her. He also knew that if he was ever going to convince her that he wanted her, needed her, loved her, he would have to seduce her – heart, body, mind and soul. He would have to open himself up to her in a way he had never done before. He would have to rid himself of the doubts that he would never be good enough for her and he would have to pay more than lip service to the knowledge that he could trust her never to hurt him in the way other women had hurt him in the past.
Today they were flying back to D.C. His biggest challenge would be to make sure that with a return to the routine of their lives, they did not leave behind this change in their relationship.
“Scully,” he called softly, stroking the index finger of his free hand down her nose. “Time to wake up.”
She wrinkled her nose and snuggled her cheek into the warm cradle of his hand.
“Come on, Scully,” he whispered, dragging his finger down her nose again and tracing the bow of her upper lip.
She grimaced, turning her head away from his wandering fingers and rubbing her nose with the back of her hand. He smiled. It was so much more fun to wake her in person rather than by calling her on the phone. He lifted his hand to her face, again stroking his fingers softly over her features.
He leaned close to her ear. “We have a plane to catch.”
He expected her to hide her face in the pillows but she surprised him by rolling toward him instead. She wrapped her arms and legs around him, burying her face in his neck, effectively putting a halt to his marauding fingers but inadvertently bringing her pelvis into direct contact with his. He felt rather than saw her awaken, as she became aware of the rapidly forming evidence of his desire for her.
“Good morning,” she mumbled, avoiding his eyes, cheeks flushed.
He grinned, bounding to his feet. He could see her body relax slightly as he put some distance between them. She shrieked in surprise when he caught her hands in his own and pulled her up into his embrace.
“We have to be at the airport in a couple of hours,” he told her. His big hands stroked along the column of her spine, lingering near the hem of the shirt she wore.
“You can take the first shower,” he offered. Scully nodded and tried to extricate herself from his arms. Instead he tightened his grip around her waist and lifted her off her feet. She threw her arms around his neck to steady herself. Mulder buried his face in her throat and began to rock, twisting his body gently at the waist until finally he felt her begin to relax. She threaded her fingers through his hair and tilted her cheek against the top of his head, her thighs hugging his hips. She shuddered once and then sagged, allowing him to bear her weight as she gave herself up to his embrace.
Mulder pressed his lips warmly against the pulse beating under her jaw and set her back onto her feet, turning her to face the bathroom and giving her a little push in the right direction. When the bathroom door closed behind her, he dressed quickly, grabbing his jacket and keys and headed toward the door. He figured he had enough time to go to the coffee shop across the street from their motel before Scully finished her shower. He’d begin his seduction with hot coffee and fresh bagels.
* * *
Upon arriving in D.C., they spent the rest of the day in the basement office working on their report. Scully typed on her laptop computer while Mulder sat at his desk, playing with a basketball and tossing out suggestions and comments, which Scully then translated, into a comprehensible format for the report.
Mulder stood and stretched, wandering across the room to study the report over Scully’s shoulder. He leaned in close, peering at the blue glow of the screen and felt her stiffen almost imperceptibly. He stifled a sigh, closing his eyes as he thought of the work cut out for him. He didn’t want to lose the working relationship they had perfected over the years, nor did he want to ignore their growing personal relationship. There had to be a way to incorporate the two without allowing one to take over the other.
He straightened. “Want to get something to eat?” he asked. “China Palace?”
Scully saved the nearly completed report and shut down her laptop. “Um…I don’t really want takeout.”
“Oh. All right. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then.” He worked hard to keep his voice casual and to hide his disappointment.
Scully slid the laptop into its carrying case. “I feel like cooking but its no fun cooking for one,” she offered. She was carefully studying the webbing of the nylon handles of the laptop case when she felt his hand settle on the crown of her head. He stroked his hand over the shining cap of her hair and she tilted her head back to look at him. His smile was joyful. She grinned back, pleased to have made him so happy.
Standing, she grabbed the laptop, her coat and keys and walked to the door. “Nothing fancy,” she warned. “Probably pasta and a salad.”
He nodded. “Seven o’clock?”
She glanced at her watch and nodded, pulling the door closed behind her.
* * *
She stirred the simmering pot of sauce and started when she heard his knock. She looked at the clock, smiling happily when she saw that he was ten minutes early. Mulder was never on time for anything. His early arrival meant he was just as eager to see her, as she was to see him. Scully wiped her hands nervously on a towel and took a quick look around her apartment as she crossed the living room to open the door. When she had arrived home, she had set the dining room table with candles and the small bunch of flowers she had grabbed at the grocery store. Candles scattered throughout the room had flickered merrily and soft music spilled from the CD player. After spending precious moments agonizing over what to wear, she had settled on jeans and a sweater. Walking back into her living room, she had cringed at the overt romanticism of the formally set table, candlelight and music. It just wasn’t them, she decided. At least not yet. She wanted comfort, with a hint of romance and so she had tuned the radio to a soft rock station, extinguished all of the candles except for a scented jar candle on her mantle, moved the place settings to the coffee table and lit the kindling in the fireplace.
Now, she moved to the door on suddenly uncertain feet, took a deep breath and swung the door open.
“You’re early.” She smiled shyly and took a step back.
Mulder pushed away from the doorframe where he had been lounging and moved into the apartment. Perversely, her obvious nervousness made him strangely confident.
“I was hungry,” he said in a low voice.
Scully’s eyes dropped away and she blushed as she turned toward the kitchen. “Well, dinner is almost ready,” she said, pretending not to understand.
Mulder reached out and grabbed her wrist, gently tugging her back to him. He released her arm and cupped the back of her head in his hand, lowering his mouth to hers. His lips moved gently, insistently over hers until she responded, her mouth opening to welcome his, her arms stealing around his waist to hug him close.
He drew back, then dropped a light kiss on the tip of her nose. Scully’s eyes fluttered open.
“Hi,” he smiled.
“Um…” She stopped to clear her throat. “Dinner should be just about ready,” she whispered and turned again toward the kitchen. Mulder grinned as he watched her hurry out of the room. He tugged off his leather jacket and hung it on the back of a chair, giving her a minute alone to regain her composure.
“Need any help?” he asked, wandering into the kitchen.
“Salad’s in the fridge,” she said, draining the pasta. He carried the salads into the living room and set them down on the coffee table then went back for his plate filled with steaming pasta and fragrant sauce. Scully followed with her own plate and a bottle of wine.
They ate quietly for a few minutes and then Scully spoke.
“Mulder, about the report—I think we should…”
Mulder laid his hand over hers. “Scully, you know that I love working with you, but let’s just…” He paused, considering his words carefully. “Let’s just take some time for ourselves. Okay?”
She glanced down at her plate, carefully spearing some pasta onto her fork. Looking back up at him, she nodded.
When they finished eating and cleaning up, Mulder pushed the coffee table to one side and settled onto the carpet with his back resting comfortably against the sofa. Scully sat facing him, between his widespread legs. She studied his face as he stared into the dancing flames in the fireplace. Curling her legs under her, she sought his attention.
“Hmmm?” He forced his gaze away from the hypnotic flames to look at her.
“I was just wondering. Have you given any thought to making arrangements for your mother’s burial?” Her voice was cautious and worried.
Mulder reached out to take both of her hands into his own. He ran his thumb over the soft skin covering the fragile bones on the back of her hands and played with her fingers.
“My mother told me once, right after her stroke, that she wanted to be cremated. I spoke with the funeral director in Greenwich when you left to perform the autopsy and made the arrangements.”
“No funeral?” she asked.
“She didn’t want one,” he told her simply, running the pads of his thumbs over the smooth surface of her nails. “She always hated them.”
“But…don’t you want a chance to, I don’t know…say goodbye?”
“Well I have to go to Greenwich and collect the ashes. I also have to start sorting through the things at the house. I was thinking about going up there this weekend. I was hoping you would be able to go with me.” He turned her hands over and pressed his lips warmly against first one palm, and then the other.
Scully twisted her hands from his and cupped his face gently, smiling. He reached out and pulled her close. She leaned into him, laid her face against his chest and closed her eyes.
He felt her breathing even out and her body sag slightly against his own. Reaching behind him, he pulled a pillow and afghan from the sofa. Carefully supporting her neck in the large palm of his hand, he eased Scully down onto the pillow. As he draped the afghan over her body, her eyes opened and she studied him solemnly.
Mulder stroked his thumb along her cheekbone and then across the plump fullness of her lips before covering her mouth with his own. His kiss was gentle and inquisitive; his lips moving softly over hers. He slid his tongue along the slick lining of her lower lip and she moaned, parting her lips. Mulder’s tongue swept forward and hers darted out to meet it as she wound her arms around him.
They kissed seemingly forever, whispering each other’s names and exploring each other’s mouths. Scully clenched her hands in his hair and Mulder settled his body over hers and again he buried himself in their kiss. When Scully wrapped her thighs around his hips, he groaned, arching his body into hers. He was quickly losing himself in her again. He slid his hand along her ribcage, inching toward her breast when a niggling voice in his head stopped him. He had promised to slow down. To prove something to her and not to take in a moment of blind lust and need.
Without warning, he tore his mouth from hers and flung himself back onto his heels. Scully’s eyes flew open at the sudden loss of his heat and weight.
“I, um, I should get going.” He scraped his hair back with shaking hands.
Scully nodded wide-eyed and pushed herself into a sitting position. Mulder reached out for her hands and hauled her to her feet. He pressed one more hard kiss on her lips.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She nodded. “Good night,” she whispered.
She hurried over to the window to watch him exit the building. He opened his car door, pausing to look up at her window, smiling when he saw her standing there. She leaned her face against the cold glass, watching him drive away. A combination of fear and excitement settled heavily on her. For years, she had thought herself in love with him. But now she knew she had been wrong. Because from the moment she had welcomed him into her arms, into her body; from the moment he had turned his considerable attention to her, she felt herself tumble head over heels in love with him. What she had felt for him before paled in comparison.
But she was terrified. Scared out of her mind that with his finding some resolution to his search for Samantha and with the death of his only remaining family, that she had become his new obsession. She knew he loved her. She needed to be sure that he was in love with her. She had given up so much else to Mulder; to his quest; to their work. Giving him her heart freely would not happen easily.
* * *
Two days later they each used a vacation day to make the drive to Connecticut. Their first stop was at the funeral home where they picked up Teena Mulder’s ashes. Mulder handed the box wordlessly to Scully as he slid into the driver’s seat. She cradled it in her lap, one hand resting protectively on the lid. When they arrived at Mrs. Mulder’s home, Scully carefully set the box down on a table in the living room.
Mulder was staring at the empty picture frames scattered about the room. He started violently when Scully placed her hand on his back.
“Why would she burn all of the pictures?” he asked without looking at her.
Scully sighed and rested her cheek against his spine. She had no answer for him. So many of the things his mother had done continued to puzzle her.
“What do you want to do first?” she asked as she shed her coat.
Mulder turned, cupped her hips in his hands and rested his chin on the crown of her head as he considered her words. “Why don’t we just take it room by room and decide if there is anything we want to keep. We can make arrangements later to have everything else donated to charity, I guess.”
He rubbed his chin against her hair and kissed her softly before turning to their bags sitting near the door.
Mulder carried their belongings upstairs and Scully wandered around the first floor. Scully had been to Mrs. Mulder’s house before, but this was the first opportunity she’d had to take a good look around. Teena had amassed a small collection of beautiful objects over her lifetime, but Scully couldn’t imagine any of them adorning Mulder’s very masculine apartment.
He bounded down the steps and met up with her in the kitchen. “Let’s start with the basement.” They went out to the car first to bring in the moving boxes that they’d brought along and lugged them down the narrow stairs.
Scully stared at the neat, organized basement. Everything was packed in carefully marked boxes.
“I see you didn’t get your organizational skills from your mother,” she said cheekily.
Mulder grinned, pulling down one box and beginning to rummage through it. They worked quietly for about an hour. Scully had an empty box near her and she would place items that she thought Mulder would be interested in into it for him to look through later. Dusting off the seat of her jeans, she stood up and pulled another box down from a shelf. Plopping back down onto the cement floor, she pulled back the flaps of the box and lifted out one of the photo albums. She peeled back the protective plastic in which Mrs. Mulder had wrapped the book and flipped it open to the first page. A young Teena Mulder was holding what appeared to be a one year-old Samantha on her lap. The baby was laughing, leaning down toward a dark-haired little boy of about five years who was balanced precariously on his toes, lifting his mouth to his baby sister for a kiss. Scully’s eyes traced over the happy family.
“Mulder?” she called.
He lifted his head and turned toward her.
“I think you’ll want to see this.” She continued flipping through the pages of the book.
Mulder settled down on the floor next to her. “She must have forgotten about this box,” he said thinking of the empty picture frames upstairs.
Scully had stopped at a picture of Mulder with a huge birthday cake in front of him. She counted eight candles and smiled at the gap-toothed grin he had flashed for the camera. “Mulder, why do all eight year-old boys have to smile like that?” she wondered, thinking of the cheesy grins that had graced more than one picture of her brothers.
Mulder laughed and leaned over her shoulder to turn the page. There were dozens of family photos in the album, but Scully was naturally drawn to the ones showing Mulder as a small boy. She paused at a picture of him proudly showing off his new bike. On another page was a photo of what was obviously a commemoration of a first day at school. She lingered over snapshots of him flying a kite on the beach; building a snowman with Samantha. Scully snickered at one photograph of Mulder, resplendent in his Indian Guide uniform, posing for the camera, trying to look rugged, with one booted foot firmly planted on a rock. The pictures trailed off after several years, leaving only Mulder’s school photos. Scully closed the book; sorry to see the pensive look that had stolen over his features. With a sigh she wrapped the book with its plastic cover.
“I was hoping for a requisite ‘naked baby on the bearskin rug’ picture,” she smiled, hoping to lighten his mood.
Mulder rolled his eyes at her and wandered back to the other side of the basement to drag another box out. She had been placing the photo album into the box of mementos that she had been setting aside for Mulder when she heard him give a small cry. Spinning around, she found him kneeling on the floor next to an open box. Each item that he drew out of the box was wrapped in bubblewrap. Basketball and swimming trophies, a model of a rocket. A folder filled with report cards and achievement awards. A smaller box stuffed with crayon drawings, paper valentines and homemade greeting cards. A small metal box revealed a macaroni necklace reverently wrapped in tissue, a ragged bunch of wildflowers pressed between two pieces of wax paper and other offerings from a boy to his mother. Each item bore a small tag of paper bearing Teena’s neat penmanship marking the occasion of the gift – ‘Mother’s Day, May 1965 – Fox’.
Scully carefully re-wrapped each item and placed them back into the box. “We’re keeping this box,” she smiled and carried it across the room to place it near the other box of items she had been gathering. Looking over her shoulder, she saw that Mulder was still sitting on the floor. A glance up at the basement windows showed that it was nearly dark and Mulder suddenly seemed exhausted.
She urged him upstairs and into the shower. While he was getting cleaned up, she flipped open the telephone directory and ordered a pizza. Deciding to wait until bedtime to take her shower, she quickly washed up at the kitchen sink. Mulder walked down the steps just as the pizza was being delivered. The hot water seemed to have revived him somewhat and they settled onto the sofa. The evening passed quickly as they ate the pizza and watched television.
* * *
Scully woke up, momentarily confused by her strange surroundings before remembering where she was. She settled back against the pillows but lifted her head again. She could hear Mulder moving around in his old bedroom. Scully slipped into her robe, knotting the sash as she crept down the hall to peer into his room. A quick glance around told her that Teena Mulder had remodeled this room after her son had left for Oxford. No trace of a teenaged boy remained. Of course, Scully’s own mother had redecorated her and Missy’s room into a guest room after they had moved out.
Mulder was going through the box of mementos that his mother had saved, unwrapping each object and studying it carefully. Scully pushed the door open and he looked up. His hazel eyes shone with unshed tears. She picked her way through the clutter of bubblewrap and tissue paper surrounding him and settled onto the floor next to him.
“Why don’t you tell me about some of these things?” she asked, lifting the macaroni necklace.
Mulder reached out and touched the necklace with one finger, sending it swinging. “I made that for her in first grade. Valentine’s Day, I think.”
Scully grinned. “Ah, yes. The traditional Valentine’s Day macaroni necklace.” She laughed, fingering the knotted string of the clasp. “I think I made my mother rosary out of plastic beads one time.”
Mulder took the necklace out of her hands and wrapped it back into the tissue paper. “She wore it all day,” he remembered.
Scully smiled, imagining a perfectly coifed Teena foregoing her usual pearls for a macaroni necklace. She asked him about other mementos in the box and he told her the story behind each one.
“Judging by the way these things are wrapped, I’d say they meant the world to your mother,” she said as she placed the last object back into the box and lifted the lid onto it.
Mulder ran his hand over the cardboard lid. “I loved her. Sometimes I hated her for keeping so many secrets from me. But mostly, I just…I just loved her.”
Scully stood and pulled Mulder up with her. She led him over to the bed and urged him to sit down. She knelt in front of him and tugged his T-shirt over his head.
“She loved you too, Mulder. I don’t claim to understand why she did the things that she did and I didn’t know her very well. But even having only met her a few times, I…I never doubted how much she loved you. Or how proud she was of you.”
Mulder gathered her into his arms, burying his face in her neck. Scully stretched up, molding her torso to his and murmured soothingly to him as his harsh, uneven breaths scorched her skin. After a few minutes, his breathing softened and he lifted his head to look at her.
“Why don’t you try to get some sleep,” she suggested. Mulder’s fingers fumbled at the knot of her robe, loosening it and pushing the cotton from her shoulders. He lay back onto the pillows and silently asked her to lie down with him. She nodded and turned off the light before sliding into the bed next to him. He rolled onto his side and his hand settled on her belly. She expected him to seek comfort in her body as he had before and she fought an inner battle over whether to give him that comfort or deny him. So she was surprised when his hand slid from her belly to wrap around her waist and he flung one leg over hers, settling his head comfortably on the pillow next to hers.
“Good night,” he whispered against her hair.
* * *
The next day, Mulder made arrangements with an estates buyer to come out to the house to appraise the furniture and other items that he would be disposing of. As he discussed a convenient weekend to meet with the buyer, he picked up a desk calendar and was startled to see the date.
Shit, he thought, quickly making arrangements to drive back up to Greenwich in two weeks time. He hung up the telephone and once more stared at the calendar. Shit, he thought again.
Climbing the steps, he found Scully sorting through his mother’s clothes, folding each piece deemed worthy into a box for charity. She pulled a sweater set out of the closet and fingered the expensive material.
“Your mother had exquisite taste,” she told him as she placed the sweater set into the box.
“I seem to make a habit out of forgetting your birthday,” he announced.
Scully looked up at him, startled. “Well, Mulder, there were a lot of things going on in your life,” she reminded him.
“Yeah, I know,” he sighed. “But it would be nice to celebrate something for once. Would you like to go out to dinner tonight?”
She looked at him consideringly. “I didn’t pack anything dressy,” she warned.
“Do you have a pair of slacks and a sweater?” he asked.
“Then you’ll be fine.”
* * *
He had made reservations, but their table wasn’t ready yet. The hostess directed them to the bar for a drink while they waited. All of the barstools were occupied so they took up a place near one end. Mulder ordered a glass of white wine for Scully and a beer for himself. The restaurant was a popular one and the bar grew crowded with patrons waiting for their tables. It was a boisterous, noisy crowd of people spending their Saturday evening getting away from their everyday problems. Scully stood with her back to the bar, her elbows propped up on its gleaming surface. Mulder stood before her, one hand wrapped around a beer glass resting on the bar next to her. Someone pushed his or her way past Mulder and he was forced to step closer to Scully. Her breasts brushed against his chest and he hooked one hand into the waistband of her slacks. Stroking the backs of his fingers against the soft skin of her belly, his thumb dipped playfully into her belly button and he smiled teasingly at her when he felt her stomach muscles quiver under his touch.
He lowered his mouth next to her ear so that she could hear him over the noisy din of the crowd.
“Maybe we should have stayed at home.” His breath was warm against her ear.
Scully tilted her head to the side. Her elbows slid off the bar and Mulder took another step forward, trapping her between him and the bar. She shivered and clutched his hips in her hands when he scraped the bristled roughness of his chin over the exposed side of her neck. Mulder soothed the sting of the faint marks with fingers chilled from his beer glass.
“I want to kiss you,” he said roughly.
Scully tilted her chin, offering her lips to him.
“But we’re in a public place,” he murmured regretfully, brushing his lips lightly, unsatisfingly over hers. Scully’s eyes drifted closed when he gently bit her jaw.
He pulled away when the hostess indicated that their table was ready. They spent the evening talking easily about work and what still had to be done to finish cleaning out his mother’s house. Mulder grinned when Scully clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle her peals of laughter when he regaled her with stories of some of his earliest encounters with the Lone Gunmen.
Over dessert and coffee, Mulder pulled a small velvet box out of his pocket. “I decided to keep most of my mother’s jewelry,” he told her. “I’ll probably lock it up in a safe deposit box or something,” he continued. “But I wanted you to have these for your birthday.” He pushed the small box across the table. Scully lifted it with trembling fingers and opened the lid. Sparkling on a bed of black velvet was a pair of diamond stud earrings. Simple and elegant, each stone weighed about a half-carat.
“I saw my mother wear these nearly every day,” he told her. “They belonged to my father’s mother and she gave them to my mother on their wedding day.”
“Oh, Mulder. I don’t know…” she began.
“She would have wanted you to have them. They belong to you,” he said simply.
Scully’s lips trembled and she raised watery eyes to his. She removed the tiny gold hoops from her ears and replaced them with the diamonds. She pushed her hair behind her ears so that he could admire them.
“Perfect,” he declared.
“They’re beautiful,” she whispered. “Thank you.”
Mulder lifted her hand and stroked his thumb over her left ring finger. “Happy Birthday, Scully.”
* * *
They went home and back to work. And now, weeks after Mulder had vowed to prove himself to her, Scully was becoming more comfortable with his increasingly affectionate behavior. While he stopped short of holding her hand on the job, he touched her frequently and she was constantly aware of his eyes following her tenderly.
Scully entered the basement office and was leaning her hips against his desk while Mulder filled her in on the details of what would be their latest excursion to California. His hand settled on her thigh with an easy familiarity, his fingers slipping under the hem of her skirt to whisper across her nylon-clad leg. He did not falter in his recitation of the facts of the case and she enjoyed his touch even as she argued against the dubious merits of said case.
When they wound up in California, despite her protests, and she was trying to wash yellow paint from her face and out of her hair, she was not surprised when Mulder followed her into the ladies room.
“Did I mention how great you look in black leather?” he asked as he stalked her across the room. Backing her up against the cold tile wall, he swooped down, covering her mouth with his own. His lips moved fiercely over hers, his tongue plunging into her mouth as he cupped her hips in both hands, rubbing the hard plastic of his suit against hers. Scully grabbed his arms, her nails digging into his biceps. While she had found the virtual reality game to be ridiculous and childish not to mention incredibly dangerous, she had to admit that she was turned on by Mulder’s reaction to her participation in the game. Not to mention, her reaction to his appearance in that skin-tight outfit. She had been seriously considering pushing him down onto the bathroom floor. Byers’ voice in the hallway put an effective damper on her ardor.
“We’ll continue this when we get home,” he rasped into her ear.
* * *
Scully found herself in a near constant state of suppressed arousal. Mulder kept her off balance, one minute passionately crushing her up against the nearest flat surface, the next minute tenderly holding her hand. Arguing with him over a case left her frustrated on two levels now as she was torn between a desire to smack some sense into him or kiss him senseless.
One night he would show up at her apartment with a video and a bottle of wine and they would sit on the sofa comfortably wrapped up in each other’s arms enjoying the movie. The next night she would find herself flat on her back, Mulder’s busy hands under her sweater caressing her breasts, his mouth moving restlessly across her face and nipping at her throat.
When he wasn’t subjecting her to a sensual barrage, he was wooing her with tender gestures and late night phone calls that served no other purpose than to allow him to hear her voice.
Friday nights often found them in a coffee shop, sipping lattes, each of them engrossed in a book or newspaper, or perhaps, studying a case file. One night, Scully looked up from her book to see him deeply engrossed in a supermarket tabloid. He was smiling delightedly over one of the articles and lifted laughing eyes to her to share his amusement. Scully hooked her heels onto the rungs of her stool and leaned all the way across the table, removing his glasses and pulling his face to hers. Her lips moved softly over his and she caught his lower lip between her teeth, nibbling gently. She slowly drew back and her eyes lingered on his mouth.
Desire quickly shot through Mulder. He had her bundled into her coat and had rushed her back to her apartment before she could even blink. Once inside the darkened living room, Mulder pulled her beneath him on the sofa. His mouth sought hers hungrily, his lips moving over hers in a deep, passionate kiss. A groan welled in her throat as his lips rubbed over hers. Scully’s hands roamed restlessly over his back before she wedged them between their bodies, struggling to push his heavy overcoat off his shoulders.
Mulder reluctantly lifted his head. He wanted desperately to stay. He struggled to hold onto his increasingly fragile self-control. Scully’s ardent response to his touch left him with little doubt that she was eager to resume exploring a physical relationship with him. But he needed a little more time to be certain that she was convinced of the depth of his need for her not only physically, but also emotionally. Pleased with the direction their relationship had taken, Mulder had been careful over the last several weeks not to jeopardize things by rushing her. He needed her to let him know that she was ready in all ways, to take the next step. He pressed a lingering kiss against her swollen lips and smoothed a shaking hand over her mussed hair. He withdrew from her painfully, heading home to another cold shower, leaving her frustrated and aching.
* * *
He was furious. Just what the hell was she thinking, going off with Spender like that? He stared fixedly at the television, the images jumping before his eyes as his thumb jabbed brutally at the remote control. Frustrated, Mulder threw the remote across the room where it shattered against the wall. Standing, he began pacing the length of his apartment.
What had she been thinking? he raged. He had never known her to do anything as incredibly stupid as to put herself in the custody of Spender. To trust him with her life! The mere thought made his blood boil. Steadfastly refusing to recall the destroyed look on her face when that disk had turned up empty, he yanked his jacket from its hook and headed for his car.
* * *
When she didn’t answer her door, he used his keys to let himself in. Oh no, Scully, he thought. I’m not going to let you hide from me. Stepping across the threshold, the apartment seemed empty at first glance. A strange noise led him down the hallway.
The door to the bathroom was half closed. He pushed it back to find Scully hunched over the toilet, her slim body wracked by dry heaves. She lifted bruised eyes to his before another spasm shook her.
Mulder dropped to his knees and rested his hand soothingly on her back. After several long minutes, the spasms stopped and Mulder helped her stand. He stood close by while Scully brushed her teeth several times and silently handed her a paper cup filled with mouthwash. He pulled a fresh towel and washcloth out of her linen closet.
“Take a hot shower,” he suggested. “You’ll feel better.”
Closing the bathroom door behind him, he went into the kitchen, setting the kettle onto the stove and pulling out mugs and tea bags. His rage had dissipated in the face of her desolation.
Scully padded into the kitchen on bare feet, her wet hair dripping onto the oversized sweatshirt she was hiding in. Mulder led her into the living room and settled onto the sofa next to her. They sipped their tea in uncomfortable silence. Lifting her feet onto the sofa, she rested her chin on her knees and nervously played with the fraying cuff of her jeans.
She licked her lips and chanced a glance at him. Mulder was staring sightlessly into his mug. He had refused to make eye contact with her ever since she had returned home from her disastrous trip. The ride back to his apartment from Spender’s empty office had been made in painful silence and he had climbed out of her car and walked into his building without ever looking back.
Stupid, she thought. How could I have been so stupid, so trusting as to go off with that bastard? She had risked her life, and worse, had risked everything that she and Mulder had been building together these last few months. Scully fought back another wave of nausea as the bitter bile of regret, humiliation and self-recrimination threatened to rise again in her throat. She took a sip from her mug, allowing the familiar warmth of the tea to spread through her body.
“Stupid. Stupid. Stupid,” she whispered, burying her face against her knees.
“Not stupid.” She jumped when his warm hand settled on the top of her foot. “Not stupid,” he repeated. “Hopeful, I think. Desperate, maybe.” He shrugged, meeting her gaze for the first time all day. “Strangely naive in this instance, and for the most skeptical woman I’ve ever met, oddly trusting.”
“I never trusted him,” she sniffed. “But I did want to believe him.”
Mulder nodded, his thumb moving rhythmically over her instep. “If he knew the disk was blank, what was he hoping to accomplish?” he wondered.
Scully chewed on her bottom lip. “I think maybe, he was hoping to destroy your trust in me,” she said slowly.
Mulder’s hand tightened convulsively on her foot. “Never,” he declared. “Never.” He studied her tense features and knew that his reaction upon her return had played a large role in the devastation he had seen in her eyes. He struggled to find the words to explain.
“Nothing will ever shake my trust in you, Scully,” he vowed. “I may question the wisdom of your actions, but my faith in you will never be broken.”
He took a deep breath. “I was afraid. When I realized whom you were with, I was scared senseless that you would be hurt or killed and that I wouldn’t be there to protect you.” He shook his head and wrapped his hand possessively around her ankle. “When you walked into my apartment this afternoon, I didn’t know if I wanted to shake you or kiss you…” Tears sprang to his eyes and he dropped his chin against his chest.
Scully set down her mug, crawled across the sofa and flung herself into his lap, wrapping her arms and legs around him.
“Mulder,” she cried. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Her lips roved over his face, sipping at the tears that were spilling down his cheeks. She cupped his face in her small hands, pressing her lips to his in a succession of short kisses. “I’m sorry,” she whispered between kisses.
Mulder groaned and tangled his finger in her hair, holding her still. Her lips met his again and this time lingered. Her tongue teased the corners of his mouth before slipping inside to taste him. Pulling away, she caught the hem of his sweater in her hands and tugged it over his head. She trailed a line of kisses along his throat. Mulder moaned softly when she slid from his lap to kneel between his legs. Her hands trailed over his collarbones, across his chest and down his arms. Scully tangled her fingers with his as she leaned forward to rasp her tongue across a flat nipple.
Mulder twisted his hands away from her and he trailed his fingers along the line of her jaw as she continued to press open-mouthed kisses over his heart. He caught her under the elbows and pulled her back up onto the sofa. Stripping her sweatshirt from her, he urged her to lie down. He cupped one breast in his hand, his thumb brushing over the nipple in a gentle caress.
Mulder settled his body over hers, pressing her deeper into the cushions, burying his mouth against her throat, trailing kisses along her jaw before covering her mouth with his once again.
Scully groaned and wrapped her legs around his. He began rocking his hips against hers, whispering her name over and over.
“Wait…Mulder,” she wiggled one hand between their bodies. Mulder whimpered as she cupped him through his jeans and he pushed his hips forward into her hand.
He sat up again and she followed. Her head was bent over his lap as she concentrated on unfastening the button fly of his jeans. Mulder hissed out a breath as her hair brushed over the sensitive flesh of his belly. He stroked one hand down the satiny skin of her back before reaching around to tease the tip of her breast with his fingers.
She had undone three of his buttons and began to slide nimble fingers under the elastic waist of his boxer. Before she could make contact with his eager flesh, he manacled both of her wrists with his hands. She tried to pull free, but his grip was firm.
Scully lifted questioning eyes to his. He was shaking his head at her.
“Mulder,” she panted. “I know you’ve been waiting, trying to prove something to me. But Mulder, you don’t have to prove anything to me. I want you, Mulder. Please.”
He closed his eyes, shivering as she whispered the last against his ear, but he did not lessen his grip on her wrists.
“What do I have to say to make you understand?” she asked. “I love you, Mulder. I’ve loved you for so long, but these last few months, I’ve realized that I’m crazy, head over heels in love with you. Please, Mulder. Don’t make me wait any longer!”
He shuddered. He realized he had been waiting his entire life for her to say those words to him. He wanted to throw her down onto the coffee table and bury himself so deeply inside of her that he wouldn’t know where he ended and she began. She was pressing tiny kisses along his jaw and cheeks, nibbling at his lips all the while whispering, “Please, Mulder, please.”
He shook his head no again and she began to struggle to free herself. She strained away from his grip, but he held her tight.
“You’ve been torturing me for months!” she cried as she twisted her wrists, trying to slip loose. “Touching me! Kissing me!” Her breaths were coming in sobbing pants as she finally yielded to his firm grasp.
Mulder gathered her close, freeing her wrists. He ran his hands soothingly along her spine, whispering words of love to her. She slumped against him, twining her arms around his neck, bathing his shoulder with her tears.
“Scully,” he turned his face and pressed a kiss against her temple. “I want to make love to you so badly right now.”
She lifted her head. “Well, then why…”
He kissed her lightly. “The first time we made love was borne out of grief, fear, anger…” His voice trailed off and he kissed her shoulder as he gathered his thoughts carefully.
“When we make love again, I don’t want it to be because of other people. My mother. Spender. It should only be about you and me.”
Scully studied him silently.
“I love you, Scully.” He shrugged and smiled.
She nodded gravely. “Soon?” she asked.
“Soon,” he promised, sealing the deal with a kiss.
* * *
Scully snatched up her ringing cellphone. “Scully.”
“Hey, Scully. Listen, would you say that you are my significant other?” he asked.
“Mulder?” she frowned at the telephone. “Are you asking me to go steady?”
He laughed as he threw his bag into his car.
“Mulder, where are you?”
He slid behind the wheel. “I’m at the airport,” he told her, starting the car. “I’ll be home in thirty minutes.
* * *
She watched for him from her window and waved as he walked toward her building. She was standing inside the open door of her apartment when he stepped out of the elevator.
Mulder dropped his bag onto the floor and pushed the door shut with his foot. He took one step forward and caught her in his arms, lifting her off the floor. Scully wrapped her arms around him, trying to absorb him into her body. She took his face between her hands and lowered her mouth to his, kissing him hungrily.
“I missed you,” she gasped when he tore his mouth from hers. He gently bit her earlobe; his tongue worrying the diamond earring she wore. She pulled his mouth back to hers, moaning as his hands slid under her blouse to cup her breasts. Scully strained up on her toes, rubbing her body against him, her tongue tangling with his.
Mulder broke off the kiss and grabbed her hands in his, lifting them to his mouth. Peering up at her, he turned her hands over, and traced his tongue along the faint blue lines of the veins running beneath the delicate skin on the inside of her wrists.
Scully whimpered and threw a glance over her shoulder toward the bedroom. Looking back at Mulder, she sighed with relief as he nodded. He reversed his grip on her hands again, so that their fingers were tangled together and led her into the bedroom.
Mulder stopped beside the bed and turned to face her. He lifted his fingers to her cheeks and pressed a whisper-soft kiss to her lips. Lowering his hands, he slid each button of her blouse free and pushed the crisp cotton off her shoulders.
His tongue left a wet trail across the tops of her breasts as he reached behind her to fiddle with the clasp of her bra. He drew the straps down her arms and dropped it onto the floor alongside her blouse. The warm, spring sun danced over her body and he lowered his mouth to take the tip of one breast between his lips. Scully groaned and arched up into his touch. He wrapped one strong arm around her waist and cupped her other breast in his free hand, his thumb playing with the nipple, while his mouth teased the first.
He switched his attention to her other breast and slid his arm below her hips, arching her pelvis into his. Scully’s legs trembled and she sagged against his firm grasp. She tried to pull him down onto the bed, but he wouldn’t be rushed.
Mulder released her breast, swirling his tongue one more time around the swollen peak. Dropping to his knees, he buried his face against her belly, trailing moist kisses across her smooth skin. His fingers found the zipper of her jeans and he slowly lowered it. Popping the button open, he peeled back the material and pressed his mouth against the silky fabric of her panties. His tongue slipped playfully under the elastic waist. Scully shivered and bent low over his back, her fingers scrabbling to pull the hem of his T-shirt out of his jeans. She tugged the shirt over his head and lowered herself over him again, her nails scraping softly across his shoulders.
Mulder cupped her through the damp cotton of her panties and she cried out as he pressed his thumb against her. He helped her step out of her clothes and turned his head to press a soft kiss to the inside of her thigh. Her hand flailed out to grab onto the footboard of the bed as he lifted her leg over his shoulder. He nuzzled the damp curls between her legs. She clenched her fingers in his hair as his tongue slipped out and over her, into her. Mulder wrapped one forearm around the thigh draped over his shoulder. His other hand trailed light patterns over her hip, before he wrapped his arm around her, supporting her suddenly weak knees.
Drawing back, he eased her foot onto the floor. Standing up, he towered over her. “Get into bed,” he ordered. Scully scrambled back onto the mattress watching wide-eyed as he stripped out of his clothes.
He slid into bed alongside her, his hand sweeping her from breast to knee. He closed one hand around her jaw as his mouth sought hers. His tongue plunged deep within her mouth as his fingers dipped between her legs. Scully moaned into their kiss, her hips arching into his touch. She gasped loudly when he lowered his mouth to her breast, his tongue rasping across the hardened tip. He trailed moist lips down to the soft swell of her stomach.
Scully trembled when he settled between her legs again. His tongue darted out to lap at her and he pressed the palm of his hand against her stomach, pushing her hips back onto the mattress. His tongue danced over her, licking, suckling, nibbling. Her hips rose and fell under his onslaught. Her legs tingled and tensed in anticipation of her impending orgasm when he lifted his head.
“No! Don’t…oh. Mulder, don’t…stop,” she cried.
“Shhh,” he soothed, sliding up her body. He slipped one thigh between hers, pressing up hard between her legs. She rocked her hips against him furiously.
“Okay,” he whispered. “Okay.” He stretched his body over hers. He locked his fingers with hers, stretching their arms up over her head. Scully arched up from the mattress, pressing her belly into his, rubbing her breasts against his chest.
Mulder reached down and guided her legs around him. Scully settled the soles of feet along the back of his legs, her thighs hugging his hips.
He released her hands, stroking the damp hair from her forehead with one hand.
“I love you,” he whispered as he guided himself to her. He pushed deep in one continuous stroke. Scully bit her lip and wiggled her hips, causing him to slide even deeper. Mulder groaned and dropped his forehead onto her shoulder.
He pulled back quickly and then slowly, so slowly sank back into her. Scully lifted her feet and wrapped her legs around his back as he began to increase his pace. Her hips lifted to meet each thrust. Mulder could feel the tension rippling through him. He was determined to wait for her this time. He pulled away from her and she cried out at the loss. He rolled onto his back and drew her up astride him. He grasped her hips in his strong hands as she braced herself against his chest and positioned her body over his. Taking a deep breath, she lowered herself onto him.
Mulder twisted his head on the pillow, swearing softly as he felt his orgasm bearing down on him. Scully was biting her lip, laboring above him to find her own release. He pulled her forward so that her arms were braced on either side of his head and he lifted his mouth to suckle her breast. The change in angle necessitated a more shallow penetration and Mulder was able to stave off his orgasm. He slipped one hand between their bodies, gathering up the moisture he found there and slicked it over the tiny bud between her legs. She rocked feverishly against his fingers. Her breathing was choppy and she was sobbing his name with every breath.
Scully’s legs were shaking, and she was finding it harder to support her own weight. Mulder wrapped strong fingers around her thighs as he pushed himself deep within her again. She fell forward, muffling her scream against his shoulder as her body convulsed around his. Mulder grasped her hips, pounding himself into her two, three more times before finding his own release, his body emptying itself into her.
* * *
The room was in shadows when he awoke. Scully was asleep on her stomach, her cheek resting against her arms curled beneath her. Mulder propped himself on one elbow and trailed his index finger along the line of her back.
“Mmmm,” she sighed, rolling over. Mulder dipped his head to dust tiny kisses over her belly. Scully arched her back, stretching her arms over her head sleepily. She smiled contentedly and he crawled up to drape himself over her. She kissed him languidly. Lazily.
“Happy?” he asked in a thick voice.
“Worth every minute of the wait,” she told him.
Thanks as always to Aly for maintaining a website for my stories and to Char for her beta, suggestions and much appreciated good counsel.
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