He woke from his dream of Scully to the crackle of paper against his face. "What the. . . " He blinked to focus his eyes on the paper.
ĎYou donít love her enough. Youíll never commit, and I canít have her, so let her find someone else.í He read.
Rather than focus on the words, which he couldnít handle right now anyway, he glanced over at his door. Still bolted from the inside. The connecting door was slightly ajar. Had he come in through her room? He leapt from the bed and crashed into her room.
She sat up at the disturbance, the sheet falling to her lap. The thin material of the cheap nightgown sheíd picked up last night did nothing to hide the nipples heíd become so obsessed with since the other night. He realized his shorts were completely inadequate and turned to leave the room. He glanced over at her door on his way back to his room Ė locked from the inside.
"Mulder! Whatís wrong?" She followed him into his room. "What?"
He was yanking on his jeans but seemed to be having trouble with the zipper.
"What happened? Mulder, did you have a nightmare?"
"You should put on a robe or something."
"I donít have one. Mulder, look at me." Oh yeah, that would help things.
"Yeah, yeah it was a nightmare. Iím, um, gonna take a shower." He brushed past her, big mistake. He should have angled his retreat better; brushing against her wasnít helping his problem.
"Mulder?" What the hell kind of nightmare had he had?
He turned on the shower and got in before it had time to heat up. A cold shower was what he needed anyway, but it was too little, too late. He ended up handling the situation in another way. It wasnít difficult after the dream, with that flimsy nightgown and, of course, that damn green dress. He didnít even realize heíd cried out her name.
Scully fled her own bathroom, face flaming. The walls were too damn thin.
She settled at the table in front of her laptop. She would finish up the report, anything, if her hands would quit shaking.
She began typing, looking down at her notes to check the address of the lab. When she looked back up the words, //Iím sorry I scared you.// were printed in the middle of the screen.
"Oh my god!" She jumped up, knocking the chair over in her haste.
Mulder had finished with his shower and was standing in front of the mirror wiping it with his towel, when he heard her cry out and the chair hit the floor. He wrapped the towel around him and grabbed his gun as he raced for her room.
"Iím okay. Itís the computer, Mulder. Look at it!"
He leaned over to read the message. "Are you on-line?"
"No, I was just writing up our report. How is he doing this?"
"Scully, he left a note on my pillow last night."
"Both of our doors are locked from the inside. Maybe my theory isnít so far off. We have seen this before."
She chose to ignore that. "What did it say?"
"Basically, he wants me out of your life."
"It was to you? But, we switched rooms."
"I donít think that matters to him."
"Whereís the note?"
"On the floor, beside my bed." She retrieved it and returned reading it.
"How does he know so much about us?"
Mulder looked up from the computer startled. "Do you think heís right?"
"I didnít mean. . . I meant the room, the hotel. . . I. . . " She stopped confused. They were back to the aborted conversation of last night and she was no more ready for it than she had been. Probably less after what she heard this morning.
"Do you think Iím not committed to you?" He turned to face her and became suddenly aware he was clad only in the wet towel.
"No! But we canít. . . our jobs. . . " She stopped again, there was no right thing to say.
He should leave, go get dressed, get a handle on what he wanted to say. Oh hell, why start being sensible now. "Scully, I donít know that much about marriage, and you know the one marriage I observed first hand was horrible, but except for one aspect, I feel married to you."
"Thatís a pretty big aspect, Mulder."
"Granted, but I am totally committed to you. Iíve never had a relationship like this and I never want it to end."
"You havenít mentioned. . . "
"Love? Scully, do you doubt that I love you?"
They stared at each other for a moment, his fear mounting with each second. Had he ruined everything?
"No, no I have no doubt you love me."
"Iím not exactly a secure person, at least when it comes to relationships, but Scully. . . wait." He held up his hand to stop her from speaking. "Even when I donít show it, donít know how to show it, Iím secure in your love for me. Youíve saved my life so many times Iíve lost count, you went to jail for me, hell you even shot me to save me."
"Mulder. . . "
"If youíre going to tell me Iím wrong, that you donít love me. . . "
"I canít tell you that." He released the breath heíd been holding, and glanced back at her computer screen.
//About damn time, Agent Mulder.//
"Back off, Pendrell."
//How long have you know?// Appeared on the screen.
"Pendrell? Mulder, is this some kind of sick joke? Please donít. . . " She glanced at the screen.
//Donít blame him.//
She backed away from the computer. "This is a prank? You did this to me." He could see her anger rising.
"No! Scully, Iíd never do that. I didnít realize who was doing this until that last message."
"Doing this? Pendrell is dead, Mulder. He died saving my life."
"Thatís right Ė because he cares about you."
"Cared, Mulder. Past tense."
//Present tense, Agent Scully.//
"How are you doing that?"
"Iím not! Scully, I havenít touched the keyboard. Last night we talked about this. You sat right there and listened to me."
"Even if I could believe this, Pendrell wouldnít do this to me. He wouldnít. . . " Her eyes were drawn back to the screen.
//I never meant to scare you. There were things I hadnít finished when I died. I didnít even know you were ill. I chose not to leave right away, to see if there was more I could do, for you. Your cancerís gone, I couldnít help you there, but you kept saying you needed a life. I thought I could stir things up in that area. The only way to get Agent Mulderís attention is to make it an X-file, so thatís what I did.//
"Youíre matchmaking?" Scully obviously was fighting this.
//It worked, didnít it. He finally admitted he loved you, out loud. And you did the same. Is my work done or do I have to rattle a few more chains?//
Scully looked back over at Mulder. He raised his hands in the air, to show her they were no where near the keyboard.
"Ask him why he trashed my car."
She turned to the screen.
//That wasnít me. Coincidences do happen, despite what you may believe. I limited myself completely to flowers and notes. This computer is much better. Maybe this is my heaven.//
"Pendrell. . . , Alan?"
//I need to go, donít let my time have been wasted. Remember, Alanís a great name for a little boy.//
"Alan. . . Alan?" There was no response.
"I uh, I guess I better go get dressed."
"Mulder, did any of this really happen?"
"Why canít you let. . . nevermind." He rose from the chair, securing the towel more tightly around his waist.
"Mulder, wait." He hesitated, watching her. "Did we just declare our love for each other here?"
"Thatís what it sounded like to me."
"So what do we do now?" Scully asked quietly.
"Several things immediately come to mind, but I think putting on pants would be a prudent idea." Scully blushed, realizing how he was clad. "Iíll be right back."
She was dressed as well when he returned. She waited for him to start.
"Scully." He sighed, "No one could ever accuse us of rushing things. Weíve been together through everything for years Ė no matter what happens in my life, good or bad, youíre the first person I want to share it with."
She nodded, he knew it was true of her as well.
"Neither one of us is comfortable sharing with anyone else, but. . . "
"I know, Mulder. We share even when we donít mean to. Iíve resisted that for a long time."
"Why do you resist?"
"I donít want to need you as much as I do." She wasnít looking at him now. "I want to be independent, strong."
"You are the strongest person I know Scully. What Iíve put you through and you keep coming back for more. You know, for a long time Iíve been afraid of what would happen if I admitted that I loved you out loud. But the planet didnít quit revolving; the heavens werenít rent asunder. It felt kind of good."
She smiled up at him shyly. "I guess thatís true."
"Scully, weíre not kids. I donít want to grope you like some horny teenager. I want to make love with you. I have for a long time. When youíre ready, if you want me too, let me know." He was afraid to move. As much as he wanted to touch her, he made himself stay still.
She put her hand on his arm and he couldnít repress the shiver that ran through him. "I want that too, Mulder. I guess Iím just afraid. If they find out. . . "
"I know. For a long time Iíve used that excuse. I canít make it work anymore. You. . . we are more important than that."
She nodded, afraid to speak.
"No one knows where we are, except Pendrell, and I donít think heíd tell." He put his hand on hers.
"I think youíre right, Mulder." Scully agreed and allowed him to pull her into his arms.
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Disclaimer Ė Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris, 10-13 and Fox Ė Bless them for it!! No infringement intended.
Authors note: A friend going through my stuff found this and made me finish it, Iíll keep her away from the older things in the future if I canÖ