He kept glancing over at her, and knowing her, she had to be aware of it. Okay, get to work, put her out of your mind, and try desperately one more time to put last nightís dreams out of your head.
He turned to the computer, his back to her as she went through the files. An uncomfortable silence fell over the office, but he did manage to wrench his mind back to work.
Some time later something made him look up and he caught her staring at him. She blushed immediately at being caught; then to his surprise, she actually made a noise like a growl, slammed the file drawer shut and headed out the door.
He was on his feet in an instant and caught her before she could press the button for the elevator. He grabbed her arm to turn her towards him, then remembered the last time he had made such a move. He released her instantly and put his hands in the air to signal his surrender.
"Nothing." She nearly spat the word at him.
"Oh no you donít. What did I do? I donít remember either of us being shot at this morning and I havenít ditched you in the last twelve hours, so what is it?" He wasnít going to let her get away with it this time.
"Youíve ruined my life."
That statement was met with a stunned silence and he saw the regret for her rash words cloud her eyes immediately. Finally he took a step towards her, "Youíre just now getting pissed about that?"
The fact that he had made a joke of it seemed to relax her slightly.
"Please come back to the office and talk to me." He thought she was going to refuse, but after a long moment she did turn toward his door.
"What did I do?" He sat on the corner of the desk and watched her.
"Youíve just made me think about, about things I donít want to think about."
That took him a second, then his face lit up like a Christmas tree. Her own eyes narrowed and her eyebrow rose. He immediately attempted to make his expression bland, but there was nothing he could do about the twinkle in his eye.
"Listen, why donít we go to dinner tonight and just talk. Wait a minute," he put up his hand to forestall her automatic protest. "Not about anything specific, letís just go and not talk about work or problems or anything. We can relax and just visit."
"Come on, whereís your sense of adventure?"
He heard the growl again, but then, "Pizza?"
"No, a real dinner. Iíll pick you up at seven."
"Pick me up?"
"Yes, and I wonít make you eat in the car. Howís that?"
"I . . . I, uh, I - "
"Iíll take that as a yes. Now, can I get back to this report? You know I like to keep the paperwork up to date."
Her eyes narrowed again and he readied himself to duck in case she threw the stapler at him, but instead she turned back toward the files and jerked the drawer she had been using back open.
Rather than ruin everything, he kept his mouth shut and returned to the computer. He had to at least make a pretense of work now. But to know that she was thinking about the conversation theyíd had was . . . stimulating.
When she opened the door she was more than a little surprised to see that he was wearing a tie. He had changed out of the suit, but had on a sports jacket that was cut perfectly for him. Damn he looked good in clothes, and he didnít have to watch his weight or anything. Okay, he ran and swam, but he seemed to enjoy it, while she had to confine herself to yogurt and salads to stay in her clothes.
And why the hell was she ogling him anyway. The man was impossible and heíd thrown her completely off guard with the talk theyíd had at an abandoned gasoline station of all places. She felt off balance around him now and that wasnít good. One thing she had learned after all these years with the man was that she had to stay on her toes to keep up with him.
"Scully? May I come in?"
Shit. She nodded and stepped back to allow him entry.
"Iím fine Mulder."
"Good. You look nice."
She blinked at that. A compliment? This was going to be a long night. "Uh, thanks." She had changed as well into a light summer dress, nothing he had ever seen before. Now she was glad sheíd thought to do it.
He was the one eyeing her now. A thin little dress like that - whoíd have thought Scully owned something like this. It was powder blue and sleeveless, and it flared slightly just above her knees. This was going to be a fun evening.
"Ready to go?"
"Uh, sure." She picked up a small handbag and a wrap. Mulder put his hand on her back and escorted her to the car. Her eyebrow rose when he opened the door for her but she said nothing.
He got in and pulled out into traffic. After a couple of minutes, she looked up from her hands. "Where are we going?í
"A little place I heard of. I think youíll like it." He didnít offer the name and she didnít want to push. Besides, she was feeling unaccountably shy around the man. They were quiet on the drive, but he didnít press. When he pulled up in front of the Hay-Adams she turned to look at him.
"Sure, why not?"
"Itís, Mulder, itís expensive."
"So we canít eat here every night. But tonight, we can. Come on." The valet had come to the car and opened her door. She glanced over at Mulder one more time and then allowed the valet to help her from the car.
Mulderís hand was on her back again to walk her inside. The maitreíd nodded at them. "Sir?"
"We have reservations, under Mulder."
The matreíd glanced down at his book. "Yes sir, Mr. Mulder. Your table is ready. Please follow me."
Mulder glanced over at Scully and winked, then had his hand on her back again. Surely he didnít always touch her this much? Why was she so aware of it tonight?
He ordered a bottle of wine and she sat watching him. This was a mistake; she should have refused his offer of dinner. She would have, if sheíd any idea he was talking about something like this.
Once the waiter left the table, Mulder looked over at her again. "You know, we could have a conversation."
"I guess Iím wondering if I should call you Eddie."
Mulder grinned, "No, itís me - Fox."
She looked down again and he sighed. Had he made a mistake? The wine arrived and when they both had a glass, he ducked down to see her eyes. "A toast?"
"What would we toast to?"
"How about partnerships, of all kinds."
Her eyes widened, but when his glass touched hers, she nodded and drank with him. She was still too quiet for him. He needed to get her to loosen up, so he picked a topic. "Whatís your mother up to? You havenít mentioned her lately."
"Oh, sheís fine. Sheís getting ready to go to California to spend some time with Tara and Matthew."
"Heís shipping out, so sheís going to keep Tara company."
"They get along really well, donít they?"
"Well, Tara lost her mother when she was young, so she appreciates Mom. And they have a lot in common, both navy wives, kids."
"Uh, yeah. Taraís pregnant again. Thatís another reason for Mom to go out there."
"Is she having problems?"
"Just morning sickness I think, and having an active little boy." She looked down again and he realized what a bad topic he had stumbled onto. He managed not to sigh. The last time Tara had given birth, Scully had lost her only child. He glanced over as he heard the music start.
"Hey Scully, may I have this dance?"
She looked up startled. "What?"
"Dance, you know, move to the music."
"What, what if someone sees us?"
"What if they do? Itís just a dance. Come on, itís been a long time since we danced."
She watched him rise and looked at the hand he held out to her. She saw her own hand be encompassed as he held her chair. She let him lead her onto the dance floor, and take her into his arms.
A long time? Theyíd only danced once in all the years they had been together. Well, one occasion, more than one dance at that particular time.
She could feel his breath on her ear and it was making her body tense up. She nearly jumped when he whispered, "breathe," into her ear. But she followed his advice.
He fully appreciated the deep breath she took in his arms and felt her relax. The dancing immediately became smoother, easier and he pulled her slightly closer. They danced through a second number before returning to their seats for their appetizer.
He held her chair again, and when he seated himself looked into her eyes. "Thank you."
She smiled back at him and decided it was her turn, "Where did you learn to dance, Mulder?"
He rolled his eyes and said, "Itís a boring story."
Her eyebrow rose, "What was her name?"
"Who said there was a her?" He countered.
"So you learned to dance with another man? Iím surprised you didnít let me lead part of the time."
He grinned then, caught. "Phoebe."
"Ah, the fabulous Ms. Green. Was she a good dancer?"
"Phoebe liked to party. Dancing was part of that and I had to keep up or . . . "
"Maybe I should drop her a note of thanks."
"Thatís okay. Iíd just as soon we let the whole thing drop." He poured some more wine in her glass.
"You donít talk much about England. Did you enjoy it?" She asked after nodding her thanks.
"Mmm, thatís a good question. I think I did, I know I enjoyed getting away from home. The fact that I got a little homesick surprised me though."
She nodded, even though she hadnít lived in any one place that long, when she had moved out to go to college she had felt the same.
"I didnít hang out with a lot of people, I know you probably canít imagine in, but I was something of a loner."
Her smile brought a grin to his face. "Really, you, a loner? Did Oxford not have keggers."
"They had their equivalent, but with my fatherís history . . . "
Both of them sobered again. "You know what the problem is, Mulder? We canít have a first date kind of conversation. We know each other too well. What we have to talk about, whether we want to or not, is the problem of developing an emotional attachment with a partner."
"Developing?" He spoke, stunned.
"Well," she backed off a little. "When would you say you realized there was some attachment?" She looked down immediately and took a sip of wine. She was getting back into dangerous territory here.
"Okay, I guess thatís a fair question. I think I realized it, to a degree anyway, when we were on a case in Oregon. The power had gone out and you knocked on my door. I let you in, wearing only your robe."
"Mulder - "
"Hey, you asked. Iíd been treating you like shit, I didnít trust you at all, because I knew that Blevins had sent you to shut me down and you still came to me when you needed reassurance. It was a first for me and poked a hole in an armor that Iíd kept intact for years. Then of all things, I find you on my bed and Iím talking to you. Iím talking about Samantha. How the hell that happened I still donít know. I hadnít spoken about her in a decade, not out loud. Here I am sitting at your feet and pouring my guts out, like some teenage boy with a crush."
His eyes hadnít left her face and he saw the wonder in her own eyes.
"Did you really not know what happened that night?"
"I . . . I may have, but I didnít know . . . "
"I guess it was a lot longer for you to realize we had an attachment. At least I think youíve realized it."
She glared at him for an instant, then got serious. "Well it didnít take me all that long."
She took a deep breath, "On the Tooms case. I found myself defending you to Tom. Iíd never done that. But it was like he was attacking my family or something from a fourth grade playground fight."
"You talking about when he didnít want to let me in that house?"
"No, before that. We went to lunch - "
"You had a date?"
"Not a date Mulder. We went to lunch, thatís when he brought up the case in the first place and I volunteered us, you. He wasnít happy about it. Then, that night, the night Tooms broke into my apartment, the whole time he was there, in my mind I was screaming for you. When you broke down the door, it was like you heard me and I knew it was going to be okay. I knew you wouldnít let him hurt me."
He was gaping at her, "If . . . if this is the way we feel, why have we waited over six years to have this talk?"
"Mulder, we work together. An office romance - "
"Office romance? Do you really think that what you and I have could be considered an office romance?"
Before she could respond, the waiter appeared at their table with their food. She barely remembered ordering. They ate in silence for a few minutes, but it wasnít uncomfortable, each taking in what the other had said.
"Scully - "
"This is good, Mulder. Would you like to try some of my salmon?"
He shook his head, allowing her the space.
When she put down her fork, finished, he tried again. "Scully, you didnít answer my question."
"Would you dance with me again?"
"Iíd love to." He wasnít going to get an answer until she was ready. He might as well give in graciously.
She came into his arms much easier this time and they enjoyed several dances before returning to their table for coffee and to share a dessert.
As soon as the waiter left them alone again, she spoke. "No Mulder, I donít believe we have an office romance or a fling. I know itís deeper than that, but isnít that the problem?"
"It doesnít have to be, Scully."
"I donít think I could stand seeing you push me out of the way and get injured yourself, Mulder."
He looked into her eyes for a long moment. "Scully, this isnít a new thing. I would have done the same this last year, or the year before or . . . for as long as I can remember."
"I know." She spoke softly and sighed.
He didnít have an answer for that.
He held the door for her again when the valet brought the car around. She was quiet, but she didnít seem upset, more contemplative. The problem was, he wasnít sure that was good.
Theyíd been driving about ten minutes when he heard her clear her throat, in preparation to speak. He waited quietly.
"Mulder . . . " She wouldnít look at him. "Do you really think you could make me come?"
The car jerked as he nearly lost control. He pulled to the side of the road and looked over at her. "Yeah, Scully. Or die trying."
That startled a laugh from her. "You think Iíd be that difficult?"
He looked deeply into her eyes then. "Do you trust me?"
She nodded solemnly. "Then the only real question is, your place or mine?"
"I have clean sheets." Scullyís lips twitched.
"Your place." He grinned and pulled back into traffic.
She opened her door and he followed her inside. "What . . . what do we do now?"
"Now, you just relax. Have a seat there on the couch, Iíll be right back." He slipped off his jacket and loosened his tie.
She expected him to head toward the bedroom, but instead he moved into the kitchen. She sank onto the couch trying to keep her mind a careful blank.
He emerged a couple of minutes later with two glasses of wine. He saw the liquid tremble slightly as she took a glass in her hand. He sat at the other end of the couch and placed his own glass on the coffee table, then lifted her feet, dropping her shoes on the floor.
"What are you doing?"
"Massaging your feet. Just lean back and let me relax you, okay?"
She nodded and watched him; his concentration on making her feel good was extraordinary. After a few minutes, he placed her feet back on the floor. "Turn around Scully."
"Let me rub your shoulders."
She kind of nodded and turned her back to him. His hands were warm and smooth. He had given her shoulder rubs in the past, nothing wrong with that.
After a few minutes he leaned down to her ear. "You know Scully, nothing has to happen tonight. After six years, Iím not about to rush you."
"Sure Mulder, get me all revved up and then leave - is that your plan?" But she said it lightly and he could feel the tension had not returned to her shoulders.
"Well then, Agent Scully, I need a favor."
"What would that be?" She asked cautiously, but for some reason not fearing whatever this man would request.
"Scully, I want to look at you."
She turned then and looked at him questioningly.
He rose and pulled her gently to her feet. Barefoot, he towered even taller over her. He started toward her bedroom, still holding her hand, carrying their wine glasses in his other. Oh.
She said nothing. She wasnít a virgin, though she realized sheíd been less nervous then. To be honest, it hadnít mattered as much. Rather than Ďgiving it awayí, sheíd more Ďgotten rid of ití to see what her friends were talking about.
Maybe that was her problem now. She hadnít waited until she was ready, until sheíd found someone special. Special like this man was.
"Scully? You with me?"
She took a deep breath and managed a small smile.
After a second he nodded and turned her toward the bed. He slowly lowered the zipper on her dress and let it fall to the floor. Sheíd made it easy on him; she was only wearing a bra and panties underneath, no stockings or slip.
He turned her back toward him. Her body was as beautiful as he had always imagined. How the hell had he waited this long? He helped her step from the dress and draped it over a chair, then reached around her and unclasped her bra. He tossed the bra to the chair as well and cupped her full breasts in his hands. She shuddered as his thumbs caressed her nipples. They hardened to little buds and he smiled. Only her mind was ambivalent about this.
"Do you know how beautiful you are?"
She blinked, unable to speak. He leaned closer and kissed her forehead then moved on down to her eyelids, nose and finally lips. He nipped and nibbled on them as he moved her toward the bed. When the back of her knees touched the bed, he stopped.
She nodded and he pulled down the covers and helped her recline. He removed his tie and shirt, then toed off his shoes and lay beside her.
"Mu . . . Mulder?"
"Um?" His lips had moved down to her throat. His hand remained busy exploring her body, caressing her belly and finally brushing the curls at her core.
She gasped then and he slowed. "Scully, I donít want to rush you."
"Youíre . . . youíre not."
He smiled faintly at that. "Iím not sure about that. I want you Scully. But if this isnít right for you . . . "
She closed her eyes then, not able to look at him. "What if you canít . . . what if . . . "
"You said you trusted me."
"Then all I want you to do is relax." He moved away from her and he processed the sound she made as a whimper. He might have imagined it, but this was important, no way was he going to rush her.
He handed her the wineglass. "Do you have to get me drunk to do this."
"No. I donít want you drunk. I want you to want this as much as I do, but I want you not to be stressed about it. I want you to enjoy it."
She took the wine, "Thatís what I want too." She spoke faintly.
"Youíre putting too much pressure on yourself. Itís me Scully, Mulder, you know me and most of the time you like me."
That brought a smile to her face. "Yeah, most of the time."
"You ever slept with a friend before?"
Now she shook her head slightly.
He waggled his eyebrows. "Then let me handle this Scully. You just lie back and enjoy."
She laughed nervously then. "All of this because I was so pissed off at you?"
"Yeah. I should have done something to tick you off years ago."
Now she laughed out loud. "Right." He pressed the glass closer to her lips and she drank. Then he tilted the glass toward his own lips and sipped a little himself.
He returned to her navel then and licked her with his wine wet tongue. She shivered slightly, but he noted she moved to stay in contact with his tongue.
He smiled to himself and continued his exploration of parts of Scullyís body that he had only fantasized about in the past. His hands seemed to have a mind of their own, touching, caressing and enjoying the feel of her silky skin.
When he finally allowed himself to nuzzle her damp curls, she didnít tense up. She did trust him. He wanted this to be good for her; hell, he was going to be her first for all intents and purposes and that was going to be as special as he could make it.
This was a new aroma for him; he could sense Scully, but this was new. This was the scent of her arousal and he had caused it.
He let his fingers entice her as he watched her face. Her eyes were closed, but her face was still full of wonder. Had she really not ever had this before? Her body was made for this, why had no man ever taken this time? Or had she not let any man get this close. Thatís what heíd like to believe.
While he watched her, he slipped a finger inside of her and she bucked, her eyes flying open. "Itís okay Scully."
She nodded and he slipped a second finger into her warmth. She was tight, but she didnít feel tense. He withdrew and moved down her body. His tongue replaced his fingers and she jerked. "Mulder, no."
"Why not Scully?"
"Itís . . ."
"Too personal? I want to be very personal with you. Just relax; feel. I wonít hurt you."
"I know." She whispered.
He returned to her body and in seconds had her writhing underneath him. Now his tongue and fingers were in play and he heard her moan.
She was ready; now could he get her to go over the edge? He pressed firmly on the tiny bundle of nerves he had been teasing and was rewarded with her eyes flying open and her entire body convulsing toward him.
He smiled and folded her into his arms to keep her secure as these new sensations coursed through her.
When her breathing even out enough to speak, she looked up at him. He was grinning like a fool and color flooded her face.
"Any questions, Scully?"
"I should be more furious now than I was a few days ago."
"What? Are you going to tell me - "
"Youíve held out on me that you could do this for all these years? I should never speak to you again."
"But Scully, if you did that, youíd never know what else I can do."
"Just how angry do I have to get for you to show me the rest?"
"Ummm, good question. Just how angry do you think you can get? This could be real funÖ"
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunmen and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended