She preceded him out of the building, grateful he couldn’t see her face. What had she been thinking, caressing his arm like that? That hadn’t been professional, but this man caused her to do things like that.
Since their first case he had brought out a, a protective side in her she hadn’t really been aware she possessed. Strong men attracted her, and while this man was strong, he had a . . . a vulnerability that she’d been totally unaware existed. She realized now that she was very likely the only person who knew about this vulnerable side. She wouldn’t be surprised if even he was unaware of it. The protection he’d built around it was too tall, too wide.
She’d thought she’d learned her lesson with Jack. Getting involved with co-workers wasn’t smart. She’d gotten where she was by being smart, smarter than her male counterparts. Why was she allowing herself to be drawn to this man?
They moved to the car and she opened her door as he circled the car to let himself in. Good, he didn’t seem to have noticed her faux pas, touching him like that. It shouldn’t surprise her; he didn’t pay attention to things like that. Hell, he probably didn’t remember she was even female most of the time. She tried to relax.
He’d slipped into remote mode. He didn’t want to admit this woman was getting to him. He had been standing there, obsessing about Tooms when she had joined him.
He kept reliving his mad dash across town, dialing her number over and over. The kick that crashed in her door could still be felt up his leg when he thought about it.
This woman had wormed her way into his life. Sure, he’d always cared to some extent about his partners but this one . . . Was it just because she was a woman, a diminutive, attractive, extremely intelligent woman?
She wasn’t his type, physically. Why was this bothering him? He didn’t want to care about her.
He’d thought it was under control. She was just a partner; maybe one he was beginning to trust - a little - until that night. She’d moved beyond partner that night and that scared him.
He knew how to keep his distance from people. He always had, well, since he was twelve anyway.
He’d been stunned into immobility for an instant when she had first touched his sleeve, then she had, had caressed his arm and pulled him away from Tooms’ cell.
It was as though she cared about him too. As though she were worried about him and what he was thinking. No one had worried about him in so long he wasn’t sure how to handle it now.
Should he say something? If so, what? Could he admit that he had enjoyed the way she had touched him, enjoyed the brief feel of her hand squeezing his arm, the feel of warmth as her hand moved over his upper arm? Could he admit that for a few moments there he had felt like he . . . he belonged to someone, that he felt cared about?
Good way to freak her out. No, he had to keep his mouth shut. He did care about her and saying something like that would no doubt send her screaming into the night, or at least filing charges against him. No, it would be his secret. Then, when she left him, as she inevitably would, he wouldn’t have that memory to haunt him.
Emotions fully in check, expressional carefully non-committal, they returned to the office. The next case was waiting.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.