Ditched - Part 1
She realized too late the car she heard driving off was theirs. She ran to the door of her room, but he was gone. He was gone, again! Scully threw the cup she was holding against the wall in frustration. Not satisfying, it was plastic and she really wanted, no needed, to break something.
Damn him, there was no need to go looking for trouble tonight. It was dangerous, doubly so without any backup. Of course he ditched her. Why the hell did he keep her as a partner if he didn't trust her to watch his back? She'd proven over and over again that even if she didn't agree she'd always give him a hearing. For five years she'd followed him through even the most bizarre occurrences. And he still dumped her as soon as she turned her back.
If he was trying to protect her it was even worse. If he truly believed she couldn't look after herself, she was less than useless to him. Fine, she'd put up with it for the last time. If he didn't want her input on this investigation, he didn't have to have it. Let's see how much he enjoyed being ditched.
She began throwing her things in her suitcase. She was going to be gone before he got back. She called the airport, there was a wait for a flight to DC but she could wait at the airport. Not here, not where he could find her.
She started for the office to check out and realized that in her anger she'd forgotten he had the car. Damn it! She hadn't seen a taxi in the whole town. Maybe the manager knew where she could get a ride.
As it turned out there was a cab company, such as it was, in town. It would be a while before he could get here, but she had time. Might as well wait here as at the airport, but here in the office, not the room.
She sat in the lobby waiting for her ride. She saw their car return and pulled back from the window so he wouldn't spot her. He was slow getting out of the car. Was he limping? Of course, and hunched over a little as well. She watched him knock on her door several times and finally let himself into his own room. He'd try the connecting door, she had purposely left it unlocked.
She watched him burst out of her room, scanning the parking lot, searching for her. He stopped and seemed to crumple before her, wincing and holding his side he turned to go back into her room.
Blood, that was blood on his shirt. He was hurt. She closed her eyes, there was no way she could leave now. She turned to the manager, "I've changed my mind, please cancel the cab." She took her suitcase in hand and headed back toward her room.
Her anger was rekindled by the time she got there and she slammed the door against the wall as she shoved it open. Mulder went for his gun, or tried to. When he saw who it was he lowered himself back onto her bed.
Neither spoke for a moment. Then she approached the bed and pulled at his shirt. "Let me see."
"I'm okay, Scully."
"Shut up, Mulder." He wanted to draw back from the look in her eyes but she had hold of the shirt now. She pulled it up to expose his wound.
"This is a cut!"
"He had a knife." Mulder stated simply.
"Damn you, Fox Mulder! A couple of inches to the right and I'd be identifying your body again, for real this time!" Her hands were shaking. He didn't know if it was from anger or fear.
She turned her back on him and went to wash her hands and get her supplies. She didn't dare dwell on what she'd seen, just be professional and get him fixed up. That's all she was good for to him anyway.
"Take off the shirt and lay back, Mulder. I'll be right there." He obeyed her silently. She wasn't exactly gentle with him and he tried to pull away at one point, but one look in her eyes stopped him and he took her ministrations as she offered them. When she was finished he started to rise. "No! Just lie still. I'll get you some pain medication."
"I don't need it Scully."
"Shut up and take it, Mulder. When you're this quiet I know you're in pain." He just turned his face away. When she returned with the medicine he quietly swallowed it, then grabbed her hand as she started to turn away.
"Why did you leave?"
"Isn't that what you wanted? If you'd wanted me at your side, I would have been there. But I'm obviously not the partner you want or need. If you thought I was a valuable member of the team, you would have invited me along. Well, that's fine Mulder. You go find someone you can really trust, someone you think can watch your back. Maybe someone you don't have to protect - a big old muscular EMT so he can patch you up instead of me."
"Are you through?"
"I've had it Mulder! You've done this to me for years! You keep going off alone, getting yourself nearly killed, then you limp home to me and expect me to make it right. Well I can make it right, for me! I don't want to identify your body, I don't want. . ."
"Scully, that's not why I leave you." He spoke quietly, but wouldn't release her hand.
"No? Well then you explain why to me. Make it simple, so even I'll be able to understand."
He swallowed and looked away, trying to find the words. She wasn't sure he was going to answer when he finally turned back. "I leave you here so I'll have a reason to come back."
He released her hand and stood. He moved slowly and painfully toward the connecting door to his room, not bothering to look back at her.
"A reason. . . " He didn't stop, so she stepped in front of him. "What are you talking about?"
"You're the reason I fight to get back. There's certainly nothing else here for me."
She stopped confused. "Your work, your search, I'm not the. . ."
He was looking deep into her eyes. Her own eyes widened as she returned the gaze. "No, Mulder. I can't be. . . I can't. . ."
He put his hands on her arms, "It's okay Scully. If you don't want the job, it's okay." He released her again and stepped around her to his own room, shutting the door behind him.
She stood in her room, unable to focus on anything in it. Not consciously hearing the door shut behind him. No, that wasn't it, she wasn't it, she couldn't be his reason. That was Samantha, it had always been about Samantha. She'd known that, accepted it. It was the reason she'd never tried to get closer. When had she become a substitute for his sister? Is that what he thought? She didn't know how long she stood there, unmoving, unable to follow a single thought to its conclusion.
She didn't move until the headlights of a car driving past her room flashed in her eyes. It had gotten dark. When? Where was he?
She got her body to respond to her command to move and opened the door to his room. No lights were on, but she spotted him sitting on the bed, his back against the headboard. He didn't even have the TV on.
"Mulder?" He didn't respond. "I have to know something. . . "
"It's okay Scully. You can go. I'll come back, even if you're not here to see it. I haven't been suicidal in years."
The words caused a shudder to go through her. "When were you suicidal?" She advanced toward the bed, not touching it.
"I was kidding, Scully."
"Were you? Do you think I'm Samantha, Mulder? Do you think if I'm not here. . . ?"
"No! I don't think of you as my sister. Damn it, Scully!" He swung his feet over the side of the bed, gasping at the pain it generated.
"You're not my mother either, Scully. You don't need to worry. . . "
"Then what am I Mulder? If I'm not your sister, or your mother, or even your partner, what am I?"
"You're me, Scully. You're the sane part of me, the part of me people can stand to be around, the part that doesn't scare them or piss them off. Damn it, Scully, get out!" He backhanded the lamp by the bed and it crashed against the wall, shattering into a thousand pieces.
She started at the crash but refused to leave.
"Mulder, I don't know if I can be that for you. I. . . "
"You don't have to be Scully. I release you. Go on back to Washington, you're packed, there's nothing to keep you here. Go on."
"What?" What was she trying to say, he'd heard enough and it was all getting hazy anyway.
"You keep me here."
"No. You're right, someone else can ID my body when the time comes. It shouldn't be you anyway. Let Skinner do it, he's been wanting to for years I'm sure."
They stood there frozen, neither able to make a move, toward or away from the other. He started to yell at her to leave again when a light outside caught the tear escaping down her face. His body jerked with the effort not to go to her, not to hold her.
She finally moved, sinking down onto his bed and put her face in her hands. Mulder took a step away from the bed, away from her; she was fighting dirty now. He backed into a chair beside the bed and a groan escaped him. She was on her feet again, at his side, holding him and leading him back to the bed.
"Leave it alone, Scully. Go on." She wiped her face quickly and shook her head. He hadn't even bothered to put on a t-shirt when he left her room, just sinking onto the bed and now she could see he was bleeding again. When she reached for his bandage, he took her hand, turned her toward the connecting door and gently pushed her through it.
"Mulder. . . " Without answering he closed the door and locked it. Then returned to the bed and lay down. He couldn't hear anything from her side of the door. Had she finally taken the hint and left? She must have, nothing else could cause this emptiness inside of him. He lay staring at the ceiling, unaware of time, unable to feel anything from the pit he had thrown himself into.
On some level he was aware of the door from outside opening. Maybe it was the guy with the knife, coming to finish the job. Good, he'd help him, what was it fourth rib down? Give him a good clean shot.
"Mulder." Scully? But she had left, hadn't she? In any case, she shouldn't be here. If he ignored her maybe she'd go away. No such luck.
"I can't go, Mulder. I didn't understand. I'm not sure I do yet, but I can't go until I do. Are you continually leaping off the deep end, with me as the safety line? Is that it? Is that why you can go all out, risking everything time and again, because you know I'll pull you back?" Her shoulders slumped, "Okay, Mulder. If that's what you need from me, okay, it's yours."
Why hadn't she left? He couldn't process any more, the damn medicine was making him lightheaded, or was it the loss of blood? It didn't matter. Did she really think all he wanted was a safety line? He could never make her understand, not without revealing. . . No, he'd never make her see. What was she doing?
She was on the bed, on her knees, crawling toward him. "I'll be your safety line, Mulder, but I need something in return."
He finally turned his head to look at her. What could he possibly give her?
"If I'm going to be the Scully side of you, then you have to be the Mulder side of me. I need to take a chance sometimes, color outside the lines. Do something impulsive, dangerous, unthinkable." Part of her was still furious, there was no way she would think these things if she were under control. But she was always under control damn it! And he always ditched her; maybe there was a correlation.
His eyes narrowed as she drew closer to him. Scully, impulsive, unthinkable what kind of action was she. . . ? Oh god. Her lips brushed his. The whole world swam as she leaned in even closer and did it again.
He didn’t dare respond. If he did, he'd never. . . why was his body betraying him now? When had his brain given the order for his arms to go around her? What was he doing? His lips were in her hair, his hands molding her back, pulling her closer. This was insane. She'd realize, she wasn't stupid, she'd know how he felt. She'd know. . . her lips were trailing down his chest. He couldn't stop shivering, she was burning him, her lips were blistering his skin everywhere they touched. What had she done to him?
"Scully." At least that's what he tried to say, it was more groan than word at that point.
"No Mulder, you owe me. You owe me for reeling you in time after time. I don't care if I'm not what you want, this is payback for me. Just try and ditch me now, Mulder. Try and walk away from me now." She knew it was insane, she would deny that this ever happened tomorrow, let him think it was a drug-induced dream, but right now he was hers and he wasn't going to slip away from her again.
She unbuttoned his jeans and began slipping them down his legs. He was helping her, she couldn't have done it alone. She couldn't interpret the look in his eyes, and wasn't sure she wanted to. Those stupid Star Wars boxers, no, nothing was going to distract her now. She didn't allow the smile to touch her lips, why had she ever given him those things, it was a joke. He actually wore them? But the distraction didn't last past them joining his jeans on the floor.
He might not want her, might think of her as a sister, but this part of him wanted her and that's all she was interested in right now. Fuck him. She did smile at that thought, exactly what she was doing.
She buried her face in his balls, breathing deeply of his scent, then taking the soft skin between her teeth and nipping him. He didn't dare move, she could kill him, hell maybe she would, she was close already.
Her tongue circled the swollen purple head of his cock and then her teeth were back in play, nipping down the underside of him. He was actually afraid to move, but he wasn't sure if he was more afraid of her continuing or the idea she might stop. She took him in her mouth and began sucking, pulling him deeper. Even he couldn't interpret the sounds he was making. Her eyes smiled, her mouth was too busy. Her hands began fondling his balls and his brain just decided to quit functioning on any level except this one, there wasn't enough blood left in it for coherent thought anyway.
What was she. . . oh god, not yet, this had to last longer, this. . . but he was thrusting into her mouth. He was totally in her control, whatever she wanted, whatever. . . oh sweet lord! He had to be dying, she was taking him, swallowing him. Yes, he was dead, he couldn't move any part of his body. She was kneeling over him, what was she saying?
". . . ditch me again. Never, do you understand?"
Did he nod? Did he even understand? Only her eyes smiled, this wasn't her, she didn't do things like this. Only the Mulder side of her was this impulsive, doing things she'd only dreamed of, controlling him, ordering him around, causing his body to give to her what she'd only dreamed about. Causing his body to want her like she'd wanted him.
He was slipping under, between the loss of blood and the medication, she had completely overwhelmed him. Damn she'd never done anything like this before, it was wonderful! She slipped from the bed and retreated to her own room. She was still completely clothed, she needed to take care of herself before she exploded, she'd done that often enough over the last five years.
Tomorrow they'd continue their investigation, he'd wonder about tonight, but would he have the nerve to ask her about it? Would he dare bring it up? Would he ever try ditching her again? Well, if he did she was ready. No more passive waiting, no more nice patient platonic partner. She'd be his Scully side and she'd draw on his Mulder side, the safety line was striking back. Now let's see what developed. . .
Ditched - Part 2
He woke groggy and stiff. His mind automatically began searching his memories for why. As he tried to rise he groaned; oh yeah, he’d been stabbed. That memory came back and he rose more carefully. He eased his legs over the side of the bed.
He was nude. What the. . . why were his boxers over there? He must have really been out of it. Oh yeah, those pills Scully gave him.
Scully. A small smile formed as the dream came back to him. That had been one hell of a dream. His dreams of Scully had quite often been good before; this one had been excellent and damn real, if the sheets were any indication.
He tested his ability to stand. Okay, if he took it slow. He headed for the shower. That did ease his stiffness. He reapplied his bandage and managed to dress slowly.
He needed to check on Scully. She’d been furious with him last night. Not that he didn’t deserve it. She had a valid point; if she’d been with him, he probably wouldn’t be hurt now.
He glanced over at the connecting door. It was locked. He never did that. Oh yeah, another memory returning. He’d pushed her from the room, sending her away. She didn’t want to ID his body. That memory stopped him in his tracks.
She woke slowly and stretched sensuously; her face flushing with the memory of last night. Had she really done that? Had she made love to Mulder? Had him at her mercy? Her blush deepened at the memory of him fully aroused and desiring her. And it had been her that brought him to that peak. Her name had been his only coherent utterance.
She stretched again letting her hands run down her sides, cupping her own breasts and lightly brushing her nipples. She almost never slept nude, but last night she’d been completely wanton – not at all herself. She was already moist just from the memory. Okay Dana, time to get this under control. Last night was a one-time aberration. She’d just have to fuel her fantasies with the memory. The memory of him thrusting into her mouth renewed her blush.
Now Dana! Get out of bed and shower. Last night is history, you have work to do and you have to face him. Get this under control. She showered and dressed, choosing a severe pantsuit to try to counteract her still raging libido.
She was applying her lipstick when Mulder knocked on the connecting door. "Come on in, Mulder."
He opened the door and stuck his head inside, noting her suitcase on the rumpled bed and seeing her in the mirror of the bathroom.
She turned to face him, capping her lipstick. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah. You want some breakfast?" Damn he was having trouble looking at her; the dream was still that vivid.
"Sure." She walked past him toward the door and her scent surrounded him. But it was just a dream, Scully would never . . . no. He shook his head and followed her outside.
He had trouble concentrating; the dream kept intruding. This was ridiculous, he’d had erotic dreams about Scully for years but they’d never interfered with his work before.
They obtained permission for Scully to examine the man that had attacked Mulder and she trailed him to the cell. Standing at the entrance to the cell, Mulder turned to their escort.
"Where’s the man I brought in here last night?"
"That’s him. No one’s been back here, not to see him, no lawyers, nothing."
"That’s not the man that stabbed me. He was larger, at least three inches taller."
"Look, I wasn’t on shift when he was brought in, but no one’s been back here except to bring him breakfast. This is the guy I fed."
"He was printed and photographed when he came in last night, I watched. Can I see those?"
"Sure." The guard led them back out of the cell area and to the front desk. He rounded up the information they requested and left them alone with it in the interrogation room.
After a few minutes Scully spoke, "I don’t understand it. Someone had to have switched prisoners. We need the prints and photos on the man in the cell."
When they could not be located, they were requested. The man in the cell was strangely subdued and did not protest the actions. Mulder would have been a great deal more aggravated if the memories of the dream had not kept intruding.
Several times during the day he found himself looking at her, enjoying the sensations the memory aroused.
When the prisoner’s prints were brought in, Mulder leaned over them. "Scully, come here." She moved over to his side of the table to see where he was pointing. She leaned in closer and he leaned over her, at first to look more closely at the prints, but as his body loomed over hers he realized he was completely aware of the scent of her hair. It had been a dream, hadn’t it? He shook his head to clear it.
"Look at the prints."
She was quiet a minute, then "Mulder, they’re the same."
"But he . . . the man in the cell is not the same man in the photos taken last night."
He tapped on the connecting door and at her answer opened it. She was lying on her stomach on the bed in her pajamas, poring over the file in front of her. When he entered she sat up and looked at him questioningly.
"Yeah, I just needed a break from going over the stuff. The Day the Earth Stood Still is on cable."
She smiled and looked down at the bed. "Klaatu barada nikto, huh? You’re not going off by yourself in the moonlight to see what’s out there? Maybe find a little nest of werewolves or something?"
"Do you think I’d ditch you, Agent Scully?" He asked in mock horror.
Ah, the post-coital suggestion was holding. She looked down to hide her grin. "And why are you in here about the movie?"
"Well, for one thing, your bed’s cleaner. Wanna watch?"
She put the file back together and closed it, patting the bed and shaking her head while she smiled at him. Last night had done her a world of good.
He grinned and snatched the remote off the TV before joining her. He leaned back against the headboard, after adjusting the pillows and settled in to relax. She was sitting Indian style slightly apart from him, but totally aware of his presence sprawled on the bed beside her.
She was already having trouble concentrating on the movie when he shifted over a little, closer to her. She said nothing, then felt his fingers trail down her arm. "Wouldn’t you be more comfortable leaning back?"
"Well, yeah, okay." He quickly pulled the other pillow out from under the bedspread and plumped it up for her. Placing it where her arm would be in contact with his. He couldn’t know what had happened, she was pretty sure of that, but he was being awfully damn friendly.
She did lean back against the pillow but at an angle that kept them still slightly apart. He was so smooth in his movements that if her body had not been on full alert she would have missed the motion that brought them back in contact. She almost said something when his arm went around her to pull her against him, but it was more comfortable and . . . oh shit, she’d been wanting to since last night. He made no comment, almost as though he didn’t realize what he was doing.
He was completely aware of what he was doing and had managed to hide the breath of relief when she accepted his arm around her. His body had been on overload around her all day. If he could have another dream like last night, he’d be so mellow he wouldn’t mind going back into the sewer for another shot at the Flukeman. Too bad there was no way to get rid of his t-shirt, so that he could feel her skin against his.
Whoa boy, back up. You had the dream, not her. When she comes to her senses you’ll probably have a black eye anyway. He hesitated as she squirmed around, getting even more comfortable and shortly he realized she was asleep against him. Well, she’d probably not slept well last night – she’d been up late patching him up, and she was so angry with him that she might not have gotten to sleep even then. He took advantage of the fact she was unaware and nuzzled his nose into her hair. Yeah, he loved that smell. Watch it, guy, part of you is enjoying this way too much.
He tried to shift his concentration back to the movie, though that did not relieve his physical problem. He finally slipped his hand into his sweats just to adjust himself. Everything was too tight. Bad idea, the dream was back in full force. Now should he curse his memory abilities or praise the gods for it? Well, she was asleep, as long as he didn’t go too far. . . Does the term idiot mean anything to you?
She shifted again in his arms and he jerked his hand from his pants, small beads of sweat appearing on his brow. She’d placed her hand on his chest and was talking in her sleep. He smiled gently when he realized she was still asleep then leaned in to listen to her voice.
"Ditch . . . never . . . do you . . ." She cuddled in and her hand slid lower on his chest.
His mind froze. Those were the same words. The same words as in his dream. Dream? It had been a dream; Scully would never. . . oh god! Had Scully? He shook his head, disturbing her slightly, not enough to wake her. With dawning realization, he knew what he had experienced had been no dream. It had happened! Scully had. . .
He should be furious; she had drugged him and taken advantage of him. Hell, she’d raped him for all intents and purposes. If he’d done that he’d be facing 20 years to life. So why wasn’t he furious? Because. . . because Dana Scully had done that to him. Dana Scully wanted him. His mind simply would not wrap around that concept. She had actually wanted him, his body. A woman like her, who could have any man she wanted, with him? The only thing he was truly upset about was that he hadn’t been given the opportunity to reciprocate. Yet.
But she hadn’t wanted him to know. She had said absolutely nothing all day while he watched her and tried to curtail his fantasies. But she’d said she didn’t want to ID his body. He had been sure she was leaving him forever. Even as he told her to go, he’d been terrified that she would. Okay, he hadn’t felt that way when he woke, which was now a lot more understandable.
She had never done anything like that before, at least with him. Had she? No, he would have known. His body would have known, like it had today. What would she do if he tried to kiss her? How was she going to react when she realized he remembered? That he knew? Would she be embarrassed? Relieved? Horrified? Please not that, not scared of him. How had he reacted? Had he talked? What had he said? At least he wasn’t worried about having called out anyone else’s name – hers was the only name that came to him when he . . . He’d learned to live with that guilt, since no one else provided the same relief.
What would she do if he kissed her now, while she was asleep? Turn about was fair play, wasn’t it? Hell, she didn’t have a leg to stand on if she did get angry. She had started this. Cut the damn debate and do it, Mulder!
He realized he was scared. How many women had he kissed in his life, with little or no feeling behind it? Now he felt like he was 14 years old and this was the first and most important kiss of his life. Well it was really, but after all these years he’d thought that he had a little more self-confidence than this.
Go ahead, Mulder. You know how to do this. He leaned down and lightly brushed his lips across hers. She responded and encouraged, he let the tip of his tongue touch her warm mouth. He nearly lost his courage when she opened her lips to him. But he couldn’t resist, tentatively exploring her mouth; still afraid she would wake and quite possibly kill him for his actions.
"Um, Mulder." She breathed when he pulled back for a breath.
His name! She’d said his name! It was him she was kissing, even in her dreams. Now what should he do? She hadn’t wanted him to know. He had to get out of here. He’d already gone too far - not as far as she’d gone, but too far nevertheless.
He eased out of the bed, tucking her in and letting himself out of the room. No guilt tonight when he jerked off, she probably didn’t realize she’d created a monster.
Ditched - Part 3
He managed to stay in his room until he heard her moving around the next morning. Couldn’t go bursting in there and jump her while she was still in bed, no matter how much he wanted to. No, play it cool. She didn’t want him to know, okay.
She noted his demeanor over breakfast. He was in a better mood than she ever remembered seeing him. Had there been a break in the case and he was stringing her along? The guy was not a werewolf; she wasn’t even going to go there. But where was that damn smile coming from? It made her want to smack him, she just couldn’t decide with lips or hand. Watch it Scully, you’re at work.
"Scully, I want you to do a physical exam of the man we have in custody. See if there’s anything abnormal about his spinal configuration or anything like that."
"Mulder, he is not a werewolf."
"I never meant to imply that he was. It’s not a full moon and nothing has happened since he’s been in jail. No one has tried to get him out, no visitors and he hasn’t asked to make a phone call. He doesn’t want out. Something out here is the problem and you saw the pictures and the fingerprints. We need a scientific explanation."
She snorted, but didn’t say no. He was right, nothing had happened since the man was placed behind bars. "What kind of abnormalities am I looking for?"
"I don’t know, something that would make the man taller, stronger - "
"You want to know if he can ‘Hulk out’?"
Mulder grinned, "Exactly."
That earned him another snort and she turned away shaking her head. He watched her walk away, enjoying the sway of her hips, the muscles in her calves. He shook himself, not the best way to keep his mind on business today. Though staying in town a little longer was looking more appealing by the hour.
That rapidly diminished as the day progressed. She took the examination very seriously, excluding him from the room. He could feel his mood plummet, as her professionalism never wavered. She didn't want him to know, had never wanted him to know what had happened. Could he live with that? Could he forget? No. Could he ignore it? It didn’t look like it. Shit.
Her findings were peculiar, which only irritated her more. And now Mulder was in a snit because she had kicked him out while she performed her examination of the prisoner.
She returned to the examining room where the prisoner waited under guard. Scully stalked up to him, dismissing the officer. He was dressed now and seated on the table. He was watching her and seemed almost frightened. She slapped the palm of her hand on the examining table, causing him to jump.
"Did you do it? Did you cut my partner?"
"I don’t know." He hung his head now.
"What do you mean you don’t know?"
"Sometimes I . . . I black out. I wake up in strange places, like my cell here. I don’t know if I stabbed him, but if I did, I’m sorry."
"You’re . . . you’re sorry? What about the pictures - where’s the man that Mulder brought in?"
He shrugged, "I don’t know." He hung his head.
"Is it you?" A stupid question, but she was angry enough to ask it now.
"I don’t know." This time he looked up at her, fear plain in his eyes. "I hope not."
That caused her to draw back. She studied the man closer. "What happens when you get angry, really angry?"
He shuddered slightly and looked away, "I black out. That’s when I wake up in strange places."
"Are you on any medications?" He shook his head. "Therapy?" Again, no. "Are you willing to submit to a test?" He hesitated, obviously afraid. "Think about it. I’ll go find my partner." She called the deputy back in and went to find Mulder.
He was sitting in front of a computer, but when she looked at the monitor, the screen saver was dancing around. "Mulder?"
That jerked him back to the present. He glanced at the screen, "Sorry."
"Where were you?"
"Doesn’t matter. What did you find?"
She looked at him closely. His mood had certainly changed. What was going on with him? Well, he wasn’t going to speak apparently. "I want to run some tests. He’s thinking about it."
"What kind of tests?"
The transformation stunned them. Anger couldn’t do that to a person, It had to be her imagination; the man couldn’t have grown three inches in front of her. And his arms, they were bulging with muscles - they hadn’t been. He’d been average just moments ago. The shock stole her advantage and before she could move he had grabbed her through the bars of his cell. She slammed into the metal, his arm across her throat strangling her. The other arm just below her breasts squeezing out what air she did have.
"Scully!" She watched as Mulder reacted a second too late, reaching for his weapon. It wasn’t there. They had both surrendered their guns before coming back here. Thank God they had, or she would already be dead, and probably him as well.
"Let her go." Mulder put his hand on the officer’s arm to forestall him drawing his own gun as the man’s grip tightened around Scully’s throat. Her vision was already turning red. His strength was incredible, how had Mulder managed to subdue him?
"The bitch is gonna die. You all are!" Mulder saw her eyelids flutter as she began to lose consciousness.
She was becoming delirious. It looked . . . it looked as though Mulder had suddenly grown, looming over her as he charged the man, literally ripping the man’s arms from her throat and body.
She collapsed to her knees and heard the sound of flesh striking flesh and a body hitting the floor. Then Mulder’s arms were around her, holding her. She had one hand on the floor, the other at her throat. "Let’s get you out of here." He lifted her onto her feet. "Watch him." This was directed to the deputy who was staring at the cell in shock.
He seated her at the desk, her breathing was returning to normal though bruises were already appearing on her throat.
"Mulder, you’re bleeding. You tore your wound open." She pulled his shirt open, only coughing a little now. "We need to get you patched up."
"You should see a doctor."
She chuckled, "We both should. Let’s get out of here." He couldn’t smile. The man had hurt her, nearly killed her and he’d been caught off guard. He managed to nod. She rose, this time helping him to his feet.
She led him into her room and seated him on her bed, pushing the blood stained shirt off of his shoulders. She removed the bandage and turned to get her supplies. His hand stopped her.
"Why didn’t you want me to know?"
She looked at him puzzled. "Know what?"
"What happened the other night. What happened in my room." Her eyes widened and tried to pull her arm away. "Scully."
"I . . . I don’t know what to say."
"Do you want me to forget it? Because I don’t think I can. He came close to killing you today and I was thinking that I’d never get the chance to tell you . . . to . . . Scully?"
She looked like a deer caught in the headlights and his heart sank. "Look, I’m sorry." He rose from the bed and turned toward his own room.
"Mul . . . Mulder, don’t . . .”
"It’s okay. I shouldn’t have said anything. I know that’s what you wanted." He opened the door and entered his room, shutting the door gently behind him.
She sank onto the bed, his bloody shirt clutched in her hand. How could she have screwed up so badly? What was she going to do now? He’d known, how long had he known? What was she supposed to say to him? How did he feel about this, really? She had to know, she had to fix this between them or everything was ruined - for the rest of her life.
How the hell had she thought that she could get away with what she’d done? That she could make love to a drugged Mulder and have him never realize it? She was a bigger fool than she had ever imagined herself to be. Her desire to crawl in a hole and pull it in after her was all consuming.
That wasn’t an option. She took a deep breath and straightened her spine. She had to repair this - at least try to. And she had to face him - quickly before she lost her nerve completely.
The door wasn’t locked, much to her relief, and she quietly entered his room. He was seated much as he had been that other night. If only she could go back to that time - not do the stupid thing she had done.
"Mulder? Can I . . . Mulder please let me talk to you."
He turned to look at her, not bothering to respond. Though he tried to hide it, she could see how deeply she had wounded him. What the hell had she been thinking? That was the problem, she hadn’t been thinking - she’d been furious with him. He’d once again gone off without her, and he could have been killed. She’d been punishing him. What kind of person was she? What was she going to say?
She sank onto the side of the bed beside him. "What can I say to you Mulder? I never meant to hurt you. I’m so damn sorry. I wasn’t . . . "
"Sorry. That’s how you feel? You’re sorry about what you did?"
"I wasn’t . . . I lost control Mulder. I was angry and hurt at your actions. And I was scared too. You could so easily have died in a senseless act."
"And you didn’t want to identify my body. I remember that part quite clearly."
"Yes! That’s right!" Her anger flared again. "I didn’t and I don’t! I never want to have to ID your body Mulder, because I never want you to die! You can’t die because then I - "Her words stumbled to a halt.
"Because then what?" He hadn’t moved, but she could feel the tenseness in his body. She started to rise, she was revealing too much. If he knew this about her . . . His hand shot out to stop her, taking hold of her arm. "Because then what Scully?"
She tried to pull away and his grip tightened. She stopped, closing her eyes to block the sight of his eyes searching hers. It didn’t help - she could see him just as clearly. His hair was spiked and disheveled from his fight for her life, he really needed a shave and his eyes - his eyes had turned chocolate with emotion. She was lost. She loved this SOB. This wasn’t like anything she’d felt for a man before.
But he needed so much. Did she have that much to offer? Would she give herself away completely? And if she did, leaving nothing for herself and it wasn’t enough - what then? She felt his finger tentatively tracing her cheekbone. "Scully?"
"I don’t want to love you this much Mulder! I’m afraid to." There, it was out, her most precious secret. His eyes widened.
"You love me?" It was only a whisper. She dropped her head, mournfully nodding. His finger under her chin brought her eyes back up to his. "Scully, you love me?"
"Damn you Mulder! I’ve never loved anyone the way I do you. It’s insane - we’re totally wrong for each other. I could never make you happy."
"Never make me . . . Scully, do you honestly not know?" Somehow his hands were on her shoulders now and rubbing her upper arms. She was focusing on his chest - unwise, but she’d left his shirt on the floor in her room. She wanted to be against him, held to that chest by his arms. She wanted to never be released from that grip.
He read her mind again, pulling her gently against him, allowing her freedom to escape if she wanted. She didn’t, sinking into him, her arms coming around to his back, kneading those muscles, molding herself to him.
She felt him take a deep breath; unaware it was the first one since he’d seen that monster grab her.
"You make me happy Scully. You always make me happy - even when we’re at each other’s throats about one of my insane theories, I’m happy. You stimulate me, you listen to me - I’ve told you and you’ve got to hear me - you make me whole. For the first time in memory I’m whole and it’s 100% due to you. I’m not asking for more than you can give - just let me stay with you. Let me love you. I’m not talking the physical here Scully. If you don’t want that - "
"I do Mulder." She said it so quietly he thought he’d imagined it.
"What did you say?"
"I do want the physical. I want what I stole from you the other night. I want you aware, wanting me in return."
"Did you doubt that the other night?"
She felt the color stain her cheeks as she remembered his reaction, his voice crying out her name. "No."
He felt the word more than heard it and pulled her against him once again. "We can take this at your pace Scully. As long as I know you have feelings for me - "
"I love you Mulder." She stated it simply, as the inevitable fact that it was.
"Stay with me tonight Scully. I’m not exactly in top form, but let me hold you tonight. Let me reassure you - while I’m awake and alert - that I won’t ditch you again. That you are the only thing that matters to me."
"You did all right the other night, drugged and with a fresh stab wound."
"You always bring out the best in me Scully." He stretched out on the bed, folding her against him.
Ditched - Part 4
He slipped his key into the lock with relief. The trip had been a bust, a waste of his time, but no one would know about it, she wouldn’t know about it. It was late and he was tired. At least he could get a little sleep before going into the office. Not exactly a great weekend.
He didn't bother with the light, dropping his jacket on the coat rack and moving toward his bedroom. A movement on the other side of the room stopped him and he turned.
Scully rose from the couch and he felt his heart sink. "Scu . . . Scully, what are you doing here?"
She approached him and stopped just short of his reach. She obviously didn't want him to touch her. "I thought we had an agreement." Had she been crying?
"Scully, it was a waste. I didn't want to drag you off for something I knew wasn't going to yield anything."
"Then why did you go?" She asked it quietly, calmly and for some reason that frightened him most of all.
"I . . . I just thought."
"You thought you should ditch me."
"Scully, this didn't concern you, I - "
The palm of her hand made sharp contact with the side of his face. He blinked as he stepped back, his own hand coming up to touch his cheek.
"Goodbye Mulder." She moved to the door and was gone without a backward glance.
He stood there, too stunned to move. She had hit him. Scully had actually struck him. What the hell did she think he'd done? It wasn't like he'd been with another woman, or . . .
He shook his head, he was too tired to think straight tonight, and she was obviously too angry. They'd talk in the morning when they got to work. She would have had time to calm down by then. He shook his head and trudged toward his bedroom. He stripped down to his boxers and crawled into the bed.
As his eyes closed it occurred to him that she had seemed awfully calm already. What had she said as she left? Goodbye? Not see you later, or we need to talk. Goodbye. What did she mean by that? He couldn't sustain it, sleep taking over his body.
He was surprised to find the office locked the next morning. He'd seen her car in the garage. He pulled out his keys and let himself in. Something seemed different though he couldn't quite put his finger on what. He needed coffee, and then maybe he could function. Before he could turn, the phone on his desk rang.
"I need to see you in my office.
Skinner? What did he want? "Yes sir." Mulder hung up the phone, looked longingly at his coffee cup, and then moved toward the elevator.
The halls were crowded, but he moved as quickly as possible toward Skinner's office. Nearly there, he spotted her, Scully, moving away from the office. He started to call out to her, to wait, but the crowd engulfed her. He needed to talk to her alone anyway. As soon as he finished with Skinner he'd get this mess straightened out.
Skinner met him at the door - never a good sign and closed the door behind him. He motioned for Mulder to take a chair and seated himself behind the desk.
Without preamble he spoke, "Agent Scully has been offered a temporary assignment with the VCS and has accepted it."
Mulder's mouth fell open but he didn't speak. "The assignment’s duration is indeterminate so I'm not certain when she might be returning to the X-Files. I'll see about assigning you a temporary partner for field work."
"Don't bother." Mulder had risen to his feet then and headed toward the door.
Mulder stopped, his hand on the doorknob, but didn't turn to face Skinner.
"Nothing. I'll talk to you later." Skinner subsided.
Mulder gave one quick nod and let himself out of the office. Skinner leaned back in his chair, rubbing one hand over his brow.
Mulder turned toward the stairs, traffic in the halls was easing up, but he didn't want to see anyone. He let himself back into his office and looked around the room with different eyes. He saw it now; the office was missing her little touches. He turned toward the file cabinet and jerked open the second drawer on the far left, pulling it all the way out. It was gone. Scully had kept a package of pantyhose in there, a spare for emergencies. He doubted she was even aware he knew about it, but it was gone, along with her coffee cup and every other personal item in the office.
"Goodbye Mulder." Had she meant that? Okay, he had ditched her after promising not to, but how could she just walk away without at least talking about it. He sank into his chair, coffee forgotten.
He didn't dare go looking for her now. He'd cause a scene and only make things worse. No, this needed to be a private conversation. And she needed to calm down.
He trailed her home, staying well back. It wasn't as though he didn't know the way. Her car was parked when he arrived, but she must have already gone inside. Good, they needed some privacy.
He was quickly at her door and knocked sharply. There was no answer, but he knew she was in there. He knocked again. There was no way he was leaving without talking to her. This was too important.
He knocked a third time, even more loudly. She was avoiding him, but it wasn't going to work. Didn't she realize how important this was? He pulled his keys from his pocket and tried to fit his key to her apartment in the lock. It didn't fit. It didn't fit? She'd had the lock changed? To hell! One kick of his foot splintered the frame and the door burst inward. She was standing on the other side of the room, her face registering her shock.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" He spat as he advanced on her.
"You expect me to work with someone I can't believe, can't trust?"
He loomed over her then.
She stiffened her spine and refused to allow herself to retreat from him. She glanced over at the remains of the door. "What do you want?" She looked up at him now. "Are you here to rape me?"
That stopped him in his tracks. He stepped back away from her, his eyes narrowed. "That's more your speed, isn't it?"
She felt the heat in her face, but didn't speak.
He took a couple of deep breaths. "Fine. I'll get out of here. Send me a bill for the door." Breathing heavily he retraced his steps to the car and she cringed as she heard his tires squeal when he peeled out.
He could feel the tension in the building when he entered. He tried to make himself care, but he didn't anymore. He hadn't watched the news in weeks; hell he hadn't bothered to shave in a couple of days. The conversation was in full force in the elevator. "Yeah, they haven't released everything, but forty are dead, two hundred injured, twenty critically. We lost three and may lose some more."
"Weren't they watching for it?"
"Yeah, hell that date, why do you think so many of ours were there?" Both men shook their heads and exited the car.
Mulder rode on down to the basement alone, only mildly interested. He unlocked the door and let himself in. He moved toward his desk and noted that once again he had forgotten to empty his coffee cup. He reached for it as his phone rang. Shit, there was no one he wanted to talk to.
"Mulder, get up here now." Skinner hung up then and Mulder sighed. With that tone he better get up there. If this was about some other partner Skinner was planning to stick him with, he could shove it.
He took the elevator, it was empty now, not that he cared. "Go on in Agent Mulder." Angie spoke softly and her expression was strange, almost as though she felt sorry for him. Yeah, right.
He tapped on the door as he opened it. "If this is about another partner - "
"Sit down Agent Mulder. Are you aware of the situation in Denver?"
Skinner looked at him curiously; "You haven't heard any news?"
"Is there a problem in Denver?" He couldn't quite keep the impatience from his voice.
"There was an explosion. Domestic terrorism, the VCS was working the case."
For the first time Mulder's attention was caught. "It went bad."
"We lost three agents, four more are hospitalized."
The band of steel around his chest tightened. He swallowed, but words still didn't come for a long moment. "Is, is Agent Scully still officially assigned as my partner?"
"You better get out there Mulder." He was already on his feet and moving toward the door. "Mulder." He turned to look at him; "You need to hurry."
Mulder didn't take the time to acknowledge that statement, moving with increasing speed toward the stairs. He didn't bother with his own car, he wasn't sure he would be safe on the road anyway, commandeering a cab away from some suit out front.
He threw money at the driver as they screeched up to the terminal at National. He was running flat out toward the ticket counter and shoved his way to the front of the line, displaying his badge prominently. "I'm on your next flight to Denver.”
“I’m sorry sir. There’re no seats available on that flight.”
“I don’t need a seat.”
For just a second she thought he was going to pull a gun on her. “I’ll, uh, I’ll see what I can do.”
“You do that, I’ll be on the plane when you get it straightened out.” He turned toward the gate, already picking up speed.
“Sir! Do you have any luggage?”
He didn’t bother to respond, but he knew in the back of his mind that if he survived whole, he would laugh about that question someday.
In Denver he used his badge as a battering ram to get to the trauma center, not accepting any delays. Skinner had said to hurry and he hadn’t had the guts to ask how bad that was.
He let himself into the ICU. He stopped for an instant, the place was busy; the explosion had sent a lot of people here. Then he started down the isle, looking from side to side as he passed the cubicles.
His steps faltered when he saw her and that band that had not left his chest since Skinner's office tightened painfully. He made his way to her side blindly. She looked like she had in the hospital when she had been returned to him, following her abduction.
He realized his hand had taken hold of hers. Her hand was cool and she didn't respond at all to his touch.
"Sir, you can't be in here."
He didn't turn, just pulling his badge from his pocket with practiced ease.
"I don't care if you're J. Edgar himself, you can't be in here. You'll compromise her care."
"I won't compromise her care, but I have to be here with her."
"You think you know how to treat her better than we do?"
"Maybe. Look, I won't be in your way. I promise. Just let me stay with her. She's my . . . my partner."
The nurse harrumphed at that. 'Partner', was that what they were calling it now? The alarms went off just then and the nurse whirled around, this man forgotten as she called out "Crash cart! Number seven, get Dr. Amos!"
Mulder shuddered but turned back to her. "Scully? Scully I'm here. You have to come back because we're way past due for a long talk. Come on, I need you."
He settled in beside her and the nurses left them alone, checking on her occasionally but giving them their time. These nurses had seen trauma victims for years. This one would probably never regain consciousness; they weren't going to begrudge him time with her.
But she didn't die. In fact, she seemed to be improving slightly. And he didn't leave her side for more than ten minutes at a time. The staff of the ICU became used to his presence, and in fact his help, when he could assist.
He was alone with her when she first stirred. It was just a restlessness in the bed, not full consciousness but he was on his feet instantly.
“Scully? Scully, it’s Mulder. Can you hear me?”
Her fingers may have tightened around his hand but he couldn’t be sure.
“Scully, please. Open your eyes.”
They fluttered but didn’t open. Her lips moved, forming his name but no sound came.
He reached for the call button when she moved again, “Mu . . . hurts.” It was barely a whimper.
“We’ll get you something for the pain, Scully. Hold on just a minute.” He was pressing on the button repeatedly now and he could hear footsteps hurrying his way.
Adele, the nurse that had finally allowed him to stay, got there first. “She’s waking up and she’s in pain. You need to give her something.”
“Let us check her out, Mr. Mulder. Her doctor’s already been paged.” She could tell how reluctantly he released her hand to allow them access and to Adele’s surprise, the patient’s hand groped on the sheet as though looking for him.
“Dana, Dana we’ll get you something for the pain in just a minute. Let us check you out a little.”
“Mul . . . “
“He’s right here. We can’t get rid of him for anything. Just relax as best you can. Okay?”
Those words did seem to relax her and Adele exchanged glances with the other nurse. Dr. Pendleton walked in about that time and Mulder made himself as unobtrusive as possible. They weren’t going to have the opportunity to ask him to leave.
She was awake more and definitely more alert now. Her first move upon awakening was always to search for him, though he didn’t seem to realize it.
He saw that her eyes were open and leaned over her. “Scully?”
“Am I, am I welcome here?” His demeanor was full of uncertainty and fear.
“Who else would I want to wake up to?”
He blinked at that, but held his tongue.
“Where are we? I can’t seem to get it in my head.”
“Denver, Scully. You’re in Denver.”
“Denver? I don’t remember the case. We have an X-File in Denver?”
“An X . . . Scully? What . . . what do you remember?”
She closed her eyes and sighed a little. “It’s hazy, I was . . . I couldn’t find you Saturday evening or most of the day Sunday, so I went over to your place to wait. I don’t . . . it goes away then.”
He stood over her afraid to move. She didn’t remember the fight? Her request to leave him?
“Mulder? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, Scully. Nothing. You just need to rest and get your strength back so I can take you home. Okay?”
“Mulder, how sick was I?” She looking more closely at him now and let her hand come up to touch his hair.
“You, uh, you gave us quite a scare.”
She didn’t respond to that, the white in his hair spoke volumes though. She did need to get her strength back, show him that she really was okay and . . . and allay whatever else was bothering him.
She lay watching him sleep. The man was amazing, he didn’t seem to need much sleep, but when he did, he abandoned himself to it. She would never have been able to fall asleep in that chair.
Even as she thought it, he stirred and saw her watching him. He leaned forward. “Are you okay? Why didn’t you wake me?”
“You looked so comfortable.”
He managed a weak smile and she thought again about how out of it he had seemed. “Mulder, you’ve never told me about the X-File we’re here on.”
“Scully, it’s the middle of the night. You should be resting.”
“That’s all I’ve done Mulder. Talk to me - was it that bad?”
“You, uh, you weren’t here on an X-file. You were . . . Scully, you were with Violent Crimes on domestic terrorism. You were caught in an explosion.”
She just stared at him for the longest moment. “Were you here?”
He just shook his head, seemingly unable to speak.
“Was it, was it like Ritter?”
He shuddered then and swallowed. “Not, not exactly.”
She was watching him, watching much too closely. He looked down at his hands.
“Mulder, if I was in an explosion, due to terrorists, you can’t blame yourself.”
“Maybe you should have let me sleep.”
“Mulder, what’s wrong? Please.”
“Not now Scully. Go back to sleep and we’ll talk about this when you’re stronger. I promise.”
She nodded reluctantly and took his hand before closing her eyes. She couldn’t tell who needed the reassurance more, him or her.
“I’m not completely comfortable about this. Ms. Scully, you live alone. I don’t feel that - “
“She has people that could stay with her.” Mulder interrupted the doctor.
The doctor glanced over at him. He knew what this man had already done for her, knew that he hadn’t left her side for days. “Let me talk to your other doctors; if you wouldn’t be alone . . . “
“Thank you Dr. Pendleton.” Scully watched him leave the room before turning back to Mulder. “I have people?”
“Well, you have person.” He grinned.
“Would this person be a tall, dark and handsome FBI agent?”
“Well, tall and dark, anyway.” He squeezed her hand.
“Mulder, you’ve already spent so much time here - “
“And I still have eight weeks of vacation the Bureau is screaming for me to use.” He shrugged, “I’d rather use it this way.”
“Well, that leads to the inevitable question - your place or mine?”
“Oh, well I was, uh, thinking mine. Your couch is awfully short.”
She couldn’t quite hide the look of disappointment that flitted across her face, though she tried. The couch? He was planning to sleep on the couch. Was it to protect her, fear that he would hurt her in his sleep? It didn’t feel like it. It felt like rejection and she didn’t know why! Their relationship had changed; at least from the way she remembered it. But he had been here all this time. He must feel something for her, just apparently not the way she remembered it.
He felt her withdraw from him and stepped closer to the bed, but the tap on the door interrupted him.
Adele stuck her head in. “Ready for a little physical therapy?” She pushed a wheelchair into the room and Mulder stepped back to give her room.
“You want to give me a hand Mr. Mulder?” Adele took hold of Scully’s arm.
“Sure.” He moved forward, but Scully pulled away slightly. Most people wouldn’t have even seen the movement, it was so small, but it felt like a kick in the gut to him.
“That’s okay Mulder. Why don’t you go get something to eat, or stretch your legs? We’ll be fine.”
Adele looked down at her but didn’t speak.
“Scully, are you - “
“It’ll be fine Mulder. I’ll see you later.”
“Yeah, sure.” He turned and left the room without another word.
After the door closed, Adele took a deep breath. “Okay, usually this would be none of my business, but you are recovering from a major trauma. The last thing you need is to be fighting with him.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I don’t know what he’s done, but . . . Dana, the man is a legend around here and not just for the hot body. He did not leave your side for four days. Three of those, he was the only one that thought you might live. He’s probably more responsible for your recovery, which is amazing by the way, than anyone here. Forgive him.”
“Maybe he should be forgiving me.”
“I . . . I don’t . . . you know I’m suffering from short term memory loss.” Adele nodded. “During that missing time, something happened. I must have done something, but he won’t talk about it yet.”
Adele began wheeling Scully toward the door. “I don’t think it was you. You didn’t see the man when he got here. Hell, he was so consumed with guilt, if he hadn’t been an FBI agent I would have thought he caused the explosion himself.”
“Yes, that’s Mulder. Why won’t he talk to me?” She said this mostly to herself, but Adele answered anyway.
“He still can’t believe he didn’t lose you. He’s not going to do anything that could jeopardize your health. Don’t ask him to.”
Scully turned in the chair to look up at the nurse. After a long moment she nodded.
“Mulder, I can walk. If you’re going to treat me like an invalid, I’ll wait until you fall asleep and just slip out and go home.”
He looked abashed, shit; she had hoped he would tease her back. Okay, they were home now, tonight she was going to have this out with him whether he was willing or not. Or she really would walk out.
For now she allowed him to help her into his bedroom. He seated her in the chair there, after dumping the contents on the floor and changed the sheets quickly. He obviously hadn’t planned on company when he had left all those days ago to come to her.
She was tired; she could admit that to herself. It had been a long flight and she was far from top shape. Still it felt exhilarating to be home - well, Mulder’s home.
She sank into his bed gratefully, wishing only that he were there beside her. She kept quiet about that. Whatever was going on was still going on.
When she woke from her nap it was already dusk outside. Well, she couldn’t expect to make a complete recovery this quickly, much as she would like to. She got herself out of bed carefully and moved toward the living room.
He was there on the computer, his back to her, but he seemed to sense her presence and turned. “Why didn’t you call me?”
“Because I can do this myself, thank you.” She moved carefully to the couch and sat, aware that he was watching her, gauging her abilities.
“I didn’t want to leave while you were asleep, but I need to get some food in the place. And I can go by your apartment and pick up anything you need.”
“Now there’s a thought, you rummaging through my lingerie drawer.” Instead of the comment she had expected, he ducked his head. Okay, that was it. She’d given him every chance.
“Mulder, please come here.” His head came up immediately, and to her surprise, he obeyed her immediately. “We’re home now, I’m healing very well, regaining my strength. So, what the hell is going on?”
He blinked at that and looked over toward his computer.
“Oh no you don’t. You’ve avoided this conversation for the last time. We both know I have no memory of the time just before the . . . the explosion. But we also both know that something happened to change our relationship. I have to know what.”
“Scully, no. It’s not - “
“Yes it is, it is important Mulder. My imagination is a lot worse than the truth could be.”
"Is it? Maybe you'd be better off not remembering. Maybe I don't want you to remember."
"Don't want me to . . . Mulder?"
"No. I don't want you to remember. Get it? What you're missing isn't . . . Scully let it drop!" His expression actually frightened her. He turned then, away from her, to regain his composure.
She froze for an instant, then rose and hurried to his room slamming the door. He heard the lock snick into place. Hell, he hadn’t realized that his bedroom door had a lock! She was crying.
“Scully, Scully let me in. Please.”
She didn’t respond.
“Scully, please! Don’t make me kick down another door.” Then he realized she didn’t remember that either. He laid his head against the door. “Scully, please.”
He didn’t hear her steps, but he did hear the knob turning. He raised his head slightly and looked into her tear-streaked face as the door opened.
She didn’t speak, just moved back toward the bed. He followed and sat beside her. He took a deep breath.
“I ditched you. After I promised not to. This whole thing, your injuries are my fault. If I had kept my word to you - “
“You ditched me?” She looked puzzled for a moment, then rubbed her hand across her brow as though in pain.
“He called me." She looked up at him. "That’s why I was at your place. You wouldn't answer your cell phone. I was searching . . . “
“Who called you?”
She looked up at him then, “Deep Throat. I know he’s dead, but it sounded like his voice. He said . . . he told me it was a trap and I had to find you. That you were going to be killed. Oh my god.”
Her face had gone dead white with the memory. Without thought he pressed her down on the bed and lifted her legs to the mattress. “Scully, stay with me Scully.”
Color was returning to her face and with it her temper. “You could have been killed!”
“That’s why you left me.” He said it quietly, fearfully and she hesitated.
“You asked for a transfer the next day. You didn’t even tell me, Skinner called me to his office and dropped the bomb. You accepted a ‘temporary’ assignment with the VCS and ended up in Denver. So I nearly got you killed as well.”
“I asked . . . “
“For a transfer, yes. Do you think I want you to remember that? Or that it was my fault because of a broken promise? Or that all the pain you’re recovering from is my fault!”
He was looming over her now, his voice rising. She sat up suddenly and before he could lean back had taken his lower lip into her mouth. His eyes widened as she suckled it for a second, then bit into it sharply. He jerked back.
“What the hell?”
"You ditched me to nearly get killed, then I'm the one that's injured. I suppose that's typical with us."
He hung his head, not able to dispute her words. "Maybe I was right, Mulder, on some level. Common sense would say we're not good together."
His head jerked up then, panic in his eyes.
"That's why you didn't want me to remember. I came to my senses and left you."
"Scully - "
"What I do remember," she continued as though he hadn't spoken, "is that I was happy with our new closeness, our intimacy. I'm not sure that common sense should be part of a relationship like we developed over the last seven years."
He swallowed hard, not daring to speak and interrupt her.
"Now if it's true that I can't trust you, that you're not going to keep your word about this propensity to ditch me - "
"Scully, please. It's not ditching you, it's trying to keep you safe."
"Like this time? It seems to me that when you purposely try to keep me safe, it's worse than when you don't. What if you just didn't go off on these little investigating trips that are so dangerous you don't want me along? No wait, that would be common sense too, wouldn't it?"
"What do you want me to say? I fucked up. You should be used to that by now. You should also know you're the only important thing in my life. Yes, I'm going to try to keep you safe above all else. When I'm following a lead that is probably bogus - "
"If it's bogus, why follow it?"
"Because it's what I do! Remember, I'm Spooky Mulder. You're the legitimate member of the team. Scully, I can't just change, not after all these years, even for you."
She sighed, "I'm not sure I want you to change. I fell in love with the way you are and - "
"Fell in love? Did you say 'fell in love'?"
Her eyes were big, staring at him like a deer caught in the headlights. "I . . . Mulder, I need some time."
"You want me to leave?"
"You said you would go get my things. Could you do that now?"
He nodded slowly; reeling from the direction the conversation had taken. Yes, before he had betrayed her, they had become intimate. But they hadn't discussed love; not after that one conversation, in fact they had avoided it.
“You . . . you’ll be okay?”
She nodded but didn’t speak. After a minute, he rose from the bed. He turned to look at her one more time before leaving the room, but she wouldn’t look at him. Shit! Everyone would have been better off if they had just taken him instead of Samantha. Think of all the lives he wouldn’t have fucked up.
When he returned with her things and dinner, he met her coming out of the bedroom. He couldn’t tell that she looked rested, but she seemed calm. Was that a good thing?
She took the Styrofoam containers from his hands before he could drop them and moved into the kitchen. He took her suitcase and the smaller bag on into the bedroom.
She was still in the kitchen when he came out, so he headed that way. “I knew you liked Thai, is it okay?”
“It smells very good. Thank you.”
He shrugged, they were moving around each other like strangers, and it was depressing him.
“I’ll dish this up, would you get us some tea?” She glanced in his direction but wouldn’t meet his eye.
“Uh, sure.” Anything. Damn he’d be more comfortable with his father here.
They ate in awkward silence. When she was finished, he took her plate and carried it into the kitchen. She heard the water running, so she rose and headed for the bedroom to see what he had packed for her.
His choices had been good, slacks, jeans, t-shirts and sweaters. He'd even remembered her robe and slippers. She'd given him no direction, but he'd chosen pretty much what she would have. The lingerie he'd chosen was for the most part what had been on top. He'd not dug through to find her sexier stuff.
Then she spotted the smaller bag, and pulled it up on the bed to see what else he had brought.
She'd been gone a long time. The Scully he knew could have unpacked three or four times. He hadn't heard the water, so she wasn't in the tub.
The bedroom door wasn't closed and he moved toward it to see what was happening. He was moving quietly and she didn't seem to hear him. She was holding something in her hand that he couldn't see. What he could see were the tears trailing down her face.
He didn't hesitate, entering the room and joining her on the bed. "Scully?"
"I didn't ask you for . . ." She opened her hand and he saw the small bottle of bath oil he'd chosen, after smelling most of them.
"I . . . I thought it might make you feel better."
"How can you be so sweet and such a bastard at the same time?" She hiccuped slightly saying those words.
"Because I've never loved anyone before. I don't really know how. I want to protect you, I want you with me, I want the rest of the world to go away. I'm not going to get any of that."
She sniffed, "Well, the rest of the world won't go away, and you can't protect me, any more than I can protect you. But I am here. You're my 'people' to look after me while I regain my strength."
"Just until then?"
She managed a wet smile then. "We were good together."
"We still are Scully."
She just looked at him, making no response.
"Let me run you a bath." He took the bottle out of her hand. She didn't resist. When he returned to her she had undressed. He led her to the tub and removed the robe from her shoulders, then helped her down into the bubbles.
She relaxed into the warmth, then looked up at him. "Join me?"
He blinked at her, then slowly nodded. He only hesitated a moment, then began shedding his own clothes. She watched and tried to hide the effect this was having on her. Without a word, he slipped into the tub behind her, pulling her against his body.
She had pulled her hair up, and her neck was exposed to him. He sank lower in the water to bring his lips to it. She was still weak, and he had seen the bruises that were healing but still visible. He gently caressed her skin under the water and felt the light shiver, though he was confident she wasn't cold.
His hands came up to cup her breasts and he felt her breath grow shallow, but he was afraid even to smile. His thumbs came up to caress her nipples. They immediately hardened into little buds. Now a small smile did form on his lips. At least he could still please her body.
She closed her eyes as she felt him grow and press into her lower back. She moved back toward him involuntarily, increasing the contact. She felt his groan more than heard it.
"Been a long time?"
"You know exactly how long it's been, Scully."
For some reason she blushed at that, though she kept her silence.
He ground himself lightly into her back. "What are we going to do, Scully? Are you going to leave me?"
She rested her head back against his chest. "I don't know what's right."
"Forget right and wrong for a minute Scully. How do you feel?"
She hesitated so long he didn't think she was going to answer, then, "Whole, complete."
"What do you want?"
She shook her head, "I don't know."
"I don't know that I can change. I can tell you I will, but it's not a promise I'm sure I can keep."
"I don't know that I want you to change, Mulder."
"I . . . I don't understand."
She sighed, "I know where I've been the last few weeks now. I also know there's a letter of resignation on my computer, waiting for me to return from Denver."
"Res - resignation?"
"Working for the VCS wasn't right for me. It wasn't . . . exciting."
"Being in an explosion?"
"That's not the kind of explosion I need." She refused to look at him.
"Um." He nuzzled her neck, and let his hands move down her body stroking her flat belly on their way farther south.
"Mu - Mulder."
"Do you want me to stop?"
The negative motion of her head was almost imperceptible. He continued his exploration, enjoying the movement of her body against his straining erection as she helped him pleasure her.
His finger brushed through her curls and outlined the opening of her core. When she didn't protest, he slipped a finger inside, then two. She moaned softly and he moved inside of her. He took his time, bringing her almost to the peak several times, until she whimpered. He took pity on her then, pressing firmly on that bundle of nerves and felt her buck against him as pleasure took over her body.
She seemed to come forever, murmuring his name as she rode the waves of her orgasm. When she finally collapsed bonelessly against him, he held her close.
He continued to hold her as she got her breath back, then carefully laid her back as he exited the tub. He wrapped a towel around himself, then knelt beside the tub and rinsed her off. After letting the water out, he helped her from the tub and seated her on the side. He dried her carefully, then lifted her into his arms and carried her to the bed.
She looked up at him, bending over her. "I'll be back in just a minute."
He glanced down and she took his hand. "Here. Stay here."
With her free hand she took hold of the towel that he wore, and let it fall to the floor. She moved over in the bed to give him room. "Scully. You're not - "
"Do it here. Let me watch."
"Watch?" He swallowed, observing her.
Her hand caressed his chest, lightly brushing his nipple. She saw him twitch at her attentions, and her eyes smiled. He was right about one thing, they were good together, damn him.
His hand closed around his straining member and she wrapped her own hand around his. The first strokes were long and slow and his eyes closed to savor the sensations. Her free hand continually teasing his nipple.
This wasn't going to take long. He could still feel her slick body pressed up against his in the tub. His pace increased and his eyes opened to watch her watching him. That was all it took, he could feel his release from his toes. His balls tightened to near pain, "Scullly!"
Her eyes widened as she saw him come and come. Surely the world had gone into slow motion, for him to come this long. His head fell back and his eyes locked on hers. They stared at each other for the longest time, then she started to rise from the bed. He clutched her arm.
"I'm not going anywhere." She lifted the towel from the floor and cleaned him up. He watched her quietly, his eyes never leaving her face as she leaned over him.
"Scully - "
"I'm not going anywhere." He finally nodded, understanding the words. She crawled back into the bed with him and pulled the sheet up over both of them. Things still needed to be worked out, but she realized now, nothing would be simple with them. They would always have conflict. That was the way they were, but they were right together.
Fighting, loving, just being together - it was right. She sighed and relaxed into the comfort of his arms. She'd still fight against him going off into danger without her, but she just couldn't turn off her feelings for this man. And it seemed to be the same for him.
As though he heard her thoughts, he gathered her closer to him. "I'm not going anywhere either."
She nodded and closed her eyes.
Links to other sites on the Web
Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.