He managed to stay in his room until he heard her moving around the next morning. Couldnít 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 didnít 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 wasnít even going to go there. But where was that damn smile coming from? It made her want to smack him, she just couldnít decide with lips or hand. Watch it Scully, youíre at work.
"Scully, I want you to do a physical exam of the man we have in custody. See if thereís anything abnormal about his spinal configuration or anything like that."
"Mulder, he is not a werewolf."
"I never meant to imply that he was. Itís not a full moon and nothing has happened since heís been in jail. No one has tried to get him out, no visitors and he hasnít asked to make a phone call. He doesnít want out. Something out here is the problem and you saw the pictures and the fingerprints. We need a scientific explanation."
She snorted, but didnít say no. He was right, nothing had happened since the man was placed behind bars. "What kind of abnormalities am I looking for?"
"I donít know, something that would make the man taller, stronger Ė "
"You want to know if he can ĎHulk outí?"
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 didnít 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 donít know." He hung his head now.
"What do you mean you donít know?"
"Sometimes I . . . I black out. I wake up in strange places, like my cell here. I donít know if I stabbed him, but if I did, Iím sorry."
"Youíre . . . youíre sorry? What about the pictures Ė whereís the man that Mulder brought in?"
He shrugged, "I donít know." He hung his head.
"Is it you?" A stupid question, but she was angry enough to ask it now.
"I donít 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. Thatís 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. Iíll 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?"
"Doesnít matter. What did you find?"
She looked at him closely. His mood had certainly changed. What was going on with him? Well, he wasnít going to speak apparently. "I want to run some tests. Heís thinking about it."
"What kind of tests?"
The transformation stunned them. Anger couldnít do that to a person, It had to be her imagination; the man couldnít have grown three inches in front of her. And his arms, they were bulging with muscles - they hadnít been. Heíd 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 wasnít 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 officerís arm to forestall him drawing his own gun as the manís grip tightened around Scullyís 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 manís 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 Mulderís arms were around her, holding her. She had one hand on the floor, the other at her throat. "Letís 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, youíre 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. Letís get out of here." He couldnít smile. The man had hurt her, nearly killed her and heíd 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 didnít 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 donít know what to say."
"Do you want me to forget it? Because I donít think I can. He came close to killing you today and I was thinking that Iíd never get the chance to tell you . . . to . . . Scully?"
She looked like a deer caught in the headlights and his heart sank. "Look, Iím sorry." He rose from the bed and turned toward his own room.
"Mul . . . Mulder, donít . . .
"Itís okay. I shouldnít have said anything. I know thatís 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? Heíd 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 Ė for the rest of her life.
How the hell had she thought that she could get away with what sheíd 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 wasnít an option. She took a deep breath and straightened her spine. She had to repair this Ė at least try to. And she had to face him Ė quickly before she lost her nerve completely.
The door wasnít 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 Ė 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 hadnít been thinking Ė sheíd been furious with him. Heíd once again gone off without her, and he could have been killed. Sheíd 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. Iím so damn sorry. I wasnít . . . "
"Sorry. Thatís how you feel? Youíre sorry about what you did?"
"I wasnít . . . 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 didnít want to identify my body. I remember that part quite clearly."
"Yes! Thatís right!" Her anger flared again. "I didnít and I donít! I never want to have to ID your body Mulder, because I never want you to die! You canít die because then I Ė "Her words stumbled to a halt.
"Because then what?" He hadnít 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 didnít help Ė 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 Ė his eyes had turned chocolate with emotion. She was lost. She loved this SOB. This wasnít like anything sheíd 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 wasnít enough Ė what then? She felt his finger tentatively tracing her cheekbone. "Scully?"
"I donít want to love you this much Mulder! Iím 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! Iíve never loved anyone the way I do you. Itís insane Ė weíre 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 Ė unwise, but sheíd 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 didnít, 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 heíd seen that monster grab her.
"You make me happy Scully. You always make me happy Ė even when weíre at each otherís throats about one of my insane theories, Iím happy. You stimulate me, you listen to me Ė Iíve told you and youíve got to hear me Ė you make me whole. For the first time in memory Iím whole and itís 100% due to you. Iím not asking for more than you can give Ė just let me stay with you. Let me love you. Iím not talking the physical here Scully. If you donít want that Ė "
"I do Mulder." She said it so quietly he thought heíd 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 Ė "
"I love you Mulder." She stated it simply, as the inevitable fact that it was.
"Stay with me tonight Scully. Iím not exactly in top form, but let me hold you tonight. Let me reassure you Ė while Iím awake and alert Ė that I wonít 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.