Skinner stopped just outside of his office and listened for a second. Mulder? He was humming? That was a first. He tapped on the door and saw Mulder’s head come up.
“You must be having a good morning.” He spoke dryly to the younger agent.
“Not bad.” But his smile grew.
“How’s she doing?”
“Well. Very well.”
“Good. She go to see Karen?” Skinner lounged on the corner of the desk.
“She’s been a couple of times. It’s helped.”
“It would be good to have her back.” Skinner noted that his smile dimmed slightly, but since his eyes had also gone to the folder in his hands, he didn’t think too much about it.
“Is that for me?”
“Uh, yeah. Four kids, murdered.” He handed Mulder the folder.
“Murdered how?” He looked up at Skinner as he opened the file.
“Bear? Wild cat?” Skinner responded.
“Werewolf?” Mulder glanced down and back up again. “Is this a joke?”
“No and they’ve requested you.”
“Wait a minute, this is in Georgia.”
“Yeah, is that a problem?” Skinner rose from the desk.
“Well, I just haven’t been out of town, I mean . . . “ He hadn’t meant to blurt that out.
“Can Scully be left alone?” Concern was clear on Skinner’s face now.
“I’m sure she . . . Yes. It just caught me off guard.”
“Are you sure? Is her mother back in town?”
“It’ll be okay. I’ll get right on this.”
Skinner looked at him for a moment longer, then nodded.
She had the key in the door when it opened. “Where have you been?”
She stepped back, startled. “I went to get my car. Remember? We talked about it.”
“Yeah, yeah, sorry.”
“What are you doing here?” It wasn’t lunchtime. Surely he hadn’t come over because he couldn’t reach her on the phone.
“Packing. Skinner gave me a case, in Georgia.”
“Georgia?” She could feel the prickles of anxiety try to work their way up her neck.
“Yeah. Scully, I don’t have to go.”
“Of course you do. It’s your job.”
He was looking at her, a little too closely. “What if you come with me?”
“You can’t take a civilian along on a case, Mulder.”
“You’re not the typical civilian, Scully. You could be a big help to me.”
“What . . . what’s the case?” She wasn’t giving in, just giving herself time to think.
He grinned, “I have a werewolf to catch.”
She chuckled then, and relaxed suddenly, “I pass, Mulder. You won’t need me on that.”
“I need you on everything, Scully.” He spoke again, suddenly serious.
She looked up at him and nodded, her finger tracing his jaw line. “Yes and no, Mulder. I’ll stay here this time. We both know I need to find out if I can. Any way that we are partners, work or . . . or otherwise, there will be times we can’t be together.”
She smiled then, “What time is your flight?”
He glanced at his watch, “I need to get moving.”
“I’ll drive you.”
After a moment he nodded and picked up his bag. When they got to her car, however, he moved toward the drivers’ side. “I’ll drive over, you can read the file and tell me what I should really be looking for.”
She took the file he handed her and following him out into the hall. “You’re just afraid of my driving.”
“Am I that obvious?” He grinned as she stuck her tongue out at him.
They discussed the case as they made their way to the airport, but it had turned to poking fun by the time they arrived. He pulled up to unload and turned to her, serious once again. “If you need anything - “
“I have your cell phone. Mulder, please don’t think of me as helpless.”
“I don’t. It’s just, damn it, I love you and I don’t want to leave.”
That brought a huge smile to her face. “Now I can get through this. Go on. I’ll feed the fish. Go.”
They both exited the car and he took her into his arms. “Mulder, someone might see us.”
“So?” He kissed her again.
“Go on, I’ll talk to you later.”
He reluctantly released her and watched her reenter the car. He stood there until she had pulled back into traffic and was out of sight. This didn’t feel right. He pulled out his cell phone as he entered the airport.
She was nestled into the couch, reading when the phone rang. “Hello?”
She laughed at that, “Haven’t had time.”
“I’ve never been so popular. Skinner’s called and Frohike. You know you could have saved some time and just paid him to come over and baby sit.”
“I would if I thought I could trust him around you.” He responded quickly.
“You really didn’t have to call out the guard. I’m doing okay. How’s the case, what do the locals say?”
“Don’t know. I just got here and checked into the Simmons Motor Lodge. It seemed the classier of the two.”
“You haven’t talked to them? Listen mister, I want you to use your silver bullet, solve the case and get your butt home.”
“Damn, I knew I forgot something. Can you overnight me the silver bullet?”
“You know you’re hopeless. Quit checking on me and get to work.”
“Yes ma’am.” He replied sheepishly. “Don’t let Frohike in if he comes over.”
“If you don’t hurry back, I make no promises.” Was her response. “Go to work, Mulder. I love you.”
He heard her break the connection before he could speak. Those words had caught him off guard. Damn right he’d get his butt home and quick!
It was several hours later when the phone rang again. “Hello?”
“It’s me again.”
“Mulder, I just got Frohike’s clothes off, this better be important.” Her voice was teasing.
“It’s business this time. And throw the pervert out of there, without his clothes.” He was delighted with the ease of her teasing, realizing he wasn’t the least bit insecure about his place in her life. “Could you get on my computer? See what I have in there on the Goodensnake case.”
“Do you think there’s a connection?” She was already moving toward the computer.
“I don’t know, it's just a feeling. The victims have been mauled. Scully, they’re kids, seven, eight years old. The townspeople are freaked.”
“Do the kids go to the same school?”
“There’s only one school here. Everyone knows everyone. I’m the only stranger in town.”
"The children, you say they were seven, eight years old. If, if Gwen had been pregnant when she left town . . . "
"How do we prove that she moved to Georgia?"
"You'd have to get someone to id her from a picture. I can contact Sheriff Tskany, see if they have one and have it faxed to you."
The weight on the bed woke her. She froze for an instant, but she had left the bathroom light on. She could see Mulder, could see how devastated he looked. “Mulder? What . . . what’s wrong? What are you doing here?”
“The case is over.”
“Over?" He'd only been gone a couple of days. She hadn't gotten the picture to him until late yesterday. "Mulder, what happened?”
He just shook his head, not answering. She sat up and let one hand caress his upper arm. He shivered at her touch, but didn’t speak.
“Mulder, talk to me. Please, you’re scaring me.”
“I’m tired, let’s just go to bed.”
She started to protest, but he had risen from the bed. He undressed in silence, letting his clothes fall to the floor. He crawled into the bed wearing only his boxers, not even bothering to turn off the bathroom light himself.
She remembered then that she was wearing only his t-shirt. It made her feel more secure, the scent of him surrounding her. And she hadn’t expected him back tonight. He didn’t seem to notice. Whatever had happened had him deep inside of himself.
He clutched her to him fiercely and her fear rose, but he didn’t want to talk, not now anyway. Her arms went around him as well. She didn’t know how to help him, and he’d done so much for her.
She held him even tighter and began rubbing his back; impulsively her lips were tasting his skin.
She felt his shuddery breath. Then he pushed her away. “Don’t.”
“Mulder, let me help you.”
He closed his eyes at that. She moved up his body and kissed his lips. “Scully, go to sleep.” He turned her away from him and anchored her with his arm.
What the hell had happened? He’d been running down a lead, with her help. It had been like old times. She’d know he was upset because the case involved children. That was always hard on him. He wasn’t asleep, she could tell that, the way his arm tightened and loosened its grip on her body.
At least he’d come to her. She was functional again, if not completely cured, because of this man. What could she do to give him comfort, give him strength? He was so precious and had given her so much for so many years.
“Mulder.” She spoke softly and his arm tightened. “Can you talk about it?” She didn’t attempt to face him.
“I don’t think so.”
“It’s what Karen would recommend.”
He sighed at that. She caressed his arm as he held her.
“Mulder, I’m here. Just like you’re always here for me.”
“I know.” It was barely a breath. She waited then, her hand now kneading his forearm.
“You guessed right. Gwen was pregnant when she left Browning. She called herself Suzanne, but that picture you faxed . . . she came to town weeks before the baby was born, and she died in childbirth.”
Her hand gripped his arm until she realized it and forced herself to relax. “They tried to find family.”
“There was none.”
“Yeah. Her daughter went into foster care, then was adopted.”
“A daughter.” Their fingers entwined at her words.
“Nothing happened until the full moon, two months ago. Then two boys were found mutilated. The girl wasn’t a suspect; it was obviously an animal attack. When it happened again at the next full moon, the jokes about a werewolf quit being funny. They asked for me because the full moon was coming and they'd still found nothing.”
“The attacks in Browning weren’t at a full moon, just after sunset.”
“I know, and no kids, no one pre-puberty. I can’t explain it. Hell, we never explained it before; it stopped because Lyle Parker was killed. But the girl, she was the killer. When they ID’d her mother, I had her confined, just in case. I wanted to keep her safe as well as the rest of the population. We saw her change, the sheriff and I. It was frightening, but the sheriff lost it. I should’ve seen it coming, anticipated it. He’s a small town sheriff, used to weekend drunks, teenagers drag racing, not an X-File.”
“But he was the law, Mulder. You couldn’t exclude him.”
“He couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He couldn’t handle it and he told his buddies. When it happened again earlier tonight . . . “
“She was a little girl, a child they had watched grow up. I don’t know if she could have been treated, but now we’ll never know.”
“What about the person who killed her?”
“Suicide. I didn’t stay, I couldn’t. Besides it’s not Bureau jurisdiction. Let the sheriff clean this one up and bury the truth, along with her.”
“I should have been there with you.”
“In a way you were and now I’m here with you.” He seemed to be slightly less tense, his muscles no longer clenched. They lay in silence for a few minutes. Then she heard him whisper, “She had long dark braids.”
A sob escaped her at that and she turned before he could stop her, pulling his face to her breast and holding him. At first he fought for composure, but then couldn’t remember why and allowed the comfort of her to seep into him and his tears flowed as well.
After a few minutes, he took a deep breath. "I couldn't save her. I can't save anyone, her, Samantha, you."
She pulled away a little then, to look in his face. "Mulder, you may have saved her. We don't know that there was any treatment. You may have saved her from untold horrors and I know you saved children that would have been killed by her in the future. As for Samantha, you were twelve years old. You were up against men that you and I are still trying to understand. You've beaten yourself up for over twenty years, and it was not your fault." She let her hand enjoy the stubble on his face for an instant.
"And then there's me. Do I really have to tell you how many times you've saved me? The Antarctic, Pfaster, Schnauz, Padgett, cancer! Mulder, that doesn't count the times you've saved my sanity, on the case with Fellig, when I found Emily, and now, Mulder. Now."
He pulled her back to him. "Think about it Mulder. Who do I always turn to, count on?"
"But I let you down."
"Not yet you haven’t. Even when I've been furious at you, for putting yourself in danger, for some ‘out there’ idea, for ditching me, you're still the one I need, the one I want."
He shook his head, "I'm never going to understand that."
"Then just go with it. If you need to, visualize me as you found me in California. I know I'm not back to 100% Mulder, but we worked together on this case, we were in synch again, and look at where we are now."
Without thought he glanced down at their bodies intertwined on the bed and his body reacted immediately. He started to move away from her, but she moved with him, maintaining contact. “Scully.” His voice was deep and rough.
“Yes Mulder.” She responded innocently.
“Don’t do this.”
“I think I’m ready Mulder. And I’m pretty sure you are. Why not take this opportunity to heal each other?”
He blinked at her, trying to process the words, shaking his head.
“Mulder, this needs to be spontaneous for me. If we plan, take time to think it out, I’ll think too much. I’ll . . . please?”
A smile started on his face then, “I don’t think any woman has ever asked me before. It feels good.”
She rolled her eyes. “All you need is more ego where women are concerned.”
“Oh yeah, my track record with women - that should be in the hall of fame.” But somehow his hand had found it’s way under his t-shirt and against the skin of her back. “Breathe Scully.”
She gave a shaky chuckle at that. “Maybe spontaneity won’t work.”
He started to remove his hand at those words; her own hand stopped him. “But that feels good.”
His eyes lightened, but the smile didn’t reach his lips.
“Mulder, if I . . . if I can’t . . . “
“Scully, you can stop this at any point. You can even ask me to sleep on the couch, but I hope you won’t.”
“I won’t.” Her hand teased the hair on his chest and she felt an increase in his arousal against her thigh. She drew his hand to her breast and he cupped it, his thumb brushing against her nipple.
It hardened into a bud immediately.
He sighed then, and his lips began nipping at her own. He began moving down her throat and she purred at his attentions. His hands then took hold of the hem of his t-shirt. His eyes asked the question and she gave a tiny nod.
He carefully lifted it over her head and his eyes grazed her body. “Breathe Mulder.”
He grinned then. “You’re beautiful. I’ve always imagined this, but the reality - “
“You’ve imagined this?”
“Those night I did actually get some sleep, how did you think that happened?”
She blushed at those words and managed to let her hand move down on his abdomen. He hissed at that and his eyes closed. She hooked her thumbs in the waistband of his boxers, and after a quick glance at his face, tugged them off. He sprang free and she tried to hide her gasp.
“My imagination isn’t as good as I thought it was.”
“Is that a good thing?”
“An incredible thing.” She tentatively let her hand caress his cock and she felt him grow even larger. She forced herself not to withdraw.
“Scully? This is enough for now.”
She shook her head, “Touch me.”
He hesitated, searching her eyes.
He let his hand caress it’s way down her side, cupping her ass in his hands, pressing her more firmly against his erection.
She took a deep breath and then relaxed into his caress. “Touch me Mulder.” She repeated, her voice deep with emotion this time.
He let his finger stroke her opening which was already slick with her juices. She might not be ready for this, but her body was. Her body wanted him. Slowly and deliberately he entered her with one finger, then a second.
She was holding her breath but her body wasn’t tense. He had never been more aware of her, of her body language. At the slightest sign of discomfort from her, he would break this off, regardless of his own state.
But so far, there had been no discomfort. In fact she seemed to be purring. Regardless, looking after her was the most important thing and whether she knew it or not, taking him out of himself, making him responsible for her was the best thing for him right now.
Her hand took hold of his cock and he closed his eyes to attempt to regain control. He covered her hand with his own. “No, Scully. Let me do this.”
“I want - “
“Scully, please. Let me pleasure you. Later, this is about you..”
“Mul – “ His fingers moved again and she lost her train of thought. That brought a smile to his face.
Without stopping his movement within her, he took her nipple into his mouth and teased it. As he found that bundle of nerves, he pressed gently and felt her tense, but knew it was not in fear, not this time.
And she was coming in his arms. Dana Scully, coming because of him. This was light years better than any fantasy he had ever enjoyed.
She wasn’t sure she could remain conscious as the intense waves of pleasure coursed through her. She clung to him as to a life raft, the only thing of substance on the planet.
When her shudders began to subside she became aware of his hand, gentling her, his voice murmuring in her ear. The words didn’t matter; it was Mulder’s voice.
“Well, Agent Scully, you seemed to be enjoying yourself.”
He’d never seen that particular smile on her face. But he knew it was one he would never forget. He’d waited his whole life to see that look. And it had been worth the wait.
“You doing okay?”
“Okay doesn’t really cover it, Mulder.” Her voice was so husky, so . . . sexy.
His own face broke into a smile then. “You should get some rest.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt so rested.” Her hand caressed his lower abdomen then and then traced the length of him.
“N - no Scully. Not tonight.”
“It’s morning Mulder.”
“You know what I mean.”
“And you know what I mean. You haven’t finished what we started.”
“We have time Scully.”
“I’ve already waited a lifetime for you Mulder. And you’ve proven you can make things right for me. Why shouldn’t I want to make things right for you?”
“I just don’t want to push things.”
Now that was an expression he was used to. She wasn’t planning to let him off the hook without a thorough explanation. And this time he didn’t have one. He just didn’t want to rush her.
From the determination of her onslaught on his manhood, rushing her didn’t seem to be a problem.
“Scu - Scully, I don’t have any protection here. It hasn’t really been necessary.”
“And it isn’t necessary now, Mulder. We’ve both been tested countless times and you’re not going to get me pregnant, so . . . “
He was beginning to forget why he was reluctant in the first place, as the blood left his brain for more southern regions. She was playing dirty now and he wanted her more than he thought possible.
“Mulder, please . . . “
That was the last straw for him. He allowed her to guide him to her core. As he entered her slowly, he felt her tense for the first time. He immediately began to retreat from her.
He looked deep into her eyes then and realized that she was as afraid of stopping as she was to continue.
“Scully, I love you.”
“I know.” She barely got the words out, but he heard them in his heart. Her arms tightened around him. After a long hesitation, he nodded and entered her slowly.
When he was sheathed in her body, he paused to give her time to adjust to him. Then he began to slowly thrust into her. At first she was hesitant, just accepting his movements but then he realized that she was moving with him, meeting his thrusts with increasing acceptance.
She was watching him; her eyes open as though making sure it was really him over her.
He hadn’t anticipated how tight, how hot she was, and he was already struggling for control. “Come inside of me Mulder.”
Words he had given up hoping to hear from her. And they were his undoing. His thrusts became erratic and he was coming and coming. Damn he could feel it from his toes.
His arms were trembling, but even now with the small part of his brain that was still functioning, he knew better than to collapse on her, or restrict her in any way.
He managed to roll; keeping her impaled and let her sprawl bonelessly atop him. Neither spoke, both attempting to regain their breath.
“Scully, are you okay?”
She buried her face in his chest. “Wow.” She murmured against him.
“Is that a good wow?”
She chuckled. “Yeah, that’s a good wow. It’s already dawn, Mulder. You should get some rest.”
“What about you?”
“I slept before you got here. Let me just be here with you.”
He nodded, the emotions had exhausted him, and now the adrenaline was leaving his system and his eyes were closing.
After a few moments his even breathing told her that he had indeed fallen asleep. She pressed her ear to his chest and listened as his heart rate slowed to a more normal range. When she was sure he was deeply asleep, she rose from his body and moved toward the bathroom.
He immediately reached out, looking for her in the bed. “I’ll be right back.” She whispered to him.
He didn’t seem to wake, but relaxed and sank deeper into sleep. She slipped into the bathroom and closed the door, flipping on the light. She stood in front of the mirror for a long moment, then leaned in to get a closer look at her face.
She jumped violently, her hand to her chest. “God, Mulder, don’t do that.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to . . . what’s wrong?”
“Did I hurt you? Scully, talk to me.”
“You didn’t hurt me.”
“But something’s wrong.”
She shook her head. He reached for her, then stopped.
“Is it . . . is it still okay for me to touch you?” The tears in her eyes froze the blood in his veins. He wanted to speak, but nothing would come.
She recognized the fear and stepped toward him, her arm snaking around his waist. “What we did, it was perfect Mulder. I think that’s what scares me.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I’m not sure I do. I guess I just wanted to see if I looked any different.”
“Whole, happy, comforted.”
“When I came in here, the last thing you looked was happy.” But he allowed his own arms to go around her now, as much to reassure him as her.
“Do I deserve happiness? Your comfort?”
“Do I? Does anyone? But Scully, you’ve got it. We’ve got it. Maybe this is what we should talk to Karen about, together.”
She did smile then, a smile that encompassed her whole face and seemed to spill over to his. “What? Scully, what did I say?”
“Together. I’m beginning to think we can work this out.”