"Maybe the fog is lifting, just a little." He heard the words in his mind. She'd been wrong, he was as thick-headed as ever and he'd lost his opportunity. He shivered, hell he'd almost lost everything.
She was resting now, asleep. The doctor said her recovery was amazing. But there shouldn't have had to be a recovery. Shot by her partner.
Mulder felt a moment of near pleasure as he remembered Ritter's face. "You're a lucky man." The asshole didn't have a clue how lucky. If she had, had died, he would have killed him. That was a given, nothing they might have done to him would have touched him with her gone.
He let his face fall into his hands. Scully had told Sheila that something would click and a friend would suddenly become the only one you could see yourself with. That had happened for him years ago. He just hadn't acted on it.
He was familiar with rejection. But not rejection from her. That he couldn't take. So the big, brave FBI agent hid behind his sarcasm and innuendos and took what she offered, grateful for that.
"Mulder? You okay?"
He jerked upright. "Scully, yeah, I'm fine. I didn't mean to wake you. Can I get you anything?"
Her eyes scanned him, but she didn't call him on the lie. She'd used it herself often enough.
"I don't need anything, Mulder. Why don't you go get some sleep?"
He shook his head, "Nyah, I'm good here."
She didn't argue, truth was she wanted him here. She hadn't said it out loud, she couldn't, but she was freaked by what had happened and his presence was comforting. The problem was, he was so guilty.
Scully reached out and took his hand. "I need you rested. I'll need your help tomorrow."
He straightened up. "Sure, what?"
"I'm going home and I'll need an escort."
"Going home? What the, when was that decided?" His eyes narrowed, ready to do battle with her doctor.
"Just now." She spoke mildly. "I'm ready to get out of here."
"No. No way. Scully, you were shot. You shouldn't even . . ." His voice trailed off. 'Be alive'. No way could he say that out loud. "I don't want you moving too fast."
"I won't, but I am going home. I'll recover better there. The doctor said I was out of danger. I just need to rest and recuperate."
He opened his mouth to protest further, but she squeezed his hand. "Maybe you could stay over at my place a couple of days, help out."
His mouth snapped shut. Her place? She would allow him to look after her?
"We need to see what the doctor says." He finally responded.
"I'm a doctor." She reminded him with a smile.
"You're my doctor. I'm not sure I trust you for someone as important as my partner."
Unexpected moisture came to her eyes, but she blinked it away. "Did you just insult me?"
"Never. Close your eyes, Scully. Rest and get strong for me." He rose and loomed over her for a minute, then pressed his lips to her forehead, and then to her fingers.
The tears were back in her eyes. She nodded and carefully shifted to her side, the pain less than it had been even earlier this evening.
He watched as she got comfortable, then took his seat beside her again.
He glanced over at her. She was asleep, the seat reclined. The doctor hadn’t been happy. In fact he’d been downright unhappy. It had crossed Mulder’s mind that he wanted to keep Scully to examine her more thoroughly, maybe write up her incredible recovery. He had forced her to sign out against medical advice, which hadn’t fazed Scully at all.
The doctor had been adamant about her not getting on a plane, something about the air pressure. Whatever, now they were in his rental car, headed home.
The doctor had advised that they stop every hour of so, for her to walk a little. Scully hadn’t said too much until they were in the car. The first time he’d slowed down, she had put her hand on his arm. “The more we stop, the later we’ll be getting home.”
“We can drive half way, then - “
“Mulder, I want to sleep in my bed tonight. If you get tired, I’ll take over driving.”
He looked over and saw that she was serious. “That’s okay. We’ll keep going for awhile. But we’ll stop for a leisurely lunch.”
“Okay, we can do that. I'll just relax now.”
He had kept his eye on her, but she seemed to be resting comfortably. When he did turn off the highway, she stirred. “Don’t argue, Scully.” He spoke when she glanced over at him. “It’s time for lunch.”
She glanced at her watch, then looked back at him, eyebrow raised. “ ?”
“I didn’t eat enough breakfast. Besides, you’ll like this place. It has a 40+ item salad bar.” He grinned at her.
She couldn’t help it, she chuckled at his enthusiasm. “Fine. But we don’t have to stay here all day.”
“Of course not. And this way we beat the crowd.”
She shook her head, but didn’t protest.
He hurried around the car, to help her out and she allowed it, even leaning slightly against him walking in. His arm around her felt good. He watched her eat, only remembering to eat himself when she reminded him.
She dozed off and on the rest of the way home, but seemed okay when they reached her place. He carried both of their bags inside, though she had reached for hers. The look he gave her actually caused her to blush.
At his insistence she got ready for bed, while he fixed something for dinner from her freezer. He had planned to take a tray in to her, but she sat at the table and just looked at him until he looked away and served the meal.
Once she had eaten, he did insist that she go rest. He cleaned the kitchen and went to check. She was in bed, but reading one of her journals.
“You’re supposed to be sleeping.” He sat beside her on the bed.
“I slept the whole way home.” She groused.
“You left the hospital against medical advice.” He lifted the journal from her hands. “You need to lie down and get comfortable. I’ll get your medicine.”
She rolled her eyes, but decided not to give him any grief, just relaxing back against the pillows. It was kind of nice being pampered by him.
Once he had her tucked in, he got ready for bed himself, pj bottoms and a t-shirt, though he was far from sleep. He retrieved a blanket and pillow from the linen closet and made himself comfortable on the couch. He surfed the channels with the sound turned low, but nothing caught his attention so he snapped it off.
He flipped through the magazines on her coffee table, all AMA journals. He needed to give her a subscription to Cosmo for her birthday, they could both enjoy that.
Finally he gave up all pretense of trying to sleep. He wanted to watch her breathe and revel in each breath.
He carefully let himself into her room and took the small chair by the window. The chair might not be the most comfortable, but he wanted to be here. His eyes finally grew heavy and his chin sank to his chest.
He was awake instantly. "Yeah, Scully. Are you okay?"
"Well I am, but you won't be, sleeping there. Why are you there?"
He shrugged. "I wanted to be able to hear you if you needed anything."
She didn't point out that he was literally only a couple of yards closer than the couch. He was here for himself as much as for her. She knew that and accepted, even appreciated it.
She turned her bedside lamp on the lowest setting, then sat up against the headboard. "There is one thing you could do for me."
"Sure." He was already on his feet.
"You could change my dressing for me."
He hesitated, hadn't she done that when she got ready for bed? And, and the location of her wound . . . "Sure," he heard himself say. "I'll get the stuff."
She nodded and watched him leave to gather up the bandages and cream. Okay, yes, she'd admired his ass in those pj's as he went.
When he returned, he sat beside her on the bed, putting the materials on the bedside table. He turned to her and she lifted her pajama top to give him access, exposing the bottom curve of her breasts along with the bandage. He couldn't stop the involuntary glance and could only hope she didn't notice that his hands were trembling slightly.
He carefully pulled the tape from her skin to remove the bandage, then stopped. He stared at her body for a long moment, then looked up to meet her eyes. Neither spoke, but his hand came up, his fingertips barely touching her skin. She shivered at the feel of his feather-like caress and her breathing grew shallow.
"I don't know, Mulder."
"You're healed. There's almost no mark, no . . . "
"It's even better now than it was when I got ready for bed. I can't explain - "
"Fellig. Fellig did this. He saved you."
"Mulder - "
"He saved you. That's all that matters, Scully. The how, the why - I don't care. He saved you. You're alive and you're here."
"And you're here." She spoke softly.
His eyes widened at her tone and he realized again his proximity to her full and perfect breasts. Was she . . . was she giving him another chance?
She shivered again at the sound of him, his want, his need undisguised this time. She moved closer to him. He wanted to pull her against him.
Instead he leaned down and his lips pressed lightly against the faint bruise that was all that was left from what should have been a fatal wound. Her breath caught at the feel of his lips against her skin. She reclined, pulling him down with her, her breasts becoming more exposed with the movement.
She hadn’t pushed him away, she hadn’t slapped his face. He nuzzled her breasts. She gasped then, but with delight, entangling her hand in his hair.
He hesitated, pulling back slightly, sitting beside her, but leaning close. “Scully, we shouldn’t . . . you - “
“Mulder, when I was lying there, waiting for the ambulance . . . Fellig was dead beside me. One thought kept running through my head. 'Wasted'.”
His guilt took an immediate leap. Yes, wasted was a good word for what he had done to her life.
She saw that and continued. “I’d wasted my chance and I was never going to see you again. I was going to die alone and I’d wasted all that time.”
His grip on her had tightened at the word ‘die’, but he was confused now. Wasted all that time?
“I’m healed. You saw it yourself, Mulder. I, I need to tell you something.”
She saw the concern on his face. Her hand came up to caress it away.
“Do you remember that letter we got from Sheila? When you found out what she and I had discussed?”
He blinked, he’d been thinking about that just last night. After a moment he nodded slowly.
"Mulder, what if I told you that I’d had that moment. That I can’t imagine being with anyone but you."
His eyes closed for an instant. "I'd say, 'finally'."
Her look of wonder caused a smile on his face. "Finally?"
"I had that epiphany years ago, Scully. I've just been waiting for - "
He didn't get a chance to finish that sentence as her hand caressed his cheek and he leaned into it. What did she want? Her eyes smiled then and she let her lips lightly touch his. He let his eyes close as he deepened the kiss. She tasted cool and sweet and Scully, just as he’d always imagined. His hand caressed her back, the skin smooth and warm beneath his hand.
She slid down in the bed, leading him down beside her. She pressed against the hard length of his body and her leg brushed his cock.
He broke the kiss then, pulling away from her. “Scully, we . . . you just got out of the hospital.”
“Yes, from a bullet wound that’s completely healed. I’m healed. I . . . I don’t want to wait any more.” She pressed against him again.
He groaned into her mouth and she smiled.
He moved away long enough to lose his t-shirt and unbutton her top. His eyes caressed her body.
“I, I just want to, to look at you. I need to believe this is real, not some dream.”
“It’s not a dream, Mulder.”
He pressed himself against her and heard her breath catch.
He moved down her body, licking, tasting her. And she wasn’t pulling away. She was allowing him this pleasure. He felt like he’d been given the keys to paradise.
She let her eyes slide closed, feeling the stubble from his face lightly caress her inner thigh, then his face nuzzling her curls. She remembered overhearing a woman from the secretarial pool remarking that Mulder’s nose was too large for his face. She couldn’t be more wrong, especially the way he was using it now.
He smiled as he heard her moan. Then he slowly but surely began driving her out of her mind. His tongue, that talented tongue . . .
Then almost before she was ready, she was coming. She was coming like she had never come before. He moved quickly to take her into his arms as she shuddered. She clung to him as her body gave itself over to the delightful sensations he had brought from her.
When she finally began to come back to herself, she looked at him, tears in her eyes.
“I’ve never been more wonderful.” She answered his unspoken question.
He relaxed then, pulling her close to him. “Rest, Baby.”
“No, we’re not finished here.”
“We are for tonight. You just got out of the hospital. You - “
“Then you can be on top this once.”
“This once?” He looked at her, his eyebrow cocked.
The grin she gave him was pure evil and his pulse quickened. “Come on, Mulder. Show me what ya got.”
“Oh, so you want me.” He nuzzled her throat.
“Yeah, I think I do.” Her leg slipped between his and he knew how much she wanted him.
Both of their smiles faded as he moved over her and his cock pressed against her. Then he entered her slowly. He didn’t dare think about how long he had wanted this. He concentrated on the sensation of having her hot tightness surrounding him, wanting him.
When he was fully sheathed within her, he paused, giving her time, giving himself time. No words were spoken, but their eyes said volumes. He began moving slowly, then thrusting deeper, harder at her insistence.
He wanted this to last, to show her how important she was to him. That couldn't happen; no way could he ever convey that. But he wanted her to enjoy this, to bring her to that peak again and again, tonight and every night.
Their eyes were locked again, devouring each other as they loved. He knew she was close again, he could feel it. He brought his fingers into play, and saw her eyes widen in surprise, then her body arched and they both were lost in the wave that overtook them. Clinging to one another, submerged in each other's soul.
She was stunned that she’d come again. She rarely came at all, though she didn’t admit it. The other men that she’d had sex with, she couldn’t call them lovers, not after tonight, either hadn’t made her feel safe enough to let go, or hadn’t taken the time. She had been loved tonight in more ways than she could voice.
He left her body and collapsed beside her, still mindful of her injury. She understood, but would have relished his weight upon her. He gathered her against him, holding her close.
She brought his face to hers and kissed him, then let him rest his head on her breasts. She felt him relax into sleep, not releasing his hold of her.
She ran her hand through his hair, watching his body entwined in rest with hers. For the first time in too many years, her future seemed clear.