He could feel her fingers digging into his shoulders but there was no pain. He pulled her even closer; if he had the choice he would have never released her. His terror was too close, too raw. Seeing her on the floor, soaked in blood . . . He shuddered at the memory.
She pulled back slightly then and looked at him. No words were spoken; they were unnecessary. Her own terror was still visible in her eyes and she didn’t let go of him. After a moment, he brushed the hair from her brow, noting the blood spattered on her throat and in her hair.
He lifted her into his arms and moved her to the couch, elevating her feet and caressing her face once again. “Just relax; I’m going to call 911.”
She grabbed his hand as he started to move away. “No. Don’t call anyone.”
“I have to. You lost a lot of blood.”
“Would you let me get away with that?” He leaned over and kissed her brow. “I have to know you’re okay.”
She reluctantly nodded, but held onto his hand until he was out of reach. He grabbed up the mobile phone and returned to her side.
He moved the equipment they had used to watch Padgett into the other room, then they sat quietly, not talking, just being in each other’s arms. They heard the approaching sirens and when the noise ground to a halt, he helped her recline and went to open the door.
The EMTs hurried off of the elevator and spotted him motioning to them. The police were right behind them. Mulder saw eyes widen at her blood soaked clothing, but professionalism took over immediately. The police stayed with him and began their questioning.
“What?” The cop came to attention.
“There’s a, a suspect in the basement. I left him there when I heard the shots.”
“My neighbor, Philip Padgett. He was working with whoever attacked Agent Scully.”
Mulder nodded, then looked over at Scully. “I didn’t hear him return. We need to get out an APB on him.”
“You say he was in the basement? Let’s go check.”
“I can’t leave.”
“Mulder, it’s okay. See if you can find him.” Their eyes said much more, but after a moment he nodded.
He finally turned back to the officer. “Come on, I need to get back.” He led the way to the elevator and jabbed the button to the basement. The door to the furnace was still open and one or two sheets of partially burnt manuscript had fluttered out. But what caught both of their attention was the man lying on the floor.
Mulder stood near the door, as the officer approached the body. There was no doubt he was dead. His hand held a human heart.
“What the hell is this?” The policeman turned to Mulder.
Mulder shook his head.
“Come on, who is this guy? What do you know?”
“His name is Philip Padgett. He’s my neighbor, well he was.” Mulder took a deep breath.
“I need to get some help over here. You said he was working with the man that assaulted your partner?”
“That was the angle we were investigating.”
“Well someone did this to him. He didn’t pull out his own heart.”
“Do you see a wound?”
“What?” The cop’s head swiveled back and he moved closer. “Is that not his heart?”
“Yeah, I’m sure it’s his.”
“What the hell are you saying?” Anger now dominated the officer’s voice.
“Nothing. Call in and have them come check this out. I need to get back to Scully.”
“Wait a minute!”
“Listen, he’s not going anywhere. I’ll send one of the EMTs down to pronounce him if you want.”
“If I . . . yeah, sure. Send my partner down too. We’re gonna need a statement.”
Mulder nodded, “tomorrow.” Without waiting for an answer, he turned then and headed for the elevator. Padgett had killed himself, though they’d probably never be able to prove it. There would be yet another ‘unsolved’ case in the X-Files but he knew what had happened. That’s what mattered, that and the fact that the son of bitch hadn’t succeeded in killing Scully.
Mulder stopped just outside his door and drew a deep breath. She was alive, Padgett hadn’t killed her. He stilled the shaking in his hands by sheet force and opened the door.
There was an argument going on. He gave the second cop and EMT the message about Padgett, then he moved quickly to Scully’s side. He shot a glance to the paramedic. “What? Is she okay?”
“I am.” She was holding a bottle and took another sip.
Mulder took a seat beside her, but continued to look at the paramedic. The younger man shrugged. “There’s no wound, I don’t . . .”
“Does she need to be in a hospital?”
“Anyone who’s lost the volume of blood I’m seeing should be checked out further,” he answered.
“What should she do to build her blood back up?”
“Finish that drink to get her electrolytes back up, push other fluids. She could be anemic, she really should - “
“I’m not going.”
Mulder relented for now. Taking her to the hospital would separate her from him and he wasn’t ready for that. “I’ll keep an eye on her. I can bring her in if she needs it.”
The EMT hesitated, then began packing up his kit. After a couple of warnings about palpitations and shortness of breath, he went to meet his partner. Once Mulder shut the door, he disconnected his phone and turned off his cell, then he returned to her.
“Talk to me. Are you really - “
“Mulder, what happened downstairs?”
“Padgett’s dead.” He took her hand, “don’t worry. I’ll handle the police tomorrow.”
She closed her eyes and nodded, “I want, I want to get out of here. I want to go home.”
“Maybe you should - “
“I need . . . Please.”
He nodded, he understood. He rose then and got her a warm cloth to rinse off her face and picked up his coat. It would cover her and now that she mentioned it, getting away from here might be a good idea.
He slipped on his leather jacket, then helped her to her feet and wrapped his coat around her. She leaned heavily against him. “Do you want me to carry you?”
She shook her head, so he tightened his arm around her and supported her to the car. Mulder helped her into the front seat and she closed her eyes. He reached across her and buckled her in.
He hurried around the car and let himself in. Her eyes were still closed, “Scully?”
She turned and looked at him, but didn’t speak. He took her hand and brought it to his lips, then lay it gently on his thigh. He covered it with his own hand and she gave a tiny nod. He squeezed her hand, then pulled out into traffic. She left her hand on his leg, seeming to need the contact as much as he did.
They were silent on the way to her apartment. When her hand trembled, he covered it again and held it until they reached her place.
She seemed to be leaning even more heavily against him when he let her into her apartment. He seemed to be fully supporting her by the time they reached her couch. He took his coat from around her shoulders, then lifted her feet to the couch and removed her boots. “Just relax.”
“I need to clean up.”
“I’ll run you a bath.”
She shook her head, looking down at her blood soaked clothing, “No, a shower.”
He nodded, that was understandable. “Just rest, I’ll get it started.” Still he didn’t leave her side.
She touched his cheek with her free hand and he was able to move again. After he squeezed her fingers lightly, he moved to her kitchen and brought her a glass of water. “Scully, I need to run out to the car for a minute. I’m not leaving.”
She nodded and closed her eyes. She heard him return and looked toward him. He pressed a kiss on her forehead, then he continued to her bathroom, turned on the water, and laid out a clean towel for her.
When he returned, he helped her to her feet and walked her to the bathroom. She leaned heavily against him and he relished the fact. She seemed at a loss once they got there. He seated her on the toilet and after meeting her eyes, began unbuttoning her blouse.
She said nothing, watching him, trusting him. He pulled the tacky blouse from her and after an almost imperceptible nod, reached around her and also removed her blood soaked bra. He slipped her slacks and underwear down, and helped her to her feet. Her knees buckled then and he grabbed her, seating her again.
She shook her head, “I’m not sure . . . “
“Not a problem.” He tugged his t-shirt off over his head. He hadn’t realized how bloody his own clothes had gotten from holding her against him. His jeans joined her slacks on the floor and he lifted her into his arms.
“Shh. Just lean on me.” He stepped into the shower wearing only his boxers and let the warm water envelop them. She rested her head on his chest and made no protest. After a few minutes Mulder picked up the shampoo and gently soaped her hair.
He rinsed it carefully and then began soaping her body. He moved gently over her breasts. There was no sign of a wound. He met her eyes when he looked up again. She looked nervous, but not frightened.
“I won’t hurt you.”
“I know that,” she said softly.
When she was clean, he lifted her from the shower and sat her again on the toilet. He dried her gently, carefully with the towel he’d laid out. He fluffed her hair with a second towel, then wrapped it around her. He grabbed another towel off the back of the bathroom door and slipped it around his waist to get her some clothing.
He returned quickly with a navy t-shirt, FBI in white letters across the front. He moved to slip it over her head, but she leaned back. “No, I don’t want . . . not FBI. One of your gray shirts, please.”
He blinked, “Do you have one?”
She nodded, “In the second drawer.”
He looked into her eyes, but just nodded and returned to her bedroom to get the shirt.
Back at her side, he slipped the soft gray t-shirt over her head. “How are you feeling?”
“Better,” but she made no move to stand.
“I’m going to get dressed. Just sit here; I’ll be right back.”
She nodded and watched him leave the small room. He didn’t close the door and she could see him as he moved around. She realized that he had gone to the car to retrieve his overnight bag. He wasn’t planning to leave her alone tonight. That relaxed her even more and she ran her hand through her wet hair. She picked up the towel he had discarded to dry it.
He returned shortly, wearing sweat pants and a shirt matching hers. He squatted in front of her, his eyes checking her out again.
He rose and moved to take her back in his arms. “Mulder, I need to see if I can walk.”
He nodded, but still took hold of her arm. They walked only as far as her bed. He sat her on the mattress, then pulled the pillows out and fluffed them up. He helped her recline.
“I’ll get you some more water - “
She reached out stopping him again. “In a minute, Mulder. Just, just sit here with me.”
He silently eased back down on the bed. When she shivered, he took both of her hands in his and rubbed them lightly. It didn’t seem to help and his concern grew.
“Scully, you should be in the hospital. I think you’re going into shock.”
“Could you h-hold me?”
Her teeth were chattering now. He pulled the covers down from under her and crawled in with her, wrapping himself around her.
That seemed to relax her and he realized shortly that she had fallen asleep. He didn’t attempt to move away. She was accepting him, accepting his help and he was going to be here.
The emotion of the day eventually caught up with him as well and he sank into oblivion beside her.
When he awoke, she was watching him. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to . . . “
She shook her head and he was quiet for a moment, waiting. “Can you tell me what happened?”
Her shudder made him sorry he had brought it up, but she took a deep breath and seemed to focus on his chest. “You ran ahead. I had just put on my boots and run to the door. When I opened it, he was standing there and pushed me back inside.” She was speaking without emotion, giving a report. “He didn’t speak but he threw me down on the floor. I had been able to grab my weapon and I fired at him, my whole clip, but it didn’t faze him. His hand . . .”
Mulder’s arm around her tightened.
“It felt like he was reaching into my chest. His fingers just passed through my flesh and then,” she swallowed and felt Mulder’s lips on her brow. “Then his hand was around my heart. He was squeezing . . . Where did he go? I passed out, I didn’t see - “
“Shh. He’s gone.”
“I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. I just want you to relax. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you.”
She did lie back for a minute, appreciating his warmth, his strength against her body. “Is it morning?”
He shook his head, and watched her cuddle in. This was different; she was truly allowing him to comfort her, to hold her. Memory of what she had on under his shirt returned to him and he moved slightly away from her. She followed, oblivious to his problem.
He took hold of her lightly and held her slightly away from him. “That, that book of his - ”
“Mulder, you know that I never - “
“Yes. I know you weren’t with Padgett. Reading it was . . . but I knew, even then it never happened.”
She seemed to relax then. “I would never . . . “
Mulder looked deeply into her eyes, “In the cell, Padgett said, he said he was mistaken. He said that you were already in love.”
She blinked but made no response.
“Are you? Are you in love?”
“Mulder - “
“I need to know.”
Slowly she nodded.
He looked frightened for an instant, then a slow grin swept his face. “Do I know him?”
“It’s not Skinner?”
Her lips curved the tiniest bit. “No. Not Skinner.”
“Frohike’s finally gotten to you,” he guessed again, mock mournfully.
She actually chuckled then. “No, but now Langly . . . “
He glared at her then and her hand came up to caress his cheek. “Scully?”
“You know exactly who I’m in love with, Mulder.”
After a moment he nodded.
“What, Mulder, what do we do this information?”
A familiar gleam appeared in his eyes. “Well, a couple of ideas occur to me.”
She seemed to chuckle, “a couple, huh?”
“Well, several actually. When you get your strength - “
He blinked, “what?”
“I want to love you now; before anything else tries to separate us.”
“Scully, you almost died - “ he broke off, saying it aloud caused physical pain, paralyzing him.
“You’ll have to be gentle.” Her hand rested on his chest now, feeling his heart beat quicken.
“You . . . you’re serious,” he breathed finally.
“Deadly.” Her eyebrow rose in challenge.
His lips parted, stunned at this revelation and she seized the moment, nipping lightly, then suckling his lower lip. The sensation traveled south instantly and instinctively he started to put a little more distance between them.
“Not this time,” she whispered into his mouth as she pressed herself against him. He moaned as she rubbed his hardness with her body. The twitch of her lips couldn’t be helped.
He growled then and captured her lips with his own. When he pulled back to allow them both a breath, her hands were tugging at his t-shirt. With a grin, he allowed her to slip it over his head. Her hands entangled with the light sprinkle of hair on his chest as though she’d finally gotten to open the present she’d been waiting for on Christmas morning.
Gentle. He could be gentle with this woman. He tilted her head up to meet his eyes. Then he gently pulled his t-shirt over her head. His hand cupped her breast and his thumb caressed her nipple. It tightened into a hard bud and his tongue flicked it.
Her breath caught as sensations coursed through her body. He covered her breasts with tiny kisses. She was whole, he could feel her heart beat against his lips. He closed his eyes for a moment to savor that.
“I . . . I love you.”
Tears welled up in her eyes. “I know,” she whispered. She held him to her for a long moment. Then she began to move under him. His response was immediate, and he took up where he had left off.
She writhed under him as he loved her body, moving down slowly, leaving a trail of kisses and caresses. The scent of her arousal intoxicated him.
“Mulder, lose the pants.”
He looked up and grinned, then obeyed her command. His sweats landed on the floor and his body molded around hers.
“Impressive, Mulder,” she nuzzled his neck.
He chuckled, but caught his breath when her hand wrapped around him. “You need to be gentle too, Scully.”
Her smile was positively evil and he knew a thrill that he was in her arms. She pressed against him.
“Inside me, Mulder,” she whispered in his ear.
His eyes closed for a moment, then he slowly entered her, their eyes locked on one another. When he was completely sheathed within her he stopped, savoring the feel of her surrounding him completely.
“I love you Mulder.”
His look of awed delight took her breath away. She had never seen him so happy. He began to move within her, slowly.
This wouldn’t be his finest work, but he couldn’t risk hurting her. Most important, it had to be good for her. He brought his fingers into play and was startled to realize she was coming already. He clamped down on control and rode her orgasm out with her.
When her breathing began to approach normal, he started to withdraw from her body. Her arms pulled him back. “We’re not through.”
“Scully, that’s enough for this time. I don’t - “
“We’re not through.” Her muscles tightened around him and his train of thought disintegrated. He began thrusting into her again, watching her as he loved her. It came to him that he had never made love to anyone before. It had always been sex; this was lovemaking.
She realized to her astonishment that she was coming again. This time he let her pull him under with her, letting go and filling her with his life.
He withdrew then, despite her protest and rolled to his back, pulling her with him. She sprawled bonelessly atop him.
“You okay?” he asked softly.
“Much better than okay.” He could hear the smile in her voice though he couldn’t see her face. He held her until her even breathing told him she had fallen asleep.
With his arms around her he let his own eyes drift closed. This woman, who had owned his heart for so long, now owned all of him. The slight smile on his face didn’t disappear as he slept with her in his arms.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.