He heard her footsteps approaching the office and leaned back, smiling, to watch. It had never been a hardship to watch Scully - though he did not gaze at her, quite. But since returning from Kansas things had been easier between them. Nothing had been said, but she seemed to be in a better frame of mind where he was concerned, more . . . accessible. Hell, she'd even come over to his place and watched a movie last week, with no excuse of a case or anything.
She stepped into view and his smile widened. She wasn't looking up, her attention absorbed in the file she was holding. She was wearing the black pantsuit, but the blouse was that light blue thin silky one with no sleeves he'd mentioned liking one time. His favorite part was the scoop neck, though he'd never said that out loud.
His smile dimmed a little. What would he do to screw-up this ease between them this time? He was too superstitious not to know it was coming. He was famous, or infamous, for screwing things up between them. How many times had they had the beginnings of a more personal relationship? It wasn't entirely his fault a bee had stung her in his hallway, thought he had led her on that wild goose chase through Texas. And he had actually kissed her that one time, but then lost his nerve to build on it. “The world didn't end.” What a fucking lame thing to say. Why hadn't he said something about a new beginning or that he wanted to spend the next millennium with her? Because he was inept when it came to the personal; that's why. That and the fact that she was too important to screw this up.
She looked up then to see him watching her with a hint of a smile, and her own smile grew. “What?”
He opened his mouth to ask her over again, but the ringing phone stopped him.
“Hold that thought, Scully.” He advised as he reached for the receiver and was delighted to see some color creep into her face.
“Mulder.” His eyes never left hers.
He stiffened, unable to speak.
Scully took an automatic step toward him. He'd gone pale and that was definitely his panic face.
When he said nothing, she reached for the phone. That shocked him back to the present and he shook his head.
“Come on Love, am I that big a surprise?”
“Uh, it's been a while.”
“Mulder, who is it?” Scully reached for the phone again and Mulder caught her hand.
He hesitated for an instant, then mouthed, 'Phoebe' to her.
Her eyes went wide. “Phoebe Green?”
“Is that Agent Scully? Don't tell me she's still hanging around.”
Scully started to speak, but he held his hand up. Her look of concern deepened but she perched on the edge of the desk.
“What are you doing here, another arson case?”
Phoebe laughed, but there was an edge to it. “No Deary. I'm in the colonies for a training exchange. I just wanted to look up an old friend.”
He was silent at that.
“Anyway, I'm in New York. I'm taking the shuttle down to DC in a little while. I thought you could pick me up at National or whatever you're calling it this week. Around 7:30?”
“I don't - “
“It's been a long time, Mulder. Surely you could find a little time for me.”
Mulder closed his eyes for a moment, then took a deep breath. “What's your flight number?”
He felt Scully tense beside him, but couldn't force his eyes to meet hers. He scribbled the number on the pad.
“Yeah, okay. I'll try to be there.”
“I'm looking forward to it Love.” She broke the connection before he could.
Finally he looked up into the totally disbelieving face of one outraged Dana Scully.
“You're going to meet her?”
“She, uh, she - “
“Fine.” Scully rose from the desk and headed for the door.
“Come with me.” He blurted it out without thinking.
“What?” The look of incredulity would have been funny in other circumstances.
“We could have dinner.”
“The three of us? No thank you. I'll see you tomorrow.”
“Scully - “ But she was already out the door.
He fell back in the chair. Shit, he'd known, hadn't he? Something would happen to mess them up.
The light gone from his day, he completed the report he'd started and then pretended to check through files until five o'clock. He headed home then, to change. Why wear a tie? Being around Phoebe was choking enough.
He made it to the airport with little time to spare. For once he was grateful for the heavy traffic. He made his way to the waiting area. Anyone watching would think he was here to pick up his mother-in-law or maybe the coffin of a deceased friend. He took a seat off to the side and waited.
He saw her emerge from the plane. She really hadn't changed much, maybe a little harder around the eyes, but still trim, in good shape and damn sure of herself.
Mulder forced himself to his feet and the movement caught her eye. She smiled, but it dimmed when unanswered.
She approached him and leaned in to kiss him. He turned his head at the last minute and her lips grazed his cheek.
She pouted slightly as she moved back. “You could have shaved.”
“Didn't think I'd be that close,” was his response.
Phoebe decided to ignore that. “Why is it that blokes just get more handsome every year, while the ladies . . . “ She trailed off, but he didn't respond to the hint.
“How long will you be here?”
“A week. I would extend it a couple of days if I need to.”
He ignored that. “Let's get your luggage. Where are you staying?”
“Your place taken?”
“All right." She snapped. "Listen, if it was this much trouble you could have - “
“Sorry. It was just a surprise hearing from you.”
“So the rudeness is an act?”
“Let's get your things, then maybe we can grab a quick bite.”
She bristled again, “If you have plans . . . “
“They weren't concrete.” He was moving toward baggage pickup and she had to move to keep up.
“With Agent Scully?”
“Phoebe.” The tone was warning.
“Is she that jealous of you?”
“She has no reason to be jealous.” Well that at least was true, even if what Phoebe heard wasn't exactly what Scully would have meant.
“Oh, you're going to be jolly fun tonight.”
“If you'd rather be alone . . . “
She took a deep breath. “Let's try to have a nice evening. Okay?”
“Okay.” He kept moving.
Scully let herself into her apartment and slammed the door behind her. She was furious - with herself.
What the hell had she been thinking? What if he'd seen her? She was a fool, a lucky one, but a fool nonetheless. He was an experienced agent, moreso than her. And she thought she could successfully keep him under surveillance? He'd come so close to looking straight at her while waiting for the luggage.
Okay, she'd gotten away with it once. She wouldn't try it again.
She was jerking off her clothes, t-shirt, jeans, tennis shoes. She'd blended pretty well, but she'd had no right. If Mulder wanted to see Phoebe, hell, if he wanted to sleep with her, she had no right to say anything. Even the thought made her stomach hurt. Damn it! She threw a shoe across the room.
What she'd said to Sheila, even as the words emerged from her mouth, they had sounded so . . . right. Maybe she and Mulder weren't exactly where Holman and Sheila were, but there wasn't anyone else for either of them. They just needed to admit it, right? They'd had a good time over at his place, just being together. How long was the British tramp going to be here?
But . . . how did she feel, how should she react to his actions? She'd seen him jerk away when Phoebe had tried to kiss him. He wasn't interested in Phoebe. She knew that, didn't she?
Scully grabbed her kimono and wrapped it around her.
The knock at the door startled her. “Who is it?”
Even she winced at her tone.
He hesitated before answering. She sounded furious. But he'd already knocked. “It, uh, it's Mulder.”
She froze for an instant, then moved toward the door and opened it.
“Hi. I guess I should've called first. I'm sorry.”
“It's . . . it's okay. Uh, come in.”
“Thanks.” He stepped inside, but wouldn't meet her eyes.
“What are you doing here? I thought . . . “
“We, Phoebe and I, had a quick dinner and I dropped her at her hotel.”
“Then you came here?”
“Yeah, sorry, I just . .. I should go. I don't know what I was . . . I'll see you in the morning.” He turned toward the door.
He stopped and turned toward her. She brushed her fingers against his cheek, then looked down at them.
He froze and the color seemed to drain from his face.
“Scully, I - “
“It's not my shade.”
He blinked then, but couldn't think of anything to say.
She rose onto her tiptoes and lightly brushed her lips against his. “That's my shade.”
It took about a heartbeat for him to catch up. She watched his eyes go from a muddy sort of brown to a brighter green than she'd ever seen.
In one movement he had his arms around her, lifting her to his lips.
When they broke for breath, somehow they were on the couch and she was reclining on him. She rose up on her forearms and looked down at him. It was kind of nice seeing Mulder at a loss for words. “So, how long is your girlfriend in town?”
He literally sputtered then, “She is not - “
Her lips cut him off and he lost his train of thought.
“She's not, huh? So, who is?”
“Umm, you busy?”
She pulled away then and sat up. “Scully?”
“I think maybe we need to slow down.”
“Slow down?” He sat up as well and grabbed a throw pillow for his lap. She decided to ignore that.
“We can't . . . I mean, just because Phoebe's in town is no reason . . . “ She stumbled through the sentence. What kind of can of worms had she opened?
“No reason.” He tried to nod. Why wasn't he getting his breath back?
She struggled to hide her smile, turning slightly away, but he took her chin into his hand and turned her back to him.
“She wouldn't be the reason, Scully.”
“Are you sure?”
“I'm absolutely positive on my side.”
“Why? You've never made a move before.”
“To be real technical here, you made the move. And just so we're clear on this, I'm very, very happy about it.”
He looked so earnest, she couldn't help it, she chuckled. For a moment he didn't know whether or not to be insulted, but she was so . . . so beautiful when she laughed. She had made the first move.
"Uh, where did you go earlier?" Slow things down, right.
"What?" She seemed nonplussed by the question.
He pointed to the blinking light of her answering machine. "I called earlier."
She looked at it, she hadn't even noticed when she'd come in. "Oh, I had an errand."
Turned that way, he had a perfect view of her throat and couldn't stop himself. He leaned in and kissed the soft area just below her ear. She jumped, but didn't pull away. "Scully," he barely whispered in her ear, "How slow?" He continued his kisses down to her collarbone, nuzzling the lapel of her kimono aside.
"Am I going slow enough?" He suckled the lobe of her ear and she whimpered. "Oh, was that too fast?" He was talking into her hair now.
"Mulder, damn you." She managed to breathe.
At that he allowed himself to touch her, trailing a finger down her chest toward the cleavage peeking at him. He followed that with quick kisses and even quicker licks.
She managed to pull away, breathing as though she'd just run a perp down in her highest heels. She held him off with one hand on his chest, completely aware of the pounding of his heart through the thin fabric.
"Mulder, are you sure this isn't about Phoebe?"
"I think it's more about Holman."
"Holman?" Her eyes went wide at that.
"Yeah, he said a couple of things to me . . . he just made me think, about things."
Mulder nodded, "When the phone rang, before I spoke to the wicked witch of the British Isles, I was going to ask you over tonight. You know, watch a game or something. Would you have come?"
She nodded slowly.
He took a deep breath. "If we're truly going to slow this down, I better go."
"Don't. If I don't . . ."
"Don't." She rose then and his eyes followed her. She dead bolted the door and put on the chain, then moved toward her bedroom.
He sat there, frozen.
At her bedroom door, she turned, "Let's be slow in here."
He moistened his lips and finally made it to his feet. Maybe he hadn't screwed things up entirely.
Her hand was on her sash, but his hand covered hers, stilling it. Their eyes were locked when he did untie it, but he had to look down as it hit the floor, revealing her in the low light coming from the lamp. Her skin glowed before him. Her cheeks were stained the same rose as her nipples and he placed that vision in a special 'Scully' place in his mind.
He couldn't stop himself, his hands moving slowly, gently over her body. Goosebumps appeared on her arms, but he knew she wasn't cold. She was radiating heat, he could feel it though his own clothes.
One hand trailed down her flat stomach, a finger encircling her navel. He'd always known she was perfect, but to see it displayed like this, before him . . .
He sank to his knees and buried his face against her abdomen, inhaling the scent of her. Her eyes flew open startled at that. Her hand wove into his hair grounding herself. His arms were around her, holding her close to him. As he starting placing tiny kisses wherever he could reach, she felt her knees grow weak.
He felt her sway against him and rose, taking her into his arms and placing her gently on the bed. She just watched, her breathing shallow. She let her fingers pluck at his t-shirt and he nodded. They needed no words.
He pulled the shirt over his head and she smiled slightly. He let his hand go to his belt and wait. She nodded slowly and he unbuckled it and then removed his jeans. She'd quit breathing entirely now.
He reclined beside her, "Breathe Scully." His eyes smiled, watching her. She kept her eyes on his face. He had no such compunction about her body, devouring her with his eyes. He couldn't keep his hand from her, but forced himself to keep his touch light.
"Scully, I don't want to rush you."
"I think I am."
Her hand touched his bare chest. "I . . . I don't know what you like."
He smiled then. "That's easy. I like you."
She blushed, but he could feel her relax a little as well. "You've still got on your boxers."
"I'm trying to go slow."
She gave a nervous laugh then, "I'm not exactly a virgin, Mulder."
"You are with me." He pulled her closer to him, allowing her to feel his arousal. Her eyes opened a little wider and he began to excite her even more. His fingers lightly caressed her soft inner thighs, as his tongue laved those incredible rosy nipples. Her hands clutched at his hair. His assault on her senses was coming from too many places at once. Just as she would realize, and loosen her grip in his hair, he was exploring some new place and her hand would tighten again. Thank god he seemed to understand she wasn’t trying to stop him. She never wanted him to stop. His fingers moved closer to her core slowly, too damn slowly and she moved, encouraging his touch. She felt him smile as she moved those luscious hips to meet his fingers.
When he nuzzled her curls she moaned slightly, "Wha . . . what are you doing?"
He slipped one and then two fingers into her and she bucked against him. Going slow indeed, if he went any slower he was pretty sure she would spontaneously combust.
"Mul . . . " the rest was lost as his tongue continued what his fingers had started.
Then she was coming in his arms, spiraling into a place she'd never known, but knowing it was safe. Mulder had her back, and all the rest of her now.
He saw the nervousness in her face when she finally opened her eyes, but his smile melted her and her hands didn't seem to need permission to explore him anymore.
"You're still wearing those damn boxers."
"I wasn't sure you'd notice. I wasn't sure you'd notice if the building collapsed around us."
She blushed and ran her hand over his chest, tweaking his nipples and relishing the hiss that produced. She worked her way slowly down to the elastic of the offending boxers, knowing he was watching her, but not meeting his eyes. When her fingers took hold of the waistband, his hand stopped her. "Scully, you don't - "
"Shh, I'm going slow enough, I don't want to scare you."
He grinned at that and removed his hand. His boxers landed on the floor and her hand curled around his fully erect cock and moved slowly up letting herself get familiar with the heaviness, the silkiness . . . the damn size, of him. Her other hand cupped his balls and kneaded them gently. Ahh, he liked that. One of her fingers crept into the crevasse of his ass and he bucked toward her. Damn, he was ready to whimper now. Inside, he wanted to be inside of her. She was moving down, her own lips tasting, her tongue licking. He stopped her, pulling her back up to his lips.
"Mulder, I want - "
"Next time. Please." She was caught in his eyes now, like a deer. She hoped she nodded; at least he seemed to know.
He was over her then and gently probed her. She opened her legs wider and looked up at him. He was caught in her gaze for a moment, then slowly sank into the heat of her.
He wanted this to last, maybe forever – yes forever would be good, but it wasn’t going to happen. Her tight, hot, wet pussy was too much for him. He could already feel his balls tightening and a surge building. He thrust into her again and once more, then he was coming from down in his toes “Jesu - “ He exploded into her the wave carrying him to a new place. He pulled her close, not bothering to breath.
Skinner made his way to his office. He hated these seminars, but there had been that one woman. Green, yes Phoebe Green. When she'd found out he supervised the X-Files, she had sought him out. She'd made it painfully obvious that she and Mulder had been 'involved' while he was in England.
It did surprise him a little. She didn't seem to be his type, but then if he ever thought about Mulder's type, he always visualized short redheads. Scully, he didn't understand their relationship. Oh, he knew what Mulder got from her - she was essential to the man, but what did he give her? He knew Mulder was considered physically attractive by the female staff, but the man had so damn much baggage.
Mulder must have been attracted to older women in the past, Diana and now this Phoebe. Interesting.
Skinner looked up to see Mulder himself coming toward him. He certainly looked relaxed this morning, and damned pleased with himself. About that time Mulder looked up and smiled at Skinner, smiled. "Morning Assistant Director." He kept moving and entered the elevator with an almost jaunty gait. Skinner turned to watch him, what the hell had put Mulder in such a good . . . The smile left Skinner's face and turned to stone instead. What had that man done?
Skinner turned into his office and nearly snapped at Kimberly as he made his way to his office and shut the door. Kimberly stared after him. Well, something had gone wrong at the seminar. She cringed as she heard a drawer slam.
That SOB! He'd betrayed her, he'd betrayed Scully with that woman from England. How could he? Skinner couldn't sit still, pacing his office for several minutes. Finally he drew a deep breath - no, this was none of his business. Whoever Mulder . . . it had nothing to do with him. He was part of their professional lives, not personal. It wasn't like he knew for certain that Mulder and Scully . . . personal, that was personal.
Skinner returned to his desk and forced himself to go through his messages. He managed to calm down, get his mind on work as he began returning calls. Near the bottom of the stack he found a message from Scully. Fury overcame him again and before he realized it, he was on his feet. He jerked open the door and Kimberly managed not to jump.
"I'll be out of the office for a little while."
"Yes sir." She watched him moved toward the elevators.
Mulder looked up as Skinner entered the office without knocking.
"Sir?" He smiled at the older man.
"Is Scully here?" His tone was clipped.
"Uh, no sir. She went upstairs. Can I help you?"
Skinner closed the door and advanced on him. Mulder rose, feeling threatened suddenly. "Is, is there a problem?" He noted that Skinner's hands were fisted and fought the urge to move back away from him.
Skinner opened his mouth, but the door opened behind him, "Mulder, did you - oh, excuse me. Is, is everything okay?" She moved around the desk, instinctively placing herself between the two men.
"Everything is fine." Skinner turned and left the room.
After they heard the elevator close, Scully turned to Mulder. "What was that all about?"
"I don't know."
"Mulder, I thought he was going to hit you."
"So did I."
"Well there has to be a reason. Don't you have any idea?"
"None, I swear."
"Well we have to find out."
"Do you want to face him right now? 'Cause I don't."
Scully looked back at the door. "No, but . . . after work maybe we should stop by his place."
"Scully - " He looked very uncomfortable.
"What, you planning to see Phoebe?"
He growled and pulled her against him. "Yeah, right."
“Scully, this isn’t a good idea.”
“We need to know what’s wrong with him. Would you rather go to his apartment?” Mulder rolled his eyes. “Okay then, Kimberly said he was leaving and his car is right over there.”
“Great. You know we could be at your place doing - “
“Mulder.” Her tone was only mildly warning and she didn’t look angry.
He leaned against the wall and just looked at her. She looked away, unable to meet his gaze without a very physical reaction.
“Fox, there you are.” They both jumped slightly at the sound of her voice. Mulder straightened up. “I was hoping to find you. I thought we might go somewhere this evening.”
Mulder ignored that, moving closer to Scully and placing his hand on her back. “You remember Scully.”
“Of course. Scully. I was a little surprised to find out you were still working with Agent Mulder.”
“We’re a good team, Phoebe. No one would want to break up a good team.” Scully spoke dryly and with more confidence than Phoebe had expected. Her eyes narrowed, taking in where his hand was.
No one noticed Skinner approach. He stopped when he saw the three of them. That SOB, he had his hand on Scully while talking to that woman? What kind of brazen shit was he? “Agent Scully.”
They all turned to look at him. “May I speak to you for a minute.” It wasn’t a question.
She looked up at Mulder and noted the worry in his eye. “It’s okay.” She moved toward Skinner and Mulder’s arm reluctantly returned to his side.
“Sir?” Scully stood in front of him, but his attention was obviously on Mulder and Phoebe. “Sir, did you need to talk to me?”
“I, uh, you don’t have to be here. Why don’t I walk you to your car?”
She looked at him, not sure what was going on. “That’s, that’s okay. Agent Mulder and I have plans tonight.”
“What about . . .” He looked over at the two of them again. Phoebe had her hand on his arm; she seemed to be caressing it. Skinner inhaled sharply and looked away, focusing on Scully instead. Finally he noticed how calm she was, looking at the two of them, how . . . sure of herself. The revelation nearly staggered him. Yes, Mulder had been ‘relaxed’ today, but so had Scully. He . . . Mulder hadn’t been with the brunette at all; he’d been with the redhead.
Scully felt Skinner’s eyes on her and looked up, “Sir, are you . . . “ Finally she took in his look, and Skinner was startled at the blush staining her cheek. Mulder, too far away, couldn’t hear what Skinner was saying to his partner, but he could see how uncomfortable she was. He took an involuntary step toward her. Something was going on over there. He had completely forgotten the woman standing beside him.
Phoebe realized that and was growing angrier by the second.
“Well Agent Scully, if you and Agent Mulder have plans, we shouldn’t delay you any longer.” Skinner offered her his arm, intending to walk her back to her partner. He saw Mulder’s eyes narrow at the gesture, and almost laughed.
Scully, for her part, was working hard not to laugh out loud. She fell in step beside Skinner and he did, in fact, hand her to her partner as if relinquishing a dance partner.
Mulder’s eyes did not leave Scully’s face until she was safely back beside him again. The partners watched, fascinated, as Skinner then turned to Phoebe.
“Ms. Green, Agents Mulder and Scully have plans for this evening, so why don’t we let them go on. Are you familiar with the city?”
“I . . . uh, no not really.”
“Well, why don’t I take you to dinner? We can’t have you going home thinking that Americans aren’t hospitable. He offered her his arm, just as he had done moments earlier to Scully.
Phoebe wanted to protest, to resist, to somehow regain control of the situation, but realized belatedly that she had already lost. She glanced once more at Mulder, then allowed Skinner to lead her to his car.
Mulder himself was too stunned to say anything. He and Scully stood there silently until the car drove off, then Mulder turned to her. “What the hell just happened here?”
Scully looked up, chewing her lip. “I . . . Mulder, I think, I think he knows.”
“About, about us. About last night.” Her face was pale.
“How could he?”
“I don’t know, but . . . “ Her mouth dropped open and then the corners started to turn up.
“I think I know what was wrong with him earlier.”
“Scully?” He urged her to continue.
“Come on, Mulder. Let’s get out of here, I’ll explain. But I think it has to do with your ‘visitor’.”
He looked clueless, but smiled when her fingers entwined with his. Whatever she wanted to explain was fine and if she wanted to do it in private, naked, all the better. He squeezed her hand.
“C’mon. Let’s get out of here.”
She smiled and returned the squeeze. “Absolutely. Where do you want to go?”