He was near the door as usual, having his daily wrestling match with his libido. Why didn't it get any easier? She was nude every morning before donning either her pantsuit or his shirt. He should be able to stop fantasizing about his partner. It had been different when they were apart and he could "handle" his fantasies alone.
"Shit." He heard her soft exclamation from across the room. It was going to be one of those days. He'd been here as long as she had, you'd think she was on the rag. . . Oh god. He came so close to turning around it scared him. Her period? She didn't have any supplies; he knew exactly what they had between them in the way of "toiletries". Could he demand this through the damn slot? His mind ran again through the items they had on hand, and his hatred of their captors rose another several notches.
His eyes automatically went to the marks on the wall. In real life he had been vaguely aware of her cycle but had made a conscious effort not to commit it to memory. How personal could you get?
He realized she was dressed and finally turned. She was so distracted she jumped when he sat beside her.
"Yeah. Fine." Short, clipped and angry but not really with him.
He pulled off his t-shirt. "Here."
"What? I'm not cold." She took the shirt, confused.
"You could rip it up, you know, use it."
"Oh god." She hid her flaming face in her hands. "I can't take much more of this."
"Come on, Scully. It's a natural process. I should have. . . we should have anticipated this."
She said nothing. They were both adults, and it was natural, but her embarrassment was bone deep. In all her fantasies of being alone, on a deserted island, hell even being married to Mulder, this had never entered into anything she'd imagined. How naive.
"I, uh, I'll wash up." He left her side; there wasn't anything to say. He'd failed her completely. He couldn't get them out. He couldn't even supply her basic needs. Mulder flinched as he heard the shirt rip.
He tried to stay out of her way, between his guilt and her mood it was better that way. Avoiding looking at her wasn't working though. He caught her grimace, now what?
Mulder squared his shoulders and approached her. "Scully, are you having cramps?"
"What?" She was in no mood for this.
"I said come here." He took her hand and led her to her bench, pulling her into what had become their normal sleep position.
"What do you think you're doing?"
"Be still." He placed his hand on her stomach. She stiffened. "Relax or this won't help."
"I asked what you were doing."
"We don't have a hot water bottle. Just relax."
"This is too. . . Mulder, I can't. . ." She had thought her mortification was at its peak.
"Yes. You can." He sounded so matter of fact, and the warmth of his hand did feel good. Oh hell, it couldn't get any worse. She might as well let this happen.
He could feel some of the tenseness leave her shoulders. They sat in silence that gradually became more comfortable. She finally took a deep breath.
"Did you learn this from Phoebe?"
That startled him, she thought about Phoebe? "No, Phoebe and I didn't share things like this. I mean, she had no trouble sharing her body, with me and everyone else as it turns out, but never personal things. No, I remember my mother sometimes. . ."
"Thanks, Mulder." They lapsed back into silence for a while, then he heard her chuckle.
"Nothing, just something I remembered from when I was little."
"It's embarrassing, but. . . oh hell, when I was little and just learning the facts of life, I was introduced to the word menstruation. In my mind I decided that menstruation was something that happened to girls every month and masturbation was something that happened to boys every month."
Mulder joined her laughter, "So that's why people have always told me I'm above average. Oufff." The air left his lungs as the back of her head connected with his chest.
"Watch it, Scully. You're in a vulnerable position, I can switch to tickling with one move."
"You wouldn't dare!"
"Oh yes I would, and undo all the good I've done. You better apologize. . ."
She turned to face him, "Oh lord and master, please forgive your humble servant for her insubordinate ways." Then batted her eyes at him.
Mulder lost it, completely and totally. When he recovered and they both wiped their eyes from laughing nearly hysterically, he nodded. "Apology accepted. And let's be more careful in the future."
"Aye aye, sir." She sank back against his chest. "Mulder, I really needed that. I've never had as good a friend as you."
He realized he was caressing her hair and stopped immediately. "Same here."
When the lights went off that night and they had resumed their positions to keep warm, Mulder, in an attempt not to concentrate on the aroma of her hair, asked, "Are you sleepy?"
"Tell me about Bill."
"Your brother. Has he always been like. . ." Oops, maybe this wasn't a good idea, insulting her family was probably a stupid thing to do.
"Like he is around you? No. I mean, he's always been a big brother, no one could pick on me but him, but not like now. He didn't get to tell Dad goodbye, that hurts him a lot, but I think Melissa's death nearly killed him. They were really close as kids, the two oldest, you know. To have her die like that, so senselessly. . ."
"It's okay that he blames me." She was quiet for a long time. He waited.
"He probably does a little. He really blames me, but because he loves me he can't - no he doesn't want to show it. It's easier blaming you. You're the outsider with the weird ideas and reputation. You can do things he can't even imagine. I think you scare him. I know you did when you cured my cancer."
"Yes. You found the chip. You had the guts to face him and Mom, and argue to put it in me. I think part of him would rather have lost me than to have it work and prove you right."
His arms tightened around her, but he said nothing.
"It wasn't always like that. . . " She launched into a story of Bill as a kid and Mulder listened appreciatively. Something new to think about, a new way to try to visualize her as a child.
The next night it was Melissa. He began piecing together her early years, before he had come along to totally unravel her life. During the days they continued with the routine they had established, keeping their distance, being quiet and as alone as possible. But both began to look forward to the dark - to the sharing.
"Mulder, what was it like with your father?"
He tensed, he'd much rather her talk, her memories were happy ones.
"Come on, Mulder. It's your turn."
"Scully, you don't want to hear about him." And he sure as hell didn't want to relive it, even for her.
"Was it really that bad?" He remained silent. "Mulder, did he hit you?"
His shudder was her answer. How could anyone want to hurt this manchild? He was so precious to her, no matter how irritated she got at him.
"Yes." He said it so low she almost missed it. "It wasn't so bad after Samantha was born." Oh god, he'd only been four then. "After she was gone. . . "
"Did he hit her?" She asked softly.
"Oh no. Never. He'd never hurt her. I wouldn't have let him."
The tear that escaped her eye startled her. She hoped he wouldn't notice. He'd hate thinking she pitied him. She didn't. But she ached for that boy and everything he'd gone through. She wanted to comfort him, but knew he'd pull away. He'd made it very clear what the boundaries were here. Her rational mind appreciated it, but sometimes. . . well, the dreams made it almost worth it.
He woke to find she had turned in her sleep, her warm breath against his chest. He tried to control his automatic response to having this woman in his arms. Why did he even try to delude himself into thinking. . . his mind froze as her hand brushed his cock. Stifling a groan he pushed her aside, rougher than he had meant to, but he had to get as far away from her as he could.
"Mulder? What? What did I do?" He had his back to her, so she took his arm. He shook free and she lost her footing, falling back and landing on her butt.
"Scully! I. . .god, could you leave me alone for a minute?" Even his voice sounded strange. A nightmare? No, he didn't push her away then, this was something else. Was he shaking?
"Damn it, Mulder! I will not leave you alone. Tell me what. . ." she had regained her feet and gotten in front of him. Even in the predawn light she could see his problem. "Mulder?" He turned his back to her again, but it was too late. "Oh Mulder. Stop it, it's okay." She advanced on him again and before he realized her intention, she had her hand on him, caressing him through the fabric. To his utter humiliation he came right then and there, completely unable to control himself a moment longer. If he'd had the strength right then, he'd have thrown her against the wall.
His eyes were closed, his hands fisted, when he realized she had unbuttoned his slacks and was lowering them down his legs. What, was she going to do his laundry now?
When her warm mouth began the job of cleaning him, he staggered and almost fell. "Get up!" He yanked her to her feet, his hands too tight on her shoulders.
"It's okay, Mulder, you can imagine I'm anyone you want me to be."
He kicked his slacks away and scooped her up in his arms, almost slamming her into her bench, then pinning her beneath him with his nude body.
"I swore I would never let this happen. I would never let you know how I feel about you." He managed to growl out at her.
Her breathing was ragged and their eyes locked. Finally she managed to speak, barely above a whisper. "I'll release you from your vow, if you'll release me from mine."
"I swore years ago not to let the fact that I was in love with you interfere with our work."
His eyes widened. She hadn't said that, she couldn't have. She waited for his reaction, something, anything, until she realized that he was in shock, and that was his reaction.
She raised herself up and took his lower lip into her mouth to suck, something she'd dreamed of doing for years. He could taste his musk on her lips. His eyes closed as he gathered her closer against him. His lips took hers, drinking her life's essence into him until she pulled away gasping. "Mulder."
He rolled, placing her on top of him. "Don't say that if you don't. . . "
"Think I can make you last longer this time?" Her eyes were twinkling.
He growled and pretended to sink his teeth into her breast. He pulled his shirt off over her head and she laughed until his tongue laved her nipple and it turned into a gasp.
"Let's see." He had his hands on her hips, grinding her down onto him. God, he was even bigger than he had been. Did she remember how to do this? And could she accommodate him? My god. That was her last coherent thought as Mulder took over her body. Moving her wherever he willed her to be. They had never done this before, how the hell did he know everywhere to touch her? Was he psychic? Nobody was that good. She realized she was convulsing in his arms with the most amazing orgasm she'd ever experienced and that was just from his fingers, which were again traveling up her body. She groped blindly for his cock, nearly whimpering as he moved tantalizingly above her.
"What do you want, Scully?" He breathed in her ear.
"You Mulder, please."
"Are you sure?" He nipped at her ear. "We don't have. . . "
"Mulder. . . " It was a moan.
He finally took pity on her and let her guide him toward her core. He entered her slowly, giving her time to adjust to him, until she couldn't bear the wait and arched, forcing him deeper into her body. He caught his breath, she wasn't going to hurry him, he'd waited five years for this. He withdrew almost completely and she grabbed his ass, forcing him back even deeper. This game of tag continued, Mulder almost beside himself with delight that this woman, his Scully, wanted him so badly. She wanted him, a prospect he'd never had the nerve to truly contemplate. Suddenly he realized she had him by the balls, literally. His illusion of control disappeared and his thrusts became erratic. He unraveled, filling her with his seed, part of him aware she was again convulsing in his arms.
He thought he'd seen all of Dana Scully's moods, but he'd never seen her like this, with lips swollen and bruised, eye lids mostly closed, body limp. Totally sated with sex, sex with him, the most incredible sex he'd ever had, bar none. So that was the difference love made.
"You should never have waited so long to make your move, Mulder." Her voice was low, purring.
"Is that your considered medical opinion, Dr. Scully?"
Her eyes smiled, "I thought you were the one playing doctor, Mulder."
He nuzzled her neck, tucking her in close to him and covering them with the blanket to ward off the chill as their bodies cooled.
They slept the deep sleep of the totally contented.
The tray being shoved into the room woke them later in the morning. Mulder padded over to retrieve it and for the first time she was able to appreciate his nudity openly.
"Don't look at me like that, Scully. I'm carrying hot coffee." She dropped her eyes. "Not there either, you hussy."
"Part of you seems to like it."
"You're not suppose to notice."
"Not notice that?" He actually blushed. "Mulder?"
"Scully, we're in strange territory here. I mean, I've spent five years forcing myself not to look at you, and now. . . "
"I know. I've done the same thing. I'd never thought of locking you in with me for weeks on end."
"If anyone had asked, I'd have said we'd be at each other's throats by now, if we hadn't killed each other."
"We nearly did." She smiled, all the tension was gone from her body. She hadn't been this relaxed in years, literally. All the irritation she'd felt since they had come to in this room seemed so trivial and silly now. They still had to get out somehow, let the world know they were alive, but they were back to being a team. Even closer than the nightly talks had brought them.
"Scully, we need to be careful."
"Afraid you're going to roll off?"
"I'm serious, Scully. I don't want to get you pregnant." That surprised her.
"Come on, Mulder. We both know that's not going to happen." She'd put this to rest in her mind, or she'd thought she had.
"Scully, the chip that cured your cancer, it could have. . . "
"Don't Mulder. It's not going to happen. I've given up on it. Don't."
"Given. . . ? It wouldn't be a disaster to you?"
"Here? Yes. Out there, no." She didn't want to talk about this. Her sterility caused her the kind of pain memories of his father caused him.
"You mean if we were free you'd. . . you'd. . . " He couldn't even ask.
"Want a little boy with dark hair and hazel eyes?"
He was silent, absorbing this. "Not this nose."
"Of course that nose. It's perfect, what, you think I'd change anything?"
"I'd thought more in terms of a little red-headed girl." That knocked the breath out of her. When had it ever crossed his mind to have a child with her?
"Scully, are you okay?"
"I. . . I can't talk about this. It's not going to happen, so just forget it."
"Okay, now I'm going to make you mad, but I'm not willing to take chances with your health in here. We should at least use rhythm, since that's our only choice anyway."
Another conversation she'd never thought she'd have with Fox Mulder. She loved him, more than ever, and she knew him better than anyone, as he did her, but there had to be a break. There just had to be. How long, how the hell long could they be held?
She closed her eyes against the rush of emotion. She wasn't trying to get pregnant. Hell, she didn't even want to be pregnant, not here. But the definitive evidence that she wasn't had brought her unexpectedly close to tears. After several deep breaths, she finished getting ready and joined Mulder.
"Well, you don't have to worry. No little uber-Scullys this month."
He breathed a sign of relief. As far as he was concerned they had been playing with fire this time. He realized she'd looked away and he took her arm. He was stunned to see her struggling against tears.
"You are not. Scully, this is a good thing. You can't. . . "
"I know that. I'm as surprised as you are by this reaction. It's just when you brought it up I. . . oh hell, change the subject."
He just sat there trying to untangle his feelings. Part of him wanted to shout for joy and now he realized part of him was sorry as well. By far though, the biggest part of him was in shock that Scully was disappointed not to be carrying his child.
"Come here." He pulled her into his lap. "Thank you."
"What? Thank you?"
"For wanting to have my baby. No one's ever felt like that before."
She buried her face in his neck and gave in to her emotions. He held her, rocking her, loving her more than he had ever thought possible. He had to get her out of here, so they could live a real life, together.
"Scully, wake up. Do you hear that?" He was straining to discern the noise. It had been so long since he'd heard anything from outside of this room.
"What is it? I can't. . . "
"Helicopters! Scully, it's helicopters!"
"For us or against us?" That drew him up short. Against them? To move them? Separate them? No, not that, never.
A strong light flashed past the windows. It had to be a rescue. It had to be. Now they could hear boots running in the hall.
He was on his feet now, pulling Scully into the far corner.
"Stay back!" A strange voice called through the door. Mulder pulled her tight against him, his back to the door. The explosion wasn't large, then men poured into the room. Mulder turned to face them, keeping Scully behind his back.
"Skinner?" He was bigger than Mulder remembered, but that was probably the flak jacket. Mulder could have kissed him, he was so happy to see him.
"Is Agent Scully. . . ?"
"Right here." Mulder moved aside so that he could see her. Skinner closed his eyes in relief. Their source could not confirm that she was still alive, and it had been her blood they had found at the site. He'd had one especially horrible vision of Mulder locked in a cell with Scully's corpse. Skinner shook himself and was back to business.
"Let's get them out of here, now."
They were rushed to a waiting helicopter, Skinner joining them and they took off. Both Mulder and Scully tried to absorb as much of their surroundings as possible in the dark.
They were flown to what was obviously a military base. The noise in the copter had precluded most conversation. Once down Skinner led them to a large building and finally into a room with just the three of them. The quiet was deafening after the first noise they had heard in months.
"We need to debrief you, are you up to it now, or do you need a little time?"
Mulder glanced over at Scully. "I think we both need a little time."
"I understand. We have rooms for you. Scully, if you'll. . . "
"No." They'd said it together. Skinner stopped, confused.
"Look, I want to trust you, but you are not taking Scully off somewhere."
"There will be a guard outside her door."
"There'll be a guard inside her room as well, me." Mulder wasn't about to give in on that. He wasn't going to be separated from her yet, not until he felt safer than he did here.
Skinner started to protest and stopped. Stockholm syndrome? Maybe, in any case they'd been through enough. If they felt safer together, he could hardly blame them. He nodded to their military escort and personally escorted them to the room that had been set aside for Agent Scully.
"Get some rest, we've got a lot of catching up to do. Your guard will know where to find me if you need anything."
"We haven't even said thank you, Sir." Scully approached him for the first time. "We do appreciate all you've done, I can't even imagine what all that could be."
"We'll talk about it later. It's very good to have you back." He squeezed her arm and let himself out. Scully sank onto the bed and Mulder joined her.
"You've been awfully quiet."
"Just trying to get used to all the people." She gave Mulder a small smile. "It's kind of overwhelming."
"Yeah, it doesn't take many to make a crowd."
"I can't believe you got away with this."
"This?" Mulder asked innocently.
Her smile widened and she looked around the room. "You know, I'm not sure I remember how to do it on a bed."
"Well, I believe if I concentrate really hard I can figure it out."
"Really, really hard?" Her eyebrow rose.
"Agent Scully, I need to remind you that we have a guard right outside the door. You'll need to keep it down."
"Hey, I'm not the loud one, Agent Mulder."
"Just what are you implying?"
"Come here and I'll show you." She was already tugging his shirt from his waistband.
He held her close to him, "I never thought when we got out of there, we'd celebrate this way."
"Wanted to be far away from me?"
He smiled and tightened his grip. "I think this gradual approach is best."
"Um." She agreed.