He rushed into the ER barely waiting for the automatic doors to open enough to let him in. The boy in his arms seemed to be covered in blood but he was quiet, only whimpering a little in his father’s arms. “Help me.”
She looked up at the sound of barely controlled panic in the man’s voice. One look told her what she needed to know. “Follow me.” She dropped her bag behind the nurse’s station and led them into the first empty cubicle.
“Let’s put him here on the table,” she said gently. For an instant she didn’t think he would release the boy, but then he nodded and carefully lay the boy on the table.
“Now, what happened here?” She took a piece of gauze and dabbed carefully at the cut above the boy’s eye. “Can you tell me your name?”
“W-Will, Will Mulder.”
“That’s a nice name. Now I want you to take three deep breaths. Can you look at my finger? Follow it as I move it?”
He did, relaxing at her calm manner.
A nurse joined them then. “Sir, if you could come with me, we can - “
The nurse drew back but before she could ask again, the doctor shook her head. “Are you Mr. Mulder?”
“Why don’t you stand down there? Put your hand on his leg, just stay here with him.” The nurse shook her head, but didn’t contradict the doctor, just taking the insurance card he held out for her.
“I’m Dr. Scully. I’m going to clean this up a little and see what’s going on, okay?”
The boy nodded.
“He fell. I wasn’t, it shouldn’t have happened.”
“Daddy, it was an accident,” the boy said quickly.
“I’m sure it was,” Dr. Scully said smoothly. “How old are you?” She continued to clean the wound.
“You’re tall for five.”
“I look like my Dad.”
“Yes, you do. You have his eyes and coloring.”
“Will there be a scar?” his father asked quickly.
“Not if I do my job right,” she smiled over at the worried father. “You’re going to need a couple of stitches but you’ll be fine.” She looked back at his father. “Do you know when he had his last tetanus shot?”
“Okay, we’ll give you a booster but that should do it.”
“All the blood - “
“Face and scalp wounds bleed heavily, but you can see yourself, it’s a very small cut.”
He leaned forward and examined the wound now that it had been cleaned. She was right, it was fairly small, but the man didn’t look all that reassured. “I was afraid his eye . . . His mother’s going to kill me.“
“It was an accident, Dad. I shouldn’t have let go before I had my feet set.”
The man shook his head and Dr. Scully kept quiet. It was an accident. She saw things like this all the time. His level of guilt seemed too high.
“I’m going to numb this just a little, to put in the stitches. It’ll just be a little sting.”
Will looked over at his father, who nodded. “Just a sting, Kiddo. Then we’ll get some ice cream, okay?”
“Okay,” the boy said in a small voice. He remained stoic during the procedure. In fact his father seemed to grimace more than he did.
“There. All fixed up. You’ll be as handsome as ever and get to wear a cool bandage for a couple of days. Do you have a headache?”
“Good. Now I want you to just lie here for a few minutes while your Dad fills out some paperwork, then you can go get that ice cream he promised.” She carefully ruffled Will’s hair and smiled over at his father.
He managed to smile sheepishly, and followed her out to the nurse’s station after reassuring Will.
She stood beside him as he signed the appropriate papers. “He really is okay.”
Mr. Mulder looked up at her. “Thank you.”
She smiled. “I’m glad I was here.”
They both looked around when Will joined them. “Hey, Kiddo, you were supposed to wait for me.”
“I’m okay. Can we get that ice cream?”
His dad chuckled. “Sure.”
“Hey, can Dr. Scully come with us?” The boy looked up at her.
Mr. Mulder blinked, then looked back down at Will. “I, uh, she’s probably busy, Kiddo.”
“Are you?” Will looked up at her.
“I, well, no. I’d love to get some ice cream.”
“Can you leave?”
“Actually I was on my way out when you arrived.”
“What?” Mr. Mulder looked up quickly.
“It’s okay. I wanted to stay.”
“Do you at least work here?”
She grinned and winked at Will. “Not really. I’m a pediatrician and I was here on rounds.”
“Oh geez, I’m sorry - ”
“Ice cream would make up for it. Where are we going?”
“There’s a Coldstone not far from here.” Mr. Mulder gestured.
She nodded. “I’ve passed it, but I’ve never had an excuse to stop. Uh, there might be one problem. You two look a little Texas Chainsaw Massacre-y.” She looked down at their t-shirts.
“Oh shi-shoot.” She wasn’t exaggerating. He was covered in blood where he had held his son. Will’s shirt was little better.
“Maybe I can help.” She winked at Will and stepped back into the hall. Everyone was busy so she grabbed a couple of scrubs and returned. “Okay guys, you can change in the car. Why don’t I meet you at Coldstone?”
“You will come?” Will asked immediately.
“Of course, I wouldn’t miss it.” They headed outside and turned toward different parking lots.
Will waved as she entered the ice cream parlor and she moved in that direction. “You came!”
“Of course I did. What are you going to order?”
“They have an ice cream split that’s just my size. It’s good!” Dr. Scully smiled at him.
“That sounds like a lot.”
“What would you like?” Mr. Mulder asked, rising.
“How about a scoop of chocolate?”
“Just chocolate?” Will protested.
“I like chocolate.”
Mr. Mulder nodded and left them to place the order. He returned shortly with a smaller version of the famous banana split, a cup of blueberry cheesecake ice cream and a cup of ‘death by chocolate’ with chocolate syrup and sprinkles.
“This is a cup of chocolate?” She stared down at the concoction in front of her.
“Yeah,” he grinned.
“I’ll have to triple my time in the gym next week.”
He gave her a slow perusal, causing some color to rise in her cheeks. “You look fine to me.”
“Thank you,” she looked down at her ice cream. “By the way, I’m Dana Scully.”
He stuck out his hand to shake. “Dana, I’m Fox Mulder.”
“Fox?” she asked, surprised.
“He likes to be called Mulder,” Will said quickly.
“I don’t know, Fox suits him, don’t you think?” She winked at Will, who grinned.
Mulder rolled his eyes and picked up his spoon.
“Don’t eat too fast, Will,” Dana said quickly. “The last thing you want right now is an ice cream headache.”
Will nodded and took a smaller bite. Dana asked questions as they enjoyed their treat. She looked over at Mulder when his cell phone rang.
“Sorry.” He pulled the phone from his pocket and looked down at the display.
“Is it Mom?”
He nodded and when Will reached for the phone, handed it to him without answering himself.
“Hi, Mom. Yeah, everything’s fine. Uh huh, we went to the park.” The boy nodded, not looking at either his father or Dana. “A banana.” He glanced down at the sundae in front of him, but didn’t bat an eye. “Sure. Okay, did you want to talk to Dad? Okay, see you tomorrow.” He broke the connection and handed the phone back to Mulder.
Dana watched them; the man’s face was so carefully blank, interpreting his son’s careful version of their day. Then without looking at Dana, Mulder spoke softly. “Divorce.”
She nodded. That much had been obvious. “How often do you two get together?”
“Wednesdays and every other weekend. Sounds like a cliché doesn’t it?”
“Actually you two seem extremely close,” she said quietly.
Mulder looked up quickly and took a deep breath. “Thanks.”
“So, you know what I do, how about the two of you? I’m assuming you’re a student, Will. What about you?”
“Really? Anything . . . Oh my god, you’re M. F. Luder!”
He grinned shyly while Will beamed. “He’s great. Have you ever read any of his stuff?”
“I have, and had the nightmares to prove it,” she laughed. “Funny, you look normal.”
Mulder chuckled at that. “I do? That’s a relief.”
“That’s some imagination you have.” She turned to Will. “Have you read any of his ‘stuff’?”
Will laughed. “I get the watered down version, before he adds all the scary bits.”
“Will’s a writer too. He gives me great ideas. Sometimes I forget his perspective, but he brings me right back.”
Will’s delight at those words was obvious. Dana watched these two, envying them their closeness. She had let this part of her life slip to the side she realized. She’d have to make more effort to see her family, get away from the office.
She turned off the TV and started to rise when the phone startled her. She wasn’t on call. She picked up the receiver quickly. “Hello?”
“Hi, Dr. Scully?”
“Yes, Will? Is that you? Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, kinda. I’m back with Mom, but . . . look could you call my Dad? He’s not okay. Mom was really mad about the accident and they had a fight, well Mom had a fight and Dad just took it. Could you check on him?”
“Will, I’m not sure - “
“Please. He had a good time with you yesterday. I could tell. Please?”
Torn, she sighed. The boy seemed so worried and for some reason it made her feel concerned, too. “What’s his number?”
She could feel the relief coming across the distance. “201-555-3404. I gotta go. Thanks.” He was barely whispering that last and was gone. Now what? She shook her head, took a deep breath and before she could rationalize a way out of it, dialed the number.
After the third ring he picked up. “Hello?”
“Dana? Is that you?”
“Yes,” she smiled at the wonder in his voice. “I thought I should check on my patient.”
“Oh, yeah. Will’s doing fine. He’s back home.”
“You mean with his mother?”
“How are you?”
“You don’t sound it,” she pressed.
He didn’t respond immediately. Finally, “It’s hard to let him go.”
“I can only imagine. The two of you were almost symbiotic.”
Again there was silence on his end. Just as she was going to give him an out, he spoke. “Look, this is embarrassingly last minute, but do you have plans for dinner?”
“D-dinner? Uh, no.”
“Would you like to grab a bite with me? I know it’s - “ It sounded like he was already backing off, surprised at his audacity.
“I’d love to,” she interrupted.
It seemed to take him a moment to catch up, then, “I don’t have reservations, but - “
“No. Please, I don’t want to have to dress up. You know, I’m really in the mood for a pizza.” There was silence for a moment. “Mulder?”
“Just trying to get my heart beating again. I don’t think a woman has ever said that to me before.”
She chuckled, more comfortable now. “I guess I’m low maintenance.”
“Quick, before you change your mind, where do you live?”
Laughing, she gave him the address in Georgetown. She was smiling when she hung up. This was new for her.
He made it to her place quicker than she had thought, but she was ready and answered his knock with a smile. She was wearing casual navy slacks and a lighter blue, short sleeve sweater that brought out her eyes. He too was in casual slacks and a dark grey t-shirt with a sports coat. “Come on in, let me get my jacket.”
He stepped inside and looked around. “This is a nice place.”
“Thank you. It’s big for just me, but I’m beginning to get used to it. My accountant says it’s a good investment.”
“How big is it?”
“Come on, take the tour. It’s three bedrooms.” He had entered to a foyer leading to a great room. There was a formal dining area and small balcony. The kitchen was well appointed, with a small eating area. The master suite was beyond that. On the other side of the condo were two bedrooms and another full bath. One of the bedrooms had been turned into an office. Live plants and personal touches decorated it nicely.
“This is great.”
“Thanks. I haven’t been here that long, but it’s getting there. What about your place?”
“Oh, I moved to a one bedroom over on Hegal in Alexandria. It’s fairly close to Will and doesn’t take too much housekeeping.”
“Where does Will sleep when he’s over?”
“He gets the bedroom. I usually sleep on the couch anyway.” He glanced over at her sofa and coordinating chair. He’d never fit on that.
“On the couch?”
He shrugged. “I’ll be writing or something and just go to sleep. It’s too much trouble to move. The place isn’t this neat either.”
She smiled then. “I can’t take too much credit for that. Not being here that much helps. So where are we going?”
“Have you been to Sal’s? It’s not far from here.”
“I’ve seen it, but I’ve never gone there.”
“Then you’re in for a treat.”
He led her into the restaurant and to a booth near the back. “Mulder! Good to see you. It’s been a while.”
Dana looked up at an older man who was placing a couple of menus in front of them.
“Sorry about that, Sal.”
“You’ve been busy; I’ve read your latest.”
“And?” Mulder looked up at him.
“It scared the piss out of me, like always. ‘Cuse me, ma’am.” The older man grinned. “Iced tea?” He glanced over at Dana.
“Would you like a beer, Dana?”
“Actually iced tea would be great.”
Sal nodded and turned away, smiling to himself.
“You come here often?”
“I used to. Lately I haven’t gone anywhere much.” He looked thoughtful as though just noticing this.
“I could use that as an excuse, but I think I’ve just been too lazy to bother.”
“You don’t seem the lazy type."
“Thanks.” He opened the menu, though he remembered it well from previous visits.
She had him order and he was pleased at her enjoyment. They talked as they ate, getting to know each other. After their meal, he found he wasn’t ready to take her home.
“Do you have a curfew?” he asked smiling.
“I’m not ready for this evening to end yet,” she admitted.
He drove over to the mall and found a parking space. They walked together toward the Lincoln Monument. She felt his hand on the small of her back, leading her gently toward a bench.
“Don’t take this wrong, but I’m almost glad Will took that fall; I mean, since he’s okay now.”
“He’s a very bright and perceptive boy.”
Mulder looked up suddenly. “He asked you to call me.”
Her blush betrayed her and he closed his eyes shaking his head. “God, am I that pathetic?”
“You’re not pathetic in the least. Your son was worried about you.”
Mulder wouldn’t look at her now.
“Actually, Will did me a favor,” she continued.
“What?” he glanced up.
“I would never have had the nerve to call you if he hadn’t called me.”
Startled he just blinked at her. “I’m that intimidating?”
“Well, you’re a famous man, and very good looking.”
“With this nose?” he demurred.
She smiled gently. “GQ, remember? Yes, I saw the layout.”
He was blushing now. “That was dumb. They just wanted some authors and I - “
“And you look like a male model. I don’t go out much, but I’ve never gone out with a famous author.”
“Flattery will get you everywhere,” he quipped but he looked slightly less depressed. “You don’t go out much?”
She shrugged. “I work a lot and sometimes it’s just too much trouble.”
“Like moving to the bed?” he asked with a hint of a grin.
She blushed, but nodded. “Sounds like we’re both in ruts.”
“You don’t suppose Will has the right idea?” he asked shyly.
“Umm, I’m enjoying it.”
His face lightened and his smile lit his eyes.
“I do need to know something, Mulder.”
She rolled her eyes, but the squared her shoulders. “How long have you and Diana been apart?”
The question obviously caught him off guard, but he nodded. “The divorce was finalized a little over two years ago. We were ‘apart’ before that.”
“Two years? I didn’t think it had been that long.”
“It feels a lot longer,” he said quietly.
“How long were you married?”
“A couple of years. It was never . . . “
“We got married because she was pregnant with Will. She was going to get rid of . . . I didn’t force her, at least I don’t think I did, but when I realized there was a child of mine, possibly mine, going to be born I couldn’t just give her some money and walk away.”
“I’m glad you couldn’t. Will’s worth it.”
“Yeah, he is.”
“Did you ever doubt he was yours?”
Mulder nodded. “I thought about it a lot, until I saw him.” He smiled then. “He was the spitting image of me.”
“He still is,” she agreed.
His smile faded. “I wish I could spend more time with him. I worry.”
“Don’t you think she’s good with him?”
“I’m sure she is.”
“Well you sound confident,” she mused.
“No, really Diana is a good mother, but he called you to check on me.”
“He saw the fight?”
“He’s seen too many fights, just like I did.”
“Are you parents divorced?”
He nodded. “Since I was 14.”
He looked up and around then as though just realizing their surroundings. “It’s dark.”
She looked up as well. Dark? They’d been together for hours. “I didn’t realize.”
He gave her a little smile then. “I should get you home.”
She nodded, though she wasn’t all that anxious to end the evening.
He walked her to the door and for just an instant she thought he was going to kiss her goodnight, but he stepped back and they said their goodnights. She closed the door behind him.
He hadn’t called and she wasn’t sure how she felt about that. She knew she missed his company, but they barely knew each other.
She was in her kitchen, trying with no enthusiasm to decide on dinner when her doorbell rang. She went to the door and checked the peephole, then threw it open. She bent over to take Will into a hug.
“I, uh, I know we didn’t call - “ Mulder started.
“I was thinking about you, wishing you would come over,” she stated simply, straightening up and smiling at him. She looked back down at Will. “How’s the head?”
“I’m good. It itches.”
“That’s a good sign. It shows that it’s healing. May I see?” Will nodded and let her move the bandage away from his stitches. “That looks very good. You can have the stitches out in a day or so.”
Mulder returned her smile as Will looked on. “We brought dinner.” He held up the bag and she grinned at the aroma of Chinese food.
“Then you’re more than welcome.” She carefully replaced the bandage and led them to the kitchen where she pulled out some plates. “I have iced tea and juice.”
“Iced tea is good,” Mulder said with a laugh.
They spent dinner catching up. Dana hadn’t realized that Will was in school, and got him to talk about his lessons. She found ice cream in her freezer and chocolate syrup in her pantry to Will’s delight.
After eating their sundae’s they moved to the living room and continued to visit until Mulder looked down at his watch. “We need to get going, Kiddo. I don’t want to get you home late.”
“Dad - “
“He’s right, Will. You don’t want to be late, but you’re welcome to come back here anytime.”
That seemed to please him and he turned back to his father. “Do it.”
“Will, get your jacket,” Mulder said, ignoring his words.
Dana looked back and forth between the two of them. “Do what?”
Mulder glared down at Will, who grinned back up at him. “Come on, Dad.”
Dana turned to Mulder and waited.
“He, uh, he wants me to kiss you goodnight.”
“Oh.” She blushed deeply.
“See, Dad. She’s thought about it too.”
“You knew he was precocious,” Mulder said quietly. “Sorry.” He turned Will toward the door.
“It’s okay.” She followed them to the door and Will took her hand, looking up at her. She smiled down at him, then over at Mulder. Without thought she rose on her toes to brush a small kiss on Mulder’s cheek. He turned at the last minute and their lips met, and held. Time disappeared.
When they broke the kiss he kept his hand on her back to steady her. Neither spoke, but Will was grinning ear to ear.
“We, uh, we need to go,” Mulder finally said.
She nodded. “Th-thank you for dinner.”
“Thank you for letting us in.” Mulder nudged Will.
“Yeah, thank you, especially for the ice cream.”
“Any time. Be careful.” She watched them walk to the elevator. Mulder looked back meeting her eyes, then stepped on the elevator. She closed the door and locked it.
It took a long time to get to sleep that night.
She didn’t know what to expect, but when the phone rang the next evening, she knew before she even picked up the receiver that it was him. “Hello.”
“Are you speaking to me?”
“Most certainly,” she smiled.
She could feel him relax. “I don’t have Will this weekend, but I wondered if I could still see you.”
“That could probably be arranged.”
He could hear the smile in her voice. “Good. Since we’ve already done the pizza thing and the Chinese food thing, I thought I’d make reservations so you could see that I can handle tablecloths as well.”
“I suspected you could.”
“Well now I can prove it. Tomorrow night? Seven?”
“I’d love to.”
He seemed speechless for a moment. “Uh, great. I’ll see you then.”
“I’m looking forward to it, Mulder,” she assured him. They spoke for another moment or two, then hung up. She found she couldn’t stop smiling even as she headed to her bedroom to check her wardrobe.
She left her office on time the next evening and hurried home to change. She’d settled on a royal blue, form fitting dress with spaghetti straps and a straight cut bodice that was a little shorter than she usually wore, and the strappy sandals a little higher. She curled her hair and put on a touch more makeup. When she stepped back to check herself, she actually laughed. She hadn’t been this excited about a date in ages.
She took a deep breath when the doorbell rang and headed in that direction.
She opened the door and smiled up at Mulder. His mouth had dropped open. It took him a couple of heart beats, then he entered the apartment at her unspoken invitation. “You’re beautiful.”
“Thank you.” She looked him up and down. She’d only seen him in jeans prior to this. That suit did not come off the rack. “You look very nice yourself.”
“This old thing?” he grinned, then he pulled the bouquet of spring flowers from behind his back and her smile grew.
“You’re spoiling me.”
“I’m trying,” he admitted and followed her into the kitchen to get a vase.
“Where are we going?”
“The Four Seasons.”
“Are you kidding? How did you get reservations there since you called me yesterday?”
His face colored slightly. “Sometimes it’s nice to be well known.”
She blinked. She’d forgotten he was a best-selling author. Nodding, she arranged the flowers and placed them on her dining room table.
“You ready to go?”
Dana nodded and picked up her bag and a light wrap. He took it from her and placed it around her shoulders, then with his hand on her back, led her to his car. They were quiet, slightly nervous, on the ride. He gave the car to the valet and took her hand to lead her inside. They were escorted to their table immediately.
Mulder ordered wine and an appetizer. When they were finally alone she met his eyes. “I’m not used to service like this.”
“It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s the reason I don’t go out much.” Even as he spoke a woman approached their table.
“Aren’t you M. F. Luder?”
“Uh, yes ma’am.”
“I hate to bother you, but could I ask for an autograph?” She extended a napkin.
He forced a smile and took the napkin, scribbling his name.
“Thank you so much. I’ve read all of your books and - “ She seemed ready to pull up a chair.
“Thank you. I hope you enjoyed them. If you’ll excuse us,” he rose from the table and held out his hand to Dana. He led her onto the dance floor and took her into his arms.
They danced in silence for a couple of minutes, then she looked up at him. “I see what you mean.”
“I’m sorry. It’s usually the tourists - ”
“Don’t be. You can’t blame her for being excited about seeing you and I’m enjoying the dance.”
He seemed to relax a little at that and pulled her a little closer. They danced until their food arrived. He held her chair and they silently toasted with their wine.
They talked about school. He had her laughing at stories of his time at Oxford and she told him stories of her sleepless nights during medical training. They danced a few more times and others left them alone, though she saw more than one person point them out. It felt strange, a side of fame she had never contemplated, but he ignored it.
They shared a dessert, chocolate cheesecake, and coffee. They took the bottle of wine with them when they left. He carefully locked it in the trunk, then headed back to her condo.
Once there she invited him back inside and waited while he retrieved the bottle of wine. She pulled out some wine glasses once they were inside and comfortable. “I didn’t want to ask in the restaurant, in case one of your fans was sitting too close, but I am curious why a man like you writes the stories you do. I mean, they’re very dark and you seem to be - “
“Normal?” he asked quietly.
She hesitated, watching him. “I’ve upset you. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to come across like a - “
“You’re not, and I’m not upset.”
She was quiet then, but she didn’t believe him. Finally she reached for her glass of wine.
“Dana - “
“It’s okay. I’m sorry. Have you spoken to Will since Wednesday?”
“I don’t want to give you the pat answer. My imagination is . . . vivid, but that’s not . . . “
“You don’t have to talk about this.”
“I don’t know if you’ll want to see me again.” He shrugged.
She met his eyes then. “I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I enjoy your company and if you want to see me again, you will.” She gave a self-depreciating chuckle then. “Missy would be appalled.”
“My sister. I’ve been ‘available’ every time you’ve called. That would horrify her.”
“You have a sister?”
She nodded. “And two brothers.”
“Remember, we’re Navy. Whenever Dad docked we added to the family. Bill and Missy are older and Charlie is younger. I thought I’d mentioned them.”
He shook his head. “I have a sister too.”
“Older or younger?” He was acting stiff and she felt regret again that she had stumbled into what seemed to be such an uncomfortable topic.
“Samantha is younger.”
“Mulder, please, what’s wrong? What did I say?”
“My darkness, where I get my stories, it’s Samantha.”
“Your sister? What does she have to do with it?”
He drained his wine and looked down at his hands. “Samantha disappeared when she was eight. I was twelve.”
He nodded, not looking at her. “I was there, but I don’t . . . we never found her.”
“Oh Mulder, I’m so sorry.” Her hand came to rest on his arm and he looked up, meeting her eyes.
“I didn’t hurt her.”
“I know that, Mulder.”
He blinked at that but continued. “There was no evidence. I was unconscious when my parents got home. I’ve had nightmares about that night for years. That kind of thing really enhances an imagination.”
“Mulder, that’s terrible. I’m so sorry.”
He shook his head.
“They didn’t, your parents didn’t blame you, did they?”
“They never said they did.”
“All those fights you mentioned, the divorce . . . Mulder, every child believes they are the cause of their parent’s divorce.”
“I know. But in this case - “
“Mulder, talk to me.”
“I have one of those memories; I never forget anything, except that night. The thing is; no one seemed to want me to remember.”
“Maybe they were trying to protect you,” she offered.
He huffed an unamused laugh. “No, protecting me is not something my father would go out of his way to do. He didn’t want me to remember.”
“Was he . . . “
“Involved?” Mulder nodded, “but not the way you think. It was their fights that I remember.”
He shook his head. “It was a long time ago.”
“I don’t think so; not if you’re still having nightmares.”
“Have some more wine.” He poured them both another glass, emptying the bottle. She accepted the change of subject. This was obviously difficult for him to talk about and they didn’t know each other that well.
She took a sip and started to rise, to put on some music, but he caught her hand. “Don’t go.”
“I wasn’t going - “
He moved closer and she found herself focused on his lips. He took the glass from her hand and placed it back on the coffee table. His hand cupped the back of her head, drawing her gently toward him. She came willingly and their lips met.
It was the same as the other night. She became lost in him as their tongues dueled and their hands explored. When they broke apart one hand cupped her cheek while the other brushed her hair away from her face. “Dana?”
She swallowed, looking deeply into his eyes. After a moment she nodded.
“We’re moving fast.”
“We’re both adults,” she responded.
He leaned in and kissed her again.
She rose and held out her hand. He took it, and followed her silently into her bedroom. He stood with his back to the bed, watching her. She reached up and slipped his suit coat from his shoulders, then loosened his tie. She pulled it slowly from around his neck and smiled slightly to see his Adams apple bob. She unbuttoned his shirt, tugging it from his slacks. The shirt followed his coat and then his t-shirt. Her hands lightly brushed the hair on his chest and then his nipples. He tensed, hissing slightly at the sensation.
“Dana - “
She didn’t speak, just unbuckled his belt. She slid it out of the belt loops and draped it over her shoulder. He drew a sharp breath at the sight.
She smiled then and he drew her against him. “You’re not playing fair.”
“You’re still wearing too many clothes.”
“Maybe you should handle that.” She met his eyes.
He didn’t speak, turning her from him and taking hold of her zipper. He slowly drew it down, revealing her strapless bra. He held her hand as she stepped out of the dress. Her lacy panties drew his eye and he sank to his knees in front of her.
“Muld - “
“Shh.” He slipped the damp underwear down and kissed her curls. She held her breath and he kissed his way back up to her navel, then her breasts. His hands moved behind her and the clasp of her bra came apart.
His pupils dilated as he gazed at her breasts.
“Now who’s wearing too many clothes?” she whispered.
He picked her up and lay her gently on the bed. As she watched he lowered his zipper and stepped out of his slacks. His desire was obvious and her eyes widened.
He knelt on the bed beside her and kissed her again, then watched as she hooked her fingers into the elastic of his boxers. He smiled as he returned to his feet and watched her lower them. Her eyes gleamed as he sprang free.
He returned to his hands and knees, not allowing himself to get too close. He leaned in nuzzling her neck. “You’re so beautiful.”
Her hands traced his muscles then tried to pull him closer. He resisted and she moaned. “Wait.” He dipped his head and began loving her beasts, her belly, the inside of her arms until she was writhing beneath him
“Mulder,” she moaned.
“I want to love all of you.” He nuzzled her curls and his tongue flicked out to taste her. She arched, gasping for breath.
His tongue dipped into her, bringing to life senses she’d forgotten. She shattered like crystal when he concentrated on that small bundle of nerves, her hand buried in his hair.
He pulled her to him, holding her tenderly against him while she came back to herself. When she got her breath back he caressed her face. “Dana?”
“Damn,” she said softly.
He grinned. “You enjoyed that?”
“Enjoyed, yeah.” Her eyes were gleaming. He groaned when she wrapped her hand around him. “Now it’s time for you to enjoy.” Her hand moved slowly up and down as she tightened and loosened her fingers.
She nodded as her tongue laved his nipple. He forced himself away from her and she looked up, questioning him. He was breathing heavily but managed to touch a finger to her lips.
She nodded and pulled open the drawer of her bedside table. There was an unopened box of condoms inside. He smiled as he pulled the tab to remove the cellophane from the box.
He pulled one of the gold disks from the box and she took it from his hands. As he watched as she tore open the package. Her hands were firm but gentle as she rolled the latex over him. He forced his eyes to remain open, not wanting to miss a second of watching her.
She moved closer, opening herself to him. He didn’t hesitate now, moving with her, knowing she was ready but moving slowly nevertheless. This was too good to rush. She was tight, but she didn’t seem to be in any discomfort, judging from the look in her eyes. When he was completely sheathed within her, he stopped, just to watch her for a moment, then together they began to move.
She met his long slow strokes in perfect synch; their eyes locked on one another. Then her hands moved down his body and cupped his ass. He hissed when her nails sank into his flesh and he watched the grin on her face.
“Oh, so you want to play rough.”
Her smile vanished as he increased his speed and though she hadn’t thought it possible, his depth. Then his fingers joined the party and her breath grew shallow. “Muld - “
He found that sensitive spot again and fondled it, watching her. Her eyes widened as her body spun out of her control again giving herself over to him. Her convulsions surrounding him sent him over the edge as well. Her arms held him as he shuddered above her and collapsed partially atop her. Her hug tightened when he tried to move away.
“I’m too heavy.”
He nuzzled into her neck and stayed where he was. He fought sleep; they had never been together and it seemed uncool, until he realized she had drifted off under him. He gave in then, pulling her closer in his arms.
When he woke a short time later, he quietly left the bed and slipped into the bathroom. Now the dilemma, did he return to the bed or leave? He’d had no nightmare yet, and he found he wanted to stay. There was something about this woman that drew him; hell, he’d even talked about Samantha to her, at least a little. Did she want him to stay? He certainly hadn’t expected this to happen on their first date, or was it their third? He smiled at the question, then returned to the bedroom.
She opened drowsy eyes. “Can you stay?”
“Would you mind?”
Her smile gave him all the answer he needed as she scooted over to give him room. He pulled her back against him and they drifted off, only to wake several times during the night to reconnect.
They slept late, then fixed breakfast together. Or she fixed breakfast and he kept getting in her way, touching her, caressing her, kissing her. Laughing she was threatening to banish him to the other room when the phone rang. “Don’t you dare add any butter to that. Just stand there and try to be good,” she warned him as she reached for the phone still looking at him. He had put back on his slacks and his shirt hung open, revealing the chest she had been pressed against last night.
“I wish I could be there with you and Dad. He’s so happy when he’s with you.”
“W-Will?” she looked up at Mulder, stunned. He hurried to her side, silently asking the question.
“Yeah, it’s me. I just wanted you to know how glad he is to be there. Sometimes he’s afraid to admit stuff like that; like he doesn’t deserve it or something.”
“I’m very glad he’s here too,” she said softly, watching the man’s eyes turn green in front of her. “Did you call his apartment?”
“No. I knew where he was.”
She didn’t have a response to that. “Would you like to speak to him?”
Silently Dana handed the phone to Mulder and moved away to give him some privacy. He followed her though, seeming to need her proximity. “Will?”
She turned back to the eggs, stirring them, not sure what to think of this turn of events.
When he hung up she turned to him. He looked as though he’d been caught stealing cookies from the jar.
He’s . . . intuitive.”
“Intuitive? Mulder - “
“He knows me; he knows when I’m upset, when I’m . . . happy, though he doesn’t see that as often.”
Mulder shook his head.
“That’s how he knew to call me when he got back to his mother’s place that night.”
Mulder nodded. “I’m sorry he - “
“Don’t be. I’ve already told you that. He did me a favor.”
She reached up a pulled his face down to her, kissing him gently. He shivered slightly with the contact, then his arms went around her.
“Mulder, how did Will know?”
“I don’t know.”
“Has he ever . . . “
“I haven’t been with anyone since I left Diana.”
She blinked at that. Over two years? Did she believe that? But it felt true.
As though reading her thoughts, he glanced toward the bedroom. “The box wasn’t opened.”
She shook her head. “I bought it when I moved in.”
His eyes lit up then.
“You changed the subject,” but her lips were curving up.
“Will. I don’t know how he knew I was here, but yes, he seems to feel my emotions. He called you after that fight because he knew I was upset. He doesn’t have much chance to feel me happy.”
“He feels you.”
Mulder shrugged. “I don’t think about it. Even as an infant I was better with him. I could calm him when Diana had pretty much given up.”
“You must have bonded early.”
“Yeah. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy. She told me she . . . she wasn’t happy to be pregnant.”
“Were you there when he was born?”
“No. I’ll always regret that. He came early, not really dangerously so, but I’d gone on a book signing in the city. By the time I got there, she was having a C-section. They didn’t let me in; it was an emergency so I had to wait. They let me see Will as soon as he was stable.”
She turned to the stove and took up the eggs. They were a little dry but not burnt. “Did he look like you then?”
“God yes.” He took the seat she indicated as she brought the toast and he poured the juice. “I’ve never seen Diana in him.”
She nodded and took a bite of eggs.
They were quiet now. When they had finished he rose. “I should get out of here.”
“Mulder - “
“No, it’s okay. I’m sure you have things you need to do.”
“Will I see you again?” She asked quietly. “Or should I ask if you still respect me?”
His eyes widened in horror as his mouth fell open. “Is that what you - Dana, don’t ever think that. There is one thing; I do admit you scare me.”
“I don’t ever want to leave here.”
She bit her lip as her shoulders relaxed. “What?”
“Sorry, now I’ll scare you too.”
“Maybe a little, but not enough to stay away.”
His finger lightly caressed her jaw line. “Thank you.” He swallowed then and took a deep breath. “I’m gonna go home, take a shower and change. I need to write for a couple of hours, then I’ll call you. Maybe we could do something tonight.”
She nodded. “I’d like that.”
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.