He opened the door and let himself in. He should get his bag from the car, but right now he didn’t have the energy. He hadn’t slept in a couple of days, being there for her, being strong. She’d really seemed to need him there for a little while, but as usual it had changed.
She had withdrawn again. Oh, she had been grateful for his presence in one way, needing his strength to get her through the first overwhelming wave of grief. He’d been happy to be there for her, wanted to be there for her.
He knew he was the only person that knew. She had come to him and him alone. He clung to that. She hadn’t even told her mother.
He pulled back the dust cover and sank onto the sofa. He’d never liked this sofa, it wasn’t comfortable, too hard and . . . and formal. Just like his mother. No, he shouldn’t have thought that. She'd had her own problems, things he hadn’t known for far too long.
He looked around the room. It really wasn’t him, though he’d spent plenty of time here growing up. Beige plush carpet, matching rose chairs flanking the fireplace which was never used; this floral sofa against the wall with the coffee table in front. There were nick-knacks on the tables - dustables that were purchased only for their ability to ‘go with’ the room, not for their meaning or to signify any occasion. Had there been any occasions?
Never mind, he just needed a little time. Time to reconcile himself to his true role in life, in her life. A friend, and a partner, but no more, even now.
She took a deep breath and turned the knob on the office door. She was startled to find it locked. When was the last time she had beaten Mulder to work? It was unsettling and she was already unsettled enough. Maybe she should have taken a couple more days, but since she had sent him home . . .
She’d spent last night alone. It had been hard but she’d had to do it. She had to move on with her life and being able to stay alone in her own home was the first step. Alone. No matter that she hadn’t been able to sleep without him there.
She straightened her shoulders and blinked away the tears that threatened to form yet again. No, she just needed to get back to work. He’d no doubt been sitting on some insane case, just waiting for her to get her act together. That was what she needed now. He’d indulged her long enough. The intellectual give and take of sparring with Mulder kept her on her toes, made her feel alive.
Where was he?
She made the coffee and booted up her computer.
It was lonely down here. How had he stood it all that time? She would have lost her mind all alone like this.
And where was he? She pretended to herself that she was going to wait for about five more minutes. Oh hell. She picked up the receiver. She got the machine at his apartment. That was good wasn’t it; he was on his way, just running late.
Fifteen minutes later there was still no sign of him. She found herself dialing his cell phone. Turned off? Her fingers felt numb as she returned the receiver to the cradle. Why would he turn off his phone?
She gave it another ten minutes before she reached for her keys. The phone ringing stopped her and she snatched it up. But she found herself unable to speak.
“Agent Scully?” Skinner’s voice resonated in her ears.
“I need to see you for a moment.”
“I’ll be right up.” She hung up and hooked her hair behind her ear. She should have asked if Mulder was already up there, but why wouldn’t he have come down here first. They didn’t have a meeting, did they? Something he’d forgotten to mention?
She locked the door behind her and summoned the elevator.
Out of town? What did that mean and why hadn’t he mentioned it to her? She let herself back into their office. It obviously wasn’t an assignment. Skinner had seemed surprised that she didn’t know Mulder’s plans. But he also didn’t know why she had been out of work the past couple of days. Mulder had only said she wasn’t feeling well.
Had something happened? Why had he gone off by himself? If something was wrong surely he knew to come to her . . . unless he’d already spent too much time with her and needed to be alone.
She'd been able to stay at the office until lunchtime, then finally admitted that she wasn't able to work. Not knowing where he was pulled at her. He wouldn't ditch her, not after . . . So where had he gone? Had it been that important to put distance between them? Yes, she'd asked too much, leaned too hard, but would he leave town just to get away from her?
Her first thought had been Quonochontaug, but as she headed north that hadn't felt right.
She realized she’d guessed correctly when she spotted his car in the driveway beside his mother's house. Maybe there was something between them. That almost brought a laugh; of course there was something. She parked behind his car and let herself out. He hadn’t come running to welcome her, but he hadn’t ordered her away either.
Leaving her bag in the car, she mounted the steps. It had been a long time since she’d been here; not since he’d deserted her here to continue the treatment by Dr. Goldstein. That had ended in near disaster; was he contemplating something like that again? Why else ditch her?
She tapped on the door, but there was no answer. His car was here. Knowing him, he wasn’t taking a nap. She knocked again, louder. Nothing.
She walked to the end of the porch and took those steps, following the walkway to the back yard. It wasn’t overgrown. Mulder must have taken over paying for someone to look after the place. She never thought about his money; on more than one occasion she had wondered if he could make his rent.
She spotted the edge of a slate patio and moved in that direction. She finally saw him, sitting in the sun, but not relaxing. He had ignored the chaise and was in one of the upright chairs. His elbows were on his knees and his face was buried in his hands.
Scully froze. What was wrong? What hadn’t he wanted to share with her? The thought of getting away from there before he saw her crossed her mind, but she couldn’t. Something was wrong. He was always there for her.
She moved quietly toward him. He was so far inside himself he was unaware of her approach. She didn’t touch him, but she was close enough. “Mulder?” She spoke quietly, but it had the effect of an explosion.
He jerked to his feet, overturning the metal chair. His eyes were wild, scanning her.
“I’m sorry. Mulder, I’m sorry. I was worried about you.”
He seemed unable to speak for a moment. She could see the pulse at his throat. Her desire to touch him was held in tight check. He still seemed unable to process that she stood before him.
“How did you find . . . “ His voice was rough from disuse. He coughed and she moved closer. He stumbled back and she stopped.
“M-Mulder, what’s wrong?”
“Why are you here?”
“I was concerned about you.”
He stared as her as though he didn’t quite understand the language, familiar but not connecting.
“Did something happen to you? Please, what’s wrong?”
“Noth-nothing. I just wanted some . . . Are-are you all right?”
She blinked at that. “I was worried. You just left without a word.”
“You told me to leave.” He literally bit his tongue at those words. He hadn’t meant to say them.
“Look, I’m fine. I just wanted to get away for a few days - “
“Away from me?” Her voice was low and the pain was obvious.
He looked away for an instant. “Did you drive?”
“Wha - uh, yes I drove.”
“It’s too late to drive back to DC tonight.” He spoke to himself. “You, you’re probably hungry.”
“No.” She stepped back now. She had obviously made an error in coming here.
“I can stop on the way if I get tired.”
“That makes no sense. You’re here. It . . . it’ll be okay.”
Okay? What did that mean? She felt such a distance from him. After what they had just been through . . .
“Stay, Scully. I don’t want you on the road.”
She opened her mouth to protest again, but something in his eyes made her stop. He was in pain. What the hell was going on? Finally she nodded and followed him into the house.
They both pretended to eat in uncomfortable silence. She wanted to get out of here. Maybe she couldn’t drive all the way home, but part of her wanted to just get away.
He had seen her retreat. He wasn’t surprised, he couldn’t do anything right. He started to ask if she wanted more tea when she spoke.
“I need to get started back, Mulder. I shouldn’t have come up here and bothered you. I’ll get out of your way.” She looked down at her hands and pushed back from the table.
“Don’t leave. It’s too late for you to get home.”
“I can stay at some - “
“Scully.” His look pinned her to the seat.
She finally met his eyes. “I, I guess I can leave in the morning.”
He nodded, “That makes more sense. You can have Mom’s room. I’ll get your bag from the car.”
“I can - “ but he was already gone, as though escaping her presence.
She followed him upstairs and to his mother’s room. She hesitated at the door. “Mu-Mulder, isn’t there a guest room or something . . . “
“Uh, yeah.” He returned to her and led her down the hall to a second room.
“Oh, you’re using . . .”
“It’s okay. I’ll take the couch downstairs.”
“You can’t sleep on that. It’s the most uncomfortable - “
He forced a grin. “I’m used to that. It’s okay, Scully.”
“What about your old room.”
He motioned farther down the hall. “Mom turned it into a sewing room.”
“Your mother sewed?”
“Not that I can tell.” His grin was ironic now. “Get comfortable.”
She got ready for bed. There was no reason to stay up and she could get an earlier start in the morning. She hadn’t been this uncomfortable around Mulder since they first started working together. After what he had just helped her through that made no sense, unless . . . she’d asked too much of him, leaned too hard.
The tear that splashed on her hand surprised her. Why couldn’t she get herself back together? She slipped under the covers and curled onto her side.
The mixture of exhaustion and emotion pulled her under.
She woke into pitch darkness, disoriented, her pulse and breathing rapid. Mulder, where was Mulder? She leapt from the bed and grabbed the robe from where she had laid it across the foot. She groped for the door and jerked it open. There was the impression of light at the end of the hall and she turned toward it, stabbing her arms in the sleeves of her robe.
The light grew stronger as she approached the stairs. Mulder was downstairs and he would have light. Grasping the handrail, she descended as rapidly as possible and turned toward the living room.
The sight of him, asleep on the couch with a book open on his chest, allowed her to stop her headlong plunge. She grasped the doorframe to steady herself.
Her presence, the sound of her breathing, something roused him and he sat up. His eyes found her instantly. “Scully? Scully!”
He was on his feet, rushing to her. “What happened? Are you all right?” He led her to the couch and seated her, then took a seat on the coffee table, clasping her cold hands. “What?”
She shook her head, “Just a . . . a dream, I guess.”
“Nightmare.” He corrected her. She was shaking, so he moved to sit beside her, gathering her to him. “It’s okay now.” He rubbed her arms, warming her, holding her close but not talking.
“Mulder,” She spoke quietly, “did you really think I was sending you away?”
“You did send me away.”
“No. I . . . I just wanted to see if I could stand on my own feet again. You’ve been there through, through everything. I couldn’t have . . . without you. I’ve been leaning on you for so long.”
“You never lean on me. You’re the strongest person I know.“
“I asked the unthinkable - “
“God,” she studied her hands. “I asked you to father my child.”
“’Your child’, not our child.” His voice was flat, totally devoid of expression.
She pulled away, her eyes wide and stared at him for a moment. “You . . . is that what you thought? That I didn’t want you around?” He watched her, not speaking. “You wanted to have a baby? It wasn’t just to indulge me?"
“I wouldn’t have agreed to the whole thing if I hadn’t.”
”But you’ve never talked about having a child.”
“I don’t want ‘a’ child. I wanted our child. But I never thought it would happen, so there was no need to talk about it. You never talked about it either until . . . “
She was reeling from his words, “I thought I was asking too . . . “
He didn’t seem to have heard her. “I knew you wouldn’t let me near him or her until they were less fragile, and we both know I don’t have clue one about parenting, but I figured if anyone could teach me . . . “
She sat there too shocked to speak. He finally looked up at her. “Scully?”
“I didn’t know. I couldn’t even hope . . . “
“What? That I’d want to share this with you? Why not?”
That wasn’t a question she could answer, not in this life time. Why hadn’t she? When the doctor had said there was a possibility, no one else had even occurred to her. If Mulder had said no, the ‘project’ would have halted there. She knew that, why hadn’t she faced it? This was Mulder, what more did she need?
She looked up, unaware he was bending so closely over her that their noses bumped. Instead of drawing away, she let her nose rub against his. His lips were so close, she could feel his breath on her, but he made no move, waiting. This was her decision.
She brushed her lips against his, not really a kiss, more of a caress and she saw his eyes widen. He grew more tense, but still he waited.
What the hell was she waiting for? This was the man she’d wanted for years, the man who populated her dreams - sleeping and waking, the man she’d wanted to join with, create a new life with. She pressed her lips against his, tasting him. It was only a heartbeat before he joined her. His heart stuttered when her lips parted, inviting him inside. There was no decision to be made, his tongue plunged into her mouth, exploring, tasting, mapping her for his memory. Oh god!
When they came to their senses, he was reclined on her, pressing her into the flowered fabric of the sofa. His lips were below her ear, suckling the tender skin of her neck.
He drew back and wanted to believe he heard a whimper. Was it possible? She looked surprised, but there was no horror, or worse, fear on her face. “Scu . . . Scully?”
Her arms snaked around his neck. “Mulder, I can’t give you a family. Are you willing to settle - “
“Scully. There would be no settling. I’ve wanted you a lot longer than I’ve wanted kids.” That caused a look of shock to grow on her face. “So, the old guy still has some surprises.”
“Why didn’t you say something?”
“I thought agreeing to . . . I thought you’d realize. I mean making a child together, regardless of the . . . when you didn’t, and then you asked me to leave . . . “
“Oh god, Mulder. That’s not at all . . . “ Tears formed in her eyes. “I thought you’d be relieved to get away from my moods, my hormones - “
“Your grief?” He asked quietly.
“Yes.” She said simply.
“And you didn’t realize I was grieving too?”
Oh god, she’d misread everything. How could she have missed what was happening with him? Because she’d been so wrapped up in herself, in her own grief.
“I don’t want an apology, Scully. I, I just want you to, to know how I feel.”
“You want me to let you in.” She looked down at her hands. “I thought I was when I asked . . . You wanted a child with me.” She met his eyes then.
“Very much. The truth, I want to be a part of your life in every way I can be.”
A tear escaped then, “You already are. As much as I wanted, want a child, I only want yours.”
His mouth fell open then.
She shifted her hips, bringing herself in closer contact with the growing part of his anatomy pressing her into the sofa. “Old guy?”
She heard the growl and looked up. Now the surprise was on his face, though it was closer to stunned. She brushed his lips with hers again. “Do you want to go upstairs?”
“I, uh, I was hoping to get to first base.”
She laughed then and his breath caught. “I thought we got there in Antarctica.” Her brow rose.
A smile came to his face then, “Yeah, I guess we did.” His eyes were scanning her face, more familiar than his own, for every nuance. But his fingers were tracing her features as though he were blind. "Are you sure?"
After another look deep into her eyes, he lifted himself off of her. She shivered slightly though she wasn’t in the least bit cold. He held out his hand to her, reminiscent of their first and only dance. She didn’t hesitate to take hold of it.
He followed her upstairs and into the bedroom.
She untied the sash of her robe and hesitated. “This isn’t exactly what I had fantasized about wearing to seduce you.”
He blinked at that. “I can’t imagine any outfit you could wear that wouldn’t seduce me.”
She blushed and watched his fingers trace the collar of the men’s style pajamas she wore. He played with the top button and met her eyes. Her nod would have been imperceptible to anyone else. He made short work of the buttons, then let the top slid down her arms and fall to the floor.
He stood there then, just looking at her. “Mu-Mulder?”
“Sorry, I just . . . You’re so beautiful.”
Color flooded her face and spread down her chest. His smile grew.
His hand came out and caressed the silky skin of her side, tracing the indention of her waist. She shivered slightly at his touch.
“Are you cold?”
She shook her head.
He ran a finger around the elastic of her pants, then looked at her. There was the tiniest of nods and he let his fingers slide inside and lower them over her hips. Again he just stood there.
“I can’t . . . I’m having trouble believing this.”
“Well, it’s no plastic cup.”
The laugh surprised even her, and her hand caressed his cheek. “Did you notice that I’m the only one nude here?”
His eyes smiled as her hands took hold of the hem of his t-shirt. She lifted it over his head and let it fall to the floor. He pulled her to him then, pressing her body against him.
He'd opted for running shorts with her here. He'd been sure going nude would be unwelcome, now they were inadequate. Her hand curled around him through the fabric and he involuntarily thrust into her hand. "Lose the shorts, Agent Mulder." She whispered into his ear.
"Yes ma'am." He let them drop to the floor, but he was more interested in watching her. He couldn't help the feeling of pleasure that ran through him when her lips parted at the sight of him in his nude glory.
She blinked and met his eyes, hearing the question he hadn't spoken.
"I'm sure." She took his hand and led him the three steps to the bed. She reclined and he covered her for a moment. Then he lifted himself from her and looked down.
"Tell me what you like." He asked softly.
"You." She whispered.
His look of joy took her breath away. He let his cock press into her thigh as he lowered his head to her breasts. He wasn't going to hurry this. No plastic cup indeed. She shivered as his tongue traced her breasts, memorizing her nipples. He wanted to bury his face in between them and never leave. But there was more of Scully to explore. Decisions, decisions.
He could feel her hands caressing his shoulders and upper arms. He looked up to see her smile. She hadn't smiled much since she'd gotten the bad news. Knowing he had caused that smile warmed him.
He moved down her body, nuzzling her ribs, teasing her navel. Her hands wove into his hair. “Mulder?”
Then she was pulling him back up to her lips.
"Scully, let me - "
"Next time." She whispered in his ear. He thought his heart would burst at those words. Next time; there would be a next time and a time after that and for the rest of forever.
His body seemed to know hers in ways he wasn't privileged to, but he fit so well inside of her. Leaving her, even to thrust deeper seemed a sacrilege. She obviously agreed, meeting his every thrust. He was torn between wanting this to last forever and wanting to come within her right now.
No, her pleasure was paramount. She gasped as his fingers entered the game, changing the angle and threatening to overload her senses completely. He was stunned at her body's reaction to him, her complete surrender as her orgasm took over. Dana Scully, giving herself so completely to him, god! He slowed, giving her time to recover, but her hand cupped his tight balls and he learned a new definition of surrender.
He felt boneless after spilling himself into her, but the tears sparkling on her cheeks sent a jolt of adrenaline through him. Before he could speak, she smiled. "Don't do that." He murmured, burying his face in her throat.
"Cry when I make love to you."
"Then you can't look at me like that."
"Like you love me."
He seemed to think about it for a second or two. "Okay, you can cry, but warn me, okay?"
"It's a deal, Mulder."
Links to other sites on the Web
Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.