Scully looked up in time to see the slice of pizza collapse and land on his lap, cheese stringing from his chin. She burst out laughing. The sight of her enjoying herself so thoroughly here on his couch, even at his expense, stopped him from even wincing at the hot cheese. She reached over and with her finger pulled the cheese from his chin and as his mouth fell open popped it into her own mouth and sucked on her finger.
The case they had been working on vanished from his mind and he was slammed between the eyes with the fact that she was one of the most desirable women he had ever had the privilege to know. The desire to take her into his arms paralyzed him.
"Go change, you've got pizza sauce all over you." She was still chuckling, totally unaware of the effect she was having on him. Especially in the groin area. Yeah, get out of here, get back in control. This was Scully, not only would she not appreciate his lusting after her like some teenager, he didn't have the guts anyway. He changed quickly into jeans and a t-shirt.
When he returned to the living room she had cleaned up and was leaning over his computer, her slacks pulled tight across her ass. What the hell was wrong with him?
"Uh, Scully. I've got something I need to do tonight. Why don't we pick this back up Monday."
She looked up surprised and more than a little disappointed. Maybe it wasn't her dream date, but at least she had something to do on a Friday night and not alone. Did he have a date?
"Oh, of course. Sorry Mulder, I didn't realize you had plans. See you Monday." She began gathering her things together and slipping back on her shoes.
"It's not that important. . . " Now that she was actually leaving he began backtracking. Having her here was a whole lot better than anything he had planned, not that he really did have anything planned.
"It's okay, Mulder. We see plenty of each other through the week. Have a good weekend." She headed for the door and he trailed behind her, sorry now he'd opened his mouth. He watched her walk down the hall toward the elevator, away from him and felt bereft for some reason.
When the elevator door closed, he shut the door to his apartment. Well, he'd really bungled that one. She'd been here with him and he hadn't been able to just be with her without. . . No, she was oblivious to his feelings and better off for it. Think about it Mulder, she doesn't want to get any closer to you. That "I'm fine" line should have convinced him by now. He drew a deep breath. Nothing had changed; nothing was going to change. It was a good thing she had left, before he'd slipped and made a fool of himself, again.
He grabbed his jacket off the eight ball and headed out himself. Why stay here alone and keep going over his own ineptitude. He could do that just as well in public.
Her car was already gone. She'd been in a big enough hurry to get away from him. Maybe he should have given her the excuse earlier. That thought didn't lift his spirits any.
Okay, he was alone again, on a Friday night. Where should he go? He could always head over to visit with the guys. They no doubt had some new software or theory to entertain him. Yeah, his favorite pastime on a weekend, hanging out with the other geeks.
No, he couldn't get the sight of her sucking her finger out of his mind. Having Frohike go on and on about his sexy partner would cause him to snap. He turned his car in the other direction and headed toward a bar he had frequented occasionally in the past.
He pulled in and noted the increase in number of cars and the definite increase in occupants. Had he ever been here on a Friday night? Maybe not. Or the place had gotten popular since the last time he'd dropped by.
He found an empty seat at the bar and ordered a double scotch, not bothering to look around. It wasn't his normal drink, but since he didn't really have a normal drink, this should get him where he wanted to be fast enough. He shouldn't have come here; he didn't want activity and music and couples getting together. He wanted to be alone to get drunk and to brood over not being able to be with the woman he wanted. Staying home would have been the smarter idea.
"Is this seat taken?" He hadn't noticed the couple next to him leave, and was now looking at an extremely attractive woman, tall, blond, voluptuous.
"No, please." He motioned to the stool next to him.
"I don't believe I've seen you here before." The bartender placed a drink in front of her. When had she ordered, or was she a regular?
"Uh, no. I haven't been here for a while. Business has picked up." He motioned for another drink himself.
"New owner. He's upgraded the sound system and made some improvements. Fridays and Saturdays can get real crowded. I think you'll like the place." He nodded for lack of any verbal response.
"Mulder." She tapped her glass against his and took a sip. She had full lips he noted and she smelled good. She obviously wanted to talk to someone and he was available. If she leaned toward him any farther he'd be gazing at her navel. This was kind of nice; a woman, an attractive woman, who was interested in him as a man. It had been a long time since someone had come on to him.
What was the song, if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with? Love? Hardly.
"Would you like to dance?" Her eyes were blue too. Too? Shit Mulder, pay attention, this truly hot woman is in your face and obviously wants to be even closer.
"Sure." He rose placing his hand on her back. He removed it immediately. It didn't feel right for some reason. The dance floor, what little there was of it, was crowded. Well that suited him fine; her too apparently. Pressed any closer to him she'd be behind him.
They had a few more drinks and dances, not talking much. The music was loud and he wasn't up for the effort.
Now her arms were around his neck. When was the last time something like this had happened to him? Detective White? What was her first name? Had he ever known it? She'd been all over him and of course Scully had had to walk in. It had looked bad, but absolutely nothing had happened.
Julie ground herself into him. "Where'd you go Mulder?"
He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. This beautiful woman was all over him, and he was thinking about a petite redhead who not only didn't want him, she hadn't even noticed how he felt after six years. Or hadn't wanted to and played dumb so he could save face. That thought caused a surge of grief through him. Was that it? She didn't love . . . strike that, she wasn't attracted to him, she cared for him - hell they were partners, but that was all she wanted.
He pulled this woman, Julie?, against him and kissed her. She responded eagerly, her tongue probing his mouth, her hips moving sensuously against his.
Her lips were moving up his face now. "I don't live far from here." She whispered in his ear. He only nodded allowing her to lead him to the door. They stepped outside and the quietness stunned him after the music in the bar. His steps faltered as the quiet allowed him to hear himself think again.
Julie tugged at his hand, trying to get him to move again.
"Uh, no Julie."
"I can't. I'm sorry." No way, just how stupid was he?
"You're involved, aren't you? I saw it in your eyes, but . . ."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to - "
"Better luck next time, huh?" She jerked away from him.
"Let me call you a cab."
"To ease your conscience? Screw you." She took a few steps and then turned back. "I hope she deserves a creep like you."
He took a step toward her but she had turned again and was gone. He let his hand fall to his side. No, Scully didn't deserve a creep like him. He sighed and flagged down a cab. At least he knew enough not to drive.
He crawled in, gave the address and closed his eyes. He didn't move again until the cab stopped. He paid and dragged himself out of the car. The driver barely waited for the door to close before taking off. Busy night. He turned toward the building and took two steps before he stopped and looked around.
Shit! He was at Scully's apartment, not his? What the hell address had he given the driver? Was he that screwed up? He looked around for another taxi. Nothing. Fine, he'd wait. It wasn't that cold.
She was curled up on the couch reading when she heard the knock at her door. She glanced at her watch, startled. Who would be here this late? She rose and headed for the door, checking through the peephole, then hurried to open it.
"Mulder? Are you . . . is everything all right?" He didn't seem himself.
"Can I come in? I know it's late."
"Of course, come on in." She moved aside to let him pass and caught the whiff of alcohol mingled with smoke and perfume. "Have you been drinking?"
"Uh, yeah. I went out after you left."
She nodded, "You said you had plans. Is she pretty?" She tried to smile, keeping the question light. She wasn't sure she'd succeeded.
"There is no she, Scully."
Scully's eyebrow rose. "You don't smell like you were in a gay bar Mulder."
He glanced down at himself. "I guess I don't."
"Mulder, are you okay?" He shrugged but didn't answer. What was going on here? "Listen, Mulder, you kind of reek. Why don't you take a quick shower and I'll make us some coffee?"
"Maybe I should just go." He turned back toward the door.
"You shouldn't be driving." She put her hand out to stop him.
"I'm not. I took a cab over here. I left my car . . . "
"Go take the shower Mulder. I think it'll make things clearer. Okay?" She turned him toward the bathroom and pushed him gently, her hands on his back. He obeyed and she heard the water come on.
She stood there a moment, looking at the door and wondering what had happened. Finally she shook her head and moved into her bedroom. Didn't she still have those sweat pants and
t-shirt he'd thrown in her suitcase at the last minute?
He hadn't bothered to lock the bathroom door, so she laid his clean clothes across the tub, carefully not looking toward the shower, and removed his used clothes from the room.
When he emerged from the bathroom wearing the new clothing, his hair wet and slicked back, she was back on the couch, two steaming mugs on the table in front of her.
"You doing better Mulder?" He nodded but didn't attempt to smile. Her concern rose another notch. "Sit down, talk to me."
"Would you mind if I just sat here for a while, and we didn't talk?" He was still standing over her, not making a move toward the couch.
"No, I wouldn't mind." She watched him seat himself and after a couple of seconds reach for the cup.
They sat in silence and, after a little while, she picked her book back up. She glanced at him and he nodded, so she opened it up. When he was ready he'd talk. When he was like this pushing wouldn't help. What surprised her was that he'd come here in this mood. Usually he acted like he wanted to be alone.
She had scrunched down to get comfortable again when he reached for her and pulled her over to him, tucking her in next to him. It surprised her, but she kept her reaction to herself, in fact she was pleased she could offer him this comfort for whatever it was that had put him in this mood.
She woke slowly, had she fallen asleep on her couch? What the . . .? Mulder? Right, he'd come over. She'd fallen asleep against him and he'd apparently drifted off as well. He stirred slightly and the hand cupping her breast tightened. Why was Mulder's hand on her breast? He pulled her closer and she became more aware of the rest of his anatomy pressing into her back. Her eyes widened at the knowledge this was imparting to her and she became aware of a wetness between her legs.
Bad idea. She began to pull away gently, so as not to wake him. His hand tighten again and the other hand was on her stomach moving down. Oh no!
"Mulder." She pulled away then; a little more forcefully than she had meant to, but things were getting out of hand.
"Yeah." She said dryly now that she was standing looking down at him.
"What am I . . .?"
"You got drunk last night and came over here to sleep it off."
His hand went to his head, that's not exactly what had happened, but was it worth explaining? What the hell, he'd already pissed her off and he wasn't even awake yet. If she hadn't wanted him to stay then she should have thrown him out.
He made it to his feet now and loomed over her. What the hell, she was already angry, and her lips were so damn inviting. One arm went around her waist and the other to the back of her head as his lips closed over hers. For a stunned second she took it, then began struggling, pulling away from him. He resisted for a moment, enjoying even that, then let her pull away.
"What are you doing? Are you still drunk?"
Yeah, he was a little, but mostly just uninhibited enough to try to change the status quo. Big mistake and she was still talking.
" - just because you couldn't get her to put out last night doesn't mean - "
"Oh she would have put out, she was anxious to in fact." She winced at the emphasis on the pronoun. "But you wouldn't let her, just like you haven't let anyone get near me in years. Oh hell."
He turned abruptly and headed toward the door. Whatever it was whizzing past his head, missed him by centimeters, then the book she had been reading slammed into the door and fell to the floor.
He whirled back around, almost losing his balance in the process. "What the hell?"
"Where do you get off blaming me for anything? You're the one that showed up here last night, uninvited. I let you get cleaned up, pour coffee down you, end up sleeping in your arms." Her voice cracked at that and she shut up.
His eyes opened wider. He hadn't dreamed that? He'd had Scully in his arms, fondling her breast? Oh shit.
She watched the color leave his face and his eyes looked around the room as though for escape. What was going on? He looked positively panicked and her fury lessened a couple of notches. He wasn't himself. That much was obvious. He didn't normally drink; at least not that she was aware of - too many ghosts of his father there. She took a deep breath, trying to center herself.
"Mulder, I think you need to sit down."
He shook his head slightly. He reached for the doorknob and missed. He had to take a step to steady himself. At that she moved to his side though he flinched as she reached out for him.
He had groped her like some horny teenager and then forced himself on her like a fucking rapist! Never again, he'd never drink again. He'd stay in his apartment or the office and never inflict himself on the public in the future. God, she was talking again and his head was pounding. Standing had been a bad idea but he had to put some distance between them.
" - down Mulder. Sit right here and let me get you some aspirin and more coffee." She was tugging at his elbow and as much as he needed to get out of here, part of him needed just as much to stay. And he still needed to call a cab, pitiful wasn't he.
"Did you have a fight with her? Is that it?"
"No, there was no fight. There was no 'her'."
"But you said - "
"I didn't have any plans, Scully. I just said that to get you out of my apartment." He looked up at her finally and saw the confusion and the hurt in her eyes.
"So that she could come over?"
"Damn it, there's no she! There was a woman in the bar, I don't know her name, she was no one! You don't even know what you did." He shook his head. He needed to get out of here, he wasn't in control. There must still be alcohol in his system.
"What I did?" Now her voice was coming back.
"Yes, what you did. You came over dressed like that, sucking your fingers, leaning over. I'm not a monk, Scully! And you, you were there. So I got you out and then went out myself."
She didn't have a clue what her response should be to that. They sat looking at each other; he was breathing as though he'd been running. Well he had, from her, for years.
"I started to leave with the woman, the one I don't know." He looked at her, "but I couldn't. Then I got in a cab and ended up here. I meant to give him my address, I didn't plan to show up here."
She sighed. "What does the psychologist in you say about that?"
"Not to look at it."
After a long moment she finally spoke. "So you didn't know this woman." He nodded. "You picked her up in a bar."
"She picked me up."
"Whatever, so you . . . what? Drank, danced?"
"Mulder, I was right there in your apartment. If you'd wanted to go out, you could have asked me." He shook his head slightly. "Why not?"
"Because I figured you'd shoot me again." Her eyebrow started its rise. "No really, Scully, I was trying to keep the distance, the distance you want. That's . . . That would be a Dana/Fox thing and I've always figured you preferred Mulder/Scully."
"The distance I want. So I get no input? To be honest, I wouldn't hate going out some weekend, dancing or something, without a case being involved." She was watching him now, awaiting his reaction, holding her breath.
"With me?" He was shocked his voice didn't actually squeak. She managed to keep her face bland.
"Well, we are friends. You're not the worst person to spend time with. Maybe we ought to think about extreme possibilities for a minute Mulder. Do you have plans for the rest of the weekend?"
He felt his headache fade as he watched the smile form on her face. Yeah, he definitely had plans now.
Author's note - Thanks Marianne, for everything!!