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"Mulder, frankly, I need this as much as you do. But I can't cope with it unless you promise not to kiss me."

He stared.

"Think you can do that?" she lifted her chin fractionally, making it a challenge.

Ah. So. That's how it was. Fucking high-queen-Scully thought he was good enough to fuck and not good enough to kiss.

Simply being this angry at her made him ache, but blended together with the chronic lust he'd suffered since Day fucking One, it was enough to make him feel really crazy.

Well enough: he had the green-light just this once to be claimed by her, and there would be at least that much relief.

But to be denied Scully's full, lush mouth somehow made the miracle of it seem to fall short. Why, it was her mouth that started this for him, the nagging symphony of sexual desire scraping at him constantly...her measured voice darting facilely through implausible alternate theories like a school of fish, holding formation with beautiful precision. And the form of the lips that shaped the rigid words, like those of some long-ago siren of the silver screen. Well, of course none of her considerable charms would ever have done this to him if it wasn't Scully in there. It angered him that she would treat him as a whore treats a customer...!

Well. So.

Nothing to do in the face of that but to make her want to kiss him. Let fox fox the fox. See what Science thought of sex magic.

His eyes gleamed at her.

"Okay, Scully. I won't kiss you."

*****

Why did she wish she hadn't said that?

It was just that she didn't think she could kiss him without losing the ability to stop. And that would be both of their lives and an end to their quest, and the price was too high, dammit!

But she knew suddenly, beyond the shadow of a valley of a doubt, that a kiss would have done a lot less damage to her equilibrium than what Mulder was going to do now.

He locked the door and stared at her with silent hunger that frightened and excited her. It was a look she had worn herself for many nights now.

This was stupid. This was dangerous. But god, if she didn't do this now she was going to simply smolder and ignite where she stood or sat, one afternoon at about three-fifteen, she was going to feel something go ping! inside her skull and then she was going to be on the basement floor behind a row of filing cabinets begging Mulder to fuck her.

Well. So.

Obviously that was to be avoided.

They'd get it out of their systems. It would probably be hasty and clumsy and all-around disappointing: oh, she'd give Mulder the benefit of the doubt, but she had simply become too high-strung for subtleties, and suspected that by now he was the same. Still, a swift, bruising coupling could more than ease the stress for a little while. Therapy. Yes.

Scully reached up and switched the nearer light off, leaving the one over the other bed on. A shadow cut down across Mulder's face as he approached her. His hands were relaxed at his sides, but she could tell that that was only with an effort.

He stopped before her, leaned down. Scully forced herself not to flinch back, knew it was a test. -- Yes, of course it was a test, the predictable bastard. He got right up in her face as he reached down for her buttons, smiling into her eyes with smug precision. But he did not kiss her as he unbuttoned her shirt, fingers nimbly parting silk from silk.

*****

Mulder freed the last button and idly, lazily pushed the halves of Scully's shirt apart with one finger, eyes flicking between the delicate arch of Scully's right collarbone and her big blue eyes, dark now with slightly dilated pupils. God, but seeing her this way, *smelling* her this way, made it impossible to believe she could ever seem cold. Pheromones were wreathing him like tendrils of smoke, pulling him inexorably in with their intoxicating subliminal bouquet: but he did not kiss her.

Oh God, but he wanted to. He wanted to. Scully's lavish mouth filled his mind with loose disjointed images of ripe lush berries and glistening, succulent...he'd better get out of these pants.

So he stripped for her as she sat there on the bed staring up at him, lips twitching just slightly as her eyes devoured him. He forced himself to keep it slow, draw it out, staring into her eyes and removing one by one every item of clothing: tie, jacket, shirt, shoes, socks, shorts and pants, lastly his watch, then standing straight and breathing deeply. His hard-on was so urgent that it stood away from his body (*well* away, he thought with a twinge of foolish pride). He didn't know what to do with his arms, so he crossed them over his chest. He felt like he was posing for some glossy spread.

"Nice, Mulder."

The whisper awakened shivers along his back in the overconditioned motel-room air.

"I want to see you, Scully."

She nodded, the same curt nod she'd used to meet what felt like a million moments on the job. You'll need to do an autopsy, say, or Let me question this witness, or I ordered pizza. - I want to see you, Scully.

She stood up from the bed, her face absurdly earnest as she shrugged the shirt all of the rest of the way off. He couldn't let go of the word lush. It described every physical aspect of Scully. The dainty lingerie seemed like an insult on her body, and he was in an agony of impatience for her to take it off. Peach silk and lace, she didn't need that shit. What she needed on her skin was him.

Her hair fell into her face as she reached back to remove the bra. She flicked her head to the side, once, to free her eyes.

Her eyes were the strongest light in the room.

*****

She pulled the bra off with a sense of profound relief -- miserable thing. Mulder had created a careless pile of his clothes on the floor between them, and she started another one next to it.

Scully looked him over frankly as she shimmied out of the skirt and pantyhose, using the excuse of leaning down to get the hose off to get a good look at his equipment on the way down, and then another long considering look on the way back up.

Interesting. Well, she'd seen stranger things than the phenomenon of a rumor proved true. But she hadn't been as happy to see *them*.

She smiled involuntarily and saw Mulder inhale deeply.

It made her inhale deeply, and then he smiled.

Had she ever seen that smile before? She suspected not.

It really...did something for him.

She pushed her panties off very slowly, and watched him watch.

Then she took one step toward him.

He was on her like a whirlwind, like some djinn out of the Arabian Nights, and he swept her onto the bed with a suddenness that made her gasp, very quietly, despite herself.

Mulder's skin felt fever-hot and surprisingly silky as it shivered over hers in long sweeps. He clutched her one way and fitted his hide along hers as completely as possible before releasing and reapproaching her from another angle, and he did it again and again so that Scully felt he was weaving a net. His rigid penis, prodding blindly against her thigh or her belly or her back, was even hotter and silkier than the rest of him, and she arched and rubbed against it wherever it touched her.

And oh god, his mouth.

His lips closed over and over on Scully's skin, sometimes with teeth, sometimes with tongue -- but always those lips, dancing agile as flames over her till her own mouth itched with bitter longing.

Enough.

*****

Scully obviously wanted to get on with it, twisting around and away enough to reach her bag on the floor -- did she really have a condom? Yes, she really did. Probably kept it in her first-aid kit. -- She offered it to him, one ruffled eyebrow coolly raised.

He got one leg off the bed and snagged his jacket, dragging it close enough to reach into an inner pocket. "Thanks, Scully...but mine's likely to fit me better." He saluted her with the shiny Trojan Magnum packet and was rewarded with an acknowledging quirk of Scully's lips. It made a throb jolt down into the center of his body, and he knew he had no hope of endurance once he was in her (at last).

So he set down both condoms on the bedside table and began licking her in earnest. Scully struggled for a moment, impatiently trying to deflect him, but he was determined, and the moment his mouth closed over her clitoris the fight went out of her. Oh, she still struggled, but instead of trying to stop him she seemed to be striving to maximize his coverage of her by wriggling around. It was like trying to hug an excited snake. He wet his finger in his mouth and smoothly impaled her with it. Scully moaned, and Mulder closed his eyes and exhaled slowly, astonished at the tight heat of her vagina as it clamped around his middle finger. Astonished at how wet she was, she really was...!

He dipped his head and began tasting her in earnest, pinning her in place with his finger thrusting evenly inside her. He applied strokes of great intricacy to her swollen button, as though he were painting runes in a secret alphabet of passion.

The cries that rose from Scully's throat sounded like singing. Regular, rhythmic sounds in time with the tempo of his tongue, but rising and falling in phrases -- encouragement, desperation, impassioned protestations of loyalty.

She was close. He knew she was close. Oh, God, he had to make her come, and then he was going to fuck her... or he was going to die. Period.

More runes. He painted the characters over her trembling flesh, a magical graffiti of sorts. Marking her, pushing her, telling her... Ansuz. Perth. Kano. Wunjo...

And suddenly -- she was coming. Oh god, Scully was coming. Knowing it, feeling it, causing it suffused Mulder with pride, yet that pride was humbled before the power of her pleasure -- the long cry rose and rose from Scully's throat as her body arced nearly off the bed, trembling as though she were being electrocuted. He sank that single finger into her body to the hilt and held it there, feeling the trembling, clenching heat...

And he couldn't wait anymore. Her peak had brought him to a fever pitch of urgency too wild to control. He had her tacit permission, but...

"Scully," he tried, and his voice sounded like it belonged to someone else. Hoarse, almost strangled-sounding. The voice of a desperate man.

*****

She forced her eyes open at the sound of his voice, raw and barely human. Was he asking permission? After that?

Yes, he was.

"Mulder," she gasped, and her voice was a ragged twin to his. "Fuck me, Mulder --!"

He was sitting on his heels, already tearing into the bright foil that wrapped the condom. Scully flailed around till she was sitting up on her knees, anxious for a good view of this procedure -- she wasn't sure why. Her body felt simultaneously weakened and energized by the power of the orgasm she'd had. She didn't care if she came again -- frankly, she wasn't sure she could -- but she wanted this, wanted to feel him fucking her, wanted it more than she'd even realized she could. He often baffled her, frequently irritated her, but sometimes...sometimes he badly excited her.

And now, now...permission was given and received; he had sent her sailing up out of her body. Now it was time to send him sailing up into hers.

He unrolled the latex completely and looked up from his task to meet her eyes: his were slightly glazed, but he was still definitely in there behind them, and that alone made her climb atop him as he knelt there before her on the bouncy motel bed. She clambered into his lap, facing him, felt his arms automatically encircle her waist as she rose up and then --

DOWN --

-- impaled herself almost savagely upon him, felt him driving deep into her core, no resistance, she was so wet, and Mulder was so hard --

this is Mulder. this is Mulder inside me. ah God this is Mulder Mulder Mulder

His hands on her hips -- he lifted her without noticeable effort -- and DOWN --

Scully moaned, mouth wide open, head thrown back, felt her own hair brushing her shoulderblades, felt the heat of Mulder's mouth at the hollow of her throat. Again he lifted her, and again, and again, and DOWN, DOWN, ah God this is Mulder! Mulder!

MULDER!

Every muscle suddenly jerked taut -- her eyes flew open -- she heard her own voice in a long shocked rising wail. She was coming. Again.

And the world abruptly rotated. She lay on her back, her legs were clamped around his waist, and he was fucking her like a storm, eyes wide open, hair in his eyes and tangled with sweat. She was still jerking with reaction, her muscles spasmodically clamping around him, her fingers plucking at his shoulders with enough force to bruise --

and --

he was there with her in the frenzy place, the place outside mind, the moment of capitulation -- growling, thrusting deep and swelling and pulsing -- crying out, crying her name in a voice that she knew she would hear for the rest of her life.

Stupid, she thought sometime later, as they drowsed, silently entangled. Stupid, Dana. The only thing you've gotten out of your system is the ability to deny what Mulder does to you.

But it was inevitable, she knew. No matter what excellent reasons there were to avoid an entanglement like this -- and she had shouted them at herself mentally too many times to attempt to count -- it had been inevitable since Day fucking One.

*****

Mulder dreamed, but it was not The Same Dream this time.

In the dream, he and Scully were underground, peering at cave walls with flashlights. He was wearing boots, but for some reason Scully had on a silly-looking pair of thong sandals, the kind that go flip-flop when you walk. Her feet must be cold and wet, he thought, but she didn't seem to mind.

"Look, Mulder," she said, in curiously flattened-out words, as though they were a comic-book word balloon that he couldn't quite see over her head. "There are inscriptions on the wall. They look fresh."

He turned his beam to the wall and saw runes there, freshly gouged into the solid rock as though with a hammer and chisel.

Ansuz. Perth. Kano. Wunjo.

He reached out to touch the inscriptions, was startled to find the wall as warm as flesh.

"What have I done?" he said, almost to himself.

"Don't worry, Mulder," and her voice was close beside him. -- He could feel her breath on his neck. Was he waking up? -- "Those marks were there already.

"They're just... deeper now."

Then his usual dreams returned, already in progress.