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Uncharacteristically sprawled across her couch, Scully heaves a sigh of relief at the evening’s demise. Even more uncharacteristically, she holds in her hand a shot of tequila, from a bottle so ancient, it’s a wonder ‘Jose Cuervo’ isn’t inscribed across the label in hieroglyphics.

She reminds herself that this is why it’s been probably three years since her last social outing, that what others consider fun is somehow beyond her realm of capability anymore. She’s already sufficiently buzzed from the evening’s activities, but walking back into her apartment tonight… The need for more alcohol is tangible.

Her apartment reminds her of the morning after a midnight snow—still and clean and perfect. Too still. Too clean. Too perfect.

She downs the shot in a single gulp and pours another. There are days she’d give anything to find a half-full coffee cup, a stray sock, a mess on the counter. Nights she’d be thankful to hear the sound of a shower running, a murmur from the bedroom, the crack of a sunflower seed. Shut up, Dana, she reprimands herself, Mulder has nothing to do with this.

Bullshit. Mulder has everything to do with this.

Another shot.

Mulder has everything to do with everything lately. At least that’s how it seems. He’s everywhere. She breathes his air, she fights his fight, she bears his pain. She’s become him, in almost every sense. It’s suffocating at times, him there.

But then, the minute he’s not, the loss of him aches like a phantom limb.

She doesn’t want to need him like this.

She doesn’t want to, but she does.

She thought of him tonight (she thinks of him every night), surrounded by the chaos and absurdity that accompanies these types of social obligations. Thought of him and imagined… She wonders what he’d think of her— if he’d known where she was, what she was doing. The thought makes her a bit lightheaded.

Or maybe that’s just the alcohol.

Plus, Mulder is an asshole and has nothing to do with this (he isn’t really, but sometimes it’s easier to pretend that he is).

It’s not like her to dwell on the negative, not like her to pine for things she doesn’t have. She’s so very fortunate—she realizes this, but…

Sometimes her ‘alone-ness’ sneaks up on her without warning. Sometimes she’s blind-sided by it. She’d much prefer to be prepared. She’s actually remarkably proficient at managing her emotions when she’s ready for them. But then there are times like tonight, when she’s taken by surprise, when the reality of her situation startles her and sweeps her joltingly off her feet.

She prefers her feet planted firmly on the ground, thank you very much.

She lays her head back against the cushion and closes her eyes to her beginning-to-spin surroundings. Maybe if she can just fall asleep here, she’ll wake tomorrow as her ever-efficient, emotions-in-check, able-to-get-through-an-hour-without-thinking-about-his-bottom-lip self.

Except she can’t fall asleep, because someone’s knocking on her door. It’s 11:30 at night—why the hell is somebody knocking on her door at 11:30 at night? She’s more than a little wobbly as she navigates her living room terrain (coffee tables can be treacherous obstacles, she finds) to land at her front door, nose pressed inelegantly against the wood in order to manage the peephole.

Of course. Mr. Phantom Limb himself. She doesn’t know why she’s irritated he’s here, when just moments ago she was lamenting the snowdrift emptiness of her apartment and its lack of inhabitants. Its lack of him. Her mind’s not being very sensible right now.

If nothing else, she’s certainly not looking forward to him seeing her in this state—depressed and pitiful and more than a little drunk. He knocks again and she sinks into an exaggerated sigh (she’s feeling a bit dramatic at the moment), then unlocks the door before heading back to the comfort of her couch. He can let his own damn self in.

….

His curiosity was more than piqued an hour ago, when his phone rang quite uncharacteristically past 9 PM on a Friday night, or at least uncharacteristically for her, who, if he’s being honest, is really the only one who calls him anymore anyway.

Girlish squeals and screeches, in addition to the deep thump of a bass, invaded his ears as he answered, “Scully….? Are you there? Scully?”, and at the exact moment his heart began to beat in terror, her melodic voice rushed in to quell his unease, “Sorry, Mulder! Must’ve dialed you by mistake!” and the line went dead.

The line may have gone dead, but his brain leapt immediately to life—turning over every conversation they’d had today in an attempt to surmise her whereabouts. The Scully he knows does not frequent places of girlish squeals or screeches, and much as he’d give his left arm to hear such sounds from her lips, he found himself completely and utterly stumped.

And stumped is not a state in which he likes to be, especially where she’s concerned.

Which is precisely why he’s here now, knocking on her door at 11:30 at night, more than willing to bear the impending wrath of her annoyance (and he knows already she’ll be annoyed—he may be stumped, but he’s not stupid) in exchange for solving this mystery.

The snick of the door unlocking beckons him in, even without her welcoming face there to accompany it. Hesitantly, he peeks inside.

“Scully?” He attempts light-hearted and friendly, staying as far away from overly-obsessed-partner-who-can’t-stand-wondering-whether-she-squealed-without-him-there-to-hear-it as possible.

“Mulderrr…,” she sighs from her couch. There’s less annoyance than he expects in her voice—more resignation and alcohol-induced slur. She’s been drinking, and he’s not sure whether to be intrigued by that or worried. “Whad’you want?”

He makes his way gingerly across the floor, hoping by the time he’s firmly planted beside her, she won’t notice she never technically invited him in.

No such luck. “Go home, Mulder. I’m fine.”

She’s not fine though. Tipsiness aside, he can feel something here, some somber mood that’s settled itself around her shoulders. He wants nothing on Scully’s shoulders but his hands, his arms, and someday (if he’s lucky) his lips. He notices for the first time the shoulders in question, bare beneath a sheer black blouse, the thin strap of a maroon camisole the only thing marring the creamy slide from her neck on down her arm. He tries to hide the gulp that rises in his throat.

“You’re drinking… Why?” He chooses to ignore her suggestion to leave and sits down beside her. It’s become his mission—to discover how this mysterious evening transformed itself from squeals-in-a-sheer-black-blouse to sadness-with-a-shot-glass in the matter of a few hours.

“Was drinking while I was there…,” she waves her arm in a vague drunken curly-queue, which means nothing to him, yet he nods nonetheless, “and coming home to this lonely apartment juss made me wanna drink even more…” She closes her eyes, and he takes her in fully—the aforementioned layers topping an uncharacteristically short black skirt, which reveals both a generous amount of soft, smooth Scully knee and a lovely bit of Scully thigh—especially in her current position, curled up like a kitten against the pillows. He bites his lip.

He’s never seen her dressed this way, and despite his concern, he’s feeling suddenly very warm and overly possessive, not to mention increasingly aroused. How many others had the privilege of looking at her like this tonight? How many men?

“I don’t understand, Scully,” his attempt at nonchalance fails miserably, and he can hear the tension in his own voice, “Where were you? Who were you with?” He grabs her shot glass from the coffee table and downs it, hissing at the sting of the alcohol against his tongue. It’s been a while since he’s drunk, but he somehow suspects he may need it tonight.

She chuckles, “Can’t take the heat, Mulder?” Then, resignedly, she continues, “I was nowhere…, well, not nowhere, obviously…but juss at a silly party, an’ the strippers were there, an’ everyone had someone at home except me, an’ all I’ve got at home is juss pure, white snow—no socks, no coffee cups, no sunflower seeds…”

There’s a hell of a lot to decipher in her brief explanation, and his brain works overboard deciding which bit to tackle first. It’s not a difficult choice. “STRIPPERS?” his voice is shrill and entirely accusatory, but he’s seriously close to losing it at the thought that another man (and a most certainly buff one at that) may have seen her looking this way—like a ripened peach just waiting to be plucked—when he’s never even been invited to the grove.

She raises an eyebrow at his impassioned response, which, in her current state, takes some doing. It’s actually sort of fun to surprise him every now and then—she must remember that when she’s sober.

“Wellll, I muss say, that drew quite a reaction from the crowd,” she teases, just now realizing how he’s settled himself in. He’s pouring another shot and propping his legs up on the coffee table. Didn’t she tell him to go home? She can’t remember… Besides, he’s here and he’s listening and he smells so nice, and the alcohol is making her tingly and somewhat needy. Maybe she doesn’t mind so much that he’s everything everything everything all the damn time. Or at least she doesn’t mind it all that much right now.

“It’s just…,” he fumbles, “Well, strippers, Scully! Excuse me, but I’m just not sure how comfortable I am with the thought of you hanging out with male strippers!”

Again, she struggles with the eyebrow, trying hard to hold onto her feminist sensibilities (she can hang out with whomever she damn well WANTS to—how dare he!) while feeling secretly a little flushed at his apparent jealousy.

Immediately, he backtracks, “Not...not that I have any right to tell you what you should do. I’m sorry—I’m just surprised is all.” He scrubs his hands down his face and flops back against the cushion. He’s sweet. She has to admit his distress over it all is actually doing things to her. Very nice things in fact.

While the prospect of playing this up and making him squirm holds some appeal, she decides to let him off the hook, grabbing the shot glass from his grip and taking another swig. “Muller, I nev’r said anything about MALE strippers.” Let him chew on that for a minute.

He gulps. “They—they were female?” He licks his lips and closes his eyes momentarily before saying, “Scully, what in the hell were you doing tonight?” He really is cute when he’s flustered, she thinks, and when he says, “Give me the damn shot glass. I need another drink,” he’s positively charming.

She chuckles while handing him the glass, but her laughter fades quickly away, as she watches the fabric of his T shirt stretch tightly across his back while reaching for the bottle. So white, so smooth, so…

Her breath catches in surprise—the way the shirt curves across his muscles reminds her of snowdrifts again, just like her apartment—pristine and sloped and pure. Before she can stop herself, she reaches out to touch. Her hand lies flat against his back and he stills, mid-reach, his breaths loud in the otherwise quiet room.

Abruptly, she pulls away, shocked to have found not cold, white snow, but a blaze of heat from his skin seeping through the thin fabric. She gasps lightly, shaking her head to clear it—not the easiest task in her current state.

Several beats pass before he resumes pouring his drink, and she forgets he’s asked her a question, her thoughts too focused on the path the amber liquor takes—from bottle, to glass, then up and up to his lips. She can see his throat ripple as he swallows. He is everything indeed.

They’ve never drunk together before, beyond a few isolated evenings on his couch with some beers. It’s strange. It’s different. It’s intriguing. It’s beginning to feel dangerous.

He looks at her expectantly, and for a moment, she can’t remember why. Have his eyes always been the color of moss on a riverbed? But he prompts, “What happened tonight, Scully—please?” and the evening crashes back down upon her.

She sighs, suddenly embarrassed to relay the events of the last few hours to him, ashamed to admit that in the span of seven years, she’s somehow become incapable of enjoying herself without him there beside her. But he’s looking at her with those river-moss eyes, and there’s a nice warm buzz tingling in her limbs, and what the hell—he even said please, and she’s never been able to resist a man with manners.

“Okayyy, fiiiine,” she drawls, looking down at the hands in her lap, trying to remember when they last touched a man in any way other than platonically. “I was at a bash’lrette party. For my cousin.” She glances up and catches him tucking away a grin.

“Shuddup, Mulder. I do things like that. Sometimes.” She knows she’s lying, and she knows he knows she’s lying, but he’s too much of a gentleman to call her out on it. What was she just saying about a man with manners?

“Anyway,” she continues, “I didn’t wanna go, but my mother c’n be verrry persuasive when she’s laying on a guilt trip. So I went. And it was juss as awful as I thought it would be. It was juss stupid talk an’ stupid games an’ lots an’ lots of penis decorations.”

She peeks at him, embarrassed, the last bit slipping out before she has time to stop herself. She tries to remember whether she’s ever said the word ‘penis’ in front of him, and by the pink across his cheeks, she thinks the answer is probably no. Her eyes drop to his lap of their own volition, and she considers saying it again—saying it while looking there suddenly holds tremendous appeal. Except that Mulder doesn’t simply have a ‘penis’ hidden beneath the denim of those jeans; Mulder has a ‘cock’—and a slightly aroused one by the looks of it. She sucks in a breath and bites her lip.

Thankfully, she comes back to her senses before doing anything foolish. She continues, somewhat flustered, “And… and… thass really all—juss an obligation that I wanna forget as soon as my head hits the pillow tonight.”

“Hold up. I don’t think that was all, Missy,” he reprimands, and for a second, she imagines him reprimanding her in other ways, ways that would be infinitely more fun than this, before he continues with, “I believe you mentioned strippers?”

She groans, her face flushing. She really should never have unlocked her door tonight. Hadn’t there been some sort of plan to make him go home? “Muller, it was nothing. Forget I ev’r said anything…,” she pleads, reaching across and snatching the drink from his hand, swallowing the last little bit.

“Scully, you called me up, left me with the sound of women squealing in my ear, invited me over, told me a story about sunflower seeds and socks and strippers, and now you’re asking me to forget about it?” He gives her his best Scully-you’re-killing-me-here face, and damned if it doesn’t do something to her. Why does he have to be so pathetically appealing at a time like this?

“Okay, fine,” she relents with a sigh, then adds, “and for th’record, I never invited you over.”

His hand lands on her thigh with a heat that makes her gasp, and he says in a low, soft voice, “I’m just worried about you is all.” She feels herself getting dizzy. It has nothing to do with the alcohol, and everything to do with unpartnerly touches on her couch close to midnight, after too many drinks and the most god-awful night she’s had in probably a decade.

“Ummmm,” she stumbles, her train of thought still caught up in the heat beneath his fingers. Until finally her thigh is cold again, and she looks up to find him watching her. He’s waiting.

“Yeah, umm, okay,” she whispers hoarsely, licking her lips. This night is turning out entirely differently than she’d expected when returning home an hour ago. “It was a bash’lretty party, like I said. An’ after all the silly games and penis cake an’ev’rything…” He turns his face away with a grin while she attempts to retain her dignity, even despite her slightly-altered state of mind, “…an’ then a group of women came out…”

“The strippers?” he asks greedily. God, his thirst is annoyingly obvious right now. She really wants to roll her eyes. Or maybe she just wants to kiss him.

“They were strippers, yes,” she says tight-lipped. “An’ they danced for a while and ummm, an’ then they… they…theygaveusstrippinglessons. An’ thass all, Mulder. The end.”

The end, she says, as if there’s even the remotest possibility he’s going to let it end there. Dana Scully attended a party at which she received ‘lessons’ in stripping, and he’s expected to leave it at that? It’s actually very cute, the way she’s looking in her lap, tongue playing nervously along her lips, hoping the discussion is complete.

There’s no way though. He can’t possess such a delicious tidbit of information and not at least ask for a little taste.

But he knows her, and knows how delicately he must tread if he wants any further information. He’s feeling a little buzzed, but not so far-gone he’s gotten careless. “Stripping lessons, huh? That sounds very ummm, educational—for the bride and all—pretty advantageous in fact, if you think about it,” he does his best to sound cerebral about the whole thing, as if he really were weighing the pros and cons of offering stripping lessons to a bride-to-be, instead of sitting on his partner’s sofa with a hard-on at the mere thought of her even slipping off her heels (and they’re ‘fuck me’ heels at that, Lord help him).

“Mpffff, educational—thass a way to put it,” she scoffs at him, entirely too keen on the game he’s trying to play here. “It wasn’t educational at all—it was silly an’ uncomf’rtable. It was positively embarrassing.” She pours another shot and gulps down a sip.

Reaching toward her, he takes the glass from her hand and finishes the shot, quietly loving the offended pout his actions bring to her lips, then says, “But Scully, don’t you find merit in a woman feeling sexually confident and attractive for her partner?” He’s actually remarkably surprised he’s coming across so level-headed here, considering the amount of alcohol currently running through his system, and also considering the way the skin above her camisole is flushing the loveliest shade of pink right now.

“There’s a diff’rence between sexual conf’dence an’ inane undulations of your body, espesh’lly with names like Lollipop an’ Butt’rfly an’ Swizzle Stick,” she says with eyes rolling, and he chuckles. Swizzle Stick though… he’s warm just thinking about what that must entail.

He can tell she’s attempting to sound above-it-all, but he can feel that hint of sadness from earlier lingering in the air beneath her words. He’s still intent on solving the mystery of why this night’s affected her the way it has.

“You talked earlier about a snowy apartment, and about socks and coffee cups. What did all that mean? What does all that have to do with strippers and swizzle sticks?”

She shakes her head and looks down to her lap, that silky hair that make his fingers twitch on a daily basis sliding across her cheek, hiding her from his view. And then in a quiet voice, she says, “Never mind, Muller. Really, iss nothing. Don’t worry ‘bout it. I really should get to bed anyway.”

She makes to rise from the couch, but teeters like a top winding its way down from a spin. He reaches quickly to steady her, pulling her back down beside him (closer than before—he pretends that’s just an accident, but her hip against his own makes him giddy).

“It’s not nothing,” he says, but still she turns away. “Something obviously affected you tonight, Scully. It may help to talk about it.” He drops his hand to her knee to give it a squeeze, forgetting that it’s just skin there—warm, soft Scully skin sliding its way under her too-short skirt on up to her thigh. Holy shit. He pulls away as if he’s been burnt (he’s not entirely sure that he hasn’t).

She’s quiet, looking at the place his hand just was, but then he feels a shift, a change in the air. He remembers that day under the dome in Texas, how still it had felt before the bees were released, how suddenly things had gone from simply unpleasant to terribly dire.

“D’you ever feel alone?” she whispers.

He stops breathing for a moment, the despair in her voice sucking the life right out of him.

Does he ever feel alone? God. Loneliness is simply his state of being—it has been for as long as he can remember. It’s not something he even questions anymore. But knowing she feels alone, too, hearing her say it… It literally makes him ache.

“You’re not alone, Scully,” he pleads, trying to erase her words with a sickly-sweet placating voice. “You have your mother, your brothers, friends…”

“I don’t, Muld’r. Really, I don’t. My family barely even rec’nizes me anymore. An’ friends? You’ve got t’be kidding...” She reaches clumsily for the liquor bottle, pouring herself another shot. He probably should stop her, but her sheer top is slipping from her shoulder, and his entire consciousness is now fixated on that emerging patch of skin— cream sprinkled with cinnamon— with each new freckle revealed, he yearns for her just a bit more desperately.

She leans back (her bared shoulder now pressed against his clothed one—if he were keeping track, which he is) and takes a sip of her drink.

“I fucking hate the snow,” she says, in a miserable little voice that makes him want to pull her right into his lap and make it all better.

“I don’t understand…,” he pleads. Why can’t you just let it be? he scolds himself, but the damn investigator in him can never, never just let something be.

“Here!” she drawls, her arms swooshing through the water-like air as if she were doing the breast stroke, liquor sloshing clumsily in her glass, “My apar’ment! It’s spotless, pristine, nothing outta place! There’s no stray socks, no coffee cups… Sometimes I juss want there to be someone, y’know?” (He knows, oh God, how he knows.) “Someone to mar the surface, someone to leave some damn footprints across that p’rfection…”

Then, more quietly, in that broken-down, spinning-top voice, “I was the only one there tonight, Mull’r… the only one…”

“Whadd’you mean, the only one?” He takes her glass from her trembling hand and sets it on the table.

“The only one…w’thout someone waiting at home…the only one w’thout a sinif…a sign’f…a sific’nt… Jesus, Muller, I can’t even say the damn word!” He closes his eyes. Are you happy now? he asks himself, you’ve finally solved your damn mystery.

“A significant other,” he supplies sadly. His own pain never hurts like Scully’s does.

“It wass pathetic, Muld’r—me learning those moves—when everyone there knew. They knew I wasn’t coming home t’anyone… no man, no s’gnif’cant other…nobody who wants to see me do the Swizzle Stick…” Again with the Swizzle Stick—even despite the forlorn turn their conversation has taken, his dick resumes its rightful place pressed against the fly of his jeans, without any more provocation than her tongue hissing those S’s against the backs of her teeth.

“Scully?” He can’t help himself, really he can’t. “I’m significant, aren’t I?”

She lays her head on his shoulder and takes his hand from where it rests on his thigh, threading her fingers through his own so sweetly, he wants to cry. “Of course you are, M’ldr. Of course you are… But you know what I mean…”

He’s not sure he does, but what he does know is that the only person he’s considered even remotely significant in seven long years is sitting right here, lonely and lovely and fitted up against him as if she belongs there.

She does belong there. Whether she realizes it yet or not.

He’s excellent at leaving messes. He’s excellent at marring perfection (in fact, he’s quite the expert at it). He can’t put a coffee cup away to save his life, and sunflower seeds—well… (she said sunflower seeds at one point, he knows she did).

He also owns an extremely functional pair of snowboots.

Turning his head until his lips brush through her hair, he murmurs, “Scully? Will you show me the Swizzle Stick? Please?”

…..

She gasps. “God, Muld’r. No, don’t be silly. You don’t need to…”

She’s feeling pathetic and tipsy and sorry for herself as she leans against his shoulder. Mulder is significant—in ways she’s afraid to even admit. He’s more than significant, and much as she pretends he’s not, there’s a warm buzz running through her veins she can’t deny, even if she were to try (and she’s trying, she’s really, really trying).

“I know I don’t need to…,” he says, “But what if I want to?” Jesus, his voice. She’s still holding his hand, and he’s still got his lips in her hair, and the combination of the two is making her weak. Her breaths begin coming in short, shallow pants, and that warm little buzz spreads quickly into a full-fledged flame, centered directly between her thighs (so much for trying to deny it now).

“I couldn’t…M’ldr…I…I shouldn’t…” Her heart is hammering in her chest.

“I mean, it would be a shame to waste your lesson though, wouldn’t it? After your cousin was gracious enough to provide it…” Damn, but he can be persuasive, can’t he? It really would be a shame to waste the lesson, she reasons.

The Rational-Adult-With-Proper-Boundaries side of her brain screams NO, are you crazy? Don’t you dare show him the Swizzle Stick! But the I’m-A-Little-Drunk-And-He-Asked-So-Nicely side rebuffs with Dammit, it’s been so long since you felt sexy, and the sound of his voice is making you sweat, and he’s here here here, when nobody else ever, ever is.

That second side knows exactly which buttons to push apparently, because before she fully realizes what she’s doing, in a throaty voice she’d forgotten she even possessed, she asks, “Do you really wanna see?” then holds her breath, both appalled and delighted by her boldness.

He tilts his head at an absurd angle, until his hot breath is right there at her ear, huffing across that so-so-sensitive spot—the one that’ll make her shiver if she’s not being careful. Then he growls, “Fuck yes, Scully,” and she can’t help it—she shivers with a violence that’s almost startling.

“Oh my God,” she whispers.

Closing her eyes, she tells the rational side of her brain to fuck the hell off. Then, despite her better judgement, she murmurs, “O…Okay.”

He groans quietly in response, and she’s suddenly more aroused than she’s been in years (some of that could be the alcohol, but alcohol has never made her nipples this hard or her panties this drenched, regardless of its potency).

She can’t let him know that though, so for his benefit, she adds in a trembling voice, “But only ‘cuz my cousin paid for th’lesson, and it would be rude not to take advant’ge of that.”

….

He sits, stunned and scared shitless and hard as a rock, as she weaves her way toward the CD player. He can’t believe she’s going to do this. He can’t believe he asked her to. He wonders whether it was a smart thing coming over here tonight, but then the music starts, and all he’s wondering is whether he’s going to make it through the next ten minutes without embarrassing himself.

“Ummm,” she says, wobbling just slightly as she traverses back across the room, “Maybe you sh’ld move over into that chair there…” She indicates an armchair next to the couch with an adorable twist of her wrist (he may be biased, but right now, pretty much everything about her is adorable) “…so that the coffee table’s not in th’way…”

He stands, and though he attempts to hide his entirely obvious reaction to the situation, her eyes seem to have already found it, and she’s licking her lips, and suddenly, not embarrassing himself for ten minutes seems like entirely too much to ask. He lowers his expectations to five and prays for the best.

As requested, he sits, silent and still and afraid to even breathe lest he make some wrong move that causes her to change her mind. She’s nervous, he can tell. But she’s also flushed and, if he’s not mistaken, perhaps a little aroused (her lips are wet and swollen, and the sight of them makes his balls ache).

She reaches back to the table and, with shaky hands, pours another shot. She takes a gulp, then turns back to stand before him. The music is slow and sultry, and, just barely, she closes her eyes. “Okay,” she breathes, then, after a moment and a few deep breaths, she begins to sway to the beat. And already… already just two pendulum swings of her hips in, he is so far gone, it’s ridiculous. Tic tock, tic tock…

But almost before she’s even begun, her pendulum slows—it slows until it stops, until he’s left hanging on a tic, with no tock to follow. He honestly considers crying. She covers her face with her hands and cringes. “God, M’lder. I don’t know if I c’n do this. I look like a fool…”

And much as he wants this (hell, how he wants this), he can’t allow her to go through with it if she’s not sure. “Scully, if you don’t want to do this, please, don’t feel like I’m pressuring you,” he says, hoping his disappointment isn’t too utterly obvious.

“No, no, you’re not pressur’ng me… ummm…I…I…might’ve even…even…no, nev’r mind…” She looks away, and the gentle curve of her neck calls out for his tongue, his teeth.

“What? You might’ve even what?”

She ducks her head, and it’s the sexiest thing in the world, the way her skin pinkens from her cheeks all the way down into that shadowed bit of cleavage between her breasts (Christ, but he wants to lose himself there in that shadow someday; he’d like it to be tonight, quite honestly). “I…I might’ve even hoped…,” she whispers.

She pauses for a moment before continuing. “But no…, I juss look foolish. I don’t think I c’n do thiss…” She sways on her feet before taking a step towards the couch, but he reaches out and grasps her wrist.

“Scully, let me make something abundantly clear to you right now. You may look a lot of things, but foolish isn’t one of them. Beautiful, stunning, sexy—yes. But never foolish. Never, never foolish.” He loosens his grip and allows his fingers to trail their way down to her manicured fingertips. “Maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this,” he adds gruffly, “…but just the thought of you…fuck …it’s got me feeling things that…ummm, I really probably should just shut up now.”

“Jesus,” she whispers, teetering on those ‘fuck me’ heels whose command he wishes he could take literally, right this very minute.

They share a look, a we-really-shouldn’t-be-doing-this-but-God-we-both-know-we’ve-wanted-to-for -years-and-we-can-always-blame-it-on-the-alcohol kind of look, all parted lips and hooded eyes and tenuous breaths.

“I wanna see the Swizzle Stick, Scully. Really, really bad,” he says in a voice he hopes she feels in her clit. Judging by the way her eyes flutter shut, he thinks he may have succeeded.

She licks her lips, and without a word, her body resumes its sway. It tics. And it tocks. And it’s amazing. And not that he’s ever been one to experiment with drugs, but now he understands that primal pull, that irresistible need for a hit. Because he’s hooked on her, absolutely mesmerized, his concentration snagged solely on the movement of her hips and the way they follow the music, in the figure eights they trace again and again and again. There’s no blaming this on the alcohol, no turning back. He’s already so fucking addicted, it’s absurd.

Her eyes slip closed, and her hands (they’re trembling) begin a slow ascent up her skirt, beginning first at her thighs, then up and up and up. Her fingertips flirt with her curves the way a Ferrari careens around a hairpin turn, only much more slowly. Agonizingly slowly.

He sinks himself further into the chair, all but one of his appendages feeling suddenly incredibly limp (thank God his dick has a mind of its own), and tries his damnedest not to come right here on her tasteful cornflower blue upholstery.

She reaches the sharp jut of hipbones, and her hands arch just-so to follow the dip of her waist. His mind finds itself in a hotel room seven years ago, impossibly perfect curves lit by candlelight just inches from his face. It’s one of his favorite fantasies, only in his version, his tongue claims her skin instead of his fingertips. He grunts unexpectedly.

Her eyes snap open at the sound, and she falters. But he meets her gaze, and apparently that’s the only reassurance she needs, because her hips and hands start right back up as if they’d never stopped. He knows there’s a ‘hips before hands’ joke hidden somewhere here, but he’s too entranced by her to make it. He suspects she may not find it funny at this particular point in the evening anyway.

Their eyes remain locked as she inches up the hourglass curve of her body. He thinks he may hear the soft swoosh of sand as it falls through her narrowed middle, marking each delicious second as it passes. And Christ, her face. She watches him with shy, dark eyes beneath heavy lids, with lips that part like an open invitation. He is lightheaded wanting to reply—with his tongue, with his fingers, with his cock, if she’ll let him.

But then she reaches that spot, the one where the woman-who’s-simply-his-partner transforms into the woman-he’s-fantasized-about-for-years, and her lips are suddenly the last thing on his mind (well, maybe not the last, but they’ve certainly dropped down the list a bit). He’s enraptured. Her eyes tuck shyly away as she cups her hands beneath her breasts, as she hollows them out to mold to her curves. He watches in awe as the sharp points of her nipples emerge through the thin fabric of her camisole, and he lets forth a desperate groan. Chancing a quick glance at her face, he almost groans again at the corner of her lip slipping slowly from between her teeth.

“The first move’s the Butt’rfly,” she says in a timid, breathy voice, “D’you want me t’keep going?”

He can’t even speak. His head stutters itself into a frenzied nod while he uses every ounce of self-control he inhabits to keep from pulling her into his lap and fucking her senseless.

….

She’s seducing the one man she shouldn’t, and though from somewhere in the back of her mind, she hears tsk-ing, she tries not to care, because damn he’s hot, and the drunken way his eyes trace over her body is making her feel things she’d almost forgotten she could feel. There are puddles soaking her rug from the snow melting in the space around him.

Her breasts feel heavy and swollen as she cups them, her nipples so tight they ache, and his tortured groan increases the sensations tenfold (her body is already tuned to his frequency, it would seem; but of course, her body’s been tuned to his frequency for years, if she’s being honest).

Crossing her arms over her chest, she rests her fingertips on opposite shoulders, preparing to show him the Butterfly (funny, it all seemed so absurd earlier, so embarrassing, but now… now it seems as though somehow she’s been destined for this, that every choice she’s ever made has led to this point, to her making questionable decisions involving clothing removal late on a Friday night, Mulder here as her witness).

Slowly, delicately, hips still rolling, she draws her hands back across her clavicles to find the edges of her blouse. Is it wrong she imagines his lips on her skin instead of her fingers? (Maybe it is, but she does it anyway.) Little by little, she draws the fabric down her arms, revealing first her bared shoulders, then bits of arm, until finally, the sheer black georgette is left dangling dangerously from her fingertips.

She watches Mulder throughout, looking for signs that she’s gone too far, but when the tip of his tongue slips slowly across his bottom lip, she can’t keep her body from responding. Her back arches involuntarily toward him (seeking his touch, seeking his long, elegant fingers and the things she’s sure he can do with them), and the garment falls from her grasp, its fluttering butterfly wings landing soundlessly on the floor.

“Christ, Scully,” he whispers, and she sucks in a shaky breath. She’s never seen that look in his eyes before, so concentrated, so focused, so ready to rip her clothes off if only she’d let him. She wants to let him. God, she wants to let him. And she’s pretty sure she wants him to do it with his teeth.

“Yeah?” she asks breathily, “How’m I doing so far?” She raises her arms, drawing her hands slowly up the sides of her neck, sliding her fingers through her hair and lifting, lifting, until it cascades back down her neck like a waterfall.

She feels sexy; she feels positively wanton right now. She’s captured his attention like one of his casefiles, like some clever, unexplained piece of a puzzle, and the sensation is intoxicating. Am I your puzzle, Mulder? she thinks. Should I let you take apart my pieces, then put me back together?

“You’re doing fucking fantastic so far. Keep going,” he grinds through his teeth. She gasps. Her clit throbs for him. She wants to hear him say ‘fucking fantastic’ in that voice every day for the rest of her life.

“O…okay,” she whispers. Her cheeks burn, but it’s a good burn—such a good burn. “Next iss the Lollipoppp,” she murmurs. She holds the p’s between her lips for longer than necessary, then releases them with a pop of air that makes him blink his eyes, long and slow and sexy. She may want to do that every day for the rest of her life, too—make him close his eyes for her like that.

She meets his gaze, then bends at the waist, reaching her hands seductively down to her toes (she only teeters slightly—the alcohol’s losing some of its bite by now, but not enough to ruin things just yet). She watches as his eyes slip, as they hold her own for an instant, then jolt away to ski down the slope of her back and land at her rear. He’s checking out her ass, she realizes, and the naughtiness of that is surprisingly thrilling.

She arches her back a bit to enhance his view (oh so naughty—she should be ashamed, shouldn’t she?), then slowly, ever-so-slowly, begins to straighten back up, the tips of her fingers sliding up her bare legs like stockings. She’s losing herself in this, allowing her regular everyday self to dissolve, allowing the alcohol and the music to unlock some deep forbidden door and urge this small, undeveloped part of herself to emerge—the one she permits to have fun, the one she allows (and even encourages) to finally start chipping away at walls that have stood between them for years.

“Scully,” he croaks desperately, and she finds his eyes. And God, the look he gives her is a sledgehammer, strong enough to take chunks from those walls in seconds. His look leaves her breathless. It makes her want to barrel through those walls with a fucking bulldozer, quite honestly.

Exhilarated, she trails her fingers up further, continuing to watch him as she conveniently snags her camisole beneath them, slinking up up up and exposing her tight, flat tummy to his view for a few glorious seconds before the fabric falls again to conceal it.

The barest moan slips from the back of his throat, and her knees almost buckle.

She tucks his moan away in what she hopes is a sober enough part of her brain to remember it, then resumes, her index finger sliding up further to skid over the top of her camisole. She’s feeling wild and reckless, so she dips it back down, revealing the upper swell of her breasts and enough black lace to tear away another few bricks.

He bites that bottom lip with remarkable intensity (the one she’s imagined catching on her nipple too many times to count) while she reverses the finger’s path to find its way back up her sternum, then up and up to her chin until finally, it rests at her lips. She remembers the instructor’s words at this point (“Suck that finger into your mouth like a lollipop, then watch his imagination run wild”).

Mulder has an excellent imagination—she knows this for a fact—so, though she can feel her cheeks burn, she does what she can to help it into a pair of track shoes.

She raises her eyebrow (he gulps) and slowly parts her lips to suck the lollipop-finger in. She cannot believe she’s doing this, and she especially cannot believe the hunger so unapologetically written across his face. He likes it. So she does her damnedest to put on a show (regular old Dana Scully is no actress, but Inebriated Scully could win Academy Awards). Using her tongue and her teeth and her lowered inhibitions, she not only encourages his imagination to run wild, she ensures it’ll win a fucking 100 yard dash.

….

He’s never been this hard in his life. Never. Not even that day she leaned over the desk in that pale blue button-down shirt and gifted him with a glimpse (okay, much more than just a glimpse) of soft, soft flesh and nude-colored lace. Not even then. And his situation is getting more desperate by the second. His normally prim and proper partner is swirling her finger around her lips and against her tongue like a goddamn lollipop. He honestly feels faint. And that shy little please-find-me-sexy look in her eyes isn’t helping a bit. He shifts uncomfortably in his seat. Things are becoming quickly unbearable. He can’t… he needs…

She hollows out her cheeks and sucks, and before he realizes what he’s doing, his hand is at his crotch and he’s squeezing, and ohhh holy shit, she’s so fucking hot. He lets out a satisfied groan before his slightly intoxicated brain catches up with his body.

He freezes.

Her eyes are wide and focused on his lap, and he quickly pulls his hand away. “Shit, I’m sorry, Scully…I’m sorry…I couldn’t help…,” he sputters, all too aware that he may have just ruined everything.

He begins to stand, sure she’s about to ask him to leave (nice of you to subject her to your sick little fantasies, a voice sneers), but she stretches out a hand to stop him.

“No!” she says quickly. “No, ummm…God, Muld’r…” Her voice is trembling, and he can feel himself panicking. She’s looking at the floor when she finally continues. “Don’t go,” she says in a little-girl voice that’s somehow exponentially more erotic than it really should be.

She sways a bit, and maybe he’s hoping too hard, but she honestly doesn’t sound like she’s about to destroy him, not even a little; in fact, she almost sounds like she may actually want him to stay. In a voice so soft he has to strain to hear it, she murmurs, “Ummm…I…ummm…I…I liked it…” She peeks up at him from beneath her lashes with cheeks the color of cotton candy, and, though he wouldn’t have thought it possible, his dick hardens to an even more critical state than before.

“Yeah?” he asks gruffly, praying he hasn’t misunderstood.

“Yeah,” she whispers. Christ, he’s never heard a sexier colloquialism in his life.

“Scully…” He waits for her to look at him—really look at him—before continuing. When she does, he’s floored by the arousal painted so blatantly across her face. The music’s still playing in the background, and the beat pulses like blood through his veins (‘I liked it’ pulses like blood through his veins, too).

He looks directly into her aroused little face, and with a voice that leaves open no room for interpretation, he utters, “Scully, you’re so fucking hot right now, I can’t see straight.”

She closes her eyes and sucks in a breath, and he’d swear he hears just the faintest whimper slip from her throat. In a small, tremulous voice, she asks, “God, what’re we doing here, M’lder?”

When she opens her eyes, they’re blue and wet and so beautiful he could cry. “We’re melting some snow, Scully. We’re making a mess, we’re taking that loneliness that’s plagued us both for so many years, and we’re knocking it on its ass.” She blinks and he adds, “We’re doing whatever you want. No more, no less. The decision’s up to you.”

Her tongue takes its leisurely time sliding across her plump, bottom lip, and after a lifetime (or so it seems, but he’d wait an eternity of lifetimes for her), she murmurs in a voice pulled directly from one of his fantasies, “Well then, I b’lieve I promised you the Swizzle Stick.”

….

She’s quivering, trying not to let him see how nervous, how self-conscious, how absolutely fucking aroused she is right now. His hand was on his cock for her. His hand was on his cock and she told him she liked it—honestly, she wonders whether this pair of panties will ever be dry again.

‘The decision’s up to you’. God. She’s always prided herself on her ability to make wise decisions, but he’s severely compromising her judgement right now, with that distracting bulge in his jeans and his full, pouty lips and a tongue she’d give just about anything to feel against her clit right about now. He’s doing it on purpose, she decides, he’s being this desirable on purpose. But funny, she doesn’t hear herself complaining.

One thing’s for certain though. Slightly compromised decision-making abilities aside, she still wants to show him the Swizzle Stick.

The CD changer mechanically clears its throat while shifting its gears, then nudges her even more insistently, choosing a slow, sultry song as its next offering, one that bleeds across the floor and up through her wobbling heels to settle itself into her hips. She’s swaying to the beat almost before she realizes it, Mulder’s eyes following her so closely, she’s dizzy.

She remembers the needle in her back in Philadelphia, the ink seeping beneath her skin, how it both thrilled and terrified her. She feels the same tonight, drunk on alcohol and a desire to be reckless, as the music flows through her body and out the other side. He is that ink beneath her skin, both spine-tingling and inescapable.

She’s thrilled and terrified and ready to be marked for life.

“M’kay,” she murmurs, “Ready?” Her heart skips a beat while he looks her up and down, while he holds her in suspense for just a little longer than necessary.

“I’ve been ready for seven years, Agent Scully,” he drawls. She bites her lip to keep from whimpering.

She catches his eye and rotates her hips, rolls them in slow, languid circles, swizzling them as if she were mixing a shot of rum and Coke right there between her legs. His tongue slides along the sharp edge of his teeth while he traces lazy loop-de-loops on his denim-clad thigh.

“So ummmm…I’m gonna show you th’advanced version. D’you think you can handle it?” she breathes. One more check-in, one more reassurance that they’re on the same page.

“I’ll handle anything you’ll allow me to handle, Scully,” he says, “And I mean that quite literally.” He looks her directly in the eye for that last part, and she feels his words all the way down to her toes. Same page. Most definitely. His hand edging its way closer and closer back to his crotch confirms it as well.

She’s ready. It’s time to show him the Swizzle Stick, the advanced version no less (perhaps she should have warned him, but the advanced version consists of a whole lot more swizzling, and a whole lot more skin).

She slips a finger underneath the strap of her camisole. He gulps. Then slowly, she nudges the fabric across her skin. Nudge, nudge, until the strap falls on its own, marking a line on her arm midway to her elbow. Mulder shifts, her name forming on his lips with no sound. Then the opposite shoulder, same routine, only when this side falls, the entire bodice droops as well, exposing the tops of her breasts encased in a lacy, black strapless bra.

She gasps as the cool air hits her skin, glancing shyly in his direction. She’s almost afraid to see his reaction. He meets her eye, then whispers, “Fuck” with a reverence that makes her tremble.

She licks her lips as she continues, pushing both straps completely down her arms, the rest of the camisole following until it falls loosely around her hips. And this time her name isn’t soundless from his lips, this time it’s low and graveled and sounds like sex itself. She arches her back without thinking—with her hands, she cups her breasts and lifts them toward him in offering. God. It’s as if she has no choice. This thing is greater than her now. It’s greater than the both of them. They’ve been flowing down this river for years, and the dam has finally been broken.

She watches as his hand finds its way to his crotch again. He squeezes, air sucking through his teeth (he’s got no choice either, she tells herself), and she moans, giving herself over to the sensations completely. “So beautiful,” he breathes, “You’re so goddamn beautiful.”

She murmurs a thank you, trying to hide her smile, the skin on her cheeks burning despite her resolve to let this happen. Then she winds up her hips again (she’d forgotten for a moment, so wrapped up in this, forgotten she’s supposed to be giving him a show).

….

He’s always suspected Scully had a hot little body tucked inside those sharp-angled suits, but ‘hot little body’ doesn’t even come close to describing the vision before him right now. ‘Hot little body’ is a girl’s pretty handwriting—charming and sweet and embellished with cute little hearts. Scully’s body… he allows his eyes to scrape over it again…Scully’s body is the very finest calligraphy—elegant and refined, with curves and flourishes so breathtaking, he could weep.

Her camisole is around her hips, and he’s honestly having trouble breathing. The contrast between her black lingerie and her creamy white skin is almost shocking in its severity, and the hints of rose peeking through the almost-sheer fabric could drive him slowly insane. He’s blown away, absolutely, positively.

He aches for her, and his meager hand isn’t doing much to relieve the pressure in his pants. There’s only one thing that can relieve a pressure like this (seven years old and counting), and she’s standing before him, lovely and hot and holy shit, he’s never wanted a woman this badly in his life.

She’s begun rotating her hips again, those pretty little hips, hips he’s sure he could span with the both of his hands if she’d let him. Has she always been this sexy? Has she always moved this way, and he just never realized it? He’s sure he would have realized it. He would have fucking realized it. But the thing that’s most surprising right now (as if Scully stripping directly in front of him isn’t surprising enough), is that despite her body, despite her curves and those elegant calligraphic flourishes, despite all that, he still finds her brain to be sexier than it all.

Her brain has made him weak in the knees since that very first day. Her body is just icing on the cake. Such beautiful icing. And honestly, he’s always had a sweet tooth—right now, he’s just praying she’ll allow him a taste.

His mind wanders slightly (icing, cake, Scully…how could it not?), but he’s promptly brought back to focus when he realizes she’s using that maddening roll of her hips to start shimmying her way out of her skirt, her camisole going along for the ride. Oh Scully. With each rotation, she pushes the fabric just a bit further, until it’s clear her panties are the same devastating mix of black lace and translucency as her bra.

She watches him with the corner of her lip tucked beneath her teeth, and his eyes honestly have trouble focusing. They ping-pong between bits of Scully thigh and bits of Scully tummy and bits of Scully breast so frantically, he feels dizzy. There’s so much to see.

“Scully,” he utters. “Scully.” He can’t stop saying it. Her name has always been so much more than just a name to him. Her name is a paragraph, a novel, her name is her entire essence laid out into six perfect letters, and every time it falls from his lips, it’s as if he holds some small piece of her in his hands. And tonight, her name is…it’s an acknowledgement, it’s this-is-really-happening-and-we-both-want-it, we-both-need-it. “Scully,” he murmurs one more time.

Her skirt and camisole have swizzled themselves completely down to her knees by now, and she finally lets them fall. Teetering only slightly, she lifts one, then the next, heeled toe from the fabric then kicks it all aside. Until all that’s left is her. All that’s left is Scully, those six perfect letters, shy and sultry and so goddamn sexy he forgets to breathe.

She stands there, still except for her telltale hands, which hover nervously at her waist before tangling themselves into a knot that would make her sailor father proud. “Thass all,” she murmurs, “thass the whole routine...” She looks everywhere but at him while she licks her lips, skin blossoming pinker than it already was as she seems to realize what she’s done.

“Scully,” he says again. The music still throbs in the background.

“I…I think I need ‘nother drink,” she says in a quavering voice, turning away from him, but he scooches forward in his seat to grab her wrist.

“No you don’t. Look at me.”

She turns, breaths quick and trembling from her parted lips. He loves her so much it hurts.

“Scully, we both want this,” he pleads gently. “We both need this. Let’s stop pretending we don’t. You’d never have let us get to this point otherwise…” He doesn’t want to pressure her, but he also can’t bear to watch her back away now that they’re finally here.

He slides his hand down to link their fingers, then tugs her closer. Her soft, sloping curves are close enough to touch, but he doesn’t allow himself to notice.

“I want it,” she murmurs. “I do, Mulder. I have…for such a long time. But like this? God, I still can’t b’lieve…” She looks away, embarrassed.

There have been phrases uttered throughout his life that he cherishes. Meet your sister, Fox; Congratulations, son; I wouldn’t change a day; Mulder, I’m in remission…. But none—none—have struck a chord within him quite as deeply as Scully saying I want it. Prim little Dana Scully, sent to spy on him so many years ago, just stood in her living room, in her pretty black lingerie, and told him I want it. Holy Christ.

It’s time. He knows it and she knows it. Perhaps it took the persuasion of some alcohol and a silly bachelorette party, but it’s time. Time to toss some sunflower seeds, time to make a mess, time to trample the fuck out of the proverbial snowdrift that’s buried her apartment for so many years.

“Hey, Scully,” he says quietly. She rubs her thumb across his fingers.

“Hmmmm?” she murmurs, still not looking at him, but the slightest hint of a grin curls itself into her cheek. Reaching his foot out, he nudges her ankle, and she finally meets his eye. She feels it too, he can tell.

He tugs her hand until she takes another step, until her toes are between his feet and she’s swaying above him like the willow tree from his childhood backyard.

“You’re breathtaking, do you know that?” he whispers, finally allowing his eyes to flow down her body. With a finger, he traces a slow circle around her navel, then wanders a few inches over to find flesh left puckered and pink from a wayward bullet. Her skin flutters beneath his touch as she gasps.

Her thighs, her creamy white thighs—God, has he ever had the pleasure of seeing them? He tickles a meandering line from her knee up up up, and as he approaches that ink-black lace, her hips tilt just slightly forward. He groans—he can smell her.

“God, Mulder,” she breathes.

The air between them is so charged right now, his hairs stand on end. If he doesn’t feel her against him soon, he’ll die.

“Scully…fuck…,” he growls. “I can’t…Christ…c’mere…” He grasps her by her flared little hips and pulls, and he must have done something right in his sorry-ass life, because she follows, spreading her knees and straddling his hips, and oh dear Lord, it’s the sexiest hundred pounds he’s ever felt, Dana Scully in his lap after telling him I want it.

….

She’s there so suddenly—in his lap—in the spot she’s imagined too many times to count (alone in her bed with wandering hands and tears in her eyes). It’s startling really, being so close so quickly. He’s hard through his jeans against her inner thigh, and it’s almost too much too take. Almost. But then his hands are at her hips and he’s stroking up her back, and it feels so very, very right. She’s always known he’d feel right.

His chest is warm and hard beneath her palms. She plucks nervously at his shirt. Their noses come close to touching and she chuckles slightly with embarrassment. “Hi…,” she says shyly.

“Hi yourself,” he smiles. His fingers find the back of her neck then slide across her shoulders. She shivers. He brushes the hair from her eyes. “Hey, this is right, you know,” he says.

And that’s the thing, she does know. She’s known for years. Despite the alcohol and the nerves and the fear, this is right.

“I know,” she whispers. She runs a finger along the shadowed scruff of his jaw, then up the curve of his chin to land at his lips. So soft, his lips are so soft, the way she’s always imagined them.

“So, Agent Scully…” His lips kiss her finger as he speaks. His eyes are darker than the sky that peeks through her window, and they drift to land between her breasts. Her nipples harden so completely, they ache. She knows he can see them. “Mmmm,” he hums, then teases, “Are you sure you’re not too drunk to be making decisions right now?”

God, she wants him. She wants him so bad. And luckily, he’s there beneath her, one part of his body in particular letting her know just how desperately he wants her back. She leans forward, her lips against his ear, and murmurs, “Muld’r, if I weren’t drunk, I’d’ve kicked you out an hour ago.” His quickened breaths tickle the side of her neck. “So I’d suggest you shuddup and kiss me, before I come to my senses.”

And with that, his hands are at her jaw and his lips at her mouth, and he’s kissing her, sweet Jesus, he’s kissing her. His tongue is in her mouth within seconds, and though perhaps that’s moving a bit fast, they haven’t waited seven years and a poorly coordinated striptease for leisurely. It’s overwhelming at first, his mouth and his tongue and him him him after so long with none of the above. But when he starts to pull away, she panics, sucking him back in, grabbing hold of his hair to keep him there.

“Christ, Scully,” he mumbles around kisses, his hands finding her ass and squeezing.

“I just…just…oh, thass good, M’ldr…” She reaches down to fumble with his shirt, desperate to feel the heat of his skin.

Then somehow it’s off, and maybe it was magic, but she doesn’t care, because when their skin comes together, it’s as hot as the sun between. A moan rips through her, and she wraps her arms around his shoulders so he can never, never escape. His tongue is on her neck and she’s melting, she’s melting.

“Muld…,” she sighs, and “Scull…,” he sighs right back.

Her mouth scrapes the chisel of his jaw (she’s always wondered if his stubble tastes like seasalt—it does) while his nimble fingers tickle at her back. Then poof! Her bra is as magically gone as his shirt. And oh, this, this. She’s longed for his touch on her breasts since he placed that first slide into the projector, so surely and precisely, so very long ago.

His first lick at her nipple makes her jump, makes her buck up against him like a pony, but she’s not sorry at all that he’s skipped right over his hands and gone straight for his mouth. “Yes,” she hisses, “Yesss.”

“So good, Scully, so fucking perfect.” She can barely understand him, his mouth is so full, but she sure as hell isn’t complaining. She’s always been of the opinion he talks too much anyway.

But it is so good, so very, very good—his body’s so wonderfully hard underneath her, his mouth so soft, his teeth gently sharp, and she whimpers as he puts them to use. She arches to meet him like a seismic wave, tectonic plates shifting beneath them.

More though, more. Please. “Please,” she whines, not quite sure what she’s asking of him, just that seven years is a lot of time to make up for. She drags him back up to her mouth, holds him in place. She wants to devour him, wants to swallow him deep down inside so she can finally feel full, so that things like bachelorette parties and too-perfect apartments can’t hurt anymore.

“I want…,” she murmurs against his mouth. His hands are back in her hair, and she finds herself grinding against him. More of that, yes, more. She rolls her hips and gasps as his dick (even through layers of clothes) finds her clit so precisely. It zings through her body like pure electricity, like she’s stuck her finger in a light socket.

His hips grind back, and oh God, please please please. She reaches for his belt just as his fingers slip between black lace and skin, as he molds his palm to her ass like bread dough. “Unghh, fucking Christ, Scully,” he grunts, while she squeezes his cock through the denim. She wants it. So bad. She’s forgotten what it’s like to do this, to lose herself in the passion, to let go of her tightly-held control. To allow herself to be wanted.

“Muld…I can’t….” Her drunken fingers are no match for complicated contraptions like buckles and zippers, and she whimpers in frustration.

But then… Jesus… then she’s whimpering for an entirely different reason.

….

His fingers meet her slickness, and she’s suddenly still as a statue (Venus de Milo comes to mind, or Athena, but none of those hold a candle to her, and he’s quite sure none of them have a pussy quite this warm and wet). His hand is twisted absurdly, attempting this maneuver while slid down the back of her panties, but he’s not concerned in the least. Hand cramps aren’t a bad price to pay for this, for her, for the barely-there squeaks she’s trying her hardest to hold back.

Her attempts at his jeans are stalled, and she slumps forward, dropping her head to his shoulder while he works. Christ, she’s wet. She’s slick and hot, and he can’t help but groan as he discovers some of her most hidden secrets. She likes it, he learns quickly, when he strokes long and slow, right past her clit, but not quite there. He knows this because he feels her teeth at his throat.

“Yeah?” he mutters into the slide of her hair.

“Yeah,” she gasps back.

But she seems to like it even more when he finally does away with the awkward angle, when he reaches around to her front and shoves down the lace, when he slides right in, right up inside where she’s hot, hot lava, where he’d risk everything he has in order to be burned.

“Oh Godddd,” she moans, and she tilts her hips forward like a good little girl, invites another finger in with her desperate grip on his neck.

Two fingers, and a thumb against her clit—he never would’ve imagined that those squeals across the phoneline had been a harbinger of this. She’s tight, so tight, and the way she rocks against his hand reminds him of a wave against the rocks, crashing and wet and alive.

His dick aches, but it aches so good, because he’s going to make her come this way. He’s going to make her come, and he tells her so. “Gonna come for me, Scully?” he grunts, and just the words themselves make him buck hard up against the flesh of her thigh.

“Plea…pleasssse,” she gasps.

She’s grinding and she’s whimpering, and he kisses her neck in that spot that made her melt just a little bit ago. He whispers in her ear, “Come on, come on….” He thrusts a little harder with his fingers, rubs a little faster with his thumb, and then she’s coming, she’s fluttering around his fingers and she’s sobbing against his throat, and Jesus Christ, this is the best goddamn moment of his life right now.

She collapses against his chest while he nuzzles her hair, and he realizes just this would be enough. Just this, just the soft, warm lump of her in his lap—it’s enough. But when his little lump starts to stir, starts to wriggle against him and lick at his neck, starts to murmur, “Now your turn” while she palms his cock through his jeans, well….he may be satisfied, but he certainly isn’t stupid.

She’s an impatient one, he’s learning, and he finds it hot as hell, her desperate whine when she still can’t manage his pants. “Help me,” she breathes, “Help me and I’ll make it worth your while.”

His pants and boxers are down so fast, there’s a roadrunner-like blur left behind (though there’s no way he’d ever compare Scully to a coyote).

She smiles at his expediency, then purrs as she takes him in hand, “So much nicer than I imag’ned….”

“You’ve imagined?” he squeaks, because now she’s squeezing, sliding up and down, getting exponentially faster with each sure stroke, and his voice can’t do anything but squeak when he’s up against that.

“So many times,” she whispers, taking his lip between her teeth and sucking, raking her nails through his hair until he shudders.

A desperate groan rumbles in his chest, and it’s becoming obvious he’s not going to last much longer. She’s good at this, and he tries his best not to question why. “Scull…,” he croaks against her mouth. She’s rocking herself on his thigh, and she’s still so fucking wet, and goddammit, NO, he can’t let this end right now.

He wrenches away her hand just as things reach critical mass, gasping into her neck while she whimpers. “Too close,” he gasps, “Fuck, Scully. Fuck. You, I want you.”

“Me, too…God, M’lder, me,too.”

She lifts up to slide off her panties (so smart, his Scully), then hovers above him like a fog. So fucking beautiful. He’s already told her that, but he wants to tell her again. He wants to tell her a lot of things again, that she’s his constant, his touchstone, the one who’s made him whole, but before he has the chance, she’s there, perched above him and already sliding down, and he abandons that plan immediately.

It’s heaven, pure fucking heaven, the feel of her surrounding him. But he hardly even notices, because he can’t keep his eyes from her face. Her head falls back in slow-slow-motion, each millimeter she sinks on his cock dropping it further. Her eyes are closed and her bottom lip trapped between her teeth. She’s absolutely stunning. He could come just from this, from the look on her face as she takes him into her body the very first time.

“Ohhh…myyy…Godddd,” she sighs. When she finally opens her eyes, she smiles, and her cheeks turn the loveliest shade of pink.

“All that you expected, Miss Scully?” he asks. He’s sweating at this point, trying not to move.

“God,” she breaths, “So much fucking better.” She laughs then, and he laughs, and it’s all too much, laughing with Scully while her breasts are on his chest and her ass is on his thighs and his dick is so deep up inside her, he can feel her tonsils. It’s all too much, and yet it’s all just right—he can’t think of anything more perfect.

“Shit, Scully, I’m dying here. Can I move?” It may be perfect, but he’s about to explode.

She looks him in the eye and lowers her voice, and it’s the sexiest thing he’s ever heard when she says, “Muld’r, if you don’t start moving, I’m finding my gun ann I’m shooting you again. And I’m drunk right now, so I can’t g’rantee I wouldn’t hit something vital.”

She yelps when he grabs hold of her hips, and yelps again when he lifts his own to meet them. But once they’ve established a rhythm, she hums and she moans and she sighs. She’s passionate, moreso than he’d expected, and she rides him with an abandon he never thought he’d see in her, breasts swaying mesmerizingly before his eyes while she grinds herself down against him.

She kisses him so hard and deep at times that he loses himself in the sensation—he’s drowning in a sea of Scully mouth and Scully skin and Scully pussy, and he hopes to never find his way to the surface.

“Scully,” he groans, “You feel…you feel…” But he can’t find the words. No words exist to describe what he’s feeling right now, like every fucking thing he’s ever wished for in life has channeled itself into this heat between them, into this small pocket of space where the two of them meet again and again and again.

“I know,” she whispers against his cheek, “Mulder, I know.” She wraps her arms around his neck, tucks her nose beneath his jaw, and he pounds up into her as if there’s no tomorrow. As if there’s no yesterday, as if there’s no this morning, as if the only time that will ever exist between them is right now, this moment, forever and ever.

She whimpers against his ear as she comes, gasps his name into his skin and clenches around him so tightly, he follows behind like a shadow, her name and its six perfect letters jumbling in the air above them, then falling to the floor to leave the most beautiful, glorious mess her apartment has ever seen.

….

They fall asleep there, him sprawled across the chair with her curled up small in his lap. Very uncharacteristic, for her at least. She’s not in the habit of mistaking living room furniture for a proper bed. But she’s also not in the habit of drinking with her partner, nor that of stripping off her clothes, and especially not that of having sex on her nice cornflower blue chair (although she may need to rethink that last one).

Her living room hasn’t offered a warm and naked Fox Mulder as a mattress in the past though, so she decides it would behoove her to at least give it a try. And plus, she’s drunk, and it just seems easier that way than getting them both to her bed.

When she wakes a few hours later, he’s slung a blanket over their cooling bodies. It’s white. Like snow. She looks at the way it lays across their limbs, at the hills and mountains and valleys.

Her eyes travel next to the shadows of the room, just barely visible by the moon. She fills in the outlines the way a child fills in a coloring book, sloppily, messily, but just well enough that someone could call it a masterpiece. His belt is on the couch, his jeans on the floor, and there’s a glint of coins that’ve spilled from his pockets. The bottle of liquor and an empty shot glass have surely left rings on the coffee table (why hadn’t she thought to use coasters?). A stray sock, a shoe, and her bra lie in front of the bookshelf.

Her mother would be appalled.

It’s absolutely beautiful.

She smiles, almost giddily, and snuggles a bit deeper into the crook of his arm. The CD player shut off hours ago, but she’d much prefer to dance to the beat of his heart, to the rhythm of his breaths against her forehead.

As she drops back off to sleep, she makes a mental note to buy her cousin a truly extravagant wedding gift—it’s really the least she could do. Oh, and maybe while she’s shopping, she’ll pick up some swizzle sticks, too.