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"Hey, a bit of lipstick, the right dress—"

"Mulder, we've been through this already." He watched as she smoothed her already-perfect hair back, a dark red like fire with near-orange gleams where the streetlights caught it. "No matter how cute you'd look in heels, we can't both go in there. Madison only picks up single women, women who appear to be lonely. And," she assessed him thoughtfully, tilting her head to one side, "based on available information, I'm closer to Madison's type than you would be, lipstick or no lipstick."

"Are you telling me you don't think I'm pretty enough?" Mulder reached over and carefully adjusted Scully's right earring. "Your wire's showing." He sat back in the driver's seat again, resisting the temptation to keep touching her, fussing with her. It came to him that this must be why women spent ages in the bathroom together. "Be careful. I don't know what it is Madison does to these women, but whatever it is—"

"They all say it's worth it," Scully finished. She was a picture of rich uncertainty, silk and pearls and utterly expensive shoes and just the wrong shade of eyeshadow, an air of 'I don't really know what I'm doing' that Mulder had no idea how she had achieved. "Don't worry, Mulder, I'm armed."

She opened the car door, got out and walked towards the entrance to the club, going at her usual clip at first but then slowing down as she got closer. High, high heels. Mulder watched her swaying progress with appreciation and then, just like that, she was gone. Inside.

"Scully," he said softly, "everything all right?"

"Fine," she said, even more quietly. "I'll just go sit in the bar and we'll see what happens."

Mulder nodded, the response so ingrained that the fact that she couldn't see him made no difference, and sat back to wait as well. He heard the music get louder, the sound of women talking, laughing; Scully talking to the bartender; the clink of a glass. There was no way of knowing if Jeanette Madison would come here tonight, but Mulder suspected she would. He glanced up at what little he could see of the night sky. Madison appearead to be on a lunar cycle. Tonight, or tomorrow night at the latest. She would be here; they would catch her.

There was no doubt in his mind that if Madison came here, Scully would indeed catch her.

She looked absolutely wonderful like that. Not that she didn't always look... this was different, though. He admitted, with a small guilty shrug, that it was the insecurity that did it, the way she suddenly seemed very approachable. It was supposed to work on Madison, not on him. To distract himself, he thought idly about what he would have worn if he'd been the one going into the club. Something relatively subdued, dark blue or dark green, he thought, with a long enough skirt that he wouldn't have to shave his legs all the way.

Although that might be interesting. Shaved legs. Thin, sheer stockings. A skirt that flowed and clung, silk perhaps. Soft, sensual things against his skin. He wasn't getting a hard-on. No way. Mulder stared hard at the door of the club, and was rewarded with the sight of a shock of white-blond hair, a black coat and a bright red dress. "She's coming in," he whispered. "Bat your lashes, Scully."

There was a sound that might have been a ladylike snort. He heard footsteps, and then the sound of bodies colliding, and Scully's soft, anxious, "Oh, I'm so sorry! I wasn't looking where I was going — I didn't spill anything on you, did I — I'm sorry—"

"It's all right." Like Scully, Madison was an alto. She sounded amused.

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure. In fact, I think it was my fault, I jostled you. Let me get you a new drink — what's your name?"

"Way to go, Scully," Mulder chuckled. "Now let's see how long it takes before she starts pawing your pearls." He settled back and listened as Scully and Madison got drinks and went to sit down somewhere; he envisioned it as a small comfortable booth. They made small talk, Scully striving for shy interest, Madison more straightforward in her approach.

"I've never been here before," Scully confessed. "I — I don't go out much."

"This is a nice place," Madison said. "People usually feel comfortable here. Are you comfortable, Dana?"

There was a short pause. "Yes."

Mulder tried to imagine what might have happened in that brief silence. Had Madison made a move of some kind? Touched Scully's hand, perhaps, or brushed fingertips over her cheek, drawing a gentle blush. He shook his head. Scully could not, as far as he knew, blush on command, and Madison was more likely to have touched a sleeve to evaluate the quality of the material, find out if this really was a rich girl or a wannabe in synthetics.

"Want to dance?"

"Actually, I'd love to," Scully said with a small giggle.

He didn't recognize the music, but it was something slow and sultry. Slow dancing. Scully and Madison. Scully's sleek read head resting against Madison's shoulder, clashing with the dress, Mulder told himself, but still, Madison blonde and cool and lovely, holding Scully in her arms, and he wished he could see it. Wished he could be there. Wished he could be there with Scully, in a red dress, dancing... no. He drew in a breath and heard a corresponding breath over the music. Madison breathing in Scully's ear.

"Don't let her bite your earrings off," Mulder whispered.

"Mm," Scully said a little dreamily, and it took him a moment to realize that she wasn't answering him, that she was making that sound in response to something Madison was doing. Then there was a soft little gasp. What was Madison doing? In the middle of the dance floor? Nibbling on Scully's expensive FBI earring, stroking her back through the thin dress, licking her throat—

Kissing her. Definitely kissing her, right there on the dance floor, he could hear it, luscious wet sounds, subvocal hum of pleasure, Jesus, Scully. This wasn't how they'd planned it. "Dana," Madison said, in a voice that made Mulder shiver, "Dana," and then more kissing.

On the dance floor. Dana Katherine Scully and Jeanette Madison were the floor show tonight. He closed his eyes and watched them on the inside of his eyelids, then blinked into reality and responsibilities again. "Scully," he muttered, "you're here for an arrest, not a tonsillectomy."

For a moment, he wasn't sure that she'd heard him. Then she said, "I think," and her voice was so husky, and she started over, "I think we've danced enough."

"I think you're right," Madison agreed. They were moving, the music got louder, and then fainter, there was a rising hum of voices, and then the decisive sound of a door closing and the noise level dropping abruptly, so he could hear their footsteps, Scully's and Madison's, before they came to a stop, could hear Scully's breathing, could almost hear her heart beat.

And he heard the tone of her voice as she said, "Again," and Madison kissed her, and he was harder than he'd ever been in his life. She made demanding little sounds into the kiss, and he could hear the rustle of hands on silk, Madison's hands on Scully, stroking through that thin cloth, touching as he would have touched down the arms, up from the waist, carefully, Scully gasped and Mulder knew that Madison had rubbed her nipples—

—he was touching himself, fingers actually working on getting the zipper undone and this was very, very wrong. "Scully," he heard himself as if from a distance, "is everything under control?"

She moaned.

That was probably, he thought, probably, hand slipping into his pants, probably, Madison's hand sliding up Scully's thigh under her dress, a no. Oh God, he was hard, and his boxers were boring cotton and against his fingers he could feel the lace of Scully's underwear; there had to be lace somewhere, fine and scratchy. Wet.

"Doesn't that feel good?" Madison whispered, and Mulder opened his mouth to say yes, and Scully muttered something made of gasps and strange vowels that made perfect sense. Scuffle and thud of Madison dropping to her knees on a hard floor; she'd get her pretty dress dirty. Rustle of silk sliding up over nylon and he could feel it against his own skin, that light gliding touch and he wanted stockings and a garter belt, something purely frivolous and sexy, shaved skin smooth with expensive lotions, he wanted—

"God, yes," Scully gasped. Made that crooning sound at the back of her throat. "Yes."

—he wanted to be Madison, kneeling before Scully in that red dress, sucking the pleasure from her like juice from a fruit, licking her into the pure shape of passion. Moving his hand faster. Tasting. Small squeak as they slid fingers into her, pushing a little roughly, tongue so soft and gentle.

Oh, fuck. She sounded like sex, that low growl, the shuddering breaths, thud of her head falling helplessly back against the wall and she was standing there with her dress pushed up, unsteady on those high high heels, knees beginning to shake, he could feel the curl and coil within himself, building, building. Tongue and stroke and fuck, fuck, fuck, the cry caught in her throat on hitches of ecstasy and he was coming, shaking, whimpering.

He hit his knee on the steering wheel. Swearing very quietly under his breath, he hunted through his coat pockets and then the glove compartment for tissues, Scully's loud breathing in his ear all the while. Soft sound of a kiss. Footsteps.


"Scully," he managed to get out. "Scully." The wad of tissue was old and falling-apart dusty, but it would have to do.

After a few moments' silence, as he started to gingerly wipe himself clean, there was a, "Yes." And then, "She's gone, Mulder. I'm coming out."

Shit. He rolled the window down to let some fresh air in, wadded up the damp tissues again and tossed them out into the street. If he pulled his trenchcoat together it should hide any remaining stains. Mulder craned his neck to look at himself in the rearview mirror, saw glazed eyes and looked away again.

He'd been listening all the while to her moving through the club, and now she was coming through the door, still moving with that unaccustomed slowness. Languor. Belatedly, watching her, he knew that he should have kept watch for Madison instead. But Madison was gone. Scully came up to the car, opened the passenger door, and got in.

The pearls were gone. Her lipstick was smeared, her hair was mussed, she reeked of sex and a different perfume from the one she'd worn going into the club, and she was beautiful. Leaning back for a moment against the seat, stretching, she closed her eyes and sighed. Then she looked at him, and in her eyes was all the explanation he was ever going to get. "It was worth it."

He would have to go shopping.