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`Til Stars Align

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“You’re the one reason I wake up in the morning; you’re the one reason I find a way to smile; you’re the one person that can change it all around when life is going bad. Your eyes, your smile, your everything, your laugh, your look in your eyes when you talk to me. It’s just everything about you that makes me want you even more.”

-Heartfeltquotes.com

——

“Oh, oh yes… Right there, please...” Scully whimpered, nails again desperately raking through his well tousled hair. They shouldn’t be doing this now. Not here, but the thought of him stopping as she felt herself floating higher and higher was utterly out of the question.

His fingers plunged through her core, strumming their way in and out, while he deftly maneuvered his tongue around her swelling bundle of nerves. Her womb tensed as an orgasm was rapidly approaching and it felt like she might explode any moment now...

——

Five days earlier...

Monday, February 9, 1999

FBI Hoover Building

3rd Floor Bullpen

9:05am

Scully whirled her way through the bullpen doorway, still shivering from the cold February air. She moved right past Mulder tossing sunflower seeds in his mouth, stifling a laugh as he nearly choked on one while he watched her quick entrance.

She shrugged out of her coat and subtly eyed her partner at his desk across from hers as he continued to cough. Shaking her head, she sat in her seat, rolled it off to the side, and smiled at the steaming cup of coffee waiting for her.

“You alright over there?” Scully nodded her head at Mulder swallowing a mouthful out of his identical cup. “I’d rather not do the Heimlich maneuver before I get my caffeine fix in this morning.”

Mulder shot her a smirk behind the lip of the coffee top and gave her a thumbs up. He seems jittery this morning, she thought as she warmed her chilled hands around her drink. Probably up to something he shouldn’t be, per usual. She watched Mulder gather himself while rolling his chair over to the opposing side of her desk. His eyes moved to focus directly to her mouth. Licking the liquid dripping off of her bottom lip, she couldn’t help but feel a flush rise up her neck at his closer proximity.

“Morning, Scully,” he stared at her, unblinking, knowing she could see the gleam of excitement in his eyes.

Mulder had been waiting anxiously for his usually punctual partner to make her appearance. After opening his email this morning and seeing what was sent to every agent in the building, thoughts riddled his mind and he formulated a plan of epic proportions before she had even arrived.

“Good morning. Thanks for this,” she cheered her coffee up and took a drink. When he didn’t answer with his usual reply, she sent him a questioning arched brow and followed his gesture to the large white computer monitor to her left.

“You should check your email. I feel like after you do, you’ll be giving me the same smug look I’m giving you now.” Mulder leaned back, rolled himself over to his computer, and promptly pulled up Mindsweeper to tamp down his enthusiasm.

He had big plans for the coming week. If fate was finally on their side for the stars to align for them, Mulder wasn’t going to waste another day for a chance to live outside of the platonic box.

Rolling her eyes at his Mindsweeping predictability, she clicked on her computer screen and let the caffeine run through her while she pulled her email up. She noted the official FBI logo next to its email address along with the tagline, “MANDATORY: Attention All Agents. This is not spam!

Scully began reading and gathered immediately why Mulder was eager to see her reaction to this.

A formal benefit banquet would be held for the recently fallen FBI agent’s families that were left without their loved ones suddenly in a mass raid that went bad in a big way. Six agents perished, as well as injuring eight others who were still currently racking up hospital bills so soon after Christmas.

It seemed that the Deputy Director had thought of the idea to hold a benefit for the families struck with grief after the holidays. It just so happened to take place this Saturday, on Valentines Day. Scully groaned at that thought and continued to read. The bottom of the email stated that agent’s who chose to put themselves out there, dressed to the nines, donate a little money, and ensured that the fundraiser wasn’t a dud after dinner, receives brownie points for their effort that will not go unnoticed by the director. Basically, it wasn’t an option to cop out on going. Not to mention, less arguments for a time on she and Mulder’s unapproved side projects that may or may not be related to the “off limits X-Files.”

“Mulder…” Scully sighed while opening up last week’s unofficial notes on Holman Heart’s weather. “We have to do this. There will be no getting out of attending this if we want the files back.” Silence. “Mulder, are you listening?” She turned her head away from the screen and was met with her partner’s face just inches from her own.

“Yeah, Scully I hear ya. And feel free to write this down by the way, but I had no intention of skipping out on this.” He could read the skeptical and shocked expression on her face at his utterance with the tip of her tongue freezing mid swipe along her top lip. “I can be a good boy when I really want to, Scully. I’ll even do it with a smile on my face if you’ll be there to ensure that I am.”

Speechless, she blinked and knew deep down it would not be that easy to tame a wild Mulder.

——

Tuesday, February 10, 1999

FBI Hoover Building

3rd Floor Bullpen

8:50am

“Excuse me,” Scully told the rude agent who nearly barrelled over her as she stepped into the bullpen. “Asshole,” she muttered under her breath.

She gripped the two still piping hot coffee cups in her cold hands and held her breath as the liquid sloshed through the lid. It was her turn to get the coffee and she’d be damned if she had to turn around and get them another one in the D.C.’s frozen tundra.

Spotting Mulder tapping his pencil impatiently with his back turned, she snuck up behind him and hovered her mouth above his ear. “Morning!” He startled and swung his head around before she had the chance to react and move herself. Their noses brushed one another, eyes locked. Their lips just a hair's breadth away, so close that they breathed in each other’s air.  

“Well, hello!” Mulder laughed, genuinely surprised and impressed at her stealth since he had been waiting on pins and needles her to show up. Scully quickly leaned back and handed him his coffee that had obviously spilled over at some point with a slight pink rising along her cheeks. “Ya got me. And thank you.”

Scully spun on her heel and tried to slow her heart rate by the time she got to her desk. “Had ya big time,” she teased, and couldn’t help but chuckle at their familiar little game still going strong.

Setting her bag down by her chair and her drink onto her desk, she noticed a singular lavender rose laid across her keyboard. She glanced around as she removed her coat and gloves, then noticed Mulder was staring at her with a hand rubbing at his hairless chin.

“What’s this?”

“What’s what, Scully? The flower? It looks like a lavender rose to me,” he teased back. Knowing Scully wasn’t going to return his banter, he shrugged and said, “I can tell you that I haven’t seen anyone at your desk this morning, if that’s what you’re wondering about.”

“Okay then… I guess I’ll just find a glass and stick it into some water.” Scully had no idea what the rose meant but it was pretty and purple always had been her favorite color. Still confused, she stared over at Mulder nodding her way wearing a mysterious expression as he went back to pretending to care about background checks.

Making her way across the bullpen to the break area, she couldn’t help but wonder why she would be given her a purple rose and from whom?

Mulder watched her disappear around the corner and grinned at the thought of her reading the email he had sent her earlier that morning before she arrived. He has wanted to approach the possibility of he and Scully taking that next step for a while now. And even though it probably wasn’t the greatest idea—getting romantically involved with a work partner and friend, especially him—he knew that with the files being yanked from under them, that now was better a time to tempt fate than later. If he and Scully did get put back on the X-Files, then that would just be yet another convenient excuse for them both to push love aside.

He’d had enough of excuses and denial to last him a lifetime.

The benefit ball landing on Valentine's Day was exactly the right situation in which to step out of his comfort zone and try to romance Scully. No more excuses and no more unfinished kisses or post concussed declarations of love. Mulder was finally going to romance Scully in his own Spooky way.

He just hoped to hell that she would actually enjoy it.

“Hey, I see you found a tall glass,” he said, nodding to her nervously while she placed the budding rose inside it. “Proudly displaying a token of admiration?”

“Admiration?”

“Well yes, Scully. It is a lavender colored flower.”

She scoffed and sat down. “Obviously. I’m assuming purple means something specific?”

“You assume right.” He rolled his chair over to lean his arm alongside her desk. “Lavender usually means love at first sight.” That got a huff of a laugh out of her and he smiled too, knowing that he hadn’t given it to her for that reason at all.

“Well now I know it’s not from you,” she smirked. “I feel an and coming.”

“And… lavender roses can offer a daily reminder of love and eagerness to grow a relationship.” He watched her absorb that piece of information as she grabbed her mouse and clicked open her email.

“How do you know that? Looked it up before I got here did you?”

“Nope. I remember the deeper meaning of flowers from my dating days,” he joked, but was honest in the fact that he was trying to do just that.

Scully flicked her eyes over at him and just couldn’t help herself. “Like I asked you last week, how long has it been since you’ve been on a date?” Tamping down her amusement at the mock gestured stabbing of his heart with her pen, she opened up and skimmed through an email from an unknown address in her “Work Only” inbox. Confused, she read it again.

If you were my rose, then I’d be your sun,

painting you rainbows when the rains come.

I’d change my orbit to banish the night,

as to keep you in my nurturing light.

“Scully?” She felt Mulder’s heat at her back, shivering as a whiff of his aftershave shot straight up her nose. “What’s that?”

“I don’t know. Looks like a poem but it seems unfinished. I have no idea who sent it. The email isn’t one I recognize and it’s not FBI issued.”

“Mm, you’re right. It doesn’t seem finished to me.” She heard him hum in thought behind her and his overall presence was definitely distracting her more than usual. And nowhere near just today, either. “Well, looks like you have yourself a secret admirer, Scully.”

Surprised at the turn of events, she hadn’t noticed Mulder return to his desk and begin to work; or at least pretend to. He may have effectively ended the conversation, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to put an end to her now rapidly growing curiosity.

——

Wednesday, February 11, 1999

FBI Hoover Building

3rd Floor Bullpen

8:44am

Mulder hurriedly pressed send in his secret email account he had set up in an attempt to do something special for Scully for once. Originally, he wanted to just give her the poem and roses all together and officially ask her to be his date for Saturday. That would have been the more normal thing to do. Yet, Mulder wasn’t normal and neither was his relationship with Scully. So when he obsessively thought it over, dissecting every outcome as thoroughly as Scully would a body in an autopsy bay, he decided that anonymity was probably the better way to start off is quest in seeking more with her.  

Maybe if this all worked out the way he had hoped, he could co-write a book with her called, “How To Romance Your Partner.” Written by one skeptic and believer to another. And from the look of desperation on half of his fellow agent’s faces, it could definitely be a bestseller.

Mulder had also come to the conclusion that maybe a slow weaving of his secret romantic side into their gradually emerging relationship would prove easier for Scully to agree in giving him a shot as more than her best friend, rather than another sudden “I love you.” If he got brave enough to revisit the “kiss that almost was,” he would feel more confident that his intentions for a them were made crystal clear this time around. He was damned determined there would be no miscommunication. Not from him anyway. He was laying it all on the line.

If Holman Heart could do it, then so could he. Even if it scared the shit out of him.

For Mulder, admiring Scully from afar was an extremely easy thing to do. It was when he allowed himself to get close enough to let her thread her way into his heart, was when he realized that he had already fallen in love.

Yes, Fox Mulder was in love with Dana Scully and he had finally come to terms with that. He wiped away the heavy layer of guilt for every painful thing that had ever happened to her since their partnership and finally just accepted the fact that she could’ve left him at anytime if she wasn’t where she truly wanted to be. Yet, Scully was still there with him fighting the good fight because she needed to; because it was her quest now too.

This partnership was permanently ingrained within each other’s DNA now. Imprinted, in more ways than one and the time for pushing her away was long gone.

He took a sip of his still too hot coffee just as the woman he had fallen head over heels for walked up to greet him. “Morning, Scully.”

“Good morning,” Scully smiled at him and the steaming cup of Ebenezers coffee waiting for her. Her favorite. Mulder may not have a preference for his own coffee, but she did and he always found a way to please her taste buds just as they started to grow accustomed to the sludge served around the Hoover building.  

“How was your night?” Mulder openly studied her as she tossed her coat over her chair. He watched the purposeful way she licked her lips and tucked a wayward strand of copper hair behind her ear, pausing in thought as she noticed the new addition of color on her desk.

“Hmm?” Scully couldn’t focus on Mulder at the moment. The only thing she could focus on was the added bold orange, partially bloomed rose nestled next to the lavender rose from yesterday.

Scully was never a fan of surprises and being sought after like this had certainly surprised her. Usually if she were to be admired romantically, it was in person and she would be flattered yet easily turn them away for a wide array of reasons. And each one happened to start with M and end with R.

She liked to keep control and order in her life when she could possibly help it. That was her choice. Choices for Scully, gave her that control her life sometimes lacked. Choosing to revolve her life around her partner was a prime example of that. Yet the thought of being admired this way, intrigued her only because she had pictured Mulder as her date, her admirer. Her Mulder. Anyone else just wouldn’t do anymore.

Inevitably, she would always choose her partner, even over herself.

“Ahem!” She felt a familiar tap against her hip bone.

“What? Were you saying something, Mulder?”

“I asked you how your night went but I can see that you’ve noticed your new flower.”

“Yeah,” she blinked herself out of her unusually deep musings for the early morning hour and clicked at her mouse. She was confident that she would be receiving another email this morning. “I thought about calling the Gunmen last night. You know, to track down the email address.” It was more out of her own curiosity at this point rather than concern but didn’t find the need to admit to Mulder her level of fascination yet.

Panic rose as Mulder caught onto her worry. Of course a secret admirer could always be some creep with less than sincere intentions, especially with her job position. But, he and the Gunmen happened to know that there was no creep involved in this genuinely heartfelt gesture. Hell, they had set up his email for him and the boys wouldn’t be shy in admitting so under any hard-pressed questioning from Scully.

“But I decided to wait and see that what showed up on my desk and in my email this morning, wasn’t off putting or threatening in anyway.”

Scully sat down and leaned further into her computer screen to read as Mulder moved to stand beside her. Seeing her reaction as a thoughtful one and not a freaked out one had him relieved. If she showed any signs that his whole plan to have her swooning by the time he greeted her in his tux with his heart on his sleeve was making her uncomfortable, he’d just have to explain himself. Albeit with some marginal embarrassment from them both, he figured.

“Oh…” Scully sighed, running a hand along the back of her stiff neck.

‘Oh’ what?”

Mulder leaned down closer now, his hands braced on the desk and back of her chair. She felt his breath tickle the shell of her ear as his warmth surrounded her diminutive frame. It took her breath away along with any of the words poised to escape her mouth. She paused and cleared her throat to regain her suddenly thrown off composer. “Um, we were right. It’s another stanza.”

“Mind if I read it?” he murmured, his cheek brushing along hers.

She shook her head as a reply, really only as an excuse to feel his soft skin rub against her own again while she turned to watch him read.

Mulder cleared his throat and read aloud.

If you were my world, then I’d be your moon,

your silent protector, a night-light in the gloom.

Our fates intertwined, two bodies in motion,

through time and space, our dance devotion.

With a thudding heart, and quickening breath, Scully could only stare with her mouth slightly parted just an inch from Mulder’s looming face next to hers. The words were beautiful, perfect even. And as Mulder read them, the cadence of his voice only added to the thrill of knowing they were meant for her. Right then, she officially wanted Mulder, her partner, her best friend more than she ever had before. So intensely, it practically left her gushing in her seat.

Mulder turned to her, locking his hazel gaze onto her own for what seemed like minutes. Scully felt his finger tips feather at the nape of her neck for permission to touch her where she had been subconsciously rubbing. She slowly moved her hand out of the way as he straightened up and swept away her strains of hair. Softly, he massaged each muscle along her cervical vertebrae, working his thumbs deep into her skin. Scully felt her chin fall listless to her chest and breathing was forgotten.

“Mmm…”

“You’re so tight, Scully,” he groaned, and she gasped at the sexual way she had immediately taken his words. Reluctantly, she pulled away from his ministrations before she really embarrassed herself and begged him for more.

She quickly spun around in her chair with her thighs knocking into his knees and blurted out, “orange!”

“What?” Mulder coughed out with wide eyes, clutching at the chair’s arms with his face intimately close to hers once again.

“The flower. What’s orange mean?”

“Ah, well orange roses evoke energy, and can indicate enthusiasm, desire and excitement. So gifting an orange rose, can symbolize a passionate romance or excitement of the relationship one may have with their loved one.”

Please be from you, Mulder, she hoped. She didn’t want anyone else to gift her these things. It was going to be a very long week of wondering and she was already imagining Mulder as the man behind the mystery.

“Eidetic memory, huh?”

He grinned at her and winked. “Something like that.”

Oh Jesus, here she was yearning for him and all he had to do was wink. Scully knew by the look on his face and her physical reaction to it, that it would be a very long rest of the week indeed.

——

Thursday, February 12, 1999

FBI Hoover Building

3rd Floor Bullpen

8:40am

Scully quickly moved to her desk, already tearing at her coat and gloves in anticipation. She flew past Mulder lounging in his chair with his long legs sprawled out and already loosening his loudly decorated tie.

“Hey! Morning… you’re in a hurry today, Scully.” He noticed she’d forgotten it was her turn for coffee today but decided against bringing that up as she rushed in like a bat out of hell.

“Hey, Mulder.” She had arrived a little earlier than usual in hopes of seeing this secret admirer in action. But as she hurriedly walked up to her desk, she saw the third rose already laying there in all of its bright yellow glory. “Dammit!”

“What?” Mulder rolled his chair all the way around her desk to sit right beside her, his partially exposed forearm rubbing along her thigh as he pointed to the glass that now held three different colored roses. “Got a new addition I see.”

“Yeah, I see too.” Narrowing her eyes at the glass of blooming flowers, she asked, “yellow for friendship, right?”

“Yep. Although it’s more than that. Yellow roses create warm feelings and provide happiness. Giving a yellow rose can tell someone the of the joy you bring them and the friendship you share. Or in this admirer’s case, maybe would like to share a lot more of.”

“Hmm,” she nodded and sighed, rolling her neck from side to side, eliciting small pops along her spine.

Mulder grimaced. “You know, I really think I can loosen those knots for you if you’re willing to let me finish this time.” He smiled, realizing he tossed an innuendo line her way and it wasn’t even intentional.

She swung her head down with arms crossed to give him a perfectly arched brow as she pursed her lips to fight off laughter.

“Mm, that very well may be,” she turned to face him fully and leaned against her desk top, “but don’t you think that could make my admirer jealous?”

She was teasing him, he knew, and he loved every second of teasing, flirty Scully. For the longest time now, his top three fantasies started off with their usual banter and a flirty, feisty Dana Scully. Just the middle and end of them had involved a completely naked Scully with her coming undone around him.

“Is that a challenge I hear, Scully? Cause I gotta say, I’m always hard up for a challenge like that one.” He leaned back and crossed his exposed golden forearms over his chest, looking proud of himself. And all Scully wanted to do, was yank on that crooked ugly tie and kiss that big lipped mouth of his.

“Shut up, Mulder.” She bit her lip to withhold her emerging smile. She wondered on a rather regular basis how he could affect her like that so goddamn often.

Changing the subject for her own sake, she shook her head and reached over to click her way into her email for the both of them to see the next stanza of the poem.

As she brought it up, Mulder rolled his way even closer into her, invading whatever was left of her personal space. His cologne seemed stronger today, more enticing, or maybe it was just because she has been hyper aware of his proximity ever since they shared that bed in Kansas.

“Scully?”

“Huh?” She realized she had been staring off into space while Mulder had been gazing at her. Sometimes she got lucky and caught him looking at her the way that she looked at him. “Mulder, this whole thing doesn’t seem weird to you?”

Mulder grinned up at her from his chair as he nudged her hip with his index finger and asked, “what’s wrong with weird?” as he dramatically swiped an arm over his body from head to toe.

Scully giggled. She couldn’t help it and she couldn’t ignore the fact that Mulder reveled in her laughter. “Okayyy, Vanna White. And it screams stranger danger, Mulder. That’s what’s wrong with this kind of weird.”

“What, none of this does anything for you, Scully?”

“Well…” She grew serious for a moment because his question threw her off kilter. The truth was that it did. She had admitted that to herself already, but to the degree in which she might swoon for the man who had send these things to her, all depended on whether or not that man was sitting in front of her. “Quite the opposite, actually.”

Mulder widened his eyes at that reply but before he could press her further, she leaned over and read aloud the words written in the email.

If you were my island, then I’d be your sea,

caressing your shores, soft and gentle I’d be.

My tidal embrace would leave gifts on your sands,

but by current and storm, I’d ward your gentle lands.

Scully gaped at the lines about the sea. Whomever had chosen this poem, had done so with great care and consideration to focus on what little passions she did have. The last line in particular had reminded her of Mulder and herself. “...by current and storm, I’d ward your gentle lands,” was powerful. She chewed on her bottom lip and grew suddenly weary of any prolonged eye contact with her partner, whom she felt begging for attention with an intense stare boring into her.

“That’s pretty powerful stuff, Scully. Romantic.” Mulder eyed her as she mulled over the poem and the flowers that accompanied it. He placed a hand on her knee that was bent up along the edge of the desk just as she popped her lip free from the gnawing session within her teeth.

“Yes, it is powerful. And yes, it’s a romantic poem.”

“But?” Keeping his hand on her knee, he slowly circled his thumb along the curve of it while feeling the tiny jolts of her muscles twitching under his palm.

She looked at him honestly. “I don’t need a grand gesture of romance, Mulder.”

“No one really needs romance, Scully. That’s what makes it special.”

“What I mean is...” she paused as images of past personal and intimate moments in her life flashed before her eyes; only to realize that nearly every single one that truly mattered enough to recall, included the man in front of her. “I suppose I’d prefer to experience a slow burning love. One that tells a story—subtle anticipation,” she shrugged while looking into his reassuring eyes, slightly embarrassed at her admission.

Mulder leaned his head in closer to her hip. “Like the kind that gradually warms you from the inside out? The kind that sparks a fire deep in your soul that slowly consumes your mind and threatens to engulf your body?”

Mulder never broke eye contact as his intensifying stare darted from one wide blue eye of hers to the other. Scully herself leaned her head down even further and knew she hadn’t once blinked since he opened his mouth. Spellbound, she couldn’t look away even if she wanted to.

“The kind of love that can burn you with a single touch?” he finished.

Blinking rapidly as the last of his words sunk in, she took several breaths and turned herself away from Mulder’s fiery eyes. “Yeah. Exactly,” she rasped.

“Lucky you then. That’s the best kind of love there is.” He squeezed her knee, imprinting himself into her skin, and gazed at her, even as he recalled telling Holman he did no such thing. “I think it’s a nice gesture of intent to romance you at any rate. I’d feel lucky. If it were me, that is.”

“Mmhmm…” She leaned back, composing herself and turned to busy her hands on pile of already neatly stacked papers while fighting off a flush of heat along her chest and neck.

She’d admit that she did felt lucky, flattered even to be thought of so highly by someone else. Even so, she glanced at her partner lounging back in his chair with a coy smirk tugging on his mouth. Scully had a suspicion—a hope rather—that luck had absolutely nothing to do with it.

——

Friday, February 13, 1999

FBI Hoover Building

3rd Floor Bullpen

8:26am

Her heels clicked loudly along the hallway as she walked as fast as she dared while juggling her and Mulder’s last minute generic coffee. She had forgotten it was her turn yesterday when her mind had been wandering in a more romantic direction once again. Setting her alarm a full 30 minutes earlier today, she made it a point to make it to her desk before the rose did. Yet musing about her life and her life with Mulder, had kept her tossing and turning throughout the night.  

Just as she rounded the corner, she spotted three men walking away from the area around her desk. She stopped in her tracks and stared down each one like a suspect under interrogation. Two of the agents she vaguely remembered from a past case turned and looked at her as they moved to the opposite side of the bullpen. One man shyly waved while another smiled at her before finding their desks.

“Hmm…” That spurred her to dart over to her own desk, eyes roaming for another rose. Her heightened anticipation to see the color was maddening.

On her way, Mulder noticed her arrival and stopped her. “Scully! Oh, you got the coffee. Looks like great minds think alike.” Mulder excitedly waved his arm over to her tidy desk where a large Ebenezers coffee cup sat next to her favorite bran muffin from the shop nowhere near work. “No big deal.”

He thought it was no big deal that he brought her her favorite coffee and went far out of his way to get her favorite overly priced muffin. Scully on the other hand, thought it was a very big deal. Just another example of the unspoken language of love between them.

Yes, it was a language of love. The dangerous two-step of avoiding their feelings throughout the years was starting to get too hot for Scully’s emotional armor to handle.

She had thought long and hard over the last few days—over the last few years to be honest—and had finally accepted the conclusion that she was fully and hopelessly in love with her partner. Though, she’s felt that slow burning fire Mulder described for a very long time now. Her admittance to the revelation hadn’t been as scary to her as she thought. Scully just felt a calming sense of peace settle her skeptical mind. Gone, was that niggling denial in the back of her brain telling her it really wasn’t that kind of love.

And oh, how wrong she was deny herself that relief for so long.

“Mulder…” She just stood there and grinned at him. She didn’t even care if anyone saw the awed look of gratitude blatantly displayed on her face as she gazed upon her partner’s pleased smile. “You didn’t have to you know.”

Not knowing if it was a reaction to the touching gestures as of late or the fact that Mulder was now biting his perfect bottom lip while he trailed his golden eyes down to her chest, but Scully was aroused way more than usual around her handsome partner and had been this way for days. Not to mention, her vibrator had really gotten a workout ever since she returned home from their little sleep over in Kansas.

“I know. But what can I say? You bring out the giving side of my otherwise mercurial personality.”

Mulder was so caught up in her reaction to the breakfast and the gleam in her eyes that he had nearly forgotten about the new flower and poem that awaited her. These were to be the last anonymous tokens given before he revealed himself tomorrow night. He hoped at least that she wouldn’t be shocked or worse, disappointed when he did.

Talk about potential for extreme embarrassment and heartbreak on his part.

Scully held up their less appealing coffees and set them on the only clean area of his desk. “For later then. I’ll never pass up the good stuff.” He chuckled at their long standing joke on how Ebenezer’s coffee compared to only the ‘good’ meds they had both received their fair shares of in their more serious stays in the hospital.

She walked over to her desk and he watched her eyes widen at the fully bloomed soft peach rose added to the others. “Peach. Would you like to know the meaning of that color?” He walked over and plopped an ass cheek on her desk. Nodding, she sat in her chair and she sipped her coffee as she opened up her email.

“Please explain what a peach rose stands for.”

“Someone who wants to show appreciation for the person they admire would give a peach rose,” he explained, scooting a little closer to her. “It can show a deeper way to say thank you, a way to express their gratitude for them. It’s an intriguing way to show how grateful they are for them being in their lives. How much they couldn’t do it all without them.”

Scully pulled up the new email and glanced up behind her. “Sure is an elegant way to show it—to show how much you need someone.”

“Love and romance usually is. An elegant and dangerous dance.”

Mulder aptly watched as Scully took in a long ragged breath before blinking and turning back to the screen.

Clearing her throat, she read the line to him.

If you were loves promise, then I would be time,

your constant companion til stars align…

“Wow,” she breathed. “That’s… beautiful. So that’s it then.”

Mulder touched her shoulder and she looked up at him. “It’s not finished. See the ellipsis?”

“Of course,” she shook her head, slightly flustered, and studied each flower. “The words of the poem do go perfectly with the color combinations of the roses though, don’t they?”

Mulder tried to read the expressions she was giving off but could only see half of her beautiful profile as her fingers ran along each of the roses petals. He prayed to whatever God was listening to him that she won’t need an explanation of the final rose he plans to give her at the banquet. After he finishes the poem for her, he can only hope she that returns his sentiments.

“Obviously someone really, really likes you, Scully,” Mulder said with what sounded like a possessive growl laced through his voice.

At a loss for words, she stared thoughtfully back at the anonymous email on the screen—the unfinished poem sending the message that whomever her secret admirer was, they intended to reveal themselves to her tomorrow night in order to finish it.

She felt Mulder’s watchful eyes dance along her skin as he undoubtedly analyzed her body language. He hovered above her like the usual Mulder she knew and loved, and not like a nervous man about to risk it all. It only made this whole secret admirer situation all the more baffling.

What the hell is going on here? she wondered, a barrage of questions raced through her mind. If the highly personalized roses and the intimate poem were truly not from Mulder, then who else could possibly know her well enough to romanticize her this way? Not only that, who the hell was ballsy enough to try and woo her right in front of her protective partner?

Absolutely no one; and that fact proved over time to be the only way she ever wanted it.

Swiveling in her chair as she tapped a finger along her lips, she leaned in front of Mulder and scanned the room of agents in hopes of catching anyone watching her. Seeing nothing but agents half asleep at their desks, she turned back to witness Mulder’s visibly clenched jaw. A look flashed across his face that seemed awfully like jealousy to her. A look that she knew had also graced her own face pertaining to a certain woman currently warming her chair in the basement.

“Anyone catch your eye?” Mulder smirked. Although, he’d be lying to himself if he said watching her size up every man in the bullpen didn’t make him feel a little territorial. “Could be anyone in this building, Scully. Man or woman.” He laughed as she scoffed at him and bit back her own smile. “I’m just saying you’re a strong, beautiful, intelligent, caring woman. You turn heads, Scully.”

“I’m flattered, really.” She waved off his compliments the same as she waved a hand out to the glass holding the bright multi-colored roses. Scully tried to sound unaffected by his thoughts of her yet the warmth pooling in her center told otherwise. “But, I’m not sure flowers are enough to get me to agree to a blind date at a mandatory work event.”

“Oh? Not even the poem to go along with it could bring out the softer side of Agent Scully? he tsked and shook his head, hoping to get a rise out of her. “And to turn down romance on Valentine's Day, no less.”

Matching his wide smile that so easily lit up his face, she leaned in on the desk closer to where he sat with biceps perfectly bracketing her breasts through her form fitting green sweater, as if to tell him a secret.

“To be fair, this poem isn’t finished so I can’t say that it won’t actually affect me in that particular way at the moment. And being honest,” she teased her lips with her tongue, “I doubt anyone here has the will power to actually go through with dating Mrs. Spooky.”

“Is that so?” Exaggerating surprise, he brushed a stray hair away from her mouth and boldly tucked it behind her ear. Watching her breaths quicken, he decided to add in his honest and open opinion. “You know… you’re probably right to ignore the romantic gestures.”

Scully arched a brow while his fingers lingered near her ear, eager to hear what the only man she could ever see herself with—her flicked switch—thought of an admirer’s clear indication of physical and emotional attraction for her.

Finally dropping his hand, he told her, “I doubt anyone has what it takes love you the way you deserve.” His words were as serious as his unflinching stare, and she felt each one sink in deep and settle somewhere between her now pounding heart and the butterflies fluttering within her belly. Mulder left her speechless, and instantly Scully craved for more than just his intense eyes holding her own. “But I for one, can’t wait to see who desires the opportunity to try, Scully. Can you?”

She couldn’t answer him through her dry, tightening throat because the only thought that had immediately swirled in her mind, was just how disappointed she would be if her secret admirer turned out to be anyone but Fox Mulder.  

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