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There’s a bar not too far from the Hoover building that seems to have always been an ‘FBI’ bar. Just the place Agents go after work for a drink and to bond over difficult cases, or celebrate victories, or just for Thursday night drinks and half price pizza.

The two agents from the X-Files department weren’t found there too often, but when there were, it was always together.

That’s not to say that there weren’t other patrons from outside of the Bureau that would frequent the bar. There were. It was a pubic establishment after all.

Mulder had had to sidle up close to Scully a few times, to ward off unwanted attention. The FBI pool seemed to instinctively steer clear of both of them in that way, but it didn’t stop other unwitting men from trying it on, with Scully.

It took a while for Mulder to recognise when the attention was unwanted. Basically, always. Scully did not want to be ‘picked up’ in a bar, especially not one crowded with her colleagues, even less so, when Mulder was present.

She once told him ‘I can handle myself, but it does make it easier, if they think I’m with you.’

It wasn’t too frequent an occurrence, but of the many years they’d been going to that bar, it happened enough.

Sometimes it would just be enough that he returned from the bathroom or bar and stood next to her. Other times he’d put his arm around her. A couple of times a kiss to the forehead or cheek was deemed necessary by Mulder.

On this particular outing, they weren’t at their familiar bar. They were somewhere in the centre of the country, in the middle of nowhere. In a bar-cum-diner-cum-gift shop, attached to the motel they were staying at.

They’d had dinner and as the case was over, at least in this town, (Scully had some follow up forensics to do back in DC). So, they decided to have a drink at the bar. One beer in and Scully excused herself to the bathroom with the promise to buy another round on the way back. She left Mulder sitting on a bar stool at a cocktail table, in the dim light of the divey bar; pool balls cracking and the jute box playing as if it were 1985.

She had been gone less that ten minutes. As she walked back from the bar, drinks in hand, she could see Mulder talking to someone. Or rather, someone talking at Mulder. She was a large, seemly very drunk, quite forward, woman. All denim ill fitting and an expanse of over tanned cleavage. She could see Mulder blushing and trying to stay as distant from her as his seat would allow.

Scully paused for just a moment, grinning to herself at the flipped circumstances. She hadn’t thought of going over and rescuing him, just merely returning to the table to see what that elicited. That is until the woman made a grab for Mulder’s crotch. Mulder jumped off his stool and took a few steps backwards, putting his hand up in defence.

Scully picked up the pace. Mulder had managed to dodge the woman but seemed at a loss as to what to do next.

The courage of the wine with dinner, and the beer she’d just consumed was giving her a boldness she may otherwise never had mustered. She strode her way over, quickly placing their drinks on the table. She wrapped her arms around his waist, from the side, tucking herself under his arm. He looked down to her, the shock quickly replaced by and small smirk. He draped his arm around her shoulders. She stood on her tippy toes and reached her face up towards his. As a natural reaction to her, he bent his neck down so she could kiss him. It wasn’t long, but it was all lips and pressure and lingered long enough that the woman standing in front of them began to step side to side and loudly clear her throat.

They broke apart and Mulder grinned into one corner of his mouth and gave his head a twist to the side. He was impressed.

“So, um… darling, … everything ok?” Scully said, a little too awkwardly.

“Ah, yeah.” He answered. “It is now.” He added.

“So, this your girlfriend or somethin’?” The woman asked brashly, eying Scully up and down. “Or’d she just pick you up?”

“Yeah, she’s my girlfriend.” Mulder said, turning away from the woman as he spoke to look back down at Scully, who looked completely comfortable in his embrace.

“That’s right Poopy Head.” She teased and lent back up to him on her tippy toes. And gave him a quick peck.

They were having fun.

“It sure is Honey Bunch.” He grinned as he twisted her from under his arm, so she was in front of him. Her hands on his hips, his falling around her shoulders. He returned her peck.

“Oh, for fuck sake. You two make me sick”, the woman spat as she stormed off.

They didn’t react to her departure. Just briefly pulled back from one another, mirroring each other’s delighted expressions.

‘Poopy Head,’ she mouthed.

‘Honey Bunch’, he mouthed in return.

Their faces grew closer again, their expressions turning from playful to sincere.

His hands moved to cup her jaw as she closed her eyes. His eyes closed too as their lips met once again. This time their lips moved over one another. Exploring. Their mouths opened in unison and Mulder caressed her bottom lip with his tongue. Scully’s tongue advance to meet his. Her hands moved to his face as she deepened their union. Their tongues circled and their lips crushed together. Small moans escaping, only to be swallowed.

Their hands were stroking cheeks and their bodies had moved closer. She found his bottom lip and gently put pressure there with her teeth, before drawing it into her mouth. He moaned again and pushed his tongue deeper, her mouth opening wider.

Had it been a minute, or five? Or perhaps an eternity.

Eventually, Scully gently broke away. Her hands returning to his waist. She smiled up at him once more. His hands moved around her shoulders and he returned her smile.

“I think we lost her.” She said with a smirk.

Mulder took a token glance around.

“Yeah, we did.” He replied. “You’re good at this Scully.” He said with a nod, as he wiggled his eye brows at her. “I might have to get you to do that again sometime.”

She wasn’t entirely sure what he was referring to.

Chapter Text

“Ok, stand facing one another and hold hands.” The instructor said.

Mulder held out his hands, and Scully took them.

“I don’t know why this is necessary.” She whispered across to him.

“You heard Skinner, Scully. We have to be ‘believably’ in love.” He smiled, closed his eyes and turned his face skyward as he said ‘love’.

“Ok, but we’ve been undercover before. As a married couple. Surely that gives us a pass from this, ‘acting class’, whatever….” She said in a hush, stopping as the instructor began to speak again.

“Now, in a moment, I’m going to go around the room and ask you to tell me your favourite physical attribute of your partner. Remember, this is to be done ‘in character’, so take some time to look at each other, touch each other, explore. Remember to communicate. The expectation here, as you know by agreeing to this assignment, is that you will have to be somewhat intimate with one another. So, in the safely of this room, get to know each other physically.” She was circling the room as she spoke. Making eye contact with each of the agents as she went. “Another very important tip when undercover, stay as close to the truth, without revealing your cover, as possible. It will make it easier to stay in character. Say what is your favourite thing about your partner. This can be truthful to you.”

“Yes, Scully, but as I recall, you practically flinched every time I touched you. This assignment is dangerous and if the suspects don’t believe that we are a true couple and have been for a while, we could get ourselves, and everyone in this room in trouble.”

“I didn’t flinch.” She frowned at him.

“You did!” He said, incredulous.

“Ok, touch me, Mulder. I promise not to flinch.” Scully said this as she glanced around the room.

Four other FBI Agent ‘couples’ were in varying stages of exploration. She noticed, in disbelief that two agents were kissing.

She took a deep breath, grabbed Mulders hand a put it on her waist. He looked down at his hand and back to her face. She was biting her lip.

He reached down to her and swiped his thumb gently across her mouth so that her teeth released her lip.

“Your lips Scully. That’s my favourite.” He smiled at her. His thumb swiping back again.

She shuddered a breath.

“You? Your favourite physical attribute of mine, Scully?”

She licked her lips.

“And remember, be honest.” He was grinning at her. “And you can use your hands.” He nodded for emphasis, smiling again.

A smirk crossed her face, before disappearing.

“What?” he asked, question her look.

“Um, honestly?” She asked shyly.

“Ah-ha,” he nodded.

“My favourite….” She said, putting a hand on his stomach. She began to walk around him, trailing her hand. She traced his stomach, his waist and then when she was behind him, dipped her hand so she caressed his arse. He jumped slightly. She laughed. “You flinched!” she grinned.

“A little warning Scully!” He managed. Smiling himself.

“You told me to use my hands!” She smirked. She was back in front of him now, her hands resting at his waist.

“I did, yes…. But I now only think it fair that I get to really experience my favourite part of you.” He said as a hand came up to the side of her face, cupping her jaw. He bent his neck and tilted his head to the side. His lips parted slightly, and he noticed hers did to, as she closed her eyes.

His lips pressed to hers. Her lips moved at the sensation and her other hand reach up to hold the back of his neck. She was the first to slip her tongue out of her mouth and lick across his bottom lip. He responded by pushing his tongue into her mouth and she opened for him. He licked at her tongue. Swirled it around hers. Their lips still connected. Their heads moved in unison, tilting to the opposite side as the kiss deepened. Mulder’s other hand moved to the other side of her face. A small moan escaped her lips. He smiled whilst kissing, breaking contact slightly. She smiled too. They pulled away slowly. Still grinning at one another. Their eyes locked in a gaze. They were still holding onto one another, beginning to move back together…

“Great job you two. Very convincing.” The instructor said, standing right next to them. She slapped them both on the shoulder. “Keep up the good work.” She finished, as she wandered off to the next couple.

Mulder and Scully looked at one another, not able to suppress a laugh.

Scully grinned again.

“I might change mine.” She said, biting her lip again. “Perhaps, my favourite part is…. your tongue.”

“Oh.” Said Mulder. “Just perhaps? Do you want to try it again, kissing, just to be sure….?” He stated, in a mock serious tone.

“Hmmm, might be for the best.” She said, copying his inflection.

Chapter Text

They were at the local bar. Local to the Hoover building. A sea of celebrating FBI agents. They’d just solved a big case. Caught and apprehended a pair of serial killers. Brothers working together. The close relationship of the suspects had been making the forensics a little harder to quantify.

Scully and, by way of her, her partner Mulder, had been asked to join the case. Her medical qualifications being put to use. A few significant findings during two autopsies she’d performed, had cracked the case wide opened.

Deservedly, she was getting a lot of tonight’s attention. Much of it coming from Assistant Director Walter Skinner, who had the brainwave to bring her onto the case. The significant pat on the back he’d received from the guy ‘upstairs’ he was now paying forward to Scully.

Mulder was at the bar getting another round of drinks for himself, Skinner and Scully. They’d all been at the bar a while and had had a fair amount to drink already. He’d decided to order some fries and buffalo wings so they wouldn’t get too drunk or hung over.

When he returned to the booth, he found Skinner and Scully sitting very close, now on the same side. That was not how he left them. Skinner was leaning in, as was she. She suddenly threw her head back and laughed. Skinner grinned. It was a rare thing. A Scully Laugh. Something that Mulder tried very hard to generate, often with little success. He tried to tell himself it was only because she was tipsy.

He sat down opposite. Put their drinks in front of them.

“You know Dana, if I were younger….” He trailed off. Grinning at her. Taking a gulp of his sixth, maybe seventh beer. “You are exactly my type of woman.”

Her cheeks flushed.

“Is that so…” she said. Downing her drink too.

Mulder was confused. What was going on?

Clearly sitting down and sliding their drinks to them did not announce his presence.

He cleared his throat.

Skinner turned to Mulder.

“She’s remarkable, Mulder. Don’t you think?” He smiled at Mulder as he spoke before turning back to Scully and putting his hand over hers, squeezing it.

“Ah, yeah, of course.” Mulder said slowly.

“Beautiful too.” Skinner continued.

Mulder scoffed. Looked over to Scully, waiting for her to sock him one. But Scully blushed, and put her hand on top of Skinner’s, that was still on top of her other hand.

She then told him sincerely, “Thank you.”

“Like I said, if I were years younger, and not your boss….” He trailed off his thought, taking another drink.

Scully blushed again, smiled at him. A giggle…. She took one of her hands back and drank again.

To Mulder they were both clearly tipsy, more than a little bit, but both so obviously enjoying one another’s attention. It unnerved him.

“Well, honestly, up until I joined the FBI, you would have entirely fit the bill of my type…..” She said to him.

Mulder furrowed his brow. Looked back and forth between them. Looked around for the candid camera.

“But I had to swear off anyone I work with, who was older, or my superior.” She continued, a devilish look in her eyes. “So that entirely rules you out.” She gave him a flirty stare as she took another gulp.

“Is that right?” Skinner said. Clearly pleased with this information. “Interesting.” He looked lost in thought for a moment before continuing. “Well perhaps in another life Dana….” He blushed then and quickly stood. “Well, Agents. It’s been real. But I have to leave before I embarrass myself any further.”

Skinner offered his hand to Mulder to shake. Mulder obliged.

He then leant down and kissed Scully, not quite on her mouth. Kind of the corner of her mouth. Aiming for her cheek but maybe purposely missing a little. Longer than a peck. He moved his head back a little. Spoke to her with his face close.

“You did great kiddo. Really great.” He cupped her cheek, nodded at her, then at Mulder, turned and disappeared.

Scully watched him leave. A coy look across her face.

She turned back to Mulder. Saw the look on his face.

“What?” She asked and then answered. “It was flattering. That’s all.”

“Ok.” Mulder said, sulkily.

“Mulder….” Scully said, a grin spreading across her lips. “Are you jealous…?”

“No!….” Clearly this was untrue so he continued. “Um… I don’t know… Maybe.” He admitted and took a drink from his beer.

“Aw, Mulder, I’m sure if Skinner was that way inclined, he’d have definitely said you’d have been his type too.” She was grinning at him as she spoke.

“Scully. I’m not jealous of you…. ” He looked at her, suspected she was teasing him.

“I know.” She smirked as she got up and moved over to his side of the bench. She slid herself in next to him, looped her arm around his as she brought his upper arm into a hug.

“Why should you be jealous of someone paying me a little attention?” She questioned, as the food was put in front of them.

She looked at Mulder and grabbed a fry.

“You ordered this?” She asked and he nodded. “Thank you.” She said with a fry still in her mouth as she went for a wing.

“It was more the way you reacted to him.” He said, continuing on from before. “Do you like Skinner? Is he really your type?”

“Historically….. probably…. yes, he would have been.” She said, a little tentatively.

That is not the answer Mulder wanted to hear.

She laughed at the look on his face.

“Mulder, why do you look so crushed?” She moved closer to him patted his hand in mock sympathy.

“It’s not as if you…” She stopped when she caught his facial expression then….

“What….?” She asked.

“I think all those things too. That Skinner said of you…. “

“You are amazing.

“And beautiful.” He told her shyly.

“You think that?” She said, in surprise.

“Yeah, I do.” He said as a flush crossed his cheeks.

“And, would you want to go out with me in another life too?” She teased.

“Scully….” He bit his lip. “I want to go out with you in this life….” He said, his gaze never losing hers.

“Oh.” She said. The grin falling from her features, replaced with a pink hue and a quickening of her breath.

“Mulder. I had terrible taste in men. I had such a bad run. I said that Skinner would have been my type. Back when my type was actually no good for me.”

She took his hand off the table. Held it in hers.

“I have a different type now, I think…”

“Really?”, he queried.

“Ah ha” she said as she slid her other hand down to rest it at the top of his thigh.

“And what type would that be?” He asked, turning side on to face her.

“Um…. Tall,” she looked behind her. No one was paying them any mind, and they were mostly hidden in their booth, so she kissed his cheek. “Dark…”, she continued as running her finger through his dark hair before kissing his other cheek. “Brilliant….” Her lips touched his then. Just brushed them.

“Yeah…?” he said, encouraging her to go on.

“And very,” another peck to his lips, her hand falling to his cheek, “very,” her lips captured his bottom lip and she sucked before releasing him. “….Sexy.” She finished.

He brought both of his hands to her cheeks. Crashed his lips against hers. Their mouths opened and tongues met.

The kiss was fevered and passionate as their heads tilted to the side and the kiss deepened. Their lips were gliding across one another, slippering tongues circling. Hands caressing cheeks.

They finally pulled back from one another. Swollen lips and heaving breaths.

“But, I do work with him…. “ She whispered in a mock concerned tone. “So, I’m not sure what to do….”

“I think”, he said, pushing his lips to her between words, “you should talk to him.” Another kiss. “Maybe he likes you too.” He sucked on her bottom lip, “And you could work out,” another kiss, his tongue pushed inside for a moment before breaking away, “how to move forward…. together….”

“Hmmm, I like that idea.” She said, her eyes closed, her face embraced in his hands.

“I’ll give him a call,” she said dreamily, Looking at him now. “See what he’s up to tomorrow night.”

“Sounds like a plan. You two could talk and…. who know what else might come up…” He said kissing her cheek.

“Yeah.” She replied. “But now, I’ve had too much to drink. So, I’m going to get a taxi.”

“Good idea.”

He kissed her again. Lingered. Whispered. “He’d love to see you tomorrow night, Scully. To talk about this.”

“Ok.” She smiled at him. Pressing her lips to his one last time before wriggling out of the booth.

“Night, Scully.”

“Night, Mulder.”

She walked away. Looked back at him and smiled. He mirrored her grin.

He looked forward to tomorrow night.

To the rest of his life.

Chapter Text

There’s something so intimate about what the body will tell, before anything is said out loud.

A person’s feet will point in the direction of someone they’re interested in.

If an individual likes somebody, they lean in when the other speaks.

They stare. Sometimes get caught staring. Perhaps even gazing.

When they look, they take in the whole face. The cheeks, the forehead, the jaw, the lips. Perhaps linger there, on the lips… A rosy pink full bottom lip, or a perfect cerise cupids pout.

They touch. Casual touching, it’s called. Could be interrupted as necessary. A brush of fingers, to gain attention. A hand to the small of the back, to guide that person, just that one person, out of a room. Another hand stoking down a bicep to take them with you. Hands clasping in comfort by bedsides and gravesides. Consoling hugs, holding on forever.

Fingers may glide over skin and through hair, seeking damage obviously not there.

Baseball lessons, that clearly would have taught better technique yelling from the sidelines, become a body embraced, a body curved into.

They will sit close. Two people who are attracted to one another; in boring FBI meetings, in cafes and airports. Bodies will be drawn together.

Too close, on a worn-out leather sofa, late one Friday night, after a long week and a casual invitation. Too close; bodies giving in to an unspoken desire to be near. To connect.

Their bodies know what they won’t yet admit. Their hearts know too.

Pinky fingers will brush under a shared blanket, not necessary for the warm night. Fingers become hands, hands become other safe places to caress. The voices on the film will drown out a silence that would force them to acknowledge what was happening.

Bodies will lean in, feel heat, need touch. Hands will wander and heads will rest in nooks. Lips will press onto foreheads and arms will sneak around waists. Legs will tangle and breathing will increase. Plotlines of movies will be neglected, and eyes will close.

Safe places become dangerous, as hand run over a growing hardness and fingers seek bare skin. Move up under garments and brush against breasts. Faces will tilt and lips will find lips.

No longer able to hide in the dance between body and mind. Between yearning and fulfilment.

Yearning will give way and clothes will be discarded. Hot wet mouths will locate nipples and hands will run through hair. Hard will meet soft. A soft, wet, snug place. Bodies will join and moans will combine. Rhythms evoked, as bodies erupt.

Their bodily vocabulary will turn from fleeting prose to a myriad of poetry, forcing them to finally acknowledge what they both already knew.

Chapter Text

Her heart hurt. The icy claws of grief gripped at it. Dug in and squeezed.

She marveled again how anguish could tangibly manifest where her autonomic nervous system clinically should have forbidden it; visceral pain present due to physical injury or illness. She felt this though. Inside the cage of her chest, and to the left.

Did she tell her she loved her? No. She told her she was scared. Wanted her to come over. Beaconed her to her death.

Did she know how much she loved her? Did she know that every time she had scoffed at her sister’s cosmic view on the world, that there was another truth? That Dana was in awe of her. In awe of her strength and kindness and compassion and ease with which she moved through the world. Why on Earth had she never told her that?

Why had she not revealed to the other part of herself her true feelings? Her astonishment at Melissa’s calm confidence in telling their father that she had no interest in going to college. That she was following her bliss and letting that lead her. That even though Dana was consider the smartest child, she secretly knew it was Melissa. Missy understood the world and how it worked and her place in it, in a way Dana feared she never would. Why had she never told her?

Doctor Dana and Mystic Missy. Two such contradictory souls. So perfectly imperfect together. She was the only person that could turn Dana’s doubts into exciting adventures to be uncovered. Her fears, into possibilities. And now she was gone.

Why did she never tell her, that it was taking a little piece of Melissa’s strength, that lead her to the FBI and away from a career in medicine? That had she not borrowed that strength, she would be living out a life for her father. And now he was dead and not here to witness it anyway.

Melissa was her rudder, even when they were apart. She hadn’t really understood before, that a piece of her mind would grab at her, at what Missy would do or think or feel or say. It crashed down on her now though, stabbed her acutely the moment Melissa’s heart beat for the last time.

Gone.

Missy was gone. Their combined memories only hers now. Sitting alone facing the precisely made bed in the semi darkness, thoughts of disagreements they’d had when a shared childhood memory was recalled differently, floated across her mind. No, you were definitely wearing my new purple dress, that I hadn’t even taken the tags off of yet, Dana, remember? Missy had teased playfully one Christmas eve when they would sit up together under the lights of the tree, after midnight, when nothing was stirring. No, she’d countered, I wanted that one, and you told me ‘no’, so I took your other favourite, the navy blue taffeta one, with the bubble skirt…. No way to ever know if it was really blue, or purple… Dana would win them all now by default. No counter to her memories.

What of the ones Melissa would bring up that were buried so deep in her brain she had all but forgotten? Gone but for the reminder… Gone forever now.

Aunty Missy gone. Aunty, to her unborn children.

Someone to help rein in her brothers. Gone.

Someone to help look after Mom, later, gone.

Someone to grow old with. The map of her future completely altered. Erased. A future she didn’t even know she’d counted on. Gone.

All the possibilities inside of her beautiful mind and giving soul. Gone.

She was already afraid of when she would forget the sound of her voice, and the exact smell of her completely; like she had her father. Time heals all wounds, people would say. No, time just moves you further away. Further from the last time you spoke or touched, or your hearts were beating on this Earth together. Time was a thief, not a healer.

She felt him enter the room. Crouch beside her and lean in. It only struck her then how similar they were. Their intuition and blinding belief. Their faith and optimism. His warmth drew her in. They’d both lost so much. But they had each other. She could let herself go now. Gone for a moment herself. Held together in his embrace.

Chapter Text

Her Father had been a Navy captain. When she was growing up, he’d be away at sea for months at a time. When he returned home, he’d run his household the way he ran his ships. He also expected his four children to fall into line, just as the officers under him did. For the most part, his first and third child, obliged. (His eldest eventually following in footsteps, joining the navy himself.)

Child number three, Dana, became a doctor. She did this because she was smart, because she could and because she wanted to impress her father.

She felt she’d confounded him though, when she didn’t pursue a career in medicine, instead opting for something that interested her; becoming an Agent with the FBI.

Upon his death she still felt the sting of his disappointment in her.

It would be easy to conclude that her relationship with her father informed her taste in men. She liked men in authority. She craved the approval.

Any of the significant relationships of her adult life at least one of these three things were present, perhaps all. The men had some kind of authority over her, they were significantly older, and, whether this was part of her type or just because of proximity, she either worked with them or they were part of the institution she was studying at.

She didn’t like this about herself. She was a feminist and liked to think she was fiercely independent. She had trouble reconciling this dichotomous part to her character.

She was single when she first entered the FBI and she made a promise to herself not to date anyone from work. Especially not someone who had authority over her, or who was much older.

She had a crush on him. Had for the longest time. Perhaps from the moment he told her the truth on a raining night in Bellefleur, on their first assignment six years ago.

He wasn’t her superior. Although he acted that way sometimes, and early in their working relationship she herself was even a little confused as to who was calling the shots.

He was only two and a half years older than her. So definitely didn’t fall under the ‘significantly older’ category she was determined to not fall into again.

He was, however, a work colleague, so that ruled him.

Ruled him out under the boundaries she’d set for herself. Her firm rules she was determined to stick to.

He was a rule breaker. A passionate seeker of the truth. And she, she had broken rules. She’d broken them for him. Many times, broken the rules for him. Did it without question. Lied, fled, held in contempt of congress, broke laws…

Maybe that would be her loophole. On that warm, tipsy Friday night. Beers on his sofa, a movie being ignored in the back ground, him insisting on rubbing her feet, telling her he was proficient in reflexology and could rid her of her headache. Telling her there was a lot she didn’t know about him, wiggling his eyebrows as she arched hers.

Maybe… If he wanted her, if he wanted this to happen… maybe the rule could be broken.

Breaking rules for him. That was kind of her thing...

Chapter Text

He started sleeping over only a few days into her first round of chemo. On the lounge. The first night he rubbed her back and went to lie down to sleep next to her, in case she needed him in the night. She wouldn’t let him. Told him, sensibly, that she was poisonous. Her sweat and vomit, were poison.

Her mom stayed the first few days. Scully confided in Mulder that she’d found it difficult. She had to hold herself together for her mom, as much as her mom did for her, she couldn’t shake the responsibility she felt, couldn’t let go and be the child.

So, Mulder took over. Drove her to and from appointments, and anything … everything else. Maggie, less hurt, by her replacement being Mulder.

Scully’s reluctance at letting Mulder ‘do’ for her eventually slipped away. He held her hair back while she was sick, brought her food, cleaned up after her. Ran her bath and sat in with her, until the bubbles would dissipate and threatened to reveal too much. He talked or didn’t talk. Didn’t treat her like she was broken, when they were in the field.

Between rounds, he stayed at home and the nightmares came. One nightmare actually. Over and again.

He was on his dark green, worn in, leather sofa, but in his childhood lounge room. Scully was beside him saying something he couldn’t hear, though he knew was about a forgettable X file. Terror crept up his body like a pair of icy hands, pinning him down. He could move his eyes only. To look. See her. See her floating, lifeless, away from him. Hanging in the air. Disappearing. She was disappearing. He could yell and he could scream but not get up. Not do a damn thing to help her, to save her, to follow her.

Then he would wake to his own fear laced cries, to sweat and an empty room. An empty feeling still gripping at him. Alone.

He didn’t dream at her place, because he never fell into actual sleep. He would rest and then pace and listen at her bedroom door. Crack it open, to see her blankets rise and fall, or answer her noises and rub her back as the chemicals, and what was meant to keep her from wasting away, would violently expel from her body.

Three rounds, and she was smaller and angrier and getting further away…

But she still felt like his. She still listened to him and let the doctor do a crazy thing with her flesh and a tiny piece of metal.

And then it was over.

She was in remission.

Mulder knew the feeling. It was that same he felt when he was convinced, for a moment, that Samantha was found. Alive. Back from the dead.

Scully was back from the dead and his legs didn’t hold him.

And he cried in the hospital hallway.

He slept at her place, the night he took her home. The night she lived. The best night of his whole life. He slept beside her, from exhaustion and relief. On top of the comforter. Rubbed her back until her breathing slowed down. Then he drifted after her.

He slept, and the nightmare came.

And the screams came.

“Scuuulay!”

And the fear.

And the tears.

And then … Scully.

Hovering over him. Hand at his forehead and on his carotid artery.

When his eyes flew open and focused on her, she pulled his head to her chest, his shoulder on to her lap. He sobbed and she kissed his temple.

“It’s ok Mulder, I’m here. It’s ok.”

He panted.

“Scully. I thought you were dead.” He wiped at his cheek. “I thought I was going to lose you too.”

His feverish shaking and fear still there as he wrapped his arms around her waist. Clung to her as he pressed his lips to the fabric over her abdomen.

She rocked him and ran her fingers through his hair.

“I’m ok, Mulder.” She said softly into his hair. “I’m going to be ok.”

“Don’t you ever leave me, Scully. Promise me you won’t leave me.” His frightened words were muffled into her pyjama top.

She cradled his head in her hands. Lent down and joined her lips to his forehead. Held them there and slowed her breath.

Mulder’s breathing matched pace with hers.

He turned in her lap, faced her. He reached up and wiped her cheek. Tear stained too, and adoring.

“I wish I could promise you that, Mulder.”

His bottom lip trembled, and she bent down and pressed her lips there. Stilled the vibrations of his fears. He pushed up, into her kiss. Their lips parted and his hand reached up and cradled the back of her head, pulled her down to him.

Months of desperation washed over him, and he kissed her deeply, pushed his tongue into her mouth and she responded. Licked at him as her lips slid across his.

They kissed and she moved to lay beside him on the bed. Lips and tongues and hands explored.

And then she told him, “I want you inside me, Mulder. I want to feel as alive as the doctor told me that I am.”

He was gentle with her. She was still so thin. The disease had consumed her curves leaving fragile edges behind.

They remove their own clothes, without taking their eyes from one another. His eyes swept her body.

“So beautiful,” he breathed.

She smiled gently and told him to, “lie back.” 

She climbed onto him. Ran her centre over his hardness. Rubbed until he was coated in her slick. Then she reached between them and took him in her hand. Guided him. Slowly at the tip and then she slipped down, taking all of him inside, all at once.

They held hands and gazes and it was slow and dream-like and lovely and real. Her hips swayed and then his hands found her breasts and nipples. They rocked into each other and back from the terrible place that had been. Different sides of the same deadly chasm. 

His thumb found her clitoris and she responded, rolling her hips, faster, in time. She fell on top of his chest and he held her there while he thrust up into her, over and again. Pumping them both back to life. Then she came, and she cried. Her walls squeezed around him, tore at something deep and he let go. Held onto her through his release. And he cried.

“I promise I will never choose to leave you, Mulder.” she whispered.

He wrapped her up in his arms and his future.

There was sweat, without poison, and naked skin, and caresses and kisses and well-intentioned promised words … and hope.

Chapter Text

Mulder liked to catalogue. He was good at it. It was his thing. 

It began after his sister was taken. His twelve year-old self tried hard to be on alert. In case they came back for him. Or perhaps, in case he noticed something that would somehow solved the mystery and help him find her.

That stayed with him of course.

He would experience something and hang onto it; a place, a memory, a scent, a gesture, a sound.

Later, his ability to draw on these things, find parallels, make conclusions, was what set him apart. In Mulder, it was referred to as instinct, and earned him the title of one of the best profilers the Bureau had ever seen.

One of the personal downfalls of his aptitude was that his mind would dance, for every sense or encounter, however seemly small; firing for him to make a connection. To find a meaning, perhaps where there was none. Sleep was elusive when your normal state of being was to obsess.

...

They were in a forgettable diner for one of their perfunctory dinners. So entwined they were by now, they would start one meal, then swap half way through, to finish off the other. They knew each other’s tastes, dislikes. One could head to the bathroom safe in the knowledge the other would order two meals they both would enjoy.

Until now.

“Capers?” He screwed up his nose and made a mmm mmm ‘no’ sound and shook his head, swapping the plates. “You start on this one Scully, and don’t save me any capers, ok?”

“Ok”, she said. Stabbing her new meal with a fork once it was settled in front of her.

“I never knew you didn’t like them”, she said, almost to herself as she loaded her fork with a spiral of spaghetti, crab and the offending salty delicacy.

She didn’t ask him why he didn't like them, because most people didn't have a more interesting reason than they just never had. And she was sure the case they were working on was a more interesting conversation.

She was wrong though. There was a little story behind Mulder’s dislike for the little caper bud.

...

It’s not unusual to remember the scent of a perfume, years after smelling it on a person. A wonderful or quite disagreeable or melancholy feeling can swim in the air of the very aroma that stirred it.

Smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory. Taste, second. Combining those, well. He’d just rather steer clear of the little flower buds of the Capparis spinosa.

...

Mulder had a difficult time trusting people. It wasn’t always that way, as is usually the case. Too much trust, for too long, in the wrong person or persons, can do that to someone.

She was his first love. The first person to hold him in her line of attention in so, so long. Not that he blamed his parents. He really didn’t. He first foray into the studies of psychology confirmed, that most of the time, people were just doing the very best they could.

Her name was Phoebe and she had a command over him that he got lost in. He would get lost in their long sessions of love making too. If you could call it that. Retrospectively, that is not how Mulder would describe it now. At all. But at the time, he was all in, and at the time, he couldn’t get enough of Phoebe Green. Of her power over him, of her body, of her taste.

...

Mulder once feel asleep with his head in Scully’s lap. His mother had just died, and he was having a god-awful time of it. She stroked his hair and kissed the side of his face. And he took advantage, rolled into her and buried his face into her groin.

She smelled of sunshine and ocean spray. Of the treasures collected from the shores of his childhood. Of comfort and rapture. She was intoxicating. The scent of home.

...

It wasn’t until months after he’d return to the States, at dinner with his mother, that he tasted her again. Phoebe. And he froze. Actually, he spat out his dinner. Much to the chagrin of his mother.

And he has never eaten a caper since.

...

Mulder looked across the table, watched her suck a strand of wayward spaghetti between her plump crimson lips. He wondered then, just how much longer he would have to wait, until he had a taste to add to the smell, in his catalogue of Scully.

Chapter Text

Being an FBI Agent was not an easy job. It was physically demanding, and agents frequently put their lives on the line. Danger and the unknown were a part of the package. Never knowing what the next case would entail, where it would be, or how long their normal existence would be put on-hold for. If they even had a normal existence.

It could be emotionally taxing too. That part was possibly the lesser known aspect. The lesser talked about at least. After particularly atrocious cases, counselling was offered, sometimes required. The need for that service, and the amount of times it was offered, did not match up. Not by a long shot. So, agents would frequently have to figure out how to deal with that part privately.

Agent Fox Mulder would run, put on his trainers and run; away from the figurative monsters. When the darkness would threaten to invade the corners of his counterpart, Agent Dana Scully’s mind, she would fill it with new information. Research and write dissertations. Push the horrors away, leaving no space in which they could haunt her.

Sometimes, those practices were enough.

Sometimes the shadows were harder to shake.

At times these two agents would find solace in the bottom of mini bar bottles. Scully, the occasional cigarette, a throwback from med school; ironically the student doctors and nurses, on average, bigger smokers than the rest of the university student body.

On a couple of very rare occasions, they had found the escape in one another. Three occasions before, to be exact. Each time was fast and heated and not a word was spoken. They left each other quickly after. Slept alone in their own hotel beds. Never spoke of it.

The last time had been a few months prior.

It was late. Past 11 when Scully exited her room in her robe, in search of a cigarette machine. They had been called to a small town, by the local authorities, to help with a case of murdered children. A few days after each child went missing, an image of them would appear, burned into a different tree in the local cemetery. Within 12 hours the child would be found. Dead.

Mulder hadn’t spoken a word in the car ride back to the hotel after the latest victim turned up deceased too. Their first since they had been assigned the case. A misplaced responsibility had begun to invade him, and he was beginning to disappear into his profiler’s mind. Scully equally as quiet, having only hours before completed an autopsy on the victim.

They were staying in a motor inn. Had been there three days already. Their rooms side by side, six rooms in their section of the accommodation, all opening onto a shared porch with stairs at the end down to reception and parking area. She looked at Mulder’s door as she walked past; fresh packet of Morleys in hand. She was worried about him, but also knew that he had a process and she probably just needed to leave him alone. Besides, she was battling her own demons tonight. Autopsying children was some kind of seventh hell she would never get used to.

Scully was thankful her room was the last door at the opposite end of the porch to the stairs, and that the light outside her room happened to be out of operation. She tucked herself into the darkness and lent over the rail, raising a freshly acquired cigarette to her lips. She sighed as she dug into her robe pocket for her lighter. She had the heavy awful feeling of having somehow fucked up today. She knew Mulder carried that cross, but she felt it too, as entwined as they were. She couldn’t put her finger on where or how, so admonishing herself was proving a chore. 

Fighting against the useless emotions, she flicked the flint once under her thumb, lighting her features orange against the dark. The tip of the paper crackled and blazed hot-red for a second, as she sucked air into her lungs through the fresh tasting tobacco. Held the smoky haze inside and willed herself to breathe out the god-awful day along with the cloud of toxic smoke. She closed her eyes.

She loved the smell of cigarette packets. It reminded her of that tiniest piece of herself, that belonged only to her. A first glimpse of that Dana when she snuck her mother’s cigarettes as a teenager. A decision made wholly by herself. And again, in college when she would freely smoke in bars. No judgemental parents or one particular older sibling, around to try and mould her. She didn’t know, and didn’t care, if it was that feeling she chased or the relaxing drug, when she had a rare cigarette. Either way, it worked.

She made a plan to smoke two, though she’d already showered, run a bath (uncommon in FBI afforded motor inns, and she was going to take advantage of it), attempt to masturbate, and let that push her into sleep. Maybe a small bottle of bourbon from the minibar if she needed it. As she was concocting her poorly drawn up psychological remedy, she heard the door to Mulder’s room open. He stepped out with purpose, a tumbler of ice and amber liquid clinking in his hand. He moved over to the rail and went to rest his elbows there. He glanced over towards her door but his eyes landed on her first, looking over at him.

They’d done this dance enough times before that she didn’t even bother to try and hide her cigarette or look guilty about it. He understood that she wasn’t addicted, and that it was a very rare occurrence that she had granted herself absolution from, so why shouldn’t he. And quite frankly it thrilled him slightly to be offered evidence that his partner was not, in fact, perfect.

They shared a look. The same look that told of the horror of the day and the difficulty they were both having ending it. Even though the sun had decided the day was over hours ago, and in less than an hour the clock would turn things over to tomorrow. Their minds had no such luxury. No such kill switch.

He walked into her shadowy corner. A small glow from her cigarette afforded him the sight of her. A raw, wildness he’d seen a few times before, and currently felt coursing through his own veins. A murky darkness that had attached itself to them both on this case. He held two fingers out in front of him and she handed him her cigarette, took the offered glass from his hand. They turned, faced the road beyond a line of trees. He took a puff and she put the glass to her lips, looked across at him and took a gulp. She screwed up her face and held the drink for him to take back. They swapped again before consuming their proffered release of choice. They stood. Quietly. So close their arms were pressed together.

He gently pushed himself into her. Nudged her. A silent question as to her state of being.

She shook her head. Swiped her cheek on her shoulder, removing the silent tears that she only then became aware of. Not sure when they started.

He noticed.

“Hey, hey, hey…” He cooed gently at her as he put his now empty glass down on the handrail and moved himself behind her, engulfing her in a hug, his head resting in the crook of her neck. She breathed deeply and let her head fall back between his head and shoulder. They breathed there together in sync. Slow and deep. Blinking languidly.She took another drag and then held it for him to do the same. His lips touched her fingers as he sucked back on the orange filter. He breathed out the smoke as she studied the last of the cigarette in her fingers, taking one last draw and dropping the butt into his glass.

His lips found the soft place where her shoulder becomes her neck. Lightly rested them there. Breathed hot air onto her smooth, soft, skin. 

“Today was fucking awful,” he said in an undertone, allowing his lips to kiss her. His tongue to quietly taste her. She let her eyes close and his voice sink into her skin like a salve, soothing a little of the day’s callus from her.

She bit her lip, an almost undetectable nod propelled her head to turn to him. He lifted; their faces so close. She slowly inched closer still. Hovered her lips over his mouth. Let her jaw fall open and her lips part. Her tongue slipped out, quickly swept along his bottom lip. His mouth open to the sensation as his lips met hers and his tongue pushed into her hot mouth. Their tongues swirled inside, meeting there and tasting the smoky tar and sweet liquor. His hand moved to the back of her head to hold her as they kissed. Finding their way from the place where this all felt so wrong to where it all felt so fucking right. Her hand fell to his cheek and they gripped one another. Held onto each other and onto the kiss. Their faces tilted and their connection deepened. Lips and tongues and whimpers. Licking and lapping and tasting.

He was still leaning over her, head turned in, her back flush against the front of him, neck craned to meet his face. His hips bent into her at the same angle as hers bent forward, his groin cupping her arse. She arched her lower back. Pressed herself into his rapidly firming cock. She moaned and he understood.

He broke their kiss, glanced around the dark deserted motor inn. The front office light across the parking lot was off and the road beyond the trees was quiet. They were all but obscured by darkness at the end of the porch. Their own alternate reality existing only between them, in the opaque blackness of the spaces between words. Between conversations and tailored suits. Between raised guns and wounded flesh. Their own private indentation in the fabric of the universe, a nook in which to hide and find one another.

He moved his hand up under her robe and found the waistband of her pyjamas, pulled them down, grabbing her underwear as his finger brushed over them too. She leaned her torso on the hand rail. Lifted her feet one by one to allow her clothing to pool underneath her. She moved a hand behind her and found his hip, affirmed him as he bounced his cock over the top of his boxers. He held himself in one hand and dragged his other, from just under her knee, where her robe fell, up her leg, trailed along her satin skin, up the inside of her thigh, found her moist and slippery.

“Oh god,” was spoken. She blinked, a slight flinch. Not at his touch. She was aching for him to fill her. At his voice. The three other times they had done this, it had been fast and feverish, and they had not uttered a single syllable. Not even after. It was in the dark and clothed; a secret without words, a dream place she could visit, but pretend didn’t actually exist.

Words made it more tangible and Scully didn’t want to think about how she felt about this. About him. Scully didn’t ever really want to think about how she felt about anything. Her modus operandi; to pragmatically plough ahead. Work. And if there was a lack of case work, she would create it and write a paper. Didn’t think about her feelings towards her attractive partner. Work. Eat. Sleep. Occasionally call her mother, brothers. She would care for Mulder, physically, but by fuck didn’t want to complicate things by loving him … didn’t want to complicate things by admitting that, in fact, she already did love him … didn’t want to complicated things by having to admit she had actually already fucked him, after a few particularly heinous cases. And then masturbated to those memories almost nightly since.

She squeezed her eyes closed and opened her legs. Parted them as his fingers ran deftly between her folds, smearing her arousal over her. She might have spoken herself then, had she not, at that exact moment, felt him push up into her. Holding both her hips in his large, elegant hands, pulling her down.

She held the rail and he held her. Began to pump. Pushed and pulled himself into and out of her. She was wet but tight. Not yet loosened to his size, but the pain was exquisite.  She felt the day fall off her with every pulse of his cock inside her. With every puff of his hot affirming breath in her hair. With every erotic grunt from his exertions.

“Fuck Scully..,” he panted into her ear, “…god you feel amazing.”

She turned and kissed him. Kissed the words out of his mouth.

“Mulder, don’t talk. Please.”

“I think about this all the time, Scully” he rocked harder into her, “about you … us.

She stole another kiss from him, tired to halt any more words that might come out of his mouth. They don’t talk while they do this. Don’t talk about this. This is that snuck cigarette, that slug of bourbon, Mulder running ‘til his lungs burned, a long bath and self-gratification. This was a secret, a release, not a conversation. Ever.

“You shouldn’t talk.” She managed. Trying to stay within her world of escape.

She squeezed her eyes shut, tried to speed up his thrusts with her own hip movements. But he slowed.

She opened her eyes, turned and looked. Found him there looking back at her. Mulder. Just Mulder. Not angst ridden, not hiding or trying to disappear into her. Just him.

“I shouldn’t talk…” He said. Rhetorically she discovered as one of his hands pushed its way up under her clothes, found her breast. “And I shouldn’t be in love with you either,” he growled into her ear, punctuating his words with harsh pinches to her nipple. “But there you have it.”

She was shaking her head.

“No, Mulder.” She turned, hung onto the rail again. Squeezed her own hand over his on her breast.  “Please just fuck me. Make it go away. Take this awful day away.”

He stopped talking. Sped up. Moved his fingers around to find her clit. Began to delicately tease her there, a juxtaposition to the ferocity with which he was now shoving his cock into her. Pumping, slamming himself into her as she moaned. She threw her head back onto his shoulder.

He pulled her onto him. Pulled her flush against him. His hand roughly at her breast, his other circling and rubbing. She moved an arm up over her head, gripped around his neck, face turned to him. She held the rail with her other hand as her body bumped with the pounding of his hips to her arse. Over and again. She was on the edge and the swell of his cock throbbing inside of her told her he was right there beside her. Their lips crashed onto one another’s. Stole the sounds that threatened to spill into the black night. Filling each other with their mutual ecstasy. They rode it out as one. Pulsing, and heaving, liquid bodies melding together. Hot arousal spilling into her and out of her.

He held her tight, slowing pumping his semi hard cock up into her slippery cunt; the remnants of her rapture vibrating through her.

He withdrew and pulled his T-shirt over his head and balled it up. She turned her head back to watch him, her hands still steady on the rail. He ran the shirt up her thigh, gently wiped between her legs; swollen and dripping, down the other leg. Swiped away their combination of desire. Of release. 

He kissed the back of her neck.

“I meant it.” He said, as he ran a hand affectionately over her hair. Kissed her lips. Pressed his mouth to hers, probably too hard, their lips pushed back against their chins. “…every word.”

He straightened up. Stood and walked back towards his room. Left her there with his words remaining in the air between them. She not ready to absorb them. Wanting to stay in the place in between. An abstraction of the truth he just offered her.

She continued to look at him as he lingered at his door. He opened his mouth to speak…

“I’ll wait … as long as it takes.” He looked at her in case she had something to say.

Nothing.

He turned and went inside. All but closed the door behind him. No click. No lock.

She idled in the parallel. The unspoken space ripped from her without permission. Breathed in deep. Closed her eyes against the soft glow from the light of Mulder’s outdoor light.

She bent, scooped up her pyjamas from the wood beneath her feet. Scrunched the delicate material and shoved it into one of her pockets. Poked her hand into the other and retrieved the packet. She flipped the top, slid a fresh cigarette from its place nestled amongst the others, that may all be consumed during this case. As was not usually the event, usually the pain and emotions required a few before the packet would be discarded, almost completely full, into the hotel trash on the way to check out.

She put it to her lips and flicked the lighter, twice before the glow of the flame lit up her face. She held it out in front of the tip. Paused and turned back towards Mulder’s door. Ajar. Hesitated. Her thumb let go and the flame died. She clung for a moment. Tried to hang onto the unattached release for a spell.

Then she decided.

Tucked the items back into her robe and walked across to his door.

She went inside.

 

Chapter Text

Morning cracked through the fan of his lashes, splayed across his heavy sleep laden lids. The night before still lingered in his consciousness and on the dried sex slick and sweat, salty on his skin. The other body that contributed to the mix; heaving on the mattress beside him. Breath telling of her continued slumber.

He took advantage of that place between the secrets of the night before and the upspoken blur of the morning after. Between bodies flopping hard against the bed, heads on pillows, limbs a tangle and chests panting with release and a need for air. Where the bookend to Scully climbing into his bed perhaps wasn’t yet established. Took advantage and pulled his arms, still wrapped around her waist, in. The bare skin of her warm, smooth backside firm against his groin.

Her breathing gently huffed its way from sleep to semi-consciousness, and she did not stiffen. Did not protest as his hand snaked its way to her breast, his palm covering her. She made room for his fingers to push and pull her nipple as she stretched, curving her spine and pressing her arse more resolutely into his morning erection. Her back melted onto his muscular torso when soft lips kissed the curve at the juncture of her shoulder and her neck.

She lazily turned in his arms after his hips had gently bump up against her; an invitation. She rolled onto her back, another stretch forced through her muscles as she drew her arms above her head. She twisted her face towards his as the last bit of the stretch reached the tips of her fingers. Her arms relaxed, flopping and draping over his, now across her ribs, just under her bust. He knew what he was doing when he leaned in, taking the lead and hovering his mouth in front of hers. Her move. Just half an inch - then last night could roll into today. Into forever, he hoped.

With eyes half-closed, and without acknowledging him completely, she touched her lips to his. Their eyes sunk closed and their jaws opened. Mouths pressed closer. A kiss. A slow, languid counter to the fever of the night before. The frenzied tearing and grinding and slapping of bodies. Of fast, bruising kisses and fingernails marking flesh, to hang on. To hang on whilst ecstasy ripped through each of them. To hang onto the intimacy for as long as possible, in case it would be lost forever with the morning light.

Fingers traced soft skin and hands gently kneaded, in time with the leisurely strokes of their tongues, sliding over. She rolled into him and their kiss deepened, their tongues retreating in moments so their lips could meet and slip together, before opening again in welcome. The pace remained dreamy as hands shifted to hold onto jaws and napes. She sucked his bottom lips between her teeth and tenderly bit down before sucking him back in. He held her jaw firmly and licked her mouth, over her lips ever so slowly, tracing them, drawing a shudder and a moan from within her. Bodies began a tangle and heat sought out heat. Inched closer together, in a crush.

They stopped midway. Drew back and looked. Took one another in. His hair mussed and cheeks pink. Her bee-stung lips, ruby red and swollen with the graze from his stubble.

“Hi,” she grinned, sheepishly. About last night, dancing in her eyes.

“Hi,” he smiled, about this morning, dancing in his.

Chapter Text

“Yes, but it’s…” hung in the air between them.

Ever since Samantha went missing, was taken, Mulder would put himself at the centre of things. His sister was missing - it was more that, in his 12-year-old mind, than his parents lost a child. He didn’t understand this about himself until his own study into psychology. All that really meant though, was that he understood it, that that part of his behaviour came from childhood trauma. He would get reminded from time to time though, that he was not the subject of all things. Spending time with Mrs Scully, during Scully’s abducted, was one such reminder.

With her sitting across the desk from him, the damage on her face evident and his unfinished sentence suspended between them, unaccepted and therefore thrown back at him, he was forced into a new understanding. She had been through something, her ordeal. It made him realised he was being a fucking arsehole.

Not everything is about you, Mulder. This is my life.

“I’m sorry,” he said into the air that had settled thick over his desk, “what is it … about… then?”

Not a fucking desk.

She was broken from her reverie. Looked up to him.

“I needed to just … get away, Mulder. From…”

“Me?” He offered.

In the space and time she used to respond, he took her in. Her beauty radiating out from under the Monet colour palette of bruises beginning to come into full bloom across her face. The crimson blood dried the same hue as her berry lips.

“No … not really. From … myself, I think …”

He wanted to ask her; wants to know… Tried to look at her hospital chart to find out the breadth of what happened to her. Happened to her. Also, what she did… Did she…? Her chart wasn’t there, though. Mysteriously vacant from its sleeve at the end of her bed when he went for the obligatory, my-partner-is-down, hospital run. 

“Did you?” He tries.

“What?” She asked, having slipped back into her contemplation.

“Get away,” he says slowly, “…from yourself?”

A dangerous smile hints at the corners of her lips. It’s not lost on him.

Chapter Text

Scully was tired. Exhausted. The baby was a week old and the Tuesday blues had well and truly set in.

She was sitting on her bed in nothing but sweat pants and a nursing bra, trying to breastfeed, with cracked nipples and an equally cracked resolve. And crying. Not even trying to hide it. She didn’t have one ounce of spare energy to bother with such masks.

Over William’s cries, she heard the door to her apartment. Their apartment actually, a unanimous vote that it was more suitable to this new little family than his mahogany den.

“Scully?”

“Bedroom.” She called out, her state of emotion thick in her voice.

He breezed in the door carrying a shopping bag from the drug store, saw her and quickly put the bag down, moving over to the bed.

“Oh, sweetheart, what’s wrong?” 

Scully’s face crumpled as words began to tumble out of her mouth. “He’s hungry and he won’t eat and he won’t sleep and all he does is cry and … and … and I have no clean shirts left, and it hurts when I pee, and it feels like my breasts are going to burst and … and I’m so tired I think I might vomit.” She finished, a sob taking over.

“Aw, Scully,” he said in an affection chuckle. “What do you need?”

She whimpered, looked up at him, her bottom lip quivering. “You,” is all she could manage. Her sobbing ceased but the tears continued.

“Ok,” he smiled gently at her, “scoot forward.”

He motioned for her to move forward, off the headboard. Which she did with some difficulty, given the ache from her bruising below. That, and she had her arms full of a grumbly William.

Mulder, somewhat ungracefully, got up on the bed and slotted himself behind her, a leg either side of her body. He pulled her back onto his torso and wrapped his arms around her.

He reached around Scully and cradled his son on one of his forearms, while his other hand went to Scully’s bare breast. He cupped her, two fingers, one either side of her nipple. He had watched her and was doing his best to mimic what he had seen her do. He gently held the back of William’s head and drew him into his mother’s breast. After a few tries, the baby latched on and Scully let out a small grimaced noise, looked down and breathed a sigh of relief.

She leaned herself back just enough so that she could see Mulder’s face. She smiled with exhaustion and adoration, placed a relieved peck on his jaw. “Thank you” she breathed, almost inaudibly.

“Put your head back,” he said, removing his hand from her breast and stroking her forehead.

She did, the back of her head resting just between his neck and shoulder.

“Let him go, I’ve got him.”

“Thank you.” She said again, as she lost her grip on the baby, relaxed her body and lolled her head, allowing her eyes to close. She turned her face, her lips landing on his neck. She kissed him again. Left her lips resting there.

“Sleep Love, I’ve got you. Both of you.” He said, as her breathing began to slow and even out.

And he did. He had them both.