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The Kindness Of Strangers

Chapter Text

Stella was going to put her empty coffee cup in the bin when she saw a woman sitting on one of the chairs that filled the small room, a worried look on her face, tapping the arm of her chair with her fingertips. The woman was sitting far away from the other people that filled the room, her hand luggage lying below her seat. Stella dropped the cup in the recycling. She hesitated before approaching the woman, whose ginger hair was covering her face in thick strands.
“Are you alright?” Stella asked, keeping her voice low. The woman looked up to Stella, the pupils of her blue eyes dilated from fear, making her eyes more black than blue.
“I-i of course I’m fine.” She replies, attempting to stifle the fear in her voice, her American accent a surprise to Stella, she’d expected some iteration of British or French, not American.
“Are you sure? Do you not like flying?” Stella said, slowly sitting down in the next seat along from the woman.
“No, I’m not too keen on flying.” She said, her words short and curt, almost rude.
“It’s okay, it’s only a little flight and I’m sure the cause of the delay will be fixed.” Stella said softly; trying to calm the woman.
“What if it’s not though? What if we catch the flight and the plane crashes or the flight gets cancelled but that might actually be better because then at least we won’t die but we’ll have to find places to stay or have to stay in the airport for like a day or something?” She spoke hurriedly, speeding up as she neared the ends of her sentences.
“Hey, hey, look, what’s your name?” Stella asked, laying a hand on the woman’s left wrist, her skin was cool.
“Dana. Dana Scully.” She said her full name clearly, without her prior anxiety.
“Okay, Dana, I’m Stella and I assure you that none of those things will happen, and if the flight gets cancelled as you said, that’s better than being in danger.” Stella brushed her thumb over Scully’s wrist and could swear she saw a blush blooming on her cheeks, beneath the strands of copper hair.
“Are you sure?”
“Well no one can ever be one hundred percent sure but I’m as sure as I can be.”
“Okay…” Scully said, sitting up properly and brushing her hair out of her face and behind her ears, Stella took her hand away.
“Do you want me to stay with you until we find out what’s going on with the flight?”
“If that’s not too much of an issue, I would be thankful.”
“Of course, I’m not here with anyone, I have nothing better to do, do I?”
“I guess not.” Scully smiled.
“Okay, then I’ll just go and get my luggage.” Scully nodded and Stella stood up and squeezed Scully’s shoulder.
“It’ll be fine whatever happens.” Stella let go and walked away Scully watched after her, an angel, come to comfort her.

A moment later Stella was back with the rucksack that made up her hand luggage. Scully thought it odd for such an elegant woman to be carrying such a big bag. It was ugly and grey, the colour of elephant skin. But Scully also thought it odd for someone to be getting a flight in business clothes. Looks over comfort she guessed.
“Can I get you anything from the vending machine, Dana?” Stella said, looking for change in the large pockets of her coat.
“Oh no, that’s fine, I’m really not hungry.”
“A drink then?”
“I have water.”
“Ok, I’ll go and grab a drink for myself then.” Stella went off to the vending machine on the far side of the room, she came back holding a bottle of Diet Coke. They sat in silence for a moment, Stella checking the time on her phone, 10PM Paris time, 9PM London time. They had meant to be on the plane 10 minutes ago, but now they wouldn’t be on it for another 3 hours. Stella watched the other people in the room, there were lots of teenagers, probably on a school trip, that were spread out, one big group of them and a few groups of two or three scattered around the room. The closest ones were a girl with bobbed hair and a boy with long hair, watching a show on the girl’s phone.
“So what brought you to Paris, Dana?” Stella turned to Scully who was also watching the teenagers.
“I was here for work but I stayed an extra week for a holiday. How about you?”
“Work as well. I was here for a conference.”
“What kind of conference?” Scully asked, still watching the other people in the room.
“Oh, nothing much of interest, general subjects used in law enforcement, I think the best talk I went to was on forensic science. It was by this woman, Magdalene Laurent. Really interesting stuff if you know about forensics.”
“Do you work in law enforcement?”
“London Metropolitan Police, so yes, I do.” Stella said, a smile playing at her lips.
“I used to be in law enforcement but now I’m a doctor.” Stella quirked an eyebrow at the fact that Scully had been in the same profession.
“What about being a doctor would bring you to Paris?”
“I, was oddly enough also here for a conference.” Scully smiled and Stella laughed a quiet laugh.
“That’s rather strange don’t you think?” Stella said, her eyes making contact with Scully’s. They were both smiling.
“A little, I guess.”
“Anyway, what exactly brings you on a flight to London? You’re American, do you live over here? Work over here?”
“Actually, I’ve lived in London for about ten years.” Scully replied.
“How come?”
“Well when I still lived in America I was with the FBI, I’d originally studied to be a doctor but then I was picked out to be a trainee for the FBI so I did it, I worked there for a few years, it was a hard job, emotionally and physically, I decided I needed to stop. I wanted to get away from Washington, from America so I moved to London. I’ve gone back over a couple of times during the holidays but I love London.”
“I understand, the FBI must be especially tolling, sometimes I can barely bare working for the Met and most of our work isn’t nearly as serious as the FBI’s work. Save for a couple of cases. I’ve worked on a couple of high profile murder and serial killer cases. They’re always the worst. They can be so personal.” Stella paused for a second, her mind wandering. “Most of the stuff is fairly tame though, compared to that.”
“I hated the personal cases, I think everyone who’s ever worked in law enforcement with those kind of cases does. They’re horrible. My sister was killed in relation to a case, shot in cold blood. My partner’s father went the same way. It was awful.” A watery sheen appeared on Scully’s eyes for a moment. Stella was overcome with compassion for the woman.
“Oh, Dana, I’m sorry.” Stella said, taking Scully’s hand and squeezing it, Scully squeezed back, their fingers intertwined.
“It’s okay, it was a long time ago, it doesn’t hurt as bad as it used to.” Scully took her hand from Stella’s. “Would I have heard about any of your high profile cases?” She said, recomposing herself.
“Possibly, the worst one and the most publicised one was a case I was sent to lead in Northern Ireland, The Belfast Strangler. Paul Spector. It was horrible, it got awfully personal as well, he did all sorts of horrible things, to women, dead and alive. He broke into my hotel room, he wrote in my diary, hacked into my laptop, it was one of the worst times of my life…” Stella trailed off. “I don’t know why I’m telling you this.” She said, shaking her head, tears welling in her eyes, the hurt had been dredged up again after not being brought attention to for a long time.
“Stella, it’s okay, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked. I barely know you, it was none of my business.” Stella sniffled and turned her head away, tears rolling from her eyes, she wiped the tears away on the back of her hand, leaving a wet, silvery trail. Scully reached out and placed a hand on Stella’s shoulder, she could feel Stella’s breathing become shaky.
“No… no, I…” Stella then began to sob, her emotions breaking the floodgates she’d held for two years, a woman she had truly only just met opening them.
“Stella?” Stella sobbed again and Scully got up off her chair, forgetting her fear of the flight, converting her fear into caring for this woman. She kneeled down on the floor and wrapped her arms around Stella, hugging her in an awkward position and Stella hugged her back, burying her face in Scully’s shoulder, the tears making a wet patch on Scully’s black sweater. Scully’s arms around Stella, a tighter and more loving embrace than she had felt for a long, long time. A warmth struck her in the chest, she was truly grateful for this, despite the fact that Scully had been the trigger of her emotional overflow in the first place. Yet the tears kept falling. Scully brought a hand to the back of Stella’s head and stroked her hair, flattening the blonde strands.
“It’s okay, you’re okay.” Scully whispered until Stella stopped crying. She drew her body away from Stella and before she knew what she was doing, left a kiss on Stella’s forehead. Stella looked up at Scully, her eyebrows raised and her mouth open in surprise. Her eyes were pink from crying and a snail trail of snot was running down from her nose.
“God, look at me, a fully grown woman crying in an airport being comforted by a stranger.” Stella said, her words double edged.
“I wouldn’t say that we’re strangers anymore.” Scully replied. She held both of Stella’s hands.
“No… I don’t think we are.” Stella said, thinking about what the word stranger even really meant.
“I think I have some tissues in my bag.” Scully said, letting go of Stella’s hands and picking up her bag to have a look, she rootled around in her bag and found an unopened packet of tissues.
“Here,” she held out the packet, “you can take them.” Stella took the packet from Scully and removed a tissue, wiping her eyes and then blowing her nose, leaving the tissue limp and soggy. She crumpled it up and gave the rest of the tissues back to Scully.
“You okay now?” Scully asked, taking Stella’s hands again, she brushed the back of her hands with her thumbs, drawing circles on her skin.
“I think so.” Stella looked at Scully and smiled tiredly, a wave of exhaustion tumbling over her.
“Good.” Scully let go of her hands and sat back in her seat. Stella turned to her.
“Thank you.” Stella said simply.
“That’s alright, you helped me first.” Scully replied and put her hand face up on the armrest that divided her and Stella’s seats. Stella let her hand hover in the air for a moment, an apprehensive look crossed her face before dissolving into a smile as she took Scully’s hand. She wasn’t used to giving anyone else control. In any context.
“I really like you.” Scully said, her voice wobbled. Stella’s smile disappeared, the words were bittersweet.
“You barely know me, Dana.” She felt it too though. She felt the warmth between the two of them, a sparking tether between two that had been set alight. What was she doing? She never did this. What was happening to her? How was she falling in love with a woman she’d just met? Stella Gibson doesn’t fall in love. Stella Gibson makes people fall in love with her. People fall madly in love with her and she doesn’t reciprocate. She doesn’t want that. Before she could stop herself, words fell out of her mouth, with a mind of their own.
“I really like you too.” She cursed herself. The disappointment with her own ability to control herself swirling inside her brain.
“Oh.” Scully said, shock registering on her face and in her voice. “Is that Okay?” Scully asked, not quite knowing what she was asking.
“I don’t know. Is it?” Stella replied, also not sure what she was saying.
“I think? I’m not sure.”
“Neither am I.” Stella replied. She locked eyes with Scully and suddenly they were a lot closer together than they had been a moment ago. Stella could feel Scully’s breath on her face. They leaned in further, lips almost touching, just a little more…
“OH MY GOD! HIS NOSE IS BLEEDING!” Scully’s head swung around and she drew away from Stella looking at the ensuing chaos of the scene that was unfolding in front of her. A crowd of teenagers had congregated around a boy, who was sleeping and blood was coming from his nose, staining his yellow hoodie, a toy he was holding and the faux leather sofa he was lying on. Scully and Stella watched as an adult, presumably a teacher, ran over and ushered the teenagers away. Scully turned back to Stella and raised an eyebrow.
“Kids.” She said and Stella nodded, a bemused expression on her face.
“You’re a doctor.”
“I know.” Stella heard the tannoy of the airport begin to speak and shushed Scully. She furrowed her eyebrows, trying to listen to what was being said.
“Le vol 135 à Londres Gatwick a été annulé. Flight 135 to London Gatwick has been cancelled.” Stella sighed and put her hand to her forehead, combing back her hair with her fingers.
“For fuck’s sake.” She sighed and looked at Scully. “I guess we better get up. We’ll need to reschedule our flights, we’ll both probably need to find places to stay.” Stella rose and picked up her rucksack, eerily calm in the chaos, compared to what she had been like five minutes ago. Scully stood too. They stood face to face, the same height.
“Stella?” Scully said, her voice straining.
“Yes?” Stella asked, already trying to form a plan of action in her mind.
“Can I stay with you?” Stella’s eyes opened wide in surprise.
“You want to stay with me?” She asked, almost stumbling on the words, attempts to restrain herself failing.
“Yes, if that’s okay.” Scully said, slightly more reserved than before.
“Of course, if that’s what you want.” Stella replied her voice calm again.
“Really?” Scully asked. Stella smiled and nodded.
“Really.”
“Let’s get out of here.”

Chapter Text

A couple of hours later they were standing at the reception table of a reasonably priced hotel, suitcases and all, completely drained of all energy. Stella spoke to the receptionist in tired broken french, requesting a room. The lift was out of order so they hauled their luggage upstairs, Stella struggling in her heels. It took Stella a moment to get the key to work and when it did she pulled the door instead of pushed, before finally opened the door. They went inside the room, instantaneously picking a bed each and sitting down.
“God, I really have to pee.” Stella said suddenly, getting up and opening the door to the bathroom. Scully opened her suitcase and began to get changed, she wore a set of blue pyjamas, printed with stars, they were childish, especially for her but she thought they were cute. Stella came out of the bathroom, to see Scully putting on her pyjama bottoms, her eyes lingered a moment on Scully’s ass, a slight warmth pooling in her stomach. Stella then looked down at her own clothing. She was wearing a silk shirt, the colour of eggshell and black suit trousers. She still needed to book the new flights, and went to get her laptop from her suitcase. She decided to get changed later, when she could actually relax and sleep.
“Dana, I need to book my flight, do you want to book yours too?” Stella turned to Scully, who was now brushing her hair, the brush ripping out long ginger strands on each stroke.
“Okay. Give me a minute.” She said, as she battled a tangle out of her hair.
“I need to book mine first anyway.” Scully hummed an okay and Stella booked her ticket, copping one of the last window seats in the very last empty row of the plane.
“I’m done, you can do yours now, we can sit together, I booked my seat in the last empty row.” Scully got up and crammed herself next to Stella on her bed, their thighs touched together and Scully ran her tongue over her bottom lip, tasting the sweet residue of a cherry flavour lip balm she’d applied hours earlier.
“Okay.” Stella handed Scully her laptop and went to get changed in the bathroom. A few minutes later she heard Scully call out that she was finished.
“Just put my laptop off.” She called back, her English accent almost shrill in the quiet of the hotel.
“Okay.” Scully replied. A moment later Stella came out of the bathroom, donning a lacy white camisole top and a pair of navy blue sleep shorts, they ended just below the curve of her ass. She went to get into bed though Scully was still sitting there, the laptop shutting down on her knee. Stella took it back and closed it, getting up to place it back in her suitcase. Scully got up and got under the covers of her own bed, pulling the cream duvet around her. Stella switched the light off and got into bed, still pleasantly warm from where Scully had been sitting. Stella lay there, trying to sleep for a good ten or fifteen minutes with no success. She stared at the room in the dark, trying to discern the different shapes and things. The air conditioning whirred in the background. Just as she was finally about to fall asleep she heard Scully’s whispered voice in the dark.
“Stella?”
“Yes, Dana?” She murmured, her voice sleepily mellow.
“Could I sleep in your bed?” She said, another trace of anxiety present in her voice.
“Yes.” Her voice was heavy and she felt a flutter in her chest, her heart like a bird trapped in the cage of her ribs. She heard Scully’s feet on the threadbare carpet. Scully lifted the duvet and Stella shuffled to the edge of the bed before Scully got in. She was pressed to Stella’s back, in warm, close quarters. Their heartbeats were both moving at fever pitch, erratically drumming to the beat of an unheard song. Stella attempted to breathe slowly, masking her excitement of having this gorgeous woman in bed with her. She snuggled even closer to Scully, she smelled of sweat, deodorant and faintly of a flowery perfume. What the perfume was Stella wasn’t sure. She breathed the scent in deeply, resisting the urge to kiss Scully’s neck.
“Can you hold me?” Scully said, breaking Stella’s trance, her voice weak. Sadness suddenly shot through Stella, Scully’s soft vulnerability making her heart ache.
“Yes.” She said, the word strong in the silence. They rearranged themselves, both attempting not to elbow each other and cause any more upset than what had already happened in the last few hours. Stella wound her arms around Scully and rested her head back down. Scully was small and snug against her body, Stella sighed contentedly, breathing in the scent of Scully, again, still trying to discern the scent of her perfume. She tightened her grip around her and Scully curled up smaller, she found Stella’s hand and held it. Stella’s inhibitions flew away from her and she left a chaste kiss on Scully’s neck, her plump lips feeling the soft, warm skin of Scully. Scully smiled in the dark, an undetectable blush creeping up her cheeks. A few minutes later they both fell into a soundless sleep, Stella cocooned around Scully.

Scully awoke to an empty bed, the indentation of a body left on the sheet next to her. The room was bright and gauze curtains hung open on a large window that she hadn’t even noticed the night before. She turned over and nearly rolled out of the bed. Scully sat up and yawned, combing a hand through her bedraggled hair, before getting up and finding Stella getting dressed in the bathroom, her hair wet and uncombed, curling in dark blonde tendrils around her face. She had a pair of black slim leg jeans on and another silk shirt, this one the colour of periwinkle, it hung off her shoulders, the buttons undone, showing Stella’s pink lace bra, and the entire curve of her cleavage. Scully let her eyes linger on Stella’s boobs for probably just a little longer than she should have.
“Good morning.” Stella said, her voice still heavy from sleep. Happiness filled Scully, warming her up like a flame.
“Good morning to you too.” Stella walked over to Scully. “Sleep well?” She asked brushing a stray lock of hair behind Scully’s ear. Scully smiled. Stella started to button up her shirt.
“Yes, I slept well. You?”
“Surprisingly well, I’m not used to sleeping that close to anyone.” Stella paused as she smoothed her shirt down. “After you get changed we can go down for breakfast, it’s about 8:30 now and breakfast lasts until 10:00 so we have plenty of time. We have to check out by 10:15.”
“Alright, I’ll get changed now then. Do you need to do your makeup or anything?” Scully asked, scratching an itch on her arm, the skin soft under her nails.
“No, I think I’ll leave it for today.” Stella said as she put her hair in a towel, making a haphazard pile on top of her head.
“Okay, I’ll get changed then and we can go down. We should pack up our things before but that’ll only take 5 minutes since we’ve both barely taken anything out.”
“I’ll pack and you can change.” Stella said, picking up her pyjamas off the bathroom floor where she had left them before showering. She walked out of the room.

15 minutes later they were sitting at a table in the dining area of the hotel, plates full of food from the buffet. They both had cups of coffee although it tasted burnt.
“So, what do you want to do today? We have plenty of time before we need to be at the airport, the flight isn’t until ten to ten tonight so we can make something out of today.” Stella sipped her coffee, the bitter burntness settling uncomfortably on her tongue.
“I’m not sure, I feel like I’ve done most of the tourist things already, I would’ve liked to do more shopping, I didn’t get a chance to go to the Sacre Cœur either and there’s a lot of shops around there.” Scully buttered her croissant, the crumbly pastry flaking off onto her plate.
“That sounds like a plan. We can get the metro and have a look around, we could maybe get a bite for lunch. We should go to the airport for around 5, we can get a taxi and go halfers for the price.” Stella finished her sentence and bit into a slice of toast that she’d slathered in strawberry jam, which oozed and stuck to her lips.
“Okay, great, we can do that. The earlier we get out of here, the less people there’ll be.” Stella nodded in agreement.
“We can finish up breakfast then checkout. I’ll pay for the accommodation.”
“Oh, Stella are you sure? I asked to stay with you, shouldn’t I at least pay half?”
“Trust me, I’ll take care of it. You can pay for lunch if you want to pay for something.” Stella downed the end of her coffee.
“Okay sure, that’s fair. But you’ve already done so much for me I really feel I should pay for me.” Stella put her hand on top of Scully’s.
“Dana, it’s fine, really.” Scully furrowed her brow, unsure.
“Fine, but you can order anything you want for lunch then.”
“That’s fine by me.” Stella smiled and squeezed Scully’s hand.

They finished eating and checked out, Stella paying for the room, Scully still apprehensive about it, Stella assuring her that it was fine. They’d forgotten that they would have to lug their suitcases around with them so they decided to get a locker at the metro station, which meant they would have to pick up their luggage before leaving for the airport which meant they would essentially have to walk around in a circle. They got on the metro, it was mostly deserted as it had been raining on and off all morning. A blonde woman in her early to mid 20s sat opposite them, reading a book and ignoring her surroundings. Apart from her, they were the only ones in that carriage. They sat in comfortable silence, sometimes broken by questions about each other. It was a short ride to the Sacre Cœur. When they got off the metro they checked their luggage into a storage locker, which cost five euros. They left the station and the weather had cleared up a little, the sun was breaking out from behind the clouds, leaving a steamy wet glow on everything it touched. They stood on the pavement watching their surroundings for a minute before Stella broke the silence.
“So what do you want to do first?” She asked, turning to Scully, who looked ethereally beautiful in the morning sunlight, her face glowing like an angel’s.
“I think we should go to the Sacre Cœur first, before doing any shopping, it hopefully won’t be busy yet.” Scully said, looking up at the Sacre Cœur, the white building sat upon a large hill that they were presently standing a couple of streets from the bottom of. She could see the white dome poking up above the trees, blending in with the grey and white mottled sky. It looked like a complexley structured cake; like something they’d create on The Great British Bake Off.
“That sounds good.” Stella smiled and they began walking towards the hill, they passed theatres, clothes shops and people zipping down the roads at high speeds on electric scooters. Scully’s hair was already getting frizzy in the humidity, she smoothed it down to no avail. They crossed the road and were at the bottom of the hill that lead to the Sacre Cœur. A carousel stood unmoving, it’s horses garishly painted at the bottom of the first set of stone stairs. They began to ascend the stairs, Scully staring at the carousel. She turned to Stella.
“Do you like amusement parks?” It was an odd question to ask someone, Scully thought.
“When I was younger I did, I’m not sure about now though, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to one. I never had kids so I never had the chance to take them to anything like that.” They reached the top of the stairs. “Do you have kids, Dana?” Stella asked, although she was sure the answer would be “no.”
“Well, I used to.”
“Oh?” Stella said, surprised at Scully’s answer, she had a feeling she’d struck a nerve.
“I don’t really want to talk about it, to ruin this day. Maybe another time, when we both know each other better.” The words hit Stella and she realised how little they truly knew each other. She shouldn’t be so naïve, they hadn’t even known each other for 24 hours.
“That’s okay.” She replied simply, respecting Scully’s boundaries. As they were nearing the top of the hill, Scully’s foot caught on the edge of a step and she toppled, Stella swooped down, stopping her from hitting the hard stone, averting a possible hospital visit. She had one hand on Scully’s waist and the other had grabbed a hand, they looked as though they were in a freeze frame of a passionate Tango.
“Hey, be careful.” Stella said with a smile, her face just a few inches away from Scully’s. Scully straightened up but held onto Stella’s hand. They climbed the final set of steps and arrived at the top of the hill. They walked over to the edge of the plateau that the Sacre Cœur sat on. A metal fence adorned with padlocks covered in inscriptions stopped anyone from falling over the edge. They could see nearly the whole of Paris from this high up. They stood together, hands interlocked, looking out over the buildings, watching as ant sized cars and ant sized people went about their business. As they stood and watched, it began to rain, the raindrops pattering gently against them and the cobblestone beneath their feet. A rainbow soon appeared in the sky, the colours gorgeous and bright against the clouds.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” Stella said, her voice low.
“What is?” Scully asked, looking at Stella, who looked miles away.
“All of it, everything. Paris, the city of romance.” Stella looked as though she was on the verge of tears.
“It is.” Scully replied. She was silent for a moment. “You’re beautiful.” She said, only just loud enough for Stella to hear. Stella looked at her.
“What?” She asked, tears prickling her eyes.
“I said, you’re beautiful.” Scully repeated, taking Stella’s other hand.
“No one’s ever told me I’m beautiful before.” Stella said, the emotion in her voice weighted with years of hurt.
“Oh, Stella.” Scully took Stella into her arms, holding her, the rain bouncing off the both of them, together. Scully drew back, her hands on Stella’s hips, she looked into Stella’s shining eyes, her normal stormy sea blue turned cornflower. She took Stella’s face in her hands, the warmth from her skin transferring to Scully’s hands. Their faces hovered closer and closer together, Stella could smell Scully’s breath, still slightly minty from when she had brushed her teeth that morning. Stella felt their lips connect, the softness of Scully’s lips then the feeling as she opened her mouth to let her tongue in, barely even kissing back. She could taste Scully, she could feel Scully, she could smell Scully and only Scully. Her eyes fluttered shut as the kiss deepened, Scully’s hand still on her cheek. The sun broke through the clouds, the rain stopped all of a sudden and finally they broke apart. They stood transfixed.
“We should get a padlock. Add it to the fence.” Scully said, her face stuck, confused by the absence of Stella, her mouth left open and her eyes wide.
“Yes.” Stella replied, struggling to get any more words out. There were stalls close by that sold padlocks so they went and bought a padlock along with a permanent marker to write on it. They walked back around to the front of the Sacre Cœur and stood together again.
“What should we write?” Stella asked.
“Stella + Dana, 30/05/19 - ?” Scully replied.
“Why the question mark?”
“Who knows how long we’ll be with each other? What if we go home and we never see each other again?” Scully said, her words tinged with melancholia.
“That won’t happen. I won’t let it.” Stella said, a determination flaring inside her.
“I don’t even have your phone number.” Scully said.
“We’ll fix that but first let’s get this done.” Stella said, writing the words Scully had said on the padlock, which was the colour of cranberry juice. “Is that okay?” She showed Scully.
“It’s perfect.” Scully replied, taking the padlock and holding the cool, metallic weight in her palm. “Let’s put it on the fence now.”
“Alright.” Stella said, she watched Scully click the padlock shut on an empty fence link. Stella locked it, and put the key in her rucksack.
“We should probably actually go inside the Sacre Cœur now.” Scully said. Stella nodded and took Scully’s hand. They went inside the building, no talking was allowed. It wasn’t busy, about ten people including Stella and Scully were visiting. Places to light prayer candles were placed throughout the cathedral, large, fat candles and smaller ones, just a little wider than a pointer finger. You were told to donate to use them. Ten euros for a pillar candle and two euros for a tea light. Scully lit a pillar candle for her sister, for her children and a tea light for her father. Stella stood beside her as she put the money for the candles in the box.
“Dana, are you religious?” Stella asked, her voice lowered.
“I’m catholic.” Scully replied. “I always wear m-“
“SILENCE.” A bald headed guard snapped at two of them. Scully raised an eyebrow, they walked away from the candles and the guards, finishing their circuit around the building. It was beautiful inside, the stained glass windows paired with the flickering candles that added a soft golden glow to the whole building.

After they’d left the Sacre Cœur they looked for a place to eat lunch, the rain had started pouring again, soaking both of them as neither had a waterproof jacket. They walked around Montmartre, the streets still busy despite the rain.
After around fifteen minutes of walking around they found a little bistro that was mostly empty spare a couple of people eating lunch on their own. They sat down at a table and shed their soaked jackets, dumping them beneath their chairs. They ordered their food. Stella began to speak.
“You never finished your sentence when we were at the Sacre Cœur.”
“What sentence?” Scully asked, trying to think of what they could’ve been talking about.
“I asked you if you were religious you said “I’m catholic. I always wear m-“ then that guard told us to be silent.”
“Oh, that, I was saying that I always wear my cross necklace.” Scully said, fishing the necklace out from under her top, it shone in the light. “My mom bought me and my sister matching necklaces when we were kids. I never take mine off, it makes me feel like I always have some reassurance from God.” Scully twirled the golden chain around her finger.
“It’s nice.” Stella said, leaning over the table to get a better look.
“Thanks.” Scully said, hiding the necklace back under her shirt.
“Were you brought up religious? What are your family like in regards to things like, well, this?” Stella said, gesturing between the two. Scully smiled and looked down.
“Yes, my family are catholic too, my sister was less outwardly catholic. She was more on the spiritual side, she was into crystals and things like that. I have two brothers, Bill and Charlie, Bill is a lot more conservative, we don’t always get on that well, I know it’s just because he cares but he could show that in any other way, like he could actually respect my choices.” Scully frowned and sighed.
“You seem to have a lot of anger over this.” Stella said, slowly.
“Yes, well, he hasn’t always been the most pleasant to the people I’ve loved. He simply detested my partner when I was with the FBI. Hated him. Thought he was bad for me. I was sick for a while when I was an agent, my partner was always by my side but Bill was awful to him that whole period of time.”
“What were you sick with?” Stella asked.
“I had developed a cancerous tumour, we thought I was going to die but then something happened but I shouldn’t talk about that.” Scully trailed off and Stella raised an eyebrow.
“That’s awful.” Stella held out a hand for Scully to take, they held hands across the table.
“It’s okay, it was years ago.”
“So what about your other brother? Charlie?”
“I haven’t seen him in years, no one really has, he sends a postcard every once in a while but that’s all. I miss him, he was always my favourite brother.” Scully smiled. “So what about your family, Stella?” Stella cast her eyes to the floor.
“I don’t really have a family.” Stella said, choosing her words carefully.
“What do you mean, are you an orphan?” Scully asked, her voice tender. Stella laughed bitterly.
“No, nothing of the sort. If you really want to know, my Father died and my Mother was a horrible person after he died. I don’t have any siblings or other relatives to speak of. I live with it. I haven’t seen my Mother since I left home, which is for the best. She could be dead for all I care. Elizabeth Gibson. Good riddens.” Scully was slightly shocked, she found it strange for someone to hate their family that much. To be that isolated.
“Right.” Scully said.
“Sorry, I think I might have scared you a little. I just don’t have the best personal relationships. Now that sounds damning for this.” Stella said with a little laugh, realising how she sounded as she spoke.
“Oh, no that’s okay. I just think we should pace ourselves a little bit with all this information.”
“I agree, I’m never open like this, it’s a little bit of a relief, I think.” Stella said.
“I understand, I think we’re both normally quite closed people.”
“Yes. That’s true, I would say.” Stella replied, the waitress came and put their food in front of them. They ate slowly, interspersed with light conversation. After they finished their main, they ordered dessert. Stella read the dessert menu, everything sounded good.
“What are you going to get, Dana?” Stella said, trying to decide what to order.
“I think I’ll have the tiramisu, it’s my favourite dessert.” Scully said.
“Hm… Should I get something else and we can split them?” Stella said, tiramisu was one of her favourites too but there were other things she wanted to try.
“That sounds good.” Scully said.
“Alright. I think I’ll get the chocolate and cherry tart then.” Stella said.
“Okay.”

When the desserts arrived Stella, just stared at them, they were the most delicious looking desserts she had ever seen. The tart was drizzled in melted chocolate and was served with a single maraschino cherry. Scully watched as Stella took the maraschino cherry between her teeth, pulled off the stalk, licked it and sucked on it before swallowing it in two bites. Scully bit her lip.
“Do you want to split the desserts now?” Stella asked. Scully just stared. “Well?”
“Oh, yes, of course, Stella.” She replied, quickly, blinking.
“Do you want to feed me your tiramisu? It might be a little hard to cut in half.” A shiver ran down Scully’s spine.
“Yes.” She said, her voice unusually low. Stella smiled knowingly. Scully dug her fork into the tiramisu and brought it to Stella’s lips, who took it slowly from the fork, savouring the taste and causing a distinct warmth to pool in Scully’s lower regions.
“Mhm… It’s so good.” Stella was practically moaning. She knew exactly what she was doing. Scully realised quickly and began to play along. She took a forkful herself and licked her lips after she ate it, she looked Stella in the eyes. She brought another forkful to Stella who exaggerated even more than before. Scully mimicked her. This went on until they’d nearly finished the tiramisu and a couple of people were glaring at them.
“You know, Dana, if we keep doing this, I’ll have to fuck you in the bathroom and I would love to do that but a) I would like our first time to be somewhere a lot nicer and b) we have a bit of a time constraint.” Stella said, her voice thick with arousal.
“Oh, I completely agree, so what say we finish these desserts and get out of here?” Scully said.
“I like your way of thinking.”

As soon as they were outside again, Stella pushed Scully against the wall and began to kiss her, raindrops running down their faces and melting into their kisses.
“God.” Stella gasped into Scully’s lips. She drew away from Scully, keeping eye contact, her fingertips digging into Scully’s hips. “When we get back to London, you’re coming with me, even only if for a night.”
“I’d like it to be more than a night.” Scully replied. Stella froze. She wanted it, she did but still the fear crept into her like a maggot burrowing into a rotting corpse.
“Come on, let’s have a look around some shops, we have a couple of hours.” Stella said, brushing Scully’s earlier comment off and taking her hands away from Scully. Scully’s emotions dissolved into a black oily puddle, consuming her.

They’d had a look around the shops, Stella buying herself a small book filled with old photos and Scully buying herself nothing but buying Stella a surprisingly cheap, real gold plated necklace with a star shaped pendant attached to it. She hadn’t let Stella see it, she planned to give it to her as a surprise before they caught their flight. Now they were walking back to the metro to collect their luggage before heading to the airport for hours of waiting. After they collected their luggage it was still raining, though the rain was only a drizzle, causing everything around to turn dreary and grey. Stella hailed a cab. They got in
“Charles De Gaulle Airport, please.” The driver nodded and they fastened their seatbelts before setting off.
“Do you like travelling, Dana?” Stella asked, turning to a now rather tired looking Scully.
“It depends. When I was in the FBI me and my partner did a lot of travelling all over the states. As you know, I don’t like flying but I don’t mind any other modes of transport.”
“That’s what I thought. I don’t mind, I have been known to be a slightly seasick and when I was little I got travel sick in cars but that doesn’t happen anymore. Have you ever ridden a motorbike?” Stella said.
“Actually, I haven’t. I don’t know if I’d like to though. It all seems a little unsafe but maybe with the right person I would.”
“It’s actually quite fun, I’ve never had a license but I rode with a woman I worked with briefly.”
“I’d quite like to see you riding a motorbike, maybe wearing all black leather. Leather trousers, leather jacket and leather boots.” Stella laughed quietly.
“You got a leather kink, Dana?” Stella smiled, an eyebrow pointed.
“No, Stel-.” Scully began to speak.
“I’m joking, but maybe one day, I wouldn’t mind if you did anyway, I could work with that.” Stella said and Scully blushed. Stella reached over and took Scully’s hand which was balled up on the taxi seat, she softly brushed the back of it with her thumb and Scully’s hand unfurled and took Stella’s.

When they got to the airport the weather had completely cleared up, a lovely early evening sunshine shone and the blue sky was dappled with white clouds. They entered the airport, it was busier than it had been the day before, people rushing about, the same group of teenagers were there, all of them looking a lot more tired than before. One of them caught Scully’s eye and she smiled sympathetically. They began walking through the airport.
“Where are we meant to be going?” Stella asked, looking for any signs that indicated the flight.
“We still have about 45 minutes before check in, we could get a coffee.” Scully said, checking the time on her phone.
“Sounds like a good idea.”
After a couple of minutes they found a Starbucks and ordered some coffee, Scully grumbled about how overpriced it was because of the pure fact that they were in an airport. They sat down around a little wooden table. They talked for a little while, when they’d nearly finished their coffee Scully spoke again.
“I got you a little something while we were shopping, I probably shouldn’t have but it made me think of you, Stella.” She took a small box out of her jacket pocket and set it on the table. “You can open it.” Stella looked at her, bemused, before taking the box. She opened it and Scully watched her face light up. Stella fished the necklace out of the box.
“It’s gorgeous, Dana thank you.” Stella smiled and turned the necklace in the light, the gold shimmering.
“The star is a pendant.” Scully said and Stella smiled more.
“Really Dana, thank you, you didn’t need to do this for me.”
“Do you want to put it on?” Stella nodded and clasped the necklace around her neck.
“I don’t normally wear jewellery but I love this.” Stella kissed Scully over the table, the taste of each other's coffees welding together. Stella couldn’t stand anyone else’s coffee breath but she barely even minded Scully’s.

After they’d checked their bags in they went through security. The security in the airport loud and speaking quickly in unintelligible French. When Stella went through the metal detector it beeped and she rolled her eyes as a tall security guard with piglike features searched her. After security they bought some cheap food at the duty free and set up camp on some seats until they were told to go back to the room they’d been in the night before. They talked to stay awake, mostly about nothing, the supposed nothings that were actually everythings. The last book Stella read, where Scully’s favourite town in America was, the stupid crush she’d had on her teacher in 10th grade. Stella didn’t talk much about her childhood, letting Scully do the rambling and listening to every word she said, getting to know her better in the hours before the flight that would take them away from the place they’d met. The waiting was hard, it was the kind of waiting you do on a hot summer’s day to buy an ice cream before getting to the counter and realising the only flavour you wanted had run out. A Swedish man and his wife drank cans of Heineken as their young son slept on a chair next to them. It seemed as though almost everyone in the room was exhausted, a liminal space of tiredness. Overwrought by the chaos of the night before. The few that weren’t were the ones that hadn’t meant to be on the original flight in the first place. The room was too warm, Stella had shed her coat and was genuinely considering taking her shirt off too, another button had been undone and was now revealing the beginning of her cleavage. Scully watched a drop of sweat run between Stella’s tits and fought the urge to take her right there and then, in the middle of the airport. Scully sighed and they trailed off talking again.

In the end the plane had been delayed another hour and they ended up taking off at ten to eleven, the dark velvet of the night enveloping the plane, its lights blinking stars in the sky. It wasn’t even a long flight, not really and yet everyone was weary. Stella watched the clouds go by the windows as Scully’s head lay against her shoulder. She was asleep, Stella didn’t have it in her to try and wake her. Scully had been a lot calmer getting the plane this time, only beginning to panic as they actually got onto the plane but Stella had quickly calmed her down. She shifted in her sleep as the flight attendants came past with the food trolley. The wheels rattling as they rolled down the aisle. Stella wondered about what would happen when they arrived in London. They’d given each other their phone numbers so if either of them wanted to reach out they could. Although there was the possibility that both would be too nervous to call on one another. She wanted to stay in contact with Scully, if Scully didn’t want to be anything more than friends she’d be fine with that even though she wanted more. Stella looked at Scully, her lips were slightly open, the dim lighting of the plane casting soft shadows on her face, enunciating her cheekbones, leaving her looking like a perfectly formed sculpture. Stella let her sleep watching as she did, her heart filled with love.

Scully awoke as the plane touched down, the bump as they hit the ground stirring her. They went through border control, barely speaking, both highly aware that this could be the last time they’d be together. They were scared that the other one wouldn’t want to see them again. When they reached the outside of the airport it was pushing 1am, the air was damp, from a drizzle that had fizzled out 20 minutes before they arrived. They stood looking at each other. Scully’s hair frizzy and her face tired, her exhaustion unquenched by her sleep on the plane. Stella’s normally perfect hair was tangled and hung limply, looking like a plant that was desperately in need of water, the circles under her eyes had darkened from lack of sleep and the streetlights lit her face strangely, aging her features.
“I guess this is where we part ways.” Stella said, not letting any emotion sleep into her words.
“I think so.” Scully said. Stella took a step forward and took Scully into a tight hug, a hug of unwanted goodbyes but neither had the strength to ask the other to stay. Scully hugged her back, not letting a tear fall from her eyes. Stella unwound herself from Scully and took her face in her hands, Scully placed a hand on top of Stella’s.
“Call me.” Stella said, her words hoarse, she took the chance to leave a chaste kiss on the quivering corner of Scully’s mouth. Stella dropped her hands and Scully watched her facial expression.
“Goodbye, Dana.” The words were weighted. Why couldn’t Scully just ask her to stay? She’d already said to call her so what more would one more word be?
“Goodbye, Stella.” She replied, letting the name rest on her lips. Stella turned her back and walked away, her long black coat swaying in the light breeze, her suitcase rolling behind her. Scully watched as Stella, the star, dissolved into the night. A tear rolled down her cheek, she wiped it away and held the two words in her mind “Call me.”

Chapter Text

For a week now, Scully had been playing with the phrase. Call me. Call me. Call me. It was all she could think about, when she was working, when she was at home alone, when she was buying herself a bottle of wine. The words beat in her ears. She spent time opening her contacts just to look at the little blue “Call” icon that sat under the name “Stella Gibson” in her contacts. She waited. For a call, for a text, for anything so she wouldn’t have to be the one to make the first, possibly unwanted move. On the 30th of June, a month after she’d left Paris, to the day, she was woken by a call. It was 10:30pm. She’d decided to have an early night, she needed the rest, work had been keeping her busy, it was a Saturday night and she just wanted to sleep. The ring tone pierced through her sleep, she knocked the phone off her bedside table as she tried to pick it up, she reached to the floor and swiped to pick up the call, she hadn’t even looked at the name.
“Hello?” She said, her voice heavy with sleep.
“Meet me at The Pinewood Bar.” Stella’s sharp English accent pierced through the receiver and a shot of adrenaline rushed through Scully, setting her body on fire.
“Stella?”
“Come, or don’t. I’ll be waiting either way.” The call disconnected and Scully put her phone down. She knew the exact place Stella was talking about. She rushed to get dressed and made up, hurrying out the door and hailing a cab.

Scully stepped into the bar and surveyed the room, looking for Stella. The bar itself was more of a lounge, sofas and other seating in dark greens and browns were scattered about the room. Paintings and photographs of pine trees covered the walls, giving it a rustic if rather Christmas like vibe. When Scully saw Stella, she was sitting at the bar, on a dark green seat, wearing a white silk shirt and a black pencil skirt that accentuated the curve of her hips, she was in a conversation with the bar man who appeared to be ogling her cleavage. A wave of heat ran over Scully, a flock of butterflies awakening in her stomach, setting off sparks. The heels that Scully had opted for clicked on the hardwood floor as she approached Stella. Stella turned away from the barman and watched Scully walk over to her.
“Hi.” Stella said, rising to kiss Scully on the cheek as a greeting. “It’s been a while.” Stella said as they sat down.
“Yes, it has. It’s been a whole month, in fact, to the day.” Scully replied, before ordering her drink, a glass of Merlot. Stella nursed a glass of Whiskey, the ice cubes melting away.
“I’d wondered if you’d notice.” Stella replied.
“So it was deliberate?” Scully asked, an eyebrow raised.
“Yes, I decided that if you hadn’t called me for a whole month after we said goodbye that I’d call you and ask you to come here and if you didn’t that would be it.” A slight sickness pooled In Scully’s stomach, stifling the butterflies. It was as though this had just been a game to Stella.
“You were playing with me?” Scully asked, masking the anger that bubbled beneath the surface like hot oil.
“No, Dana I wasn’t playing with you. I’m not a child. I don’t like little pointless games, I like getting what I want but in this case I wanted to leave it to you. I wanted to give you the choice. I didn’t know if you’d call and when I called I didn’t even know if you would pick up. You had the opportunity not to pick up or not to come and yet you are here, accusing me of playing games with you, you are not a toy and I am not here to play games with a grown woman.” It still irritated Scully but she didn’t let it ruin the fact that she was here, with Stella, again, after a month of “Will she won’t she” and resisting calling at risk of rejection.
“What do you want from me, Stella?”
“I want us to have a relationship. Sexual or not. I really like you, Dana. Look.” Stella fished a golden chain from under her shirt. “I’ve been wearing this everyday since we left each other. It meant something to me. The feeling I have, it’s new. I haven’t felt like this in a long time. When I look at you I feel 20 again, it sounds so incredibly stupid to say out loud. I just want to know you, to know everything about you. I need someone and I don’t think I’d be wrong if I said you needed someone too.” Scully stared at her, dumbfounded. She just wanted someone to love. In some form. Someone who wasn’t unreachable, inappropriate or impossible.
“Why didn’t you call before now?” Scully asked, she wasn’t sure whether she was hurt or just confused.
“I was scared.” Stella simply replied, her voice raw.
“I don’t know what to say.” Scully said, her heartbeat flickered in her chest.
“Just tell me if you want this.” Too many feelings flooded Scully, sadness, guilt, anger. Thoughts of her past loves lit up in her head, like old pictures she hadn’t looked at in a long time, ripping her apart. She swallowed her pain.
“I want this.” Scully said, almost inaudible.
“Come with me, let us finish our drinks and let me take you home.”

The short cab ride to Stella’s house was filled with tension, Stella’s hand in Scully’s, battling the urge to fuck her right there, against the cool leather seats, as the cab driver watched. When they got out of the stuffy cab and into the cool night air it was a relief, like when you finally have a hot shower during a winter’s day. They took their coats off and had some wine, their kisses dissolving into one flavour, of Stella’s sharp Shiraz. Stella took Scully upstairs, and they sat down on the bed, the red duvet crunching under their body weight. They kissed, Stella’s hands on Scully’s waist.
“Are you sure you want this?” Stella whispered into Scully’s ear, leaving a kiss below her ear lobe.
“More sure than anything.” Scully replied. In a second, she’d been pushed down onto the bed, Stella on top of her. She kissed her, on the lips, on the neck on her collarbones. She gasped at the feeling of Stella’s mouth. Her own hands held Stella’s hips against her body. The comfortable, human weight digging into her. It’d been a long time since she’d had sex.
“I need you to get out of this dress.” Stella said, her voice practically a growl. Stella took her body off Scully’s. She turned around, her boobs pressed against the mattress and Stella unzipped Scully’s skin tight black dress.
“I never told you but you looked absolutely gorgeous in that dress.” Stella said, sliding the material off Scully and flipping her back over. Scully hadn’t been wearing a bra so Stella already had full access to her boobs. She left wet kisses down Scully’s sternum before letting her lips travel to her tits. She left kisses on the soft darker skin of her areola before taking a nipple between her lips and licking and sucking, the nub hardening in Stella’s mouth.
“Oh fuck, Stella.” Scully moaned as Stella mirrored her actions on Scully’s other breast. She kneaded Scully‘s boobs, the skin firm yet still soft and malleable under her touch.
“If you keep doing that, I think I might just come before we even get to the main event.” Stella chuckled into Scully’s chest.
“Well I better get to the point then.” Stella smiled, satisfied with Scully’s disarray, her hair splayed like a copper halo and her face flushed salmon pink.
“Please…” Scully said, as Stella moved down her abdomen, leaving a kiss on every rib.
“God Stella, take off your shirt, please. I want to see you.” Scully let out as she felt the weight of Stella’s boobs against her thighs. Stella sat up and removed her silk shirt and unclasped her bra, letting them fall to the floor. Another wave of arousal took over Scully at the sight of Stella’s perfect tits, her nipples pebbled and hard in the cold air of the bedroom. Scully took one of Stella’s nipples in her mouth, wanting to feel the warmth of her skin on her lips. Scully stopped as she saw Stella’s mouth open in arousal and let her continue on her way to her core. Stella sucked the skin on her hip bones leaving marks that would surely develop into hickeys. Scully gasped as she felt Stella’s nose brush over the thin fabric of her lace panties. The shadow of her brushing her clit. Stella slid them off and began to leave kisses on Scully’s thighs. Stella could smell her arousal. She began to lick and suck at Scully’s clit, the swollen bud salty in her mouth. Scully arched her hips into Stella as she began to tease her entrance with her tongue, the warm wetness of her mouth mingling with Scully’s. She brought her thumb up to join her mouth, working Scully’s clit as she thrusted her tongue into her. Scully’s hand tangled in Stella’s hair, her nails digging into her scalp, pushing her head against her crotch. Stella’s tongue worked Scully, tasting the pleasure that seeped out of her. Her tongue was magical, she switched her mouth and fingers’ places, now letting her finger Scully’s entrance, her tongue lapping masterfully at Scully’s clit. It took only a few more strokes before Scully came with a low pitched moan.

Scully had fallen asleep naked, her hair tousled and her whole body flushed, a light sheen of sweat covering her. Stella pulled the duvet over her sleeping body, making sure she wouldn’t become cold in the night. Stella lay down, not quite naked, still donning her pair of panties. She hadn’t had the chance to orgasm although she could still feel the wetness that had pooled between her legs as she’d fucked Scully. She let a hand creep down to her pussy, she could feel the dampness, the slickness against her folds. She took the time to tease herself before letting herself go. She came silently, an arch of her hips against her fingers, her mouth agape. She collapsed on the bed next to a still sleeping Scully. She watched the rise and fall of Scully’s bare chest, the golden cross still clasped around her neck, it’d fallen to the side. Stella delicately took it in her hand and adjusted it, making it lie flat between Scully’s collarbones. Their supposedly unholy bonds still watched over by God.

Stella awoke Scully with her soft touch, tracing her muscles and feeling the dimples of her spine down her smooth back. Scully turned over to look at Stella, they exchanged a soft kiss.
“Good morning.” Stella said, a warmth in her eyes that Scully hadn’t seen before.
“Morning.” She yawned, her nose scrunching. “You know you look beautiful in the morning, your hair all tousled up like that.” Stella smiled.
“Do you want some breakfast?”
“Please.”

Stella poured the final lot of pancake batter on the frying pan, it sizzled, the yellowish mixture bubbling. Scully sat and watched as she cooked, wearing one of Stella’s robes, the silk adhering to her soft curves. Stella expertly flipped the pancake, the perfectly browned side facing upwards. Stella tapped a rhythm on the countertop as she waited for the pancake to cook. She switched the hob off and served the pancakes, they were the thick, buttery American ones. Stella preferred them over the thin pancakes that were popular in the UK. She set a bottle of maple syrup on the table, along with some warm butter. She sat down opposite Scully and watched as she ate, a drip of maple syrup made a trail down her chin and Stella fought the urge to lean across the table and lick it off Scully herself. Instead she reached across the table and wiped her face with her thumb before sucking the sugary syrup off her finger, much to Scully’s appreciation.
“I didn’t know you could cook.” Scully said, cutting her pancake into squares, the maple syrup seeping through the dough.
“There’s a lot of things you don’t know about me.” Probably some things you don’t want to know, Stella thought to herself.
“And there’s a lot of things you don’t know about me either.” Scully said, spearing a square of pancake.
“I don’t doubt that.” Stella said, speaking through a mouth full of food.
“These are amazing Stella, what can I do to thank you?” Scully asked, finishing her final pancake.
“I didn’t really make them, they were just store bought mix.” Stella was modest about her cooking, she barely ever got to show it to anyone though this time she’d truly done nothing except cook some batter in a frying pan.
“So? It’s the thought that counts…” Scully reached across the table and took Stella’s hand. “I really should pay you back.” Scully’s voice was teasing.
“What exactly do you have in mind?” Stella practically purred, her tongue ran over her lips, licking up the sticky residue of the maple syrup.
“I didn’t have the chance to make you come last night, I’d like to remedy that.” Scully chose her words carefully, attempting to make her voice more sensual, she failed and Stella smiled.
“Oh really?” Stella replied. She stood up and let her robe fall to the kitchen tile, her tits looking deliciously plump in the morning light. Scully approached her, sliding her arms around her bare waist. One hand slipping down to cup Stella’s ass through her panties. The kisses were sticky, sweet and desperate. They stumbled backwards through to the living room, Scully pushing Stella down onto the lounge sofa. Stella had to admit, she was a little surprised at the amount of control Scully had over her. She slid the panties off and Scully thrust a finger into Stella, who was already wet enough for it not to hurt. Scully kissed her mouth, and used her other hand to hold Stella down, their fingers interlaced in an intercourse of their own. Scully slid another finger into her. Stella’s quickening breath brushed Scully’s cheek, making strands of her hair go across her face.
“You feel so good, Stella, so good. You’re so wet for me.” Scully added a third finger, feeling Stella’s tightness around her, quickly pumping in and out of her, Stella’s hips moving in tandem. Stella moaned, her voice high, Scully hadn’t even thought Stella could produce a sound like that. Scully let go of Stella’s hand and repositioned herself so she was straddling Stella’s thigh, still thrusting into Stella but now she was rubbing against Stella, her own wetness spreading on Stella’s skin. She let her other hand move to her own pussy, circling her clit in combination with the steady rhythm of her grinding against Stella and her fingers that were inside her. She felt Stella tighten around her fingers, her mouth gaping wide open, another moan coming from her.
“Fuck, Dana, I’m gonna come.” Stella’s voice was airy and it made Scully even more attracted to her. Stella moaned under her hand, quicker and quicker until Scully felt Stella’s whole body tense under her and her own orgasm sneaking up on her. She watched as Stella’s breathing slowed, her hair surrounding her head like a peacock’s feathers. Scully planted a soft kiss on Stella’s mouth. The rest of that had been anything but soft. She sat back off Stella, onto a sofa cushion, pulling the robe she’d borrowed around her. Stella sat up slowly, her face still flushed.
“I didn’t know you had that in you.” Stella said, she didn’t mean it cruelly.
“I didn’t know either.” Scully combed a hand through her hair. “It’s just for you, Stel.” Stella blushed at the pet name but it was invisible in her already flushed complexion.
“I like it.” A devilish grin crossed Stella’s face. “And I’d like to see it again.”

Chapter Text

A few weeks after their first night together, Stella called her with a question.
“I was wondering, if you would want to come as my date to a work party?” Stella said on the phone, biting her lip as she anticipated Scully’s answer. She wasn’t normally the type to bring a plus one although she rarely had one anyway.
“Of course.” Scully replied, without a hint of hesitation. “When is it?”
“I should have given you more notice but it’s tomorrow night, if you can’t come it’s perfectly fine.”
“I can do that, I’m pretty sure, I’ll check though.” Scully said, balancing her phone between her ear and her shoulder, leafing through the plum coloured diary she kept on her desk to tomorrow’s date.
“I’m not busy, I can do that.” Scully said, double checking.
“Alright, I’ll pick you up at 5:30.”

Scully stabbed the back of her pearl earring through her ear lobe, flinching at the pain of reopening the piercing. She hadn’t really bothered wearing earrings for a while, not since she had left America, unless it was for a special occasion, so more often than not when she put her earrings in they broke the skin. As she was securing the back of her earring she heard the buzz of the intercom, she ran over to the door, finishing putting her earrings in and let Stella up. She could hear as her stiletto heels clicked up the stairs, the sound reverberating in the stairwell, the careful rhythm of a marching band. She quickly checked her hair was in place and heard Stella’s hard knock on the door.
“Just coming!” She called into the empty apartment. She opened the door to find Stella standing there, wearing a short, figure hugging, red dress. Completely bare legs, from the mouth of her heel to the hem of her dress that landed a few inches above her knee.
“You look good.” Scully said with a smile, revealing a fleck of lipstick clinging to her front tooth. Stella just leaned in and kissed Scully, the lipstick disappearing and transferring onto her lips.
“So do you.” Stella replied, brushing past Scully into the apartment.
“Thanks.” Scully had tried, she wore the newest dress she owned, which was probably about 3 years old and had on a dark, shimmery golden eyeshadow paired with a black eyeliner that she’d dared to give a wing to. She’d had to redo it a few times until she got it right then realised she had to do all her makeup again because grey smudges from the eyeliner hadn’t come off with the makeup remover.
“We need to get going, the cab’s waiting outside.” Scully nodded and followed Stella out of the door, carrying her indigo hand bag.

The pub was stuffy and loud, full of Stella’s overly drunk co-workers. Stella didn’t even know why she’d agreed to come, let alone bring Scully with her into this sorry affair. They sat at the bar, savouring glasses of liquor when a tall man approached them.
“Robertson?” Stella said, looking the man up and down, he had a slight sway to his step and his hair hung out of place, the gel letting go of a front piece and letting it fall to the ridge of his brow bone.
“Are you two… together?” He asked, leering at them and peering, incredibly unsubtly, down Stella’s cleavage. She crossed her arms over her chest, the opening of her dress covered.
“You’re drunk.” Stella replied, staring him down, the icy blue of her eyes making him avert his stare.
“Well are you two together?” He laughed at his own question.
“What if we were?” Stella retorted.
“Would you like a third person in your couple, maybe that would satisfy you?” He hiccupped. He attempted to lower his voice but managed one word before reverting to his drunken, obnoxious, volume.“I heard women aren’t very… Satisfying. I mean how could a woman come without a guy like me in her? What do you do anyway? Scissor? Like in the porn? Or do you have like sex toys so it’s like… She’s a man or...”
“Go fuck yourself.” Scully interjected, her voice clear and sharp as a razor blade.
“Oh wow, what’s wrong with her?” He laughed again. “She’s even more stuck up than you are!” A shot of adrenaline coursed through Stella, she stifled it, even her anger had to be calculated.
“No, she’s right.” Stella replied. A dumbfounded look crossed Robertson’s face. “Go fuck yourself.” He was now visibly confused, his eyebrows scrunched, wrinkles appearing on his forehead.
“Oh, well okay.” He said uncertainly and walked away, wobbling and looking as though he could fall down at anytime. Stella turned to Scully and placed her hand on her knee.
“You didn’t have to do that for me.” Stella was slightly irritated, she knew how to handle herself, but she was also strangely happy that Scully had jumped to defend her.
“He pissed me off.” Scully replied and joined Stella’s hand on her leg, feel her knuckles under her palm.
“Men think they are entitled to any woman they want.” Stella took her hand away from Scully’s and took a sip of her whiskey, swirling the ice cubes in the golden liquid, a little storm in the midst of her own personal storm. Scully watched her, Stella’s eyes set on the remainder of liquid in the intricately carved glass tumbler, an odd, almost fearful expression crossing her face. Scully leaned over to Stella, in an effort to make her be able to hear what she was saying over the loud music that someone had suddenly put on the jukebox.
“Do you want to leave?” Scully said, she could feel an aura around Stella, a certain sadness that she wasn’t sure of its source.
“Probably.” Stella replied, her unsureness surprising Scully.
“Let’s just go.” Stella set the tumbler of whiskey on the bar, a finger of the amber liquid still left, Scully grabbed her hand and led her out of the bar, into the night air, no one seemed to have noticed their departure. It was a stretch to call it night, at only 7:30pm the sky was still blue and clear, fluffy white clouds dapping the sky, almost cartoonish. Once outside they walked along the street, Scully having taken Stella’s hand. They stopped on the corner, under a streetlight, the shop they stood outside had shut down, the old rusted shutters adorned with graffitied words.
“What happened back there?” Scully asked, her voice softly careful.
“It was nothing, really, it’s alright.” Stella looked down at her feet, the triangles of her heels and the white sheen of the patent leather.
“Are you sure?” Scully took her hand, which had been scrunched into a ball, like waste paper and unfurled her fingers, opening one finger at a time.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Stella said, her decision made.
“Do you want to go home?”
“I think that would be the best thing.” Stella took her hand away from Scully’s, still looking at the ground. The silence that coursed in between them deafening.
“You know you can talk to me, Stella.” Scully propped Stella’s face up with her hand, the tips of her nails grazing against Stella’s pale skin. Scully’s eyes scanned Stella’s face, inquisitive. She watched as a single pearly tear rolled down Stella’s right cheek. She brought her hand from beneath her chin and brushed the tear away, a little of her makeup smearing away and revealing the freckles that dappled her skin beneath.

They sat on Stella’s sofa, still wearing the clothes they’d worn to the outing, Scully had stuffed some pyjamas in her handbag just in case she ended up staying at Stella’s. They didn’t speak, they just slowly drank wine, the burgundy coloured liquid warming them. Scully let her head rest on Stella’s shoulder, looking up at her profile.
“I still want to know what happened back there.”
“Why is it so important to you?” Stella said, it wasn’t a snap, just a tired irritation that rose from some running out source of energy.
“I want to be here for you, Stella, but you really do make it hard. I can admit that I haven’t known you for that long but there’s no ulterior motive here. I just want to help. To make you feel safe.”
“Fine.” Stella said, surrendering. “Just the way he, Robertson, treated us, what I said afterwards, it just reminded me of the Spector case. Of what he did to those women just because he thought he was entitled to them, their lives. The fact that he also felt the need to put my life on the line as well, not even because he felt entitled to it, just because he wanted to and because he could. All that man wanted was to hurt people.” Stella stared at the wall, not daring to make eye contact with Scully, the flat white plaster suddenly the most intriguing thing she’d ever seen. For a moment Scully didn’t say anything but she sat up and took Stella’s face in her hands, turning her towards her.
“You didn’t deserve that, whatever happened, neither did those women he killed, no one deserves that. No one deserves to die because someone feels entitled to their life. Or to dangle their life in front of them.” Stella slowly closed her eyes and nodded, a curl of blonde hair falling out of place.
“Do you want to know what he did to me?” Stella asked, her voice low, she ran her bare feet over the carpet in slow, unordered circles, an anxious tick.
“If you would let me.” Scully replied. All she wanted to know was how Stella felt and why she felt like that.
“He punched me, he threw me against a wall, he kicked me, in the ribs, in the stomach he left scars on my face and scars on my mind, the kind that even after years won’t heal. The pain I felt as I was trapped between a wall and him was unlike anything I’d experienced before and hopefully unlike anything I’ll ever experience again. It hurt so much and yet at the same time I was numb. Self loathing flooded me in the moments I thought that I was going to die, that it was my fault he’d killed those women, kidnapped one and stolen the life of a teenage girl. I knew it made no sense and yet in those moments it felt so clear, so true that I nearly wanted him to kill me then and there.” She’d said it all so matter of factly, so little emotion the kind of thing that happens when you’ve completely numbed yourself to a situation, like when you go to therapy and have to repeat the exact moment that fucked you up to a different person every time.
“You are so brave, Stella. So brave.” Scully looked at her face, silvery imperfections becoming visible on her skin, the scars of times past. She left a kiss on every mark, Stella’s eyes shut. She took her hands from her face and took Stella into a hug, her head resting on her shoulder, the smell of Stella filling her senses. Scully took a deep breath.
“Do you want to know what happened to my children?”

They lay in bed together, tears still falling, merging into their kisses sweet and savoury like salted caramel. Stella had shared her pain and in turn Scully had shared hers, one that she’d never had reason to repeat since all those far away years had passed. The pain had been dredged up like sand in the sea on a choppy day, waving and swirling around in a whirlpool of her and Stella. They kissed, on the neck on the lips, on the face until Scully slid the skirt of Stella’s night camisole up to her waist. She kissed the skin of her legs, the warm flesh sweaty against her mouth. She kissed Stella’s legs until she reached the inside of her thighs, only just seeing the criss crossed lines that marked the skin. She brushed the skin with her fingers, tracing the scars. Stella held her breath. Held her sob.
“I’m sorry.” Scully said, letting her breath tickle the raw skin.
“It’s okay.” Stella replied, feeling Scully’s hands pull down her panties, the material chafing against her skin. Her mouth opened as she felt Scully’s tongue on her folds, she let tears fall as Scully almost silently made love to her. Those were the correct words, made love to her. Stella had never felt someone’s touch as tender as Scully’s was now. Never felt so equal to someone. Their shared pain a chain that bound them.
“Please…” Stella let out, ever so quiet as her walls tightened around the warmth of Scully’s tongue. Wet hot tears rolled down her cheeks, leaving the pillows stippled with damp marks.

Dreams flared in Stella’s mind, an illegible mix of the events of that night and visions of Spector, leering over her, his hands wrapped around her neck until she lost consciousness, merging into a searing pain as she was kicked in the stomach, blood running down her brow into her eyes, blurring her vision. She awoke in a cold sweat, Scully’s sleeping form next to her, she wrote the snippets of dreams in her journal and lay back down, she sidled closer to Scully, when she felt a tiny patch of warm moisture on the bed, she touched it and brought her fingers to her nose. Metallic. Blood. It seemed to be hers. A searing, constrictive pain struck her abdomen. She’d missed her last two periods. She carefully got out of bed, her white camisole thankfully not feeling damp, her panties not as lucky. She went to the bathroom and looked in the cupboard for pads. She hadn’t any left. She sighed before pissing and ripping off a bunch of toilet paper, a makeshift pad until she could go to the shop in the morning. She went back to bed and lay next to Scully, unable to sleep for a long while, thinking about past hurt and missed opportunities. A realisation bloomed in her mind. That day had been her birthday.

 

“Are you okay?” Stella had seemed pensive all day, shut away behind some great castle’s wall that divided her from reality.
“Yes.” She replied, almost mechanically, she took a sip from her cup, the coffee that filled it now cold.
“Is this about what happened yesterday?” Scully felt bad, she hadn’t wanted to hurt Stella with the burden she carried and if she had she was mad at herself.
“No, no. Not at all.” Stella stared at the dregs of dark brown liquid in her cup, the colour of dried blood.
“Then what?” Scully was impatient.
“It was nothing. Really.” Stella looked at her, lines spread across her forehead as she frowned.
“I know you’re lying.” Scully replied, her words sharp.
“I realised something.”
“What did you realise?” She said emphasising each word.
“It was my birthday yesterday.” Stella looked down, licking her lips.
“Oh, Stella. You should have told me.” Scully looked at her, Stella’s eyes not making contact with her’s, a silent game of cat and mouse.
“I forgot.”
“I don’t think you wanted to tell me in the first place.” Scully tilted her head.
“How did you know?”
“It doesn’t matter. That’s your business what you want me to know and what you don’t.” Stella stayed quiet. “There’s something else too, I know that. It’s not just your birthday.” Stella practically deflated, she’d known she wouldn’t get away with it. She brought her hands to her face, rubbing her temples in circles, an attempt to comfort herself.
“I had a dream last night. About the things I told you about. With Paul Spector. It was the clearest dream I’d had about it for a long time. I shouldn’t have told you. It brought it all back up again.” Scully’s heart sank in her chest.
“I shouldn’t have asked. Stella, I’m so sorry.” Scully hugged Stella, leaning her head against her chest and listening to her steady, rhythmic heartbeat.
“It’s not your fault. I chose to tell you, to let those memories take hold of me.” She listened to Stella’s gentle voice as she spoke, the words heavy and deliberate. The kind of words she would use while informing a patient of their illness. She snuggled closer to Stella, wanting to stay in her warmth forever.
“Last night,” Stella said, “was one of the most raw nights of my life. It hurt so badly but now I feel different. It helped me let go a little, even though the memories came flooding back. It made me realise that even though I’ve known you for so little time we are a lot more similar than appears. When we had sex last night, I felt a bond that I’ve never felt before in that way. I felt equal. I felt loved. I felt so loved, Dana.” The words hung in the air, thick with pure feeling.
“Stella?” Scully said, the name feeling foreign in her mouth.
“Yes?” Stella’s voice wobbled, fear and anticipation lacing her thoughts.
“I think…” Scully swallowed back her boundaries. “I think I love you.” The words settled, covering them like the final snowflakes in a snowstorm, the first moment of calm in seemingly forever.
“Oh.” Stella questioned the words, a heat blossoming inside her, like a Crocus in the first days of Spring. Stella took a deep breath and looked at Scully, her face serious, the bright blue of her eyes piercing.
“I love you too.” Stella said, the words slipping out of her mouth, strangely unnatural for her to consciously let out. Stella kissed Scully, as their mouths moved her teeth caught on Scully’s bottom lip and the kiss deepened until Stella broke away.
“I need you.” Stella said, her forehead against Scully’s. “You help me feel sane again.”

Chapter Text

There were a lot of things Stella wondered about, as she did paperwork, as she drove to work or ordered a coffee. Dana Scully, as of late was the main thing occupying her thoughts. The way her hair fell as she laughed, how her blue eyes lit up when she smiled, the fact that she’d somehow fallen in love with this woman in barely any time at all. She hadn’t loved anyone like that before, some brief, unhealthy infatuations had clung to her in her youth but that hadn’t been love. The word, the concept, took control over her mind, thoughts at what it even truly was. It overwhelmed her, she had to admit. This sudden closeness, the ability to let someone else take control and leave her at ease. It was strange, she had to admit. She knew it was normal, but she’d never thought she’d trust anyone enough to be “normal” with them. She’d always known that she’d never be husband, 2.5 kids, dog, kind of person. When she was younger she’d never even thought she’d live past the age of 30. Mental illness was a strange thing and had clung to Stella even since she was a child, a constant barrage of “you’re not good enough”, “kill yourself”, “no one will ever love you” she’d learned over the years how to suppress the thoughts although sometimes they creeped back into her life before she had the chance to shut them out. Scully had helped remedy that, she was a comforting presence, checking to see if she was alright when she seemed aloof, taking her hand or holding her when she didn’t want to talk. They were perfectly comfortable together, never overstepping each other’s boundaries. Stella liked it. She liked to feel loved.

Chapter Text

Stella liked Scully’s flat, it wasn’t rented, she owned it but a lot of the time she didn’t stay there, busy with work, she didn’t need a big place. She’d made do with it in the years she’d lived in the UK, never even thinking about moving into a larger space, preferring her cosy home over the prospect of a new, more spacious place. It reminded her of the days of the old basement office she’d shared during her FBI days. Cramped, a bit too messy in her opinion but homely. She had a cold and so Stella had wanted to come and stay with her for a couple of nights, look after her and cook her dinner. It was nearing the end of Summer and the leaves had begun to change, bringing hues of yellows and oranges into the bright green world. Stella’s arm rested across Scully’s shoulders, tracing invisible patterns on her arm with her fingertips, her fingernails short enough that they didn’t snag at Scully’s skin. The 6 o’clock news played on the TV, the miserable events played out on screen, deaths, destruction and Brexit. She swore the world was descending into chaos. Scully sneezed, making Stella jump.

“Jesus Christ.” She muttered and turned to kiss Scully on the forehead, the heat of her temperature transferred to Stella’s lips. Scully smiled and sniffed. “I should probably get tea on.” Stella said, glancing at the time on her phone.

“Ok.” Scully replied, Stella got up and went through to the kitchen and began to prepare the ingredients for a Chinese chicken recipe, spices and protein for Scully’s cold. She grated fresh ginger into ribbons and chopped chillies into slices. She’d picked the spices up at a small grocery after work, she’d noticed that the content of Scully’s cupboards was rather impoverished, mainly filled with various out of date packages of many different things, the majority of them unopened. She’d replenished the cupboards and picked out things she actually thought Scully or even herself might use. She prepared the rest of the ingredients and threw them into a frying pan, sizzling in the oil she’d covered the pan with. She waited and added the chicken that she’d left to marinate earlier. She heard Scully’s footsteps in the hall before she came into the kitchen. She walked in and wrapped her arms around Stella’s waist, placing her head in the crook of her shoulder.

“You smell nice.” She said, taking a deep breath, little pieces of smells filtering through her stuffed nose.

“It’s not me, it’s the food.” Stella said, pushing the chicken around in the pan with a pair of wooden tongs.

“You still smell nice anyway.” She smiled into Stella’s shoulder, her cheek rubbing against the soft, midnight blue cashmere of Stella’s jumper.

“Put some music on?” Stella asked, as Scully moved her hair so it fell over her right shoulder and left a small kiss on the corner of her jaw.

“Alright.” Scully said and untangled herself from around Stella. She owned a record player that sat in her hall, mostly gathering dust, despite the fact that she had a rather extensive record collection that she’d collected through the years, even since she was a little girl. She slipped the ribbed black disc of her Tusk album out of the sleeve and placed it on the record player, she carefully put the needle down as the record began to spin and Over and Over’s opening chords started to play out into the flat. Scully walked into the kitchen and wrapped her arms back around Stella’s waist, her fingers brushed the circular indentation of the button on Stella’s jeans, she began to sway to the music.

 

Could you ever need me

And would you know how

Don't waste our time

Tell me now

 

Scully nuzzled Stella’s neck, kissing and tasting her skin, Stella smiled, a long, lazy smile.

 

All you have to do

Is speak out my name,

And I would come running, anyway

 

Stella turned around and took Scully’s hand in hers, placing the other hand on her hip, they began to sway together. Their foreheads almost touching. Their lips brushed each other, catching and inviting a single kiss. It was perfect, the food sizzling on the hob, the gentle crackle of the record and the comfort they had in each other’s arms.

 

And I said

Could it be me, could it really really be?

Over and over

 

They swayed, turning in a slow circle. Tears pooled in the corner of Stella’s eyes, she closed them, letting the tears slip from beneath them, rolling down her cheeks. Single drops of love seeping from within and joining the atmosphere that hung around them.

 

Don't turn me away

And don't let me down

What can I do

To keep you around

 

The silky tones of Christine Mcvie and Stevie Nicks surrounded them, soothing in the same way a lullaby sung to a baby would be. They slow danced, wordless, until the song began to fade out.

“I love you.” Stella said, her head buried in Scully’s hair, pulling her closer than she thought was possible. Scully let her head rest on her shoulder again, listening to her soft breaths. Stella’s arms held her firmly, her hands slowly stroking her back through the thin material of her t-shirt, warmth spreading inside her at every brush of Stella’s hand, she clung to Stella, her hands tangling in the ends of Stella’s hair.

“I love you too.” They stayed in the same way until the next song began to play, breaking apart as Stella realised the chicken was about to burn.

 

Scully awoke in the middle of the night, unable to fall back asleep. Her throat was scratchy and irritated and her nose was blocked. She lay next to Stella, trying not to cough, looking up at the ceiling in the dark. She’d finally begun to adjust to being in a relationship again. Her relationship with Mulder hadn’t exactly been normal. Years of working together made it strange to try and act like everyone else so they just went along with it. Dating at work but no one else ever really noticing nor caring that much. It was just a continuation of her life but with the love between them. Before that she’d had a couple of boyfriends, the affair with her teacher at the academy and another couple of one night stands during her school years and the night with Ed Jerse, where she was nearly murdered. Stella was different though. Even different to the boyfriends she’d had. Maybe it was because she was a woman, or maybe the way she acted or even the age they were at. It just felt distinctly different to her past. Stella didn’t want more from Scully than she was willing to give. She was happy with whatever Scully wanted to let her know. She never pushed her to do anything. Scully was happy. Genuinely happy in some way or another. It wasn’t just the constant craving for something bigger that Mulder had surrounded her with or the harassment for sex that the other men wanted. Stella was so… Kind with her. She welcomed it readily, despite Stella’s cool exterior she wasn’t truly like that. It was a shield she kept up. Even on the first night they met Stella had let it down, perhaps because they’d been placed in immediate closeness, Stella comforting her nerves. Scully would never forget that night.

 

Chapter Text

The next morning Scully woke up and felt as though she’d been hit by a truck. A pounding pain infiltrated her head, her face was all bunged up and when she tried to speak it came out as a huskier than normal croak. A little light from the Autumn dawn filtered underneath Stella’s curtains into the room. She sneezed suddenly and then a cough crept up on her and she couldn’t stop it, spluttering as she attempted to. She cringed as she watched Stella awaken next to her, moving her hand, sleepily looking for her phone to switch off her alarm. But there was no alarm because what had awoken her was Scully. It was 5:30am. Half an hour before either of them were due to wake up. Stella sat up and yawned, looking at Scully, her hair tousled around her shoulders.

“You don’t look… Good.” Stella said, rather matter of factly.

“Thanks for the consideration.” Scully said, her throat sore as she spoke, it felt almost as though someone had dragged their fingernails down the ridges of her trachea and larynx.

“You aren’t going to work today.” Stella said, her fingers tugging at her tangled hair. Scully furrowed her eyebrows, about to protest. “I’ll call you in sick. Give me your phone.” Stella held out her hand and Scully unplugged and placed her phone in it, their fingers brushed. Stella got up and left the room, Scully listened to Stella’s voice muffled on the phone in the hallway, an occasional word becoming clear. “Yes.” “She’s ill.” “No… No.” Scully sighed and dropped herself onto the mattress, sleep becoming the most appealing thing as it began to wrap its arms around her, pulling her from the waking world.

 

She awoke three hours later, turning over, expecting to find an empty space but yet Stella’s sleeping figure lay there. A shot of panic overtook her. She placed a hand on Stella’s shoulder to, saying her name until she woke up. Her eyes opened and she brought a hand to her face and rubbed them, grey circles lingered around them.

“What is it Dana?” She said, with a yawn.

“You’re gonna be late for work!” She said, almost a yell. Stella sat up.

“Darling, no, don’t be silly, I called myself off work as well. I wouldn’t leave you ill like this, alone.” Scully began to relax, grateful for Stella staying home to look after her. She didn’t know if she’d do the same for Stella.

“Oh, ok.” She replied. Stella kissed her on the forehead.

“Come on, I’ll make you a cup of tea.”

 

Stella squirted a large dollop of honey in the lemon and ginger tea that she’d found at the back of Scully’s cupboard. She mixed it and placed it in front of Scully, sitting down opposite her. She’d decided to bring some plain clothes, instead of the normal work attire she always seemed to don. A navy blue T-shirt and a pair of almost black jogging bottoms. She didn’t wear a bra and Scully could see the peaks of her nipples poking through the shirt. Her hair was in a simple ponytail. Scully found it strange to see her so normal. So like every other person. Removed from the godly status she carried with her. The flawlessness stripped down to simple flawed humanity. To tell the truth Scully just wanted to lie in bed with her forever, not having sex, not even talking. It was odd to admit but Stella looked even more gorgeous like this. Her cheekbones more prominent, the blue of her eyes popping against her un-made up face and the single strands of hair that had slipped from her hair bobble and lay around her face. Stella watched her as she drank the tea, Stella herself slowly drinking a cup of instant coffee. She preferred stove top coffee, something she’d picked up after a visit to Italy but she didn’t mind instant. Scully looked a miserable state. The bags under her eyes exaggerated and her nose pink and sore from blowing and wiping it. Stella knew that she would probably get sick off Scully but she didn’t really care that much. She could work from home if she really had to and get some paperwork done. She looked at Scully, all she wanted to do was wrap her up in a blanket, even though she knew Scully would probably roll her eyes at the thought. After Scully had finished her tea they migrated to the living room, making a sort of a camp on the sofa. Scully was wrapped up in a fluffy grey blanket, her head poking out. Stella smiled as she deposited another blanket, dropping it on top of Scully she smiled. It was large and black and cosy and she pulled it around both of them, a warm, fluffy cocoon. Stella picked out a film, Scully not caring enough to choose, she just wanted to be comfortable, really. Stella had chosen “Sliding Doors” which was a strangely romantic pick for her, though she had to admit she did like one or two romance films. As they watched it, Scully moved to lie across Stella’s lap, over the blanket that covered her legs, she began to fall asleep around halfway through as Stella stroked her hair, her hands tender and slow. The film played as white noise in the background as Stella watched Scully slowly drift to sleep. She snored, her blocked nose obstructing her breathing. She took her hand from Scully’s hair and leant down to kiss her on the cheek.

“I love you so much.” She whispered, into Scully’s ear, her breath making her hair scatter. Stella noticed as the ghost of a smile drifted over Scully’s face as she shifted in her sleep.

 

The next morning they were both ill. Too ill to even entertain the thought of going to work. They lay in bed together, limbs entangled, murmurs of lost conversations crossing their lips. Stella hadn’t brought enough clothes for the three days she’d spent away from home but also didn’t have the energy to go home and pick up more. A load of washing spun in the kitchen, making the countertops vibrate. Stella groaned as she shifted in bed, the cold seemed worse than normal, deeper somehow. Her muscles ached and dreamed to swim, to let the warm, crystal water rush over her as she combed flawlessly through it. A bath would do.

“Stel… Where are you going?” Scully muttered as Stella sluggishly rose from the bed, shivering as the duvet fell from around her shoulders.

“I need to take a bath.” She said, her voice raspy. She placed a hand in the crook of her neck and cracked it. She leaned over Scully and gave her a peck on the lips before she fully, if reluctantly, came away from the bed.

 

Stella had filled the tub, the almost too hot water steaming and the “Muscle Therapy Bath Soak” she’d found in Scully’s bathroom cabinet making mounds of white bubbles. She took off her clothes, leaving them, unfolded, on the greying bath mat. She dipped a foot in, testing the heat of the bath before submerging herself. The hot water bringing a satisfyingly burning pain before dissolving into a relaxing heat. She lay in the bath, her hair becoming frizzy from the humidity before she heard the door creak open. Scully stood in the doorway.

“Can I come in?” She asked, her last word being obscured with a cough.

“Of course.” Stella replied, shifting to make a little more space, the water splashed around her. Scully undressed and got in the bath, slipping in between Stella’s thighs, touching the slick, off white sides of the bath as she lowered herself in. Leaning back against Stella and feeling the imprints of her nipples against her shoulder blades. Stella welcomed the soft weight of Scully’s naked body against hers. She wound her arms around her waist, letting them rest just above her pubic bone. She kissed the spot on Scully’s neck that had become only hers. The taste of salty sweat rested on her tongue. She washed Scully’s hair, relishing the feeling of the wet hair and shampoo as she kneaded her scalp. When she was little her father had bathed her and she had sculpted her soapy hair into structures that spiked up. She’d giggle as her father washed them out, a smile on his round face. She poured water over Scully’s head, from a plastic bottle, the water trickling down her face, she scrunched her eyes shut. Scully did the same for Stella in return, not asking as what appeared to be a tear ran down her cheek, pretending it was just a droplet of water. They resumed their previous position, Scully leaning against her, an awkwardly cramped yet comfortable embrace.

“How are you, Dana?” Stella asked, her voice quietly serene.

“A bit sick, but other than that I’m alright.” Stella chuckled.

“Really though, how are you?”

“I’m fine, Stel. I feel fine, here with you. There’s truly nothing I would change.”

“Not even being ill?” Stella replied, Scully’s sentiment tickling her. A blush spread on her already flushed face. 

“Well, that I maybe would.” Stella left another kiss on Scully’s neck. She noticed Scully’s hand change position, snaking in between her thighs. Scully relaxed further into Stella, the feeling of her fingertips lightly circling her clit, blissful. Stella joined her hand, her fingers teasing Scully’s entrance under the water. Scully arched her hips, giving Stella full access, delighting at the sensation as one finger slipped inside and then another. She continued to tease her clit as Stella touched her, trailed kisses on all the skin she could reach.

“Oh god, keep doing that.” Scully moaned, quickening her pace as Stella did. She chanted “oh god”s and “oh fuck”s as though she was saying Grace as both herself and Stella touched her in tandem. She came with a long drawn out moan and so did Stella, their orgasms uncurling like flowers. Scully hadn’t noticed the hand between her back and Stella’s pussy, she was too entranced in her own pleasure. They lay in the bath, the heavenly post orgasmic feeling a bath bomb in the now lukewarm water.