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Straight Out Of The 3-Pack

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The early spring frost fractaled like iced molecular models across the bedroom skylight directly above her as Dana Scully awoke with the overwhelming urge to vomit.

She threw the covers back and raced around the bottom of the bed towards the master bathroom, slamming the side of her fist into the lightswitch as she passed. She barely made it to the toilet in time to decorate it with the remnants of last night’s lentil and yam casserole.

Eleven weeks to the day, she noted. A little later than most. Just like last time.

She heaved once more then stepped up shakily onto bare feet, supporting her weight with one hand against the wall above the cistern as she closed the lid and flushed away the brown and orange sludge from the bowl.

She kept her head low, tucking her hair behind her ears as she gingerly stepped sideways to the sink to rinse her mouth and wash her hands. Another wave of nausea hit and she leaned over the drain, her forearms pressed against the cold, unforgiving ceramic.

Her whole body shivered from the inside out.

The feeling passed, mercifully, and after a minute or two she straightened herself up, glancing at her reflection in the mirrored cabinet above the sink.

Her fairly recently bobbed and re-dyed hair hung just past her jaw, still holding its shape from being blow dried and straightened the night before. A few strands disobediently swept the wrong way over her side parting or stuck to her now slightly sweaty forehead, but it was nothing a quick brush wouldn’t sort out. She rubbed sleep from her eyes and quietly padded back to the bedroom in search of some socks to warm her freezing toes.

As she softly opened the top drawer of the dresser, Scully looked over at the still-sleeping form of Fox Mulder, his semi-naked, semi-exposed body entwined in his half of the bedsheets. He was turned to one side, and as the light from the bathroom fell across his back she took a moment to appreciate his muscles, still sleek and defined even in his mid-fifties. Her gaze lingered on the line of his left gluteus medius as it swept beneath the waistband of yesterday’s boxer briefs. His abs expanded and contracted with the rhythm of his deep breathing. She was thankful that her first bout of morning sickness had not woken him. Sleep had not traditionally come easily to Fox Mulder.

She raised a hand beneath her lavender satin pajama shirt, pressing it lightly against her stomach as she smiled faintly down at him.

The time on the bedside clock read 5:21.

Following the physical force of her rude awakening, Scully knew she would not get back to sleep, so she turned out the bathroom light and crept out of the bedroom and down the darkened hall to the stairs, pulling on her deep-red robe as she went. Making her way to the kitchen, her mouth watered thinking about her daily morning coffee. She’d switched to decaf a few weeks earlier, after confirming her suspicions with an EPT - disbelieving, utterly perplexed and vowing to get further tests done at her OB/GYN as soon as possible even as she wept, alone, with bewildered joy. However, the taste of it was still something she could enjoy even without the jolt of caffeine that would have been extra useful on this cold, Virginia morning when her pregnancy had finally decided to make itself vehemently known.

She opened the fridge to retrieve the coffee grounds and 1%, swinging the door open and flooding the room with the soft blue light.

Oh god. Mistake. Huge.

The smell of poorly wrapped ham and cheese slices invaded Scully’s mouth and nostrils and her stomach lurched violently. She shoved the lumbering silver door closed as she spun towards the kitchen sink, pulling the inside of her elbow across her face and just as quickly removing it as she retched once more. The tiny amount of bile and liquid that was left in her stomach splashed over Mulder’s water glass from the night before, sitting alone in the bottom of the deep recess instead of in the dishwasher, where Scully was always asking him to put it.

She waited until she could breathe deep and slow without gagging, then rinsed the sink and the glass, thinking better of opening the dishwasher lest more aromas launch an olfactory attack, and filled herself a fresh glass from the tap.

She took a rain check on breakfast for the time being.

They weren’t due to leave the house for their basement office at the J.Edgar Hoover building for another two and a half hours. Kersh had shut down The X-Files a couple of weeks back, but there were loose ends to tie up while they were awaiting reassignment. Scully didn’t want to wake Mulder by getting dressed just yet, so she wandered off in search of some quiet task with which to occupy her unexpected free time.

Eager to avoid a predictably odious TV newscycle and having finished her latest subscription copy of the New England Medical Journal two days prior, Scully bypassed the couch in the open plan living room and peeked into Mulder’s home office, gently pushing the door open from its slightly ajar position to survey the detritus inside.

Stacks of papers and articles littered the desk, spilling over into several piles on the floor. She knew better than to mistake the chaos for a lack of organization; Mulder would know exactly what was in each precarious mountain, buried at which level.

Photographs, notes, and newspaper clippings were tacked to the walls, framing the latest copy of the preposterous poster he always made sure he owned.

The image was the first thing she remembered seeing in his office the day she’d met him; she, a prickly, wide-eyed 28 year old armed to the teeth with received wisdom and strict parameters and he, already world-weary and battle-scarred at 29, exhibiting an intriguing mixture of sincerity, resolve and resentments. The eerily backlit, out of focus green treeline met the overcast gray sky in which flew a UFO that bore the tell-tale signs of a hasty composite. The bold, white, all-capitals font suggested a lack of imagination in the creator of the artwork: no doubt some hack churning out cheap designs to appeal to dorm students wanting to decorate their first-ever truly personal space, desperate to splash developing personalities and nascent philosophies on their walls for all to see.

Pobody’s Nerfect. Hang in There, Baby. I Want To Believe.

Even 18 year old Dana Scully would have found the poster tacky and awful, her taste refined by her mother and maternal grandmother’s love of order, old-world charm, and flowers. But the vulgar sheet of 14” by 22” had come to symbolize Mulder for Scully now. It was her head shop synecdoche for him and his passion and his grit, and when she’d gone through times without the ugly thing in her life, she’d never felt quite complete. She’d even bought a copy for the office herself at one time. God damn it if she didn’t love that poster in spite of everything: despite herself, despite itself. Yes, the poster would always stay.

She took one more glance at the dust clinging to the cluttered surfaces and sighed, resisting the urge to step inside, damp wipe the desk and straighten up the entire room. This was their unspoken agreement: she kept the remainder of the house neat and clean, and he could wreak whatever havoc he liked in this space. She would never change this part of him.

Pulling the door almost closed, Scully pursed her lips and pondered. There was another space she could tackle, one she’d been meaning to attack for years now but could never quite seem to get around to.

The second bedroom.

The room that would have been William’s, if things had been different.

Jackson’s.

Their way-faring, absent son. Scully had personally known him to rise from the dead once already - not unlike his father.

His father?

She didn’t believe for one second that the boy was currently floating lifeless in the waters off the Norfolk coast.

The painfully, dreadfully vacant space - although neither of them had yet mentioned it aloud - would inevitably belong to this quietly growing miracle: their second child. If they were all lucky enough for it to really arrive.

Rolling her shoulders to dispel the accumulating tension, Scully climbed the stairs. It was no big deal.

Just a room.

A room they almost never went inside. A closed door nobody could bear to open unless they absolutely had to.

A practically empty space.

And she had faced far worse than this emptiness during her life, she lied to herself as her fingers grasped the doorknob.

Inside, with lights on, it was bigger than she remembered. Bare floorboards bore the signs of neglect: dust bunnies and a rotting plank that she’d need to get Mulder to repair before the new baby was born. Or, more likely, pull up and replace herself in a fit of practicality and determination. Sun-faded, mold-speckled blinds hung from a rusted rail, one or two missing like first grade front teeth, and another fallen loose from the top, forsaken, trailing down to the floor.

An imposing, freestanding bookshelf along one wall was stuffed with little-used festive decorations her mother had bestowed on her piecemeal over the years. Tinsel and turkeys, bunnies and baubles; the trifling, true Scully-family heirlooms. Glittered and glued fragments of her pre-adolescence laid to rest.

They sat beside her old medical reference books and several cardboard file boxes bursting at the corners and sharpie-labelled with things like: Dana. Undergraduate notes and D. Scully. 2nd year Med School in her own precise, loopy handwriting. The scaffolding from which she had built her young adulthood, abandoned; along with the rest of the contents of the room, reduced to trash.

To the right was an old sideboard she remembered from Mulder’s apartment, back in his fish-keeping and couch-sleeping days.

She tugged open a drawer and surveyed the contents. A few Christmas, birthday and Hanukkah cards, signed to Mulder using his first name from his mother and what Scully assumed were other relatives or family friends. Christopher. Ruth and Peter. Someone who’d written ‘Uncle Tobias’ in quote marks. A well-thumbed academic diary from 1983-4 stamped with the words University of Oxford in grand metallic type. She didn’t open it.

Beneath the drawer, a cupboard door poked open slightly, the contents too large to allow it to close fully. Scully pushed the drawer shut, the time-expanded wood resisting her efforts as it lurched back into place. The hinges creaked as she pulled the cupboard door open instead, and a plume of invisible dust tickled her nose, making her sneeze lightly. She pinched her nostrils and kneeled to investigate the contents hiding in the dark.

The bulky item blocking the door was a board game in near-pristine packaging. She slid out the box to examine it.

Stratego.

She recognised the early 1970s Milton Bradley branding from her own childhood; the shiny, happy, whiter-than-white father and son engaged in a gleeful game of wits on the front. It looked hardly touched. Prising open the box, the contents bore the same signs of lack of use. Only a few light scratches; no fading. The pieces were tucked neatly into their primary-coloured grids, the gold and silver embossed symbols all present and correct. The interior illustration featured the whole smiling family: mother, father, older son, younger daughter. No darkness here.

Scully closed the box and placed it on the ground beside her.

She was just reaching back into the cupboard to pull out the next specimen when a rustling at the open door caused her to look up. A sleepy-looking Mulder shuffled into view, leaning on the doorframe in his underwear. He scratched his head, ruffling his unkempt hair as he peered down at her.

“Hey,” he said by way of greeting. “Whatcha doing?”

“Couldn’t sleep,” she responded. “I’m organizing.”

He considered her, kneeling in her sleepwear on the grimy floor of this deserted room he so frequently thought about, yet so infrequently entered. “In here?” he asked gently.

“We might need it, for the nursery.” She looked away, distracting herself with the contents of the cupboard. She pulled out a well-worn copy of Hanky Panky and laid it next to the board game, silently throwing Mulder a sideways glance.

“Are you okay?” he asked, ignoring both the magazine and the look. “There are lentils floating in the toilet. Did you hurl?”

Scully sighed. She wouldn’t have mentioned it if she could have gotten away with it. “I’m fine, Mulder. My levels of human chorionic gonadotropin are increased due to the pregnancy. I’ll probably be nauseated off and on for a few weeks and then hopefully a little way into the second trimester things will even out.” She nodded at him matter of factly, busying herself pushing back the cupboard door which had started to swing closed.

“Thank you for that assessment of the patient, Doctor Scully,” he said in a weary monotone. “I know why you threw up. I know it will ease off eventually and that you’ll probably survive it.” He dragged out the word probably, teasing her. He stepped into the room and crouched down onto his haunches at her side, placing a hand on her shoulder and seeking out her gaze. “But I’m asking how you’re feeling now. How is Dana doing?”

She looked into his hazel eyes and briefly abandoned her well-built defenses.

“I’m okay right now. I’ll be okay so long as I don’t smell any food whatsoever for maybe six weeks or so.”

“Which will be hard if you want to, I don’t know, eat any food for the next six weeks or so.”

“Yes.” She nodded regretfully, tilting her head to one side. “Or actually even think about food. There are probably going to be a lot of floating lentils.”

He grimaced. He hated to see her suffer.

“Is that what it was like?” he asked, quietly. “Before?”

He hated what he’d missed.

She nodded again, walls reassembling, looking away. She ducked her head down, peering into the gloom and pulling a shoebox onto her lap. A slender oyster-hued hair ribbon floated to the ground. Mulder stood up, his knees audibly creaking as he did. “Oh here,” he said, “I can go through that.” But she’d already lifted the lid.

Inside the small container she first saw two deflated balloons, withered and wrinkled. One pink, one blue. Pretty white stars shrunken and warped, twinkling no more. They were nestled beneath a shampoo bottle. She knew by sight the periwinkle and indigo branding, the heavy bangs and backcombed coiffure of the woman on the front, because she’d used the brand herself for years. She looked up at Mulder quizzically. It was his turn to look away, appraising the floor beside them as he raised a hand awkwardly to his forehead.

“It’s just stuff,” he said dismissively.

She tugged at a roll of green synthetic knit in one corner of the box and unfurled an old sweater of her own she recognized from years ago. “Mulder, this is…”

“Yes,” he interrupted her. “It’s yours.”

“I didn’t put this in here,” she pointed out. “This is your stuff.”

He nodded, eyebrows raised.

She looked at the contents again, and saw a miniature pair of socks. Pastel blue. Impossibly soft. Neatly paired. These had been meant for a newborn William. They looked freshly pressed: store-bought and never worn. She ran her fingers lightly over them but didn’t pick them up.

Oh. This wasn’t trash.

These were Mulder’s treasures.

Next to the socks, she spotted some graying fabric. It had fallen from within the rolled-up sweater. “Um...” she picked up the item, holding it up between two fingers like it might be contaminated, slowly turning her head towards Mulder, her brow set in a worried furrow.

Dangling from her hand was an ancient pair of panties: elastic disintegrating, cotton frayed, and a small, muted rust-brown stain at the crotch swinging into view as they twirled around.

“Give me those,” Mulder tutted, roughly snatching them from her grasp and crumpling them in his huge hand.

“Mulder,” Scully asked carefully, half amused, half worried. “Why do you have a pair of my old period panties stashed away in a shoebox?”

Mulder closed his eyes and shook his head, mortified. “It’s not what it looks like.”

“What does it look like, Mulder?” Scully asked, curious and enjoying this now. “Is this some kink of yours I’m only now finding out about? Because if you like that kind of thing I can assure you I’ve ruined far nicer panties than those. Beautiful silk, satin and lace, just... destroyed by unpredictable timing.” She was openly flirting now. Over stubbornly set menstrual blood. “I’m sure I can dig you out a more… pleasing specimen.”

“Oh my god Scully it's not about the stain. It’s…”

She waited expectantly.

“Yes?” she prompted, exaggerating the word with an upward swoop of pitch, her sibilant s echoing off the bare walls.

“All of this stuff in here is my memory stuff.” Mulder admitted, reaching out to touch the timeworn timber with the fingers of one hand. Scully looked over his bare legs and torso, seeing the vulnerability beneath all that brawn and five o'clock shadow.

“I packed that shoebox at your apartment the morning I had to leave, right after William was born.”

He said it so softly, so sadly, that Scully felt her heart break just a little all over again.

“I had so little time,” he continued haltingly. “I had all my own belongings packed up in suitcases but I wanted some things of yours and William’s - tangible things I could hold in my hands to remind me what it was all for. I grabbed a few things I could see. Your sweater was over the back of the couch and when I took it I remembered I’d seen those panties buried way at the back of the underwear drawer when I was getting out all my own stuff to take. I knew you wouldn’t miss them.”

Scully was looking down at the box in her lap, not entirely paying attention to the tail end of his explanation. She ran her hands over the contents once more.

“I remember this sweater.” She said, filled with nostalgia as she held it up to her bosom, clutching it like a long-lost friend. “This is the one I wore to your apartment the first time we-” she looked up to see Mulder nodding along in agreement. “The first time I stayed over.” she self-censored needlessly.

“Not the first time you stayed over by a long shot,” Mulder corrected her.

“Well, you know what I mean.”

She picked up a balloon. Looked up.

“The ones your Mom sent over when you brought William home from the hospital.”

Scully smiled at him kindly. She didn’t need to ask about the socks.

About the panties, however, she had questions.

She tilted her head to one side and dropped her eyeline to his hand, still clasped around his strange trophy. He huffed a little, not really wanting to explain. Still she waited.

Fine.

“They’re from Bellefleur. The first time. At least, I think they’re the same ones.”

“Bellefleur, Oregon?”

Scully searched her mind. An image of her own exposed skin flashed through her vision and she gasped. Then tutted.

“Mulder, you perv.”

“No,” he urged her. “I knew you’d think that. That’s completely not it. These are…”

She allowed his hesitation. Gave him the time and space to find the right words. This was bound to be interesting.

“I took these with me that day because…” He rubbed the gray-flecked bristles at his jawline. “Because I didn’t know if I would see you again and I always wanted to remember the first moment I knew that I could trust you.”

Scully opened her mouth to respond, but nothing came out. They locked eyes.

“Without reservation. You lay yourself bare in front of me in more ways than one and I realized. Truly, fully, absolutely no doubt in my mind; that was the exact second I knew.”

“Oh Mulder,” Scully breathed. She raised herself from her knees and moved towards him, closing the gap between their bodies, never breaking eye contact. She put out her hand, taking the soft, well-worn underwear from his palm and dropping it into the pocket of her robe so that they each had both hands free. She traced his face on both sides, trailing her fingertips from his temple to his chin in tandem. He placed his warm hands on her waist, where they always made her feel so safe, so secure. She lay each of her palms flat on his cheeks and pulled his lips down towards her own.

His mouth was warm and welcoming, his lips parting to join their breath as their tongues firmly swirled against one another. He pulled her towards him, pressing her abdomen to his body assuredly as he slid one hand to her lower back, then down to the curve of her ass below.

“S’funny,” Scully murmured into the stubble scratching her upper lip. “Because that was also the exact moment I knew for sure I wanted to jump your bones.” She raised a flirtatious eyebrow at him, gave him one last lingering press of her lips, and walked out of the room.

Chapter Text

“No, no, no, you’re going to have to elaborate,” Mulder begged as Scully playfully sauntered off down the hallway. He followed her into the bedroom with his puppy dog eyes turned up to eleven, but she was deliberately not looking at him. Jesus, she could be such a cocktease sometimes. She checked the time as she disappeared into the bathroom. 

“Maybe later,” she tossed over her shoulder, infuriatingly. “I need to freshen up. And you need to make me something stultifyingly plain for breakfast.” 

“Taking suggestions,” he grumbled into the closet as he surveyed his collection of clean, dark suits. He pulled out a navy set he hadn’t worn in a few weeks. Selected a tie he didn’t think Scully hated. 

“Dry toast, maybe?” she called out. “Better make the coffee black. And Mulder?” She appeared in the doorway, her hair pulled away from her face with the white terry cotton headband she’d been using for as long as he could remember. “I want you to know I spent months searching for that sweater. Months.” She exaggerated the final word, wrapping her mouth purposefully around each vowel and syllable. “I thought my cleaning lady stole it.” 

She issued a fierce glare. Her single raised eyebrow told him she was not really so mad at him. Mostly. He pursed his lips, remorseless.

“And I’m going to need you to hermetically seal everything in that refrigerator if I’m going to go anywhere near it for a while,” she added.

He pulled his boxers off and threw them in the direction of the laundry basket, where they almost made it in, landing on the rim. “Check, check - sorry -” (he was not) “and check,” he replied, turning to face her, full frontal. Her eyes jumped from the results of his poor shot to his groin, and he saw the interest there as she reluctantly dragged them back to his face, pretending to be unmoved. 

“Time’s a ticking, Mulder,” she instructed him like a mildly distracted schoolmarm as she retreated into the bathroom once more.   

 

***

 

It was Scully’s turn to drive them into work, but even she had to admit she felt a little drained after her internal early morning wake up call, so when Mulder offered to take the wheel she didn’t fight him too hard. 

She rested her head against the window and the hour’s journey passed in a blur. It was interrupted only by the occasional stop light, when the change in the car’s rhythm would jolt her out of her snoozing state. Each time, she pretended to be wide awake and began to engage in mildly nonsensical small talk, as though her mouth hadn’t been lazily drooping open for the previous several minutes.

Mulder was a gentleman and accepted all of this in agreeable silence.

The morning passed without event. Scully chased lab results and caught up on what journal reading she could reasonably classify as work-related, and Mulder combed through some particularly obnoxious corridors of Twitter and Instagram in search of any newly posted fan sightings of ‘The Pick Up Artist’ Peter Wong that might look out of place. Whenever Scully passed behind him for any reason, he clicked over to his FBI email. 

Nothing important happened.

Around noon, Mulder leaned back in his chair and crossed his ankles on the edge of the desk. He interlaced his fingers behind his head and stretched his spine out, settling his gaze on Scully, who was seated across from him.

“Hungry?” he probed.

Scully sighed and set down her tablet, on which she’d been pretending to read an article from the Journal of Investigative Medicine for the past fifteen minutes.

“Starved.”

“Shall we?” He stood up and retrieved his suit jacket from the back of the chair, swinging it over one shoulder with an index finger hooked into the back of the collar.

She didn’t move. 

“I have to say I’m a little terrified of food right now, Mulder. I don’t know what’s going to set me off.” 

The not-usually-offensive smell of the bathroom down the hall had triggered her gag reflex soon after they’d arrived, so that she’d had to cup her hands over her nose and mouth and try not to breathe as she emptied her bladder aggressively fast. She had avoided drinking anything since, figuring she’d hydrate as much as possible once they returned home. 

“Oh yeah,” he remembered. “Not the cafeteria then.”

She called to mind the stewed meat and soggy cabbage smell that frequently wafted down the eighth-floor corridor and out onto the roof garden. She clenched her teeth, trying to think of something - anything - else before she had to make use of the trashcan under the desk. State capitals, listed alphabetically. Presidential birth and death dates. Trigonometric ratios. 

“Most definitely not the cafeteria.”

“Come with me,” he bade her. “I have an idea.”

Mulder drove the Explorer a little way towards the Capitol Building before heading north off the main drag, and they soon pulled up alongside the curb opposite a Whole Foods Market. He had Scully stay in the car while he went inside. She surveyed the tree-lined street, her absentminded gaze drawn to the fire-truck-red gothic-arched doorway and painted front steps of an Episcopal church a little further down from where she waited. The temperature dropped and she clambered over and turned on the engine to drum up some heat. Mulder returned with two large plastic containers crammed with salad leaves and toppings. He showed her the contents through the driver’s window. 

“No chicken,” she shook her head and scrunched her nose apologetically. He opened one box and then the other, cramming the white meat from each into his mouth, chewing and swallowing it while standing in the biting cold air, squinting into the D.C. sunshine that was peeking through a break in the cloud cover. He placed the containers on the roof above Scully’s door and rinsed his mouth out with a can of diet soda he produced from the pocket of his overcoat, so that she wouldn’t smell the meat on his breath.  

They sat in the car on 6th Street and ate their un-dressed greens and raw vegetables without incident.

Heading back towards the National Mall, Scully could see Mulder glancing at her in her peripheral vision more often than she approved of, given that he was at the wheel once more.

She sighed. “What, Mulder?” 

He looked mildly affronted. Answered her in a gently mocking tone: “What, Scully?”

“You keep looking at me.”

“I’m not allowed to look at you now?” He barely suppressed a grin. She rolled her eyes, enacting the Platonic ideal of Dana Scully before his very eyes.

He was silent for a moment as he flipped on the blinker, checked both ways, made a left turn. Cruising along now, he tapped his palms on the steering wheel, adding percussion to the song quietly playing on the radio. Scully reached over and turned it off. She leaned her elbow on the passenger door, rested her head on her hand, and tilted her head towards him, impatiently waiting, brows to the heavens.

“So, about Bellefleur-” Mulder began with a grin.

Scully couldn’t help but smile, but tried to hide it by placing her reddening face behind her palm, her forefinger coming to rest on her lips as she looked ahead at the flowing traffic.

Mulder continued. “I guess I’d like to hear more about that… time, as you remember it.”

Scully scoffed a little, laughing out her words. “Oh come on Mulder, you must have known I had a huge crush on you back then.”

“Back then? Ouch.” Mulder clutched at his heart, still smiling sideways at her every few seconds. 

She pushed his bicep, playfully. “You know what I mean, Mulder.”

His face looked more serious now. “Actually Scully, I don’t.”

She regarded him quizzically.

“You had a crush on me… all the way back in Bellefleur?” He asked. “1992? The week we met?”

“Mulder, I-” Scully shook her head in disbelief. “How do you not know this? Yes. Yes I did. You were gorgeous.” She rationalized to herself that after eighteen years of sleeping with this man, and in her current condition due to their mutual... efforts, she ought not to be embarrassed by revealing this. But it felt like a momentary shift in their carefully calibrated equilibrium and her cheeks burned scarlet.

“Again with the past tense, Scully.”

She smiled at him, hoping her flushed face was hidden beneath her freckle-fighting foundation. She ran her hand dangerously high on his thigh for a man in charge of a large moving vehicle, and offered reassurance. “Don’t worry, you’re still a stone cold fox, Fox.

Mulder inwardly cringed a little at the use of his verboten first name, but pushed out his lips and jutted his chin, nodding with faux conceit. “Go on,” he encouraged Scully.

“Well, that’s basically it,” she said, retrieving her hand to smooth down her shirt that wasn’t creased. 

“And when did you come to this realization about my good looks?”

“Well,” she hesitated. “I guess you didn’t notice but the first time I saw you in your office, my eyes practically fell out of my head. I felt like a Looney Tunes character. My smile was embarrassingly wide. I’m sure I was blushing. I suppose you were too busy accusing me of being a spy for the Bureau to put your well-honed profiling skills to work on the overeducated, under-experienced female agent right under your nose.”

“What did I miss?”

“Oh, she was a goner for you. She never stood a chance.”

She’d never seen him grin this much.

“However-”

Shit, Mulder thought. Why did there have to be a however?

“You immediately proceeded to patronize and insult me, so that cooled me off a little.”

“What? No I didn’t!” he sputtered.

“Mulder.” She gave him one of her looks. “I’ve never heard anyone say the word ‘Doctor’ in a more disparaging manner. You clearly thought very little of my training. You made me feel like my presence in your office was an insult to your very existence. Reacted like they’d sent a child to supervise you.”

“Well, I don’t remember that.”

“Of course you don’t. You were too excited about showing me my first Mulder mystery slideshow. You made me guess all the answers when you knew them yourself already. You wanted to prove to me you didn’t need me at all.”

“Well, turns out I was very wrong, then.” He pulled into the Hoover Building parking garage, rolling down the window, and they both wordlessly held up their badges for the barrier guard, who waved them through. They pulled into a spot not too far from the basement entrance. Scully unbuckled her seatbelt.

“Lucky for you, Mulder, that girl in your office kind of had a thing for men who made her work for their approval.” She exited the car before he had time to formulate a response. 



***

 

Back in the basement, Mulder pulled down his cut-out squares of mystifying and macabre newspaper articles from the pinboard - although the word newspaper was one Scully would have used loosely about his personal choice of publications. Clipping by clipping, he cleared the space around the office copy of his beloved poster, creating a short stack of curling papers on the desk to take home.

Scully gave in to her thirst and soon paid the price with another nauseous visit to the bathroom. She dug out a neglected perfumed lip balm from the top desk drawer and took it with her to hold under her nose. Only that and sheer stubborn willpower got her through the experience with her lunch remaining in her stomach.

Stepping back through the office door, she heard their phones simultaneously emit a breaking news notification. Mulder checked his dimly glowing screen. 

“Oh, no,” he breathed, setting the handset facedown on the desk and dipping his forehead into his palms. 

Scully picked up her own phone. 

“Oh my god.” 

Yet another school shooting. Florida. Several deaths already confirmed. 

She fought back tears and returned her phone to the pocket of her jacket, hanging over the back of her chair, then walked around the desk to place a hand on Mulder’s shoulder. They remained in silence for a few moments until he turned and pressed his head against her stomach, his arms clinging to her waist.

“Those poor kids,” he murmured. 

“And their families.” Scully added in a near whisper, raking the fingers of one hand through the velvety strands at the base of his hairline. Her heart went out to the dozens of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents and more whose lives would be forever broken from now on. She thought about her sister and the raw emotional hole Melissa’s sudden death had left in her own life. She still caught herself wanting to pick up the phone and call for advice or consolation, forgetting for a fragment of a second that she couldn’t - would never again be able to - before the cruel reality struck her. 

Scully knew how grief seeped through the years like a bloodstain on carpet. 

“What is going on in this world?” Mulder asked in a low voice.

Scully hesitated.

“I don’t know Mulder.” Another beat passed before she spoke again. “I have to admit it worries me: bringing another child into it.”

Mulder nuzzled his cheek against her abdomen.

“Assuming-” she continued, although only after a pause. “Assuming it all works out.”

He tilted his head back to look up at her. “Why wouldn’t it work out?”

“Mulder,” she chided him. “For any number of reasons. The national miscarriage rate is as high as twenty percent. I was already considered of advanced maternal age when I had William, and that was almost twenty years ago. Chances of birth defects drastically increase after the age of thirty five. And I’m supposed to be infertile!” She threw her arms up in the air halfheartedly, exasperated.

Mulder still held onto her waist. “But you had William, and for... this there are cases; precedents, right?”, he urged. “Women of your age and older having healthy full term pregnancies?”

“Some, yes,” she confirmed, her hands returning to his shoulders. “It’s rare, although not unheard of.”

He nodded, considering this.

“I don’t understand how this happened, Mulder.” She shook her head: weary, contemplative. “To me. To us.”

He wiggled a suggestive eyebrow at her. “Do we need to go to the videotape, Scully? Because if so I think I may even still have that one on my camera roll.”

She nudged him with her hip; a mild admonishment. “No; you know what I’m talking about. And Jesus, Mulder, you have to delete those. That is your work phone.”

His gaze turned serious. His eyes mellowed. “I think - I think we’ve had so much sadness in our lives Scully, that maybe when we finally get a little happiness, it might be best to... to not question it. To let it be and just... accept it with gratitude.”

She nodded, biting the inside of her lip and staring at nothing. “Maybe you’re right Mulder,” she sighed. “Maybe all we can do is hope.”

“And pray.” Mulder added, without even a hint of sarcasm, rubbing his thumb against her waistline. 

Scully smiled to herself and squeezed the back of his neck gently with one hand.

Chapter Text

On their drive home, the early evening darkness enveloping the car, Scully concentrated on the road while Mulder flicked through various apps on his phone. 

After a while he tired of the pointless scrolling and tucked it out of sight, regarding Scully closely from the passenger seat. 

God, sometimes he forgot to appreciate how stunningly prepossessing she was. The shadows cast by her sharp, smooth jawline alone could surely hold his attention for hours if he let them. Instead of watching movies, why didn’t he just spend ninety minutes a few times a week studying the curve of her nose in profile, or her dainty, poised feet, or her asymmetrical lips punctuated by the tiny beauty mark she insisted on covering over for some unfathomable reason? Not to mention the unmatched intellectual prowess she quietly carried around without a hint of pride - as though just anybody could reel off the entire periodic table on command, or diagnose mysterious psychiatric maladies without referencing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or perform brain surgery on children. There was also the patience with which she tolerated his obsessions and complexes. For the most part. 

Jesus he was one fortunate son of a bitch, Mulder thought, and he should thank his lucky stars every night that Scully was not only in his life but also in his heart and in his bed.

She caught him staring at her again, and reached over to squeeze his knee. He covered her diminutive hand with his own, his heart full of gratitude. There had been years - years - when even this much demonstrative contact would have been off-limits for them.

“So,” he said, breaking the comfortable if slightly melancholy silence. “What would have happened if I’d have preyed on your vulnerability and made a move on you when you disrobed in my motel room in March 1992?”

She thought for a moment.

“It would never have happened, Mulder. First of all, you’re way too much of a gentleman to have done so.” He nodded his thanks. “And second of all, you wouldn’t have done it because you didn’t have a crush on me. Yet.” She eyed him meaningfully on the final word. 

“Wha-?” He played shocked. “How do you know I didn’t have a crush on you?”

“Mulder, I looked like a squirrel. And you were preoccupied busting open that particular week’s intergalactic conspiracy. It’s okay, you just didn’t think of me in that way back then.”

“You’re dead wrong, Scully,” Mulder said, eyeballing her. He hesitated and a little twinkle in his smile told her he knew he was about to push his luck. She braced herself.

“It was more of a chipmunk vibe.”

Scully laughed. Mulder shrugged. 

“But not right away - you had that longer, darker hair, and I remember a distinctly non-rodenty pencil skirt and little pumps from that first week - but maybe a little later when you used to puff your hair up with all that volume and you had those adorable cheeks.” He sighed excessively. “My word, where did those cheeks go?”

“I think I lost them along with my Bureau Freshman fifteen and any semblance of a personal life.” Scully shot back, pulling up in front of their property. “But if you’re lucky they may have a fleeting renaissance in the coming months.”

They both smiled as he stepped out of the door to open the gate.



***



Later, as Scully was finishing the last of her vegetable soup - the only item in the pantry she thought she could face attempting to ingest - she hmmmd to herself, tilting her head ponderously.

“You know, I think the real question, Mulder,” she paused for effect, “Is what you would have done if I had made a move on you?”

It had been over an hour but he knew exactly what she was referring to. 

“Pssht.” He scoffed. “No way. It was strongly against regulations. You were Ms By The Book back then. You practically were the book. It was like, is that against the rules?” He put on a nerdy voice, pushed glasses he wasn’t wearing up his nose. “I don’t know, let me check page 72 of my Little Miss Agent Scully... You didn’t have the balls.”

Scully lowered her soup spoon to the bowl, dangerously slowly.

“Excuse me? I didn’t have the balls? Do I need to remind you that I held a government agent at gunpoint in order to trade your sorry butt out of Ellens Air Force Base not even six months later?”

Oh, right, maybe she hadn’t been quite as rule-bound as Mulder remembered. Or perhaps he’d made quick work of being a bad influence. Or a good one, depending on which way you looked at it.

She wasn’t done.

“Didn’t have the balls?! Has it slipped your mind that I was once held in contempt of Congress for protecting you? Have you forgotten that I once shot you to stop you committing murder?!” She stood up and gathered both the bowls, stalking off in the direction of the sink.

“Come on Scully,” Mulder stood up and followed her, taking the bowls from her grasp as they approached the dishwasher. “I’m talking about romance here. Don’t worry; I’m sure you could personally disarm all of North Korea equipped only with a single handgun and a stern expression if you ever wanted to. You’re the biggest badass the Bureau has ever employed and I don’t even think they realize. I’m talking about getting down and dirty. It took us six years to finally kiss - almost eight if you don’t count that time with the bee - and I had to make the first move. Twice. Crush or no crush, you never would have put the moves on me in Bellefleur.”

“Do I need to remind you who stepped into whose bedroom late one night and slipped half naked into bed? Don’t open that please.”

“Huh?” Mulder looked back at her, one hand on the dishwasher door. The gray t-shirt he had changed into when they’d arrived home and exchanged their office attire for sweats clung to his pectorals in all the right places, Scully noted. 

“The smell.” Scully said by way of explanation. Mulder nodded and placed the crockery on the surface for later. He turned towards Scully and stepped forwards, his superior height and bulk allowing him to envelop her almost entirely with his body. She’d gotten somehow taller and yet smaller over the years, he was certain of it. Maybe it was all the towering stilettos she’d started wearing. She felt like a bird caged in his arms. She was lifting her face up to his, and he placed his forehead against hers, the warmth of the broth still lingering on both their breath. 

“You really don’t need to remind me of that night, Scully. I think about it every day.” His lips sunk down to meet hers and he could feel her grinning against his mouth even as her tongue played with his. Their bodies pressed together, crotches urging forward, and he felt himself harden slightly against the sharp point of her hip. 

“Every day?” She asked, uncharacteristically giggly. Still kissing him.

“You’d better believe it.” He reached down and grabbed her by the ass with both hands, squeezing firmly. At this point Scully broke contact and tucked her head into his chest, laughing.

“But,” he continued, talking into her hair now. It smelled of almonds and her own sweet, skin-oil scent that always made his chest contract. “You’d really wanted to do it all those years before?”

“Well, let’s just say that that’s when I knew that eventually I would want to. It wasn’t time yet but I knew, sure as the sun was going to rise, I had to find out someday what was really going on with that sexy Agent Mulder.”

“God, is that really true? How do you remember that was the moment?”

“Oh, I don’t know, I probably went back to my room and touched myself, imagining it was you,” she said nonchalantly, as though she didn’t remember for a fact that it was the first time that had happened. As if she didn’t vividly recall the exact details of her fantasy. 

Fantasies. 

Acting like she hadn’t returned to the same scenario repeatedly in her mind late at night over the years. Pretending it wasn’t her go-to sexual catalyst: that same imaginary incident never failing to push her to the summit during the vital final climb. 

“Oh my god, you’re killing me Scully.” Mulder said, rubbing his thumb over her butt cheek, where his hands were still resting.

She stepped away, taking his hand in her own as she turned to leave him, his cock at half mast. She looked down and didn’t even try to hide it.

“But I didn’t have the balls, remember?” she said teasingly, raising a flirtatious eyebrow and giving him one last look. “I need to take a shower. Thank you in advance for cleaning up dinner.”

Mulder rolled his neck to both sides as he turned to survey the dishes. 

With the dishwasher stacked and the faint sound of the shower water drifting into the kitchen, Mulder gulped down his nightly ration of water and placed the glass in the sink, where he was always telling Scully it was better to keep it, so that he could reuse it, economically, for his first drink in the morning. 

He emptied out the contents of the fridge onto the various counters and available surfaces. He threw out anything questionable, making a mental note to take out the trash before he went to bed so that it wouldn’t smell wretched in the morning when Scully awoke. He scrubbed the shelves and interior walls with some baking soda he found in the vegetable crisper and mixed with water. He dug out plastic storage containers of disparate sizes from deep within cupboards he had forgotten existed, and deposited every item of unsealed food into its own little Tupperware. He made and consumed a meat-stuffed sandwich because vegetable soup and bagel chips might be enough for all one hundred and change pounds of Scully even when eating for two, but he remained ravenous. At the sink, he rinsed the taste from his mouth as best he could. He restocked the fridge, tested the door: opening and closing it several times. No scent that he could now detect escaped. 

Satisfied, he tied off the trash bag and hauled it outside via the back porch. 

After turning out the downstairs lights and making sure the doors and windows were closed and locked - something it had only occurred to him to start doing after their home invasion incident towards the end of the previous year - he headed upstairs to get ready to turn in. 

Scully was puttering about the bathroom, her robe hanging open, resting first one foot then the other on the toilet lid to moisturize her legs. He peered in with interest, leaning on the door jamb. She was bending over - her wet hair hanging forward, shielding her face from view - and massaging the last of the creamy lotion into her left shin. He couldn’t see past the sweeping crimson fabric that cascaded down her left side, brushing the floor. As she replaced the bottle, she faced away from him and tied the belt in a casual fashion. 

She turned to the door, only now seeing Mulder standing there in silence.

“Oh, hey,” she murmured. “All yours.” She raised herself on her bare tiptoes to kiss him lightly as she passed, wafting the scent of her shampoo and various other unguents that made his heart beat a little faster under his nose as she went. 

Mulder heard Scully humming quietly to herself in her off-key way as he roughly pulled his shirt over his head and turned on the shower.

Several minutes later, he finished brushing his teeth and towel-drying his hair and emerged from the bathroom with a towel around his waist to find the bedroom empty.  Balanced on the duvet were a thick candle that usually stood on the bedroom windowsill, and some matches. He looked around, perplexed.

The lights went out. 

Even though he knew no one had flipped it, Mulder wandered in the direction of the wall and felt for the lightswitch. Locating it, he flicked it up and down a few times. Nothing.

One of the circuits must have tripped. Maybe Scully had turned on the dishwasher downstairs?

As his eyes got used to the gloom, he surveyed the room and thought he saw someone standing in front of the closet.

“Scully?” he queried, although he knew she hadn’t been there a moment ago. He approached the bed and felt around for the matches, finding the pack and striking one, lighting the candle, which gave off a faint vanilla scent. He held up the flickering flame using the small black stand in which it was nestled, to make out what was loitering in front of the wardrobe. The tan Sunday-smart slacks he’d bought for an undercover case years before rested neatly on a hanger that was hooked over the door frame, alongside a clean gray t-shirt and a sky-blue dress shirt. Pinned to the cerulean shirt pocket was a note. He held the candle closer, careful not to spill any wax.

Wear me, the note instructed in Scully’s careful penwomanship.

He frowned, looked around the darkened room as best he could, then did what he had been told. 

As he zipped up his fly and tucked in the t-shirt, he heard a faint knock at the door. He hadn’t even realized it was closed.

He carried the candle over and softly pulled the handle. The door swung open to reveal Scully in her robe, make-up free, hair wet and wavy, a panicked look on her face.

“Scully, are you okay?” he asked, stepping towards her. “What happened? Did you blow a fuse?”

“Mulder,” she said, her voice high and frightened. “I want you to look at something.” 

Chapter Text

“I want you to look at something,” Scully said, visibly trembling. Mulder stepped forward to search beyond her, squinting into the darkness downstairs.

“No,” she scolded him, her voice completely different now. She sounded annoyed, no longer scared. He frowned and tilted his head at her questioningly.

“Can I come in?” She was back to looking anxious.

Mulder had no idea what was happening. “Scully, of course you can come in, it’s our bedroom.”

Her face returned to a mildly put out expression. Her head fell slightly to one side. “No, Mulder,” she annunciated slowly. “It’s your motel room. In Bellefleur.” Her eyes widened meaningfully.

Oh.

Oh

The fear in her eyes and her voice returned as she asked once more if she could come in.

Mulder pulled open the door and Scully rushed past him into the room. He turned to face her and she looked at him, motionless, both hands on the tie of the robe belt. She was waiting for something.

Oh, right, he had lines, he guessed.

“So, uh, what did you want to show me, Agent Scully?” He nodded at her, pleased with himself.

She wasn’t so pleased. 

“Agent Mulder.” She was using the voice she reserved for suffering fools not so gladly. “The door?”

“Right, right, yes, the door to the motel room. Better shut that. It’s pouring out there.” He raised a self aware eyebrow at her. He’d remembered.

“A veritable monsoon…” She hinted at a smile. Remembered herself, set her face to panicked green newbie field-agent once again.

“So what did you want me to look at, Agent Scully?” Using her title like that felt so formal. It felt like old old times. 

It felt fucking hot. 

Scully’s eyes were wide, her face deadly serious. There was no camping this up; she was one hundred percent in the scene. She was a surprisingly good actress. He’d have to ask her later if she’d had some sort of teenaged community theatre career he didn’t know about. 

But now she spun away from him, one hand pressed to her lips with apparent trepidation. There was a beat, and he saw her hands busy in front of her, untying the belt to her dark vermilion robe.

She opened the gown and let it fall dramatically down over her back, past her posterior and below her knees, the sleeves delicately captured on each wrist. 

Mulder felt himself start to give her a one-man standing ovation.

Underneath, she had on her plainest white bra, the one she wore under tight t-shirts to avoid any texture showing through: delicate lace trim icing each cup like pretty little cakes, but the rest of the fabric smooth and untroubled. Mulder’s eyes fell to the washed out cotton covering her rear end and he couldn't help but smile. 

The Hanes panties.

French cut high on her thigh. Plain white elastic waistband almost an inch thick sinking down into a V above her pubic bone. Baggy and stretched and achingly naive. Not a single sexy thing about them.

Mulder had never been so hard.

Scully reached back and pushed the waistband down a touch with both hands, craning her neck around to look at the small of her back. His eyes followed.

Oh my god she’s even drawn on the insect bites.

If it were possible for Mulder to fall deeper in love with Scully, his long-time all-consuming constant, it happened in that moment. 

He’d waited a second too long and she looked up at him, breaking character to flash him a look, prompting him from the wings.

He collected himself and kneeled down behind her, close to her body. His nose detected the slightly musty scent of the panties, confined as they had been for seventeen years to their shoebox prison. They were looser now than he recalled from Oregon, and he didn’t think it was because they’d been stretched out from wear. 

He held up the candle, the warmth of the flame licking his face, its wavering light dancing on the pale, soft skin and fine silken hairs of Scully’s lower back, illuminating the large red dots that he could now see had been inked into place with one of his office Bics. He ignored the top half of the self-consuming snake that circled out from beneath the waistband elastic. He would never admit it out loud but that tattoo still stung like hell.

“What are they?!” Scully’s voice quivered, and Mulder’s three centre fingers delicately touched the space below the dots, as he remembered them doing on the night in question. 

Scully felt Mulder’s fingertips warm on her skin. His hot breath tickled her back and it was not only the intention to appear fearful that caused her next sentence to spill out breathlessly.

“Mulder, what are they?”

He stood up slowly and with a straight face to announce them mosquito bites.

Scully let her shoulders fall, still looking at Mulder over her right one.

“You’re sure?”

He smiled now. “Yeah, I’m covered in them myself.”

Scully flipped her robe back up to her shoulders, holding it closed with her hands, and twisted around into his arms, pressing herself hard against his body in her reenactment of relief. Mulder held the candle away from her hair, so as not to ignite anything more than Scully had intended.

She leaned into his embrace, burying her face in his armpit. In this hidden position, Scully smiled to herself upon feeling the successful results of her little scene pulsing against her stomach. She inhaled a mouthful of Mulder’s underarm and was mildly disappointed that his recent shower had robbed her of a stronger hit of his musky, spiced scent.

“Are you okay?” he asked. 

She was quiet. 

“Agent Scully?” he pressed.

She lifted her face, calmer now but still nervous-seeming, and answered him in a higher, softer register than he’d grown used to.

“I’m still a little shaken up. Can you hold me a while longer?”

Mulder agreed with an enthusiastic yes, then thought better of it: did a second take. “Of course Dana, take your time.” 

He was enjoying this immensely.

He rubbed her back, smoothing the fabric of the bathrobe over her shoulder blades, enjoying the feel of her in his arms, the undulating contact of her torso against his own, as always. As he had even in 1992.

“I was so scared,” Scully continued. “I thought…” She trailed off. Began again. “I’m sorry, do you mind if I just-” she was winding her arms around his waist, pressing her pelvis closer to his thigh, caressing his chest with her cheek. Her robe fell open now that she wasn’t clutching it with her hands. He swallowed hard.

“I just need to feel safe right now.”

“Of course,” Mulder nodded.

Scully shivered.

“I’m a little cold. My hair is still wet from the rain. Would you mind if we got under the covers to warm up? You could still hold me.”

“To make you feel safe.”

“Yes.” She looked at him, her ice-blue irises capturing his attention and holding it long after she looked away. It hadn’t occurred to him before how much she now looked like his long-ago first impression of her, with her newly returned side part and her long bob. A few more lines around the eyes, mouth and chin perhaps, but barely. Her lack of visible aging was an X-File in itself. 

She let go of his waist and turned to the bed, pulling back the comforter and climbing in. She held the covers up as Mulder rested the candle on the bedside table, as far away from the bedding as he could manage without risking it falling off, then let him slide in alongside her. He nestled back amongst the pillows. Their legs entwined, out of sight beneath the sheets, and she leant her head on his shoulder, encased in the crook of his left arm.

Her robe was still unsecured and Mulder felt the touch of her bare skin on his pants leg from her balmy inner thigh all the way down to her bony ankle and arctic feet.

“How are you feeling?” he asked.

“A little better, thank you Agent Mulder,” she responded in a near whisper, tilting her head up to regard him.  

Scully looked at Mulder’s graying hairline. She hadn’t been lying earlier; he was still, she felt, objectively handsome. His beauty was more rugged now; weathered where it had once been pure matinee idol, but he was still breathtaking to behold - at least for her, anyway. She gazed at the deepening furrows that marked his forehead, the slight droop around his mandible and the vague puffiness around his eyes. But what she saw was a floppy dark fringe falling broodingly across smooth soft skin. Youthful ebullience, shining black eyes and taut, elastic epidermis. 

His lips had never changed. Soft, pouty, full and pink. Wet and wanting. Not unlike herself in this moment, she smiled while thinking. She would never tire of those lips.

She ran her eyes over them now.

“So, Agent Mulder,” she said, starting to glide her free hand over his collarbone in an absentminded fashion, “How are you finding working with a partner?”

“It’s proving to have its perks.” Mulder shifted his body against the mattress, his erection pounding palpably. The tip of his penis moved against the coarse weave of his pants, and he felt himself already oozing his desire.

“I know you didn’t want me.” Scully was saying. She moved her hand lower, her palm grazing his right nipple, sending shockwaves straight to his tensing cock. “A scientist. A first time field-agent. A woman.” She lowered her voice on the last words and tilted her hips towards him so that even through the thick material of his slacks he could sense her heat, could feel her rapidly dampening vulva sliding against the bloodstained gusset of those infernal panties. He wanted to rip them off.

2018 Mulder would already have had those panties on the floor, assuming this was his Scully, now. But 1992 Mulder had no claim to her: no unspoken right to touch her at all. Also, this wasn’t his scenario to take charge of.

“It’s not that I didn’t want you,” he protested weakly. She had her hand on his abs now, her fingers dipping into the definition there as they roamed. “They sent someone to keep an eye on me. Nobody wants to be spied on.”

“Some people like it, I hear.” Scully said, smiling shyly even as she pushed her crotch perceptiply closer to his body, creating pressure against his outer thigh that she held for a few seconds before relenting.

“Well, not like that - not like this - anyway,” he managed to get out in a gruff voice.

Scully removed her hand from his stomach, lifted it to her lapel and ran her fingers down the centre of the gown on one side. As she went, she pushed the comforter back with her forearm and lifted the deep ruby fabric to reveal her scantily clad body beneath, folding the rose-colored flannel onto itself and letting it rest atop her curves, exaggerated as they were by her sideways position. The robe fell backwards away from her and she was exposed to her knees.

“What about now?” she asked, bare faced.

“What about now?” he questioned, not masking the fact that his gaze was absorbing every luminous square inch of her that he could see.

She sat up, letting the robe drop from her shoulders once more and settle on the mattress. She lifted one leg over his hips and kneeled astride his groin, her sex boldly pressing against the bulge in his pants.

“Do you want me now?” Her eyelids were heavy, her mouth falling wantonly open. She raised herself and unabashedly rubbed her swollen clitoris along the length of his dick. A hushed moan escaped her lips.

“Very much.” Mulder said, finally reaching his hands up to touch her. He grabbed her around the ribcage and pulled her slight, panting frame towards him. She flung her arms around his neck, burying them in the folds of the pillows behind him as their mouths met - feverish, feral.

Hot breath dampened their faces as they engaged in frottage with the wild abandon of two college kids. Scully sat up and away from him, her long pale neck exposed as she bit her lower lip, tilted her head back, and ground herself into his lap. Her ever-present gold cross glinted in the candlelight. She moaned again, and Mulder answered her in turn.

Dropping her gaze to meet his eyeline, her pupils dilated with desire, she reached down to his waist and unbuttoned his pants. He helped with the zipper and she leaned to one side, balancing on her right knee so that he could remove them. Scully saw he hadn’t paired them with any underwear and puffed out air from the back of her throat in appreciation. He’d done good.

“These too,” she instructed, pushing back the sleeves of his dress shirt that was still undone, and letting him wriggle his arms out before lifting the hem of his t-shirt over his head and shoulders. She dropped them both to the floor and returned to her earlier position, straddling him.

“We’re breaking a lot of rules here,” Mulder said, palming her waistline, sliding his hand behind her to cup her ass, pulling her closer to his reaching cock. “Fraternization of male and female agents in the same motel room while on assignment is a serious infraction.”

Scully panted again, closing her eyes.

“We’re way past fraternization, Agent Mulder.” Her voice was breathy and distracted as she dragged her body against his, slowly, creating delicious friction against his groin with her own. “Don’t worry about it. I’m sure once I submit my report it will confirm their suspicions that you’re bat crap crazy, you’ll be fired, and I’ll be reassigned to something far more prestigious. I give us two weeks together, tops.”

“Well, I could do this for two weeks, I guess.” He grinned.

She smiled, all tiny teeth and pink gums; her eyes fluttering open, barely.

The only barrier between them now was the godforsaken panties. Mulder hooked his index fingers into the waistband and held them there.

“Now, do these mean-” He eyed her playfully. “Are you-” He sought for the most delicate words. “Do we need to be imaginative?”

Scully opened her eyes fully now, leaned down to his ear and smiled. “Sometimes, Agent Mulder,” her words and the damp waves of her hair tickled the side of his face, “When someone tells you to meet them at the airport the following day at six o'clock in the morning, you just don’t have enough time to launder all your best delicates beforehand.”

Mulder pulled sharply outwards with his forefingers and the tired cotton tore loudly on both sides. He grabbed her around the waist with one arm, pulling her close and lifting her so that he could pull the now truly ruined panties from her body with the other hand, flinging them towards the closet. Scully shrieked with girlish laughter, surprised and aroused in equal measure, burying her face in the crook of his neck.

He sat her back down on his lap, having levitated her effortlessly, and reached up for her face. He held her jawline in both hands as he kissed her, deep and full. Her hair fell forwards, ensconcing them behind their own red velvet curtain. He could feel her labia, soaked and plump, sliding against his rock hard shaft. They reached down in tandem and guided him into her body.

Scully sunk down slowly, enjoying the sensation of every inch as she stretched to accommodate his girth. Her breath hitched as his tip hit her cervix. She pulled back and then ground her hips forward to feel him fill her again. 

She moaned: guttural, gasping.

“Oh my god, Scully, you’re beautiful.” Mulder gushed, letting her fuck him at her own pace as he concentrated on the hot, wet muscles gliding against and simultaneously gripping the straining veined sides of his throbbing, aching dick.

“Agent Scully,” she reminded him, breathlessly, grabbing his hands and bringing them to her breasts, still nestled within her most sensible bra. He kneaded the fleshy mounds, her taut nipples pushing against his palms through the fabric. She arched her back and whispered his name, complete with Bureau title, and he almost came right then.

Soon, Scully was riding him like her life depended on it, thrusting and panting, frowning and moaning. She’d had her eyes squeezed shut but now snapped them open, seeking his gaze. She took him by both shoulders, and he knew what that meant.

With a look of concentrated effort, she rose and fell, his body disappearing over and over inside her own. 

“Mulder,” she said, looking almost pained. “I need your help.”

He didn’t correct her for not saying Agent.

He lifted his thumb to his mouth, rubbing it against his tongue to collect moisture, and reached down for her clitoris. It was hot and engorged, dripping wet already, and he easily located it even as she thrusted onto him repeatedly with considerable force. He swirled his digit around the turgid bundle of nerves in a circular motion and Scully’s mouth fell fully open.

Mulder, Mulder, Mulder,” she incanted in a hushed voice, and he felt his testicles pull up tighter into his body.

She rocked her pelvis towards him with a strong push and took him fully inside her, then leaned back so that she could feel his cock sliding forcefully against her G-spot, pumping vigorously, looking to the ceiling, gripping his shoulders with all the strength in her small hands. Mulder worked his thumb furiously. He slipped his other hand inside her bra and pinched her nipple with care, wary of any pregnancy-related soreness. 

Jesus. Fuck. Oh my god. Fuck, fuck fuuuuuuuuu-” Scully’s mouth froze open and her inner muscles convulsed around him. A single tear rolled down her cheek. Mulder watched Scully in her ecstasy and released everything he had to give into her hot, tight body.

They came the way they’d always done everything best: together.

As their bodies calmed down following the finale, Mulder rolled Scully onto her back and propped himself up on one elbow, so as to avoid creating a wet spot, at least immediately. Her legs were wrapped around his waist and he remained inside her, her Kegels pulsating sporadically, tugging at him invitingly.

She pulled one leg back by the ankle, stretching out her quadricep and wincing slightly before relaxing back into position.

“So, Agent Mulder,” she said in a melodic tone, returning from her momentary offstage respite. Apparently there was an epilogue. “Do you think you can trust me, now?”

Mulder smiled; his teeth showing, his cheeks rounding. “Trust you?” He asked. “Hell no. You’re clearly a honeytrap sent by that mysterious tobacco fiend to trick me into spilling all my secrets. You’ll get nothing out of me, Agent Scully.” He nudged her nose with his own and tickled her collarbone. She pushed his hand away, trying not to laugh.

“But what will I put in my report?” Her coquettish voice and swiftly batting eyelashes indicated she was no longer so deeply invested in the reality of the roleplay.

“Hmm.” Mulder considered this for a moment. “Why don’t you tell them I’m an illustrious expert in the globally respected art of cunnilingus?”

“But Agent Mulder-” she responded in the same sing-song fashion, toying with the hair above his temple; twisting it around her pointer finger. “I have no proof of that.”

“Well then-” Mulder pinned her left arm to the mattress and a sharp intake of air caught in her throat. “We’d better give you some irrefutable evidence, hadn’t we?”

Scully raised her eyebrows, most definitely not in disagreement. 

He lifted his hips from her own, regretting the coldness that met his softening shaft, but very much looking forward to the task ahead of him. He crawled backwards, kicking the covers away from his feet as he lowered his mouth to its paradisiacal destination. Scully pulled the robe over her chest to keep off the chill. She let her head fall to one side and sighed as Mulder’s lips and tongue clamped onto her still sensitive clitoris. 

He really was exceptionally good at this, his tongue flat and firm as it twisted and rolled over her hardened pink bud, his chin pressing and writhing between her sopping wet lips as she tilted her hips up to receive more of the insistent pressure - and it was not long at all before she was tensing her thighs and pushing her legs down into the mattress as she orgasmed forcefully and for the second time, pressed hard against Mulder’s face.

After letting her ride the waves of pleasure to the last reluctant twitch, Mulder reversed his crawl, wiping his chin with one hand and tossing aside the robe before kissing Scully’s stomach, ribs, breasts, and the soft spot on her neck on his return journey. 

He kneeled above her, supporting himself on thick, tensed arms. “Put that in your little report, Agent Scully.” He grinned down at her. 

“I just might,” she sighed with a happy smile. 

“Although may I humbly suggest a more, shall we say, alluring choice of undergarments for your next target? I don’t think you’ll get very far in your espionage career if your best weapon is straight out of the 3-pack.”

Scully stared up at him, her face unreadable. “Oh I don’t know,” she said, touching the inside of his wrist. “They worked on you. Eventually.

Mulder’s eyes crinkled as he smiled back at her, shaking his head in reverie, taking in her delicate Titian beauty in the flickering candlelight. “Eventually,” he agreed, rolling to one side to lie beside her.

Taking him into her arms, she pulled the comforter over them both and tapped the dip where her torso met her arm, indicating that he should lay his head there. He did as instructed, winding his free arm around her waist and wedging his hand between her naked skin and the mattress.

“Happy anniversary, Mulder.” she murmured, sleepily. 

Anniversary? Oh, crap. The show was over.

“That’s today?” He asked. “I’m sorry - I didn’t get you anything.”

“Since when do we do anniversary gifts Mulder?” She traced the muscles of his biceps lightly with her fingernails. Her eyes were already closed. “I didn’t give you anything either.”

“Oh but you did, Agent Scully.” He lightly sunk his teeth into her shoulder. “You really did.” She emitted a high-pitched squawk and curled closer to him laughingly, nuzzling her cheek against the top of his head. She rested her hand on his elbow, her fingertips circling the rough skin there.

“I want to give you the perfect gift, Scully,” he vowed. “You deserve it.”

At this, she opened her eyes. Tilted his head up by the chin and stared at him meaningfully. 

“Well...” 

She gently lifted his hand and pulled it down to her bare stomach, laying it flat just above the petite tuft of soft brown curls.

“I’m hoping...” she said, her eyes glistening in the light from the tiny flame. “-and praying...” She kissed him gently, quietly, then tucked her head next to his, her eyes closing once more. “-that maybe you already did.”

Mulder blew out the candle and silently thanked the stars shining down on him through the skylight.