Actions

Work Header

Shared Kisses

Chapter Text

November 1994

“You sure you’re okay?” Mulder asked as she breathed heavily at her front door. 

“Yes, I’m sure, Mulder,” she answered softly, sighing and then lifting her eyes to his, almost embarrassed, before looking down. “I… I don’t have my keys.” She whispered, the words and the pain in her voice hurting his heart. 

“Not a problem. I happen to carry sets of keys for such emergencies,” he joked, trying to keep it light. He shifted the pink plastic drawstring bag to his other hand and fished in his pockets. 

Pulling them out, he slid her key in the lock and opened the door. She hesitated for a second, before stepping across the threshold, and walking inside. He watched her look around and he knew she was reliving her abduction. 

Mulder! I need your help!” 

He pushed those thoughts down, not wanting her to see he was thinking of the words that would forever haunt him. She did not need to know how many times he listened to her voice on his answering machine. How her words ripped out his heart and replaced it with something foreign, until she was with him again. 

She had been through enough. Adding his own pain would be an unnecessary hurt; something he would never willingly place upon her. 

“The window has been replaced, the place has been cleaned and all the locks were changed,” he said softly, watching her as she stood silently in the middle of the room. “So, even if you had them, your keys wouldn’t have worked.” He gave a nervous chuckle, and set her things down at the dining room table. 

She said nothing as she stepped closer to the couch and ran her fingers across the back of it, looking at the floor where he knew Duane Barry had attacked her, the blood and broken fragments of her phone evidence it had happened. 

“I… I found a phone as similar to yours as possible. I… I wanted everything to be as close to the same when you came home.” 

If I did,” she whispered, her back to him. 

“No. Scully, when. It was never an if but a when,” he said quietly and she sighed, her shoulders slumped. 

“How could you possibly have known that, Mulder?” 

He heard the tears in her voice and he knew he needed to tread lightly. He fiddled with his keys, took a silent breath, and stepped closer to her. 

“Because I know you, Scully. I know…” 

“What, Mulder? What do you know?” She whipped around and the sadness on her face made him ache. “I didn’t save myself. I didn’t escape from some facility or… or a spaceship. I was found. Delivered to the hospital like some… package. Months I was gone and you say I would be back because you knew? No, Mulder.” 

Her eyes filled with tears and although he knew she may not want it, he had to hold her. To touch her and be sure she was really standing there, despite seeing her and knowing it was fact. Hesitantly, he reached out and she did not move, staring at him with tears spilling from her eyes. 

Slowly pulling her close, he took a deep breath as he closed his eyes. She smelled of the antiseptic scent of the hospital and not like Scully as she usually did. Like his Scully. She felt frail and weak as he held her, and he knew she would hate to be thought of that way. 

Her arms wrapped around his waist and she cried softly into his chest, as though afraid to let him hear her tears, despite the fact that he could feel her body shaking. They stood silently, each drawing the strength they craved from the other. 

God, he had missed her. His life had been upside down without her; the person who had been sent to spy on him, becoming the most important person in his life. He pulled her closer to him and took a deep breath, weighing the words he chose carefully. 

“I knew, Scully. I knew because... any other outcome… it would have been unacceptable,” he whispered into her hair and she took a deep shaky breath. Her arms tightened around him and he felt their breathing fall in sync. 

When he felt her hold on him relax, he did the same, still letting her take the time she needed. When she was ready, she took a small step back, keeping her head down. He held her chin and lifted her face to look at him, his other hand still on her upper arm. When her eyes met his, he smiled faintly and she sighed with a shake of her head. 

“Unacceptable, Scully,” he whispered. 

Feeling a sudden bout of courage, he leaned in and kissed her temple, something he had never done before. He moved his hand, gently caressing and holding her cheek. 

His lips remained pressed against her skin, his bravery shocking him. The warmth of her flesh was the best gift he could ever receive and he wanted to feel it as long as she would allow. 

She gripped the sides of his shirt and drew in a deep breath as she remained unmoving, allowing him to comfort and also be comforted. 

Taking a deep breath, she pulled back and looked at him, releasing his shirt and dropping her arms by her sides. He moved his hand from her face and squeezed her arm lightly. She smiled slightly and he nodded as he stepped back. 

“Do you want some tea? A bath? Anything I can help you with?” he asked, and she shook her head. 

“I… I think I’d like to take a nap,” she said quietly and he nodded, knowing her well enough to know she would need time on her own. 

“You sure? Anything you like, Scully, I can get it for you.” 

She smiled sadly and shook her head. “I just need to sleep, but thank you, Mulder.” He nodded and walked to the door before stopping and taking his keys out of his pocket. 

“Here,” he said, taking her key off his key ring. She took it from him and sighed. “I don’t want you locked out of your own home.” 

“Thank you. I’ll make you another copy.” 

“It’s okay, I have an extra one at home. Just in case.” 

She stared at him and then stepped close, wrapping her arms around his neck. He closed his eyes and held her tight as they both once again took a breath in unison. 

“Thank you,” she whispered into his neck. “For not giving up on me.”

“Never, Scully,” he whispered back and he felt her nod. 

As she pulled back, she smiled. A real smile; one he had not seen in a while. She stared at him, before raising up on tiptoes to softly kiss his cheek, keeping her head down and avoiding his eyes when she stepped back. 

“You get some sleep,” he said softly, touching her arm with a small smile. She nodded, her head still down. 

He opened the door and stepped out, waiting to hear the lock turn before he walked away. As he rounded the corner, he stopped walking and dropped his head back, breathing a deep sigh of relief. 

She was home. She was safe. 

She was alive



Chapter Text

December 25, 1998

“Come with me,” Scully said, turning to look at him as she stood by his front door. 

The apartment smelled of cinnamon from the cider he had made and the candle he had lit as they sat on the couch, watching Miracle on 34th Street , both of them giddy with exhaustion. 

“Go with you? To your mother’s for the early morning, family gathering around the  Christmas tree? I’m gonna have to pass,” he said with a chuckle as he crossed his arms. 

“Why not?” 

“Why not?” he laughed and shook his head. “It’s your family for one. That means Bill for two, and it’s your family for another.” 

“You said that twice,” she smirked and he nodded. 

“Because it needed to be said twice. Thank you, Scully, but no. I… you should, no need ,  to go. You said you needed to be there by six and it’s nearly five now.” He smiled again and she sighed, fixing him with a stare. 

“Breakfast is at ten. You will be there for that,” she said, turning around, grabbing the doorknob and opening the door. 

“Scully, no!” he called, as she stepped into the hallway. 

“Mulder, yes,” she said, turning to look at him. “You don’t get to argue. I know you don’t have any plans. You called me out to a haunted, and cursed, house. On Christmas Eve. You owe me.” She stared at him, her eyebrow raised and he sighed heavily. “You shot me, Mulder.” 

“I did not shoot you…” he said through his teeth, mindful of the hour in the echoey hallway. 

“The jury’s still out on that,” she said with a shrug, walking backwards down the hall. “Ten. Or my mother will be calling you.” 

“Ohhh, that’s not fair. Don’t send your mother after me!” he whisper shouted, as he stepped into the hall and stared at her beseechingly. 

“It’s out of my hands now,” she shrugged again, her palms up, before she hit the down button on the elevator panel. “The decision is yours.” 

“You’re mean.” 

The elevator arrived and she stepped inside. “Not as mean as Maggie Scully can be.” She raised her eyebrows as the doors closed, his eyes closing as he sighed, the last thing she saw. 

He would be there, she thought with a smile. Won’t Bill be so pleased? She giggled as she stepped out of the elevator, a second wind of wakefulness propelling her forward. 

_______________

The doorbell rang at five minutes to ten and she grinned, knowing exactly who was on the other side of the door. Her mother answered it and she could hear her greeting him warmly and his own low voice answering in agreement. 

“We have an extra for breakfast,” her mother said as she and Mulder walked into the living room, as everyone called a greeting. She was smiling and he attempted one, but it came out strained. “Make yourself comfortable. I’ll take this, Fox.” She took the item from his hands and walked into the kitchen, leaving him standing there, shoving his hands in his jacket pockets. 

Scully heard Bill’s exhale from across the room and she smiled internally. Crossing the room to Mulder, she stared at him as he shook his head slightly at her. 

“Take off your coat. Stay awhile,” she teased and he huffed out a breath. “Come on.” She led him from the room and showed him where to hang his jacket, smiling behind his back. 

“You’re enjoying this aren’t you?” he asked as he turned around and caught her smile. 

“Oh, one hundred percent,” she fairly giggled and he raised his eyebrows at her. 

“Mean,” he breathed and she laughed, walking back into the living room where he greeted everyone, Bill shaking his hand too hard, for too long. Mulder pressed his hand to her back with more force than usual, letting her know his annoyance with a simple touch, and she laughed softly. 

“Breakfast is ready!” Tara called, helping to set the table. 

Everyone sat down, family and friends who had been invited, the exact amount of plates set, which Scully knew Mulder noticed; his eyes darting to hers as he sat beside her. 

They joined hands in prayer, his fingers warm and familiar in her own, and bringing about some very impure thoughts for a Christmas morning. Releasing his hand, they all began to eat, laughing and talking over one another, Mulder remaining relatively silent.  

Bill stared at him from across the table, his eyes landing on Scully nearly as often, a scowl upon his face. She laughed, not giving a shit what he was thinking. She was tired and had reached the point where the giggles were not far off. The mimosas were not helping, but damned if she was not going to enjoy the breakfast prepared for them. 

The meal finished and the champagne bottles empty, they rose from the table. Bill took Matthew back to his gifts and the other children joining them returned to their toys as well. Tara, Carrie, a friend of the family, and her mother began to clean up and Mulder fidgeted in his seat. 

Taking pity on him, Scully stood and poured them each a cup of coffee. He sighed gratefully as they watched the children playing. 

“Oh, Fox,” her mother said, walking up to him. “Merry Christmas.” She handed him a small wrapped box and smiled, clasping her hands as she waited for him to open it. 

“Mrs. Scully, I can’t accept this. I don’t have a gift for you,” he stammered, trying to hand her back the gift. 

“Nonsense. You’re here and you brought that delicious rugelach, that’s more than enough.” She smiled and nodded for him to open his gift. 

He sighed and untied the bow, sliding it off the box. Carefully unwrapping the paper, he handed it to Scully, who took it with a smile. Lifting the lid, he peeled back the tissue paper and Scully saw it was a pair of black leather gloves. 

“Oh, thank you. These are great.” He looked up at her with a smile and she nodded. “I will get a lot of use out of these.” He stood and hugged her, surprising her, judging by the sound of her laughter. 

“I hope they will fit, I wasn’t sure of the size,” she said, when he had let go and sat back down. Slipping them on, he showed her they were a perfect fit and she grinned happily. “Perfect. Merry Christmas, Fox.” 

“And you, Mrs. Scully,” he said softly. She nodded again and winked at Scully before heading back into the kitchen. 

“That was really thoughtful of her,” he said, taking the gloves off and putting them back in the box. “She didn’t know I had been ordered to come over though, how did she have a gift?” Scully laughed and looked at him. 

“Mulder, she’s Margaret Scully, a good Catholic woman. You think she hasn’t had that gift wrapped and waiting for you? Possibly for a couple of years?” She smiled at him and he nodded, staring at the gloves. 

“I should probably get going,” he said as he closed the box and looked at her. 

“If you want. Or you could stay,” she said softly. His eyes travelled across her face and she suddenly felt as though they were the only two people in the room. 

Until her brother cleared his throat loudly.  The bastard. 

“Nah, I think I should go.” He held his gift as he stood up and she set the wrapping paper trash on the table, following him to the door. 

She held the gift box as he put on his jacket. Smiling, he took it back and glanced back into the living room. 

“Thank you for inviting me. It was better than the alternative.” He looked back and she smiled with a nod. He grinned and made to leave, but she stopped him, a hand on his chest. 

She heard him inhale sharply, as she raised up and kissed him. Not exactly on the lips, but not on the cheek either. It landed somewhere in between, exactly as they seemed to be these days. Pulling back in surprise, he stared at her in confusion. 

“You’re under the mistletoe,” she whispered. He looked up and saw that she was telling the truth. “I’m surprised you didn’t notice. It’s practically brushing your hair, you giant.” Looking back at her, she grinned at him and he chuckled. 

“It’s because someone short hung it up, no doubt.” 

“I’ll tell my mother you said so.” 

“No! She’ll take away my gift,” he said, holding it tightly. She laughed and nodded, his eyes changing from laughing to burning into hers. 

“Merry Christmas, Scully,” he whispered. 

“Merry Christmas, Mulder,” she replied and he nodded, his eyes dropping to her lips, as he cleared his throat and stepped back with a sigh. 

He walked out the door as she waved goodbye, before closing the door and touching her fingers to her lips with a happy smile. 

“Dana!” She heard Bill hiss and she drew in a deep breath as she turned around. 

“Yes, Bill?” 

“What the hell was he doing here? On Christmas morning? What is going on?” he seethed and she smiled, which seemed to anger him more. 

Well, this answer is going to really piss him off, she thought, stepping toward him on her way to the living room. 

“I invited him, Bill. As to what is going on, I’d suggest you file it under none of your fucking business. Merry Christmas.” 

She walked past him with a smile, not giving a shit what he thought, the feeling of kissing Mulder still causing a tingling sensation on her lips. 

Chapter Text

Sometime after April 2000 


Scully woke to the sound of rain falling heavily against the window and Mulder mumbling something, his weight pressing against her, though not unpleasantly. She blinked her eyes and stared at him. 

“What are you doing?” she asked with a yawn as she attempted to stretch, but he held her still. 

“Shh!” 

“Mulder…” 

“Did I not make myself clear when I said “Shhh!”?” He raised his head and looked at her from his position against her left side, before looking down again. 

She was naked in his bed. Actually, they were both naked. He was currently lying beside her, one arm across her, his hand on the bed, supporting his weight as he stared intently at her stomach and her left side. He was moving his lips, silent words being said, but she could not understand them. 

“Mulder—”

“SHH! Or I’ll lose count.” 

“Lose count? What are you talking about?” 

“Scully,” he sighed loudly and pressed a finger gently into her side, causing her to arch into him. His touch was like a drug, and she craved it like an addict. “46, remember that number. 46, 46. What was that number?” 

“46.” 

“Good.” He maneuvered until his left index finger covered the spot, as he stretched to reach for something on his nightstand. “46. Aha! Got it.” He held an uncapped pen and as he moved back into his former position, he drew a circle where his finger had been and she cried out with a laugh. 

“What in the hell are you doing?” she asked, trying to see what he was drawing. 

“Well, if you must know, I’ve been tallying them up,” he said, still writing something on her flesh.

“Tallying up something that requires you to brand me? Like I’m cattle?” He chuckled and she felt it against her body, stirring her desire for him. 

“I’d hardly consider you cattle. And it’s simply so I know where to start when I begin again.” He finished his work, blowing lightly to dry the ink, creating goosebumps on her skin. Looking up as he dropped the pen over the side of the bed, he grinned the smile that made her knees weak and her blood race. 

Her core throbbed with an ache to feel him inside of her. This overwhelming desire for him was new to her, as it had happened only a few times. She had always wanted him, but now… she knew the taste of him, and the way he filled her so completely. The thought of life before this, when she could only imagine the feel of their bodies joining together, was a life she did not want to live. 

“What are you up to, Mulder?” 

“Physically?” he glanced down and she grinned. “I’d say we’re livin’ on a prayer.” He wiggled his eyebrows and she laughed, her head back and her eyes closed, as he laid his head on her stomach, singing halfway there quietly. 

She placed her hand on his head and stroked his hair, still chuckling. Opening her eyes, she watched her fingers disappear in the thickness of his hair, her fingernails scraping lightly and causing him to moan. 

The rain fell harder against the window and she heard thunder in the distance. Closing her eyes again, she sighed, happy they had nowhere to be but in his bed, the sheets smelling of them. 

“So, if I’m not cattle, why the 46 brand? If it’s orgasms you’re tallying, I’m sorry, but you’re way off.” 

“By how much?” 

“Hmm… I’d say at least 26,” she laughed softly and he raised his head as she opened her eyes. 

“That means I’m at 20. Not bad for the amount of time I’ve put in,” he wiggled his eyebrows again and she smiled. 

“More like I’m at 20, actually,” she teased and he tilted his head as she raised her eyebrows at him. 

“You’re at 20 which means I have gotten you there, therefore…” he said, raising his eyebrows back at her and she shook her head. “No? What does that mean?” 

“At least two, maybe four, have been… without you,” He stared with wide eyes and she pursed her lips together, her fingers still in his hair. “But, I’ll round up and call it 15 for you. With you.” 

“Two or four… without me?” 

“Hmm, yeah.” 

“We’ve been together in one form or another for nearly three weeks, how… and… when?” 

“Well, to be perfectly honest, I was thinking of you and how you…” 

“How I what?” he interrupted, his eyes flitting from her eyes to her breasts, causing her nipples to harden. He ran his fingers up her stomach and between her breasts, her breath catching. “Is it that?” 

“Nnn… no,” she said, clearing her throat, her pulse racing and her legs shaking. “Not that exactly.” 

“What exactly did you mean then?” He circled his index finger slowly around her nipple and she moaned, exhaling loudly, as she bit her lip. “It wasn’t this huh? Because it seems like something that would definitely result in at least one, if not two.” 

“One for sure if you keep doing that,” she breathed, her head falling back as she gripped his hair and he continued his slow movements. 

He scraped his nail down her breast and across her nipple and she cried out, squeezing her legs together, no control over her climax when he touched her that way. 

“Mulder,” she gasped. “Oh, Mulder. You don’t… weren’t we… didn’t you want to know about the… the umm...” 

“The what?” he whispered, palming her breast gently and squeezing her nipple. 

“Fuck if I know,” she exhaled and he laughed. She looked at him as she licked her lips and he smiled. 

“16 for me,” he smirked and she nodded. 

“16. But not 46.” She glanced towards her side and he laughed, shaking his head. “You show me yours, Mulder, I’ll show you mine.” 

“Oh, Scully,” he said, looking over the length of her naked body. “I think we’re past that.” 

“Figuratively, of course.” 

“Hmm,” he nodded, moving his hand from her breast, and shifting his body slightly. “Freckles.” 

“Excuse me? 

“I was counting your freckles,” he smiled and she frowned. 

“My freckles?” 

“Mm-hmm,” he said, kissing the spot where he had inked her and she frowned again. 

“What are you—”

“I was counting them as you slept,” he explained, moving up and staring at her, his eyes moving across her face. “I can see them without your makeup.” He smiled and she reached up to touch his face with a smile of her own. 

“Are you telling me I have 46 freckles on my face?”she asked with a teasing tone. 

“No,” he chuckled. “Though there are quite a few and I love seeing them.” She nodded, her hand on his cheek. “It’s like when I first met you, so fresh faced and young. Not that you aren’t now.” He stopped her hand from leaving his face and moving away from him, as she huffed in mock anger.

“Stop it woman,” he said as he wrapped an arm around her waist, holding her right arm to her side. “I’m paying you a compliment and you will listen to it.”  

“That you prefer me fresh faced and young? Nice compliment,” she teased and he rubbed his face into her neck, his day old scruff scratching at her skin, causing more goosebumps. 

“Prefer? No, and not at all what I said,” he kissed her neck and she sighed, her left hand in his hair. “Young Scully would never have let me do this.” His tongue licked under her jaw and she shuddered. 

“Oh, you might be surprised to learn what young Scully would have let you do,” she breathed as she closed her eyes, memories of motel rooms and car rides where she had very unprofessional thoughts about him. 

He lifted his head and she opened her eyes to find him staring at her in shock. She smiled slowly and winked at him as he shook his head. 

“Well, shit,” he whispered and she laughed softly. He stared at her, his eyes serious, as she touched his face. 

“It could have ended terribly. It might have been amazing. Maybe we would have been different, but that wasn’t our journey. This is, and I’m not complaining,” she whispered, as thunder cracked and lightning flashed and the light on the nightstand fluttered before glowing brightly again. 

They both glanced at it and laughed as they looked back at one another. 

“The gods have spoken it would seem,”  he said with a smile and she nodded, pulling her right arm free as he loosened his hold a little. 

“So, 46 freckles huh?” 

“Mm-hmm.” 

She smiled and ran her thumb across his lips while he stared at her intently. “Will you continue with your tallying? Shall I expect to have numbered circles all over my body?” 

“Little rest areas along the freckled highway?” he teased and she laughed. 

“Something like that, yeah,” she whispered. 

“I plan to continue, yes, I gotta be thorough. Investigate everything,” he said, kissing her thumb on it’s second trip across his lips. “Now you owe me a tit. Or a tat. Not sure which it would be.” 

“Well, you’ve had both this morning, so… I’d say we’re even,” she giggled and he shook his head. 

“Not at all. You owe me two… or four,” he insisted and she sighed with laugh.  

“It was two and you really should add it to your list of 15… 16 now, as I was thinking about you, so credit where it’s due,” she said quietly, running her nails softly down his cheek, his eyes closing briefly. 

“So 18 then, but you haven’t told me what you were thinking. I think I know, but I want to be absolutely sure.” 

Thunder cracked so loudly, she jumped. The light went out, darkening the room, but she could still see him; his beautiful face staring and waiting. 

“You don’t know because I haven’t told you,” she whispered and he hummed. “It’s not what you’re thinking, but I do love that too.” He nodded and she smiled, her right hand on his shoulder, her nails running in circles. 

“It’s the way you kiss me.” 

Lightning flashed, highlighting his surprised face, and she smiled as she stared at his lips. 

“I was getting ready for bed, alone in my apartment, when I thought of how you kiss me, when you take your time. When it’s slow… lazy… languid. I… I had to take care of the ache I felt or I might have gone mad,” she whispered, and his breathing increased as he swallowed hard. 

“Just by thinking about a kiss?” he said in a low gravelly voice and she felt it to her core. 

“Mm-hmm.” 

“A slow, lazy kiss?” he asked, leaning closer to her, his lips close to hers, his breath warm and intoxicating. 

“Ye… yeah…” 

“Like this?” He pressed his lips to hers softly, his kiss unhurried. He kissed her again, opening his mouth and pulling her top lip between his, sucking gently at it and she moaned. 

Slowly, he kissed her as he moved, his body now above her. She could feel that he was more than halfway there now and she shifted, allowing him to settle further between her legs. He ran his tongue slowly across her bottom lip and she whimpered, wanting more, but knowing this was nearly enough. 

Nearly.  

He slid inside of her and she broke from his kiss.  Crying out at the feel of him, the way it was new and felt old all at once. An act they had perfected for years before they ever knew the whole story. He claimed her lips again, slowly kissing her, just as she said she had liked. 

The rain continued, thunder shaking the windows, and lightning flashing; as though nature was capturing the moment, keeping it held safe for all of history. 

Two bodies in motion, slowly learning how to physically love each other. 


Chapter Text

December 11, 2009 

The first one, sitting inside her bag, should have been a clue, but Scully ignored it, her morning already a hurried rush. 

The second one, she also brushed aside. It was Christmas and candy was abundant at that time of year. 

Although not usually in her lab coat pocket. 

The third one made her stop and give pause, as it sat on her desk. And this time,  it was more than one, it was six: two each of green, red, and the classic silver. 

Six chocolate kisses sitting in a pattern, waiting for her on the desk.

Looking around, she saw no one and she could not imagine who would have done it anyway. It was odd, but she thought perhaps it was the office Secret Santa she had quickly signed up for, not really paying much attention at the time. Were they supposed to give candy? She would have to ask Carolyn, the organizer, when she saw her later. 

Picking up a kiss, she unwrapped the green foil and slid the chocolate into her mouth, sighing as it hit her tongue. Closing her eyes, she leaned back in her chair, with a deep breath. 

It had been a hectic few days and the surprise chocolate was helping to ease her tension. It must be her Secret Santa person, who most likely asked around and found out she enjoyed chocolate and this was a cute way to give her her gift. 

She opened her eyes and picked up another kiss, unwrapping it and letting it slowly melt in her mouth. 

Better, she thought, taking another deep breath. Thanks, Secret Santa. 

She stood and scooped up the other kisses, dropping them into her pocket, as she grabbed a file and walked out the door. 

During the course of the day, more kisses appeared, causing her to watch everyone, wondering who was doing this to her. Patients handed them to her with a knowing smile, five were given to her when she paid for her lunch, as the cashier grinned with a wink. 

Frowning, she headed back to her office to eat and see if she could find Carolyn and speak to her, to get some clarification. It was beginning to unnerve her a little bit. 

Arriving in her office, she discovered another bunch of them on her desk, this time arranged in two hearts; one larger one, with a smaller one inside of it. 

“What the hell?” she muttered, looking around again as she set her tray of food on the desk. Shaking her head, she picked up the phone and dialed Carolyn’s extension. 

“Hello?” Came her cheerful voice and Scully closed her eyes. 

“Carolyn, it’s Dana.” 

“Dana! Hello! How are you today?” 

“Fine, thank you. Busy, but you know how that is,” she said and Carolyn laughed. “I just had a question about the Secret Santa you had us sign up for, was it last week? I don’t remember.” 

“We signed up two weeks ago and I sent you an email about it last week. Did you not get it?” 

“Oh! I uh… let me double check,” Scully said, knowing she had definitely ignored it when she saw it last week. Carolyn was a bubbly doctor who was very kind, but sometimes too much for Scully. “Oh, yes here it is, I guess I missed it.” She read it quickly, seeing she had to get something for Doctor Tyler by the eighteenth. 

“Did the email answer your question?” Carolyn asked kindly. 

“Not exactly. I see the date we will exchange gifts, but… we don’t do it early right? No one should do that?” 

“Umm. No, I wouldn’t think so. That’s our staff party date. I don’t know why anyone would do it early. Did you receive a gift?” 

“No. I’m sorry. I think it’s just the season, people are in the sharing spirit. Thank you, Carolyn. Sorry to have bothered you.” 

“Dana, you’re never a bother. Happy I could help. Goodbye.” 

They hung up and Scully looked at the kisses set out in heart shapes again, shaking her head. She was being paranoid, too much time around Mulder all those years. Maybe someone was just being nice, sharing and embracing the season. 

Still, she would be vigilant. Keep an eye out. 

No further kisses appeared after her lunch, for which she was thankful. Able to concentrate on her work, the day passed quickly and at seven, she packed up her bag and left her lab coat on the coat rack. 

Putting half the kisses in her desk drawer, she put the others in her coat pocket, a treat for the drive home. 

As she closed the gate and drove up their driveway, she smiled at the sight before her. Somehow, somewhere, Mulder had found some Christmas lights and put them up around the porch; the big colorful bulbs from when they were young. It was just a few strands, but it made her happy. 

Turning off the car, she took her bag from the backseat and walked up the porch stairs, looking at the lights as she shivered. When she got to the door, it was pulled open before she could touch the knob. Mulder grinned at her and glanced toward the lights. 

“Huh?” he asked and she looked over her shoulder at them. She smiled as she turned back to him. 

“I like it. It looks very Christmasy,” she said and he nodded. As she made to step inside he stopped her and she frowned at him. 

“Look up,” he said and she did, finding mistletoe hanging above the door. Smiling as she looked at him, he winked at her. “I’m gonna need a kiss.” He put his palm out and she frowned again. 

“What?” 

“Oh come on, I know you have to have at least one left,” he teased, and she realized what he was talking about. 

“It was you?” she said, reaching into her pocket and feeling the small remaining handful of the colorfully wrapped kisses. 

“I would hope so. Unless I should know about someone else leaving you kisses at your place of work,” he said with a grin. 

“How did you do that?” 

“Nope, not until you give me a kiss.” He pushed his palm closer to her and she grinned, taking one from her pocket and placing it in his hand. “No, I want a red one.” 

She laughed and took the handful from her pocket and found a red one for him, exchanging it for the silver one he already held. He smiled and nodded, unwrapping it and putting it in his mouth while she did the same with the silver one, and put the extras back in her pocket. 

They stared at each other with a smile as the chocolate melted in their mouths. Reaching out, he put his hand on her cheek, his thumb grazing softly. 

“Now, I’ll take a real kiss,” he said and she licked her lips, his head coming closer to kiss her softly, which quickly intensified, as his tongue slid into her mouth. 

No longer caring how he did it, only that he did, she wrapped her arms around his neck, her bag hitting his back. He laughed into her mouth as he pulled her inside and closed the door, his kiss tasting of the most delicious of chocolates. 

 

Chapter Text

Mulder sat outside of Scully’s hospital room, waiting for everyone to leave so he could go inside and see her. He put the picture of himself and his sister in his jacket pocket; a worry for another day. 

He leaned his head back against the wall, crossed his arms and closed his eyes. Mrs. Scully laughed and he smiled, happy to hear her joy when he had heard too much of her sadness. He took a deep breath and shook his head, the days beginning to catch up to him. 

“Fox.” 

He jerked up, heavy with sleep. Turning his head, he saw Mrs. Scully standing beside him, her hand touching his shoulder. 

“Dana wants to see you,” she said softly with a smile. “We’re leaving now.” She squeezed lightly and then looked at Bill with a nod. He glared at Mulder and they walked away. 

He stood up and stretched with a groan, picking up his jacket and pushing open her door. She was lying on her side, the lights dimmed, and he thought she was asleep until she smiled at him as she reached out her hand. He smiled as he pulled up a chair and took it, holding her fingers lightly. 

“How are you feeling?” he said quietly and she smiled wider as she closed her eyes. 

“So much better,” she breathed, exhaling as she did. “I have to stay tonight but I can go home tomorrow.” 

“I could come get you. Take you home.” 

“Mmmm, that sounds good,” she mumbled and he smiled. 

“You rest. Sleep, Scully,” he said, stroking her hair and watching her eyelids fluttering. He stayed until he heard her breathing evenly and he smiled, tucking her hair behind her ear. 

Shutting off the light, he looked at her once again, smiling as he left, his heart lighter than it had been in days. 

____________

8:45 the next morning, he arrived at the hospital, riding the elevator to her floor and walking down the hallway to her room.

He opened the door and saw she was dressed in loose comfortable clothes and sitting on the bed. When she saw it was him, she smiled and stood up.

“Hi. Are you early? Did we say nine?” 

“We didn't set a time as you fell asleep before we could,” he teased and she laughed with a nod. 

“I guess I did. Well, I’m just waiting on the discharge papers. It takes awhile sometimes.” She smiled and he grinned. 

“You look better than you have.” 

“Thank you?” 

“I just mean…” 

“Relax, Mulder. I know how terrible I looked. I feel a lot better. It’s weird…” She put a hand to the back of her neck, touching the small bandage covering her procedure. “I don’t know if I want to understand it or think about it too much. I’m just thankful to be alive.” He stared at her and nodded. 

“I know the feeling,” he said softly and she sighed with a smile. “You all set then?” 

“Hell yes, I can’t wait to get out of here,” she declared and he laughed, nodding at her as she rolled her eyes. 

“Do you want to—”

“Hello! Good morning. Oh hello, Fox,” Mrs. Scully said. “It’s good to see you again. And so soon.” She smiled at him and he nodded, his eyes cutting to Scully. “Dana, hello. You look better today.” 

“So I’ve been told,” she said, looking at Mulder with a smirk as he looked between the two of them. “What are you doing here, Mom? Not that I’m not happy to see you.” 

“I told you last night that I would pick you up and bring you home.” 

“You did? I don’t… don’t remember that conversation.” 

“Yes, before I left, I said I’d be here before nine and help you pack up your stuff. Which I see you’ve already done,” Mrs. Scully said, as she looked around. “Fox, did you… oh, are you here to pick Dana up? Did I miss something?” 

“No,” he said, clearing his throat. “I came for a visit with Dana and discovered you were on the way. I decided to keep her company until you got here,” he lied, smiling at her as he caught Scully’s eye and she shook her head. 

“Oh, aren’t you so sweet?” She stepped closer to the bed, patting his chest as she did. “Is this it?” She pointed to the two bags on the bed and Scully nodded as the nurse entered the room, the discharge papers in her hand. 

Mulder backed up closer to the wall and let them talk as he slid his hands into his jacket pockets. Scully looked his way a few times and he smiled, reassuring her that it was all fine. When the nurse finally left, he stepped closer to them and smiled. 

“I’ll be going now, give you ladies a chance to finish up and get headed for home,” he looked between them, his gaze telling Scully, again, that it was okay. She sighed and he knew she understood. 

“Mrs Scully, it’s always a pleasure to see you.” He said as he gently rubbed her upper arm and then turned to Scully. “I’ll call you later. Make sure you’re doing okay?” She nodded and he stepped toward the door. 

“Fox, I feel like there was a misunderstanding. If you would rather take Dana home…” She stared at him and he waved her away with a smile. 

“Not at all. I was just here for a visit. I’ll see you later.” He waved at them and walked out, sighing as he continued down the hallway. Taking the elevator back down, he got in his car and drove home. 

It was over an hour after he had been home, when he remembered the bouquet of flowers he had left on her dining room table that morning. Something to make her smile and for them to joke about. 

“Shit,” he muttered and made to call her, feeling a need to explain himself, but knowing she had likely already seen them, and he missed seeing her happy smile. He decided to wait and leave it until later, give her a chance to settle in at home. 

He paced the apartment with too much nervous energy. Deciding to take advantage of the now empty hours, he cleaned his bathroom, did two loads of  laundry, and took out the trash. 

As he was coming back, he heard his phone ringing. He picked it up and heard her tired sigh. 

“My mother just left,” she nearly whined and he chuckled. 

“It was just a couple of hours.”

“I know. I’m just tired and a little grumpy.” 

“Have you eaten? I could bring you something. Unless you’d rather be alone?” 

“I could eat something. Nothing too heavy, though. Maybe just some soup?” He grinned and nodded. 

“You got it. Be there soon.” He hung up and grabbed his jacket, car keys, wallet and phone and walked out the door. 

______________

She opened the door, already in her pajamas, despite the early afternoon hour. Smiling a tired smile, she stepped aside to let him enter. He set the bag he was carrying on the dining room table and looked at the flowers sitting where he had left them. 

“Thank you for the flowers. They’re beautiful,” she said softly and he nodded, glancing at her with a smile; no teasing explanation needed. 

Reaching into the cupboard, he took down two bowls and three plates, setting them on the table. Opening a different cupboard, he took out glasses and filled them with water, setting them beside the plates. Two spoons and two butter knives were passed to her as she sat down, a small smile on her face. 

“I got bread too and that chicken and rice soup you like. Just a little to start?” He looked at her and she nodded. He took out a larger spoon and filled their bowls, keeping her portion small. 

He took out the bread and put it on a plate, cutting it into pieces with a bread knife. Picking up the two bowls of soup, he set one in front of her and the other beside her. Their plates were brought closer along with the bread before he went to the refrigerator, and took out the butter. He set it by the bread and then brought over their glasses, as he sat down beside her. 

“Wow, that was like watching a very well rehearsed play. You sure do know your way around my kitchen,” she teased, as her eyes drooped a little and she yawned. 

“Yeah, now be quiet and eat your soup,” he teased back and she nodded, yawning again. “As much as you want, don’t push it.” 

“Mm-hmm.” 

They ate in silence, her eating a piece of bread and half a bowl of soup, yawning every few minutes. 

“Why don’t you go lay down? I’ll clean up and put the extras in the fridge.” 

“We could watch a movie.” 

“Scully,” he laughed. “You’ll never make it through ten minutes of a movie. You’re exhausted and you need to rest.” 

“But you came all this way and you brought food. And those flowers.” She yawned again and he smiled, rising from his chair. 

“Come on, let’s go,” he said, gently pulling out her chair and she whined. “Come on.” He placed a hand on her back and led her to her bedroom. 

He pulled the covers back and she took off her slippers as she sat down. Sighing, she looked at him and he smiled. 

“Rain check on that movie?” she asked in a tired voice, her eyes nearly closed, and he nodded. 

“Always.” 

She laid down on her side and closed her eyes with a contented sigh as he covered her up. “Can I get you anything? Water? Any medication?” 

“Hmmm. Ummm… water. And there is a bottle… bottle of pills on the counter.” She began to breathe deeply and he smiled, watching her sleeping already. 

“And you wanted to watch a movie,” he whispered, shaking his head. 

Brushing her hair back, he stared at the hollow of her cheeks and the paleness of her skin. So much had been taken from her, because of him and his quest, and yet she had trusted him enough to put a piece of metal under her skin in the hope of saving her life. 

Moving his hand to her neck, he ran his fingers softly over the bandage, imagining the life force it held underneath. He closed his eyes, placing his palm across it, offering his strength to her as though that could also heal her. Opening his eyes, he watched her sleeping for a bit longer before he stood up. 

He went into the kitchen to clean up the mess from their meal. He washed and dried the dishes, putting them away and wiping down the sink. The leftovers were closed up and placed in the refrigerator, something  for her to eat when she woke and felt a bit better. He looked around when he was finished, satisfied with the cleanliness of the room. 

He refilled her glass of water, picked up the bottle of pills she mentioned, and walked into her bedroom. Setting the items on the nightstand, he watched her sleeping. Bending down, he brushed her hair back gently, and kissed her forehead softly. 

“Goodnight, Scully,” he whispered, kissing her forehead once more. He stood up and walked out of her room, closing the door as he left. 

He turned on a lamp, not sure when she would wake and not wanting her to be in complete darkness. He stepped out the door, and locked it behind him. Staring at it, he shook his head and closed his eyes. So close. He had come so close to losing her. 

Again. 

Placing his hand upon the door, he shook his head and sighed, as he opened his eyes. Had was the operative word. She was there, sleeping soundly, once more defying the odds. Choking back a sob, he nodded, removed his hand from the door, and walked down the hall. 

 

Chapter Text

Scully sat outside Mulder’s apartment, swallowing down her tears. Over and over, she cleared her throat, trying to break up the lump that sat there, no matter what she did. 

Taking one last deep breath, she got out of the car and walked into the lobby. Pushing the button for the elevator, she took deep breaths until it arrived and on the journey to his floor, her tears threatening to fall at any moment. 

When the doors opened, she stepped out and walked down the hallway, every step feeling heavy and awkward. 

He was leaving, going back to Oregon in the morning, and it felt like he was heading to his end; by death or simply just away from her forever. She knew it sounded absurd, even to her own thinking. 

But, God… She stopped walking, taking a deep breath and closing her eyes, she felt it like a weight inside of her. Something was going to happen, and there was nothing she could do to stop it, he would go no matter what she said. 

He had to. There he would find the proof he had been searching for for so long. 

Taking the last few steps to his door, she raised her hand to knock, when it was opened and Mulder stared at her in surprise. 

“Oh! I thought I was coming to your place?” He smiled and she felt the tears building in her throat again. “Scully?” 

“No,” she said forcefully as he raised his eyebrows. “I said I would come here. And stay. So…” She forced a smile and he frowned before he nodded. 

“Where’s your bag?” 

“What?” 

“You’re staying?” She nodded and he smiled. “Didn’t you bring a bag?” 

“I… it’s in the car. I guess I… I forgot it. Shit. I’ll be right back.” She turned around and he stopped her. 

“How about I get it?” He took her keys, squeezing her hand as he did, his other hand on her shoulder. “You pick out a movie or something. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” He smiled and she watched him run to the stairs, the door squeaking as he opened it. 

Turning around, she looked into his apartment and entered it in a zombie-like state; stumbling and unsure. His bag was by the door and she shook her head, not wanting to see that right now. Walking into his living room, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath through her nose. 

It smelled of him: his cologne, the leather couch, and the specific scent of his apartment. When she left and went home, after hours spent at his place working or watching a movie, she could smell his apartment in her clothing and her hair. Sometimes she would purposely not shower, choosing instead to fall asleep with the scent of him everywhere. 

Opening her eyes, she looked around the room, as though memorizing it. How it was when he was there, the feeling it had, like electricity waiting to spark. Shaking her head, her eyes filled with tears and she could no longer stop them. A great sob wracked within her and she covered her face with her hands, her tears falling fast. 

The door closed, announcing Mulder’s arrival, and she could not stop her tears and pretend that things were fine. Not now. 

“I got your bag. Did you find a movie? Scully?” She did not turn around and above her soft cries, she heard him walking toward her. 

“Scully?” he whispered, and this time she did turn, walking straight into his arms. 

She heard him whispering into her hair, words she did not understand, as she cried against his chest. She shook her head, trying to calm down, knowing she was overdramatizing things, but still her fears lingered. 

He stroked her hair and kissed her head, and she took a deep breath. Pulling back, she took two steps away and kept her head down, embarrassed by her tears. 

“What’s going on?” he asked softly. Shaking her head, she did not answer, now angry at herself for breaking down. “Scully, talk to me.” 

“Mulder,” she breathed, shaking her head again. Looking up, the concern she saw on his face broke her heart. “Mulder…” She stepped back and wrapped her arms around his waist. 

He took a deep breath and she felt it against her chest and heard it in her ear. They said nothing as they stood there, her eyes closed, as she listened to him breathing and the steady beat of his heart. 

“I can’t ask you to stay, I know I can’t,” she whispered and his breathing paused. “But, I’m scared, Mulder. Scared you’ll get hurt, or… and I won’t be there. Mulder…” She began to cry again and he held her tighter. 

“What if you’re wrong?” 

“What if I’m wrong about what?” 

“Abductees are being taken, yes, but…” she pulled back to look at him and shook her head. “What if I’m not in danger? What if you are?” 

“I don’t…” 

“What if… I don’t know. I just… I was there and it didn’t take me. Why?” 

“It doesn’t matter. I won’t let that happen again. I can’t… Scully I can’t lose you. Even if I’m wrong…” He stared at her, holding her face in his hands and he sighed. “I don’t want to take that chance, Scully. I can’t.” He shook his head and she nodded as she held his forearm. 

“But I can’t lose you either, Mulder. I can’t. I love you,” she said, with no hesitation, completely sure and needing him to hear it. He smiled softly as his thumbs stroked her face. 

“I love you too, Scully,” he said so quietly, tears filled her eyes. She wrapped her arms around him again, breathing in his scent, his heartbeat once more bringing her comfort. 

_________

They lay in his bed, neither of them sleeping, the minutes ticking ever closer toward the preset alarm. Holding tightly to each other, they were both silent and then words were said in a rush, tumbling from their mouths, unable to be held back. 

He kissed her and within minutes they were naked, his hands trailing up and down her body as she slowly made love to him, his eyes holding hers as she rose up and down. 

Limbs tangled, hearts racing, she cried again, feeling as though it was the last time they would be this way; just them alone together, as the world was held at bay. 

“I love you, Scully,” he whispered and she burrowed closer to him, whispering it back, wishing they never had to move from his bed. 

The alarm rang though, shattering the silence, the sky outside still dark. Reaching over, he shut it off and kissed her softly, before he got up and went into the bathroom. 

Lying in his bed, she listened to him moving around, quiet this morning, not singing as he sometimes did. She sat up and sighed, walking naked across his room to grab her bag by the front door. 

Coming back into his room, she fixed the blankets, not quite up to Scully standards, but definitely up to his. Smiling faintly, she stared at the bed, thoughts of so many happy moments spent there presenting themselves to her. 

She sighed, setting her bag on his bed and walking into the bathroom. She used the toilet and then stepped into the shower, surprising him. Washing each other, they shared kisses under the warmth of the water before they got out, dried off, and dressed in near silence. 

She dried her hair as he brushed his teeth and fixed his hair. Applying minimal makeup, she sighed as she looked at him in the mirror. He smiled and she answered with a small one of her own. 

“It’s okay, Scully. You being safe is all that matters to me. I’ll be back here, driving you crazy with my theories, before you even have time to miss me,” he teased and she turned around to look at him, not his reflection. 

“Does it count, if I already miss you?” She smiled sadly as he laughed quietly, caressing her cheek and kissing her softly. 

“I have to be gone for you to miss me,” he said with a smile, walking out of the bathroom with his toiletry bag. 

“No. You don’t,” she whispered, closing her eyes and sighing. 

__________

The drive to the airport was quiet, his hand holding hers the entire time. Her heart hurt with every mile they travelled.

He was leaving her. 

Leaving

Pulling up to the curbside drop off, she stopped and let go of his hand to put the car in park. Taking her hand back, he kissed each finger before he stepped out of the car. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, turning off the car, and stepping out herself. 

He took his bag from the backseat and she glanced to the left, seeing Skinner standing some distance down by the airport doors. He nodded at her and she turned away with a sigh, her head down. 

“There’s Skinner,” he said. 

“Mm-hmm.” 

“Scully,” he breathed and she looked up with another heavy sigh. 

She heard his bag drop as she felt it hit her feet. His hands came up to cradle her face, staring deeply into her eyes, and shaking his head. 

“I love you,” he whispered and she scrunched her chin, trying not to cry. 

“I love you,” she whispered back and he smiled. 

“I’ll be home soon,” he said and she nodded, though it felt like a lie. “Give you some time to miss me.” 

“Mulder,” she said with a shake of her head. “Don’t…”   

“I’m sorry,” he whispered and she gave a shaky sigh. “Goodbye, Scully.” 

I’ll see you soon,” she said forcefully and he nodded. 

“I’ll see you soon, Scully.” 

“Yes, Mulder, you will.” 

He smiled and kissed her softly, not caring that Skinner was most likely watching them. She held onto his shirt, kissing him thoroughly and memorizing the feel of his lips. 

He laid his forehead against hers and whispered goodbye, kissing her once more. Bending to pick up his bag, he smiled, squeezed her hand and walked away. When he reached Skinner, he turned around and waved goodbye. She smiled and lifted her hand, her stomach roiling with anxiety. 

They walked inside the airport and she exhaled, her arms around her middle as she took a deep breath. 

He was gone. Just inside the airport and only feet away from her. 

She missed him already. 

 

Chapter Text

Scully walked down the hall to Mulder’s hospital room, a bright orange plastic bag held in her hand, and a smile on her face. 

Skinner and the Gunmen left earlier that morning, but she and Mulder were not leaving until tomorrow, though he had been cleared to be released today. 

As he had been on a boat that busted into many thousands of pieces, no belongings to speak of, he was in need of clothes and toiletries, which she was currently bringing to him. 

She laughed inwardly, anticipating when he saw what she had picked out for him. Licking her lips, she opened his door, setting her expression to neutral. 

Finding his bed empty, she frowned as she set the bag of items down on said bed. 

“Mulder?” 

“Yeah?” Came a reply from the bathroom. 

“You okay?” 

“Uh… yeah… just a bit sore.” He walked out of the bathroom in his hospital gown, a grimace on his face. “I have so many bruises on my body. I feel like I’ve been beaten with a baseball bat.” 

“Considering the state of the boat you were on, you’re lucky it’s only bruises and not broken bones. Or a broken neck,” she said with a raise of her eyebrow. “What the hell were you even doing out there Mulder?” He looked at her and she raised both eyebrows. 

“I was looking for the Queen Anne.” 

“Of that I’m aware. And you say that as though it’s completely normal to go looking for a ghost ship. In the Bermuda Triangle.” She shook her head and he nodded with a shrug. 

“I just wanted to see if it was really there.” She scoffed and he pointed his finger at her. “You saw it too, Scully. You were even on it.” 

“Yes, I was.” 

“So, what’s your point?” 

“My point, Mulder, is that the ship I was on-”

“Which everyone believed had been sunk by a German U-boat.” 

“Right, and finding it was a big deal. But, the ship I was on was empty. Had been for a very long time.” She stared at him and crossed her arms. 

“Doesn’t explain how it just showed up out of nowhere, even if it was deserted.” 

“No it doesn't, that's true. Yet, you claim when you were on it, it was full of people, including me.” 

“Because you were there, Scully,” he said adamantly. “I saw you. I spoke to you, touched you, and…” 

“And?” 

“You were there,” he finished lamely and she furrowed her brow. “Are those the clothes you got for me?” 

“That was a wide subject change,” she stated as he walked cautiously toward the bed. 

“I’m just ready to get out of this gown and this hospital.” 

“Uh huh.” 

He turned his head and looked at her. She still stood with her arms crossed and a frown on her face. She knew there was more to his answer that he was not telling her, but she let it go for now. 

Picking up the bag, he started to look inside when he stopped and looked at her again. 

“You can’t be serious,” he said, looking almost disgusted with the clothes. 

“What do you mean?” she asked, trying not to laugh as she stepped closer to him. 

“What is this?” He took the shirt from the bag and she fought back a smile. 

“It’s a shirt.” 

“Ha! This is not a shirt! This is a lifestyle.” He held up the button down shirt and this time she did laugh. 

Knowing he needed only one outfit to get him home, she had shopped in the hotel gift shop, something that was not available in most of the places they stayed. It had a small section of every type of clothes, so she was able to get everything he needed. 

The shirt she picked was light blue with pink flamingos, palm trees, hibiscus flowers, islands, and white capped waves. It had dark brown buttons, which the clerk had happily informed her were made from coconuts. 

“Scully,” he sighed and set the shirt on the bed, reaching inside the bag to pull out the next item. “Scully.” He stared at her and she covered her mouth with her hand, holding back a giggle. 

He held it up and she laughed again at the salmon colored Bermuda shorts with spouting blue whales.  

“You cannot be serious.” 

“There is a pack of undershirts and underwear in there, too.” She laughed and he shook his head. 

“Scully, why in the world would you buy these clothes?” 

“You needed something to wear, I don’t have a car to go driving all over, the hotel has a gift shop… problem solved.” She shrugged and smiled at him. 

“And this is what you picked?” He held up the shirt and shorts against himself and looked at her. “Dana Scully, look at this outfit.” 

“I think it looks good,” she said, pursing her lips and avoiding his eyes. 

“You’re full of shit,” he said, setting the clothes down and staring at her. 

“I am? Me? The one who came to help you after you disappeared off of a radar? Of which you told me no plans before you left? I’m full of shit?” He stared at her and she raised her eyebrows. “I think you might want to rethink your comment.” 

“I couldn’t tell you.” 

“Why? Because I would tell you it’s a stupid idea? And possibly dangerous?” 

“That and then you would’ve inevitably come with me,” he said quietly and she frowned. 

“You didn’t want me to come with you?” 

“Not in the way you think,” he said with a small smile. 

“Then how do you mean?” He sighed as he looked down and then raised his head. 

“You were already saddled with the bill from our last… side trip, which was my fault. I didn’t want you… this was something I wanted to do and you don’t need to…” 

“Save you? From your stupid ideas?” She smiled and he sighed again. “Mulder, it’s been six years, I’ve been around for a lot of stupid ideas.” He laughed softly and she nodded. “As for the reimbursement payment, you and I split that, as you know.” 

“This was different. This was…” He started at her and nodded. “A stupid idea.” 

“Well, it’s nice to hear you admit it,” she said with a smile. 

“I’ll go get changed.” He picked up the bag and the shirt and shorts with a shake of his head. “I still can’t believe this outfit.” 

“You’re going to blend in perfectly,” she teased and he shook his head again, adding a loud sigh. 

He walked into the bathroom and she sat on the bed with a smile. His chart was hanging at the end of his bed and she lifted it up to see what medications they had been giving him the past two days. 

Codeine and a saline IV. Then Tylenol only. 

She set it back with a frown. Codeine could have attributed to his belief that there had been people on the Queen Anne, it usually made him sleepy. He had to have dreamed it all, because any other thought was simply not possible. 

But why had he said he loved her? She thought it was the medication, but codeine would not make him that loopy. 

“I don’t have shoes,” he called from the bathroom, cutting into her thoughts. 

“Keep looking,” she called back. She heard his sigh through the door and laughed silently. 

“Flip flops, Scully? Really?” 

“It’s the island lifestyle, Mulder, to go with your new snazzy shirt.” 

“I’m really not happy about this.” 

“Join the club.” He sighed again and she laughed quietly. 

The bathroom door opened and she turned her head to look at him, loud laughter immediately bubbling out of her. He stood and shook his head, his arms outstretched, showing off his outfit. She leaned forward, a hand on her chest, as she laughed. 

“Is it the flip flops? Because I actually think I like them. I might wear them all the time.” He looked down at his toes and wiggled them, causing her to laugh harder. 

“Oh, Mulder,” she said, trying to stop laughing. “It’s all of it. The whole outfit. I thought it would be funny and I was not wrong, but it’s so much better than I imagined.” She laughed, sticking her hand up, and closing her eyes. 

“Yeah, it’s… it’s something,” he agreed as she opened her eyes and saw him smoothing the shirt down. He touched the buttons and looked at her with a smile. 

“Those buttons are made from coconuts, in case that’s what you were wondering,” she said with a snort and he raised his eyebrows. 

“It was exactly what I was thinking,” he said sarcastically, with a shake of his head. “If you’re ready to stop laughing, I’m certainly ready to leave.” She sobered up with just an occasional chortle as they looked around, making sure he had everything. 

“I can’t believe I’m wearing this,” he muttered and she stopped him from leaving the room with a hand by his chest. 

“You left me with no choice when you decided to come here. It was a stupid idea, probably close to one of the dumber ones you’ve had. But if you would have told me, I would’ve been here,” she said seriously, holding his gaze and he nodded.  

“I know.” 

“But, then I suppose if you hadn’t come here, you might not have met the other me, the me from 1939, traveling with Thor’s hammer,” she teased. “Question about that: how did she hold it? No mortal is supposed to be able to lift it.” She tried to keep a straight face, but as realization of what she said dawned on him, he smiled slowly and it brought about her own. 

“It wasn’t Mjölnir, if that’s what you’re implying. She wasn’t walking around with the most fearsome and powerful weapon ever in existence, one that could level mountains,” he said with a grin and she shrugged with a smile. “Although, on some level I suppose she was, as he was a scientist who could control the outcome of the war. But that you even thought about that Thor… Scully...” He shook his head and sighed deeply, his eyes travelling her face. 

“Hmm…” she hummed. “So she was traveling with an undercover scientist, to protect him. Sounds like he was smart to have that protection in place, you never know when you might need it. You should have made friends with her, maybe she could have helped you."

“Ha!” he laughed, shaking his head. 

“That’s funny to you?” 

“Scully. I told you, you… her… whoever, the outcome of history was saved because of you/her,” he said, staring at her. “I might not ever have seen you again, if you hadn’t listened to me and gone back to the past… for the future.”

“Do you hear yourself? I mean, really yourself?” she asked, and he exhaled a laugh. 

“She shared that trait with you; doubting me, thinking I was crazy, and yet I was right,” She stared at him, her eyebrows raised as she shook her head, and he laughed again. “Same expression too.” 

“I would’ve liked to have seen that. How you handled two of us.” His eyes grew wide and he cleared his throat loudly. “Oh… that’s an interesting reaction.” She smiled and he took a step back. 

“You ready to go?” 

“No. Not until you explain that throat clearing business.” 

“Just needed to do it.” 

“Now who’s full of shit?” she asked, and he sighed, looking at the floor. “Mulder?” 

He looked up and she raised her eyebrows again, as she watched him rub the left side of his face with a wince. Sighing, he dropped his hand and she saw a faint bruise on his cheek. 

“I know it wasn’t you, but she looked exactly like you. Well, a bit more…” he said, gesturing everywhere. 

“More…?”

“She was dressed in a red satin gown, hair done up, a fancy necklace,” he explained, not meeting her eyes. 

“Fancy Scully, huh?” she teased, and he looked at her; her eyes and down to her lips, making her throat go dry. “So she believed you, enough to go back to the past, to save the future? How did you convince her?” 

“I can be very convincing,” he said quietly. 

“Yes, I know,” she replied. 

“I wasn’t sure she would even do it before I jumped overboard, but she did, just as you would have done.” 

“Is that how you got that particular bruise? Jumping overboard?” she asked, nodding to his face. 

“Uh, not exactly,” he laughed and she stared, waiting for him to explain. He sighed and she tilted her head to the side. “I… I didn’t think things would be fixed. I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again. The butterfly effect and all that… and so…” 

“So what, Mulder?” she asked softly. He looked at her and she already knew, but wanted to hear him say it. 

“I kissed you… her,” he nearly whispered, and her heart pounded. “And then she punched me in the face. A mean right hook.” 

“Well, that should have cleared it up right then. If a strange rambling man kissed me, I’d have gone with a left,” she laughed. 

“Exactly what I told her,” he said with a nervous chuckle, staring at her as though gauging her reaction. 

“Why?” 

“Why… why did I kiss her?”

“Yeah.” 

He inhaled and shook his head. “I… do I really need a reason? She was you, sort of, and I thought I might never see you again. I… do you really need to hear a reason, Scully?” He stared at her, his eyes soft, reminding her of a moment in his hallway not so long ago. 

“No, I don’t,” she whispered, stepping closer to him. “So, the past me kept the future intact in order for us to be here in the present. What will we do with that knowledge?” 

He slowly reached his hand out, placing it on her cheek, and she laid her hands gently on his chest. She smiled slightly as he leaned forward, the memory of the moment in his hallway once again burning in her mind, and she closed her eyes. 

His lips landed on hers and she sighed as she pressed further into him, gripping his shirt tightly in her hands. He kissed her softly, keeping it chaste, a sweet tentative step forward, but she felt it throughout her entire body. 

When he pulled back, he smiled shyly at her and she grinned, keeping a hold of his shirt. 

“See? Aren’t I better than some dream version? I didn’t punch you for one, and it happened despite your stupid idea to come here and most definitely despite this outfit,” she whispered with a smile and he laughed. She tugged at his shirt and kissed him one more time. “Let’s get outta here.” He nodded and she stepped back, letting go of his shirt. 

He now held the bright orange plastic bag as they walked out the door and down the hallway, his flip flops flopping loudly, much to his embarrassment and her amusement. 

“Nice shirt, man,” a male nurse said as he walked past them and Mulder looked at Scully as he shook his head. 

“It’s not a terrible shirt, admit it,” she said, pushing the elevators down button, and bumping him with her arm. 

“It’s not terrible,” he agreed, as he looked at it and then at her. “And it’s been a good shirt so far.” She grinned and he winked. “Oh, wait. It’s missing a button, look. Do you have the receipt? We could return it.” He looked at her and she shook her head. 

The elevator doors opened and they stepped inside. 

“No. But, I do have the missing button. It must have come off when I…” 

“Had a death grip on it?” he teased.

“I can sew it back on for you,” she said, holding it out to him. He looked at it and then felt where it was missing on his shirt, shaking his head. 

“No, you should keep it. I like the shirt better this way,” he said with a happy grin. 

She smiled back at him as the elevator doors closed, ready to take them away from the hospital and onto the next stupid adventure. 

Together this time. 

Chapter Text

August 2010 

9:30 a.m.

“Mulder?” Scully called, fresh out of a quick shower, as she grabbed her clothes from the closet and from the drawers, setting them on the bed. “Mulder!”

“You rang?” he said, in a deep Lurch voice as he walked into the bedroom. 

“I did,” she said, hurrying as she took off her robe and he hummed in appreciation. “I need your help.” 

“More than happy to help,” he said in a low voice, stepping closer and beginning to lift his shirt. 

“No, not that,” she smiled, reaching for her bra and putting it on as he groaned out a complaint and released his shirt. “I’ve been called into the hospital and this is my last pair of clean underwear.” She lifted them and showed him, before sliding them up her legs as he groaned again. 

“So far not seeing the problem,” he shrugged and she gave him a look, to which he waggled his eyebrows. 

“I had planned on doing the laundry today, but I have to go in. Right now.” She put on her shirt and buttoned it, then put on her pants, tucking in her shirt. “I also have that conference in two days, for which I was going to get all the laundry done today.  I was going to pack and be ready, but now I am down to this last pair, and won’t have time to wash them before I work again tomorrow.” She sighed as she stared at him and he smiled. 

“I can do the laundry for you. I can even pack if you’d like,” he suggested and she cringed, knowing how he had packed his own things in the past. Unfolded, socks not always paired, everything in disarray. “Okay okay, just the laundry then.” He laughed as she nodded with a relieved expression. 

“Thank you, Mulder. I would really appreciate it.” She smiled and went into the bathroom to put on her makeup. She let her down from its messy bun and began to brush it. 

“Although, I still don’t see the problem with no underwear,” he said, following her into the bathroom and sitting on the side of the tub. 

“Ha! Until you have to be conscious of how you to sit in a skirt to avoid flashing underwear, you don’t get to have an opinion about going without them,” she told him, with a look over her shoulder. 

“Huh, didn’t think about that,” he murmured, rubbing at his lips, and she shook her head with a smile. “Okay, Scully, I’m your guy. I’ll wash the laundry and get things ready for you. Any dry cleaning you need picked up?” She smiled again with a nod and he winked as he gave her a thumbs up. 

She left twenty minutes later, kissing him goodbye and walking to the car. As she opened the door, he called out to her. 

“They all go in the dryer right? They’re not like the pink sweater?” he asked and she growled. 

“Yes, they do. And I’m still mad about that you know,” she said, turning to look at him as he stood on the porch, and shaking her head. 

“It was two years ago. And I bought you another one,” he said, sighing loudly and shrugging with his hands out wide. 

“Not the same,” she said pointedly and he sighed again. 

“No… I know. It’s not the same. I really did like that pink sweater.” 

“So did I,” she said with a sigh. 

“All right, Doc, you gotta get going. Go be amazing and save the world. I’ll tackle underwear mountain.” He saluted her and she laughed, waving goodbye as she drove away. 

______________

Almost thirteen hours later, she pulled up to the house, turned off the car and sighed heavily. She rested her head on the steering wheel, her body achingly tired. Taking a deep breath, she lifted her head and took the keys from the ignition, and opened the door. 

Trudging up the stairs, she sighed wearily as she unlocked the door and stepped inside the house. It was completely dark, something that very rarely happened. She turned on a light, frowning as her eyes adjusted to it. As she did, she noticed that there were things hanging from the ceiling. 

Dropping her keys and taking off her coat, she stepped forward to investigate. When she saw what it was, she laughed, looking around for Mulder, but he was nowhere to be seen. 

Reaching up, she touched a pair of her black lacy underwear which were hanging from a clear string. On it was a small post-it note that read: elevation- 100 feet. She giggled and moved past it, walking to the next one.

Touching the white pair with purple lace, she saw another note: elevation- 200 feet. Shaking her head, she walked around to the three other different ones that hung around the room. Each pair had a different level of elevation. 

Seeing one hanging in the stairway, she walked over to it and looked at the note: elevation- 1000 feet. Keep coming! ; )  She shook her head and continued up the stairs, finding one pair on the railing, with the note: elevation… too… high and a skull and crossbones under it. 

She laughed and carried it to their room, finding a pair hanging on the doorknob with a note: summit approaching. Nearly there! 

She took that pair too and opened the door with a smile. In the middle of the bed was a pile of clothes, folded and stacked neatly, arranged in a tower, like a mountain. On the top, were the remaining pairs of her underwear, stacked by color and style. 

The top pair was attached to a wooden dowel and arranged like a flag. She laughed as she shook her head. He had bought that pair of underwear for her as a silly joke: midnight blue with white stars that also glowed in the dark. That feature had led to a fun night the first time she wore them, along with many puns from Mulder. Now, it was being used as a marker on the summit of what she could only conclude was laundry mountain, and she grinned

Setting down the other pairs of underwear she held in her hands, she walked into the bathroom, looking to see if Mulder was hiding in there, waiting to surprise her. As she stood in the doorway, she heard a noise behind her and turned around to find Mulder walking toward her and she laughed hysterically. 

He was wearing ski clothes, all of it very loud as he walked closer: pants, a puffy jacket, a beanie, goggles, and thick gloves. He was also wearing her earmuffs, the pink fluffy ones that had been a white elephant gift one year from her mother at Christmas. 

“You made it!” he yelled, and she quickly covered her ears as she laughed. “Welcome to Underwear Mountain! You’ve reached the summit!” He clapped his gloved hands and she giggled, shaking her head at him. 

“It was a little dicey for awhile,” he continued to yell, “but the job was finished and it all came together! I’ve cleared the mountain, and I’ve brought bit home to celebrate and share it with you!” He made a sweeping motion with his gloved hand and turned toward the bed. 

“As you saw on your climb,” he shouted again and she laughed, stepping closer to look at the craft he created, her tiredness forgotten and replaced with giddy happiness. “The mountain has different elevations, but the peak… well, it’s more than worth the effort! The most wonderful places always are, I have found!” 

He turned back toward her and smiled, the pink earmuffs causing her to laugh again. She walked over to him and could see herself reflected in the goggles. 

“You are something else,” she chuckled and he shook his head. 

“What?!” He yelled and she closed her eyes, her eyebrows up as she smiled. She opened her eyes and he nodded. “You’ll need to speak up! The wind up here is strong and it blows something fierce!” 

She pushed the earmuffs back and he gasped. “Are you insane, woman?! My extremities must remain covered at all times!” 

“Shut up, you big goofball, and kiss me.” 

“What?! You really need to speak—” 

She grabbed the front of his jacket, pulled his lips down to hers and silenced him, ski goggles, pink earmuffs and all. She laughed at the extra width to him as he was wearing all the thick puffy clothing. He tried to hold her, but his gloves did not allow it. 

Breaking from her kiss with a curse, he ripped them off and tossed them to the floor. She lifted his goggles and grinned into his eyes. 

“How hot are you with all of this on?” she laughed and his eyes widened. 

“So fucking hot.” 

“Well, let’s get you out of these clothes and see what we can do to cool you off. There is a mountain of laundry to put away and I do need to pack…” She yelped as he lifted her and brought her to the bed, setting her down as the mountain of clothes wobbled, the underwear falling off the top and landing on the bed. 

He pulled off the goggles, beanie and earmuffs, tossing them on the floor. His jacket was unzipped and thrown down as well and she was treated to the view of his naked chest. The pants were next and then he stood before her completely nude, with the beginnings of an erection. 

“I’m already sweaty and there’s no sense wasting this bad boy,” he said, motioning to his crotch. She snorted and he pounced, the clothes tumbling down as he called out “Timber!” and kissed her noisily. She squealed and giggled as he worked at unbuttoning her shirt...

She smiled as he lay on top of her, her hands running up and down his naked back, his heart racing against her chest, both of them now sweaty as they lay amid the toppled pile of clothes. She made a conscious decision to run out of clean underwear more often. 

The journey to the summit of Underwear Mountain had been incredibly fun.