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He’d seen her. He’d definitely seen her, swirling and whirling effortlessly. Gliding over the tumbling green waves. Dipping under until she emerged, shiny, red hair undulating down her slick back.

“Mulder, you’ve been vomiting for hours. You’re dehydrated. Your mind has supplied you with fantasy images to counteract the damage the seasickness has done to your physical self.”

“I’m seeing things, huh?”

“That’s about the long and short of it,” she said, scraping the sticky hair off his forehead and propping the bucket on a pile of navigational books. At the door to the cabin, she turned back to him, rolled her lips together. “I’m sorry you’re so sick. It’s spectacular coastline.”

Safely on his landlubbers legs, he followed Scully up the spiralling staircase of the lighthouse, lithe legs golden, the snake of her spine coiling through the cotton of her dress, three knots on her neck catching his eye under the ponytail bob of her hair. How he wanted to press his lips to them, lick the salt from her skin.

Later, he looked out at the gloaming sky and saw the flash of red on the line where dusk met ocean. Scully draped her arms around his neck and pulled him back to bed and together they swirled and whirled effortlessly, gliding over the tumbling sheets, until she dipped under. When she emerged, her lips shiny, red hair undulating over her shoulders, he shuddered. She slid over him, slick and magical and he closed his eyes as his very real mermaid sunk him.