She starts, woken out of sleep by maybe a car alarm, maybe a dog howling at the moon. Her heart flutters within her chest in that way that happens after too much caffeine combines with a nap just a touch too long. Drowsiness seems to be pressing down on her mind, enveloping her body. She shifts in place, trying to shake off the haze of sleep, only then realizing the heaviness above her is not imagined, but caused by cotton, draped haphazardly over her form. Mulder's trench coat.
Insomniac that he is, Scully usually was the one that ended up taking cat naps in the passenger seat during late-night stakeouts. On nights where temperatures dropped below freezing, Mulder had made it a habit to cover her body with his coat, only after she had dozed off.
The first time this happened, she woke feeling dazed, engulfed in fabric. Turning towards him, eyes still half shut, she grabbed at the coat and tossed it back in his direction, telling him it was too cold for him to go without, that she was alright with what she had on.
"Scully, really it only makes sense that I cover you up. You know the body's temperature can drop a whole two degrees when asleep? You should know that you're a doctor."
"Really I'm fine without my coat. I’ve got on thermals to keep me warm. And you looked like you were shivering just a bit."
She had acquiesced, secretly happy to stay snuggled in the dark trench. The feeling made her reminiscent of her days as a young girl, sneaking into the family coat closet under cover of night to wrap herself in her father’s overcoats. During his long months at sea, she craved his warm, all-encompassing hugs, the clean scent of his shaving cream. Pulling on his coats had made her feel safe and peaceful, had given her strength and made her feel motivated.
“Well let me know if you get too cold and need it back, and if I see you shiver at all I’m giving it right back.”
She had moved to tuck the coat tighter and suddenly she was swimming in the overpowering scent of Mulder. Unique to him, the aroma was something that she had gotten familiar with over their time spent together, earthy with just a touch of mint. While always pleasant, sitting surrounded in Mulder was making her brain short-circuit and she feels a heat start to build in the bottom of her belly. Not exactly an ideal sensation when she was sitting a foot away from her partner meant to be focusing on a stakeout.
“On second thought, I’m actually feeling a little hot. Here you can have it back.”
Over the years, the same sequence of events would play out, although the time Scully would spend bundled underneath his coats and jackets increased as their relationship shifted and grew.
They’ve been in his car since late afternoon, waiting in hopes of spotting a suspect. The sinking sun had taken its warmth with it, and their breaths puffed out into the air, smokey. Scully had taken a quick nap and woke sometime later under Mulder’s coat. It was a few weeks after her very special, very early or very late birthday present on the baseball field, and the usual teasing flirtation between the two of them had reached an all-time high. Lingering glances through the steam of fresh brewed coffee, fingers brushing the skin just under the hem of her skirts, playful quips exchanged over late-night takeout. Scully could feel a charge, electric, arcing through the air whenever they were around each other, ready to spark at any moment.
“Hey, sleepyhead. Feeling renewed and refreshed?” He’s flicking shells into an empty coffee cup.
They turn to watch a haggard looking man stumble out of a backstreet. She sinks further into her seat. He puts the cup in the holder.
“So, you’ve decided not to toss my coat at my head? Usually by now you would have chucked it at me and started trying to hide your shivering.”
Not bothering to hide her smirk, her eyes cut over to his face. “Nope, I’m gonna keep it. Unless you want it back.”
“No be my guest, I’m good over here.”
They keep watching out the windshield.
Every once and a while, she discreetly buries her nose into the collar of the trench, breathing in his scent, letting it wash over her. After one pass, the movement causes the coat to slide down her body. Clicking her tongue, she shifts to bring it closer to her neck, but her tutting has caught Mulder’s attention. Reaching over, he grabs the collar and pulls it up back towards her neck, invading her space in the cramped interior of the car.
“There you go, sung as a bug in a rug.”
He pulls back a bit and smiles down at her, sobering when he realizes how close their faces are.
Silence falls over the car and they look at each other wide-eyed, breath fluttering over chins and cheeks, both hoping that the other can’t heart the heartbeats racing in their chests. His eyes flit down to her lips.
Scully, struck with fearlessness and feeling bold, leans up to touch her lips to his softly. He doesn’t move at first, head swimming with disbelief, but then her tongue darts out and grazes the corner of his mouth, bursting through his senses and pushing him to act.
He opens his mouth to her, pressing his lips against her harder, tongues meeting midway. She’s unable to stop the whimper that leaves her throat, the slick feeling of his tongue twisting around hers making it hard to think about anything else.
She’s just reaching up to run her fingers through his soft, fuzzy head of hair when a horn blares nearby, causing them to jump apart. A man shakes his fist at a passing pedestrian.
Falling back into his seat, Mulder chuckles nervously, scratching the back of his head.