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Scully stumbles through the door of her apartment, a grocery bag cradled in each arm as the phone trills angrily.


“Hold on, hold on,” she says to no one in particular, setting the bags on the dining room table as she rushes to the hallway to try and beat the machine. 


“Hello?” she answers breathily. 


“Scully! I was hoping to catch you at home. How are things?”


She smiles at the sound of his voice. In truth, things are exceedingly boring without him, albeit productive. Setting aside her displeasure at him working a case with Agent Fowley, she simply misses his company in the basement office. 


“Things are fine,” she responds good naturedly. “How’s the case going?”


“Eh, the case is okay. Pretty convoluted,” he answers, and she hears the crack of sunflower seed hulls as he decimates them with his teeth. “But that’s not why I called.”


“Okay, what’s up?” she asks, plucking her heels off one at a time and rotating her ankles in relief. 


“I was wondering if you could do me the world’s biggest favor and bring me that book on necromancy I have at my apartment, the one with the blue cover.”


She sighs heavily. It’s Friday night, and after the last three days running the X-Files singlehandedly, she’d been looking forward to some leisure time. 


“You can’t pick it up at the local library or something?” she laments. 


“It’s a rare book,” he replies in explanation.


“Mhmm,” she retorts. “Likely story, g-man. You sure you aren’t just getting lonely?” she says with a playfully accusatory tone. 


“This is NOT a ploy for sex,” he defends. “If that were the case, I would just say ‘Scully, please drive three hours so I can make you forget your own name.’ Now, if you get here with the book and want to stick around so I can properly express my appreciation, I certainly won’t object.”


She sighs again. 


“How’s Agent Fowley?” she asks, purely a social nicety. 


“Diana is...Diana,” he says carefully. “Solid on the investigative front, a bit challenging on the social one. We’re getting along okay.”


Scully chews at her bottom lip. She knows that Diana is unrelenting in her advances, though Mulder has assured her countless times that he always rebuffs them. Per Scully’s request he hasn’t disclosed their relationship status to her, even though he believes that Diana might back off for good if she knew that he was unavailable. 


“Okay, I can drive it out tomorrow afternoon,” she says with some resignation, and she can nearly hear the resulting smile through the phone. 


“You’re the best,” he replies, “thank you. Do you have something to jot down the address?”


Saturday turns out to be a beautiful day for a drive, and she’s a little over halfway through an audiobook that she’s very much enjoying when she pulls into the parking lot of the Mountain Pine Inn. She’s gathering empty water bottles and fast food trash when she sees Mulder and Diana pull up and park directly in front of room fourteen, which she knows to be Mulder’s. They exit the vehicle and stand for a moment in front of his door, and Scully narrows her eyes when Diana reaches out and grabs his hand, playing with his fingers while they talk. 


She’s no longer jealous, with as much time as Mulder has spent assuring her that he would have no interest in rekindling things with Diana even if they weren’t romantically involved, but it still bothers her. Diana is dogged in her attempts to get Mulder’s attention, and it’s equal parts sad and annoying. Diana doesn’t know they’re together, but she shouldn’t need to in order to respect Mulder’s declination to be anything more than coworkers. If the genders were reversed, she’d be considered a predator. 


She watches Mulder shake his head several times with a sympathetic smile, and then finally Diana enters her room, closing the door behind her. Collecting his book and her purse, she exits the car. 

Initially, he thinks the knock at the door is Diana, asking him one more time to join her for a drink. He groans in preemptive irritation, wishing she’d just give up already. He doesn’t know how many more ways he can express that he’s not interested in her without either resorting to being unkind or disclosing the nature of his relationship with Scully. When he pulls the door open, he’s relieved and delighted to find Scully on the other side, clad in jeans and a ridiculous T-shirt he bought her featuring an alien head adorned with dreadlocks and a Rastafarian hat. 


“Hey, you made it,” he says with a smile, pulling her through the open door and wrapping her up in an embrace. She smells like vanilla, coffee, and home. 


“I did,” she says, her voice muffled against his chest, “here’s your book.”


They separate, and she holds it out for him before making a beeline for the bathroom. 


“Nice shirt,” he calls after her as she pushes the door shut. 


“You like it? This weirdo I’m sleeping with got it for me,” she says through the door. 


“He has great taste,” he replies, thinking not only of the shirt but of the woman wearing it. 


She emerges a few minutes later, peeking through the curtains at the sun that is just beginning to kiss the horizon. 


“I better head back,” she says regretfully, and he knows she prefers not to make the drive completely in the dark. 


“No, stay,” he implores, moving close to touch her hips. “Let me take you to dinner, you can drive back in the morning.”


“Mulder,” she says with an exasperated sigh, “I didn’t bring anything to stay over. I don’t have pajamas or anything.”


He rolls his eyes.


“So sleep naked, I don’t mind,” he retorts.


“I don’t have a toothbrush.”


“You can use mine.”


“I don’t have any of my other toiletries, I need to wash my face.”


“I’ll buy you some at the pharmacy. Please?” 


He gives her his very best puppy dog eyes and she glowers at him. 


“I knew this was a ploy for sex,” she grumbles.


He flashes her a smile, and she tries unsuccessfully to resist returning it. 


“Fine,” she says with defeat. “What are we having for dinner?”

Diana tugs her skirt back down over her hips, casting a curious glance at the man beside her who is buckling his belt. What was his name again? Curtis? Christopher? 


“It was nice meeting you, Caleb,” she says curtly, and the man shoots her a wounded look. 


“It’s Connor,” he says softly, and she heaves a sigh. 


“Right, Conner. Thanks for the drink. And the sex.”


She slides across the back seat of his Cadillac and out the door, which they’d never bothered to close. The parking lot of The Watering Hole is nearly empty now, just a couple smokers out front giving her judgemental looks as she walks back to her car. 


“Smoking kills, you know,” she spits at them derisively as she lowers herself into the driver's seat. 


Who the hell are they to judge her? It’s not like she wanted to get fucked by Charlie or whoever the hell in the parking lot of a shitty bar. She just needed something, some kind of release after three days with Fox. 


In retrospect, she understands that she threw away something great. Fox has his flaws, but on the whole he was a great boyfriend, especially in bed. Attentive, thorough, very generous, and he never left her wanting more. She doesn’t understand why he continues to rebuff her. It’s not like she’s asking to get back together, but surely a bachelor like himself would appreciate a blow job or a quickie in one of their hotel rooms, for Christ’s sake. 


She parks in front of her room, noting that his light is still on, and considers knocking. But what would be the point now? She’s already gotten laid, and she’s a bit old for two men in one night, even if he were to finally say yes. She enters her own room instead. 


She showers, changes into her pajamas, and settles on the bed. She’s just reaching for the remote when she hears something from the adjacent room. 


“Oh fuck, yes!”


She stills, her ears straining. 


“Oh god, don’t stop,” the voice keens, distinctly female. 


It sounds like it’s coming from Fox’s room. 


She stands, moving to the wall and pressing her ear against it, one palm planted beside her head for stability. 


“You like that?” he says in a deep baritone, a familiar cadence of speech that makes her already-sated cunt clutch with new desire. Fox has company, it seems. 


There is the audible slap of skin, and soft cries that increase in their pitch steadily. 


“Oh my god, I’m gonna come,” the woman groans, and Diana feels a stab of jealousy. Why not her? Why would Fox go out and pick up some random woman at a bar when she’s right here, ready and willing?


“Not yet,” Fox commands, and the sounds of their skin meeting stops momentarily. 


There is a sudden gasp, and it’s so close that she startles and backs up. The fleshy slaps resume, but right on the other side of the wall, perhaps even against it. She returns her ear to the wall to listen, the sounds and words so clear it almost feels like she’s in the room with them. 


“Fuck, you’re so tight,” he hisses, and Diana frowns. He never talked to her like this. 


“Harder,” the woman pleads, their style of communication quite comfortable for a one night stand. 


“You want me to fuck you harder?” he asks haughtily. “I wanna hear you beg.”


“Don’t be an asshole,” the woman chastises him, and he chuckles. 


The cadence of their slapping skin increases and the female voice starts to say “Oh, oh, oh,” over and over, revealing that Fox ultimately acquiesced. 


“Hmmmm, can I come inside you?” he whispers harshly, and Diana’s eyes go big. In their day, he was militant about condoms; she can’t recall a single time that they didn’t use one. He’s become reckless, it seems. 


“Oh god,” the woman responds. “No, don’t. I don’t have another pair of panties.”


Fox groans, and the sound of his hand slapping the wall in frustration right by Diana’s ear startles her so much she lets out a surprised shriek, clapping her hand over her mouth. The movements from the other side of the wall still. 


“What was that?” the woman asks breathily.


“I don’t know,” Fox answers, “and I don’t particularly care. I’ll buy you every pair of panties at Victoria’s Secret tomorrow,” he says between the sounds of wet smacks, “I want to come inside you, please.”


Now the woman chuckles. “Do you? I wanna hear you beg.”


Fox lets out a low, sardonic laugh. “You’re a wicked woman.”


“I thought that’s why you liked me,” she returns with a smile in her voice. 


Diana’s eyebrows furrow. Does he know this woman? 


The woman squeals with delight and their voices move further away, presumably back to the bed. 


“That’s one of the reasons,” Fox continues, and Jesus do they talk a lot during sex. “This is one of the other ones,” he says, and then the woman lets out a long, low moan. 


Fox is no longer talking, though the woman is making a whole lot of noise, leading Diana to believe that his mouth is otherwise occupied. She sighs wistfully. That used to be her on the other end of that talented tongue. No man has been able to compare since. 


“Oh god, I’m gonna come,” the woman declares for the second time. There is a pause, and then a “no, no, no, don’t stop.”


“Are you gonna let me come inside you?” Fox asks in a teasing tone, and the woman groans in frustration. 


“Yes, please just keep going,” she relents, and then gasps. 


Her cries are primal and go on for an eternity, long enough that Diana pulls over the chair from the desk and takes a seat by the wall to continue listening. There’s a short silence, and then Fox says “get on all fours.”


There are slaps and grunts, the pace quickening and slowing over and over. He likes to take his time, she recalls. Finally, he bellows “yes, yes, yes, fucking yes,” and then cries out. The rest is soft murmurs and giggles, pillow talk until they fall asleep. 


When she’s sure there is nothing left to hear, she crawls into her own bed and switches off the light. She feels melancholy and lonely, mentally recalling images of her own escapades with Fox Mulder, and kicking herself for running off to Berlin. 

Mulder sneaks a hand behind the shower curtain, weaseling his fingers into Scully’s armpit as she scrubs shampoo into her scalp. 


“Mulder!” she admonishes him, clutching her arms to her sides, “get out of here!”


He smiles at her as she turns towards the spray to rinse the soap off her face and crack an eye open at him. 


“I’m gonna go grab some coffee and breakfast, what do you want?” he asks, his eyes flicking up and down over her wet body. 


“I was promised panties,” she responds dryly, “but I suppose a latte and a bagel will do for now.”


“I’ll keep an eye out for any panties with Dunkin’ Donuts across the ass,” he retorts, then ducks his head into the shower and waits patiently until she gives him a wet kiss. 


Gathering his keys and wallet, he makes his way out to the car, whistling a peppy tune all the way. 

Diana watches Fox cross the parking lot through a crack in the curtains. She’s been watching his door all morning and so far the mystery woman hasn’t surfaced. She’s not entirely sure why she feels so compelled to catch a glimpse of her. She’s just so curious what kind of woman he goes for these days, and how far off she is from being his type anymore. 


She hears noise from the other side of the motel wall confirming that the woman is, indeed, still in the room. Maybe she’ll just pop over, she thinks, and say she was looking for Fox. That’s certainly plausible. Certainly not too obvious. 


Straightening her spine and lifting her chin in feigned confidence, she leaves her room and walks the two steps to door fourteen, rapping firmly several times. She waits and, getting no response, she knocks again. 


“Did you forget your key-” the woman starts as she pulls the door open, but freezes when she sees Diana on the other side. 


Diana freezes herself, having come face to face with none other than Agent Scully. For a brief moment she thinks the other agent must have just arrived, but her hair is dripping wet and she’s holding a towel in her hand. 


“Agent Fowley,” she stutters, tossing the towel away and standing up a bit straighter. 


There’s no way for her to obtain the professional air she’s attempting, between her freshly-showered hair, her strange cartoonish T-shirt and her form fitting jeans. Diana feels a sickening combination of embarrassment, envy and anger coil in her belly. So this is the woman Fox was fucking within an inch of her life on the other side of the wall last night. His goddamn partner. How cliche. 


“I was just looking for Agent Mulder,” Diana says in her characteristic level tone, “we had plans to get breakfast together.”


It’s a lie, but she feels compelled to try and wound Agent Scully in some way. It’s ineffective; the younger agent screws up her mouth a little in an almost-sympathetic smirk and nods. 


“I’ll let him know you came by,” she says defiantly, then closes the door. 


Diana returns to her room, sinking down onto the bed to pout. She stares at the ceiling for a long time, plotting her next move. Maybe it’s just casual; maybe she can come between them after all. She doesn’t like to lose, that’s all she knows. 


After a time, she hears Fox’s voice in the room again, some hushed words and an intense-sounding discussion. She wonders if they’re fighting, and hopes that they are, that she caused an argument.


Her hopes are dashed when she hears them fucking again, even more loudly than last night, and this time Agent Scully makes sure to call his name.