The elevator car dinged as it reached the nethermost level of the hospital. Mulder stepped into the hallway and felt the chill that differentiated the basement from the rest of the building. Orange paint in large block letters announced “MORGUE” with an arrow pointed to his intended direction on the white cinder block walls. Nothing in the basement of a hospital was dressed the way it was upstairs where the living and their families needed the comfort of taupe paint and friendly murals sprouting off pastel paints for different departments. The purpose of the hospital basement was for cadaver storage and disposal with the viewing room as the exception. It was in the opposite direction from where he was headed.
Temperatures in the basement of hospitals ran about five to ten degrees cooler than the rest of the building, that were warm and a virtual petrie dish for germs to cultivate. The frigid air added to the finality of the floor. There was no hum of machines working to keep bodies alive, it was only the buzz of overhead lights, striker saws or drains working to process bodily fluids. The cement floor is painted the same medical green that seems to be common among aesculapian facilities with circular drains every four or five feet.
He followed the directional line around the hall, past the large freezer and through the double doors to the autopsy bay. Scully was sitting up, perfectly straight as though she was expecting someone other than him, transferring observations from her notebook to the chart in front of her. Mulder set the paper cup of coffee next to her notes and perched himself on the edge of the worn white laminate table. He set down a chocolate croissant next to it on a grease-stained paper napkin.
“Pastry for your thoughts?” Mulder prompted.
Scully set her pen down and looked slowly up at him. The pallor in her cheeks and the sadness in her blue eyes hit him like a tonne of bricks, and he swallowed slowly. This case had not been easy on either of them. Four women, all died before their time and the cause was escaping everything she had hypothosized adamantly just two days ago.
“It wasn’t in intracranial lesion as I thought,” Scully reported and took a sip from her coffee. “I did a biopsy on each of the brain tissues I had sampled on the last two victims.”
“What was the cause of death?” Mulder asked.
“Cancer,” she reported and looked into his eyes.
“But your preliminary findings on the said that it wasn’t cancer when you first examined Mary Boyle,” Mulder argued and popped a sunflower seed in his mouth. “Are you saying the cancer arrived in her body after her death?”
“Mary Boyle, Virginia Leslie, Caroline Hawkins all died from a metastasized cancer that continued to attack the bodies after time of death,” Scully reported. “I know it sounds crazy Mulder but this isn’t like any cancer I’ve seen.”
Mulder nodded. “These women all reported to be missing time of two to three months.”
“Did you also find a metallic chip implant in the base of the neck?” Mulder asked.
“No,” her voice wavered. “But a small scar on each of them.”
“I’m sorry I brought you here,” he atoned, referencing the case at hand.
The apology wasn’t just for that, it was a blanket statement for everything that was happening to her. He might not ever express his deepest regrets for getting Scully involved in what was had been afflicted upon her life since they met but he wanted to.
He pulled the sunflower shell from his mouth and tossed it into the trash next to the table. His aim was pretty accurate for such a small scrap of garbage. Occasionally he missed and she was picking the dried shells off the floor of her hotel rooms, the car, the office.
“But if we can find some answers, if we can find another woman and save her before-”
“Before what?” Scully stood up from the desk and slammed her hands on the desk. The paper cup wobbled slightly on the table from the force of her hands. “Before she dies like Mary Boyle? Like Virginia Leslie? Like I will?”
“We’re going to find out how to cure this,” Mulder said, standing up and reaching out to her.
Scully threw her hands up in the air, trying to release herself from his grip and Mulder pulled his hands back.
“Don’t.” Scully folded her arms under her breasts, closing herself off from him even more.
“Why?” he challenged and she scowled at him. “Because if I comfort you and God forbid you let me it might actually mean you need me?”
Her jaw was set tight but her chin clenched as though it might waver.
“You can let me pick you up from chemo therapy when your mother has a cold but you can’t let me hug you when we’re facing something here that could be about more than the X-Files? About you?” Mulder’s voice was tight and his anger was boiling up inside of him. He was tired of being pushed away by her. “Aren’t you tired of being so strong?”
“I’m dying, Mulder!” she shouted back at him and his face winced at the reality they were both facing. “And when I die, they’ll cut me open in a place just like this to determine exactly how far the cancer spread through my body, how far it destroyed my cells and took over before I’m gone.”
“You’re not going to die!” he yelled. He grabbed her shoulders and shook her slightly as though if he could just make her believe in the truth, she might be cured. It took more science and less whole-hearted belief in aliens. “Not because of this. Not because of me and this cause.”
“I am going to die, Mulder,” she repeated and her resolve broke, her chin wavered again. “Soon . We don’t have much time left and we both know right now, I’m barely living as it is.”
She pulled her arms out from his grasp and walked towards the locker room around the corner from the desk. Mulder followed her, his care for personal boundaries and propriety gone.
Scully was kicking off the white shoes and about to pull down her scrubs. “I need to change.”
“I’m not stopping you,” he replied.
“You don’t need to watch me like that,” she spat back at him. “I’m aware of my death from this cancer, I’m not suicidal.”
“I’m worried about you,” he told her, his jaw clenched.
“I just need something life affirming, Mulder,” she snapped. “I don’t need your pity.”
She found a towel from the rack on the wall and a fresh bar of soap that smelled like cedarwood, rosemary and orange. It was a standard soap they supplied in hospital showers for pathologists to fight the smell of bodily fluids, formaldehyde and burnt flesh. It was a smell that usually Scully chose to combat in the privacy of a hotel room or at home. She found the bottles of similar scented shampoo and conditioner that looked as though they were meant for hotels, single serving toiletries but they each had a caduceus on the label
“You’re showering here?” Mulder asked obviously as she started to organize her things in the shower stall.
“It’s over an hour drive back to the hotel from here to Charleston,” she reminded him and sat on the bench to take off her socks.
Women around the West Virginia city were dying and Mulder had decided if they centrally located themselves in Charleston it might mean more car time but less packing and moving between cities. The hour commute between different towns they had investigated wasn’t terrible for them however it meant that if she was to perform an autopsy in Parkersburg, she had the option of driving back to their base smelling like the autopsy bay or she could shower there.
She stood up and looked at Mulder and he stood in his rumpled black suit with his hands on his hips.
“I don’t need an audience,” she repeated.
Mulder turned around slowly, turning his back to her and further proving he wasn’t going to leave her alone.
“Fine,” she spat and undressed behind him, tossing her scrubs into the soiled laundry bin and turned on the shower.
The sharp sound of the curtain rings pulling across the slightly rusted metal echoed through the locker room and Mulder turned around to see her shadow behind the opaque blue curtain.
“Do you need a vacation?” he called to her and he could hear her scoff.
“I’m fine,” she said, her voice was tight as though it could break and she would collapse in that shower.
He didn’t have answers. He didn’t have a cure. All he had to provide for her was his friendship and support. She didn’t seem to want any of that right now.
Mulder slowly loosened his tie further, pulling it out from under his collar and hanging it in the open locker next to her suit. His shoes went inside next to hers, his socks folded into a ball. He then hung his jacket, shirt and hung his pants by one of the belt loops. His underwear joined her undergarments on the bench and he pulled a towel from the pile near the showers.
When he pulled open the shower she looked at him with animosity and disbelief.
“What are you doing?” she asked angrily as he closed the curtain behind him.
“Mulder!” she held her forearms across her breasts but not for modesty but as a way to close her body off from his. “What are you doing?”
His posture was tense in front of her, his fists were clenched. She could see the small scar that puckered on his shoulder from where she shot him, the chest hair that trailed across his pecks and down his stomach to his groin. His body was starting to show its want for her, and Scully glanced down quickly at his half swollen cock before looking back up to his face.
She shouldn’t be shy about looking at him since he came in there naked but it still gave her a rush to have looked.
Everything about their height difference was now out in the open. Mulder’s 6’1” stature was not smaller when he was unclothed but bigger. All seven and a half inches, Scully estimated, of his manhood also felt intimidating if it was ever going to go inside her body. Her medical training reminded her that the female form was designed to expand for a man’s but it might take some getting used to.
“Doing something life-affirming,” he growled and crushed her mouth under hers.
Scully’s eyes flew open and against her better judgement, her lips parted and she kissed him back with fervour and desire. The scalding hot water sliced down from above them, the water pressure in the basement being ten time stronger than the rest of the hospital showers. It felt like he was being cut with a thousand tiny needles and the calefaction Scully chose hurt his skin. He didn’t care.
There was nothing tender about what Mulder was doing to her. Her nails dug into the skin on his shoulders as he grabbed at the skin and muscles on her back. The pain from his large hands was acute and keen. It felt good in all the ways it hurt. She could feel him growing hard against her belly and while she wanted him, her body needed more than a bruising kiss. She wasn’t sure what they were doing but she was certain this was a bad idea.
The rebellious side of Dana Scully liked bad ideas. It talked to men in tattoo parlours and fucked them in barely furnished Philadelphia apartments after too many gin and tonics. Of course, this is the side of her that takes an impulsive trip to that same parlour for her own permanent lapse of judgement.
The fractious side of her would choose to fuck her partner in a hospital morgue pathologists locker room and sweep any feelings of a second thought to the side. She wouldn’t think again about why or why not.
Her tongue slid past his lips to taste sunflower seeds, coffee and something masculine and earthy. He tasted different from Ed Jerse. His tongue slid against hers and his teeth nipped at her lips like a lover who knew how she liked to kiss. Ed, with a few drinks under his belt, kissed her hastily and softly.
The kisses grew more frantic and passionate, their hands grabbing at flesh and touching each other intimately. His hands grabbed at her breasts, pinching at her nipples before kneading the flesh of her ass, pinching the skin on her back.
They were way past a moment of impulsive recklessness. He had followed her in there with the intent something was going to happen and she needed it. She needed his body, his reassurance of what she was living then, now, in that moment.
Mulder broke the kiss and turned her around to face the small white tiles of the shower wall. A thick thumb traced over her lower back, usually where his hand rested but a little to the right. He was studying her tattoo, committing it to his eidetic memory, burning this into his brain.
Scully looked back over his shoulder to see him staring wildly at her and she glanced down at the tattoo like she had those years before, when she needed him to confirm whether what she had was the sign of an abduction to come. How little she knew, standing practically nude in his motel room, then that her life would change forever from that one evening. He then laid everything on the table, explained to her why he needed answers and she vowed to always tell him the truth, to not be part of any government agenda.
She became a piece they used against him and him against her even while those that assigned them together didn’t know they would be more powerful together than apart. They didn’t count on her being the thing that made him better. They didn’t count on her being the thing that validated him to his peers and superiors. She made him a whole person and if he couldn’t save her, he would be left fragmented and lacking.
Their mouths met again in a heated kiss. Mulder wanted to see all of her, to study the lines and curves of her body while she remained with him. A hand moved from the bones of her hip to the flat plains of her stomach. The cancer had stripped about ten pounds from her recently and while she could hide under thick trenchcoats, sweaters and suits, he could see it here.
Mulder’s other hand dove between her legs to feel her wet for him and he pushed his cock inside her, fiercely and without benevolence. If she wanted to feel alive she could feel the pain and anguish that came with it. The ecstasy and fervor of this while he claimed her body back from this disease.
Scully cried out as he pushed his way all the way inside her and her body stretched to fit him. The head of his cock nudged at her cervix and she let out a hiss at the sharp twinge inside her belly. Mulder rocked against her and she cried out again.
“Do you feel me in there?” Mulder growled in her ear. He pulled out and shoved himself back into her. “Does this feel like living?”
Scully gripped the handle on the wall and looked back at him. “Yes.”
Mulder thrust a few more times into her while gripping her hips tightly. He leaned his body over hers and nipped at the skin along her shoulders, marking her before soothing the skin with his tongue.
He moved one of her hands to her centre and she looked back at him again before closing her eyes to touch herself. If they were doing this for life affirmation, at least one orgasm would need to be reached while he was moving inside of her. She spread the moisture from her lips to spread around her clitoris and Mulder grunted. Of all the times he fantasized about this, she was underneath him in a bed, spread out in front of him like a feast for him to taste everything. He was supposed to be gluttonous about her body, devouring her until she begged for him to stop.
When they got back to the hotel in Charleston, he would make good on that. One hour was more than enough to recover and he would prove his mettle on every surface of that room.
His large hand closed over her breasts and he continued to fuck her. His orgasm was approaching but he didn’t want to meet it before her. He couldn’t tolerate that.
“Come on, Scully,” he panted.
“I’m...” she shook her head. Her build had started but sometimes it took longer.
“Come on,” he urged her again. Mulder gripped her hips harder and fucked her with more callousness and force. He was able to stave off his orgasm with the desire to not fail her on this one last thing.
Maybe in his mind, he thought if he fucked her hard enough the cancer might leave her body. That the euphoria of mindblowing orgasms could be the link to curing cancer, had anyone with a medical license tried that yet?
The pain seemed to be enough to get her to the edge while the internal explosion of nerves firing and release expanded through her. Her tight walls massaged his cock, milking his own orgasm from inside him as it shot out of him like a bullet. He emptied his seed inside of her, his body searching for an egg they both knew it wouldn’t find.
They panted under the steam of the water and Mulder regretfully pulled out. He looked down at the smear of blood on his cock and then slowly up at her.
“Are you okay?” he asked stupidly, washing the semen and fluids from his crotch.
Scully allowed his seed to flow down her legs, tinged pink from her own blood and she nodded. “It happens sometimes.”
“Why?” he asked.
“Necessary roughness to achieve an orgasm,” she muttered and took the soap from him to wash herself. “It’s okay. I wanted you, too, if you were concerned.”
“Thanks for the clarification,” he quipped with a grin.
Mulder took the soap back from her and watched her as she washed her body. Her skin was red from the hot water and his hands grabbing and gripping her moments ago.
The aftermath of what they had just done was somehow disconnected to this other very terribly intimate act. As though fucking in a shower would followed by this kind of low discussion.
After she washed the shampoo and conditioner out of her hair, while Mulder stood quietly, observing her and studying, imagining her doing this alone before she saw him at work. Her meticulous nature, scrubbing at her scalp and ensuring her hair was rid of any residue. She squirted a small handful of shampoo into her palm, set the small bottle back on the shelf before holding her hands out to wash his hair. He bent his knees slightly and allowed her skilled fingers to rub the shampoo into his scalp. Mulder closed his eyes and breathed in the scent he had grown accustomed to on her that he had secretly appreciated all these years.
“Do you like that smell?” she asked quietly. She turned him towards the shower to allow him to rinse and he nodded, his eyes still closed. “Why?”
“I like everything on you,” he whispered and closed his mouth around her coral nipple.
She gasped and her fingers stopped working to rinse his hair but to clutch his head closer to her breast. His hand slipped down their bodies and he tenderly worked his hand between her legs. The fluid of their union, his own seed and her wetness allowed his finger to move around her clit with ease. She was still swollen and her jaw dropped as he pushed her back into the wall, and he played her body like a skilled musician would pluck at the strings of a cello.
Mulder kissed along her jaw and watched her face contort in rapture and exhaltion. He would do this all night if he could, to stand under water that was just too hot and feel something with her.
Her moans filled the locker room and Mulder whispered into her ear to let him hear her. Two long fingers moved inside her then back out to circle her clit and she moved one hand to cover his, encouraging him silently.
“Say it,” he urged.
“Don’t stop,” she whispered.
Her voice carried out from the locker room as she came, shouting his name as her orgasm washed over her again. Her body was limp against his and she rested her head on his shoulder.
While her skin felt hot to touch she shook and he kissed her cheek. “Do you need to get out?”
Scully nodded and Mulder shut the water off before handing her one of the threadbare towels. He muttered something about needing another one and left with the towel around his waist to grab another one for each of them. When he found her again she was using her towel to wipe away the blood from her legs and he rubbed a hand across his face.
“I can’t even do this-” he waved between them. “I hurt you no matter what we’re doing.”
Scully took the extra towel from him and wrapped it around her body. Her collarbones and neck were red from marks from his mouth.
“Mulder I wish you would let me assure you this was not hurtful,” she replied.
He wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her hair, the water transferring to his mouth and he licked it away. “I won’t lose you over this disease, Scully. I promise you I’m going to find a cure.”
Her arms embraced his body and she nodded into his chest. She knew he meant it and she hoped she would live long enough to see him fulfill it.