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Incrementum

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In a vinyl booth in a truck stop diner off the I-95.

6:30 sunrise, Scully mussed from car-sleep. She regards her Farmer’s Breakfast Platter uneasily, pushing her scrambled eggs around with a fork. Her stockinged foot has been liberated from its well-worn shoe, and she scrunches her toes under the hem of his trousers, loosening his sock.

“You can have my eggs,” she decides, pushing her plate across the Formica. She leans back, taking her coffee with her, and looks out the window across the halcyon plains. The sunrise gilds her, glances off the slope of her cheek, catches and illuminates one aqueous iris.

Mulder, mouth occupied by an undercooked glob of chocolate chip flapjack, silently accepts her offering. He slides her plate next to his, watching her carefully.

The subtle, plum-tinted remnants of a hickey peek out from beneath her collar. The steam from her cup rises to soak up the sunlight and obfuscate the details of her face.

“Hey,” she says quietly, looking back to him.

He swallows and chases it all down with a gulp of coffee, feeling warmth spread through his chest. “Yes, dearest, darling schnookums?”

“Ask me.”  

-

In the basement office on a quiet Tuesday.

An Everest of paperwork, dusk casting shadows. She squeezes behind his chair, mumbling something about retrieving her tape recorder, ruffling his hair as she passes.

Rebelling against the day’s slow drag, he swivels to capture her, and pulls her into his lap. She tumbles into his arms on a breathless laugh, grabbing his shoulders for balance. Up close, her valiant freckles burn through the shroud of her makeup. The delicate skin around her eyes seems unusually translucent.

“Afternoon delight?” He suggests, drawing her closer, nibbling at her earlobe.

“It’s after seven, Mulder,” she reminds him, but wriggles in his lap all the same. He presses his case with sloppy, ostentatious advances, trailing his tongue from her neck to her mouth to her jaw, skimming his hand over the svelte, concise curve of her hip, growing hard as her thighs roll and twitch against him.

She slows him down with a hand on his cheek. Her lips graze the arc of his orbital bone.

“Ask me.”

-

In a hospital bed in Winston-Salem.

Once Skinner and the others are gone, she finds his hand, raveling her fingers through his on the thin blue blanket, avoiding his eyes. The air he drags into his lungs is thick as sand, heavy as smoke. Her presence is cool water.

“Once you get your voice back,” she says, “ask me.”

-

38,000 feet in the air, America laid out below.

She is folded up in the window seat, gazing dreamily out over a transcendental, voluptuous landscape of cloudtop white. The first crumbs of the bilocation case languish, neglected, in an unopened manila envelope on the little fold-down table, desecrated by an open packet of saltines. He takes her in from the corner of his eye as she stifles a yawn. Watson was surely never this unprofessional.

She catches him looking.

“Why don’t you catch a few zees, Scully?” He ventures. “We won't touch down for another two hours.” She’s always been a talented sleeper, but she’s been nodding off with an alarming proficiency as of late: snoring sweetly on his couch thirty minutes into Roman Holiday, conking out in the car on the way to the courthouse.

“It’s too pretty to miss,” she replies, tilting her chin towards the pale Elysium beyond. “Don’t you think?”

“Very pretty,” he agrees, letting his gaze linger over her lips.

She tries not to appear pleased, but the corner of her mouth twitches up.

“Hey, Mulder?” She says.

“Hmm?”

“Ask me.”

-

In a dark Annapolis apartment.

Athrone above him, she surges and grinds, lost in a flow state. He grips her thighs, her ass, her hips. He watches her breasts sway, and maybe it’s just the moonlight singing into the room, making secret, ephemeral shapes, but he is transfixed by the weight of them, haunted by the deep honeysuckle hue of her nipples.

To distract himself, he zeroes in on her clitoris with the pad of his thumb. She gasps and bears down harder with fine equestrian vim, rides him until he’s frothing and sore.

“Ask me,” she sighs, coming down from a williwaw of an orgasm. As always, he complies, without hesitation, without expectation. He will ask for the rest of his life, if she bids it of him. He will go to his grave with the question on his lips.

Later, while she sleeps, he slips his arm carefully around her. He lays his palm flat over her belly. He does not allow his theory to crystallize.

He does not think of freeing the jinniyah with his fourth wish.