Scully turns away, embarrassment coloring her cheeks a dark pink. She squints into the sunset, hands on her hips. A slight breeze washes over her and the flaps of her FBI windbreaker flutter open. She can hear the faint crackle of a CB radio from a nearby police car, but it doesn’t drown out the quiet sobbing, whispering, and moaning behind her. Unable to be a witness such intimacy, she heads to the blue Sedan across the lot, kicking up gravel with her hasty stride.
Mulder has been entranced, unaware that Scully has left him standing alone, privy to a reunion that some might deem as inappropriate even if it were behind closed doors. He finds it moving, and of course, cause for dry humor. He turns his head, lips pursed to offer a bit of commentary to Scully, but she’s no longer at his side. He turns, confused, a fleeting moment of panic erasing the smirk from his face. Murmurs and wet kisses grow faint in the distance as he strolls off to catch up with his partner, leaning against the passenger door of their rental car, staring off into the woods.
“Don’t want to stay for the show?” Mulder asks, fishing in his pocket for the keys to the car.
Scully straightens. “No,” she says, with finality, her fingers already curled under the handle of the car door, waiting for Mulder to unlock it.
Mulder taps his thumbs against the steering wheel in rhythm with the rock song on the radio as they drive away. Only minutes down the road, the reception fails and he fiddles with the channel search while Scully stares at the passing trees. Finally, he gives up and turns the radio off. They still have at least twenty minutes until they reach their motel and she knows that he can’t handle that much silence. She keeps herself braced for the inevitable.
“All’s well that ends well,” Mulder says.
“Mmhm.” She doesn’t turn her eyes from the window as she rubs her bottom lip with the back of her index finger.
“It’s nice to have a case with a happy ending, don’t you think?”
“That’s awfully optimistic of you.”
“I’m an eternal optimist, Scully, I thought you knew that about me.”
“You’re not disappointed?”
“Disappointed?” He takes his eyes off the road for a moment to glance over at her. “Why would I be disappointed?”
“No aliens, no supernatural forces, nothing of the unexplainable variety.”
“Nothing unexplainable? You’ll have to tell me why Sheriff Lowell can’t seem to find a pair of pants that aren’t two sizes too small then.”
Scully can’t seem to find it in herself to smile, to roll her eyes, to sigh in exasperation, to give Mulder any response he might be waiting for. She is not in the mood to humor him. She broods out the window and continues to rub at her lip.
“What are you thinking about, Scully?”
“The case,” she snaps.
He doesn’t respond any further and as the quiet grows, she realizes she would actually prefer the distraction of his voice to the silence. She’s unable to get the image of Rick and Callie Dietz out of her head. What’s more, she can’t understand why the reunion of a couple very much in love has infuriated her so thoroughly.
“I was thinking,” Mulder says after awhile. “Seven years.”
“Seven years and what?”
“Seven year itch?”
“Mulder, what are you talking about?”
“The Dietz’s have been together as long as we have.”
“Rick and Callie have been married for seven years, but watching them back there, you’d think they were newlyweds. What does that say about us, Scully? Have you lost that lovin’ feelin’?”
She blinks and shakes her head, confused. She knows Mulder is trying to tease her into playing along, to pull her out of the funk she’s fallen into, but it isn’t working. It won’t work because she can’t cooperate. “We’re not in a relationship, Mulder.”
Something in his voice gives Scully pause. His tone hints at surprise, but also a little trademark sarcasm. When she looks over at him, he is concentrating on the road, tapping his thumbs against the steering wheel again and moving his lips to a song in his head as though they weren’t just having a conversation. She has shot him down one too many times now and he is done trying. He says nothing the rest of the ride to the motel.
Mulder parks the car in front of Scully’s door. His room is four doors down, on a corner beneath the stairs and next to an ice machine. She watches him twirl the keychain around his finger as he walks away, whistling softly to himself. His voice plays over in her mind as she stands at her door, key in the lock, watching him retreat. Oh, no? Oh, no? Oh, no?
Alone in her room, Scully changes from the hiking gear she’s been in for eighteen hours and into a pair of jeans and a tank top. The boots have rubbed a blister on one of her ankles, which she doctors with some Neosporin and a Band-Aid. She considers a shower, but she’s too annoyed to move. Oh, no?
Scully holds her breath, staring at the blank television screen across from the bed where she sits. “What did you mean by that?” she whispers, watching the blurred shape of her mouth move as she speaks. “Mulder? What did you mean?” Oh, no?
She closes her eyes.
There is a knock on the door and Scully reluctantly gets up to answer it. She lets Mulder in without hesitation and shuffles back to the bed. He has changed into a pair of dark jeans and a white t-shirt. He stands by the door as though he’s waiting for an invitation.
“You can sit,” Scully says, glancing at the rolling chairs beneath the window. He takes a seat next to her on the bed.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Mulder says.
“What about them?”
“What’s wrong with a little public display of affection?”
“Mulder, that was almost obscene.”
Scully’s chest tightens when she sucks in a quick breath, ready to protest.
“You can deny it,” he continues. “But, I understand how you feel.”
“Scully,” he whispers. He turns towards her and stares directly into her eyes. She is frozen, like a deer in headlights. His gaze drifts up and he reaches over to tuck her hair back behind her ear. His palm grazes her cheek. He runs his fingers along her jaw and beneath her chin. She shivers.
“What are we waiting for?”
“This isn’t allowed,” Scully whispers.
Scully swallows heavily as Mulder leans towards her. She lowers her gaze as she feels his lips against her face. Before she knows it, she’s lying back on the bed and he is hovering over her. He’s shirtless. Actually, he’s completely naked and so is she. Her knees part and she grips his arms, urging him closer. She feels his weight pressing her down, his skin against her own, his voice in her ear. Oh no?
Scully presses the heels of her hands into her brow and groans. Her eyes are squeezed so tightly shut that when she opens them she sees stars in the white popcorn ceiling. She moves up on her elbows and stares at the blank TV screen. “Dammit,” she whispers to herself, squeezing her aching thighs together. “Dammit, Mulder.”
Frustrated, Scully flops back down on the bed and covers her face with both hands. She hates when Mulder is right, especially in her fantasies. Of course, she knows her subconscious is just trying to bring things into perspective so she can stop dwelling on the case, but admitting things, even to herself, doesn’t come easily. And she’s still bothered by what he said in the car. Oh, no?
Before she can think too much about it, she pushes her feet into the pair of slippers she always brings out of town and heads down to Mulder’s room. Her mind isn’t going to let go of this until she speaks to him and clears things up. She knocks loudly with her fist.
“Scully?” Mulder says, surprise written on his face and in the way he cocks his head. He holds the door open, arm braced on the frame. He’s changed into a grey shirt and black sweats.
Scully ducks under Mulder’s arm and enters his room. It’s cool from the air conditioning and she shivers, holding her arms across her waist. He turns off the air, mutes the TV, and then leans against the table under the window.
“To what do I owe this whim of fraternization, Agent Scully?”
“I have a few questions. For the report.”
“Did you really believe Callie Dietz was abducted by aliens?”
“I believed that Rick Dietz thought she was. It seemed plausible.”
“You found him credible?”
He smiles. “We’ve heard more incredible from people than what Rick Dietz had to say.”
“Not about the abduction.”
Mulder furrows his brow and drops his chin slightly as he regards her. “I knew going in you didn’t believe Callie was abducted, but that’s how we work. I believe in it and you don’t. What else is there?”
Scully closes her eyes, embarrassed. It seemed like a good idea to get things off her chest, but she’s more uncomfortable now than she had been for the past few days. “Actually,” she says. “Never mind. It actually doesn’t matter.”
Mulder stands and drops his arms to his sides. He side-steps towards the door as she moves forward to leave, blocking her way. “Actually,” he counters. “You brought it up, I’d like you to tell me what you’re thinking.”
“It really doesn’t matter.”
“I think it does.”
“Scully, you were borderline hostile to Rick Dietz and now I’m wondering why. If it wasn’t just the fact that you didn’t think his wife was abducted, what was it?”
Scully looks down at her feet, shaking her head. She can’t think of an excuse. The events of the past few days, of the past few hours, have her so wound up she isn’t herself. She knows she should just say good night and they can both pretend it never happened, but he won’t let this go, and she should’ve known better.
“It was the despair he claimed to have,” Scully says. “I couldn’t fathom the depth of the feeling he kept insisting he had. He was too…distraught about not being able to go on without his wife. It was suspicious.”
“You wanted to discredit his story because you didn’t believe he loved his wife?”
“Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”
“Are you…you’re serious?”
Scully sighs and turns her head away, watching the silent rerun of The Munsters on Mulder’s TV. She didn’t know Mulder liked the show, but it doesn’t surprise her. Or maybe he didn’t like it and it just happened to be on and it fills the silence. Perhaps the pay-per-view is broken. She bites her lip in apology at the thought.
“Scully?” Mulder asks, bending his head slightly to look at her.
“He was…” She trails off and gives a shake of her head. “He was so adamant that we find her. Anxious the whole time. It sounded to me like he was working through a guilty conscience, trying to convince himself he loved her too much to have hurt her.”
Mulder stays quiet, his eyes moving over her face as she speaks. He is stoic, revealing nothing. It’s disconcerting for her not to be able to read what he’s thinking. It makes her nervous. He hasn’t said anything.
“Obviously I was wrong,” Scully says, breaking the awkward silence that has fallen. She sees Rick’s face in her head when they brought Callie out of the woods. She replays the way the husband and wife held on to each other, clung to one another when they were reunited. It colors her cheeks and she turns her eyes back to the TV, convinced Mulder can read her thoughts if she looks at him long enough.
“Haven’t you ever loved someone that passionately, Scully?”
“To turn a parking lot into an x-rated movie? No, I haven’t.”
“Maybe not the kind of passion where you forget you’re not the only ones in the room, but I’m talking about a love where you physically ache when you think you might be apart.”
Scully knows what that ache is like, and she catches herself before she nods in reply. Instead, she keeps her eyes from him and shakes her head.
“You don’t think someone’s loved you that much?” he asks.
She scoffs at the absurdity and shakes her head again. At this, Mulder brushes a finger under her chin, trying to lift her face up while he inclines his head towards her and drops his voice to a whisper.
“I went to the ends of the earth for you, Scully. Literally. And you can stand there and tell me that you think no one has loved you that much?”
“Mulder…” We’re not in a relationship, Mulder.
“You’re either lying or you’re in denial. Which one?” Oh, no?
She raises her eyes to his. His stare is dark and stormy. It’s harsh. Her eyes widen in surprise. She’s transported to a cold storage locker in Alaska, and the only time she was ever truly afraid of him.
“I don’t know,” she says.
“You don’t know?”
Mulder shakes his head in amazement and suddenly Scully finds her head is being pulled towards him and his mouth is on hers. She’s too surprised to react and then she realizes she’s stumbling backwards and her back hits the wall. Heat rushes through her in an instant. And anger. Blinding anger. She pushes against his chest, shoving him away from her. Their lips disconnect in a smack, which intensifies the anger she feels and quick as lightning, her hand whips across his cheek.
Mulder closes his eyes. Scully’s palm stings. And then she realizes she’s not the least bit angry at all, she’s terrified. And the only thing she knows is that she has an overwhelming need for his mouth to return to hers; for his body against hers; for his hands on her.
“Mulder,” Scully whispers, as she grasps his t-shirt and yanks him back to her.
The new kiss is hotter and wetter, sloppy in aim and technique. Their noses bump together. It doesn’t matter. As soon as she coils her arms around his neck, he bends, hoisting her up and pressing her against the wall. She wraps her legs around his waist and threads her fingers into his hair. He holds her by her thighs, pinning her hips to the wall with his own.
It’s Mulder that breaks their kiss this time. Both are panting, out of breath, their ribs painfully expanding against each other, pressed so tightly together. Scully is anxious for more. She tries to kiss him again, but he stops her, leaning his head back to look at her. Her head rolls against the wall and she squirms against him.
“Look at me,” Mulder says.
Scully’s eyes slide open a fraction and she looks at Mulder with a drowsy, hooded gaze. He thrusts back against her restless hips in retaliation, pressing her more firmly into the wall and she can feel his arousal. She moans and clutches his hair. He spins her away from the wall and quickly crosses the room to the bed. He’s able to keep her in his arms, even as he lays her down, partly because she keeps herself wrapped around him and partly because he won’t let her go.
“I want you,” he says, sliding her tank top up her torso to her chest. It catches under her breasts and he ducks his head to kiss his way down her body, momentarily deterred.
“Mulder,” Scully moans, twisting in his arms to help him get her shirt off and over her head.
Mulder presses his open mouth to the swell of her left breast, his tongue hot against her skin. His teeth snag against her bra as he nudges it aside to find her nipple. He exposes her right breast with his free hand, tweaking the other nipple into a hardened peak with the pinch of his fingers.
“Jesus,” Scully whispers, arching her back.
At this point, Scully knows it isn’t going to take very much to reach her breaking point. She’s swollen and soaked through, has been since before walking through the door, and with the smell of him and the softness of his hands on her, she could’ve gone over the edge even before he pushed her against the wall.
Mulder savors every minute he spends undressing Scully. He goes slowly, but it feels like they’re moving 100 miles an hour, especially when she moves against him so restlessly and her hands are traveling over his body to places he’s only dreamed about her touching.
“I ache for you, Scully,” he says, when he’s just slipped her sweatpants off her legs and she’s wearing nothing but a pair of plain, white cotton panties and impatience. He’s kneeling between her legs and he runs his hands up from her thighs to her shoulders, stopping to cup her breasts, and down her arms to grasp her hips.
Scully moans and arches like a cat beneath him. “Please…”
“When you leave the office at the end of the day,” he says, continuing his full body caress as the timbre of his voice makes her ears tingle, “until the moment you walk in in the morning, I’m aching for you. Even when you’re right beside me, I’m aching.”
Scully gasps quietly. She burns as though his words set her on fire. Mulder chuckles as he draws circles on her hipbones with his thumbs. She brings her knees closer together, denying him permission to her body.
“Why are you laughing?” she murmurs.
“I never knew someone could blush with their whole body,” he answers. “Do it again.”
Softening, her knees come apart again and she slides one leg against Mulder’s hip. “Make me,” she whispers, too hot and bothered at this point to be embarrassed at the wonton huskiness in her voice. It’s already a struggle not to writhe against the bed. Her body seems to have separated from the rational side of her brain and overtaken by primal urges.
“With pleasure,” Mulder replies, his mouth coming down on her over her underwear.
Scully shudders with release. Her muscles tense involuntarily and quiver. Mulder lifts his head, resting a hand against her belly. “Overstimulated,” she gasps. “Fuck.”
“Here I thought I was just that good.”
“It’s not you.”
“I mean…Jesus, Mulder, you could make water wet. I just…”
“Hey, it’s okay.”
Scully is shaking uncontrollably now and Mulder moves up and over her to lie beside her. He gathers her close and rubs her back. She can feel him, hot and hard against her thigh, straining against his sweatpants. She groans because she wants him so much. She aches for him so much. It’s why she can’t stop trembling.
“Relax,” Mulder whispers.
“Take these off,” she replies, pushing his pants over his hips with quaking fingers.
“Let’s slow down.”
“I don’t want slow.”
“Scully, I think-”
“Trust me,” she whispers. “Please.”
“Okay.” Mulder stops her, moving her hands out of his sweats to remove them himself. She rolls onto her back and slips her own panties off, kicking them away. “How do you want this?” he asks.
Scully reaches for Mulder, curling her hand behind his neck. She draws him towards her for a kiss and he moves over her and between her legs. “Like this,” she says, squeezing his hips with her thighs.
Mulder tries to slide down her body with more kisses, but she grabs his face, holding on to his ears to keep him in place. She shakes her head and squeezes her thighs again. “Just you,” she says. “Just let me feel you.”
With another kiss that takes her breath away, Mulder rounds his back and brings one arm down to hook it under Scully’s leg. He pushes her thigh back leans his weight onto his knee for balance. Her heart hammers in her chest. She feels like her insides have melted, soft and pliant and ready to be filled with something hard and strong, with Mulder.
“I ache for you too, Mulder,” she whispers.
“Fuck, Scully,” Mulder groans, thrusting into her like he’s surprised they fit together so perfectly.
Scully moans in response and arches her back. “Yes,” she says. She rocks her hips when Mulder pauses and reaches down to press her nails into his backside. “More. Don’t stop.”
“Just hold on,” Mulder says, lifting his head up and closing his eyes. “I just…I just need a second.”
“Are you okay?” Concern creeps Scully’s expression and she runs her fingers through Mulder’s hair.
Mulder bends his neck and his forehead drops to Scully’s shoulder. “I’m inside you, Scully,” he whispers into her collarbone.
“It feels fucking incredible.”
Scully smiles and turns her head so she can press her lips to his temple. “I guarantee you’re going to feel even more incredible as soon as you start moving.”
“Nag, nag, nag,” Mulder murmurs, smiling as he lifts his head.
He moves. She gasps. He thrusts. She bites her lip. Sweat slides down his spine to his tailbone. Sweat pools in the hollow of her throat. He growls her name. She moans his. He wants to bury himself so deep he may never get out. She wants to pull him inside and never let him go. They both see stars.
In the drowsy state of euphoria that follows, Scully runs her fingers through Mulder’s damp hair, panting softly next to his cheek as she tries to slow her racing heart. The room is humid with sex. She can smell it and she can feel it lingering in the air. It’s in her nose and on her skin and she still throbs with it. She shivers as the sweat cools and Mulder squeezes her tightly against his chest. She doesn’t mind the possessive grip he has on her, one leg trapped between his, arms wound around her like vines. She rather likes feeling possessed by him in this moment.
“You were saying something about lacking passion,” Mulder says.
Scully tips her head back and arches her brow. “Is this your subtle way of asking if you’re the best I’ve ever had?”
“Well, that would be very uncouth of me.”
“Yes, it would.” She sighs, eyes rolling back and lids fluttering shut as Mulder slides out of her and rolls them away from the wet spot they’ve created. She feels sticky and sore and her thighs are trembling from strain, but in the best possible sense of how one could feel overexerted and blissful at the same time.
“I knew it would be like this,” Mulder says.
Scully wiggles free of Mulder’s embrace and moves up on her elbow, holding her head in her hand. He flops over onto his back and she reaches out to trace patterns on his chest with her fingertips. His skin is still warm and damp whereas hers has cooled considerably.
“Tell me,” Scully says.
“Tell you what?”
“What it’s like.”
“I think you should tell me.”
Scully drums her fingers over Mulder’s breastplate and then lays her head down on his shoulder. “It feels like the happiest and most terrifying thing in the world,” she says. “But…”
“But, there’s no way I’d climb you like a pole with half the town watching, missing for three days or not.”
Mulder laughs so hard the bed shakes. He grabs Scully around the waist and flips her onto her back, pinning her down, still laughing. She smiles up at him because he’s the happiest she’s ever seen him. Even his eyes are laughing. His laughter subsides when she reaches up to trace his smile and he dips his head to kiss her palm.
“What do we do now, Mulder?”
“Well, I was about to order a pizza before you interrupted.”
“So sorry to have derailed your dinner plans.”
“I’ll get over it.”
“But, I mean…”
“I know, Scully. But, for now, how about a large pepperoni and sausage and we just let whatever’s going to happen, happen?”
“Okay.” Scully pushes Mulder away and rolls off the bed. She grabs his t-shirt from the floor and slips it on as she heads to the bathroom. Behind her, she can hear Mulder dialing the phone and she pauses in the doorway and turns around to face him, leaning against the wall just outside the bathroom.
“Yeah, I need to place an order for delivery,” Mulder says.
“Mulder,” she whispers.
“Hang on.” Mulder moves the phone away from his mouth and looks up at her. “Yeah?”
“It was the best sex I’ve ever had.”
Scully smirks and turns away. She closes the bathroom door behind her, her smile growing wider with every second.