SUMMARY: When three lives intersect, a triangle is formed.
PAIRINGS: Scully/Skinner, Mulder/Scully
DISCLAIMER: Not mine.
DATE POSTED: August 1998
WORD COUNT: 2,374 for this part
Met him in a hotel.
Met him in a hotel.
You have reached the voice mail of Agent Dana Scully. I will be unavailable until 2 pm. If this is an emergency, please call my cellular phone at 202-555-3564.
He's already in the room. She can hear the clink of ice in the bucket and a rustling behind the door. Key in hand, she pauses for a moment before going in.
So many hotels, so many motels. Super 8. Holiday Inn. Hyatt Regency. The Sunset Motor Court. Plush business hotels and seedy small-town motels with roaches and no television. No matter the place, they always smell faintly of mildew, of the skin and clothing of strangers.
It's just a few hours stolen from a busy day. Safety, behind that locked door; a simple universe of one bed, one man, just an hour or two to spare in their lives. No distractions in those rooms.
He often was pacing the room when she arrived, always standing when she opened the door, standing so straight and tall, dwarfing her. That military posture of his, still evident nearly thirty years later.
Check in separately, one half-hour apart. Leave separately as well. That's the drill.
He's hungry for it today, she can tell, lips constantly pulled back, as if making to growl. She scribbles the name of a hotel down on a post-it note and passes it to him, feeling like a freshman in study hall. He glances down at the scrap of paper and smiles at her; tears the yellow note into little pieces. She's not ashamed to admit that she feels like growling, too. One finger is raised. One o'clock, only two more hours to go. They both laugh in the confines of the dingy basement office, laugh at the convoluted games they are forced to play. You never know who is listening.
Pull back the mildewy flowered bedspread to reveal the clean, white sheets beneath. She loves the sight of those sheets, the promise they augur.
She glanced at her watch. "Oh God, it's nearly 2:00. I have to get back."
His finger touched her lips. "Stay."
Shaking her head, "No, I have to go. I told him I was having a crown replaced at the dentist. I'm expecting toxicology reports back."
A hand closed over her wrist and his voice was nearly beseeching. "Don't leave."
She got out of bed and started dressing.
A hot, humid August afternoon, holed up in a Comfy Inn somewhere in the bowels of Mississippi. He laughs as she tickles his feet, his chest and stomach. Abruptly, he sits up and looks at her, smiling broadly. "I have fun with you, Scully."
Fun. It's true, she realizes with surprise, they do have fun together. They are able to forget. She tickles him again, just to hear him dissolve in helpless laughter.
His eyes were dark brown in the gloom of the closed drapes. "Do you regret this?"
A flash of Little Rock, remembering how swiftly he moved to her and caught her in the deepest of kisses. She shook her head. "I don't do anything I regret," she whispered.
Brown hair is pillowed against white sheets, sweat coursing down his face. It seems the air conditioning system has decided to take a vacation. The man cries out as she moves her tongue up and down his straining hardness. "Don't stop, don't stop, don't-" he mutters.
"Bitch," he groans, throwing his head against the pillow.
"Your problem is you're too goddamn impatient," she says, and starts again, moving her tongue and lips to the rhythm of his moans.
A few times, at the last minute, he couldn't make it. She'd walk into the room and find it distressingly empty. Her cell phone would ring twice and she knew that was the signal. Kicking her heels off, she'd flop down onto the bed and stare at the ugly, stained ceiling. What am I doing here, she'd think. Sighing, she'd check out and drive back to the office.
At the Westin she realizes she's been here before, in this very same room with the dusty rose walls and matching drapes, the same view of the Washington Monument. Only that time, she was with someone else. Does that make me a slut, she wonders, grinning. No, it makes me human. She rolls over to kiss her lover, trying to banish the other from her thoughts, but he remains in the room with the two
of them, an invisible specter tingeing the encounter with guilt. Bless me father, for I have sinned. I left one man for another.
His psychic fingerprints are all over the generic queen-sized bed, branding her with the memory of gray February skies outside the window as they turned the heat up high and climbed under the covers. Strong, strong arms wrapped around her shivering body as he abruptly entered her, roughly claiming what was his.
She can admit she misses him at times, misses his low, rumbling chuckle. His broad shoulders under her fingertips. His quiet intensity.
Her lover turns over and touches her hair. "Scully, are you okay?"
Shutting her eyes, she smiles. "I'm just thinking."
Rain tapped at the windows on their second night together in Little Rock. The rain never stopped for the entire time she spent in the state of Arkansas, a state she always thought was supposed to be rather dry. The Holiday Inn, mints on the pillows, the toilet sanitized for her protection, but she had found her protector, her refuge.
"Sometimes I just want to quit, to walk away from all this," she said in the dark.
He stirred, rising on his elbow. "Why don't you?"
She imagined the face of her partner, and shook her head. "I don't know," she said quietly, "Something's keeping me here. I guess I own the quest as much as he does. There are things I need to know before I leave." Her cancer, her sister, her daughter.
At that moment, she wondered what her partner was doing down the hall in his own room. Who did he have to comfort him on a night like this?
"Let me," he whispered to her, "Let me help you forget for a night."
His hands methodically traced the curves of her naked body, as if attempting to memorize her form. She shivered at his touch.
He's a restless sleeper, tossing and turning, stealing the sheets and blankets, fighting the death dreams. Sometimes he calls out names in ragged desperation.
You can't save everyone, she thinks. You can't save us all.
Sometimes he slept so heavily, nothing could rouse him. She shook his shoulder. "Wake up," she said, "It's past 4:00. You have to get up and get back to the office." Blissfully, he dreamed on, looking vulnerable without his glasses.
Back at work, she briskly walked in, heels clacking on the linoleum. She hung up her coat and put her briefcase on the desk. Her partner didn't even look up from the file he was reading. "How was the dentist?" he mumbled.
She shrugged. "Fine. It was, you know, the dentist."
Once she walked into a motel room full of garishly colored balloons. "One for each time I've made love to you," he said, grinning. God, how unlike him that was. He was a man utterly transformed by his love.
She laughed, but was oddly embarrassed by the naked look of adoration on his face.
Her lover slides into her, hard. "This-is-love--" he says between gritted teeth.
Pushing him harder into her, she nods. This is love, she understands now. Finally, she has love.
How did I ever resist this, she wonders sometimes. How could she spend all this time by his side, not knowing of his hands, his mouth, his eyes clamped shut in abject pleasure?
He was late, so she started without him. Couldn't help it, she'd been thinking of him all day, even as she wielded a scalpel during an autopsy, she could feel the texture of his neck under her mouth. On the bed she touched herself, dreaming of what was to come. As she came against the starchy sheets, he walked in, wiping rain off his scalp. He looked at her and her face turned read in shame. Sitting by her side, still wearing his dripping Burberry coat, he stroked her flushed breasts with his cold, wet fingertips.
She stretched her arm out to him.
There are times when she briefly falls asleep and awakens to see the generic paintings on the walls of ships tossing on stormy seas. Where am I? She's momentarily panicked, heart thumping wildly until she sees the man lying next to her.
It's the briefest vacation from their lives. In the bathroom she washes up, attempts to erase the signs of lovemaking from herself. She feels refreshed, rejuvenated, ready to again lift her weapon and rejoin the battle. Sliding into her pumps, she marches on.
Once they didn't even make it as far as the bed, but collapsed in a heap on the bland beige carpet. "Must have you now," he rasped into her ear, kissing her with his glasses still on.
She now can smile at what an absurd tableau they must have made, the large man still dressed in his gray suit and tie, riding the small woman, her wool skirt hiked up over her hips.
The sun is just setting when they get back to the motel, exhausted from a long day in the field. Shutting the door behind her, the room feels like home, despite the orange shag carpet and the water stains on the wallpaper.
She unknots his tie and slides it out from the blue oxford shirt. "Are you suggesting something?" he asks.
Sometimes she thinks she's knocked him for a bit of a loop. She was so well known for her frosty, stoic facade, her buttoned and zipped primness, she believes he eventually took it for Bible truth. Dana Scully is frigid. She's all work and not fun, bet she's never gotten decently laid.
It just shows you, you never know someone until you get close enough. Close enough to burn, be burned.
Only a select few have seen her cry. She doesn't ever want to be seen as anything but strong, in complete control. Her mother, her sister, her lover have seen her cry. Her former lover, only once, when she told him she was leaving.
Hurriedly, they strip each other in the chill of the Roadside Inn. Trench coats are pooled together on the floor in a beige heap; jackets are strewn against the chair. She smirks as their holsters and guns are tossed on the cheap laminate dresser. Love in the FBI, indeed.
She stands before him, dressed only in her panties, skin puckering with goose bumps. His mouth falls open. "Sometimes I forget."
"I forget how beautiful you are."
Despite the cold room, she flushes. No, he's the one who is outrageously beautiful, she thinks, her man, her lover, already hard, ready to take her.
Her tongue traces the contour of his full lower lip, counts his bottom row of teeth. He pushes her onto the sagging bed and kneels before her on the floor. "I've been thinking about tasting you all day," he says.
She shuts her eyes, impatient for his mouth on her. She, too, found it difficult to concentrate all day, when all she wanted to do was sprawl on this cheap, ugly bed and feel his face between her thighs, parting her and spreading her as far as she can go.
We really need to get a grip, she thinks. This is so unprofessional. Then again, she stopped caring about that a long time ago.
She had nearly drifted off to sleep when the sound of his voice jerked her back to consciousness. "Why?" He asked, "Why me, Scully?"
Rolling onto her stomach, she rested her chin on folded arms. "You saved me. You're the light in my dark life."
It was a dark night as she sat at the window, watching the slow-moving Little Rock traffic below. I can't do this anymore, she thought, I can't stand smelling death, the stench surrounding me. Even though she had thoroughly showered, she could still smell it on her skin. Unfolding her arm, she stared at the delicate tracery of blue veins under white skin. It would be so easy, she thought. Just then, there was a knock at the door.
His voice was measured, almost flat, months later in another hotel room. "Now that you've been saved, what happens?"
She didn't have an answer to that.
Getting up to dress, she glances at her lover, still in bed and lying on his side. Their mortality strikes her just then and she lifts her head up, to the heavens, she supposes. Give us time, she silently entreats, don't separate us just yet. She wonders how she'd survive, having finally known love.
In the bustling corridor, her former lover passes with a nod and a grunted greeting. She stands in the middle of the hall dumbly, thinking, I wish I knew how to tell you how sorry I am.
Key in hand, she stands in front of the door, pausing before letting herself in. For a second she forgets who is inside, waiting for her.
Glancing at the digital clock at the bedside table, she gasps, "I have to go, it's nearly 3:00."
He rolls over and throws his heavy arm over her body. "Stay," he whispers.
She sits up, the sheet sliding off her naked body. "I can't and neither can you. We have piles of work waiting for us."
A wet mouth moves up her spine. "Stay," he repeats.
Sighing with pleasure and chagrin, she sinks back down onto the mattress.
You have reached the voice mail of Agent Dana Scully. I have been unavoidably delayed in my return to the office. If this is an emergency, please call my cellular phone at 202-555-3564.
Met him in a hotel.
Note- If you were a bit confused, one man is referred to in the past tense and one in the present. That should help straighten things out.