SUMMARY: It was only a kiss.
RATING: PG-13 for this part.
SPOILERS: No big spoilers. The story takes place in Season 7, between Millennium and Rush.
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me and no copyright infringement is intended on my part.
WORD COUNT: 19,947 for the whole story
DATE POSTED: June-July 2008
Skinner's white dress shirt is the most impressively starched thing Mulder has ever seen in his life, pristine even towards the close of the work day. It could probably stand on its own and growl at him for countermanding orders.
"Hrmph," Skinner says under his breath, flipping the pages of their preliminary report.
Scully is perched at the edge of her chair, legs crossed at the knee. Today she's wearing another suit with a skirt, this one navy wool with a slit at the back of the skirt. He tries not to stare as she uncrosses and crosses her legs. He definitely tries not to imagine what sort of underwear she's wearing. It doesn't do to get an erection in the Assistant Director's office.
"Zombies," Skinner says, adjusting his glasses. "You're saying that the four former agents were zombies."
"Yes, sir," says Mulder.
"And what's your opinion, Agent Scully? Were they zombies?"
"Sir, I hate to characterize what we saw as 'zombies,' but I have no other reasonable explanation at this time."
He can smell Scully's perfume from where he's sitting and it's beginning to drive him nuts with the desire to bury his snout in her neck.
Skinner raises his hand in dismissal. "That will be all, Agents."
"That was relatively painless," Scully says in the elevator.
"I don't think anything can shock him anymore. He's almost blase about stuff like zombies."
The elevator reaches the basement level with an audible thud. He steps out into the narrow corridor, Scully at his heels. One of the fluorescent bulbs needs to be changed again. It flickers on and off, giving the hallway more of a David Lynch vibe than usual.
Just before they reach their office door, Scully tugs on his arm and pulls him into the little room that houses a long-defunct copier and some blue recycling bins.
"What are you--"
She shoves him against the copier with surprising force. Scully stands on her tiptoes to kiss him urgently, messily. He can feel her lipstick slide from her lips to his face.
He pulls away from her vampire mouth. "Who are you and what have you done with Dana Scully?" Has she been replaced by some sort of succubus?
She wipes her lips with a tissue from her jacket pocket and offers it to him. "Sorry," she says, but she doesn't look sorry at all. "I know we can't...not at work, but I wanted to, just once."
So, he's not the only one who's had fantasies set in the Hoover Building. He wonders if she's had the one starring Skinner's desk.
He crumples up the tissue, now stained burgundy, and tosses it in the garbage. How will they ever get through the rest of the day?
For that matter, how will they ever get through any other day in their working lives? Now he truly understands why the Bureau discourages agents in the same section from becoming romantically involved. It's terribly distracting to be hunting down leads while being plagued with thoughts about one's partner's full lips and the soft curves of her breasts.
Then again, he's been plagued by those thoughts for years and it's never been too much of a problem before.
He straightens his tie and follows her to their office.
They need a new case. Something to keep their idle minds, and mouths, occupied. For the next hour he daydreams about werewolves and bloody corpses in the snow, staining the white crimson.
He arrives at precisely quarter to eight. He even managed to find parking nearby, a rare commodity in Georgetown.
Tonight he's detailed to within an inch of his life. He got a haircut and shave after work. He's showered and smelling Irish Spring fresh. His red tie is new and his shoes are shined to a high gloss any Marine would approve of.
As he walks up the sidewalk to her building, his stomach rolls with nerves and he wonders why. He and Scully have had dinner together hundreds of times. Not to mention breakfast, lunch, and all manner of snacks. They've had grilled cheese and tomato soup in Nebraska, Vietnamese spring rolls in Minneapolis, and Dungeness crab in San Francisco. Once they shared a bag of trail mix in a helicopter on the way to McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
This is different. This is a Date, with a capital D. Possession with intent to sell.
She answers the door with a stiff smile on her face. She's wearing a thin green sweater and a black skirt that flares over her knees.
Scully takes his hand in hers, a trifle formally, as if they'd just seen each other's profiles on Match.com earlier in the week. She pulls him in closer and kisses him on the cheek. That's better. She smells like violets, a new scent to add to the database.
He helps her on with her coat. "Where are we going?" she asks.
"Some new place called Heritage," he says, straightening the collar of her coat. His fingers linger for a moment on the softness of her neck. "It's about three blocks away. Some food web site said it's a 'chef-driven, seasonal celebration of American cuisine.'"
Scully raises an eyebrow. "Wow. Are you sure I'm dressed up enough for a seasonal celebration of American cuisine?"
"You look gorgeous," he says, and kisses the top of her head.
All the way to the restaurant, he wants to take her hand in his, but it feels wrong, somehow.
They're awarded a window table, looking out at the Friday night crowds on the Georgetown sidewalk. The lighting at Heritage is low, punctuated by votive candles at each table. The walls are painted blood orange and butter yellow. It smells like garlic and herbs.
The waiter uncorks a bottle of Argentine Malbec and hands Mulder the cork. He's never known what to do with this. Sniff it? Admire the fine cork craftsmanship? The waiter pours a bit of wine in Mulder's glass and stands back on his heels, waiting for approval. Mulder takes a sip. It's fine, it tastes like red wine. What else is there to say? He nods imperiously at the waiter.
After the waiter has poured their wine and departed, Scully says, "That was awfully sexist, don't you think?" He notices that she's wearing a darker shade of lipstick than usual and eyeliner, too. "What if I'm actually an internationally known wine expert?"
"I suggest you report him to the National Organization of Women. You could organize a protest march on the Mall."
Scully rolls her blue eyes.
Almost every table in the restaurant is populated by couples. Happy, laughing couples holding hands on the tables, covertly kissing, feeding each other oysters and shrimp. One man gets out of his seat and sinks to his knees before a pretty blonde woman, presents her with a small black box. The blonde bursts into tears after she opens the box to see a diamond solitaire and the entire room bursts into applause.
Mulder shifts uncomfortably in his seat.
Over sea bass braised with artichokes and white beans (hers) and beef short ribs with gremolata (his), they talk about rising rents in the area, who has the most frequent flyer miles and Scully's ideas for recovering her sofa. There are long silences, the only sound between them the scraping of silverware on plates.
Have we run out of things to talk about, he thinks. Is seven years too late? When most couples start dating, they share their stories--the funny, tragic, memorable personal stories of their lives. Mulder and Scully know most of each other's stories. Perhaps they're shared out.
Or should they reminisce? Hey Scully, remember the time you shot me? Mulder, wasn't that funny when I was dying of cancer and you made a deal with the Smoking Man to find a new chip for my neck? Yeah, good times.
Scully wipes her lips with her napkin. "This is weird, Mulder."
"The two of us." She waves her hand. "Out for dinner."
He knows exactly what she's talking about but he decides to play dumb. "We have dinner together all the time."
She shakes her head. "That's different. That's work. This is a date. It feels strange."
Even though he feels the same way, Mulder's heart sinks. "Are we making a mistake?" he asks, waiting for the inevitable blow. He knew it was too good to be true.
"No," she says, so softly he almost can't hear her over the noise of the room. "No, I don't think so. It's going to take some time to adjust, though. Switching gears after so many years is pretty big."
He lifts his wineglass. "Here's to switching gears."
They clink glasses.
It's colder when they step outside the restaurant. Their breath comes out in frosty clouds.
If our enemies saw us, or someone from the Bureau, he thinks, as they start down the sidewalk. He decides he doesn't really give a shit. He takes her gloved hand in his and gives it a squeeze. Scully squeezes back and they walk to her place hand-in-hand.
They stop outside her front door. "Well, thank you for a lovely dinner," she says, looking up at him with a smile.
"Can I come up for coffee?" he asks, moving closer to her.
"Hmm...I don't think so. Not on the first date. I'm a good Catholic girl." She blinks innocently at him.
He makes a disappointed noise in his throat. He'd had some big plans that involved peeling that green sweater off her.
"Can I kiss you on the first date?" he asks.
"I think that's permissible," she says.
She tilts her face up to his and he meets her halfway. The street noise fades and he doesn't notice the cold anymore as their lips touch, mouths open to each other. He tastes red wine and the flourless chocolate cake they'd shared for dessert. He tastes Scully and, as usual, she's delicious, just as he'd always imagined.
"We have to stop," she gasps. "We have to stop or we're going to get in serious trouble."
"We're always in serious trouble, Scully. How would this be anything new?"
She fumbles in her coat pocket for her keys and unlocks the front door. "Good night, Mulder."
He wishes her a good night in return and kisses the top of her head. He knows better than to argue with her.
As he walks down the street to his car, he finds himself whistling. He never whistles.
Saturday night and college basketball is on TV. He likes pro basketball better than college, but he enjoys the sound of the game on in the background as he putters around, doing the dishes, folding laundry, scanning various alien abduction Internet message boards. The sound of basketball on television reminds him of happier childhood times, when his father would sprawl on the sofa to watch the game while he and Samantha played Chinese Checkers on the floor.
There's a knock at the door and Mulder hopes it isn't Mrs. Gornick from next door, come to tell him to turn the TV down. She has the hearing of a bat.
It's Scully, the casual version he never sees, wearing jeans and a University of Maryland sweatshirt. She's carrying a grocery bag.
"Is something wrong?" he asks automatically. She never drops by unless something is very, very wrong.
She shoots him a withering look. "I heard that the Terrapins are playing North Carolina State tonight and I thought you might want to watch the game with me."
In the kitchen, she produces a six pack of Sam Adams beer, a bag of Doritos, a package of hot dogs and some buns.
"Doritos and hot dogs?" he says, ready to laugh. "You don't eat that stuff."
"I eat more than tofu and brown rice," she protests. "It just depends on my mood. And my mood told me to have some hot dogs. They are turkey hot dogs, though."
He opens two beers for them. She looks like she's about eighteen tonight, in her college sweatshirt and wearing no makeup.
She opens the fridge. "Do you have ketchup and mustard?"
"Ketchup on hot dogs is sacrilege," he says, but he finds the bottle of Heinz for her anyhow.
On his couch with Scully, hot dogs, tortilla chips, beer and basketball. It's a personal fantasy come to life. She kicks off her shoes and rests her stockinged feet on the coffee table. He can die now a happy man. Almost.
She proves to be fairly knowledgeable about basketball, even going so far as to yell at the TV when the referee makes a questionable call against Maryland.
"You've been holding out on me," he says, fishing in the bag for more chips. "I didn't know you were a basketball fan."
"Fan is too strong a word, Mulder. I rarely watch anymore but when I was in college I went to Terrapin games."
"I'll bet you were adorable in college, all sweet and innocent..."
"I wasn't that innocent," she says, smirking.
"Oh, really? Do tell."
"That is none of your business," she says, but she's grinning. In the past seven days, he's seen her smile more than in the whole of the previous seven years.
He knows that more horrible things lie waiting in the wings for them, but it's wonderful to be able to make her happy in the present.
For years, he's imagined kissing her on this very couch, this creaky leather couch where he once slept every night. Now it's reality as their mouths meet. They ignore the remainder of the game. The Terrapins lose to the Wolfpack and Scully doesn't even seem to notice as she applies hot kisses to his neck, his forehead, behind his ears.
Mulder slides his hand up the back of her sweatshirt and finds, to his delight, that she's not wearing a bra. "You're naughty," he says.
"No, I just need to do some laundry." She kisses him again. He wonders who taught her to kiss and if he could send that guy a thank you note.
He tugs her off the couch and leads her by the hand to the bedroom. "We don't have to do anything you don't want to do," he says. "But at least we can be comfortable here."
She flops down on the bed and looks up at him with trusting eyes. "Whatever happens tonight is right," she says.
He loses all pretense of control then, crouching over her body to kiss her madly and wrestle her sweatshirt off like a teenaged boy at the drive-in. He's rewarded with the first real sight of her breasts; the time in Antarctica didn't count. They're small but round and firm, with lovely peaches and cream nipples. He's afraid his tongue must be hanging out of his mouth like a panting Golden Retriever.
"Gorgeous," he mutters, first kissing one and then the other.
"No fair," she says, and starts pulling his tee shirt off.
"Ah, so you want an egalitarian relationship?"
"Always, Mulder. Always."
For the first time, his bare skin touches hers. He imagines their bodies eliciting sparks in the dim room, so electric is the sensation of his naked chest touching hers. He wonders if he might pass out from the lack of blood in his head as all reserves start heading south.
Finally, he thinks, taking a hard nipple in his mouth. She groans at the sensation. He tries the other one on for size and Scully seems to like it equally well. In fact, she starts unbuttoning his jeans with practiced doctor's fingers. She pushes his jeans down and he somehow manages to kick them off. Now he's just in his boxers, his erection absurdly tenting the cotton.
"Oh my," she breathes, reaching to touch him.
"This is all your fault," he says. "90% of the time it's your fault."
"Sometimes Lucy Liu shows up," he says and she laughs.
She wiggles out of her own jeans and she's wearing pale pink cotton panties, hardly the black lace of his imagination, but these will do nicely, too.
This is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening...
But it is, and he almost loses his mind when her hand snakes its way in the fly of his boxers to grasp him at the root of his cock. He just about loses the power of conscious thought when her soft hand begins stroking the length of him.
He bends down to kiss her again, to touch those ridiculously soft breasts of hers, to...
The phone shrills, cutting through the silence of the bedroom.
"Don't answer," she gasps.
"I have to," he says, reaching for the telephone.
It's Skinner. Who else would call on a Saturday night besides Scully? And she's here.
"Agent Mulder. You and Agent Scully need to get down here for a briefing right away. We have four female college students missing in Madison, Wisconsin. Witnesses reported mysterious phenomena at the time of the disappearances, along the lines of your area of specialty."
"Right away?" he asks. His erection dies a sad death.
"Yes. I tried to call Agent Scully, but there was no answer, either on her home phone or her cell phone. Can you try tracking her down?"
Actually, sir, Agent Scully is currently lying on her back in my bed, dressed in nothing but her pink underpants. I'm fairly certain she was going to take those panties off any minute now, but we'll be right there.
"I'll do my best to find her, sir. I think I know where she might be."
Mulder hangs up the phone and this time he swears out loud.
End Part 2 of 4.