Author: Lynn Saunders
Classification: MSR, RST, Theef Pre-Ep/Post-Ep/Missing Scene, Challenge Fic
Spoilers: seasons six and seven, specifically The Rain King, Field Trip, Millennium, and Theef
Summary: The time doesn't matter.
Feedback: gratefully received and much appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: http://www.mindspring.com/~lynnsaunders Distribution: Archive freely, just let me know where so I can visit.
Date Completed: 11.19.03
This story is a response to a Theef Post-Ep challenge (it's actually Pre & Post-Ep <g>) issued by our dear Sallie. It evolved into a Birthday Challenge at Beyond the Sea for the list's one year anniversary. Elements are listed at the end of the story.
Extra Special Thanks:
To Sallie for above and beyond beta (she missed the beginning of 24 to proofread my fic) and an enthusiastic thumbs-up. Also, to the fabulous Carol, whose speedy reads I couldn't live without. You ladies are awesome!
Dedication: To all of my beloved listies at BTS. Happy Birthday to us! I hope there are many more to come.
Disclaimer: The characters of Mulder and Scully are the property of Chris Carter and 1013. A break from work is the only thing I am gaining from writing fan fiction. The song "I'll Back You Up" is the property of Dave Matthew's Band and is used without permission, but with much admiration and respect on my part.
by Lynn Saunders
He sits slouched among sofa cushions littered with file folders, his glasses slightly askew. Across the room, the television flickers silently. Scully is cross-legged beside him, chewing on a pen. She never used to do that, put things in her mouth. He wonders if she picked up his oral fixation during their fungus-induced hallucinogenic mind link.
He makes a valiant effort not to stare. It's impossible.
When did Scully become such a hot little package? Lately, everything about her screams 'sexpot'. The button-front shirts she wears are barely legal, often revealing more than a glimpse of cleavage, allowing him a monumental discovery: Scully wears black, lacy bras almost daily. She flirts openly with attractive men, strangers most of them, like the guy at the Starbucks counter. She clomps gracefully through the FBI halls in her 3-inch fuck-me heels and perfectly tailored suits, breaking the hearts of all the young interns and receiving winks from the roving eyes of agents who might be able to give her the "normal" life she thinks she wants, but who could never love her the way he does. His soul burns with it, like fireworks exploding in his chest, bright and hot. Deadly. He now realizes the agony of loving a friend, the possible loss and possible gain. Dangerous happiness, the ultimate conflict. Is it worth the risk?
So, he stares. If she feels his eyes on her -- and he suspects she does -- she will not acknowledge it. He kissed her on New Year's Eve, and she has not mentioned it. She never will, he thinks, because nothing ever changes. In a way, he is relieved. Perhaps they have been friends far too long to make any other type of relationship work. What if timing is everything, after all? He thinks he missed his chance a while ago. An intimate relationship is an extreme possibility that Scully might not be open to. It is his most secret fear.
But things do change. The world is always in motion, especially for them. Change, it has been said, is the only constant.
She looks up at him. Her expression is stern, but in her eyes he sees amusement, curiosity, and a hint of something darker that makes the fine hairs at the base of his neck stand on end.
"It isn't polite to stare, Mulder."
"I can't help it," he says.
He holds her gaze for a moment, then rises, gathering his scattered files. Never in a million years does he expect her to kiss him. It just isn't her style. Yet, she places a hand on his shoulder, stopping him as he turns to leave.
Sky blue eyes blink at him, small fingers slide to the back of his neck, and he is lost forever. Her moist lips brush his, then move deeper. He slips his arms around her, pulling her to him, trying to remain upright. Her breasts are like heaven, pressed against his chest.
It is perfect, slow and good, longer than the first one. When their lips part, he continues to hold her, and she runs her fingers over his face, immensely pleased with herself.
"Goodnight," she whispers, afraid to break the spell.
On the way home, his cell phone chirps from his coat pocket.
"I surprised you," she says. He can hear her smile.
"You keep me guessing."
A year ago, she received a package.
It was a quarter to six, and she had just run out of steam. She sighed, pushing around the pile of papers on Mulder's desk, trying to put them in some semblance of order before leaving for the day. He was miles away in Utah, loaned out to VIACAP like a mechanic's rusty car. Their loaner was a loner. This made her smile sadly. She tried to deny it, but she missed him terribly.
She stood, preparing to leave, just as a sandy-haired man knocked nervously on the office door frame. He smiled, and she recognized him from one Bureau hall or another, but was unable recall his name. He couldn't have been more than a few years younger than she, yet the spring in his step made him seem like a boy. She felt ancient just looking at him.
"Hi Agent Scully. I, um... this came for you," he stammered, extending a manila envelope." I thought you might still be here, so I decided to make sure it got down here in one piece." He looked positively bashful.
She thanked him, waiting until he was safely on his way to the FBI's higher realms before she examined the envelope. The return address indicated the Hardt residence in Kroner, KA. Eyebrows furrowing, she ripped open the seal. The package contained a brief letter and two pictures. The first image was a wrinkled newborn bundled in a tiny hospital blanket and cap. In the second, she and Mulder sat very near each other on a bench, highlighted by a cardboard rainbow. They didn't appear to notice the camera, engrossed as they were in conversation. Her eyebrow was raised ever so slightly, but she was smiling up at him. He was leaning into her personal space, as always, a mischievous gleam in his eyes. They were flirting shamelessly. Looking at it made something inside her spark and flare.
She considered tacking the picture to the office bulletin board, but decided against it. She wanted the image, the undeniable proof of the indescribable something between them, framed and displayed privately, not strewn amongst the UFOs and mutants that littered the basement walls.
When he found the simple silver frame tucked into the shelf above his aquarium, he was surprised, to say the least. The problem was, neither of them ever managed to say even that much. The small gift was never mentioned, but it migrated to Mulder's new bedside table and continues to travel to each city they visit in his carry-on bag. He too is taken with it, with the way they appear to others.
He stares at it as he lies awake, alone in his bed in the early morning light. After their first kiss, he didn't want to pressure her. His hesitancy allowed any possible discussion of their relationship to be pushed aside by case files. After Scully's run-in with Phaster, she needed some space. Since then, there just hasn't been a good time to bring it up. Now, another opportunity presents itself. But is she ready to hear what he has to say? Has fate presented him with a chance, or is he chancing fate? There is only one way to find out.
He showers and dresses, fully prepared to drive to Scully's apartment, declare his love for her, call in sick, and spend the day licking every inch of her body if she'll allow it. He wonders if she keeps whipped cream stocked in her kitchen. Or chocolate. Chocolate would be good.
His wandering thoughts are interrupted by the ringing phone. According to Skinner, they will be on a flight to California in two hours. This is in serious conflict with Mulder's itinerary for the day. Damn.
He isn't defeated, though. He refuses to let the subject go.
In California, they get the bad guy. Mulder flirts with Scully, and Scully flirts right back. She goes blind for a few minutes, and Mulder saves her. She surprises the hell out of him, believing in magic.
She is ready, he thinks, after all. Now, it's just a matter of time.
She leans against his desk, quirking an eyebrow as he reclines in his chair. Her leg brushes against his. Biting into her tuna salad sandwich, she tries not to smile up at him. He takes the sandwich away from her without asking, consuming half of it in one gulp, and passes her a folded newspaper -- a tabloid, actually.
"Georgia Town Under Attack!" it proclaims in disturbingly bright blue letters. A snarling beast stares at her from beneath the headline.
"What, no slide show?"
He smiles at her around a mouthful of stolen lunch.
"Hey Scully, did you know that Georgia's 'peach state' symbol looks like a big ass? It's on practically half of the road signs."
She glances at her watch. To the untrained eye, she would appear unamused. "When do we leave?"
Mulder rises and begins rummaging around in his desk. She watches him, appreciating the way the muscles in his forearms ripple as he rearranges the paperclip supply. Earlier, he caught her staring as he rolled up his sleeves, admiring the crisp blue of his shirt against his golden skin. She was so turned on that she had to excuse herself to cool down. Her body's response to him is downright embarrassing. These days, she can't decide whether she wants to kick his ass or jump it. Either event, she muses, would require tackling.
He doesn't answer, continuing his hunt through the right desk drawer. He knows the contents of that desk like the back of his hand. Why is he fumbling around? His fidgeting is making her nervous.
"Mulder... when is the flight?"
He looks at her strangely. "We just got back from California," he says, as if that explains everything.
"And I thought we'd take the weekend off, save this until Monday." He chuckles at her startled expression. "I'll always keep you guessing."
He has made at least thirty references to their goodnight kiss in the past three days. He seems hellbent on reminding her every chance he gets. She can't believe that it happened, that she was so forward with him. She is slightly embarrassed, but realizes that is absurd. She's known the man for seven years and he's head-over-heels in love with her. It's about damn time something happened between them, honestly.
"Have dinner with me, Scully."
His voice is gravelly, rough like sandpaper. Her belly tingles in response, burning with anticipation. Resistance is futile.
He knocks on her door at a quarter after seven, wearing his leather jacket and, God help her, the wire-rims she has absolutely no defense against. He hasn't worn his glasses in ages, and she welcomes their reappearance. He is wearing them just for her.
He smells delicious and looks twice as tasty. When he smiles and pulls her close for a hug, she can't help burying her face in his neck. She revels in the energy he radiates. No feeling on Earth compares to holding someone you love.
Their eyes meet and lock together. Her body begs to be kissed, her lips burning. He accepts the silent invitation, pressing his lips to hers. Thank God for unspoken communication.
Her fingers thread through his hair as he kisses her, making him shiver. On some level, he is aware that the door is wide open and they are only half inside her apartment, but he is beyond caring. He samples the soft skin of her neck before taking her face in his hands and looking into her eyes.
"I know," he says, and they both laugh from the sheer exhilaration of holding each other, of having someone to hold on to.
The restaurant is dark and warm and smells of olive oil and robust red wine. He pulls her close as they wait in the doorway, long arms wrapping around her from behind. She turns her head, pressing an ear to his heart. The rhythm is hypnotic.
His chin comes to rest on her shoulder, and she can feel his breath, hot against her neck. He whispers Italian folk tales in her ear. It is fitting that Mulder's sweet nothings involve supernatural phenomena.
They sit at a tiny table in the corner, watching each other in the candlelight. It is surreal, seeing each other in this context. Under the table, he holds her hand in both of his, running his thumb in soothing circles on the delicate skin of her wrist to make sure she's actually there, that this is actually happening.
After dinner, they stroll side by side down the narrow sidewalk, pretending not to lean into each other. He carries the small bag of left-overs in his right hand so he can touch her with his left. Their fingers twine together inside his jacket pocket. He feels about seventeen, walking his best girl home from a date.
On the corner, an old man performs card tricks for spare change. "Pick a card," he says, and Scully peeks at one and returns it. The man shuffles, then reshuffles the deck, selecting a card and passing it to Mulder.
"She picks true," the stranger says.
Mulder smiles and nods. The Queen of Hearts, indeed.
They cross the street to her apartment building. He kisses her thoroughly as they wait for the elevator and groans as her plump tongue slips out to caress his lower lip. It takes them nearly fifteen minutes to reach her door and get safely inside.
She is quite intoxicated, though she's had nothing to drink. She feels free, floating, and it is wonderful. Mulder tastes like the basil and sundried tomatoes from his pasta. His hands are large and warm and everywhere. He might consume her, but she is not concerned. She wants this, wants him, has wanted him for a long while.
Their lips part and he rests his head on her shoulder. They are nose-to-nose, panting open-mouthed, pheromones flooding their brains, endorphins rushing through their veins.
"It's magic, can you feel it?" His eyes sparkle in the low light.
God, she can feel it. She wants to feel this way forever, the excitement of Christmas morning and the exhilaration of flying, the electricity that arcs between them. "Yes."
"Keep me guessing, Scully." He presses a kiss to her forehead. "Don't ever stop."
She feels bold, sensual, and her gaze turns predatory. She wants all of him. He isn't about to refuse.
"I can't stop," she confesses. "I don't want to."
She reaches past him, locking the door. The latch clicks into place easily. She never knew it would be this easy. Making love with Mulder will be as natural as breathing.
His large hands slide over her hips, making them tingle. The heat from his fingers seeps through her clothes and into her skin, marking her. Every molecule in her body surges toward him.
His expression is curious, distant, and she realizes he is listening to something. She closes her eyes, trying to hear over the beating of her own heart, the ringing in her ears. Then she smiles. She hears it too. Mellow chords drift from her neighbor's guitar. The kid has been practicing a lot lately.
Mulder's hands stroke up her back to cup her shoulder blades, pulling her into an easy rhythm only half in time with the music, barely moving.
The musician's words filter through the wall.
<I remember thinking,
I'll go on forever only knowing
I'll see you again.
But I know,
the touch of you is so hard to remember. But like that touch I know no other.>
Mulder runs his hands from her shoulders to her palms, making her shiver. He links his fingers with hers, moving her hand up to rest on his chest, kissing each fingertip.
The disembodied music plays on, enchanting her.
<And for sure, we have danced
in the risk of each other.>
Mulder finishes the stanza, singing softly to her. "Would you like to dance around the world with me?"
His gaze is an incendiary device. She can't remember the last time anyone looked at her the way he's looking at her now, or, for that matter, whether anyone ever has. Nerve endings spark wherever his eyes land. It is the single most erotic thing she has ever experienced.
Electric fingers slide under her sweater to caress the small of her back. The current moves higher, white hot energy zinging along her spine. The pulses coax her to let go. She is free.
She wants to feel his skin on hers with a desperation that would frighten her if she weren't so far gone. She tugs at his jacket until it drops to the floor.
He pushes her back against the door, harder than he means to, but doesn't apologize when he sees the way her eyes flame for him. His teeth sink into the sensitive skin of her neck, leaving a mark that will take a week to disappear. Suddenly, their clothes are obstacles to be disposed of with deadly force.
Soon, he has her pinned against the door, panting into her arm. He is licking the back of her right knee, his hands sliding up her thighs. Her peaked nipples brush against the door's smooth white surface with every hot kiss of his mouth. She cries out at the first touch of his tongue to her center. She is coming apart inside. She slides her hand down her belly to feel him licking her, his tongue tickling her fingers.
Later, she will try to arrange the images that flood her senses into some order, chronological or otherwise. It is impossible. She will remember only flashes, like bits of broken mirror glinting in the sun, razor sharp and completely disorganized.
Their lovemaking is fiery. Hot and turbulent, like wind from a tropical storm. Wonderful.
They do not make it to the bed, or even to the couch. She wraps her legs around him as he pushes into her, four feet from the front door.
Beads of sweat trickle from Mulder's forehead down to his collarbone. She bites him there, moaning at the taste of sweat and sex.
His five o'clock shadow is like sandpaper against her chin, but she welcomes his kisses. They hurt in a good way.
He growls as she draws her nails down his slick back, leaving five reddened trails. He catches her hand and pushes it down between them. Her practiced fingers dance along her overstimulated clitoris once, twice, and she shatters around him.
His hair sticks out in random patterns. His golden skin glows. He is beautiful. He whispers her name as he comes, warming her from the inside out.
The lights flicker off for a moment as they collapse against each other, breathing raggedly.
"Do you think we blew a fuse?"
She laughs and presses a kiss to his sweaty forehead.
They take a bubble bath in celebration.
Scully reclines against her partner as they sip from the same bottle of Shiner Bock. She slides the sole of her foot up his leg. He licks a drop of water from the back of her neck. In front of them, the tap drips rhythmically, sending tiny ripples out to tickle them.
"What time is it?" she asks.
He cranes his neck to see into her bedroom.
"I don't know, the only clock I see is flashing eleven forty-four. We blew a fuse, remember?"
She giggles. "Oh, I definitely remember."
He pauses for a moment, running his finger along her fine collarbone. "Does it matter?"
She thinks about it, then turns to look at him. "No... no, it doesn't matter."
He is pleased by her answer. She settles back against him, smiling.
The time doesn't matter, he thinks as they drift in a sea of their own making. For this perfect moment, time does not exist.
Theef Post-EP / BTS Birthday Challenge Elements: - M/S first-time sex (bonus for slow undressing scene): Check, though they didn't undress slowly-- does a slow dancing scene count?
- the phrase "You do keep me guessing," (Mulder) or "I'll always keep you guessing," (Scully): Triple check. - sharing a meal/something edible: Tuna Salad Sandwich - a phone call from Skinner or Kersh: Skinner informs Mulder about the case in California
- TV (broken, working, showing a movie or not): The television is flickering, but muted, in the first scene.
- a watch or clock that has stopped working: the digital clock is flashing because of the power surge - lacy underwear (Scully only): she wears lacy black bras almost every day
- magic: the magic trick, among other things - a celebration, or something celebratory: the postcoital bath
Ha, I got them all! It was a blast.
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Lynn Saunders
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