Rendezvous 1/2 MSR

by XScribe

TITLE: Rendezvous 1/2
SPOILERS: Beyond The Sea; War of the Coprophages; Anasazi SUMMARY: In October 1997, Mulder has his wish granted: Contact by an extraterrestrial race. Enlightening his partner results in a profound turn of events for both of them.
NOTE: In the summer of 1997, I wrote this fic on a challenge to begin writing again after a five year hiatus. Thus, any plot similarities between this story and what later occurred on the network series is purely coincidental. DISCLAIMERS: No infringement intended on legal ownership of these characters.
SPECIAL THANKS: To my sister, Rose, for sticking through the last seven years with me and this fic, and to my two betas, Lakticia and Red Scully.
FEEDBACK: Always very much appreciated! Please email me at


OCTOBER -- 1997

The apartment was dark except for the soft purple-blue glow from the fish tank and the light stealing through the rustic-patterned, loose-weave curtains over the living room window. Set on the timer, the television had turned itself off a couple of hours earlier.

Mulder slept on the dark-green, leather, 50's-styled sofa, a common practice. After a shower, he'd redressed in a t-shirt and jeans. Outside, the street light began to flicker. A few neighborhood dogs barked as a low pulsing thrum carrying from somewhere in the night gradually increased in volume. The sound level reached the deep pitch of a distant idling diesel engine. The bulb in the fish tank began to scintillate along with the candlestick lamp at the end of the sofa; the whisper of the filter sputtered; the clock radio in the bedroom came on; noises issued from the kitchen; the television suddenly leapt back to life.

He started.

His first instinct was to reach for his holster. As he raised his head to ascertain the distance between the disturbance and his weapon, he froze. Silhouetted by the flickering light from the TV and the intermittent flashing of the lamp, he saw them. They were surrounding his couch.

In the quasar-like trick of light, their thin skin appeared to border on blue. Their large black eyes reacted and flicked with the illumination. In silence, they seemed to discourse between themselves as they studied him just as intensely as he studied them. The familiarity of these beings was startling; but instead of terrifying, there was an aesthetically refined, graceful quality about the creatures he'd not expected.

Wary, he tried to lunge to his elbows in an effort to communicate. He found he couldn't move.

It was at that point that all the noise and stroboscopic illumination around him began to fade . . .


NOVEMBER -- 1997

It was becoming almost insufferably annoying. Probably exacerbated by the fact, that for the first time since Mulder had embarked on a peculiar new pattern of behavior, Scully had absolutely no distractions to occupy her. Their bags were checked in and now they were forced to sit and wait together for a delayed flight to Vermont at the terminal gate. Nothing transpiring in the terminal could overshadow the almost tangible change in her partner.

Finally, unable to stand the silence between them, she quietly conjectured, "So, I take it that you were out with what's-her-name again yesterday. I'm surprised you didn't bring her along."

Mulder smiled. She could see it in her peripheral vision, because she wasn't looking directly at him and it was a pretty smile. That boyish one he'd been engaging in so much lately. "Bring who along?" he asked innocently.

"I don't see any reason why not, as long as she didn't interfere with our job, and paid her own way." The topic wasn't one Scully took any pleasure in raising. But they may as well bring it out in the open. "You know how cheap the government is. I'm merely voicing surprise. I mean, you've been spending so much time with her." Gaze still averted, she arched an eyebrow disdainfully. "Neither of you should have to be miserable, just 'cause you've got to be out of town."

"Excuse me?" He played baffled and bewildered well.

It was warm in the terminal, so she eased her coat down her shoulders. "You know who I'm talking about. I don't know her name." In an effort to appear indifferent, she shrugged. "You haven't mentioned it yet." She paused, still not looking at him directly. Then added, "I just hope it isn't something like Bambi . . . "

"Bambi?" Now he laughed, still quiet.

Scully released her breath with dwindling patience. "Whatever."

"Why are you so sure I'm involved with someone?"

"It's just that for the past month you've been in an uncharacteristically good mood." With difficulty, she managed to refrain from citing her disgust over this point. "I figured you two must be very happy together. Most of all, I'm bored out of mind -- I'm merely making conversation. I assure you -- I couldn't care less about your affairs."

In the corner of his chair, Mulder relaxed, his coat open over his usual office attire. He studied her so long it became unnerving; she had to meet his eyes. That ever-present, aggravating pleasure continued to play about his expressive, shapely mouth. "Actually," he said, at last, "I've been under the impression something's bothering you. You've been a little tense lately."

Her turn to study him a moment, frowning slightly, careful to keep her guard status quo. "Your instincts must be failing. There's nothing going on with me that would make the 11:00 news." It wasn't like him to pry into her personal affairs, just as she didn't pry into his. Right, she exhaled. She'd just attempted to, and to counteract, he hit her up with the same maneuver. Just like a psychologist; always responding with questions, but never answering a single one.

Having dispensed with her forage of his present amorous entanglements, she looked away. During the lull in conversation, she fought not to complain about all the self-centered, self-worshiping, mentally-deficient specimens of men she'd ever dated. Not only was it none of her partner's business, but because he was also male, he'd probably concur wholeheartedly with their general attitude. Keeping her mouth shut, she hoped one of the other waiting passengers in the terminal would set aside a newspaper or magazine.

Elbows on his knees, Mulder leaned forward. "Scully . . . "

Her gaze snapped back on him. There was a certain subdued urgency about his tone. She regarded him coolly, but didn't move any closer. Then she realized that if she didn't, he wouldn't continue. Finally she complied, but tried not to seem too eager.

" . . . I don't know how to tell you this because I know what you'll think . . . "

She felt a distinct shiver shoot down her spine, then the rush over her skin that followed.

He mouthed, "not here," and glanced back at the waiting passengers seated in close proximity.

If she could have bridled her curiosity, she would have remained in her seat and ignored him. Usually when that phrase was the prologue to a situation, it meant he was having another one of his ludicrous delusions. However, in such a case, he would ordinarily just blurt it out, no matter the audience. She'd been embarrassed all too many times by this quirk of his.

On their way to locate an area less crowded, she wondered what could possibly invoke a newfound desire for secrecy in him. She was still fairly convinced it was a woman -- one who seemed to enjoy engaging in some rather some questionable sexual practices, judging by the occasional, minor contusions she'd witnessed on his neck, throat, and wrists recently.

When they were reasonably out of hearing range of a stationary audience, it suddenly occurred to her that he was going to announce his betrothal to this woman. She found herself unnervingly affected by this. She dared look up at him and there it was in his eyes; he appeared barely able to control his excitement. Suddenly she regretted having left her seat.

"You know how every time I tell you something that you don't believe, you always try to write it off with some logical scientific explanation?"

"Something like what?" She was still apprehensive.

"You know what I'm talking about." He propped against the wall so the difference in their height was not so significant. "Every time we get a case where you think I totally take all leave of the envelope . . . Well, this time it's different."

Shifting, she waited, relieved at least that he wasn't going to make an announcement of the nature she'd been expecting. "This isn't one of our cases. This didn't happen to somebody else. It's happening to me. And it's for real. I wouldn't be telling you this, but I had to tell somebody."

Lowering her gaze, she deliberated.

"I'm not gonna make an official report of it, either. I thought I would -- if it ever happened -- but now that it's happened, I don't want to. Now I know why they don't tell anybody and why they don't want anybody to know."

Okay, her supposition had been wrong, but she was fearful of something else now; he'd been performing this arduous job too long and had cracked from the strain. A career in law enforcement required a strong personality-type; not a sensitive empath, like him. She looked up at him. "What's been happening to you?"

Squinting past her, he focused on a monitor. "Hey, they're boarding for our flight. We better get going." He pushed himself off the wall and started for the gate.

She caught his coat sleeve. "What has been happening to you?" she reiterated in a more authoritative tone.

He was undaunted; his hazel-green eyes shone with excitement, although his lower lip did pout marginally. "I've been abducted." Then he slipped from her grasp and shot off for the gate with only a glance back to make sure she was following.

Hiking her bag onto her shoulder with determination, she went after him.

Much as she felt she should probably contact the A.D. to send another agent to replace Mulder, she couldn't impart this in the midst of the crowd boarding the plane. It was a while before she was given a chance to readdress her partner. As usual, he had taken the window seat so she wouldn't have to struggle past his long legs if she should need to get up during the flight. While the boarding confusion ensued around them, and before the aisle seat next to her was claimed, she could finally speak again, even if only briefly. "Why didn't you say something about this before?"

"I couldn't," he laughed. "I couldn't because I know you and I knew how you'd react. I just couldn't stand not telling somebody any more."

Not that she was particularly knowledgeable on the subject, but from her brief education in psychology, a sure sign of mental breakdown was the inability for a patient to continue to perform his job at the same level. But Mulder's competence hadn't wavered one iota, throughout his mood change. "Didn't you think I'd want to know?" she asked.

"Know? I don't think you even believe me."

Leaning closer still, she spoke as quietly as possible. "How do you expect me to believe you?"

He paused, seeming delighted in the opportunity to answer her. Then stated very simply, "I don't."

Surprised, she forced herself to maintain a calm exterior. He had absolutely no trouble meeting her gaze. "You don't expect me to . . . ?" she echoed.

"No. It doesn't matter if you believe me or not; I just had to tell somebody. And because I wanted you to stop wondering what I was so preoccupied about. Now you know."

"You're not even going to try and convince me?" she pressed, again wondering if, for the past month or so, he had slowly been going out of his mind.

"I know what you're thinking," he sounded bantering. "I know everything that goes on in that analytical little head of yours. Right now, for instance, the first thing you thought was that I was suffering from some sort of grandiose delusional disorder. Probably brought on by stress. But then you realized it's too bizarre to be as simple as that. It must be much worse. Like a schizoaffective disorder. Certainly not a bipolar one, but perhaps a manic episode."

Actually, she didn't know anywhere near enough about the field to draw those conclusions. If anyone was qualified to make a diagnosis, it would be him. Her own degree in medicine, however, told her that something had to be wrong. "I wouldn't put a label on it . . . " She glanced around them, uncomfortably, "but maybe we shouldn't discuss this right now."

He leaned back, away from her into the corner between the backrest of his seat and the window, as if terminating their conversation.

With a sigh, Scully drew back into her own space.


Throughout the flight, she observed her partner indirectly for any obvious clinical warning signs of mental health deterioration. Obvious enough for her to see, anyway. But other than the underlying uncharacteristic exuberance that she was already aware of, there were none. No, he just settled into his seat, sucking on sunflower seeds and engaging in his familiar restless patterns with no more exaggeration than usual. He wasn't exhibiting any textbook symptomatology that she could place, but then again -- nothing about Mulder was textbook.

Busy wishing she knew more about the criteria for mood disorders, she was momentarily at a loss when he asked for the file on the current case. He never carried it -- and hardly anything else for that matter -- because for a man, carrying a tote of any sort was taboo. Apparently, it was too akin to carrying a purse. It took her several unprepared moments to produce the file from her carry-on.

In his glasses, which he'd taken from the breast pocket of his suit, he studied the file, still cracking sunflower seeds quietly while she thought. Then he asked, "What's your theory on this case?"

Suppressing her first instinct to utter "Huh?", she concentrated on summarizing a response as rapidly as possible. "Well, I think it's just another hoax. Another Amityville Horror. Just a small town of people with vivid imaginations who want notoriety."

"There's a note about some authorities from outside the town who claim to have seen things going on in the hotel, too."

"Maybe they're relatives. Or maybe they want their pictures in the National Enquirer, too."

"You're probably right." He leafed casually through another few sheets.

"What," she ventured, dropping her voice in volume, "if they had said they were being abducted by aliens?"

He smiled, his lenses reflecting the pages in the file, not looking up. "I wouldn't believe it."

"Oh, really?" This interested her even more. "Why is that, all of a sudden?"

"Because of the circumstance."

Drawing her mouth tightly closed, she resisted the urge to pursue the subject.


Once their luggage had been dropped off in their separate rooms and they had doffed their heavy coats for the cozy interior of the quaint Vermont hotel, they immediately went to work. In talking with the hotel manager, they received his permission to set up interviews with other hotel employees for the remainder of their stay.

With Mulder's confession still on her mind, however, Scully found the case rather mundane -- despite the promise that in the morning she would get to inspect the specimen of a human skeleton which had recently been unearthed and was now in the local morgue.

Before Mulder could saunter to his room, leaving her with no further excuse to see him until the following day, she broached him about dinner. The dining room, besides appearing rather charming, was also reputed to be haunted. Mulder instantly assumed she was proposing they investigate this simultaneously. "Sure," he agreed. "Just let me go shower and I'll meet you down there."

"Actually, I was thinking about having dinner upstairs. In my room. Is that all right?"

Holding the newel post at the base of the broad staircase, he hesitated, one foot on the first step. "I thought you'd wanna check out the spooks."

"Tomorrow." She really had no interest in witnessing or even debunking any parlor tricks that evening. "It's too crowded to talk in there." She started up the stairs with him.


After a shower, Scully had dressed comfortably in fleece leggings and a buttoned shirt.

Over her croissant sandwich, the opportunity presented itself to continue her line of questioning. "So, what do they look like?"

Mulder, too had dressed very casually in gray sweat pants and a cotton, buttoned shirt. It wasn't until he had finished the fried shrimp he was working on that he answered. And Scully could tell he was feigning ignorance. "Who?"

"Well, you tell me you've seen them for yourself; so, what do they look like?"

"Why - why are you asking me?"

"Because I want you to tell me."

"Why?" he was amused. "You don't believe it."

"After all the years you've spent trying to convince me of the existence of extraterrestrial life, why are you suddenly so indifferent about this? Is that why you took down the poster in the office?"

He picked up another shrimp and dipped it in his cocktail sauce.

"Why aren't you knocking yourself out to convince me, anymore?"

"I'll give you the poster. Now you sound like you want to believe."

The irony gave her pause, though it was inaccurate. She had to consider another approach. Honesty had always worked well between them. "No. It's just that I don't want to have to recommend you for psychoanalysis. And I'm afraid that's what I'm going to have to do."

He stopped eating and wiped his hands on the linen on his lap. "Believe me, I've considered every plausible explanation, and finally arrived at the safe conclusion that I haven't gone crazy."

"Not crazy, per se, but I think I'd have to guess that the pressures of the job have gotten to be too much for you. You're probably suffering from a stress disorder. I know what you've been through. It's nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of people wouldn't have lasted as long as you have."

Appearing amused, he was already shaking his head. "Wrong, Scully, it's not a schizoaffective disorder or a manic episode. I've been sleeping normally, eating normally," he motioned at his plate. "I'm not having any problems with disorganization, am I? I've been perfectly logical and my judgment and insight are completely intact. You know that. You've been working right next to me, ever since the first abduction occurred. It's not a delusion or a hallucination. I just finally found out the truth, that's all. The truth about life outside of this planet, anyway. It may not cure the fallacies here, but when I really thought about it, I realized it was all that really mattered."

Whatever other conclusions she may have to draw, it did seem that all of his behavioral patterns did not suggest a psychosis. "How do you know it's really what you think it is? How do you know Cancer Man hasn't drugged your water again? Or isn't sending subliminal messages through your microwave oven or clock radio or something?"

"I know. I have physical evidence."

"Like what?"

"Certain things. That we've discussed. The sighting of lights over the city, during the past month. And the bruises on my throat and wrists you asked me about."

"There was some mention at the Bureau of the possible testing of aircraft going on. As for the bruises, I figured maybe your girlfriend was into bondage. It wasn't any of my business, so I wasn't about to pester you about them."

He laughed then and picked up another shrimp. "There is no girlfriend."

She eyed him expectantly.

"Why are you so sure it's a girlfriend?"

"I certainly don't think it's aliens." But his smugness would certainly befit the situation if it were.

"If you check into it, you'll find that there's no testing of aircraft or weather balloons or anything else going on. I know, 'cause I already made inquiries." Suddenly he looked cocky. "I know how to convince you without even trying."

Dryly, she intoned, "Oh, really?"

"And if you want, I'll bring you something from the ship."

"Oh, right." She rolled her eyes. "How are you going to convince me?"

"You can stay in my room and watch for them."

She considered. "Do they have your work schedule? What if they can't find you tonight, being as we're out here in Vermont and not at home?"

"They'll be able to find me."

"You're sure?"

"You just stay in my room and you'll see."

"Just tonight?"

"Well, they may not come tonight. They may come tomorrow. Or the next night."

By that time, she expected to have initiated her report on him. "And where am I supposed to sleep? Or should I even sleep? What if I fall asleep on the sofa and miss all the fireworks when they make their grand entrance?"

"You won't miss them. You can't miss them. Or you can sleep on the bed, too, if you're that sound a sleeper." He gestured in the general direction of the bed.

"I'll sleep on top of the blankets. There's plenty of room."


In her robe, after brushing her teeth, Scully followed Mulder to his room. In the privacy of her bathroom, she'd changed into her satin, fleece-lined pajamas. She settled on the sofa beneath the extra blankets the innkeepers had delivered after she'd placed an apologetic call. The television was tuned on softly to entertain them, but she wasn't giving it her full attention. Biting her thumb, she found herself more preoccupied with the contents of the report she would soon be writing about her partner. He wasn't being very talkative, anyway. Not even in this more exuberant state of mind. He'd traded his shirt for a cotton pajama shirt which he left open over his sweatpants.

After forty minutes or so, Mulder began channel surfing from the bed to switch off the romantic melodrama that aired next.

Scully couldn't resist the opportunity for banter. "What's wrong? Don't the aliens like 'chick flicks'?"

He countered. "Why? Did you wanna see it?"

"I'd have to agree with the aliens; I don't want to see it either." Relieved he was searching for something more palatable, she asked, "What makes you think they can find you wherever you are?"

"I don't know how, I just think they can. But like I said, they may not come tonight. They don't come every night. It's been a while, though, so I think they may come soon." He turned the volume even lower, then looked around the room.

"Aren't we supposed to be looking for ghosts? These rooms are supposed to be the haunted ones." He surveyed the surroundings.

She shrugged. "Whatever shows up first -- aliens or ghosts."


The flicker of lightning disturbed her sleep. Or so she thought. She squinted around the room, through slitted eyes, to discover that it wasn't lightning at all. In fact, the phenomenon was the result of all the lights in the room, flashing wildly. Including the television. A muted cell phone chirped briefly. Still, she expected to see a corresponding electrical storm occurring outside, but through the partially exposed panel, the night seemed still. She pushed her blankets off, ready to awaken Mulder and suggest they check the hotel wiring in case these theatrics were being created by the management as part of the alleged "haunting".

What she saw daunted even her levelheaded, unflappable composure. She had seen renditions of the creatures, and was deeply struck by the fact that the strange beings by the bed appeared somewhat similar to descriptions given by so-called "abductees". She sat upright. Beneath the blankets, Mulder slept, apparently completely unaware of the on-goings. Alarmed, she tried to call him, but found her vocal cords paralyzed. One of the aliens calmly regarded her. She tried to rise, but couldn't; virtually every voluntary muscle in her body was frozen. This only increased her distress; she prided herself on her ability to maintain self-control. She saw Mulder wake then, and start. He relaxed when he realized what was taking place. In the next second, he scrambled to his elbows on his pillow under the drama of the light show. "Scully!"

The creatures and her partner promptly disappeared.


As if suspended aloft, Scully fell off the sofa to her hands and knees. The lights in the room promptly ceased their scintillations. She rushed the bed to find nothing but rumpled blankets. Her gaze turned to the door next to see if she'd somehow missed Mulder's departure. Seeing that it was still solidly locked, on impulse, she dropped to her hands and knees again and lifted the bed skirt.

"Mul - der!" She snapped on the light in the vacant bathroom. Even pulled open the shower door. Her heart was pounding, but she was still rational enough to locate his coat, jacket, and trouser pockets in search of the rental car keys, driver's license, and I.D. Everything was present he should have taken with him, but it was within the realm of possibility that he might have gone without them. She'd known him to make similar sojourns. Room keys in hand, she locked the door behind her, then fled back to her room, pulling on her robe. In there, she redressed in a flurry, straightening her hair with her hands before rechecking his room once more. Then she set out to explore the hotel.

It didn't take long to cover the entire hotel with the assistance of the night clerk who went so far as to allow her to search the basement, as well. It was perhaps a two to three hours later when she returned to Mulder's room and collapsed in resignation, seated at the foot of the bed. With a sigh, she eyed his cell phone which she had emptied from one of his pockets and left lying on the bed. Never mind her previous plans for a report, how would she explain this to the Bureau? She'd committed one of the worst failings possible, for an agent; she'd neglected her partner. Beyond anything she'd ever experienced, logic defied her. She knew what she'd witnessed, yet her analytical right hemisphere kicked in and coerced her to carry out the implausible search, despite the fact that she was fully aware it would be futile. Beside the cell, she had scattered the other contents of her partner's pockets. "Goddamn it, Mulder," she muttered.

She got up and circled the bed to where he'd been sleeping. The sheets were cold. "Where are you?" Out of habit, she checked her wrist watch. The delicate hands read 12:20. She didn't believe it and quickly reached for the phone. The front desk rang four times before it was picked up by the same night clerk. "This is Dana Scully. I'm sorry to bother you again, but could you tell me what time it is?"

"Sure." The clerk sounded tired. "No problem. It's 3:11."

"Thank you." Slowly, she replaced the receiver. Then checked her watch again. It had never failed before; in fact, it had only slowed down once at the end-life of its battery. How long had it been? Okay, out of all scenarios within reason, what if she simply humored the story he'd given her? How long might they take him? Why hadn't she asked? Would she have to return to D.C. alone? She couldn't even finish collecting the data for this case. Her concern for the job was completely shattered. How could she be expected to resume her life unaffected?

She had been witness to a phenomenon she had thought impossible. Like a slap in the face, there was no denying the evidence that had been thrust before her. No, it was no deranged fantasy of Mulder's. He wasn't the eccentric crackpot he was reputed to be, after all. Numerous times, the X-Files project had nearly been shut down due to this, but she had fought to maintain credibility and succeeded. As she considered his very persona, she wondered how she could have doubted him. Certainly, he became a little overzealous from time to time -- still acted on impulse with a disarming charm -- but his intelligence was striking. And the Bureau had been covering up -- deceiving even its own employees -- just as he had purported.

She turned onto the bed, kicked off her heels and leaned on the headboard against the pillow. She closed her eyes. Why had she not asked more questions? Why was she so damn obstinate? She wouldn't sleep -- couldn't sleep -- until she knew. She opened her eyes again and regarded the natural leather of the I.D. case. Somehow, the feel of it comforted her. Uneasily, she pictured herself packing her suitcase and leaving for D.C., alone. Without him. Her partner. It startled her how much this disturbed her. "I don't believe this," she mumbled. Catching her breath, she almost broke down. "God, this can't be happening . . . "

To keep from crying, she got up to pace. Dammit. In her bare feet, still clad in the slacks and short gray, sweater she'd thrown on to search the hotel, she trekked back and forth at the foot of the bed, unable to formulate her next action. Coherent thought had never evaded her like this before.

She had just passed the bed again, when she was arrested by a familiar sigh. Sharply, she looked back. Mulder lay atop the messy blankets and bedcover, nude.

"Mulder!" Quickly, she turned away, having inadvertently glimpsed that he had an erection. She shielded her eyes, as she more or less faced the mirror, where she might still be able to see the reflection of the bed.

"Mn," was all he said, sounding somnolent.

"God, I was scared to death. I - I looked all over the hotel for you."

"Why . . . ? You knew where I was . . . "

To hell with propriety; she jumped onto the bed and crawled to her partner to irrefutably convince herself of his presence. He appeared fatigued and in need of a shave, but it was him. Pretty Spooky, of the long lashes and achingly expressive pout. On her knees, she looked over his handsome face, chest, and arms, superficially assessing for damage, trying desperately to avoid scrutinizing any further distal than his ribs. Superficially, she found no obvious signs of trauma.

As he watched her, awakening, he smiled -- a little hazy, a little triumphant -- and charmingly crooked. He lifted his hand and turned it over to show her a black, metal, compact instrument. It had the approximate dimensions and appearance of a remote control device. There was a blank display screen and pad for keying, but all the symbols on it were completely unrecognizable. "What - what is it?"

"I asked them to give me something I could show you for proof . . . It's a multi-functional communication device."

She should have been annoyed. But was unable to summon up any amount of animosity.

Instead, she threw herself onto him and embraced him, enjoying the feel of his warm, vital body, the rise and fall of his lean-muscled rib cage, and slid her arms around him, making every effort not to be too familiar. She couldn't answer.

He seemed surprised by her reaction. "What's wrong? You didn't think I was coming back?"

For a moment, she closed her eyes. Then finally allowed, "I didn't know what to think . . . "

"I promised to bring you some proof, didn't I?"

She needed time to allow his presence to fully register.

As if waiting, he lay still, breathing deep and slow, perfectly calm. Maybe falling asleep.

After a while, he murmured by her ear. " . . . They didn't care if you wanted to have it analyzed . . . But I assured them you wouldn't without clearing it with me . . . "

"Here . . . Let me . . . let me . . . " Rising, she reached to the lamp and turned up the dimmer switch. Forsaking explanation, she proceeded with a more careful, thorough examination of him to insure he'd not been harmed in any way. Specifically, she checked for needle pricks, the telltale contusions he'd evidenced previously around his wrists and neck, or wounds of any type.

Content to sleep, he seemed not to notice until she prodded him toward his side just enough to aid in her quest for incisions or injection sites. He awoke. "What are you doing . . . ?"

"I just want to make sure you're all right," she said.

"I'm fine."

True, she'd not found anything so far, but naturally, he was going to say that. He seemed heavily sedated. Except for that hard-on. They could have done anything to him while he was unconscious. Instinctively, she surveyed the nape of his neck. Untouched. The same was true of his hip. Unsatisfied, she tried to coax him to his other side.

"I told you, I'm fine," he protested, unwilling to rouse enough to assist.

"I'd like to see for myself," she insisted.

Sighing, he turned onto his other side and drew up his knees into a relaxed fetal position, to go back to sleep. Again. No marks, no breach of his dermis whatsoever. Not even a scrape or irritation.

Bending over him, she ruffed the golden-brown hair on his long legs, still searching. Then nervously passing her hair behind her ear, she cleared her throat. "Um, could you lie back?" He didn't stir.

"Mulder . . . " When again he didn't respond, she crawled onto the bed to manually tug him onto his back. As obtunded as he was, he made no effort to fight. The move revealed that he was still enticingly erect.

Pulse quickening, Scully's mouth fell slightly ajar. She made sure Mulder's eyes were shut, before treating herself to a good look. Her intent was to check the femoral sites for puncture wounds. These vessels made excellent targets for invasive procedures.

Damn was he hung.

Before she could stop herself, she cleared her throat again. Since he'd not been shaved, chances were, these sites hadn't been touched. Of course, it was always best to err on the side of caution . . . Maybe alien technology was so exact, such measures were unnecessary. Besides, it gave her an excellent opportunity to touch . . .

He woke. "What . . . what are you . . . ?"

Kneeling over him on the bed, her eyes slowly traversed him. Those impressive, flat abdominal muscles, perfectly intact, assured her he'd had no implants inserted there, either. She tried to answer but words failed her. Instead, she crawled over him, silently studying him. That beautiful, sensitive mouth.

Through his eyelashes, he watched her, no longer questioning.

She held her breath. In dreamlike fashion, time suspended. With the slightest effort, she pressed forward and covered his lips with her own. Oh, God. An intoxicating rush swept through her, making her shiver. It was as though she'd just been relieved of an oppressive burden and healed, all at once.

It was like nothing she'd ever experienced before. He was different. Tender. Tentative. Yet hungry and passionate at the same time. He seemed uncertain -- as though anticipating rejection. Which only further incited her want and ache for him. As their kiss deepened, the intimate shield she'd so carefully constructed over the years to protect her private emotions diminished. God help her if she was making another serious mistake, but she couldn't hold back. It wasn't just that she and Mulder had worked side by side for four-and-ahalf years -- there was so much between them. All the caring, empathy, understanding, and grief they'd shared unfolded in each kiss.

When he slid his hands up her back beneath her sweater, she found herself desperate to dispense with the restraints that had existed between them for so long. She could hardly disrobe before he'd pulled her over him once more, kissing and running that sensitive, sexy mouth over her bare breasts. Her own dire hunger was well-illustrated by the deep, cherry blush of her fully erect nipples. None of this was lost on Mulder; he drew ravenously on them, gently pulling, softly biting.

The heat that permeated her entire being had her vulva throbbing when he subtly steered her down toward his generous erection. In mid kiss, he blindly stabbed at her perineum, attempting to make love to her.

Instantly, she made to assist. Like it or not, they had to end the kiss while she poised over his lap and guided his arcing member in.

Ouch. Those streamlined aesthetics were built for looks, not comfort. To make matters worse, it had been longer than she cared to admit since her last sexual encounter.

Had it not been for the ferocity of her own appetite, she may have leapt off the bed. By her own lubrication, a certain sensation of titillation managed to steal through the pain. Then to her surprise, in the midst of working her down on his lap, Mulder couldn't have thrust more than twice before his panting gave way to the heave of his climax.

Eyes nearly shut again, those high cheekbones flushed, he was utterly beautiful.

She lay down on him, painfully forcing him out, but held him while he recovered.

Apologetically, he instantly began kissing her, anew. "Sorry," he murmured. "I didn't mean . . . "

"It's okay. Really . . . "

"If we're gonna do this, we're gonna do this right . . . " He kissed her again. "It's just that I haven't been with anyone in so long . . . " Appearing truly sorry, he held her back, off of him. "The last person I'd ever want to disappoint would be you. You mean so much to me . . . "

Once more, Scully felt herself shudder. Essentially, Mulder had expressed the same intense desire she felt for him. And along with the searing sensation from their union and the heat within her from his hot ejaculate, nothing could be more eloquent.


She had no idea. Well, how could she? It wasn't just that he hadn't been with anyone in ages -- it was her. Scully. Everything any man could ever dream about. Beautiful, sharp, intelligent, intuitive, loving, compassionate, caring . . .

At the moment, Mulder was still muddled and exhilarated from his transport and visit aboard ship but that could never interfere with his love for his partner. He was crazy about her. Had been absolutely crazy about her since he didn't know when. But he couldn't tell her. There were so many complicated factors involved.

She'd boarded the X-Files as a strong, assertive individual. It became clear that the only agenda she'd ever follow was strictly her own. She proved her integrity with each passing case. The only concession she'd made was to loyalty. Loyalty in the search for the truth -- anything less would never do.

After the major upheavals he'd suffered in his life, the last thing he meant to do was embark on another relationship. Probably ever.

But damn, if Scully hadn't deftly diminished all the setbacks and trauma he'd endured over the years, the moment she kissed him.

God, how he wanted her. To hell with the formalities of discussion. Not when her tits were sticking out nearly an inch or that she jumped on his lap and hungrily guided him up inside her. Once introduced into the holy, unattainable, hot, seductive vault of his sometimes agonizingly tempting partner, he couldn't help but succomb. No doubt she thought him disappointingly inept. All he could do was try and make it up to her.

At the edge of the bed, she demonstrated her sense of fair play. He'd quickly come to enjoy the sight of her round, feminine hips through her clothes. But then laid out before him, she spread those incredibly shapely thighs. Her inner lips gaped open, revealing that she was sparkling wet. Scully? There was only one interpretation for that kind of phenomenon.

Increasingly lightheaded, he dove at the chance to make oral love to his partner. To his surprise, this well-bred, reserved lady moaned, panted, and groaned, as she rocked against him, wordlessly demonstrating a decided animal lust.

In moments, she hooked her hands under her knees, permitting him full access. Without hesitation, he explored her vestibule with his mouth and tongue. Tasting the residue of his own semen, he was reminded that she'd earlier conceded to his clumsy attempt to impart his profound feelings for her; surely, she'd have to give him another chance to prove some worth.

Climbing back onto the bed, he pressed her up the width of the mattress. Attempting more patience this time, he prodded back into her little slit.

Gasping and moaning, she wrapped her legs around him as he made love to her. Her modest breasts bounced hard with each thrust. The slick grip she bound him in coupled with the each jar of her luscious body wrecked his intent to make it a long, sensual session.

Deep inside her, he came the second time, burying his face between her shoulder and lustrous hair.


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