By Touch 2: Don't Touch Me

by Wylfcynne

TITLE: By Touch 2: Don't Touch Me!
AUTHOR: Wylfcynne

DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere as long as the headers are complete and the rating is honored: no children, please! Please ask before archiving; that way I'll know where it goes, so I can visit.

SPOILERS: this is a sequel; it will help if you read By Touch, but probably isn't necessary



SUMMARY: "I promise I won't touch you till you give your permission." I speak very softly and sit down on the coffee table in front of him. "What happened? What did I do?"

DISCLAIMER: They certainly aren't mine; if they were, they'd be having more fun, and I wouldn't have to save up for a new car! Mulder and Scully belong to FOX Networks and 1013; I'm just borrowing them for a little fun and games...I promise I'll bring them back on time and unharmed... and they won't remember a thing...

FEEDBACK: The Wylf howls at the moon for feedback...

DEDICATION: Overall, all my X Files work is dedicated to my writing partner, Ravenwald, without whom I would still be doing all this using a ballpoint pen, who introduced me to fandom on the 'Net, and awakened the Muse, who had been sleeping for a VERY long time.

This story could not have been written without the encouragement of the Saturday Night Chatters: Xochiluvr, Donnilee, Sdani and the rest. Thank you VERY much!!!

This story could not have been written this well without the priceless assistance of Mimic117, who is my BetaGoddess!!! Anything still screwed up is my fault, not hers.

This piece, like all my XF fic, is for the Sisters Spooky, for mink roses and homemade candy, nifty Christmas cards and fresh-burned CDs, for grins and giggles and healing candlelight...for being the sisters I never had in Real Life. Thank you all.

By Touch 2: Without Touch by Wylfcynne 20040824

I don't know what makes me think that it's my job to keep coming up with new things with which to surprise Mulder. Our sex life is not unsatisfying to me, and I do not believe it is unsatisfying for him. After all those years of abstinence and pining for one another, we've been intimate for six months. And all that time I've felt as if I had to compete with Mulder's porn collection.

It's not that he makes me feel inadequate; he doesn't. He loves me and he isn't shy about telling me so or demonstrating it to me. He is gentle sometimes, and masterful and intense sometimes. I have asked, on occasion, for one or the other, and he always complies. He's considerate about foreplay and making sure I'm satisfied before he satisfies himself because he knows he isn't good for much for a while after he comes. That being said, his recovery time is consistent and frequently I can give him two or even three orgasms in a night.

Sometimes it hardly seems fair; in that same time I can have twice as many, especially if I'm careful about how I time his. I'm lucky to have a lover with an oral fixation that extends beyond food and fingernails; he loves cunnilingus almost as much as I do.

I'm not complaining. He loves it when I do it for him; he loves giving it to me. I feel the same way.

So why am I prowling through the Spice Channel looking for something new and exciting?

The last thing I tried worked very well; who would have thought that I would be so turned on by the idea of strapping on a dildo and introducing Mulder to penetration? He nearly detonated that night and he was walking rather gingerly for most of the following morning.

When he had recovered he asked if sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander, and I agreed. Anal penetration is something I find that I enjoy while it's happening, but I don't anticipate the next opportunity and I don't fantasize about it. I'm not certain exactly why. It may be that, while I enjoy it, it's apparently much better for Mulder than for me. So, while I will consent to it in the future, I don't plan to ask for it, myself.

Despite those successes, I know that Mulder is much more sexually sophisticated than I am. Yes, I know some "secret doctor things" but he has two decades of dirty movies under his belt, and he never forgets anything. I'm not really insecure in this relationship; Mulder would never allow that and really, I would never stand for it, either. But I do sometimes feel inadequate when I compare my sexual experience, prowess and attributes to those of the women he's watched for years.

So periodically I am pushed to make an effort to show that I can compete.

This Spice Channel isn't very spicy tonight. This isn't helping. No, wait... Hmm... I could do that. Hell, I could do that for tonight; Mulder's not due for a couple of hours...

I hope Scully hasn't given up on me yet. I'm late. I'm even more late than I knew I was going to be. I had a consultation with a district attorney in Maryland over a case that might have been a single crime in a serial's travels. It was a fascinating case, and we ended up comparing it to several other serials just to prolong the joy of talking to another expert. The consult turned into a rhapsody of perversion and we were both exhausted when we called it a night, reassured that we had chosen the correct careers and that we were making a positive difference in the world.

I stopped for coffee three times while I was driving to Scully's place. It's a long drive and it's raining. It's hard to stay awake and focused. I hope she won't be so anxious to start our weekend that she tries to jump me when I walk in the door. I'm going to need a nap before we get anything else going. Fortunately, this is a long weekend. Monday is a federal holiday and, barring emergencies, we don't have to go to work.

I was not silly or inconsiderate enough to fail to warn her; I'd called her as soon as the meeting was over and told her that I was only just then leaving Hagerstown. She'd urged me to drive carefully; she wanted me back in one piece, and late was better than a trip to the emergency room.

I couldn't argue with that, could I? Especially after all the experiences we've had in various emergency rooms...?

When I pull into her complex's parking lot I'm utterly relieved to have made it. I park in the first available visitor's spot and lever myself out of the car with some difficulty. I walk toward her door finishing off the third cup of coffee, rather numb from the drive. I ignore the rain that soaks my hair and begins to run inside my coat; my haven is in sight and that's all that matters.

She must have been watching for me; I step up to the entry and she opens the door for me. She takes the cup from my hand as I walk past her.

"Mulder, what's the matter?"

I explain, afraid that I sound rather curt. But she nods thoughtfully as she helps me out of my overcoat and hangs it on her coat tree to dry.

"Okay. It was a long day, and yours has been longer. Go take a shower. Dinner can wait until you're done."

I nod gratefully and head for the bathroom. I've been in this suit for eighteen hours. I will definitely feel better for cleaning up and changing into something more comfortable. The rain was icy cold and I shiver as I start stripping off my clothes.

I leave him to take his shower in peace. He really looks bad. I wonder what sort of serial offender that Maryland DA wanted to discuss.

I've always been astonished that a man as gentle and sensitive as Mulder would voluntarily take on a career so spiritually and psychologically damaging as profiling. Yes, I know he focused on law enforcement as a career shortly after Samantha's abduction; that choice makes perfect sense. But profiling...?

It also makes me wonder how many of his choices in life were intentionally, if sub-consciously, self-destructive. He shoulders more guilt than a roomful of Catholics, and very little of it is deservedly his. Some of it must be; he's human and he's made mistakes. But he never forgives himself for any human weakness or failing. The most I can do is keep him from brooding about it for a while.

I go into my room and open the drawer in my dresser where he keeps his things. Sorting through the choices, I bring out the black silk boxers. They're my favorites. Best of all, I choose them for him so often that they have no association with any particular act.

I take them into the steamy bathroom and lay the boxers on the counter beside the sink. Mulder is in the shower, but he doesn't seem to be moving.

"Are you all right?" I hear myself ask before I can censor myself.

"Yeah, just tired," he responds at once, still not moving. "You're letting the cold air in; shut the door, would you?"

"All right. I'll have something ready for you to eat when you get out."

"Thanks, honey."

I smile as I gather up the clothes he left on the floor. He rarely uses endearments; he doesn't want to accidentally let the words slip sometime when we are in public. We like to keep our personal lives private. It may be an illusion, but we can pretend, at least, that no one knows we have stepped over the line into intimacy. The betting pool at the office continues to grow, and no one is claiming it. This makes us perversely happy.

The shower helps; somehow, while I was letting hot water loosen my tired muscles, I got my second wind. Emotionally, all I really feel is relief. I'm home, Scully's out there waiting for me, and we have no place we have to be for about eighty-three hours. We can accomplish a lot in eighty-three hours...

Hopefully, a nap is high on the list. I don't feel as if I'm about to fall over any longer but I'm too tired to consider more than a short snack, falling into bed, wrapping myself around her and surrendering to unconsciousness.

Black silk boxers under my dark green fleece robe, feet tucked into matching fleece slippers, a comb through my hair, and I'm done. Venturing out into the apartment takes effort; it's cold out here. Scully keeps her apartment comfortable at about 70 degrees, but compared to the steam-heated bathroom, it's chilly, and I'm grateful for this warm robe and slippers she gave me for my birthday a few weeks ago.

Scully made some kind of thick soup; I don't know what it is but it smells wonderful and tastes better, especially considering it looks like road tar. There's crusty, chewy bread from the bakery at the end of her street, real sweet butter and the inevitable veggie salad in no-fat vinaigrette. There's even beer. I'm not sure about that ; if I have a beer I'm likely to drown in the soup. Maybe I'll just have water, instead.

The lentil stew is an old family recipe that I haven't made in years. It simmered in my slow-cooker all day long while I was at work. Today was a raw, cold and wet autumn day, and it felt like a good choice. I think it was; there's a lot of protein in it, not much fat, and it doesn't take much chewing. Mulder's treating it like soup and just sucking it down.

I know we had a rough week, but he's in sad shape. "Mulder, what happened to you? You weren't this toasted when you left the office after lunch."

He sets down his spoon and uses both hands to scrub at his face. "That was ten hours ago, Scully. I wasn't actually doing a profile, but it was almost as bad. Mike Elkhorn came into the National Academy as a deputy sheriff from some rural county in western Maryland. He was recruited, joined up and was trained at Quantico under Patterson. He went private after only a year on the job. I vaguely remember him; he shadowed me for a couple of cases when he was new and I was burning out."

"He recognized the inevitable result of that work and bailed in a timely fashion?" I ask.

Mulder nods. "Yeah, I think so. He knows what he's talking about. I couldn't find anything to correct on the profile he'd come up with. But the more we talked, the deeper into that case we got. Then that case reminded me of another one that was similar from Arizona, and then he asked about one he'd heard on the news from Iowa, and the conversation just kept going and going..."

I nod as his voice trails off. It wasn't a real profiling assignment, but ten hours of that kind of information sharing could wear him out emotionally, and he habitually translates that into physical weariness. That is a defense mechanism; the more tired his body is, the less effective he becomes, and the sooner he has to stop for a break. I have noticed, over the years, that Mulder tends to collapse more quickly as he gets older. It isn't that his body or his mind are less strong, less capable of the work. I am convinced that the difference is that he is less willing to risk destroying himself for the sake of any single case.

I taught him that.

Selfish me.

"So we can just go to bed, Mulder. I'm tired, too. I ended up reviewing a dozen autopsies for the Minneapolis office. They think they have a serial killer, but I don't think so. I think they actually have a cult."

He looks up at me with a death's-head grin that's not the least amused. "Really? Human sacrifice and everything?"

I shrug. "They haven't gotten up to humans, yet. What they sent me were necropsies done on a dozen black German Shepherd Dogs which had all been killed exactly the same way: legs tied, muzzled, throats slit. I suspect that all the animals were also tied down onto something, because there was almost no blood in the coat, telling me they didn't struggle, for whatever reason."


I shrug. "Toxicology results are pending. Possibly."

"Trace evidence?"

"Ashes from incense and melted candle wax in the fur; at some point the animal was on an altar, I suspect."

"Tell 'em to look at remote places that can be termed 'crossroads' even if they are footpaths. Black dogs are sacred to Hecate Trivia, the night goddess of crossroads, choices, the moon and magickal power," he advises. "She's not a crone, despite the popular misconceptions about her: she's young and beautiful even when she's tripled. But these cultists might not know that. If that's all they are, they won't escalate to humans, and the cops don't have to be concerned unless they're stealing those dogs: it could be legitimate religious practice. But a lot of weirdos think Hecate is the Crone goddess of witches, and things can get squirrelly. Get the labs to work on which dogs were killed at which places in which order and we can take a stab at determining if they're escalating or altering the traditional, ancient Greek practice."

"That's for Tuesday, Mulder," I scold him mildly. "We're off duty. They've only found a dozen such dogs in two years, so it's not a frequent thing."

"If they're showing up about every six weeks with hits on the solstices, equinoxes and Halloween, then it's not likely to be legitimate Greek Reconstructionism," he sighs. "That's the Wiccan Wheel of the Year pattern, and there's no excuse for a real Greek Recon to use it. Anything's possible, then."

"We'll call them on Tuesday," I say firmly. "Maybe the tox screens will be back by then and we can make a more educated guess about what's going on." I see that he's finished the bowl of stew and stand up. "C'mon, let's go to bed. I'll do the dishes later."

"Isn't that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?" he smiles as he stands up. "Dana Scully leaving dishes lying around?"

I chuckle. "Go to bed, Mulder. I'm just going to put the food away and I'll join you."

"Don't expect much," he warns me, yawning as he heads toward the bedroom. "I'm not going to be worth anything till morning."

"You're always worth something to me, sweetheart," I assure him, repaying him for his earlier endearment. "Go on. I'll be right there."

"Okay. Thanks, Scully."

Dinner was wonderful, and the warmth of it seems to be permeating my entire being. I'm getting groggy, again. I stumble into the bedroom. I take off my slippers and put them under the wicker chair by the closet. I shrug out of the robe and drop it into the same chair. Then I climb into the bed, sighing at the luxury of silky-soft sheets cool over my feet. I pull the blankets up around me, snuggle into the pillows, and close my eyes.

I don't bother to turn out the lights because I know Scully will be joining me soon. I let myself drowse. I have no idea how long it takes, but suddenly the lights are dimmed and Scully is sliding under the covers. It may sound like a tame fantasy, but this is one of the best: she's joining me in bed because this is where she wants to be, not just because I'm male and capable of giving her body certain pleasures. Scully's very selective about who she lets this close. There have only been five of us in her whole life, and she tells me that none of the other choices were as difficult as this one, nor as rewarding.

My ego likes to hear such things, and she knows that, but she's too honest to say anything just to flatter me. Then, just to make the fantasy complete, she snuggles in to let me spoon against her naked back. I drape one arm over her waist, close my eyes and let myself drift off.

I can't help but smile. He settled in against me, dropped one arm over me and was asleep instantly.

I really enjoy sleeping with him. He's not restless; once he falls asleep he doesn't flail around. I suspect that's a result of all those years that he slept on a couch. Warmly enfolded in my lover's arms, his body wrapped around me, it doesn't take me long to join him in sleep.

What wakes me up is the sense of loss: Scully's not in the bed with me. There's the inevitable moment of panic and disorientation, but then the rest of the sensory data kicks in, and I realize that I'm in her bed in her apartment, and the bathroom light is on. If I listen, I can hear her getting herself a drink, flushing the toilet, washing her hands.

I'm not sleepy any more. I don't know how much sleep I've had, but the adrenalin jolt was enough to clear away the last of the weariness. Just imagining her in there, naked and illuminated only by the nightlight is enough to start my blood racing. I slip my silk boxers off and shove them away. I flip the blankets back and roll a bit so I can relax on my side, leaning on my elbow, watching for her to come out. I have no intention of letting her go right back to sleep.

He's awake out there, waiting for me. I heard the blankets move, heard the bed creak. I take a deep breath and turn toward the doorway. I don't know why I'm nervous, but I always am when I try something new. This is such a minor thing, though... Just a different sensation...

I steel myself and push the door open. I pause in the doorway, knowing that I'm backlit and he can't see me clearly. I was correct; he's awake and watching for me. My eyes travel down his body, all exposed because he pushed the blankets back. I can't help but grin.

"Started without me?" I inquire as I approach.

"I'll help you catch up," he promises, his voice low and husky. As his eyes travel down from my face I wait, anxious to see his reaction.

He freezes and I hold my breath.

"What did you do?"

I frown. That was entirely the wrong tone of voice. I look more closely and I'm shocked. He's gone utterly white, and his erection has disappeared. He's sitting up, backing away...

"Mulder? What's wrong?"

"Put something on, Scully."

I'm dumbfounded. This is all wrong! "Mulder, what...?!"

He's swung his feet over to the far side of the bed and he's sitting with his back to me. "Put something on. I'll... I'll wait for you." He gets up and leaves the room, carefully not looking at me. He grabs his robe as he goes by the chair, picks up his slippers but doesn't pause to put them on. In a moment, I'm alone.

How could she do that? God, I'm cold...

I put on my pajamas, then my robe, and belt it tightly. I put on my slippers and pause. I'm actually hesitant about following him, but I must: I can't leave him out there alone.

I stop in the doorway, shocked. He's huddled on the couch, his knees up under his chin and his arms wrapped around them. That's a very defensive posture. His face is buried against his knees and he's trembling.

This is bad.

Hesitant, afraid that I may set him off again, I approach. "Mulder...?"

He flinches violently and I fight back a sob. How can he be afraid of me? I gentle my tone still more.

"Mulder, please..."

"Don't touch me."

I freeze. I had been reaching for him, but he could not have seen that. "I promise I won't touch you till you give your permission." I speak very softly and sit down on the coffee table in front of him. "What happened? What did I do?"

There's a long silence. I can hear him fighting back tears, but I wait rather than try to rush him.

"It's not your fault," he sighs, finally. "You couldn't've known..."

"Known what?" He doesn't answer me. "Mulder, all I did was shave my pubic hair. I've done it periodically since college, usually as a bit of variety. I was just trying to keep things interesting. I don't want us to get complacent..."

The snort of laughter from him is anything but amused; I'm still worried because he won't look at me.

"Scully, you'll never bore me. But please don't ever do that again."

"If you don't like it, of course I won't," I agree instantly. "But this is more than just distaste or disappointment. You were shocked and horrified. I'd like to understand."

A massive shudder wracks him from head to foot.

"C'mon, Mulder. You're still shaking. Obviously this was a major gaffe on my part. Why did it affect you so intensely?"

He looks up then, irresolute. When he's sure I'm fully covered, he relaxes a little, letting himself sag back into the couch, letting his arms fall to either side. His knees stay up, though.

"You know what I do when I profile, right?" He doesn't wait for me to answer. "I try to adopt the UNSUB's point of view, see the prey as he sees it, look on the work as good and satisfying; sometimes I can even make it inside him far enough to feel it when he gets aroused by it."

I frown. "I'm not following, Mulder."

He looks me straight in the eye. "Scully, dozens of those UNSUBs were pedophiles."

I can see the realization hit her. She gasps and then stares at me with horror in her wide blue eyes.

"Oh, my God," she whispers. "And you saw me as...?"

"You're barely five foot two, Scully," I interrupt her. "You're a beautiful woman, and in good light no one could mistake you for anything else. But..."

I hesitate, and she picks up on my train of thought.

"The light wasn't good, you had just awakened after not enough sleep and you spent the afternoon profiling. Let me guess: a serial pedophile?"

I nod. "Yep. One who targets little girls."

"Jesus, Mulder! You could have warned me!" she snaps.

I feel a hot flare of anger and cherish it: it's banishing the bone-chilling cold. "How did I know you would do... THAT? Why in the world would you think I'd be turned on by you looking less than adult?"

I can only stare at him, stunned yet again. It's amazing how fast he switched from paralyzing shock to angry and offended. I'm glad he managed that transition --I didn't know what to do and it terrifies me when he falls apart. I shrug, trying for nonchalance. "I'm sorry, Mulder. Just shows what a lousy profiler I am."

He snorts again, but this time he seems truly amused.

"C'mon back to bed, Mulder."

I shake my head. This isn't going to be a fun conversation. Scully's like a dog with a bone; she'll never let this slide. But God, I do not want to have to say this.

"Why not?"

"Because Rogaine doesn't work that fast?"

She's not amused. I'm going to have to explain. I can feel myself getting cold again. Where's that anger...?

"Mulder, quit making bad jokes."

"Do I look amused?"

"No," she concedes. "But you just explained why you panicked and ran. Why can't we go back to bed?"

"Because nothing's changed."

I can see her grasping at the clues. Please, Scully, figure it out. Don't make me have to say it...

Her head tips to one side. "Can't or won't?" is all she says.

Relief washes through me: I don't have to say it. There is a God, after all. "Both. Won't risk the nightmares, Scully. And can't, anyway. Sorry. You're SOL for a while."

He doesn't usually talk like that. Those clipped, abbreviated sentences that leave out the self-referential pronouns are totally out of character for him. He's avoiding my face; he doesn't want to look at me. When he stands up and walks back into my bedroom I think he's yielding, that he's going to come to bed, so I follow him. But he doesn't go near the bed. He pulls a pair of jeans and a long- sleeved tee shirt out of his drawer of my dresser and starts to get dressed.

"Mulder, what are you doing?"

"I'm going home."

My jaw drops. I always thought that was a cliche of hack fiction, but it really happens. I'm equally shocked at the words that emerge from my own mouth.

"Please don't leave me." My throat has gone dry with terror. "Mulder, please...!"

He shudders but he still won't look at me. "I'm not leaving you. I promise. I just... I just can't be here, now. I'll call you tomorrow."

He pulls the tee shirt on over his head and gets stuck. The shirt was a little sideways and he really wasn't paying attention. He freezes for a moment and then starts to shake.

I reach for him and help him untangle himself. But rather than continue, he falls to his knees before me. I can hear him fighting not to cry and losing the battle. I cannot allow this. He made it clear he needed distance, but I can't refrain from taking the necessary step forward. I take him in my arms and let him bury his face against my body. He leans on me and lets himself go.

The difference in our heights is so apparent like this. As I wrap my arms around him I realize I hardly have to bend. I hold on, trying to anchor him against the force of his own emotion, which is shaking him to the bone.

Eventually the emotional storm begins to subside and some words become understandable.

"I'm sorry... I'm sorry... I can't help it, I swear..."

"Shh... it's all right, Mulder. I understand."

"You don't. You don't."

"It's all right, Mulder. This isn't going to ruin us. It's okay."

He's still trying to explain, to make me understand.

"It's just that I've profiled so many of those sick bastards. You don't know how many times I've had to empathize and get inside the head of some pervert who could sing himself to sleep thinking about little naked pussies..."

I freeze for a moment, first at the crude terminology, which he NEVER uses, and then at the horrifying concept, itself. But he's still talking and I don't have time to react.

"...I can still hear them in my head..."

"I'm so sorry; I never considered any of this..."

"Do you have any idea how utterly unlikely it is for us to be together in the first place?"

We're sitting on the floor, now, and he's looking anywhere but at my face. I'd be more frightened but I have his hands in mine and he's not pulling away.

"Why?" I ask, wishing he would see my smile. "I think we were made for each other."

He is calming; he manages a snort of stark amusement. "You're as much shorter than I am as Samantha was when she was taken," he says. "If you'd been a brunette I don't think I could have tolerated having you around."

I'm stunned. I've always been short, but no one has ever confused me with a child.

"If you were built differently --like a gymnast, say-- we'd still just be partners," he admits. "I just can't, Scully. I can't."

"It's okay," I say again. "We can handle this, Mulder." But I wonder if he can hear me.

"Did you know I was the prime suspect in Samantha's disappearance?"

I'm speechless.

"I was the adolescent older brother of a favored daughter," he explained. "I was the classic suspect, in fact. Absolutely textbook. She was dad's darling and got whatever she wanted; I got what was left. She got scolded; I'd get smacked. I had to help her with her homework and I got punished for any grade she got that wasn't an A. As soon as she outgrew the nursery off the master bedroom, she got the other bedroom and they moved me into the attic."

He wiped furtively at his eyes. "And I loved her anyway," he whispered.

"I know you did, Mulder." But he doesn't hear me.

"People thought I was faking the catatonia. Neighborhood gossip said that the eight weeks in the psych ward was just a coverup; my parents were covering for me because they couldn't have any more children, and even a sick bastard who'd murder his baby sister was better than no son at all."

I'm horrified, now: too horrified to speak. He's never discussed this before.

"The police interviewed me four times after the psychiatrists allowed it, and it was pretty clear that they all believed I'd raped and killed her and then somehow hidden the body so well no one could find it. One of 'em tried the pal technique and asked me if I liked clean, naked pussy best. He kept trying to trip me up and make me let slip half a phrase he could twist around into a confession. He even offered to let me fondle the body if I'd only tell 'em where it was..."

He's shuddering, arms wrapped around himself as if chilled to the bone. I don't know when he pulled his hands free of mine. When he starts to rock I know the situation is deteriorating. I pull the afghan off the couch and wrap him up.

"Mulder, come back and lie down in the bed. I want to hold you and help you get warm again."

He doesn't respond at once and I hasten to reassure him.

"Keep your clothes on. I will, too. I want you in layers."

He doesn't consent verbally, but when I move that way he comes with me. It doesn't take me long to tuck him in and snuggle in behind him where he's curled tightly in on himself. I hold him until he stops shaking and falls asleep, worn out by an excess of emotion.

\\...close ...close... I'm pounding into her... so hot... so tight... wailing... almost there... almossss...\\

"Fox! Fox! Help me! Fox!"

My eyes open in shock as my body climaxes. Beneath me, Samantha is sobbing... suffering... betrayed...


I'm not really asleep and when he starts to moan in his sleep and toss, I tighten my hold on him. He screams suddenly and throws himself out of my arms and onto the floor. By the time I get across the mattress to the edge he's awake and crying.

"Mulder..." I climb down to join him on the floor. "It's all right, my love. It was just a dream. It wasn't real."

He doesn't avoid contact --he burrows into my arms and I lie beside him and hold him until he regains some control.

"Me or Samantha?" I ask softly. After all our years together, I know what his nightmares are about. His answer shocks me.

"I thought it was you till I came and it was her," he admits reluctantly, his voice low.

I close my eyes, sharing the horror of that image. "I wish I could go back in time and barbecue the people who did this to you."

That wrings a brief chuckle from him. "You're so good for me, Scully," he sighs. "Thank you."

"And you're good for me, too." I can't help what I do next. He's so close and so warm, he's a little sweaty and he smells scrumptious. I rub my body against his and plant an open-mouthed kiss on his throat.

He freezes. He doesn't pull away, but he's clearly not aroused and just as clearly unwilling to accept even comfort from my actions.

"Mulder, don't..."

"I can't help it," he mumbles. "I'm sorry..." He avoids meeting my eyes.

I take a deep breath. "Don't be sorry; you have nothing to apologize for. I should apologize to you; you told me what you could and couldn't handle right now."

He rolls to lie prone and I move to compensate. He tucks his elbows under his body and leans his head against my chest.

My hand strokes soothingly through his hair. "I want to help you through this, Mulder. What do you think I should do?"

He leans on me a little harder. "I think I'm in no condition to make decisions like that."

"I can't decide what to do. I need your input. Try and put on your professional hat, Mulder." I watch him close his eyes and I can practically hear the gears grinding between his ears.

The silence is long but not uncomfortable. My fingers continue to lace through his hair and his muscles slowly relax. Eventually he lifts his head and looks up at me, meeting my eyes for the first time since he fled the bedroom. "I think you're going to have to push me past it, Scully," he says slowly. "I... I hate where I am, but I seem to be stuck."

I frown. "Are you sure? We don't have to do this right now, while it's all so fresh..."

But he shakes his head. "No. I can't stay like this, Scully. I hate not being able to love you!"

I'm not at all sure this is an emergency, and I say so.

"I can't stay like this. I'm... I'm too disconnected."

"Disconnected from what?"

"From me. From you. From us." He scrubs at his face and I wonder if he's still upset enough to cry. I can't hear tears in his voice anymore; his tone is flat.

I don't know what she's thinking. I'm afraid to look up at her face; I'm afraid of what she'll see if she looks in my eyes. It takes her a while to make up her mind.

I'm afraid to speculate about what she thinks of me, now. I'm such a gutless wimp...

Please, Scully. Don't leave me here.

"All right," she sighs softly. "I don't like this situation, either. Do you think I can help?"

"There certainly isn't anyone else."

"There's a vote of confidence," she drawls.

"That you're the only woman in my life? Or that I don't think anyone else can help me but you?"

"Either. Both. You're incorrigible, Mulder."

"Glad to see something is still working."

I can hear a note of bitterness in his voice, now. "Hey," I admonish him. "You didn't do this on purpose. I'm not blaming you for it."

"I've ruined your weekend."

"I don't think it's done much for yours, either."

He curls up a little, his back against my hip and thigh, his head cradled on his bent arm. "So, what are you thinking about doing to fix this?"

"Oh, no, you don't." I'm not letting him get away with that. "You are so not dumping this all on me to solve. You're the psychologist. At least suggest something!"

"I did."

I frown. "What?"

"You're going to have to push me past it. I can't do it, Scully. I meant it when I said I'm stuck."

This is an awful lot of responsibility. I decide to stall. "Okay. First order of business: get up, Mulder. We're too old to play these games on the floor."

He doesn't argue or try to discuss it. He just gets up, then offers me his hand to help me up. But he makes no move toward the bed; he's just standing there as if awaiting orders.

"Get in the bed, Mulder. I'll be right back." I wait long enough to see that he's obeying, then I flee to the living room and sit down in my favorite chair. I'm surprised to realize that I'm trembling. What am I going to do?

I huddle under the covers and curl up, trying to get warm. It's some time before I realize that Scully's not here.

She left me.

Even knowing that she's probably just out in the living room or the kitchen isn't enough to forestall the adrenaline surge that leaves me shaking. All my old terror of abandonment and betrayal sweeps over me again.

"Mulder? Mulder, don't..."

She's there beside me, standing next to the bed but leaning over me, her hands in my hair, stroking slowly. Her touch is magical, as usual, and I find the strength to get control of myself again.

"That's better." She tucks me in and then sits on the edge of the bed beside me. "You up to answering a few questions?"

"Sure." I'm curled around her and she still has her hands on me. I can handle this.

"We've done very little with the more extreme forms of sex games," she starts, her tone even. "I guess I kind of expected you to have more exotic tastes than you've shown me to date."

It's not a question; I don't respond.

"Is there anything really out there that you've been wanting to do, Mulder? Something you were hesitant to ask for because you didn't think I'd consent?"

I rub my chin against her thigh. It doesn't matter that her robe and the blankets are between us. "No," I answer. "The fact that you consented to this relationship at all is pretty 'out there' as far as I'm concerned."

She sighs. "Mulder, I wish you would stop putting yourself down like that."

I shrug, awkward as it is from this angle, and I close my eyes. I just want to feel her here...

"Do you have any experience with bondage?"

A jolt of adrenaline pounds through me. Would she really do that?

Suddenly his heart is racing and he's panting lightly.

"Mulder?" I prod. He didn't answer me.

"Some," he admits.

"Did you like it?"

"Not especially..."


"A lot depends on context. I was a marginally willing participant in some mistress/slave games. It didn't often do much for me but it clearly did a lot for her, so I went along for a while."

"Why did you stop?"

"She escalated beyond my limits."

I consider what I know of his sexual history. "Phoebe?" I guess.

He nods.

"Did she hurt you? Physically?"

I see him shiver and gentle my touch.

"Yes," he whispers. "I have scars. You've seen 'em."

I blink. Scars? He has two bullet scars, both quite faded. Then I remember: the small round scars on his insteps and between his toes, and the two hidden by his pubic hair at the base of his cock. I asked him about them once, but he refused to explain, leaving me to speculate about childhood physical abuse as well as the psychological and emotional abuse that I know he suffered.

"Those cigarette burns?" I ask, horrified. "Phoebe did that to you in the context of sex play?"

He nods slowly. "I couldn't walk for a couple of days. I missed an important seminar and had to come up with a story to satisfy my tutor. I managed, but that was the last time I let her touch me."

"I should think!" I concentrate, trying to come up with a way to re- target this conversation. "Was the bondage ever good for you? Maybe early on?"

He nods again and looks up at me. "The first couple of times. You know that old joke about how it's been so long since you had sex that you can't remember who gets tied up?"

I nod; it's a silly joke.

"I was so naive, I didn't know that bondage wasn't part of sex for everyone. But the first few times, I found it helped me relax. I had nothing to do because I was tied down to the bed and there was nothing I COULD do."

"And you didn't mind? It worked for you?"

"It worked. I didn't mind the bondage; it was the pain I objected to."

"I can imagine." I pause, marshaling my nerve. "You said you want and need me to push you past where you are, where you're stuck. What if I tie you down and spend a good deal of time driving you crazy before I fuck you senseless? Does that sound good to you?"

I manage to look up at her face. She still looks worried. "You make it sound so clinical, Scully...!"

She cracks a smile. "I don't anticipate being able to maintain that level of detachment. I rather expect you to lose it, too."

I smile a little. "Sounds like a plan to me. Go for it."

She doesn't move. "I don't know a lot about BDSM but I'm aware of the concept of 'sub-space' and how much of the game is mental... and that some of it is dependent on the dominant partner behaving correctly. Tell me how it works best for you. What do you need from me for it to work?"

My smile widens. "You are the quintessential analyst, my love."

She shrugs. "Anything worth doing is worth doing right. There's too much about this that I don't know."

"Such as?"

She looks away. "Such as, does submission itself turn you on? Or was the relief from responsibility enough? I don't know if I'm cut out to be any kind of mistress. The last time we played games I didn't ask for submission and I don't intend to do so now."

I look up at her. "You don't think that was submissive? I tied myself down and let you ram a piece of plastic up my ass, Scully. It doesn't get much more submissive than that."

She starts to object, then catches herself before the first word is formed. I wait, watching her process what I said and how I said it against how I acted and reacted during that evening of cherished memory in Cleveland a few months ago.

"But... but you liked it..." she protests in a small voice.

I wait a moment to be sure that's all she's going to say. "Yeah, I did like it," I assure her. "It was mind- blowing sex and I'm game to try it again some time, if you like. That doesn't change the fact that I tied myself down and made myself vulnerable to you, knowing what you planned to do. I had no qualms about it because I know you and I love you. I knew you would never hurt me on purpose and I knew you'd take good care of me."

"I... I had to..." Her voice trails off.

"Yes, you did," I agree. "As the dominant partner, it was your job, and you did it very well. We both had a great time and nobody got hurt."

"I never thought of it as a D/s scene, Mulder," she insists. "I even considered that I intentionally didn't ask for submissive behavior from you because your unconquered spirit is one of the most important reasons I love you."

He actually flinches from me.

"Mulder, don't..."

"I... " He shuts his mouth deliberately and I feel myself straining to keep up with the lightning-fast connections his mind makes.

"Mulder, I've been working on trying to understand you for many years. Let's see how close I've managed to get this time, all right?"

He nods slightly, wide-eyed, looking just a little terrified at what I might say.

"If I love you because of your refusal to accept defeat, will I stop loving you when and/or if you ever do lose in a significant way? Is this current situation a failure sufficient to destroy my willingness to respect you? I certainly can't love anyone I don't respect, therefore our relationship is over, right? How'd I do?"

He's staring at me, horrified.

"Was I close?" I want him to answer me.

How can I answer that? Either way I lose...

I relent. "Mulder, I love you. I always will. And I still respect you. Your courage against overwhelming odds is part of the content of your character; any defeat just means that you're humanly fallible, my love, not that you're a coward."


"Mulder, stop. This relationship is not a stopgap. I am not just marking time with you till the love of my life comes along and sweeps me off my feet. You ARE the love of my life. I could more easily stop breathing than I could let you go."

He tries to relax, I'll give him that. But he's so tense it makes me ache with sympathy.

"Mulder, would you get undressed for me?"

He studies me impassively and I smile.

"You're too tense. I'm going to give you a backrub. Besides, sleeping in jeans isn't comfortable. I want you to relax. So, c'mon. Remember our goal for tonight is a return to normality. That means sleeping together naked."

Slowly he obeys, without getting out from under the covers. His garments are shoved out to land on the floor. Finally he rolls to lie on his stomach, his arms outstretched and his eyes closed.

It takes me much less time to strip: I'm wearing less and I get up to make it easier. I find our favorite massage oil on my dresser and come back to him.

His eyes are closed, but he isn't relaxed in the least. The blankets are covering him and I clearly can't massage him with that between us. If I just fling them aside, however, he'll flinch, and I don't want to upset him further.

"Would you move toward the middle of the bed?" I ask. "So I can sit beside you?"

He complies silently, still not watching me, but so rigid with tension he has to flex cramps out of his hands. I put my original ideas on hold to massage his hands first, one after the other. I go as far as his elbows but then I stop. He has relaxed a little.

I move down the bed and pull the blankets up to uncover his feet, and repeat the process with his feet. The oil is marvelously scented, and we use it a lot, so the scent is familiar and reminds me of us together in happier moments. That's a comfort for me; I hope it is for him.

I massage his feet gently, caressing as much as actually working on tight muscles. I can feel those old scars on his insteps and between his toes. My heart rages at Phoebe Green and all the other cruel and thoughtless people who have hurt him for the joy of it, then left him to lick his wounds and recover all alone, cast aside like trash.

No human deserves to be treated like that, and for a man with his level of sensitivity, the shunning alone had to have been torture, which would explain why he tolerated the actual pain so often. Any attention is better than none.

I work my way up to his knees and then start pulling the blankets down slowly. I cover his feet and start folding the blankets neatly so his shoulders and back are bared.

In order to reach, I swing up to sit on his butt. This can be erotic, but with several layers of thick-woven acrylic between us, it really isn't, this time. I start with his neck and scalp, taking a long, slow route down his spine, then diverting across his shoulders.

I am relaxing and it feels wonderful. I'm trying not to think, not to analyze. This is Scully, she loves me. Her touch is gentle where it should be, firm when necessary. It feels so... good...

That smell is familiar; it's her favorite massage oil. I can't remember what she calls it. It's an essential oil diluted in extra virgin olive oil and it makes her hands slide over my skin so smoothly...

I remember that in the morning I'll smell like this, and so will she, and I'll regret that showering will wash so much of the scent off.

Ohhh... that's so... good...

He's naked and utterly exposed, now. I tossed the blankets aside several minutes ago. I'm standing beside the bed watching him. He's not aroused but he is relaxed and comfortable again.

"Mulder?" He doesn't react and I soften my voice. "Mulder?"


"Mulder, close your eyes and roll over."

He mumbles something unintelligible.

"Okay, your eyes are closed. Keep them closed and roll over for me?"

He moves his head exactly enough so that he can open one eye and study my face.

"Or I'll blindfold you. That would work well."

His expressions are always subtle; some people think he doesn't have any because he manifests them so minimally. I can see him coming out of the massage-induced pleasure-haze and I really don't want that to happen.

"C'mon, roll over. None of this is going to work if you start fighting me, now."

Blindfold? I don't recall any mention of a blindfold. Next thing I realize, however, is that she is hooding me with something. Dammit...

"Mulder, stop."

I freeze. I think I was reaching for the hood to pull it off. I forgot I can't do that.

The blindfold is the same short silk slip-style nightgown I used in Cleveland. I had been wearing it tonight, till we woke up. I brought it with me out of the bathroom but I dropped it beside the bed when I rejoined Mulder. Casting about the room for something to use to muffle his sight, it is convenient and effective. I tied the straps together to close off the top and now I pull it down over his head like a sack. It's long enough to flow down over his shoulders.

"Can you breathe?" I have to be sure, though I know that one layer of almost-sheer silk isn't enough to impair respiration.


His voice is soft and sounds submissive in a way I can't really define. I don't like it; that's not the Mulder I love. But for the moment it works.

"Now roll over. Lie on your back."

He doesn't answer, he just obeys. That bothers me, but I stifle it. This is all for him; I have to concentrate. I straighten out the hood and then take a deep breath. I let him hear me go to the dresser, open a drawer and rummage around. When I come back he's sweating lightly.

"Shh... just relax, my love. It's not going to hurt, I promise."

He does relax, at least outwardly. Then I pick up his left hand and tie a silk scarf around his wrist. His breath catches for a moment.

"Just lie still. Lie still."

He obeys, but he's trembling. I tie his other wrist the same way.

"Don't fight the bonds," I advise. "You'll just hurt yourself and I don't want that."


He doesn't react at all when I tie his ankles the same way. The last knot completed, I step back. I see my lover spread out on the bed, hooded in silk, wrists and ankles bound in silk, subject to my will. I suck in air as I clench my teeth against the wave of lust that sweeps through me and I feel myself turn wet and slick.

His chin goes up and he tries to see me. The silk over his face is very sheer, but the room is dark and he really can't. I suspect he can smell how aroused I am. I certainly can! I walk around to the foot of the bed, bare feet silent in the carpet.

"I'm starting, now," I warn him.

He shivers from head to foot.

I plant my mouth on the ball of his nearer foot and kiss him gently, my tongue-tip moving against his skin. I intentionally caress those scars first, and repeatedly. I progress to toe-sucking and I moan, making sure he can hear me enjoying myself.


The backs of his knees are ticklish but that's not what I want, so I'm careful to avoid that area. I kiss my way up his legs past his knees. I don't go up to his groin; I divert to his hands and repeat the pattern, kissing his palm, drifting eventually to his little finger and then working my way, one finger at a time, across his hand to his thumb.

...omigod...omigod...omigod... How does she always know what will drive me crazy?

The scarves on his wrists are knotted but aren't so tight that I can't push the silk aside and kiss the inside of his wrist. My tongue caresses that so-soft skin until I hear him groan. His wrist, on the inside where the veins show, is one of the most sensitive places on his body.

He's panting and moaning, tossing his head from side to side. He's not moving his arms or legs yet, though; it's as if my instruction not to tug on the silk was an order he cannot disobey.

He can. I just have to try harder. I moan as I tease him with my tongue: fingers, wrists, up the inside of his arm to his shoulder. As I cross his chest I rub my nipples against him and shudder as the sensation surges through my body directly to my clitoris.

Omigod. My wrists. She's killing me here. Just when I think I can't stand it another moment she proves that I can. I'm panting, desperate... but I can't struggle. I can't move. Silk doesn't tear: I can't get free, so there's no point in trying.

Then she slithers on her belly across my chest so she can put her lips and tongue to work on my other wrist. The brief tantalizing contact with her body, with her breasts, is utterly unsatisfying, but that's all she's going to give me.

My body can't hold still. She knows exactly where to lick, where to suck, where to stroke. She's moaning and I can smell how aroused she is even through the silk over my face.

She's kissing her way up my arm, now, rather like Gomez Addams used to do it to Morticia, and as I've done to her on occasion. If I could remember any French I'd play... but I'm not sure I'm thinking coherently in English!

He's nearly sobbing, now. My tongue flicks at his nearer nipple and his entire body jumps. My body reacts, too: I'm panting and it's all I can do to keep myself under control. I lay a trail of dampness across his chest to the other nipple, and I flick that one. He jumps, but when I start sucking on it I finally hear his voice.

"Please. Please. Ooh, god, please..."

He's as ready as I've ever seen him, hard, hot and leaking. Now the next step...

I throw my leg over and sit astride his body, too far forward to satisfy either of us.

His head is tossing. "Please..." he moans.

"Please what, Mulder? Tell me what you want."

His body is rocking futilely under me. "Scully, please...!"

"Please what?"


I tilt my pelvis and rub against his sternum so he can feel how wet I am. "Please what?"

His response is inarticulate but very clear. Moving with tantalizing slowness, I slide backward until I bump him. Then, keeping that inadequate contact, I raise myself up. He's thrusting desperately into the air, trying to get inside me, but he won't use his hands.

Finally, I put both hands on his belly and push down. He yields, lets me flatten him against the mattress, and I finally let him touch me. He whimpers and I tease him again, hovering above him while holding him down with both hands against his belly.

We're both so wet that we really aren't touching one another yet: it's just our fluids mixing.


"What?" He sounds like he's trying not to cry.

"Fuck me NOW."

I plunge him deep inside me and lay my body down against his. He surges up into me with a roar and his entire body follows mine as I roll. I clutch at him with arms and legs, anxious to keep him buried deep inside me. When I'm flat on my back, pinned beneath him, I reach up and pull the hood off him.

He thrusts down into me so hard that my head snaps back and my body vibrates all the way to my bones.

He leans down to capture my mouth with his own as he hammers into me again and again. I've lost track of where I end and he begins and I come so hard I can only shriek as my limbs lock up around him.

He stops and breaks the kiss, watches me until my orgasm dies down and I can control myself again. Panting, I look up at him, and I see love shining in his eyes: love afire with lust unslaked. I reach up and pull him down again so I can kiss him hard.

He growls into the kiss and starts pumping into me again. His hands brace against the mattress and then much to my shock he pulls out.


"Roll over."

His voice is rough but not ungentle; rather than argue, and delay matters, I just obey.

He moves over me on all fours and I'm startled to realize, yet again, how big he is compared to me. One of his hands slips between me and the mattress. He splays those long fingers out over my belly and pulls me up onto my hands and knees. His hands shift to hold my hips and he mounts me, sliding home easily.

I moan as he fills me again: it feels different this way, deeper and more delicious. He lets go and lowers himself down over me again. His hands slide down my arms as his chest rubs against my back and his breath washes down over my neck.

"Love you, Scully... I love you so much..."

He kisses my shoulders as he starts pumping in and out of me again. His weight is braced on the heels of his hands while his fingers caress my hands and his thumbs rub lightly on my inner wrists, right where I kissed him to drive him crazy. I shudder and gasp as the sensory overload starts all over again.

"Good?" he asks, kissing up the side of my neck to my ear.

I just moan; there aren't appropriate words for this. I don't know where he's found this inhuman control: he isn't pounding into me. He's just steadily pumping, as if we just started and there's time for experimentation.

I move with him, sinking backward as he comes to me and tightening my inner grip on him when he backs away. He moans finally and begins to speed up the rhythm. The kisses he'd been laying along my shoulders change to little bites and he's panting with the exertion and spiraling excitement.

"So good... So good..."

He's stretching me, going so deep, spreading me so wide that I can hardly think. He's hot and hard inside me, so strong above me that I have to hold him. I clench especially tightly as I feel another orgasm begin to build and we shudder in unison. Nothing is touching my clit, but at this angle he's scraping against my G-spot almost constantly, coming and going. It's incredible.

My breath goes short as he shifts to a higher gear, moving more quickly against me, more forcefully, with less control. He's getting close and he's bringing me with him.

"Yesss... Yesss... Fuck me harder, Mulder!"

He sinks his teeth into my nape, not to hurt but to hold me. I gasp in shock at the frisson of excitement that the animal action inspires; my body is out of my control. I hear myself panting aloud, voicing that for which there are no words with sounds that are becoming shallow and shrill.

My orgasm hits me suddenly and my back arches sharply and I hear myself shriek. Mulder doesn't yield: he's stronger than I am and he holds me through the convulsions of ecstasy he caused. He lets go of my nape and I collapse. He follows me down and then, still buried deep inside me, he starts fucking me again.

I'm limp, now: it's almost too much stimulation. It's not long before Mulder finally comes: hard and hot and deep inside me. I try to move with him but it's very difficult. Finally he collapses and I'm trapped underneath him.

It feels wonderful.

I let myself drowse a little with him still buried deep inside me, until finally, some time later, he pushes up on his elbows to look down at me.

"Thank you, my love," he murmurs. He rolls off me, then, and I follow him, not liking the chill of solitude. I lie on top of him and kiss him back, then run my fingers down his arm to his wrist where the silk scarf is knotted. I start working, lackadaisically, at untying the knot.

He glances down and frowns, suddenly realizing that he shouldn't have been able to grab me and tumble me the way he did.

"You never tied me to the bed!"

I kiss him. "I was afraid to, at first," I admit. "You were too... too submissive."


"It worked, didn't it?"

He considers it for a moment, and I hug him. He grins and kisses me again.

"Yeah. It worked. But, oh, that was hard."

I grin. "It certainly was! And it will be again."

"I'm only human, beloved. Give me time to recharge!"

I grin more widely. "Certainly. Take all the time you need. We aren't going anywhere."

As if to underscore her statement, thunder crashes right above us, and she flinches, clutching at me. I moan against her breast as my body responds to her and the lightning flash shows me her sparkling eyes and bright smile. I kiss her hard. Nothing matters but her; if the power goes out I won't care. I have everything I need right here. =*=*=



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