Sharks Keep Swimming

by OKayVal

Title: Sharks Keep Swimming
Author: OKayVal
Email: okayval@yahoo.com
Website: http://donnilee.tripod.com/okayval Rating: NC-17
Archive: Honored; just tell me where
Category: RST, Post-Ep
Pairings: Mulder/Scully
Spoilers: E.B.E.
Disclaimer: Not mine, you know the drill. Summary: Something lost, something found. Scenes and post-ep for E.B.E.

Written for Fandomonium's "Virtual Season of Smut" Challenge. To read all of these great stories, go here:
http://www.fandomonium.com/challenges/xffics/First%20Fandomonium%20XF%20Fic%20Challenge.htm Thanks to Fando for a fun challenge
and hugs to Tali for the as-always, life-saving beta.

"And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?"

--R.E.M., "Nightswimming"--


10:30 AM
SOMEWHERE OVER UTAH

She never expected to be playing cloak and dagger. She works for the FBI, not the CIA; but right now she feels like she's in the middle of a spy novel. She's been bugged. She's been followed. Mulder's paranoia is justified this time.

So justified, in fact, that she has a decoy airline ticket to Chicago in her purse, when she's really on a flight to Las Vegas, using an airphone to track a truck across the country. A truck that may contain an extraterrestrial biological entity. Mulder is convinced that this truck holds the living proof he's been searching for. They had come so close; the truck had been within their reach, sitting just outside the Tennessee police station where they were questioning its driver, until their interview with Mr. Ranheim was abruptly terminated by the police chief. That rankled Mulder and kicked him into overdrive--they HAD to find that truck and its otherworldly cargo. She'd been skeptical until they found that first bugging device--in her pen. Now Mulder's theory makes some sort of crazy sense.

She shifts in her seat again; the hard plastic phone hurts her ear and she's tired of being put on hold, only to repeat her story to the next person who comes on the line. But the airphone is untraceable, and it's the only way she and Mulder can stay out of the reach of those prying ears.

She stares out of the plane window at the expanse of blue sky and wonders what strange force has brought her here. Mulder is exasperating yet brilliant, and somehow he is able to persuade her past the point where she normally would resist. If he was Fox Mulder, Accountant, she wonders, would he be as complicated? Some of the things he says make her head spin. She's still pondering a remark he made the other day. It keeps escaping from a corner of her mind, playing over and over again like the chorus of a song.


They had gone to visit Mulder's friends, to pick their collective brains for information about the events in Tennessee. The Lone Gunmen were an odd bunch; mismatched men with strange theories, and the little man, Frohike, kept declaring that she was 'hot.' Mulder had grinned and told his pal to calm down. She had done her best to ignore the leers and Mulder said nothing more.

They returned to the office and she started working on expense reports. Mulder sat studying some photographs, his back to her.

"Those were the most paranoid people I have ever met," she had told him. "I don't know how you could think that what they say is even remotely plausible."

"I think it's remotely plausible that someone might think you're hot."

Mulder's reply hit her like a brick. She stopped writing and looked up. He had not moved, and his back offered no clue as to whether he might be teasing her. She smiled to herself and continued her dialog on the Lone Gunmen, until she discovered the listening device and tripped over her own words.

But Mulder's words remain and she can't stop thinking about them. Was Mulder referring to Frohike, or does he really think she's hot? She likes the idea, but she's also afraid of it. She remembers the last time a colleague found her attractive. She does not want to repeat what turned into a messy mistake, and Mulder has the potential to be very messy, indeed.

"Ma'am? Are you still there?"

The voice in her ear brings her back to the present. It also brings her the information she has been looking for. She hangs up the phone and rubs her ear, pleased with herself. Mulder will be surprised. She checks her watch; the plane should be landing soon. She leans against the window and tries to relax.


11:30 AM PACIFIC TIME
McCARRAN AIRPORT, LAS VEGAS

She fidgets while waiting her turn to exit the plane. She has to find the gift shop, has to find Mulder, has to give him the good news. She walks briskly through the terminal until she locates the gift shop, exactly as he described it. She wonders how many times Mulder has been to Las Vegas. Her eyes scan the small shop, but Mulder is not here. She browses around the store until she catches a glimpse of him, walking tall with that black overcoat billowing behind him. She turns to study a rack of road maps in front of her. Mulder approaches her but keeps going, his arm brushing up against hers as he passes by. She feels his touch and glances up to see him standing by the magazines, reading. She follows his path, takes a magazine, and moves a short distance away from him. More cloak and dagger stuff. Do spies really act like this?

Without looking up, Mulder finally breaks the silence with a joke. She smiles, imagining how annoying it would be for a stranger to endure three hours of a wound-up Mulder talking on the phone.

"I couldn't find the truck. Did you have any luck?" Mulder asks, finally risking a peek at her.

"Yep. It's heading northwest on I-90," she replies, keeping her eyes on her magazine, a note of triumph in her voice. "We have to get a couple of tickets to Seattle."

"Really?" His tone tells her that he is impressed. She glances sideways at him. He is looking at her now, the pleasure evident in his face. She feels like she has passed an important test. A+ for Dana.

"Let's go," Mulder says. He abandons the charade and grabs her hand, leading her out of the gift shop. She's feeling incredibly satisfied at his reaction. It feels good. So does her hand, enclosed within Mulder's larger one. He has laced his fingers with hers, and it's comfortable. She's surprised that this does not bother her, even though she knows it's unprofessional. There are a lot of things about Mulder that are unprofessional, she's learning.


6:30 PM PACIFIC TIME
JUNCTION OF HIGHWAYS 90 and 283
WASHINGTON STATE

Her eyes strain to focus after an hour of peering through binoculars, and her arm muscles are beginning to ache, too, from the effort of holding them steady. The trucks and cars sailing past are starting to blend together; what if the truck they are looking for has already gone by, and she's missed it? No. She couldn't possibly have missed it.

Their car is parked on the shoulder of the road, giving them a good view of the approaching traffic. Mulder sits behind the wheel, chewing on sunflower seeds and waxing philosophical about everything that crosses his mind, but always circling back to aliens. She's glad for the need to keep her eyes on the highway. It keeps her from staring at Mulder's mouth. There's something compelling about the way his lips and teeth slide together around the tiny seeds. Once, during a stakeout, she realized she was staring at him outright. When he turned to speak to her, she looked away in terror, feeling the color rush to her cheeks and hoping he hadn't noticed. But wondering whether he had. *I think it's remotely plausible that someone might think you're hot.*

Now she tries not to think about Mulder eating his sunflower seeds next to her, and tries instead to concentrate on the vehicles speeding toward them. Finally, she spots a familiar truck cab in the distance.

"Here we go."


POWER PLANT
MATTAWA, WASHINGTON STATE
SEVERAL HOURS LATER

The security guard leads her outside, and she sees Mulder and another man standing several yards away. Mulder appears unharmed but subdued. As she approaches them, the second man walks away, into the mist.

"Are you ok, Mulder?"

"Yeah." He stares out into the swirling fog where the man has vanished. His tone is flat.

"Who was that?"

"My contact."

"He was here? What happened?"

"This is where they brought the EBE. It's dead, Scully. They killed it. But it -was- alive. It was alive in that truck while we were questioning Ranheim." He sets his jaw and walks off, his heavy strides scattering the gravel beneath his feet. She has to hurry to catch up with him, and he's behind the wheel of their car with the motor running by the time she reaches it. She slides in without a word and he takes off, the tires making an angry sound against the pavement.

She waits until she is sure he is driving them back to their motel before she speaks.

"I guess we'll catch a flight back tomorrow morning."

Mulder says nothing, his expression steely. She senses defeat, and she's not used to that from him. His passion does not burn out easily. She remembers something Mulder told her, something his deep background contact said to him yesterday.

"He told me that when sharks stop swimming, they die. He told me not to stop swimming. Not to give up."

She can't imagine Mulder without his passion, his blinding dedication. She sighs and stares out the window.

They do not talk at all during the ride back to the motel. She's not used to a silent Mulder and it makes her uncomfortable. She fears that he's brooding and when they arrive at the motel, she follows him into his room, wary about leaving him alone.

He tosses his keys on the table, followed by his coat, then his jacket and tie, removing each item with rapid fingers that betray his frustration. Finally, he turns to her.

"We almost had it, Scully. Proof. A living EBE. He's never tried to divert me before. I trusted him. But now I'm back where I started. With nothing." He paces back and forth, his feet making indentations in the cheap carpet.

"Your contact was right about one thing, Mulder."

"What's that?"

"Don't stop swimming. Don't give up. You can't. You must be close to the truth, otherwise they wouldn't go to so much trouble to keep us from finding it."

He stops pacing and stands in front of her. His eyes lock onto hers--dark, electric, and she feels the charge travel down the length of her spine. He grabs her shoulders, almost as if he's going to shake her. Her heart begins to pound, but not from fear.

"Mulder," she begins, feeling his fingers dig tighter into her shoulders. He leans close, his breath hot, and before she can say any more, his mouth is on hers. She has no time to think, only to feel. His lips are tantalizing and insistent, and hers part in response to the pressure.

As his tongue seeks hers, her body tingles and her mind blurs. What's left of her logic tells her that she should stop this now. But she can't. Not with Mulder's unbridled intensity now focused on her. She likes it. She wants it.

Mulder's mouth moves to claim new territory, and she shivers as he nips and nibbles along her jaw-line. "Oh Scully--want you," he whispers against her neck. He thrusts his hips at her, pressing his erection into her belly. He is all hands and hot, wet mouth, and he's driving her mad. Her own hands are not idle; she runs them over every part of him that she can reach. *It is plausible that someone might find you hot, too, Mulder.*

Mulder begins clawing at her clothes and manages to get her blouse open. He pulls at her bra, trying to release her breasts, and she helps him because she wants to feel his hands on her bare skin. She frees her breast for him and he seizes it; her nipple burns from his touch and she gasps at the arousal coursing through her.

Her cry inflames Mulder further, and he yanks at her trousers. He tussles with the zipper and she wriggles out of them while he tugs at the fabric. He reaches for her panties but she sidesteps him and grasps at his shirt. He gets the message and together they pull it open, buttons be damned. She slides the shirt off his shoulders and presses her hand flat against his chest. His heart beats rapidly under her palm, as if urging her to hurry. She runs her hand down to his firm abdomen, past his belt buckle, along the thick bulge of his erection. He groans and fumbles with his belt buckle. She grasps at his zipper, frantic now to free his cock, and he takes her hand in his and helps her pull the zipper down.

Mulder strips off his pants and boxers at the same time, then moves to lift her up and place her on the bed. He hooks his fingers into the waistband of her panties and peels them from her. He realizes they are damp and his eyes darken; she has been wet since he began kissing her.

She lies back against the pillows and parts her legs for him. Mulder moves between them carefully, unsure about putting all of his weight onto her. He plants his arms on either side of her and lowers his hips. His cock throbs and prods at her as he tries to get inside. She reaches out and grabs hold so she can guide him. He shudders as her fingers close around his thick length.

"Oh--god--Scully." She lets go when his cock nudges against her entrance and he slips into her. He begins to move, begins to fill her.

"You feel--good," he says, almost a moan, a voice she's never heard from him before.

"Yes, yes," she pants in reply. She has lost the ability to utter more than a single word. She wraps her legs around his waist, tipping her hips up so he can go deeper. He feels the shift and pumps faster, his breath coming in loud grunts as his thrusts slide her back against the mattress. She is surprised to see him watching her. Other men have made love to her with closed eyes, but Mulder's eyes are green lasers trained on her.

Mulder fucks her furiously, and she meets his rhythm with one of her own, fiery pulses that beat faster and faster until she can't stand it anymore, and then she is coming, coming hard and it doesn't stop, her whole body shakes with the wonderful force of it. Mulder pauses, mesmerized by her tremors, then begins again, slamming into her wildly. She feels his cock swell against her inflamed walls, and then suddenly his hips stop rocking and he empties into her with a warm rush, murmuring her name over and over again like a mantra.

She grips his arms as he shudders and collapses on top of her. His full weight crushes her for a brief second, but he rolls over and ends up beside her, lying on his back. His chest glistens
with sweat, heaving as he gulps in air. She lies on her side and studies him. This is wrong in so many ways, but it feels oddly right. She can't work it into a neat and orderly solution. There is nothing neat and orderly about Mulder.

Finally, he turns to her, his breathing normal again.

"Scully--I--that was...."

"Shh. Not now." She stops him with a finger to his lips. He kisses it lightly and takes her wrist, pulling her hand from his face down to his chest. He wraps both of his hands around hers, gentle now, the frenzy gone. She curls up and closes her eyes. They have to talk about this. But she doesn't want to talk right now. Talking will spoil the hazy liquidness she feels, and she doesn't want to think, to analyze, to decide.


She wakes up to morning light streaming through the window blinds and the call of her bladder. Mulder is no longer in bed. She stretches her hand out to the space where he had been. It is still warm. He has not been gone long. On her way to the bathroom, she fights a twinge of disappointment until she notices Mulder's clothes still lying in a rumpled heap on the floor. This is his room, she reminds herself, eyeing his open suitcase on the dresser. He has to come back.

She emerges from the bathroom and starts to gather up her clothing. She is sitting on the bed, trying to untangle her blouse, when the door opens and Mulder steps in. He looks tousled despite his change of clothes. He holds two styrofoam cups and is pleased to find her awake.

"Hey, Scully. Breakfast in bed." He waves the cups at her and kicks the door closed behind him with his foot. She slips into her blouse and waits for him to join her. Mulder sits on the edge of the bed and hands her a cup. She removes the lid, inhaling the strong aroma of fresh coffee. She sips it gratefully, knowing he is studying her every move.

"Don't say that I never spoil you," he says, offering her a tiny grin. She says nothing, but the corners of her mouth curl as she takes another sip of coffee.

"Are you ok?" he asks.

"I'm fine," she replies.

"Really fine?"

"Yes, Mulder. Really." Now she smiles at him, and he blinks and then smiles back, getting it. *It's remotely plausible that we find each other hot.*

"Me too."

They grin stupidly at each other for a moment until she drops her eyes back to her coffee. She notices that he is being careful not to touch her.

"What do we do now?" he asks.

"We go home, Mulder."

"That's not what I mean. What do we do about, about this, Scully?" He circles his coffee cup in front of her in a sweeping gesture.

She takes a quick breath. She knows they are heading into deeper waters here, and not just because of the sex. She knows that if Mulder stops searching for the truth, if he drowns, she will drown with him.

"I think we take it one day at a time, Mulder."

He ponders this, nodding slowly.

"But I don't want this,"--he gestures with the coffee cup again-- "to change anything. I respect you. I still need you as my partner, Scully. I have nobody else to trust."

He leans closer, still without touching her. She knows he wants to.

"Mulder, I happen to be a very good swimmer."


Finis

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