The Ice Storm

by philiater

The Ice Storm
Author: Philiater
Category: M/S, X-file.
Rating: R
Timeline: Could happen anytime after the movie. For Tali, on her birthday.
Beta: The lovely Tali, herself.

Summary: Scully and Mulder get trapped inside a cabin during an ice storm while searching for an X-File.


"Mulder, we're lost."

He didn't answer as rain pelted the windshield of our Bureau car and froze on the wiper blades. I could see the country roads were icing up too, making travel more and more dangerous with each mile we crossed.

We were hopelessly lost on the back roads of central Illinois, searching for a local urban legend and having no luck. Mulder had dragged me along on what was turning out to be a wild goose chase, after the Gunmen had shown him 'proof' of an old murder case. What constituted that proof, I didn't know; I hadn't seen it.

The murder had supposedly taken place in 1965, in a rural town named Fairberry. A man had murdered his family at a local motel on the way to California along on old Route 66.

We'd driven for miles looking for this town, or at least the remnants of it since it no longer appeared on maps. Everyone we talked to had heard of the legend, but the details varied with each person.

One said the motel didn't exist anymore and the town had burned to the ground long ago. Another said the town was certainly standing and the motel was still in use. Yet another said the murders had taken place in the woods and it had been nowhere near Fairberry.

Sometime after lunch we'd gotten lost, and stayed that way. To his credit, Mulder had asked for directions and received them along with another version of the Fairberry murders. Neither piece of information panned out as we drove further and further into the countryside.

Now the temperature was dropping as the day became late afternoon.

"We should stop for the night," I said, hoping he'd finally give up pursuing the legend.

"Okay, Scully. First motel we find."

I looked at him in surprise. Mulder had given up too quickly. I'd have expected at least the semblance of a protest. It worried me that he was willing to stop so soon.

Just when it seemed we'd never find another town, a bright blue light shone over the horizon. Mulder drove toward it as if it were a homing beacon. When we finally saw the source of the light, I heaved a sigh of relief.

The letters of a sign, proclaiming the place as The Bluebird Motor Court, were emblazoned in blue neon. The large sign was at least 20 feet off the ground and easily the brightest object for miles. It stood in front of an old fashioned u-shaped motel; the kind my family had stayed in when I was a child.

I counted ten rooms topped by bright blue metal awnings and blue numbered doors. The office was at the far end and the vacancy sign was thankfully lit in neon blue.

Mulder parked in front of a blue painted cement barrier. We got out of the car and stretched tired muscles. The blacktopped lot was icy too, and I had to walk gingerly around the car to enter the office with Mulder. A silver bell on the door rang to announce our presence.

"No asking about the murders, Mulder. I'm tired and want a hot shower."

Before he could answer, a kindly looking older man came out from a door behind the desk. He looked a little befuddled to have visitors.

"Well, well. What are you two doing out on a day like this?"

I glanced sideways at Mulder, daring him to ask about the legend. A vicious kick to the side of his shoe kept him mute.

"We'd like two rooms, please," he said instead.

"You'd be my only guests," the man said as he handed us the registry book. "It's too nasty out, for most folks."

Just as Mulder was signing the registry, all the lights went out. The office, outdoor lights and neon sign went completely dark.

"There goes the electricity. I was afraid of that," the elderly man said. "The old lines just can't handle it when they get iced up."

He retrieved a lantern from behind the desk and lit it, making our shadows dance on the wall.

"Is there another motel nearby?" I asked with growing dread.

"Not for another 100 miles or so." When he saw my crestfallen face, he added," but I might have a solution."

I watched as he disappeared back through the door and reemerged with a set of keys.

"My nephew has a cabin about a quarter of a mile down the path out back. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you stayed there for the night. You'd have to leave your car here, though."

I looked at Mulder with a dubious expression. "Just how much of a 'cabin' is it?" I asked.

"Well, there's a pump out front for water, a generator for electricity, and big stone fireplace. They have everything you'd need for the night and you can pay me in the morning."

When we hesitated further, he said, "I'd feel better if you all would stay there. It's too bad out to drive in weather like this."

As if to confirm his statement, an ice covered tree branch fell to the ground outside, startling us all.

"What about you?" Mulder asked.

"Me? Heck, I own this place. I've got me an oil generator in the back room. It smokes a little, but it's dependable. I'll be just fine."

Mulder turned to me, as if it were my decision. "Scully?"

"After you," I said motioning toward the door

Mulder took the offered set of keys and followed me to the car. I took my overnight case out and Mulder grabbed his, as well. He shut the trunk and locked all the doors.

"Just follow the path out back," the old man called from the door. "You can't miss it."

Sure enough, a rough path had been cut out of the undergrowth behind the motel. I followed Mulder as he stepped gingerly onto the dense grass and started forward. We walked for what seemed like four miles in the rain instead of a quarter of a mile before coming across the cabin.

It was worse than I'd ever dreamed. A tiny A-frame cabin sat at the end of the path. It had exposed boards for walls and a fieldstone fireplace along the side. There were dense woods on three sides and I could just see a lake through the trees and down a hill to our right.

"This is our cabin?" I asked.

"Looks like it. Let's see how bad it is inside."

He fished out the set of keys the old man had given us and put a blue colored one into the lock. To our surprise, it turned. I looked at him in with raised eyebrows.

"Everything else he had was blue."

I nodded and pushed the door open. The inside was marginally nicer than the rustic exterior.

The cabin contained one big room and a set of stairs that I assumed went to a loft. The stone fireplace dominated an entire wall and a braided rug was set in front of it. A stack of cord wood was piled to one side.

Furnishings were sparse, but a crude wooden table with four chairs lined a second wall. A kitchen area, of sorts, with cabinets lined the back wall, behind the stairs. Gingham curtains decorated the cabin's two front windows. It was neat as a pin; too neat.

Mulder stepped in front of the fireplace's hearth and opened a tin box that sat on top. An old book of matches, the kind they used to give away in restaurants, was nestled inside.

"You found the matches, you start the fire," I said.

"First, I'm going up to see what I can find," Mulder answered, indicating the stairs. I nodded my approval and moved our cases to a corner.

Something about the cabin was odd despite the homey atmosphere. A family apparently vacationed here, but it was almost too sterile an environment to call relaxing.

"Hey, Scully," Mulder called from the second floor, "C'mere."

I climbed the narrow stairs wondering what he'd found. At the top, the stairs opened up to a tiny room enclosed by slanted roof on both sides. The angle of the walls was so steep, Mulder had to stoop over in order to investigate the contents of a wooden dresser that he had discovered against the far wall of the room. He had a drawer open and was staring the contents.

"Look at this."

I moved to stand next to him, and peered inside as well, noting with a small satisfaction that I didn't need to bend over as there was plenty head-room for me.

Inside the drawer were flannel shirts; red and black plaid, in four different sizes and all identical. One for each family member: two adults and two children. Underneath the shirts were blue jeans, again, all identical in every way but size.

A small photograph on top of the dresser caught my eye and I picked it up. It pictured a man, woman and two boys all posed together in identical clothing. The boys appeared to be about 12 and 15 years in age and smiled with brilliant white teeth. The husband and wife, smiling just as brilliantly, couldn't have been more than 35 or 36 years old.

I found the picture and clothing to be a little unsettling. Forced family 'togetherness' was stifling in the best of circumstances. The soft flannel shirts might well have been straight jackets.

"Who are these people?" I murmured.

"A dysfunctional family waiting to happen."

"Maybe they're one already."

"Mmm," he said noncommittally, pulling the two largest sets of clothes out of the drawer and handing one set to me.

"You want me to put these on?"

"Did you bring anything warm?"

I did a quick mental rundown of my overnight case's contents. "No."

"Then I suggest you put them on," he said with a grin.

I took the proffered clothing and retreated downstairs. I hoped to find footwear that was somewhat warmer than my heeled pumps. After changing quickly, I searched for a closet; such neatness demanded an area to store unwanted items.

A door near the back of the cabin yielded navy wool coats and leather boots. My feet were too small for the wife's set, but fit well inside the oldest boy's. I have the feet of an adolescent boy, I mused.

The shirt and jeans were too big by half, both in length and width. I toyed with the idea of retrieving the boy's clothes to see if they fit as well as the boots.

"Ma Kettle."

I turned to find Mulder clad in flannel and jeans. The jeans were too short by two inches, making them ride up his crotch. I had to look away to keep from staring at his fly.

"More like Ma Lumberjack," I said with a grin. "The husband must have been short," I said, pointing to his ankles. Black dress socks were revealed well above the ankle, making him look like a bad throwback from another era.

"I know," he said ruefully," but beggars can't be choosers, Scully. And I found socks, too."

He tossed me a pair of oatmeal colored cotton socks. They were soft and thick and I knew, immediately, they'd be warm.

"I found boots," I said, stepping aside to reveal my discovery.

"Hey, we might not freeze after all!"

"I don't know about that." I was cold and positive the temperature had dropped further during the short time we'd been in the cabin.

"I can remedy that," he said, holding up the book of matches he'd found earlier. "But let's put the boots on first."

I trailed him into the living room and we plunked down on the braided rug to don the socks and boots. Sitting down must have been torture on Mulder's groin. He grunted when he tried to reach forward to pull the socks on. After two failed attempts, he sat back to catch his breath.

"Let me try."

I tried to keep from smiling as he gave me his foot without protest. I rose up on my knees and sat on the back on my feet. Settling his foot on top of my thighs, I pulled the errant sock over his foot and tucked it neatly under his pant leg. Switching feet, I did the same on the other side.

The boots were black leather and went on without much struggling. They just covered the ends of Mulder's jeans, making it appear that he'd tucked them inside deliberately.

For all the years I have known Mulder, doing something this ordinary for him seemed unbearably intimate. For a moment, I imagined him suddenly grabbing me; hauling me over on top of his body to kiss me senseless. When I looked up, Mulder's eyes had gone dark, and I knew he was contemplating the same thing.

Outside a tree branch, swaying under the added pressure of ice, cracked under the pressure and fell noisily to the ground. The spell now broken, I let Mulder's foot go to stand nervously.

"What about that fire?" I asked, hoping he didn't hear the tremor in my voice.

"Fire!" he exclaimed, arching both eyebrows in pseudo-horror. I gave him a frustrated look. No need for him to fear it now.

"Yes, the fire."

I left him to struggle with the old fireplace and walked into the kitchen. I was cold and hungry and wondered if there were any canned goods in the kitchen.

Opening cabinet doors I found an iron skillet, and four Boy Scout mess kits. I remembered these well from my brothers; a plate and cup with rudimentary spoon, fork and knife made of cheap aluminum, all clamped together into one unit for hiking.

On a shelf below those were several large cans of Dinty Moore stew. I pulled one down with glee, running my finger over the giant, red thumbprint on top. A search through the rest of the area yielded not a single can opener.

"Damn!" I said, banging the skillet down on the table.

"What's wrong?" Mulder called from the fireplace.

I returned to the living area and held the Dinty Moore out to him. "No can opener."

"Wait a sec," he said, rising and retrieving the house keys from the mantel. I watched as he rummaged through the endless metal disks and finally stopped when he found what he wanted.

"This," he said, handing me the set," is a can opener."

I eyed the keychain with suspicion. In my hand was a flat piece of metal attached by a hinged flap with a point at one end. I'd never seen anything like it before and didn't know how it could possibly open my can.

"This is a can opener?"

"Yeah, Scully. It's called an army ration opener."

"An army opener," I repeated. I rummage through my mind to see if I could remember my brothers, or father using one. Nope. Lots of Swiss army knives with openers, but no ration opener.

"Show me," I said handing it back.

He gave me an exasperated look, but took the can and opener. I watched as he struggled to bang the pointed end into the metal. Finally successful, Mulder see-sawed the point up and down around the edge, creating a jagged circle as the lid came off. He was going to have to be extra careful not to cut himself on the sharp edge.

When he was done, he handed the can back. "Anything else? Move large furniture? Open pickle jars?"

"Pickles," I said with envy. Those would be nice.

Leaving him to finish the fire, I returned to the kitchen and doled out the stew into two plates from mess kits. I'd decided against using the skillet since the plates had handles which could be used for cooking over a fire.

As I was putting the skillet away, I spotted a Large Mason jar tucked far back into the cabinet. Thinking it might contain the aforementioned pickles, I snatched it out. To my disappointment, inside was nothing but clear liquid. Water? We had a water pump outside, why would they go to the trouble of storing it in here?

I had my answer the moment I unscrewed the lid.

"Here, you can use this to start the fire," I said, handing Mulder the offensive smelling jar.

"What's this?"

"Moonshine, I think."

Mulder put his nose over the opening and took a whiff. He immediately pulled his head back in revulsion.

"See what I mean. Use it on the fire."

"Hey, we can't waste this," he said with sudden relish, "We need this to go with dinner."

"Dinner? Mulder that has to be 100 proof."

"More like 200."

"White lightning doesn't go with beef stew," I said as seriously as I could manage. "We need red lightning."

"Have to make do with what we have, Scully." Mulder was either deliberately ignoring my stab at humor, or he just didn't get it. Either way, it didn't matter. He set the jar down and turned to stoke the fire.

He'd managed to get a small one going, and I was relieved we wouldn't have to eat cold, congealed stew. I retrieved the mess kits and waited while the fire bloomed into a full roar.

I attached the handles and handed Mulder his share of the stew. He took it and mine too, holding them over the fire.

"I'll cook," he said with pride. "Go get the cups."

When I came back, I handed him one. "I don't think they'll be able to hold that moonshine, Mulder," I said, eyeing the thin metal. "It'll probably eat right through it."

"Well, we'll just have to drink fast."

He poured the sharp smelling liquid into two cups and once again, I felt apprehension about drinking it.

"Are you sure this isn't turpentine? The couple in that picture, we found upstairs, don't look like the moonshine drinking type."

"Every family has its secrets. Maybe this is theirs. "

To prove his point, Mulder took a large swallow, and immediately began a coughing fit as the liquid slid down his throat .

When he finally stopped, he said "Nah. Smooooth." His voice sounded like he'd just swallowed a fistful of tacks. "Try it."

I still hesitated. Getting shit faced in front of Mulder wasn't a great idea.

"What's the matter, Scully? Chicken?"

I fixed him with a 'you should know better than to bate me' look. "That didn't work when my brothers did it almost 30 years ago and it won't work now, Mulder."

"Then prove it, Scully. Prove it." His voice had a smooth, alluring quality to it. If I didn't know him better, I'd swear he was trying to seduce me.

He handed me my cup and waited with an expectant expression. If I didn't drink it, he'd probably tease me all night. If I did drink it, I'd likely want more. Was that really a such bad idea?

Holding my breath, I took a mouth full from the cup and swallowed. A burning sensation began immediately down my entire throat and intensified with every second. I struggled hard not to let my discomfort show; no sense in letting Mulder think I couldn't handle the hard stuff.

"Delicious," I declared in as normal a voice as I could muster.

Mulder grinned. "I knew you could do it, Scully."

He pulled our stew out of the fire and set the plates on the braided rug.

"We're not eating at the table?"

"Nah, warmer out here."

We ate in silence, listening as the rain continued to fall outside and the sound of trees shivering under their icy burdens. The storm was letting up and we weren't going anywhere soon.

I realized half way through my cup that the liquor was making me sleepy and pliable. Maybe staying in a ramshackle cabin wasn't so bad after all. The more I drank, the nicer it all seemed. Even Mulder got more attractive, despite his silly outfit.

I watched his mouth as he slowly chewed the stew. A tiny sliver of potato had stuck to his bottom lip and he hadn't noticed yet. I had a terrible urge to lick it off.

Suddenly he was up on his feet. "You know what we need, Scully?"

'A proper bed? A condom?' my mind asked.

"What, Mulder?"

"A game."

"A game?" I was drunker than I thought. Mulder wanted to play games. That could be good.

"Yeah, I thought I saw some inside that closet."

"Inside the closet?" I echoed. Mulder wanted to be kinky our first time?

"Yeah, you know, board games: Monopoly, Sorry, Life. I saw them on the shelf."

Before I could say or do anything, he was running to back of the cabin. I heard him open the closet door and rummage noisily around the interior. Several items crashed to the ground, making him swear.

Then, there was abrupt silence.

"Mulder?" I called when a few seconds had gone by without a sound. I started to worry that he'd gotten hit on the head and knocked out.

I got to my feet, but swayed sideways when I tried to walk. I was drunk. Really drunk.

Working my way carefully toward the back of the cabin, I came upon a strange sight. Mulder was standing with the closet door open, holding a long object.

"Mulder?"

"Look, Scully," he said, motioning me closer, "A toboggan."

I eyed the brown striped object and it gradually came into better focus. Mulder was indeed holding a toboggan. Thin slats of wood had been glued together and curved at one end, making a flat, sled-like surface. A string was attached to the curve and ran along the sides, giving the illusion that one could steer such a contraption.

"Good," I slurred, "we can use it in the fire later if we have to."

"No," he said laughing, "we can use it on the hill outside."

"What? Are you drunk, Mulder?"

"No, but you are."

"Am not," I said petulantly. "Besides, it's too cold to go tobogganing."

"We have coats and boots now, Scully. Remember?"

"Why do you want to go outside?"

"Because we can. The ice will make this go faster than a bullet."

He was starting to sound like an excited 10 year old, and I knew I'd lost him to the notion. He was going outside, with or without me, and was already pulling on the largest coat.

I'd followed him into hell and back. Would it be so hard to follow him down an icy slope?

"Mulder-"

"Here," he said handing me a coat and too-big mittens. I struggled into those as he jammed a fur lined hunter's cap on my head. It was the kind with a low brim and big flaps to cover the ears.

Everything was too big, too bulky and too hard to deal with. I left the coat open, unable to manage the buttons. The hat covered my entire head and most of my eyes.

I must have been quite a sight.

"Hey! Are you in there?"

I nodded, bringing the hat's brim down further over my eyes. He chuckled and started buttoning the coat. I was beginning to feel like a child, and that wasn't at all how I wanted to feel around him.

"Let's go!" he said.

He took my hand and pulled me and the toboggan along with him. Every time I tried to push the cap off my eyes, it slipped right back down, blinding me to everything in front of me. I finally gave up, content to let Mulder drag me to the hill. I concentrated on the area immediately within my sight; the ground.

Ice crunched noisily under our boots as we moved. Each individual blade of grass had been coated with ice along with everything else like a crystalline sculpture. The moon was bright, giving the landscape a brilliant, shiny appearance. The only sound outside was the rain, the shattering of ice under our boots and our heavy breathing.

We smashed over the ice like it wasn't any obstacle at all; Mulder was going tobogganing.

"Here," he declared, setting the sled down.

He positioned us at the edge of hill; just close enough to keep from going over before we were ready. I sat in the front between his legs and grabbed onto the rope. Mulder wrapped his arms around me, a position I normally would have liked had I not been clad in several layers of clothing.

Something about this scenario kept bothering me, and I couldn't think what it was.

"Mulder, isn't there a lake at the bottom of this hill?"

Suddenly I was jerked forward, and I realized he was using his body weight to generate momentum to slowly scoot us forward. Panicked, I shouted at him.

"Mulder!"

"It's frozen by now."

"No, it's not," I insisted, my scientific mind struggling through an alcoholic haze to reconcile the brief temperature fall and the likelihood the water had frozen enough to support our weight.

Just then, I felt my end get lighter and slowly tilt down.

"Mulder, we'll go into the lake!"

Too late, his end went over the edge and we were off like a rocket.

My heart pounded with fear as we flew down the hill. The ice certainly had made it easy to careen over the uneven earth. We hit a bump, and I lost the hunter's cap. Leaving me with a perfect view of our impending death.

"Woohoo!" Mulder shouted with glee.

I was too frightened to make a sound. We were going to die. There was no question about it.

As we neared the bottom, Mulder must have realized I'd been right about the lake.

"Lean to the right, Scully!," he shouted in my ear.

The hands around my waist pressed me in that direction to drive the point home. I did the best I could to comply, but over compensated. We skidded sideways along the frozen ground for a few heart stopping seconds and the...

Wipe out.

The world went topsy-turvy as I was bounced roughly on the ground and then thrown into the air. I had no idea where Mulder or the toboggan were, as I rolled end over end.

Needle sharp ice tore at my coat and hair and freezing shards of ice slapped my face. Pain shot into my left knee when it struck a particularly hard piece of ground. Maybe dying in the lake was better than this.

Mercifully, I finally came to stop. Lying on my back, I could feel rain pattering on my face, but was too stunned to open my eyes.

"Scully," I heard distantly, and then a warm mouth covered mine. Instead of the kiss I was expecting, hot air was blown into my mouth.

I sat up, sputtering and coughing. "I'm not dead, Mulder."

"Sorry," he said sheepishly. "Are you hurt?"

"I've felt better," I said, rubbing my knee.

Looking around, I could see we'd just missed going into the lake by about 2 feet. The toboggan, however, wasn't as lucky. I could see it floating in the water and partially submerged.

I glanced back at Mulder, who looked properly embarrassed.

"Frozen, huh?"

"Well, I'm wrong once in a while."

"Mulder-"

"But it was fun, wasn't it, Scully?" he asked, interrupting me. His face was a study in pure joy and mischief. He was having the time of his life and I was still buzzed enough that I couldn't stay angry.

"So how do we get back up?" I asked standing and looking around. Climbing an ice covered hill was less than appealing.

"I guess we go around."

"Around?"

"I think it there's a gentle rise to right. Should take us right back to the cabin."

"Okay, you lead."

Mulder retrieved my hat and we followed the edge of the lake for more than an hour. Along the way, both of us had to 'use the facilities' and I found crouching over ice covered ground less than a happy experience.

The longer we walked, the more unsettled I became. My knee was starting to throb and that good buzz was all but gone.

"We're lost again, Mulder."

"No, we're not. We're almost there."

"You've been saying that for half an hour now."

"Well, we are."

I was just about to issue a comeback when the cabin appeared in front of us. We'd managed to do a complete semi circle and come out on the other side of it.

"See? Told you so."

Sheer relief kept me from issuing a snappy retort. I never thought I'd be so glad to see that cabin again.

I opened the door and made a beeline for the fireplace. The fire had died down considerably, but I stuck my frozen hands in front of it anyway.

Mulder stoked the dying embers and placed more firewood on it, bringing it quickly to life again. I was so tired I wanted nothing more than to fall into bed. That is, if there were a bed. Looking around, I couldn't see anything that would sleep two people, much less a family of four.

"Mulder, tell me there's a bed upstairs."

"Nope. All I found were sleeping bags."

"Sleeping bags? No cots or fold-away beds?"

"Nope."

"Okay, fine. I'm too tired to care anyway."

Without waiting to be asked, Mulder climbed the stairs and retrieved the canvas bags. There were the old fashioned kind; flannel on the inside and canvas on the outside. They didn't look terribly comfortable or warm, but they were better than nothing.

"We could test out my theory on sleeping bags, Scully."

"Don't push your luck, Mulder."

I didn't bother to do anything other than pull my boots off before crawling into the bag. Mulder had laid mine next to the fire, so I would be warm. He must have been feeling truly guilty, to be so uncharacteristically considerate. He settled into the bag next to mine and turned away.

I was almost asleep when I remembered our circumstances. Never go to sleep angry, my mother used to say.

"Good night, John Boy," I called softly.

"Good night, Scully."

Later I woke with a start, not knowing where I was for a moment. As much as I had traveled and as many odd places I'd slept in, this part never went away. I'd come to believe, it had to do with being abducted and my brief time frozen inside a green, goofilled chamber.

I looked over at Mulder who was sound asleep, seemingly oblivious to my discomfort. I envied him.

He was sprawled on his back, the top of the sleeping bag pushed down to his waist. Sometime during the night he'd unbuttoned the constricting shirt baring his chest. I reached over to pull the cover back up and smoothed an errant piece of hair off his forehead.

A sweetly innocent face shouldn't belong to a man such as this. We'd both been through far too much to be innocents anymore. Yet, he managed to look like it now, relaxed in sleep, he appeared years younger.

Out of nowhere came the urge to kiss him. I blinked several times to clear my head, but the urge remained. I'd fought that urge on more occasions than I'd care to admit, even to myself. Would the world end if I gave into it now?

Leaning forward, I decided to find out. Like the toboggan ride, if I thought about it for too long, I'd never do it.

His mouth was warm and wonderfully soft under mine. I was thinking how nice the kiss was, when he evidently woke and pulled away from me.

"Scully?" he asked sleepily.

"Just kiss me, Mulder."

Needing no further encouragement, half asleep or not, he put his arms around me and returned my kiss with the same enthusiasm he brought to every task. Kissing Mulder when he was awake to help was better still.

For long moments, we did nothing but enjoy the textures of each other's mouths. He slid his hands up and down my back before reaching around the front. He hesitated for a moment, as if asking for permission.

"Touch me, Mulder."

"Too many clothes," he answered.

I sat up to remove my plaid shirt and bra. Mulder reached out and tenderly caressed me with the palms of his hands. My nipples hardened beneath this sweet touch and I arched my back to increase the contact.

To my delighted surprise, he put his mouth where his hands had been and sucked gently on one nipple and then the other. I encouraged him with murmurs and sighs, loving the warm intimacy I was sharing with this man.

He kissed a path down my stomach until he encountered the waist of my jeans.

"Off," he said, undoing the buttons with nimble fingers. No mistaking now that he was awake and fully in charge of the operation.

I stood to shed my jeans and underwear, suddenly a little shy. He hadn't seen my nude body since Antarctica, and that had been under grotesque conditions. I was about to say we should call it off when he whispered, "You're beautiful, Scully. So beautiful."

One moment he'd been staring at the juncture of my thighs and the next he had his face buried there. I held onto his head as his tongue delved deep, probing to find that particular bundle of nerves. When he found it, I yelled my pleasure up to the slanted roof and it echoed back at me.

If I'd thought Mulder was good with his hands, he used his tongue like a master artist. All too soon, I was close to coming but I wanted him inside of me for that.

I pushed him away and said, "Your turn."

His shirt was already unbuttoned as were his jeans making undressing a simple task. I'd nearly forgotten the borrowed clothes had been too snug on his superb body.

Kissing him with passion, I pushed the shirt off and made him stand to shed his jeans. His erection bobbed in front of my face as I tugged the jean legs off him. Returning the favor, I took him into my mouth and sucked gently on the head. In response, Mulder made a gurgling noise deep in his throat.

"Good?" I asked, pulling away.

"Mrumph," was the only answer I received.

Taking that as an affirmative, I returned to my task with great relish, making Mulder babble more unintelligible words.

All too soon, he gently pushed me away and kneeled down in front of me, cradling my face in his hands.

I looked up into dark, fathomless eyes. "Need you, Scully," he said, laying me on my back. "Need you so much."

He positioned himself between my legs and held my eyes with his as he penetrated me. A slow burn began to build as he eased himself inside of me. I felt wonderfully full when he was finally all the way in. I wrapped my legs around his waist and kissed him lovingly.

"Have to move," he murmured.

I nodded as he began to thrust slowly, making sure I was used to the alien invasion of his body. When I threw my head back and moaned, he lost all control and slammed into me with abandon.

All too soon I was coming, calling his name over and over like a prayer. He followed soon afterward, calling mine.

He collapsed on top of me in sweaty heap, but I didn't mind his weight at all. I caressed his back and crooned nonsense into his ear.

"Love you, Scully," he murmured into my neck. "Love you so much."

"I love you, Mulder," I whispered in return. "I love you too."

When I woke again, it was to bright sunshine flooding in through the gingham checked windows. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and looked at my watch.

Nine forty five! It was nine forty five in the morning!

"Mulder," I said shaking him, "get up."

He was on his stomach and barely twitched when he heard my voice. I was throwing the sleeping bag off and trying desperately to get into my work clothes.

"MULDER!"

He finally rolled over and sat up, looking bewildered. "Scully, what-"

"It's late, Mulder, we have to go."

Forgetting that he was in the buff, he threw his side of the sleeping blanket off and stood up. I stopped dressing for just a moment to admire the view.

Finally awake, Mulder smiled wickedly and sauntered over. "Mornin' honey," he said with a teasing voice. He bent to nuzzle my neck and it was nearly my undoing.

With an effort I pushed him away and continued to dress. "It's late. We have a one o'clock flight in Chicago. Even if we leave now, it'll take at least 2 hours to get there."

"We'll take a later flight," he said, reaching for me again.

"There isn't one, remember? Kersh expects us back tonight."

Sanity evidently overcoming hormones, Mulder turned and put his work clothes on too.

I scurried around the cabin putting dirty dishes in the kitchen, folding sleeping bags, and tossing the used clothing on top. I felt guilty that we hadn't really cleaned up, not to mention the toboggan we'd submerged in the lake.

"Maybe we should leave a note," I said chewing my bottom lip.

"I think they'll be able to figure out what happened. We'll leave a tip."

I still wasn't convinced. "Maybe-"

"Hey, Scully," he said, gently stilling my movements. He turned my face toward his and I looked into his gentle eyes. Butterflies beat against my stomach in response to the tenderness I saw there. God, I loved this man.

He bent to kiss me, and for several moments I ignored the chaos we'd created. Mulder, I'd found, was a great kisser. Note to self; explore this newfound talent in the future.

With reluctance, I finally broke away and picked up my overnight case. "We need to go."

I opened the door and lead Mulder out into the cool morning. The rain had stopped and a brilliant blue sky was waiting to greet us. Stepping outside behind me, Mulder closed and locked the door. I was sad to leave the cabin; the scene of our 'consummation'.

The grass was chilly and wet as we began walking, but the ice was beginning to melt. Weeds pulled at our pants and stuck to the bottom of my shoes as I sunk into the soft earth.

Neither of us said anything as we hiked through the undergrowth; each of us lost in our own thoughts. We'd have to talk about it eventually, but not, I resolved, before I'd had a shot of caffeine.

It suddenly occurred to me that the old man had said we could pay him in the morning. I opened my overnight case to search for a secret stash of money I kept in there. We didn't have the time for him to run our credit cards for approval.

I was so busy shuffling through the bag that I failed to notice Mulder had stopped dead in his tracks. I ran headlong into his back.

"Mulder what-"

Looking up, I could see what he was staring at, and my blood ran cold.

The Bluebird Motor Court was nothing more than a shiny skeleton in the morning light. The roof over the neat little rooms was caved in and the metal awnings were long gone.

Weeds surrounded the buildings and had overrun the parking lot. Our Bureau car was parked in the same spot; stopped in front of a broken down concrete barrier.

The neon sign that had lured us there now held nothing but broken remnants of the once bright glass tubes. The paint had faded to a dull gray, and I could barely read the letters.

Worst of all was the office. Sometime in the past it had caught fire and burned until only the walls were left standing.

I watched as Mulder fished in his pocket for the set of keys the old man had given him. They were matted with rust and completely unusable.

This is not possible, my mind screamed. This is not-.

Sensing my panic, Mulder said, "Scully, let's just get in the car and leave."

"But, Mulder."

"Now, Scully."

He put his hand on the small of my back and propelled me forward, causing me to stumble a little. All the way to the car, I stared at the abandoned structure, disbelieving my eyes.

Mulder opened the car and threw our cases into the backseat. I barely had my seatbelt buckled before he had the engine started and thrown into reverse. Shoving the gear into drive, he drove away faster than I'd seen him drive since we'd been in Dallas.

Looking back, I saw movement near the back corner of the ruined office. A man dressed in blue jeans with a red and black flannel shirt slipped around the corner and out of sight.

"Drive faster, Mulder."


End

extra thanks to Ellie and Gadd1960


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