Welcome Home

by ML

Date: January 3, 2004
Title: Welcome Home
Author: ML
Email: msnsc21@aol.com
Distribution: Do you really want this? Oh, okay! <g> Just let me know where...
Spoilers: Paper Clip
Rating: PG-13
Classification: Vignette
Keywords: Elevator fic, fluff
Summary: Missing scene from Paper Clip

Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, they belong to Chris Carter, TenThirteen, and Fox Broadcasting. I mean no infringement, and I'm making no money.

Welcome Home
by ML

Scully felt broadsided by the intensity of her feelings as they left Mulder's apartment and walked toward the elevator. Her heart rate was highly elevated; she was shaking. Intellectually she knew that she was coming down from the adrenaline high of the past half hour. Only moments ago she'd been pointing a gun at her boss. Only moments ago she discovered that Mulder still lived, just as she'd told his mother so confidently. Everything had happened so fast.

He looked just as he had when he appeared in her dream. Did he know what his disappearance had done to her? She'd caught her breath, but she was still trembling inside.

"Mulder," she began, not sure what she meant to say until she saw Mulder's expression. There was a yearning in his eyes to hear her words. She'd never been more certain. But as she watched, the yearning turned to regret and Mulder cut her off. With a 180-degree change in topic that surprised even her, she blurted out her encounter at his father's funeral.

That surprised him. He asked, "How did you know I was still alive?"

She gave him a long look, telling him with her eyes the things he wouldn't let her say out loud.

"I just knew," she said, and walked into the elevator in front of him.

Oddly, he didn't push the floor button right away. They stood in the usual elevator stance, side by side, facing the doors.

Not looking at him, Scully said very quietly, "I'm glad you're here."

Mulder nodded. She could see his distorted reflection in the stainless steel door. "Me too," he said. "Now I know how you must have felt when you woke up in the hospital after you came back."

"I think maybe I know how you felt, too," she said in the same quiet voice.

"Do you?" he asked. He shifted position a little. She couldn't make out his expression in the reflection, but it looked like he was reaching out his hand to her. "Why don't you tell me?"

She shook her head a little. "I didn't think you wanted to hear."

Mulder smiled. "Certainly not with Skinner just down the hall. Some things just aren't meant to be overheard." He stepped toward her. "Tell me now?" he asked.

That same yearning look was in his eyes as before. He leaned into her, looming above her.

She'd missed this so much. She hadn't realized how much until just now. "A redwood among mere sprouts," Frohike had said. He had no idea.

Instead of saying another word, she put her hand on his arm, raised herself onto the balls of her feet, and brushed her lips against his.

She felt his start of surprise but an instant after, his hand cupped the back of her head as he leaned further into her, pressing firmly back against her mouth. She tasted salt and coffee. She parted her lips a bit to allow her tongue to taste him further. His lips were dry and slightly chapped, but just inside he was soft and moist. She felt his tongue glide alongside hers and venture further, mimicking her exploration of his mouth.

Her whole body was pressed against his now. She could feel his heart beating in time with hers. She savored the feel of his arms around her, the feel of being crushed against him, at home in his embrace. His mouth had left hers and was touching down on her eyelids, her cheeks, her temples, down one side of her jaw and up the other, curling his tongue around the edge of her ear.

"So long," he murmured. "So long I've wanted to do this."

"Me too," she assured him. "Me too." She was beyond rational thought. She pushed it away. This was their time. The rest of the world would have to wait a bit longer.

The elevator started with a groan and a jerk, throwing them back into reality as it began its shuddering journey down.

Reluctantly, they let go of each other. Mulder brushed Scully's hair back tenderly, his eyes still shining. They assumed the elevator stance once again just as the doors opened to the ground floor.

"Where to now?" Scully asked.

Without a word, Mulder pulled her into the stairwell. He cupped her face in his hands and gave her a deep, lingering kiss.

Scully looked up at him with a half-smile. "This is where we were heading?"

He smiled just a little. "Not exactly. Just wanted to give you an I.O.U. We'll take this up later, okay? I promise."

She took his hand briefly. "I'll hold you to that," she said.

"And a lot more, I hope," Mulder replied with a wicked gleam in his eyes.


author's notes: well, we know how long it took Mulder to make good on that promise! This is just a tiny scenelet that suggested itself after seeing "Paper Clip" the other day. I've always disliked the fact that Mulder cut Scully off the way he did, and this is my solution to that little scene. I hope you enjoyed it.

feedback welcomed: msnsc21@aol.com

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