A QUESTION OF CHOICE
by Char Chaffin
Disclaimer: Clones on Loan
Spoilers: Season Seven, set during and after "All Things"
Author's Note: It occurred to me that in many "All Things" posteps, we see Scully awakening that night, making that first-time love with Mulder, then sometimes staying and other times leaving. I wanted to explore her mindset, and the fight I think she must have had within herself once the reality of loving Mulder really did set in. I wanted her to make a choice.
This story was started as a DP penance fic, and finished as a result of threats against my person, if I didn't finish it. <g> Thanks a lot, youse guys (they know who they are!)
Summary: 'My choice. Not Dana Scully's, not exactly...'
"A Question of Choice"
I never asked him if he wanted this. I never considered he might not. It never crossed my mind.
I didn't broach the subject over lunch, or dinner; didn't put out feelers, didn't try and read him, the way I know he has been able to read me. I didn't fidget in his presence, respond to his verbal (and usual) innuendo; I didn't trick him. I didn't exactly force him...
But neither did I give him a choice.
I simply walked into his bedroom, late at night when it was almost too dark to see much in his bed other than the blurred outline of him, long and lanky under the blankets. I stood at the window and stared out into the clouds that swirled in the windy sky, obscuring the moon. Thanks to a softly dim night light in the bathroom, I could see the reflection of his bed in the glass, a dark shape behind me. I could hear his even breathing, could smell the scent of him, here in his room. I turned away from the window, kicking off my shoes, my fingers making their way to my blazer. I unbuttoned, and I unzipped. I unclasped and I unsnapped... until every bit of cotton, wool and silk had left my body and I was clothed only in my own skin and a few nervous goose bumps.
I walked on silent feet to the edge of the bed; the trek of perhaps five feet had never felt more like miles, than at that moment. As my eyes adjusted better to the darkness, I saw the thatch of dark and unruly hair on the white pillow, the tanned length of arm flung over his head. I could almost see the crescent of lashes that lay high on his cheek, knew they caressed subtle smudges of exhaustion, under his eyes. If I reached out a hand, I'd feel the roughness of a day or more growth of beard on his jaw, not exactly soft and not quite bristly.
A feast for me, laid out in that warm bed. A man I knew I adored, knew I wanted above all others... and completely unaware that I stood over him, drinking him in like life-giving water from a desert oasis.
My oasis... and I needed that long, deep drink.
I never said a word. I never made one single sound... I merely pulled back the covers and slipped in, next to him, my body coming up against his side and my legs sliding along his hair-roughened thigh. He murmured a little, stretched a bit, and I took advantage of the momentary movement and let myself snuggle closer. When his face turned toward me, eyes still closed, breathing still even... I touched my lips to his cheek, the corner of his mouth; finally, his lips.
It was the first time in my life I had kissed a sleeping man.
I let my mouth move over his, knowing I wasn't really being fair; not caring whether or not I was. This time it was all for me. I know it sounded selfish, but I could no more stop myself, than fly out the window into the wind. I kissed him, not knowing for sure if he wanted it, or would have accepted me under normal circumstances. I took full advantage of an unconscious man. In that instant, feeling his lips warm and soft under mine, I knew I'd do the same thing, over and over again. I wouldn't change my approach.
When he sighed against my mouth, opened his lips, kissed me back, wound those long arms around me, pulled my bare body closer, moving on his side to accommodate a full press of skin... somehow I wasn't a bit surprised at the rough whisper that came from him, that echoed into my throat.
"What took you so long, Scully?"
I pulled my mouth from his, smothered an embarrassed huff into his neck. Damn him. He'd known all along. How, I'll never know, because I could have sworn he'd been in total REM zone. But he knew.
"How'd you..." I couldn't finish the sentence, and besides, my face was still buried in his neck.
I felt his fingers drift over my back, up and down soothingly, before he replied, "I just knew. Maybe because I wanted it so badly. I've always wanted it, Scully... but it had to be your decision. Your choice. All this time, I've been hoping you were ready to open and accept. Not just me as your friend, someone you love - but me as the man you're in love with. There's a big difference. I could have waited forever, but I'm really glad I didn't have to."
"I'm not giving you much of an opportunity to figure out if this is what you truly want, Mulder -"
His interruption was gentle and loving, as he maneuvered me beneath him. "Of course I want it. I just told you I did. I love the way you took charge, coming in here, taking all your clothes off in such a determined manner. Oh, yeah," he chuckled at my gasp of dismay, "I saw the whole thing. You knocked me over, Scully. It was all I could do to lie here and wait for you."
He didn't even try to dodge the fist I pounded on his shoulder. "Mulder, you -"
I never got a chance to finish my indignant protest, because I was being kissed, hard and deep and with so much passion my very skin was dissolving. Those full lips of his had been born with the ability to press and caress, nibble and plunder... and I was reaping it all. His tongue was so hot, his mouth so ardent. His kiss was beyond amazing... and I had never in my life been kissed with so much intensity, so much desire, such passion.
In that moment I was very, very glad I hadn't given either of us a choice, to perhaps retreat. In the next minutes, hours, as he'd touch me in all my most needy places; as he'd let those talented lips of his slide down, over my aching flesh, I knew I would refuse to feel one more instant of worry... that I'd taken the decision from him. How could I have gone this many years without knowing what Mulder's love would feel like, would do to me?
How much time I'd wasted. And how sure I was, that from this moment on, I'd never waste another chance to slip into his bed, press up against his hard, warm body... reap the amazing benefits of his unconditional love.
Then what small amount of brain I had remaining simply shut down, as Mulder curved his hands under my shoulder blades and pulled me up and into his chest; as the feel of his skin against mine drove sanity and reason out the door... as he prepared to exercise his own choices, his own advantage.
All I could do was grip his shoulders, and pray this night would never end.
Somewhere in the midst of the loving, I managed to remember that I'd had previous lovers, that I knew what sex was about, what intimacy involved. I'd felt excitement in the arms of other men, had given and in turn received pleasure. A small section of my memory retained this.
A very small section.
The rest of me was learning anew, the feel of a man when he's aroused and his body craves only my touch. The way his hands would tremble slightly, as if unable to control the flex of his fingers. The taste of the damp skin behind his ear, the flavor of each drugging kiss. If I thought I'd experienced it all before, well... I was wrong. I'd never experienced Fox Mulder.
As we lay in his bed in the dark warm room, it was as if I'd never had a lover before. My heart was pounding, my breathing raced through my lungs and there was such a mad fluttering in my stomach, a thousand butterflies strong. My palms stroked over Mulder's smooth flesh; when he returned the favor with those trembling fingers of his, I just wanted to purr. No man had ever made me want to purr...
"God, Scully. You feel like heaven." That was his voice in my ear, raspy honey tones made unsteady by emotion, by the identical want I shared. That same emotion had rendered me just about speechless. Perhaps I could have forced actual syllables out of my mouth but they would have had to battle for dominance over the need to purr and the way my mouth was being thoroughly engaged by long, wet, delicious kisses. Over and along my teeth, that ardent tongue drove me slowly mad. I kept imagining it in other places, darker, more hidden places. Just the imagery alone had me whimpering.
Outside the wind had died down, blowing enough clouds from the moon so that it shone suddenly in the bedroom and falling across our bodies, twisted amongst the sheets and blankets. The silver glow washed glints into Mulder's eyes as he raised his head and released my mouth. I'd never seen such intensity in his stare, as if he was seeing me for the very first time. Perhaps he was, for this Dana Scully who lay in the sheets of his bed with her bare limbs twined alongside his... well, she was someone I had yet to acquaint myself with. This woman had been confident enough to step uninvited into her partner's most private sanctum; had been bold enough to strip down to her skin and climb into his bed. This woman wouldn't take 'no' for an answer... I knew it. He knew it.
I looked up into his beautiful face and I had to touch his cheeks, curve my palm around his jaw; had to nibble at his chin, trail a hungry tongue over his neck, had to taste each small, flat nipple, had to make him groan.
Would make him shout aloud, before this night was over.
But first, I wanted to tell him things; words formulated in the moonlight and left as shadowed as possible. I was a bolder woman, but still the same Dana that had always found intimacy to be somewhat difficult. I was getting better, but I knew I wasn't there, not quite yet. Maybe by the time this night was over, I'd have arrived, and quite happily.
But for now...
"Mulder, I need to tell you -" And my voice dried right up, for even as I spoke, his lips had found a breast and the feel of those lips rendered me mute. I think I managed one puny squeak, before my vocal abilities shut down. I threaded my fingers through his hair and as before, managed to hang on for the ride. That talented mouth of his... in one mad flash of coherency I declared myself the luckiest woman on earth, because I at last knew what those full lips of his were capable of doing to me.
Well, I had often considered words to be superfluous and unnecessary...
Against my skin he murmured, "Shhh. No talking, not yet. Nothing but feeling, Scully. Nothing but that." He slid damp lips up to my neck, over my cheek, homing in on my mouth, silencing me in the best way. I pressed myself close, wrapped myself around him and let my words become deeds...
It was still dark and windy when I left his bed. I could have stayed all night, stayed there in that warm cocoon of cotton and wool and smooth, male skin. Certainly I was exhausted enough. Definitely, I was in love, enough. By then I was so far over my head, so deep. I didn't want to leave, ever. So, what did I do?
Maybe, somewhere deep inside, that old Dana Scully still lurked, the one who wouldn't take romantic chances; who would never open herself up that way. Perhaps that Dana was the one who awoke in the arms of her partner, now her lover... and absolutely panicked. That was the Dana who made the no doubt unwise choice to slip from Mulder's arms, pad to the bathroom on cold, bare feet, and re-dress in her office clothes; who gave one last, lingering glance to the tousle-haired man who slept on through what was left of the night. The one who collected her bag and her purse, who let herself quietly out of the silent apartment, who rode the elevator down to the lobby and left the building.
Who started the car with less than steady fingers... because it was all coming back to me, as I sat there and listened to the engine turn over. I may as well have been listening to my heart turn over in my chest, because its pounding was suddenly just as loud.
I'd just spent the most incredible hours in Mulder's arms, in his bed. Like a slideshow the images flashed across my eyes, blinding me to the spatters of rain on the windshield and the blast of cold air from the air vents. I sat there in the driver's seat in front of his apartment building and saw nothing but those last four hours. Felt nothing but Mulder, flesh and bone, lips and hands, the weight of him on my body, the thick good of him within me... the tender passion and comfort of afterward. Heard nothing but the sound of his voice in my ear, the way he groaned; the way my name erupted from his throat when he came.
And I thought to myself: what in HELL was I doing outside in my cold car, in the early morning wind and rain, when there was a man who adored me, asleep in his warm bed and hopefully dreaming of me? I must have been crazy.
Or else that other Dana still had too tight a hold on the newer, improved model.
But not for long... because I was shutting the engine off. I was unfastening my seatbelt and opening the car door; I was slamming it behind me as I ran up the sidewalk and wrenched open the front door of Mulder's apartment building. As I strode to the elevator; as I darted inside and punched the button and stood there shaking with impatience, as it lumbered up to the fourth floor. I was making a choice.
My choice. Not Dana Scully's, not exactly. A different Scully. A braver Scully.
Each step I took toward his door gave me another flash of four hours ago. I let it all wash over me, so willingly...
When his hands touched the core of me, when those clever fingers parted my flesh and found me wet and so very needy.
When his lips followed his hands and touched down over me, each quivering rib and every inch of fluttery stomach; when those same fingers, now damp with my own excitement, slipped beneath my hips and lifted me into that generous tongue.
When his eager caresses stopped too short of completion and he rewarded my moan of frustration with the long, full shot of him, hard and hot and pulsing.
When each stroke forced my emotions higher and higher, when every thrust broke the stars right out of the sky and exploded them against my dazzled eyes, as I locked them into his and absorbed the relentless desire aimed straight at me.
When he swelled, tightened, clutched me tighter than tight; when in the frenzy of my own climax I still heard the love in the honey sandpaper of his voice, calling my name as his release took him over.
When as we quieted, eased, and relaxed in each other's arms, I refused to let him move away, preferring to fall asleep with him still deeply inside me... even as somehow I knew that other Dana would only remain for a little while.
I reached Mulder's door and unlocked it with fingers gone steady and sure. I walked to his bedroom in the dark, not needing the nowabsent moon to light my way. I shed my jacket, my skirt, my shoes... my lingering inhibitions. I shed Dana Scully when I crossed the threshold into his bedroom and I walked back to his arms and back into the only world I'd ever need.
As I slipped into bed and snuggled close, he sighed sleepily and curled his body around mine, mumbling into my ear, "You're gonna tell me why you left, baby... tomorrow."
I managed a very drowsy, "Of course, Mulder. Tomorrow. I'll tell you all kinds of things, tomorrow."
As I rested against him, my legs snared between his and my heart as fully caught and engaged, by my partner and my lover, my best friend... I fell asleep knowing and accepting my new future as nothing more complicated than a question of choice.
How glad I was that I'd made the right one.
I hope you enjoyed yet another foray into "All Things"!
I love hearing from you; email me sometime! email@example.com
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