I just watched "All Things" and was hit with inspiration. Song for this chapter is "When You Need Somebody" by Lux Lisbon.


Dana Scully woke up to the neon glow of a fish tank. It took her a moment to realize it was Mulder's fish tank. She groggily sat up, rubbing her eyes and looking around the dark room. In the shadows and the glow of the fish tank, she recognized his apartment. But she didn't see him.

She stood up and felt the blanket slip down to the floor. She didn't remember that blanket. Had Mulder laid it on top of her when she fell asleep? When did she fall asleep, anyway? She bent down, picked up the blanket and held it to her chest in a messy lump and she made her walk towards the kitchen, trying to glimpse the microwave clock. But instead, she saw a light on down the hall and turned to walk towards it. She wasn't sure which room it was, but as she got closer, she saw it was Mulder's bedroom. She kind of forgot he had one, to be honest. All she really knew was his leather couch, ridiculously messy desk and fish tank.

As she got closer, she squinted and her eyes adjusted to the light. Mulder was sitting atop his unmade bed, glasses on, reading a book. The way he sat struck her as odd - he was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed, slightly hunched over his book. All that was missing was a flashlight and a blanket tented over his head and he would be a 10 year old boy reading under the covers, not ready to go to bed yet.

"Mulder, what time is it?," she asked softly. He looked up, slightly startled. Her stocking feet on the carpet had been very quiet and he'd been engrossed in his book. He turned to glance at his alarm clock.

"10 pm," he said, setting his book down and sliding off the bed to stand in front of her.

"How long was I out?," she asked, rubbing her eyes with her free hand. The blanket was still bunched up in the other. He took it from her gently and tossed it on his bed.

"Uhhh, maybe a few hours?," he guessed. He put a hand on her shoulder. "Scully, are you alright? Have you slept much lately?"

"No, I haven't," she said with a sigh, running a hand through her hair and looking around the room. "Sorry - you should've woken me up."

"No no, its okay," he murmured, attempting to make direct eye contact with her. "Scully, look at me."

She flicked her eyes up to his and held his gaze.

"Are you - do you need anything?," he fumbled. He was concerned, an emotion he wasn't great at expressing. She took a deep breath.

"I don't know, Mulder. I feel like… like everything I thought I knew has been destroyed by all the things I don't. I'm…"

She felt herself wobble and he reached out to steady her.

"Whoa, Scully, are you okay?"

She pursed her lips and looked up at him. "I… I don't…"

Dana Scully felt the last few days finally take their toll on her. It was like her soul and her body finally caught up to each other. The years between the last time she saw Daniel and today suddenly came crashing down around her. She felt empty and sad and Mulder's eyes were warm and loving and open. They were the fireplace on a snowy day, her hot bath tub at the end of a stressful day, the comfort that helped heal her aches and bruises. That warmth traveled straight to her bones and she felt like she had been zapped with an electric current.

"Scully," Mulder said. The warmth dulled and she saw a flicker of fear. She shook her head slightly and snapped out of her reverie.

"Mulder," she whispered, reaching for his face. She launched forward on her heels and kissed him, taking in the softness of his lips and wrapping her fingers up in his short hair. He kissed back urgently, wrapping his arms around her waist. They kissed until they ran out of air and she pulled back, panting slightly and felt it. She felt everything slide back into real time.

"That was…," he trailed off, staring into space. She frowned and took a step back.

"I'm sorry, that was… I shouldn't have," she said hurriedly, trying to exit the room. He caught her by the end and drew her back to him.

"No, you should have. I should have kissed you first," he whispered. "It's been weeks since I kissed you in that stupid hospital and I shouldn't have… shouldn't have waited this long."

She was speechless. He kissed her again and she melted into his arms like chocolate. They kissed until they ran out of air yet again and when they did, Scully took the opportunity to shed her jacket before taking his face in her hands again. She didn't know where this hunger came from, but it must have been the same source that caused her to chase a blonde woman around until she finally caught up to her and found it wasn't a phantom woman, but Mulder in his silly Stonehenge baseball cap. With those sweet, puppy dog eyes of his.

"Wait," Mulder whispered against her lips. "Do you… I don't want to do this just because…"

"Mulder," she whispered, drawing back to make eye contact with him. "This is not because of that." She couldn't say Daniel's name when she was kissing Mulder in his bedroom.

"This is because I've been running for too long," she said softly, caressing his earlobe. "Someone told me recently that I need to slow down."