Part II – Scully

She feels herself being pulled from deep sleep, and resists it with all her might, wanting to prolong the embrace of darkness just for a little while. She will give everything to bask in the warmth of her bed, in this certain heat she has grown unaccustomed to, of another body in close proximity. If she's being honest, she's also a little scared to open her eyes and face the new day, the consequences it is bound to bring. Yes, she has made the choice the previous night, has instigated the whole thing even, and gosh, she doesn't regret it for a second. But that doesn't mean she isn't scared shitless of its repercussions.

She lied to him on the phone. She was effing terrified.

She was on the verge of falling apart after he'd left. It felt good to be held and comforted by him, and the moment he was gone, it was as if someone pulled the ground beneath her feet. His absence left her shaken. She felt this loss much more acutely than her failed attempt at motherhood, but it didn't quite register with her, focused as she was on self-pity. In an attempt to pull herself together she strode into her kitchen and poured herself a generous glass of red wine. She took the glass to the bathroom and slowly sipped it as she soaked in a bath. She was also trying a breathing technique Melissa had taught her years ago, one which focused on exhaling away the pain. Back then she had found it absurd. Now it actually seemed to work. She was beginning to feel calmer to the point of near numbness, sorrow and emptiness all reducing to a dull ache at the back of her mind. Afterwards, her body still buzzing from the alcohol and warm water, she lied wide awake in her bed, unable to fall asleep, and so she called him on a whim.

She couldn't entirely blame the wine for their conversation, for initiating the next step in what she'd considered the longest foreplay in existence, but it sure had its share. It loosened her tongue, let out confessions she had kept bottled in for longer than she cared to remember. She spoke with gallantry she didn't necessarily feel, and yet her confidence increased with every word that left her lips. And the fact that he remained a hesitant gentleman throughout her rather blatant advances made her want him all the more.

Nonetheless, as soon as they hung up, and she suddenly realized he was about twenty minutes away, which meant they were about twenty minutes away from the most major crossroad in their partnership as of yet, courage quickly shifted into cold feet. She shot out of bed and straightened the bedspread, then felt ridiculous for doing so. She began to pace nervously around her bedroom. She opened the blinds, then closed them, then opened them again, but only halfway. A whirlwind of questions assaulted her senses. Should she change? Wear makeup? Touch up her hair? She quickly discarded her shapeless pajamas, but didn't go beyond a dark blue silk robe which she wrapped around her nakedness in a haste. What was she expecting to happen, really? That she would let him in and they'd fall into a passionate embrace before he carried her bridal style to her bedroom? Those things only happened in rom-coms, didn't they?

She was relying on that twenty minute drive from his place to hers, timed herself according to it, so when a soft knock came on her door sooner than she'd expected, she was startled. Somehow he'd made it in ten minutes. She tightened the knot of her robe around her waist, suddenly feeling horribly exposed. Well, clearly it was too late to fret about what to wear. She felt ludicrous by this panic that was consuming her. This was Mulder, she just saw him two hours ago. But things were different two hours ago; words had been said since then, secrets had been shared. For all her previous valor, she didn't know if she was able to face him now. There was a huge difference between confessions made under the cover of darkness to the man she'd been in love with for as long as she could remember, and standing face to face with that man, without the darkness to shield her. She was overpowered by second thoughts. She shouldn't have done it, shouldn't have asked him to come over. This was a colossal mistake.

He looked as flustered as she felt as she tore the door open against her better judgment. His eyes were slightly blood-shut as if he had been crying. He smiled faintly, probably in reaction to her wide-eyed expression. "I never drove this fast in my entire life," he explained sheepishly.

She knew she was supposed to crack a smile, at the very least; it sure would have lightened up the atmosphere. However, her attention was diverted by her intent search of his eyes as he took her in. As her distress increased, her confidence plummeted even further. Would he think her wanton for opening the door to him looking like this? Would he consider the way she was practically throwing herself at his feet in her moment of sorrow a cheap ploy? She should have just kept her pajamas on, she frantically berated herself. As if this wasn't enough of a mess.

Seeing that she wasn't making an effort to close the door, he did it himself, then turned to face her again. Without the light coming from the hallway, they were wrapped in darkness again. She hadn't gotten a chance to click on a lamp in her rush to get the door. He ran a hand through his hair, hesitation written in his stance. She wondered if he'd found her speechlessness discouraging. She figured he must have, because the next moment he cleared his throat and looked down at her somberly. "Scully, I... I'm here because you asked me to. I know you said you're sure, but if you changed your mind... I won't take offense. I sure won't hold it against you. You just say the word, and we'll go back to work tomorrow as if nothing's happened."

But they both had already said words that couldn't be unsaid. And holding his gaze, she knew that he knew this, that he was putting on a good act for her sake. She loved him all the more for that. Nonetheless, even if she wanted to, she couldn't back away now. They were in too deep. The decision had already been made. For all her misgivings, there was no turning back.

And so she stepped forward and put her finger on his lips to stop his rambling. She didn't remove it until he nodded, getting the hint. He placed a hand on her waist, the heat of his palm instantly soaking through the thin fabric. The slight touch was enough to make her head spin. His other hand he brought to her face, gently tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear. His fingers were visibly shaking as he moved to cradle her cheek. She leaned her face into his touch, looking up at him expectantly. "Don't be afraid," he murmured as if he'd seen right through her feigned bravery; to her it sounded like an attempt to allay his own fear, as well.

"Mulder," she murmured in reply, snaking an arm around his neck to pull his face closer. "Just kiss me already."

He chuckled a little; she could feel it against her face as he leaned even closer. Their lips touched briefly, experimentally; it was as if an electric current had passed between them. They pulled away in breathless shock. Glimpsing at his stunned face, she could tell he also felt its intensity. But instead of being a smartass about it like she'd suspected he might, he let go of her face. His fingers fluttered instead along the back of her neck, tickling her heated skin as it fumbled with the collar of her robe.

"What are you doing?" she asked through hooded eyelids, her query a mix of confusion and desire. She just wanted him to kiss her again, and never ever stop.

"Checking for bees," he replied seriously, but with a humorous glint in his eyes.

She let out a sound that was half a smirk, half an impatient huff, before grabbing the front of his jacket to pull him towards her. This time it was more than a simple current. Fireworks, an earthquake, a raging storm; and yet none powerful enough to describe it. Their lips collided and their tongues battled as they shared a kiss after intensifying kiss. As they delved deeper into each kiss they grew emboldened, feeding off each other's fervor. She let her mind empty of anything other than sensation. They only broke apart when the need for air became unbearable. They stared at one another, breathing hard. Neither of them said another word. Their eyes locked with mutual intent, as if agreeing to let their bodies do the talking from now on.

And now, in spite of her resistance, the darkness is no longer. She can feel daylight dancing behind her still shut eyelids, coming through the blinds she has left partly open the night before. There's nowhere to hide. Realizing there's no getting away with it, she slowly opens her eyes. His hazel eyes are the first thing she sees as he lies there watching her. They're lying on their sides, facing one another. He smiles when their eyes meet, this dreamy, boyish smile she's never seen on him. "Hi," she whispers timidly.

"Hi," he replies, his smile widening ever so slightly.

She stretches languidly, letting out a contented hum. "What time is it?"

"Still early," he tells her without taking his eyes off her. His expression is wondrous.

"And why are you staring at me?" she scoffs, feeling self-conscious.

"Because I can," he replies a little smugly, somehow evading the gentle kick she aims towards his shin under the covers. "Also, just in case I wake up soon and realize it's all been another dream, I want to hold on to it for as long as I possibly can." He speaks in earnest, and his expression is pensive; she's shocked to realize he actually fears the possibility. She's itching to know what he means by another dream, but he looks so shy as he says it that she decides to spare him the embarrassment of questioning his statement.

"You never cease to amaze me, Mulder. You'll believe just about anything when it comes to extraterrestrials and global conspiracies, but not this."

"Because believing in flying saucers and little green men sometimes seemed to me far more plausible than this ever happening," he confesses somewhat sheepishly as he reaches out to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, much like he's done the other night. "I've wanted this for a very long time."

Her heart skips a beat at his admission. She takes his hand, slowly lacing their fingers together before bringing their joint hands to her lips. "Me too," she says, hoping to reassure him. Something is obviously on his mind, though, for he searches her eyes carefully.

"Are you okay?"

She knows what he wants to know, and sighs. The wound is still throbbing, wide open. It will be some time before it heals. In the meantime, though, it is shadowed by other emotions she's yet to make sense of. "I'm better. Honestly. I'm glad you came back." It's her turn to smile bashfully at him.

He shrugs, the best he can lying on his side like that. "You asked."

"It sure was a better alternative than crying myself to sleep."

"Better than you expected or better than you hoped?"

For a second she's taken aback, staring at him incredulously, then chuckles when she realizes those are her words, spoken during their very first case in Oregon. "I'll let you know when we get past the easy part," she retorts with a sneer. He grins unabashedly. "Meanwhile, we have to go to work," she adds, groaning reluctantly. She meant to take the day off, not knowing how her doctor's appointment would go. As it happens, now she regrets not doing so, from an entirely different reason.

He looks just as disinclined to go about going to work as he sits up, then leans against the headboard. As he sits there bare-chested with the covers tucked at his waist, he's a surreal sight in itself. "I'll have to go home to change. Which is probably for the best, I will need a really good incentive to leave," he jokes.

She crawls closer and runs her hand through his mess of a hair, then kisses his cheek before laying her head on his chest. Her neck protests against the awkward position, but she doesn't care; the way his heart beats beneath her ear is comforting.

"We can't have any of that at work," she says seriously, glancing up at him. She hates bringing it up, but finds it necessary to set boundaries now before this gets too far. And judging by the way the previous night has unfolded, it will get too far, and fast.

She can tell he wants to crack a joke, but he's obviously aware of the severity of the situation. Even though this has been somewhat of a running gag among their colleagues over the years, there were people at the bureau just waiting for them to make a mistake like this. They will pounce on the opportunity to bring down the X Files if any of this becomes known.

"I know," he says gravely, "I'll be on my best behavior."

His promise makes her eyebrow rise almost by its own accord. "Are you trying to get us caught?" she asks cheekily, and he mock-glares at her before pressing his lips to the crown of her head.

"To be honest, it's not work I'm worried about, it's Frohike. This will break his little heart."

"I know. Years of pinning, and you end up choosing me over him. He'll be devastated."

She's pleased with herself for his momentary dumbfounded expression, but pretty soon he snaps out of it and scowls at her. "You know damn well that's not what meant," he chides her gently. When their eyes meet, his become unusually somber. "It's going to be okay, isn't it?" he asks.

She isn't used to seeing him so uncertain; it's rather endearing. "I don't know," she replies, as honestly as she knows how. "We'll make it okay, I suppose."

He takes a moment to absorb this, then nods his agreement. "That's good enough for me."

When he does leave eventually, they're both reluctant to see him off. They stand on her doorway and kiss for a long moment. Eventually she pulls away with difficulty, only to have his lips press to her neck. "This is ridiculous," she breathes, "We'll see each other in less than two hours."

"Imagine me doing this during our ten o'clock with Skinner," he mumbles against her skin.

"You wouldn't dare," she manages.

"I wouldn't want to get his heart broken."

Before she manages a witty backfire, he takes a step back, finally putting enough distance between them. He places a finger under her chin, lifting it so that their eyes meet. "I'm glad you haven't changed your mind," he says softly. His eyes are speaking volumes. He presses his lips to hers one more time, but pulls away quickly. "I'll see you soon, okay?"

Speechless yet again on the exact same spot where it all started the previous night, she just nods. He grins in reply, then opens the door. He's nearly to the staircase when she snaps out of it, and calls his name. He turns and looks at her inquisitively. "Your place tonight?"

The question seems to catch him off-guard for a moment, but soon he nods, grinning. "It's a date," he tells her, and then he's really gone.

She retreats back into her apartment, which is suddenly empty without him. She gets ready for work, carefully choosing a lacy camisole to wear beneath her severe black suit, sexy yet subtle heels, a slightly redder shade of lipstick. He has promised to behave, but that doesn't mean she's required to play nice. When she's done, she throws a few necessities into an overnight bag so that they won't have to part so early the following morning. She flushes as she thinks of the many ways he might reward her for her ingenuity when she points it out to him later. She shakes her head to send away the mental images, focusing instead on sipping her coffee. She's made it extra strong intentionally, but it's no use. She has hoped that routine will keep her mind on the right track, but of course it's futile. He's all she thinks about; he, and those few precious hours they've shared. The way he smelt and sounded and felt against her, how he touched her – and how much more she's been craving.

She doesn't know what the future holds for them. Just the other day she thought she was indeed carrying his child; hoped against hope, really, in hindsight. In her head she had already envisioned the life they would share, just to have the vision brutally crush mere hours later. And then, out of nowhere, the remains of the broken dream made way to another dream becoming a reality, completely unexpectedly. So one cannot know the future, not really. She can't say she isn't worried, but then again, when isn't she these days? It's just another thing to be wary of; possibly the most important of them all. She knows enough to be certain of one thing, though, and it breaks through her strained expression, turns her frown into a smile. One of many to come, she suspects.

Whatever happens, it's been worth it.