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Category: MSR, slight MA
Spoilers: ‘Je Souhaite’
Summary: Early morning questions and confessions
Disclaimer: They belong to Chris Carter, 1013, Fox, and the disgustingly talented actors who portray them, not me.
Thanks: To my beta Carol, whose words are always reassuring and always encouraging. And to Circe, not only for housing my fic at her beautiful site (http://tlynn.invidiosa.com), but also for being a good friend.
Author’s notes: This is the fourth of what is to be a series of vignettes that explore the complicated progress of a physical relationship between Mulder and Scully. The goal is this: though each will have a little something to do with the previous, they will be near-standalones and can be read independently of each other if you so choose. So is this a WIP? That’s your call; I’m making no promises.
More notes upon final completion.
** * *
Her eyes open as soon as she feels him shift up and out of the bed. Her back to him, she doesn’t move to look at him, doesn’t open her mouth to question where he’s going. Rather, she balances in the warmth between sleep and wakefulness for a few moments before once again succumbing to the former, the retreat of his footsteps from the bedroom nary a concern.
* * *
The mattress dips behind her and she is awakened once more. Consciousness floods into her with more ease this time and she is aware of his every move as he attempts to slide back under the covers unnoticed. Her mouth curves into a smile.
“How long were you out there?” she asks into the darkness. Her tone is free of demand, the question prompted by simple curiosity.
She feels his body’s slight start at her voice and she finally turns to him.
“Hey,” he says, almost a whisper. “I didn’t mean to wake you. Go back to sleep.”
She settles into her new position, on her side facing him now, elbows bent and hands tucked under her pillow. She takes note of the distance between them, at least a foot of space. Sharing a bed was no longer new territory for them, but sharing space in that bed was still just that, at least on a subconscious level. For no matter how hard she was pressed against him, or he against her, when their eyes closed to sleep, they always drifted to their respective sides of the bed at some point during the night. She felt it was only natural considering how many years they’d each
slept alone. And it wasn’t as though they didn’t often make up for it once morning came.
“What time is it?” she asks.
Eyes fully adjusted to the half-light of the room, she sees him swivel his head to the nightstand.
“Almost 5 A.M.,” he answers as he turns back, his body falling into a position mirroring that of hers across the bed.
The air flowing through the open bedroom window is warm, the need for blankets or even a sheet over their bodies waning with the approach of summer’s heat, and he takes a moment to appreciate her exposed body. Her arms shield her breasts from the scrutiny of his gaze, but he is free to trace the line of her shoulder, the dip of her torso, and the swell of her hip. The sheet she’d draped over her bottom half has pulled away some, the edge riding low against her belly now, scant centimeters from the apex of her thighs.
Enough time has passed that he no longer feels like he’s dreaming when he’s with her like this, but not so much that he doesn’t say a silent thank you to whomever might be listening for the reality.
She wiggles her body slightly, effectively shifting his focus to her face.
“Can’t sleep?” she asks with a smile.
“Old habits die hard, I guess,” he replies with a shrug. “Have you always been such a light sleeper?”
She huffs a laugh.
“I’m surprised my mother hasn’t told you the tales of my teenage years,” she says. “My father used to say it would be easier to wake the dead than try to get me up before noon on the weekends.”
“Certainly not the case anymore,” he notes.
“Definitely not,” she agrees. “Whether it’s due to age or circumstance, I can’t say, but my days of deep sleep are a thing of the past.”
He doesn’t respond and doesn’t speak further. The night is quiet and only the rhythmic sound of their breathing fills the room for several long minutes. Images from the previous night float into her mind and she can feel a slight throb between her legs as she recalls the sensation of his hands on her body. The antics of Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and company were long forgotten as she’d straddled his lap and welcomed his tongue into her mouth. He’d been insistent, almost demanding, his hands first on her hips, grinding her crotch down against his. Then, as her own hands snaked up beneath the cotton of his shirt, she felt his fingers at the zipper of her pants. Granted easier access, he palmed the swells of her bottom, roughly grabbing handfuls of her flesh and she’d groaned into his mouth. Encouraged, one hand rounded the curve of her hip and nestled between them, against the wet heat of her sex. His long fingers stroked at her entrance, teasing,
Now, as she looks to him again, a light flush on her skin, the pensive look on his face tells her his current train of thought isn’t in line with her own.
“What’s on your mind, Mulder?” she eventually asks.
“Nothing,” he says after a beat. “Just thinking about wishes, I guess.”
“Hmm,” she responds, not quite convinced. Then, “Are you ever going to tell me what your third one was?”
He only smiles and silence fills the space between them once again.
“Falling asleep isn’t easy when all one can hear are the wheels in your head turning. What’s up, Mulder?”
She can sense his hesitance and is intrigued.
Finally, “Did you mean what you said earlier?”
“What did I say?”
“You said you were happy.”
She rises on one elbow and scoots herself over to close the gap between them.
“Is that what’s been keeping you up?” she asks,
“No,” he’s quick to reply. “Not completely. I was up looking over some of that stuff for the audit meeting on Monday. It started to feel like an episode of ‘This Is Your Life’. Well, I guess ‘This Is Our Life’ would be more appropriate. Anyway, going back like that, seeing, if only in the financial sense, some of what we’ve done…I just got to thinking about what you said and I was
wondering…are you happy?”
She couldn’t help the butterflies that had suddenly taken up residence in her stomach. It wasn’t that she couldn’t answer his question, more that it was the first of its kind since this new aspect of their relationship. It was no secret that they were never ones to communicate their deepest thoughts and feelings, so it wasn’t shocking that they hadn’t yet discussed any of what had happened between them.
Here, under the shroud of darkness, she could see how easy it would be. She could see herself telling him everything, about her fears, how crippling they could be. She could fathom telling him just how long she kept her desire for him at bay, frightened of tipping the scales one way or another, for that balance between them was and still is the most important relationship in her life. Maybe here he could fully understand the power of each and every ‘what if’ that ran through her head, could see how a scientific-like rationale extended into all aspects of her life; extreme possibilities were even more terrifying when on a personal level.
They carried the burden of truths no one should ever have to, secrets that stripped them of their ability to trust in little other than each other. They had done and seen enough for two lifetimes and had been on the brink of death far more than she’d like to acknowledge. For all intents and purposes, neither should be alive at this moment, much less huddled against each other in the predawn light. Somehow they’d made it to this point in one piece. Along the way her faith had been tested, had waxed and waned with as much regularity as the moon, but if the miracle of their survival couldn’t restore her beliefs in God, nothing else ever could.
The insecurities and fears are always with her, though, ready to burst forth from beneath the seemingly still waters. She often wonders if she’d still be able to talk herself out of wanting him, out of loving him, even now that she’d felt what it was like to have him inside her. It scares her that she thinks she could. She can feel the depth of his love when he touches her, can see it in his eyes when he looks at her; and when he does, the desire to run as far away from him as possible is nearly as strong as the one to grab onto him for dear life. It scares her that she needs him as she does. Of her happiness there is no doubt in her mind; it’s the implications of that happiness that she still struggles with.
So she’s stayed silent, letting actions speak for her. It was easy to succumb to what her body had been craving for seven long years, to let her senses take over and lead her to him. She doesn’t know if she can ever talk to him about that first night, can ever fully explain to him the desperation she felt, just as she doesn’t think she can ever convey how sorry she is for pushing him away the next morning. She thinks that might have been one of her wishes had she unrolled the jinni, to go back and try to fix that morning. She saw the question in his eyes every day after that night, saw how hard it was to not give it a voice. She didn’t feel she deserved his patience, but was grateful for it all the same. He has allowed her to set the pace, is willing to follow her lead in the absence of words. Perhaps it is unfair, but it is the way she has needed it to be.
“Yes, Mulder,” she says. “I’m happy.”
No, this is not the morning she will let each and every thought slip out, even as the warmth of his body curls around her further. She knows his question was a heavy one and appreciates his simplicity despite the weight it carried. She appreciates that he allowed her to answer in such a manner as to convey just as much without elaboration.
“Are you happy?” she asks.
His smile is wide as he moves to his back and pulls her against him until her head is pillowed on his shoulder. His right hand falls to rest on her hip and her body tingles as he traces small circles on her bare skin. His breath becomes deep and even as his body becomes heavy with relaxation and she thinks he has fallen asleep when he finally answers.
“Scully, I’m ecstatic.