Title: In The Clear
Feedback: Always welcome, always appreciated; tlynnfic [at] gmail.com
Distribution: Also welcomed — just let me know so I can visit
Spoilers: Hollywood A.D., references to Brand X
Summary: “Everyone needs an escape, after all…” — a much-needed break from the angst of life.
Disclaimer: They belong to Chris Carter, 1013, Fox, and the disgustingly talented actors who portray them, not me.
Thanks: To my fantabulous beta, Carol, for keeping me concise and coherent. The yellow PJs are for you. 😉
Author’s notes: This is the third 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.
* * *
She looked down to see his hand clasp around hers again and smiled. The streets of West Hollywood breezed by beyond the windows of the limousine, lights bright against the darkened sky. She nestled back into her seat and allowed herself the comfort of her surroundings, of being away from D.C. and work and usual life. Everyone needs an escape, after all, and no one more so than she and Mulder, she felt.
The past several months had been a rollercoaster at best. The final straw, for her, was being forced to watch Mulder balance on the brink of death yet again. The events in Winston-Salem, though “routine” for them anymore, took a large toll and left marks deeper than either of them would have guessed. With leave granted by Skinner, she’d watched over him as he healed in the subsequent weeks, but even now she could still see the image of him coding in the hospital, gasping for breath. She shivered at the memory.
“Hey, you okay?”
She turned her head to see him staring down at her, a smile on his face, but concern in his eyes. His voice was back to normal now, the rasp having completely faded just a few days prior.
“Yeah,” she assured him, giving his hand a squeeze. “But I’m hungry.”
“Really? I’m still feeling a little nauseous from the movie.”
She huffed out a laugh and he smiled.
“So what’ll it be, Scully?” he continued. “With that credit card we can afford dinner for two at any number of pretentious, overpriced, all-exclusive restaurants in the area.”
“True,” she agreed, remembering that their hotel was just blocks from the heart of Beverly Hills. Surely Rodeo Drive or Wilshire Boulevard would host elegant dining, complete with gourmet food,
expensive wine, and sinful desserts. “But while we may have the monetary means, we are without one very important necessity.”
“Egos too big to fit through the front door?”
“Okay, *I’m* without one very important necessity,” she said, a teasing twinkle in her eye.
His mouth gaped in mock offense.
“No, reservations,” she clarified. “But that’s okay. I know where we can go.”
* * *
They walked hand-in-hand down the street towards their hotel, bellies full of chicken tacos and perhaps one too many Coronas, a comfortable silence between them. Scully smiled up into the warm southern California night, cheeks flushed and mood light from the alcohol.
The evening had been surreal, a daydream come true, the details of which were happily forgotten in her current state; to passersby they would appear to be a normal, unassuming couple out on the town for dinner and a movie, now on their way back to their hotel for a relaxing evening. No one had to know the film featured an “amalgamation loosely based on” her and her FBI partner, that their employer had paid for the several beers consumed between them over dinner, or that she’d hoped said beers would ensure far more rigorous than relaxing activities when they finally reached the hotel, which was just a few blocks away now.
She turned her head to take him in, eyes forward as he strolled along, tuxedo jacket slung casually over his shoulder. She glanced down to their hands clasped together, her eyes traveling up to the expanse of his exposed forearm. As they’d sat down in the small taqueria, he’d shed the jacket as soon and worked the cufflinks off as they ordered their food. His voice became nothing but a gentle rumble as her attention focused solely on the actions of his fingers, working each toggle through the small holes at his cuffs. She’d idly wondered if the cufflinks belonged to him or came with the tuxedo and made a mental note to ask him later. Now seemed like a good time.
Her train of thought flew into the night as her foot caught a protruding piece of sidewalk, vaulting her forward in a fall that would have been anything but graceful. A small jolt of pain coursed through her arm as he tugged to keep her from hitting the pavement.
“Easy there, Scully,” he warned. “Maybe you should let me drive.”
She laughed, even as embarrassment colored her cheeks even further. A witty comeback was on the tip of her tongue when she stumbled again. Incredulous laughter bubbled from them both.
“The sidewalk’s out to get me, I swear,” she chuckled. “I didn’t have *that* much to drink.”
“Ooh, that sounds like an X File if I ever heard one. Killer sidewalks? You can’t make that stuff up.”
A grin broke through his even tone and she laughed again.
“I guess it’s a good thing you’re here to walk me to my room, then, isn’t it?”
“I’m at your service, m’lady.”
They walked the rest of the way in silence, fingers still intertwined as they entered the hotel and rode the elevator up to their floor. As they reached their rooms, she pulled her hand from his, fishing in her small bag for her cardkey. She stopped at her door and he at his, side-by-side, their eyes meeting in a heady gaze.
“Goodnight, Mulder,” she said pointedly, ever one to keep up appearances.
“Goodnight, Scully,” he responded with a nod.
Once inside, she shed her clothes quickly. Dress hung and undergarments tossed aside, she slipped into her favorite two-piece pajamas of soft white silk. Though Mulder would no doubt appreciate something sexier and slinkier, especially after the delay of the last month, she relished the idea of him peeling the familiar comfort of them away, slowly and deliberately, and discovering her bare underneath. They’d had little time for such exploration of each other during their earlier unions, the first shrouded in darkness and desperation, the second heavy with trepidation. Tonight, she vowed, would be about exploration.
His knock was soft, but insistent. She padded over to the connecting door and opened it slowly. His hair, neat and slicked just minutes before in the hallway, stuck up in several directions, a testament to his own quick change of clothes into a white t-shirt and yellow pajama bottoms. At first glance, it was a familiar sight, conjuring memories of late nights and long cases. But now, the look in his eyes was decidedly different.
He stepped over to her, looming, invading her personal space. His eyes held hers for a long beat before he gracefully dropped to his knees. Her mouth opened to question him, but the words were lost as his hands came up and, starting at the bottom, began to unbutton her top. One, then two, he stopped at the third and gently drew the silk panels apart, revealing a triangle of flesh. The skin of her belly was pale and the muscles tight, the flat expanse undisturbed but for the hollow of her bellybutton. She sucked in a breath as his head inched closer to his revelation. His nose lightly nuzzled against her first, inhaling her scent even as he brushed against the smooth elastic of her bottoms, riding low on her hips. Her hands rose to rest on his head of their own accord and she found herself gasping as his lips, then tongue, began to graze against her. Each caress sent a spark of arousal through her and she let out a shaky breath, her hands raking through his hair in
encouragement. He pulled back, gaze transfixed on her stomach, and ran his thumbs over her, spreading his saliva across the surface of her skin. A tremble surged through her body.
“Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted to do that?” he asked, his voice thick, his eyes dark with desire as he met hers above him.
All she could do was shake her head.
“Years, Scully,” he sighed. “Years.”
She tugged at his shirt until he rose to his feet and then pulled his head down for a searing kiss. Her body trembled as his tongue pushed through her lips, tasting her, her own mimicking him, thrust for thrust. She laid her hands to rest against his chest and gave him a slight nudge until he began to walk backwards. She steered him, disengaging her mouth from his as his legs hit the foot of the bed and forced him to sit.
She climbed on after him, straddling his lap as her knees hugged his waist and her bottom came to rest atop his thighs. His hands fell to her hips as she wrapped her arms around his neck, leaning her mouth into his once more.
“Uh uh,” she mumbled against his lips when he began to kiss her.
He leaned back, brow furrowed. She couldn’t help the smile that bloomed across her face. He grinned and leaned in again.
She pulled just out of his reach and shook her head.
“Be still,” she told him, resting her finger against his lips.
He nodded and did as she asked, even as she leaned in back in and pressed her lips against his mouth. She placed soft kisses along the curve of his smile, each increasing in pressure as she worked from left to right. She then swept back in the other direction, darting her tongue out once she reached the swell of his bottom lip. She traced it slowly, testing its soft pliancy, savoring its salty taste. She inched back slightly and met his gaze.
“Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted to do that?” she asked.
He shook his head, lip glistening still.
“Years, Mulder,” she sighed, “Years.”
* * *
The shrill ring of the telephone woke him immediately and he groaned. He lifted his head to see Scully still sleeping peacefully next to him. The phone rang again. He leaned over to the bedside table and fumbled for the receiver in the early morning light.
“Hello?” he mumbled.
The familiar voice quickly pulled him from the grasp of sleep and he sat up, rousing Scully as well.
“Yes, sir,” he managed.
“I just got a call from D.C.,” Skinner said. “I’m afraid we’re going to have to cut the vacation short in the interest of a breaking case. Your and Agent Scully’s assistance has been requested.”
“Yes, sir,” he said again, glancing over to wide blue eyes.
“I’ve arranged for an earlier flight. Be downstairs in twenty minutes.”
“Twenty minutes,” he echoed.
“I trust you can relay this message to Agent Scully?”
“Good. See you both in twenty.”
They dressed and packed quickly, meeting out in the hallway with their luggage and guilty consciences in tow.
“Why do I feel like my father just caught me making out with my boyfriend on the living room couch?” she remarked with a shaky smile.
“For the same reason I feel like I’m gonna get my ass kicked as soon as we get back to D.C.,” he said.
When they reached the lobby, the A.D. was waiting.
“Agents,” he said by way of greeting. “Shall we?”
Skinner said nothing of the fact that Mulder answered the phone in Scully’s room at 5am. And Mulder and Scully said nothing of that fact that Skinner was still wearing his rumpled tuxedo from the night before.
Or that there was lipstick on the collar.
* * *
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