Feedback: Always welcome and appreciated more than you know; tlynnfic [at] gmail.com
Distribution: Also welcomed — just let me know so I can visit
Rating: R, just to be safe
Category: MSR, very slight angst
Spoilers: post-ep for ‘Theef’
Summary: Wine, beer, and no regrets.
Disclaimer: They belong to Chris Carter, 1013, Fox, and the disgustingly talented actors who portray them, not me.
Thanks: To my fantabulous beta, Carol. I really don’t know what I’d do without you, dear! And to Circe, not only for housing my fic on her beautiful site at but for being an awesome friend, too.
Dedication: For Sallie. I know it’s not quite what you asked for, but I hope you like it all the same.
* * *
He was restless. He knocked gently on the connecting door, hoping she was still awake.
Silence. He glanced at his watch and saw that it was nearly 2 a.m. Their flight back to D.C. would be boarding in less than six hours; of course she was asleep.
It had been a strange few days. He couldn’t pinpoint what it was exactly, but he could tell the air was different, could sense that something had changed somehow. He prided himself on his investigating skills, his ability to read between even the most obscure of lines. This time was different; he felt as though the past few days had been heavy with clues, but that he had failed to recognize them, much less piece them together.
After attending to both Weider and Peattie at the hospital, they’d finished up with the local police and could have easily caught an early evening flight back home. He figured she’d want as much after what she’d been through. Not to mention that she hadn’t wanted to make the trip in the first place. Yet she insisted they check into a motel and leave first thing in the morning instead.
‘I’ll always keep you guessing,’ she had said that first morning.
He had a mind to nominate that as Understatement Of The Year.
With a heavy sigh, he grabbed his coat and room key. As the door shut behind him, he didn’t know where he was headed. He just went.
* * *
He didn’t have to go far.
He’d merely turned his head to glance into the hotel bar as he passed it when she caught his eye. She was sitting at the bar, in profile to him, her hands clasped loosely around glass of red wine. Head down, staring absently into her drink, she didn’t notice him approach and startled at her name.
She jumped slightly and her eyes widened when they focused on Mulder’s face before her. She looked marginally guilty and about to offer an explanation, but he spoke before she had the chance.
“May I join you?”
Not waiting for an answer, he pulled up a stool next to her and ordered a beer.
“Last call. Another for the lady?” the bartender asked, nodding at Scully’s near-empty glass.
“Sure,” Mulder answered.
“You trying to get me drunk?” she asked after the bartender had left.
He chuckled and sipped at his beer, fully aware of her eyes on him.
“How are you?” he asked, meeting her eyes.
He nodded, expecting her words. She turned her head, again focusing on her drink. Despite the hour, she seemed relaxed, in dress with a plain white t-shirt and jeans, as well as in body language with one elbow on the bar, legs hanging loosely from her perch on the stool. He noted with an inward smile that her feet didn’t reach the floor.
But there was definitely something on her mind.
“Penny for your thoughts?” he ventured.
She smiled and took a long drink of her wine. He could see the wheels turning in her head as she did so, could see her collecting her thoughts, and a sudden knot formed in his stomach. She must have seen the unease on his face.
“Mulder, I’m fine,” she said again. “Really. I just needed a drink. Or two,” she smiled, lifting her glass to him. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” he said, clinking his glass to hers in ‘cheers’.
He took another sip, savoring the beer’s bitter taste.
“Forgive me if this comes out wrong,” he continued, ignoring the arch of her brow at his words. “But how often do you find yourself needing a drink these days?”
“Are you implying that I might have a problem?” she asked, masking her amusement.
“No…no, of course not,” he responded quickly. “I just–”
Her smile was all teeth as she laid her hand on his arm and stopped him with a gentle touch.
“No, I know what you mean,” she assured him. “Tonight I…I just…”
“What?” he prompted.
“The reasons for my being at a bar at two in the morning are threefold,” she said.
His eyebrows raised in question.
“One,” she continued, holding up her index finger. “It’s I’m still a little shaken by what happened at the cabin. I’ve never so suddenly felt so utterly helpless.”
He opened his mouth to respond, but she shot him a look that conveyed her intent to continue without interruption. He conceded and took another swig of his beer, his eyes still on her.
Her middle finger joined her index finger.
“I couldn’t sleep.”
He waited for an elaboration, but she didn’t provide one. He nodded in understanding.
He looked to her hand, waiting for her ring finger to pop up as a further visual aid. She dropped her arm instead and her hands fell to her lap.
“I suppose I was trying to get up the nerve to do something.”
Confused, his eyes squinted and brows knitted together.
“What were you trying to get up the nerve to do at two in the morning?” he asked. “Go skinny dipping in the pool?”
She suddenly looked uncertain and the leer quickly disappeared from his face.
“I was going to knock on your door.”
He shook his head slowly, still not understanding.
She looked positively frightened. He was beginning to expect the worst when she stood up and stepped towards him, invading his personal space. Nervous energy charged around her and she had a look in her eyes that he didn’t quite recognize.
“And I was going to do this,” she said softly, lifting her hands to rest on his shoulders.
She hesitated, almost as if waiting for his acknowledgement, his permission. Realization dawned on him like a flood and all of his senses were at once hyper-aware of her intrusion on them. He saw the fear in her eyes, but also the desire, the intent. He could hear her breathing become shallow, could smell her shampoo and the wine on her breath, could feel the warmth radiating from her touch. There was so much to consider, so much to discuss, but his mind clouded over and all he knew was after all these years, it was finally going to happen. He couldn’t wait a moment longer to taste her.
His hands fell to her hips and he moved in, pressing his lips against hers. Her body stiffened for a moment, then settled into his warmth as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She pulled him closer, drawing him deeper until their tongues met in a slow but deliberate dance. His pulse pounded in his ears and his groin ached against her thigh. He needed more. His hands began to snake up the length of her back, under her shirt, his fingers trailing against her heated skin. She groaned into his mouth and he couldn’t stop the thrust of his hips against her.
He broke the kiss and both gasped for air, chests heaving with the effort. Her pupils were dilated and her lips were swollen and slick with saliva and it was all he could do not to fuck her senseless right then and there.
“Hey, I wanted to make the first move,” she said with a smile.
He grinned and pressed a kiss to her jaw, reveling in the vibration against his mouth as she hummed her satisfaction. He felt lightheaded. They’d been on a path to this moment for some time now, but now that it was here, it felt surreal; it wouldn’t have surprised him in the least if he suddenly woke to find himself alone in his bed with a painful erection.
But the nip of her teeth at his carotid artery made it very clear that this was no dream.
He pulled back. He had to ask.
“Why, Scully? Why now?”
She considered his question, her eyes drifting over his shoulder to catch the amused expression on the bartender’s face as he wiped down empty tables.
“I don’t really know,” she answered, bringing her focus back to Mulder. “Maybe it was seeing, once again, how quickly it can all fall apart. Robert Weider lost people he loved and nearly lost his own life at the hands of a man whose daughter died, indirectly, at his hands. What Peattie did is unacceptable, but I can understand his motivation. And I can feel the guilt of Weider’s actions, a decision I, too, would have made. Hindsight is indeed 20/20, but it’s a powerful thing to see how different things could be when one decision or action is changed or made.”
“Do you think Peattie could have saved his daughter’s life?” he asked, having never received an answer before.
“I don’t know,” she said. “But I think he should have had the chance.”
He nodded, tightening his grip around her waist.
“We should have that, too,” she said, her voice just above a whisper. “I don’t want to regret not giving *this* a chance.”
“Look at you, getting all romantic on me,” he teased.
“Shut up, Mulder.”
Her mouth descended upon his once again and she latched onto his bottom lip, biting it gently, then running her tongue along its plump expanse. He wasn’t gentle as he pulled her against him and began to grind against her.
“Room,” she demanded. “Now.”
She grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the door, but not before he left enough money for their drinks and a generous tip on the bar.
“Thanks,” Mulder called out to the bartender as they left, his free hand already finding its way up Scully’s shirt again.
The bartender chuckled and shook his head, locking the door behind them.
* * *
(or maybe ‘to be continued’…?)