HOW I SLEPT WITH MY PARTNER
(WITHOUT REALLY TRYING)
PART 5 (2/2)
By Jaime Lyn
All headers and disclaimers in prologue.
To Begin With....
"Outside the Boundaries" is still incomplete...
Why Editors Have High Blood Pressure
The tapes are going to be late. My typed summary is going to be late. Jose Chung’s “creative zone” is going to wear out and it will be months and months before he can write again. My boss is going to throw me out a window. No kidding.
This is all I know.
Right now I’m sitting in my Toyota Echo, staring at a half-mile back-up worth of cars, and all I want is to crawl into the glove compartment with my Pepto-Bismol and fall asleep. If I can’t find Fox Mulder and Dana Scully and get those tapes back by this evening, my ass is going to be in a sling.
“Damn, stupid FBI agents,” I mutter, my hands clenched to the wheel.
ONE HOUR BEFORE:
So I was sitting at one of those wicker patio tables at Applebee’s -- minding my own business, eating an Oriental Chicken Salad (which was almost-as-good-as-sex fabulous, by the way. I was waiting all day to eat this thing) and my jacket started to ring. But no—I don’t mean like, it rang a normal ring. I mean my jacket started shrieking like an air-raid siren. (Umm…I ‘d gone up to New York for a Knicks basketball game the night before, changed the setting to “ear piercing loud,” then I’d neglected to change it back...)
Okay, yes. My fault. Shut up.
Anyway, I jumped about five feet and screamed:
Like a war was being fought right there at my table. (Well, the phone was shrieking, I tell you! Shrieking!) Then after the scream, with the phone still beeping, and the entire restaurant staring at me like I was Sybil, my arm slammed into the chair…
That, in turn, slammed into the table, that, in turn, slammed into the plate holding my salad. The plate seemed to wobble for a painfully slow moment (imagine time lapse photography, complete with a moment of pause, then a slow, warbled, “nooooooooooo!”) and my salad went crashing to the floor. –And when I say crashing, I mean the plate shattered, the lettuce went flying, and all my crunchy little oriental noodles scattered across the ceramic tiled floor like stiff, golden worms.
Only when I’m eating—I swear to God, only when I’m eating.
I snapped my napkin down upon the table, growled again--
The restaurant still stared at me. Regretfully, I remembered the handsome waiter (Troy was his name, and he CERTAINTLY was no slouch in the muscle department), and how he’d winked at me when he brought me my iced tea. We’d had a nice thing going, a witty repartee if you know what I mean.
"Where you from?" he'd asked.
"New York," I'd said.
"Good baseball team," he'd said.
"Yes, well, I like them," I'd said.
Okay, well I thought it was witty.
Witty enough for Troy to bring me four glasses of Iced tea when I'd had yet to finish one.
But after the screaming, and the salad dumping, and the cursing, Troy stood a good distance from me-- cleaning Oriental Vinagrette dressing from his shoes and waving his hands at his manager. His manager was wiping tomatoes off his blouse. My phone was still screaming, Mental note: never sit near the kitchen ever again. Oh, and keep the phone on silent. Or else kill the technician who programmed “shrieking bleeping sound” into the memory chip.
I reached into the pocket of my jacket and pulled out the phone. The gray display read, “incoming call, 413-555-7951.”
Yeah, so I had no earthly idea who 555-7951 was. All I knew was that if I answered the shrieking ring and the voice on the other end turned out to be a solicitor, or my mother, I was going to drown myself in Oriental Chicken Salad till I died.
I jabbed the call button with my thumb and sighed. “What?”
“Ah, is this Jaime Lyn Morris with Harperly publishing?”
I didn’t recognize the voice but I knew it was a guy—slight growl, low tenor. Sounded vaguely familiar, if not a little bit sexy. Yum, I thought. Remembering my disastrous trip to the basketball game (with this guy named Ned, who carried professional photos of his six cats in his wallet, by the way) I grinned to myself and cleared my throat. “This is she,” I said, slinking into my chair. I lowered my voice a notch. “Who’s this?”
“Fox Mulder,” the sexy voice said, sounding slightly perplexed.
And thus, all my pipe dreams of sinking naked into a hot bath with “sexy voice man” disappeared.
I rolled my eyes and sat up straighter, rubbed the bridge of my nose with my left hand. Oh great, I thought, as I watched some bus-boy clean up the remains of my shattered porcelain/ chicken salad mess. Fox Mulder? That weirdo with the aliens? Shit. It's not three o clock yet. This absolutely cannot be good.
I suppressed a moan, hoping to God Fox Mulder was calling because he and Scully had filled each of the audio cassette tapes I’d left with them.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” Fox Mulder said. “But I have… a situation.”
Right, I thought. A situation. Sure you do. And I had a salad five seconds ago. My eyes closed, I fought the urge to bang my head against the table until a concussion broke the monotony.
“A situation?” I asked, not sure that I wanted to hear the answer.
“Yes,” Fox Mulder said. “Unfortunately, something has come up that requires Scully’s and my immediate attention. We may or may not be able to finish the um… the interviews by this evening... basically, I can’t see getting them to you by three o’clock this afternoon. Or even by the end of the night. Perhaps I can run by your office tomorrow?”
A situation, I thought, grinding my teeth. A situation my ass.
In the back of my mind I imagined the tall, lanky weirdo and the short, intense red-head lying in bed together. They drank champagne by the goblet-full, dangled their feet off the edge of the bed and watched ‘Love Boat’ on the TV-- meanwhile, Mr. Fox ‘a situation has come up’ Mulder shushed Dana Scully as she nibbled on his ear and he spun to me some bullshit story. Neither of them, of course, could possibly know that I was hungry, angry, working on a deadline, and apparently the only woman in the world without a boyfriend or a husband or a….
Bottom line was this:
My boss said to fax the information to him by Sunday afternoon. “You have one day, Jaime,” he said. “I want a typed summary. Not a bunch of notes or a bunch of tapes. You know me. Mr. Chung tells me that he’s doing better. That he’s cooped up and feeling very creative --and while that’s a good thing for him, it is, at the moment, a bad thing for us because he has nothing to write about without this background information. I want all the research by tomorrow. I am not kidding. I swear, I—“
You get the idea.
Again I saw ‘lanky man’ lying in bed with ‘red-headed woman.’ Why the heck was everyone getting laid but me?
“What’s wrong?” I asked, allowing annoyance to creep into my voice.
Fox Mulder allowed a moment before he spoke. “Scully is… she’s not feeling well. It’s nothing you need to concern yourself about.”
Okay, so call me insensitive, but the fact was that I WASN’T concerned. Heck, I’d woken up with a stomach-ache myself that morning. But I didn’t let a couple of dry heaves stop me. No sir-ree. I swallowed a bunch of Tums and held my breath all the way to Dana Scully and Fox Mulder’s apartment. But you know what? That’s the problem with law enforcement today; All brains, no gusto.
At any rate—
If I thought about it long and hard enough, I could almost see the unemployment check floating in the air in front of me. Ten years in the publishing business, seven of those ten loyally spent with Harperly Publishing, and it would all go to Hell on account of two Abercrombie and Fitch poster children for the FBI, Jose Chung, and something called “The X Files.” (Whatever the heck that was.)
“I need those tapes by three o clock,” I said, as if I felt that would help matters any. “Or I at least need them by this evening.”
“I know,” Fox Mulder said, “and I apologize. But like I said, Scully’s not feeling well. She and I both—“
“Well, that’s great,” I managed, spinning my fork on the table with one finger. “I have a deadline, you know. By agreeing to the interview you also agreed to the deadline. Can’t you just give me what you have right now and we’ll call it even? Most of the story is better than no story, right?” I was rambling now—and rather unprofessionally at that—but I didn’t care. John Duke (my boss) was a pain in the ass – a real stickler. I’d seen him fire people for less. I’d seen him dismiss his secretary on account of one high-heel being higher than the other.
Fox Mulder sighed on the other end. “I can’t,” he said.
I shook my head. “You can’t? What-- what does that mean? Don’t say you can’t. Never say that. Of course you can.” A horn honked somewhere on his end. They were in the car, I thought. On the way to the doctors’? To the hospital? Well, no matter. I’d find them. “All you have to do is tell me where you’re going,” I went on. “I can stop by and—“
“No?!” Several waiters and a few tables-worth of people turned to stare at me once again. I lowered my voice and made a silent decision to never visit a restaurant within a five mile radius of this one.
“We’ve been… enjoying this opportunity. We’d like to finish it right,” he said, as if that explained everything.
“I realize that,” I answered. “But the fact is that extenuating circumstances---“
“Extenuating circumstances beyond our control require an extension.” He said this as if it were the definitive answer. Apparently, whatever Fox Mulder said was law. Just who the hell did this guy think he was?
“Look,” I said, “I’m sorry about your wife’s illness--”
“She’s not my wife.”
“Then your girlfriend—“
“Oh whatever!” I managed, banging my fist on the table.
A waiter came by and took my fork away. Can’t say that I blamed him. “Look,” I said, turning my back on the kitchen. “Can’t you finish whatever tape you’re working on really quickly so that I can—“
“It doesn’t work that way,” Fox Mulder said. “Scully and I are on our way to---we’re in the car. We don’t know how long we’ll be.”
“You don’t.” I sighed, tracing an invisible circle on the table. “Why doesn’t this surprise me?”
“I can promise you,” Fox Mulder went on, “just as soon as Scully—“
I groaned, realizing that this was going nowhere fast.
“Do you know how bizarre it is that you call your wife by her last name?” I said suddenly, staring up at the ceiling fan above my head. I needed a drink. I needed one very badly.
I cracked my back and shrugged my shoulders even though I knew he couldn’t see me. Why not ask him, I thought. At least then I’ll have SOMETHING type-written to give to ‘the Duke.’
“Why do you call her ‘Scully?’”
A longer pause this time, and I could hear the static crackling in the background.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve always called her Scully.”
“And she always calls you Mulder, doesn’t she?”
“Why? Doesn't that strike you as--”
“She’s not my wife, you know.”
He said it just like that. Like, she's not my wife; I'm just the guy she's banging because I've already knocked her up once and I figured hey. What the hell?
But that wasn't right, I thought-- and frowned, remembering the way Fox Mulder had looked at Dana that afternoon – like she was the only woman in the entire Universe.
Pushing down the urge to practice my pop-psychology, I stared blankly at the wall and said, “You keep saying that, Agent Mulder.”
Another silence, this one even more awkward and most uncomfortable. “I’ll ah…” he paused as if thinking of something else. “I’ll call you when there are further developments.”
I raised an eyebrow, trying to figure out what the fuck kind of weird-ass FBI brush-off that was supposed to be. “Further developments?” I asked, as if he’d just suggested I go jump off the Chrysler Building. "Agent Mulder? Hello? Hello?"
The jack-ass didn’t even say goodbye.
No wonder Dana Scully is sick, I thought, shoving my phone back in my bag and signing the check. (I’d waved away the offer of a new salad. Suddenly, I just wasn’t hungry.) If I was living with Fox Mulder, I think I’d throw up too.
'She’s not my wife' rang inside my head. Why would he say something like that, I wondered. –Not that I knew Dana Scully very well. For all I knew, she could have been a prostitute in her spare time – or maybe sleeping around with midgets and dragging Mulder on Springer. Not that I could picture the scenario, but anything was possible.
“Nah,” I said out loud, forcing a smile in the direction of Troy-the-waiter, who did not smile back.
I shook my head at that and breezed out of the restaurant. Men suck, I thought, thinking of stupid-Troy-the-waiter and remembering Fox Mulder’s words: 'She’s not my wife, you know.'
Christ, what a shmuck.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN....
Mulder and Scully:
Scully and the Fine Art of Seduction:
(Or, Why I Throw Pillows at Mulder)
SHE LEFT THE TAPE RECORDER RUNNING IN THE BABY BAG:
“Why did you keep saying that, Mulder?”
“She’s not my wife. What was that about?”
“I was talking to Jose Chung’s editor.”
“I’m aware of that.”
“I was telling her that we aren’t going to make the deadline.”
“I’m aware of that, too.”
“She must be under some kind of pressure from this publishing company she works for. She sure sounded like she could use a vacation. Maybe a happy meal. Perturbed is actually the word I would use—“
“You’re skirting the subject, Mulder.”
“Then what would you call it?”
“The run around? Hey—isn’t there a song --”
“It was nothing, Scully. Look, the important thing is to make sure you’re healthy. Are we both agreed on that?”
“Well, then. That’s all that matters.”
“If that's the way you want to look at it.”
“I’m just saying...maybe we both have a lot of factors to re-evaluate, a lot of choices that were perhaps made in haste. I just want the best-- ”
“You know, you keep saying that. And these other things that I'm somehow supposed to automatically understand but I don't. You say 'I’m sorry. It’s better this way. I have your best interests at heart.' But I don’t understand you, Scully. You make me sound like—“
“Let’s just go inside, Mulder. We don’t have to talk about this right now.”
“You mean we don’t have to argue about this right now.”
“I’m not interested in arguing with you.”
“But you’re not interested in marrying me, either.”
“Scully, I really think--”
"No. This is not up for discussion."
"Jesus. I'm not trying to pick a fight with you."
"Then drop it. Please. I'm asking you -- out of respect for my wishes."
“I have one, Mulder.”
“You have one what?”
“I have a story.”
“I said I have a story. Can we just focus on my telling it? At least until I see the doctor, can we focus on something that isn’t so heavily weighted? Please.”
“I know, I know.”
“No… You’re right. I don’t. I don’t have any idea. But I... I do love you. I don’t know much beyond that.”
“Neither do I.”
“Then we’re agreed on something.”
“So you ah, you going to tell me this story that’s just to die for?”
WHO SAYS A GOOD OLE STORY DOESN’T BREAK THE TENSION?
Whoever said love is like a red, red rose should be shot. Seriously.
Allow me to elabortate:
This one night, not too long ago, I was in the mood for….um… intimacy.
The baby was fast asleep in his playpen. You just don’t get many opportunities like that. On the opposite side of the room Mulder sat at the kitchen table, his shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows. He was clearly immersed in one of VICAP’s murder cases—the West Side stabbings, I think; he was surrounded by autopsy photos, psychoanalytic profiles, surveillance reports and crime scene analyses. Every once in awhile he ran his fingers through his messy, chestnut colored hair and grumbled to himself: “not right… missing pieces… damned Agent Casey overlooking the tox screen… fucking frustrating.”
He was cute, my Mulder. Furrowed brows, tiny lines crinkling around his hazel eyes, tanned, sculpted arms attached to long, thick hands that shuffled back and forth between papers… Oh lord, what he could do with those hands when he was really concentrating. I remembered the way they went up my back, traced my spine, then floated down, down to--
At any rate, I wanted Mulder. I wanted him right at that moment – on the table, on the floor, in a hard-backed chair, it didn’t matter to me. I was stressed and wound up from work and he was sitting there looking all concentrated and delicious and I fucking wanted him so badly I could barely stand it.
But it had been over a year since we had made love. Over three months since Mulder had even touched me in that way, or since we had even seen each other naked. I suppose between me giving birth and taking Tylenol for the post-labor pain, both of us getting back to work sooner than expected and Mulder and I getting used to being… well, Mulder and I, we’d thought about little more than kissing. As a matter of fact, we’d done little more than coexist in the same household. We’d slept together in the same bed of course, but only in our respective nightclothes and only on our separate sides of the mattress.
Not that we weren’t, you know, attracted to each other. We were. Of course we were. We enjoyed kissing, like really, truly kissing, and actually found that we were quite good at the more complicated intricacies of the act. So we were intimate but not… well, INTIMATE, if you catch my drift. We had a baby. We lived in the same apartment and we slept in the same bed. Basically, we’d mutually decided upon becoming a family but we’d neglected to define the parameters.
What can I say? Mulder and I are all about the unspoken word. Love without saying it out loud. We loved each other, emotionally, spiritually, physically – I knew that. He knew that. The way he cupped my face in his hands to look at me before he brought his mouth down to mine, the way he pushed my hair back over my ears when he thought I was asleep, the way he told Will “Princess Scully” stories when he thought I wasn’t in the room and wouldn’t hear…
But most of our mornings were still awkward. What to say when you wake up next to the person who’s not your partner anymore but isn’t quite your lover but who is also is the father of your child? Good morning, honey? Time to make the donuts?
I didn’t know. And I was sick of it. I was sick of Mulder walking around me like I was a fragile little egg. The way he tiptoed around me, the way he refrained from touching me in any way that might be considered “sexual” was enough to make me want to kill him myself. I was sexually frustrated to the point of attacking Mulder in the middle of the grocery store’s frozen food section.
But where was I? Oh, right.
So with naked Mulder in mind, I went into the bedroom and slipped into one of Mulder’s blue and white striped dress shirts (with nothing underneath it, so clever was I) and I pinned up my hair for a hot little bubble bath. Then I padded back into the bathroom and sat on the edge of the tub. I twisted the knobs above the faucet and started a steady stream of warm water, reaching with one hand into the drain to tap in the bathtub stopper.
I smiled to myself as I shook beads of water from my hands, pleased with my covert operation thus far.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find any romantic candles (Mulder and I aren’t exactly connoisseurs in the fine art of seduction) so I decided to settle for regular old, bathroom lighting. But after surveying the room for a minute and scrutinizing the tub, I realized I didn’t like the brightness so I turned the lights off. Then I realized that, practically speaking, lights would be the best idea because without them we’d probably trip over each other and fracture something…. So I turned the lights on again. And then I scrunched my nose and turned them off. I did this for about four minutes: lights on, lights off, lights on, lights off. Honestly, I had never done this before – purposely done the seduction thing, and I didn’t know what to do. Bubbles? No Bubbles? Lights? No lights? Underwear? –
I looked down at the shirt and grasped the hem in my fingers. It was kind of long and bulky on me but…what if Mulder wasn’t turned on by the no underwear thing? What if he thought it was odd? What if the whole thing seemed smarmy? I sighed. I wasn’t exactly Miss seduction. To him I ‘d been special Agent Dana Scully of the FBI. I hunted down predators. I did autopsies. I wore suits. I didn’t saunter around naked.
So I went over to the top drawer of my bedroom dresser and ruffled around to try and find these black lacy thingies I’d bought at JC Penney’s for half-off the month before. Those would work underneath the shirt, right?
I looked up and frowned, trying to imagine myself in black-lace, see-through underwear.
Okay, maybe not. Maybe black lacy underwear would seem even smarmier than no underwear at all and then I would look ridiculous to a man who’d seen me chase down monsters while covered in mud.
In the end I decided on one of my many pairs of white Jockeys.
So bedroom lights were next. Another decision I didn’t know how to make. Should I dim them? Turn on only one lamp? Would we have enough light to see each other or would the missing baby toys on the floor prove to be not visible enough in the dark and just as dangerous as a dark bathroom? What if I were to turn down the sheets? No, that was just silly because I had already prepared the bathtub. Oh—the bathtub! Did I even have any bath bubbles to add to the water? No, I didn’t think I did. Maybe I could just use a fourth cup of shampoo and mix it with a fourth cup of body wash and run it beneath the faucet. No, wait—Mulder was allergic to the Watermelon body wash I had bought which was why I hadn’t used it yet… and shampoo could very easily irritate our skin if we immersed ourselves in the sudsy water for too long.
God damn it, I thought. This is stupid. We live together. We’ve already established our desire to further the intimacy between us. Now I just want to fuck him. Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I go in there like a normal person and say, “Mulder—“
Well whatever, I ammended to myself. Fine. So I go in blind.
With a deep breath I sucked back all unpleasant thoughts, smoothed down my shirt, patted my piled hair and padded into the living room. I paused for a moment by the entryway to the kitchen and watched him from afar. Mulder’s jaw muscles moved as he mouthed something to himself and his arm muscles clenched and unclenched as he scribbled something down on a yellow legal pad. Oh God, I thought. I can do this, I can I can…Another deep breath and I managed to make my way slowly onto the kitchen tile, pausing by the wall to glance at him again. Mulder hadn’t looked up yet, hadn’t even noticed my presence in the room. What to do now?
I turned around and noticed the wall behind me. Okay, I thought. I’ve seen this movie before. This is when the woman leans seductively against the wall and her husband looks up and notices how incredibly sexy she looks. He takes her in his arms and carries her off to bed. They have wild, animal sex.
I shook my head at the image. No. I’d seen that movie –Sharon Stone had starred and it was cheesy and badly written.
Fine. So I went with plan number two.
Slowly, ever so slowly, I made my way to Mulder’s chair and stood next to the table, placing myself directly in his line of vision. I leaned to one side, crossing one ankle over the other and stretched out an arm to rest my hand on the edge of the table. Mulder’s big, striped shirt fluttered against me a few inches above my knees, and a couple of loose hairs drifted into my eyes. I took a long, deliberate breath and placed my right hand on my hip. Then I cleared my throat.
This time, Mulder looked up. “Hey Scully,” he said, and smiled.
I smiled back. My whole body thrummed. “Hey Mulder,” I echoed and nodded over at his papers. “How’s the case coming?”
Mulder swallowed as he looked me up and down, and I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. He leaned back in his chair and took a breath. “Oh you know, same old. Three women stabbed to death in what looks like a serial homicide case. No real leads. No traceable DNA left at the crime scene. A useless surveillence operation is already underway as we speak -- at a local housing project where all the women lived prior to their deaths. One of the women had amphetamines in her system, which I’m looking into… but so far, to be honest, I’ve got nothing.”
I blinked a few times and nodded. “I see.”
Translation: get up off your ass, Mulder. Now. Right now.
“So, um, who’s been doing the autopsies?”
Mulder smiled faintly at the query. Lately I’d begun asking questions like that. I was possessive with Mulder and I missed being the one who gave him answers. I wasn’t yet used to not working in tangent with him and neither was he, I suspected.
Mulder glanced down at his papers, flipped a few of them over, tossed a few others aside and finally held two wrinkled photocopies up to his face. He read for a moment. “Local M.E,” he said, putting the papers back down. “But I was actually… That is, I was going to ask you if you could take a look at one of the victims if you had a moment. I don’t think Marisa Caldavar’s autopsy was very thorough. I suspect there’s more to the amphetamines that turned up in her tox screen – something the M.E probably missed.”
I nodded, licking my lips absently. “Sure,” I said, tapping a steady rhythm on the table with my fingertips. “I should have some time tomorrow after lunch. I’ll take a look and memo the results over to you.” I nodded to myself and bit my tongue. “Anything else you ah, you need, Mulder?”
Translation: I’m half naked, jackass. Can’t you see that?
We stared at each other for a pregnant moment.
“Well,” Mulder said, eyeing the top two undone buttons on my blouse, “I’m starving. I could go for some pizza. How bout you?”
I closed my eyes and brought my hand up to my forehead. Oh Jesus Christ, I thought, I am never going to get laid. Never.
“What? You didn’t eat already, did you, Scully?”
“No,” I managed, rubbing my temples. “Pizza. That’s… yeah, I could go for some pizza. That’s… that’s great. Great, Mulder.”
Mulder frowned at me, a befuddled look on his frustratingly handsome face. “Something wrong?” he asked, staring at me.
“No,” I muttered, nodding my head at the absurdity of the question. “I’m fine.” Internally, I wondered at my own absurdity. Why can’t I be up front about this? I thought. Why can’t I just say, ‘Mulder, would you please get out of that chair and come over here and screw my brains out until it hurts to walk a straight line? Please? I would be ever so grateful.’
We stared at each other some more. “Mulder, I—“
Mulder held his finger up to his lips, his eyes narrowed in thought.
I raised an eyebrow and frowned down at him. “Excuse me?”
“That sound,” he said.
“What is that sound?”
“What are you talking about?”
“It’s… Don’t you hear that?” Mulder rose from his chair to stare in the direction of the bedroom. His brow furrowed and he touched a protective hand to my shoulder. “It sounds like…” he cocked his head to one side and ran his hand slowly down my back, absently caressing my spine. Then he took a breath as if relief were coursing through his system. “…Like a waterfall. Like something smacking the tile.” He turned to search my eyes. “Scully, did you turn the water on or something? Because if you’re busy I can call in for the pizza. That is, if you want to go wait for the delivery boy to jump in the shower with you.”
Mulder’s eyes sparkled with mischief as he tipped my chin up to his face and then let go. I rewarded him with a breath of laughter.
In a low voice he said, “Answer me this, Lady. You got something going on with the pizza man I should know about?”
My mouth went dry and I lowered my eyelids. “Nah. Called it off.” I looked down for a moment, suddenly unable to catch my breath. “I met this tall, gangly guy at work. One day we’re chasing mutant cats through sewers, the next he’s gone and knocked me up.”
Mulder licked his lips. “Lucky guy.”
I looked him at him hungrily. “Mmm hmmm…”
Mulder’s hand was like a trail of cold liquid up and down my back, his fingers caressing softly, carefully over the thin fabric of the shirt. Something started rumbling far down in my belly, something warm and sensuous.
Mulder’s hand lowered to settle on my right hip and this time when I licked my lips, he was definitely watching me. Our eyes met, and Mulder drew me closer with the hand resting on my hip. His mouth opened slightly, just slightly, and he drank in my face with his eyes.
We gazed at one another like that without speaking or moving. The air was punctuated with something. Something slow and deliberate --
My lips came together in a soft ‘O’ shape and I breathed out a short puff of air, my chest fighting to keep up with my lungs. I was thrumming, pounding all over. Mulder remained silent and I took in his proximity as an invitation. I brought my hand to his chest and ran my fingers languidly down his shirt, across and back and up over the plane of his stomach. I undid one button with the edge of my fingernail and breathed him in deeply. Mulder was lean and smooth and he smelled of mint aftershave.
I closed my eyes and he bent his head, murmuring something in my ear: “I hear that doctors are good with their hands.”
His nose brushed my jaw, tickled like a feather over my cheek until he pulled away.
“Mmm…” I managed. “We’re good with more than that.”
We were close, so close, yet we remained inches apart… breathing slowly, watching each other like starved, wild things. I wanted him closer: to touch me, to kiss me long and hard…
Make love to me, I said silently, wondering whether Mulder could hear me if only I thought it hard enough. I was almost positive he could. We were synchronized, Mulder and I. If he was heads, I was tails. But did he want me like this? Did he really—
Mulder’s voice rumbled raggedly in his throat. “Scully…”
And then I DID hear a sound. Something like water smacking on tile—what the--?
Oh my God, I had totally forgotten.
My eyes went wide as frisbees.
Mulder frowned. “Um…Scully?” he asked, confused. “Why do you look—“
“Oh… SHIT!” I gasped, and spun on my heels.
“Hey!” Mulder called, but I was already gone.
Past the dining room I went, past the yellow couch and past the two end tables in the corner. I fled from the hallway, picking up speed, slipping and sliding up and down the hardwood floor until I nearly tripped over my own feet and slammed into the wall.
I heard footsteps trailing after me. “What is up with you?” Mulder called from the living room. “What—“
Oh Christ, the water, I thought. I can’t believe how stupid I am I can’t believe how stupid what was I thinking the floor’s not so thick and I left my clothes near the tub anyway and now everything’s going to be soaking wet--
I raced into the bedroom, skidded around the corner and slammed my right foot right into one of Will’s fisher price fire engines, the toy’s ladder piercing into the base of my heel.
“Damn it!” I gasped—
And totally lost my balance.
To make a long story short, I tripped.
“Oh no. No, no, no. I don’t think so, Scully. Come on. Tell it like it really happened.”
“Excuse me? That IS how it really happened.”
“No, it isn’t.”
“Yes, it is.”
“Oh please. You didn’t just trip, Grace Kelly. You practically –“
“Alright, alright. Just shut up, Mulder.”
With a shriek I pitched forward, my arms pin-wheeling wildly, my mouth agape. In front of me the bed flashed like a giant halogen bulb and I grasped for something, anything to give me purchase. It was perhaps the most ungraceful moment of my entire life. On the way down I snatched the corner of the comforter and dragged half of it off the bed with me. Then --
I caught the landing with my face – my left eye in particular. Why I always seem to land on my eye is beyond me.
A few seconds later I heard fast feet and Mulder’s half amused, half mortified voice behind me. “Jesus, Scully. Are you alright?”
I coughed and spit out a hairball from the carpet. “Fine,” I groaned from the corner of my mouth, my cheek smashed against the floor, my arms spread out like bent twigs on the carpet above my head.
“Ouch,” Mulder commented, and I saw his big fat foot float above my head as he stepped over me. His voice drifted into the bathroom
“You know you left the water running,” he echoed from inside. Then I assume he turned off the faucet because the sound of rushing, spilling liquid on tile suddenly ceased. “And you flooded the bathroom,” he continued. A pause. “Wow. I mean you really flooded it Scully. You should see this. It’s like the Chesapeake in here.”
My tongue in cheek, my left eye throbbing and my foot twisted in pain, I closed my eyes and felt a new sensation coursing through me. A familiar sense of annoyance, something built carefully from many cases on the road with my frustrating former partner. I raised my head just enough so that I could speak clearly.
“You know what, Mulder?” I said, groaning as I pulled myself into a seated position.
Mulder peeked his head out from the bathroom doorway. “Hmm?”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Fuck. You.”
Mulder nodded slowly as if to take that in. “Can I have my pizza first?” My fists clenched and I seriously thought about cutting off his manhood. “You know,” he went on, a huge grin on his face, “next time you try and accost me for sex you may want to invest in knee pads.”
I groaned and looked around the room, twisting my neck, my eyes searching for something -- anything tangible that I could grab and hurl. Finally, I reached for the bed and snatched up a black polyester pillow. Mulder ducked back into the bathroom as I grunted and pitched one particularly heavy one at him, then another, then another.
“You throw like a girl!” he yelled from the relative safety of the bathroom.
I took a breath and ground my teeth. That’s IT.
Finally, with nothing but conquest on my mind, I scrambled to my feet and blew like a hurricane into the bathroom, poised and ready as hell to kick the ever loving crap out of my former partner. I can only imagine what my neighbors downstairs must have been thinking. What, with the thud of Mulder’s body hitting the floor and water leaking through the ceiling and all.
And okay, Mulder and I were loud. Really loud.
But I suppose that’s just what happens when you wrestle the man you love to the ground, force him to say Uncle and then make love to him in the Chesapeake.
“I remember-- Man, that was one great fall, Humpty Dumpty.”
“No. I mean, you flew and flipped through the air like—“
“Don’t. Say. It.”
“A flying squirrel.”
[Phone ringing in the background. Static mingled with a barely discernable melody from the speakers. Shuffling. Faint rustling of clothing.]
“Gee. Where have I heard that one before? Imaginative, Mulder.”
“Oh come on. That Strickland case was the one case where I was unquestionably right and you were unquestionably wrong. Can I help it if I sometimes like to quote myself--”
“Alright. First of all, you were not ‘unquestionably right,’ Mulder. For one thing, nobody is ever unquestionably right. The definitions of “right” and “wrong” are simply not concrete enough to conclusively make that determination; nobody can ever consider him or herself right or wrong without compromising some level of objectivity. Second of all, I was drugged.”
“Ohhhhhhh, not with this again---“
“I woke up in a graveyard, Mulder, with all of my arteries intact and the proper amount of blood still pumping. I didn’t remember how I got there, but I certainly know I didn’t—“
“Ronnie Strickland came back to life. Can we agree on that much? You saw me kill him. How he somehow attacked the M.E and then reappeared good as new---"
“Hold on there. We don’t know for sure that he woke from the dead. We didn’t actually SEE him get up. Did you actually see him get up? Because if I recall correctly, you were drugged, too. More than once.”
“He was dead, Scully.”
"Yes, he was."
"Then he was alive."
"I'm sorry, Mulder, but I never personally saw Ronnie Strickland alive after that."
“Ohhhh, come ON. I can't believe—“
[Sound of a door slamming shut. Papers being flipped. A baby gurgling-- loud, unintelligible words and phrases. Flute. Static, lobby vocals: “…heard energy in adversity…smile…the soul of witchery…”]
“Miss Scully? The doctor is ready for you.”
“Thank you… Mulder---could you um, grab the baby?”
“Yeah. I can, Scu—“
“I’m sorry, sir. What was your name?”
“Mulder. Fox Mulder. I’m—“
“I’m sorry, Mr. Mulder, but you’ll have to wait outside.”
“Wha—What? No, I’m not waiting outside.”
“Mulder, it’s alright, really. Just watch William and--“
“No. It’s not alright, Scully…”
“I’m sorry, sir, but you’ll have to wait outside. It’s policy.”
[Soft melody against static: “… barely balancing as it is…don’t want to drown in my dreams…wild plums and Agrimony…”]
[Another door slamming shut.]
End of tape….
Part Six, coming soon to a theatre near you.