Scully opened the door to leave and found Mulder standing in the hallway outside her apartment. She took a surprised step backwards.
"Mulder?" She had every right to be cautious considering the last time Mulder had turned up at her apartment it was actually Eddie Van Blundht.
"It's me," he gave her a half smile and she waved him inside.
"What's up?" She felt a blush rise to her cheeks when she saw Mulder look over at her couch, he was obviously remembering the night before. He turned and faced her an unreadable expression on his face.
"Would you have kissed him?" He pointed to the couch and she lowered her eyes.
"Uh… Mulder… It wasn't really him. I mean – I would never have kissed Van Blundht." She twisted her hands nervously in front of her. She really didn't want to have this discussion.
"So you would kiss me?" His question was so direct that her eyes flicked up to meet his. She wasn't sure how to answer him. Did he want her to say yes? Or would it be easier on their partnership, their friendship – if she said no? He tilted his head to the side. "Dana... please..." She felt her eyes widen at his use of her first name and she realized the only answer she could give him would be the truth.
"Yes," she kept her gaze steady and her face neutral. She literally had no idea where this conversation was going and that scared her.
"Do you know why I haven't kissed you?" She shook her head, no. "Because I didn't think you would want me to."
"Mulder…" She sighed and took a step closer to him, gauging his reaction before taking another step until if she wanted she could reach out and touch him. "Why would you think that?"
"I don't know exactly. I just felt you would rather I didn't." He reached out his hand stroking her cheek gently.
"But you wanted to?" She asked, her heart began hammering in her chest. Could she have been wrong all these years? She had always assumed Mulder was too obsessed with his work to even think of her.
"Are you stupid?" Mulder actually looked surprised. "Maybe you haven't looked in the mirror lately Scully, but how could I have not thought about kissing you." He grinned at this and she felt her own lips turn up into a small smile.
"Are you calling me stupid, Mulder?" She asked, teasing him. He pressed his lips together and then bent towards her. She suddenly felt unsure where to put her hands, what to do with her body. He must have felt her apprehension because he took her by the hips gently tugging her body against his. She lifted her arms and wound them around his neck before tilting her face up so that he could kiss her. It was a gentle kiss and after a moment she opened her mouth letting the kiss deepen. When he pulled away he kept his hands on her waist looking at her with such intensity that she felt dizzy.
"Oh, Scully." He suddenly looked scared and she felt something cold touch her lip, blood. She closed her eyes, frustrated. Why did this have to happen right now? Isn't it bad enough to know you are dying of cancer – but every time you are stressed to have blood suddenly dripping from your nose to remind everyone else of that fact too.
"Sorry," she muttered. "I'll be right back." She headed to her bathroom but heard Mulder's steps behind her. She wished he wouldn't follow as she was angry their first kiss had to end like this. She picked up a face cloth from the edge of her bath and dampened it beneath the cold tap. She looked into the mirror and in the reflection she could see Mulder hovering in the doorway. She held the cold cloth to her nose and looked away.
"Scully…" He came up beside her and took the cloth from her hand, it wasn't until then she noticed she was trembling. He lifted the cloth to her nose and gently wiped away the blood before kissing her on the tip of her nose and then another quick kiss on her lips. "Are you okay?" He asked.
"I'm fine, Mulder." She sighed.
"We will find a way to beat this thing." He told her, his voice so sure.
"Okay Mulder," she didn't believe him but a small bubble of hope remained whenever he assured her they would find a cure. The doctor in her knew there was no hope, but the other part of her desperately wanted to believe him. He took her in his arms and she rested her head against his chest taking in his familiar scent and the feel of his warm body against hers. She wished she could just stay here wrapped up in his arms forever.