She had left her bag on the floor in Mulders room but with her wallet in her pocket and enough money to buy a drink she couldn't have cared less. Dana Scully perched herself on the end of the Hotel bar and ordered a gin and tonic. The hotel barman eyed her up suspiciously and she guessed her attire wasn't what he was used to seeing but she put the twenty-dollar bill on the bar and stared him back challengingly.

"Anything else ma'am?" he asked politely as he put the drink down in front of her along with her change.

"No thanks."

The liquid was cool and clear and tingled on her already sensitised lips as she drank it in slow measured sips. Her heart still hammered against her chest a loud deep thudding that rang in her ears so loudly she was sure everyone else could hear it too. Anger mixed with shock at the intrusion as she battled for some middle ground. But through it all rang a wave of desire she had managed to hold in check for so long finally released under the bombardment of his kisses.

Scully finished her drink and ordered another one ignoring the barman's curious glances. Her drink arrived without a word, her empty glass taken away. She kept her eyes low and licked her lips with a slow motion of her tongue. The drink was dulling her senses but nothing she thought could numb the feeling of pain that was overwhelming her.

Her breath caught in her throat as the pain tried to break free in a cry so she quickly stood up and rushed to the ladies room before she became the focus of everyone's attention. In the subtly lit bathroom she managed to curtail her cries seeing only the image of his back as he poured another drink, feeling the sensation of his tongue travelling aimlessly but with definite purpose on her throat. Standing before the mirror her reflection begged her to return to him but her pride kept her there, wiping the traces of unfallen tears from her eyes.

"Ohio, what the hell am I doing in Ohio?"

Finally removing all traces of her outbreak she ran her fingers through her hair and returned to her seat where she ordered another drink and tried to relax.

"Excuse me, is someone sitting there?"

Scully turned to see a tall blonde man smiling down at her expectantly. She turned back to the bar but shook her head a little giving him all the encouragement he needed.

"I couldn't help but notice you seemed a little upset."

"I'm not very good company at the moment."

"Oh I wouldn't believe that. Josh Racer," he said holding out her hand that she shook with little effort.

"Dana Scully. It's been a bad day and it doesn't look like its about to get any better."

"Well maybe I can fix that for you."

Scully turned to face him seeing his rich brown eyes contrasting to his fair blonde hair.

"A few of us are going to a club. It's called Bacchus."

"The god of Wine," she said idly."

"You know it?"

"No, no."

"Well you should join us. It's a few blocks away, let me write the address down for you," he said as he jotted it down on a napkin. "It's nothing formal we just closed a deal on a project and we're celebrating."

"I wouldn't like to intrude," Scully said trying to say no politely. The last thing she wanted was to be surrounded by people in good moods.

"Not at all, the more the merrier."


She took the napkin he held out to her and smiled as best she could at his warm expression.

"See you there later."

She watched as he returned to his table and they gathered their things and left all trying to watch her without actually looking at her. Scully shook her head with a little smile and finished her drink. She fished in her wallet for more money to order another drink when suddenly the urge to be surrounded by happy people did appeal to her. To speak to people where she could be carefree Dana and not the scared and lonely person that started back at her from the reflection in the mirror behind the bar.

Dropping a few bills onto the bar she waved at the barman with an eager smile and turned to leave not noticing the napkin flutter to the floor. Catching Josh on the street outside the hotel she joined him in a cab and enjoyed the easy chatter they shared as they made their way to the club.

Mulder finished the fourth and last mini bottle of whisky in the fridge and tossed it into the bin with the others. He inspected the other drinks but balked at the idea of completing them alone. With a thirst for a good whiskey he grabbed his wallet and left the room. Passers by in the corridor stayed clear of his path giving him wide berth as he moved through the hotel to the ground floor bar with a deep frown scarring his brow and a faint aroma of alcohol trailing behind him. He perched himself on the end of the bar and ordered a glass of Johnny Walker passing a ten dollar bill across to the surprised barman.

"Anything else sir?"

"No thank you just keep them coming." Mulder finished his first drink in one easy swallow and his second but his third he swirled idly in its glass watching the brown liquid play with the overhead lights.

He sat back in his chair and closed his eyes letting out a deep sigh he hadn't realised had been building up. His shoulders ached from the tense posture and his neck felt as if he'd been crouched over his PC for 12 hours, a feeling he was more than familiar with. Closing his eyes he rolled his head around trying to free up the tight muscles and then let it fall back as far as his neck would allow.

"Rough day?" He turned to see the barman watching him curiously as he wiped a glass with a white towel.

"Yeah," Mulder said sitting up and sipping his drink. "Rough fortnight."

"Well if you've hit rock bottom it can only get better right?"

"I dunno about that. I fear I have further to fall first."

"Well in that case let me get you another drink."

Taking away Mulders empty glass he poured him another whiskey and set it on the bar with a soft knowing smile. But suddenly the desire to get drunk was gone. The drink didn't seem as appealing as before or as necessary as finding her and talking to her.

As if fate was finally giving him a break his eyes caught the movement of the white and blue napkin fluttering in the breeze on the floor. The scribbled handwriting grabbed his curiosity but as he bent down to grab it the whiskey he'd been drinking so rapidly protested and made his head spin.

"Whoa!" he sat back up having managed to clutch the napkin but held his eyes closed for a minute as he tried to repel the wave of nausea that threatened to overwhelm him. Finally it passed and he risked opening his eyes. Lancing down at the napkin he all but choked at the sight of the writing there.

"Bacchus Club, 253 Roosevelt Street hope to see you there, Dana!" he read aloud but to himself getting the attention of the barman.

"You okay?"

"Was there a lady in here earlier? About five foot six, red hair?"

"Yes she left a about half an hour ago with a group."

"Who? Who did she leave with?" he asked eagerly.

"A group of architects that were using the conference room all week. They were celebrating something."

"And they went to this Bacchus Club?"

"Yes. Did you know her? Is she your wife?"

Mulder didn't reply only grabbed his change and charged out onto the street to grab a taxi. Glancing at his watch he saw it was just past eight but it only urged him to get there quicker. Finally a cab answered his loud whistles and waving arm and he jumped in fervently calling out the address.

"Rightio Buddy!"

Watching out the window as the unfamiliar sites of Columbus trail by Mulder was surprised to see a bright blue neon sign spelling out Bacchus over a dark wall and beneath it stood to well dressed men with earpieces and wide shoulders.

Mulder paid the taxi driver and walked across the street to the doorway where the two bouncers stood aside and let him in holding the door open for him.

"Thank you," he muttered as he entered unsure what he was about to find unsure if he wanted to find it.

Past the door, steps led down to a large room where a small dance floor was laid out in front of a stage where a jazz band was playing a soft tune Mulder recognised from an old 50's movie his mother loved to watch. A bar circled the edge of the room and table and couches were scattered about the room.

Mulder scanned the room but in the dimly lit shadows he could not see her. Sauntering over to the bar claiming a seat by the door he ordered a drink and sat back getting lost in the bands soft notes. Every time the door opened he wrenched himself from the cocoon of music and turned to see if it was her, but every time he was disappointed. He was just beginning to wonder if she had decided to come at all when the light caught her soft red hair as she walked across the room returning from the ladies and went to a table of people across the room from where he sat.

With his eyes glued to her he watched her take a seat next to a blonde man who put his arm on her shoulder and pointed out someone across the table speaking something into her ear, making her laugh. Mulders temper flares up and he was half way out of his chair when she replied with a quick remark that made him take his arm away and Mulder could see him blush from his vantage point at the bar.

The table was a mix of men and women all seemed to be enjoying themselves to the best of their ability. When the band struck up a fast number they started to get up and dance but Mulder watched as Scully refused every offer. Soon he saw her sitting alone at the table, her hair loose about her face covering her expression as she bent her head low. Mulder longed to cross the room to her but suddenly became aware of a cautious bubble of worry that expanded in his stomach.

Then as he caught the small movement of her shoulder shaking the all too familiar of her hiding her tears he stood quickly and crossed the room without a thought.

Standing behind her he hesitated before he crouched low and reached out to touch her back. For a moment she made no move or reply but her hands reached up to her face he knew to remove the tears.

"Scully…" Her head whipped around to see him her face a mixture of anger and joy. "What are we doing?" he whispered his hand moving lower to claim his usual spot on her back, his lips curving into a tired smile as he took the seat next to her.

"Ruining it. Ruining everything."

"No Scully…"

He reached out to take her hand but Josh chose that moment to return to her side having watched the exchange from across the room.

"Is this man bothering you Dana?" Josh stood behind her a hand resting territorially on her shoulder as he eyed Mulder up with an angry glare.

"No, no he's not."

"We were just about to dance," Mulder said taking scully hand and pulling her up with him. He smiled triumphantly at Josh and led her out onto the dance floor where the band had decided to slow things down with an acoustic ballad.

"Mulder," she began as he turned to face her and held her closely with one arm around her back and the other hold her hand to his chest.

"Shhhh Scully," he murmured into her hair as he bent his head low enough to rest on her shoulder. "Every time we speak we ruin it…so I've decided that if we're going to have a relationship we should stop speaking."

Her body shook beneath his arms as she chuckled as his words and her arms tightened around him.

"Mulder we have to speak, we have to clear the air."

She pulled back enough to see his face and was met by a smell of whiskey. Knowing her breath was just as alcohol soaked she smiled and thought of all the situations she'd imagined they'd end up speaking about their true feelings she didn't think the aroma of alcohol would be so prominent.

"I know but I just wanted to dance first. Just dance."

His voice was so low she struggled to hear it but nothing could drown out the look of need in his eyes so she moved in closer to him and leaned her cheek on his chest loving the way his chin rested on her head. The song ended and they kept swaying oblivious to the faster music that picked up around them and the couples that moved about them laughing and cheering.

"Maybe we should go somewhere else and talk," he ventured carefully still holding her closely.

"Okay...but…I should go say goodbye." She looked around to the group she had arrived with but Mulder tugged her chin back to face him.

"Forget it Scully, lets go."

"No Mulder I have to. I'll meet you outside in a few minutes."

He went over to the bar not wanting to leave the room and leaned back on his elbows as she sat next to Josh and spoke softly with him. Josh smiled and stood up with her giving her a little hug and waving at Mulder who was watching her with a frown.

Scully joined him and they both left getting a cab almost immediately. He called out the hotel address and held her hand on his lap between his two hands, watching the way their fingers intertwined easily.

"Before we say whatever it is we're about to say…however we might say it…" he stammered keeping his eyes fixed on their fingers. "I want you to know I love you Scully."

"Oh Mulder," she squeezed his hand and he returned it but still kept his eyes off her face.

"Just wanted to get that out before I mess this up because god knows I probably will."

They arrived at the hotel and Scully didn't have a chance to reply as he quickly paid the driver and quickly led her through the lobby and up to his room. The stark silence seemed to steal all words and thoughts from them as they wandered around the big room aimlessly. Scully walked over to the window and looked out at the expanse of the city below. Mulder wanted to go to the mini fridge but he knew there was nothing in there that would quench the thirst he was feeling so he turned to her. Her back was too him so he walked up behind her and slipped his arms around her.

"Scully…" he urged her to speak to him share her thoughts.

"I was too scared Mulder." She began and he made no move to interrupt her. "I was too afraid of ruining our friendship."

"That could never happen?"

"Oh yeah? Well we haven't exactly been the best friends these last couple of days."

"No I guess not." She turned in his arms and looked up to his face with a fearful expression.

"I was afraid to get involved with you…in case it wasn't something you wanted. I was afraid to let go of the barriers in case I couldn't build them up again, I was afraid to love you in case you didnt love me back."

Her words spilled out almost quicker then her lips could managed but Mulder caught every single one and cradled them carefully hoping he was hearing what he wanted.

"Scully for someone so smart you can be awful dense sometimes."

"Mulder that's not fair, you kept going on about no repercussions, no consequences," she argued heatedly.

"I was just as scared as you were. I thought that's what you wanted to hear, I thought you wanted it like that no matter how much it was killing me I tried not to get too close."

She broke away from his arms and walked across the room to get a glass of water.

"I thought I could stop kissing you when we got back to DC when we got back to work but that night in my apartment…I couldn't help it. I had to touch you I had to kiss you…but you left."

"I had to get out of there. You were scaring me. Showing me too much of what I'd be missing when it was all over. I thought if I stopped it before then we could go back…"

"Go back?" He crossed the room and stood before her gently brushing the back of his finger along her jaw until her grasped her chin between his finger and thumb and raised her face up to meet him. "No way scully." A gentle kiss spread a warm sensation around her but he made no move to deepen it.

"What are we doing Mulder?"

"I was kissing you!"

"We've tried it and it didn't seem to work too well."

"Were we really trying or were we trying to protect ourselves? I can only speak for myself Scully but I could try harder."

"What about all the repercussions? Consequences?"

"What about them? We'll face them when we meet them." His voice was filled with such conviction that she felt a flicker of hope glowing inside her.

"Mulder before we do go any further before we do start to really try I want you to know…I love you too."

He kissed her again this time more urgent and deeper then before and they both dropped the barriers. He walked her towards the bed where they lay down still kissing. The silence in the room was now welcome as he felt his heart beating rapidly in his chest and willed her to hear it.

"You know two weeks ago when Skinner forced us out on this temporary leave I never thought I'd make it." He said propping himself up on one shoulder and looking down contentedly.

"Glad I could be of some help."

"But there is one more thing we need to add to the list." His fingers traced invisible lines on her face along her cheeks and around her chin.


"You know the travel guide…Things To Do In DC When You're Dead"

Scully laughed remembering the conversation they shared over breakfast that morning. He brushed his fingers through her hair and kissed her throat as it shook with her laughter.

"What's left on the list then Mulder?" she asked knowing exactly where his thoughts were leading as his hand roamed over her stomach and found it's way under her top to caress her warm skin.

"I know we're not in DC but maybe we should practice before we get home. Make sure we get it right." He kissed her chin and jaw slowly making his way to her ear.

"Maybe we should!" she agreed making him smile as he came round to face her fully all traces of humour disappearing under his shining eyes as it was replaced with another less familiar expression but one she was sure she'd get to know just as well.

Mulder leaned down, hovering his lips over hers mingling their breaths for a second longer, tasting the air, the tension, the need before finally closing the distance and kissing her hungrily.

"Damn the consequences," he thought to himself as a final thought gained lucidity and everything else melted out into the background while he focused on the task at hand and kissed her again.

Scully leaned her had back into the pillow to allow him better access to her neck loving the way his lips and tongue caused electric sensations to tingle over her skin.

"Damn the consequences," she thought as he moved to pull her top over her head and kissed his way down her chest. Her hands roamed freely over his back pulling the tee shirt off over his head.

"We're back to work on Monday Scully," he said catching her eyes as they fluttered open.

"Back to DC tomorrow."

"Back to normal?" he ventured carefully traces of their uncertainty still clinging to the air.

"No way Mulder, nothing will be normal again." With a hand either side of his face she pulled his closer for a kiss breaking free only when both of them needed air.

"Good." Smiling against her lips Mulder pulled her into a tight embrace and revelled in the feel of her skin against his. "Because I don't think I could do it."

"We wont have to," she urged and they rolled over on the bed kissing deeper and removing more clothes as the need to get closer overwhelmed them both. Repercussions were dammed into the night as they banished away their fears and welcomed the new warmth that spread between them.

The End.

Skinfull 2004

Well at last after a long long LONG updating sequence I finally finished it and managed to get it all typed up and posted. Thanks for reading it you guys and sticking around even with the lack of timely updates. And thanks so much for the reviews makes it all worthwhile! (The ending is a bit corney but C'mon it's's gotta be!)

You are the best! :)