Dana Scully walked into her basement office with a determined step. The night before she had made a decision that would change the course of this day - the course of her life, for that matter. And Dana Scully never doubted her decisions.
She had gone far too long letting Mulder get away with far too much. Yesterday had been her breaking point. Mulder had been invading her personal space for years. He was always putting a hand on her shoulder or back; he was always leaning down to speak to her so that their faces were less than an inch or two apart. He always put a hand on her thigh in the car. She had been pointedly ignoring him - and her attraction - in hopes that it would stop eventually.
Yesterday, however, it had done the exact opposite. It had become more intense. They had just gotten back from a nerve-wracking case. Scully had collapsed in the chair and closed her eyes. She stayed like that for a minute or two. Then, out of nowhere, two hands were on her shoulders. Her eyes popped open as she felt Mulder begin to knead and massage her neck muscles. She had let herself enjoy the massage limitedly until she started to feel. She'd let her guard down, and she felt herself start to awaken sexually.
It had to stop. She'd stood up abruptly and left, not saying a word. Then she went home, sat down on her couch, and tried to come up with a way to get it to stop. That was when her brilliant plan came to mind. Mulder wouldn't listen unless she made him listen. She had to get him to see what he was doing, what he was jeopardizing.
He hadn't called her, as he usually did when he upset her. That meant that he had the decency to realize that this fight was different from the others. That hadn't been the first time she'd walked out on him, but it was the first time she'd walked out on him without yelling, the first time he'd gotten so physical with her.
"Morning, Scully," Mulder greeted without looking up.
Scully walked over to his desk and sat down on the edge. "What? No new X-Files?" she questioned.
"Hmm?" He looked up. "Oh. No, no X-Files." He squinted at her. "You look different today."
Scully arched an eyebrow. "Is that your twisted version of a compliment?" In fact, she did look different. She had worn more makeup than usual; she had left her jacket unbuttoned to reveal her button-up blouse with just one too many buttons undone; and, last but not least, she had worn a push up bra for the first time since she had been a teenager.
"I guess it is." He handed her a file he'd been scanning. "Give me your opinion on the report." He leaned backwards and watched her.
Scully smiled internally. It was time to actually start her brilliant plan. She picked up the paper and began to read. She moved her lips along with the words, trying to draw Mulder's attention to her painted pout. When she was done reading, she set it down. Mulder jumped as if from a stupor. "Very, very good," she said, adding a touch of sultriness to her voice. It was just enough to make Mulder wonder if it was intentional.
Mulder cleared his throat and stood up, taking the file from her. "Then I'll go give this to Skinner."
"You do that," Scully said. She crossed her legs, making sure to show more skin than she usually did with that action.
Mulder's gaze found its way to her thigh. He stood there for a second, and then he seemed to realize what he was doing. "Um . . . right. I will." He turned away from her and left the office. She clearly heard him mutter a few curse words.
Scully sat down in Mulder's seat and used his computer to research. It was at least another hour before Mulder returned. She turned around in the seat. "Took you long enough," she said. "Did you get in trouble again?"
Mulder shrugged. He moved to lean over Scully's shoulder. "What are you looking at?"
Scully smiled to herself. Normally him being so close would unnerve her, but she was in control this day. She returned her gaze to the screen. "Medical terms. You probably wouldn't understand any of the words."
She felt Mulder's smile. "I might surprise you, Agent Scully."
She used the mouse to click to a few more links. "Are you comfortable standing there? You can sit down on the desk."
Mulder moved around her and sat on the edge of the desk as she said. He continued to watch the screen. "I understand this stuff," he muttered.
Scully smiled. She leaned forward as if riveted by what she was reading. In reality, she was moving into a position that would enable Mulder to see right down her blouse . . . if only he would look.
She waited a few minutes. When she heard Mulder intake a sharp breath, she knew she'd gotten him. She didn't look up or acknowledge that he'd made a sound. Instead she kept reading, mentally placing anything new she learned in her memory. She was really focused on Mulder; though she couldn't see him, her senses were tuned in to his every move and breath.
"You seem bored, Mulder," Scully commented after awhile. She looked up just as Mulder was tearing his gaze away from her chest.
"No . . . I'm just distracted," Mulder admitted. To the naked eye he seemed as normal as usual.
Scully put a hand on his thigh - it was in just the right position. It was close enough to his knee to make it friendly but far enough up his leg that he had to be feeling it in his groin. She looked up at him intensely. "Is something bothering you?" She lowered her voice and moved her lashes so that her eyes were sleepy and promising. "I can help you in any way you want. I'm always here for you."
Mulder practically leapt off the desk. "I'm fine!"
Scully arched an eyebrow and swung the chair around to face him. "Are you sure? You're acting irrational."
"Perfect." Mulder shot her a smile. "Never better."
Scully pretended to be perfectly innocent. "Are you mad that I'm using your desk?" She stood up abruptly. "I need to go do some research upstairs anyway."
Mulder nodded, blowing out a breath. "Yeah, it's just the desk," he assured her.
"You're such a child," she said, keeping her voice light instead of insulting. She turned around and left the room slowly. She was wearing higher heels than usual, and her skirt was just a few inches shorter than all her others. She hoped the effect would accentuate her legs. Scully had always known she had a nice body; that was all the more reason for her to hide it behind FBI uniform. Until today.
* * * * *
Mulder was going mad. He'd seen more of his partner today than he had since they'd met. She had touched him more times today than the last time she'd examined him. And these touches weren't doctor touches. These touches had a sexual undertone. Either that or Mulder was imagining it.
Whatever it was, Mulder had more pent up sexual frustration than . . . well . . . this was the most pent up sexual frustration he'd ever had, as a matter of fact. And, if he didn't know Scully, he'd say that she was doing it all on purpose.
She came back an hour or so after she'd gone off to research or do whatever the hell it was she was doing. He didn't say a word to her when she came in. But she had come straight towards him and set a folder on the desk. "Looks like an X-File. Skinner handed it to me as I was coming down from Research."
Mulder opened the folder carefully. He was just about to read when Scully did something she'd never done before. She sat on the arm of his chair and put her arm around the back to help support herself. Her knee was pressed against his leg in a way that was almost intimate. He looked up at her sharply. "What are you doing?" he asked before he could stop himself.
She looked down. "Oh. I just hate sitting on the desk. It's so . . . hard."
Was it just his imagination, or had she meant to say 'hard' in that way? He shook his head. This was Scully. This was his prudish partner Dana Scully. She was incapable of thinking these things, doing this to him on purpose. Sometimes he thought she had no idea how sexy she was. But it seemed as if she'd just discovered it. And she seemed to like it. A lot.
He looked at the file again, scanned its contents. He closed it carefully.
"What do you think?" Her words were right by his ear, tickling his neck and sending shivers down his spine.
"I think we've got a case." He reached for the phone and dialed up his travel agent. They talked for a few minutes, discussing tickets to Vermont and transportation once they got there. He hung up and looked up at Scully. "Four o'clock. You'd better get packing."
Scully looked at the clock on his computer. "I've still got three hours," she pointed out. She put a hand on her stomach. "I'm starving, too." She stood up and stretched. Mulder's mouth went dry when he saw her shirt stretch across her breasts like that. This was enough to send him flying home with a new magazine. "What do you say?"
"About what?" Mulder realized that she had asked him something.
"Lunch," Scully said slowly. She gave him an odd look.
Mulder nodded. "Yes. Definitely. Someplace nice." He wanted to distract her from his blunder. She couldn't realize how much she'd been affecting him today. She'd probably kill him if she knew how many times he'd gotten hard, or that he was starting to do it again right then.
Scully smiled. "That's nice of you, Mulder. Let me get my stuff together."
* * * * *
Half an hour later they arrived at a fancy Chinese restaurant. Being a hot day, Scully had left her jacket in the car. Mulder could hardly keep his eyes off her. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen her anything but her suits. The violet button up she was wearing accentuated her curves and added a feminine touch that she had never bothered with before.
They sat down at a two-person table in the back and placed their drink orders. Mulder was opening his menu when he felt her knee brush against his. He closed his eyes tight and willed himself not to react. This was impossible.
"The almond chicken sounds good," Scully murmured.
"Whatever you want, Scully. It's on me today."
Scully looked up, surprised. "You don't have to-"
"I want to," he interjected. Indeed, he did. Scully was dressing more like a woman, so why shouldn't he treat her more like one? He remembered how to be a gentleman . . . maybe. It had been awhile, but it was like riding a bicycle, right?
"Thanks," she said softly.
Their drinks came, and they ordered three entrées. The waiter left with the promise of their food being out in fifteen minutes.
"How long are we planning on staying in Vermont?" Scully asked.
"I'd say three - four days. Not that long."
"Did you book us a hotel room?"
She didn't mean to say it like that!Mulder told his libido fiercely. He coughed. "Y-Yes. Two of them. Separate. But together. I mean, the usual walk-in."
Scully was smiling. "Yes, Mulder, I understand."
"Good." He cleared his throat again. "I'll be right back. I need to use the restroom."
Scully nodded. "Take your time."
Mulder stood up quickly and held himself in check while he rushed the men's room. He went into one of the stalls to avoid contact with anyone else. Then he put his head in his hands. What was with him today? Why was he acting so sexually to everything she said or did?
He waited a minute or two for his reaction to calm down. Then he splashed water on his face, dried it off, and when back into the restaurant. Scully didn't seem to notice him. He watched as she seemed to hike her skirt up, revealing more leg. She then very discreetly pushed her breasts upwards. She unbuttoned another button and laid her head in her hand. It was a casual stance, but he knew from standing behind her that it was bringing more attention to her chest.
His mind whirled with questions. Was she doing this on purpose? It seemed very much like she was. But . . . why? Why was she trying to drive him insane?
He sat down across from her and flashed a smile. He glanced at her breasts, admired the view for a split second, then focused on her face again. The twinkle in her eyes showed that she had noticed, and he mentally kicked himself. She was playing a game with him. Some kind of twisted game, but a game nonetheless.
He firmly decided to play along. He would ignore her pointedly, act like he didn't think of her in that way at all. "Did I ever tell you my theory on Alien toilets?" Yes, that was a nice, boring subject. Strike one, Mulder.
He droned on for the next ten minutes, making his speech boring. She "accidentally" ran her leg up his calf. He moved his leg away and apologized for being in her space. She leaned over to brush an eyelash off his cheek. He ignored the way her shirt hung open in that position and thanked her in a friendly voice.
She was starting to look irritated when the food came. They both ate quietly for a few minutes. Then Scully spoke up. "How do you think Aliens reproduce? Test tube or natural?"
Mulder stayed calm. "Natural." He met her eyes intensely. "Creatures with high intelligence need passion to keep them going. People like you and I can put our passion into our work or our kids or even movies, but all that passion is sexuality pent up inside. We can use that passion safely, but one day it's going to break. Even priests have sex dreams."
He noticed that she was breathing shallower than usual, and she didn't even attempt to defend priesthood. Instead she took a quick bite of her food and mumbled, "I see."
He had foiled her again. This was getting more fun by the second. "Why do you think I watch porn?" he asked.
"I never thought about it before," she said quickly. A little too quickly, which meant that she had thought of it before. That was interesting.
He leaned closer and lowered his voice. "It's so that I don't attack and ravish every female I see day in and day out," he said, clearly implying that "every female" was Scully and only Scully. He went back to eating, waiting for her reaction.
Scully's cheeks were red. "Mulder, I really don't appreciate comments like that," she stuttered.
He shrugged. "You're the one who asked. I merely informed."
She clenched her jaw and focused on her food.
They finished lunch in silence.
* * * * *
Scully was growing increasingly angry. She'd been on the plane to Vermont with Mulder for what seemed like forever, and he was playing with her mind. She had had the upper hand that morning, but now Mulder seemed to be taking that from her. His hand had practically never left her thigh the entire flight. She, in turn, could be seen whispering in his ear about the movie she was watching.
This lasted for the trip, and when they arrived in Vermont it seemed like days had passed. Scully was exhausted and energetic at the same time - both emotions caused by Mulder's hands and words. Her resolve was starting to break, and she knew this was a bad thing. She'd spent their entire partnership building up that resolve.
In the car Scully angrily put a hand on his knee, not wanting to be the one who lost here. She was certain that Mulder had figured out her little ploy and was trying his hardest to beat her at it. Now it was competitive. Mulder practically slapped his hand onto her thigh as soon as he felt her hand on his.
Scully looked up and glared at him. "Take your hand off my thigh, Mulder."
"Not until you take yours off mine," Mulder shot back.
Scully's eyes flashed. Without replying, she moved her hand up determinedly further. She delighted in Mulder's surprised gasp.
"Take your hand off my thigh, Mulder."
"Scully," Mulder gritted out in warning.
She raised her hand up higher.
Mulder skidded their rental car and stopped on the side of the road. "Goddamn it, Scully!" He used his free hand to try to pry her hand off his leg.
She pressed down harder. In response, Mulder's hand crawled up even higher on her leg. Scully knew in the back of her mind that they must look pretty comical, but all she could feel was a mix of anger and arousal.
"Mulder! Take your hand off me or I will file for sexual harassment!" she screeched.
"Oh, you can't file for sexual harassment," Scully said haughtily. "I haven't done anything. You, on the other hand, have been unable to keep your hands off me for the past-"
"You've been doing things to me all day!"
"You've been doing things to me for years!"
Mulder took his hand away and started the car again. He remained stoic, jaw clenched and eyes straight ahead. Scully removed her hand from him and crossed her arms across her chest tightly. They continued their silence even as they pulled into the hotel parking lot.
Scully got out of the car without a moment's hesitation and went to the trunk. Mulder met her on the other side and used the keys to open it.
Scully grabbed her bag and started to stomp away. It took her a full minute to realize they hadn't checked in yet and she didn't have a key. She turned around to see Mulder smirking at her. She dropped her bag and stomped back over to him. She poked him hard in the shoulder. "You are an ass, Mulder."
"I'm an ass?" Mulder repeated.
"An ass! A complete and utter ass!" She shook her head. "Whatever you think I was doing today is completely wrong. I've been trying to get you to reason with me."
"Reason with you?" Mulder laughed shortly. "Scully, you've been playing with me ever since you walked into the office this morning. And you've been enjoying it."
"I was trying to get you sexually frustrated."
He snorted. "I figured that part out a long time ago."
Scully took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. "Mulder, I wasn't trying to be cruel. I just . . ." She closed her eyes. "Mulder, did you like how you felt today?"
Mulder didn't answer.
"You probably couldn't stop thinking about me - was unable to work with a clear head," Scully continued. "If you had gone home you would have sat there for an hour or two unable to get me out of your thoughts. You would have wondered why and you would have wanted me to never act like that again - but deep down you would know that you wanted it to happen every day, no matter what the cost."
"I was trying to show you what you do to me every single day," Scully finished quietly.
Mulder's eyebrows shot up in surprise.
"Now let's go in there and get our rooms. Then we're going to our rooms to spend the rest of the night alone. Tomorrow morning we will wake up, start working on this case, and pretend like today never happened."
* * * * *
Mulder ate pizza alone that night. He turned on the TV and switched it to a sitcom. Despite the show's generally humorous jokes, he couldn't help but feel grim.
Scully had more or less confessed that she was attracted to him today. He'd had no idea. He'd never meant to make her so frustrated . . . Okay, that was a lie. He'd wanted to get a reaction out of her. He'd wanted her to feel something in return for him.
But, aside from a startled gasp here and there, she'd never shown any reaction to his subtle advances. That had just fueled him even more. But after the way he'd acted today, he felt sorry for his actions. He'd been ready to throw her down on that plane and have her.
Despite his depression, the thought of doing that made him tingle with desire.
He switched the channel, searching out some kind of porn station to relieve his tension with. He found one and allowed the TV to charge to his room. Then he sat back on the bed and watched the unfolding sex scene.
After ten or twenty minutes he flipped the TV off. It was pointless. There was only one way he could relieve himself, and that way was sitting in the room next to him ready with her gun if he ever tried anything.
* * * * *
Scully was sitting on her bed, but she didn't exactly have her gun out and ready. She was nibbling on her own pizza and watching the same sitcom Mulder had gotten bored with. She never liked sitcoms. They had lame jokes, lame actors, and lame plotlines. She had been a bigger fan of the hour long suspense shows. They, at least, had substance.
When the show ended and she was full, she shut the TV off and put the leftovers in the fridge. Then she went into the bathroom and turned the water on. She went to her bag and pulled out her toiletries. When she reached the edge of the tub, the water was climbing high. She pulled out her bubble bath and poured out half the container.
She slipped out of her clothes and into the water. It was warm as it lapped against her skin. She turned the faucets off and settled her head on the back of the tub. She closed her eyes and let herself relax.
She started to drift off to her favorite fantasy (Mulder wearing only a teacup), when someone started banging on her door. She jumped up in a stupor. She grabbed a towel, wrapped it around her body, and went back into her hotel room. She grabbed her gun as the knocking continued.
She went to the door that connected hers and Mulder's rooms and opened it carefully, keeping her gun at the crack.
"Hey, point that at someone your own size," Mulder said.
She opened the door to glare at him. "What in God's name is so important?"
"I just wanted to say . . ." He looked down at the little towel that was covering her - barely. He gulped noticeably. "That-that I'm sorry."
"Thank you. Apology accepted." She started to shut the door.
Mulder's foot kept her from shutting it all the way. He slipped in through the crack. "You're wearing a towel, Dana," he said, his voice cracking slightly.
"You interrupted me while I was taking a bath," she explained haughtily.
His face slowly turned to the bathroom. "I'll bet it was a bubble bath."
She stiffened. "Mulder, I would appreciate it if you left my hotel room right now."
Mulder looked at her again. "Would you really?"
"I think you're lying."
Scully sighed. "Mulder, I don't care what you think at this point. I told you that I didn't want to see you until the morning."
"I wanted to see you tonight," Mulder said, voice low and suggestive.
"Mulder . . ."
"Are you fully capable of waking up tomorrow and pretending like nothing ever went on between us?"
Mulder sighed raggedly. "Then you must be perfectly capable of conveniently forgetting if I kiss you right now."
"Mulder . . ." She said it in an annoyed voice, but when he stepped closer she didn't pull away. He leaned down to kiss her. Despite his words, he moved slowly, giving her every opportunity to pull away.
She didn't. Instead, she reached a hand up to quicken up his lips' descent. The first touch did more for her than she could ever remember a kiss doing. Her body came alive, and when he plunged his tongue in her mouth her body felt like it was on fire.
They explored each other with their hands and their tongues, moving faster than Scully usually liked. But she wanted this too much to give herself a second to come up with a reason for them to stop. She knew she had a couple, but she closed her mind off.
When her towel dropped to the floor, she was done for. She led Mulder to the bed, keeping her lips locked with his, and let him hover over her.
The night was permanently engraved in her brain. She wondered if she really could wake up the next morning and pretend like nothing happened. But until tomorrow, she was going to enjoy tonight.