No More Pretending

By Sassy and Jacquie

Chapter 1

Mulder picked up his pillow from the bed and stepped toward her. "The thrill is gone." He made his way downstairs to the couch. He was exhausted, but had been looking forward to the idea of "sleeping" with Scully. He knew better than to think she'd take her undercover assignment that far. He settled down on the couch and after a few minutes of tossing he drifted off to sleep. To dream of her and what it would be like to really be married to her.

Scully, in the meantime, lay awake staring at the ceiling. Finally guilt drove her into the living room again to find Mulder and tell him that it was silly for him to be cold. She had her mouth open, ready to utter the words, but the sight of him asleep softened her.

He stirred a little in his sleep. "Dana, please don't do that." His voice was soft and tender.

He sighed in his sleep. Scully bit her lip and turned on her heel to go upstairs again.

A few hours later, Mulder sat upright and made a quick dash up the stairs. When he pushed open the door he saw her lying peacefully in the middle of the bed clutching her pillow tight. He smiled when he realized that she was okay. He then saw what she was wearing. She was wearing his t-shirt from earlier that day. He smiled. He moved to the edge of the bed and leaned down to move a strand of hair covering her face. He kissed his fingertips and slowly touched her face with them. She stirred but didn't' wake. "You are so beautiful."

He then settled down on the floor beside the bed and fell asleep.

Scully opened her eyes, almost instinctively a few moments later. Well...to be more accurate, she had to go to the bathroom.

"Owwwww," came the sound from the floor as she stepped on the middle of his stomach.

"Mulder..." she quickly retracted her foot. "What are you doing on the floor?"

"Well, I was trying to sleep." He said sitting up.

"Get up here," she patted the bed. "I'm not taking no for an answer."

He climbed up onto the bed and lay atop the covers.

"What? Now all of a sudden I've got cooties?"

"I don't want to make you uncomfortable, Laura." He smiled a crooked smile at her.

Scully rolled her eyes at her name. "Mulder, just get under the covers.

"Fine." He said and climbed under the covers. "Where were you going anyway?"

He pulled back the covers for her.

"Bathroom. Be back in a sec." She closed the door behind her.

He pulled her pillow to him for a minute and breathed in the smell that he knew as well as his own. Scully's smell.

Scully did what she had to do, but then she paused with her hand on the doorknob, noticing immediately the hard knots that had formed in her stomach.

Mulder was in bed with her.

It doesn't mean anything, she chided herself.

He patted her pillow back down. He was sure he was caught. "So ready to go back to sleep?"

Scully's smile let him know he had been caught. "I guess so."

He let her settle down. "Sleep tight, Scully. Don't let the bed bugs bite."

Scully turned on her side away from Mulder. A solitary tear trickled down her face at the knowledge that when this case was over, that was it. No more being this close to him. She felt his back pressing into hers as he turned away from her as well.

"Night, Scully." he yawned.

"Sleep well," she murmured back.

When Mulder woke that morning, the sun was just peeking through the clouds. He felt a warm body wrapped around him. His arm was around her waist and head was resting on her back. He smiled at how this was so much like the way he awoke in his dreams. "Mulder, you are dreaming." He said aloud sure he was still dreaming.

"And it's not even a sleeping bag," Scully murmured sleepily. She didn't even realize at first that she was speaking aloud.

His eyes shot open but he didn't move. "Good morning, Scully." He fought the urge to kiss her neck.

"Sleep alright?" She stretched.

"I did. You?"

I would have slept better in your arms. "Yeah. I slept okay."

He removed his arm from her waist and went to get up. "What are our plans for today?"

"Last time I checked, we were still looking for a suspect, Mulder." She said it with a curious albeit momentary tremble in her voice.

"Okay." He said a little softer this time. "You go get that analyzed. I'm testing out my theory today."

Scully wordlessly padded into the bathroom to change, fighting tears the whole way.

And the urge to hold Mulder and not let go.

Mulder tested out his theory, pink flamingo style. The case was wrapped up later that evening. Not solved…just wrapped up.

TBC…what happens when they get home?