Disclaimer: X-Files and its characters are owned by 20th Century Fox and Chris Carter. I just borrowed them for a few hours :)

Author's Note: I wrote this story and my other X-Files fanfic a number of years ago and thought it time to upload to this community.

Close Enough

She stood close enough for him to kiss her. She always seem to stand close enough for him to kiss her: on the street, in the office, and even in the elevator they waited in now. Funny how he thought of her location in that way. He could have come up with several analogies to describe their proximity--packed like sardines, for example. But she didn't remind him of a sardine enough to make use of that particular gem of a phrase. Instead, he simply felt close enough to kiss her. So he did.

He hadn't thought about it enough to develop an excuse when she asked for one, but even if he had, he was sure he wouldn't have remembered it once he pulled back from her warm, soft, but unmoving lips.

"Mulder?" she asked. Her face tilted to one side, and her eyebrows furrowed to the center of her forehead in that look she reserved for when he did inexplicable things.

He made a decision. There would be no explanations, no excuses, no reasons why. He would simply look straight ahead, wait for the elevator doors to open, and pretend nothing happened. "Yeah?"

"You just--"

Before she could finish, the elevator stopped. But the doors didn't open. Mulder glanced at the floor indicator, then slapped his hand against the doors. Why didn't they open? He'd never been stuck in an elevator in his life; why did God destine this particular millisecond in this particular elevator to trap him with this particular woman he'd known for five years whom he'd just kissed for no reason other than she was standing next to him? He sighed, leaning back against the wall. There could be only one answer: he was cursed.

"Son of a bitch," he mumbled.

"What? What's wrong?" Scully asked.

"We're stuck."

"Stuck?"

"Yeah, stuck, as in trapped, not moving, going nowhere." He let out a breath and banged his fist against the wall. "Stuck."

"It's not my fault, Mulder."

She sounded almost apologetic. Leave it to Scully to sound sorry for something she had no control over. "No, I'm sorry," he said. He turned toward her with his best half smile.

"You know, Mulder, sometimes you really confuse me." She set her hands on her hips and levelled her gaze at him. "I mean, one minute you're, you know." At this, she walked away from him and leaned against the elevator wall. She looked down at the floor and clasping her hands together, asked, "Why did you kiss me?"

"Shouldn't we be pressing an emergency button or something?"

"Mulder."

He didn't have to look at her face to know she wasn't saying his name in order to remember how to pronounce it. He stared at his feet and decided to say what was best at times like these--nothing.

"Mulder? Answer me."

She wasn't going to let him get away with this, but he had no clue what to say. "I don't know," was all he could manage with a shrug.

"You don't know?" Her voice had that faint amused, yet close to annoyed tone. "You kissed me, and you don't know why?"

"Can't we just drop it?" He looked towards her, hoping she was still looking away, but instead met her gaze.

"Mulder, we've known each other 6 years and have been through a hell of a lot, so why you would choose this time to kiss me has me curious."

She gave him an opening there to turn the tables. "Does that mean you've envisioned me kissing you under alternate circumstances?" He raised his eyes towards her.

"Don't you dare twist this."

He knew she'd be too smart for that, but he swore he caught a blush creeping up her cheeks. "I don't know." he decided to answer. "I just did."

"Are you all right?"

"I'm fine, Scully."

"Isn't that my line?"

They each let out brief laughs, followed by long sighs. The elevator didn't budge, and time only made things worse--the level of discomfort had increased from a minor nagging sensation to tension heavy as lead. Mulder shifted back and forth on his feet, clasping and unclasping his hands, glancing at every corner of the elevator except for Scully's. From what he gathered, she didn't appear to be moving at all; in fact, he barely detected the noise of her breathing. Why wasn't she uncomfortable? Didn't the woman know the right time to be claustrophobic?

He cleared his throat once, twice, and then a third time to get her attention.

"What, Mulder?" She turned toward him, her eyes narrowing in a stabbing gaze.

So she was tense, after all. At least he wasn't alone, though it might be better if he were. "Nothing, it's--" He thought about explaining to her why he kissed her or maybe even offering to torture himself in some way as retribution for having tried, but simply gave up. "It's nothing."

Her shoulders dropped and she closed her eyes momentarily. "I hope this thing gets moving soon."

He agreed with a silent nod, but part of him wished for the elevator to stay stalled a little while longer, just so he could be alone with her. Not that he had a glacier's chance in the Sahara of getting lucky--but right now he didn't want that, as much a part of his fantasies she'd become. He simply loved the feel of her energy, the misty glow of her skin, her smell, her movements, the way her tongue danced over her lips every few minutes (that one had to be his favorite of her quirks); he wanted a few more moments of being the only person not only witnessing these exquisite features, but the only person to appreciate them as he did. And appreciate he certainly did. His eyes raked over her figure, a tingly warmth flooding his chest, and he paused on the curves of her face, tracing them like a picture until he met her fiery gaze. Uh oh.

"What are you staring at?"

She licked her lips again, and he had to remember the fundamentals of speech. He cleared his throat and managed to get a response out. "You."

"Why?" She'd crossed her arms across her chest and tilted her head to the side.

Clear your mind, he thought. 1. . .2. . .3. . ."Well, we are in a stalled elevator, and without the elegant form of Skinner to admire, what else was I to stare at, Agent Scully?" Good, the trademark sarcasm managed its way back and even elicited a detectible smile from her.

Soon, however, the smile faded, and Scully's face morphed into its thinking form once again. "Mulder, I still want to know why you--" At that she waved her hand in the air, apparently unable to voice his earlier action.

"Scully, did you know that the Giza pyramids are actually a physical representation of part of the constellation Orion? Fascinating, isn't it?"

"Mulder, answer me."

"And then there's Stonehenge to consider--"

"Mulder!"

"I wanted to."

She rolled her neck from side to side, stretching the muscles. "Excuse me?"

"I wanted to kiss you." He faced her, and noticed her expression had softened from tense to confused curiosity. Something inside him stirred, his stomach twisting and forcing the words out of his mouth. "I've always wanted to."

"Oh, Mulder," she said in a sigh. She shook her head back and forth, as if at a little boy who'd been caught gluing together a vase he'd broken.

Now he felt embarassed. Somehow, talking about it was worse than when he'd actually done it, and he found himself wishing for Superman powers so he could either break through the elevator doors or fly straight up the elevator shaft to Krypton and never come back. Or maybe Skinner would come and escort him out of the FBI once and for all. "I'm sorry."

She laughed a little. "There are things more than that you should apologize to me for." Then, with a wave of her hand, she beckoned him toward her. "Come here."

He displayed his apologetic boyish smile and sauntered towards her, head slightly bent. God, he loved that woman. Even in the flickering neon of the elevator's fluorescent lighting, her face glowed. He liked to imagine an angel followed her with a special light trying to show everyone this heavenly creature in human form.

Mulder extended his arms to hug her, but found his throat thrust down with a yank of his tie. Perhaps that angel had gone on vacation.

"Surprise me like that again, and I'll hurt you." Scully's eyes fixated on his, sending a hypnotic beam straight through to his soul. "Is that clear?"

He coughed affirmatively and set his hands against the wall on either side of her head for balance. When the elevator jerked, he fell forward a bit, pressing his body against hers and bringing their foreheads together. He kept his gaze on her, unable to move. Her hand loosened its grip on his tie, tickling his chest as her hand slid down. "Scully," he said. His voice crackled, but he wasn't sure if it was from being nearly strangled or out of sheer terror at the sensations rocking his nerve endings. Involuntarily, he swallowed, unable to release the barrage of words flooding his mind. He could feel an aura of warmth passing from her to him, distracting him from her recent warning of injury. Oh God. . .this time, he didn't just want to kiss her--he had to. "Scully," he tried again.

"What?" Her voice came out in a whisper.

"Ready for another surprise?"

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END