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.

Kiss Goodnight

Chapter 1: A Kiss is Still a Kiss

Scully yawned and stretched her legs out. She expected Mulder any minute. They'd just finished the field work on a case--a long, harrowing 36 hour stakeout--and she'd wanted to do nothing more than take a long hot bath and sleep through the next day. But Skinner had demanded a preliminary report, so she and Mulder were up to their necks in paperwork for the evening. Earlier, she'd wanted to slap Mulder for suggesting they work at her place, but now she was grateful. It was much more comfortable, and she got to relax on the sofa.

When the doorbell rang, she knew it was him. They'd had a symbiosis almost from the moment they'd met; she would've thought something like that rather silly before, but with her and Mulder, she didn't need to question it. "Come in, Mulder--the door's open," she yelled from the sofa, her legs unwilling to conform to manners and carry her to the door.

"You know, Scully, you shouldn't leave you door open like this," Mulder said as he entered. "Any nut could get in."

"That was the point, Mulder," she responded, smiling lightly.

"Oh," Mulder whispered, clutching his chest in a mocking way. "I'm hurt."

"I'll really hurt you if we don't get this paperwork done."

"Mmmmm. Sounds like that could be fun." He gave her his usual smirk.

Scully rolled her eyes, conceding defeat to yet another battle of humor. "Come on, Mulder." She gestured to the sofa. "Let's get this done with."

"All right, all right." He slipped his overcoat off, revealing black jeans and a black t-shirt.

Scully watched him. It wasn't often that she saw him in something other than a suit and tie so she studied the unfamiliar image of her partner closely, taking him in with the unknowing eye of a stranger. He looked good in black. Really good. It had a way of making the soft curves of his face stand out, his delicate pink lips. . .

"Taste good?"

"Hmm?" His words jarred her back to consciousness, her mind trying to interpret exactly what he'd meant when he said that. She hadn't been staring that long, had she? After a moment, though, she'd realized that she'd been furiously chewing a pen, so she yanked it out of her mouth. "Oh, this?"

"What else?" Mulder shrugged his shoulder.

"Nothing." Scully tore her eyes from him and picked up a file from the coffee table. "I'm just a little dazed from not sleeping." She handed him the file as he sat on the opposite end of the couch.

"I know what you mean. I would have fallen asleep in the car if my damn radio hadn't gotten stuck on this dance station playing the 'Macarena' over and over. You know, I may now be able to speak fluent Spanish." He gave her one of his patented smiles then paged through the file she'd given him.

Scully closed her eyes and added that smile to the ones she'd catalogued in her mind. It was nice to be able to remember them--especially when she and Mulder were at odds. Thinking of the smiles he reserved for her helped her know that everything would be all right. His curved lips just looked so sweet.

"Scully, are you asleep?" Mulder asked, lightly pressing his hand on her shoulder.

She shuddered at his touch. "No, I was, uh, just trying to remember something." She wanted to reach for a file, a paper, a memo, anything, but her arm felt stuck from the electrical pulses emanating from his fingers through her shoulder. When he finally moved his hand, she grabbed the first thing she saw and shouted in an uncharacteristic high-pitch, "Oh, here it is."

Mulder smiled. "Scully, that's a candy wrapper." He ran his hand through his hair then whispered to her, "You know, if you don't want to do this tonight, we can just tell Skinner to hell with his report and that we needed sleep."

She resisted the urge to look at him. "No, that's all right. I'd rather just get it done now while we're here." She shuffled the papers around, trying to focus on what needed to be done.

"Whatever you say, G-woman," Mulder yawned. "One thing," he said, placing his hand over hers and grinning mischievously, "if I happen to fall asleep, please feel free to take advantage of me any way you want."

X X X

They'd been working for what seemed like 6 hours, sorting through avalanches of papers, cassettes, and even scraps with apparently meaningless details scribbled on them, barely speaking to each other except for an occasional "hand me that" or "do you know where such-and-such is." Scully had been a little grateful for the quiet atmosphere, and mostly responsible for it. As the night and their fatigue progressed, Mulder's voice had grown sandpapery, as if it were originating from the back of his throat, and its sound hypnotized her, making her body feel light and liquid. She couldn't let him catch her swaying into a peaceful trance, so she spoke less and less until their conversation dissipated, hoping he thought it was the result of her being tired.

Why he suddenly affected her this way, she couldn't understand. She'd always had the occasional thought--what woman didn't think of any man she knew personally as a possible love interest?--but with her lack of sleep every momentary daydream or fantasy she'd ever had seemed heightened. Before, she'd liked it when he touched her in some way, even just a simple shoulder squeeze to get her attention, but tonight she almost (almost) dreaded his approaching fingers; they regenerated the already explosive electricity coursing through her veins. She'd always felt it when they worked together--from the time she found the marks on her back; the pressure of his eyes on her near-nakedness was overwhelming. Even when he turned around to face her at their first meeting, she'd felt something. But she hadn't actually thought about it, analyzed it, rationalized it.

And as a scientist and FBI agent, she knew that once something seemingly inexplicable was analyzed, there was no turning back until full answers resulted. She convinced herself that this phenomenon was more than likely lack-of-sleep induced and best left to the back of her mind where it would be safe until her self-control returned come morning.

She checked her watch, 3:32am. She decided to break her rule of the evening and look at Mulder, simply to tell him to go home. "Mulder, you can go now," she whispered. But when she looked over, she had to smile. He was sound asleep, papers lingering on his lap, his head arching against the back of the couch. She watched his chest move up and down and for a moment, thought she could see his heart beating.

He was so sweet and peaceful, she thought there would be no harm in letting him spend the night, or at least sleep until he woke up and decided to leave. Scully stretched her arms, then grabbed the blanket she kept on the back of the couch during the winter. Unfolding it, she slid closer to Mulder, his unique smell of sunflower seeds mixed with a musky maleness that she could only describe as pure Mulder enveloping her. She sat there for a moment, taking advantage of the singular opportunity to watch him, take in his scent closely without him knowing.

But something in her chest stirred, a warmth she usually only felt in her midnight fantasies. In her present state of mind, this was dangerous territory. She quickly took a corner of the blanket in each hand and, leaning over him, lightly draped his body with it. As she did this, her eyes caught a glimpse of his mouth, his lower lip protruding slightly, enticing her to stare more closely at it. She'd always wondered what it would feel like to kiss him. She sighed and whispered to herself, "Dana, go to bed. Now." She didn't move. She didn't want to. His lips beckoned her and her resistance was low. Convincing herself there was nothing wrong with kissing him goodnight--people did that all the time, after all--she forced herself to believe that there was nothing but innocence in her motives. That is, if innocence entailed heat burning in her chest to rival the equator and an accelerated pulse.

Her hands still gently poised against his shoulders, she leaned her face closer to his, feeling his steady breath brush across her cheek. Then, she slowly and simply pressed her lips against his, letting them linger for a moment longer than she intended, to sense their softness. Kissing him felt as pleasant and perfect as she imagined. She gently pulled away, more for fear of waking him up than wanting to stop. But, when she moved to get up, she felt his arm snake around her waist in an apparently sleepy gesture. He pulled her against his chest and rested his head atop hers.

Scully's heart pounded for a few scary moments before she realized he was still asleep. She supposed in his slumber he didn't know what he was doing. . .then again, he only put his arm around her. She, pretty much awake, had kissed him. "I kissed Fox Mulder," she whispered to herself to make it somehow more real.

Here she was, having kissed her partner and now wrapped against his warm body. She smiled. It felt nice to be held by him for no other reason except to be held. . .too nice to leave. So, she figured she'd invent an excuse for how they got this way if he should ask come morning. But for now, she took advantage of the moment, settled her head against Mulder's chest and closed her eyes.

An easy sleep captured her quickly--so quickly, she barely heard Mulder whisper against her hair, "Good night." She felt his arm tighten around her back, and again felt more than heard his tickling voice. "You know, Dana, you kiss beautifully."