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 4: How Coincidental

"Dance with me."

"Here? In front of all these people?" Scully's eyes darted around the crowded restaurant and skimmed the dance floor, where she noticed in particular, the couples clinging to each other. After a long, seemingly silent drive, they'd arrived at the restaurant somewhat early for the reservations Mulder had made. Since they didn't have a table yet, there weren't many options except for standing in the lobby or dancing and with the tension this evening had thrust upon her, she wasn't sure she could stand either. The lobby meant conversation for which she wasn't prepared and dancing was, well, dancing. As wonderful as it was to fantasize about that, she couldn't stand that close to Mulder, at least not tonight. She couldn't trust temptation.

He touched her shoulder. "Why not here?" His voice grew quiet with disappointment.

"I can't dance." That wasn't entirely true, but with Mulder, it could be. She couldn't dance with him like she did with her brothers, nor could she dance with him like those couples sweeping across the floor.

"Is that all?"

Even without looking at him, she knew he was smiling; the playful lilt in his words gave it away. He was up to something.

He grabbed her hand and led her outside. "Come on."

Scully followed him, his pace as quick as a little boy running to show his friend a secret place. Though what secret place he'd show her, she didn't know, and as her imagination ran wild with the inherent innuendo of her thoughts she made the mistake of gazing at his body as he ran. Her chest warmed at the sight of his muscles contracting in his shoulders; she forced herself to stare at the rose-flecked wallpaper to catch her breath. These were feelings she wasn't used to--ones she didn't quite know what to do with.

He led her out of the restaurant lobby and down a small dimly-lit corridor. When they reached a glass door he let go of her hand and said, "Here we are," pushing the door open and gesturing her to move outside.

When she did, she stood on a pier overlooking the Chesapeake, its diagonal wooden boards running the length of the restaurant. The sky was perfectly clear, with several stars glistening against its black surface like diamonds. "This is beautiful," she whispered. She felt his hand against her back and walked with him a few steps more to the pier's center. She turned to face him, somewhat puzzled. "Why are we here?"

He nodded to the restaurant. "They use this for dancing, but it's closed now in the off-season. But, since the weather's kind of nice, I thought I could teach you here." He ended with a nervous smile. "Away from the crowd."

"Teach me?"

"To dance. You said you couldn't." He bit his lower lip and settled his gaze on her.

She smiled and raised her eyebrows. "You're teaching me how to dance?" It was so like Mulder to feel he knew how to do everything and how to show other people how to do it as well. She studied his eyes and noticed the same sparkle he had when he developed some new theory he knew she'd challenge. This situation she could handle. When she knew what to expect, she could handle Mulder. She could definitely handle some cute little scene with toe-stepping and 'no-your-hand-goes-here' reminders. Her stomach knots didn't fade, but they loosened their grip, and she pursed her lips together. She summoned her composure and stated, "Okay, teach me."

"Close your eyes."

"Excuse me?"

He placed his hands near the sides of her face, but paused there. "Dancing's a feeling, not an art," he whispered. Then, he ran his thumbs over her eyelids, pushing them closed. "You need to lose focus."

The second he touched her eyes she'd already lost focus. She should have known--Mulder had passion for everything--she'd always felt it. Dancing would be no exception. She lost the composure she'd so desperately searched for, and her body tensed. She could feel him moving closer. Did he have any idea of what he was doing to her?

She felt his hands rest on her shoulders and then journey down her arms slowly like a trail of hot liquid. He twined his fingers with her right hand, and with a gentle nudge, her chest came into contact with his.

"Put your arm around me," he breathed near her ear.

Unable to process any other thoughts, Scully complied, sliding her arm around his waist so lightly, the fabric of his suit coat tickled her fingertips. She felt the weight of his arm cradle her shoulders, and barely acknowledging that no music played, except for perhaps the crashing of the waves below them, she moved with him when he swayed her body with his. She had no idea of what any of it meant but simply pressed her face against his chest and relaxed into his embrace.

Mulder whispered in her ear, "And you said you couldn't dance."

"Well," she said, her throat constricting, "you're a good teacher." She looked up at him and discovered him staring at her, his gaze boring right through her. She bit her lower lip and gave a quick smile.

He kept watching her, studying her face, seeming to take in every curve, every color until his gaze rested on her lips. "What's this?" he asked, nodding towards her.

She had to fight the knots in her stomach in order to answer. "What?" Her voice was so weak, it scared her.

"This," he repeated. He released her hand and moved his towards her face, extending his index finger and pressing it lightly against her upper lip.

"Beauty mark," she managed, hoping that's what he meant and that she didn't have dirt or makeup or something on her face that he noticed.

"It's pretty. You shouldn't hide it." He ran his finger across her lips.

The multiple sensations overwhelmed her. She rested her free hand against his chest, and when she realized it, was afraid of moving any more. Her breathing became rapid and she felt him closing whatever space remained between them. This was unbelievable.

"Ahem."

Scully blinked and saw Mulder turn his head.

"Um, excuse me," a busboy shouted, "You're not supposed to be out here." He straightened his apron and continued, "It's closed."

Scully pulled away from Mulder and sighed. She looked at the gangly teenage busboy who threw her a grin and felt her face heat up instantly in embarrassment.

"Sorry," Mulder mumbled. He turned back to Scully and gestured to the door. "Well, I guess we should be ordering, anyway."

"Mulder, will you take me home?" The words sprung out of her mouth faster than she intended. There was no way she'd make it through dinner, feeling lightheaded and nauseous as she did.

"You okay, Scully?" Mulder placed his hand on her shoulder, and she stiffened.

"Yeah, I just. . ." He was only inches away from her, his smell, breath,

presence and everything about him overloading her capacity to think. She walked to the door and attempted to finish. "I just want to go home.

"Okay," he stated, his voice low and disappointed. "Let's go."

X X X

They didn't speak through the car ride back to Scully's apartment. After dancing with him, she couldn't see how she could say anything, as a result of both the physical reactions coursing through her body and her general embarrassment at having such reactions. Plus, Mulder didn't seem interested in talking anyway. He spent the entire time in the car with his gaze focused straight ahead and his hands gripped so tightly to the steering wheel that his fingertips turned red. While she watched the passing cars and brightly lit city skyscrapers drift by, she wasn't sure if she should be grateful for Mulder's apparent attitude or unhappy with it. Actually, she wasn't quite sure how she should feel herself. So much had happened over the past day or so, so many feelings unleashed, that her world seemed beyond comprehension. She needed to get away from him, to figure out what was going on. She needed to stop wondering what would have happened if the busboy had never shown up.

Mulder pulled into the driveway and spoke for the first time since they left the restaurant. "I'll walk you to your door," he stated. With that he got out of the car, went to her side and opened her door.

They walked the few short steps to her door together, and as Scully fished around for her keys in her purse she noticed Mulder waited behind her. He wanted to see her safely in, she knew. She expected him to leave after her abrupt ending of his dinner plans, but he had to be so damn chivalrous sometimes. She finally found the key and shoved it in the door successfully, despite the shaking in her hands. She turned to face him and closed her eyes, offering a weak smile. "Sorry."

"It's okay." He shoved his hands in his pockets. "See you later."

He'd turned to leave, but something within her wouldn't let him go. In one quick motion, she moved her face to his and pressed her lips against him. But, in the heat of the moment, she forgot the height difference and ended up with her mouth against his chin.

"Um, Scully, if you're trying to do what I think you're trying to do, you're a little low."

She turned away and fumbling with the knob, opened the door. "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God," she chanted over and over. She sauntered into the apartment, her eyes squeezed shut and her head facing the floor. "What the hell am I doing?" she whispered to herself, oblivious to Mulder following her inside.

"You were kissing me," he helpfully stated.

Scully turned and stared straight at him.

"For the second time in the past 24 hours, I might add."

He knew about the other night. She closed her eyes and waited for the world to disintegrate around her.

"You know, Scully," Mulder said, stopping to clear his throat, "it might be a lot better if you let me participate."

Her eyes flew open, and she was no longer sure of how long she could stand without falling. His eyes burned holes straight through her soul even with the sarcastic edge to his voice. Damn him for making a joke of everything. There was only one thing she could say. "Mulder, get out."

His head dropped in surprise. "What?"

"Leave." She grabbed his arm and ushered him to the door, grateful he seemed to be complying until she felt his hand grip her shoulder.

"What the hell's this about?"

She tried to restrain herself from shouting, but barely made it. "Nothing, it's nothing." She shoved her hair behind her ears and attempted to continue. "I'm just damn tired, okay? Will you just go?" She pushed on his arm and tried to pull from his grasp. "Just leave me alone!"

"No, I won't." His grip only tightened.

"No?" She repeated, not even sure why she'd begun yelling and couldn't think of what to say next.

"I don't want to leave you alone." His voice sang soft and breathy. His hand caressed her shoulder while he inched closer to her. "You've already kissed me twice. The way I see it, I have to stay until I can repay the favor."

He used a mild tone to calm her, and it worked. The anger she'd feigned to try to make him leave faded, instead converting into a burning in the pit of her stomach. "What are you doing?" she asked, moving away from him until her back encountered a wall. Her voice was barely audible, and attempting to speak again would probably not work. His chest pressed against her, and she felt her heart beating and his as well.

He lowered his head to her ear. "I want to hold you before I leave." He pressed his lips against her ear and then her neck, sending sparks of warmth through her body. He continued, "Like this morning."

Mulder slid his arms around her until one hand rested on her lower back and the other against her head--the same places he'd touched when they'd woken up together that morning. But, now the sensation wasn't just a familiar comfortable feeling, but a strange heat that crept from his hands through her skin and into every part of her. She closed her eyes and tried to focus on something, anything, but couldn't. "Mulder," she breathed against his chest. She opened her eyes and felt him pull away slightly.

When she moved her gaze to his face, he was millimeters from her. After the longest, most intense second of her life, his lips fell upon hers. His actions overwhelmed her so much, she couldn't respond, but instead let him kiss her. She loved how warm he felt, how gentle and innocent his kiss was. His lips merely pressed against hers, unmoving and thus, apparently nervous. They stood there like that, frozen in place like a photograph, for a few moments until a shaky sensation coursed through her. Scully rested her hands on Mulder's waist and slowly gave in to the growing urge to move her mouth on his.

As she parted her lips slightly, she felt Mulder sigh and his arm tighten around her back. Soon, they were lost in their kisses, exploring and releasing the tension that had built over the past day. His tongue grazed her lips and traced her mouth's outline, accidentally meeting her own tongue in the process. Scully pulled away gently and backed her face away from his.

"If you still want me to leave," he began, his voice caught somewhat in his throat, "I'd hate to think of how you say goodnight to guys you like." He smiled and settled his eyes on her.

It had been such a long time since she'd been kissed like that that Scully didn't know how to respond. The sensations of his touch still overwhelmed her, and she wasn't sure she could speak if she tried. Everything she tried to think of failed her, so she finally decided to go on instinct and simply talk so she wouldn't be standing there gaping at him as she now was.

"I love you."

She couldn't have spoken sooner since Mulder's hand had reached for the doorknob, but froze at her statement.

For once in her life she'd decided not to think and for once, the truth at it purest form came out. She did love him, wholly and completely, more than anyone or anything in the world and elsewhere. Finally saying those words made her knees shake with release; but his growing silence made her shake more in fear.

He turned his face to her and grinned. "How coincidental." He reached out and caressed her face.

She smiled and placed her hand over his.

He winked.

She smiled again and brushed her lips on his, feeling him do the same.

"I told you," he whispered, pulling her into an embrace. "I'm much better when you let me participate."

END