The knock on the door surprised her, especially after everything that had happened. As much as she wanted to trust that her scientific mind was correct, it was impossible in this situation to go with that. She had been assigned to do an impossible task. There would be no debunking Fox Mulder's work or the X-Files. At least not completely to anyone above her satisfaction.
She slid her gun out of the drawer she kept it in at home, palming the weapon after checking to be sure it was loaded. Chances were she was overreacting but she couldn't be too careful. After being on the scene where Mulder's contact was assassinated, she wasn't sure she was safe. She'd made eye contact with the driver of the van. And, despite seeming as paranoid as Mulder, she had no doubt the man knew who she was.
"Who is it?"
She opened the door, the safety chain still engaged and breathed a sigh of relief when she saw it was in fact him.
"You look like hell."
"Thanks. I guess I should put off the date with Cindy Crawford I had planned for tonight."
"That would probably be wise."
"You know how to flatter a man, Scully."
"Did you come here for flattery, Mulder?"
"No." He made his way to her couch and practically collapsed. She wondered how the hospital had released him in this condition.
"What did you come here for?"
"You're a doctor."
"I don't do house calls."
"I came to you."
"So you did."
"Are you going to turn me away, Scully? Isn't that against the Hippocratic Oath you took?"
She put her gun away and made sure the door was locked and secured. She stared at him for a minute. He was in no shape to go anywhere. "Okay, Mulder, if you're going to be here I'm not going to leave you on my couch."
"It's a pretty comfortable couch, Scully."
"While I agree with you, it's not to sleep on and you'll get uncomfortable there eventually."
"If you want me in your bedroom, Scully, you just have to ask."
She rolled her eyes, offering him a supporting hand when he stood from the couch. She led him to her room. She had a spare, but the bed wasn't made or anything. He looked ready to collapse. She could make the spare bed up for herself later.
"Did they give you a prescription for pain killers?"
"Yes, don't want to take them."
"I don't want them, Scully."
"Suit yourself. I'm going to go make you some tea."
"I don't need tea."
"You came to me, remember. You're going to eat and drink what I tell you to."
"Wow, you're tough."
"Not nearly as tough as I could be."
She returned a little while later to find him sleeping. She suspected that would happen so hadn't made him a cup. She arranged the covers around him. Her hand slid to his face. She was a trained healer with capable hands, but at the moment she felt inadequate. There was nothing she could do to heal him.
He grabbed a hold of her wrist when she went to move her hand away from his face. "No, don't go, Scully."
"I thought you were asleep."
"Just resting my eyes."
She smiled. She could remember her father using that very same phrase a time or two over the years. Often, the resting of eyes involved snoring so he fooled no one with the claim.
"What are you smiling at?"
"Just thinking of my dad."
He patted the empty space next to him on the bed. "Don't let me keep you up. I know it's late."
"Mulder, you came to me for help."
He shook his head, swallowing hard, as if moving his head even that little bit hurt. "I just didn't want to be alone tonight. Everything got screwed up. Nothing's left. They closed the X-Files."
"It's done. My work. I'm finished."
It wasn't her job as a doctor to comfort beyond words of assurance. He wasn't here as her patient and she didn't feel toward him the way she would a patient. He was more than her partner, though she was hesitant to admit that to herself let alone him. She found herself despite the niggling doubt in the back of her mind, sliding onto the bed to join him.
Her arm went around him, a sign of comfort, solidarity. She wouldn't let him go through this alone. He clutched to her then. It was foreign to her, a man showing his vulnerability. She would never have believed Fox Mulder capable of shedding tears. She felt him, though, and kissed the top of his head, stroking his hair. His whole being was a raw, festering wound that went to his very soul and he had come to her to help in the healing of that wound.
Eventually, he stopped and was still against her. She could tell by his breathing that he was still awake and she continued offering him what comfort she could. He had worked long and hard on the X-Files. They meant as much to him as a wife and children would mean to any other agent. Perhaps more. Spouses cheated, got divorced. Mulder would never insult the X-Files by doing anything like that.
"I'm sorry, Mulder."
He turned so he was lying on his back again, causing the arm around him to rest on his chest. He placed his hand over hers, stroking the back of it with his fingertips. "I just needed someone who understands. Not just the X-Files but me."
She was flattered he thought that highly of her. She wasn't sure how well she knew him, but if he believed she did who was she to argue?
He leaned up on his elbows, closing the distance between them so he could kiss her. She closed her eyes, expecting it, but unprepared for it even still.
She wasn't sure what she was expecting, she knew his reputation and that some of it while exaggerated was earned. He was a good looking man, funny, with a good job even if he investigated things others didn't believe existed.
The gentle touch of his lips against hers, almost hesitant, was not how she pictured Fox Mulder making a move on a woman. If anything, the vulnerability he felt should have made him overaggressive, wanting to compensate for the emotions overwhelming him.
She knew what this was, what he needed. And while the logical part of her mind screamed at her to stop this before it went any further, the woman in her wouldn't hear of it. They were consenting adults, she knew this wouldn't result in a proposal, not even a relationship. He needed something tangible, to believe in again, and he had come to her. That was humbling, considering she was the person sent to bring him down. Confession was good for the soul was an adage she was no stranger to. Wordlessly, Mulder was doing that with her, offering his soul to her for healing and repair.
She had already dressed for bed when he arrived, so it didn't take long for him to rid her of her pajamas. He was deliberate in his movements, still sore in places he probably didn't realize hurt until now. He paused his perusal of her body when her hands went to his chest, but resumed when instead of pushing him away she began the process of removing his own shirt. She was gentle, mindful of his injuries as she slid it up his torso, over his chest and head.
He, on the other hand, didn't seem concerned about gentleness. There was an urgency about him that she understood and even identified with in some ways. He didn't need to say the words for her to understand what he needed. A connection, to know that all was not lost. He was thorough in his exploration of her body, using his hands and his mouth. Both were very skilled at bringing her to the point he wanted, needed, her to be. Ready.
He winced with a barely audible hiss as he stood from the bed to shed his shoes, socks and the faded blue jeans he was wearing. They looked good on him. He glanced at her over his shoulder, catching her looking and smiled. It was an unusual smile for him, a little unsure of himself. Gone was the cocky, flippant Mulder she knew so well.
He joined her then, sliding his body over hers. Leaning over her, he met her gaze wordlessly ensuring she was not just consenting to, but all right with, this. Her hands went to his shoulders as she parted her legs wider, arching toward him. She didn't think he'd need any further proof of consent than that.
He took what she offered, which was everything. She held nothing back, unable to do so even if she'd wanted to. As with everything he had done to this point he was unselfish, bringing her to climax more than once. They weren't overly vocal, but they didn't need to be. Her body called to his, answered his body's call almost automatically as if instinctively they knew what the other needed.
His hands and mouth went everywhere, hers followed suit. Like a blind woman, she learned the feel and shape of his body with her hands and thought after tonight she'd recognize him anywhere. Like a shadow in one another's mind they knew what was needed, wanted, liked. When he allowed himself finally to achieve his release, she heard him whisper "Dana". He never used her name.
He wasn't satisfied with just once and by morning she couldn't imagine how exhausted he must feel given her own state. When he wasn't inside of her he was working at keeping her primed and ready. Sunlight cascaded in through her drapes and she looked at her body, surprised she hadn't really turned into the quivering bowl of Jell-O she felt like just then.
"Do you have anywhere to be this morning?"
She turned to face him. Her hand slid along his hip and upper thigh. "No. Do you?"
"No. And good."
"Mulder, you can't possibly."
"No, not at the moment. Give me a couple of hours to catch some sleep and we can talk again."
"I'd forgotten what your voice sounded like it's been that long since we talked."
"Ha ha, Scully." He lifted a hand to her face, brushing aside her bangs with his fingertips. "Get some sleep."
"Me? You're the one who is injured."
"I feel great. Never better. You did that for me."
"Glad I could help."
"If that's your idea of help I need to get my ass kicked and my work whisked out from under my feet more often."
"I'm not sure I'm up for more than one night of this."
"We'll put that theory to the test later."
She watched as his eyes grew heavy. She had brought him peace. She should feel cheap, used but she couldn't. Her body felt used, and well loved. It was, she thought as she drifted into sleep, a very nice way to go to sleep.