"Mulder," Scully called out. She was just finishing with the last of the boxes. The house did not look as barren as when they arrived but it still did not look like a home. She needed to do something to make it feel like she really lived here or she would go nuts. That was the hardest part of an assignment like this, convincing others that the fa?de was real. Neither Scully nor Mulder had lived with another person since college so it was going to be an adjustment for them all the way around. And who knew how long this assignment would be?
"Yeah, Scully?" He came down the stairs in an uneven sounding gait that made her look at him with concern. He was fine, there was nothing wrong. She had never paid attention to what it sounded like when he walked down stairs. It was just one of many things she would have to get used to having Mulder as a roommate.
"I was thinking maybe we could break in that kitchen."
"You going to make me a sandwich, Scully? Oh Baby, you know what I like."
His imitation of The Big Bopper was poor at best, but she smiled nonetheless. "I'm not wearing Chantilly lace so you can just stop right there."
He placed the back of his hand against his forehead in a melodramatic gesture. "Oh, you wound me, Scully."
She walked toward him, placing a hand on his chest just over his heart. She patted the spot lightly, meeting his gaze and gave him a smile. "I don't think it's possible to wound that rough and tough exterior, Mulder. But what I meant was let's cook some dinner."
"Yes, together. We can have some wine, turn on that stereo, and take the evening and not work."
"Listen to you, Scully. We get you away from the office and out of the field for a day and suddenly you're tossing rules out the window."
"I'm not forgetting the rules, Mulder. I just think we deserve to relax some, too. We're not going to solve the case in an hour after getting here, so we may as well check out what the house has to offer us."
"Okay, okay, Scully," he said holding his hands up in the traditional "giving up" pose. "Do we even have food in the house?"
"Yes," she said with a roll of her eyes. Did he have any idea what she had done that afternoon? Probably not. Scully was convinced that Mulder was as self-involved now as he was six years ago. If it was not an X-File he had blinders on, which made him miss out on a good deal of life.
"Okay," he said placing an arm around her shoulders. He tugged her close and placed a kiss at the top of her head. "Let's go do some cookin', honey."
Scully pointed at the dishes set on the counter. The Bureau had the ability to stock complete houses at the drop of a hat, so she was not surprised to find that they had dishes, bedding and the whole works in the boxes that did not contain investigative equipment. "If you want to set the table and I'll get the wine."
"Whatever you need me to do, Scully. You do realize that I don't know how to cook? I mean, if it doesn't come in a box or fit in a microwave I'm pretty clueless."
"You can keep me company and maybe you'll learn something."
"You'll never reform me from my bachelor ways, Scully." He brought the plates to the table and set one at the head of the rectangular table and one to its right. He found some napkins and flatware and brought them over to the table next. Scully watched as he hovered over the plate briefly, apparently contemplating where the fork, knife and spoon were supposed to go in relation to the plate.
She walked to the table and arranged the flatware as it should be and then patted him on the shoulder lightly. "You're not a bachelor while we're here. These little things you need to know, Mulder." She walked to the refrigerator and took out one of the bottles of wine she had put in earlier. She was not much of a drinker, but she thought tonight called for a bottle of wine. Spending all day and night with Mulder was going to be a test, one she was not sure she would pass. She rummaged through the utensils and found a corkscrew. "Make yourself useful," she said, handing him the bottle and corkscrew.
"I love a woman who takes charge."
She glared at him, but could only hold the hardened look for about a minute before she cracked a smile. She pulled food out of the refrigerator. "I was just going to make some stir-fry and rice."
"Sounds fine. Anything's better than the take-out and frozen dinners I live off."
She washed off the vegetables and the chicken for the stir-fry she was going to make. "We'll do better than that while we're living here, that's for sure." Scully doubted there was going to be any reforming Mulder. He was one of those men who simply liked living the stereotypical bachelor life. She was not sure he even knew how to run a washer and dryer let alone a stove.
"Does that mean you didn't pick up any chicken pot pies while you were out?"
"Hardly," she said with a roll of her eyes.
He walked to the fridge and opened it. "But you did buy stuff to make sandwiches with."
"Yes, I did," she said with a roll of her eyes.
"Sandwiches I can do, Scully. I'm a sandwich connoisseur."
Scully rolled her eyes as she started cutting the chicken. "Here make yourself useful, Mulder," she said handing him a knife.
"What am I doing?" he asked stepping next to her. It was sort of strange to be standing side by side with Mulder doing domestic things in the kitchen. She never thought she would see the day. She did not normally cook for her dates. Her dating relationships never seemed to get past the dinner out and a movie phase. Her getting called away on a case in the middle of dinner tended to make the guy shy away from making plans with her again.
She took a sip of her wine, setting the glass down. It was not a bad wine, a chardonnay/white zinfandel blend. It was fairly cheap, but it tasted okay. "Cut up the mushrooms, water chestnuts, onions and peppers." She demonstrated for him briefly. "Like that."
"I think I can handle that. I don't suppose you bought any beer? I'll drink wine with you tonight, but I'm really more of a beer guy."
"There's a case in the pantry."
"You know the way to a man's heart, Scully. I don't know why no one's snagged you yet."
"What makes you think no one's snagged me, Mulder?" she asked, knowing she sounded defensive.
"I don't know. I never hear about you going on dates, at least not regularly, no one calls you at the office personally besides maybe Bill." He shrugged as he diced the onion. "I guess I just assumed. Does this mean the beautiful and marvelous Dana Scully has a beau?"
She wanted to lie to him and shout out a resounding 'yes' to his question just because he was presumptuous enough to think he knew anything about her and her life outside the Bureau. But he was right, he knew the truth so there was no sense lying about it. "No, I don't."
"I should hope not."
He grimaced slightly and she took advantage of his pause in dicing to move the cut up onion to the pan. "You know what I meant."
"So what does that say about us?"
"That we're workaholics? Unable to have a social life because we're too focused on the job."
"One of us is anyway?"
"And you're not? Oh come on, Scully. I've seen you push guys away. I know you've gone on dates, but I never hear about more than one or two with the same guy."
"Maybe I just don't like them, Mulder, or they don't like me. It very well could be as simple as that."
"I doubt it, Scully. You use the job as an excuse, a crutch not to let anyone get close to you. You like being single, we both do Neither of us want to come home after dealing with the red tape and politics of the Bureau and have to deal with screaming kids or a spouse who's mad because dinner is sitting on the table cold because a case kept us out in the field hours longer than we thought."
She turned on him then, the knife clutched in her hand and pointed at him. "How dare you presume to know anything about me, Mulder. I am nothing like you. You keep women at bay and don't care to have anything more than one-night stands, if what you have can even be called that. Yes, I'm dedicated to my job, that's what got me assigned to the X-Files to begin with, my dedication."
He laughed sardonically then. "No you didn't, Scully. You were green and they assigned you to me hoping you were interested in earning promotions and titles so you'd snitch on me or debunk my findings. Don't tell me you believe that load of shit you just spouted off."
"You'd best remember I'm armed," she said, hurt that his words stung. She knew they were the truth. She knew full well why she had been assigned to be Mulder's partner. It had nothing to do with her dedication or her background. She had been used and it still hurt even though she was no longer concerned about things like advancement. She had put her advancement dreams to bay the first time she sided with Special Agent Fox Mulder on a case.
"You're probably right," he said. She watched him set his knife down and wondered what he was going to do. He stepped toward her, not menacingly but certainly sure of himself. She hated that he could be like that, confident even when they were arguing. He had a smirk on his lips and a gleam in those eyes that she had never seen before. "I should know better than to argue with a woman especially when she's armed."
"Now if that isn't the most sexist thing I've heard come out of your mouth."
He shook his head and then switched to a nod. "On second thought, you're right. It's the most sexist thing you've heard come out of my mouth."
He had agreed with her far too easily. That meant he was up to something, though Scully had no idea what. His kiss caught her by surprise. Her body moved instinctively with his as he backed her against the counter. The knife fell to the floor in a loud clang but neither paid it any mind.
She had no idea kissing him would be like this. He was Mr. Playboy, a different girl every night of the week, king of the bachelors of the Bureau. The married and single men alike envied and hated him. Oh, she knew there were bets floating around on when she and Mulder would hit the sheets. She had tried valiantly to prevent anyone from winning such a bet. She wondered if anyone had placed bets on six plus years. She doubted it, most probably thought she would give in long before now.
His mouth opened and his tongue grazed her lips, encouraging hers open. She welcomed his tongue into her mouth with a wild abandon she had forgotten was in her. Her hands roamed along his back and shoulders, rubbing and touching him wherever she could. Suddenly, the kitchen was not the room she wanted to be in and cooking dinner no longer interested her.
"Are you as good as you look, Mulder?" She asked the question that had been on her mind for years. He always looked and smelled so good. There had to be something wrong with him. He caught the attention of women everywhere he went but seemed oblivious to the response.
He smiled but did not answer her. At least not with words. He kissed her again, dropping his kisses lower to her jaw, neck and ears. Her hands found purchase against his shoulders when he found the sensitive spot at the side of her neck where it joined her shoulder and hovered there. He was teasing her now, kissing, licking and nipping at the same spot over and over again as slow as possible.
His hands met at the front of her pink silk blouse and began working the buttons. Her breath caught and she had to think for a moment if she really wanted this. If they did this their relationship would change forever. She was not sure she could deal with being another notch for Mulder.
He parted the blouse with surprising care and trailed kisses over the tops of her breasts. Her hands slid from his shoulders to his head, running her fingers through his hair. "Mulder," she murmured. He looked at her with pure desire and a heat that made her believe she was the only one who could stoke it. Nothing could change their relationship or how they felt about one another.
She was not going to fool herself into believing making love to Mulder would result in wedding bells or a relationship. They loved one another, though, it went unspoken but she saw that love was returned in his eyes. "Let's go upstairs," she whispered. She was no longer worried about becoming another notch. It did not matter that she might be helping some faceless person win an office pool.
Scully laughed lightly as Mulder ran a fingertip along her stomach. She knew her eyes were betraying her every thought right now. Regardless of what Mulder might think of her given her past relationships, she did not end up in bed with just anyone. "What are you doing?" she asked.
"Nothing," he said with a shake of his head. He leaned over and kissed each breast lightly before turning to lie on his back next to her. Never in her wildest dreams would Scully have imagined sharing a bed with Mulder in any sense of the word. But here she was and she had no desire to kick him out anytime soon.
He drew the top sheet around them both and slid his arm under her, drawing her to him. "I was just thinking."
"What?" She placed a hand on his chest, settling into the crook of his arm with an ease that was a little alarming.
"Well," he said. "Maybe this assignment won't be so bad after all."
"We should certainly be able to pull off the husband and wife bit now."
"Well, I doubt any of the neighbors will turn binoculars on our bedroom, Scully."
"You never know, Mulder. They seem like a pretty tight knit group."
"Is that your way of saying neither of us is going to get the couch?"
Her foot slid over the top of his as she stretched, her body still humming from their love making. "I think so."
"You think so? Wow, after that all I get out of you is a think so." He chuckled lightly and kissed the top of her head.
"It's better than a flat out no," she quipped.
"I guess you're right."
"Are you still hungry?"
"I'm fine for now. What about you?"
"I'm fine, too, but all the food is sitting out on the counter."
He glanced at the bedside clock. "It's bad by now anyway, Scully."
"Have we been up here that long?"
"Over two hours," he said.
He shifted so she was flat on her back and he was on his side again. Their eyes met and he smiled that heart stopping smile of his. She saw it in his eyes when he decided to kiss her but it still took her breath away. Her eyes fell closed and her body arched to him, wanting a repeat performance. He slid on top of her, responding to her unspoken request for more.
"The Petrie's are animals in the sack it would seem."
"I guess so," she could not help but agree.