ONE LONELY NIGHT
Summary: After discovering that her attempts to conceive have failed, a very lonely Scully invites Mulder to spend the night. M/S romance
Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Files, Mulder, or Scully. I just enjoy getting inside of their heads.
One Lonely Night
"Never give up on a miracle..." Mulder whispered, drawing Scully into his arms and tenderly kissing her forehead.
She was shaking, so he tightened his grip on her, wondering that, less than a year ago, such a gesture would have been impossible. The embrace felt comfortable to him, familiar, even right, and he was reluctant to break it. Fortunately, Scully seemed equally reluctant to release her own, more tenuous grip on him. Slowly, gently, he steered her towards the couch before letting go.
"I'm... I'm sorry..." Scully muttered, sitting down. "I just wanted this so badly, Mulder. Oh, God!" she wailed, burying her face in her hands.
"Shh..." Mulder whispered, sitting down next to her and pulling her close. A dozen things that he could have said, that would have been appropriate with any other woman raced through his mind: she could adopt, there was always surrogacy... They all seemed trite, cold comfort under the present circumstance. He settled for a gentle, "It's going to be okay."
Scully seemed not to hear the statement as she put her arms around him, but it was not an embrace or a hug. She was clutching him, gripping him as though afraid he might try to pull away from her. "Oh, Mulder!" she moaned, resting her chin on his shoulder. "I feel so alone."
"Hey!" Mulder gently took her chin in his hand and forced her head up. He stared steadily into eyes that he had always before resisted looking at for too long, for fear of getting lost there. She seemed reluctant to return the gaze. "Look at me, Scully."
"I can't." Scully shook her head hopelessly, her body going limp against him. "Not right now..."
"Dana..." Mulder said softly. His use of her first name caught her attention better than perhaps anything else he could have said. Smiling tenderly, he used his free hand to brush a stray lock of hair from her face. It was almost a caress. Stay professional, he reminded himself. It took all of his restraint not to repeat the gesture, not to follow up on it. "Look at me..." he repeated gently. He smiled reassuringly as he spoke. "As long as I am alive, Dana, you will never be alone. I promise you that."
Scully smiled weakly up at him. "Thank-you, Mulder."
She considered pulling away from him, but found that she rather liked the feel of his body against hers. Past, all too brief, contacts, had only hinted at what it really felt like. She inhaled deeply, burying her head in his shoulder again. Mulder kissed the top of her head, ignoring the wonderful scent of her hair. It was no surprise that a woman like Scully smelled good down to her hair, but now was no time to consider such things. Right now, all Scully needed was a friend, not a man who noticed how wonderfully she smelled and how soft and warm her body was against his own. After minutes that felt like hours, Scully yawned.
"Oh, you must be exhausted." Mulder said, pulling away from her. "Let's get you to bed. We'll talk in the morning." He hesitated. "If you want to talk."
"I don't want to talk." Scully told him, leaning forward and brushing her lips against his cheek. She felt him shiver and, although it had been meant as nothing more than a gesture of thanks, she was oddly gratified. "Not yet. I just want to rest."
"Then we'll get you into bed." Mulder rose and helped her to her feet. "Come on."
"I can get myself ready for bed, Mulder." Scully smiled faintly.
Mulder blushed. "I know that. I was just..."
"Going to offer to make me a glass of warm milk while I get ready?" Scully suggested gently.
Mulder nodded hastily and retreated to the kitchen as Scully entered her bed-room, only half-closing the door. Mulder stared at the sauce-pan on the stove so that he would not be tempted to stare in the direction of a door that a draft had pushed just a little farther open. All the evenings they had spent together, watching movies, sharing cups of tea, talking about cases or more often about nothing at all, sitting so close together that their bodies were touching, and tonight, when Scully needed his friendship most, Mulder found himself almost eager to flee the apartment.
It was odd, their relationship. When it had started, six odd years ago, they had barely tolerated each other. Over time, that had turned into respect which, in turn, had evolved into a peculiar type of friendship. It was hard to quantify, though. Friends did things together, a habit that they had only aquired in the past few months, after years of sharing such a close bond that they had regularly trusted their lives to each other. They still argued frequently, or, at least, had differences of opinion great enough to have driven any other two people apart. The only difference was that every difference of opinion seemed to bring them closer together.
And although he had considered her his closest friend for a long time, he had been shocked when she had come to him with a request that was certainly not part of the average friend's job-description.
"I want to have a child, Mulder, and I want it to be yours."
"I don't want this to come between us."
It had never even occurred to him that the attempts might fail, and he was suddenly terrified that that might drive a greater wedge between them than success ever could have. Yes, she turned to him for comfort now, had little choice, perhaps, since he had let himself into her apartment before she had gotten home, had been virtually lying in wait for her. Who else was she to turn to? Who would she turn to tomorrow? Or tonight when he left? There were rumors that he had never before taken seriously, about Scully and, of all people, Skinner, and though those rumors had seemed a joke before, Mulder suddenly found himself considering them a little more seriously.
And what if she chose to blame Mulder himself for her failure to conceive?
"Did you have to go find a cow?" Scully asked softly from the door-way of the kitchen.
Mulder spun about in surprise. "Oh, sorry. Just thinking." He smiled sheepishly and removed the pan from the stove.
Scully reached into a cabinet and pulled down two glasses. "You look like you could do with a glass, too."
"Thanks." Mulder took the glasses from her and poured the milk onto them. He reached out and absently straightened Scully's bathrobe the way she had straightened his tie so many times.
"I guess this is pretty hard on you too?" Scully asked, sitting at the table. "I hadn't really considered how this must be impacting you."
"I'm so sorry, Scully."
"Please, don't be." Scully sighed and sipped her milk. "I could use something stronger than this, to be honest." She looked up at him. "It's not your fault, Mulder."
He reached across the table and covered her hands with his own. "It's not your either."
Scully paled, wondering how he had known that this was exactly what she was thinking. "Mulder..." she began, then trailed off.
"I know..." he whispered. "Finish your milk. I'll sit up with you."
"You don't have to do that, Mulder."
"But I want to." Mulder smiled hopefully at her. "If you don't mind."
Scully nodded. Although she did not wish to admit it, she did not want to be alone, and there was no one else in whom she could confide right now. "I don't mind. You can sleep on the couch if you want. So you don't have to drive home late."
"Thanks." Mulder smiled at her and took her glass to the sink. When he had rinsed the glasses, he walked over to the table where Scully was still seated and took her hand. "Ready for bed?"
She nodded and accepted his help to the bedroom. She felt strangely unsteady for some reason. Nerves, probably. "Mulder, thanks."
Mulder pulled back the blankets and sheets and helped Scully into the bed. Like the earlier embrace, this too, seemed natural and right. Smiling at her, he pulled the blankets back up and tucked her in. He sat on the edge of the bed and smiled down at her.
"Are you going to tell me a story, too?" Scully asked teasingly. She did not feel in a teasing mood, but it did seem like the right thing to say.
"How about if I tell you the one about the two FBI Agents who met in a dark dungeon and didn't like each other very much to start with?"
"I know that one..." Scully said quietly. "But how does it end, Mulder?"
Mulder bent over and kissed her forehead. Straightening, he said, "They live happily ever after."
Mulder blinked in surprise. As always when he was quite shocked, his face was deadpan. Scully sat up and smiled hopefully at him. He started to rise, but Scully reached out and gently restrained him.
"Scully..." he began.
"Mulder," she said softly, "I know we've been through a lot together, and I know that you've always been there for me and that you always will be there for me, but tonight..." she trailed off and brushed her lips against his.
Mulder took a deep breath and leaned back slightly, not quite pulling away from her, but removing himself from the proximity of her mouth. "Scully..." His voice was soft, sad. "You're in a really bad frame of mind right now. I couldn't do this to you."
Scully's voice was soft. "You said you'd always be there for me, Mulder. I need you tonight. I can't be alone right now."
"You won't be. I'll be sitting right here all night."
"Mulder..." Scully sighed and took his hands. "I can't believe I'm saying this. You of all people know that it's not like me, but... I don't want to sleep alone tonight."
"Scully..." He shook his head. "You're a beautiful woman and my best friend, but..."
"No, let me finish." Scully touched her fingers to his lips. "Nothing needs to happen, Mulder. I can't ask you to do that if you don't want to."
Mulder declined to mention that it was, in fact, something he had very much wanted for a long time.
"If you could just hold me until I fall asleep." Scully's voice was almost pleading. "It's not a lot to ask of a friend."
"No, no it isn't." Mulder kissed her forehead again and wrapped his arms around her.
"Not like that. Take your clothes off and climb in."
Mulder stared at her for a few moments, trying to ascertain if she was being serious. "I feel like I'm taking advantage..." he began, pulling off his shoes.
"No one takes advantage of Dana Scully."
"You wouldn't be planning on taking advantage of me, then?" Mulder asked with a grin, taking off his tie and unbuttoning his shirt. Once he was down to his undershirt and boxers, he walked around the bed and climbed in to the free side. "You sure about this, Scully?"
Scully nodded as she slid across the bed. "When I don't feel good, it's just nice to have someone to put his arms around me. We don't have to violate any FBI regulations."
Mulder wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tightly against him. "I think we already are violating several."
"Good for us..." Scully muttered, snuggling against him with a yawn.
Smiling, Mulder watched her fall asleep in his arms. She was right: it was nice. It had been a long time since he had held a woman in his arms, and even longer since he had watched one sleep. Feeling, for the first time in ages, completely content, he drifted off to sleep as well, lulled by her rhythmic breathing. He awoke with a start to find Scully smiling down at him.
After a moment's confusion, he asked, "What time is it?"
"Go back to sleep."
"Mulder..." Scully began. She reached out and caressed his face.
"Scully, don't." He sat up, half of him wanting to leave right away before anything could happen and the other half wanting very badly to stay until something did.
"I've been watching you sleep." Scully explained. "It's strange."
"The way I sleep?"
"Us, Mulder. We went from not really liking or trusting each other to what we are now."
"What are we now?" Mulder asked quietly.
"My sister would have called us soul-mates. In fact, I think she once did." Scully smiled faintly. "When did we change?"
"Okay, then. When did our relationship change?"
He shook his head. "It happened so gradually that I'm not sure when it really started." Mulder hesitated. Perhaps it was the location, or the state of total physical and emotional vulnerability that they were both in that prompted him to be completely honest with her. "All I know is that one day I looked at you and saw more than another partner. And then when you were in the hospital it really occurred to me for the first time that I couldn't live without you."
Scully's laugh was almost a sob, and Mulder pulled her into his arms, not intending to do anything other than comfort her. When she kissed him and he realized that it was more than a kiss between friends, he gently pushed her away, but when she did it again, he pulled her closer. There was simply no use in denying what there was between us, even if he could not find a name for it. Both would agree later that it was the most amazing sex that they had ever had, a physical expression of an emotional bond too deep for words. As long as they lived, neither would forget it.
"What do we do now?" Scully asked quietly, staring at the ceiling. The sun was beginning to creep in through the window.
"I have no idea." Mulder rolled onto his side to look at her. If it was possible, she looked even more beautiful than usual.
Scully sighed. "We could both lose our jobs..."
"Only if they find out."
Scully sighed again and nodded. "We'll have to be very discrete."
Scully sat up and stared at Mulder. "What?"
"You were going through a lot. I shouldn't have taken advantage of your emotional state like that."
"Mulder..." Scully stared at him, awed. "You think that's what you did? Take advantage of me? You gave me my hope back."
He looked faintly surprised. "Was I that good?"
"Don't joke. I'm serious. Last night, I felt like I was all alone in the world. And then suddenly I wasn't. Whatever happens after this, I'll always be grateful to you for last night."
"Whatever..." Mulder stared at her, slowly comprehending her meaning. "We can't do this again, can we?"
Scully sighed and shook her head. "Not on any kind of a regular basis, Mulder. They're always looking for some excuse to seperate us as it is. Think how this would look."
Mulder nodded slowly. "We can still be friends though, right?"
"Mulder, that is the dumbest question you've ever asked me." Scully shook her head with a faint smile and gently kissed him. "Of course we can. We can even be more than friends, but..."
"But we should take it slow." Mulder nodded and kissed her back. "Would I be out of line to say that I-"
Scully hushed him with another kiss. "We'll be late for work."
Nodding, Mulder rose and reached for his clothes.
As Scully dressed, she glanced over her shoulder at Mulder. "Never give up on a miracle…" he had told her. And, even though the tests had once more been negative, he was right. But miracles occurred in many different forms. Scully could not help but smile as it occurred to her that Mulder might be her miracle.