Chapter Three *************** I was awake when Mulder regained consciousness. I was rewarded with a dazzling smile when Mulder realized in whose lap he was lying. Then Mulder tried to sit up. He must have had a monster headache from the drugs, because he lied down immediately. "Ohhh. Scully. Where's Scully?" He tensed visibly. "I'm right here, Mulder." At the sound of her voice, Mulder relaxed. "What happened? Why are you both here?" I stroked Mulder's hair. "What do you remember, Fox?" Mulder closed his eyes. "I remember...not knowing where Scully was. I remember...I remember that she was dead. I thought she was dead. I wanted to be dead, too. My gun!" "Easy, Fox. Your gun is safe." "I didn't use it?" "No. We didn't let you." "I remember. You came in. Everything was supposed to be all right because you came in, but it wasn't. Then Scully drugged me. You threatened me!" "Yes, I did, Mulder. And that threat still holds. You scared us both last night." "I scared myself last night...I'm still scared." "It's all right, Fox. We're here. And we will deal with this." "I'm not taking leave. I'm not turning in my gun. And I'm not going to therapy." At that moment, Mulder sounded like a twelve-year old, and it was not cute and it was not charming. I was getting annoyed, until I saw how desperate he was to keep some semblance of dignity. "Very well, then, Fox. You're being stupid and stubborn, but that's nothing new. You will have to abide by our rules." "You and Scully ganging up on me?" "We love you best, Mulder. This is good because we're going to be around a lot. You're not going to be left alone for awhile. At least until the nightmares stop." "Nightmares never stop, Scully." "No, but they do become less important." "Yeah. Sometimes. If I ever convince my subconscious you're alive, I'll be okay. I'm probably fine in the light of day even now." "Probably isn't enough, Mulder. If I have to handcuff myself to you in the office to keep you next to me, I will." "Oooh, kinky. What if we go into the field?" At least his sense of humor, such as it was, was back. That was a good sign. "You're not going into the field, Fox. You have enough work to keep both of you busy in the office for a few days, and I will not authorize any trips." I smiled at that. Maybe they would actually file some real paperwork for a change. "What about my gun? Do I get it back?" "I would love to take it away from you. You don't need it if you aren't in the field and I can't stand the thought of you having it at all." "But you're not going to?" Mulder's voice was full of hope and apprehension. "No. It would go in your file, and if that happens we might as well do the right thing and get you real help. I can't believe we're not doing that." I rubbed my head. "You will have your weapon and you will keep it loaded as regulated. However, you are not to carry it unless you are with me or Agent Scully. That means that should you need to visit the men's room, you will remove your weapon." I hated humiliating him like that, but I couldn't stand the idea of Mulder alone with a gun after that night. Oddly enough, Mulder didn't protest. "What about when I'm home?" I smiled at that one. "Pack your bags, Fox. You're going home with me." "Trying to take advantage of the situation, Walter?" Mulder looked into my eyes. "Maybe." I looked back. There were secrets in Mulder's eyes. I wanted to plumb their depths. "Gentlemen..." Both of us started as Scully's amused voice. "You can discuss your plans for the evening later. Right now, we have to get this organized." An hour later, in the parking garage, Scully handed Mulder his weapon, and they went to their office to tackle the mountain of paperwork. I restrained myself from calling them every few minutes, and from visiting. The next few days were going to be tricky enough without me giving Mulder visible attention. On the other hand, I had definite plans for the evening. So long as we were playing with fire, we might as well cook marshmallows. I just hoped Mulder was ready for this. I wanted to leave early, but that would only be noticed. So, Mulder and Scully stayed later in their basement, waiting for me to call down. They met me in the parking garage by my car. Mulder sullenly gave me his gun, and Scully gave me a small pill box. "Walter, I'm giving you two of those tranquilizers from last night." "I'm not getting knocked out again. Not even for Walter to have his way with me." "Hmmm." I pretended to consider it. "Darn. Not my tastes at all." Then again, neither was Mulder. Love was strange. "Seriously, do you think he'll need them?" "He's the psychologist, not me." "Folks, I'm right here?" We ignored him. "If he has any trouble sleeping, give him one half. That should relax him without knocking him out. I gave you two just in case he has another night like last night." "I will not be knocked out and I won't try to kill myself." "I'm keeping the rest of the pills with me. Did you do what I asked?" "Bathroom's safe. I can't do much about the kitchen." "I know. Just keep an eye on him." "I intend to keep more than an eye on him." "I don't want to know." She smiled. "Good night, Mulder. I'll see you in the morning." Scully found her car and drove away, while Mulder glared at me. "I'm really not going to kill myself." "Good. I want you around for a long time. Besides, I intend to wear you out. You won't even need a half of a pill." Mulder grinned at that. "Promise?" I looked around. No one was in sight. I pulled Mulder close to him and kissed him quite thoroughly. "I promise, Mulder. And I keep my promises." Chapter Four ************** We pulled up separately at my apartment, but rode the elevator together, carrying Mulder's bags and the work we'd both taken home. "Alone at last! Where do I put my stuff?" "Just carry it up to my room. I've made some room for you." "I'm not going to have to stay here forever." That hurt. "No, Fox, but you don't have to live out of a suitcase. I'll start dinner and join you up there." I tossed a chicken and some potatoes into the oven. It didn't take long. Then I followed Mulder. Mulder, who had taken off his shoes and socks and loosened his tie but was otherwise completely dressed, even to his suitcoat, was sitting on my bed, channel surfing. He needed a shave. I stood in my doorway, stock still and stone hard watching him. Mulder was on *my* bed, looking beautiful and acting like he belonged. I didn't realize I'd moved or made a sound, but I must have because Mulder turned to look at me. He smiled shyly, dazzling me. I shook off my wonder if not my arousal and walked into the room. He jumped off the bed and moments later we were kissing the way we had in the garage that day. "You feel so good in my arms, Fox." I meant every word. "I feel good in your arms. I feel warm and safe." "Good. Oh, God, Fox, I want you. I want you more than I've ever wanted anyone before." "Then, take me." It was a whisper that burned along all of my nerves. I released Mulder and began to take off my clothing. When Mulder moved to do the same, though, I stopped him. "That's my job." Mulder nodded and stood in front of me. Now naked, I stood back. Mulder's eyes widened. He licked his lips slowly. "All this for me?" He began to breathe heavily. I didn't answer. I looked at Mulder, who seemed oddly vulnerable in his rumpled suit and loose tie. Then I moved forward and began undressing him slowly, as if I were unwrapping a present. I even took the time to fold the suit neatly. I let Mulder run his hands over my body and nuzzle at my neck as I did so. Long before he'd been stripped of his pants and undershorts it was clear he was as aroused as I. I reveled in the feel of his skin. Mulder was more beautiful naked than he was clothed. His body was long and lean, the product of running and swimming instead of weights. He was scarred here and there, but the rest of his skin was smooth and glowing. I had to touch it, make it mine, but I couldn't bear to even bruise it. I led Mulder to the bed, and threw back the covers. "Sit, Fox." Mulder, uncharacteristically docile, sat on the edge of the bed. I spread his legs, pausing a moment to stroke the scar on his thigh and knelt between. Mulder gasped as I took his penis into my mouth. I worked my tongue up and down the erect shaft and used one hand to gently play with his testicles, while the other stroked my own penis. Mulder moaned with pleasure. His hands dug into my shoulders. It only took a few minutes for Mulder to come close to orgasm. I could taste the pre-ejaculate and feel his testicles contract. I pulled away. Mulder moaned with disappointment. "Don't worry, Fox. We're not stopping yet." At my direction, Mulder moved onto the bed to lie on his back. I reclaimed his mouth (oh, that lower lip!) and covered his body with my own. Our erections met as we held each other. I didn't allow that to continue much longer, either. Instead, I loosened my grasp on Mulder, and looked him in the eyes. "I want to be inside of you, Mulder, and I want to make you come that way." Mulder nodded. "It's been a long time..." "It's all right. I will never hurt you." Mulder smiled in complete trust. While I brought out lube and condoms, he spread his legs and brought his knees up. I approved. It may have been a long time, but Mulder had done this before. It meant I wouldn't hurt him. I lubed up my fingers and began to slowly, easily, stretch the muscle. Mulder was very tight. It must have been years since anyone had touched him. He was almost virginal. Mulder pushed against my hand as I gently added more fingers. Both of us were rock hard. I took my hand away. Mulder made sounds of regret and anticipation. He was beginning to pant. I put the condom over my penis and lubed it and positioned it at Mulder's anus. Slowly, I pushed. "You're so tight!" "Oh, yes, Walter. Oh...yes! So good...So good..." Finally, I found myself buried completely in him. I knelt there for a moment, feeling him all around me. Then I began to move again, aiming for the prostate. Mulder's moans became a shout when I hit my target. I watched his face when I reached down and began to stroke him. Mulder's hands flew about trying to find something to do as I increased the rhythm. Soon - perhaps too soon, but it was the first time - I brought Mulder to a climax, followed immediately by my own. Mulder collapsed back on the pillows, totally relaxed. His face was, for the first time, drained of all tension. He looked content. Slowly, I pulled out. Mulder sighed when he was empty again. Neither of us moved for a moment. Then I slid up the bed and, mindless of the mess, clasped my lover to me. Mulder entangled his legs in mine and nuzzled my chest hair. I kissed his head. This was perfect. If only we could stay like this forever. "I love you, Fox." Mulder buried his head under the covers. I just held him closer. One day, Mulder would be able to respond. I could be patient. Chapter Five *************** The moment couldn't last, of course. We became uncomfortable with the semen drying on our bodies, and I was able to smell the chicken, which meant it was about done. We peeled ourselves apart and washed perfunctorily in my bathroom, which I'd cleared earlier of all sharp instruments and potentially dangerous medicines. At Scully's advice, I'd even hidden the Tylenol. I wondered if Mulder noticed yet. We pulled on clothing and went downstairs. I made the salad and carved the chicken while Mulder set the table and microwaved some frozen peas. I missed the covetous looks Mulder was giving the knives, at least at first. When I did turn to look at my lover, Mulder was very agitated. He was pacing around the kitchen muttering to himself and rubbing his hands together. His eyes kept moving from the telephone to the knives. This time, I noticed. I walked to Mulder and took his hands. "Fox? What's wrong?" "I don't know. I need...I need to do something. I need to know...Walter...Scully's dead. Last night was a dream. Scully is dead. Right?" "No. Scully is alive and well. Call her." "No! I can't. She won't answer and then I'll know and then I can go." There was that glance at the knives again. My blood ran cold. I'd have to lock them up with the guns now. What else could he use? Oh, God. The balcony. The image of Mulder splattered all over the sidewalk paralyzed me for a moment. I forced it down. I'd deal with the balcony later. Steel bars, locks, something. I had to take care of this crisis first. "I'll call her. You come with me." Again, Mulder was surprisingly docile. I wasn't sure how I felt about that. We walked to the telephone and I dialed Scully's number. "Scully." "Dana? We're having a problem here." "What's wrong with Mulder? Is he trying anything?" "He needs to talk to you." I put my hand over the receiver. "Fox, come here. She's just fine." Mulder shook his head rapidly, and stepped back. I grabbed his arm before he went out of reach. "Fox. Talk to Scully. Now." Slowly, Mulder reached for the receiver. "Scully? Is that you?...You're all right? I'm not dreaming this." Mulder took deep, sobbing breaths. "It feels like a dream. Oh, God, Scully, you have to be right." He began to pant. I took the phone away and sat Mulder down. I kept one hand on his shoulder. "Dana, he's starting to hyperventilate." "He doesn't believe I'm alive. Walter, we have to admit him. He can't function like this. Is he still breathing fast?" "He's calming down, but I have knives lying around. We're not admitting him just yet. It's too soon. If we can get him through the next few days, he should be fine." "I disagree. Legally, I can do whatever is necessary. "Agent Scully!" "Don't worry, sir. However, we should talk about it with him when he's not delusional." I cringed at that word, but it could have been worse. It could have been a trained psychologist calling him "psychotic." "Meanwhile, offer him half a pill. That should calm him for a little while. Give him a whole one at bed time. And think about what I said." I was glad that someone was in charge of this. "Yes, ma'am. I'll call you." "Anytime, Walter." I hung up. "Fox, Scully wants me to give you half a pill. Will you take it?" "I don't want to be knocked out again." "This won't." Mulder appeared to be struggling with the idea. He nodded, once. "Okay. You need to come with me. I'm not leaving you alone in here." Mulder stole a glance at the knives. He smiled ruefully. "Too bad." I took Mulder into the living room, and fetched the container of pills from my coat pocket. Scully had cut one in half already. I gave it to Mulder, who swallowed it dry. Hating myself, I checked his mouth to make sure he swallowed it. Dinner was still warm. Mulder ate with little appetite, and he seemed slightly off. However, he stopped staring at the knives, and he was able to sit more or less still. It seemed a decent trade for the moment. We shared cleanup chores again. It felt nice and domestic, something I had missed when my marriage fell apart. I also liked being able to steal a kiss or a hug when I felt like it. Mulder seemed to enjoy it, too, for all his strange passivity. He rarely initiated anything. I had hoped to spend the evening catching up on work, but we ended up snuggling in front of a basketball game. I was amazed Mulder and I were together after all those tense months, although I wished the circumstances were better and Mulder were well. As it was, Mulder fit in my arms as if born to be there, his head a pleasant weight on my shoulder as he dozed. I tried not to think about the way he looked at the knives before dinner. Mulder woke in time for the news. He made fun of the "bubble-headed bleached blond" anchorman and found weird twists to all the stories. He wanted to watch a rerun of Star Trek afterwards, but I vetoed that on the grounds that it was a school night. We went upstairs together, and got ready for bed. As I watched Mulder undress and brush his teeth, I found I had a lump in my throat. It was almost as if I couldn't breathe. I wasn't aroused, precisely, not that Mulder wasn't a sexy sight in his old gym shorts and t-shirt. I just realized that I was going to be sharing my bed with Mulder, with the man I loved. It seemed far more intimate than the sex we'd shared earlier. And then Mulder turned his dazzling smile on me and I didn't think about anything else. "Walter? You there?" "Sorry, Fox. You were asking a question?" "You're supposed to be hanging on my every word. Which side of the bed? I don't have a preference." When I was married, I always took the right side of the bed, whatever bed we slept in. "I don't care. Let's flip a coin. Whoever wins gets the right side." Mulder nodded and took a quarter off the dresser and flipped it in the air. "Call it!" "Heads!" Heads it was. I didn't know if it were an omen or not. I took my turn in the bathroom. I left with a paper cup of water and a whole pill in my hand. I looked at Mulder. "No. The half-pill made me groggy enough. I don't need more." "I'm just following Dr. Scully's orders." "No. I don't need it." He accepted that Scully was alive. That was enough for me. "Okay. I'll just keep them by me in case you change your mind." Mulder nodded and got into the left side of the bed, holding on to the remote. "Walter...I'm not suicidal." I just shook my head. "I'm not. But...where are the guns?" "Locked up safely, and I won't tell you where. Along with my kitchen knives and other objects." Such as the key to the balcony door. "Good. Ummm, the lights." "Do you want any lights on?" Mulder looked embarrassed. "Yeah. I wouldn't mind a nightlight, and maybe the bathroom light on." "No problem." I fished around in my dresser drawer and pulled out a nightlight. I plugged it in beneath a chair, and turned off the other lights. The room was dim but not dark. I crawled into bed beside Mulder, and drew him close. Mulder kissed me softly and wrapped his long limbs around me. Chapter Six ************** "SCULLY! NO! STOP!" I had been sleeping soundly when Mulder's screams brought me out. Instinctively, I wrapped myself tightly around him. He struggled at first and then relaxed. His eyes opened. "Walter?" "I'm right here, Fox. I'm right here." I stroked Mulder's back and let him settle against my shoulder. "Oh, God. That feels so safe." "Good. Everything's fine, then." "No. Scully's dead. Nothing's fine." My heart nearly stopped. Mulder said those words calmly, as if it were a simple statement of fact. Only a few hours ago, he knew the truth. "No, Fox. She's alive and well." "I saw her die." "You were made to see her die, but she didn't. She killed Linda Bowman and saved both your lives. She's fine." "Prove it." "Call her up. She won't be happy about being wakened at..." I squinted at the digital clock "2:17 in the morning, but she will be alive." I passed the phone to Mulder. "I can't. I don't believe it. She's dead, and it's my fault. I should have killed Modell when I had the chance." Mulder tried to get out of the bed, but I held him tightly. "Let me go." "To do what?" "You know. I have to, to make up for that." I started to shiver. "There's nothing you can use. Remember?" "Nothing?" "Fox, *Scully* and I are going to keep you alive. Face up to it." "Scully's dead." "Call her." Finally, he did. "It's you? You're all right? Oh, God, Scully. You were dead. In my mind you were dead, and I had to follow you. I'm sorry. ... I'm sorry. Oh, God..." I took the phone away from him as Mulder cried in my arms. "Dana? I'm sorry. He wanted to ...oh, God..." "It's okay, Walter. I was expecting it. He didn't take the pill, did he?" "No. He talked me out of it." I kissed Mulder's head. "Good." "Good?" "He's being Mulder. That's good. Give it to him now. It'll knock him out until morning." "Do you think he'll take it?" "Threaten him. He responds well to threats. And, Walter..." "Yes?" "It would probably be okay if you took the remaining half pill. You're big enough that it will just relax you." "I'll be all right. What about you?" "I'll make some herbal tea. I'll be fine. Take care of our little boy." "I will." He twisted and put the phone away. "She's alive, isn't she?" "Yes. She's alive and she's going to stay that way. Fox, will you take the pill now?" "Do you think I should?" He looked like the little boy Scully was so worried about. "Dana thinks you should." Mulder nodded then. He washed it down with the stale water. When he lay back down, though, he didn't snuggle close. He moved closer to his side of the bed. I watched him as the drug took control and he fell asleep. I could see he wasn't going as deep as the night before, which relieved me. I lay back on my own side in the dim room, listening to Mulder's even breathing. I felt myself matching each breath with my own. Mulder's breath became mine. How did I fall in love with Mulder? It wasn't just the way he looked. I had looked for a certain "type" when I picked men up in bars. I liked them big, and since I wasn't out for conversation, I didn't look for intelligence. But Mulder had intrigued me from the beginning. I'd never met anyone so brilliant before, or so driven. Not even the ambitious ones, the ones gunning for offices on the fifth floor, the ones after my own job, were as driven as Mulder. And he had sleepy hazel eyes and long, elegant limbs and a runner's body that wore those expensive suits (how the hell did he afford them?) as if they were designed with him in mind. Maybe they were. The moment I saw him, I had been struck by his beauty. I tried to shrug my attraction off. "He's a subordinate." "He's not your type." "He's infuriating, insubordinate and possibly insane." Nothing worked. How could I lose control of my emotions like that? I drifted off to sleep with thoughts of Mulder and ivy-covered cottages cluttering my brain. * * * Five days later, Mulder once again woke up from one nightmare into another in my bed, and demanded to call Scully in the middle of the night.
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