Title: The Third Wish
Author: Tim Scott
Email: TScott2533@aol.com
Website: http://www.reocities.com/Paris/Arc/1461/
Rating: NC-17
Archive: Yes to Gossamer, all others must ask permission
Spoilers: Quite possibl

Summary: Just a smut biscuit -- no more, no less. I hope.

Notes: This story occurs prior to "Tithonus" Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and didn't make any money off them, more's the pity, but at least they'll be more relaxed when I'm done with 'em. Jeez, Chris, give 'em a break, already!


Sullivan Gardens, TN
1:38pm

"Cancelled! How the hell can it be cancelled? Don't tell me our flight has been cancelled, that is completely unacceptable. I am an FBI agent on an important Domestic Terrorism case! It is vital that we reach our destination on schedule!"

The clerk cowered behind his computer terminal, scanning his monitor frantically in the faint hope that he might find something to appease the snarling redheaded demon waving her credentials a bare inch from his nose.

"Ah, Scully, could I talk to you over here for a minute?"

The female agent stuffed the wallet back in her purse and stomped off in disgust. Her tall companion checked the clerk's nametag before giving him an apologetic look as he said, "See what else you can find, okay, Fred?"

Fred nodded, wide-eyed. Anything to get that woman the hell away from him."Watch your ass, pal. She's dangerous."

The tall man shook his head, mumbled, "You have no idea," and went after his partner. He caught up with her outside the tiny excuse for a terminal.

"What the hell is with you today, Scully?"

Nervous energy crackled off her as she paced in a tight circle."We have to get out of here, Mulder. We have to get out of here right now."

Mulder stared at his partner. He wasn't too thrilled to be stuck another night in hicksville either but their connecting flight to Roanoake had just disappeared and, with it, their only chance of getting home tonight. Damn Kersh and his big piles of manure, anyway. Still, that was just annoying. This maniac behavior from the diminutive redhead was downright worrisome.

He dialed for a concerned voice and said, "Hey, Scully?"

She stopped, facing away from him. "Yes, Mulder?"

He paced around her until he could at least get a side view of her face. "I wish you'd tell me what's wrong."

She closed her eyes briefly, then turned to face him. He could see the *I'm fine* forming on her lips. His expression stopped that one cold. She compressed her lips and said nothing.

Mulder looked at his feet for a moment, hands in his pockets. His voice held deep but quiet concern for her. "You didn't sleep last night, you had no breakfast, no lunch and five cups of coffee. You're wound up tighter than a drum and there's no reason for it that I can see. Please tell me what's wrong."

She squinted up at him and finally sighed in defeat, nodding. Twenty minutes later, at the only decent diner in town, she was stealing his french fries and trying to decide where to begin.

"Promise me you won't laugh."

A surprised look flashed over his face. This sounded interesting. The smirk was automatic but he got it under control and nodded. She glared at him for a moment before continuing.

"Months ago, before we ever heard of Gibson Praise, I had this... really strange dream."

Mulder sat up straighter and stopped grinning even mentally. He respected the perceptions of the Scully women. Margaret Scully had impressed him with her prophetic dreams. Melissa Scully's attitude was annoying but her insight, before she was murdered, was intriguing. Dana herself had had at least two visionary experiences that he knew about. Whatever was going on had just stopped being funny.

"I'm sorry, Scully. I know it wasn't easy for you to say that, especially to me. Please go on. And eat your lunch before it gets cold."

She spent the next few minutes diving into the French Onion soup and putting her thoughts in order. He munched his Reuben and waited patiently. Finally she met his eyes again.

"I woke up in the middle of the night and there was a man in my room."

Mulder's eyes widened. Around a mouthful of sandwich he said, "At home or on the road?"

"At home. He was a big man, maybe Skinner's size, but with very dark skin. Expensive suit, with a cloth headdress like Arafat wears. English accent."

Mulder studied his partner's face and body language carefully, opened his mouth and then closed it again. Best to let her tell it her own way in her own time. She watched the decision flow over his face and smiled in gratitude. It was a small smile, with the requisite head shake. Every now and then it was just so *good* to talk with him...

Then the smile went away, she took a deep breath and plunged into the rapids. "He said he was there to grant me three wishes."

And waited.

Mulder's jaw dropped. He put the sandwich down and leaned back in the booth, staring at her. His mouth tried several times to form words that never made it past his lips. Finally he took a long, deep drink from his iced tea, looked out the window at rural Tennessee and scrubbed a hand over his mouth before facing her again.

"Before I choke on my kneecap or something, let me ask you: is this some kind of practical joke or are you serious?"

"Do I look like I'm joking, Mulder?"

He sighed and looked mournfully at the table. "No, you don't. Okay, what happened next?"

Scully stole another french fry and nibbled at it. This was going better than she'd expected -- no teasing, no eye rolling, nothing. Her partner's eyes were totally focused on her, waiting. She shivered. This was so insane. Only the fact that she'd utterly run out of time gave her the strength to go on with the story.

"It was ... surreal, Mulder. It made this totally ridiculous kind of dream sense. You know, the way things seem to logically progress until you suddenly realize you're agreeing that two plus two equals six?"

Mulder blinked. "That happens often in your dreams, does it?" He shook his head immediately. "Sorry, that just slipped out. Go on. Then what happened?"

Dana sipped her water, took some of the ice cubes into her mouth and crunched them meditatively. Finally she gave a small sigh and went on.

"I hadn't been sleeping well. I was just exhausted, you know? I knew I was dreaming, even while I was dreaming, and I decided to just do whatever was necessary to get back into REM sleep so I could get some rest. So I made three wishes, and it worked. He disappeared, I went back to sleep and woke feeling wonderfully refreshed. Very strange."

Mulder looked at her expectantly. "And? You wouldn't be this worked up if there weren't more to it. What happened then? Come on, Scully, the suspense is killing me, here. What did you wish for?" He waggled his eyebrows at her.

She grimaced. "Well, a week went by and I'd pretty much forgotten the whole thing. Then I woke up again and there he was, standing at the foot of my bed. Before I could say a word he said, 'Now is the time of the First Wish.' And then he was gone."

Mulder could see she was getting tense again. He looked down at the table and shook his head in mock sorrow. "I keep telling you not to eat just before bedtime, Scully."

She snorted, then darted him a thank-you glance for lightening her mood. After taking a deep breath, she said, "The next day was the day of the fire in the office, Mulder."

He tilted his head to one side. "And you feel these two events are related somehow, is that it?"

She said, "My first wish was for some peace and quiet, Mulder."

He stared at her for a moment, then looked out the window again. "I don't think I like where this is headed." He looked back at her again. She nodded unhappily, ran her tongue nervously over her lower lip and steeled herself to continue.

"Shortly after we were re-assigned to Domestic Terrorism it happened again. I woke up and there he was, in all his three-piece-suited glory. Gray with pinstripes this time, God knows why. He said, 'Now is the time of the Second Wish' and then he was gone. And the next day we ended up in Nevada, where that poor bastard Crump took you for a ride."

Mulder nodded slowly. "And the second wish was...?"

Scully compressed her lips before admitting, "That you would stop ditching me." Mulder had the grace to look ashamed. He was saved from having to respond immediately when their waitress came by to clear the table. He asked her for refills on their drinks and waited for them to arrive before speaking again.

"Okay, I'm seeing a trend here. This sounds like a variant on old Arabic legends. This sort of thing is mentioned in Frazer's 'Golden Bough' and other sources, it's sometimes called 'the tainted gift'. If the recipient of the wishes is careless about how the wishes are phrased it leaves the genie, or, more properly, the 'djinn', the option of interpreting it in such a way that the letter of the agreement is fulfilled while the spirit of the wish is denied. It was a kind of cruel game that these spirits liked to play on the hapless humans they encountered."

Scully groaned quietly. "I *knew* you were gonna say something like that. Mulder, I don't believe in that sort of thing and you know it!"

He smiled. "I wasn't finished. Alternatively, it's possible that you've been having prophetic dreams which your conscious mind interpreted in a way that you could accept."

She wasn't sure if he was trying to jolly her along or what. "Thanks, Mulder. That's a *much* more acceptable explanation. I feel so much better."

Mulder grinned. "Glad I could help. I like the genie theory, myself."

"Imagine my surprise", she mumbled dryly.

He began to sound excited. "No, really. Think about it. The X-Files get closed, which should have given you what you said you wanted, except that we got transferred to Domestic Terrorism and sent to Dallas and points south. Way south. And since then we've been on, you should excuse the expression, shit detail. Nice and quiet. Just what you asked for."

She dropped her head into the crook of her arms folded on the table in front of her. "You're not going to tell me to be careful what I wish for in a really smug tone, are you? Because I don't think I could take that right now."

"I would never do such a thing", he said, virtuously. "And then, of course, you wanted me to stop ditching you, so naturally the first thing that happens is I get taken hostage and *forced* to flee the area at gunpoint. Kind of an 'enforced ditch'. Or would you call it a 'non-ditch ditch'?" Dana gritted her teeth in an effort to remain silent.

Mulder's voice wasn't smiling any more. "And then, of course, there was the thing with Gibson and Diana."

Her head came up off the table at that. He actually sounded apologetic. She watched closely. He made no effort to hide from her as he went on.

"I felt rotten about that, you know, Scully. It was the right thing to do, the only way we could effectively divide our forces at the time. I'm not sorry I did it, but I am sorry about the way I phrased the decision to you. Strictly speaking it wasn't a ditch but it probably felt that way to you. It was the least awful choice I could make from the list of bad choices available to me. I'm really sorry for any pain it caused you. I have been trying to play by the rules lately, you know."

Well, what could she say to that? He had been trying, and successfully, too. The only problem was, now she couldn't be sure if it was really his decision or... No. That was ridiculous. Completely and utterly absurd. But the specter of it did take away some of the satisfaction, dammit.

Mulder's voice called her back from her introspection.

"Are you ready to tell me now what the problem is?"

Dana looked in his eyes, then looked away quickly. She could see that he was deeply concerned for the way this was affecting her. That look on his face would be her undoing if she wasn't careful.

"Obviously you had the dream again last night, which would make today the day of the Third Wish. There's no way you'd tell me all of this unless it were something serious, something that involves me somehow. So what was your third wish, Scully?"

He reached over and took her hand. He meant it as a comfort but his touch was burning, burning... She forced herself to face him and said, as calmly as she could manage, "I wished that we were lovers."

His jaw dropped very satisfyingly. Well, it would have been satisfying if she hadn't been blushing from head to toe. Damn her Irish complexion, anyway! Then she noticed the flush rising over her partner's face and the way his gorgeous hazel eyes dilated. Mulder kept his eyes on hers, raised his other hand and said, in a loud, firm voice:

"Check, please!"


Neither of them said a word until they were back in the car. On the one hand the silence was good, he wasn't smirking or leering or anything like that. Scully glanced over at him. He looked stunned, actually. Some profiler you are, Mulder. Once they were rolling she watched him carefully, waiting. She knew he'd need some time to process this news before he came up with some idiotic-sounding plan that she could shoot down. Mulder really was amazing at times, but he did better if he had to work for it.

Usually.

But this was no crazy vampire-wannabe or mutant sewer dweller, this was their *lives*, both personal and professional. God, why does this kind of crap always happen to me? I go to church -- well, recently, anyway. I honor the commandments and all that good stuff. Why is my life like something out of the bloody Book of Job?

She could feel him watching her. "What, Mulder?"

He cleared his throat softly. "Lovers, Scully?" His right eyebrow was raised. No fair, that was her trick. Get your own Look, dammit.

She looked away. "What do you want from me, Mulder? It was only a dream.Dreams aren't supposed to make sense, they're just your brain's way of emptying its IN basket and getting ready for the next day's work. Dreams have their own logic, having nothing to do with the real world. It means nothing."

Maybe she had put too much emphasis on that last sentence? Now that Dana thought about it, it sounded a bit harsh. She chanced a glance at Mulder. He looked hurt. Covering well, but hurt. Oh, hell...

"It meant enough for you to pace all night, be unable to eat all day and terrorize a poor reservations clerk within an inch of his life. It meant enough for you to actually *tell* me something about your inner life."

You stay the hell away from my inner life, Mulder. It's all I have left. Still, the man had a point. She leaned back in the seat and rubbed both hands over her face. Before she could get a word in he continued.

"It meant enough for you to want to blow out of this burg before we had to spend another night together here. Enough for you to be terrified that something might happen between us. Well, relax, partner. Next stop is Johnson City, there'll be a feeder flight to DC there and your troubles will be over."

Oh, God. He thought she was rejecting him. Of course that's how he'd see it. She opened her mouth, then closed it again. Even if she could think of something to say to him there was no way he'd listen to it right now. So she kept her mouth shut as Mulder got them on the freeway.


Fifteen minutes later, as they pulled up to the terminal at the the Johnson City airport, Dana tried to mend her fences.

"Mulder, I wish you wouldn't take this so personally."

His voice was completely toneless. "Relax, Scully, I get it. Not everything is about me. I heard you the first time. You get the tickets, I'll drop the car off and meet you at the gate."

She stared at him. There was a definite ring of finality in his voice. Dana was sure she wasn't going to like whatever was going on in that twisted brain of his when it finally surfaced. She got out and watched him drive off to the Lariat lot. He didn't even burn any rubber. That was a bad sign: Mulder was overcontrolling again. She shook her head and looking for the ticket counter, dreading the flight to come.

Mulder found her slumped in defeat on a bench. Calmly, carefully, he set her suitcase and laptop carrier next to her and headed off to see the bad news for himself. A quick glance at the scheduling display board told the story. If he weren't so pissed it would be funny.

Nada. Nil, nit, zip, swabo and nothing. No fucking way were they going to make DC by nightfall, or even midnight. The traffic gods must be laughing their asses off. Unbefuckinglievable. Oh, well. Might as well get it over with. He turned to face his partner. She looked thoroughly miserable. Good.

Now, now. Don't be bitter.

Oh, sure. Easy for you to say.

Face facts. You've hoovered up enough of her life as it is, you don't think she'd want to spend the three or four hours of each day that she can still call her own with you, too, do you?

Well, when you put it *that* way...

Mulder shook his head, ashamed, and rejoined his partner after a quick detour to the nearest Yellow Pages. He tapped her shoulder and her eyes opened slowly, unwillingly.

"C'mon, Scully. Up and at 'em, let's go."

"Where are we going?"

"*We* aren't going anywhere. *You* are going to take a cab to the nearest motel and get a room for the night. Tomorrow you'll catch the 10am flight to DC and you won't have lost too much of your weekend."

She looked puzzled. "What about you?"

"Me? Oh, I'm catching the next flight out. To..." he swiveled to check the board, "... Cleveland. No muss, no fuss. Problem solved."

"Mulder, I can't ask you to do that."

"You didn't ask. It has nothing to do with you, I have relatives in Cleveland. Been meaning to stop in for a long time now, I just needed an excuse. See you Monday."

He turned to go but she grabbed his sleeve. He went tense and stared at her hand until she removed it.

"Mulder, don't do this. Don't leave like this."

He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Look, Scully, it's the simplest way. Occam's Razor, right? You're a scientist, you should appreciate that. If you can state the problem you're half way to solving it. Problem: you're afraid I'll jump you. Why, I don't know -- you're a crack shot and you took the same unarmed combat courses I did, as you're so fond of reminding me. Be that as it may, we can't have sex if we're not in the same city. Nobody's dick is that long, not even Wyszlenski's in White Collar Crime. And now that I'm aware of the... situation I'll take the necessary precautions. Clean, neat, simple. You love simple. If you weren't so low on sleep you'd have thought of it yourself. Come on, Scully, work with me here."

She hated that face, that voice. Calm and patient and reasonable. That face and voice were for other people, like Skinner or Kersh. Not her. How dare he use that voice on me! Him and his goddamn "tainted gift". She'd lost him already and never even got to regret any great sex. This was just not fair!

And where the hell did he get off giving her a reasonable, logical and sensible plan, anyway? This was Mulder -- Mr. Outside-The-Box thinker, Mister Unconventional. Occam's fucking Razor? I don't think so.

"Are you ditching me?" Dana's hand shot up to her mouth. Oh, shit, did I just say that out loud? Apparently so. Mulder was frozen in his tracks, and from the set of his shoulders he wasn't real pleased with her.

Oh, God. Tensions and emotions are running high, anger transmutes to sex, sex ruins partnership, Third Wish completed. Shit, shit, shit! She had to think of something fast, he was turning to face her. If she squinted she could just about see the steam coming out of his ears.


Scully instinctively took a half-step back when she got a good look at his face. Her fight/flight reflex was screaming and she froze, unable to choose either option. Her mind told her that this was Mulder, that Mulder would never hurt her but her danger sense, honed over years in the field, wasn't so sure. Various people had told her stories about her partner's dark side, many of which concerned his behavior during the three months of her abduction. Kidnapping. Whatever. She'd discounted most of it as just variations on the stories people liked to spin about him -- the rebel, the nonconformist. After all, he'd always been the most civilized man she'd ever known.

Demented, but civilized.

After she'd recovered sufficiently from the shock of Emily's death she read the reports, both Mulder's and Kresge's, on what had transpired while she was keeping vigil over her doomed daughter. Dr. Calderon had filed assault charges against Mulder, charges that were never pursued because he disappeared.

The only other time she'd known him to do that was on the Paper Hearts case, when Mulder thought Roche was concealing information about his sister Samantha's disappearance. Conclusive assumption: Fox Mulder was *not* to be trifled with on the subject of those he cared about.

Mulder dropped his bag, began to walk toward her, and time slowed down as adrenalin slammed through her system and her thoughts went into hyperdrive.

He'd been so gorgeous the first time she saw him, like the college professor of every coed's wet dreams. It wasn't until she joined him in the field that she'd seen the truth: he was a wolf in sheepdog's clothing. He modified his behavior, trying to blend in, when he was under close scrutiny at DC headquarters. He never really succeeded, people could sense the difference, the predator in him, even if they couldn't identify it. In the field, though, he didn't bother.

In the field he was what he was, and he prowled. He hunted. Some days his quarry were the human jackals that society recognized. On other days, the days he truly lived for, he followed the spoor of things that normal people refuse to acknowledge except in their deepest nightmares.

In the time it took to think this Mulder had taken one step toward her.

His passion had excited her from the first. The man poured his soul, that beautiful tortured thing, into everything he did. The *aliveness* of him made her own nerves tingle. Skinner and the others had seen the wolf in him, however imperfectly. During the Roche case Skinner had ordered her to make sure Mulder behaved and like a fool she'd followed orders.

Like the good sailor her father had raised her to be.

And Mulder, the wolf, had taken from her what he would accept from no one else. He lowered his head and let her put a collar around his neck. Because he trusted her. She got no rest that night, she kept dreaming of agonized howls coming from the next room. Now and then, here and there, he slipped his leash and jumped the fence. Always she chased him down and always, eventually, he returned to the yard. Bowed his head and let her put the collar back on. Because he trusted her.

Mulder completed his second step, began to raise his arms.

And somewhere in there she'd begun to lose respect for him. He was still beautiful, she still lusted after him, but it was in a more abstract way now, not the grinding hunger she'd worked so hard to fight before.

Because he'd allowed himself to be domesticated. No longer a wolf but a dog, broken to his master's (mistress'?) will. You don't respect a dog. You value him, he's useful for certain things, but respect? No.

Only now was she realizing that she'd been deceived. The wolf had learned to camouflage himself better, that was all. No one, not even the woman who knew him best, had seen him prowling the halls. The clues were there and she'd missed them all, she'd seen but not understood. His improved computer savvy, the new technologies he was learning to master... Oh, yes, the wolf was alive and well and very, very hungry.

Mulder completed the third step, grabbed her arms and shoved her against the wall.

Dana cursed herself for a fool. She'd dangled herself in front of him like the meatiest bone in his wildest wolven dreams. All he'd wanted for years and years, right there, within his reach at last. And then she'd snatched it away. The last time she'd done that she was seven years old and her father had been completely without sympathy. She could still hear his gruff tones: "You got just what you deserved, Starbuck. Let that be a lesson to you." She was lucky that time; the dog's teeth barely grazed her, didn't even break the skin.

She'd been luckier than she deserved this time, too. Her partner, clutching the shreds of his dignity, hadn't even snapped at her. He'd just... walked away. Feeling safe (he was only a dog, after all), she'd poked him with a stick, just for good measure.

Surprise! The wolf was back. Wolves (and dogs, too) lower their heads, probably to protect the jugular, before they attack. Mulder's wild wolven eyes, done with their masquerade, met hers. Dana's panties were immediately soaked.

Mulder lowered his head. And growled.


"Are you out of your red-headed mind?" he snarled. "What are you trying to do to me?"

Mulder forced himself to release her and step back. He could only manage to get short panting breaths into his lungs, blood pounded in his temples and anger sat heavy in his throat. It tasted like iron. Metallic. She reached out a shaky hand to his face. He jumped back out of range.

God, he couldn't touch her now, at all costs. The thought of her touching him was even more painful. Mulder raised a finger in warning. In vain, he knew immediately. She always came after him. Dammit, he needed to think but he couldn't *breathe*!

"This is a problem you can't run away from, Mulder. You ... *we* have to deal with it. Plan A is unacceptable. What's Plan B?"

"Why do you even ask, Scully? We both know you're gonna hate any plan I come up with because it will be based on things you don't believe in. I'm tired of dancing this dance."

She took a step toward him, tilted her head back to meet his eyes.

"If you're tired of this dance maybe you should change the music. What are you saying, Mulder? Do you want to stop dancing, period? Or do you want a new dance partner?"

Icy spiders chased each other up his spine. The old fear, never far away, shrieked into his forebrain. The weight of all the crap in their lives had finally collapsed the bridge between them. All the chances to sort things out that he'd missed or postponed or just been too chicken to take mocked him now. Of all the ridiculous things to precipitate this crisis -- a *dream*?

His automatic physical responses to fear came on-line. The tips of his fingers were suddenly hypersensitive, his hearing sharpened until he could hear snatches of conversation twenty feet away. His knees flexed slightly, ready to leap to attack or sprint for safety. His pupils dilated, taking in more light and sharpening his vision. A deep breath oxygenated his blood, preparing the muscles for peak efficiency...

... and he smelled her. The aroused woman-scent of her. It was unmistakable. Her face was flushed, too, and her eyes a wide and dark, dark blue. The mask might be up but he knew the secret signs, oh yes he did.

Well, now. This made things a whole lot clearer. And, miracle of miracles, it meant he had one last chance. Totally unlooked for, and if he blew this one he deserved the solitary future he could see stretching out before him.

Thank you, Jesus! She'd seen it enough times to recognize it -- Mulder had an idea. You could almost see tiny little hamsters on speed behind his eyeballs, their tiny little treadmills a blur. Mulder had an idea by the throat. Hopefully it would fix this horrible mess she'd gotten them into. Dana hadn't slept well for weeks because of this ridiculous situation.

She waited until his eyes focused on her again and said, "What have you got?"

"You're not gonna like it."

She snorted. "So what else is new? Give."

Mulder took her by the elbow and got her moving towards the exit. Once outside he looked around, saw a cab and waved him over. He turned back to her and said, "We're driving home. I have some errands to run. You hit the nearest grocery store for supplies." He dug out his wallet, pulled a $100 from the secret compartment and gave it to her. "Get some good stuff. I mean *really* nice stuff. We'll have a picnic before we hit the road and I'll explain everything."

She would have argued, just for form's sake, but he was already moving away. Just as well, really. Dana figured she'd pretty much used up his entire store of patience for one day so she got in the cab, gave the driver his instructions and sat back.

An hour later she stood beside a loaded ice chest on the sidewalk outside the supermarket as Mulder pulled up in the most luxurious barge she'd ever seen. A Lincoln Town Car, for God's sake. Her partner despised the Ford Tauruses that they always seemed to get stuck with but this seemed like overcompensation. There were some bags in the back seat already. He hopped out and helped stow the spoils of her impromptu shopping trip. That done, they headed off for parts unknown. To her, anyway.

Fifteen silent minutes later they pulled into a scenic outlook. Mulder killed the engine and faced her. She couldn't take it any more.

"What the hell is going on, Mulder?"

He actually smiled. She'd been watching for signs of tension but the man seemed completely relaxed, which did not bode well for her sanity. She could practically see the word "payback" tattooed on his forehead. He said, "We're going to eat and watch the sunset while I explain."

She stared. He got out, opened the trunk, produced lawn chairs and made a show of positioning them for the best view. She had to admit, it was a good spot.

He came back, opened the rear door and grunted with the effort of dragging out the cooler. "We're not Lewis & Clark looking for the Northwest Passage, Scully! What the hell is in this thing?"

She reached into the back seat for the thermal bags containing the hot food and strolled over to the chairs. "You want good stuff, you got good stuff, G- man."

He grunted and groaned much more than necessary, signs of his improved mood. "Oh, don't be such a baby, Mulder", she scolded as she dug out iced tea for him and a one-glass-sized bottle of wine for herself. They used the lid of the cooler as a table.

"Fried chicken, barbecued ribs, wedgie baked potatoes and smoked sausage. Enough cholesterol to satisfy even you, Mulder. Dig in."

He smiled the smile that always loosened her insides, handed her a rib and fell to. They spoke of inconsequential things, enjoyed their food and watched the sun slide down the sky. Her appetite was surprising. Well, maybe not, considering that she had been eating as poorly as she'd been sleeping. Finally Mulder stowed the trash, offered her a second mini-bottle which she accepted after a short consideration. He settled back with another iced tea.

"Okay, let's sum up the problem. You've been having disturbing dreams which can be interpreted in several possible ways. You may have actually been visited by a djinn, in which case you did an incredibly foolish thing by agreeing to play the wishing game. We'll assign that the lowest probability."

"No shit, Sherlock."

"Just trying to cover all the bases, Scully. You may be having precognitive dreams, which I consider much more likely given the history of such things in your family."

"Mulder..."

"Scully, are you saying that the djinn theory is more likely than the precognition thing?"

She sighed in defeat. "I suppose, relatively speaking, that it is more likely than the djinn thing. Go on."

He nodded graciously. "Thank you. It is also possible that your subconscious mind is tired of all the various tensions that we have been placed under over the years and is looking for an explanation that your conscious mind can accept."

Dana began to nod in agreement. Mulder continued, "This does not, however, explain how those dreams could occur in advance of the events that they purport to explain." She shot him a dirty look. He smiled and went on.

"What we need is a course of action that will resolve all of these possible situations at the same time so that, no matter which one is the actual proximate cause, the problem will be solved."

She looked at him suspiciously. "And you have such a course of action in mind, I presume."

He nodded. "It's simple, Scully. We become lovers."

Her jaw dropped. She waited to see if he was teasing her. Nope. She took a deep breath but before she could rev up he beat her to it.

"Scully, do you trust me?"

That stopped her. "You know I do, Mulder."

He nodded gravely. "And I appreciate it, I really do. I would never do anything to jeopardize our friendship, our partnership, in any way. I do have a plan."

She studied him for a moment. "Okay, I'm listening."

"Do you know what a pocket universe is?"

Dana shook her head in bemusement. One thing you could depend on with Mulder, he never went for the obvious. Where the hell could this be leading?

"A pocket universe is a theoretical possibility. It refers to a reality completely separate from our own, with possibly different physical laws. Some scientists speculate that faster-than-light travel may be possible by taking a shortcut through such a place. The Klein bottle -- something with an inside but no outside -- is a good example of such a construct."

"Right. Okay, for our purposes this car is going to be a pocket universe. Tonight we're going to drive back to DC. I rented this vehicle with my own credit card, not the Bureau's. I picked the car *and* the rental agency I got it from at random so there's no chance that it's been bugged. We'll have complete privacy. I also asked the Gunmen to hack into the rental company's computer and erase any evidence that the transaction ever took place. No one will ever know what happens tonight except us. You with me so far?"

She nodded.

"Say the djinn theory is correct. There are instances in folklore of times when the djinni have been outmaneuvered, tricked. Irish mythology also has many instances where a man who makes a deal with the Devil can finesse his way out of it. The thing to do in this instance is to muddy the waters, confuse the issue, so that it's possible to interpret what takes place tonight in our pocket universe as meeting the parameters of the wish."

She nodded again, more cautiously this time.

"Right. Next up is the prophetic dream idea, the possibility that these dreams of yours have been predicting a change in our ... relationship. Again, if that's the case it should be covered by what happens tonight."

Dana turned her head slightly to one side, her eyes narrowing. Mulder held his partner's gaze and pressed on.

"Finally, the theory you prefer. If your subconscious has finally decided that it can't take all the unresolved sexual tension between us, among other things, then we have to ... resolve it."

"How?"

He didn't flinch from it. "You know how, Scully. This is my field, I know what I'm talking about. I don't question you about the hard sciences, that's your department and I know you're one of the best minds around. I don't tell you how to do autopsies so please don't tell me how to do my job, all right? I will take full responsibility for what goes on tonight."

She looked away to the sunset, considering. A hawk swooped down over the field below and rose again with something in its talons. The light breeze brought green smells to them from the tree line.

"I'm going to give you a safe-word, Scully. You can say no all you want tonight and I'll ignore it, which will allow your subconscious to decide that it was all my fault and therefore you will feel no guilt over what happens. And don't give me that innocent look, I found your subscription to LIBIDO. Whether or not you've ever played dominance games, you know what a safe-word is. If you use the word I will stop immediately and the ride home will just become another ride home."

Dana closed her eyes, grimaced and pinched the bridge of her nose. "What's my word?"

Mulder grinned. "Pequod."

"The name of Ahab's vessel? Very funny, Mulder." She shook her head in mock disgust. "Now what?"

"Now you go change into something loose and comfortable while I put all this stuff back in the car."

She nodded, got what she needed from the trunk, headed for the restrooms and tried to tell herself that it was the cold making her tremble so much.


The sun was a blazing red hemisphere sliding below the western horizon when Scully came out again. Mulder tried not to stare but it was a losing proposition. She was just too stare-able for one thing but, besides that, the woman just kept amazing him. How she managed to keep trusting him defied all logic.

God, if you're listening, please don't let me fuck this up.

She'd brushed her hair. Always a vibrant color, the failing light made it shimmer like burnished copper as she strolled over to join him beside the car. She wore her "I'm tired" outfit -- the gray zippered sweatshirt and black sweat pants. He opened his arms and she walked right into them. They stood silently, watching the sun pack it in for another day. The sky was varying shades of blue before them, shading to purple behind them as night approached.

Suddenly he realized he was losing a golden opportunity. He turned her face gently up to his. Scully blinked sleepily up at him, waiting patiently.

"I'm going to be too busy concentrating on the road to do this later, so..."

Her eyes widened slightly as he brushed the backs of his fingers across her cheeks before leaning down to finish the kiss they had begun so long ago. She obviously wanted this to happen, and it was also plain to see that she liked the dangerous aspects of the situation. Fine, he could do dangerous. For himself, though, he needed a bit of tenderness.

It might have to last him a very long time if his plan went south.

Her mouth began to open before their lips touched, and her soft "ohhh..." made the eyes roll back in his head. Her mouth was made for kissing and he put it to its intended use. Gliding his tongue lightly across the lower lip, then the upper, he took the lower one between his teeth for a second and tugged lightly.

She gasped, and her arms tightened around his waist. He became instantly erect. She hummed into his mouth and went up on tiptoe, her tongue darting into his mouth. He sucked on it and she shuddered, moaning. His fingers were roaming through her hair -- she had the silkiest hair! -- and though he hated to lose her lips he just had to kiss her cheeks, her closed eyes, her jawline, her ear...

He had to stop kissing her long enough to get his wind back. His heart was banging against his ribs, demanding to be let out. It took all his strength to bring her out to arms length while he panted, "Get in the damn car. Now."

She was having her own respiratory problems. He felt rather than saw her nod. Letting go of her long enough to fumble the keys out of his pocket took major will power. The lights came on as the door opened. He got in and started it up.

Scully opened the door on her side, slid into the seat and turned to watch him like a cat at a mousehole. Feral. Aroused. More sexual than any bloody video he'd ever seen, and she was just sitting there.

God help him.

He took a deep breath and closed his door, precipitating them into darkness. Bang, instant pocket universe. He concentrated on getting them back on the freeway and homeward bound. The plan was simple: Highway 181 down to 81, then over to 66 northbound which should take them straight home.

All he had to do now was turn Dana Scully into a quivering mass of satiated female flesh in such a way as to avoid all the rocks and shoals that had terrified them both for six years, all the while avoiding crazed and/or drunken weekend drivers, police and MIBs. With one hand tied behind his back, or at least occupied with the steering wheel.

Piece of cake.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Mulder's lips were certifiably lethal. Dana's toes were *still* curled into tight little balls when her partner got them back on the freeway. She licked her lips and wondered if her heart would slow down any time soon. She decided she didn't really care and started to crawl over to him.

"Did I say you could move?"

His voice was a muted growl. Ooooh... She froze, waiting. Her partner reached down to the control panel. Immediately all four doors locked with an audible click. The sound startled her. It was loud in the impressive quiet of the car's cabin. Everything in the vehicle spoke of power: the expensive- melling leather seats, the quiet engine, the massive acceleration at the slightest pressure of his foot.

Power. All of it at his control. She could take it back with a word if she wanted, of course, but she purposely buried that thought as deeply as she could.

No. That was wrong, that was what put her here. She had to find a new way to see their relationship or the old habits would ruin things again. Now that she'd found the courage to create this situation she was determined not to lose it through carelessness and cowardice.

Neither of them was allowed to be cowardly tonight.

Mulder won't hurt me. He loves me. I know this, I've known it forever. I just have to change it somehow.

How?

Love is emotion, which is a kind of energy. Energy can be either potential or kinetic. It's been potential long enough.

Okay. How do we change it from potential to kinetic?

The lights came on in her mind and she wanted to laugh for the sheer simplicity, the beauty of it. The change had already been made. All she had to do now was relax and enjoy the ride. Given half a chance, Mulder would see to it that she did.

Dana Scully smiled and reclined, apparently submissive. Mulder glanced over at her, returned her smile, and said, "Get the towels out of the bag in the back seat. The big ones go over the seat, use the small ones to pad the seatbelt receptacles. I don't want any holes poked in that lovely pelt of yours."

Her smile broadened as she groped around for them. The bags were just beyond her grasp so she got up on her knees and reached back. She'd half-expected it but still she gasped in delight when his hand leisurely and possessively cupped her ass. It felt much better than she'd imagined it would.

His voice was a dark chocolate rumble in the night. "I've wanted to do that for years."

It was difficult to speak while his big hand with its long fingers were gliding around back there, making rainbow swirls of light in her mind. She managed, "Mmmmm, me too..." and tried to focus on retrieving the towels. He squeezed each cheek, making happy sounds, before trailing his way down the back of her thigh to her knee.

"You've started running again."

And a good thing, too, she thought. His fingertips were doing wonderful things to the back of her knee but it wasn't nearly as nice as his hand on her butt so she produced the towels and got to work following his instructions.

She heard him fiddling with something, then the speakers came alive with the Blue Danube Waltz. She laughed softly and looked at him.

"So, we're working without a net, are we?"

He chuckled back at her. "Well, yes... Actually, I picked this CD for 'Tales from the Vienna Woods' but this is good, too. Want me to change it?"

"No, this is fine. If you'll bring your hand back over here it will be more than fine."

He smiled, his eyes never ceasing their defensive driving cycle from front view to rear mirror to side mirror. "I'll be happy to oblige as soon as you get the temperature set where you want it."

No sense teasing him with an eyebrow since he couldn't watch her face right now. Instead she used a dry tone of voice to the same end. "It's fine just the way it is, Mulder."

"Okay, but you're gonna be might chilly soon."

She turned her head slightly, giving him a suspicious look. "Why am I going to be chilly, Mulder?"

He chnced a three-second stare, enough to let her see how serious he was. "Because you're going to be naked, Scully. You're going to take off every stitch so I can indulge myself with that lovely body of yours, every inch of it. The lights are out so no one can see you, not even me since I have to watch the road. But I'll be able to feel you, Scully."

Her throat was suddenly dry as dust, her eyes wide. Mulder looked over again and nodded. "And every now and then you're going to sit up, Scully, so that if a passing car should happen to match speed with us for a second the driver will see, in the glow of headlights coming from the other direction, the angel who's riding with me. And I will enjoy every second of the envy that will be all over his face." He paused. "Or hers."

She drew a shaky breath, swallowed convulsively and reached for the heater control. As she did so his right hand came over, found the zipper on her sweatshirt and slowly began to draw it down. She shivered as her breasts were exposed to the cool air of the cabin, then moaned quietly as the pads of his fingertips touched the base of her throat and moved slowly, slowly downward. She cranked the heat up but knew it wouldn't help her shivering. Only Mulder could stop that, and he had no intention of doing so.

Thank God.


Oh, this was definitely a good idea. Talk about being on the ragged edge! She was actually *panting* over there and all he'd done, really, was run the tip of his forefinger around her nipple. It was good to know he wasn't the only one who'd been losing his mind with frustration.

The sound of their tires on the asphalt thrummed in the background as Mulder dragged his thumb up the underside of her breast. He squeezed her nipple rhythmically between it and his forefinger, a little harder each time, until she arched her back and gasped.

My, my, my. He checked their surroundings quickly. No cars for a good hundred yards in either direction, no curves in the road for at least a mile judging by the taillights he could see... It was worth the risk. He let go of her breast, ignored the disappointed sound she made deep in her throat, grabbed the front of her sweat top and dragged her across the seat to his waiting mouth.

Scully caught on immediately. She flowed up against him, careful not to bump the steering wheel, and did a fast tongue inventory of the inside of his mouth. She must have noted the traffic, too, since she broke the kiss just as he was about to.

God, what a woman!

She was twining herself around him somehow, he couldn't quite figure it out, but she was nibbling his neck and headed for his ear. Quickly he set the cruise control so there'd be one less thing for his mind to coordinate. Just in time, too. Several thousand volts made their way from his ear to his groin.

"Ah, God!"

She let out a throaty chuckle at his reaction.

"Ears a little sensitive, Mulder?" He could hear the smirk in her voice. He had to get some semblance of control back. "You're deviating from the plan, Scully. Lose the top."

She untwined herself, slowly, and complied. Before he could say anything else, though, she chimed in.

"You look terribly warm, Mulder. Here, let me help you out of that jacket."

He chanced a quick look. She was wearing that damn not-a-smile again but her eyes were twinkling. And she had two compelling assets on her side. Well, on her chest, anyway. Woof.

Well, why not? He leaned forward and let her slip the offending article of clothing off. She took the opportunity to run her hands over his chest and shoulders as she did so. He grinned.

"Now the pants, Scully."

Her eyelids drooped just a touch before she settled back and slipped them off, leaving her clad only in panties. Very pretty light blue panties of some shiny material. Satin? Silk? Mulder grunted softly, as though he'd taken a punch to the gut. One of Scully's eyebrows rose and she smiled. A very female smile. It gave him a shiver and made him wonder who was really in control here tonight.

Not that he cared, really. She was the control freak, after all. Mulder just didn't want to blow his lines. If this wasn't heaven it was at least a close facsimile and he wasn't about to argue over how he got here. He would have sworn it wasn't possible to get any more turned on without them even touching each other until she said, in a lust-thickened voice, "Roll up your sleeves."

Mulder looked at her in confusion. She licked her lips. "You know, like you do at the office..."

Ah. Been doing a little fantasizing, have we, Agent Scully? It was nice to know he wasn't alone in that, too. He couldn't keep a smirk of his face. This should be good.

"I'm sorry, my hands are occupied right now." He paused a second for effect. "Could you do it for me?"

Her lips opened in a soundless little 'O', which Mulder took to mean that she still had some self control left. They couldn't have that. He reached his right hand over so she could undo the cuffs and roll them back, but just as her fingers reached the buttons he took her other nipple between his fingers and rolled it a little.

Her eyes flew wide open as she gasped and jerked in response. A low moan ripped from her lips and her hands gripped his forearm tightly. It took several seconds for her to get her eyes open and start working on rolling his cuffs back. When she finally had the job done to her satisfaction she leaned back slightly, he released her breast and put his hand back on the wheel. She took a moment to get her breathing back under control. She looked confused for a moment.

"Scully? The other arm?"

She shook her head slightly to clear it and looked at him again. He showed his teeth in a predator's edged smile and said, in conversational tones, "I don't think you can reach it from over there."

She swallowed, took a deep breath, and moved over next to him. He could feel waves of heat rising off her body. God, but this was too much fun. He moved his right hand aside, rested it across the seat back so she could get at his left arm. Her balance was gone, she had to lean against his side to do the job. He left her alone for a few seconds to give her a sense of false security, then lay the fingertips of his right hand as lightly as possible across the back of her neck and trailed them slowly down her spine.

"Oh, yesssss..." she hissed. She slumped against him for a moment but kept her fingers working on his sleeve. He made tiny circles in a flowing stream down her back, ending at the very base of her spine, a bit lower than where his hand usually rested when she wore clothes. Might as well make the most of this. And she truly did have the most amazingly soft skin...

In the midst of his growing testosterone fog Mulder had to admire his partner once again. He'd always suspected her of being very passionate, and he'd always known she was brave. This, though, went way beyond anything he'd ever dreamed. He never would have had the nerve to begin this, never...

She whispered, "God, Mulder, but you have the sexiest forearms."

That brought him up short for a moment. Sexy forearms? He was on the point of asking her that but then he remembered he didn't want her higher brain functions engaged so he leaned over and whispered in her ear.

"Why, thank you, Scully. I'm pleased you think so."

Must have been the wind of his breath in her ear, she went all boneless against his chest and moaned again. He kissed the top of her head, smoothed a flat palm up her back and reached around to squeeze her right breast before pulling her back to an upright position. She pouted a little at the lost contact.

"How're you doing over there, partner?"

He cast a quick look her way. Her eyes were... well, he'd never seen her eyes like that so he really couldn't say what they were. Huge, mostly. And very, very focused.

"M'okay, Mulder. Now what?"

This was a go/no go point as far as Mulder was concerned. They'd gone way beyond anything they'd ever done before. He had to give her a chance to back out before cranking it up any further. It was killing him to take this chance but...

"Anything you want to do before you take those pretty things off?"

He had to keep his eyes on the road, there was a series of curves coming up. Not as incredible as the ones inside this car, but not something he could ignore if he wanted them to live long enough to finish this. Still, he could feel her eyes on him.

"Yes, there is one thing missing, Mulder..."

She let the silence drag on for a few seconds, the little minx, before she said, "Where are your glasses?"

He looked at her like she'd lost her mind but screw that, if she was going to have her dreams come true they could damn well *all* come true. Mulder was a babe any way you looked at him, but if she couldn't have him in the legendary red speedo the glasses were a close second in squidge factor.

"Um, in my jacket pocket, I think."

Dana reached back and fumbled around, making sure to give him plenty of time to grab her ass again. He didn't let her down, bless him. God, but the man's hands were fantastic. She leaned over and bit the headrest, trying to stifle a moan while pressing back into his hand. She finally found the glasses, sat back down and gave them to him. He slipped them on. Ohhhh, yesss...

Her own face must have been a sight to see, he cracked a big smile and turned his attention back to driving for a moment, giving her the chance to admire his profile for a bit. His right hand slid over and began gliding up and down her thigh.

God.

She slumped back against the seat. Oh, but the terrycloth towels had been a wonderful idea, they felt marvelous against her skin. She wanted to lay there forever soaking up this glorious sensory overload. Mulder's fingers had reached her hip and were playing with the elastic at the top of her panties, skating one way and then the other. His voice, when it came, was a low rumble from deep in his chest this time.

"Take 'em off, Scully. Then lay on your back with your head in my lap."

She did it in reverse order just to be contrary, laying down and boosting her ass up in the air, sliding the last bit of clothing under her butt and then up first one leg and then the other. She watched his face from her new vantage point as she completed this little production number. The muscles in his jaw were flexing and the pulse in his throat was hammering away. The sporadic glow of passing headlights strobed across his face.

She was siezed by panic for a moment. What was that fucking word? God, she must be absolutely crazy, what the hell had she been thinking? There were *rules* against this sort of thing! She had to stop him, stop them both, before it was too late...

"I've been in love with you for years, you know."

Her heart stopped. Completely. Silence reigned throughout the cosmos as the words she'd never expected to hear thundered across her mind.

His free hand came down to caress the side of her face, slid down her jaw and turned so the backs of his fingers could stroke her throat. The sensations drifted across her collarbone and down her arm, down to her elbow and ended up at her own hand. He twined her fingers through his own and brought her fingers up to be kissed, one by one.

She couldn't repress the deep, sobbing sigh.

She tried frantically to get hold of herself. This wasn't some cheesy romance novel, she was a grown woman, she shouldn't allow herself to be swayed by this sort of thing.

Even if she had longed for it since forever.

His hand was moving again, his wonderful big hands that she tried so hard not to daydream about during working hours. Marvelous long comforting strokes down her torso, his fingers scribing some kind of esoteric symbols across her belly, lighting fires across the landscape of her heart.

She couldn't seem to get enough oxygen.

His fingers played in the curls between her legs for a moment but then detoured to inspect the backs of her thighs. He seemed to be memorizing her body with just his fingers. Oh, God, but this was too good! Her feet were pushing down against the bench seat, raising her hips up to meet his roving hand. She couldn't keep her hands still, either, so she grabbed a handful of towel on one side and Mulder's shirt on the other.

Her body was thrumming like a just-struck tuning fork...

... and Thank You, Jesus! Mulder's hand finally hit the mark.

He ran his index finger around the edges of her lips, separating them enough so he could slip the middle finger inside. Slowly, slowly... She mumbled, "Oh, yes, oh yes oh yes..." and turned her face into his side, mewling like a lost kitten. God, what must he think?

"It's okay, Scully, this is our pocket universe, remember? You can be as noisy or as quiet as you want. This is all for you, there's no one to hear you but me. And I gotta tell you, the way you sound is making me crazy."

"All for you all for you all for you" echoed across her mind. She panted, "R... really?"

His voice was a rich, dark chocolate. She wanted to eat it up, along with the rest of him. "Absolutely. Whatever you want."

Oh, God. Whatever I want? She tried to ask that out loud but he picked that moment to sink his middle finger up to the hilt in her, making her arch up onto her shoulders in agonized pleasure.

"Ah, God, MULDER!"

His hand stopped. She was immediately panicked. Why did he stop? What was wrong? Before she could ask, the idiot wanted to know if he'd hurt her.

Men.

"No, but I'll hurt *you* if you stop again, Mulder."

He chuckled, which was annoying, but she forgave him when the magic finger returned. God, but the man was good at this...

"More, Mulder. More", she managed.

"More what, Scully? Faster? Harder? Deeper? I'm a guy, I need specific directions." He inserted a second finger and began a kind of swirling action, indescribable and electric. His fingers went quickly into her as deeply as possible, then slowly slid out first to one side and then the other, hitting new places on each stroke.

"OH! Yes, like that, oh oh oh..."

"What do you think of when you think about us doing it, Scully? Are we, like, on a desert island or a stakeout or something? Tell me how you see it."

Holy God, that *voice*! How was she expected to think at a time like this? Still, maybe she should say something. Wouldn't want him to stop again...

"Ah, God... um, okay, there's -- uh! -- there's the one where we can't take -- oh, god -- take it any more and we do it -- yes, oh right there -- um, in the office..."

Her head was lashing back and forth on his thigh, she was close, so close...

"Oooh. Office sex, Scully? Against the file cabinets, in the elevators, what?"

God, God, God... "Ah! On the, oh, on the desk..." Here it comes here it comes, oh God...

There was a little trigger-finger callus on Mulder's right index finger. She knew this because he chose that moment to add it to the other two digits pistoning in and out of her and it was causing the most marvelous friction in the most amazing spot, and oh GOD here came his thumb brushing across her clit...

... and the sun went nova centuries ahead of schedule.


Maybe this really was a pocket universe. Things certainly were never like this in the real world. It had been an unreasonably long time since Mulder had had sex, true, but he remembered it being much harder than this to bring a woman off. He'd expected serious resistance from his partner over getting her naked, not the "get 'em off / okay" that actually happened. She argued more than that over what to have for lunch, for Christ's sake!

He nearly piled into a tree at the sight of her gloriously naked form. Not to mention that smile... What was it about her smile that drove him to distraction, anyway?

He'd expected close to an hour of stroking her before she came anywhere near getting off. Not that that would be a hardship -- he'd dreamed for years about getting his hands on her tits. On her everything, really, but especially the tits. And the ass. And... Oh, hell. And she went from zero to sixty faster than next year's model.

And the sound effects! Fifty channel stereo and a Dolby audio system couldn't produce noises like that. His dick was painfully hard and she hadn't even touched him yet! Well, okay, there was that kiss before they started driving, but it was embarrassing to be that turned on by a mere kiss.

Not that anything about Dana Scully could be called 'mere', but still... And then, of course, he'd touched her ass. Twice. He was considering having his fingertips bronzed, never to be used for a lesser purpose.

It had gotten increasingly difficult to keep his mind on the damn road, the way she was acting, but then she got *really* excited and her body began releasing that damn pheromone... Didn't women know how dangerous that stuff was? He could *feel* his cerebral cortex giving up the battle, neuron by neuron, as his blood supply headed south...

And then she came. Dear God, did she come!

For years he'd hated his downstair neighbors' cat. It was female and it seemed to know, deep in its little feline brain, that he wasn't getting any. Whenever it came into heat the perverse little monster insisted on standing right below his window and yowling in glee as the neighborhood toms lined up to pleasure her. It pissed Mulder off no end that even household pets were getting laid while his dick atrophied from lack of use.

Then, without warning (okay, she gave a *little* warning), as he stroked her, Dana Scully had wrapped both thighs around his hand and both arms around his arm, thrown her head back and wailed a long, loud, primally fierce sound of sexual satiation.

It was her voice that did it. Oh, the scent was intoxicating and her internal muscles spasming around his fingers made his entire skin surface tingle, and the power of her convulsions nearly tore his arm off, but it was really her voice that lit the fuse at the base of his skull and made his spine burn as the fire crept lower and lower...

Scully's voice was one of her primary instruments. It was always calm and sure. Listening to her precise diction was a joy to the ears. To hear that voice, choked with passion and replete with lust was nearly his downfall.

Calm down, man! So she's beautiful. So what? The thing to remember about a beautiful woman is that somewhere, somebody is tired of her.

Ahem. That's beside the point.

Okay, I give. What *is* the point?

The point? Oh, the point! The point is...

Scully chose this moment to relax her death-grip on his arm, roll into his side and give a long, happy, 'hmmm'-ing sigh. Her breath was hot against his belly. His three remaining brain cells threw down their weapons and joined the rest of his axons and dendrites in delerious celebration of the end of the long drought.

Scully levered herself slowly upright, ran a hand through her stunningly mussed hair and smiled at him. It was a lazy, sleepy smile that promised back-breaking pleasure and excruciating lust. Mulder's mouth went desert dry.

"Ooooh, Mulder. That was niiiiiice." Her voice was a raw, rough satin now. The effort required to watch the road instead of her was painful. He should say something to her. He desperately wanted to say the Perfectly Right Thing but his mind was totally blank, all thought erased by the succubus sitting beside him.

He needed something wet. He almost cringed at the thought. God, what she'd do to him if he actually *said* something that crass right now... He considered asking her to get him a drink but was pretty sure that would blow the mood, and the mood must be kept at all costs. Suddenly inspired, he brought the fingers of his right hand to his lips and licked the moisture, *her* moisture, off them.

"Mmmm. Beats champagne any day."

She gasped, and swayed closer, resting the point of her chin on his right shoulder. Her sigh tickled his ears and the side of his face. Her arms crept around his neck from both directions, front and back, as she turned her head to rest her temple where her chin had been.

Damn, but she gives good snuggle.

They spent the next ten miles or so that way, she rubbing the side of her face against his chest like a kitten while he stroked the back of his hand against her belly and the tips of his fingers down her thighs. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt so good, so alive, so simply at peace.

Wow.

For the longest time that was the best she could come up with. It was embarrassing. Four years of college, three years of medical school, a 4.0 GPA all the way and all she could manage was 'wow'?

Maybe she was being unfair to herself. An orgasm like that should immediately be reported to the Guinness Book people, she decided, but it was tough to keep her mind on any one thing when pinwheels of ecstasy kept scampering down her nerve pathways.

She was dying for a drink. Maybe he was, too? She was about to ask when he put his fingers in his mouth and sucked Essence of Dana off them.

Well, there went all chance of rational thought for the rest of the night. God, how could the man be so annoying most of the time and do something so *right* just when it mattered. This time when the urge to touch him came she gave in to it, moved over and just soaked up the feel of him next to her, touching her...

I promise not to question his next ten stupid ideas, God. And I mean it this time.

Eventually she moved away long enough to dig through the cooler on the back seat. Dana smirked to herself, expecting another assault on her defenseless butt and was shocked into an audible "Ooooo!" as his fingers grazed the backs of her knees.

Mulder chuckled beside her. "I hate to be predictable."

She handed him an opened bottle of apple juice, got a grape juice for herself and reclaimed her place by his side. He thanked her and chugged most of it at one shot. As usual she was more sedate, taking small sips and enjoying them as they rolled across her palate.

God, but this was nice. She admired the starry sky out there, the half-seen shadows of other vehicles passing by, becoming visible in the cone of their headlights before transforming into vague shapes with demonic tail-light eyes fading into the distance... Remembering what Mulder had said earlier she sat up straighter and let the shine of approaching headlights reflect off her sweaty chest. Let 'em look. It was quietly but amazingly erotic.

Pocket universe, indeed. I'm starting to think like my crazy partner. My very own one-in-five-billion lunatic.

With her head leaned against him, and his arm around her shoulder, she as much felt his voice as heard the low rumble.

"So, Scully... You want it on the desk, huh? Still, that leaves a lot of open territory. Do you want somebody to sweep all your stuff off the desk, throw you down on it, rip your clothes off and ravish you?"

She could hear the grin in his voice, teasing her. He loved to tease her. Truth to tell, she enjoyed being teased. She decided to make him wait a bit, though, see what else he came up with. It sounded pretty good, actually. She wondered how much thought he'd given this particular subject?

"Or, maybe, you're standing in front of the desk, looking down at the files laid out in front of you, looking for something, when you hear a sound behind you. Before you can turn you feel a hand between your shoulders pushing you gently forward. Because you recognize the feel of his touch, or maybe his scent, you go along with it, bending until your forearms touch the surface as you open your legs a bit wider..."

She licked her lips, breathed just a little bit harder and moaned a bit to encourage him. This was better than going to the movies. It almost made his porn addiction understandable...

"His hands bring the back of your skirt up and lay it across your back, then they slide down until they reach your panties. The hands squeeze your cheeks a little, appreciating them, before they slowly slide your panties down your legs, kissing the backs of your thighs..."

She was rubbing her thighs together now, getting a bit damp in the crotch. God, his voice! She licked her lips, then dragged his arm over where she could gently bite it to let him know what he was doing to her.

"You're not quite sure who it is that's doing this to you. You think you do, but you could be wrong, and just as you feel the head of his cock start to rub gently against your lower lips you realize that the door to the office is unlocked."

His arm was off her shoulders now, headed down her torso, stopping now and then to squeeze her breasts or stroke her side. She was breathing in short sucking gasps again, marveling that he knew her well enough to do this to her so quickly. She'd thought she had hidden herself from him better than this. Then again, he was a psychologist after all, maybe she'd been kidding herself...

"His knees are inside your knees now, nudging them further apart. You couldn't close them if you wanted to and you don't want to, really, and you let your head drop down limply between your arms as you wonder if anyone will come in looking for you or your partner and find you like this, what would they do? What would they think?"

He whispered the last question as his hands skimmed past the thatch of coarse hair between her legs, moving down the insides of her thighs. She licked her lips and scooted down on the seat a little, further exposing herself to the wandering fingers that were working miracles behind her knees. Really nice, but not what she wanted to feel just now, dammit!

"Would they be horrified at the sight of Dana Scully, the Perfect Agent, the Perfect Doctor, the Perfect Schoolgirl, sobbing out her pleasure at being pleasured? Or would they... applaud, do you think?"

Oh, God, the thought! All those women casting covetous glances at her partner, can't have him, he's *mine*, eat your hearts out he's mine mine mine! Take that, BAMBI!!! And then she sobbed because Mulder's fingers were there, right there, right where she needed them to be. And then they were inside her.

"And then suddenly he's inside, filling you up, moving in and out, forward and backward, and you grab the sides of the desk, looking for leverage as you bring your hips back to meet his coming toward you."

His voice kept on, murmuring that's it, that's it, just like that, telling her how beautiful she was, and his fingers kept up their measured tread like a dance that might, praise God, never end. They went in and out and off to one side and then the other, every now and then raising up up up to that spot inside her where the fiercest bursts of pleasure lived, releasing them carefully to pound down the walls of her propriety, what remained of it. He wasn't touching her clit this time, he knew that would end it and Mulder seemed determined to keep her suspended this way forever, not that she was one to complain, but GOD she needed to come, she was out of practice in feeling pleasure, surely this would kill her if it went on much longer...

And the fingers stopped.

Her eyes dragged open slowly, as though drugged, and she stared at him but couldn't make her mouth form the necessary syllables. Why are you torturing me this way, Mulder? She realized that her arms were wrapped around his right arm, her teeth clenched on his shirt sleeve and she was panting like a bellows.

Mulder smiled the gentlest smile she'd ever seen on his face and said, "Have I told you lately that I love you, Scully?"

There was just enough time for her eyes to widen and her jaw to drop before he plunged his fingers into her to the hilt, laid his thumb down directly above her clit and moved it firmly upward.

Dana Scully screamed.


Mulder checked his mirrors frantically and gave thanks to the traffic gods for giving him time to pull over and park. He found a good spot just past an off- ramp, set the parking brake and hit the flashers before sliding over and pulling his partner up on his lap.

She was still quivering.

He folded her up into a hug, both arms around her, got her head tucked against his shoulder as he murmured, "That's it, just let it all go, Scully, I've got you, everything's gonna be fine, love, it's safe here, remember? Anything you want, anything you need, if I can give it to you or get it for you I will, okay? Pocket universe, remember? Scully, Scully..." He made a lullaby of her name and rocked her, kissing her hair and running his hands down her back and sides.

Eventually she pulled far enough away that they could look at each other's' faces. Emotions were flashing across her usually closed face so quickly he had trouble reading them. Fear was there far too often to suit him, but longing was there too so he tried not to lose hope. The uncertainty hurt most, though.

"You love me?" Her lower lip was trembling as she said it. He tried not to think what that might mean. His natural instinct was to assume the worst. It made keeping eye contact with her hard.

"Uh, well, yes, actually. I do. I have for years. I've tried not to be too obvious about it, I know that dating Jack Willis put an unofficial black mark against you. It takes years to beat a thing like that, and you've been the consummate professional for our whole time together. I've tried not to screw things up for you so I never said anything. I know your career is important..."

His voice trailed off at her incredulous look. "What?"

"Oh, come *on*, Mulder. You can do better than that." And up went the eyebrow. Oops. You're in trouble now, boy. Better get out the tap-dancing shoes and hope you spot the hole before you fall in...

"What do you mean, Scully?"

"I mean, Mulder, that I've watched you for years. You flirt with any female from age eleven on up. These are not the actions of a man in love."

He blushed. Damn the woman! "Look, in the first place, usually they start it so it's self-defense flirting. In the second place, a lot of times it's a tactic to get information we need from women who happen to have access to that information. And besides, I like to flirt. It's fun, safe and harmless." He tore his eyes away from hers. "Mostly."

He could practically hear the second eyebrow joining its mate as she repeated, "Mostly?"

Ah, shit. He sighed. "Well, there was that time in Comity with Detective White..."

It was amazing how the temperature could drop at least ten degrees even though he was sitting there with a naked woman on his lap, her body temp blazing so high he could almost see the heat waves rising off her. He forced himself to continue.

"Everything between us was screwed up. I didn't do anything I don't normally do but you were reacting all wrong. So I decided to tease someone else until you got back to normal, only she didn't tease very well either. It was like poking a tiger through the bars of the cage, and then you notice that the padlock is missing. You really saved my ass coming in when you did, Scully. She was all over me. I would have thanked you then but you weren't in a very receptive mood at the time."

She stared him in the eyes. Eventually both of her eyebrows came back down. "You're serious."

He raised three fingers in the Scout Salute. "Swear to God."

That got him a small smile. "You don't believe in God, Mulder."

He smirked back. "Okay. Swear to you, then. I believe in you, Scully."

She leaned in and kissed him on the forehead. Before he could relax, though, she said, "What's your favorite perfume, Mulder?"

He wrinkled his forehead. "Where did that come from?"

"In Comity, when you were flirting with Detective White, and that cross- dressing doctor for all I know, you said someone was wearing your favorite perfume. What's it called?"

Damn. He'd been just inches from a clean getaway... He cleared his throat and began to edge her off his lap. "Well. Time to get moving again..."

She held on tight, not budging. "Nice try, Mulder. Answer me."

He cleared his throat again. "It doesn't really have a name, now can we get going?" He looked up at her. She had that determined look on her face. Oh, well. Might as well have some fun with it. He put his nose into her neck, closed his eyes, and took a long, luxurious sniff. Then he leaned back, his eyes half closed, and said, "Eau de Scully. Perhaps better known as, Eau Wow!" Before she could say anything he opened his eyes fully again and stared deeply into hers.

"I could find you in a crowded room by scent alone if the lights went out, Scully. I know your smell."

Her own eyes widened slightly and he could see her nipples going from rose to a darker purplish tint. Gotcha.

Oh, he's good. Her head rocked back as Mulder decided to take advantage of his suddenly free other hand, bringing both of them up to brush her nipples. She arched against him automatically. Ah, God... The hands went away for a moment and she whined in protest. His lips began slithering their way across her throat, opening from time to time to allow his tongue to flicker against the now- sensitized flesh. The hands made themselves known again, gently squeezing the cheeks of her ass, then his fingernails began a slow, teasing climb up her spine.

She ground her hips down against the crowbar in his lap. It had been throbbing in time to the pulse in his neck the whole time he was speaking to her, making it terribly difficult to concentrate. Time to get even, Dana. Her reward was a low moan torn from her partner's throat, the first of the night.

She shoots... she scores! She grinned a predator's grin and did it again. His fingers left off their intended task and grabbed her hips, holding on for dear life. He wasn't kissing her now, she noted, and grinned even bigger, he was just panting into her neck. She reached around to the side of his head and nibbled his ear the tiniest bit.

Bingo! He arched his hips up into her and she ground down into it, making the most of the effect. The heat began again, deep in her belly, and she welcomed it with open arms this time. It was nice, what Mulder had done for her so far tonight. Beyond nice, really, it was spectacular. She hadn't felt this good in years. But it was time to start acting and stop reacting.

She folded her grin up and put it away. No sense giving him too much warning. She leaned down to give him one more thorough kiss before sliding off his lap. Demure now, she said, "Okay, Mulder, I'm ready. Let's get moving."

After a two-heartbeat pause he nodded and slid back over into his own seat, waited for a break in traffic and eased them back into the flow. He knew she was up to something. But what? He spent the next several minutes trying to get his heart rate back down to something near normal.

Holy Gods, but the woman could kiss!

Mentally he shook his head, trying to get back on track. The air in the cabin had changed somehow. He tried to place the change. Mulder glanced over at his partner. Last time she lay down on the bench seat she was on her side, facing forward with her head in his lap.

Don't think about that. This time she was on her stomach with knees bent, feet lolling in the air above her ass like some teenager on a Saturday afternoon.

Don't think about that, either.

She leaned her forehead against his thigh, resting, not doing any one thing that he could call provocative. Those damn cute feet kept swinging, swinging... He resolutely concentrated on his driving, trying with all his might to ignore the way his cock throbbed and his balls ached.

This is about her, dammit, not you. What she needs, she gets. This may be your last chance to get it right so don't fuck up.

When he had himself moderately under control again he dropped his right hand to her hair and stroked it. She hummed happily and leaned into it, like a kitten. She eased forward until her temple rested fully on his thigh, facing him, and smiled.

There, see? Not everything has to be sexual. Just be sensual for awhile, enjoy what you can. This is nice, too.

He let his fingers move down from her silken hair across the back of her neck, along her shoulders and down her back in no set order or pattern, just so the feeling of contact and motion continued. He looked down into his lap and saw her eyes smiling back up at him.

God, what *is* it about her smile that does this to me? He tore his glance away so she wouldn't see the moisture collecting there and tried to concentrate on the road.

Breathe in, breath out. In, out. Not too difficult when you got the hang of it.

He remembered a conversation they'd had once. She'd asked him if he didn't ever want to just get out of the damn car. The (barely) hidden meaning, of course, had been that *she* really wanted to do that. Get out of the car, get a life, raise a family, all that good stuff.

No, Scully, I don't want to get out of this car. Not ever. I want to stay here, where it's safe and no one can get at either of us, and love you. Just love you.

He clenched his jaw, breathed out another deep and even breath and drove the car.

Dana occupied herself, while waiting for her moment to strike, by considering what she'd learned so far.

He knows my smell.

She immediately thrust that thought far away. She couldn't afford to wallow in that just yet. Think about something else. Okay. Okay.

He likes to flirt.

Well, *duh*! Like we didn't know that already?

We didn't know that it's his standard mode of interaction with women, did we? He flirts with any woman but us.

Excuse me? He flirts with us!

No, he *teases* us. Weren't you listening? Ooooo! Good catch! So what does this do for us? It means we own his punk ass now.

She grinned and allowed her body to melt into the seat. Mulder was doing incredible things to her back. God, what a wonderful feeling. She could just roll this up and eat it like fudge. She sighed happily, content to just lay there and feel for once.

Mulder knows my smell.

The image was uncontrollable. Mulder's wolven eyes searching for her, his muzzle raised, seeking her scent. Mulder of the gray suits.

There are three kinds of wolf in North America, a voice recited in her mind. The desert wolf, or coyote...

Nope, not Mulder. Too small, too skinny.

The gray wolf, which in America is known as the 'timber' wolf...

Yup, that's him.

... and the red wolf, now being re-introduced to its natural habitat in Tennessee...

Oh, my. She had a sudden picture of herself in her red suit, the one with black highlights. Hard on the heels of it came another image, of a wolf flirting her reddish tail as she headed for her (their?) den. Oh my, oh my...

"Mulder...?"

He looked down at her briefly, then went back to scanning the road. "Yeah, Scully?"

"That was a really nice fantasy you told me earlier." She let her voice go rather lower than usual.

He chuckled. "Yeah, I got the feeling you liked it. Was I close at all to what you imagine?" The curiosity shone out in his tone.

"Yes. Yes, you were, Mulder. But that's not my favorite one."

He looked down at her again. "No?"

Dana smiled up at him, reaching her right hand down, fingernails poised over the calf muscle in his right leg.

"Nope." She dug her nails in just slightly and raked them down to the end of the muscle. His thigh muscles tightened under her face as his arms stiffened, thrusting him backwards against the seat, hissing. The car drifted to one side and the tires pounded on the lane markers for several long seconds while Mulder fought to get the vehicle back where it belonged.

"Wanna hear about it?"

The Third Wish 09/10 Dammit, dammit, dammit... That goddamn *voice* of hers was going to be the death of him yet.

Okay, first things first. Don't crash the car. Steering wheel under control, check. No other cars in the danger zone, check. Respiration, zero. BP, three million over sixty. Hmmm. Not too good, that. Okay, deeeeeep breath, now. Say something, stupid.

"Huh?"

No, no, no. Not 'say something stupid'. I meant 'say something, pause, stupid.'

Would you shut up and let me handle this?

You're doing great so far, God knows.

Scully chuckled, low and sweet, down there in his lap. He took a breath and got ready to try again.

Linguistics banks on line?

Aye, Captain.

Open hailing frequencies...

She bit his thigh gently before he could get a word out. Then she did it again, several times, each one closer to his groin. He gritted his teeth together and tried not to get them killed. On a more positive note he seemed to be breathing again. Rapidly.

The fingers on her right hand were skritch-scratching their way up past his knee now. It was obvious where this was all going. All Mulder could do was hope he was still alive for the big finish.

"Mulder? You never answered me. Do you want to hear my favorite fantasy? About us? In the office?"

Oh, you bitch, you. I swear, as God is my witness, I'll get even. He managed to grunt, "yesthatwouldbereallyniceScullytellmeplease."

She chuckled again. Those magical doctor fingers of hers were at his belt, undoing it, then the button on his pants, and then his zipper was headed south at an agonizingly slow rate of speed.

She was humming as she worked. He had to grin. His partner had style, you had to give her that.

"Well. It doesn't really make much sense -- you know how dreams are, don't you, Mulder? -- but in the dream someone is chasing me so I run into the old office and slam the door behind me."

He tried to make an affirmative sound to show he was listening but she was rubbing his cock through his boxers. He could actually *feel* his IQ falling. "Yeah?" he panted.

"That's right. The sound surprises you. You're at one of the filing cabinets and you spin around in surprise. Your sleeves are rolled up -- you know how much I like that, don't you, Mulder? -- and you're wearing your glasses."

"Glasses. Sleeves rolled up. Got it." he mumbled.

"My goodness, Mulder! Is all this for me?" She quit the stroking long enough for him to get a couple of brain cells working.

"What, you didn't see "Property of Dana Scully, MD" tatooed on the bottom?"

She shined a blinding smile up at him and pretended to lean in for a closer look. "Why, you're *right*, Mulder! It DOES say that! How thoughtful of you!"

He had a trenchant reply all set but she was so close, her perfume was all around him now, making him dizzy. And as if that wasn't enough, she made a little "oooooh" sound and her breath swept over the incredibly sensitive skin on the underside of his shaft. He sucked in air sharply, put both feet as far forward as they would reach and pushed for all he was worth.

The steering wheel didn't quite come off in his hands.

She kissed his thigh through his pants and said musingly, "Now, where was I? Oh, yes, the fantasy..."

Her hand surrounded him lightly but firmly. Her thumb moved up and down the underside of his cock, softly, slowly.

"You ask me what the problem is and I say someone's after me and I have to hide. But there's really no place to hide in that office, Mulder."

Well, he wouldn't exactly say that. She'd managed to hide in plain sight for years. Not that he was about to say that. She might stop, and then he would have to kill himself.

"So then you tell me to hide under the desk. And I say that's no good, he'll look there. And you say, 'no he won't, trust me, Scully' and of course I do trust you, Mulder, so I hide under the desk and then you sit down so no one can see me."

He was going to have to see the dentist after this, all the enamel was being ground off his teeth from being so tightly clenched. She was inching her body closer to him, bit by bit, her chin dug into his leg a little each time as though she were pulling herself along by that alone. Her hot breath on his cock was becoming unendurable.

"And then the door slams open and he's there, whoever he is. I can never quite recognize the voice. You sit there, calmly, and you deflect all his questions. And there I am, with nothing to do but stare at your crotch just inches away. And you start to get hard."

No fucking shit, sherlock. I'd get harder now, just listening to that, if I weren't already hard enough to scratch diamond.

"I try to resist, I really do, Mulder, but I've wondered about it for soooo loooong and who knows when, or even if, I'll get another chance like that, so I, well, I reach out and touch it."

Her thumb raised up to the head of him, found the little blob of pre-cum that indicated his readiness, and began to swirl it over the head and under it, too. God...

"Your self-control is really impressive, Mulder -- much like it is now, in fact -- and your voice never changes as you talk with the man, whoever he is. So I reach up and unzip you and take you out, I just have to see if what I've imagined is true..."

Well, Scully, if you really want to know, the reason my voice in your fantasty doesn't change is because, if FantasyMulder has any sense, he let's the other guy do the talking -- much like I'm doing now, as a matter of fact -- because if he tried to speak his voice would squeak like a kitty toy.

Scully's breath was soooo hot across him now, unbefuckinglievably hot, she must be less than an inch away, and that image alone nearly sent him into orbit. Her fingers were rubbing softly, so softly, over and under and around and down, jesusjesus...

"... and finally I can't take it any more, Mulder, I just have to urmphgl..."

Fireworks began exploding across the screen of Mulder's mind as Scully's perfect lips parted and began kissing him. Soft kisses with her lips completely relaxed, the barest hint of tongue on the other side of them. With a maddening lack of speed, a crazed version of her usual thoroughness, she started at the bottom and worked her way to the top, mumbling incomprehensible things.

Who cared what she was saying, really? It was the vibrations of her voice that did the trick. His sense of self-control was not *just* on thin ice, here, it was jumping up and down on thin ice. Was she trying to kill him or what?

Focus. Focus. Drive the car. Check the road, check the rear mirror, check the road, check the side mirror, check the gauges. Remember to breathe.

"Oh, my word, Mulder, this is ... so much *better* than I expected it to be! You're just delicious, Mulder! Mmmm..."

Jesus. Focus, focus... You know what's going to happen. Focus. Get ready. Breathe deep. Take it all the way down, breathe from the diaphragm... Drive the car.

Her mouth enveloped him like a velvet lava flow. He'd never felt anything like it, her lips were relaxed, the softest feeling imaginable, no mad suction around his cock but more like she was giving him the deepest kiss he'd ever received.

Red alert sirens screamed in his mind. Shields at five per cent, phasers down, communications off-line, sir...

He groaned. It was all he could manage. She moaned happily in response and continued to minister to his deepest needs, god help them both. He was having trouble keeping his eyes open...

Finally she raised her head and panted, "God, Mulder... why did we wait so long to do this...?" Her voice unbearably husky, the need showing through. That was what finally tripped the switch. She had never allowed herself to show need before.

He took two deep breaths and forced them out, sharply, through his nose, pushing everything as far back as he could. He checked the road and his mirrors. By the grace of God and an inside straight there was no one in sight. Not only that but, miraculously, an off-ramp occurred just in time.

Mulder hit the brakes, swept them across three lanes and down the exit lane. They hit the surface street in a four-wheel slide, he accelerated out of it and they blasted around a curve in the road and saw an empty field.

Perfect.

He slammed on the brakes, brought them to a complete stop and was dragging her out the door even as he slammed it into Park and set the emergency brake. She squalled, "Mulder, what the *hell*..." but he pulled her to the rear of the car, picked her up and threw her onto the trunk. Reduced to his most primitive elements, Fox Mulder gave his partner exactly what she wanted.

I got your third wish right here, baby.

Before God, the full moon, and such woodland creatures as cared to watch, Mulder dragged his partner's shapely ass to the edge of the car, dropped his face between her legs and began to devour her.

She'd been having fun teasing him. She hadn't lied, either, he really was delicious. And it was nice being in control again, she couldn't deny that. At one point he stretched his neck and spine to their fullest extent, his face (his muzzle?) pointed to the sky in a silent howl of pleasure...

God, the power rush there! To be able to reduce this man she knew so well...! She should have known better. That was the kind of pride that usually went before a fall. Just as she realized this, as the knowledge sank home that she could get them killed doing this, distracting him that way while driving, what kind of idiotic sophomore's trick was that...

... Mulder blew across the whole highway, took an offramp at way too high a speed and power-slid them off down the road to what destination she couldn't even imagine might exist in that lust addled mind of his.

She bounced around the inside of the car like a pea in a whistle, since she wasn't belted in, and barely had time to screech at her crazed partner before he dragged her out of the car, fingers around her wrist like an iron band. Suddenly his hands were in her armpits and he pitched her onto the car like she weighed nothing at all.

The strength of his hands was terrifying. Mulder had *never* done this before, never manhandled her this way. The trunk was cold on her naked back for a moment but the sensation went away when she got a good look at Mulder's face in the moonlight. Bright light, they must be miles from anywhere for it to be that brilliant.

Mulder's face. Holy God, his *face*! Utterly maddened, there was no trace of her partner to be seen. His face, but he wasn't home. Unbelievably fast, he grabbed her legs and dragged her to the side of the car. His head dipped down between her knees and his tongue flashed to its target.

Dana squirmed her hips madly. She'd once read that fear sometimes added a frisson to sex that increased the power of the experience. She'd laughed at such a ridiculous notion. She wasn't laughing any more. She couldn't get enough breath to laugh, for one thing. For another, she wanted Mulder back. It was all well and good to wonder, in the idleness of a rainy afternoon, what mindless sex would be like but this was too close to the real thing and she didn't like it. It was terrible, the sensation that her body was riding close to the crest of an orgasm she didn't want, just an organic machine achieving stimulus/response with no driver at the wheel.

It must be the poisoned wish. She thought they'd managed to avoid it but she'd been a fool. You can't beat the devil, she thought with despair. Like the roller-coasters that Melissa loved and forced her to ride, no matter how much she hated and feared them, she could feel her body's tension ratcheting tighter and tighter and tighter as she approached that terrible first drop. The first drop was always the highest, the scariest, and she didn't want to do this any more. She squirmed in his grip What's the damn *word*? writhed under his tongue, and cried her partner's name.


It was too much. Too much happened too fast, it broke his mind into teeny tiny bits. Naked Scully, naked *horny* Scully, naked horny moaning Scully going down on him -- ! He was possessed by a primitive need to bury himself to the hilt in her body and stay there for at least a week.

So I snapped. Big deal. No jury in the world would convict me. No male jury, anyway.

Mulder took a deep breath to override the impulse and nearly passed out from pleasure. Her legs were wrapped around his neck, he was practically bathing in her essence, and the taste of her just beat the living hell out of sunflower seeds. He licked her clit out from beneath its protective hood, took it between his lips and softly rubbed it between them.

She wailed like a lost thing and ground her hips into his face as a series of wracking shudders shook her small frame. He waited out the tremors and tried not to scream in frustration. The pain in his groin had gone past the red- line. He recognized this agony and knew there was nothing to be done but endure.

Well. Best to concentrate on something else now. Scully. She'd be getting cold soon. He opened the back door, fumbled in a bag and found a blanket. He got his dick back inside his pants, being careful not to touch his balls, then climbed up on the trunk with his partner. After wrapping her up he lay next to her and put his arms around her. They stared silently at the moon for awhile.

Eventually she rubbed her head against his shoulder. "Mulder?"

"Hm? Want something to drink, Scully?"

She nodded. "Water, please."

"Coming up." He slid down and hobbled around to the cooler. She was sitting up when he returned, watching him.

"What's wrong? You're walking funny."

He handed her the bottle, waited for her to open it and drink. When she stopped gulping he snagged it back and took a few sips of his own.

"Isn't it a gorgeous moon, Scully?"

She spared the sky a short glance before pinning him with her gaze again. "Yes it is, Mulder. Don't change the subject. Why are you limping?"

He debated evading the issue. He could see sleep beginning to hover around her eyes. If he outwaited her the lack of sleep and the expenditure of emotional and sexual energy would knock her out like a light. Of course, that would just be postponing the issue. Besides, he did promise her the truth tonight...

Oh, hell.

He sighed. "I'm sure there's a medical name for this condition. In layman's terms, I've got 'blue balls'."

Her eyes widened and one hand covered her mouth. "Oh, Mulder, no! Is there anything I can...?" She started to reach for him but he caught her wrist in a tight grip.

"Please don't. At this point there's nothing to be done but wait it out."

She looked puzzled. "Wait what out?"

He winced and looked away. "The erection will last for an hour or so. If I were foolish enough to try to... alleviate the situation in any way my balls would hurt for days. It could be worse, at least I'll have no trouble staying awake for the remainder of the drive home." He tried to grin and failed miserably.

"Come on, let's get you dressed. You'll sleep better in pj's." He limped back to the front seat and got her sweats, held the blanket while she got them on and walked her back to the cabin of the vehicle. He fished the last item out of the bag in the back seat -- a pillow.

After reclining her side of the bench seat and making her comfy he started the car, got them turned around and back on the highway. Once he'd gotten a Nina Simone CD going he settled back, took her hand in his and concentrated on the road.

"Mulder...?" Her voice was thick with approaching sleep. He raised her hand, kissed her fingers and said, "Hm?"

"You really love me?"

He chuckled dryly. "Why do you find that difficult to believe, Scully? Don't you think you're lovable?"

"Yeah, but it's nice to hear you say it out loud. Why, Mulder? I'm not exactly your type, y'know."

"And what type would that be, Agent Scully?"

She yawned. "Long legs, big boobs... you know -- bimbos."

Mulder shook his head. She must be more than half asleep to be talking this way. Usually she was so reserved. Maybe if he just kept his voice pitched low and in a soothing monotone she'd drop off.

"Well, low-maintenance women do have their good points but we all have to grow up sometime."

"Mmmm. I'm so glad. Tell me a story, Mulder."

A huge grin creased his face. Well, why not? It might take his mind off the ache in his groin.

"Well. Once upon a time, in a land about -- oh -- three and a half hours away from here, there lived a man and a woman. They were very good friends, and tried to protect each other from the dragons and ogres and other such monsters that they encountered in their travels."

She squeezed his hand a little, and he returned the pressure.

"Due to a set of obscure and ridiculous rules they were forbidden to express their love for each other. The man was secretly a bit glad of the rules, actually, because they allowed him to believe what he wanted to believe without ever actually putting it to the test of asking her."

Scully's hand relaxed in his. Maybe she was asleep? He stroked the back of her hand with his thumb. No response. He slipped his hand free, cupped her face in his hand. She sighed and nestled into it. He allowed himself the luxury of feeling her breath against his wrist three times before he returned his hand to the steering wheel.

Precious cargo. Take no chances. His eyes went back to their automatic scanning. He spoke to himself now, trying to ignore the throbbing in his crotch.

"He couldn't bring himself to test his theory, his hope, his dream that she might love him back. For he knew that, without her, his life would be but ashes. He trained himself to live on tiny looks and touches exchanged as infrequently as he could manage. But he never quite managed to stop touching her."

He tried to blink away the tears. No good. Well, if he had to cry at least it was while she slept. He'd managed not to fuck things up too badly, he hoped, but for her to see him weep would be too embarrassing to be borne.

"And then one day his nightmare came true. He'd always known that she was the braver of them but she exceeded his wildest dreams. She gave him the courage to kiss her. And when he did, or almost did, an evil wizard spirited her away, almost to her doom. The man found her at the end of the world and brought her back. He swore to himself that he would never take that risk again."

Mulder glanced over at his partner but she hadn't moved. Good, he was free to mop his face and snuffle a bit.

"So time went by, and he tried to be satisfied with simply being with her. But the hunger grew too great, and he was afraid he would give in to it and endanger her once again. So he tried to push her away, to anger her so that she would leave him and be safe somewhere else."

She rolled a bit, turned on her side and settled down again. He tugged the blanket up over her shoulder again before turning back to the road.

"But she was as stubborn as she was beautiful. She stayed, and together they accomplished things that seemed impossible to some. And he continued to dream that one day he might wake up next to her, that he might be allowed to love her openly."

She stirred again so he reached over to stroke her cheek, which seemed to settle her down. He kept his hand there. The ride would end all too soon, best to get his fill of touching her now while she was asleep and couldn't object.

"And then, one day, a miracle happened. Against all reason she asked for sex. It was more than he ever expected if less than he always hoped for, but it was what she wanted so he did his best to give it to her. One night. It wasn't love, but he was used to making do by this time. He decided to take what was offered and count his blessings. And never mention it again, for to be kissed by Miranda was more than Caliban had any right to expect."

Mulder swallowed with difficulty, returned his hands to the wheel, and drove. For the remainder of the trip he moved only to change CDs, listening to Billie Holliday, Eryka Badu and Diana Krall sing about the many and varied ways that men and women find to love and hurt each other.

He pulled up in front of her apartment building some time after one in the morning. The pain in his groin had mostly subsided by this time. He got her keys out of the external purse pocket she kept them in, got out and moved around to her side of the car. It was the work of a moment to pick her up. She adjusted herself against him, murmured something he didn't catch and went back to sleep.

It would be simpler to wake her and let her walk under her own power. Simpler, but it would also be one less chance he might ever have to hold her. The thought was unendurable.

So he carried her inside, held her in the elevator and down the hall to her door, fumbled the key into the lock and got her home without waking any neighbors or bashing her head into a wall.

He set her gently down on the couch and resolved to spend more time in the weight room. Not that she was heavy, but he was out of shape for this kind of thing. He got the bed turned down and went back out to get her for the last leg.

God, but she was beautiful.

Laying there on the couch with that tousled hair, lips relaxed in slumber, she was a vision. As usual. It hurt to look at her but it hurt worse not to, also as usual. He sighed and went to get her. Blue eyes opened as his arms went around her.

He froze.

"It's okay, Scully, you're home. I'm just putting you to bed, is all. Relax, okay? Go back to sleep."

She blinked slowly, then opened her arms to be picked up. She lay her head against his shoulder and kissed his neck sweetly as he rose with her cradled against his chest. He took her carefully sideways through the bedroom doorway and lay her on the bed. He sat next to her for a moment.

She watched him, eyes half shut, a sleepily serious look on her face. Waiting. He sighed, leaned forward to kiss her forehead. As he rose to leave she snagged his arm.

"Mulder, stay."

He sucked in a sharp breath. "Scully, we're not in the car any more. The pocket universe has collapsed. This is the real world again. Think about what you're doing."

Her eyes were steady on his. "Half a life is no life at all, Mulder. Stay with me. Wake up beside me."

He closed his eyes and tilted his head back. So much, she was offering so much more than he'd ever hoped for. It was tempting, but that way lie madness. He stood and headed for the door. He got three steps before she said it. Actually said it.

"I love you too, Mulder."

He froze. Paralyzed, unable to move, he just stood there, sure he'd heard it wrong. Then came the sound of a zipper, followed immediately by a sweatshirt flying past him to land on the floor by the door. Sweat pants followed a moment later.

Well. That was clear enough. When the bedside light went on he finally turned around. He saw her naked for the first time in good light.

Holy shit.

He was trying to form a coherent sentence when she patted the mattress beside her and grinned at him.

"Get 'em off, Mulder. Which side of the bed do you want?"

The End

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