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Law of Attraction

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Things have changed between them. She feels it instinctually, in the pit of her stomach, like that first pang of the flu. Those soft eyes that look at her with such tenderness hold her gaze the same as before. Before William. Before he left. She feels the pull of him when he is not near, just as before. But then feels repelled, like they are two like-charged objects in an electric field, when he is too near. He is right and she is right. And they are right next to one another and, somehow, two rights make a wrong now.

Even so, she is desperate after so many months apart. Desperate to feel him. Her hands roam his chest, span his back. They touch everywhere and nowhere at once and can’t decide where to settle. She is desperate to taste him, to feel his tongue on hers again. Roam lower and tease all the sharp angles of chiseled physique and trace the lines that frame his abdominal muscles.

She is desperate to know if he hates her for giving up their son, but too scared to ask.

But then his tongue is her mouth and, even if he hates her, he tastes so perfectly like Mulder. Sweet like soda, tangy with anxiety and sunflower seeds. Would he have grabbed her arm and pulled her into the car and driven all night and into the next day until they were each too exhausted to keep their heads up, if he didn’t still love her?

Would he kiss her like this? Like they’re the only two people left in the world, like it’s them against the universe, if he hated her?

She relaxes, yields into his touch, granting him better access. His mouth opens wider and Scully melts into it with reverence. Or is that sheer need?

They are both recoiling. She thinks her teeth might have shattered if they hit just a little harder. His hand mirrors her own, covering his own mouth and wincing.

“Sorry, Mulder,” she mumbles from behind her fingers.

“I know you’re eager to see me, Scully, but there’s no need to try and bite me,” he quips.

She wants to laugh, but her eyes well with tears.

Ignoring the impulse that swells inside, she reaches for him again, arms around his neck, meeting his lips. Long fingers circle her waist and this feels so right, to be in his arms. A shoe dangles off her right foot when her feet no longer meet the ground.

Then Mulder is tossing her onto the bed - a natural strength mixed with playfulness. She bounces like she is a toy, a ragdoll. The gesture backfires and she hisses when the sharp bedsprings meet her spine. Now Mulder is over her, shushing and rubbing her back with a string of coos and apologies.

Instead of tears, instead of being upset, she laughs - a loud, deep laugh, her entire body convulsing. She feels Mulder repel, scoot away in fear or disgust. Or simply, he is too shocked to know what to do with her.

What must he think? Here’s Dana Scully, mother of my child, who, it just so happens, she gave away before I ever had another chance to hold, laughing like a hyena on a dirty old bedspread in a one-horse town. Scully laughs harder.

What the hell is wrong with her? Why is she laughing?

Better than crying, she thinks, rolling to her side and sitting up.

Mulder lingers at the edge of the bed, maintaining a safe distance. She hates that concerned look in his eyes.

“You know,” he begins slowly, with so much restraint when his erection tents his pants like fucking Barnum and Bailey, “if this is too much, we can always try again tomorrow. Get a good night’s sleep. We’ll have more energy.”

“No,” she says hoarsely and reaches for the button on his jeans. “Now.”

He holds her wrists. “It’s been a long couple of days.”

“It’s been a long few months,” she drawls, sitting on her knees, eyes like a tiger from under her curtain of hair.

Mulder nods, strokes her face so gently it makes her want to scream. She doesn’t want tender, or sweet, or gentle. What Scully needs is to feel him inside her. She wants to be full of him, feel his weight on her.

“It has,” he agrees. “It has. But we’re tired and, and…”

Scully’s teeth, teasing and nipping at his lower lip, silence him. It does the trick quickly and effectively, so that they are on the bed, rolling and groping, fumbling like a couple of virgin college freshmen. Mulder thumbs her nipples through the soft cotton of her shirt, her satin bra, and Scully continues to kiss and rake her teeth over his lips, then lavishing them with the affections she’s been yearning to give them for so many months. That plump bottom lip is so good when she gently sucks it into her mouth.

Scully aches with want of him as Mulder grinds himself into her hip. He is so hard, so near. What were those long lonely nights like for him? Was he safe? Warm? Did he touch himself to thoughts of her, the way she dipped between her folds and thought of him? Was his life as hollow, a gaping chasm while waiting for his eventual return.

And now here he is in the flesh, and she is frustrated at their fumbling, wants to grab him, be filled up with him, feel the release they both yearn for. But each and every time they get close, circumstances push them apart, so that they are only circling each other. Two positively charged neutrons forever spiraling, never quite meeting.

When finally, finally they rid themselves of the clothes keeping their bodies apart, he is breathing heavily in her ear, wrapping his warm body over her, and things fall into place. He smells just right, just like Mulder, and his body is lean and so very familiar. Yes, this is right. So very, very right. She is positive.

In a deft move, he is sprawled beneath her, head propped on the musty pillow while Scully straddles him, her hands splayed over his stomach. Leaning down she tastes his tanned skin. It is salty and tangy and slick with sweat. Perfect and delicious, just as she remembers it. She leaves a wet trail on each side of his abdomen- transversus abdominus to the ridge of the external oblique, she recites mentally. It’s an old habit from med school she never quite outgrew.

Then hips buck into her, making her smile. Scully makes her way to the center of his body, running her tongue down the length of the linea alba, lower and lower until he is in her mouth and they both groan.

“Get up here,” he whispers with a tap to the head. The endearing command only makes her work him more furiously.

“Not yet.”

“Scu... Scully, I love what you’re doing, but it’s been a very long time for me and I need you to stop before the show is over.”

She releases him as quickly as she’d begun and licks her swollen lips while crawling up his body. All her weight is on him, chest to chest, heart to heart, kissing sweetly.

“Sorry,” she breathes into him. “You just felt so good inside my mouth. I’ve missed it so much.”

Groaning, he kisses harder, hands on either side of her head. And now she is the one on her back. There is no slow foreplay, no teasing touches. No, his fingers are inside her and she is so wet already, has anticipated this moment since his return. Since even before that. His fingers play her like an instrument, and sounds escape her mouth she hasn’t heard in so long that the whimpers are foreign to her own ears. He rubs her clit with his thumb. When he takes a nipple into his mouth, she is sure that will be her crescendo, but she doesn’t want it to end like this. When she comes with him for the first time since he left, since William entered their lives, she wants it to be while he is inside of her.

“Now,” she commands breathlessly.

She watches him glide into her. He is slow, deliberate and tentative, waiting for her to nod permission to proceed. It doesn’t hurt as he slides centimeter by centimeter, but she needs time to adjust. Time is a precious commodity they have not had in so long. A year’s absence yields so much pain and sadness.

When he is completely inside, she is finally so full of Mulder. She reaches for his neck, legs around his ass, encircling him, pulling him to her neck where she can smell and feel. He encompasses every part of her and she is finally alive. Sensations long dormant flicker and burn at the surface. Through turmoil and separation, they have found each other, two flames combined. He scorches her skin.

As he begins to rock against her, she attempts to move in tandem but cannot meet her jerky pace. They are out of sync in a slow tango of eventual ruin.

And, all too quickly, he breaks. He stiffens and curses, calls out her name, then slumps over her.

“God, I’m so sorry,” he slurs into her shoulder before rolling over, covering his face in embarrassment.

Scully shushes and comforts him, rubbing his back, feeling the strained muscles there.
“I haven’t been a quick trigger like that since college. Give me a few minutes to recover and I’ll make it worth your while.”

Scully swallows a sob and it lodges somewhere in the depths within her. That doesn’t go unnoticed by Mulder. He envelopes her, arms solid around her.

A comforting kiss to the crown of his head, and she heads to the bathroom, telling him she needs to clean the stink of the road off her skin. She ignores the helpless look on his face as she closes the door.

Running the shower, she crouches in a dingy corner of the bathroom. Scully cries until she can’t breathe, mourning the life she left behind.

She is too broken to make this work. Opposites attract, they say. What if it was their differences that had made them strong? Yin and yang, a light in the dark, a positive and negative charge; they complimented each other well. Giving up William had irreparably damaged her. What if she is too much like him now - too broken - for this to work? What if they no longer compliment each other.

And now even the sex was difficult for them. Talking was never easy, but showing affection in unspoken ways - stolen glances or light touches - has always come naturally for them. A thought occurs that maybe too much damage has been done and they’ve lost that too now.

Eventually, she pulls herself together long enough to shower, chancing a look in the mirror. Fogged. Just the way she wants it. Can’t stand to look at her face. It’s the face of a traitor. A failure. She has failed them both. The soft copper halo of hair matches stands out in the fog and she imagines it’s the same color of her eyes.

Switching off the light, the towel drops to the floor at the foot of the door separating the bathroom and bedroom.

Scully’s eyes roam in the dim room. The garish wallpaper, a vintage avocado color, unintentionally conveys her mood. The room is in such a sad, ugly state, with dirty walls and a stained table with two wobbly chairs. This will be their life for the foreseeable future, she realizes. No destination, just the cash in their pockets and the long road ahead. Eyes screwed shut, she tried to come to terms with that.

She chose Mulder and for that she will never be sorry. He has chosen her over and over again - over his sister, even. His bare chest rises and falls, covers to his stomach, and he looks so peaceful with eyes closed, though he is not asleep. She can tell. Mulder knows to give her privacy until she is ready to talk.

Scully crawls in gingerly so as not to disturb him, but the bed creaks and bounces with her every move. This will not be the most comfortable night’s sleep. Nor the worst. Conceding to tomorrow’s impending neck pain, she leans into him, warm skin radiating onto her own. An arm snakes around her. She feels reassured.

Hot breath in her ear, Mulder reaches to kiss her cheek.

“Sorry again,” he says a little sheepishly. “I did warn you it had been a long time.”

“It’s okay, Mulder,” replies Scully, attempting to sound strong, but her voice breaks. A tear slides silently down her cheek and she bites her her cheek.

“Hey, it wasn’t that bad. It’ll get better again, Scully. I haven’t lost my touch. What I lack in endurance, I’ll make up for in technique.”

“It’s not that.” She knows he’s joking.

“Want to talk about it?” he asks cautiously, quietly.

Could it be that simple? Can she scream how sorry she is that she gave up their child, the one he held only briefly before going into hiding? Should she tell him how sorry she is for all the time they’ve lost, cry in his arms until she can’t breathe? Until she falls asleep hiccuping into his chest?

Would he tell her he hates her if she broaches the subject? There is a certainty that they will never truly move on from this.

Scully rebuilds the protective walls around her heart, regaining composure piece by piece. The situation demands it. She will be strong for Mulder.

“It’s been a long couple of days, Mulder, and there’s a lot to process. I’m fine. Just tired.” And then, after a moment, “Really,” she promises.

“Is this because of tonight? Because, like I said, it was...”

“It’s not that. At least, not in the way you’re thinking.”

He nods into her hair. Waiting.

“We’ve always had this unspoken communication, working so well in tandem. And now, with all the time that’s passed, the things we’ve both gone through… We’re circling each other rather than moving forward. I wonder if maybe we’ve lost what made us strong.”

“No,” he says with such assurance it warms her. “No, we haven’t lost that, haven’t lost sight of each other. We… we are two concentric circles, Scully. We might be separate, different sizes even, but we are the same where it counts.

Mulder’s large hand covers her chest, pressed down right over her heart, and her breath hitches.

“I know your very core. And nothing, not time or space, aliens or monsters or government conspiracies hell bent on labeling me crazy and locking me up can keep us apart. I know you, Scully. And I’m certain you haven’t forgotten me.”

His long fingers glide over her arm and the touch is magic, a sprinkling of special dust that awakens her skin. The feeling lingers long after his arm settles back around her waist and he’s drifted off to sleep.

Scully reaches over to turn off the bedside lamp wondering about tomorrow.