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Masters of Time

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“Mulder, are we allowed to be in here?”


Mulder brings one finger to his lips and shoots her a significant look, and she glares at him. He continues fiddling with the door handle until it gives with a soft click, then slips through. She hesitates, reading the placard just beside the door frame. 


David Rothwell

Washington University Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics


“Mulder, why are we breaking into a gynecologist's office?” she whispers harshly as she follows him inside and closes the door softly behind her. 


“There’s only one thing I want for my birthday this year, Scully,” he says, as he opens drawers and cabinets in the small, cluttered office. 


“A pap smear?” she asks cheekily, and he turns to give her a facetious smile before he resumes his rummaging. “I actually got you a birthday present, Mulder,” she tries, thinking of the bottle of Magic Shell and tub of Rocky Road ice cream back in her apartment in Georgetown. 


“Whatever it is, it can’t beat this,” he says with bravado, turning around with something resembling a miniature pogo stick in his hands. 


“And that is…?” she asks, and his mouth stretches into a Cheshire Cat grin. 



“Mulder, this is quite possibly the stupidest thing you’ve ever asked me to do, and that's saying something,” Scully says dryly. 


Mulder secures the worn leather strap under his chin and turns to face her, finding himself unable to keep the smile off his mouth. She looks adorable with the little metal bowl atop her head and an irritated scowl on her face. 


“Consider it my birthday present,” he tries, and she rolls her eyes. 


“Plus Christmas,” she says, and he takes the wire protruding from the top of her helmet and affixes it to the wand. 


“Plus Christmas,” he repeats, securing his own connection between helmet and wand. 


“How sure are you that this thing isn’t going to electrocute us?” she asks, her demeanor suddenly shifting from annoyed to nervous. 


“Now, the most important thing to keep in mind,” he says, dodging her question, “is that any single action, any change to the events of the past, has the potential to re-write history as we know it. We’re observers only.”


She levels him with a deadpan expression, blinking rapidly. 


“I’m not sure whether I should be impressed or horrified that you actually think this is going to work,” she finally says, and he holds up the wand. 


“You hold that side, I hold this side, then we turn it on,” he instructs, then physically picks her hand up and places it on one of the handles as she heaves a noisy sigh. 


“Aren’t you supposed to specify a year or something?” she asks, and her passive interest in how the machine works delights him. 


“This isn’t Bill and Ted’s phone booth, Scully,” he quips. “You go where it takes you.”


When it takes you,” she corrects, and his heart skips a beat. 


“Ready, g-woman?” he asks, placing his hand on the other handle and activating the switch on the bottom. 


“Here goes nothing,” she says flatly, and they are enveloped in a flash of white light. 





The smell of stale cigarettes and aftershave stings her nostrils and she devolves into a fit of coughs. The room is much brighter than it had been moments ago, and she shields her eyes with her arm. 


“Mulder, what the hell was that?” she asks hoarsely, slowly pushing up onto her hands and knees. 


When she tries to stand she meets resistance from the narrow hem of her skirt around her calves, and she nearly falls back to the floor. Mulder catches her by the forearm and helps her up, and she blinks against the harsh light in the room. Didn’t she wear slacks today?


“Scully,” he says gravely, and she looks in his direction as her eyes adjust to the light. 


He looks physically fine, though he’s wearing a bizarre outfit that she’s absolutely certain he wasn’t wearing moments ago: high waisted trousers, a white polo shirt and a gaudy plaid sport coat. His hair looks longer, his sideburns shaved away. 


“What happened to you?” she asks, and his eyes flash over her body. 


She looks down, finding herself in a wool sheath dress that she’s never seen before in her life, a thin white belt cinched around her waist. She touches her head and is met with a stiff shell that’s been thoroughly lacquered with hairspray. 


“Mulder,” she says fearfully, and it’s then that they take stock of the room. 


It’s the same, but vastly different. It’s neat, the shelves lined with medical textbooks. The desktop hosts a rotary phone and a stack of files, an ashtray sitting where one might expect to find a computer. It’s the middle of the day, though it had been well past 10:00 pm when they broke into David Rothwell’s office.


She looks at him again, and his face is awestruck and exuberant. He’s not afraid at all. 


“Mulder,” she repeats, catching his attention. 


“It worked,” he says with wonder.


“Mr. and Mrs. Harbor, I’m so sorry to keep you waiting.”


The door snaps open and Scully jumps, stepping closer to Mulder reflexively. He rests his hands on her shoulders and squeezes reassuringly. 


The man who is entering the room is wearing a white lab coat and bowtie below a receded hairline and deep set eyes. He crosses the room without looking at them and takes a seat behind the desk, opening one of the files and flipping through the pages. 


“I understand you’re here for the treatment of…” He rifles through several pages in search of the information he needs. “Impotence and premature ejaculation.” The man lifts his head and regards them with confusion. “Please, take a seat.”


Mulder and Scully exchange a look and move slowly towards the two chairs facing the desk, sinking down into them with matching expressions of trepidation. The man, who wears a name tag reading W. Masters, MD , smiles at them reassuringly. 


“It’s perfectly normal to be nervous, Mr. and Mrs. Harbor, but I assure you that this is run of the mill for us here. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Now, Mr. Harbor, can you tell me when you first noticed difficulty sustaining an erection?”


Scully’s blood swells in her veins and she turns to look at Mulder, her eyes wide with realization. He’s looking around the room as though he’ll find the answer regarding his erectile dysfunction on one of the neatly lined bookshelves. She directs her attention back to the doctor, who is eyeing them skeptically. 


“I’m so sorry, Dr. Masters,” she says with a demure smile. “Could you possibly give Mr. Harbor and I a moment alone?”


“Of course,” the doctor says emphatically, pushing his chair back with a screech and leaving the room. “I’ll check back in twenty minutes.”



“This is incredible,” Mulder repeats for the umpteenth time, running his fingers over the avocado curtains bracketing the window. “I can’t believe this, Scully. This is unreal.”


Scully is flipping through the file, speed-reading the details of Mr. and Mrs. Harbor, whomever they are. While her hair is a touch outlandish, he can’t help but notice how the fitted blue dress she’s wearing hugs her svelte figure. Suddenly, he looks back to where they came to on the floor and realizes that the wand and helmets are gone. A little flush of fear twists his gut. 


“I don’t understand, Mulder,” she says, puzzled. “These photos of Robert and Evelyn Harbor look nothing like us.”


Mulder picks up a lady’s handbag off the floor and sets it on the desk in front of her.


“Seems likely Mrs. Harbor would have been prepared to powder her nose,” he says, and she digs through the contents until she finds a small compact mirror. 


“Oh my God,” she exclaims, and he steps up close beside her.


The reflection isn’t Scully at all, but a woman at least ten years her senior, with chestnut hair and bright green eyes. Mulder snatches the mirror out of her hand and trains it on his own face. 


“Oh my God,” he mimics, seeing a man in his fifties with a coiffed helmet of hair and pronounced bags under his eyes. 


“I don’t understand, Mulder,” Scully says again. 


“I don’t know how it works,” he admits. “Are we them? Are they us, like a swap?”


He briefly imagines Mr. and Mrs. Harbor waking up in this office in 1999, guns strapped to their backs and cell phones in their pockets. 


“What do we do?” Scully asks fearfully, and he gives her a long look. 


“I don’t know yet, but for now, we just need to try not to change anything. We need to do what the Harbors would do, so we don’t change the course of their lives and, potentially, history as we know it.”


“How the hell are we supposed to know what the Harbors would do?” she asks bitingly, and there is a soft rap on the door. 



“We’ve had quite a bit of success treating both impotence and premature ejaculation in many men just like yourself,” Dr. Masters says confidently, scribbling notes on a pad of paper. “Mrs. Johnson informed me that you’ve agreed to take part in the observational study in exchange for your treatment, which we greatly appreciate.” He sets his pen down and looks between Mulder and Scully, considering them. 


Scully can’t decide whether to be more afraid, embarrassed, or awestruck. This is Dr. William Masters, the Dr. Masters, in the prime of his groundbreaking research. Research that changed the very understanding of human sexual response, that debunked Freud’s theories regarding vaginal and clitoral orgasms. The opportunity to take part in his research is something she never would have bothered to dream about, because it was impossible. Or so she thought. 


“We find that most married couples who take part in the laboratory observation benefit from the opportunity to copulate privately prior to the observed session, which allows them to become acclimated to the environment, as well as the electrodes they’ll need to wear during the observation to monitor their heart rate and respiration. Your observation is scheduled for tomorrow, so we’ve held the lab for you today,” Dr. Masters informs them, his clinical detachment almost allowing Scully to miss the crux of what he’s saying. 


“That sounds wonderful. Thank you, Doctor,” Mulder says cooly, and her head swivels in his direction, wondering if he understands what he’s just agreed to. 



“All set, Mr. Harbor,” the pretty young nurse says with a polite smile, and Mulder tugs his robe closed. 


If someone had asked him prior to this if women spend much time looking at him, he’d have said no. But living in Robert Harbor’s body has proven that to be false. 


“Let me show you to the lab. Mrs. Harbor should be along shortly.”


They shuffle down a long corridor, the tails of the electrodes grazing his bare back and tickling him. He can’t stop looking at all the antique medical devices and technology, which aren’t yet considered antiques. It’s like walking through a movie set. 


The nurse leads him into what looks a bit like a surgical suite, a steel table affixed to the floor in the middle of the room and a large mirror that he assumes is two-way mounted on one wall. Scully is standing near one corner of the table, also wrapped in a white robe with electrodes pasted to her temples. 


“Here you are, Mr. Harbor,” the nurse says as Mulder comes to stand beside Scully. “Now don’t mind the mirror at all, I assure you that the observation room is empty. You’ll be afforded absolute privacy. Will you require any lubricant?”


“No,” Scully says quickly, and Mulder narrows his eyes as he looks around. 


“All right, then. You can find me at the nurses station when you’re finished. There are some towels here if you need them.”


The door closes behind her with a soft thunk , and Scully turns to him with wide eyes. 


“What’s the plan here, Mr. Harbor ?” she asks harshly. 


“Did she ask if we needed lubricant?” Mulder asks absently as he examines the items in the room. 


“Mulder,” Scully says sternly, calling his attention. 


He looks at her, drowning in her white robe. She looks cute, but also worried.


“Do you know where we are?” she asks emphatically. 


“A hospital, apparently to treat Mr. Harbor’s perpetual gummy worm,” he jokes. 


“This is the Masters and Johnson Reproductive Biology Research Foundation,” she says severely, holding his eye. “They treat sexual dysfunction, yes. But they also observe their patients having sex and monitor their vitals as part of their research.”


It dawns on him slowly, heat rising to his cheeks and blood rushing to his groin. 


“Mulder, what do we do? How do we get back?” she asks, and he feels a swell of guilt knowing that he doesn’t have an answer. 


Movement catches his eye, and he turns to face a middle-aged man who looks tired and nervous. Mulder lifts his arm and so does the man, and he realizes that he’s looking at his own reflection in the mirrored wall separating them from the observation room. Scully turns to face her reflection as well, tugging her robe tighter around herself and Evelyn Harbor simultaneously. 


“We do what the Harbors would do,” he suggests lamely. “We try to keep everything the same as it would have been.”



Scully sighs at the contents of Evelyn Harbor’s medicine cabinet, ultimately selecting a tub of cold cream to remove her makeup. She showers and washes her hair with White Rain shampoo, which kicks up a sense of nostalgia that she hadn’t been anticipating. Had her mother used this brand, perhaps? It takes two lather cycles to remove the Aqua Net, and she emerges feeling moderately more like herself, if not for the thick-waisted woman in the mirror reminding her that she very much is not. 


She rifles through Evelyn’s underwear drawer, which feels like quite a violation, and is surprised to find that her selection of panties is not nearly as matronly as Scully might have guessed. She selects a pair of high-waisted black cotton briefs, and is surprised again when she pulls them on and they actually fit. Similarly, the baby blue nightgown she pulls from a different drawer looks to be about four or five sizes too big, but sits perfectly on her body.


They quickly deduced that the Harbors have no children, which was a relief. Mulder has remained absolutely smitten with the time-capsule quality of the home, admiring the electronics and Mr. Harbor’s extensive baseball card collection. Scully is too busy worrying over their appointment with Dr. Masters tomorrow, as well as the pressing question of how to get back to 1999, to take much interest in Mrs. Harbor’s 1964 kitchen. 


She sits heavily on the bed and pulls the nightstand drawer open in search of a novel or something similar to serve as a distraction. What she finds instead is a device that looks alarmingly like a power drill, though the business end of it hosts a soft plastic disc with small nodules on it. The box beneath it in the drawer advertises it as a “Polar Cub Electric Vibrator” and she notices that it’s already plugged in. She flips the switch and it roars to life, vibrating so violently it almost falls out of her hands. She switches it off just as quickly, stuffing it back into the drawer and slamming it shut. Vibrators sure have come a long way , she notes gratefully. 


“You okay?” Mulder asks from the doorway, startling her. 


“Yes, I’m fine,” she answers, scooting back to lean against the headboard. 


“I thought I heard something,” he says as he enters the room and sits on the edge of the bed. “Cute jammies,” he remarks, and she feels her cheeks pink. 


“Strangely, everything seems to fit,” she says, smoothing her palms down the cotton covering her thighs. 


“So, about tomorrow…” Mulder starts, and she sucks in a sharp breath. 


“We need to get home, Mulder,” she says emphatically. “We need to get back.”


“I know,” he says guiltily. “I’m just not sure how to go about it, Scully. I’m not sure where the machine came from, or if it existed in 1964. I’d call the gunmen, but I doubt we’ll get much help from an infant and a couple of toddlers.”


Silence hangs thickly in the air as they each consider what they’ll be expected to do tomorrow. 


“Can we cancel the appointment?” she suggests, and Mulder grimaces. 


“I understand why you’d want to,” he says gently, crawling across the flower-print comforter to sit beside her. “I’m just afraid of what that could do to the timeline. What if the Harbors get into a car accident on the way to their new appointment and die? What if Mrs. Harbor takes the canceled appointment as an indication that Mr. Harbor doesn’t want to get help, and they divorce? Who knows what the greater impact might be.”


“But Mulder, do you understand what you’re suggesting?” she asks with her eyes on her toes, which are painted fire engine red. 


Mulder swallows. 


“I do,” he finally says. 



Robert Harbor is a tighty whities man.


Mulder frowns at his options, which are a series of silk pajamas in different colors that would make a nice matching set with Scully’s typical nightwear. He chooses a pair of pants and skips the underwear, unable to bear the thought of wearing another man’s skivvies. He forgoes the shirt as well, given that he doesn’t typically wear a shirt to bed anyway, and a long-sleeve silk button up doesn’t sound especially comfortable, regardless of Scully’s claims. 


The Harbor’s home is a modest two bedroom, the second room serving as a mid-century modern version of a man cave, complete with invaluable baseball cards and a model train set. The sitting room is ornate, if not comfortable, with a delicately upholstered sofa that he probably couldn’t fit more than his torso on at once. 


He exits the master bath to find Scully already nestled under the covers with the lights off, so he takes the second pillow and an extra blanket draped across the foot of the bed with the intention of finding a suitable place to sleep elsewhere in the house. 


“Where are you going?” she asks suddenly, and he turns back to see her sitting up with a look of alarm on her face. 


“To find a place to sleep,” he says.


“On the floor?”


“I guess.”


She heaves a sigh and he walks back toward the bed. 


“Do you want me to stay in here?” he asks, then quickly adds, “There’s plenty of room at the foot of the bed.”


“You don’t have to sleep on the floor, Mulder,” she says hesitantly. “But yes, I think I’d prefer it if you stayed in here. This is just—it’s so strange.”


She sounds afraid, so he tosses the pillow back to the head of the bed and lays down on top of the comforter beside her. She repositions herself so that she’s on her back, and they both lie quietly with their eyes on the ceiling. 


“It’s not really us, you know,” he tries, and he hears her turn her head towards him. 


“I feel like me. Do you feel like you?” she asks. 


“Yes,” he answers, though maybe it’s not the right thing to say. “But the mirror—”


“We won’t be looking in a mirror, Mulder,” she interrupts. 


Buzzing silence, a barking dog, the screech of rubber on pavement. 


“Would it make it easier if it wasn’t…new?” he asks, his voice catching in his throat. 


She doesn’t answer. 


It’s not anything like she imagined it, and she’s imagined it just about every possible way. 


First they just laid close, still separated by the comforter. After they got comfortable with that, he slid between the sheets and she cuddled close to him, her head on his chest. It was nice, and if not for the knowledge that they needed to be prepared for much closer contact, she would have enjoyed staying that way the whole night through. 


Now his leg is threaded between hers, their bellies pressed flush and his breath warming the crown of her head. The proximity of his thigh to her vulva is exhilarating in a teenaged, rebellious way, and she can’t help but notice how carefully he’s keeping empty space between his groin and her body. She pulls in a deep breath, and while there are unfamiliar smells of detergent and cologne, there is also the woody, bright smell of Mulder underneath. Whether he is he and she is she or something else entirely is unclear, but the way he feels against her is as real as the ache in her heart telling her that she’s going to get hurt. 


She pulls her face away from the warmth of his chest and tilts it up to look at him, finding his eyes open and his lips slightly parted. He wriggles down so that they are nose to nose, his eyes trailing slowly down to her mouth. 


“You okay?” he asks tenderly, lifting one hand to brush the hair away from her forehead. 


“Yeah,” she answers, the ache twisting painfully. 


Her tongue is hot and slippery, teasing and retreating each time he attempts to reciprocate. She kisses like she argues, making her point and readying for rebuttal with perfect poise. He’d expected her to be deferential, to allow him to take the lead, though that would be entirely out of character for her. 


Scully defers to no one. Not him and, apparently, not his tongue, either. 


She’s grinding against his leg, and he swears he can feel the heat of her through these godforsaken silk pajama pants. His own erection keeps reaching for her, and he keeps tucking his hips back to keep it from poking her in the belly. Not that his dick won’t eventually have to make contact with her in some form or another, but it just feels rude to go right ahead and introduce them without preamble. 


She pulls his bottom lip between her teeth, and his hips arch reflexively. She sucks in a little breath and his eyes go big. 


“Sorry,” he murmurs, shifting away from her. 


“It’s okay,” she says breathily, placing her hand on his ass cheek and tugging him closer. 


They kiss and grind for hours, eventually falling asleep in each other’s arms. 



Mulder stands abruptly when she enters the kitchen, a smitten smile on his mouth. 


“I made coffee,” he says proudly. “Folgers, I hope that’s okay.”


She smiles bashfully, accepting the proffered mug. 


“Thank you.”


“You look really nice,” he says, studying the blue gingham swing dress she found in Evelyn’s closet. 


“Thank you,” she says again, heat rising to her cheeks. 


Mulder is wearing slim black trousers and a green polo T-shirt, which accentuates his physique quite nicely. He steps forward cautiously, resting one hand on her waist and studying her face. She feels her heart rate quicken, finally lifting her eyes to meet his. After a beat, he leans forward and presses his lips to hers. 


“Ready to go, Mrs. Harbor?” he asks with an impish smile. 


“Ready as I’ll ever be,” she answers. 


He follows that same pretty young nurse down the corridor, electrodes affixed to his temples and various other pulse points on his body. He adjusts the tie on his robe, thinking to himself that Dr. Masters may believe Robert Harbor to be a cured man when he sees what Mulder is packing. That, or he has a voyeurism kink. 


“Here you are, Mr. Harbor,” the nurse says with a friendly smile, leading him into the empty observation room. A thick blanket has been draped over the stainless steel table and several machines are set up alongside it. He looks to the mirror, seeing Robert Harbor looking back, and knows that on the other side of the glass Dr. Masters and Mrs. Johnson are watching. 


“Ah, Mrs. Harbor,” the nurse says warmly, and he turns to see Scully entering the room. Her complexion is even paler than normal, and she avoids looking at him. “If you could both please step right over here and remove your robes, I’ll get you all hooked up to the monitors.”


They stand side by side, facing the mirror, watching the Harbor’s reflections as they each drop their robes. Mulder grimaces at the aged body reflected back to him, and the small, flaccid penis nestled in an untrimmed bush of pubic hair. He darts his eyes over to Mrs. Harbor’s reflection only briefly, just as Scully covers both she and Mrs. Harbor’s breasts with her hands. 


“I know it’s a bit odd,” the nurse says as she hooks up the electrodes to two machines—one to monitor Mulder’s vitals and one to monitor Scully’s. “Once I leave the room, it should be fairly easy to forget that anyone is watching.”


He hears Scully swallow, and if not for his own rapidly beating heart he may be able to hear her pulse as well. 


“All right, whoever is going to be lying down should get on the table first, and then whoever is assuming the superior position should carefully mount them in such a way that the cords don’t get tangled. If you’d like to change positions, that’s fine, just please be mindful of the monitoring equipment. Do you have any questions before I leave?”


He sees Scully shake her head in his periphery, and Evelyn Harbor does the same in the mirror. 


“All right, then. Good luck, and enjoy.”


She smiles brightly at them both, and then retreats with clipped steps through a door near the mirrored wall, the lock thunking loudly behind her.


She can’t think over the hammering of her own heart in her ears. She holds her breasts in her hands, which cover her entirely but aren’t doing much for Evelyn’s reflection, and tries to summon the courage to look at him. 


“Do you want to…” he starts, and she closes her eyes. “Whatever you’re more comfortable with is fine.”


She walks to the far end of the table and turns her back to it, attempting to hoist herself up with her hands. Regardless of the fact that Evelyn is several inches taller than her, her Scully-body can’t quite make it. 


“Can I help?” Mulder asks, and she heaves a shuddering sigh. 




He comes to stand in front of her, and she keeps her eyes pinned to his sternum. Whether she looks at his face and finds him looking at her breasts, or looks at his penis and is caught doing so, both feel insurmountably awkward. 


He touches her waist, and his bare hands against her skin make her startle. 


“Sorry,” he says softly, and she tries to relax. 


He lifts her up, setting her gently on the end of the table and standing in the space between her thighs. She begins to meter her breathing: deep breath in through the nose, out through the mouth. In, out. In, out. 


“Hey,” he whispers, and she slowly lifts her head to look at him. “It’s just me,” he says lightly, a slight quirk at the corner of his mouth. 


She forces a smile in return, and he gives her a little nod before allowing his eyes to trail down her body. She watches him raptly as his pupils bloom when they land on her erect nipples. He continues down, and by the time he is looking between her legs at the sliver of her vulva visible in her seated position, she sees his thick, rigid erection hovering in the space between their bodies. She considers making a joke about Mr. Harbor’s gummy worm, but her mouth has gone dry and she’s fairly certain that other parts of her have gone wet. 


Mulder drags his eyes back up to her face and sighs wistfully. She knows there are a myriad of thoughts he isn’t verbalizing as well, though by the look in his eye they are nothing but complimentary. 


“Ready?” he asks, and she nods, then accepts his hand as she lies back on the table. 


On the first push into her, he’s certain that he’s going to reinforce Robert Harbor’s premature ejaculatory reputation. 


Just the fact that it’s her would be enough. But the way she smells, the way she feels, the way she flutters around him as he slides in to the hilt; these unknowable details catapult him towards the finish line with alarming velocity. 


He stills, his face tucked into her neck and his breath heaving. He feels her hand over the back of his neck, scraping gently through his hair, and he lifts his head. 


She is a goddess, fiery hair splayed out against the fluffy white blanket, pupils wide as dinner plates. She touches his cheek tenderly, searching his face. 


“Mulder,” she says, whisper soft. Too quiet for their observers to hear. 


“Scully,” he whispers back, and she tugs him down into a searing kiss.



She really does forget that she’s being watched. 


Her back arches off the table, fingernails digging into his shoulders as he rocks against her. Though she’ll never say as much at the risk of further inflating his ego, he is far from average in both girth and length, and at present he is reaching every corner of her from the inside out. 


He grunts and slows, negotiating with his own stamina. She hitches her legs up against his sides, changing the angle and increasing the pressure of his pelvis against her clit. He grinds against her, scooping his hips down and up, and a moan escapes her lips. 


God, but this man is an eager student. He repeats it again and again, thrust and grind, thrust and grind, his velvety skin dampened with sweat and his mouth suckling at her neck. Her toes tingle and pleasure gathers at the base of her spine, sending her up and up and up. 


“Oh, God,” she cries out, and she is enveloped in a flash of white light. 




Her head is throbbing, and she touches her temples to find something strapped to her head. She blinks, but is met with only darkness. 


“Scully,” Mulder groans from a few feet away, and she hears him try to get to his feet and then falter. 


“Mulder, are you okay?” she croaks, undoing the clasp under her chin and discarding the metal helmet. 


“I think so,” he says, fumbling around until a green haze of light illuminates the room from the desktop lamp. 


They are in David Rothwell’s office, and it’s still night. 


Mulder considers her, blinking dreamily. 


“What happened?” he asks, and she grasps at dream-like memories. 


“I’m not sure,” she admits, getting to her feet unsteadily. 


“Let’s get out of here,” he says stoically, leaving the wand and helmets on the floor as they make their way out of the building. 



She prepares for bed in her motel bathroom, brushing her teeth and washing her face while she tries to piece it together. There was no lost time, but she feels like she slept for hours and dreamed the strangest dreams. 


She pulls her shirt off over her head, and is about to leave the bathroom when something catches her eye. She studies her reflection, and the network of little red blemishes along the column of her neck. If she didn’t know any better, she’d swear they were hickies. 


She dons her silk pajamas and swallows an entire glass of water and two tylenol in an attempt to get rid of her headache. As she turns down the bed, there is a knock at the door. 


Mulder is there in a white undershirt and plaid pajama pants, his expression pensive. 


“What?” she asks, stepping aside to grant him entry. 


He turns away from her, then pulls his shirt up to expose his back. Along each of his shoulders are deep, red welts. Scratches. 


Letting his shirt fall back into place, he faces her. They stare at each other as bits and pieces drift through their minds like dust mites catching in sun beams. They are fleeting and hard to capture, drifting away as soon as they surface. 


Mulder takes a step forward and places his hand on her waist. His touch is electric, and she reflexively moves closer to him. 


“Scully,” he says, his chest heaving. 


“Mulder,” she answers, her eyes on his mouth. 


His kiss is just as eager as it was in 1964.