I think this might fall under @leiascully‘s Rest challenge … yeah … I’m gonna slap it under that category and call it a day :)
Also, it’s a post-ep for ‘Millennium’ …
Mulder hadn’t seen her this weary in a long time … months since she had shadows that dark under her eyes, skin as pale as winter sunshine, lips faded to a hint of the rose they should be. Walking towards him, he stood immediately, taking in her exhaustion with a blinking glance, “hey there.”
She didn’t really answer, more like nodded her head with the illusion of giving a shit that she was upright and mobile. Dropping her bag on the floor by the coat rack and her shoes beside it, she brandished a file folder, tossed it to his lap, missed, didn’t care, ignored the sheaf of paper fanned across the hardwood and crawled, wobbled, swayed, landed face first across his couch.
He didn’t argue, taking in her rapidly encompassing coma state as a sign to keep his mouth shut of any and all sarcastic comments regarding the commandeering of his furniture for her hedonistic napping session. Not caring to move much himself, given his wrapped shoulder and still pulling scabs on his neck, he eventually picked up the folder, glancing through the final report on zombies or reanimated human-like entities before tossing it back to the floor.
He really didn’t give a rat’s fuzzy butt about the case, preferring not to remember it as his apartment fell to the early winter darkness. He wasn’t a fan of fire; he wasn’t a fan of cold; he wasn’t a fan of conspiring assholes and now he knew he definitely wasn’t a fan of reani- … zombies … whatever the hell they were. He mostly just wanted to forget them and enjoy some TV and a nap.
But Scully was in his TV watching spot, face squished into the cushion where he usually sat, the compressed foam perfectly indented to his rear after countless years and which was now cradling his soon-to-be drooling partner, her arm hanging to the floor, hand bent at the wrist, fingerprints pressed to woven striped rug.
And she was fairly cute doing it.
Settling back in the office chair he currently occupied and would occupy for the foreseeable future, he shifted his good arm up, resting his head against his hand, deciding that since he didn’t have a decent angle for the TV now, he’d just watch her.
Turned out to be the best entertainment of the night.
“Mul … ler?”
That startled him a little. She’d been snoring not half a second earlier and he never expected her to say anything.
Still not answering, she broke into a grin, her face shifting enough so he could just make out her mouth in full, “Muller.”
By now, his chuckle had emerged, head tilting further to the side to see her better, “Scully.”
Pulling her arm up, she languidly twisted onto her side, back against the back, knees sliding over each other until she settled again, left arm draped over belly, breasts pushed together in tantalizing, nearly spilling out cleavage.
He could see her knees as well.
He had a thing for her knees. He’d been watching them peak out from underneath skirts for what felt like decades now and he had been fantasizing about his hand on one of them for just as long. Oddly, he had pictured her on her knees doing … things … to him for nearly as long but those fantasies were nowhere near as frequent as the ones where he simply sat beside her, warm palm cupped over her rounded knee, the beautiful 90-degree joint that carried her beside him everywhere and anywhere without fault and without fail.
He was utterly beguiled and bewildered at the sight of her knees. He’d shake his head to bring himself back to a sense of manly reality but, really, why.
Granted, the cleavage did fight for his attention, don’t get him wrong but tonight, he took his voyeuristic time, enjoying his blue-glowing Scully in all her napping glory, knees out for the world to see.
He chuckled again at the realizing that he was so far under her spell, it was shocking he could still function at all in society.
Then again, his society for the time being, consisted of Scully and zombies.
He gave himself five more minutes before forcing himself to stand, go to the kitchen, silently find some dinner, forget his partner on the couch in order to take a deep breath, sort his head back to the here and now.
Like a snapping rubber band, he was back at her side before he knew his feet were moving, “Scully?”
This time, though, her eyes were open, staring up at him, confused and squinty, “am I hungry?”
“I … I don’t know.” Giving her a soft smile, “I was just making myself some food. You got here about an hour ago so you probably are hungry. It’s after 7.”
Time stamp sinking in, “hey, we’re missing ‘Wheel of Fortune’.”
God, he really should just propose now and get it over with, “want to find the channel and I’ll heat up whatever the hell isn’t nasty in my fridge?”
Hand already digging in the cushions for the remote, “deal.”
Sooner than later, they were buried deep in the couch, Mulder’s feet on the coffee table, Scully’s tucked underneath her, knee touching his thigh and blanket haphazardly thrown over them, empty plates near his toes. As they waited for the final ‘Jeopardy’ clue, Mulder debated whether it was time.
Scully chose action over debate.
Reaching towards him, she quietly gripped his pinkie finger and slowly dragged his hand from his leg to hers, stopping once her knee rounded out his palm.
In answer, he slid a little further down in the cushions, elbow resting on her upper thigh and fingers curved more securely around the sacred bones.
Mulder left it there through the last question, through two episodes of something he didn’t have the capacity to pay attention to because Scully was real and beside him, only one layer of blanket between skin on skin. Then, around nine, he gathered boldness from points unknown and deftly moved from above blanket to below, back to knee, heat on heat, watching her out the corner of his eye and relaxing when he saw the smallest of smiles curve her lip.
He was golden tonight.
And he sure as hell wasn’t going to push it.
Soon, cliched date night situations aside, her head landed on his shoulder, the credit music of ‘West Wing’ filling the room as she quietly asked, “would you mind if I stayed here tonight?”
“Of course not. Tired?”
“Yeah … but …” he could hear the hesitation beating the space between them, “mostly I … I’m comfortable and don’t want to go home right now.”
Squeezing her leg, he moved to stand, “let me go find you something to sleep in.”
She let him stand, missing him instantly and watched him trek away, sling band across his back, gait stilting slightly because a jostling walk sent pains through his unhealed bones. Following seconds later, she stood in his bedroom doorway, blanket over her shoulders, “anything is fine.”
Turning, “why’d you get up? You said you were comfortable on the couch?”
“No, I said I was comfortable.” Stepping closer, her eyes twinkled and sparked, “I’m comfortable with you and with your hand on me and being in this apartment and I don’t want to go home. There’s a difference between that and not wanting to get up from the couch to follow you.”
After keeping his grin to mere epic proportions, he gathered a t-shirt and some sweatpants, handing them to her after he moved to stand in front, “here you go and does that mean you’re not ready to go to sleep yet? Should we go see what else we can find to watch?”
Nodding, “go start looking while I change.” Quick like bunny, she came back into the living room and Mulder lost his powers of speech. Looking from her bare knees and the bottom of the shirt he gave her, which fell an inch above the aforementioned knees, to her face, she laughed as she settled back beside him, blanket once again over them, his hand moving under the blanket and back to its spot with little hesitation, “I’ll put the pants on before I go to sleep.”
The next morning, with the blinds closed and the sunlight non-existent behind layers of gray cloud, she didn’t wake up until after eight and that was only because an especially exuberant burble from the fish tank invading her senses. Ignoring the clock, she puttered around the place while she made tea and found a box of semi-expired PopTarts, settling on the couch once again to have her breakfast before she decided to give any kind of thought to work. Mulder ventured forth halfway through her second cup, hair askew and shirt twisted under his immobilizer. Attempting and failing to straighten himself out, he dropped beside her, “when did you wake up and do you know you’re late for work?”
Doing her best not to spew forth a torrent of crumbs when she answered him, “woke up 20 minutes ago and not too sure I care about work today. How are you?”
Taking the bite of PopTart she offered him, he chewed thoughtfully, “better because you’re here.”
“I meant your shoulder but thank you.”
“You make everything better, shoulder included.”
Moving the blanket to cover his legs as well, mirroring the night before, she watched him put his hand back under the blanket, his eyebrows raising when he ran into skin instead of flannel, “still no pants, young lady?”
“You should play hooky with me and not wear any pants at all.”
Pretending to debate, she tucked the blanket in closer under her legs and wiggled against him, “you should find me some cartoons. Flintstones if possible … or Scooby-Doo.”
With a non-chalant and non-presumptuous kiss to the top of her head, “I love you and your cartoony, pantsless ways.”
“I love you and your expired PopTart owning ways.”
Finding the Flintstones on some backend cable channel, “today is going to be a good day.”
Already planning a nap, probably in Mulder’s bed and probably not alone, “a very good day.”