my new job is hard can you please write something small and soft about fox rubbing scul’s shoulders after a hard day lol
Sorry it took me a few days, anon! Here you go. Set in season 10.
Mulder spends half an hour just watching her unsure if he should say something; uncertain if it’s still his place. Then another head tilt, another pained grimace and he can no longer keep his mouth shut.
“Hard day, huh?” Mulder smiles at her. His face, the muscles in his cheek, around his mouth and nose, they need exercise. He is rusty; work and life, he is out of practice. Now he even feels out of practice smiling.
“Yeah.” Scully’s voice is raw; she’s honest with him, which is a start, but she refuses to look at him. Their office is more spacious this time around, less clutter around, but she still doesn’t have her own desk. They’ve only been back for a moment it seems. He makes a mental note to get her one. Though if he’s honest he likes sharing his space with her. He misses it; misses her. In their house, currently just his according to her, her things were always scattered with his. Her clothes over his. Her toothbrush right next to his. Now… he is left with the few pieces she forgot or didn’t deem important enough to take with her to her new home. Their things are no longer mingling at home. But here, now, he can almost pretend. And it’s almost enough, sometimes.
“Why don’t you go on home? Take a shower or…”
“Or?” Her hand cups her neck, squeezes, and Mulder feels the pain shoot through his own shoulders.
“Get a massage.”
“I’m fine, Mulder.”
“You may be, but your neck is obviously not. Give yourself a break, Scully. You haven’t done an autopsy in years.”
“I’m just going to take an ibuprofen and maybe take a hot shower later. Mulder, we need to finish these reports.” She lowers her head and Mulder swears he can hear her muscles protest.
“I can help you, Scully.” He gets up before she can say a single word. Her head shoots up and she frowns at him. Her eyes seem to say don’t even think about it, but he is thinking about it, and he’s tried to ignore it for half an hour. Enough is enough.
“Mulder.” His name sounds as menacing as her face looks. When he takes another step around the desk towards her she puts her hands up and he stops, hurt and anger battling on his face.
“Do you really expect me to watch you suffer?”
“We’re at work, Mulder, and…”
“And what? I’m not allowed to touch you at all anymore because we’re just partners now?” Mulder doesn’t mean to spit his words, doesn’t mean to let his anger out. He takes another step forward just to see her reaction. She merely blinks, glances at him with exhaustion. “I don’t like to see you in pain, Scully,” his voice is softer now, the anger gone completely, and he takes another step towards her, “At least this is something I know how to do right. Please let me.” Her nod is soft, almost indiscernible. Mulder mouths a thank you as he closes the distance between them. He stands behind Scully and gently lets his fingers tangle through her hair, tickle her sensitive skin.
“Are my hands warm enough?” He leans close to her ear and whispers. Scully nods. “Good.” His hands land on her tense shoulders. This is something he knows how to do; he doesn’t feel rusty now. He hasn’t done it in a while, though. The last time, he thinks as he starts to knead, ended with them laughing and toppling over the couch in their home. Back when it was theirs, before. They made love in front of the couch that night, laughing and moaning, sighing and grasping. Then he carried her to bed only to wake up in the morning with a sore back himself. He dismisses the memory, pushes it away like the few strands of her hair that stubbornly fall over her shoulders.
“I forgot how good you are at this, Mulder.” Her voice drips sex, makes his pants feel tight. Mulder takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly. His fingers play her muscles, know exactly where to prod, where to put pressure even through her clothes. If he closes his eyes and concentrates hard enough he can recall the feel of her warm, smooth skin under his fingertips.
“This one’s free,” he jokes just to make conversation; if she let him, he’d do this for her every day for the rest of their lives, “the next one will cost you.”
“Hmmm.” She hums. “How much?” A second chance for me, he thinks, and the smile that’s snuck up on him disappears. Not fair; not right to ask her, impossible not to feel the desperate need to do it anyway.
“It was a joke,” Mulder tells her swallowing his feelings, “All you ever have to do is ask.”
“It’s that easy?”
“Yeah. Yeah, it is, Scully. Feel better yet?” His hands still on her shoulders but he is reluctant to let go. Once he does, he will miss her again, miss it all.
“Much.” Scully turns and his hands just fall away. They feel wrong now; the sensation of having touched her still present, a phantom pain. She smiles at him, a genuine thank you. “I think I might head home after all if you don’t mind?” He does mind; he wants to be around her as much as he can, as much as she allows him. But he grins instead. His own muscles protesting; just a matter of time, of exercise before it will feel normal.
“Go home, Scully. Relax those shoulders.” Mulder winks at her and she giggles. Worth it, he thinks. All of it worth it just to see a moment of happiness on her face, to see her light up.
“Thank you, Mulder. For…”
“You’re welcome.” He nods quickly before his hand lands on the small of her back; just an instinct. He leads her over to the door, helps her into her coat. “See you tomorrow?” Scully looks up at him and he realizes they’re awfully close. He nods again, doesn’t trust his mouth. She gets on tiptoes and leaves the whisper of a kiss on his cheek.
“Don’t stay too long, Mulder.” She tells him with one last smile before she leaves the office not even giving him the chance to answer. He touches his cheek, smiles, and looks forward to tomorrow.