New Year’s Slowly

Rating: R for the most part/NC-17 at the finish
Classification: Vignettes/MSR, Humor (hopefully), Alternate Universe…starting after The Ghosts Who Stole Christmas in S6—let’s take a different turn from there and ignore S7 through 9.
Spoilers: Everything through the aforementioned S6 Christmas ep, and my story, Christmas Beginning.
Keywords: A look at what could happen once all the cards are on the table.
Summary: After letting the cat out of the bag, Mulder and Scully spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s together.

beta by the lovely sallie


December 26th, 8:00 A.M.

Mulder wakes slowly–dreams dissolving–recall seeping in. His body remembers warmth–skin, her skin–the way she smells, tastes. He can still hear her whisper in his ear, feel the soft scrape of her lips on the side of his neck. He flings his arm across the bed to recapture her, but all he gets is a snarl of sheets, and that catapults him into the daylight world.

Startled, he’s sitting up before he knows it, scanning the room. Their clothes are no longer strewn at the foot of the bed, they’re folded neatly instead on the dresser. He breathes, realizing Scully hasn’t fled, and allows himself the luxury of believing his lifetime losing streak is really over.

Easing out of bed and with his usual early-morning graceless grace, he half stumbles into the bathroom. Swirling around some mouthwash, he spits, splashes water on his face, and reaches over for the towel when he gets a good look at the smiling stranger in the mirror.

“You’re one lucky bastard,” he tells his reflection.


After pulling on some boxers, he makes his way through the apartment following the sound of her voice into the kitchen. Leaning against the counter, her back to him, Scully’s on her cell. Her hair’s a sexy mess, and she’s snagged one of his blue dress shirts to wear. He sincerely hopes she’s naked underneath. The whole tableau is fodder for the Mulder erotikon, up until he’s able to make out the conversation.

Kersh. Scully’s on the phone with Kersh.

Slipping behind her, he wraps his arms around her waist and stoops to rest his chin on the crown of her head. He loves it when she leans back into his solid warmth, reaching back with one arm to grab onto his hip. Closing his eyes, listening intently, all he can make out is an impatient baritone on the other end. Instinct tells him to get ready for what the A.D. must be dishing out, the jerk-off assignment, the plunge back into what constitutes real life in their universe.

He gets a shock, courtesy of the love of his life.

“Yes sir, I realize I’m still on vacation until the second. But Agent Mulder called me at my mother’s.” She’s let a weary tone into her voice. “Apparently he has a bronchial infection, a fairly severe one. I’d put him on the phone, but he can hardly speak.”

A brief pause. “I was planning on quarantining him here and treating him myself with a course of antivirals. It would avoid spreading possible contagion to others, and frankly, be more cost efficient than another hospitalization.”

Another pause. “I expect he’ll be out of commission for about a week, less if he’s lucky. Of course, I’ll keep you apprised if there’s any significant change in his condition… Thank you sir.” She hits the end button, and sets the cell. on the Formica with a flourish.

“Eavesdropper,” she teases.

He slowly turns her around, holding her firmly by the shoulder, “Who are you, and what have you done with my partner?”

She tries to compose her features into a mask of innocence, but the combination of curiosity and utter admiration on his face puts a halt to her effort.

“What?” She flashes him a full-wattage grin, then lets her lips settle into a familiar, inscrutable smile.

“Scully, you lied to a superior.”

“And you find that shocking?” she replies dryly. “Besides, it’s not a total fabrication. I’m placing you in quarantine until you make good.”

“Make good?” he parrots.

“Yes, Mulder, make good. I seem to remember someone saying something last night about rocking my world.”

“So this is about payback, then?”

“Damn straight,” she insists, slipping out from under his grasp. Strolling over to the refrigerator, she opens the door and begins to rummage around for provisions, checking expiration dates.

“Seriously, Mulder, when was the last time you took a vacation? This way, we avoid the hassle of a request…” She’s smiling to herself as she inspects the larder– today’s act of personal rebellion was long overdue, tattoo aside. This is how it feels to have a life, she tells herself. “Oh, my God, you actually have food in here that was purchased in recent memory…Fresh eggs? …Tomatoes?…Coffee?”

Just as he was ready to toss out a witty rejoinder and end this harassment, he catches a glimpse of luscious, pale haunch as she bends over to check something on a lower shelf. Nothing but glorious, unadorned flesh. Nude Scully underneath crisp cotton has short-circuited any interest in repartee. He’s hungry, all right. With his hand slowly stroking his own hardening flesh, he begin to advance. There’s a promise from last night he needs to take care of.

She’s oblivious to this impending change in plan, so she keeps loading up with ingredients for an impressive breakfast. Her back’s still to him, so she doesn’t see him closing the gap, licking at his lower lip.

“Jesus, there’s English muffins…This is unbelievable… How ’bout scrambled eggs?…Or an omelet?…” Nothing, no response. “Mulder…Any thoughts here? … Mulder?”

In a flash, he’s on her like wrinkles on a cheap suit, scooping up the items she gathered and unceremoniously shoving them back in the fridge. Slamming the door shut with one foot, he proceeds to scoop her up, devouring her mouth in a ravenous kiss.

Before she can string together a sentence, he’s got her sitting on the counter, and he’s still kissing her, kissing away any coherent thought, anything other than desire–potent and raw. Parting her legs with one hand, the other traces a rolling tide, long and slow up her thigh, until he feels her warm, wet, cleft–feels her twist against where he caresses her with his fingertips.

He eases away from her lips, just for a moment, to whisper in her ear. “Hungry?”

“You have no idea,” she breathes.


December 28, 2:00 PM

While she hasn’t yet danced with the devil by the pale moonlight, Scully’s proven she’s not faint of heart. She’s mashed her fair share of monsters, cut into cadavers, put a bullet in her partner without batting an eyelash, and pulled her weapon on Skinner, amongst other things.

In short, she’s got balls.

So why is she standing with a suitcase in one hand, and an overnighter slung over her shoulder in front of her partner’s–now her lover’s–front door in a silent paroxysm of panic?

It may have something to do with the fact that now she has to put up or shut up, after having the brilliant idea that they needed to shop for more food, and oh yes, bring some of her things over.

‘Mulder, as much as I love being half-naked in your apartment, wouldn’t you like to have a selection of clothes to rip off me? I’ve only got what I had on Christmas Day…’

He had them both dressed and on the way to her place in a heartbeat. Once they got there, she changed in a hurry, and packed like she was taking a long, long, trip.

She loves him more than she loves the simple answer, deeper than the deepest end of the ocean, and now she’s terrified that this act will somehow jinx what happened between them.

Or worse, turn it into something ordinary.

Scully never worried about this happening with any of the other men in her life. There was never any reason to. No other man ever caused the kind of white-hot combustion, this unbelievable want, or elicited her absolute devotion. None of them ever followed her, like Orpheus, into the frozen bowels of the earth to rescue her from death.

And then there’s the stars–none of them ever hung the stars for her.

Breathing in and breathing out, she reaches into her jacket pocket for her keys, opens the door and walks in. It looks like Mulder’s still downstairs, and Scully assumes he’s still looking for a parking space, or getting groceries out of the trunk.

She hears the echo of her footfalls, the click of her heels as she painstakingly puts one foot in front of the other. She gingerly places the luggage on the floor.

It’s done, she’s done it.

The world didn’t end, she tells herself.


Still standing in his foyer, she starts talking to the empty air. “The world didn’t end,” she says, at first barely a whisper, then again, loud enough to hear the words echo around her. Maybe it’s a chant, maybe it’s a charm, because Mulder’s coming up behind her now.

She hears him and turns. Snatching the bags from him, she haphazardly plops them on the floor. Launching herself into him like a heat seeking missile, she flings her arms around his neck and plants a good one on him.

For his part, he’s both amused and starting to get horny, but has no intention of asking why his organized, circumspect, beautiful partner just attacked him in his foyer, ignoring the obvious need to put away perishables, unpack, settle in.

Pulling away just enough to get a good look at her, she’s smiling triumphantly, and he revels in the heat of her body as she stays wrapped around him.

“Were you expecting the end of days, Scully? You’re not the first good Catholic girl to fall from grace with a unbeliever. Personally, I think my heathenish ways agree with you.” He blinks slowly–there’s something about seeing her so unguarded that makes him well up.

She starts to say something, but he’s too quick. He stoops to kiss her, but this time it’s with a tenderness and a longing that knocks the wind out of her. Falling into him, they list to the side, where unfortunately, Mulder’s leg gets tangled in bags of food.

It does not end well, and she’s the last man standing.

Sprawled over spilled cans and containers of food, he’s landed on his ass. He took a hit to his noggin from a rolling jar of pesto, the back of his head thudded against some romaine, a broken box of pasta’s strewn across his chest, and he looks a little rattled. Not enough, however, to betray his inherent XY chromosomal desire to say something cool and salvage his rep.

“Tagliatelle me, Scully.” He drapes his arm over his eyes.


She’s checked his pupils, his reflexes and ascertained that he’s got a knot forming on the side of his head.

“It looks like you might have a light concussion.” It’s a good thing you’re sleeping with your doctor, she says to herself.

He starts absentmindedly rubbing at the swelling on his head, “The least you could do is kiss it and make it better.”

She surprises him by doing just that, repeatedly.

“So that means…” He’s feeling giddy or lightheaded, he’s not sure which. He’s fairly sure it has nothing to do with the bump on his head.

“It means I’m going to have to monitor you for the next 24 hours.” For once, she’s looking forward to playing nursemaid.

“I see…” A realization hits, and his eyes light up with expectation.

“You do, do you? I’ll have to keep you up all night… well, most of night, we’ll get to sleep on and off… You know the drill.”

“That I do…You know, Scully, that bump on my head’s feeling better.”

“Is that your medical opinion, Mulder?…That’s hardly scientific.”

“I’m serious…but there’s a problem.”

“Really, what’s that?” Not that she doesn’t see what coming—sees it coming and wholeheartedly approves.

Pointing to his temple, “It hurts there, too.”

Cutting him a look, she leans in and presses her lips to the spot.

“Ah…that’s better…Oh wait…” He places his index finger to the corner of his mouth.

Never one to skirt her obligation to give care, she makes sure every inch of his lower lip gets the proper administration of what is obviously the new wonder drug.


“Yes, Mulder.”

“All night?”

“All night.”


6 AM, December 31st.

Thin gray light seeps through the icy sheen on the window, trickling slowly across the bedroom, onto the bed. Scully opens her eyes and lets the beginning of another day settle in. Still not ready to get up, the heavy weight of blankets cocoons her, their warmth irresistible. She remembers feeling him slip out of her arms a little while ago and pressing a feather-light kiss against her hairline. Hearing drawers slide open, she guessed he was throwing on some clothes for some reason. Normally, she’d want to know why he’s up, but these aren’t normal circumstances–she sated and lazy–thanks to Mulder. She lets her eyelids slip shut, and tugs the bedding closer as he slides down next to her, his pull as strong as gravity.

He’s fully dressed, boots and jacket, and she can feel the cold creep through the layers, and she starts to shiver. He’s been outside already, and he smells of the cold, of the outdoors.

“Mulder,” she groans.

He moves in even closer, and she can feel his cool lips against her ear, “I knew you were awake. Get dressed, I want to show you something.”

“Be a nice FBI man, hmmm? Go away and I’ll get up in a little while.”

He starts nuzzling the side of her neck, until he can hear her laugh. “Get dressed,” he croons, making it sound like seduction.

Slowly stirring, she starts to peel away bedding and get up, and he stands up to help her. The sight of her pale skin painted by the dawn, makes him forget for a minute that he’s a man with a plan.

“I’m up now.”


“You wanted me out of bed, remember?”

He’s back on track, “Right…that’s right. C’mon, throw on some clothes, I’ll be in the kitchen.”

As he lopes out of her sight, she yells after him, “Do you mind telling me what you’re up to?”

“What,” he yells back, “and ruin the magic?”


Piling on the layers, making sure she’ll stay warm enough, she’s ready. It’s still fairly dark in the rest of the apartment, and he hasn’t turned on any of the lights. He’s waiting for her by the sink, arms folded across his chest. His face lights up when he sees her, and it’s a look different from any Scully recognizes. This is a schoolboy’s face–his delight, total and completely transparent.

All of a sudden, she’s not sorry he’s got her up.

“You ready?” He holds out his hand.

“Ready as I’ll ever be,” weaving her fingers through his.

This is where it gets interesting. He guides her to the window next to the back door, lets go and holds up both hands to motion her to just stand still. Pulling it open, he climbs out onto the fire escape, and gestures for her to join him. Gingerly easing over the sill, Scully follows, feeling curious as hell.


Holding a finger to his lips, he just shakes his head and turns and starts climbing up the cast iron ladder.

She’s done stranger things, followed him into stranger places just because he asked, so she decides to start her ascent behind him. Five flights later, she’s scrambling onto the roof, with a firm grip on his outstretched arm. Neither one of them has said a word, but once she’s standing beside him, he takes her hand again and walks her to a spot on the east side of the building.

There, on the horizon, stippled lavender and gold, is a sunrise that stuns her with its burnished clarity. But there’s more–Mulder points to the full moon, coin-round and silver in the sky. It’s not day yet, no longer night– it’s like them–an unlikely pairing–yet somehow, perfect together. She has no words to thank him, so she does the only thing she can think of. Taking his hand, she places it over her heart.

He starts to speak, finally. “I used to come up here when you were sick.”

“You mean when I was dying.”

“Yes…I came up here and prayed.”

That last word is shocking, coming from him. They keep watching the sun pull against the sky, the disc starts to dissolve, and she presses down harder against the back of his hand. Feeling the rise and fall of life within her, he goes on, his voice unbearably soft.

“I asked God to heal you, to give you a miracle.”

“He did, Mulder. I’m here, you helped make that possible.”

“I asked for something else…my own miracle.”

Scully knows losing his sister is a wound that must be healed, miracle or not. They have each other now, but the things that bind them together still cast their shadows.

“We’ll keep looking for Samantha, no matter what…”

He smiles to himself, to the new day, “I know…That’s not what I meant…I asked for something selfish.”

He turns to her, and she knows what he prayed for.

Kissing him, she wraps his body around his–dawn becomes day, and an ordinary miracle is complete.


8 PM, New Year’s Eve

They’re in agreement. The new year will be rung in by them without any contamination by Dick Clark, or his countdown. Furthermore, any attempt to ‘party like it’s 1999,’ will be met with severe repercussions.

Pretending to watch a movie, they’re fitted to each other on his old sofa, like parts of a puzzle. He’s sitting in the middle, with his legs spread wide, feet up on the coffee table. Scully’s nestled between the generous vee, mimicking him. Some noir plot unfolds as Mulder hands travel slowly up her arms, across her shoulder blades. She lets her head loll forward, as he works on the pressure points with his thumbs. Blue images flicker on the screen–celluloid heroes searching for the truth in a world of random violence and deceit.

“How come you’re so chipper?” she queries.

“Why shouldn’t I be?”

“Well, less than fifteen minutes ago, A.D. Kersh called.”

“I seem to recall that, yes. I also seem to remember that your vacation’s ending a day early, that he didn’t care if I wasn’t 100%, as long as I was ambulatory; and that we’d be flying tomorrow morning to Manitou, Minnesota, where the average temperature this time of year is 35 below.”

“You forgot to mention the best part,” she sighs as he hits just the right spot with exactly the right amount of pressure. “We get to conduct a farm to farm check on fertilizer purchases in a three county area…Well, we’re on the same page, then.”

“So it would appear.”

“By the way, your massage technique is excellent.”

“I live to serve.”

They’ve got no complaints. Seven days, and it’s been intense, revelatory, celebratory and moving. And tomorrow, they go back to the world they know, but now, it’s a larger one.



“You haven’t answered my question.”

“I am chipper, Scully, because my plan to sequester you succeeded brilliantly.”

“Your plan?”

“Is there an echo in here? Yes, I sequestered you… hied thee away…absconded with you, fair maiden.”


“Yes, the beautiful maiden…pining away for the love of her life, hoping for the moment when the joining with her beloved would come to pass.”

The quiet of the apartment is punctured by someone’s unladylike snort. “Lofty, aren’t we? Delusional, too, it would seem. It was my idea, Mulder. I put you on sick leave.”

“That’s the beauty of it, I got you to do all the work.”

“Well, I’ve got some work for you,” All of a sudden, her voice low and throaty. “It involves you, me and your bathtub.”


He’s lit the fat, white candle he’s kept under the sink in case of emergencies, and placed it on the sink. Long shadows flicker, and the two of them stand face to face, slowly undressing one another. No words are necessary, as their hands trail against exposed flesh. The bathroom door is closed, the tub is full, and steam fills the room–circles them, shrouding their nakedness. The shower has seen its fair share of activity, but tonight they want to be islands in a faraway sea

They climb in, and thankfully, this old relic has plenty of room. It sat unused by Mulder for eons, but they have other plans for it now. Italian bath salts scent the water, and the two of them ease into the hot water and face each other. Wrapping his arms and legs around her, he captures her, draws her close.

Before and after each time his lips meet hers, he keeps saying her name–he can’t help himself. The sound of her name echoing around them surges through his body and each kiss grows deeper, more urgent. Somewhere in his mind he tells himself that he’s lost, that he doesn’t care. You’re my tether, Scully, he thinks. It’s not a conscious thought anymore, it’s knowledge in the body.

She slides toward him, her tongue caressing his, her hand reaching under the water to stroke him somewhere else. He comes alive in her hand, solid and real. She has never known anything so real.

He stops kissing her only to bring his head to her breast, closing his mouth over a nipple. She cries out, and cradling his hand over hers, together they guide him between her folds. Sliding into her–slowly, so slowly–the water makes them buoyant, motion easy, they become a tide rolling in and out.

She’s leaning on him, rocking back and forth, and he takes his hand to swirl his thumb on her clit. Vapor rises from the tub, the water swirls and splashes up and around them, and soon she feels it building—in him, in herself. It’s pushing, pushing for release, the way the earth itself is born in the sea. Soon, she bursts apart and he’s right behind her, pulsing, shaking, calling her name again.


Time passes, how much, neither of them could say. The water’s now comfortably warm, and they’re lying still, almost as if they were in bed. Mulder’s on the bottom, and she’s snug against his chest, her head tucked into the crook of his neck. The candle’s burned low, and they float in silence toward tomorrow, without a compass, without hesitation.