Title: "Keeping Him Guessing"
Author: Angela W.
Category: MSR
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Mulder and Scully share some late-night
thoughts and a bit of cuddling. Told in first-person,
Scully's POV.
Timespan/Spoilers: This is an "interep" fic, set the
night before the closing scene of "Theef". Major
spoilers for that episode and for "Millennium".
Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully do not belong to me.
They are the property of Chris Carter and 1013
Archive: Feel free to archive anywhere!
Feedback: If it's nice or contains *CONSTRUCTIVE*
criticism, feedback is valued. If you just don't like
it, I don't want to hear about it.

I'm exhausted. Dealing with that backwoods voodoo
creep has taken its toll on me. Mulder arrived to save me in the knick of time, just like a hero out of some old movie. Strangely enough, that doesn't bother me. Maybe the fact that I've rescued him at least six
times in the past six months makes me able to accept
this as simply something partners do for each other.
What I want, at the moment, is for his mood of
tenderness and concern to continue. Well, what I
really want is for him to sweep me off my feet and
kiss me senseless - which, considering the way my
thoughts are running at the moment, wouldn't exactly
be a long trip.

"You okay, Scully?" he asks, lifting one hand off the
wheel to run his fingertips gently down my face.

"Mmm," I reply, turning my face to nuzzle his palm.

"Scully?" he asks, tipping my chin up to gaze into my

"Watch the road, Mulder," I say.

"Yeah, right," he says, focusing on the rain-slicked
highway. "But answer me. Are you okay?"

"I will be," I reply. "I'm just not quite there yet. I want. . ."

"What, Scully?" he asks, his voice soft, his hand
reaching out to grasp mine.

"It sounds silly," I mutter.

"Scully," he says gently, "sometimes when a person has just had a bad experience they need something that reminds them of happier times. A lot of times it's a ritual or experience from their childhood. .
.something that can sound pretty silly to an outsider. But I'd hope, after all these years. . .after all we've been through together. . .that I wouldn't be an outsider. I'd like to think you can trust me enough to let me help you through this. So, if you need to snuggle up in bed and eat cinnamon toast while you watch Captain Kangaroo or something, that's okay. I'm not going to give you a hard time about it. I'll tune the TV for you. Hell, I'll make the damned toast!"

I smile gently. "That's what I want. I mean, not
specifically cinnamon toast and Captain Kangaroo. But
just for you to. . .baby me."

Mulder gives me a strange look. "You'll really let

I nod. "Scout's honor, Mulder. I'm too wiped out to
take care of myself. You'll have to do it."

When we reach the motel parking lot, Mulder switches
off the engine, then comes around and opens my door
for me. I figure he's just being polite, so I'm caught off guard when he swoops me up in his arms. "Mulder, what are you doing?"

"You *SAID* I could baby you," he points out with a

"Yes, but I didn't,"

"Didn't really mean it, Scully?" he asks. There's a
hint of sadness in his eyes as he loosens his grip.
Suddenly, I realize he needs this as much as I do. He
needs to take care of me as much as I need to be taken care of. As he said in the car, it's a matter of trust. For both of us.

I tighten my arms around his neck. "I just didn't
expect this level of pampering, that's all, Mulder."

He grins and carries me into my room. Which is,
really, all of about three steps away, but apparently
he feels he's won some sort of symbolic victory. He
sets me down on the bed and slips off my shoes and
socks, then slides my jacket off my shoulders.

"I'll go turn back the bedspread," Mulder says. "If
you want to, um. . ." He gestures at the rest of my
clothes. I quickly slide off my slacks, then execute a trick Missy taught me years ago, tugging off my bra
without removing my shirt. Wearing only my T-shirt and panties, I crawl under the covers.

Mulder tucks me in, bunching the pillows behind my
head and pulling the blankets up to my chin. "You're
not going to leave are you?" I ask. I sound utterly
pathetic, but right now I'm too tired to worry about

"Of course not, Scully. I'm going to stay right here
by you. Do you want me to call room service, order us
something to eat?"

"I'm not hungry, but you can order something if you

"Nah, I'm not really hungry either. Want a backrub?"

"Please," I say, rolling over. I fight the urge to
moan as his big hands dance across the tense muscles
of my back and shoulders. Mulder puts just the right
amount of pressure into it, not too hard but not too
soft. Same way he kisses. Uh-oh, Dana, I tell myself.
Do *NOT* go there. When you're half-naked and your
partner's giving you a backrub isn't the time to be
remembering the way he kissed you on New Year's Eve.

"Enough?" he murmurs, leaning close to my ear.

"Mmm," I reply. "Now I just want you to hold me."

Mulder stands up for a moment to kick off his shoes,
then lies down beside me and pulls me into his arms. I snuggle close for a few minutes as his hands continue to roam gently up and down my arms and back. Suddenly I get an idea. My bad girl side blurts it out before it can be censored by my logical, rational brain. "Mulder, your buttons are poking into my face. Can you take your shirt off?"

"Sure, Scully. Sit up for a minute."

Mulder hops out of bed and I watch through half- closed eyes as he strips off his shirt with a quick economy of movement. Mmm!! "Your belt buckle was kind of poking me, too," I add. Sheesh!! Where is all this
coming from? Why don't I just come right out and say
"I want you naked, Mulder?"

Mulder removes his belt and rejoins me in bed. I
nuzzle my nose into the patch of hair at the center of his chest. I love Mulder's chest.

"Anything else?" he inquires, his voice gentle and

"Kiss me goodnight?"

Mulder slides his fingers under my chin and tips my
mouth up to meet his. The kiss is gentle, warm and
sweet. It lasts a bit longer than the one on New
Year's Eve, but finally he breaks it off and smiles
into my eyes. "Go to sleep, Scully," he whispers,
brushing his palm over my eyelids.

"Goodnight, Mulder," I say, closing my eyes.

I don't really want to sleep. I just want to lay in
his arms savoring this warmth and closeness. But I
find myself drifting off anyway.

When I wake up again, Mulder is murmuring my name in
his sleep. He's got one arm still  wrapped around my
shoulders, but the opposite hand - which had been
gently stroking my hair when I fell asleep - is now
grasping my bottom. And something's poking into my
belly, but it's not the sort or thing I can ask him to remove. Nor would I want to.

"What time is it?" I asked sleepily. Mulder squeezes
my ass and drags me closer to him. Which considering
how close we were to begin with, could pretty much
qualify as an X-File itself.

"Why do you always do that?" he inquires with a drowsy chuckle.

"Do what?"

"Ask what time it is when you first wake up."

"I don't know. Habit, I guess."

"Well, if you want to know, you're going to have to
move a bit. You're lying on my watch arm."

Okay, the intelligent thing to do here would be to
roll away from him. But I apparently stopped doing
"intelligent" at some point tonight. So I roll on top
of him. Mulder lifts his arm and peers at the
luminescent dial. "It's 3:12 a.m. Scully. Are you happy now?"

"Very much so," I reply and am rewarded with another
sleepy laugh.

After a few moments of silence, he asks, "Scully,
would you mind if I took my slacks off? It's kind of
uncomfortable sleeping in them."

"No problem, Mulder," I reply and roll off of him so
he can slide out of bed for a moment. I shiver from
being deprived, even briefly, of his warmth. He slips
back under the covers wearing nothing but his
boxer-briefs and pulls me close again.

"Whatcha thinking about?" he asks.

"Just debating strategies to explain my behavior
tonight. Which do you prefer, the classic simplicity
of "I was drugged" or the more exotic "I was under the influence of the whammy"?"

"There's always, "I'm not really myself, I'm the alien bounty hunter," if you want a *REALLY* good excuse," Mulder offers.

"Nah, I don't like that one. I'm *ME*, even if I'm not behaving like I normally do."

"There's always the truth," he suggests.

I'm quiet for a moment, then I say, "Well, I know
you're a fan of the truth and normally so am I. But it sounds so. . .girly."

"Um, Scully, it's not that I don't respect you
professionally and everything. But I'm well aware of
the fact that you're not a guy."

"IF I tell you, will you promise not to say anything.
. .at least, not tonight?"

"I promise."

"I mean it, Mulder. Once I say it, not another word
from you. We just go back to sleep."

"Okay, Scully, okay. But if I'm going to be sworn to
silence once you share this great, mystical truth with me, can I say something beforehand?"

"Sure, Mulder."

"Will you kiss me goodnight again? I mean, if I'm
expected to go back to sleep. . ."

I lean up and hook my hand around the back of his
neck. He's letting me take the lead and I nibble
lightly on his lower lip before melding out mouths
together. I open my mouth slightly and let just the
tip of my tongue dance against his before slowly
pulling away.

I settle down against his chest again and wrap one
hand around his biceps. "Okay, Mulder the truth is. .
.I just had a really crappy day and I was scared and
wiped out and I wanted to be held tightly in the big,
strong arms of the man I love. Now go to sleep."