A Kiss Is Just A . . . & A Sigh Is Just A . . .

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

Rating: PG for an odd swear word here and there.

Spoiler warning: This deals with the images from the 1997 Golden Globe awards.

Disclaimer: The X-Files and the characters Mulder and Scully were created by Chris Carter. They don't belong to me, and I'm using them here without permission.

Relationship: Lots of MSR. Anti-relationshippers should skip merrily away from this story, singing their anti-shipper songs. <g>

Summary (for A Kiss. . .): On the eve of being given an award, Scully shows Mulder a side of her he never thought he'd see. (For A Sigh. . .): After being surprised with the turn of events the previous night, Mulder plans to take Scully on a date she'll *never* forget.

Hi All! My e-mail pal Jenn and I were talking about "the kiss" at the Golden Globes between Anderson and Duchovny, and she asked me when I was going to write a fanfic where it was Mulder and Scully. Well Jenn, and everyone, here it is. Hope it meets with your approval. <g>

 

A Kiss Is Just A . . .

 

If it wasn't for the fact that Scully was receiving an award acknowledging her dedication and skills on a VCS case she'd consulted on that led to the capture and conviction of a ruthless serial killer, Mulder wouldn't go to this stupid dinner.

The "Spooky" jokes and the cool reception he got when he went to these things had bittered his taste for them. He hadn't been to one in years, since the first year they'd been partnered. And that time hadn't been his idea either. Since he wasn't trying to impress anyone or work his way up the proverbial ladder in the Bureau, he'd just stopped going.

Except now he really didn't have a choice. He wasn't about to send Scully alone to this thing, and he knew she wouldn't have a date. So he'd volunteered to go with her. Actually the conversation had consisted of his asking her if she had someone to go with, her saying no, and his asking what time he should come by and pick her up. It had been almost expected that she'd say ok, and let him accompany her. So she'd just smiled at him and told him that seven would be fine.

Mulder had even gotten a tux. Well, sort of. It was the traditional suit, black pants and jacket with a white shirt, but he'd decided to try the new fad of the banded collar instead of the bow tie. Of course, if he'd had his way he would have gone with the neon orange one, just to piss Scully off. But he wasn't going to embarrass her tonight. If anything, he was going to be a good boy and keep his behavior exemplary, his attire unreproachable and his thoughts professional.

Being on time for a change, he knocked lightly on Scully's door and waited to see what she'd decided to wear. Probably some conservative dress, nothing controversial or overtly sexy. Just what the Bureau would expect of the "Ice Queen."

As the door opened, Mulder's jaw nearly dropped. His usually conservative partner stood before him in a floor length, beige beaded dress. It would have been fine, no more than fine if it hadn't been for the neck line. To say that it was plunging would have been too modest. Looking straight at her ivory skin, the rounded shadows of her breasts were easily visible on either side.

Hell, he thought, if the curve of the neckline was any lower, he would have sworn her belly button would have shown. Then a sudden thought struck him - for him to see so much, for her to wear that dress, she couldn't be wearing a bra. Oh My God! The proper Agent Scully was practically half naked before him.

Then his eyes caught a more disconcerting sight. Her face. She was stunning. The flowing tresses of auburn were wild, tousled. She'd never looked better. Except there was this one lock that stubbornly broke from the rest of her hair, and he had to restrain himself from brushing it back into place.

Realizing what a seductive looking sight she was, Mulder felt himself physically respond, and hurriedly imagined an ice cold shower. It would *not* do to have his partner see how much she affected him.

Scully swiped at the errant lock and then turned back to the inside of the apartment.

"Come on in Mulder. I'll be ready in a minute. I just need to get my coat," she said, moving to the closet. And in doing so, he got a good look at her moving in the form fitting dress.

It was going to be a long night he sighed.

As soon as she had her coat on, he felt a little more confident, and happily put his hand to her back as they walked along the hallway to the elevator.

"Uh, you look really nice tonight Scully," Mulder commented, trying to keep the image of her in that dress from undermining his control.

"Thanks. I really didn't want to buy this dress, but my friend Susan thought it would be just the thing to put to rest all the "Ice Queen" rumors at the Bureau. I guess we'll see," she replied.

"Oh, believe me it will," he mumbled under his breath.

 

The dining hall was elaborately set up: white spindle back chairs circled white clothed tables. The china and silver were artfully arranged. And all around were their fellow FBI agents.

And Mulder thought it felt like standing before a firing squad.

They walked through the people milling around and received more than their fair share of glances. And in Scully's case stares. Finally they sat for dinner, still segregated off from everyone, as usual for him and suffered through the dry chicken and runny souffle.

When the help had cleared away the last of the dishes, Assistant Director Walter Skinner came up to the podium and tapped lightly on the microphone. Mulder sat there, looking, no staring at his nervous partner as their boss went on about service to the community and the like. There were several other agents being recognized, and that only made Scully's waiting worse.

She shifted in her chair, her knee bumping up against his. Then she moved restlessly and the leg rubbed along his. At the sensations he shifted uncomfortably in his seat, wishing the night over before he did something completely inappropriate. Like grabbing his partner and kissing her soundly before dragging her off and making love to her.

Then Skinner finally got to Scully's award, and proceeded to go into a long oration of her skills and dedication before calling her up.

Mulder got up as Scully did. The applause was quiet, but there nonetheless. She was getting her due, he thought with pride. Even though she'd been relegated to the 'Spooky' patrol, she still had enough respectability to be being given the award tonight.

As she moved towards him, he thought about putting his arms around her in a friendly hug. His hands were poised to do it when her hands came up to his face. Then he felt them trap his head between them. With a gentle pull she brought his face down to hers and with a light press of her lips to his she kissed him. Then she was gone, weaving her way through the tables to make her way to the podium. And all the while he stood there, arms still in the air where her hips had been, and a dumbfounded look on his face.

She'd kissed him! Right in front of Skinner, and everyone!

He couldn't believe what she'd just done. What she was risking with that little show. How that little kiss had sent every ounce of blood from his head and to parts south of his waist. Suddenly aware of the situation, he quickly sat down, turning his attention to his partner, even though he was sure every eye in the place was busy bouncing from him to her and back again.

God he thought, the rumors that they had been sleeping together were going to start up again with a vengeance!

Finally she finished her rounds of handshakes with the members of the Bureau up at the dias and came back down to the tables. But she didn't stop. She'd been seeing everyone watch her, and had decided not to play their game. So as she came to her seat and Mulder, she bent over slightly and gave him a little sideways glance. Then she picked up her purse and headed out the door with her award.

Catching her gaze, Mulder knew she wanted him to follow, but to wait a moment until she was well out of sight before he got up. To quell the rumor mill. By the time he stood, everyone was getting up and talking.

Ignoring the pointed looks and the occasional whispered comment, he eased his way through the crowds to find Scully waiting for him at the coat check room. When he reached her, she handed him her ticket, and he gave both of their tickets to the clerk. When the young man brought them, Mulder slung his over his arm and opened hers for her to put it on. While she did, he asked her his burning question.

"What was that in there?"

"Gotta keep those 'Mrs. Spooky' rumors going," she joked lightly, her voice low.

Once she'd eased into her coat, Mulder threw his own on and herded her out the door before anyone could accost them. When he got her in the car though . . . she'd have some explaining to do.

He waited until they were well on their way before he even broached the subject again. As it was, when he glanced over, she seemed very relaxed, even to have moved the seat back and had crossed her legs with the added room. Her dark coat had fallen away and he could see the shape of her leg shadowed under the nearly flesh colored material. And his blood pressure jumped another hundred points.

"Scully, why'd you kiss me back there. In front of all those agents and Skinner too?" he ventured, his voice unsteady.

"What? It was just a friendly kiss Mulder. Wasn't it?" she replied, a challenge laying in her tone of voice for him to correct her last statement.

If he didn't, the conversation would end there. And there'd never be another mention of it or the kiss again. But if he did . . . everything would be on the line.

"This isn't 'Casablanca' Dana. A kiss is not just a kiss, and I'm not going to put you on a plane for the states because you'd be better off there. I'm a selfish bastard who would want you to stay."

There was a pause. A long one. And Mulder wondered if he'd said the wrong thing.

"Would you want me to kiss you like I really meant it?" she asked hesitantly. But it was with a tone that he'd never heard before. One that was much too sexy for his partner.

Did he want her to "really" kiss him? He couldn't believe she was asking him that. She might as well have asked a lion if he wanted red meat, he thought awe struck. Or asked a man in the dessert if he wanted some water. She was offering him his heart's desire and she wanted to know if he *wanted* it. Amazing.

Before he replied, Mulder pulled into the parking lot for her apartment building. Finding a space, he parked the car and then turned towards Scully. Her blue eyes betrayed no hint as to her feelings on the matter. They only gazed at his hazel eyes intently. Waiting for his answer. His move.

"If it wouldn't be too much trouble Dr. Scully," Mulder flippantly said, even if he felt anything but.

A shadow of a smile pulled at the corners of her lips and she leaned forward in the car. Carefully she let her lips meet, then linger on his before she slanted her mouth over his and kissed him hard, intently and passionately. It took Mulder under a second before he was kissing her back, his hands catching her head to keep here there, similar to how she'd held his face earlier.

Slowly she pulled back, and he let her ease away from him slightly, his hands still buried in her hair. She smiled a genuine smile then.

"It's late Mulder," she commented lightly, her voice slightly out of breath at the intensity of their kiss. "Thank you for going with me tonight."

Then she was pulling away and opening the door. His hands fell away from her and she started to get out of the car. By the time she had closed her door, the shock had worn off and Mulder had jumped out of his side of the car. He caught her arm before she could get more than a few steps away from him and their feelings.

"Dana," he whispered, saying her first name as intimately as a caress to her skin.

"Yes?" she replied in an equally hushed tone. Then he realized she wasn't running from them. She just was going slow. Like four years wasn't slow enough he thought with some desperation.

"Would you like to go out tomorrow night?"

Her eyebrow raised at his question, and then she looked in his eyes and knew that he'd understood her reluctance to continue tonight. She wanted them both to be sure about this before they crossed the line. But from his willingness to continue, to take it a step at a time, she knew he wanted them to be together as much as she did.

"Like a date Mulder?" she asked, and he nodded. She stepped away a little, and then regarded him seriously with her gaze again. "Alright."

He looked at her face, the smile and the promise that her eyes held in them. And he couldn't help but smile too. He let her walk towards the building again, not trusting himself to let her go if he walked her to her door.

"Oh, and Scully," he hurried to add before she got in the main door.

"What?" she questioned, turning back towards him.

"Will I get another kiss like that one in the car tomorrow?"

"We'll see," she said with a wicked grin and went inside.

Oh no, he thought, if he had his way, he knew he'd get one. Or maybe more than one. Because one kiss was definitely not enough.

 

A Sigh Is Just A . . .

 

Mulder had spent his whole drive home trying to figure out a lot of things. First and foremost on his mind were the events of the evening. Somehow, for some unknown reason, he and Scully had finally come to the line they'd drawn between them and their feelings for one another and had regarded it. Very seriously. Then they'd made that first tentative step over it.

And that was all it took.

They both knew just from the two kisses they'd shared that there was so much more to explore between them. So much more yet to be said. The last barriers in their relationship were all that were left to be hurdled before they could be together. Finally.

Now though, Mulder had to come up with a plan. After the affair tonight; the fancy dinner and the formal attire, as well as the events that had played out, he didn't know what to do next.

Great, Mulder he thought with some recrimination. You get the woman you've been crazy about for years to go on a date with you, and you don't know what to do with her. Pathetic.

As he walked into his apartment, taking off the tux and hanging it up to return in the morning, he continued to think about it. He'd taken women on the traditional type of date before. But he was sorely out of practice, and he wasn't sure he knew how to do it anymore. Then of course, this was Scully. Not just anything would do for her. Dinner and dancing just seemed too sedate for them. And he didn't want to do a movie . . . just too predictable. Although he'd love to buy them a couple of tickets for a few of the good concerts in the area that weekend, he knew they'd be sold out and totally unworkable.

This is impossible, he mentally fumed, flopping his sweat suit clothed body onto the couch and turning on the television. Flipping channels, he saw something that caught his attention. Some soapy TV show . . . but the idea it inspired was a damn good one. But he'd have to work fast if he wanted this in place by tomorrow evening. With that he reached over and picked up the phone, dialing the first number in what he knew would be a long series of calls.

 

In the morning, Mulder woke early with a sigh and a stretch that cracked both shoulders into place. He'd actually slept, a miracle in itself considering he had the date of a lifetime today. Checking his watch, he realized two things. First it was early enough that he could get everything done that he had to do before tonight. Second Scully should be awake, so he could call her and not wake her up.

As he dialed her number, he hummed to himself. After Scully's surprises last night, he was going to have a few in store for her tonight. Just the thought of it made him grin a bit wickedly. On the other end of the line, he heard the phone ring once, then twice . . .

Scully had been daydreaming under the hot water as she showered. She hadn't intended to cross that line with Mulder last night. All she'd planned on doing last night was put her "Ice Queen" reputation to an end. Not start up more rumors about her and her partner.

But part of her was glad it had happened. She'd always felt the attraction between them. She'd been in love with Mulder for a while now, and this one incident had finally brought everything to the forefront. And neither of them seemed willing to ignore the feelings they had anymore.

Then the phone rang, interrupting her thoughts. Quickly she threw on a towel, grabbing a second one for her hair and made her way to her bedroom. As the phone continued to ring, Scully made her way over to it, toweling her hair off and dripping on the carpet. Her wet fingers nearly made her drop the phone, but luckily she was able to draw it to her ear.

"Hello?"

"Hi Scully, it's me," Mulder's voice rang out over the line. She couldn't help but smile a little. He sounded like a teenager calling up his girl before their date.

"What's up Mulder? Change your mind?" she questioned, teasing him with her voice, even if she sounded serious.

"No way Scully. You said 'yes', and that's all there is to it. I just wanted to tell you to go casual. Maybe with a heavy jacket," he informed her, some hidden meaning in his words that she couldn't decipher.

His pronouncement got her suspicions going though. Images of horror movies at the drive-in, stakeouts of UFO sites and touring the haunted houses of the Virginia coastline came to mind as his "ideal" date locations. There were times, like right then that she wondered what she saw in him that made her crazy enough to go with him anywhere he asked her to.

"What, no fancy restaurant Mulder? Why doesn't that surprise me? So, are we staking out an infamous UFO sighting location?" she asked, her voice holding the tone he'd become so familiar with sarcasm.

"Hey now! Creativity and romance are more important than hundred dollar dinners in stuffy restaurants. And no, no UFO sights. Work is an unacceptable subject tonight. Anyway, I'll be there to pick you up at six thirty," he remarked with a chuckle in his voice.

With that he hung up, and Scully stood there staring at the receiver, wondering what in heaven's name Fox Mulder had up his sleeve.

 

Precisely at six thirty there was a knock on Dana Scully door and she jumped to get it. As she made her way there, she shook her head with humor at the sense of deja vu. Hadn't she and Mulder just done this the night before? Well, at least tonight they were on an "official" date.

And they had a better understanding as to the ground rules. Slow.

When she opened the door, she pretty much decided "slow" was a bad thing. Very bad.

Mulder was standing there, looking so much like he'd stepped out of "Rebel Without A Cause" that it scared her. His black leather jacket was back. God, she'd missed it. Then there were the tight fitting 501's that hugged him like a second skin, and under the jacket was a white T-shirt.

His brown hair was unruly, the lock of hair that he'd gotten better at taming was loose and wild. She quelled the desire to run her hand through his hair and put it back into place, just like she'd done for years now. Then her eyes traveled to meet his, but couldn't. He'd donned a pair of sunglasses that obscured his eyes from her view. The fact that he could read her and she couldn't read him for a change was unsettling and thrilling all at once.

All in all, he was just too damn sexy for her vaunted control to handle.

With a stunning grin he pulled the glasses down and looked over the rims. His intense hazel eyes dancing just over the black plastic frames. Scully was sure she could feel the heat his gaze was producing melting its way through her body. It took a mental image of the Arctic to chill out her desires. For the moment at least.

"I just have to get my jacket," she stammered, turning around and back to the closet.

As she went, Mulder watched her move with the hunger of four years of longing in his eyes. She'd done as he'd asked and dressed casually, opting for dark jeans and a blue long sleeved shirt. From the closet she pulled out a dark brown suede jacket. His brows raised just a little as she put it on. If he didn't know better, he'd swear that she knew what he was up to. But she couldn't.

He *was* going to surprise her. No doubt about it.

"Ready to go?" he asked, standing just on the other side of the door.

Quickly she put on her jacket and made her way to the doorway. She stopped long enough to close the door behind her and then they walked along the corridor to the elevator. Scully was surprised when she felt his arm go around her waist. It was like a more intimate version of the hand to her back that she'd become so accustomed to with him. With the unwavering pressure of his arm along her back, she did her best to keep in step and her mind off of the man beside her in the tight jeans.

"You look handsome," she remarked with a little hesitation. It was taking all her control to not just forget about the plans he'd made and drag him back to her apartment and rip all those sexy clothes off him.

"Thanks. I've been neglecting this jacket, but it really goes with the outfit," he said offhandedly, but grinned a little wicked smile at her.

As they walked out to the street, Scully looked around for his car, but couldn't see it. Glancing up at him quizzically, he walked a way from her a little, heading for a beautiful red and chrome motorcycle. Following, she saw him pull a set of keys from his pocket and then straddle the bike. Watching his lean legs intently, she noted that the cycle was a Harley Davidson. With a little surprise, she arched an eyebrow at him and let her hands find their way to her hips.

"Showing your wild side Mulder?" she asked curiously, walking over to inspect the vehicle, and noted how well he looked on it. As if he'd been born to ride. To be a rebel . . . yes, that definitely described him. A rebel *with* a cause.

"Yeah. Sort of figured it was my turn, after last night and everything," he said. He couldn't help but grin. Turn about was fair play in the surprise game he thought. Watching her inspect the motorcycle intently, he decided to answer her next question before she asked. "It belongs to a friend of mine from college. He's out of town on business and he let me borrow it."

"You continue to surprise me Mulder," Scully commented.

"I try my humble best Scully. So, you coming?" he asked, holding out a hand to her.

In a second she had his hand in hers and was throwing a leg over the back of the cycle. With a slight jump he kicked over the motor, and the bike rumbled to life beneath them. Popping the kickstand, he slowly backed them up, then looked over his shoulder at her, wry grin firmly in place.

"Where are we going?" she asked, a bit leery of his intentions.

"For me to know and for you to find out," he replied knowingly.

With a shrug, Scully realized she was getting no further hints from him, and simply latched on to him, circling his waist with her arms. It felt so good to hold onto him like this, and she reveled in it, leaning in closer to his back. Mulder tensed for a moment at the nearly direct contact of their bodies, then settled happily into the feeling. He knew there was a reason he'd borrowed the bike he thought smugly.

Suddenly he revved the bike and sent them speeding off along the Beltway. While he drove, Mulder had to admit to himself that this plan of his *was* a crazy idea. But then Dana was used to crazy from him, and Old "Spooky" Mulder was about to strike again. He sort of figured that by now she expected it from him and he wasn't about to disappoint her. Besides, after daring to wear that dress the night before, he realized that there was a wild side to his partner that he'd yet to see. And if all went well, he'd get to see a whole lot more of it. Tonight maybe, if he got *lucky*.

Finally after about fifteen minutes of pulse pounding, bone jarring driving, Mulder saw his destination in sight. He turned the bike off the Beltway and onto the surface streets. It didn't take long until they were at their destination. Even without looking at her, he knew Scully was wondering what he was up to.

"I thought there wasn't supposed to be any conspiracy stakeouts."

"There's not," he remarked, pulling into the vacant lot adjacent the Jefferson Memorial. Parking the bike, he got off, took off the sunglasses and then urged, "come on."

At that she got off the cycle and let him lead her towards the grassy area in the shadow of the monument and along the water. The sun was going down and the way it lit everything was spectacular. As they rounded a tree, there, smack dab in the middle of the area was a table set for two and a bottle of wine cooling in an ice bucket next to it. The obviousness of his preplanning all this shocked and flattered her at once.

"I thought you weren't doing anything romantic," she said, astonished as they approached the table. Then she giggled. He'd ordered them Chinese. It was just like Mulder to go to all the trouble to set up this fancy table and bring in some fine wine, and then serve take out.

"I didn't say not romantic . . . I just said creative," he said with his trademarked lopsided grin as he pulled out a chair for her to sit.

"I have to give you that one," she admitted, sitting down. "How'd you do all this?"

"Trade secret. Gotta keep some of my mystery Scully."

They ate and talked, avoiding mentioning work, just as he'd insisted on. It was all very illuminating. Except they seemed to also be skirting around the "other" issue they both knew had to be talked about. But *after* dinner, they both resolved mentally, the subject was going to be dealt with.

After dinner they got up and Mulder guided them to the waters edge, both of them sitting down. He sat behind her, and tugged on her shoulders, encouraging her to lay back. As she did so, she ended up using his chest as a pillow of sorts. The feelings she was having were starting to get out of control. At this rate if he asked her to come home with him, she wouldn't say no. *If* she didn't invite him home with her first.

Comfortable and contented where she was and what she was thinking, Scully let out a little sigh. The wonderful meal, the relaxing downtime and the gorgeous company were all casting their spell on her.

Hearing her, Mulder tightened his arms around her, loving the feel of being able to hold her like this. That she was letting him. Now all he had to do was figure out how to talk her into doing something more than this. Into their admitting their feelings and making some decisions about the direction the relationship was going.

With her sigh, he knew what to say to break the proverbial ice.

"So, was that just a friendly sigh?" he asked humorously, jokingly referring to her kiss comment the night before.

"Yes. Did you want to hear a real sigh?" she questioned seriously, and he could almost see her expression in his mind, her eyebrow arched and her mouth pursed in seriousness. The look that always made him want to kiss her until she was breathless.

The prospect of doing something to her that would produce a real sigh made his mind numb and his heart race. With a slow but deliberate move he turned her around to face him, and she ended up kneeling between his legs, facing him. And the look of desire he could see in her eyes just about did him in.

But he was going to follow her lead, even if it killed him. Which he hoped wouldn't be the case.

"Most definitely Dr. Scully," he informed her in a low voice.

She simply smiled at him. A sexy, seductive smile that all but called to him. So he pulled her into his arms, and proceeded to kiss her. First her mouth, then he moved on to her cheek and jaw line. When his lips grazed her neck, he felt and heard the sigh escape her throat. The rumble it produced, rippling the muscles in her neck just about threw him into overdrive, and he felt like he'd run a marathon.

"Mulder," she said on a gasp, the sensation of his lips on her causing her to throw all her reservations out the window. She needed a second to catch her breath, so she pushed away, looking into the hazel eyes that questioned her.

"What Scully? Why did you pull away?" he asked, concern lacing his voice. "I thought . . ."

"Not here. Take me home," she informed him in a breathy tone that set every nerve Mulder had aflame. She saw his face fall, and realized he thought she was rejecting him, so she rephrased her last statement. "Take *us* home."

At that a very sexy grin replaced the sorrowful look that had been threatening to take over. Taking her hands, he rose, drawing her up along with him. She came easily, and they stood there for a long moment, staring into each other's eyes. It was there that the words that they were on the verge of admitting had always been visible. The windows of the soul always told the truth. The truth that they loved one another. Needed each other. Belonged with each other and to each other.

"I love you Dana," he whispered, pulling her into a fierce embrace.

"I love you too," she replied in a voice just as hushed.

Leaning down, he kissed her again. A kiss like they'd shared the night before. But tonight, tonight he'd get more than just that one kiss. More than just a sigh. He was going to get a *whole* lot more.

He *knew* it.

Breaking apart, they walked hand in hand back to the motorcycle, headed for home. Headed for their future. Together.

-End-

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