I Can Love You Like That

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

4/06/97

Rating: PG for some lustful thoughts.

Disclaimer: M&S belong to C. C., FOX, 1013 Prod and DD & GA. "I Can Love You Like That" is by John Michael Montgomery, and is used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

Relationship: Major MSR. All of you STILL unconvinced that they feel this way about one another should hit the delete button now. I'm not taking any blame if you read it. <g>

Summary: While waiting on Scully, Mulder makes some curious discoveries about his partner and about his feelings for her.

Hi all! Well, it's a new MSR/song story. There has been such an influx of depressing stories (and I admit a few of them were mine) in the last few weeks that I felt like I needed to do a full-blown MSR piece to feel better. (Sorry about the delay. I gave my muses a week off for Easter. <g>) Now, to the story...

 

Scully was running late. An X-File in itself. So while she continued getting ready, Mulder tried to occupy himself by looking around her apartment as he waited for her.

Mulder wandered around Scully's living room as he waited, listening to the faint sound of the shower in her bathroom. He had been early, and her alarm had gone out, so he now restlessly waited for her so they could *both* make their 8:15 a.m. meeting with Skinner concerning their caseload.

To keep his mind off the image of her in her shower, wet and naked, he tried to concentrate on her apartment. He'd been there several times, but he'd never been afforded the chance to really look around. Or snoop, to be more blunt about it.

The family photos on the shelves and coffee table caught his attention, and he noted the ones of Melissa and Captain Scully. The pictures of the people she'd lost in the last few years caused him to sigh inwardly. As if she hadn't had enough pain in her life, he thought sadly. Shaking himself loose from those guilty thoughts, he ambled about, taking note of a knick-knack here or there.

Continuing to move around the apartment, he stopped and looked over the collection of books on her bookcase. There were medical texts and journals, non-fiction reading and biographies and some hefty coffee table books, the kind with lots of pictures. All the things he would expect to find on her shelves.

But stuck in a corner on the bottom shelf, he made a startling discovery. Dana Scully read romance novels.

With a tentative hand, he pulled loose one, then another of the paperback books from the shelf. He had to admit, the ones there were not the trashy type, with the heroine busting out of her blouse and the man all muscles and hair. No, these were more sedate, seemingly a bit more upscale than the norm. But just from the titles and the outlines in the jacket covers he knew that their main purpose was to interject some romance into someone's life that didn't have it.

The thought that Scully now, or had ever felt that way cut him to the quick.

Replacing the books where he'd found them, he walked away. Yet his mind was consumed by the thought of her reading these novels, wishing for that kind of feeling. That kind of passion to fall into her life. Seeing her in this new light, he now recognized the section of "girl" flicks within her video library and the CD's in her collection that comprised what he could only refer to as "mood" music.

With the suddenness of a light bulb turning on in his head, he realized that under her tough, no-nonsense exterior, Dana Scully was a romantic at heart.

That thought sent a chill through him as he imagined what Scully would be like in love. In bed. In bed with him . . . At that last thought he withdrew from the fantasies that his mind and heart were tempting him to follow.

Attempting to sidetrack himself, he set about looking closer at the CD's and their titles. He needed something to take his mind off the reality that the object of his lustful desires was in the bathroom, several feet from him, and was probably making her way out of the shower right then.

As he perused the titles in her CD rack, his eyes fell on male performer that looked interesting. Putting a hand on the case, he started to ease it out to glance at the titles. There were a couple that looked interesting and a sudden urge to hear them hit him.

"Hey Scully, can I play some music while I'm waiting? It's kinda boring out here all by my lonesome," he called out to her.

"Sure," she yelled through the wooden door separating them.

At that he took the disc and slipped it into the player. He listened to the songs that came up, one after another as he wandered around some more, the subject of his closet romantic partner still haunting him. Eventually he went in the kitchen and was pouring a glass of iced tea when he heard *it*.

"They read you Cinderella

You hoped it would come true

That one day your Prince Charming

Would come rescue you

You like romantic movies

You never will forget

The way you felt when Romeo kissed Juliet

All this time that you've been waiting

You don't have to wait no more

I can love you like that

I would make you my world

Move Heaven and Earth if you were my girl

I will give you my heart

Be all that you need

Show you you're everything that's precious to me

If you give me a chance

I can love you like that"

As he listened to the lyrics, he realized that the song was familiar. Actually more than familiar. In a split second he remembered her listening to this song on the radio a couple years back. He'd heard it so many times that he even remembered the words as clearly as if they'd been imprinted on his brain.

But back then he'd never associated Scully with the "woman" being sung to in the song.

And at the time, he never thought that he would feel like the man. One willing to give one woman everything she needed. Fully believing that he had the love she wanted and needed. That he could love someone that deeply.

And at the time he would never have thought that the woman he would be willing to do anything for like *that* would be Scully.

Yet that was before she had been taken away from him. Those long three months had changed him in more ways than he could count. But the biggest change was in how he looked at his partner. Not as just a friend. But as a potential lover. As a forever partner.

So as he listened, he began to mouth the words, feeling them in his soul. Then with the barest of whispers he began to say them. It didn't take long till he was quietly singing along. And with each line and phrase, he felt the emotions that he'd been harboring for his partner inching closer to the surface.

"I never make a promise I don't intend to keep

So when I say forever, forever's what I mean

I'm no Casanova but I swear this much is true

I'll be holding nothing back when it comes to you

You dream of love that's everlasting

Well baby open up your eyes

I can love you like that

I would make you my world

Move Heaven and Earth if you were my girl

I will give you my heart

Be all that you need

Show you you're everything that's precious to me

If you give me a chance

I can love you like that"

There had been a lot of times in the last two and a half years he'd wanted nothing more than to tell her. Times when he'd wanted to just toss off this cloak of lies and tell her the truth. That he loved her. That he wanted her. That he believed in them.

But he'd always stopped short. The seriousness and professionalism of Special Agent Dana Scully returned him to his place of unfulfilled dreams and desires.

Except now he believed that he'd finally seen past that armor, looked past the bravado that she held so dearly. Found the true heart of a romantic in Scully. All he had to do was say the words. Make the effort and pray that he was right. He needed to make her see what had been right in front of her all this time and acknowledge it.

"You want tenderness, I've got tenderness

And I see through to the heart of you

If you want a man who understands

You don't have to look very far"

Scully had opened the door to her bedroom, dressed in a work suit and ready to go just as the verse had begun. She had stood there in surprise, hearing singing coming from both her John Michael Montgomery CD and from Mulder's lips.

"I can love you

I can . . ."

Mulder turned and found Scully watching him. He knew that he had been caught red handed, his emotions totally open. Right then and there he realized that he had a choice. One that he had to make in a split second: To either stop singing and joke it off, or keep singing and let his emotions pour out of him through the words to her.

It wasn't until he looked right into her eyes that he made up his mind. Because what he saw there melted his heart and froze it at the same time. It was like an electrical bolt that struck him when she looked at him. Their eyes locked and held as he felt the warmth of a nova wash over him in the intensity of her gaze.

He realized that it was finally time to give voice to how he felt. To reveal himself, bring his emotions and desires known. He was finally ready to take that step, to acknowledge the truth that had laid between them for all these years. But he didn't have the words to express himself. So he decided to borrow them, and continued to sing.

And as he did, his eyes never left hers.

"I can love like that

I would make you my world

Move Heaven and Earth if you were my girl

I will give you my heart

Be all that you need

Show you you're everything that's precious to me

I can love you like that

I would make you my world

Move Heaven and Earth if you were my girl

I will give you my heart

Be all that you need

Show you you're everything that's precious to me

I can love you like that . . ."

The song began to fade away and Mulder let his voice disappear with it into silence. It was a full minute later before Scully walked unsteadily to the stereo and shut it off.

"If I didn't know you better Mulder, I would have sworn that you meant the words you were singing," she commented weakly, heading for the door. The action seemingly benign but he could tell that she was really trying to put some space between the two of them, and their emotions.

As she brushed past him, he knew she was giving him an out. She wasn't going to pursue it. Wasn't going to admit what she'd seen in his eyes blazing back at her. The same thing that he was now certain was mirrored in her own blue eyes.

He caught her arm as she walked away, and she spun around to look at him questioningly. There was a flicker of apprehension that sparked in her eyes, and Mulder smiled at her. At the sight of his tentative grin, she relaxed a bit in his grasp.

"I did," he said softly, the words heavy with meaning.

Her eyes widened and she felt her heart speed up. Yet she wasn't ready to take the leap of faith to think that he meant what she though he did. What she hoped he'd meant.

She knew how she had secretly felt about her partner for a while now. Subconsciously she'd realized how deep her feelings ran, knew how much she loved him. But him . . .

As only silence met her questioning gaze, she realized suddenly that he *was* talking about her. He did mean her. The surprise was overwhelming.

"Really?" she asked, her tone shaky even as he confidently walked into her personal space. Space that was hers before she'd walked into the basement in the J. Edgar Hoover building all those years ago. But now it was *his* space. Just like she was his for the asking.

"Those words are mine Scully," he replied huskily, then ran his fingers along her cheek before continuing on, rephrasing the words he'd just sung so she could understand exactly *how* he felt. "I can love you like that. You already are my world, and you know I have and would move heaven and earth for you. My heart is yours already. I'll be anything that you need me to be. You're everything that's precious to me in this life."

She let his words sink in, feeling the power those simple words had over her. Keeping her eyes on him, she watched for the slightest hint that he didn't want what she wanted: a love, a future, a relationship with her. And she found nothing there but his adoration and sincerity. With a smile that was anything but tentative, she prepared to give him the answer he deserved. One that had been long in coming.

"I know," she said quietly, awed and moved by his willingness to take the final leap of faith by saying the words. To finally admit the truth. To her and to himself. Just like she knew she had to do now as well. "And you know that I can and do love you too."

It was Scully that kissed Mulder, reaching a hand up and pulling his head down so she could meet his lips with hers. It was fiery and passionate, and almost made him lose his conscious thought.

"Scully," he murmured, breaking loose from the sweetness that had been pressed against his mouth.

"Hmm?" she asked distractedly, still focused on the man she loved in front of her.

"Can we continue this later, 'cause if we don't leave now, we're going to be late to see Skinner," Mulder informed her sincerely. She was almost concerned that he was putting her off, but the intense promise she found in his eyes derailed that thought in a hurry.

"Sure," she said happily, leading them to the door, "we've got all the time in the world."

And with that unspoken guarantee between them, they headed out the door and into their lives anew.

-End-

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