Love Among the RuinsLOVE AMONG THE RUINS
Part 2: Mephitis Mephitica
Brandon D. Ray

"Do you practice that look in front of the mirror? Or did you do it too much when you were a kid, and your face froze that way, just the way the grownups always warned us?"

"So I smell good."

"Well, yeah."

"Funny. That's not what you said before."



"Scully? You want to help me out here? Because I think you lost me at the last turn. Or maybe the one before that."

"Mulder." Pause. "You're hopeless." Pause. Sigh. "I guess it's time for another story, isn't it."

"Another story? You mean like --"

"Yes, I mean like."

"Is it lame, like the last one you told me?"


"Ouch! Lame, Scully. Very lame. Fingerpaints, and they weren't flavored, either. And you didn't even have an orgasm."

"It *was* our first time, Mulder."

"In your mind."

"Yes. Our first time in my mind. And besides, you interrupted me when you came to the door. Remember? If you hadn't --"

"Ah, yes. So you're saying that this time I *didn't* interrupt you?"

"You'll just have to wait and see."

* * *

At least the motel is almost empty. I'm sure the owners are unhappy about that, but all it means to me is that there's plenty of hot water. I reach out and turn the faucet, and the spray from the shower gets a little hotter. Ahhh. Perfect.

I begin to scrub, working the cheap motel soap into as good a lather as it's capable of. Note to myself: after two years and then some of running off across country at a moment's notice, you'd think I'd be smart enough to make sure all my damned toilet items were packed before I jumped in the car.

Check that. Not *smart* enough -- if I were smart, would I still be doing this job? *Experienced* enough, though. God knows this isn't the first time, or even the second or third, that I've managed to get out in the field, only to find that I'd forgotten some essential personal item. Mulder thinks I'm some avatar of organization and orderliness, but ....

Shit. Mulder. That son of a bitch. I can't believe he said that to me, after I came running in the middle of the night, *again*, and saved his ass, *again*. I can't believe he even *thought* it.

**What? What'd I say?**

**I can't believe you don't remember this.**

**Scully, you gotta give me some help, here. You can't convict a man without even telling him what the charges are!**

**Just wait.**

And that was the problem, of course. Waiting. I'd been waiting for -- well, sometimes it seemed as if I'd been waiting for eternity, but that wasn't really true. We'd only been working together since '93, and he hadn't really started to get under my skin -- not in *that* way -- until after I was abducted and returned. I'd admit to the occasional stray thought --

**Stray thought? Those fingerpaints sounded like more than a stray thought.**

**Shut up.**

-- the occasional stray thought, but that was as far as it went, that first year. After that, however ....

I turn under the shower, letting the spray wash over my back, then tilting my head to wet my hair. I reach out, eyes closed, and fumble with the tiny little complimentary bottle of generic shampoo, and wind up dumping more than is strictly necessary onto my head.  Well, maybe not more than's necessary *this* time. It really is going to take some work to get the stench out.

War of the Coprophages

"'Scully, you smell bad,'" I mutter, gritting my teeth as the words bounce back from the walls of the shower. "'*Bambi* has this theory I've never come across --'"


**Mulder -- shut *up*.**

I slam the shampoo bottle back into its little niche, and try not to fume while I lather my hair and rinse it out. The water continues to pour down on me, hot and steamy, gradually working the kinks and knots out of my muscles. Slowly, slowly, just a little at first, I start to relax.

I don't know what I expected when I came racing up here. I truly don't. Yes, Mulder's my partner. Yes, he sounded like he was getting himself into some extracurricular trouble. But what else was new? It wasn't like he'd broken into another military base, or had Black Ops troopers on his ass again. This had been an agricultural research station, for God's sake. And Dr. Berenbaum -- well, she was a lot of things, but she was certainly no Cancerman.

**What sort of things, Scully?**


**You said Bambi was a lot of things, but that she was no Cancerman. What sort of things did you have in mind?**

**Oh, come on!**

**No -- I truly want to know. What were you thinking? You weren't -- you weren't jealous, were you? Were you really worried about me?**

**I always worry about you, Mulder.**

**That's all the answer I'm going to get, isn't it?**

**Yes. Now do you want to hear the rest of this story? Or shall we talk about something else? Sheriff Hartwell, perhaps?**

**Shutting up.**

What I really want, I finally admit to myself, is a little gratitude. Some sign that Mulder appreciates my efforts on his behalf. I'd dropped everything, just as I always did, and got here just in time to save the day, just as I always did -- and what's my reward? He openly drooled over that USDA bimbo, then he insulted me, and now, finally, he's abandoned me in another cruddy motel, with nothing but generic soap and shampoo for company.

I turn my face into the spray again, eyes closed, and try to force the unpleasant thoughts away. What I need is a distraction. A diversion. Something to take my mind off all the crap that had literally just been thrown at me. I need ... I need ....

Yes, I think, as my hand strays down across my belly, smoothing away the last of the suds. Yes, that would do nicely. What I need is a little stress relief; a little release.

I let my hand continue southward, trailing my fingertips through my curls, while I bring the other one up to caress and pinch one of my nipples. Yesss ... yes, this is good. The water is warm and relaxing, and already I can feel my troubles start to drift away. The only thing that would make it better would be if it was someone else's hands doing this to me --

The sudden draft of cool air takes me by surprise, and I start to turn to see what's caused it ... but then I'm aware of someone stepping into the shower behind me. Someone large and comforting and masculine. I have a quick flash of Anthony Perkins, knife held high, but I reject the thought. Not here. This is someone ... someone a little dangerous, perhaps, but nevertheless someone I can trust. I don't have to open my eyes to see him; I already know what he looks like. He's tall and dark, his nose is a little too big, and his hazel eyes are full of regret.

"I'm sorry, Scully," he whispers, his mouth hovering next to my ear as he bends over me. I shiver a little at the sound, but I do not speak, and after a moment, he repeats, "I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me. Let me make it up to you."

He touches me then, his hands large and warm and heavy as they glide across my shoulders and down my arms. His fingers are slick and oily -- with what? He brings one hand up to caress my cheek, and then suddenly I know, because I can smell it. It's ... yes, it is. It's that lilac scented shower gel, the one that I almost never buy because it's so expensive, and there's no one in my life who I really need to impress right now.

But God, it feels so good, and the scent is so wonderfully understated. And Mu -- and this man, this wonderful man, somehow he knew what I wanted, what I needed, and he's brought it to me. Now he's rubbing it into my skin, massaging my poor, tired muscles, his hands gliding across my body, spreading heat and pleasure wherever they go.

He seems to know just how to touch me, in all the right places. It's almost as if he can read my mind. I sigh with contentment as he tilts my head forward, once more dousing my hair as he works at it with his fingers, his nails scraping my scalp, sending tingles of electricity down my spine. The shower is now filled with the scent of lilacs, and I moan with pleasure as his hands work their way down the back of my neck, his thumbs pressing delicately but firmly at each vertebra before moving on to the next.

His hands continue past my shoulders, onto the planes of my back. I arch against him, momentarily trapping his hands between my back and his chest. I feel his erection brush against my lower back, but there's no insistence there, no demand. It's there for me if I want it, and not if I don't.

**Not if you don't???**

**That's right. This is my fantasy; I get to have things however I want them. You got a problem with that, Detective Kresge?**

**That was low.**

**It was meant to be.**

His hands are sliding and tickling across my hips, probing here, touching there, leaving trails of fire in their wake. His fingers hesitate, hovering along the crease between thigh and pelvis, and I shudder, involuntarily jerking back against him. A moan fills the shower, echoing off the walls, and I know it came from me.

And now he begins moving upwards, stroking my belly, tracing the outlines of my ribs. It would tickle if I weren't so aroused, but at this point, every part of my body is an erogenous zone. His knuckles brush the undersides of my breasts, eliciting another moan ... and then his hands turn, and he cups them, running his thumbs across my nipples.

Lightning. I've seen that metaphor used in fiction, in those cheap romance novels that Missy used to buy, but now, for the first time in my life, I know that it actually can feel like that. The hot, urgent sensation jolts through my body. My eyes slam shut, my knees turn to jelly, and I sag back against Mulder --

**Thank you.**

**You didn't really think it could be anyone else, did you?**

**Not really. But, well, you know ... Thank you.**

**You're welcome.**

-- knowing I can depend on him to keep me from falling. He wraps his arms around me and steadies me, holding me close against him. His hands are still cupping my breasts, and I thrust them forward, arching my back in a silent plea for more contact.

And he obliges me, rubbing and kneading them, pinching and squeezing my nipples, and everything is just so, so right. My head is thrown back against his shoulder, my eyes are closed, and I'm breathing through my mouth, in short, sharp gasps. The shower is still on, spraying hot water on everything, but I barely notice, as the heat from the body pressed up against mine overwhelms all other sensations.

After some endless, unmeasurable time, his hands start sliding downwards again, retracing their bath across my ribs and abdomen, softly caressing my waist and hips ... and finally, finally, arriving where I most want them. I ease my thighs apart, his fingers quest forward, burrowing through my mound of curls, teasing my lips, and --


I don't even know if I said the words aloud, but I can hear them echoing through my head. Mulder's fingers are everywhere, stroking and touching, exploring my folds. I thought I knew power when he was playing with my breasts, but this ... this is unbelievable. Unbelievable, and almost unbearable. He's touching me everywhere I want to be touched, and I'm rotating my hips, jerking them and making incoherent sounds of approval and encouragement.

I don't know how much more of this I can take. The tension is building and building inside me, burning like a flame low in my belly. Mulder's fingers are moving faster, faster, hitting all the right spots, driving me higher and higher and higher. I'm on the brink. I'm almost there. I can feel it, hovering all around me and inside me, making me quiver with breathless anticipation --

And Mulder plunges a finger inside me, then two, then three, pumping quickly and curling them up and forward, pumping, pumping ... and then his thumb strokes the tight bundle of nerves at my very center --

The world explodes. I can't see, I can't think, and I certainly can't speak. I'm making low, guttural sounds, but I can barely hear them over the roaring in my ears. Wave after wave after wave, the orgasm is washing through me and around me. For a few seconds or minutes or hours everything else just goes away, and I'm floating there, surrounded by warmth and pleasure. I could die at this moment and not care --

Suddenly the water is off, and I'm being scooped off my feet. I give a short, undignified squawk, but then my arms are around his neck and he's cradling me close against his chest. He's amazingly steady on his feet, despite the slippery floor of the stall. He brushes the shower curtain aside with his shoulder, and steps out into the bathroom.

The next thing I know, I'm standing on my feet and being wrapped in a towel -- and not one of the damned, thin, threadbare towels supplied by the motel, but a big, fluffy one that's somehow still warm from the dryer. My skin is warm and tingly as Mulder rubs me down, his hands large and strong and comforting as he works at me through the towel.  He kneels before me, head bent, and carefully dries my calves and ankles -- he even dries between my toes. Then he rises to his feet, lifts me once more into his arms, and carries me off to bed.

I snuggle down square in the middle of the canopied, king-sized bed that has somehow suddenly appeared in the Miller's Grove Motor Lodge.  Mulder crawls in after me, pulling the blankets up around our shoulders and taking me into his arms. I smile, and sigh, and turn on my side, and he spoons up behind me, warm and loving and comforting. Just before I drift off to sleep, I whisper a single word:


* * *

"Wow.  Scully.  That was ... that was pretty good."

"Not lame?"

"Not lame at all. I'm ... I'm impressed. And aroused."

"It got me through the night, anyway. More to the point, it kept me from wanting to kill you the next morning."

"That's a good thing."

"At the time it was a practical decision ... but I've come to realize that there are other, less tangible advantages to keeping you alive."

"Hey! That's something pretty tangible you've got hold of."

"Yes, it is. And getting more tangible by the minute. Mmmm. What you're doing feels good, too."

"Glad to be of service. Ahh. Yes. Like that ... just ... just lift your knees a little. Oh yes. You know, there was only one thing missing from your story. One thing you left out. But I think I've already figured out how to fix it."


Go to Part 3: SHE IS ME by Bonetree