Title: all things considered
Author: phantagrae
Rating: PG?
Classification: MSR, Haven September 5W Challenge
Feedback: Yes, please. phantagrae@earthlink.net

Disclaimer: Not mine. Sue me and all you get is topped off credit cards and a 9-yr-old car.
Acknowledgments: Okay, I'm a little intimidated 'cause I don't really write MSR and I've already read some really good stuff associated with this challenge... Thanks to those who encouraged me to try this and thanks to my Lil Sis for helping me out between the kids, puppy training class, the husband, and setting up a new computer. Also, thanks to the Havenite Fic Folder denizens for their encouragement and kind words, and to ChefLinda and Polly for their great suggestions. Challenge elements at the end.

Mulder's eyes snapped open. Did some sound wake him? He listened for a moment. Whatever it was, it was over now. He took a deep breath and turned his head.

He shot up to a sitting position.

"Scully?" He listened again to the pressing silence, staring at the empty side of the bed.

Did he dream it? Was that the imprint of his own head on that other pillow? But he was naked under the sheet. And he could smell her perfume on his skin. Or was that his imagination, too? He lay back again and rolled over to contemplate that empty space.

A long red hair lay across the pillow.

He touched it carefully, sure that it would disappear if he tried to test its reality. But it was real, and she had been real. In his bed. Real.

A smile spread slowly across his face as the memory warmed his body.

* * * * *

He looked over at her and saw that she had fallen asleep. So pretty. She's so pretty. He wanted to kiss her, but he settled for moving a lock of hair from her cheek, tucking it gently behind her ear.

He would leave her to her rest. He reached over to pull his woolen blanket across her shoulders, adjusting it to try to make her as comfortable as possible before he finally got up to get ready for bed.

He brushed his teeth, went to the bathroom, spared her one last peek, and then went into his room to put on his pajama pants and set his alarm for the morning.

He could feel her presence in the other room. She had told him about that other man. She told him, in a way, that she had finally realized that *this* was her life--her life with him--this was her destiny.

Is that what she meant? Or was he reading too much into it?

He drew back the covers and sprawled out on his bed. So much extra space.

Maybe he should have offered her the bed. He was used to sleeping on the couch. But he hadn't wanted to wake her. He knew that if he had, she would have said something practical and would have gone home.

At some point he must have drifted off because she was suddenly standing before him, her hand resting on his toes, warming him through the sheet.

"Scully? Is something wrong?"

"No, Mulder. Nothing's wrong." She smiled at him and sat on the edge of the bed, her hand going up to caress his bare shoulder, then his hair.

"Are you going home?" He blinked at her, even as his hands seemed to move of their own volition, sliding up her arms to gently grasp her shoulders.

"No, Mulder, I don't think I am." She bent toward him, her hair falling forward and creating a sort of secret place, a place where she kissed him, a place separate from the rest of the world. "I want to stay. Here."

He pulled her down across his body, returning her kiss, wrapping his arms around her, pressing her close, rolling her onto the bed beside him.

At last he pulled back a little, a frown pulling his eyebrows together.

"Scully, are you sure about this? I don't want to do anything either of us might regret tomorrow--or anytime."

"I'll be right back," she said, gently pushing him away.

His mouth began to form a question, but she put a finger across his lips and winked at him. "Wait."

She went no further than the foot of the bed where she removed her jacket, hanging it on the bedpost. She slipped out of the rest of her clothes while he blinked dumbly at her, beginning to wonder if this was simply some new variation on one of his recurring fantasies.

When she was down to her bra and panties she returned to the bed and slipped under the covers, drawing herself up against him, running her hands up and down his bare back.

"I'm sure, Mulder. Are you?"

He answered her with a kiss, gentle at first, but then pressing and eager as his heart flooded with more emotion than he could bear.

* * * * *

Lying in bed with the morning light streaming over him, the memory of her small hands undressing him, the perfect joining of their bodies, those emotions overcame him again. A pressing, warming, pinching of love in his heart.

The radio burst to life and he slapped the snooze button with a curse.

She had gone. Sometime before he was awake, she had decided to dress and leave. Without saying goodbye.

His bottom lip rolled out as he contemplated the possible meaning in her sudden departure. Maybe she wasn't as sure about last night as she thought she would be. Maybe she regretted it after all. Couldn't face him, had to go home and wash the night away.

But no, that wasn't how it had been afterward. It was so good, so right. The world had stopped spinning on its axis while they were together. How could it have been wrong?

The phone rang. He stared at it stupidly.

Was it her? Was she calling to tell him that it had all been a mistake? That she wouldn't be in to work this morning? He was afraid to answer it.


"Mulder, it's me..."

Challenge: 5Ws

WHO: Mulder and Scully
WHAT: Their first time
WHERE: Location, location, location
WHEN: When did it happen?
WHY: Premeditated or spontaneous?

Elements: Muldertoes, Scully being vocal (in any way), the Mulder Lip, a Wink.