by Maria O'Rourke
"This is getting us absolutely nowhere..." Scully said as she followed Mulder through the maze of chairs and tables of the restaurant. "If Jakes is in here, then we'll find him quicker if we split up..."
"There's no if's about it Scully..."Mulder retorted sharply. "He's in here, we followed him or don't you remember that?"
"All I remember is you calling me at three in the morning and telling me to get ready to go chase some physco around Washington in the freezing cold..."
"It’s not freezing,” he protested.
"Mulder.." she said, sounding annoyed as looked at the window at the front of the restaurant. "It’s snowing for God's sake!"
"I thought you liked the snow,” he said, smiling slightly at her annoyance.
"Not at three in the morning I don't...." she answered.
"Fine." he said, stopping. "We'll split up, at least that way I can get away from your whining!"
"Whining?" she asked in disbelief.
"Yes Scully..." he replied evenly. "Your *whining*!"
She didn't even answer him, just took off out the door and into the back of the restaurant. He took one last look at the door and then turned to go up the stairs.
"I'll give him ‘whining,’" she said angrily as she held the gun in front of her.
It was so damned dark in here that she didn't know where she was going. She'd banged her shins twice already from banging into objects on the ground but she couldn't turn on the light. She didn't know where the hell the switch was.
Imagine Mulder, Mr Personality of the Year, telling *her* that *she* was whining? What the hell kind of thanks was that for trudging out through this kind of weather at this time of night?
She looked down to her watch and saw, by the glowing numerals, that it was now twenty to four in the morning. She shook her head slightly.
"Come on Jakes..." she muttered. "Give me a break so I can get home..."
She spiralled around as she heard a noise from behind her.
"Mulder?" she questioned, gun still high in the air. There was no answer. She sighed and cursed her over-worked imagination. Seven years of following ghosts and goblins was playing havoc on her mind.
She turned and began to search again. She turned a corner and winced suddenly.
"God dammit!" she mumbled as her shin connected with another box of some sort. She'd be black and blue in the morning. She straightened up and saw a light at emanating from the other end of the wide hallway.
Coming closer she saw that there was a red substance at the edge of the opened door. She took a step forward and saw a man's foot lying limply. She approached, gun still drawn.
He sighed again and cursed that woman. He was pissed off. He didn't want to have to listen to someone complaining every time he asked them to do something.
He shook his head slightly and continued up the stairs. His gun was held in front of him as he turned the corner.
Why the hell had he asked her to come with him anyway? He should've known that she'd act like this. He should've known that he'd be better off coming on his own.
He should've known a lot of things by now, one of them being that Dana Scully was *not* a very nice person when woken up in the middle of the night.
He smiled slightly and continued searching through the sprawling upstairs of the restaurant. Lucky that a guy like Jakes would choose a big place like this to run into.
Well, it was lucky for Jakes at least. Mulder just wished that the guy could've run into a police cell on his own. At least that way, he wouldn't have had to listen to 'her' tell him how cold she was out in the snow.
Mulder turned as he thought that he could hear something coming from downstairs. A crash or something, well that's what it sounded like. He waited and listened but, on hearing nothing more, he continued back on his search.
Mulder had taken two paces when he stopped short. He'd heard a gunshot and it was coming from downstairs.
"Scully!" Mulder called and he ran down the stairs. There was a second gunshot and he quickened his pace.
Her hand gripped the handle to the door to the meat-locker but as soon as she did, she was pushed back as the door slammed against her body.
She fell to the ground and she felt her gun fly out of her reach as she hit the group of pots beside the wall.
She lay there for a moment, stunned for a split second before she realised that she had to get to the gun.
She made a jump for the gun but the male hand swept down and grabbed it before she had a chance.
She looked up into the raving eyes of Kenneth Jakes before she made a jump for him. She heard the first bullet being fired as he pulled the trigger but in a split second she felt the second tear into her flesh.
She fell to the ground with a thud as she heard Mulder's voice coming from the door.
She wanted to shout to him, warn him but she couldn't find her voice, she couldn't feel herself anymore as she was enveloped by black.
"Scully?" he called again, gun drawn as he headed into the kitchen.
"Dammit!" he muttered as he banged his shin on something lying on the ground. He looked downwards and saw that it was the leg an upturned chair.
He came to a turn and saw that there was a small puddle of red lying in the middle of the floor. He approached the substance and bent down to see if it was what he thought it was.
He touched it gently with his fingertips and saw that it was blood. He shook his head slightly and rose. As he rose slowly, he saw that there was a trail of the red plasma leading to a meat locker.
"Scully?" he called again, worried now as there was no answer to any of his calls.
His hand rested on the handle when he turned on hearing a noise behind him. He felt the barrel of the gun hit into his jaw and he fell backwards, against the door.
The hand of Kenneth Jakes reached down and dragged him up, hitting him a second time, at the back of the head.
Mulder lay stunned on the ground as Kenneth grabbed the neck of Mulder's leather jacket and dragged him into the meat locker.
He was cold. His finger-tips were frozen solid as he rose off the floor. He looked around and saw his own cold breath blow in front of his face. He rubbed his hands furtively together to generate some kind of heat and it was then that he saw it.
He saw what had attracted him to here in the first place. The small pool of blood which he had seen was now a larger one, surrounding Scully.
He slid over and shook her gently. She had a nasty mark on her left temple. He looked to his watch.
It'd been at least 40 minutes since he'd been knocked out. He felt the back of his scalp and found a small bump, along with a little blood. He then turned his gaze to the ground below and saw that the little blood he had was nothing compared to what had come from his partner.
"Scully..." he shook her gently at first but then a little harder as she wasn't wakening.
After about three minutes, her eyes opened groggily and then she winced, feeling her shoulder.
"What happened?" she asked, dazed slightly.
"You got shot..." he replied and she sat up with his help.
"Why am I cold?" she asked and Mulder smiled slightly.
"You're in a meat-locker..." he replied and she opened her eyes more and looked around at the shelves of meat and other products.
"How did I get shot?" she asked and he shrugged.
"I didn't see it...."
"You were upstairs..."
"On your orders.."
"Don't you dare try and pin this on me Fox Mulder!" she ordered and he licked his lips to warm them.
"Not a chance..."
She shook her head as he was still smiling.
"So..." she said. "What do we do now?"
"Wait till it opens tomorrow..." he said and she shook her head.
"Mulder..." she began. "Unlike you, the rest of the world does actually take Christmas off..."
"I forgot about that...." he said, sighing. "It's a holiday..."
"And nobody will be coming in to open the restaurant.." she finished. He turned to look at her.
"I do take Christmas off.." he proclaimed.
"Since when?" she questioned, her senses returning slightly.
"Christmas Eve, Mulder..." she said. "1998...."
"That was different...."
"What was so different?" she asked, sitting up against the wall of the locker and blowing on her hands. "We were chasing ghosts for God's sake!"
"We?" he asked, looking at her as he scooted in beside her. "I seem to remember you were very unwilling to attend..."
She threw him a 'look' and sighed, shoving her hands between her legs to keep them somewhat warm. Her shoulder ached, she closed her eyes but then re-opened them quickly, not wanting to fall asleep.
"You stole my car-keys...."
"I did not!" he replied innocently and she shook her head.
"What's the use?" she asked and turned, smiling. "You're just plain narcissistic about these things...."
"I don't *do* funny Mulder..."
"The same way that I don't do faces..." he replied sharply and she turned to look at him.
"You do too do faces!" she replied and his eyes looked upwards.
"You admitted it when you were trapped in that vending room in Dallas..."
"I was facing a bomb!"
"You made the face though...."
He rubbed his hands together, not even trying to answer her.
"My arm is sore Mulder..." she said and his concerned gaze turned towards her.
"Do you know if it went through or not?"
"I don't remember, I don't know..."
"Let me have a look...." he said evenly and her face spun around dramatically.
"You've got to be kidding me Mulder..."
"What's wrong with me having a look at your shoulder?"
She wrapped her arms protectively around her body, pulling her jacket closer around herself.
"That's not a reason..."
"Mulder..." she began. "We're in a meat-locker and you want me to strip down?"
"Not necessarily strip down, although you wouldn't hear a 'no' from me..."
She hit him on the arm.
"Well glad to see that you can still feel something..."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing can be made from nothing..."
"Stop quoting Shakespeare at me!" she almost shouted and he smiled.
"What did you mean "at least I feel something?"
"I said leave it..."
"Fine..." she repeated.
There was a momentary silence.
"I need to see if it's alright..." he muttered quietly.
She swallowed hard and shook her head defiantly.
"Scully, I've seen it before for God's sake...." she spun him a look. "On our first case, or have you omitted that from your memory too?"
"Don't talk to me about that..."
"Why not?" he asked. "I thought that it was cute..."
"You thought that it was cute that I thought I was abducted by aliens and scared half to death?"
"No.." he smiled. "I thought that it was cute that you wore cotton panties..."
"Well you did...." he said with an ever growing smile.
She shook her head in disbelief.
"I don't believe you Mulder!" she said and he sighed.
"Scully..." he repeated again. "You said yourself it was sore..."
"I can't..." she said. "I just can't..."
"Fine, bleed to death..."
Mulder sighed again and Scully turned to him, the silence seemed to be finally getting to him.
"What?" he asked and she shook her head.
"I never said a word...." she replied and he turned away.
"You didn't have to...."
She decided not to dignify that with an answer.
"So how did you manage to get yourself shot?"
"He tricked me..."
"You?" he asked sarcastically. "The wonderful Dana Scully?"
"Mulder, you're acting like a spoiled brat, what the hell is the matter with you?"
"Nothing is the matter with me Scully, I just wanted to see your damned shoulder!"
"Well you can't okay, and that's that!"
"What if you die?"
"What?" she asked in disbelief that he's said such a cruel thing.
"You're in a meat locker bleeding from a wound you won't let me see and you don't think that it's a possibility that you could die?"
"I'm not going to die Mulder.....don't be stupid..."
"Me?" he questioned sharply. "*I'm* the one being stupid am I?"
Her head began to roll.
"Scully!" he said and slapped her about the face.
"Now you've resulted to assault have you?" she asked smiling and he turned her face up to his.
"You're going to have to let me stop the bleeding, let my mind rest..."
Her head slipped a bit.
"Scully!" he slapped her around the face again. "Why not?"
"Because I'd have to take off my top off..." she said, waking up more and sitting up and turning away from him.
"Why should you be embarrassed?" he asked gently. "I wouldn't see anything, you'd have a.." he stopped suddenly and she turned to face him.
"In the hurry I hadn't time to...." she didn't finish.
"You're not wearing a bra?" his voice croaked and she took a deep breath and nodded slowly.
"Okay......" he said and nodded slowly in response. "I see the problem..."
Mulder's hands clasped across his face and he sighed slightly, licking his lips.
"If you're looking Mulder...." she warned. "I swear that I'll kill you before the cold has a chance!"
"Scully..." he said, smiling. "My back is turned and I can't see a stem...."
"Okay..." she said and he turned around. He bit his lip to stop himself from smiling.
The infamous Agent Doctor Dana Scully stood and looked at him, covering her chest with her arms and a folded jacket.
"I'll make it quick..." he promised and he took the cloth he'd found from the wall as she shivered before him.
He bent down over her back, his eyes lingering a little too long on the flesh underneath her arm and then returned to their task.
He ran his hands over the wound slowly and she winced and cringed as he worked his hands down along her shoulder.
"Sorry....." he apologised as she jumped slightly with pain.
"It's getting stiff Mulder..."
"I know...." he said gently and ripped the material. "It went through....."
"Could..." she paused. "Could you hurry up please?"
His concerned face looked down at hers and saw that her lips were turning a light shade of blue.
"Sure..." he said, rubbing his hands down her back to warm it. "Just hold still for a moment...."
"Not a problem..." she assured, leaning forward on her knees.
Mulder's hands moved swiftly across and under her shoulder. He wrapped the material around the wound, making sure to keep it loose enough for her to be comfortable.
"Finished..." he said, satisfied with his handy work. His face changed as he realised that she was non-moving.
"Scully?" he asked, lifting her face up to see if she was okay, her eyes were closed and he could see that she was falling unconscious.
"Scully!" he said, pushing her down on the ground and slapping her gently about the face.
Her eyes were heavy but when she smelled the light aftershave she opened them.
She found herself looking at Mulder's jumper clad chest.
"What happened?" she asked and he prevented her from moving when she tried to get up.
"Don't move..." he said evenly, his voice a little on edge. "You don't have any clothes on..."
"Well no top clothes anyway...."
"Why the hell not?" she asked, bringing her hands up to cover her bare chest.
"Well, you fell unconscious and your clothes got wet so I had to warm you up..."
She didn't say anything.
"Scully?" she heard his voice ask from above her and she lay still.
"I.." he stopped and took a deep breath. "I saw you when you were changing..."
"What?" she asked, confused slightly.
"When you were changing over in the corner," he paused. "I could see your reflection on the wall in front of me..."
"Well, it was pointless now, considering this..."
"Just what exactly *is* this Scully?"
"You're trying to keep me warm..." she stated and he nodded.
"I get that part..."
"Well, what other part is there to get?"
"Nothing..." he said meekly and she huddled closer to him.
"Scully?" his voice came again and she looked up expectantly.
"Yeah Mulder..." she asked and she saw a funny change of colour in his eyes. The next thing she knew, his lips were on hers and she felt the warm saltiness of his flesh on hers. She ran her hand around his back and he drew away.
"I kissed you..." he stated and she nodded numbly.
"I got that part..." she said and then she looked up to him again, her lips reaching for his again. She pressed against him and found her breasts pressing against his jumper, she could faintly feel a little pressure against her leg as she lay beside him.
Her hands moved around his back again when she turned surprised to find the door opening.
"What the hell?" she heard a surprised voice ask from the door and Mulder and Scully looked up from where the sat.
Scully was sitting against Mulder, her body encased in his coat, along with his.
The next thing the two agents knew was the laughter emanating from the doorway.
Washington Memorial Hospital.
Two days later.
His footsteps bounced off the white walls of the hospital corridor as he walked towards the end of the linoleum floor.
The flowers in his hand were clutched tightly as he approached the door and he stopped before entering, hand on the handle.
Before he had a chance, the door opened before him and Skinner turned to come out of the room. His surprise to see Mulder vanished within seconds.
"Mulder..." he said, nodding. "How are you feeling?"
"Like I have a bad case of frost bite..." he replied and Skinner smiled faintly.
"Well..." he began, exiting from Scully's doorway. "You should've called for back-up.."
Mulder sighed and Skinner smiled.
"I'll be expecting a full report on my desk..." he said and Mulder nodded. "A *full* report Mulder..."
Skinner turned and began to walk away. Mulder wondered just how much of the gossip Skinner had heard and/or believed.
Even Mulder himself had heard the rumours flying around wildly about what happened two nights ago with Scully in the locker.
"Are you coming in or what?" a voice demanded from within the room and he turned and gave her a lopsided grin.
"Glad you're back to your old self.." he remarked and she smiled sarcastically.
"And who did we rob those flowers of this time?" she asked, taking them from him. "Woman in labour?"
"No, the father actually..."
There was a slight silence and then she sat up further in the bed, careful to keep the covers tight to her chest.
"How's work?" she asked and he turned to her and smiled.
"I didn't come to talk about work.."
"Then what did you come to talk about?"
That two-letter word. She almost cringed on hearing it. She'd imagined what would happen when he finally took it upon himself to kiss her and when he had, she'd wanted more and that had frightened her. Frightened her more than anything she'd ever felt before.
"Scully?" Mulder asked, waving a hand in front of her face.
"Huh?" she could hear herself ask and Mulder smiled.
"I said..." he paused, unsure of how to continue. "What happened in the meat-locker?"
"You kissed me..." she replied and he nodded.
"Then you kissed me..."
"I was cold..." she half-lied. She had been cold, but that wasn't the reason for her kissing him. "We both were...
"I got that part.."
"What more is there to say?"
"I.." he paused and she felt uncomfortable. "I felt something.."
"I wanted to kiss you Scully..." he looked up and into her eyes. "I wanted to kiss you for more reasons then being cold..."
She swallowed the lump forming in her throat.
"What are you saying Mulder?"
"I'm saying that it took a freezing night in a meat-locker for me to realise that I don't want to have to live without you..."
"I'm alive Mulder..."
"But you might not..." he said and she smiled. "Not if they hadn't opened the restaurant..."
"Mulder..." she said, taking his hand on impulse. "I know what you're trying to say...."
"Then why is it so hard for me to say it?" he asked and she smiled sadly as he sat on the edge of the bed.
"Because you're afraid.."
"Afraid?" he asked in surprise. "Of what?"
"Everything...." she began, dropping his hand and running it through her hair. "Of what would happen if they were to get me again......"
"I'm not going to let that happen Scully...."
There was a momentary silence before he rose.
"I could never go back Scully..."
"Back?" she asked, puzzled.
He turned away from her and looked out the window.
"Back to watching you when you're not looking and wanting to kiss you so bad but being afraid that you'll reject me or some god-dammed ass will walk in..."
"Mulder..." she began but he stopped her by placing a finger on her lips.
"Please..." he begged. "Let me finish..."
He took a deep breath and sighed, sitting on the bed again.
"I want you..." he said and smiled. "Not because I need to get warm but because I want you....."
There were tears in her eyes as she smiled slightly.
He shook his head.
"I've been wanting to do this for such a long time..." he said and he took her hand. "Call me Fox...."
She shook her head in disbelief and he hugged her gently. Smiling into her hair he withdrew and looked into her crystal blue eyes.
His lips descended onto hers slowly and he pressed against her gently, letting the warmth of her lips melt into his own and he let his hand wander through her hair and then he pulled away.
He watched as her eyes remained closed for a moment and then she opened them and smiled.
"Just one question Mulder..." she began. "Why did it take a night in a meat-locker and a gunshot to make you realise this?"
He shook his head and laughed.
"Guess it's one for the files Scully....."
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