Rating: R for some bad memories and intensly nookie-based language
Classification: VRAH, AU, and more improbable scenarios.
Content: MSR and some other stuff you'll enjoy more if it's not spoiled in the headers.
Time Frame: Second follow
up to my story "The God of Your Whims". It would be helpful
to have read that, so you know how they ended up betrothed, but it's not
necessary. You can find it here.
And just to be convenient and all, here's the first sequel, "Pillow
Talk 1: Worth", and the final story which follows this one, "Pillow Talk 3: The Day".
Pillow Talk 2: Origins
by Livia Balaban
Just the right amount of time had passed, and I knew what to expect. It happened the same way every time. My breathing had slowed to normal and then slowed further, heralding the arrival of blessed, relieving sleep. Perspiration cooling on my brow, my cheek stuck to the pillow, my stressed muscles loosened, and I felt myself sinking heavily into welcome slumber.
The interruption was, as I had learned recently, inevitable.
"Scully, what made you want to be a pathologist at the Bureau?"
I sighed deeply and spoke with pillow-muffled gentleness. "Go to sleep, Mulder."
"Really," he yawned, "why did you want to cut up dead people and run around with a gun? That seems like a really specialized kind of kink."
"Excuse me, *kink*?" Only Mulder. Every other man on the face of planet Earth would have fallen into the sleep of death after sex that gymnastic. But he had dragged me back into consciousness, kicking and screaming, thus I found it effortless to attain my trademark playful condescension. "*KINK*? Which one of us," I asked, tapping my index finger accusingly on his shoulder, "suggested the incorporation of castanets into our nocturnal activities?"
"That," he replied slyly, "is a style choice. Performing autopsies and toting a gun is a kink."
Suppressing a smile, I admonished him with mock severity. "Go to sleep, Mulder. I'm exhausted." I was. It was wonderful.
Weaving his fingers together, he jauntily slapped his hands, palms-down, on his slick abdomen in a gesture of triumph. "Wore her out." He smiled. "I'm the man."
Pretending to be groggy, I mumbled, "Yeah, tell yourself that..." but before I could finish the thought with the sleepy recitation of his name, he had rolled toward me and pulled me over on to my back, so that he hovered over me, semi-playfully, semi-possessively. That smile of simulated ferocity has always been adorable.
"Spill, glorious screaming wench of Georgetown."
I kept my eyes firmly closed, and fought the laughter threatening to spill out. "I take exception to 'wench', Mulder. It's an atrociously sexist term." I conspicuously avoided contradicting the 'glorious' or 'screaming' parts, though. They were, of course, accurate.
He smiled broadly, and slid his hands from my arms down to my ribcage, pressing the tips of his fingers against my skin as a warning. He had threatened me thus before, and his meaning was clear: *Tell me what I want to know, or I will be forced to use these fingers to do the work of evil.*
Mulder was a vicious tickler.
I had never told him the joy I took in our brief and rare moments of unrestrained playfulness, but had always assumed he'd known. The rush of adrenaline, the blinding spasms of agonizing pleasure, the unrestrained, girlish giggling, I loved almost every aspect of it. Everything except the loss of control, but I'd learned that he could be trusted with it. He knew which warnings were real and which were bluster. He would stop when I asked properly.
"Why," he asked with counterfeit menace, accentuating each word with fingertip pressure, "did...you...become...an...*armed*...forensic...pathologist?"
Committed to the course of conversation, I capitulated. "Because I could."
He looked down at me with an expression of annoyance. "Well, that clears that up. Thanks." He rolled off me, and with his hands beneath his head on the pillow, appeared to be waiting for more.
Mulder would volley, and I would fake a return. He would pout and I would cave. It was tradition. I had always found him terribly fun to tease, but eventually all the games gave way to conversation. It was no different that night in my bed. I explained.
"I've always loved figuring out how things worked. When I was nine, I rewired my mother's dishwasher. Until I learned an especially harsh lesson from a dead rabbit, I was one of those awful little kids who tore the legs and wings off insects."
His playfulness returned, as it always did. "Scully," he scolded.
"Not that I would have escalated to birds or quadrupeds, mind you. I am *not* serial killer material." I thought for a moment, and startled him with my next confession. "Hmmm, actually, that's not entirely true. I vividly remember tearing into that frog in ninth grade biology with genuine enthusiasm."
The corners of his mouth turned up, just a little.
"I followed the procedures outlined by our teacher, but when I finished the assigned tasks early, I continued to work, examining muscles and ligaments, and eventually stomach contents. I found two legs and one wing from some sort of insect, and I spent the remainder of that class and the next few hours after school attempting to determine what kind of insect they had come from."
"Your first autopsy," he cooed, smirking mischievously. "How precious."
Determined to punish him for editorializing on my past, I said nothing. When Mulder wanted information, the simplest way to torment him was to simply withhold it. He would surrender soon enough.
He drummed his fingers rhythmically on his chest.
I said nothing.
He bit his lip and twitched his right foot.
Silence met him.
"Okay, I'll bite," he said finally, rolling on to his side to face me.
I turned my head, stretching it up and to the side, exposing the full length of my neck. He knew what to do. I would wait for it all night if I had to.
"I meant that figuratively," he teased, and I pouted, unmoving. After a delicate nip of my skin, and a quick, slick swipe of his tongue, he repeated himself. "I'll," <nip>, "bite. What kind of bug had the late Mr. Frog consumed during the final hours before his untimely demise at the hands of an overeager fourteen-year-old?"
"Ooh, two grades. I only skipped one."
"That's because I'm smarter than you," I teased.
With a little growl under his voice, he responded, "Smmart is sssexy," as he returned to my neck for a final series of nips and bites. I had never fully explained to him my passion for neck-biting and likely never would. It made me happy that he didn't seem to mind.
I turned my head to rest comfortably on the pillow again, and met his eyes with my own. "Actually, the parts had belonged to two different insects." He raised his eyebrows, and I continued. "One leg and the wing had originated from a common house fly."
"Mm. But the other leg..."
Mulder interrupted with incredulity. "You identified an insect from one partially-digested leg?"
"In ninth grade," I responded directly. "Take note of this, if you please, any time you're disinclined to accept my professional opinion."
"Done. Now come on, the suspense is killing me. What kind of bug was it?"
He rolled his eyes. "Okay, for the rest of the crowd?"
"A water strider."
"I told you," I yawned, "I'm good." I nestled in to the pillow and snuggled a little deeper under the comforter. "So when Mr. Phills told me I had a certain gift for the work, I took him seriously. I was already a big fan of..."
The silence was thick.
"What?" he asked.
"This is kind of embarrassing," I conceded.
Mulder leered, "Show me yours and I'll show you mine."
Undaunted, I leered back. "Been there, done that, used my tongue," and was rewarded with another growl deep from Mulder's chest, and another series of giggle-inducing neck nibbles.
"Okay, okay," I choked out, "but don't laugh."
"I'm serious, Mulder."
I took a deep breath and prepared myself. Really, it was nothing earth-shattering, but I had always seen myself as the bookish type, and confessing a connection to something that had always been within Mulder's pop-culture realm made me feel off-balance.
He understood immediately where I was headed. "Oh, Scully. You wanted to be *Quincy* when you grew up?"
"Yup." Actually, it was a relief to have it out. "NOT Sam. Quincy got to question people out in the field and develop his wild but scientifically-sound theories. Sam just sat back in the M.E.'s office and sliced open orange peels, looking for hypodermic needle punctures."
Mulder glowed with delight.
"At first, Mom and Dad thought the forensics idea was fairly horrifying. But they became accustomed to the idea by the time I 'd taken my rotations. But I'd wanted to be out in the field, not stuck in some sterile laboratory, so I signed up at Quantico. I think that's what made Dad and Bill so upset with me. It was only once I'd started weapons training that they realized I'd slammed the door shut on 'legitimate' medicine."
Anticipating Mulder's concerned question, I made my position clear. "And no, I don't regret it. Not one moment of it. Well, if there was a way I could go back and edit out some of the really horrible moments, I might."
Mulder saved that question for another day, and seemed pleased to discover I had the same notion.
It was my turn to ask, of course, so I stepped up to the plate and swung. "So tell me, since I showed you mine, why did you become a profiler?"
Mulder's simmering energy diminished suddenly, as if he'd been simply unplugged. After a few moments, he spoke, encapsulating all his motivation for such a huge decision in a single word.
I turned on my side, resting my cheek in my hand, and waited for Mulder to elaborate. He didn't seem to need verbal encouragement, merely the understanding that I was open to his history without judgement. I had almost never failed him in that regard.
"It's a long story...I've never told anyone about it."
I encouraged him anyway. "You can tell me anything."
He knew he could, but I think he feared my response.
"I was at Oxford, trying all different kinds of curriculum. I knew I'd wanted to go into psychology, but I still hadn't decided on a specialty. Clinical seemed interesting, and I'd always felt a bit of a pull toward family therapy, but once I started studying abnormal psychology, I was hooked. I still didn't know where I was going with it, but I knew I wanted to work with the seriously freakish.
"My relationship with Phoebe had just ended, and I wasn't in good shape. She had a knack for playing with my head, and I ended up - well, you know Phoebe. I was a mess. I'd stopped eating, I wouldn't work out, my study habits were shot to shit. I was in a bad way."
Phoebe. I bristled at the mere mention of her name. I am so predictable sometimes. I reached out and took his hand as he continued.
"One night, after a particularly rigorous exam, I was out getting hammered at one of the local pubs, and my friend Colin swooped down and...well...saved me."
He seemed to be struggling to find a way to explain the situation to me, and I wasn't surprised when he finally settling on lighthearted glibness. "Yes, it was *that kind* of swoop."
I tried to keep my expression open, so he would feel it was safe to continue.
"Colin and I had studied together for clinical psych, and when I'd stopped "coming 'round" to work, as he'd say, he got worried and hunted me down. He dragged me out of that pub and took me back to his room. He took care of me - thoroughly against my will, mind you - but he never gave up. He spent days trying to get me to eat and to crack open a book.
"I mean it, he saved me. He was so...I don't know...sweet. He was sweet. I guess I'd known he had a thing for me, but he never pressed the issue. He was just a concerned friend. It felt good to have someone want to take care of me without any expectations.
"Within about a week I was much better - I had more energy and a longer attention span - and I went back to staying in my own room. But I found I missed having Colin around, so we ended up spending more time together."
He looked at me, expressing the depth of his need to continue, but fearing my disapproval. He needn't have bothered. Continuing to gaze at him warmly, I silently willed him to continue. He had piqued my curiosity, and as shameful as it was to admit it to myself, I found the confession he'd been struggling toward nothing short of compelling. He'd hinted at this almost a week before, but at the time I'd assumed it was merely playful banter.
"Colin was incredible. He was intelligent and thoughtful and funny and cultured. He cooked like a demon on that little hotplate. I don't think I loved him, but I did feel genuine affection for him."
Mulder paused for a moment to collect his thoughts, and again I got the impression he was afraid of offending me. Despite my continual reassurance, he always seemed concerned that the tenets of my faith would compel me to label him 'deviant' and somehow taint my view of him as my partner, my friend, my lover. If he'd been calmer, he would have known that was impossible. I'd seen his video collection, and if I'd failed to be offended - much less surprised - by "Redhead Prison Sluts 5", then a confession of a same-sex college fling was unlikely to ruffle my feathers.
"Okay, look," he continued, his voice a little shaky, "I've never exactly been the poster boy for rompin' stompin' hairy masculinity here. I've had my share of accusations. Plenty of people assuming I was in denial, or deeply closeted, or exceptionally discreet."
I'd always wondered about that. He was handsome, well-dressed, well-educated and unmarried. He cried without restraint when the occasion called for it, and was gentle to the point of empathy with little children. I would have thought the assumptions had been flying for years, but I'd never heard a single one.
"It's bizarre. Straight men thought I was gay, and gay men knew I was straight. Colin knew too, but he never seemed to stop hoping. Late one night, after a couple of pints of some weird local ale, lying on the floor of his room, listening to "Rubber Soul", I asked him why he didn't just move on and find someone with whom it was...you know...physically possible.
"He just looked over at me with this expression I'll never forget. It said so clearly, 'What makes you think this is in my control?' He told me he'd seen and experienced too much to question nature. He said that whether you can have someone doesn't make you love them any more or less. You love whom you love."
Truer words had never been spoken. If someone had told me that first day that the sweetly handsome goofball in glasses with the smug superiority and boyish playfulness would end up the most significant person in my life, I would have snorted derisively and continued to debunk his theories.
I'd never expected someone with beliefs as flaky as his to have such a hold on me. But I'd learned over the years what a strong and noble man he was. He had his faults - plenty of them - but his gifts and virtues simply outweighed them. And those virtues - intelligence, loyalty, passion, compassion - have bound me to him in a way I never expected to be bound to anyone.
* * * * *
She was quiet for a long time, so I decided to just keep on going.
"Colin was quiet but always cheerful, so the pain I saw in him then made me wince. It hurt just to look at him. That's when he told me about Faloun.
"Colin had met him at school, and from what I could gather, it was one of those lightning-strike things. They were pretty much instantly together, and within a few months, they realized how deep their connection ran. They knew they'd be together through everything. That nothing, including the disapproval of their parents, would separate them."
I smiled tightly, and gently caressing her cheek, continued.
"At that time, I didn't understand that kind of love. I'd been used and hurt before, and never genuinely loved for who I was. Really, I was still a kid, so that's not all that surprising. Sometimes I guess you have to look at what you have to realize what you don't have..." I shook my head in frustration. "I'm not making any sense."
She smiled softly and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek. "It's okay. Tell me about it."
I'd given enough away that I was confident there wouldn't be any reprisals. But she didn't know the whole of it.
"Colin told me so much about Faloun. He was Sikh, this tall, beautiful Sikh with skin like cocoa and long, elegant hands, and a warm voice and huge brown eyes. He told me about Faloun's hair. Long, thick, shiny black hair which he put up under his turban during the day, when he was out and about, but how he would take it down, slowly, always maintaining eye contact, as he pulled it down out of its tight bun, and let it fall in waves over his shoulders, when they were alone at night. 'Faloun had the most beautiful hair,' Colin told me. 'It fell about him like veils. Aside from his heart, his hair was his greatest beauty.' He got the most dreamy expression when he spoke about Faloun.
"He told me that they had managed to keep their relationship secret from their families for almost two years, and by that time, had already made plans to go to Oxford together, to get a flat, to specialize in compatible fields of psychology. Colin wanted to work in marriage counseling, and Faloun was interested in child psychology. They were all but house-hunting.
"About a week before they'd planned to leave for university, Faloun disappeared. Just vanished. No note, nothing packed, just vanished. Five weeks later, his body was found." The pain was as intense as it had been the night Colin had told me of it. I closed my eyes, drew a deep breath, and continued.
"He had no family in Great Britain, so Colin was called in to identify the body. It was awful. Faloun had been kidnapped, tortured, raped, and eviscerated. Colin, sweet, gentle Colin, had to go into that cold room and look at that horror. He had been forced to trade his last picture of Faloun from alive and beautiful to dead, literally torn apart." My voice broke. "And it wasn't enough for the son of a bitch to destroy the body of that beautiful young man. What devastated Colin more than anything else was that the murderer had cut off Faloun's hair."
Scully squeezed my hand, and I was grateful for it. Nothing in the world calmed me like her quiet, tender support.
"I'd never known anyone who'd had to go through anything like that. I mean, I'd lost Samantha, but we never found out what had happened. There was no body to find. And everything we'd studied in the classroom was so clinical - nothing visceral to shake us up like the real thing. Colin told me about this, and it destroyed me. I had no idea people - people I knew - were capable of surviving so much horror.
"Colin wept, and I held him, and I guess it wasn't all that different from the way you've always comforted me when things turned to shit. I just held him and let him know I cared. I didn't really understand - how could I? - but I appreciated his need to have someone nearby who would listen and care enough to feel as awful as he did.
"He was so tragic and beautiful and sad."
"What did he look like?" Scully asked softly.
I pictured Colin then and grasped on to a wonderful, warm moment when Colin was happy and focused on me. "He was about five-nine. Dark blond hair, gray eyes. His nose turned up a little at the end. He had this mouth...it was like a baby's mouth, the way his upper lip dipped down in the center and fit into his lower lip."
Scully smiled. "Like yours."
I reached a single finger toward my lips and traced their shape, remembering the contours of Colin's, so many years after. "Yeah," I said tranquilly, "I guess so."
After a long moment spent in peaceful reflection, I stirred to the sound of Scully's voice.
"Was he a good kisser?"
"Scully," I offered, "really, it's okay. We don't have to go there."
Her voice was soft but firm. "It's okay, Mulder. I want to know."
I released a long breath and told her.
"It was different. Good, but different. I don't really remember how it happened. I think I was just holding him, and I felt so much affection for him, and such a need to comfort him that we just ended up kissing. It was nice.
"I mean, it was different from what I was used to. Women are...women are soft. Their skin is silky and their flesh is supple. Even the muscular ones are softer and plusher than men. But I didn't really have any preconceptions about what to expect, so when it felt good, I just went with it.
"His skin was smooth, but he had a bit of a beard, and it was scratchy against my mouth. I remember that. That's why I usually shave twice a day when we're together. I didn't like how it tore at my skin. But at the same time, it felt a little...dangerous.
"His hands were bigger than I was used to, his grasp was firmer. He was...I don't know...*male*. I guess that's the only way to say it. I had been conditioned to think of sex with a man as wrong and perverse and all kinds of things, but at the time it was just one body and another body, and we cared about each other, and I wanted to take his hurt away.
"I know, comfort sex isn't really any way to start a relationship, but I wasn't really thinking about the future. He'd been reaching out for me, and I gave him what I had to offer."
She nodded softly.
"There were times that first night when I would step back from everything mentally and ask myself, 'What the HELL are you doing?', but really, a kiss, an embrace, what's the difference? I mean, even when he..." I stopped myself mid-phrase, out of respect for Scully's dignity. She couldn't have wanted to hear any more than that.
"When he what, Mulder?"
"This is where it gets graphic, Scully. Why don't we just skip past that part?"
She nestled her head against my neck, and surprised me with a double-whammy: her delicate tongue, swiping across my adam's apple, and her voice, low and breathy, asking me to go on.
"Really, I know you want to be supportive and all, Scully, but..."
"You're a man of the world, Mulder. I'm also intimately familiar with the contents of your video library. Do you find it erotic to watch or hear about two women pleasuring each other?"
I smiled. "Of course. It's a guy thing." The sudden realization that she could be implying something that racy made me smile. "You're not suggesting..."
"No," she replied firmly, "but it's not beyond the realm of possibility that a woman could obtain an erotic thrill from watching or hearing about two men pleasuring each other."
I tried to keep the amusement out of my voice, but I was not entirely successful. "So what you're trying to say is that this is turning you on."
She smiled shyly. "It's not beyond the realm of possibility."
Sheepishly, she replied, "Yes."
All she had to do was ask, and the words were hers. "Where was I?"
"Your first night with Colin. I assume that implies there were more nights to follow."
I nodded. "About three months' worth."
"Wow," she whispered, "then it was a relationship."
"Kind of," I conceded. "It's hard to explain." I chuckled. "Every time, I said to myself, 'Okay, just once more.' There always seemed to be just one more 'once more'. He was *really* good at...okay, gettin' graphic here..."
"He gave really good head," she finished for me. What a woman.
"Your words, Scully, not mine. But yes, he was very skilled. It took a couple of times before I realized what made it so good was that he cared. He wasn't just mechanically putting it into his mouth and doing the standard requisite up and down. It wasn't like the mindless, uninterested sex with any of the women who'd come before. He wasn't just interested in my pleasure, he also genuinely enjoyed what he was doing. I felt it with every stroke of his tongue, with every caress of his lips. He loved it. He was loving me with his body. After all the heartless, soulless relationships I'd had, it was more than refreshing. It was beautiful. It was necessary, like oxygen. I couldn't get enough.
"I did find myself wishing stupidly that next time he'd have breasts and there wouldn't be that dick to deal with, but somehow, when we were together, those things didn't really matter much after all. He made me feel good, and I took his hurt away, and for a while that was all I needed."
I sighed. "I'll admit that I was actually terrified by the idea of the...well...*other* inherent sexual activities in that kind of relationship, but once I allowed myself to simply experience it...in a way it was good, too.
"So, um, that pretty much sums up Experimentation with Homosexuality 101 here, Scully. Any questions before we move into the lab?"
She nodded. "What was it like, the first time you took him into your mouth?"
"Oh, Scully." Muscle memory, vivid and unforgiving, reminded my tired body of the feel of Colin's warm, smooth cock gliding into my mouth. Images of Scully's talented mouth, framed with those sweet, lush lips doing the same to me, soon followed and intensified the feeling. Despite my sexual exhaustion, I was becoming hard again.
"Hmm. I think I'd be flogging the deceased equine if I said 'different', but I guess it would be accurate. Different. A different taste, a different feel, a different set of muscles, that's for damn sure. I honestly don't know how you do it without developing TMJ or something."
"That's because I enjoy it," she said.
"Why?" I'd always assumed women hated that bitter taste of semen.
"What do you mean, 'why'? Because it's you. Because you moan that little nasal moan when I pull you in between my lips, because you hold your breath when I graze my teeth along the underside, because you gasp when I increase the suction, because you groan and growl just before you come. Because you feel hard and hot and silky and heavy against my tongue. Because you're erect and impassioned because I made you that way."
That was it exactly. That was why I needed so desperately to have her with me for the rest of my life. She always had a way of cutting through all the peripheral crap and getting to the meat of it. The few seconds it would take to handle the bitter fluid were thoroughly outweighed by the ten minutes of pure pleasure spent bringing delight to one's partner.
I'd always been more fortunate than her in that regard. Scully's scent and taste are intoxicating to me. I could pleasure her with my tongue as long as the muscle held out. That first time she writhed and whimpered for me marked the beginning of a long, delicious addiction.
All I could think of to tell her was, "Thank you."
She smiled. "So you were going to tell me about your decision to become a profiler before the conversation turned..."
"...smutty?" I finished for her.
She simply nodded, with that lovely little grin of hers. "It was because of Faloun?"
I nodded in response. "It stayed with me. I couldn't shake the thoughts Colin's descriptions inspired. I wondered what kind of animal could do that to a human being. I wondered what could have happened in a person's past to compel him to commit those specific atrocities."
I took a moment. "In the end, I think it sort of forced an ending to my time with him. I found myself more fascinated by the case than taken with him. It would have been unfair of me to lead him along any further. He was actually pretty okay with it. He said he knew it was going to end eventually."
What I didn't tell Scully was that he'd gone on to tell me that he was really pleased it ended civilly and with respect. He said he'd come to expect nothing less from me. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Having someone trust and believe in me was such a new experience, I honestly didn't know how to handle it.
In a series of actions that would determine my M.O. for years to come, I'd buried myself in work.
"I had a counseling session with my faculty advisor a few weeks later, and I expressed interest in Faloun's case. I'd been trying to study it, but many of the records I needed weren't available to me as a student. My advisor, the Assistant Dean, helped me gain access to the case records I needed to study, and we went through the evidence and statements together. By the end of the second day, I'd drawn up a lengthy and detailed profile of the killer. My conclusions didn't really match those of the Inspector on the case, and when I discovered that, I was disappointed.
"Then my advisor did a little more digging. Using my profile as leverage, he ended up finagling us an interview with the psychologist assigned to the killer's case, and I learned the truth."
"That your profile was dead-on."
"Yeah. It took that therapist almost a half-year to discover the killer's history with childhood ritual mutilation, and it was something I'd suggested as a root cause of his psychosis in my own profile."
"That's what the Assistant Dean said. The murderer had taken three more young men before Scotland Yard flushed him out. I really could have helped. So I started to evaluate all my options. I'd thought for a while about doing some forensic psychology at a P.D. - maybe Boston or New York - but when I got that recruitment speech from Quantico..."
I sighed. "Yeah. Too bad we both wrecked ourselves on the rocks."
"And saved a lot of lives in the process, Mulder." Cutting right to the meat of it. She never failed me.
I wrapped my arms around her and held her close. "And found each other," I breathed into her hair.
Scully started to chuckle.
"What is it, woman?"
"Just a little irony. And don't call me woman."
"That I based my career decisions on a television show and you based yours on the real world."
I chuckled too. "Well, that settles it. We'll have to compromise and base our life together on that "Real World" TV show."
"Sorry," she said, snuggling against my chest, "but cohabitating with just *you* will be enough of a challenge."
Beta thanks to Narida Law for the line-by-line, M. Sebasky for the thumbs-up, and the Virginians for being 20% of all greatness.