A Woman's Touch
by Leyla Harrison starbuck72@netaxis.ca

Disclaimers: The characters of Fox Mulder, Dana Scully and Walter Skinner do not belong to me, although I wish they did!!! I have used them without permission, but don't sue me; I don't have a dime. The character of Lisa Anderson/Washington is my creation, and is not based on anyone, so any similarities are unintentional.
WARNING!!!! This story is not what you are expecting!!! It will never make it onto the Mulder and Scully romance archive, although I wish there were an archive just for experimental stories like this one. And I will repeat: This is an experiment!!! I want to make that clear because I don't want to make anyone mad or upset by the content of this story.
I didn't think I could write a story like this, but I think I have briefly overdosed on Mulder and Scully romance stories. If you could see what is on my hard drive...you would be amazed that I have covered the topic of Mulder and Scully in love in more ways than even I thought possible!!!
Anyhow, this story is going to be a romance, sort of. It does contain lesbian sexual content, which may or may not be rated NC-17 (yet to be decided at this point in the writing), so this will bother or upset you, STOP READING NOW!!! If you are willing to look at this as an experiment, as I am, and are willing to read it, I would appreciate it very much. I would really like feedback on this story - all feedback, positive and negative (but please make it constructive - I am very sensitive).
If you are able to put aside your own personal beliefs and judgements about this topic, please read on. Although Scully does have a lesbian encounter in this story, her romantic and sexual feelings about Mulder are also dealt with to some degree. Don't get me wrong: I am a die-hard relationshipper, but I had to write this story. The rolling car down the embankement scene was part of a dream I had the other night, and the rest just came flowing forth from the creative mind that I call hell sometimes.
So...I hope you get something out of this story...God knows, I don't think I did, but I wrote it anyway!!!


A Woman's Touch
by Leyla Harrison (starbuck72@netaxis.ca)

"Mulder," Scully said urgently, and he looked. The car was still slipping down the embankment, slowly, but it was slipping nonetheless. Any more and it would gather speed, and then it would coast backwards down the embankment, and it would go faster and they wouldn't be able to keep up with it.

Mulder saw the car moving. Slowly. The windows were rolled down and he instinctively reached out and grabbed onto the car, holding onto the inside of it, his arms through the window. Scully did the same on the passenger side, following his lead. He knew it would be a waste of their energies, but he had to do something. Couldn't just stand there as the car rolled its way down the hill, gathering speed and finally crashing into the side of the hill at the bottom.

"Mulder," Scully repeated. "It's not doing any good." She was holding onto the car fiercely, as he was, but it was still moving.

"Lisa!" Mulder yelled loudly at the young woman who was sprawled out unconscious in the driver's seat. "Lisa, wake up!" Out of the corner of his eye he sensed movement from Scully's side of the car and he glanced up. Scully was climbing in the passenger window. "Scully!" he called to her sharply, but she ignored him until she was in the car completely, trying to twist her body around to pull at the limp form of the driver. She looked up, her face a mixture of guilt and fear.

"I can get her out," she said to him earnestly, hoping it sounded convincing enough.

"Shit!" Mulder yelled, supressing the urge to pound his fists against the car. How the hell was he supposed to hold onto the car alone? "Scully, I can't hold it for long." She pulled at the emergency brake, yanking it up from between the seats but nothing happened. The feeling of rolling backwards in the car was almost uncanny. It was nothing like putting a car in reverse and backing up. This car was being propelled by gravity. "Damn it, Scully, get her out of the car!"

A million thoughts flashed through his head. He could just see the car slipping out of his grip, rolling backwards down the hill until it crashed, exploding, killing Lisa and Scully. He gripped the car tighter, as if it would prevent that image from happening. His face pleaded with Scully's for a split second.

<Don't leave me,> it said. <I love you.>

Scully couldn't answer. She pulled at Lisa's body and struggled to get herself back out of the car. She pulled at the door handles, forgetting for a moment that they didn't work. She climbed up on the seat, dragging Lisa across into the passenger seat with her. She forced her legs and hips out the car window, and pulled Lisa's body with her. Mulder debated dashing around to the passenger side to help her, but knew that he was needed more where he was, trying to keep the car moving at a slow pace.

It was almost impossible. He was no longer walking but jogging, fighting the force of gravity with all his strength. "Come on!" he yelled to Scully.

She managed to pull herself out through the window, and she was still holding onto Lisa by the shoulders. She gave a strong tug on the body just as she felt her feet dragging against the ground, and Lisa's body responded by slipping out through the window easily. Scully let herself fall to the ground, feeling the warmth of Lisa's body on hers as they both tumbled to safety. Mulder let go of the car.

He watched it as it gathered speed, and moments later, it rolled down the hill and into the side of the mountain. The crunching of glass and metal was over in a second, and then the car burst into flames.

Scully was still on her side on the ground. She heard the explosion, and she closed her eyes. She had one arm around Lisa, and the woman's face was close to her own. She could feel Lisa's slow breath on her neck. Scully opened her eyes and looked down at Lisa's face. The bruises were still prominent, and Scully forgot all about the car for a moment.

"You don't want me like this," Lisa had told her, just hours before. "I'm a victim."

"Lisa, listen to me," Scully had told her, taking her by the shoulders and forcing the younger woman to look her directly in the eye. "It doesn't matter to me."

"It matters to me," Lisa answered, her voice cold.

"I don't care," Scully repeated.

Lisa had stared at her. "Why would you want me?" she finally asked. "Besides, you're hot on your partner."

Scully had waited a moment before answering. "How can you say that after last night?" she finally asked.

Scully held Lisa close now, the fire nearby still at a distance to her. The previous night was like no other in her life. Her arms were around Lisa's now, almost as they were last night. It still early in the evening when Scully had finally felt her eyelids beginning to fall, almost without her control. Her last waking thought had been that Lisa had such smooth skin, like silk, and she tightened her grip a bit and fell into a light and dreamless sleep.

"Scully?" Mulder was asking now, coming to her side, disentangling the two women, breaking the spell. Scully opened her eyes, feeling annoyance that he would disturb her thoughts, but then she saw the concern in his eyes, and brought herself back to the situation, and so she pushed that angry feeling down as well. Mulder turned Lisa over on her back and gave her a quick once over. "She's breathing shallow. Her pulse isn't very strong. We'd better get some paramedics up here." He reached for his cel phone and dialed. He watched as Scully sat by Lisa's side helplessly, a look of utter hopelessness on her face.


Dana Scully would never forget the day she met Lisa Anderson. The day had started out badly. She and Mulder had picked up a story about people in a town aboutjust outsider of Chicago who were dying from a strange virus. Local police reports were vague, and it was suggested that the virus was being spread through an unknown host. Other reports hinted at a person in town who was capable of infecting people just from looking at them. Regardless of the cause, seven people had died and all of their bodies were incinerated before an autopsy could be done.

As Mulder looked into the case more, he decided that there had to be a human link. Someone was spreading this virus deliberately without the use of telekenesis. Scully was surprised. He usually didn't find logical explanations so quickly. Even Skinner was surprised. But he still gave them the authorization to go and check it out, if they wanted to. For once, Scully took the reins of the believer and decided that she and Mulder should check it out. She and Mulder were due to leave the following morning.

Scully had gotten a call that morning from a young woman from the town of Evanston. Her cel phone had caught her grabbing a bagel out of the toaster as she was trying to walk out the door. She assumed it was Mulder.

"Agent Scully?" the decidedly female voice asked.

"Mm, yes?" Scully answered, swallowing a bite of her bagel.

"You shouldn't come to Evanston."

Scully stopped in her tracks. "Who is this?"

"My name is Lisa Anderson. I'm the chief medical examiner."

"How did you get this number?" Scully asked.

"That's not important. I know that you're a medical doctor, and from one doctor to another, I can tell you right now that the virus that is spreading through this town is nothing more than an aberration of nature. It's a biological virus. There's no other underlying causes of this virus, or its spread."

Red flags were going up in Scully's head. It was pretty standard that when someone didn't want something investigated, it was definitely worth investigating. Usually more than worth it. Why was this woman telling her to back off?

"My partner Agent Mulder and I were going to come out there anyway, just to check it out. We were given jurisdiction," Scully answered.

There was a long pause. The young woman on the other end of the phone sighed heavily. "You can do what you want, of course. But you're making a big mistake." Scully opened her mouth to ask why or what, but was unable to put together a sentence for some reason. "If you come out here, Agent Scully, you'll be way in over your head."

The connection was broken and Scully was left holding her cel phone to her ear, listening to the dial tone. She finally pressed end and then after a moment's hesitation, grabbed the cordless. She dialed Mulder's number at home, getting the machine. Frustrated, she dialed his cel number. No answer there either. She redialed one last time, as she headed into the bedroom to pack an overnight bag. "This is Agent Scully," she said once the phone was picked up at the ticket desk at Bureau headquarters. "Agent Mulder and I had reservations on a flight to Chicago tomorrow and I was wondering if those could be changed to a flight this morning."


Scully had packed her bag and jumped into the car, deciding to check Mulder's apartment and then the office for him. She was on her way to his apartment when she realized that she was low on gas. She pulled into the next service station she saw and got out of her car. A moment later, just as she was unscrewing the gas cap, another car pulled into the gas station alongside of hers. Mulder got out of it.

"Mulder!" she called. "What are you doing here? I tried calling you--"

"I was on my way to your place, and I saw you leaving. So I followed you. Didn't you see me tailing you?"

Scully shook her head, not wanting to admit that her mind had been a bit cloudy during the drive. "Mulder, I got a call--"

He cut her off again. "I know. I did too."

"I re-booked our flights for this morning. Something is definitely going on down there, and we should get down there to check it out."

"No, Scully, that's why I was following you. I don't think we should go."

"What?" she asked, surprised. She pushed the gas pump into her tank, squeezing the handle to get the gas flowing.

"We shouldn't go. It's a waste of time. That woman who called us, she's known in town to exaggerate. She's somewhat of a psych case. Wants to play everything up for dramatic effect."

"Mulder, I think we should at least go and check it out." Scully replaced the gas pump and re-capped her tank.

"There's no reason, Scully. The virus has stopped spreading, and there's no way to prove that anything paranormal had anything to do with it."

She was surprised at his response. She was also a little upset. Every case they were on, he pushed her. Believe, Scully, he would say, throwing the evidence in her face and giving her a million reasons why a scientific explanation did not apply. But when she did believe, in those rare cases, he not only didn't open his mind and believe in the unexplained, but he didn't believe her. And frankly, although it had only happened a few times, she was sick of it. "Mulder, I'm going out there. There's a 10am flight to Chicago and I'm going to be on it. If you want to meet me at the airport, fine. If not, fine too. I'm going out there."

He watched her as she got back into her car and floored it, driving away amidst a squeal of tires and the faint smell of rubber on pavement.

****

Scully stood at the boarding gate for her flight until the last moment. Mulder never showed up. Fine, she thought angrily, as she boarded the plane and found her seat.

As soon as they were airborne, she plugged in her modem and logged onto the FBI network. She scanned over her e-mail and sent a quick message to A.D. Skinner letting him know where she was headed. She was about to move on to the internet hookup when she paused. She opened her mail server againand sent Mulder a short note.

TO: mulder@fbi.com
FR: scully@fbi.com

Mulder:

I know I asked you to come along, but I didn't expect you to not to take me up on it. If you need to get a hold of me, I'll be staying at the Holiday Inn in Evanston, or you can reach me on my cel phone.

She sent the message, and leaned back in her seat. She wanted to get a little more information about Lisa Anderson.


Scully landed on time at O'Hare International Airport and walked through the terminal, carrying her overnight bag and her laptop with her. She was amazed at how modern the airport looked; the last time she had been in Chicago was years ago, and the airport had been loomingly large back then, but nothing like it was now. The terminal building was now made almost completely of glass, and acted as a skylight.

Scully got to the rental car counter and picked up her car, checking the maps she had been given, trying to find the fastest way back to Evanston. She wanted to drop off her things at the hotel and get something to eat. She left the airport in a silver Nissan Sentra. It wasn't at all flashy, but it didn't scream federal agent like the cars Mulder usually chose.

She left the airport, watching the signs for the exit for I-294, which would lead her past the city and into the suburbs.


About an hour later, Scully was approaching Evanston. It had a population of about 80,000, and was a college town, with Northwestern University right in the heart of the city. The Holiday Inn was a few blocks off of downtown, and Scully pulled in to the parking lot and went inside to check in.

Once she was settled in her room, she set up her laptop and checked her mail again. Something told her that Mulder had sent her a message.

Her intuitions were right.

TO: scully@fbi.com
FR: mulder@fbi.com

Scully-

I'm sorry I didn't come with you to Chicago. I still don't quite understand why you're so upset about this, but if you want I will fly out there so we can work on this together.

Mulder

Scully re-read the message a few times. She caught Mulder's use of the word `together' and was a bit unsettled.

TO: mulder@fbi.com
FR: scully@fbi.com

Mulder:

If you want to come to Chicago, that's fine. It just bothers me that you never believe me when I open my mind to extreme possibilities. I thought that was what you wanted me to do.

Scully

She logged off and decided to go down to the restaurant in the lobby for a quick bite to eat. She wasn't sure if the ache in her side was from being hungry or angry.


She pulled up at the Medical Examiner's office branch around 2pm. The building was brick, and loomed a good seven stories over the ground. She made her way up the front steps and inside. Upon inquiring, she was told that Lisa Anderson's office and autopsy bay were on the sixth floor. Scully found that the only elevator in the building was the service elevator and was used to transport bodies. Any other movement between floors was accomplished by a darkened stairwell with old creaking wooden stairs.

By the time Scully made it to the sixth floor, she was a bit winded and paused on the landing. A voice startled her.

"Are you all right?"

Scully looked up to see a petite woman about her own size, with shoulder length blond hair and striking features. <Do I know you?> Scully wanted to ask. Her eyes were a pale shade of gray, and her hair hung like a veil over her ears and her neck. She was wearing a pair of jeans and a black sweater. No jewelry, except, Scully noted, a glimmer of some kind of twisted gold band on her finger. Scully took this all in very quickly.

"It's a long way up here," she commented, smiling.

"You're telling me; I go up and down them every day," the woman replied, returning the smile, and with those words Scully immediately knew who she was.

"Lisa Anderson?" she asked, and the woman's face hardened immediately. She studied Scully's face and looked her simple black suit over.

"You must be Agent Dana Scully," Lisa said, unsmiling now. "Where's your partner?"

"I came alone," Scully answered. "Is it possible we could go somewhere privately to talk?"

Lisa Anderson led Scully silently down the hall to a small office at the end. It was overflowing with books and papers, but Scully was intrigued to see that everything was organized and in place. There were the usual specimens in glass jars of formaldehyde on the desk; Scully idly wondered if any medical examiner's office didn't have a specimen of some kind. Scully peered closer at the smallest jar, trying to determine what the specimen was.

Lisa sat down behind the desk and indicated for Scully to sit in one of the chairs across from her. "It's the tip of a finger," Lisa told her.

"Any signifigance to it?" Scully asked.

"Yes," Lisa answered sharply, and held up one of her own hands. "It was mine."

Scully tried not to stare at the missing tip from Lisa's ring finger. "I'm sorry," she said.

There was something about her, this Lisa Anderson, that had Scully intrigued. <Is it her anger? She's obviously angry at me, but for what?>

Lisa dismissed it with a wave of her hand. "If I don't look at the jar, I hardly can remember that it's gone," she said. "Look, Dana, I'll be straight with you. Your investigation is pointless. This virus is under control."

"Who burned the bodies?" Scully asked. She didn't even question Lisa's use of her first name. It sounded natural, even as if she had heard Lisa say it before.

"I'm not sure, Agent Scully, but I believe that would be a matter that you should take up with the police."

"Why did you tell me that I would be over my head if I came out here?"

Lisa's answers up to this point were spoken in a cool tone of voice. At Scully's last question, though, her face froze up. It was a good minute before she answered. "Look, I don't think you remember me. That's probably a good thing." Scully stared at Lisa, trying to place her face. "I was the one who sent the report in to you about the virus. I thought you would be able to help me. But it all got worked out."

Scully was still trying to place the woman in her memory. The only Lisa that came to mind was a brunette named Lisa Washington who Scully had taught at Quantico a few years back. She studied Lisa Anderson's face and imagined her with darker hair. The eyes were the main thing that had caught her attention years ago, as they did now. It was the same Lisa.

"Why didn't you tell me who you were?" Scully asked.

"I don't know," Lisa confessed.

Scully strained to recall details about her student. Lisa had quit the FBI Forensics training after only six months, but when she was in Scully's class she had been attentive and obviously highly intelligent. Lisa had asked a lot of questions, and they had all been smart ones; so why had she quit? "You left Quantico," Scully started, and Lisa finished for her.

"And I got married."

"Congratulations."

"Then we separated." Scully was silent again, just as she had been when Lisa had identified the finger as her own. "Look, I'm in the middle of a really rocky period right now. I've been separated for over a year, and things have been pretty bad. When this case came into my office, I figured I needed someone who really knew their stuff to help me out. And you had said to me when I was in your class, that if I ever needed a friend, someone to talk to...I figured this would be killing two birds with one stone."

Scully remembered now. Lisa had come to her, telling her that she was leaving the Academy, because she had fallen in love, and Scully had urged her to stay, but Lisa would hear nothing of it. Scully had complimented her intelligence and wished her luck, and made the offer to Lisa, expecting that she would never see the attractive young woman again. And now here she was. "So why didn't you tell me that instead of dropping a lead, and then telling me not to come here?"

"I told you, things have gotten bad. They've gotten violent." Lisa pushed her hair back from one ear to reveal dark bruising along the side of her jaw. "I didn't want to put you in the middle of anything," she offered by way of explanation, letting her hair fall back down over the bruises, hiding them. She then gestured at the jar. "More fun and games."

Scully felt a wave of nausea pass over her. "Have you gone to the police?" she asked.

Lisa shook her head and stood up. "I appreciate you coming out all this way, and I hate to say this, but I think you wasted the trip."

Scully stood also. "Lisa, I'd like to help you," she said.

Lisa stared at her. "You don't even know what's going on. You have no idea--"

Scully cut her off. "I don't need to know anything else. What you just showed me was enough."

Lisa smiled, a sad smile. It was the same sad smile she had given Scully the last time she had seen he. "I guess you're right. But if you're going to stay, there are a few things I guess I have to tell you. Maybe we can get out of here and get something to drink."

Scully nodded. She could not look down at the jar on the desk, and could not look at Lisa's face without seeing the bruises in her mind's eye again. No one deserved that kind of abuse. "I'm staying at a hotel near here. There's a lounge."

Lisa nodded and they headed for the office door. Lisa gestured for Scully to exit first. As Scully passed through the doorway, Lisa touched her shoulder briefly, in a friendly gesture. Scully felt Lisa's fingertips as if they had been directly on her skin instead of through the material of her suit. The touch was light and quick, and for some reason it sent shivers up Scully's back.


Scully drove back to the Holiday Inn. She debated leaving Lisa in the lounge in the lobby while she went up to her room for a minute, but then decided against it. "I'll just be a minute," she told Lisa, who obligingly followed her upstairs.

In the hotel room, the laptop was still set up on the desk, and the mail icon was flashing. Scully clicked on it.

TO: scully@fbi.com
FR: mulder@fbi.com

Scully-
Kind of strange that we're using e-mail to communicate, don't you think? I feel like I should start this message out with "It's me." I don't know why I haven't called. Maybe because I don't want to hear your voice until we are face to face. To accomplish that, I am flying to Chicago this afternoon.

I need to talk to you, Scully. I need to apologize and I need to tell you some things. I've started this same message and deleted it three times without sending it because I haven't known exactly how to say what I want to say. I've been thinking and feeling this for so long, and have kept it pushed down inside me for so long that I don't even know what words to use.

I do know one thing with clarity. I love you, Dana Scully. I need to see you and say it to you in person, though. My flight comes into O'Hare at 7:30pm and I've booked a room at the Holiday Inn in Evanston as well. If I don't see you at the airport, I'll see you back at the hotel.

Mulder

Scully minimized the window as Lisa crossed the room. Her heart was beating wildly, and she coulndn't even recall what she had come up to the room for in the first place. Lisa had come over to the chair next to the bed and sat down. Scully was barely aware of her presence until she spoke. "Are you OK?"

Scully looked over at her. She wanted to laugh. She felt as if she was going to cry. <He loves me.> It was a rush of feelings that she never thought she would be able to admit to herself. She never thought he would admit it to her. "I'm fine," Scully answered.

"I just have to tell you two things," Lisa said. "First of all, and I know you're going to think I'm crazy, but I'm in love with you."

Scully's heart went into her throat, and she struggled to speak. "What?" she managed to get out.

Lisa wouldn't look at Scully in the eyes. "It's why I left Quantico."

"But I thought you said you were in love," Scully stammered.

"I was. With you. And I knew you didn't go that way. You were dating Jack Willis. And I couldn't very well come out while I was trying to land a top forensic position at the Bureau. So I left." Lisa was still looking at the floor.

"Your marriage..." Scully stammered again.

"To a man, who I didn't love. He's an alcoholic. Everything else I told you is true." Lisa finally looked up at her. "I know it sounds insane. I know you haven't seen me in years. But I still feel the same way about you now as I did back at Quantico."

Scully's head was spinning. <I need to talk to you, Scully. I love you.> <I'm in love with you.> She didn't know what to say, or think. She stared dumbly at the young woman before her.

"It's your partner," Lisa said, her tone low. "You're in love with him, aren't you?"

Scully shook her head. "Lisa, I don't know what to say."

"It's OK. I kind of figured it would be like this. And I should have never called you." She stood up to leave.

Scully jumped up from the desk where she was sitting, the e-mail from Mulder momentarily forgotten. "Lisa, I haven't seen you in years. I hardly know you." She didn't want to crush her completely, just let her down easy. She did feel sorry for her, though. She was worried about the violence that was being inflicted upon her.

"I know," Lisa said, very matter-of-fact. "Please, don't pity me."

"It's not that. I don't pity you, Lisa. I'm worried about you. I want to help you if I can."

Lisa walked over to Scully, faced her. "I would like that," she said, her voice low again. "But you can't. Please, Dana, let me do just this. Let me kiss you."

Scully didn't even have a moment to respond. Lisa was so close to her that all she had to do was lean her head forward and catch Scully's mouth with her own. Immediately, Scully was struck by the fact that she had never been kissed by lips that were as soft as Lisa's were. The kiss, although gentle, sent an electrical charge through Scully's body. She could feel Lisa's arms around her. For a moment, she responded. There was no way she couldn't have. The kiss was fierce and made her stomach get fluttery.

Then Scully pulled away. "Lisa--"

"Does your partner kiss you like that?"

At the mention of Mulder, Scully colored. She had only imagined how he would kiss her, and in her fantasies, it was gentle, like this kiss she had just received, but different. There was something exquisitely different about the kiss she had just shared with Lisa, something about it that she liked.

She glanced across the room at the clock by the bed. 4:45pm. Lisa asked again. "Does he kiss you like that? Dana, does he touch you like this?" Lisa reached her hand out and brushed her fingers along Scully's jaw and neck, her fingertips lightly tracing Scully's lips.

It was too much, too intimate, and Scully was the initiator this time, kissing Lisa. She had never known that she could kiss a woman like this, but she was doing it. She could feel Lisa's hands on her again, her breathing fast, and Scully could feel her own breaths coming raggedly. It was getting very warm in the room, and Scully could feel Lisa tugging the zipper on the skirt down, from the back, untucking the shirt.

"Wait, wait," Scully whispered.

"What?" Lisa asked breathlessly.

"I don't know...I've never..." She didn't know how to explain it.

"Shh," Lisa soothed. "It's OK. It's easy. I won't go too fast." These words were spoken in between kisses on Scully's neck and forehead, her eyelids. The kisses felt cool and soft, and Scully tried to hold back a small satisifed sigh. This all felt so good.

<What about Mulder?>

Oh God, she thought suddenly, panicked.

But then Lisa's hands were on her breasts, and she could feel her skirt sliding down, off her hips, and Lisa was leading her to the bed, and it was too late to turn back. Scully was sighing aloud now, as Lisa removed the stockings she was wearing.

On the bed, Lisa gently sucked on Scully's nipples, her hands running free over her body. She moved her mouth down to Scully's stomach, her legs, parting them slowly. Scully felt herself take a deep breath as she felt Lisa lower her mouth onto her, feeling her legs trembling. She clutched at the pillows as the waves of sensation flooded her.

Lisa moved back up to lay beside her, kissing her fully. Her hands roamed Scully's stomach and then her fingers went to probe the mass of moist hair between Scully's legs. She slipped two fingers between the vaginal lips and Scully gasped aloud as she felt Lisa's cool fingers touching her clitoris. She closed her eyes and imagined herself floating away. Lisa began to rub using slow circles, her fingers moving easily in the wetness.

Scully gasped out loud as Lisa increased the pressure and the speed. She couldn't think of Lisa, or Mulder, even. All she could feel was the sensation of hovering on the brink of orgasm, and that she had spent far too many nights alone for too long. Her orgasm crashed over her suddenly, and her body spasmed on the bed.


Scully awoke in Lisa's embrace. She ran one hand down Lisa's back gently, not wanting to wake her. So smooth, she thought, and for a few minutes she was entralled by it's delicateness. She had almost forgotten that she was in bed, in a hotel room in a strange city, with another woman.

She was jolted back into reality by the sound of a light knocking on the door. Lisa stirred and lift her head. "Did you order room service?" she asked sleepily, a smile on her lips.

"No," Scully answered, disentangling herself and getting up.

Lisa sat up in bed. "Who is it?"

"Shh," Scully answered, reaching for her robe and putting it on, tying the sash tightly around her waist. She went to the door, made sure the chain was on tight, and got up on tiptoe to check the peephole. It was Mulder. She sank back to her normal height, onto her feet. She turned to look at Lisa, who was sitting up in bed, the sheets wrapped around her body, her face full of questions.

"Come back to bed," Lisa pleaded with her, but Scully shook her head.

"Shhh," she repeated again, putting a finger to her lips to instuct Lisa to keep quiet.

She unlocked the door, being careful to leave the chain on. The door opened about four inches and Scully looked through the space at Mulder. "Hi," he said to her, smiling. "Did I wake you?"

Scully looked at her watch and tried to pretend that she was exhausted. It was 9:45pm. "I guess I fell asleep," she said to him. Her heart was racing, thumping so loud against her rib cage that she was sure he could hear it. If he knew what she had been doing...and to think he came here to tell her that he loved her. Oh, Mulder, she thought, I'm so sorry.

He leaned against the doorframe, his eyes calm. He was completely unaware. "Aren't you going to ask me in?" He pretended to sound hurt.

"Maybe we should talk in the morning," she said. "I'm really tired, Mulder."

His hopeful expression faded. "Sure, OK."

<Mulder, that's not it...it's not what you think.>

"I'm in room 412. I'll talk to you in the morning," he said, and she nodded, her throat tight, making it impossible for her to speak.

She closed the door and re-locked it. Then she turned to face Lisa. "I'm afraid you're going to have to leave," Scully said to her.

Lisa's face twisted. "I get it. I'm just a quick lay, to warm you up for your partner, right?" Her tone was bitter.

"No, Lisa--" Scully said, but Lisa was already out of bed, getting dressed, throwing Scully's clothes aside angrily.

"Look, I heard his tone of voice. He wasn't asking to come in and go over case files." Lisa was pulling her sweater over her head and slipped into her shoes. She turned to face Scully angrily. "Dana, I'm in love with you. I don't know if I actually love you or not, but I didn't just do this because I wanted to get off. It meant something to me."

Scully pulled Lisa close to her fiercely. "It meant something to me too, Lisa. I just don't know what. I'm just a little overwhelmed right now."

Lisa wrenched free from Scully's embrace. "Let me know if you ever figure it out," she retorted and left. Sculyl stood where she was in the middle of the room, her mind in a hundred places and her heart feeling like lead. She didn't move for almost fifteen minutes, and then she finally sat down on the bed.


In the morning, Scully got up for find that the message light on her phone was blinking. She called down to the front desk to pick it up. She was surprised that she hadn't heard the phone ring. It turned out that it hadn't rung. "You have a visitor in the lobby. She wanted to come up when you were awake."

Scully sighed heavily. "You can tell her to come up."

She hung up the phone and looked around the room. There were no obvious signs of what had happened the previous evening, but as Scully looked at her reflection in the mirror, she could see something different about herself. What was she doing? Hadn't she been waiting all this time for Mulder?

But then there was Lisa. Something about making love to that woman had done something to her, touched something in her that she didn't understand.

There was a knock on the door. Scully checked the peephole and opened the door to Lisa. Her eyes were red from crying, but the first thing that Scully saw were the bruises. New bruises. There was a ring of black under one eye, and her jaw was swollen and red. There was a long scratch across one cheek.

Lisa just stood there, almost unresponsive to Scully's widened eyes.

****

"My God," Scully breathed, taking Lisa's arm and guiding her into the room. "What happened?"

"The usual," Lisa responded tonelessly. "He's going to kill me, you know. He's told me so."

"Lisa, why don't you have a restraining order out on him?" Scully asked, as she wrapped ice in a washcloth and pressed it to Lisa'a face, not sure which injury to deal with first.

"The police don't consider bruises to be serious enough."

"What?" Scully asked incredulously.

Lisa patiently explained that police reports could be filed against an abusive spouse, but laws specifically stated that restraining orders were strict as far as how abusive the person was. A man could abuse a woman, and as long as he didn't break any of her bones or cause her to need stitches, he could still be as close to her as he wanted. She explained that there had been a restraining order before the finger cutting incident, but that it had expired and that her husband had sworn to her and to the court that he wouldn't abuse her again.

Unfortunately, Lisa had tried to believe his promises.

Every subsequent attack that occurred was accompanied by a warning to her not to tell the police what had happened. And Lisa, paralyzed by fear, had obeyed.

Scully was appalled. She had no idea that the laws in some states were still so lenient on domestic abuse cases. "Lisa," she said finally, after she had heard enough, "I want you to come back to Washington with me. You can find a good job there. He'll never know where you are."

"Why should I do that?" Lisa asked tonelessly.

"Because I want you to be safe," Scully replied honestly.

"You don't want me like this. I'm a victim."

"Lisa, listen to me," Scully said to her, taking her by the shoulders and forcing the younger woman to look her directly in the eye. "It doesn't matter to me."

"It matters to me," Lisa answered, her voice cold.

"I don't care," Scully repeated.

Lisa stared her down. Scully was about her height, and about the same body size. If she tried to pull herself away, she knew the federal agent was more than able to keep her firm hold on her upper body. Scully was definitely the stronger of them. "Why would you want me?" Lisa finally asked. "Besides, you're hot on your partner."

Her question brought doubts into Scully's mind. She did feel something for Mulder, although she wasn't quite sure that she understood exactly what it was, especially after what had happened with Lisa and what she had said to him. She didn't want to think about that. She was used to pushing those uncertain feelings down deep within her. "How can you say that after last night?"

"I..." Lisa was at a loss for words. Scully reached out her and gently kissed her. She did care for this woman, and did want to help her. Everything else would have to be worked out later. Lisa and Mulder...she would have to deal with that later. Right now she needed to help Lisa get away.

"Why don't you go home and get whatever you need. Come back here and I'll arrange a flight back to Washington for this afternoon. We'll get this all taken care of, don't worry."

She sounded more sure than she actually was, but she knew that she had to give. And Scully knew that with a little work and a few strings pulled, she could come through for her.

Lisa nodded and left, leaving Scully alone.

A shower, Scully thought, a shower and some breakfast, and then I have to go talk to Mulder.


After eating, Scully felt better. Her stomach began to tighten up, though, as she walked down the hallway to Mulder's room. She paused outside the door and then knocked.

Mulder opened it and gestured for her to come in. He didn't say a word until the door was shut behind them. Then he sat down on the edge of the bed. Scully took a seat in the chair by the window. "Mulder, look," she started, trying to remember what she had planned to say when she was in the shower. "I'm sorry about last night. I just...there's more going on here than just the case."

"Why don't you tell me about the case?" he asked, his tone cool and professional.

Scully spent the next 10 minutes filling him in on why there was no case. Finally she sighed and looked at him. His face was slightly disbelieving. "What?" she asked.

"What does being here in Chicago have to do with Lisa Anderson?" he asked.

Shit, Scully thought. How do I explain this one? "Mulder, I know Lisa Anderson from a few years ago. She's...very important to me." Did that even begin to explain it?

"Look, Scully," he said, his voice tired. "I heard her last night in your room. I don't know how long it's been going on, and I don't want to know. It's none of my business. I just don't know why you didn't tell me. Why you made me think that you wanted something between us."

He knew, she thought, momentarily relaxed, but then she stopped. "Mulder, it hasn't been going on. It just happened last night. And I do want something with us," she blurted out before she could help it. She lowered her head and rubbed her eyes. "I'm just so confused," she confessed to him. "I don't know why last night happened. All I know is that for so long, I have wanted and needed you. I've needed you to be tender with me, gentle with me. And because we're both so stubborn, we haven't admitted any of our feelings, and so I've just been lonely, Mulder. Do you know how that feels?"

He watched her intently. She still wouldn't look at him. "I know how it feels, Scully."

"I needed some kind of intimacy, and Mulder, she was there, and...oh, I don't know. I feel something for her, but it's not the same thing that I feel for you." Her voice was slightly muffled, one hand shielding her face from him.

"Which is?" he asked. "Scully, I told you how I felt about you. It was so hard. But I told you."

She didn't answer him right away. When she did speak, it was obvious that she was holding back tears. She looked up at him. "I love you, too," she whispered.

He came over to her side and kneeled down on the floor so that he was looking up at her. "What about her?"

"I don't know. I don't love her, but I care about her. She's in trouble, Mulder."

Mulder reached one hand up and wiped a stray tear from Scully's cheek. "Do you want something between us, Scully?"

She knew what he was asking. She knew that he wanted some kind of promise from her. It was what she had wanted for so long, and Lisa or no Lisa, she still knew that she wanted to be with Mulder. Sad as it was for her to admit, she knew that there was a future for her with Mulder. She knew that she hardly knew Lisa, that she didn't know if she was in love with her. She knew how she felt about Mulder. It wasn't about the fact that Lisa was another woman. It was about being in love with someone, caring about them, knowing them better than she knew herself. Those were things she felt about Mulder. She didn't know if she felt those about Lisa. She knew that she had to chalk it up to needing intimacy, a level of intimacy that she and Mulder weren't quite ready for.

And it was about learning something. She had learned that as much as she loved Mulder, as much as she cared about him and fantasized about him, there was something about the emotional closeness with Lisa that Scully knew she would never experience again. And it saddened her, for she had relished every moment of it.

"I love you, Mulder," Scully repeated, louder this time. He smiled at her and took her hand, kissing it, then getting up to lean over and kiss her, very gently on the lips.

Scully closed her eyes as his lips touched hers. They were rougher than Lisa's, she thought, and then she felt the unhurried gentleness that his kiss brought to her, and she relaxed, let him put his arms around her. Their first kiss was everything she had hoped it would be.

The ringing of Scully's cel phone from her jacket pocket cut short the kiss before it could deepen any further. Scully pulled away to answer it. "Hello?"

"Dana," she heard, and thens he heard glass breaking.

"Lisa?" Scully asked, and Mulder backed away a little. "Lisa, what's wrong?"

"Dana," Lisa said, and her voice was filled with pain. "Please, Dana, help me."

"Oh, God," Scully breathed. "Lisa, is he there?"

"Dana," Lisa sobbed. "He's hurting me!"

"Give me the address, Lisa. The address, Lisa," Scully pleaded. Lisa finally gave it to her. There were more crashing noises in the background. "I'm on my way," Scully promised her, but Lisa wasn't answering anymore. "Lisa!" Scully tried again, with no response. She hung up the phone and looked at Mulder. "We've got to get over there. He'll kill her."

"Who?" Mulder asked.

"Please, Mulder, I'll explain it to you on the way there. Just please, come with me. She needs help." He looked at her panicked face, and nodded.


When they got to the house, he was gone. Mulder and Scully searched the large house on the hill but there was no sign of Lisa. Finally they went to check the garage. They found Lisa's body, slumped over in the front seat of the car, her face battered and bloodied. There was a small trickle of blood coming out of the corner of her mouth, but before Scully or Mulder could get her out of the car, it began to slowly roll backwards out of the garage and down the driveway. The driveway curved, but the car would go straight, gathering speed. Mulder and Scully both could see the jagged rock formation at the bottom of the hill that the car would surely crash into if they didn't somehow stop it from rolling.

All of this took place without any words exhanged. Scully had told Mulder Lisa's story on the way over, and although he was still not comfortable with the subject of Lisa, he was furious when he heard about her inability to get protection from her abusive husband.

"Mulder, look," Scully had said to him as she noticed the car moving.


Mulder and Scully sat in the emergency room of the local hospital, waiting for the doctor in charge to come out and tell then how Lisa was. Mulder had kept Scully in the waiting room to try and calm her. He was worried that if she was examining Lisa, that she would have a hard time separating her professional judgement from her feelings.

"Agents Mulder and Scully?" a doctor came out of the examining area. Scully stood up.

"How is Lisa?" she asked, her voice tired.

"I'm sorry. We did everything we could for her, but she died of massive internal bleeding to the brain. She was injured so badly that there was not much we could have done to save her." The doctor's voice was tired as well.

Mulder immediately got up and went to hold Scully. She fell into his arms and let him hold her close for the first time in a long time. She didn't cry. She just closed her eyes and let him hold her.


Washington, D.C.
Two days later

Scully opened and closed her eyes, trying to get her vision in focus. She struggled to recall where she was. As the room's blurriness faded, she saw the familar form of Mulder standing nearby.

"Hi," he said to her, smiling. She smiled back. He had a comfortable bed; she had slept well for the first time in a week.

"How long did I sleep?" she asked, pulling herself upright. She was wearing his Redskins jersey and a pair of gray sweats that he had loaned her. She hadn't wanted to go home when they got back to Washington, and she had been too tired to unpack her suitcase to find something to sleep in. She felt as if she was swimming in the clothes that were too large for her, nevertheless, they were comforting. They smelled like Mulder.

"About ten hours. I called Skinner and told him you had the flu and that you wouldn't be in today."

She smiled at him gratefully. She hadn't wanted to face work quite yet. "Mulder," she said, "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"I don't know...everything."

He came over and sat on the edge of the bed next to her. "Scully, I don't know exactly what was going on in your mind, but I do know that we're still the same people. Everything that happened before this trip...the feelings, they're all still there. At least on my part." He paused, looked down, the back to her. "It's not easy for me to admit all of this. You know that."

She knew. He was terrified to care about someone for fear they would go away. And she didn't exactly have a great track record. She nodded. "Mulder, we both know how we feel about each other. We've known for a long time."

"We're both stubborn," he said, and she acknowledged that by nodding her head. "And according to the Bureau, we aren't allowed to do this."

Scully knew that as well. She had used that as an excuse to deny her own feelings for him. "Is is worth it?" she asked him.

"I've never gone by the book, Scully, you know that," he answered, his mouth twisting into a grin.

Her expression was still serious. "Do you still want me?" she asked fearfully.

He answered her by leaning in to kiss her gently. As their lips touched, she felt her arms go around him. She let herself feel the emotion in the kiss. It deepened, and she felt the ache for what had happened to Lisa melting away.


TO: skinner@fbi.com
FR: scully@fbi.com
RE: Field report

The case of the unknown virus was apparently solved before my arrival to the Chicago area. However, while there. I encountered a disturbing case of domestic violence against one of the medical examiners working on the virus case. The victim gave me several statements attesting to the abuse she was suffering at the hands of her soon to be ex-husband.

Agent Mulder joined me in Chicago and we attemted to assist the victim during an assault, but by the time we reached her residence, she was in critical condition. She died at the hospital. Her husband was arrested hours later trying to board a plane at O'Hare Airport for Los Angeles. He was charged with one count of first degree murder, and is awaiting trial.

I am appalled at the lack of protection a woman can receive as a victim of domestic abuse. Women are expected to obey their husbands' wishes; this has been instilled in them for centuries. Women who suffer at the hands of someone who claims to love them are unable to leave the situation. They fear for their lives, and are told by the abuser that no one will believe or help them. This fact is further etched in their minds when there is no action taken by local law enforcement.

It is not that only certain injuries are deemed "serious enough"; it is that women all over the country are hearing about other women not being protected and it is making them more afraid than ever to stand up for themselves.

On a personal note, effective next month, I will be putting in five to ten hours a week, as scheduling allows, on the FBI Task Force Against Domestic Violence.

END