Title: Every Step of the Way (1/?)
Author: Deia
Category: V, post-ep, M/S UST (for now)
Rating: PG-13
Feedback: deia_scully@ig.com.br
Distribution: go ahead, just let me know
Spoilers: The Unnatural
Disclaimer: Not mine, not making any money of it
Summary: The changes in M&S relationship following
the events of The Unnatural

Author's Note: This is the first part on a serie of
vignettes and takes place right after the end scene
of The Unnatural

Thanks to Sallie for being a wonderful and supportive
friend and beta.

Dedication: This one is for Kimbly. A belated birthday
present for someone I'm very proud to call my friend.
Love ya, sweetie.


Every Step of the Way

Part 1: Ice Cream Memories

'Happy Birthday, Scully'

The simple words sent a shiver through Scully's body.
Ordinary words for anybody who looked, but they had a
very different meaning for her. It wasn't her birthday
and the person that left this card knew it all too well.

In the past couple of months she celebrated her
birthday at least a dozen times, but she wanted this
evening to end differently than the previous ones. It
was time.

She sat at her desk absently stroking the card with
her fingertips, her contemplative eyes were fixed on
the wall, without really seeing it.

*******************
2 months earlier

"Shut up, Mulder. I'm playing baseball."

The fact that he had indeed done as she said should
have been warning enough that something was up, and
she didn't mean the something that she could feel
happily snuggled against her backside.

They continued to play for nearly an hour. His moist
breath at her ear, sometimes at her neck. She could
almost feel his lips brushing her skin, but not quite.


For the first time in years she left her FBI Agent
persona - aside from the suit she was wearing - to be
a woman, and a happy woman at that. It was
exhilarating. She couldn't stop the giggles even if
she tried, and she was certain her partner was
enjoying this side of her as much as she was. She
had forgotten how good it felt to be this carefree.

When it was time for them to leave the field, he
unwillingly disengaged his body from hers, leaving
Scully with a sense of emptiness. She saw in his eyes
that he felt it too.

"Come on, Scully. I still have something to give you."

"Should I be afraid?"

"Ouch, Scully, you wound me. Did I ever give you
something that scared you?"

"Not this year."

"Very funny. Keep that up and you won't get
anything."

"Sorry, Mulder." She looked at him with mock
contriteness.

"If you think you're fooling me, you're wrong, but
since you were a good girl this year..."

"Mulder, it's supposed to be my birthday gift, not
Christmas."

"Would you stop interrupting me?" He waited a few
seconds. "Thank you. Actually it's not a gift exactly,
it's... well come with me and you'll see for yourself."

She looked at him with an eyebrow arched.

"Come on, Scully. You're gonna like it, I promise."

"Okay, let's see what it is."

They had walked three blocks when he stopped.

"Here we are."

"Mulder?"

"You're gonna taste the best ice cream you've ever had
in your life, Scully."

She looked at him incredulously.

"Don't look at me like that. And don't even begin to
tell me how much you like that tofuti crap you were
having earlier. Not until you try real ice cream."

She decided indulging him was her better option and
entered the little shop. It was neat and comfy, with
an old-fashioned look about it. Scully turned to
Mulder, a quizzical expression on her face.

"Where did you find this place?"

"Frohike. The little guy is crazy for ice cream and
knows all the best places. This one is my favorite."
His eyes were warm and she was mesmerized by their
gleam. Her mouth was dry and she couldn't trust her
voice at that moment, so she nodded and followed him.

True to his words, the place had the most delicious
ice cream she had ever tasted. Mulder was pleased.
Sometimes it was so simple to make him happy. Scully
smiled at the thought. Mulder could be the most
annoying person in the world at times, but he was
also the most gentle and caring.

"What is it, Scully?"

"What is what?"

"You're far away from here."

"No, I'm not. I was actually thinking how good this
feels. You know, just going out, having fun, having
great ice cream." He smiled.

"I'm glad you're having fun."

"I am. Thank you for doing this for me. If all my
birthdays were this much fun I'd want to have them
more often."

"Who says you can't celebrate your birthday more
often? Life is always worth celebrating, Scully."

Her breath caught at the expression on his face. Such
a depth of emotion. She wanted nothing more than to
lean closer and closer till her lips touched his. She
barely controlled herself, as Mulder clasped her right
hand and squeezed, before bringing it to his lips.

"Let's get back, Scully. It's getting late," he
whispered.

She didn't want this night to end, yet she was certain
Mulder wouldn't accept her invitation to her
apartment. She knew he wanted her, as much as she
wanted him, but he wasn't going to act on it yet.

Mulder held her gaze, telling her without words that
there was no hurry, that they would be together soon,
but first he wanted to savor every step of the way.

She accepted it even as her body was screaming at her
to jump him. She understood him, and despite knowing
it was going to be torture to hold back, she was willing
to follow his lead, just for the sweetness and
anticipation of it.

They walked back to the field were their cars were
parked. For a moment she thought Mulder was going to
kiss her, but he only stroked her hair. Leaning over,
he whispered a "Good night" in her ear, leaving her
body humming with tension. Mulder looked into her
eyes to gather her reaction, turned, and walked to
his car.

end of part 1