Title: Fear of Flying
Archives: Spookies, Gossamer, Ephemeral are okay. Others, please ask.
Spoilers: Not a one. Can you believe it?
Classification: ScullySlash. Scully POV.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. CC, 1013 and Fox have the sole rights to their existence. Dammit!
A special thanks goes to Erica Jong, an early explorer of women's sexuality.
Summary: Mel makes Dana an offer she *can* refuse and one she can't.
Note: This is set in the Beach Blanket Bingo Universe. It is not necessary for you to have read the first two installments, this can easily stand alone. But a little background never hurts, and since they are both vignettes, if you want to read them to get caught up, go here: http://scullyfu.populli.net/
When I called Mel from the hospital to let her know I was all right she was pissed beyond words. I suppose being woken from a sound sleep at three in the morning may have been a factor, but I truly believe her anger was merely acting as a mask for the fear. She hates it when I go on night surveillance. It scares her. She says bad things can happen after dark. I try to reassure her, tell her that bad things can happen in broad daylight as well, but she counters that at least you might have a chance to see the bad guy coming when the sun is out. I can't argue with that logic.
Mulder was out of the room when I called to tell her that he would take me home, but she insisted on coming to get me.
"Mel, really, you don't need to come out at this hour. Mul--"
"I said I would be there in fifteen minutes."
She rushed into the emergency waiting room area wearing a pair of sweats, a sweatshirt with her pajama sleeves peeking out at the wrists, tennis shoes with no socks, and her hair pulled back into a rough approximation of a ponytail.
Mulder had finally figured out a couple months ago that I'd been seeing someone, but I refused to tell him any of the particulars. So when Mel appeared he put two and two together. I mean, other than your mother, who else besides a lover would schlep to a hospital in the middle of the night if they didn't have to? Mulder looked at me, I looked at Mulder. In that split second his eyes told me that he understood exactly the dynamic of my relationship with this whirlwind that had just blown in.
Mulder and Mel exchanged pleasantries as I re-introduced them to each other. She told him thanks for staying with me and he left. After looking me over to see that I still had all my limbs, we exchanged a hug; we both exhaled with relief that the other was there. I could physically feel my body relax as she held me.
Mel all but slammed the car door as she settled in behind the wheel. "We're outta here. Tell Skinner or whoever that you're taking two weeks off, I'm getting you away from this madness." She refused to listen to or be swayed by any of my usual arguments about being fine and needing to work. Melanie is not Mulder.
"It's not going to work this time. I know you love your job, Dana, but it's just plain nuts to put yourself on the line every single day. You deserve a break and I can use one, too. This past week has been hell for me with you gone every night. I sit up and wait for you to come home. Dreading the call. My muscles seize up from the time you leave till I hear your key in the door." She looked over at me and took my hand as we waited for the light to change. "I'll be damned if I'm going to lose you this way." Then she smiled so tenderly that I just couldn't refuse her.
Looking over at her now, on the plane home from the island, I realize how much I've missed by years of self-denial. But all things happen in their own time and if I want to get all metaphysical, I could say that Melanie happened now because I'm in a space that allows me to be open to her.
She senses my periodic sideways glances, looks up from her book and smiles. Her dark eyes twinkle. I take her hand and twine our fingers together.
"You okay?" she asks, placing the tasseled bookmark between the pages and closing her book.
"Yep. Just a little sad about having to leave."
Turning towards me, she says, "We can always go back. Maybe if I ask real nice the pilot will turn this baby around."
I can't help myself and laugh out loud. "Yeah, sure, like that'll work."
"I can be quite persuasive when I want to be. Charming is the word, I believe."
"Well you are both of those, but somehow I don't think the pilot would succumb to your charms up here at thirty-five thousand feet."
She gets a devilish look in her eye. "Would you?"
"Would I what?"
"You know, succumb to my charms?"
When I don't speak, she adds, "Up here, at thirty-five thousand feet."
"Surely you're not going to suggest some sort of mile high club antics in the bathroom."
"Why not?" she asks, reaching for my other hand.
"Because those bathrooms are so small there's barely enough room to have sex with myself in there." I can't believe I just said that. I know I must be blushing.
She throws her head back against the seat and laughs. "Dana, sometimes you come out with the craziest things."
She returns to her book and I turn to look at the ocean from my window seat. It's hard to tell anything about it from up here. It appears calm, but it could just as easily be choppy or rolling with giant swells. There are big fluffy white clouds and I remember how on summer days as children Melissa and I would lie on our backs on the grass and try to make castles and whales out of them. More often than not, Bill and Charlie would douse us with buckets of cold water; mom would come running out of the house yelling at us to stop screeching and chase the boys with a rolled up paper. They'd take off running down the street; I don't think she ever caught them, but it was funny to watch all the same.
The first class cabin is only about half full, unlike the trip down when there wasn't an unoccupied seat. We decided to treat ourselves and fly first class. I'm glad we did, it's a nice change from bumping elbows with strangers in coach. Our closest fellow passenger is a familiar looking woman in the aisle across from us and back a row. She appears to be traveling alone. I stop to think of where I may have seen her, but can't quite nail it down. No doubt I saw her somewhere on the island. Doesn't really matter, it's just one of those niggling things that eats at me.
I close my eyes until the flight attendant brings us our lunch. The food up here isn't that much better than what they serve in coach. When you get right down to it airplane food is airplane food. It's all pre-fabbed and nuked. I could be wrong, but the drinks do seem a little stronger up here. Maybe it's just that I've had more to drink than when Mulder and I fly. Two drinks in the bar before we boarded and then another two on the plane have placed me well over my limit. But what the heck, technically I am still on vacation, at least for another couple of days.
So when Mel asks if I want another drink I nod in the affirmative. We're not going to be driving home; we're taking the blue shuttle service and they'll take us right to the house. No fuss, no muss, no long-term parking charges.
Suddenly I feel exhausted. For having just spent the last week doing nothing but lounging around the beach all day and sleeping late, I'm beat. A week of sun and surf, lovely healthy food, and lots of loving, you'd think I'd be rested and ready to get back to the grind. But I think the exhaustion is more a symptom of not wanting to go back down into the dungeon again. A dungeon, by definition, is a dark place and the basement of the Hoover Building is no exception. A few street level windows bring in some natural light, but there's no substitute for the healing properties of mass quantities of the real thing.
And then there's Melanie. This last week with her has been nothing short of glorious. I'm glad she refused to let me off the hook. To be honest, I was already planning on taking some time off and my protests to the contrary I loved that she was being so protective. Besides, it gave us some much-needed time together. I've never been so happy, so contented. I'm worried though. Worried what will happen next. It was easy being together openly on the island, there's a freedom in anonymity; but back in the city we will need to be more careful. People know us there and we have careers to protect. Although Mel is out to some people, I'm not. Hell, I didn't ever expect to have a relationship with another woman. Mel is the first. And if all goes well, my last.
"I'll be right back," she says, rising. I look up at her and am struck once again by her lovely and strong athletic body, tanned beyond belief; she has her silky dark hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. She is sexy and smart to boot. She owns a computer consulting company that allows her some leeway for spontaneous travel.
My eyes are closed and she's back before I realize it. I hear the overhead storage compartment open. "What are you doing?" I ask.
"Getting a blanket and pillow, want one?"
"Yes, thanks." She tosses them to me and then sits back down.
"Not really, maybe just a bit of a chill. All this sitting still doesn't allow for much circulation," I say, adjusting the pillow behind my head. Mel helps to spread the blanket over me, tucking it around my shoulders and draping it over my legs.
"Better?" she asks, raising the armrest that separates us.
She turns towards me, bending her knees and putting them up on the seat between us. Throwing the blanket over herself, she lays her face against her pillow. We can't be more than a foot apart.
"I bet I could get you warm in a hurry." She speaks softly, her warm breath floating over me like a gentle breeze.
"I bet you could," I say, smiling.
She brings her hands out from underneath her blanket and slides them under mine. "Mel, what are you doing?"
"I'm going to help get you warm."
"You must be joking."
Her hands have found mine and she is running one hand up and down my arm. Despite the sudden goose bumps, I am getting warm.
"I checked out the bathroom and you were right about there not being enough room in there to have sex, so..." Her voice trails off, but she leaves no doubt as to what she is suggesting.
"We can't, not here in our seats for heaven's sake."
"Why not? There's no one around and if anyone does look over they'll just see us covered with blankets. They'll never suspect as long as you're quiet and don't do any of those famous power moans of yours." She's grinning from ear to ear, obviously relishing the prospect of getting me off here on the plane.
"A bit of an exhibitionist, aren't you? First on the beach, now here." The way her hand is moving over my breasts is forcing me to re-think my reluctance.
"I don't recall you telling me to stop on the beach," she says, continuing to stroke and squeeze me under the blanket. I gasp. "Shhh."
She slides her hand up under my tank top and pushes up my sports bra. It all happens in less than thirty seconds and suddenly she pinches one of my nipples. Oh, God, the shivers that sends throughout my body, the electricity courses down to and out my toes. Then she pinches and tugs on the other one. Same reaction, only now I have to swallow hard to stop from crying out.
"You're being very quiet, that's good because otherwise I'd have to stop." She hesitates. "You don't want me to stop, do you, Dana?"
She knows I don't, but I shake my head anyway. She leans in closer and whispers, "I want to kiss you so badly." She watches my face to see my reaction.
It must have "me, too" written all over it because then she adds, "I want to suck on your lips and run my tongue across them." I think my temperature just spiked up about seventeen degrees.
"Feeling warmer?" she asks. Her other hand has somehow found its way behind me. I can feel her fingers fumbling with the waistband of my shorts.
"Uh huh," I grunt, relying on caveman language, it's all I can manage. I have no doubt that my cheeks are flushed, can't she tell?
Her voice is so low I can barely make out what she says except for "right here, right now", but the look in her eye is unmistakable.
"Unzip you shorts." My eyes must register my surprise. "Go ahead, unzip them."
"Mel," I whisper.
She looks around. "It's all right. Just be quiet."
I hesitate. This is crazy. I've never done anything like this. "What if someone sees?"
"No one's looking." Her hand is stroking the inside of my thighs and I'm all atingle.
"What if the flight attendant comes around again?"
"They're back in the galley visiting, on a break or something." She blows seductively into my ear. She's making it very hard to breathe, let alone think up excuses.
"Dana," she says, holding me with her gaze. "If you want me to stop, just say so."
Her hands have stopped teasing my body. The sensations have ceased; I want them back. I gather up my nerves and unbutton and unzip my shorts. Those four drinks have really lowered my inhibitions.
"God, Dana, you are a wild one. Remember, be quiet." I nod, practicing my new language of silence.
She slides her hand down my stomach and into my panties. Oh, Holy Mother. I'm terrified and excited all at the same time. Then I feel her hand that was behind my back.
"Sit up a little bit." I do as instructed and am rewarded with two fingers thrust quickly inside me. I sit back down, on her hand, forcing her deeper inside me.
I have to bite my lip to keep from moaning out loud. My body is tense with restraint. Dear Lord, this has to be a sin. I want to cry out as she rubs my clit, but I don't. I'm quiet.
Mel leans over to me. "When we get home it'll be my tongue inside you." The sound of her voice and the promises she's purring are making it extremely difficult to remain mute. "I want to taste what I do to you."
"Now," I mouth silently. I can feel my muscles clamping around her fingers inside me. I clutch her hand that is stroking my clit. "Now." OhGodohGodohGod. I've got to do something or I will scream. I bite down on the pillow to avoid chewing through my tongue.
She speeds up her movements, both inside and outside of me, and I fight to keep my body from lurching and kicking the seat in front of me. The last thing I want to do is attract attention with any sudden movements. Out of the corner of my eye, between our seats, I notice the woman across the aisle watching us, me. It hits me. The bar, she was in the bar and I felt that she was watching me then, too. I'm just being paranoid. It's the guilt and embarrassment of what we're doing that's making me think she's watching. She can't see a thing and I was quiet. Even when I wanted to scream, I didn't.
After my muscles stop pulsing, Mel says, "Dana, I'd gladly stay like this the rest of the flight, but my hand is going to sleep. Lift up a bit." I do, but I don't want to. "Thanks." She smiles and gives my breasts one last squeeze. They're tender, but she's gentle. She helps me pull my bra back down. I zip up my pants. It's more difficult than one would think to do these things under a blanket without drawing unwanted attention.
I give myself a couple minutes to calm down. "It's a good thing I don't smoke," I say.
"Cause I'd sure as hell need one right about now and there's no smoking on airplanes." We grin like stupid fools at one another.
"I need to go to the bathroom." Mel gets up to let me out and I see the woman watching me again. Does she know? Can she see it in my eyes? I quickly look away.
When I return the blankets and pillows are back in the overhead and Mel has ordered us each another drink. The woman smiles knowingly at me. Jesus. What a fool I've made of myself. And for what? Stupid question. Was it worth it? Oh, hell, yes.
"So, warmed up now?" Mel stares at me and moves over, so I take the aisle seat.
"That woman saw us."
"What are you talking about? What woman?" She moves her vision past me.
"Don't look." I pause as she settles back into her seat. "The woman across the aisle and back a row."
"You're imagining things. She didn't see a thing. She couldn't from where she's sitting." She flashes her 'trust me' smile and I feel myself relax, for a moment.
"But you didn't see the way she looked at me when I got up."
"Or, or the 'I know what you did' smile she gave me when I came back."
"I really don't think so, but even if she did, so what?"
"So what?" I fight to keep my voice low and under control.
Mel takes a casual sip of her drink. "Yes, so what? We didn't do anything wrong. Besides, it's not like we're ever going to see her again."
"I guess you're right. I've never done anything like that and well, I think my nerves are a little jangled."
"Just a little? I must be slipping," she says, grinning.
"Don't tease me, Mel."
"Hell, I bet she probably liked it. Not as much as we did, but..." she lets her voice trail off.
I think my jaw must be hanging open. I can't quite process what I'm hearing.
"Look, Dana, everyone's got a bit of a voyeur in them."
"I don't know if that is a viable assessment."
"No," I protest.
"Have you ever watched the Indy 500?"
"Yes, a couple times with my dad, but I don't see--"
"Why do you think most people watch those things? Surely, it's not to sit for hours on end watching cars go in circles. Secretly everyone is waiting for the crash, the big excitement." She pauses. "I can see you're still not convinced. Have you ever driven past a wreck on the freeway and slowed down to look?"
"Well, it's the same thing. People are voyeurs. It doesn't have to have a bad connotation. We like to look at people and what they're doing, that's all."
"I guess that's a plausible hypothesis."
She snorts. "Yeah, I guess it is."
"Are you going to stay over tonight?" I ask.
"I thought I made my intentions on that subject quite clear about fifteen minutes ago or maybe you just weren't focusing on what I was saying."
"Um, I was a little preoccupied."
"Dana, do you know how happy you make me?"
"If it's half as happy as you make me--" I stop mid-sentence, aware that she is touching my knee. Searching, I find my answer in the dark eyes that openly declare what is in her heart. We sit quietly for a moment just being together, content in our happiness.
"Have you thought about what you're going to do when we get back?"
I'm a little confused by the question. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, have you given any more thought to my job offer?"
"Oh, that." Shit, that didn't come out right. Mel has been trying to recruit me for her firm practically from the first time we met.
That was about six months ago, and although I turned her down, she still asks me periodically. For whatever reason, she's chosen this to be one of the times.
"Can we talk about this after we get home, please?"
"Sure," she says, picking up her book and burying her nose in it.
Crap. What's wrong? Just because I don't want to discuss this right now, she gets in a snit. Great.
We sit in silence for a bit. She has a will of steel that puts mine to shame. I know her, she will not crack. I'm the one who's going to have to say something.
Zippo. "Mel, what's wrong?" She lets out a heavy sigh.
"Dammit, Mel, what did I do?" I think back to my earlier, 'oh, that' remark. It was insensitive and probably the catalyst.
"Not a thing, Dana."
"Then why are you acting like I have?"
She shuts her book. "I guess I'm just disappointed, again."
She fiddles with the tassel of her bookmark. I remain quiet and wait for her to continue.
"Your hesitancy to even discuss it can only mean that I'm going to be shot down again."
How can I make this better? I don't want this to be the end of our vacation. "May I make a suggestion?"
She nods slightly. "Believe me when I say that I have not stopped giving your very generous offer consideration." The fact is that after this latest surveillance episode I've been weighing over the pros and cons of her offer again.
"Please just let me come to you if I change my mind? My work on the X-Files is still important to me and as wonderful as your offer is, at this time I can't accept it."
She says nothing, but again nods. Her face shows her disappointment, but her eyes reveal a return to hopefulness. I reach over and touch her face; she forces a small smile and kisses my palm.
"No need to apologize. I know what it's like to want something badly and think you'll never get it."
"Yeah." I smile to reassure her, but decide not to reveal the secret that darkened my heart on many occasions was the fear of never being with her.
The pilot chooses this moment to announce our impending descent. We face forward, return our seats to the upright position, and buckle our lap belts. I reach out and take her hand.
"Which is worse for you, take-off or landing?" she asks, seemingly ready to put the tiff behind us.
"I don't know, they're about even, I think."
The plane starts down. "Breathe, Dana." I didn't know I wasn't.
"Look, you can see the city lights, just a few more minutes. Hang on."
The squeal of the tires gripping the tarmac is always a relief. Now I can relax. Now I can breathe easily.
"Yep." I turn and give her a smile to show her I'm fine.
"Ready to go home?"
"Definitely. I'm glad we took the shuttle. After all the drinks we've had neither of us should be behind a wheel. Besides, I'm tired."
"Me too. Why does alcohol make me so tired?"
I start to speak, but she cuts me off. "It was rhetorical. As much as I love to hear your scientific explanations for everything, I think I can live without it this time." She squeezes my hand reassuringly.
I smile at her teasing. "Let's go," I say, rising and flipping open the overhead luggage compartment. "Don't forget your book on the floor."
We take our carry-ons and head to the luggage carousel to collect our suitcases. We limited ourselves to one bag each, figuring we wouldn't need much for a week at a beach resort. I spy the woman from the plane at the opposite end of the carousel. She's smiling at us. I nudge Mel and tilt my head a bit towards the woman. Mel doesn't miss a beat before smiling at her and putting her arm around me. The woman's bag arrives before ours; she grabs it, and heads out of the terminal.
We don't have long to wait and are soon heading out to the shuttle bus area. Fifteen minutes later we're on our way home.
FEEDBACK? I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! email@example.com
On to part 4, First Contact