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Undercover OP: The Cruise, Part 5

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Title: Undercover OP: The Cruise (Part 5/?)
 
Author: MeGgiE42
 
Author's notes: (See part 1 for rest of details) I'm SOOO
sorry it's taken me so long to post! If only I could take a
break from RL...
 
For those of you just joining us, welcome! Pull up a chair,
grab an ice tea or rootbeer, and get comfy! :) Oh, and you
may want to read parts 1-4 before starting on 5. Don't worry,
you're not that far behind, they're fairly short. ;)
 
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
 
The next morning Scully woke up to the sun on her face.  She lay in bed a few more minutes, gazing out the window
at the beautiful ocean sky.  She thought about the irony
of their situation.  Here she and Mulder were, on a luxury
cruise, in a room that she actually didn't mind staying in,
and all they could do was worry about catching yet another
bad guy. 
 
Suddenly, Scully wished she could just take a break and enjoy
spending some "normal time" with Mulder.  She really had
enjoyed their dance lesson.
 
"Scully?"  Mulder's voice was barely above a whisper as the
door cracked open.  She knew he was checking to see if she
was awake before heading for the bathroom.  Scully sat up.
"Did I wake you?"  He pushed the door open slowly.
 
"No, I was up."  She took in Mulder's ruffled hair and grinned. 
Bedhead-Mulder was always a sight she loved.
 
"I'm just going to take a quick shower."  Mulder headed
for the bathroom.
 
"Mulder?" Her partner turned to face her as Scully
continued, "You did notice that there wasn't a shower
right?"  The expression on his face clearly told her he
hadn't.
 
"I guess the heart and I have a date then."  Mulder was almost
in the room before he stopped and turned back.  "Unless, of
course, you wanted to go first."  His serious tone suddenly
changed as he added, "Although it *is* a huge heart-shaped
Jacuzzi.  I'm sure we could share."
 
Scully rolled her eyes.  "Go take your bath Mulder." ~Before I
change my mind~.
 
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
 
A few hors later, Mulder and Scully found themselves walking
hand in hand over the main deck.  He'd  been afraid she would
protest when he took her hand, but was pleasantly surprised
when she didn't reject his "we're undercover" explanation. 
Mulder grinned to himself, knowing that as long as people were
watching, Scully would play the part.
 
They'd wandered around the deck for a while, chatting about
nothing in particular-the weather, the beautiful view, all the
while on the lookout for any suspicious activity.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
They paused for a moment to stand at the railing.  Scully closed
her eyes, taking a deep breath of sea air.  She was just thinking
about how much she loved the ocean-its vast beauty and the calming
effect it seemed to have on her-when she felt Mulder's arms slowly
slip around her waist.  Scully's eyes flew open in surprise.
 
Mulder chuckled quietly and let his chin rest on the top of her
head.  He held her gently, not saying a word.  In the back of her
mind, Scully knew it was all just another convincing 'we're on our
honeymoon' act, and as strange as it felt to be standing at the
rail of a cruise ship in Mulder's arms, it also felt so right. 
She let herself linger in his embrace, content to just *be* in
the moment.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
Mulder didn't know what came over him to suddenly wrap his arms
around his partner.  Maybe it was the far-off look in her eyes or
the way the wind delicately threaded its way through her auburn
hair.  Before he knew what was happening, he was standing there,
with his arms wrapped around Scully, never wanting to let go.  He
was even more surprised when she settled into his embrace.  He'd
expected her to break away after a few moments. 
Was she just playing the part? Not wanting to appear suspicious to
anyone who may be watching?  Or...was there something else?  The
thought sent a jolt through his body, and suddenly Mulder was back
to his 'maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all' theory.  Time
to revert into a safer mode.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
How long had they been standing this way? It seemed like an
eternity, but Scully knew it'd only been a few minutes.  Scully
didn't know what to say, didn't trust her voice to speak even if
she had.  And so, she closed her eyes and relished in the moment. 
She thought she felt Mulder tense, but before she could look to
see what the problem was, he'd relaxed again.
 
"Hey Scully," his voice was low, seductive.  The feel of his
breath tickling her ear as he spoke sent shivers down her spine.
 
"Yes?"  She swallowed, glad that he voice didn't portray her
sudden panic.
 
"You want to play ping pong?" 
 
For a moment, Scully didn't reply, thrown completely off guard
by his remark.  Maybe she hadn't heard him right.  "Ping pong?"
Finally meeting Mulder's gaze, she knew she'd heard him right. 
He was grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
 
"Yeah." Mulder stepped back, releasing her.  He gestured towards
a row of ping pong tables a few yards away.
 
Scully stared at him incredulously.  Was he serious?
 
"Elizabeth?"  Her partner waited for her reply.
 
"Um, yeah sure."  Scully shook off her surprise and followed
him towards an open table. 
 
Apparently it had been all an act.  She couldn't deny her
disappointment. 
You're undercover.  Mulder's just acting the way he's supposed
to, she told herself as she picked up a red paddle.  This is a
job. Nothing more, nothing less.  She sighed inwardly as Mulder
hit the small white ball over the net.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
"Come on Elizabeth, one more match," Mulder begged.  Who knew
Scully was so good at ping pong?
 
"Uh-uh *Will*," Scully said, offering her partner a satisfied
smirk.  "I won fair and square, best two out of three."
 
Mulder groaned.  He was going to be stuck doing the expense
reports for the rest of his life if he didn't do something
quick.  He was silently probing the depths of his mind for a
way to get Scully to agree to best three out of five, when a
familiar voice broke his concentration.
 
"Will! Elizabeth!"  Mulder and Scully exchanged a brief look
of panic at the sound of Rose's voice.  "We've been looking
for you all day!"
 
"No place to hide on a ship."  Mulder wondered how they'd
managed it this long.  As expected, Rose laughed and punched
him in the arm. 
 
Mulder met Scully's gaze ~Does she *have* to keep doing that?~ 
His partner seemed to be having a tough time keeping a straight
face.
 
"I'm sure they a have better things to do with their time
then hang around with us," Jack said, winking at Mulder as
if they shared some great secret.
 
"Hey, did you guys hear about the hurricane?"  Rose suddenly
changed the subject.
 
"Hurricane?"  Scully asked.
 
"Tropical storm actually," Jack gently corrected his wife. 
"Remember Hon, they never actually said it was a hurricane."
 
"They can call it what they want, either way I'm still nervous
about it heading our way," Rose said, a slight hint of annoyance
coloring her words.  It was the first time Mulder had ever seen
her even slightly non-peppy.  She must have been worried.
 
"They?"  Mulder asked, wondering why this was the first he
was hearing of the so-called tropical storm.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
"Mr. and Mrs. Scotts."  Jack nodded in the direction of a
middle-aged couple a few yards away.  The woman was wearing
a breezy summer dress with a cloud pattern on it.
 
"They're both meteorologists or something," Rose tried to
explain.  "They're on vacation, but their boss called them
up to try and collect some  data since they're currently
the closest to the storm."
 
Closest to the storm? Scully didn't like the sound of that. 
 
Mulder appeared to be turning green at the mere mention of
possible choppy waters.  So far, as far as she could tell,
he hadn't had any trouble with his normally uncooperative
sea legs.  But that looked like it was about to change.
 
"I'm sure we have nothing to worry about," Jack said.  Scully
hoped he was right.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
Needing a place to discuss the case without fear of
being overheard, Mulder and Scully opted for room service
that night.  Besides work, they now had an excuse to avoid Jack
and Rose for the rest of the evening.
 
The sun cast an orange glow across the water and onto their own
private deck as it slowly sank behind the horizon.  There was no
denying the romantic setting.  Scully couldn't help but wonder
if Mulder had picked up on it too.  He'd have to be blind not
too, but then again he was Mulder.
 
So far, there'd been so sign of Rose's so-called hurricane
heading their way.  She hoped it wasn't just the calm before
the storm.
 
"I don't know about you Scully, but I'm beginning to wonder
if there's any case here." Done eating, Mulder pushed his
plate away and settled back into his chair.
 
"Mulder, we've only been here a day and a half."  Scully
finished the last bite of her cheesecake and sat back.
Her partner didn't reply as he got up to grab his glasses
and case files.  Sitting back down, he pushed aside their
empty plates to make room.  Scully grabbed the dishes and
placed them neatly on the room-service tray a few feet away.
 
"While we were playing ping pong I noticed Agent Hardelle
was bartending," Mulder said, putting on his glasses to study
the files more closely.
 
"Is that where you went when you left me to fend for myself
against our two enthusiastic friends," it was more of a
statement than a question.
 
"She hasn't been able to find out anything either."  Mulder
seemed to be intensely studying the file in his hand. 
Scully watched her partner read over the passenger list again. 
He was leaned back in his chair, reading, relaxed, feet propped
on a nearby chair.  His hair was ruffled from the ocean breeze. 
She wondered if he knew exactly how good he really looked in
glasses.  The thought caught her off guard and quickly she
grabbed a file to look over herself.
 
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
 
"Remind me again what we're doing here?" Scully asked. 
 
Mulder looked up at the sound of his partner's voice.  For a
second, he was thrown off by the way she was silhouetted
against the light of the full moon.  An errant strand of
auburn hair fell suddenly across her line of vision.  Quickly,
she tucked it behind her ear.
 
Mulder brought his mind back to the case, "From what
little we know about this case, if we're ever going to
catch these guys it's gonna be at night, right?"
 
"Yes, but Mulder, what are we doing *here*?"  Scully
gestured to their surroundings. 
  
"One, getting a massage as a couple is what you do when
you're on a cruise-especially on a honeymoon; and two,
it's the closest we can get to surveillance of the bridge
without looking suspicious," Mulder said in a low voice. 
Personally, he thought it was a great idea.  He'd signed
up for the 'moonlight massage' just after talking to Agent
Hardelle at the bar that afternoon.  Which was why he'd
taken so long to get back to Scully and the Dawsons.
 
Across from him, wearing a matching white robe, Scully
shot him a skeptical look.  "Mulder, since when did you
become a honeymoon expert?"
 
Before he could answer, a young Japanese masseuse entered,
carrying an armful of lotions and massage oil.  Mulder
caught Scully's eye, sending her his trademark 'this is
going to be fun' look.  He stopped grinning when Scully
shot him The Look.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
"Now that I've shown you the basics, you should have no
problem," their masseuse, Miaka, said, handing Mulder two
of the bottles in her hand. 
 
If it wasn't for Mulder's panic face, Scully would have
thought her partner had planned the entire thing. 
 
"Most of our honeymooners enjoy giving their partners a
massage themselves."  Miaka smiled.  "If you have any
questions or concerns, I'll be right inside."  With that,
Miaka politely excused herself.

Mulder didn't move. Scully bit back a laugh.  "This was
your idea. *Will*."
 
Mulder stood there for a long minute contemplating what
he should do.  On one hand he wanted nothing more than to
give Scully the best massage of her life.   On the other
this was *Scully* lying on that massage table and he was
Mulder, standing there with *lotion* in his hands of all
things, and-he didn't know if he could-without, could he
really do this?
 
"Mulder?" Scully frowned.  "What are you waiting for?"
 
Mulder swallowed hard. Finally, as usual, he decided to
take the safe way out, shaping a wry grin on his lips.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
Scully studied her partner curiously.  She'd clearly seen
Mulder's panic-face when the masseuse left him to fend for
himself.  When she'd jokingly reminded him this was his
idea, she wasn't prepared for his silence.  What ever
happened to the-
 
"I'm just trying to decide if you're a-" Mulder glanced
down at the bottles in his hand, reading the labels,
"-Lavender Dream or a Sensual Blend."
 
Ah. There it was.  Mulder never was one to resist a
chance at a witty comeback. 
Scully raised an eyebrow.  What would he do if she
decided to play along this time? "What about a Sensual
Dream?"
 
For a moment she thought the panic-face had returned.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
"Why Scully..." Mulder quickly recovered from his initial
shock, grinning.
 
"Elizabeth."  Scully stated simply, reaching up to grab
the lavender massage oil.
 
"Elizabeth," Mulder corrected, placing the other bottle
down on the counter.  
As he was contemplating what he was really going to do
now, the sound of two men arguing caught his attention.
 
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
 
Well, it took me long enough, but FINALLY I posted! I
really hope those of you who have been reading haven't
completely given up on me! :( Let me know what you thought!

Your feedback would definitely help make these terrible
last few weeks I've had so much better! :D That and it
always motivates me to write more if I know I have
people who want to read. ;) ~Meggie~
 

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