Category: slash light, discipline
Disclaimer: If Chris Carter can't play nicely with them, he doesn't deserve them
Spoilers: tiny ones for several eps., but we're all fans, so we've seen every one twice anyway!
"C'mon, Fox. It'll be fun," Walter Skinner wheedled, almost surprising his lover out of his current stubborn mood.
The burly ex-Marine commanded, barked, roared; he rarely ever resorted to whining to get his way.
"We can have just as much fun staying inside city limits," the younger man returned firmly, equally determined to win this argument.
"But think of all that fresh air!"
"I'm thinking of clouds of mosquitoes."
"How about the fishing?" his lover tried again.
Mulder's scowling face made clear what he thought of *that* idea.
"Smog free sunshine!" Skinner suggested brightly.
"Heat stroke," Mulder countered.
The AD rolled away from him in disgust, tugging on his boxers. "You know, as your superior, I could order you to go."
"To investigate a case, yes. To play Boy Scout jamboree in the woods with you, no."
"But personnel told us we both have to take some of our accrued time or lose it. We might as well do something fun!"
"Roughing it in the woods is NOT my idea of fun!"
"I told you, it won't be like that. Mark's cabin has all the comforts of home."
"We have all the comforts of home here, too, and we don't have to drive three hours outside the city to get there."
Skinner lay back down, spooning behind his lover and nibbling his ear in a way that he knew drove the younger man wild.
"But just think, Fox. Peace, quiet, no ringing telephones, no late night calls into the office," he murmured seductively.
"No midnight pizza delivery. No cable TV."
Once more growing exasperated, Walter sat up. "But how often have we both had a few days off at the same time? Wouldn't you rather spend them in the great outdoors instead of cooped up in this tiny apartment?"
"Do the words killer lightning bugs mean anything to you? Or rat-dog eating alligators? How about mind-molding mushrooms? The 'great outdoors' has not been kind to this agent, " the younger man returned resolutely, wishing his lover would stop talking and go back to nibbling.
Skinner finally shrugged, deciding to play his trump card. "Oh well, if I really can't convince you, I guess we can just spend the next few days re-sanding the wood floors. I've been meaning to do that for quite a while. And while we're waiting for the polyurethane to dry between coats, we can clean out those closets of yours."
Mulder sat up quickly, his eyes narrowed. "That's blackmail!"
"No, it's not," Skinner replied sweetly. "You promised me that the next time we had some free time, we could take care of those things. If you'd rather do them instead of spending some quality time making love in the wild woods, that's your choice."
"I'll probably end up with poison ivy in places I don't even want to think about," Mulder sighed in a resigned voice that told Skinner the battle was won. "Or a sunburned butt."
Skinner gave said butt a healthy swat as he ambled off the bed. "Don't worry about that, Fox. I'll just make sure you're always on the bottom!" he said with a grin as he hurried from the room to call his friend and accept the offer of the cabin before his lover could change his mind.
Two days later, both men were finishing their packing. Skinner checked his flies and lures one last time before closing his tackle box, while Mulder chose yet another book from the pile by his side of the bed. It had been growing for months, just waiting until he could find time to read them all.
"Now, remember, Fox, no cell phones, no laptops, no files-nothing to remind us of work at all!"
Mulder scowled at the prospect of seven days cut off from the outside world. As much as he loved Walter, the woods held little appeal for him unless they held the promise of an X-File.
"What about my gun, Walter? I'm supposed to carry that, you know."
The older man mulled it over for a moment. "I'll pack mine just for emergencies. NOT that I'm expecting any this time. You leave yours locked up here."
"How come you get to take yours and I don't?"
"'Cause I'm the boss, that's why. Besides, if you're unarmed, you *might* be slightly less likely to go looking for trouble."
"I don't go looking for trouble, Walter," Mulder said sourly.
"Yeah, and Clinton didn't inhale," his lover murmured under his breath as he turned towards the closet for a few more items.
Mulder stuck his tongue out at his lover's back, but his expression quickly changed to one of horror when he noticed the thick leather belt the AD was coiling and getting ready to place in the bag sitting open on the bed.
"What's that for?" he asked nervously.
Skinner glanced down, puzzled by the tone, until he realized what he was holding. "Oh, don't worry, Fox. This isn't for you. It's just the belt I use when I go camping. It's sturdier than my dress belts."
"I know!" Mulder replied plaintively. "You've used it on me a number of times!"
"Only when you've truly deserved it," the AD reminded him.
Mulder threw himself down on the bed in a sulk. "Well, if you're packing that, I'm not going!"
"Fox!" Skinner began soothingly, sitting down next to him and wrapping an arm around him. "I have no plans to use this on you!"
"You never *plan* to use it on me-it just ends up that way!"
"Actually, that's not entirely true. That time I had to retrieve you from that jail in that little town outside Phillie, I definitely planned to use it," the AD remarked thoughtfully, scratching his head. At his lover's outraged expression, Skinner quickly dropped his musings. "Look, if you behave, I won't have any reason to use it anyway, so let's not worry about it, OK? Besides, if I don't wear it, my jeans will fall down and give every bear in the area a peek at my lip print boxers!"
Mulder grinned at that in spite of himself. "You're really wearing them? I thought they'd be too much for your tough, Marine image."
"They were a gift from you, so I wear them. But I can't have furry little woodland creatures laughing, now can I? It would totally destroy my image."
"Well, I suppose not," Mulder agreed reluctantly, though he still glared at the belt with undisguised hatred.
"Besides," Skinner continued matter-of-factly, rising and continuing to pack, "there are plenty of switches to cut in the woods, and if all else fails, there's always my hand."
"Thanks for that comforting thought," Mulder muttered, his dark mood returning.
"I was a Boy Scout, Mulder-we're always prepared!," his lover replied cheerfully.
Less than 24 hours later, they were comfortably set up in the cabin. As his friend had told him, Skinner found all the comforts of home, including a VCR for the small TV.
Less than 48 hours later, Fox Mulder was bored out of his mind.
It wasn't that he didn't enjoy being with Walter. On the contrary, he loved having the older man all to himself. But while Walter intended to take full advantage of all the outdoor recreation the area had to offer, Mulder preferred more cerebral pursuits, and there simply weren't that many around. Even his large stack of books only held his interest for a few hours. He found himself restlessly turning the pages, unable to concentrate. Skinner, for his part, was enjoying every moment. The man loved to fish, an undertaking Mulder found both messy and boring, and even enjoyed hiking along the steep and wooded trails.
Mulder had attempted to get some running in, but those trails were covered with roots and rocks, and after one attempt, when he had come back to the cabin limping on a mildly sprained ankle, Skinner had suggested he save his jogging for the relatively safer streets of DC.
The next day, he tried accompanying the older man to the lake when he went fishing, hoping he could do a little swimming, but the AD said his splashing was scaring the fish away. Mulder stomped off and spent the remainder of the afternoon sulking.
Dinner that night was a quiet affair. Mulder picked listlessly at his food, sighing often. Finally Skinner threw down his napkin.
"All right, Fox. You win. We'll pack up and head back in the morning."
Mulder's eyes lit up, but then immediately dimmed again. He didn't want his lover to be disappointed, and the evenings together *were* nice... "No, really, Walter, I'm sorry. I haven't been trying very hard to enjoy myself. I know you love this place, so I'll stick it out."
Skinner got up from the table and hugged his lover. "That's all right, I know you're hating every minute of this."
"Not every minute!" Mulder was quick to correct. "Just the ones spent outside! But really, I don't want you to cut your vacation short because of me."
"It's your vacation, too, Fox. So, how about a compromise? We'll spend one more day here, and then we'll head back to DC and spend the rest of our time off going to ball games or to the movies, or doing whatever you want."
"Really? And you won't be disappointed?" Mulder said, eyes sparkling once again.
"I like being anywhere with you, Fox. I'm just sorry I didn't consider your feelings more when we planned...when *I* planned...this trip."
"That's all right. It probably did do me some good to get out of the city for a while. I was beginning to get as pale as Scully."
"Well, how about this? I'll get up early tomorrow and get some fishing in, and then we can pack up and leave by early evening. That way we'll be back in DC by a decent hour and then we can plan anything you want for the next day."
"Sounds like a perfect compromise to me!" Mulder replied, throwing his arms around the older man in an exuberant hug.
Skinner got up before dawn the next morning, giving the lump under the covers next to him a kiss as he quietly climbed out of bed. Mulder murmured something unintelligible and snuggled more deeply into the mattress.
"I'll be home by two," Skinner whispered into the nearest ear. "Don't forget to eat some lunch."
Mulder woke late and took his coffee and a book out on the porch, happy to spend time outdoors now that he knew he'd be back in civilization by nightfall. He read happily for a while, becoming so involved in his book he jumped a foot when a large man dressed in a ranger's uniform appeared before him.
"Sorry to startle you there, son. I called to ya' a few times, but ya' didn't seem to hear me. I was just stoppin' by to notify you about some kids in the area who are set on causin' trouble. You haven't seen 'em, have you?"
Mulder stood and put his book down on the arm of the chair. "No, haven't seen anyone. It's been quiet all morning. What'd they do?"
The ranger scowled, obviously disgusted. "They came into town last night, hollerin' about seeing Bigfoot or some such nonsense. They had a big ole greasy clump of hair with them that they said the 'creature' had left behind and got people all stirred up. They said they were gonna set a trap and spend all day in the woods today trying to find the creature or more 'proof'."
Mulder couldn't help the tiny thrill of interest that went through him. While this area of the US wasn't a common spot for sightings like this, strange creatures had been reported in almost every state with large areas of open country.
"How did they describe the creature?" Mulder asked, striving for a casual tone.
The ranger's scowl deepened. "I didn't pay them no mind. Bunch a dang fool kids-always looking for ways to stir things up. Not a lick a sense between 'em. No discipline these days, that's the trouble. I'll bet not one of 'em has felt their daddy's hand on the seat of their pants. No wonder the country's going to ruin."
Mulder nodded agreeably, but inside he squirmed a little. This was a familiar theme with Walter-the conviction that a little more discipline in the world would greatly benefit the state of affairs in general--and him, specifically.
"So, where did they say they saw the creature?," Mulder asked, again in that careful tone. "I mean, I want to make sure I stay well away from any of that foolishness."
That brought a small smile to the gruff face. "Glad someone around here is using his head for more than a hat rack. Staying away from 'em is the smartest thing you can do, but I did want you to be aware of what was going on. Last I heard, they were heading in the direction of Campbell's Ridge-they had some crazy idea that the 'monster' might be hiding in the caves up that way. Like I said, fools, every one of them."
Mulder continued nodding, hoping to convince the stern ranger that he felt just the same. In truth, the older man had ignited his curiosity. Even though the ranger was probably correct in assuming that the teenagers were just trying to stir up some excitement, he hadn't devoted his life and career to chasing X-files only to ignore a possible one right under his nose.
"Well, I'll certainly keep my eyes open, sir. Thank you for taking the time to stop." He was hoping the ranger would take the hint and depart quickly. Walter was due back in a few hours, and he wanted to check out the area and be safely back in the cabin by then.
The ranger tipped his hat and headed back to his car, happy to have met such a sensible young man. As soon as he was out of sight, Mulder dashed back into the cabin, scrambling to find his heavier hiking boots, and wondering where Walter could have put his gun. He really didn't expect to face any trouble, but previous experience had taught him to be prepared for any eventuality.
After searching for several minutes, he gave up, deciding Walter must have taken the weapon with him. At the door to the cabin, he paused, biting his lip and warring with himself about his planned excursion. No matter how much he wanted to check out this sighting, he knew that his lover would never approve-or would at least expect him to wait until he could accompany him. But Mulder didn't want to wait-and he was sure that Walter would never follow up on such a flimsy tip anyway. Better to just go and check it out and get himself back before he had to answer any uncomfortable questions.
He exited the cabin, and then took a moment to look around and get his bearings. Orienting himself, he took off in the direction the ranger had indicated, and was soon on his way to the ridge.
Walter Skinner returned to the cabin a few hours later, surprised to find it empty. Mulder's book and now-cold coffee cup were sitting on the porch, but the younger man was no where to be seen. He looked for a note, and not finding one, frowned, remembering all the reminders he had given Fox about letting him know where was and when he'd be back. Scully might put up with the occasional ditching, but Walter Skinner most certainly did not.
He busied himself with packing up, surprised that Mulder hadn't even started gathering his things. He had half-expected to come home to find the jeep packed and his lover sitting on the bumper, waiting impatiently. He puttered around the cabin for a while, putting things to right so they could leave as soon as his wayward agent made his appearance.
He finished loading the jeep, and then stood on the porch, nervously watching the steadily lowering sun. Biting his lip, he debated driving down the road a ways to see if he could spot Mulder when he saw a ranger's car pulling up the long drive. Skinner went to meet it, trying to control the feeling of utter terror the sight of the car had inspired. He waited impatiently as the uniformed deputy climbed out and tipped his hat.
"S'cuse me, sir. I stopped by earlier today and spoke to that younger fella that was here. Is he around now? I wanted to give him some news."
Skinner was torn between relief that the ranger had not come bearing bad news and worry that he still had no idea where Fox might be. He forced a calmness he didn't feel into his voice. "Well, actually, he wasn't here when I got back from fishing, and frankly, I'm getting a little worried. You say you were here earlier? He didn't by any chance mention going out, did he?"
The officer seemed surprised at that news. "Gee, when I was here this morning, he was so involved in his book he scarcely heard me coming. I just wanted to warn him about some kids in the area stirring up trouble ranting and raving about spotting Big Foot. Just like I suspected, it was all a hoax. We caught them..."
Forgetting any semblance of good manners, Skinner cut the other man off in mid-sentence. "Did you say Big Foot? Where did the kids say they saw him?? When were you by? Did you see him leave?"
The ranger stared at the AD, blinking from the torrent of words he'd been assailed with. "Uh, no, he didn't mention going anywhere. In fact, he said he'd be sure to stay well away from the area the kids were found in-didn't want to get mixed up in any foolishness. Smart young man!"
Skinner snorted at that observation. As soon as he'd heard the ranger mention Big Foot, he was fairly certain he knew where his missing lover was. "You said it was all a hoax?" he prompted, anxious to get as much information as possible.
"Yeah, the kids admitted they made the whole thing up 'to liven things' up, they said. You ask me, the only things need 'livening' up around here are the rear ends of everyone of those brats, an I told each and every one of their daddies that when they came to pick them up. Gonna be an awful lot of kids standing to their supper tonight, 'less I miss my guess."
"I'd have to agree with you there, ranger," Skinner answered ominously, his mind already racing ahead to how he was going to deal with his errant agent. "Could you tell me where the kids claimed they saw the monster?"
"Sure, I told that other fellow it was up around Campbell's Ridge. I'm sure he wouldn't head there, though. He seemed like a real bright fellow."
"Oh, he is," Skinner said, his smile just a bit too wide for sincerity. The ranger looked at him oddly for a minute, and then tipped his hat.
"Well, you let me know if your young friend isn't back shortly. Even without Bigfoot prancing around, these woods are no place for a city slicker like him after dark."
"I certainly will, and thank you for the information." The ranger tipped his hat and backed down the driveway.
Skinner watched the tail lights disappear, pondering what to do. Should he wait here for his devious lover to return, or should he head out to the ridge himself? Knowing Mulder, the younger man had probably used most of the available daylight searching for evidence, and was now trying to pick his way home in the rapidly waning light. He had just decided to grab a flashlight and his gun and start a search of his own when he heard a rustling at the edge of the woods. He paused on the steps of the cabin, watching carefully. A moment later, a very disheveled Mulder appeared in the clearing. He had twigs in his hair, dirt was smeared on his chin and cheeks, his shirt was torn, and he seemed to be favoring the ankle he had twisted a few days before.
Mulder paused, seemingly unwilling to come any further when he saw his one man-one angry man-welcoming committee. "Uh, hi Walter," he finally said, though he moved no closer.
The older man merely beckoned with one crooked finger.
Mulder cast an almost wistful look over his shoulder at the beckoning woods behind him.
"Now, Mulder," Skinner said sharply, guessing the younger man's thoughts and intentions. When Mulder still hesitated, he added in a silky voice, "if you dawdle one second more, you can just cut yourself a switch while you're out there."
That got a reaction. Mulder eyes widened and he came forward quickly. Then he paused and continued more slowly, favoring his ankle more and wincing and hissing with each step. By the time he reached the steps to the cabin, he was practically hopping.
"That won't save you, you know," his lover remarked casually, seeing through the ploy immediately.
Mulder sighed and straightened up. "I can explain," he said hesitantly once he got close enough.
"Explain inside," came the terse reply. Skinner waited for the younger man to inch closer and then simply grabbed his elbow and 'helped' him up the steps and into the cabin. Once inside, he sat Mulder firmly on the couch and reached for the younger man's boot. He undid the laces carefully, easing the stiff leather off the sore ankle. He was pleased to see it was only slightly swollen, in spite of Mulder's performance in the clearing. He turned Mulder slightly and elevated the ankle on a pillow and then stepped into the kitchen to wet a towel. When he returned, he set about briskly wiping the worst of the grime and dirt away from his forlorn lover's face as though he was a grimy ten year old. Mulder bore it without protest, knowing that complaining would do nothing to improve his current situation.
Once Mulder was reasonably clean, Skinner threw the towel aside and sat back on his heels. He fixed his disobedient agent with an unblinking stare.
"Now you can explain, Mulder," he said sternly.
Mulder shifted uncomfortably. "Well, you see, it was like this..." , he began and then stopped.
Skinner raised an eyebrow. "Ye-e-s?" he prompted.
Mulder shrugged forlornly. "There's no point in going into detail. I went to investigate something I shouldn't have, in a place I shouldn't have, in a way I shouldn't have. I think that about sums it up," he sighed.
The AD nodded wisely, thinking things over. "I see. Well, since you seem to have such a clear grasp of the situation, I guess you know what comes next," Skinner finally replied.
"Me?" Mulder said hopefully, not above using his wide eyes and pouty lip in the most opportune way possible.
Skinner answered him with a snort. "Hardly. We've been down this road a few times before, Fox. Guess we need to travel it once more," he said regretfully. "Go ahead and lose your jeans, and get around to the back of the sofa."
"But what about my ankle?" Mulder wailed, his chin quivering.
"Oh, I think you'll find that leaning over the sofa won't put too much weight on it. Now get into
Mulder grumbled but complied, watching nervously as his lover grabbed the damp towel and retreated to the kitchen. Skinner returned a moment later, carrying an ordinary a fly swatter.
"What's that for?" Mulder asked warily, raising himself from the edge of the couch.
"I told you I was a Boy Scout, Mulder. You learn to improvise. Besides, I thought this might make a suitable implement for your backside. It's for use in controlling one of the more annoying aspects of your environment, and I think that fits pretty well in this case."
Mulder scowled at Skinner's words and stared distastefully at the instrument. "Eeeew! Gross! You're going to cover me with dead fly guts!" he pouted.
Skinner sighed. "It's a brand new one, Fox. I picked it up at the store yesterday to replace the one that was here since it had a broken handle. But if you'd prefer, I could always retrieve my belt," the older man threatened.
Mulder shuddered. The fly swatter looked flexible enough to sting and sturdy enough to really pack a wallop, but he still thought it would be preferable to a taste of that belt. "I'm sorry, Walter," he whispered in a small voice, deciding that an appeal for leniency would be his best hope.
Skinner snorted. "You always are, after the fact. Now, if we could just teach you to think about the consequences before the misbehavior, life would be just about perfect." He pushed his sulking lover down over the back of the sofa, sliding him forward until his feet were actually hanging a few inches above the floor, with most of his weight supported on his hips. Skinner bent his head down low to whisper into Mulder's ear. "You scared me, Fox. I don't like to be scared, and you're about to be reminded exactly how much I don't."
With that, he stood and brought the flyswatter down with a hard jerk across his lover's bare bottom. The heavy plastic made a loud slapping noise, and the mesh left a small grid pattern in red against the smooth white skin. The upended man in front of him made a strangled sound as the makeshift paddle hit again. Walter kept up a steady pace until Fox was kicking regularly, and his backside was covered with tiny red checkerboards.
"OWW!! Please, I'm sorry, please, stop!!" Mulder begged, his jeans flying off his wildly kicking legs.
"I'll stop when I'm good and ready," his lover returned sternly, not pausing in his administration of punishment. While he was not fond of thrashing the young man, he'd learned long ago that going easy on him just didn't produce the desired results. Fox, for all his whining and crying to the contrary, had a high tolerance for pain, and quitting too early would merely fuel rebelliousness, not true repentance. After a few more minutes, the AD heard the younger man's tone change, and with an internal sigh of relief, brought the spanking to an end.
He finished with a few choice words, punctuated with a sharp series of double swats delivered to the back of Mulder's thighs.
"No note! No back-up! No gun! No sense!" he snapped out, finally tossing the flyswatter down.
Fox didn't move. He just continued to lay over the sofa, clenching and unclenching his throbbing cheeks in the hope of alleviating some of the sting. He was quite convinced that if Bigfoot himself took this opportunity to walk by the cabin window and wave to him, he'd simply wave back, or perhaps produce a slightly less polite gesture. Nothing was worth this kind of pain. His lover pulled him gently to his feet, supporting his weight carefully. He slowly used his thumb to brush the tears from Mulder's eyes.
"When will you ever learn, Fox?" Walter asked softly.
"I don't know," Mulder proclaimed sorrowfully, "just promise me you won't ever stop trying to teach me."
"Never," the older man proclaimed firmly, hugging him a moment longer. Then he pushed away, leaving Mulder propped against the couch. He grabbed one of the chairs from the small dining table in the kitchen and stuck it in a corner of the cabin. He then beckoned Mulder over to him.
"I'm going to take a quick shower and try to find something for us for dinner. It's too late to head back now, and I doubt your butt is up to the trip, anyway. But while I'm in the shower, you can contemplate your sins in this corner."
Mulder scowled. The AD only rarely used corner time to reinforce a punishment, and he resented him doing it now. Skinner noticed the expression and shrugged.
"Sorry, brat, but at least if you're contained in the corner, you won't be tempted by anything else the big woods might have to offer. And I think I'm being generous letting you sit instead of standing on that sore ankle."
"Sitting doesn't sound very appealing right now," Mulder pouted, gently rubbing his abused buns.
"The chair is padded, Mulder, but if you keep up with the complaints, I'll retrieve the wooden picnic bench from the porch. Of course, then we might have the unpleasant chore of removing splinters later..."
Mulder shook his head quickly. "No, the chair is fine," he said, hopping over and carefully lowering himself onto the cushioned seat. He bit back a wince, but the padding did make the chair a little easier on him. Skinner kissed him on the top of his sweaty head.
"Stay put. I'll be out in ten minutes, and I expect you to be in exactly this same position. Understand?"
"I understand," Mulder muttered. He glared at the corner for a few minutes after Skinner had retreated to the small bedroom. Initially, it wasn't too bad, but the sticky vinyl held the heat, intensifying the sting in his bottom. Hearing the shower start up, he decided to risk standing up for just a moment to rub. As soon as he attempted to raise himself, however, the sweaty vinyl pulled on his skin, and he let out a shriek. It was worse than yanking off a band-aid. He quickly sat back down, causing another burst of pain in his sore bottom. He was still biting his lip and blinking back tears from the smart a moment later when his lover came out of the bedroom, dressed only in jeans and toweling off his still damp shoulders.
Grinning at his miserable lover, Skinner asked "Heard a horrible noise while I was showering-sounded like the mating call of a lovesick Bigfoot. Did you hear anything, Fox?" he teased.
Mulder crossed his arms and pouted. "You knew what would happen when I stood up, didn't you?"
Skinner tossed the towel around Mulder's neck like a lasso, gently pulling both ends until the younger man's head rested against his stomach and he could look down into his eyes. "Yep," he confessed, unrepentant. "We used to have the most god-awful ugly dinette set in our kitchen when I was a kid. Chrome with red seats." At Mulder's expression of distaste, Skinner shrugged. "What can I say? I was a child of the fifties. Ugly was in! Anyway, my mother used to use the same trick on me after she'd warm my bare backside with her wooden spoon. I made sure I kept my butt planted on that chair, I can tell you. No matter how much you hated sitting there, standing up was worse. When you stood up, it always felt like you were leaving a layer of skin on the seat. Sure kept squirming to a minimum."
"You don't have to tell me-I'm convinced," Mulder said sourly.
Skinner chuckled a little. "Well, I'm going to throw something together for dinner that won't mess up the kitchen too much. I don't want to have to un-pack and then re-pack everything in the morning. You can just sit there a little longer."
Mulder mumbled something under his breath that would have earned him a trip to the bathroom to have his mouth washed out if it had been heard clearly, but he escaped with just a gentle swat on the back of the head.
As soon as the AD finished the omelets he'd prepared, he called Mulder over. The younger man started to rise and then thought better of it. Instead, he grabbed the seat of the chair tightly and raised himself 'til he was stooping, cautiously favoring his sore ankle. He managed to hop awkwardly over to the table, being careful never to let his backside leave the seat of the chair.
Skinner stared at him, obviously puzzled. Once Mulder was safely settled at the table, he looked over at the older man and shrugged. "I figure I might as well only stand up once if I can help it, and I didn't feel like leaning over the table to eat," the young agent explained.
Skinner nodded seriously, biting back a snicker. Once dinner was finished, Skinner quickly washed up the few dishes, putting the small kitchen to rights once again. He stretched out on the sofa and patted his lap. "C'mere, babe. You're going to have to stand up sometime tonight, you know."
Mulder gritted his teeth and braced himself on the edge of the table.
"Do it quickly," the older man offered helpfully, earning himself another hazel glare.
Mulder finally gathered his courage and pushed off, unable to control the yelp when his skin painfully separated from the steamy vinyl. He hopped over and stretched out on his stomach between his lover's open legs, nuzzling his head against the older man's still bare chest. Skinner ran his hands up and down the long, lean body, and then gently began stroking the still hot flesh of Mulder's bottom. Mulder winced, but soon began murmuring appreciatively.
"Bigfoot, Mulder?" Skinner whispered into the closest ear. "That's 'National Enquirer' stuff. Surely not worthy of an X-file. I'm surprised at you."
Mulder wanted to raise himself high enough to glare indignantly at the AD, but he was just too comfortable where he was. "Well, you never know! I mean, there have been countless stories about creatures like a Sasquatch or Yeti in many cultures all over the world, and I...", he began, anxious to defend his professional curiosity.
Skinner tipped his chin up and silenced him with a kiss. "Want to tell that to the ranger, Mulder?" he asked when they paused for breath.
Remembering the stern, no-nonsense man and his old-fashioned ideas on discipline, Mulder quickly shook his head.
"I didn't think so," Skinner replied. Then he pulled the afghan off the back of the sofa and gently draped it over the both of them, letting the quiet nighttime sounds soothe away the stresses of the day.
Soon they were both snoring, oblivious to the strange, long-haired creature that peered wistfully in through the window at them as they slept.
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