I came home from a typical appointment with McKay with atypical thoughts in my head. We’d moved on from free association to some light trance type therapy, and today’s revelations had been uncomfortable to say the least. Today’s tour through time I simply designated as “before” had included a little girl in pajamas with a heart cut out over the chest, another little girl in a nightgown playing and running in a fog, and a third girl drowning in a river. I might have been creating an entire pack of messed up girl guides but my memories were suddenly driven from me by a familiar voice, growling, but tightly controlled for all that: “We all know the field we play on and we all know what can happen in the course of a game. If you were unprepared for all the potentials, then you shouldn’t step on the field.”
I couldn’t get Skinner’s words out of my head, and after a quick debrief, McKay sent me home with some deep breathing exercises and the suggestion of a chick-flick or an evening of sitcoms—something banal and light to let these current demons work out their place in the grand scheme of my memories.
I followed his instructions and Walter and I enjoyed a quiet night together. He couldn’t get as much paperwork done as usual with my head in his lap while we sat on the couch after supper, but he didn’t complain a bit. And “Catch and Release” was interesting enough to keep me awake, but not compelling enough to keep me from wondering who those little girls were, and why Skinner’s words in my head were making me feel so defensive. It sounded like football instructions or something. Finally, I decided to leave Skinner to his notes and precedents, take a pill and try and get some sleep.
It worked, and I didn’t hear Walter come to bed.
All the next morning, though, I was scratchy and listless. I had woken up several times already; before Walter was out of bed and again after he was already getting ready for work. I didn’t go running like I usually did, even though I had discovered that a morning run early enough gave me a good workout, and I could be back just in time to join Walter in the shower. On other mornings, I would get up before my lover and forego my run until later, so that I could shower and dress, and possibly even make breakfast before Walter was ready to leave for work. He would read the paper, and I would do Suduku puzzles in pen, which he said made him jealous.
But this particular morning found me still buried in bed with the covers drawn up to my nose, and my skull felt like it was going to explode.
I didn’t open my eyes. I felt the bed dip as Walter sat down next to me. His hand felt warm and strong as he brushed it over my head.
“Do you need me to stay?”
My eyes opened at his words. I had to blink a couple of times, and then Walter came into focus, looking too worried.
“Nah, I’m good.” I managed a smile and batted his hand away. “Just gonna catch up on some sleep.”
“All right.” His hand came right back, this time softly cupping my chin, tipping my head just enough for him to brush a quick kiss over my mouth. I watched him walk to the door and didn’t want him to leave.
“Hey, Walter,” I thought I sounded weak, and I cleared my throat a couple of times, watching him as he turned in the doorway.
“Why don’t you come home for lunch?” I suggested, summoning up a wink and a leer.
He smiled. “I can do that.” He stepped out into the hall, and then stuck his head back through the doorway, still smiling. “Get *lots* of rest.”
I waved a hand at him. “Go on. I’ll be here.” And then I waited until I heard the car actually back out of the driveway before dragging myself as far as the bathroom for aspirin, water and a quick piss. The ache in my head was ratcheting up to eye-watering levels, and I knew from experience now that sleep was going to be the only way to survive it. I tumbled into the bed, stretched out onto Walter’s side, and buried my face in the pillows.
I did actually get out of bed briefly, but it was only long enough to take more Tylenol and take a shower. The hot water did little for my headache, and even the Tylenol wasn’t helping much. Stray thoughts of drug addiction and just one more Ativan crossed my mind, but got jumbled up with images of my mother, of all things, and I came to the conclusion that maybe she was a prescription kind of person. So I couldn’t bring myself to medicate any more than I already had. Instead, I found a carton of orange juice, a bag of sunflower seeds and the remote control for the television in the bedroom, and gave myself an EDO.
It worked. When I woke up, the orange juice carton was on the floor and luckily empty, and there were only a couple of spent sunflower seed shells to brush off the bed. Paula Deen was making something bad for you with extra butter on TV, and I could hear the front door opening.
Before I could do more than stretch and squirm my way into a sitting position, Walter was in the doorway, a deli take-out bag in one hand and his jacket in the other. No matter how many times I got to see those big shoulders filling out a dress shirt, it frankly never got old, and I took a moment to ogle unabashedly.
“How are you feeling, Fox?” he asked softly, and I assumed it was because I was still in bed that his voice took on that concerned timbre. I tried to smile in what I hoped was a reassuring manner, and then threw in a frank gaze over his body that was way less forced than my silly leer this morning. While I had no hopes of more than lunch—I could smell some delicious odors rising from the paper bag he was carrying—well, I wasn’t one to try and foretell the future. Better to just go with it.
“Good,” I assured him. My stomach growled. “Hungry,” I added, and we both laughed.
He walked over to his side of the bed and sat down beside me.
“Good, I’m glad,” he said, a sparkle in his eye. “I was worried about you.”
I loved that he was always honest when it came to his feelings. Some men might feel weird about displaying emotion, but Walter never seemed to have an issue with tossing his chick-flick feelings all over the place. And it never seemed to emasculate him in the least. Walter Skinner was a man who would be equally at ease with a dozen roses in his hand, or a power tool. It was comforting to be around a man like that. Comforting, easy, and absolutely sexy as hell.
“I think that there were unseen forces at work,” I told him as he laid out thick sandwiches that looked like corned beef and smelled like heaven. “Something out there in the universe that made a conscious decision that one Fox Mulder—namely me—had earned the right to some voluntary down-time. Possibly in recognition of all my trials and tribulations to date, or perhaps in reaction to the huge amount of data being processed by my cerebrum on a daily basis.” He added a cup of coleslaw to my lunch, and a cup of borscht to his own. “Or maybe,” I finished up, “the powers that be are just rewarding me for having such a handsome husband.”
He laughed at that. “Well, I’ve heard stranger stories,” he told me. “But I suspect I’m the one who’s being rewarded here.” Now his stomach was the one making vocal complaint, and without any further discussion, we fell on the food like a couple of starving castaways. Skinner shared some of his soup with me, and then turned down the plastic forkful of salad I offered him.
I went to the bathroom when we were finished, and Skinner took the garbage out to the kitchen and came back with a couple of bottles of water just as I was slipping back into bed. He handed one to me, watched me take a hefty swig, and set his own on the dresser next to the TV. He shut the TV off. Gave me an appraising glance.
There was something so unbearably sexy about watching Walter Skinner strip in the middle of the afternoon that I had to catch my breath and I felt my dick stirring even as he was just loosening his tie. Early afternoon sunlight was forcing itself through the blinds on the window, and it glinted on his cufflinks as he removed them. My fingers twitched to help him unbutton his shirt, which he noticed, and I could feel my lips turn up to match his teasing smile.
When the shirt was off he paused for a moment, giving me a chance to get my fill of broad shoulders, strong chest dusted with hair and tapered waist. His appreciation of my frank stare was pushing at the zipper of his pants as he walked towards the bed. I held out my hand and he kissed it as he sat down next to me. It should have felt lame and girly and it didn’t at all. He shifted, still peppering the back of my hand with tiny kisses and I knew he was kicking off shoes and socks. Then he flipped my hand and pressed his mouth to the palm as well. In moments the soft kisses turned to little licks and then broader strokes of his tongue, not just across the palm but up each finger too, and I started to shiver.
On a lingering upstroke of his tongue on my ring finger, I caught his chin and tugged. It didn’t take much, although I suspect I might have dislocated his jaw if he had denied me. Instead he let me pull his face to mine and he turned the same passionate interest he’d had in my fingers to my lips instead. But this way I could meet and match him touch for taste. I let his tongue enter my mouth easily, loving the forceful way he tasted me coupled with the easy tangling of his tongue with mine. He held my face, thumbs brushing over my ears, and I found my own hands moving over his back, mapping out that expanse of warm smooth skin by touch.
I know I made some noise of complaint when I hit the waistband of his pants. While a quick grab of his ass through cloth was nice enough, it was nowhere near satisfying enough and we were in perfect agreement.
Skinner didn’t stop kissing me and I didn’t want him to, but my arms went around his neck just as his hands went to his belt so that I could hold him close while he struggled out of his pants.
With a groan that could have come from either of us but was probably both, Skinner pulled away from me to stand and his trousers and briefs dropped to the floor. I licked my lips and they felt swollen and sore, and I couldn’t take my eyes off his cock, which was rising splendidly to the occasion.
The bedclothes were still pooled around my lap, and with a hungry gleam in his eyes, Skinner took hold of them on either side of my waist and slid them down, pausing to hook his fingers in the waistband of my boxers as he did so. I lifted my hips obligingly, we shared another look, and if it was as scorching on my end as it was on his, he’d have burst into flames. Instead, he gave a tremendous yank and then not only was he naked, but so was the bed, and so was I.
A moment later he was on top of me and his mouth was back on mine. I shifted under him to get the most skin on skin I could have and my hands clutched greedily at his ass.
It definitely felt better sans pants.
A little thrust and shimmy on my part, two quick pumps of his hips, and our dicks were aligned perfectly for maximum stimulation.
“Love you,” I heard Walter murmur against my lips before his tongue was gently invading my mouth again, making any reply on my part happily impossible. I thought it though: *I love you, Walter Skinner. I love you.*
We thrust and we rolled and we wrestled. We found all the places on each other that we had discovered over weeks of learning one another, and touched them again in all the right ways. I was having a hard time catching my breath, my headache was a distant memory and Skinner was suddenly underneath me, spreading his legs.
I pulled my mouth off of his and gave him a sharp look. He was flushed and sweaty and smiling and I thought he looked perfect.
“I love you, Fox,” he told me, voice clear although his breathing was just as labored as mine. I kept staring, suddenly aware of the choice he was making. My hands were locked on his biceps, squeezing, and below the waist I was still stroking my cock over his, which wasn’t helping me come out of my surprise in any way. He was still smiling as he raised his head and planted a sloppy kiss on my chin.
“Hey, you with me here?” he asked, almost laughing and wrapping one leg around mine.
“Oh!” Vaguely I wondered if I’d always been this stupid in bed. And if so, how in the world had Skinner ever had the patience? I came out of my stupor by dropping down on him so our chests were pressed together. “Uh, I—I don’t think—“ Well, that was the redundant statement of the year. “I mean—“ I wasn’t sure what I meant, but I suspected it had something to do with stretching and lube and condoms and me not walking funny for a change, and I wasn’t sure that was a place I wanted to go. So I kissed Walter instead, trying to distract him.
It totally didn’t work, but I got a reprieve anyway.
A hungry kiss back until we were thrusting hard against one another again, and then he caught my hair in one hand and held my face scant inches from his own and gave me another look, this one a little more serious, a little more excited.
“Just so you know—“ he took a couple of deep breaths and tightened his grip on my legs. “—so you know, the offer’s on the table.”
I didn’t know how he knew what I was thinking—it was like he was able to read my mind. Maybe I would top my lover someday, but it wasn’t something I had given much thought to, and definitely not something I could just jump into, no pun intended.
Then he didn’t have to practice any more telepathy. I crushed his mouth under mine and ran my hands over his head, his ears and neck, holding him close. The hard heat of his cock was demanding more and more attention as it slipped and slid with mine, and I redoubled my efforts, letting his tongue invade my mouth and nipping at his lips when I needed to breathe. I could feel my orgasm building, like a lava pool in my groin overflowing its banks and pouring through my veins and arteries, making my nerves burn and causing me to wonder if my brain was actually going to start boiling. Closer and closer and Skinner was matching me move for move, hips pistoning madly. Through half closed eyes I could see the cords of muscle in his neck twitching and bunching, could feel his chest heaving beneath me.
So close now, and I could hear Skinner making a low growling noise deep in his throat and it was almost enough to tip me over the edge. Almost. I couldn’t quite get there, and I added some sort of frustrated wordless noise to his.
I felt Skinner’s hands, those terrifically huge hands stroke down my sweating back. His thumbs dipped into the dimples just above my ass and I groaned. He squeezed hard then and I cried out—he swallowed the sound and almost swallowed my tongue and then—and then—
Just one finger, not even penetrating, just a quick and sure stroke up the cleft, a little extra pressure and I flung my head back with a soundless scream as everything went supernova south of my navel.
Skinner latched onto my neck with his teeth, hard enough to register, not hard enough to hurt, and I felt wet heat mingling with my own moments later as he joined me in completion.
Like a puppet with its strings suddenly cut, I felt like my body weighed a thousand pounds and my arms, which had still been holding some of my weight even when Walter and I had been doing our best to fuse our bodies together, gave up any pretext of muscle. I slopped over my lover like a starfish clinging to cliff rock in the ocean.
I heard him sigh under me, and felt his muscles still twitching, random neurons still firing erratically. His hands were softer on my ass now, still stroking, occasionally clutching, but with none of the demanding fervor of our earlier rutting.
I felt sticky, almost too warm, completely safe and totally in love. Gushy, I suppose, but how could I not.
This was how it was supposed to be, and although I regretted far too many of the things I had remembered, predominately Scully’s death, of course, I could not regret them too much if they had to happen to bring me to this place.
Skinner was stroking his hand over one of my hips now, making me shiver, and the other hand was running through my hair. My face was buried in the juncture between his shoulder and neck, and I kissed him there softly, then nibbled a little. He was salty and sweet combined, and I might have continued to snack on him that way for hours, not needing to move, just enjoy, but he gave a tug on my hair and I was happily forced to look him in the eye.
The words came easy now—easier than I had, in fact, a thought that made me grin.
“Walter…I love you.”
Skinner pressed an oddly chaste kiss to my cheek. “You’re all I’ve ever wanted, and more than I could have ever asked for, Mulder.”
He didn’t go back to work that day.