Title: "Desert Nights"
Author: Angela W.
Category: MSR/Mytharc/Crossover (Mulder/Scully
Rating: R
Summary: Mulder and Scully investigate a mysterious
death on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Crossover with characters from the novels of Tony Hillerman.
Timeline/Spoilers: Major spoilers for mytharc
episodes through Season Seven, including "Amor Fati"
and "Closure". In the "real" X-Files world, this would come somewhere after Season Seven. In the series of "married" fanfics I'm writing, this comes after "Turnabout is Fair Play".
Disclaimer: None of the characters in this story
belong to me. Mulder, Scully, Skinner and anyone else
from "The X-Files" are the property of Chris Carter
and1013 Productions. Jim Chee, Joe Leaphorn,
Bernadette Manuelito and anyone else from the Navajo
Tribal Police novels are the property of Tony
Archive: Feel free to archive anywhere!
Feeback: If it's nice or contains *constructive*
criticism, feedback is valued. I'd especially
appreciate feedback from anyone who is familiar with
Hillerman's mystery novels.

Part 1 of 3

Special Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder were in
their basement office at F.B.I. headquarters. They
were trying to finish up the paperwork from a
consulting case they'd done with the violent crimes
squad when the phone rang.

Scully glanced at her partner - and husband - with a
raised eyebrow. They'd deliberately come into the
office early to work without interuption. Looked like
they weren't the only early birds at the bureau.

Mulder grabbed the phone. "Mulder," he said tersely,
hoping it wasn't another agent with yet another inane
question about his profiling work.

"I need you two in my office immediately," Skinner

"We'll be right there." Hanging up, he turned to his
wife. "Skinner. Wants us in his office pronto!"

The hour was still too early for Skinner's secretary
to be at her usual positon at the desk in the outer
office, so the agents walked straight through. "Close
the door," Skinner said as they entered.

Taking their customary seats, Scully and Mulder looked at their boss. "Eric Begay is dead," Skinner said.

It took a moment for the name to click, but Skinner
watched in satisfaction as it registered with first
Mulder then with Scully. "Albert Hosteen's grandson,"
Scully said. Albert Hosteen - and, to a lesser extent, his grandson - had figured in one of their most intriguing and heartbreaking cases. A Navajo who had worked as a code talker during World War II, Hosteen had helped them decode a tape that had contained information about the government's knowledge of extraterrestrials, as well as information on medical experiments conducted by the government. During their investigation of the case, both Mulder's father and Scully's sister had been killed. Mulder had been near death himself, saved only by Hosteen's healing skills.

Finally, Mulder asked, "Do we know how he died?"

"We know NOTHING, agents! Despite my explicit
instructions to the F.B.I. field offices in
Alburquerque, Phoenix and Salt Lake City - that I was
to be informed if anything happened involving any of
the Hosteen's relatives - we didn't even hear this
from the other feds! It was reported to me by a man I
made friends with years ago, a retired captain with
the Navajo Tribal Police. His name is Joe Leaphorn,"
Skinner said.

"Should we go out there and talk to him?" Mulder

"You two need to go out there, but Leaphorn's not the
one you need to talk to. He was only acting as a
middleman, passing the information along to me. The
investigating officers are Acting Lieutenant Jim Chee
and Officer Bernadette Manuelito, both of the Navajo
Tribal Police. You should be aware that Chee has
something of a. . .reputation," Skinner said.

"What sort of reputation?" Scully asked.

"He doesn't follow protocol and he once set up the
F.B.I. agents from the local field office in some sort of sting. I don't know all the details but it involved an illegal - or, at the very least, unethical - tape recording of a phone conversation he had with one of them. They can't stand him and apparently there's nobody Chee holds in lower regard than the fed from the local field office; except maybe feds who come out from bureau headquarters," Skinner siad.

"Why do we have to work with him?" Mulder asked.

"Because, not only is he the official investigating
officer, according to Leaphorn he's also brave, smart
and one of the best - if not THE best - tracker in the whole Navajo nation. If our cigarette-smoking friend is behind this - and if he left so much as a half a footprint, a broken match ora cigarette stub to mark his presence - Chee will find it."

"What about this Officer Manuelito? Is she any easier
to work with?" Scully asked.

"Leaphorn didn't know much about her. She's quite
young; only in her mid-twenties. She probably doesn't
have as much of a personal grudge against the bureau
as Chee does, but he's her superior officer. She's
likely to follow his lead, not only because he's her
boss, but because. . .well, I'm getting into third
hand gossip now, but Leaphorn thinks she and Chee
might be involved on a personal level as well."

Mulder and Scully just nodded. Nobody knew better than they the perils - and joys - of two law enforcement officials becoming romantically involved with each other.

"If they've opened an investigation, certainly Eric's
death must have been unusual in some way; enough to
arouse suspiscions," Scully said.

"Presumably, yes," Skinner replied. "Get out there as
soon as you can, agents. Take a plane to Alburquerque
and rent a vehicle there; be sure to get something
that can handle a rough terrain. Also, you'd better
buy yourself some camping equipment, just to be on the safe side. From what I understand, lodging facilities are few and far between on the reservation. My guess is, Chee's not going to offer to put you up at his place."

Skinner pushed the relevant paperwork toward the
agents. "We're on our way," Mulder said.


Several hours later, Mulder and Scully loaded their
personal belongings, as well as the tent, sleeping
bags and other camping gear they'd purchased at a
local discount store, into the cargo hold of their
rented Jeep. It had been nearly noon when they'd left
Washington, D.C., but because they'd gained time on
the flight west, it was only mid-afternoon now.

"We want to head up in this direction," Mulder said,
pointing to a northwest section of the map of New
Mexico Scully was holding. "We probably won't be able
to make it to Eric's place tonight, but we'll get as
close as we can before daylight fades, then set up

"Look like another romp in the wilderness for us.
Hopefully the sunny Southwest will prove more
enjoyable than Alaska, northern Florida and some of
the other cold, wet places we've been to before."

"Gee, Scully, I thought the night we spent in the
Florida woods was pretty fun! Besides, this time we've got the sleeping bags!"

"That mean you think you're going to get lucky,

Mulder glanced out the windshield. They were on an
empty stretch of highway, with only flat sand and
sagebrush in every direction. Taking advantage of that fact, he reached over and hooked a hand behind
Scully's neck, bringing her mouth to his for a quick

"I'm counting on it, Scully," he murmured huskily.

"Drive the car, Mulder," she replied. He noticed with
amusement, however, that she scooted closer to him and rested her hand on his thigh.


As the last rays of the sun lit up the western sky in
a spectacular display of color, Mulder pulled over to
a small mesa rising slightly above the desert floor.
"Let's go ahead and set up camp now; that way we can
get an early start in the morning."

"Okay. I'm about ready for a break from driving

As they loaded their gear, he said, "Unless you really want me to, I wasn't even going to bother with the tent. I figure we can just sleep out under the stars."

"Fine by me, nature boy. Oh, and Mulder?"

"Yeah, Scully?"
"You might as well only unload one of those sleeping
"Why, Agent Scully! Are you coming onto me?"

"Well, somebody once told me that the best way to
conserve body heat was to crawl naked into a sleeping
bag with somebody else who was already naked. I just
don't want you to get cold. Temperatures drop fast
once the sun sets in the desert. I'm speaking
medically, of course."

Mulder got up from where he was crouched by their gear and made his way slowly over to his wife. She giggled and backed up against the vehicle. Damn! She looked so small and sexy like that, smiling up at him. He placed his hands on either side of her and lowered his head until their lips were touching, but without any other point of contact between their bodies. He kissed her gently at first, then with increasing passion, slipping his tongue into her mouth, but still keeping his body just a fraction of an inch away from her. Finally, she moaned into his mouth and reached her hands around to grab his rear, pulling him tightly against her.

When the finally came up for air, Mulder said, "I
think we need to build a campfire and cook supper
first. From the way you're behaving, I'm going to need some nourishment!"

Scully smiled and slowly slipped out of his arms,
walking with an exaggerated wiggle toward the campsite a few yards away from their vehicle.

Later, after they'd eaten, Mulder was unusually quiet, staring up at the spectacular array of stars visible in the clear desert night.

"Are you thinking about her?" Scully asked softly.

"Who? Oh, Samantha? No, not really. I was thinking
about you. Us. Our marriage."

"Wanna share?"

"I'm really glad we had the second ceremony last
weekend. I mean, when you first suggested a religious
wedding as a follow-up to our civil ceremony, I
thought it seemed sort of silly; I just agreed to it
because it obviously meant so much to you. But it was. . .nice. You looked so beautiful! I know your mother was really glad to have a chance to see it, too. And having the ceremony performed by a priest - well, even I have to admit that made it seem more lating than tha JP who dressed like Elvis and performed our wedding in Vegas!"

"It does mean a lot to me, Mulder. Not that I didn't
feel married to you before."

"Dana, I've felt married to you for years. We've
certainly lived the "in sickness and health, for
better or worse" part more fully than most couples
who've been married for decades! But I'm still amazed
at how much you get into this wife stuff."

"What do you mean?"

"You're just so. . .open. So loving. All the time! I
knew marrying you was going to change my life for the
better, but I didn't expect it to be this MUCH

"Glad I'm exceeding expectations," she said with a

"Anyway," he said with a sigh, "what you said earlier, about Samantha. Do you feel that  all the years of my life - and a fair number of years of your life, too - that I spent looking for her were all a waste?"

"No, Fox, I don't. In a way, she brought us together.
Your love for your sister, your devotion to searching
for her. . .it defined you. For better or worse, her
abduction made you the man you are today; the man I

Mulder smiled and gathered her closer. She was sitting between hs legs, his thighs straddling her hips.

"I love you so much," he whispered against her hair.

Scully leaned her head back for a kiss. When they
broke it off, she murmured, "It's getting to be, uh,
obvious how much you love me, Fox." She wiggled her
hips against him, leaving no room for doubt as to what she meant.

He sighed. "This is kind of embarrassing."


"Because here I am, attempting to be all spirtual
about how much you mean to me and my hormones have
other ideas!"

"There's no reason to be embarrassed, Mulder. It's the way God designed men to show their wives how much
they're loved."

"You wanna try out the sleeping bag, sweetheart?"

"Mmmhmm. Exactly how are we going to work out the
logistics of this?"

"I think it will work best if I strip down and climb
in first, then you can climb in on top of me."

"Okay." Scully shivered slightly as Mulder stood up;
the night air was chilly after the warmth of his
embrace. He slid off his windbreaker and removed his
holster, then quickly yanked off his T-shirt. He sat
down to remove his shoes and socks, then divested
himself of belt, jeans and boxer-briefs in one quick
movement. Unzipping the sleeping bag, he quickly
crawled inside.

Scully opted for a slighly more unorthodox way of
disrobing. Rising to her knes, she undid her jeans and pushed them down along with her panties, then sat back down on the end of the sleeping bag to kick off her shoes and pull her clothes and socks off. She supposed she looked faintly silly, naked from the waist down, but still wearing her bra, tank top and hooded sweatshirt on top. The look on Mulder's face made it worth it, though. Obviously, he had been expecting her to start and the top and work her way down, the way he had. Reaching under both shirts, she undid her bra so she could pull all three garments off in one smooth move. Then, shivering, she slid into the sleeping bag and lay flat on top of her husband, her legs straddling his hips.

Mulder zipped the sleeping bag back up, then yelped as Scully ran her hands down his sides. "Geez, Dana, your hands are like ice!"

"Well, warm me up then. Isn't that supposed to be the
whole purpose of us being in the same sleeping bag

"Oh, I'll keep you warm all right," he answered,
bringing her face down to his for a quick kiss. "Hot,
as a matter of fact. And wet. And very, very happy."

"You always make me very, very happy, lover."

Smiling up at her, Mulder ran his hands down her arms
so that their fingers could meet and link. He rubbed
and kneaded her hands with his until they were no
longer cold, then slid his hands back up to her
shoulders. He caressed her back with excrutiating
slowness, tracing abstract patterns along her smooth,
soft skin. When he reached her bottom, he began to
squeeze, causing her to gasp and wiggle against him.

"This sleeping bag's kind of a tight fit," he

"You ought to be used to that by now, Fox."


"A tight fit."

He grinned up at her. "Oh, I am. Very tight. And very
hot. And very wet." He slid one finger down between
her legs and began to play with her, just tracing the
very edges of her center of desire. He slid the other
hand back up to her neck and kissed her again. There
was nothing quick about it this time. The kiss was
long and leisurely; he moved his tongue slowly around
inside her mouth, his finger mimicking the same
actions somewhere lower.

Scully moaned softly into his mouth. He hadn't touched her breasts - couldn't, really, in the confines of the sleeping bag - but she could feel her nipples becoming erect from the friction provided by the contact with the wiry hair on his chest. She was also becoming incredibly aroused and beginning to crave more stimulation than just that one, teasing finger. She could feel his erection, but not where she wanted it; for their faces to be close enough to kiss he had to pull her further up his body, so that his arousal was somewhere down near the middle of her thighs.

Finally he broke the kiss and smiled. "You are so
incredibly beautiful. That look on your face and the
starry sky behind you. . .it's just amazing!"

"I'm glad you think I'm beautiful, Fox. But right now
I need you inside me. All of you."

He nodded and helped her manuver lower, so that he was sheathed inside her. She gasped with pleasure at the sheer size of him. Was it possible he was even larger than he usually was? Maybe it was just the fact that the sleeping bag kept her so tight against him, not allowing for the freedom of movement that sheets did.

"You're so big," she moaned.

"Too big, babe? I can pull partially out."

"Don't you dare! It feels great! It's just. . . different, being tucked in so tight by the sleeping

Mulder lifted his hips off the ground and bucked into
her, causing her to moan again. She begin to wiggle on him, kissing his chest and neck, the only parts of his body she could reach. He let his hands wander across her thighs, pulling her legs open as far as they could go in that confined space.

Their erotic dance went on and on, eventually
resulting in a shattering climax for her, followed
only moments later his own, equally powerful.

Scully smiled sleepily and kissed his chest. "I love
you," she murmured as they drifted off to sleep.


When the woke up, the first rays of dawn were just
beginning to tint the eastern sky a pastel pink.
Scully noted with a mixture of amusement, pride and
passion that her husband was erect again. She had
pulled up enough so that she could pillow her head on
his shoulder while he wrapped his arms around her and
she could feel the hot, hard length of him along the
top of her inner thigh.

"AGAIN, Mulder?" she asked with small smile.

"Scul-lee! You're lying on top of me, naked! What kind of reaction am I supposed to have?"

"Oh, according to my medical training, you're having
exactly the right reaction. I'm not complaining. I'm
just impressed!"

"What should we do about it?"

"Well," she said slowly, making it seem as if she were giving the matter serious consideraton, "since there's probably not a shower - cold or otherwise - within a hundred miles of here, that option's out. And you obviously can't meet with local law enforcement or concentrate on a possible homicide investigation in that condition. So I guess we'll have to handle it the same way we did last night; it's the only logical solution."

"And my partner, the ever rational Dr. Dana Scully,
always opts for the logical solution!"

"Exactly. How do you want it? Maybe we could wiggle
around so that I'm underneath you."

"No, sweetheart. The ground's too hard and I'm too

"Same way, then?"

"What I really want is you on top of the sleeping bag, not in it. Up on your hands and knees."

"I'll be cold," she mock-protested.

"Not for long," he assured her.

He was right. His hands seemed to be everywhere,
touching and caressing her breasts, belly and face as
his body warmed her from behind. Normally she wasn't a huge fan of this position, but there was something
about being like this outside that made it seem
primitive and incredibly arousing. They both had a
quick, intense orgasm, then moved to put their clothes back on.

After they'd eaten a fast breakfast of campfire coffee and granola bars, they reloaded the Jeep and were back on the road by the time it was full daylight.


On another part of the Navajo reservation, Acting
Lieutenant Jim Chee scowled at the request in front of him.

"Come on, Jim, whatever it is can't be THAT bad!"

Chee looked up with a start. He hadn't even heard her
come in. Officer Bernadette Manuelito was as
soft-footed as she was soft-spoken. One of those
people, he thought wryly, who contributes to all those stories about Indians being able to move through the landscape without making a sound. He liked Bernadette, he really did. What he didn't like were all the rumors that the two of them were more than friends. What he liked even less was the sneaking suspiscion that Bernadette would like to make the rumors come true.

Chee hadn't had much luck in his life with romantic
relationships. The last two women he had been involved with had dumped him. The first one hadn't been so bad, really; a nice Anglo elementary school teacher who had simply decided that the cultural differences between them were too great. But his relationship with Janet Pete, a lawyer and fellow Navajo, had blown up spectacularly in his face, fueled by what he couldn't help but think of as her betrayal of him just when they were reaching the point of talking marriage. The last thing he was interested in was another romantic relationship anytime soon. Especially with someone who worked with him. Or, to be technical about it, worked FOR him, which was even worse.

Chee turned his attention back to the paperwork.
Amazingly, considering its content, it was actually
less nerve-wracking to contemplate than his love life.

"Oh, I don't know, Bernie," Chee said slowly. "It's
from the Federal Bureau of Ineptitude. Informing us
that they're interested in the suspicious
circumstances involving the death of Eric Begay."

"Don't the field agents have enough to do? Eric got
drunk, floundered into a canyon, fell down and broke
his neck." Bernadette said. "It's sad, but it

"Oh, it's not the local feds, Bernie. We're being
graced by a couple of special investigators from
headquarters. Their names are Mulder and Scully."

"Weren't they the ones that Eric's grandfather - you
know, old Albert Hosteen - did the translating or code breaking or whatever it was, for a couple of years ago?"

Chee was silent for a moment. "I think you're right,
Bernie. I didn't make the connection at first. Let me
make some phone calls, to the family and the feds'
field office, then we need to get out to his place.
They want us to meethem there sometime today."


Chee sighed. "You'd better come with me, Bernie. I
know that, spread as thin as we are, the force can't
really afford to send both of us to the same place.
But you tend to have a calming influence on me."

Bernadette smiled. "Translation: you're less likely to get arrested for assaulting a federal agent if I'm
there to rein you in."

"Something like that," he admitted.


It was almost noon when Mulder and Scully finally
reached Eric Begay's family compound. No one seemed to be around, as there was no answer to their repeated knocks and shouts.

"What do you think we should do?" Mulder asked. "If
this Chee is as good as Skinner claims he is, we
probably shouldn't look around too much. Might mess up any tracks or clues there are to be found around

Scully turned around slowly, scanning the vast, arid
landscape. She spotted something at the edge of the
horizon. "I think there's someone coming," she said.

Several minutes later, a Navajo Tribal Police car
pulled up and parked alongside the agents' rented
Jeep. Scully looked at the pair of officers who
emerged. The man - Chee, presumably - was about her
own age and an inch or two shorter than Mulder. He and Mulder were much the same body type, actually, she thought; long legs and leanly muscled torsos. The
woman was seven or eight years younger and just the
teeniest bit on the plump side. Both had the jet black hair, dark eyes and burnished skin tone of all members of the Navajo nation.

Neither of them were smiling, but Chee blinked as he
walked toward them. "I've never seen a female fed
before," he said.

"I'm Mulder; she's Scully."

"I know who you are," Chee replied.

"I'm Officer Bernadette Manuelito," the younger woman
said. "And this is Acting Lieutenant Jim Chee."

Chee sighed. The sooner they could get this over with, the sooner he could get back to solving actual crimes.

"I've heard about you," he said, staring at Mulder.

"Which versions and from whom?"

"Both versions. The ones the fibbies from the local
field office tell - about how you're known in the
bureau as "Spooky" Mulder. How you - and for the past
few years, her, too - chase around the country looking for little green men, vampires, killers with ESP and all kinds of other nonsense. According to them, you're simply insane."

"And the other version?"

"The one from the family of Albert Hosteen and Eric
Begay. How you accepted a Blessing Way when you were
near death a couple of years ago, instead of demanding they take you to a hospital where you could get modern medical treatment. How you're working on some sort of quest involving your sister's disappearance and your father's honor. According to them, you're one of the few belagana who actually respects our beliefs, is willing to try to learn from us."

"Belagana?" Scully asked.

"It's our word for," Bernadette paused as she tried to phrase it properly, "we're the Dineh, the people. All Navajos. The people - tribes, you'd call them, I guess - who've lived near us for centuries have names. Hopi, Zuni, Ute, whatever. Everyone else - outlanders - is a belagana."

"I've heard both versions about you, too," Mulder said to Chee.

"I didn't know there was more than one," Chee said,
slightly startled.

"Oh, yeah. The local - fibbies, I believe you called
them - consider you a loose cannon. A law enforcement official who doesn't always follow the book. A man willing to bend the rules, even break the law if has to, in order to see that his own version of justice is served. They don't like you."

"I'm aware of that."

"There's also another version," Mulder continued. "The one our boss got from a man he knows slightly, a
retired Navajo Police Officer by the name of Leaphorn. According to him, you're smarter than the feds and that pisses them off. You're also brave. Most importantly, at least for our purposes, you're one of the best trackers in the Southwest."

"The old 'Indian as Scout' idea, huh?" Chee asked

"I'm just reporting what I've been told. Since it came from Leaphorn, you'd have to take up the steroetyping with him."

"Jim, you are good," Bernadette said. "Not because of
your genetic makeup, but because you've spent so many
years learning. All that time with your uncle, all
those tracking missions on your own."

"So what do you want from me?" Chee asked.

"We want you to look around," Scully replied. "Read
the crime scene - if there's even been a crime
committed, which we don't know for sure yet - and
tells us if anything is out of the ordinary."

"You can't do that yourselves?"

"To a certain extent we could," Mulder answered. "But
we're not familiar with the terrain, so I'm not sure
we'd notice something odd even if it was staring us
right in the face. Although we've had training in
reading crime scenes, it's not an area of expertise
for either of us."

"What are your areas of expertise?" Bernadette asked.

"I've got a degree in psychology. I've made my name -
such as it is - as a profiler. I deal better with
internal clues than external ones," Mulder said.

"I'm a scientist, a medical doctor," Scully chimed in. "Once we find something, I can analyze it, identify it, whatever. But first we have to find it."

Chee sighed. "It's going to be a long, slow search,

"We'll wait."


Several hours later, Chee came up to the car where
Bernadette, Scully and Mulder were sitting. They had
the windows and doors open to cath any slight breeze
that was drifting by.

"He didn't die here. He was brought here afterwards."

"You're sure?" Mulder asked.

"Absolutely. The signs are unmistakable if you know
what to look for. Footprints, the marks of a body
being dragged into the canyon. Which leads me to
believe that his death probably wasn't accidental,"
Chee said, "because why would anybody go to that much
trouble to cover up a simple drunken tumble?"

"So where do we go from here?" Bernadette asked.

"Would it be possible for me to autopsy the body?"
Scully asked. "I'm not familiar with your culture's
beliefs on that sort of thing. Would an autopsy be
considered some sort of sacrilege?"

"Not really," Chee answered slowly. "Our basic belief
about dead bodies is to have nothing to do with them.
We don't really care what others do with the bodies of our people."

"Do you know where it is?" Mulder asked.

"Yes," Bernadette answered. "It's at the morgue in

"I guess that's my next step, then," said Scully.

"You two go do that," suggested Chee. "I've got an
idea, based on something I just saw, that Bernie and I are going to check out. Let's all meet for dinner at, say, seven. There's a Mexican restaurant directly
across the street from the Farmington Police Station.
We'll see you there."

"Okay," Mulder agreed.

"What'd you think of them?" Mulder asked Scully as he
manuvered their vehicle back down the narrow, rutted
road that would eventually connect them to the
two-lane highway that would lead them to Farmington.

"I like her," Scully answered promptly. She had found
Bernadette a lovely mixture of friendship and
professionalism. She had also appreciated the fact
that Bernadette was too busy watching Chee to make a
play for Mulder. In fact, although they had known each other only a few hours, Scully would be hard pressed to name another female law enforcement officer she'd ever established a better rapport with than the young Navajo woman.

"And him?"

"I don't know. He's obviously a damned good tracker. I can't say I care for his attitude, but I can't say I exactly blame him for it, either. Apparently the feds have been a thorn in his side for years."

"I like him, Scully. Not exactly in the sense that I
can see the two of us going out to shoot hoops and
drink beer together. But - and I know this is going to sound strange, coming from me - I do feel we can trust him. He's not going to bullshit us or disregard us. He may not enjoy working with us, but I think he feels that's all the more incentive to give us as much help as he can so we get out of his hair."

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