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Lightning I and II

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Lightning by Ladyhawk

TITLE: Lightning
AUTHOR: Ladyhawk
EMAIL ADDRESS:
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Anywhere, just tell me
SPOILER WARNING: vague season 6, I change One Son, but the result is the same
RATING: NC-17
Keywords: Mulder/Skinner Slash
CLASSIFICATION: V, A, T, X?
SUMMARY: Skinner must deal with the consequences of a new ability and what it means to him, and Mulder.
DISCLAIMER: You think I own them? Yeah right, I can't even afford one of Mulder's ties. CC owns them all.
Feedback welcome at .


Lightning
by Ladyhawk ()

Chapter 1:Eyes Opened

Goddamn it! What did those two get themselves into this time?

I grab my gun and race out of Hoover to the parking garage at breakneck speed. I approved Mulder's 302 to investigate people dying by strange electrical energy in South Carolina three days ago. Today, I got a phone call from Scully that he's being held hostage by a suspect and she is having trouble with the local law enforcement.

After all the energy the three of us spent to get them back down in the basement, I'm not going to let one crazed man blow Mulder's quest to bits. Spender and Fowley were forced to resign rather than reveal the secrets of the alien invasion to the whole world. The cover was blown sky high by some great moves by my prized agents and some lousy ones by the weasel and Mulder's ex-wife. I was able to pull a few strings relatively quickly to get Mulder and Scully back on the X-files and under my watchful eye. I'll be in debt to some political big-wigs for the rest of my life.

But I don't regret a thing. They are back chasing the remainder of the aliens that are still trying to take over Earth, as well as the Loch Ness monsters, werewolves, and vampires that somehow come out of the woodwork when Mulder is around. They are happy, so I am happy. I'm even happy to yell at Mulder for his stupid stunts and his exorbitant costs to the Bureau.

But now the situation might come crumbling down at my feet. Anxiety adds lead to the foot on the gaspedal as I speed toward the airport. It also makes me fumble with the cellphone as I use it to call Scully.

"Any change?"

"No, Sir. The kidnapper is still demanding passage out of the country and ten million dollars in exchange for Agent Mulder."

"Has he allowed you to speak to Mulder?"

"Briefly. He said he was shot in the leg during the struggle. He's weak, but holding on."

"Ok. I'm getting on a flight now. I should be there in a couple hours. Call me if anything changes."

"Yes, Sir."

God, get him back to us safely!

---------------------------------------------------

Scully meets me at the airport and reports that FBI agents from Charlotte are on their way to help.

"They think they found the identity of the kidnapper, from my description of the case. A Cornilius Bates. A scientist who was working with the local electrical company to find alternate sources of power. He left them six months ago after they objected to some of his ideas."

"What ideas?"

"This part of the state seems especially prone to being hit by lightning during rainstorms. He wanted to redirect the bolts and harness the energy."

"Wouldn't that be more work than its worth?"

"According to the electrical company, his plan was not only expensive, but potentially dangerous. Computer tests of his apparatus show that the energy could zap anyone standing next to the device. The company's engineers suggested more stable containment, but he wouldn't let anyone change it. So they let him go."

We hurry to Scully's rental car with my bags. As we speed to the location of Mulder's kidnapping, my mind takes a leap. Mulder must be getting to me.

"Is it possible that that was what the device was for? Sending energy through the human body?"

"What makes you say that?"

Bates' file is open on my lap. "It says here that Bates is a neuropsychologist. Not usually the type to work with a utility company."

"Hmm." Scully's mind is kicking into gear. I stay quiet to let us both think.

-------------------------------------------------------------

When we reach our destination, a man runs out to meet us. "Mr. Skinner, Sir. Bates has just given us the dropoff point for his demands."

"How much time do we have?"

"One hour, sir. Then he will kill Agent Mulder."

"Can we talk to him?"

"Yes, Sir. But we can't approach the building. He can see us from most angles." The agent points to the office building across the street. It was made of thousands of semi-transparent panels.

"Damn. What have your negotiators come up with?" We walk into our base, a electronics store's warehouse.

"Not much, Sir. We think there are other people in the front office with Bates, but we can't confirm it."

"Hostages or accomplices?"

"We don't know."

I start pacing, restlessly. If they were hostages, Bates would be using them to get us to move. They must be accomplices. I continue my pacing and almost bump into Scully.

Scully is on the phone with Danny, our DC technology expert. It sounds like she's asking about possible purposes of Bates' device. "But wouldn't that kill the person? Yeah. Hold it, aren't you talking about LSD? Ok, look into it. Thanks, Danny."

Scully runs her hands through her hair, then looks up at me. "Danny thinks Bates is trying to use electrical energy to expand mental abilities."

"And he used the electrical company as a way to test it?"

"Yes, that explains the deaths. He probably was perfecting the electricity placement and levels."

"Does Danny have any theories on what Bates is shooting for?"

"No. Anything is possible. The scientific papers Bates published in his youth are on a variety of subjects, academic intelligence, music proficiency, even athletic training. It's almost impossible to guess."

One thought is beginning to scare the bejesus out of me. "He could use that thing on Mulder."

"I know. That's why I want to deliver to the dropoff point. In case Mulder needs medical attention."

"Where is the location?"

"About a mile west of here. He says he is sending someone he will be in constant contact with. He wants one person, unarmed, to meet the contact with the money and tickets."

Suddenly, thunders booms above us. Rain begins splattering the warehouse.

I think I know what Bates has planned. "I'll go, Scully. I can carry him if we need to get out of there quickly."

Scully looks at me suspiciously for a second. Then she gives in without a fight. "Ok, sir. I'll be ready when both of you get back. Let's get you wired."

We walk over to where the Charlotte agents have laid out survaillance equipment. The agent in charge of the equipment introduces himself as Steven Michaels. "We put a surge blocker on the microphone so it won't blow up on you if he uses his lightning device. It'll be useless after that, but hopefully we can get enough information to rescue you if need be."

Michaels begins taping the equipment to my chest. As he does so, I watch my hand shake slightly.

----------------------------------------------------------------

I arrive at the dropoff point without incident. I grab the briefcase with the marked bills and plane tickets and prepare to meet my fate.

A man in a black slicker appears out of nowhere, pulling a handcuffed Fox Mulder. Mulder is limping severely. His hair is plastered against his head from the rain. The other man appears to be talking to himself, but I can't make out what he's saying.

I slowly get out of the car and show the briefcase. As I do, thunder keeps me from hearing what the contact yells at me. Mulder falls to the ground as the man lets him go.

A flash of lightning illuminates the area as I try to reach Mulder to help him up. Mulder waves me away with a horrified look on his face.

I turn to follow his gaze. . .

--------------------------------------------------------------

I wake up to sounds of what must be hospital monitors. My body aches from head to toe. I don't open my eyes yet. I need to get some equilibrium.

I can hear Mulder's voice. Thank God he's ok. //How is he, Scully?//

I don't hear her reply, so I reply for her. "I'm fine, Agent Mulder. Just very sore right now."

//Sir? What's going on here?//

"What do you mean?"

I finally open my eyes. I'm alone in the hospital room. "Mulder?"

*******************************************************

Chapter 2: Flashes of Insight

Where is Skinner? He shouldn't be out of bed after the shock he took. I look at Scully, puzzled.

"What's wrong, Mulder?"

"Where's Skinner's room?" I could've sworn I heard his voice in my head, not with my ears, but maybe I just heard it echo in the hallway.

"At the end of the hall, near the stairs."

I can see the nurses' station from my open door. That puts me near the middle of the hallway. There goes that theory. I want to wait until Scully leaves until I test the other one. But I guess Skinner has other plans. //Mulder, where are you?//

Scully looks at me curiously as my shock gives way to realization. He's in my mind! But I can't tell this to Scully, not yet. I'll probably scare them both if I do.

I pull up the biggest yawn I can. "Sorry, Scully. I'm not good company right now. The painkillers they gave me for my leg act just like sleeping pills."

Scully smiles and pats my arm. "That's ok. We both know you need the rest. I'll come and fetch you and Skinner tomorrow. We should be able to catch Dr. Bates by then. We can go home and you two can finish recuperating."

I hope so. That man is dangerous. He actually thinks he is helping humanity with that device. It almost killed Skinner with its 'enlightening' charge. My mind suddenly puts pieces together. Oh, shit! Don't tell me that thing actually works!

My dismay must have transmitted to Skinner through whatever link we have suddenly developed. //Mulder, what's wrong? What's going on?//

I quickly close my eyes to hide from Scully as she gets up and walks out of my room. A sigh wracks my body. My attention now turns to my unseen companion.

//Sir, I don't know how to tell you this, but you are reading my thoughts.//

//What?//

//I think that device that Bates used did it to you. It stimulated the psychic part of your brain.//

//So why can I hear you in my head, but not anybody else?//

I pause. Why can he only hear me? My mind goes back to my experience in the boxcar in Arizona and my following recovery. Scully told me later that she heard me in her dreams. I remember calling her with the same words she used as I struggled with my own mind. It makes sense now.

//Because I have had the ability for awhile now.//

//How long?// Good question. Was it always with me? I seem to recall Samantha's abductors speak directly in my mind. But those memories are so distorted that I can't be sure if they are true or not.

//I'm not sure. At least a couple years.//

This new problem must be tiring my boss. His next message to me feels static-y. Like his brain is beginning to tune out. //I don't want to believe this. That you have access to all my thoughts.//

//I don't think I have access to everything. You probably can tune me out. I think Scully does.//

//Scully has it too?//

//I only feel her in my head every once in awhile. When we are really stressed, or one of us is dying. But, yeah, I know she can hear my thought sometimes.//

I feel something, almost like a small spark along my arm. I have this great urge to yawn, even though I'm not at all tired. It must be Skinner. //Get some sleep, sir. We can discuss this later.//

//I'm exhausted. Ok. Maybe this will go away when I wake up.// I don't know if I was supposed to hear that last part. But I spoke the truth when I said I don't have access to all his thoughts. He sounds almost desperate to get rid of this connection, but I can't tell why.

As I feel him drift away from me, I stare at the TV above me, trying to figure out how to handle this situation.

--------------------------------------------------------

I jerk awake to what sounds like a scream. Hold it, I don't think I *heard* anything.

//Sir?//

//What? Mulder?//

//Nightmare?// I close my eyes and see flashes of images. Me, being dragged by Bates, the lightening device, what could be the charred remains of flesh, looking vaguely like my figure.

//Yeah. Sorry. I didn't mean to wake you. I'm not sure how to control it.// He's lying. The images stopped rather abruptly as his 'voice' came into my mind. He can control what he lets through the connection when he's awake. But his subconscious gave me a brief glimpse of what's really on his mind, before he woke up completely.

//It's ok. Are you ok now?// He's such a private person. I'm not surprised that he learned to cut his thoughts off from me that quickly.

//Yeah, thanks.//

I feel his attention shift away from me. Scully's back. Skinner lets most of his conversation drift to me. We're to be released this morning. Bates is in custody. The police just want my statement, then we are free to leave. I sigh in relief and feel a ghostly pat on my arm in empathy.

That's strange. I never felt anything like that with Scully. //How'd you do that?//

//Do what, Mulder?//

//I felt you pat my arm.//

//I don't know. I just thought about it.//

Hmm... Scully enters my room with a pair of crutches. I 'hear' Skinner talking with his physician. It must be time to leave. I'll have to explore this new discovery later.

----------------------------------------------------

After a painful flight for both of us, Scully drops us at our respective apartments. We both are to take a week off before even thinking about going back to work. Scully and Skinner's secretary have teamed up to make sure we follow orders.

I need a week off after that plane ride. Every twitch in my leg seemed to make Skinner squirm next to me. His pounding head made my headphones useless in helping me relax. Not a word passed between us, but his thoughts cursed Bates constantly. My silent entreaties for him to shut up did nothing to stop his incessant complaining.

Now that he finally is dropping off to sleep again, I can sympathize with his plight. He's confused and in pain. Fear of me also leaked through the connection at odd points. As if he had a secret that I could use against him. Not that I would, I owe him too much.

God, am I tense. Between my injury, Skinner's condition, and trying to hide it all from Scully, my body and mind feel like I've been through a fifteen round boxing match. I grab a couple of aspirin from the bathroom and swallow them dry. Their bitter taste fits perfectly with my mood right now.

Sleep feels a long way off, so I take another option to relax. Pulling out one of the tapes I keep hidden so Scully doesn't complain, I pop it into the VCR and lay down carefully on the sofa.

Before the first moans from the TV reach my ears, I have my pants undone and my cock pulled out of my boxers. My eyes vaguely focus on the figures on the screen in front of me. My imagination copies what I see and I imagine a faceless, sleek body bending to engulf my member in a warm unseen mouth. I moan as my erection grows in front of my eyes and under my expert hand.

As the pleasure I'm giving myself shoots through me, my imagination shifts. The figure bending before me slowly grows features. Strong muscles bulge on the arms and legs. Hair on the faceless head receeds and moves to other parts of the body. The face takes on warm brown eyes and strong, masculine lines. The face gazes up at me as my body arches in response to my hand speeding up. Walter Skinner.

For some reason, imagining his face intensifies the warmth suffusing my body. I ignore the pain in my leg as I climax quickly, strongly. I fall back to the couch, pleasantly tired.

As I grab the towel I left on the coffee table earlier, my mind awakens to a //Shit!//. Startled, I send back a response. //Skinner?//

//Uh, it's nothing Mulder.//

Nothing, my foot. His agitation swamps our connection. Wait a minute. I was.. and he... //Oh my God!//

//I'm sorry, Mulder. I didn't mean to end up in your.. uh, private activities.//

Up until now, I've never been with another man sexually. But as I look back on what just happened, my cock responds to my thoughts.

I'm tempted to tell him to do it again.

*******************************************************

Chapter 3: Sparks

God, what did I just do?

Sorting it out is difficult. I'm not Fox Mulder, the paranormal doesn't come naturally to me. I was asleep, then I started to awake to 'feel' Mulder nearby and aroused. I think my instincts kicked into gear right then. The next thing I knew, I was imagining his hot erection in my mouth.

Damn, it's a good thing he didn't realize exactly what was going on. He thought I just stumbled onto his activities, and *his* imagination did the rest. Yeah, right. I've wanted him for so long that I ache every time he walks into my office. I didn't really catch if he liked the image or not once he came out of his haze of pleasure. It's just as well, I don't need anything more to fuel my imagination.

I am his superior. I have to be in control, especially because so little of his life and work is. I want to keep that look of respect in his eyes. And the two of them are the only ones that won't fall whimpering at my feet when I yell. There's something to be said for that. If I lose control and give into my desire for Fox Mulder in any way, all that could be lost.

I'm startled out of my thoughts by the phone's ringing. "Skinner."

"Sir, I uh, have some bad news to report." I can imagine this green agent shaking violently as he speaks.

"What is it?" Impatience makes my voice gruff.

"Agent Spender was found dead in his..uh, Agent Mulder's office. He was shot in the head."

I can feel Mulder catch onto my thoughts. His conclusion echoes mine. The bastard killed his own son.

"Thank you, Agent. I assume Director Kersch is taking care of this in my absence?" An affirmative. "Then can you please have Agent Scully contact me?" A startled sound, then a promise to do just that, and the agent hangs up.

Two minutes later the phone rings again. "You wanted to speak to me, Sir?"

"Could you figure out what happened?" Mulder has a thousand questions flying through my brain, but I try to narrow them down to just that one.

"It probably was Spender's father, Sir. There was a pack of cigarettes lying on Mulder's desk." Scully hesitates. "And I just got a report from our contacts. Agent Fowley has disappeared." She and I both know that Fowley has been involved in that mess since the first time she met Mulder. But Mulder..well love can make you do strange things. Finally though, my thoughts and the evidence stack high enough for him to see. For a second, I imagine laying a comforting hand on his shoulder.

Then I turn my attention back to Scully. "I'll tell Agent Mulder. I know you two have had problems with that subject lately."

"Thank you, Sir. I hope he believes you. . ."

"He will. Trust me."

With that, we hang up. I have no trouble noticing that Mulder's thoughts are in turmoil. //I'm sorry, Mulder. For your sake, I wish it was different. . .//

//That bitch! She was lying to me the whole time!//

I wrap imaginary arms around his shoulders as he rants. After awhile I feel something against my shoulder. //Mulder?//

//Uh, sorry. This whole thing has exhausted me.// Well, it's 10 o'clock at night, we're injured, you just found out your ex-wife was never trustworthy. . .but what's that got to do with my shoulder? Finally, it hits me. He responded to my touch by leaning against me. I strike down the arousal that comes with that thought. It's good enough that he trusts me to help him through this.

//Get some sleep, Mulder.//

//Yeah, ok. Thanks.//

I settle down in my bed, determined to not let Fox Mulder drive me crazy.

---------------------------------------------------------------

I wake up on a gasp. A quick look at my clock shows me that I've only slept four hours. So why am I awake? An image of me in the hospital floats in my mind as Mulder's presence makes itself known.

//Mulder, it's ok. It was a nightmare.// His thoughts, confused, wail into my mind. //Shh.// My 'mental' limbs wrap around him as if he were a child. I feel his weight again on me. This time more than my shoulder is affected.

Then I feel the most amazing thing. Weight is pressed to a small part of my cheek. A kiss? My surprise must translate to him, because I feel him back away a second later. He doesn't acknowledge the action in any way.

But his thoughts are shaky when I check on him. //Better?//

//Uh, yeah. Thanks. Again.//

//No problem. Why don't you go back to sleep?//

Luckily for me, he does. I spend the rest of the night trying to figure out what's going on here.

-------------------------------------------------------------

A week later, we are both back at work. By this time, we've settled in with my new ability. We have learned to tune out each other at will, and to gently get each other's attention before bursting into the other's mind. I feel in control once again, and able to be Mulder's superior.

That's not to say the ability hasn't changed my relationship with Mulder. It most certainly has. We talked much more in this week than I think we have in all six prior years together. I enjoyed his quick wit and slightly quirky observations about the world around us. He seemed surprised to find out that not only did I support his cause, I actually believed him about cases more than he realized. I also showed him my more relaxed side, in which I can laugh at his jokes instead of just staring at him until he gets to the point. I actually think we are becoming friends.

But this budding friendship was on shaky ground when as we left for work, Mulder informed me that he was telling Scully about my ability. I railed at him pretty badly. I didn't want my secrets exposed, not even to my second most-trusted agent. My fear was rather illogical, I know that now. How was Scully going to find out that I lusted after her partner just by finding out I'm now psychic?

Mulder must have understood something about my fears, because he backed away from my presence until I calmed down. When he came back, his crack about me turning into a Reticulan put us both at ease as we planned the meeting we both knew must happen.

So here I sit, waiting for them to come into my office. Mulder smiles at me slightly as they walk in and sit down. I don't waste any time getting to the point.

"Agent Scully, I need to tell you something about my. . .encounter with Cornilius Bates."

At her "Yes, Sir?", Mulder decides to help me out. "Skinner's contact with Bates' machine left him--psychic." Up goes Scully's eyebrow. Mulder's thoughts try to reassure me.

"It's true, Scully. I've been in contact with him all week--through my thoughts."

"So why doesn't he show me? Contact me through my thoughts, Sir." I've never seen such a skeptical face directed at me before.

This will be hard, I know. Mulder says her weak abilities are harder to get through to. The friendship and love between the two of them has done much to support their weak psychic connection. So much so that Mulder believes she has no idea that the connection is psychic. I don't have that advantage. But I have to try. . .

I close my eyes and concentrate on her face. My immediate thought is how she looked as she stood above me in the hospital during my brush with death. I feel her presence slowly drift to me as I send out a calming message to her.

"Oh my God!" Our weak connection breaks abruptly at the outburst. I open my eyes to her shocked look. Mulder has an arm wrapped around her. I turn away for a second so I don't transmit my jealousy to Mulder.

When I turn back, Scully is looking toward Mulder with a curious look. "Did you tell him about the other night, Mulder?"

"Uh, no." He looks flustered, and I can't pick up a thing from him.

Scully chuckles at his discomfort. "You better. I don't think he'd be disagreeable to the idea, considering what he just showed me."

We both just look at her, puzzled.

*******************************************************

Chapter 4: Burst Into Flames

What the hell? I gaze at Scully's face, shocked.

Two days ago I told her a revelation. I was falling in love with our boss, Walter Skinner. I told her that we had gotten a chance to talk while we recovered from our respective injuries. In our talking, I learned that little fact about myself. But I hadn't told him. I wouldn't know where to start.

What I didn't tell her was that all that talk was through psychic communication. But that was the least of my worries at that point. I was afraid of her reaction to my realization that I was bisexual. I didn't have a thing to worry about. When I broached that topic, she laughed. "I'm just glad you didn't have this realization when you met Tom Colton." She went on to say that my sexuality didn't matter to her. I was her partner and her friend. That was that.

But now she's smiling at me with a knowing smile on her face. "Take a chance, Mulder. You won't be disappointed." She's not trying to tell me that he. . .Impossible!

I look toward Skinner. He has a scared look on his face. "Sir?"

"We can talk about this later, Agent Mulder." He sighs and turns away.

I look back at Scully, who is getting up to leave. "You can either follow me now, Mulder and talk to him later, or talk to him now. I'll cover for you both if you want."

"It probably will take the rest of the day, Agent Scully." Skinner makes a decision. I'm too shocked still to do so.

The grin on her face is wicked. "I don't mind, Sir."

Skinner's face relaxes considerably. "We'll see you tomorrow, Scully. And thanks."

"Just take care of him, Sir." And with that, she was out the door.

I look up at my boss. "Skinner?"

"Go get your car and drive to my apartment. I assume you still know where it is?" I nod. "Good. When we get there, I'll explain."

//Trust me. It'll be ok.// What else can I do?

----------------------------------------------------

Skinner's mind is silent as I drive to Crystal City. This agitates me even more than Scully's comments.

When I get to Skinner's building, he is waiting on the steps for me. "Come on. We'll talk inside."

We walk together in silence. I stand in his livingroom nervously as he switches on a light and sheds his coat and suit jacket. "Sit down, Mulder."

I sit on the couch as he lowers himself to the armchair nearby. I nervously stand up again to take off my coat. Skinner watches this with guarded eyes.

When I am finally settled, Skinner speaks up. "Mulder, what do you think of me?"

"Uh, I think you're a nice guy, a good boss. . ." Skinner's lips twitch at this.

"The reason I ask is because I think Scully got a good look at my opinion of you during our little experiment in my office."

"You think I'm an alien?" I can't help it. I could cut the tension in here with a knife.

He graces me with a small smile. "I knew that a long time ago." He pauses and sits forward, his arms on his thighs. "I like you, Mulder. But it's more than that. . ."

Pieces are starting to fit together here. The dreams, his intrusion into my fantasy, his fear. "You are attracted to me?"

"Yes."

I laugh in relief. My turn to confess. "Umm, about what I told Scully a few days ago.."

I think he can see the mischievous glint that I know suddenly appeared in my eyes. "Ye-es?"

I close my eyes and release all the thoughts I hid from him the last few days. His mind shows me shock and a growing glee. Glee, from my straight-laced boss? Yup, and it's infectious.

I open my eyes to a smile on Skinner's face.

//Walter.// He insists.

//Ok, but no Fox.//

//How about 'lover?'//

My smile is so wide I think my face will crack.

---------------------------------------------------

We decide to give Scully a call at the office to tell her we've gotten our act together. I don't want her to worry. She worries about me just as much as I do her, she just isn't as vocal.

But she gets vocal when I tell her the good news. "Congratulations! I'll have to tell Colton his virtue is safe."

Skinner looks horrified until I quickly relate my conversation with Scully a few days ago. After a few pleasantries, an admonishment from Scully to not come into work tomorrow until our 2pm flight to Seattle and her promise to tell Kim that Walter's sick, we hang up.

Walter looks at me curiously. "How long do you think the case in Seattle will take?"

"I don't know. A couple days, a week. You know how VCS can get when I'm around." Scully and I are still trying to sort through the mess Spender and Diana left the X-files in. Because we have no cases yet, Walter was forced to loan us to Violent Crimes when they asked. Unfortunately for the three of us, VCS has a bad habit of obstructing our part of the investigation.

My mind fills with empathetic feelings from Walter. He hasn't had the best experiences with that group, either.

"Then I better make this last." I am grabbed from behind as images of us intimately locked together flood my brain.

My arousal is almost instantaneous. I twist around so I can lock my lips to his. The temperature of the room raises 10 degrees in that second.

As our kiss intensifies and our breathing quickens, we find another advantage of our psychic link. Our feelings of arousal play off each other. There is no doubt here that either of us is faking responses. That knowledge alone makes me moan. I feel an echoing shudder in Walter.

And we can tell each other what feels good. Everything feels good in the aroused cloud my mind has become, but some of Walter's touches are better than others. I let him knows this and feel him glory in the groans that result. He is reluctant to reciprocate with information, so I move my hands across his body until his mind registers the responses I want.

By this time we are almost ready to come. And we haven't even taken our clothes off yet! We laugh a bit as my realization is sent to him. We back away from each other and strip quickly. Stains are so hard to get out of wool suits.

I push him to sit the couch and kneel in front of it. After a deep kiss and mental reassurance to Walter that yes, I want to do this, I bring my face level with his straining erection. Now, I've seen men's penises before. Let's face it, our gender is the less modest of the two. But I fell in love with Walter's mind first. My admiration of his body was an afterthought. But, oh what an afterthought!

//Are you just going to stare at it?// He must have picked up my nervousness. I smile at him.

//I'm admiring a work of art.//

//This is a 'Please Touch' exhibit, Mulder.// I laugh at that. Where does he hide his sense of humor? It was one of my most surprising revelations about him.

But I get back to the task at hand. . .literally. I wrap my hand around his shaft. This time I don't have to hunt to figure out what he wants. He becomes very 'vocal,' guiding me in how to pleasure him best with his thoughts. His pleasure becomes mine, almost physically.

My hand works in the rhythm he requested when something dawns on me. I want to know the way he tastes. So I bring my mouth down on his erection until it meets my hand. With the gasp of pleasure from him comes his confession that he wanted this but was afraid to ask.

//Oh, come on. I'm open to extreme possibilities.// I didn't know it was possible to laugh and groan at the same time until now.

As I set myself to the task, I find my body responding to the pleasure flowing over me from his mind. The more pleasure I give him, the more I receive. As my tongue explores the tastes and textures of his cock, I can feel an echo on my own erection.

Soon enough, my ministrations are too much for us both. I feel him jerk against me and shoot into my waiting mouth. Seconds later, his pleasure floods my brain. I jerk my head away to keep from biting him and clutch at his hips as I come without so much as a finger laid on my cock.

//Interesting side effect.// Walter is smiling at me gently.

//Yeah, I'll say.// I lay my head on his thigh, suddenly exhausted.

//Come on. Let's get cleaned up.//

We get up, wipe off the furniture and ourselves and climb into Walter's bed.

After a short nap, we get up to eat. After our simple meal of pasta and chicken, we find out that my experience earlier wasn't a fluke.

Walter comes right after his mouth finishes sending me to heaven.

We spend the rest of the day in bed, touching both with mind and body. We fall asleep wrapped around each other.

When Scully comes to get me the next day, her grin echoes mine. "Did you two have a good time?"

"It was a mindblowing experience."

*******************************************************

Chapter 5: Who Needs Phones?

This case is going to kill me. Or maybe the VCS, I'm not sure.

Scully and I came up to Seattle yesterday to help with a Violent Crimes case because we have no cases for the X-files yet. We're still cleaning up the mess Spender and my bitch of an ex-wife left us. But we couldn't get out of this, so here we are.

But the VCS is up to their tricks again. We came here to investigate what looked like serial murders of young teenage girls. Scully and I quickly discerned that the bodies were marked with symbols of a cult known to have a base in Mexico. But those ignorant fools wouldn't listen to our theories that they were cult murders. They thought it was the work of one man.

They arrested the man they suspected. This morning, a whole ten hours later, a fresh corpse shows up near the Space Needle. Goddamn fools.

So they scrambled to us, trying to figure out where they went wrong. Thank God for Scully. Without her, Walter probably would have to reprimand me for assaulting another agent. She relayed our theory to them and they took off running.

So we came back to the hotel to rest. They didn't want us with them. We weren't going to argue. We don't like them much either.

Scully left me at my door muttering something about a shower. I can't say I blame her. We were in a pretty muddy area when we found the body. And we had to dig it out of said mud.

I strip and move toward the bathroom. I glance at my travel clock in passing. It's early, 2 PM. With the time difference, Walter should be getting home within an hour or 2. A voice inside my head tells me I'm wrong.

//I just got home. They are doing a of security check of my office. The director told me to go home early because I probably wouldn't get any work done with them around.//

//Ok. How was your day?// I wanted to complain to him, but not if he had as bad a day, or worse.

//Not bad, although I had trouble looking Agent Colton in the eye.// I snicker at this. Scully's almost as good with off-hand comments as I am. I don't think the three of us with look at that jerk the same way ever again.

I feel a twinge of impatience coming from our connection. //Tell me what the VCS is doing to my prized agents this time.// I have to get better at blocking my thoughts from him. When I am really upset, he receives more than I intend.

I tell him about the last day and a half, trying to keep it as professional as possible. Hey, he is still my boss. And I don't want too much differential treatment from him at the office. Scully and I get enough from him on virtue of the X-files.

But even my most professional description gets the same reaction that I had earlier. //Fools.//

As I get into the shower and wash the grime off me, we discuss the minutae of the case. Scully and I will stay here to make sure the VCS doesn't screw up again. This could take another few days to a week. I sigh as I towel my hair.

//This case is playing havoc with my social life.//

Walter laughs through the connection. //The X-files have done that for years.//

//Yeah, but my social life just became an X-file. I wasn't finished investigating it when I left DC.//

Empathy flows to me. //We will have time soon.//

Then, all of a sudden, Walter gets really cheerful. //I have an idea.//

//What?//

//Get on the bed.//

I'm a bit confused, but I obey.

//Relax, Mulder.// As I take a deep breath, I feel a soothing touch in my hair.

//Walter?// My body tenses. I didn't expect this.

//Shh. Trust me, ok?//

So I relax again as invisible fingers massage my scalp.

But I tense once again as a knock vibrates on the connecting door. "Mulder?"

"Yeah, Scully?"

The door opens and Scully's head appears in my sight. "I'm going out for something to eat, do you want anything?"

I don't answer right away. Walter is soothing some very tight muscles in my neck. "Mulder, are you all right?"

"Uh, yeah Scully. I'm just talking to Walter."

Scully smiles. "Oh, sorry."

"Thanks for the offer of food, but I'll get some later after a nap." I smile back at her. Scully closes the connecting door gently as I close my eyes.

//Have you eaten anything today?//

I know better than to lie. //No, but I'll be ok for now. The body we found today turned my stomach, and I don't think I've recovered yet.//

//Hmph.// I can feel the gruff affection behind his worry for my wellbeing. //You better take care of yourself. Or I may have to come up there.//

//You think that's going to motivate me? That will make me worse.// Laughter is exchanged through our bond. My laugh turns into a moan as I feel a hand digging into one sore shoulder.

//You're getting good at this.// I relax into his ghostly massage.

He stops abruptly after a few minutes. //Mulder, what are you wearing?//

I snicker at this. //What is this, phone sex?//

//You'll see. Answer the question.//

//A pair of jeans and boxers.//

//Take them off.//

//Ok. Why?//

//You don't want to have to change them later, do you?//

Bemused, I do as he asks. The second I tell him I'm done, my body goes into shock. I watch as my cock grows before my eyes. I feel a warmth and pressure surrounding it, even though it is bobbing in the air in front of me. I fall back down on the bed, amazed.

//Why so shocked?// Laughter fills our connection. //I can make you feel my 'touch' on the rest of your body.//

//I--I never considered it this way.// My breathing grows rapid as Walter attends to a sensitive spot on the shaft. I feel his arousal grow with mine. Unlike the previous times together, this time both of us are completely driven by mental arousal. And I no longer know where I begin and he ends.

Images flash through our minds. Walter kissing me, rubbing against my naked body, my own face contorted in pleasure, my body arching. Warmth suffuses our bodies. Our minds have turned our bodies into gigantic erogenous zones. I can feel pleasure from the touch of cool sheets on my bed and from the soft upholstery at Walter's back. We both reach to 'grasp' the other's erection. We derive the utmost pleasure from both 'touches.' Our minds connect, building pleasure exponentially from little else than the thoughts contained within.

Finally, our bodies have had enough of the building pleasure. Our climax is earthshattering. Our minds explode as our bodies arch, shooting semen into the air. We separate slightly as I feel my back hit the pillow under me. //I love you.// My emotion is absorbed by Walter joyously.

I stare at the ceiling, not willing to come back to the here and now. Walter's practical mind helped me drift back slowly. //I guess we shouldn't do that in public. Ever.//

I laugh. //We might wind up in the hospital because someone mistaked our lovemaking for a seizure.//

//Yeah. And we'd have a hell of a time explaining it to your partner. So, was that better than phone sex?//

//Hell, Walter, who needs phones?//

*******************************************************

Chapter 6: Running to Ground

I stride through my secretary's office. "Any word on Mulder and Scully, Kim?"

"No, Sir. Agent Mulder is supposed to report in at two."

My two favorite agents have been gone for almost a week investigating some mysterious deaths in Florida. Bodies were found in the Everglades. But this time it doesn't look like an alligator is the cause. All victims were taken from their homes, without sign of entry. A strange light surrounded each house after the victim was taken.

After ruling out that remaining consortium members were causing the deaths, my lover and his partner ran for Florida with what sounded like a million theories. Most of them reverberated through my brain as they traveled south. After about 3 hours of this, I had to tune him out. My head was pounding from all the wild thoughts.

Mulder and I blocked our mental connection while he was investigating. He says he can think better that way. God forbid I should impair the Bureau's best agent. So we checked in with each other every night.

This case has been tough on both of them. Mulder is concerned about Scully. He says she hasn't been sleeping well, probably because they haven't been able to work quickly enough to stop the deaths yet. I'm concerned about him. We have barely spoken 10 words to each other at night because he is exhausted. I don't dare initiate mental sex, as I often do when he's away from me. The only touches I send him are comforting. And I know his insomnia is back.

So I send him my sympathy and what comfort I can. It's not nearly enough, I know. But I can't justify going down there just yet.

Instead I bury myself in another section's expense account. It isn't nearly as exasperating as the one for the X-files. How boring. I'm so glad to have Mulder and Scully under my care that I found myself enjoying figuring out their expense account. I may qualify as an X-file a second time if I keep this up.

------------------------------------------------

I go out to lunch at the deli down the street. As I walk there, I find myself glaring at a couple kissing on a bench. Why do you have your lover by your side and I don't? I sigh and avert my gaze before the couple notices. I walk on.

I'm tempted to reach out toward Mulder to seek relief from this sudden envy, or at least a bit of shared misery. But I can't. I promised.

I sit down at one of the deli's tables with a ham sandwich and a cup of coffee. I grab my sandwich to take a bite, when suddenly a force throws me backward.

//WALTER!//

That's all I get. The next second, the connection is cut, broken. COMPLETELY. There is no longer a second presence in my mind, as it has been all morning, muted. The wire has been cut.

//Mulder???// No answer comes forth.

I fumble in my coat pocket for my cell phone. Quickly, I must know what happened. I have to pause before I dial. Mulder has been hurt, at the very least. I dial Scully's number.

"Sir?" There is no question that something is desperately wrong. Scully was expecting my call.

"What happened? I, I . . .lost him."

"He's been shot by the suspect. Through the chest." Her voice becomes shaky as she says this.

Oh my God. I can barely ask the next question. "Is he. . ."

"No sir. But he's critical. His prognosis isn't good." Suddenly, I can hear the paramedics in the background, speaking in sharp, quick voices. What I hear doesn't reassure me.

I don't know where I get the strength to act like the AD I am. Maybe it's instinct. "Where is the suspect?"

"In custody, sir." Well, at least I don't have to help direct an investigation. I know I'd never make it.

"I'm coming down to check on Agent Mulder and help you wrap up the investigation."

"Of course, sir. I'll inform the local Bureau chief."

"I'll see you soon, Scully. Take care of him." I hang up my cell phone and rush out of the restaurant.

It's a good thing that I'm allowed to chase after seriously injured agents. They'd have to kill me to stop me now.

------------------------------------------------------

The flight to Florida is agonizing. I keep reaching out to Mulder, trying to connect with him. Nothing. Dead air. The thought makes me shiver.

And I focus on one thought: I never told Mulder I love him.

It took me a while to realize this revelation, even with the rapid-pace changes in our relationship. I only began realizing something was different when each case I sent them out on made me extremely nervous. I ended up asking myself last week how I would cope if Mulder got killed on a case. The answer scared me: I'm not sure I could cope.

I was never so wrapped up in one person, not even with Sharon. And boy, am I wrapped up in Fox Mulder. We spend practically every night he's home together, loving each other, talking, or just sitting on somebody's couch together, catching up on work. Scully praises me profusely because I pressure Mulder into completing his half of their reports.

When we talk, it's like seeing the world through his eyes. Our connection lets us give each other sights, smells, and sounds that we remember. It's an overwhelming experience that I embraced wholeheartedly once I got over my fear of being too close to him.

Now I'm too close to ever let go. I got to this point gradually. I thought I knew exactly what I was doing, but when I realized I love Fox Mulder, it came as a shock to me. Last week, we were sleeping in his mysteriously produced waterbed after falling into each other's arms, exhausted and sated from sex. I woke before dawn, and just watched him sleep. My mind worried about this case, and I realized I no longer could live without Fox Mulder. I would only survive if he was gone.

I didn't tell him before he left. I was worried about how he would react. Love hasn't been kind to him. He has suffered for the ones he loves, even for me.

My suffering now is a small price to pay if he lives. Then I can tell him how I feel. Then maybe I can give him some peace.

If he dies. . .I shudder. But we all pay a price for love.

Scully meets me at the airport. "He's in surgery, sir. They are trying to keep his lungs from collapsing."

"Has he gained consciousness at all?"

"No, sir."

We rush to the hospital in silence. I think both of us are afraid to say anything, in fear of making a bad situation worse.

-----------------------------------------------------

He looks so weak, so frail. Like there isn't any life left in him at all, contrary to the beeping of the monitors surrounding him. I sigh as I look upon him. I'm terrified that he will die and leave me alone.

But I can't show it. I'm the AD. Damn my job anyway. It helped me lose my wife. I pray it doesn't destroy me now. And Fox Mulder as well.

Scully pulls me out of the room, gently. "Sir, you need to look over the reports."

I look into her empathetic eyes. I wonder if mine are shining with unshed tears, like hers. I let her guide me to the local agents waiting in the hallway.

I discuss the case with them automatically. Because I know I'm not really paying attention, I whisper to Scully to make note of anything I may need to know later. She does so without comment.

All I really retain from this discussion is that the suspect has been apprehended and that we have a good case against him. He will be tried on the murders and for shooting a Federal agent. I grit my teeth. I'd like to kill this man. . .

Once everything is squared away with the locals, Scully and I head to the hospital cafeteria for some food and shared misery. I play with the meal she puts in front of me instead of eating it.

----------------------------------------------------

A couple of hours later, I refuse to leave the waiting area, even though my eyes are drooping.

"Sir, Mulder won't like it if you torture yourself like this." I glance up and meet her knowing eyes. "I've had a lot of practice detecting this kind of behavior, sir."

We both know that Mulder agonizes over us in the same way that I am now, over him. "Then what can I do?"

"Send him your love."

"But I can't feel him! He's not there!"

"Just because you can't hear him, doesn't necessarily mean he can't hear you. Both of you said you still aren't entirely sure how the connection works."

I look at her, skeptical. But I comply.

//Mulder, I love you. I'm sorry I haven't told you. Come back to us.//

Amazingly, I get a weak reply. //I know you love me, you idiot. Where are you?//

I can't stop the cheerful gasp that emerges from my mouth. Scully stares at me.

"He answered!"

We rush into Mulder's room. He turns his head toward us and smiles. "Walter, you've been hanging around me too long. Scully's right. I don't like you torturing yourself over me."

I sit down careful on the bed by his side. I barely see Scully leaving the room to give us some privacy. "I was scared. . .I didn't know what to do." That's a hell of a confession for someone in charge, like myself.

He didn't say anything. But my mind filled with images of us together, here, at home, at work. Our minds joined and filled with emotions, joy, love, trust. We spent the rest of the night like this, soothing and loving each other.

When Scully woke us the next morning, I was lying on Mulder's bed, curved carefully around him, protecting him.

---------------------------------------------------

Ok, that's a good place to end. Hi Sergeeva!
Here ends Lightning. The sequel is tentatively titled Thunder. Look for it soon.

Help this starving writer. I've gotten only a little feedback lately. Tell me what you think of this! I love to hear from people!
Feedback welcome at

 


 

TITLE: Thunder
AUTHOR: Ladyhawk
EMAIL ADDRESS:
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Anywhere, just tell me
SPOILER WARNING: vague season 6, I changed One Son, but the result is the same
RATING: NC-17
Keywords: Mulder/Skinner Slash
CLASSIFICATION: V, A, T, R
SUMMARY: Mulder and Scully get an intern. You know very well that the X-files wouldn't get a normal intern. Something wicked the X-files way comes. Sequel to Lightning.
DISCLAIMER: CC owns all but one here. G.Galf may or may not belong to me (for those of you who know what I mean, no this isn't a crossover. I'm just stealing a concept. The concept belongs to Stephen King.)
Feedback welcome at


Prologue: Food Coloring Doesn't Make Rum Red

Red, ah, the color red. The color of roses, of hearts, of. . .blood. The stuff of life. Loss is death. Like the young woman in front of me.

Such a lovely young woman, in death as in life. Alabaster skin, auburn hair. Made more beautiful by the blood haloing her body. And the look of fear. . .so wonderful.

And the strength I've gained from her mind thrills me. She thought she was invincible because she could hear what other people think. That only works until you run into someone who can hear what you think. Poor child, so disillusioned.

What next? Where should I go? The world is my oyster. I am the pearl. I move effortlessly through countries laws, cultures, adapting as I go. And taking what I want.

What I want is more of what I got from this woman. More of the power.

I glance through her possessions as I muse on my next journey. Books on witchcraft, herbal healing. Bottles of plant essences, incense sticks. A crystal ball, of all things! Typical of someone who is trying to do more than they are able.

On the other side of the room are more interesting items. Videos on alien abduction, Whitney Strieber's Communion, Jose Chung's laughable tome. Didn't the man know they are real? What a fool. A slip of paper is on top of the book. A name and phone number. Special Agent Fox Mulder, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Some scribbling below the name indicates that he investigates paranormal activity.

Well, then, I may just have to go see this Agent Mulder. He may just be the key to getting more of what I want. I grab the piece of paper and put it in my coat pocket.

As I leave the house, I pull out my flask. The coppery taste, mixed with the alcohol is fine, wonderful. As I walk past a couple of parked cars, I look in a rearview mirror and wipe the red liquid off my lips.

My thoughts turn to my new plans. DC will be a fine place to call home for a while.

*******************************************************

Chapter 1: Dark Waters

"Born in sin, come on in."
---Andre Linogue, Stephen King's 'Storm of the Century'

God. Mulder's going to love this little development. I can see it now. Mulder and Scully ditch the man in front of me while investigating the Loch Ness Monster. I'm left to clean up the mess.

In front of me sits an intern. For the X-files? We never had one before. But the Director insisted that this is where he wanted to be. I have no choice but to let him in. And Mulder will have to deal with it. But of course he won't like it.

I look at our new recruit critically. He's attractive, in a pretty-boy sort of way. He reminds me a little of Krycek, but not much. Galf's blond hair and blue eyes make him striking. There is definitely a brain behind the looks, according to his college records. He's smart. And willing to give Mulder's ideas the benefit of the doubt. Or at least it appears that way from talking with him. He doesn't have Mulder's extreme beliefs, but he isn't gung-ho about refuting extreme possibilities.

The young man doesn't seem to have any connection with the Consortium, as far as I can tell, but you can never be sure. Mulder will have to let his three strange friends look into his background.

But for now, I have to try to prevent a rebellion. I use the psychic skills I acquired a few months ago to call my beloved agent. //Mulder?//

//Yeah, Walter. What is it?//

I turn away from Galf to face the window so he won't see the concentration on my face. I know it shows when i talk to Mulder psychicly. //I have someone here that wants to join your department. As an intern.//

//What?! What the hell do we want with an intern? I'm not a babysitter!// I knew this was going to be tough.

//We have no choice, Mulder. The Director insisted. Deal.// I feel his sigh of resignation. We both know we have to be careful, both because they nearly didn't get the X-files back after Spender's death and because of our relationship.

//Ok, send him down. We'll discuss this later.// Damn, I knew I got off too easy. I'll have to listen to it all night, after we both get home. The problems with having a relationship with your subordinate. . .

I turn back to Gregory Galf. "Why don't you walk down to the basement while I call Agent Mulder and tell him you are coming?"

"Yes, Sir." He smiles nervously. Oh, to be so young and eager again. I watch him walk out the door to meet his fate.

And I sit down heavily in my chair. This is going to be a long day. Mulder will make sure of that.

------------------------------------------------------

Luckily, Mulder's grumbling through our connection is pretty low-key. Occasional bouts of paranoia intermixed with chagrin at Scully's scoldings come my way periodically throughout the day. I don't say a word one way or the other to him about Galf. Things work out best when I let those two sort it out themselves.

But I brace myself as I get ready to go home. I'm not entirely sure of the reception I'll get when I get there. Mulder's gotten better at hiding stuff from me over the past three months since we started the intimate part of our relationship. I can't really tell if he's hiding from me now.

As soon as I hit the road, though, everything is back to normal, at least for us. //What should I order for dinner, Walter?//

I smile slightly. This has become a ritual for us. Half the time I will cook for us when we're together. The other half, Mulder will order us food. He hates cooking. I think sometimes he'd prefer starving to cooking. But take-out doesn't bother me, I just have to work out more. The whole purpose of this ritual, anyway, is to provide Mulder with some stability in his mostly unstable life.

//Italian. No pizza. We had that Monday.//

We settle on two plates of baked ziti before I ask him about Galf.

//The kid? He's ok, I guess. He did a good job with some of the prelim work we needed for our next case.//

I park the car and climb the stairs to my floor. As I walk into the apartment, Mulder grabs my coat and leans in for a kiss. "Sorry about giving you a hard time about it this morning. After Krycek. . ."

"Yeah, I know. I was worried too. But the Director didn't let me refuse. This kid must be the son of someone important or something. He's usually not that inflexible." The whole situation didn't ring right with me, but I assume the Director was being pushed.

I follow my nose to the kitchen where the ziti is already laid out. Over our dinner, we discuss work and upcoming cases. Mulder has no idea what to do with an intern, so I give him some pointers that should get them through the next couple days. Keep him in research. He learns a lot that way, and he's less trouble. I figure Mulder can worry about giving Galf practical experience once he begins to trust him more.

We put work away with the remains of our dinner. This is our time, and we get precious little of it because of work. It's become a sacred thing to us. Even Scully knows not to call either of us when Mulder is over at my place.

We start out on the couch. Mulder is draped on top of my reclined form, watching the basketbll game. I just watch him. His mind is totally into the game. I can hear him curse individuals players, as they screw up in one way or another, in my mind. And yet, part of that mysterious brain of his still connects with me. His hand caresses my side continously and he pulls my head down for kisses during the commercials. He doesn't say a word to me, verbally or mentally, but we are very aware of each other's presence. We stay like that during the whole game, silent but together.

I turn off the TV once the game is over. No words are spoken, but our connection heats up as our thoughts turn toward pleasing each other. Our kisses linger, our caresses become focused. Our connection becomes our whole world. Giving and receiving pleasure become synonymous as our hand move over each other. By mutual agreement, we move to the bedroom, shedding clothes as we go. We fall onto the bed naked, completely wrapped up in each other. We moan in unison as I smooth my fingers over the sensitive spot on his back. And again as he tickles my nipples gently. No words are spoken, but the word 'love' reverberates through our minds constantly.

I become the aggressor tonight, and hold him down on the bed as I run open kisses down his neck, his chest. Short messages in my brain direct me to his erogenous zones, which I pay extra attention to on my journey south. I am rewarded by his gasps and moans, as well as a warm pleasure rushing through my body.

Finally, I reach his abdomen and the shaft resting below. I let my breath caress the tip of his erection as my hands massage Mulder's thighs. Then I slowly wrap my lips around the shaft and caress it with my tongue.

//Walter, please. I want you inside me.//

So my hand searches for the lube that I vaguely remember lying on the bed when we got here. Snatchinging it without removing my mouth from his cock, I coat my fingers with the stuff. Whenthey enter him, I can feel them hit his prostate as if they had hit my own. I arch into the mattress as his shaft glides deeper into my mouth. God, I'm not sure I can ever have regular sex again, after this psychic stuff. The love we send each other and the physical sensations are overwhelming.

I move up on my knees and spread the slippery lube on my cock. Our eyes meet as I position myself and thrust into Mulder easily. He hands me his trust, his soul as I move inside him. He lets go completely, trusting me to send him to heaven. And I do. He comes with a shout and pulls me along with him. My orgasm pushes me into his arms, completely exhausted.

As I pull out of him, Mulder moves us to our sides. We drift off to sleep secure in each other's arms and souls.

--------------------------------------------------

The fire in his eyes makes me scream.

I bolt awake and glance at the clock. 3 AM. Mulder is still asleep. I'm surprised my nightmare didn't wake him. They usually do, because I can't control what messages are sent through our connection while I'm sleeping.

I consider waking him so he can help me calm down, but reject the idea as soon as it entersd my mind. Mulder has enough nightmares of his own. He doesn't need mine too.

I get out of bed carefully. I move to the livingroom in the dark, trying to figure out what was in my dream. It seems important somehow.

I remember the ocean. I was standing on a rocky shore. The waters were rough, crashing against my feet as I stood there. I was looking, searching. Mulder was out on the waters, probably drowning. The psychic connection was being pulled at, ripped apart. I don't know if the separation was caused by Mulder drowning or some other force.

But then I saw him. A dark figure floating on a raft, barely visible against the dark grey sky. The figure turned toward me. It wasn't Mulder! I was Galf. Mulder laid in his arms, unconscious. I waded into the water to try to reach them. I struggled with the current. It pushed me around, bruising my body. The undertow pulled my head into the dark waters. Although I struggled, I couldn't get my head to break through the surface to the air above. I was dying and I knew it. Before my life expired, Galf's face floated in my mind. He was laughing evilly. And the fire in his eyes made my last breath a scream.

God, I'm still shaking. There's something wrong here. I'm not usually one to trust my instincts. That's Mulder's job. But why am I dreaming about a kid as if he were the devil?

I take a deep breath, trying to get some control. He's just a kid. If he's in the consortium, we can handle it. We have before. I just have to make sure I control his access to information and warn Scully.

But even as I think that, I don't believe it will be enough. The instincts that have laid dormant for years are at their peak. These instincts say my dream is true. That all I care for is in danger.

I don't get any sleep the rest of the night.

*******************************************************

Chapter 2: What I Know

"Baby, can you dig your man?"
---Larry Underwood, Stephen King's 'The Stand'

How could I have known that Galf would work out so well? Greg is perfect for the X-files! He's intelligent, observant. He sees things I can't. His logic is sometimes more sound than Scully's. The kid's a genius. We've gotten more done in the two months he's been here than we have in quite awhile.

Ah, Scully. She, for some reason, doesn't appreciate all that Greg has contributed to our cause. She thinks I'm letting him have too much access to the files. Well, how's he supposed to learn anything? He is here to get experience.

And her arguments are getting tiresome. I sit here at our favorite deli, trying to tune her out. I mean, she's my friend and all, but why does she have to pick on the poor kid?

"Mulder, he's not qualified to be anywhere near a crime scene. He has to show comptency first. You know, Skinner will have to reprimand you for this. He's not going to like it." All because I let him come past the yellow tape on our latest case. Geez.

"Walter's had a stick up his ass lately, anyway. What's one more thing? He probably likes yelling at me. He's done enough of it lately." I don't know what's gotten into him. Nothing I do pleases him anymore. He nags about what I do with Greg. He complains that I don't have any time to spend with him. Where am I supposed to get this time? We've been so busy lately.

I tune her out for a little while longer, trying to figure out how I can give Greg a real thrill. I want to take him on my next X-file as my partner. He'll have to be the junior partner, but I bet he'll be ecstatic anyway.

I feel my head fill with thoughts that aren't my own. Walter found out about my 'mistake' and he's not happy. My heavy sigh brings Scully out of her tirade.

"What's wrong, Mulder?"

"Nothing. Walter's mad at me." My voice reflects my resignation. It's not going to be a good day.

"As he should be. This stuff with Galf is getting out of hand!" Oh, God. She's mad at me, too. What did I do to deserve this?

"I have to go, Scully. I'll see you later, ok?" I have to get out of here. Now, before I start screaming at her. This is all so unfair. I grab my coat and go out the door before Scully can protest.

---------------------------------------------

And I hurry back to Hoover and the basement. Greg is there, researching the background of a murder victim for our next case. I smile as he jumps up enthusiastically when I open the door.

"Fox, I think I found something! This woman, she was a psychic. Not a scammer. She looks like the real thing. A few police departments in the area have asked her to consult on cases." That engaging smile is twinged with uncertainty, as if he's afraid I won't be pleased.

"That's great, Greg. We'll have something to try to connect suspects with. Maybe she told someone a future they didn't like or something." I am momentarily distracted by Greg's California-type good looks. I almost don't hear what he says next.

"If you're right and the murderer is telekinetic, it might be a family member. According to the records, Maria isn't the first Piola to be called on by police because of an extraordinary talent. You should probably question her sister, uh. . ." Those beautiful light blue eyes search the page in his hand. "Angela about it. The abilities seem to skip a generation in her family, but there is often more than one sibling with the gift in the affected generation."

That would explain the paranoia Maria's mother had while she was talking with me. She might know, or at least fear that one of her own children telekinetically picked up Maria's piano and sent it crashing down on her. A mother's instinct is to protect, even if her child has done something dreadful.

"So make up a set of questions that you think we should ask Angela and bring it with you." I lean against my desk with a smirk, waiting for this sentence to register.

"I, I can go with you?! Wow, thanks! I didn't think I'd ever. . ." The joy on his face is enough to light up a whole skyscraper. Well worth the risks I'm taking.

"You've done so well here. You deserve to be challenged a bit." I lay my hands on his shoulders. Such strong shoulders for one so young. . .

"But what about Agent Scully?" His voice startles me out of my imagining him with me. . .

"She'll be ok. I'll ask AD Skinner to assign her to another case. We have so many lately." She won't be happy about it, but she'll live. I can't wait to watch Greg on his first case. I know he'll do great.

My thoughts are rudely interrupted by the boss himself. //Mulder, are you coming over tonight?//

I don't even bother trying to hide from Greg when Walter contacts me. He thinks I'm having an inspiration when my concentration drifts. //I don't think so, Walter. I've got a lot to do.//

//It's been a week. Don't you think you need a break?// God, I hate when he complains. He always makes me feel like I did something wrong. He's done so much of it lately that I've started avoiding him.

//I'm fine, Walter. I have to go to Wichita tomorrow, anyway. I need time to pack. Can you get along without me?//

//Yes.// I feel resignation through the link. //Just be careful, and try to listen to Scully, ok?//

//I will.// I don't tell him the truth of the matter. He'll find out soon enough.

I turn my attention back to Greg and smile. "Do you think you're ready for this?"

"Yeah! I just hope I don't look too nervous. . ." His look of anxiety just endears me more to him.

"You'll do fine. Now why don't you take the rest of the day off. Go buy a new suit so you'll look your best tomorrow." As if he could look any better than he does in his navy jacket and grey polyester pants.

"Ok. Thanks!" I watch him leave with a spring in his step. Tomorrow ought to be fun.

-------------------------------------------------

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I get this outraged sentiment in stereo the next morning. One is a feminine voice, the other an authoritative message sent directly to my brain.

"I'm taking Greg on a case. He deserves a shot to prove himself. I'll watch out for him."

"Mulder, he's an intern, not a trainee. This is against procedure." Scully grabs my arm but I shrug her off.

"Since when have I ever let procedure bother me? We'll be ok. And if he goes with me, you can get a head start on that medical miracle case." She should be grateful, for God's sake. Why is she harping at me?

//Mulder, this stops right now. I won't allow you to do this.// What, Walter, are you jealous? Geez, you're the one who told me we have to try to keep our personal lives out of our work.

//Whatever.// I turn back to Scully. "I'm going to get some coffee."

"Get me a latte, Mulder." I nod. "Thanks."

I have to use all my control to not run out of the basement.

-----------------------------------------------------

By the time Scully and Walter realize I didn't go to Starbuck's, I'm on a plane to Wichita with my favorite intern. I tune out Walter's outrage with difficulty, but finally he shuts up.

After we sit down, Greg hands me a piece of paper. It smells a bit funny, but it's otherwise neat, and contains the set of questions he wants to ask the victim's sister. I try to focus on it, but all of a sudden, I'm really tired. . .

I find myself lying down in darkness. A soft echo reverberates in the space I'm in. "Fox.. Fox..."

I strain to listen, to identify the voice, but either my brain mustn't be working correctly, or the voice is unfamiliar to me. But the echo gets louder until I'm startled by a touch on my shoulder.

"Hey." A moment before, the darkness was complete. I couldn't even see my hand directly in front of my face. But now the sweet blue eyes of Greg Galf peer down at my face. "Come with me."

I see his hand reach out from the darkness, which begins to recede. I take his hand and he pulls me up to stand next to him. He pulls me by the hand a few steps. We are in front of a bed. On it lays a blonde young woman, sleeping.

I am shocked as, all of a sudden, a white light engulfs the woman. I turn my eyes away from the burning light. But it warms me, energizes me. I straighten from the crouch I reflexively fell into when the light first flashed and absorb the rays.

Greg grips my hand tightly as we stand side by side, just taking in the warmth. I look over at his beaming face. How beautiful.

But my questioning mind needs to know. "What is this?"

Greg sends a huge smile my way. "It's her energy. Her life force. Isn't it wonderful?"

"Oh, yes. . ."

----------------------------------------------------

My eyes pop open to see the people in front of us leaving the plane. A hand is shaking my shoulder.

"Mulder, we're here." Greg takes his hand off my shoulder and reaches under our seats to get our bags.

"Oh. Sorry, I didn't know how tired I was."

"It's ok. You looked like you needed a nap." He is so understanding. I grasp his shoulder lightly in thanks.

We walk to get the rental car in the bright sunshine. When we get it, Greg asks if he can drive. Since I'm not fully awake yet, I let him.

I must have fell asleep again, because next thing I know, Greg is pulling me out of the car. We are in front of a small white house.

He guides me up the steps. I feel no compunction to do anything but follow him. It feels wonderful to let him take control. Greg raps on the door. A blonde woman, much like the woman in my dreams, answers the door.

"Yes?"

After a look from him, I answer her. It's what he wants me to do. " Angela? I'm Agent Fox Mulder from the FBI. Can we come in?"

"Oh, yes. Thank God." She opens the door wide to let us through. I watch dreamily as Greg approaches her and knocks her flat on the floor. Blood is gushing from her head. I don't really wonder why, but I can see some sort of metal sculpture in Greg's hand as he stands over her.

Then it hits me. Waves are eminating from her body. I can feel the energy, powerful, erotic in its strength. Greg pulls me into a kiss as we absorb the hot power coming off her. My body reacts to all the input and I orgasm. Pleasure whips through me, more powerful than I can handle. I fall to my knees in front of the body.

Greg kneels next to me. His kiss on the top of my head is just what I need to make my pleasure complete. His whisper soothes me.

"This is just the beginning, Fox. There is more power right where you live. Some of the strongest energy I've ever seen."

Oh, yes. More, I want more!

The small part of my mind that protests is silenced by the ice blue eyes absorbing me and my thoughts.

*******************************************************

Chapter 3: Hell is an Ocean of Uncertainty

"The Turtle can't help us."
---Bill Denbrough, Stephen King's 'It'

What the hell is Mulder doing?

He told Scully that he was going for coffee, but its been an hour since he left. He should be back by now. Starbuck's is only a couple blocks away.

Suddenly, I feel something from him through our connection. The connection has been almost silent for weeks. Only a couple words have been passed my way each day, whereas before, Mulder would tell me everything he was doing and thinking. Before the X-files got an intern. The intern is the focus of the message I get.

//Greg.// Mulder seems to be calling him. Is Galf psychic too? That might explain the overwhelming attraction that Mulder seems to have for him. Mulder's been pulling away from me, both physically and emotionally. I have done nothing to stop him.

After all we've been through together, I wanted to rail at Galf, fight to keep Mulder. I could've used the Clinton case to bring Mulder to his senses. But I didn't. I love him too much. Mulder has had to fight for every scrap of happiness he gets. I didn't want to be the one standing in his way if Galf makes him happy.

Oh, I've complained about him never being around, never having time for us anymore. But in the back of my mind, I've braced myself. I wait for Mulder to tell me it's over. I try to tell myself that this was the reason for my dream. That I could feel the attraction between them. I try to do the right thing and prepare to break my ties with Mulder. Somehow I'd find a way to break our psychic connection.

However, in the past couple weeks, I've spent a lot of time arguing with him about putting Galf in too many security risks. That's procedure. Galf doesn't belong in those situations and shouldn't have access to sensitive information. I don't care if Mulder is falling in love with him or not.

But today, something is different. Mulder has gone way too far. Galf has no business on a field assignment. I tell him this through the connection as he boards the plane. While I am yelling, I go down to the basement to get Scully.

Mulder isn't listening. I know he's trying to ignore me. I push, trying to get my message through. I try numerous times with no success. Then all of a sudden, our connection breaks.

And a new voice fills my head.

//He's mine.// I shiver, cold dread filling me. My dream is coming true.

-------------------------------------------------

As soon as I open the door to the X-files office, Scully comes charging at me.

"Where is he? What the hell is going on?"

"With Galf. Probably on their way to Wichita. We need to stop them."

"I found some of Mulder's notes for today. They got on a direct flight, which has taken off by now. We'll have to catch them when they land." Scully looks at me, waiting for me to take charge of the situation.

I nod and pick up Mulder's desk phone. After a short conversation with VCS, I arrange for them to have agents stop Mulder and Galf at the airport. Then I call Kim and arrange to get Scully and me on the next flight to Wichita.

As we go to the parking lot to get Scully's overnight bag and drive to the airport in my car, she stops me. "Sir, now that we are out of the building, tell me. What is going on?"

"I'm not completely sure. Galf cut me off from Mulder. Galf spoke to me psychically after he broke Mulder's connection with me. He's using him and probably controlling him in some way."

"That would explain Mulder's behavior lately. What do you think Galf wants?"

"I don't know. I just have a feeling we don't have a lot of time to figure it out."

--------------------------------------------------

The flight to Wichita is agonizing for me. I feel that barrier Galf put up between me and Mulder as if it were a physical entity. I try, but I can't reach beyond it. As attempt upon attempt fails, I become very frightened. I can't even tell if Mulder is alive.

My fear must show on my face, because Scully is as white as a sheet when she looks at me. "Nothing?"

"No. I can't hear him. I don't know if he can hear me or not. If he can, I doubt he's listening."

Scully looks at me quietly for a minute, then begins to speak cautiously. "What if you tried to get Galf's attention? Maybe talking to him will give us some information? And he might make a mistake. . ."

"That we can use, I know. But he might do the same thing to me that he did to Mulder. I'm not even sure what he did to Mulder. We have to be careful."

"But he might be doing it right now, if he can speak to you psychically."

"I don't think he is. I can't be sure, but I don't think so." Galf's insinuation into Mulder's thoughts was gradual. Looking back, that has become apparent. I don't think he can afford the time to try to change me the same way, since I'm onto him. At least I hope not. God, this is aggravating.

"We're probably better off hoping the local agents catch them. Or else we should find this Angela Piola to see if she has seen either of them. We can plan from there." I rub my neck in frustration.

"Do you think the Piola's have something to do with what Galf is after? He waited to move until now, until this case."

"Possibly. What was Mulder's theory on the murder?"

"That someone telekinetically lifted the piano and sent it crashing down on Maria. There were no scratch marks on the floor, no sign of a crane. I didn't get time to research other, more plausible explanations." Scully tries to hide her irritation from me. I choose to ignore it. Letting our emotions free rein will only hurt us now.

A burst of inspiration hits me. "What if he's right, Scully? And what if Galf wants psychics for some reason? Helping Mulder would be a perfect way to find them."

"it's possible. Mulder's psychic abilities may be why Galf went after him in the first place." But suddenly, Scully's face begins to turn ashen.

"Sir, what about you? You're psychic too."

Damn, I almost forgot that part.

I get a call while still on the plane. The Wichita agents couldn't find Mulder and Galf. Somehow, I'm not surprised.

------------------------------------------------------

By the time we get off the plane and on the road to Angela Piola's house, I feel as paranoid as Mulder. What if Galf is just waiting for the right time to grab me? I want to keep looking over my shoulder. My body can't seem to remember that it won't do any good. All he needs to do is connect with my mind.

But we get to the house without mishap. I park next to two other cars in front of the pretty white house. As we get out, I point to the front door to get Scully's attention. It's open. We draw our guns as we make our way up the concrete steps.

A body is on the floor in the livingroom, right next to the open door. I assume it's Angela Piola. As I stand guard, Scully bends down to check for a pulse. The shake of her head is just what I expected. I don't think anyone could survive the gashes that were dug into Angela's head. Did Galf do this?

There's no time to speculate now. Scully rises from her crouch in front of the body. After a nod from me, we procede further into the house.

We search the downstairs, but find nothing. We head toward the stairs. But before Scully can start up, I push her behind me. I'll lead.

Our climb is silent and slow. Nothing stirs in the house as we ascend. Finally, I reach for the first door in front of me and open it.

"Mulder!" My relief at seeing him sitting on the bed, alive and unhurt almost brings me to my knees.

I move toward the bed and reach out to him. "Are you ok? What happened?"

Mulder grasps my hands and smiles into my eyes. "It will all be explained soon."

He pulls my face down to his. As he does, two voices echo in my ears.

A feminine voice shouts. "No!"

A masculine one whispers. "Take him."

I ignore both in favor of drowning in Mulder's bright green eyes.

*******************************************************

Chapter 4: The Full Force of the Storm

"We all float."
--Pennywise the Clown, Stephen King's 'It'

My dream comes back to me. I'm swimming in the ocean, trying to get to Mulder, who is unconscious on a raft next to Galf. And then I'm drowning. . .

But I am pulled out of the water and onto a boat by my lover's partner. She hits my head on the boat as she pulls me up. But finally, I am safe.

-------------------------------------------------------

The first thing I'm aware of is a pain on the back of my head. Scully's got a mean pistolwhip. I don't know how I know this. I didn't see her do it. Maybe I connected with Mulder, or Galf. My mind shivers at the thought.

My next physical sensation is that my nose is smashed into the carpet I last remember standing on. My ears then begin to tune in sounds and I hear signs of a struggle.

"Unh. Mulder, stop. Mulder, I don't want to hurt you." Scully must be trying to restrain him.

I turn my head to breathe and see two black shoes approaching my agents.

"Agent Scully. We don't want to hurt you. We want you to join us." My military instincts kick in at the sound of his voice and I shoot up to my feet, almost tripping Galf.

"Stay away from her!" I don't know how I'm going to defend her, but Galf is going to have to go through me to get to Scully. My respect and friendship with her, as well as my love for Mulder will let me do no less.

Galf just smiles at us. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Mulder reach for Scully.

Oh, God. I have to do this. I take a deep breath, then grab the large book I see lying on the night table.

I put enough force in my arm, and . . ."Whack!" Mulder crumples to the floor in front of Scully. She interprets my pained look correctly and bends down to check his pulse. Satisfied with the nod of her head, I turn to face Galf.

"What are you doing? What do you want?" I can feel myself getting ready to charge him, like a bull. He just stands there with a mild smile on his face.

"I want to live, just like everyone else. And to get what I need. Is that too much to ask?" He says this as if I asked him if it will rain tomorrow. His lack of arousal just infuriates me more.

"What did you need that you had to kill that woman for it?" I point toward the downstairs. "And what about Mulder?"

I am surprised when I get what sounds like an honest answer, even though it is rather extraordinary. I must not seem like much of a threat to him. "I need her energy. I thrive on it. Psychic energy sustains me. It has for hundreds of years."

"Who are you?" Scully stands tall next to me. Damn, you got to admire her. She hasn't even blinked an eye through this whole fiasco.

"I, my dear woman, am a wizard. But unlike the stories, our magic is mental power, not incantations and fairy dust." For a second, I see the youth fall away from his face. He looks very old indeed. The wrinkles on his face are deep, his eyes sunken. His hands are like claws. He smiles at me evilly. Then his Galf visage is put firmly back in place.

"Your Mulder can help me get what I want. His powers are stronger than he realizes. And they are more focused than most. His quest for truth has seen to that. Those leaps of logic he has that neither of you can understand?" He smiles knowingly. "The psychic part of his mind gathers information from the crime scene and witnesses that even he isn't totally aware of until his other five senses find it. I can use someone like that. And in exchange, I can give him a long and exciting life. You should be happy for him, Mr. Skinner."

"He didn't ask for this! You tricked him!" I almost put my head down and ram into Galf, but Scully grabs my shirt before I can move.

"He is so insecure. It was easy. All I had to do is put doubts in his head about how much you loved him. . ."

//You bastard!// Instinctively, I push at him with my mind. Not expecting to get any results from it, I am surprised when I see him wince. Scully sees it too. Her hand tightens on my shirt.

//Don't mess with me, young fool. You're not strong enough to defeat me.// But I hear weariness in his voice. He could be lying.

But before I can try anything, Galf smiles, then pulls out a cell phone from his jacket. "I think it's time to report Angela's death, don't you? I need some time to rest. I'll leave Mulder in your capable hands. For now." He hands me the phone. From the scratches on it, I recognize it as Mulder's.

I shake my head at Scully as I dial the number of the local police. She moves aside to left Galf pass her and go downstairs. There's nothing else we can do right now.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

We get the police to remove the body without searching the house. We don't want them finding an unconscious Mulder in the master bedroom, so we tell them we will search for evidence. We lie and say that we've been following this killer. We don't want unknowing hands destroying important evidence just because they think it's unimportant.

The local officers look outraged at the insinuations, but they comply with our request. As I oversee the cleanup downstairs, Scully goes to check on Mulder.

I follow her up a few minutes later. I am grateful for the efficiency of the Wichita police when I step inside the bedroom door. Mulder is awake, and holding Scully entranced. Learning from my last encounter with this power, I keep my glance away from Mulder's eyes as I pull Scully away from him.

"Scully!" Luckily, Mulder mustn't have gotten very far, because she blinks and breathes a heavy sigh. When she looks at me, I see awareness in her eyes.

"Give her back to me!" Mulder picks that second to grab at me and try to get to Scully. We both avert our eyes from his as I grab my handcuffs. Together, we restrain him.

"Sir, I think we should keep Mulder sedated. I have a hypo in my purse. . ." Over Mulder's protests and struggling, we get him downstairs and out to the car. I trap him against the car as Scully retrieves the needle.

After I put our unconscious agent in the back seat of the car, I ask her why she has a tranquilizer in her purse.

"You know how bad Mulder's nightmares are. Sometimes they plague him so badly that he can't go back to sleep after one. I keep it on hand in case he needs some undisturbed rest. He hasn't needed it in awhile. Thanks to you, I think."

She glances at Mulder's still form, then back at me, worriedly. "What do we do now?"

"Defend ourselves. Galf probably wants this.. . psychic energy inside me. I think he can only take it if I'm dead."

"I think you're right. That same psychic energy is probably our best defense against him. Did you see him wince when you sent him a message?"

"Yeah. I didn't know I was that obvious when I did that."

Scully smiles at that. "I can tell every time Mulder calls you. It isn't hard to tell. Your faces become. . .unfocused."

After a minute, I know she sees that look on my face. But this time the message is directed toward her.

//Sleep.// I push this onto her as if I were a stage hypnotist. I breathe a sigh of relief when Scully leans on my arm as she drifts off. This is my fight. I don't want her to get hurt. And I can feel Galf coming.

-------------------------------------------------------

Five minutes later, my enemy steps out from behind Angela Piola's house. "Alone, Mr. Skinner? Didn't you like the new Mulder?" His grin is enough to make me want to scream.

"You bastard! You're going to pay for what you did to him."

"Tsk tsk. I'd worry about your own life if I were you. Or you could make this easy and give up?"

//Never!// I put all the psychic power I can into railing against him, much in the same way I reach out to touch Mulder over distances. I am surprised to see light shoot out from my fingertips toward him.

//You fool. You can't even hope to kill me.// His energy shoots toward me, dazing me. I move away from the car once I get my bearings. I don't want Mulder and Scully hurt. I hope I can stay alive to keep them that way.

He hits me again before I can focus my energy. The ground rises up to meet me before I can stop it. After a minute to catch my breath, I rise to a sitting position and pass all energy I can his way.

//If I can't kill you, I will die trying!// I brace myself as another wave hits me. We exchange 'fire' for a few minutes. We are both tiring, but I can tell he is less fazed than I am.

Then an idea hits me. Mulder once told me that emotions can enhance psychic energy. He said the most power comes from extreme anger and love. I've almost exhausted my anger supply, but love. . .

I focus on images of Mulder as I prepare to attack again. The feelings he gives me every time our connection jumps to life, the way he looks when we make love, the way he feels when I hold him at night. . .

Lightning flies from me so fast that it almost knocks me flat from the shock of it. It surrounds Galf like a halo as it hits him and lifts him off the ground. This must be what Max Fenig looked liked when the aliens took him. I shake my head as the energy tapers off from my fingers. Mulder must be gettting to me.

As the power quits leaving me, I continue to watch Galf. He struggles against the light surrounding him. He weakens slowly. Then, suddenly, he and the light wink out of existence.

Did I kill him?

Even as I hope, a message filters through my dazed brain. //You win this round.//

With that message suddenly comes a re-emergence of a more familiar connection. Mulder!

--------------------------------------------------------

I get up painfully from the dirt and run to the car. I wake up Scully carefully, not wanting to scare her.

"Sir? What happened?" She looks up at me from her prone position in the front seat, bemused.

"I knocked you out before Galf came." I put my hand up as anger flashes in her eyes. "Psychically, you're the weakest of us. I didn't want him taking advantage of that."

Scully sighs. "How did it go?"

"He's gone, for now. And I felt him let go of Mulder." Just then, I see Mulder stirring in the back seat.

//Greg?// He feels confused, a bit lost.

//No, he's gone Mulder. I'm---//

//What did you do to him, you bastard?!// He lashes out at me, almost knocking me over with the power behind his 'push'.

God, this battle isn't over yet.

*******************************************************

Thunder 5: Finding the World Again
by Ladyhawk ()

"We will never let you have our children!"
---Michael Anderson, Stephen King's 'Storm of the Century'

//What did you do to him, you bastard?!//

Ooh, I'm going to kill him for hurting Greg! For taking him away from me! I grab at Skinner but he deflects my arms and pushes me back into the seat.

"Mulder, stop it!"

"Sir?" Oh, she's in on it too, is she? Greg told me she is the spy I thought she was at the beginning of our partnership.

I try to use the time he takes to glance at Scully to my advantage but Skinner's onto me and grabs my arm before I can hurt either of them. My struggling only makes his grip tighten.

"Sir, Galf changed his viewpoint, made him dependent on his actions. Now that he's gone. . ."

"Mulder feels lost. I know." I don't know what the hell they're talking about. Greg helped me grow stronger! The power he gave me is heady. I need more, to grow stronger yet.

"You know nothing! I'm stronger because of him. He showed me so much."

//Are you stronger, really? Or is it all an illusion that he wanted you to see?// I flinch from a touch that I can't avoid. Skinner uses his free hand to rub my restrained arm. I jerk back to get away, but he is stronger than me.

//You're just too weak to see the truth yourself!// I try 'pushing' against him again to knock him flat. This time he's prepared. I feel like I hit a padded wall when I apply my mental force.

Then I am gripped on the sides of my arms by invisible hands. I can almost feel a duplicate of the strong chest I see in front of me along my spine. //Stop it, Mulder. I'm not going to let you go anywhere. Not like this.//

//Why? You don't own me!//

//No, but I love you. And I know you're not yourself right now.// What the hell is he talking about?

But even as my mind rebels against his message, part of me thinks he's right.

------------------------------------------------------

So when are they going to stop trying to pull the wool over my eyes? I know they really don't care for me. Greg convinced me of that.

But they treat me as if I was really a friend. Skinner won't let me work, he won't trust me that far. However, they come over to the apartment at odd times to coax me out. I let them do it, I don't know why. Scully takes me out to eat, McDonald's, greasy diners. All my favorite stuff. Skinner runs with me, pulls me out to play touch football, takes me for walks. I'm silent most of the time I spend outside my apartment with them.

There are times, however, that my rage overwhelms me. Both of them have sat with me as I raged at them for taking Greg away from me, as calm as you please. Neither of them argued with me, yelled at me, or even told me to stop. They just listened and waited.

What are they waiting for? I'm not going back to that lie I was living. I know Scully doesn't believe anything I say. Greg told me so. . .

And Skinner. . .I sit here, watching him from my couch. He's puttering in my kitchen. He says he wants to make sure I'm ok. I don't know what the big deal it, but part of me wants to accept his manipulation. And those burgers smell so good. . .

//Hungry yet?// His smile is that gentle one I often used to see when he said he loved me. Oh, all of a sudden, I want to believe Greg was wrong! Skinner was so good to me before.

Before I learned my 'friends' were lying. Some friends. //No! You can take your goddamn food and leave me in peace!// I jump up off the couch and reach toward him with my hands outstretched, wanting to push him into the wall.

But he just holds me by the shoulder, stopping me. "Mulder, if you don't want me here, I'll go. But keep the burgers. You need to eat. I'm worried about you. You haven't been taking care of yourself."

"My best friend is gone, possibly dead! I don't feel like I want to take care of myself!"

"Then let us do it for you."

"Why?"

"Because you're worth it. Because we worry."

"Hmph." I'm not convinced. But for some reason, I let him stay and eat with me anyway. I tell myself it's in return for his cooking. We don't say much to each other during dinner, but the silence is almost pleasant.

--------------------------------------------------------

They let me back into work today. Skinner said it's because I seem to be taking better care of myself now, and I don't look so down all the time anymore. Hell, it's been three weeks. I'm not going to let my emotions kill me.

And maybe Greg was wrong about Walter and Scully. Just maybe.

I gaze at Scully at her desk, writing a report on a case I wasn't on. She consulted with me on it. She risked herself because she thought the strange pregnancies in a small town in Texas had something to do with the Consortium. And one of the doctors looked a lot like my sister. I told her not to go, that it wasn't worth it. She went anyway.

When I asked her why she went, she said "I thought we might have found Samantha. I wanted you to see your sister again." A sincere look of regret masked her face as she said this.

Something in my mind snaps as I look at her now and remember. I sigh. What the hell have I been doing these past couple months?

Scully glances at me. I take a deep breath and risk it all. "Scully, I've really screwed up, haven't I?"

Her smile is gentle. "No, Mulder, you didn't screw up. You were duped rather well."

I watch her small form get up and come over to me. Scully must see the revelation in my eyes, because she leans in and wraps her arms around me. "Welcome back, partner."

I smile up at her shining blue eyes. "Thanks, Scully. I really am sorry for the way I acted these last three months."

"It wasn't your fault. You weren't in control." I feel her cheek on my hair, warm and comforting.

I hug her tight. Now what do I tell Walter?

//You don't need to tell me anything. Just come home, ok?//

The love that Galf pushed down into the dark recesses of my mind comes flooding back. //I'll be there soon. I love you, Walter.//

//I'm glad you finally figured that out. I love you too.// This time when his 'arms' go around me, I lean into them.

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I walk into the Crystal City apartment to see Walter standing in the kitchen doorway with a smile on his face. That's all I need. . .

I rush over to his large form and pull his face toward mine. His lips are as sweet as I remember. And the air hums with electricity.

//I've missed you.// His eyes mist over. My heart contracts painfully.

//I, I'm sorry. I couldn't stop him.//

//Shh. I know.// I fall into his arms on a sob. Walter gently moves us to the couch, where I curl up against him and cry like a baby.

//I'm here, Mulder. It's over.// Light kisses rain on my hair. I bury my nose into his warm chest and grip his shoulders as if I'm trying to keep a tight hold on the sanity that was cruelly ripped away from me and just returned.

A feeling nags me as my tears slowly die. //Galf isn't dead, is he?//

Walter has picked up on my fear. He clutches me tighter. //No, but I think I hurt him a bit. He won't be back too soon.//

//What will we do when--//

//Shh. Let's worry about that later. Right now I want you to get better.//

I look up and drown in those warm brown eyes. "Then love me."

"I do." Walter's smile grows wide as the second meaning of my words register. "I will."

At Walter's urging, I go into the bedroom. He follows a minute later with a black handkerchief in his hands.

"Time for the bondage games?" I grin at him.

He shakes his head and smiles. "Not quite. I want to try something. Trust me?"

I try to convey the depths of that trust through my eyes. "Always."

He kisses me lightly before wrapping the cloth around my head. //Feel me, Mulder. Galf twisted your vision, not your heart. So don't watch me. Feel.//

In that instant, my body and mind are bombarded by sensation. Physically, Walter is doing nothing more erotic than taking off my shoes. But mentally. . .he's waging a war on all the evil things that have happened to me. By surrounding me with love.

'Touches' flow over my face and hair, light and comforting. Warmth suffuses me as images flow through my brain, of us together holding hands, laughing at the TV, kissing, lying on the couch wrapped up in each other. And his mental voice repeats a chant. //I love you. I love you. I love you. . .//

My body starts responding to what my mind 'sees' and 'feels' before he has my shirt off. //Walter--//

//Hmm?// He stops the chant momentarily to respond to me. My shirt leaves my body, and warm hands trail behind it.

//I need you.// At that, he rips my blindfold off. He's kneeling in front of me, his face right in front of mine. Those chocolate brown eyes pull me in. And that's the last time I can distinguish the physical Walter from the mental one.

Images of us making love are superimposed on the actual act. Walter's psychic 'body' caresses mine as our physical beings mesh. I am drowning in sensation, much like I did with Galf. But this time I go knowingly and willingly, oh *very* willingly.

We respond to each other if we are one entity. Touching and responding, giving and receiving. There is no me, there is no Walter, there is only us. Pleasure builds upon pleasure as caresses move from the simple to the highly erotic. First the faces, comfort and assurance. Then chests and limbs, love and arousal. Erections are saved for last, want and need.

Although I cannot distinguish the separate movements and sensations in my psychically hazed mind, I know Walter has entered me. I surge against him in all ways, wrapping him up in me, drowning him as he has taken me. I could swear I see sparkles of electrity as the overwhelming jolts flow through us. And it goes on and on and on. Until it is too much. Our climax rips through us, tearing us apart and melding us closer with a taste of heaven. Then all is blackness.

I don't know how much time had past when I open my eyes to see Walter's smiling face above me. "Welcome back."

"What happened?"

"You fainted. Don't worry, I almost did too. I think we hit a new high for intensity."

//That's putting it mildly.// After all that, I'm too tired to speak much. But voices aren't necessary with us.

//I knew it was going to be good, but I wasn't prepared for that. Wow!// I notice a change when he answers me. Our bond seems stronger, more *there*.

//I noticed it too. It's so strong that when you first opened your eyes, I had double vision. I could see through your eyes and mine at the same time.//

Intrigued, I close my eyes and concentrate. Slowly, an image appears in my mind of me, the bed. Walter turns his head, and I see the closet. The mirror hanging on the door reflects the clock. It's 8 PM, if I'm reading the numbers right.

I let the images fade away and open my eyes. First thing I do is look at the clock. Eight PM. //Wow.//

//Amazing, isn't it? Let's see Galf try to tear you away from me now.// Our gazes lock, joyously. We are together.

We are together. Our worlds are one. This thought hovers between our minds as we curl around each other and drift into dreams.

And we dream of us together.

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Here ends Thunder. Coming soon: The Rains of Hell
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