Neighborhood Watch by m. butterfly
by m. butterfly
Rating: R for m/m affection, coarse language
Archive: Sure; please ask first
Summary: Mulder and Skinner draw some unwanted attention from an unexpected source.
Author's notes: In my XF universe, Mulder¹s nickname for Skinner is "Seymour" (as in Principal Seymour Skinner of The Simpson's fame), and Skinner¹s for Mulder is "Bart" (as in--you know).
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to Lucy Snowe for 11th-hour beta reading.
Dedication: I wrote this little drabble to celebrate the life of a magnificent author and wonderful friend--the one and only Xanthe. Happy Birthday and best wishes, darling!
Disclaimer: The characters of Fox Mulder and Walter Skinner belong to Chris Carter, Ten-Thirteen Productions and Fox Broadcasting. (I treat them much better, though.) No copyright infringement is intended.
by m. butterfly
"Well, I'll be damned!"
"See? I told you I wasn't exaggerating."
Noticeably pale beneath a healthy tan, Walter Skinner stepped away from the front window and turned to his lover. "So what do we do?"
"What we *always* do on a beautiful Saturday morning when we're home," Fox Mulder said matter-of-factly. "You mow the lawn while I start washing the cars."
"Fine. I'll be right back." Skinner was stopped from going upstairs by a surprisingly strong hand on his bicep.
"Where are you going?"
"To change! I¹m not going out there like *this*." He gestured impatiently at his tank top and cut-offs.
Mulder, who was wearing an ancient cropped FBI t-shirt and running shorts, shook his head. "I don't believe it! The one-time holy terror of the FBI is embarrassed to be seen half-naked by a few harmless teenaged girls?"
"A *few*? Fox, there must be half-a-dozen of them over there! With binoculars and Christ knows what else!"
The younger man was loving this. He backed Skinner up against the front door. "You know, you're really cute when you get all shy like this."
"I'm not shy. And I'm not cute! I'm 51 years old, for godsakes!"
Mulder grabbed the sunscreen off the hall table and began spreading it over Skinner's shoulders, around his neck, down his arms. "Well, Debbie Robertson and her friends must think you're pretty cute if they're going to these lengths just to watch you cut grass."
Skinner snorted. "Watch *me*? I don't think so. *You¹re* the one they¹re always drooling over." He cleared his throat. "Hello, Mr. Mulder!" he said in a whiny falsetto. "How are you today, Mr. Mulder? That's a nice tie, Mr. Mulder!"
Mulder laughed as he dropped to his knees to grease up Skinner's legs--long, sinewy legs that ended in a pair of work boots that Mulder found inexplicably hot. "They gush over you *way* more and you know it. Believe me, Seymour, it's you and this fantastic body of yours they're interested in."
"Hey! There's nothing wrong with the way you're put together." He took the bottle of lotion from Mulder and started working on him. "You're a beautiful man, Fox. You always have been."
Mulder sighed and stroked his lover¹s perfectly bald head. "If I hadn't devised such a fucking brilliant plan to teach these girls a lesson, I'd drag you back to bed right now."
Warning bells went off. "Plan?" Skinner¹s slippery hands stopped on Mulder¹s calves.
"Trust me, Walter. Trust me."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Yet another car was pulling up across the street as the two men backed their own vehicles out of the garage. It was a perky blonde named Jacey--Debbie Robertson's best friend.
"Good morning, Mr. Skinner! Good morning, Mr. Mulder!" she sang out before prancing up the walkway to the Robertson's house.
"'Morning, Jacey," they replied politely.
Skinner noticed she was carrying a rather large purse. With a nervous tug on the brim of his baseball cap, he trudged back into the garage to get the electronic lawnmower. Mulder had recommended they stick to their normal routine, and Skinner was glad that he always did the backyard first.
As usual, Mulder began cleaning his lover's car. He tried not to grin too much; he didn't want to tip his hand to the voyeurs.
By the time Mulder had finished washing and waxing the Lexus, Skinner was just coming around to the front of the house. It was only 10 AM, but his tank top was clinging to him, damp from his labours under a blazing sun. The combination of sweat and sunscreen accentuated every well-defined muscle under firm, ageless skin.
Mulder looked over at him appreciatively. "Gonna take off your shirt today?"
From across the yard, Skinner discreetly flipped him the bird. "Fuck you, Bart," he mouthed before switching on the mower.
The younger man just smiled and stood there for a moment, watching the former Marine whip the lawn into shape. God, he was one fine-looking man. Mulder had no trouble understanding why their 17-year-old neighbour and her friends had Walter Skinner under surveillance.
Mulder was nearly done vacuuming the Lexus' interior when Skinner joined him in the driveway. Without a word, he picked up the hose and rinsed Mulder's car. Then, together, they began to wash it.
"This is asinine," Skinner said between clenched teeth, his back to the house across the street. "Two men sharing a home, wearing gold rings, always together--surely to God they know we're a couple!"
"Of course they do. They're not stupid."
"So why are they spying on us?"
"Because, Walter, women--especially the younger ones--don't care if a man's gay or straight. As long as he's gorgeous and built like a brick shithouse, they enjoy looking. Besides, remember who we bought the house from. You're much easier on the eyes than old Walrus Waxman."
"I still can't believe they have nothing better to do on a Saturday morning. I thought teenagers liked to sleep in."
"Not *these* teenagers, apparently. You should be flattered."
Skinner knew Mulder was being sincere, but squirmed anyway. "Oh, stop, already."
His genuine modesty was just one of the countless things Mulder loved about his life partner. "Walter, I know all this unwanted attention is making you uncomfortable. But if my little plan works as well as I think it will, those girls will be doing something else entirely next weekend. You ready?"
Skinner groaned. "No, but I suppose I'll have to do it anyway."
"You got it. Let's go."
They gathered up the cleaning supplies and put them away in the two-car-plus garage. They also kept an old fridge out there, and Mulder grabbed a couple bottles of water from it.
"This is going to be fun," he said, handing Skinner his icy cold drink.
"Uh-huh." He took a long pull from the bottle, let a little water dribble down his throat and chest. "You always *have* been something of an exhibitionist, though, haven't you?"
Mulder smiled wickedly and picked up a towel from the nearby work bench. "This is *nothing* compared with some of the stuff we've pulled over the years. Remember that time at the drive-in?"
Skinner snickered. "I may be old, but I'm not so old that I could ever forget *that*!"
"You're not old. Now take off that baseball cap and come here, stud boy."
They were standing far enough back in the garage so that the only people who could see them had to be directly across the street--and equipped with sight-enhancing devices. With a sigh, Skinner doffed his cap and stepped up to the man leaning seductively against the fridge door. He let Mulder tenderly wipe his head and face with the towel.
"Damn it, Fox! I feel like an idiot."
"You don't look like one, so shut up. In fact, you look really sexy. All hot and dangerous. I'm glad you decided to keep the goatee for the summer after all."
"The things I do for you..."
"Yeah, I know." Mulder wrapped the towel around Skinner's neck, pulled him in so that they were chest to chest, and kissed him. Not on the cheek. Not on the nose. No, this was a real kiss. One that involved the parting of lips and the fraternization of tongues.
Later, Skinner would unsuccessfully blame his lack of control on temporary sunstroke. But the moment Mulder's mouth latched onto his, he forgot that the garage door was open and they had an audience. He slid his hands up the sides of Mulder's shirt, caressing the younger man's soft warm nipples with his thumbs.
Fortunately, Mulder had known this would happen and purposely positioned himself within arm's reach of the automatic garage door opener.
He managed to hit the button on the third try.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
--The following Saturday--
"Fox! What is it? Don't tell me--"
Mulder stepped back from the front window and grabbed Skinner¹s arm, his eyes wide with shock. "I don't believe it. I don't fucking believe it."
Skinner tried to see for himself, but Mulder was blocking his view. "What is it? More cars than last time?"
Mulder swallowed. "Worse. They've got a telescope. And a video camera."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
November 11, 1999
Archived: April 10, 2001