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When the Cat's Away

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Fox Mulder stared up at the ceiling in shock. The part of his mind that wasn't proudly counting how many sharpened pencils he had managed to successfully stick into the cork ceiling tiles was busily trying to figure out how he had ended up in this most undignified and awkward position. One minute he was sitting in a chair with his feet resting on an opened desk drawer, one long arm stretched sideways to reach the mouse, aimlessly surfing the web; the next minute he was flat on his back on the floor, feet in the air, somehow still in his chair.

If the position had been even remotely comfortable, he might have stayed there. Unfortunately, since he hadn't been sitting up straight in the first place, his neck and back were twisted in a way that aggravated the ache caused by his head impacting with the concrete floor. So, he scrambled up carefully, righted his chair and dropped heavily back into it.

How could Scully take off on vacation now? When she was needed in the office? It was completely unfair. And, even worse, no matter how many opportunities he gave her, she still hadn't asked him to go out there and help her with the case. A case that sounded like the perfect scenario for an X-file. How could she not see that it was right up his alley? That she needed his help to solve it. That she needed his willingness to believe that there might be things beyond the laws of science. That he needed to ....

Mulder shook his head, unwilling to go there: that way lieth monsters. He slammed the lid back down on his simmering emotions and used his feet to wheel the chair over to the desk and puttered for a few moments aligning the two file folders with the edge of the desk he could put them away in the file cabinet but then he'd just have to pull them out again when the stamped 302 came back from Skinner's office — then straightening the row of sharpened pencils which awaited their turn at being missiles.

He picked up a handful of pencils and launched them at the ceiling one by one. Each pencil soared gracefully upwards and embedded itself in the ceiling. For the last three, he attempted to add a degree of difficulty by spinning his chair around at the same time. No luck. Every single one hit the target and stayed there. How disgusting.

Standing up abruptly, sending his chair crashing against the desk, Mulder strode over to the nearest file cabinet. He yanked open the top drawer as far as possible and then riffled through the folders. Nothing tugged at his curiosity. Nothing enticed him to look further. Nothing. He was *not* going to give them a chance to make a fool of him again.

He wasn't sure if he wanted to cry or scream with rage. Beating the shit out of Cancerman would definitely work, but if that smoking chimney was still alive, he certainly wasn't anywhere that Mulder could get to him.

Mulder gritted his teeth, ignoring the ache in his jaw from strained muscles, and thumped a clenched fist on the side of the cabinet. What the hell had happened to him? Where was the sense of purpose, the need for answers that had helped him survive the abuse, the teasing and the taunting?

Then again, what was the point? No reason to look for Samantha; she didn't want to be found. No need to search for a cure for Scully; she was in remission. No conspiracy to unravel; Blevins was exposed and Cancerman was dead or at least missing and presumed dead. No government cover-up of extraterrestrial life to reveal; that was nothing more than an elaborate government hoax. A corner of his mind still niggled at him, occasionally tossing up phenomena which didn't fit into Kritschgau's explanation of the hoax, but he kept the door slammed shut on those quibbles. It wasn't that he didn't *want* to believe. He desperately wanted Kritschgau to be wrong but he would not be the cartel's fool any longer. He hadn't been able to come up with a foolproof way to avoid that if he tried to disprove Kritschgau. Then again, if Cancerman was dead, what did it matter? Damn!

Mulder sank his head into his hands and groaned. His thoughts had been chasing each other around and around the same spiral for weeks. It always led to the same question, Now what????

The question reverberated around Mulder's brain until he definitely started to feel like screaming. Not a good idea, he reminded himself. After his conduct over the past few years, he just might find himself hauled away by a bunch of guys in white coats. And if his usual luck prevailed, it would take him months to persuade the psychiatrists that he was sane enough to be released; assuming he was ever able to convince them. Devoting most of your life to chasing aliens, clones, shadow conspiracies and other ephemera wasn't exactly deemed normal behaviour by most

He considered calling up the Lone Gunmen, or going over to their hidey-hole and harassing them, and then re-considered. Last night, Frohike had finally had enough of what he called Mulder's "snide attitude". One sarcastic comment about imaginary government conspiracies too many, he supposed. The Gunmen's opinion of Kritschgau's explanation had been inventive and utterly unprintable. They adamantly refused to believe Kritschgau was right, insisting he was just another government lackey sent to stop them from discovering the truth. Mulder wished he could be as sure as they were.

It had become almost impossible to sit back and listen to them continue the hunt for proof of conspiracies and cover-ups and even harder to remain silent. He wanted so badly to believe again, wanted to erase all his doubts and join them in the search
for the truth. But he couldn't, and his inability was fucking painful. Sometimes too painful to keep inside. Then again, maybe diverting his anger into sarcasm wasn't the best answer. And he was pretty damn sure that he'd crossed an invisible line when he suggested they sell their latest theory to News of the World. Frohike certainly seemed to think so. The little man had finally thrown a black box at him and threatened to put an end to their twice daily sweep of Mulder's apartment for bugs and other surveillance devices if Mulder didn't leave and stay away until he returned to his senses.

Returned to my senses, Mulder snorted loudly. There are plenty of people out there who think that my current scepticism is an indication that I've returned to my senses. But what do they know?

Heaving another loud, long-suffering sigh, Mulder slumped back into his chair and glided over to the computer. He skimmed past a few more web sites. When he first got on-line, there had hardly been anywhere to go. Now it was getting to be more and
more like television. Hundreds, even thousands of web sites, and almost nothing to look at. He shook his head as he hit yet another adult web page that had given in to the moral minority and hired a service to help prevent them from being sued when
parents caught their children accessing their x-rated material. No way he was giving out his credit card number over the internet. Almost anyone with half a brain cell could access the information if he did that. At least hackers needed a modicum of
intelligence and ability to get into the banks' computers to retrieve the information.

Mulder clicked on one of his favourite bookmarks. Nope. The slash site hadn't added anything new since lunch time. Didn't the writers know he needed a fix? He wasn't asking for much. Just a couple of well-written stories a day. Three or four on weekends and holidays. He accessed his favourite short story for the umpteenth time, but even the best fiction became repetitive when read too often.

Maybe he should write to the author again. Find out when she was going to have something new for him to peruse. He could always offer her a couple of those plot ideas he had floating around in the back of his head. Better not. The last time he'd tried that, she'd pointedly and rather rudely told him to write the story himself if he thought it was so good.

Now there was an idea!

Mulder minimised his browser, took a couple of seconds to check his e-mail — nothing new — then brought up Word. He opened a blank page and then stared at the screen. And stared. And stared. His fingers slipped off the mouse and drummed rhythmically on the mouse pad. Slash. Yes, he would write some slash. It couldn't be that hard. After all, most of the Bureau believed his reports were fiction. Which idea for which TV show though? That was the question.

Buffy and Giles weren't exactly a slash couple, were they? Nor were Nikita and Michael for that matter. Mulder didn't remember ever seeing any male/female slash stories. There were lots of hetero-sex stories, but that was a whole different beast. Something just seemed to happen in love scenes between people of the opposite sex. Equality went out the window and the whole "man as stronger, woman as weaker" dynamic took over, despite the best intentions of many writers. There were a few who came close to avoiding that pitfall, but they were few and far between. Mulder didn't have enough illusions left to believe that he was that good.

Methos and Duncan? That might work. Then again, he didn't much care for what he'd seen of the current season, and it had been too long since he'd watched any of his tapes.

Millennium? Mulder shuddered. That man was too depressing for words. He couldn't imagine anyone wanting to have sex with Frank Black. Well, maybe if he kept his mouth shut. Black wasn't that bad looking. Perhaps that was where he needed to start ... with someone *he* was attracted to.

Mulder's thoughts skittered across the television schedule and through most of the videos in his collection, finally stopping on one familiar figure. Breathing deeply and evenly, he settled into a more comfortable position and started typing.


With only a few inches separating their bodies, the man slid the suit jacket off his lover, a navy jacket, custom-tailored because of those amazingly broad shoulders and the need to camouflage a shoulder holster. He ran his hands up the man's arms, revelling in the contrast between the soft linen and the hardness of the muscles beneath. When the man attempted to hug him in return, he shook his head and grasped the arms tighter. His lover narrowed his eyes in a mock glare, but then shrugged and settled into an "at ease" stance, legs slightly apart and arms hanging loosely at his sides.


Definitely not. Mulder read what he'd written and shook his head. Too awkward. Obviously, there was only one way to do this. He'd just change the names later, once he'd figured out which names he was going to stick into this PWP. He cleared the screen and started again.


Skinner was standing at the bedroom window when Mulder came upstairs. The lights were off, so the AD could watch the world outside through a narrow gap in the curtains without being seen by passersby. Mulder silently placed his computer tote on the floor and tiptoed across the room. He was almost there when Skinner abruptly turned around. Mulder skidded to a halt bare inches away from his lover. Near enough to feel his breath on his face, to sense the heat pouring from Skinner's body.

They remained that way for endless moments, eyes locked together, communicating without words. Mulder broke first, closing the distance between them and capturing Skinner's mouth with his lips. He slid his arms around his lover's waist, pulling their bodies together, until he could feel Skinner's erection against his leg through the thick trouser material.

Skinner cradled the back Mulder's head in one hand, opening his mouth and deepening the kiss. His hips moved slightly, rubbing against the agent's crotch until a moan escaped from Mulder. When Skinner couldn't avoid breathing any longer, he pulled away ever so slightly and smiled, "Welcome home, Mulder. I've missed you."

"Remember that next time you sentence me to a week at an excruciatingly boring conference on the other side of the country." Mulder grumbled, running his hands up and down Skinner's arms, revelling in the contrast between the soft cotton and the hardness of the muscles beneath.

"The Life Cycle of Forensic Evidence wasn't scintillating enough for you?"

"Umm... I can think of a whole lot of things that are more scintillating than listening to a bunch of doctors and scientists drone on about sampling and procedure. Like this." Mulder traced a line from Skinner's shoulder up the side of his with one finger, pausing to bestow butterfly kisses on the pulse beating
rhythmically beneath the skin then continuing up to map the spirals of his ear.

Skinner's hands roamed up and down Mulder's back, kneading and rubbing. When Mulder's finger caressed the velvet softness of his lips, Skinner sucked it into his mouth and ran his tongue up and down its length.

Mulder gasped as a jolt of desire sliced through him. For a brief second, he couldn't think of anything else beyond tearing off Skinner's clothes and pulling him down to the carpet. But that would be too fast, and after all this time apart, he wanted to make this last. With an effort, he regained control of himself and pulled his finger out with a popping noise. Still, getting rid of a few layers of clothing wasn't a bad idea.

Slowly, beginning at the top, Mulder undid the buttons of Skinner's shirt. He paused after each button was freed to lavish attention on the exposed skin — licking, sucking, kissing, biting — stopping halfway down to give the chest special attention. Tugging the hair with his teeth; twirling it with his tongue; biting the pecs lightly; following the trail of hair downwards and opening the next button with his teeth.

Skinner groaned as Mulder's tongue found his navel. Lingering there, the agent nibbled on the rim of the depression, swirled his tongue around and around, stabbed it in and out. Over and over again. Skinner's cock quivered and jumped. His hips thrust forward in an unconscious effort to move Mulder's attention downward. He muttered incomprehensibly, his hands grasping his lover's shoulders tightly enough to be painful.

Mulder glanced up at Skinner through long dark lashes, a cat-like smile of satisfaction on his face, and then returned to his assault on the shirt. Slowly, deliberately, trailing his fingers across the AD's stomach, Mulder drew the shirt front out of Skinner's pants.

Skinner's breath rasped loudly as the fabric rubbed against his sensitive erection and made every nerve in his body quiver. The need to do something — to plunder Mulder's mouth with his tongue, to touch every part of the other man's body, to fuck Mulder until both of them were screaming their pleasure — almost
overwhelmed him. Almost. The tiny part of Skinner's mind that remained rational, that remembered the last time he'd tried to move Mulder too fast and the agent had simply walked into the bathroom and taken a shower, stopped Skinner from doing anything but enjoying the torturously slow pleasure.

Too quickly for Skinner to protest, Mulder pushed the shirt over his shoulders, jamming the sleeves down against the still-fastened cuffs, leaving the back tucked into his pants. Not enough to trap Skinner's hands without his cooperation, but
giving the feeling of handcuffs. Catching his lover's gaze again, Mulder half-closed his eyes, opened his mouth and ran his tongue slowly over his teeth and lips. At the same time, he stood up, sliding his body against Skinner's as he rose, pushing slightly harder as his passed over the groin.

"I'll get you for this, Mulder." Skinner growled.

"I'm counting on it." Mulder stepped back slightly and bent down until his mouth was level with Skinner's nipples. With intense concentration, he licked the left one and then blew gently on the damp skin. The nipple puckered instantly. Mulder
considered it for a moment and then slid his tongue over to the right, leaving a wet trail behind. The right nipple was already slightly erect, and Mulder took it into his mouth with glee, sucking hard enough for pain to accent the pleasure. He lavished attention on this nipple, alternately sucking and biting, enjoying the slightly salty taste of sweat that filled his mouth.

Skinner let out a moan. He bit his lip and locked his knees. His hands pulled at the restraining shirt, gaining enough freedom to clasp Mulder's buttocks. as he fought to remain upright. The renewed urge to pull Mulder to the floor and fuck him almost irresistible. Almost.

Sensing how perilously close Skinner was to losing control, Mulder abandoned his lover's nipples and knelt on the floor. His own erection was painfully hard, his hands trembling with desire as he undid Skinner's belt and the button of his pants. He pulled the zipper downwards, intending to move slowly, but the scent of Skinner's arousal made that impossible. Mulder shoved the pants and then the briefs down.

Freed from confinement, Skinner's cock surged outwards. Thick and large, drops of pre-cum glistened on the head. Mulder studied it briefly then licked it in one long stroke from the base to the top. Skinner shuddered, no longer attempting to hide his reactions. Mulder grinned wickedly and bit the inside of Skinner's thigh. Skinner jumped, and Mulder kissed both thighs, sucking at the same time.

Mulder's tongue traced random patterns on Skinner's thighs, cock and balls. Everywhere but where the AD wanted it; everywhere but the tip. The ecstasy and tension were exquisite; the need to be inside Mulder's mouth, his ass, anywhere inside Mulder was overwhelming; the intensity riding the line between pleasure and

"Mulder," Skinner groaned. "I don't know how much longer I can take this."

"Mmmmm..." Mulder hummed contentedly to himself. He gently took Skinner's balls into his mouth; first one, then the other. Bestowing a final kiss on each, he trailed his lips up the rock-hard cock and then took it in his mouth without warning. Lips and tongue played with the shaft, teased the tip, slid up and

Skinner yelled. His head fell back as the last shreds of control dissipated. His eyes closed tightly. His fingers tangled in Mulder's hair, holding him in place, making it impossible for the other man to pull away. His hips bucked as he thrust into Mulder's mouth. Matching Skinner's rhythm automatically, Mulder managed to avoid being choked. He sucked harder and harder, playing the shaft with his tongue as he moved up and down. Once, twice, three times.

Skinner's breath caught as stars flared behind his closed lids. Then conscious thought disappeared, his cock pulsed and exploded into Mulder's mouth. Mulder swallowed rapidly, catching every last drop of...

"Agent Mulder!"

The voice intruded on Mulder's trance and sent his fingers crashing down on the keyboard. He spun around in his chair, blocking the monitor with his body, making it impossible for the man standing near the door to see the screen. Mulder coughed,
"Ah .. ah .. yes?"

"Did we or did we not have an appointment at 3pm today? The same meeting that we have at the same time every week that you are in the office?"

Mulder cleared his throat and pulled the tatters of his composure around him. "Sir. Umm... in ... in Scully's absence, I assumed that..."

"Assumed, Agent Mulder?" Assistant Director Skinner folded his arms across his chest. "You know better than that. I expect you up in my office immediately. Understand?"

"Yes sir." Mulder turned back to the computer and saved his file to the hard drive, password protected and encrypted. "Oh, and sir?"


"Are you doing anything in particular tonight?" Mulder parted his lips, tongue sliding over white teeth.

"It's a weeknight, Agent Mulder." Skinner raised one eyebrow questioningly.

"I know that. I was just wondering." Mulder shrugged.

Skinner pulled his glasses down his nose and peered over the top. "I'll probably work until 7 and then spend the rest of the night at home."

Nodding in response to the unasked question, Mulder picked up the remaining pencil on his desk and slid it between his circled thumb and forefinger.

"Five minutes, Agent Mulder."

"Sir?" Mulder's eyes flew wide.

"I expect you in my office in five minutes to go over your report on the Carlyle case."

Mulder's response was lost in the sound of his office door clicking shut.