Resolution by m. butterfly
by m. butterfly
Rating: NC-17 for explicit m/m sex, language
Spoilers: SR 819
Archive: Anywhere--just leave my name on it
Author's note: In this post-SR 819 "slice of life," Mulder and Skinner have been lovers throughout Season Six. There's schmoop, sex and angst--but not too much angst, because this was written expressly for my dear friend Sergeeva's birthday. Enjoy, darling!
Disclaimer: The characters Walter Skinner, Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Alex Krycek et al. belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox Broadcasting. This is a work of fiction intended only for private enjoyment. Sue me? I don't think so!
by m. butterfly
All the way home, all the way up to the 17th floor, all the way down the hall to their unit, Fox Mulder fumed.
//Goddamned stubborn bastard!//
He'd gone to the hospital straight from work, like he'd done every night since this nightmare began, to visit Walter Skinner: friend, former boss and--wonder of wonders!--current lover. But when he got there, he was told that the Assistant Director had checked himself out that afternoon.
//Is the man insane? He *flatlined* just a couple of weeks ago, for Christ's sake!//
The medical staff was calling Skinner's recovery something of a miracle. But FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder believed in miracles about as much as he believed in the Easter Bunny. He was going to give Skinner royal shit for pulling this little stunt. Not to mention that *he* was still out there. Somewhere.
But the flames of his anger were doused the moment he stormed into the condo.
There, sprawled on the couch in a manner that would revive a dead man, was the sleeping beast himself, his right paw flung above his head, the left resting against his flat belly. He was wearing charcoal grey wool pants and one of his trademark white shirts, open at the throat to reveal unmarred, unmarked skin. He'd been in a similar position, although not asleep, on his office sofa the night he'd passed out while sparring at the gym. After he'd been given an erroneous clean bill of health at the hospital and sent on his way. After he'd told Mulder about the phone call that informed him he had 24 hours to live.
Quietly, Mulder slipped off his coat and shoes, and tiptoed into the living room.
He stared down at Skinner, his singularly handsome face turned toward the back of the couch, nestled in the crook of his arm like a child. He looked younger than his 46 years. Untroubled. Healthy. And yet, just scant weeks ago...
Mulder squeezed his eyes and swallowed hard. He tried not to think about how close he'd come to losing the person he loved more than anything in the world. Or about how he *still* could lose him, because this wasn't over. No, not by a long shot.
He knelt beside the slumbering giant and gratefully catalogued the various signs of life: the gently rising chest, the slightly flaring nostrils, the vein at the temple pulsing almost imperceptibly. Repeating the gesture he'd used when they called on the doomed Dr. Orgell, he gingerly touched the exposed neck, sweeping his fingers along the smooth, perfect skin, from just behind the ear to the hollow of the throat.
A faint moan escaped Skinner's lips, and his head twitched, startling and shaming Mulder. But he didn't wake.
Still, the younger man couldn't drag himself away. He stared soulfully at Skinner's arms, knowing so well the powerful curves just barely concealed by crisp, white fabric. He thought of all the times he'd been held in those strong, muscular limbs, how they'd comforted him through the night, and carried him off to bed, and led him around a dance floor. He hated it when Scully kept things from him, but he almost wished she *hadn't* told him that the doctors had wanted to amputate Skinner's arms when his arteries were collapsing like a house of cards. Mulder had once had an ugly vision of losing his own arms, but that was nothing compared with the horrible images of a disfigured Skinner that shaped and haunted his most recent dreams. Night after night, he awoke prematurely, trembling violently and slick with sweat, lost and lonely in the king-sized bed.
Now, almost against his will, he perched on the edge of the couch, reached out, and ran a hand up Skinner's left arm, rejoicing in the feel of warm, solid flesh beneath his fingers. When Skinner didn't stir, Mulder also confirmed the existence of the right arm. Now both hands were on his lover's spectacular shoulders--shoulders that Atlas would have envied. Then he turned his attention to the open shirt collar, which revealed a few wiry, greying hairs covering a patch of skin that Mulder knew to be soft and salty and deliciously inviting. Suddenly, he *had* to see more. Needed to.
The long fingers deftly unfastened buttons and pulled the shirttails out of Skinner's pants. Still he slept. Mulder opened the shirt slowly, unveiling Skinner's magnificent torso like the masterpiece it was. Despite more than two weeks of virtual inactivity, the pectoral and abdominal muscles were still impressive. Mulder let out a small sigh of relief. The supple skin that reined in all this brawn was back to normal, unblemished by new scars. He let his gaze linger on the small, reddish-brown nipples and the dark trail of hair that disappeared into the waistband of Skinner's pants. His eyes travelled down the long legs--slightly longer and decidedly more sculpted than his own--then back up, stopping just below the belt. Mulder's cock danced.
//God, I'm twisted!//
But it wasn't just the sex that he missed and craved. Throughout Skinner's hospitalization, the two had barely managed to spend a moment alone together, what with the constant parade of medical and FBI personnel, the 24-hour armed guard, and the highly restrictive schedule for visitors. They'd exchanged but a few furtive kisses and other expressions of affection. And only when Scully was around to keep a lookout.
With another sigh, he slipped off the couch, back down on his knees, and tenderly palmed Skinner's ribs where the first "bruise" had appeared. Bending forward, he brushed his lips across the now-perfect surface...and felt a hand trying to gain purchase in his hair. He glanced up guiltily.
"Sorry I woke you. I shouldn't have done that."
Skinner rubbed his eyes but made no attempt to sit up. "S'all right. Don't stop on my account."
Mulder grinned. "That's not what you said the last time."
"That's because we were in my office, which, as you know, is probably wired. Besides, Scully could have walked in on us."
"What? It took her more than 45 minutes to get there! Correct me if I'm wrong, Walter, but I don't believe it's ever taken me *that* long to make you come."
"Brat." Skinner ruffled the short brown hair and snickered rustily. "Come up here."
Mulder kneewalked to the end of the couch and took Skinner's face in his hands. "Welcome home, Dr. Skinner," he said before pressing his lips to the other man's.
"'Doctor?'" he murmured into the busy mouth.
"They told me you signed your own release papers."
Skinner rolled onto his side and propped himself up on his elbow. "Like *you've* never done that before..."
"We're talking about *you*, not me. Don't try to change the subject."
"Look, I was going crazy being cooped up like that, having all those tests done, all those doctors and technicians sticking things into me. If I had to give one more blood sample, I would've killed someone."
Mulder caressed his lover's cheek. "You used to be so patient. I think I'm having a bad influence on you."
"I've spent too much damned time in hospitals, and I'm liking it less every time." He returned Mulder's touch. "As for *you*, boy, you're the best thing that's ever happened to me."
Mulder's cheek stroked Skinner's palm. "I almost got you killed, Walter."
He gripped the agent by the shoulders and manoeuvred him onto the couch beside him until they were lying face to face. "We don't know that, Fox. More than likely all this shit has something to do with the X-Files, but since you're no longer assigned to them, you may not even figure into the equation."
The hazel eyes were cloudy. "But they've gone after everyone who's important to me. Sam, my father, Scully, you..."
Skinner pulled the slender body closer and touched the full lower lip with his thumb, then pressed his mouth against Mulder's ear. "Did your friends find anything when they swept?" he whispered softly--so softly that Mulder had to really concentrate to hear him.
The "friends" in question were the Lone Gunmen. At Skinner's strong suggestion following the first threatening phone call he'd received while recuperating, Mulder had Frohike, Byers and Langly search the condo thoroughly for listening and other devices.
"All clear," Mulder said at a normal pitch.
"Really? Hmmm. Good. Look, Fox, maybe he's not working for *them* this time. Krycek's a merc. Offers his services to the highest bidder. God only knows what's going on in that fucked-up brain of his." He pushed his groin into Mulder's, getting the response he'd hoped for. "Unless you want to waste this perfectly good erection, I think we should talk about something else."
"Or nothing at all," he gasped as he pushed back and latched onto Skinner's mouth. Kissing the soft yet firm lips again, the sensation of tongue scraping against tongue, was pure nirvana.
Skinner squeezed a hand between them to unbutton Mulder's shirt and open it, and rubbed his nipples until the skin puckered with arousal.
As much as Mulder was enjoying this, he wasn't the one deserving of a welcome-home party. He rolled himself on top of Skinner, the skin-to-skin contact almost electric enough to singe his chest hair. Balancing on his forearms, he covered the smoothness of Skinner's head and face with sweet, lingering kisses before moving on to his ears.
"You're ears are so fucking sexy, Walter," he purred, nibbling on the left lobe.
"Ahhh..." He shivered as the talented tongue circled its target, then did its impression of a Q-Tip. A wet, warm Q-Tip.
Mulder smiled when he felt a sizable lump of flesh grinding into his thigh. *He* was usually the hotheaded one. "Relax, big guy. I'm still hungry." His mouth went to work on the broad neck, sucking on the Adam's apple just hard enough to leave a mark. He then slid his tongue along the collarbone until it came to a partially uncovered shoulder. "Sit up for a sec."
The moment the shirt was off, he pushed Skinner back down and nuzzled his right shoulder, the muscles hard and unyielding against his mouth. From there he kissed and nipped a path down the surprisingly soft, paler skin on the underside of the arm. Mulder stopped at the elbow to tickle the crease with his tongue, then licked along the veins--fearfully aware of what had, and still could, run through them--to the wrist. He blew lightly on the delicate tissue, and was satisfied to see the hair on Skinner's arm stand on end.
As Skinner moaned faintly, Mulder pressed his face into his partner's open palm, first kissing it, then drawing larger and larger circles on it with his tongue. One by one, he took each thick finger into his mouth and sucked luxuriously, saving the thumb for last.
"Jesus, Fox." Skinner's voice was husky. And a little desperate.
Mulder released the thumb and kissed his way back up to the shoulder, then lifted the arm and tucked into it. The silky, longish hair tickled his nose as he lapped at the hypersensitive skin. He felt a tremor in Skinner's arm. Stealing a glance at his lover, he silently congratulated himself. Skinner's head was tipped back, twisting from side to side, with eyes closed and lips parted. Oh, yes. He was having a good time.
Skinner's body jolted when Mulder licked a broad stroke down his side to his waist, then back up to his pebbly nipple. He opened his mouth wide to cover as much skin as possible, sucking and licking until Skinner guided his head to the other. When both nipples were sufficiently serviced, Mulder's mouth teased its way over rippling abs to the slim waistline.
Skinner's hands stopped dry-shampooing Mulder's hair and began to undo his own belt.
"Let me, Walter." The slacks, briefs and socks quickly disappeared behind the couch. Mulder stood back and let out a shaky breath. "Wow!" After two weeks of abstinence, the sight of a naked, sexually excited Walter Skinner was enough to make him come in his pants like a teenager. He stared at the long, broad cock as it quivered with anticipation. "So fucking beautiful..."
"Take off your clothes, Fox." Skinner's words were thick were desire. "Then we're gonna go upstairs and you're gonna fuck me 'til I see four of you."
Mulder's eyes never left Skinner's as he stripped. "You just got out of the hospital. Maybe you should fuck me instead..."
Skinner got to his feet and held his lover at arm's length. "Later. Right now I need to have something in me besides tubes and needles." He reached down and caressed Mulder's hard-on. "Something beautiful and alive..."
Mulder pulled Skinner in tight and kissed him fiercely. That, coupled with the way he was rolling his hips, was dangerous after living the life of a monk for half a month.
Skinner broke both the kiss and the embrace. "Bedroom. Now." Mulder could only nod his acquiescence.
They nearly didn't make it up the stairs, as hand-holding turned into butt-groping and so much more. But the promise of a big playing area, along with lube, propelled them into their bedroom.
They fell onto the mattress, but Skinner wriggled out of Mulder's arms almost immediately.
"I want to suck your cock first."
"While you suck mine."
Within seconds they were on their sides, head to toe, faces buried in each other's groins. Mulder was the first to pull away. "If you want me to fuck your ass instead of your mouth," he panted, "you'd better stop that *now*."
"Feel good?" Skinner asked hoarsely as he righted himself.
Mulder grabbed the lube from the night stand. "Too damned good, and you know it. Roll onto your side."
Skinner frowned. "Uh-uh. I want you on top."
"No. I'll come too fast. Besides, you haven't been well..."
"God damn it! I'm not dying or anything!"
"I know that, you idiot! I want it to be nice and slow and--oh, hell, I don't know--*romantic*, I guess. Not just a quick fuck. Jesus!"
Skinner held his gaze while Mulder held his breath. "Well? Are you going to use that lube on me or just hold it all night?"
"Asshole." Mulder kissed him, pulling at his lower lip with his teeth. "Hurry up and roll over before I change my mind."
"As if," Skinner snorted. But he did as he was told.
Mulder lubed three fingers thoroughly and applied a generous dollop of the stuff to Skinner's anus. Tenderly, patiently, he worked one finger into him, then another, then the third. He could feel the muscles relaxing, knew that Skinner was breathing deeply.
"You okay, Walter?" He kissed the nearest shoulder blade.
"Yeah." He yelped as a knuckle brushed his prostate.
"Oh, God, did that hurt?"
"No! Felt *amazing*!"
Mulder twisted his fingers again, producing another whoop. He brought his mouth close to Skinner's ear. "I love you, Walter Skinner. I'm really glad you're home."
"Me too. On both counts." Skinner craned his neck to look at Mulder. "I think we should get this show on the road, don't you?"
Mulder withdrew his fingers, lubed his cock, and placed it against Skinner's well-prepped opening. Entry was easier than he thought it would be after the unwelcomed hiatus. God, Skinner was tight! And so incredibly hot! Mulder was soon dripping with sweat with the effort of trying to control himself. Penetration in this position wasn't as deep as it was in others, but sliding in and out of the gorgeous body pressed against his chest felt so fucking wonderful...
Of course, Mulder hadn't forgotten about Skinner's needs. His arms were wrapped around the big man, one hand fondling his balls, the other his feverish cock. As Mulder's thrusts became bolder, Skinner pushed back into him, impaling himself just a little bit more.
"So close, Fox. So close..."
So much for the slow, comfortable screw.
Sucking on Skinner's neck, Mulder fucked and pumped faster as Skinner bucked his hips backward, matching the other's rhythm note for note.
As Mulder unleashed his orgasm, he was vaguely aware of something warm and sticky washing over his hands. And someone shouting even louder than he was.
They lay locked together, a pair of well-used spoons, until Mulder got his brain back and pulled Skinner away from the wet spot. He got up and wobbled into the bathroom. After washing his hands and genitals, he came back to bed with a warm washcloth and a towel.
"The neighbours must hate us," he said as he tended to Skinner.
"Yeah, we'll probably get asked to leave one of these days." He grinned. "Worth it, though."
Mulder lay the towel over the mess on the bed and climbed in beside Skinner, holding him, stroking him. "When did they say you can go back to work?"
"Monday. I promised I'd take it easy the rest of the week."
"Good." He kissed the top of Skinner's balding head. "Maybe *I* should take a few days off and keep you company."
"That would be nice."
"And we can start hunting down Krycek. I'll call the Gunmen, get them to help."
Skinner twirled a few strands of chest hair between his fingers. "I was thinking about Monday..."
"What about it?"
"I think you and Scully should show up at my office, offer to continue investigating the Senate Resolution, find out who did this to me. And I'll tell those bastards exactly what they want to hear."
"It's the only way, Fox. You and Scully will be safe. And if they're not watching you, it'll be easier for all of us to learn the truth."
"But you'll be--"
He looked up at Mulder steadily. "I'll be fine."
Mulder stared deeply into those earnest brown eyes. "I'd die if anything happened to you."
"No you wouldn't."
"Yes, I would."
"Well, *nothing's* going to happen, so it's a moot point. Although..."
"I haven't eaten since breakfast. And that was *hospital* food, so it doesn't count. I can't live on love alone, babe."
Mulder tweaked his nose. "Well, since I didn't know you'd be home tonight, I don't have a five-course meal waiting downstairs. So what would you prefer? Thai or pizza?"
"Thai. It's healthier."
"Keep talking like that and I won't like it anymore."
Skinner reached up and mussed Mulder's hair. "You're such an asshole."
"Yeah, but I'm *your* asshole, so get used to it."
Mulder kissed his lips, then sat up. "Why don't you fill the tub while I order the food? I'll join you in a few minutes."
As Skinner drew the bath, Mulder put on his robe and went downstairs to find the take-out menu for their favourite Thai restaurant. But he found himself in the first-floor bathroom, splashing cold water on his face.
First Scully. Now Skinner. Both infected with a potentially fatal condition. Both walking time bombs.
But at least Scully had the chip in the back of her neck. Mulder was convinced that was what was keeping her cancer at bay. But what was there to stop those fucking nanoprobes from blocking Skinner's arteries again?
He knew his lover was scared--just as scared as he was, if that was possible--but didn't want to let on. Typical Skinner.
Mulder, however, was nothing if not determined. Okay, pig-headed. And there was *nothing* he wouldn't do to ensure that Walter Skinner lived a long and healthy life. With him.
He dried his face and went into the kitchen to resume his search for the Thai food menu.
So he phoned in the order, shared a hot soak with Skinner until the food arrived, ate like an automaton, and made love again. As usual, Skinner drifted off to sleep first, leaving Mulder alone with his thoughts.
"I love you so much, Walter," he whispered to the man sleeping in his arms. "I'm not going to let them take you away from me. Ever. I promise."
This was the one quest he couldn't afford to fail at.
January 19, 1999