The bar was dark, suiting Fox's mood. As soon as he passed the threshold, he was embraced by the heat of dancing bodies and the throb of the bass, the stereos emitting enough vibrations to make the walls shudder. Everything was black and blood-red, reminding Mulder of the chambers of a heart. Plush couches and chairs were the same inky red, overstuffed to the point that they seemed ready to burst, even bleed.
The establishment had passed through many hands over the decades, and had been through many incarnations: a sultry Prohibition-era speak-easy; a trendy, yuppie wine bar; even a brief stint as a honky-tonk haven. For the past year, it had operated under the name 'The Crypt,' and its subterranean location certainly bore out the logic of its nomenclature - but the crowd here was most definitely alive. Fox felt the familiar tingle of excitement as he pressed his way deeper into the unknown. Here, he was nobody, and there was a freedom to that; the crowd and the night held the wonder of limitless potentiality as he checked his identity at the door. To what would surely be Scully's horror (not that he ever planned to tell her), he had opted to leave his service piece behind in the hotel safe. Dressed in a torn white t-shirt and black jeans, both dabbed with (he hoped) washable fake blood, he was not on duty tonight, and a bureau-issued gun, aside from being difficult to conceal in this attire, would've spoiled his murder-victim aesthetic. It was Halloween, a time when the veils between the worlds was at its thinnest, a time to revel in the danger and the fear, the inevitability of death, the universality of mortality... or, something. Whatever. For Fox, it was a time to enjoy being scared by men in hooded masks and women in garish make-up, harmless specters of adult-themed fun, rather than the true monsters which so often occupied his time.
As his eyes adjusted to the light, Mulder began to notice the details in the décor: the fine curlicues of silver paint glinting in the muted flash of the strobe lights, like streaks of lightning in a witch's hair; the black-on-black murals on two of the walls, barely discernible in the brief moments of illumination; the rich finish of the ebony dance floor. All around him, people were letting down their hair after a long week of who-knows-what, knocking back drinks, whispering in strangers' ears, sharing jokes with old friends, and, above all, checking out the talent. Glamorous enchantresses danced with bloodied butchers; zombies shimmied with warlocks; gothic princesses sipped mixed drinks with indescribable monsters. Upon seeing a classic 'little grey man' brush past him en route to the restroom, Mulder had to smile. An oldie but a goodie, he thought to himself.
Fox glanced at the chalkboard menu behind the bar, trying to decipher its blood-red script, before deciding to be adventurous and let the barmaid choose his drink for him. She gave a wicked grin, well-worn with use, and fetched him a green, frothing potion in a charming metal goblet. He took a cautious sip, the spirits within burning his throat at first touch; the woman beside him laughed, almost cackled, and as he shifted on his barstool to get a better look at her, some of the concoction slopped onto his shirtfront. It glowed faintly, and the woman reached out to touch the stain, Mulder's solar plexus instinctively tensing at the unexpected but not unwanted contact.
"Humans are so messy," she said, and he was immediately aroused. Her voice was a sensuous purr, full of taunting promise, and the lips emitting those words were ripe and red.
"Humans are? As opposed to..?"
He hoped the woman would pick up on his playfulness. She took the bait.
"Well, vampires, of course," she meoued.
"Of course," he said, nonchalant. Raising his goblet, he saluted. "To vampires."
She raised her glass, filled with some smoky-gray liquid on ice, meeting his toast. "To victims."
He swallowed hard, willing the drink to stay down, fighting the urge to choke as it burned him. She downed the rest of her drink, then placed her cold hand on his, leading him to the dance floor.
"I'm not much of a dancer," he admitted.
"I'm not much of a drinker, but here we are," she teased. "I'd rather dance than drink."
Mulder was fine with that, an excuse to get closer to her body, the body with curves in all the right places, hugged tight by sleek PVC from shoulders to mid-thigh. Her black hair refracted the light, and he was hypnotized by her moves, her form becoming one with the music. It was all he could do to try to keep up. This place didn't seem likely to play any slow songs, so Mulder did his best to keep the rhythm, to bring his body into contact with hers while not disturbing her groove.
Somewhere in the shadows, Fox sensed they were being watched. He had little on him worth stealing - a few rumpled twenties in his pocket, a hotel room key, and his fake civilian ID, carried in the vain hope that someday he'd get carded (it'd been a few years since the last time). The emergency contact number on the ID was the only legitimate piece of information - a direct line to Scully. He prayed no one ever had to use it; if they did, he hoped he was dead, rather than having to face her and explain his predicament..
"You're overthinking this, hon," his new friend jibed. "Just let go. Do whatever feels.. natural," she advised. The way she emphasized that last word made Fox think of all the base, 'natural' things he wanted to do to her and with her, and he sensed that provoking that line of thinking had been her intent. He obeyed, letting his body move, not as gracefully as hers, but well enough. She moved closer, winding her arms around his neck, her hand, still chilled from the drink, brushing against the back of his neck. He imagined how it would feel to have that hand grip him, torturing him with icy fingers..
The song changed, and the woman turned to face away from him, dipping down, sliding her hair along the length of his body with ease before working her way back up again. He was hard, and painfully so; it had been too long since he'd had release, and even longer since he'd had release with another person present. He envied the floor's view as her skirt threatened to expose her secrets to it. Her dress was so tight, and no panty line was visible; besides, with PVC, one needed one's skin to be able to breathe.
Facing him once more, the woman - Gd, he hadn't even asked her name! - hovered an inch from his lips, inviting him to meet her mouth. Mulder did so, and sensed a shift in the energy, like the air was buzzing now. Her kiss tasted bitter at first, but her flavor mellowed into a candy sweetness, and he was hooked. Those cold fingertips dragged sharp nails down his t shirt, scoring him through the fabric. His nipples were hard, too, and as she tweaked one exploratorily, he groaned into her mouth.
"Mm. The sensitive type. My favorite," she remarked, leading him to one of the couches in a corner. Upon seeing her approach, a seated trio scattered into the shadows. Mulder wondered at that reaction, prompted without a word from his date, but dismissed it; little Mulder was taking over the decision-making for now.
"I didn't ask your name," he fumbled, trying to be at least a little bit of a gentleman.
"Veronica. Ronnie," she amended.
Okay. A ballsy girl, going by a masculine nickname. A woman who knew what she wanted and took no shit; he could respect that. He had to think for a moment to recall his fake name; Robert something-or-other. "I'm Rob."
"Rob?," she asked, looking unconvinced.
"Yeah. But my friends call me Fox."
She seemed to like that name better, for she kissed him again. Her fingers twisting his nipple worked like turning up the volume on his libido, and he was putty.
"Well then, Fox.. Do you always play the victim, or just on Halloween?"
Her lips fluttered down his cheek, bussing against his jaw before landing softly on his pulse point. "I.. uh.. huh?"
She kissed him, and pinpricks of light burst behind his closed eyelids. He moaned her name, unsure of what was happening, unsure of whether or not he'd survive, and unsure as to whether or not he cared.
Fox did something then which he hadn't done since he was a boy of sixteen, upon the occasion of sucking on a girl's nipples for the first time.
He came in his pants.
Barely having time to register that he'd just blown his load in a hands-free orgasm in a busy bar, Mulder felt Ronnie being bodily lifted up and away from him. Her teeth took a little bit of him with her, the pain rushing in on the tail end of the pleasure, making him doubly woozy. Fox's fingers drifted towards the source of the pain, coming away slick with blood. It was dark, so much darker than the fake stuff on his clothing, and there seemed to be a fair amount of it leaving him...
"Oh, for fuck's -- Come on!"
A male voice now, breaking through the fog of confusion. Strong arms, picking him up as if he weighed no more than a bag of feathers, cradling him. Mulder could hear no heart beat but his own, despite his head lolling against the stranger's chest.
As the man moved through the bar, people got out of the way. Ronnie's voice was audible, no longer nice or inviting, squalling and cursing as a door opened, then closed with a bang so final, it was like the sealing of a tomb. The Crypt, Mulder, he chided himself; you had to pick a bar full of wannabe vamp-freaks called 'The Crypt..' Then, blessed unconsciousness overtook him.