"Okay, sir, I want to know what kind of coffee you buy. If Mulder's actions are any indication, it probably contains illegal substances."
Special Agent Dana Scully and Assistant Directory Walter Skinner looked over at where Special Agent Fox Mulder was processing the crime scene. He was practically quivering with energy as he moved from one team to another.
Skinner sighed. "I'm amazed that he's still on his feet. I don't think he got more than two hours sleep last night."
"Insomnia still?" Scully asked.
Skinner was still amazed at how easily Scully had accepted the new relationship between himself and Mulder. He nodded. "Yeah."
"And you haven't found anything that helps?"
Skinner's lips twisted into a half-smile, and his eyes twinkled at Scully. "Well, one thing but I don't have the stamina I used to. It does shut him up and put him to sleep."
Scully grinned. "Way more information than I need to know, sir."
Skinner chuckled and then Mulder was collecting his partner and they were off again. So Skinner was surprised later when Scully dropped by his office and presented him with a basket.
"Little Red Riding Hood, I presume?" Skinner peered into the basket.
"Some of my sure-fire cures for insomnia. Can't have you incapacitated, sir." With her eyes twinkling, she left the room.
Later that night, Skinner pushed Mulder toward the stairs and Mulder grinned at him. "Why, Walter! It's only eight o'clock - how decadent of you."
"Asshole," Skinner snorted, pushing him toward the bathroom.
Mulder looked suspiciously at the filling tub. "Walter, there's...stuff in that tub."
"Bath oil. Scully says that a warm, scented bath is great for relaxing her and inducing sleep." Skinner was stripping Mulder's clothes off.
"I can think of something better," Mulder said with a leer but Skinner ignored him. "And, in case you hadn't noticed, Scully's female. I think they're genetically engineered for hot bubble baths."
Mulder gestured at the darkened room. "No lights?"
"You forget where everything is?"
"No - I thought I'd read - "
"Uh-uh. You’re supposed to be relaxing. In."
Mulder complied, amused. "Don't I get a headset and tape player?"
"You start listening to Prince and I'll kick your ass out."
"That's the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. Should I worry that you knew both the movie and the song reference?"
"Probably." He handed Mulder a mug. "Drink this."
Mulder peered into the mug at the pale yellow liquid. "I don't even want to venture a guess - "
"Someone switch your National Geo subscription for Martha Stewart's magazine?"
"Scully dropped off a basket with some sleep aids to try."
Mulder eyed the basket with a grin. "Sex toys? Flavored lube?" He stared at the object Walter produced. "Um - we played Batman and Robin last night. And that has no eye holes."
"It's a bath-mask - fill it with hot water and it's very soothing."
"I knew you'd get around to blindfolding me and tying me to the bed."
"I've never wanted to blindfold you. Now, I have been tempted to gag you."
"Oooh, Walter, you know what I like. What other delights does that basket hold?"
"Massage oil. Be a good boy and I'll give you a body massage." Mulder slid down in the tub until he was almost completely submerged. "How's that feel?"
"Not too bad, actually. Of course, it'd be better if my knees could be in the same zip code as the rest of my body."
"I'll have to make sure my next place has a bigger tub."
"Looking for a place in the suburbs to settle down and raise those 2.5 kids? Gonna make an honest man of me?"
"Shut up and close your eyes. I want you to relax."
"Relax? Do you know how many bathtub drownings occur each year?"
"No, but you probably do and I don't want to hear it. Shut up and relax or no massage."
"Shutting up, sir." Mulder closed his eyes and drifted. Skinner puttered around the bathroom and bedroom, straightening up and keeping an eye on Mulder in case he fell asleep in the tub. After a while he went into the bathroom and coaxed Mulder to sit up.
"Actually, yeah." Mulder started to get out.
"Uh-uh. Best part is coming."
"Walter, you devil, there's not enough room in this tub for two."
Skinner ignored him, squeezing shampoo into his hand and beginning to shampoo Mulder's hair. Mulder closed his eyes, enjoying the feeling. "Mmm. You're good at this. If you quit your day job, you could always take up hair styling. Make a fortune."
"Well, I've got the right sexual orientation for it, anyway. And I must admit there is a vicarious thrill out of this."
"The truth comes out at last. You only love me for my hair."
Skinner ruthlessly poured water over Mulder's head, rinsing the shampoo and causing Mulder to sputter. He grinned. "Fair enough. We know you love me for my increased testosterone."
"Guilty as charged. Take me away, officer - I'll go quietly. You got fur-lined cuffs in that basket?" Skinner helped Mulder out of the tub and carefully dried him. Mulder yelped, startled, as Skinner rubbed the towel over every inch of his body. "You're awfully fresh for a towel boy. Watch it or I'll sic my boyfriend on you."
"Should I be worried?"
"Definitely. He's tall, muscled, butch, carries a deadly weapon. And sometimes a gun."
"I should have seen that one coming," Skinner said, gently swatting Mulder's ass as he pushed him towards the bed.
He had pulled back the covers and laid a towel on the bed, and Mulder stretched out on his stomach. Skinner straddled Mulder's body and poured warmed oil into his hands and began working on Mulder's shoulders.
Mulder groaned. "God, you're good. That's it, I'm coming out of the closet and exposing us both. Then - after we're fired - I'll get that faculty position and book contract and you can be my personal masseuse."
"I hope you plan on making a lot of money from your book. I have expensive tastes." Skinner continued massaging down Mulder's back to his thighs, feeling the muscles relax under his hands. "How's that feel, Fox?" There was no answer. "Fox?" A slight snore rose from the pillows, and Skinner smiled. "Mission accomplished." Skinner changed into his pajamas and slid into bed, affectionately touseled his lover's hair, and turned out the light.
Two hours later, a light went on at the bedside table and Skinner sat up, sighing. He slipped out of bed quietly so as not to disturb his sleeping lover, and padded into the bathroom. Picking up the mask, he muttered, "I wonder if this really works…."