03 October 1998
From: Pares
Oh, kiddies, I must have been a damnned good girl, because somebody gave me the loveliest present...
Tell him he's all that and a bag of chips at Julan777@aol.com.
Dedication: For Pares, without whom none of this would have happened.

By Justine Glass

It was not a result of planning or orchestration, of forethought or design or even the manipulation of circumstances. Mulder ended up in his boss' bed purely by accident. Coincidence. Chance.

At least that was what Skinner told himself as he stood in the doorway of his own bedroom and looked in on the man drifting in and out of a light doze on his sheets. Skinner had fought to keep himself from the doing this, from checking up, just like he had fought the impulse to bring Mulder home, like he fought so many impulses regarding Mulder in the past few days.

Scully was gone. She had disappeared without a trace from Skyland Mountain, and Mulder's will to go on had vanished with her. He lived now for one thing and one thing only--to find her. All other compulsions and obsessions gone, although Skinner supposed that this new raison d'etre was just an alteration of Mulder's initial quest

He couldn't do it alone.

And he couldn't do it the way he had been in the office--pale, frantic, and frightened out of his mind by the possibility that she wasn't ever coming back.

"Make sure he gets some rest," he'd said to Mulder's new partner, Krycek. But he'd changed his mind without knowing why, unconvinced that Mulder would rest, uncertain of Alex Krycek's ability to help his partner. If it had been Scully, he could have sent Mulder off without another word, knowing that she .. .

Skinner sighed. Fruitless to think like that.

"Something wrong?"

"I didn't know you were awake, Agent Mulder."

Mulder smiled, eyes still closed.

"I think we can dispense with the formalities in your bedroom, sir."

"How do you feel?"

Mulder sat up, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed. He was still wearing his office clothes, even his tie. He looked as if he had been crumpled up and thrown away.

"Like shit."

Skinner felt his arms fold across his chest. "You should get some more sleep."

Mulder glanced sideways at him. "Thanks, Dad."

Skinner said nothing. Mulder should sleep, and he wouldn't, and that was that. There was no point in arguing. Only Scully could argue with Mulder and win.

"So that's it," Mulder said eventually.

"What do you want me to say, Agent Mulder? You've made your position on the matter completely clear."

"Completely clear," Mulder repeated. He laughed a little, hitching his shoulders. "Completely clear. No disrespect, *sir*, but I don't even know what the fuck I'm doing here."

"You're here so I can keep an eye on--"

"An *eye* on me!" Mulder was up off the bed, shouting. "An eye on me. It seems like everyone in the goddamn world is keeping an eye on me. Who's fucking looking for Scully?"

Skinner stood there, silent, arms crossed over his chest.

"I should be out there, sir. I should be looking for her."

"You're not leaving."

"Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do?"

Skinner stepped up to his agent. "I am your superior, and I am a senior agent with more field experience in my little finger than you and Agent Scully put together, and I decide when my agents go out in the field and when they would be a danger to themselves and others by doing so. Am I clear?"

He didn't raise his voice, because he knew he didn't have to. Mulder was fighting exhaustion and guilt- he needed sleep and he desperately wanted to be on Scully's trail, sacrificing himself for his holy grail--all Skinner had to was take away the guilt option and Mulder would be fine.


Skinner almost smiled.

"I'll leave you alone then. There are pajamas in the bottom drawer." He stepped back and drew the door closed behind him.

Then he leaned against the wall and covered his face with his hands.


This was a mistake. Mulder should go home, should go anywhere but here . . . the idea of Mulder in his bed, in his pajamas . . . it was too much.

He heard the sound faintly at first, as if he were hearing it with only the corner of his mind. A soft thud. Skinner was too absorbed in the image of Mulder wrapped in his own flannel pjs to pay it much heed. Then it happened again, twice, quickly. Thud, thud. And another sound, something small.

"Mulder?" He opened the door.

He would have laughed if the sight hadn't been so pathetic.

Mulder sat on the edge of the bed clutching at his tie, his face flushed with effort. The noise had apparently been his elbow hitting the headboard as his hand slipped, which it did once more just as Skinner came in.

"That has to hurt," he said.

Mulder glanced up, eyes furious and bleary. Eyes on the edge of something.

"Let me," Skinner said, crouching in front of the man. He reached out and took the tie, pushing Mulder's hands out of the way. "This is quite a knot. Originally a double windsor, huh? What a bitch." He was talking low and quick to soothe Mulder and to cover his own nervousness. He could feel the heat coming from the man.

Skinner pulled on the knot, moving it first one way then the other, trying to ignore the fact that Mulder was watching his face from only inches away. If he concentrated, he could feel breath on his cheek. He tried not to concentrate.

"I can't even take off my own tie," Mulder said.

"It's all right, it happens."

"To who?" Mulder laughed. "Who does this shit happen to? Just me."

"Happens to the best of us," Skinner said, trying not to hear the panic in the other man's voice.

"There are certain things that only seem to happen to me, sir." Mulder's voice ran slow and deliberate. "Certain things that seem like fate. Kismet."

"Hey!" Skinner breathed as the knot loosened abruptly. "Got it!"

He looked up at Mulder's face, smiling a little. "Here . . ." He stopped.

Mulder gazed at him, half-seeing, half lost behind a thin curtain of tears.

"Some things only happen to me," he said again, hardly whispering. Skinner realised that he still held the ends of Mulder's tie in his hands like a leash.

Without thinking, he tugged on it.

Mulder fell forward, bonelessly, slumping against Skinner in sudden and complete surrender.

"Only me," he said again, and Skinner sighed.

"That's not true," he murmured. He hugged Mulder tight against him, feeling the shuddering of someone trying not to cry and not really succeeding. "It's not true." He had no idea what he was denying, he didn't even think he made sense, but that didn't seem important. One of his hands was on the back of Mulder's neck, pressed against the soft hair at the nape of his neck.

He shifted to releive some of the pressure on his knees and was startled by Mulder's arms tightening around his ribs.

"It's okay," he said. He moved and somehow manuvered them so that he was on the bed, resting against the headboard, Mulder reclining across his chest.

Skinner held him secure against his chest, brushed his hair back, touched his face, reveling quietly and shamefully in the contact.

After a while, Mulder tilted his head back, meeting Skinner's eyes. The emotional storm had passed: his eyes were clear and luminous. His words were soft and startling.

"You can kiss me if you want to."

Skinner found his head dipping toward Mulder's before he could think.

The kiss was soft and closed, brief.

"I don't think so, Mulder," Skinner breathed almost on the man's mouth. "I don't think we should."

He wanted to, to kiss Mulder, to hold him like this, only more, only naked, he wanted to kiss him open mouthed and hotly, with Mulder's hands pinned above his head and his hips moving in fledgling need, with nothing between them but sweat. Oh, he wanted to.

But he couldn't, not now. Not until Scully was found, alive or dead, and Mulder was free. Freer.

Mulder nodded, and pressed closer, his arms snug around Skinner's waist.

Eventually, he fell asleep.

Skinner stayed up, watching him, for a long time.




30 Nov 98
Title: Happening
Author: Justine Glass
E-mail Address: Feedback happily read and answered at Julan777@aol.com
Rating: G
Category: V, Missing Scene
Spoilers: Ascension
Keywords: M/Sk UST
Summary: Stuff happens. This is a sequel story to Happenstance. It would be easier to read if you had read that first.
Archive: Nowhere without my permission, please.
Disclaimer: No permission has been granted, no money has been made, no infringement is intended.
Dedication: Once again, for Pares, who lured me into the abyss.

by Justin Glass

He couldn't believe what was happening.

He had coaxed Mulder to sleep by pulling the man across his lap like a little boy. He had even kissed him goodnight, for chrissake, and he had never anticipated this at all.

Skinner shifted a little against the headboard, searching for some way to relieve the pressure on his back without aggravating the pressure on his . . . his front. Sometime over the last few hours (and it must have been hours because that was the grey silk of dawn in the sky) Skinner had fallen asleep and Mulder had slid down until his cheek rested on Skinner's thigh.

Skinner rubbed his eyes with the thumb and forefinger of one hand. Looked at Mulder. Looked away.

The man was completely asleep, that much was clear. His mouth gaped slightly, his cheek pressed against the soft flannel of Skinner's dress pants, his breath steaming the flesh beneath. That was what had woken Skinner, that heat flowing over his skin like the tide. That, and what that had caused.

He couldn't stay like this. He couldn't. It was too much, and he was supposed to be *helping* Mulder, not coming on to him, a line Skinner had already crossed with just that simple kiss.

He shifted again, experimentally.

Mulder sighed and curled into a ball in the V of Skinner's legs, wrapping one arm securely around his boss's thigh.

"Shit," Skinner whispered.

Mulder slept on, and Skinner smiled at the irony. For once, Fox Mulder was doing what he was told: he had been told to get some rest and now he was getting it. He was out like a light, barely snoring, curled up like a baby. What was that Chinese curse? Be careful what you wish for . . .

Skinner looked down at his agent for a moment, seeing the phantom stubble on the younger man's cheeks, the vulnerable mouth, the hair rumpled beyond recognition. This was not supposed to be happening, he thought. In the dim pre-dawn light, the only warmth Walter Skinner could feel was the moist breath of another man on his leg.

And then he moved.

He lifted the leg Mulder was resting on, waking him and shaking him off gently the way one shakes off a sleepy puppy.

"Hmm?" Mulder mumbled, rolling in the direction of the other thigh, straddling it with his hands. "This had better be good." He lifted his head and squinted up at Skinner.

"Lie down, Mulder," Skinner said. gesturing to the pillow next to him. "You're putting my leg to sleep." It was a lie; his leg was anything but asleep. Every nerve in his body from the waist down was awake and humming with electricity, but he didn't have to say that. He never had to say anything, if he didn't want to.

Mulder squinted up at him for moment, then bowed his head, resting his forehead on Skinner's left thigh.

"Wh--" he mumbled something Skinner didn't catch.

"Mulder, I didn't hear--"

"I said, where will you be?" He was looking up again, his eyes suddenly less clogged with sleep than with memories.

"Lie down, Mulder," Skinner said again, and Mulder did, turning on his side so that he faced away from the AD, wrapping himself instead around the pillow.

Skinner watched him for a minute, seeing the long lines of Mulder's back, and slim strong curve of his leg. His fingers unfastened the brass buckle on his belt and slid it out of the loops, let it slither to the floor with a soft clunk.

Then he turned on his side and scooted down until he was pressed against Mulder, his chest to Mulder's back, his hips to Mulder's ass, thigh to thigh, and threaded his foot between Mulder's. He reached out and yanked one of the blankets from the disorganized pile near the bottom of the bed and drew it over them both, then hooked his arm around so that his fingers rested lightly against the front of Mulder's wrinkled dress shirt. He pressed his cheek against the short hair at the back of Mulder's neck, inhaling the smell of sleep and sweat. He resisted the urge to kiss that spot.

"Does this answer your question?" he asked, murmuring into the skin under his lips.

Mulder might have been already asleep, because he didn't speak, but Skinner felt his hand pressed against Mulder's chest by something that might have been another hand. They slept.