Skinnertorture
by Wombat
Rating PG-13
AD Skinner's having a bad time. He's not getting any work done because those pesky slash writers keep making him have sex with his most troublesome agent. He wants it stopped, but can even AD Skinner prevail against the Dungeons of Fanfic (Slash Division)?
Feedback: thewombat@dial.pipex.com
Website: http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/town/drive/xsi35/warning.html


Skinnertorture

Walter Skinner read through his previous day's itinerary and massaged his forehead wearily.

08:30 Argument with Mulder (it read)

08:45 Refuse Mulder's 302 request. Ignore wobbly lower lip

09:00 Can't ignore wobbly lower lip any longer. Embark on doomed affair with Mulder. Sex in basement office.

10:20 Catch Mulder watching 'KGB Leather Boys in Bondage' on work time. Discipline Mulder

11:00 Assistant Director Stuff

11:05 Encounter Mulder alone in FBI swimming pool wearing only red speedos. Sex with Mulder.

12:15 Catch Mulder planning to break into the Pentagon. Discpline Mulder some more.

13:00 Lunch

13:45 Catch Mulder trying to hack into the DOD. Discipline Mulder yet again.

14:40 Mulder points out that he has neglected to keep his filing up to date and suggests more discipline might be in order. (Note to self - I think Mulder may be getting too much out of this.)

15:00 More Assistant Director stuff

15:15 Mulder encounters self alone in FBI gym wearing skimpy running shorts and vest. Sex with Mulder. (Note to self - need to look into underuse of FBI sports facilities)

16:15 Sex with Mulder in stationery cupboard.

16:40 Krycek videos self having sex with Mulder in stationery cupboard.

17:45 Meet Mulder in bar, Mulder makes drunken pass at self, sex with Mulder in cleaners' cupboard.

18:15 Public sex with Mulder (Note to self - places to avoid next time: 10 items or less checkout line at K-Mart, middle of Reflecting Pool, drive through window at MacDonalds.)

19:20 Drove Mulder to Dennys. Had sex on way (Note to self - check small print on motor insurance policy)

20:00 Dinner at Dennys (Note to self - in future check toilets for mysterious cameramen *first*)

21:15 Mulder suggests we go back to his apartment for coffee and discipline.

22:00 Krycek videos self disciplining Mulder.

22:30 Catch Krycek making video. Mulder videos self disciplining Krycek.

23:00 Sex with Mulder and Krycek (Note to self - bring extra handcuffs next time)

23:45 Paint Mulder's toenails.

23:50 Bed. Sex with Mulder.

Skinner sighed and removed his glasses. 'Kim,' he asked on the intercom. 'Would you ask Agent Mulder to come up to my office?'

'But you're not due to have sex with him again for another hour, sir,' Kim said, sounding faintly surprised.

'Remind me, Kim. Where was that going to be?'

'You're down for a 'plot what plot' on the table in the executive conference room, sir. Do you want me to change your booking? It shouldn't be a problem to get the cameraman in early but I'm not sure I can rearrange the Consortium thugs on such short notice.'

'Keep the booking as it is. I just want to talk to him.'

'I'm sorry, sir? You want to...?'

'Talk to him.'

'You just want to talk to him?' He could almost see Kim raise a disbelieving eyebrow.

'Just put me through to the basement office, Kim.'

'Putting you through now, sir.'

***

'Agent Scully, is Agent Mulder down there?'

'He's having sex with Krycek,' Scully said, raising her voice over a succession of groans and rythmic clangs. 'They're doing the 'handcuffed to the heating pipes' routine. Do you want me to ask them to stop, sir?'

'Which one of them is handcuffed?'

'I'll give you one guess, sir.'

Skinner sighed. 'Well tell Mulder to get up here whenever Krycek lets him go. I want to talk to him.'

'You want to talk to him?' Scully said with dry amusement. 'No, but seriously, sir...'

'Really, Agent Scully. I just want to talk to him.'

'Sir, I know I act as if I'm shocked every time I walk in on you guys, but I do know what's going on,' Scully said, sounding a little irritated. 'You really don't need to pretend with me.'

Skinner sighed again, and gave up. 'Just get him up here, Scully.'

'Hold on a minute, sir. I think they're just about finished here. Mulder? It's the AD. He says he wants you to come up to his office for a talk, Mulder.'

'He wants a talk? God, Scully, the man's an animal,' Skinner heard Mulder say cheerfully. 'Doesn't he ever get enough?'

'There's no need to sound quite so happy about it, Mulder,' Krycek said sourly in the background.

'You going to stick around?' Mulder asked.

'Nah. I've got to be back in St Petersburg for my 3 o'clock with Pendrell.'

'But Pendrell's dead.' Scully said.

'Yeah, but the writer for this one's still in denial,' Alex told her. There was the sound of a leather jacket being shrugged on. 'I get my arm back too.'

'Cool. Was it tonight you were breaking into my apartment?' Mulder asked.

'Mulder, I break into your apartment every night,' Krycek said patiently. 'More then once, usually. Look, I gotta go. Say hi to Walt for me. Tell him to keep the cuffs warm for the balcony tonight.'

Scully turned back to the phone. 'He'll be up in five minutes, sir.'

****

Skinner was frowning at the mountain of uncompleted paperwork that was stacked atop his desk when Mulder entered with a cheerful smile and a spring in his step.

'Right, sir, how do you want me?' Mulder said, as he unzipped his trousers. 'Bent over the desk? On the carpet?'

'Mulder, just sit down.'

Mulder sat with a shrug. 'Never let it be said I'm not willing to try something new, sir.'

Skinner frowned. 'Mulder, I'll get straight to the point. We had sex fifteen times yesterday. Doesn't that seem a little unusual to you?'

Mulder looked sheepish. 'Sorry about that, sir, but I had Krycek, Dale Cooper and the Highlander boys to deal with as well. I'll try to make up for it today.'

'That's not what I meant, Mulder,' Skinner growled. 'It can't be normal for two people to have this much sex. We can't seen to keep our hands off each other. Do you know how much time I spent on actual work yesterday? Twenty minutes. I'm not getting anything done, Agent Mulder. And besides, all this discipline is giving me RSI.'

'Sir...' Mulder began.

Skinner continued, 'And then there's the fact that we have sex all over this building and nobody ever catches us. I'd understand it if we stuck to the cleaners' cupboards, but the big crest on the main floor of the entrance hall... this is the FBI! Someone's going to notice, Mulder! What the hell is going on?'

Mulder's brow furrowed. 'You mean they didn't tell you about the slash writers, sir?'

'Who are the slash writers, Mulder?' Skinner asked in mystification.

'You mean you don't know? They're the ones who are doing this, sir. They're controlling our lives with their stories and we're helpless to resist.'

'And we're just letting them do it, Agent Mulder? Nobody's trying to stop this?'

'Well, if we're helpless to resist, why bother trying?' Mulder said, spreading his hands. 'At least we're all getting plenty of sex. Except Scully, obviously. She isn't getting any sex at all.'

'So you're saying that these authors are writing everything that happens to us? And all they want to write about is the two of us having sex? That's ludicrous, Mulder!'

'I can prove it to you, sir. Hold on a minute...'

He rummaged in the pocket of his suit and pulled out a miniature tape recorder. 'Just listen to this, sir. A couple of bars ought to do it.'

Skinner frowned as he listened to the music. '"Tonight I celebrate my love for you" by Roberta Flack and Peobo Bryson? Mulder, why are you playing me bad 80's love songs?'

'They use the lyrics as their weapon, Walt... I mean sir. I think it's a form of mind control.'

'That's ridiculous Foxy-baby... Agent Mulder! I meant Agent Mulder!'

A look of horror slid across Mulder's face. 'It's affecting us sir! Nobody's immune! I thought if I only played a few seconds we'd be OK, but even that's too much! I'm fighting it, sir, but all I really want to do right now is drop my pants and bend over your desk for some rough and heavy discipline! All I can think is how much I want you to spank me with those big capable hands!'

'Mulder, get yourself under control.' Skinner barked. 'You're a federal agent! Don't force me to have to use my handcuffs! Or these fur-lined restraints... wait a minute... how the hell did these get into my desk?'

'Damn slash writers!' Mulder said. His lower lip began to quiver pitifully. 'Why can't they leave us alone to love each other the way we choose! Oh God, Walty!'

'Mulder, you've got to control yourself! They're manipulating your emotions!'

'I'm sorry, sir!' Mulder blubbered. 'I can't seem to help it.'

'Mulder, I have an incredible urge to slap you around until you come to your senses. Got.. to.. *fight*... it...'

'It's as if they're turning us into different people!' Mulder sobbed. 'First of all I'm a shameless slut, then I'm an angst-ridden basketcase! How can this happen?'

'There's got to be a logical explanation, Agent Mulder... Damn! Now I suddenly and inexplicably want to move into a house in the suburbs with you and buy a Labrador puppy.'

Ok, sir,' Mulder sniffled. 'If you insist.'

'Mulder, we have to get this thing under control. I know. The elevator!'

'But there's nothing in there for you to handcuff me to. And what are we going to use for lube?'

'Don't argue Mulder. Just follow me.'

***

Ten minutes later, Mulder sat slumped on the floor of the stalled elevator. Skinner looked moodily down at him from when he leant against the wall. He inspected his watch.

'How are you feeling, Agent Mulder?'

From the speaker in the ceiling a pan-pipe heavy instrumental version of Abba's greatest hits drifted down.

'Make it stop,' Mulder begged miserably. Skinner knew how he felt. The Tom Jones medley had been bad enough, Hooked on Classics had been worse, but this... 'Please sir,' Mulder pleaded, 'Give me my gun back so I can shoot myself.'

'Mulder, this is the only place in the building where we're free from the influence of the lyrics,' Skinner said reasonably. 'No music can survive being piped into a elevator. It's a law of nature.'

'Sir, I'm suffering here. Did you have to shoot out the control panel while we were between floors?'

'It was the only way, Mulder. Even these slash writers have to obey some of the rules. There's no way they can write us a repair team for at least half an hour. We have to use this time to work out a more permanent solution.'

'It's no good, sir. You know there's no escape. The slash writers get everywhere. Nobody's safe.'

Skinner sighed. 'You could be right. Just look at Krycek. If you want screwed up, just look at what they've done with punch me/kiss me angstboy Alex...'

'Actually, sir, I think he's meant to be like that. That's not the slash writers. It's canon.'

'Christ. Are you sure?'

'Chris Carter reads way too much of this stuff,' Mulder said moodily.

'It certainly seems that way. So do you have any suggestions, Agent Mulder?'

'Nothing stops the slash writers. It's a lost cause. I should know by now.'

'Maybe we could reason with them,' Skinner mused.

'These are the women who made me have sex with Elvis and Bigfoot, sir.'

'I see your point, Agent Mulder.'

'Actually the Bigfoot thing was pretty hot...'

'That's more information than I need right now, Mulder. What about Scully? How is she affected by this? Will she be able to help us?'

Mulder blinked. 'You know, you may have a point there sir. She only gets written three ways in slash - supportive and concerned, the cold voice of reason or the pre-menstrual bitch queen. Whichever way, she really kicks ass.'

'Then we need to find her. We're going to need her help. She may be the only one of us who can think straight.'

'Sir, I've been thinking. If we want to work out what's going on we're going to have to follow the rules and treat this as if it were an X-file. Regular FBI procedure isn't going to work with these people.'

'How do you normally solve your cases, Agent Mulder?'

'I make some way-out suggestion, Scully shoots it down, then something weird and inexplicable happens to prove her wrong. Then either I make some other way-out suggestion and call Scully up at three am to tell her about it or Scully does some research, finds out the fact that's going to solve the case and calls me on my mobile. Then one of us ends up getting captured, kidnapped, trapped, drugged or otherwise immobilised and it's up to the other one to do all the legwork, find out what's really happening and come to the rescue at the last moment. There's usually a comic aside about what a loser I am and a bit where Scully worries about never getting any dates any more.'

'I see.' Skinner said. He rubbed his forehead wearily. 'And that usually works, does it?'

'Pretty well, if you don't mind the all proof vanishing at the end.'

'And where do I fit into all this?'

'You sit behind your desk, argue about signing my 302's, get tension headaches and have pressure put on you by shadowy figures from the Department of Defense to cover up whatever it is we're investigating in the first place.'

Skinner nodded. 'I can do that.'

'But first we need to get from the elevator to the basement office without tearing each other's clothes off.'

'All we've got to do is wait, Mulder.' Skinner leaned back against the wall as his face took on a predatory air. 'It's just going to be a matter of time...'

***

The repair men were somewhat puzzled that their two rescuees refused to budge from the elevator, even when the control panel had been repaired.

'Thanks,' Skinner said. 'We'll just stay in here and ride up and down a few more times.'

'This is such a great elevator,' Mulder agreed insincerely, as the synthesized sounds of Elton John filled the air around him.

They watched tensely as the puzzled lift repair men departed.

'So what do we do now, sir?' Mulder asked.

'Lift scenes in movies, Agent Mulder. What do they always have in them?'

'There's usually a woman in a power suit,'

'Yes, Agent Mulder. And...'

'A fat sweaty guy with a personal hygiene problem. A middle aged woman with a dog who always has hysterics when the lift breaks down, a guy carrying a plant...'

'And...?' He watched as enlightenment spread slowly over Mulder's face...

***

'Ok kid,' Mulder snarled, waggling his gun. 'Hand it over. The pizza too.'

'Don't have a cow, man,' the pizza delivery boy said sullenly, as he removed his walkman. The woman in the power suit gave them both an evil glance as she stalked out of the lift. Skinner glared at the fat man with the personal hygiene problem.

'This isn't my floor...' the man began.

'Out,' Skinner said, in a voice that brooked no argument. 'All of you.'

'I didn't think animals were allowed in the FBI building.' Mulder remarked as he flipped the walkman open. The woman with the dog flounced out, clearly deeply offended. The guy with the plant pushed past him, muttering darkly to himself.

'If one more of those little dogs tries to bite me, I'm going to use my gun,' Skinner said grimly.

'You were right though, sir. Pizza delivery guys with walkmans. Every lift scene has one. If we're listening to something unslashable we may just make it out of here without doing something that's going to get us onto the front page of the National Enquirer.'

'What tape did that one have, Mulder?'

Mulder inspected the contents of the walkman.

'Roy Orbison. Sir, we can't listen to that. We wouldn't get two feet out of the door before we started to rip each other's clothes off.'

'What is it with kids these days?' Skinner lamented. 'The soundtrack from 'Beaches', Alanis Morisette, Boyzone, that bloody song from Titanic... Doesn't anyone listen to proper bands like 'Nine Inch Nails' anymore? Whatever happened to the good old days when there weren't any tunes and you couldn't understand a word anyone was singing?'

'I think the slash writers are on to us, sir,' Mulder said. There was a pause. 'The pizza's good, though. Way better than the last three.'

'Mulder, we've been in this lift for two hours. It's only a matter of time before the slash writers figure it out and put some guy with a beatbox playing the Carpenter's greatest hits in here with us. By that time security gets here you'll either have shot yourself or they'll need a fire hose to separate us.'

'It's all right, sir. I think I have an idea.'

***

Scully looked up as the two of them entered the basement office, linked by the two sets of headphones joined to a single walkman.

'"Back once again with the Renegade Master!"' Mulder chanted happily and inaccurately. '"Something something something something Power to the People!"

Skinner gave him a withering look.

'What happened?' Scully asked.

'It's a long story, Agent Scully.' Skinner said. He pulled his headphones off and switched off the walkman, ignoring Mulder's squeak of protest. 'We were trapped in the lift until Mulder hit on the idea of ordering our own pizza and offering the delivery boy an extra five if he was listening to gangsta rap, house or hip hop when he arrived. Mulder thinks we'll be OK in here because of your calming influence.'

'The lyrics again?' Scully said wearily. 'Mulder, I warned you about that 'Sickly Sounds of the Seventies' CD.'

'It doesn't matter now, Agent Scully,' Skinner said. 'We need to get this case underway. We need to discover what exactly is going on.'

'We'd better get started then. Right, what's first? I know... Mulder, does this video belong to you?' she asked, picking the offending tape up from the desk and waving it at them.

'Donkey Frolics? Never seen it before in my life,' Mulder said hastily as he removed his headphones. 'It's probably... um... evidence. Yeah. It must be evidence for something.'

'And I wonder why *I* never get to go on dates any more.' Scully said as she turned to put the tape back in the drawer. 'Right, now that's over with, what have you got so far?'

'I told him about the Slash writers and the way they use lyrics to control our minds, Scully,' Mulder said.

'But I don't see how it can be the lyrics, Mulder,' Scully said patiently. 'There are a lot of slash stories that don't have any lyrics in them at all. There must be some other explanation.'

'Agent Scully, whatever the explanation is, we need to find it fast,' Skinner said grimly. 'I'm weeks behind on my paperwork already, the guy in the apartment next door to mine says if he wakes up one more time to find a Russian agent handcuffed to the balcony, he's going to report me to the building manager. And I'm on first name terms with the staff at all the Denny's restaurants in the entire DC area.'

'I see the problem.' Scully mused. 'Why don't do what you usually do when things grind to a halt, Mulder? Try one of your highly-placed, top secret government sources?'

'Can't do any harm,' Skinner agreed. 'Give it a try, Mulder.'

'This may not be a good idea, sir,' Mulder said cautiously.

'Just do it, Mulder. That's an order. And put it on the speakerphone.'

Mulder sighed as he picked up the phone and dialled the number.

'Hi,' a voice chirped. 'This is Mulder's high-ranking government source. There's nobody here right now, but if you'd like to hold, you'll be put through to our automated message service. If you have a touchtone phone, please press 'star' now.'

Mulder rolled his eyes. 'Sorry about this, sir,' he muttered as he pressed the button.

'Thank you, and welcome to our automated message service,' the voice continued. 'For information about breaking into a secret US Government research facility, please press one. For information about breaking into another government's secret research facility, press two. If you want to break into the Pentagon, please press three. If you want to break into a Department of Defence installation, press four. If you're a member of the Consortium and you want incriminating photographs or videotape footage of Mulder doing any of the above, press five. If you've discovered evidence of extra-terrestrial life, press six and wait by the telephone. For information about the monster of the week, please press seven. For information about defeating the evil conspiracy of slash writers who have been controlling your lives like cruel, insane puppet masters, please press eight. If you think psychotic 800 year-old Templars have stolen a lethal virus...'

Mulder pressed eight.

'I don't know where they get half of this stuff from,' he muttered unconvincingly, as he surruptitiously flicked the speaker button off.

Skinner glared at him coldly. 'We'll talk about it later, Agent Mulder.' He waited impatiently as Mulder listened to whatever was on the other end of the phone then leaned forward in sudden concern as Mulder paled.

'Oh God. Oh my God,' Mulder whispered.

'What is it, Mulder?' Skinner demanded. 'What's wrong? What did they say?'

'They put me on hold. The tape was Bryan Adams. Oh God, Walt, I need you to know - everything I do, I do it for you!'

'They're playing with us,' Skinner muttered darkly, as Scully pistol-whipped her errant partner into submission. 'So what do we do now, Agent Scully?'

'Well, it seems as though Mulder was right,' Scully admitted. 'The lyrics must be a big part of this after all.'

'But what happens next, Agent Scully?'

Scully looked up at him coolly. 'Well when the government source fails, which is pretty much all the time, we usually go to see one of Agent Mulder's unreliable and slightly unbalanced so-called experts.'

'You've never forgiven me for the time that guy told you you were the reincarnation of Herbert Hoover, Scully,' Mulder said, rubbing his bruised head gingerly.

'Mulder, Herbert Hoover was still alive when I was born.'

'Well nobody ever said these things couldn't be restrospective. Anyway, I don't know what you're complaining about. You got Herbert Hoover, I got Ed Wood.'

'That was the most compelling evidence for reincarnation I've yet heard, Mulder.'

'Is this part of the process too?' Skinner asked, looking at his watch.

'What?' Mulder said distractedly. 'Oh, yeah. I have to bicker with Scully like this otherwise it doesn't work, plus the critics start saying that the X-files is losing its sense of humour.'

'I'll take your word for it that this is necessary. So do you have an expert we can go and see, Mulder?'

'As a matter of fact, I do...'

***

The bureau car drew up outside the imposing gates. A suspiciously new-looking sign read:

"Welcome to St Ethan's. Caring for victims of slash since 1977."

'You know, this place looks kind of familiar,' Mulder said with a puzzled frown.

'I'm sorry, Agent Mulder?'

'I SAID, THIS PLACE LOOKS FAMILIAR.' Mulder shouted. 'YOU'VE STILL GOT YOUR EARPLUGS IN, SIR!'

Skinner removed the offending articles. 'This was a good idea of Scully's,' he said.

'I think we're probably out of danger while we're in the hospital, sir. Did you really think there was a chance of the car radio mysteriously coming on by itself and playing something like 'Broken Wings' by Mr Mister?'

'If the slash writers are as powerful as everyone thinks why take the risk, Agent Mulder? Can you imagine the carnage if that happened?'

'Very well, unfortunately,' Mulder agreed with a shiver.

'So who's the expert we've come to see, Agent Mulder?' Skinner asked as he got out of the car.

'Her name's Doctor Domina,' Mulder said. 'She's an expert in the psycho-sexual conditions brought about by unwilling participation in slash fan-fiction. If anyone can give us a handle on what's really going on, it's going to be her.'

'Doctor Domina?' Skinner said in disbelief. 'Are you sure you didn't just pick up her number from a phone kiosk in Times Square?'

'Well yeah, but she said that was just a sideline. Apparently she's working her way though med school. Anyway, we've already done the bit about what a loser I am. You've got to keep track of these things, sir.'

'My apologies, Agent Mulder. So what did this woman tell you that makes you think she may have the solution to our problems?'

'Well, she did say she thought I was wasted in this whole FBI thing. She suggested a new career as an exotic dancer. I said it wasn't really my kind of thing, but I gave her Krycek's number.'

'Maybe you should speak to the career development officer first if you're looking for a new line of work, Agent Mulder,' Skinner said dryly.

'My yearly evaluation was last week, sir. Apparently in five years' time she thinks I'll either be a professor of forensic psychology, a transvestite, a practicing vampire or living on the streets and rooting for food in dumpsters. I'd go for the dumpster thing, but she kind of glossed over the healthcare and benefits package.'

'Are there many career opportunities from practicing vampires these days, Agent Mulder?'

'The whole 'icon of a decadent and decaying society' thing is a growth area, sir. I think you can get a grant for it if you live in California.'

They walked in through the imposing double doors into the reception area. The receptionist smiled at them helpfully.

'You're looking for Dr Domina? You'll find her in the Hurt/Comfort wing. You go past the Benton Fraser shot in the line of duty ward, turn left at the Blair Sandburg post traumatic stress disorder therapy clinic, keep going past the Ray Doyle ICU, turn right at the Fox Mulder Quarantine facility and keep going until you get to the Nick Knight memorial blood bank. Then it's straight ahead and through the double doors.'

'The Fox Mulder Quarantine facility?' Skinner asked wearily, as they began their journey into the depths of the hospital.

'I'm pretty sure I've been here before,' Mulder said. 'I think you've come here to visit me a few times too. It's all coming back to me. Lube and condom dispensers in the halls, unlimited visiting hours for bosses and work partners, the stern but sympathetic nurses who turn a blind eye to handholding and mysterious blips on the heart rate monitors...'

'Now that you mention it, it does seem familiar,' Skinner admitted.

They made their way through the labyrinthine corridors until they finally arrived at the small office the receptionist had directed them to. The woman in the long, white lab coat who faced them looked quite unremarkable, except for one thing.

'Mulder, she's wearing motorcycle boots,' Skinner muttered. 'Is that usual for a medical doctor?'

'This isn't exactly an ordinary hospital, sir,' Mulder murmured. 'Just give her a chance.'

'So, gentlemen, what can I do for you?' the Doctor asked.

'We need your help,' Skinner said grimly.

'We need to know if there's any way to stop the slash writers from controlling our lives,' Mulder added.

'That may be more than even the FBI can accomplish,' the Doctor said gravely. 'I take it that the two of you are the victims in question? It may help to know that you're not the only ones affected. We've been treating this condition with a number of other couples. We've begun a programme of therapy to try to combat the symptoms. Come into the lecture room and let me show you some of the session tapes.'

She directed the two agents into the room next door, where a TV and video had already been set up.

'This is a mild case,' she told them, as she put a video into the machine. 'We call it 'plot what plot?' syndrome.'

***

The static cleared to show a slight figure with long, curly hair, apparently dressed only in a lab coat. He was sitting opposite Dr Domina, who consulted a clipboard frequently.

'This is session #28 - Sandburg, Blair,' the Doctor said towards the camera. She turned back to her patient. 'So, what seems to be the problem today, Mr Sandburg?'

'Well, it's my hot, starving tunnel, doc,' Sandburg said, with the air of someone trying to be helpful.

'Your hot, starving tunnel. I see.' The doctor made a note on her clipboard. 'And when did you first notice this problem?'

'Ummm, I think it was right after a Brenda Antrim.'

'Did this Antrim woman force you to do things you didn't want?'

'Oh no, man. Brenda's stuff is way cool. The sex is so hot. It's just that... well, she's kind of prolific. And like, I'm only one man, man. And it's not just her, you know?'

'What other symptoms have you noticed, Mr Sandburg?'

'Well, I've got some problems with my welcome invader. And my pebbled nubs are kind of sore too.'

'Your...'

'My welcome invader. You know. My straining, purple-headed shaft?'

'Mr Sandburg, I think the first step in our corrective therapy is going to be for you to use the correct terms for these body parts.'

Blair's face creased in confusion. 'How about... my rigid, glistening love-meat?'

The doctor sighed. 'And your pebbled nubs.'

'Yeah. Jim tells me they're cinnamon coloured, but I don't see it myself...'

***

In the office, the Doctor switched the tape off with a sigh. 'And here we have a much more advanced case,' she said gravely. 'We call this syndrome is 'High Angst-iety'

***

'Session #18, Ellison, Jim,' the Doctor said, as before. She turned to the tall, handsome man sitting opposite her. 'All right, Mr Ellison. Why don't you go over the events of the night in question in your own words?'

Ellison buried his face in his hands. 'It was all so sudden...' he began, in a choked voice.

'Just take all the time you need, Mr Ellison.'

'Well, I was sitting in the loft, just minding my own business, when suddenly this song starts up on the radio.'

'What was the song, Mr Ellison?' the Doctor asked gently.

'I think it was 'You are the wind beneath my wings,' sung by Bette Midler.

The Doctor nodded gravely. 'One of the bad ones. What happened then?'

'Well suddenly, wham! The guy I live with, he's all over me! I mean, tongue down my throat, the works. The kid isn't even gay! Dates women all over the place!'

'So what happened then?'

'That's really weird too. All of a sudden I'm Mr Caveman. I slap the kid around and then I practically throw him out of the loft. Then I decide to put all this leather gear on and go to this gay bar. I have *no* idea why. It's not like I ever went to a gay bar before. I don't even know where all the leather came from.'

'Where did you find it?'

'There was this big box with 'Stuff From When I Worked in Vice' painted on it...'

'And what happened then?'

'Well I walk in and there he is, dancing on the bar, the only thing he's wearing is a sequined g-string. So I yell his name and he sees me and runs for it. I start chasing him through the streets.'

'Which is when he got hit by the car driven by the psychotic drug-dealing serial killer guy who used to date his mom?'

'Yeah. That's when I realised that he was my precious little guppy who I loved more than life itself, more than the moon and stars and that all I wanted to do was cover him with burning kisses...'

'Oookay. So you rescued him and got him to hospital?'

'No, actually, the psychotic serial killer guy dragged him off into the woods and spent two weeks working him over with a baseball bat.'

'So then you rescued him and got him to hospital?

'No, actually, that's when he escaped and ran away to South America for five years to live wild in the jungle because he couldn't bear to be anywhere near me.'

'And what were you doing while that was happening?'

'Oh, the usual. Drinking, taking drugs, trashing the loft, losing my job, being committed. Some days I didn't even bother to iron my socks. Simon, that's my ex-boss, used to come round and beat me up from time to time.'

'And how did that make you feel, Jim?'

'Well, at least he stayed in touch. But anyway, that's when I tried to kill myself and accidentally shot the mayor. So I went on the run and started to work the streets for a living which is how I found out about Blair becoming a vicious but tormented mercenary working for hire in Bolivia. That's when I got in touch with his mom and a few old special forces buddies of mine, and we mounted a raid on his jungle hideout and kidnapped him back. Which is when his leg got cut off by accident. Personally I thought the leg thing was kind of gratuitous, but there you go.' He shrugged.

'And that's when you brought him here?'

'Well no. That was later, when I found him in bed with Simon, tied them both up, put them in the back seat of my car and drove it off a cliff.'

'And now, of course, you appreciate the consequences of your actions.'

'Oh yeah. I mean, the increase in my insurance premiums alone...'

'I meant for Blair,' the Doctor said patiently.

'Oh, um that. Yeah,' Ellison sniffled. 'Apart from the leg they discovered he had brain damage, kidney failure, broken ribs, ingrown toenails, Dutch Elm disease and measles. Poor kid. Why did he have to go through so much suffering?'

The doctor patted him gently on the knee. 'But it's not you, Jim. It's the slash writers. They did it to him. I'm sure his injuries were very painful, but you mustn't blame yourself too much.'

'Nah, not that! That happens every week anyway. It was the 800K of therapy they made him have afterwards...'

***

The doctor switched the tape off with a sigh. 'We're fighting a losing battle with those two.' Every time we think we've made a step forward, Blair gets kidnapped by yet another psychotic serial killer who used to date his mom and we're back to square one.'

'So it's just the music, Doc?' Mulder asked. 'Is that how they work?'

'It's one of the ways they amuse themselves, Agent Mulder, nothing more than that. Basically, there's absolutely nothing you can do. They can write anything they want. As characters, you're completely helpless. My advice would be to relax and enjoy the sex.'

'That's all you can suggest?' Skinner said incredulously.

'Well, I think I have some literature in my office that you might find helpful. It's a leaflet called 'Learning to love your life as a helpless sex object.' Wait in here for a minute and I'll try to find a copy for each of you.'

'Mulder, I think you'd better make that call to Scully now,' Skinner said, when the doctor had left the room..

'But it's not 3am yet!' Mulder protested. 'She'll be mad at me.'

'Mulder, just do it. Go outside and make the call. I'll stay in here and keep Doctor Domina busy if she comes back. I think there's something strange going on here.'

Mulder shook his head as he left the room to make the call. He dialled the number.

'Scully, it's me, Mulder.'

'Mulder, do you have any idea what time it is?' Scully asked in irritation.

'About two o'clock in the afternoon, isn't it?' Mulder said.

'You're not supposed to be ringing me for another thirteen hours, Mulder.'

'Yeah, I know, Scully. Skinner made me do it.'

'Don't make a habit of it, Mulder,' Scully warned him. 'Now what have you got to tell me?'

'We haven't come up with anything here. The Doc says there's nothing we can do.'

'Don't trust her, Mulder. I did some research into the budget at that "hospital".'

'What do you mean, Scully?'

'Mulder, last year their bill for medical supplies amounted to $55.27, but they bought $500,000 worth of condoms and lube alone.'

'What are you saying, Scully?'

'I'm saying that that's not a hospital, Mulder! You're in the Dungeons of Fanfic (Slash Division)! You're got to get out while you've still got a chance!'

'You mean... we've walked into a trap! Scully, I have to tell Skinner! I'll speak to you later!'

'Mulder wait!' Scully cried, as Mulder cut her off in time-honoured fashion. The agent slipped back into the waiting room.

'Well?' Skinner asked. 'Did you speak to Scully?'

'Sir, we have to leave before it's too late,' Mulder whispered. 'Dr Domina isn't a doctor! Scully found out that this isn't a hospital at all. We're in the Dungeons of Fanfic!'

'Yes! These are the Dungeons of Fanfic!' the Doctor exclaimed, as she burst back into the room. She tore her white coat off to reveal a black leather catsuit. 'And I am the duty Dungeonmistress! You can call me the DM for short.' She pulled a curtain aside with a flourish. 'And before you even think of trying to escape, I want to show you this. It's a Sony Stereo CD Radio Cassette recorder. It's got 20 watts total output, megabase, synchronised dubbing, surround sound stereo and a twenty track programmable CD player and it's loaded up with 'I will always love you' by Whitney Houston programmed to start as soon as I press this button. Now, you're probably asking yourselves how long it's gonna take for this track to cue. To tell you the truth, I don't know myself. Maybe it's gonna be two seconds, maybe it's gonna be four. Maybe you'll make it to the door or maybe you won't. So you'd better ask yourselves - do you feel lucky? Well, do you?'

'Can we make it, sir?' Mulder asked Skinner from the corner of his mouth.

'With anything other than the Whitney Houston, I'd give it a try, Mulder.' Skinner muttered back. 'But that stuff is lethal. A couple of bars and it'll all be over. We'd better play along for now.'

He turned back to the DM.

'All right. We'll do as you say, for now at least.'

'What makes you think you have a choice?' the DM sneered. 'You're in the nerve centre of our operation. You have absolutely no chance of escaping.'

'Well since we're stuck here, there are a few things I'd like to clear up,' Skinner said grimly.

'Oh yes? And what would those be?' the DM snapped.

'Well for a start, the whole having sex in public thing,' Skinner said. 'Where did that come from? Is there one single thing in canon that says I like having sex in public places?'

'And there's nothing wrong with my driving,' Mulder said defensively. 'You people are always saying that I'm a lousy driver.'

'And I'd like to add that my underwear is not boring,' Skinner said.

'And I do not own any Star Wars boxer shorts,' Mulder added.

Skinner folded his arms. 'And I'm not into BDSM. Ok, maybe I do rough up the Ratboy from time to time but that's for legitimate plot purposes. It's not as if I get anything out of it. Anything much out of it,' he added hastily as the dungeonmistress snorted.

'Yeah, and what is that whole masochism thing you people have going for me?' Mulder protested. 'I get enough pain and anguish from my job. I'm not going to take it up as a hobby so I can have pain and anguish in my spare time as well.'

'And I don't understand this obsession you people have with kevlar,' Skinner said belligerantly. 'And Mulder's glasses. And those little red speedos.' He caught the DM's raised eyebrow. 'Ok, the little red speedos I grant you, but there's still the other stuff.'

'And I do not burst into tears at every available opportunity,' Mulder added. He reddened a little as he realised that both Skinner and the DM were looking at him incredulously. 'Ok, so I do it a *bit*. But not all the time. And my family isn't dysfunctional. Isn't very dysfunctional. Well it isn't *that* dysfunctional, anyway!'

'All right, enough already,' the DM said wearily. 'So maybe sometimes we exaggerate some of your character traits a little. But so what?'

'So what! These are our lives you're playing with!' Mulder said. His lower lip began to quiver again.

'We won't let you do this to us any more,' Skinner growled. 'You may have the upper hand now, but we're going to stop this by any means possible.'

'Listen, buddy,' the DM snarled flatly. 'There's a famous saying I'm going to make you aware of. Do not meddle in the affairs of slash writers, as being written in as the main attraction in the Friday night floor show at a bondage bar in Amsterdam often offends.'

Skinner snorted. 'Yeah, like that hasn't been done about a thousand times already. There's nothing you can do to either us you haven't already done before!'

'Umm, Walter...' Mulder began.

'Do your worst!' Skinner snarled. 'We can take it!'

'Sir, this may not be a good idea...' Mulder said cautiously.

Skinner ignored him. 'My God, after the horrors I faced in Vietnam, after all my experiences in the violent crimes section dealing with the vilest and most depraved criminals in America, after years of activity analysis steering groups and best practice seminars, there's nothing this bunch of real estate dealers, students, librarians and researchers can think of that could make me turn a hair.'

'Sir, I *really* think this is a *bad idea*...'

'Shut up, Mulder.'

'Sir, I want you to take a deep breath and turn around, veeery slowly...'

There was a moment's silence as Skinner saw the four figures standing behind them. The first of the four, a portly figure decked out in a basque and suspenders, stepped forward.

'Hi, I'm Schenke from Forever Knight. This is Wesley Crusher from Star Trek and these guys are little Kenny from Highlander and Mister Ed. I just want to say that we're all really looking forward to working with you.'

'Then again,' Skinner said, without missing a beat, 'I'm a reasonable man, and I'm sure that we can negotiate a compromise that would be acceptable to both sides.

'Yeah right,' the DM said. 'Like you have anything to bargain with.'

Skinner narrowed his eyes. 'Chris Carter listens to us. We can use our influence to get him to make stuff canon that's going to blow your act out of the water.'

The DM inspected her nails. 'Ooh, we're scared. Ever heard of an alternative universe, buddy?'

'Ah, but it isn't quite the same, is it. Mulder, show them your finger.'

'You want me to give these women the finger?' Mulder hissed in alarm. 'Sir, have you gone out of your mind?'

'Trust me, Mulder. Just show them your left hand.'

He watched with satisfaction as the DM did a double take. 'Is that... a wedding ring?'

'Where did that come from, sir?' Mulder hissed.

'Never mind now, Mulder. You want to hear about the wife and kids, lady? That's just the start.'

'Huh,' the DM said, recovering somewhat. 'There's no reason why Mulder couldn't have got married and then divorced when he discovered his need to be dominated by bald but sexy older men.'

'But that's only the beginning,' Skinner said intensely. 'It could start out small. A throwaway remark from Mulder about how bald guys don't really appeal to him that much and how he's allergic to the smell of leather. How being handcuffed is a huge turn-off for him. How he's too paranoid to even consider sex in public places. Pictures of the drop-dead gorgeous highschool girlfriend start turning up. It's revealed that Mulder used to be a quarterback on the school football team. Then maybe some sexy and paranoid young female MUFON abductee with a penchant for bad horror movies could come out of the woodwork. They could go out on UFO watches together, exchange meaningful glances over the geiger counters and fuzzy photographs of weather balloons...'

'You don't scare us, Skinner,' the DM said contemptuously. 'How long do you think it would take for Chris Carter to kill her off?'.

'Oh, a couple of episodes.' Skinner said with a shrug, ignoring the black look that Mulder gave him. 'But that would set things up nicely for the next part of the plan. A griefstricken Mulder turns to the one person he's always been able to rely on. His true and trusted friend, his longtime companion...'

The DM paled. 'No! Don't say it! Not the 'S' word!'

'Yes, Scully!' Skinner said triumphantly. 'Chris Carter has been playing along with you people for too long. Maybe it's time for the 'shippers to get a piece of the action. You already know he won't kill Scully off. There's going to be no getting rid of her once they get together. You *know* he'd do it.'

'Sex with Scully,' Mulder mused. 'You know, that does have a certain ring to it. Hey, maybe I should start reading up on some of this 'shipper stuff.'

'That's enough!' the DM cried. 'You're going to pay for those words! Nobody speaks of the 'shippers here and lives! Minions, restrain them and put them in the cells! You'll be under our complete control! You'll never have a chance to contact Scully and put your plan into action! Now someone get out that story Wombat started and abandoned as too terrible to ever see the light of day! You two are going to regret you were ever born. Even Schenke in suspenders and Mr Ed aren't a bad enough punishment for this! Oh yes, Gentlemen - It's time for the BADFIC!'

'Wait a minute,' Skinner said, as he was roughly grabbed and handcuffed. 'Wombat? Wombat's behind all this? Christ, we'll never get out of here. She's so slow she makes Ethan Nelson look like Sonic the Hedgehog.'

'Yeah, and she got the date I went to Oxford wrong!' Mulder added petulantly. 'I did not go in 1979, I went in 1982. That's what it said in 'Kill Switch.'

'And talk about your convoluted plots,' Skinner complained. 'Even she's got no idea how she's going to finish Rapture yet.'

'Shut up! Shut up!' the DM screamed. 'Take them away! Make them suffer!'

***

The Wombat House

by W****t

Mulder was jogging in the zoo early one morning. He jogged a lot so that it would stop him thinking about sex, only most of the time when he was jogging he thought about sex anyway, so it didn't work, but at least it meant he did not get fat because of all the bad food he ate. Mulder was an agent with the FBI whose first name was Fox, although he did not let anyone call him that, not even his mother, because he hated being called Fox even though it was his name. Scully, who was Mulder's red haired partner, cared about him a lot even though sometimes he had bad hair and sometimes he did stupid things like breaking into the Pentagon and getting a hole drilled in his head for some unknown reason. Scully knew it was because Mulder really wanted to find his sister who had been abducted by aliens, even though she probably wasn't on the earth any more because she had probably been taken to another planet. Mulder cared about Scully a lot, but he did not want to sleep with her because he was gay. Instead he wanted to sleep with AD Skinner who was his boss, but he knew that would not be a good idea because AD Skinner was straight and anyway even if they did sleep together the consortium would find out and make them both lose their jobs and Mulder would not be able to investigate aliens and find his sister and Skinner would not have been able to whatever it was ADs did which would have been a bad thing. So instead of thinking about sleeping with AD Skinner which he couldn't do, Mulder went jogging a lot, which was why he was jogging in the zoo that morning.

AD Skinner was also in the zoo that morning. When he saw Mulder there as well he couldn't believe his eyes. Sometimes Skinner got very angry with Mulder because of the things he did like breaking into the Pentagon and getting holes drilled into his head, although he did not mind about the bad hair too much because the other things were quite a lot worse. Quite often he got angry with Mulder and wanted to grab him and shake him, although he never did because he knew it would be a bad idea because unknown to Mulder, AD Skinner was also gay and he thought that if he grabbed Mulder and shook him it would probably lead to having sex and both of them would lose their jobs.

When Mulder saw Skinner, his eyes literally popped out of his head! 'It is AD Skinner, who I want to sleep with!' he thought to himself. 'But what is he doing here in the zoo when it is so early the morning?'

***

'Noooo!' Mulder screamed. 'Please! Make it stop!'

'But we haven't got to the best bit yet,' the DM said nastily. She had recovered her composure and was watching sadistically as the two men twisted helplessly in their bonds. 'Skinner is about to reveal that somewhere in the zoo there is a nuclear bomb which is going to blow up Washington DC. Wombat herself makes an appearance in her incarnation as a small furry marsupial and discovers the bomb for them. Then you both have sex in the wombat house to celebrate.'

'My God,' Skinner said pitifully. 'A Mary-Sue as well. Haven't we suffered enough?'

'Your suffering will be legendary,' the DM said smugly. She looked puzzled for a moment. 'Or is that one of Maygra's lines?'

At that moment red-haired figure burst through the door. 'Get away from them, you bitch!' she cried, in a manner reminiscent of Ripley in 'Aliens'.

'Scully?' Mulder and Skinner said together.

'That's right, Scully!' Scully cried, brandishing her gun. 'I've come to rescue you, *again*. Their hold on me is far weaker than their hold on you. They can't control me. Oh they've tried, but when you've only got Clarice Starling, Kim and Marita to work with there's only so much you can do. Now let them go!'

The DM looked at the brandished gun with contempt.

'You must be joking, honey. We're the authors - that's just a prop to us! Your weapon is useless!'

'Guns won't work here,' Skinner said grimly. 'We've got to fight them another way! Scully! Is that strawberry scented conditioner you're wearing in your hair?'

Scully lowered her gun, looking faintly surprised. She raised her hand to her hair with a pleased expression. 'Why yes, Walter. I didn't think you'd ever noticed.'

Mulder swallowed as Skinner shot him a meaningful look. 'You know, Scully, I've always respected you very deeply despite your scepticism and your many somewhat irritating mannerisms,' he began. Skinner aimed a kick at his ankle, as far as he was able to from his manacles.

'Scully, I've always loved the way you dress,' Mulder continued. 'And your intelligent conversation. Actually, I was kind of wondering if you'd like to come to a movie with me on Saturday? And maybe dinner afterwards?'

There was a low distant rumbling. A crack appeared in the plasterwork above the DM's head, and a fine shower of dust fell from the ceiling.

'Keep going, Mulder,' Skinner exclaimed. 'It's starting to work!'

'You see, Scully... Dana, what I'm trying to say is, I luh... I luh...'

'No!' the DM screamed. ' If you say those words we'll all be killed! The fabric of this entire universe will collapse!'

'That's enough, Mulder,' Skinner said hurriedly. 'I think we've made our point. Now let us go. I want all three of us to leave this place unmolested.'

'Just... go,' the DM said defeatedly. 'Let them free, minions. I want them out of here! Just don't say the L word, that's all I'm asking.'

Released at last, the three of them sped along the still-shaking corridors of the Dungeons of Fanfic (Slash Division). The low rumble that shook the building had begun to subside by the time they reached the car park. All three paused for breath. There were no signs of pursuit.

'We've done it,' Skinner said triumphantly. 'No more incessent sex, no more gratuitous bondage scenes, free time again in the evenings and weekends...'

'So Mulder, about this movie on Saturday...' Scully began, a hopeful expression on her face.

'Don't worry, Scully. I won't hold you to it,' Mulder said absently. 'I think I'll spend the evening cataloguing my video collection.'

Skinner patted her on the shoulder. 'You know, the thing I've always liked about you is your sense of humour, Scully.'

Scully sighed. Another opportunity gone. Her male companions spent their time boffing like bunnies, but she never got to have any sex. Why hadn't she picked that leaflet in the waiting room up - the one that said 'ask me about threesomes'...?

***One week later***

Skinner leaned back in his chair and looked over his cleared desk with some satisfaction.

'That's it, Mulder,' he said contentedly. 'It's all over. The threat of my saying the 'L' word to Scully was too much for them. They're keeping their promise and leaving us alone.'

'Yeah. I guess so, Sir,' Mulder said, without much enthusiasm.

Skinner looked at him with some concern. 'You seem depressed, Agent Mulder.'

'I was just kind of curious about why you think having sex with me is such a terrible thing. In a purely theoretical kind of way, of course...'

***Two minutes later***

'I knew this was a mistake.'

'You're going to have to help me here, sir. Undo these handcuffs or something. It's going to take too long to get your fruit-of-the-looms off with just my teeth.'

'Remind me never to trust the slash writers again, Mulder.'

'Walter, just shut up and pass the lube...'