Man of Mystery, The

by Josan

Title: Man of Mystery, The
Author: Josan
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Date Archived: 04/19/02
Category: Unclassified  
Pairing: Skinner/Krycek      
Rating: PG
Permission to Archive:
Series or Sequel/Prequel:
Notes: Date: Originally posted to X-Files Lyric Wheel January, 2002. Lyrics provided by the deliciously evil Skinner Box.
Beta: As in keeping with the rules of a Lyric Wheel, not betaed.
POV: Existence? What's that, Existence?
BTW: the theme of the wheel was to be lighthearted.
Disclaimer: They originally belonged to CC, 1013, Fox, but now they belong to all times.
See notes and lyrics at the end.
Summary: A command performance

Walter Skinner came down the stairs and went to check his tie once more in the small mirror that hung in the entry, certain that he hadn't tied it properly and that it wasn't hanging right. He squinted a bit, trying to see with these new contact lenses -which he was also certain he didn't like.

His attention strayed at the slow wolf whistle.

"Knock it off, Alex."

He glared over to the man who was lounging on the couch, remote in hand. Whose only reaction to the patented AD glare was to grin that wolf grin of his.

"Come, on, Walt. You were born to wear black tie. Especially that outfit. Your tailor must have gotten hard just measuring you for it."

Walter scoffed, went back to fiddling with the straightness of the tie.

Alex, still grinning, tossed the remote to one side and moved off the couch. "Let me see."

Walter sighed but turned to let Alex slightly change the angle of the tie, look him over and then brush something off his shoulder.

"There, all pretty."

Walter's eyebrow rose high and Alex knew he was pushing his luck. He stepped back and, with his hand, signaled that Walter was to turn around. For a moment there was a slight battle of wills, but finally Walter complied, waiting for some comment that never came.

"I hate these things," he muttered.

"Then why go?"

"Command performance. I tried to get out of it, but the Director was very insistent that I appear at this one. He wants to prove to the Administration that he has the full support of his people."

Alex didn't bother commenting. It was understood between the two of them that, at home, Walter's work stayed in the room he used as his office.

"I thought you'd said this thing is a masquerade ball?"

Walter groaned. "Yes. His wife's idea. It's supposed to show the invited guests that the FBI is not all stodgy Brook Brothers suits. The Director feels that the Public Relations angle to the costumes will give the Bureau some positive press coverage he thinks it has been lacking lately."

Alex only grunted at that. His opinion of the Director was well known to Walter. "So then, what the hell are you supposed to be?"

Walter pulled out a black silk scarf from a pocket and held it up to his face. "See," he intoned, straight-faced, "I am a Man of Mystery."

Alex raised an eyebrow. "Tell me that's not our blind for games that you've cut holes in."

Walter smiled. "No. I got it at a costume store. It's part of a Zorro outfit that someone else bought but didn't like the feel of this." He tied the mask around his head. "What do you think?"

Alex looked his lover up from feet to head, lower lip caught under his front teeth. "I think," he finally growled, "that you had better remember that the only thing that comes off at the dance is that mask."

Walter smiled as he slid the silk into his pocket. "What about the rest of the outfit?" He managed to keep his voice merely inquiring, trying hard to ignore the response of his cock to Alex's tone.

"The rest," Alex moved very close to Walter, dropping his arms onto Walter's shoulders, "I shall take off you myself," his voice dropped into the deeper husky tones that he knew heated up his lover's libido, "very slowly," he rubbed his hips against Walter's groin, "one item at a time." He leaned over so that he could lick the bottom lip of the man watching him with that intense look of his which did marvelous things to Alex's own libido. "If you'd like?"

Walter dropped his hands to Alex's ass and pulled him in even tighter. Each could feel the other's response. "Yes, I'd like. In fact," Walter did a little licking of his own just under the ear, a spot that had Alex purring, "that thought is what's going to get me through the evening."

Their kiss was gentle but no less intense for that. Walter pulled away. "At this rate, I'm never going to get out of here. And," his tone became reluctant, "unfortunately, I do have to go."

Alex nodded and stepped back. "Have fun. Just remember that I'll be here, waiting for you."


Walter stood in a fairly safe corner and watched the dancers. He had done all his duty dancing for the evening and was now sipping his glass of watered scotch, identifying who had come as what. So far he had counted seven pirates, three Indiana Jones, several Cleopatras and Zorros, a Henry VIII with one of his wives (which one he hadn't been able to figure out), a dozen Jedi warriors, both male and female.

Mulder had come as a ghost, in honour of his "Spooky" days. Scully was wearing a medieval outfit of some kind which seemed to be fairly popular with many of the women. Reyes was one of the fortune tellers. Doggett had arrived in a New Orleans City policeman's uniform, probably an authentic one as he had come to the FBI from that organization. Several others of their colleagues had used what they had in their closets rather than go out and rent something for the evening.

The Director was one of the pirates while his wife was one of the many Cleopatras. Walter hoped that neither of them had thought they would be unique in their choices. His own had not met with great approval. The Director had made some comment to his wife about lack of imagination well within Walter's hearing.

Strangely enough, Kersh and his wife had shown some originality in their choices: he was Frederick Douglass and his wife was Harriet Tubman.

There was one other unique costume that stood out. Someone had come as a bear.

And that bear was gathering some attention. Not that the costume was anything particularly attractive. It was obviously a rental that was not all that new. The fur was honey brown in colour and the head was as generic as one could produce of the ursine family.

The person in it was tall and carried the costume well. It didn't seem to get in his...her?...way.

And that was the mystery of it. The bear was indiscriminate in its partners. It had begun the evening by going up to the Director's wife and having a turn on the floor with her. Then it had moved on to Henry VIII, one of the Cleopatras before claiming the Director himself for a dance.

Whoever was in the costume was tall enough for a man or for a woman. They had several women agents who were easily six foot tall and who would have no trouble with that costume.

So, apart from the usual organizational gossip, the game of the evening was trying to guess who the bear really was. Made all the harder as the bear refused to say anything. It just occasionally growled.

Whoever it was was having a grand old time. It danced a fox trot with Reyes and then another with Mulder. It charlestoned with Scully and led a conga line with great enthusiasm. Even Doggett joined that one with a grin.

Walter wondered how much the bear was drinking until he realized, when the bear danced close to his corner, that it was impossible for the wearer to be drinking. The head was of a piece with the body of the costume. Whoever it was would have to pull off the top portion of the suit in order to be able to drink.

The evening was winding down when the orchestra played a waltz and the bear came up to him. It held out a paw and waited. Walter shook his head. He had no intention of being part of this story when it made the rounds Monday morning.

The bear made a sort of growlly sound as though it were questioning him.

"No, sorry. I don't dance with bears," said Walter, taking a step to the bear's side. The bear moved, blocking him. It held out both paws. They were gathering more attention than Walter liked. He decided to put an end to this. "Where I come from, the only thing we do with bears is shoot them. I don't think you'd like the evening to end that way."

This time as he moved away, the bear turned to watch him. And then it whistled.

A slow wolf whistle that had Walter stopping in his tracks.

The bear did it again.

Walter turned. No, impossible. Alex couldn't...would he? How would he have gotten in past security? Right, he scoffed to himself. Like that would be a problem!

He frowned at the bear who was still holding out both paws.

Well, there was one way of knowing. He nodded to the bear. "Okay. One dance." And stepped in close to take the bear into his arms.

As they moved out onto the dance floor, Walter let his hand slide slowly down the bear's left arm. Surely, he would be able to tell if the arm were real or not. Unfortunately the material of the costume made it hard to detect any strapping. Besides, Alex had a new arm, a lighter one that he could just slip onto his stump. Developments in technology made it as manipulable as his old heavier arm, the one with what Alex called all the bells and whistles.

And under the fake fur, it was impossible to tell if the texture was skin or plastic.

As for whether the bear was male or female, well, the dancer always kept his -- or her -- distance. Even now, there was a fair amount of space between them. The nuns who had taught him would approve, thought Walter.

And he couldn't ask the bear straight out if it were Alex. No one was supposed to know -- officially -- that he was living with man, let alone an ex-Consortium assassin and triple agent. In fact, officially, Alex Krycek was dead.

And if it wasn't Alex, then there was no guarantee that the person wouldn't blab about his asking around the water coolers on Monday.

No, the safest thing was to shut up and dance.

Which they did, ending up by the door as the music stopped. The bear stepped back, gave a little bow and went out the door.

"So who's your guess, Skinner?"

Walter turned to the Director. "My guess, sir?"

"Yes. We've started a small pool. For who the bear turns out to be. Cassidy thinks it may be that tall Amazon they have down in Environmental Investigations. Who's your money on?"

Walter shrugged. "No idea."


Alex was lounging on the couch, remote on lap, when Walter opened the door to the apartment.

He looked freshly washed and was holding a tall glass filled with ice and a clear liquid.

Walter tossed his keys into the bowl for that purpose on the small cabinet by the door before sauntering to the archway.

"Have a good time?" Alex took another sip of his drink.

Walter slouched against the doorway, eyes scanning the room. The black tie was hanging loose and the two top buttons of his shirt were undone.

There, in one corner, on what they referred to as the visitor's chair since it was one they never used, was a furry pile. Honey brown in colour.

"Not as good as you."

Alex grinned. "You didn't think I was going to let you go to a ball looking like sex on wheels and not follow to protect what is mine, now did you?"

Walter grinned back. One of the things that had attracted him to Alex was his daring. And his insecurities. "What would you have done if someone had decided that I should go home with them? Pawed them to death?"

Alex groaned.

Walter leaned over the reclining man and kissed him on the nose. "I'll always come home to you, Alex."

Alex's smile was a bit sheepish though his voice was teasing. "I don't know. Harriet Tubman mentioned that she thought you were a pretty hunky Man of Mystery."

"Kersh's wife! I wonder what she'd been drinking?"

"Some of the spiked punch, I think."

"God! It sounds like some high school dance. Speaking of which, I must confess to enjoying the last one I had. So much that I wonder if you'd like a replay of it as well?"

Walter held his hands out and watched as Alex placed his drink on the side table and stood up. "No music," he pointed out.

With a smile, Walter began humming a waltz and Alex stepped into his arms. They had taken several turns around the space limited by the furniture when Walter grinned wickedly and began singing the words to the melody.

"My uncle Walter goes waltzing with bears. It's a most unbearable state of affairs. Every Saturday night he creeps down the back stairs, Sneaks out of the house and goes waltzing with bears.

He goes wa-wa-wa wa-wa-wa waltzing with bears. Raggy bears, shaggy bears, baggy bears too. There's nothing on earth uncle Walter won't do So he can go waltzing, wa-wa-wa waltzing, So he can go waltzing, waltzing with bears."

Alex dropped his head back and laughed. By the time Walter was into singing the second chorus, Alex was joining in.


NOTE: Skinner Box sent the words to a song I actually knew. (Not a common occurrence for me in these songfests.) Thanks! :-)

And one of the writers is Dr. Seuss! (Which I didn't know!)

When we sang this in the car on camping trips, we used the second verse as a chorus. (I can't remember if this is the way it's supposed to be sung, or whether that was something we'd decided.)

Alex's Walter does too, of course.

Waltzing with Bears

Words by Dr. Seuss & Dale Marxen
Music by Eugene Poddany

My uncle Walter goes waltzing with bears. It's a most unbearable state of affairs. Every Saturday night he creeps down the back stairs, Sneaks out of the house and goes waltzing with bears.

He goes wa-wa-wa wa-wa-wa waltzing with bears. Raggy bears, shaggy bears, baggy bears too. There's nothing on earth uncle Walter won't do So he can go waltzing, wa-wa-wa waltzing, So he can go waltzing, waltzing with bears.

I went to his room in the middle of the night I tiptoed inside and I turned on the light. But to my dismay he was nowhere in sight: My uncle Walter goes waltzing at night.

I bought uncle Walter a new coat to wear, But when he comes home it's all covered with hair, And lately I've noticed several new tears. I'm sure uncle Walter's been waltzing with bears.

We told uncle Walter that he should be good, And do all the things that we said he should, But we know that he'd rather be out in the woods. We're afraid that we'll lose uncle Walter for good.

We begged and we pleaded, "Oh, please won't you stay?" And managed to keep him home just for a day. But the bears all barged in and they took him away. Now he's dancing with pandas and he can't understand us, The bears all demand at least one dance a day.

We asked uncle Walter just how it feels To be light on your feet and kick up your heels, And he said, "We will see what the music reveals Tonight when the bears teach us polkas and reels."

That night, when the moon rose, we crept down the stairs; He took me to dance where the bears have their lairs. We danced in a bear hug with nary a care. It all feels like flying, there is no denying, And now my pajamas are covered with hair.

My aunt Matilda was mad as could be.
"Walter, that rat, never waltzes with me!" So she took her fur coat and remodeled it so She can go waltzing, and Walter won't know.

She goes wa-wa-wa wa-wa-wa waltzing with bears. Raggy bears, shaggy bears, baggy bears too. And there's nothing on earth aunt Matilda won't do, So she can go waltzing, waltzing Matilda, So she can go waltzing, waltzing with bears.

I snuck out the back door and over the wall. The shadows were long, and I'm not very tall. Then a bear came right over and offered his paw: Now Walter and I are the belles of the ball!

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