Author: Elizabeth Gerber
Title: April: Splendor
Total Parts: 1
Status: Complete
Pairing: M/Sk
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: none

Summary: A beautiful April day in the park for the guys. Part of the Requited Calendar Collection.

Notes: The park I set this story in does exist, but I've never been there, and I have no idea if it looks anything like this. Also, in this world there are no bees or ticks or allergies. <g>

Disclaimer: Mulder and Skinner belong to 1013 and Chris Carter. Just borrowing them for a little romp.


"We'll take a tumble excuse for a fumble...
I will pounce on you
Just us and the Cuckoos
You are helpless now
Over and over we flatten the clover"
--XTC, "Grass" from Skylarking

A park. He wanted to spend the first glorious Saturday of April at a park. I tried to get him to at least take running gear, but he wouldn't have any part of it. We were going to have a peaceful day hiking and picnicking, even if it killed us.

As we got into the car with our backpacks, Walter looked the consummate outdoorsman. Broken-in hiking boots. Rugged, nicely-faded blue jeans that hugged his ass and thighs pleasantly. A plain white t-shirt tucked into his jeans and covered with a long-sleeved button-down shirt with a tiny blue and white plaid pattern.

He looked strong, practical, reliable and absolutely himself. I had the first clue of an upside to his plans.

It took us about an hour to drive south into Virginia, but finally we got to the Sky Meadows State Park. Just on the edge of the mountains, the park's fields stretched out far to the beginning of the woods. The trees then rose up to meet the clear blue sky.

Walter parked the car, and we picked up a map from a kiosk near the parking lot. Walter apparently had a hiking route in mind, so he just glanced at the map and then tucked it into his back pocket.

Hiking with him was nicer than I thought it would be. We headed directly into the woods, walking beside each other when we could, resorting to single-file when the path narrowed. Of course, I always let him go first. The sight of his firm rear end moving under the soft denim made my step lighter.

We didn't even have to talk, the small noises of birds and the breeze through the leaves kept us from awkward silence. Our feet crunched on last autumn's fallen leaves, and our breath sounded between us.

We'd been walking steadily for about an hour when I noticed we were coming up to a clearing in the woods. Walter walked to the edge of it and stepped aside to let me stand beside him.

I think I gasped; it was so beautiful. A small field of wild flowers was rippling in the bright afternoon sun. Purplish-blue, pink, and yellow all wavered atop tall green stems. The field was entirely enclosed by trees, a private enclave of wonder.

I reached over to Walter, and his hand caught mine. Looking over at him, I saw his smile, like the cat that ate the canary. He knew we would find this. I didn't know if I should bless him or damn him.

He tugged my arm toward the field, but I hesitated. He looked at me curiously, so I smiled and leaned over, kissing him on the cheek. "I've got to go water the trees. Be right with you, okay?" He nodded and headed into the flowers.

When I returned to the edge of the field, Walter was nowhere in sight. "Where'd you go?" I called out to him. At first there was no response, but then I heard a loud chirp, like some kind of bird.

I walked out in its general direction, the wild flowers brushing against my calves through my jeans, until I heard another whistle and fixed my direction to follow it. Turning again toward a close chirp, I found my lover reclining on his back in the tall flowers, a wide grin on his face.

He reached up for my hand and pulled me down before relieving me of my backpack and tossing it aside to join his. He took hold of my shoulders with his thick, strong hands and pulled me to his chest, tipping his head up to kiss me.

I braced my hands on the cool, green ground and returned his kiss, tasting his lips thoroughly, the fresh mountain air energizing me. Breaking contact for a moment, I stripped off my dark grey henley and helped him wiggle out of his over-shirt. Down to our t-shirts, we embraced, his strong chest pressed against mine, the warmth of his arms surrounding me

Suddenly, he pushed me, and we rolled over. He was above me, laughing softly, the smile on his face softening those stern features. His head dipped down then, his warm mouth nibbling on my neck. I reached one hand up to cover his smooth head and whispered in his ear.

"I can just see the headlines, Walter. FBI agents caught with their pants down in state park."

"You have a one track mind, Mulder," he growled into my neck. "We can just fool around, can't we? It's still a little chilly out here to strip down anyway."

"If you say so." I worked his t-shirt up to his waist and slipped my hands underneath, rubbing them up his stomach to his warm, furred chest. I pushed up hard and he toppled over to the side, onto his back. I looked down at him, grinning, and then extended my gaze to our trail of crushed wild flowers.

"Look at what we're doing to the flowers! Bet you this is how the aliens make their crop circles."

"How in the world would they get those patterns, Mulder? Ours is pretty . . . rectangular."

I leaned down close to him until we were nose to nose and looked him straight in the eye. "Bizarre alien sex tricks."

He turned his head to the side, laughing, then caught my mouth with his and kissed me until I was light-headed. I flopped down on my back next to him, my arm entwined with his. We were both panting a little, a light sweat breaking out on our skin.

I closed my eyes and absorbed the warmth of the sun. It seeped into me, chasing away every remaining winter chill. From beneath me, the clean cool of the earth relaxed me, lulling me into a carefree haze. I moved over a little and pillowed my head on Walter's chest, reaching an arm over his body. I felt his hand gently stroke my hair, and I tightened my arms around him.

We'd have lunch soon, then hike back to the car, the world and our lives. Just for a while, though, we relaxed in the flowers. Neither too hot nor too cold, nothing to do, nothing to want.

I wish we could have stayed there forever.

The End of April.