Title: Thanksgiving
Author: Grey
Fandom: XF
Pairing: Mulder/Skinner
Rating: PG-13, for language
Status: New, complete
Archive: Yes
Date: November 25, 1999
Series/Sequel: No

Notes: Just a quick Thanksgiving story dashed off in the spirit of the holiday between making fruit salad and checking email.

Disclaimer: Not mine, but might as well be.

Summary: Mulder and Walter share a Thanksgiving.

Warning: Mush alert.


Thanksgiving
by Grey

Mulder aimed and threw another pencil into the office ceiling, dead center in the ring of others already there. Leaning back in his desk chair, he contemplated his success. Yeah, practice will do that.

Glancing over at the clock, he sighed. Almost nine o'clock. Three more hours and fucking Thanksgiving would be over, not that Scully cared. She enjoyed the time off, had a family, had a fucking life.

He imagined Scully sitting with her mom, talking quietly, the two women smiling as the other people in the family chatted or watched football. Closing his eyes, he shook his head and pushed back the sting, the jealousy, the overwhelming emptiness that took over every time he thought about Scully doing so well without him. He envied her independence.

"Agent Mulder?"

Startled, Mulder opened his eyes to see Walter Skinner blocking the hallway light. "Sir?"

"Are you all right?"

"I'm fine." He cleared his throat, sat up, and straightened his tie. "What are you doing here?"

Stepping forward, Skinner turned on the desk lamp before he spoke. "You always sit in the dark in an empty Federal Building on a holiday, Agent Mulder?"

"It's not completely dark."

"Close enough."

"Yeah, well." He avoided the brown eyes, the ones that never wavered. "It's quiet here."

"Quiet?"

"I had some work to do on the Hanson case. Holidays seem to bring monsters out of the woodwork."

"And it couldn't wait until Monday?"

Mulder ignored the question, his body tense. "Did you want something, sir?"

This time Skinner looked away before he spoke. "Just needed a few reports from the office."

"By way of the X-files?"

Walter met his eyes, his face a stolid mask. "Did you have dinner yet?"

"No."

"Hungry?"

"Might be. Why?"

"I have a confession to make."

"Wrong office. The cops are across the street. They never go on holiday."

Walter shook his head and spoke in a low rush, his words suddenly less even. "My confession, Agent Mulder, is I hate holidays, especially Thanksgiving, and I hate having to eat alone even more. I thought we could get something together."

"Why me?"

"You see anyone else around?"

"No."

"Me, either. Why don't you get your coat, and I'll buy us some food and drink."

"You're buying?" Mulder smiled for the first time since his boss arrived. "I guess you're in the right office after all, sir."

"How's that?"

"If you're paying, sounds like an X-file."

Walter shrugged, got Mulder's coat from the rack, and handed it over. "Come on. This place gives me the creeps when it's like this."

"Like what, sir?"

"Empty." Mulder chuckled under his breath. "What?"

"Always figured you for fearless."

"Fearless enough to take your ass to dinner."

**********

Sitting across from one another, Mulder studied his boss. "You didn't eat much."

"Neither did you."

"I'm making up for it with the drink." He lifted the tequila and finished it off.

"So I noticed."

Mulder braced himself forward, crossing his elbows on the table. "So, would you like to tell me the real reason we're here, then?"

Sipping his beer, Walter granted him a small smile. "I wondered how long it would take you."

"Actually, I figured it out when you first showed up."

"Yeah? So, what is it you think you've got figured out, Agent Mulder?"

"That there's some other reason for this little party. What? I step on somebody's toes again and you're here to warn me?"

"No. Nothing like that."

"Then what is it?"

Walter signaled the waitress and ordered another round of drinks for both of them. As soon as the woman left, he spoke quietly. "Every Thanksgiving you do the same thing."

"What?"

"You sit in the office and work or go out on a case."

"So?"

"I wanted this year to be different."

"But why?"

"I just did. Besides, the part about me hating the holiday, that's true."

"How come?"

"Not for the same reason you do."

Mulder sat back, his defenses back in place. "I don't want to talk about my sister."

"I don't, either, but it kind of hangs in the air all around you, Mulder. Every year around this time, you start doing it."

"Doing what?"

"Getting ready to depress the hell out of everyone around you."

Rather than get angry, Mulder sagged. "I know. I don't mean to."

"I know you don't. Scully doesn't seem to let it get her down too much."

"She's used to it. Besides, she's got her family."

"Lucky woman."

"Yeah."

"You could go visit your mom."

"I could."

"But, you don't. Why not? It's obvious you love her. She could probably use the company."

Mulder cleared his throat, his mouth suddenly too dry. The waitress delivered the drinks and left before he spoke. "You don't understand."

"Then explain it."

"After Samantha, well, it was just too painful to be there."

"Too painful to even try to see your mom?"

"Yeah. I've tried before, and finally she told me just to forget it. We both pretty much try to pretend the day doesn't exist."

"Doesn't seem to help much."

"No."

"So, maybe it's time to do something different." The words came out soft, almost like a wish.

Lifting his head a little, he met the dark eyes, the intensity of the stare surprising. "You mean like start a new tradition or something?"

"Something like that."

Mulder watched the slow flush, the eyes so dark from desire, and then he smiled as he realized what he'd been missing all along. Some bright FBI agent he was. Fuck. "Sir, you know you can be a mysterious son of a bitch. Why didn't you just ask?"

"Ask what?"

"Your place or mine?"

Standing up, his expression solemn, Walter picked up the check. "Mine."

*************

Mulder sat on the sofa while Walter poured him a drink. Watching the efficient movements, he also appreciated the strong arms and shoulders pushing the limits of the white shirt with each motion, the fine ass curving the grey flannel. As he took the glass, he grinned shyly, his own nervousness making his stomach tight. "So, how long?"

"How long what?"

"Have you wanted to invite me home to...talk."

Walter loosened his tie, his face no longer quite so grim. "You can be more direct than that, Mulder."

Taking the challenge, the younger man nodded. "Okay, how long have you wanted to fuck me?"

"From about the first time you pissed me off."

"Ah, from the first meeting, huh?"

"Pretty much."

"Shit. That's been awhile."

"Yeah." Unbuttoning his cuffs, Walter rolled each sleeve up, taking his time, his eyes never leaving Mulder's. Finally he sat down, his voice husky. "You're a dangerous man to want, Mulder."

"I've heard that." He teased his fingers up the side of Walter's jaw, his hand cupping his face as he spoke. "Can't see it myself. How did you know I'd be interested?"

"Krycek."

Mulder froze, the growing heat of arousal suspended. "What?"

"Ratbitch told me."

"Ratbitch?"

"Yeah. Son of a bitch bragged about it."

"Ratbitch is too kind."

As he tried to remove his hand, Walter held it in place against his face. "Don't. I've dreamed of you touching me for years."

"Yeah?"

Mulder relaxed as the older man traced his index finger along his lower lip. Leaning in, Walter kissed him lightly at first, increasing the pressure slowly before slipping in the tongue, the entrance electric, taking over his heart. After a brief wrestle Mulder pulled back and whispered, "What did Krycek tell you?"

"About the two of you."

"I hate him."

"Me, too. But, I have to thank him for letting me know you didn't entirely hate my ass."

Flushing, Mulder flashed on the pillow talk confession about Skinner. "Shit. He told you."

"He taunted me with it."

"Bastard." Mulder met his eyes again. "The last time you saw him was months ago. Why did it take you so long to act on it?"

"Why didn't you ever tell me yourself?"

"Fear?"

"Same here."

"So, why now?"

Walter rested his forehead against Mulder's while he stroked the nape of his neck, his words breathy. "I thought you were dead. Again."

Caressing the whiskered cheek, rubbing gently, Mulder whispered, "Monsters can't kill me, sir."

"You keep testing the limits."

"Part of my nature."

"I know."

Lifting their heads at the same time, Mulder went for the kiss first, suddenly hungry, ravenous, ready to feast for the season and say grace. But, prayers would come later, later when he'd shared his Thanksgiving with the man ready to eat him alive.

***********The end