Light Trippers (The) by Hawthorne Kessler

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The Light Trippers by Hawthorne Kessler

Light Trippers cover

From: “hawthorne” <>

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 01:17:37 -0500

Subject: xfc: New: The Light Trippers (1 of 8)

Source: xfc

Title: The Light Trippers

Author: Hawthorne Kessler ()

Rating: Each of the 8 parts is labeled— PG to NC-17

Category: S,X,A,H, MSR

Archive: Yes, it its entirety, and please let me know where it’s going

Feedback: I thrive mentally, spiritually and physically on it, so yes!

Spoilers: Various and sundry through season 6

Disclaimer: I only own the plot. All characters belong to 1013, no infringement intended, no money is being paid.

Summary: A tip from the Lone Gunmen about a secret military installation leads Mulder and Scully into a very surprising adventure.

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Part One: The Folly of Talk (PG)

______

Tuesday

The Lone Gunmen office

“Password.”

“Come on, Frohike, open up!”

“Password.”

“You called me!”

“How do I know it’s really you? Does the word “clone” ring a bell?”

“Are you really sure you want me to say the password?”

“Damn strait.”

“Okay, if you insist… ‘Agent Scully is a lickable sex-pot’. Now open the damn door!”

“Gladly.” Frohike methodically unbolted and unchained each lock and opened the door with a flourish. “You see! That was…n…t… oh, shit.”

Mulder reached over and drew Scully, who had been standing out of the camera’s range, into his side. He was grinning hugely, and she looked pissed as all hell.

“Hello, Agent Scully. You’re looking strong and especially capable this eveing,” Frohike said in his most respectful tone of voice.

Scully rolled her eyes and said, “Shut up,” as she breezed past him into the office.

Mulder followed with a chuckle.

“Low blow, buddy,” Frohike muttered, disgruntled.

“I gave you a chance,” Mulder answered, patting his friend consolably on the shoulder.

Frohike shut and re-locked the door, shaking his head in disgust.

“Okay, let’s hear it,” Scully demanded when Byers and Langly entered the room.

“Have I ever told you how endearingly direct you can be, Scully?”

She glared at Frohike and Mulder winced in sympathy. He knew it was going to take a while for her to let Frohike off the hook for the “password”.

“Yeah, what’s the big emergency?” he asked.

Byers cleared his throat and said, “A long time subscriber to our newsletter and frequent on-line associate, recently informed us of a discovery he made.”

“Or stumbled into,” Langly piped in.

“That is more accurate,” Byers agreed. “He was looking over some satellite photos of an area north of Duluth, Minnesota, and he noticed a strange shape in the picture. It appeared to be a structure. He has lived in the area his whole life and did not recognize it, so he decided to investigate. He said he found the building tucked amidst a heavily wooded area, hardly accessible to anyone, as well as electrical fencing. It appeared to be a military base, a fact compounded by the subsequent, hasty removal of himself from the area… he was chased off by a military patrol.”

“And why is this a big deal?” Scully asked, biting back a yawn.

Langly smiled. “There have been reports of U.F.O’s in the area. Strange shapes in the sky, colored lights. We think it’s your classic top-secret military installation toying with extraterrestrial technology.”

Mulder nodded. “Okay, do you have coordinates?”

“Right here,” Frohike said, waving a large manilla envelope.

“Thanks for the tip, guys, we’ll get right on it.” Mulder reached for the envelope, but Frohike pulled it down behind his back. “What?” Mulder asked, perplexed and annoyed.

The Gunmen looked at one another.

“Uh, Mulder, if it’s okay, we’d like to go with you on this one,” Frohike said quietly.

Scully rolled her yeyes. Mulder laughed outright. “Does the phrase ‘no way in hell’ mean anything to you?”

“Oh, come on, Mulder,” Langly whined. “In all the years we’ve known you, have we ever asked for anything? We write about this stuff all the time. Now we want to see it first hand, up close and personal.”

“We feel it would only enhance and enrich our work,” Frohike explained seriously.

Scully snorted. Mulder sighed. “Not only is it dangerous to bring civilians on an investigation, it’s also, knowing you three, incredibly stupid! There’s no way you are going, so give me the coordinates!”

Frohike grudgingly handed over the envelope, muttering, “I told you he’d be a baby about it.”

“I’m doing this for your own good,” Mulder insisted, taking the envelope and tucking it under his arm.

“You could consider it a birthday present for Byers!”

“No.”

“Please?”

“No, Frohike, now stop, or I’ll sic Scully on you!”

Frohike’s face brightened at the concept, but quickly darkened once he noticed Scully’s expression.

“I’m almost willing to forget I’m a ‘lickable sex-pot’, but don’t push me,” she warned.

Frohike pouted.

Mulder placed his hand on the small of Scully’s back as he ushered her out of the office. “You’ll thank me later!” he called as they left.

Byers let out a sigh of relief. “I didn’t want to go, anyway.”

“Not so fast, my friend,” Frohike announced, holding up a copy of the paper he had just given Mulder. “I knew he’d say no, so I took precautions. We’re going.”

“That’s right, Byers, old man, get packed, we’re going on a road trip,” Langly hooted, pounding Byers on the back.

“But I don’t want to go.”

“You’re going.”

“But—”

“You’re going!” “You’re going!”

Byers put his head on the desk and groaned.

“Langly, what did you do with my night vision goggles?” Frohike queried.

“What makes you think I have ‘em?”

“Because you borrowed them for that night game of “Dungeons and Dragons” and never gave them back, that’s why!”

“Oh, yeah. I’ll have to make a call then, because I left ‘em at Lord Nighthawk’s mom’s house.”

“While you’re at it, see if you can get my special edition light saber back.”

“What do you need a light saber for in the woods?”

“Nothing, you hippie-freak, I just want it back!”

Byers groaned. “Oh, God, I really don’t want to go.”

______

Part Two: The Van That Would Not Die (PG)

______

Thursday

On the road…

“Oh, man, Frohike! I told you to throw that beef and bean burrito last night,” Langly groused as he was pulled from sleep by the atrocious odor wafting back from the front seat.

Frohike looked in the rearview mirror and said, “That’s not my food, jerk-off, that’s three guys who’ve been driving for two days without bathing.”

Byers opened bleary eyes and yawned. “Where are we?”

“Wisconsin, dude.”

Langly dug into his bag and withdrew half a strawberry poptart. “Share?”

Byers grimaced. “No, thank you.” He stretched and scratched his head. “I still say this was a bad idea.”

“Will you shut up! Langly and I have had to listen to that for two days. Give it a rest, willya?”

“Really, Byers! How many times have we heard Mulder tell us about all the cool stuff he’s seen? You know how we talk about taking action to protect the American people from dark, governmental conspiracies? Here’s our chance! Frohike, man, pull over, I gotta take a leak.”

Melvin sighed, disgusted, but nevertheless obediently pulled over to the side of the road, shifted the VW van into park, and killed the engine. As Langly and Byers exited the side door, he called, “Hurry up! We need to get there before Mulder does.” He watched his friends scurry of into the thin line of trees beside the road, and realized he had to pee, too, so he got out, and proceeded to heed nature’s call.

Five minutes later, they were back in the van, Langly behind the wheel. “Okay, we’re off!” he announced grandly. The van roared to life… and promptly died. “Oh, shit.”

“What’d you do, Langly!?”

“I didn’t do anything, No-hikey, what’d you do? You were the one driving all night!”

“Yeah, and it was fine until you started to drive, dead-head.”

“Who you callin’ dead-head, butt-brain?”

“You, Lord Wuss-hammer!”

Byers groaned and closed his eyes. “I knew this was a bad idea.”

______

Three hours later, the van was running again, and Byers was elected to drive, as a fight had almost broken out between the other two men. As opposed to the trip as Byers was, he felt he could drive them to certain doom if it meant no blood would be shed.

Covered with grease, Langly and Frohike sulked in the back on the floor.

“It was your fault,” Frohike muttered under his breath.

Langly reached over and clubbed him in the shoulder. “Will you shut up! It was not my fault!”

Frohike hit him back. “Mulder’s gonna beat us there because you can’t handle this automobile.”

“I can handle anything, monkey boy!”

“Can not!”

“Can too!”

“That’s it!” Byers roared, slamming on the brakes, sending the two men in the back flying forward. “Melvin and Ringo! If you two cannot behave, I’m turning this van around and we’re going back to D.C., do you hear me?”

The two men righted themselves and began pouting.

“He started it.”

“Melvin, shut up! Now are you two going to behave like adults?”

They nodded grudgingly and threw each other dirty looks.

“Good! Now we can go.” Hands clenched on the wheel, and teeth gritted, Byers pulled out onto the road.

Silence reigned supreme for a while, but the closer they got to Duluth, the more excited they became.

“What if we see a real U.F.O.?” Langly queried with a giddy smile.

“We flag ‘em down and ask if earth girls really are easy,” Frohike answered with a chuckle.

“I wanna see if they can communicate telepathically.”

“Hey, Langly, read this…”

“You’re real funny, Melvin. You should take your act on the road.”

“We are on the road, Geek-boy.”

Byers pulled into the parking lot of an apartment building. “This is Iceman’s place. If we get directions from him, we should be able to find the place, and Mulder and Scully.”

They piled out and went to Iceman’s building door and buzzed his apartment. They tried several times, but got no answer. Disheartened, they trudged back to their van.

“Now what?” Langly asked.

Frohike sighed and looked up at the sky. “It’s about five o’clock, and we do have a map and coordinates. I say we go out and rely on our wits.”

Byers put his head in his hands, silently wishing he had finalized his will before they had left D.C.

______

Part Three: Wilderness Tips (NC-17)

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In the woods north of Duluth, MN

Thursday, 11:38pm

Mulder was reveling in the moonlight excursion, walking with a jaunty step, whistling under his breath. The beams of light that shone down on them were bright as day, but sporadic; the forest occassionally thinned enough to allow their illuminating presense. Scully, however, was disgusted. She stomped past Mulder, pushing branches out of her way furiously, all the while muttering obscenities under her breath.

Mulder winced as a particularily harsh word burned his ears. “Scully, did you just say ‘fuck’, and was my name attached to it?”

“Yes!” she screamed over her shoulder.

“Okay, just checking.”

They walked for several more minutes before Scully stopped and let out a primal scream of rage. “Goddammit, Mulder! We’re back where we started! We’ve just walked for nearly two hours and we were walking in a fucking circle the entire time!”

Mulder shook his head. “Well, it seemed like a strait line.”

She groaned and fell to the forest floor. “Why did I come out here? Why was I so stupid? This is all your fault, you know. You could have said no to the idiot brigade, and I’d be back in my apartment with a goddammed tub of ice cream, and a bottle of wine, and my t.v., and my car, and my bed…” her voice trailed off as she gave into tears of frustration.

Mulder sighed and crouched down beside her, placing his hand on her shoulder, rubbed little soothing circles there. He could tell she was very upset. He knew that she hadn’t been happy for a long time, and he was hoping this wasn’t the beginning of the end. “I’m sorry, Scully. Listen, why don’t we pitch the tent here and get some sleep. We’ll start out again tomorrow morning, when we can see where the hell we’re going, okay?”

She nodded and picked herself up off the ground. Mulder shrugged the pack from off his shoulders and removed the tent from its bag, while she cleared an area and found some wood for a fire. She knew Mulder thought she was losing it, and maybe she was, a little bit. Technically, she could pinpoint the exact moment in time when her current bout of depression had started: two weeks, one day, two hours and thirty seconds ago.

She had been watching a movie on television, a romantic comedy, which she had been enjoying immensely, when, during one seen, the actors had started kissing and she could feel her lips move in tandem… she could feel the pucker, the slight parting, the panting breaths. When she realized what she was doing, she had started to cry. The acute lack of intimacy in her life was driving her mad. She wanted to be touched. She wanted to snuggle. She wanted to make love. She wanted Mulder to do all those things. She loved him very much, but couldn’t find the strength to tell him. She wanted to tell him, but if there was one thing she was, it was private, especially with her heart’s desires. On some level he probably knew: Phillip Padgett had as much said the words when they visited him in his cell. Maybe that was what she could do— hook up with various intuitive psychopaths and let them tell her partner how she felt.

She sighed warily as she dropped the wood into a pile and began to form a campfire. By the time she had the cheery blaze going, Mulder had the two person F.B.I. issue tent set up, and he joined her at the fire’s edge.

“I really am sorry, you know. I just thought it would be fun, trekking in the woods, roughing it a bit. I don’t know if the boys’ tip will pan out.”

“What’s the point, then?”

“I guess I was just sick of the seedy motels, the city. Hell, we’re in Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes! I thought it would be cool to get out on a lake, drop a line, down a few brews then pee off the side of the boat. That, plus I thought it would be a nice vacation.”

“Mulder, a vacation is something you do that doesn’t involve work.”

“Come on, Scully. When aren’t we doing something that doesn’t involve the X-files?”

She sighed in disgust and pulled her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around her shins. “You’re right. Does it ever bother you that our work has become so all consuming?”

“No. Well, sometimes it does. I catch myself thinking about what it would be like to have a social life.”

She smiled wryly. “Me, too. Mulder, do you remember when you said that I had been assigned to the X-files, but that they were your life?”

“Yeah, and you said they had become yours.”

“I was just thinking… do you ever wish there was more to them… more to us?”

“What do you mean?”

“What do you consider to be a full life?”

He raised his eyebrows as he took off his thin nylon jacket. “I don’t know… work, family, love, happiness.”

“Do you have all of that?”

“Well, not entirely. I mean, I do, it’s just that work is the biggest part of it all, and there’s not much room for anything else.”

“Don’t you ever wish differently?”

“I guess. I would like to have more love, but I have you.”

Her eyes widened. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

He chuckled. “That’s not a bad thing, Scully. I just mean that you are the love in my life. You are the only one I trust, the only one who is there for me, no matter how much I screw up.”

She stared into the flames of the crackling fire. “Are you saying… that you love me?” she asked quietly.

Mulder stared at the flames as well. “Yeah. I guess I do.”

They sat for a long while, lost in their own thoughts. Finally Scully said, “I’m going to get some sleep. Are you coming?”

He smiled at her and answered, “I’ll be there in a minute. You go ahead. Sweet dreams, Scully.”

“Good night, Mulder.”

He watched as she got up and went into the tent and turned the small lantern on. The light caused her silhouette to appear on the nylon tent, almost like a peep show. His eyes widened as she took off her shirt, kneeled and bent over to remove her pants. He saw the outline of her breasts, hips, legs, and groaned to himself. Oh, God, he was getting very aroused. But then she dug into her knapsack and removed more clothes to replace the ones she had just removed: bulky sweatpants and sweatshirt. The lantern was turned off after she settled herself into her sleeping bag. Mulder waited for his arousal to calm down before he sighed, doused the camp fire, and joined his partner in the small tent. He removed his boots and lay down in the sleeping bag next to Scully’s.

He listened to her soft breathing, and was calmed by it even as he became aroused again. Just the thought of her sleeping next to him, within his reach, made his breath catch in his throat. He thought again of the erotic shadow of her beautiful body, and was thankful for the dark as he reached one hand down his body and lightly touched his erection throught the soft denim of his worn jeans. The pressure and knowledge that Scully lay beside him while he was doing this made him gasp.

Scully’s eyes opened. “Mulder, are you okay?”

His hips bucked slightly against his hand as he heard her voice. “Yeah, I’m okay. Just go to sleep, Scully.”

She closed her eyes. Oh, God, she was aroused. The thought of Mulder, lying next to her in the dark, within her reach… She let her hand glide over her belly, down under the waist of her sweatpants. She lightly cupped herself, letting her fingers delve gently into the moist warmth she found there. “Mulder?” she whispered.

He groaned, “Yeah, Scully?”

She licked her lips. “Do you ever… think about me?”

“What do you mean?” he sighed as his fingers unbuttoned the fly of his jeans.

She let one finger circle her clitoris and she bit into her lower lip to keep the moan from escaping her mouth. “Do you ever think of me. In a sexual way.”

He wrapped his fingers around his erection and hissed, “Christ, Scully.”

“Because I think of you. Not all the time, but I do. I imagine what it would be like to have your mouth on mine, your hands on my body…” Jesus, Dana, what are you doing? She felt possessed. Maybe it was one of her enlightened psycho friends. Two fingers entered her body and she whimpered.

His hand was sliding up and down his arousal in a slow, torturous movement. In the darkness, he reached out and fumbled for her left hand. He grasped it and pulled it to the center of his body, wrapping her fingers around him gently. “This is what you do to me, Scully.”

She moaned and let her fingers dance over him for a moment before taking his hand, guiding it below her clothing to the raging heat at her own center. “And this is what you do to me.” She left his hand there and returned to him.

He whimpered and heaved upwards against her grip as he let his fingers plunge into the incredible heaven she had led him to. Her hips arched up, bringing his fingers deeper. “Mulder,” she gasped, “What are we doing?” She gripped him tighter, moved up and down more rapidly, her thumb occassionally swirling around the sensitive head.

He grunted, “Mother fu—… I don’t know… don’t stop, don’t stop.”

She threw aside her sleeping bag and crawled the short distance to his. They removed their clothing as quickly as possible and exchanged ecstatic sighs when she lowered to him and bare skin met equally bare skin. She settled atop him, his erection between her thighs, rubbing against her wet center. Her head came down and their mouths finally met in a wide open kiss, their tongues thrusting deeply and strongly. His hands went to her breasts, his fingers swirling around her erect pink nipples, sometimes tugging and pinching, sending bolts of cold heat to her core. She buried her fingers in his hair as her mouth moved to his ear, her tongue darting out to lick around the shell of his ear, her lips pulling the lobe within the heat of her mouth.

His hands moved to her hips, and he lifted her up and down, and entered her with one thrust of his hips. Her back arched frantically and her hands left his head to fall beside his shoulders as she raised herself up to a sitting position above him.

“Oh, my God, Mulder!” she gasped. “Oh, my God!”

His head rolled from side to side as his hips thrust lazily upwards. “Scully… yeah.”

“Jesus!”

“Yeah, Scully, like that… like that… like…” His hands gripped her hips tighter, and forced her down hard with his every thrust up.

“Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck,” she hissed.

“Can you feel me?” he panted.

“Yeah, yeah…”

He took her hand and moved it down between their bodies, moved her back so only the head of his cock remained embedded in her thobbing body, then wrapped her fingers around his moistened length. “Can you feel how much I want to come? Can you feel me?”

She moved forward, her grip reduced to the space between her thumb and index finger. She squeezed with her internal muscles as she squeezed with her hand. “I can feel you, Mulder.”

He moaned loudly and continuously as she tortured him. “Jesus, Scully… you’re gonna kill me.”

She chuckled brokenly and moved faster, her thumb making contact with her clit. His hands went back to her breasts and tugged hard on her nipples. The sensation was suddenly too much to handle and her body rewarded her with a rush of pleasure so intense she actually blacked out.

Mulder watched as her face became a study in ecstacy, her screams coming from deep down in her throat, husky and ravaged. He watched her until it became too much and, with teeth bared and every muscle in his body pulled taut, he came in a brilliant rush of bliss.

Breathing raggedly, Scully collapsed onto Mulder’s heaving chest. His weak arms came up and wrapped themselves around her shuddering body, holding her to him.

“Scully?” he asked quietly, tenderly.

“Hm?” she murmured without lifting her head.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, Mulder. I’m better than okay. I’m fucking fabulous.”

“Are you being sarcastic?”

She smiled against his skin. “No, for once, I’m not. God, that was wonderful. If I’d known you were capable of such a feat, I would have thrown you to the floor of your office the moment I laid eyes on you.”

He laughed and held her tighter. “I might say the same thing.”

“Yes, but would you have respected me?”

“Scully, I respect you more than anyone else I’ve ever known. Now, that is. Back then, I was too wary of you. I probably would have thought you were fucking me to get information out of me.”

“I guess that’s still true. Do you still respect me? I mean, I behaved kind of like a wanton—”

“Ah, Scully,” he sighed, dragging her up to kiss her gently. “I don’t agree with that assessment at all. I think what you and I just did was the most incredible experience of my life. I think I had an out-of-body experience. I may have to open an X-file.”

“Don’t you dare!”

“Well, I’ll think about it. I couldn’t possibly respect you any less. If anything, I respect you more, because, it is us… I think we both took a huge chance tonight… and I think it was the right one… ” He sifted his fingers though her hair. “I do love you, Scully. Scully?”

She smiled and pressed another kiss to his lips. “I know, Mulder. Go to sleep, okay? We have to be refreshed if we’re going to go trekking through the woods tomorrow.”

He nodded and kissed her again, and they both sighed as they closed their eyes. His last thought before he drifted off to sleep was, She never said she loved me back.

______

Part Four: Hunting and Gathering (R)

______

In the woods north of Duluth, MN

Friday, 6:30am

They were jolted awake rather rudely by a noise nature did not intend to exist in the placid woods of Northern Minnesota. They scrambled out of the sleeping bag, simultaneously throwing on their clothes and reaching for their guns.

Mulder cocked his weapon and placed a finger over his lips to indicate they should remain silent. Scully nodded, her weapon at the ready. He reached out and slowly began to unzip the tent’s opening.

“Ouch! Dammit Frohike, I told you not to bring that stupid light saber!” Langly hissed, rubbing the new bump on his head.

“You brought your Gameboy! If I have to listen to that retarded Pokemon music one more time, I’ll run you through!”

Mulder closed his eyes and groaned. Scully flopped backwards onto her butt and whispered, “Please, God, let this be a dream.”

“Nope, I think we’ve re-entered the real world, Scully. And it’s Hell.”

She chuckled humorlessly and dropped her gun to the ground. “Shit.”

“Yeah, that about sums it up.” Mulder unzipped the tent and got out. “What the fuck are you three doing here?”

Langly spilled his coffee onto his hand and howled in pain. Byers hung his head sheepishly. Frohike got up from the stump upon which he had been sitting and approached Mulder warily.

“Now, don’t blow a fuse…”

“I’ll blow your head off, Frohike! I told you not to come!”

“Well, we decided we needed a little vacation. It’s just a coincidence we ended up in the same spot.”

“That is such bullshit. How did you know it was us, anyway?”

Frohike gestured to the tent, and the words, ‘Prop. of the F.B.I.’ emblazened along the bottom edge.

“Whatever. You guys are leaving.”

“It’s a free country!”

“You’re impeding an investigation!”

“We want—”

“No! Get your stuff together. You’re leaving.”

“Mulder,” Scully said as she stepped out of the tent. “Just let them stay.”

He turned around to face her, slack-jawed. “Are you kidding?”

“What harm could they possibly do?”

It was her posture that tipped him off. She stood with her arms wrapped protectively around her middle, and she wouldn’t make eye contact. She never said she loved him back. His tirade ended abruptly as he realized she wanted the guys here so she wouldn’t have to be alone with him. She never said she loved him back.

“Fine,” he seethed through clenched teeth. “You guys can stay.”

Byers groaned. Frohike and Langly high-fived one another. Mulder stared at Scully in horror and disbelief. She was doing the classic ‘Scully-in-denial’ routine, and it bothered him more than it ever had before. He had opened himself up to her completely… they had made love… and she was ignoring it all. Fuck.

“I’m gonna get changed,” he muttered, stalking off into the tent.

Scully stared at the ground for a moment, took a deep breath and turned, walking into the woods.

The guys watched her go, confused.

“Something’s not right in ‘fibbie-land’,” Langly asserted.

______

The tears refused to fall. She wanted them to, but they wouldn’t. She knew she had hurt Mulder. Oh, God, she knew it. Last night had been a dream come true for her. All of her wishing, all of her longings had come to a single point and surpassed her wildest expectations. And now she was scared. She was afraid of not having it. She was afraid she would lose what they’d had for so many years. Part of her didn’t want anything to change, but it had. Big time. And now it was going to a new level. A new level of worrying about him. A new level of loving him, caring for him, protecting him.

She had the guys stay because she needed time to think. She needed time to gain strength for the new challenges. If there was one thing she knew for certain, though, she refused to go back to the way things were. She refused to be lonely again when she knew—knew— that Mulder loved her.

When she got back to the camp, the Gunmen were sitting in a circle with Mulder, and they were looking over the satellite photos their ‘on-line associate’, the Iceman, had sent them. She joined them, sitting down next to Mulder.

“So what’s the next move?” she asked.

Frohike tossed the photo her way and said, “It looks to be about a mile or so in from the nearest road. We figure it’ll take about an hour or so walk from here.”

She nodded. “Okay. I’m gonna go get changed.”

“Ah, Scully, don’t go changing on my account.”

“Frohike, I wouldn’t dream of it. Mulder? Can I talk to you a minute?”

They crawled into the tent and sat down. “I’m sorry, Mulder,” she said. “I just…”

He sighed. “Forget it, Scully. It’s obvious you don’t want to—”

“No! I mean, I do. I mean, it’s just so new. And we’re on a case. I do want to talk about it. I also want you to know it’s not you. It’s me.”

He nodded. “Okay, we’ll talk about it. Later. For now, let’s rustle up ourselves a top-secret military installation, okay?” He grinned and patted her hand gently.

She smiled sadly. Yeah, he was still hurt, but he was willing to give her time, and that touched her heart.

A half hour later, the group was on their way into the woods, keeping alert in case they ran into a patrol. Frohike was having a grand time pushing aside branches with his light saber, and toying with his night vision goggles. Byers’ eyes darted back and forth like a scared rabbit, his breath coming in short, frightened pants. Langly karate chopped the occassional bit of foliage. Mulder and Scully took it all in with amusement, but never forgot they were on a case.

“Shit! Down! Down!” Mulder hissed as he spotted two soldiers in the distance. Everyone dropped to the forest floor. “Wait. Maybe they’ll go…” Twenty minutes later the soldiers were still there. “Or maybe not.”

______

Part Five: Space Invaders (PG)

______

In the woods north of Duluth, MN

Friday

It had taken them all day to make it to this point and they figured they were on the right track based on the fact they’d seen two patrols go by, all of the soldiers packing some serious hardware.

Mulder, Scully, and the hapless trio of Gunmen huddled in the dense foliage to avoid being seen. They had to stop often to hide, and the going was slow due to the density of the trees. They paused around three to eat and rest. They collectively decided it would be best to continue after dark, a plan Frohike enthusiastically supported, as it would give him the perfect excuse to use his night vision goggles.

“You know, NEXRAD is up here,” Langly mentioned quietly. “I say we ditch this and see if we can update our files on the conspiracy involving the secret control of the Earth’s weather.”

“Oh, yeah, can we?” Byers asked anxiously.

“No way, guys. We came here to see a u.f.o., and we aren’t leaving until we do,” Frohike insisted sternly.

Scully rolled her eyes. “I think your expectations are a bit high, guys. In all our years of investigating, we’ve come across more dead ends than anything. I mean, statistically speaking, you have a higher chance of winning the lottery two times in a row than you would in seeing a u.f.o. It’s really just a matter of blind luck, and even then, you can’t qualify what you’ve seen, so it just results in a lot of frustration. Isn’t that right, Mulder?”

He grimaced. “I think I’m sitting on a barbed wire pine cone.” Shifting onto his left buttock, he reached under himself and extracted a very large, very sharp looking pine cone, which he briefly held up for inspection, then tossed over his shoulder.

Scully suddenly groaned. “Well, you’ve got the pine cone, but it appears Byers has the poison ivy.”

“What!?” he yelped, looking around him frantically.

“You’re fully clothed, Byers, but I suggest you don’t touch your legs, and especially not your face.”

He looked like he wanted to cry.

Mulder stood and adjusted his heavy back pack. “Okay, it looks pretty clear. I say we move in a bit more. We’ve got to be close now.”

The group carefully resumed its trek, the two real agents taking point.

“So much for your vacation, Mulder.”

“This is paradise. I love the woods, Scully, especially when there are no mothmen to worry about. And when there’s a sleeping bag handy.”

She ducked her head and blushed wildly. “Later, Mulder.”

They walked for another five minutes, then stopped abruptly as Mulder raised his hand and hissed, “Wait… do you hear that?”

Scully’s head cocked to one side. “Yeah. Yeah, I do.”

“What?” Byers demanded nervously.

“There’s no sound,” Mulder explained. “The forest is dead quiet.”

“Why do I suddenly feel glowing red eyes staring at me, Mulder?”

“Scully, Frohike’s eyes don’t glow.”

“Ha ha.”

A high-pitched tone caused them all to throw their hands up over their ears, and then a bright blue light suddenly hovered above them, high above the tree tops. They stared in awe, their minds agog with the sight, their bodies illuminated and curiously weightless. The light faded to red, then green, then blue again, and disappeared.

The birds began singing. The squirrels resumed their chattering. Leaves rustled, nestled within a sudden gale of wind. Still the humans stared upward, into the darkening night sky…

“Coooooollll,” Frohike and Langly breathed in tandem.

Byers looked down to make sure his body was intact, surrepticiously checking his groin area to assure himself he hadn’t had an accident.

Mulder grinned and looked at his partner, who, with eyebrow raised, stared back.

“It’s an excellent vacation, Scully.”

She sighed. “Let’s go.”

As they walked, giddy smiles lit up their faces. Except for Byers.

“What about NEXRAD? I think I’d feel safer at a weather station.”

______

Part Six: Operational (R)

______

Still in the woods…

Twenty minutes later, they were finally rewarded for their diligence: They found the military installation. Staying low to the ground, they paused next to the chainlink fence surrounding the area. There was a huge brick building dominating the grounds. It had a large open hanger at one end, and two giant satellite dishes adorning the roof. They watched in fascination as a strange disc-like object with no wings was towed out of the hanger via truck and a dozen or so men converged from the building and began unhooking it from its ride.

Mulder noticed a lone figure striding towards the disc and muttered, “Frohike.”

“What?”

“Oh, for chrissakes, take those ridiculous things off and give them to me.”

Frohike grudgingly removed and handed over his coveted night vision goggles. “Be gentle.”

Mulder grunted and put them on, zeroing in on the figure which had by now made it to the object and was boarding. “I think the Top Gun just arrived,” he noted with a chuckle. “Watch.”

Red lights rimmed the round perimeter of the craft and a great cloud of white smoke erupted from beneath. The workers scattered as the disc lifted off the ground fifty feet and hovered. The high-pitched whine returned. The craft rose higher, and suddenly shot off into the night sky with incredible speed and grace.

Scully sighed. “Well, it doesn’t happen often, guys, but when you’re right, you’re right. I think this has all the earmarks of experimental technology, although I can’t substantiate the extraterrestrial aspect of it.”

“Under my quiet, unassuming tutelage you’ve come a long way, baby,” Mulder quipped. He removed the backpack and set it on the ground against the fence. “Scully and I are going in for a closer look. You three STAY HERE, and I mean that. This is serious business and you guys are not equipped to handle anything that might come up. You got it?” They nodded. He motioned Scully forward and they made their way along the fenceline.

Twenty yards later, Langly and Frohike each grabbed one of Byers’ arms and dragged him with as they followed the agents.

______

She gasped as she tripped over a small half-uprooted stump. Mulder reached back and steadied her. “You okay?”

She nodded in response.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw movement and his hand automatically went to his holster. He peered into the darknes and groaned.

“What?” Scully asked nervously.

“I don’t fucking…” The Gunmen sidled up to Scully. “I told you morons to STAY!”

“Byers is afraid of the dark,” Langly insisted innocently.

Byers looked perplexed. “I am?”

“Just keep quiet,” Mulder huffed, moving ahead. He slowly and carefully led them around almost the entire compound before he found the opening. “I guess we could have avoided all that if we had gone the other way,” he said sheepishly. He pulled open the chained gate as far as he could and barely managed to squeeze his lean body through. “Come on, Scully,” he whispered.

She had one leg in when all five of them were blinded by an intense beam of light.

“Halt!! You are on private property!”

“Oh, fuck! Run, Scully!”

“Mulder, get out of there!”

“I’m coming! Run!”

“Halt, or we’ll shoot!”

Mulder desperately tried to get back through the gate, his arm flailing in the air.

Bang! Bang!

He finally slipped out and hollered, “Run, damn you!”

The Gunmen sprinted for dear life, Scully not far behind. Bullets flew by them, hitting trees, causing splinters of wood to litter the air. She began to back peddle, shouting, “Mulder!”

“Go!” His voice called from far away… too far away… Then he cried out. even from this distance, Scully could feel the sensation of him falling.

“Scully, come on!” Frohike exclaimed, grabbing her arm and pulling her along. “We need to get out of here.”

“But Mulder—”

“We’ll go back! We need to get out of here NOW! Before we get caught, too.”

Caught. Mulder was caught.

Away. Scully got away. He sighed in relief even as rough hands grabbed his body and lifted him violently from the ground. The bullet hole in his side oozed hot blood, and he felt himself weaken, barely able to fight his captors. He was dragged across the compound and thrown into a small windowless room. He huddled, panting in the corner, willing himself to stay conscious. Willing himself to live so he and Scully could have their “Later”.

Langly stopped and leaned against a tree, breathing hard. The others stopped, too, and tried to catch their collective breath. “Oh, man… Oh, man… that was… that sucked!” He shook his head and reached up to touch the strange wetness he suddenly noticed on his upper arm. When his sweaty, salty palm touched open, bloody skin, he gracelessly slid along the rough bark of the tree to the ground. “Jesus, I’m hit!” he gasped weakly.

“Let me see,” Scully ordered, kneeling beside him. “Byers, hand me your flashlight.” She inspected the wound and finally said, “It’s okay, it’s just a scratch. Byers, rip me off a part of your shirt to use as a bandage.” He obeyed, and she tied the strip around Langly’s upper arm, around the gash.

“Does it hurt, Langly?”

“Yeah, Frohike, it hurts… but it’s a good kind of hurt.”

Scully sat down and buried her face in her raised knees.

Byers sat down next to her and placed an awkward arm around her shoulders. “What do we do now, Scully?”

She turned intense, tear-filled, passionate eyes on him and said in a steely voice, “We get Mulder back.”

______

Part Seven: Over and Out (R)

______

In the woods…

Scully’s heart was pounding in her chest so hard if she looked down, she could see her skin ripple with the movement. Since they had escaped the installation, security had doubled around the area, so there were now over fifty soldiers posted along the perimeter. She looked over at the Gunmen, who, in turn, stared wide eyed back at her.

“This is gonna work,” she whispered to reassure them.

Langly pressed a protective hand over the gash on his upper arm, imagining how much worse it could have been… how much worse it could indeed become.

Frohike closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Let’s do it.” He opened his knapsack and pulled out the big gun: black shoe polish. He opened the tin, and dipped in two fingers, proceeding to cover his face. Then he handed the tin to Langly, who followed suit.

Scully smiled to herself. Perhaps they didn’t show themselves to be the wisest of men at times, but at least they were loyal, and genuinely cared. “You guys ready?”

The darkened faces nodded back solemnly.

Scully broke from the group and scurried forward. She picked up the heavy branch of wood and gripped it like a baseball bat, in much the same way that her Mulder had showed her not so long ago. She approached her target: a lone soldier facing away from her, guarding the installation to the best of his ability. She crept up behind him, and raised the branch over her head…

He fell heavily to the ground with a muted grunt. Scully dropped to her knees and checked his pulse to make sure she hadn’t hit him too hard and killed him. She waved the guys over, and they stripped the soldier of his clothes and put them on Byers, then duct taped the man’s wrists, ankles, and mouth.

“You okay with this?” she asked the very nervous Byers.

He swallowed and winced as he noticed his mouth and throat were very dry. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m ready.”

Frohike handed the rifle to him and said, “Good luck, buddy.”

Langly clapped him on the back. “Yeah, good luck.”

Byers nodded and straightened his back. He assumed the role of trained soldier as he made his way towards the gate on the fence surrounding the base.

Scully, Langly and Frohike watched with breath held as Byers approached the officer stationed at the gate. Byers just nodded to the man… the man nodded back and allowed Byers to enter.

A collective sigh was issued forth by the spectators.

“Come on, Byers. Find my Mulder for me,” Scully whispered to herself.

______

Mulder could feel the blood congeal under him and nearly vomited again. The bullet had gone through his body, and he knew the exit wound was a lot worse than the entry wound. Although the blood surrounding him had cooled, the small rivulets that still flowed from front and back were hot.

So far, no one had come to see him in his little cell. That all changed when the heavy metal door suddenly swung open and two men entered, grabbing his arms and lifting him to his feet. They dragged him out of the cell and down a short hall to another, larger room, and placed him none too gently in a hard wooden chair. His arms were strapped down and he protested weakly, earning a hard slap to his face. His head snapped to the side and blood flew from the new cut on his lower lip.

“Hey, what ever happened to ‘Minnesota nice’?” he slurred with a caustic grin.

“Shut up, Mr. Mulder,” one of the men said. “I think you know you are in a great deal of trouble.” He withdrew a syring from a small black case.

Mulder eyed it and moaned. “Fuck, not again.”

“I remember you from Ellens Air Force Base, Mr. Mulder. I’m honestly surprised you’re not dead yet.”

Mulder yelped hoarsely as the needle was plunged into his arm. His head lolled back, the drug already taking effect. “I am Superman, and I can do anything,” he laughed. “I know all, I see all, I tell all. I’m gonna ssstop you, you know.”

The man shook his head in amusement. “You can’t stop anything, Mr. Mulder, especially when you’re dead. Put him back in his cell. We’ll deal with him in the morning.”

Mulder was lifted and brought back to his prison. He closed his eyes and moaned softly. “Scully… sclully… scu… come an’ get meeee… You promised me a ‘later’. You nev… never said you llooved me…”

______

Byers was scared to death, but he was on a mission. He walked the halls of the compound with a confidence he did not feel, looking for signs of his friend. He turned right… then left… encountered some men and made steely eye contact… continued forth, then stopped as he watched the limp figure of Mulder being dragged down a passageway, trailing blood behind him. He was dumped in a room, and the door was shut and locked. Byers waited until the two men had departed before he dashed to the door and unlocked it.

Mulder winced as the bright flash of light hit his newly dilated eyes. Then he groaned as a gentle but insistent arm pulled him up.

“Mulder, it’s me, Byers. We have to get you out of here. Can you walk?”

“Not really,” he answered drunkenly. “But I will. I have to get to Scully.”

They slowly made their way through the building, stopping often to hide from people, stopping to let Mulder catch his breath. His hand was covered with blood as he pressed it to his side, and he had to lean heavily on Byers as they walked. Injured and drugged, he knew only that he had to get out of here and get to Scully. He was running on pure adrenalin, and he could only hope his tank didn’t hit empty before they escaped.

By some miracle, they made it out of the building undiscovered. By this time, Byers was practically carrying Mulder. They ducked into break of foliage, and Byers lay Mulder down gently on the ground and reached into his pocket and retrieved a pair of wire cutters. He cut a hole in the fence and crawled through, then reached back and dragged Mulder with him. He hoisted Mulder up over his shoulder, suddenly fueled by a huge spurt of confidence and bravery, and carried him quietly and stealthily, back to his partner and friends.

______

Part Eight: Singularity (PG)

______

The moment Byers arrived with Mulder draped over his shoulder, Scully took her partner within her arms and held on for dear life.

“Oh, God, Mulder, you’re bleeding,” she whimpered.

He focused in on her, a small smile on his lips. “I made it to you, Scully.”

He sighed and closed his eyes. She cradled his head in her lap and brushed his hair back from his sweat-sheened forehead. “I love you, Mulder,” she whispered.

He managed a grin. “Tha’s what I was waiting to hear.”

She smiled and leaned down to kiss his cheek. Tears welling up in her eyes, she turned to Byers. “Thank you for getting him for me.”

Byers blushed profusely, his chest puffing out in pride. “It was my pleasure.”

Langly and Frohike patted him on the back and whistled low in admiration.

“And thank you guys for being here when we needed you. You really are good friends to us.” The Gunmen looked at each other and smiled. Scully turned her attention to Mulder. “We need to get him to a hospital, and he’s too weak to walk, so we’ll have to carry him,” Scully ordered. “Let’s get the hell out of here before anything else happens.”

______

One Week Later…

“Hey, Scully, hand me another beer?” Mulder asked in a contented voice.

She sighed in mock irritation and grabbed the thin rope dangling over the side of the boat and lifted the nearly depleted six pack of beer from the cool lake water. She tossed it to him with a smile. He winced as he moved too quickly to catch it. “Oh, sorry, Mulder. How’s your side doing?”

“Almost good as new, actually. I think the beer has dulled the pain, though.”

They sighed and leaned back in the boat, enjoying the warm breeze that wafted over them and sent the boat gliding across the placid lake in a lazy pace. Scully applied another coat of sunscreen to her fair skin, Mulder looking on in appreciation.

“Isn’t it nicer knowing that we love one another?”

She laughed. “It’s most certainly nicer.” It was nicer having everything in the open. It was nicer knowing she didn’t have to be lonely anymore. She still had her concerns over how things would ultimately effect them, but for now, she was happy. And so was Mulder. That’s all that counted.

“Oh, I almost forgot…” He dug into his back pack and pulled out a paper. “The Gunmen Fedex’d me their latest issue. You have got to see this!”

Scully took the paper from his hands and read the front page, and its three featured articles:

“My Life as a Commando, by John Fitzgerald Byers”

“The Appalling Lack of Women at Top Secret Military Installations, by Melvin Frohike”

“Taking the Pain: Eight Ways to Deal With Being Shot in the Arm, by Ringo Langly”

Scully roared with laughter and screamed, “Oh, God, I love those guys!”

Mulder moved forward in the boat and came to rest directly in front of her. “And I love you.”

She calmed down and sighed contentedly. “And I love you.”

He reached out and pulled her forward, kissing her beautiful lips, tasting her strawberry breath. He took her lower lip between his teeth and tugged, growling low in his throat. “I want to make love to you in the worst way.”

She spoke against his mouth, “What’s the worst way?”

“Standing up in a boat.”

She laughed. “How does a bed sound?”

He nodded enthusiastically. “Hell yes. I never did get to pee off the side of the boat, though.”

“Mulder, the next time the guys give us a tip from an on-line associate which requires us to trek though the woods, get chased and you to get shot yet again, I’ll personally guarantee a lake to piss in. Thank God the chances suck.”

“Do you know who you’re talking about, Scully? I’d say the odds are better than average.”

______

THE END

______

author’s notes: Thanks to everyone who stuck it out with me… I had a rompingly obsessive good time writing this, and I hope you enjoyed it. As for the ease in which Byers and Mulder escaped… I was just following the Chris Carter example— get them out without explaining how… does the final glacier scene in “Fight the Future” ring a bell?

Please send feedback to and I’ll write you back.

Love, Thora

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