Imagination
(Outtake from WIP)
by Jesemie's Evil Twin
jetpaine@yahoo.com
or eviljesemie@yahoo.com

September 2003

S is for Silly Schmoopy Smutty Secret September Swap* Story, Spoilers (er, through "Je Souhaite." Alt-U after that), and Small Lives Awake Sequel. S is also for Sandwich, which I am about to have for dinner. Mmm.

General Warnings:
Seriously, Schmoop.

This is an outtake of a larger story, so there are a couple of things referenced here that might not make any sense. (What a shocking turn of events for one of my stories.)

Many corn dogs and 12-packs of Big Red to the divine Lilydale for her crack beta.

* To My Swapper: May marvelous things be yours always, and may you not wake up too many times with the TEHOD.

Feedback would be grand. jetpaine@yahoo.com or eviljesemie@yahoo.com

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December 2000


Transforming experiences took many forms: adventures, discoveries, loss, love, bubble baths.

Scully toweled off, rinsed the tub, slathered on ten dollars' worth of unscented lotion, and waited for other signs of life in the galaxy.

As she unclipped her hair and brushed it out, she couldn't avoid thinking she was a person entirely altered. She also argued she was the same as always, her flushed body scarred and scrappy, her hair belligerent about humidity, her instincts stubborn. Kind and compassionate, she hoped, were qualities left intact. She admitted to more paranoia, more prayers in the mornings, less adoration for authority, less patience with fear and her own shortcomings. On the subject of expensive makeup, she was tied with former incarnations of herself. She squinted into the dewy mirror and tried to remember being happier or calmer. She told herself it was a phase, and knew without hesitation it would last the rest of her existence if the pesky conspiracies dissipated, if the aliens flew back to planet Blorg.

If. If was iffy, and she was tired of second-guessing events that hadn't happened yet. I get tonight, she told herself. I get tomorrow and possibly the day after. And the day after that.

She had just flowed into silk pajamas, boneless after the long soak, when the squeaky floor announced that she was no longer alone in the apartment. She exited the bathroom. A line of soggy clothes lead to a large, previously absent lump of blankets on her bed. And there was a candle burning on the dresser.

"Ms. Petranella Wooglenoops gave me the evil eye in the hallway," the lump said in a petulant tone.

Scully kicked the discarded dress pants, starched shirt, and socks into a pile under the window. "It's a glass eye, and it isn't nice, or wise, to make fun of Mrs. Wogle," she explained. "You remember the Halloween incident?"

A hand emerged from the lump and waved around irritably. "Of course I remember. Why do you think I'm hiding?"

She plopped down on the bed and rearranged the blankets until she found Mulder's head. He blinked and sniffed. His hair was damp and sticking up in a dozen directions, like he'd just emerged from a feverish nightmare instead of the evening's assumed excitement: a run-in with the neighbor from hell. After sprinting from the car to the apartment building. Without an umbrella. Umbrella distribution deficiency was a dread consequence of hasty habitation rearrangements.

"I'm co-oo-ll-ll-ld," Mulder said, his teeth chattering.

Scully flicked off the lamp and climbed in bed beside him. She tried to take his hands in hers, but he grabbed her first, dragging her into his arms. Once she was fully embraced, he whispered, "Ha, ha, fooled you."

No, he wasn't cold in his nest of blankets; he was lovely and warm and nude. "You're so strange," she said with fondness, kissing his ear.

"What's strange about me?"

"Most things."

"Ah."

"I'm not really complaining."

"I didn't think you were." He waggled his eyebrows and she laughed.

It wasn't supposed to be this easy, Scully thought. There was supposed to be an adjustment period, an annoying stage of petty battles over toilet seats and grocery lists, and the stress of seeing each other constantly, and the whole of creepy crawlies and crooked government whackjobs trying to kill them on a regular basis -- the way life was before, only more concentrated, more important, now. But it was easy, holding him and pressing her mouth against his in the messy bed with rain drilling the roof. She was beginning to think they'd adjusted to each other a long time ago, sanded out the rough spots in endless conversations (or arguments) about pharaonic curses and cosmic pirates, prowls through darkened warehouses, dropped guns, trips to the hospital with pistachio pudding on the side.

Maybe she was measurably changed. Mulder stroked her hair and kissed her throat and she let him even though his clothes were molding on the floor. Maybe she was just besotted after these weeks, but it felt deeper, a fundamental, permanent shift. It felt like his skin under her hands, an essential gift she wouldn't allow anyone to damage.

She kissed him leisurely, taking care to be thorough. When they parted, he said, "Hi," sounding pleased to infinity, as though they hadn't seen each other all day, mangled a conference call with VCU and gotten into a snit over a possible abductee lead.

Of course, they'd apologized at lunch - she offered him half her fortune cookie and that seemed to break the obnoxious mood -- but when she thought about it, an actual apology only made it more surreal.

On the other hand, surreal was the world in which Mulder's hand was under her top, caressing the side of her breast like this was the way the day had ended for eight years. She liked surreal.

His eyes had a hazy look to them. She smiled, recognizing how alike they were in their ability to go into themselves even when someone was lying directly next to them. She rubbed his arm and his eyes focused.

"Do you have any fantasies, Scully?" he asked.

A snort of laughter escaped her before she could stop it. "You mean like Skinner in lederhosen?"

He made a tiny strangled noise. "No."

She laughed a little and ducked her head. When she lifted her gaze, she saw he was waiting for a genuine response. A recently voiced curiosity of his hadn't panned out quite the way he might have originally meant it -- though she hoped the result wasn't too heinous -- but he wanted to know.

She felt exposed suddenly; was there a polite way of saying that she'd avoided fantasizing about him specifically for an enormous period of time? Would it be an ego boost or bust to admit that in the last month she hadn't had a use for fantasy?

"I don't-- I didn't-- Before. I wouldn't let myself think of you. I mean, I did think of you, but I wasn't comfortable with it." She shook her head as he traced her eyebrow with his fingertip. "It never felt completely right."

He nodded. "Yeah. I was there for a long while. But at some point, it started feeling right."

"Did it?" she asked. His curiosity was infectious. "I think even when I knew I loved you I wouldn't let myself, you know, picture you naked." She hated that she was blushing. She took his right hand, turned it palm up and pressed a kiss to his wrist. "Do you have any fantasies?" she asked, tentative and serious.

"Yes," he said softly, swallowing. "Several." His eyes were bright with need and a vulnerability that made her throat ache.

So new, she thought. This -- us -- we are so terribly, wonderfully new.

She whispered, "What do you want?"

"Tell me a story," Mulder whispered back, and she shivered.


Once upon a time, a beautiful petite sorceress stood in her kitchen, barefoot on a polished stone floor, preparing herbs for the next day's potions. When the clock on the corner china hutch chimed twelve brassy notes, the sorceress laid her long-bladed knife beside the small caldron of freshly boiled newt toes. It was midnight -- time to create a draft of energy that would help sustain an entire week's worth of enchantments.

The sorceress took up her candle and left the kitchen, her gown's train trailing behind her. She deftly navigated the nearly invisible hallways of her large castle and climbed a spiral staircase to reach the turret room she used for sleep and her most special spells. From the looming wardrobe by the window she took a length of chain -- forged of a metallic substance a billion times stronger and lighter than steel -- and a whip tanned from the hide of a forest beast whose mere name, it was once said, would have killed all the animals of the wood if spoken aloud. Such a chain and such a whip would inflict the most pain and the most pleasure.

She set her candle on a nightstand. Power glimmered in her fingertips as the candlelight illuminated her coppery hair and the dark shape of her bed. A lanky man was there on the sorceress's bed, his wrists bound tightly to the headboard with unbreakable spider silk. Blindfolded, unclothed, and quite obviously petrified, he had no idea that he was about to be sacrificed to an awful, potent craving...


"Is there any chance I don't die at the end of this particular tale?"

She considered it. "Probably not."

"Okay. Well. This has certainly been edifying. I wasn't aware you were just biding your time until you could flog me into a thousand pieces."

"Not your cup of tea?" she teased.

"Do you have any idea how many times I've been beaten up in my life?"

She pasted on an innocent expression. "You didn't enjoy it?"

He grimaced. "The only thing I've enjoyed less is watching you get beaten up."

Oh. She pressed her forehead against his.

"Want me to start over?" she asked. She kissed the bridge of his nose.

He slid his hand down her spine and said, "Definitely."


The probe throbbed...


Mulder clamped his hand over Scully's mouth and said, enunciating each syllable, "No. Throb-bing. No. Pro-bing."

"No fun." She stuck out her tongue at him.

He sighed.


The woman studied her would-be savior. She'd heard bad things about this man -- wouldn't take most cases, had trust issues, had a grudge toward a lot of people. He himself had been investigated, in the earliest days of the hearings. They said he might've made friends with the wrong sort of people. They said he had sympathies.

She didn't need sympathy and wasn't fond of those who did. But she was in trouble.

His office was a smoky den in the musty basement of a DC building that had seen better days and hard, hard times. Recent water damage left the faint scent of fungus beneath the stale cigarette smell that permeated everything. The man's desk was a jumble of files, newspapers, letters.

He was supposed to be a lawyer, but she was having a difficult time believing it. He was wearing a shirt the color of smog -- a white bachelors alone seemed to be able to achieve -- and a tie so hideously boring it hurt her eyes. He glared at an associate in the back corner, an older man, oddly familiar, chain smoking and talking on the phone in what sounded like Russian. But she couldn't be sure about the language.

The subpoena from the Senate subcommittee was the only sure thing in her life. She needed a lawyer desperately, and this man before her was the one she could afford.

It would've been depressing as hell if she hadn't been so attracted to him. Even his ratty fedora was weirdly appealing.

"You're an employee of Fort Cottonmouth," he said, reading from her file.

"Yes."

"And you're being accused of what, exactly?"

"I don't know, yet. But I haven't done anything wrong."

"You'd be surprised how often I hear that," he said meanly.

"I've heard some things about you, too, sir," she said, not bothering to keep the chill out of her voice.

His sharp eyes snapped to hers. "All correct."

Great. Another commie pinko to tarnish her reputation. Why had she ever agreed to sit in that meeting at the Fort?

"We should step into my conference room, Miss Sylvain," the man said, standing now and gesturing the way.

She stood slowly, the straps of her shoes cutting into her ankles until she adjusted her weight. She didn't need the heels but they were the height of fashion. She was shapely, the v-dip of her otherwise conservative dress showing just the slightest hint of cleavage. She saw his eyes travel her body with lightening speed, missing nothing. She knew he liked what he saw. She walked into his conference room, predicting what would happen next.

The door closed, and she felt herself being turned violently, flung against the dirty wall. His mouth descended on hers and she was crushed, lifted. Thank God she hadn't found any clean underwear that morning. She heard his zipper open, felt the adjustment, and then he was slamming into her.

She couldn't not moan, it was so amazing. "Ohhh, Senator McCarthy--"


"Whoa!" Mulder bolted straight up in the bed. "I thought I was a pinko commie. Why in God's name were you moaning--"

Scully flopped over on her stomach. "Yeah, that was a typo."

"A typo?"

"A verbal typo."

He gave her an incredulous look.

"A Freudian slip, a character's mistake in the heat of passion."

He put a pillow over his face.

The whole thing had been bizarre, really, like she was receiving the fantasy from a time-warped transmission with crossed wires. She took the pillow from Mulder, raised up and peered into his eyes. Nope. He wasn't the guy in the story. She wondered who the woman was.

"It wasn't you at all, commie pinko or not. And I wasn't the one moaning."

"Is that supposed to make me feel less traumatized?"

Since she had no idea why the concept had even popped into her brain, saying 'yes' seemed...not entirely accurate.

Scully pressed her face into the mattress and screamed silently for several seconds. She could do this. She was a strong, mature, vigorous woman in bed with the person she loved most on earth. Embarrassment was a childish reaction. She could conquer her hesitations.

She cleared her throat.


In a flustered fit, the girl threw her pompoms on the concrete floor. She had never been so angry! Her entire sweater -- already a size too small -- was soaked and it was freezing in the school; the heat was off now that regular class hours were over. When the new coach stepped into the locker room, disappointment dripping from his muscular frame, she knew the afternoon was about to get a lot worse. She had been very, very naughty...


"All this time, I thought Frohike was the one who stole my copy of 'Cheerleaders in Detention.'"

"It should be obvious I'm not good at this," she said, feeling intensely self-conscious.

He massaged her shoulder and neck for a few minutes. Finally, he said, "You know, none of my fantasies involve dragons or spaceships or mischievous subordinates, much less Republican politicians or hanging cages."

"And that's where you've been going wrong," she joked weakly.

"You don't have to tell me a story," he said. She raised up. He was watching her, motionless and patient.

Scully rolled over and shifted closer to Mulder. He moved her into his arms again. She grasped his right hand.

You're safe, she told herself. He's not going to laugh. "I do want to tell you a story," she said, and realized it was true.

She laid her cheek on his chest.

"Once upon a time," she began quietly, "a woman undressed her lover for the first time." She paused. "For the first time when he wasn't unconscious and bleeding." He grinned at her clarification. "She had loved this man for years. She was a different person in many ways because of this man; she was a better person because of him. There were a thousand Hallmark cliches that applied to her when she began to touch him."

Scully exhaled, frowning. Don't be sarcastic. Don't be ridiculous. Be honest. Be brave.

Mulder squeezed her hand, dropped his face to her hair. Scully closed her eyes for a minute and then slowly sat up. She unbuttoned her satiny top and slid it off her shoulders. With more effort she removed her pajama bottoms.

"I should tell you something," she said. "It's... I hope you know this, but I want to tell you, just in case you don't."

Mulder looked at her and smiled. "What?"

"If you woke up tomorrow and said, 'That's it, fun's over, we should annul this whole thing' -- I'd agree, if that was the only way to keep your friendship. That probably sounds really pathetic, but I'd agree, because I don't ever want to wake up and not be your friend. I'd agree, but I would miss you. I would miss this more than I could ever express," she whispered. Mulder's eyes were glossy and she felt absurdly close to crying herself. She brushed a drop of water off his lower lashes.

"Scully," he said, his voice cracking, "I'm not going anywhere."

"I know," she said. "I just... I told you I didn't have any fantasies, before, and I know why now, really why. I couldn't have imagined this, not for anything. How could I have possibly known what it -- sex -- would be like with you, how necessary it would become, how you'd taste, what your eyes would look like when you were inside me?"

Mulder shook his head, couldn't speak. She kissed him and continued, returning to her story.

"Once upon a time, I made love to my best friend in my brother's guest bedroom. I was trying not to think about my brother being in a room across the hall." She stroked a soft line down Mulder's stomach, feeling his breath catch. "I was also trying not to make any noise, and so were you, and we were both moving very gradually. When there wasn't any clothing between us, we started to learn each other. Remember?"

"Yes," he whispered, sitting up, cupping her breasts soothingly.

"First we touched," she said, her hands on his face, his throat and chest. His hands were going lower. "Then we tasted," she whispered, leaning in, tracing his earlobe with her tongue, her own breath harder to clutch with his hand between her legs.

She moved her hands down and sunk back onto the mattress. Mulder followed, lowering his body over hers. Their mouths met, hungry -- starving, she thought -- and she savored as much as she could before he pulled away, tasting, tasting.

"Then," she tried to say, wanting to keep talking, to form coherent words and phrases, to tell the story of how it felt, this kindling dream, "then, then, then," but he was kissing her everywhere, hot everywhere, and her body was hungry everywhere.

He raised over her again, his mouth slick now, tender on hers.

"Then," she tried to say, feeling him between her legs, pressing her open little by little, "then..."

"Scully," he said, "hush."

She looked up at him and they both smiled, laughed as he dropped his head with a groan, as they found a rhythm, him on his elbows, her legs hitched up around his hips and and hooked at the ankles. Amazing mystery, she thought, this act she couldn't articulate, all clinking bones and stretched muscles, places hard, places swollen, time without context, the scents of salt, bread, cut grass, and fresh rain, his eyes anchoring her. Exquisite heat, and sweetness. She let it spark through her, felt herself rise out of it, felt him let go and collapse.

They were still.

She registered Mulder rubbing her left ring finger.

"Maybe for Christmas," he said.

She scratched the base of his neck lightly. "Yeah."

"You said you didn't want one, but would you mind one?"

"I wouldn't mind." So new, she thought. "Or, we could split the certificate and each staple half to our foreheads." Something occurred to her. "Mulder, did you want a ring all along?"

"Yes," he said in a very small voice.

"Why didn't you say so?"

He raised up and rubbed his nose along hers. "You didn't want one."

"That doesn't mean I wouldn't take one," she said. "I almost thought the judge was going to make us borrow a couple before he'd perform the service anyway."

Mulder kissed her beneath her eyes, on her chin and under her chin. "But you gave him the patented Scully eyebrow and he skipped right over that part like a real sport."

She grinned, thinking about it.

He rolled off her onto his side, and Scully creakily eased out of bed. When she eased back in, she brought an antique bowl, which held washcloths in the bathroom, filled with warm water and drops of rosemary oil. Rituals were bizarre in her world of cancelled appointments and Plans, what are plans? -- but she liked this finale, gently washing Mulder and being washed in return. When they were done, she set the bowl on the dresser and blew out the candle.

She settled in for sleep. Mulder placed his splayed hand on her stomach. She turned her face to his throat and hummed a couple of notes. She felt blissed out.

"You don't want to hear my Skinner-in-lederhosen fantasy?"

"Quit it, Scully," Mulder said. "You are not going to goad me into jealousy. Not tonight, at least."

"But Mulder," she said, drawling her words, "what makes you think I would be the one who'd be having sex with him in the story?"

Same strangled noise, this time accompanied by tickling.

Scully kissed him to make him stop, a successful tactic. She slung her left leg over his right one and held him tight.

She was almost asleep when he spoke.

"I'm never going to wake up and not be your friend anymore," he said softly.

"Me neither," she whispered, the words full of tears. "I love you," she said.

"I love you, too."

They slept, entwined in each other's dreams.

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Imagination gathers up the undiscovered Universe, like jewels in a jasper cup
-- John Davidson


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/Outtake

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Author's Notes:

Anjou asked pretty please for the smut, though she may really regret that now. "Meaningful" is a difficult word to interpret. M. Sebasky is responsible for the lederhosen. I'm blaming Cofax for all more-Alt-U-than-usual aspects. As for CommiePinkoKrycek's, uh, client, well, it could be Diana, or Marita, but I have a terrible, terrible feeling it's Ann Coulter. And Ann Coulter smut is just horribly, horribly Evil. But then, that's my middle name.

Seriously, Anjou, M. Sebasky and Cofax rock. Ann Coulter, not so much.


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