Title: Bath 8-11: The White Set
Author: KMS! and Whitney Cox
Classification: V & H
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Can't afford to buy 'em. Characters lovinglyborrowed from Carter/1013/Fox.
Quote of the day: "I was going to suggest that we go into the hottub. There's room for two more."
Corey Raines (Nick Lea) on Highlander, as said to Duncan and Richie.
THE BATH 8: Rub-a-dub-dub
by KMS! and Whitney Cox
Kmspider@aol.com & WhitneyCox@aol.com
We now join our program already in progress...
"Oh, my god! Mulder, get the hell away from me!" Dana Scullyheld her hand up, palm out, as if warding her partner away from her.
"But, Scully, nothing. You stink!" She clapped her free handover her nose and motioned him away from her with the other.
Mulder stepped back three steps then halted. "Ya gotta help us,Scully."
"Okay, okay. Just stay away from me. You're making my eyes water."
"Scully, please..." He drew out the last word in a pleadingtone.
"All right. ALL RIGHT! Just let me think. I've got to go intotown and get some stuff. You stay here." In a stage whisper, sheadded, "As if I'd let you in the car like this." Gesturing aroundthe room, she ordered, "Don't sit on anything. Don't touch anything. In fact, why don't you wait in the garage until I get back?"
"It's cold in there!"
"I won't be long. GO!" she pointed, "And take those twowith you."
"Agent Scully, is it necessary to be quite so abrupt?"
"Don't take this the wrong way, sir, but you reek. And if we evermanage to eliminate your...," she paused here, "...your BOUQUET,well... I'd just as soon the rest of the cabin didn't smell as well."
"Understood, Agent. Come on, Mulder." Walter Skinner grabbedthe back of his collar and tugged until the agent turned and followed himout the door. Between them walked Krycek, securely handcuffed, and smellingjust as redolent.
Making their way to the garage, Mulder reached out a hand and smartlysmacked the back of Krycek's head.
"Hey!" Alex jerked away from him.
"This is all your fault."
"Mine?" Alex sounded outraged. "You two were the onesthat tackled me!"
"Humph. It's still your fault."
As Dana hurried into the small town that sat at the base of the mountain,she thought back to how they had gotten into this mess. Mulder. Again. Mulder's informant had given them a lead to Krycek. And for a change,Mulder had kept Skinner abreast of their investigation. By the time theyhad found themselves closing in, Skinner had decided to accompany them. After all, Mulder wasn't the only one with a grudge against the formeragent.
They had discovered Alex Krycek hiding out in a remote cabin. And anice cabin, too! Complete with two car garage and a hot tub sitting serenelyin a glass enclosed room. Accompanied by their boss, they had run him toground, only to have him make a break for it. Skinner and Mulder had givenchase through the lightly falling snow, finally tackling him in a smallclearing in the woods. Both Skinner and Mulder had made the final leapto bring him down, the three of them rolling down a small incline to landin an untidy heap amid a tiny strand of bushes.
Unbeknownst to them, they had landed atop the underground warren of amother skunk, who was not at all pleased at the unwelcome interruption ofher winter nap, nor the perceived threat to her three children. Barrelingout the newly cleared opening, she had graced all three with her own brandof defense. Skinner and Mulder were just getting Krycek to his feet whenmomma skunk lifted her tail and let loose, soaking all three. And to addinsult to injury, one of the tiny black and white monsters had followedher out and, imitating momma, lifted it's small tail and let loose withanother spray. Talk about aromatherapy. Of the worst kind.
Secretly Mulder wondered if you could die of the smell. Then again,he smelled like something that was already dead. Weeks dead. Possiblymonths dead.
Dragging Krycek back to the cabin in handcuffs, Mulder had confrontedScully, pleading for her help. He could hardly believe the way she hadthrown them out of the cabin. Okay, so she DID have a point. He couldbarely stand to be around himself much less inhale. His sense of smellwas thoroughly insulted. The Armani suit would have to be burned. Accountingwas going to love his next expense report! On the up side, he hadn't losthis gun. Not that he would want to carry it now with the fragrant essenceof momma skunk clinging to it.
It took nearly an hour for Dana to negotiate the treacherous roads, makeher purchases and find her way back to the cabin. Luckily she was ridingjust ahead of the storm. Said to be one of the worst in the last ten years. The small town store must have run into similar problems with the localwildlife and had sold what she needed in five gallon drums. She boughtout the store.
Parking as close to the cabin as she could, she hauled the containersinto the sunken hot tub, draining the existing water and emptying her newpurchases into the newly-vacant tub. Dipping her hand into the liquid,she decided to add hot water to take the chill off of it before informingthe boys their bath was ready.
Minutes later Mulder, Skinner and Krycek were ensconced up to their necksin tomato and lemon juice.
Dana had made them strip outside (so she could burn their offensive clothing)before entering the glass-enclosed room that housed the hot tub. Dana hadsecretly grinned as they stripped in the garage and streaked through thelight snow to the hot tub.
Even Krycek was uncuffed for the occasion. Not like he could run anyplace,smelling like he did and not a stitch of clothing on.
The hot water caused the tomato juice to froth and turn pink.
Scully sat at the edge of the tub, pant legs rolled up to her knees,watching the three men soak. From behind her back, Scully brought out herspecial purchases. The boys didn't even notice until she started lobbingcelery sticks into the tub, bouncing one off of Krycek's head.
"Scully, what the hell are you doing?" Mulder demanded.
Dana held up a small bottle of Tabasco sauce and a large bottle of vodka. "Well, I didn't think you wanted to be known as VIRGIN Marys, so Ipicked up a couple of extra ingredients."
"Very funny, Scully," Mulder grumbled.
From across the tub, Walter called out, "On the other hand, I forone could use a drink." Reaching out a hand, Skinner took the bottlefrom her and unscrewed the cap. Giving them a nod for a toast, he upendedthe bottle and took a healthy slug.
"Well, at least it cuts the taste of skunk in your mouth!"he said after a moment, passing the bottle to Mulder. Mulder took a slugthen passed it on to Krycek.
Mulder sidled up next to Scully and whispered, "Hey, Scully, yougonna tell Skinner about you and Krycek."
Scully frowned down at him, "Mulder, what are you talking about?"
"You know... you and Krycek doing the horizontal bop."
Dana reached out and flicked tomato juice at him. "Shut up, Mulder,or you'll ride home naked. Strapped to the hood, like roadkill. Remember,I'm burning your clothes."
Mulder grinned again, unrepentant. "Does this mean I shouldn'ttell Alex you think he has a great butt?"
Dana looked down at him, surrounded by red tomato juice, the smell juststarting to dissipate. Leaning down close, she whispered to him, "Ipeeked, Mulder. You all do."
Mulder floated away from her. "I'm shocked at you." In amuch louder voice he said, "That's it, Scully! I'm telling them both."
Scully lobbed another celery stick at him.
"Sculleeee? Can we get out now?"
Mulder had propped his foot up on the side of the hot tub and was examiningthe pink raisins that had somehow mysteriously invaded the bathtub and replacedhis toes. Three hours in a tomato juice-filled hot tub with two other nakedmen was enough. After half an hour, Krycek had informed Scully that therewas no more vodka. Of course, he had done this in Russian, so Scully hadjust taken the empty bottle from his outstretched hand and patted him onthe head. He seemed pleased by this action and settled back in the tomatojuice.
After an hour, Mulder had complained that it was too quiet. Scullyobliged by bringing a stereo and her CD collection. The first CD she putin was the music to La Boheme. Mulder had whined loudly, and Skinner hadthreatened her with demotion, but she told them that if they wanted to changethe music, they had better get up and change it themselves, because shewasn't moving.
The music stayed.
After an hour and a half, Krycek had begun to sink. Mulder and Skinnertried to figure out some way to keep his head out of water--tomato juice--butkeep enough of him submerged to take away the smell. Throwing him halfwayover the side would expose too much of his skin, while laying him acrossthe other men's laps was voted out of the question by a vote of two to one. Finally, Scully handcuffed his left wrist to a nearby post so that he wouldn'tsink any further. This was a solution that everyone could live with. Scullyput in her Evita soundtrack.
After two hours, Mulder and Skinner had struck up a conversation aboutalcoholic beverages--namely wine--with Mulder proclaiming (quite loudly)that there was nothing like a good Merlot and Skinner arguing (just as vocally)that California Chardonnay was immeasurably better. Scully had shushedthem both by saying nothing beat a good Burgundy and she would put in herBarry Manilow CD if they refused to shut up. Mulder had submerged himselfto his nose with an I-told-you-so look on his face. Scully tried the Bestof the Doors.
After two and a half hours, Skinner had become hungry. Scully tossedhim the rest of the celery sticks and a bag of pretzels, saying that ifhe ate any more, he would ruin his supper. Mulder dug into the celery sticks,using one to do a terrible Groucho Marx impression. Skinner followed suitwith an equally bad Cyrano de Bergerac takeoff. Mulder grabbed two, usedthem as antennae, and told little gray men jokes. Scully replaced the Doorswith the Beatles' White Album.
Now, three hours after the first immersion, Mulder was getting cranky. He had to pee, and was finally realizing the ludicrousness of his situation. Here he was, an FBI agent, somewhere in the mountains, completely naked,in a hot tub filled with lukewarm tomato juice, sitting beside two othernaked men--one an unconscious wanted felon, drooling and talking in hissleep in Russian; the other his boss and immediate supervisor, chompingon celery and singing along with the Beatles.
It was too much. God, he was stuck in a V8 commercial! Cambelle'sTomato Soup - Your soaking in it! He shook his head in disgust.
"Come on, Scully. We don't smell anymore. We promise."
She looked them over, then tested the air with her nose. It was certainlypossible that her sense of smell had dulled over the past three hours, butshe didn't smell anything anymore. "Okay," she admitted reluctantly,"I think you're done. Let me go see if I can find any clothes foryou." She left the room, shutting the door behind her.
Mulder turned to Skinner. "Suppose she never comes back."
He shrugged. "We can always use Krycek as a punching bag if weget bored."
"Sounds fun." Mulder dunked his head quickly then resurfaced,shaking droplets of tomato juice from his hair like a dog. "Well,chalk this one up to the long list of things I thought I'd never be doing."
Skinner nodded. "Remind me, Agent Mulder, the next time I wantto go with you on a manhunt, that I could easily end up soaking in tomatojuice."
"You have to admit, you couldn't find a nicer place to do it."
"Could we--the Bureau--repossess this place and keep it as a winterretreat?"
"I won't tell if you won't."
Scully walked back in and deposited a whole mess of clothing on a nearbytable. "There's most everything I could find; the key to his handcuffsis on top of the stack. I'll be back in a moment. The storm's letting upand I want to get some stuff I left in the car." Once again, she left.
Very cautiously, Mulder stood up, letting the tomato juice level restabout his waist. This wouldn't be too embarrassing if he handled it properly. Rinsing himself off as best he could, he decided it was time to make hismove.
As quickly as he could, he darted over to the table, snatched the keyoff the top, and pulled on the nearest pair of sweatpants. "I'll...unlock Krycek..." he said, making sure that there was no possible wayhe could see his boss naked. Instead, he walked over to Krycek and beganfiddling with the cuffs.
Within seconds, Skinner was behind him, without a shirt but clad inloose pants. "What's the problem?"
"I can't... seem to unlock... these cuffs. I think they're stuck."
But before they had time to consider any of the implications of thissituation, a door opened and a hideously familiar smell permeated the room.
Both men turned to see Dana Scully, MD, walking through the door witha disgusted look on her face. "Scully?" Mulder asked.
"That damned skunk! She was waiting for me! I know it!" She shook herself.
"I walked outside and there she was, in the middle of the path,just... WAITING!"
Mulder bit his lip to keep from laughing. "Well, Scully, lookslike it'sbathtime for you."
She nodded. "Fine. Just get him out of here and I'll get in thetub."
Skinner shook his head. "The tomato juice in the air has corrodedthelocking mechanism."
Scully paled. "What? You mean, I'm going to be sharing a tubwith... him?"
The men nodded.
She rolled her eyes. "Fine. I'm a doctor. I'm comfortable withmy body. I can deal with this."
Three hours later, Krycek woke up.
"Hiya, sweetheart," he murmured through a half-drunken stupor. She hit him.
Author's note: You didn't really think it would be the butcher, thebaker and the candlestick maker, did you? Any ideas on how to continueto get them in the tub, gleefully accepted. And again, thanks to everyonefor sending wonderful suggestions.
Summary: Winky, Scud and Charlie go for a swim.
THE BATH 9: Winky, Scud and Charlie go for a swim.
by KMS! and Whitney Cox
email@example.com & WhitneyCox@aol.com
Dana Scully sat soaking in the hot tub, up to her neck in lemon and tomatojuice. Beside her was the slumped form of Alex Krycek. If he moved again,she was seriously considering using the empty vodka bottle over his head,handcuffs or no handcuffs.
The nerve of the little rat, making a pass at her when she was forcedinto the tub to rid herself of the smell of skunk.
"Sweetheart this!" she muttered under her breath. The dooropened noisily and Mulder walked in.
"You know, with your color hair, Scully, you're starting to blendinto that tomato juice. I almost can't tell where it ends and you begin."
"Hurry up, Mulder. He already woke up once."
"You two been behaving yourselves?" he asked with a smirk. "Or have you been playing hide-the-sausage in the tomato juice?"
"Don't start with me, Mulder. Just get him out of here."
"Well, you're in luck, Scully. I found a hacksaw in the garage." He held up the object in triumph.
"Well stop grinning to yourself and get to it, man," she ordered.
"You know, Scully, there's no need to just sit there and STEW aboutit." He giggled at his own joke.
"That wasn't funny, you know."
"Was it enough to alle-V-8 the smell?"
"Shut up, Mulder, or when they find your body, there will be tomatojuice in your lungs."
"If you don't hurry and get out of there, you're going to have toplay 'ketchup' with the rest of us."
"I'm warning you."
"Scully, are you looking a little PASTEy? You know, tomato paste-y? Or are you a little 'red' in the face?"
"Kiss my pasty white butt, Mulder. Enough with the puns." Dana sounded annoyed.
"Ooooh, Scully, you're such a SAUCEy wench. What a hot TOMATO!"
"Shut up, Mulder, and get back to work. You're no Rodney Dangerfield."
Mulder knelt down beside the unconscious body of Alex Krycek, while hummingthe theme song to 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes' and began using the bladeto separate the links of the handcuffs. "I wouldn't have thought thatyou would object to this situation, Scully. After all, you're the one whosaid he had a nice butt. And lord knows, from there, you have a great view."
Dana opened her mouth to answer, but was interrupted when Alex sleepilyraised his head and asked, "You think I have a nice butt?"
Scully had to cover her grin with one hand when she noticed that he hadn'tasked the question of her, but was staring blearily up at Mulder, eyes glassy,lower lip extended in a slight pout.
"Really?" he asked again.
Mulder's mouth fell open. "I... I... it wasn't me," he protested,"It was her."He waved the blade in her direction.
Alex turned his head and peered at her. "You think I have a nicebutt?" he asked her shyly. His cheeks turned pink and his face tookon the expression of a third-grader whose friend had just told him thathis sister's friend's younger sister thought he was cute.
She tried her best to suppress a grin. She patted his head, as she haddone earlier, and reassured him. "Yes, Alex, it's a very nice ass."
Alex smiled, muttered, "I work out, you know," and promptlyfell asleep again, nose sinking below the tomato juice and producing a steadystream of bubbles.
Mulder heaved him up so he could breath, then look down at the unconsciousman. "Gee, Scully, you sure have a way with men."
Scully sank back into the liquid. "Always have, Mulder." She waved one imperious hand at him and, in her best Monty Python accent,commanded, "You may remove him now."
Mulder bowed deeply in her direction. "As you wish, Princess Dana. But may I remove the handcuffs first?"
Dana turned away from them, waving one hand languidly in the air. "Youhave my permission, peasant."
"Keep it up, Scully, and I won't bring you back any towels."
Scully looked around, not seeing a towel in the place. "I don'tneed any towels because I'm not getting out," she stated firmly. "I'vedecided to become a Tomato Mermaid. I think I've already started to growfins instead of feet. Just bring me cucumber slices and a roll of string,and I'll be fully clothed."
Mulder finally finished sawing through the metal, then slung the unconsciousRussian over the side of the tub. "That's got it. Let me just goget Skinner to help me and we'll have him out of here in a jiffy,"he said getting to his feet.
"Where IS Skinner?"
"He decided to start dinner while you were 'soaking' up the goodlife."
"Funny, Mulder. Real funny. What's he making for dinner?"
Mulder turned back with a grin. "Spaghetti." He ducked outthe door just as the leftover celery stick hit the wall.
Scully sighed as the door shut and sank back into the bubbles, castinga single surreptitious glance to confirm that, yes, Alex Krycek did havea VERY nice butt.
Mulder returned moments later with Skinner and an armful of towels. Dropping the towels beside the hot tub, he and Skinner wrestled Alex outof the tub. "No peeking, Scully," he instructed, as Dana turneda bright red.
The two men gathered up Alex and took him to one of the bedrooms. Duringthe process, he came hazily awake long enough to ask Skinner if he thoughthe had a nice ass. Walter's eyebrows rose up in suprise and refrained frommaking any comment until Alex started to cry bitterly, whereupon he reassuredhim that his ass was just fine. Skinner and Mulder dumped him on the bedin relief and fled the room.
The real fight didn't break out until that night. Words like 'I'm notsleeping with him, YOU sleep with him,' and 'I'm not moving him!' and 'ButI had to sleep with him in Tunguska,' rang out in the cabin. The soundsof bass, tenor, and alto voices argued back and forth until the deepestvoice laid down the law.
"As your superior, Agent Mulder, I am ordering YOU to share theroom with Krycek."
"But I could sleep on the couch. I always sleep on the couch athome."
"Not tonight, Mulder. Give it up. The boss gets the couch."
Mulder turned on her. "He could share a room with YOU, Scully."
"I don't think so, Mulder. He's already made a pass at me once."
"That was hardly his fault. You were naked, in a hot tub with him. He probably thought all his dreams had just come true."
Scully slugged him in the arm. "No, Mulder, he was naked and wet,being laid down upon a bed by two strong, attractive FBI agents. THAT waswhen he probably thought all his dreams had just come true. Now quit actinglike a baby."
"I could sleep in a chair," he proposed hopefully.
"No!" two voices rang out.
"He's your prisoner. You're sleeping in there, with Krycek, andthat's the end of it. Understood, Agent Mulder?"
Mulder's shoulders slumped in defeat. His voice was resigned, "Yes,sir."
"Fine. Now that that's settled, what do you want to do tonight?"
Scully piped up with, "We can't watch television. The storm won'tlet any stations come in."
Mulder brightened. "We could play poker. Loser shares the bedwith Krycek!"
"NO!" two voices chorused.
"Rock, paper, scissors?"
"Damn it, Mulder. We have already settled that issue." Skinnerput his foot down, accidentally stomping Scully's toe in the process. "Sorry,"he apologized.
"That's okay." Dana added, "Too bad Cancerman isn't here. We could have HIM sleep with Krycek."
"Scully, even I wouldn't do THAT to Alex. You have such a meanstreak some times."
"For all we know," Skinner added, "He already does."
That comment brought a full five minutes' worth of silence to the trio.
"Hey, I know," said Mulder, finally breaking the stillnesswith what he considered a good idea. "I could sleep with Scully."
"The odds in the office pool are three-to-one that you already are,Agent Mulder."
"Gee, sir, the last I heard, they were fifty-fifty.""Thatwas before she shot you."
"Monopoly?" Scully proposed.
"Around and round in circles, while someone charges you rent andthrows you in jail. Too much like real life."
"At least this time you get $200 every round!"
"Well, what do you want to do, Mulder?"
"You got any of that vodka left?"
"No, Alex finished it off."
"What about Scrabble?"
Mulder raised an eyebrow. "Do we HAVE Scrabble?"
Scully nodded. "While you boys were busy playing Mother Goose,I found a Scrabble board."
Mulder opened his mouth to ask just WHAT exactly she meant by the MotherGoose comment, but he was interrupted by his boss. Skinner looked slightlysad for a moment. "I once had a dog... His name was Scrabble. Hewas a Dalmatian. . . ."
Mulder looked at Scully, who just shrugged. If their boss was goingto take a little trip down amnesia lane, who were they to stop him?
"And I would feed him and water him every day," Skinner continued,deep voice cracking with emotion. "And we'd run together and I'd tellhim, 'I love you, Scrabble!' And he'd bark back, 'Woof! Woof!' But I knewit meant, 'I love you too, Wally...'"
Scully bit her lip to keep from laughing. 'No more vodka for the boss,'thought Mulder.
"I can see him now... He was so cute..."
Mulder put his hand on his boss' shoulder. "Come on, sir. It'sjust a game."
"'Woof! Woof!'" Skinner continued as Mulder led him towardthe game board.
"Hey, wait a minute... How did you get 'quixotic' on a triple wordscore? That's not even a word!"
"Sure is, Mulder. Check your nearest dictionary."
"There's not a dictionary here."
"Sir!" Mulder called to his boss, who had curled up in a corner,reading James Herriot's 'Dog Stories' and sniffing audibly every five minutesor so. "Is 'quixotic' a word?"
Skinner looked up from his reading. "Yes."
"Damn!" Mulder grumbled. He tallied Scully's score. So itwas now... 658 to 23.
He was gaining on her...
Early the next morning, Mulder rang the Lone Gunmen with a question. He stood in the kitchen, scratching, while he talked on his cellular phone. After a short conversation he hung up and started the coffee. Mulder lookeddown at himself with a thoughtful expression.
Even Winky was starting to peel...
Dana heard his voice and stumbled into the living room, then followedthe smell of coffee into the kitchen like a caffeinated zombie. "Howwas your night with Krycek?" Was she smirking?
"God, Scully. The man is an octopus! And he hogs all the blankets! Not to mention that he mutters in Russian in his sleep." He staredintensely at her. "Whatever you do, Scully, never go to bed with adrunken traitor. I woke up in the middle of the night to find him cryingon my shoulder, just before he rolled over and puked in the waste bucket." Mulder gave a heavy sigh. "I guess I should just be grateful he didn'tpuke ON me."
"Did I hear you talking to someone?"
"Scully, are you peeling?"
Dana looked down at herself, then tented her pajama top so she couldlook down inside. Her muffled voice reached him, a little confused. "Yeah,why is that? Are you?" She looked up in time to see him nod.
"I just got off the phone to Frohicke. It seems that you're notsupposed to 'soak' in the tomato juice. You're supposed to bath in it,then shower. Change juice and repeat process until the smell is gone. He says if you stay in there until your fingers wrinkle, you will peel likeyou've got a bad sunburn. Oh, by the way, Frohicke expressed his regretsthat he was not here to see your little 'bloodbath.'" He scratchedhis belly again, then shuddered violently. "God, I itch all over."
"WILL you STOP scratching! You're starting to make me itch."
Mulder wiggled to avoid scratching. "You realize we're going tolook like we've all got sunburns by the time we get back to the office."
"What was that, Agent Mulder?" Skinner joined them in thekitchen.
"Oh, morning, sir. I was just telling Agent Scully that we areall going to start peeling in the next few days. We weren't supposed tosoak in the juice. If you do, it takes your skin right off."
Skinner poured himself a cup of coffee and turned to face them. It wastoo early for the prediction that he was about to lose his outer layer ofskin. "Sounds like one of your X-Files."
Mulder grinned at him. "No, sir. We usually stop at draining allpigmentation from the skin."
Skinner grimaced at him. "It's way too early for this."
"Kim is going to think you were up here for a ski vacation, sir,"Scully pointed out.
"My assistant knows better than to ask questions when it comes toyou two, Agent Scully."
"I thought this was one of those things I swore I'd never do again."Walter grumbled.
Well, at least Krycek isn't drunk this time, Mulder mentally added.
"Look on the bright side, guys. At least I brought bubble bath,"Dana reassured them.
"What's so good about bubble bath?"
"If there were no bubbles, I could see clear to the bottom..."
"Good point, Agent Scully."
"What did you say about my butt?"
"Will somebody slap him?"
"Can't I get out now?" Mulder whined.
"No, this is the best thing for sunburns--a cold bath. I'm hopingthat it'll work the same for tomato juice burns. Besides, the Mineral Oilshould help replenish the oils in your skin."
"Yeah, but cold is one thing, Scully. Siberian flashbacks are another."
"Shut up, Mulder, or I'll add enough ice to shrink you to the sizeof David the Gnome."
"I think I'm already shrunk, thank-you-very-much. Does that meanI get to wear the funny hat?"
"No. And if you make one joke about riding a fox, so help me, I'll..."
"Would you put on some music, please?" Walter interjected.
"Why did you ask her to do that?" Mulder demanded.
"Because listening to the two of you make sexual innuendoes aboutchildren's shows is not my idea of quality entertainment. I'd be willingto endure a Yoko Ono marathon right about now."
"I LIKE Yoko," Krycek whined.
"I have Deep Blue Something. That work for you?"
"I want more bubbles."
"Well, just swish your hands around, Mulder."
"What if I just press this... button."
"Mulder, turn that off!"
"Wow, look at all the BUBBLES!" Krycek apparently found themmore interesting than any comments about his posterior.
"MULDER, turn OFF the jets."
"What? What? I can't hear you, Scully."
"Why didn't we do this with the tomato juice?" Krycek wonderedaloud.
Mulder turned to him. "You were so smashed, you wouldn't have noticedif we had put Queen Elizabeth, dressed in a green tuxedo in here, and hadher sing 'She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain."
"Hey, these bubbles are getting kind of high, aren't they?" Skinner pointed out.
"Just push the bubbles back into the tub, Agent Scully."
"Maybe, you should get a mop, Agent Scully."
"I am NOT cleaning up after HIM!"
Dana stood, intending to stalk out of the room, when her foot connectedwith a patch of bubbles. She teetered a moment, before plunging over theside and into the swirling Jacuzzi.
Three sets of arms cushioned her fall as Dana yelped in suprise. "Itreally is cold, isn't it?"
"Not any more." Mulder gave her his best leer.
"Be careful, Agent Mulder," Skinner warned him. " I wouldn'twant her to pull you in front of an OPR review board."
"She can pull me anywhere she wants to," Alex added his twocents worth.
Dana struggled to stand and turned to glared at him. Krycek gave heran innocent look.
"Hey! Watch the elbow, Scully. You could have permanently damagedWinky."
Scully turned a baleful eye on him. "You call him 'Winky?' Youhave a name for it?"
"Of course I do. Most guys do." Mulder looked around forsupport.
Skinner looked sheepish and Krycek was grinning from ear to ear.
Dana stood facing them, chest-deep in frigid water, hands on her hips,her wet tee-shirt hugging her frame. "Okay, guys. Give. What dothe rest of you call yours. And, Mulder, turn off the damn jets. The bubblesare almost over my head."
When the other two failed to respond she gave them 'The Look.' It neverfailed to work with Mulder and sent most criminals weeping for their mothers.
Krycek cleared his throat. "Well, I call mine, 'Scud.'"
Mulder snorted. "Yeah, right," he muttered. "More like'little' Alex.
"And you, sir?" Scully's look was both demanding and unfathomable.
"Did you say 'Charlie?'" Dana wrinkled her nose. "That'smy brother's name."
Skinner's chest puffed out a little, which was a little incongruous ashe was up to his armpits in bubbles. "Yeah. Charlie. As in horse."
"Oh." Dana could barely hide her laughter, her lips twitchingwith a smile. "So at the moment, I'm sharing a bath with Winky, Scudand Charlie?"
"One of the privileged few, Scully. Go with it."
"Can we get out now? Winky is cold."
"And he's going to get colder if you don't turn off the damn jets!" Mounds of bubbles washed over the sides, seeping over the tiles to puddleat the nearby drain.
"You're the one who added the bubble bath, Scully," he pointedout reasonably.
"Mulder, if you don't turn off the jets, I'm gonna guillotine Winkyand serve him to you for lunch between two hot dog buns."
All the men in the tub winced as their hands reached protectively underthe water.
"Gee, Scully. Okay. Okay. See, I'm turning off the jets. Sheesh!"
The room quieted as the motors quit. The sound of popping bubbles filledthe room, as the level in the tub evened out. In the sudden quiet, Scullyturned to see Krycek giving her a large grin.
"What?" she demanded.
"Well, I was just thinking that you win the wet tee-shirt contesthands down."
Dana looked down at herself, before blushing and turning her back onthem. In one lithe move, she was out of the tub and scooped up all thetowels, heading for the door.
"HEY!" three voices chorused behind her.
Arms full of towels, she turned at the door to face them. "Laughit up, fellas. The next contest is to see who can streak the fastest." And with that, she firmly closed the door behind her.
Mulder reached out a hand and smacked the back of Krycek's head.
"Nice going, Alex. Now she's pissed off and it's all your fault."
Rubbing the back of his head, he retorted, "Yeah, but she did lookreally good, didn't she?"
All three leaned forward with a sigh. Yeah, she did. And she'd killthem if she found out they thought so.
In the quiet that followed, Skinner's low voice was heard. "Okay,so we agree. We say nothing. Right?"
The other two turned to stare at him for a long moment.
Then two voices reluctantly agreed. "Right."
Mulder took a deep breath. "Did you know that streaking is a formof fraternity initiation?"
"No way," Krycek said.
"Yeah. Apparently it's really big on campuses around New England."
"Can't imagine why. It's colder up there than it is in this tub."
"Remember when fraternity initiations were just goldfish-swallowing?"Skinner mused.
Mulder looked at him. "Did YOU swallow a goldfish, sir?"
Skinner looked sheepish. "Two, actually. They called me 'Fishy.'"
Krycek dared to laugh, so Skinner pressed down on his head and held himunderwater for a full minute. When he was finally let up, Krycek was sputtering..
"You know, she's not bringing back those towels," Mulder said.
The other two men nodded in unison.
"And we're going to have to make a run for it."
The other two men nodded.
"So, I'd say we're officially a fraternity!"
"A three-man fraternity?" Skinner sounded skeptical. "Whatwill we call ourselves?"
"How about," Krycek suggested, "the Society of Winky,Scud, and Charlie?"
That was fine with Mulder, and even Skinner accepted it. They all shook,proclaiming themselves charter members of the Society of Winky, Scud, andCharlie, even though Skinner momentarily protested that Charlie was laston the list. Finally, they counted to three, and, in unison, three malebutts, peeling something awful, raised from the tub and darted toward thedoor.
The splashing sound they made in the process delighted Scully, who waspoised on the other side of the door, still dripping wet, with a cameraand several rolls of film.
Title: Bath 10: The Society Dives in for Revenge.
Author: KMS! and Whitney Cox
Summary: The Society Dives in for Revenge.
Bath 10: The Society dives in for Revenge.
by KMS! and Whitney Cox
firstname.lastname@example.org & WhitneyCox@aol.com
This meant war.
Not only had Scully humiliated the charter members of the Society ofWinky, Scud, and Charlie, and reduced them to less than men, but she hadpictures of them.
Naked pictures to boot.
Pictures that, if they ever got out, would ruin the society members'respective careers as Special Agent for the FBI, X-Files division; RenegadeTerrorist/Traitor for hire; and Assistant Director of the FBI.
'Or enter us in the FBI Hall of Fame,' Mulder thought with a snigger.
"We can't rest until we know that those pictures have been safelyconfiscated and destroyed," said Skinner, using his best I'm-the-boss-and-I-am-the-only-one-here-who-knows-what-the-hell-I'm-doing-so-I-deserve-some-respect-dammit voice. "We should never have let herout of the room with those pictures."
All three groaned in unison. Scully had been waiting on the other sideof the door with the camera and film when they came streaking out of theroom, peeling like crazy from tomato juice exposure and soaking wet frombeing submerged in a bathtub of icy cold water. ICY cold water. If Winky,Scud, and Charlie had been able to sue for defamation of character by meansof unflattering photographs, those pictures would probably have promptedthem to do so.
After having grabbed articles of clothing, all three men turned on Scully,who was slipping the Polaroids securely in the cup of her bra.
"Come on, Scully," Mulder pleaded. "We'll be good. Promise. Please give us the film?"
She merely laughed, shaking her wet head, causing droplets to fly everywhere. Mulder was momentarily struck by conflicting emotions raging within him--oddthat he would see one of her rare, beautiful smiles at a moment when hewas hopping mad at her.
"Fat chance, Mulder. None of you are getting these pictures."
Skinner cleared his throat. "Agent Scully, I am ordering you togive me those photos."
"With all due respect, sir," she said, "If you want thesephotographs, you'll have to get them yourself."
A dead silence filled the room.
Krycek snickered and Mulder whapped him on the head, not hard enoughto incapacitate him, but hard enough to sting, an action which provokeda slight whimper from the Russian.
Skinner cleared his throat, mind obviously racing with visions of OPCreview boards, sexual harassment suits, disciplinary actions, demotions,legal action, lawyers, media, and other unsundry visions not usually associatedwith the action of reaching one's hand down a woman's shirt to retrievean object.
Mulder just stared. The thoughts that had curiously bypassed Skinner'sImmediate Concerns List were racing through his mind at mach two. He reluctantlyplaced his hands by his sides and ordered his feet to stay exactly wherethey were, which was, to his credit, not an easy task.
Krycek looked at his two compatriots and snorted contemptuously. "Youtwo can do it," he said in his best (or worst, depending on how onelooked at it) Boris Baddinov accent, "But in the Mother Country, wehad a saying: You get nothing by taking objects from women." He droppedthe accent and cleared his throat. "Especially if said objects arein . . . strategic locations." Reaching down, he picked up a pairof jeans from a table behind him. "Now, I'm going to finish gettingdressed."
The other two could do nothing but stand and watch him leave. Scullystill stood, hands on her hips, film in her bra, dripping wet and defyingevery male instinct they had in them. "Takers?"
Both men unknowingly shook their heads in unison.
She smiled. "I'll start dinner. Hot dogs, anyone?"
That comment evoked two identical groans from the remaining members ofthe Society of Winky, Scud, and Charlie.
The coconspirators huddled together in the kitchen trying to come upwith ideas on how to get back at Scully.
"We could re-introduce her to mama skunk," Mulder offered.
"We are STILL stuck here AND we're out of tomato juice. WE'D getstuck smelling her until we got rescued," Skinner pointed out reasonably.
Finally Krycek quietly spoke up. "I have a plan."
"YOU have a plan?" Mulder was the first to respond.
Skinner muttered, "We ARE in trouble."
Alex motioned them to follow him. Leading them to the back of the cabin,he showed them the trap door leading down to the wine cellar. Inside wasa veritable pub's worth of booze.
"We get her drunk and search the place for the pictures."
"Uh-hu." Both men reluctantly acknowledged.
"And if that doesn't work, we get incriminating photos of HER. You know, what's good for the goose..."
"Ooowwww. I like that one." Mulder thought the plan containedsome merit.
Walter reached out and whapped him on the back of the head. "We'retaking suggestions from KRYCEK for god's sake. HE doesn't have to dealwith the Office of Professional Conduct."
Mulder rubbed the back of his head. "SO! We just have HIM do it. That way WE don't get into trouble." Turning to Alex, he asked, "Whatkind of incriminating photos do you have in mind?"
Skinner threw up his hands.
"How about pictures of her in bed with a known traitor."
Skinner's reply was sharp and sarcastic. "Oh, isn't that convenient! We just happen to have one of those lying around."
Krycek grinned from ear to ear.
Mulder rummaged around the small cellar. "So, do we have any morevodka?"
Krycek's voice drifted over to him. "Actually... we have champagne."
Mulder's head poked out. "Champagne. Bubble bath. Hot Tubs. Krycek, I'm touched. I didn't think you got me anything for Valentine's."
Alex had the good grace to blush.
"What do you want for dinner tonight, Scully?"
"Anything but Italian. I don't even want to smell a tomato."
"What's the matter, Scully? Tomatoes lost their AP-PEEL?"
"Mulder, if you tell me any more bad tomato jokes, I promise todo a home vasectomy with a plastic spork and two celery sticks."
Skinner choose that moment to walk in the room. "Agent Scully,are you threatening a federal officer?"
"Have you heard his jokes, sir?"
"Yes, I have. And I just want to assure you that I'll help youbury the body."
"And this from the Tomato Mermaid. Krycek found a roast in thefreezer. We even have carrots. I know how you like to have fun with vegetables."
"Don't tease me, Mulder. You know what kind of damage I can dowith an olive."
"Hey, did I tell you that Krycek found a nice Burgundy to go withdinner?"
"So, who's cooking."
"Krycek and I are sharing duties tonight," Skinner volunteered. He failed to mention that they were making a point to lace the whole mealwith as much alcohol as they could with the hope of getting her hopelesslydrunk.
Dinner went splendidly well. All four agents (and former agents) laughedand talked and drank. And drank. And drank. As the evening wore on, itsoon became apparent that Scully was the only one who could actually holdher liquor.
Mulder and Krycek argued over dinner about the best sci-fi movies, finallyagreeing that Star Wars was their favorite. This prompted them to leavethe table and grab broomsticks and stage a mock lightsaber sword fight inthe hot tub room (as they had been banished from the common room of thecabin after they had broken a lamp).
Skinner (who had confiscated the camera and refused to relinquish it)and Scully sat in the far corner of the room watching the mock battle, commentingon the combatants techniques and defensive styles.
"Krycek moves pretty well."
"I'd call Mulder's style 'The Ducking Turtle.'
"I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and call it 'The Armadillo.'
Meanwhile, the combatants were making their own special effect soundsto accompany their 'lightsabers.'
"Come on, Scully, you can be Leia," Mulder called out to thesidelines. "You know, the spunky princess who knows how to handlea gun and has INTERESTING hair."
"So which one are you, Luke or Han Solo."
"I'm gonna be Solo so Krycek can be the son of Darth Vader." Mulder ducked another arching blow of the broomstick.
"Does that mean Walter is Yoda?" Dana glanced at her bosswith a grin.
"Too bad X isn't here. He could be Lando."
Mulder aimed a blow at Alex's undefended right side. Alex moved to deflectit and stepped one foot into a leftover patch of bubbles. He flailed hisarms, struggling to regain his balance, before losing his battle with gravityand falling into the hot tub. His head cracked loudly with the solid cornerof the tub and he sunk below the waterline.
A second later, Mulder had jumped in after him, hauling him to the surface. Skinner bounded to the side of the tub and hauled the unconscious man outof the water.
"I don't think he's breathing! You're going to have to give himmouth-to-mouth."
Skinner stepped back, horrified. "I'm not going to resuscitatehim!"
"Well, I'm not doing it!" Mulder shot back, climbing out ofthe tub.
Dana elbowed them both out of the way. "I'll do it. I AM a doctorafter all."
She knelt down and placed her mouth over Krycek's, breathing for him.
Mulder looked up and caught Skinner's eye, then silently pointed at theperfect photo opportunity.Skinner nodded and began snapping one photographafter another.
Dana couldn't spare a breath to ask them JUST WHAT THE HELL they thoughtthey were doing, but she glared at them from her awkward position.
And since she wasn't looking down, she failed to note when Alex reawakened. But the rest of the Society members did. And they even noticed when shecame down to give him another breath and he wrapped his arms around her,pulling her in for the longest, sloppiest kiss he could manage.
When he finally released her, they all held their breaths to see whather reaction would be. They fully expected to see her strike him. At leasta quick slap on the face.
Dana sat back on her heels, stunned, one hand moving up to cover herlips. Catching sight of the other two men watching her, she reached outtowards Alex with both hands.
Mulder winced from the anticipated slap that failed to appear, and watched,thunderstruck, as Scully grabbed Alex by the lapels and pulled him intoanother soul-stealing kiss.
Skinner almost dropped the camera and pictures into the water in hissuprise.
Scully released Alex, who lay back down with the biggest shit-eatinggrin on his face that anyone had ever seen.
While they all stood (or laid) there stunned, Dana jumped up and madea dive for the photos. She was a second too late, as Mulder beat her tothe punch and snatched the photos first.
She tried again and Mulder calmly dropped the Polaroid's down the insideof his pants so that they rested against his skin.
Dana stood before him, hands on her hips. "Mulder, I want thosephotos," she demanded.
Mulder faced her, equally determined, "You show me yours, Scully;I'll show you mine."
"Don't make me come after them, Mulder!"
"If you think you can!"
She tentatively reached out a hand for his waistband, hoping to intimidatehim into giving in.
"Go for it, Scully."
With a glare, she grabbed at it and pulled it toward her.
Mulder yelped and doubled over, protecting his middle and the pictures. She lost her grip and Mulder skipped back, out of her reach.
"Mulder, don't force me to make Winky into a hotdog sandwich!"
Scully made another abortive attempt for him before Skinner stepped betweenthem, blocking her path, while Alex scrambled to his feet and stood besideSkinner, helping to obstruct her access.
"EXCUSE me, sir, but he's not keeping those photos!"
"Hey, didn't I see this on an episode of Star Trek. The one wherethe woman would decinigrate you if she touched you so Spock and McCoy hadto protect Kirk."
Dana made another grab for Mulder. Skinner intervened. "Shut up,Mulder. Agent Scully, you're going to have to deal to get those photos. You know what we want."
"No way, Scully. Photos for photos. That's the deal. Take itor leave it."
Dana pouted prettily for a moment. "Okay. Deal."
"There's a fire inside. We'll toss one of ours for one of yours. Even Steven. Okay?"
"Okay," she agreed grudgingly.
They trailed her back into the common room of the cabin and gatheredaround the fireplace.
"Okay, give, Scully."
Dana fished a photo out of her bra and held it up for all to see, beforetossing it in the fire. They all watched as a photo of their naked escapefrom the hot tub room browned around the edges before catching fire.
'Not Winky's best side,' Mulder thought. Or for that matter Scud orCharlie's.
"Your turn, Mulder."
Mulder held up a still-developing photo of her giving mouth to mouthto Alex. With a flick of his wrist, he tossed it in the fire.
"Hey, can't I keep one of those for old times sake."
Skinner whacked Krycek on the back of the head. "No!" he saidforcefully.
Dana pulled out another photo of the three men in the hot tub, up totheir chests in soap bubbles. Sadly she tossed it into the fire. "Toobad," she muttered, "Kim would have loved to see these."
Mulder held up a photo of her and Krycek in a lip lock. Tossing it inhe mumbled, "You know, they say a picture says a thousand words."
"Dirty words, Mulder."
"My favorite kind, Scully."
Dana pulled another photo out. This one was of Skinner sleeping on thecouch, on his stomach, his mouth open in a frozen snore.
Walter snatched the photo out of her hand. "When did you take this?"
Walter rolled his eyes and tossed it into the fire. "Next."
Mulder pulled another photo out. This one depicted Krycek and Scullyin another kiss, Krycek's arms around her. Looking at the photograph, Muldercommented, "Now I know why you shot me instead of him, Scully." He casually tossed it into the flames.
Krycek chuckled and Scully whapped him on the head. "Hey!"Krycek moaned. "That would have looked great blown up!"
Scully threw him a dirty look and fished out another photo. This oneshowed the three men, again in the hot tub, this time sitting in tomatojuice. Krycek was asleep, handcuffed to a near-by pole and Skinner wasobviously singing loudly while gesturing with a celery stick. Mulder justlooked wrinkled and impatient.
"Can't I keep just one?"
"Toss it, Scully."
Regretfully she flipped it into the flames.
Mulder pulled out another photo. This one showed Scully sitting in tomatojuice staring at her wrinkled toes as she poked them out of the red liquid.
"That's all I have."
"Are you sure?"
"I SAID that's all."
"Promise? Swear. Swear on your oath as a doctor. Swear on yourmother."
Grudgingly Dana pulled out another photo. This one showed their initialrun from the garage (where they had shed their skunk-laden clothing), throughthe light snow, into the hot tub room.
"You've been holding out on us, Scully."
"Okay. Okay. Is that all you have Mulder?"
"I just have this one with you in a towel. Can I keep it?"
Dana snatched it away from him and tossed it into the fire.
"That's all, right? Swear. Swear on UFO's and little green men. Swear."
"Can we finish off the bottle of Burgundy now?"
"I thought we already did."
"Alex found another."
"Bring it on. I could use a good stiff drink right about now."
Title: Bath 11: Drying Out, Drying Off, Drying Up
Bath 11: Drying Out, Drying Off, Drying Up
The rest of the evening went well once they aired the room of the smellof burnt Polaroids. They were practicing the three W's. Warm, well-fedand wobbly. Each one of them sprawled on various furniture in the livingroom in front of a roaring fire, unable to move because each had overeatenat dinner and each had indulged a little too much liquor before, during,and after the meal.
But Fox Mulder just had to leave when Skinner had started to blubberabout that damn dog again. Scrabble! Who the hell would name a dog Scrabble? Well, maybe this could explain a lot about old 'Wally.' Mulder's snickerechoed in the empty room as he remembered Krycek's relentless teasing earlier. Oh, sure, HE could get away with it. After all, it wasn't like Skinnercould reassign HIM to Dead Horse, Alaska.
It had certainly been a full day. Starting with Scully stealing all thetowels from the hot tub room and the formation of a fraternal organizationbent on plotting revenge on her. Then a scrumptious meal (who would haveguessed that both Skinner and Krycek could cook!), followed by the mocklightsaber fight and THE KISS. Of course, then there was the ceremonialFlaming of the Incriminating Photographs. A full day indeed!
Mulder shuffled into the bedroom, listing slightly, still feeling theeffects of the evenings events and waaaaayyy to much alcohol. How the hellcould a person in such a little body handle so much liquor? Scully neverceased to amaze him. Much to the Society's dismay, SHE was the only onewho had remained sober all evening. Well, relatively sober. Mulder wasn'tsure he had ever heard her giggle quite like that before.
He reached over, almost falling, and separated the two blankets thatlay on the bed. One he tossed to the far side for Alex, the other he usedto wrap tightly around himself like a mummy. Lying on the bed, his headstill swimming from the several bottles of alcohol they had finished offtonight, he heard Alex stumble into the room.
As Krycek got into bed, wondering why they each had their own blanket,Mulder kicked at him with a stray foot. "Next time, run away to alarger cabin. Something with four bedrooms."
Alex gave him a sloppy salute and curled up on his side of the bed.
Last night he and Krycek had been forced to share this bedroom (becauseno one else would have him or they pulled rank; 'You are sleeping with him. That's an order!' he mimicked in his head). Bastards! Who would havethought that Alex was a snuggler and a blanket thief? THIEF, yes, but blanketthief? In the morning he had awoken to feel his limbs frozen, the bulkof the blankets pulled over to Alex's side of the bed. Alex was stealingALL the damn covers! Just like the little rat-bastard to be a thief evenwhen he was asleep. But not tonight. Tonight he had a plan. No way wasKrycek stealing all the covers tonight. He would have his blanket wrappedso tightly around himself that Alex would have to have a pair of pliersto steal them tonight.
It didn't help much. Well, it helped, just not the way he thought itwould. The plan had yielded unexpected side effects.
When he awoke in the morning it was to find that Alex was using him likea body pillow and he couldn't move because he couldn't wiggle out of thedamn blanket!
"Krycek, get the hell off of me!" Mulder yelled in his ear.
Alex merely ducked his head into Mulder's shoulder and snuggled closer,arms tightening around his waist.
Moments later, Scully stumbled sleepily into the room, followed closelyby Skinner.
Skinner looked down at Scully and she quietly returned his gaze, beforethey both burst into a fit of giggles.
"You get the camera!"
"On it!" Skinner dashed from the room.
"Scully! Get him off me!"
"Oh, I don't know, Mulder. You two look so cute. This is goingto be great blackmail material."
"Don't you dare!"
Walter returned a moment later, blinding Mulder with camera flashes.
"Smile, Mulder," Scully encouraged.
"I'll get you for this!" Glaring at Skinner he added, "Bothof you!"
"Don't start with me, Mulder, or I'll use my 'other method' to wakehim," Scully threatened.
"What 'other method?'"
Scully skipped out of the room and came back with a warm cup of water. Picking up Alex's limp hand, she gently placed his fingers in the cup.
"No! No! NO!" Mulder was screaming now. He wiggled andsquirmed, and with a jerk, launched himself off the bed and rolled ontothe hard floor with a loud thump.
The loss of warmth and the sudden noise FINALLY brought Alex awake. Looking around he wondered why Scully and Skinner were staring at him, handsover their mouths, trying not to laugh too loud. Leaning over the sideof the bed, he saw Mulder lying in a tangled heap and asked, "Whatare you doing down THERE?"
At this, Dana and Walter dissolved into giggling fits while Mulder justglared at them before pulling the blanked over his head. "I'll getyou for this," came the muffled threat.
"I don't know, Mulder. He kisses pretty well... are you sure youwanted to jump off the bed?"
Mulder just glared at her over the breakfast table. "I want thosephotos back," he stated, trying for intimidation.
Scully just grinned at him. "These aren't Polaroids, Mulder. It'sthirty-five millimeter. And you'll never find it."
Mulder frowned at her. "Does Skinner know you're doing this?"
Scully's grin widened. "He's the one who helped me hide them."
Mulder looked her up and down. "Just where did you put it thistime that he had to HELP you?"
"I'll never tell." Dana grinned at him, then changed the subject. "It's my turn in the hot tub. See you later." She threw hima 'queen of the parade' wave, palm outward, elbow unmoving and hand wavingfrom side to side.
Mulder shook his head and wandered out of the kitchen to look for hisboss.
He found him in the living room, reading.
"Traitor!" he accused.
Walter looked up, then looked around the room. "Krycek's not inhere."
"I meant you." He threw himself down on the couch beside hisboss.
Walter put the book down with a sigh. "What are you talking about?"
"You helped Scully hide the film."
"She made me a better offer."
"You betrayed the Society of WS&C."
"Sounds like a Savings and Loan. Besides, that's what you get formaking me last."
"Just tell me where it is." Mulder tried for a wheedling tone.
"Nope. Can't do it."
"Sorry. No can do."
"What if I make you a better offer?"
"Don't go there, Mulder," he said in a warning voice.
Mulder sat up and stared into his boss' eyes. "Just what did sheoffer?"
"Can't tell you, Mulder. It's a secret pact."
"I want to know."
"Mulder, don't whine. It's unbecoming."
"I'll see to it that you're kicked out of the Society!"
"But I'm a founding member!" Walter protested.
"Mulder, don't be such a child."
"But I want the pictures!"
"Spoiled child," Walter amended.
"Am not! Am not!"
Walter just gave him 'the Look.' Damn! He was really hanging aroundScully too much.
"Why don't you go and see if you can talk Scully out of the film?"
Mulder fell back against the couch again, folding his arms across hischest, disheartened. "I already tried that."
Walter reached for his book again. "Then there is nothing I cando to help you."
Mulder rose from the couch in a huff. "Fine then. I'll get Krycekto help me."
Skinner found his place in the book again. "Good luck!"
"Alex, I need your help."
"Me? You're asking ME?"
Mulder let out an exasperated sigh. "Yes, Alex. I'm asking you.""What do you need?"
"I want to get Scully's film. She's hidden it and I don't knowwhere."
"I don't know..." Alex sounded doubtful. "She promisedme enlargements."
"Alex..." Mulder growled menacingly.
"Okay. Okay. Where is she now?"
"You go out and distract her and I'll search her room."
"Deal. By the way, she told me that Skinner helped her hide it. That may help."
Mulder found her relaxing in the hot tub, jets of warm water soothingher skin. He plopped himself on the edge of the sunken tub, dipping hisfingers into the water. "Hey, how come yours isn't ice cold?"
"I decided that it wasn't really necessary."
Mulder looked up, meeting her eyes. "No fair, Scully. At leastyou could have soaked in water as cold as WE had to put up with."
"Mulder, I don't need to be encouraging anyone to call me the 'IceQueen.' Besides, it didn't seem to have helped all of you," she saidwith a smirk.
Mulder glared at her. "It wasn't Winky's best side."Dana justsmiled at him.
"Do you want bubble bath?"
"Don't you dare! I've had it up to here," Scully raised ahand to her hairline, "with bubbles."
"You know if they had gotten any higher, you could have disappearedunder the water like the Loch Ness Monster."
"You'd be Nessie kibble, Mulder."
"Ohhh, promises, promises, Scully."
"Smartass. And you're not talking me out of the film."
Mulder raised a hand to cover his heart. "You wound me, Scully. What makes you think I have ulterior motives."
"Mulder, you always have ulterior motives."
"Not this time, Scully. I've become altruistic in my old age."
Scully's head tilted to one side. "With the way your skin is stillpeeling, your old age could be here sooner that expected."
Mulder peered down into the swirling waters of the hot tub. "Remindyou of anything, Scully? Like that ghost ship where we almost died of oldage. Maybe there is a meteorite inside this hot tub."
Dana splashed him. "Get out of here, Mulder. And take your meteoritetheory with you. Nobody here is buying it."
"Hey, do you hear something?"
"I think... I think it's a snowplow!"
"Well, hallelujah! It's about damn time!"
"Hey, where's Alex?"
They all looked around but the rat had flown the coop... so to speak.
It was no use. Alex had disappeared. And when Dana looked for the canisterof undeveloped film, it was missing too. All they managed to find was anice little, gold-embossed business card with a voice mail address. Scullywasted no time in calling the number and leaving death threats for him.
It wasn't until they were back in Washington that the scope of Alex'sbetrayal became evident. Mulder opened his e-mail one morning and low andbehold there were the missing photos. Blown up and nicely cropped. Mulderhung his head in disgust. He should have known. Trust no one.
It was all Scully's fault! If she hadn't taken the damn photos in thefirst place, none of this would have happened. Mulder would have to planhis revenge carefully. He shuffled through the folders lying on his desk. There! The perfect revenge. This would take some planning, but the endresult should be perfect! He looked down at the folder again. Then closedit with a chuckle.