First, he emptied the contents of the bag onto the couch, then he sat down and examined the fruits of his shopping expedition. Panties – black silk, with fragile lace around the edges. Soft to the touch, luxurious and expensive – only the best would do.


Then the brassiere. He’d had to guess the right size, but had decided on a ‘C’ cup. A girl has to have something to attract attention, he thought to himself. Black again, more lace. He ran his fingers over it, allowing the silk to rub against the inside of his thumb, holding it up to his cheek. Sexy. Soft. Erotic.


He stood up and shucked off his jeans, tee shirt and boxer shorts, then slipped the panties slowly up his legs and over his thighs. Very snug. A tight fit, smoothing away all evidence of his sex. He liked the feel of them next to his naked skin. Deliciously, satiny sexy. Shivering, he pulled the bra on, fumbling with the fastening. Damn, these never seemed so hard to figure out when you weren’t the one wearing them. He finally managed to do up the clasp, and then tucked two soft balls of fabric down into the cups. Grinning to himself, he raced over to the mirror and looked at his reflection.


“Damn fine woman.” He laughed, turning sideways and sucking in his already concave stomach.


Delightedly, he returned to the other room, and picked up the dress. Nothing tarty – or too short. Short skirts showed off knobbly, masculine knees. He’d already shaved himself all over, but even so, he wanted this to be as convincing as possible. Plain, soft, red satiny jersey cotton. It fell in slinky folds against his flesh, like a second skin, settling over his new curves. He wanted to look in the mirror again, but restrained himself.


“Wait for it…” he muttered under his breath, picking up the stockings, and sitting down on the couch. This looked a hell of lot easier to accomplish than it was, he thought to himself, two pairs later. He went as slowly as possible on the third and final pair, smoothing them sensuously up his long, long, legs and fastening them in place. Hmm…not very comfortable, he thought to himself, longing to tug the thin fabric into a less itchy position but resisting the temptation. Finally, he slipped on the shoes. He hadn’t been able to find many in his size. He had eventually discovered a place called “Long, Tall, Sally”, and had picked up a pair of sensible, low heeled black pumps. Not what he had wanted, but they would do.


And now…with another grin, he picked up the cosmetics. He’d been dying to play with these. He sat down on the couch and opened the bottle of nail varnish. “Blood Red Demons” it was called. He laughed at the name – who the hell thought these things up? He stroked a long line of color onto his already immaculately manicured fingernails, then another; slowly, dreamily. It was a beautiful shade of red – complementing his dress exactly. Putting his hand out, he admired his newly painted thumbnail. He had even used a depilatory cream on his hands and wrists to make sure that he was as smooth and feminine looking as possible. He resisted the temptation to touch the newly coated nail and blew on it instead. Go very slow with this, he told himself. You don’t want any smudges.


Half an hour later, nails applied and ready, it was time to turn his attention to his face. He went into the bathroom, and stared into the small mirror. First the foundation; smooth, creamy, pale beige, covering small blemishes. He stared at himself, transfixed. His skin looked different – the matt finish suited him. He splashed some powder around with the long handled brush that the shop assistant had recommended. Then he sneezed as the powder engulfed him in a haze of the palest brown silk. After the dust had settled, he took out the mascara and loving applied a generous amount to each lash.


“Too tarty?” He asked the mirror, wishing that Scully was around to advise. “No. Makes your eyes look big. Seductive.” He chuckled to himself and took out the gray eye pencil, rubbing it under his eyes and snorting with laughter.


“Now that is too much!” He grinned, wiping some away with a tissue. “Start again, it’s all smudged now. Well, art was never exactly your strong point.”


This time he made a better job of it, and his deep hazel eyes winked back at him with sultry indolence from the mirror. He brushed on just a little smoky gray eye shadow – mustn’t overdo it, he thought to himself. That was where men screwed up when trying to look like women. Too much sky blue and pink powder around their eyes. No, just a little in the corners, accentuating the depths and color of the windows to his soul. When it was finished, he gazed at himself breathlessly.


“Sexy, sexy, baby…” he whispered. “Those are real ‘come to bed’ eyes!”


Finally, he reached the moment he had been waiting for.


“Lip-liner first. That was what she said wasn’t it, Denise?” He asked himself. His reflection nodded back, pouting at him.


“Paint me, baby!” His lips said. He laughed again, and followed the line of his lips with the dark red pencil. Then he reached for the lipstick and rolled it out of its shell, revealing the rich, cherry red color inside. It smelled like vanilla. Slowly, sensuously, he stroked it onto his thick lower lip, applying it generously. Then his upper lip. He smacked them together, in a gesture he had seen his mother use a thousand times. When they were evenly covered he dabbed at them with a tissue. Another trick the shop assistant had shared with him, although he had no idea what she must have been thinking of his strange pleading requests for help in the finer art of applying cosmetics.


“A costume party.” He had told her with a shrug and his most devastatingly charming smile. She had melted. Predictably.


“So, Denise. Now for the fun part.” He returned to the other room and found the wig in the bag – a long, dark mane of wavy hair. He fastened it over his own hair, and shook his head a few times. It swung naturally, tickling the back of his neck, but stayed in place, trailing down his back, unfamiliar and warm. There was a long fringe and a back-combed middle section, adding a new dimension to his already considerable height.


“Soap opera, babe!” He murmured, flicking a long strand back over his shoulder. “Time for the grand unveiling.”


He went and stood in front of the full-length mirror, tip-toeing, head down, eager not to catch a glimpse of himself too soon. Then he stood in position, raised his head…and stared, breathlessly at his reflection.


“You know, Fox Mulder, you make a very convincing woman.” He declared to his reflection. “No. Denise. Denise Bryson.” That was the name he had chosen. Safe. New. Nothing about it was familiar, just as nothing about this new reflection was familiar. He liked that. “Denise Bryson, you’re a beautiful woman.” Still smiling, he picked up his new, black, patent leather hand bag, swung it over his shoulder, slipped his keys into it, next to his cell phone, gun, badge and some cash, and left his apartment.


He wasn’t used to the way he should be walking. Or standing. He hadn’t even begun to consider sitting. He stepped out into the street and held his breath, waiting for people to point and stare, but nobody took any notice. Feeling more confident, he made the short walk to his car.


The case wasn’t anything to do with him. Two transvestites had been murdered near a seedy T.V. bar. Neither of the men had been married, and both their families had been unaware of their secret lives. The investigation seemed to embarrass all concerned, and the FBI’s involvement was tenuous. Yet something about the murders had intrigued Mulder. Or maybe it was the fact that nobody seemed to care. He was on the outside so much himself, that he automatically took up the cause of the underdog. Somehow, Mulder had the impression that the agents assigned to the case weren’t exactly trying their best to solve it. A couple of freaks had been put out of existence – and who cared about that? Mulder cared. He needed to feel what those murdered men had felt, to step into their shoes, go to the clubs they went to, and catch the bastard who had killed them.


He carried his gun in his bag – he’d be ready if anyone attacked. Ready and waiting. Mulder bit his beautiful, cherry-red lips. He didn’t have any back-up because he hadn’t told anyone what he intended to do. Not even Scully. This was his project, his pet plan and, like so many of his schemes, he knew that he had to follow it, wholeheartedly, to the bitter end. Wherever that might lead him.


The alleyway was dark and empty. Mulder got out of the car, feeling the fabric of his dress brush against his knees as he awkwardly levered himself from his seat. The stockings made a little noise and he hoped he hadn’t torn them.


“Victor/Victoria.” The neon light flashed above the entrance to the club. Not even original, Mulder thought to himself. Inside it was dark. He walked over to the bar and sat down. A bored barman asked him what he wanted to drink and he gave his order, softly, seductively, trying to sound like a woman. The barman didn’t even spare him a second glance. In the corner, a muscular stubbly-chinned blonde smiled back at him, wetting her pink lips. She didn’t look very convincing. Some of the others pulled it off much better. He wasn’t even sure that some of them weren’t women. There was even some dancing, although he couldn’t have sworn which sex was dancing with which. There seemed to be several pairs of women, and the occasional man. At least he assumed they were men. He wasn’t sure of anything in this gender-confused world.


“Would you like to dance?” A tall, thin, dark haired “woman” asked.


“Uh. Yeah. Why not?” He got up and submitted awkwardly to her embrace, noticing the way her “breasts” touched his own. False. It made him want to laugh out loud, but that wasn’t why he was here.


He stiffened. He was being watched. In an alcove, in the corner of the bar, a thin film of cigarette smoke emerged at regular intervals. Mulder, suspicious of all things tobacco, kept one eye on the alcove, maneuvering closer, trying to catch a glimpse of the stranger, but it was too dark, and the man kept his face in the shadows. The song came to an end and Mulder disentangled himself.


“Thanks.” He muttered.


“Susie.” His partner told him.


“Yeah. Susie.” He turned away ungraciously, his mind preoccupied by the man sitting in the alcove.


“We could dance again?” Susie asked hopefully.


“Maybe later,” he replied, his manner offhand. Susie watched him return to the bar, her eyes dark and sad.


Shit. He needed to use the bathroom. Mulder looked around and found a sign. “Ladies.” It said. There was only one bathroom. “Looks like everyone here is a lady.” He murmured to himself.


“Or trying to be!” Someone with a strong scent of “Anais Anais” wafted by, a tangled mane of red hair streaming out behind them.


Mulder struggled with the strange, silky undergarments in the privacy of the toilet, then emerged triumphant, to re-apply his lipstick. He liked doing this. There was something smooth and sensuous about stroking this soft moistness onto his lips, filling them with blood red, wine red color. Red for danger. Red for excitement. Mulder stared at his own reflection in the mirror and felt the beginnings of an erection, straining against the silky panties.


When he returned to the bar, the man in the alcove had gone. Damn. Mulder went to the exit, pushed the door open, and looked out into the street. He saw a faint cloud of cigarette smoke disappearing down the alleyway and followed it. Down a dark pathway, along a dirty pavement, past a dumpster. Mulder was so busy following his prey, that he didn’t hear the soft footfalls behind him until it was too late. A thudding blow to the back of his neck brought him to his knees. He struggled to get up, entangled in the red dress, feeling himself drown in swathes of fabric, hearing the stockings tear. A dark head bobbed into view above him and he lashed out, reaching for his bag, trying to find his gun. Strong hands held him down, found his throat, squeezed. Desperately he kicked out, slamming his hand into soft flesh, hearing a moan of pain, the crunch of fist on bone. His assailant dropped back, sobbing, and he twisted out from underneath, pinning his attacker against the side of the dumpster.


“Susie!” Her dark wig had fallen to the ground to reveal thinning, ginger hair.


“Let me go…” She, he whispered. “I wanted you…you wouldn’t look twice at me. You’re just like the others…Contempt…I saw it in your eyes…I wanted you…” “Susie” fell back, sobbing against the dumpster and Mulder finally found his gun, and held it pressed to Susie’s head, pulling him/her out into a busy street. He was in luck – he flagged down a passing police car and waved his badge at them.


“Fox Mulder. FBI. How ambitious are you?” Mulder asked. The police officer stared at him, taking in his ripped stockings, stained dress and wildly displaced hair.


“Ambitious?” The police officer croaked.


“Yeah. This guy has killed two men in the past three weeks. Take him in, read him his rights, get a confession out of him, and then you’ll get noticed. Think of this as your lucky break. You get all the glory. I don’t want to be involved. Comprendi?”


The police officer stared at him.


“You want the psychological profile?” Mulder sighed. “I can give you that. He lives alone – he’s been rejected by women all his life, even fake “women” reject him, which is more than his self-esteem can handle, and he takes his anger out on transvestites…look, you don’t need all this. You just need to know that this guy’s a killer. Now do you want that promotion or not?”


The police officer licked his lips, then sensed his chance, nodding and handcuffing “Susie”, pushing him/her into his car. By the time he turned back, Mulder had already disappeared.


Mulder sat in his car, satisfied with the evening’s work. He glanced at himself in the mirror and shook his head. “Is that any way for a lady to look!” He laughed, brushing his hair back into place and rubbing the sore area on the back of his neck where he had been hit. Finally, he turned the key in the ignition, and set off for home. He was half way there when his car choked to a halt.


“Fuck. What now?” He groaned, glancing around. This was not a good neighborhood for a guy to be seen out and about wearing a dress. Not good at all. There was nothing for it, but to get out of the car and open up the hood, but Mulder was the first to admit that his skill with cars was virtually zero. Serial killers, yes, the workings of the internal combustion engine, no. Fuck. He reached for his bag and pulled out his cell phone, only to find that it had been crushed during his fight with “Susie”. Damn.


Mulder had the distinct impression of being watched. He looked up, and saw a tall black guy walking towards him. Mulder got his gun out and checked it ostentatiously. The guy crossed the street. Mulder leaned over the car again, but he had no idea what was wrong with it. He sighed, and wondered if he should walk until he found a phone. It wasn’t a plan he was happy about, but he was running out of choices. At that moment, a gang of youths careered around the corner and came walking towards him. He stood there, transfixed. They were clearly out of their heads on drink or drugs, and he didn’t know if it was better that they thought he was a woman, out here alone, or a guy dressed up as a woman.


“Let’s face it, Mulder. Both these options look bad.” He muttered to himself under his breath.


At that moment a car swung to a halt beside him, and a man got out.


“Are you in any trouble, ma’am?” A familiar, deep voice asked him. Mulder looked up and gulped. Standing there, the street light glancing off his wide, bald head, was his boss. Trust Walter Skinner, A.D, to come to the rescue. Never was a man more likely to play the white knight in shining armor. The question is, Mulder thought to himself, does he recognize me? And if so, what will I have to bribe him with to keep this quiet?


“I, uh…” He raised his voice a fraction, still keeping it low and husky. Sexy. He hadn’t intended that – it was just the way it came out. “That is, my car’s just died.” He gave a nervous laugh. The gang of youths were upon them. They hustled up close to Mulder, brushing by. Instinctively, Skinner placed his large body between Mulder and the gang, and they backed away, crossing the street as the other guy had done. Mulder breathed a sigh of relief.


“Thanks.” Mulder murmured. “I was freaked by those guys.”


“I don’t think they meant you any harm.” Skinner smiled and moved closer, going towards the car. Mulder edged away from the street light, into the shadows, not wanting to be recognized. “What happened?” Skinner peered into the car.


“I don’t know. It just choked on me.” Mulder stared at his savior. Skinner had clearly been out for the evening. He was dressed in a dark polo neck and chinos. A navy jacket completed the ensemble. He looked…good. Yeah, good, Mulder thought to himself. He smelled of cologne with a hint of garlic and tomatoes, but not alcohol. There was no way that A.D. Skinner would ever be caught on a drink driving rap. Ever.


“Well, I think it’s more than I can fix. I’m no mechanic.” Skinner smiled. “Why don’t I give you a lift home and you can sort this out tomorrow?”


“I…uh…I’d rather not.” Mulder felt as if he was in the middle of a nightmare. He could just explain, tell Skinner who he was, how he had caught the killer, but he didn’t want to. He didn’t want Skinner laughing at him for a start, but he also didn’t want to field the angry questions about what the hell he thought he had been doing, pursuing this without either authorisation, jurisdiction, or back-up. Skinner would be furious. Mulder hadn’t worked with the man for five years without finding out the hard way what really pissed his boss off.


“You’ll be safe with me.” Skinner fumbled around in his pocket, and Mulder pressed himself back against the wall. “I’m a federal agent.” Skinner flashed his ID at Mulder. “I promise you’ll be safe. Honest.” He spread his hands unthreateningly, and smiled. Mulder stared, fascinated, wondering if he had ever seen his boss smile before. It was a nice sight. Comforting, reassuring. He looked friendly. He rarely looked friendly in the office.


“No. Really. I can fix this.” Mulder said stiffly, poking his finger into the engine in a desperate attempt to show Skinner that his help wasn’t required.


“I’m fairly sure that the problem isn’t with the windshield water supply.” Skinner murmured, looking at the spot where Mulder’s hand was.


“Oh.” Mulder removed his hand from the plastic bottle, and thrust it into the dark bowels of the engine. “Ouch!” He withdrew it again quickly, red blood flowing down his wrist. “Shit.” He muttered.


“You’ve cut yourself. Here.” Skinner got out a huge, white handkerchief and took hold of Mulder’s hand before he could protest, wrapping his finger in the voluminous fabric. “Now look, Ma’am, this needs cleaning up. Why don’t I just run you back to where you live, and…”


“No!” Mulder said, forcefully. “I, uh…I don’t live around here.”


“Well, then the best thing is for me to take you back to my apartment and put something on your hand. Then we can phone for a cab and arrange a hotel room for you. You can sort your car out in the morning. How does that sound?”


Mulder weighed it up. It was better than Skinner taking him anywhere near his own apartment, and he had a feeling that giving a false address would not be a good idea. Skinner was undoubtedly the sort of gentleman who would insist on accompanying a lady to the door of her house.


“Okay.” He gave in reluctantly.


“Walter Skinner.” His boss held out his hand to him and he took it, his own hand still wrapped up in the makeshift bandage.


“Denise,” he murmured. “Denise Bryson.” He moved hesitantly into the light, wondering if Skinner would notice, sure that he would.


“Okay, Ms Bryson. Let’s get that hand seen to shall we?” Skinner smiled again, and Mulder felt a strange sensation in his knees. That’s one heck of a charming smile you’ve got when you try, boss, he thought to himself.


“Please, uh, call me Denise,” he whispered.


“Denise. Okay. In that case, please call me Walter.”


Mulder closed his eyes. Those were words he had never thought he would hear. Skinner opened the passenger door for him and he slid in cautiously, trying to be as ladylike as possible, folding the dress around his calves to keep Skinner from seeing his torn stockings.


“Have you had an interesting evening, uh, Denise?” Skinner asked him as they drove away.


“Um, yeah. You could put it that way.” Mulder grinned. Skinner responded in kind, his hand bumping into Mulder’s knee as he changed gear, his straight, white teeth gleaming in the darkness. “How about you?”


“Italian meal with some friends.” Skinner told him.


“Really? You have friends?” Mulder said. “Uh, I mean, sounds great. Close friends?”


“Well, yeah. I guess so. I was in the marines, some years back – an old buddy from that time and his wife. Their two kids. Great kids. I love ’em.” Skinner said.


Mulder stared at his boss. The man loved kids? Ugh. Next he’d be cooing over babies and kittens.


“Kittens?” Skinner stared at him. Mulder wasn’t sure what he had just babbled out loud, so he just smiled, seductively. “Well, yeah, I do love kittens as a matter of fact.” Skinner told him. “I’ve always been fond of cats. When I was a kid, our cat had ten kittens. She couldn’t feed a brood that large, so my brother and I used to take it in turns to get up in the night and help her out. We had to heat milk up, sterilize these tiny plastic syringes the vetinarian gave us…”


Shit, Mulder thought to himself. The guy does love kittens. He’ll be telling me he likes teddy bears and flowers next.


“Carnations.” Skinner said. Damn! Had he spoken his thoughts out loud again? “Not orchids – they always remind me of funeral parlors. Carnations and red roses. Red like the color of your dress. I love that color. My favorite.”


“Red’s the color of passion. Are you a passionate guy?” Mulder purred, and then he wanted to kill himself. You are not trying to pick this guy up! He berated himself. He’s your boss for god’s sake. You’re not even a woman. He’ll be in for the shock of his life if he gets a peek at what you’re hiding under this passion-red dress. Skinner gave a deep, throaty, sensuous laugh. It was not a laugh Mulder would ever have guessed his straight-laced, no-nonsense boss possessed.


“There are some things I do get passionate about, yes, Denise. My family. My job. My country.” He whispered that last softly, not ashamed of it, but deeply, intensely sincere about that particular passion.


“Tell me about your job.” Mulder said. Skinner shook his head.


“Well, a lot of it’s classified, Denise. And most of it is pretty damn dull, I can tell you!” He laughed. “Paperwork all over the place.”


“Go on.” Mulder urged. “I don’t believe that. The FBI sounds interesting – dangerous, even.”


“It can be.” Skinner shrugged. “But mostly it’s just paperwork, like I said. I also have to supervise agents…”


“I bet that sucks.” Mulder made a face at him.


“No.” Skinner looked at him blankly. “No, I enjoy that side of my job. I have some good people working under me.”


Mulder wanted to find out who Skinner would define as “good”. He itched to know, but he couldn’t find a way of phrasing the question.


“And some that make you tear your hair out, right?” He asked instead, sure that he came into that category.


“I don’t have much hair to tear. In case you hadn’t noticed.” Skinner smiled ruefully. “But, no. I trust all my agents. Some of them run into trouble every now and again, but they’re all good. A couple are even exceptional. If I didn’t have faith in them, I couldn’t work with them. Only one of them gives me a really hard time, but he’s the most brilliant agent I’ve ever worked with, so I suppose I let him get away with more than I should! Anyway, I like the guy.”


Mulder sat back in his seat and pondered this. Skinner’s simple expressions of trust had moved him. He was surprised by himself, and by Skinner. He had no doubt that he was the agent that Skinner referred to, and he was stunned to think that Skinner actually liked him. This evening was turning out to be very unexpected indeed.


Skinner drew up into the parking lot beneath his Crystal City apartment, and got out of the car. Mulder fumbled for his handbag and was surprised when Skinner courteously opened his door for him. God, the man must have been brought up in another century. Mulder couldn’t remember opening a door for a woman in his life. Skinner pressed his hand into the small of Mulder’s back as he ushered him along the corridor and into the elevator.


“How’s the finger?” Skinner asked, the sides of his eyes crinkling up as he smiled once more.


“Uh. Fine.” Mulder looked down and saw that the handkerchief was stained with patchy red blotches.


“It doesn’t look fine. It’s still bleeding.” Skinner shook his head, his expression one of concern. They reached his apartment and Skinner opened the door ushering Mulder inside. This was so weird. So familiar, and yet unfamiliar.


Skinner turned on a light and Mulder froze, like a rabbit caught in car headlights. Skinner would know now. He would see. He had to.


“Here – let me take a look.” Skinner waved him into the kitchen and sat him down, bringing a bowl of water to the table. Mulder followed cautiously, nervously, waiting for Skinner to take a good look at him. Skinner sat down opposite him, and peered at Mulder’s finger through his glasses, unwrapping the handkerchief, still not looking up. Red blood pulsed from the cut, sliding across blood red nails, and down Mulder’s long, hairless fingers.


“It’s deep. Nasty.” Skinner wiped the blood away gently, and cleaned some dirt from the wound. Mulder winced. “Sorry, Denise. I’m so sorry.” Skinner looked up, straight into Mulder’s eyes and Mulder waited for the inevitable, waited for Skinner to recognize him, to explode, to yell and demand explanations, but Skinner’s eyes were anxious and kind. And sexy. Dark and sexy. Damn, why did I notice that? Mulder berated himself.


“I’m fine. Really.” He whispered. Skinner smiled, reassured, and returned to his task, finished cleaning the cut with such care and tenderness that Mulder felt his breath catch in his throat.


“So, Denise, if you’re not from around here, where are you from?” Skinner pushed his glasses firmly against the bridge of his nose and held Mulder’s finger up to the light.


“Uh, Boston.” Mulder lied. He hadn’t give much thought to a back story, beyond the name.


“Boston. I love Boston. I have relatives near Andover.” Skinner said.


Relatives? You mean you weren’t spawned fully adult from a clutch of Assistant Director eggs? Mulder thought to himself. What was wrong with this man? Why was he so normal? Having a life, going out to meals, meeting up with friends, loving kittens…ack!


“And what sort of a job do you do, in Boston?” Skinner asked, fastening a dressing gently over the cut finger.


“I, uh, work in a bookstore.” Mulder replied.


“Really!” Skinner looked up, his face animated. Oh, fuck. What have I done now? Mulder thought to himself. “I adore books. I have a first edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Cost me a fortune. I must show it to you.”


“That would be…great.” Mulder said weakly. Jane Austen? The man liked 19th century romantic novelists? Mulder could have sworn that his boss would have been a John Grisham or Tom Clancy kind of guy.


“There. All done.” Skinner finished with the finger and gave Mulder his hand back. “I’m sorry, where are my manners? Would you like to freshen up? Could I offer you a drink? Coffee maybe?” Skinner asked.


Where were his manners? Mulder thought incredulously. The guy’s manners were inherent in every action he performed, every word he spoke. He was a walking manner-machine.


“Coffee would be lovely. And I’d like to use the bathroom, yes.” Mulder said, eager for some breathing space.


“Down the hall, first on the left. I’ll get the coffee.” Skinner smiled, another of those charming, white-toothed smiles, and Mulder wondered if his knees were going to buckle.


Get out of here, Mulder! He screamed to himself. Get out now, or who knows where this will end up! The trouble was…the trouble was he was actually enjoying himself. He liked seeing this Skinner. Gentleman Skinner. Yeah right! Rhett Butler to your Scarlett O’ Mulder, he chuckled to himself as he grabbed his bag, and made his way to the bathroom.


“Why, Mr. Skinnuh…fiddle-de-dee…” he drawled into the bathroom mirror, tossing his hair over his shoulder flirtatiously, and swinging his dress around. Then he stopped and stared at himself, wonderingly. Yes, he did look convincing as a woman, but even so, surely Skinner would recognize him soon? Mulder realized that he didn’t want that. He was enjoying being Denise too much, enjoying Skinner’s dark-eyed stare, his solicitous attention, the warm, unguarded tone of his conversation. Mulder opened his handbag and took out his lipstick, reapplying it, hiding behind Denise again. He straightened his wig, brushed more powder onto his face, and renewed his mascara. What the fuck do you think you are playing at, Fox Mulder? He whispered to himself, but Mulder was silent. Denise had taken his place, and Denise wanted to spend more time with her new friend, Walter.


“Denise – here’s the book I was telling you about.” Skinner got up eagerly as Mulder returned to the room. “Please, take a seat. Coffee’s on the, uh, coffee table!” He laughed, unable to take his eyes off Mulder’s bright red lips. Mulder sat down and Skinner crouched beside him, handing him the book. Their fingers touched, and Mulder felt a spark of electricity surge through his body. He could tell from the other man’s expression that he had felt it too. They stared at each other, wonderingly, for a moment. Mulder could see desire in the other man’s eyes, and knew that his own eyes betrayed the same secret. Confused, he turned his attention back to the book. It was very old, bound in dark red leather. Skinner had handled the book with reverence and Mulder did the same. He opened it carefully, fingering the aging pages as if they were sacred.


“It’s beautiful, Walter.” He said, looking up, and finding himself drowning in dark brown eyes. They stared at each other for a long, long moment.


“So are you, Denise.” Skinner whispered, his face moving closer. Mulder closed his eyes but didn’t move, allowing the other man’s lips to brush lightly against his own. He felt a tingling start in his groin and shoot straight up his cock and into his heart.


“I’m sorry.” Skinner drew back. “I, uh…didn’t mean to presume.” He looked embarrassed. “It’s just that there’s something between us…I felt something…shit. I don’t usually act so fast!”


“Walter, it’s all right.” Mulder laid a hand on the other man’s arm. “I felt it too.”


“Even so, I shouldn’t have…Would you like me to call for that cab now?” Skinner asked in his best and most restrained A.D. tone.


“Hell no!” Mulder exclaimed. “No. I’d like to talk and I’d like to, uh, kiss you again.” He said, with the utmost sincerity.


“It’s been a while since I entertained a lady in my apartment.” Skinner flushed and Mulder smiled, amused by his boss’s quaint choice of words. “I think I might have forgotten all the right moves.”


“And I think you’re doing just fine.” Mulder told him. Skinner’s expression brightened. “Come and sit down beside me.” Mulder patted the couch and Skinner sat down next to him. He put out a tentative hand and ran it along Mulder’s arm. Mulder leaned back into the embrace. Skinner’s fingers found his neck, wandered along it, lingered by his jaw, then he moved in for another kiss. Mulder parted his lips as Skinner’s mouth touched his, and Skinner paused, surprised. Mulder reached out, and caressed the back of the other man’s head, encouraging him, and Skinner’s tongue softly entered Mulder’s mouth, exploratory, gentle.


“Denise…” he whispered softly when the kiss finished. “You have such lovely hair. So long…It suits you…” He curled his fingers in the dark tresses, and stroked the wavy locks softly.


Mulder smiled and removed Skinner’s glasses, partly because they were getting in the way, and partly to reduce his chances of being recognized. You’ve gone way too far this time, Mulder, he told himself. If he ever finds out, he’ll kill you with his bare hands, and I wouldn’t blame him either. All the same, he couldn’t draw away. He couldn’t just make his excuses and go. He wanted more. He had tasted this man, and now he wanted something else. Damn you and your desire to live dangerously, he berated himself. This is taking extreme possibilities too far!


“You really are so very beautiful.” Skinner’s lips brushed the hair from the nape of Mulder’s neck and began to lick gently, bestowing a series of tiny, electric kisses. His mouth found the raised bruise on Mulder’s neck and Mulder winced. “Denise?” Skinner’s fingers deftly held the false hair to one side and probed the bruise.


“It’s nothing…” Mulder whispered.


“Are you sure?” Skinner allowed the hair to fall back into place. He turned Mulder’s head around to look at him and held the other man’s face between his hands, stroking his fingers softly along his cheeks. “It doesn’t look like ‘nothing’ to me. If you’re in any sort of trouble, please tell me, Denise. You can trust me, I promise. Please. I want to help you.”


Mulder couldn’t draw back from that dark, sincere stare.


“You’re a good man, Walter.” He whispered. “But it’s just a bruise. I don’t need any help.”


“You’re sure?” Skinner kissed Mulder’s forehead gently.


“Yes. But thanks anyway. You’re a real gentleman – just like Mr Darcy.”


Skinner gave a chuckle of low, rumbling laughter. “I never exactly thought of myself like that before!” he exclaimed.


Mulder noticed the way the flesh at the corner of the other man’s eyes crinkled when he smiled, and the way his boss’s face was transformed when he was relaxed. He looked younger, still strong and self-assured, but gentle and kind as well. Mulder knew that he couldn’t end this yet. He knew that he needed to discover more of this Skinner. This charming, sexy, light-hearted Skinner. He leaned forward, and opened the other man’s mouth with his own.


Skinner sighed, and melted into the kiss. His hands touched the front of Mulder’s dress, and Mulder drew back quickly as if bitten. If Skinner went there, the game was up.


“I’m sorry.” Skinner apologized. “I thought…that is…”


“It’s all right. It’s just…I’m not used to this sort of thing either.” Mulder said softly. “I, uh, don’t find it easy to relax. But look, I’d like to…would you let me…?”


He moved closer to Skinner, ran his fingers inside the other man’s polo-neck sweater, found his nipples and caressed them. Skinner lay back, accepting the caress. Mulder straddled him as elegantly as he could manage, taking Skinner’s face in his hands, kissing him passionately, delighting in the red marks his lipstick left all over the other man’s skin. Skinner closed his eyes and gave himself up to Mulder’s attentions, unresisting. Mulder’s hands went to Skinner’s belt and Skinner’s eyes flew open.


“I think,” he said, in a low, sexy, growl, “that if you’re going to go there, we should adjourn to the bedroom.”


“All right. But you let me do the work. I want to…” Mulder whispered, allowing Skinner to take him by the hand, and lead him up the stairs to the bedroom.


Once inside, he stopped Skinner from turning on the bedside lamp. “Let’s keep it dark,” he murmured, knowing that he should make his excuses and run, but unable to tear himself away from the danger and thrill of this illicit sexual encounter. “Lie back on the bed…”


He sat his boss down, undid Skinner’s pants and ran his hand down into the other man’s boxers, finding his large, erect cock, pulsing gloriously. Mulder groaned with desire at the sight. He knelt beside the other man, and leaned forward, feeling his long hair swing against Skinner’s bare abdomen, the dark curls caressing the other man’s muscled flesh. Skinner sighed, and stroked Mulder’s head as Mulder wrapped his mouth around his boss’s penis. Mulder closed his eyes, and tried seeing in his mind’s eye what he must look like – these bright red, painted lips, surrounding Skinner’s magnificent, erect cock. He sucked, hard, and Skinner groaned, thrusting into Mulder’s mouth, his hands running through Mulder’s hair.


“Oh shit, that’s good, Denise, that’s so good, you’re so beautiful, your mouth feels so good there…” Skinner murmured.


Mulder licked his way down and back up again, nibbling, before taking the shaft whole in his mouth, allowing Skinner to thrust himself deep into the back of his throat. Skinner shuddered, his come bursting out, and Mulder kept sucking, gently, swallowing the sticky fluid. Finally Skinner lay back on the bed and Mulder snuggled up beside him.


“Thank you, Denise. That was…mind-blowing.”


Skinner smiled down on Mulder tenderly, clasping him in his arms. He angled his face towards his new lover, kissing him softly on the hair, on the forehead, finally on the lips. Their tongues clashed together, growing more passionate, until Skinner pulled Mulder up, holding him tight against his chest. Mulder could feel his own erection straining against the silk of the panties. What would happen if Skinner felt it too? What would he do? Mulder knew that he should go, but he lacked the strength to tear himself away as that kiss claimed him, totally and absolutely.


“You’re beautiful too, Walter.” He whispered to Skinner. Skinner shook his head and caressed Mulder’s cheek, his fingers running over Mulder’s full red lips.


“Not like you are, Denise. These lips…so enticing…I never would have thought…Your hair…” Skinner buried his face in Mulder’s long tresses, breathing in the scent of the hair, then kissed him again, passionately, his tongue claiming Mulder, making him dizzy. When their lips finally parted, Skinner softly ran his mouth down the side of Mulder’s neck, depositing tiny, nipping kisses on the other man, his insistent hands finding Mulder’s legs, running up inside the dress.


“Stockings…so sexy…” Skinner smiled, finding the stocking-tops and fingering the fastening. Mulder pushed the other man’s hands away, and Skinner drew back, gazing at him quizzically.


“I’m kind of shy.” Mulder explained.


“But I want to. After what you did – I want to do something for you…” Skinner tried again and Mulder pulled away.


“You don’t understand,” he murmured wretchedly, sitting on the side of the bed, trying to find his shoes, which he had slipped off when he first entered the room.


“Hey, what’s wrong?” Skinner encased him in a warm hug from behind, pressing his face against Mulder’s cheek, running his hands along Mulder’s arms.


“I should go…” Mulder gave in to the caress, allowed Skinner to turn his face towards him, and kiss him again.


“Why?” Skinner asked him, nuzzling his neck.


“Because I’ve misled you. I’m not what you imagine me to be.” Mulder tried to explain, feeling the heat rise in his body as the caress continued.


“What makes you think…” Skinner said, catching Mulder’s bottom lip with his mouth, and sucking on it gently. “That I don’t know that, Fox?”







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