Heroes and Demons


Mulder felt his arms grabbed behind his back by the first man, as the second one approached, a belligerent look on his face.


“So, Mr Spy. Looks like you’re out of luck.” He gave a sinister little laugh, like a bad James Bond villain, then drew his arm back and punched his fist straight into Mulder’s stomach. A wave of nausea passed through the agent and he retched. The man holding him laughed, pulling him back up by the hair and holding him there. Another blow landed on his jaw, then another going the other way. One more to the stomach…he lost count, feeling like a punchbag, trying to stay upright, feeling his eye closing and the warm trickle of blood from a cut on his cheek caused by his assailant’s ring. Suddenly there was a gunshot at the door and it was kicked down. So the cavalry had finally arrived! And just in time. He was sure he was about to pass out.


“Up there.” He managed to spit out, his voice hoarse, trying to warn his rescuers about the men hiding in the upstairs room. He just made out the sight of Skinner, chasing towards him, before he was shoved forward by the man holding his arms and a gun placed against the back of his head. He lay on the floor, trembling, watching as if in slow motion as Skinner slid to a halt, taking in the situation, his drawn gun faltering. Their eyes met, Skinner’s anxious, his own trying to convey the message that he didn’t care, that Skinner should take a chance and nail these bastards. Skinner held up a hand.


“Don’t fire,” he entreated. “Look, I’m putting the gun down.”


Mulder could feel the other guy’s gun, cold and metallic pressed hard against his head. He saw Skinner inch forward, his gun close to the ground and then in a split second his boss swung it up, the gunshot ringing out. Mulder closed his eyes as everything was painted red, wondering if he was dead, wondering if the blood that was showering him was his own. Then there was silence, except for the sound of his own heart pounding in his chest. He was alive. He couldn’t move but he was alive. He lay there, still trembling as Skinner loomed into view above him.


“Look’s like we got here just in time, Agent Mulder,” he remarked, pushing the dead body off Mulder with his foot. “Can you get up?”


“No.” Mulder said honestly, trying to move, finally managing a sitting position. He saw the body of the man who had been holding him, a gunshot to his face. “Looks like you saved my life, sir,” he said, squinting up at his boss.


“That’s right, Mulder. And now it belongs to me.” Skinner gave a grim chuckle.


“Didn’t it anyway?” Mulder muttered darkly.


“Here.” Skinner put a hand out to pull his agent up but Mulder had no sooner been dragged to his feet than he fell over again, his hand grabbing Skinner’s large shoulder for support. “Alright?” Skinner held him up, as his head swam. “God, what did they do to you, Mulder?”


“Just about what you’d expect.” Mulder coughed, wishing his stomach didn’t hurt so much.
“We need to get you some medical aid. Come on.”


Skinner walked him out into the fresh air, one strong arm around him, keeping him upright. Mulder squinted in the daylight as it hurt both his eyes, damaged and undamaged alike. Skinner took one look at him in the harsh light of day and winced.


“Have I lost my looks, sir?” Mulder asked, seeing his expression.


“What looks would those be?” Skinner joked, but his eyes were concerned. “I must say I’ve seen you prettier but I expect you’ll live.” Mulder wished he didn’t need to still keep holding on for support. He felt like a child clutching at daddy for attention but the truth was he was hanging on to consciousness by a thread, the nausea in his stomach vying with the pain in his face for his attention. Skinner didn’t seem to mind. He half-carried, half-walked Mulder over to a car, helping him to sit down on the front seat and crouching beside him.


“Scully?” Mulder asked.


“She’s fine.” Skinner said. “I’ve sent her off to Baltimore to track down the other gang members. You did well here, Mulder.”


“Yeah?” Mulder looked up.


“Yes. Why do you look so surprised?” Skinner asked.


“I dunno. I suppose because mostly after missions I get chewed out for doing something I shouldn’t. I forgot what it’s like to get something right.”


Skinner laughed out loud. “Not this time, Mulder. This was a brilliant piece of work. Well done.”


“Did we get them all?” Mulder leaned back, basking in his boss’s rare and unexpected praise.


“Yes.” Skinner looked up to see the rest of the men being dragged out of the warehouse. “Now, I’m going to drive you to a hospital.”


“Fine by me.” Mulder leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes.


He had two broken ribs and needed three stitches to the wound under his eye. He was surprised to find that a couple of bones in his hand were broken as well. He couldn’t remember that happening.


“Can I go home now?” He asked, looking up at Skinner who had remained with him the entire time.


“Not quite yet.” Skinner said. “Two reasons, Mulder. First, Scully reports that the other gang escaped. And as you infiltrated their network and betrayed them, I think it would be safer if you didn’t go back to your apartment right now. Secondly, the doctor says you shouldn’t travel for a couple of days so it looks like you’re stuck out here for a while.”


“How long?” Mulder groaned. He had been working undercover for 5 weeks and he longed to get back to his own home and, more importantly, the X Files. Not that it hadn’t been fun working on something more mainstream for a while, but he was glad he’d paid his dues and could get back to his favourite pastime.


“I don’t know.” Skinner shrugged. “Bearing in mind the viciousness of this particular gang I think we’d better keep you in a safe house until we know if Scully’s going to be able to catch them.”


“And if she doesn’t?”


“We’ll take it from there shall we?” Skinner smiled. Mulder stared at him. Skinner so rarely smiled he was surprised.


Skinner took him to a small, undistinguished looking house on an ordinary road. The only thing that marked it out was the huge hedge, massive security system and the two armed guards that patrolled the outside.


“Is it a house or a prison?” Mulder asked wryly as they walked in. Skinner shrugged.


“It’s safe and you’re not going to be doing anything anyway. So accept.” He took Mulder’s bag of meagre belongings and dumped them in a bedroom. “I’ll be next door,” he said, with a sly tug of a smile.


“Reassuring isn’t it?”


“You’re staying?” Mulder asked in surprise and something akin to trepidation. Wasn’t it bad enough being injured and hunted without having to share the experience with your boss?


“Oh yes, Mulder. I’m staying.” Skinner said.


“But don’t you have work to do or something?” Mulder asked. “I’ll be just fine on my own with the goons.” He peered out of the window at the burly men patrolling below.


“There’s nothing that can’t wait. And you need assistance, Mulder. I’m here, so I may as well stay. Honestly, anybody would think you were trying to get rid of me or something.” Skinner laughed, leaving Mulder in his room and setting off down the stairs.


“Great.” Mulder sat down on the bed feeling totally exhausted. “First he saves my life, now he wants to look after me. What did I do wrong in a previous life?” He glanced round the room that would be home for the next god knew how many days. “No TV.” He sighed, realising that he didn’t even have the comfort of watching any porn. Not unless he wanted to share the experience downstairs in the living room with his boss. He shuddered at the very thought, wondering if Skinner knew about this particular hobby of his. Probably, he sighed. Probably he knew just about everything there was to know about him. It was a sobering thought.


He lay there for ages, feeling drained. Next thing he knew, Skinner was leaning in the doorway, his massive frame blocking out all the fading evening light.


“Want do you want for dinner, Mulder?” Skinner asked. Mulder looked up in surprise.


“You’re wearing a pinny?” He asked, finding it hard to quite reconcile the apron with his boss’s suit and tie.


“Yes I am. I’m cooking tonight.” Skinner said with another amused grin at Mulder’s discomfiture.


“Cooking? I mean, why don’t we just order a takeout?”


“Don’t be sloppy, Mulder.” Skinner said. “We’re keeping a low profile. We don’t want to give anyone an excuse to actually come to the door. We’d only draw attention to ourselves. Now I suggest a stir-fry. Even my cooking ability extends to chopping vegetables and pushing them around a pan. Does that sound okay?”


“You’re the boss.” Mulder shrugged.


“And you’re the brave wounded hero.” Skinner said, still standing, waiting.


“Stir-fry sounds fine. I’m not exactly feeling very hungry.” Mulder got to his feet and pressed a hand over his sore stomach.


“Well you’ve got to eat. Even if I have to stand over you and make you.” Skinner said.


“Yes, mom.” Mulder sighed, following his boss out of the door and down the stairs. Was there to be no end to this agony?


Dinner was actually half-way decent. Skinner disappeared while it was cooking, leaving Mulder to stir it absently with his good hand, his mind and body both wishing to be somewhere else. He heard Skinner take a shower and emerge a few minutes later in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt. It’s getting worse, he thought grimly to himself. Next thing I’ll have to look at him in his slippers and an old cardigan. He probably smokes a pipe. A part of him though found itself thinking how different Skinner looked out of his work clothes. Much more relaxed and…attractive? Mulder pushed that thought away like a reflex action.


Skinner served up and they began to eat. Mulder realised that the choice of stir-fry had probably been deliberate as he couldn’t have chopped anything up with one of his hands in plaster and tucked inside a sling. He was too tired to do more than push the food round his plate and chew very slowly in the tiny patch of his mouth that didn’t hurt. Skinner made light, undemanding conversation of a de-briefing nature, going over a few of the easier details of the mission without asking anything heavy. Afterwards Mulder pushed his plate back with a sigh.


“You look beat. Why don’t you go to bed?” Skinner suggested. Mulder shrugged.


“I’d rather not just yet,” he muttered, although he felt ready to drop. How could he explain that he was scared to sleep? What could he say of the demons that had haunted him for so long and which he knew were hovering now, waiting to pounce again? He took himself off to the bathroom, leaving Skinner to do the dishes but once there found he was faced with a crisis. He addressed the problem from every angle, nearly doing himself more injury in the process but it was no use. After several long minutes he had to admit defeat and wander back into the kitchen.


“Um, sir. Okay, this is embarrassing but I can’t actually get my fly undone,” he said as quickly as possible. Skinner didn’t bat an eyelid. He picked up a towel, dried his hands, crossed over to Mulder and unbuttoned him.


“It could have been worse,” he joked, looking Mulder in the eye. “You could have broken both hands.” He grinned and Mulder looked at him with an expression of abject horror as the implications of that sank in, before fleeing back to the bathroom. Skinner laughed, returning to the dishes.


From now on, I wear sweatpants, Mulder told himself, taking himself upstairs to change into a pair as soon as he was through in the bathroom. He sat on his bed for a while, wondering whether to try sleeping. His head hurt – hell everything hurt and he was tired, but he just couldn’t sleep yet. Reluctantly he returned to the living room to find Skinner sitting in front of the TV.


“Anything on?” He asked, throwing himself down on the couch.


“No. Anything you fancy?” Skinner handed him the remote and he flicked through some channels aimlessly.


“No.” He concluded with a sigh.


“I believe we have videos.” Skinner opened up a cabinet and pulled a selection out. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” he read. Mulder grimaced. “The Sound of Music”, Mulder winced, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?”


“Oh, sir!” Mulder made a gagging noise in the back of his throat. “Who chose these?” he asked in disgust.


“Don’t look at me. I’m not in charge of requisitioning supplies for safe houses.” Skinner said with a shrug. “Oh look. Here’s one you might like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”


“Not.” Mulder said firmly.


“Alright then, but it’s either that or conversation with me. Alternatively you could always read a book.”


“A book?” Mulder looked perplexed.


“Just a suggestion. How are you feeling?”


“Lousy. Is it time for some more of those pain killers yet?”


“No. You’ve got an hour and a half before you can take another one.”


“I could die before then.” Mulder threw himself back on the couch, feeling tired and ill and extremely grumpy. “What the hell was Scully doing letting them go?” he muttered.


“I’m sure she’s as ticked off about it as you are.” Skinner said, flicking through a magazine, his long, muscular legs stretched out on the table.


“I’m bored and I hurt.” Mulder whinged.


“Careful, Mulder. Your hero mantle is slipping.” Skinner remarked.


“I’m not a hero. I’m bored.” Mulder closed his eyes. He was dog-tired and he must have slept because the next thing he knew he was sitting up, screaming his head off.


“It’s alright. Hey easy, Mulder.” Skinner was next to him, his arms around his shoulders, calming him down.


“What happened? Where am I?” He demanded.


“You’re okay. You’re here. You’ll be fine.” Skinner soothed him. “You just had a nightmare that’s all. This was why you didn’t want to go to bed?” Mulder felt his thumping heart returning to normal but he didn’t answer Skinner’s question. He had no intention of explaining his innermost thoughts in some horrible deep and meaningful male bonding session with his boss of all people.


“How long was I asleep?” He asked, looking around at the room. It looked normal enough, the light was on, the TV was on quietly in the background. Mulder was sure he detected the fact that the “Sound of Music” box was open. He almost grinned, imagining Skinner being a closet Julie Andrews fan.


“A couple of hours. Come on, let’s get you to bed.”


Skinner helped him up and walked him up the stairs, doling him out a couple of the painkillers and fetching him a glass of water from the bathroom. Mulder felt dizzy, almost drunk, a feeling he was unfamiliar with. He looked down at his shirt and wondered how he could undo all those buttons with one hand. He tried and failed, seeing double of everything.


“Here.” Skinner undid the buttons for him and helped him out of the shirt, hanging it up in the closet. Then he knelt down and undid Mulder’s shoes. Mulder stared at him, feeling peculiarly grateful. He managed to push his sweat pants down and throw himself onto the bed dressed only in his boxers before falling immediately asleep. Skinner smiled and pulled the blanket over him.


“Goodnight, hero.” He looked down for a little while on the sleeping form and then left the room, switching the light out and pulling the door to. He went downstairs and spoke to the two guards, making sure they knew what time their shift ended and who would relieve them. Then he locked up, switched all the alarms on and took himself off to his bedroom. He rather liked being cast in the role of protector and he liked the fact that for once Mulder needed something off him instead of always squaring up to him. It made a change and was frankly a relief.


Skinner wasn’t a man who existed in a great morass of emotions but he knew quite clearly how he felt about Agent Mulder. Apart from the fact that the man was a menace, he was also someone Skinner was very fond of. Skinner admired his integrity and deplored the way the younger man had been treated by the shady, faceless men who seemed to manipulate him. Skinner was also sanguine about the physical attraction he felt for his subordinate. He knew it wouldn’t be wise to have a sexual or an emotional relationship with him, but all the same, if his chance came up and he thought it unlikely that it would, he was sure he would seize it and worry about the consequences later.


The screams rent the night air. Skinner awoke, startled and quickly seized his gun and edged along the corridor to Mulder’s room. He pushed open the door cautiously. The screams, high and primal, still sliced through the still night air.


“Mulder?” There was nobody else in the room. Mulder was scrunched up in a heap on the bed, yelling at the top of his head. “Mulder.” He said it again, softly, reaching the bed and putting his gun down beside it. “You’re okay.” He didn’t want to wake the other man but he did want to stop the screams. Apart from anything else he was worried that they might be heard by the other residents in the neighborhood and the last thing he wanted was for anyone to start asking any awkward questions. “Mulder.” He shook the other man lightly but it had little effect. Mulder’s eyes were wide open but he clearly wasn’t awake. His whole body was shuddering under Skinner’s hands. “Fox.” He took Mulder’s head between his hands and tried to get those staring eyes to focus on him. After a long while they did. Mulder came to with a start, pain flooding back into his consciousness. He smelt of sweat and fear. For a long while he leaned on the other man, panting. Skinner put an arm round him and held him close. “It’s alright, Fox. You’re safe here,” he murmured as if giving comfort to a child, rocking the other man back and forth. Mulder’s breathing slowed.


“I’ll be okay,” he said unsteadily. “It’ll pass soon. It always does.” Skinner frowned. He had imagined these nightmares were a reaction to the difficult time Mulder had just had and the stress of the recent mission but Mulder’s words seemed to belie that theory. He got up to go but Mulder sat up again immediately.


“Don’t go,” he mumbled, still half asleep. “Please.”


“Alright. Just sleep. I’ll watch over you.” Skinner told him, seating himself on the bed next to the other man, one hand on his shoulder, rubbing gently. “You’ll be okay, Fox. I’m here.” He picked his gun up off the bedside table and held it loosely in his hand. Nobody was going to do Mulder any harm tonight. Nobody. He watched as Mulder closed his eyes and lay still, his breathing becoming normal again. Mulder seemed so young and vulnerable lying there and Skinner couldn’t resist running his hand through the agent’s thick hair, smiling softly to himself as he looked down on the other man’s sensuous lips and pale, bruised face. He stroked that hair continuously for the next few hours, uttering soothing words and he was sure Mulder slept. Finally, about dawn, he crept away to his own room for a few hours of sleep.


Mulder wasn’t keen to talk about what had happened the next morning, but Skinner felt it was a matter that had to be addressed.


“How long have you been having these nightmares, Mulder?” He asked.


“On and off.” Mulder shrugged.


“How long?” He pressed.


“About 24 years, sir.” Mulder told him. Skinner did the arithmetic in his head and sighed.


“Are they always this bad?”


“No. Sometimes I go for months without one. But when I…when something, or certain things happen, they get set off.”


“What sort of things?”


“Oh I don’t know.” Mulder shrugged.


“Feeling helpless, out of control, at the mercy of others, in pain?” Skinner asked, accurately identifying all the triggers. Mulder frowned angrily at being so easily figured out.


“Maybe.” He shrugged.


“Well you sure as hell picked the wrong job then.” Skinner said.


“Not for an aspiring insomniac.” Mulder shrugged again. “Painkillers don’t help either,” he said.


“They make the nightmares worse?” Skinner questioned.


“Yes.” Mulder stared blankly at his breakfast. He had requested bacon and sausages, forgetting about his hand. Now he was faced with a whole plateful of things he couldn’t cut up. Skinner pulled the plate over and cut it up into bite-sized pieces for him.


“This sure is getting to be demeaning.” Mulder commented.


“No. You’re injured. It’s just a necessary fact of your life at the moment. Don’t view it as anything else.” Skinner said firmly.


“I suppose.” Mulder leaned back in his chair, forking some food into his mouth. “Look, sir. I’m not very good company. Why don’t you just leave me here to sort myself out? I’m sure you’ve got better things to do. Don’t just stay here because you feel obligated or anything.”


“I don’t.” Skinner said. “But you can’t look after yourself right now, you require protection and I’m here so perhaps we can stop having this particular argument.”


“Alright.” Mulder shrugged, giving in. As a matter of fact he was starting to enjoy the other man’s company. He had never viewed Skinner as anything but an adversary before, an unwanted authority figure but he was getting to see a different side of him now.


Skinner spent some of the day making phone calls while Mulder flicked idly through the TV channels. Then they played chess until Mulder got fed up with being beaten three times in a row, then poker which he won although he couldn’t be sure if Skinner was letting him win to make up for the chess. They talked and Mulder felt himself warming to this new relaxed version of his boss, one he hadn’t seen before. The man was actually quite interesting, sharing details of his life, talking quietly about Vietnam, in fact confiding some quite intimate details of what had obviously been an eventful life. Mulder found himself absorbed in this new person, this Skinner he had never known before. How could I ever have just found him a pain in the butt? he thought to himself. Skinner had thoughts, feelings, passions and viewpoints that he would never have credited the man with. More shame on you for just seeing him as a cardboard cut-out, he berated himself. Someone to rail against and argue with when you screw up. Skinner was intelligent and he listened, encouraging Mulder to open up, to confide some things he rarely spoke about. He also had a dry, subtle sense of humour that took Mulder by surprise and made him laugh out loud on more than one occasion.


Abruptly, in the middle of a conversation, Skinner grew troubled. He glanced at his watch. It was two minutes past three.


“What is it?” Mulder asked, suddenly aware of a change in atmosphere.


“Ssh.” Skinner got up. “The guards were supposed to report in at 3. They haven’t.” Mulder looked up in alarm. At least Skinner was on the case. He was impressed. They both glanced at the clock as it ticked past another minute. Skinner got up, reaching for his gun, edging slowly over to the window, staring through the net curtains. “Mulder, I want you to get up and start moving slowly upstairs.” Skinner told him.


“If they get in, it’ll be on the ground level. I’ve got the upstairs rooms alarmed.”


“Could they get round the alarm?” Mulder asked.


“Well they hadn’t as of 10 minutes ago. I checked.” Skinner replied. Mulder was suddenly aware of how scrupulous Skinner was being with this guarding business. He had wondered where the other man kept disappearing to and now he knew. He got up and moved towards the door, slowly, as instructed. Skinner was behind him, guarding his back. They made it to the stairs when the man crashed through the window. Skinner shot him and pushed Mulder up the stairs.


“Go, go, go.” He insisted seeing two other men coming through the broken glass at them. Mulder ducked and stumbled as a bullet flew over his shoulder and imbedded itself in the banister. Skinner fired again, grabbing Mulder’s arm and pulling him up the stairs, pushing him along the corridor and up another, smaller flight of stairs to the attic.


“What now? We’re sitting ducks.” Mulder panted, lying on the attic floor.


“Not really. They have to come up those stairs to get to us.” Skinner pointed, taking aim at the narrow staircase, checking his gun. He pulled another gun from a leg holster and handed it to Mulder. “Lie here. If anything moves on that stairway, shoot,” he instructed.


“What about you?” Mulder lay down awkwardly on his stomach, wincing and trying to get comfortable on the hard wooden floor.


“I’m going back down.” Skinner said grimly. Mulder swallowed and nodded.


“I’ll come with you,” he said.


“No. You’ll stay here. That’s an order.” Skinner said tersely. Mulder bit his lip then nodded again.


“Good luck.”


He watched, feeling suddenly very alone, as Skinner went back down.


There was a horrible, grim, tense silence. Then a gunshot rang out. It took all of Mulder’s self control not to get up and go back down those stairs. There was a scuffle at the bottom of the stairwell and Mulder craned his neck to see. He could just about make out Skinner, wrestling with a man, trying to get his arm free to fire his gun. Without thinking Mulder found himself on his feet, scrabbling down the stairs, the gun raised.


“No!” Skinner shouted. “Back, back!” He roared and Mulder saw, just too late, the other man charging up from below. He hesitated, fired at the second assailant, missed. Skinner twisted, seeing the man below take aim at Mulder and in a great wrench of effort, managed to swing his head round, headbut the man he was wrestling with and then fling himself up the stairs, pushing Mulder out of the way as the gunshot rang out. “Keep going.” Skinner said, but Mulder was winded and he could see blood oozing from Skinner’s shirt. “I said, keep going.” Skinner pushed Mulder up, back into the attic, turning in one fluid motion to shoot the man he had head-butted before he could recover. The second man was on the stairwell now, pursuing them. Skinner threw himself into the safety of the attic, just as Mulder, taking aim, took care of their last attacker. The man went down with a messy gurgle. Mulder lay on the floor breathing heavily, looking at Skinner who was spread-eagled next to him, panting.


“Are you going to make a habit of saving my life?” Mulder asked, groaning as the pain flooded back through his body. “Because I’d rather you didn’t. I don’t think I can stand all these debts of gratitude.”


Skinner got up, wearily, reaching out a hand to pull Mulder up.


“Next time I give you an order, I’d appreciate it if you followed it.” Skinner growled tersely. “I know it goes against the grain, Mulder, but indulge me.” He went back down the stairs, his gun drawn, Mulder following cautiously behind him but between them they had killed all their attackers.


Skinner picked up the phone but it was dead. He located his mobile and tried that, getting through immediately and firing out some orders. Mulder sat back on the couch, feeling completely wrecked. A glass of water was thrust into his hand and he took it gratefully, listening as Skinner made phone call after phone call. Sometime later a lot of men arrived and shortly after that he felt himself being picked up and walked to a car and taken somewhere else.


“Another safe house?” He queried, as they walked through a front door. Skinner shrugged.


“Let’s hope it’s safer than the last one,” he murmured, still looking grim. Mulder wished he’d lighten up. He’d enjoyed being with the other Skinner, the smiling, wise-cracking, relaxed one. Looks like the boss is back, he thought to himself. He hoped Skinner wasn’t still angry with him about disobeying the order but guessed he was. Mulder couldn’t make it up the stairs and collapsed on another, almost identical couch in an almost identical house.


“They sure kit these places out the same,” he muttered. “Ought to check out the videos,” he remarked to Skinner. “You might be able to finish watching ‘The Sound of Music.’” Skinner didn’t smile. He made another phone call and a few minutes later a doctor arrived. She examined Mulder who now had so little energy left he didn’t even move when she poked and prodded him.


“He’ll be fine,” she said to Skinner. “If he can just get some rest. There aren’t any new injuries but I’ve tied the bandages round his ribs a bit tighter. Apart from that I can’t do a lot else. I mean it about the rest though. It’s crucial.”


“I’ll see to it.” Skinner nodded. The doctor turned to go.


“What about him?” Mulder mumbled incoherently.


“What?” The doctor turned.


“He was wounded. I saw the blood.” Mulder waved his head.


“It’s nothing. I can take care of it.” Skinner shrugged but the doctor insisted on looking at the flesh wound in his shoulder, cleaning it up and putting a dressing on it. Then she left.


“Come on.” Skinner said, crouching down beside Mulder. “Time for bed.”


“It’s only 8 o’ clock!” Mulder protested, glancing at his watch.


“The doctor said rest and you’ll get rest.” Skinner stated coldly. Mulder tried to get up but his body wouldn’t respond to anything he asked of it now, every nerve and muscle cried out in protest and he simply fell down again. “I’ll carry you.” Skinner plucked him up in his big arms as if he were a child and Mulder wished he was well enough to feel embarrassed but he wasn’t and instead felt rather comforted by the sheer physical presence of the other man.


Skinner dumped him on the bed and closed the curtains.


“I’m sorry.” Mulder murmured, wishing Skinner would be nice to him again.


“What for?” Skinner crossed over to the bed and undid one of his shoes.


“For being the reason you got wounded. I should have stayed put like you said.”


“Yes. You should have done.” Skinner undid the other shoe.


“I am sorry.” Mulder said again.


“That’ll be a first.” Skinner stared at him in the darkened room, trying to fight back his feelings and failing. “I thought I’d lost you.” He said, sighing, unable to resist smoothing back the agent’s hair. Mulder didn’t move, enjoying the contact, yearning for it. “You’re a damned nuisance, Mulder but the thought of you not being here making my life difficult…” He trailed off.


“Are you still angry with me?” Mulder wanted to know.


“Angry? Oh, I’m not angry with you!” Skinner said in surprise. “I’m angry with myself. I said I’d keep you safe and I failed.” He took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes wearily.


“It’s not your fault!” Mulder found the strength to raise his arm and rub Skinner’s shoulder. It was stiff and tense and he wished he was well enough to give the other man a neck rub.


“Never mind. Get some sleep.” Skinner leaned forwards, pretending that he was adjusting Mulder’s pillow, hoping to get his face low enough to brush his lips against Mulder’s hair but Mulder moved his face and Skinner’s mouth met his lips instead. It was so unexpected that Skinner was frozen for a moment, but there was no doubting the fact that Mulder meant the kiss.


“You’re ill.” Skinner drew back. “I wouldn’t like you to accuse me of taking advantage.”


“No.” Mulder reached out and tried to pull him back, feebly. “Please. I don’t want to go to sleep and I hurt. I don’t have much energy right now, but I’d like to feel some pleasure in my body instead of pain for a change.” He caught hold of Skinner’s hand and directed it down to his pants. Skinner couldn’t believe the invitation he was being given.


“You’re sure?” He asked. Mulder nodded.


Skinner went to work slowly, sensuously. He pushed his hand down Mulder’s pants and into his boxers, finding that the other man was harder than he would have expected considering his condition. He rubbed his hand slowly along the semi-erect cock, massaging. With his other hand he smoothed Mulder’s hair, watching as Mulder lay back, relaxing, his eyes closing, giving himself over to the pleasure. Skinner leaned forwards and kissed Mulder’s lips again, this time opening them with his own, pushing his tongue in very gently and carefully, aware of the other man’s injuries. Mulder moaned. Skinner unbuttoned his shirt, easing it from Mulder’s shoulders, ignoring the thick wad of bandages around Mulder’s midriff and finding the nipples with his fingertips, fondling them gently. Mulder’s cock became harder in his hand, fully erect now, pushing against him, wanting release. Skinner pushed his tongue harder against Mulder’s mouth, the fingers of his other hand still teasing at his nipples and soon Mulder came, shuddering as he pumped out onto the bed. He lay back with a sigh, opening his eyes.


“That was good,” he murmured, then he managed to raise himself a little and put his arm around Skinner, pulling him back down on the bed so that they were lying side by side.


“I don’t think I’m up to much,” he said apologetically. “But I’d like to touch you. Can I?” Skinner smiled. In a gesture reminiscent of Mulder’s advances towards him, he drew Mulder’s good hand to his chest, and the two men stared into each other’s eyes as Mulder fumbled to undo Skinner’s shirt, button by button with one hand. It took forever, but there was something so sensuous about it that Skinner could feel himself growing harder as Mulder progressed. Finally he was finished and Skinner shrugged his shirt off.


“Boy, you sure are big.” Mulder remarked, taking in the sight of Skinner’s large chest, with its fine covering of hair and the taut, burly musculature of the other man.


“You haven’t even seen what’s in my pants!” Skinner laughed. Mulder grinned.


“I want to though.” He directed his hand down and Skinner shivered with anticipation, helping Mulder to unbutton him, gasping as Mulder fondled his balls, tickling at them.


He came within seconds, needing hardly any stimulation from Mulder, which was a good thing as Mulder didn’t have the strength for much beyond gentle stroking.


“So.” Mulder whispered as they lay there, side by side. “How long have you been a Julie Andrews fan?”
Skinner burst out laughing. “Oh I like all movies where people fall in love with their boss. It gives me hope!” He said. Mulder grinned back at him.


“I didn’t know you were bi,” he murmured.


“It’s not something I tend to bring up in casual conversation.” Skinner replied. “Here’s your assignment Agent Mulder, and by the way I’m bisexual.”


“Yeah, but still. The FBI’s like any other workplace, all that gossip.” Mulder made a face.


“I’m very discreet.” Skinner shrugged. “How about you?”


“Oh you know me. I like to keep an open mind about everything. Including sex.” Mulder shrugged. “And of course it doubles your chances of getting lucky!”


They talked for a long while about nothing in particular, just enjoying each other’s company and then Mulder drifted off to sleep. Skinner smiled, kissing the other man’s hair and putting his big arms around him, holding him tight against his chest. Mulder slept all night long. No demons woke him, no nightmares claimed him. He was already claimed, his head resting lightly on Skinner’s chest, the other man’s arm around his shoulders, proprietarily encircling him in its firm protection.


Mulder awoke in the morning with a massive hard-on and rolled over, remembering immediately the events of the previous evening without embarrassment. Skinner was still asleep and Mulder stared at him for a long time, tracing imaginary lines over Skinner’s attractive mouth and broad jaw. Get a grip, Mulder, he told himself, this is sappy. But he couldn’t stop himself. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt this way about someone. He fell in love once every 10 years or so and reckoned he was about due for it to happen again. But not with the boss, Mulder! He lamented. Please, not with the boss!


He supposed it had something to do with the way they had been thrown together in this dangerous situation, but even as he thought that he knew it wasn’t true. He had been attracted to Skinner for a long time, and was aware that sometimes his antagonistic behaviour towards the other man had been as a result of him trying to fight that attraction.


“I’m sorry,” he murmured.


“Not that again.” Skinner opened his eyes. “What are you sorry for this time?” He asked.


“Being a jerk for so long.” Mulder told him honestly, sure he’d regret it later. “I think I was fighting something inside me, not you. I gave you a hard time.”


“Oh well. I’m sure I gave you plenty of hard times in return.” Skinner smiled, his hand reaching down to Mulder’s erection. “And now we can give each other some really hard times!” he grinned, disappearing down, his mouth ready to wrap itself around that stiff cock. Mulder sighed and leaned back as he felt the moist pressure against his most sensitive area. He gurgled with pleasure, putting his hands on Skinner’s bald head as the other man worked, running his fingers over that bare scalp and delighting in the strangely sensual feel of it under his fingertips. He started pushing, groaning, as Skinner took him whole, his cock pumping against the back of the other man’s throat before he came with a wave of climatic pleasure. Skinner swallowed him down and wiped his mouth on the sheets, grinning as he came back up for air.


“You sure know how to give a good blow job.” Mulder murmured. They lay there for a while, then Mulder propped himself up on one arm. “There’s something I’d like you to…” he trailed off. “I’d like to feel you inside me.” He said quickly, getting it over and done with.


“Fox, you’ve been injured. I wouldn’t want to hurt you.” Skinner said, holding his breath, knowing it was what he wanted too.


“Do it. Please. We can take it slowly.” Mulder said, trying not to beg. He wanted this so much!


“Okay. Okay. Hush.” Skinner put a finger on the other man’s lips and Mulder opened his mouth and sucked them. Skinner got up and rolled Mulder over gently, running his hands sensuously along Mulder’s back and down to his buttocks, rubbing his fingers between them. Mulder groaned.


“Please…hurry.” He said. Skinner didn’t have any lubricant, so he used spit instead, pulling Mulder’s hips up and lodging himself in that tight crack. He tried to be gentle, but his need was strong and soon he was shoving backwards and forwards, easing himself in and rocking, enjoying the constricting feel of Mulder’s tight passage against his swollen cock. As he came he leaned forward, licking his tongue up Mulder’s back, devouring a line of sweat. They both flopped back down together.


“Nice.” Mulder muttered. “Very nice.”


They got up and showered each other, taking it in turns to dress each other as well, from necessity in Mulder’s case and just for fun with Skinner. As they sat over breakfast, Skinner’s phone rang and in seconds he was back in boss mode, asking questions, issuing orders. Mulder watched him, feeling daunted. What was going to happen when they went back to real life? He couldn’t manage any more food and retired to the living room, switching on the TV, lying back and trying to fight the growing sense of frustration and pain inside. Had he found something he so desperately wanted, only to lose it again within days? He didn’t talk much for the rest of the day and resisted Skinner’s efforts to engage him in either conversation or lovemaking. Finally Skinner sat down next to him, took his sullen face between his hands and looked him in the eyes.


“What’s going on in there, Fox?” He asked.


“Nothing much.” Mulder stared at the floor.


“Come on. Tell me.” Skinner was insistent.


“I said nothing, sir.” He broke free of the embrace. “And that’s just it, isn’t it, sir?” He stressed the last word. “I don’t even know what to call you. Where do we go now? What am I to you? Just a roll in the hay?”


“No. Of course not!” Skinner laughed. “God, is that what all this is about?”


“Why are you laughing?” Mulder asked suspiciously.


“Because I’ve wanted you for such a very long time that I’m hardly about to give you up after one day!” Skinner exclaimed.


“You have?” Mulder stared at him.


“Of course!”


“How long?”


“Too damn long!” Skinner kissed him.


“I didn’t know!” Mulder protested, mulling over this new information.


“No, I suppose taking a couple of beatings and a bullet for you wouldn’t have been very big clues…” Skinner mused thoughtfully.


“What?” Mulder looked stunned. “That all happened because…of the way you feel about me?” He asked in disbelief.


“Of course.” Skinner shrugged, putting an arm around his new lover. “And as for what to call me when we’re alone,” he said. “I don’t care much. Walter if you like, or Walt. Or sir for that matter, if it turns you on.” He grinned. “I do have a similar problem with you. I know that you don’t like being called Fox very much, but Mulder, well it’s so formal.”


“I don’t mind being called Fox that much.” Mulder shrugged. “Not with people I’m…intimate with,” he leered, leaning forward to nibble Skinner’s earlobes. “So what happens when we get back to work, boss?” He asked, circumventing the name problem neatly.


“We take it nice and easy,” Skinner replied, putting an arm round him. “And we’re very discreet.” He smiled. “And you make a conscious effort to stay out of trouble,” he added, pushing his luck.


“Yes, sir!” Mulder leaned back happily.







~ I love receiving friendly feedback! If you enjoyed this story, please leave a comment below. ~

Submit a Comment

4 Comments on Heroes and Demons


Buy Xanthe's original character BDSM slash novel, Ricochet now!

Paperback on Amazon

E-book on Amazon

Smashwords in various formats

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons