Date: Fri, 1 May 1998

Night Care 1/1
by Grey
Grey853@aol.com
NC-17--sorry, just thoughts of m/m sex
M/SK
Archive: MSSS Okay, others okay as long as my name remains.

Disclaimer: Don't own these guys, never will. I accept it, but I don't have
to like it.

Summary: Mulder needs some special care after being hit by a car.

Night Care 1/1
by Grey

"Sir, you don't have to do this." Mulder pushed open the door of his
apartment with shaky hands and prayed silently that he wouldn't faint before
he could make it to the couch.

"It's either this or back to the hospital." AD Walter Skinner didn't miss the
tremors rippling through stooped shoulders in front of him.

"Didn't we have this conversation about six times already, Agent Mulder?"

"I know, but it's just a concussion."

"A concussion, two cracked ribs, and thirty stitches in your side. Do I need
to also mention the assorted bruises to seal the package on the whole deal."

"It's really not that bad."

"Shut up and sit down before you hurt yourself again."

"Yes, sir. I'm sorry, sir." His voice sounded far away and not quite right
even to himself. Settling on the sofa, he dropped the keys on the table.
Rubbing his throbbing forehead, he closed his eyes against the flashes, white
and yellow lights that twisted both head and gut.

A strong hand gripped his shoulder, the heat searing muscle to the bone. "You
okay?"

"Yeah, I'm just a little dizzy still."

"Lie back." Firmly guided, Mulder let himself stretch out, his head resting
on his one pillow. After a few moments, a warm blanket covered his chilled
limbs. The slightest, teasing scent of Walter Skinner lingered on the cloth.

"Thank you, sir."

"Don't thank me yet. Remember I have to keep waking you every couple of
hours. Scully would have my ass if you fell into a coma while she was out of
town."

"I'm sorry, sir."

"Stop apologizing, Mulder. It's not like you ran out in front of the car on
purpose."

He brought his long legs up under the covers as he turned over on his side.
Fighting back a hiss as his bruised muscles protested, he peeked to see his
boss watching him. Dark eyes, still intense behind glasses, focusing
entirely on him, gauged his weakened condition. He pushed back invading
thoughts as heat flushed across his arms, down his chest, between his thighs.

"Mulder?"

"What?"

"You didn't run in front of the car on purpose did you?"

He struggled to command a lazy tongue. "Of course, not, it just that I
usually call Scully when something like this happens."

"I know I'm not first on your dance card, Mulder."

"Sir?"

"Sorry. I just meant, I know you would've been more comfortable calling
Scully, but you're stuck with me instead."

Breathing through his mouth, careful to not move his head much, Mulder tried
to make his tongue and lips cooperate. "I appreciate it. I just didn't know
who else to call with her out of town."

"It's okay. Why don't you try to get some rest?"

"I would, but there's this drum solo going on in my head. It's really
starting to piss me off."

"You need some more Tylenol?"

Before he could answer, a sudden wave of nausea washed over his whole body
like an storm-angry ocean. Salty brine choked his throat and strangled his
breathing. He squeezed his eyes shut to picture a kinder, more steady world,
but found himself twirling instead. Bringing his hand to his mouth, he fought
desperately to stop the gagging.

A few moments later a cool cloth and a plastic bowl rested near his chin,
suspended as if by magic. "Here. If you feel sick, use these. I don't want
you passing out trying to get to the restroom."

He managed a weak thank you groan before he grasped the container. Quickly he
shifted to start another round of heaving, his knees drawn up to his chest. A
warm hand supported his forehead while another stroked circles along his back.
His stomach empty, even of water and bile, he finally let himself fall against
the couch exhausted. The bowl lifted from his hand and the cool cloth wiped
his lips. Breathing again, he muttered, "Jesus, this hurts."

"Yeah, I know. You should probably have stayed in the hospital."

"Sir, please."

"It's okay, Mulder. I understand why you didn't want to remain over night.
That's why we're here. Now just stay put and rest while I clean this up."

The young man heard sounds of running water, the refrigerator opening, cabinet
doors squeaking and closing, footsteps. "Damn, Mulder, haven't you ever heard
of a grocery?"

"Been busy."

"Not shopping."

"No, not shopping."

Shifting again, Mulder turned his body toward the back of the couch, his knees
still pulled up to ward off a dangerous spinning. Even under the blanket, the
shivering grew worse. Hand between his legs, he tried to imagine himself
lying in a wider bed, Walter Skinner spooned in behind him. The mere whisper
of his deep voice vibrating the edge of his ear as his heated breath
distracted him from the pounding in his head. A persistent rhythm moved
further south while the phantom tongue licked down the side of his neck. The
dream lover gifted him with pleasure and chills, his own tendons grabbing
ragged bones. Nausea failed to overcome the fantasy hand sliding down the
back of his sweats to cup his naked ass and slip between his cheeks. The
sudden tightening of his groin completely distracted him from the pain in his
head. All his muscles heavy, he let himself fade into a swollen comfort, the
slightest stroke to cradle his sleep.

**************

"Mulder, wake up. Come on. I need you to try to sit up for me."

No way could he feel this bad for real. Some time while he'd been sleeping, a
bear had slipped past the boss, clawed open his side and shredded a lung,
probably right after he'd swallowed Mulder's head. It was the only possible
explanation.

He bit his lip trying to suppress his moan, but failed miserably. "Oh, god,
make it stop."

"Come on, Mulder. Open your eyes." The honey-rich voice coated the air and
slowly the young man obeyed the words. Walter Skinner stood beside the couch,
his face grim with concern. Jaw tight, lines creasing his forehead, he
reached out and touched the side of Mulder's temple. "You had me worried for
a minute. I couldn't get you to wake up."

"My head hurts."

"No doubt."

Mulder pulled away from the hand pushing at his left eyelid to avoid the
flashlight's assaulting beam. Sharp pain pierced all the way to the back of
his skull. His stomach flipped and punched a warning to stay still.

"Your pupils are still slightly dilated."

"All the better to see you with, my dear." He tried to laugh, but found his
chest rebelling against even a simple breath.

A strong arm reached around him and helped him to sit up. The whole world
spun to a buzzing background sound. When he finally reopened his eyes, the
room had a strange tilt. "I don't feel so good."

"Are you going to be sick?"

"I don't know. I just feel funny. Everything hurts."

"Mulder, I want you to listen to me. Can you hear me okay?" The strain in
the voice focused the younger man's attention. He turned his head slowly to
see Skinner sitting beside him, his supporting arm still around his shoulder.

"Yeah, I hear you. It's just everything sounds mushy."

"Mushy?"

"Like it's coming though a pillow or something. I'm still dizzy, but it's a
little better."

"Good. Look, Mulder, I want you to try to drink down some of this Gatorade.
I don't want you to get dehydrated on top of everything else."

"Gatorade? I hate that stuff. Who let it in here? Not me."

"I had Perkins bring it along with some food and coffee."

Taking another deep breath to clear his head, Mulder let himself gently lean
into Skinner's warm arm. He fought the urge to snuggle against the broad
chest right next to him. Instead he asked, "Perkins? Sir, what time is it?"

"3 A.M. Why?" The arm tightened around him, drawing him closer.

"Didn't he think it was strange?"

"What?"

"You getting my groceries in the middle of the night?"

The rumble of a chuckle touched him. "Mulder, I'm the Assistant Director of
the FBI and I'm in charge of the X-Files. If finding me at your apartment
while you're unconscious on the couch is all they can find to talk about,
well, then one of us isn't doing our jobs."

"Well, I'm doing my part, sir."

Another round of spinning caught him by surprise. The spasm brought him
forward, his face resting against palms propped on his raised knees. The slow
massage at his back brought him closer to clarity and then fogged his reason.
The growing heat between his legs scared him. Walter sat too near, smelled of
rich sweat, as he touched him with hands too warm and too real. They sat
thigh to thigh, heat searing through knit. He tried to scoot away, but a
stronger hand held him still.

Slowly he sat back up and glanced over. Skinner's tired face watched him, his
unshaved cheeks adding shadow to a deeper frown. "Mulder, what's wrong?"

"Nothing. I'm just tired."

"And?"

Embarrassed, looking away, he spoke very quietly. "I need to go to the
bathroom."

"Then I'll help you." Careful to avoid the bandages around his waist, he
stood and brought the lighter man to his feet. A long arm draped around
Skinner's neck, the bare brush of stubble scraped tender skin. Waiting for
him to steady, the two awkwardly walked to the door. Once there, Mulder
braced himself against the wall.

"I think I can make it from here, sir." Triple heat flushed his pale features
red.

"I'm not sure that's a good idea, Mulder. You could fall."

"I'll be okay. I won't lock the door. I'll call if I need help."

Reluctantly, Skinner nodded, but he raised a finger before he spoke. "I'm
warning you, Mulder. Hurt yourself again and Scully will kill us both."

"I never realized she scared you so bad, sir."

"I wouldn't talk if I were you, Agent Mulder. She can whip both our asses and
not even blink."

"I hear that." A hand on the sink to steady himself, he stepped closer to the
toilet and swung the door closed behind him. Once alone, he thanked God for
loose sweats. He pulled the elastic down over his hips and freed his aching
cock. Erect and frustrated, it throbbed stubbornly in his fist. He grimaced
at the irony of his situation. Minus the cracked skull, he'd have loved to
invite his boss to spend the night. He'd even dreamed about the possibility
of it. As it was now, he just feared that he'd betray his feelings and make a
fool of himself.

The cold splash of reality softened his cock enough so he could relieve the
painful pressure. As soon as he flushed, he ran some cold water. After
washing himself with an extra frigid cloth, he found that he could pull up his
pants and face Skinner without danger of discovery.

A knock interrupted his thoughts. "Mulder, you fall in?"

"Not yet, sir." Feeling more sure-footed, he opened the door. Skinner stood
there, arms folded across his chest, leaning against the other wall waiting
for him.

"I'm okay now. I can walk on my own."

Not completely convinced, Skinner shrugged. "Maybe. If you don't mind, I
think I'll be your back up just in case."

They both walked to the living room without speaking. Mulder sagged down
wearily on the couch, pulling the cover up around his shoulders to calm the
slight shivers that tested his arms and legs.

"You need to drink this." Skinner handed him a glass of green liquid.

"Oh, man, you don't know what you're asking here."

"Mulder, you've been vomiting and you've had nothing to drink for hours. You
need this. I know the stuff tastes nasty, but it's good for you."

"You eat broccoli, too, I'll bet." Mulder took the glass from the AD
outstretched hand. He twisted his face trying to prepare himself for the
ordeal of swallowing the salty fluid that would ease the twitches, but assault
his gut.

"As a matter of fact I do. I take it you don't?"

"Not unless they put it on a pizza." He raised the glass in a mock toast and
then drank, chugging it like a beer. When he stopped for air, he coughed
several times and then clutched his side.

"Well, hell, Mulder, no wonder you hate the stuff. You take it like it's
poison or something." Reaching over, Skinner took the glass and carried it
to the kitchen. While Mulder still held his side, the older man came back in
with a cup of coffee.

"That's not fair. I want some of that, too."

"Coffee? No way. You need to lie down and go back to sleep. I'll wake you
in another couple of hours."

Suddenly more achy than tired, Mulder pulled his wool cover tighter. As he
lay on his side facing Skinner, his head balanced on the edge of the armrest,
he studied the man sipping at his cup. Strong arms pushed at clean white
sleeves, and the pants stretched tight across the lap and delicious thighs.
Mulder couldn't help but be glad for the camouflage of the blanket draping his
front.

His mind more alert and no longer sleepy, he cleared his throat. "Sir, did
you have plans for this weekend?"

"None that really mattered much. You've got me all weekend if you need me.
Now, close your eyes and try to rest. Try to pretend I'm Scully if it helps."

Puzzled, Mulder frowned. "Why would I want you to be Scully?"

"Well, she is the one usually sitting here, so I figured maybe it would help
you sleep better."

Smiling sadly, Mulder marveled at the Olympic quality of his own deceptions.
He'd fooled everybody. He wondered what Scully would think if she knew how he
really felt about Walter Skinner. Hell, he wondered what Walter would think.

"What's so funny, Mulder?"

Pausing slightly, the words tripped sluggishly into the world. "Nothing."

"Nothing? You sure?"

"Sir, I have a confession to make." His heart beat doubled and sweat pooled
on his too cool skin.

"What kind of confession, Mulder? Is this something I really want to hear?"

The young agent stared at the scowl aimed in his direction. "I don't know,
but I thought you might like to know that I'm glad you're here instead of
Scully."

"Oh?" Skinner's face relaxed a bit. "Why's that?"

"Well, for one thing she'd be pissed if she knew why I got hit by that damn
car this time."

"This time?"

"Yeah. Last time we were chasing a suspect, but this time I was running and I
wasn't paying enough attention to where I was going."

Putting his cup down on the side table, Skinner leaned forward to listen.
"And why's that, Agent Mulder?"

"I got distracted."

"By what?"

"I was thinking."

Snorting a little to himself, Skinner teased. "Well, that certainly explains
it. Can't be thinking and running at the same time."

"Not when I'm think of you, sir."

All movement stopped as light focused to a narrow beam between them. After a
few moments, Skinner finally asked, "What are you talking about, Mulder?"

Gulping, trying to find spit to polish his words, Mulder found himself shaking
his head. "I'm sorry. That was a stupid thing to say. I guess I got hit
harder than I thought."

His voice solid and even, Skinner spoke quietly. "Don't be sorry, Mulder and
it wasn't stupid. Tell me what you really meant."

Lured by the sure tone, Mulder tried again. "I was running and I started
thinking about you. That's why I didn't see the car."

"You were thinking about me? Just me?"

"Actually, it was the two of us together, sir."

Glancing over, he saw Skinner smile and shake his head. "Jesus, Mulder,
couldn't you have found an easier way to tell me? Did you really have to get
hit by a fucking car to build up the nerve to tell me that you're interested?"

"Are you saying that you think I went too far, sir?"

"Mulder, why don't you try Walter?"

Squeezing his eyes shut in disbelief, Mulder let himself relish a brief moment
when he thought of all the ways to take such a simple statement. Trying out
Walter Skinner could take a life time. His mouth curled in the simple
pleasure of finding such a truth, a truth with as many different layers as
there were treasures hidden in the man he most wanted to search.

Warm fingers traced down the edge of his cheek, sending a shiver though every
muscle. "Mulder, relax. We'll talk later."

"But..."

"Shush." Lips pressed to his as a thick tongue pushed forward, slick heat,
trailing Walter-flavored coffee to the back of his throat. A strong hand
stroked his hair and the older man pulled back. Dark brown eyes locked with
hazel. "Later. When you're feeling better, we'll talk. Trust me, Mulder."

"Trust?"

"Yes, Mulder, trust."

Truth graced his lips with a promise. "I do, Walter."

Pale light married brief whispers while Mulder drifted to sleep, Walter
Skinner sitting at his feet. The tender rubbing along Mulder's lean leg
transformed to a touch tethered to hope, as stubborn and patient as a
soulmate's guarding hand.

The End