Notes: This one is for everyone who has written to me with words of praise and
encouragement for this apparently endless story; it means more than I can tell you.
But it's especially for Jaime, as a reminder that dreams have a strange way of
coming true. :)
Enders Switch: Homecomings
by Lynn Gregg
I've known the trio of oddities who staff the Lone Gunman zine for several
years now; I thought then that they were the craziest batch of cranks I'd ever
encountered, and in those intervening years I've had to revise that initial estimation
They're still crazy, and they're still cranks; only now, they look a lot like saints,
Wednesday night. We were gathered in--words fail me. It was one of the
rooms in the Gunmen's rat-warren, one which could, by some surrealist standard,
be classified as a "recreation room." There was a couch, where Mulder was
planted; a desk, which I had momentarily claimed; a small refrigerator, a
microwave, a stereo, VCR, TV. In front of this last object our young charge sat
enthroned, Frohike and Langly flanking him. Byers, who apparently had an actual
home elsewhere, had gone for the night.
Onscreen, South Park's police chief had just revealed the secret shame of his
illiteracy and named the maniacal Eric Cartman as his deputy. I watched, more
amused than I cared to let on, as Cartman pursued suspects on his Big Wheel,
kneecapping them with his nightstick amongst admonitions to respect his "author-
"I wish he would've waited a little longer to escape," Mulder griped, sotto
voce. Abandoning my paperwork, I moved to join him, praying the ratty sofa had
been fumigated at least once within the decade. I couldn't help picturing this as
Frohike's screening room.
"It *was* a less-than-auspicious moment," I agreed, sitting a bit closer to him
than was necessary.
"I wasn't talking about--" Meeting my gaze he began to backpedal. "I mean,
yeah, that too, but I *really* meant I wish he'd stayed there longer, learned a little
more. Do you realize what his gift could mean to us in terms of bringing those
bastards down for good?"
"You're right; there is much more he could've learned through continued
exposure to them. But in terms of his safety, and the state of his mental health, I
think it's best that he got out when he did."
Across the room, the future savior of all mankind, the small repository of the
human brain's deepest potentials, thumped Frohike on the knee and bellowed
gleefully, "*This* will teach you to respect MY AUTHOR-IT-EYE!"
Mulder turned back to me, somber.
"Don't be too sure about that, Scully."
After another hour and a half of South Park (courtesy of Langly's tape
collection) had passed, Mulder stood and announced his intention of visiting his
Reassured, however curtly, that both our places had been swept multiple times
and pronounced clean, Mulder made good his escape with me close on his heels.
We departed to a manic chorus of "Oh my GOD, they killed Kenny!"
It sounded like Mulder muttered "You bastards" as he slammed the door
behind us, but I couldn't say for sure.
If indeed They had visited Mulder's apartment, They had also covered their
tracks admirably well; the place was in its customary state of controlled disarray,
right down to the fine sheen of dust that adhered to every visible surface. Mulder
started gathering up things while I provided a hasty burial-at-sea for the three
I was at the window, looking out at nothing, when his arms came around me
from behind, catching me off-guard. Clearly the cartoon marathon to which we'd
been subjected had engendered in Mulder a borderline psychotic state, for he
nuzzled his mouth in near my ear and began to croon in a depraved parody of Isaac
Hayes' lascivious Chef:
I want to lay your body down
on my leather so-faaaa!
Gonna make sweet love to ya,
cover every inch of yo' body with--"
Snickering, I twisted in his grip so that we were face to--well, face to chest;
even my highest heels don't quite put me face-to-face with Mulder, and the Nikes I
wore at the moment were less than no help at all. I corrected the height
differential as best I could by tilting my head back and rising to the balls of my feet.
Those ballet lessons Mom made me take as a child were finally beginning to pay
Mulder cupped my face in both hands, turning the full force of his too-rare
smile upon me. "Have I mentioned lately how very glad I am that bastard Blevins
assigned you to spy on me?"
"I don't believe you've ever expressed that sentiment before."
"No? Hmmm...should I take this time to demonstrate my appreciation?"
"If I were more cynical I'd swear this whole trip was just a ruse to get me
"Apparently you're more cynical than you realize. That's *exactly* what it
"I'm flattered. Now, um, didn't we have some unfinished business that needed
"Shall we adjourn to the bedroom?"
Mulder's bedroom. The final frontier. He used it so little, preferring the
couch, that I was surprised even his capacious memory kept a record of it.
"Just let me...move a few things." He was shoving boxes, bags, file folders off
the bed onto the floor. "There!" He flapped the comforter back, thumped the
pillows in a vain attempt at fluffing them, then cast himself down, rolling onto his
side and gazing at me invitingly. "Would you care to join me?"
My moment of truth was at hand.
I can state, without hyperbole and in all earnestness, that I have *never* been
so nervous about a first time before. Not even *the* first time.
Despite a Catholic upbringing, I've never had a particular guilt complex
associated with my sexuality. I think perhaps it was my medical and scientific
interests, coupled with a naturally pragmatic outlook, that saved me. My desires,
and experimentations, unfolded as expected and developed normally enough,
mercifully divorced of religious qualms or visions of the chasm of Hell yawning
before me because I let Paul Richardson touch my breast after the junior prom. I
wasn't especially sought after in high school or college, generally preferring my
own company to that of the importunate boys who seemed to my oh-so-
sophisticated and worldly eyes to be so very immature and foolish--but I had my
share of offers, and I did on occasion condescend to date here and there along the
I had a reputation for coldness and aloofness even then, though truth be told it
wasn't so much that as it was a certain intrinsic caution. All around me I saw girls
tying themselves in knots for "love"--degrading themselves completely for the
whims of some idiotic kid who was unable to discern the difference between the
pliant paperdolls in the magazines under the mattress and the complexities of the
living, feeling female right in front of him. And then there were the ones who got
pregnant, effectively ending their lives' development before they'd even graduated.
Some married; some dropped out, presumably to enter the realm of the single
mother; still others just disappeared. I vowed early on that I wasn't going to be
one of them.
I took my first lover at 21, and then only after an inordinate amount of
consideration. I was determined to be prepared--physically, emotionally,
psychologically--no matter what the consequences of my actions. One might say
that I went about the whole business rather cold-bloodedly, but I've never had
cause to regret it. While I was not madly in love with him, I liked and respected
him, and long after we ceased to sleep together we remained close friends--
remained in contact, in fact, until my work on the X-Files separated me from any
semblance of a social life.
Save for two or three aberrations--occasions of extraordinary spontaneity,
which came upon me every so often--I have gone to the handful of mens' beds I
have graced with that same amount of cautious consideration. Mulder was
certainly no exception; I waited through five agonizing years of mounting tension
before I was able to bring myself to make even the slightest of overtures. There
was never any doubt that such was what I wanted, however; and once I'd
determined to my satisfaction that Mulder wanted the same, the last of my
reservations fled, leaving me looking forward at last in eagerness, rather than
"We shouldn't stay out too long. I'm not so sure about leaving Gibson with
only Frohike and Langly to watch over him."
"He'll be fine, Scully. He's as well-hidden at their office as he would be
This was a lie, and we both knew it; but having more pressing matters on my
mind, I chose to let it slide.
Pausing only long enough to remove my shoes, I approached the bed
purposefully and stretched out alongside my partner, not touching him.
"When did you know?" he asked quietly.
"What? That I found you attractive? About two seconds after I walked into
your office the first time." That wasn't what he meant, of course; but something
compelled me to stall him as I searched myself for the real answer. When *did* I
know? From this perspective I was hard-pressed to conjure up a time when I
"For me, it was when They took you." He spoke as if he'd never heard me.
"But I couldn't admit it, even to myself, until your cancer was diagnosed. I
wanted so badly to tell you, but..."
*But*. It has to be the saddest word in the English language.
"It was while you were in the gulag," I blurted, and knew it for truth as soon as
I said it. "I had to quit pretending to myself that what I felt was just--concern for
a friend. Mulder, when you walked into that hearing I...But things got in the way.
Up until three nights ago, things always got in the way."
"Looks like the chain-smoking sack of shit finally did something good for us."
"Actually, it was seeing you with Agent Fowley that did it."
"Diana?" He was lost.
"At the hospital. I had Gibson's test results. I was going to show them to you,
but you--I saw the two of you, in the office. You were holding her hands, and..."
I trailed off, embarrassed. It all seemed so sophomoric, somehow, and so very
long ago. "I left, and I sat in the car for I-don't-know-how-long, wrestling with
myself and my feelings. And in the end, I couldn't do it. I called you on my cell
phone and made up a story about needing to see you at the office. Stupid, huh?"
"You really are in love with me." He said it in such tones of awe and wonder
that I couldn't help laughing.
"And here I thought *I* was the skeptical one. You were still having doubts?"
"You've taught me well, Scully. I just needed a bit of incontrovertible
Propping myself up on one arm, I leaned over him, sliding my other hand up
under his t-shirt. "Let's see what else I can come up with by way of convincing
Making a low sound in his throat that was midway between a chuckle and a
growl, Mulder pulled me down sprawling atop him, wrapping me in his arms and
capturing my mouth with his. Already he was hard and ready and I pressed
enthusiastically against him, inwardly cursing the soft barrier of our clothing. He
was working at remedying that, however, tugging at the buttons of my henley
preparatory to sliding it over my head and off me. Rising to my knees I straddled
his hips, sitting up to grant him access to my breasts. My bra went sailing
overboard with all due haste and then his hands were on me, tracing the contours
of my swollen flesh, testing weight and texture.
My nervousness was only a distant memory. I felt almost feral as I rolled from
him, fumbling with the closure on his jeans. Helping each other as best we could
in our clumsy haste to be done with barriers, we shed the last of what lay between
us and I was rewarded with the vista of his lovely naked body, exquisite in arousal.
"I've imagined this moment so many times that I don't even know where to
begin," I confessed, trailing exploratory fingers down the length of him. Catching
my hand he drew it up to place a solemn kiss in the center of my palm before
enfolding it in his own, pressing it over his heart. His eyes found mine and held,
dark and plaintive as his voice.
"I want to be inside you."
"You always have been."
No further preliminaries were necessary, for either of us; slipping catlike upon
him I positioned myself above him and reached between our straining bodies to
take him in hand and guide him home. Moving in sync we came together, finally,
lost each to the other. The feel of his heartbeat within me drove away my last
rational thought and I fell upon him, drowning.
I came back to myself slowly, conscious thought returning along with more
normal respiratory rhythms. We lay together in a tangle of glistening limbs and
sweat-soaked sheets, my head pillowed on his shoulder, his arms draped loosely
around me. I don't know how long we basked before the soft *snick* of an
opening door forced its way into our idyll; the next sound to reach our ears was
the lockjawed grate of our superior:
"Is this a bad time, Agents? Because I assure you, I do *not* want to have to
come back later."
There have to be worse things in life than having your boss catch you in bed
with your partner; but at the time, I swear I couldn't think of any.
Here's my ego. Go ahead; stroke it: firstname.lastname@example.org