Title: Enders Switch: In Flagrante (1/1)

Author: Lynn Gregg

Rating: PG-13

Classification: SR

Keywords: Mulder/Scully romance

Feedback: pythia@aye.net

Missing parts: http://members.tripod.com/~dkscully1013 or e-mail author

Spoilers: The End

Disclaimer: The characters herein are property of Chris Carter, 1013 Productions

and Fox Broadcasting, and no copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: Continues the Enders Switch series. Mulder and Scully have a lot of

explaining to do...

Notes: In case you got here late, this is part six of an ongoing series. In order, they

are: Enders Switch, ES: Day Two, ES: Interlude, ES: Departure, and ES:

Homecomings.

Without further ado...



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Enders Switch: In Flagrante

by Lynn Gregg

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"In flagrante delicto"--a lovely Latin-legalese term with but one essential

meaning: caught in the act. Hardly a new concept for one in my line of work, but

never before had it's full import been impressed upon me more clearly.



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Instinctively I grabbed the sheet, yanking it over and around me like a winding

shroud--not an inappropriate analogy as visions of the death of my career, my

hard-won professionalism, and my dignity flickered rapidly across the screen of my

imagination. My action, however, had the unconsidered side-effect of leaving

Mulder fully exposed, which was hardly desirable at the time. He thrust himself

violently away from me, with the inevitable result: over the edge he went, hitting

the wood floor with a thump that must've felt even more painful than it sounded.

A miserable small-voiced "Ow, shit" floated up to hang in the charged air.

A muscle worked in Skinner's jaw and I stared at it, inordinately fascinated.

Surely the man's face would crack if he kept it clenched up like that much longer.

I swear his mouth moved not at all as he issued his next curt pronouncement;

Edgar Bergen could've learned much under Walter Skinner's tutelage.

"Get dressed. I'll wait in the living room." He paused. "Do you have anything

to drink around here, Agent Mulder?"

Dimly came the response: "Ah, God, I think I broke my *ass*."

The muscle twitched harder. "Patch him up, Agent Scully, then get *both*

your asses out here--broken or no." And he turned and stalked out of the room.

Dear Mother of God, was that a *smirk* I saw escape before he turned away?



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It was ninth grade all over again, sitting in the principal's office awaiting

sentence. I half-expected our mothers to come swooping in, squawking and

scolding and bearing us away to our just punishments. For once it seemed a good

thing that both our fathers were dead; maybe we'd escape a spanking this time.

Although I wouldn't necessarily put it past Skinner...

Remember those letters of resignation we, in our righteous indignation, had

intended to submit days before? Well, we didn't--meaning we'd essentially gone

AWOL in the midst of an ongoing investigation. That we'd been continuing the

investigation in the interim was immaterial. Add to all that the fact that we'd not

only been caught, but caught *naked*, in *bed*, by our superior, and even the

charming military acronym FUBAR ceases to cover the depth of the doo-doo in

which we'd landed.

Goodbye, Special Agent Dana K Scully MD. Hello, "Welcome to

McDonald's, would you like a 'Teeny Beanie Baby Happy Meal' today?"



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Skinner, as expected, commenced to rant.

"Cut the crap, you two! You're acting like a couple of sniveling schoolkids

and I don't have the time for it."

Apparently Gibson wasn't the only mindreader in town. I stared up at my boss,

mesmerized; the mouse must feel like that, beneath the cold unblinking eye of the

cobra.

"This is not about how you choose to pass your personal time. Nor is it about

the fact that you chose to disappear for three days in the midst of an ongoing

investigation without informing anyone as to your whereabouts. I need to know

where the Hell you've stashed the boy and what you intend to do with him."

I dared a glance at Mulder for the first time. His jaw was dragging the ground.

Could we actually be *getting away* with it?

"Gibson Praise is in our custody, Sir," Mulder offered.

"Where?"

"He's safe, Sir."

"Is that so? Somehow, under the circumstances, I don't think handing the child

over to a *babysitter* qualifies as keeping him 'safe'. His parents are en route

from the Phillippines even as we speak, Agents, and they want some answers. I

need to be able to give them those answers."

"The boy is at a safe house," Mulder said flatly, "and it is out contention that he

needs to remain in protective custody until such a time as we can get to the bottom

of this situation."

"Agent Spender is pushing for a formal inquiry into your actions as regards this

case. I've managed to stall him this far, but I don't know how much longer I can

hold him down. My advice to you both is that you get your asses back to work--

visibly--on this case, and pull the reins in on Spender yourselves. I'm running out

of excuses here."

Mulder stood, signaling the end of the interview. "Tell Gibson's parents that

he's safe, and that we are continuing to do everything in our power to assure that

he stays that way."

Taking the hint, Skinner rose. "I want you both in my office tomorrow at ten."

At the door he paused, hand on the knob, then turned to us once more.

"Watch your backs," he said, and was gone.



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After a hasty and stilted-silent visit to my apartment we returned to Gunmen

Central. The unexpected confrontation with Skinner had shattered the easy

intimacy between us; walking back into the lair with the scent of our joining still

upon me I felt thoroughly humiliated, and very alone. Mulder was being very

careful not to touch me. He couldn't even bring himself to look at me.

"I'm gonna go take a shower," he muttered, disappearing hastily down the hall,

and my demoralization was complete. He couldn't wait to wash me off him. I'm

well-acquainted with Mulder's methods. He's always had a certain cleanliness-

fetish. Whenever he feels himself sullied internally, his immediate answer is to try

to wash it away--flawed logic assuming that if the outside is cleansed the inside

will follow. I've fished him out of more than one bathtub in our time together--he

doesn't even always bother to undress first--dried him off and done my damndest

to put him back together again.

But not this time. This time I was the source of his despoilment.

At a loss, I wandered back to the "recreation" room and sat down, raking a

hand through the ruins of my hair. I was torn between bursting into tears and

breaking everything in sight. There's no telling which one I would've chosen if

Gibson hadn't stepped into the room.

"What are you doing up? You should be sleeping."

"I heard you come in," he said, settling down beside me. "You're upset."

No use trying to put on a brave face for the Stupendous Yappi. "Yeah. Yeah,

I am."

"So's *he*. He thinks it's his fault."

"*What's* his fault?"

"That you're upset. He thinks he embarrassed you in front of your boss and

now you wish you hadn't--" He broke off, coloring slightly.

I turned to him, too tired and drained to start considering what he'd said.

"How can you know that? He's not even in the room!"

Gibson shrugged. "Mr Mulder *thinks* really loud."

"I'll bet," I muttered. "But--I thought you had to have some kind of link to a

person--to read their thoughts, I mean. Be in the same room, or on the phone, or

something."



"Usually, but not always. It depends a lot on their feelings. If somebody's

really upset, I can hear them from a long way off. Like you, when you came in.

And him."

"Should I go talk to him?"

It should be taken as indicative of the extremity of my emotional upheaval that I

was seeking romantic advice from a 12 year old. Gibson smiled, a little shyly.

"Yeah. Um, don't worry; I won't listen."

Now I was the one blushing. Patting his shoulder, I rose to find my lover.

"Hey, Agent Scully?"

I turned.

"He likes you a lot more than he does that other girl."



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The shower was still running full-blast when I slipped into the bathroom. It

was so steamy I could barely discern the form which I sought. He was standing

motionless under the pounding water, leaning up against the tile; he didn't notice

me enter the room. Before I could lose my nerve I quickly shed my clothes.

Pushing the curtain back, I stepped in behind him, wincing as the scalding spray

needled my skin.

"Mulder?"

"Y'know, I gave up hope of ever having a 'normal' relationship years ago."

He spoke into the wall. "I didn't intend to drag you down with me."

"Self-flagellation doesn't become you, Mulder. Are you gonna share the water

with me?"

Accommodatingly he stepped back, flattening himself against the wall. Being

careful to bring as much of my body into contact with his as possible, I edged

forward, accustoming myself by slow degrees to the heat. He reacted, of course,

as I had intended he should; though he held himself stiffly, I could feel him twitch,

restraining himself.

"Unless you personally invited Skinner to come bear witness to the

proceedings," I went on, in what I hoped was a conversational tone, "I can't see

any way in Hell that this could possibly be construed as your fault." I held out a

washcloth over my shoulder. "Wash my back?"

After a breathless beat I felt the cloth leave my hand; a moment later and it was

gliding gently along my shoulderblades. "I guess I'm just enough of a romantic to

want it all to be perfect for you."

"Well, I'm just enough of a realist to know that'll never happen--but I'm *also*

enough of a romantic not to care." Turning, I moved to him, soapy against slick.

A tentative smile was ticking the corners of his mouth; off my look it spread into

his lovely, loopy grin.

"If I wanted normal, I'd've requested transfer long ago. Found myself a nice,

normal--"

"--Boring--"

"--Boring pathologist and settled into a nice, normal, boring routine. I don't

*want* normal. I *want* you."

"They have medication for that now, Scully."

If I'd known going insane would be this much fun, I'd have gone a lot sooner.

The water began to steadily drop in temperature and we scurried to complete

our washing, finishing up just as the first icy stings began to strike. Slamming off

the tap, Mulder reached past the curtain and hooked a towel, which he wrapped

me in chivalrously. Fetching another for himself, he tucked it in around his waist

before applying himself to the task of drying me off. One good turn deserves

another; when he'd finished, I did the same for him, lingering on spots that seemed

especially damp. I let my lips follow naturally in the paths my hands had taken;

and by the time I was done he was shivering, and not from the cool air.

Our sleeping arrangements Chez Gunmen had not been discussed. I knew there

had to be at least one spare room, maybe more, beyond the one allotted to Gibson.

I'd already ascertained--to a mixture of amusement and horror--that Frohike and

Langly had bunk beds in a room off the central hallway. Looking to Mulder for

guidance, I was relieved to discover that he seemed to know where to go; still

wrapped in our towels, we paraded back down the hall, hung a left, back through

the rec room and down another subsidiary hallway. At the far end was a door that

opened into a small room sparsely furnished with a single bed, a night stand with a

lamp, and a chair. Naked we spooned together and I was overcome by a sense of

how right, how perfectly natural, it felt to be that way together. Mulder and I

were already so much a part of one another that it seemed, corny as it sounds, that

we had always been this way.

I was almost asleep when Mulder's soft voice insinuated itself into my trance.

"Scully?"

"Yeah?"

"How are we going to explain this to Frohike?"



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Coming soon: the Grand Finale! Tell me to hurry it up at pythia@aye.net