text file (11k)

Scully takes the opportunity to appreciate
Mulder's talents on and off the court.

SPOILERS: vague references
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; the X-Files belong to CC, FOX, etc., but Scully owns the exclusive rights to Mulder.

NOTES: Written for Fandomonium's Voyeurism Challenge (elements listed at the end). Rather than trying for anything unique, I just went for good old-fashioned lusting after Mulder--I mean SCULLY lusting after Mulder. ;)

* * * * *

As I emerge from the dim building and descend the front steps, I replace my sunglasses to shade my eyes from the glaring midday sun. It was my own fault that I came all the way over here for nothing; I really should've called first to see if Mulder was home. After all, it's Saturday, so I wouldn't be surprised to find him at the office.

I'm about to head back to my car when the noises from the park across the street distract me. This is the first unseasonably warm day we've had this spring, and, as such a day usually does, it has drawn everyone out of doors. I can hear the squeals and laughter of children on the play equipment, but the sounds that really catch my ear are the echoes of a rubber ball and soles against pavement, the percussion for the melody of male grunts and shouts. Before I even consciously decide it, my feet are carrying me in that direction.

Due to what Mulder would call a sixth sense, but I would explain as the subconscious recognition of his voice, somehow I know I will find my partner here, long before I can see him or distinguish the individual vocalizations. This isn't the first time I've tracked him down at this park, on this court, but it's been so long since I have that I didn't even think to look for him here.

A few well-placed trees with their thickening foliage allow me to advance in the shadows and observe the game without being noticed. As I approach, even from a distance I can clearly make out the form of my partner, not only from the familiar mannerisms, but because he has the distinction of being the oldest and whitest player on the court. I don't mean these things as an insult--it is a testimony to Mulder's stamina that he can hold his own among these young talents.

Beneath one of the trees, I spot an empty bench positioned a few yards away from the blacktop and at the opposite end from the half-court game. From this perch, I feel I can watch the game unnoticed. Although my sunglasses are no longer necessary in the shade, I leave them on to hide the direction of my pointed gaze.

It appears that the gentlemen are playing shirts and skins today, and I take great pleasure in the fact that Mulder is one of the skins, because--well, for obvious reasons. I feel a momentary pang of concern that he probably isn't wearing sunscreen, but then I look at his nicely bronzed skin and forget my concerns, let alone my own name. He really is such a beautiful man, and so seldom do I get the chance to soak in his beauty like this, unobserved.

Mulder has a swimmer's body, a runner's body, a...great body. He takes good care of himself. I hate it when men refer to women that way, since it seems so objectifying, but it really is true of Mulder (well, as far as his exercise, if not his diet). Ever since I've known him, he's been at the peak of his physical condition, not because his job requires it of him, but because he always pushes himself to be the best at whatever he does. For as cerebral as he is, he is also incredibly physical. I think he finds that keeping his body occupied somehow frees his mind. Many times when we're out of town on a case, I'll hear him leave for a late night jog, only to return with a brilliant insight or the key to finding our suspect. I'd be a little more appreciative of this gift if he didn't always feel the need to wake me at all hours to share his revelation, or if he would at least come to my room *first* and let me provide him with a more productive outlet for his pent-up energy....

The ball comes bouncing toward my end of the court, and I fear for a moment that I've been caught--either lusting after my partner, or just watching uninvited. But the player who retrieves it is one of the teenage boys, and I notice that Mulder's attention is focused in the other direction. I realize that he's taking the short breather to offer some advice to one of the young players on his team. Although I can't hear what he's saying, I can easily read his body language. He's leaning into the young man, in a way that would be intimidating or discomfiting by anyone else, but from him breeds intimacy and trust. He breaks their brief conference with a jovial smile and a pat on the back, and I can tell from the answering grin on the kid's face that the parting comment was one of Mulder's infamous jokes, and probably tasteless enough to be right up this adolescent's alley.

The ball is back in play, and the moment is gone as quickly as it came, but the image lingers with me. Not for the first time, I wonder at the life Mulder could have lived if he hadn't been born into a web of conspiracies and lies. Would he be coaching kids like this instead of chasing after little green--grey--men? Or could his own talent have developed enough to let him play pro ball himself? I have no doubt that he could have accomplished it, if he had set his mind to it. I once learned from Frohike that Mulder had turned down a full ride to Harvard on a basketball scholarship, although he's never mentioned it to me himself, and I've never told him that I know. No doubt he preferred to put an ocean between him and the painful memories of his childhood, but just think how different things would be if he had never met Phoebe. Of course, he probably wouldn't be in the FBI today either, and then he never would've met me.

My attention is drawn back to the game again as I recognize Mulder's head and arm rise above the swarm of defenders for a smooth lay-up. Like the Red Sea, the bodies part to reset for the next play, and he emerges from their midst. His body has become slick with perspiration, and as he swipes a sweaty hand through his brown locks and leaves them in disarray, I notice that his last haircut has grown out considerably, almost enough to give free rein to that adorable curl that always used to dangle over his forehead back when we first met.

I let my mind fill in the details as I try to see him that way again. My imagination erases the scars and the lines, the few gray hairs that having daringly come forth. For good measure, I throw on his reading glasses, even though I have no good argument for why he'd be wearing them right now. The illusion, however, lasts for but a moment. There's the scar on his left shoulder, and the matching exit wound, perhaps indiscernible to anyone else but so prominent to me; the thin line cutting through the dark hair on his thigh, the testimony to yet another bullet wound; the worry lines on his forehead that I can't really see from here, but they are perceptible to me nonetheless, knowing that I have unintentionally contributed to their development. But somehow, I prefer this older, weathered Mulder to the younger version, because every mark and line is a reminder of the time that we've shared and the challenges that we've survived.

Mulder has the ball again, and he dribbles back to half court. I expect him to pass to someone closer to the basket, but instead he gracefully springs into the air and lobs the ball in a perfect arc. Nothing but net. From the reactions of the players, I realize this must be the game winning play, and I can't help but grin in pride at his proficiency. But what he does next takes my breath away.

No sooner has the ball passed cleanly through the net than he makes a full 180 and points directly at me. And I hear the words through his gesture, just as clearly as if he'd spoken them aloud: "That shot was for you."

With the same assurance as he made the shot and the subsequent declaration, he now strides toward me, averting his eyes and his steps only long enough to grab his shirt from the side of the court. I'm grateful for this diversion because it gives me a chance to catch my breath and recover from the adrenaline rush of realizing I've been found out. But soon he is back on course, like a heat-seeking missile, and I am his target. Those eyes are like black holes, sucking me in and obliterating the rest of the outside world. I watch, mesmerized, as he stops mere inches from me and uses his shirt to towel off his glistening torso rather than putting it back on. I don't mind one bit--all the more Mulder upon which to feast my eyes.

I don't realize that said eyes have dropped to their current level, continuing their appreciation of the expanse of skin directly before me, until I notice that his movements have stilled. I let my gaze travel up slowly to meet his, and I see that he is watching me with a perceptive air and a hint of amusement. Busted again; so much for the shelter of my sunglasses. This time, though, I tingle not with anxiety but with anticipation.

"So, Scully, how 'bout a little one on one?"

If his intense gaze weren't enough to melt me, his soft, sultry tone certainly would be. I can't help myself as I feel the corners of my mouth curve into a smile.

Maybe for once I'll take him up on his innuendo.


Notes: This is my first challenge fic. My muse doesn't usually respond on demand, but who could turn down the opportunity to drool over Mulder?

Challenge elements:

* Scully or other POV
* can have Mulder doing anything
* pure description (i.e. little or no dialogue)
* must be a new fic

Send feedback to: bellefleur1013@yahoo.com

Return to Table of Contents