"If he wanted to put on a show,
who was she to deny him an audience?"
RATING: PG-13 to R, depending on how vivid your imagination is
SPOILERS: not really
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; the X-Files belong to CC, FOX, etc.
NOTE: A little birthday fic for Mims, as inspired by her neighbor.
* * * * *
Not that Scully could prove it in a court of law, but she really had been just innocently washing the windows.
It all started when he emerged from the bathroom, all damp and dewy, wearing nothing more than a towel tied low around his hips, this man across the way. Lights were on throughout his apartment, drapes and blinds fully open despite the late evening hour. For the same reason, she kept the lights low behind her as she worked, not wanting to put herself on display for the neighbors. But he didn't seem to mind, strolling through his apartment oblivious to his exposure. Or maybe he wasn't so unaware. Maybe he liked to be watched.
At first, she just casually took note of him, lingering to appreciate his finely toned chest. Not muscle-bound, but athletic. She let her mind wander to the various scenarios in which he might work to maintain his physique, pumping weights while sweat glistened across his chest, or using those strong arms to finesse a rowing machine. The thoughts provided a welcome distraction while she rubbed away at a stubborn spot of dirt.
Her eyes absently followed him through his living room and into the kitchen. Accommodatingly, he flipped on more lights as he went. He pulled a jug from the refrigerator, then reached into a top cupboard for a glass. As his body shifted, she watched the towel on his waist slip lower, not even realizing that her movements had slowed. He set the glass on the counter and shifted his weight from one hip to the other, nudging the terrycloth slightly lower. Scully's hands stilled altogether, and she silently cheered on gravity, willing the fabric to slip just a little farther and allow her a glimpse of what she knew must be a pair of very nicely shaped buttocks hiding beneath. "That's really all I wanted, your Honor, just a glimpse," she could argue. But what she got was an eyeful.
With another cock of his hips, the towel was slipping south again. He reached down to grab hold of it just before it slid away entirely. But rather than refastening it around his waist, he tossed it over a chair, briefly turning in her direction as he did so. His ass wasn't the only nicely shaped treasure hiding beneath that towel.
Scully reached for the chair behind her just as her knees gave out. Good Lord, he couldn't really be ignorant of the fact that he was in full view of the neighborhood, could he? Was he really that much of an exhibitionist?
Well, if he wanted to put on a show, who was she to deny him an audience? The cleaning rag fell abandoned to the floor, freeing her hands to rest on her knees as she unconsciously sat forward for a closer look.
The towel lay forgotten in the kitchen on his return to the living room. Furniture and knickknacks protruded above his windowsill, obscuring the view too much for her liking--she had to move her head around to follow him through the room. Obligingly, he made his way toward the window and stopped at the desk. He was directly across from her now, and her heart sped at the thought that if only he were to look straight forward, he might catch her peeping. But his eyes were downcast, his hands shuffling through some envelopes.
Her gaze left his face to admire the hair spattering his chest in a vee that invitingly guided her eyes downward. He didn't have six-pack abs, but they were toned; she followed the gentle ripples to his belly-button, and further to the thin line of hair that flourished into a fuller patch inches below. But the chair he stood behind was just tall enough to block the rest of the view. She found herself sitting up straighter, as though she could peek down from a higher perch, but the effort was futile.
He turned away then and leaned against the chair, giving her a nice view of his back. She could just imagine herself standing behind him, running her hands over his strong shoulders, his smooth skin, around his trim waist, and forward, down a little lower, to stroke--
A shrill ring pierced the silence, and Scully nearly jumped out of her skin. Even though no one was there to see her, she felt her face grow hot from the guilt at being caught.
She cleared her throat before answering the phone. "Hello?"
"Hey, Scully, whatcha doin'?"
She tried her best to even her breathing and sound nonchalant. "Oh, you know, nothing important. Just sitting around, watching a...nature show."
What would Mulder think of her if he knew what she was really doing?
"Ooh, something on animal mating rituals?"
"Uh, no, it's more like, um...an overview of human anatomy."
"Jeez, Scully, that's what you call entertainment? You gotta learn to loosen up a little. Oh, hey, there's a Roswell documentary on channel 37."
His genial ribbing settled her on more familiar ground, and the embarrassment began to fade away. "And you're criticizing MY idea of entertainment?"
"C'mon, Scully, this is both fun and educational."
Unseen, she indulged in a lascivious grin. "So is this."
"Oh, well, it's on a commercial right now anyway. Wow, they're advertising for Christmas already? Isn't it a little early?"
"Mmm, well, you know, the Christmas stuff usually comes out as soon as Halloween is over." Her mouth was forming words, but her mind was elsewhere as she watched her quarry finally pull away from the desk and head toward the bedroom, displaying his beautiful glutes as he walked away from her.
"So, what do you want for Christmas this year?"
"I thought we weren't exchanging gifts." She leaned sideways a little, anticipating his emergence through the bedroom door.
"I didn't say I would buy it for you. I was just thinking, you know, maybe if Santa wasn't available, you could sit on my lap instead."
Speaking of laps, she was still yearning for a good full frontal view. He was meandering through his room, picking up various garments from the bed, the floor, but wouldn't stop long enough to permit a lingering look at...the goods.
"I'm sorry, what?" She struggled to pay attention to the conversation.
"What do you want for Christmas?"
"A telescope." It was just the first thing that came to mind. She really hoped Mulder wouldn't ask what she wanted it for.
"Interested in doing some stargazing?"
"Yes." She jumped on that excuse quickly. "Stargazing. Constellations. Very interesting."
"Hey, I didn't realize you were into that. Maybe we could take a trip to the Naval Observatory sometime."
"Uh huh." It wasn't the navel she was interested in observing, but something slightly lower. He had finally stopped moving and was standing in front of the dresser in profile, sifting through an open drawer. Although the pose was promising, he was still tilted just a little too much in the other direction. She focused intently on his hip, hoping it would pivot toward her and give way to other territory.
Mulder still rambled on, but she couldn't testify to the exact words. "I hear you have to make reservations ahead of time, but maybe we can get special privileges as government employees."
Without warning, the hip moved back. He faced her at a 45 degree angle, just inches away from the window.
"Oh, God." Inches, indeed.
"Scully? You alright?"
She finally blinked and remembered to breathe again. "Uh, yeah, it was just something on TV."
"Still watching that medical show? You need to get out more."
She sighed. "Yeah, I do." Was this the only way she could see a naked man these days? She really did need to get out more.
"Like I'm one to talk, huh? It's Saturday night, and here we both are, sitting at home watching TV."
He was in profile again, now shutting the drawer. As if to indulge her, he took a step toward the window and extended his arms skyward in a lazy stretch. The man had no shame. Or maybe that was her.
"So, are you going to mass tomorrow?"
She would certainly need to go to confession after this. Lust, coveting--was voyeurism considered a venial sin? Well, she might as well add it to the list.
"Uh, probably. Mom's expecting me for brunch."
A pair of jeans had surfaced from a pile on the bed. Bending over to put his feet through the legs, he graced her with one more nice view of his ass before covering it with denim. Not tight fitting, she noted. The reason being, she soon discovered, that the fly still gaped open--but only enough to show a dark patch of hair. Her guilt all but gone, she was awash with disappointment. The show was over, at least for now.
Mulder prattled on unabated. "Why don't you call me when you're done? I might stop by the office in the morning, but I should be home by then. Oh, speaking of food, I think my pizza's here. Listen, I'll talk to you tomorrow, 'kay?"
She didn't bother to answer since she knew that with him, it was a rhetorical question, soon confirmed by a click and a dial tone. With a sigh, she got up to tidy her cleaning supplies, setting them in the corner rather than bothering to finish the job. She could return to it another time. After all, it would give her a good excuse.
Scully grabbed her coat from the chair and took one last lingering look at the apartment across the way. He was just turning from the front door and was headed straight for the living room with the cardboard box. She chuckled softly and shook her head. Did that man ever use his dining room table for eating? She knew that the box would serve as both plate and Tupperware, its remaining contents being his offering of "lunch" when she called and he invited her over the next day.
Letting the door swing shut behind her, she pulled out her keys to secure the vacant studio. Last week, when she had seen the "for lease" sign in the window across the street from Mulder's apartment, she had only intended to rent the space as an insurance measure. She knew it had been used for surveillance in the past, and snatching it up seemed the only logical way to keep it out of the wrong hands. The act had been impulsive, and at first she'd regretted it. Now, however, it seemed like money well spent.
She really did intend to tell Mulder about it someday. For now, though, it would remain her dirty little secret.
Happy Birthday, Mims! :)
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