Title: DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (a crossover romance)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback: Please, to the above address!
Archive: By permission only, please
Rating: NC-17, Sc/O
Category: XSRA - "outsider" POV
Spoilers: "The Blessing Way", "Never Again" (XF), "Pilot", "The Devil You Know" (IM)
Timeframe: Sometime after the fourth year of the REAL X-Files
Summary: An investigation reintroduces Scully to an old friend
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For those unfamiliar with the Sci-Fi Channel series "The Invisible Man", I will attempt to put capsule character descriptions at the end of the story. I hope I have included enough background material in the story itself that the average XF fan is not lost...
DISCLAIMER: Some of these characters belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and the whole X-Files gang, not to me. The rest of the characters belong to Matt Greenberg and Stu Segall Productions, not to me, either. This story is just for the entertainment of my online friends and myself, not for any profit.
COPYRIGHT: (C) January 15, 2001, Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.
The nice thing about being a thief is that you work alone. The nice thing about working alone is a complete lack of meetings with your co-workers. The nice thing about meetings... well, face it: there *is* no nice thing about meetings.
Back in the old days, I gathered my own information, possibly sharing it with a partner on the fly, but I was never summoned to a big room with a door that locked me *in* with a bunch of equally-bored people. But times have changed, and I'm working on the *inside* now. So there we were: the Official droning about possible threats to the security of the Agency, and Eberts flicking the button on the remote of the slide projector. My Keeper, Claire, was, as always, back in the lab doing experiments on her critters. My partner, Hobbes, was sound asleep and snoring, his head tipped back so I could see straight up his nostrils across the finely-polished conference table.
I was trying hard to stay awake, contemplating making my head disappear so I could make a childish face to myself or just give a huge yawn, but courtesy to my new boss kept me visible and blinking so I looked attentive. Suddenly, however, a slide came into view that drew all of my focus.
"These F.B.I. agents have been snooping around our parent agency for a few days," said the old man, officiously. "I want you to be on the lookout for them, get them off of our trail."
Hobbes, who had bolted awake at the mention of F.B.I., was at once full of questions. "What are they doing here? What do they want? I didn't do anything!"
The Official's fleshy eyelids descended into the bags over his cheeks with all of the concern of a recently-fed iguana. He continued, "Had you been listening, you would have heard that these special agents are apparently following up on reports of a poltergeist in the building," spinning to face me with a challenge in his gaze. "You're not wasting your quicksilver antidote on mere games around the office, are you, Fawkes?"
"Absolutely not, sir," I swore, running through any recent in-house covert activities in my head. Perhaps I'd been overheard fooling around with the photocopier upstairs a week before, making enough noise to cover the footsteps of any passersby.
He returned to droning mode. "If you happen to see these agents in the building at *any* time, I want you to answer their questions as politely as you can, without giving away any information on our project--is that clear?" We nodded dutifully, taking notes on the pads provided. "Their names are Special Agent Fox Mulder and Special Agent..."
"Dana Scully," I interrupted.
"What?" Hobbes, the Official, and Eberts asked in unison.
"Dana Scully," I repeated, trying to be helpful.
"Do you know this woman?" asked the head of the Agency.
"Yeah, Fawkes... Is she some kinda friend of yours?" echoed Hobbes.
I licked my teeth nervously before answering. "I guess you could say that. I used to date her sister."
As expected, the F.B.I. made an *official* call on us a few days later. Hobbes and I were to report to the main office for questioning, but he was peppering me with so many on our way upstairs that I felt I was just practicing.
"So you know her sister, huh?" he quizzed, a sly look flitting about his eyebrows.
"Uh-huh," I answered, gnawing on some new granola/energy bar thing that Claire had developed--it tasted like chocolate-chip cardboard, but it contained an antidote booster that might reduce my reliance on the injections.
"When you say "know", how do you mean that?"
"What do you mean?" I knew exactly what he meant, but I didn't feel like playing along.
"I mean "know", like in the Biblical sense..."
"I can't imagine why that would be of any interest to you," I tossed off, flinging the remains of my granola bar in the nearest trashcan. If the remedy were going to taste *that* bad, I wouldn't mind letting the quicksilver madness take me, especially if Hobbes were in the room with me and he were continuing to pursue this particular conversational thread.
"Well, personally, I'd start wondering if you'd ever suggested a double-date, *if* you know what I mean..."
I pushed the button for the elevator and spun to glare at him. "I'm assuming you mean a date with both of them at once, without another man invited along?"
His smarmy grin made his ears turn pink. "Exactly!" he crowed, then quieted, apparently waiting for my answer.
Elevator doors opened before us, and I boarded and turned to the front of the car, facing him without answering.
Before he stepped inside, he stared me down and asked, "Well?"
"I fail to appreciate how my sex life is any of your business."
He moved into the car beside me and lowered his voice mollifyingly. "Okay, Fawkes... you may be right. I just thought that if you could turn up the charm with little sister, here--she *is* the "little sister", right?" he interrupted himself to ask. I nodded my reply, and he proceeded. "I figured that if all else failed, you could use your prior knowledge of the lady to get her to lay off of us."
Now I *know* that the project that implanted the quicksilver gland in my brain, making it possible for me to turn invisible on demand, is a closely-guarded government secret in a sub-agency that doesn't exist in the Department of Fish and Game. I mean, my brother who helped test the thing was killed trying to protect the gland, and by extension *me*--I am fully aware what his priorities were, and can't really take too much offense at his choice. Had I had a closer relationship with my brother Kevin, the genius, as I was growing up, I might have ended up as a scientist on the project, instead of the hard-up thief who got volunteered first-hand knowledge of how the thing worked, as well as how it went wrong, in exchange for my release from prison. So while I understood just how important secrecy was to the Official and to the Agency as a whole, I didn't like my partner/caretaker making assumptions about what I was willing to do to cover our tracks.
What I might be willing to do for my own purposes could be entirely different from that, I discovered upon further reflection. The photograph that the Official had shown us wasn't in the sharpest focus, but the tiny redhead could only have been Melissa's sister Dana. On more than one occasion, I had sat in the family parlor in North Carolina, where old man Scully had been stationed that year, waiting for Melissa to get ready while I felt those very eyes gazing at me over the top of a high-school textbook from the dining room, but when I looked up, all I could see was that flame of hair hiding behind a volume on trigonometry.
I hadn't quite fallen by the wayside yet, nor had Melissa, but I sensed her yearnings to be a bad girl, a wild child, and I was more than happy to experiment in adult misbehavior with her. Dana, on the other hand, was the perfect daughter, the teacher's pet, the blessed virgin, and when I had dropped a thoroughly-groped and slightly-stoned Melissa off at home, visions of unsullied Dana Scully followed me to my dorm and made it difficult for me to sleep without spilling a little seed in her honor. The irony was not lost on me even then.
"So I wonder what they'll ask us," said Hobbes, interrupting my reverie abruptly. "You know anything about that hulking dude shadowing her in the picture?"
"Not a thing," I replied, stepping out of the elevator, which had arrived at our floor while I was woolgathering. "I haven't spoken to her since she graduated from high school. I doubt she'll even remember me..."
"C'mon, Fawkes", he teased, his grin laced less with sexual innuendo and more with an effort to be sincere, "who could forget *you*?"
A little while later, I was tucked into one of the small conference rooms answering questions posed by the aforementioned hulking dude. Dana was not with him, so I deduced that they were splitting up the interviews to save time. I carefully echoed the company cover story in reply to his queries, though I was impressed by how thorough his examination was. Given his appearance, I had assumed that he was a typical bureau hose in an expensive suit, but I was struck by both his intelligence and his peculiar fascination with things otherworldly. My acting skills must have improved some since my reprobate days, as I managed to stay cool even when the questions might have made me give away state secrets if I'd answered them to the letter.
Agent Mulder gave me a warm smile and handshake when his investigation of my opinions on his case was complete. We moved into the hall, where Hobbes was saying goodbye in a similarly cordial fashion to Agent Scully.
"Scully, you ready?" he asked, signaling her that he was on his way out the door, none too soon for my comfort.
She turned to look up at him, but her gaze immediately fell on me. Her eyes and mouth flew open in delighted shock, as she squealed, "Darien? Oh my *God*!" At once she was before me, her arms flung around me in a somewhat more-than-friendly manner.
Her partner, with an expression that could have been equal parts jealousy and envy, tried to distract her. "Um, Scully... Do you *know* this man?" he asked, his voice heavy with warning and a tinge of sarcasm.
Dana giggled girlishly as she held me at arms' length. "It's so good to see you, Darien!" she cooed, finally spinning to include the other agent in the reunion. "Mulder, I'd like you to meet Darien Fawkes. He used to go out with Melissa."
His shoulders eased a little from their kill-the-man-who-tarnished-my-sister's-honor stance, but he didn't shake my hand again, not that I expected that he would. "We've met," he fairly growled, but in her elation, she didn't appear to notice.
I tried to make nice and break the tension. "I had heard your name mentioned in connection with this investigation, Dana, but I didn't know if you'd remember me..."
Once again she sparkled those big blue eyes in my direction. "Oh, don't be silly, Darien! Who could forget *you*?" she intoned, echoing Hobbes' admonition word-for-word. I caught his eye as he winked at me in acknowledgement.
"Scully," Agent Mulder chided, a little less severely this time, "we really ought to be going back to the Hoover."
"Just a minute," she hushed, then turned to me. "You live here in D.C.?"
"Yeah--over near Dupont Circle."
"Well, how about that? I'm in Georgetown! We have *got* to get together for dinner, and *soon*! How's tomorrow?"
I quickly ran through my patently empty social calendar in my head, deciding that I could spare a Saturday night to get reacquainted with a favorite memory. "I could do tomorrow. Meet you on the Circle at about seven?"
"It's a date!" She grinned, then bounded up the intervening foot or so and planted a kiss on my cheek. "I'm so glad I ran into you! See you tomorrow!"
Hobbes and I stood there and watched them leave, Dana turning around and waving happily every dozen steps. "So," whispered Hobbes, angling his head at the back of the departing Agent Mulder, "d'ya think he's slippin' it to her?"
With one glance back at the couple, as I noted his hand planted firmly in the small of her back despite her over-the-shoulder look at me, I replied, "Not tonight, he isn't..."
I spent all day Saturday cleaning my apartment--I wasn't absolutely positive we'd end up there, but I didn't want to take any chances...
The thought of making love to a woman now that I'd been "changed" frightened me a little. Okay: a *lot*. Just touching that pretty scientist got my adrenaline pumping enough to vanish my arm and leg. I have to admit--I'd been scared sufficiently by that to make me skittish about trying anything further, even by myself. So much for dirty magazines, romantic videos, anything that might turn me on. When I started getting hard whenever I surfed past the pretty blonde anchor on the evening news, I started subscribing to the Post.
But I couldn't disappoint Dana--not if she wanted to stay over. As I took a shower that afternoon, I let my fingers touch myself experimentally. Imagining that my hand was her hand, I stroked my stomach, feeling the beginnings of an erection under the warm water. When I finally reached down to pump myself, a familiar chill snaked out from the back of my neck, and I watched with resignation as the mercury-like quicksilver secreted over my arms and chest. My vision became shimmery, and soon the water was running down invisible legs. I kept up my rhythm, though, just to see what happened, and when I came, my quicksilver coating shattered into dust dissolving in the bottom of the tub. Finishing up my shower, I contemplated whether Claire would want to include my empirical research in her files on me.
Considering my options, I evaluated my chances of having sex with Dana without her seeing me disappear. People don't use blindfolds on first dates, so that idea was out of the question. Perhaps with the blinds drawn and all of the lights out, her eyes wouldn't get used to the dark quickly enough to see anything suspicious. That might affect the order of things I might like to do with her... I'd have to think of a good cover story, but I was getting better at that these days. In addition, the quicksilver lowered my body temperature by a few degrees, so perhaps if I set the air conditioner in my bedroom to deep freeze, she wouldn't notice me turn cold.
Then again, when I touched her, my quicksilver would spread to *her*. I wondered what she would think if she could suddenly see the world as a silver negative. Maybe I'd be lucky, and she'd keep her eyes closed. In that case, I thought, I had certainly better be *good*...
And what about protection? I mean, this stuff flowed right over my clothes, so it would cover a condom quite easily, so I hoped that her body heat might keep it warm enough so that the rubber wouldn't crack. For that matter, would the coating stay outside of her, or go in with me, so to speak? Would I risk scratching her inside with the tiny sharp edges of the crumbs when they broke off me? That mental image made me shudder for real, and almost consider calling her to cancel. Unfortunately, I had failed to get her phone number, so I was committed. All I could do was finish getting dressed and walk over to find a plainly visible bench on the Circle.
"So, you mean you've lived here in D.C. for eight months, and I was right here and never knew..." she marveled. Instead of the severe dark suit she had worn on her visit to the Department of Fish and Game, she was in a cool lime green shift more suitable to the warm summer evening. The walls of the second-story sushi bar were painted black, and in contrast, she practically glowed as if she were lit by a blacklight. If I hadn't suspected that she considered this a genuine "date" before I saw her, I was firmly convinced of the fact now.
"Yeah," I finally answered her question. "My work transferred me here from California, and even though I still travel a lot, I call this my home base now."
She sighed and sipped at her water glass. "I know what you mean about traveling a lot. It gets to be a real pain in the ass sometimes..." The years had apparently been good to Dana, but she seemed to have more of an edge now: no longer the virginal high-schooler, but a lovely woman of the world who didn't have any hesitations about swearing, not even in front of a date. It only served to make her more beautiful.
The server brought little bowls of sesame-topped salad, into which we dug with the chopsticks we found at our place settings. "So, you enjoy your work at the Bureau?" I asked, honestly curious.
A resigned smile crossed her face, leaving untold volumes in her eyes. "We have the best solve rate of any team in our division, but it's hard."
"There's a lot of crime out there, isn't there?" I offered, hoping she wouldn't pursue my activities in the intervening years too hard.
"There's a lot out there, period," she replied, placing a large chunk of iceberg lettuce into her mouth. Her eyes, still troubled, rested lightly on me. "I don't think I want to think about it all tonight. Is that okay with you?"
"Sure. I'm sorry... I didn't mean to upset you..." We fell silent as we chased the last carrot shreds around our small salad bowls.
She pushed her bowl to the edge of the table and began measuring soy sauce out into her dipping dish. "Look, Darien--I may not want to talk shop tonight, but please, don't be afraid to ask me anything. It's been a long time, and I want to catch up..."
It might have been crass of me, but there was one thing I had to know before our date went any further. "Just tell me this: what's with you and this Joe Armani partner of yours?"
Her head tipped back as she regarded the black ceiling thoughtfully. "Well," she drew out, "it's complicated."
I was quick to step into the gap. "I hope I'm not stepping on any toes by taking you out tonight..."
Giving a reassuring chuckle, she patted the back of my hand. "Oh, it's nothing like that! He's just a friend, *really*. You have nothing to worry about!" Despite her protestations, some small ghost hovered in her gaze that made me wonder just how big "nothing" could really be.
Just then, the server brought us wooden trays filled with glistening slabs of multi-hued fish on mounds of vinegared rice. We fell to adding portions of wasabe to our dipping dishes, stirring them with our chopsticks, then catching each other's eye as we selected our first pieces, dipped them as neatly as possible, and bit them in half. Dana's eyes widened, and she smiled as she chewed her sushi.
When her mouth was clear enough to speak again, she chuckled as she exclaimed, "*Good* wasabe!" All I could do was nod in agreement, as I was busy blinking back a small tear from the spicy horseradish condiment.
Soon we had become accustomed to the heat level of our food, and were able to converse as we feasted on blood-red tuna, shimmering silvery mackerel, tender yellow egg, and bright orange salmon roe that burst between our teeth like bubbles of salt water. The topics remained light and food-oriented for awhile, until we felt comfortable pursuing more personal subject matter.
"So, tell me," she asked, chasing a petal of pickled ginger with a sip of her Coke, "how's your brother doing these days?"
Leaning back from my dinner, I regarded her quietly. "I forgot that you knew Kevin..."
Her face showed little concern as she cocked her head inquisitively. "We had a few friends in common, maybe took a couple of the same classes: nothing serious..."
I licked my lips nervously as I prepared to give her the bad news. "He was killed during a robbery last year. I'm sorry..."
Mouth agape, her eyebrows flew up registering shock and surprise. "Oh, I'm sorry, Darien!" she gushed, hurrying to offer comfort. "I had no idea!"
She patted my hand again, and I placed my other hand on top of hers gently. "It's okay, Dana. Sure, I miss him, but he had sort of saved my life."
"Well, I guess you could say I'd taken a wrong turn somewhere, and he, um, made some things happen that brought me back to the straight and narrow."
A small grin lit up her eyes briefly. "Are we talking about religious conversion?"
This comment left me scrambling for an appropriate response. "I don't think you'd call it that... Let's just say he reached into my brain and put something there that had never been there before, something that made me see things differently, something that made me realize how unique and valuable a person I could be..." I prayed that she couldn't see the glint of irony in my eyes as I listened to how much I had almost revealed about my real situation. Suddenly a little eager to change the subject, I decided to satisfy my curiosity by asking, "I almost forgot: how's Melissa?"
"Gone," she answered, but I missed the look in her eyes as I chased the last fish eggs around my platter.
"She took off for good?" I asked, recalling the times my old girlfriend had spent a few nights missing here and there, though never with me. Clearing my palate with one last bite of ginger, I glanced up at her again.
Her face was clouded with a hard-edged grief. "She's dead, Darien. Killed by a bullet meant for me..."
"Oh, my God," I started to blather. "I knew F.B.I. work was dangerous, but I didn't know... Or was it personal rather than work-related? Or I should probably shut up right about now..." Not a moment too soon, I stopped myself, her pain a nearly-tangible thing pouring across the table. "I'm sorry, Dana. I didn't mean..."
The overcast sky of her face started to lighten as after a thunderstorm. "I know. You weren't expecting it. People never know what to say. It's been awhile, so I guess I'm used to the idea..." Her voice drifted off as she visibly pushed her sadness away.
Our check came, filling the uncomfortable silence with activity for a moment. When business was finished, Dana and I stood stiffly beside our table. Desperate to restore our happier connections, I quietly began again. "I don't want to leave you on this note, okay?" Huge, solemn blue eyes gazed up at me as she nodded shyly. "Come to my place for some iced tea or something?" I touched her elbow softly as the word "something" hung in the air, making promises I hoped I'd be able to keep.
At last an only partly-dimmed smile broke forth on her face, and she linked her hand over my arm as I began leading her out, answering, "I'd like that a lot."
As the sun crawled under the horizon, an ocean breeze cooled the air in the city, and my sport coat found itself tossed over Dana's bare shoulders. Our conversation on the way back to my apartment wasn't particularly serious, but the gravity of the revelation of our losses kept us a little more somber than a couple on an ordinary date might have been.
Dana seemed to take my spartan bachelor surroundings in stride, making herself comfortable on my sofa as I found a CD of soft music to play. When I sat beside her, I noticed that she'd already kicked off her sandals and had tucked her feet underneath her, putting her eyes on a level with mine as we settled in. I could only assume that this was a learned behavior to keep her on equal footing with her partner.
Certain that I'd lost any instincts I ever had at making the first move, I set down my tea glass and looked over my lovely companion with a little fear and awe. "I'm glad you're here tonight, Dana," I began.
"I am, too," she replied, sweetly. "I had always wondered about you..."
Smiling at the memory of my gawky younger self, I nodded. "I wondered about you, too."
"Me?" she flustered, charmingly. "But you were crazy about Melissa..."
"Yeah," I admitted, "but I had a good idea of what she was thinking. It was *you* that kept me thinking after I'd gone home."
Her startled expression made her all the more lovely. "Really?" She actually swallowed and licked her lips at the same time as she thought of how to respond. "Well, I must confess that I had a little crush on you even then..."
Flattered though I was, and a little impressed that she'd had the guts to tell me, I could not really say that this news surprised me much. I felt myself grinning like an idiot, and I didn't feel like stopping at all. "Wow... After all this time, here we are finding one another again. That's something else, isn't it?"
"Yeah," she answered, her grin even bigger than mine. "Me, that geeky kid pretending to study while my big sister went out with that dangerously handsome boy who rode a motorcycle..."
I had to adjust her perceptions a little. "Wait, wait. I was *not* that handsome at the age of nineteen!"
"Oh, yes, you were!" she insisted.
"...And *you* were not that geeky. In fact, I knew that you'd grow up to be prettier than Melissa even then, and I was right."
That shut her up, however briefly, as I enjoyed watching her blush demurely. "Quit it," she protested adorably. "You're pulling my leg!"
Shifting to move slightly closer to her, I teased, "No, I'm not. I *will* if you want me to." I demonstrated by reaching out to grasp her closest knee.
She gave me an appreciative giggle.
"Or do you want me to do something else?" Letting my grin subside slowly, I fixed her with what I hoped was a meaningful, intent stare.
Taking a long sip of her tea, then setting her glass aside, she never let her eyes leave mine as she fell silent for a moment. "Yes, Darien. Please," she answered, quietly yet assuredly.
An amused grin spoiled my composed "ladykiller" glance. "C'mere," I invited, beckoning her with my index finger.
Dana leaned towards me slowly but not hesitantly, her eyes focused completely on my lips and a small smile playing on her features. At last I held her shoulders and gave her a warm, soft kiss, then backed away to watch her expression. However, she started to follow me back and kissed me again before I could gauge her reaction. In a moment she was matching me kiss for kiss, and I had no doubt that her enthusiasm was equal to mine.
My tongue slid into her mouth when it was invited by the quiet parting of her lips, enjoying the lingering flavors of tea and ginger on her breath. Perhaps it had been a long time for Dana, too, as she responded to me hungrily. I could feel her fingers grab at my shirt front, and I did not object as she began unfastening my buttons and slipping my sleeves down my arms. Somehow I kept my pulse rate in check and remained visible as she took my shirt off, but it was a challenge as she ran her delicate hands over the muscles of my arms.
Our kiss wound down, and as she broke away, I finally opened my eyes to find her exploring my right arm visually as well. Flesh unused to any woman's touch but Claire's clinical ministrations warmed as she pried beneath my tee-shirt sleeve. I could tell the moment that she spotted my snake tattoo (the one that Claire devised to gauge my need for quicksilver antidote) by the expression on her face. Surprisingly, instead of a look of dread, or even of fascination at an enticing threat, as I'd expected, she broke into a lovely smile.
"What is it, Dana? You're shocked that your sister's old boyfriend who rode a motorcycle has a tattoo?" I asked, more because I'd rehearsed the line in my head than that she was actually shocked.
"No," she replied, darkly mysterious, "I need to show you something." Bending in to give me one more intriguing kiss, she unwound her legs from beneath her and stood facing away from me. One hand rose to the nape of her neck and tugged her zipper pull down slowly in a gentle striptease. I barely had time to savor the sight of her skin peeking out from the unzipped dress before she shrugged it off to fall around her ankles. Breathtakingly, she revealed to me her back, naked but for matching bra and panties and sheer pantyhose, but unmistakably decorated. There on her otherwise ivory skin lay a coiled snake not that dissimilar from my own.
"What's this?" I asked mindlessly, my hands immediately drawn to stroke the inked surface.
"It's an ouroboros, the snake who eats his tail," she answered easily. "Didn't they tell you that when you got yours?"
"Well, it wasn't under ideal conditions..."
"Oh," she snickered. "You were drunk, too?"
I decided to lie to cover my tracks. "Yeah. It seemed like something I needed at the time."
Dana turned around where she stood, her body sliding under my hands until my fingertips rested on her stomach. "That was how it was with me, too," she added, leaving the rest of the story to my imagination. Her eyes looked down at me, asking for something that she seemed unwilling to use her voice to convey.
My two hands could practically fit around her waist, where they moved without conscious effort from me and rested on her hips, my thumbs shyly tickling at her navel. I returned her gaze, wondering if she wanted more of an invitation and not feeling nearly as brave as my body wanted me to be.
Finally she spoke. "I'm not the good girl I used to be, Darien. I've seen a lot of things that wouldn't scare me anymore, and I've done some things I'm not proud of, so don't go slowly on my account. I want you, too..." As if to nudge me into action, she tugged on my hands until I stood up.
For a moment, I forgot where my bedroom was, why I'd want to go there, and for a heartbeat, my name. "You want me..." I breathed, trying hard not to gulp. Her warm smile, full of caring and desire, broke through my brain static, and made me remember what we were here to do. I reached to cup her face in my hands, letting my fingers curl under her hair as I kissed her deeply, diving into her mouth to work up my courage again.
Once I ran out of breath, we couldn't reach the bedroom fast enough. As I had planned, the only light burning was a small lamp on the nightstand, and the air conditioning had brought the temperature down to just above chilly. Before she reached my bed, Dana's nipples hardened visibly beneath her bra. "Damn--it's cold in here!" she huffed.
"I'm sorry. The super keeps trying to fix it, but it's either like this or sweltering in here. I hope you don't mind..."
She shivered a little, but drifted closer to me. "I guess we'll warm it up soon enough!" she laughed, sitting on my bed and scooting backwards to lean against my headboard. "Come on--sit down," she invited, patting the mattress beside her.
I sat down, taking a deep breath before going into my next requirement. "I don't want to be a pain, but it's been awhile since I've done this, and, uh, I'd be more comfortable if we did it with the lights off. Is that okay with you?"
"What's the matter?" she asked playfully. "Weird birthmark?"
Chuckling to hide my nervousness, I answered, "Not quite. Let's just say it's a phobia of mine. Is that okay?"
With a small shrug, she nodded. "Hey, if the only way you can get it up is in a pitch-black room, who am I to complain if I get to come along for the ride? I'd better give you a mental image to work with first, though," she added, peeling away her stockings, slipping off her underthings, and giving me a wanton glance.
I reached for the light switch with one hand and my belt buckle with the other. The reassuring click of the lamp sounded just in time for the first cold trickle to creep out of my neck. Quickly I shed my clothes and moved to sit beside Dana on the bed, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "I might be a little rusty at this. Don't panic, okay?"
"I'm sure you'll do just fine," she said, reassuringly. "Now, where the hell are you?"
"Right here," I replied, capturing her mouth once again with my own. My other hand found her breast, and I fondled it reverently as I tasted her tongue thoroughly. The quicksilver ran down my limbs and spread to her body wherever we touched.
"Oooooh," she moaned, a shudder going up her spine and into my arm. "I don't know what you just did, but keep doing it!"
Pleased with my success so far at keeping her in the dark, so to speak, I clutched her tighter and laid her flat on the spread. As I felt my arousal mount, I cursed to myself for forgetting about protection before we'd gone this far. "Dana, honey, I probably should have asked earlier, but are you on the pill or something?"
She broke briefly from nibbling on my neck to answer cryptically, "Don't worry about it. It won't be a problem."
"Do you want me to use a condom, anyway? I've got some in the nightstand, I think..."
Even with my "heat vision", I could barely see her face in the darkened room as she held me at arm's length to address the blur that was me. "It's okay, Darien. I know what it's like to work for government agencies, getting tested for everything under the sun at any opportunity. I trust you." She apparently didn't even notice any textural difference as she kissed me sweetly. "C'mon. Let's make love."
Being the gentleman I am, I could hardly refuse such an earnest request. The quicksilver completely coated our outer surfaces, but somehow flowed away where we actually touched. Therefore, I proceeded to kiss her and suckle at her nipples as if we were both absolutely ordinary and visible, though the thought of someone walking in and hearing our sighs and moans without being able to see us amused me for a moment.
I must admit to finding the odd combination of her hot skin and my chilled exterior an extra turn-on, which I could only imagine she shared. When I reached between her legs to tickle her clit, she shuddered violently and exclaimed loudly.
"Geez," she murmured, "I guess it *has* been awhile. Keep it up--I can probably stand a couple more of those tonight!" With that, she wrapped her legs snugly around me, and I searched to find her opening.
Having just come, she was nice and wet, and I teased her a little with my fingers before entering her. The sensation was easily five times more intense than I remembered sex being, partly because of my long retirement from the game, partly due to the temperature differential, and partly because this wasn't just *any* girl: it was Dana Scully, the object of many a fantasy from my teenage years.
Even with our bodies pressed so closely together, I still found room to push her magic buttons enough to put her over again. Her spasms around me took me to the brink and dropped me off the edge, my voice echoing my pleasure down a deep canyon.
When I could think again, she was still bucking and thrusting against me, so even after I pulled out, I obliged her by stimulating her throbbing sex with my fingers and thumb. The pressure building to the breaking point, she finally cried out in my ear, "Oh, God! Fuck me, Mmmmul..." This slip of the tongue startled her, even in the throes of her orgasm. "Darien," she quickly corrected herself, though it was obvious that she was mostly faking by this point. "Oh, yes, Darien! Oh, God..."
So Hobbes' suspicions, and to be perfectly honest, *my* suspicions as well, were at least somewhat based on the truth. Whether she had ever actually had her partner in her bed, or just wished she had, it was obvious who she wanted fucking her, and it wasn't me.
I kissed her, anyway, pretending that I hadn't noticed her faux pas, and she kissed me back, maintaining the illusion for at least a little while longer. My vision was normal again, so the quicksilver had fallen away at some point without my even noticing. Brushing surreptitiously at the bedclothes, I found the crumbs not very much different from dead skin cells, so breathed a sigh of relief that Dana wouldn't notice anything amiss.
Once I'd convinced myself that status quo had been regained, I reached up and switched on the lamp again. We blinked awkwardly in the sudden brightness, but I could tell that Dana didn't want to look me in the eye right away.
"This was nice. I'm glad you came over," I said blandly, waiting to see what she would say or do.
"Yeah--it was great!" Her enthusiasm almost didn't feel forced. "Look, I'd love to stay," she began, even as she started to gather up her clothes, "but I promised my mother I'd go with her to early mass in the morning, so I'd better take off."
"Good," I answered, instantly hearing the two possible meanings of my reply. "I mean, good for you, going to church with your mom. Tell her I said hello."
"I will," she assented, rolling her pantyhose up one leg, and then the other. She fastened her bra as she moved into the living room, and I shinnied into my jeans and tee shirt in order to follow her.
When I came into the room, she had already put her dress back on and was sitting on the couch, bending over to fasten her sandal. "Dana," I addressed her, touching her lightly on the shoulder--not wanting her to leave without connecting one last time.
At last she looked straight into my eyes, then away guiltily. "I'm sorry, Darien. That had nothing to do with you." The expression on her face told me that her orgasmic request was more wishful thinking than substitution.
"I know," I said carefully. "You told me it was complicated..."
That earned me a genuine smile. "It *is* that, all right." Standing on her stacked heels, she still only reached my shoulder. "Thank you for tonight. It did mean a lot to me, no matter what stupid thing I may *say*..." she joked humorlessly.
"Thank *you*, Dana. I'm happy that we could get together, even just for tonight... unless you want to do this again sometime?"
"We'll see," she chuckled sadly in a tone that meant "thank you, but no." She stood on tiptoes and gave me a friendly goodbye kiss, but I wrapped my arms around her in a warm hug.
"You take care of yourself."
By then, I had escorted her to the door. As I opened it for her, I added, "He may not realize it, but Agent Mulder is one lucky man."
Once again, she blushed sweetly. "Thank you, Darien. Melissa would have liked to see what a great guy you turned out to be, but I'm glad I got to see that for myself. Good night."
"Good night," I repeated, and stood in the door watching her go down my hall until she disappeared from view.
CAST OF CHARACTERS FOR MY FRIENDS WHO HAVE NEVER WATCHED "THE INVISIBLE MAN"
Darien Fawkes - a reformed small-time thief, who was sprung from prison by his scientist brother, Kevin, in exchange for becoming a guinea pig to test a gland, inserted into the base of his brain, that can make him invisible. When his adrenaline level rises, quicksilver (a mercury-like fluid) is secreted from his skin, causing light to bend around his surface, making him disappear from human sight, though he can be seen with heat-sensing goggles. He can usually control his invisibility, but it sometimes is triggered by his autonomic responses to outside stimuli. If he goes invisible for long periods of time, the chemicals produced can induce "quicksilver madness", characterized by increasing paranoia and violent insanity, and subsequently could cause his death.
Robert "Bobby" Hobbes - a fellow agent in the secret agency that employs Darien. He is cynical and street-wise, but honest and ready to protect and defend his partner, even at the expense of his own life, or national security.
The Official - a bureaucrat with no given name, he's a big man in a suit who may have even more secrets we will never learn.
The Keeper (Claire) - a scientist who perfected and administers the counteragent to Darien's quicksilver poisons, and works in the lab to develop new ways to keep him alive and mentally balanced.
Eberts - a suited flunky of the Agency.
For additional info, see http://www.scifi.com/invisibleman/
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