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Skinner's Orders (X-Files - Mulder, Scully) - part 2 added!


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Has anyone else noticed the lack of X-Files fanfic on this forum recently? Guess I'll have to get started on fixing that! :D 


Assistant Director Walter Skinner looked over the two special agents seated across from him and shook his head. To his left, Agent Scully looked attentive and professional as always, if a bit tired. To his right, Agent Mulder was another matter. Slumped in a wrinkled suit, it was all the younger agent could do to hold himself upright and stare blearily at the corner of Skinner's polished mahogany desk. Mulder's red-rimmed eyes held a glazed expression and his nose was a vivid shade of pink that clashed horribly with his striped maroon necktie. In his hand, he clutched a sodden handkerchief that surely had received a year's worth of use during the past half hour alone. 

For once, Skinner had not summoned Mulder and Scully to his office to chew them out, but to congratulate them on a job well done. Their assistance in solving the Janesville case had been invaluable, the SAC from the Detroit field office had informed Skinner over the phone, and there was no mention of side trips into cornfields or abandoned missile silos. Privately, the Assistant Director considered this a small miracle. 

But Agent Mulder did not look like a man being congratulated. He had been ignoring a case of the sniffles all week as he and Scully worked around-the-clock to help solve the Janesville case, but somewhere on the flight back from Detroit yesterday it had escalated into a full-blown cold. Ignoring mutinous looks from the other passengers, who were clearly unhappy to be crammed in a plane for four hours with such a miserable specimen of contagion, Scully forced liquids and Advil into her partner in hopes that he would at least feel well enough for the next morning's briefing with their boss. 

He didn't, but Mulder insisted on dragging his sorry ass in anyway. Skinner couldn't see why; the younger agent clearly hadn't absorbed a word of the meeting, letting Scully deliver their report instead. Mulder's only contribution to the conversation was the occasional resounding sneeze, for which he mumbled apologies, and an increasingly liquid series of sniffles. Without breaking off her discussion with Skinner, Scully surreptitiously slid her partner a package of tissues, not a moment too soon.


Scully and Skinner simultaneously blessed Mulder yet again. The Assistant Director sighed. 

"Agent Mulder." 

Mulder struggled to sit up straighter. "Yes, sir?" he croaked, voice barely above a whisper.

 "I know you haven't heard a word I've said. Go home before you infect the entire bureau." Before Mulder could protest, he added, "We can discuss matters further on Monday if you're up to it. You've earned some time off."

Mulder had fully intended to reply, but all he managed was another tremendous "Huh-rrRUSCHHHUUu!"

"Gesundheit. Now go home, Mulder."

Nodding in resignation, the younger agent rose laboriously to his feet and shuffled towards the door. Skinner nodded his dismissal at Scully as well, who murmured a grateful "Thank you, sir," and gathered up her files to leave as Skinner turned his attention to the stack of paperwork in front of him. 


A small noise from the doorway made Skinner look up from his desk.

"Agent Scully?" he asked curiously.

She turned back to look at him, rubbing a finger lightly under her nose. "Yes, sir?"

Skinner realized that she must have muffled a sneeze that he wasn't meant to notice, and for the first time that morning realized that she, too, looked more ill than simply tired. 

"Take the rest of the day off as well," he suggested.

Scully looked mildly surprised, but nodded. "Yes, sir."


Maaaaaybe to be continued (if it's something folks would be interested in? :) )

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Sorry for the delay! Here's part 2 :) Constructive criticism greatly appreciated; I'm trying to get back into the swing of more creative writing. 



"Bless you, Mulder," Scully said. It was evidently the phrase of the day. 

"Ugh," was Mulder's reply. He gave a deep sniff and leaned his head back against the wall of the elevator, eyes closed. Scully fished around in her pockets before remembering that she had already given him her last packet of tissues. We'll need to fix that, she thought, gingerly rubbing her own sore nose. 

Mulder winced when the elevator lurched to a stop at the basement level - it always seemed to dump them out rather unceremoniously, as if in a hurry to return to the more conventional aboveground floors - and shuffled down the corridor. 

"Let me drive you home, Mulder," Scully said when they got to their office, pulling out a chair and gently pushing him into it. To his credit, he didn't protest, but that may have been because he was preoccupied with another impending sneeze. Scully whisked a handful of tissues from the box on the desk and pressed them into Mulder's palm as his breath hitched desperately.


"Bless you. Just give me a minute to grab some things," she said, though Mulder didn't seem to be listening. She tracked down a few more files that were scattered around the office and slipped them into her bag, pausing only to stifle a couple of sneezes against the back of her wrist.


The clouds outside hung low and leaden, threatening rain. Scully shivered and cast a wary eye at the sky, hoping it would at least hold off until they got to Mulder's apartment. Her partner buckled himself into the passenger's seat and immediately turned up the heat, looking the picture of misery as he stared listlessly out the window. Why was it that men - well, Mulder, anyway - tended to become complete invalids when they were ill? Scully shook her head with a mix of fondness and exasperation and tried not to smile.

By the time they reached the People's Drugstore a few miles from Arlington, Mulder had slumped down in his seat and was snoring quietly, knees jammed awkwardly against the dashboard. Scully left the engine running and slipped inside to buy the supplies she knew Mulder's medicine cabinet was lacking, plus some extras for her own. A few chilly drops of rain had begun to speckle the windshield as Scully pulled up in front of the apartment. She gave Mulder's shoulder a gentle shake. "Up and at 'em, partner," she said bracingly as he blinked awake and stared around blearily. "Let's get you inside."

Five minutes later, Mulder was snoring mightily, having flung himself down on his well-loved leather sofa fully clothed. Scully had just managed to convince him to take off his shoes and swallow a couple of Tylenol, a small triumph, before he passed out. She carefully draped an afghan over his lanky form and frowned; it was not quite long enough to cover both ends of Mulder simultaneously. Someone's grandmother had quit crocheting too soon for a six-foot-plus FBI agent with big feet. 

The sprinkling rain had, predictably, escalated into a deluge, rattling the windowpanes of the old building. Scully shivered at the prospect of sloshing across the parking lot to her car and decided to wait until it let up a little. Figuring she might as well try to be productive in the meantime, she grabbed a stack of case files and settled down at the kitchen table to read. 

She struggled valiantly through the first five pages, stifling the occasional sneeze so as not to wake Mulder and forcing her heavy eyes to focus on the words in front of her. A flickering gray light filtered through the window and the rain tapped out its ageless lullaby on the roof, giving her the peaceful sensation that the apartment was a cozy vessel sinking slowly to the bottom of the ocean. Scully, without really meaning to, surrendered. 



Scully was jolted awake by an explosive sound from the next room. Disoriented, she sat up sharply, her head pounding. The apartment was dark; rain still lashed against the windows, which let in only a trace of gloomy, waning light. She must have dozed off while reviewing the case reports, which were scattered across the table in front of her and were now slightly rumpled from having been used as makeshift bedsheets. Scully sniffled and realized with dismay that she felt awful. The soreness in her throat had sharpened into a stabbing pain and there was a dull ache in her muscles that she suspected was not due entirely to falling asleep hunched over the kitchen table. A light clicked on in the living room and she squinted painfully. "Mul-" she coughed. "Mulder?"

"HuhRUSCHHOOoo! Hey, Scully." 

Her partner appeared in the doorway, looking pale and disheveled but, Scully was heartened to see, marginally less corpse-like than that morning. Unlike her, the nap seemed to have done him good. "How long was I out?"

She cleared her throat and tried not to grimace. "No idea. I think I drifted off myself for a while. How are you feeling?"

"Not as bad as earlier…" He trailed off, then snapped forward with the force of another sneeze. "HuhRSCHHOO! Ugh. Better if I could stop sneezing." He snatched a tissue off the table and blew his nose heartily. 

"I'll make you some tea before I hit the road. Why don't you jump in the shower?"

"Do I look like I need it?" he teased, pretending to be offended. Scully's expression plainly said, Do you really want me to answer that?

"I'll take that as a yes," he replied, trudging off towards the bathroom. 

Reluctantly, Scully dragged herself to her feet and paused for a moment with her hands braced on the tabletop, waiting out a wave of vertigo. Moving gingerly, she downed several Tylenol before putting a kettle on the stove to boil and set about rifling through Mulder's  cabinets for least hideous drinkware she could find. She settled on a standard-issue FBI mug and one that had been a souvenir from Heuvelman's Lake featuring Big Blue waving a cheerful flipper underneath the words, "Make a splash!" 

Scully started to fill both mugs, but the tickling nose she'd woken up with had intensified to the point that she could no longer ignore it. She grabbed a handful of tissues and waited, breathing shallowly. "Et-tchiiew! Etshhioo! Hih..hih-etschoo!"

"Don't tell me I got you sick," said a low voice from behind her. Scully turned. Mulder was leaning in the doorway of the kitchen, freshly scrubbed from his shower, sporting sweatpants and a faded Knicks t-shirt. His damp hair was sticking up and he wore an extremely guilty expression. 

Scully shook her head, but had to turn away quickly as she was betrayed by another itchy sneeze. 

"Bless you." Mulder moved closer and reached out to lay a hand on her forehead, a gesture that took her so off-guard that she didn't pull back. 

"In my professional medical opinion," he diagnosed, "I think you have a fever."

"Mulder, you have a fever," she protested. "You can't gauge someone else's temperature when -"

Mulder slapped his other hand to his own forehead and frowned theatrically, pretending to carefully compare their temperatures.

"Hmm…feels the same to me," he announced. He dropped his hands and looked genuinely remorseful. "I'm sorry I gave you my cold, Scully."

She sighed and swallowed a cough. "It was bound to happen eventually." She handed him a steaming mug and Mulder nodded toward the couch. Scully didn't need telling twice. They sipped their tea in amicable silence for a few minutes, watching the rain track down the darkened window. Mulder picked up a Chinese food menu off the coffee table and waved it at her. 

"Do you want dinner? Dr. Lee makes house calls."

Scully raised an eyebrow. "Dr. Lee?"

"The woman who owns the Chinese restaurant down the street. I mean, I've never verified her credentials so maybe she's not a real doctor but her wonton soup can cure anything." 

Scully coughed, wincing, and shook her head. "I'm not really hungry. Anyway, I should probably get going."

"It's still pouring," Mulder pointed out. "Do you really want to deal with Friday rush hour traffic in the rain?"

She really didn't, and he knew it.

"Come on," Mulder cajoled, pressing his advantage. "We can be miserable together."

Scully arched an eyebrow. "And how exactly is that different than any other day?"

"Ouch! Someone's feeling sassy," he chuckled, which turned into a hacking cough. 

Scully sighed and leaned back, feeling herself melting into the couch. "Well, someone should probably keep an eye on you," she sniffled, relenting. 

Mulder smiled, watching her struggle to keep her eyes open. "Dr. Lee it is."

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OK, I literally started yelling YES YES YES! when I saw you had posted part 2!!!! And you did not disappoint! So freaking adorable!! I loved how guilty Mulder felt when he realized he had given Scully his cold and how cute he was seeing if she had a fever! I love them being so miserable and sneezy together! I hope there will be a part 3! As always, your writing is top notch!

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I’m an elementary school teacher and I’m pretty certain I’m coming down with the cold that’s been going around, and this new part is making me feel so so so much better. It’s so cozy and warm and sweet and intimate and lovely.

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Thanks so much, guys! Sometimes it feels like a struggle to keep it realistic and not just fetish fangirling, lol, so I'm glad this was coherent.

1 hour ago, curlyq9393 said:

I’m an elementary school teacher and I’m pretty certain I’m coming down with the cold that’s been going around, and this new part is making me feel so so so much better. It’s so cozy and warm and sweet and intimate and lovely.

Awww, really sorry to hear that! Hope you can curl up with some good reading material and start feeling better soon.

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I'm not a big X-Files fan, but I've always liked Mulder and Scully's interaction and it's really really good in this fic. Not to mention Mulder's sneezes... Thanks for sharing!!!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

I’m months behind, but I just read this and wanted to say this is great! The characterization is perfect, and the “Dr. Lee” bit really struck me as Mulder’s voice. This takes me right back to the being a teenager in the 90s: XF was my first ever fandom obsession, newly acquired internet access enabled me to pore over a website called “The Ultimate X-Files Information Complex” and trawl the web for sneezefic (using every search engine available and all the fancy advanced search features and Boolean operators to narrow my searches, because I have always been an obsessive nerd) until my family picked up the phone and kicked me offline, or just looked over my shoulder, so I’d have the pretend to be doing schoolwork. Offline I’d write my own terrible Mulder/Scully fics, and save them on floppy disks with cryptic labels, to be hidden in desk drawers, never read by another soul.  


Wow.  Sorry for the long personal diatribe. I really liked this, and it takes me back!

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