Story Archive

A Room With a View

by Sharon Nuttycombe

A Room With a View
by Sharon Nuttycombe
September 11, 1997
RATING: PG-13 or R
KEYWORDS: Scully/Skinner Story
All right -- I've learned never to say never. I hadn't planned to do a sequel to "Uncloak and Dagger" but the responses I got started my creative juices flowing again (that, and Sally's e-mail that contained "Skinner" and "towel" in the same sentence). As for a follow-up to this one...let's just say the idea is not beyond the realms of possibility! <gr>
BTW - In these stories, Memento Mori either never happened, or Scully was long-since cured. You choose. And they're not related to my previous stories ("Crossing the Line", et al.) -- Scully and Skinner are not an item...yet.
SUMMARY: Scully shows up at Skinner's apartment as he is taking a shower...and discovers new meaning in the phrase "seeing is believing".
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: To Linda Campbell -- Beta reader, co- plotter, nagger (when necessary), and creator of "The Isle of Avalon" ( which contains all of my fanfic (X-Files, Star Trek: Voyager, and Forever Knight). And to Sally for her judicious use of the words "Skinner" and "towel"
DISCLAIMER: They're mine. They're all mine. Bwah-hah- hah! <INSERT REALITY MODE HERE> Scully and Skinner are not mine. They belong to Chris Carter, etc.
But I could have *sooooo* much more fun with them...
P.S. -- Please send feedback!

A Room With a View
"I do not want to do this. I *really* do not want to this." Scully ran one hand through her already dishevelled hair, shifting her weight uncertainly from one foot to the other. After what had happened yesterday...
The Assistant Director of the FBI had...seen her naked. Well, sort of. He *had* been unconscious at the time. But still... He had seen her *mostly* naked.
Walter Skinner had arrived at her door late last night carrying important papers...and she had been in the bathtub. She had answered the door in a towel...and he had fallen on her. Literally. A tiny smile hovered at the edge of her lips -- she still found the thought of the ex-Marine being knocked out by a stray pot of pink petunias somewhat humourous, despite...everything else.
She had wriggled out from beneath his unconscious body; the towel had not. And then he had started to come round. Scully had pulled on the nearest item of clothing, which had happened to be a very short, very low-cut summer jacket. And her boss had gotten an eyeful, to say the least. Still, she mused thoughtfully, at least she hadn't grabbed her see-through plastic raincoat...
Her smile faded. She couldn't put this off any longer. She had to do this. "Courage, Dana." With a deep breath and an inward prayer, she knocked firmly on the door, the papers clutched tightly in her hand.
* * *
Skinner was in the shower. For a long moment he stood motionless, allowing the hot water to wash away the tensions of the day...and the previous night. Although, given what had caused those tensions, maybe he should be having a cold shower instead...
The image of Dana Scully, wet and wearing nothing but a blue jacket that *just* covered the important bits, was permanently emblazoned on his mind. Every time he shut his eyes, every time he allowed his mind to wander, there she was -- soaking wet, her hair curling damply around her neck, the jacket clinging sensuously to every curve...
Skinner groaned out loud and rested his head against the shower wall. He had to get over this. He was slowly going insane. Earlier that day in the cafeteria, when the server had asked him if he wanted a thigh or a breast, he had almost dropped the tray. During an important meeting, he had responded to a question about surveillance in Texas with "cleavage". And when he was driving home, he had nearly gone off the road as he passed the billboard with the scantily-clad redhead selling perfume...
"Stop it, stop it, stop it! Get a grip," he told himself firmly. The part of his mind that was rampaging wildly out of control told him just *what* he'd like to get a grip on...and the rest of his body responded... energetically.
He had just turned the faucet to cold and was standing shivering in a glacial stream of water when the sound of knocking permeated the fog in his mind. The door. Someone was at the door.
* * *
They were early. Skinner had phoned in the order for pizza only a few minutes ago. They never took less than forty minutes. "Must've been in the area already," he thought distantly, seizing a nearby towel and wrapping it around his waist. Squelching slightly, he emerged from the bathroom and hurried toward the door.
He reached it just as the knock came again. "All right," he thought irritably, "I'm coming." Reaching for his wallet sitting on the nearby table beside a lamp, he one-handedly withdrew a bill and flung open the door. "Okay," he snapped, "here's your money..." And then he crashed to a halt, literally and conversationally.
It was Scully. And he was wearing a towel. Oh God.
* * *
It was Skinner. And he was wearing a towel. Oh God.
Scully felt her mouth drop open and a dumbstruck look slowly take up residence on her face. It was a very small towel.
"I think I need to sit down," she thought randomly as her eyes ran lingeringly down his body then back up again, even more slowly. "No, I need a strong drink," was her next thought.
* * *
Skinner had heard about people freezing during moments of high tension but had never experienced it. Until now. He couldn't have moved if his life had depended on it. Instead, he stood firmly rooted to the ground, one hand numbly clutching the towel in front of him, the other holding a twenty dollar bill out toward her. As if in slow motion, her eyes wandered to the money, a faint questioning expression replacing the surprise on her face...and Skinner found he could move again. He snatched his hand back, flinging the bill hastily to one side. It landed somewhere in the vicinity of his wallet.
"Uh...Agent Scully..." His voice cracked.
"Yes, Sir?" It came out in a squeak.
"I..." What had he been about to say? Think, damn it, think! "Uh...what are you doing here?"
*I have no idea.* She didn't say it out loud. Instead she blinked once or twice, trying to get her brain to work again. Her train of thought seemed to have become permanently derailed. At last she responded. " came to give you this."
Give him what? For a surreal moment Skinner thought she was referring to herself as she waved one hand at random...and his lower body sprang enthusiastically back to attention. He shifted the hand holding the towel slightly, bunching the fabric up a little more.
Mistake. Big mistake. Her eyes flickered downward at the movement and a rosy blush began to march across her face. Her gaze returned to his...and time froze.
* * *
Scully was having trouble breathing. For a moment she wondered whether passing out then and there might not be a good thing, but reluctantly decided against it. "Just give him the papers and get the hell out of here," she told herself, trying desperately to keep her eyes from dipping again.
The trouble was, the man was...magnificent. Six-foot- something of pure unadulterated muscle. There wasn't an ounce of spare fat anywhere...that she could see. Broad shoulders, wide chest, narrow hips... Scully gulped slightly. Eyes. Up. Now. With an effort she gave him a level gaze and slowly held out the sheaf of papers. Her hand was shaking slightly, she noticed distantly.
"I...came to return these. I tried to give them to you earlier, but you were in meetings all day. I...know you needed them back quickly." Well, that came out fairly coherently. If it weren't for the fact that her heart was hammering frantically and a light sweat was beading her brow, they could almost have been discussing this in his office. Just like any other day...
Yeah, right. Images assailed her. Skinner naked in his office. Skinner naked behind his desk. On his desk. With her. Also naked. Oh God.
Scully took another quick, deep breath. "OK. Fine. Give him the papers and go home. Take a cold shower..." And then the vision of them both in the shower...or a hot tub...swept over her. Unconsciously she took a step forward into the apartment.
* * *
Skinner was reaching out blindly for the papers, his brain in the final stages of a rapid meltdown... when a telephone rang. The unexpected sound sent his heart crashing into overdrive, and adrenaline rushed through him. He jumped violently, took a quick step backwards, and bumped into the table...
...where the lamp started to topple. Unthinking, he reached for it with his left hand -- the hand that had been holding the towel. He caught the lamp. And the towel fell to the floor.
* * *
When Scully's cell phone had rang, she had been moving mindlessly toward the Assistant Director. Then the ring had ripped through her, shredding her nerves, and she had taken a startled step back to come to a trembling halt against the door jamb. Automatically she had reached for the phone and put it to her ear...and Skinner had lost his towel.
* * *
"Hello? Hello, Scully?"
Voice. Nearby. Mulder. On the phone. Her phone. In her hand.
"Scully. Are you there?"
* * *
Skinner spun, immediately realized that was the *wrong* thing to do as it revealed absolutely *everything* -- in full technicolor -- and grabbed for the closest item, holding it in front of himself.
It was a videotape. It had been lying on the table, waiting to be returned tomorrow. And it was small. Very small. A shudder went through him.
* * *
Mulder was saying something. Scully wasn't listening though. She couldn't seem to tear her eyes away from the videotape. Some distant, still rational part of her brain was laboriously reading the words on the cover, as if they held all the secrets of the universe. And part of her knew she would never be able to think of "The Rock" in quite the same way, ever again.
"Scully, where are you?" Mulder's voice was growing more piercing.
With an effort, Scully managed to respond to it at last. "Yes?" Her voice sounded strange, even to her.
"Are you all right? Where are you...?"
"Mulder," she closed her eyes briefly. "Go away." Then, with one hand she disconnected and refolded the phone. After another heartbeat, she reopened her eyes.
Skinner was nowhere in sight. Scully blinked, thoughts of hallucinations and losing her mind going rapidly through her...But then the memory of what she had seen, came back with a vengeance. No way she could have imagined *that*. Naked Skinner. Naked ex-Marine. Every last...magnificent...inch, in full glorious detail. And suddenly magnificent just didn't seem like quite the right word. "Wow." She hadn't realized she'd spoken aloud until she heard the sound of her own voice.
There was a faint sound to her right and she turned, still dazed. Skinner was hovering behind the sofa, his lower half hidden behind its back. Scully frowned, trying to reconcile his present location with where she had last seen him. In those few seconds when she had closed her eyes he must have hurled himself straight over the back of the sofa... Naked Skinner vaulting furniture... Oh my.
Skinner raised one eyebrow faintly and repeated: "Wow?" And Scully found herself unable to move as the blood rushed to her face.
An eternity passed.
* * *
Despite Scully's temporary paralysis, some rational part of her brain was still functioning. It was calmly listing options. She struggled to concentrate.
Option 1: Flight. Scully could mutter a quick apology, drop the papers on the table, and bolt out the door...and preferably out of the country. Canada might be nice this time of year. Moosejaw maybe...?
Option 2: Stay put and try to bluff it out. "Oh, sorry Sir, didn't realize you were naked. I'll just leave these here, shall I?" No. Definitely not.
Option 3: Peel off her own clothing and make mad, passionate love to the Assistant Director of the FBI on the floor of his apartment. Or perhaps up against the wall. Scully's hormones leapt at the thought, launching into a molecular version of the Macarena, but she ignored them grimly. Much as part -- well, most, really -- of her would like to embark on such a course, it wasn't an option. Was it? She hesitated.
* * *
The Assistant Director was slowly regaining his least as much composure as a naked man hiding behind a sofa and holding a Nicholas Cage movie in one hand could ever have...and similar options were running through his mind. A substantial part of him was leaning firmly toward option number three. "Dana..." he said hoarsely, his voice charged with tension...and something else.
Scully's eyes darkened at the sound of it and she took a tiny, unconscious step forward. "Yes?" she said breathily.
And then her gaze fell on the papers in her hand, with FBI written in large, menacing letters...and sanity abruptly returned, giving her a hefty kick in the side of the head. What did she think she was she doing? This was her *boss*, for heaven's sake. She couldn't sleep with him. Much as she would like to...
With an enormous effort, she managed to tear her gaze away from his and, drawing in a ragged breath, pivoted toward the door, phone and papers still in hand. "Sorry, Sir," she managed to say over one shoulder before launching herself explosively at the exit.
She missed slightly, one shoulder banging painfully on the door jamb, but she kept going, somehow managing to retain the presence of mind to swing the door shut behind her. And then she was bolting down the corridor as if all the hounds of hell were after her...or worse...better?... one large, unclothed, ex-Marine. She pounded the button for the elevator desperately, adrenaline flooding through her system.
* * *
Skinner stared after the rapidly-vanishing Scully as the door closed behind her. Part of him wanted to go after her, bring her back to the apartment, and do things to her that would...
His mind sheered away from these thoughts, reason slowly reasserting itself. Assistant Directors of the FBI *do not* sleep with Special Agents. And he couldn't very well chase after her down the hallway dressed...undressed... like this...
For a long moment he stood unmoving, then Skinner walked around to the front of the couch and sat down heavily, still clutching the videotape. And then he saw the image of the fleeing Scully again...and he groaned, closing his eyes against the vision. And another image overlaid the first one... She had still been carrying the papers when she had left. Which meant that he was going to have to get them back from her before 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.
"Okay," he prayed silently to whatever god might be listening, "just kill me now please..."
* * *

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