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16 December 2009 @ 08:22 pm
Below the Surface [CSI/The X-Files; Grissom/Catherine, Mulder/Scully]  
TITLE: Below the Surface
CHAPTER 8: Off the Clock
PAIRING(S): Mulder/Scully, Grissom/Catherine
SPOILERS: [CSI: Fourth season]; [X-Files: Seventh season]
RATING: R (for language, violence, etc.)
SUMMARY: "Eleven bodies, Mulder? I'd call that a serial. More than that, even. That's a massacre."



*****

Scully cursed under her breath at the pain that shot through her toe, upon stubbing it against the bathroom door. "I'm coming!" she called, to the person knocking on her hotel room door incessantly... the faltering and changing rhythm of the knocks resembling a morse code of sorts. She rolled her eyes, knowing only one person could be knocking in such an annoying way, and pulled open the door to reveal her lanky partner on the other side... leaning on the doorframe while he smiled at her.

"Evening," he nodded, eyes taking in her appearance. Her chin-length, vibrant red hair was sopping wet, dripping onto her bare shoulders, the droplets slowly carving paths down her collarbone before soaking into the pure white towel secured around her lithe, but curvy form. He let out a low whistle of appreciation. "Had I known you'd be so dressed up, Scully, I would've changed before coming over."

She merely rolled her eyes once more, her usual response to such remarks, and pursed her lips as she stepped aside, outstretching an arm to the inside of the room as a signal for him to enter. "What are you doing here, Mulder?" she asked, avoiding his gaze as she nervously putzed with her towel... locking her arms to her sides to secure the towel in place. Her mind's eye still burned with the image of Mulder's appreciative up-and-down glance, and she felt her cheeks unconsciously redden.

He spun to face her once he'd reached the middle of her room, holding up the plastic bag he'd been carrying with him, in which there appeared to be two white styrofoam boxes stacked atop one another. "A peace offering," he answered, with another boyish grin. "I got it from the restaurant downstairs."

She quirked a half-smile. "Peace offering for what?"

"Well," he sighed, setting the bag down on the queen-sized bed, reaching in to take out the boxes of food. "You seemed just a tad upset with me before we left the crime lab... possibly because, yet again, I've embarrassed you and the Bureau by voicing my silly beliefs in the paranormal." He tipped his head downward a few inches, staring at her through his lashes. "Am I right?"

She let out a long, drawn-out sigh, dropping the hand that had been grasping the terrycloth material over her collarbone. "Mulder, you don't embarrass me..." When he chuckled, she smirked ruefully, reconsidering her statement. "Okay, you often embarrass me. But... I was just upset over you jumping to those conclusions before we have proof."

"Scully, you know me. I always jump to those conclusions before there's proof. And nine-point-eight times out of ten, I'm right." He grinned. "But you know that, too."

She rolled her eyes. "Mulder, I just... didn't think that you chose the appropriate time to jump to those conclusions."

He nodded, eyes clouding with realization. "Ahh... with Grissom, Catherine, and the coroner around, right?"

"Yes." She took a step closer, her lack of clothing not even registering due to seven years of familiarity. He'd seen her in less, after all. Hell, their first case together he saw her half-naked. And just two years ago, while retrieving her from the dark underbelly of a spacecraft in Antarctica, he'd pulled her naked out of an icy tomb. She'd seen him naked, in a motel tub, experiencing side effects of being drugged against his will. There was no room for modesty between them anymore.

"Mulder, you know that with me you can spout off any theory on the paranormal that you want and, while I may not agree with it, I'll at least listen to it without thinking you're clinically insane. These people just met you this morning. They have no prior knowledge of the X-Files, or the kind of cases that you and I deal with on a day-to-day basis." Her lips twitched in just a hint of a smirk. "They're more liable to question your sanity."

In typical Mulder fashion, he merely shrugged this information off. "Scully, they can question it all they want. I'm used to people thinking I'm nuts. I'm 'Spooky' Mulder, remember? They need to be made aware of what we may be dealing with."

She sighed. "Just... next time, be a bit more careful." She smirked. "Because I don't know about what Catherine thinks of your theory, but I'm almost positive I saw Grissom's pupils assume the shapes of straight-jackets with the way he was looking at you."

Another shrug, then, "He can think I'm insane all he wants." He grinned. "It'll just make it all the more enjoyable when I turn out to be right." He nodded toward the styrofoam boxes of food sitting on her bed. "Now come on, let's eat. I didn't drop ten bucks on your meal to let it go to waste."

She rolled her eyes, then, after nodding, she excused herself to change before coming out to join him, sending him a demure smile before sitting beside him on the bed.


*****

"Gil, come on. Let's go."

Grissom, who was holed up in his office, studying their case file in the dim lighting, slowly raised his eyes to the insistent strawberry blonde in his doorway. "Go where?"

"Let's go eat! We haven't had a break since we started this case, and my stomach is two seconds away from devouring my pancreas."

He raised an eyebrow. "Now there's an image."

She smirked. "Come onnnn...." She held out a hand, as if to entice him to take it... to go along with her... and sent him a wink for good measure. "Come play with me, Gil."

At this comment, he was unable to stop both his eyebrows from reaching his hairline, her seductive alto nearly sending his pulse through the roof. Clearing his throat, he attempted to regain some semblance of sanity. "Catherine, we have work to do. We can't just go gallivanting off to a restaurant while we're on the clock."

Catherine sighed heavily, her gloss-kissed lips slipping into a pout briefly before perking up... as if she was struck with a sudden idea. She then sauntered over to his desk, holding his gaze almost intimately as she placed her hands on the desktop, leaning her weight on them as she leaned close. "Perhaps the boss could take us off the clock for awhile, so we can replenish our energy," she suggested, raising her eyebrows in a meaningful look.

He studied her eyes, searching them in a back and forth motion... contemplating her mood... her words... her behavior. "For how long?"

She shrugged, pushing her palms into the desk briefly, rocking back to an upright position. "A few hours. We can eat... while still going over the case so you're not away from work too long," she added quickly, smiling coyly at him. "And, I dunno... relax for a bit. We never do that."

He eyed her. "Relax? We have work to do."

She rolled her eyes. "Yes, I know we have work to do, Gil. Is that going to become your new personal mantra? Is that going to be the epitaph on your headstone? 'Gil Grissom: We Have Work To Do.'" She shook her head. "What I'm suggesting is that we take a bit to just relax while we still work on the case. I mean..." She shrugged once more, throwing her arms up slightly. "It's just gonna be gruntwork until Mulder and Scully come back in the morning anyway, right? More searching the missing persons database... going over theories... analyzing the autopsy results. Why can't we do that while... having a cup of coffee?"

"And maybe taking in a Wayne Newton concert or Siegfried and Roy performance?" he quipped, raising an eyebrow at his strawberry-blonde counterpart.

She chuckled. "If you so desire."

"Wouldn't you want to be paid for working on your case?"

"If it means I can't take a damn break and fill my stomach, then no." After watching him roll his sapphire eyes exasperatedly, she threw her arms up in the air. "Gil, I'm about two seconds away from chewing on your arm for nourishment, so just make a decision."

He sighed, catching the pleading look in her eyes... knowing that no matter how badly they needed to stay focused on their case, he couldn't refuse her. "Fine," he huffed, and rose to his feet, pointing to her as he headed for the door. "But you're buying."

She shook her head, smirking at his back while she followed him to the Denali. "Now how did I not see that coming?"


*****

"Scully?"

"Mmm?"

"How's that report for Skinner coming?"

Upon hearing the lilting, teasing note in her partner's tone, Scully's eyes fluttered open, and she shook her head slightly as she refocused on the screen of her laptop, realizing she'd dozed off momentarily, and that she had to have been holding down the 'f' key for God knows how long. "Umm..." She sat up, readjusting the pillows behind her back before leaning back against the headboard. "Fine."

Mulder grinned, leaning over her slightly, peeking at her computer screen. He chuckled. "Don't you mean 'ffffffffffffffffffffffine'?"

She rolled her eyes. "Shut up Mulder, I'm tired."

"Well, either that, or you've begun typing your reports in an undefined language."

"Well how much progress are you making?" she shot back, her eyes challenging him.

"Absolutely none," he sighed, glancing down at the case file in his lap. "I haven't been able to find any sort of link between the victims and their families to the other victims."

"Serials often appear random, but one distinct similarity connects the victims."

He shook his head slowly, exasperation evident in his tone. "It's not a serial Scully, and you know it."

"Eleven bodies, Mulder? I'd call that a serial. More than that, even. That's a massacre."

"It would be a massacre," he corrected her, eyes twinkling when he watched her once more roll her eyes... the steady increases in the rise and fall of her chest indicative of just how fed up with him she really was. "If the killer was human."

"Mulder..."

He chuckled. "I would love, just once, to hear you admit that you're wrong. I know that you're wrong. I know that you know you're wrong... that you're still just grasping for any corner of science that could even shed light on a case like this... so just admit it." When she turned to look at him, he grinned into her stormy blue irises. "My biggest fantasy of you, Scully, is hearing you admit to being wrong... and admitting that I'm right."

She shook her head as she returned his intense gaze, the tension in her jaw evidence of the fact that she wasn't backing down. "You're not going to be right on this one, Mulder. And I'm not going to admit to anything."

He sighed heavily and smirked, shaking his head. "Stubborn Scully..."

"Mm-hmm." She turned her eyes back to her computer screen, erasing the myriad letter 'f's that had appeared when she'd dozed off, before continuing her report to Assistant Director Skinner.

For minutes on end, the only sounds in the room were those of Scully's fingernails clattering frenetically against the keyboard of her laptop, and the shuffling of the papers in their case file as Mulder resumed his search for evidence. Finally, her soft voice broke the silence... her eyes never leaving her computer screen. "Mulder?"

"Mmm?"

"What did you mean when you said your biggest fantasy of me was admitting to being wrong?"

"Just what it sounds like, Scully. I'd kill to hear you admit that you were wrong," he murmured, his eyes, too, never leaving the papers in front of him.

"But Mulder--"

"Well, maybe 'kill' is a little strong." He glanced up at her with a cheeky grin. "I'd maim, though."

She rolled her eyes. "But Mulder, you said that was your biggest fantasy."

He shrugged. "So?"

"So...." She eyed him expectantly, gesturing with a roundabout motion of her wrist that she'd expected more. "That implies that you've had other fantasies about me."

His head snapped upward from the case file, eyes staring straight ahead. Did he really say that? "Uhh..."

"Right?"

"You may be misquoting me, Scully," he murmured, grasping for an escape to this conversation.

"No," she replied confidently, "I'm actually quoting you verbatim." She studied the man beside her... her partner, and best friend of seven years. Her heart thudded at his admission, for she knew it was true, without hearing a confirmation. She knew he fantasized about her... just as she fantasized about him. She knew he cared for her, both on a professional level, and one that went far deeper than the Bureau's code of ethics would allow. But, even though she knew this... she needed him to voice it for her. To confirm what she'd suspected all along. The walls they'd built between them over the years, the ones that kept them from crossing the line between work partners and lovers, would inevitably come down... and perhaps now was the time.

She took a deep breath and pressed on. "Mulder, have you had sexual fantasies about me?"

He met her eyes, taking a moment to dive beneath them and search them. Of course he'd had sexual fantasies about her. Any man who hadn't, just upon seeing her for the first time, was utterly insane. "Uhh... Scully..."

Just as he was about to answer, a phone rang. He desperately wanted to look away... to tear his gaze from his partner's to look for the source of the ringing, but he couldn't. Those baby blues were holding him captive, and he was powerless to escape. Finally finding his voice, but never breaking their intense gaze, he murmured in a low voice, "Answer your cell phone."

She sighed, searching his eyes for one last moment before breaking away and leaving the bed, digging through her purse for her phone... her mouth set in a scowl. Dammit, one of these days they were going to have this conversation. "Scully," she answered in a clipped tone.

"Well hey there, Agent Scully, this is Greg Sanders back at the crime lab," drawled the male voice on the other end.

"Who is it?" Mulder asked immediately, his eyes tracing her curves while she stood with her back turned to him.

"Your porn buddy," she called over her shoulder before turning her attention back to the phone. "Yes, Greg?"

The grin in his tone was overly obvious as he spouted off a quick apology, before asking, "I didn't catch you and Agent Mulder at a bad time, did I?"

Scully closed her eyes and clenched her teeth briefly, biting back the urge to be completely honest with the young lab tech, and instead sighed, "No, of course not. What's going on? Are we needed?"

"No, you don't have to worry about coming in, but... I just wanted to let you know we got the results back from those swabs taken from the navels of your victims..."

"Uh-huh..." She nodded slowly while listening to the lab rat's reply, before her rosebud lips spread into a grin. "Thank you, Greg," she murmured earnestly, then disconnected with him.

"So?" Mulder pressed, raising his eyebrows in anticipation. He could always gauge the content of Scully's phone conversations by simply watching her face... already knowing every single one of her expressions by heart. With her back turned, however, it was annoyingly impossible.

When she spun around and he caught a glimpse of the smirk on her face, he grew wary... and when she began to advance toward him, he backed up completely against the headboard, murmuring in a low, trepidatious voice, "Scully, why the hell are you smiling?"

"So Greg called," she sighed nonchalantly, taunting him. "He got the results back on those swabs..."

"Uh-huh..." He kept his head lowered, eyeing her like a hawk through his lowered lashes. She was too damn happy. What the hell was going on?

Scully very rarely showed any signs of experiencing happiness. Her smirks and occasional tiny grins were barely visible... detectable only by those that knew her best... meaning, only Mulder. This full-on grin she was currently sporting, though stunningly beautiful, was highly disconcerting, and Mulder briefly wondered if he should fear for his life.

"Don't tease me, Dr. Scully," he quipped. "Just lay it on me."

In a bold, adrenaline-induced move, she crawled onto the bed cat-like, sidling up to him. "Wanna know what the results were?"

"What do YOU think?"

Another grin, then, "I don't think you do."

He rolled his eyes. "Come on, Scully, I'd like to get to bed sometime in the near future.. .and I can't if you keep this up."

"The saliva that was detected around the navel?" she prompted him, then nodded when he did. "Came back human."

"What?" He made a face. "You're lying."

"Mulder, I am not lying."

"Come on, you're joking. In a few seconds, you're gonna give me that little, sexy Scully-smirk, and say your famous line." His voice dropped to a breathy tone, impersonating her. "'I got you, Mulder. I got you big time.'"

"I'm not lying, and I'm not kidding. The results from the swabs came back human."

He shook his head firmly. "No. No, you're just saying that because I was making a big deal out of the fact that I'm going to be right, like I always am."

She tossed the phone at him, smirking as he caught it against his stomach. "Why don't you call him back then, Mulder? Ask for the results yourself."

When he kept his narrow-eyed gaze on her, her grin only widened, and she chanced another moment of boldness by leaning close... inches from his lips while she took the phone from him, hitting the call-return button. "Then we can make one of my fantasies come true..."

He cocked his head slightly, studying her. "What game are you playing, Dana Scully?" he questioned coyly, eyeing the cherry pink lips inches out of his reach. When she arched an eyebrow at him, he had to restrain himself from latching onto her lips... and his attention jerked back to the voice on the other end of the line. "Greg, hi! It's Agent Mulder."

He nodded and paused, giving a chuckle at something the young lab rat had said. "Yeah. I, uh... was in the room with Agent Scully, but I uh... stepped out. So, the last I heard was you got some results back, correct?"

Scully could barely contain her grin as she waited eagerly for the big moment... when Mulder would have to eat his words, and own up to being wrong. She kept her eyes on his face, roaming over every inch... the slope of his nose, the creases around those brilliant hazel eyes... the unbelievably sexy pout of his lips, and that adorable crease between his eyebrows as he concentrated on what Greg was telling him.

"No way! You're completely sure? Is the machine ever wrong?" Mulder's incredulous tone drew her back to the present.

When his eyes met hers, he gave her a glare that just screamed, 'I hate you' before finishing his conversation with Greg and hanging up... flinging the phone onto a nearby armchair exasperatedly. Scully smirked, pursing her lips. "So... have a fun conversation with Greg?"

He shook his head slowly. "You're gonna get it, Scully."

She nodded, equally slow. "You're right, I am. And I'll take it in the form of an 'I was wrong, Scully. You were right.'"

"I'm not saying that."

"Oh, yes you are," she murmured deep and low. "And maybe a foot massage is in order, too."

"No way!" he chuckled. "Nope, I'll just let you bask in the afterglow by yourself, while I go back to my room to actually get some sleep."

When he attempted to head for the door adjoining their rooms, she sped past him and leaned against the door with arms outstretched, effectively blocking his path of retreat. "You're not going anywhere until I hear what I wanna hear, Mulder."

"It would only be too easy to push you away from the door, Scully." He stepped up to her, toe-to-toe, attempting to intimidate her with his height advantage.

Her azure irises merely sparkled in determination, narrowing slightly. She wasn't afraid. "Then come on, let's have it."

A tussle ensued, both agents' stubbornness and determination prolonging the struggle. The arguments they had verbally almost every day were now being expressed in the form of a wrestling match... finally ending when Mulder had Scully pinned to the floor... his lean body stretched against hers while he pinned both wrists above her head with one hand. "Give up?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Never," she whispered, breathless from the exertion. "Not with you, anyway."

He caught her gaze, hazel and blue fusing together in an intense blend of color... and the matter of who was right and who was wrong quickly faded into the background.


*****

"What should I have, Gil?" Catherine asked, perusing the menu in front of her.

Slowly drawing his eyes up from his own menu, he chanced an affectionate gaze at the purely pensive look on her face. "Have whatever you'd like Catherine," he finally sighed, reluctantly tearing his eyes from her beauty. A smirk toyed with one corner of his lips. "You're the one paying, after all."

She cocked her head slightly downward, staring at him in disbelief through her lashes. "You were serious about that?"

He nodded slowly, his smirk shown in his eyes. "Oh yes."

She shook her head, equally slow, as she set her menu down, then proceeded to fold her arms over the table... leaning forward just slightly. "You know, typically the man pays for the meal," she drawled in a husky timbre, her strawberry-blonde strands glinting in the fluorescently-lit diner while she leaned halfway across the table.

He nodded and quirked a tiny grin, fighting not to allow his eyes to wander to the cleavage he knew was spilling out of her V-neck, three-quarter sleeve sweater. "Yes, but times have changed, my dear," he murmured, loving the ire in her teal gaze. "You should live in the present."

She shook her head, desperately trying to keep her glare fixated on him... but she soon found it dissolved into a grin. She chuckled. "You're such a jackass."

"And yet you keep me around anyway," he sighed wistfully, picking up his menu once more.

She smirked playfully. "Well yeah, but... that's just for the eye-candy."

When the criminalists met each other's eyes, time paused as each took in the other's flirtatious behavior. Their relationship was solid; one built of trust, chemistry, and an 'opposites-attract' magnetism. She was the light to his darkness... the social butterfly to his wallflower. They complemented each other in every way imaginable. But not once did their relationship cross the line between certainty, and something that was, as of yet, quite uncertain.

But lately, things had been changing. Each found, upon stepping back to take an objective look... that their relationship had begun to toe-the-line. And both idly wondered how much longer it would be before that line was crossed, blurred, and eventually cast into nonexistence.

The shrill ringing of Catherine's cell phone dumped them both back to reality, and Catherine tore her gaze from Gil's to hunt through her purse... finally finding the small silver phone and flipping it open, drawing it to her ear. "Willows."

"Hey Cat, it's Greg. Y'know... your ridiculously good-looking lab tech here at Vegas PD."

Catherine rolled her eyes, but smirked at the youngun's charm. "Yes Greg, I vaguely remember you..."

"I was just calling to inform you of the latest results I received from analyzing those swabs Agent Scully sent me. I tried finding Grissom to tell him, but he seems to be MIA at the moment."

Before she could stop it, Catherine blurted out nonchalantly, "Oh, he's with me."

The pause on the other end clued her in to her slip-up, and she smiled up at Gil, as if hearing the wheels turning in the lab rat's head. "He is, huh?"

She grinned cheekily, figuring he was probably hurriedly scrawling this information down somewhere, so he could place his next bet in the CSI pool. "The swabs, Greg?" She attempted to return his focus to the case.

"What are you guys doin'?"

She rolled her eyes, realizing that focusing was a concept often lost on Greg Sanders. "We're taking a meal break, Greg. How about the results of those swabs?"

"What's on the menu?" he asked next, a Cheshire grin evident in his voice. "Whipped cream and strawberries?"

"For you, it'll be a severe ass-kicking," she sighed, "Now what are the results on the swabs?"

"Fine, fine, I see how it is," Greg replied, feigning hurt. Her mind's eye painted the sad puppy-dog face he was probably sporting, before he delved into his findings.

Catherine nodded along, her eyebrows shooting up toward her hairline at the final results. Her eyes flicked toward her salt-and-pepper-haired companion across the booth. "I see... yes, thank you Greg. See you soon." With a high-pitched beep, the call disconnected, and she flipped her phone closed before placing it back in her purse.

"Well?"

"Results from the swabs came back human," she sighed, folding her arms on the table, blowing a puff of air at her bangs while waiting for his reaction.

"Off all the cadavers?" He raised an eyebrow, and watched as Catherine nodded slowly in response. "So... what we're looking for is a suspect that has the ability to suck all the vital organs from a body, while only leaving a miniscule entry wound." When she nodded once more in response, he sighed, shaking his head in amazement. "This case just..."

A wry smirk plucked up the edges of her thick lips. "Sucks?"



TBC


 
 
 
csiAngel: csi chemistrycsiangel on January 6th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
A FANTASTIC chapter. So much brilliance in it! I loved Mulder and Scully's conversation about his fantasies, and Scully teasing him after Greg's phone call, and the subsequent wrestling ;-) And Catherine persuading Gil to eat, with perhaps the best line ever: "...my stomach is two seconds away from devouring my pancreas." That's brilliant! And of course, I love Catherine and Gil at dinner. I miss them. Also Greg and his insinuations as to what people are up to. So Greg.

In short, I love this. My apologies for taking so long to read it!
jessicalovescsi: mulder and scullyan: no fucking beesjessicalovescsi on January 8th, 2010 07:14 am (UTC)
Wonderful chapter! I have been MIA from LJ for 2 months but had this urge to see if there were any more chapters of this fic up. I love it so much!

AND OMG!!!! That Mulder and Scully scene was SO HOT! MOREMOREMOREMORE