Title: Don't Mask, Don't Tell
Author: Nina
Written: October 1996
Disclaimer: If I get too detailed with this disclaimer, I'll give away all my jokes. Suffice it to say that everyone in the following sketch is someone else's, and is being used without permission or any intention of copyright infringement.
TO ARCHIVISTS (you wonderful people): File this one under Humor and Crossover. Rated: G. Hope you like it.

Here's a little trifle for the Halloween Mask Challenge. I haven't had time to read every entry yet, more's the pity (the ones I HAVE read have been fine indeed - kudos!), so I hope this idea hasn't already been used. Maybe it shouldn't have been used at all, by anyone...

Special Agent Fox Mulder of the FBI paused for a moment before the door to appraise himself. The blue hospital scrubs fit perfectly, the old sneakers he'd chosen looked appropriately beat up for an operating room (or a morgue), and the paper cap covered his brown hair completely. He smiled at the costume, sure - well, almost sure - that Scully would take his choice in the proper spirit. Taking the surgical mask hanging around his neck, Mulder raised it to cover the smile, then withdrew a pair of thin rubber gloves from a pocket. Thinking both sardonically and fondly of his partner, he snapped on the latex, then went to the door and pushed his way into the Director's Halloween masquerade party.

Taking a moment to let eyes adjust to the low, lurid lighting and letting ears adapt to the cheerful thunder of some great old Stones hit on the sound system, Mulder swept his gaze across the room. His hidden grin widened as he realized he could recognize just about everyone. Of course the Director himself hadn't come to his own party - no one had expected him to - but there, _mirabile dictu_, was the Assistant Director. Walter Skinner looked even more massive than usual in the shoulder pads, helmet and brick-red jersey of a Washington Redskins player. The red helmet turned in Mulder's direction, and a smile blinked behind its faceguard. "Good evening, Agent Mulder. Glad you could make it."

"Wouldn't miss the sight of you in that get-up for the world, sir," the agent replied as he approached his superior.

The smile turned wry. "Go with what you know, as they say. But I can see you had something else in mind."

"Go ahead and say it, sir!"

Skinner chuckled. "Okay, I will. Planning on playing doctor tonight, Special Agent?"

But before Mulder could riposte, another voice cut through the music. "Mulder! You're here!"

Both men turned, eyes widening at the approaching sight. Big-heeled, elaborately stitched boots; fringed buckskin skirt and vest; silver-buckled embossed leather belt with holstered Colt Peacemaker; gaily embroidered blue shirt; jaunty white ten-gallon hat crowning sunset-glorious hair and the bluest eyes in creation. "Yee-ha, Scully," Mulder observed calmly yet appreciatively.

"You could give Reba MacIntire a run for her money tonight, Agent Scully." The Assistant Director sounded sincere. "But I hope that .45's a dummy."

"My nephew's," Agent Dana Scully answered. "Here, I'll show you the plug." Out came the gun, now easily identifiable as a toy, with a bright orange plug in the plastic barrel. "Did you bring your plastic scalpel, Doctor Mulder?"

Again he was about to reply, when a sudden distraction cropped up. Seeing a bright flash of motion at the corner of his eye, Mulder turned to identify it, but ended up staring blankly. "Who on earth is THAT?"

The others turned to stare just as blankly. "I have no idea," Skinner confessed. Scully only shook her head.

"That's one hell of a mask he's got on," Mulder continued, half to himself. "It can't be comfortable."

"It doesn't seem to be slowing him down any," observed Scully.

Indeed it didn't. The man was practically trembling with energy, his big yellow zoot suit flapping on slender limbs and his matching yellow hat stabbing the air like a nervous searchlight. Under the wide brim, huge round eyes rolled left and right in a bony face seemingly sealed in bright green latex - or latex paint, even. Paper-white teeth the size of nickels almost glowed in a near-psychotic grin.

Suddenly the big bulging eyes stopped their restless motion and locked on Scully's - then literally shot out of their sockets over a foot away like flung baseballs. Beneath them the green chin dropped open and then all the way down to the floor, striking the boards with an audible thump, and a tongue like red rope shot out like a frog's, even further than the eyes.

Before anyone in the room could react to the incredible display, there was a blur of green and yellow motion as the man flashed across the room too fast for eyes to follow. He slammed to a halt with a loud "BOINNNG!" sound not six inches in front of Scully and suddenly squealed, "YIPPEE! RIDE 'EM COWBOY!" With a huge flourish, he flung away his yellow hat; with a twist of the wrist, he suddenly came up with an enormous black velvet Mexican sombrero, its wide band thick with a rainbow of sequins and pom-poms dangling all the way around its brim, and slammed it onto his head.

"LET'S DAAAANNCE!" Neither Scully nor her colleagues had taken a chance to move before he pinned her in a grip half folk-dancing Varsouvienne position and half hammerlock.

Suddenly the music changed from comfortable Seventies oldies to a weird blend of incongruously frenzied _merengue_ rhythm and what sounded like the Beach Boys' classic sound as remastered by Giorgio Moroder. FBI agents and their guests practically stampeded out of the way as the outlandish man pulled Scully onto the dance floor.

Shaking off his astonishment, Mulder cried, "Let go of her!" and pawed under his surgeon's costume for his weapon, plunging forward after the couple. But Skinner's hand fell on his shoulder, gripping firmly and drawing him back.

"Relax, Agent Mulder," the A.D. said confidently. "I'd say Agent Scully has things well in hand."

Indeed she did. Once they hit the dance floor, the green-faced maniac released his hold on her arms to seize her left hand and fling his own left arm out wide, roaring, "TAKE IT AWAY, BOYS! SOMEBODY STOP ME...!"

"With pleasure," Scully snarled, low and hot, as she balled her right hand into a fist and sent it smashing across the angular green face.

"WAAAH!" Costumed couples stumbled away to both sides as the fantastic creature spun in another green-and-yellow blur, whirling like a giant's gyroscope out of control across the party room until hitting the wall - and smashing through, leaving in the wall an outline of the zoot-suited figure as perfect as any chalk tracing at any murder scene. A couple of shaken masqueraders peered out into the night through the absurd opening, but the thing that had made it had vanished utterly.

As Scully was brushing herself off, Mulder and Skinner came quickly to her side. "Scully! Are you all right?" her partner asked breathlessly.

"Yes, Mulder, I'm fine," she assured him. "But what WAS that thing?"

Assistant Director Skinner stared at the man-in-zoot- suit-shaped hole in the wall. "Your next assignment," he said.



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