Title: Here Kitty, Kitty Kitty
Author: mlb
Rating: NC-17
Category: Skinner-Scully
Spoilers: don't think so
Disclaimer: All X-File characters belong to CC and 1013.
Keywords: humor

Summary: Skinner gets turned into a cat. What more can I say?

All gods belong to themselves. The description of Bast comes from a web-site called "Bast's Home Page", which cites JBL catalog. No personal gain is intended.


"Assistant Director Skinner?"

Skinner stifled a groan. This was one of his very rare Saturdays off, and he didn't want to talk to anyone who would address him as "Assistant Director Skinner". If he couldn't talk to a friend or a lover, not that he had either at the moment and didn't look like obtaining them anytime soon, then he wanted to be left alone for this walk in the park.

Resigned, he turned to face the voice, wondering what the hell was wanted of him this time.

His anger faded as he saw the speaker.

She was a tall woman, almost boyishly slim except for small, firm breasts that Skinner managed not to stare at. Her olive complexion was set off by tilted dark eyes that seemed to have a hint of green dancing in their depths. Her black hair was cut short except for a braid that reached to her hips.

Her wine-colored jacket and pants over a white shell and gold belt, were simple, but Skinner's knowledge of suit prices told him that the simplicity of her clothes was proportional to their cost. Her only jewelry was a gold pendant in the shape of a cat's head that dangled from a black cord. His sudden awareness of his erection made his "Yes?" gruffer than he intended.

The woman seemed amused, either by his question or his scrutiny or both. "I wanted to thank you for saving Nepherel last week."

Skinner blinked in surprise. The Egyptian college student had been attacked by a gang of white racists as she walked home from her night- shift job the previous week. Skinner, battling his chronic insomnia, had been out walking and had seen the attack. Using his gun and his fists, he had gotten them both to safety, but had taken several hits in the process. He had accepted the girl's thanks, written up his report, and considered the incident over until they went to court.

"I was just doing my job." Inwardly, he cringed. Most men, faced with a beautiful, grateful woman, would do a better job of being charming. His embarrassment robbed him of what little social skill he possessed. Instead of being offended, the woman smiled at him gently. "Nepherel said you were very sad."

OK. He did *not* want to discuss his feelings. "Is she your sister?" he asked hastily to change the subject.

"More like my daughter."

That was a surprise. Skinner wouldn't have put the woman at over 35, and Nepherel had been in her early twenties. She must have had the girl at a very young age.

Then he looked more closely into her eyes, and suddenly found himself believing that Nepherel could be her daughter, or grand-daughter, or great-grandaughter. Her eyes were ageless, ancient. The only other sense he'd ever had of such age was when he'd seen the old woman in his dreams.

"She wishes to make you happy," the woman continued. Her smile widened. "She most earnestly wishes that she could be the one to make you happy, but it is not to be."

Her gaze travelled unashamedly over his body. Skinner flushed. "Not that I don't understand her desire," the woman continued, her smile becoming mischevious. "I wouldn't mind being the one to make you happy, myself."

He was angry at her teasing and started to walk away but found himself stopping when she held up her hand.

"So, Walter Sergei Skinner," her fingers began to trace hypnotic patterns in the air. "In gratitude for saving my student and child, I shall give you what will make you happy, although you will not enjoy it at first." She gestured as if she were tossing something to him. Skinner flinched back and found himself...falling? He felt extremely odd, dizzy and somewhat nauseated.

He was suddenly looking up at her, not sure how he had fallen, thoughts of tazer guns and tranquilizer darts running through his mind, but despite his fear, he acknowledged that her eyes were kind. "Be brave," she said. "It will work out for the best." And with that she was gone. He didn't see how she left. One minute, she stood before him, the next, she had disappeared.

Skinner tried to stand but couldn't find his balance. His feet were oddly tangled and his sense of balance and proportion were gone. He tried to yell after her in his most angry AD roar, but all that came out was, "MEOW!" -- -- Meow? Skinner shut his mouth abruptly and looked down. Black fur, four paws, and, he twisted his head, tail.

Absurdly, his first feeling was annoyance. Weird shit like this was supposed to happen to Mulder.

Panic, a more reasonable emotion given the circumstances, followed swiftly. He refused to believe that the woman had actually turned him into a cat, but he didn't have a problem with the idea that she'd injected him with some sort of hallucinatory drug that made him think he was a cat. He needed to get help fast.

The park looked as it had before their meeting, except now he saw it from a lower angle. Skinner didn't know much about cats, but he was pretty sure they saw differently. His vision worked the same as it had before, except he didn't need his glasses.

His sense of smell was overwhelming him. Grass, trees, birds, bugs, people all seemed to have a different scent that assaulted his nose at once. "It's a powerful drug," he told himself firmly. "You just think everything is different. Go find help."

Skinner tried to move toward the edge of the park and realized that walking had become an entirely different proposition. He kept getting his paws tangled up with each other, and he couldn't figure out what to do with his tail.

He was horribly embarrassed, sure that he was hallucinating, and that, in reality, he was tripping over his own feet. The other people in the park must think he was drunk or on drugs. Sure enough, he saw a couple begin to hastily herd their children away from him.

He heard the man say, "I think that cat's rabid. We'd better find a guard."

Skinner froze. The man thought he was a cat, too. Unless the woman had managed to dose the whole park, Skinner was in a situation he had no idea how to handle.

"One thing at the time," he told himself, squashing incipient hysteria. He didn't want to be shot as a rabid animal, so he'd better get out of here. He'd deal with the rest of this later.

Moving slowly, he managed to work out his new form. The tail worked sort of as a combination rudder and counter-balance. Once he got the order of paw usage worked out, walking became automatic.

He carefully edged across the park. Other people were leaving now, their scents trailing past him, and Skinner became aware that the light quality was changing. He looked up and saw clouds gathering. Oh, great, it was going to rain. He moved toward the sheltered picnic area, reaching cover just as rain began to fall.

Skinner managed to lurch on to one of the benches although he overshot the first jump with his powerful hindquarters. Then, he began to try to sort through events. The woman had changed him into a cat. Once he coldly accepted that, Skinner could deal with the rest of it. It became a fact, a problem, something to be figured out.

He didn't think she worked for the Consortium. For one thing, Skinner couldn't imagine Cancerman not hanging around to watch the transformation. No, if They were behind it, Skinner would be in an animal research facility by now. The woman didn't seem to want to hurt him. In fact, she had said she wanted to make him happy, although he couldn't imagine why she thought he wanted to be a cat.

After that, he was stuck. She had said to be brave and everything would work out. He could handle brave, but what was he supposed to do? He had practice at waiting - it was his primary job function - but he didn't like it.

He certainly didn't want to go through life as a cat. His own life wasn't that great, but it beat being an aminal, and he had duties to others. He would have to find a way to negate this (spell?) as soon as possible. Nepherel had instigated all this. Skinner would have to find her.

Perhaps she could reverse what the woman had done. He didn't know her scent, but he knew she was on campus. He would have to try to locate her by sight.

Deep in thought, Skinner didn't register the new scent until its owner was almost on him. Every feline instinct screamed, "Danger!!!". He could feel the fur standing up along his spine and his tail had fluffed out to twice it's normal size.

"Grrrrr."

He spun, barely keeping his balance. The dog was large and ragged-looking. Half of one ear was missing, and scars marred its sides. However, it looked adequately fed, and there were no fresh injuries. Skinner had a feeling that the dog's scars came from its youth and that he was currently looking at the top dog in the area.

He let instinct take over, arching his back up and hissing. The dog looked puzzled, as if it was aware that something was not quite right about this particular cat, but it didn't look particularly impressed with Skinner's response.

Skinner normally didn't have problems with fights, but he was at a disadvantage. He didn't have good control over the feline body, and he didn't know the tricks to use against such a large, wily enemy. He was quite willing to run, as this wasn't the time to worry about being macho, but he knew that he didn't stand a chance of out-running the dog either. The dog started to advance on him slowly, apparently grinning, when there was a new interruption.

A scent wafted past him, bringing thought-images of friendship, affection, pride, lust. Skinner knew who it was before she spoke.

"Get away from there! Back off! Shoo!"

The dog looked past Skinner and growled more deeply in his throat, hackles rising.

His anger rising, as it always did with a threat to her, Skinner let out a high-pitched yowl, somewhere between a snarl and a scream. The dog, now facing two combatants, decided to find amusement/dinner elsewhere and slunk off.

Skinner managed to let his ears come back up and started to let his fur settle. He watched the dog for a moment, then turned to his rescuer. Scully was also dressed for Saturday in the park in jeans and a t-shirt, pony-tail, and no makeup. Skinner thought there had never seen anyone more beautiful or anyone he was happier to see.

"Poor kitty," she said, holding her hand out to him. "Are you all right? Did he hurt you?"

She used a crooning tone Skinner had never heard before, and it melted his insides. He had a sudden desire to roll on his back so she could rub his belly.

\Stop that!\ he told himself in horror. \What's wrong with you? Other than being a cat, that is.\

He was afraid that he would forget he was human, but that didn't appear to be happening. His thought processes were clear, as far as he could tell, although in a crisis, the cat instincts could drive his actions.

Cautiously, he sniffed at Scully's fingers. She smelled as she always did, except more so. He could pick up her soap, shampoo, sweat, and some smell that simply said 'Scully' to him. Skinner realized that he could track her, by scent alone, through DC.

Scully scratched behind his ears, which felt amazingly good, then lightly ran her hands down his sides.

"You don't seem to be hurt," she muttered. "I guss you're a lucky... boy?"

Before Skinner realized what she was doing, Scully leaned around him to look at his back end. She whistled softly.

"You're a boy all right!" she said, straightening. "Wow! I know some human guys who could use that equipment."

He would have blushed if were possible. He would have sunk into the earth if it were possible. He did *not* want to know Scully's thoughts on equipment of all things. How could he face her in meetings when this was over? He only functioned now by firmly keeping thoughts of Scully and male equipment separate.

She glanced out of the shelter. "It's stopped raining. I guess I'll go home." She studied him. Skinner did his best to look pitiful. Until he found Nepherel and got this reversed, he needed a secure base. "All right," Scully sighed. "You can come too."

She tried to scoop him into her arms. Skinner tried to help, knowing he was heavy, but couldn't think of a way to get leverage without using his claws and disemboweling Scully. After struggling a moment, she set him down.

"You have to walk," she said firmly. That was fine. He'd figured out how to do that. Skinner trotted beside her to her car. -- -- Skinner sat in the passenger seat watching Scully drive. He was pleased to find she liked rock and roll. If she listened to country, he would have had to jump out the window.

She pulled into a strip mall that contained a pet store. Skinner found with some relief that he could still read.

"I have to get you some supplies. I didn't plan to get a cat today," Scully explained as she got out of the car. Apparently, she didn't see anything strange about having a conversation with a cat. She came out a few minutes later, carrying a large bag. Skinner had to supress the urge to get out and help her.

"I got everything we'll need," she said cheerfully. "Food, bowls, toys, although you don't seem like the catnip mousie type, and a litter box." Oh, God. This was going to be worse than he thought. -- -- Scully bustled about in her apartment, setting up food and water bowls. She hummed to herself, happy that he was there.

\She's lonely,\ Skinner thought. \Maybe as lonely as I am.\ The idea made him sad. He didn't like to think of Scully as lonely, but he felt a warm glow that she enjoyed his presence. After this was over, he would find her a cat of her own.

She tossed him the mouse, but Skinner watched it sail by his nose with firm disinterest. The catnip smelled enticing, but getting stoned right now would be a bad idea. His reality was weird enough without chemicals. He looked around her apartment. He had only been inside once before, and then he'd too angry with her and Mulder to note her decor. It wasn't nearly as stark as his, but it wasn't cluttered either. Her primary ornaments were candles which were set around on most of the surfaces. The whole place was saturated with her scent. He felt as if he were drowning in Scully, as if she were seeping into his bones. All animals, marked their quarters with their scent. Now, he was getting marked by her as well.

\Stop it,\ he thought. \You'll get out of this, and then things will go back to normal. That means you can't think about Scully this way, any more than you already do.\

At that moment, Scully called, "Here, kitty," and with a mental sigh, Skinner followed her voice.

She had set up his litter box in the half-bathroom and gestured to it proudly. "Here you are."

Skinner eyed the contraption. It was probably one of the nicer litter boxes, with a hood and deodorizer and filled with a white sand litter. She meant well, and an actual cat would, no doubt, be appreciative, but it was totally unacceptable for him. Cat or no, there were some things that weren't going to happen.

On the other hand, he could use some form of a litter box about now. Skinner turned and stalked into the living room, ignoring Scully's "Hey!". He took up stance by the window, and stared at her as she stood in the doorway, then looked at the window and back at her again.

"You can't go outside every time," Scully said reasonably. "What will you do when I'm at work?"

\I'll worry about that later,\ he thought back at her, and yowled as loudly as he could.

She made frantic hushing gestures at him. "Shut up! If my neighbors complain, you'll have to go!"

\Screw 'em,\ he answered mentally and yelled louder. There was a thump on the wall adjoining the next apartment.

"All right. All right!" Crossly, Scully opened the window. Skinner slipped out gratefully and located a handy bush out of her sight. Finished and cleaned up (ugh!), he returned to the window and hopped through. Scully scowled at him, then threw up her hands and headed out of the room. After a few minutes, Skinner heard the shower running. He settled on her couch, paws tucked under, careful not to catch the fabric in his sharp claws, and tried to think matters through. He thought of trying to somehow let Scully know what had happened, but couldn't think of a way to communicate with her. There was no way he could write anything with no thumb, and the idea of trying to scratch out letters in the litterbox struck him as ludicrous.

He would have to get her into the bathroom, then try to make her understand what he was doing. Scully the Skeptic, believing her boss had been turned into a cat and was trying to communicate with her? No. If he'd been rescued by Mulder, it might have been feasible, but Mulder probably wouldn't have bought him a litter box.

Skinner's thoughts were rudely interrupted when Scully walked into the living room, stark naked except for a towel wrapped around her hair. He felt his eyes widen and made a startled "Prrrrp!" noise. A certain sensation from his back end made told him that his cat body had reacted as his human body would have to this sight.

Scully seemed to be completely nonchalant about strolling around her apartment naked. Why shouldn't she be? Her blinds were closed and the only living thing besides herself in the apartment was her cat. \I shouldn't look,\ Skinner thought. \I shouldn't invade her privacy just because.... Just because what? Just because I'm a cat? The hell with it. This is supposed to make me happy, after all.\ He stared his fill, rationalizing that since he would never act on this, it was OK to look at her.

She strolled across to a small sliding door and slid it open, revealing a washer and dryer. Scully opened the dryer and bent *way* over, rummaging around inside.

Tiny waist, round bottom, curvy legs, all covered by sweet white skin. Skinner found himself purring. The smell of her sex hit him and all of his claws hooked into her sofa. His lips curled back, catching her scent with his mouth as well as his nostrils.

Scully straightened up, holding a pair of panties. She smiled at him as she began to put them on, having apparently forgiven him for the litter box. "Making yourself at home?" she asked.

White breasts, flat stomach, natural redhead. He purred louder. "I guess so," she laughed. She headed back for her bedroom, stopping at the sofa to pet him.

"I thought of a name for you while I was in the shower," she continued. "Ishmael. Do you like that?"

\I'll like anything if you keep doing that, especially while you're only wearing panties,\ Skinner thought as she began to scratch under his chin. He had a close-up look at her firm pink and white breasts from this angle. How was he going to deal with her when he got back to human form? He'd never be able to yell at her in his office again, now that he knew what was going on under those suits.

Scully grinned, "Although, given your, um, proportions, maybe I should call you Moby Dick, instead!"

Skinner sighed mentally. \Who would have thought proper Agent Scully had such a gutter mind?\ It was delightful. Maybe he'd just stay a cat forever.

"I'll call the vet Monday so we can get your shots started. And I guess I need to make an appointment to get you neutered. Sorry, Ish, but I don't want a lot of little black kittens running around the complex." \Or maybe not.\ He stared at her in horror as she walked blithely away. He was all for responsible pet ownership, but this was going too far.


Skinner was both relieved and disappointed that Scully was wearing shorts and a t-shirt when she returned. It was better for his equilibrium that she was dressed, but still.

"Suppertime," she announced.

His ears perked up. He was hungry, and his sensitive nose picked up a delightful smell that he identified as tuna. Then he heard the rattle of something crunchy being poured into his bowl. Apparently, the tuna wasn't for him.

He padded into the kitchen and inspected the round brown pellets that were his supper. Undoubtedly, they were of the highest nutritional value, but Skinner was reminded of the pet rabbit he'd has as a child. He'd cleaned stuff out of Sam's cage that looked exactly like this.

Scully was making a tuna salad sandwich at the counter. It smelled a lot better than his supper. He rose on his feet and patted the counter. "No. That's my supper. Yours is down there." She gently pushed him down and nudged him toward the bowl. "If I start feeding you scraps, I won't stop."

Skinner started rubbing against her legs, which was fun on several levels, and purring.

Scully laughed, "Beggar."

He sat down, wrapped his tail around his legs and fixed his gaze on her, using the same look he employed when they both knew she was lying about Mulder's whereabouts.

"For God's sake, that is perfectly good food." She was getting cross but wilting slightly under his steely gaze.

"Fine!" she finally exploded, dumped the rest of the salad from the container on top of the food in his bowl, and stormed back into the living room.

 

Victory was sweet, but Skinner felt bad about being demanding, although not bad enough to leave the kitchen before eating the tuna salad.

After he finished, he slunk back into the living room. Scully was seated at her desk, scowling at her computer.

"Now what do you want?" she asked acidly as he paused by her chair. He hopped up on the desk, careful not to disturb her work, and settled into the 'loaf' position. She eyed him for a moment, then turned back to her screen.

"OK. You can help write my report. I've got to get it done by Monday, or Skinner will kill me."

\Not likely,\ Skinner thought, \Every time I try to reprimand you, I'll remember you scratching under my chin while wearing just panties.\ She resumed typing and he watched quietly. Once, when she paused, he stood and rubbed his head on her shoulder. As he had guessed, this melted her residual anger.

"Aren't you sweet? Who needs a date on Saturday night when she's got you?"

\Certainly not you,\ he thought smugly.


She was wrapping up her report when the phone rang.

"Scully. Oh, hi, Mulder."

 

Mulder? What was he doing calling Scully on a Saturday night? Skinner felt his eyes narrow and ears slick back. He had sudden visions of Mulder coming over and making love to Scully. The phrase "claw his eyes out" took on a whole new meaning.

"No. I haven't seen Skinner. Why?"

He was surprised. Why was Mulder looking for him on a Saturday? Was he in trouble again? At the moment, Skinner would be of limited help. She rolled her eyes. "I'm sure you can't list getting your suit cleaned as a business expense, even if you did spill the milkshake on it while we were questioning a suspect."

Scully continued, "I don't know why you thought he'd be over here, anyway. Yes, I know I have cable. I'm sure he does too. Bye, Mulder."

She hung up the phone, shaking her head. "What an idiot."

Skinner silently concurred.

"I forgot to tell him about you. He hated Quequeeg. Don't worry, I won't take you on any cases, Ish."

Scully switched off the computer and moved to the couch. "I'll finish up tomorrow. Time for Xena(TM)."

She patted the couch invitingly and Skinner curled up next to her. He considered sitting on her lap, but decided it was a bad idea, given his body's likely reaction. Scully wouldn't appreciate a perverted feline, and he didn't want her thinking about neutering anymore than she already was.

 

As they watched the show, he felt a sense of peace steal over him, despite his predicament. Scully's occasional comments on the show and bursts of laughter mirrored his own reactions. She was good company, he realized. They might actually have things to say to each other outside the bedroom. The thought simultaneously intrigued and scared him. It was one thing to entertain lustful fantasies about the agent or care for her from afar: it was another to contemplate the possibility of an actual relationship. \You aren't going to have to worry about having any kind of relationship with her other than neutered pet/owner if you don't get changed back into a human,\ Skinner reminded himself.

After Xena(TM) and the news, Scully yawned and stretched. "I think it's bedtime."

She opened the window for him without comment. Skinner leaped out, visited his handy bush, and returned to the apartment.

Scully checked locks and switched off lamps then beckoned to him from the hall. "Come on, Ish. Want to sleep with me?"

\More than you could ever imagine,\ Skinner thought resignedly. \But it's a bad idea in our current circumstances.\

He curled up on the couch and put his head down determinedly. Scully shrugged and headed down the hall. Eventually, both fell asleep.


He woke deep in the night. For a moment, he was confused about where he was, not to mention why he was a cat, then it came back. Skinner lifted his head, listening, knowing that something had wakened him. Then, he heard it again: a tiny whimper from the direction of Scully's bedroom.

He padded swiftly down the hall, eyes easily adjusting to the darkness, and peered into her bedroom.

She was curled into a ball in the middle of the bed, crying in her sleep and flailing with her hands.

"Leave me alone," she muttered. "No. Mom...Bill...don't want to die. Don't be mad."

Unable to stand her cries, he jumped onto the bed. He didn't want to frighten her and had ample experience about waking from nightmares, so he sat at beside her waist and purred loudly, occasionally patting her arm with his paw.

Scully jerked awake, stared around wildly, and recognized him. "Ish," she muttered and reached for him.

Skinner moved up the bed and nuzzled her face, licking at the tears. "What a sweet boy." Scully was already falling back asleep. "You love me, don't you? Even if nobody else does?"

\Yes.\

He settled grimly into the curve of her body and she sleepily wrapped her arms around him.

Skinner fully intended to stay awake and guard her from further nightmares, but his body was having none of it, and sent him off to sleep.


The sun, shining in at an unfamiliar angle, wakened Skinner. Half- asleep, he rubbed at his eyes, wondering how late he'd slept. The awareness that he was rubbing his eyes with his hand snapped him into wakefulness. He slitted his eyes open and peeked at it. Broad palm, thick fingers, it was his hand all right, no mistaking it for a black-furred paw.

He'd dreamed the whole thing. Of course he had. Did he *really* think he'd been turned into a cat, adopted by Agent Scully, seen her naked, and spent the night in her bed? How ridiculous. No more late-night pizza for him, that was for sure.

At this point, Skinner became aware of the arm draped across his bare chest. He could account for both of his own arms. He'd rubbed his eyes with one hand, and now that he thought about it, his other arm seemed to be around somebody's shoulders, probably the person who's head was resting on his chest.

He carefully opened his eyes again. This was definitely not his bedroom. In fact, it looked quite a lot like the impression of Scully's bedroom that he'd gotten the night before, in what he thought was a dream. Oh, shit.

A distinct chill in the air caused Skinner to realize that while he'd been turned back into a human, he had not been turned back into a human that was wearing clothes.

OK. He would carefully get out of bed, find a towel or something to wrap around himself, and sneak home, hopefully without being arrested. It wasn't a great plan, but it was all he had.

He looked down, preparatory to easing out of bed, and straight into a pair of open, amused blue eyes.

"You know," Scully said thoughtfully. "I've been in the X-Files too long. This just isn't bothering me that much."

Skinner was speechless. If he had to guess what would have happened in this situation, he would have imagined being nose to nose with Scully's beretta, while she called the police, OPC, Mulder, and possibly her mother. "It isn't?" he managed.

She shook her head, somehow using the movement to snuggle more closely into his side.

"I saw you change. One second you were a cat, the next you were Skinner. I don't really see any way you could fake it, although you'd better *not* be Eddie van Blundt."

She scowled at him. Skinner shook his head mutely.

"So, you were changed into a cat and changed back in my bed, or this is a really good dream. Either way, I'm glad it happened."

"You are?" he said, amazed.

She nodded, still smiling, and tightened her arm across his chest. As long as she was taking it so well....

Skinner bent his head and kissed her. Scully returned it enthusiastically, and he lifted her on top of him, sliding his hands over her back. Her scent was fainter than when he'd been feline, but he could still detect it, and it still had the same effect. Warmed by her body, his groin was hardening swiftly.

Scully ground her hips against it. "I'm glad you changed back before I tried to get you neutered," she muttered between kisses.

Skinner pushed her slightly off him, hooked his hands under her nightshirt, and pulled it off over her head. Once again, he admired her body, glad that he could savor it appropriately this morning. He cupped her breasts, enjoying her squirming as flicked his thumbs over her nipples.

 

"So am I," he responded and rolled them so he was over her. He stripped her panties off and stroked between her legs. Scully arched beneath his hand.

She tugged at his shoulders, trying to bring him down on her, but Skinner ignored her. He ran his mouth down her body and between her legs, kissing, licking, thrusting with his tongue, surrounded by her scent once more. Scully twisted against him. Skinner pinned her hands by her sides and tasted her until she cried out and he felt the quiver of her orgasm. He moved up her body and entered her slowly until she grabbed his hips and pulled him inside.

They rocked together, faster and deeper, until he felt her inner muscles clench around him and trigger his own climax.

As they relaxed once more, Scully cuddled against his shoulder, Skinner found the nerve to ask, "What happens now?" He feared their lovemaking had been a one-time occurrence, triggered by the odd circumstances surrounding their waking.

Scully began to snicker, "You followed me home," she giggled. "I guess I get to keep you!"


One month later, Skinner loitered around the Smithsonian, waiting to 'accidentally' run into Scully. There was an ancient medical instrument exhibit she wanted to see, after which, they would return to his apartment for dinner and various activities.

He couldn't remember ever having been happier except immediately after his marriage to Sharon. This time, he was determined not to make the same mistakes. Besides, Scully understood the demands of the job and the horrors it could entail. For the first time in years, perhaps decades, Skinner had the feeling that everything would be all right.

By mutual consent, they didn't discuss his transformation. Skinner had gone to Nepherel's campus to look her but was told she'd returned to Egypt. His testimony was sufficient to have her attackers jailed, at least for a while, but he had a feeling they wouldn't be causing much more trouble. At the trial, they shivered and twitched, and spoke of bad dreams.

He ambled into the Egyptian wing, no real destination in mind, and glanced idly at a mural of Egyptian gods and goddesses painted on the wall. Suddenly, he froze.

Tall, slim, black-brown eyes with just a hint of green, an elongated black cat stood beside her. She was dressed as an ancient Egyptian, but otherwise, allowing for the formalized drawing style, she was the image of the woman in the park.

He read the inscription. 'Bast. The Egyptian goddess of pleasure, music, dancing and joy. Often represented by a cat.'

Skinner looked back up at the mural. For a moment, he could have sworn she winked at him.

-- The End --

 

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