Title: Who's The Man?

By: Scribbler1973

Feedback: Yes, please.
Rating: T/M for language, suggested smut. Nothing explicit
Warnings: MSR
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. My only profit is shits and giggles.
Spoilers/Continuity: Hollywood A.D.
Summary: After the premiere
Notes: I heart the man beneath Skinner's calloused exterior.

Who's The Man?

Sometime after three in the morning I manage to slip out from between the blonde and the brunette. They curl up together like little kittens as I fumble my way back into the monkey suit I donned for last night's festivities. It smells like stale smoke and Chanel No. 5, and I grin like the damned Cheshire Cat.

I am on top of the world. Still. I should be nursing a hangover the size of Kilimanjaro and groping for the damned Ben Gay considering the acrobatics these lovely ladies put me through just a couple of short hours ago, but I'm feeling zero pain. In fact, if I didn't have a plane to catch in less than four hours, I'd pounce on the both of them and rouse them into another go.

Damn, they look spent. Who's the man? I'm the man, baby. That's right. I'm the frickin' man. Associate Producer Walter "Skinman" Skinner, portrayed on the silver screen last night by a considerably less virile Richard Gere. I'm the man who gets the big gun, the big save, and the stunning redhead.

My jacket slung over my shoulder in a most dashing and dapper manner, I grin all the way back to my room.

The sight of my suitcase setting at the foot of the bed is a mood dampener. A little more than twenty-four hours from now and it's back to reality for the Skinman. A.P. Skinner reverts to A.D. Skinner, joyless stress-a-holic who gets his ass handed to him on a plate at least once every other afternoon, courtesy, more often than not, of one Special Agent Fox Fricking Mulder, who has a penchant for brassing off the Brass.

It was Mulder who was brassed off tonight, though. The way he flew out of his seat and yelled, "That's it! I just can't take anymore, Scully!" and then stormed out of the theater like a kid who'd just had his best ball taken away. And all because screen Scully professed her love for me.

It would have been hilarious, except I felt badly for him. And more than a bit embarrassed for him, too. The guy tends to be the root of the biggest thorns in my ass, but I like him. I respect him . . .although I guess he probably wasn't feeling either liked or respected tonight.

I look at the door to the adjoining room, and wonder if he's awake on the other side of it, brooding. Knowing Mulder, the chances are likely, even if Scully found him after the premiere and managed to force some happy into him on the government dime.

What the guy really needs is a decent lay.

Correction. What Mulder really needs is someone to kick his brain out of his ass and encourage him to confess his all-too-apparent love and desire for his spitfire of a partner, already.

I'm grinning again, 'cause it just so happens Studman A.P. Skinner is in a brain-out-of-Mulder's-ass kickin' mood. And seeing as protocol-chained Bossman A.D. Skinner waits oblivious an entire continent away, there's no time like the present.

In true ass-kicking fashion, I pull open the adjoining door, barge into his room, catch my ankle in a tangle of clothing, and go sprawling. Somehow, I manage to catch my fall an inch before I impale myself on a black, high-heeled shoe.

What the?

"Mmm . . .Mulder. . ." the voice is soft, murmured, and heart-flutteringly familiar, but thankfully not awake.

Why in the hell would she change rooms with Mulder? Maybe I can just crawl back through the door . . .

"Shhh. I'm right here. Sleep." His voice is a low purr I could have happily died without ever hearing.

Unlike Scully, Mulder's wide awake. Shit. And also . . .Shit. Shit, shit, shit.

Prompted by her soft answering sigh and the rustle of sheets, I move to crawl back through the door even though I'm caught. I'm already humiliated, so why the hell not?

His voice is barely a whisper. "Do something for you, Skinner?"

Who's the man? Who's the absolutely mortified man? Who's the absolutely mortified man forcing himself to his feet when he wishes he could sink straight through the floor? That'd be me.

Although he's made sure she's not exposed, they're both obviously naked beneath the thin sheet. She's cuddled against him, her arm curled around his waist, her head nestled in the crook of his shoulder. And above this touching scene of post coital exhaustion, Mulder gives me the very same Cheshire Cat grin I've been sporting most of the night.

God love it, I shrug and shoot the grin right back at him. Then I give him a big thumbs up, and haul my ass back into my own room.

I hear his light chuckle as I ease the door closed behind me. At the sound, I'm half tempted to go back in and make sure it was really Mulder in that bed. Unabashed grin? No tension at having been caught with his naked partner draped over him? Happy, lighthearted chuckle? It's like invasion of the body snatchers. An X-file, for sure.

Except I know better. And the real reason I want to go back through that door is to bask in the warmth and the love radiating from that bed. I want to go back and tell my friend he's one lucky son-of-a-bitch. As if he doesn't already know.

All of a sudden, I'm feeling achy. Hung-over.

Screw this noise. I whip out my cell, call the airline, and rebook our flights back to D.C. for the day after tomorrow.

That done, I carefully ease the adjoining door open, peek my head back into the next room, and whisper, "Mulder?"

A light groan, "yeah?"

"Sleep in. Lunch about 1ish?"

"Flight?"

"Canceled. Lunch?"

"Sure. Thanks, Skinman."

I grin. "Don't call me Skinman," and then I pull the door closed once more.

Turning, I glance at my untouched bed and decide I don't need it. What I need is a little hair of the dog, and then a good toss back in the middle of a feisty kitten sandwich.

Who's the man? A.P. Walter "Skinman" Skinner's the man. Catch your act later. I'm outtie.