Disclaimer: I don't own X-Files, nor do I own Mulder or Scully. I suppose in some weird, twisted way, I own the cat. Theoretically.
A/N: This is something that popped into my head earlier while I was talking to a friend... and so I wrote it. It's blah, probably, but I figured I'd post it. Enjoy?
"Scully, look at that."
"Huh?" Scully snapped out of her light doze, sitting straight up in the passenger side seat. She came to the slow, dawning realization that Mulder had stopped the car; he was looking out past her onto the street. "Whazzit?"
"It's a kitty, Scully. Look at it." Mulder had a smile on his face the likes of which Scully had never seen. She stared at him, then slowly rotated her head to look at the animal in quesiton. It was indeed a cat. Just a little one. It was sitting on the sidewalk, gazing at them, shivering. "Aw. It's cold."
"Aw? Mulder, are you feeling okay?"
"I'm fine, Scully. Don't you feel just a little bit of compassion for it?"
"A little, maybe, yes. But I need to get home. C'mon, Mulder."
He sighed theatrically and pulled away from the curb, silent all the way to her house. Once he pulled up, he sighed again, much louder, as if this was supposed to have some sort of effect.
"Good day, Mulder," Scully said, tiredly, as she climbed out and slammed the door. He sat idly and watched her go back into her house, then shifted gears and turned around in her driveway. A look of determination crossed his face and he drove back in the direction of the cat.
It's just a little kitty, he thought. I'll just take it home for tonight... find it a home tomorrow. What could possibly go wrong?
He shifted the kitten to his other hand as he unlocked his apartment door. He smiled happily as he set it down on the floor and patted it; it mewed plaintively and skittered off into the recesses of Mulder's apartment. "Don't get lost, now," he murmured, throwing his keys and his mail on the coffee table. He wouldn't doubt, even a little bit, that it was entirely possible to get lost in his apartment. It was like a dark abyss in some corners... even he wouldn't deny that.
He sat down on the couch and flicked the TV on. It was just coming to the five o'clock news; he sat back, settling in against the lumpy couch he really needed to replace. From somewhere in another room, he faintly heard a 'mew'. He sat through as much of the news as he could possibly manage, all the while fidgeting, his mind never leaving the kitten. Finally, unable to resist his own curiosity (Curiosity killed the cat, he thought, with a little giggle, the sort of giggle one would expect Mulder to have while not in the presence of anyone else), he got up and went into his 'bedroom'. Storage room. Whatever.
He stopped and stared at the mess. "This is like finding an alien at an Indiana Jones convention," he muttered. He began shifting boxes, moving stacks of movies, throwing magazines every which way (magazines that ranged anywhere from The National Enquirer to Penthouse Weekly). After he had gone through just about everything we no results, he decided that the kitten wasn't in here after all. "Hm." He thought long and hard. "Well, I'll just let it be... I should probably set some food out." He started back out the door into the living room when realization hit him. "Crap. I forgot to buy food."
He walked back over to the table and picked up his keys. "I'll be back, kitty."
With that said, Mulder exited. Stage left.
"In your opinion, kind young sir," Mulder began, addressing the grocery store clerk, who looked at him warily, "which would you say is the best cat food on this shelf, here?"
The clerk, not sure what to make of the strange man who was dressed in a suit and tie, peered at the cans of wet cat food on the shelf. "Um... if I had to make an educated guess... I'd say this one here." He pointed to a fancy-labeled can.
"Tell me, young man. Did you graduate high school?"
The kid stared. "Why?"
"Just answer the question."
"...No... I got a GED."
"Aha! So in other words your educated guess would therefore be not so educated. For you see... the cat food you showed me is the most expensive on the shelf."
The clerk looked around, as if not able to believe it. "True, but in theory, if you want the best, you should buy the most expensive."
"But that's not always true. Sometimes the most expensive is the cheapest produced. They spiff it up, see, to make it look good."
"Well, then," said the boy, starting to look annoyed. "Buy the cheapest."
"But then it's likely to be crappy," Mulder countered.
"Dude. Just buy the cat food."
And with that said, the young man stalked off.
"Well, I never!" Mulder huffed. Frowning, he picked up two cans of the middle-priced section and started out of the aisle when the toys caught his eye. With a little glimmer in said eye he picked up a stuffed beaver toy. It squeaked when you depressed it's bloated belly. He grinned in childish amusement and tucked it under his arm.
As he gathered up his purchases from the checker, he squeezed the beaver. "I shall call you Beaver," he intoned. "And you shall be my Beaver. Forever."
After he had left, the checker motioned to the clerk who had gotten annoyed over the cat food. "What a strange duck," she said, mystified.
"I bet you anything he's a UFO conspiracy theorist," the clerk said knowledgably.
"I'm ho-ooome," Mulder sang, as he closed his apartment door and re-locked it. "Kitty kitty kitty... I brought food? Kitty kitty kittyyyyy!" There was no response. Not even a 'mew'. "KITTY!" he screamed. Still nothing. Grumbling, he once more tossed his keys onto the coffee table, and proceeded into his kitchen. He dug a bowl out that was still clean, one of the two entire bowls he owned, and popped the lid on it. He started to look for some sort of eating utensil to scrape the stuff out with, then shrugged and dug his finger into the mush. Most of it fell with a wet plop into the bowl in a heap. What was left was around the edge of the can. Without thinking, Mulder attempted to dig it out.
"Ah!" he gasped, jerking his finger back. He stared in complete fascination and fixation at a slit in his index finger. Syrupily it began to bleed, then faster. He didn't notice the blood that seeped into the cat food in the bowl. He stuck his finger under icy water, mumbling curses under his breath. Wrapping his finger up in a towel, he threw the can away, then put the bowl down on the floor. The time at that point was 7:23.
He went back to the couch, sunk down in it, and fell asleep shortly thereafter. Mostly from exhaustion.
BAM, BAM, BAM.
"Oh, three points!" Mulder crowed as the ball swished through the net. Scully glared at him, sweat dripping from her forehead, a dark stain at her neck causing her shirt to cling to her chest.
"You wait, Mulder. I'll catch up."
He threw her the ball. "Just try."
BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM. She threw it at the net with a little grunt. It barely missed. She went chasing after it, followed closely by Mulder. It was then that Mulder 'tripped' and went flying into her; they went tumbling head over heels onto the grass, finally coming to a rest under the shade of a tree. Mulder on top.
"You're crushing me, Mulder."
"Oh, Scully. You always ruin the moments like that."
"Moment? What moment?"
BAM BAM BAM.
"This moment," he murmured, leaning his head down. He could feel her quickened breath on his cheek. It was hot and sweet. Their lips were centimeters apart.
BAM BAM BAM.
Mulder's eyes shot open, realizing with vague disappointment that Scully was gone. But also realizing with vague worry that the banging of the ball on tar would not quit.
Even after he'd woken up.
BAM BAM BAM. BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM.
"Um?" he wondered aloud. He swung his legs off the couch and stood up, wandering towards the door. Maybe it's Scully, he thought hopefully.
There was a quick clatter of wood on metal. Smaller somethings made of metal also clattered to the floor with little 'pink' sounds.
"What..." He stopped in the door to the entryway, staring. His eyes getting wider. "The..." His gaze moved from the door to what was on the floor. "...Hell?"
Dozens, no, hundreds of nails were embedded in the door. A hammer and several more dozen nails were scattered on the floor. He recognized the hammer as his own, and all the nails from that one project he had started on a long time ago. He remebered it with a little pang of guilt, knowing that the unfinished project was sitting in his storage room. He padded over to the mess on the floor and picked up the hammer and all the stray nails. Then he attempted to pull out a nail or two. They were stuck in fast.
"Damn," he muttered.
Then he got to thinking about it. What in his apartment had the strength, nay, the very intelligence to nail him in his own apartment?
"Cat," he murmured, eyes narrowing.
That's ludicrous, Scully's voice argued in his head. A cat, Mulder? A cat?
"Where are you?" he bellowed angrily. "Come on out!"
There was an angry hiss, following by the scratching of claws on wood. Something small and tawny went streaking across the doorway. Mulder chased after it, shouting profanities the whole way.
He came up short in the storage room. It was then he noticed the mass of magazines had been organized in such a way... that...
"It's moving," he whispered. Indeed, the pile of magazines were shifting. It looked insanely like a nest. Mulder backed out of the room, deciding not to go peeking, when he stepped on something. It squeaked, but only a slight squeak, more of a wheeze. He looked down in confusion, then stared in horror. It was Beaver. Or what was left of Beaver. He had been shredded, literally shredded. His squeaker lay punctured, like a ruptured spleen.
A tear came to Mulder's eye. "You killed him," he said, softly. "You killed him! You killed Beaver, you fu - AAAH! AAAH!" Mulder slapped as his pant legs as the cat scaled his legs under his slacks. It was headed for a very sacred area. Mulder rapidly undid his belt and jerked the thing out and flung it before it had a chance to damage the equipment. Still screaming, he ran for the bathroom, slamming the door shut and crumpling into a heap at the bottom of it, panting, sweating. He had, one way or the other, lost his pants on the way to the bathroom. He could hear the... the cat, out there, shredding them.
Mulder shuddered violently, pulling his bare knees up to his chest. His boxers clung to his thighs.
It was then he realized that his phone was still in his jacket pocket. He fumbled for it, as the cat began to slam against the bathroom door. He dialed rapidly, jamming it to his ear, praying she was home, praying she'd answer, praying -
"Mulder? Is that you?"
"Scully, you've got to listen, you've got to help me, I'm under attack!"
"Mulder, what's going on? Under attack from what?"
"Scully, you remember that - YEEEEEEEOW!"
"Mulder? Mulder! Answer me!"
But Mulder was not listening. The cat had finally figured out that it's claws would reach under the gap in the door, and it had sunk it's talons into Mulder's left cheek. As Mulder flew up from the floor, the door slammed open, and the cat flew into the room, a whirlwind of claws, fur, and teeth. Mulder dropped the phone as his hands flew up to protect his face, all the while screaming, and he accidentally stumbled over his phone. It bust into little tiny pieces.
Mulder, hair severely mussed, scratches on one cheek, tie gone, looked wildly about him from atop the kitchen counter. He felt like a fugitive in his own home as he smeared streaks of black shoe polish on his face, carefully avoiding the scratches. "It's war, kittykitty," he growled, unholstering his gun.
After his near brush with death in the bathroom, the cat had disappeared.
The time was now 12:47 A.M.
He eased himself off the counter, stealthily moving over to the doorway. He peered out into the living room. "All clear," he murmured, after a moment. Then he moved on to the storage room. Carefully, carefully, he looked inside. It was quiet. No movement. The nest was either abandoned or the thing was sleeping. Mulder stalked into the room and, gun trained on the nest, eased himself to a crouching position. A crazed look crossed his face and he fired into the nest.
Shreds of magazine went flying everywhere as the reported sounded. It echoed through the apartment, then went dull. It left a ringing noise in his ear.
What he noticed, however, was that no blood went flying. No chunks of kitty hair were propelled in any direction whatsoever. Frowning, he leaned over and picked apart what was left of the magazines.
What he found where pillow feathers. Nothing else.
"You ruined my pillow, too?" he gasped. "That's it! First you nail my door shut, then you kill beaver, but I DRAW THE LINE at my PILLOW!" He leaped to his feet and ran out of the room, into the living room. The thing, the monster, the cat, sat on top of his TV, glaring at him. Baring it's razor sharp fangs at him, fangs unlike that of any cat he had ever seen.
"Ye demon from hell," he hissed. "I banish thee in the name of the Lord."
It hissed at him.
"No?" He frowned, his momentum lost momentarily. "What about Buddha?"
The cat glared.
It's ears twitched.
"What about Harrison Ford?"
The cat yowled, and leaped for the face. Mulder caught it in midair, shaking it by the neck.
It was then that his door slammed open. Mulder, caught off guard, stared in shock. The cat stared in pitiful innocence at Scully, whose look of worry immediately switched track and became angry, even murderous.
"This is the danger you were in?"
"This is what I rushed down here for?" she yelled.
"Scully, listen -"
"I came all this way, I almost got a ticket - Mulder, I was speeding! When do I speed?" she demanded to know. He opened his mouth, but she cut him off. "I never speed! That's the point! I was worried about you Mulder, and here I find you strangling a poor innocent little kitten?"
"Innocent? Scully, it killed Beaver, it nailed my door shut - "
"It... nailed your door shut, Mulder?"
"It... it... It scratched up my face..."
"Mulder?" she said suddenly.
He dropped the kitten. "Yes Scully?"
"Why are you in your boxers?"
"It's... it's a long story, Scully."
"I... see." She watched the kitten skitter past, out into the halls of the apartment complex and beyond.
"It... it killed Beaver, Scully..."
"And who, precisely, is Beaver?"
"My... um... stuffed... Beaver?"
She stared at him. "Mulder, have you been drinking at all tonight?"
"No!" he protested. "I'm completely sober."
"Right." She looked around his apartment, aware of the severe destruction. She faintly smelled gunpowder. It was then and there that she decided to just not ask. "Mulder, it's late. I'm going to leave you to your cleaning, and um... go home. To bed."
He rubbed the back of his neck. He wanted to ask her to stay, in case the thing came back, but he knew she would refuse. "Night, then," he mumbled. She patted his shoulder, looking at him in an odd way one more time, before leaving. He sighed and laid himself back down on his couch, wondering what the statistics of going back to his basketball dream were.