Character: Dana Scully

Fandom: The X-Files

Rating: PG-13

Prompt Cid: This is man talk.

Yuffie: Sexist! SEXIST!!

Cait Sith: Shut your gob, lassie! Vol 2. Week 30

Setting: Season One-ish

AN: For wytchcroft, because you've been so patient. You may put the whip away now.

"Why is it that my room is the one that looks like the a tailgating party gone horribly wrong."

"Because if this were mine room, we'd be watching the Knicks game," Mulder grumbled. Scully felt the cold press of frosted glass against the skin of her bare forearm. "Beer?"

She didn't even bother glancing at Mulder as she took the cold, brown bottle, raising it methodically up to her lips. The bite of lager cut across her tongue, washing away the mix of potato chips and M&M's, the highlights of that evening's dinner thus far. "I have to give it to you, Mulder, if we had to be stuck in Duluth in the middle of a blizzard in February, eating junk food and drinking beer is a good way to pass the time."

"I don't know if watching women's figure skating was quite what I had in mind when I suggested it though." Mulder reached into the Doritos bag between then, crunching in disconsolation as some young girl from some country that had only begun to exist in the last two or three years hurled herself across a sheet of ice at an insane speed.

"Figure skating is a sport, Mulder," Scully defended lightly, ignoring his dubious snort as she popped more M&M's into her mouth. "It's been performed at the Olympics since the late 19th century.

"The fact you just used the word 'performed' in that sentence automatically disqualifies it as a sport." He nodded with the assurance of one who felt he had the upper hand in this argument. "Sports are 'played', Scully, to perform makes you an artist."

"When was the last time you performed a triple-axle, Mulder?"

"I'm not insane enough to strap knives to my feet and step out on a sheet of ice."

"I'm just saying that it takes a great deal of skill, athleticism, and coordination to get out there and do what they do."

She pulled slowly from her beer as the little girl floated across the eyes, priming herself for a jump. She felt her own muscles tense along with the skaters as with impossible speed the girl threw herself up into the air, spinning once, twice, three times, hanging above the ice like a sequin-frosted ballerina before landing on her blade and then….

"Ouch," Mulder winced visibly beside her as the girl's leg slipped out from under her, sending her careening across the slippery ice with nothing more than Lycra and nylon to protect her.

"Still don't think of it as a sport?" She nudged her partner with one, bare toe, managing to prod the knee of his suit slacks. He lay stretched out on her bed, his upper body propped against one of her room pillows and two he snagged from his own hotel bed.

"Even dancing has a certain element of contact danger." He shifted his long legs slightly, disrupting the mountain of jerky and string cheese wrappers, reaching for another beer. "So tell me why you are making me watch this again?"

"It's the Olympics," she shrugged, picking at her bag of potato chips for one that was big enough to pluck out of the bag. She always hated the broke, crumbled ones. "Don't you have any Olympic spirit?"

"I think when I was seven and I still thought running for a gold medal would be cool."

"And you didn't stick with it?" She had seen Mulder run. He might have just have reached an Olympics or two if he'd pursued it, he was disgustingly fit…even with the mountain of junk food consumed by the two of them on that cold, snowy evening stuck in the middle of a blizzard.

"Ehh, didn't take. Fell in love with baseball and basketball. Ran some cross-country in high school, but didn't care that bad about it."

"My family and I obsessed on the Olympics, I first remember the ones in '68. Dad loved it if he was home on shore leave. He would get so into it he'd yell at the commentators on TV."

"You can't make me believe your father the rear admiral would willingly watch figure skating."

"Why? You are?"

"Good point," he opened his beer with a snap of a bottle opener and squinted at the screen. "So whose the favorite in this…contest?" He gestured vaguely with his beer bottle, frowning vaguely at the television screen.

"That's the whole controversy. The favorite was a US skater, Nancy Kerrigan."

"Was…why isn't she anymore?"

"The big scandal was that her US rival's husband attacked her with a tire iron and whacked her across the knee."

"Damn," Mulder whistled soft and low, snickering as he sipped his beer. "Her rival part of the mob?"

"No, but Tonya Harding does look like she could fit in Jersey somewhere. I think her hair alone is what's contributing to climate change in this world."

"So is this what women do watching figure skating, make catty observations about the women's hair and outfits and hope someone falls spectacularly on the ice?"

"Well, you hope your person wins," Scully shrugged, reached for a package of string cheese.

"You know, guys never have this discussion while watching sports. I don't look at Michael Jordan and think, 'you know I don't think bald works for him, and God those shorts are too tight. I hope he biffs that dunk so my boy Patrick Ewing can look better.'"

"Shut up," she smacked his shoulder lightly, not enough to hurt, but he feigned injury all the same. "Do not mock my sports."

"It's not a sport."

"Do we need this discussion again?"

"No," he sighed, tipping the brown bottle to his lips again, staring mildly at the television. "What is it, you think, that women see in figure skating? I mean not many men watch it, usually. I can hardly get you to look twice at a Yankee game, but you put a guy in tights and sequins, and you are hooked."

"I don't know, you're the psychologist, you tell me?"

"I am gathering evidence, so tell you your opinion, Dr. Scully. What makes you all tingly inside when you watch people twirling across the ice?"

"I don't get tingly," she defended herself lightly, pulling at her string cheese with her teeth. "I just appreciate it. Unlike baseball, where it's three hours of people smacking around a baseball with a bat and playing catch, there is artistry to this. All baseball needs is good hand and eye coordination and the ability to strike things violently. Figure skating requires balance, rhythm, and the ability to be powerful and graceful all at the same time. And I think on some level that is attractive to women, the idea of grace and power."

"So you are saying in a strange, intellectual way that it is a sort of turn on for women, a way they can comprehend physical sport?"

"Yeah, I guess?" Scully wouldn't have put it that way, but then she wasn't a social scientist either. "Why is it that men don't like it, you think?"

"I think men as a whole tend to be attracted to skill an strategy, as well as a certain amount of potential violence in their games, a kinetic energy you don't find in more sedate sports like this. We don't need the grace, just the power." He paused thoughtfully as the next skater took the ice, a tall, buxom girl, with a skintight outfit that clung to every curve on her body…and she had several. "Though, I think that there are certain things about figure skating men could go to appreciate."

It didn't take a psychologist or even a doctor to recognize the look in Mulder's eye or what it was about. "You are totally checking her out, aren't you?" She should be disgusted by the action, but somehow couldn't bring herself to be. It was Mulder; a particularly curvaceous Coke bottle would excite him.

"Scully, you force me to watch a sport with young, nubile women in skin-tight outfits, holding the sort of flexible positions that adult film stars would kill for, and you don't expect me to react the way any red-blooded male would?"

"You said red-blooded men wouldn't watch figure skating."

"I didn't say red-blooded men wouldn't pause to check out a girl's ass once in a while."

"You are such a pig sometimes, Mulder."

"I won't deny that, Scully, I thought my magazine collection in the office was a dead giveaway."

"So was the video on the VCR."

"That so wasn't mine," he denied again, without the vehemence he normally showed.

"Yours or not, doesn't it bother you that you are partnered with a woman, and yet you objectify women left and right?"

"I don't objectify you, Scully, I take you for the real, flesh and blood, intellectual woman you are."

"Thanks…I think." She frowned slightly, unsure on whether or not she should take that as an insult. She decided against it and moved on. "Truth be told, however, we women objectify men, we just refuse to admit it."

"Do you objectify me?" His waggled an eyebrow suggestively over his beer bottle, a suggestive smirk tugging at his full mouth.

Scully's words to her sister regarding Mulder floated to mind for a brief, horrendous moment. "He's cute…in a tall, dark, handsome, Byronic sort of way. If you like them angst-ridden and brooding, with a touch of jerk for flair."

If she lived to be the last woman on earth she would never admit that to him.

"No, never objectify you in the least."

Scully sensed he knew she was lying through her teeth. But he wisely chose to say nothing as he returned to watching the television screen, reaching for the bag of M&M's.

"So who do you think will win this?" He at least tried to sound interested as the buxom girl finished her program, smiling for the audience as she did so.

"I don't know, the US has some strong skaters. And there is a Ukrainian skater who's very good, she might win it."

"Ukraine….former Soviet state?"

"Yep," she nodded after a moments pause. It was stunning how quickly the entire geography of Europe changed in just a few short years. Countries that she had never learned about in school now existed.

"You know, since the fall of the Soviet machine in Eastern Europe there have been overwhelming reports of UFO activity coming out of there in the last few years, some reports dating back to pre-1947."

"Really?" She muttered this with the sort of bored enthusiasm that she hoped conveyed the message she didn't care.

He clearly didn't get the message. "The KGB hid the evidence for years, not wanting the West to realize the phenomenon was occurring over there. Some say that the meteor strike in Tunguska in the early 20th century wasn't in fact a meteor but perhaps the very first known example of contact of an alien race ever recorded in modern Europe."

"Shut up, Mulder, I'm watching figure skating."

Her flippancy stunned him to pause, looking vaguely hurt. "Fine. I'll just go back to staring at girl's asses."

"OK, as long as I get to comment on baseball players butts when next you force me to watch a Yankee game."

"Like hell I'll ever convince you to watch a Yankee game, but if I ever do, fair deal."

"I'll watch if we can have another junk food party like this." An impish grin crept across her face, the childish delight of doing something silly, fun, and completely irresponsible.

"What, Dana Scully having another evening of eating processed food and things with a fat content that would make her heart explode? Is it the sign of the end times?"

"A girl can not live on salads alone."

"No, just most of the time. I tell you what, opening day of the season, my apartment, junk food bonanza, I'll watch the game you ogle the players. You can tell me which ones are cute."

"Deal," she laughed, tossing a package of string cheese at him. "And I'll let you drool over all the pretty nineteen-year-olds in sequins you want."

"Good, because I was going to do it anyway." He winced again under another slap of her palm against his shoulder.