TITLE: Fielder’s Choice
RATING: um … soft R for some innuendo/situations and one really bad word
ARCHIVE: IMTP for the first two weeks, after that just tell me where to send the child support payments.
FEEDBACK: be brutal, this is what my insomnia lives for.
REFERENCES: The Unnatural
CATAGORY: Scully POV, MSR … um, general flirty fun and games
DISCLAIMERS: I make no claims to the characters herein, I’m just abusing them to whittle away at the near catatonic lethargy brought about by the unrelenting desert induced boredom and too little sleep.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Lisa asked for sports related submissions for IMTP … how could I refuse
Hmmm. 2 parts consternation, 1 part shock. No discernible level of pain and not prefaced by the loud thump of a heavy object falling on him. Mulder Crisis Scale rating: 1.2.
I go back to unloading the dishwasher.
Yeah, that was confusion and a little bit of outrage, but he’s headed in the wrong direction of the house.
“I’m in the kitchen,” I call back, taking the last of the plates out and stacking it on the top of the pile on the counter before reaching over to load the second set. God help me, I’ve become my mother. I never thought I’d see the day I had ‘seasonal dishes’. I’ve even adopted her habit of running them through the dishwasher one last time before putting them away for the season and washing them before using them again.
My maternal musings are interrupted by a thud behind me. I glance over my shoulder to see Mulder, arms outstretched as he leans against the doorway, with his finger stuck in a book. Well, it’s one of the more mundane things he’s stuck his finger in through the years. Not the most fun though.
He’s still working that shock and outrage thing. This should be interesting.
“Yes, Mulder. Now that we’ve established that I’m me and my name is Scully, what?” I smirk and put another glass in the top rack.
“What’s this?” he says, stepping out of the doorway and raising the book.
“That appears to be one of my high school year books. Where did you find it?”
“It was in the box your mother brought over that you shoved in the back of the office closet.”
“And you opened it because?” I draw out the last syllable, still trying to figure out where he’s going with this.
“It said ‘Dana — high school’ on it,” he says it like it’s the most logical reason on the planet.
Of course. God forbid he not snoop. This is why we don’t have a cat. Mulder’s curiosity is bad enough.
“You lied to me.”
If I knew what yearbook he had, I might have a clue what he’s talking about.
“About?” I ask, opening the cabinet under the sink to grab the dish soap. Standing up, I’m confronted with a picture of myself in my high school uniform.
“You said you’d never hit a baseball before,” he huffs.
“I hadn’t. I played softball.” He gets indignation, I get to be cheeky.
“You were a PITCHER!”
“And a damn good one, too.” I squirt the soap into its cup, close the cap, raise and lock the door on the dishwasher, then hit the ‘on’ switch. I cross my arms over my chest, soap bottle dangling from my right hand and lean against the counter to face him. “What’s your point?”
“Well… uh… why didn’t you say anything that night?”
Now that’s the most ridiculous thing he’s said… well since we left the office yesterday. I uncross my arms, drop the bottle behind me and pull myself up until I’m sitting on the counter.
“And forego that great baseball lesson?” I grab the front of his jeans and pull him to me, crossing my ankles behind his thighs and draping my arms on his shoulders. “Now why,” kiss just below his right ear, “would I do,” kiss the underside of his jaw, “something as silly,” kiss the corner of his mouth, “as that?” contact.
We spend a couple seconds… hours… lifetimes… whatever… kissing before I pull back. I can’t help the grin I know I’m sporting. I think I’ve short-circuited his wise-ass mode for the time being.
“Can you still do it as well as you used to?”
“I think we did it pretty well the other night.” Yeah, I know what he means. I just like teasing him
“Pitch, Scully. Pitch.”
“God, Mulder. That was over twenty years ago. I can’t think of anything I did at sixteen that I can do as well now.”
“Bet I can think of one thing you do better now than you did back then,” he says with an eyebrow waggle.
“Oh yeah.” He leans in to kiss me again before pulling me off the counter and carrying me out of the kitchen.
Just before noon
I’m sitting at the desk in the office, attempting to write checks, but finding myself staring out the window more than I should be when I feel him come up behind me. He wraps his arms around my shoulders and kisses the side of my neck before speaking.
“It is far too gorgeous a day for you to be locked in here working.”
“I’m not working. I’m paying bills. You know, those monthly financial obligations required of us so that we can remain living in this house?” He covers my eyes with one hand and spins the chair so that I’d be facing him if I could actually see him.
“You talk too much.” I laugh. If either of us is guilty of ‘talking too much’, I’d say it’s him. He kisses me to curb the laughing, but it doesn’t stop me from smiling.
“Close your eyes,” he tells me as he takes his hand away and raises my own to cover my eyes. “And KEEP them closed,” he says just before kissing the hollow of my throat.
“Feeling a little frisky, partner?”
“Just trying to keep you on your toes,” he replies then kisses the top part of my left leg just below the cuff of my shorts.
“On my toes, Mulder? Or are you trying to curl my toes?” I ask as he lifts my leg and presses a kiss to the inside of my knee. “My mouth is up here, ya know?”
“I’m not aiming for your mouth,” accented with another kiss to my ankle before he slips the deck shoe I’m wearing off. Toe-latio? I flex my toes once in anticipation of what he may do next and am shocked to feel him put a heavier shoe back on. What the hell? I jerk upright in the chair, dropping my hands to the arms while my eyes fly open to reveal him kneeling in front of me lacing up the cleat he just put on my foot and wearing that old Grays jersey I haven’t seen in years.
Again I say…
“What the hell! Mulder, where did you find those cleats?”
“We’re in the land of the Hoya, Scully,” he tells me, dropping my left foot and pulling the shoe off my right. “Pro-shops abound.”
“Last time I check, Georgetown was noted for its basketball team, not baseball.”
“That’s probably why the cleats were on sale,” he laces up the second cleat and stands up, offering me his hand. “Come on, Scully.”
“Where are we going?” I ask, just a tad apprehensive.
“I told you. It’s too gorgeous a day to be indoors,” he says, taking both my hands and pulling me to my feet. “We’re going out to play.”
A little after noon
I’m toeing the dirt in front of the rubber on the pitcher’s mound, still baffled at how I wound up out here.
“I looked through all your yearbooks, Scully,” Mulder yells over to me from home plate. I look up to see him, catcher’s mask on top of his head, flick his wrist to indicate that he’s going to toss the softball to me.
“And?” I shout back, raising my glove to tell him to send it over.
“Why did you only play one season?” He lobs the ball to me.
“I went to a Catholic high school, Mulder.” I take the ball out of my glove and spin it in my hand, getting a feel for the weight again.
“So, let’s just say the coach and the nuns felt my temperament was unsuited for competitive sports.” I finish as I swing my arm in a clockwise motion to loosen the muscles.
“In other words, you took it just a little too seriously.” He’s grinning at me. Bastard. Cute bastard, but still a bastard.
“And you didn’t?” I do a soft underhand pitch as a warm up.
“I played right field. I was never as overzealous about it as some of the guys on my team. Most notably the pitchers.” He tosses the ball back to me, lowers the catcher’s mask and waves his hands at me. “So let’s see what you’ve got.”
“Shouldn’t we be at home for that, or are you trying to get us arrested for public indecency?” I send over another pitch, a little harder than the first, but still not up to full speed.
“Shaddup and pitch, meat.” He stands and tosses the ball back. I catch it and give him the biggest grin I can in response. He gets back into a catcher’s crouch and puts his mitt up as a target.
I dig my left toe into the dirt near the rubber more, making the little ditch for support to push from and go into a wind up. My release isn’t nearly as perfect as it was when I was a kid, but the ball still makes a satisfying ‘whump’ as it lands in his mitt.
“Not bad,” he yells, tossing it back to me. “But I know you can do better.”
I roll the ball in my hand, locating the seams and laying my index and middle fingers over two of them to increase the roll on my release. The impact with his mitt is louder than the last and I can see him smiling through the mask. “That’s what I’m talking about,” he whoops.
I catch the ball and swing my arm again, feeling the burn in muscles I haven’t used in this manner for years. It does feel pretty good. I send a few more pitches his way, each increase in speed until he stands up from the last one shaking his catching hand. I’m guessing that one stung a bit. Good.
“Are you tired already, old man?” I can’t help but tease him a little. I saw the wince when he stood up after having been crouched down like that for so long.
“Not even close, Scully.” He walks around the edge of the batting cage and pulls a bat out of the duffel he brought with us. “Now the real fun begins.” He walks back into the batter’s box and takes a few practice swings.
“And who’s going to toss the ball back to me while you flail away at air?” I grin.
“Laugh it up. You should be more worried about who’s going to run it down when I send it over your head into the street.” He bends into a batter’s stance and winks at me. “Bring it on, baby.”
‘Baby’ under normal circumstance would earn him a beaning. I’ll let him live for the moment.
I send one in low to see if he’ll chase one in the dirt. He stands up straight instead and glares at me before walking to the backstop, picking up the ball and tossing it back to me. “Ball one. No fancy stuff. Straight heat. I want to see what you’ve REALLY got.” Another wink.
I dig in and send a fastball back to him. Then smile at the clang when it connects with the backstop as he misses it by a mile.
“Strike one.” I wink at him.
I laugh as I catch the return and grind the ball into my glove waiting for him to get ready. I get a little more speed on the second pitch, but he manages to tip it. It shoots straight up and arcs back before landing on top of the backstop.
“Strike two,” I yell as he walks behind the cage to get the ball.
“Yeah, but I almost caught up to you on that one.” He tosses the ball back to me and swings the bat again then pulls back into his stance. “I’ll get you this time.”
“You just keep telling yourself that.” I go into my wind up for another pitch.
Anyone who has been around the game long enough will tell you that the crack of a bat when it connects with the sweet spot for a home run has a very distinct sound. That sound is then sometimes followed with yet another distinct sound from the pitcher…
And that’s why the nuns felt my temperament was unsuited for the game.
I’d turned to watch the ball sail over the fence and hide my face behind my glove when I realize the epitaph that accompanied its departure. I slowly turn back to face Mulder and see him biting his lower lip in a valiant attempt not to laugh.
“Scully.” He lays his hand over his heart, feigning shock.
“Oh shut up, Mulder,” I drop my hands back to my sides, still flush with embarrassment. “It’s not like you’ve never heard me swear before.”
“Let me guess. That was a fairly common response to your getting tattooed.”
“Yes.” Don’t laugh at me, Mulder. I know where you sleep.
“I’m sure your folks were so proud.” He’s losing the fight against laughing.
“Can we go now?”
“Not yet, I still have to take my victory lap.” He flips the bat to the side and slowly starts to jog towards first base.
So I do what any rational person would do in my position. I threw my glove at him and then ran after him.
He’s sitting on the couch, reading the paper with the TV blaring when I walk in. I walk over to stand in front of him and pull the paper out of his hands. He blinks twice and then curls one corner of his mouth up when he takes in what I’m wearing.
“That is my jersey, Scully.”
“Yes, it is,” I say, straddling his lap.
His hands slid up my thigh and come to rest on my hips.
“You’re not wearing anything under my jersey, Scully.” He’s observant, my Mulder.
“No, I’m not.” I blow softly just below his ear before kissing him there.
“And what are you doing in my jersey, Scully?” he asks, sliding his hands up my back.
“Fielder’s choice.” A quick kiss to the lips. “Allowing the batter to get to first base.”
“Correct me if I’m wrong,” he slides his left hand forward to cup my breast, “but I think I’m rounding second, headed for third and about to score.” He turns us to lay me on the couch and leans in for another kiss.
“I think you’re right.”
“It ain’t proper and it ain’t cooth, but folks remember what you do in nothing but cowboy boots”