XF Means X-tra Fuzzy...
by Christina M. Simmons

**Standard Disclaimer: Twentieth-Century Fox and 1013 Productions own all of this... characters, series, what-have-you. No copyright infringement intended, no profit turned from this writing... the author is simply trying to amuse herself.**

Author's Note: This is my first foray into humor... and after delving into the world of Laurell K. Hamilton, I'm in a particular sort of mood. This story assumes a budding romance between Mulder and Scully, though undeveloped. As for the rest... well, let's just say that Mulder really isn't himself.

Now Chil the Kite brings home the night
That Mang the bat sets free
The herds are shut in byre and hut
For loosed till dawn are we
Now is the hour of pride and power
Talon and tush and claw
O hear the call
Good hunting all
That heed the jungle law!
  — Rudyard Kipling

It had been a long day... far too long of a day, and far too odd, particularly the ending of it... and Dana Scully wanted nothing more than to curl up on the lumpy hotel mattress, close her eyes, and block out the lingering residue of the case until morning.

She'd given up any attempts at paperwork some hour or so past... Mulder had wanted to go for a late-night run, and had somehow cajoled her into joining him. Upon returning, she'd found any energy for further casework sapped, though Mulder had insisted on reviewing the evidential photos one more time, fixated on this particular case... personally involved, some might say, but that applied to Mulder in most cases.

She hadn't joined him. At two in the morning, one X File seemed to run into another, overlapping and melding into a vague paranormal amalgum... and since suburban werewolves seemed, for some reason, more tangible a case on this particular night, she'd muttered a goodnight to Mulder, coursing the trail within his own mind, and crawled into bed.

She'd only just pulled the covers up to her ear when the bed shook slightly, announcing her partner's arrival, padding up the mattress on all fours... trying to be stealthy about it. Scully squeezed her eyes shut, groaning. Of all the nights, she thought, for her partner to decide he felt frisky... though, in all reality, it could be the full moon.

Mulderrrr... not tonight. Please... She felt the warmth of his body through the blankets, and remained as still as possible, even as he half-draped himself over her shoulder, inviting her to wake up and play. Quite bold for Mulder, really... not at all like him. Maybe he'll give up if he thinks I'm asleep... But Mulder, greatly daring, was now nibbling softly at the back of her neck, showing no inclination towards giving up and turning in himself.

"Mulder... this is NOT the night for you to start with me..." She rolled over to her side, then sat up, looking at her partner, whose amber eyes were sparkling in high good humor as he lounged beside her. He winked at her. Scully pursed her lips, unimpressed. "Sleeping together has never been an issue before this case... and I'll have you know that I'm not about to start in on it now."

Mulder groaned, dropping his head to the mattress, and sighed. "Mulder, please. Don't take this personally." She paused. "Then again, please DO take it personally. If you were really a wolf, that would be one thing. You're soft... you're fuzzy... you're really kinda cute. But you're my partner... and this... this would be INCREDIBLY unprofessional." She thought on that for a moment, then regarded her partner again. "Not to mention, within the confines of this case, it might technically be construed as tampering with evidence."

Mulder, tail drooping and face between his forepaws, wolf-mumbled deep in his throat and gazed at her appeallingly. Odd, how he'd always been effective with the "puppy eyes" even as a human... and now, as a two-hundred-odd pound timber wolf, they were just that much more convincing. Lycanthropy, it seemed, had its benefits, if you knew how to use them.

Scully, this is insane. Look at yourself. You're actually contemplating rubbing your partner's tummy...

And he would, of course, enjoy it immensely... knowing Mulder.

"Mulder, no. It's not even up for discussion. Get off the bed." Mulder, however, only inched closer to her, until his plush-pelted body was pressed against her legs... and, very softly, laid his head in her lap. The brush of his tail waved tentatively, eyes going liquid with tacit pleading. Scully had to fight the urge to giggle... the odd dual image of her partner, as wolf and as human, springing to mind. Somehow, the gesture wouldn't have been entirely out of place from Mulder-the-man, either. She felt the corners of her mouth quirking upwards.

"It's not going to work, Mulder." She pushed at him halfheartedly, and he took her wrist gently in his teeth, growling softly, playfully. She couldn't help laughing at that... "Hey! Let go... I'd whack you with a rolled-up newspaper, but I'm afraid you'd enjoy it too much."

For his part, Mulder rolled to his back, waving all four legs in the air, and whuffed at her, tongue lolling. When she hesitated, he nudged her arm with a cold black nose, making a sound somewhere between a moan and a purr. Scully regarded him for a moment longer, then sighed in resignation, stared blankly at the opposing wall, and obligingly scratched her partner's stomach. The Assistant Director's office materialized in front of her.

They're never going to believe this back in Washington...

"Yes, sir." she intoned, flat-voiced, as Mulder wriggled in pleasure. "Yes, sir. I know the Bureau policies about franternization, sir." Scritch... scritch... scritch... and her partner's eyes started to glaze over. "No, sir, I cannot account for my actions on the nights specified." She paused, and Mulder whined in protest until she resumed. "No, sir, I have nothing whatsoever to say in my own defense.

Execpt, of course, that my partner rather resembled a large fuzzy creature at the time... and he gave me puppy-dog eyes until I rubbed his tummy. Yes, sir, his tummy." She hit just the right spot then, and Mulder's left hind leg began gyrating wildly. Scully sighed, glancing at him sideways. "You'd BETTER not think I'm going to be this indulgent when we get you human again, Mulder."

— finis —