TITLE: Guilty Pleasures
AUTHOR: Polly - email@example.com
FEEDBACK: Welcome and appreciated
CLASSIFICATION: MSR, pre-episode
SPOILERS: Set just prior to first M&S scene in "Chimera" (the stakeout); little spoilers for lots of earlier episodes
DISCLAIMER: Mulder and Scully belong to CC, 1013, DD, GA, yada, yada, yada
ARCHIVE: If you want it, it's yours; just let me Know.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Written for the Haven December Challenge - see explanation and elements at the end.
All my rowdy betas have settled down ... somewhere (perhaps for a long winter's nap), and I can't find them, so all the errors are mine and mine alone. This is my third try at fanfic; it is dedicated to the Des Moines Jerry Garcia and to all the friends and wonderful authors who have inspired me to keep trying.
SUMMARY: A stakeout, some bubble gum, and some guilty pleasures.
* * *  * * * * * *
Dana Scully leaned back in the worn-out office chair and twisted her neck from side to side, trying to work out the kinks that had settled there. She had spent nearly a week in this room already, with no end in sight. The only bright side to this stakeout of the Dirty Dames strip club was that she and Mulder had drawn the 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift, and she didn't have to spend the entire night in this drafty rat trap.
Scully stretched her arms and brought her elbows down onto the rickety old card table that the previous occupants had so generously left behind. She laced her fingers together and rested her chin on top of her hands, resisting the urge to check her watch one more time. She had already read and re-read every piece of graffiti on the walls and ceiling, and based on the remnants left on the card table, had already guessed everything Agents Henderson and Greenberg had eaten during their 12-hour shift.
That left only one interesting thing to look at in this ice box and she had to admit the view wasn't bad. One of these days, she'd like to find out how her partner did it. She felt rumpled and dirty and in serious need of washing her hair and brushing her teeth, but Mulder looked only slightly different than he had that morning when they gave their report to Skinner. With his tie loosened, shirtsleeves rolled up, and five o'clock shadow, in some ways he looked better. He even still smelled good.
Scully decided she'd rather concentrate on Mulder than think about how she might smell right now. As he peered through the telescope at the club across the street, every few moments he pursed his lips and blew a small bubble, then snapped the gum and chewed more intently, trying for a bigger and better bubble the next time.
Scully didn't realize how long she'd been watching her partner until he pulled back from the scope and turned to look her square in the eye.
"What?" His bark woke her from her stupor.
"Nothing," she replied. "I was just thinking that I don't remember ever seeing you chew bubble gum before."
"No seeds," he said matter-of-factly. "I stopped at the 7-11 this morning, but they were out. So - gum."
Scully nodded slowly in understanding as he turned back to the telescope, but was surprised when he added, "Anyway, bubble gum is a guilty pleasure. So in a way, I was glad they were out of seeds today."
Scully took her chin off her hands, leaned back in the chair, and folded her arms across her chest. "Do you want me to watch for awhile?" she asked, trying to suppress a yawn at the same time.
"No, I'm good," Mulder said, after blowing another small bubble that popped quickly.
"I think you like being a voyeur," Scully teased. "Good to know you'll have something to fall back on if this Bureau gig doesn't work out."
"Fox Mulder - Peeping Tom," Mulder laughed and returned to his work, chewing the gum with renewed fervor.
After a few minutes, Scully could contain her curiosity no longer. "Why is bubble gum a guilty pleasure?" she asked. "I mean it's kind of an odd 'guilty pleasure,' don't you think?"
Mulder drew back from the telescope and rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands. A smile caught the corner of his mouth as he explained. "My dad never let me or Samantha chew gum. He said it was bad for our teeth, which I guess it was. So of course, that made getting my hands on bubble gum my primary objective in life. And I always made Samantha a party to the crime cause I knew the punishment would be less severe if Dad caught *both* of us chewing it. We loved the stuff, and it was forbidden fruit so that made it dangerous. Thus, a guilty pleasure."
Scully tried to picture the Bazooka co-conspirators hiding out under the boardwalk savoring their ill-gotten gain as Mulder continued. "The odd part was that in the beginning I wasn't interested in the gum at all. I just wanted the baseball cards. But dad wouldn't let me buy them because of the 'Pink Menace' that was included with every pack. I guess it was kind of a mini-rebellion on my part. Knowing I was putting one over on the old man, doing something he didn't approve of, and dragging my little sister into it. Same things all kids do, I guess."
Scully nodded her head, remembering her own period of rebellion with her mother's cigarettes. She had even talked Charlie into trying one once. Still, she couldn't help but think that her father would have been more forgiving about her experimenting with cigarettes than Mulder's would have been about something as simple as bubble gum.
"I did almost get caught once," Mulder continued, but luckily I always kept some of my dad's sunflower seeds in my pockets just in case. He was actually proud that I was trying to be more like him. Of course, then I had to eat seeds more often to keep up the lie. I guess that's how my seed habit got started. The footnote to my guilty pleasure."
"And to think I owe your oral dexterity to your father's concern about tooth decay," Scully said suggestively.
"Lucky for you." Mulder waggled his eyebrows and pursed his lips to blow another bubble, but stopped before the sphere could take shape. "What about you, Scully?" he asked. "What about your guilty pleasures?"
"Ah, guilty pleasures," Scully sighed, closed her eyes, and leaned back in the chair. "Where do I begin? How about a nice, long, luxurious bubble bath. Mmmmm." Scully could almost feel the hot water and bath oil soothing her strained muscles.
"A bubble bath?" Mulder questioned. "That doesn't sound like much of a guilty pleasure. You take at least one of those a week."
"Oh, but I'm not talking about your standard run-of-the-mill bubble bath," Scully said, brought out of her hallucination by his comment. "I'm talking about the soak-for-hours kind of bubble bath, with fragrant oils and lots of aroma candles. I'm talking about the kind of bath where you know there are liver eating mutants and mothmen roaming the streets but you don't even care. *That* is a 'guilty pleasure' bubble bath."
Mulder laughed and Scully flashed him a smile. "Oh, and of course there must be music."
"Let me guess," Mulder interrupted. "Bach? Verdi? Copland?"
Scully shook her head and a sheepish grin spread over her lips. "Alan Jackson."
"*Country* music, Scully? You've got to be kidding me."
"My secret is out," Scully giggled. "Then after the bath I'd curl up on the couch in front of a fire, a sizzling trashy romance novel in hand. The smuttier, the better."
Mulder raised an eyebrow and Scully shrugged. "Another guilty pleasure, what can I say?" Mulder shook his head slowly and gave her a tsk-tsk-tsk under his breath, but she continued.
"Let's see, where was I? Oh yes. Bubble bath, candles, Alan Jackson, fire, trashy novel, and two pints of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia all for me. I think that would be Dana Scully's definition of a perfect guilty pleasure evening." Just the thought of it made her want to wrap up this case that much sooner.
"And here I thought you were a nonfat toffuti rice dreamsicle kind of girl," Mulder said. "Now I find out you've got a freezer full of Cherry Garcia."
"Nonfat toffuti rice dreamsicles are for the sensible Dana Scully. We're talking guilty pleasures. Come on, Mulder. What's your 'guilty pleasure' food?"
He didn't even hesitate. "Waffles."
"Waffles?" Scully looked at him in surprise. "Mulder, in the seven years we've worked together, I don't remember ever once seeing you eat a waffle."
"Because it's a guilty pleasure," he said, "sort of like your bubble bath thing. Whenever we're home on a Sunday and there aren't any extraterrestrials menacing society, I go down to this little diner in Alexandria that serves waffles to die for. Waffles like your mother used to make - thankfully not like *my* mother used to make, but probably like your mother did. Warm butter, warm maple syrup. Mmmm, I can almost smell them right now." Mulder sniffed the air and frowned. "Well, on second thought, maybe not."
He put his eye back to the telescope keeping watch over the activities at the Dirty Dames, and added, "Maybe some Sunday morning we can take a bubble bath, listen to Alan Jackson, and then go out for waffles." He didn't look at her, but she was sure there was a twinkle in his eye.
"Then we'd come back and watch a Brady Bunch marathon," Scully said, standing up and stretching her back muscles.
"Why would we want to do that?"
"I thought this was a guilty pleasure Sunday," Scully said. "That's another of mine. 'The Brady Bunch.' I bet I've seen every episode at least 10 times, but every time it's on, I can't help but watch. Sometimes I can even recite the dialog."
"And they call me 'Spooky.'" Mulder looked over at her. "I must say this has been a pretty enlightening conversation. 'Everything you wanted to know about Dana Scully but were afraid to ask.' Are there any other guilty pleasure skeletons lurking in your closet that I ought to know about?"
Scully leaned against the corner of the table and crossed her arms and her ankles. "I'll keep thinking," she said, "but so far all you've gotten to do on this Sunday is chew gum and eat waffles ..."
"Oh, I think I *might* enjoy the bubble bath," Mulder interrupted.
"Mulder, Mulder, Mulder," Scully said, doing her best Jan Brady imitation. "Come on, Mulder, what other guilty pleasures of yours do you want to indulge in on this hypothetical Sunday?"
"Well, after our 'Brady Bunch' marathon, I suppose we could watch a movie," Mulder replied, squinting into the camera lens once more.
"And that would be?"
"If I tell you, I'll have to kill you," Mulder muttered.
"Oh, come on," Scully prodded. "I gave up Alan Jackson and the Brady Bunch. That has to be worth something. What's your guilty pleasure movie, Mulder?"
Mulder leaned back in the chair and looked up at her. "I just don't want you to think less of me as a man, Scully."
"Oh, God, now I *have* to know." She poked his arm with her finger. "Come on, Mulder. Give."
"Ow! Okay." He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, then focused his attention back on the Dirty Dames. "Okay, it's 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.'"
The silence was deafening, but finally she spoke. "Um, 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'? With the flying car? *That* 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'?"
She tried to suppress the laugh, but couldn't. It started as a snicker, grew into a chuckle, and finally graduated into a full-fledged belly-buster. She couldn't stop even when he sat up straight in the chair, crossed his arms in front of him, and stared at her disapprovingly. In fact, it made her laugh harder. Finally, she began to regain control, but had to wipe the tears from her eyes. "I'm sorry, Mulder. I just ... of all the things I imagined, that was just ... well, it wasn't what I expected."
"It *was* written by Ian Fleming, you know. The same guy who wrote James Bond. And it has Benny Hill in it."
"I know, Mulder, but ..." the chortling started again.
"Maybe you'd prefer to watch *your* favorite guilty pleasure movie after the 'Brady Bunch' marathon - *which* I didn't laugh at, I might add." The pout made him all the more adorable.
"Actually, you would probably like my guilty pleasure movie. In a way, it's about time travel."
"In a way?" He was still pouting.
"In the broadest sense," she explained. "It's really about the theory that true love transcends time and place - that there really is such a thing as love everlasting. It's called 'Somewhere in Time.' Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour. A time traveling chick flick."
"Doesn't seem like the kind of movie that would appeal to a girl who rewrites Einstein," Mulder said.
"I guess that's why it's a guilty pleasure," Scully smiled. "It's sappy and sentimental and predictable - normally all the things I hate about a movie. But for some reason it gets me right *here*." Scully placed her hand over her heart. "I pop it in the VCR, put on my fuzzy slippers, and park myself on the couch with a box of Kleenex and another pint of Cherry Garcia. Then I bawl my eyes out, but when it's over my faith in the power of love is reaffirmed."
"You know I'm open to the concept that souls mate for eternity, Scully," he winked at her and then went back to watching the nightclub.
"Yes, I do seem to recall that, Mulder," she said with mock indignation. "Nice try, but you're not getting out of it that easily."
"Out of what?"
"Don't think for one minute that you're going to tell me that 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' is your guilty pleasure movie and not tell me why." Scully turned around and pressed her palms against the table, testing its sturdiness. Satisfied that it would hold her weight, she scooted up to sit on it, leaving her feet dangling above the floor. "Okay, I'm listening."
"Scully, we're supposed to be watching," he said, peering even more intently into the scope.
"*You* want to focus on surveillance? Oooh, this *must* be good," Scully chuckled, running the toe of her boot up his leg. "C'mon Mulder, take a break. Tell me."No answer. "You know I won't let this go so you might as well tell me." She nudged him again with her foot. "C'mon." With a sigh, Mulder pushed back from the scope and swiveled his chair around toward her. "Okay," he said, rubbing his palms on his slacks and keeping his eyes focused there. "'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' was one of the first books my mom read to me. I remember she was *so* excited when the movie came out, and she couldn't wait to take me to see it. I think I was about seven. What I remember most about that day is watching *her* watch the movie. She really loved it, and she kept asking me if I was having a good time. Afterwards we went for ice cream sodas. And the entire way home she kept singing the song. It was just a *really* nice day."
He looked up at her then, the sadness in his eyes making them a deeper shade of green. "Not long after Mom had her stroke, I saw the video in the bargain bin at the video store and I bought it. I watch it every now and then when I want to remember that good day we had before ... well, before everything. I watched it again not long ago." He bit his bottom lip and looked down at the floor, the pain of his mother's death still fresh.
"That's beautiful, Mulder. I'm sorry I laughed. Can you forgive me?"
"Nothing to forgive, Scully," he said looking her in the eye again. "It's a strange choice for a guilty pleasure, I'll admit."
"No stranger than me going to the circus every time it's in town," Scully said. "The big top - another of my guilty pleasures."
He cocked his head slightly as she continued. "When I was a little girl, I loved the circus. Ahab ... my father ... took me for the first time for my fifth birthday. And from that point on, every single year he would take me to the circus. Even if he was at sea when my birthday rolled around, the first chance he had after he came home, we'd go to the circus. I think part of the reason I loved it so much was because it was *our* thing. The circus was too smelly and dirty for Missy, and Charlie was more interested in trucks than elephants. And best of all - it drove Bill crazy. Bill always tried to horn in on whatever Ahab and I would do together - he was so jealous - but he would *never* ask to go with us to the circus. I found out later from Mom that the first time she and Dad took Bill to the circus he was petrified of the clowns. He screamed and cried and they had to leave. They could never get him to go back."
"Big Bad Bill afraid of clowns," Mulder laughed. "That's a little piece of ammunition I won't easily forget."
Scully smiled. "Anyway, my father and I went to the circus every year even after I grew up. The last time was about three months before he died. Since then I've gone each year by myself."
"I would have gone with you," Mulder said, reaching out to take her hand.
"I know," Scully responded, "But it's something I had to do by myself. I watch all the children with their fathers and remember how special my father was to me. Actually, this year I decided that a nice way to honor Dad's memory would be for me to start the same tradition with my nephew, Mattie, when he's old enough. I mean, since I'm reasonably sure that *Bill* won't be taking him to the circus."
Mulder laughed out loud again. "That's a nice guilty pleasure, Scully. But maybe on one of our G.P. Sundays, you can take *me* to the circus instead of Mattie."
"After we watch 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,'" Scully released his hand, stretched again, and returned to the chair behind the table. "You know, Mulder, I seem to recall perusing your limited non-adult video collection once or twice, and I don't ever remember seeing that movie. Where do you have it hidden?"
"Well, actually, it's hiding in plain sight, Scully," Mulder said as he blew another bubble. "Well, not exactly. Camouflaged a bit. You see, there is an X-rated version of that movie called 'Titty Titty Bang Bang.' It has a slightly different plot, though." He flashed her that mischievous smile. "I have the real movie stashed in the case for the X-rated version."
"Ah, very clever," Scully nodded.
"Yeah, but Frohike is going to get quite a shock when he inherits my video collection."It was Scully's turn to laugh as she leaned back in her chair and Mulder returned his attention to the telescope. "I never thought about it much until recently," Mulder said, pausing to blow another bubble, "but I think my mother and 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' are to blame for my interest in those adult videos."
"Why do you say that?"
"Well, think about it, Scully," he said, looking at her again. "The name of the female lead in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' is Truly Scrumptious - possibly the best porn name ever. Why Ian Fleming didn't save that one for a Bond girl, I'll never know. Anyway, I'm just saying that I think my mother unwittingly fed my adolescent sexual fantasies with that story, helping to shape my grown-up sexual fantasies."
Scully snorted. "I should think a man with your vast video collection wouldn't have the time or the need for sexual fantasies."
"I have a very healthy sexual fantasy life, thank you very much," Mulder said. "What about you?"
"Of course. I have fantasies like anyone else."
"Oh sure," Mulder chuckled. "The woman who would be Eleanor Roosevelt for a day. This oughta be good. Okay, Scully, let's hear about your fantasies?"
"We're really running the gamut here," Scully said. "First guilty pleasures, now fantasies. Maybe later we can play Truth or Dare."
"You're avoiding the question," he said, popping another small bubble. "Chicken?"
"Of course not," Scully said, pulling her chair up to the table and folding her hands in front of her. "Well, first of all, the same man is in all my fantasies. He's very smart. And tall. Strong. Very good looking. Distinguished profile. He's charming. A snappy dresser. The man looks wonderful in anything ... or nothing, if you get my drift."
Mulder nodded, "Uh-huh. Go on."
"He's sensitive and romantic. He always knows exactly what to say. And in every fantasy I have, I massage his scalp and whisper sweet nothings in his ear."
"Uh-huh," Mulder said, running a hand through his hair. "Does this Adonis have a name?"
"Of course," Scully sighed. "Assistant Director Walter Skinner."
Scully giggled at Mulder's frown. "What's the matter, Mulder? Jealous?"
"No," he said. "I guess I just never realized we'd been fantasizing about the same person all these years."
Scully laughed heartily and rested her chin on her still folded hands. "Okay," she said, "Let's hear about your fantasies, Mr. Active Fantasy Life."
"That's easy," Mulder replied, leaning back again and closing his eyes, deep in thought. "In my fantasies the scenarios may change, but the partner always remains the same - a short redhead."
"Very funny. No, this short redhead is a 'she'. Sometimes in my fantasies I'm a World War II foot soldier trapped behind enemy lines, and she's the saucy French waitress who hides me in the wine cellar below the cafe where she works."
Scully raised an eyebrow.
"Sometimes, she's the plantation owner's daughter, and I'm the stable boy who takes care of her daddy's thoroughbreds. Every day she comes to ride and while she's waiting for me to saddle her horse, she smacks her hand with her riding crop - sometimes there's a lot of leather in my fantasies, Scully. Anyway, suddenly, the horse bolts and I push her out of the way, but I get trampled in the process and she nurses me back to health."
Scully raised the other eyebrow.
"Sometimes I'm lost in a blizzard and my little redhead finds me in the snow, takes me to her cabin in the mountains, and saves me from freezing to death. Sometimes in that secluded cabin I get appendicitis or some other life threatening problem that requires surgery and she saves my life with her cool head, steady hand, and trusty scalpel."
Scully was out of eyebrows.
"Sometimes in my fantasies there's a mysterious woman who has become enamored of me because of my fantastic body, engaging mind, and sparkling personality ..."
Mulder ignored the snort from across the table. "She begins to stalk me, sending me gifts, calling me on the phone. Finally I gently but firmly set her straight, being the gentleman that I am, and tell her there can be nothing between us. Then she flips out, abducts me, and tries to turn me into her sexual plaything. I resist, of course ..."
Mulder cleared his throat. "I resist, of course, because I *know* that my fantasy redhead, my *true* love, is searching for me day and night, night and day. She won't eat, won't sleep, won't rest until she's saved me from this fate worse than death. She keeps searching and searching and searching and I keep resisting and resisting and resisting, and just as my resolve is beginning to crumble, she finds me, kicks the stalker's ass, and takes me home to make me *her* sexual plaything. And we have wild, hot sex every chance we get. And sometimes Skinner's there too."
He finally looked over at Scully, expecting the raised eyebrows and little smirk that greeted him.
"You've given these fantasies quite a bit of thought, Mulder."
"Well, you have to remember that I had nearly seven years worth of fantasies before I decided to take a chance on reality," Mulder said. "A guy can do a lot of thinking in seven years, Scully."
"I see," Scully nodded. "And why is your fantasy life still so active, Mulder? Disappointed with reality?"
"No way." Mulder gave her his most charming smile. "But it's hard to completely forget epics seven years in the making. And besides, the reality enhances the fantasy."
Scully stood up and walked to the other side of the card table, leaning against it in the same spot she had before. "Mulder, I couldn't help but notice a common thread in all these fantasies that you mentioned."
"What was that?" Mulder asked, glancing through the telescope before looking back up at her.
"Well, in each of the scenarios that you described, you're in some sort of peril; and the redheaded heroine ends up saving you."
"That's because fantasy is never very far removed from reality, Scully. The day you walked into my office seven years ago you saved me. And you've saved me every day since. Naturally that reality would be an important part of all my fantasies."
As he turned back to the telescope and the activity across the street, Scully shook her head. 'You always keep me guessing,' he'd told her not long ago. Well, he always kept her guessing too. She thought she knew him so well, but here he was, still unfolding like a flower after seven years.
Scully pushed away from the card table, stretching her back muscles again. "Are you sure you don't want me to take over for awhile, Mulder?" she asked, moving to stand behind him.
"Naw, you can be the voyeur later when the action gets better," Mulder teased as Scully began to run her fingers through his hair. "Hey, that feels nice," he said. "Now I understand what Skinner sees in these scalp massages."
The words had barely left his mouth when the massage stopped. Her arms came around his neck and she quickly unknotted his tie.
"Scully, what are you ..."
"Shhh," was all she said as she began to unbutton his shirt and nibble his earlobe.
"Scully, you're starting something we can't finish," Mulder said, knowing that if he didn't stop her soon, he would be as undone as his shirt.
Her hands still didn't stop, working their way down his chest, tugging on his undershirt to try and release it from the waistband of his pants.
"Scul-lee," he said, grasping her wrists. "Suppose Henderson or Greenberg gets here early? Do you want them to get a bigger eyeful over here than they get across the street?"
She stopped nibbling and rested her chin on his shoulder. "Mulder, first of all, name one time when Henderson or Greenberg has been even one minute early for their shift. And second of all, maybe making out while on a stakeout is one of *my* fantasies. Maybe *I'm* ready for fantasy to meet reality." The nibbling resumed.
"I'm not Scully," she purred. "I'm Monique LaGrange, a member of the French resistance. Or I'm Scarlett O'Leary and my daddy wants you to saddle my horse. Or I could be Sgt. Preston of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police out on avalanche patrol. And you know what they say about the Mounties ... we always get our man."
"Funny," Mulder said, pushing her arms back over his head and pulling her around to sit on his lap. "I hate to bring this up, but when we started this relationship I seem to recall *someone* instituting a 'no whoopee at work' rule."
"Rules are made to be broken, Mulder," she said locking her arms around his neck. "I learned that from you."
"Ah, so there's hope for a dangerous liaison atop the desk in the X-Files office after all, huh?"
"It seems we share a few fantasies, Agent Mulder," Scully whispered, placing a firm kiss on his lips. "I think it's time you got started on fulfilling some of them."
"Well, I'll be glad to oblige you as soon as humanly possible, Scully," he smiled, "especially the one in the office. But that door has a lock and this one doesn't. So you know we can't. Not here."
"Party pooper," she said, giving him one more kiss and extracting herself from his lap. She stretched and yawned as Mulder peeked into the telescope's eyepiece again.
"All this talk of guilty pleasures has me wishing there was a Starbucks in this neighborhood," Scully said. "I could sure go for a Grande Vanilla Latte with extra foam."
"Latte. What happened to the days when there was just coffee? That's what's wrong with our civilization today, you know?"
"I need sustenance before we get into a philosophical discussion about coffee bars bringing about the downfall of civilization as we know it," Scully said. "I'm going to go down to that place on the corner and get some tea. Do you want something?"
"Coffee," he said bluntly, to underscore his earlier point. "Just plain coffee. You want me to go?"
"No, I need to stretch my legs. I'll go. I'll be back in ten."
"Not if they're watching 'The Brady Bunch' down there at that place on the corner." He gave her a wicked smile, blew another bubble, and focused his attention back on the job at hand. "Be careful."
"Always," she said, patting the service weapon at her back. "Don't get into any trouble while I'm gone."
"Who? Me?" he said, not looking up. "I'm just gonna sit here and indulge in my guilty pleasure, Scully. Too bad that you can't indulge in any of yours while we're here."
"Yeah, too bad." Scully headed for the door, a smile crossing her lips. She paused in the doorway to take a look back at her partner, engrossed in the work but still attempting to create the perfect bubble. Shirt unbuttoned as she had left it, relaxed, all the worries of the universe held at bay for the time being. It was her favorite Mulder look, the man/child combination always evident when he slept, but sometimes visible when the circumstances were right.
'If you only knew, Mulder,' she thought, as she pulled the door closed. If he only knew that she had been indulging in a guilty pleasure all day. Bubble baths, Alan Jackson, romance novels, Cherry Garcia, saccharine sitcoms, maudlin movies - they were all good. But gazing at Fox Mulder - that was the best 'guilty pleasure' of all.
* * *  * * * * *
This was written for the Haven December Challenge, the subject of which was to finish a challenge that you didn't finish previously - which for me was the Haven *November* Challenge. The subject of *that* challenge was Guilty Pleasures - write a fic with your guilty pleasure front and center. I had decided not to participate in this challenge because after thinking about it for quite a while, I realized I didn't *have* a guilty pleasure fic - I read them all and I don't feel the least bit guilty! But then I decided to cheat a bit and try a fic where Moose & Squirrel discuss *their* guilty pleasures, using some of the ideas that were mentioned in the Guilty Pleasures Thread in the Haven Message Board Fanfic Folder. Due to real life complications, I didn't get the fic finished in time for the November deadline, but since I was given a reprieve in December, here it is, for better or worse. And the elements of the Challenge were:
A voyeur or an act or being voyeuristic
A search (for something, someone, or a telling of a search, in honor of people searching for fic)
A fear of clowns
A stalker (of something, someone, or a telling of a stalker, in honor of fic stalkers everywhere)