Notes and Disclaimers at end

Sleeping Beauty

by Gwendolen

With a soft snick the door closed behind him and Walter S. Skinner finally allowed himself to relax. Home sweet home, he thought and couldn't help but shake his head ruefully at the thought. His apartment still didn't feel like home, not when he spent the majority of his days and hours in his office.

He slowly walked through his dark apartment, finding his way by the weak light from outside and by routine. Moving up the stairs he began to loosen his tie and to unbutton his shirt. A shower and his bed was all he wanted now.

The week had been long and exhausting. In some ways he was glad that tomorrow would be Saturday and that he didn't have to go to the office unless there was an emergency demanding his attention. All he wanted to do was sleep and forget the bureau and everything about it for the next two days.

He walked into his bedroom, dropped his jacket and tie on the chair and stopped surprised when he saw the dark lump in his bed. Reaching for his gun he moved closer until he recognised the sleeper and a smile crossed his face. The man in his bed turned and opened his eyes slightly.

"Walter?" a sleepy question.

"Yes, go back to sleep. I'll be there soon."

An even sleepier murmur was the answer. "'kay."

Skinner moved into the bathroom and grabbed a quick shower, feeling himself relax as the warm water pounded over his shoulders. Naked, he padded back into the bedroom and pulled on a clean pair of shorts before he moved back to the bed where he stood for a moment and watched the man entangled in his sheets.

In the diffuse half-light of the bedroom the younger man was a pale shadow sprawled across the surface of the bed. He had the covers pulled all the way up over his shoulders, only his head sticking out and one foot, tempting Walter to tickle it. It took some will-power on his side but in the end he won the war with his own little devil.

Instead Skinner settled on the side of the bed and watched the other man for a moment. Asleep he looked younger than usual, less guarded. The lines that stress, pain, and loss had etched on his face were smoothed out. A fine-boned face with pale skin and dark hair, beautiful even with those intense eyes closed. Just breathtaking.

Sometimes Skinner wondered what the younger man saw in an old man like him, why he came back. There were prettier men outside, younger men and many better suited for this than him. Could it be the lure of danger? The constant threat of discovery?

Skinner marvelled at the trust the man in his bed displayed, sleeping as if nothing could harm him. Maybe he felt safe here and maybe that was the reason why he always came back, even if he couldn't stay for longer than a weekend.

"Walt?" the low voice interrupted his thoughts.


"Come to bed?"

He laughed softly and moved under the sheets. The younger man cuddled closer, burrowing into Walter's warmth and he wrapped his arms around the naked body.

"I'm glad that you're here," Skinner whispered into the soft dark hair.

"Me too."

His hands stroked slowly over the smooth, muscular back, enjoying the feeling of the warm body pressed against his own. The younger man shifted slightly and sighed, rubbing himself against Skinner.

"Tired?" Walter asked, lazily kneading the muscles under his hand, noting how the tension slowly drained away and the muscles became smooth.

"Yeah," a soft exhalation. "Long day, hard week."

"Me too."

Walter settled deeper into bed, tugging the covers around himself and his young lover, enjoying the warmth and closeness. It had been too long since the other man had stayed here for the night. Most of the time their meetings were brief and passionate. There was rarely time in their life for this simple loving.

"Sorry, but I'm too tired for anything." The words were mumbled into his shoulder and barely audible.

Walter dropped a kiss on the dark head resting on his shoulder. "That's okay, we have all weekend." A brief flare of worry touched him and he had to reassure himself. "You are able to stay, aren't you?"


"Good." Satisfied with the answer Skinner closed his eyes, listening to the even breathing of the other man, revelling in the closeness.

He felt sleep drawing closer when the other man suddenly laughed softly.

"What?" he wanted to know.

"You know, this really beats spending the night on your balcony."

Walter grinned, amusement colouring his voice. "I can imagine."

With these words he pulled Alex Krycek closer, again marvelling at the changes in their lives that had brought them together.


Notes and Disclaimers