Title: IT CAN'T ALL BE ANGST (1/1)
SkinnerKrycek FEBRUARY CHALLENGE:
a bit of fun.
Date: February, 2000
OR, if you're getting bounced due to the
anti-spam filter my server has added, try
DISCLAIMER: Yadda, yadda, yadda...I know, they don't
belong to me.
NOTE: Belongs in the CHANCE ENCOUNTERS universe.
NOTE 2: For those of you who live without benefit of snow, let me
just say that ice on water means skating, snow on hills means skiing
and/or tobogganing, and snow on front lawns...well, frogdoggie, Diana
Williams and I all know what that's for!
"Twelve fucking inches of snow! This is Washington
D.C., for Christ's sake: not Washington State. What
Needless to say, Walter S. Skinner, Assistant Director
at the Federal Bureau of Investigation was not pleased
with this surprise bounty from Mother Nature.
It had been bad enough trying to get to work this
morning when there had been only a couple of inches of
the stuff. At least his bureau car came equiped with
all-season radials. But most of the people on the
Beltway in the morning rush just had regular tires on
their cars which meant fender benders galore. It had
taken him over two hours to get to the office, instead
of the usual thirty-five minutes.
He could have stayed home, but no, he had an important
meeting scheduled for that morning with some of the
Upper Floor and Justice, so he had to go to the office.
Only to find that Justice and the Upper Floor had
cancelled, without advising him.
Kim, who had finally also made it in, brought him some
coffee along with the news that more snow was on its
way. Wisely, he sent her home right then and there.
Stupidly, he stayed to finish some work.
So here it was four o'clock, in the eerie light of a
rare mid-winter storm, and he was stuck somewhere on a
street in a city that had so little experience with
snow that it didn't even have the machinery required to
push it out of the way. He rested his head on the
steering wheel and went through his repetoire of curses
until he felt somewhat more...well, not calmer, but at
least more resigned to the fact that he was not getting
home any time soon.
It was going on to seven when he pulled into the
driveway of the house he shared with an ex-Consortium
assassin. Alex, he was pleased to note, had shovelled
the driveway clean so that he could drive straight into
the garage. Except that he couldn't. The damn remote
wouldn't work. He left the car where it was, got out
into the still snowing night and started up the path to
the front door.
Something made him hesitate.
A feeling that...someone was watching. He stopped,
looked around. There was no one that he could see in
the light from the surrounding houses.
He shrugged, chalked it up to the tension of the drive
home and took another couple of steps toward the front
door and its welcoming light.
He stopped again, sure he had heard something.
He put down his briefcase, pretended to be looking for
his keys in his pockets, all the time carefully
reaching for the Smith and Wesson he carried on his
He had his hand on the grip when he heard the sound
again. He started turning and...
Got hit by a snowball, right on the side of the face.
The snow from the disintegrating ball forced his
He was absolutely stunned. Whatever he had been
expecting, this was not it. He stood as the snow slowly
slid off his cheek.
And he heard it again, the noise that had bothered him,
that had gotten his attention.
The sound of a soft giggle.
Bailey and Sarah. It had to be them. Who else would
behave this way? Someone should tell them that
throwing snowballs was dangerous. He reached into his
pocket, removed his handkerchief, took off his glasses
and wiped them clean of the melting snow. He put his
handkerchief away, put his glasses back on and turned
to confront the girls.
Only to be hit in the chest by another snowball.
Some of the spatters dotted his glasses again.
Skinner was not pleased. He was not in a mood to put
up with this. He was tired, stressed. All he wanted
was to go into his nice warm house, take off his suit,
put on some comfy clothes, pour himself a large drink
and vent to his sympathetic lover.
"Girls!" he called out.
Another snowball hit him.
Someone out there giggled.
"Girls!" he bit out.
This time the snowball missed him. Barely.
And with that came the realization that the giggling
sounds came from the now bare walnut tree in the front
yard, but that the snowball had come from the side of
Only a muffled giggle answered his call.
With a grimace, he brushed the snow off his coat. Out
of the corner of his eye he caught a shadowy form make
its way to the far side of the car.
This time he ducked as the snowball came wizzing
"Alex! For God's sake, what the fu..." He caught
himself. Unless he was much mistaken, there were two
sets of very acute ears listening to him from the
security of the walnut tree.
He stood, legs akimber, fists on hips, glaring into the
"Alex, what kind of example are you setting. You know
that throwing snowballs can be dange..."
A white splatter of snow decorated his right shoulder.
Skinner looked down at the snow that clung to the wool
of his coat. He scooped it off, held it in his hand
and carefully examined it.
Wet, sticky stuff.
When he was a kid, they used to call this perfect
He closed his hand tightly on it, opened it and found a
nicely compact ball of snow.
He caught the movement from the front of the car to the
back. At that angle, Alex would hit him on the left.
So, with timing that had irritated his siblings to no
end, he turned just as the snowball came over the trunk
of the car.
He bent and quickly scooped a pile of snow and was
packing it hard as he rose. With a quick throw he had
perfected on the baseball field of his youth, the ball
went sailing over the trunk of the car and....Thump!
Ah, thought Skinner, gotcha!
He bent and scooped again, made another snowball and
threw it before he even straightened. He didn't need
the self-satisfied male laughter to tell him he'd
missed. But his next shot didn't.
The giggles in the tree turned to laughter and
encouragement as the two men tried to get each other.
Skinner had the problem of being easily seen by the
light of the front door, but then his night vision was
still pretty good and he could make out the darker form
that tried to get out from behind the car. And if he
crouched real low, he had some protection from the bank
of snow that Alex had created when he'd cleared the
It was obvious from their advantage point that the
girls were keeping score: Bailey encouraged Alex while
Sarah cheered every one of Skinner's hits.
"He's still three up on you, Mr. Skinner!" she screamed
when he managed to get Alex on the back as he made a
dash for the better position of behind the tree.
Using a rapid fire routine, Skinner bent, formed and
threw, determined to even the score.
The sound of Alex's laughter, the giggles and cheering
of the girls made him forget the mood he had been in
when he'd arrived.
As he got Alex on the arm he'd raised to protect his
face, Skinner's laughter joined the others'. He was
breathless from trying to catch Alex while ducking the
missiles directed his way. And Alex was having an
easier time in the deep snow since he was wearing jeans
and a jacket. Skinner's dress pants, his long coat
weighed him down.
Bailey's mother called the girls from the back door.
Laughing at the picture of Alex and Skinner covered in
snow, the girls slid out of the tree, yelled their
goodnights and hurried over next door.
Alex stood up to wave at them, offering a perfect
target for Skinner's last two snowballs. He grinned
happily: they were even. But then, his grin grew a
bit wicked; there had to be payment for that first
Alex turned to make some comment and realized that that
grin did not bode well for him: it might be a very
good idea to get away from his lover.
He tried to get to the front door by feinting a dash to
the right but then as he went left, a weight hit him
mid-chest and he found himself flat on his back staring
up at an even more wicked grin.
"Walter," he wheezed, "it was only a joke. I mean all
this snow, who could resist."
"You're right, Alex. All this snow. Who can resist?"
And rubbed the large handful of snow he had in his hand
all over's Alex's face.
Alex squawked loudly. "You're getting it down my
neck!" And realized his mistake as soon as that was
out of his mouth. "Oh, no! I'm not sitting still for
Alex started pushing himself out from under Walter, all
the while amassing a pile of snow in his right hand.
To stop him, Walter dropped his full weight on his
body, reached out to confine the fake hand, holding
"Come on, Walter," laughed Alex, "where's your sense of
"Right here, Alex." Walter grinned and shoved a
handful of snow under Alex's collar and down under his
sweater to the warm skin of his chest.
As Alex squawked even louder, his right hand came up
and Walter found himself gasping as Alex rubbed the
snow on his bald head.
In the free-for-all that followed, both men got as much
snow onto themselves as they got under the clothes of
The final volley ended when Walter managed to get a
handful of cold, wet snow under Alex's belt and into
ALex laughed his way through several colourful Russian
curses, all the while trying to rid himself of the
"Shit! It would serve you right if I couldn't function
properly tonight, you bastard!"
Soaking wet, chilled, skin reddened from the cold and
exertion, Walter thought Alex was even more beautiful
than usual. He lay back in the snow, watching him
mutter to himself, sweeping the snow off his clothes.
"Why are you just lying there?" Alex looked down at
Walter who was staring at the heavens, a small smile on
"I am not just lying here, I'll have you know." And he
stretched his arms out onto the snow and slowly began
moving them back and forth.
Alex smiled at the big man making snow angels on the
front yard. He shrugged, let himself fall backwards
next to Walter and joined him.
"Do you think mine will have horns?" he asked, eyes
blinking back the snow that was lightly falling from
Walter only laughed.
He had to think hard to remember the proper way of
getting up from making angels. It took him a couple of
tries but then he was up and offering Alex his hand.
Alex reached up and let Walter pull him into his arms.
Walter's kiss was a simple one. Not a way of arousing,
but a way of thanking. Alex rested his cool cheek
against Walter's and wrapped his arms around him.
"I get first dibs on the shower," Walter whispered,
pushed Alex into the small snowbank and running,
grabbed his briefcase, got the unlocked door opened and
was in before Alex, picking himself up, came after him
shouting, "Like hell, Skinner! Think again!"