This story is also available at this location on The Archive of Our Own, where all my current stories and comments can be found. I am no longer updating this site.

The dorm windows were filled with a thousand disembodied heads.

Pumpkins — grinning, smirking, and glowing like demented and mischievous stars yellowly looking down over the leaf-studded college quad. Music dripped from buildings. Shrieks of merriment, drunkenness, and general depravity floated out over the night that smelled like apples, frost, and leaf mold. While Scully stepped under the security chains blocking off the front of the science building, Mulder looked around the campus. Despite the red and blue flashing lights of the police cars and the strobing of yellow from the campus police vehicles, the students seemed singularly disinterested in the law enforcement invading their community. Half a dozen young men glittering with drag and sequins ambled drunk and shoeless past Mulder, carrying their high-heels in one hand and beer bottles in the other. Ghosts of Halloween past floated through his body, caressing his hair with the whisper touch of memory.

Thin-lipped, she snapped him back into the present with ice cube eyes.

“I hate pranks,” she snorted and her breath misted around the pale orb of her face.

“Trick or treat, Scully.”

“The college president thought that it was a murder victim.”

“Why did she call the FBI?” he asked.

“Contacts. She went to law school with Janet Reno.”

“Old-Girl Network.”

Looking up at the marble-white face of the moon overhead, Scully’s skin bleached to match the satellite and Mulder felt something dark and familiar start to danse macabre at the back of his skull.

Nothing unnatural, just the very base and warm-blooded dance of lust.

The call had dragged them away from Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, red wine, and some hand-to-hand combat on his decrepit couch into the cooling night and a fool’s errand. They had been entwined like DNA strands on the couch with his hands on her breasts and her tongue in his ear with a promise of more skin to come later that evening. Scully’s ardor had evaporated the moment she put her gun and her shoes back on and trying into get her amorous again was going to be like starting a car with a drained battery. The night was clear, and the moon was yellow, and the leaves came tumbling down — Mulder was still in the mood to do the horizontal flamenco. But his petite passionflower had been in the refrigerator too long and there was no way that she was going to warm up enough to hold a rose in her teeth and flash her shapely legs around his.

Que Sera Sera.

Scully was initialing a half a dozen forms which certified that the formalin-soaked cadaver hadn’t been a fresh murder victim and had been, in fact, college property. Ergo, there was no crime. Mulder shoved his hands in the pockets of his trousers and stared at an ugly statue of a series of lumpy red stone spheres. They looked like kidney stones, tumors, cysts, school lunch meatballs, or something equally horribly biological that never should have seen the light of day, let alone been in front of the Administration building.

“All done with that?” he asked and peered over her shoulder.

“Pretty much. All we have to do is get—“ she looked down at her notebook, “Mr. Peabody back to his proper place.”

“You’re kidding.”

She didn’t look like she was.

“Mulder, the least we can do, in the interest of public relations, is put the cadaver back where he belongs.”

“Put him in the faculty lounge, they’ll think he has tenure.”

She smirked but walked away.

Sighing, he followed Scully into the building, inhaling the familiar dust, book, and instant coffee aroma of academia. He had given up the possibility of faculty infighting, the struggle to publish, the steam table food in the faculty cafeteria, and the three months off in the summer. All this he had forgone to hunt down little gray men from outer space and have his partner shut the door in his face when she wasn’t in the mood. Maybe the co-eds would have worked out. After all, if one said no there were usually a few others who would oblige.

“Hey Scully,” he asked as he opened the door to the president’s office for her “Did you ever have a college professor hit on you?”

She shrugged. “Not really. Most of the faculty resembled Mr. Peabody here.”

“Ugh.”

Mr. Peabody sat majestically in the oversized leather chair. The dried and leathery orbits of his shriveled eyes glared waxy and dead at the two FBI Agents doing a deer in the headlights impersonation in the doorway. Mulder’s mouth hung loosely in disgust while Scully pressed the back of her hand under her nose to dampen the aroma du corpse which washed through the room like sewer water. The smell practically had mass and weight.

“He’s waaay past his expiration date,” Mulder said and winced.

“Let’s be quick about this.”

Naked aside from a “University of Glenside” sweatshirt, Mr. Peabody didn’t resemble a human being as much as a collection of wet and decaying leaves and sticks that one would find at the bottom of a leaf pile waiting to be collected. Scully pulled the chair away from the desk and Mr. Peabody clattered face-first onto the desk, his rubbery and shrunken buttocks mockingly mooning from beyond the grave. A sound like a cricket’s chirp escaped from Mulder as he levitated about a half-foot in the air. Scully, as usual, ignored it.

“Didn’t they refrigerate this guy?”

“He is preserved, but bear in mind that he’s been exposed to room temperature in an non-sterile environment for several hours.”

Scully gingerly pulled at Mr. Peabody until he was upright in the chair again, his dried apple of a head leaning lasciviously into her bosom as she righted him. Mulder glared at the body. Poacher.

“Also, some of what you smell *is* preservative, when it’s not done right it’s an excellent mold culture. I’m surprised you notice, given what your refrigerator smells like.”

She looked over at Mulder.

“He isn’t very heavy. I think you could just carry him across campus.”

“He’s not wearing any pants.” Mulder pointed out. “I am not carrying a dead guy without pants. People will talk.”

“And they don’t already?”

****

Wrapped in the president of the college’s academic robe, Mr. Peabody sagged like a scarecrow against Mulder, who had the cadaver’s arm over his shoulder and was carrying him like a drunk fraternity brother across the leafy expanse between the administration building and the science building. Scully walked ahead with her flashlight picking out fallen branches and beer bottles hidden in the leaves. Mulder ground his teeth and noted that she was managing to distance herself from the dirty part of the job as much as possible. The funk from Mr. Peabody’s microbes meant that he would spend All Saint’s Day explaining to his favorite dry cleaner why his coat smelled of corpse.

“Good party, dude!” a passing student encouraged Mulder and Mr. Peabody.

“What do you way we swing by the gym after we ditch our chaperone and see if they’re spiked the punch,” he suggested.

“Mulder, these are the nineties, the punch won’t be spiked. The boys will be putting roofies in the martinis belonging to the objects of their desire.”

“Oh those crazy kids.”

Mr. Peabody lived alone in a large freezer in the storage room off the main biology lab. Once Mulder had lowered him into his bed of plastic wrap and formalin-soaked padding, Scully shut the freezer and neatly put the academic gown on a skeleton hanging from a floor stand nearby. Mulder leaned against the freezer and looked over the jars on the shelves containing jars of baby shark, baby pig, coiled snakes, a couple of large bugs, and what looked like a human brain. Even inside the biology building, the music from outside could be heard – including a half-dozen male voices singing drunkenly along with Warren Zevon.

He's the hairy-handed gent who ran amuck in Kent
Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair
Better stay away from him
He'll rip your lungs out, Jim
Ha! I'd like to meet his tailor
Werewolves of London…

And the voices trailed off in a discordant howl.

“There’s something magical about Halloween,” he said.

“I like the candy corn,” she said and swept out of the room, leaving Mulder to shut the lights out on Mr. Peabody’s cold and eternal slumber.

After the smell of Mr. Peabody, the autumn air smelled better than wine and while Scully called the office on her cellphone to explain that the situation was nonexistent and *over* besides, Mulder wandered off a bit to clear his head of Mr. Peabody. He found himself staring at a sign outside the building with the same mindless attention that he gave the ads in the Metro. The signboard was a layout of the campus grounds with a helpful bright-red “YOU ARE HERE” arrow pointed accusingly at the science building, the point being that if you couldn’t figure out where the hell you were, you didn’t belong in college.

His eyes traced the yellow line indicating the footpath running away from the science building and into a hatched line indicating private property. The private property was marked ‘Holy Rest Cemetery’. The hair rose on the back of his neck and something stirred in his pants.

Maybe just a little look-see. Deliberately avoiding thought, he let his feet move over fallen leaves and concrete, taking him towards the headstones like a duck drifting downstream, toward the hunters in their blinds.

“Mulder.” Her voice was sharp as a fork stabbing through the chocolate mousse chill of the fall night.

“Just getting some air,” he said and walked a little faster.

Pushing to a jog, Scully caught up to him, her heels sinking into the soft ground and making her even shorter than usual.

“What? Mr. Peabody frighten you, Mulder?” she teased.

“I like my corpses a little fresher than that, Scully.”

“And what do you mean by that?”

The footpath ended at a chain-link fence with a “NO TRESPASSING” sign wired right above the hole in the fence big enough to drive an SUV through. From the worn path in the grass through the hole it looked like Holy Rest was more popular than the library. Mulder held the cut chain link open so she could sweep through, which she did with her usual style and grace.

“Corpses turn you on?” she pressed.

“I’m pleading the fifth on that one.”

Scully’s face had the blankness that indicated a smirk was hovering in the near future like an out-of-focus UFO. “What did you do to deal with your somewhat unusual reaction to death before you had a forensic pathologist as a partner?”

He smiled at her, knowing that his teeth looked a little too white and sharp in the witchy moonlight.

“You don’t want to know.”

She chewed that over for a minute, like a cat with a new kind of cheese, and decided it smelled bad enough to leave it alone.

They headed up a low hill and, at the top, saw the necropolis laid out on a tidy suburban grid below them. The small modern headstones, the Victorian and Gothic monstrosities, the weeping angels, copies of Michelangelo’s Pieta, a flock of marble sheep, rings, wreaths, obelisks, stone roses, family crypts, mausoleums, the mansions and split-level tract houses of death. Added to the autumn smell was that of decaying flowers, carnations mostly; students probably stole anything nicer. Somewhere, someone was smoking a joint. Mulder’s heart rose like a bat taking flight at twilight.

“Legend has it that, on Halloween, graveyards are gateways to the world of the dead. The release of a large amount of energy, spiritual or . . . sexual . . . could allow us to see what is normally unseen.”

Scully turned away from him to hide her amusement. “I know you’d like to see *something* that’s normally unseen.”

Her footsteps were silent on the rich, lush grass nourished by human bodies.

He followed her and put his hands over her hipbones, the flesh lush and hot through her sensible suit. Her hair smelled like the Chinese food from dinner and, underneath, the clean woodsiness of her shampoo. When he darted his tongue out to touch the ghost-whiteness of the part in her hair he felt her shiver. The tiny hairs on his arms and legs rose in the cool night air.

“I’m not a cat, Mulder. My fur is in no need of grooming.”

“Well, where would you like me to lick?”

“I have a choice?” She rubbed her backside against him and he hissed like a pin-stuck tire. “Is that a Snickers in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

He’d ask her if she wanted some candy, but the obligatory “little girl” was sure to set matters back another five minutes. Her tone had been indulgent, which was patronizing as hell but also very promising. He began to wonder what she was going to make him do in return. The time he’d finally convinced her to do it in the morgue she’d . . . He still couldn’t think about it, not without alcohol present.

But he had kept the toe tag.

Scully sensed his wandering thoughts and pulled away from his wandering hands.

“Hey!” he protested. “It takes a little while to figure out where to start when all the candy looks so good,” he captured her again and squeezed her breast, “feels so good,” a bite at the side of her throat, better than any caramel apple, “tastes so good.”

She wriggled free again. “Trick or treat,” she warned and darted ahead of him, further into the cemetery darkness.

Cool, he thought and bolted after her.

Tag in the graveyard. She had the advantage of being able to hide behind the larger stones, and when he’d finally tracked her to her hiding place, she’d be gone, vanished like a ghost. Only she’d pop up further away, her laugh drifting back to him like vapor. This was great. This was fan-fucking-tastic.

If he could only catch her.

Fifteen minutes of darting around headstones and Mulder was ready to quit. It was getting to be too much work. His breath was hitching in his chest when he finally ran her to ground, so to speak, in the overhang sheltering the door to a mausoleum. Her hair was wild around her face and the deeper blush in her cheeks was gray in the wan light. Cold hands grabbed at his neck and pulled him closer, her mouth hot and wet in the cool air. Her tongue darted into his mouth and she nipped at his lips with impish want. He moaned into her mouth and pushed her up against the door, his cock pressing into the softness of her stomach. She pressed back, her thighs opening around his legs in an obvious invitation. Underneath her skirt, her legs were hot and damp inside the sheath of her stockings, and they were stockings, not pantyhose. Farther up the sleek lengths of her legs the hose gave way to hot female flesh and slightly further up the familiar crisp curls between her thighs. She shuddered and pressed her face into his jacket. His chest tightened.

She gnawed at his neck and pressed her pelvis hard into his hand. He reached into her deeper recesses and elicited a gasp somewhere between a growl and a squeal.

Maybe it was this one night of the year that everything was as it should be, the world was strange and he was normal and for a brief ecstatic moment he could be one lucky son of a bitch.

Or maybe not so brief. He moved his fingers in and out as she lashed her head against the marble, picking up cobwebs and bits of dried leaves. Her mouth was a portal into ocean; kissing her was the tactile equivalent of holding your ear to a conch shell. She smelled like Peppermint Patties over formalin — the wench must have stuffed her pockets with candy before they began this ridiculous adventure. She tasted like chocolate and apples as she hissed need into his ear.

Scully’s hands were busy at his waist, pulling his shirt from his pants and loosening the belt. His badge fell to the leaf-strewn ground with a muffled thunk. He freed his hands for a moment to pick at the buttons of her shirt and when he touched her again she yelped from the sudden chill. Still, her legs went up around him so that she was clinging to him like the ivy on the college buildings and he could not prise her apart from his chest enough to get a decent grip on her breasts.

And then, suddenly, her hand was working his belt open and a small hand, chilly as ectoplasm, sought out his overeager cock. “What are you *doing*?” he protested.

“Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” she suggested and slid her fingers in patterns that were either ancient Wiccan runes or secret doctor tricks. Whatever it was, the chill gained heat instantly.

The bats have left the bell tower
The victims have been bled
Red velvet lines the black box
Bela Lugosi's dead

“I want to do it on a headstone,” he gasped.

She stiffened and he looked down at her, surprised. “Didn’t you get enough of that in England?”

Oh. He insinuated a hand between them to cup her breast, which was still heaving like a Gothic maiden’s, and smiled his most guileless, charming smile, knowing that she hated it. “Phoebe just made that up ‘cause she never let me do it in real life.”

Her hand curved around his waist under his suit jacket, warm but he could feel the promise of claws. “Well, I knew that Arthur Conan Doyle doesn’t have a –” she whispered as he bit down right under the junction between her jawbone and her ear, and she gasped again.

“I’m flattered that you researched the matter,” he told her and turned them both away from the mausoleum. “C’mon, we’ll pick a nice comfy headstone.”

“Couldn’t be much funkier than your couch,” she muttered as he picked up his badge. But she watched his ass as he bent, and she followed him into the darkness and the muffled noise of heavy partying.

Ooh, a dead college president. Perfect, flat and white marble like a giant’s back tooth, garlanded with graffiti and students’ offerings to the gods of final exams. He noted the location of the full beer cans, the imports anyway, for later use, as he shrugged his trenchcoat off to insulate them from the full chill of the dead-packed ground.

Scully sat down on the wool lining of his coat, her arms braced behind her and her legs crossed in front of her, looking for all the world like a woman on a picnic in the beach, her face turned into the witch-wind running through the graveyard. Her conjurer’s hair blew back from her face.

I was working in the lab, late one night.
When my eyes beheld a eerie sight,
For my monster from the slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise
He did the mash…

He looked at her, and knew why so many words for attraction were violent. She was striking, stunning, ravishing; she seized every sense and sliced it to bleeding red ribbons. He dropped to his knees, heedless of the damage, and buried his face between her breasts. Scully was the one who liked chocolate; he desired the variety of the whole candy store. She was hot cinnamon jots, her nipples rough red gumdrops he sucked and sucked and could not capture all her sweetness. She was laughing beneath him, probably because he’d lost all finesse, but laughter ceased when he thrust two fingers into her. He wondered if he could get away with a Twizzlers joke as the heat of her body blasted away the fall chill.

Mulder reached up to pull her shirt over her exposed breasts as he scuttled lower. He didn’t want to waste all that warmth. His shoes scraping against the college president’s birthdate, he settled his head between Scully’s legs. He felt the skeletons around them thrum with jealousy as he breathed hot wet flesh. This is how Fox Mulder eats a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, he thought as she howled fit to outdo Warren Zevon. The moonlight on his back was cool but Scully was saltwater taffy hot and stretching underneath him as he finally freed his aching cock for the necessary microsecond before he could slam into her.

Come up to the lab
And (fuck me) on the sl-ab.
I see you shiver with an-ti-ci-pation.

He could feel her skirt bunched around her waist between them and hear her harsh gasps like a child running from a haunted house. This was better than Hershey’s Miniatures, better than the Monster from the Black Lagoon costume Mom never let him have. Scully locked her ankles at the small of his back and surged against him, shuddering like the candleflame in a particularly evil jack-o-lantern. Inside, he was choked in the cooked pumpkin flesh, flickered upon, grinned at and scalded with hot wax. Through the fabric of his shirt and jacket, her fingers stroked his bones, and she banshee-wailed against him.

Like a mailbox smashed by a baseball bat, he exploded, screaming release against the death’s mask on the gravestone.

Shattered in pieces like Ichabod Crane.

Scully was still trembling beneath him, not pushing him off despite his liveweight, which was yet another sign that on Halloween all normal things went widdershins. The length of her legs in stockings was scraping against his trousers. When her breathing slowed, she hugged him close for a moment and then released, which was his sign to get the hell off. So, he was whipped, he realized as he rolled off of her and covered up as well as he could against the midnight cool. Many things improved with a good whipping. In a rare moment of tenderness, she reached up and dragged her fingers over his lips before bestowing a smile as cool as milk.

He lay on his back for a moment, not feeling the dead president underneath, but looking up at the stars.

“Hey, Scully?”

Her clothes rustled as she made herself into her usual seamless action figure self. “What, Mulder?”

“When do I get my treat?”

“When I get my desk.”

+++++

Sally: Yeah, didn’t think we could pull it off, didja? No deaths, no major traumas, just some harmless fluff – flirtin’ and fuckin’ as my granny used to say. Weird family, I’ll admit. Speaking as one who has partied in a cemetery on more than one occasion, you can’t beat it – they’re quiet as the grave.

End

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