The abandoned warehouse was dim. The scuttling of abnormally large rats could be heard in the shadows. The rats could probably pass as large Chihuahuas.
The previously lively bodies of intrepid agents Mulder and Scully sat slumped in their respective chairs, ropes holding them up in a sitting position.
Their captor had knocked both of them out with a well-placed blow to the head and then had left to murder his next victim -- either that, or he was hungry and had decided to go out for Chinese.
Either way, they were alone with the rodents.
Coming from outside the warehouse was the muted sound of chains clanging against steel and the hollow thump of ropes hitting wooden planks.
All was quiet inside the warehouse until--
"What are you doing over there, you PUNK! Come over here and untie me!" Scully said authoritatively to her partner's limp form.
Her voice rang through the warehouse like a penny dropped in an empty metal barrel. It woke Mulder up a little, not all the way, but a little.
"Mulder, you lazy ass, wake up," Scully insisted loudly.
Mulder's pink tongue pressed its way past his lips to wave in the air in the general direction of the bossy one. "Ppprrbbth," it managed sagely.
"Stop that!" Scully said.
The tongue rolled lengthwise, and one of Mulder's eyes opened to stare at Scully. She sat four feet away from him and to his right.
"This is insane," she said. "We've got to work together if we want to get out of here."
Mulder's eyebrows waggled and his tongue slowly retreated back into his mouth. His other eye opened.
"Mulder, stop messing around," Scully said in an urgent tone.
"Bite me," Mulder said coyly, catching his lower lip between his teeth. He ran his eyes down her body and then back up again.
"Scully would never let him get away with that!" Scully yelled.
"Scully lets him get away with murder. Besides, Scully's not here," Mulder announced.
"Well, I am here, and you can bet I'm going to tell her," Scully hissed, straining against her bonds.
Mulder squinted his eyes shut and puckered up.
"Knock that off. If I were any closer, you'd be in big trouble, Mulder," Scully said, grinding her teeth together.
Mulder made a smacking sound with his lips.
Scully's feet pushed at the floor, trying to move her chair closer to Mulder's so she could poke out his eyes and bite off that pink tongue of his.
Her high heels skidded on the smooth concrete. Scully stared at her feet. They felt broken. They wouldn't move -- the stupid ropes had cut off her circulation.
"Freakin' ropes!" Scully swore.
Mulder wasn't impressed. "Come here. I want to show you something," he said.
"No," Scully replied, instantly suspicious. She stopped her futile struggle.
"Sure. Scully knows about it. Come on over here," Mulder motioned with his head, sending a blast of pain through his eyes. He almost fell back into unconsciousness.
"You leave us alone. Dana doesn't like you," Scully told him, her sharp voice clearing his foggy mind.
"Fine, then when Fox breaks out of here, he won't take her with him!" Mulder announced triumphantly.
"Yeah, like Fox could break his way out of a wet paper bag!" Scully rolled her eyes. "I would pay to see that."
"You shut up! At least Fox isn't stupid enough to sit in a parked car for days on end!"
"She was waiting for your sorry ass. I'm sure next time she won't be so polite."
"Oooooohhhhhh, is that what they're calling it now?"
"Why you little--" Scully tried to make her feet obey, but they sat there on the ends of her legs like bored potatoes.
Mulder, spotting her difficulty, started an impromptu soft-shoe, proving that he could still move his feet.
"Me and my shadow," he sang, shuffling along. "Sssssstrrrrollin' down the av-e-nue."
"You suck, Fox Mulder. You suck like a Hoover. HA! You suck like Hoover himself!" Ultimately, Scully would have liked to be pointing a threatening finger at him, but all of her fingers were tied down.
"Scully, what are you thinking over there?" Mulder interrupted, leering.
Scully nearly choked she was so angry. "You--! I'm going to murder you in your sleep! You are going to DIE. But first I'm going to ruin that pretty face of yours. One of these days you are going to wake up with a new haircut! Your ass is mine, Mulder. I will disfigure you, and then torture you slowly."
Scully bared her teeth at him, her red hair falling in strings across her eyes.
"Promises, promises. So how you doing over there, Scully?" Mulder asked in a conversational tone. He gritted his teeth and pulled one of his wrists out of the ropes. "Need a hand?" He waved at her.
"Mulder, you bastard," Scully's voice was gravely and low.
"Oh, they all say that," he said, ducking his head and pretending embarrassment.
In her frustration, Scully reverted to pure nonsense in the hopes that if she couldn't beat him she could at least confuse the hell out of him. "I will put you in a BOX. I will weigh you down with ROCKS. I will throw you off the DOCKS. I do not like you, Mr. FOX."
Mulder wasn't to be outdone. "Would you stuff me in a box? Would you fill me up with rocks? Would you throw me off the docks? Would you like to kiss this Fox?"
"Fox Spooky Mulder!" Scully screamed like a banshee.
"Sorry, Fox isn't in right now. Care to leave a message?" Mulder smiled like a man who had just found his last pair of clean socks.
"I hate you," Scully growled. "Dana is going to transfer. She is going to be so far away from you you won't even be able to send her mail because it'll take so long. We are going where they haven't even heard of cell phones. I'm not putting up with this anymore. I am not putting up with this!" Scully yelled, her voice getting progressively louder.
Mulder used his feet to push himself within poking distance of Scully. He stretched out one long finger and jabbed her in the ribs.
Scully snapped at his finger with her teeth. A piece of red hair fell in her mouth. She spit it out.
"This is fun," Mulder said. "Scully never plays with Mulder." He poked her again, this time in the arm.
"I'm not playing with you, you loser. I am trying to hurt you." Scully had a feral gleam in her eyes.
"Same thing," Mulder joked, reaching out to poke her again but stopping. He ran his hand up the inside of her thigh instead. "Does Scully want to play with Mulder?" he asked in a suggestive tone.
"Dana is a professional," Scully said smartly, pressing her lips together. "Fox Mulder is an idiot. They have a direct conflict of interests."
Mulder's hand made a circle on her leg, his touch light.
"Are you sure?" he asked. "What if Mulder wanted to play with Dana?"
Scully weakened slightly. "Why? Does Mulder want Dana to play with him?" she asked in a soft voice.
"Come on, you tell me, does Dana like Fox?" Mulder said in a wheedling tone. With his fingernails he scratched at the material of her slacks like a cat that wants to be let in the house.
He pinched her lightly.
"I'm not telling you anything. And I don't like you calling her Dana." Scully gasped. "Get your hand away from there!"
Mulder pulled his hand back, genuinely surprised.
"Come on, Scully. I bet she wants him. I bet she gets all hot just thinking about it."
Scully squirmed in her chair but didn't say anything.
Biting his lower lip again, he leaned forward and let his hand creep up the back of her shirt. He pressed his fingertips into her soft skin.
"You like that, Scully? Hmmm?" Mulder whispered in her ear. "Fox likes--"
"Shhhh! Fox--" Scully hissed suddenly, turning toward him. Mulder tilted his head to look at her. Their foreheads collided and the bodies of Mulder and Scully passed out from the pain.
And this time they didn't have any more voices left to speak.
"How did you know they'd be here, sir?" Agent Harris asked AD Skinner. They stood outside the warehouse under the orange light of a sodium lantern.
Mulder and Scully were on their way to the hospital with minor concussions and a bunch of bruises. Mulder had been whistling "Me and My Shadow," and Scully had been mumbling about boxes and rocks.
Skinner spoke, "It's a cold night -- damp, dangerous, foggy. They can't resist nights like these. It's in their blood." He took a quarter out of his pocket and flipped it into the air. He caught it and turned it onto the back of his left hand. Heads. Skinner shook his head, tired.
"When Mulder and Scully disappear in the middle of a serial murderer investigation they always end up in a warehouse by the piers. They seem to be strangely attracted to this one for some reason. I've found them here before."
Skinner put his hands in his pockets of his slacks and dipped his head. His eyes softened and became distant. A breeze came by to swirl the bottom of his trench coat.
"Perhaps it's the dust that hangs suspended in the shafts of light that slip through the cracks in the boarded-up windows, or maybe it's the cold concrete floor that feels like the clammy hand of death itself," the Assistant Director mused. "But they always come back here."
His eyes seemed to focus again, and he continued, "I have to admit the wooden crates are a nice touch. There wasn't a metal pipe on the floor though. There's usually a metal pipe," he added in a conspiratorial tone. He knew the routine.
"At least they didn't lose their guns this time. Things get messy when they lose their guns," Skinner told the younger agent, preparing him for next time.
"It's even sufficiently foggy outside," he said appreciatively. "They've done good. This was perfect." He paused, thoughtful.
"Although I am curious to know why his hand was up her blouse when we found them. That's not normal. No, not normal at all." Skinner squinted. "Maybe it's something in the air." He breathed deeply.
Exhaling into the cold night air and shaking his head, he said, "No, must be the planets."
A siren wailed in the distance. Skinner hunched his shoulders against the cold and stalked to his car. There were criminals to catch.