Welcome To The Harem
Elevator Shoes by Kristen K2
Summary: Deslea's rec: "A hilarious vignette, in which Mulder finds out that Skinner's secretary is not all she seems. A sweet yet saucy Kim exposes the underbelly of his and Scully's UST with inimitable style. No-one does Kim like Kristen!"
Title: Elevator Shoes (1/1) R
Summary: Mulder gets a lesson he won't soon forget.
Legal Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, Skinner and Kim all belong to CC, or
Category: MSR, Skinner/other romance; humor
Spoilers: a little Hollywood A.D. (well, just that one running scene
that still cracks me up!)
Notes: I'm debating a set of stories for this universe, one from each
of the four's perspective. Any objections?
Feedback: Yes, yes, please!
E-mail Address: K2_fanfic@yahoo.com
Rating: PG (sorry, still no nookie, just a couple of bad words and
The first thing Mulder noticed when he stepped off the elevator was the
lightning flashing from the window in the outside darkness. One of the
many disadvantages to working in the basement was that he never knew
when it started to rain, he thought. The storm outside looked nasty,
and he had no idea how long it had been brewing. Maybe he should start
watching the weather reports in the morning, just so he'd remember to
wear an overcoat. He was going to get soaked tonight on his way home.
The second thing he noticed was that Skinner's assistant had more
foresight than he did. As he entered her space outside the AD's office,
she was tugging her raincoat over her arm. She looked up at him, and
"You just missed him. Mr. Skinner left for the day about five minutes
A quick glance at Skinner's closed door brought a frown to Mulder's
face. Damn, he'd wanted to get his signature on a 302 so he could take
off for North Dakota. There'd been some reports of a possible vampire
up there that looked promising. Now he was going to have to wait until
"Thanks, Kim. Have a nice weekend," he said, and strode toward the
elevator, hoping, but not expecting, to catch Skinner down at his car.
Lately, when the AD left for the day, he *left*. Mulder sometimes
wished he had the same capacity to turn off his work button as Skinner
did these days.
"Wait up," she called. "I'll go down with you." Scooping her purse from
her desk, and grabbing the handles of a large paper shopping bag and
her umbrella, she turned off the lights of her office and locked the
door while he held the elevator for her. Mulder checked his watch and
was surprised to see it was almost 6:30pm. That would explain why the
halls were so empty; on Fridays, most people, except for the devoted
few like himself, made themselves scarce by five on the dot.
He'd guess he'd have to include Kim Cook among his fellow workaholics.
He stole a glance at her while they stood next to each other in the
descending elevator. To be frank, he never really noticed her much,
except as an obstacle in his way toward Skinner most of the time. She
wasn't really grabbing his interest now, either, although he admitted
her dedication to work was impressive. If he thought about it a little
more, it shouldn't have been all that unusual; Skinner, and his
legendary temper, could chew up and spit out a weak or useless admin
like offensive sunflower seed husks. Kim had lasted for years, hell
she'd even thrived in the pressure cooker.
Suddenly, the elevator lurched, then stopped.
Since they'd been standing in the middle of the space, both of them
stumbled, and grabbed at opposing walls. The overhead lights quickly
went out, then the dimmer emergency lights flickered to life.
Kim shot him an annoyed look. "Did you press the stop button?"
She pulled herself off the wall she'd fallen against, and leaned across
to pull out the emergency button. Nothing happened. "Damn," they
muttered in unison.
"I think we just lost electricity," Mulder guessed.
"The storm," she agreed. Then she closed her eyes. "What do you think
the chances are that anybody's left down in maintenance still?"
"Slim to none."
"I was afraid you'd say that." Yanking open the phone box in the panel
beside her, she groaned when she saw the receiver was
missing. "Typical. Is there one on your side?"
He checked, and found the same situation at his panel. "Nope. Hope
you're not claustrophobic, because it looks like we're going to be here
Mulder had to stifle a laugh when he saw the scowl that appeared to his
immediate right. where our facial expressions mimic each other,> he mused. The look on
Kimberly Cook's face was a mirror image of the one he saw far too often
on Skinner's. There was no doubt she'd worked for the big guy much too
long if she was able to imitate him without even trying.
Kim let go of her purse and her shopping bag, and held her hand out to
Mulder. "Give me your cell phone. I'll call maintenance and let them
know we're here. If it's not an outage, they can come and get us."
"I can dial a phone, Kim," he smirked.
"Really? What's their number?" she shot back, grinning slyly at him.
Boy, she's not the quiet little doormat I thought she was, he thought,
as he handed her the phone in defeat. She had him there; he wouldn't
know the number for that department if his life depended on it. He
looked more closely at her as she spoke to someone who thankfully
picked up at the other end. She was actually a pretty woman, with that
luminous milky complexion that typically went with red-haired women
The two women were about the same height, too. Scully's features were
more delicate, but he certainly wouldn't call Kim's blunt or
unappealing. Her overcoat was agape, and her white blouse was tucked
neatly into a dark blue skirt. Now that he was taking a good long look
at her, he could see that she was more buxom than he'd noticed in the
past. Great legs, too, with her shapely calves flowing very nicely down
to a pair of matching dark blue shoes. Upon closer inspection, he saw
that while her outfit was in line with Bureau protocol, her footwear
just edged along improper - the heels were almost stilettos and they
held onto her back tendon with a tiny strap around the heel.
thought. For one, she was Skinner's secretary, and for two, well??she
just looked too much like Scully for him not to compare them. And while
Kim was attractive, she wasn't who he really wanted.
She wasn't Scully, damn it.
Kim disconnected, and looked over at him, clearly frustrated. "Stu says
there's a block-wide outage. He has no idea how long it'll be. We're
stuck here for the duration."
Great. Stuck in an elevator with a near stranger. Lovely way to spend
your Friday night, Mulder. But hey, he thought with a half-smile, it
beat chasing flukeworms down sewers.
"So, you got anything to eat in your purse? I haven't had dinner yet."
She snorted, and shook her head. "Sorry. Can I use your phone again?
My, ah, boyfriend's waiting downstairs for me. I should tell him what's
He cocked an eyebrow, but nodded his approval.
then turned toward the panel in an effort to keep her conversation
private. The small size of the enclosed space made that a useless
"Hi, honey, it's me?..No, I'm fine. But I'm stuck in the elevator??No,
there's nothing you can do. I already spoke with maintenance ??Hmm? ??
Don't worry, I'm not alone. Agent Mulder's here with me. You should--??
no, hon, just go home. It could be hours. I'll cab it there when I get
out." She gave a small laugh. "Yes, I've got them. Prepare to be duly
impressed? ?Okay, I'll see you later tonight. Hey, can you make sure
there's something to eat when I get there? I suspect I'm going to be
starving ??Thanks. Bye."
She hung up, and handed back the phone to Mulder. "You can go ahead and
turn off the power. I should conserve the battery just in case," he
With a small frown, she complied, and finished handing him the
phone. "Thanks for letting me borrow it. Don't you have anybody to call
and tell them you're going to be late?"
I wish, he thought. "My fish haven't figured out how to pick up the
receiver yet. I'm working on teaching them the skill, but they're
stubborn little brats."
She gave him a smile of condolence, and fell silent. Mulder was pretty
much at a loss as to what to say next; he couldn't recall ever having
any type of conversation with her in all the years they'd both worked
for the same man. They both fidgeted, looked at their watches, shifted
around aimlessly. Kim rifled through her purse but didn't remove
anything. Mulder fingered the keys in his pocket until he even he was
annoyed by the muffled clinking. An awkward stillness filled the air,
enhanced with a couple of furtive looks and strained smiles at each
other. After about fifteen minutes, she suddenly bent over, and slipped
off her shoes with a sigh of relief.
"Making yourself comfortable?"
Kim smiled, and sat down in a corner, wiggling her stocking-clad toes
as she spread her legs out in front of her. "Might as well. It could be
a while. And my feet are killing me today. Take a seat."
So he joined her on the floor at the opposite corner, bending his knees
up, and resting his forearms across them so his hands dangled. This
topic was as good as any, he mused. "Well the shoes are very nice, but
why wear ones that don't fit?"
She laughed. "They fit fine, they're just new. Breaking in a new pair
can be a pain in the ass."
"Or a pain in the metatarsus," he snickered.
"Mmm," she agreed. "Why, Agent Mulder, are you a shoe aficionado?"
"Are you asking if I have a fetish?"
She gave him a curious glance. "There's a big difference between a
fetish and a healthy respect for one of life's pure pleasures. Surely a
sophisticated man like you sees that."
"Shoes are one of life's pure pleasures?"
He parted his legs a little further to examine his own shoes. Black
leather, no laces, bland; they were serviceable, practical shoes. The
same brand and style he'd been wearing since Quantico. When they got
too scuffed, or started to come apart at the sole from the miles he put
on them or from the mud he found himself far too often sludging
through, he threw them out and bought the exact same pair.
"I'm a sneaker fan myself." He supposed that was true. On his off-
hours, he wore only that type of footwear. In fact, he had dozens of
them, in lots of styles: basketball, running, even a old beat-up pair
of Keds from his boating days on the Vineyard.
She made a face. "Bo-ring. Maybe it's more of a woman thing. Agent
Scully would understand what I mean."
He laughed at the idea. Practical, no-nonsense Scully, drooling over a
kicky little sandal or a fuck-me pump? "You don't know her very well,
"I know her well enough. I've seen the ones she wears. That yummy
strapless pair she wore to the Christmas ball last year must have set
her back two hundred bucks, at least."
Mulder gaped at Kim. She remembered a pair of shoes she'd seen more
than six months ago? He could barely recall the ones his partner had
worn *today*, for God's sakes. He closed his eyes to try to conjure up
the image, but only got as far as her shoulders. It was Scully's face
that captured his interest most of the time. Those full lips moving so
enticingly as she talked, her blue eyes dancing with intelligence, her
lifted amused eyebrow at his more whacked-out theories. There were days
he was positive that red curve was going to connect with her matching
hairline, it shot up so high.
"Agent Mulder, can I ask you a personal question?" Kim's subdued voice
broke into his reverie. He opened his eyes to see her giving him a
"Have you and Scully gotten together yet?"
Once he picked his chin up off the floor, Mulder looked over at the
security camera above the panel closest to him. Since there wasn't any
electricity he doubted it was working. If not, he'd just break into the
guard station and steal the tape. Still, it wouldn't be wise to take
"Gotten together?" he hedged.
"You know what I mean."
Deciding to goad her a little, he spread his hands helplessly. "I'm
afraid I don't. Agent Scully and I get 'together' often, for lunch and
often dinner, when we're out of town on business. Is that what you
Kim looked perturbed at his evasion. "No. Let me be more blunt, then.
Are you and Agent Scully fucking yet?"
"Fraternizing with your co-workers is against Bureau regulations," he
admonished, preferring to use a less colorful word than 'fucking'.
Hearing her say it in the same sentence as 'Scully' had evaporated all
An eye-roll was his reward for his futile stab at discretion. "Yes,
Mulder, I've always admired your eager desire to follow the rules.
You're a role model to us all. Seriously, are you?"
He debated avoiding the question, argued with himself over it for a
good long time, but in the end heard himself say, in what could only be
described as a pathetic mumble, "No."
"Well, why not?"
"She's not interested in me." Now that sounded distinctly like a whine.
Good God, was there some kind of truth serum in the air of this damn
elevator? It did seem unreasonably hot all of a sudden. He stared at a
non-existent spot on the floor for a long beat, praying the electricity
would come back on so he could escape. Hoped upon hope for a bright
white light and a blissful retreat into a UFO. Battling aliens seemed
far easier than being right where he was at the moment. What the hell
was he doing, talking about any of this, with Skinner's *secretary*, of
all people? And how had they gotten on this topic, anyways?
Her voice was surprisingly firm. "You're wrong. She's very interested."
"How do you know? Did you and Scully become bosom buddies when I wasn't
"No," she laughed. "I've had as many conversations with her as I've had
with you. But she doesn't have to say anything. I can tell just from
looking at her."
"Boy, Skinner's gonna hand me my ass on a platter when I tell him we've
got to open a new X File. I'm sure he has no idea his admin is
clairvoyant," he remarked sarcastically.
Kim laughed again, but her expression was serious. "Mulder, in my
position I can see a lot more than you'd think. I know you ignore me
most of the time, and I don't mind. We clericals understand that we get
about as much recognition from you agents as the office furniture does.
But I've got eyes, and a degree in sociology from Georgetown that's
going to waste while I staple and paper-clip my little heart out. You
do know what sociology is, don't you?"
"The study of human behavior in a social setting," he responded
instantly, his unease shifting to a growing respect for her. He
supposed she did have a fly-on-the-wall perspective. And she certainly
was bright enough.
"Exactly. So I watch, and I pay attention. Would you like to know what
"Please, enlighten me," he smiled.
She treated him to an answering smile. "Just to ease your mind, I
should tell you that, for the most part, you're both very discreet
about what you feel for each other. To a casual observer, you would
appear to be just as you seem, partners who work closely together, and
who enjoy each other's company a great deal. I would even venture to
say you're each other's best friends."
"So far, so good," he admitted. "But you, being the covert profiler you
are, see beyond that."
"Yes, I do," she giggled. "I wish I could hold up a mirror to you both
when you're sitting on the couch in my office, waiting for Skinner. The
body language, especially from you, is unmistakable. Plus, all those
half-joking comments I hear you make all the time."
His eyebrow lifted in a mute question mark.
She mimicked his voice so well, he cringed. "Scully, should we be
picking out china patterns? Scully, I think I'm falling in love.
"I got it, I got it," he begged her to stop, waving his hands in
surrender. "But how can you tell that she returns my feelings?"
Kim leaned over, and picked up her shoe in her hand, waving it at him
"Her shoes? You can tell Scully's got the hots for me from her
*shoes*?" he asked, incredulous. He'd heard, and had personally
spouted, more than a few wild theories in his day, but this one really
took the cake.
"Oh yeah. Haven't you ever noticed?" She snorted, shaking her
head. "No, of course you haven't. We've already ascertained you're not
a shoe guy, which is a true shame."
"I'm dying to hear your analysis of Scully's footwear. Please continue."
Kim leaned forward, her hands moving animatedly, getting into the
topic. "Let me explain something about women's clothes, Agent Mulder.
Unlike men, most females don't throw on any old thing, unless we're
hanging out at home eating Ben & Jerry's with our little toes encased
in bunny slippers. Our outfits usually send a message, or we use them
to symbolize who we want outsiders to know we are. A smart, capable
woman like Dana Scully wears a lot of professional suits, almost like
armor, to protect her image as an equal to the men around her, to
downplay her femininity. Do you remember, when she was first assigned
to the X Files, all those dumpy sacks of cloth she used to hide in?"
He nodded. He'd been very glad when she started wearing more form-
fitting clothes. And now that he thought about it, even those were
sternly proper. As were Kim's.
"The more respect she was garnering from you, the more I noticed she
changed her wardrobe. I'm guessing she was less concerned with her
perceived image as she began to realize she could probably wear a paper
bag, and you'd think she was brilliant and competent." Kim smiled at
his look of astonishment. "But her shoes??now, they send an entirely
"And what message is that?" This chance encounter was turning up all
sorts of unexpected revelations, about himself, about Scully, and about
the woman trapped with him in the elevator. She was smarter, and
funnier, than he gave her credit. If it weren't for Scully, he'd be on
the verge of asking Kim to pick out china patterns.
"That she is a woman, and a very sexual one, at that."
Good Lord, he hoped she was right about this. But for the life of him,
he couldn't recall a single time he'd ever looked at Scully's feet.
Oddly enough, when he tried, it was a sound that came to his mind,
instead of an image. A tapping. He screwed his eyes shut to concentrate
on where he'd heard it. Tap, tap, tap??
It was the sound of Scully walking down his hallway to his apartment.
The secret signal that she was approaching that he always caught just
before she knocked on his door.
The little sound of her that made his dick twitch in his pants every
"Scully wears heels," he said slowly. "But I can't picture them."
"You don?t have to," Kim said, clapping her hands in delight. "The fact
she's wearing them is all you need to know."
He opened his eyes to see Kim holding her shoe up for inspection. "Does
this look like something you'd want to wear running after criminals or
"N-noooo," he drawled. Scully wore heels during all of their
misadventures? He suddenly got an image of that actress who'd portrayed
her in that stupid movie asking her to run around the studio, to show
her how she did it. Having never worn a pair of high heels, Mulder
hadn't really considered how difficult it would be. His feet, in his
practical and dull footwear, hurt enough at the end of most days.
"Exactly. And they probably get ruined every time she does an autopsy.
Formaldehyde and blood is hell on expensive leather, I imagine. So we
can assume she's not wearing them for comfort, or because they make her
work easier. Then why is she?"
"To make herself taller?" he guessed, his mood brightening considerably
as he finally put the pieces together of why, jokes aside, she went to
the trouble. But he wanted to hear it from the shoe expert to his
right, before he jumped to conclusions.
"No. She wears them for *you*. She's a very serious woman, and if she
started flirting with you, like you do with her, it would be
outrageously out of character, and everyone would know. Agent Scully's
worked very hard to build her reputation, and having people think of
her as just a woman who's hot for her partner would be disastrous. And
given Bureau dress code, it's not as if she can wear a slinky outfit to
work to send you any kind of hint. So all she's got left to work with
are her shoes. But you, you big dummy, you don't even look at her feet,
"No," he said forlornly. God, how many years had he wasted assuming
Scully wasn't interested? Maybe she'd changed her mind already; he'd
have to see what she wore on Monday before he got his hopes up again.
"Well, you've been missing out," she admonished. "Because Scully's got
fabulous taste in footwear. Almost as good as me."
Since it was true confession time, he decided to turn the spotlight on
Kim. "So tell me, what message do you send with those pumps? And who
are you sending it to?"
She gave him a mysterious smile. "To my boyfriend, of course. I wore
these because I knew I'd be seeing him tonight. Now he understands the
purpose and beauty of a well-constructed heel."
"A fetishist," Mulder teased.
"Hardly. It took him a while to read the signals I sent with my feet,
too, but he caught on fast once he did. I suspect he likes my shoes
almost more than I do, by now." Then she laughed. "Boy, you should have
heard him ask me if I remembered to bring my new purchase with me
Mulder's gaze went over to her shopping bag. He finally noticed the
label from Joan & David. A shoe store, he assumed. "Can I see what you
She squinted at him, debating. "I dunno. I don't think you're ready
for 'em quite yet. You sort of have to work your way up to a pair like
"I think I can handle it," he scoffed. "Besides, it'll give me a goal
to reach for."
She laughed, but dipped her hand into the bag, rustling tissue paper
for a few seconds. Soon she was holding up a boot for his inspection,
and Mulder was stunned into silence, very grateful he was sitting with
his legs up so she couldn't see the shockingly strong physical reaction
in his pants that the boot created.
It wasn't just any old boot. It was a fire-engine red, silver-toed, do-
me-right-now-up-against-the-wall, cowboy boot. He got an immediate
mental image of Kimberly Cook wearing the pair of them and nothing
else, and his dick congratulated his brain for such a pleasant idea.
But when he changed the woman in the picture to Dana Scully, every
nerve ending in his body died a very happy death.
"Kimberly, your boyfriend is a lucky, lucky man," he sighed dreamily,
and she giggled.
"Thanks. I'll tell him you said so."
As she put it back into the bag, he considered himself a convert. Shoes
really did make the woman. "Do you really think she'd wear something
like that? For me?"
"Well, maybe not these exactly. They're not for the faint of heart. But
that's not the point of why I'm telling you this stuff. I just wanted
you to see there's hope."
"What do you recommend I do, Dear Abby?" he queried, only half-joking.
Her eyebrow lifted, very similar to the look Scully shot him when she
thought he was acting as dense as a forest. "Have you considered just
asking her on a *date*, Agent Mulder?"
A date. Well, that certainly seemed logical, and simple, but there
wasn't anything about his relationship with Scully that could be
described as either of those two things.
He was puzzling what kind of date he should ask Scully on when the
elevator shook, and the motor came back to life. The lights switched
over from the emergency ones to the regular fluorescents, as both he
and Kim looked at each other, grinning.
"Not bad. Only an hour," she said, pulling back on her navy pumps, and
gathering up her bags and umbrella.
"I'm sure your boyfriend will be thrilled to see you earlier than he
figured," Mulder answered, graciously helping her back up to a vertical
position. "Especially with your new purchase."
Kim laughed, and within a few minutes, the doors opened at the first
floor. She waved off his offer of a ride home, pointing out the plate-
glass windows of the foyer. "The rain's died down, so grabbing a cab
shouldn't be too tough. Have a nice weekend."
"Kim." Mulder grabbed her elbow as she turned away. "I?I want to thank
you for the lesson, and the advice."
She shook his proffered hand, smiling. "It was my pleasure. And good
Mulder stood in the elevator bay of the parking lot, waiting. Over the
weekend, he'd put a lot of thought into what kind of a date he should
ask Scully on, and he had a few ideas already brewing. But oddly
enough, he wanted to ask Kim her advice before taking the plunge. Maybe
he'd swing by her office before heading to the basement, and see if
she'd go get some coffee with him, so he could ask her in private.
He heard a purposeful stride behind him, and turned to see Skinner
coming toward the bay. The big man nodded a greeting to him, then got
an amused twinkle in his eye. "I'm not sure I should take the chance of
going up with you. I heard you had some problems traveling in one of
these on Friday."
As they both watched the illuminated buttons over the door slowly
descend from 12 to 10, then stop, a question popped into his head. If
Skinner was just coming in, then how did he know about what happened on
Friday night, after he'd left work?
"You know, I've never really spoken to Kim before that night. She's a
remarkable woman," he offered, testing the waters. Skinner merely
"And she's got excellent taste in shoes," he continued. Still no vocal
response, but the AD seemed to be resolutely watching the lighted
panel, as if he were unable to look Mulder in the eye.
Then the great idea struck. He glanced around the lot to make sure no
one was coming, and pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. He hadn't
used it all weekend, so he casually hit re-dial. The last number Kim
called. The man she called 'honey'.
Skinner's cell phone, clipped to his hip, began to ring.
He didn't bother to answer it; he simply turned, at last, to face
And flashed him a wolfish grin.
"Yes, she does, Mulder," Skinner finally said. "Yes, she does."
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