DISCLAIMER: I don't own either of them, I'm not making any money from this. I'm just taking them out for a little ride, and if the owners (Carter/1013; JMS/Babylonian) of their respective characters/universes bother to sue me, they won't get much.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: In connection with Erin's "Conhouse" (which I've yet to read :< ), Selena mentioned the fateful words: "lap dance." Now, knowing that Claudia Christian had a part as a stripper in the movie "The Hidden" (tm)--even though I haven't seen it--well, I just *couldn't* resist! Special thanks, and a big ol' hug, to Hal for beta-reading! <bg>
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Susan P
//Why did I agree to this?// But one look at the performer onstage gave her the answer. //Because Mulder would enjoy this "interview" a little too much. Tough to be objective when you're staring into someone's cleavage.// Her mouth twisted into a smirk.
Her eyes had finally adjusted to the dimness. The smoke, on the other hand, was harder to cope with. Aside from the various performers and wait-staff, she seemed to be the only woman in the place. Feeling distinctly out of place, she had found a table in a dark corner. She had hoped to speak with the woman before her act, but the manager had informed her that this particular performer never showed up earlier than ten minutes prior to her performance. The man had seemed to take perverse pleasure in telling her she would have to wait until after the show. So, she waited.
The applause, and assorted cat-calls, rose and then slowly quieted as one performer left the stage and the announcer stepped up. "All right, gentlemen! Please welcome to the stage...Moscow's worst kept secret!...Irina, the Ice Princess!"
Then, to much applause, and the strains of music that was almost certainly not written by a Russian composer, a young woman strode out in a heavy, brown woolen uniform, resembling that of soldiers in the former Soviet Union. The jacket may, in fact, have been authentic, from what she could tell, though it had likely been altered to be more form-fitting than the original. Completing the outfit were the cap, a pair of black leather gloves and a lightweight pair of boots, also of black leather.
As the woman began to gyrate and dance across the stage, the cap was the first thing to go. Her lush mane of wavy, reddish-brown hair fell between her shoulder blades as she tossed the hat, hooking it neatly on top of one of the poles attached to the front of the stage. She smiled slightly at that.
//Impressive. She's obviously practiced that move.//
The gloves went next. She then enlisted the help of two audience members, from opposite ends of the stage, to remove her boots. She worked the length of the stage, teasing the audience a little longer before she began slowly unbuttoning the uniform jacket.
As Scully watched the woman perform, she became more and more fascinated. Time, the noise, the oppressive smoke--all fell away as her attention became more and more focused on the performer. She noticed that the woman, upon removing the jacket, threw it carefully toward the back of the stage--away from the audience.
The dancer wore a white silk shirt with a dark colored brassiere clearly visible beneath it. She continued her slow and sensual movements around the stage. She took her time unbuttoning the shirt, leaning over occasionally to tease the men nearest the stage. Once the shirt hung open, she jerked the sides up and out, simultaneously removing it from the waistband of the pants and exposing her taut stomach and the dark purple bra that barely covered her breasts. The pants, being of the velcro-closure variety, followed soon thereafter revealing a matching thong.
The noise level in the room rose dramatically at that--the men's shouts and whistles urging her on.
Scully paid no attention. Her eyes were glued to the performer, watching her every movement. There was something about this woman; something that said she was more, had been more, and would be more than a mere stripper. That this was a woman to be reckoned with. Her movements were proud, almost predatory. Yet, despite her interactions with the audience, she seemed somehow inaccessible--as if no one could touch her.
//"Ice Princess" indeed.// Her eyes slid closed. //What would it be like to melt that...// She stopped short of finishing the thought, stunned. Where had that come from?!
Before she could even begin to analyze that thought, she looked up at the stage and found her gaze caught, held by the other woman's. The dancer stared directly at Scully as she reached to unhook her bra, freeing her lovely breasts. Her body stilled momentarily as she flung it out into the audience. She winked at the redhead before resuming her dance.
//My God, she threw it at me!// The thought barely registered before her hand instinctively reached up--just barely managing to grasp a bit of the material. She quickly clutched the article close to her body, unconsciously fingering the soft material as her eyes re-focused on the woman, imagining how it would feel against the soft skin of her own breasts....
The woman's lips curled up in a sly smile, as she continued with her sensual movements.
Only then did Scully feel the throbbing, the wetness between her legs. All the voices in her head that threatened to overwhelm her with talk of professionalism, responsibility, the case--all paled next to the desire that raged through her. She allowed herself to get lost in the moment, and only vaguely registered the end of the performance. She caught the woman's parting glance and tried to shake herself back to awareness.
//Oh my God, what am I doing? And I thought Mulder couldn't be trusted in this place. How am I going to get through this without making a fool of myself?//
She rose shakily, slipping the other woman's bra into her briefcase before making her way to the restroom--hoping to regain some degree of composure before confronting the woman.
Five minutes later, she knocked on the woman's dressing room door.
"Come in," a low, throaty voice called.
A shiver ran through her as she silently wished that voice belonged to some other woman, and that the stripper really had a bubbly, 'airhead' voice, or something equally desire-killing.
She pushed her way through the door. The woman was standing in front of a make-up table, her back turned toward the door. She was wearing a silvery-gray silk robe, but as she turned, the redhead was shocked to discover that the woman had just thrown it on with no care for modesty. It was open, exposing her breasts and belly, and her long legs--still glistening with sweat.
"May I help you?" she asked.
//Oh, that voice.// She fought down the urge to stare, resolving not to let her gaze sink below the woman's neck. "Ms., um, Volkova. I'm Special Agent Dana Scully with the Federal Bureau of Investigation." She relied on the formality of her position, going through the usual motions, displaying her badge. "I'd like to ask you some questions about the disappearance of a Talia..."
"Yes. I understand you knew the...um, Ms. Winters." She faltered. //Get hold of yourself, Dana.//
"Knew. Yes. We were lovers. For a time." Her voice was quiet, and tightly controlled. Her eyes closed quickly, before she re-focused her gaze on Scully.
She interrupted, "Agent Scully, 'Irina Volkova' is my stage name. Feel free to use my real name. Surely you already know what it is."
"All right. Ms. Ivanova..."
"Call me Susan."
"Susan." //Damn. How many different ways can this go wrong?// She was losing control--had lost it already--of the situation, and of her own hormones. She tightened her grip on the briefcase, fighting to maintain some semblance of control.
Before she could continue, the woman spoke again. "Agent Scully--may I call you Dana? Please, have a seat." She pulled up a straight-backed chair near the makeup table, and pulled her own chair around to face the other one. Her robe fell over the sides of the chair as she sat. She draped one leg over the other, her one concession to propriety. As she reached for the bottle of Stoli on the table, she asked, "Care for a drink?"
Scully stood there, blinking, for a moment, unable to process it all at once. She sat down numbly. "Dana. Fine." //Oh, no...// "A drink? No. I'm on duty."
"Ah. Duty. Yes. I remember." She poured herself a shot, and knocked it back, grimacing only slightly before pouring another.
//Remember what?// she wanted to ask.
"Hmm. Yes?" //Damnit, what is it about this woman that has me so flustered?//
"Something special in that briefcase?" she nodded toward the satchel that Scully was holding in her lap.
The agent looked at it as if she didn't know where it came from. "Oh, no..." She moved to put it down beside the chair, suddenly remembering the woman's brassiere, and feeling the flush crawl up her cheeks. //What is this woman doing to me?//
"What do you want me to do to you?"
Scully's head jerked up to find the woman's gaze burning into her. The woman seemed as shocked by her own statement as Scully had been.
"I..." but she was far too confused to even try to answer the question for herself. Her body certainly knew what it wanted, and it was quite demanding. But, her mind was clamoring with objections: whispers of 'Sin' from her Catholic upbringing; 'Agent' Scully upbraiding her for her unprofessional conduct (//Oh, God, how would Mulder react--or Skinner?--if they found out how badly I botched this interview?//); and the sheer surprise at being so off-balance, and so turned on by another woman. She had not had feelings like this for another woman since high school, and never this overpowering.
She had been staring, though sightlessly, at the other woman's midsection. She started at that realization, and quickly looked up. "Yes?"
"Do you have a partner?"
"Um...excuse me?!" //What, exactly, is she asking?//
"Are you working this case alone?"
"Oh." A safe question. "Yes, but he--He's pursuing other lines of inquiry."
There was that wry smile again. "I see. Didn't trust him to come alone--or at all?"
"Afraid he couldn't keep his eyes off this?" She stood and swept an arm down and across her partially exposed body. Scully resisted--barely--the urge to follow that arm with her eyes. "But you are trying to force yourself not to look. You can, you know. I sensed you watching me out there. Look at me. Here. Now."
The implicit command in Ivanova's low, husky voice eroded what little control she had managed to maintain, and she allowed her eyes to roam. She devoured the details of Susan's body. Her breasts were smaller than those of the other dancers she'd seen, but she had always preferred small breasts on a woman. //Always? Preferred? Oh, God. Where did that come from?// But she did not want to think right now, and so she looked. She drank in the details: the woman's taut nipples; the sweat glistening on her breasts, her belly; the slight, not unpleasant, odor she gave off, of sweat and... Something else? Scully felt sure it wasn't cologne, but was not quite prepared to accept the other possibility. Ivanova's body was toned, but still rounded and slightly fleshy in all the right places. She still wore the thong, and it, too, was damp with sweat, with just a hint of the trimmed, brown hair peeking out. As her gaze fell on the woman's strong legs, those legs moved toward her, and she looked up quickly.
"I've grown used to men drooling over me. I've learned to use it. If your partner were here, I would use it against him." She suddenly straddled the chair, slowly lowering herself onto Scully's lap, her breasts close--so close--to her face. Scully had just managed to pull her hands away from her lap in time, and they now hung at her sides, clenched into fists.
"I'd know how to distract him." She began slowly grinding her hips against the other woman's, but she soon shifted and leaned backwards, allowing first one side of her robe, and then the other, to slip off her shoulders. "To avoid talking about...what I can't bear talking about..." Her hands gripped Scully's legs, below the knees, to steady herself as she leaned even further back, stretching from side to side.
Scully knew she should ask, but she couldn't make herself do it. The view presented by the other woman was exquisite, and the pressure on her crotch, while not as intense as it might have been for a man, was nevertheless driving her to distraction.
Susan slowly pushed herself up to face Scully. "If I have to tell someone, I'm glad it's a woman. I would have given your partner a very hard time."
"I'm sure. No doubt he would be in need of a fresh pair of slacks by now," Scully replied.
Ivanova smiled. "Probably." She allowed the robe to fall to the floor, then her left hand reached up as if to touch Scully's face, but grasped the side of the chair instead. "Thank you, by the way."
Scully merely raised an eyebrow.
"I am used to being ogled by men. But you. I felt as if I were being discovered, savored, appreciated. I watched you watch me. It was.... I'm still wet" she breathed.
Scully tried to swallow the lump in her throat and lost herself in Ivanova's blue eyes.
Susan reached up to toy with the gold cross around the redhead's neck. "Not fighting yourself anymore?" She smiled slightly.
Scully couldn't help but smile in return, and answered honestly, "I've been so...off-balance--from the first moment I saw you. Perhaps I should just give in and let myself fall?"
"Hm. You don't like feeling out of control do you, Dana?" At the smaller woman's slight acknowledgement, she continued. "Then perhaps you should take some of that control back." She reached down to grasp the other woman's hands, bringing them up, slowly uncurling her fingers until Scully's hands were lying flat, atop her own. "What do you--what would you like to do?"
Scully only hesitated a moment before reaching up--one hand closing around a breast, the other snaking up to entangle itself in Ivanova's thick, damp hair.
"Oh. That's a good start." She laughed then, arching into Dana's touch before leaning in to kiss her. Their lips met. Slowly at first, but with increasing urgency, only parting when they both had to pant to take in air.
"Oh, God, Susan. If you don't touch me soon..."
Ivanova lost no time in fighting with the agent's clothing, unbuttoning her blouse and yanking it free from the skirt. "Will it be soon?"
"Yes," Scully breathed. She shrugged off the blouse and fumbled to remove her bra. Susan lifted up, and struggled to push the redhead's skirt up and quickly slide her underwear across and down the woman's stockinged legs. They were a tangle of arms and legs that threatened to topple the chair and them both to the floor.
"Very soon?" Ivanova reached back and somehow managed to rip the straps on the thong she wore before tossing the offending article away.
"Yes." //Oh God, I could come just from listening to your voice.//
Susan suddenly shifted again. She lifted one of Dana's legs up over one of her own--positioning her vulva against the other woman's.
Dana gasped at the contact--feeling the other woman's wet center against her own.
"Yes, Dana. I want you. I wanted to take you--out there--in front of everyone." She began moving then. One hand gripped the back of the chair for support, while the other slipped behind Scully's back, pulling the other woman to her, their breasts pressing together. Her hips drove them--pushing, straining, driving them both over the edge.
"Oh, my. Yes." Scully's hips bucked and rolled beneath the larger woman's, her hands gripping Susan's shoulders. She was close. "Yes....Oh....Oh, Susan!" Then she threw her head back, her breathing ragged, mouth open in a wordless scream.
Susan struggled to hold on, but her legs were getting more and more unsteady, her breathing more uneven. Watching Dana's orgasm--feeling her body spasm, though, finally pushed her beyond the limit. She buried her face in Scully's neck, crying her name over and over as waves of pleasure washed over her.
They both slowly came back to awareness. Dana reached over to cup Susan's face, still breathless, "That was....I've never...."
Susan's lips curled against her neck, "I know. My first time with a woman shocked me into senselessness, too. You were...," she leaned back and met the question in Dana's eyes, "just what I needed."
She blushed crimson and murmured, "Thank you."
"Do you think you could compose yourself enough to walk out of here?"
"You--you want me to leave?" //Oh, please, no. Not so soon!// Her voice was calm in spite of her uncertainty.
Susan leaned in to kiss her, lightly. "Only if you come with me--to my place."
"Oh. I think--I would like that."
"Good." She stood, and pulled Scully up after her. "There's so much more I want to show you." She brushed her hand lightly over the other woman's breasts, briefly teasing the nipples before trailing her fingers down to dip into the wetness between her red curls.
Scully gasped as those fingers brushed over her still-sensitive clit. "Mmm. You're going to have to behave. Or you might have to carry me out of here."
Susan brought her fingers up to her mouth and slowly tasted the other woman's essence. "Hm. Tempting as that sounds..." she smirked. Taking a moment to openly study Scully's body, she then turned to begin dressing. Not bothering with underwear, she put on a pair of worn jeans and a dark tank top, while she watched the diminutive FBI agent reach for her clothing and get dressed. Just as Scully bent down to retrieve her underwear, Susan's hand snatched them up. "I believe we can consider this a trade."
Dana's mouth twitched before breaking out in a smile. "What, I don't get to fling them at you from across the room?"
Susan cried out, laughing. "Ooh! Maybe later."
She bent down for her robe. She folded it carefully, caressed the fabric, before putting it in her bag. Her eyes closed for a moment, her jaw clenching.
Scully sensed the change in mood, but said nothing. She reached over for her briefcase, but grabbed at her back momentarily as she rose. She looked from Susan to the chair, and back. As the two moved toward the door, she asked, "You do own a bed, I hope?"
"Mm-hmm. A nice, big one. My one indulgence."
Many hours later, lying in that bed, Scully awoke to the sensation of wetness on her shoulder. Ivanova shuddered briefly in her arms, and tightened her grip on Scully. Scully reached over to caress the other woman's face. "What's wrong, Susan? Tell me."
"You won't find her. She's not missing, she's dead. A month ago."
"He...he tried to rape her." Her breath caught, but she managed to continue. "He would have killed her, if he could have. But he greatly underestimated Talia. She killed him."
"No one will ever prove that. A forensic exam would only reveal that he died of an aneurysm. A quicker, kinder death than he deserved. If I had been there, I would have made sure he suffered." Her voice was cold now--hard.
"If I told you how she did it, I'm not sure you would believe it. But, she did cause his death. Only she wasn't strong enough, and she reacted out of panic. She could not control it, and she injured herself. A stroke. As soon as I knew she was in danger, I came running here--from the club--I was just the bartender then."
She drew a long, shuddering breath, and her voice shook when she spoke again. "I was almost too late. But, she held on--for me. She knew I would need to see her--to say goodbye. We did. There was still time for that." She broke down then, unable to control her sobs.
Scully set aside her questions, her doubts, and gathered Susan closer in her arms. There was truth in her grief, if nothing else. She made quiet, soothing noises, and caressed the woman's back while she wept.
She quieted eventually, and Scully began to wonder if she had fallen asleep. Then, Susan spoke quietly, "They won't find her body. I took care of that. His body was found, I take it?"
"Yes. With a matchbook from the Babylon Club. The words 'Irina and Talia,' and this address, were scribbled inside, with Talia's name crossed out."
"Yes. He was a regular at the club. He had some kind of fascination for me, and wasn't inclined to take 'No' for an answer. The bouncer almost broke his arm one night trying to get him out of there. That was about a week before it happened. I should have suspected that he would not give up so easily, but I didn't see him again at the club, so I let myself believe it was over. God knows why I thought working at another place named 'Babylon' would be a good omen. I should have known better. But, then, I should have known better about so many things. Damn Vorlon technology." She snorted. "Damn me for thinking I could use it to escape--that we could escape. It's all my fault, really. And now I may be stuck here." She stopped suddenly, and reached up to trace the crease that had formed in the other woman's forehead. "I'm sorry. Some of this must make no sense to you." She took a deep breath, "So, what happens now, Agent Scully?"
"I...don't know. There is so much that is unclear. How did you 'know' that Talia was in danger? And where is her body?"
"Her body is...not here anymore. I sent it back."
"Dana, best save that for later. I'm not sure you will ever believe me, no matter what else I might convince you of.
"I don't know. Some of the things I've seen."
"Exactly, Dana. You saw those ships, but do you believe? Really?"
"How do you...?"
"The same way I knew that Talia was in danger. You were just thinking about those ships--even through my shields, I saw the image from your mind. Telepathic abilities, or E.S.P as I believe it's called now. With Talia, our bond was stronger. She was stronger than I, but she taught me things and we became very attuned to one another. Her mind...called out to me--the equivalent of a scream, in fact. I could show you, if you're willing."
"Um. Alright." She wasn't sure what, exactly, she was agreeing to, but she had come too far to back down now.
"It won't hurt, I promise." She rose up to look at Scully, then stopped. "Well, there won't be any physical pain, at least. You will see images, hear sounds, voices. And there may be some emotional...spillover."
Scully just nodded, keeping her attention focused on Ivanova. She Had not been sure what to expect, but she wasn't prepared for the intensity of the images she saw. The images, the colors she saw, and the sounds she heard were so vivid, it was as if she herself had witnessed the attack, and its aftermath. When it was over, Scully was left shaken, almost panting for breath from the adrenaline rush. Whether that was a result of the telepathic contact or a residual from the images she had witnessed, she could not say.
"I...I heard your voice. I heard their voices. In my mind. God, I almost felt it all."
Ivanova grimaced. "Lucky for you I'm not a stronger telepath. I felt it all from Talia quite strongly."
Scully still had to ask. "Could you have...created those images?"
"Ever the scientist and investigator, hm? Some telepaths could. I am not strong enough. Those were her memories, as transmitted to me, as well as my own. I am afraid I can't offer you any real proof of that, however."
"I'm sorry, this is all so bizarre. And there's so much that you are not telling me..."
Susan sighed and settled back down next to Scully. "I know. Unfortunately, filling you in on the details would likely damage what little credibility I have with you at this point."
Scully reached up to stroke Susan's hair. "I do believe that you didn't kill him. And that you would not have harmed Ms. Winters."
"Really? Why is that?"
"I...a feeling. Something about the way you've talked about it all. I believe that you could have, and would have killed him, given the chance. It is obvious that you feel guilty about something, but it's not over something you did. You feel guilty that you didn't...that you couldn't protect her. I don't know. Call it intuition."
Susan shifted, lifting up to get a look at the other woman's face--to study it, despite the darkness. "And you trust your intuition?"
Scully reached up to stroke Susan's face. "Yes. I do. At Least for now. I'm not sure what I will put in my report, though."
"Don't compromise yourself for me. I can't ask that of you." She settled back next to Scully, curling into her body, and began lightly caressing the smaller woman's stomach.
They were silent for some minutes, each lost in her own thoughts.
"You remind me of her."
"Well, there is little physical resemblance, as you know. But you both...You look so fragile from the outside--as though you might fall and break if mishandled, but there's steel underneath, where it counts."
Scully smiled to herself. "That is quite a compliment. If you flattered her like that, no wonder she couldn't resist you."
"Actually, she pursued me, initially. I was...resistant, at first. Actually, I was downright combative, at times. We had...a fundamental difference of opinion about some things, and I had other reasons to keep my distance from her. But, she wouldn't give up, and I eventually warmed up to her."
"Yes." She leaned in to nuzzle and kiss Dana's chin, slowly working her way to her mouth. They kissed for some minutes. "I'm sensing a trend here..."
"Dana?" Susan's hands began roving over the other woman's body, leisurely exploring the terrain.
"Mmm. Yes?" Scully breathed. Reveling in Susan's touch.
"Do you know what it's like when telepaths make love?"
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