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Squeaking Sands

I originally posted this to the Xslash and Mulder/Krycek mailing lists in June 1998. It can also be found at Archive/X, which is currently part of the omnibus archive for XFiles M/M, Down in the Basement.

Squeaking Sands is dedicated to Jaak Panksepp and the rest of the tireless Seekers of Truth at Bowling Green University. It is set in the "Wind in the Hoover Building" universe, where Mulder the Fox, Krycek the Rat, and Scully the Squirrel are cute, furry, bipedal talking mammals in turn-of-the-century children's casual wear. It's also a response to Anna's seashore story challenge.

Giggles and nips to everyone who has posted updates on the rat-tickling experiments in the news.

Mulder the Fox ventured out of his den into the glare of a hot summer's midday. He couldn't sleep, and wanted companionship. Scully the Squirrel was nowhere to be seen. She was high in the treetops, gathering acorns. Mulder loved her dearly, but he could not imagine what it must be like to be a member of a diurnal species.

Krycek the Rat crouched in the warm grass, cleaning his whiskers. He was watching the entrance to Mulder's den, hoping to take him by surprise when he came out to hunt at twilight. He was having an awful time staying awake, so he was delighted to see that his friend was up and around so early. He scampered to Mulder's side.

"Mulder, let's go to the beach!" squeaked Krycek. "Maybe we can find something good to eat."

So off they went, Mulder loping and Krycek leaping alongside him. When they got to the beach, Mulder was dismayed to find so many noisy children. His whiskers hung dejectedly. He looked at Krycek. "This was *your* bright idea," he snarked.

Krycek gnawed thoughtfully on a piece of driftwood for a moment. Then he brightened, and his eyes took on a mischievous gleam. "I know," he said, "let's dig a hole in the sand, and take off all our clothes, and sleep together!"

Mulder's eyes widened. His jaw dropped. "Krycek!" he barked, "we're not even in the same mammalian *order*!"

"You filthy-minded son of a vixen, I meant *sleep* together, not sleep! together," Krycek reproached him. "It's one o'clock in the afternoon!"

So Mulder began to dig. Krycek knew that Mulder would not be able to resist showing off how quickly and well he could burrow, so he only made a few languid scoops with his paws.

Soon they had a den that was just the right size for a fox and a rat. They pulled off their blouses and breeches. Mulder crawled in and curled up, back pressing against the sandy wall. Krycek arranged himself comfortably in the middle, lying across Mulder's midsection. The den was cool and damp, with a wonderful ocean scent. Mulder had to admit that Krycek's idea had been an excellent one.

As they nestled together in the dark, Krycek said, "Mulder, how high do you think the tide will be tonight? I hope it washes up lots of dead fish. Remember the time we found an octopus?" He began to laugh. "Hey, if an octopus washes up tonight, you know what would be fun? Get Scully to come down here tomorrow, and I'll grab one of its arms and squirt her with ink! Tee hee h-." He broke off suddenly, as he felt the beginning of a growl from deep within Mulder's throat.

After a few minutes of pretending to sleep, Krycek began to rub the back of his neck suggestively against Mulder's paw pads. //Come on, Foxy, you know you want to,// he said to himself. Soon after, Mulder accomodated him, lightly moving the tips of his claws around on the nape of his friend's neck. Krycek began to squeak with mirth, "Tee-hee! Tee-hee-hee! Hee! Eek! Meep!" He forgot himself, and spun around to nip playfully at Mulder's paws.

Overhead, two humans walked across the sand. They were the only people for miles who were not dressed for the beach. Agent Mulder's shoes soon filled with sand. As he sat on a bench to empty them, he said to Agent Scully,

"Scully,listen carefully. Do you hear a high-pitched squeaking sound?"

"Mulder, this is a mature beach. The sand particles have been worn to an exceptionally small diameter. Salt water has leached out the metal oxides and washed away any organic components. It's almost pure quartz. It squeaks when you step on it because sand particles of this size and purity resonate at a frequency determined by the shape of their constituent quartz atoms."

"How can you be so sure, Scully, that we're not walking on some sentient silicon-based life form that's trying to communicate with us at frequencies too high for us to interpret as speech?" Mulder stared earnestly at the sand as it ran out of his shoe, as if he were listening intently.

"There's a much more plausible explanation, Mulder. Do you see that pile of doll clothes under the bench? They were probably left there by young children, perhaps just out of sight around that fence. Young children frequently squeal with delight during play. The roar of the surf may be drowning out all but the highest-pitched sounds, creating an illusion of disembodied squeaking coming from somewhere in the environment. I see no reason to jump to the conclusion that extraterrestrials are responsible."

Krycek the rat lapped at Mulder the fox's ear with his quick, tiny tongue. Mulder the fox rested a furry forearm around Krycek the rat's waist. They snuggled closer together, oblivious to the consternation they had caused the humans above.

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