Interlude 2: Extended Interlude
Sara B. 10/06
was all seriousness as he walked into his office. This was their first day back
from their impromptu vacation. It was a week filled with satisfying hedonistic
made it out of the hotel a few times too. Scully indulged him by letting him
splurge and use some of that money left from his parents on her.
was always bothered that he’d never given Scully an engagement ring. Even
their wedding bands were just plain gold rings bought on the fly.
wedding had been slap shod affair, hastily accomplished; more described as efficient than romantic. Scully never complained or even expressed any desire to have done anything differently but he wanted to
give her everything she deserved.
just come down that the anti virus worked and the aliens were defeated. Mulder
grabbed Scully and nearly tossed her into his car then drove them to the nearest justice of the peace he could find. Mulder hadn’t even asked her to marry him; it was more of a kidnapping than
a marriage ceremony. Scully never complained but her family had, well, Bill did. He still brought it up at almost every family gathering.
wedding night was spent under the stars they’d feared for too many years. The
night sky no longer was a source of terror and had recaptured its beauty. That
was really the only honeymoon they’d had. The next day it was back to work
and the changes to the X-Files. Mulder and Scully hadn’t had more than two or three days
off at a time since.
decided it was time to fix some things; not that Scully considered anything needed fixing.
But Mulder felt it was time for them to have what other couples had; time for each other being the most important.
mission was to get a nice ring for Scully. He knew she’d never show it
off but he would. Mulder wanted a ring that showed everyone that she was taken;
she was his.
had steered her to a jewelry shop during one of their forays out of the hotel.
He immediately honed in on ring and insisted she have it. It hurt when
she turned it down without even trying it on until she explained. The ring had
three diamonds in a row the center stone was two carats and was flanked by two stones of a carat each.
no, don’t be hurt. The ring is beautiful and I love that you want it for
me but it’s just too big.”
have it sized.” Mulder didn’t understand the problem.
turned to the saleslady and asked to see the ring. Mulder thought he’d
won her over till she put the ring on her finger and then he understood; her hand disappeared.
Scully held up her hand, “see what I mean?”
I do now. Let’s look around.”
told them that there were similar rings with smaller profiles. The way she’d
said it made both Mulder and Scully cringe. The woman obviously thought they
just out for a spree and had no intention of actually buying because they couldn’t afford
that ring. They showed her.
chimed as another customer entered. Scully told the woman, “go ahead, we’re
moments later Scully spied a ring and pointed it out to Mulder. The ring was
similar to the other ring but the stones were smaller and instead of a center diamond it had a Ceylon sapphire. There was a young woman behind the
counter and they asked for her help. The ring fit Scully like it was designed
for her so they took it. They also bought a pair of earrings, a set of cuff links,
matching Omega watches and a wedding band for Mulder. His band had two rows of
tiny diamonds. It was nothing he’d have chosen for himself, but when Scully
picked it out and he saw how elegant it was, he decided to get it. Besides, Scully
told him the next time some young hussy came at him he was to blind her with its sparkle.
He loved jealous Scully, hell, he loved Scully.
way out they passed the first saleslady as she was bidding good day to the woman she’d left them for to service. The woman hadn’t bought anything. They
both casually flashed their new rings and the bags holding their other purchases. The
young woman who’d helped them had a nice commission check headed her way.
sat at his desk and looked at his new ring with a small smile playing at his lips. He
was aware that someone entered his office and he looked up to see Cathleen and Thom in front of his desk. He didn’t miss the look on Cath’s face when she saw the ring.
and asked, “New hardware?”
finally got around to getting each other real wedding rings.” Mulder held
up his hand. “Nice, don’t you think?
Scully saw it and said I had to have it. I never saw myself as a man who’d
want diamonds but I loved this ring the moment she showed it to me.”
it isn’t the ring so much as it is the woman,” Thom offered.
you might have something there. Beauty, brains and tolerant of my crap, what
more can I ask for?”
say we’re both pretty lucky,” Scully said as she entered. “Cath,
just the person I was looking for. You are being transferred to forensics and
I have a project I need you to look into.” Scully handed over a file.
and Thom watched as Cath’s face went from irritation to incredulity in a heartbeat.
She chased after Scully.
both know who’ll win that round.” Thom said off handedly.
isn’t even a contender,” Mulder responded and they both laughed.
serious, “I’m glad you finally came to your senses, Mulder.”
was close; I almost lost her this time. She loves me enough to give me up so
I’d be happy. Lucky, for me, she also loves me enough to give me another
carried the files to Cathleen’s already covered desk. “Hey, Cath,
here are the rest of those files Dana wanted you to have.” He put the files
down then handed her an envelope with travel documents. “So, where you
headed out to?”
huffed as she looked at the itinerary. Scully had her scheduled to visit the
desert southwest to investigate recent cattle mutilations. The wife won this
round but Cath had been here before. The husband always lets guilt interfere
at first but all she had to do was keep plugging at him. Cathleen was not worried. ‘No, Agent Scully, you can send me traipsing around the globe but I’ll
win in the end. I always do.’
Sutherland was finishing up her report on the cattle mutilations. She’d
just returned after being sent to five different sites during the investigation. The
exhaustion and heat nearly did her in and the trip was a complete waste; she found nothing of consequence. Three of the reported cases were directly traced back to three separate sets of bored high school boys. It seems the report of the first case ‘inspired’ the others. Authorities suspected, but currently were unable to prove, that the remaining cases were also copycats. If anything had been established it was that you shouldn’t under estimate the
power of the high school internet grape vine.
smugly wrote her report. She knew that once Walter Skinner read what Agent Scully
had subjected her to and the futility of the investigation he would see what was going on and reprimand Scully.
looked up and saw Scully standing in front of her desk. “Cath, are you
almost ready to report your findings to AD Skinner?”
printing it out as we speak.”
“Excellent. I’ll have the meeting scheduled.”
you can present the finding to AD Skinner.”
not just sending it up. I’m going to present the report?” Scully nodded and Cathleen did her best to suppress her evil smile but Scully caught it; she was more successful
better than Cathleen dared hope; she never dreamt that she’d get to actually witness Skinner chewing the little redheaded
wench. She would have paid big money to see this show.
and Scully entered Skinner’s waiting room, greeted Kim and took a seat. Outwardly
they were the picture of FBI efficiency but inside they were both filled with nervous anticipation; for completely different
wait for the showdown she was sure to come. This case was a complete waste of
time and money and it was pretty obvious it had only been assigned to her as a punishment for her involvement with Fox.
minutes later, Kim sent them into Skinner’s office. Cathleen had only been
there once before and she was impressed with the size and appointments. They
sat in front of Skinner’s large desk while he read the report.
he looked from Scully to Cathleen, “your findings suggest indicate that you considered this investigation to be completely
unfounded. Do I understand this correctly, Agent Sutherland?”
toward Scully and sat a little straighter, “that is correct, sir.”
Scully, I think we have a problem here.” Cathleen could hardly contain
agree, sir; this is definitely a problem,” Scully responded while never losing her calm demeanor. “Normally I would have handled this myself,” Skinner held his hand up.
I’m glad you brought this to my attention.”
expected this interchange and a seed of confusion began to build in Cath’s stomach.
Skinner addressed her, “Agent, you ARE aware that your supervisors, Agents Scully and Mulder, were instrumental
in defeating an alien invasion are you not?”
sir, that is common knowledge.” Cathleen didn’t like the turn this
meeting had taken; no, this was not how the script was supposed to go.
then, that makes this report even more disturbing. You know about the foiled
plot to enslave our people yet, when provided the opportunity to head an investigation as part of our continuing vigilance
against future alien plots and you leave the job incomplete? Your report clearly
defines your disdain for the assignment and I have to question whether you came to your conclusions before you even embarked
on the investigation.”
Agent Scully never indicated the true nature of the investigation.” Cath tried to defend her findings.
this had been a murder investigation would you expect Agent Scully to hand you a file telling you that it was Miss Scarlet
in the hall with a candlestick? She respected your skills and trusted you to
perform a proper investigation.” He lifted the file and waved it, “this
is how you repay that trust?” Skinner removed his glasses and cleaned them. “Agent
Scully gave you an opportunity to distinguish yourself and you failed. If this
investigation is any indication of your skills and dedication I have severe reservations about your future with the bureau. Agent Scully, I’m putting Agent Sutherland on probation until further notice. I want a weekly progress report.”
sir, I’ll arrange that today.” Scully rose and Cath followed. They got to the door and Scully turned back toward Skinner. “Walter, you’re still coming to dinner on Friday, right?”
miss it, Dana. I’ll get one of those pies Mulder likes from Leary’s
Sutherland knew she was defeated. Outside the office she turned on Scully, “you
set me up,” she hissed.
eyes went wide, “I set you up? All I did was give you an assignment. It was out of my control after that.”
Cathleen couldn’t respond and Dana Scully leaned closer and whispered.
“You’re playing in the big leagues.” Scully left leaving
a bemused Cathleen standing there with her mouth hanging open.
saw the exchange and had to smile, you had to admire Agent Scully. “Big
mistake, Agent. Dana Scully is a formidable opponent.”
Sutherland sat at her desk. It had been three months since her humiliation in
Skinner’s office. Gone was the arrogant, brash lioness with the perfect
hair and make-up who was always searching for her next prey.
up the latest report on her never ending excursion in to the bizarre. Who ever
thought there would come a time that she’d think a search for a lake monster was mundane? Lake monsters, shape-shifters, Bigfoot, haunted houses and extra terrestrials
were her life. She almost wanted to laugh, or cry, she wasn’t sure which.
Holloway walked toward her desk holding a package that Cathleen knew had to be her new assignment. Cathleen took the package from Agent Holloway and opened it. She
pulled out the travel manifest: Newark New Jersey, train reservation
for three-thirty and a motel reservation at the Turnpike Inn, oh, that sounds classy!
She pulled out the casefile and opened it. Cath read through the details.
office heard Cathleen scream, “Fluke men!”
looked at his wife, “Scully, you didn’t!” A smile and a shrug
were her only reply.