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Eavesdropping - Three

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Title: Eavesdropping Part 3: Unexpected Developments

Author: Sara B.

E-mail: sabo727@tampabay.rr.com

URL: http://sabo727.tripod.com/

Rating: Over fifteen

Category: M/Angst, S/Angst, MSF, MSR

Spoilers: The Beginning

Summary: The X-Files’ Agents are getting settled into their new office.  Scully and Mulder must confront issues from the recent past and Mabrey and Fowley become a team in mischief.

Feedback:  Make me happy!

Archive: I would be honored, just let me know.

Disclaimer:  The recognized characters are used Without Prejudice and are the property of C. Carter, Fox and the wonderful actors who breathed life into written words, most notably G. Anderson and D. Duchovny who were able to make us believe in the improbable.  No Infringements of these copyrights are intended, and are used here without permission.  The story and before unknown characters belongs to me.

Gratitude: To Kim Knight, you are the best, thank you.  Anne, thank you bunches.  To my Dennis, enough said.  To CC and Company, who created the X-Files.  Lastly, but my no means least, to the readers, you make this hobby of mine have meaning.

Author’s Notes:  This is the final chapter if you love it, thank me, if you hate it contact Anne M. at…

 

Eavesdropping Part 3: Unexpected Developments

Sara B. 04/07

 

Mulder unlocked the door to the X-Files new offices and he had to suppress a wave of melancholy.  The new, and greatly improved, space was a testament to all that he and Scully had accomplished and the recognition of the importance of their work but he couldn’t help mourning the loss of his beloved basement office.  It wasn’t the first time he’d been here but he decided to use the time before the other’s arrival to take a tour.  He moved from the center space to the far side offices that Diana and Mabrey would use.  There was nothing remarkable about either; they were still devoid of any personal items that would soon decorate the desktops and walls and would give the sterile rooms character. 

He moved toward the lab area.  To the one side was a small darkroom that replaced the closet that he’d transformed into a makeshift one for those occasions he developed their photos.  He smiled sadly as he thought that with the digital cameras coming out, dark rooms would soon be obsolete. 

The other side housed some lab equipment, most of which was beyond his comprehension, this was Scully’s domain.  He leaned against the door-jam as he thought of Scully and their dinner the other night.  Or, more accurately, her last comment before she closed the door.  “If you’d called you’d know.  Maybe you should have called.”  Damn, that was so like her to give him an answer that didn’t really answer his question.  But, if he was going to throw accusations around for unclear or nonexistent answers to questions, he’d have to aim most of his ammo at himself.  In that field he was the king.  Besides, did he really have the right to even know if Mabrey had stayed overnight?  He felt he had the right but in reality their relationship didn’t really warrant that type of revelation.  To HELL it didn’t!  Their relationship was not ‘standard’ but it was intimate.

This was too much to think about this early on a Monday morning.

Mulder moved to Scully’s office and saw signs that she’d been in over the weekend.  Her medical books and journals were neatly ensconced in the new bookcase.  He picked up the first picture on the case.  It was from her FBI training graduation and her entire family flanked Scully as she displayed her new badge and certificate.  Closer examination showed that her mother and father held the small medallion for graduating first in her class between them.  He recalled his own graduation and frowned.  He didn’t have a picture with a loving family surrounding him; his parents didn’t attend his graduation.  He hadn’t even invited them.  He wondered if his parents would have looked so proud if they’d been there.  Would they have held his medal between them like hers had?  He doubted it but he hadn’t given them the chance.  Too late for regrets now.

The other frame held a picture of Scully and he.  It was taken at some long forgotten crime scene and they were wearing their nylon FBI issued windbreakers.  He loved this picture.  He gently placed it back on the bookcase.

His next, and last, stop was his office.  He almost dreaded it, hell he did dread it.  Slowly he entered the room through the connecting doorway.  His head was down so he really didn’t see the room.  Slowly his head rose and he looked at his currently pristine, but soon to be cluttered, desktop.  His jaw dropped because instead of the new metal desk he expected to see his old oak desk was there.  Behind it was his old creaky wood chair and on the wall, amid his degrees and various certificates was his beloved I WANT TO BELIEVE poster only now, instead of just being pinned up, it sported a new frame.

“Like it?”  Scully’s dulcet tones broke into his concentration.  “I knew you wouldn’t like anything modern so I had them keep your old furniture.”

Mulder gave her a hug.  “Thanks, Scully, this makes it a little easier.”

“Come on, the others will be here soon.  Let’s get the coffee on.”

~

The first week in the new office space was filled with sorting and getting things in an order they could all work with; Mulder hated it.  He knew he didn’t really have any reason to complain since he wasn’t doing much of the work.  Diana had taken charge of the operation and was driving Scully to distraction with her bossy attitude.  She acted like a drill sergeant but neither Scully nor Mabrey voiced any complaints.  Well, that is until Diana tried to edict the layouts of the individual offices.  In Mulder’s history with Diana, he’d rarely seen her intimidated by anyone.  Her size alone made for a formidable presence.  When you add her unfailing attitude of superiority, the combination could be terrifying.  But for all the intimidating factors that Diana brought to the table, it didn’t compare to Dana Scully when she was protecting what was hers.  Scully was small and unassuming but she packed more in that tight lithe body than Mohamed Ali when she felt cornered or, he was proud to say, when she was defending him.

Mulder made the right decision, for once, and intervened before the argument had a chance to really start.  “Diana, we all know our own styles and the environments that best suit us.  I think we should just do what we want with our offices.”  He’d even tried to be diplomatic.  “Mabrey, what do you think?”

“I agree, I’m left handed and every office I’ve ever had has been set up for a right handed person.  It may not sound like much but believe me it can be annoying.”  Mulder saw the man smile a little and he placed his hands on his hips.  “Besides, who ‘ever’ taught you right handers how to hang up a desk phone?  The cord goes on the ‘left’ side not draped over the keypad.”  It was just enough to cut the tension and the rest of the day went smoothly. 

~

Mabrey and Diana had gone home but Mulder and Scully remained in the office.  Mulder was at his desk when Scully walked in and sat down.  “Five-seventeen on a Friday and the newbies are already gone.”

“They’ll have to toughen up to really be X-Filers.  Bet they don’t even expect to work weekends unless there’s a case.”  Mulder countered.

“We’re all about the sacrifice,” she said not unkindly.  “Mulder, I just wanted to thank you for standing behind me on the office issue.” 

Mulder was startled and couldn’t understand why she even thought she had to thank him.  She smiled just a little and looked away from him.  “Scully,” he wanted to get her attention.  Suddenly he understood.  “Scully, I don’t blindly take Diana’s side…”

“It sure has felt like it.”

“What are you talking about?”

Scully released a deep sigh and he knew she was debating if she wanted to get into it with him.  He also wondered if she questioned whether he’d give her a fair hearing for whatever she was going to say.  “Come on, Scully, talk to me.”

“Right from the beginning,” she began hesitantly, “you seemed to give her words more value than other peoples.”  She looked into his eyes and he wondered what she saw.  “And that included me.”

“Scully, that isn’t true and you know it,” Mulder tried hard to keep his annoyance in check.

“Do you want examples?  I’ll give you examples.  When we reported our findings from Dallas and Antarctica…”

“You hung me out to dry,” Mulder interrupted bitterly.

“Did I?  I thought you were out for the real truth, Mulder, not just those truths that support your conjectures.  I ran tests and reran them three and four times because I knew that there had to be something.  I was wrong, the tests didn’t support our assumption that the virus was extra terrestrial and I couldn’t report that they did.  I don’t lie.”

Scully took a moment before continuing.  “Later, after our encounter with Gibson…”

“You mean after you lost him.”  Even Mulder was surprised by the vehemence in his voice and he cringed a little.

“Believe me, Mulder, I don’t need you to vilify me about my failure, I have enough guilt of my own for both of us for that situation.”  Mulder marveled at how her eyes turned from Caribbean blue to icy blue before him.  “Just let me remind you that had you ‘watched your partner’s back’ instead of running off with Diana, Gibson might have been kept safe.”

She stood to leave, obviously deciding he wasn’t ready to hear anymore.  “Scully, wait, you’re right.  If I’d gone with you as we planned we might have prevented them taking Gibson.  Please sit down and continue.  It’s been overdue for a long time.”

She held an internal debate but finally returned to her seat.  “Like I said, after the whole thing out there in Arizona I came to you with test results, do you remember?”  He nodded, and he knew where she was going but she deserved the right to say it.  “We’d been forbidden to have any involvement with the X-Files hours earlier and there you were already defying the order.  I understood and, if you’d given me the chance, I would have been right next to you.  But you didn’t, choosing instead to toss accusations at me that were based on faulty and biased assumptions on your part. 

“You accused me because I couldn’t blindly support your account.  We’ll just ignore my condition at the time things were happening, ignore the fact that…” she stopped to calm down and Mulder saw how hurt she still was from that time.  “Hell, forget all of that and get back to the matter at hand.  Due to ‘my’ science I wasn’t able to prove what happened and you called me to task for it.”  Mulder opened his mouth to say something but she held her hand up and stopped him.  “But, Diana Fowley convinces you to go with her to the power plant then, conveniently, gets separated from you, shows up just in time to pull her weapon on you to have the security guard witness it, then withholds the fact that ‘she’ was the reason you were there from her report.”  Scully ticked off each item on her fingers.  “And what does the ‘infallible’ Fox Mulder, former star profiler, have to say about that?   ‘Diana, was protecting the work,’ that’s what he had to say.”

Mulder was dumb struck and just stared at her.

“This woman, exited your life in ’91 and, to my knowledge, hadn’t bothered with you until she returned just in time to see our lives go to hell.  I could be wrong about that.  For all I know you two may have been in constant contact, but then how would I know since you never tell me anything?  Whatever, it’s not like that even matters, but you give her more credence, more trust than me.”  Her fist hit her chest so hard he was sure she would be bruised.  Silently, she stood and walked to the door.  Before crossing the threshold she turned, “Mulder I gave you one example now I want you to think of one example where you took my word, my side over Diana Fowley’s.  When you think of one call me over the weekend otherwise, I’ll see you on Monday.”

Mulder watched her leave but made not comment.  He had a feeling he wouldn’t be talking to Scully till Monday.

~

Scully was already at her desk sorting the mail when Mulder walked in Monday morning.  He hadn’t slept well over the three nights since they last spoke.  He wracked his brain trying to remember one time that he chose Scully’s side over Diana’s and he hadn’t come up with anything except the argument over office layouts last Friday.  He remembered many times when the opposite was true and he’d banded with Diana against Scully but not the other way around.  No wonder Scully had pulled away from him; his track record certainly didn’t reflect how he felt about her or what she was to him. 

She must find it nice to have someone like Mabrey come back into her life.  He was open with his appreciation for her.  One thing he noticed that, unlike he and Diana, Scully was just as likely to disagree with Mabrey as she was to agree with him.

Mulder had just finished removing his topcoat and pulling out some files from his case when Scully came in.  He expected some version of, ‘I told you so,’ or a sly comment about not hearing from him over the weekend, but it never came.  She handed him his mail.

“There’s an inter-office envelope from Skinner, it feels like a file.  Maybe it’s the first case for X-Files Part 2.”  He looked at her for a moment and saw none of the sadness or anger from Friday.  “I put the coffee on but it isn’t ready yet.”  She left him to his stack of mail.

Mulder opened the envelope from Skinner and pulled out the file and, yes, it was a new case.  He was hoping that it was for some place far away from DC where he could send Mabrey and Diana, no; Mabrey and Fowley.  He and Scully could use some time by them selves without the interference of the others. 

A few minutes later he tossed the file down, it wasn’t much of a case and it was local, but it was something to get the other’s feet wet and they would be out of the office for the better part of two or three days.  It still would afford Scully and he some time without them.

Later that morning, the four of them gathered at the conference table and Mulder presented the case.  No one seemed overly impressed but he slid it to Diana.  “Agent Fowley and Agent Mabrey, welcome to the X-Files.  I’m going to assume that will keep you busy for a couple days.  I expect a preliminary progress report tomorrow morning.” 

He turned to Scully and began to say something when Diana interrupted.  “Fox, we’ve been talking,” she indicated Mabrey.  “We think that it would be better for all concerned if the teams were mixed up so that each team had one agent from the old division paired with one of the new agents.”

Mulder looked at Scully and saw her features tighten and he could almost hear her thoughts.  “I see no reason to alter the partnerships.  I do foresee that on occasion it might be necessary to regroup for a particular case but I’m happy with the way things are.”  He looked at Scully and was pleased to see her face soften, “Scully, what do you think?”

“I agree with you, Mulder.  Besides, Agent Fowley, you already have experience with the X-Files so there is really no gain that I can see.”

Both Fowley and Mabrey stiffened at the united front before them.  “I guess that’s settled,” Mulder finished.  “Oh, Fowley, could I have a minute of your time?”

Three sets of eyes looked at him like he was crazy; he’d never referred to her as anything but Diana before.

“Of course, Fox, my office,” it wasn’t a question and she got up and went into her office; Mulder followed but not before seeing Mabrey follow Scully.

Diana closed the door, “now, Fox, what can I do for you?”  Mulder watched her closely for a moment and realized something; she was subtly trying to seduce him.  She was not acting on the overt manner the younger Diana had used but instead she resorted to a delicate dance he knew only too well.  Diana was mimicking Scully.  She must have picked up on his attentions toward his partner. 

“I think it would be best if we stopped referring to each other by out first names.  In our profession it is more appropriate if we use our last names, also I prefer Mulder to Fox.”

This surprised her and she wasn’t quick enough to hide it or her anger.  “It never bothered you in the past.”

“The past ‘is’ the past,” was Mulder’s only answer before he left.

~

Tuesday afternoon, Mulder sauntered into Scully’s office, “you got a minute or twenty?”

“Sure, what’s up?”

“Nothing, this has been nice, I mean, having those two out of the office.  I’m starting to warm up to the place.”

“They should be finished with the case by tomorrow.  And Mulder, when she has a hissy fit about the movement of the coffee maker and that waste basket you better own up to it, I’m not falling on that sword.”  She mock warned him.

“Don’t worry, I’ll tell her maintenance did it.”  She shot him a look.  “Besides we have a case to prep for.”  She liked the excited twinkle in his eye; it had been missing for a while.

“Who gets it, the old X-Filers or the new?”  She asked, and hoped it was them.

“Both, actually, Skinner wants all four of us on it.  Deals with a haunting in Oklahoma, creepy stuff.  But I think the reason we’re all going is that the owner of the building is the grandson of Senator Grayson who…”

“Is a good friend to the bureau,” Scully finished for him.

“Oh, and here’s the interesting part, if there is one, we are all going to have our own motel rooms and two cars.  Skinner had Kim make the arrangements.”  She had no comment.

“Scully, yesterday morning, why didn’t you call me on it, on what you said Friday?”

“Because I know you, Mulder, and I know that I couldn’t say anything that comes close to what you’ve said to yourself.”  She walked over and sat on the edge of her desk in front of him.  “Mulder, I wanted you to look at the last year to see what had gone on.  I needed you to see how you were letting her affect us.  I knew that if you didn’t and it kept up we were doomed.”

“Thanks, Scully, for caring about us enough to fight me.”

Further conversation was prevented from angry voiced in the common area.  Fowley and Mabrey entered the suite and were involved in a heated debate.  Mulder and Scully watched through the open door.  Mulder took Scully’s hand, “looks kind of familiar.”

“Yeah, I hope their partnership turns out as good as ours.”

“Not a chance, Scully.  There’s only room for one set of Mr. and Mrs. Spooky and we’re the originals.”

~

Mabrey and Fowley offered to check into the motel for the four of them.  The clerk looked up the reservation and commented on the specificity of the instructions that were made at the time the reservations were placed.  “Yes, two pairs of connecting non-smoking rooms.  F. Mulder and D. Scully in one pair and D. Fowley and M. Mabrey in the other.  Here we are, 214 and 216 for Mulder and Scully and 218 and 220 for the others.”

They were going to head to their rooms when Mabrey remembered he needed to pick up some things and Mulder offered to go with him.  Scully and Fowley parted company in the hallway.  Scully thanked God they’d eaten before checking in because she’d had all she could take of Fowley’s fawning over Mulder, not that he seemed to mind.  And Marcus was being a complete jerk, how many arms did the man have anyway?  Every time she turned around he was in her face.

It was about ten to twelve when Scully heard the first moan coming from Diana Fowley’s room.  The sounds grew until she heard Diana scream, “God, Baby, that feels so good!”  That was all she could take.  With tears streaming down her cheeks she ran to the bathroom and turned on the shower.  With any luck they’d be done before she got out and she wouldn’t have to hear any more.  In the morning she’d switch rooms.

Fox Mulder was exhausted but restless so he decided to take a run.  He left his room and was just about to pass the pair of doors that led to Scully’s and Diana’s rooms when he heard Mabrey yell out, “God, yes, I love you!”  That was all he could take.  He’d had to watch that asshole maul Scully the whole damned day, he’d be damned if he was going to listen to them screw. 

Mulder began to pound on Scully’s door and a few minutes later it opened to reveal a shocked, but fully clothed, Scully with her hair in a towel.

“Scully/Mulder,” they said in unison, both their faces openly expressing their confusion.

Suddenly a man and woman’s voices screamed out, hers was calling out to God and Fox while his screamed Dana.  It was coming from the next room, Diana’s room.  Mulder and Scully just looked at each other as realization came over them.

The next thing they heard were unintelligible screams from the two people inside and light filtered beneath the door.  Diana was yelling ‘get out’ while Mabrey was screaming curses. 

They heard Mabrey yell, “I don’t understand, I switched the keycard with Mulder’s just as we planned!”

Then Diana countered, “no, ‘I’ switched with Scully, like we planned.”

Mulder and Scully couldn’t contain themselves and burst out laughing and they went into Scully’s room. 

“Do you believe them?” Scully asked between fits of giggles.

“They planned to switch connecting rooms then ambush us.”  Mulder couldn’t stop laughing.

“Like that would have worked.”  She crawled onto the bed.

“Well, it did, just with the wrong partners.”  He sat next to her, “they gave me an idea…”

“I’d have your ass, Mulder.”

“I was hoping you’d say that,” Mulder pulled her into a sensual kiss.

 

End

 

Author notes:  for all you right handers out there – I’m sorry.  No I’m not!  I’m a lefty living in a right handed world and I have to tell you, you people do EVERYTHING backwards and that telephone cord thing is really annoying. (Ha-Ha)

Reading this story, I realized the feeling in the first part versus the feelings in parts 2 and 3 are quite different.  I attribute it to that while I wrote the first part I was getting over the death of my mom and I was in a very different place.

Thank you all for reading.

 

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