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Eavesdropping - One

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Title: Eavesdropping Part 1: You Never Hear Good Things

Author: Sara B.

E-mail: sabo727@tampabay.rr.com

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

Rating: Good for all (a few naughty words)

Category: UA, M/A, S/A

Spoilers: The End, The Beginning

Summary:  Mulder accidentally overhears a conversation and, as we’ve all been told, he doesn’t hear things about himself that he’s comfortable with.  This is not MSR.

Feedback:  Come On – work that keyboard!

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 M. thank you for your generous insights.  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 Note:  This was supposed to be a one shot deal.  B-U-T I let Anne read it before it was beta’d and she insisted that I write a follow up.  I wrote it but couldn’t conclude the storyline in one more story so there are two more parts. 

Eavesdropping Part 1: You Never Hear Good Things

Sara B.04/07

 

The hostess showed Mulder to a booth.  Happily the booths in this restaurant had high backs and he could eat anonymously and ponder his problems, number one being his relationship with Scully.

The past year was best described as a rollercoaster.  It had been fast and furious with corkscrews, hills and dips.  Just when things between them would level out something would happen and they’d be on opposite sides.  Scully and he often held opposing views but they were always united in their cause; until recently. 

Lately, he’d begun to sense that Scully was reaching a pivotal point and she was on the verge of a decision, and Mulder was afraid that decision would take her from him completely.

He knew his actions regarding Diana were a major issue between them.  Scully didn’t think Diana was on the level and he couldn’t seem to move beyond his past with her.  Their disagreements always seemed to dissolve from whatever case they were working on into personal attacks and most of the time they ended up fighting over something to do with Diana.

This week had ended especially badly and by the end of Friday Scully wasn’t even speaking to him.  Her last words were, ‘you’ve made your decision and you will have to live with mine.’  It hadn’t helped that Diana chose that moment to show up in all her gloating glory; Scully left and he didn’t see her again.  For the first time Mulder began to wonder if he hadn’t made a serious mistake with his request.

The waitress brought his drink and took his order.  The break allowed him to turn off the voices in his mind and tune into his surroundings.  A voice he knew better than his own caught his ear, Scully.  She was in the next booth and she was with her friend Ellen.

“Dana, this is such a surprise.  What brought around the change?”

“I suppose it was time, time for me to wake up to the reality that I need more in my life.  Certain, well, things have been going on and they made me realize that what I thought I had I didn’t and I never will.  I’m even beginning to wonder why I ever thought I wanted them.”  Mulder heard the edge in Scully’s voice and knew she was trying to hold her temper.

“Dana,” concern had edged into Ellen’s voice, “what on earth did Mulder do?”  There was a pause and Mulder wished he could see what the two women were doing.  “What on earth could have happened that has you out on a rare free Saturday buying new dating clothes and agreeing to have me set you up?”  Ellen’s question was answered by Scully’s stilted laugh.  On the other side Mulder’s stomach dropped.

“I’m not even going to ask why you think this has something to do with Mulder, because we both know it does.  This week I found out that the man I’ve trusted and, let’s face it, loved, is nothing more than a lying bastard.  Today I woke to the realization that every intimate thing I’d shared with Mulder was false.  It was all a delusion I was feeding myself”

“I’ve heard you speak about him with concern, frustration, affection and often annoyance but I’ve never heard you like this, you sound like you’ve given up on him.  Dana, please tell me what happened to get you like this.”

Mulder waited for Scully’s answer and so many seconds passed he didn’t think she was going to speak but suddenly she did.  “You remember when we lost the X-Files last year, right?”

“How could I forget?  You were devastated, you were going to quit just to avoid being transferred.  I remember you said that at least you’d still be here to help Mulder.”

Mulder heard Scully choke out a laugh, “yeah, help Mulder, God, I’m a fool.”  The defeat in her voice made Mulder cringe.

“Dana!”

“It’s true, Ellen.  Believe me, if I learned anything this last year it’s that Special Agent Fox Mulder does not want MY help or anything else I offer.”  She sighed and Mulder felt her fidget on the bench behind his.  “The case that made us lose the X-Files was about a little boy.  Did you read the stories where that Russian chess champ who was shot when he played that child prodigy?”  There was a slight pause and Mulder assumed Ellen nodded.  “Yeah, well, there was more to that boy than being able to outwit world class chess champions.  Ellen, you are not going to believe skeptical Scully is saying this but, that boy, Gibson, had the ability to read people’s minds.”

“Oh, Dana, stop joking.”  Another pause but when Ellen next spoke Mulder heard the astonishment in her voice.  “You aren’t joking, are you?”

“No, Ellen, I’m not.  I’ve met people who claimed to be able to read minds before but this little sad boy was real.  He had the ability and it made his life miserable.”  Scully’s voice sounded so sad it nearly broke Mulder’s heart.

“The day started a bit strange, I’d been notified to attend a meeting but Mulder hadn’t.  At the meeting I learned it was about this shooting.  None of it made sense because the shooting happened in Canada and neither of the participants was Americans; the FBI shouldn’t have been involved at all.” 

Mulder sat straight at her comment.  He’d never looked at it like that before but she was right, they shouldn’t have been called in on that case.

“So why was the FBI involved?”  Ellen asked, her voice indicated how interested she was in Scully’s story.

“I still don’t know anything for certain but I think it was a set up to bring Mulder’s former, or current, lover into the mix.”  She paused then continued.  “Mulder walked into the meeting and, as he’s inclined to do, he pointed out what everyone else in the room had missed.  On the video of the shooting the little boy backed up a moment before the shot, he was the intended target and somehow the boy knew it.  Mulder had hardly finished asking for the moderator, a pencil necked geek named Jeffrey Spender, to replay the portion of the video when Spender started to complain and then a woman from the back spoke up and agreed with Mulder.  If I’d known how that woman would ruin my life I would have pulled my weapon and shot her then I would have shot that bastard, Mulder.”  Mulder had rarely heard Scully so angry.

“Dana, calm down.  Take a deep breath.”  Mulder heard Scully take a breath and let it out slowly.  “Are you ready to continue?”

“Sorry, Ellen, it’s just I can’t believe what he’s put me through for, well, I’ll get to that.  After the meeting I saw the two of them talking and I knew there was history.  The three of us drove to the hospital the little boy was being held. I have no idea how the FBI got custody of the child but no one but me seemed to question it.  Mulder was too caught up with either Gibson’s abilities or Diana Fowley, that’s the woman’s name, or both.  We were in the car when suddenly I smelled Fowley’s scent and I remembered a comment Mulder made sometime back when someone else was wearing that scent that it was his favorite perfume.”

Ellen chimed, “shit, and still the jerk didn’t say anything?”

“Not one word. He didn’t even say anything when he told her, in a very familiar way, that she knew what tests to run on Gibson to check his capabilities; but she did.  Fowley told me they knew each other from a long time ago.  Ellen, he still hasn’t said anything.  Did I mention that they call each other Diana and Fox?”

“Mr. ‘I made everyone call me Mulder’ let’s her call him Fox?”  There was a short pause then Ellen exclaimed, “that fucking shit-head lying bastard!”

“Ellen, keep your voice down!”  Scully admonished.  “And yes, to her he’s Fox...”  

A very large and loud party walked by Mulder’s table and he missed some conversation.  When the noise abated Scully was talking, “… it wasn’t that they were holding hands, it was how they were holding hands and the soft look in Mulder’s eyes.  I remembered how Frohike described their relationship.”  Mulder cringed again; he could only guess what Frohike had told her.  Whatever it was he knew she should have heard it from Mulder himself.  “If I’d known the true nature of their past and how it would affect our partnership I would have transferred right then.”

“Dana, I can’t believe it was that bad.”  Ellen said disapprovingly.  “You have never been a quitter.”

“If lying, omitting pertinent information that put our lives in danger, accusing me of being unprofessional, shutting me out, telling me he doesn’t believe me or trust me, heading off with his girlfriend to join the very people we’ve been fighting against is not that bad then you are right.”

“He did all that?”  There was a pause, “oh, Dana, don’t cry, here, dab your eyes.”

“It’s been awful.  Every time it was a choice between believing Fowley and believing me, I lost, every single time.  He once even accused me of wanting him to make a choice.  The only choice I wanted him to make was to find it in him to believe me.”

“Dana, you’ve stuck firm for years no matter what was thrown at you, so what happened to change your mind?”

“Yesterday Mulder had run off someplace, he didn’t tell me where, which has become the norm of late.  Diana Fowley waltzed into the office and announced that she had put in the paperwork to be transferred back to the X-Files division.  She showed me a copy of the form and attached was a letter stating her qualifications and how the division had profited from her expertise in the past.  It went on in very expressive detail her diligence and dedication to the work and so on.”  Mulder cringed hearing her describe the letter and how her voice broke. 

“Ellen, I’ve looked into the records so what I’m about to tell you is not jealousy or pettiness.”  Mulder had the feeling he wasn’t going to like what she was about to say.  “The records show that when she and Mulder first found the X-Files their solve rate was below ten percent.  Now given the nature of the cases, most of which had been investigated earlier and determined ‘unsolvable’ and that it was new territory a low solve rate really isn’t that surprising.  When she ditched his sorry ass and pitched her so called dedication to the work in the nearest dumpster as she boarded a jet to Germany, their solve rate was just over twelve percent.  Still, it was a whole new avenue of investigation so still I don’t think the solve rate was that unexpected. 

“While Mulder worked alone his solve rate was forty-two percent.”

“That’s interesting, by losing her he tripled his solve rate?  That doesn’t even sound logical.  One would think the rate would go down when one of the team was gone.”  Ellen’s voice didn’t hide her incredulity, but Mulder knew she didn’t doubt what Scully was telling her.

“Yes, that would be the normal perception,” Scully replied.

“It sounds like something or someone might have been manipulating the investigations.” 

“When I was assigned to work with Mulder on the X-Files our solve rate was a low of sixty-seven percent three months after I was assigned, but once we reached our stride our rate was a steady seventy-eight percent.  It was one of the best in the FBI.  Believe me, it was that high solve rate the kept us from being closed down on several occasions.”

“Can’t argue with success,” Ellen teased.

“When Diana Fowley took over the division and worked with Spender they didn’t even have a solve rate because they only submitted one report in all those months; and that was their first case.”

“Dana, I don’t understand how this all ties into that recommendation letter.  Obviously this Fowley got a friend to write it for her.” 

Mulder hung his head because he knew what was coming.  Scully’s derisive chuckle hurt his ears.  “The letter’s author was one Special Agent Fox Mulder, the current department head of the X-Files and dated last Wednesday.”

“So do you think she’ll be assigned?”  Ellen didn’t hide her anger and her friend’s problem..

“Not if Skinner has anything to say about it.  I went up to see him after Fowley left and he told me that he’d gotten the request but he was fighting it.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“Well, today you and I are going to finish our shopping and I’m going to listen to you chat up that Michael Levin you told me about and any other eligible men you think might be interesting.  Remember, I’ve got a lot of dating years to make up for….”

“Dana, I’m talking about work.”

“Oh, that.  Well, I’ve decided to stay.  You see, talking with you I realized something.  It doesn’t matter if Fowley is assigned to the X-Files or not.  They can do whatever they want but judging by their past records it is ME, Dana Scully, the skeptic that made the difference. 

“Mulder never misses an opportunity to say how much of him is in those files but I’ve given more, lost more and earned my place and if it comes down to it, I’ll fight him for the division if it comes down to it.  And I’ll win, the facts are all on my side.”  The strength and confidence in Scully’s voice scared Mulder.  “I don’t need Mulder because I’ve got me.”

“Well, then,” Ellen said with a lilting voice, “let’s get out of here and head to Victoria’s Secret.”

Mulder waited till he felt it was safe.  His mostly untouched meal sat congealing on the table.  The loneliness that he was feeling overwhelmed him as he realized he just might have lost the single most important person in his life.  He didn’t like admitting it but Scully was right, she didn’t need him but God, he needed her.

He didn’t know if he could fix his rift with Scully but he did know where to start. Mulder pulled out his cel phone and dialed a little used number.  It was answered on the fourth ring, “Sir, it’s Mulder.  I need you to squash Diana Fowley’s transfer request…”

 

End

 

Eavesdropping - Two

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