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Another Brick in the Wall

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Title: Another Brick in the Wall

Author: Sara B.

E-mail: sabo727@tampabay.rr.com

URL:  http://sabo727.tripod.com/

Rating: Good for all

Category: Angst, MSF, tiny element of MSR

Spoilers: One Son, The Unnatural

Feedback:  Sock it to me!

Summary:  Mulder lets Diana Fowley interfere with an investigation and Scully is hurt.  He is given a taste of his own medicine when a man from Scully’s past accompanies them on another investigation.  They both end up learning a lesson and a little about how their actions affect the other.

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, simply the best!  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.

Another Brick in the Wall

Sara B. 02/06

 

Another Brick in the Wall Part One:  Laying the Foundation

 

Scully eased her body into the heated water of the hotel pool.  Tonight she needed to work out the aches in her abused body and abused psyche.  Above all she needed to avoid the ‘Siamese twins,’ Mulder and Diana Fowley.  They’d been inseparable during the entire case.  Not only inseparable but no where to be found during the investigation. 

 

Over the last two years eleven women had been kidnapped and kept for three months where they suffered repeated rapes and beatings.  Then their battered emaciated bodies washed ashore at Lake Winter.  The only reason that Mulder and Scully had been contacted was that each body had been branded with a pentagram.  

 

Scully still wasn’t sure why Fowley was there or how Mulder had cleared it with Skinner for her to accompany them.  Mulder didn’t even bother telling Scully until they were at the airport and Diana Fowley walked up and greeted them.  The two of them sat together while Scully was forgotten and relegated to a seat seven rows back.  Hell, Mulder almost drove off without her after they’d landed.

 

It didn’t take long to ascertain that there was no paranormal aspect to the case even though Mulder and Fowley kept insisting that it was.  Oh, there were monsters, yes, but they were the all too human kind. 

 

Mulder and Fowley ditched Scully on the second day and ran off investigating on their own while she stayed behind and did some background checking.  Scully hadn’t seen the ‘Siamese twins’, as she nicknamed them, since then.  There had not even been so much as an accidental elevator ride shared.  Scully’s hotel room was two floors and a whole wing away from the connected ones that Mulder and Fowley occupied.  She tried calling him on several occasions but he was either out of the area or his phone was off, every time.  She stopped leaving messages after the seventh or eighth unreturned try.

 

Agent Aaron Anderson of the local FBI office was aiding in the investigation.  On the third day Scully and Anderson decided to revisit the homes of the victims.  All of the women had been single and successful and their lifestyles reflected it.  Affluent neighborhoods, expensive autos, fine furnishings and closets full of designer clothing.  These women indulged in all the trappings of the rich and powerful.

 

They had gotten to the home of the third victim, Jen Sanders, when they found the first real clue.  Ms. Sanders was the owner of a high end boutique.  Scully was looking around when she realized that all three of the homes they’d visited that morning had some expertly installed hand made cabinetry by the same local artisan.  She called Sheriff Krill and asked him to have deputies check the other locations for hand crafted furnishings by River’s Edge Cabinetry.

 

That was a day earlier and it took a lot to connect the dots, but today the case came to a head.  She, Agent Aaron Anderson and Sheriff Krill’s team apprehended Thomas Morton and Craig Hearn on charges of murder and assorted other charges. 

 

Unfortunately, the arrest hadn’t gone down cleanly.  Morton hit her with a two by four plank and proceeded to beat her until Deputies Paul Longfellow and Mark Wells were able pull him off. 

 

Mulder and Fowley were not in on the arrest because they had not been located.  That was something the sheriff took particular notice of using very colorful and inventive language.  Scully suspected his report to Skinner would be less than sympathetic regarding those two and she’d be damned if she did anything to justify their behavior.

 

Krill insisted Scully be checked out at the clinic.  She was treated for several lacerations; one deep one was at her hairline, two blackened eyes, bruised ribs and a torn ligament in her left ankle.  Scully was bruised from head to toe.  The doctor insisted she use a boot and a cane to help her walk.

 

Anderson gave Scully a lift back to her hotel.  She checked for messages; there were none. Scully called Skinner after she’d gotten settled.  Skinner already knew about the outcome of the case, Anderson had called him while he waited for her to be treated.  She heard hesitancy in Skinner’s voice and she knew there was something else he wanted to say or ask.  She didn’t think he’d welcome any answers she could provide so she hurriedly ended the call but not before Skinner said he’d have Kim arrange for her flight home and the ticket would be waiting for her at the desk sometime later that night.

 

Scully argued that she should stay and finish the final paperwork but Skinner assured her Anderson would take care of it and she could e-mail or fax anything they might need.

 

She knew she was too wound up and angry to get any rest so she decided to make use of the hotel’s indoor pool and whirlpool.  She would have liked to use the exercise equipment but her battered body couldn’t take anymore abuse tonight. 

 

Scully donned her swimsuit and a cover-up then hobbled down to the spa area.  Luck was with her and no one else was in the place.  She grabbed a couple of towels and put them on a chair near the pool steps and removed her boot.  She hopped the few feet to the steps then gingerly entered the pool.  The water enveloped her like velvet and for a few moments she let herself revel in the feeling of weightlessness before she started doing laps.   

 

~x~

Mulder trudged into his hotel room exhausted.  This week had been a complete and utter disaster.  Not only did he re-learn why he and Diana made lousy partners, in every sense of the word, he’d alienated Scully.  He was sure she was justifiably royally pissed off at him for inviting Diana along, ditching her and ignoring her many call attempts.

 

Skinner gave them the casefile on Tuesday and, unbeknownst to Scully, Mulder arranged for Diana to accompany them, well, him.  He still couldn’t really explain why he’d done it, maybe to piss Scully off so at least he wouldn’t suffer anymore of her indifference.  Getting anything from her lately was worse than pulling teeth from cement.  She’d completely shut down from him; not that he could really blame her.  Whatever made him do it he was sure that Scully was less inclined to open up to him now.

 

Mulder realized what a huge mistake he’d made when Diana greeted them at the airport.  The look on Scully’s face burned him to his very being.  He’d wanted a reaction and he got one and now he had no idea what he’d been expecting.  Her face told the story, anger, hurt but worst of all was that there had been no sign of surprise, just a sad resignation.  Scully expected that he would hurt her; he’d been doing it so much lately that she’d become resigned to it. 

 

The airport was bad, the plane trip was worse and now he was at a point where he wondered if he would ever see light again.

 

Somehow Diana had gotten Scully’s seat on the plane while Scully had to go somewhere near the back.  He was so concerned about Scully that he had no memory of the conversation he’d had with Diana during the flight.  When they landed he’d been so distracted that he’d almost left Scully stranded at the airport.  It was only when he heard her scream after him that he stopped the car and watched her running to catch them.  God, she was actually running in her high heels and lugging her medical kit and suitcase. When they reached the hotel he didn’t notice that not only did Diana get the connected room next to his but Scully’s was not even on the same floor. 

 

The second day, Diana suggested they leave Scully at the sheriff’s office and the two of them would follow their own investigation.  It sounded logical and Scully and he had done the same thing countless times; each pursuing their own avenues to find the solution.  Not three hours after dropping Scully off Diana and he were at each other’s throats.

 

It was pretty clear that there was no paranormal aspect to the case but Diana was relentless.  She kept insisting that they would find the right connections.  He had been forced into taking Scully’s position, to be the grounding factor; it wasn’t exactly a custom fit.  He’d gained a new respect for the way Scully handled him.  Mulder couldn’t count the number of times he wanted to yell, ‘look at the damned facts.’  He knew that as strident as Diana had been it was no where near what he’d been known to put Scully through and she never resorted to anything more than an exasperated raise of her voice.

 

The kicker came the second night.  They’d been fighting all day and he had just picked up the phone to call Scully when Diana walked through the connecting door.  She was carrying a bottle of his favorite wine and wearing only a shear black lacy teddy.  She didn’t get the response she’d expected.  The connecting door remained closed and locked ever since. 

 

Mulder knew that Scully had tried on numerous occasions to call him but he was avoiding her and didn’t return any of her messages.  What he needed to say to her had to be said in person.  He owed her some major apologies.  

 

Mulder checked his messages when he got to his room hoping at least one was from Scully.  The first message was from Sheriff Krill informing him that the case was closed and he would be sure to report his and Agent Fowley’s actions to their superior.  Mulder stared at the machine, the case was closed?  He pulled out his cell but waited to listen to his other message, hoping it was from Scully with details; it wasn’t.  Skinner’s voice had that strained tone that Mulder knew only too well; he was in deep crap.  He and Diana were on suspension pending investigation into their actions regarding this case.  “Mulder, let me just finish with, get your ass back here on the next available flight.  Agent Scully’s got a reservation on a flight that leaves tomorrow, do what ever you have to do, but be on it.  But don’t try to join Scully in first class, she’s been wounded.

 

Mulder’s heart ran cold, Scully was wounded and he hadn’t been there.  He needed to see her.  He grabbed his keys and ran into the hallway and was halfway to the elevator before he remembered he didn’t know what room she was in. 

 

He headed back to his room and called the desk and asked to be connected to Scully’s room.  The pencil necked kid at the desk told that she wasn’t in her room but that he’d seen her headed toward the pool.

 

Mulder thanked the guy then changed into his swimsuit and a shirt and went to find Scully. 

 

~x~

Mulder opened the door to the pool area and spotted her immediately.  Her red hair spanned out as she floated on her back.  His eyes roamed her body; she was covered in bruises.  He stealthily entered the water, trying not to cause too many ripples. 

 

“Go away, Mulder,” she said flatly.

 

“What?  Why, Scully and what the hell happened to you?”

 

“Because I want to relax and you can read it in my report.”  She got up and swam toward the steps; resigned that he was not leaving.  Mulder watched as she slowly got out of the pool.  The bruising seemed more lurid as she ascended the stair.  He noticed that her movements were jerky and tentative; not her usual fluid motion.  When she reached the top she hopped to the chair a few feet away and sat down before trying to dry off.   

 

Mulder followed her out, “Scully, don’t leave.  Tell me what happened.”

 

Her movements stopped and she looked over the towel she held to her face.  “It isn’t like you give a shit.  Just leave me alone, Mulder.  I’m leaving tomorrow.  You and Agent Wonderful can just hang out and screw each other silly.”  She started to hobble away. 

 

It didn’t take Mulder long to catch up with her and take her arm.  Scully yanked away from him and he heard her hiss with the pain.  “Scully, talk to me, please.  Come on.”

 

“Like you’ve been so communicative.  Just let me go, I swear I won’t tell Skinner about your little escapade with Agent Fowley.”

 

“I think the sheriff already keyed him in.  Skinner left a message that Diana and I are suspended pending an investigation.”  She didn’t say anything nor did her features soften and it angered him.  “What, Scully, feeling a bit superior?”  He snarled.

 

“No, just feeling a lot of pain.  Pain that I may have been able to avoid if my partner had been doing his job instead of gallivanting around the countryside with his lover.  Leaving his phone off while they looked for the paranormal activity that didn’t exist.”  With that she turned and left as quickly as she could, leaving a stunned and guilty Mulder standing there not knowing what to do. 

 

End Part 1

 

Another Brick in the Wall Part Two:  Mortar Setting

 

Scully arrived early just to have a few more moments for herself.  This was Mulder’s first day back from his week long suspension.  She’d been dodging his calls since they returned.  He’d even showed up at her apartment on Saturday but she acted like she was just leaving so she wouldn’t have to talk to him.  Her defenses were down and if they talked she may have told him exactly what she thought of him right now; and it wasn’t much.  The chance of them recovering from this chasm between them was slim but at least there was a chance.  If she told him what was on her mind that chance would disappear.

 

She’d spent most of the week catching up on paperwork and writing an article for a medical journal on the musculature anomalies of Edward H. Van Blundht; Eddie.  In the last several years she’d written papers on Eugene Victor Tooms, Samuel Aboah, Leonard Betts and now Van Blundht.  Mulder wasn’t the only one whose name was synonymous with strange in their chosen field.  The medical profession knew the name Dana Scully as a recognized expert in the weird and feared.  

 

She put her things away and checked the messages, dutifully writing them in the new phone log she’d gotten.  In one weeks time she’d logged fifty seven messages for Mulder, and that didn’t include the repeat callers.  Repeat callers just got a check on the original message.  Diana Fowley’s original message had seventeen checkmarks and she was adding another one to it from this morning’s batch. 

 

Scully took her own messages and headed back to her area to start working.  She sat at the small table that served as her desk and tried to find room to put her notes on.  The laptop took up most of the tabletop.  Last week she’d used Mulder’s desk but today he would be back.  The sadness that she’d been able to tamp down came roaring back to the forefront. 

 

Six years, she’d been part of the X-Files for six years and she still had to go begging for workspace just to do her damned job.  Scully started packing up her computer and notes when the door opened. 

 

~x~

Mulder’s nerves were out of control.  He’d cut himself shaving twice and he couldn’t seem to make his fingers function well enough to tie his necktie.  It was his first day back from suspension and he’d have to face Scully.   

 

Scully had refused to speak with him for the last week, even going so far as to fake an errand just to get away from him when he dropped by after she’d ignored all of his calls.  He was mad about that but the words ‘paybacks are a bitch’ ran through his head.  Besides he’d been doing a little avoiding on his own.  Diana called repeatedly and she’d dropped by twice and he didn’t answer his door.  She even went so far as to try her key and Mulder thanked goodness his locks had been changed at least three times since she left in ’91.

 

Mulder reached the office door and was surprised to find that Scully was already there; so much for getting settled in.  He crossed the threshold and watched her for a moment.  Scully was closing up her laptop and her briefcase. 

 

“Either I’m a lot later than I thought or you’re a little ahead of yourself, Scully.”  Mulder hoped to see her usual ‘eye smile’ as he called it.  The one that never reached her lips but let him know that she actually thought something was funny; it didn’t happen.

 

“I have to find someplace to work.  I’m looking into a case for Phil Forman and I need to spread out.  Your messages are on your desk, along with a copy of my report from the last case.  I’ve turned my part into Skinner and he said for you and Agent Fowley to attach your portion and get it to him first thing tomorrow.”

 

Scully started to move past him and he gently grabbed her arm halting her exit.  “Scully, we haven’t spoken in over a week.  We need to discuss this.”

 

“Why, you didn’t discuss having Fowley accompany us on that case.  You didn’t discuss running off with her to follow your own investigation and you didn’t discuss turning off your phone and being completely unreachable.  So why in the hell should I be inclined to discuss anything with you?” 

 

Mulder removed his arm and stepped back.  “I never knew you to hold a grudge before, Scully.”  He said accusingly.

 

That was it.  Scully put her things down; Mulder wanted a show down and he was about to get it.  “Don’t you DARE put this on me!  I wasn’t the one who caused any of this, you did.  You and that woman you keep throwing in our path.  It was your actions that got you suspended because you let her blind you from the real evidence.”  Scully’s eyes closed for a moment.  “Mulder, why is it you only need proof when it is something from me?” Scully asked quietly. “Everyone else you just believe.”

 

“Scully, it wasn’t like that.  Diana had some legitimate ideas that I thought needed to be pursued.”

 

“And look what it got us. You two were suspended and I have a torn ligament, lacerations and bruised ribs.  It certainly didn’t help solve the case.  No, it was my ‘legitimate’ ideas that did that.  So I really don’t see what your investigation got us except what it has done to us.”

 

“What has it done to us, Scully?”  Mulder’s tone was softer.

 

“If you can’t answer that yourself then you aren’t a tenth as smart as you think you are.”  Scully started to pick up her things; she really needed to get some work done.

 

“Why don’t you trust me anymore, Scully?”  Mulder blurted out and he could tell she was startled but she recovered quickly.

 

Scully looked him directly in the eyes and squared her shoulders.  “Because you've given me no reason here to do otherwise.” 

 

Mulder’s jaw dropped from hearing his own words thrown back at him.

 

End Part 2

 

Another Brick in the Wall Part Three:  Scaling the Wall

 

Mulder and Scully were sitting in the airport waiting for their flight to Omaha.  It had been a rough time and beyond work they really weren’t functioning.  Mulder sat across from Scully pretending to be reading but he was really watching her over his magazine. 

 

Scully seemed content reading her latest copy of JAMA but inside she was a jumble of nerves. 

 

A shadow fell over her magazine and she looked up.  “Paul, Paul Milton?”  Mulder saw her stand and the two hugged.  The man moved to kiss her but Scully turned her head just enough for the kiss to land on her cheek.

 

“Hey!  What kind of greeting is that?”  The man protested good naturedly.

 

“You always were one to take a mile when offered an inch.  What are you doing here?”

 

“I have a client in Richardson.  Seems she’s expecting these two FBI Agents to come visiting.  Wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?”

 

“You’re representing Frieda Townsend?”

 

“Yes, I am.  We have her book in our fall catalog.  A haunted house with a history of murder and suicides, it’s sure to be a best seller.  That is unless you debunk the whole thing.”

 

Mulder watched the exchange for as long as he could before traversing the short distance.  “Scully?”  He asked.

 

“Mulder, this is Paul Milton an old friend.  Somehow our fathers shared, what was it, four different assignments?”

 

“Five, you always forget Pearl; we were packing to leave while your family was unpacking.  It was short but it still counts.” Milton held out his hand.  “It’s nice to finally meet you, Agent Mulder; Bill has some interesting things to say about you.”  He saw the look of Mulder’s face.  “Don’t worry, Maggie and Dana tell me the complete opposite.”

 

“Paul is with Remington Publications.  We’ve known each other a long time.”

 

“I should say we have.  I knew Dana before she was a redhead.”  Scully giggled and slapped his arm.  “Okay, okay.  When they brought her home our Dana was a bald little bundle of joy.  I think I fell in love with her way back then.”

 

“Oh, so that’s why you joined Bill and Charles in their tickle torture fests?”

 

“In a way, they were my idea.  If you remember you were about fifteen when they started and, well, your curves, even back then, have always been pretty spectacular.”

 

“Paul!”

 

“Hey, I was a hormonal teenager what do you expect?  But I’m telling you now, girl, you’re even better looking than you were then.  I’ll bet Agent Mulder here agrees with me when I say hubba hubba.”

 

~x~

Mulder sat on his bed steaming mad.  They’d been here three days and Scully was spending all her time with Paul Milton.  How were they ever going to patch things up if they never spent any time together?  It didn’t help that Mulder was the one who kept sending her Milton’s way.

 

He heard the door to Scully room open and close.  He was grateful that he didn’t hear any voices.  He looked at the clock, it was just after ten.  He’d last seen Scully at six when she was leaving with Milton to go to dinner.  A knock on the connecting door startled him.

 

The door on his side had not been latched so her knock dislodged it from the frame.  “Mulder, do you have a minute?”  Scully asked timidly as she stood in the doorframe.  She was backlit so her features were hidden in shadows.

 

Mulder was thrilled she’d finally come to him.  “Come in, Scully.”  She walked over and sat on the side of the bed.

 

“Mulder, I need a favor.  I know with the way things are between us I don’t have the right to ask but. . .”

 

“Scully, all you ever have to do is ask.  What is it?  You need a kidney or a heart?  Whatever it is it’s yours.”

 

“You shouldn’t make promises until you know the terms; you never know what a desperate woman like me might ask.”  Scully’s eyes flickered with mischief.  God, he’d missed this side of her; the playful, lusty side that he claimed as his own years ago. 

 

“Oh, do tell!  Dare I hope,” he added as he patted the space on the bed next to him.  It almost felt normal. 

 

“I need you to pull rank on me tomorrow and not let Paul drag me off.”  Mulder’s unspoken ‘say what,’ must have been written on his face because she laughed.  “This investigation is getting nowhere.  He drags me off and works his bag of tricks and misdirection and every time I try and protest you say, ‘no, go ahead, Scully, I’m fine on my own.’”  She moved slightly closer toward the headboard and tucked her feet under her.  “Not only am I not doing my job, a girl could get a complex.”

 

“What happened?  Did Milton try something?”  Mulder was ready to hurt the guy.

 

“Not the way you think but he’s making ‘noises’ and I’d just rather not let things get too far off course.”

 

“I thought that, well, that maybe you kind of liked him.”  Mulder’s voice was quiet and he was holding his breath waiting for her answer.

 

“I do like Paul, I love him.  In many ways he’s as close to me as Bill and Charles but the way he’s acting is making me a little uncomfortable.  It’s better to stop things now.”  She rose and started toward the door.

 

“Oh, so he’s like a brother?”  She nodded.  Mulder knew he shouldn’t ask but his tongue moved before he could stop himself.  “How do you see me?”

 

If Scully was startled by the question she hid it well.  “I see you so many ways, Mulder.  You are partner, friend, confidant, nurturer and many other things.”

 

“Not in any romantic sense?”  As soon as it left his mouth he saw her eyes dim a little and he wished he could pull back his words.

 

“You know better than I why that would be.  Goodnight, Mulder.” 

 

She was gone and the door was closed before he could reply.  Part of him wanted to finish this tonight but a wiser part decided he needed to think about what she’d said.

 

End Part 3

 

Another Brick in the Wall Part Four:  The Wall Comes Tumbling Down

 

The case had wrapped up without anything being answered.  They found nothing that either supported or discounted claims of the haunting.  Mulder noticed that neither of them saw much of Milton after they told his client their findings or lack of them as it turned out. 

 

Milton did not return on the flight with them, opting to book a flight straight to New York.  Mulder wondered if Scully saw how suspicious that was.

 

They’d gotten back in town two days earlier.  They got their report ready to present to Skinner at their ten-fifteen meeting.  Despite the ease that Scully displayed a few days earlier as she sat on his bed, things remained stilted between them. 

 

During the briefing with Skinner he told them that they were owed an apology.  Skinner told them they never should have been assigned the case.  It had come down from Deputy Director Chance.  Chance owed a favor to his cousin who happened to be Gloria Townsend; the mother of Frieda Townsend, the owner of the so called haunted house and author of A Haunting on the Prairie.  The whole thing was a publicity stunt.  Luckily, since their findings were inconclusive, it wouldn’t be used in regard to the book or the subsequent TV Movie planned for the Sci-Fi channel. 

 

Only Mulder would notice the chink in Scully’s professional armor at Skinner’s information.  He didn’t need to guess what was going through her mind; Scully felt used by someone she trusted.  Paul Milton, someone she’d known and trusted, used her to get what he wanted.

 

The parallels seemed to glare at him.  The circumstances were completely different but he too used Scully.  He relied on her backing him up without question.  The few times she wasn’t able to he’d pushed her away and trampled on her feelings. 

 

Suddenly Mulder felt very small.

 

~

Mulder closed the door when they reached their office.  Neither partner said anything after leaving Skinner’s office.  Mulder watched Scully sit on her chair.  Her movements were leaden and lacked the grace he so admired. 

 

“He used me, Mulder.  Paul used me to get what he wanted.  I thought it odd that he had to fly from New York to here before going to Omaha but, hell, I don’t know.  I didn’t really put much stake in it at the time.  I hadn’t seen him in two or three years and it was good to meet up with someone from. . .”  She broke off.  “Someone who knew me before I was just Scully.  I guess I wanted to believe him.  Like you and Agent Fowley.  I owe you an apology, Mulder.”

 

Mulder didn’t know what to say, he was the one who owed her the apology.  He waited a few minutes but she didn’t continue.  “Scully, I think I’m the one who really owes you an apology.  I realized today that I do the same thing as Milton did to you but I do it all the time.  I use your brilliance to get the results that I want.  I expect you to bend your science to meet my expectations and when you won’t do that I brush you off.”  He walked over to her and knelt down.  “I expect that just because I believe something you should too.  I never gave you any reason to trust Diana, I just expected you to follow blindly.”

 

“Thank you, Mulder, for finally understanding.  I think we both understand a little better now.” 

 

End Part 4

 

~x~

Another Brick in the Wall Part Five:  Sorting Through the Rubble

 

“Hey, Mister!  I gotta get home or my ma will tan me but good.  You and your girlfriend will have to pack it in.”

 

Mulder mumbled in Scully’s ear, “girlfriend,” and unconsciously pulled her tighter. 

 

“Pay the kid, Mulder, while I start picking up the balls.”  Mulder reluctantly let her go and she started toward the field.  He’d just gotten his wallet out when she turned back and yelled, “don’t worry, I’ll hold your spot for you.”

 

Mulder’s jaw dropped as he handed the boy the money.  “Mister, that ones a keeper.  You’d better do right by her.”

 

~

They finished picking up the equipment and storing it in the shed.  Mulder locked the door while Scully waited.  “I’m not even going to ask how you got into that.”  Scully said laughingly.

 

“Sorry to disappoint you, Scully, but I didn’t have to do any poaching this time.  I have the key.  Frohike coaches little league here.”  Mulder held up a key with a tag that said ‘Equipment Shed’.  “I was going to invite you for dinner but the kid tapped me out.”

 

“Well, how would you like to join me for dinner?  How does a large pizza with all the trimmings except pineapple and anchovies sound?”  Scully said flirtatiously.  “My treat.” 

 

“You know what I like!”  Mulder leered at her.  “Scully.”

 

“Hmmm,” she responded as she opened her car door.

 

“Happy Birthday.”

 

“Yeah, you know, it really is.  Follow me.”  Scully said as she got in her car and closed the door.

 

“Scully, I’d follow you anywhere.”  Mulder said as he watched her pull out.

 

End

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