Locked In

"Mulder! We're going to be late!" Scully called, anxiously brushing her hand through her fiery red hair. She retrieved her black coat from the hanger by the door and pulled it on over her white blouse as Mulder came up behind her.

"We'll make it," he assured her, helping her with the coat and retrieving his own. He smiled down at her as he readjusted his collar, and moved silently over to his desk to get his suitcase and several files for the case that they were currently working on.

"Sure, Mulder," Scully replied disbelievingly. She chewed her bottom lip restlessly and watched as he collected some papers from the various stacks of files and records on his desk. Why did he leave getting the files to the last minute? Scully sighed. We are almost definitely going to be late, now!

Mulder rolled his eyes at his partners' doubtfulness and retrieved the final file from the table near the slide projector. "Okay, that's it," he pronounced. "Let's go!"

Scully breathed a sigh of relief and moved toward the door. Finally!

She reached for the doorknob and turned it eagerly. Nothing. She tried it again. It still wouldn't open.

Behind her, Mulder glanced over at her, impatiently. What is it now? He wondered. Is she having second thoughts about this?

"Scully? Is everything okay?" Mulder enquired. "You still want to go, don't you?"

Scully shot him a defiant look and nodded. "Of course I still want to go! We may have a little problem though."

"What?" Mulder moved in to stand next to her. It was awfully crowded in the confined space near the door, and he accidentally bumped into her. Had they not known each other as well as they did, she could've quite easily mistaken it for something more than his occasional tendency of being a klutz. "Sorry."

Woah, real smooth there, Mulder! he taunted himself. Great way to make things even more uncomfortable!

"Don't worry about it," Scully glanced up, her face flushed slightly. Is it getting crowded in here or what? she thought, nervously.She averted her gaze to the coat hanger and studied it as if she would be required to take an extensive exam on it later.

Mulder noticed her discomfort so abruptly changed the topic. "So, what seems to be the problem then, Scully?"

"What?" she asked, taken aback by his question. "What are you talking about?"

"What's keeping us from leaving?" Mulder reiterated.

"Oh. The door won't open," Scully explained. She moved awkwardly back into the office, brushing quite intimately against Mulder's chest as she passed. She felt a jolt of electricity shoot through her and let out a small, unwilling gasp. What the hell was that?

Mulder acted as if he hadn't heard her sharp intake of breath and tried the doorknob for himself. It was definitely not opening any time soon. "I think it's locked from the outside or something," he told Scully. "You wouldn't happen to have a key on you, would you?"

Scully rummaged through her purse first and then both of her coat pockets, finally coming up with nothing. "Sorry. I must've left them in the car. What about you?"

"I lent mine to Skinner this afternoon. He wanted to get another copy of the key. Apparently the FBI's copy was destroyed or went missing," Mulder explained. "He wasn't very clear on the details."

He gave up trying to get the door open and joined Scully by their desks. "Well, I guess we won't make it tonight," he said, half-jokingly.

Scully smiled grimly and nodded. "I guess not."