Prompt: #029 Inject

Notes: Written for 100situations. Thanks to franny122004 for the beta.

"…and that's why malaria is one of the most deadly and contagious parasitic diseases in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world," Mulder explained to the twenty or so people who had taken the time to listen to his lecture. He had been asked as a favour to step in for a fellow agent whom had fallen sick and surprisingly enough was actually enjoying himself. Signalling the end of his speech, he added, "Any questions?"

He pointed at a woman in the third row, who had put her hand up. "Yes, ma'am?" he prompted her, giving her the floor.

"So why do they only come out at night?" the woman asked, clearly trying to bring him down and ask him something that he couldn't answer. She watched Mulder indignantly and waited expectantly for his answer.

"That's not something that can be explained," Scully interjected from the front row. She had come to support Mulder in case he needed her – considering the question that he had just been asked, it was good that she had come. "It's not possible to know why they do it and there's no substantial evidence to quantify – "

"I'm sure Mr Mulder can answer the question himself," came the curt reply. The woman brushed her off and turned back to look at Mulder; unaware of the bitter glare that Scully shot her. Or maybe she just didn't care.

"Actually, I have a theory concerning that," Mulder went on, causing both women to stare at him suspiciously. He let them hang on for several moments as he paced the podium thoughtfully.

"And that would be?" Scully prompted, not wanting to wait around for much longer. She had an appointment that she couldn't miss with Skinner and if Mulder's lecture went on for any longer, she'd have to skip out on him.

Mulder finally stopped pacing and began to explain, his back to them. "The mosquitoes, particularly or maybe only the Anopheles species are actually not what they appear to be," he intoned mysteriously.

"Yes?" Scully asked again as her partner broke off. "If they're not what they appear to be, then what are they?" She studied Mulder as he turned to face her slowly. His face was blank, except for an almost non-existent twinkle in his eyes.

"They're actually vampires in disguise."

"Mulder!" Scully groaned. "That's just stupid!"

Mulder shook his head. "Is it?" He went on quickly as Scully raised an eyebrow and began to look him over, as if searching for head injuries or anything else that might have induced his strange theory. "I've been thinking a lot about this and it makes sense," he continued.

"I mean, Anopheles mosquitoes and vampires both require the blood of humans. They both come out when the sun has gone down. Yes, mosquitoes can come out at day too. But they're mostly found at night between late afternoon and into the early hours. And it could just be a misconception that vampires can only come out at night." He paused.

"Neither of them are big fans of Italian foods or garlic," he said matter-of-factly. "I don't see why it's so hard to believe."

The woman who had asked the question shrank back into her chair, dumbfounded. Clearly, she had not been expecting that response.

"So what do you think?" Mulder asked, glancing around the room and catching the eyes of each and every person in the room for a few seconds before settling his gaze on Scully. There were only 3 or 4 people who seemed to be taking Mulder's theory to heart, Scully not being one of them.

"Mulder?" she said quietly. "Are you okay?"

Mulder grinned widely as he walked offstage. "Gotcha!"