"What did you want to talk to me about, Eddie?" Mulder asked impatiently, sitting across from Van Blundht.

"I just think it's funny," Eddie said, his voice slightly muffled by the plexiglass partition. "I was born a loser, but you're one by choice."

Mulder would have been annoyed if he weren't so disinterested in the pathetic little man. "On what do you base that astute assessment?" he said.

"Experience," Eddie said, leaning forward. "You should live a little. Treat yourself. God knows I would if I were you."

Mulder stared at him for a moment, then got up and left the room. Scully was waiting for him out in the hallway, still looking a little sheepish. She had watched and heard the conversation on a TV monitor.

He signed out with the guard and began walking up the hall alongside Scully. Neither of them looked very happy or comfortable. Scully's arms were folded, but then she unfolded them and puts her hands in her coat pockets. Mulder fiddled with his sleeves and looked down at the floor as he walked.

Scully cleared her throat and began speaking uncertainly. "I don't imagine you need to be told this Mulder, but you're not a loser."

"Yeah, but I'm no Eddie Van Blundht either," Mulder muttered in an attempt at humour. "Am I?" He glanced quickly over at her.

She didn't respond immediately, instead staring straight ahead. Mulder continued to fiddle with his hands and looked ahead as well.



They walked out into the parking lot together, but before reaching the car Scully stopped abruptly. Mulder turned to look questioningly at her, and she met his eyes.

"It wasn't him, Mulder," she said.

"What do you mean?" Mulder frowned, confused.

"Van Blundht," she said, "with the silent 'H'. The only reason he was able to sleep with any of those women was because he impersonated men who they had already grown to love. It wasn't Eddie they were sleeping with – he just inserted himself into relationships that already existed… even a woman's obsession with Luke Skywalker."

Mulder blinked slowly, his mouth hanging open a little. "What are you saying?" he asked.

"You said it yourself. You said that it's other people's reactions to us that make us who we are. Mulder…" She looked pensive and uncertain. "It wasn't Eddie that I was about to kiss. One night of wine and empty chatter isn't enough – it couldn't be. My response was not to him… it was to you."

Mulder was too shocked to respond, and for long moments they stared at each other. Finally Scully stepped forward. She tilted her head upward, moving her face close to his and gently touching his cheek.

"This isn't for Van Blundht," she whispered, and then pressed her lips against his.