It has been somewhat longer between posts then I planned but in my defence I have had lots of problems in between. I've had a run of bad luck lately that hit its pinnacle when my laptop completely crashed making my hard drive die. Needless to say I have lost an awful lot of my writing. *sob*
Hopefully things will turn around for me in 2009. Seasons greetings and have a great New Year.
Fox Mulder stepped out of his automobile into the half empty FBI underground parking. He quickly pulled his trench coat closed tight around him in an attempt to ward off the chilled morning air before retrieving his briefcase from the passenger side of the vehicle.
He was amused, though not surprised, to catch sight of his partner in the distance navigating her way through the car park at such an early hour. Leaning back against his car, he watched her perform a perfectly executed reverse park into the vacant space opposite him.
Mulder was acutely stuck by the well presented consummate professional that exited her car before him. She was such a stark contrast to the woman he'd spent the weekend with, the woman who had seemed so pure and innocent with her peppering of freckles and her visible beauty mark. It was hard to believe this was the same woman who had sat on her bathroom floor unable to perform the simple task of brushing her own hair. Scully stood before him in her neatly pressed suit with perfectly set hair. She was also sadly sans beauty mark and freckles.
The young woman he had spent his weekend with had been unbelievable attractive and incredibly provocative. The woman who stood before him now also had both of those attributes; she did however seem to hide them more subtly.
Mulder smiled as Scully collected her belongings from her back seat before straightening up and facing him with her poker face. The moment of truth had arrived. Would she like to forget their weekend or would she treat it as a further development in their relationship?
"Good morning Agent Scully." Mulder smiled unable to keep the twinkle out of his eyes.
"Good morning Agent Mulder." Scully smiled back feeling slightly more at ease than she had before leaving her apartment.
"So..." Mulder faltered realising their normal Monday morning conversation revolved around exchanging pleasantries over their weekends. He decided not to change their normal routine and hoped that he may be able to gauge her intent from her answer to his next question. "How was your weekend?"
Scully's smile nearly knocked him off his feet. She was willing to allow him to see the real her, the same woman that he had gotten to spend the weekend with and she seemed to have no qualms about it. "Good... really good. Yours?"
"Mine was positively sublime." Mulder grinned. "I got to spend it in the company of an amazingly attractive and beautiful woman who also happens to be incredibly intelligent. That combination is a rare commodity you know."
Scully blushed as she tucked a lock of hair back behind her ear.
'I can't believe I managed to slip that in so easily.' Mulder congratulated himself as her professional mask slipped enough for him to see the shy woman behind it. What awed him more was that she seemed to accept his compliment in the fashion that he intended, a simple fact... his truth.
"We just kicked back and chilled out. Unfortunately, I don't think my companion had as much of a good time as I did... yours was good huh?" Mulder probed hoping to get a little more information out of her.
"I had a wonderful weekend, Mulder. Thank you. There were a few drawbacks, mainly pain, but the company more than made up for that. I had my every whim pandered to." Scully smiled enjoying the way their exchange was being conducted in such an open and yet clandestine manner.
"Well, I bet you weren't as lucky as me." Mulder bragged wiggling his eyebrows as he placed his hand on the small of her back and steered her towards the stairwell. "I got to undress my companion and got her into bed, not once but twice."
"Mulder! Stop. You'll start rumours about us!" Scully exclaimed.
Mulder's grin widened at her comment. "On the contrary my dear partner, I mentioned nothing about the two of us. You, on the other hand, have just instilled that visual into the minds of anyone who may be overhearing this conversation." Scully's eyes grew wide as she visibly reddened. Quickly she cast her eyes around the seemingly abandoned parking lot looking for any inconspicuous bystanders.
She failed to notice the slight shadow of Agent Haskins as he stepped back behind a concrete pillar cursing his luck and timing whilst trying to avoid a confrontation.
"I wouldn't worry too much after Friday night, Scully. I'm sure the rumour mill will be running rife after watching your actions." Mulder grinned slipping the hand that had been on her lower back slightly around her waist as they stepped into the stairwell.
Agent Haskins followed at a discrete distance. His interest was peaked by their discussion but not enough to risk endangering his welfare.
"It was certainly a weekend to remember." Mulder smirked.
"One for the books." Scully agreed.
"How come you're in so early this morning anyway, Scully?" Mulder asked as they began to ascend the stairs.
Scully smiled, easily keeping pace with her partner. "Believe it or not, worrying about the embarrassing things I may have done whilst in the presence of my colleagues isn't exactly conducive to a good nights sleep."
"Try not to be too concerned. I wasn't exactly discrete with my accusations and suspicions." Mulder grimaced slightly knowing that that might not be what she wanted to hear. "I would imagine that everyone knows what went down by now."
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" Mulder couldn't help but chuckle at her uncharacteristic whine as he opened the door leading towards the bullpen for her.
Agent Haskins stood at the bottom of the stairwell as Mulder's chuckle filtered down through the floors. 'Doesn't exactly sound like Friday night put a dampener on their weekend.' Haskins griped as he stood back for a few moments before beginning to ascend the stairs. 'So what if she had a bad nights sleep last night. I had to spend the rest of Friday night and most of Saturday morning at the ER sorting out Scardinski's wrist.'
'Stupid damn imbecile. "Come on Johnny." he said. "What harm can it do? It's just a bit of fun."' Haskins inner monologue mimicked Scardinski's voice.
'Nine hours in the ER is the harm it caused and it isn't even over yet.'
'I had a wonderful weekend, Mulder.' Haskins replayed Scully's words. 'What the hell! It's not even as if they're straight-laced agents. Why the hell they felt the need to involve AD Skinner is beyond me. It was a freaking joke. Jesus, I know they said she'd been injured but she looked perfectly healthy to me. What kind of injury leaves no trace anyway? She was just being plain icy.'
"I will not lose my job over this." Haskins stated determinedly as he rounded the corner to the next flight of stairs. He stopped short as he collided with a large, broad and solid mass in front of him. "What the hell..." Haskins paled as he lifted his eyes and realized the mass in front of him was no other then Agent Mulder.
'I don't fucking believe this!'
"Haskins." Mulder hissed venomously.
"Mulder." Haskins replied desperately trying not to be intimidated.
The two men stood silently for a few moments squaring off against each other. Mulder's height and build easily overwhelmed the younger agent making him fidget slightly from foot to foot. Each of them waited a beat for the other to say something first.
"Nothing?" Mulder stated annoyed. "You have nothing to say to me?"
"I don't think it would be wise until after my meeting with Assistant Director Skinner."
Mulder shook his head in disbelief. "You arrogant little..." He stepped forward further encroaching on the young agent's personal space. "You have no idea do you? You could have killed my partner."
"Over exaggerating just a little there don't you think?" Haskins stated defiantly before foolishly adding. "You weren't exactly complaining when she was pressed up against you on the dance floor."
"What did you say?" Mulder slammed the heels of his hands against Haskins' chest propelling him backwards until his head hit the back of the stairwell wall. "You don't have a clue. You could have killed her. She was in agony all weekend. Do you have any idea what it is like to watch someone you love in that much pain?"
Haskins' mind whirled as Mulder took hold of his lapels and began to shake him vigorously. Luckily for Mulder he was too dazed to fully comprehend what had just inadvertently been confessed.
"Get your hands off me." Haskins slurred in a less than threatening tone. Given Mulder's bulk he only had words at his disposal to put up any kind of fight. The whole situation irritated him, leaving him completely unwilling to repent. "I bet it made it a hell of a lot easier to get her into bed and fuck her brains out."
Mulder's fist impacted with Haskins' face before he even realized he had clenched it, making Haskins rear back and sag. The only thing keeping him upright was the fact that Mulder still had a firm grasp on his lapel with his left hand. Blood trickled from Haskins' split lip as it began to redden and swell.
"You just stay away from her. Do you understand?" Mulder was surprised by his actions but not remorseful. Releasing his grasp on the younger agent he was amused to see him slide slightly down the wall. "Go so much as near her and I will finish this. You can tell the same to your little buddy."
Haskins nodded his head, regretting the movement immediately as the walls began to spin. He staggered slightly away from Mulder in an attempt to distance himself from further attack.
Mulder looked away from the agent wondering momentarily whether his conscience would allow him to leave the young man when he looked so dazed and confused. If Scully knew what had just transpired she would castrate him. Luckily Haskins solved his dilemma by beginning to stagger up the stairs in search of sanctuary.
Continuing his descent down the stairs, Mulder quickened his pace to retrieve the innocent file that he had managed to leave on the back seat of his car. He smiled as he sent up a quick thank you to heaven for happenstance.
Assistant Director Skinners Outer Office
Mulder and Scully silently waited in AD Skinners empty outer office. They had arrived in plenty of time for their morning appointment after discovering that Scully's morning attention span was some what lacking. Various agents were beginning to fill the halls though the building hadn't yet reached its normal level of hive activity.
Mulder cringed as a very loud expletive echoed from the inner office drawing more than a few looks from passers by. "Glad I'm not the one in there getting chewed a new one." Mulder stated looking to Scully as she silently sat fiddling with her hands. "Will you just relax? Stop looking so worried, we have done nothing wrong."
"That's easy for you to say. You can remember your evening." Scully murmured attempting to give her partner the evil eye but succeeding only in making him smirk. "Please, Mulder. Just tell me what antics I got up to."
"You know... I'm intrigued. Exactly what antics have you gotten up to in the past that have you so worried? I think there might be a few good tales to tell there. Maybe I should call Cecile." Mulder smiled trying to put his partner at ease.
Scully's eyes widened in horror telling Mulder all he needed to know.
"Oh, I am definitely calling Cecile." Mulder declared grinning broadly.
The outer office door opened allowing Kimberly to enter. She looked slightly flustered as she attempted to juggle her redundant office keys, handbag and umbrella. Seeing Mulder and Scully's relaxed composure she smiled.
"Oh no. What have you two been up to this time? He's not even your direct superior anymore." Kimberly remarked remembering clearly the day that Assistant Director Alvin Kersh had taken the reins of her boss's two favourite agents. She knew that the battle was still being fought to recover those reins, though she doubted that the agents knew anything about that.
"Not us this time, Kim. We're not guilty." Mulder smiled.
The deep yet loud baritone of her boss's voice resonated in the room as he continuously berated his subordinates. "Who?" She looked to the closed office door confused before rushing to her desk. "There are no appointments before ten today... I'm sure. I checked before I left for the weekend." Kim muttered aloud as she confirmed her suspicion with her desk diary.
A loud thump echoed through the wall as AD Skinners voiced raised further making her jerk in surprise. He had thumped his desk she was sure. Though it was unlike her boss to become violently animated during his meetings it had been known to happen from time to time. She cast her eyes to the coffee maker that sat unused in the corner of her office. "He hasn't even had a coffee. He's positively evil before his morning coffee." She declared looking to Mulder and Scully. She was surprised to see Mulder looking rather smug as Scully shifted back in the chair looking contrite.
"Dismissed." Skinner's voice resounded. Hurried footsteps could be heard before the office door opened allowing two very battered looking agents to exit its small confines.
Skinner marched the agents out of his office scowling at their backs as they stopped abruptly. Mulder stood immediately, glaring at the broken agents. Haskins' jaw was now sporting a bluey black fist shaped bruise in addition to his bloody lip and Scardinski looked no better with a purplish bruise adorning his temple and cheek on one side of his face. His jacket gaped open barely concealing that one of his arms was encased in a cast and sling.
Mulder eyed the two with contempt but was amused to see they both faltered in their steps and gave him and Scully a wide berth by skirting the edges of the office. Scully stood beside him eyeing the two agents as she wondered what could have possibly happened to them since Friday evening.
Haskins staggered slightly as a dizzy spell hit him making him reach his hand out blindly and steady himself with the aid of the wall.
Scully was alert immediately stepping forwards to help him. "Are you okay?"
"Ummm, yes." Haskins dithered slightly as he looked to Mulder and Skinner who seemed poised and ready to strike. "Sorry." The apology was aimed solely at Mulder as the young agent stepped away from Scully and back towards Scardinski.
Scully stood between them and the door as she discreetly studied Haskins' eyes. She was concerned by what she saw. One of his pupils was more dilated than the other and he seemed to be having trouble focusing. "I'm a doctor." She declared easily slipping into medical mode. "Have you had a bang to the head recently?"
"Scully." Mulder murmured stepping forward and placing his hand at her elbow in an attempt to pull her away. "Leave him."
"Mulder?" Scully looked at him confused before eyeing his hand. "He's been hurt."
"He's not worth it." Mulder insisted making her furrow her brow. She looked up at her partner thoroughly confused by his attitude. "It was them." Mulder hissed unable to conceal his hostility.
"Oh!" Scully exclaimed realising that not once over the weekend had she thought to ask who had played the prank on her. "Should that stop me from caring?" She asked making Mulder pause and square his jaw in anger before releasing her elbow. "I took the Hippocratic Oath for a reason, Mulder."
"Agent Mulder is right, Agent Scully." Walter Skinner intervened.
"Sir?" Scully asked bemused by their behaviour. They seemed to be angrier about the whole situation than she was herself. She had of course been upset at first about the whole scenario but now she had reached ambivalence.
"Their condition should not concern you." Skinner stated to Scully before turning to Scardinski. "Agent Scardinski make sure that Agent Haskins sees the medical nurse before you both report for your new assignments."
Haskins and Scardinski hesitated as they looked to Scully. It only took her a few seconds to realise that their hesitance was caused by the fact that she was blocking their path to the exit. She stepped back to Mulder's side allowing the agents to make a hasty retreat leaving her even more confused but making Mulder and Skinner deliriously happy.
"Agents." Skinner indicated towards his inner sanctum.
"Sir?" Kimberly's voice was small in the suddenly large expanse of space as the tension cleared but Skinner heard it immediately and turned his attention towards his small red headed assistant.
"Your morning coffee, Sir." Kimberly smiled hesitantly holding up his morning brew.
"Thank you, Kimberly." Skinner smiled having not realised that his assistant was there to bear witness to the brief confrontation. It amazed him how she could make herself blend into the background so easily, he suspected it was a talent she had developed with years of practice. He noted with glee that she had prepared his coffee in his giant 'java junky' mug instead of one of his more sedate 'I have company' mugs.
Mulder and Scully also smiled their thanks to the young assistant for saving them from facing Skinner in a 'positively evil' mood.
"Agents would you like a cup of java? Kimberly's coffee is better than any Starbucks I have ever tasted." Skinner smiled before taking a quick sip from his steaming brew.
Mulder grimaced at the visual that popped into his head prompted by the stimulants and aphrodisiacs conversation from the previous day. Scully smirked at her partner's reaction before a similar visual popped into her own head making her blush.
"No thank you, Sir." Scully murmured.
"I'm good thanks." Mulder added having trouble meeting the Assistant Director's gaze.
"Okay Agents, if you'd like to step through." Skinner stated ushering the agents into his office. "Thank you Kimberly."
"Sir, would you like me to rearrange your 10 o'clock?" Kim asked very aware that this was not a scheduled meeting.
"That won't be necessary. This shouldn't take too long." Skinner assured her before heading into the office. "Please take a seat."
Scully shifted stiffly even with her full quota of medication pumping around her system allowing Skinner and Mulder to easily spot her discomfort.
"Shame someone beat me to Scardinski. I would have happily done the honours." Mulder declared frankly, shocking Scully.
"Mulder!" She reprimanded him quickly wondering what possessed him to say such a thing in front of their boss.
"What? I'm just saying. I'd happily shake the hand of the man who did that." Mulder added looking to Skinner with a knowing look. Both men inclined their heads slightly, one in thanks the other in acceptance.
Scully remained oblivious to the exchange as she watched her partner, weighing his words in her mind before asking the question that she wasn't sure she really wanted to know the answer to. "You didn't though, did you?"
Mulder looked at her surprised that she would voice her concern in front of Skinner. "No. Scully, I didn't lay a hand on Scardinski." Mulder assured her honestly.
Mulder shifted back in his chair taking on a relaxed posture as he returned his attention to Skinner, unconsciously prompting Scully to do the same.
"How are you feeling Dana?" Skinner asked allowing his concern to radiate in his voice.
"I'm fine thank you." Scully replied.
Skinner eyed her suspiciously before redirecting his question to Mulder. "How is she?"
Scully sat back in shock at the dismissal realising that more damage may have been caused by the 'joke' than she originally anticipated. She couldn't remember the last time her word had been questioned by Skinner.
"For once she actually means it." Mulder replied grinning at Scully's demeanour.
"Good. I trust Agent Mulder got you into bed to your satisfaction." Skinner smirked as Scully's eyes widened.
She looked to Mulder horrified.
"Hey, I told you about that and you didn't believe me." Mulder laughed knowing that Skinner would not repeat her statement to another living soul. At Skinner's confused look Mulder elaborated. "She doesn't remember a whole lot from the evening."
"A mixture of the alcohol and meds, plus I hadn't eaten a whole lot that day."
"I see. I trust that Agent Mulder has taken care of the latter of those elements." Skinner looked to Scully before receiving a nod from Mulder. "Not to worry. I'm sure your memories will come back to you, your mind just needs a little prompting." Skinner declared before trying to head the meeting in a more official direction.
"Right, I required your presence this morning so I might keep you both abreast of the situation regarding these two foolish individuals. They will of course both have permanent red marks against their personnel records which will make the chances of promotion within the FBI that much more difficult to achieve. They will also both be going through a full formal disciplinary and reprimand process with the OPR which will help determine their future with us, if indeed they still have one."
"Don't you think that is a little harsh, Sir?" Scully asked not wanting to be the downfall of a couple of young agents.
"Harsh?" Mulder stated shocked by Scully's words. "They should sack them right now. You were in agony this weekend and I dread to think what might have happened had I not realised that you were behaving out of character."
"Mulder." Scully murmured.
"Mulder is right, Scully." Skinner interrupted the quarrel. "The situation could have become a lot more dire very easily. The fact of the matter is that these agents acted inappropriately and should therefore be punished accordingly."
Scully nodded her head in acceptance even though she was uncomfortable with the way this meeting was heading.
"They have both already been reassigned to more fitting duties for the time being."
"What kind of duties?" Mulder asked wondering if he had them wading through the sewers looking for more flukemen.
Skinner smirked before delivering the news to the agents. "They've been assigned to wiretap duties for the time being until something more desirable comes up."
"I knew it." Mulder stated with a smirk. "I knew all those wiretap assignments were really punishments."
"Wiretap is a valuable assignment that the FBI requires performed. It is however, slightly more suited to certain bothersome agents."
Scully couldn't suppress the smirk that graced her lips at Skinner's remark, knowing full well that even Mulder couldn't deny that he had been, and indeed still was a more than bothersome agent. Really it was lucky they had been assigned to fertiliser duty instead of wiretap. In truth, Scully was just glad they hadn't been assigned back to the violent crimes division.
Mulder decided to remain quiet knowing nothing he could say would remove the smirk from both Scully and Skinner's faces. He was actually pleased that Skinner was making the meeting both professional and light hearted as he knew how uncomfortable Scully was with the whole matter.
"Okay, I will keep you both up to date on any developments regarding this matter. I believe that will be all for now, unless of course you would like to add anything?" Skinner stated before taking a sip of his coffee.
"No, Sir. Thank you." Scully stated relieved that the meeting was drawing to a close.
"Dana, I hope this 'incident' didn't spoil your weekend too much." Skinner added sincerely making Scully smile before she turned to Mulder and openly grinned.
"Quite the contrary." She murmured making Mulder smile seductively, the way he was eyeing her incited her to snatch a quick breath in before *hiccup*. Scully paled immediately looking to Mulder with wide eyes. "Oh my God!"
Author's notes- So... will Scully find out exactly what happened to Haskins and Scardinski? Will Mulder get castrated? If so... what will happen to Skinner? And lastly, was that hiccup the memory prompt Skinner spoke of? Find out in future chapters... maybe ;)
Okay guys I have a confession. This is the last 'planned' chapter of this fic. However, after the lovely reviews I have received, I'm not sure if I can still quit now. The more I write, the more I want to write. What do you guys think? Would you like a little more sweetness? Maybe a climactic finish? Should I go on and on? Or do you think enough is enough?
Thanks as always goes to Enpauriel. Your words of encouragement are always a help... the threats are damn effective too :)
As for everyone else reading... please review. The reviews keep me writing and I need the extra push after losing so much of my work to my sadly deceased hard drive. Come on guys, make me write :)