Title: All In A Day's Work
Summary: Scully and Mulder are assigned to investigate a branch of The Company. Except Scully's on her own, and nothing's going as she planned.
Notes: Written for heroesficathon. SO SORRY for the delay... travelling to India really got in the way of ficcing. Thanks to wasabigirl1 for the beta. This one's for eisoj5, hope it's what you wanted! crosses fingers
It was so typical of Mulder to leave her like this, solely in charge of the investigation they had both been assigned to, while he went off on his own personal quest with nothing but a cellphone message to let her know she was on her own, thanks a billion I'll see you back in Washington. Let it never be said that Agent Dana Scully didn't know a thing or two about forgiveness; Mulder did what he did because he was driven to, as per the circumstances of his life, and it made her life easier if she just accepted it. Still. She was going to tell him off so badly when they were face to face again.
But now was no time to relish the idea of tearing a new one into Mulder. Two days of research and quiet recon and she was finally getting somewhere; sitting in the dingy restaurant across from the Primatech Paper Company, watching patrons come and go; she had her mark. It seemed that the man sitting at the booth across the aisle from her was the one she was looking for, according to the documents Skinner had emailed her about her (their) assignment. Noah Bennet: suspected ringleader of a covert operation that kidnapped unsuspecting civilians for reasons yet to be determined. He seemed innocuous enough, as per the picture that had been in his file. But according to the case history, he was armed and dangerous, to be taken down with extreme caution. Scully stirred her coffee, keeping the man in her peripheral vision. Once he left the restaurant, she would take him down. The last thing she wanted to do was endanger anyone else in the restaurant.
The ring of a cellphone pierced the air and Scully watched as Mr. Bennet reached into his coat pocket and flipped his phone open.
"Hello?" The serious expression on his face melted into a gentle smile. "Hi there, Claire-bear. How was practice? Did you kick Jackie's butt like you were hoping?" He paused and then laughed. "That's my girl. I'll see you tonight at dinner, alright sweetheart? ... Love you too. Bye."
There was a wistful expression on the man's face as he ended the call, and Scully didn't allow herself time to deconstruct that expression. How many men in positions of power, dangerous positions that walked that line between secrecy and complete ruin, kept their families and children in the dark? Once again her thoughts went to Mulder and his father... but there was no time for that. Noah Bennet was paying his bill, getting up from the booth to leave. Scully watched him go, and was just about to stand up herself to trail him when a large man with dark hair suddenly slid into the booth across from her and whispered urgently.
"Agent Scully? My name's Matt Parkman and I know you're planning on following him, but don't do it. He knows you're watching him, and the moment you walk out of this restaurant, his people will make you forget."
Scully blinked slowly, realizing just how used to this sort of mysterious and unexplained intervention she was. "Make me forget?"
Matt frowned for a second, as if his attention was elsewhere, and then turned back to her. "Mr. Bennet has a man working for him who can erase your memories. This man is talking with Mr. Bennet right now, outside, waiting for you in case you show up to confront them. Well, I can only assume that the Haitian's with Bennet, cause I can't hear a thing right now..."
Scully shook her head. "I'm sorry, what are you-" Her words died as she caught sight of a woman with short blonde hair approaching the table, looking at Matt with frustration. "Agent Hanson?"
Audrey looked startled as she turned towards the redhead. "Agent Scully!" She seemed at a loss for words at the moment, torn between speaking to her colleague and berating the man sitting in the booth. She finally turned her attention to Matt. "What do you think you're doing, running off like that? You're not a superhero."
He huffed. "You keep saying that, as if you didn't see a dangerous serial killer control you with his mind and then walk away from three bullets to the chest. And that's not to mention all the mind reading you've seen me do. If that doesn't make me a superhero then I don't know what does."
Audrey sighed in resignation. "Fine, you're a superhero. But superheroes can die too; you follow my orders or you're not working with me anymore. Got it, Parkman?"
"Got it." Matt replied, a small smile appearing on his face. "And yes, I would look ridiculous in a blue and yellow spandex costume."
"I hate it when you do that." Audrey said with a roll of her eyes, trying not to be flustered.
Scully cleared her throat decisively. "I'm sorry, but let me get this straight, Agent Hanson. This case you've been on for weeks, the one that's been the talk of the Bureau, involves a telekinetic serial killer, a mind-reader, and a man who can erase memories?"
Audrey shifted uncomfortably, sliding into the booth across from Scully. "You could interpret it that way, I suppose."
"And your case has not been assigned to myself and Agent Mulder as an X-File... for what reason, exactly?"
"I intend to see this thing all the way through, Agent Scully." Audrey replied, determination in her eyes. "Maybe certain aspects of the case have taken on aspects that Agent Mulder could lend his expertise to, but it's still my case."
All the while, Matt squinted at Scully strangely, no doubt peering into her mind. Suddenly, Scully felt uncomfortable, knowing the man could see into her thoughts.
His eyes widened suddenly, in a mix of shock and awe. "I know you've dealt with a lot of unexplained phenomenon throughout your career, but maybe you and... Fox have enough to deal with, what with the Syndicate and the clones and the aliens to deal with. Let us deal with the crazy radioactive men."
"That is highly secret information you just became privy to." Scully said warningly. "None of it leaves this table, okay?"
Audrey nodded. "No problem. Besides, it's not like there are enough wacky secrets in my life lately. So... aliens, huh? I guess Agent Spooky isn't as nuts as we all assume him to be."
Scully couldn't help but smile at Audrey, feeling a sense of camaraderie with the female agent who had also seen things she was unsure about, things she was unwilling to believe in just yet. "Trust me, it's a shock to find out just how validated some of his crazy theories can be. So... radioactive men, huh? We had a case like that a while back, I could send you my review."
Matt brightened, humour in his eyes. "That could help us out a lot, actually. Thanks. You wouldn't happen to have any cases on brain-eating serial killers, would you?"
Scully's eyebrows quirked upwards. "Your serial killer eats brains?"
"It's a long story." Audrey explained uneasily.
Glancing at her watch, and then at the looming building of Primatech across the street, Scully motioned for the waitress to bring her another cup of coffee. "That's okay, I have time."
At least she'd have one hell of a story to tell Mulder.