Title: A Date With the Glorious Dana Scully
Fandom: The X-Files
Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Files or its characters. See Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen, and other various and sundry folks.
Summary: Frohike's amorous, Scully's there under protest, and Mulder's cracking wise. Not the best recipe for a date. Good thing Scully left her gun at home.
A Date With the Glorious Dana Scully
"Absolutely not, Mulder!" Scully said standing with her arms folded across her chest, staring down at her partner who had been throwing pencils at the ceiling.
"Oh, come on, Frohike's a nice guy."
Scully decided that a raised eyebrow and her best incredulous stare were the only appropriate response.
"Okay, okay, he's a little strange."
"Please, Scully? For me?" Mulder begged, obviously trying to look pitiful.
"No. I'm not going out on a date with Frohike. Why would you even ask?" Their basement office was cramped on a good day, but right now Scully wished she had her own office to stalk off to or at least a desk where she could flop and studiously ignore him.
"Because he has info that he will only give me if I get him a date with you," he said.
Scully couldn't help rolling her eyes. "I don't care if he has the location and access codes to a top secret government compound filled with alien technology, jewels worth millions, and the answer to the question of who shot JFK. I'm not going out with him."
Mulder looked down at his desk and said softly, "It might help me find my sister, Scully."
Half her righteous indignation drained away as she sighed. If there was one thing he could pull out of his hat to get her to do almost anything that was it. But she wasn't going down without a fight. "Mulder, if that were true he wouldn't be holding it over your head. You know if he had that kind of information, he'd give it to you."
"It's not that simple, Scully. He only gave me enough information to pique my interest, but based on what he said, I don't think he knows what he has. I don't think he can see the connection. I don't know that for sure, but that's why I have to get a hold of whatever he has."
Scully closed her eyes and stopped trying to follow that tangled thread of 'Mulder logic'. "So plead your case to him. Tell him it might help you find Samantha. But leave me out of it."
"I'm afraid that knowing the whole story will put all of them in danger. And he's already holding out on me because they think it's an exclusive. They don't want to give it up without something in return. And a date with you is the something. Scully, please?" Mulder's patented pitiful look was gone and replaced by real desperation.
Scully wanted to make a crack about all the other conspiracy theory papers getting the scoop on the Lone Gunman, but she just couldn't. Oh, hell. She had become one half of the biggest joke at the FBI, given up any hope of a serious career in medicine, and been relegated to a closet in the basement -- all for a man she couldn't say 'no' to. What was one date with Frohike on top of all that?
"Fine, but you're going too," she relented.
"You're going too. Those are my terms, take them or leave them."
"Ahh, I'll talk to Frohike, but I don't think he's going to go for that."
"Tell him those are the terms and I won't budge. Oh, and all organizing, planning, etc will go through you. Don't give him my phone number."
"He already has your number, Scully."
She glared at him. "It's unlisted!"
"Don't look at me. The phone company doesn't exactly have Defense Department style security on their computerized files, you know."
Scully rolled her eyes. Langly. That figured. It made her even less comfortable with this whole arrangement. She was starting to wonder if this was all going to end in a restraining order. "Well, its one thing to have a number and another thing to feel like you have permission to use it. My terms still stand. Now do we have a case to work on or are you planning on throwing pencils at the ceiling all day?"
Scully heard her buzzer but wasn't particularly quick in her response. Why give Frohike the impression that she was eager? She glanced in the mirror again and straightened her collar. She'd gone with an Oxford shirt and black pants. The shirt was buttoned to the top, with the exception of the very last button. It wasn't a burlap bag but it also wasn't anything anyone might construe as revealing or sexy. Dressy enough for the restaurant but as plain as possible.
Scully took one more quick glance in the mirror and grabbed her purse, ready to get this evening over with. When she opened the door she found Frohike standing there alone with a bouquet of flowers. Eyes wide, Scully looked around for Mulder. She relaxed a bit when she spotted him in the VW bus parked in front of her building. Her shoulders sank. The VW bus. Great. Now she could add fear of losing her life in a rusty death trap to her list of reasons to be uneasy about this 'date'.
She turned her attention back to Frohike. His hair was slicked back and he was wearing a shirt and tie under his leather coat.
"Good evening, Dana," he said taking her hand to kiss the back of it. She cringed. "Can I call you Dana?"
"Ahh. . . Scully's good," she said awkwardly. Agent Scully would be even better, she thought. He handed her the rather large bouquet.
"I'll just . . ." she said, motioning behind her. She left him standing at the door to put the flowers in water.
"You've got a nice place here, Scully," he called, obviously having wandered into her living room. She quickly grabbed a vase off the shelf and dumped the flowers into it. Hurrying back to the living room, she said, "All set. Ready to go?" She wanted to get this whole thing over with as soon as possible. She also didn't want to spend any more time alone with Frohike than she had to.
Frohike offered his arm to escort her, but Scully just tilted her head his direction and set off down the front walk to the rust-bucket. She felt a twinge of guilt, but he knew he'd extorted this date. There was no reason to pretend she wasn't going under protest.
As they approached the bus, Mulder vacated his spot in the passenger's seat.
"That's okay, Mulder, I'll sit in back," Scully said hopefully.
"Oh, no. I insist." He was grinning…and she'd left her Smith and Wesson in the apartment.
"Really, its okay, you can stay where you are."
"Oh no, you're the guest of honor," he said, holding the door for her helpfully.
It took effort to resist the urge to stomp on his foot. "Thanks," she muttered under her breath, realizing that her partner was going to get way too much entertainment out of this evening. She decided to save her fight for bigger battles - she had a feeling she was going to need it - and took her place in front, but not before shooting Mulder a look.
The ride was mercifully short and mostly uneventful. Mulder had graciously done most of the talking. When they arrived at the restaurant, Frohike went up to the hostess while Scully and Mulder hung back. It wasn't crowded, so she wasn't expecting they'd have to wait long.
The hostess came over and said, "Right this way." Then she paused and turned to Mulder. "And we'll have your table ready in just a minute, sir."
Scully stopped. "What? No. He's sitting with us."
The hostess looked at her and shook her head. "The reservation was for two."
Scully turned to Mulder. "You're not eating alone." Which was to say that she was not eating alone with Frohike. She glanced back at the hostess. "Could we get a table for three, please?"
"Um." The hostess glanced uncertainly between them but Scully must have looked like she meant business because the hostess popped back behind her podium to check the book. "Of course. It'll just be a minute."
"Would you like a drink while we wait?" Frohike offered as though nothing had happened.
That was the first good idea she'd heard all night. "Merlot, please."
"Coming right up, m'lady. Mulder?"
"I'm good, thanks."
That smirk was never far from the surface and Scully could almost hear him thinking that he'd have a better front row viewing experience if he stayed sober.
"Mulder," she said, leaning in and practically hissing as she whispered, "That had better be the last little game. Like it or not, you are the chaperone tonight. I am doing this for you, remember?"
"You're right, Scully," he said wisely. "But maybe you could just give the guy a chance. I mean, you are stuck out on a date with him, you might as well enjoy yourself, right?"
She just stared at him contemptuously.
Frohike returned with the drinks. "For you, my dear," he said, handing her the red wine just as the hostess returned. They were seated at a square table, with Mulder to Scully's left and Frohike across from her. All the better to kick Mulder under the table, if need be. But maybe he had a point. Maybe she should at least allow herself the option of having a good time. She was not going to date Frohike, but that didn't mean they couldn't have a pleasant dinner.
But then again, she didn't want Frohike to get the wrong idea.
"So, Scully, what drew you to the FBI?" he asked, taking a sip of his own glass of wine.
"Well, I wanted to try something different, to take a different approach with medicine. Forensic medicine seemed like a good way to start."
And an uncomfortable silence settled into the fourth chair at the table.
"Um, what drew you to ... uh ... journalism." Scully nearly choked on the word. Mulder nearly choked on the glass of water he was in the process of drinking.
"I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to tell the stories that the American public never hears. I wanted them to know the truth. Kind of like Mulder."
"Hmmm," Scully said, giving her partner an ever so sweet smile.
"The truth is out there," Mulder chimed in, raising his glass after recovering from his coughing fit.
"So, do you read our newspaper?" Frohike asked.
Scully was glad she was mid-bite on a piece of bread. "Um..."
"Oh yeah. She's a huge fan. Never misses an edition," Mulder chimed in. Scully took that as a good enough excuse to kick his leg. He glared at her. "Right Scully?"
"Hmm. Oh. Definitely. Often I have to give Mulder the scoop because he never reads it."
Frohike turned on Mulder. "Is that true?"
"Of course not. You know I always keep up to date with my Lone Gunman reading." It was Scully's turn to get kicked under the table. "But you know, just the other day Scully was saying that she wanted to hear more about how the government is secretly sabotaging cold fusion research after reading the article in the last edition."
"Really? Well, of course, my dear Scully. There is plenty of information that didn't quite make the article. You see the government is secretly in the pocket of the big oil companies and ..."
Scully was about to tune out when she was rescued by the arrival of the waitress. "Can I take your order," she asked, glancing at Scully first.
Before she could answer, Frohike folded his menu and handed it to the server. "I will have the filet mignon and the lady will have the stuffed shrimp."
Scully gazed at Frohike over the top her menu, knowing that giving him a glare was a waste of a good look. Instead she turned to the waitress. "Actually, I' m not a big fan of shell fish. I'll have the coq au vin."
The waitress gave her a sympathetic smile, took Mulder's order, and then left.
"So where were we?" Frohike asked.
Scully shrugged but of course the evil imp who had stolen her partner said, "Big oil?"
"Oh yes. The government knows how to do cold fusion. It was tested in a secret underground bunker at the Nevada Test Site in October of 1992. But because the oil lobby has a significant number of politicians in their back pocket, they were able to get it classified and then buried by the NSA."
"Ah," Scully said, trying not to look too incredulous.
"It's a scary government you work for, Agent Scully."
"Don't we know it," Mulder piped in with that ever present grin.
"So what about you? Any interesting cases you're working on? I know Mulder's holding out on me."
Scully let out a sigh. "Um. No. Not really."
Awkwardness muscled Uncomfortable Silence out of the fourth chair at the table and took a seat. Scully took a sip of her wine and then a sip of her water and then they all took turns with the bread. It seemed to take forever for the food to arrive but when it finally did, it made for a welcomed distraction.
There was a red pansy as garnish on Frohike's plate and he held it up towards Scully's face. "This would go beautifully with your hair, mon cherie," he said.
"Uh, thank you," Scully said while Mulder snickered.
But at least they now had food. Scully had to admit that Frohike had good taste in restaurants – as long as she didn't let him order. Her chicken was sumptuous and together with the wine was starting to take the edge off the evening. She ordered another glass of Merlot and was able to relax at least a little bit. Mulder and Frohike went on and on about Hanger 18 and Roswell between bites of their food, and it was almost … almost… a normal night. Well, normal by her increasingly bizarre definition of the word.
She decided she should probably be more concerned about that.
"So, Scully, what's your take? Is the government hiding aliens or not?" Frohike asked, bringing her back into the conversation.
"Ahhh, I'll leave that to you and Mulder."
"But don't you even have an opinion?"
She grimaced. "Not one I'm willing to share."
"Okay, but are you at least willing to help your poor partner win a bet?" Mulder asked, puppy dog eyes in full force.
Scully tilted her head his direction. "Not if that bet is anything along the lines of 'How long will it take Scully to come to the dark side?'" She kicked him under the table again for good measure.
"You're no fun. You know that?" He kicked her back.
Only the kick wasn't really a kick.
It was more like a caress and the unshoed foot was drifting up her calf. Scully jumped back, chair and all, when her brain engaged and she realized that Frohike had a Cheshire grin on his face.
"Problem, Scully?" Mulder asked faux concern plastered all over his face.
"Ah. No. I'm just … I'll be right back." She folded her napkin and made a quick retreat to the bathroom. She took a minute to run her hands under the warm water. Then she glanced at her watch and figured that an hour and a half more than met the requirement for a dinner date. Not that it had been as horrible as she was expecting, but it was time to call it a night before Frohike got too many ideas.
When she arrived back at the table their dinner plates had been cleared.
"Care to share a dessert?" Frohike asked, handing her a menu over his arm.
Share? "Oh, no thank you."
"Then perhaps a little after dinner drink?"
Scully smiled and shook her head. "I'm stuffed really."
"I trust the food was to your liking?"
"It was, yes."
"Then perhaps we'll have to do this again sometime."
Scully smiled awkwardly, patted her mouth with her napkin and glared at Mulder.
Scully was relieved when they pulled up in front of her building, but there was still one more potentially awkward situation to get through before she could escape into her apartment, draw a warm bath, and try to forget this night ever happened.
"Thank you for dinner," she said quickly, and pushed open the passenger door of the VW bus.
"Oh, let me walk you to the front door," Frohike said jumping out after her.
Scully sighed and pulled open the back door of the bus for Mulder.
"Oh that's okay, Scully, I think I should leave you two love birds-"
Scully didn't give him a chance to finish. Instead she grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the bus, the way she would a suspect.
"Or, on second thought . . ." he muttered. Scully turned to see Frohike standing behind her, his arm extended. She tried to let out the sigh quietly before taking his arm to be led up to her building with Mulder in tow behind them.
With her free hand, she started digging in her purse for her keys, wanting to minimize the time spent at the door as much as possible. The trio marched up the steps and Frohike said, "Allow me," as he took the keys from her. Scully silently cursed.
"I had a wonderful time tonight, Dana," he said, his voice husky. Oh God, she thought. He was looking for a kiss. She turned to Mulder hoping the panic was written on her face. He just shrugged, not quite successfully suppressing a grin. Bastard.
"Well, good to see you again. Have a nice night," she said hoping that Frohike would take the hint and open her door.
"But aren't you forgetting something, my dear?" Frohike asked.
"No. I don't think so," she said quickly.
"Well, Mulder did promise me a kiss."
Scully's jaw dropped. She whirled around, glaring daggers at Mulder. "You . . . what?!" That was it. That was the last straw. Sister or no sister, she was done with this 'date'. She snatched her keys from Frohike and opened the door. On the way in, she turned to both of them. "Never. Again!" she said and retreated to the safety and sanity of her own space.
Mulder tried to keep his smirk under wraps, but he just couldn't. This night had been absolutely ridiculous from the beginning. He was glad it was Friday. Maybe by Monday Scully would cool down. But to be on the safe side he made a mental note to wear his bullet proof vest to the office.
"All in all, I think that went fairly well," Frohike said, much to Mulder's chagrin.
He clapped Frohike on the shoulder and the two of them headed back to the bus. "If by 'fairly well' you mean that she didn't shoot you, then yes, I guess it did." Frohike was pathologically optimistic when it came to Scully.
"It might not have gone as well as I hoped, but I got a date with the glorious Dana Scully and I get to keep the Lone Gunman exclusive."
Mulder stopped in his tracks. "What are you talking about? You got your date with Scully. I get the info."
Frohike shook his head. "Uh-uh. You promised me a kiss and I didn't get one, so the deal's off."
"What? Frohike, come on."
"Nope. Sorry, Mulder. That was the deal."
"You had to know that getting a kiss was next to impossible."
"Then you shouldn't have taken my terms. You've got no one to blame but yourself, Mulder. No kiss, no info."
It was Mulder's turn to gape. He had not begging, cajoled, and ultimately pissed off his partner for nothing. There was no way he was going to stand for that. "No kiss, no info? There's nothing I can say to change your mind."
Oh, what the hell.
"Fine." Mulder reached down to grab Frohike by the cheeks and planted a big one right on his lips.
"There. You got a kiss. I want that information emailed to me by Monday morning," he said, stalking back toward the bus, leaving a sputtering Frohike in his wake.
December 4, 2007