Uh, not too much to say on this one. Spoilers for 'The Truth' and the new movie, but that's about it. Subtle MSR. I guess, I just didn't feel like Scully could give up on Mulder as easily as she seemed to in the movie, and needed to um, fix them? Anyway, hope you enjoy it, and thanks for reading!
Father Paul Ybarra sat heavily in one of the line of plastic chairs in the wing of doctors' offices. It had been a long day, and though he thanked Jesus for his good health everyday, he was getting old. Or maybe he was just getting tired of having this same conversation with the same doctor. He glanced wearily at the names stenciled on the bubbled glass window in the door.
Dana Scully M.D.
Cecile Carmidene M.D.
The first may as well have read: Pain in This Old Man's Ass. It would have been more apt.
Yet, here he was, waiting outside her office, hoping to catch her before she left for the evening. Doctor Carmidene had said she looked rushed, like she had someplace to be, which he'd admit was unusual, as the woman was something of a workaholic.
Dr. Carmidene had delivered this news not without a bit of distain seeping into her voice.
The office mates didn't like each other, that was no secret, by any means. Most of the hospital didn't care for Dr. Scully, except the few nurses who appreciated that she showed them more respect than the average doctor. They may be God's children, but they were all still very human, and therefore not immune to human weaknesses.
While most in the hospital would generally agree that she was a very talented and compassionate doctor, it was also agreed that her less flattering qualities greatly overshadowed all that. Stubborn as a mule, obstinate, relentless, and argumentative with peers and superiors alike. No one would go as far as saying disrespectful, because when she wasn't arguing she was very respectful, but good grief, the woman was like a dog with a bone.
But, she was still beautiful, and many of the male hospital employees had made advances when she first arrived. They found themselves very quickly turned down. Father Ybarra didn't figure out why until very recently, which was part of the reason he was waiting for her today.
He'd fought hard with the other fathers four years ago to take her on as one of their doctors. Her resume was very impressive, and she interviewed well--intelligent, polite, and compassionate. But, they were all concerned over her past. He couldn't blame them; she'd just returned from a stint as a fugitive, after running off with her convicted-murder boyfriend. That wasn't much of a selling point.
Even so, where they saw a headache waiting to emerge, he saw a woman looking for a second chance. Sometimes God's sheep stray, he'd insisted; this particular sheep was trying to find her way back, and they should help her. Everyone makes mistakes, and it wasn't their place to judge her. That task was God's alone. They eventually gave in, and agreed if she was trying to find her way back to society and the church, it was their duty as men of God, to assist her.
And, since it was his campaigning that made her a doctor at their hospital, when she started to become a problem, she was designated his problem. For the last year, he'd been praying for guidance and patience in dealing with her. For certain complaints, he was reluctant to reprimand her: for employing unorthdox methods, and arguing insistantly the merits behind those methods. As much as he understood it, he was the first to tell her when it was time to give up. Who wouldn't want to move heaven and earth to save a child?
Today's complaint: insubordination. A sick child appeared earlier that morning with a very difficult diagnosis; Dr. Scully and two other doctors examined him, ran a few tests, and posited theories. Hers was...well, a little nutty. She justified it, they argued, and it wasn't pretty. She'd been proven right by lunchtime, and the child was being treated. Still, he had to make her aware that she couldn't talk back to superiors or offer crazy theories in front of a patient's parents. It looked bad.
Father Ybarra ran his fingers under his collar, massaging his neck where the stiff collar tended to chafe, and glanced up at the sound of footsteps. Typically, he looked like a modern day James Dean, but not today. His hair was neater than Ybarra had seen it before, and he was absent the five o'clock shadow. The leather jacket and jeans had vanished for the day, replaced by a suit, but his eyes still sported that shine of irreverence. A man who flipped the bird at convention and probably society. He folded his tall frame into a chair two down from Ybarra, and waited.
Complaint number two had just walked in.
The convicted murder boyfriend was not out of the picture, as Ybarra and the other Fathers had thought. That was one of the reasons he'd accepted her at first; lots of people are lead astray by love, or what they perceive to be love. He'd wanted to give her a chance to come back from a bad decision. Turns out, she didn't seem to see him as a bad decision.
Fox Mulder had shown up at the hospital for the first time in July, arguing something with Dr. Scully. A nurse had over heard her tell him something about falling in love with him. That bit of information spread like wildfire through the hospital. Everyone was surprised to find out Dr. Scully was living with a man, presumably out of wedlock (no one had seen a wedding ring).
Ybarra had done a bit more research on her life before the hospital, and then that story in the newspapers about the FBI securing a pardon for him after he'd assisted them. They'd never actually split up. He was disappointed, and a little disturbed. Pardoned or not, the man was convicted of murdering someone. He could be dangerous.
The man checked his watch, and resumed waiting, appearing a little nervous. Ybarra took an opportunity.
"Your Dr. Scully's--" Then he froze, unsure how to refer to him; he was pretty sure husband wasn't the right word.
The man smiled and seemed to almost chuckle. "Yep, I'm Dr. Scully's." He held out a hand then, "Fox Mulder."
"Yes, I saw you on the news. I'm Father Ybarra." He accepted the man's hand, reminding himself again that it wasn't his place to judge.
His new companion made an 'O' expression, as if finally putting a face to a name. Apparently while, Dr. Scully didn't share much about her life with anyone at the hospital, she shared her life at the hospital with this man.
"Are you waiting for Sc--Dana?" Mulder corrected himself.
"Yes, actually. You're here to pick her up?"
"You've been picking her up a lot lately."
"Yeah, she wants me to get out of the house more, and, she knows I won't say no to driving her around." He offered a shrug and a self-deprecating grin. "She also makes me do the grocery shopping."
Ybarra smiled at that, and nodded, studying the younger man who seemed almost calmer now that he was discussing Dr. Scully. Maybe it was the distraction that was helping. He cleared his throat, deciding it was time to test this particular water. "Congratulations on your pardon."
"Uh, thanks." He bristled at Ybarra's disapproving tone.
"You know, the Lord forgives those who confess their sins, and ask his forgiveness."
"I appreciate that Father, but that sin isn't mine to confess."
"In my experience an innocent convicted man is a rare man."
"I didn't say I was innocent. I've done a lot your faith preaches against, but I didn't kill that man. Scully proved it, they just wouldn't hear her evidence." His tone was tense, on the defensive.
Ybarra regarded him with surprise. He hadn't read anywhere about any exculpatory evidence, or even about Dr. Scully investigating it. But, he didn't believe the man was lying. After so many years of meeting people, listening to confessions, he'd learned to read people very well. Fox Mulder was being honest, and that surprised him even more. He didn't seem very threatening or dangerous, especially dressed up in the suit. That got him thinking.
"Special occasion today?" He nodded at Mulder's attire.
Mulder looked at himself, and then back up at the priest. "Yeah, sort of."
"Are you married?"
"No, we're not." He looked down awkwardly, but when his head came up, he wore a nervous smile. "15 years ago today, she walked into my office, and changed...everything."
"Sounds like a pretty important day."
Ybarra disapproved of intercourse before marriage, and certainly disapproved of carnal relationships outside of marriage, but---but, commitment comes in many forms, and he knew one when he saw it. Still, he wondered why they'd never married. He was about to ask when the office door opened.
Dr. Scully looked startled from one to the other, clearly surprised to see them talking together. Her dark blue dress clung to her curves, and stopped at her knees. The tiny golden crossed he'd often noticed sat around her neck as it always did. She turned her attention first to Ybarra
"Father Ybarra, did you need me for something?"
He looked between them, the couple celebrating a relationship he couldn't really understand, but one he couldn't completely find the will to disapprove of, and shook his head. "Nothing that can't wait, but stop by my office before your next shift."
She nodded, and offered a curt smile, clearly not really feeling it. He pulled his body up from the chair, and turned to walk away, but stopped as their voices hit his ears, his curiosity over-taking him.
"So, are you going to tell me what's so special about today?" She asked.
"You haven't figured it out yet?"
"No, and I don't plan on trying to guess all through dinner." Her tone was obstinate, though not angry.
"Today Scully, was the day you saved my life."
"Oh? And which time was this?" Ybarra wasn't sure which surprised him more, his response or her suddenly very amused tone.
"The first one. Fifteen years ago today."
They were quiet then, and Ybarra turned to see them hand in hand, looking very intently at each other.
He left them to their evening, maybe tomorrow he'd ask her why they never got married. Though he knew in reality, he wouldn't. Instead, he'd remind her of hospital ettique and pecking order again, try to appeal to her rational side again regarding the children, but he doubted she'd listen. Part of him was glad.
Frustrating as the woman may be, she was the only one in the hospital brave enough to test the limits. He had to admire that.
Of course, he'd never let her know that.