?Title: Late Night at the Hoover
Author: fran58 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.fran58.net/authorspgs/wonderhorse/stories.htm Category: V
Rating: PG for one bad word
Feedback: Of course <g>
Distribution: Wherever - just let me know. Spoilers: Pilot
Disclaimer: Characters owned by Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and 20th Century Fox.
Summary: Early in the series. A late night encounter.
Author's Note: Thanks to addicted2fanfic for the beta. This was done for the emuse Secret Santa exchange 2004.
On nights like this, when it was late and quiet, Mulder often thought he might see the ghost of J. Edgar sashaying down one of the darkened halls in a pair of stiletto pumps. He could be wrong. The old man may have preferred sling backs.
Mulder stopped in front of the bullpen door. From his pocket, he pulled several keys he wasn't supposed to have, and inserted one. He had compiled some information for Agent Budwalla and thought he would leave it on the other Agent's desk. During normal working hours, a friendly visit from Spooky in the bullpen would surely set other Agent's tongue's wagging. Budwalla had always been polite. Respectful. Mulder had no desire to make life unpleasant for him.
The door opened silently, and Mulder stepped inside. There was a single pool of light spilling onto a desk to his right. Another night owl. As Mulder drew closer, he could see Agent Scully's head bent over her desk. She was making notes with one hand while the other flipped through a document that lay on her desk. Well, well. He could hardly pass up an opportunity like this, now, could he?
Mulder walked briskly past Scully's desk and loudly dropped Budwalla's information onto his desk then turned to face her. Scully looked up, inhaling suddenly, eyes wide.
"God, Mulder. You gave me a start."
"You're here late. Especially for a Friday. I thought everyone except ultra-dedicated employees like me always left at three to get a head start on the weekend." He studied her. She looked so young and sincere, with her long, straight hair. Too young to be a doctor. Too young to be an agent.
"I was late to work this morning. My ride isn't coming for a bit, so I thought I would do some catching up," she said.
"You're car pooling?"
Scully smiled. "For now."
"I read your report," Mulder said shortly. He reached for a nearby chair and drew it in front of her desk and straddled it.
Scully raised an eyebrow. "And?"
"And I guess I should congratulate you. Somehow, you managed to put the salient details on paper without sounding like a nut." He picked up a pen from her desk and twirled it in his fingers. "Without making me sound like a nut."
"I don't think you're a nut, Mulder."
"No? You don't think I'm spooky?"
"Oh no," she laughed suddenly. It was clear and rippling. "I do think you're spooky. I just don't think you're crazy."
Mulder leaned his elbows on her desk. "Really."
"I thought you were being paid to prove I was a nut case."
Scully pressed her lips together. "I told you before, in Bellefleur, I'm not a part of any agenda."
"I bet that's not what whoever assigned you to me thinks."
Scully looked at him. "They can think what they want."
"You're going to piss someone off with that attitude," Mulder murmured, and leaned back. He dipped one hand into his suit coat pocket and pulled out a handful of sunflower seeds. "So. You think I'm spooky."
"If it makes you feel any better, I also think you're a good agent."
"Well," Mulder said, leaning forward again and tossing a couple seeds into his mouth. "That's refreshing."
"Mulder, not everyone thinks you're nuts."
"Just most people, huh?"
"Some people," she said. "Believe it or not, I've heard good things about you, too."
A small smile played over Scully's face. "Well, Nora in Accounts Payable thinks you're sex on a stick. You seem to have made quite an impression. Of course, Nora isn't too happy about the fact that you've stopped returning her calls."
Mulder folded his arms across his chest. "Yeah, I can be a real asshole sometimes. Did you hear about that time when I was still profiling and slashed the tires on Agent Hawkins' car?"
"He was on his way to arrest the wrong man for a series mutilation killings -- teenaged boys -- and he wouldn't listen to me. We were in the middle of Bumfuck, Nowhere. Slashing his tires slowed him down since that was the only transportation we had." Mulder slid his hand into his pocket again for more seeds. "Technically, he was AIC, and I should have been listening to him"
"Is that story supposed to scare me off?"
"I've got more. Lots more. All I'm saying is that, no one would blame you if you asked for a transfer."
"Mulder, if you're trying to get rid of me, you're going to have to try harder. I don't have any intention of asking for a transfer. I took the assignment gladly. I meant it when I said I was looking forward to working with you."
"If that's true, you've got bigger cajones than the last two agents they assigned to me. The first one knew me from VICAP and thought I could walk on water, the second one thought I was his own private freak show," he said.
"Why didn't the first one stay?"
"He was too intimidated by me and my god-like intellect."
Scully raised her eyebrows. "But not with your ego problems?"
"Apparently not." Mulder leaned close and leveled his gaze at her. "You know, I prefer to work alone."
Scully shook her head. "Like I said, if you're trying to get rid of me..." She broke off. "Look, Mulder, I don't have much field experience, and the way your mind works is... unique. I know I have a lot to learn. I don't agree with all your theories, and I don't condone some of your methods. But I believe that your intentions are honorable. If you don't like me, you'll just have to deal with it. I'm not going anywhere."
Mulder pushed back from her desk again. "That was quite a speech. I guess I'll drop those sexual harassment charges against you."
"Excuse me?" She looked up, startled.
"Well, you did come into my room and drop your robe without any invitation on my part."
Scully closed her eyes and blushed. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry about that. I don't usually panic easily."
There was a long moment of stillness, abruptly cut short by the ring of Scully's desk phone.
Smiling, Mulder snatched up the receiver. "Dana Scully's desk."
A surprised pause on the other end of the line. "This is Ethan. Is Dana there?"
"One moment please." Mulder punched the ?hold' button on the phone set and stage-whispered, "It's Ethan." He was gratified to see Scully blush again.
She took the handset and turned slightly away from him. "Hi Ethan. Yes, that was him. What time?" She glanced at her watch. "No, it's okay. I'll catch the bus... all right, yes, I'll catch a cab. Promise. I know it's getting dark." Mulder heard her stifle a small sigh. "I'll see you around ten then. Bye."
"So, the boyfriend? He's working late, too?" Mulder asked. "You seem well matched then." Scully gave him a too-tight smile. Well, maybe not, Mulder thought.
"So, Doc Scully, you're intent on seeing this assignment through to the bitter end?"
"I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment." Scully leaned over to switch her computer off.
"You want a lift?"
Scully turned to look at him, surprised. "All the way to Annapolis? Which way are you going?"
Mulder shrugged. "Save you a hefty cab fare."
"Thanks, Mulder, but I can't ask you to go out of your way for me."
Mulder stretched and got to his feet. "Need any help here?"
Scully chuffed. "I think I can put my things away and turn off the desk lamp just fine all by myself. Thanks."
Mulder gave her a short nod. "Okay. Then I'll see you Monday." He felt a small stab of disappointment.
"See you Monday," she echoed.
The parking garage was nearly empty. His was one of only two cars along the east wall. As he reached into his pocket for the car keys, he heard the sharp tapping of heels against concrete. Maybe J. Edgar had decided to make an appearance after all.
Mulder turned to see Scully walking briskly toward him. She stopped a few yards away.
"If you don't mind, I guess I could use that ride after all." Her eyes dropped away from his face then resolutely slid back.
Mulder nodded. "Of course." He unlocked the doors and she slid into the passenger's seat.
"I was going to stop for a sandwich or something," Mulder said carefully. "I skipped dinner."
Scully looked steadily at him. "A sandwich would be nice. I haven't eaten since lunch."
Mulder felt suddenly buoyant and the beginnings of a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. He leaned forward and turned the key in the ignition. "Then let's get this show on the road."
End. Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this story, please feed the author.
Title: Late Night at the Hoover
Details: 8k · G · Series · 01/04/06 · Email/Website
Gossamer Category(Keywords): Vignette [UST, Friendship]
SUMMARY: Early in the series. A late night encounter.
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