by Ashley Williams

Title: Partnership
Author: Ashley Williams
Summary: A bit of third-person jealously... Spoilers: You should know anything that comes up by now. Well, I guess this fic does resemble Sein Und Zeit and Closure a bit.
Classification: VH
Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully and the whole X-Files crew belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Broadcasting. No money is being made off of these characters and no copyright infringement is intended. However, anybody in this fic found outside the realm of The X-Files belong to me. Muah.
Rating: PG-13
Feedback: is wonderful! Send to:
Distribution: Gossamer, Ephemeral are cool. Anywhere else, please let me know.
Author's Notes: Time for the shout-outs! Just a huge thanks and a huge hug to my ADP crew for all the support and encouragement in the world.

I sighed as I received the call from AD Skinner about our upcoming task force meeting. Apparently, there was a young girl who went missing from her bedroom, and as field agents for the FBI, myself, my partner Agent Mike McCougherty, and four other sets of agents were called in to find this girl.

"Who was that, Jen?" Mike asked complacently, barely looking up from his case file. I knew he wasn't really reading that file; whenever we were in the middle of paperwork, he tried to disguise his Playboy magazines by putting a folder over it. However, he often left his "nudie-pics" sitting in plain view when he left his desk for a few minutes. He's not slick... I've been partnered with him for six months... and for six months, he's been trying to get me to sleep with him. I tell you, Special Agent Mike McCougherty is quite the womanizer.

"It was AD Skinner," I answered, the boredom in my voice evident. "He wants to meet with us tomorrow morning at eight am."

"What for?"

Why don't you call him and ask him yourself, I screamed at him in my head. I kept my composure though; I didn't want to create a scene in this office with fifteen other agents.

I swallowed hard before I answered. With Mike, it doesn't take much to make me angry. "We're part of a task force to search for a missing girl. She went missing three nights ago, right out of her bedroom. Local PD barely knows which way is up, so they're calling in the big guns," I relayed to him.

"Any idea of what other agents have been assigned to this case?" Way to totally care about the situation at hand, Mike.

"I think Skinner mentioned Agents Jackson and Leslie, Andrews and Chapman... I believe Mulder and Scully have been assigned as well." Mike looked up in surprise for a split second at the mention of the latter set of agents. I had to admit that my curiosity was piqued as well.

"Then I guess that we're dealing with ghosts and aliens and whatnot on this case... I mean, Skinner even had to call in the Spook Patrol." Mike returned his gaze to his magazine.

"Yeah, I guess," I sighed. I began to think about Agents Mulder and Scully, otherwise known as the Spook Patrol, otherwise known as Mr. and Mrs. Spooky, otherwise known as... yeah, this set of agents could write a book on the nicknames that the other agents in the Bureau have given them.

However, I knew as well as anybody that these nicknames were derived from jealously, pure and simple. Although they investigated the paranormal and aliens and all things that, say, Mike would consider "mumbo-jumbo," Mulder and Scully were AD Skinner's golden agents. They had the highest solve rate of any other set of agents in the Bureau, which was kind of ironic, because they investigate and manage to explain what is supposed to be the unexplainable.

I, on the other hand, am on my third transfer in two years, and from the way that Mike acts toward me, I am well on my way out of this assignment. I think Skinner almost expects to see a request of transfer from Agent Jennifer Mulligan every eight months.

"Jen, I'm going to get coffee. You want any?" Mike asked, startling me out of my reverie. He got up from his desk, leaving his Playboy face up, just as I expected. He walked toward me, and sort of rubbed my shoulder, massaging it at the same time. For as good as it felt, sorry Mike, I don't want it.

"No thank you, and Mike, you are going to finish that half of the paperwork before we leave here today," I spat at him. That little outburst made me feel a bit better. I turned to my paperwork and began to work, thinking of how tomorrow morning's meeting was going to transpire.

I sat at the conference table set up in Skinner's office. Mike is sitting next to me, and I was just barely listening to the details of this case. I knew that this would probably cost me later, but I was a bit caught up at the moment.

First of all, out of the corner of my eye, I could see Mike's hand sliding closer to mine. I had to give it to him though... he was being pretty inconspicuous. However, he does this at every meeting we have, so I've come to expect it.

Instead, my attention was focused on Agents Scully and Mulder. While I was doing my paperwork the day before, not only was I thinking of this meeting, but of said agents. Yes, I admit it. I'm jealous. I wish I had their partnership. I wish I had their successful solve rate. Hell, I wish I did anything worth having the Bureau talk about constantly.

Instead, I've been partnered with a closet pervert. Out of the twenty-seven cases that have been assigned to Mike and I in the past six months, only five been successfully solved. And the only reason my name ever comes up in water cooler conversation is because everybody is trying to figure out whom I'm going to be assigned to in eight months.

I heard bits and pieces of what Skinner was saying. We were going to a little town in New Jersey called Riverton. A six-year-old girl by the name of Corrine Davis had been taken out of her room in the middle of the night, but apparently, no evidence had been found. There was no ransom letter, no sign of a break-in, nothing at all. I suppose that that was the reason Skinner brought Mulder and Scully in to this case.

At the mention of there being no sign of a breakin, Agent Mulder cut in. "Are the parents possible suspects right now?" He asked Skinner.

"Not at the moment. They have a solid alibi--both parents were at a function at a hotel that evening, and left the older sister to baby-sit. They are being questioned right now." Skinner answered, and then went on to explain the case further.

I looked to the agents sitting across the table from me. Scully turned to Mulder and only glanced at him. Her face was expressionless as she looked him in the eye, and, this may sound weird, but it seemed as though the two were talking with their eyes. Well, they've been working the X-Files unit long enough... you'd think that they would have mastered telepathy or ESP or something by now.

"What about the sister?" Scully asked suddenly. "There have been cases of extreme adolescent depression and anxiety, and she could have very possibly taken it out on Corrine."

"The sister, Veronica, is not a suspect, but is in for questioning as well. We may look into that possibility, Agent Scully," Skinner said. Scully briefly wrote a note on her file.

Suddenly, I felt incredibly stupid. I wish that I could have made that conclusion and have gotten praise from Skinner. Instead, I'm left to make the same note on my file as something to keep in mind as I help pursue this case.

I looked back at Scully, and her face still held no expression. I can see why they call her the Ice Queen. Even when she receives praise during a meeting, she manages to keep a straight face. Had I been her, I would have been struggling to keep from beaming. I know that I would have been quite proud of myself.

I then idly wonder if Spooky has melted Icy, so to speak. Something in me says they haven't yet reached that point. Not that I'm a relationship expert or anything, but they just don't act like a pair who has slept together.

Although I would not mind wringing Scully's neck for not jumping in Mulder's drawers upon setting eyes on him. I know I would have.

I'm then reminded of Mike's presence next to me. His fingers are nearly touching mine. In turn, I suppress the urge to slap his hand, because doing so would bring too much attention to our alreadyfailing partnership. Mike and I have enough
problems as it is. Between me simply hating him and his not-so-subtle hints that he believes could potentially lead to us in bed together, it's enough to make me crazy.

Before I know it, the meeting is over. We are all to be in Riverton, New Jersey by nine am tomorrow morning. I'm really looking forward to that drive with Mike.

As I leave the office with Mike, I hear Skinner call Mulder and Scully to stay behind. Probably more accolades, I think to myself. Goodness, I am so jealous. Nevertheless, Mike is distracting me from my thoughts by rubbing my arm gently. Man, he really wants me.

Now that I think it over, I think after this case, I may bite the bullet and go ahead and sleep with Mike. It will give me a good reason to leave this assignment, and it's not like I get any on a regular basis anyway.

Maybe my next partnership will be better. Knowing my luck, it probably won't be that way.

But I can always dream.

The End

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