Unattainable Standards

by Pattie

Title: Unattainable Standards

Author: Pattie

Rated: PG

Spoilers: 2Shy

Category: X-File, Post-Ep.

Summary: Mulder and Scully bandy about questions of on-line dating,personals ads., and self-esteem.

Archive: Gossamer, AftertheFact, any other nice home. Be sure to ask, though! (It's archiving etiquette).

Feedback: Coddled, considered and taken seriously at: trish59@444.net.

Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully are public... they belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Studios. I make no money and intend no copyright infringement.

4:30 p.m., E.S.T.

It had been a very draining case, both physically and emotionally. Before driving back to D.C., Mulder and Scully decided to have a bite to eat and coffee. They had just left the correctional facility where Incanto had been incarcerated. Mulder knew that this case was particularly disturbing to his partner.

"Scully. I know you probably don't need to hear this, but I think Alan Cross was way out of line. I mean... well, his little display of chauvanisn throughout the case."

Scully shook her hand. "I'm used to it Mulder. Funny, how much has changed for us over the decades, and yet... how little has changed."

"How so, Scully?" Mulder sipped his coffee and leaned back a bit. "Even an officer his age knows how capable women are at their professions, and you showed him. Maybe he was just envious of you."

"Envious?" Scully pushed a baked potato around with her fork. "How so?"

"I think you had a stronger stomach for that case than he did, and he resented it. Even after all his years on the police force, that kind of thing... well, makes even the most weathered officer want to vomit."

"Well, I think things haven't really changed as far as male standards of beauty. All these women had some padding on them, they'd been rejected before, I'm pretty sure of that. The fact that they hid behind keyboards, or lonely hearts columns.. it just tells me they've been hurt by the so-called "standards" of beauty imposed upon them by shallow men, beauty magazines, fashion magnates, and Madison Avenue. Unattainable standards at that."

"Is that why you won't eat your potato?" This case had his insides doing flip-flops, too, but he wasn't about to say it. "Scully, that is an awfully generalized indictment of men. I'll give you a few points for the magazines and the media, but not the thought that all men are that... visual."

"I know, I know. But still, "thin is in", "the beautiful princess" fairytales, "take twenty pounds off before summer"... all these things. Mulder, women haven't gotten beyond these ridiculous ideals of beauty and desirablility."

"Scully... " Mulder glared at her.

"Well, don't you agree a thin, pretty woman is much more desirable than an overweight, plain woman?"

"No, I do not. I think I should tell you that some of the most thin and outwardly beautiful women I have seen can be rude, self-absorbed and downright uninteresting, with the intelligence of a cucumber."

Scully took a forkful of potato. "I didn't mean to lump you in with shallow guys, Mulder. It's just, it's still hard for women to feel beautiful enough, intelligent enough and meet decent guys with which to live a normal life."

"And they died for it, in this case. They went the chat line route, some miscreant like Incanto got to them before they met up with a decent guy in their everyday lives. Scully, are you sure maybe you're not wondering, I mean, I don't want to get personal... well, are you sure you're not wondering whether you could end up lonely, gaining weight while you wait for Mr. Right?"

"I haven't thought of it that much, Mulder. I would like a normal life, if that's what you mean. Whether I gain weight or not, and whether I will have to be patient for Mr. Right to come along remains to be seen, doesn't it?"

"So, in other words, it doesn't bother you? I mean... not having it all? Right now?"

Scully poked a few kernels of corn around, stone cold silent for a moment. "A little."

"A little?"

"Maybe more than a little. But maybe these things just take time, Mulder. Like forging partnerships."

"Are you coming on to me, Scully?" Mulder gave her a small smile. He figured a big laugh would get him clobbered.

"Eat your vegetables, and let's get out of this town, Mr. Charisma. After the Incanto case, Washington looks better to me all the time."

"Will you still like me when I'm fatter and older? Would anyone consider dating ME then?"

"Where'd that come from, Mulder?"

"The human side of me, Scully. Even men have their doubts."

This gave Scully food for thought. She hadn't considered that, perhaps, someone like Mulder could feel those doubts, those insecurities. "Hmm..." was all she could say.



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