Just Who Is Mulder Talking To?

by Katie Phillips

Just Who Was Mulder Talking To?
Je Souhaite postep Challenge piece
By Katie Phillips
April 2004

Disclaimer info: I know these characters don't belong to me, but I wish they did.
Spoilers: Je Souhaite
Rating: PG
Archive: I'd be honored.
Feedback: Makes me so very happy. xfstories@yahoo.com. Category: MSR

Summary: Scully tells Mulder about her conversation with Skinner concerning his bizarre behavior in Skinner's office earlier that day.

Many thanks to Sallie who performed a quickie beta job on this for me so I could get it done in time.

This story is dedicated to every X-file view who wished that the episode would go on just a little bit longer.

"So what was your final wish, anyway?" Scully asked, peering over at her partner. Mulder said nothing, choosing instead to give her a long look before taking another sip of beer and smiling to himself.

"Fine, don't tell me." Scully gave him a half-hearted glare and sipped her own beer. "I'll tell you about my little run-in with Skinner this afternoon instead."

The mention of Skinner wiped the smug look off Mulder's face in a hurry. He put down his beer and turned to Scully, trying not to grimace at the memory of being suddenly discovered in Skinner's office, yelling at Jenn. "I'm not sure I want to hear this Scully."

Scully smirked at him. "Relax, it wasn't all that bad." She put her beer back on the table, grabbed a handful of popcorn, and settled back to begin her story.

Scully dropped off some paperwork with Skinner's assistant, and was halfway back down the hall towards the safe confines of the elevator, when Skinner leaned out the back door of his office.

"Agent Scully."

Scully debated briefly pretending to not hear him. She didn't like the idea of Mulder spending more time than necessary alone with Jenn. She sighed when she heard Skinner call out her name again, a bit louder this time.

Scully straightened her shoulders and turned to face him. "Sir?"

"A moment of your time?" Skinner phrased it as a question but Scully knew better. She smiled weakly at her boss as she strode past him into his office. Skinner motioned toward the chair in front of his desk and Scully sat down, noticing that Skinner opted to sit on the edge of his desk instead of behind it. Not a good sign.

Skinner usually reserved this posturing for his more intense interrogations. Immediately Scully assumed that their chat would be about her flying several noted physicians from the Harvard Medical School to Washington to examine her nonexistent invisible body.

She almost sighed with relief when Skinner began to ask about Mulder. "Is there anything going on I should know about, Agent Scully?"

"I'm not sure what you're getting at Sir." Scully tried not to squirm in her seat, while desperately trying to figure out what Mulder had done this time.

"Off the record Scully, did you and Mulder have some sort of falling out?" Skinner gave her a look of deep concern. Scully's shocked look stopped his line of questioning rather abruptly. He licked his lips and thought a moment before trying again.

"This afternoon, Agent Mulder went off on a sort of 'tirade' in my office. Going on and on about bad attitude, and referring to a person with whom he was apparently speaking as a,um,a" He paused and smiled feebly at Scully's raised eyebrow. "Well, actually he called the person a 'bitch.'"

Scully's other eyebrow went up. "So naturally you assumed I was the one with whom he was speaking?" she asked dryly.

"I couldn't see the person to whom he was speaking, and I know that, at times, you and he have had some rather heated debates. Hell, Scully, you two have sat in those chairs more times than I can count, close to biting each other's head off while discussing a case."

Scully gave him a look that clearly indicated she doubted anyone, anywhere, would have the nerve to call her a 'bitch' to her face. Skinner wisely decided to change the direction of his inquiry. "It isn't so much what he said that worries me, Agent Scully." He paused briefly, then continued. "It was that he chose to do so in front of a room full of agents, in the middle of a meeting."

Scully's look changed to one of puzzlement. "Are you saying, Sir, that Agent Mulder was yelling at someone during your meeting?"

Skinner nodded. "I was having my monthly budget meeting, your report was missing, again, when suddenly Mulder appeared behind me, ranting and raving. I assumed that you and he had come in here to discuss something urgent, and that perhaps he hadn't realized there were others present."

Skinner pulled off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. He felt another Mulder-induced headache coming on. "I couldn't see anyone else in the room, and since you weren't here" His voice trailed off as he tried to put together the pieces of puzzle.

He looked intently at Scully, and she noticed just how tired he looked. "Is Mulder okay, Scully? I know he's been through a lot this year. I'm just concerned that he might have finally, um"

"Snapped?" Scully finished for him.

Skinner shrugged. "Do you have another explanation?"

====Back in Mulder's Apartment ====

"Great, Skinner thinks I finally flipped my lid," Mulder said through a mouthful of popcorn. "God Scully, how can you eat this stuff without butter?"

"Very easily." Scully popped a couple of kernels in her mouth.

"I suppose the fact that I'm here and not back in a padded cell means that you convinced him of my relative sanity."

This time it was Scully's turn to take a long drink of her beer while smirking at her partner. Mulder nudged her gently with his shoulder. "Come on Scully, what did you say?"

"I simply explained to Skinner that we've been dealing with a woman who appears to have the ability to alter a person's conscious state, be it through hypnotism or some other means. I told him that it was obvious that this woman had put some sort of suggestion in your head."

Mulder silenced Scully by putting a hand on her arm. "You told Skinner that Jenn put the whammy on me?"

"More or less." Scully smiled up at her partner sweetly, enjoying his look of discomfort.

"Great. What did he say to all of that?"

"Not much really. He looked like he was getting another one of those killer headaches. He mumbled something about expecting a full explanation in our report, which you're going to write by the way, as he was fumbling through his desk looking for aspirin."

"That's it?"

"That's it."

Mulder gave Scully a smile, as he wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close. He kissed the top of her head. "Thanks for covering my ass for me, Scully. Again."

Scully drew back and looked up at him, giving him a wicked smile. "Speaking of asses Mulder, why don't we take yours into the other room. I have a couple of wishes of my own that need granting."

End of story.

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