Title: As the Hours Go By.
Rated: PG-13. A little language issue.
Category: SA, Scully POV.
Spoilers: All Things, Redux I and II.
Summary: "Time is so precious, now more than ever," Scully tells a fellow career woman, as they're stranded in an elevator.
Archive: Gossamer. From there, ask and ye shall receive.
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Disclaimer: CC, Ten Thirteen and Fox Studios own the intrepid agents, and there's no one paying me here. I'm not good enough to actually infringe on the copyrighted names and title. (In other words, it woould never get on the air, so the writers for the show are more secure than they know!) Sandra Blye is a figment of my imagination.
Dana Scully knew she had to be at the dentis's office by 10:00 a.m. sharp. Her dentist was very prompt and very well-organized when it came to the way his office was run.
"Even the dental assistants, ad the hygienists are right up to the minute on the time they spend with their clients," she had told Fox Mulder that morning. She had phoned him from home earlier to remind him that she would not be in the office until the afternoon.
"And did they time their children's births to fit into the schedule, too?" Mulder had joked.
"I hope not," she recalled telling him. "That would get the ob-gyn's upset they hadn't thought of induction first." Scully really had been trying to be more witty and spontaneous since her experience with Daniel and the vision she had seen in the temple. The thought that each moment in time, each decision and action could change one's life path one way or the other intrigued her. She had as many regrets as she had satisfactions.
Today, she regretted not having parked somewhere else and taken a bus the rest of the way to the medical building. Some much needed road work, and several parking lots filled with cars had her convinced the fates were conspiring against her this particular Tuesday morning in May. When she did find a lot close enough to the building, there was the three block walk. Scully made it to the foyer of the place with just ten minutes to spare. She prayed the elevators weren't coming up from the basement crowded to the hilt.
"Three elevators, three chances," she muttered, pressing all three buttons. "Yes!"
She ran into the first elecator that opened and pressed the button for the sixth floor. When it stopped at the second floor, she hoped only one or two people wold enter as she was just as insistent on promptness as her dentist. A young business woman marched into the elevaator and pressed the butto for the tenth floor. Then they engaged in that time-honored custom in North American society: When in an elevator with strangers, look straight up at the numbers and keep silent. The silence was broken soon enough when the elevator ground and bumped to a halt.
"Sh--!" Scully whispered, grinding her teeth--a practice which had her dentist lecturing for that many a time. It was not that she was a nervous person. She just did that when she was frustrated, and often unconsciously for hours when looking at notes on criminal acts that had her completely stymied.
"Yeah," her fellow passenger added. "I've got a client waiting to close a deal on a factory, and my cell phone died an hour ago." The woman hastily pressed buttons hoping one would make the little prison move."
Scully calmly pressed the alarm button, but there was no buss, ring, whistle or automated voice. The light overhead blinked and then stabilized. "Dental appointment," she informed the woman. "He practically asks for a late slip."
The woman offered her hand. "I'm Sandra Blye, attorney. Real Estate mostly."
"I'm Dana Scully, I work in Law Enforcement, for the government." She wasn't about to say she was an FBI Agent. Some day, she might neet up with the woman again while under cover. She looked up at the display, then fished through pockets, then her purse. "I seem to have left my cell in the car, dammit. My partner practically wears his," she said with a grin. "I guess we're here for a while."
"It looks like it. There doesn't seem to be an emergency phone. I seem to remember the building manager saying he wasn't going to install them again with the all the abuse going on."
"Sounds like a great workplace. We have air-tight security. Of course, everyone IS security where I work."
There was an awkward moment of silence.
Sandra Blye, Real Estate Lawyer was becoming uncomfortable, judging by her toe-tapping, arm-folding and the inpatient look on her face. "I'm sorry. I know there are other people in this building. That someone wants this elevator moving as much as we do. Think the power's out or something?"
"Could be," Scully thought. "I did hear there was a chance of thunderstorms today. It wasn't raining when I came in. My dentist is going to have a fit, and my partner is going to think I was captured by... he'll think I got caught up into another case without him."
"Oh, possessive of his position, or of you?"
"No, just overly protective."
Sandra just stared and smiled.
"Well, he's very tall, and I'm, well, petite. I think he wanted to work alone when were first teamed up. A loner. Now, he worries about me. It's amazing how time changes people."
The lawyer sat on the floor and leaned on the side of the elevator. "My boss insists on overworking everyone in the firm. The more cases, the more profit. He breaks out in a rash when someone loses out on a deal. He doesn't know that two of our fellow lawyers at this firm have bleeding ulcers, that one is about to get a divorce because he is never home to get to know his wife. I think that's why they don't have kids."
"You're joking, right? Who's like that in this day and age? What ever happened to job sharing, saying you can't take on any more work than you have... "
"Nice thought, but not practical. It's not just at our office, Ms. Scully. It's at your drycleaner, your drug store, even the supermarket. Now don't get me started on hospitals... "
"Now that I think about it, I haven't had a week straight without out of town cases. I barely get my overnight bag re-packed and we're off again. If we're not out of town, he's profiling, I'm writing up an autopsy report and translating terms to my boss. We hardly see the light of day when we're in the building."
"You must be a doctor, then." Sandra smiled. "You could go into private practice if you have the capital, or you could get a reasonable loan... "
Scully rubbed her neck. "No, not now. I kind of have my career, I do get to travel, and I get paid. It's just that... well, I remember when my partner wanted me to go out of the country to take a look at something that had him absolutely fascinated, and I stayed. A dear friend of mine, we were in love once, actually, he was dying in hospital. I just had to see him. I had to make peace with him, and with his daughter. He was old enough to be my father, actually. I felt I owed them something, even if it was just more time for him to live."
"So, you're saying you regret loving that man?"
"No." Scully joined her companion on the floor. "I do regret a lot of the things I, we did, back then. I was blessed to learn from him, at med. school and in life, In some way, I think if I hadn't graduated and hadn't said seeing him was not going to fulfill me, I would never have what I have today. I had cancer at one point a few years ago, while I was working with my partner, and I think one of the things that made me want to live was his faith that he could help me. He wanted to do whatever it took. And he did. He sat by me like he was telling God not to do this to us. Not me, not him, but us."
"He must love you very much. You're lucky."
"Oh, we're just... Who am I kidding? You know, as the hours go by, so many other things could be happening to people we care about. We're sitting here so worried about time, what your client wants, your boss wants, what my dentist wants and what everyone else in the world wants, we forget that we're people. And Sandra," she whispered slowly, eye to eye, "Time is so precious, now more than ever. Both my partner and I have had too many things nearly kill us, and still, we don't realize just how precious every day means to us." Scully was close to tears.
"Yeah, I can see where you're going with this. I just feel so, well, I don't feel like me. I haven't felt like myself in a long time. I don't tell my secretary she can slow down a bit. I never turn down a case. Hell, I even go to work with a splitting migraine knowing that part of the problem IS the job. Someone always warns me about stress causing these headaches, and I just keep running to appointments half blind, nauseous and my head feels like a huge, overstuffed baloon."
Scully held the woman's hand and softly asked, "So is it all really worth migraines, ulcers, and loneliness? It isn't to me, and I know I'm preaching to the choir when I hear myself."
"It's not all worth it!" Sandra was laughing. "It's just a job. I'm good enough at what I do, and I don't need to take everything they hand me. I can't wait to get back to the office to tell my boss I can't run any faster than I already am. The next time I'm asked by George Manning if I want to go to dinner with him, I am going. He really is my best friend at work. Why not away from there? Who knows, I might even marry that sweet man. It's an old term, but he IS a sweet man, and we're both very similar in our interests."
"Well, if I ever get to my dentist, I'm going to just nod and smile. I night even find a dentist who doesn't run a tight ship. I think part of the reason I chose him in the first place is that he knew my father from the Navy. My father always had everything organized, and wanted us to be that way, too. He never actually said it. It was just understood. When he died, I think he felt it wasn't on his schedule. Speaking of which," she looked at her watch, "I think I can just go back to the office and start looking for a more laid back dentist. I'll cancel my appointment on the way back. Now, when the heck are we getting out of here?"
"Well, I guess the run for the coffee is just about any time now. So, they'll be calling maintenance in spades."
Scully looked up at the ceiling.
"What is it, Dana?"
"I think I hear something. Someone's calling us. We hear you! Get us out of here!"
"We hear you! We HEAR YOU!" Sandra yelled.
Both women banged on the sides of the elevator, and shouted at the top of their lungs.
There were more sounds, the overhead light flickered, and the elevator was going up.
"You still want that Real Estate deal?" Scully asked, as they stood.
"Not half as much as I want a life. You still want to answer to an anal retentive dentist?"
"No, come to think of it. I'm not even going to get out on his floor. I have a life to live. My time is precious. I can't suck up to him with all the time I need to conserve. As every hour goes by, I miss out. I need a more relaxed life. I have a life outside of a schedule, I want a flexible dentist and I am going to live my life on a new, precious schedule. You do the same."
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