Title: They Call Him AGENT Mulder.
Of course I had my doubts about working with Special Agent Fox Mulder. Wouldn't anyone wonder if this was the F.B.I.'s way of trying to get rid of an employee who, while maintaining an exemplary service record, was the equivalent of itching powder under his bosses' collars? How was I to know his curious nature and bending of protocol would soon be leading us to things 'they' didn't want known, and I would be right with him all the way?
Now, I know we all referred to him as "Spooky Mulder" at the F.B.I. Academy, and this reputation persisted years after he had graduated. The legend lived on about him even after I attended and graduated. We all knew he was a target for whispers, looks, even loudly malicious castigation not only throughout the halls of the Academy, but at Hoover's Haunt. The big building in the nation's capital!
Personally, I have no idea how he managed to keep his sanity and eventually get into the X-Files Office, but I only know he did, and it was with some trepidation and doubts of my purpose that I agreed to be assigned to work with him. I was supposed to debunk his theories by using my training in pure science. Well, I wasn't able to do that, because I couldn't find scientific evidence against a lot of things I saw, experienced and investigated. Actually, they wanted me to write that his theories were straight from the 'Twilight Zone', and get rid of him once and for all. However they wanted this done, I was not going to be dishonest in any report.
I have seen a lot of things while assigned to Mulder. Believe me, if I hadn't actually witnessed the people, creatures and events for myself, I would have said he was a certifiable crackpot. Well, I saw those things. I was even a part of those things. With God as my witness, I, Dana Katherine Scully was even a genuine X-file myself, at least twice! Yes! And while that would have sounded preposterous coming from anyone else, I must tell you that events did happen to me that were the result of some of the various things Mulder was thought to be crazy for believing the existence of.
As crazy as Fox Mulder may have seemed in school and at the F.B.I., the man could take care of himself. I had him figured for the village idiot who smiled and waved as people were throwing insults wherever he roamed, but I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong.
The very day I met the legendary "Spooky" Mulder, we discussed a case of missing young adults in Bellefleur, Oregon, having been found dead or alive, with no recollection of what had happened to them. Bumps were found on their lower backs that contained an unknown substance. The people who survived their ordeals were just "dropped off' in the middle of the forest in their night clothes. Some of them had been so traumatized they were unable to speak.
As we got off of the elevator to arrange for a rental car and fill out forms for travel, I could hear a woman giggling and saying to her co-worker, "There goes the latest Mrs. Spooky. I wonder how long SHE'LL last!"
I briefly looked at her, then whispered to Mulder, "You still let people get away with the name-calling?"
He just smiled, looked down at me and whispered, "I like to let them have their fun. Now, if you'd like to bop them, I could cite a hundred reasons why a federal agent shouldn't assault a colleague -- "
"All right," I told him uncertainly. "It doesn't bug me, but you're never going to get rid of that reputation as long as you let them do that."
"They don't get out much, I guess. Think of it as cheap entertainment." The way he bent over me so closely was a bit embarrassing, given the ladies' little laugh fest.
A few months months later, I noticed these women had not made what had apparently been their usual remarks. There had been at least three occasions when I had overheard them refer to me as "Mrs. Spooky", but one day I noticed it hadn't been happening. The remarks had stopped. It had been a long time since I had even seen them smirk and nod! What miracle could possibly have occurred? I reasoned that since God hadn't removed their vocal chords, something had to have transpired. Did they respect me more? Had they read my thesis on "Einstein's Paradox?"
I decided to find out what had happened. One morning, I went into the office as usual and asked Mulder why these women hadn't been making their usual remarks.
"Hey, Scully. The dry cleaner couldn't get the bile stains out of my shirts, so the Bureau, out of the kindness of their hearts, decided to spring for new ones. How cool is that?"
"Yeah, it's cool." I sat down in front of the desk and began reading the final report we were filing concerning Eugene Tooms. "So, I noticed Lena and Sal have stopped kidding you, and me. What did you do? Did you file a report?"
Mulder looked up from his notes and smiled. "Uh, no."
Well, was he going to tell me or not? "I think I have a right to know... I mean, since I advised you not to take their cackling. Tell me what happened, Mulder?"
He sat back in his chair and fiddled with his pencil. "I helped Lena's son set up an aquarium as part of his fifth grade science project. Gotta give credit to the kid, though. He won second prize at the district Science Fair. As for Sal, well, I referred her as my partner in my two-for-one AAA membership. Her husband's quite relieved he won't have to drag out cash for a tow for that lousy clunker of hers."
I didn't know what to say. "Oh," was all I could manage. So, Special Agent Mulder was killing them with kindness, applying the Golden Rule.
"Well, what did you want me to do, Scully? Charge them with verbal harrassment? We're all here see to it that Federal Law is enforced, and I didn't want to interfere with company efficiency. Besides, I have a thick skin. You don't need to worry about me, Scully. I've taken it for years, long before I took over this department in the happy house of Hoover."
"Yeah, I guess so, considering the nickname you earned at the Academy."
"Ancient History. Now, would you mind reading this toxicology report so we can justify taking up oxygen here? Unless of course, you'd like to relive the good old days in the Academy and work with Tom Colton."
"I think I'd rather make sure the toxicology report is complete, Mulder."
Time passed as time does, and a couple of years passed by business as usual, occasional oddball memos and practical jokes, as usual. There were even rumors that I had not gone missing -- that Mulder had actually kept me holed up in a little love nest in Alexandria for several months, and then we broke up, remaining friends and work partners.
Now, Lena and Sal weren't the only employees who were chiding Mulder and talking behind his back. Take Wendell Holliman in Drug Enforcement, a nation-wide part of the Bureau which is highly efficient at stopping drug traffic.
Mulder had been to hell and back in Arizona by then. His water was drugged with LSD or some other kind of hallucinogenic substance, his father was shot dead as he was standing in his house, getting too close to DOD secrets, and then there was the deliberate explosion in an buried rail car. No sooner had we managed to find our way out of those messes and get back to our usual hectic routine, than Holliman had to get into the act. As if facing death straight in the face, losing his father and having been shot by me, his partner, hadn't been tragic enough.
He filled out a bogus drug offence record on Mulder, and sent a copy straight to our office. I wish I'd seen the papers first. As I hadn't, I found Mulder beating the crap out of Holliman in the parking garage two days later, and after two black eyes, a broken nose and three fractured fingers, Holliman didn't file a complaint against Mulder. In fact, he even had footage from the Security Cameras destroyed. Why? Even Mulder had sustained a fractured patella, two broken fingers and a split upper and lower lip. I almost forgot to mention the nasty blows to the lower back. (I know what you're thinking: He does look good in black and blue). I was the one who patched him up in the office, then let the nearest Emerg. do the rest.
Apparently, there had been several arrests made in Mulder's neighborhood in an effort to stop the drug dealing at a public school that Holliman's son Evan was attending at the time. With a little assistance from the Alexandria PD, Mulder found evidence that Evan had been one of the kids in seventh grade selling Ritalin on the playground, and one Wendell Holliman didn't have a leg to stand on. Mulder had done some background work on him one night, and found that yes, Holliman, one of our finest, had been supplying large amounts of marijuana, amphetamines and diazepam derivatives to several dealers all over the Eastern seaboard. He's now serving a hefty sentence in a Federal Penitentiary, and Mulder has yet another commendation to his name.
Sure, some minor teasing went on after about the third year of our partnership in the X-Files. Nothing major. Just those annoying inter-office jokes one receives when idle hands become the Devil's workshop. I'm glad I saw it before Mulder did, and tossed it into the trash.
'Tour Agent Spooky's Office, six dollars at the door. See things even Spielberg hasn't thought of. All proceeds to go to the Geogetown Hospital Psychiatric Unit.' Luckily, Mulder and I were out of town, but you know how some things miss the trash bin, get left in the washroom, get dropped in the garage. We had been in Leon County, Florida, and Mulder decided he'd rather investigate the forest rather than attend a boring team seminar.
Of course, the next round of 'Mr. and Mrs. Spooky' rumors, remarks and congratulatory letters on 'an affair to remember' assaulted us once again, but we had become used to that. After all, Agents Kinsley and Stonecypher knew we were not only hindered by a police roadblock, but did have a bona fide investigation on our hands, and people had disappeared in that area, so that was set straight.
But after Mulder was foolish enough to venture out to a ghost ship in the Bermuda Triangle, there was a resurgence of dislike growing throughout the Hoover Building, and I should have sensed something was not quite right. Only after the act of sheer, cowardly bullying did I realize just how Mulder had been suffering right under my nose, and I regret missing the warning signs.
My old school chum, Tom Colton, had never really gotten over the dissing I gave him after the Tooms case. Although I really respected the fact that he had written a brilliant profile that led to the arrest of the Washington Crossing Killer, I felt I couldn't date someone who would be constantly reminding me how weird my partner was. I don't take name-calling from dates or friends very well. It's so... it's so damn immature. Brother Bill is hard enough on the ears.
Tom was ranking quite highly in the violent crimes section, as of a few weeks ago. Friday, October 30, 1998, was one day I would have loved to skip. Going straight to Hallowe'en really would have been our best bet. But no. Tom Colton and his high maintenance wife had asked me to dinner at their home, and to "feel free to bring along that Agent Mulder."
I'm of a forgiving nature. I offered Tom's idea to Mulder and he agreed to have dinner with us.
"Why not help the dear boy celebrate his latest promotion?" Mulder said. "Just to be on the safe side, I'll bring along the gun I keep in my sock as well as my service revolver."
"Mulder, I think Tom's grown up a lot. Give him some credit. You know, as a fellow profiler."
Mulder tried to keep a straight face behind a tabloid he felt a sudden urge to read. I know when he's faking, and I know when another smarmy remark is just bubbling from that mind of his. After all, even then I had been partnered with him long enough to know his reflexes.
"I'm serious, Mulder. We've all been through a lot in the past five years. I'm sure if he's matured, so have you."
"Trust me, Scully. I have matured. My motto for the evening will be 'Trust Tom... to a Point'. You won't hear any disparaging remarks about his overly eager ego. I will pick you up at seven."
"Thank you. Now I can relax."
The split level home in a suburban Washington neighborhood wasn't the type of place I had imagined Tom buying. Maybe it was just until he felt confident in his marriage. Mary Lee wasn't exactly Ms. Frugality, and rumor had it she had a healthy appetite for gold, diamonds, and catered dinners. I know this sounds awful, but she was a blonde in a brunette's body. I'm sure of it.
Dinner was kind of rich for my tastes, and most certainly Mulder's, but conversation was quite reserved.
Mary Lee had one of those voices you hear from actresses like Judy Holiday in the old movies late at night. "Now that Tom's Department Head, he can relax a bit more, Dana. I'm very proud of my Tommy." Geez, a voice at least an octave and a half above normal for the average adult female.
Mulder didn't waste any time jumping into conversation. "Tom's always been am- He's always been so eager to please, and I'm sure he deserves his new position."
"Well, it took a lot of hard work to get to where I am today," Tom added, Oh sure, there was a slight tone of bashfullness in his voice, but I think I was just as quick to pick up on it as Mulder was.
"Tom" I began, "What's it like being that high up the ladder?"
"Well, funny you'd ask, Dana. Nobody pulled out any rungs on the way. You know, Mary Lee, Dana said the funniest thing a few years ago -- "
Mulder was becoming visibly uncomfortable. "How about that rain we've been having? Kind of sets the right atmosphere for Hallowe'en, doesn't it?"
Tom saw an opening, of course. "Oh yeah, Mary Lee, guess what we called Mulder at work?"
I didn't trust Mulder at that point, or Tom, for that matter. "Tom, your wife is so sweet to have put up with your long hours at the office. I was just telling Mulder last week how dedicated to the job Tom's been. Don't you ever worry about him and all the after hours meetings?"
"Yeah, she does," Tom interrupted his wife. "But we know how overtaxed VCS is, and when my agents work, I'm there to help them find the perpetrators. I have an idea. After coffee, how about I show Mulder what I've done with the garage?"
"I'm sure he'd love to see it, Sweetie, but I'm sure he and Dana have a busy day tomorrow, right Dana?"
"Oh, I'm sure we can spare a few minutes," I said. "As long as the boys behave themselves." Thank God it was a small dining table, and I was able to kick Mulder ever so slightly.
"I can't wait for coffee, Tom. Keeps me awake. Besides, we have a meeting in the morning, right Scully? Just like one of those 'meetings' Tom has at night. Isn't that right, Hon?"
Secretly wishing the floor would collapse beneath our chairs and hide us away for a while in some top secret place, I frowned at Mulder. "I think Mulder means 'Hon' as in 'Atilla'. Work, work, work! That's us. You guys go on out to the garage. I want to see this dream home Tom was telling me about."
As I was folding my napkin and getting up from my chair, Mulder whispered, "I bet he has an air hockey game some men would just die for." Something told me I couldn't trust him to be good, so I went outside with Mulder and Tom. The grand tour would just have to wait.
So, the four of us went downstairs to the door of the adjoining garage. Tom flicked the light switch. "Don't know why it won't come on," Tom said. "I replaced the bulb last night."
As Tom fumbled around in the dark for a flashlight, I suspected something was up. I didn't know what.
"Okay, people! We're in business!"
Omigod, I couldn't believe it. Hanging from the ceiling were small flying saucers, riding along wires, and to Mulder's left were four 'zombies'. Mulder was becomong angrier by the second. Down from the rafters fell a headless, naked torso that I knew was a fake, and I quickly grabbed Mulder's arm and quietly whispered, "Let's go, Mulder." Just as I said that, a yellowish fluid flowed from a bucket, in through a window.
Mulder jerked himself away from me and went straight for Tom. As he threw him against the car, Tom got in a few punches, Mary Lee just screamed, and covered her eyes, and Tom ended up out on the front lawn with Mulder banging the guy's head into the grass.
I yelled, "Knock it off! Both of you!" and Mulder got up from the grass, bleeding nose, scraped knuckles and torn shirt. To sum it up, he didn't look half as bad as Tom Colton.
Mulder went back in Tom's face. "Was this your idea of a Hallowe'en prank?" When Tom didn't answer, Mulder grabbed him by the collar and shook him, then shoved him into... a big pile of... canine excrement.
Mary Lee had finally regained her composure. "Actually, that stuffed Scarecrow with the pumpkin head, and the cobwebs all over the porch were the Hallowe'en... Oh, never mind. I told Tom not to do this, but he did."
Tom stood and wiped his face with a handkerchief. Apparently the doo-doo treatment had only made him nastier. "I have wanted to do this for seven years," he snarled. I hate it when men bare their teeth like wild animals. "And we all know what YOU TWO are..."
"We two are going home. C'mon, Mulder." I wasn't going to let this go on all night. "Give me the keys, I'll drive you home. Take a shower and forget this ever happened."
Mulder resigned himself to the fact that we were leaving. Why hadn't it been enough for him to know he had won?
The next day was a Friday, so there wouldn't be much left to do, barring any assignments from upstairs, and Mulder seemed a lot more relaxed when I picked him up the next morning in his car. "Drive me home tonight, Mulder?"
"Yeah, sure," he said as he locked the door to his apartment. "I guess you're not too proud of me today, Scully. Sorry I reacted the way I did."
"Don't be sorry," I told him, as we got into the car. "He had it coming. It was a rotten thing for him to do to you."
"He held a grudge for me for a long time, Scully. We've both been through a lot in that time, and I know you went to school with him."
"Tom Colton was always a boorish, overly-ambitious pain in the ass," I said with a laugh. "I wish I'd taken my camera along for that one moment..." Then I had a call on my cell. "Scully. Yes. Okay. Thank you Sir."
Mulder covered his eyes. "If that was Skinner, I don't even want to know what -- "
"Turn around, Mulder, and smile. Yes, it was Skinner. He just called to warn me to take the front entrance. It seems there's some issue with the garage and repairs. Something about we can park there, but the other doors are off limits. In through the lobby, Mulder."
Mulder's cell rang, and he acknowledged the instructions. "Hmm. I guess they didn't get wind of it yet, Scully. Well, maybe if I tell them first, they'll go easy on me. Do you think those orange coveralls would suit me?"
"Maybe," I responded. There was a reason for using the front entrance, but I had sworn not to tell Mulder. Heaven knows what would have happened if he had known what was ahead of him.
As we walked around the building to the front, he seemed so tense. "We're going straight up to OPR, aren't we? No, that would be too easy. I'm going to be arrested, right?"
I just shook my head, feigned annoyance and told him to shut up because my feet were killing me. They really were.
As soon as we had gone through the metal detector, Mulder braced himself for either an arrest or a shooting. Agents and other Bureau employees came out from everywhere. Cheering. "Congratulations!" people shouted, throwing streamers around the lobby.
Mulder was rather confused. "For what? Am I the millionth customer, Scully?"
Skinner appeared from the thick crowd and offered his hand. "Congratulations for finally doing what we've all been waiting for these past seven years, Mulder. I had a bet it would be Folger in Ballistics, but you beat him to it. Nobody here wants to write up charges, I guess. Kersh called from the seminar in Bolivia to offer his new found respect for you, too."
"Thanks, I think." Mulder still thought the OPR was going to call him into the conference room and close down our office. However, the OPR couldn't figure out a way to get rid of Tom Colton, as there wasn't enough evidence for them. Mulder did it! I still cannot figure that one out, although I suspect one of the reasons the police in Colton's neck of the woods was not summoned was that Derek Dunbar down in Records lived near Colton and he was not one of his fans.
Nowadays, they call my partner "AGENT Mulder", and there's nothing spooky about it.
Author's Note: This was written because some folks have noticed there's still a need for Mulder to get fed up with his detractors, and harrassment in the workplace is fair game for fic writers.
If you enjoyed this story, please feed the author.
Title: They Call Him AGENT Mulder
Details: 20k · PG-13 · Standalone · 06/17/05 · Email/Website
Gossamer Category(Keywords): Story [UST, Friendship, Humor, Angst]
Characters: Mulder, Scully, Tom Colton
Pairings: Mulder/Scully UST
SPOILERS: Spoiler(s): Bits of The Pilot, Squeeze, Tooms, orts
from Seasons 1 through 7. (Yes. Orts. As in miniscule pieces.)
SUMMARY: Summary: Scully describes several incidents of remarks
and actions ridiculing Mulder for his beliefs and
investigations of cases involving the paranormal.
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