Toady (Sequel to 'Fox')
Author: PhileyX E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web-site: http://www.angelfire.com/id/phileyx Rating: PG Category: UST Spoilers: Season Six - Three Of A Kind Disclaimer: Special Agent Archie Travis is mine and mine alone. Any similarities in character are purely fictional and totally coincidental if it resembles anyone in real life. The rest of the characters belong to the Fox network. Intro: This is a sequel to "Fox". It is recommended that you read "Fox" first. Although it shouldn't be too hard to follow the story even if you didn't. Agent Archie Travis goes on the mission to find out what Agent Scully left behind in Agent Mulder's apartment. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
My name is Archie Travis. I'm an agent with the FBI. Cool, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought initially… until I got attached to the DC headquaters.
Life as an FBI agent is not like what you see on TV. You don't really get to flash your badge around. And even if you do, it's not that anyone cares.
There are generally two kinds of FBI agents. Those who actually care and those who don't. Then there are agents who care but no one knows what the hell they exist for. These agents are selected few for the whole department to make sport of. The exceptional agents that take the honour here in DC would be Agent Spooky and Agent Skully. Or at least that's what they tell me; I doubt that's really their names.
Agent Thomas Philip is my assigned partner. He'll be retiring within a year. He's a pain-in-the-ass, from the 'don't care' category. I've been here a week and all I've learnt from him is not to eat the hamburgers from the cafeteria. And yet I follow him, of course I don't really have a choice.
One afternoon, I joined him for lunch. We sat with the other cretins from his working-type species. Big mistake. Within ten minutes, I had become a 'Toady'.
A Toady is generally known as flatterer or a sycophant. But in the FBI building, a Toady is basically the scum that gets the information to close a certain bet. Of course being the only rookie in their midst, the title 'scum' automatically falls on me.
My mission was to find out what Agent Skully left behind in Agent Spooky's apartment. Now, I'm not usually a party-pooper but I seriously don't see what the big deal is about. So these agents are having sleepovers at each other's houses and the problem is….? Even if they were partners, they wouldn't be the first duo to break FBI protocol.
"I'd start with Agent Skully." Philip advises with a wicked grin. "She's sweet." My instinct tells me not to believe him.
Agent Dana Scully (not Skully as I initially was told) was really sweet. Well, at least that was my first impression. Five foot two, red hair, blue eyes and an amazing body for her age. Her other half and her partner, Agent Fox Mulder (not Spooky) was six foot, brown hair…….I think. Okay, I wasn't really paying attention to how he looked like, especially not with his partner within the vicinity.
She somehow commanded a certain amount of attention with her quiet disposition. You could see that she was generally respected with the nods and the stares that she received as she passed through the hall.
Agent Mulder however created a different effect. The looks he received were more for a clown passing through a circus changing room. You know he's part of the act but he's never taken seriously.
Watching them walk together down the corridor reminds me of those movies where time stretches and everything is in slow motion. No matter what happens around them, they stay totally focused on each other and their conversation.
I shake my head in disgust. Talk about being subtle. It's no wonder everyone knows about their sleeping arrangements.
So after careful deliberation, I decide to the talk to the fair lady agent first. Of course I wish to clearly state that this decision was made before she leaned over the water cooler and brought my attention to her very cute tush.
Unfortunately my roving eyes got the better of good manners because when I finally looked up, the enigmatic Agent Scully had a scowl that could freeze hell. Whoops, busted.
"Can I help you?" Oh no, her voice just froze my body as well.
"I……" I try to hold out my hand for a handshake but the frost seemed to be still in its first stages of thawing. And why wasn't my voice working?
"Can you talk?" She asks after about thirty seconds later.
"Yes." I finally manage to let out. She frowns as I continue to look at her blankly. "I……" Shit, what was wrong with me? Maybe it's those frosty, blue eyes, boring into my soul.
She is exasperated now. "Yes…?"
"Scully." Agent Mulder suddenly appears beside her. He takes one look at me and grins. "You know, you gotta stop doing that, Scully."
Without even a tiny glance at me, she turns to face him. "Doing what?"
"Freeze newbies with your stare. It's not polite. Skinner told us to be nice, remember?"
"The man's a moron."
"The man a guy. He's just not used to the Scully package."
"The Scully package?"
"Yeah, the I'm-hot-but-mess-with-me-and-I'll-shoot-you package."
"Shut up, Mulder."
"That was a compliment." He assures her. Then they walk away.
Mind you, I was there the whole time. But it was as if I was invisible. I never felt so humiliated in my entire life.
After that sad affair and a total male ego breakdown, I decide to try my moves on Agent Mulder. After all, a man loves to boast about his conquests, one just has to know to ask the right questions.
I see him in the hallway the next day and I follow him discretely. When he enters the Mens, I figure 'What a perfect opportunity!' The very place men share their torrid sexual secrets. So I follow him.
He is peeing and I unzip my pants and stand next to him. "Agent Mulder." I nod and acknowledge his presence.
"You're the new guy, aren't you?"
"Yeah." I smile.
"How's it going?"
"Okay." I lie.
He looks at me dubiously and hides a suspicious smile. And I wonder why. Only then, I remember that the man is a brilliant psychologist. 'How could I forget? And **I** was going to talk him into telling me about **his** sex life?' I look down and frown. 'Will I be able to fool him or will he catch on and kick my ass instead?'
My thoughts fade away when I hear Agent Mulder clear his throat. I look up and catch his horrified expression on his face.
"Just what do you think you're doing?" He asks me.
"What?" I panic. 'God, the man **is** good. He read my thoughts from my face?'
He scowls at me. "You were staring at my…." He stops and nods his head southwards.
I sigh in relief. 'He doesn't read minds.' But soon, I grimace as I realize what he had just meant. 'Oh no.'
Before I could react, he pulls up his pants and turns around. I hear him washing his hands. I try to say something, anything to explain that I wasn't really staring at his ….. package, I was just thinking about something but unconsciously looking in that direction. Too late, I hear the door slam behind me.
I groan. Great, my first assignment as an FBI agent and I'm stinking at it.
My luck turned around when AD Skinner selected a few newbies to help out with a few senior agents and I volunteered to be assigned to the 'X-cave' (as the basement was generally known here).
As Skinner introduces me, I see Agent Scully receive the news as graciously as she can. But as soon as we leave his office, a scowl sets on her face and walks quickly towards the stairs.
I follow behind her, resolving not to look at anywhere else but her face, just in case I forget my manners again. I then try to break the ice. "Agent Scully, I'm really excited to have this chance to work with you and Agent Mulder. I've heard a lot about your work."
She grunts back. "I'm sure you have."
Not disheartened, I try again. "It sounds interesting."
"Oh, it is. Very interesting."
I finally manage to catch up with her and I decide to mend the horrid first impression that I made. "Agent Scully, I would like to apologize for my behaviour early this week. I was a jerk."
She started slightly, surprised at my apology. Hesitating, she mumbled back, "Well, just don't let me catch you checking out my ass again. I assure you, you won't survive the ordeal."
I grin and nod my head. "Right, no ass checking. Yes, maam."
A smile escapes her as she increases her pace down the stairs. And I congratulate myself for taking a step closer to completing my mission.
Agent Mulder however is less concerned about keeping his revulsion in check. His face visibly turns into a shade of deep purple and he motions to his partner for a 'private word' at the corner of the room. As they talk in a whisper, I look around the office.
It was unlike any office that I've seen in the FBI building. Proudly decorated with posters, keychains and trinkets that would make a Star Treckie proud, it screamed 'Dork'. I was just about to finger a glow-in-the-dark alien magnet attached to the metallic coffee-maker when I catch a few words from across the room. I then try to listen to the rest of the conversation. Maybe I could wrap up this Toady thing by today.
"I don't care what Skinner said. He's **not** staying here in the office with me!" He hisses at her.
"Mulder, he's supposed to help out with the paperwork! Not follow me on my rounds."
"Oh come on, Scully. They're all dead. Besides, perhaps he'll get sick of all the gore and request for a transfer."
"And then I'll have to do all the filing."
There was an obvious silence and I could just imagine Agent Scully rolling her eyes at her partner in disbelief.
He soon adds. "Scouts honour, I'll help. Just take him away somewhere."
"Why are you so terrified of him?" She asks him. I think of our little incident and wonder if Mulder still remembers.
He softens his voice further. But I manage to make it out. "I think he's gay." He tells her and I grimace. Yup, he remembers all right.
I hear her choking back a laugh. "What makes you think he's gay?"
"Because I caught him checking me out in the Gents."
"Seriously Scully. He unzips beside me, looks over and practically stares at my ….. you know."
"Hmmm…. Well I don't really understand. I mean, I've seen your… you know. And there's really nothing spec….."
He interrupts her with a growl. "Scully, don't even say it."
She laughs. "Mulder, it just amazing how paranoid you can be! Look, I don't have time for this. I have two bodies awaiting my scalpel. I'll take him with me. But you owe me one."
Secretly, I am jubilating. Spending time with a beautiful woman can't be all that bad.
The worst thing about the whole procedure was the smell. I shudder as I think of all the blood I saw and shake my head to erase the memory. As I raise the coffee cup to my lips, I hear the door of the staff common room open. I look up and see Agent Scully heading for the coffee machine.
After pouring herself a cup, she turns to me and notices my discomfort. "You okay?"
"Yeah." I lie.
She smiles. "It takes a little getting used to."
"How can you do this without getting sick?" I ask, genuinely wanting to know.
She laughs. "It's easy when you have been doing it since the beginning of time."
"I guess." She sits beside me and sips her cup softly. I find myself watching her and quickly look away before she catches me and acts on her previous threat. "What did you find?"
"Nothing." She sighs. "As usual. Don't worry, I'm sure Mulder has a plausible explanation for this. He always does."
I detect scars am in her voice and cautiously ask her. "I hear Agent Mulder is an amazing profiler."
"It's nice to have a partner like that, isn't it? I mean, someone who knows exactly how you're feeling or thinking, maybe even better than you do yourself."
She looks at me thoughtfully. "Well, it doesn't really work that way. I mean, being a great profiler is mostly a job, not a way of life for him."
I raise my eyebrow. Sounds like trouble in paradise. "But you guys have been partners for a long time now. I'm sure you can practically read each other's minds by now."
She frowns and looks at me suspiciously. "Why all these questions, Agent Travis?"
I try to play it cool. "Just curious."
She gives me a look and stands up. "I think we had a long enough break, let's get back to work."
As I think of the next few hours of gruesome inner anatomy study, I feel the blood drain out of my face.
Agent Scully is a very patient driver. Even with all the madness and inconsiderate drivers of DC, she takes it in her stride with calmness. The silence is too much for me so I try to make conversation.
"So the last guy you sliced had a heart attack."
"So was that what you and Agent Mulder expected?"
"It's always never what we expect, Agent Travis. That's the whole problem when it comes to the X-files."
I smile. "So you'll have to hash up a new theory?"
"Mulder has one ready. He left a message at the morgue office to say that he's checking it out."
"Without you?" A slight twitch on her face tells me I've hit a sore spot. Whoops, trouble in paradise indeed!
She calmly answers. "We work faster this way."
"Well, at least you guys get things done." I try to distract her with my problems instead. "It's tough being the new guy around here. One week here and I've been shifted through three sections but achieved absolutely nothing." Besides getting elected as a Toady, I add quietly.
She is silent for a while and then tells me. "Yeah, it's tough being new. I remember my first day."
"Were you shifted around too?"
"No. Actually, I was shifted here, to DC because of the X-files. My… knowledge in medicine and the sciences was exactly what this department needed at that time."
"Agent Mulder was working alone then?"
"He must have been glad to have some company."
She bit her lip. "Not really."
I understand her tone of voice. "Yeah well, at least he doesn't expect you to pick up sandwiches for him from the cafeteria every morning on the way in." I tell her, sharing my fate as the partner of Thomas Phillips.
She smiles. "Close. He pinches mine."
"Tell me something, how long before he stops calling you 'Son'?"
She laughs. "That's something I didn't have to worry about."
She has a nice laugh. I watch her radiant face and take a moment to admire her loveliness. "I'm sure you didn't. A man would have to be blind…." I add genuinely.
My suddenly changed tone makes her glance at me. She catches my admiration but turns her attention back to the road coolly. If she was embarrassed, she didn't show it. Clearing up her throat, she keeps the conversation going. "The important thing is 'trust', Agent Travis. It takes time but it is the most critical element in a partnership. Give your partner time."
I grin. "Yeah sure, just a few more months until his retirement."
And she laughs again.
We are laughing when Agent Mulder enters the office. I am sitting in his chair in front of his notebook while Agent Scully hovers behind me, occasionally leaning over me to point to a word or phrase on the screen. As we look up, I see that he is stunned to see us where we are.
"Hey Mulder. How did it go?" She asks him.
He cocks his head slightly, as if surprised to hear her so cheery. "It was nothing."
"Sorry. Anyway, the autopsy results are on the desk. We're checking out the other results from a similar incident we found in the files."
He nods his head slowly and we turn our attention back to the computer. I scroll the document up and skim through its contents.
"How about lunch, Scully?" Agent Mulder asks.
"Mulder, it's 2 o'clock. I didn't know what time you'd be back so Archie and I grabbed some while you were away."
I bite my lip, not liking the sudden growl in his voice. Looking up I see a scowl to match the intonation. I glance at Agent Scully. She is still concentrating on the document and replies without looking up. "Agent Archie Travis, Mulder."
"Oh. I didn't know we're on first name basis already."
That certainly triggered a nerve because she looks up and frowns at him. She was just about to say something but stops herself. Instead she shakes her head slightly and leans lower over the small screen.
It's obvious that I'm beginning to create a little green-eyed monster in Agent Mulder but maybe a little spice is exactly what this relationship needs.
Besides, she is close enough for me to smell her perfume. And I willingly allow myself to get distracted from the obvious tension across the room.
Unfortunately for me, he clears his throat to claim the attention again. "I've got another body down at the morgue for you to look at, Scully."
"Another?" She backs up and whines. "Give me a break, I already did two this morning!"
Disappointed that the distraction was so short, I lean back and sigh.
"Then you shouldn't have any problems performing one more." He smiles sweetly at her.
She glares at him, reaches for the autopsy results, walks towards him and shoves the file at him. "What makes you think that this body has anything to do this the case?"
"Do the autopsy and we'll know." He insists.
She sighs but growls resigningly. "Fine, come on Archie."
"Oh Scully, maybe Agent Travis could stay on. After all, Skinner did assign him to help out with the filing here."
Oh-oh. The little monster is becoming obvious and I wonder how Agent Scully reacts to jealously.
She looks at her partner in surprise. "Mulder, could I have a word with you?"
As they move out of the office into the hallway, closing the door behind them, I jump out my seat and perch myself beside the door, my ear next to the keyhole.
I hear her patiently ask him. "I thought you didn't want him on your hands."
"And I thought you didn't want him around you either."
"Mulder, you're the one who practically begged me to take him with me."
"Oh come on Scully, the man is drooling all over you and you're loving every moment of it."
"What are you talking about?"
"Hovering over him with your cleavage shoved in his face?"
I hear her hesitate and then in a more controlled voice, she told him. "I don't know who pissed you off, Mulder. But I refuse to stay here a minute longer to take this crap from you. You want him here, you can have him. I'll be in the morgue."
I realize that it is the end of the conversation and I hastily move away from the door. A few minutes later, Agent Mulder enters the office alone. He walks slowly to his chair and slumps down on it. I wait for him silently. When he does look up, he gives me a scowl and says. "I hope you don't have a date tonight. We're working late."
Inwardly I groan. Someone's depressed and he's taking hostages.
I yawn for the tenth time this morning and Agent Scully raises an eyebrow from across the room. I smile apologetically and she just shrugs.
It has been a quiet morning. Neither one of the spooky duo have spoken more than five words to each other since they came in. And I feel slightly guilty for bringing on this cold war.
When Agent Mulder leaves the room, I sigh in relief and stretch my aching neck.
"Rough night?" She asks me.
I nod. "Yeah. Was up until 2am. Some stuff that Agent Mulder needed by today."
She frowned. "He not only made you stay back, he sent you home with work too?"
I try to brush it off, not wanting to become a telltale. "Oh, I didn't mind. It was pretty interesting stuff."
"The expense reports were interesting?" She asks in disbelief.
I hesitate and look at her sheepishly. "Okay, they were tedious and messy."
"That sounds more like it." She grins.
I grin back. "I just didn't want to worsen the situation."
I give her a look but she looks back innocently, pretending not to understand. I roll my eyes. "Fine. Since you don't want to talk about it…." I turn back to my work.
I hear her sigh and a few seconds later; she walks over and leans against the table I'm working on while staring at the wall behind me. I wait for her to say what's on her mind.
"Are you gay?" She finally asks.
The question catches me off-guard. I almost burst out laughing. "No."
"I didn't think so." She told me confidently.
"And yet you asked?"
As she drifts off into her own world again, I tell her. "I'm sorry I sort of came between you and Mulder. I didn't mean to."
She looks embarrassed for a while but soon recovers. "You did no such thing, Archie. Mulder's just not used to company. Neither am I, actually."
"What do you mean?"
She replies carefully. "Well, I guess there's just too many people trying to shut us down."
"But you don't think that about me?"
"Well firstly, you're here temporarily and secondly, ……" She trails off. She shakes her head a little and looks me in the eye and tells me, "I don't know …you just seem way too normal to be any of those jerks, whoever they are."
I actually feel honoured that she has even that little trust in me. But then I think of my secret mission and my conscience begins to prick me.
So I try to change the subject. "Okay, so if I try to look totally disinterested in you and more gay, do you think he'll let me off early today?"
She laughs. "Archie, this has nothing to do with me. He just doesn't trust you."
I look indignant. "Oh yeah, right. Like he's not jealous that **we** seemed to hit it off quite well?"
She looks genuinely surprised. "Jealous?"
I am stunned. Is she just pretending that there is nothing going on between them or there's really nothing going on between them? I brave myself to ask her. "Aren't you seeing each other?"
I detect a slight blush spreading across her face as she denies the accusation. "No, of course not! Not to mention we're partners!"
I am struck dumb. "Oh I….." I just didn't know what to say. Studying her face, I conclude that she isn't lying. Either that or she is one hell of an actress.
And what about the betting pool? Could it be that this whole 'Toady' thing was a hoax and the guys were just putting me through a FBI freshmen orientation program? No, it can't be! The last I heard the girls in the typing pool and the geeks from accounts have also joined in, bringing the total cash jackpot to six hundred and forty bucks!
Thus unconvinced, I test her further. "So if I asked you out, he won't kill me?"
Looking slightly annoyed, she throws the ball back in my court instead. "Do you intend to ask me out?"
I hesitate. To be honest, I want to but it somehow doesn't seem right. And I'm unsure if it's because I haven't been totally honest with her about being a Toady or because I'm still afraid of what Agent Mulder might do to me.
As the seconds tick by, she begins to smother a laugh. "Okay, I get the hint." She then turns and heads back to her table. "Next time, don't ask if you don't mean it, okay? You could get land yourself in trouble."
I know she is not offended but I still feel like a jerk. "Dana, I'm sorry. I…" I hesitate and soon find myself wanting to confess my secret. "There's something you should know."
She cocks her head and looks at me, a small frown creasing her brow. I move to her slowly. Her eyes catch the fear in mine and her frown increases.
Meanwhile, I start to panic. From what I gather, 'trust' is an important issue with her and her partner and I wonder if I would lose her respect after I told her why I went out of the way to be her friend. It made me realize how much I had become to like her as a person.
"Dana, I….." I am interrupted by Agent Mulder's entrance. As we both look at him, wide-eyed; he seems to sense that he had unintentionally barged in on something. He looks at us suspiciously as we begin to back away from each other. I try to think of something to say to lighten the awkwardness.
But he surprises us both by grabbing his coat and walking out of the office, slamming the door behind him.
From across the room, I hear her sigh and curse softly.
I now know for sure that there is no way I could ask Dana Scully out and survive. And I don't care how vehemently she insists that there is nothing going on between them.
I step back in surprise as the door of a jewelry shop suddenly springs open on front of me. The man at the doorway is angrily telling the salesperson off. "…You'd think that a 15 hundred dollar ring would come with more than a 3 day return period!"
I shake my head. And wait patiently for the unreasonable man to finish his tirade and let me pass. Then I recognize him. "Agent Mulder?"
He turns to look at me. A scowl soon replaces his frown and he walks out of the doorway of the shop, deliberately ignoring me. I sigh. This is it. I'm sick of this game. It's time to lay the cards on the table.
So I almost run to catch up with him. "Agent Mulder, wait! I need to talk to you."
"About what, Travis?"
"About Agent Scully."
He keeps walking as he tells me. "If you want to know anything about Scully, I suggest you ask her yourself."
I roll my eyes. "Look, I'm not making any moves on her."
He suddenly stops and turns. "Really? You sure could have fooled me." He takes a threatening step towards me and sizes me up suspiciously. "You've been here just one week. But you have already **accidentally** bumped into us twice and then you volunteer to assist us in paperwork. It's all a little too coincidental, don't you think?"
I frown. Talk about being paranoid. I don't think I was that obvious.
He continues. "Now unless someone sent you or you have the hots for my partner, I can't think of any earthly reason why you would want to volunteer your services to the FBI Joke Department at such an early but critical stage of your career."
He is good. No wonder he was one of the best in Criminal Behaviour.
"Well?" He prods me.
I finally tell him. "I'm a Toady."
He blinks at me. "Damn, that is one good reason."
I nod my head. "You were right. Someone or rather 21 FBI staff sent me."
He groans. "What is it this time?"
"Well I hear that there was a pretty seductive conversation in a FBI elevator a few days ago. Black bras, whips, leather and lace, leaving something behind in your apartment….?"
He closes his eyes and nods his head, apprehending me. "Of course." He grins. "Travis, believe me when I say that you've heard the grossly exaggerated version."
"That was what I was trying to tell her when you barged in this morning."
"Did you tell her in the end?"
"Are you kidding? Skinner called five minutes after you left to ask where you were. She couldn't come up with a good excuse so she had to listen to an earful from him. And that made her totally pissed with you for leaving without a word. There was no way I was telling her I'm a Toady with her in that mood."
He grimaces. "Great, just what I need. **Both** Skinner and Scully on my back." He looks at me. "Well, you have to tell her. It'll be a blow to her ego but you have to tell her."
"Agent Mulder, I may have started with the wrong intentions but I'd really like for Agent Scully and I to remain on talking terms. I mean, we're talking about your partner here. She's beautiful, smart, witty and compassionate. One cannot help but to fall in love with her." He gives me a little glare and I quickly add. "In a very platonic way of course."
He looks thoughtful for a second and then asks. "Do you shoot hoops?"
I am stunned at the sudden change in the topic. "Yes… but.."
"Good. I could use a game. Come on." He starts walking, and glances back as if expecting me to follow his lead.
"But what about Agent Scully?" I ask.
"You tell her tomorrow, I grovel tomorrow and all is happy with the world." He grins and walks faster.
I frown as I trail behind him. Why do I feel as if he doesn't really care if I remain in Agent Scully's good graces?
I intercept the crushed ball of paper from Mulder, nudge him aside and toss it deftly in to the wastepaper bin. "And …..he scores! Another three pointer for the red devil! Woo Hoo!"
"Ah you're just lucky with that one, Archie-boy!" Mulder growls back. He retrieves the make-shift paper ball and tosses it hard towards the door in disgust; unfortunately, just as Agent Scully was walking in. Thankfully, she looks up in time and protects herself with a file she was holding in her hand. The ball bounces off the plastic folder and lands on the floor, near her feet. We both burst out laughing. "Great reflexes, Scully!" He affirms her.
She raises her eyebrow at us. Her face clearly stunned at our contrasting repartee from the day before. Hesitantly, she steps forward and addresses her partner. "Mulder, can I have a word with you?"
He gives her a questionable smile and nods, following her direction into the other room. I start to feel uncomfortable. It was weird that the day before Mulder was the jerk and I was the martyr but now that Agent Mulder and I seem to get along, the tables have turned. Before I take offence, I remind myself that they have been partners for six years while I'm just a new acquaintance to her.
Since I've revealed my secret, I've resolved not to eavesdrop the duo's conversation anymore. But the office was too quiet and I unintentionally hear their dialogue while watching them through the glass partition.
"What's going on, Mulder? A few hours ago, you were giving me the third degree for being on first name basis, now you're calling him Archie-boy?"
"Well I thought about my behaviour yesterday and decided maybe I am being over-suspicious and paranoid…."
I see her giving him a dubious look.
"What?" He looks back innocently. "You were right. He's not a bad sort. Plus, he plays basketball." And he tops it all up with a grin.
She rolls her eyes. "Cut the crap, Mulder."
He sighs resigningly. "All right, you know me better than my own mother. And that's downright scary. Come on, Archie-boy has something to tell you."
He guides her out the other room and into the one I'm in. There's a look of anticipation on his face, as if looking forward to the event that everything was soon about to be back to normal. Positioning her in front of me, he gives me the go ahead. "All right Archie. Spill the beans."
I sigh. Well, here goes nothing. "Dana, I wanted to tell you yesterday. You know before Agent Mulder walked in?" I hesitate while Mulder encourages me with a slight nod. I swear that man is eager to watch me crash and burn. "I'm a Toady."
She frowns. "A what?"
Her partner groans. "You've been an FBI agent for how long, Scully?"
She ignores him. "Isn't Toady the little ogre in Gummy Bears?"
Mulder and I look at her, confused.
She brushes her last sentence off with a wave of her hand, mumbling something about watching too many cartoons with her Matthew. "You know how tuned in I am with the FBI soap scene, Mulder. Basically, I'm not. So what's a Toady?"
"The evil gerbil that gets the information to close a betting pool." Mulder tells her.
She blinks and groans. "Let me guess. The elevator incident, right?"
Mulder grins and elaborates. "What did you leave behind in my apartment, Scully?" She laughs as he mimes out a whiplash.
"You're not angry?" I ask her.
"Depends." She looks at me thoughtfully, a mischievous twinkle in her eye. "Was the ass-checking genuine or an act?"
"There was ass-checking?" Dramatically, Mulder yells at me in mock anger. "No one checks my partner's ass without my permission! You understand me, Boy?"
I laugh and return the banter. "And just whose permission do you ask, Agent Mulder?"
He tells me smugly. "I don't need to ask permission. My partner's ass is my ass."
This exchange is way too much for the very proper Agent Scully so she waves her hand in the air and tells us firmly. "All right, enough discussion about my ass." She turns and heads towards her side of the office. "By the way Mulder, check my ass out and you die like the rest of them."
Mulder leans closer to me and whispers in confidence. "That's why I make sure I never get caught."
Before I can stick out my tougue at him, Agent Scully growls from across the room. "I heard that, partner. And I'm on to you."
The door of the basement was open, understandably as it was a terribly hot day. I balance the milkshakes and the deli take-away carefully and nudge the door wider. Surprisingly, I remain unnoticed by Agent Mulder even though he is sitting at his desk, facing me. He seems too preoccupied with something roughly 45 degrees to his left. I turn to see what he's looking at. Why am I not surprised that it's Agent Scully? The former's muse was staring at a file while sucking on a Popsicle.
I study Mulder's face. Judging from the intensity of his gaze, I deduce that he has been watching her for a while now, with an occasionally frown escaping him from time to time.
He begins to chew on his lower lip and I wonder why. So I glance at his partner. She is playfully flicking her tougue along the length of the ice-stick.
I grin. It is beyond me how Mulder endures six years of torture such as this. Soon, I see him swallow hard and so I peek at Agent Scully again.
Seemingly bothered by a certain part of the document in her hand, she unconsciously pushes and pulls the red sugared ice in and out of her mouth very slowly. My eyes widen as my mind takes another view of the activity.
Tearing my eyes away from her rhythmic motion, I catch Agent Mulder shift uncomfortably in his seat once… twice and then again.
I can't help but stifle a laugh, knowing fully what the shifting about is for. Mulder's lucky FBI agents are required to dress formally while on duty. Imagine hiding a hard-on in jeans!
When his hand moves from the hand rest and disappears from my view, I decide I should make my entry before the man disgraces the whole male generation. So I tap the base of the door with my foot and enter the office. "Greetings, I come bearing gifts." I declare cheerfully.
Intentionally giving Mulder a moment to compose himself, I turn to Agent Scully and give her a look of mock horror with a tad of English accent. "Dana, a Popsicle in the office? How utterly unprofessional!"
She grins and explains. "An experiment." She then tosses the half eaten sweet into the wastepaper bin and begins to examine my 'gifts'.
I hear a short cough and slightly gruff voice behind me. "Scully claims that a Popsicle increases brain power.
"It worked in College and Uni." She maintains faithfully. "How'd you think I made it through Med School?"
Mulder rolls his eyes. "Anyway, I dared her to try it out with the latest Expense Claim Documentation from Accounts."
"Oh, it was **your** idea?" I turn and give him a sarcastic look. He catches it and frowns at me. I look pointedly below his belt; as I did once, a few days ago in the 'little boy's room'. Realization spreads across his face and he figures that I know what he had been up to a few minutes ago. He gives me a sheepish grimace and mouths silently. "Another five more minutes. Is that too much to ask?"
I mouth back. "You're disgusting, Mulder."
When we both turn back to Agent Scully, she is looking at us suspiciously while slurping on her chocolate milkshake. "You guys want me to leave the room? I'm due for a presentation anyway. You can then whisper sweet nothings to each other all you want."
I tell Mulder. "Look what you've done. I told you to stop being so damn obvious. Now, she's jealous." She ignores me and attacks the scones I brought. Mulder and I join her.
"So, how did the 'elevator' meeting go?" Agent Mulder asks me.
"The bet's off. No one named the oh-so-boring badge as the initially-explicitly-thought-item so the money's rolled to the next bet."
"The next bet?"
"Oh, I'm sure you guys will soon create another betting occasion for another FBI intern to become a Toady." I joke.
Agent Scully shakes her head and replies flippantly. "Sure, that's what we live for." She glances at the clock. "Darn, the presentation." Hastily grabbing the stack of papers from her table, she hands the rolled file in her other hand to her partner. "Here Mulder. Conclusion? The longer I suck, the harder it gets."
His hand is frozen in mid-air as her words sink into him slowly. And I almost burst out laughing at her choice of words. His voice is reduced to a croak as he asks her in amazement. "The harder what gets?"
"The stupid Claim Procedure. Either the Popsicle theory really doesn't work or the damned documentation is purposely designed to put off every agent from ever sending in a claim."
He looks relieved. "Oh."
She looks at her watch. "I'm really late. Bye, guys." She waves her hand about carelessly and walks quickly out the door.
I look at Mulder who is staring absently at the doorway. I tell him. "You're pathetic, man!"
"Hey you weren't here when she systematically licked off the first layer of icing on that Popsicle, okay?" Reaching out for the table calendar, he flips it noisily until the end of the year and groans. "Another four months….."
I frown. "Another four months to what?"
"The Yuletide Season."
I am genuinely surprised. "You don't seem to be the Christmassy type, Mulder."
He looks at me with a small smile. "Oh, it has it's moments."
"You mean, like the long holidays?"
He nods. "Yeah and the year-end bonus."
"Family reunions." I add.
"Specials on Adult Videos."
I resist a groan. "Presents."
He sighs. "Mistletoe."
Mistletoe? I raise an eyebrow. His dreamy face confirms my suspicions and I grin. "And there's also the New Year's Eve's tradition."
Catching my knowing smirk, he waggles his eyebrows at me. "If I'm lucky, maybe I'll score on both occasions."
I roll my eyes. "Or maybe you'll die like the rest of us?"
I suddenly remember something that I had been meaning to ask him. "Say Mulder, what's the story on the 15 hundred dollar ring?"
He frowns at me and shakes his head firmly. "If I tell you and Scully finds out, I won't have to wait for the yuletide season to die."
"Oh come on."
"Sorry Archie, totally out of the question."
He groaned. "You just had to use that word, didn't you?"
And I laugh.
End of Toady
Love it or hate it? Please let me