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From: PitaM13 Date: 08 Feb 2000 22:27:00 GMT
Subject: NEW: Austen Revisited
Title: Austen Revisited Author: Pita1013
Classification: RH (for romance and humor)
Spoilers: Nothing that would ruin anything
Summary: Scully's unfortunate matchmaking attempts teach a lot of people about themselves.
Disclaimer: I was informed that I forgot a disclaimer on another fic of mine, and I apologize heartily. The X-Files and all associated characters are the permission of Fox Television and Chris Carter. I will return them when I'm done, probably a lot happier than they were before. Carrie Hampton is mine so ask if you want to use her.
Author's Notes/Intro: This is *very* loosely based on Jane Austen's "Emma" but you don't need to read it to get the plot. But read it anyway, it's a great book.
***IMPORTANT*** Most of you will notice one MAJOR inconsistency with the X-Files TV timeline, which is the fact that Pendrell is very much alive and kicking in this story. I needed him for this, and was upset enough when he was killed that I don't have any scruples about resurrecting him for a go-round. I hope no one minds. Also, Sein Und Zeit never happened in this story.
***LAST NOTE*** I realize that this is a little out of character for some of our darling agents. It's supposed to be fluffy, not the next chapter of the XF-Gospel. Let me know what you think: PitaM13@cs.com is the addy and I live and breathe for feedback
X-Files Office February 3, 2000
"Mulder, this is Agent Hampton," Scully introduced the woman that had entered the office with her.
"Meetcha," Mulder muttered.
He was chin deep in a pile of old files, probably looking for the strangest one he could pursue. Carrie Hampton looked slightly terrified of him. Scully smiled inwardly.
"Carrie, this is my partner, Fox Mulder," she finished the introduction despite Mulder's obvious lack of attention.
"Ummm... hi?" Carrie said uncertainly.
"Don't worry, he'll come up for air eventually," Scully assured the younger agent.
Scully showed her around the office while Mulder sat and muttered to himself. They could only hear snatches of what he was saying.
"No... no... too old... jersey devil... no... where is it... dammit!" Scully chucked softly.
She'd hear all about it once Carrie was gone. There was a trill as a phone rang. All three agents went for their cellphones at the same time.
"Hello?" That from Carrie, who hadn't yet picked up the custom of the last name.
"Oh, hi!" A pause.
"No... in the basement. Uh-huh." She clicked phone off.
"Gotta run Dana. Nice to meet you Agent Mulder." She scurried off.
Mulder looked up. "Who was that?"
Scully raised an eyebrow. "I love how you pay attention to everything I say."
"So what did I miss?" Mulder refused to take the bait, a sure sign that something was amiss.
"That was my new friend Carrie Hampton. She's brand new here so I took it upon myself to adopt her," Scully told Mulder.
He stared at her, disbelieving.
"Since when do you *adopt* rookie agents?"
"Since no one else would," Scully replied.
"A lot of the other agents are looking down their noses at her, because she has her badge due to connections and not brains."
"Who's connected to her?"
"I don't know. Someone told me that her mother was really important once, and she got Carrie into the academy. I don't know the details. I know she had trouble at the Academy and only graduated by the skin of her teeth."
Mulder grimaced. "Just what the FBI needs."
"Mulder, be nice!" Scully snapped. "I think she has the potential to be a great agent. She just needs someone to show her the ropes."
"And that would be you?"
"No one else will do it. And my reputation can't get any worse around here," she retorted.
Mulder winced. Scully picked up on it immediately. Her voice softened.
"I didn't mean it like that."
He gazed back at her.
"I know you didn't."
They stared at each other for a full minute before Scully cleared her throat and changed the subject.
"So what are you so engrossed in?"
"So engrossed that I didn't notice two women prancing around my office, you mean?" Mulder grinned.
Scully feigned indignance.
"We do not *prance*, Agent Mulder. Horses prance."
"My mistake. That wasn't a whinny from the back room, then?"
Scully looked daggers at him.
"Okay, okay," he surrendered. "I'm looking for a case that will get us out of D.C. and far away for at least two weeks."
"Two *weeks*!" Scully gaped at him dumbly.
"Uh-huh," he muttered, diving back into the case pile.
"No way, Mulder. Not a chance!" Scully growled.
Mulder cast pleading eyes up at his partner, who tried valiantly not to melt into a puddle on the floor.
*What is it with his eyes?* she thought incoherently.
"I have to get out of town!" he cried, sounding panicked.
"Why? Tell me why and I might go along with it." Mulder sighed and lowered his head to the desk.
"Mulder...?" Scully asked, suddenly frightened.
"My mother. She always has a Valentine's Day party, and she wanted help with it this year, and she rented a ball room at some hotel, and she talked me into helping, and I HAVE TO GET OUT OF THIS CITY!!!"
"Whoa, Mulder," Scully tried to calm him down. "That isn't that bad, you know."
"I HATE parties."
"Do you want me to help you?"
The pleading look was back.
"Would you really do that?" he asked in a tiny voice, as if she was volunteering to give up a kidney or something. *of course, by the end of this it may come to that* Scully thought with a grin.
"What're you grinning at?" Mulder looked wary.
"Oh, nothing. I'd be glad to help."
As Scully settled behind her own desk, she realized that she had the perfect opportunity to get Carrie into the mainstream of the FBI. Mulder would be inviting a lot of people... A plan began to form.
February 6, 2000 Dana Scully's Apartment
Carrie, Mulder, and Scully met at Scully's apartment to plan strategy for the party. Invitations had gone out as soon as Scully got her hands on them. RSVPs had flowed like the Potomac.
"OK, the party is next Sunday. What do we have left to get done?" Scully asked her partner.
"Um, Mom has the food catered. All of the replies have come back so we know we're dealing with about 300 people."
Carrie looked scared.
"Do I have to go? I don't like big crowds."
Mulder grinned at her.
"I don't either. If I have to be there, so do you."
"Besides," Scully cut in, "there'll be all sorts of people there. Maybe we can get you set up with someone?"
Carrie blushed crimson.
"ANYWAY, back to the matter at hand," Mulder interrupted. "The only thing I can think of that needs to be done is, ummm... decorating. We can do that next Saturday."
"Just the three of us?" Scully frowned. "I'll get the gunmen to help."
"Gunmen?" Carrie's eyes widened.
"Conspiracy theorists. They're harmless, you'll love them to pieces," Mulder told her.
She looked doubtful.
"So should we meet at the hotel on Saturday?" Scully asked.
"Yeah, about 2:00 should do the trick," Mulder agreed.
His cell chose that moment to trill.
"Mulder." He listened. "OK, I'll be right there."
He turned to the women.
"Speaking of Gunmen, they have a new software program they want me to see. I'll see you at work tomorrow."
With that, he was gone. Carrie released a breath.
"He's nice, but isn't he a bit *out there*?"
"Yeah, but he wouldn't be Mulder any other way."
February 12, 2000 Ballroom of Hotel ______
"Honey, I'm home!" Mulder announced to the room in general as he walked in with three gunmen in tow. Scully and Carrie were already busily streamer-ing the ceiling when they arrived.
"Honey, you're late," Scully called from the top of a ladder.
"Geez, you're like a married couple," Frohicke muttered.
Then the little man's eye fell on Carrie Hampton.
"Oh, my, what do we have here?" Langly cast his eyes skyward.
"God help us, he's doing it again." Byers shook his head.
"I thought his tastes were small and redheaded, not tall brunette."
"Yeah, that's more Mulder's type, right?" Langly agreed.
"Like that Fowley chick... or the Brit, what was her name?"
Mulder looked pained.
"Sorry, Mulder, I forgot about that."
"'s OK, don't worry about it." Mulder glanced at Frohicke.
"Hey short stuff! You're drooling on the nice carpet!"
Frohicke was oblivious. He wandered over to the wall that Carrie was studiously decorating and held out his hand. He was obviously trying to be charming. The funny thing, though, as everyone else gawked, was that Carrie appeared to be charmed. *Holy shit, it's an X-File. I'll open it on Monday.* Mulder wandered over to Scully, who looked like she was going to topple off the ladder.
"Hey, Scully, that shade of white doesn't happen in nature. You'd better come down from there."
She didn't look like she heard, but she did stagger down the ladder. She wandered to the wall and leaned her head against it.
"No, this was not in the plan!" she grumbled. "Gotta do something about this."
"About what?" Mulder was totally lost.
"THAT!!" Scully pointed a shaking hand at Frohicke and Carrie, who were laughing together in a corner, leaving Byers and Langly to finish the streamers.
"I think it's kinda cute," Mulder remarked.
Scully spun to face him. "I have to set her up with some one who can help her in the Bureau, not someone who will make things worse."
Mulder flushed. "I don't know who you think you are! If those two are happy together, then you shouldn't do any- thing to break it up!"
"There are so many better people out there!" Scully cried, softly enough so only Mulder heard.
"There's no one better!" Mulder hissed, furious. "He has been a good friend for as long as I can remember, to me and to you! He dressed up and brought you flowers when you were in a coma! And if he finds someone who cares back, it certainly can't hurt!"
Scully was speechless.
"And besides, it's better than having him lusting over you for the rest of his life, when you'd never give him the time of day."
With that, Mulder climbed up the ladder that Scully had vacated and continued with the decorating, leaving Scully pale and shaking at the bottom.
February 13, 2000 Ballroom of the Hotel
"It's beautiful, Dana!" Tena Mulder told Scully. "You all did a wonderful job with the arrangements."
"Thanks, Mrs. Mulder. We did our best."
Tena went off to mingle, leaving Scully alone with Carrie. The younger agent had been prattling on since they arrived about Frohicke. Scully was trying to talk her out of it.
"Oh look, there's Agent Pendrell!" Scully cried. "I know you'll just love him."
Scully led Carrie across the room to where Pendrell was chatting with a few other agents.
"Agent Pendrell!" Scully smiled.
"Agent Scully, you look lovely tonight!" Pendrell said, then mentally slapped himself for using a clich.
"Pendrell, I'd like you to meet Agent Carrie Hampton." "Any friend of Scully's is a friend of mine," he said. *Damn, two ancient lines in one five-minute span.* Carrie smiled, blushing a little bit. Scully left them alone and went in search of Mulder. He was chatting with Byers as she approached. Byers, bless his heart, knew when to bug out and did so. Mulder glanced at Scully, then over at Carrie and Pendrell who were dancing. Then he cast his eyes pointedly towards Frohicke, who was sitting at a table looking depressed.
"I hope you know what you're doing," he said softly, and walked away, joining Langly in an animated conversation about Tomb Raider. Scully bit her lip to keep tears back. No way was she going to cry in front of 300 people. Not even for Mulder. On the high side, Carrie and Pendrell looked very happy.
Later that night...
Scully stood outside on the patio of the ballroom. It was chilly, but she wanted the fresh air. She didn't notice the figure come up behind her.
"Yaiii!" she yelled, spinning around.
It was Pendrell.
"Sorry... I didn't mean to... I mean..."
"It's all right, Pendrell." Scully composed herself. "Where's Carrie?"
Pendrell shrugged, unconcerned. Scully thought this was odd, since they seemed so happy together.
"What are you doing out here?" she asked.
"Looking for you. May I have this dance?" Strains of music were still audible from the ballroom.
"I think I'll pass..."
"No, please? Dance with me!" Pendrell gave her a pull and she was suddenly in his arms. Where she decidedly did NOT want to be. Realizing it would be easier to humor him, she went with the flow.
That is, until he whispered in her ear.
"I think I'm in love with you."
Scully pulled back immediately.
"*WHAT??*" "I think I love you," he repeated, grinning goofily. *I said it, I actually said it!* Scully's eyes grew enormous.
"Oh, no. What about Carrie? Agent Hampton?"
Pendrell's eyes narrowed. "What about her?"
"I... I..." Scully stammered helplessly.
"Why would I go after her when YOU'RE around? She isn't even supposed to be in the FBI, she's no good!" Pendrell stormed.
Scully lowered her head into her hands. *Oh, god...*
Pendrell was persistent. "Do you love me?"
Scully was suddenly pissed. "NO! The only hopes I had extended for you were on behalf of my friend!"
Pendrell gaped at her, then fled back into the ballroom. Scully sighed heavily. She had to find Carrie.
Carrie saved Scully the trouble of tracking her down. The rookie found her mentor the minute she stepped back into the ballroom.
"Oh, Dana, I think I love him, I do, it was love at first sight, oh thank you for introducing us!" she bubbled.
It was obvious she was talking about Pendrell. She had a sudden burst of guilt.
"Carrie, we need to talk."
Ten minutes later, both agents were sobbing together in the women's bathroom. Apologies were flung, nasty things said about Pendrell and his parentage. The women emerged intact, ready to face the room. The dancing was still going on, of course, when they got back. Pendrell was sulking in a corner. Scully watched as Carrie went to talk to an older women next to him. Then Pendrell asked the older woman to dance. She gestured at Carrie, who blushed crimson. Pendrell proceeded to walk away. Scully was enraged. He had no right to be so cruel to Carrie, it hadn't been her fault at all. Then her breath caught as a dark-haired figure approached Carrie, who was trying very hard not to break down. The man extended a hand for a dance, and Carrie grinned broadly at him as they headed for the dance floor. Scully smiled a jaw-cracking, dazzling smile. *Good ol' Mulder saves the day again, rescuing a damsel in distress.* After the song was over, Mulder headed in her direction. Scully braced herself for a fight. She was wrong.
"Pendrell isn't the gentlemen we all thought," he said.
"But you are! That was so wonderful of you to help Carrie like that."
"He had no excuse for being that rude," Mulder said simply.
"So, are you willing to dance with evil little me?" Scully asked flippantly.
"Sure, as long as you don't play matchmaker with me." Scully smirked and they headed back to the dance floor.
February 14, 2000 X-Files Office
"Happy Valentine's Day, Scully," Mulder called from the back room as she entered the office that Monday.
She grunted in return. She had drunk a little too much the night before, and was paying the price. Carrie flew into the office as Scully was sitting down at her desk to do expense reports. She welcomed the diversion.
"I'm in love!" Carrie whispered.
"Again? So soon?" Scully whispered back. "Why are we whispering?"
"Because I'm in love with him!" Carrie returned, pointing discreetly toward the back. Scully turned six shades paler than her normal ivory.
"You... and Mulder?" she gasped out.
"Yup!" Carrie bubbled, still whispering.
"Does he--I mean, do you think--Does he love you?"
"Oh, I'm sure of it! He's been so nice to me, and when he saved me last night at that horrible party I just knew." Scully was having trouble keeping her breakfast down.
"Are you all right?" Carrie asked, concerned at her friend's pallor.
"Ok, just a little hung over... Love, you said?"
"Yup. I think we're like, soul mates or something. I think he just needs time to decide what to do about it." Carrie went on as if this was the most natural thing in the world.
Scully nodded in all the right places as Carrie went on and on about the virtues of her partner. Virtues of which Scully was now painfully aware.
"Oh, I'd better go before he notices I'm here." Carrie was out of the office like a gunshot, leaving Scully shell- shocked. She was still staring at the startup screen of her computer when Mulder went flying by. He was leaving the office.
"Mulder, where're you going?" she asked, a little too shrilly.
"I, um--I took a week off. I'm heading up to Augusta to see an old friend. I--need some time to think about some stuff." With that he was gone. *He could've slapped me. That would've hurt less.*
Later that day...
Margaret Scully Residence
Scully started to break down before she was even in the house.
"Good lord, Dana, what's going on now?" Maggie stared at her daughter.
With sudden insight she realized what was up. *It's Fox, it must have something to do with him. Did he reject her? No, he couldn't have.* With much effort Scully choked out the whole story, from the mis-match-making to the scene in the office.
"And if he comes back and he's happy, it means he's going to hook up with Carrie, but I want him to be happy, that's all I want in the world. But I want him to be happy with ME!" she wailed.
"Dana, stop it. He'll do the right thing, I'm sure of it. You just have to trust me on something. He loves *YOU* and there's no question in my mind about that."
Maggie gazed sadly at Dana, who was beside herself. There would be no comforting her, that was certain. She wasn't hearing a word her mother said.
"Go home, Dana. Go to bed, dream nice dreams about him, if that'll make you feel better. You'll know in a week what exactly is going on his head." *and it better be good* she appended in her mind.
February 21, 2000
*Thank God for President's Day* Scully thought to herself. *It's great to have a Monday off.* She entered the silent church and knelt before the candles. Lighting one, she sent a prayer up. *I know you'll do what's best for me, but please let him know how much I care about him. I don't think I could bear it if he actually had a relationship with Carrie. Please don't let him choose her, please? Even if I can't have him just keep him single? I know this is a horrible thing to ask so I'm not expecting anything. But please, do what you can?* Feeling a little guilty for thinking such things, she went straight to the confessional and spent about 15 minutes sobbing at Father McCue. Then, feeling purged, she headed back into the sun. Maybe it was distraction, or maybe the light was too bright outside. Either way, she ran violently into someone on the way out. It was Mulder. Scully was at a total loss. What could she say?
"Umm, hi," she managed.
Mulder gave her a funny look.
"Hi? That's it?" he asked with a tiny smile.
"What are you doing at my church?"
"Looking for you, what else? I'm not the Hail Mulder type you know."
Scully couldn't help smiling at the old joke. The partners headed away from the church and up the street.
"So, how are you?" Scully asked tentatively. "Happy?"
She held her breath. He gave her another patented "MulderLook" and nodded.
"Yeah, I think so. I've made some decisions."
They were passing a park and Mulder pulled her over to a bench. It was semi-familiar territory, even though it was not the *right* bench.
"Scully, I have something to tell you." *Oh, God, here it comes...* "And I think it's going to change everything." *No, please no...* Scully could contain herself no longer. She leapt off of the bench like a rocket. She had to stop him.
"Maybe it's better that you don't tell me then," she cried, frantic.
Mulder stared at her. Then he got up and walked away. Scully sighed. She was wrong, not him, and this wasn't fair. She ran and caught his arm.
"Mulder, I'm sorry. I'm your friend and I should listen to anything you need to tell me, no matter what it is."
Mulder looked at her sadly. "You don't want anything to change, and that's hard for me."
Scully panicked and started babbling. "Why does anything have to change? We can stay friends no matter what you do in your love life, and I won't stand in your way if you want to have a life, and.. and... I want to be friends!"
She was working herself into a frenzy. Mulder realized that they were on totally different wavelengths.
"Scully, it's not that I don't want to be friends anymore! You're my best friend and I never want to change that."
"What I want is something infinitely better than that."
Her jaw dropped. Her eyes snapped up to look at him. He was suddenly afraid she had given herself whiplash.
"You--You--" She couldn't form words.
"You never even realized it? You mother knew," he shook his head, not quite believing she was that dense.
"She told me, right after you left... I showed up at her house and she was trying to get me to stop crying."
Mulder looked amazed. "Why were you that upset? It wasn't even a ditch!!"
*Oh, no... Carrie!*
"Mulder, I need to tell you something..."
February 15, 2000 X-Files Office
Scully was on one side of the room. Carrie Hampton was on the other. Mulder stood between them like a referee. It looked like they were about to draw guns, and the only thing stopping them was the possibility of hitting Mulder by accident. Mulder was secretly afraid that wouldn't stop them for long, and Scully would end up shooting him again. Of course, that time they hadn't confessed their love the day before in a shady park in Georgetown. Carrie was seething. Scully was terrified. *Too many guns, too many guns...* Mulder thought.
"You STOLE him! Just like Pendrell!" Carrie shouted.
Mulder glanced at the door. It was open, and he didn't want to leave his spot to go close it. Anyone in the basement would hear her. *At least there isn't much going on down here* he thought with a smidge of relief.
"There was no stealing involved!" Scully cried, truly wondering if she was going to end her life in the office where she had spent the last seven years.
Mulder finally had enough.
"Carrie, I'm flattered, but I never thought of you as more than a friend. I'm sorry, but you can't blame Scully for that. I've loved her for years, and it would take an awful lot to change that now."
"As for Pendrell, Scully obviously chose the wrong guy to set you up with. If she had asked me, which she didn't, I could've told her that Pendrell has had a crush on her since we started getting his help on cases."
Carrie looked less angry. Her hand was straying away from the gun. Of course, it was closer to a stapler, which could make a pretty good blunt object.
"Carrie, I'm going to give you an address. Go to the door and follow all the instructions they give you. It's all totally safe, and you'll thank me later."
Mulder reached into a pocket and produced a business card. He scribbled the address down and handed it gravely to Carrie. With an uncertain look, she left the office. Mulder was on the phone in a flash. "Turn off the tape!"
February 23, 2000 McGuire's Bar and Grille
"Please tell me you didn't do the singing thing again."
"Not this year, sorry." Mulder smirked.
"But I got you something!"
"OOOhhh, tell me it's a space shuttle charm to wear with my cross!" Scully giggled.
Mulder smiled to himself. She was so uninhibited now that she knew how he felt about her. He had never heard her laugh so much. Out of the trenchcoat came a wrapped box. Scully's eyes widened.
"Oh, Mulder, you--"
"Shut up and open it before I lose my nerve and bolt like a horse."
"So that *was* a whinny from the back room?"
Mulder just shook his head with a laugh as Scully opened the present.
"Happy Birthday," he said softly as she opened the box inside. It was a ring. But not necessarily an engagement ring, Scully told herself. It was gold with an cross filigreed into the top. There was a tiny chip of diamond set in the center of the cross.
"And you can wear it with your necklace," he added.
With exaggerated care, he took the ring from her and slid it on the correct finger. Scully looked at him sharply.
"You'd better say it, you know how bad I am with hints." Mulder sighed and looked like he was really *going* to run for his life.
Scully grabbed his wrist and nodded.
"Do I have to get on one knee and everything?" he asked lightly, trying to ease the weighty subject.
"No, don't embarrass me." "I'm bad with this kind of thing."
"Would it help if you knew the answer is yes?" Mulder started to grin helplessly.
"I think I already answered that." Scully laughed at his loopy grin.
"Stop that, you look psycho."
Carrie Hampton appeared at the side of their table. She looked uncomfortable.
"Can I sit down for a second?" Scully gestured toward a chair.
"I wanted to apologize for going off like that the other day." "Not a problem. No one got hurt," Mulder reassured her.
"And I wanted to thank you," she told Mulder, "for the address." "It was the least I could do to fix my fiance's mistakes."
Carrie snatched Scully's hand and gushed over the ring. Then she showed them her own. Scully gaped while Mulder smiled and congratulated her. Carrie flitted off in a haze of happiness while Scully kept right on gaping.
"I can't picture Frohicke married," Mulder remarked.
Scully couldn't seem to get her mouth to close, so Mulder reached over and pushed her chin up. Her teeth clacked together as the rogue mouth snapped shut. With gaping no longer an option, she decided to stare instead.
Finally she spoke.
"Helluva birthday present, huh?"
"I don't know what to say."
"That much is obvious."
"I can't believe it."
"Actually, I can't either."
"Frohicke's getting married."
"I noticed that. Now I have to find someone else to give my videos to."
"You could mail them to Skinner."
"I could mail them to Kersh."
"How about Pendrell?"
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner."
FINIS Hopelessly dumb, but it was supposed to be in a way. All feedback welcomed and responded to immediately at PitaM13@cs.com Check out my website: http://pita1013.homestead.com/xfhome.html