A Matter of Trust (PG)


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"Are you asking me to choose?" He turned and looked up at her.

 

"It's a matter of trust.  Do you trust me, Mulder?"

 

*****

 

He opened the door cautiously.  He’d slipped on his sweats and a t-shirt, but he didn’t especially want company right now.  He stood there stunned at the sight of his visitor.

 

“Aren’t you okay to ask me in, Fox?”

 

“Diana?”

 

She smiled and stepped around him.  At a loss he just watched her as she headed for his living room.

 

“Uh, Diana, now isn’t - “

 

“We need to talk, Fox.”

 

“What about?”  He hadn’t offered her a seat, but she took one anyway in the corner of his couch.

 

“The X-Files.”

 

“I don’t work on the X-Files any more.”

 

“That could be temporary.”

 

“Temporary?”

 

“Look,” she patted the couch beside her and after a moment he took the seat beside her, but not as close as she’d indicated.  “I know you and Agent Scully are on the outs.”

 

“We are?”

 

“It’s obvious.  She believes you’ve chosen me over her.  I don’t blame her.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“Well, we do have a history, Fox, a relationship.”

 

“A relationship, yes, but not the one you wanted.”

 

She smiled then, “You were different then, more naďve in your way.”

 

“I couldn’t be what you wanted me to be, Diana.”

 

“Maybe you couldn’t then.  I know you were recovering from Phoebe.”

 

Mulder leaned back away from her then.

 

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have mentioned her.  But we were good together, Fox.  We found the X-Files together - “

 

“And as soon as we got the opportunity to really work on them, you decided to ask for a transfer.”

 

“I did that for you.”

 

“For me?  Go ahead, I want to hear this.”  Was there a trace of smile on his face now?.

 

“Fox, be realistic.  You were completely invested in the X-Files.  I knew the Bureau would never let two agents of our caliber ‘waste’ their time on them.  You needed them more than I did.  I stepped aside for you.”

 

“That’s good, Diana.  I didn’t see that one coming.  How do you explain that they’ve allowed Scully and I to ‘waste’ our time?”

 

“Come on, Fox.  I’ve heard about it, Scully was completely green when they assigned her to you.  And I know she hasn’t exactly been supportive.  She fights you, hobbles you at every turn.  She didn’t even confirm your story when you got back from the Antarctic.”

 

“She couldn’t confirm that.”

 

“Fox -  “

 

“She was ill.  She’d been infected by that alien virus; she’d been in a damn tube with an alien gestating in her body inside that damn ship.”  His hands were clenched into fists.  “She nearly died. I almost didn’t get there in time.  Her damn heart stopped!”

 

“You did get there in time and you did save her.  And how does she repay you?  She gives a lukewarm report making you look like a fool.”

 

“Scully won’t compromise.  That’s one of the things that makes her so good at what she does.  If she didn’t see it, she’s not going to lie.”

 

“Lie?  Fox, she could have made -  “

 

“Yeah, she makes me work for it, but when I can convince Scully, then J. Edgar himself couldn’t refute it.  We’re legitimate, or we were.”

 

“You were never legitimate.  And she was holding you back.  Think about it, Fox.  We could bring it back together.  Give me a little time, stay out of the way, and I know I can talk Kersh into letting you be my partner.”

 

“I have a partner.”

 

“We were better and now, now we could be more.”  She leaned closer.  He didn’t retreat, but he didn’t take her up on her offer either.

 

“Diana, what do you think you’re doing?”

 

“I didn’t think I was being that subtle.”

 

“You’re not.”  The new voice caused Diana to jerk and she looked over at the bedroom door. 

 

There stood Scully, wearing only the dress shirt Mulder had worn to work that day.  Diana sat there stunned for a long moment.  “Well, I see I made a wrong assumption.”

 

“Several actually,” Mulder said quietly.  He looked over at Scully and she nodded.  Diana saw what passed between them.  She’d never had that with this man.  She never would. 

 

She rose with what little dignity she could manage.  “I’m sorry I interrupted your evening.”

 

“Not at all,“ Scully said, watching her.  “It’s been most illuminating.”

 

Diana nodded to her once, and moved to the door.  Things had changed now, she had things to think about, things to mourn.

 

 

 

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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.