He entered the elevator on the fifth floor. He’d received all of the congratulations he could take. He just wanted to get away from the building for a little while. He was in absolutely no mood to go celebrating with ‘the team’. They hadn’t wanted to be around him during the case. He was used to that, and to be honest it helped him get into the head of the sickos he brought down. It just didn’t lead to a lot of sociability in the real world.
The door opened again on the fourth floor and a petite redhead stepped on with him. She was reading a report and barely noticed him. He watched her for a second, but didn’t speak. Before the doors could close, they were suddenly swamped with a group of people, filling the elevator.
They had spotted him and as always gave him as much space as possible, which meant nearly crushing the little redhead. He saw that and reached for her, moving in her direction. Might as well use his pariah status to protect her. She realized what he had done, even if she didn’t understand it, and thanked him with her eyes. He nodded slightly, and a little stiffly. The elevator was unnaturally quiet, but it often was when he took it.
The crowd left them on the second floor. He felt some grim amusement that not everyone had wanted to get off there, but hadn’t wanted to be left behind - with him.
Once the doors closed she turned to him. “Thank you.”
“No problem.” He looked down at her. “Listen,” he didn’t know why but suddenly he didn’t want to be alone anymore. “Would you like a cup of coffee? There’s a little place up the block called Dave’s . . .” She looked startled and he immediately stepped back. “I’m sorry, I - “ What in the world had possessed him?
“That’s where I was going.”
He blinked then, “Well, uh, may I join you?”
The door opening drew their attention and he followed her out and to the entrance. She turned toward Dave’s and he fell in step beside her.
He held the door for her to enter. “There’s a table.” She headed for it. “You hold the table and I’ll get the coffee. De-caf or high test?”
She grinned up at him then, her blue eyes shining. “High test, please.”
He smiled back at her, his first smile in days. He would have thought he’d forgotten how.
She took a seat and he returned shortly with two coffees, and a pocketful of fixings, since he didn’t know how she took it. He watched her add cream and half a packet of pink sweetener.
When he sat down across from her, she extended her hand. “I’m Dana Scully.”
“Pleased to meet you. I’m Fox Mulder.”
“Fox - “
“My parents didn’t really like me.” He grinned.
“No, I mean you’re Fox Mulder, the profiler?”
“I’m one of them.”
“You’re the best of them from what I’ve heard. Your profiles have caught Monty Props, John Lee Roche, Luther Lee Boggs, John Barnett - “
His lips twitched, “Have you been stalking me?”
She blushed slightly, “Sorry. I guess I sound like a fan after a rock star.”
“I’m not complaining. Should I be worried that you’re familiar with so many serial killers?”
“I just started working there.” She seemed slightly embarrassed now.
“You’re with the Bureau?” He asked quickly.
She nodded, taking another sip of her coffee. “I work at Quantico, teaching.”
“Teaching what?” He had leaned forward without realizing it.
His eyes widened again. “Are you, you’ve been working on the Derek Summerlin case, haven’t you? You’re the one that found the injection site.”
“Uh, yes.” Now she was startled.
“I knew I’d heard your name. You broke the case. That told me what I needed to know.”
“Broke the case, do you mean they caught him?”
“They didn’t tell you? We got him last night. Caught him in the act.”
“Were you in time to save . . . “
Mulder nodded, but the smile had slipped away. “She’s alive. With about a thousand years of therapy she should be okay.”
“But he won’t hurt anyone else.” She reminded him gently, since he seemed to be acting as though that was his fault.
He nodded and took a drink of his coffee. She changed the subject and they visited for a little while, discussing other cases she had heard about. He realized he was actually enjoying himself. She was intelligent and knew her stuff. And even better she didn’t seem to be repulsed by him.
Something made her glance at her watch. He noted it and decided to go for broke. “Uh, they don’t serve food here, but if you’re . . . “
The look on her face caused him to pause. Of course; she knew who he was. This had just been an obligatory thing. He was Spooky Mulder and shouldn’t inflict himself on normal people, especially when he’d been profiling.
“I’d love to but - “
“You’ve got plans.”
“Yes.” She smiled. “It’s my father’s birthday.”
“Oh.” Not a date? His mood began to rise immediately. “Tell him Happy Birthday for me.”
“I’ll do that. But first I have to get back over to Quantico. I hope we have the chance to do this again.”
“So do I.” He rose then and held her chair. He stayed there, standing by her chair as she left Dave’s.
He took a deep breath and realized he was still feeling better, even though she’d had to leave. She was sharp, quick and she had broken the case. He’d like to spend some time with her again.
Author’s Notes: I saw this kind of happen the other day on the elevator, and this resulted . . .
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.