A fan fiction story by Melpomene based on the characters and backstory of "The X Files" and composed without permission. No copyright infringement is intended and no monies have been earned.
I see them nearly every week, this unlikely pair of federal agents. The pub is just a
hop, skip, and a jump away from the Hoover building so a large portion of our clientele wander over from the FBI offices. These two have been coming here longer than I’ve been waiting tables in this dim, musty, cavernous place.
And so they’re back again today, almost like clockwork those two. 12:30, Thursday afternoon, small round table up in front near the plate glass windows. Small Greek salad, house dressing, diet soda and Philly cheese steak, fries, and a beer. Predictability is always pleasant for wait staff.
There was a time a few years ago that we thought their Thursday afternoon lunches would become a thing of the past. She had gotten so sick, and then a few months later, there they were again; no explanations, both of them looking a bit more tense but healthy all the same.
I carry the lunch-laden tray to their table, smiling my patented damn-I-wish-my-shift-were-over-my-feet-are-killing-me smile, and thinking more about my graduate research than my customers.
“Thanks, Angel.” She smiles up at me. She’s always like that, friendly and kind. She learned my name even before the bartender had and in doing so, gained my undying appreciation. I quickly did some investigative work of my own to discover who they were: Special Agents Scully and Mulder, specifically Dana Scully and Fox Mulder.
They always eat together, an island in the ebbing tide of other federal agents, no one ever joins them at the table nor does anyone stop to say hello. When I asked one of my other regulars about them, he laughed at my concern, identifying them as Spooky Mulder and the Ice Queen. It’s incredible how quickly someone can change their opinion based on a simple verbal assessment but I never could look at Agent Spender again without an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.
“Angel, how’s graduate school?” It takes me a minute before I realize Agent Mulder is speaking to me. “Come on girl, pull up a chair, have a seat.”
I smile at his invitation, glancing around the pub. They are the only people in my section, most of the other customers having taken up stools at the bar.
“You know you want to, your feet must hurt.” Agent Scully looks down at my sneaker clad feet, pulling out one of the empty chairs.
I slowly sink into the chair when I notice John, the bartender, flirting with one of his bureau-employed customers. “Work must be atrocious if you want to hear about the drudgery of grad school.” They both laugh, digging into their lunches. I sit with them for most of their meal, cracking jokes and updating them on my PhD work. “So, if all goes well… I should be able to claim to be Dr. Anderson by next summer.”
“That’s great. You’ll have to invite us to the commencement.” Agent Mulder says, crumpling the napkin into a ball and setting it on the table next to his empty plate.
“Will do,” I reply, rising and piling their dishes into a neat stack. “So, who’s paying today?”
Once they’re gone I swipe an empty stool at the deserted far end of the bar, watching the door for any prospective customers.
“You’re not supposed to sit with the customers, Angel.”
“Yeah, well you’re not supposed to practice your pick-up lines on them either.”
I stick out my tongue at John’s retreating back and pull a cigarette from the pack hidden in my apron. Striking a match from the book on the bar, I slowly exhale, glowering at John and daring him to try shooing me into the kitchen.
I’d spent the last five and a half years serving Agents Scully and Mulder Thursday lunch. I’d started working at the pub when I was a sophomore at the University of Maryland and had kept the position even once I’d graduated and began by doctorial thesis preparation. There was no reason to get a master’s degree if you could go straight into your PhD work.
In all that time, I’d watched their relationship change as they’d struggled through both ordinary and extraordinary challenges and opponents. I’d heard speculations by other agents concerning the intimate aspects of their partnership. According to an informal poll, something like 70% of the bureau agents believed that Scully and Mulder had slept together at least once, and nearly half of those assumed they were currently involved in a secret romance. A high number of the male agents would maim, kill, or mutilate to be in Mulder’s shoes, not that there weren’t other attractive women at the bureau. I guess the mysterious is more attractive.
I don’t know. I can see why people would make such a supposition, but stranger things have happened than two people working together on a daily basis for seven plus years without becoming lovers. But regardless of how they spent the late hours of their days, it was obvious the affection they shared for one another. I’d seen them drift apart and then bridge those rifts; I never knew what caused them but I knew they regretted them.
I witnessed first hand the agony he went through when she was abducted/kidnapped. He would still come in on Thursdays, but he wouldn’t eat. He’d just sit there and drink, not stopping until his AD came in or I cut him off. I even ended up driving him to his apartment one night, terrified he’d wrap his car around utility pole otherwise. Once I’d gotten him into his apartment, he sat on his couch while I set about straightening up; the place was far beyond neglected. I’d washed dishes while he extolled Agent Scully’s virtues. We were all relieved beyond words when she had turned up some months later in the hospital.
They love one another, whether they were aware of it enough to admit it or not. I can’t say that I would be entirely surprised if they did one day end up getting married. But I can’t really see it happening. I mean, where would all the subterfuge and intrigue go if they married. There’s something to be said too, for having your own living quarters, your own space to do with as you see fit.
“Angel, get your rear off my stool and at least pretend to work.”
“Aw can it, John. I’m not hurting anyone.” I stand up anyway and wander into the kitchen to where I’ve stacked a pile of articles I’m using in my thesis. Maybe once I get my PhD I’ll find someone willing to give me a grant to study the relationships between partnered government employees…