Title: Fruit, Friendship and W.C. Fields
Author: Waddles 52
Category: MT, M/S friendship
Summary: Mulder's tardiness for an appointment, a PR
assignment, and a grieving teacher all come together
to put Mulder and Scully in jeopardy.
Rating: PG 13
Archives: Please ask first. Written for the MR July
fic challenge. First place winner.
Disclaimer: I just checked and I still don't own
them. Don't worry. No money changed hands.
Notes: Thanks to Lisa for the great beta and to the
people at MR for their encouragement.
Fox Mulder had definitely seen better starts to his
day. He swore under his breath as he waited for the
shower to warm up. He had been forced to get up at
5:30 AM and answer a phone call from Frohike, who
wanted him to meet a man who supposedly knew all
about the plans for impending alien invasion and
colonization. Mulder's short friend stressed that it
was urgent and mumbled something about the future of
the world being at stake. Why did all of the
crackpots choose the early morning hours to
communicate, including Frohike?
Hoping that Earl Ensminger wasn't a total kook,
Mulder agreed to meet him over breakfast at 7 AM
sharp at the Holiday Inn-Dulles. Still mourning the
loss of one of the few worthwhile periods of sleep
he'd had in the last few weeks, the groggy agent
jumped into the steamy shower.
Mulder consoled himself with the promise of a decent
cup of coffee and an all you can eat breakfast buffet
as he frantically looked for his car keys and cell
phone. After a quick search, he found both of them
under a stack of files he'd brought home to read. It
looked like he was going to be a few minutes late.
He sincerely hoped that his informant didn't leave
before he got there.
It was an easy drive in the early morning traffic and
he was able to make up some time as he cruised along
the Dulles Toll Road. Noting that the tollbooth and
his exit were coming up in two miles, the FBI agent
began to dig in his pocket for the correct change.
As he got closer he saw that only one tollbooth was
open in addition to the correct change only lane, and
of course, he didn't have the needed coins.
Evidently he had plenty of company because the line
of traffic was backed up for almost a half mile.
He finally reached the hotel after adding a few more
minutes to his overall tardiness only to discover
that Mr. Ensminger had left in a huff. According to
one of the waitresses, the man was livid at what he
considered the general irresponsibility of all
Mulder's watch read 7:20 when the restaurant was
suddenly overrun with several groups of noisy school
children. He sighed and made his way back to his
parked car, still longing for a cup of steaming, hot
As he unlocked his car he felt his left shoe stick to
the pavement. A long string of discarded bubble gum
greeted him as he lifted his foot. Of all the hotels
in the DC area, his would-be informant chose the one
most frequented by out-of-town student tour groups.
Mulder sighed loudly and walked over to a grassy area
to try and remove the gum without touching it.
Despite his rotten luck so early in the morning, he
still felt a smile spreading across his face as an
image of his partner flashed through his mind.
Scully would have some coffee brewed, hot and ready
to drink by the time he back tracked and reached the
As soon as Mulder stepped off the elevator in the
basement of the Hoover Building, he knew that his day
was going from bad to worse. Normally, the scent of
freshly brewed coffee made its way down the hall and
it was sadly missing. "Scully?" He poked his head
in the door, hoping that nothing was wrong. At the
sight of his lovely partner pacing back and forth, he
could tell that she hadn't been able to procure her
morning caffeine fix either.
Scully looked at the silent Mr. Coffee, a sad look on
her face. "I had to pronounce it at 8:02 this
morning. It looks like we'll have to depend on the
kindness of others if we want coffee today."
The vending machine was only to be considered in an
extreme emergency so, armed with two mugs, Mulder
hoped that his search for a decent cup of coffee
wouldn't take him all over the building. As he
passed Skinner's office, he got the distinct feeling
that his crappy day was going to shift into
overdrive. Almost as if he'd been waiting for him,
the AD stuck his head out the door and invited him
in. Mulder groaned inwardly.
Skinner smiled broadly and directed his agent to have
a seat. Kimberly, Skinner's assistant, was Johnny-
on-the-spot with a pot of coffee. Mulder gratefully
held out his mug and realized that his superior must
need a monumental favor from him. He couldn't recall
ever being served coffee in his supervisor's office,
and the man never smiled unless Scully was there.
The assistant director settled in behind his desk and
opened a very thick, manila folder. "As you know,
Agents Zambroski and Sutton usually handle the PR
work with the local schools for our section. Agent
Sutton delivered a 9 lb., 2 oz. baby boy early this
morning and Agent Zambroski was called out of town
yesterday because of a family crisis.
Mulder nodded his understanding and prepared to
receive some unpleasant news. He knew that Skinner
wasn't giving him this information just to shoot the
"Since you and Agent Scully are not currently working
on an open case, I could really use your help to take
up the slack."
Skinner must be desperate to even consider assigning
him anywhere near a school building. Although he
felt like bursting into an uncontrollable fit of
laughter, Mulder took a sip of the wonderfully brewed
coffee and attempted to look interested. "Just what
does this assignment entail, sir?"
Skinner attempted to explain what Agents Sutton and
Zambroski normally did as he handed his field agent
the thick file folder filled with copies of
information and fun-type exercises for the children.
"I know it's a lot of information to process in a
short period of time, but that's what made me choose
you and Agent Scully for this assignment. You're
both quick studies and if anyone can make this
interesting enough for a bunch of kids, it's the two
"Exactly how much time do we have to become familiar
with this material?" Mulder sensed that he needed to
cut to the chase.
"Take as long as you need, but don't miss your first
appointment at Mayfield Elementary this morning, 10
AM sharp." Skinner couldn't help grinning as Mulder
consulted his watch. "I have every confidence in you
and Agent Scully. Now, if there are no questions, I
would suggest that you leave shortly. Traffic can be
rather tricky at this time of day."
Mulder rose from his chair and shook the A.D.'s hand.
On his way out, he begged a cup of coffee for Scully
from Skinner's assistant, then began to devise a
speech to placate his partner as he explained the
nature of their new assignment. As he got on the
elevator it dawned on him where the school was
located. He sincerely hoped that she had some change
because they were going to need it for that pesky
tollbooth on the Dulles Toll Road. He really didn't
want to be late for another appointment today.
The two harried agents walked into the office at
Mayfield Elementary with one minute to spare. The
principal introduced herself and they opted to talk
about what was expected from their presentation as
they made their way to the classroom. "The teacher
you're working with today is Earl Ensminger. He has
been teaching social studies here at Mayfield for
almost 30 years. I can guarantee you that his
students will be well-behaved and under control while
you give your presentation and answer questions."
Mulder sincerely hoped that this Earl Ensminger was
not the one he was supposed to meet for breakfast.
His thoughts strayed for a few seconds then returned
to the principal. "We feel so sorry for him right
now. He lost his wife about six months ago due to a
bicycling accident. He claims that she was a victim
of repeated alien abductions or some other such
madness. No one believes him, of course. Thankfully
he sets that all aside when he enters the classroom."
"Why me?" Mulder asked himself as the principal
knocked on the door. After a few whispered words
with the teacher, the principal wished them well and
headed back to the office.
After reminding them that they were several minutes
late, Ensminger invited them into his classroom. The
teacher instructed the class that they should be on
their best behavior then turned it over to the FBI
Mulder took a deep breath and introduced himself and
Scully. He took note of the students who were
sitting up very straight with their hands folded
neatly in front of them. He also noticed that
Ensminger's eyes narrowed to mere slits when he told
the kids his name.
A few of the students giggled while Mulder explained
that he didn't normally use his first name. Another
stare from Ensminger practically bored through the
few students who dared to laugh. The kids quickly
quieted down and gave Mulder their full attention.
Relying on his terrific memory, the FBI agent began
his presentation. Scully assisted him by passing out
the handouts. Approximately one half hour later,
Mulder was finished with his speech and ready to
answer questions. Most of the students eagerly
raised their hands. As he scanned the room to pick
out a student he noted that one young lady had her
head on her desk, apparently taking a nap. He willed
her to wake up before Ensminger noticed her.
The sleeping student suddenly came to life and began
to make her way toward the door. Mulder immediately
recognized the problem and managed to get the
wastebasket in front of her just in time as she began
to retch, vomit spewing through the fingers that she
had over her mouth like a gross mini-fountain.
Mulder jumped back in time to avoid the spray, very
thankful that he hadn't indulged in the all you can
eat breakfast after all.
"Kristen! Stop that immediately! Look at the mess
you've made. Go to the office and clean out that
wastebasket on your way," Ensminger barked.
A stern look from Scully was the only thing that
stopped Mulder from grabbing the man and shaking some
compassion into him. The other students immediately
tensed up, hoping that the classroom guests would
keep Ensminger's reaction to a minimum.
"If you don't need me for anything else, I think I'll
take Kristen to the restroom and help her clean up
before we go to the office." Scully grabbed the
soiled wastebasket and shot a glaring look at the
"Good idea, Agent Scully. Kristen, I hope that you
feel better soon," Mulder nodded.
The young girl managed to nod back, then hurried from
the room, desperate to escape all the attention her
upset stomach had caused.
As Scully softly shut the door behind her Mulder
turned his attention back to the students.
Ensminger seemed to grow angrier with each question
the FBI agent answered. While Mulder found it easy
to be patient with the class, he began to wonder what
the teacher's problem was. Yes, some of the
questions were silly, but these were 10 and 11 year
olds for crying out loud. Let them be kids for as
long as possible before they were forced to get out
into the real world where the laughs wouldn't come as
A few seconds before the dismissal bell rang,
Ensminger asked if Mulder could remove the ammunition
from his gun and display it on the desk so the
students could look at it on their way to lunch.
Although he was somewhat reluctant to do so, Mulder
complied with the request and issued a strong warning
not to touch. After setting the safety and putting
the ammo clip on a nearby file cabinet, the bell rang
and the students began to gather around the desk to
get a look at a real gun.
Only a few stragglers remained when Mulder began to
put away the extra handouts. He was so absorbed in
that task that he didn't notice when Ensminger
grabbed the gun and shoved the ammo clip into place.
The sound of the clip being loaded got his attention
and he quickly turned around to find the instructor
pointing the gun at him.
"Don't move, Agent Mulder. You stood me up earlier
this morning and I have every intention of gaining
your full attention now."
Mulder quickly looked around, thankful that the room
had emptied so quickly. Now, if Scully would just
stay away for a few more minutes, perhaps he could
talk to the man and get his gun back before anyone
got hurt. Those plans were quickly shelved when two
boys came back to the classroom, loudly proclaiming
that they had left their lunches behind.
The FBI agent saw the gunman's hand twitch and yelled
for the boys to get help as he quickly positioned
himself between the gun and the boys. No sooner had
he shouted his instructions than he felt a terrible
pain in his left hip, followed immediately by the
sharp report of the gun. "Oh, crap," he said softly
as he slid to the floor.
Scully had gotten Kristen to the nurse's office and
was washing out the trashcan. What was wrong with
that crazy teacher anyway? He must've really gone
off the deep end when his wife died. At any rate, he
didn't need to be in front of a classroom. She was
sure that her partner would want to have a few words
with the principal before they left. She was washing
her hands when she heard several screams and the
sound of running feet in the hallway.
Scully hastily opened the door and found several
children that she recognized from Mr. Ensminger's
"He shot him!"
"Mr. Ensminger has a gun!"
"Hunter and Chase are in there!"
Scully quickly caught up with them. "Who did Mr.
Ensminger shoot?" She had a bad feeling and hoped
that some small, meaningless incident had been
exaggerated into the tale that she had just
One of the girls stopped to catch her breath. "He
shot Agent Mulder and Hunter and Chase are still in
there. There was lots of blood."
By the time the girls had finished relaying their
story, the principal had called the police for
assistance and ordered the building evacuated.
Teachers began to emerge from their classrooms to
lead their students to the church next door. Within
ten minutes the building was quiet. Everyone was
gone except the principal, her secretary and Scully.
Several uniformed policemen spotted them and ordered
them out. Scully had no intention of leaving without
her partner. Flashing her badge, she began to fill
the policemen in with what little information she
The two boys huddled in the corner, their eyes glued
to the gun in their teacher's shaking hand. Mr.
Ensminger could be scary enough by himself when the
class was too noisy or uncooperative in some way.
With a gun in his hand, he appeared to be the most
frightening monster imaginable.
The teacher's eyes focused first on the boys, then on
the FBI agent lying on the floor. Blood was
spreading rapidly, coating the floor under the
injured man. "Agent Mulder, I'm so sorry! I just
wanted to get your attention because I was afraid you
wouldn't believe me. I didn't intend to shoot you."
Mulder looked at the blood bubbling through his
fingers from the wound in his left hip. He could
feel the burning path that the bullet had taken
before slamming into a rib on his left side. "I'll
be glad to listen, Ensminger. I was at the hotel
this morning," he emphasized. "Got tied up at the
tollbooth. Why don't you let the boys go? Then we
The pain in his hip was excruciating. The round
must've hit a couple of bones and a blood vessel too,
judging from the amount of blood he was losing. He
could feel a terrible weakness bearing down on him,
but he knew that he had to remain conscious in order
to get the boys out safely.
"No, Agent Mulder. I think the boys should stay. I
want to be sure you listen."
"Look, gonna be unconscious soon. Losing a lot of
blood. Let my partner in. She's a doctor. Let her
patch me up and then take the boys away. I'll listen
to anything you have to say, but not gonna last much
longer without help."
Mulder's speech slurred and spots began to float in
his field of vision. It was becoming more difficult
by the second just to breathe. He stole a look at
the boys huddled in the corner. They were terrified
to say the very least.
Ensminger knelt at Mulder's side and moved the
agent's hand away from the wound. Convinced that the
injury was beyond what the simple first-aid kit in
the cabinet could fix, he took out his clean
handkerchief and pressed it to the wound, placing
Mulder's hand back over it.
Getting back to his feet, he strode over to the
classroom phone and punched in the extension for the
office. "Send Agent Scully in with medical supplies
and I'll release one of the boys."
Mulder weakly nodded his approval. "What happened to
"My lovely wife . . .30 years together was all we
had. We couldn't have children and all of our
relatives are dead. All we had was each other. My
wife was a multiple abductee. They took her 15
times, Mr. Mulder."
The injured man tried to keep his eyes open. He had
to stay conscious until Scully got there. "What
happened . . . the last time?"
"She went for a bicycle ride. It was October 16th, a
beautiful Indian summer day. She wanted me to go
with her, but I had papers to grade. I told her I'd
go the next time. I should have gone with her.
Those papers could have waited. If I had gone maybe
this wouldn't have happened. Now, there won't be a
next time," Ensminger sobbed. "My wife was missing
for three days. They found her by the side of the
road suffering from massive internal injuries. Her
body was still warm, but there wasn't anything they
could do. Her bike was found in the ditch in perfect
condition. It was plain to see that she hadn't been
involved in an accident, but the authorities ruled it
a hit and run. With no leads to follow, they just
stopped looking. They wouldn't find her murderers
anywhere around here anyway." The older man cried,
the gun wobbling in his unsteady hand. "I'm just so
tired of no one believing me, so tired of living
"I'm sorry," Mulder whispered, overcome by the man's
story and the weakness invading his body.
A loud knock garnered their attention. Scully stood
outside the door with her hands up, a canvas bag
slung over her shoulder.
Ensminger opened the door and ordered her to put the
bag on the floor. After he searched her he looked
through the bag. When he was convinced that it
contained only medical supplies he motioned her in.
Scully hurried to her partner's side. "You said
you'd let one of the boys go," she reminded him as
she pulled Mulder's hand away from the wound.
"Yes, I did promise. Hunter, you may leave."
The boy didn't need further encouragement. He ran
from the room without so much as a look back.
"Mr. Ensminger, you do realize that my partner is
seriously injured?" Scully continued to tend to
Mulder who was barely hanging on to consciousness,
his breathing becoming more rapid and shallow by the
"Yes, I'm so sorry. I only wanted to get his full
attention. I didn't mean to shoot him."
"Well, I'm sure you have his attention but not for
much longer. He needs to be in a hospital." She
looked at her watch. Mulder's 'golden hour' was
rapidly being consumed by the hostage situation.
"He said you were a doctor. Help him."
"I'll do the best I can." She brought out a bag of
IV solution and a set-up kit. "I'm going to give him
some IV fluids. That should help some but he's going
to need surgery to stop the bleeding."
"Can't you put some stitches in him?" Tears
continued to stream down his face.
"I wish a few sutures would solve the problem, but
they won't. You have me now, why don't you let
Mulder and the boy go?" Scully suggested.
"No! They both stay! I need a few minutes to think
this through. I had no intention of shooting anyone,
you know. I just wanted to tell my story to Agent
Mulder so he could help me find my wife's killers."
"I've been trying to find them for almost 30 years.
Don't you think I would have brought them to justice
if there was any way?" Mulder's agitated reply
drained even more of his strength. He closed his
eyes as his vision started to waver.
"Mulder, stay with me," Scully pleaded. "You can
rest when you get to the hospital."
"Tired, Scully," he mumbled without opening his eyes.
"I know, but try to open your eyes for me."
With great effort, Mulder complied.
"I know you're tired. The IV should help a little
bit but you need to stay awake for me. Can you do
that?" She undid his tie and opened the top three
shirt buttons so he could breathe a little easier.
"'Kay." The abbreviated word was the most he could
muster. He found himself breathing heavily at even
that slight exertion but managed to keep his eyes
open for Scully.
Ensminger began to pace as he considered his options.
In the meantime, Scully continued to evaluate
Mulder's condition. As she checked the pulse in his
ankles she discovered that their captor had
overlooked his spare gun, still strapped securely to
his lower, right leg. She waited until Ensminger
turned away from them to complete another circuit and
swiftly got the weapon and hid it beneath the first-
Ensminger suddenly stopped and pointed his gun at
Scully. She held her breath, sure that Ensminger had
seen her with Mulder's spare gun.
"Chase, I want you to leave now. Quickly!" The
crazed teacher shouted his instructions when the
stunned child didn't start to move. Scully nodded
that it was okay, and with her permission Chase
didn't waste any time heading for the door.
"Now, I want you to help Agent Mulder to his feet.
You'll leave with him and I'll follow you. I intend
to turn myself into the authorities."
Scully was clearly puzzled. "Why don't you surrender
first? I don't think that Agent Mulder will be able
to walk and it would be much easier . . ."
"No!" He cut the feisty agent off. "It must be done
Mulder didn't want to keep Scully around the unstable
man any longer than he had to. With great effort he
"You can put him on my desk chair and roll him out,
but please hurry. I'm losing my patience."
Scully worked quickly to gather up the first-aid
supplies and Mulder's gun while Ensminger shoved the
chair in their direction. With her help, Mulder just
made it to the chair before collapsing into it.
"Now, you two go on out. I'll be right behind you
with the gun. Don't do anything stupid."
Scully nodded and began to push the chair with one
hand, while the other tried to keep her partner in
the seat. As soon as the two agents cleared the
doorway, Ensminger pulled the door shut and locked
Mulder groaned. "No!"
Before Scully could turn around there was a gunshot.
Its sound echoed up and down the empty hallway.
Standing on her tiptoes, she looked through the glass
in the upper part of the door and saw Ensminger lying
on the floor, the right half of his head completely
"Please tell me he didn't," Mulder panted.
"I'm sorry, Mulder."
Several policemen began to approach. When Scully
indicated that they were safe two EMTs came around
the corner and made their way to Mulder. They began
to work on him immediately, taking his vital signs.
"Whoa!" the paramedic taking Mulder's blood pressure
and pulse exclaimed. "His pressure is pretty low."
"We need to load and go then. Excuse us. We need to
get him on that stretcher and out to the ambulance
The policemen moved aside so that they could make the
"I'll give my statement at the hospital," Scully told
them. "I'm going with my partner."
No one called her on it and she practically had to
jog to catch up with the stretcher as it was quickly
pushed up the hall. One of the EMTs had placed an
oxygen mask over Mulder's nose and mouth, almost
obscuring his face. His eyes were closed and he was
extremely pale. She didn't want to think about it,
but it reminded her of the time he was shot during
the Luther Boggs case in North Carolina. He was
barely alive by the time they got him to the hospital
in Raleigh. "Please God, let him make it to the
hospital. Let him live!"
The hospital trauma team took over as soon as the
patient was wheeled in. "What's the story?" The
doctor who seemed to be in charge asked the
"This is Fox Mulder, an FBI agent. He was shot in
the left hip about 55 minutes ago. The bullet's
still in there. His blood pressure was initially
quite low in the field . . ."
The rest of the trauma team continued to work quickly
and efficiently while the paramedics gave their
report. Tests and x-rays were ordered. In North
Carolina Scully had looked on in a state of shock.
This time she stood by Mulder's head, running her
fingers through his sweat soaked hair, speaking words
By the time he was prepped for surgery, his blood
pressure was up and he was conscious. "They're going
to take you to surgery in a few minutes," Scully
informed him, cupping his cheek gently in her small,
Mulder looked around blearily, taking note of his
surroundings. It finally sunk in. "No, just need a
"I'm sure you'll have a few, but they have to find
that bleeder and tie it off first partner, and that
Shaking his head no, Mulder tried to shift his
position so that he could see his partner more
clearly. "Ow! Why didn't you tell me not to move?
"Agent Mulder needs something for pain," Scully
called out to the nurse who was coordinating his
care. She squeezed his hand in reassurance, mindful
of the IV.
A few moments later Mulder felt the soothing buzz of
narcotics in his system.
Scully was still by his side. "Yeah, feelin' lots
Scully almost laughed. The drugs had slackened his
jaw muscles, smoothing out the few lines he had on
his face. His dark hair was sweat-soaked and
tousled, adding to the effect. He looked like a
little boy lying there so helplessly, tubes and wires
all over him.
"Take a picture. Lasts longer," Mulder quipped. He
had caught his partner staring at him with a big grin
on her face.
Before she could even comment, Scully was asked to
stand aside as several hospital workers got Mulder
ready to move.
"Wha's happenin'?" The stuff they gave him for pain
wasn't the usual Demerol or morphine. He wasn't sure
he liked being that out of it, but it surely did make
the pain easier to handle. If he could get his mouth
and brain to work together Mulder vowed he would ask
her what they put in his IV. Right now he needed an
answer to his earlier question. The gurney was just
about out of the room and he wanted to know where he
"I'm sorry, Mulder. I started watching them unhook
all of the monitors and I forgot I hadn't answered.
You're going to surgery. Remember now? The next
time I see you, I'll bet you'll be feeling much
"Yeah, right," he muttered under his breath as the
gurney cleared the door and started down the hall.
Scully accompanied them to the surgical floor and
right up to the big double doors leading to the
surgical suites. "Sweet dreams, partner," she
whispered into his right ear. "Ill see you in a
little while," she said brightly as the doors swished
Three days later Mulder had almost worn out the
remote for the TV. He went through the channels one
more time just to be sure he hadn't missed anything
on the five previous trips through the airwaves.
Nope, nothing had changed. He threw the remote down
in disgust and watched it bounce off the covers and
come to rest under his bed. As he began to pull it
back up by its cord he was interrupted as two boys
entered his room, followed by Scully and Mrs. Todd,
the principal of Mayfield Elementary.
"I found these young men in the lobby," Scully
explained cheerfully. "They said they had some
deliveries to make."
"Really?" Mulder asked.
"Um, we have some presents from our class," Chase
stated as he shoved a fruit basket toward Mulder.
Scully took it from him and placed it on the tray
"And I have some get well cards that we made."
Hunter stepped forward and gave him a stack of
brightly decorated cards.
"They look very nice. I'm looking forward to reading
"We wanted to show our appreciation for the
interesting presentation you gave and most of all for
keeping Chase and Hunter safe," Mrs. Todd explained.
Mulder blushed and mumbled his thanks for the cards
and fruit. He wasn't used to having praise and gifts
heaped upon him.
"We'll be going now so that you can rest. Agent
Scully told us that you will be allowed out of bed
for the first time today. I'm sure you'll need every
bit of strength you can muster, so we'll get out of
"Yes, I'm afraid you're right. Thanks again for
thinking of me, and I too want to express my thanks.
Chase and Hunter, you were very brave during that
situation in Mr. Ensminger's room. The main reason
we all got out of there alive was because you didn't
Now it was time for the boys to blush. Mulder shook
their hands as they left.
"That was nice of them," Scully commented as soon as
they were out the door. She reached into the fruit
basket and grabbed a Red Delicious apple.
"Hey! Save some for me! I'm going to need my
strength, you know."
Scully peered into the large basket. "Looks like
there's enough in here for five people, Mulder. You
should have energy to spare."
Mulder snagged a Golden Delicious apple and took a
bite out of it. "Well, you know the old saying . . ."
"The one about an apple a day?" Scully grinned. "Is
that a hint?"
"Nope. Doesn't work anyway," he commented as his
doctor entered the room.
Three days later Mulder waited impatiently for Scully
to return from her meeting with AD Skinner. He had
been released an hour earlier and was anxious to
leave. A big smile erupted on his face when she
entered the room.
"Well, what did Skinner want?"
Scully began gathering up the things that Mulder
would be taking home. "Oh, nothing much. He did
suggest that we consider volunteering to help out
with the school PR program on a regular basis."
"Please tell me you didn't say yes."
"I told him that W.C. Fields made it a policy never
to work with children or animals and I thought that
if it worked for him it would work for us also."
Mulder grinned. He could picture the conversation
between Scully and their supervisor. Scully could be
rather convincing when she had to be. "That's my
Scully. What did Skinner say?"
"Oh, something about W.C. Fields not having him as a
"And?" Mulder asked warily. This was not going the
way he hoped.
"We return to Mayfield Elementary School a week after
you return from your medical leave. This time we get
the privilege of working with kindergartners."
"Please tell me you're kidding." Mulder began to
look decidedly ill.
"Fortunately, I am. Ready to go?" Scully had to
turn away from him or else risk laughing
"Yes," he sighed.
"I had you didn't I?" she grinned as she turned
"Yeah, you got me good, but beware. I have a couple
of weeks off now with nothing better to do that think
of a way to get you back." Mulder noted.
"I'm not afraid." She tossed her head with a look of
defiance and moved the waiting wheelchair to Mulder's
"And why is that?" Mulder settled himself into the
"I can always change my mind about the kiddy PR."
She smiled primly and placed the remainder of the
fruit basket in his lap.
"That's cruel, Scully."
"Yep, it is isn't it?" She grabbed a pear from the
fruit basket and took a big, juicy bite. "It's a
good thing we're such good friends isn't it?"
"Uh-huh. Take me home, friend."