To Ditch or Not to Ditch
That is the Question
"Is that all you have to say for yourself?" Skinner said grimly,
looking from one to the other of the agents stood before him. Scully
stood there, looking contained and politely annoyed, with her eyes on
her watch. By her estimation, Skinner was on the downward spiral of
this tirade and Mulder was starting to sweat blood. She was about
three minutes away from a sharp exit.
"I felt the action was justified in the light of-" Mulder could never
resist pushing just a little bit further than necessary. Scully
flinched slightly as Skinner's voice hit a new level.
"NECESSARY? Would you like to see the stack of paperwork this MAYHEM
has produced on my desk with the..."
Scully blocked out the lecture with the efficiency of years of
practise. She was more than ready by the time Skinner's eyes fell on
"Thank you Agent Scully, that will be all."
Thank God. Scully turned, met Mulder's Help look with an apologetic
You're On Your Own shrug and shut the door behind her. There, she
shook her head. Mulder just didn't have the knack. The whole trick to
a good story was knowing when to shut up and let the ranter release a
little steam. In all the time he spent with Skinner, on and off duty,
she was permanently amazed Mulder didn't work out these little
survival details. Skinner was a breeze, properly handled, it just
took skill, flair and attention to detail and-
Scully's stomach jumped a mile. She pulled her 'professional' look
together and turned, flicking her hair with just the little toss that
usually softened her partner's less receptive moods.
"Hey. I was just coming to meet you-"
"Are they done?" The demand was accompanied by a sharp nod at
Skinner's door. Scully smiled.
"They're 'doing'. It'll take a while but it'll be fine- he'll rant,
Mulder'll cry, they'll make it up and go home happy, what can you do?"
"I can ask you just what happened when Mulder thought he ditched you,
Arms were folded across a slim, blue suited chest. Scully mentally
winced at the tone. Oh NOT good. She perched nonchalantly on the
desk, resting one immaculately slacked knee over the other, thinking
carefully about keeping the casual tone in her voice.
"You know Mulder. One clue that hits the bell and he's gone... I
get the phone call later."
Blue eyes informed her that the day she managed to make a lie of that
proportion sound convincing, was the day Mulder brought a martian
home to meet Skinner. A long finger tapped a notepad.
"Dana- who do you think retrieves the faxes around here? You handed
Mr. Lyle Winterson into the hands of the Nashville police at 17.03
yesterday afternoon. Your call for back up was noted at 16.59. Now
either backup is becoming phenomenally good, or you relied on Mulder
doing his Mulder thing and went after your own arrest."
"Mulder was chasing the psychopath!" Scully said indignantly.
It worked on everyone else that tone. That air of cool self
sufficiency. Her partner's head was already shaking.
"Mulder went off to talk to a witness, little girl. You went after
the psychopath. With your best, 'Oh Mulder Look Who THIS Nice Man
Turned Out To Be' air of innocence."
"That is NOT what happened-" Dana hissed, her cool slipping rapidly.
Her partner's look warned her to lower her voice NOW.
"We will talk about this later. My apartment, seven pm, bring some
salad and be late if you dare."
The door to Skinner's office opened. Mulder emerged white and shaking
his head a little as though not quite believing what he'd just heard.
Skinner still looked tense but satisfied, as though he'd managed to
release a little steam.
"Kim, I'll take those messages now."
Kim gave one last, fulminating look at Dana and took a neat stack of
papers from her desk.
"There you go sir."
Both Mulder and Scully skulked out of the office followed by two
separate I'll Deal With You Later glares.
Kim changed into jeans and a loose shirt, hanging the blue suit
neatly up on the door. A lot of her wardrobe was blue. Dana liked her
in blue. Although she liked her in things a little less formally cut.
Dana was in serious trouble.
Kim mentally turned off wandering thoughts concerning her partner and
concentrated instead on what she intended to give said partner for
dinner. Skinner had told her once, if Mulder was doubtful of his
reception he was really late. Most of the rest of the time he was
just late. Dana, when trying to look convincing, was inevitably
early. She was in the hallway at six forty five, smile a little
frayed around the edges, salad in one hand and a bunch of flowers in
"I guess the traffic wasn't as bad as I thought."
"How nice, they're lovely, come in, you're not off the hook." Kim
hooked an arm around her neck as she passed and stole a quick but
thorough kiss. Dana trailed her into the kitchen. Kim set the
flowers in water, willing to stake a bet that at this moment on the
far side of town, her boss was making dinner for another worried and
fidgeting brat. The supervision and management of this particular
dynamic duo took up a lot of the bureau's extra curricular time.
Which the pay packet did not reflect.
"Can I help?" Dana said, still sounding capable. Kim turned, brushing
her hands off, and set her hips against the counter.
"No. You can wash your hands, hang that jacket in the hall and face
that corner over there until this is ready. I am NOT pleased with
you, young lady."
Dana's eyes surveyed her, the full lower lip hesitated, not sure
whether to risk the Oh God expression that worked so well on Mulder.
"I wouldn't." Kim warned. Dana sighed and went for the full blown,
eyes rolling, hair rumpled pout.
"Look, after the number of times he's ditched me-"
"I didn't ask for excuses, I told you to find that corner." Kim
pointed towards the bathroom and waited. One deflated FBI agent
slowly turned and made her way down the hall, losing the confidence
for a rather less self contained, head down posture.
Hands washed, jacket hung up, Scully stood meekly in her corner, her
folded arms the only give away that she was not yet quite resigned to
this idea, her red head bowed against the wall.
Not for nothing do I date a red head, Kim thought, admiring the line
of slim, rather slumped shoulders and the soft curve of a red bob.
"Alright Dana. Come and sit down."
Scully turned, slowly. "Kim?"
"If you're going to go berserk..."
"Berserk? Is that a medical term?"
Green eyes glared. "Can we get it over with now? Please?"
Kim hesitated. The glare gradually softened into pleading. There were
a lot of things that Kim could resist, but Dana Scully with that look
on her face wasn't one of them. She sighed and got up from the table.
"Go and get it."
"Go and-" Scully looked at her, taken aback. "That isn't how this
works, I've seen Mulder in action- we talk, we reason, we negotiate-"
"You bullshit." Kim interrupted. "Which is exactly how you got into
this mess tonight. And the AD and Mulder handle things their way, we
handle them our way."
"I thought we followed bureau policy." Scully said under her breath.
"Since when do you take any notice of bureau policy?" Kim lifted her
eyebrows at her recalcitrant partner. "Are you going? If I have to
"I'm going, I'm going."
Scully scuffed without enthusiasm to Kim's room and retrieved the
horrible, wooden backed brush off Kim's dresser. Kim had already
taken her seat on the sofa, held out her hand for the brush and
simply patted her lap. Scully felt herself going nearly as red as her
hair. Slowly, fumbling, eyes on her hands, she unbuttoned and
unzipped her tailored slacks, letting them slide down out of her
grasp, then stepped out of her high heels. Without them she felt
ridiculously small. Kim's hand slid up her arm, gripped her elbow and
drew her firmly forward until her hips met Kim's denimed lap and her
face was against the sofa cushions. Dana took a firm grip of the
plush material and felt Kim adjust her grip, feeling about six and a
half. This was unfair. This was not right. Federal agents should not
have to put up with this from lovers who ought to understand these
things. They needed a union meeting on this.
"What is it," Kim said mildly above her, "I'm annoyed about Dana?"
Scully swallowed on a mouth full of sarcasm and tried to think
"I made an arrest without back up."
"You called back up. You just didn't intend to use them. And you
stood by, let your partner find a way to give you the slip and then
went behind his back to make an arrest."
"Dana!" Kim said sharply. "Apart from the fact I KNOW you, who do you
think types and reads all the files in that office? How many times do
you think you can get away with strolling into the lion's den and
then look all surprised when Mulder comes galloping to the rescue?
One day someone apart form me is going to see through that sensible
look you cultivate and cotton on that there's a little more
forethought going on under that hair of yours than the AD or Mulder
Damn. Scully had a brief go at turning around to see her lover's
face. It didn't work. Kim's hand on her back held her still. The
other gripped the back of her underwear and drew the skimpy silk
"I knew Mulder would turn up!" Scully pleaded, reaching the point of
desperation. "I didn't make the arrest ALONE alone- OW!" she added
passionately as the brush made it's first contact with her bare
cheeks. "Kim come on, there was five minutes in it-"
"That's five minutes too many! You do NOT go walking into the homes
of psychopaths, whether or not Mulder is bringing the cavalry! You do
NOT co operate with being ditched!"
"How can I-" Scully argued, wriggling, "How can I not co operate!"
"DON'T play dumb with me little girl!" Kim brought the brush down
again, firmly, first on one reddening cheek, then the other, her arm
tight around Scully's slim and twisting waist. "You've worked with
the guy for years, you know him as well as anyone knows that maniac,
if you haven't worked out the signs now when he's planning to ditch
then you've got no right being in the FBI!"
"OW! Kim!" Scully twisted, hard. The brush stung like blazes, each
impact making her eyes sting and her body involuntarily jump in
reaction. Kim moved her sights a little lower and began to spank
steadily and with unnecessary attention to detail just above the top
of Dana's thighs. The sting there was too much to cope with. Scully
ducked her head as her eyes filled with tears, grinding words into
the fabric of the sofa.
Ow. Shit. Ow ow ow-
"Okay I'm sorry, I won't ditch him again-"
"'Ditch' is a verb that needs banning from FBI policy. It's an over
used verb. I'm SICK of typing it. You ditch, he ditches, they ditch,
they have ditched, we all ditch-"
"I'm sorry, I'm really sorry, I won't-" Dana paused, breath hitching
involuntarily, "I swear I won't make an arrest again without someone
"Without your partner there or backup!" The hairbrush snapped down
again, "I know the regulations, Dana."
"I promise!" Scully wriggled hard, no longer able to cry quietly. Kim
gave her another four, well placed spanks and laid the brush down.
"You are staying here this weekend. If I know my boss, Agent Mulder
won't be short of things to do until Monday. You are going to spend
the weekend with me, keeping away from monsters, aliens, lunatics and
trouble, and you are going to write me out a complete copy of the
policies and recommendations for arrest procedures. Do you understand
Dana slid down to her knees. Kim pushed her hair out of her hot face,
not without sympathy. Dana looked a mess when she cried. It was the
red hair that did it; red eyes with it looked nothing less than
"Put the hairbrush away and wash your face."
"I won't ditch him again, I promise." Dana stumbled to her feet and
clung to Kim, burying her head in the taller woman's chest. Kim
wrapped her up and rocked her.
"Good. And letting him ditch you is also off the list. You MUST know
the warning signs."
"Pretty much." Dana admitted, snuffling. Kim drew her back, tipped up
the elfin chin and kissed her.
"Wash your face."
That is not, Scully thought, heading for the bathroom and very
tenderly re arranging her clothing, the only part in need of cold
She was interrupted by the bleep of her cell phone from her jacket
pocket. Mulder's voice was soft and a little furtive. Scully could
well understand why. With a quick glance to make sure Kim was
occupied, she leaned against the wall and kept her voice low.
"Mulder. What a surprise. Keeping busy?"
"Like you wouldn't believe." Mulder sounded like he had a cold. "Look
Scully- I just wanted to say, I'm sorry for ditching you yesterday."
"I'm sorry for letting you ditch me."
"I kind of got carried away."
"We both did. And I'm sick of that verb."
Mulder stifled a snort. "You ditch, I ditch, we all ditch-"
Scully glowered at the phone and wondered just what the content of HQ
staff meetings involved.
"Sure Mulder. You have a nice weekend."
From the sarcasm in her partner's voice, the staff meeting had
resulted in a universal policy document on ditching.
"Yeah. A long, QUIET weekend."
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