I'll Take What's Behind Door Number Two
Fandom: X-Files, but contains multiple "guest appearances" from other
Rated R for adult humor
Archiving: unless Ellie voices an objection, sure, why not?
One day, Ellie and Tiriel set to pondering how exactly it is that
Scully found Mulder at the end of the episode "The Sixth Extinction
II." I mean, she got the keycard, but how did she know where the room
the key fit was? These are the results. Most of the characters
mentioned or depicted herein aren't ours, we just borrowed them
little while in the name of good fun.
The only sound in the corridor of the second sub-basement of the J.
Edgar Hoover FBI Building was the click of Special Agent Dana
heeled shoes as she walked determinedly towards the first door.
The silence was not broken by her internal monologue, which came in
the form of a voiceover, a narrative technique used quite frequently
by not only Don Bellisario, but also Chris Carter. "Why can't
mysterious informants leave a little more information? There must be
at least a dozen doors that take this kind of keycard."
She stood in front of the first door, took a deep breath, and slid
keycard. To her surprise, the light turned green. "First try," she
whispered, "what a surprise." Her hand shook a little as she grasped
the handle and pulled the door open.
Scully wasn't entirely certain what she'd expected, perhaps some sort
of Geiger-inspired monstrosity staring back at her from a tank of
green goo...or maybe a kick line of clones. Considering the past six
years of her life neither one of these options seemed totally beyond
the realm of possibility. Still, she'd be willing to admit, at least
within the confines of her own mind, that the sight she'd been
with actually managed to bring her up short.
Jeffrey Spender, one time top agent of the X-Files department and
ne'er do well son of the Cigarette Smoking Man was resting on a
counter in the middle of a well-lit laboratory. Well, what was left
him anyway. Actually just his head. But Scully was a forensic
pathologist, and not just your garden variety one either. She'd
actually been elbow deep in mutants, monsters, and muck more times
than any sane person should be able to contemplate. So a head in an
oversized petri dish shouldn't have freaked her out. And normally it
wouldn't, but this one was staring at her...and frowning.
"Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer." growled the now
digitized voice of the man her partner had less than affectionately
dubbed 'The Weasel'.
"What? You've never seen a talking decapitated head before?"
He rolled his eyes dramatically. "You're quite the conversationalist,
Agent Scully. Nice to know that expensive education didn't go to
"Hey, there's no need to be rude."
"Oh really? Excuse me if I'm in a kind of pissy mood, but in case you
hadn't noticed I'm a freakin' head on a counter!"
"Yeah well if you don't want to be a head on the floor I'd watch that
mouth." Scully moved closer as the shock was melted away by a good
old-fashioned Irish temper. Studying the equipment used to keep the
former Agent Spender in some approximation of life she muttered, "So
how'd you end up like this anyway?"
Somehow Jeffrey managed to emit a world-weary sigh without benefit of
lungs. "Well after I told Kersh he should give you guys back the
X-Files my dad plugged me..."
Spender's brow furrowed. "Yeah, right there in the basement
office...Wait, are you seriously trying to tell me you didn't
Scully pursed her lips and muttered, "Well it's not like he left your
body there and we've been using it as a doorstop for the past few
months." At least she didn't think so. Of course there had been
funky smell that maintenance kept insisting was a dead mouse in the
"So I get a bullet to the chest in your office, bleed like a stuck
pig, and nobody notices? Man, it's the story of my life."
"Look, I'm sorry, ok? We've really been busy lately. As a matter of
fact I just got back from Africa and..."
"So, didja find the spaceship?"
She blinked with surprise, "Uh, yeah actually I did."
"Pretty cool, huh?"
"I suppose. You know I'd love to stay and chat but I really have to
"Oh sure, I understand. No time for Jeff. It's ok, really, I mean
not like my parents didn't treat me exactly the same way. Dad's off
planning total world domination, mom getting abducted by aliens every
"I've really gotta..." Scully gestured weakly towards the door and
began slowly backing up.
"And then of course there's Diana, oh don't even get me started on
that bitch! She's only supposed to be my partner, but does she even
bother to drop by and say hello?"
Scully pulled the door open and ducked outside as Spender whined,
it's always Mulder this and Mulder that. Well what am I, chopped
"Maybe," she said, "who knows where your body wound up?" Scully
her eyes as she pulled the door shut behind her, cutting off
scream of outrage. She took a deep, cleansing breath, and walked
towards the next door.
She slid the keycard, and raised her eyebrows when the light went
green. "Does this open all the doors down here?" She muttered to
herself, then pulled the handle.
If the sight of Special Agent Jeffrey Spender's severed head had
startled her, the scene before her now left her stunned.
"Agent Rosenfield, excuse me, I had no idea--"
"Obviously you didn't, Agent Scully, now if you'll pick up your jaw
and leave us alone--"
But Scully had just gotten a look at the man--for it was indeed a
despite what she'd first thought--that Albert Rosenfield, fellow FBI
pathologist, was embracing. "Mulder?"
The man smiled and spoke in a soft, feminine voice. "Oh, no, although
if I were to be mistaken for a man, there are far worse specimens to
resemble. Agent Mulder is, well, a fox. Denise Bryson, DEA. Now, if
you'll excuse us--"
"I'm sorry. I was just looking for my partner."
"Oh, yeah, Spooky." Rosenfield's tone was, as always, sarcastic. "I
think I saw him being wheeled by on a table, looked like he'd been
prepped for surgery or something, but who am I to question things
that. I just work here, they don't tell me anything. The door's still
behind you, it hasn't moved."
"I don't suppose you saw--oh, never mind." Scully stepped back out of
the room and closed the door behind herself.
For a man who'd once assured her in the most sincere and earnest
manner that he had a deep love for all of mankind, Rosenfield could
sure be a prick. Blowing a few stray hairs out of her eyes she gazed
down the corridor and did a mental calculation of the number of doors
still left to try. Her grasp of statistics had never been altogether
firm, but it looked as though she was much likelier to run into yet
another disturbing little scene when next she opened one than to find
her partner. She silently cursed whoever had slid this passkey under
her door without so much as a post-it note telling her where to go.
"Buck up, Starbuck." she muttered under her breath. "If Mulder can
find a buried spaceship on a glacier in Antarctica you can damn well
open a few doors in the Hoover building for him." She slipped the key
through the magnetic reader and whispered a silent prayer to a god
wasn't entirely sure was on speaking terms with her at the moment.
With an ominous click it opened in her hand.
"Daddy, you're home!"
There was something so dreadfully wrong in hearing those words spoken
in a booming tenor attempting to approximate a girlish squeal of
delight that for a moment Scully just couldn't force her eyes up from
the floor. Her mind kept repeating the same mantra, "I don't want to
know, I don't want to know." Maybe she could just back out with a
quick apology and pretend she hadn't already caught sight of a pair
men's size twelve patent leather pumps. The voice wasn't her
partner's, thankfully, so this wasn't the right room...so she could
leave. For some reason, though, her body refused to obey that
perfectly rational and reasonable conclusion. Instead, of it's own
volition, her head rose and she found herself face to face with a
red-faced Walter Skinner.
"Oh fuck!" he bellowed, wildly searching the room for an escape
Unfortunately the only one appeared to be currently occupied by his
favorite rogue agent.
"Sir?" she squeaked, "What is...? What are...? What the...?"
"God hates me," he moaned in reply, "it's the only explanation."
Cerulean blue eyes took in the sight of the AD, every manly,
well-muscled inch of him straining the seams of a red and white
checked gingham dress he was currently stuffed into. A blonde wig
neatly divided into two braids sat atop his head, and little white
ankle socks were tucked primly about his calves. The ex-marine
uncomfortably under her scrutiny, before folding his hands behind his
back in a weird 'at ease' stance. Scully's mouth worked silently for
several long seconds before she managed to croak. "Sir, why are you
wearing a dress?"
"I don't suppose you'd believe this was actually just a hallucination
dreamed up by your subconscious as the after effects of exposure to
that giant mushroom, could you?"
"As much as I'd like to Sir, I don't think I can swallow that one."
"I didn't really think so." He growled, ripping the wig from his head
and tossing it onto a nearby lab table. "Look, Scully, you know how I
told you before I'd been 'compromised'?"
She nodded. "I assumed you were referring to the nanocytes you'd been
infected with a few months ago."
He laughed rather bitterly. "I wish! I mean if that was all there was
to it I'd have told you and Mulder a long time ago. Death seems
tame compared to the embarrassment I'd have to face is this ever
"But sir you've always been so...butch!" Scully couldn't help feeling
a little betrayed. Six years of office daydreams were currently
spiraling down the drain.
"It's a misconception that only effeminate males cross dress. Hell,
the monthly Association for Transsexual and Transgendered Persons
dance I met no less than three football players, two senators, and a
four star general. Often the need to switch gender roles is related
directly to the level of authority and perceived 'manliness' a person
"So," she began, trying to get this all straight in her mind,
why are you dressed like a farmer's daughter, lurking around here in
secret lab in the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover building?"
"I'm not lurking, I'm waiting."
Both heads snapped up as the door swung open and an all too familiar
voice boomed, "Honey, I'm home!"
Krycek paused just inside the door, his face frozen in an expression
of awkward surprise. He slid off his ratty trench coat and doffed
the street person wig and beard. "Now you know I like surprises as
much as the next guy, Walter, but you could've at least warned me you
were inviting her along."
"Fine, she can stay, but the only costume I've got that's going to
her is the SS prison matron one..."
Dana Katherine Scully, on again/off again Catholic and redheaded
of truth, justice and the American way was as open minded as the next
gal, but she definitely drew the line at SS uniforms. "Sorry, didn't
mean to interrupt, I'll just be...um...going...now."
"You sure?" Alex asked, pulling on a faux prison uniform with
practiced ease. "'Horny Fugitive' is a lot more fun with
an authoritarian figure. And you'd look devastating in a pair of
black knee boots."
"Thanks, but no."
"Oh, well, don't say I never offered you anything. Now, Mulder, on
"I really must be finding him, speaking of, so I'd better go."
Scully cut off Krycek in mid-sentence and hastily exited the room.
There were some pieces of information that she just didn't want. It
would be hard enough to look Skinner in the eye at meetings from now
on. Although, there were some interesting possibilities for this
Making a mental note to add massage therapy and some really great
shoes to her next expense report, she walked on to the next door. At
this point she didn't even want to guess what would be behind it, but
she had a sinking feeling that it wouldn't be Mulder. Monty Hall,
maybe, or Elvis, but not Mulder. She was beginning to wonder if
perhaps the mysterious informant had sent her this key for the sole
purpose of watching this process--maybe Alan Funt would be behind the
next door. Of course, he was dead, but that hadn't stopped Spender,
now had it?
She slid the keycard and groaned when the light turned green. "Cosmic
joke," she muttered, "these last six years...if I believed in karma
and past lives, I'd say that I must've been in the SS in my last life
to deserve all this. Is nothing sacred?"
With a heavy sigh, she pulled the door open. The room was dark. She
was reluctant to turn on the light, but knew that she had to, just in
case Mulder actually was here. Maybe Mulder was the one who'd sent
key, and he was hiding somewhere laughing at her, alive and well. If
so, he wouldn't be for long when she found him. She reached out for a
light switch, but couldn't find one. She produced a flashlight from
wherever it is that she kept it, and clicked it on. For those of you
who have wondered where she keeps all those things she always seems
have somewhere in that well-tailored suit of hers, well, if we told
you, it would create a reverse causality paradox and the universe
would implode. So it's better not to ask. She clicked on the
flashlight and looked around the room. In front of her was a giant
tank of dark, murky water.
She walked closer to investigate, then realized that she didn't
need to know what was inside. Unless Mulder had become amphibious, he
didn't seem likely to be in the tank, so she turned to leave. Then
heard a thump behind her and whirled around. Against the glass was a
large whitish shape with a round mouth filled with teeth. It looked
oddly like the "flukeman" that Mulder had described after one of
early cases. She shuddered and turned away again. Then she heard
another thump. And another and another and still another. She looked
back over her shoulder and saw an uncountable mass of these creatures,
whatever they were, thumping frantically against the glass. Scully
hurried out the door, shutting it behind her and leaning against it
catch her breath.
"What in the world is an army of flukemen doing here? Good thing
Mulder didn't see that, he'd have hatched some theory by now about
aliens are going to use them as carriers of some genetic plague or
something. Oh, well, I don't think I'd recognize my own life if it
didn't have a monster of the week."
Stepping back into the middle of the corridor she paused to
contemplate the remaining doors. Logically speaking, if this all
wasn't some kind of bizarre practical joke Mulder should be behind
of them. However her desire to locate him was dwindling rapidly in
light of the other little discoveries she'd made along the way. So
was just going to have to choose more carefully this time.
With a fatalistic sigh she began to chant, "Eenie, meenie, miney,
moe." pointing at each door in turn until she came to the last
phrase, "My mother told me to choose...you." Her finger ended up
pointing at the very farthest door. "Ok, I've left it up to Fate.
Hear that, Fate? It's all in your hands."
A renewed sense of hope and purpose put a little flourish into her
card swipe maneuver. She yanked the door open and strode
inside, a little part of her dying with each step. This wasn't the
right door, not by a long shot. At a wobbly, makeshift card table
four figures sat deep in a rather intense game of poker. Each eyed
their cards closely until Scully cleared her throat and they
looked up with a start.
"I don't think you're supposed to be down here, young lady." Deep
Throat intoned sternly, and tossed a microchip into the
center of the table. It clicked and rolled off the pile, coming to
rest right in front of Marita, who glared at it with colorless eyes.
"Y-you're dead." Scully gasped.
"Dead is relative, Agent Scully." X replied while upping the ante an
"Of course what isn't in this world?" the Well Manicured Man waxed
"Mulder said you were burned alive in your limo." she countered
"Ah yes but did he bother to check the crime scene afterwards? Of
course not, he was on a plane winging his way merrily
down to the South Pole to rescue you, my dear. Just as I'd planned."
"But, you," she pointed at X, "your body was found on Mulder's floor,
you'd written him a message in your own blood!"
"Oh yeah," Marita groused, folding. "I've been meaning to thank you
so much for sending him my way."
"He needed an informant, and I did think I was dying at the time. How
was I supposed to know you were already doing that
little rat Krycek on the side?"
"I thought you knew everything." Deep Throat interrupted with an
almost paternal smile.
Well Manicured Man frowned and folded as well. "Let's not get catty,
shall we? We are, after all, in this together."
Scully pinched the bridge of her nose between her fingers and took a
long calming breath. "So you're all alive, that's just great.
Really...wonderful. Can I just ask, am I going to find my sister
Melissa down here somewhere? What about Samantha, is she
down here too?"
Deep Throat shrugged loosely, then tossed another chip on the pile.
"Sorry, Agent Scully, but we're a bit out of the loop these days."
"Whatever." she returned, disgusted with the entire lot of useless,
formerly murdered, experimented on, or just plain missing
ex-informants. "I've gotta go find Mulder."
Well Manicured Man waved merrily. "Of course you do, well cheerio,
best of luck and all that."
"Yes, thank you. Enjoy your game," she said sarcastically, and pulled
the door firmly shut behind her. Not quite a slam, but
close enough that they'd know how annoying it was for dead people to
keep popping up.
"Now I know how the kid in that movie felt--'I see dead people'
indeed." Scully growled, yes, actually growled, and stalked
toward the next door. "So help me, if I don't find him soon, they'll
be locking me up in the psych ward."
When the next door opened just as easily as all the others, she
stepped inside, certain that she was prepared for whatever
would happen next. Once again, she was wrong. The scene appeared
fairly mundane at first, two men looking through filing
cabinets and a third standing off to the side, holding some kind of
book and packing a towel away into a duffel bag. One of the
men by the filing cabinets looked up, startled, and greeted her in a
British accent. "Hello, there, don't suppose you've seen the
plans for the Vogon freeway construction, have you? We went past the
'beware of leopard' sign, through some really long
tunnels, anyway, it's been quite the hunt. We were told that they
properly filed, but you know how the Vogons are...or
maybe you don't."
"Vogons? I don't, but I think I have the wrong room anyway, so I'll
just be going." Just then, the second man looked up from
the filing cabinets and she stopped dead in her tracks. He had two
"Well, hello, sweetheart, don't be in such a hurry to run off. We
haven't been properly introduced yet," said one of the heads.
The other nodded enthusiastically in agreement. "Two heads are better
than one," it said, and winked. He proceeded to make
expressive gestures. With all three arms.
"Um," Scully said weakly, in a voice far squeakier than she would
admit, "um, goodbye."
As she hurried towards the door, she heard the first man say, "we'll
never find them. Maybe we've got the wrong Earth again.
Or they're in the same place where my lost suitcase from that trip to
Greece is, and all those socks you lose in the dryer."
Once outside, she thought of a snappy comeback and almost went back
to deliver it, but thought better of it.
"No," she mumbled under her breath. "I'm going to spend the remainder
of my life doing my very best to ignore I just had that
experience. Or any of the others down here. It never happened."
repeated that mantra several times and was pleased to
note that she almost believed it. Of course there were still several
doors left to try and daylight was burning. This time she
wasn't leaving it up to fate, obviously fate was sitting back for a
good long chuckle at her expense. Fine, she didn't need any
stinking theological entities.
When the light turned green on the next door down she swung it open
and marched inside. The room was well lit and almost
painfully white. Along one wall were several small cubicles separated
from the main room by a glass door on each. Behind the
closest a rather feral looking man slumped against a wall and stared
out at her like a forlorn puppy at the pet shop. "Oy!" he
called out, straightening up to a full, rather impressive height.
"This isn't a bloody petting zoo, either let me out of here or dust
"Beg pardon?" Scully noted her voice had an almost girly quality to
it, not so much unlike the tone she'd used with a certain
sheriff down in Chaney, Texas. Well, truth be told the man glaring
back at her from behind that glass pane was devastatingly
handsome, in a sort of wolfish way. He was tall and lanky, with fine
bones and the facial structure any Guess model would sell
their soul for. And it had been six years since her last substantial
relationship...or insubstantial relationship. Six...long…years.
He stalked closer to the glass and gave her a once over that made
every individual hair on the back of her neck stand up.
"You're a lovely little bird, not like the rest of those wankers
'round here. What say you open the door and let Spike out, huh? I
promise I won't hurt you...much..."
It was a tempting offer, it really was, and the current level of
hormones shooting through her system was making any other
choice seem downright impossible. Still, she'd come down here for a
reason...a reason other than making hot, sweaty, monkey
love to this tall Billy Idol wannabe. Yeah, she was sure there was
something else she'd come down here for...of course a quick
roll in the hay wouldn't take that much time, now would it? Of
course with her luck the guy would turn out to be a serial
killer, or mutant, or vampire. Or alien, she couldn't forget that
option. Leaning a little closer to him she asked, "You're not a
clone, are you?"
He blinked with surprise, "Uh, no."
He scrunched up his face in disgust, "Of course not!"
"Alien bounty hunter?"
He just stared at her dumbfounded.
She'd take that as a 'no'. "Vampire?"
"Dammit! I knew it. Why, oh why is it that any man I find even
appealing turns out to be some sort of goddamn
She didn't have time for his hurt feelings, instead turned around and
stormed back to the main door. "That's it, I give up! I'm
becoming a lesbian."
Spike watched the door clang shut and shook his head with disgust.
She was just about to try the next door when it suddenly opened in
front of her. A handsome, shirtless man was exiting, but
stopped short when he saw her. He said, "Gotta go, Eddie," and hung
his cellular phone without waiting for a response.
Scully tore her eyes away from his well-defined chest long enough to
look over his shoulder. There was some kind of mass on
the floor that bubbled and disappeared.
"Agent Scully? I've been looking for you and your partner. Come with
me, there isn't much time. They'll be here soon." He
grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into the room.
She looked him up and down. Maybe it was leftover vampire charm, but
if she were going to be dragged into a room by a
strange man, there were worse ones out there to do the dragging. And
he reminded her of someone. Deputy Barney
whatsisname--not Fife, something else--the one who'd been beheaded.
She sighed. At least he didn't appear to have any
tattoos, but he was too perfectly built. "Let me guess, you're a
vampire, too, right? Or maybe a gender-switching killer? Your
friend's next door. Just go away."
"Vampire? No. My name is Cade Foster. My friend, Crazy Eddie, runs a
website called The Paranoid Times. He's a friend of
the Lone Gunmen. They suggested I come talk to you and Agent Mulder.
Where is Agent Mulder, by the way?"
"That's a very good question. Foster? That sounds familiar." Suddenly
Scully remembered and she drew her gun. "You're on
the most wanted list."
"I was framed. The aliens killed my wife and framed me for her
I've been hunting them ever since, with the help of
Crazy Eddie and a book of Nostradamus prophecies, trying to expose
their experiments, trying to find some proof. I came here
looking for you and your partner--I know I was taking a terrible risk
coming to this building, but I had to. While I was looking
for you, I stumbled on to an alien experiment, going on right here.
was in this room. I left to find you and by the time I came
back, it was gone--there was only one alien left, and I killed him.
And you are just as remarkable as the Gunmen told Eddie
you are. You share my quest, to prove that they're here."
Scully lowered the gun. "So where's the body?"
"They dissolve when they die. That's part of the problem with proof."
"Of course they do." Well, this one was cute, but crazy and
She could never win. "Lesbian. Definitely," she muttered.
"Nothing. Just a vow I'm making." She paused. "Vow...now there's an
idea. Maybe a convent."
"I can't stay. They'll be here soon. You should leave, too. But
I go," he said, grabbed her by both arms, and kissed her
deeply and thoroughly.
Scully stood and watched him go, the muscles of his torso working as
he turned back to say, "Tell your partner that I'll be in
touch. I think you two may be the ones who can help me."
"If I can ever find him I will," she said, but he was already gone.
Perhaps the convent could wait. But she still had to find
Mulder, and she was running out of doors.
She stared forlornly at the spot his shirtless, rippling body had
occupied and sighed, "Mulder, you owe me big time for this."
Closing her eyes she brought up a mental image of her partner in the
altogether, it did wonders for her morale. "Right, next
This time after the card slipped through she turned the handle, and
flung it open with as much momentum as her 5'2" body could
produce. "Ahhh!" screamed the man standing closest to this diminutive
whirlwind of sexually frustrated energy. His hands flew in
every direction like agitated hummingbirds, and the test tube he'd
been holding made a spectacular mess on the floor. Turning to
face her she noted he was wearing a white lab coat with a name tag
reading "Kurt 3"...and underneath a white t-shirt with black
lettering that said "Clones do it genetically." "What the hell do you
think you're doing? Jesus, are you trying to give me a heart
attack or something?"
"Yes," she spat, noting glumly that the green liquid in the former
test tube was currently eating through her favorite pumps.
"That's exactly what I'm doing, opening random doors and trying to
give the inhabitants of each room heart failure."
Scully took a moment to look around the room that turned out to be
chock full of clone growing tanks. At any other time she
might have been awe-struck, or at least a little overwhelmed, now she
was so relieved there weren't any deviant sexual
practices going on she could almost cry. "That was meant to be
"Honey," he returned, grabbing a dustpan and broom, "with some of the
shit I've seen down here I'd believe anything."
An exact duplicate of Kurt 3 came around one of the tanks. His
read "Kurt 1" and the t-shirt he wore had "Kiss me
I'm a clone" imprinted on it. When he caught sight of the disgruntled
special agent he gasped, "Agent Scully!"
Kurt 3 looked up sharply and added, "Well spank my ass and call me
Shirley, the Dana Katherine Scully in the flesh. If that
ain't a kick in the pants I don't know what is."
Of course they knew her, everybody in this godforsaken place seemed
to. "Look, I don't have a lot of time here and I..." Her
voice trailed off as one of the clones in the tank swished closer to
her side and she suddenly, horrifyingly, recognized it. "Holy
fuck, is that...?"
Kurt 3 grinned and nodded, "Yes indeedy, Ms. Scully meet Ricky Martin
She took a closer look and her jaw dropped. It was Latin singing
sensation Ricky Martin all right. "But...but...wait, are you
telling me that Ricky Martin is a clone?!"
"Of course," Kurt 1 replied, dumping what appeared to be fish food
flakes into the top of the tank. Ricky Martin 27 swam to
the top and sucked them down with delight. "Our little fella's been
quite a money maker. I've gotta tell you when they first
proposed the idea I thought the Consortium was losing it. I mean 'La
Vida Loca'? Gimme a break. But damned if they weren't
right. We're still working on the dancing thing with him, we're going
to try mixing in a little of James Brown's DNA on the next
Scully moved from tank to tank, coming face to face with goo covered
boy bands and girl bands in each. By the time she found
the Britney Spears series she'd had more than enough. "Well at least
now I understand how this super secret conspiracy's been
funding itself all along."
"Tell me about it," Kurt 3 sighed, "I mean have you ever seen the
paperwork for an alien colonization grant? It's a nightmare!"
Considering her own bureaucratic red tape that didn't seem too
farfetched. "I'm assuming your bosses have inserted some sort
of subliminal message in the music as well."
"Well duh." Kurt 3 dumped the former test tube in the trash and
to face her again.
"You know, this is fascinating, really, but I've got a partner to
find, so..." she paused, then asked, "Say, you two wouldn't
happen to know where he is, would you?"
Kurt 1 shifted uncomfortably. "Um....no."
Scully pulled out her Sig Sauer and gave the clone a corpse's eye
of the business end. "All right, deadly green blood or no
I'm fucking blowing your brains out in three seconds unless you tell
me where my partner is. No more bullshit, got it?"
"But I can't..."
"Oh I can't stand it!" Kurt 3 sobbed. "He's two doors down, he's two
Scully straightened and slipped the gun back in its holster. "That's
more like it. You realize, of course if he isn't where you told
me I'm comin' back here and I'm gonna' keep you two alive long enough
to see a floor full of teen sensations, do I make myself
"He's there, I swear!" Kurt 3 was bawling in earnest now. "He's all
splayed out on this lighted table doohickey wearing nothing
but this tiny little white towel."
"Really?" the day was finally starting to look up.
"Really," he sniffled.
"Well, then I guess you get to live to see tomorrow. I've been
for him for quite some time now, and I've seen things that
even he wouldn't believe, and, quite frankly, I've been wondering
whether or not it's worth it. So just keep in mind that if you're
lying to me, you'd better be gone when I come back for you."
"Yes, ma'am," they said in unison, clinging to one another and
"Now that's more like it," she said, and strode out the door.
The only sound in the corridor of the second sub-basement of the J.
Edgar Hoover FBI Building was the click of Special Agent
Dana Scully's heeled shoes as she walked determinedly towards the
second door down. She firmly wiped all thoughts of
bubblegum pop singer clones, delusional shirtless men, vampires,
interstellar hitchhikers, dead men's poker games, flukemen,
cross-dressing ADs, cross-dressing Mulder lookalikes, and severed
talking heads from her mind. Although, now that she
thought about it, all that cross-dressing was oddly appropriate for
the Hoover building, and the clone thing would certainly
explain the Spice Girls phenomenon…but no matter. Clearly she'd
the victim of some twisted practical joke. Either that or
she'd eaten some bad fish back on that beach in Africa. Regardless,
none of it could possibly have been real. It all had to have
a scientific explanation. And because Mulder didn't know about any of
it, she would never have to come up with what that
scientific explanation might be. Two doors down, and it would all be
over. But two doors down in which direction?
She whirled around. Suddenly, they all looked alike, and she couldn't
even tell which one she'd just come out of, or she would
have gone back in to threaten the Kurts until they led her to it
personally. She had a sinking feeling that whatever door she
picked would be terribly, terribly wrong. She dropped her head to her
chest and sighed.
"I swear, if he's behind the next door I pick, I'll be a better
person. I won't spend any more time thinking of ingenious ways in
which Diana Fowley could die, accidentally, of course. I won't
blackmail Skinner with what I saw down here. I won't even
peek under Mulder's towel if he's unconscious. Just please, I want
this all to end!"
She resisted the urge to fall to her knees and add an "Amen" to that
little outburst. There were limits, after all. She had to
preserve some dignity. She gripped the keycard in her somewhat shaky,
somewhat sweaty hand, and tried the nearest door.
Just like it had opened all the other locks, the keycard worked on
this one as well. She pulled open the door and nearly fell
down in relief.
In the center of the room was a large table, and on that large table
was Mulder, unconscious, and clad only in a towel-like
garment. His head was bandaged, and he was spread out in a position
that reminded her disturbingly of a crucifixion.
"No," he said, "that's not true!"
She shook off the feeling that she'd heard that line somewhere before
and approached the table. "Mulder? Mulder, can you
He opened his eyes and looked up at her. "Scully? Is that really you?
I had the strangest dream. And you were there. And you,
and you, and you, too, Tin Woodsman." He lapsed back into
Scully examined his bandage. And his towel. After all, God hadn't
heard her prayers earlier, so the fact that she'd found the
right room now had to be coincidence. Besides, the promises she'd
made, they just weren't realistic. Her next expense report
would be padded, Diana had to die, and she had to peek under Mulder's
towel. She knew he couldn't hear her, so she decided
to express her true feelings.
"Well, Mulder, the only yellow brick road you'll be taking is the one
to the hospital. As much time as you spend there, they
should give you some kind of frequent patient discount. Brain
Is that all you had to go through? I'd rather have had
brain surgery without anesthesia than have gone through the nonsense
went through to find you. Oh, well. Rescue my gullible,
trouble-magnet partner, and try to survive the unexplained while
keeping my sanity intact. Just another day on the X-Files."