Scully really had been trying to be more witty and
spontaneous since her experience with Daniel and the vision
had seen in the temple. The thought that each moment in
time, each decision and action could change one's life path
one way or the other intrigued her. She had as many regrets
as she had satisfactions.
Today, she regretted not having parked somewhere else and
a bus the rest of the way to the medical building.
Some much needed road work, and several parking lots
cars had her convinced the fates were conspiring
against her this particular Tuesday morning in May. When she
a lot close enough to the building, there was the
three block walk. Scully made it to the foyer of the place
just ten minutes to spare. She prayed the elevators
weren't coming up from the basement crowded to the hilt.
"Three elevators, three chances," she muttered, pressing
She ran into the first elevator that opened and pressed the
button for the sixth floor. When it stopped at the second
she hoped only one or two people woold enter as she
was just as insistent on promptness as her dentist. A
woman marched into the elevator and
pressed the button for the tenth floor.
Then they engaged
in that time-honored custom in North American
in an elevator with strangers, look straight up at the
numbers and keep silent. The silence was
enough when the elevator ground and bumped to a halt.
"Sh--!" Scully whispered, grinding her teeth--a practice
had her dentist lecturing for that many a time. It
was not that she was a nervous person. She just did that
she was frustrated, and often unconsciously for hours
when looking at notes on criminal acts that had her
"Yeah," her fellow passenger added. "I've got a client
to close a deal on a factory, and my cell phone
died an hour ago." The woman hastily pressed buttons
one would make the little prison move.
Scully calmly pressed the alarm button, but there was no
ring, whistle or automated voice. The light overhead
blinked and then stabilized. "Dental appointment," she
the woman. "He practically asks for a late slip."
The woman offered her hand. "I'm Sandra Blye, attorney.
"I'm Dana Scully, I work in Law Enforcement, for the
She wasn't about to say she was an FBI Agent.
Some day, she might neet up with the woman again while
under cover. She
looked up at the display, then fished
through pockets, then her purse. "I seem to have left my
cell in the car, dammit.
My partner practically wears
his," she said with a grin. "I guess we're here for a
"It looks like it. There doesn't seem to be an emergency
I seem to remember the building manager saying he
wasn't going to install them again with the all the abuse
"Sounds like a great workplace. We have air-tight security.
course, everyone IS security where I work."
There was an awkward moment of silence.
Sandra Blye, Real Estate Lawyer was becoming uncomfortable,
by her toe-tapping, arm-folding and the inpatient
look on her face. "I'm sorry. I know there are other
in this building. That someone wants this elevator
moving as much as we do. Think the power's out or something?"
"Could be," Scully thought. "I did hear there was a chance
thunderstorms today. It wasn't raining when I came in.
My dentist is going to have a fit, and my partner is going
think I was captured by... he'll think I got caught up
into another case without him."
"Oh, possessive of his position, or of you?"
"No, just overly protective."
Sandra just stared and smiled.
"Well, he's very tall, and I'm, well, petite. I think he
to work alone when were first teamed up. A loner.
Now, he worries about me. It's amazing how time changes
The lawyer sat on the floor and leaned on the side of the
"My boss insists on overworking everyone in the
firm. The more cases, the more profit. He breaks out in
when someone loses out on a deal. He doesn't know
that two of our fellow lawyers at this firm have bleeding
that one is about to get a divorce because he is
never home to get to know his wife. I think that's why
they don't have
"You're joking, right? Who's like that in this day and
What ever happened to job sharing, saying you can't
take on any more work than you have... "
"Nice thought, but not practical. It's not just at our
Ms. Scully. It's at your drycleaner, your drug
store, even the supermarket. Now don't get me started on
"Now that I think about it, I haven't had a week straight
out of town cases. I barely get my overnight bag
re-packed and we're off again. If we're not out of town,
profiling, I'm writing up an autopsy report and
translating terms to my boss. We hardly see the light of
day when we're
in the building."
"You must be a doctor, then." Sandra smiled. "You could go
private practice if you have the capital, or you could
get a reasonable loan... "
Scully rubbed her neck. "No, not now. I kind of have my
I do get to travel, and I get paid. It's just
that... well, I remember when my partner wanted me to go
the country to take a look at something that had
him absolutely fascinated, and I stayed. A dear friend of
we were in love once, actually, he was dying in
hospital. I just had to see him. I had to make peace with
him, and with his daughter. He was old enough to be my
father, actually. I felt I owed them something, even
was just more time for him to live."
"So, you're saying you regret loving that man?"
"No." Scully joined her companion on the floor. "I do
a lot of the things I, we did, back then. I was
blessed to learn from him, at med. school and in life,
In some way,
I think if I hadn't graduated and hadn't said
seeing him was not going to fulfill me, I would never
have what I have
today. I had cancer at one point a few
years ago, while I was working with my partner, and I think
one of the
things that made me want to live was his faith
that he could help me. He wanted to do whatever it took.
he did. He sat by me like he was telling God not to do
this to us. Not me, not him, but us."
"He must love you very much. You're lucky."
"Oh, we're just... Who am I kidding? You know, as the
by, so many other things could be happening to
people we care about. We're sitting here so worried about
your client wants, your boss wants, what my
dentist wants and what everyone else in the world wants,
we forget that
we're people. And Sandra," she whispered
slowly, eye to eye, "Time is so precious, now more than
ever. Both my partner
and I have had too many things
nearly kill us, and still, we don't realize just how
precious every day means to us."
Scully was close to
"Yeah, I can see where you're going with this. I just feel
well, I don't feel like me. I haven't felt like myself
in a long time. I don't tell my secretary she can slow down
bit. I never turn down a case. Hell, I even go to work
with a splitting migraine knowing that part of the problem
the job. Someone always warns me about stress causing
these headaches, and I just keep running to appointments
blind, nauseous and my head feels like a huge, over-
Scully held the woman's hand and softly asked, "So is it
worth migraines, ulcers, and loneliness? It
isn't to me, and I know I'm preaching to the choir when I
"It's not all worth it!" Sandra was laughing. "It's just
I'm good enough at what I do, and I don't need to
take everything they hand me. I can't wait to get back to
to tell my boss I can't run any faster than I
already am. The next time I'm asked by George Manning if
I want to go
to dinner with him, I am going. He really is
my best friend at work. Why not away from there? Who
I might even marry that sweet man. It's an old
term, but he IS a sweet man, and we're both very similar
"Well, if I ever get to my dentist, I'm going to just nod
smile. I night even find a dentist who doesn't run
a tight ship. I think part of the reason I chose him in
first place is that he knew my father from the Navy. My
father always had everything organized, and wanted
us to be
that way, too. He never actually said it. It was just
understood. When he died, I think he felt
it wasn't on his
schedule. Speaking of which," she looked at her watch, "I
think I can just go back to the
office and start looking for
a more laid back dentist. I'll cancel my appointment on the
way back. Now,
when the heck are we getting out of here?"
"Well, I guess the run for the coffee is just about any
So, they'll be calling maintenance in spades."
Scully looked up at the ceiling.
"What is it, Dana?"
"I think I hear something. Someone's calling us. We hear
Get us out of here!"
"We hear you! We HEAR YOU!" Sandra yelled.
Both women banged on the sides of the elevator, and shouted
the top of their lungs.
There were more sounds, the overhead light flickered,
and the elevator
was going up.
"You still want that Real Estate deal?" Scully asked, as
"Not half as much as I want a life. You still want to
to an anal retentive dentist?"
"No, come to think of it. I'm not even going to get out
his floor. I have a life to live. My time is precious.
I can't suck up to him with all the time I need to conserve.
As every hour goes by, I miss out. I need a more relaxed
life. I have a life outside of a schedule, I want a
dentist and I am going to live my life on a new, precious
schedule. You do the same."