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Until I was challenged to write this story, I had never written a single short story as long as this one. It's almost 32 kilobytes, and "Sadie" issued a challenge at Idealist's Haven and ATXC, so I gave it a whirl!

Rated: Not suitable for those under the age
of 13 or morally sensitive folks.

Spoiler(s): FTF, Seasons 3 through midway Season 7.

Category: UST, Case File (On the part of
the OPR)

Summary: Once again, the OPR is ready to dismiss our
favorite agents on trumped up charges. This time,
their ally is the person they would least expect.

Feedback: Please be gentle at

Author's Note: Reposted after several corrections made.
Rising to Sadie's challenge to write a story with Mulder and
Scully starting out UST, someone out to shut them down
and separate them for good, and once again they are not

11:47 PM

It was a rare occasion these days for Mulder and Scully
to be off of the road, actually in the office most of the time
instead of somewhere they really didn't wish to be. It had
been another movie night at Mulder's. This time, it was a
Saturday night.

Mulder opened the door and Scully stepped out into the
hallway, turning to smile at her long-time partner. "If you
really think that was a great movie, that's all right. Just
remember, I still think Roger Corman made some of the
most nonsensical films of the genre."

"Okay, okay. You win. If I say that, will you still come over
for beer and a movie once in a while?" Mulder held her left
forearm and gave her a 'pretty please' look.

Scully placed her hand on Mulder's and vowed, "I most
certainly will. It's my duty to save you from the influence of
bad taste cinema--as a federal agent, that is. See you
Monday, Mulder."

Mulder watched until his partner had safely reached her car,
then locked his apartment for the night. What neither of them
noticed was a middle-aged man at the door of another
apartment, quietly taking in everything he had seen and heard.
Of course, there were also devices that would be of good use
in the very near future, as they documented Mulder's comings
and goings, and those of anyone visiting him.

9:19 PM

It had been a long day, and Scully was half-asleep on the sofa reading
yet another autopsy report before submitting her final verdict on a
gruesome slaying. "I hope this is the last time I have to do a partially
decomposed body," she whispered. The ringing phone brought
her out of her sleepy comfort. *Mulder, if it's you I'm not going to
ponder the mysteries of the universe with you now,* she growled.


It was Skinner. "Are you alone, Agent Scully?"

"Yes, Sir. What's the matter?"

"Listen carefully. I'm warning you and Agent Mulder to keep your
association totally at the office." Skinner was at a telephone
booth near the Capitol Building.

"Sir?" She didn't like the sound of Skinner's voice. It was a
nervous, surreptitious voice. He sounded as if he was
sneaking around just to call her. He sounded afraid.

"I can't say any more. Just that they're watching, listening. Tell
Mulder they're watching and listening. I'll see you at your office
tomorrow morning. Be there at 7:30."

"Certainly, Sir. Are you sure you're all right?"

"I'm fine." That wasn't very convincing. "Worry about yourselves.
See each other at work, nowhere else. Go over any field cases
away from the motels. That's all." He hung up before Scully could
find out anything more, or the reasons for his warnings, for that
matter. It wasn't as if there was anything wrong going on between
Mulder and her. Regardless of the warning, she dialed Mulder.


"Mulder, it's me. I just got a call from... "

"I can't say anything right now. I'll be at the office early and we
can discuss this matter. 7:30 sharp." Click.

Scully felt a chill run down her spine, and a sinking feeling in her
stomach. It was the same way she felt when they discovered
Mulder's apartment was bugged, and the office. She turned the
lights out and ran her bath.

Mulder hated to just hang up on Scully like that. They'd been
through hell and high water, literally, for a long time. Skinner
had become their friend, and he supposed the answers would
come early at the office in the morning. Once more, he felt the
ax was about to fall, or at least someone was threatening that
sort of action. There was no way he was going to let them bring
down the X-Files again, or break up a good partnership. As far
as Mulder was concerned, any feelings he and Scully shared
were their own business, and had never interfered with their
work. He made it his business to protect his partner, and knew
that Scully had always done the same for him.

7:32 AM

Since Skinner's words seemed to have an ominous tone, Mulder
had been in the office since 6:18 am, and Scully hadn't been far
behind him.

Scully hadn't had that much sleep, really. She'd been used to the
threats to close down the X-Files and separate her from Mulder,
and it wasn't any news to her that something was going on
upstairs once more. They'd been shut down before, and
threatened with transfers.

Mulder had had no sleep whatsoever. They had come too far to
get the heave-ho, and there was so much both he and Scully
had seen that they couldn't afford to lose their place now. "Scully,
at least we can be thankful Skinner's warning us this time. And
outside of the building this time. He must be worried about his
association with us."

Scully tried to be reassuring. "Maybe it's nothing, Mulder. Maybe
it's just hearsay. I hope. Who am I kidding? They've got
Skinner under scrutiny, and if you want my opinion, I have to agree
with you this time: No one's immune from 'them' anymore." She
sipped her coffee and sat nervously waiting.

Mulder had been pacing all along, and he finally took his place
behind the desk. "Well, I feel better now that we're all paranoid. No,
it's not paranoid when you know people other than just you are
being watched. The question is: To what extent ARE we being

Just then, Skinner entered the office and locked the door. "What
I'm about to say to you, you didn't hear from me. I'm in the middle
here, and I've found a phone tap in my office and at my apartment.
There have been rumblings around here that this time they want
to shut you down because of your personal lives."

Mulder smiled slightly. "What personal lives? Walter, we don't
have personal lives anymore."

Scully tried her best to be calm. "What are you getting at, Sir?"

Skinner lowered his voice. "Any and all personal interaction
during and after office hours."


"Your friendship is seen by some as a means to twist things to
their favor. A simple pat on the back might be translated into
a loving caress."

As Mulder paced once again with his hands on his hips, Scully
was hoping for a more specific answer. "In what way? Why?"

"All I can tell you is they're still looking for ways to shut you
down, separate you. You've seen too many things, figured
them out. They don't like that. I have to answer to them, and
nobody knows I'm warning you. I have to leave. Just try not
to raise any eyebrows. Ever since you were assigned to
Kersh, I've been trying my best to see to it that you're not
in any further danger since the last OPR hearing."

"It's not easy," Mulder replied. "I mean, keeping out of their

"I'm sorry. Just try to keep things as professional as possible."

"You mean impersonal," Scully retorted. "Well, Sir, I take it all
personal now. Too many people have been killed in the name
of 'business' including my sister."

Mulder intervened before Scully became angrier. "Let it go,
Scully. Thanks for this little talk we had, Walter. Take care."

"You take care. There may be an assignment to get you out
of the building for awhile. I'll see what I can do." He left the
same way he had entered the office: serious, expressionless,
and with no emotion.

"I guess beer and a movie is out of the question for a while,"
Mulder whispered.

Equally as quietly, Scully decided, "Time for a look around."

That meant only one thing: Sweep the office for bugs.

10:32 AM

Scully was browsing through old files as Mulder was
catching up on emails, when the phone rang. "Mulder. Yes...
We'll be right there. Scully, Skinner wants to see us."

"Skinner? But we're not under his direction any more."

"I know. Oddly enough, Kersh is out of town, and left us to

Scully closed the file she had been reading and stood.
"Lucky us."

Five minutes later, they were sitting inside the outer office
wondering why the higher ups trusted Skinner to them
again. Skinner exited his office and beckoned them to join
him behind locked doors.

"This is like old times," Mulder quipped. "Remember how
he used to chew us out, Scully?"

"Agents, I don't have the time or freedom to reminisce and
neither do you. I can't tell you where Kersh is, because I
don't know. He's due for a vacation, so maybe he took a
couple of weeks off. I do know that he was so pleased
with your investigation in the Kazminsky interstate
prostitution case, that he's recommended you for this

Mulder opened the folder Skinner handed him. "Grand theft
auto in Birmingham. Scully, we get to see the inner workings
of a chop shop. Sir, this isn't our usual work."

"I know. Just don't ask any questions here."

"By the way," Scully interjected, "We found nothing in our
office of the insect variety."

"Good. I've been checking things myself," Skinner added.

Mulder had had enough at this point. First the warnings
of getting too friendly with Scully, keeping everything on a
'professional level', then the cryptic language. "To hell with
it, Sir." Then he shouted as loudly as he could, "I hope
you've heard enough gibberish, and I know who you are!!"
Mulder threw the folder to the floor.

Scully took his arm and cautioned him with a look. "Mulder,
let's just investigate this case and do our jobs, okay?"

Mulder tried to calm down. It wasn't easy, as they both
knew they were constantly under the microscope. "Sorry, Sir.
I didn't sleep well last night."

"Try to keep your temper, Mulder. I understand, if it's any
consolation." Skinner removed his glasses and massaged
his temples.

Scully stood. "Thank you, Sir. Mulder. Let's go."

He picked up the papers and the folder, and they quietly left
Skinner's Office.


Three assistant directors and one in particular, Alvin Kersh, sat
in a conference room. Numerous folders, video and audio
tapes were on the table.

Joanna Cassidy opened the meeting. "We have here before us
rather disturbing evidence that two of your agents, in particular
Special Agent Fox Mulder and Special Agent Dana Scully, have
become more than just partners in more than just the professional
sense, Mr. Kersh."

"I am unaware of such evidence. If what you say is true, I have
only seen them treat each other with the utmost respect,
'professionally', and if they are good friends as I believe they are,
then until it is proven otherwise, I can only repeat what I have just
told you. Whether they go bowling or play baseball for that matter
is nobody's business as long as their job gets done. Or as long
as they stay out of certain areas of investigation. Am I right?"

"Mr. Kersh, I realize you haven't been at the Washington Office
long enough to have observed these two particular agents, so I
forgive your impudence this time. I do however have some news
for you. Within four weeks of this date, there will be an OPR
meeting and a move for dismissal of Agents Mulder and Scully
from the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

"On what grounds?" Kersh asked suspiciously. "Well?"

"On the grounds of sexual impropriety. This meeting is adjourned
until such time we have decided on an appropriate date to begin

"Are you suggesting they're having a sexual relationship?"

Cassidy looked at Kersh sternly. "I am not 'suggesting' anything.
The evidence says it all. Good day."

Kersh left the conference room, shaking his head. "Now THAT'S
unbelievable," he said to himself, as he pressed the elevator
button. He picked up his cell phone. "Walter? We need to talk.
In private. Barb's Bistro, around seven tonight."

9:42 PM

As if there was anything to be paranoid about, Mulder and
Scully tried to go over the events of the third day of their
investigation of an auto chop shop involved in the stripping
of cars stolen from several states. "Arkansas, New York,
Florida, Georgia, Delaware... Mulder, is it really necessary
to meet in our car?"

"Well, you heard Skinner. We can't meet in each other's
motel rooms anymore. Are you finished with the reports
from New Mexico?"

"Look, if we were having sex, we could be having it in the
car for all they know."

"There's an idea!"

"I still think this is paranoia carried too far, Mulder. Besides,
I left the New Mexico folder in my room. Maybe I should just
slip inside and bring it out, along with our kinky toys."

Mulder smiled. "Don't be silly, Scully. It was my turn to bring
the toys. Isn't this stupid?"

"Yeah, it is, Mulder. It's a witch hunt. I have to admit, this
auto theft ring is the real thing. Vern Webster has quite
the inventory here."

"Scully, put the files down a minute. I know this case is
legitimate, and I also know that this is crazy. When you asked
me to help you with the in-vitro I was flattered. I must admit,
the old-fashioned way looks a lot more appetizing, but I don't
think we'd be doing anything wrong if we were in a very
deep relationship and everyone knew it."

"What if we were, Mulder? Would it ruin our partnership?"
*Omigod, I just ruined our partnership,* she thought.

"What if we were? Well, then, so what. They don't want
people jumping in and out of bed on the job. We both
know that. But we're not the types to jump in and out of beds,
and we have an excellent partnership. We're always there to
cover each other's backs and get the job done. That is what
counts. 'Nuff said. Speech over. Turn in for the night, Scully.
We're both beat."

"I guess you're right. No sense worrying about what may or
may not happen, as far as 'they' are concerned. Mulder,

"For what?" He threw a sunflower seed hull into the parking

"Almost everything."

As Scully made her way toward her room, Mulder leaned back
and thought for a good long time. He thought about how long it
took Scully to believe there was a conspiracy behind many
things that had happened to both of them. He thought about
the time he had searched for her, cried over her hospital bed
when she was dying of cancer, and all the times he had held
her after some horrific experiences: Donnie Pfaster, the man
turned wolf, the time he rescued her in the Antarctic. He thought
about all the times she had supported him, stood by him, patted
his hand, reassured him, held him and even scolded him into
not giving up on his quest for the truth. He remembered the
heartbreak Scully had gone through with the discovery and loss
of her daughter, Emily. He remembered how he cautioned her
to leave the F.B.I. and be a doctor, and he remembered her
promise that she was in for the long haul after what she had
seen under the Antarctic ice, including the departure of the large,
strange ship from the icy depths where she had been held only
minutes before. "To hell with all of them," he said to no one in
particular, as he opened the car door. He realized it was now
midnight, and carried the folders into his motel room. Hopefully
sleep would spare him from his cares.

ROOM 1400
2121 8TH. AVENUE N.
4:53 PM

Mulder and Scully wrapped up the evidence gathered on the grand
theft auto ring and chop shop that had taken them to Birmingham,

"As you can see, A.D. Rutherford, my partner and I have all the
evidence that Burridge and Flemming's Auto Repair were indeed
stripping up to 65 cars for parts and shipment overseas, and their
partners in seven states have all been recorded via wiretap and
directly by Agent Scully and myself."

Rutherford, a late-middle-aged man glanced over the labeled
boxes and file folders. "Well done, Agent Mulder. I trust we'll see
you both here again someday. We could use more agents of your

"We appreciate that," Scully replied. "I'm really more suited to
gathering medical evidence, but I think I can speak for Agent Mulder
when I say we couldn't have done this without all the help your
local agents gave us."

"Still, you've managed to nab quite a large group. You're welcome
back here any time. Well, I guess I shouldn't keep you. They
must need you more in Washington." Rutherford shook Scully's
hand, then Mulder's.

"Sometimes I wonder..." Mulder quipped.

Rutherford smiled. "Well, I can't say as I feel appreciated here
sometimes, but I believe every successful investigation
more than makes up for it."

Mulder led Scully to the door. "It's been a pleasure, Sir."

"We need to get to the airport. Thanks for everything. If it hadn't
been for you, we wouldn't have been able to get those bench
warrants so quickly. It was a pleasure serving you."

As Mulder and Scully walked to their rental car in the parking lot
beside the Birmingham Field Office, Scully thought about her
words to Rutherford, the reference that she was more suited to
gathering medical evidence. That led her to thinking about some
of their cases, so on the drive to the airport, while Mulder was
making the occasional bit of small talk, she was remembering
that their real place was with the X-Files in Washington. She
was remembering all the physical and emotional pain she and
Mulder had endured, and all the caring that went into their support
for each other. She was remembering the shutting down of the
X-Files, the transfers, the threats of more of that... why had they
been sent to Alabama? Surely a car theft ring could have been
handled just as well by the agents in Birmingham and the police
in the various other states involved. Just as they were pulling
into the airport to turn over the car and fly home, she knew there
was another reason for this assignment. "Mulder, why the hell
would they send us out here? They have the manpower, the
co-operation of all states involved. Why here? Why us?"

"Scully, I've been wondering that myself. Let's go home."

9:51 PM

Mulder looked over the aquarium and sprinkled some food onto
the surface, then turned to Scully. "Ever since we were sent
to Birmingham, I've been thinking there was something fishy. Why
would Kersh take a vacation, have Skinner assign us to a
mainstream case, and not tell us what's going on?"

Scully was sitting on the couch, thinking things over. "Well, because
maybe there's nothing to tell us, Mulder? I must admit, I've been
wondering about a lot of things lately--especially Skinner's warning
that we keep everything so... that we keep everything so above
suspicion. Then again, I shouldn't be here. Mulder, I've got to go

"Are you afraid of them, Scully? Because if you are, I can't see
why." Mulder sat beside her, putting his hand on hers. "There's
nothing they can pin on us. Nothing! He gave Scully a weak
smile, and couldn't muster anything stronger.

"No, Mulder. I'm not afraid of them. I just don't trust certain...
levels that are in power at the Bureau. They don't seem to have
justice on their minds. It's more like... "

"It's more like someone's producing a private subplot to keep
the main players from knowing what the whole play is really about.
It's time to give the puppet masters a lesson in plot outline."


"I don't know how we're going to beat them at their own game,
Scully, but I'm pretty sure our friendship is NOT a reason for censure,
dismissal or demoting us, for that matter." Mulder stood and went to
the phone.

"Who are you calling at this hour, Mulder? The Gunmen?"

"No, Skinner. Let him know we're back in DC, and then I'm taking
you back to pick up your car. I know tomorrow's a bit busy, middle of
the week, but I want to have a private talk with our old superior, and I
have a big question for him about Kersh as well."

"Mulder, don't go too far..."

"Oh, I won't, Scully. Just far enough." There was no answer on the
other end of the line. "Damn answering machine. It's Fox Mulder. Agent
Scully and I are back from Birmingham. Meet us in the office at 8:00 am.
I'd like to have a word with you." He slammed the headset onto the cradle
of the phone. "At this moment, I think both our former and present
bosses can do a great deal of good for us. I don't even know why I believe
that, but I do."

8:02 AM

When Skinner arrived at the office, he faced two very serious agents
leaning against the desk. Mulder had his arms crossed and Scully
had her hands folded.

"Agents. You wanted to see me?"

"Sir, there's something going on here, and not that it's any of my
business, but what the hell's going on upstairs that you don't want us
to know about? I mean, since it's probably about us, we'd really like
some answers."

Skinner took a deep, cleansing breath. "Agent Mulder, A.D. Kersh has
returned from vacation. I suggest you address your questions to him."

Scully approached Skinner and looked him straight in the eye. "Sir,
we'd rather hear it from you. Have we gotten too close to something
again? Because if we have, we're not the only ones. Not that we're
free to divulge any names. If anything is going down, we'd like to
know about it."

"What HAVE they come up with this time, Sir? We have profiled,
autopsied, done background checks, participated in several major
cases, and behaved ourselves as far as the X-Files are concerned.
We haven't been close enough to anything more lately, maybe that's
it. Maybe they want us to paint ourselves into a corner."

"Agents, it's nothing like that. I suggest you meet with A.D. Kersh to
address your concerns. He won't be available until noon, but I suggest
you speak to him." Skinner turned to leave but then took a couple of steps
towards Mulder. "I suggest you both busy yourselves with work, instead
of your superiors. And, remember what I warned you about the last time
we talked."

Scully smiled. "You mean about our torrid love affair?"

Mulder coughed. "I think he's in shock, Scully."

"Are you having one, Agent Scully?"

"No, but I think if we were, that wouldn't interfere with our work, and...
as long as agents don't break the law, personal lives are still, to
some extent, private, aren't they?"

"Yes. They are... under normal circumstances."

Scully turned and smiled at Mulder. "Do you believe this, Mulder?"
She then stared daggers at Skinner and walked straight toward him
until they were almost toe to toe. "You went through a divorce, Sir,
and you weren't demoted or fired for that. And don't forget, we did
prove your innocence in the murder of a call girl."

Her partner was stone-faced. "I think we'd better talk to Kersh, Scully.
I'm sure we're done here. Am I right?"

"We're done." Skinner walked out of the office slightly taken aback.

"Do you believe this, Mulder? Frankly, I'm tired of checking for bugs
and playing it cool everywhere we go and even where we live."

"Well, it's their problem if they want to take this on. We're not exactly
'torrid', are we?"

"No, Mulder. Just warm enough. We may as well check for messages
and go through the mail. I think we can keep our hands off of each
other for a few hours."

They weren't aware of it, but today their cause would be championed by
an unlikely ally. The OPR was meeting that morning.

10:00 AM

A.D. Cassidy and two other Assistant Directors took their seats in the
conference room as A.D. Kersh entered the meeting. He set his
briefcase, which was rather full, on the table and the meeting was called
to order.

"Assistant Director Kersh, I trust your vacation was relaxing."

"I'm quite refreshed. You do know that Agents Mulder and Scully have
returned from their assignment?"

The three other Assistant Directors looked at each other and
whispered inaudibly.

"Then why aren't they here?" A.D. Dennis Monahan demanded. "This
hearing concerns them, and they should be here."

Cassidy demanded an answer. "A.D. Kersh, just why aren't they

Kersh put one hand on his briefcase. "I see no reason to have those
two here right now to hear and see everything we're going to be

"Just what does that mean?" Assistant Director James Blandish angrily
shouted. "Get them up here."

Kersh folded his hands and smiled. "Let's see your evidence against them,
shall we? Remember, you have folders, audio and video recordings of a rather
sensitive nature, as you see it. Oh, and don't bother turning the recorder off
or sending the transcriptionist outside. This is a meeting of the OPR,
gentlemen, Madam. Put this on record, I, Assistant Director Alvin Kersh ask this
committee to present the evidence, for the record, on the record, and by the
rules. Agents Mulder and Scully arrived late last night from Alabama, and I'm
sure they will hear the evidence once it has been reviewed today in this room."

"Let's begin," Cassidy decided. These folders contain numerous photographs
that clearly illustrate a partnership that is not entirely professional, and they date
back almost to the very beginning of their working relationship." She passed the
photos with notes attached to each of the other three men. "As you can see,
there is a lot of... "

The doors to the room opened. "A lot of what?" Mulder demanded, with Scully
in tow. "Alvin, why didn't you tell us about this little gathering? We would have
brought the donuts."

An angry Cassidy stood. "Agent Mulder, you are out of order. However, since
you are here, you and your partner will sit and listen to this hearing."

"We wouldn't miss it for the world, Ma'am." He and Scully took the seats
nearest to the committee.

"As I was saying, there is a lot of evidence that Agents Mulder and Scully
have what is obviously more than a 'working' relationship. Mr. Kersh, now that
they are under your supervision, we had expected you would keep a better
eye on them. I see a lot of hand-holding, after hours dinners in one another's
apartments, crying at one another's bedsides, dancing, and some of the
conversations they have had during these many years... "

"Excuse me," Mulder politely pleaded. "It seems to me you have left out the
shootings, slashings, near-death states, surgeries, and key arrests we've made
over the past seven years."

"Not to mention the fact that I was dying of cancer when Agent Mulder was
photographed in my hospital room crying, holding my hand. It makes me wonder,
A.D. Cassidy, and gentlemen, just why cameras were placed in even the most
supposedly private of places. You even have a photo of my mother speaking to
Mulder. She is a private citizen!"

Kersh finally decided he had had enough. "Just so you both know, Agents, I am
not here to condemn you. During my 'vacation', I managed to do some research
on each member of this committee..."

"And you found that we have exemplary service records," A.D. Blandish

"That's true," Kersh conceded. "However," he reminded them, as he opened his
brief case and dumped several audio tapes, folders, photographs and hotel and
motel receipts, "No one is beyond suspicion if anyone in the F.B.I. has reason to
believe that a colleague is involved in questionnable activities. What I have here
is just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of my evidence is being sorted and
catalogued in my office as we speak."

Mulder, Scully and Kersh began to notice the three senior agents were showing
signs of stress.

"As you will see in this Casino receipt, A.D. Monahan has quite the gambling habit,
along with the pictures of his exploits at a brothel in Reno Nevada during the past
three decades. Then, there's A.D.Blandish's three failed marriages, no doubt caused
by his dalliances as indicated here in some recent pictures of him with his current
lady down in Violent Crimes. They're almost... pornographic. A.D. Cassidy, shall I
continue with the evidence of your wrong-doings?"

The woman remained silent, and stared at the table.

"I see. Well, it is nice to know that any evidence you have against Agents Mulder
and Scully is tame compared to that which I have presented here today. Make no
mistake, this is not my evidence, and you won't be able to go searching for it that
easily. At this time, I have nothing further to say."

"He's defending us?" Scully whispered.

"Yeah. I don't quite get it." Mulder stood up and angrily looked at the panel. "You all
think you can discredit us, despite all evidence to the contrary, but you can't. So,
whatever you have set out to do, you have not won. Yes, Agent Scully and I are
close friends, and in a lot of ways closer than most friends. I couldn't find a more
loyal colleague than Agent Scully. What I see here is a deliberate attempt to close
down the X-Files Office again, and I don't think that will happen today, will it?"

"In light of evidence refuting the accusations against Agents Fox Mulder and Dana
Scully, I hereby declare this meeting adjourned. The charges of sexual impropriety
are dropped,and we apologize for taking up your time," Cassidy announced.

Once Mulder, Scully and Kersh were outside the conference room, Mulder shook
Alvin Kersh's hand. "Thank you, Sir. I didn't expect you'd... "

"You didn't expect I'd be on your side? Agent Mulder, I am not taking sides. I just need
good agents to do a good job, and that helps me do a good job. Now, I think you have
some work to do." Kersh entered one of the elevators.

Scully stood in awe of Kersh and of Mulder. "What you said in there, Mulder, and
Kersh on our side... "

Mulder took Scully by the shoulders and looked into her eyes. "We're partners in every
sense of the word, Scully. We are free to do whatever we wish in our free time, as you
already know." He wiped a tear that had started to fall down her cheek. "It doesn't matter
what they put us against. We have won, and they know that. And we'll go on facing
any challenge they present us with." He gently kissed her lips and pulled away, still
holding onto her shoulders.

"We're partners despite everything, Mulder. You know that."

"Partners pending whatever life throws our way. It's lunch time.
I'll buy."


Disclaimer: These characters belong to Chris Carter, Ten
Thirteen Productions and Fox Studios. I am airing them
out to prevent mildew. I do not gather a cent or intend
copyright infringement