Distractions 3/4

Distractions
Co-authored with Ra Enright
Written October 1995
Rated PG
Synopsis: Mulder falls for an agent-in-training, unaware of her true identity.

Disclaimer: The characters you recognize belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Television. No infringement is intended.


It had been way too long since he’d done that, Mulder decided, looking into Angela’s slightly surprised blue eyes. WAY too long.

But the surprise in her eyes startled him, and he broke it off, faster than he would have liked. He stood there, arms at his sides, unsure what to do.  Oh, shit. . .

But then she smiled, and he relaxed a little. She squeezed his hand.

“Mulder. . . Fox. . .”

“I. . . ” He stammered. “Not Fox.”  Oh, perfect, idiot. Mr. Suave returns.

“I’m sorry. . .” she apologized.

“No, I am.” He looked down at her. “That was inappropriate of me.”

“Was it?” She grinned suddenly. “Then it would be pretty inappropriate to do this, wouldn’t it?” She reached up and pulled his head down to her level, kissing him again.

And once again, the whole thing flew out of his head. Scully, the Bureau, regulations, the fact that he was standing in the middle of a dance floor in a crowded restaurant. . . Just blue eyes and sensations he thought he’d been able to control years ago.

This time she broke the contact, and he smiled at her. “Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve done that?”

“You can’t be that old. . . ”

He laughed. It felt good. “Too long, Angela. And call me old again and I’ll leave you on the dance floor.”

“Done deal.” She grabbed his hand. “Let’s go.”

***

He started to pull the car out onto the street towards his house, but she stopped him. “My brother’s out of town. Let’s go there.”

He nodded and turned the car around. God, what was he doing?

Oh, shut up, he told himself.  I have the right to date who I please.

She’s your student!!

Only for a little while longer.  His shoulder was almost healed, after all.  What harm can it do?

A whole lot if anyone finds out.

Nobody will.

Yeah right, playboy. Nobody’s seen you, nobody can read you. Are we forgetting this person you know called Dana Scully?

She wouldn’t tell anyone.

Can you be sure nobody else knows?

SHUT UP! he yelled mentally. The little scolding voice quieted.

He’d seen her house the last time he dropped her off; it was fairly large, one story, nice enough on the outside. Probably beat his cave of an apartment.

She unlocked the door and suddenly he was sure it beat his apartment. The door opened on a nice looking living room with a huge stereo and a hall leading into a kitchen. She dropped the keys on a table inside the door, sliding them down so they purposefully whacked a large flowerpot. When he gave her a questioning look, she laughed. “It’s Alex’s. I named it Mrs. X.”

“Why?”

“I think some girl gave it to him. Seemed like a good idea at the time, until I get to meet her. And until then. . . ” she banged the keys against it, “. . . I like to scratch it up. Call it little sister’s revenge for all the Barbie dolls he decapitated when I was nine.” She dropped the keys and walked into the kitchen. “Want something to drink?”

Yeah, a good stiff Scotch.  “Coffee sounds good.”

“I thought it might.” She picked up two mugs and led the way into the living room, sitting on the couch. He followed suit, watching her move admiringly.

“Nice house.” He took the cup of coffee gratefully.

“Alex bought it. In case you hadn’t noticed, he’s a bit more financially independent than I am.” She grinned. “I don’t even pay him rent. Everytime I bring it up he just mutters about it not being safe out there and protecting me, and changes the subject. It’s kind of weird. I think maybe being a lawyer’s made him a little paranoid,” she said, remembering that’s what she’d said he was earlier.

“He work for the DA’s office? I can understand it.” Mulder looked around, spotting a family portrait. “Is that him?”

“Umm, no, that’s my ex-boyfriend.” She shivered for a moment. “I’d take it down, but Alex likes to make fun of it. We had a. . . falling out, and Alex took some drastic measures with him.” She recalled hearing about it; two broken arms and a fractured collarbone. Alex took family ties seriously.

“I could imagine.” Mulder put his arm around her. “I can see why he wants to protect you, Angela. . . it’s a big world. . . ”

“Oh is it, Agent Mulder?” She looked amused. “Maybe I should protect myself from you.”

“Never,” he murmured against her lips.

***

Mulder wasn’t sure when he fell asleep. He didn’t remember falling asleep. But he knew he had to have . . . the night before was too tiring.  But it was fun, he reminded himself with a grin.

He still wasn’t absolutely sure that the night before had been real. He’d dreamed it too many times. But the way his body tingled . . . it had to have been real.

And sure enough, when Angela awoke at his side, he knew he wasn’t dreaming.

“Morning, sleepy head,” he kidded, kissing her forehead.

She grinned broadly. “Hi. It’s Saturday, right?”

“I think so.”

“Good. I don’t feel like going to school today anyway.”

“Me neither.”

“I wish I could spend the whole day with you,” she said gently, running long, red nails along his bare flesh, making him shudder with pleasure.

“Me, too.”  But I will have to leave, he thought grumpily.  Scully is expecting me. I hope her woman’s intuition is out of whack today. I don’t need her to know about this!

“So, Agent Mulder, tell me . . . what do we do now?”

He raised an eyebrow. “This.” He covered her mouth with his own.

An image appeared in his head, one of a woman with flaming red hair and soft blue eyes, gazing at him with a questioning look. He was so startled that he pulled away almost instantly.  What the hell?

“What?” Angela laughed. “Do I play too rough with you?”

He quickly came up with an answer. “Actually, I was hoping I wasn’t too rough on you.  We federal agents tend to be at times.”

“I understand completely. Here, let me make us some coffee.” She crawled out of bed, letting him take in her figure several times over. And, pleasingly enough, he did. “Don’t move.”

“Oh, no, I’m not going anywhere.” He smiled as she strutted into the kitchen without a stitch of clothing.  Now why did I see Scully? Is this a sign? Does she know? Wait, how can she know? She hasn’t seen me yet.  He sighed.  Life should’ve come with an instruction manual.  He looked over at Angela again, thinking of all the new things he had felt and learned the night before, and shook his head.  Or not.  “Need any help?”

She smiled. “No, unless you want to help me.”

“Not in the kitchen. I had a different place in mind . . . ”

“Like the bathroom? Shower, to be exact?”

“That sounds like a great idea. Let’s go.”

She giggled. “Okay, let me grab a towel.”

Getting out of bed, he took her hand. “Don’t you dare.”

***

The morning couldn’t have been better. Mulder and Angela drove to a little coffee shop a few blocks down for breakfast. They ate warm, buttery croissants, shared a steaming pot of decaf, and gazed at each other.

Angela had forgotten what it was like to be in love. She had been with Jim for a while, but she was so young, she didn’t remember it being this wonderful. And then when they broke up, Alex went on the rampage. She was surprised Jim came out of it alive.  I hope Lex doesn’t find out that I’m this intimate with Mulder. He’s so overprotective!  She hadn’t heard from Jim since Alex took care of it.

Mulder felt refreshed.  Coast really lived up to its claim, he snickered.  Sure opened my eyes. Although I wouldn’t be so sure it was the soap . . .  He wished the morning would never end. Colors seemed brighter, hell he seemed brighter, cheerier.  I’ve got to have sex more often. He was sure that life couldn’t get any better.

That was when Angela leaned across the table and kissed him tenderly, leaving a buttery flavor on his lips. He made a soft sigh of contentment. “You’re gorgeous.”

She smiled, her crayola blue eyes making him shiver. “Thank you.” She stood up, bending down by his ear. “You were great last night. Let’s do it again sometime, shall we?”

“Of course,” he responded a bit too eagerly.

She giggled. “I’m going to do some shopping around here. I’ll talk to you later, okay?”

“Sure.” He planted a kiss on her forehead. “Bye.”

She stepped out into the sunshine and stretched. She, too, was sure that life couldn’t improve by much.

***

Okay, life couldn’t get better, but it could get worse.

Mulder stood at Scully’s apartment door, trying to wipe the grin off his face. He was in such good spirits that he felt a blush creep up from nowhere.  God, Mulder, you’re acting like a little boy who just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

He knocked on the door, chuckling slightly. Scully opened it and saw him standing there, his face glowing and his cheeks rosy. And then she knew. Her chin dropped to the floor and was beginning to get rugburns at the thought. “Mulder!” she screeched, shocked by her outburst. “You didn’t.”

“What?” He looked up at her and began to laugh.

She scoffed. “You–” With a shudder, she slammed the door shut.

Ooookay. Deep breath, Dana. No, don’t reach for the gun. That would be too easy for that. . . that. . . infuriating man. No, he was going to die slowly.

Mulder pounded on the other side of the door. “Scully? Are you okay? Come on, my breath isn’t that bad–”

“Cradle-robber.”

“Pardon?”

“You did, didn’t you?”

“Steal a candy bar when I was six? You caught me, Scully. Call the cops,” he joked.

She opened the door. “You. Slept. With. Cadet Kent. Didn’t. You?”

Mulder leaned his forehead against the doorframe. “What, are you psychic all of a sudden? Am I wearing her sweatshirt?”

Scully, slightly hysterical, put a hand over her mouth. He looked down.

He was wearing Angela Kent’s sweatshirt. The oversized Quantico grey one, with the ‘K’ sewn onto the arm. Not good, Fox, not good at all. But the grin didn’t drop off his face.

“Mulder. . . she’s half your age. . .”

“She’s not! She’s twenty-two.”

“Aha! So you admit you slept with her!”

Too late to deny it–What was it with her? “You should’ve become a lawyer, Scully. Okay, okay, I admit it. What’s so–”

“She’s your student!” Scully’s voice went up an octave. “I hate to ruin that perfect morning-after feeling, but if this gets out at the bureau you head is on a silver platter on Skinner’s desk and you don’t even want to know where the rest of you is going!!”

“Look, what I do on my own time is my business, and whether that includes dating a woman I find attractive is entirely up to me, thank you,” he responded, angry. What was her problem?

“Except the woman you find attractive happens to be your student, Mulder, which throws a whole new light on it.”

“So?”

She sighed. “You can’t be as stupid as that, Mulder, or you’d have died a long time ago. There are regulations against this–”

“And since when have I adhered to regulations?” he demanded, half-jokingly.

You wouldn’t disobey them for me, would you? Cold Mulder, never mind that I’m supposed to be the one who follows the rules . . .  Scully opened her mouth to voice her thoughts out loud, but then thought better of it. Mulder continued.

“This Wednesday is my last day at Quantico and then I’m back on the X-Files. There is no rule against agents in separate sections being involved with each other, and as of Wednesday–”

“As of Wednesday, you are assigned to a separate section from hers. Brilliant reasoning, Mulder. But the point is that a lot can happen between now and then, and if you two break up she could bring this up against you in court sometime in the future. I know,” she held up her hand as he opened his mouth to protest, “I know that you don’t think she’d do that, but there’s the possibility. And there’s also the possibility that if They find out, They will use this to Their advantage.” She didn’t need to say who They were.

“Who’s sounding paranoid now, Scully?” he asked. “For once in my life I have some semblance of normalcy in the form of an actual girlfriend.” He was almost pleading. “Try to understand it from my point of view.”

“I am, Mulder, I’m just trying to clear a few clouds from your brain at the same time.” She softened. It really wasn’t fair to him. “You aren’t seeing things clearly.”

“Have I ever seen things clearly?” This time it was his old humor, the kind that kept the world at a distance.

She sighed. “No, Mulder, and I doubt you ever will.”

She stood aside to let him in. He turned. “Just tell me one thing–how did you know? You couldn’t have seen the shirt in that brief a time.”

She smiled one of those little Mona Lisa smiles that meant she knew something he didn’t and she wasn’t telling.

“A woman senses these things.”

***

Scully sighed, stretching her arms above her head. Casework was always puzzling. She was glad she was sharing the load with Mulder, even though he was still working at Quantico.

But not for long, she thought happily.  He’s almost healed, and then he can come back to Washington. And leave Angela.  She frowned. A tiny pang of jealousy formed in the pit of her stomach. She liked Angela, but then she didn’t; probably because she kept Mulder from her. But he’s here, she reminded herself.

Only because you asked him to come, her conscious added.

Yeah, but he could’ve refused.

He probably would have had he known he was going to sleep with her.

It’s not fair.

Never fair.

Why does it always happen to me?

Because you fall for the wrong men.

She jumped at her own conclusion, spilling her cup of coffee all over the papers on the kitchen table. “Dammit,” she swore, hurrying to the sink to grab a washcloth. Mulder pulled some paper towels off the rack and dabbed at the stained casework.

She returned with a damp cloth and wiped it up. “I’m sorry,” she told him, her hands shaking as she cleaned off the table.

He glanced at her and noted her expression–scared. “You okay, Scully?”

She looked up at him, his face full of concern. She sniffed. “Yeah. I just . . . have a mess to clean up.” She continued with the task, filled with the grim knowledge that Mulder didn’t believe her.

***

Krycek stepped inside his house. “Angel?”

She stepped out of the bedroom. “So where were you?”

“In Atlanta.” He looked her up and down. “Why aren’t you wearing your Quantico shirt? Hardly a day goes by when you don’t wear it.” Instead she was wearing a flower-print sundress.

She shrugged. “I can’t find it.”

“Oh. Were you okay by yourself?”

She scoffed, folding her arms across her chest. “Lex, I’m twenty-two. I know how to take care of myself.”

He frowned anyway. “Okay. Did you leave any leftovers? I’m starved.”

“Mmm . . . check the fridge. I’m going to look for my shirt.” She stepped into the bathroom and closed the door.

He chuckled softly. His little sister was quite the character. He opened the refrigerator and grabbed a Lunchable and a beer. He passed Angela’s room on the way to his own and grinned. It looked like a tornado had hit it.  She can’t clean her room, but she can take care of herself, he mused sarcastically, stepping inside and around heaps of clothes.  No wonder she can’t find her sweatshirt; from the looks of it, she can’t find much of anything.

He was about to leave again when he spotted a red sweatshirt on her bed. He figured it was her Quantico shirt–She has a terrible time with the laundry–so he picked it up and studied it. Redskins? Angela hates the Redskins.  “Angel?” he called.

She came to him. “Yeah, Lex? What are you doing in my–”

“Who’s is this?” he demanded, holding up the sweatshirt.

She frowned at it and realized the shirt switcharoo she must’ve pulled with Mulder this morning. “Oh! So that’s where it went.” She grabbed the shirt from him. “This is Mulder’s.” She obviously didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, but her brother did. He grabbed her wrist. “Lex, what are you doing? Lex!”

He let go when he heard her whimper in pain. Then he hugged her. “Oh, Angel, there’s some stuff about Mulder that you might not want to know.”

She frowned at him. “What is it?”

“Mulder is . . . oh, Angel, I don’t know how to say this.”

“What?” she asked harshly, dragging him into the living room and pushing him into a chair. “Tell me.”

“He’s sleeping with his partner.”

What!

“They’ve been having an affair outside of the bureau for a few months now. My best guess is that he’s tired of her so he’s out with a new girl.” He was a good liar, even when it hurt to lie.

“No. No, you can’t be serious! Lex!”

“I’m serious, Angel. And he’s gets these mood swings . . . one day, Scully came to work with a black eye and multiple contusions.” He leaned closer to her face. “He could’ve killed her.”

“How do you know this?”

“Because . . . because I was her lawyer in their domestic violence case.”

She covered her mouth with her hands, trying to hide her tears from her brother but failing miserably. She began to cry. “I can’t believe it,” she hiccuped. “He was so nice to me, Alex. So nice . . . ”

“It’s okay, Angel.” He put his arms around her. “I’ll keep him away from you. Nobody’s going to hurt my baby sister.”

***

Mulder left Scully’s, more confused than ever. After she had spilled the coffee all over, work had ceased, and the two of them settled down to watch the news. He had tried to squeeze her arm, but she shied away from him.  Maybe she’s still a little upset that I had a lover and she doesn’t. If our roles were reversed, I’d be jealous. But this is Scully, and Scully doesn’t get jealous.  He was still concerned with the way she had acted over the spilled coffee. ‘Don’t cry over spilled milk’ came to mind. Yet he wondered why she had been shaking.

When he entered his apartment, his telephone was ringing. “I’m coming,” he told it impatiently. “Mulder.”

“Hi.” It was Angela, but she sounded . . . different.

“Hi,” he replied, surprised. “Oh, by the way, I have your sweatshirt.”

“I thought you might. Mulder?”

“Yes?”

“What’s your relationship with your partner?”

He frowned. “Relationship? She’s my best friend. Why?”

“Have you ever wanted more?”

“Huh?”

“Have you ever been romantic with her?”

“Angie, I . . . I’m a bit confused. Why bring this up?”

Suddenly, she turned vicious. “Why, when I asked you, did you lie about your past with Agent Scully?”

“I never lied.”

“Then how come I just found out you were sleeping with her?”

He was shocked. “What?”

“You told me that you weren’t involved with her.”

“Okay, okay,” he said, deciding that some agent was spreading rumors again. “Who told you this?”

“My brother.” She began to sob.

Not an agent, he winced. “Where did he hear it?”

“He was the lawyer in your domestic violence suit. You were sued for abusing Dana Scully.”

“Angie, dear, what–”

“Don’t call me that!”

“Look, Angela, I’m coming over and–” He wasn’t sure if she had heard him because the next sound he heard was the dial tone.

With a confused sigh, he turned around and left again, heading for her house to figure out what was going on.

***

Angela left, too, but she was not going to see Mulder. She was on her way to Scully’s apartment. Her driving was reckless, and she found it difficult to see the road through her tears. She wasn’t quite sure why she was going to Scully’s since she was the one sleeping with Mulder. But maybe the woman could shed some light on the situation.

***

Scully and Queequeg were eating dinner when there was a frantic knocking on the door. Queequeg began to yip, and Scully pushed him away as she answered it. “Angela?” She frowned at her tear-stained face. “What’s wrong?”

“I heard about Mulder. I’m so sorry.”

The first thing in Scully’s mind was that he was dead. She put on a professional stance. “Angela, what happened?”

“You must still be in love with him. Your affair would still be going on if I hadn’t shown up. You must hate me.”

“I don’t hate you.” She figured that the girl must’ve heard the rumors. “Angela, whatever you may have heard about Mulder and me . . . don’t believe everything you hear. None of it’s true. I’m sure that people have told you that what he and I do in the basement is something other than the X-Files–”

“That isn’t what I’m talking about,” she said, annoyed.

“Then what’s this about an affair . . . ?”

She frowned. “You weren’t sleeping with Mulder?”

“No.”

“He’s not abusive?”

The suggestion itself was a shock to the system. “Never. Angela, Mulder is the most gentle, kind, and loving man I’ve ever met. If the two of you are having problems starting your relationship, I can help you out. Mulder and I have never explored anything beyond the realms of friendship, contrary to popular belief.” The look on Angela’s face made Scully wonder just what the girl had heard. “What’s going on?”

She sighed heavily. “Oh, no. It’s happening again.”

“What’s happening?”

“Lex is pissed.” She smiled slightly. “The last time I started dating a guy, he did one wrong thing, and Alex . . . oh, God, I have to call Mulder.”

“No, wait,” Scully interrupted, grabbing her by the shoulders. “Tell me about your brother. What did he say to you?”

Now even Angela was confused. “Lex told me that you and Mulder were sleeping together, and that he abused you. Lex said he was your lawyer in a domestic violence trial. It’s not true?”

“No, it’s not.”

Angela made an odd face, and Scully raised an eyebrow. She’d seen that expression before . . .

“What did Alex do to this guy?”

She swallowed. “He . . . he broke both of his arms and fractured his collarbone.”

“Is he strong?”

“Well . . . it depends on how you look at it. Agent Scully?”

“What is it?”

“When I called Mulder, the last thing I heard him say was that he was coming over. I don’t know where Alex is . . . I’m afraid something might happen to him. Alex knows how to use a gun. He has one, although I don’t remember him getting it.”

“Do you think he’d hurt Mulder?”

“Yeah . . . he seems to already have a grudge against him, although they’ve never met . . . it must be that I’m dating him.”

With that, Scully knew. She finally realized where she had seen the likeness of Angela before. “Angela . . . what’s your brother’s last name?”

She frowned apprehensively but answered without hesitation. “Krycek . . . ”

End of Part 3

“The mere apprehension of a coming evil has put many into a situation of the utmost danger.”
–Lucan

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