The Club Car Lounge
by Maureen B. Ocks

Disclaimer:  Fox Mulder, Dana Scully and all other familiar X
Files characters belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and
FOX.  No copyright infringement intended.

Archive -- Spookys and Ephemeral OK, everyone else, sure,
just tell me and keep my name with it.
Spoilers: Sixth Extinction, all things and a very passing (very,
very passing) reference to a previous story of mine called
"Office Politics".  You don't need to read that story to get
through this one.
Keywords:  No, I'll pass.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for
the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate
troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly. -

The Club Car Lounge
April 14, 2000

I didn't see much of her this week.  Monday was her day to do
a guest lecture at Quantico.  At least I hope that's why she ran
out of my place at 5am.  She needed her notes, Powerpoint
slides and her "I'm Dana Scully and you're not" business suit
and four inch heels.  None of those were at Casa de Mulder,
even if it was closer to Quantico.

Tuesday was budget meetings.  She left early -- Daniel died just
after lunch.

Wednesday was my day as instructor at Quantico.  It was a
trade off with Skinner last year -- I wanted to get Scully a better
office than my guest chair, he wanted us to show some positive
"face time" with the bureau higher ups.  If Scully would give a
general overview of forensic science in field work to the
Quantico trainees and I'd do the same with profiles, Scully
would have a nice office on the fourth floor.  

Seemed like a no-brainer to me.

Speaking of brains, Thursday had me requalifying. 
Miraculously, I'd been back to work for six months since my
"viral infection".  At least that's what it says in my personnel
file.  Skinner and Scully made damn sure that my "illness" was
not defined as neurological -- not one mention of hearing voices
and passing ESP tests.

When I proved to the FBI that not only was I sane but I could
fire my weapon properly, I returned to Hoover to find that
Scully was gone for the weekend.  A memorial service for
Daniel was being held at the National Cathedral Friday morning. 
No, she didn't want company and yes, she planned to take the
day off.

But she did want company tonight for a nightcap -- out on the
town on a Friday night.  We could almost be a normal couple. 
Well, except for my presence in the relationship.

I took a cab over -- if I'm lucky she'll take one with me to my
apartment tonight.  If I'm really lucky, I'll take one home from
her apartment Sunday afternoon.

Since I didn't see her when I arrived, I found a nice corner of
the bar with my own bowl of pretzels.                                         
Just as the bartender returns with my Sam Adams, a waiter
approaches me.  "Fox Mulder?"

I nod.

He hands me a business card.  Scully's business card to be
exact, with her doctor's scrawl on the back:  "Some investigator
you are."

I ask the waiter, who seems far more interested in the female
bartender than a quality patron like me, for directions to the
card giver.  He points down the row of booths.  God, I hope
she didn't tip him for this service.

As I walk down the bogus train car setting, I see a black leather
jacket and a pair of clunky black heels.  Sadly, they belong to a
brunette with a henna tattoo around her neck and a bad smelling
Indian cigarette.  I find Scully, with the same black leather
jacket and clunky black heels in the second to last booth.  I
wonder for a moment how she would look with that henna

"I was supposed to find you back here?"

"When I first met you I was told you could find anything."

"It's hard to live up to the legend."  I notice she's nursing a
scotch.  "How was your day?"

"I could have lived without the phone message on my machine
from Assistant Director Skinner, left at 4:20pm, warning me to
watch your back on Monday."

I shrug my shoulders.

"You are out of my sight for one day.  One day.  When you are
away from the office, I'm sure Assistant Director Skinner does
not have to leave messages about my behavior."  She is making
fun of me.  Mock anger is one of her more appealing ways of
teasing me.

"It wasn't my fault."

"It never is.  Mulder, when you were a little kid, did your report
card ever say 'works well with others'?"

"No.  The teachers were afraid of me." 

"Not surprised."

"What did Skinner say?  By the way, did I mention this is all his

"He did mention that he made a tactical error."

"No, Assistant Director Kersh made the tactical error."

"What did he want?"

"One of his agents was hand picked by a friend on the Hill to
work on a case.  The guy was getting nowhere so Kersh
contacted several other A.D.'s asking for help.  He wanted each
A.D. to bring an agent that could add something to the case."

"And Skinner brought you."

"Only after Kersh wrote on Skinner's memo that he would
prefer you and I be left out of this."

"Mulder, the last time you were excluded from a meeting, we

"I mentioned that to Skinner who assured this was pulling a
well connected idiot, I mean agent, out of the fire.  That said, I
did check the smoke detectors before I left."

"What happened?"

"Well, Skinner and I were a little late to the meeting...."

"..because you can't be thrown out if you're the last one in."  

"See, it is that kind of spot on analysis that was missing from
the meeting.  By the way, you never asked who the well
connected agent was.  You worked with him once."  I could see
her thinking and decided to toss in a hint.  "If I wasn't on such
thin ice at the time, I think I could have gotten him fired.  Or at
least transferred to background checks."

"Peyton Ritter."

"I told them at the meeting we could have used you there."  I
take a long swig of my beer.  "Several times as a matter of


"Ritter, it seems, is the godson of Senator Peyton from
Kentucky.  Even named after him."

"So how did you endear yourself to them?"

"I noticed something that any first year investigator would have

"Did any of the other investigators -- first year or other -- on
the case notice it?"

"Well no, but that's neither here nor there."

"Skinner told me he was putting you in for a commendation. 
I'm guessing they caught him."

"I made a logical suggestion and although Kersh thought it was
a monumental waste of time, he was going to prove what a
liability I was to the meeting by assigning a man to my course of

"And they caught him."

"Karma is an amazing thing."

Scully smiled a little and toasted me.  "Congratulations, Mulder. 
Another six months of stares and whispers in the cafeteria."

"Food sucks there anyway."  The waiter obviously dragged
himself away from the bartender long enough to check on us. 
Scully orders another scotch, I ask for a bowl of pretzels.  "So
now that we reviewed my day, how was yours?"

"Maggie called just before I was leaving this morning.  Her
mother made a surprise appearance at the funeral home last
night.  She reacted badly to seeing a woman Daniel was dating
five or six years ago and another one she suspected he had an
affair with after we..." she waved her hand dismissively. 
"Maggie was concerned what my presence would do."

"So she asked you not to go."

"She asked me to do the right thing.  I sat in my car until I saw
all the family arrive.  I ran in just before the service began and
sat in the back."

"I would have gone with you." 

"No, I needed to do this.  It was a nice service.  Daniel kept
teaching all these years.  There were doctors from all over the
country, all over the world really, offering condolences,
reminiscing about how they were inspired by him.  He was a
great teacher and a terrific doctor."

"Were you able to make..."  I want to say clean get away but
that was wrong.  Married teachers and doctors shouldn't be
dating on their students.  I rephrase my question, "Were you
able to avoid his ex-wife?"

"Yes, as the ceremony ended, Barbara and Maggie left through
one door.   I saw a few people from school near another and
went to say hello."

"Was that OK?"  The waiter returned with a bowl of trail mix
and Scully's scotch.    "Did you enjoy seeing your old
classmates?"  And please, I hope they were all women or if one
of them was a man, he was fat, bald, married and had like six

"Yes.  Shockingly, there was a Starbucks nearby so we all went
there for a post-mortem, so to speak."

"Is everyone still in medicine?"

"No.  Shelia Murphy went to law school right after med school
and is now the chief counsel for North Georgetown.  She knew
I was with the FBI because, well, she was made aware of my
presence after you disappeared from there last fall."

"Fear of lawsuit?"  The waiter returned with our drinks.

"Just didn't want have a class reunion while I was reading the
riot act to anyone I could get to listen."  She picked up her new
scotch.  After a small sip she said, "Tim Gibson and Pete Russo
are both practicing in the area, Arlene Roberts was the

"Moved from medicine to fortune telling."

"No.  Arlene was a house on fire in school.  She was first in our
class, brilliant.  I figured she'd be the head of pediatrics at
Hopkins or Children's in Pittsburgh by now."


"No.  Married an ophthalmologist just after graduation, had
twin boys two years later, a girl eighteen months after that.  She
lives on one of those big places a few miles from you."

"She happy?"

"I think so.   She seems to have channeled all that energy and
ambition into her family.  Her home is actually a farm house
and sounded like something Martha Stewart would envy.  The
kids were in every school activity imaginable, she baked her
own bread, made her kids' costumes for the school's Passion
Play next week and is trying to decide whether her folks'
summer home in Rehoboth Beach or renting a place of their
own for a few weeks in Cape May was a good vacation."

"What do you think of that?"

"Well, I've been to Rehoboth and liked it a lot.  I'm not even
sure where Cape May is."

"It's in Jersey and that wasn't my question."

"Well Dr. Mulder, what is your question?  And am I going to be
charged for this session?  And that time you spent not being
able to find my table shouldn't count against my fifty minutes."

"Excuse me?"  Busted.

"'What do you think of that Scully?', 'Was that OK Scully?',
'That wasn't my question Scully?'"  I have to admit she was less
cute mocking me now.  "I am really OK with this."

"It couldn't have been easy and I would have liked to have been
there for you."

"It wasn't easy, but it wasn't that hard Mulder.  And yes, you
being there would have been nice but I needed to do this."

"You've said that twice."

"Thanks for noticing, Sigmund."

"I'm not a Freudian."

"If you have a question, Dr. Mulder, ask it."

"Last weekend seemed like a major event and we haven't

"We never talk.  We're famous for our non-talks.  You and I
have volumes of things we never talk about."

I think she's playing with me.  I hope she is.  "I just...are you
happy?"  The waiter, who gives a new meaning to bad timing,
comes back to check on drinks.  I order another beer since this
is probably going to be a long night.  Scully is at least happy
with her scotch.  

"Happy with my career or just happy?"

"Either, both."

"Happy with work, yes, mostly.  I know you were disappointed
that I didn't want to look at crop circles but Mulder, even
you've said that's crap."


"Then why did you want to go?"

"We were talking about you being happy."

"Answering my question would make me happy.  Mulder, why
did you want to go?"  Part of me is shocked that it took Scully
this long to figure this out but we haven't been around each
other much this week.  

"Tell me if you are happy, with your work, with your life and
with me and I'll tell you about crop circles."

Scully is saved again by the waiter with my beer.  The waiter
wanted to know if we wanted anything else but I thought telling
him to go away for an hour was ultimately inappropriate.

"In order, I'm happy at work though I'm lost about where we
are going.  Since you got back to work last fall, we have taken
every case, we've done everything Skinner asked even if there
were good reasons not to.  We spent as much time in California
in February as we did in D.C.  I just don't understand why we're
not even taking a breath between cases anymore."

She looked at me for an answer but I still wanted her to talk,
"Your life?  You happy there?"

She took a hand full of trail mix and popped it into her mouth. 
She washed it down with about half her scotch.  "I've been
cancer free for two and one-half years, I was shot fifteen
months ago and was out of the hospital and back at work in six
weeks.  I survived an attack in your apartment, survived one in
my mine.   I can think of a half a dozen times I've been in
danger and yet, I'm still here."

"While I assume you are happy with your survival, you didn't
answer the question.  Are you happy with your life?"

"Daniel asked me if I had everything I wanted."

"Do you?"

"I told him I want the things I am supposed to want."

"Is there anything you could have..."

"Are there things I want, Mulder?  Yes.  Are they things I can
have?  I'm not sure."

I'm not quite sure what to say.  I fiddle with my beer for a
moment.  "What would you like that you can't have?"  I already
know the answers to some of these questions, most of them go
back to all she's lost with me.

She stares at the bottom of her scotch glass, "You know that

"The 'can't' can change there.  You have other options."

"And I think about that.  But in the last year and a half I almost
lost my life three times, almost lost you and I'm not up to losing
that right now."

"Where does Daniel fit in with those near losses?"

"When I met him..." she shifts a little in her seat and waved her
hand, changing direction midstream.  "You're like him, the good
part of him."

"OK, I think."

"When I was in high school and college, if I had a boyfriend,
they were smart, but I was the better student.  And that's the
way it was treated -- here's Dana the future doctor, this is Dana,
she pulled a 4.0 this semester.  It was..."

"Being put on pedestal."

"Absolutely.  And my parents, Bill was the good son, Charlie
the cocky good son, Melissa the flower child and I was the

"There are worse reputations you could have."

"Oh agreed.  But with Daniel, for the first time in my life all that
was challenged.  The assumption was that I was a smart girl,
now prove it.  Everyone before that took it as gospel fact,
Daniel made me prove myself." Scully finishes her drink, "You
make me prove myself."

"Is that a bad thing?"

Her eyes narrow.

"Not asking as Dr. Mulder, asking as myself."

"It is exhilarating, frustrating, annoying, difficult sometimes,
easy other times."

"But not bad."

"No."  She signals to the waiter for another drink.  "And I think
maybe that's one of the things I learned from this.  Another is
that maybe it isn't fate, or God, or anything, maybe I'm where I
am because this is where I want to be.  And with who I want to

I smile, since I'm hoping I'm the who.  Glad I took the cab over
after all.  "If I'm like the good parts of him, what about the

"Daniel or you?"

"Either, both."

"After we, after it ended, I found out there was someone like
me every year when he was teaching.  A bright young doctor in
training who adored the brilliant and charming Dr. Waterston as
much as he loved being adored.  You are almost the complete

"I'm all for being adored."  I joke as the waiter returns with a
fresh scotch.

She chuckles, "No, you're exactly the opposite.  You are the
brilliant and occasionally charming Fox Mulder who loves being
mocked and scorned almost as much as he loves to mock and
show scorn for his detractors.  I'm sure you were beaming in
that meeting today, not because you were smart and you were
right, but because they all were wrong."

When did she become the shrink here?  "Anything else?"

"You both are selfish but not in a cruel way.  Great men, great
minds, great contributions to be made.  Daniel was a brilliant
doctor, an inspiring teacher, there are probably a thousand
terrific doctors out there because of him.  So if he has his little
affairs with a few of his women staffers, students,
acquaintances, isn't he owed?"

"And me?"

"You're brilliant, your mind works in ways that even those who
don't like you respect.  You've found missing kids, stopped
serial killers, saved who knows how many people.  So if you are
snotty to superiors and blow off meetings, break protocol,
dump what the FBI wants to do for what you want to do, well,
you're Mulder."  She takes a long sip of her drink.  "Not a bad
thing, you're a good man, maybe after my father the best man
I've ever known, but ..."

The odd thing is I really don't disagree.  "But..."

"Actually, no but.  Wait, there is one.  When I was with Daniel I
knew on some level that it would end and probably end badly. 
And it did."


"But I don't think that way about you, about us.  When I was
worried about getting involved with you before, I thought
because if it ended, I'd miss you.  Miss being, working with


"I can't imagine not being with you, not working with you." 
Scully raises her glass in another little mock toast, "So, now
that we've reviewed my reason for being here, would you like to
explain why we were going to go to London seven days ago?"

"There was the whiff of a case in a place where I actually have
some good memories, where I had some fun.  I thought..."

"You thought it would be great to have a weekend in London
on the FBI."

"I never put in the expense report."


"It was the only way I figured I could get you to go."

"Excuse me?"  Scully is whispering now.  That's not good. 
"You could have asked."

"Scully, would you like to take a weekend trip to London?"  I
lean in.  "Be honest, your answer would have been no."

"You don't know that."

"Fine, I know next week is Easter but week after that, let's go."

"Mulder, I don't..."

"No Scully, you won't.  That's why I presented it as a case.  For
Christ's sake I think I told Max Fenig crop circles were crap,
did you honestly think I wanted to go alone?"

"I thought if I said no, you'd stay."

"All the volumes of things we don't say to each other."

"You want to go to London with me?"


"Any other plans I should know about?"

"I'd like to see the Orioles get their asses handed to them by the
Yankees in a couple of weeks.  We're going to LA next month
for that movie disaster, I want to have some fun out there."


"Take it from there.  Figure out what fate, God, karma, Skinner
or anyone else with a little juice has in store for us."

She signaled for the check with a smile.  "Sounds good to me. 
You doing anything tonight?"

"Maybe taking a cab home"

"How about taking me home?"

Lucky me.

# # #

The End


Author's Notes:

This story has been sitting on my hard drive for over a year. 
Scullyfic had a day of bringing out your half-written stories and
showing them.  I looked at this story for that but never posted it
since I finished it while I was proofreading it.  Thank you to the
person who suggested "Resurrection Day".  This one is for you
if you like it;  if you don't, it is all my fault, I'm sorry.

Some of the topics --plans, babies, Kersh, etc. -- were all
written before Mulder took his interplanetary tour, Kersh was
brought back and Carter retrofitted Scully's pregnancy into
seasons six or seven.

The Club Car Lounge is actually a bar in NY's Lower East Side. 
I saw the name (and perhaps stopped by for a beverage) and
thought it just sounded cool.  Sadly, it isn't set up like a train

Finally, a Club Car beverage for Shari,  a wonderful
woman and a joy to know.  Shari did a great job once again
following the dancing tenses and reminding me that
contractions are our friends.

And remember kids -- keywords bad, feedback good.