Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2000

Dealing with Disappointment

By Susan Proto (

Category: Post Ep Vignette, Angst

Rating: PG13 for some language

Spoilers: Post ep for Requiem from yet another's POV.

Disclaimers: Recognized characters belong to 1013 Productions.

Archive: MTA, Susan's Garden, and those archives that have received prior
written permission.

Thank you, Vickie, for the fast turn around… and we'll see if you're right or

Summary: Dealing with it.

Part 1/1

I wake up each morning and wonder if this will be the day a clue falls into
my lap or a piece of information finds its way onto my desk.

I go to bed each night disappointed.

I failed them both; hell, I failed myself. I don't understand how it
happened, though I relive the moment every night as I fall into the first
moments of REM sleep. One minute I see him placing the laser sticks in the
correct position, and then the next he's disappeared.

I lost him.

That's what I told Scully at the hospital; I lost him. What a stupid thing
to say, but it was the closest thing to the truth that I could think of. I
see him and then I don't. He's in my line of vision doing his job one minute
and in the next he's gone. Just gone.

I lost him.

I wake up, tired as usual from the lack of a decent night's sleep, and shower
to get ready for the day. I try to work out the kinks in my rapidly aging
joints as the water sluices over me. I try to clear my mind as if the water
could cleanse me of my negative thoughts. I want so badly to believe that
today will be the day; today will be the big break.

I want to believe.

All I end up doing is going through the motions at work. I review budgets
and okay requests for assignments and expenditures. I don't have my heart in
this any longer, but I try to cover it. It's the only place that gives me
the access to the data basis and information that might be the key to finding
him, so I tow the line.

I project the stereotypical fibbie image that the Director expects. Strong,
committed, focused; all of which describes me to the core. Of course it's
just that it describes me best when I'm working on finding my missing agent.
Any other time, I sign my name to reports that get perfunctory glances from
me and then get tossed into the out box.

They're obstacles to be pushed out of the way. They're just things that take
me away from my real objective of bringing my wayward agent home where he

I occasionally meet Scully for lunch. No, that's wrong, I meet her for lunch
once a week, like clockwork. At first, I thought it was so I could give her
my support. Shortly afterwards though, it became apparent to both of us that
it was really me who needed her support.

We dine in a different restaurant each week so as not to attract anybody's
suspicions, although we both know in reality that those who want to keep tabs
on us will have no real problem doing so.

I ask her if her friends found any new information. Sometimes she says 'yes'
and sometimes it's 'no,' but there's not been anything of any significant
help in locating him yet. I had a lot of hope that those three would be
successful in hacking their way into some database that would help us. It
wasn't so much because they were that smart or their computer skills were
that good. No, it was because I knew they would be that dedicated in their
objective to help Scully and me find him.

They're believers without doubts.

It's been months since they first began looking, but their dedication hasn't
wavered. I receive a copy of every email they send to Scully and they come
just as frequently now as they did when he first went missing.

When I first lost him.

We chat, Scully and I, about which database the Gunmen should consider
investigating next, or whether we should go back to Oregon, yet again, to try
and discover new evidence.

We rarely talk about her burgeoning belly; I ask her how she feels and she
says 'fine.' Discussion ends at this point.

She actually looks well. She's been taking care of herself; the Gunmen had
to kick her ass back in the beginning, but she came to her senses. The
pregnancy helped, of course, but having her friends remind her that she has
to take care of herself for both the baby and for Mulder was what did the

I think I did a pretty good thing in assigning Doggett to her as well. The
man is nothing like Mulder. Nothing. In fact, I was a little nervous that
they would rub each other the wrong way, and the fact is, they did. Hell,
they still do. But it's different from the way Mulder drives her crazy.
It's different, so it's okay.

Doggett reminds her she's an FBI agent, and not just the partner of an Agent
that has gone missing. She needs this. She needs to know she's more than
just Mulder's partner, though she never did before, when Mulder was here.

Neither he nor I ever considered Agent Dana Scully anything but her own
person. We both knew she was capable of handling herself in any situation,
and neither of us had a problem with letting her know this.

I think she needs that, though I don't think she ever thought she did. I
guess everyone needs to be validated; it helps to be validated by people you

Respect and love.

I offer her both, though of course not in the same way Mulder does. I mean,
I admit it. I've grown to love this woman like no other, but Mulder is in
love with her like no other. I don't think I could ever give her what Mulder
gives her. I don't think she could it receive it from anyone but him.

But Doggett, now he's a different kettle of fish. He doesn't offer Scully
the love Mulder does, of course, but he respects her, well grudgingly
respects her. When he learned he was going to be working with a pregnant
agent; he nearly blew a gasket. I can laugh now at the expression he wore
when I informed him that his new assignment: ASAC of Mulder's investigation
and that he would be working directly with Agent Scully.

He heard the rumors. He knew, though for the life of me I don't know how but
when I find the leak you can bet that person's ass will be thrown out of the
bureau so fast the earth's rotation is gonna go off kilter.

Anyway, he knew. And he just about lost it; he actually raised his voice to
me. The last person who did this was suspended for insubordination, the last
person who wasn't Mulder, that is. And just as Doggett was about to recite
his twentieth expletive and put the nail in his coffin, Scully walked into my
office. She just marched right in, without an invitation, but that's because
she knew she could do this without repercussion.

It's just the way it is, and that's all there is to it. Perhaps when Mulder
comes back home this will change, but I doubt it. He'll just probably be
right behind her that's all.

Anyway, she walked in and her demeanor shut Doggett right up. She introduced
herself, informed him that under no circumstances was she to be kept out of
the loop of information and that she would extend the same courtesy to him.
At the time I thought, 'like hell you will, Agent,' because I know she didn't
trust anyone but the Gunmen and me.

And I wasn't all that sure about me, either.

But Doggett learns fast and said he understood and they've been fine ever

Well, I think Scully trusts me. I'm still not sure about Doggett.

So, we finish our meal with some chitchat; she asks me how I'm doing with
regards to my boxing and I ask her how her mom is. We talk about the weather
and the latest movie that neither one of takes the time to see. And we
finish our lunch and we go back to the bureau.

I go back to work and check my email, hoping that I'll have a good reason to
call down to Scully's office. I don't know when I started doing that;
thinking of it as Scully's office. I'm not even sure they've put her name up
yet, though I think they did take down Mulder's nameplate off of the door
after he was missing for a month.

Anyway, there's nothing and I close the email and pick up the file that lays
atop of my in-box. I open it expecting to find the latest budget report from
each of the divisions but find something else instead.

It's a map. With a spot highlighted in yellow and coordinates marked below
it in broad tipped black magic marker. I shout out to my receptionist and
ask her if there was anyone in the office today, and she says not to her
knowledge. I ask her if she stepped away from her desk while I was out to
lunch, and she admits she did. She apologizes. I ask her if she remembers
anyone unrecognizable that was even near the office.

She's upset now; I don't mean to upset her, but I have to know if this is
something worth following up. I need to know if there's a good reason to get
Scully's hopes up. Shit, to get my hopes up. I tell her I'm not angry with
her, and that she wasn't chained to the desk. It's just that there's some
information on my desk that seems to have come out of nowhere and if I know
the source I'd know better how to proceed.

She calms down now and smiles. Suddenly her eyes light up; I'm momentarily
stunned at my realization that she resembles Agent Scully when she smiles
like that. She's really an attractive woman, but then she starts speaking
and gains my full attention again.

"She was dressed really well. I saw walk into the ladies room after I'd gone
in. I was washing my hands when she came in to touch up her make-up. She
was putting on her lipstick when she looked at me and said something like,
'It's a nice day today, isn't it?' I remember thinking how odd."

"What was odd?"

"Her accent. It was rather, I don't know how to explain it. Affected? It
almost sounded like she was faking it, but not quite. Does that make sense?"

I find myself unconsciously nodding my head.

"Also," she continues, "she seemed overdressed for the bureau, so I didn't
think she worked here, but she didn't wear a visitor's pass either."

"She was blond, wasn't she?"

She nodded and I realize immediately that Marita paid me a visit. Now the
question is what faith do I put in any information Marita leaves me? I know
this is a decision I can't make on my own. I thank my assistant and return
to my office.

I reopen the file and look at the map. Oregon. Bellefleur, Oregon. It is
the forest from which he was taken. I don't know. I can only hope.

Maybe this time I won't be disappointed.

End of 1/1

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