Title: He'll be Back.
Author: Sonja Blue
Date: 21st of November 2000
Fandom: The X-Files
Category: Vignette
Rating: G
Status: New
Archive: Yes to Slashing Mulder & the Basement. Others please ask.
Feedback: slashingthefox@yahoo.com
Series/Sequel: no
Spoilers: yes, 'Patience'
Other websites: http://sonjablue.cjb.net
Disclaimers: Mulder and Skinner do not belong to me, they belong to Chris Carter, 1013 and 20th Century Fox :-(
Summary: Something is missing.
Notes at end.

He'll be Back
By Sonja Blue

It was late, dark and quiet in the FBI Hoover building. The only light in Assistant Director Skinner's office was the lamp on the desk and the light shining off AD Skinner's head as it was bent over expense reports. He gave a sigh, as he finished reviewing what he thought was the last one, only to discover that there was one more expense report.

On opening the slim manilla folder, his heart froze for a second at the familiar name of a Motel boldly typed in the courier font. He had stayed at that very Motel four years ago.

It was a big case, needing dozens of agents, everyone had to share a room. He had the privilege of sharing a room with Special Agent Fox Mulder. The case was an experience he would never forget, because of Fox Mulder. He saw a side of Mulder that he had only heard about second hand, the cool professional side.

Mulder was polite and sympathetic to the victim's family, even protective. Skinner recalled how Mulder took a green agent aside to remind the agent not to harass any of the victim's family. What also surprised Skinner was that Mulder was more a people person than he had first thought. Mulder was patient with the local police, understanding of the fact that they were dealing with a crime that their small town was only likely to see once in a lifetime and hopefully never again.

Even with his fellow agents, Mulder was part of the team. He shared his ideas on the crime and listened to others, even expanding on some agent's impression of the crime. Mulder grinned when they called him 'Spooky,' if there were any agents who intoned that word with a note of derision, they weren't after that case. 'Spooky' was infused with a note of awe and comradely.

Before that case most of his encounters were in his office. Were it not for reports he was receiving from other sources about Mulder, he would have been under the mistaken impression that Fox Mulder had an attitude problem. Mulder always tended to flare up in his office.

Skinner found that he could clearly picture Mulder standing in his office. Mulder's chin would be up, his nostrils flared and his cheeks flushed. His hair would have been sticking up on one side from Mulder brushing it back in frustration. The hazel eyes would have that direct intensity that would have cowed a weaker man. Mulder would then start on some lecture as to why he was right and the rest of the FBI should take their noses out of the sand.

With the image of Mulder in his head, Skinner suddenly felt like there were large bugs crawling in his stomach, stirring and doing flip flops. His chest felt like lead. Skinner thought if he only had one wish - he would wish that Special Agent Fox Mulder was in his office right now giving him a lecture on the government's duplicity and how he knew that Skinner was a part of it.

Restless now, with the feelings of futility that was having a hold of his whole physical and mental state. Skinner propelled himself out of his office and towards the lift and taking it straight down to the basement. Down a hallway, until he was standing in front of a door labelled 'Fox Mulder.' Gently, Skinner pushed the door open and then stepped into the office. He stood in the middle of the room, trying to breathe in what essence of Mulder he could sense in the dim room.

Once again, Skinner felt his heart stop for a second and his bowels clench as he realised that something was very wrong. There was something missing.

Skinner looked franticly around the office, trying to figure out what it was, picked things up, looked in the filing cabinets. It was not until he was searching through the desk draws that he discovered what it was missing. Opening the top drawer of the desk, he found resting among the various stationaries was Mulder's nameplate for his desk.

Gently Skinner removed the nameplate from the drawer and placed it on the same spot on the desk that he recalled last seeing it. Skinner then turned around, moved to the door, gave the room one last look before turning off the light and then stepping out of the office and firmly closing the door. As he made his way towards the lift, Skinner added getting maintenance to put a new lock on the door and giving Skinner the only key to his mental list of things to do the next day.

The End.

Notes: I've not yet seen any of the season 8 episodes, but I have heard a lot about them. After hearing the latest comments on 'Patience' I found myself compelled to write this. Big Thanks to Janet who assured me that it fits the episode.

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