Date: Monday, December 02, 2002 12:21 AMTitle: Lying Effectively Author: Kashmir (Kashmir_2u@yahoo.com) Rating: PG-13ish Pairing: M/K Implied Notes: This takes place before the thing that happened in "Existence" that will not be mentioned here, and after the episode "Monday". I also make reference to my favorite horror movie. Written for the tenth X-Files Lyric Wheel. Thanks to Finn for the swell quote. Special Beta thanks to Beth and Syrenslure. Archive: Yes Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the television program "The X Files" are the creations and property of Chris Carter, Fox Broadcasting, and Ten-Thirteen Productions.
The first way to lie artistically is to tell the truth--but not all of it. The second way involves telling the truth, too, but is harder: Tell the exact truth and maybe all of it . . but to tell it so unconvincingly that your listener is sure you are lying. -- Time Enough for Love - Robert Heinlein
Scully was checking her lipstick in the rearview mirror, wondering what she had been thinking when she bought this particular shade. Practically fuchsia. And why the hell did she have it in her purse in the first place? Along with the four other lipsticks she had found, half of a roll of dusty Certs, a ticket stub from a movie she had seen six months ago, and, of all things, a Scooby Doo Band-Aid. She had no idea where that had came from. The glove compartment was even less interesting, although she had plotted her way alphabetically through Montana. That had been fun.
And Mulder, who had said he would be "right back", had now been gone for, she checked her watch for the 800th time, 37 minutes. She should just go up there and see what was taking him so long. He was acting slightly... odd. Not that it was unusual at all for her partner. Still...
They had been on their way, following up on a tip - then a very brief phone call had Mulder driving like a maniac back to his apartment, saying he had to get something, but he would be "right back". Someone should explain to him exactly what "right back" meant. Didn't mean 37 and a half minutes; that's for sure.
Maybe it was one of his sources. That would explain the twitchy behavior. Still, sure was taking a long time. Wouldn't hurt to check...
She was in the process of wiping off her lipstick when she saw a blur in the mirror.
Mulder yanked the driver's side door open with considerable force, jumped in, and all but hung himself attempting to fasten the seat belt.
"Okay! Ready to go? I'm ready to go! Let's go!"
"No, Mulder, I think I'd rather sit here for another half-an-hour," she grumbled. "It's fun. I still have maps left."
He slouched in his seat as he pulled out into traffic, looking suitably ashamed.
"What was the holdup? You said you were going to be right back. And who was that on the phone anyway?"
"Oh. Humane Society. They were coming to seize my fish. Seems there have been reports of mistreatment. Bastards were trying to break up our happy home."
Scully shot him a venomous glare.
"Actually, that was my landlord. My waterbed sprung another leak," he shrugged. "Gonna have to get rid of that dinosaur, although it's so cozy on those cold winter nights. I put down a few pots and pans. Should be fine till we get back."
"And that took 37 minutes."
"Well, I don't have a lot of pots and pans. I had to ask around. And you know how well I get along with the rest of my neighbors."
She was silent for a moment, looking at all the shops going by. Mulder sighed, relieved that the topic was closed for further discussion.
"Was it a source? Were you meeting with a source? Because I really should be in on those meetings. Surely there isn't anything they tell you that they can't tell me..."
"No, it wasn't a source," he quickly cut her off. "And don't call me Shirley."
Scully rolled her eyes. "Geeze, Mulder, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were meeting with your crack dealer."
"Seriously, what were you doing?"
"Mopping up several gallons of water. That's what I was doing."
"Come on! You can tell me. I've missed lunch to follow up on this tip, and then you make me sit in the car and wait. You owe me the truth."
Mulder had a bad feeling about where this line of questioning was going. He should have his bags packed and ready to board the Guilt Trip Express. What the hell. He'd been wanting to get this off his chest for a while now. No time like the present.
"Fine, Scully. You really want to know what I was doing?"
"Isn't that what I've been asking?"
He paused. She wasn't sure if it was for dramatic effect or he was just stalling for time so he could put together yet another line of bull for her perusal.
"It's like this; I had lent something to someone, and they wanted to return it. That's it."
"It took 37 minutes for someone to return something they had borrowed?" Scully's forehead furrowed. "Was it a big thing? Heavy thing?"
"Nope. Not big or heavy. If you really must know, it was an article of clothing. A personal article of clothing."
"A personal article of clothing? How personal are we talking?"
Mulder mumbled something she couldn't understand.
"Didn't quite get that."
He cleared his throat. "Underwear. It was underwear. Happy now?"
"Getting there." She smirked. "So, you've been lending your dates undergarments? Aren't they a little big?"
"Well, he's almost the same size I am, so..."
"Wait a minute. `He's' almost the same size?" Scully sat for a moment. "He? Well, aren't you just full of surprises. I had no idea. Well, actually that's not true..."
"What? Not even this shocks you?" He gave her a sideways glance, trying to judge her true reaction. "I must be losing my touch." Mulder stopped for a moment, seeming to deliberate with himself. He grinned at her. "I bet I could still shock you."
She was unimpressed. "Give me your best shot, Spooky."
"The person borrowing my underwear is none other than Alex Krycek."
Scully's eyes widened - then she snorted. "Yeah, good one. Almost had me. Consider your touch firmly intact. Krycek. Right." Mulder and his famous morbid sense of humor. This almost topped the story about his date with a "real" vampire.
"It's the truth. Alex Krycek. We've been exclusive for almost a year now."
"Uh huh, you and Krycek. Whatever."
"You and back-stabbing, lying, traitor Alex Krycek."
"That's the guy."
"Gee, Mulder, I don't know when I gave you the impression I was gullible." She sat for a moment, wondering how she was going to get what actually happened out of him. "Besides. He's way out of your league."
"Wha?" He smiled. He couldn't believe he was actually discussing Alex with Scully. This was just too good. "He is so in my league. In fact we play for the same team. We take turns pitching and catching." He gave her a wink.
"Bleah! Spare me the gory details of your so-called love affair, would you?"
"You don't believe me, Scully? I'm hurt. Deeply wounded. I may cry. Besides, it's his fault the waterbed is leaking in the first place. He had decided he didn't want to give the underwear back after all, and a struggle commenced. They're my favorite pair." Mulder pouted.
"Oh, yes, I completely and totally believe you and Krycek are desperately in love, to the point of wearing each other's underwear. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see you two walking down the isle someday soon."
"Really? You really think he'd say yes?" He got a dreamy look in his eyes.
This was almost too much, she thought. What the hell is he hiding? Mulder could spin a fine tale when he had good enough reason, but this - he was really selling it. She wished she had something to throw. Where were those Certs...
He continued, lost in his own thoughts and unaware of the impending attack. "It's funny you should say that. I've been thinking of asking for some kind of...um... commitment or something. I just don't know how he would take it. I mean, I love him, I think he loves... no, I know he loves me, but..."
He stopped when he heard Scully viciously rummaging through her purse, muttering something under her breath. She looked up at him, noticing the silence. He gave her his best earnest smile.
"Feel better now, Mulder?"
"Actually, yes. Yes I do. So, you want to hear how I managed to get my underwear back?"
"No!" She decided she couldn't care less what he had been doing earlier. As long as it wasn't Krycek. She had a sudden desire to completely derail that train of thought. "Isn't this the turn?"
"Crap!" Mulder swerved into the turn lane at the last minute, severely pissing off the semi behind them. "Thanks."
The medical supply warehouse was looming in the immediate distance. Time to end this particular discussion. "You sure you have enough pots and pans. We could be here awhile if we don't find the canisters right away."
Pots and pans? Pots and pans? "Pardon?"
"For the leak. Do you think you have enough pots and pans to hold it till we get back? The entrance is on the right, just park here."
"Oh! Yes, the leak in the waterbed that my landlord was calling me about. Yes, I think everything should be fine." He stopped the car and pocketed the keys. Well, he had tried. Can't say he didn't try.
"Gah. Looks like a set from a horror movie."
"You said it. Well, maybe it's cheerier inside. Let's go find this Frank guy, see if he's still interested in talking to us." Mulder's cell phone chirped.
She gave him a wry look. "Probably your landlord again. You take that, I'll go see if I can find Frank." She opened the door, shivering as she took in the massive building. Oh, well, she thought. Something to take her mind off Mulder's recent tall tale.
Mulder watched her go inside before unfolding the phone. "Mulder."
"Hi. So, how late were you?"
"Late enough. Don't worry, Scully was fine with it."
"Really? What did you tell her?"
"The truth. All of it."
"You told her everything? About us? I don't believe it."
Mulder wondered when he had managed to ruin his credibility. With everyone. "Really, everything. Absolutely everything."
"And she didn't shoot you? Impressive, I must say."
"Well, I was driving at the time."
"That explains it. Oh, I patched up the waterbed. Good as new. Until next time anyway."
"Thanks. Look, I don't want to leave Scully hanging for the second time today, and those canisters aren't going to find themselves. What did you want, Alex?"
"Well... I need to borrow some socks..."
- end -
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