Alchemy, part 2 of ?

by Tempestuous Jones

TITLE: Alchemy, part 2/?

AUTHOR: Tempestuous Jones


NOTES: See part one for notes and disclaimers.

IT'S BEEN A fascinating week. Contrary to what many people think, I have not done any surveillance on this man (when have I had the time?), above and beyond what was needed to infect him with the nanocytes. Now that he has the girl's diary, it almost feels like two jobs. I know because I've been following him around. I discovered, to my frustration, that I can't open the front door of his condo. Don't know why. But I can scoot out behind him when he walks out, if I move quickly enough. So I've been following Big Daddy to work.

Tuesday he had a budget meeting that felt like it would last a hundred years. But his attention did not waver, and he did not yawn or check the time once. Christ, this guy doesn't even fidget. It's clear form his discussions that he believes the money he fights for to be sent to his departments is well spent. Including the X-Files. He is utterly serious every minute that goes by and does not so much as blink at an unsavory comment or two about the kinds of cases he's defending.

During lunch he tracks down someone named Jones in the forensic department and hands him one of the scraps from the diary. He politely asks for an analysis of the paper and the ink as soon as he can. He's told probably Monday, if they can find samples in their references to compare it to. Skinner mentions the approximate dating is late 70's, maybe `79.

Back in his office he calls "Stan" in Virginia. They do a bit of chuckling over some old joke and then make arrangements for lunch Friday. Apparently we are not going to be in the office much that day. I wish I could open the door to Kim's office and peek at the appointment book; I wanna see where we're going. Skinner's copy has a pile of folders stacked neatly on top of it.

Later in the day he calls down to Missing Persons to get any files on the Amber Lynn LaPierre case. During his lunch break, he walks down to the X-Files office and asks this Monica person for Mulder's version of the Amber Lynn case, as well as any other missing child cases Mulder may have left behind. And also if she would look and see if Mulder had an extra copy of his sister Samantha's file stashed somewhere, he'd appreciate it. The original was destroyed in an arson fire, but it was the kind of thing Mulder probably had multiple copies of. He makes up a story about an old pal at Quantico who's writing a textbook on unusual missing persons cases (she cracks a joke about there being some other kind she doesn't know about). And he said thank you.

He stays a little too late to work on some of the endless stacks of paper work that make up most of his day when he's not in a meeting. Late that day the files he requested are delivered, and he packs those into his briefcase.

On the way home, he stops at the same gym where I saw him box before. He's not the only guy in this place who's built; but he is one of the oldest, and he's in awfully good shape. He stands out. I watch those big arms and shoulders flex as he pounds on a bag for an hour. I keep watching those big arms and shoulders flex while he rinses off in the shower. I watch most of the others in the locker room ignore him, proper etiquette and all that. There's one guy who keeps shifting quick sideways glances his way. I feel myself scowl. Don't know why I should. This isn't the sort of thing I really care about. So what if Skinner gets a little action?

At home, he flips open Amber Lynn's file, the Missing Persons version, and sips on a scotch. We spend an hour reading it, me leaning on the back of the couch behind his left shoulder. Fascinating stuff. Crisp, professional, methodical investigation, resulting in an arrest. He jots down some notes, details he wants to cross reference in other reports, Mulder's version probably. He spends another hour just thumbing through the diary, occasionally re-reading parts of it. Then he looks reluctantly at the clock and forces himself to bed. And once again, he sleeps, but does not rest. And I sit at his side, watching him. I'm studying the lines on his face again.

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