Yay, I Work Here

by David S.

Title: Yay, I Work Here

Author: David S. david@hegalplace.com

Website: http://www.hegalplace.com/david/

Rating: PG-13 (Mostly bad words, the kind you use when you lock your keys in your car. Except for 'ass-fucking'. I'm not sure anyone shouts that in such a situation. But if you do that's okay, I'm not judging.)

Keywords: Humor, AU, M/K (hints of)

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Still, I hate courtrooms, don't sue me. I'm talking to you, RIAA.

Summary : The alternate universe NOBODY demanded... What if our favorite X-Files characters were younger and worked at Blockbuster? I think I sense some fic MAGIC coming on! (Special note: this is all pure cotton candy fluff. If you even recognize the characters, I'll be surprised.)

Archive: You just archive your heart out. Just ask yourself "Why the hell am I doing this? Isn't there a repeat of 'Fraiser' I could be watching?"

Dedicated to: The soulless fuckers at Blockbuster. And Charles Grodin. I raise me glass to ye.

Spoilers: The Host, Space, Patient X, Max, Piper Maru, Paper Clip, awww, I'm kidding... no spoilers.

Feedback: I await your polite and fawning responses at: nakedmanatee@yahoo.com. But I'll also settle for thinly-veiled death threats. I'm really not picky.


09:21 p.m.
September 2, 2003
Blockbuster Video
Hillcrest, San Diego, California



Mulder opened his mouth in an unattractive wince of pain and emitted a high-pitched Howard Dean bray. "Yeahhoooowww!" He put his hand over his right eye and danced around a bit. "Fuck me!"

He looked over at Scully who was stationed at the cash register across from him. She was giggling and aiming another rubber band towards his face.

"Eh-heh-hehhh," she trailed, then fired. It thwacked his ear, which made Mulder jump. He started to cuss and bob and weave, which gave him the appearance of a street rapper. A really bad one.

He pointed blindly toward the sound of the giggling. "You're so dead."

"Uh-huh." She picked up another rubber band and fitted it from finger to thumb.

"When I regain my sight," he clarified, his eye watering.

Mulder heard the clatter of someone dropping a stack of videos on his counter. He blinked his eyes and tried to focus.

"I'm rea-d-y," a blurry customer said, snottily stretching the syllables beyond the rules of the English language and good taste. Even though he couldn't see, he profiled the customer in his mind. 37. Bisexual. Frappachino-breath. Extremely large nasal passages affecting her speech patterns. Probably renting "The Hours" or "Mrs. Dalloway." Or both. Has a $2.99 late fee for "I Am Curious, Yellow." Owns three cats, all named after famous suffragettes. Lucretia, Susan...., His mind blanked out.

"I... can't... see!" Mulder explained emphatically.

"Nhhh!" the woman grunted with exasperation and cobbled her stack of videos back together. She went over to Scully's line.

"Help me! In the name of all that's holy!" he pleaded, not unsympathetically.

"He's new here," she whispered conspiratorially to the annoyed bisexual.

"I heard that!" he yelled pointing, his finger travelling east to west, unsure of exactly where she was.

"He has visions," Scully explained.

"I'm getting one now. The blood... So much blood!"


09:55 p.m.
September 3, 2003
Blockbuster Video
Hillcrest, San Diego, California


Scully leaned on the counter, thumbing disinterestedly through the pages of a copy of Rolling Stone faster than it took to register what was on any given page. Mulder was sitting on his counter tossing a bouncy-bouncy ball up to the ceiling and back.

"Hey Scully, watch this." He bounced the ball up to the ceiling and back.

She stared at him. "You bounced a ball off the ceiling, Mulder."

"No, no, watch this." He did it again. She went back to reading her magazine.

"Hey Scully. There's a guy in foreign films. He's been there for 15 minutes. You should help him."

Scully squinted her eyes towards the foreign section. She went back to reading her magazine. "Maybe later."

"Hey Scully, watch this." He bounced the ball again. This time it came a half-inch from hitting an asterisk-shaped sprinkler protruding from the ceiling.

"Um, Mulder, you almost hit the sprinkler nozzle."

He snatched the ball into his fist and turned to her, grinning. "I know! I was thisclose!"

"Don't do that," she said warily. "You could set it off."

"That's what makes it exciting, Scully."

"Skinner would freak if you set off the sprinklers, Mulder." She picked up her magazine and showed the cover to Mulder, perhaps to distract him. On the cover was a photo of a naked Britney Spears tonguing her reflection in a mirror. "Hot or not, Mulder."

He looked for a few seconds then threw the ball toward the ceiling. "Hot," he droned, sounding bored.

She reached over the side of the counter to where the other magazines were featured in a row designed for impulse purchases. She picked up a copy of Time which had a picture of Hillary Clinton. "Hot or not."

The ball came down, he caught it and tossed it back up. "Hot."

She put the Time back and grabbed a copy of Entertainment Weekly that featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Hot or not."

He smiled slyly and nodded. "Muy caliente."

The phone rang. Scully went through about five more magazines, including Christian Woman. Finally, tired of the ringing sound, Mulder answered it. "Thank you for calling Blockbuster Video, can I recommend a Gus Van Zant movie today?"

"Very funny, Mulder," Skinner growled. Mulder hit the speaker phone button and put the receiver down. He turned up the volume and went back to bouncing his ball.

"What's up, Skin-man?"

"Don't call me that," Skinner's voice intoned throughout the store. "Do you have me on speaker-phone?"

"No," Mulder said.

"Mulder, I can see you through the security cameras. In fact, I've been sitting back here in my office trying to figure out just what you and Scully are doing. Because it sure as hell doesn't look like work."

"I'm helping customers," Mulder said.

"It looks like you're playing with a ball."

"I'm helping customers."

"You're playing with a ball."

"It only looks that way sir."

"And you, Scully, you're just sitting there reading the magazines!"

"We don't have any customers, sir," she yelled from her register. "That we like," she mouthed to Mulder, then giggled quietly.

Mulder barely suppressed a laugh.

"There's a customer in foreign films. Ask him if he needs any help. One of you needs to be on the floor when there's no one in line."

"Is that a new rule, sir?" Mulder asked tossing the ball.

"New? What? That's one of the first things we went through in training!"

Mulder's eyebrows went up lazily. "Huh. That's a new one on me. Thanks for the clarification. You're a good boss."

"Shut up, Mulder." There was a click and Skinner hung up.

Scully picked up a magazine and began to thumb through it. She held up the cover. "Eh?"

Mulder looked at it. "It's Peter Jennings."

"Eh?" she repeated.

"Hot," Mulder conceded.

Scully put the magazine back and then checked her watch. "Oh, I guess I should help the guy in the foreign section."

Mulder, his eyes on the red ball going upwards held up his hand towards Scully. "Wait... wait..." The ball came down and he caught it. He turned towards the foreign section. The man grabbed a video and started to come towards them with his rental. Mulder smiled towards Scully. "The problem corrected itself," he said wisely.

He threw the ball up again and it bullseyed the sprinkler nozzle. The nozzle began to fizzle. Mulder's eyes got big and Scully started to shake her head in horror. All across the ceiling, the sprinklers kicked on and began to drench the store. Mulder grabbed his ball and ran for the exit, with Scully not far behind him.


10:13 p.m.
September 4, 2003
Blockbuster Video
Hillcrest, San Diego, California


"So, whaddya think, Scully?" Mulder held up two boxes of DVDs. "Something from Queer as Folk season 1..." He turned his head to the left emphasizing one box. "Or... Queer as Folk season 2?" He pivoted his head to the right, then back again to the left. "One? Two? One? Two?" He began to shake his hips to the techno music in his head.

"We've been through this, Mulder. Skinner doesn't want us playing anything above a PG rating in the store. Blockbuster is an internationally traded company."

"Hey, nothing like ass-fucking to generate interest in the stock. Besides, these are unrated. Just like PBS shows. Like Nova. It's just like Nova."

"We're still getting complaints from the time you put in "9 Weeks."

"Yeah, but that was understandable. We're in Hillcrest. Hello? Gayness? I sorely overestimated the bisexual community. I was reaching out, because that's what I do, I reach out to people, but they weren't ready for conspicuous amounts of Kim Basinger/Mickey Rourke breeding." He thrust the DVD boxes up in the air. "This...this is more our speed."

Scully shook her head. "I don't think the sexual orientation of these particular films is the point---"

"Oh, hey, customer on the floor, Scully. It was in training. Customer on the floor." Mulder walked away from his register and quickly pursued a kid reading the back of a DVD box in drama.

Scully surreptitiously put in "Glitter."

The kid had wavy blond hair and a kind face. His body was well-toned and fit, but he had an appealing hint of softness about him. He put back the DVD box, Beethoven, carefully, as if it was an explosive device.

"Hey," Mulder said. "You can put that back if you want. But you would have to be one soulless bastard not to love that movie."

The kid jumped a bit, not seeing Mulder sneak up on him. He looked slightly nervous. "Well, first of all, this is not in the right section. It should be in the comedy section," he said chidingly. "Secondly, I'm not really into Charles Grodin. He kind of frightens me actually."

"Yeah, I know what you mean. You could practically snow board off of his forehead. And who needs that? Well, maybe I could help you find a movie. Have you seen "Midnight Run"?

The kid unconsciously stepped back from Mulder two steps, who was invading his space. "If you want to know the truth, I'm looking for a pathetic just-broke-up-with-my-boyfriend-and-I-want-to-kill-myself kind of a film. I'm not quite there yet and I figure with the right movie, I can seal the deal."

"Well, the musicals are thattaway," Mulder advised, pointing towards a cardboard stand-up of a famous wrestler, whose face was scrunched up in an angry, orgasmic grimace. Someone had cut a piece of paper in the shape of a dialogue balloon, like in the comics, and taped it to the side of his head. It read: "Oh Yeahhh! MUSICALS!!"

"You're one to talk," the kid retorted, as the voice of Mariah Carey came through the network of video screens positioned throughout the store.

"Ugh," Mulder intoned, glaring at Scully who was feigning innocence and furiously dusting the Twizzler rack.

"Well, how about 'Pay It Forward'?" Mulder asked. "That's pretty depressing. Death by Kevin Spacey."

The kid nodded. "You're on to something, but I was hoping for a less painful death."

"Well, there's always the Ernest trilogy. You know... 'Ernest Goes to Camp,' 'Ernest Saves Christmas,' 'The Importance of Being Earnest'...

Mariah began warbling something about butterflies and Mulder winced. "I gotta go... turn that shit off!" Mulder shouted. "Good luck, my sad gay friend!" He left the kid and ran up the aisle, bumping his way past two women, holding hands. One had a ferret on her shoulder.

"Hey, do you work here?" the shorter one asked. He stopped, caught like a prisoner, which she took as a yes. "Yay, you work here. We're looking for a good horror movie."

"Yeah, what's a good horror movie?" the other one chimed.

Mulder picked up a DVD case and handed it to them. The ferret sniffed Mulder's hand. The movie was titled The Breeders. "Watch this," he said seriously. "Fuck. You. Up." He almost petted the ferret, then had a vision of the animal ripping into his hand, and decided against it.

He sprinted up to the front and began looking for the remote, which Scully promptly waved at him mockingly. Undaunted, he opened the cabinet where the DVD player was and began fumbling around. "What's the symbol for 'STOP'?" he pleaded.

Scully snorted. She knew that someday his dependence on the remote would be his undoing.

He began pushing every button he could find. Finally, the movie stopped and the DVD tray opened, spitting the disk out. Mulder grabbed it violently, glaring. His nostrils flared.

"No, Mulder, don't even think about it!" Scully said breathlessly. "You break a copy of 'Glitter' in the gay part of town, it's seven years bad luck!"

He gripped it and curled his arm towards his chest, prepared to toss it across the store like a Frisbee. "It is a far, far better thing I do..."

A guy in a leather jacket ran up to the counter. He had short, black, rebellious hair and his eyes were startlingly jaded. He was pointing a gun at Mulder. "Don't move," he said in a low rasp.

Mulder blinked. "Holy shit," he said, then exchanged looks with Scully. "They don't fuck around when it comes to Mariah," he said in wonder. "Okay, okay, I'm not going to break the movie." He began to uncurl his arm.

"I said don't move!" he blurted. Mulder froze. The guy in the leather jacket pivoted towards Scully. "You either. You don't move until I say, got it? Now, I want you both to empty your registers into a plastic sack. Hurry!"

Mulder's face relaxed. "Ohhh, you're robbing us." He looked at Scully. "He's robbing us."

"Do it!" The thief motioned with his gun towards the cash register. Mulder tapped a few keys and it opened with a ding.

"You're going to be so disappointed you didn't rob some place swankier... Like a McDonald's." Mulder threw what little cash there was into a plastic Blockbuster sack. Scully did the same with hers. He snatched the bag away from Mulder, then crossed the aisle over to Scully. She winked at him and nodded towards Mulder. "He likes you," she whispered to the man.

"What?" he said stressing the "t" sound harshly at the end.

Scully shook her head to one side, winking one eye, and talking out of the corner of her mouth. "Mulder. The guy over there. He thinks you're hot. Get his number."

"What are you guys whispering about?" Mulder asked.

"Get his number!" Scully whispered fiercely.

"Oh, now, wait a minute," the thief said, backing up. He looked at Mulder, than back at Scully. A disbelieving grin broke through. "You think I'm, I mean, you think he..."

"What the hell did you say to him Scully?" She shrugged her shoulders and smiled bemusedly.

"I just said you thought he was hot."

"Hold it," the thief said. "Let's get one thing clear. I'm not..." he pointed at Mulder. "Like you."

Mulder shrugged. "A good dancer? 'S Okay. We'll work around that."

"I'm not gay!" he shouted, tilting his head up to the ceiling.

"We can work around that," Mulder said.

He pointed his gun towards Mulder. "Hey...hey... stay away from me..."

Mulder climbed onto the counter and sat on it. He began to wave his fingers towards the thief. "It's too late... you're in Hillcrest. The gay energies are already working their voodoo. You're getting verrry hardddd..."

"Shut up!" he shouted before running out the door with a sob.

Mulder swung his legs back and forth and looked toward Scully. "Well, it worked on my last date."

"What's really sad is that with a face and body like that, he's going to have a hell of a time just getting out of the parking lot," Scully opined.

"Yeah, and I was reaching out to him. That's what I do."

"He was pretty hot."

Mulder nodded. "Si. Muy caliente."

The entrance door swung open and a leather-jacketed blur careened through, erratically, stopping only to deposit a slip of paper in Mulder's hands before disappearing again through the exit. Mulder unfolded the ball of paper. He beamed at Scully.

"Phone number?" Scully asked.

"Si," Mulder nodded and jumped up off of the counter down into the center aisle. He began to gyrate his hips. The techno music was back.

The End.



1.) Mulder tries to think of three suffragettes, but can't. He is able to recall Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony, who along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the suffragette movement. In 1848, the first women's movement meeting took place at Seneca Falls, New York. This is considered by some to be the birth of the modern day conception of feminism and women's rights. At the center of the battle lie the desire of these forward-thinking woman to secure the right to vote. It would not be easy. They wrote, toured, lectured, marched, rallied, got arrested, pushed around, spat on, and insulted. 72 years later, the 19th amendment was passed, ensuring American women the right to vote. 72 years! Most of the more famous suffragettes had passed on at that point, but to those who value democracy, an immeasurable debt is owed. I think it's interesting to think about the struggles of these women and how it reverberates in gay rights issues today. Oh, and I should note, most of what I learned about the suffragette movement, I learned from the Schoolhouse Rock song, "Sufferin' till Suffrage," which, does indeed rock.

2.)I worked at the Hillcrest, San Diego Blockbuster for a period of about six months. Hillcrest is the hip, cool, gay, trendy part of San Diego. The place has a good, laid-back vibe, and yes, people brought their pets in with them all the time.

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to David S.