Title: Winter of Discontent
Author: Teanna
Written: November 2001
Website: http://gatefiction.com/teanna
Rating: PG-13
Classification: V
Disclaimer: Chris Carter, 1013, Fox, bla bla

Summary: You could call it her winter of discontent Note: Set early in season 8, after "Roadrunner" definitively.

This one is for Karen.

All things being equal, you could, you could if you wanted to, if you wanted to, you could call it her winter of discontent.

"Why, why aren't you drinking?"

He's asked it before, he's asked this question several times tonight, and she only puts up with it because she's pretty sure, yes that must be it; she's pretty darned sure John Doggett thinks he's breaking all his precious codes when he's drinking like this.

They are, in _his_ mind anyway, working.

Scully's not a drinker, Scully's not a drinker _per se_, even, but if it wasn't for her baby, she could have had a drink now, and not felt guilty about it. She turns her glass of water, spins it so it can catch the reflections of the lights in the bar. A few drops of water falls out of the glass, lands on the counter. She looks at the pattern, it's not a pattern, and she's queasy.

It's Mulder's place, this; a long time ago Mulder introduced her to Arnie Kwerts, only Mulder would know a guy named Arnie Kwerts of course, and she's only ever been here with Mulder.

Someone claims the stool on her right; Doggett has the left one, and he's having scotch on the rocks and looks guilty about it. She turns, it could be Kwerts, but it's Santa fucking Claus. Beard and all.

"He's not gonna show," she turns to Doggett, "we should -" but Doggett's not listening, he's looking at Santa. Like, really looking.

So Scully looks down at her hands, her nervous hands touching her glass, the bowl of peanuts, the napkin; just touching and moving. The drops of water are still on the counter - she puts her finger in it and stirs, no more drops, just a puddle now.

"He's not gonna show," she says again, but Doggett has made up his mind and is leaning past her, close but not touching, and he says:

"It's only October, you know," to Santa.

Doggett is telling her about the benefits of drinking, but she might have misheard that; Scully knows Kwerts is a no - show, and she wants to finish this and go home. Santa is playing the counter like a piano; his fingers move in a pattern, some unknown scale he's playing, or maybe it's a Bach concerto and she'll never know.

Her finger is tracing in the water - M - and she never means to write it, but - U - and it's just not the same, is it? - L - she's so alone, there's a few people but no - D -

"Mold? Like, we're all forced into different molds?"

It's Santa, reading over her shoulder, and he doesn't matter; but Doggett would know the meaning and so Scully blots it out, she whispers the - ER - in her mind, for completion's sake. You finish what you start.

"You're not drinking?"

This could be earlier. Or not - Doggett is not one to let things go easily, she has noticed. Which has saved her life (and, you know, her baby's life too, but he doesn't know this), but it's so not helping them to reach a - an understanding - it's not helping when they are in a bar that Mulder once took her to.

"This is a waste of time."

She has this tone, lately, in her voice. It's impatient, sometimes a faint whine is in there too, and she hates it. She puts that small hate onto her Doggett - pile, her mental list of what's good and bad about Agent Doggett, and while she knows he's not to blame, not really, it's there.

"No hurry, Agent Scully."

No hurry for Doggett, he's drinking. No hurry for Scully, she's all alone, no hurry for her.

"So I had sex with Skinner in his office, two men at each other like rutting pigs, I tell you -"

She's pretty sure she couldn't care less about Doggett and Skinner going at it like animals; and then she reacts and lifts her head.

"What? What did you just say?"

Doggett, surprised:

"I had a meeting with Skinner, in his office, we discussed -"

"Yeah." So she hears things, now. Or maybe it's just that Skinner's being so caring now that she's pregnant. Her only shield against his overbearing male protective thing: sexual fantasies. Or maybe it's just how Scully's mind works.

It's past midnight, and somewhere Doggett got himself another drink. Santa's got his head in her puddle of water, and Kwerts is officially a no - show.

"Agent Scully, why aren't you drinking?"

And Scully's so tired, she's carrying around this child, she's bound to be tired, and she's got this winter of discontent thing down real good now.

To hell with it, Scully thinks, she's seen the dead walk again, she's known the presence of angels, she's been God's plaything many a time. She's been impregnated by aliens. She's been there, done that, and she's going home.

There may be a stifled cry of "Agent Scully?" behind her, but she pays it no attention. Agent Scully isn't drinking any more.



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