Author: Gingfox
Rating: PG
Feedback: Go ahead, make my day!
Archive: Written for the Fox And Rat Virtual Series, others please ask.
Summary: A new face at the FBI causes a bit of disturbing behaviour ... especially from Fox Mulder.
Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, Krycek, Spender, Doggett, Skinner and The X.Files belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the FOX Network. Bindi Lawson is the property of the author.

"You're late" echoed Dana Scully's voice as Fox Mulder stomped rather loudly into the office he shared with the red-haired woman.
Mulder snorted, ignoring Scully as he noisily moved a chair away from his perpetually messy desk. He mumbled to himself, then sat down and thumped a very tired looking briefcase onto the desktop - an innocent victim of one too many batterings at the hands of an often frustrated Fox Mulder.

Feeling eyes watching his every move, Mulder then looked across to his partner.
"What?" he remarked sharply, absently scrunching up a sheet paper into a ball, then just as absently flinging the paperball towards the wastepaper bin. Mulder missed his target by inches, and groaned his disgust loudly. He then looked to Scully again, and gave the unamused female Agent a puzzled expression.
"What?" Mulder commented again, this time his tone was edged with annoyance.
Scully said nothing, then she slowly glanced at her wristwatch. She shook her head slightly then raised an eyebrow at Mulder as he was preparing to hurl another ball of paper towards the bin.
Mulder paused in mid-throw, and fairly glared at Scully. "What!?" he practically snapped. He was beginning to feel more than a little irritated.
Scully just shook her head again, and gave a slow smirk. She glanced at her wristwatch once more, and casually commented - "Don't you have somewhere to be ... as of five minutes ago?"
Mulder gave Scully another puzzled look, then he suddenly slapped his forehead and groaned.
"Oh crap!" he declared in disgust and he hurriedly stood up from his chair. "Thanks for reminding me" Mulder said in a tone that was less than thankfull as he cast Scully a withering look. Then grumbling to himself, Mulder quickly made his way to the exit of the basement office.

As Mulder then headed in the direction of the elevator which would take him to the floor of his destination, his pace began to slacken as he came level with the door to another office. Mulder paused by the door, and gave a small sigh. It was the office that his good friend Diana Fowley had once shared with Jeffrey Spender, the guy who was confusingly related to him through his sister Samantha! Mulder shook his head, and stared at the door. He couldn't help but notice that the metal plaque which had once bore Fowley's name had been removed. The only tell-tale sign of the plaque ever having been there were the tiny holes from the screws which had once held it to the wooden door..

Mulder stared at the door a few more moments and gave another sigh. Then after a quick glance around, Mulder then pushed the office door open and poked his head in.
Slowly Mulder looked around the office, taking in just how immaculately tidy it was kept compared to his own. His eyes then fell on the desk that Fowley used to occupy, and he sighed yet again. He still couldn't believe that Fowley was gone, transferred to another field office in another state, far far away, without discussing the move with him first. Mulder stared at Fowley's empty desk and sighed once again. He then turned away from the office, and almost collided with Dana Scully.
"What?" Mulder coughed almost guiltily, more than a little surprised to be bumping into his partner who he assumed to be elsewhere. He gave Scully a dark stare, and the red-haired woman just grinned back at him before grabbing Mulder by an arm and pulling him away from the office door and in the direction of the elevator.
Scully reached across to hit the button for the elevator and shook her head at Mulder as he turned and gazed sad-eyed in the direction of Fowley's old office.

The doors of the elevator slid open with a loud 'ding', and then grabbing Mulder by the arm again, Scully dragged the moping male agent into the lift after herself.
As the two Agents rode the elevator to the next floor, Scully broke the silence by suddenly commenting rather dryly - "Oh, snap out of it, Mulder! She's gone ... end of story, so deal with it!"
Mulder gave Scully a wide-eyed forlorn look. "But ... " he then began.
"But nothing!" Scully shook her head as Mulder huffed and pouted, "She left, Mulder, and at the worse possible time too! Face it, she's gone!" Then as the elevator doors finally slid open, Scully gave a smug flick of her red-hair, stepped from the elevator and without waiting for Mulder, she began to make her way down the hallway.

Mulder paused momentarily within the confines of the elevator. He shuffled his feet, huffed and pouted then hunching his shoulders and giving a world-weary sigh, he then exited the elevator and slowly made his own way down the hallway.

Mulder caught up with Scully as she chatted to Assistant Director Walter Skinner's bubbly Secretary, Kimberley. After failing in his attempt to greet Kimberley with a friendly smile, Mulder sighed and pouted yet again and then followed his partner into the Assistant Director's office.

Mulder was rather surprised to see Jeffrey Spender, along with Alex Krycek and that new guy John Doggett, within the AD's office, and was even more surprised when the Assistant Director asked him to take a seat without reprimanding him and practically taking his head off for being late!
Mulder gave the Assistant Director a dazed look, and then sat down on a chair between Krycek and Doggett. He cast a scowl at Spender, who he secretly blamed for Fowley leaving, and practically coughed up a hairball when Scully strutted, chin up, past the Assistant Director, and gave the older man a cheeky wink.

Krycek suddenly began to snigger at Scully's antics, he couldn't believe the way she was behaving in front of the Assistant Director, all flirty and sassy, very un-Scully-like. He began to nudge Doggett, but the other male Agent was staring narrow eyed back at the Assistant Director. Doggett for the life of him, couldn't understand what Scully saw in the bald-headed old coot. He was more of a manly man than Skinner would ever be. Krycek nudged Doggett again, only to receive a lightning quick elbow to the chest for his trouble. Krycek was just about to payback Doggett, when the Assistant Director fixed them both with a very dark stare. The two men glared at each other, and then slightly turned their backs to each other. Meanwhile, Spender continued to stare a spot on the carpet, hoping if he pretended what was happening wasn't really happening, and would go away. Mulder continued to pout and sigh, and only let up when the Assistant Director, after waiting for Scully to make herself comfortable, began to speak.
"I'm sure you're all aware of the fact that Special Agent Diana Fowley has said goodbye to the Bureau here in Washington ..." He looked at each of the Agents in turn, registering their acknowledgment of what he'd just said, " .... and she couldn't have chosen a more awkward time to leave." His gaze fell on Scully, and like a schoolgirl, she blushed and flicked her hair. The Assistant Director gave his favourite Agent a quick smile, and continued to speak, "We'll need to recruit another Agent to assist with the investigation" Skinner paused momentarily to glance at an official looking letter on his desk, "She'll be arriving here this morning" he looked at watch, "in a few minutes, and that's why I requested your presence in my office. I want you all to welcome her, since you'll all be working together."

Then, as if on cue, the intercom on the Assistant Director's desk buzzed, and Secretary Kimberley's voiced called out across the static, "The new Agent is here to see you, Sir."
Skinner smiled at the intercom, and casually replied, "Thank you, Kimberley, please send her in." Mere seconds later, there came a slight squeak as the office door opened, and six heads turned as one to acknowledge the newcomer. Spender shuffled his feet and blushed at the woman, causing Mulder to stare at him. Spender had a weird look on his face, the kind he always had when he would gaze at the picture on his desk of the chick in the bunny suit. Mulder frowned, all thoughts of Fowley forgotten for the moment as he tried to figure out why Spender would be making that face right now ... then the Assistant Director said -
"Ah! Special Agent Bindi Lawson ... " he didn't get a chance to finish his sentence as Mulder, an invisible lightbulb flashing over his head, suddenly leapt up from his chair, slapped Spender around the shoulders a few times, then declared loudly, "Bunny chick! It's the goddam Bunny Chick!!" Everyone, including Lawson, stared at Mulder as if he'd gone completely mad. Lawson took a deep breath, and gave a weak smile, "Hello, Spooky Mulder" she said to Mulder, quickly wondering if she'd done the right thing as the guy had an extremely strange glint in his eyes. "Yeah" began Mulder, "That's me!" He stepped slowly towards Lawson, and with a quick look around the Assistant Director's office, she dashed passed Mulder and sat down next to Spender, snuggling close to the shocked, nervous guy as if for protection. "Jeffrey!" she quickly whispered, "It's so great to see you after such a long time, now, get me the heck out of this office!"
Spender looked at Lawson from the corner of his eye, and blushed. He felt his heart begin to thump the way it always did when he was around her and then finding his voice, he looked to the Assistant Director and hastily asked, "Ah, Sir, is it okay if Bindi and I leave now. With Mulder in the strange mood he's in, I don't think it's safe for her to remain here!"
The Assistant Director slowly turned his bewildered gaze from Mulder to Spender, and replied. "By all means, Agent Spender, she's your new partner, I guess you can practice saving her ass as of now." Spender and Lawson rose from their seats, made their way to the AD's office door, only to be met half-way by a wild-eyed, almost drooling Mulder. "She's Spender's new partner? Spender's new partner! Oh come on! She should be my partner! Spender wouldn't know what to do with a partner like her, but I would, I'm a manlier man than Doggett for God's sake, I'm a bigger sleaze than Krycek, I can bat my eyelids and flirt better than Scully ... I can ... guys? Um, guys?" Mulder looked slowly around the Assistant Director's office, he couldn't believe how quickly everyone had left. He made his way to the door, only to find it locked. Mulder gave a soft sigh, pouted, and returned to his chair. He sat down and buried his head in his hands, thoughts of Diana drifting back into his mind. He then promptly fell asleep, a thin line of drool seeping from the side of his mouth.

As Spender showed Lawson to their office, she said, "I never expected Fox Mulder to be like that! Does he always act up like that?"
Spender gave a slow grin, "Sometimes, he's a little crazy at the best of times, and now you're here ..." Spender blushed, and averted his gaze from Lawson. She grabbed his hand and squeezed it tight, "What? The crazy old fox is after me? Well then, Jeffrey Frank Spender, you'll just have to protect me .... think you can do that?"
Spender slowly looked back to Lawson, and slowly grinned again, "Yeah, I can do that!"
"Go! Spender!" came a sudden chorus of voices from behind them. Spender and Lawson turned around to see Doggett and Krycek, and a reluctant Scully wandering down the hallway towards them.
"I'm sorry you had to be subject to that bizarre exhibition from Agent Mulder" said Doggett, trying to catch Scully's attention.
"Leave the poor guy alone!" snapped Krycek, "He's suffering a case of Diana withdrawals!" He shoved Doggett, and before giving Doggett the chance to shove him back, Krycek scurried rat-like towards a door to a nearby stairwell, and quickly disappeared from site.
"Oh brother!" commented Scully rolling her eyes, then she added "I'm out of here!" She quickly turned and headed back the way she'd come. Doggett quickly looked from Spender and Lawson to the hastily retreating red-haired woman. "I'll see you kids soon" he said hurriedly, then with a polite nod of his head, he made his way after Scully.

Lawson followed Spender into their office, and began to laugh. Poor Spender blushed, thinking she was laughing at him. She slapped his arm lightly to reassure him that she wasn't, and commented as she sat down at her desk, "I think I'm going to like working here, I know I'm going to like working with you" and the tone and way she said that, made Spender wonder if he'd ever have competition from Mulder for his old friend's affections.

~The End