The Intern by Exfilia

Dru bought a frozen yoghurt at the designated stand and wandered through the park, nibbling delicately. Soon a young man fell into step beside her.


"Dru. Are you Alex?"

"No, I'm his evil twin. How's it going?"

"Okay. Mr. Skinner is really sweet."

"Yeah, well, Skinner isn't your assignment."

"I know. I haven't even met her, yet. The other agents have been keeping me busy, and I havn't made it down to the basement."

"Well, make it down there. Those other guys aren't your assignment, either. Bunch of oversexed gorillas."

"I didn't know you cared."

"I don't. If they make you the entertainment at the Christmas party, I want pictures. The old guy, though, it kind of bugs him if anything threatens his female agents."

"Green-blooded monsters are taking over the world and he's worried about office mashers?"

"Yeah, well, he has a daughter. Look, just make some excuse to get to the basement, okay? I mean, you only get one chance at this sort of thing."

"I know, and I want to do really well, you know? Impress the higher-ups so I get something better next time?"

"Don't even try. Just do exactly what you're told, and don't improvise, okay? They hate to be surprised."


In the end, one of the office mashers made it easy for her. She kicked him, returned to her desk in tears and asked to speak to a senior female agent. She was sent to the basement. She stepped off the elevater, made sure her mascara was adequately smeared and knocked on the door labelled 'Mulder.' Still Mulder. The fool that would not die.

"Are you looking for us?" Dru looked behind her and found a redhead fumbling for keys while juggling a packaged salad and a plastic cup of soda.

"Agent Fowley?"

"Scully. Fowley's having a disagreement with the pastry machine. She'll be along in a minute."

"Sounds like she takes things seriously. Who's winning?"

"Well, that cherry cheese danish was still dangling from the shelf when I left, but Diana was looking for someone with a key, so I think it's a rigged match." Scully opened the office door and invited Dru in with a gesture. "You're new, aren't you?"

"Yes, ma'am. I'm Mr. Skinner's intern from Georgetown, Dru Powell."

"And he sent you down here?"

"No, ma'am. I asked to see a... a senior female agent."

"How's that?"

"I had to kick one of the guys in the hall."

The door opened again, and a tall brunette entered brandishing a battered bear claw.

"Got it!"

"Another victory for humanity over the evils of technology. Diana, this is Dru Powell, Skinner's summer intern. Someone sent her to talk to us."

"I think you just set a record getting to the basement, Dru. Who's mad at you?"

"The, uh... the guy I kneed in the groin?"

"When did this happen?" Scully prompted.

"Just now."

"Wallace or Rodriguez?" Fowley asked.

"Wall... how did you know?"

"He makes a habit of it. Didn't he hit on you, Dana?"

"Uh-uh. I went straight from Quantico to the basement, remember."

"The problem is," Dru said, "Agent Wallace has been assigned to evaluate my performance. I get a grade on this internship, and it might influence my admission to law school."

"Mm." Fowley and tossed the pastry down on her desk. "Come on. Both of you."

"Where are we going?" Scully asked.

"To see Skinner."


Scully didn't actually know Armand Wallace, but she'd heard about him. He was supposed to be overcompensating for the image that came with his computer skills by playing Don Juan. He actually had the nerve to smile at the three of them as they got off the elevator. Two other agents and AD Skinner shook their heads.

"Could I borrow that?" Fowley pointed to Scully's cup, which now contained only ice. Scully handed it over. Fowley smiled at Wallace, grasped his belt buckle and pulled his trousers far enough away from his body to dump the contents of the cup inside.

Scully took a deep breath

"Sir," she said to her open-mouthed AD, "may we please speak with you for a moment?"


"I work in the basement, now," Dru told Alex.

"And everything's okay?"

"Uh-huh. Well, Mr. Skinner said if Diana did anything like that again he'd suspend her on the spot, but he was laughing. So was Dana."

"Good. You're one of them, now. That's the hard part. All you have to do now is get just a little bit closer."


"What's that?" the kid asked. Diana smiled up at her.

"It's my website. I'm just getting Gorensky's picture out where people can see it."

"Do you ever get any results?"

"Found four little kids so far."

"And now you're going for five?" She pointed at the young boy's picture, and Fowley's heart skipped a beat.

"Why? Have you seen him?"

"Uh-uh. Who is he?"

"A child who disappeared during a case I was on." She was not about to tell this twit the whole sad story of Gibson Praise. "The others were cases of mistaken identity. Still a positive thing, I suppose. Have you been through the FBI website?" She clicked on the link. The girl leaned over her, very close.

"That is interesting," Dru said. She leaned on Diana's shoulder, brushing the long dark hair out of the way. Diana shrugged and the hair flopped back. Dru moved it again, this time leaving her arm draped across Diana's shoulders.

Okay, that was just about enough.

"Dru, did you mind being assigned down here?"

"No, why?"

"I mean, the rumors don't bother you?"

"I never listen to rumors."

"That's odd, because I have the impression you're a little mixed up about which of us the rumors are about." She lifted Dru's hand from her shoulder with two fingers and ducked past her. "I'll be back in a minute," she said. "Why don't you see if you can finish that last expense report while I'm gone."


When Scully got back to the office, Dru was alone and crying.

"Dru? What happened?"

"I'm not sure."

"Tell me."

"I think Diana's mad at me."

"What happened?"

"I don't know. I guess I was standing kind of close to her, and she got, like, paranoid when I touched her. I mean, I didn't mean anything by it."

"That doesn't sound like Diana." Scully couldn't remember her ever saying anything about Scully's own preference, or lack thereof. She almost didn't seem to notice. "What did she say?"

"The usual. That she thought I'd made a mistake, and then she left and said she'd be back in a few minutes. She hasn't come back, though. Dana? Is she going to get me kicked out of here?"

"No! Not over just a mistake, no matter whose it was." She rolled her chair over next to the girl's and sat down. "Dru, will you tell me something? Do you like girls? I mean, more than boys?"

"Doesn't make much difference. It depends on who it is."

"Do you like Diana?"

"Maybe. But I wouldn't hit on her at work, or anybody else. That truly wasn't what happened."

"Okay. I'll talk to her. You don't worry, okay?" Scully ruffled Dru's hair. "You go and wash your face." Dru nodded and sniffled. She started for the door, then turned back and hugged Scully. Scully held her close for a minute, and then let her go. She wished it was as easy to get rid of the images that were suddenly rattling around in her head: Diana smiling, laughing, Diana in a woman's arms. Diana moaning at a woman's touch. Just some hypothetical woman. It could be anybody.

No. She wasn't going to thing about it. She was going to think about Robert Lee Gorensky and his family's habit of freezing to death in midsummer. She absolutely was not going to think about Diana Fowley.



"I think it's going to work out," Dru told Alex.

"She's... receptive?"

"I don't think I'll have any problem making sure they never get together."


"She has a crush on you."

"Don't be ridiculous."

"What's ridiculous about it? You have an exciting job and a glamorous past, and you stood up for her and got the whole hallway to laugh at Wallace..." Fowley was looking at her as if she were speaking in tongues. "...and I guess... I mean, if you like the kind with the long legs and the big... eyes, you're really quite attractive." This wasn't going well. "I mean, she's just a kid, and I could see why she might fall for you...."

"Can you?"

"Don't even go there, Diana. This is about Dru."

"Yeah, and I feel like I'm about as old as she is! I don't know what to say or do or even think and I feel like some sort of rednecked bigot because I can't be cool and sophisticated about this!" She almost visibly put on the brakes. "None of which is your problem. I mean, this isn't about you. Thank you for telling me. I'll find some way to deal with it."

"Do you actually have any interest...."

"She's a kid! Hell, I wouldn't touch a boy that age!"

"You know, I could never have imagined that a romantic situation would throw you like this." If a male intern had hit on Diana, he would have walked funny for the rest of his tenure with the FBI, and he could have looked forward to a career directing traffic in Alaska.

"I am not... thrown. I will get through this with a modicrum of dignity." Fowley turned back to her monitor and concentrated, but she was holding her mouse upside down.

Dignity, Scully thought. Right.


Dru knew where Scully ran at lunchtime. She's been given two dossiers, each more than an inch thick, and quizzed on both of them before she was allowed to come to Washington. She knew what kind of pizza gave Scully indigestion, and where to find the milkshakes she drank when she was depressed, and she knew where to accidentally run into her at lunchtime.

"Dana? Do you run here?"

"Dru! Yeah, I usually do some sprints. You?"

"I'm lucky if I just make a couple of miles."

"You've got to watch that. Come on, run with me."

And they did, and Dru took a perverse pleasure in leaving the older woman in the dust. Then it happened. It was as if the hand of fate reached down and gave her her chance. A fat guy jogging backwards and argueing with his girlfriend ran into Scully and knocked her over. Dru actually heard her ankle crack.

"I really appreciate you bringing me home," Scully told the girl. "My mom's going to kick herself for being out of town. She hates to miss a chance to hover."

"Must be nice." Dru settled Dana on the sofa and placed her crutches well within reach.

"Does your mother not do that?"

"I don't remember my folks."

"I'm sorry."

"Hey, you didn't do it. Now what do you want to eat?"

"Oh, you don't have to!"

"I want to," the girl said. "Now what would you like?"

"How about we order pizza and watch some videos?"


"You weren't home last night."

"Of course I wasn't home. I was doing what I was assigned to do."

"Seducing your target?"

"We got into some hot and heavy petting, anyway."

"Last night?"

"Yeah, what about it?"

"It's just that last night Diana was with me and the old man."

"Yeah, well, I got to thinking."

"Didn't I tell you about improvising?"

"Yeah, but listen! Diana wasn't really too hot on another woman, anyway, but you remember how they first brought Scully in to be their bird dog? What if I could bring her back?"

"You can't."

"What if I could?"

"She isn't coming over to us. There's too much background there."

"What if she did? What if I did it, Alex? Would the old man remember my name, then?"

"Oh, I don't think you have to worry about him remembering your name."


Alex had to go out of town. Dru was given a phone number to report to, and told to get back with the original plan. Diana almost wouldn't stay alone in the office with her.

"It's because she's embarassed," Dana told her. "She thinks she's made a fool of herself."

"Would it help if we told her? About us, I mean?"

Scully laughed. "All other things aside, that is the last thing Diana needs to hear. We lost someone very dear to us, recently, and, well, she lost him before I did, if you know what I mean."

"Is that why she doesn't like to admit she likes you?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"I mean, when she talks about you she smiles a little, and then she thinks not to. She doesn't want anybody to know she depends on you, either. She makes sure I see her checking behind you, but if she gets in a hurry she never questions that you've done what you said you would. She does little things for you, too. You said you didn't like reading surveillance reports, and now she does them all."

"No, it's just nothing has come up...."

"There've been three since you said that. Never when you were in the office though. She won't admit it, either."

"Diana is on a long voyage down a river in Egypt," Scully chuckled. The girl looked blank. "Denial? She was that way about Mulder, too."

"Is he the one?"


"I was told that you had... 'corrupted' someone, I think is the word they used."

"No, most people say it was the other way around. Where did you hear that?"

"Oh, just around."

"From Diana?"

"No! What makes you say that?"

"She's the only person I can think of who might look at it that way."

"Why do you think that?"

"This is the same guy I was telling you about before."

"Did you love him?"

"I still do. So does Diana."

"That is so sad. How did he die?"

"He's not dead. He's in a private hospital. It's not easy to talk about."

"I am sorry."

"Dru, who did tell you that? There's a reason I'm asking."

"Uh, just some agent in the hall. I don't know his name. Want me to find out?"

"No, not if it really wasn't important."

Dru's beeper silently buzzed in her pocket.

"If you're sure," she said, and collared her purse. "I'll be back in a sec."

"Where you going?"

"Up three flights. Dana? If there are no men working in the basement, why is there a mens' room and no ladies'?"

"We talked about it and decided if we changed it... well, use it if you want. I do. It's still the mens', though."

"Okay, I will." And she did, fishing out her cell phone as soon as the stall door closed and punching the number on speeddial. She made her report. Fowley was unreachable. Even Skinner had asked Dru if she didn't want to go back upstairs where she would be more comfortable. No way. One didn't fail in one's first assignment for this organization. If one did, it was one's only assignment. When she got back to the office, Scully was giggling at her monitor.

"What's so funny?"

"In my Email. This guy's wife called him out of the shower to turn off the water in the sink, and the cat... oh, come read it."

Dru set her purse and her phone on Diana's desk and bent over the monitor.

"Oww! I bet that... oooh!"

"I want to know how the doctor wrote up the lacerations! Oh, my God!"

"This is just too good."

"It is. Come on, we can't work after that. Let's get some lunch."

"I wonder if Wallace has a cat?"

"Or wants one?" She snagged her coat and purse and followed Scully out the door.


Diana was losing it, and it was humiliating. She no longer wanted to go to work in the morning. The last time that had happened had been in her teens when someone was stealing out of the cash register where she worked. She wasn't going to allow this child to do this to her. She didn't want to go out to lunch. Pizza. Yeah. She took the cellphone from her desk and punched speeddial-4. The number the phone sang sounded wrong, and the voice that answered was very wrong.

"Sorry, sir, wrong number." She punched 'off,' shivering. You didn't bother Him for nothing. Had she hit six instead of four? She looked at the phone.

It wasn't hers. It wasn't Scully's. Dru's. Dru had the Boss on speeddial. Dru worked for the Consortium

The implications were staggering. The child had tried... she was sleeping with Scully! Diana was almost sure of it! Scully was sleeping with... she couldn't know. She couldn't realize the danger she was in. And there was no way in hell she'd believe Diana, even if she tried to tell her

And what was the child trying to do? Why on earth would she be assigned to the X Files without anyone mentioning it to Diana?

They didn't trust her any more. She was losing it

She was panicking. What was next? A bullet? A speeding car? A bomb? She was hyperventilating. The room was closing in. She carefully replaced the phone exactly where she'd found it and walked out the door


"Agent Fowley?" The woman spun around, almost losing her balance. Skinner put a hand on her arm. "Easy, easy. Are you all right?" If Fowley wound up in a straightjacket too, he was going to have the basement exorcised

"Fine, sir." She looked up at him, patently not fine.

"Come on," he said, slipping back into his overcoat

"Where are we going?"

"Wherever you want, until you tell me what's wrong."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I put up with this nonsense from Scully. I used to put up with it from Mulder, and look where that got him." She still looked dubious. "Look, I can't betray any of your damned Consortium secrets, because I've got some damned stuff in my blood and Krycek has a box that can kill me any time he wants. So talk. You might as well."

"What? Why? Why would they do that to you?"

"I thought I could defy them. I thought I could win."

"Win over whom?"

"Who do you think? Come on, let's not do this with half the FBI watching."


They wound up down by the Tidal Basin, just another middle-aged couple in Washington gray. Fowley claimed she had worked for the Consortium of her own free will. When she put it that way, defending the planet from invasion, Skinner could almost agree. Then he looked into her eyes and saw panic, heard the worry in her voice alternating with hollow flippancy when she talked about Scully, and wondered if honorable annihilation might not be better than survival at this cost

"Okay," he said. "Let's be certain we have our facts straight. Is there any other reason that she might have that phone number?"

"I don't see how. Unless she's his granddaughter or something, and that would almost be worse."

"Does he have a granddaughter?"

"I don't know. He talks about a daughter sometimes, so maybe."

"You know if they wanted you dead, you would be dead. Not incapacitated, not being watched, in a hole in the ground somewhere. Maybe there's another explanation. Could she be in some sort of training?"

"The ones that start that young...."


"The class of '73. The children who were taken. They were... trained. When they become orphans, they're sent back. They have no ties on earth, you see. They'll do what they're told, or that's the theory, anyway."

"A child born in '73 would be twenty-six now. And how do you know this, anyway?"

"Alex Krycek. He's one of them. But what's Dru? Damn, what kind of idiot am I? She's got Scully totally under her thumb!"

"After making a pass at you? Don't blush, Agent. Half the FBI has figured that one out. It is what we do for a living, you know."

"Yeah. Yes, she did. At me. First. I mean, it's not an issue. I can see why she might like Dana. I mean, she's young and pretty and fun to be with, and she kicks any ass that needs kicked without any hesitation at all."

"Is she? Fun to be around?" Skinner wondered if he could get that priest into the basement before midnight.

"Yeah. I wouldn't have thought she would be, but she's really good company."

"Diana, if she approached you first and then moved to Scully, it's because that was what she was told to do. Now why would that be?"

"I thought it was just that she'd misunderstood the rumors. Gotten us mixed up."

"If the Consortium sent her, she's been briefed to the point where she'd know you from your identical twin. No, there's something else, and I think I know some people who can help us find out what."


"Dana? Do you do this often? Take the afternoon off, I mean?"

"You mean take the afternoon off, have wild wicked sex all over a student's apartment, splash water all over her bathroom floor and have to do laundry because it took every towel in the house to sop it up? I don't think I've done much of that lately."

"I thought maybe... you know, with your partner? Your other partner. That guy. Somebody said he was cute."

"He was beyond cute. He was also beyond kinky circus sex. If I tried to hit on him, it went right over his head. But we are not here to talk about Mulder. We are here to fold towels."

"Dana? Did you ever do it in a laundry room?"


"Terminate her."


"She has become a liability. Those three professional nerds of Mulder's have tapped her phone."

"And because of that...."

"They didn't do it on their own, Alex. Someone has made our apprentice operative. Get rid of her before she leads them to us. Make it look like... hell, use her in the project if you like. But she's never to be seen again. Do I make myself clear?"


"Get Agent Scully in here, will you?" Skinner turned to Diana. "You're right, she won't believe us, but she needs to be warned, anyway."

"You're going to destroy your own credibility."

"Agent Scully isn't answering, sir."

"Try her cell phone. I'm not sure I have any credibility with her any more, and if I did, it would be less important than her life."

"She's not answering there, either, sir."

"Would she turn it off during lunch?" Diana wondered.

"No, ma'am. She never has before."

"Even if we couldn't get Mulder," Skinner mused, "we could always get Scully. Kimberly, do we have Miss Powell's home number?"

"She might not appreciate being interrupted," Diana smiled.

"She's going to appreciate what I have to say even less. She's a grown woman with a responsible position, not an adolescent with a hormonal problem."

"That's not fair. It's not like she went out and deliberately seduced a member of the Consortium!" She glared at him for a moment, at the smile tugging at the ends of his mouth. "What?"

"I didn't expect you to defend... yes?"

"Sir, that phone is out of service."


Scully was going to kill Skinner. It was an absolute certainty. Her boss and her partner going into her home with weapons in hand as if it were a crack house or something while her gossipy landlady hovered in the hall. It was empty, and perfectly in orderYes, the landlady remembered Dru. She'd been around quite a bit, lately.

Skinner only hoped Scully could kill him. Powell's living room floor was covered in spilled laundry. The room's contents were in disorder, suggestive of a struggle... Oh, God, he was writing his report as he went!

"Okay," he said. "Do you see any sign that Scully was here?"

Diana shrugged, took out her cell phone and punched a number. An overturned chair began to ring. Skinner drew on latex gloves and set it upright. Underneath was Scully's suit jacket, with her cell phone in the pocket.


"Where are you taking us?" Dru asked.

"Where we were told."

"You'd better not hurt us. She works for the FBI!"

"Does she, now?" The two men were smiling. "And who do you work for?"

"Nobody. I... I'm an intern." Outright laughter now.

"Why are you doing this? Look at her, will you? She's hurt, and if anything happens to her you're going to be in really big trouble!"

They kept rolling up a nameless country road, a dark sedan ringing with laughter.


They were in the way. Teams of specialists were examining Powell's apartment, literally inch by inch, tolerating him and his agent only because they were FBI. Skinner felt a hand in his, latex scraping across latex. Diana.

"I think I may know where they are," she whispered.



"Dana, are you okay?"

"Head hurts."

"Dana, we have to get out of here! You have to get us out of here! It's them! It's the ones who're working for the aliens!"

Scully tried to sit up, but she wasn't really sure which way was up, and her head was pounding. She heard activity in the distance, and Dru's voice, and a huge ringing in her ears, and she tried to make herself investigate, but somehow she was back down against the pillows, and she didn't hear anything anymore.


It was a stereotypical farm, Skinner supposed. Middle-sized Victorian house, barn, shed, a fringe of fruit trees, and then a sea of winter wheat sweeping away unbroken to the surrounding wood. The only things incongruous were the black sedans parked under the trees. A troop of squirrels were chittering overhead, looking for late nuts. They were going to do wonders for the finish on those cars. Skinner stopped the car at the edge of the field.

"Wait for me," Fowley told him.


"They don't have a switch that can kill me."

"They don't need one. They have guns and knives and their bare hands, and no witnesses, and you want to go in there alone?"

"Wait for me."


In the old days, Alex would have twiddled his thumbs. The old man was taking a red pen to a manuscript, and that always made him cranky. He threw it down and sighed and reached for his coffee, but stopped. Alex felt the breeze on the back of his neck. The old guy didnít seem upset, though, only surprised.

"Diana?" he said.

"Where are they?"

"Who, dear?"

"Donít you Ďdearí me, you old liar!"

"Diana, what is this all about? You know I would never lie to you!"

"Or send a brainless teenybopper to do your dirty work for you? What was she supposed to do? Discredit us? Provide an excuse to finally close down the X files? Provoke a scandal to make Tailhook look like a garden party? What?"

"Donít cry, Diana. You know I hate it when you cry!"

"What did you think I was going to do?"

"He thought you were going to crawl into bed with her."

"Shut up, Alex!" the old man snapped.

"He thought I... is that true?" she asked.


"Don't 'Diana' me! I figure I'm dead already, so I have nothing left to lose. Tell me the goddamned truth for once!"

"Dead already?"

"Isn't that what you do to people you don't need anymore?"

Krycek found himself craving popcorn. This was getting good. Diana stood very still, tears trailing mascara tracks down her face.

"Just tell me why! I was the one person who believed in you, who was doing this to save the goddamned world and not for the money or the power or revenge or whatever it is that flips your sick little switch! I believed in you!"

"I know. That's why I can't afford to lose you."

Silence. Fowley's mouth opened and closed like a dying fish's, once, twice, three times.

"Diana, we sent Scully to Agent Mulder because he was on the edge of a breakdown. We thought she could stabilize him to the point that he might be of some use, and divert him from his more inconvenient investigations. Instead of a breakdown, we got a breakthrough. She made him credible to the community at large, and that was not what we had in mind. He loved her, and we lost him. And it looked like you were beginning to care about her, too. You wanted a girl, so we gave you a girl. All you ever had to do was ask."

"You are sick."

"Perhaps, but I'm effective."'

"Did you put Fox in that cell? Did you drive him out of his mind?"

"No! No, I swear to you. Do you think I would have left you in that apartment alone if I'd known he was going to turn violent?"

"I think you would sell your mother to be rendered alive into soap if it suited your purposes. Now where are they?"

"They're dead."

"No. If you'd brought them anywhere but here, I might believe you, but that... that thing needs a living host."

"Diana, you do not want to do this."

"I told you, I'm dead already. You might as well get rid of me here and now."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"I'm talking about Scully. She... when Fox does come out of that hole, you're going to need her. I can't do for him what she does. But you could let her go, and... and give me to that thing. And then you'd still have Fox."

Krycek sat down abruptly, almost missing the sofa.

"You want to trade yourself for Agent Scully? To give her back to Fox Mulder?"

"He trusts her. He loves her."

"Apparently he's not the only one! Have you ever seen what these things do?"

"Of course I have. Remember Rausch? But you're going to kill me some way or other, and Scully can still be useful to you. She can help you save this benighted world."

"What makes you think I'm going to agree to any such thing?"

"Because if you let me walk out of here I'm going to make a full statement regarding your activities to anyone who will listen, and I have the dates and the account numbers."

"And why on earth would I let either of you walk away after a statement like that?"

"Because I didn't come alone." She nodded out the door. Krycek leaned forward and peered out the picture window. Walter Skinner was cooling his heels down below beside an FBI staff car. "He knows where my data is. Scully can't hurt you. I can."

"Really? Well, then, come along. I'd like you to see something." He turned and started up the stairs. "Are you coming?" he asked her.

Diana almost visibly shook herself and followed him.

"You are aware, of course, that there will be a price to pay for Agent Scully's life?"

"I told you, I know...."

"Oh, it won't be quite that easy, I'm afraid."

Alex came up off the couch and climbed the stairs right behind Diana. This was too good to miss.


Skinner couldn't believe his eyes. Diana Fowley walked out of that house with Scully cradled in her arms like a small child, and Alex Krycek was holding the door for her. Skinner wasn't aware that he'd run across the yard, only that he was taking the half concious woman from her partner and striding back toward the car, and that Scully was singing a few lines about a song that never ends, over and over again

"Where's the girl?" he asked Diana.

"She's already dead," he was told.


"You're really going to do this?" Krycek asked.

"Of course. Fowley always was a weak link. Never trust the idealistic ones, Alex. If they decide you've abandoned your principles, they turn on you like a pack of pit bulls. Fear is a much more effective means of control. And we finally have control of the X files! We should be celebrating!" He walked across the room and poured two drinks from the decanter. "Besides, Scully wouldn't have done us any goods. She's immune, since Antarctica."

Krycek took his glass and knocked back the contents.

"So it all works out for the best?"

"Exactly as planned, my boy, exactly as planned. Just promise me you'll never tell Diana we really only had the one infected bee."

"Sometimes you are just unbelievable."

"I try, Alex. Now go and finish what we started." He watched the boy down the drive, and then climbed the stairs. "It's all right," he said. "They've gone."

"Do you think they bought it?"

"Oh, line and sinker. Even Alex. He truly believes Diana beat me. I don't think he's sure if I know it, but he believes. You've done very, very well indeed. I think you're going to have a brilliant future with us."

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