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Of Showers And Secrets by Maidenjedi
Summary: Like I couldn't tell she was getting thick around the middle. Kim POV, Skinner/Kim, Essence/Existence, PG.

TITLE: Of Showers and Secrets
AUTHOR: Maidenjedi
ARCHIVE: Spooky's, list archives, otherwise please
SPOILERS: Essence/Existence, general season 8,
tiny reference to Fearful Symmetry, all things.
KEYWORDS: implied Kim/Skinner, Scully
DISCLAIMER: Not mine, thank you very much.
SUMMARY: Like I couldn't tell she was getting
thick around the middle.


Author's Notes at the end.


What kind of baby shower gift do you get for a
woman you only know from the F.B.I.?

This is the question I ask myself as I walk down
the aisles of a fluorescent baby store, some place
I never really knew existed until I turned 34 and
suddenly every woman I knew was having kids.

Every woman, except of course me.

I swallow my sour grapes and trudge forward, casually
picking at pink jumpsuits and blue-striped overall
sets. Pooh Bear on some things, Mickey Mouse on
others, and the "Carter's" tag on a special display
near the end of the aisle.

I don't even know Scully all that well. I've worked
for Walter Skinner for about nine years, and during
that time, Agents Scully and Mulder have been frequent
visitors. Generally speaking, though, assistants to
Assistant Directors don't interact with Special
except to say "He'll see you now" or "The assistant
director is in a meeting; you should come back in an

So, I was a little shocked that I'd gotten an
invitation. I didn't recognize the handwriting on the
envelope (and I'd know Scully's anywhere, after all
these years of X-file reports coming across my desk),
but I've been to enough showers to know that the
mom-to-be doesn't do the inviting. When my friend
Trudy had her first son, she was furious to see a few
of her husband's ex-girlfriends there; apparently, her
sister-in-law was trying to make some kind of point.

I give up on clothes (babies grow so fast anyway) and
move over to toys. I finally settle on a stuffed
elephant, which reminds me of one of the more bizarre
cases Scully and Mulder worked on. Something about
invisible zoo animals. I remember Walter shaking his
head when that case report came through, and muttering
something about wishing for alien abductions or
liver-eating mutants.


"Hello! Glad you could make it....I'm Maggie Scully,
Dana's mother. I'll take that, we're setting the
gifts to the side till after a few games. What's your
name, I'm so terrible with names and I don't know many
of Dana's friends...."

"Kim. Kim Cook." I shake Maggie's hand, thinking
immediately of the differences in the two women.
Scully had a reputation for being a ballbuster, but
she was generally subdued and sometimes pensive.

"Ok, I know who you are now. Dana didn't give me much
to go on; you were the only person from work that she
wanted to invite."

Needless to say, I look at Maggie's back as she led
way into the living room with something more than

In the living room is a bunch of giggling women, all
swapping stories of childbirth and early growing
Scully isn't hard to find; she has this smile on her
face that doesn't quite reach her eyes, and like many
mothers-to-be she looks uncomfortably warm. Maggie
seems to notice this at the same time I do, and makes
a beeline for the thermostat.

There aren't many places left to sit, so I take a
somewhat out of the action and say hello to Scully.
She looks at me for the first time, and when she
smiles again, it reaches her eyes.

"Kim, glad to see you could make it!" I'm not deaf, I

can hear the unmistakable enthusiasm in her voice.

"Wouldn't have missed it, Scully," I say, and even I
notice the slight surprise in my tone. She smiles a
little wider.

"Want something to drink? I'm dying of thirst."

"Sure, I can get..."

"I'll go with you. Show you to the kitchen."

Noticing the nearly nine month pregnant hostess
struggle to her feet stops the women from giggling
for a few moments. Offers to help her fly from all
sides, and Scully shakes them all off. As we get a
little distance away from the group, she whispers
to me "You'd think I was an invalid instead of

I laugh. Scully and I have never been close, never
even had contact outside the Hoover Building, and here
she is treating me like a confidante.

A bowl of punch (I shudder inwardly remembering my
glass of punch...some sherbet and ginger-ale
concoction gone awry) sits on the dining room table,
but Scully bypasses it and goes into the kitchen. "I
don't know about you, but I was never one for punch
made with anything other than champagne. So how about
a soda?"


"Sure. Diet Coke?"

She grins. "Of course."

We pop the tops on two cans of caffeine-free Diet Coke

and stand there for a moment in silence. Laughter
drifts again from the living room, followed by
Maggie's voice declaring that it would indeed be
easier if we all knew the sex of the baby. An annoyed
look crossed Scully's face.

So I start talking.

"So, who are all these people? You're the only one I

"Ironically, I don't know them all either. My
mother's friends, bridge players and old neighborhood
chums. Besides her, I really only know my
sister-in-law, Tara. And you." She takes a swig of
her soda.

"To be honest, this is the last place I expected to be

invited to." I shock even myself with that line.

"Well, Kim, I guess I should tell you why I invited

Great, I think. Here's the part where I get a sob
story about Scully isolating herself for years. I
kind of kick myself for thinking it, knowing it isn't
fair to either of us.

And then, she really gives me a shock.

"I wanted to thank you."

"Thank me?"

"Yes." She stops to take another sip of Diet Coke,
frowning a little at the sound of some guest inquiring
as to the baby's paternity. "It hasn't been an easy
year on me. When Mulder went missing....I would have
shut down, closed up, if it hadn't been for Skinner."

My stomach flips as I realize what she's saying.
Apparently, there are no secrets in the F.B.I.

"I noticed how much you've covered for him, worked
late or on weekends, fended off Deputy Director Kersh,
all those things. I noticed how you held his hand
before his eulogy at Mulder's, erm, Mulder's funeral.
I leaned on him more than should have been allowed,
but he leaned on you and that made it easier on all of

I set my soda down for a minute, and look Scully in
the eyes. She didn't really hint that she knew about
my relationship with Walter. But the way she meets my
searching glance tells me all I need to know. Scully
had the same kind of relationship with Mulder;
unspoken, even when the whole world might be able to
guess. Built more on the need for each other at
first, which grows at some point into a natural want.
She knows what its like, I think, to wait up for him,
hold him at night, and stave off nightmares with
kisses and passionate sex. She knows what it is to
take off your shoes at his apartment and find yourself
buttoning your shirt eight hours later.

"We have to be there for them all the time, don't we."
It's not a question, really. And she nods.

"They're always there for us, though, too. So its
worth it." Her eyes drop as she rubs her stomach
almost absentmindedly. "I wanted to thank you, Kim,
because without you, I wouldn't have made it either.
And besides," she raised her eyes as she gave me a
mischievous smile, "my little boy could always use a
stuffed elephant."

My eyes widen, and then my hastily wrapped package
appears in my peripheral vision. Hey, I never claimed
to be Martha Stewart.

I laugh. "Shall we get back to the action, then?"

Scully smiles. "Why not?"

A little later, when her mother badgers her yet again
to know the sex of the Impending Stranger, Scully
winks at me.

After all, I'm there as her friend.


Author's Notes: This story never would have seen the
light of day without my stalker and beta-reader
Kristen_K2. Showers of chocolate-covered Skinners
will be littering your yard as soon as it can be
arranged! Thanks for catching my its/it's habit, and
for guiding me through the end.

Of course, many more thanks to the Wives at the Harem,
for providing a haven during the death throes of Our
Show, and to the girls at XPFC for the baby shower
discussion. And as always, for Michael, the other
shoe, for being there.

Feedback/Criticism at texgoddess@yahoo.com

In an interview, asked why he chose
a life in the arts, William B. Davis
scoffs: "What else was there? You ask
it like it is odd, like you want to
know why I might like squirrels."