Welcome To The Harem

Homecoming by Agent L
Summary: Diana's thoughts. The End missing scene.

Title: Homecoming
Author: Agent L
Classification: fill in the blanks, The End
Rating: Nothing objectionable -- unless you don't like
Diana Fowley
Spoilers: The End
Distribution: After-the-Fact only, please. Others please
ask for permission.
Disclaimer: To Chris Carter, David Duchovny, Gillian
Anderson, Fox: I know they're not mine, and no money, gifts
or even chocolate would be expected or accepted for this.
Summary: Diana's thoughts.
Feedback: Yes, please! LHoward388@aol.com

The people in my circle had known about Gibson Praise for
some time. Signs and wonders are of great importance to the
fanatics who may become tomorrow's terrorists, so we keep
track of reports of supernatural events as well as the
latest recipes for dirty bombs and potential epidemics.
Most people thought he was just the latest child prodigy,
an oddity to be stared at and discussed over cocktails, but
our group knew the truth -- a truth that could change all
we know of science, religion, ourselves.

I was already planning to return when I received the
summons. To be honest, I was homesick. I'd left abruptly,
caught up in the excitement of being offered a choice
position, a chance to advance my career, leaving behind few
regrets. But instead of exploring open air markets, white-
sand beaches and the colorful traditions of these unique
cultures, I spent most of my time in poorly lit underground
rooms with middle aged white men in dark suits. I visited
the exotic lands I'd dreamed of only through maps and
satellite photos.

So I came home, rented a small apartment, and joined the
task force that was supposedly investigating the
assassination of a relatively unknown Russian chess player.
Only a few of us knew who the real target had been. Even
fewer knew the importance of this boy.

I was surprised to find a young agent named Spender leading
the investigation. I had expected someone else, a more
seasoned veteran. Of course, I knew Spender had
connections, but I also knew his reputation as a fairly
unimaginative, by-the-book agent. He might solve the crime,
but he would never discover the truth.

Perhaps that was the whole idea.

The events at the chess match seemed perfectly clear to me
as we viewed the videotape in slow motion, reverse, and
regular time, but being the new player in the group I
didn't want to say anything, to draw attention to myself,
not yet knowing what my ultimate role might be.

Someone entered the briefing late, but I couldn't see who
it was. Spender paused, looking perturbed, but I'd already
noticed that was a frequent expression. As he started to
continue his monologue, however, a familiar voice
interrupted -- a voice I hadn't heard for many years but
that I immediately recognized. And as usual, the lone voice
of dissent in the room, asking people to look more closely,
to think outside the rigid FBI box.

Fox Mulder always looked more closely.

Before I realized it, I found myself speaking up in
agreement, catching his eye as we had often done in the
past, on the same wavelength as if we had seen each other
only yesterday instead of several years ago. He looked
surprised and a little relieved at finding an unexpected
ally in the room. Or maybe it was this particular ally that
surprised him.

He looked good. When I'd known him, he hadn't quite grown
into his full potential -- not that he hadn't been handsome
even then, but he was still unsure of himself, of his own
unique gifts, puzzled at why he didn't seem to fit into the
program. The man in this room was confident, not giving a
damn what anyone else thought. He was almost daring them to
challenge him.

I hadn't realized how much I had missed him until that

But I couldn't afford personal indulgences, not with so
much at stake. Besides, I'd heard the rumors about him and
his partner. She had apparently been assigned to debunk his
work shortly after I'd left, but had become more a defender
than an adversary over time. Fox could be very persuasive.

Some speculated they were partners off the job as well.

When I met her after the briefing, my first thought was
that she certainly didn't seem like his type, but maybe it
was just my ego that made me believe *I* was. They seemed
to have an easiness between them, the camaraderie that
comes from trust and respect, although she chastized
him in a discreet whisper about his unauthorized
involvement in the meeting. It seemed to me that she had
more in common with Special Agent Spender than with Spooky
Mulder. She wasn't comfortable with me, either, even
though she did her best to maintain a professional
demeanor, and she obviously didn't believe in Gibson's
psychic ability. How had Mulder gotten as far as he had
with this albatross around his neck?

Could she even begin to understand what this boy really
was? Would her skepticism put us all in jeopardy?

I tried to get a sense of their partnership when Fox and I
finally got a few moments alone. He seemed almost
embarrassed when I praised his work. Has she done that to
him? He seems to think she's on his side, however -- he
certainly jumped to her defense quickly enough when I
suggested she might have held him back all these years. Of
course, part of that might have just been a purely personal
desire to show me he's moved on, that he hasn't missed me.

But he didn't pull away when I reached for his hand.

I'm not a young romantic girl anymore, I know we've both
been through too much to go back and recapture those more
innocent days. I'm not even sure we'd be happy together.
It's foolish to even think about the smell of his cologne
or the way his thumb rubbed the back of my hand. Silly to
imagine what might have happened between us if Scully
hadn't interrupted. This situation is so much bigger than
our personal relationships and jealousies. I can't let my
feelings distract me from the task at hand. Fox is part of
that task, part of the reason I was summoned.

I had wondered how he would react at seeing me again; I
just didn't realize how it would affect *me*.

The End