Welcome To The Harem

Change Of Opinions I by Bridget
Summary: As Diana Fowley becomes more involved in The X-Files, Mulder becomes more unreliable. Mulder/Diana friendship, Mulder/Scully friendship. See also Change Of Opinions II, III, IV.

This story is number one. It was originally posted over
two years ago. I was re-reading this story and it's companion and
suddenly felt inspired to write more. So I figured I would re-post
the originals so you could understand the others. I haven't
changed them at all and they are exactly as they were then.
Anyway, here's a story that is post-The End, with no spoilers
aside from Diana Fowley. Everything after The End is completely ignored.

Disclaimer: They are not (unfortunately) mine. Gillian
Anderson and David Duchovny have first claim. Chris Carter,
Fox, and 1013 come in second, third and fourth place,
respectively. Although if anyone is offering up ownership?.

Title: Change of Opinions
Author: Bridget
E-mail: msathenaxf@aol.com
Rating: G
Category: V
Summary: As Diana Fowley becomes more involved in The X-
Files, Mulder becomes more unreliable.

Change of Opinions (1/1)

Dana Scully stood apart from the group of people on the
other side of the room. She always felt uncomfortable here,
anyway; the other woman only compounded her feelings.

I'm the other woman. >

The Lone Gunmen huddled around the computer monitor,
shoulders touching. Byers sat on a stool in front of the
computer, typing rapidly. Mulder stood behind him. The
sleeves of his black sweatshirt were pushed up, revealing
strong forearms. To his right was Diana Fowley.

From a distance, Scully studied the older woman. Her hair
was a deep brown, reminding Scully that Mulder always seemed
to like darker hair. Fowley's skin was more lined than her
own, but her dark eyes were intelligent. The clothes she
wore were tailored to her body, and blended into her
surroundings with nondescript colors. She reached just past
Mulder's shoulder. Even in heels Scully could never
accomplish that.

As a colleague, Scully acknowledged the excellent skills
Fowley had as a profiler. She respected her ability to do
her job, and do it correctly. As a partner, however, she
resented the intrusion. Diana was a wonderful diplomat, but
when it came to investigations, she was out of her league.

Dragging her eyes away from the others, Scully looked around
the room. Mulder often asked Byers, Langly and Frohike for
help, and usually it involved her. They had done countless
things, most illegal, to save her life. From stealing a
blood sample to breaking and entering, they were her
friends. But no matter how much these men helped her, how
kind they were to Mulder, she always felt like an intruder.
This loft was the domain of The Lone Gunmen, and it was a
world in which she didn't, couldn't, belong. She wasn't
even sure she wanted to.

Scully wondered if Mulder ever felt out of place here. She
doubted it. Once, a long time ago, he had told her how
they'd met. Well, not really. He had simply said that they
had bumped into eachother in 1989, and that the trio who
would later call themselves The Lone Gunmen had only just
met. They weren't even friends at the time.

form their ideas. He would never feel awkward here. This
is his element. >

Commotion from the computer captured Scully's attention.
All four men were obviously disenchanted with whatever
Fowley had just said. say something scientific? > For a moment Scully felt sorry
for her. Four to one. Those were familiar odds. Tracing
her finger along something on the monitor, Diana argued her
point. Immediately Scully could see acceptance in Mulder's
eyes. One glance at the others, though, told her that they
still did not believe.

Over the past few months, Diana Fowley had become a familiar
sight around The X-Files office. She often assisted on
their profiles, although Scully felt that Mulder could
handle that himself. Diana also would sometimes accompany
them on field assignments, much to Scully's annoyance.
Mulder's argument was that Diana's knowledge in the
paranormal was invaluable to investigations. She had
suddenly become necessary to all aspects of their cases.
Except the forensic department. That was still Scully's
field, and it always would be. But she often felt that if
it weren't for the medical qualifications needed, she would
become obsolete in the basement world.

Her partnership with Mulder hadn't weakened. It was still
just as solid. They could still read eachother's eyes,
still didn't need teamwork seminars. But the partnership
had changed. It had taken a step back to the first year of
their assignment together. The first year when Mulder did
everything to prove he was right, that the supernatural had
some bearing on a crime, and in response she did everything
to prove that she was right and that science was the true
explanation. There was a fine line between proving someone
wrong and proving your own theories correct. Mulder and
Scully walked that line every day that first year and it
seemed that they were doing it again.

Over the years, Mulder had been able to change her views of
the government she had once believed in wholeheartedly, and
in some cases he could even make her question her own
scientific background. And also over the years Mulder had
learned from her to take a more logical approach and to even
admit that often science was the only answer.

He didn't do that anymore. Diana always found something in
their cases that could be tied to the preternatural aspects
of the world, whether it be through legend or actual 'true'
cases. Most of the time she didn't even have enough
evidence to convince Mulder off the bat. And Mulder didn't
usually need convincing. But she would state her reasons,
give an explanation, and the two of them were off on some
wild goose chase, leaving Scully to follow up the real
clues. Out of seven cases in the last two months, there had
been five arrests. The sixth suspect ended up dead, killed
by a sheriff's bullet, a shot that saved her life. Of the
five arrests, Mulder had been present for one. Scully had
done the rest, and her partner hadn't known about any of
them until later. He'd been with Fowley, chasing down
ridiculous leads on his own. Mulder should have been the
one to back her up that night, not some backtown sheriff
with a lucky shot. A very lucky shot.

Scully was convinced that The Gunmen were beginning to sense
a change in Mulder as well. They were all for wild ideas,
but even they wanted some sort of evidence to support it.
Fowley didn't need evidence, she simply believed. And
sometimes that was fine. Except that faith alone didn't
catch serial killers. Mulder used to know that.

The Gunmen were losing confidence in their friend, and
starting to deny their expertise. It was subtle, but Scully
noticed because she was doing the same thing when it came to
their investigations. She had begun to refuse her help and
aid to both Fowley and Mulder. The Gunmen recognized her
dissention, and allied themselves beside her with a shared
look. His old partner was undermining Mulder's
effectiveness as an agent, whether he realized it or not.
Even Skinner seemed to notice. When he debriefed them after
a case and read their reports, Scully saw something in his
eyes that hadn't been there for a very, very long time.

It wasn't that Scully thought that Diana was causing
problems on purpose. In fact, she probably didn't even
sense a transition in Mulder. This Mulder was the same man
who she had known before being sent to Europe. But Mulder
had changed over the last five years. He wasn't as
impulsive, he was more apt to think things through, and to
believe based on evidence rather than an unsubstantiated
hunch. Scully had been witness to these changes, which made
it more difficult to deal with. Scully was tolerant of
Mulder's ways, and avoided the distinct separation that had
been between them in the first months of their partnership.
She still supported him as much as was possible, but was
prudent enough to no longer follow him on the reckless
quests that she knew would lead no where. He had Diana as
backup if anything really did go wrong.

Scully knew that if she did start to pursue him in his off-
the-beaten-track searches than Skinner would question them
both. He had always had trust in Mulder's instinct and
Scully's loyalty and will. But Mulder's instinct was
faltering under Diana's influence. And if Scully began to
falter as well, than bye-bye X-Files. Scully couldn't let
that happen. She had too much riding on their pursuit of
the truth and so did Mulder. And until Mulder noticed his
behavior, The X-Files would continue to go downhill. Their
partnership would proceed to fall back. From ever trusting
to simple respect to uneasy alliance to downright suspicion,
they would end up back where they had started, a hated spy
and the most unwanted.

Mulder had started out alone as the Bureau's pariah, shut
down in the basement with almost no support. But Scully had
joined him, surprised at how easy it was to leave behind the
shelter of her peers' approval. She didn't need them
anymore. She had Mulder. They had eachother. But there
was a new addition now, an unwelcome addition who made
Mulder change. And the distrust that had haunted the first
months of their alliance together was beginning to rear its
head once more. As much as she hated to admit it, Scully
doubted Mulder as a partner. As a friend she could never
trust anyone more. But her life and the lives of others
depended on the skilled working relationship she had with
Mulder. So if he could no longer efficiently do his job,
taking orders from Fowley with no validation and chasing
strange lights while leaving her behind, then people were
going to die. Scully needed the old Mulder back. Her
Mulder. Because if he didn't wake up and grasp what was
going on, he was going to lose all his allies, from the
Gunmen to his faithful friends on the Hill. And then Mulder
would be alone. Because Scully couldn't work with him,
couldn't stay with him, if she questioned him.

Okay, okay, so I didn't stick with the Evil! Diana theme.
But at least she's a bad influence. And a bad agent. And
disliked by everyone. Hope you liked it. : )

Let me know thoughts, feelings, likes, dislikes, so on and
so forth at msathenaxf@aol.com
'Even if the doctor does not give you a year, even if he
hesitates about a month, make one brave push and see what
can be accomplished in a week.'
Robert Louis Stevenson

'For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these:
It might have been.'
John Whittier

'Fortune aids the brave.'