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View from the Outer Office - Little Green Men by Lara Means
Summary: The gossip train chugs along. The second in a series of post-eps from Kim Cook's POV.

TITLE: The View From the Outer Office: Little Green Men
AUTHOR: Lara Means
E-MAIL: LaraMeansXF@aol.com
WEBSITE: http://larameansxf.tripod.com
ARCHIVE: NO to Gossamer, Spookys; I'll submit directly to both.
YES to Ephemeral. YES to mailing list auto-archives. Anywhere
else, please ASK. I'll say yes; I just like to know where the
kids are at the end of the day.
DATE POSTED: 09/15/02

DISCLAIMER: I don't own them. Heck, I don't even own my name.
It all belongs to 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.

SPOILERS: Little Green Men.

SUMMARY: The gossip train chugs along.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is the second in a series of post-
ep/missing scene fics centering on Kim, Skinner's assistant.
Each is self-contained. If you like, you can read the first
one, "The View From the Outer Office," at my website (as soon as
I update it; till then, it's at Ephemeral or Gossamer).


written by Lara Means

Once a month, the assistants at my level go out to lunch. We
usually go to this Mexican place nearby, and a pitcher of
margaritas is usually consumed -- along with lots of breath
mints so the AD's don't find out.

I used to love these monthly lunches. They were a chance to get
to know the other assistants, to find out what was going on in
other departments. But for the past six months or so, all
anybody wants to talk about is the X-files.

It started out slowly -- 'Hey Kim, I heard Spooky did this' or
'Hey Kim, what are Spooky and the Missus up to?' The more waves
Agents Mulder and Scully started to make, the more I got asked
about them at lunch. I don't expect the fact that the X-files
project is officially shut down will make a bit of difference to
my lunchtime companions.

Today's event starts out as it always does, with Miranda
complaining about AD Kersh. I can't say I blame her -- the
man's got a stick so far up his ass it's a wonder he can bend at
the waist -- but after nearly a year of Miranda's bitching, I'm
getting tired of it. Today's complaint is pretty typical -- he
made her stay late last Friday and her boyfriend got pissed
about it.

"Stop making yourself so damn indispensable," Renee offers,
finishing off the quesadillas.

"When Cassidy started pulling that shit on me," Leigh
contributes, "I just told her I had better things to do with my
Friday nights than babysit her tired ass."

Miranda snorts. "Yeah, like I can do that with Kersh."

Most likely, that's not how the exchange went. Leigh talks a
good game but is a total chickenshit with AD Cassidy -- well,
everyone's a chickenshit with AD Cassidy. The woman's a bitch
on wheels.

"You might wanna tell your boyfriend to chill," Paige tells her.
"Let's face it, sometimes we all have to work late."

"Kim doesn't," Miranda pouts.

Renee raises her glass toward me. "We all ought to be more like
Kim and Skinner."

"Yeah, Kim got the best deal of all of us," Leigh says.

And I have to agree. My relationship with Mr. Skinner is
special. He knows that I'll do anything I can to help the
office run efficiently -- run interference for him with the
other AD's, kiss up to the Deputy Director's assistant to get
him more time for a report, put the fear of God into some of his
agents -- but he doesn't expect me to fetch his coffee or make
his dinner reservations or get his wife on the phone.

"Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's *real* easy on the eyes,"
Paige adds as she pours herself another margarita. The others
murmur their agreement, and I turn a little pink. It's not that
I don't think Mr. Skinner's attractive, I do, but he's my boss
and he's married. It's not appropriate for me to notice how
broad his shoulders are.

"It's not all a bed of roses, guys," I say. "Mr. Skinner
expects a lot from me."

"Oh yeah?" Renee asks, winking. "What kinds of things does ol'
Wally 'expect,' Kimmy?"

"It's Assistant Director Skinner -- and get your mind out of the
gutter. Honestly."

"It's just a joke, Kim," Paige tells me, and I take another sip
of my margarita, willing myself to loosen up a little.

Miranda, of course, chooses that moment to bring up the X-files.
"Speaking of Skinner, did you guys hear what Spooky pulled

I can see Leigh and Renee leaning forward, anxious for any bit
of gossip about Agent Mulder. Miranda turns toward her
audience. "He bugged out, left his assignment without telling

"You're kidding," Leigh says. "Where'd he go?"

"Nobody knows," Miranda tells her, "not even the Missus."

"How'd you find out?" Renee asks.

"I heard a couple of agents talking about it in the break room."

Leigh turns to me. "Kim? You know what's going on?"

I shake my head. "I don't know, Leigh, I haven't seen Agent
Mulder in nearly a week." And it's true -- since the X-files
project was shut down, I don't see him or Agent Scully as much
as I used to. I'm surprised to find a spark of worry building
inside me.

Paige fixes Miranda with a stare. "You sure Agent Scully
doesn't know anything?"

Miranda shakes her head vehemently. "A friend of mine at
Quantico said she was summoned to Skinner's office this morning
and didn't go back to the Academy after."

Agent Scully did seem awfully upset after she met with Mr.
Skinner this morning...

"Well, if Spooky's gone solo, she'd be the one to bring him back
in," Leigh offers. "I've heard that 'Mrs. Spooky' thing isn't
just a nickname anymore."

I'm trying to loosen up, really I am, but the more they talk
about them, the more they toss around those horrible names, the
angrier I get.

I wonder sometimes why Agents Mulder and Scully inspire this
sort of thing. Among the other agents I could understand it --
they're very good at their jobs, and their case closure rate is
far above the Bureau average, so some jealousy is expected. But
can my fellow assistants be so shallow that, since they're
attractive people who work well together, they automatically
assume there's more to the relationship?

Paige sees me gnawing at a fingernail and leans over, speaking
quietly. "Don't worry, Kim. Leigh's right, if anyone can find
him, Agent Scully can."

I give her a tiny smile and a nod. I start to pour myself
another margarita, but then I think better of it.

I have a feeling I'll want to keep my wits about me this



AUTHOR'S NOTE: sallie is the best beta ever. I owe you big
time, sweetie. Extreme gratitude as always to my IWTB family
for unwavering support and encouragement.