Peter Cottontail and the Big Bad Day.

by zara hemla :: x-files :: pg :: see what happens when a rabbit suit meets the "tonya harding story."

This was written for the Scullyfic List improv challenge.
The five items I had to include:
1. Double sided (Scotch) tape.
2. Fire & Ice: the Tonya Harding story.
3. The penguin coffee cup on Scully's desk.
4. Mulder, undercover, in an Easter bunny suit.
5. Krycek and Scully caught kissing.

Note 1: Blame this on the 2 Fathers nameplate thing. K?
Note 2: I love the Springfield mall. I really do. No serial kidnappers really lurk there.
Note 3: I don't know the term for the middle finger salute. I've heard flipping off, flicking off, and flipping the bird. Also, giving the bird. Whatever, okay?
Note 4: SAC=Special Agent in Charge.

     9:05 am.  Monday morning.  
     FBI Building -- basement hallway.  
     Six days before Easter, 1999.

The first thing Mulder noticed as he approached his office was a large sign. A white sandwich-board sign, kind of like the ones that stood outside of restaurants. The sign was printed with large, blue letters. It said, "This is also the office of Dana Scully. Enquire within."

He sighed. It was going to be another one of those days. He scratched his tail -- it itched horribly down there -- and padded into the office. His partner was busily engaged, and didn't hear him come in. Mulder couldn't believe his eyes. The right side of the room had been, um, well, remodeled. Exactly half of his posters had been taken down and piled neatly in a stack on his desk. His desk! Which had been pushed over to the left side of the room, along with his slide projector. The right half of the room had been swept, and the files over there were neatly put away. A small desk had been set up near the wall, with pencils in a jar and a nifty little desk calendar. Scully's penguin coffee cup sat neatly on the clean desktop, full of fresh coffee. And Scully was perching on a swivel chair, putting the finishing touches on her side of the room. A large poster of Einstein presided over the wall, with the caption "Scientists do it in quantum." A picture of her family hung on the nail where he'd had his little Marvin the Martian toy. And a big scene of the Tuscany countryside adorned the other wall.

"What are you doing to my office?" he fairly shrieked.

Scully swiveled calmly to face him. Her mouth twitched a little. She set down the roll of double-stick Scotch tape with a click on her desk.

"Supply finally approved my request for a desk, Mulder," she said. "So they had to move it in. So I had to clean up. It's been years and years since I started down here, and you've never once called to order me a desk. So I just did it myself. This is my office too." She paused to sip her coffee, smiling slightly.

Stammering, Mulder scratched his tail again. "Wuh- well sure, it is your office too, but did you have to put up those weird pictures?"

She gestured toward the landscape. "I thought it could act as our window, you know, since we're in the basement." Mulder couldn't say anything to that. He sat down with a *flump!* in his own chair. His ears flopped. Scully smiled sympathetically. "I'm sorry that AD Kersh picked you for the job. I guess he's kind of got it in for you."

"You could say that," he said sourly. "But at least you have to come, too."

"Yes, well, that's all right. I won't be wearing the purple bunny suit."

He restrained himself from flipping her off. She'd probably just smack him. This was the worst Monday ever. He'd been dreading this assignment for days. All the other agents had been snickering at him ever since they found out that he would be the one. . . .

     Previous Wednesday.  3:30 pm.  
     Director Kersh's office.	
     After Mulder is caught taking "extended lunch break" with a Gameboy. 

"Agent Mulder, I have another assignment for you."

"Yes sir," said Mulder, barely restraining his fury. He had just been subjected to a fifteen-minute lecture on how the FBI took their background checks seriously, and how video games did not contribute to group morale. He stood, insolently staring at his new boss. Kersh stared back with no expression.

"As you know, the mall in Springfield has been a target for a serial kidnapper who steals children and transports them to a black market in New York. Next Monday the mall is having an Easter celebration for all the children who want to come. We have been charged to make sure that the suspect does not get away with any more children. So I am assigning you and Agent Scully to a team detail. You will not be in charge, and you will be expected to do everything in your power to help catch this criminal. If you do not follow orders this time, I will be forced to dismiss you from the FBI. Is this clear?"

"Yes, sir," said Mulder. This didn't sound so bad.

"And agent, since you find cartoon characters so immensely amusing," Kersh tapped the Gameboy, which had been running 'Donkey Kong Country,' "you will report to Undercover for a bunny rabbit costume, which you will wear during the operation. You will hand out Easter candy to the children and keep an eye out for the suspect from the inside. Is that understood?"

"But sir!"

"I hope you're not questioning my orders."

"I'm -- I'm not, sir."

"Then you're dismissed."

When Mulder left the office, he noticed that Kersh's secretary was biting her lip and pointedly not speaking to him. Further, he noticed that the intercom light on her desk was green. Great. Everyone would know about this by the end of the day.

     Present moment.  
     Mulder's office.
     Still in the bunny suit.

For the two days following his "assignment," he'd been called everything from "What's up, Doc?" to "Little bunny foo-foo." He'd been told to practice his hop, asked about his cottontail, and asked how to get to the bunny trail. Scully had tactfully refrained from mentioning the assignment, although he'd heard something about "floppy ears" as she walked out of the restroom on Friday. Yeah, like Scully had anything to say. Her assignment was to sit in the parking garage, in her comfy Ford, reading a book. Just in case the guy came through the garage, said the SAC. Sure. Fine. Whatever.

"Mulder, it's time to go. You want to get this over with, don't you?" He looked up, nodding. Scully seemed kind of concerned. Maybe he could get out of this.

"Scully, now that you mention it, I don't feel so good . . . ."

She held up her hand. "Don't even say it. It's only a couple hours and we'll get through this." She preceded him through the exit. Across the wall, Einstein grinnedmaniacally at him. His ears flopped. We'll get through this. Ha.

     Three hours later.
     Springfield mall
     Mulder is giving out candy next to "Hot Topic" and fending off bites from a three-year old.  

She was in Mulder's office with a tall dark man. He pushed her up against the filing cabinet and slanted his mouth over hers. She looked up into his dark eyes and happily let him kiss her. She could feel the filing cabinet handle poking into her back, but she didn't care. She forgot to breathe, and only remembered when he lifted his mouth from hers, staring at her smolderingly.

"Oh, Alex," she said wonderingly. "Why didn't we do this before?"

"You've never let me," said Alex Krycek huskily.

"Well, I'm letting you now," she said and tilted her head up to his again. Just as their lips touched, Mulder burst into the office, wearing a bunny suit. Shock painted his features. Shock, and of course, jealousy.

"Scully! What's going on?"

Scully jerked awake. She was draped half over the seatbelt fastener, which had probably bruised her back by now. The radio was squawking loudly.

"Agent Scully! Pick up, please! We've spotted the suspect and Mulder's gone after him! We need backup!"

She grabbed the mike. "Okay, I'm here. Where are they?"

"They went into a B. Dalton bookstore. It's above you and to the right."

"On my way." She grabbed her weapon and made for the nearest entrance. Alex Krycek? Where did that one come from?

Outside the B. Dalton, agents were gathered in loose clumps. The SAC was talking furiously into the phone. Something about "why don't we just let him shoot the friggin --" but he cut off when he saw Scully.

"Agent Scully, the kidnapper has taken Mulder hostage. He was spotted trying to entice a child away and Mulder chased him in here. But somehow, the kidnapper got ahold of Mulder's gun and threatens to shoot him if we don't give him a vehicle to get away in."

"I'll go in after him," said Scully calmly. Her mind raced. The SAC smiled.

"The Gap next door has a side door that can be used to get into the storeroom of the bookstore. You're a good agent, Scully, and I trust you to get him out. I'll send in another guy with you, and hopefully you can get him to lay down the gun while we keep him busy with promises." He introduced Agent Johanssen to her, and they smiled professionally at each other. Then they proceeded to the side door. It opened onto a large storeroom filled with boxes and piles of books. They crept into the bookstore, guns at the ready, and then Scully went one way and Johanssen went the other way. The object was quite simple -- disarm the fellow before he had a chance to shoot Mulder. No other rules were necessary.

As she crept down the aisles, she became aware of a cold, furious voice coming from in front of her. She lay down on the floor and slowly eased a book out of the bottom shelf. Through the hole, she could see a pair of fuzzy purple feet and two legs in khaki chinos. The voice came from the chinos and it was saying, "I don't care what you have to do. I know it doesn't take this long to get a car out here. I hope you don't think I'm kidding around, because I am fully prepared to shoot this bunny right through the head."

The conversation continued along those lines, until suddenly the cold voice said, "And I don't appreciate your sending in people after me, either." The legs swiveled to the right, away from the purple feet, and the cold voice said, "Why don't you show yourself, sir?"

"Look, don't shoot." It was Johanssen's voice. Scully stood quietly. The cold voice continued.

"Why don't you come on over here next to the bunny, and we'll just sit ourselves down."

Scully considered. She put her hand on the shelf and shook it a little. They were cheap metal shelves and the frame wobbled a little. She heard a pistol cock. "Well, if there's one of you, there's got to be more, hm? I guess I'll have to shoot ya." The cold voice sounded like it was right next to her head. Scully took a deep breath, prayed a little, and pushed with al her might. The shelf yielded like a bowl of cranberry Jell-O, tipping over and smashing into the shelf in front of it. Books cascaded everywhere. She heard an "Ow!" from Mulder and the sound of a shot. Johanssen came running around the side, saw her, and smiled before booking it over to the door.

Mulder crawled out from under the books, relatively unharmed. He was very grumpy, however. He just gave her a look and sat down on the floor, sulking. No gratitude, as usual.

The SAC came striding in. "Good thinking, Agent!" he smiled. "Commendation for sure. Maybe we can get you a corner office yet." He didn't spare a look for poor Mulder. The rest of the agents lifted the shelf up from the kidnapper, who lay prone, knocked out cold by a large hardback book. Johanssen picked it up and read the title.

"'Fire and Ice: The Tonya Harding Story.'" He grinned. "It's a bestseller."

     Six days later, 10:00 am
     Mulder's apartment.

"Happy Easter, Mulder! I got you a chocolate bunny!"

"Oh, thanks, Scully. You're a peach. Well, I didn't really expect you to come over here, but you can share my bunny with me. Oh, and AD Kersh sent something over from the SAC. It's a copy of the Tonya Harding story."

"Thanks, Mulder. I'll keep it on my desk as a reminder."

"Of what?"

Sometimes, you can almost hear Scully smile. "As a reminder that you owe me one. Peter Cottontail."

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