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TITLE: Things No One Notices

AUTHOR: Tabula Rasa

FEEDBACK: tabulaxrasa@yahoo.com

DISTRIBUTION: I'd be honored, of course, but I'm thinking I'd like to run background checks.

RATING: PG

CATEGORY: V

KEYWORDS: Relationship consistent with the show.  Ha ha.

SPOILERS: Per Manum

DISCLAIMER: If they were mine, a lot of trouble would've been avoided.  But now look what's happened.

SUMMARY: I'm going to have to go with the title for this one.

TIMELINE: Ooh, that's a tricky one.  Whenever the flashback scenes in "Per Manum" took place.  This would a post-ep.

NOTES: Like I said, a very short post-ep for Per Manum, right on time, as usual.

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"Permit thou not me to be judged according to the mouths of the multitude."~The Book Of Coming Forth By Day, Chapter 1

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If they were distracted during meetings, it was no different than usual.  It didn't matter what he was doodling-- aliens or the shape of her hair or baby bassinets-- because it was always something.  If she wrote down lists when no one was talking, it didn't matter, because no one was paying enough attention.  If anyone noticed they were devoid of questions at the end, no one remarked upon it.  They did not appear any more eager to escape to the basement than usual.

If Mulder and Scully looked happy, it was not worthy of notice by the office gossips anymore.  They had long ago been pegged and pigeonholed, and if their latest exploits were not attracting the attention of OPR or the press, they were not something of note around the bullpen.

Even if this had been something public, something not very much between the two of them.

There were better, more scandalous things to talk about than whether or not Agent Mulder's step was lighter.

Assistant Director Skinner might have been the only one who marked the smiles ticking constantly around the corners of their mouths; the underlying energy or nervousness that made even Agent Scully seem restless.  And Skinner had spent so long in the crucible his loyalty was soldered to them, and he gave no indication of noticing anything.  So the new way they gazed at things in the air unseen by anyone except the two of them remained itself unseen.

If they were lighter, happier, freer with a smile; if the glances they traded were different and mixed with shy smiles that weren't there before, it was not as interesting as who would win the next promotion.

After all, everyone knew they'd been sleeping together for years.  If they were not fighting, it wasn't exciting.  Agreeable, if distracted, lovers were not the event a lover's quarrel was.

If they watched the calendar closely, it was only obvious to each other.  If pens flew out of nerveless hands, if bouncing knees were banged on the undersides of desks, they hid it well.

And when they fell silent, and still, and dark again, no one noticed that either, not as long as he still escorted her silently to the basement, his hand fragile on her back.

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