A 14-year-old Dana Scully pushed her hair behind her ears one last time. She knew her bangs were going to hang in her face for most of the day, but she wanted them to look nice anyway. This was her first day of high school. She had no idea what it was going to be like, but she sure as hell hoped that it'd be better than last year.
Gosh, she didn't even want to remember last year.
"Hey Dana, you ready?"
"Get out of my room Bill!" She hurled a shoe at him.
"Geez," he laughed. "We're gonna be late if you don't quit girly-ing around in there."
"You and your hetero-normative, skeeze-ball ways." she muttered. She sighed at her reflection. There were so many things that could go wrong today. She'd counted them all last night, leaving a long list on her bedside stand. There was nothing she wanted more, right now, than for it all to be over. "This is as good as it's going to get, isn't it?" she asked no one in particular.
"Dana! Shake a leg! We're going to be late!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm coming." She grabbed the cross necklace off her dresser and shoved it into her pockets. Wholesomeness be damned. This was high school. This was war.
X - x- X - X - X - x - X - x- X - x- X - x - X- x - X- x - X- x - X - x - X - x - x- x - X - x- X - x
Dana stood in the back of the cafeteria, arms across her chest. She recognized so many people. She didn't recognize even more of them. The school was big and terrifying when compared to her middle school. Over 2,000 kids. How was she going to navigate around them all?
She looked around her, trying to find someone to talk to - someone who wasn't already engaged in a conversation of their own. Her eyes fell on Kate Beckett, shifting her weight from side to side and messing with her hair as she tried her best to - Dana assumed - break up with her boyfriend. "No, John, honestly, it isn't you."
"Well then what is it?"
"I just...I don't feel the same anymore. You're a very sweet guy but, I kind of," She straightened up, taking in a deep breath and letting it out slowly. "I like someone else, okay? I'm sorry."
John ran a hand through his hair. "God fucking dammit."
"I'm sorry, John."
"Yeah, whatever." He walked toward Dana, agitated look still on his face. She smiled, but not at John; Rick, whom Dana assumed was either Kate's new boyfriend or about to be, bounced up behind her, like an overly excited puppy dog looking for a treat. They're so cute together.
She looked at John, still walking her way. He stopped, just a few feet from her, his face clouding over. He sneered above her head. She knew what was coming next.
"Good morning, Fox."
"I told you, please, for the love of God, don't call me by my first name."
"Yes." She turned around. "And I have asked you, politely, several times, to not call me by my last name. It's rude."
"Rude? Seriously?" he laughed. She looked for a way out of this conversation. "I dunno, but isn't Dana a little demure for you, I mean, especially after what happened last year -"
"And we are not discussing what happened last year."
He stuck his tongue out at her. "You're no fun."
She shook her head. Dammit, I have got to stop blushing around him. I'm going to give him the wrong idea. "Haven't they kicked you out of the school system yet, Mulder?"
"Nope" she wasn't quite sure why he looked so proud of himself. "They just can't keep me away." He looked around. Mulder often reminded Scully of a kid who'd forgotten to take his ADHD medication. He had the worst time paying attention during class, and it wasn't because he was stupid or for a lack of trying. He was just constantly distracted by something. You could place him in a completely empty room, and he would still find something to distract him. That was just who he was.
He noticed that John was glaring at him. "Hey Doggett, how was your summer?"
"Up yours, Mulder."
"Aw, now isn't he just pleasant?"
"Would you quit provoking him?"
"Provoking him? Aw, Scully, why would you suggest such a thing?" She glared at him, but decided to ignore the fact that he once again called her by her last name.
"I don't know why you two hate each other so much, but please, for my and the rest of the school's sake, try to be civil."
"Why?" He stiffened up. "Do you like him or something?"
"No, I'd just rather not have a repeat of last year."
"Yeah, neither would I."
"Hey guys" Beckett was biting her lip and twirling her hair.
"Hey Kate" Scully hugged her warmly. Mulder just waved. "You look worried, are you okay?"
"Huh? Yeah, I'm fine." She shook her head. "Have uh, have you guys seen Castle?"
"Castle? Who the Hell is Castle?"
"Mulder," Scully hissed. "Language." He ignored her.
"Oh. Uh. Sorry. Rick. He uhm. He's changing his name. Pseudonym. Or something. I just can't get over the last name. It's a little. You know."
"Very, very Rick."
"I was going to say 'ridiculous', but what's the difference, really?"
Scully shook her head. "Sorry, Kate, but I haven't seen him around."
"The less you know about what he's doing, the better."
She tilted her head at him.
"What? Oh, come on. I can't be the only person that remembers what he was doing the last time he ran off."
"Mulder! I told you, we are not bringing up last year!"
"Alright class," Mulder and Scully's biology teacher couldn't have been much older than twenty. He looked like a pin, with thin brown hair and eyes that seemed to bug out a bit. He raped on the board nine times, split up into sequences of three. Mulder could tell already that messing with this teacher was going to be a lot of fun. "My name is Dr. Sheldon Cooper. I am your biology and life sciences teacher for this semester!"
"Just this semester? What, you giving up early?" the teacher blinked. His left eye twitched.
"There will be no interruptions in this class, Mister…?"
Sensing another snide outburst from Mulder, Scully slapped her hand over his mouth. "Mulder. His name is Fox William Mulder." The rest of the class sniggered.
"Gee, thanks a lot, Scully" he hissed.
"Mister Mulder, I do not appreciate the sarcasm. As it is, I have not made up my mind about whether or not I like teaching. For the moment, I am only your teacher for the semester.
"Now, supposedly you all are advanced students, hence why you are in biology now while the rest of your lesser peers are in earth sciences, a thrilling if childish subject." Mulder and Scully exchanged glances. "I will be giving you a preliminary exam to see if we can jump right into the fun stuff or have to start slowly with vocabulary."
The teacher passed out the test, going up and down rows in an irritatingly and intimidating pattern. Mulder noticed that Scully was working through the test rather breezily, bored by answers to questions he barely even knew how to pronounce.
Not only did he not care for taking tests on subjects he'd neither studied nor been the least bit interested in, but Mulder also found himself distracted by the teacher. Dr. Cooper (as he insisted on being called) was not only suffering from a bad case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but he also kept scratching all over his body, growling softly and trying to pull it off as a cough, and sniffing things suspiciously. When he thought Dr. Cooper wasn't looking, Mulder tried to pass Scully a note with a theory on it. She kicked it away without even looking.
X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X
"I'm telling you, Scully, that man is a werewolf!"
For the third time during their lunch break, Cam put her sandwich back down to her lunchbox and gave Mulder a confused look. "Seriously Fox? A werewolf?"
"Someone's been taking too many happy pills" Scully joked.
"I'm serious! He acts like a dog, he barks like a dog, he even smells like a wet dog – so he's a dog!" Scully shook her head, going back to her chocolate milk. Cam began to lift her sandwich to her mouth and stopped, again, midway. Scully looked to where her gaze was directed.
"Oh, he's cute. What's his name, Cam?"
"Jack Carter" she sighed. "He's a transfer student." Scully nodded and, realizing that Cam would be too shy, waved manically at Jack. "No Dana, what are you doing!"
"Hey newbie! Come over here!" Jack looked around a bit to make sure he was the one being talked to. Mulder looked over at him.
"Oh, I think he's in my math class." He looked at Scully. "Not your type." She slapped him over the back of the head and made room for Jack.
"Hi. I'm Jack." He looked at Mulder. "I think you're in a class –"
"Yep, that would be the point of school."
"He means one of your classes, jerk." Scully hissed.
"I'm Cam," she extended an arm, blushing madly.
"Oh," he blushed too. I know. I've seen you about. They actually said to talk to you about showing me around – I've heard you're really nice."
"Hey guys…can I sit with you?"
John Doggett stood, looking…dogged. Scully looked around and nodded. Mulder asked "Well can you?"
Doggett snapped. "That's it, Mulder. You. Me. Outside. Now!"
"Really? During the school day? I'm sorry Doggett, you're just not my type."
Doggett looked ready smack Mulder when a third and final person walked up.
"Oh my God, Fox Mulder? Why, I haven't seen you in forever!
Cam lifted an eyebrow to Scully, as the latter's left eye twitched in exasperation. The latest new-comer had perfectly manicured nails and silky-looking chestnut hair. Other than that, Cam thought she looked a bit like a horse, her skin unnaturally tan. Something about this girl made Cam automatically hate her.
Apparently Mulder did not feel the same way. "Oh my God, Diana? How long has it been?" Cam watched as Mulder embraced the girl – Diana – tightly, in a way she'd only seen him do with Scully before. Looking back to Scully, Cam noticed that her box of milk was squished, milk flecked all over her face and the table. Jack looked around worriedly before turning to Cam, who smiled and rolled her eyes, indicating that they should move farther down the table and let the love triangle (square, really, but who could ever remember Doggett?) play out on its own.
X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x – X – x
Scully absolutely abhorred Diana Fowley – was that even really her name? Scully never could remember, as she usually just referred to her as "The Foul One." She watched as Diana wrapped her lanky arms around Mulder's neck, rage building up in her as she wondered if the wench was going to try to kiss him. She hoped to God not – she might actually kill Diana.
Scully didn't have a specific reason for her hatred of Diana, other than the fact that Diana was obnoxious, Mulder's first and really horrible girlfriend, and the fact that if it wasn't for her Scully's permanent record would have remained clean. Unfortunately, the Incident From Last Year would forever follow her, no matter how hard she tried to shake that image.
"Oh, Diana –" Mulder suddenly remembered what manners were, and turned to introduce the two again. His face fell and the words 'you remember Scully, right?' died in his mouth at the look of abject loathing on Scully's face.
"Oh, it's so nice to see you again," Diana reached a hand out.
Scully did not return the favor. "Pleasure."
Mulder ran a hand through his hair and kicked his leg back into Doggett's calf. He could feel the smug stare burning on the back of his head, and he really didn't need this right now. The two girls were still glaring at one another, not saying a word.
"You – you can join us, if you'd like," Mulder offered.
"Oh, no, I wouldn't dream of it! Interrupting your lunch with your girlfriend? That would be so rude of me."
Scully grinned up at Diana smugly from behind Mulder's back, until she heard him sputter "What? No – no, Scully isn't my girlfriend!" Her face fell. She turned back to her lunch, pretending like she couldn't feel Doggett looking at her in sympathy. He sat down next to her, rubbing her back. Scully hated that her emotions were so readable.
"Oh, no, really, I couldn't. I'm meeting up with some friend from middle school. Scully, I'm sure you'd recognize them, as well?" Scully didn't look back to answer, mumbling 'fuck you' in her mind. Doggett verbalized her thoughts and Diana, a bit thrown off, stalked away without even saying goodbye.
Mulder was about to reprimand Doggett for his rude behavior but stopped with his mouth open when he saw Doggett caressing Scully's back. A million different thoughts ran threw his head, every one of them negative and every one of them directed at Doggett. He miraculously managed to repress himself, instead asking, "What's wrong, Scully?"
Scully stood up, slamming her tray down on the table and yelling "Not a thing, Mulder. Not a goddamn thing" before running off, crying, to the bathroom.