"You're kidding me," says Gillian, sitting cross-legged in David's trailer during their lunch break. "You're having me on."
"No," he insists. "It's a really interesting topic."
She picks up his Senior thesis again and reads out the title. Seriously, thoughtfully, as if she were introducing his work at a seminar. As if she cared.
"The Schizophrenic Critique of Pure Reason in Beckett's Early Novels."
Then Gillian bursts into laughter. That distinctive laugh of hers. It's almost a cackle.
"If the show tanks..." he begins, though they've never brought the subject up before.
"You think it will?"
It could. They're only two episodes into the filming and David still isn't sure how this alien abduction thing is going to play with the public.
"If the show tanks," he continues doggedly. "I keep thinking I might go back to Yale and finish my doctoral thesis. Maybe."
Gillian laughs again. It wasn't what he wanted to hear from her. He looks at her thoughtfully, thinking that he'd pay good money to hear her reading the abstract aloud. She would make it sound a lot more scholarly than it looks, smudged dot matrix printing and all.
"You don't want to keep acting, David? I wouldn't go back to school if they paid me."
It is at this point that David Duchovny realizes three things. First (and this should have been obvious from the start), Gillian is nothing like Dana Scully. Second (and so should this), she is a far better actor than he'll ever be. Third (with a sinking feeling in his stomach), she really is a bit of an airhead.
Maybe he would have noticed this earlier if she weren't also incredibly attractive. And if she didn't play an intelligent person on television.
Fanny Hill, thinks David. He'd love to hear her reading Fanny Hill aloud, if he had any confidence that she'd know what it was.
He doesn't, though. And somehow that's a turnoff.
"David? What is it?"
What's gotten into him? All he knows is that he doesn't want to hear her laugh again, he doesn't want to sleep with her again, and he'd better pay a bit more attention in rehearsals if he wants to keep The X-Files from turning into The Dana Scully Show.
"I'd better work on my lines now," he says, getting to his feet.
"Really?" she asks, looking up.
"Really," he replies.