Small Miracles

Debra Fran Baker

"Fox! What happened to you?"

Mulder grinned as he swung into Skinner's apartment on his crutches. Scully followed him, looking grim.

"I just tripped." Mulder carefully dropped himself onto Skinner's couch.

"He did more than trip, Walter. He broke his ankle. Again." She glared at Mulder. "The entire assignment was a disaster from start to finish. We caught the guy, but nothing worked right."

"But you caught him?"

Scully sat down on the chair facing the couch. "Foot up, Mulder. And I still think you should be home in bed. Yes, Walter, we caught him. Don't ask me how."

Walter collected their coats to hang up, and then disappeared into the kitchen. He came out with a tray of coffee and cups. He glanced at Mulder's foot, now propped on his coffee table, and sighed.

"That's some cast." He sat down on the couch next to Mulder.

Mulder grinned. "They only had purple plaster left."

Scully poured out the coffee and passed it around. "You know how the day started. Nasty, rainy day. I hate December. If it weren't for Christmas, the entire month would be a waste." Skinner exchanged glances with Mulder and shrugged. "I know that for some reason you're grooming me to take over for you."

"There's no one better for the job, Dana. I pegged you as successor four years ago - before we became friends." He looked at his two agents, his two friends, and wondered just when they became the most important people in his life, and the ones he trusted beyond all others.

She looked at him and shook her head. "I know. You keep telling me that. That *is* why I was ASAC on this case, right?"

"You were ASAC, *Agent* Scully, because you were the right person for the job."

"He's right, you know. No one has had as much practice debunking psychic frauds as you."

"Me and the Amazing Randi. Okay. I can accept being made ASAC on this at the last moment, when Mr. Majestic left Texas and showed up practically on our doorstep. I can accept having to spend a nasty, rainy day *outdoors* to catch a short man with a big name who may or may not have been defrauding people and leaving them ill."

"May or may not, Scully? I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. You were convinced he was just out to rob those people blind."

She smiled at that. "I was right, wasn't I? As I was saying, all that was bad enough. Even that it took half the morning before some of those agents realized it was *me* in charge, and not Mulder, was, if not acceptable, at least predictable. I've learned to take care of that."

"I knew you could, Dana."

"But did you have to include Tom Colton with the group? He was totally useless. If he wasn't sucking up to me, he was flirting with Mulder."

"You saw that?" Mulder grinned over his coffee cup.

"You let him flirt with you?" Skinner looked at Mulder in feigned shock.

"Colton just didn't take a hint. Finally, I had to assign him *away* from us, which meant I couldn't keep an eye on him. I put him with Matt Stein. Thank you for