Would You Like Some Fries With That?

Would You Like Some Fries with That?

By Mary Kleinsmith (BUC252@aol.com)

Categories/Keywords: Post-ep for Small Fries, Written for VS10’s

Post-ep Challenge

Rating: PG

Summary: Six Weeks after the events in Small Fries, Scully and

Mulder visit the school

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: Scully and Mulder belong to 10-13, Fox, and CC.

Gabrielle and the rest of the Small Fries crowd belong to Kel, and I

thank her for sharing them with us.

Feedback: Please? Much appreciated!

Would You Like Some Fries with That?

By Mary Kleinsmith (BUC252@aol.com)

Mrs. Cooper stood at the front of the class, finishing the

mathematics lesson. All the children had done very well, the six-

year-olds finding their addition tables all the easier because of

the way she taught them.

Mulder and Scully watched from the corner of the room. It had

been six weeks since their ordeal in the town, and while official

follow-up wasn’t really part of their duties, they couldn’t resist

checking up on the five very special children.

Scattered about the classroom, fitting in like their parents always

dreamed, the changelings sat at their desk in their jeans or

dresses or their Sponge Bob T-shirts, absorbing the information

the teacher was imparting to them. The five were, undoubtedly,

intelligent – a fact that they both found amusing given their

father. Eddie Van Blundht was not the brightest penny in the jar.

“Look, Mulder,” Scully whispered, pointing to a small, blonde

girl in the second row. Gabrielle Nelligan wore the same braids

they’d seen her with when they’d been there last, but her clothes

were no longer the rags they had been.

“Looks like Amanda’s moving up in the world. I wonder how

she managed it on a single-mother’s salary.”

“Maybe she got a promotion,” Scully suggested in a whisper that

had gotten just a bit too loud.

“Shhh!” a student said with a finger over her pursed lips. This

child, Mulder remembered, was Erica Carlyle, the child who had

been accused of smashing a teacher’s car with a baseball bat. It

had turned out later to be Amanda, “making faces.”

Scully had the good grace to look at least a little guilty.

“I guess she told you!” Mulder smiled.

“I guess she did,” Scully agreed, smiling.

Mrs. Cooper was just finishing up the lesson when the first

rumbles went through the classroom. A few children’s faces

being fearful of the noise, but the teacher knew that if she kept

teaching, they’d eventually forget it was there and their fear

would dissipate.

Great plan while it lasted, she told herself, as the sky grew dark,

the noise grew louder and was accompanied by flashes of light,

and then, the rain came down. Buckets and buckets, cats and

dogs, as the old expression went.

Just as the rain became such a downpour that she didn’t think it

could get much worse, the inevitable happened: the bell for

recess rang.

There was instant movement, kids jumped out of their seats and

began to chatter, but she drew them back into control with her

words, calm and collected.

“Well, obviously we won’t be able to go on the playground

today, so we’ll just have to stay inside and have some fun. Can

anybody think of a game they’d like to play?”

All the kids shouted out at once. She should have known.

“Faces!”

She chuckled as she nodded her head. “Very well, since it seems

to be unanimous.”

“Mrs. Cooper, what is ‘u-nanny-mouse’?”

“It’s u-na-ni-muss, Christopher. And it means that everybody

thinks the same thing. Like what game you want to play.”

She turned her back on the class, cleaning the surface of her large

desk until the top was immaculate, then she took the chalk and

drew a line down the center of the blackboard. One column she

labeled, “challengers” and the other she labeled, “challenged.”

The two agents at the back of the classroom exchanged a look,

and she smiled a bit to herself. They’d get a kick out of this, just

as she did every time the children played it.

“Okay, everybody in their places.”

The five kids, Michael, Gabrielle, Joshua, Christopher, and

Matthew went to the front of the class, where she helped them

each to a seat on the desk, side by side, facing their classmates.

The other students quickly moved forward to fill in empty

spaces, some of them dragging their desks and chairs even closer

to get a better look.

“Who gets to go first?”

“Me, me, me!” a small boy at a desk shrieked, waving his hand.

“Okay, Jason. You first. We’ll work from left to right.”

“Okay, ummmm . . . the kid from Home Alone!” His challenge

was proudly given, but Michael didn’t seem at all concerned.

Sitting very still, they all watched as Michael’s face changed,

even his hair changed, until was the spitting image of McCauley

Caulkin – in the years before he grew up.

Everybody laughed and clapped.

“Very good, Michael. Excellent. That’s one point for the

challenged team.” She drew a slash mark on the board in their

column.

“Me next!” another child begged, and when she nodded, she said,

Mrs. Cooper.”

The teacher was pleased to watch as Gabrielle turned into a tiny

replica of herself. It was adorable. Another point went in the

“challenged” column.

“I have one, I have one!” At the teacher’s nod, the student looked

Joshua in the eye. “Hermoine Granger! From the movie.”

“Oooh,” went through the classroom. They all knew that Joshua

was the weakest when it came to making faces, and asking a boy

to do a girl made it especially hard.

Joshua’s four teammates supported him, trying to send them their

strength through their eyes while he tried with all his might, but

the class agreed that he never quite made it to looking like the

child in question. A point went into the “challenger” column.

They continued making challenges and faces for about forty-five

minutes, and only occasionally did Mrs. Cooper have to step in

and play judge, deciding as to whether the child in question had

succeeded in doing the face. She had the best kids. She may not

have any of her own, but she had a whole class of them here.

Even Agents Mulder and Scully made challenges once or twice,

and they did well and kept in mind that there were some people

the first-graders wouldn’t know.

The score was tied, and their hour recess was almost up.

Suddenly, Mrs. Cooper smiled. She had an idea.

“Hey everybody, can I make a challenge?”

All the small heads nodded simultaneously. “I’ll need two of

you – who wants to do it?”

“Me!” Michael’s hand went up, just a moment before

Christopher’s, and simultaneously with Gabrielle’s.

“Okay, Michael, and Gabrielle. Do . . .” she drew it out, a

simulated drum roll. “. . . Agents Mulder and Scully.”

The gasps were heard throughout the classroom – nobody had

ever challenged a guest in the classroom before. The room grew

silent as the seated students watched intensely.

“C’mon, Michael,” Christopher encouraged. “You can do it.

He’s standing right there.”

“Yeah, Gabrielle,” Matthew said with a grin. “She should be

easy. You’re both girls, after all.” He exchanged a look with

Joshua.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the two students’ faces changed.

Formed, reformed, their concentration apparent. Mrs. Cooper

retrieved a small mirror from her desk and gave it to them to help

them see if they were on track.

Finally, ten minutes later, they put the mirror down.

“Done!” said Michael.

And surely enough, he bore a striking resemblance to Mulder.

Not perfect, but close enough for a point in their favor. Gabrielle

had a tougher time, and her “Scully” face wasn’t quite as close,

but still pretty good.

“I did it!” She said.

“No, you didn’t,” a classmate claimed. “You don’t look like

her.” He pointed to Scully.

“Sure, I do!” Gabrielle began to argue, and Mrs. Cooper knew

she had to resolve the situation before the tensions grew.

“Okay, okay, I’ll be the judge.” She walked around Gabrielle for

almost a full minute, then did the same to Scully, which made

both Mulder and the rest of the class laugh. “I’ve decided that

the winners of today’s game are . . .” She hesitated, and the kids

were at the edges of their seats.

“. . . it’s a tie! Both teams win!” With that, the entire classroom

erupted in cheers, just as the bell rang again.

“Okay, that’s lunch. Get your boxes and go down to the

cafeteria. In an orderly fashion, please!”

The five “misfits” jumped off the desk and joined their

classmates, and before long, the room was deserted of her young

charges.

She didn’t realize she wasn’t alone until a male voice cleared

itself behind her. Agents Mulder and Scully hadn’t left with the

kids.

“I have to say,” Agent Scully said, “I’m very impressed with

how you handle those kids. Six-year-olds can be a handful under

the best of circumstances, but this group . . .”

“They’re still just kids, Agent Scully. You just have to keep

them interested.”

“Well, you seem to do that very well,” Mulder agreed. “In this

type of environment, there’d be a predilection for a schism to

develop between the two factions: those gifted, and those non-

gifted. But these children don’t have any of the signs of that.

Very impressive, indeed.”

“Well, thank you, Agents. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a

lesson plan to complete before they get back.

They all shook hands, and Mulder and Scully took their leave of

her as she turned to begin cleaning the chalk from the

blackboard. As she bent down to retrieve a dropped eraser,

nobody saw the small, round scar right above her tailbone. . .

The End . . .

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