It Was Only Luck
Author: Kathy Foote
Summary: There are two kinds of luck; good and bad
Category: Humor, light ST
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, these characters are the property of Chris Carter, 1013
Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox. I wish they were mine, but they aren’t.
Archive: Two weeks exclusive with VS12, then anywhere is fine by me
Authors’ note: This story was written for IMTP Virtual Season 12, St. Patrick’s Day
Thanks: To Emmy for her encouragement, my Mom for all her wonderful help, and to
Vickie Moseley, my phenomenal beta.
It Was Only Luck
March 17th – 8:00am
“I cannot believe you wore that tie today. What’s Skinner going to say?”
“What?” he asks, as he looks down at the bright yellow tie covered in small green four- leaf clovers. “What’s wrong with it? It’s perfect for today.”
“Mulder, it’s hideous.”
“That’ll be $9.87,” said the girl behind the counter at Starbuck’s. “I like your tie.”
He smiled as he handed the girl a ten-dollar bill and then turned to Scully. “See, _some_ people have taste.” He got his change, took the bag of goodies, and turned toward the front door.
Scully walked behind him mumbling under her breath, “Yeah, _bad_ taste.”
He held the door open for her and then followed her out onto the sidewalk. He stood there a moment, looking up into the sky. It was shaping up to be a beautiful day. The sun was shining; the temperature was only slightly cool; spring was definitely around the corner.
“Come on, Mulder, we better get to the office.”
He stopped his appraisal of the sun lit sky and noticed a small man dressed in a green suit, holding a bucket. The man couldn’t be more than three feet tall. He thought it was strange that he hadn’t noticed the little guy when they entered the coffee shop. He must have just arrived. He was staring at him, when the little man looked up and they made eye contact. He winked at Mulder and beckoned him forward with a wave of his hand.
Mulder was drawn by the twinkle in the man’s eyes and walked over to him.
“Good morning, good sir. Timothy Fagan, at your service,” he said in a heavy Irish brogue and bowed at the waist.
“Good morning, Mr. Fagan. What…”
“Tim, please,” he interrupted shaking his finger.
“Very well, _Tim_, what’s in the bucket?”
He looked from side to side and then gestured Mulder to lean down for a private conversation. “They’re lucky shamrocks and _you_ need to buy one. In fact, you need to buy two.”
“Two?” he asked warily, suddenly having the feeling that he was being taken.
“One for you and one for the lassie.”
At the mention of Scully, he looked around and found her standing fifteen feet away. She had a look on her face that, coupled with her hands on her hips, said he had better hurry up. He held up his hand and gave her a ‘wait just a second’ gesture. Of course, she wouldn’t wait there and began to walk back toward him.
He turned back the Tim. “How much are they?”
“Five dollars a piece. A bargain, I dare say.”
Scully arrived back at his side just in time to hear the price. “Five dollars! That’s outrageous. Come on, Mulder. We need to get going.” She grabbed his arm and pulled him away.
“Wait a minute, Scully. I could use some extra good luck…so could you. Besides it’s Saint Patrick’s Day.” He dug a ten-dollar bill out of his wallet. He turned back to Tim and handed him the bill. “I’ll take two.”
“Ah, very good sir. You won’t regret this. I guarantee it.”
Mulder ran to catch up with Scully and showed her what he had bought. He slid one of the 4-leaf clovers into his lapel and handed the other one to her.
“I don’t want that.”
“Oh, come on, Scully. The little fellow said they were lucky. In fact, he guaranteed it.”
She just stood there with her arms crossed across her chest, making no move to take it from him. “Mulder, you’re a sucker. The man saw you coming from a mile away.”
“Fine,” he said as he slid the second 4-leaf clover into his lapel. “I don’t know I just have a feeling about this.” He turned to look back at the place where he had confronted the little man and he was gone…vanished. “Hey, Scully, the little guy is gone.”
“He probably ran off before we arrested him for fraud.” She again began walking toward the Hoover building. He stared at the empty spot another few seconds, then turned to walk with her.
As they walked, Scully stepped onto a grate in the sidewalk and the heel of her left shoe got stuck in it. Mulder was walking and talking with Scully, when all of a sudden he realized she was not there anymore. He turned to see her trying to wiggle her heel out of the grate. Finally, she stepped out of the shoe to retrieve it, but being a gentleman, Mulder reached down and freed the shoe from its snare. As he was bent over, he noticed a ten-dollar bill lying on the ground next to the grate and he snatched it up.
“Hey, Scully, look what I found.” He held up the bill for her to see. “Ten bucks! How lucky is that. It must be the 4-leaf clovers; the _free_ 4-leaf clovers now.”
She just rolled her eyes and held out her hand for her shoe, which he gave her. She examined the shoe and found a large cut in the leather on the heel. “Great! These were brand new.” She slipped the shoe onto her foot.
“I don’t know why you wear shoes like that anyway.” He knew he had nothing to do with it, but he felt he should apologize anyway. “Sorry about your shoes. You know if you were wearing your shamrock that might not have happened. You want it now?”
She glared at him for a moment, then spun on her heels and headed for the Hoover building. He walked with her in silence.
When they got back to their basement office, Mulder removed the items from the sack and placed them on Scully’s desk. He pulled the lid off the first cup and inhaled the aroma. “Smells like heaven.” He looked into the first wrapper and spotted his favorite cheese Danish. He grabbed his items and went to his own desk. He took a big bite out of his Danish and a sip of his cappuccino. “Mmmmm. White Chocolate Mocha and Cheese Danish. Breakfast of Champions.”
She almost choked on his last statement. “Breakfast? That looks more like dessert.”
“Jealous?” he mumbled as he took another bite.
“Not in the least,” she said smiling, as she pulled the lid off the remaining cup. Instead of her typical low-fat latte, she was in possession of another White Chocolate Mocha Cappuccino. Her smile quickly vanished. Opening the wrapper expecting to find her banana nut muffin, she spied another Cheese Danish. Her former smile had now been replaced with a frown. They had doubled Mulder’s order.
He noticed her sitting there wearing a frown. “What’s wrong?”
“Mulder, they left my stuff out and doubled _your_ order. I can’t drink this. You want another White Chocolate Mocha Cappuccino?”
“Really?” he said with a big grin forming on his face. He jumped up and practically skipped over to her desk. “Man, I am so lucky today. First, I find ten dollars and now I get a free cappuccino. Must be the shamrock.”
“Give it a rest, Mulder,” she threw back over her shoulder as she went to fire up their coffee maker. She stood there disgusted, watching the coffee brew, thinking how good that latte would have tasted. Now she would be stuck with regular coffee. It just wasn’t fair.
Armed with a fresh cup of coffee, she returned to her desk to finally eat her breakfast.
She removed the sticky Danish and took a big bite. She had to admit it was good. She looked around her desk for napkin, but Mulder must have taken them all. She pulled open her lower drawer to get one from her stash and rammed the desk drawer into her shin. “Oww!” she yelped.
“I hit my leg with the desk drawer.” She leaned over to examine the spot and noticed a run in her hose. “Dammit!” she exclaimed.
“What’s wrong now?” he asked sounding a bit exasperated.
“It’s nothing. I just got a run in my hose.”
“Gee, Scully, you sure are having a run of bad luck. Perhaps you should reconsider taking this 4-leaf clover.” He held out the shamrock toward her. She gave him a smirk and made no move to accept his offer. “Fine,” he said as he put it back in his lapel.
They spent an uneventful hour reading through files when suddenly he broke the silence.
“We’ve got a meeting with Skinner in fifteen minutes. What do you say we gather our reports together and head on up?” He put on his jacket, picked up the folder that contained his report, and headed for the door.
He was at the door; ready to leave, when he noticed Scully wasn’t with him. He saw her searching for something at her desk. “What’re you looking for?”
“My report!” she said a little too loudly. “Sorry. I can’t find my report. I could’ve sworn I put it in my briefcase this morning, but now it’s not there. Do you have it?”
“No. You must’ve left it at home. Look, there’s nothing we can do about it now. You can explain it to Skinner and tell him you’ll bring it in tomorrow.”
“I guess you’re right. Damn. I hate going up there without my report.”
“We better get a move on. He’ll be even madder if we’re late.”
Ten minutes later, they were directed into Skinner’s office and Scully took her usual seat.
Mulder placed his report on Skinner’s desk and then sat down. Skinner looked at the report and then at Scully. “Did you forget something, Agent Scully?”
“Yes, sir, I’m sorry, but I seem to have left my report at home. I didn’t have time to go back home to get it before the meeting.”
He actually looked shocked by her statement. She had never been unprepared for a meeting…ever, but he couldn’t let it slide. “I expect to see you…and your report…in my office…tomorrow morning…at 7:00am sharp.”
7:00am? She usually didn’t even get to work until 8:00 or 8:30. She figured this was punishment for being late with her report. “Yes, sir.”
“Agent Mulder, thank you for the timely submission of your report.” Scully flushed with embarrassment at his statement. They sat in silence as Skinner reviewed the report.
Finally, he closed the folder and leaned back in his chair. “This is an excellent report, Agent. Your conclusions are sound and well thought out. Your corroborating evidence is properly catalogued and attached. This is one of your best reports; I’m very pleased.”
Mulder simply looked at him for a second. He was not accustomed to such praise.
“Why…Thank you, sir.”
“By the way, Mulder, I _love_ that tie. It’s perfect for today. Where’d you get it?”
Mulder looked at him as if he had grown a second head. He was shocked that he liked his tie. He had actually expected Skinner to hate it. “I…I actually got it at Spencer’s, sir.”
“Well, I love it!” he said with a chuckle; an honest to goodness chuckle. “And the shamrocks, Mulder…where’d you get them? Are they really 4-leaf clovers?”
“Yes, sir, they are. I bought them this morning from a man in front of the coffee shop. He said they were lucky.”
“I wish I’d seen him. One can always use some extra luck.” Mulder gave Scully a side- wards glance at his last comment. She did not return his look. “I guess that’s about it, Agents. You’re dismissed.” They were at the door when he added, “And Agent Scully…
I look forward to seeing your report first thing tomorrow morning.” She gave him a nod and rushed out the door ahead of Mulder.
Mulder was practically glowing all the way back to the basement and Scully was fuming.
She punched the button to call the elevator and they waited. When the elevator didn’t arrive, she punched the button again.
“Here, let me try,” Mulder said. As soon as he punched the button, the doors opened. He gave her a sheepish grin and got in the car. “I guess I just got lu…”
“_Don’t_ say lucky!” she yelled as she turned to take the stairs instead.
He stepped out of the elevator car and followed her into the stairwell. “Come on, Scully, don’t be mad at me.”
She didn’t acknowledge him and continued down the stairs. Half way down the last flight of stairs, the heel on her shoe broke and she tumbled down the remaining steps. The hose were now a total loss, as were the heels. She had a large bruise forming on her shin.
Mulder rushed to her side, a look of concern on his face. “Scully! Scully, are you all right? Do you think you broke anything?”
“I’m fine, Mulder,” she said sharply. Seeing the hurt look on his face, she tried again.
“Nothing is broken, except for my heels. Nothing is hurt, except for my pride.” She placed her hand on his cheek and said in gentle tone, “I’m okay. Really. How about helping me up?” He smiled and gave her a hand up.
As soon as they entered the office, he whirled on her. “This is ridiculous, Scully! If you would just take the damn shamrock, this would all end.”
“I will _not_ give credence to your ludicrous theory about lucky shamrocks by wearing that stupid thing. Just.Drop.It.”
“_Fine_,” he said. “I won’t mention it again.”
The second half of the day was about the same as the first half. Bad things kept happening to Scully and Mulder seemed to be having remarkably good luck. By the end of the day, she had a huge coffee stain on her skirt, ink on her new blouse, and had lost two buttons on her jacket. Mulder had retrieved her overnight bag from the car, so she could change shoes, but refused to change clothes, because she couldn’t afford to ruin anymore. She had to change shoes, since she couldn’t walk around in her bare feet. He hadn’t brought up the subject of the shamrocks again, even though it was eating him up inside not to do so.
Finally, the day from hell was over. Mulder suggested they go straight home and order in Chinese food. She agreed that that was a good idea and further suggested that they stop and pick up a nice bottle of wine on the way. She could sure use a drink after this day.
They stopped at a liquor store not far from their place. As soon as they walked in, they immediately realized they were in trouble. There was a young couple cowering in the corner by the refrigerated cases amidst a bunch of broken bottles and spilt liquids. There was a man pointing an automatic rifle at the terrified couple.
Before they could do anything, they were face to face with a second armed man. This one was armed with a 9mm handgun.
“For God’s sake, could this day get any worse,” Scully said, clearly tired of her string of bad luck today.
“Shut up!” he demanded and pointed his gun directly in her face. “Don’t you try anything.”
“Calm down…it’s okay,” soothed Mulder, as he and Scully slowly raised their hands in submission.
“Dammit! I thought I told you to lock that door!” he screamed at the trembling manager.
“Get over and lock it. NOW!” He turned back to his two new hostages. “You two, get over there with the others.” He motioned toward the other couple with his gun. “Jake! You watch these two.”
Jake turned as he heard his name and pointed his rifle at Mulder and Scully, as they slowly made their way across the store.
“Hurry up!” urged Jake, “I ain’t got all night.”
They took a position next to the other couple. Mulder quickly assessed the situation.
Two men, both armed with automatic weapons, obviously not professionals, which made them even more dangerous. Jake, the one armed with the rifle, looked ready to explode.
The other man, his name unknown, had returned to badgering the storeowner into opening his safe, which the owner seemed to be having trouble with.
The two men seemed unstable and were clearly agitated. Mulder had a very bad feeling about the whole situation. He couldn’t go for his own weapon, while Jake had his rifle pointed at them. The gun wouldn’t even clear the holster before he would be shot. He realized that this might not end well and considering Scully’s luck today, it might go worse for her.
“Psst…Scully…take the shamrock,” he whispered.
She turned to him and gave him a look that clearly said she thought he was crazy.
“What? I can’t believe you thinking about that at a time like this.” she whispered back.
“Take the shamrock, please!”
“Hey! You two shut up!” Jake yelled at them.
“Mulder,” she whispered low and menacingly, “you’re going to get us shot.”
“Please…I’m begging you.”
“Fine…give it to me,” she agreed, just to shut him up. He was obviously not going to drop it.
He removed one of the four-leaf clovers from his lapel and held it out to Scully, who snatched it from his hand.
The first gunman noticed the exchange. “Hey! What’re you two doing?” he yelled as he rushed toward them with his gun aimed in their direction. Jake turned his rifle on them also.
Mulder debated with himself whether or not to pull his gun; this might be their last chance. Before he could decide, the first gunman hit the spilt liquid, lost his footing, fell onto his back, hit his head on the hard floor, and was out cold. As he hit the ground, his finger tightened on the trigger, firing the gun. The bullet hit his partner in the chest and he too went down, his weapon falling from his slack arms.
Mulder, Scully, and the other couple were completely stunned. They couldn’t believe what had just happened. They finally broke from their stupor. Mulder pulled out his cell phone to call 911 while he secured the weapons. Scully checked out the condition of the two gunmen. The one seemed to be unconscious, while the other was dead from a gunshot to the chest. She cuffed the unconscious prisoner and then they all waited for the police to arrive.
Later, Mulder and Scully were standing on the sidewalk in the front of the liquor store.
They had already given their statements and were waiting to be released.
“I’m so glad you finally decided to take that shamrock, Scully,” he said, “It probably saved your life.”
“Oh, please! I only took it to shut you up, Mulder, before you got us both shot. It was just a coincidence that that man slipped and shot his partner.”
Mulder snorted and stared at her unbelievingly. “I cannot believe you said that. That little man this morning sold me those shamrocks on purpose.”
Now it was her turn to stare at him in disbelief. “I cannot believe _you_ said that. There is no way that man could have known we would walk into that robbery…it was just luck, Mulder.”
Mulder rolled his eyes and turned away. He couldn’t understand why Scully always found it impossible to believe. He looked up the street and spied the little man from this morning standing on the corner not thirty feet away. Mulder and Tim made eye contact and stared at one another for several moments. The little fellow smiled, gave Mulder a wink, and then disappeared. Mulder continued to stare at the empty space, once occupied by Timothy Fagan and then finally turned back to Scully.
“You know, Scully, you’re right…it was only luck.”