Friends in Hard Times
by Emily M.
From: "Emily M." <email@example.com> Subject: [glass_onion] Friends in Hard Times - PG (1/1) - by Emily M. Date: Friday, July 26, 2002 9:15 PM
TITLE: Friends in Hard Times
AUTHOR: Emily M.
KEYWORDS: Jeffrey, Kim
DISCLAIMER: Nope, not mine.
ARCHIVE: Sure, but an e-mail would be nice. SUMMARY: Kim and Jeffrey.
SPOILERS: One Son
NOTES: For the Harem 500 word Jeffrey, other woman challenge.
Friends in Hard Times
By Emily M.
She likes him. He doesn't barge into the office without an appointment. He doesn't argue with his partner when she's trying to get her work done. He doesn't bark orders like he owns the place. He doesn't put innocent people in danger for the sake of some ridiculous idea. He's a solid agent who does good work, not some maverick with delusions of grander. When he has an appointment, he sits quietly, waiting for the Assistant Director to call him in.
They talk sometimes, when she's ahead on her work and he's in a talkative mood. They can talk for a while, because the Assistant Director is a busy man and unlike some people, he doesn't expect everything to be dropped just for him.
She complains about the way people see secretaries and he complains about the way people see him, now that he's working down in the basement. She tells him all the gossip on her end and he fills her in on what's going on outside her circle. She mentions her family and he stops talking, but then she jokes with him and he laughs and it's okay again.
They have a lot in common. She's never been a social person, preferring to watch the interaction rather than engage in it. But with him, it's different, maybe because he's the same way. They eat lunch together often, usually outside, and people watch together. It's nice, she thinks, to have a friend. He has a way of putting her at ease and she finds herself telling him things she never thought she'd tell anyone. She tells him about her crush and he doesn't laugh or say it's cliche for a secretary to fall in love with her boss. He just frowns and says that it's a bad idea and for a moment she wants to hit him because she knows that dammit Instead, she settles for crumpling the wrapper on her sandwich and squeezing her hands into fists so tight she breaks a nail.
He tells her things too. He tells her how hard it was growing up with a mentally ill mother. How she would disappear for weeks, sometimes months and come back with stories that made him want to cry. He looks sad and very tired when he tells her things like that. She suddenly understands why he doesn't like to talk about family.
She worries when he stops talking to her, wondering what happened. She sees him in the hall looking tired and drawn. He doesn't even notice her when he walks past. When Agent Scully walks into the office, she asks her if she's seen him. Quickly, and with no inflection, Agent Scully tells her that his blood was found in the basement. He's assumed dead. She nods and watches her walk past into the Assistant Director's office. Then she goes to the bathroom, locks herself in a stall and starts to cry for him. She thinks she may be the only one who will.
He likes her. She has a quiet, capable way about her. She smiles at him when he comes in and makes him feel welcome. He likes to watch her work, quickly sorting papers or going through files. It's oddly relaxing to see someone so competent who knows exactly what she's doing. Things in his life are chaotic and so easily changed, but she is a constant, there whenever he goes to see the AD.
They talk when he has to wait for a while. At first, she talks and he listens but slowly he starts to speak up. She has a smile and a manner that makes it easier to talk to her then anyone he's ever known.
He tells her about his fears and insecurities and being compared to Mulder, who likes to think of himself as an outsider but has a lot more friends on the Bureau than he realizes. And those friends didn't like someone taking his place. He even tells her about his family, something he'd like to forget himself. She tells him about life as a non-agent in the Bureau and the way people don't respect you as much if you don't carry a gun. He tries to cheer her up when she has a bad day because it seems like whenever he feels sad or uncomfortable she's there, making him laugh.
They hang out a lot, eating lunch. Sometimes he goes up to her floor in the hopes of seeing her in the hallway. His day gets better just seeing her. She tells him finally that she has a crush on her boss and for a moment he is struck dumb by the unfairness of life. Why should the man in the office who has never seen past the efficient secretary in his outer office get her admiration? He doesn't say that, though, he just mentions that it's not a good idea and she seems angry at that so he's quick to add that he understands wanting someone you can't have. She smiles at him and sighs and asks why life has to be so complicated. He wishes he had an answer for her.
When things start to get really bad and he starts to realize how truly screwed up this world is, he makes the mistake of avoiding her, not wanting to involve her in his messes. But he doesn't realize how stupid that is until he sees her in the hall and realizes how much he's missed her presence. He's quick to look down because he's messed up treating her the way he has and he doesn't want to see the hurt he knows must he in her eyes.
As he rides the elevator to the basement, he thinks that he'll make it up to her. Before he leaves here, he'll go up and apologize for avoiding her. He just hopes it's not too late to repair the relationship.
The elevator hits the basement and he sees the door ajar and that man in his soon to be ex-office.
"Get out of here."
Completed July 24, 2002
AN: I freely admit to being influenced by Kristen's wonderful post-William story on this one, but I think the idea that Jeffrey and Kim got along makes sense.
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Emily M.
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