Title: Murphy's Law , (or All Foxes find their own holes.)
Category Story: Adventure or (misadventure) H
Rating: PG some naughty words. Smelly situations. Mulder POV.
Disclaimer: CC and Fox are the big Honchos who own this. Written for the March, Necessity is the mother of invention.
I've always believed in Murphy's Law. If shit
can happen, you better have a huge goddamn shovel on the ready. I suppose it's
applied to me most of my life and the situation that I've gotten us into now is
no exception. Scully's disdain is apparent with that arch in her eyebrow each
time she focuses her attention on me. If looks could kill, I'd be fucked.
This morning I received an email from an unknown source advising me of a peculiar land formation that materialized overnight. Only an hours drive away and as I was bored with endless report writing, I decided a little expedition out of the basement would not only allow me some fresh air and freedom, it might actually be worth checking out.
Now, really it's Scully's own fault she's in this predicament with me. I had almost made it to the water cooler with thoughts of stealing a few hours when she rounded the corner startling me out of my stupor.
"A little early for lunch, isn't Mulder?"
Now, if I'd come up with a better, more articulate answer I just may have gotten away with it but when she crossed her arms I knew that I was dead meat; maybe even rotting meat with maggots.
"Were you planning on ditching me again, Mulder?"
"No, I just. I thought. Scully, I really need to get away from those reports. You know, collect my thoughts."
"You mean leave me to finish them, don't you?"
"Of course not." I face the raise of her eyebrow. "Only a few hours, Scully."
"Right." Unfolding her arms, she continued round the corner. "Bye Mulder."
An invisible icicle plunged through my chest, piercing the already accumulating growth of guilt. I could feel my shoulders slump. Why is it that women can manipulate men with just a few words or a certain look?
I catch her as she reaches for the door.
"How does a drive to the woods sound to you?" She virtually spins on her heels, a cynical expression on her face, but she's silent, questioning. "There's something I want to investigate, some kind of formation that's appeared overnight."
"A formation? Crop formations, Mulder? Do you realize how many of those have turned out to be hoaxes?"
"This isn't a crop formation, Scully. It's some kind of crater."
"Crater? Shouldn't you be contacting a geologist?"
"I'd like to see exactly what we're dealing with first."
"You can come along or you can stay and finish your reports."
"Oh no. I'm not doing those on my own. I'm coming with you, regardless of whether it turns out to be a hoax or not."
Now when I see her with dirt caked on her hands and the dagger looks she's giving me at just the right intervals, I'm sure she's thinking those reports are looking more fascinating every minute and wishing I'd ditched her to finish them.
It all started out just fine. It was a pleasant drive and Scully must've appreciated the thought of abandoning the reports as after stopping for gas, she produced a bag of sunflower seeds and some ice tea. I'm sure that agreeable mood was soon to be replaced by her not-so-impressed attitude.
The area indicated to me in the email was on the outskirts of DC and although not quite the woods I was anticipating, it was country enough to challenge Scully's balance over the terrain in her heels. I'm grateful she didn't land on her ass those times she did trip or I would be doubly regretting this venture.
The 'crater' turned out to be a hole. The only attestation to any paranormal implication was that it was a perfect circle. Scully's quip that perhaps I might think it was from the landing gear of a UFO didn't help my souring demeanor. No farmer Mike confronted us with any other explanation so being inquisitive I knelt down to take a closer look.
It was a fairly large hole, perhaps the size of a water tank in radius and perhaps 10 feet deep at best. If I hadn't leaned closer to inspect the rim of the aperture for any scorches or furrows made by machinery, I wouldn't have lost my footing.
The bottom of the hole was soft and free of rocks, unlike the area above ground so I sustained no injuries, apart from my pride. Scully's laughter echoed down bruising that pride even further. After she recovered from her moment of hysteria, we devised a 'rope' or sorts from our jackets to assist me in climbing my way out. Unfortunately, the ground was soggy. Not only did I manage to slide back down on my ass, Scully in her efforts to assist, slipped and was yanked down, landing atop yours truly.
Ok I admit that was not the time for me to laugh or to utter "Hi Scully" but how was I to know the whole area was soggy and she wouldn't find this situation humorous.
She struggled off me, patting down her skirt and trying to implant some space between us, which isn't very far in this hole.
"Ok G-man, you got any bright ideas to get us out of here?"
I attempted to kick out soil for footholds, clutching at roots poking through the sides of the hole in order to recommence my ascent. After half a dozen unsuccessful endeavors ending up on my ass each time, I surmised perhaps we needed a new strategy.
Now, after sitting and replenishing my energy and my sore ass, I think I've come up with a plan.
"I'd say this hole is about 10 feet deep, right?" Scully glances at me as if I've just stated the obvious. "I'm over 6 feet, so if you climb on my shoulders, you might be able to touch the top and climb out."
"'Might be able to touch.?"
Her hands fly to her waist. I can't imagine what I've said to piss her off. Wasn't I finding the most possible way out of our predicament?
"Mulder, for your information I happen to be OVER 4 feet tall!"
"What I meant, Scully, was that this could be more than 10 feet deep, I just didn't phrase that well."
Good comeback. It looks like she's buying it as she peers up.
"I don't think I can climb on your shoulders, Mulder."
"Sure you can. You can use the sides to keep your balance."
"I'm in a skirt."
"I promise not to look."
She tilts her head to the side, thinning her lips in a mock smile.
"I can't maneuver well in this skirt, let alone climb onto your shoulders."
"Then take it off."
"Cross my heart, Scully, I won't look."
"Suit yourself. We may be stuck here for some time unless that farmer decides to show up. Why did you have to wear a skirt today anyway?"
"Mulder, whatever I decide to choose from my wardrobe on a daily basis has nothing to do with you and besides I had no idea we were going to traipse around in the countryside today on one of your wild paranormal goose-chases."
"I could climb onto your shoulders but I don't think you'd be able to hold me up."
"Well-observed point, Mulder."
"Sorry for the sarcasm, Mulder, but you deserved it."
"No, Scully I mean shit. Real shit."
"Coming out of one of the places I kicked."
I just noticed something oozing out of an indent I'd made in the side of the hole when I tried to shimmy up. On closer inspection, it is in fact shit; possibly human feces. Great. We are not only in a hole but a shithole.
As I remove my pen from my discarded jacket pocket, I can hear Scully sigh behind me.
"Mulder don't play with it."
"I'm not playing with it, Scully. I'm wondering if this used to be a sewerage area, you know old pipes running through."
"Those old pipes used to be extremely big structures. Maybe there's an old abandoned pipe behind this hole wall."
"I repeat Mulder: and?"
"Well, they would usually lead to somewhere. Most of those pipes would have manholes for maintenance, wouldn't they?"
"My knowledge on sewerage pipes is limited, Mulder."
"You may jest, Scully, but if I'm right we could get out of here."
"And you're going to dig through with your pen?"
At this point, I turn and grin.
"I don't really want to touch this piece of shit, Scully. Once I get past it, the soil is soft enough to use my hands."
"You might come across more."
"Be optimistic for me. You could help, you know."
"Oh I'm fine, Mulder. You play with your poop. I'm quite content to wait for your contact to show up."
She would sing a different tune if I actually turned out to be right.
I focus on the task, gathering handfuls of muck and flinging it to one side. In my peripheral vision Scully sets her jacket down, seating herself upon it. I have no idea why, her clothes are about as filthy as my own.
"That didn't sound promising, Mulder."
I try to replace the muck that I've just dug out to stop the trickle that's started.
"Er, Scully, I think I've located the pipe."
She sidles up beside me then takes a step back.
"I guess you did, Mulder. It stinks."
"The only problem is, Scully, I think the pipe's full."
"What does that mean?"
I stand aside to display the trickle that's started to run more freely. Her eyes widen. We both try frantically to block the area with the mud I cast aside but to no avail. In fact, the wall of the hole seems to be breaking away with more trickles emerging from numerous places. Far more places than we can manage between the two of us. I have to pull her away from the wall.
"Sorry Scully." I look down at our feet that are now immersed in muck and water. "I don't think we can stop it."
She scans the wall then starts to unbutton her skirt. Am I about to get lucky?
"Ok Mulder, if you think you can keep your balance, I'll try and climb up."
Before she can finish removing her skirt, the entire wall seems to crumble away, water gushing in at an enormous rate. I have no time to tell her to take a deep breath and keep her mouth shut as my feet are swept out from under me. An enormous roar fills my ears and I silently pray that most of this is water.
I must have lost consciousness for a few minutes. I seem to be topside, an incredible stench filling my nostrils. Someone is wiping at my face.
"If that's your friend, sir, she's over there gettin' washed down."
I strain my neck around from my position on the ground to see blurred figures by a truck with what looks like buckets and towels. I hold my head as I try sitting upright. The whole world feels like it just tilted. I realize I'm out of that shithole and turn around looking for it.
"Looks like that there hole filled up 'n you two floated on out of there."
"Who are you?"
"Mike. I emailed you last night about that hole. I was told you investigated stuff like this. That there hole just happened in the last couple of days."
"You realize that it's probably an old sewerage site that was just covered? That was probably where one of the pipes was removed, hence the almost perfect shape."
"I do now." He rubs his nose, crinkling it for good measure.
Mike's compadre arrives with a bucket and a towel. My turn. Great. An extra pair of feet appear just before I'm able to stand. I squint up at my partner.
"You know, Mulder, there better not be a report on this."
"Not unless you decide to write one, or unless you want reimbursement for dry-cleaning on your suit."
"I think this one will need to be burnt."
"I was right though, Scully."
"It was an old sewerage site."
"Yes, Mulder but in this situation, I would have rather it have been a crop formation."
They looked at each other and somehow in unison said, "Hate to say this , but you smell bad!"