Title: Married Man's Pride (1/1)
Author: (Vesper) Regina
Rating: G
Category: SH
Keywords: Ringfic.
Spoilers: Travelers
Disclaimer: 'The X-Files' belong to Chris Carter, who reads them avidly before he goes to sleep each night.
Summary: Why was Duchovny wearing his ring?

David knocked on the trailer door.

"Wait a minute."

To pass the time, he started to count seconds. He'd just hit twenty when the door opened. He looked up at Gillian.

"What's up, David?"

"Not much. Can I come in?"

She moved aside.

He climbed inside and continued, "I'm not going to be here long. I just wanted to ask you if you've read this script?" He held it up for her inspection and sat down.

She took it from his hands and sat down across from him. "'Travelers'? To tell the truth, no. I barely skimmed it. I just wanted to know if I was needed. But since I'm not, I didn't bother to read it."

"Well, it doesn't matter. I'm getting a bit of a break, too. Just a few scenes and I'm outta there. But I'm thinking of a way to make it more enjoyable."

She gave him a suspicious look. "What are you up to, Duchovny?"

"I was just thinking it's joke time again."

She grinned. "What are you doing this time?"

He raised his left hand and wiggled the fingers.

"Your ring!"

He grinned mischievously. "Yes, the ring. I'm betting no one on set will notice, at least until it's too late."

"How much?"

"Twenty bucks says I get away with it."

She shook her head. "Ten."


"Done." A pause. "So, you'll be there?"

"Wouldn't miss it for the world."

"Until later then." She rose with him and followed him to the door. He stopped as he stepped down and turned back.

"You know, Gill, I just realized, I need to cover my back. I guess I need to track down John and Frank."

"Good luck."

He waved and she shut the door.

"Come on, John. What have you got to lose?"

"My head if Chris gets wind of this."

"All I need to know is if you'll back me up. If anyone notices. Trust me, a ring is not very noticeable. If worse comes to worse, we'll say--"

"Yeah, yeah. You already explained that to me. All right, Duchovny, I'll back you up, but only for the crew. If Chris notices you're on your own."

"Fair deal. See you later."

"That's a wrap!" called Graham.

David stepped off the set and picked his way to where Gillian was sitting.

"So Gill, I believe you owe me some money."

She smiled. "I probably should have bet less." She gave him the money.

"Fifteen dollars. How much cheaper can you go? I only went along because you don't like to bet."

"Only because you win every time. I've learned my lesson from the first time. Anyway, I think congratulations are in order. This is what? Your thirtieth practical joke?"

"You were counting?"

"Sure. I have a reputation to uphold. I've only been able to pull off twenty."

He patted her shoulder.

"You'll get there. Don't worry."

She smiled her uniquely enigmatic smile. "I'm not."

"You wanted to see me, Chris?" David stood in the doorway of Carter's office.

Chris looked up from his paperwork.

"Yes, I did. Come in. Sit down." Chris motioned toward the chair, then stood and came around the desk, picking up a remote along the way.

David sat down slowly.

"Tell me, David, is this familiar?" Chris pointed the remote toward the television. Instantly the sounds of an X-Files episode filled the room.

"Yes, it's 'Travelers'."

Carter pressed a button on the remote, pausing the image of David on the screen, hand in front of his face.

"What is this, David?" Chris pointed at the screen.

"It's a ring."

"Your wedding ring, right?"

"That's right."

"I'm sure Tea's very happy right now."

David leaned forward, clasping his hands in front of him. "Well, actually, Chris, I haven't told her. I came up with this on my own."

Carter examined him for a moment and then nodded.

"I believe it. So how were you going to explain this?"

"I don't think I need to explain. For all the viewers know, it's just a blooper. I'm sure those who are rabid fans can come up with their own version of the story. They'll just say Mulder was married, then divorced before he met Scully, if they even notice."

"I noticed. But you're right. It's done, there is no use trying to undo it."

"Thanks Chris." He stood.

Carter waved him out, already busy with his work.