|Title: The Dead Will Follow You|
Author's Page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/2461446/
Timeline: Season 7, After All Things
Summary: Mulder and Scully investigate a ghost of a little girl that kills but Scully runs into Ethan.
Scully walked into the office, balancing two coffee's in a cup carrier and her briefcase.
"Hey Scully," Mulder said, brushing past her heading for the door. "Come on...we've got a case, Skinner insisted...plane leaves in an hour."
"Mulder, what case? What's it about?"
"Come on. There's no time," he said, holding the office door open for them. "I'll tell you on the plane."
She sat their coffee's down on his desk and turned to follow him.
Mulder sat next to Scully with his legs stretched out into the aisle. He'd fallen asleep on her shoulder and though his head was heavy, she didn't move it, as she searched through the paper work he'd provided.
An apparition of a little girl with demonic eyes had been caught on video stabbing a television producer to death. The apparition was not seen by anyone witnessing the death of the producer but was picked up by the surveillance camera only.
She could feel Mulder's hot breath against her left cheek as he slept peacefully on her shoulder and she nudged him lightly. "Wake up sleepy head," she whispered.
"Scully...what is it?", he said, with his eyes still closed.
"They have this spirit on tape, right? Did they autopsy the body yet?"
"Yes, we'll pick up a copy of the report when we get there", he said, with his eyes closed. His head purposely drifted further down to her breast. He sighed and snuggled in with a smile on his lips.
"Mulder...can't you wait till we get to the hotel," she said quietly.
"Not particularly," he said, reaching around to let his hand skim her breast.
She smacked his arm. "Mulder...another public groping and I'm cutting your fingers off...Not in public, Mulder...we're on duty. You promised."
"Scully, no-one knows us on this plane."
"We don't know that," she said, pushing him off of her. "We could be on this plane with other FBI agents, CIA...we don't know..."
Mulder sat up and shook his head. "They call me paranoid."
Just then a tall brown haired man stood up from the front row of the plane, his eye immediately catching sight of both agents. He walked straight up to them both, thrusting his hand in their faces. "Agents..."
"Agent Cooley," Mulder said, shaking his hand. "Your heading to Oklahoma on a case?"
"Yeah...then on to Oregon. How about you two?", he smiled at them both.
"Tulsa...Routine investigation," Mulder said.
Agent Cooley laughed a little. "Sure...routine...Nice seeing you both," he said, heading towards the bathrooms.
"See, I told you...", she whispered. "He could've seen us."
"Scully...people have said we were messing around for years..."
"But we knew the truth..."
"Had it been up to me we would've," he said, placing his hand around her shoulders.
"I don't think it would've been real then...I mean...we loved each-other from the beginning...at least I was immediately attracted to you..."
"I was too...you were not the typical women I went for...You were short, red haired, extremely cute...a little nerdy..."
"Nerdy...Oh you were the nerdy one," she said, jabbing him in the side.
"I corrupted you...in a lot of ways, " he said, leeringly. "But mainly...my type before you was tall, dark hair, evil..."
"Big bazooka's," she hissed.
"Scully...you were beautiful...just as you are now...You walked in and I was dumb-struck...I tried to play it off with you for years but you were intelligent, dedicated, loyal, beautiful, sexy...absolutely perfect...you have no ideal how hard it's been to keep my hands off you all these years."
"I have an ideal...", she smiled with a twinkle in her eye. "I felt the same way..."
"Oh?", he said with a smirk. "You couldn't keep your hands off of me?"
"God...why do you think I turned down dates left and right," she said, blowing on her nails and rubbing it against her arm. "Mulder...If you never noticed it before...I didn't even go out on dates...I wanted you..."
"We'll you have me...now what?", he said, kissing her on the lips.
"Ah-hem," Agent Cooley said standing beside them. "Sorry to interrupt. I was just going to say...Maybe we could collaborate on a few assignments some time..."
"Sure," Mulder smiled. "Violent Crimes Division, right?"
"Yep," the Agent said, looking nervously at Mulder's arm wrapped around Scully's shoulder but Mulder made no attempt to remove it. "Well...have a good time in Tulsa."
"Will do!", Mulder waved.
After the plane touched down in the blazing Tulsa heat. They rented a car and drove it to the nearest hotel on the outskirts of town. Mulder rented two rooms but placed both of their suitcases in one room as Scully waited in the car. She had the air conditioning on full blast as she stripped out of her black blazer. "God...is it 112 here?"
"118," he said, looking at the clock on the hotel sign.
"How's our room?"
"Better than I'd normally pick them...We probably won't get bitten up by bedbugs tonight," he smiled.
"So we won't wake up covered in whelps..."
"Well...not from the bugs," he smiled wickedly.
"Mulder...ever since we started sleeping together, your innuendo's have gotten worst...you'd think you'd stopped by now."
"Oh no," he said, placing a hand on her inner thigh. "Now I can say it and you won't slap me."
"Not necessarily!", she huffed. "Come on Mulder...lets get this investigation underway. The sooner we get it over with...the more time we have alone."
Mulder started the car but placed his hand back on her inner leg. She rubbed her hand on his arm and squeezed it. He leaned over and planted a soft kiss on her lips. "I love you..."
"I love you too...", she smiled.
He pulled out onto the road, heading for the KRKH-television station. After they had parked, they strode up the steps to the front of the small glass encased building nestled in the downtown area. Mulder held the large glass door open for Scully; they flashed their badges and were immediately escorted to the set of the morning newscast. Producer Jeff Bingham shook their hands and showed them around the Control Room and News set.
They spoke to each witness individually as they gathered information and then Jeff Bingham, an older white haired man lead them to the Control Room booth and popped the recording from the security monitor into a vcr. The security monitor was positioned above the entrance to the Control Room and recorded each person that entered the small four seater booth from a wide angle, giving the camera complete access to the happenings within the booth. Mulder asked for a copy so he could have it analyzed. Scully knew that what Mulder really meant was that he would have it air-expressed overnight to the Lone Gunmen but she said nothing as she seated herself next to Mulder in front of the rows of television monitors.
Jeff Bingham pressed the on button replaying the events that lead to the mysterious death of Robert Harrison, a Technical Director just two days before. To Scully's surprise, a transparent silhouette of a little girl appears suddenly on the screen behind the victim. He was slumped over the monitor's, engaged in a conversation with one of the camera-men outside the Control Room on the floor of the set unaware of this apparition standing behind him. The little girl held up a knife and stabbed Harrison in the back. He screamed out as the other's in the booth jumped up in shock, surrounding him, unable to see the little girl who was plunging the knife deeper into his back until he collapsed to the ground dead and then she disappeared.
Mulder glanced over to Scully and she looked up at him surprised. He nodded understanding her completely and then turned back to talk with Jeff Bingham. But something had caught Scully's attention as she stared at the fuzzy monitor. She was drawn to a man sitting next to Robert Harrison on his left side. "Who is this?", she blurted out. "Next to him?"
"Oh...you'll meet him in a second, " the Producer nodded. "He's my Assistant Producer. He's coming back from lunch any second now. Sorry he wasn't here to greet you too."
"Not a problem, " Mulder answered. "Was he here during the incident?"
"Yes actually," Jeff Bingham answered. "Just Robert and the two of us."
There was something familiar about the outline of the man in the video whose features she could barely make out. Something oddly familiar but she couldn't quite put a finger on it. Suddenly the door opened and Mulder stood up and shook someone's hand. Her view of the Assistant Producer was blocked by Mulder who was standing directly in front of her.
"Glad you could come," the man said.
"Thank You...I'm Agent Fox Mulder of the FBI."
The tall dark haired man looked puzzled. "The Fox Mulder? Spooky Mulder?", the man asked surprised.
"Do I know you?", Mulder looked quizzically.
The man could make out a woman's frame just beyond Mulder, hunched over the television monitor. "Dana?"
Scully jumped up and turned to face Ethan Minette. She looked stunned as her face immediately drained of color. She looked nervously at Mulder and then back to Ethan, settling her panicked eyes upon him. "Ethan?", she struggled to talk. "Ethan..."
Mulder looked perplexed, his mouth began to twist as he stared hard at Scully. She was trying to speak but the words wouldn't come out as she shrugged and looked from Ethan to Mulder and back. Ethan grabbed her hand. "Dana...you're still working on cases with Spooky, I see..."
The tightness in Mulder's face grew as he watched Ethan hold her hand. She didn't snatch it away but instead looked down at his hand in hers. Finally she retrieved her voice. "Ethan...it's been along time...what are you doing in Tulsa?"
"I transferred here after...", he said, nodding towards Mulder.
Mulder continued to glare at Scully, waiting for her to remove her hand from Ethan's grasp. She eyed Mulder and was met by his iced eyes. She immediately removed her hand from Ethan's. She stepped back from Ethan, crossing her arms and then glanced up to Mulder again, trying to guage his thoughts. She could see the anger registered there. She returned her attention back to Ethan. "What happened here, Ethan?", she said, trying to sound in control.
"I guess you saw the tape...that's exactly what happened.", he said, touching her hand again, searching for a ring.
Again Scully broke her hand away and walked closer to Mulder but she could tell from his stance he was highly upset though he was trying to project himself as a stern FBI agent and as her partner, nothing more. Ethan continued to stare at her, taking in the curvature of her body, the difference in the length of her hair which was much shorter than she ever wore when they were together. He also noticed, the way she kept glancing over to Mulder nervously and the closeness in which they stood.
The older producer, Jeff Bingham called Ethan over to the doorway so they could talk privately but his attention lay squarely upon Scully, the woman he had lost a few years before. Mulder's eyes were ablaze as he stared at Ethan and then turned slowly back to Scully. She was watching Ethan with a far-off look in her eye. She glanced towards Mulder and they're eyes met and she gasped. He turned his back towards her and pushed the button on the monitor to replay the video of the incident. He flinched when she placed a soft hand on his arm. "Mulder...I can explain..."
"I know you will," he said, harshly. "The minute we step foot out of here, you will explain!"
Scully's eyes dropped down and her hand fell to her side. Ethan returned to her, retelling the story they had just heard by his producer a few minutes before. After Mulder had asked all the questions he needed too, he was given a copy of the tape and both agents were escorted in silence by Ethan down the elevator and out into the lobby. As they were preparing to leave, Ethan reached out and grabbed Scully's arm. "We need to talk," he said, in her ear.
"Ethan, we have nothing to talk about," she said, glancing in Mulder's direction.
Mulder turned abruptly and walked out of the front studio door, heading for the car. She watched him walk off and then her attention was brought back to Ethan. He had a firm grip on her arm and wouldn't let go. "Dana...We need to catch up some. Its been a long time since I've seen you. We need to talk..."
"Ethan, I'm here on a case. My partner and I have to investigate it to see whose responsible. We need to determine how it occurred."
"I don't see a ring, Dana...why is that?", he said, looking her over. "You couldn't get over me?"
Scully's arched an eyebrow. "Immediately...Ethan. I got over you immediately."
He chuckled. "I don't believe that...I've thought about you all these years...Dana."
"I'm sorry, I can't say the same thing..."
"Your always such a stubborn woman. Let me take you out to dinner...We need to catch up on things."
"No, Ethan, I can't."
"One dinner...one dinner won't hurt anything. We didn't end things properly, Dana."
She shook her head. "I'm sorry, Ethan. But I'm on a case...and until you and anyone else is ruled out, there could be no fraternization."
"Like between you and your partner,." he huffed. "Dana...obviously somethings going on between the two of you...isn't that against the rules?"
She glared at him. "You are a fool Ethan...You've always been a fool."
"Yes...I have...Dana, now that I've found you again...I want to work things out...I mean...obviously this guy doesn't love you...," he said, glancing out the glass window to where Mulder was seated behind the wheel watching them. "Or else you'd have that ring on your finger..."
"Don't!", she warned him. "I'm not the same girl as I was back then..."
"You can't fool me, Dana...I know you...", he smiled.
"Ethan, so many years have past by...that was my old life, Ethan", she said, slowly so he could process her words. "My future is sitting in that car," she said pointing in Mulder's direction.
"Spooky, Dana?", he laughed. "You can't be serious."
"Yes actually, I am," she nodded. "I'm in love with Mulder, Ethan..."
"Come on...he's a joke...I told you he was a joke when you were assigned to him..."
"Yes, you did...and you got upset that our plans were canceled and you acted like an ass...which is typical of you."
"And you called it off...calling me controlling," he smirked. "Something about needing to realize your dreams and not answering to my questioning...Dana. You left me a note...like I meant nothing to you...Do you have any ideal how it made me feel to have you leave me a damn note!"
"It wasn't the most tactful way Ethan but I had a plane to catch. Not once did you call me or act as if it mattered either. You just up and left."
"Look maybe this is a sign...that we could start over. I mean what are the odds I'd see you again?"
"Dana...you left a hole in my heart" he said, reaching out to touch her hand. "I think you owe it to us to see if there's still a spark there. I mean...what can Spooky give you, Dana? I told you years ago like I'm telling you now, the guys a loser. I've gotten reports about him now and again...and about you. I kept my distance but seeing you again has brought back all those memories, Dana...I miss you and I miss us together. You can't possibly enjoy tromping around on stupid ghost assignments, can you?"
"It doesn't matter, " she answered, snatching her hand away. "I never wanted to see you again, Ethan and I meant it. I've grown into a different person since then."
Ethan laughed obnoxiously wrapping his hand around her waist locking her in. "I don't think so...but if that's the way you want to play it, Dana...go ahead," ," he said, looking amused. "I'll be here...I'll tell you something...you're partner there...ah...the love of your life," he chuckled. "Looks pissed right now...So if things don't work out...I'll still be here."
Scully rolled her eyes. "I'm sure you will be," she said, elbowing him in his side.
He continued to laugh as she pushed opened the glass doors and headed towards the car. Mulder was watching her and as she slid into the seat and she knew what would happen,. She knew how Mulder would react. "Mulder..."
"Who is he Scully? Why didn't you tell me about him?"
"It wasn't your business back then, Mulder!"
"I've told you everything about everyone!"
"Bullshit!", she screamed. "You didn't tell me about Diana...and your marriage to her!", she said, red-faced. "Dammit Mulder...I just had to deal with Ethan's obnoxious behavior...don't you start!"
"I can do whatever the hell I want! We're out here running into your old...what? Boyfriend?"
Mulder's eyes widened. "Fiance`?", he struggled. "What?"
"Why does it matter?"
"He had his hands all over you and you didn't even move them!"
"Mulder...I was in shock! I did pull away when he touched me..."
"Scully, I'm sitting right here and he put his hands on your waist!"
"Jesus Mulder, what are you really mad at?"
"Scully, the son-of-a-bitch had his hands on you," he said gritted through his teeth. "How would you feel if some woman from my past put her hands all over me?"
"Diana!", she hissed.
"I'm talking about since we started seeing each-other Scully...What if Diana were still alive and she came up to me and touched my hands and put her arms around my waist...what would you think?"
"That's not it," she said, looking him directly in the eye. "You're mad because I didn't tell you about him...because you thought I'd told you about every man in my life...even though you haven't done the same...Mulder...the first day I met you when I walked into your office I was engaged to Ethan...okay."
Mulder's mouth was gaped open. "All these years and you never mentioned it."
"I left him because he didn't want me to work on the X-Files...he told me I couldn't...he was a jerk Mulder and if I listened to him I wouldn't be sitting here right now with you."
Mulder's face softened as he stared down at her hands.
"After I met you, I went to my sister's and told her all about you and the new job...about how cute you were...She thought that was a little bad of me especially since I was in a relationship with Ethan...though the date wasn't set for us to get married yet. He was the golden son-in-law my dad dreamed about for me...but he's was selfish and demanding and I was rebelling against that...from my dad, my brother's..everyone."
She grabbed his hand and interlaced their fingers. "Mulder...when I told him he got upset that our plans for a vacation had changed. He wanted to talk about it when he got off work. When he got home...he told me I couldn't accept the assignment and told me to transfer back to Quantico. Then we went to bed..."
Mulder's eyes widen at that but Scully squeezed his hand. "And I couldn't sleep...I knew that I wasn't willing to give up my dreams just to marry a man I really wasn't in love with. I loved him but I wasn't in love with him. I decided to make the decision that I would do it anyway...I left him a note that morning telling him it was off and that I was in Oregon with you " she sighed. "I never told you or anyone else...my family knew. My dad was disappointed that I'd dumped him, he thought I was throwing my future away with joining the FBI anyway. Missy was thrilled because she hated him. When I returned home from Oregon with you...Ethan was gone...I never tried to see him or talk to him afterwards...so that's my story."
Mulder squeezed her hand back. "I'm sorry Scully...I just..."
"Yeah," he said, looking at the steering wheel. "You forgive me?"
She leaned in and planted a kiss on his soft full lips. "Of course I do...now let's get something to eat and get back to the hotel...we've got this video to watch and then send to the Gunmen..."
"Among other things" he smiled.
"Yes...and that...The sooner we solve this case the better..."
"Scully why are you sitting over there instead of on my lap?', he smiled wickedly.
"Because I know the closer I sit to you the less of this video we're gonna see...", she said, staring at the television screen as she picked at her Chinese food at the small hotel table.
Mulder was scrawled across the bed, gesturing for her to join him. She sighed and pushed the food back and made her way to sit in between his legs, her head resting against his chest and shoulder. He wrapped his arm around her small frame and kissed her on her cheek. "Okay, let's see this," he said, pushing play on the remote.
They watched as the small girl appeared out of no-where and Mulder kept rewinding the tape to see if he could see where she was appearing from. Finally he let the tape roll and noticed that she had disappeared from the exact area she had first appeared.
"A portal?", Scully said as if he had spoken the words out-loud.
"Yeah...some kind of dimensional portal...maybe she's not a ghost...maybe she's..."
"An alien or from the future?", Scully giggled but Mulder bent down and placed wet kisses behind her ears.
She screamed out, "Gross, Mulder...", but didn't pull away. "Come on...Mulder...we still have cases to solve...we have to practice a little self-control."
"What do you call the last 7 yrs Scully?", he said, pushing the button on the remote.
'Well, that just proves that we can do it if we need too...", she smiled.
The tape player opened and shot the tape out. He gently picked Scully up and sat her on the side of himself and then retrieved the tape, placing it into an envelope to have it air-expressed to the Lone Gunmen.
"What else could this be, I wonder...I mean, I have X-Files that have reported a kind of dimensional portal as well...like the case of the Ghost Ship...", he said, with his hands on his hips pacing the floor.
"The one where you kissed me in another dimension? And when you came too you told me you loved me but I didn't believe you."
Mulder stopped mid stride and came over and kissed her. "I was brave to say it...you weren't ready to hear it but that's ancient history now..."
"Okay...", she said, embarrassed. "We'll refer to that as just plain when you thought I was in another dimension and you kissed me...so you said."
"I did and you punched me," he said, rubbing his face, thinking back to that moment. "You were hot even back then!"
"MULDER!", she grinned shyly.
"Okay...well, the ghost ship just appeared in this dimension, right? At the same time I was being attacked by Nazi's with the other 'you', the current you and the Gunmen were on the ship searching for me..."
"Right and it was empty...but it did have its lights on somehow..."
"But I didn't see either one of you...just the 'you' of the other dimension and Skinner and Kersh and even Spender and CGB."
"And what we saw was cob-webs...we found your boat smashed and found you floating unconscious in water.", she said, staring into his eyes as he knelt down next to her.
"Okay...so there was one world that I had somehow crossed into...and then there is this one, that you and the Gunmen were in...just as the ship had suddenly crossed back into this dimension, right?"
"Yes," she said, yawning.
"Scully," he said, running his hand up her arm, causing a shooting sensation throughout her body. "Scully...", he said, removing his hands. "This girl isn't dead...not really...she just exists somewhere else."
"Then why is she a silhouette then Mulder? Why isn't she flesh and blood like us or like the Ghost in that house at Christmas?"
He thought about it a second. "Okay...so she is dead...but she's jumping dimensions."
"Mulder...if it weren't for the video recording...I'd think you were insane..."
"The tape is the proof that I'm not," he said, standing back up and then sprawling out on the bed beside her. "When we die...we cross over to another world, Scully. Another dimension. I wonder how many dimensions there are...and..."
"Why would she kill Mulder?"
"I don't know...I know it wouldn't be the first time someone was killed by a ghost."
"Yeah," she said remembering the ghost they'd encountered at Christmas. "But I haven't heard about a dead killer child ghost..."
"You think she's being drawn to kill him like from someone else's energy...say like Ethan?"
"Mulder," she said, rolling her eyes. She laid down next to him, her head resting on her hand as she propped herself up on her elbow so she could look down on him. "Mulder, whose bed am I laying in right now?"
"I know," he said, pulling her closer to him. "I know...I don't know why I feel so jealous, Scully..."
"Because he's tall, young, handsome..."
"He's not that handsome...", Mulder scoffed.
"No," she said, planting a kiss on his jawline. "He's nothing compared to you Mulder...he couldn't even come close...I never worried about other women snatching him away from me like I did with you all those years..."
"Really?", Mulder grinned. "You were a fierce jealous woman...it made me love you even more, you know."
"You're acting just like I did because he's a threat...you acted like this a little with Jack too but you hid it better back then," she grinned.
"Oh yeah...", he smiled guiltily.
"But even with the Ed Jerse situation and that creepy neighbor of yours...I don't think you're as jealous as you were then..."
"I can be jealous, Scully...but I always had this threatening male vibe that told other men to back off. I would stake my claim and they got the hint, most of the time."
"Women have that vibe thing too but they're more vicious," she said, kissing his lower lip, tugging gently on it with her teeth. "They sense the vibe and then they use it as a challenge...like Phoebe and Diana," she said, rolling her eyes.
Mulder smiled and then ran his hand through her hair, pulling her over so he could kiss her fully. They broke apart and Scully smiled down to him. "This is exactly why we need to enforce our sleeping-in-separate-rooms-while-on-a-case-rule. We get nothing done when we sleep together..."
"We get something done," he smiled leeringly.
"Mulder," she giggled. "We can't get our cases finished...we really do need to stay in separate rooms still so we can concentrate on our assignments."
"The whole time I'm wondering what you're doing and how you look doing it," Mulder chuckled. "Its not easy being partners and lovers, Scully."
"No, it's not...but we have to do it or else we'll slip up and the FBI will figure out what we're up too."
"I think Skinner already knows...", he said smiling. "But I can't sleep in that other room tonight, Scully...not tonight. But maybe...tomorrow. And as soon as we get back home...I'm not letting you out of my sight."
"You feeling threatened, Mulder?", she said, running her hands through his hair and kissing his lips again. "You have nothing to fear...I'm yours forever."
"I do...Do you promise, Mulder?"
"I do...Scully...tomorrow we have to pick up the autopsy result and send this video off to the Gunmen. We need to investigate this guy's home life...family...see if maybe any little girls died recently and what their connection is to him...and the history of this television station."
"Okay," she said, sitting up. "Well...since we have tonight...why don't I go get ready?'
Mulder sat back. "Now that's what I'm talking about...", he smiled.
Scully stood up and grabbed her nightie from her suitcase and made her way to the bathroom when there was a knock on the door. Mulder pulled out his gun and walked over to the door. He peered through the peephole and then flung the door open to find Ethan standing there with a boutique of flowers in his hand. "What are you doing here?", Ethan asked.
"No...What are YOU doing here," Mulder said, looking Ethan up and down.
He was dressed in a shirt and tie, black slacks and black alligator shoes. He flashed Mulder a smiled. He was as tall as Mulder but wasn't as fit, Mulder figured he could easily knock him out if he needed too. Mulder turned towards the bathroom and could see that the door was closed. He motioned for Ethan to step inside.
"Really, " Mulder began. "What are you doing here?"
"Dana used to be my fiance`," he said smugly.
"The key word was 'used to be'," Mulder said, standing directly in front of him. "Look, she's taken!", he said shaking his head. "She's not interested!"
Just then the bathroom door swung open and Scully walked out dressed in a long flowing red sexy but elegant satin gown that matched the red of her hair, with a deep V neck cut down to near her navel and tied at the breast, and with a slit up her leg exposing her creamy bare leg all the way to her waist. She wore red high heels as she walked out but stopped short when she saw the blazing look in Mulder's eyes and the wide smile spread across Ethan's face. "Oh god...", she said, running back into the bathroom, slamming the door.
"Get the hell outta here!", Mulder said, grabbing Ethan by the arm.
"I will not," he said, standing his ground, they were eye to eye. "I have the right to talk to her."
"Don't you see you're interrupting something here?", Mulder said, snatching the flower's from the man's hands. "Get out or I'll physically throw you out."
"One phone call from me Spooky and you're little secret about you and your partner will be exposed...", he smiled smugly.
Mulder laughed out loud. "They knew before we did, Ethan. Now get out or I'll have you arrested," he said, slamming the flower's hard into Ethan's chest.
"Augh!", Ethan yelled at the impact of the flowers. He glared at Mulder as he made his way through the door, exiting without a word.
Mulder slammed the door and locked it and then made his way to the bathroom. He knocked on the door and Scully let him in. Her face was red from embarrassment but Mulder quickly covered her face with kisses. "You're beautiful, Scully," he said, picking her up in his arms. "And you're mine..."
"Question, Scully," Mulder said, as he wrapped his arm around Scully's bare arms as she made circles in the small patch of chest hair and then snuggled in under his chin. He pulled the blanket up to cover her shoulder's, he could feel her shiver.
"Yeah, Mulder?", she said, sleepily. "You can't be ready for more now...plus we have a lot to do tomorrow."
"No...though we maybe a little late," he chuckled.
She laughed with him as her head bobbed up and down from the comfort of his warm chest. "Mulder...you have a one track mind."
"That I do," he whispered. "But serious...out of all the hotels in Tulsa...how'd he know you were here?"
"Mulder...Ethan's a news producer. He could find out anything. He just had to call the hotels and ask for the two FBI agents rooms and tell them he'd featured them on his news cast...I've seen him do it before. He wanted to follow us on our first case together so he could get a scoop on our investigation. He knew all about you...almost more than I did...", she said, wrapping her arm around his waist.
"I guess we were meant to be together Scully...it's like the universe was pulling us together."
"I do believe that Mulder...I think if I'd chosen to work in a hospital...we'd still have found each other somehow. We're soulmates..."
"Yeah I know we are...we're meant to be...but the nerve of him showing up here to try to win you back even after you told him you were with me."
"I know...I can't believe he'd try that."
"What did you see in him Scully?"
She laughed. "I told you once didn't I, that I'm drawn to powerful men?"
"No," he said quietly. "You never told me that."
Scully's eyes flew open and she stared up at him but couldn't make out his features in the dark. Oh god she'd told that to Ed Jerse, she thought to herself. "Oh...Well...I am...All of the men of my past had dominate personalities."
"Because of your father and your need to always get his approval."
"Jesus Mulder...stop psycho-analyzing me..."
"Scully...I've tried figuring you out for years...this is the first time I finally get an answer..."
She sighed. "Okay...fine...yes...I always wanted my dad's approval...even after he died...you know that. So I was always drawn to men who were dominate, older, in control...I craved it...I loved it. But then I'd rebel at some point..."
She could see the wheels turning in Mulder's mind. "Yes, Mulder...You are a dominate powerful man..."
"Yes...you're the senior Agent...You're all consuming and I found myself lost in you and your cause...it's a pattern of mine," she sighed. "The difference between you and the other men was that I truly loved you and you truly love me back..."
"I do...", he said, kissing the top of her head. "With all my heart."
"Those men didn't...they only wanted to use me for their selfish reasons. You were the first person that when I would rebel against you made me feel like I was cutting off part of myself. I didn't have that with them...And Ethan was a television producer...it was after Jack. I was working at Quantico and there was a story being covered and he tagged along to direct it and he saw me. I saw this tall professional man and I was taken in..."
"No," she lightly slapping his chest.
"OOH," Mulder said as his chest stung slightly.
"It took awhile...I liked everything about him...I thought I was in love but when I told him I wanted to be out in the field he like my father was against it. He accepted me being an FBI agent to a point...as long as I was his domesticate Goddess at night...You know us Irish Catholic girls are supposed to never say no, " she said, shaking her head. "That's what we're taught by the church, our mother's and our family...He was an Italian catholic and so we had similar understandings about things...We'd get married, I could work as long as it didn't interfere with our home life...pop out an endless amount of kids, cook massive amounts of food, keep the house clean and be a sex-goddess at night..."
"Well you are a sex-Goddess," Mulder said, bending down to kiss her forehead.
"I guess...I got tired of being the perfect daughter, the perfect girlfriend...the perfect sister...and when they told me I was assigned to you...I went straight down and met you...there was something in your eyes, Mulder."
"Lust?", he smiled.
"Yeah that...", she laughed. "I did see you check me out..."
"When I turned around and when you went to leave," he smiled.
"What, I'm being truthful here," he laughed. "But really...what did you see?"
"I saw excitement...adventure...a challenge...I saw freedom...and I knew that's what I wanted...and I couldn't be the mindless dutiful wife with Ethan...I needed more."
"Any regrets Scully?"
"Not any with you...I do wish I could've had children...I wish I could've kept Emily," she said, quietly.
"I'm sorry about that, Scully."
"Mulder," she said, rubbing circles again in his chest hair. "If I can't have your children, I don't want them anyway...so it's fine."
He squeezed her shoulder's tighter. "I love you, Scully."
"I love you...you know that."
"I do...let's get some sleep, okay?"
"Until the morning," he grinned.
She slapped lightly his chest again. "One track mind..."
Mulder smiled as he closed his eyes.
The next morning after picking up the coroner's report, they made their way to the home of Robert Harrison. It was a red brick adobe styled home in the middle of a cul de sac. Mulder groaned, "Arcadia all over again, Scully," he said, looking around at the similar built home. "Makes my skin crawl..."
"So what...you'd live forever in a one bedroom apartment?"
He noticed the absence of 'we' in her sentence. "Scully...we won't be stuck in a one bedroom forever...or in a two bedroom," he said, referencing to her own apartment. "When we are ready we will settle down in a house of our own. Somewhere far away from cookie cut houses and busy city streets..."
She looked into his deep hazel eyes and a smile crossed her face. She reached out and interlaced her fingers with his. "Really?"
"Yes...", he said, squeezing her hand harder. "When the time comes...we won't be chasing after this forever Scully...honestly...the thrill is starting to go..."
A surprised gasped left Scully's lips. "I never thought you'd ever..."
A knocking at Scully's window startled her. A woman stood outside the car door, peering in at them both. Scully rolled her window down. "Yes?"
"What are you doing in front of my home?", the woman said, looking confused. "What do you want?"
"We're FBI agents," Scully answered, pulling out her badge. "Agents Mulder and Scully."
"My husband just died," she said, as a tear fell down her face. "Are you here investigating him or his death?", she demanded.
Mulder and Scully looked at eachother and then turned back to the woman. "May we come inside and talk?"
"Yeah, whatever, ", the woman said, turning to walk back to her home. A small child was standing on the steps and she ushered the child back inside. Mulder held the door open for Scully and they both stepped in. They scanned the walls and furniture and then sat down next to the woman on the sofa. She offered them nothing to drink as she sat in the arm chair with her hands covering her face. She looked up at them as a little girl walked over to Scully. The little blond haired girl smiled at Scully and she returned a wide smile. The little girl, handed Mulder a crayon and pointed to the paper she held in her hand. Mulder took the crayon and scribbled a little. The girl was delighted and then walked off towards her bedroom.
"My husband...he had no enemies, if that's what you're gonna ask me," she said, sniffling. "He didn't hurt a soul..."
Mulder looked over to Scully and she sent him a wordless message that she'd talk with the woman. "Mrs Harrison...what were you told about your husband's murder?"
"That he was stabbed at work...who the hell would stab Robert? He had three kids for god's sake," she cried. "He didn't hurt anybody."
Scully pulled out a copy of the apparition of the girl. "Does this look familiar to you?"
She scanned the photo. "Is this a joke?", the woman said, looking them both over. "There's no one there...it's like a ghost or something..."
"Does the girl look familiar?"
"Familiar? Familiar how? Have I ever seen a see-through girl before?", she scoffed.
Scully twisted her lips and sat back. Mulder smiled at Mrs. Harrison. "Mrs. Harrison...I know this is shocking...and strange...but whoever this little girl is...she is the one that stabbed your husband."
Mrs. Harrison looked them over and shook her head. "Okay...can I see your badges again?"
They pulled them out and showed her. "What kind of name is Fox Mulder?", she said, eying him suspicious. "If I call the FBI, they'll be able to verify that you are actually an agent?"
"Yes, ma'am," Scully answered politely. "We work in a division called the X-Files. We investigate unexplained phenomenon and the death of your husband by this apparition is unexplained."
"So you're not kidding...this little girl really did kill Robert?"
"Yes, ma'am," Mulder answered. "Can you answer a question for me...why did you think we were investigating your husband?"
"Robert...was involved in a car crash right before he died. I'm surprised you didn't hear about it."
The Agents both looked at each-other. "He was at the station out on assignment and a woman pulled out in front of them. They couldn't help but slam into them. The mother and her two girls were taken to the hospital. The police determined that it was the mother's fault...she was drinking...she's in county lockup right now. Robert never found out what happened to the girls..."
Mulder nodded and then shot a look at Scully. "Thanks Mrs. Harrison," Scully said, shaking her hand. They both stood up and let themselves out. They made it to the cars and pulled off, heading for The Children's Hospital of Saint Francis.
Mulder searched around until he got a nurse that could direct them to the right floor and give them information. They had no name of the two girls but they flashed their badges and finally found Dr. Rosenberg who knew about the accident. He looked at their badges and laughed at Mulder's name but stopped when Mulder gave him a glare. He told them to follow him and guided them down the hall, past a few kids that looked like cancer patients to Scully and a few with broken bones. Her heart lept when she saw a small red headed little girl and a small blond haired boy walking hand in hand down a hall with a nurse. Mulder placed his hand on the small of her back to comfort her. She smiled gratefully towards him as they finally stopped in front of a colorfully painted door. Dr. Rosenberg looked at them both. "The little girls you're speaking...of...Tina and Rita Martinez...the sister Rita died...she was the one that got the full blunt of the van careening into them...Her little sister Tina is 6 yrs old...she will be a ward of the state if she wakes up..."
Mulder looked over to Scully and could see in her eyes the horror that registered there...that another child was going to die...and he knew it brought up too many painful memories for her. He told the doctor they didn't need to go any further but he asked if the child's body had been autopsied. Scully looked at him in shock but he shook his head no, letting her know he would not ask her to do the procedure. Dr. Rosenberg nodded no, that there was no need. "Her body was cremated weeks ago...her mother was poor...no one came to claim the body. They're illegals and now we have to flip the bill," he huffed, pushing past them.
Mulder placed a hand around Scully as if she might faint. He could see the weakness in her eyes and he helped her to the elevator. "Let's go talk to the mom, Scully..."
"Okay," she finally said, as she gripped his waist. "Let's talk to the mother."
"Next stop, County Jail," he said jokingly, like a conductor.
"Alright," she tried to smile as the elevator door opened to the first floor of the hospital.
Officer Willa Mae Henry, a six foot tall dark skinned African American woman stood behind a 4 inch thick bullet proof window booth, at the entrance of the County Jail. She glanced over to her colleague. "Here we go...more snakes...", she whispered.
Her colleague took in the two approaching people who were bounding up the steps and nodded her response. Mulder opened the door to the jail and smiled to Officer Willa. "What's your clients name?", Willa asked, shoving a clipboard and pen into Scully's hands.
"I'm sorry?", Scully asked.
"Your client? Is it more than one?", Willa asked with a hint of animosity in her tone.
Mulder pulled out his badge. "Federal Agents, Mulder and Scully."
"Oh!", Willa smiled. "I thought you were lawyers...you're dressed too sharply to be FBI agents."
Scully smiled glancing over to Mulder's tailored suit and then back to Willa. "We're here looking for a woman...last named Martinez...brought in about two weeks ago."
"First name?", Willa said, typing into the computer.
"I'm afraid we don't have the first name," Mulder said, smiling his million dollar smile. "She was arrested for drunk driving...her daughter was killed...the other one is in the hospital...they hit a news crew's van."
Willa glanced nervously at her colleague whose eyes grew wide. "That's her," the other woman whispered.
"Yeah, I know," Willa whispered back. She turned back to the two Agents. "I'm sorry but she died this morning."
"This morning?", Scully said, looking from Willa to Mulder. "What was the cause?"
Again Willa shot a look to her colleague. "That hasn't been determined yet. Her name was Annie Martinez...died in her cell alone."
"Suicide?", Scully asked with a raised eyebrow.
Willa grew quiet for a moment. "You'd have to see it for yourself...", she said, buzzing them to the locked facility. They entered the door and followed Willa to her supervisor. They flashed their badges again and he took them to the security monitor's. He showed them the tape of Annie Martinez. They could see the woman, a dark brown skinned Hispanic woman with long curly hair sitting on her bunk in her single cell. She was reading the bible when the apparition, her daughter Rita appears before her. Annie is startled and screams out as she stares at the figure of her daughter before her. She screams, 'No! NO!' as she suddenly spins mid-air as if there was a rope attached to her neck. Suddenly she's suspended above the ground, gnawing at her throat and gasping for air until she's dead. Then the girl returns to the same spot she appeared and then disappears.
"Can we get a copy of this?", Mulder asks the supervisor.
"Yeah sure...", he said, shaking his head. "I've seen some crazy stuff here...but never like this...I mean...everyone knows this jail is haunted...but I never saw a little girl's ghost here before..."
"I think this little girl's ghost came here for one purpose," he said, staring at the screen. "To kill off her mother."
"Where's her body?"
"Coroner's...taken there this morning.", he said, licking his lips. "Damnedest thing I ever saw...", he said, popping the tape out. He made a copy for them and then handed it to Mulder.
"Thanks," Mulder said, as they walked out of the facility back to their cars. "You know what I'm thinking, Scully..."
"That the girl is killing off everyone involved in her death."
"We need to know who all was in that van...they're lives are in danger."
Mulder's phone rang suddenly. "Hey," Froehike said on the other end. "Got your tape..."
"Its a little too late, Froehike," Mulder said, pulling off onto the road. "We have an ideal of what's happening here.."
"Oh," Froehike said disappointed. "So you don't need our help?"
"You need a story for your publication don't you?", Mulder smiled. "Okay...We know the girl is targeting the people that killed her. She's using some type of dimensional portal!"
"Hot damn!", Froehike said overjoyed.
"Good, now we can finish our paper," Langley said into his receiver.
"Thanks Mulder...You save us yet again!", Byer's said as well. "Keep us informed on what happens."
"I will...", he said, hanging up. He turned to Scully, she had a quizzical look upon her face. "No leads...we just gave them one..."
"Ah!", she nodded. "I'm glad we could be of service," she smirked.
Mulder placed his hand on the small of Scully's back as they walked through the glass doors of the KRKH television station. They waited until the mid afternoon news cast was over and then were lead in to where Producer Jeff Bingham and Ethan Minette where seated in a conference room, talking to a few other members of the news crew. When Jeff spotted the two agents, he dismissed the meeting and then stood up and shook their hands. As Ethan approached, Mulder's hand slid around to Scully's waist and pulled her in possessively. She looked up to Mulder, letting him know with her eyes that he could relax. His hand slid back to his spot at the small of her back.
Ethan approached them, "Sleep well last night, Agents?"
Scully could feel Mulder's hand form into a ball in back of her. "Ethan...we're here gathering information."
"You looked beautiful last night," Ethan continued as he smiled slyly at Mulder. "You never wore anything like that for me..."
"That should tell you something!", Mulder said pinning him with his eyes.
Ethan chuckled. "Dana...I need to talk to you a minute..."
Scully could feel Mulder's fist tighten. "Mulder...", she said in a soothingly tone. "It's okay...I'll talk with him and be right back."
Mulder watched as Scully followed Ethan out into the hallway. He kept his eyes on them both as he watched through the glass windows of the conference room. "What is it Ethan?"
"Look...okay, I get it...You've moved on...Your in love with Spooky there...I got it."
"Its about time," she huffed.
"I don't think I'm explaining how I have felt all these years, Dana... I mean..other women...they just were missing something...something that only you have. And I know it sounds silly after all these years but I never stopped thinking about you. I was devastated the day you left...I thought we were about to get married...and then you leave me some damn note calling it off. You chose him over me," he said looking down at his shoes.
"Ethan," she said, touching his arm. "I'm sorry the way it happened...I am. I didn't choose him over you. I chose my life and goals over the fantasy that would've been our marriage. But Ethan you only wanted to control me...You were never really in love with me. I know what that means now to have true love. Mulder lets me be who I am, he's the other half of my soul and I'm sorry you haven't found that yet...but give it time and you will and you'll know it when you do."
"I thought that was you," he said under his breath. "Damn do I feel like a fool..."
"It's okay, " she smiled.
Ethan glanced over to where Mulder was standing still watching them. "He looks like he's gonna kill me..."
"Ethan," she began. "Never piss off a man with a gun!"
"Ha!", Ethan said, as he walked back into the conference room far from Mulder.
Scully walked right up to Mulder and placed his hand in hers and squeezed it gently. He searched her eyes and then nodded. He stepped over to the two men left in the room, Jeff Bingham and Ethan. "I need to know who was driving the van that struck the car of Annie Martinez. I need to know who was driving and who all was involved."
Ethan glanced over to Jeff. Jeff turned towards the agents. "We didn't think this had anything to do with how Robert died."
"We believe the girl seen on the tape is Rita Martinez that died after the accident."
Ethan shook his head. "Another weird theory of yours Spooky?"
Scully could see the corner of his lips tighten. "Its AGENT Mulder," he said, calmly.
"Look...it was the three of us," Ethan spoke. "It was after work...we were headed for a bar. We hadn't gotten there yet...Robert was speeding a little and before he could stop or slow down...this car comes out of nowhere. She was drunk and pulled out in front of us. He didn't mean to hit the car...we did what we could and called the ambulance. The police already cleared us of any wrongdoing."
"The girl's mother is dead. She apparently was caught on video again, killing her mother this time," Scully said, pulling out the tape.
She popped the tape into the television at the foot of the conference table. They watched in horror as the mother, Annie Martinez was hung up by invisible rope and gagged until she died.
"You may be next," Mulder said, looking them both dead in the eyes.
"We weren't driving," Ethan said, shrugging his shoulders. "Robert was and her mom was... We were passengers...as innocent as she was."
"She might not see it that way, Ethan," Scully began.
"We may need to put you both under protective custody."
"Look," Jeff spoke. "I have a wife and four sons. I can't just disappear."
"Would you rather she killed you off?", Mulder asked.
"How are you gonna stop a ghost anyway?", Jeff questioned.
Mulder turned towards Scully. "I know of charms that can protect...maybe a priest...", he said, turning back towards them. "This girl is angry, obviously, at having her life taken from her. You may be next."
"So we went from ghosts to voodoo?", Ethan laughed.
Scully's eyebrows arched. "If I were you...I'd take this seriously!"
"I've got to get back to work," Ethan said, standing up. "I don't have time for this...even if it were true, there's nothing that can be done about it."
"Ethan...maybe a charm," Scully said, grabbing his arm. "Maybe we can get you a protection charm."
"So now you believe this crap too?", Ethan sighed. "Look, I believe in ghosts...this tape proves they exist," he said, pointing to the television. "But no voodoo charm is gonna stop this girl from killing us if she really wants too. I still have my faith, Dana...we were both raised in the church. I'll pray that it doesn't happen but dammit, I can't live in fear. You used to be the same way...I guess loving Spooky here has made you fearful..."
Scully watched as he stormed off down the hall. Jeff Bingham stood up and looked them both over. "If you can get the charms...I'll use it. I can't disappear from my family but I sure as hell don't want this little girl doing what she did to her own mother and to Robert to happen to me."
They watched as he walked down the opposite hall. Scully turned to Mulder. "Okay...where in Tulsa do we find protection charms, Mulder?"
"There's always somewhere," he said, looking concerned. "I pray they work, Scully."
"Mulder...My father is rolling around in his grave that I even would suggest it."
"Then you find us a priest, then Scully," he said, rubbing his knuckle onto the side of her face. "I'll look for the charms...you never know...they might actually work."
"Too bad that Jeff and Ethan's life depends on whether it does or not."
As soon as Mulder pushed the door open to the Santa Maria Botanica, their noses were assaulted with the smells of incense, herbs and spices. Scully's eyes darted around the room with rolls and rolls of books, statues, and crystals. She noted that there was everything from Jesus on the cross and Catholic Saint Candles to Buddha statues and Magical brooms and Voodoo candles. Her eyes rested upon the elderly Mexican woman who was standing behind the counter, watching them intently. Mulder placed his hand on the back of Scully's back and they both walked over to the woman.
"Hola, welcome to Santa Maria..."
Mulder smiled as his eyes darted around the massive amount of objects. There was a sensory overload registering in his brain. "We need to ask you a few questions," he said, showing her his badge.
"I'm not involved in any spells or conjures. I only sell the items, I have no control over what they do with it," she said with a thick Spanglish accent.
"Oh no," Mulder said, looking over to Scully. "We have some questions about ghosts..."
"Yeah," the woman said, taking them both in.
She was shorter than Scully, seated in a bar stool that caused her to rise higher than the counter. A few strands of necklaces littered her chest and she wore various gold, jade and amethyst rings as well.
"We're curious as to whether spirits can use dimensional portals," Scully began.
The woman smiled. "They do it all the time...there are many worlds that exists. Spirits...ghost...whatever you choose to call them can access them...they can pop in and out...they can snatch your keys and you never find them or they can place them in a place you have never put them...they can do almost anything."
''They kill too?"
The woman's face tightened. "It depends upon what happens to them upon death or if they are good or evil. If they were evil in life they can be evil in death..."
"What about a little girl?", Scully continued. "One that is popping into this world, as you say...and killing people."
"She is angry," the woman spoke more to herself than to them. "She was probably angry right before she died...at someone...and then in death she became enraged...its not uncommon. She will exact her revenge until whoever is responsible is dead."
"How do we stop it?", Mulder asked.
"I can help you...is it you or your wife?", she asked concerned.
"No," Mulder said, quietly, glancing over to Scully. She was trying to suppress a wide prideful smile.
"There's two individuals who were involved in the girls death but not directly," Mulder said, pulling out a photo from his pocket. "This is the little girl's spirit caught on video right before she stabs a man to death...she killed her mother as well..."
"Her mother was involved in her death?", the woman asked.
"She was driving drunk and pulled out in front of a news van. This spirit killed the guy driving the van and then her own mother."
The woman tapped the counter with her small swollen fingers. "She will kill the rest...you said, two others?"
"Yes," he said, glancing back to Scully.
Her eyes were wide and he knew she was worried about Ethan.
"Can you help us stop her?"
"I can help," the woman said, jumping down and moving over to another area of the counter. "It won't be cheap," she said, looking over her shoulder to Mulder.
"That's not a problem..."
"You know...we tried three different priest," Scully began. "They only laughed in our faces."
The woman walked back over to Scully and looked up into her blue eyes. "They can't help you."
"I see you are a Cat-to-lic like myself," the woman said, eying Scully's cross necklace.
"Yes I am..."
"There is a difference between Cat-to-lics, did you know that?"
Scully shifted her feet. "No...I didn't know that."
"Are you Irish?"
"Yes," Scully said, looking down at the woman. "What does..."
"Amongst Latin peoples...Mexican, Puerto Rican...even Haitian, African's...even Portuguese...our Cat-to-Lic faith is different than say European Cat-to-lic's," she said, pointing around her. "For many non-European Cat-to-lic's, the Church and the Priest is where you go for mass and blessings of the priest and to ask forgiveness...but a Botanica is where you come for protection...for prayers..."
Scully nodded. "Yes, I'm aware of the cultural differences..."
"Okay...So here is where we come when a loved one dies...for candles and prayers..."
Scully smirked. "That's not unusual...We frequent Catholic supply stores all the time in my family."
"Yes, but here a charm of St. Michael has more meaning...that same candle can be used for Santeria...or...Mexican folk medicine or..."
"Yes...I know all about the hidden meanings behind each saint, color, candle...", Scully said, shooting a look at Mulder. He smiled back.
The woman seemed pleased. "Good...then I don't need to explain that for most of us, there is an entire different world that can be manipulated. We are either seeking protection from it or we're trying to control it...and so the priest...they cannot help with the protection against a demonic spirit that is killing others. As much as they'd liked too...there is a certain number of charms that only someone trained in understanding the signs and meanings can help you with...like in a botanica."
Scully raised a skeptical eye. "Someone like you..."
"That's right!", the woman said, grabbing up two small leather bags. "This is a medicine bag used by Native American's...in it I will put different charms and medicines. I will bless them and when given to each person, it will be ready to work for them..."
"What are they to do with it?"
"Wear it...keep it on them at all times," the woman said sternly. "Or else they will always remain in danger...I will put things in it for protection and for forgiveness...and she will recognize it and not harm them."
Scully shot Mulder a look conveying that she thought this was a waste of time. Mulder shrugged his shoulders and gave her a look in return that told her they had no other options. The woman sealed each medicine bag opening with red wax and then pulled out some sage that she burned and smudged each bundle, blessing it. "That will be $60..."
After Mulder paid for them, she handed them some instructions on caring for the bundle, and a Cleansing bath..."They need to wash themselves using this bath oil first and then carry the medicine bag at all times..."
"Sure," Scully said, rolling her eyes and walking out in front of Mulder.
Mulder thanked the woman and then followed behind Scully to the car. "Mulder...is this what we're reduced too? Trying to save people by using probably scented baby oil and probably...a bunch of herbs and spices you can probably cook chicken with?"
"Your making me hungry Scully," Mulder smiled, as he slid into the driver's seat. "You got the coroner's report on Annie Martinez?'
"You're trying to change the subject," she said, with her arms crossed. "Mulder...seriously..."
"Scully...we have no other choice...the priest wouldn't take us seriously...we can't do anything about a ghost except to try the fantastical."
"Fantastical?", she said with a raised eyebrow.
"Do you want Ethan to die?", he turned to her.
"Of course not...", she sighed. "I'm sorry but I find it hard to believe in this...I was raised that Priest do have the power to ward off spirits...with the power of the written word."
"Scully...you know as much as I do that there is more out there than what we think we know...Ethan and Jeff may die and the only thing that could save them is these over-priced little medicine bundles...What else can we do?"
She sighed and turned from him, grabbing up the coroner's report that lay at her feet. "Fine...It was determined that Annie died of strangulation from a rope...No other marks were on her. But we already knew this from the tape. Her tox screen was clear..."
"Let's head back to the station, Scully. We need to convince them to use this...", he said, looking at the two leather bundles in his hand. "It may be their only hope."
As they approached the station, they could see there was a commotion. An ambulance was parked in front with two EMT's carrying out a body with a sheet draped over the victims' head. Scully raced over to the body and threw off the sheet. Jeff Bingham's eyes were closed but his mouth was gaped open. "What happened here?", she demanded of the EMT's.
"Guy choked to death..."
Scully turned to see the crowd of co-workers, crying and hugging each other. She spotted Ethan and walked over to him. "Ethan...you're next unless you listen to us...We have some charms...I think you need to use it."
"Charms, Dana?", he said, shaken up, looking past her to Jeff's body being stuffed into the back of the Ambulance.
Mulder walked up to them both and handed Ethan the charm. "We got this for you...You have to wear it at all times..."
Ethan looked down at his hands where the small bundle lay. He glanced up at Mulder and then Scully. She could see he was terrified. She placed a hand on his arm. "Ethan...maybe you should go home."
"Home? To what?", he said, snatching his arm from her grasp. "There's no one there to greet me...", he said, turning towards Mulder "You took that away from me..."
"Ethan, I think you're in shock," Scully said, trying to reason with him. "You need time to..."
"I'm going upstairs in my office," Ethan said, storming off. He was still gripping the charm.
Scully followed behind him. Mulder caught up to them but fell back a little to give Scully space. She shot him a look letting him know that she needed his presence and so he grasped her hand as they followed Ethan up the elevator to his office. He walked straight over to his desk and Scully came in and sat across from him. Mulder stood in the doorway, with his arms folded. He was rubbing the other charm in his hand. "I can't outrun a ghost...", Ethan said, frightened. "There's nothing I can do, Dana, I told you that...there's nothing you can do. She wants revenge and I'm the one that's left."
"Ethan, you need to try..."
"For what? What's the point?", he said, leaning back in his leather chair, placing his hands across his forehead.
"A chance at life..."
"Living in fear. Afraid that if I don't have this...so call charm...she'll get me."
"Ethan," Scully said, quietly. "I'm just as skeptical about this as you are but the least you can do is try...to fight for life."
He sat up suddenly and stared at her. He then pushed the bundle away. "No...", he said, shaking his head. "No...if the prayers that I have sent up to heaven can't save me...and if this is my time...than its up...its over...I can't live my life like this..."
Scully watched as he got up and moved towards the door where Mulder was standing. "What are you going to do?", Mulder asked.
"I...ah...", Ethan said nervously. "I've got a news cast I have to work on...Jeff's dead now...his wife is widowed...his kids have no father...the show has to go on...", he said, brushing past Mulder.
"Mulder," Scully said as she snatched the bundle up off the desk. "We've got to do something...We can't let him die."
Mulder nodded his head. "She appears on the surveillance tape, right? I'll have them set up a monitor so we can view it from the outside of the control room...that's the best we can do, Scully."
She grabbed Mulder's hand and squeezed it. "I know...let's go..."
Mulder sat outside the control room in front of a television monitor watching Ethan as two other Producers worked with him. Scully sat in the control room in a chair beyond them, twiddling the charm in her hand. Her phone was in easy reach in case Mulder spotted the spirit of the girl. She knew that all she could do was toss Ethan the charm and hope that it worked. They waited for what seemed like an eternity, watching the production of a show. When it was over, Ethan was the only one left in the room along with Scully.
She watched him closely, noticing the way his shoulder's slumped. She had never seen him this way before and she knew he had resigned himself to die. She had been thinking about the past with Ethan...about the guilt she was now feeling in knowing that her decision which she knew in her heart was the right one, had devastated him so greatly.
She also thought about the choice she hadn't made...the life together she used to dream about from the moment he proposed to her to the moment she left her engagement ring with a note on the nightstand. It was a cruel way to be told that it was over, she thought to herself. But she knew that if she hadn't, she would have never have found the true love of her life...Mulder...and just as she had learned when Daniel had come back unexpectedly in her life, the choices you make are sometimes the only choice.
Just then, Mulder ran up to the glass window of the Control Room, banging on the door, screaming. "She's in there Scully...She's behind him!"
She swung around and looked down at the charm in her hand and lept up to Ethan, stuffing it in his wide hands. She turned back towards Mulder but he was staring at the monitor. She dialed his number. "Mulder..."
"She's just standing there Scully...She hasn't moved but she's not touching him now."
"Ethan...its working," Scully said, turning back to her former fiance'.
He turned the charm around in his hand and then tossed it to the side. "No...", he said, shaking his head. "I won't live this way."
"NO!", Scully screamed.
Mulder watched in horror as the little girl stuck a knife into Ethan's back. He screamed out in pain and then collapsed to the floor. Scully huddled over him as red blood spewed out onto the floor. He coughed up blood and grabbed onto her blouse. "I'm sorry...Dana...I just...couldn't..."
His breathing stilled and Mulder watched as the little girl turned towards his direction as if she could see him watching her and then moved over to the spot she first appeared and then disappeared. Mulder ran into the room and could see Scully bawling into Ethan's chest. "Mulder...", she cried. "He tossed it away..."
He pulled Scully up into his arms. "I'm sorry, Scully...he made that choice."
She wrapped her arms around his waist as her body shook from crying. He smoothed his hands over her head. "It's over now, Scully...it's over."
Scully tossed her blood soaked clothes into the hotel garbage can and made her way into the bathroom. Mulder knocked from the connecting door and opened it as she stepped into the shower. He walked into the bathroom and pulled the curtain back, watching as she stood under the shower spray, with her eyes closed. He reached out and touched her shoulder. "Let me wash you," he said, rolling up his sleeve.
She nodded but then Mulder noticed that she was crying. "Scully...its okay...it's okay to feel this way..."
"I know," she nodded.
He kissed her lips and smoothed his hand over her wet hair as water splashed onto his chest. Mulder poured body wash into his hands and began to spread it all over her back and shoulder's. He washed in circles, down her legs and butt, over her flat stomach and leg's, and over her breasts. His eyes though were fixed on her's as tears streamed down her face. He washed her hair and then rinsed her off and shut off the water, quickly wrapping her in a towel. He picked her up and carried her to the bed, and the laid her down. He covered her up with a blanket and then laid down next to her, pulling her into the warmth of his arms. "Talk to me Scully...", he whispered.
"I think I know how you felt now," she said, as tears traced down her face.
Mulder wiped them away with his thumb. "When?"
"With Diana," she said with watery eyes. "When she died...Mulder. I feel so guilty right now...like its my fault."
"How could it be your fault, Scully? We did everything we could...and the charms did stop her but he made the decision to toss it aside."
She curled up to his chest, her wet hair soaking his already wet t-shirt. He had showered and dressed in a t-shirt and boxer shorts. "Don't sleep in the other room tonight, Mulder...I need you here."
"I wouldn't dream of it, Scully," he whispered back.
"I didn't understand before...", she continued. "I thought you were still in love with her and that's why you acted the way you did with her."
"I told you before I was sorry about that, Scully. I didn't love her but she'd been my wife once...and I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt."
"I know now...I understand...", she said, staring into his deep hazel eyes. "There's a connection there...whether we've moved on or not...its not love...I only love you...but there's a connection there still...and guilt...guilt that my decision to leave him lead to this..."
"Whose to say, Scully that had you married him he would've died now anyway?"
She thought about it a second and then buried her head further beneath his chin. "I guess you're right, Mulder. "
"Scully...you and I were meant to be together...it's our destiny...we felt it the moment we met. Its gotten stronger and stronger as the years have gone by...we are connected in ways we can't even describe to anyone else...That's our souls connecting, Scully. So even if you had married Ethan and had 40 of his kids...we would've connected somehow... I believe that."
Scully reached up and planted a soft kiss against Mulder's lips. He deepened the kiss and then they broke apart, gasping for air. "Tonight only, Mulder...other than that...the-sleep-in-our-own-rooms-while-on-assignment-rule is in full affect...okay?"
Mulder smirked. "Sure it is, Scully..."
"I'm serious, " she smiled with a twinkle in her eye. "The rule's have to be enforced."
Mulder kissed her deeply. "Whatever you say, Scully..."
"Turn the light off Mulder," she said, as she unwrapped the towel from around her body.
Mulder's eyes lit up as he watched her. He quickly tossed his shirt to the floor and then switched off the lamp next to them. He planted another kiss on her soft lips and then made his way down to her neck. "You're my partner...my best friend and my lover", he smiled as he kissed her open mouth.
She giggled. "That's right Mulder...forever", she said, staring deep into his eyes. "I love you Mulder..."
"I love you forever Scully...Nothing could ever separate us...not life...not even death, Scully. You are the one that fulfills my life...you give it meaning...our souls are connected...nothing could ever sever that tie between us."
Tears of joy flooded her eyes and she kissed him feverishly. "Mulder...nothing and no one could ever separate us...I'll stand by you as I have for 7 yrs now and I'll stand by you for eternity. There's no one in this entire world for me but you..."
Mulder slid Scully's naked body further up to him, so he could see deep into her eyes. He kissed her lips and ran his fingers up along the curves of her waist. "No one but you, Scully...No one but you..."