Title: Beyond the Mirror
Summary: Mulder and Scully unlock the secrets of a castle in Ireland.
Author's Notes: Please, please, PLEASE send me feedback!!!! It would be greatly appreciated by me. Besides, I have nothing better to do, LOL! I'll accept constructive criticism, but please, don't flame me! Thanks, and enjoy! ;oD
Fox Mulder sat at his desk in his office. His feet were propped up obnoxiously on his desk, and he was staring at his watch. 6:59 a.m. (10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...> And on zero, his petite partner walked through the door. He grinned up at her.
"Morning, Sunshine!" Mulder said, with a note of sarcasm in his voice.
"Hi," she replied, sitting herself down in the chair before his desk. She looked up at him. On his face was a mischievous grin.
"Oh, no ..." she said sarcastically.
"What?" he asked innocently, pretending he didn't know what she was talking about.
"You've got another new case, don't you? An alien wild-goose chase, right?"
"Well," he said, taking his feet off the desk, "you might say that."
"There's a castle in Achill Island, Ireland, where people have reported seeing flashing lights."
"And you suspect aliens?"
"I don't know. But I figured you might be interested...since it's in Ireland and all..."
Scully's family was from Ireland. A little more interested, she asked, "What part of Ireland did you say?"
"My great-great-great-great-grandma Katherine was from Achill. I got my middle name from her. She lived in the early 1600s."
"Yeah?" asked Mulder. "Do you know any of your other ancestors?"
"Yeah. But the whole family moved from Ireland in the 1750s. Most of us were born in America," she explained.
"Oh," he nodded. "So should I go out chasing the Irish extraterrestrials by myself or are you coming?"
She considered this for a moment. She really didn't want to travel that far. But then again, she had always wanted to visit Ireland, and she didn't want to leave Mulder alone for that long. Who knows what kind of trouble he could get into?!
"Great." Standing up, he said, "Come on, let's get our plane tickets."
In the front of the cabin, the 'Seat Belts On' sign flashed. Scully looked down at her lap. She was buckled. She was nervously waiting for the plane to take off. Then, all of a sudden, the pilot came through the loudspeakers, telling everyone the safety reminders. Scully wasn't really paying attention to him, though. She was nervously picking at her nails. Then, she felt the plane's wheels lift from under her. She gasped and clutched the armrest, her body pressed flat against the seat from the tilt of the plane. Terrified, she closed her eyes. But then, she heard Mulder's soothing voice.
"It's all right," he reached out and put his hand on hers. He then turned her palm over and held her hand. She gazed into his eyes and gave his hand a tight squeeze. He held her hand for two minutes; until the plane got to the right altitude. When it was all over, she smiled at him and offered her thanks.
When Scully stepped off the plane, her legs were a little wobbly, but that was about it. She usually got motion sickness on airplanes, but not this time. Mulder had entertained her the whole time. He had distracted her from being sick, and for that, she was grateful.
"So...what do you think of Ireland, Scully?" Mulder asked as he drove their rental car across the countryside.
"It's beautiful," she said, peering out her window.
"It is," he agreed. She yawned.
"I'm going to sleep, Mulder. Just wake me up when we get there."
"Okay," he said, as she reclined back in her seat.
Mulder pulled the car up in front of the nameless castle. His partner was sound asleep. She had a strand of hair partially in front of her eye; her hands were folded at her chest, and her eyes lay unmoving under her eyelids.
"Yep. We're here. I'll give you a minute to wake up, and then we've gotta unload our stuff. Okay?"
"Okay," she nodded and closed her eyes again. After she was no longer sleepy, she stretched and went to the trunk of the car to help Mulder unload it. Then, they started for the castle.
"You ready for this?"
She sighed. "I guess so."
So, with Mulder leading, they walked to the castle's open gate and stepped into the shadowy hallway. Mulder pulled out his flashlight and turned it on, penetrating the darkness.
"We're going to have to light the torches tonight so we can see," Scully remarked.
"It's going to take a long time."
"Yeah, but how else are we going to see? I'm not using my flashlight the whole time."
"Okay. As soon as we're unpacked we'll light the torches."
She nodded and they continued down the hall all the way to the stairway. They climbed the long, windy stairs to the second floor. Looking down the hallway, they saw two adjoining rooms.
"This look good to you?" asked Mulder.
"Yeah. It's fine. I'm going to unpack now. I'll meet you outside in a minute and then we can light the torches."
So when she was done packing and settling into her cobblestone room, she and Mulder lit all the torches in the castle. It took a long time, but at least now they could see.
Back in her room at the castle, Scully lie on her bed, looking out her window. It was a warm, quiet night, and the only sounds she could hear were the occasional animal noises coming from the nearby pastures. She lied still in her bed, struggling to keep her eyes open. Her thoughts drifted to Mulder, who was sleeping in the room next to hers. He had looked so tired when she last saw him. It had been a long drive from the airport to the nameless castle they were staying at.
Dana awoke to golden beams of sunlight filtering across the room. She yawned and sat up in bed. She felt invigorated from the nice, long hours of sleep she had gotten. She got up and put on a beige top and blue jeans. Then, she went over to the mirror to brush her teeth. She'd have to spit her toothpaste out the window, but she didn't care. She was a wilderness woman! She laughed and picked up her toothbrush. Once she was satisfied, she spit the toothpaste remains out the window. She really wished they had a sink, but, well, she'd just have to make do with what she had. She then used a small amount of water from the cooler she and Mulder had bought to rinse off her toothbrush. Then, she took a rubber band out of her bag and walked over to the mirror to put her hair up. She could feel that it was slightly off- center, so she moved her head to one side to see. She couldn't see too good from that angle, so she quickly moved to the other side, her shoulder accidentally smashing the mirror.
Where the glass had fallen away, there was a hold. And flowing around the hole were gentle wisps of blue mist. She couldn't take her eyes off of it. It was mesmerizing. It was beautiful, peaceful...calm. And it was just waiting for her. She felt her hand slowly reach out. The moment her fingers brushed the mist, she was totally at peace. But it wasn't until it was too late, did she realize that something was wrong.
"Muld-" she tried to scream, but no sound came out. Then, the mist swallowed her.
Mulder awoke with a start. He knew something was wrong. He could
Five hours later, Mulder stood outside the last door. He swore that if she wasn't safe in that last room, he'd kill himself. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He opened the door and peered into the room. Nothing. A voice from behind startled him.
"Can't find her, can you?" asked the raspy voice of an old man.
Mulder turned around. The voice belonged to a man who was 4 feet tall and looked to be a hundred years old.
"Who are you?! What the hell is this?!" Mulder demanded fiercely.
"What is what?" the man asked, moving closer. "My name is Merlin. I'm the wizard of this castle. Who are you?"
"Yeah. Right." Mulder said in disbelief. "Really, who are you and what are you doing here?!"
The man said nothing. He just stared blankly at Mulder.
"Alright. Could you *please* tell me where Dana is?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact, I can. But you'd never believe me if I told you what happened to her."
"Right now I'd believe just about anything," he sighed.
"Well, then. Come with me, and I'll tell you."
Mulder followed the mysterious old man down the hall. He looked like a traditional wizard.
Merlin took Mulder to Scully's room. They both sat down on the bed.
"Where is she?" asked Mulder.
"I'm not saying anything until you tell me your name. I don't trust anyone."
Mulder chuckled wryly.
"My name's Mulder."
Merlin visibly blanched. Mulder wondered why he reacted that way, but he said nothing.
"Well, then, Mulder." the man said, trying to regain his composure. "You see that hole in the mirror?"
Mulder looked to where the man had pointed. There was nothing there but a normal, unscathed mirror.
"Of course you don't." Mulder was clearly puzzled, but the man continued on. "See...Dana somehow broke the mirror. It's a magical mirror, you see..."
Mulder snorted. Merlin continued.
"Behind that mirror is a mist. It transports its victims back in time."
"How in the hell?"
"I don't know. None of us know." Again, Mulder was puzzled. He hadn't even known that Merlin was there with him and Scully. And now he was telling him that there were more people? Impossible! They had been over the whole castle the other night lighting the torches, and there was no one there!
"-I think the location of the castle might have something to do with it."
Mulder considered this for a moment.
"Okay, okay...how can I bring her back?"
Mulder's tone turned desperate. "What do you MEAN I can't!?!" Mulder had lost her once before. As if that hadn't been painful enough on him. But he knew one thing for sure: he would not lose her again.
"She has to find her way back to the mirror. And she must touch the mist to be transported back to the present."
"Thanks, buddy." Mulder said weakly.
"I'm going back to my lab. Want something to eat?"
"Yeah. Sure. I guess so. Got nothing better to do," he mumbled the last sentence to himself.
Merlin led him to a dark, musty room in the basement of the castle.
"What do you have to eat?" Mulder asked, slumping in his chair.
"Nothing but a pot full of chicken soup."
Merlin scuffled past Mulder. He didn't even notice. He had his head in his hands, concentrating on one thing, and one thing only.
The first thing Dana Katherine Scully was aware of were the voices. She couldn't quite hear what anyone was saying until she fully regained consciousness.
"Shhh...she's waking up!"
Dana fluttered open her eyes. The people above her were all wearing tunics, tights, buckled shoes; ancient garb. Even she was wearing the ancient clothes.
"Well, if it isn't Katherine Scully." said a big-nosed woman.
A man in the back stepped forward.
"Did you say her name was Katherine Scully?" he asked.
"Why, yes." replied the woman.
"She's the witch we've been seeking! Seize her!!" the man commanded.
Instantly, the guards in the back of the room who were sitting still just moments ago took action. They dove on poor Dana, punching her, slapping her, and squashing her with all of their weight. Then, she saw a fist draw back in slow motion. And just as slow, the fist hit her hard upon her head. That was the last thing she saw.
Pain. Unbearable pain. That is what Dana felt as she opened her eyes once again. She was in an almost pitch-black room. The only light in the room was coming from the cracks in the poorly constructed walls of the castle. In those needle points of light, she could see dust motes dancing; playing, in the light. The room smelled like rotting meat. Next to her on the wall, she saw a maggot. She moved her left arm to swat it. But her hand could not move, nor could the rest of her body.
"Trying to escape?"
Dana jumped, frightened at the sound of another voice.
"Don't be alarmed." the kind voice said. The man with the voice stepped out of the shadows and into Dana's line of site.
"Who are you?" she asked, fear seeping from her voice. She did not like to be afraid. She tried not to show it, but sometimes she just couldn't help it. But being shackled here in a filthy chamber was pure torture. Not to mention the fact that she was trapped in the 1600s.
That word rang a bell in her head.
Her grandmother had told her stories about her great-grandma, Katherine. And from the description she had been given, it sounded like Katherine looked just like Dana! And the reason Dana must be shackled is because Katherine had been accused of being a witch.
"I'm the guard who was posted to watch over ya; make sure ya don't leave. They think you're a witch. So you've been sent down here to die." the man explained. Dana could now see that he was tall, skinny, had an Irish accent, and was wearing armor. A knight.
"I'm not a witch!!"
"I know you're not."
"How -" she started.
"I know all about it. Your name is Dana Katherine Scully. You're from the 20th century."
She started to say something again, but he cut her off.
"There's no time fer this. Ya must leave before the people come back."
"You're letting me go?"
"Yes. Now, there *is* a way to get back to your time. But I'm not allowed to tell ya. In order to return to your world, ya must figure it out on your own."
With that, he approached her with a set of keys.
"Why are you doing this?" she asked.
"Because I couldn't bear to see ya go through any more torture. I couldn't bear to see *anyone* go through that." he said, undoing the last shackle.
"Go now! Off with ya!"
She had no idea who that man was, but she was grateful that he released her. Bravely, she searched for a sign, any sign, of something to find her way back.
Dana paused at the last door. This was her very last chance. She had been to every other room in this castle, and she had found absolutely nothing. She didn't know what she'd do if she couldn't go back. She closed her eyes a moment, in silent prayer. Then, she opened the door and peered in. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing but bare stone walls. The room mirrored what she felt inside.
Dana stormed out of the room and fell into a helpless heap on the floor. She began to weep. No more family. No more X-files. Then, like a slap on the face, it hit her: No more Mulder.
"NO!!!!" she cried.
She pounded the floor with her fist, the sobs wracking her body. If felt unusually good to cry, but, eventually, it took a toll on her body. Her sobs became softer and less violent, until a single tear remained on her face. She stared blankly at the plain stone wall in front of her. Then, the deep waters of sleep drowned her.
Dana opened her eyes. The first thing she saw was a wooden door. But then, her mind flashed back to the stone wall she had fallen asleep in front of. Someone had moved her! But no...down below her, the floor was still wet from her tears. She didn't know how the hell a door could appear out of nowhere, but at this point, she didn't care. She practically flung herself through the door. The room was vaguely familiar to her, but she didn't know why. Instantly, she saw the cracked mirror. As she approached it, she saw the mist again. But the mist was red; not blue. It immediately repulsed her. She turned away. But then she heard Mulder's voice calling to her, pleading with her to come back.
"Mulder?" she asked tentatively.
"Scully! Go to the mist! Come to me! Scully, I'm begging you. SCULLY!!!!"
The emotion in his voice was too much to bear. But the light was bad. It was evil. She was about to turn away again, until his voice echoed in her head.
"Come to me."
She lifted her pointer finger slowly up to the hole. She almost jerked her hand away on contact. But then, the mist took rendered her helpless.
"Mulder!!" Scully shouted.
Mulder's jaw dropped. "Oh, my God." Then, she ran to him, right into his arms.
"I missed you so much!" he said, pressing her as close to him as was humanly possible.
"I missed you, too," she sighed into his neck. They stayed sprawled out upon the floor like that for a long time. Until Dana realized that there was someone else in the room.
"Dana?" asked the woman. She was dressed in a filthy, tattered dress.
Mulder didn't say anything. He just sat there in awe, Dana still in his embrace.
It was unbelievable. When Dana's grandmother had said that she looked like Katherine, she wasn't kidding! Alike?! More like identical twins!! Every single curve of her body was exactly the same as the younger Scully. Her hair wasn't as shiny as Dana's, but that was only because she lived a tougher life than her.
"Dana, I don't have much time. I need to tell you something." Katherine said.
"What? What is it?" she asked, moving closer to Katherine.
"The wizard of this castle, Merlin, has been trapped in your world for almost four-hundred years. He's going to try to go back. The only way you can time travel in this castle is if you go with a Scully, or if you *are* a Scully. See, your great-grandpa, my dad, was the ruler of this castle. His old wizard put a spell on the mirror you broke. You and ..." she gestured towards Mulder.
"Mulder," he offered.
"...are the only ones who can see me. Dana...if you and I switch, Merlin will think that I am you. He won't be able to see you. I will become you, and you will become me. I will be human, and...you will be ghost...but you will, in most likelihood, come back. If we don't do this, you will be forced back in time, and I will be subject to be a ghost forever."
"But what about you? Will you be okay?"
"It doesn't matter. We have to do this, and we have to do this now."
Scully turned her head back to Mulder, a question on her face. He nodded, as if to say, 'go ahead.' She turned back to Katherine.
"Okay. How do we switch?"
"Just touch my hand," she said, holding out her hand. Dana lifted up her hand slowly, very slowly. She held out her finger, as did Katherine. They touched each other. Katherine was cold, very cold. But Dana was warm, screaming with life. They gazed in each other's eyes as the transformation took place.
"Come here," he commanded Katherine. She slowly approached him. Merlin grasped her hand harshly and stepped towards the hole in the wall, which now had blue mist flowing behind it.
"Noooo!!" Mulder screamed. He knew he had to act a little, so Merlin wouldn't know.
"Yes!" Merlin practically squealed with joy. "Go on, now! Touch the mist!!"
Katherine did as she was told. She stuck her finger through the hole. She closed her eyes. Mulder and Scully watched in wholehearted curiosity as Merlin and Katherine disappeared in the mist. At the same instant, Scully was wearing her own clothes. She was no longer a ghost. Everything was back to normal. Once again, Scully went to Mulder. He held her in a strong embrace, not about to let her go for anything. He rested his chin on the top of her head.
"It's okay," he whispered to her. "It's okay."
"Let's get out of here, Mulder." He stroked her hair once more.
So Scully went to her room and gathered up her gear as Mulder gathered his. Scully deftly ignored the mirror and stepped into the hallway.
"Ready?" she asked.
"Ready," he replied.
They took their last few steps in the castle and stepped into the real world. The sun was shining brightly outside. They walked to their car and threw their stuff in the trunk. Then, they climbed into the cars and slammed the doors shut. Just before the car took off, Scully took her last glimpse at the castle. Looking down at her from a window was Katherine, dressed in her raggedy dress.
"Look, Mulder!" Scully said, motioning to the castle.
He looked up and saw Katherine smiling down on them. They both smiled back at her and waved. Katherine waved back at them. Scully could've sworn she saw her wink at her. And as the car pulled off, she knew that Katherine was going to be just fine.
All done, bye bye!