Title: Friendly
Author: Tick
Written: November 1995

Summary: A crossover...

Notes: Hey there. This is my first fanfic, and my third attempt at writing an X-Files fanfic. The first one was an X-Files/Strange Luck story which I scrapped because (1) somebody already did one and (2) the same plot was actually _used_ on Strange Luck. The second was a crossover between the X-Files and The Usual Suspects, which I dropped because anyone who read it without seeing The Usual Suspects first would probably have hurt me quite badly. So now there's this...quite possibly, the most idiotic creative X-File of all...


Friendship, Maine
November 2
7:55

"Wake up," Scully said. Mulder slowly came awake and sat up, rubbing his eyes. He saw that he'd fallen asleep against the car window, which was now steamed up from his breath.

"We're pulling into town."

Mulder looked out the window and saw a harbor, lobster boats...an idyllic, peaceful looking town.

"Nice looking place," Scully said.

"It looks like a Pepperidge Farm box," Mulder replied.

"The coroner expecting us?"

"Friendship doesn't _have_ a coroner," Scully replied.

"Just a town doctor. The autopsy was performed by a fellow from Bangor. This is really just follow-up work."

Mulder muttered something uncomplimentary. This felt like a stalling tactic on Skinner's part, something to get the two of them out of his hair...or lack thereof...

"That's where the body was found." Scully pointed at a roadside bar. A large pit was located next to the back door where a new septic tank was to have been installed. Now, it was cordoned off with yellow tape. Police line, do not cross.

"So his body's in the morgue."

"No. His body's in a freezer."

Mulder looked at Scully.

"They've just got the one. Apparently people don't die too often here," Scully said.

"Okay. His body's in the freezer. And yet, people still see him up at his house."

"That's right."

"Ghost stories."

"What's this? Skepticism from you?"

Mulder said nothing. He merely rubbed his eyes again and yearned for some coffee.


Sheriff's Station
8:05

Sheriff Rich showed them into the station's back room, where a coffin-shaped freezer sat quietly humming to itself.

"He just got into town about a week ago," Rich proclaimed. "The hell of it is, people swear they've seen him since it happened; picking up his daughter from school, buying groceries..."

"Anybody speak to this 'double' that's walking around?" Mulder asked.

"They're all too scared. I would have gone up, but I wanted to wait for you guys." Rich leaned closer to them, eager to divulge a secret. "That whole place is haunted, you know. Every kid in school went up there for a Halloween party...

came running back screaming. They all swear they saw a ghost."

"At a Halloween party," Scully replied. "How odd."

The sarcasm was entirely lost on the Sheriff.

"There was another body, too. Lady named Carrigan Crittendon. Her body's already been flown to New York for burial."

"What happened to her?" Scully asked.

"Suicide. Drove her car right up to the edge of a cliff and took a leap. It was the ghosts that drove her to it."

I'm gonna get Skinner for this, Mulder thought sourly.


Mulder sipped at the rather nasty coffee and read a paper in the waiting room, waiting for Scully to finish the autopsy.

The doors to the back room opened and Scully stepped out, all cleaned up.

"Just like Bangor said," she stated. "Died from head and spinal cord trauma. Lots of alcohol in his system according to the notes, so it was probably just a drunken accident."

"Well," Mulder said, standing, "only one place to go now."

"The haunted house," Scully replied.


Whipstaff Manor
11:38

The gothic monstrosity that was Whipstaff Manor stood on a tall hill, looming.

"Huh," Mulder said. "I didn't know you could loom in the daytime."

"What?"

"You know. Looming. Foreboding. Hovering menacingly. I was pretty sure that only happened at night."

"I don't know," Scully said. "Vultures loom. They do it during the day."

Mulder considered that as they drove up to the front door. They exited the car and knocked on the door.

A thirtyish man with sandy brown hair opened the door. He wore glasses, jeans, a white shirt and a gray cardigan sweater.

"Yes?" he asked.

It took the two agents a moment to find words.

"I'm Agent Scully with the FBI," Scully finally said.

"This is Agent Mulder. We'd like to ask you a few questions, Dr. Harvey."

James Harvey showed them inside. In anything, the inside loomed more than the outside. It reminded Scully of a film she'd seen long ago, a German expressionist silent film called _The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari_. They were ushered into his office and took their seats.

"What seems to be the trouble?" Harvey asked.

"Er...Dr. Harvey, do you know where you were on Halloween night?" Scully asked.

"Yes. I was chaperoning a Halloween party for my daughter and her schoolfriends."

"All night?"

"Yes."

"You didn't go out, perhaps, and get a few drinks?"

"Er...now that you bring it up, I did...sort of...

get dragged off by a few friends."

From somewhere in the house, they heard three voices giggle unpleasantly. Scully and Mulder looked at Harvey.

"My daughter," he said.

"Doesn't she go to school?"

"She's sick."

"And apparently she has three voices, too," Mulder said.

Harvey said nothing. He merely smiled nervously.

"Sir, I'll get right to the point," Scully said. "I just spent the entire morning performing an autopsy on somebody who looks exactly like you. He seems to _be_ you."

"Um..." Harvey wrung his hands for a moment. "That is..."

"This body was discovered in town, outside a bar."

"That is..."

"Aw, g'wan, Doc, tell 'em!"

The voice had a thick Brooklyn twang, nasal and high-pitched.

Mulder and Scully looked around the room, but no one else was there.

"That wasn't your daughter," Mulder said.

"No," Harvey sighed, "it wasn't."

"We're waiting, Dr. Harvey," Scully said.

Harvey stood abruptly and paced about for a moment before speaking.

"Do you know what I do for a living?" he asked them.

Neither of them did.

"I am a psychiatrist. For ghosts."

The headache which had been threatening to come on all day now struck Mulder.

"For ghosts," Scully deadpanned.

"Yes. For ghosts."

"So...what you're saying is...there are ghosts in here," Mulder said.

"That's right."

"Right now."

"Yes."

Mulder and Scully looked around again.

"Invisible ghosts, I assume," Scully said.

"No, no...they're visible. When they want to be."

Another round of giggling.

"And what does this have to do with the body in the morgue?" Mulder asked.

"Well, that's my body," Harvey replied.

There was a long, long silence.

"Your body," Scully said.

"Yes."

"From when you died."

"Yes."

"So you're dead," Mulder said.

"No."

Mulder and Scully looked at one another. There was yet another series of giggles from nowhere in particular.

"Dr. Harvey...there's a simple way to clear this up.

If you'd come down to the station with us, we can get a blood sample and a fingerprint record from you and verify that you're not the person in the morgue...I hope..."

The giggling stopped abruptly.

"I think we'd better get there quickly," Harvey said.


Sheriff's Station
11:50

Rich was standing outside the station holding a shotgun.

He was quavering in terror and aiming inside the station house, as though terrified of what might be inside. As Mulder, Scully and Harvey approached, he whirled on them in shock.

"They took it! They took it!"

"Who took what?" Mulder asked.

"The ghosts! They took it!"

Scully ran forward, gun at the ready. She ran past the desks, past the cells, into the back room.

The freezer was still there. It didn't look as though it had been touched. Mulder appeared behind her, his weapon unholstered. Scully moved towards the freezer cautiously.

"On three," she whispered. Mulder nodded.

"One...two...THREE!" Scully yanked the freezer open and aimed inside.

Where the body had once lain, there was now three frozen hams. There were turkey legs where the limbs had been. And a large cabbage lay in the spot reserved for the corpse's head.

"What, no mints?" Mulder asked.

From seemingly out of nowhere, a mint fell into the freezer.


2:30

The Sheriff swore it had been ghosts that had made off with the body, replacing it with fresh produce and poultry. Naturally, the notes that Scully and the Bangor coroner had made were gone as well. With no body, and seemingly no reason to continue the investigation, Mulder and Scully drove away from Friendship, Maine. This time, it was Mulder in the driver's seat as Scully scribbled notes on a clipboard.

"So how are we going to explain this to Skinner?" Mulder asked.

"How should I know?"

"Hey, you're the one that always comes up with the cynical stuff."

"No, that's you. I come up with the skeptical stuff."

"Ah. Silly me."

"I don't know how to explain this one anyway," she admitted.

"I mean, we could say it was, what, a publicity stunt?"

"He'll buy that," Mulder replied.

"Because he won't believe that it was...I mean..."

"A G-g-g-g-ghost?"

"Precisely," Scully sighed. "So we chalk it up to a very elaborate Halloween prank."

"Swell," Mulder replied. As they drove past Whipstaff manor, he noticed two figures through an open window. One was a girl, about fourteen years old, longish dark hair.

The other was stark white. Bulbous. And if he had looked at it a moment longer, he would have noticed that it was transparent. But Mulder was forced to concentrate on the road ahead.

The End


All X-Files characters copyright Ten Thirteen Productions and Twentieth Century Fox. All Casper characters copyright Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Harvey Entertainment.

Tick: "I'm looking for a really big gun CEO, Inspired Weirdness Productions T that holds a lot of bullets."

"God bless you, son."

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