Title: Gifted Youngsters
Author: William Logan
Author's page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/57313/
Written: 06/05/2003
Words: 1769
Rating: R/NC-17
Category: X-Files
Genre: Suspense/Sci-Fi
Rated: R. Rating for violence
Disclaimer: The X-Files and all related names are property of Ten Thirteen Productions. X-Men and all related names are property of Marvel Entertainment, Inc.

Summary: (X-Men Crossover)Mulder and Scully travel to Salem Center, New York to investigate the brutal murder of a man reportedly killed by a demon.

Salem Center, NY
10:34 PM
Wednesday, October 8

Jonathan Bledsoe was walking home from a party at a friend's home, hugging his jacket around himself for protection against the cold. The party had been rather boring, so he had made some excuse, which he couldn't even remember now, to leave early. The evening was unusually quiet, with only the occasional car passing on the street, and not a soul in sight. The stars were shining quite clearly above him, and he would probably have been able to make out several constellations, if he had known where to look. He sighed to himself, stuffing his chilled hands into his pockets and taking a short cut through a back alleyway to get home. The alley was dark, shadows occupying most of the space it contained, as well as a few odd dumpsters here and there. Off to the side, he saw two men sitting together, homeless people, he deduced, and started to walk past, trying to ignore the pair. That was before he stepped in a puddle of blood laying in front of one of the men. He turned to look at the pair again, noticing that one of the men was about thirty years old, in a neat suit, his eyes rolled up in his head, blood dripping from both corners of his mouth. The other man seemed to be checking the bleeding man for signs of life. From what Jonathan could see, it was unlikely that he would find any.

"Hey, what's going on here," Jonathan asked, preparing himself for a fight with this man. The man looked up at Jonathan, clearly surprised that he had been interrupted in whatever work he was doing. The first thing Jonathan noticed, quite to his shock, was that the man had glowing yellow eyes, and his face was covered in indigo fur. A pointed tail swung into view, and the blue man opened his mouth to gasp, revealing pointed fangs. He was the very vision of a demon from the deepest pits of hell. Suddenly, pink smoke appeared around the blue demon, accompanied by a loud "bamf" sound, and a strong smell of sulfur. Jonathan choked at the horrible smell, trying to clear his now-watering eyes, only to see that the demon had vanished. Forgetting about the bleeding man, Jonathan rushed out of the alley, looking for a police car to help him.

FBI Headquarters
11:23 AM
Thursday, October 9

Special Agent Dana Scully paused at the door of the office of her colleague Fox Mulder, contemplating whether or not she should actually go inside. He had called her earlier this morning, rather excited about a new X-File that had come in that morning. She knew that because he was excited, it meant that the case had some sort of bizarre sci-fi or horror-esque twist that usually proved to be nothing more than some strange, but completely scientific, phenomena. She sighed, realizing that her fate was sealed, and that she couldn't deny her partner the satisfaction of his hunt for the paranormal. She also realized that this would give her another chance to prove to him that there was a scientific explanation for whatever had happened. With this in mind, she brushed a few errant strands of her red hair away from her eyes and turned the knob, entering the lair of Special Agent Fox Mulder, who she found tossing pencils at the ceiling, trying to see how many he could get to stick. On his desk were various papers, opened files spread haphazardly, a few personal items, and a bag of sunflower seeds, tipped over and spilling out onto his desk.

"Good morning, Scully," he said, sitting up straight and trying to appear a bit more businesslike. He flashed a boyish grin, "come in, sit down. Can I get you some coffee?"

"No thank you, Mulder," she said, entering and leaning on the back of the chair opposite his, "you said we had a new case?"

"Yeah, umm," he started digging through the mess of papers on his desk, sorting out a few that he had been looking at and put them together, handing them to her. She studied them with interest, especially a photo of a dead body found in an alleyway. "Salem Center, New York. Small, quiet town, but it apparently harbors a deep, dark secret." Scully raised her eyes from the documents she was looking over to eye him.

"Nice impersonation of a horror movie trailer, Mulder," she said, clearly unamused.

"The deceased is one Richard Mackenzie, a local banker. He was found last night in an alleyway by a college student, Jonathan Bledsoe, coming home after a party. Autopsy reports said it pretty much looked like he was mauled by a bear."

"So what makes this an X-File, Mulder," Scully asked, she knew he was waiting for the question.

"Mister Bledsoe said that he found Mister Mackenzie in the alley way being pawed at by another man. After approaching the man, Bledsoe got a good look at his face. There's a composite sketch in there, too," he said, leaning back in his seat, waiting for her reaction. Scully flipped through the pages until she found the composite sketch, then raised an eyebrow, looking up at Mulder.

"What is this supposed to be?"

"That is the artist's rendition of the other man Mister Bledsoe saw that night," Mulder said, "he also said that the man vanished in a flash of light and smoke that left behind a strong smell of sulfur."

"A man who looks like a demon vanishing in a puff of smoke that smells of brimstone," Scully repeated skeptically, "was he carrying a pitchfork, too?" Mulder didn't look amused, "Bledsoe was a college student on his way home from a party, he was probably drunk."

"The police didn't find a bit of alcohol in his bloodstream," Mulder said, "and apparently this isn't the first time there have been strange sightings in the Salem Center area, this is just the first time anyone got hurt, so it was the first time any reports were taken seriously. You'd better get packed, Scully, we're leaving for Salem Center in four hours." He handed her a plane ticket. Scully picked hers up and frowned, heading for her apartment to prepare for what would certainly prove to be an interesting trip.

Salem Center, NY
6:32 PM

A chilling wind whipped through the dark alleyway that contained the crime scene that the local police were still combing over carefully, not wanting to miss anything that could shed some light on this perplexing mystery. Mulder was talking to one of the police officers that had been on the scene first. Scully, in the meantime, was crouched down, surveying the bloody scene around her, checking out the area around the white chalk outline that had been drawn around where the victim's body had been laying. A few moments later, Mulder came walking over, his hands tucked into his pockets.

"Find anything?" he asked, crouching down next to her.

"Not much," she said with a frown, "there's definitely no smoking gun on this case."

"No, just a smoking demon," Mulder replied. She rolled her eyes, "hey, what's that," he said, gesturing at a tiny object sitting on what had been a puddle of blood, which had now completely dried up. It appeared to be a strand of short, dark hair. Scully looked a bit more closely, grabbing a pair of tweezers out of her pocket and reaching for the hair, picking it up and looking at it closely, "I'll send this off to the forensics lab," she said, placing it in a small baggie labeled "evidence." She handed the bag to Mulder, who held it up to the light.

"Interesting," he said, squinting his eyes.

"What? What is it?" Scully asked, pulling off the rubber gloves she'd been wearing.

"It's blue," he replied.

"It's probably dyed," the readhaired agent took the bag from Mulder's hands and studied it carefully, "although you're definitely right... it's blue."

"Bledsoe said that the demon he saw was completely covered in blue fur. This matches up with that report," Mulder tapped the baggie, as if the action somehow emphasized his point.

"Mulder, the alley was dark, Bledsoe was probably just afraid and hallucinated. People have seen plenty of strange things in dark alleys. I once heard a report of a man who thought he saw Bigfoot rummaging around in dumpsters in New York," Scully said, crossing her arms and gazing up at her partner, who had a cocky smirk on his lips.

"That's ridiculous, everyone knows Bigfoot lives in the Pacific Northwest," Mulder said. Scully just shook her head and sighed, "It was a joke, Scully... a joke."

"I'm not laughing, Mulder," she replied as she opened her car door. She tried not to show that she was, indeed, stifling a bit of a chuckle, "maybe we could get some more information from Mister Bledsoe. I'm sure if we reason with him, we'll get the real story. As long as certain people don't encourage his overactive imagination." Mulder shrugged innocently and got in the car.

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