Title: Savium Prestolatio
Author: Sqira A.
Written: October 31, 1999
Classification: SA
Keyword: M/S
Content Warning: PG
Spoiler Warning: Nope. Nada.
Distribution Statement: Sure. Cooler still if I know where. Feedback: Adored and loved
Disclaimer: Not mine, except the story.

Summary: Something's amiss on All Hallow's Eve.

Author's Note: Nope, I'm not discontinuing my wip. This is my break from writing the wip, as well as a chance for me to get the idea for this fic off my mind. I'll resume my normal schedule soon.

He had been waiting. The champagne in his hand had warmed to room temperature, dulling its taste. He brought it to his lips, disgusted by its sudden fermentation. French, he thought. Discarding his cup by the dresser, he left his company and moved apologetically to the window.

It worried him. The party was already jiving to its peak, and she had yet to make her appearance. He passed by several agents in his way, each stopping him for some comment or two. He nodded, smiled and played nice with the other agents. He had to. The party was, amazingly, in his honor.

It was one of the Bureau's glowing moments. They had managed to catch the spree killer that had beguiled the local PD for the last month. Credit was given to Mulder for connecting the murders to a string of assaults in the area. The killer had left a few of his victims alive, but not by much. Their connection was established when the attacks and murders occurred within five hours; five murders, located in the shape of a cross. Corresponding body parts, legs, hands and heads, were removed, the victims dying at once or bleeding to death before help could arrive.

The local PD could not trace a pattern between the victims. The victims themselves were inconsistent; damned perhaps for being at the wrong places at the wrong times. The cases were then passed to the FBI, calling up its wunderkind to head the investigation. The murders then caught the attention of the media, adding pressure to the already daunting task.

The case took only two weeks to be solved under the FBI's jurisdiction. In that time, 10 more attacks were reported, half of whom died by the time they were found. The team worked hard on the case, giving up their nights and days. They had much to live up to; the public's scrutiny, the victims' families and any others who might be in danger. In the center of it all was Mulder. He was the one who broke the case, connecting the murders after just one week of investigation.

Mulder was given the majority of the credit, much to his chagrin. He tried to redirect most of it to his team, all of whom, returned it back to him. Everyone knew who was responsible for the eventual capture of the killer.

A party was held for the completion of the case. Mulder was the reluctant guest of honor, arriving fashionably late for his own party. Due to some macabre twist of fate, the party fell on October 31st, Halloween. Just perfect for His Royal Spookiness.

The house had begun to feel packed. Agents from different departments had got wind of the party and made it a point to stop by, hoping to catch a glimpse of the all-elusive Mulder. Mulder, for his part, had made it a point to be visible. Just enough for the present guests to chew on.

He stood by the window, watching the street before him. Still waiting. The party had started to bore him. He could only stomach so much of Agent Danielson's Jacuzzi experience in the master bathroom on the second floor. Hearing it for the fifth time had given him the sudden inclination to try it himself, as a form of escape rather than out of salacious curiosity.

Droves of children in various costumes before passed his eyes. Their gaggles of laughter overcame the ones inside the house. They seemed real, free and unforced, unlike the ones that bellowed awkwardly in the house. He smiled at them, remembering a similar memory of long ago. If he was lucky, he might even catch a copy of his young self among the children.

He didn't notice her at first. The pink princess that was twirling her wand from lamppost to lamppost caught his attention, dissolving everything else that surrounded her. She reminded him of someone, someone very dear to him. Then as soon as the spell was cast, it was broken. The princess ran suddenly to her left, joining the other children that huddled by a car.

His eyes furrowed at the scene. The children were clamoring at something, reaching out their hands. These same hands then drew back, cradling their catch like a treasure. It took a while for the children to disperse, hence revealing a very contented woman in their wake. She was smiling, an empty basket perched precariously on her lap.

The princess that held his attention earlier was now forgotten. He found a queen instead in her place. Dressed in casuals and a tanned coat, the queen left her carriage and stepped out into the night. She wrapped her fingers around the neck of a champagne bottle and walked purposely to the house.

He removed his guard from the window. He squeezed between the gyrating bodies and stationed himself where he could see her enter. Agent Stanskey, a member of the team, welcomed her into the house and took her gift away with him. He shrugged at one of her questions, motioning her instead towards the living room.

He followed her, keeping his distance from her. He found this new game amusing, perhaps enlightening to some point. He hid himself by one of the entries into the living room. He saw her weaving her way into the crowd, receiving accolades and compliments along the way. Her face reddened bashfully, matching the heady atmosphere of the room. She craned her neck around the room, searchingly. She asked the same question as before, giving up after a few tries. He noticed her face fell a notch lower. He beamed inwardly.

He paralleled her movements to the bar. She requested her poison, and leaned against the doorjamb. She swirled the drink in her hand, nodding to a few heads that bobbed in front of her. She glanced at her watch, probably contemplating her leave. He figured he had tortured her enough and went on to rest his back against the wall next to her.

"You're late," he gently whispered by her ear. The effect got her reeling in her heels, her body snapped back, facing him. She made a show of looking annoyed. He merely smiled in return, unfazed.

"It's Halloween. I ran out of candy," she reasoned, resting her shoulder by the same wall. They faced each other, not seeing anything else beyond the other.

"Oh. For yourself?"

"For the kids," she stressed the end before continuing, "I'm the very nice lady who lives down the hall who always gives two chocolate bars and five Hershey's Kisses to every kid."

"Where were you when I was 10," he teased, keeping his voice low for her ears only. She felt tickled upon hearing his murmur and shielded her pleasure by bowing her head down. She laughed for the first time, reaching into her jeans' pocket.

"North Carolina. Backyard. Beating the hell out of my brother in football. Besides, I'm a popular lady during Halloween. I even know some of the kids' names by heart." She fished out the treasure from the pocket and handed it out to him.

"I saved you a Kiss," she purred. His eyes went a shade darker, mirroring a similar effect in hers. Both took a moment to retreat, only to be reigned back in by those same eyes.

"Does this mean what I think it means?" he asked after a while, picking up her offering, playing his fingers in her palm.

"Cookies and Cream. Your favorite. There's more where this came from." Oh, she was feeling playful too. Her voice had dipped deliberately. Perhaps it was the wine. Perhaps it was nothing at all.

He laughed now, palming the Kiss in his hand. He pushed it into his own jeans' pocket, patting it for good measure.

"I think I'll save that for later. I thought you gave them all away to the kids," he continued, playing with hem of her shirt.

"No, I bought too much and as I was leaving, I decided to bring them here, you know, adults love candy too. But seeing the children on the street, I couldn't-" she stopped, seeing the look on his face. "You *saw* me."

"The children ran to you. You're like... the Candy Fairy."

"You made me look for you," she fumed, crossing her arms. Her wine tipped dangerously over the brim, a few drops finding their way to the carpet below.

"Aw, c'mon now. *You* made me wait too. If you had come a minute later, I'd be playing touch football with the guys right now, and I have to be the quarterback for Christ's sake," he complained. However, in retrospect, he did feel good for the invitation. He wouldn't mind playing actually.

"So why didn't you?" She lifted a corner of her mouth, the action paired with a dubious look on her face. She couldn't believe that he would actually pass up a chance to show his manly prowess.

"And miss what you did on the street? Nah." He shook his head, firmly staying with his reasoning. She looked around, finding themselves pretty much hidden from the rest of the house. The wall they leaned against, which led out to the side porch, was partially covered by the darkness of the night. The only light came from the living room, dimmed to a hideous shade of orange.

"So, what else have I missed?" she inquired, hearing the change of tempo in the blaring music. Her mind was distracted by the music, taking in the faint tunes. She attempted to place the name of the song, but she couldn't put a finger on it. She tuned herself back to him.

"Nothing much. The punch sucked, Krabowski is making Screwdrivers in the kitchen, and if I hear one more time of how Agent Da-"

"Danielson had the best Jacuzzi experience of his life upstairs, you will what?" she interrupted him, leading him out into the porch. She leaned against the side of the house, while he stood before her, settling himself on the opposite railing.

"I don't know. Join him. Do it just to not hear it again." He grabbed a couple of items from a fruitbowl on a nearby table, juggling them easily.

"You and him, in a Jacuzzi?" She had to ask. This could have detrimental effects on their future.

"Maybe. That'll give them a new story to write about tomorrow. 'FBI agents' romp in Jacuzzi'. Has a nice ring to it don't you think?" He continued his juggling, now flinging one of them up and catching it again.

"You did good work. We couldn't have done it without you. It's over now." She should have known better. He wouldn't have just let this case go. It haunted him still, especially the time taken to bring the killer to justice.

"Yeah, at the expense of five more lives and five other who will most probably be scarred for life." He tossed the fruit higher, it disappeared into the darkness above time and again.

"But imagine more lives taken without your profile. You had saved them and many others. More than you will ever know. Don't do this to yourself," she pleaded. She felt compelled to go to him, to will him to look at her. She wished he would stop tormenting himself, willingly adding weight to his overburdened soul.

"I don't know. I know I did my best. It's just... if the local PD had picked up the trail, if I took five, four or three days instead of a week to figure out the pattern, if-"

"If! Stop it. That doesn't matter now. We got him. He's behind bars. He *will* pay. Now, stop it."

They remained silent. She gave him a moment to gather himself, while she did the same. They were teetering on the edge, each poised to fall if one let go. The music grew louder in the background, overtaking their thoughts.

"I heard they're going to commend you. I've been told that there'll be a ceremony two days from now. You're officially on paid leave..." she rattled off, figuring a way to ease the tension.

"Don't discount yourself. You're also invited. You're dubbed 'Miss Watson' by the press as I recall. So, how many secret admirer letters did you get today? Did *Adam* send his today?" He dared a look at her. She glared in return, halting his further remarks. He reversed his brain, braking his gears to a naught.

The fruit stopped flying too. It was pliant now, its skin loosened from its previous gymnastics. She looked at the fruits, their significance failing to impress her.

"What are they doing here? I see them all around," she motioned to the fruits, as he brought one up for a closer view.

"This? It's Halloween. It matches."

"Yeah, but shouldn't it be pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns, not-" she caught the one that was thrown at her, holding the offending object out to him, "oranges?"

"Well, it's a last minute decision. Pumpkins are troublesome, messy and smell bad after a while. These are much easier, lighter and," he peeled his, bringing the flesh into his mouth, "tastier too. Share?" He broke off a section of the orange and held it up to her like an offering.

She stepped closer, cautiously aware of her surroundings. Moonlight cast an eerie glow on them, halloing their shadows against its velvet veil. She knew enough about the full moon. How it affects Mother Nature and the seas that surrounded her. It humbles some creatures and provokes others. It makes men do foolish things, she thought, and gives them an excuse for them. She didn't trust such a moon. She didn't trust herself under such a moon.

"So, this is an improvised Halloween; oranges, a dress with a knife through the heart-"

"Oh, that's Hodge's mother-in-law's dress. There're also the Christmas lights, Mandy's wine cellar and leftover cafeteria food. Not bad for a last minute party," he pushed a piece of the orange to her, evading her attempts to receive it with her fingers, "it feels like a decent college party... with expensive wine."

She withdrew her fingers, irritated by his taunting.

"Stop playing with food. Quit mov-" He interrupted her once again, stuffing the flesh into her mouth. She froze momentarily, her teeth crushed together to prevent the fruit from spilling. She finally chewed on it, contempt staring back at her from the reflection in his eyes. He pushed his limits a bit further and wiped the trickle of juice that escaped down her chin.

She swallowed the fruit hard as she struggled to regain control of herself. His touch left a lasting burn on her chin, the imprint branded on her skin forever. A Richtered tremor broke free in her, and she shuddered with its aftershocks. She gasped for air, steadying herself against him.

"You okay?"

She nodded mechanically, pushing herself off to stand on her own. She realized that she had gripped the orange in her hand too hard, bruising it. She relaxed her hold on it, pitying the innocent in this game.

"Why did you do that?" Her question echoed faintly in the air. She handed the orange back to him, resting it on the railing when he refused to take it.

"I wanted to. Any good?" She turned her eyes back to him. Her stare hardened, not amused anymore. "The orange. The orange I mean." She smiled her answer, forgiving, but not forgetting.

"Why are we here, really?"

"To keep up appearances. Once a year ain't that bad," he replied, taking a sip of her wine. She leaned against the railing, facing him sideways.

"I don't think we've been missed. I bet half of them never expected us to be here, so why did you bother coming anyhow?" The moon had sunk lower in the sky. She could see it from where she was standing. It radiated a warmth unlike the sun. One that pierced and melted something within.

"Free flow, an opportunity to, as inane as it may sound, *socialize*, finding ways to blackmail others for future favors. Why are *you* here?" he asked, handing the wine back to her. She took it, bringing the glass to her lips.

"I thought you might like some company." She sipped the wine, the brim pressed hard between her lips.

"Oh, you're more than company, you know that." They shared a laugh, married heavily with the shared wine. She turned beside him, resting her front against the railing. He watched her. She soothed him in a way he had never felt before. He was continually drawn to her. She had that something... Something essential, something irresistible.

"I think it's time we ditch this joint. Coming?" He extended his hand to the wine, finishing off its final remnants in a gulp. He placed the glass next to him and pushed himself off.

"To where?" He ignored her, his attention taken up by something above him. She followed his gaze, finding nothing but darkness. He looked back at her, grinning his head off.

"What?" She called out, exasperated at his lack of verbal skills at that moment. He continued his grinning, moving her staunchly before him.

"Look up," he jested, urging her like an eager schoolboy. She did, and found the object that caught his attention.

"God, is that what I think it is?" He nodded at her, obviously pleased. She panicked as he stepped a foot closer to her. "You're not, you're not going to kiss me are you?"

She backed away from him, feeling the cool wall meeting her back in three short steps. He shrugged, his grin softening into a gentle smile.

"Well, I wasn't actually, but since you brought it up," he ended the sentence abruptly, bringing his lips down to hers.

"Hey, wait a minute." She pushed him off, centering her palm on his chest. He paused, the grin made a sudden reappearance. "Mistletoe does not do Halloween."

"Why not? Nothing's cast in stone here. We have oranges, a dress to kill... A Jacuzzi. Damn right Halloween-ic isn't?" He debated, lowering his gaze.

"Yeah, yeah, I get it, but what about tradition, and customs and practices? And, and Halloween is just a fabricated Hallmark 24-hour-moment." She could feel her grip slipping.

"Really? Well, welcome to America. Where cultures meet and mingle. You know, during the Chinese Lunar New Year, two oranges are exchanged between each visitor and the host. It signifies good luck, prosperity and goodwill from one to the other. Not bad for oranges eh?" He finished his commentary, returning his gaze back to her once more.

"I still don't see why it has anything to do with mistletoe and... all this." She pouted. In their reverie, they failed to realize that the party was winding down. Only a few guests remained, entertaining themselves with lazy talk and soulful oldies.

"Don't you see, good things comes in pairs. *Two* cufflinks for *two* sleeves for *two* arms with *two* hands, *two-"

"There's a flaw in that theory of yours." He smirked, an eye lifted for a dare. She perused a thought and continued, "One nose."

"*Two* nostrils."

"One mouth."

"*Two* lips."

"One heart."

"*Two* lovers." She sighed, chiding herself for walking into the latter. She hated it when he won, but she continued her losing battle, stubborn still.

"And all this to prove?"

"That a kiss needs a pair. Especially if it's going to be good." He was hoping for a fitting end to the evening. It never occurred to him that it might just be staring in front of him all the time.

"There're many takers inside. Women *and* men. Pick one," she pursed, taking a jab at him. He stood his ground, confirming his intent.

"Ah, it must be the right pair. And seeing you, I can't think of anyone else." Her sigh did not go unnoticed to him. It was loud enough to block everything else in the night. He knew. He knew she wanted it too.

He edged closer to her, breathing next to her ear. The background faded, the moonlight sobered.

"This is wrong. We're at a party, in front of the whole Bureau for that matter. People have eyes, people will talk-"

"Let them. No surprise here," he spoke, his voice had a calming effect somehow.

"It's not even Christmas! Mistletoe and Halloween; that's so... twisted-"

"What? I have to wait till Christmas for another chance like this?! No way am I going to wait that long. We, of all people, have waited long enough..." he paused, "a kiss is just a kiss."

"A sigh is just a sigh," she replied unconsciously. Their eyes locked, their breathing stopped.


"Old Blue Eyes," he whispered, staring into them. She broke away, settling further, deeper into the night.

"We can't, not here, never. So wrong. What about Christmas..." she rambled on, putting voice to her random thoughts. His interruptions were ignored, his calls for her, unheard.

"Scully," he finally cried out, firmly forcing her back to him. She quieted, blanketing her protests. Her grip tightened on his shoulders, as if handing her fears over to him.




"Shut up."

The End

End notes: My deepest gratitude to Lucy and Heather for not letting me trash this away. What would I do without you guys?! (Insert sorry scenario here)

My birthday wishes to the Hammerman himself, Larry Mullen, Jr. Yes, I for one, believe that he sold his soul to the devil :o) Have a great Halloween y'all.


Return to Bump In The Night