Title: That's All
Summary: Scully is granted a wish on Halloween.
Dedication: To Mighty Mortis. Your support, your friendship, and most of all, your courage, were always inspiring. I think you would have really liked this one. Thank you for everything.
A/N: This story has been in my head for a long time, but until recently I was never sure how I wanted to bring it to life. A few weeks ago, I had a nightmare, one that was scary enough to wake me from my sleep. Of course, once I was awake, I thought to myself, "That would make a great X-File." Then I set about trying to combine this X-File with a personal story, because, well, that's what I do.
A few years ago, I desperately wanted to re-write an X-Files episode, one called 'all things.' Now, don't get me wrong, I liked the episode; I thought Gillian did a great job with it. But when I saw the previews to it the week before it aired, I had an "It's a Wonderful Life" scenario running through my head, and I was a bit disappointed in the actual episode. The potential for so much more was there.
Anyway, yesterday I came up with the idea to combine these two ideas. So here's my Halloween story for 2004, a union between my nightmare and 'all things.' Scary, huh? That's what it's all about!
The X-Files Office October 29th
Scully watched as Mulder turned and left the office, his back stiff, his hands clenched. He reminded her of a petulant child who, knowing he wasn't going to get his way, silently marched away, chin up, pretending he didn't care. And that's exactly how he had sounded just before he turned and left, too. "Fine, I'll go by myself."
She sighed and picked up a pen from his desk. With an exasperated groan, she threw it at the now empty doorway. Now who was acting like a child? Shaking her head slowly, she walked over to her workstation and sat heavily in her chair. Why did he have to be frustrating? And why did she have to be so stubborn? It was an X-File, and they investigated the X-Files, so it should stand to reason that they should both go investigate. But Scully was tired of the traveling, tired of the motels, and tired of trying to find her way around Mulder's paranormal theories. She used to find it all a challenge, but lately things had changed. She had changed. And she didn't know how to make it better.
Werewolves. They were myths. They were not going around Central Minnesota killing dogs... or people. Elbow on her armrest, chin in her hand, Scully went over what Mulder had just told her in her head. Several dogs, mostly large dogs, were being mauled and killed by something in the small town of Wolfcove, Minnesota. Many residents blamed actual wolves, though the local wildlife experts were trying their best to eliminate that theory, stating there would be no reason for the endangered animals to approach a civilized area just to attack domestic dogs.
Three days ago, a 78 year old woman had been found dead, her wounds identical to those found on the mauled dogs. Suddenly, wolves lost their place on the top of the suspect list when someone mentioned that a neighbor of the lady had a pit bull. However, there was no indication that the dog, who had never shown aggressive tendencies and was kept securely on a chain when outside, had done anything wrong. Many had still wanted to blame the dog, demanding it be put down, until yesterday. Yesterday, Mulder had told her, the very dog they wanted to blame had been killed in the same manner as the old woman.
Mulder had reminded her of the Manitou, a case they had investigated in Montana their first year together. Scully had reminded him that there had never been any proof of a Manitou, werewolf, or any other kind of monster. She also reminded him that it was almost Halloween, and some sick person was probably responsible for the deaths. Local law enforcement could handle it.
With a grin, Mulder had told her that Detective Lennox of Wolfcove County had called him up specifically to ask for their help. Apparently, he had once worked with Detective Bocks from Minneapolis, who had nothing but great things to say about the agents who had originally caught Donnie Pfaster years ago, long before his escape and subsequent death at Scully's hand. Mulder hadn't mentioned the last part, knowing how sensitive Scully was about that subject.
Just thinking about Pfaster had caused Scully's stomach to churn; this killer was probably someone as sick and evil as he had been. She wanted nothing to do with it. "I'm not going, Mulder."
"Uh, what part of 'we were asked to help' didn't you understand, Scully?"
Mulder's condescending tone did not make Scully feel any better. "Mulder, you can profile the killer from here just as easily as you could in Minnesota." Strangely enough, she didn't tell him to go by himself; the idea of him investigating anything without her didn't appeal to her any more than flying to some bump in the road town in the Midwest did.
"Scully, you can't 'profile' a werewolf!"
"Mulder, it is not a werewolf!"
"How do you know?"
"Because werewolves don't exist?" she asked sarcastically. "Haven't we had this conversation before?"
His eyes dark and his face grim, Mulder didn't seem amused by her question. "So what you're saying it that you don't want to go?"
Eyes wide, Scully tried not to laugh. "Uh, yeah. That's exactly what I'm saying."
To which he responded, "Fine, I'll go by myself." Grabbing up the files, he had turned and walked out of the office, as petulant as a little boy.
And she must be the little girl who wouldn't play with him, Scully mused silently. There were many days when she couldn't help but wonder what her life would be like if she had never heard of the X-files. If she had never met Fox Mulder. The thought sent a sharp pain through her heart, and yet, life would be so much easier without him in it. Wouldn't it?
With another sigh, she stood, gathered her things, and locked up the office. She might as well go home for the day, idly wondering if Mulder would 'tell on her.' She didn't think Skinner would be too happy to hear she had refused to go with her partner on a legitimate assignment. Then again, he might just award her a medal of honor for doing so; he, of all people, knew how difficult Mulder was to work with.
Scully reached her car and felt herself sag against it. She should have gone, she thought. Mulder was bound to get himself into trouble without her there to run interference. She reached into her pocket and found her cell phone. He was probably at home, packing; she'd tell him to wait for her. Before she could dial his number, the phone in her hand rang.
"Scully," she answered.
"Hey, do me at least one favor and feed my fish for me, will you?"
No 'hey, it's me.' No 'please.' No hint of apology.
Gritting her teeth, Scully mumbled, "Sure, fine, whatever," and hung up. No 'of course.' No 'good luck.' No 'be careful.' Once again, she felt herself lean on the car. "God, I wish I'd never met the man," she whispered.
"You don't really mean that."
Scully spun around and found herself looking... down. Well, sort of. The man in front of her was a couple inches shorter than her, and that in itself was a shock. His Asian features were surrounded by wrinkles, but she couldn't even guess at his actual age. He wore a neat gray suit with a purple silk tie, and he had a small smile on his lips.
Scully looked around the parking garage, but she could see no one else. She looked again at the Asian man; he wasn't wearing an ID badge, and he wasn't at all familiar to her. "Who are you?" she asked. "How did you get in here?"
"You may call me Yasuo," he told her. "I come and go as I please, or as I am willed to."
"Willed?" Scully took note of the strange phrase, forgetting for the moment to take the cell phone in her hand and call security.
"Do you believe in God, Dana?"
"How do you know my name?"
He simply smiled. "I know you believe in God, therefore you must believe in angels."
Scully stared at him for a moment. "Oh, I see. You're supposed to be an angel." Again she looked around; maybe Mulder hadn't been calling from his house. "Let me guess, you're my guardian angel, and you're about to tell me that I need to go to Minnesota with my partner in order to save my soul."
The little man laughed. "No! Or course not. That's silly." His smile faded. "I'm not really your Guardian angel; that job is actually taken up by more than one entity. You and Fox lead very exciting lives." His eyes glittered through the wrinkles. "I'm just here to help you find your way through this... jungle... you have created in your mind."
Scully, couldn't help herself. She was intrigued. "Jungle?"
"Yes," Yasuo nodded. "You're lost in it. After all that's happened to you in the last few years, it's understandable. Donnie Pfaster, Samantha, your loss of Emily, which is still eating away at you..."
Scully felt her eyes widen. "How the hell do you know all that?" Again, she searched the parking garage. "Mulder?"
"Fox isn't here, Dana," Yasuo said quietly. "In fact, he's already on his way to the airport. You might still have time to catch him."
Glaring at him, Scully growled, "No."
The little man nodded. "Then maybe you'd like another option."
More unnerved and suspicious than ever, Scully asked, "Like what?"
"What was it you said when I first arrived. 'God, I wish I'd never met that man'?"
Scully cocked her head at him. "What are you, the Ghost of Halloween past?"
He laughed. "I already told you. I'm an angel, not a ghost."
Scully nodded. "Right." She turned away from him, shoving her phone in her pocket and pulling out her car keys. "Nice meeting you, but I have to go."
She paused at his question. "Home," she finally said.
She swung around to face him again. "Yes. Because that's the way I want it."
"Are you sure, Dana?" Yasuo asked. "If you had never met Fox, can you imagine what your life would be like? Maybe you wouldn't be going home to an empty apartment."
Scully's memory swept her back in time. In her mind, she saw Daniel, his smile, his obvious pride and joy in her accomplishments. The love in his eyes. She brought herself back to the present and glared at Yasuo. "The past is the past and the present is now."
"But if you could have a different present..?" His voice trailed off.
"That's not possible."
"I could make it possible," he told her. "Tell me one thing you would change from your past, and I can make it so."
She wanted to laugh. She wanted to cry. But she couldn't do either, not when she believed him. Why in the hell did she believe him? She closed her eyes. If she had never left Daniel for the FBI, she would never have been assigned to the X-Files. She would never have met Mulder. What would her life be like now? Better?
"I wish I'd never joined the Bureau," she whispered, stunned that she was even saying the words.
Yasuo nodded. "If that's what you wish..."
Everything around her suddenly went dark.
Wolfcove, Minnesota October 30th
When Scully woke, she lay staring at the ceiling for a long time. She knew where she was, in her bedroom in her home in Wolfcove, and she knew what day it was, the day before Halloween.
She also knew she was the local Medical Examiner, the only M.E. in Wolfcove, and that the last few days had been the most frightening, intriguing days of her life. A life that consisted of a brief residency at St. Mary's Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, a slightly longer marriage to her former professor Daniel Waterston, a miscarriage, and her subsequent relocation to the 'wilds' of Minnesota. She knew she had lived here in Wolfcove for more than five years now. And yet...
Why did she have all these 'memories' when she knew full well she was Dana Scully, FBI Agent and partner to Fox Mulder?
"Because in order for you to understand why your life as Agent Scully is what you were destined to be, you need to remember it while living this life."
Scully sat up in bed, glaring at the little Asian man who sat in a chair on the far side of the room. "I assume you're going to be my guide on this... journey?"
He smiled at her and nodded.
Scully threw herself down onto the bed, covering her eyes with her hands. "I don't need this. Can't you just let me sleep without dreaming?"
"You think this is a dream?" Yasuo asked.
"What else could it be?" Scully demanded, uncovering her eyes, but not bothering to sit up. "Even if I had decided against joining the FBI, I never would have married Daniel."
"Why do you say that?" Yasuo queried. "You loved him very much."
"He was already married," Scully grumbled, sitting up again. She checked under the covers to ensure she was decent, then threw them off and swung her legs over the side of the bed. At least her choice in sleepwear hadn't changed.
"He divorced shortly after you left for St. Mary's," Yasuo explained. "His daughter found out you were in love with her father and let her mother know. Daniel didn't have a chance after that."
Scully frowned. "We never even slept together," she murmured. She had wanted to. But her morals refused to allow her to go that far with another woman's husband.
"Maggie didn't know that," her 'guide' told her. "And you never told her different, even after you and Daniel married."
Scully scrunched her brow. "There was a baby." She looked at Yasuo, the pain fresh in her heart. "A girl."
Yasuo nodded. "You were very ill during your pregnancy. You became light-headed one evening on top of the stairs. You didn't pass out, but you became disoriented enough that you lost your balance and fell. Your baby died and you nearly bled to death before you managed to drag yourself to a phone and called for help. You were five months pregnant."
Scully nodded, somehow 'remembering.' "Daniel wasn't there. It was much later that I found out he was with his secretary. And yet, he blamed me. Said I should have taken better care of myself."
"You filed for divorce not long after that and moved here."
Scully stood and walked to the window. There was a faint tint of orange on the horizon, indicating dawn was nearing. A few cars passed on the road, their headlights blazing. People on their way to work; she should be heading to work soon herself. "Why Wolfcove?" she asked, turning to Yasuo again. "Is this a joke?"
Yasuo smiled at her. "No. In this life, Wolfcove is where you came after your divorce. And you are helping the local Sheriff's department investigate the murder of one Gloria Marchon, a 78-year-old former schoolteacher. You are the one who originally said it was a wolf that was killing those dogs, probably a rogue."
"And Detective Lennox? He's the one in charge of the investigation and..."
"And the man you are currently dating."
"I was afraid you were going to say something like that." She looked out the window again. "Mulder?"
"Should have arrived last night. He's probably already made contact with the good Detective and is waiting to meet and speak with you."
Scully couldn't help but feel a wave of gratitude that Mulder was still investigating the X-Files, even without her. At the same time...
"Are you trying to tell me that it's fate that I meet him? That there is no way I'll ever not meet Fox Mulder?"
Yasuo just smiled.
"Fine," Scully grumbled, crossing her arms. "I get it. You can let me wake up... or send me back... or whatever."
Yasuo's smile widened. "I'm afraid I can't do that quite yet, Dana. You may think you are convinced about how much you need Fox in your life, but you aren't."
"So, what?" Scully asked. "I'm supposed to meet with him, pretending that I don't remember everything I've shared with him in the last seven years?"
Yasuo shrugged. "He won't remember any of it, so it shouldn't be too hard." At Scully's disbelieving look, he added, "He's never met you, Dr. Waterston."
Suddenly, Scully's alarm went of on the nightstand behind her. She turned to switch it off, and when she spun around to face Yasuo again, he had disappeared.
Filled with a sudden dread, Scully turned on the light and slowly started getting dressed, repeating to herself over and over again:
"This is just a dream. This is just a dream. This is just a dream."
END PART 1
THAT'S ALL-PART 2
Wolfcove County Coroner's Office Wolfcove, Minnesota
Scully stepped out of her car and took a deep breath, taking note of the wet smell in the near freezing air. Wolfcove was situated right on the tip of Wolfcove Lake, one of the many, many lakes that dotted Northern and Central Minnesota. Forest surrounded the town, but there were plenty of open fields dotted with farms. It was borderline wilderness, and Scully knew that wolves were rarely seen here, being much more common in the less populated north. She didn't question how she knew this. However, she did continue to fret over how she was going to act around a certain FBI agent this morning.
The sun was just peeking over the horizon when she took her keys out and unlocked the door to the office. She was always the first one here. Since she and her assistant/secretary were the only full-time employees, there were some days she was the only one here. She was confident Brandi would be in today; the young woman had been greatly interested in the goings-on with the 'wolf-man killings,' especially since her own Rottweiler had been one of the dogs killed by the mystery creature.
Flipping on lights, Scully headed toward her office, knowing she had to finish some paperwork on Gloria before she could release the woman's body for burial. She took a deep breath. She had known Gloria; the woman had lived only a couple of blocks away from her. For the first time, Scully felt a hint of unease that had nothing to do with Mulder and his imminent arrival. Who, or what, was killing these dogs? And were any other people in danger?
Scully paused upon entering her office, startled for a moment by the name on the desk: Dana Waterston. It amazed her how everything here was familiar and yet strange at the same time. Never had she had a dream this bazaar before, and she had had some strange dreams since she had started with the X-Files. Turning on her computer, she sat down and started to work, finishing Gloria's paperwork, then flipping through everything she had on the case. She wasn't about to be caught off guard when the FBI started asking her for details.
She paused. She was thinking like Dana Waterston. Like a woman who was about to meet a person she didn't know from an agency she was personally unfamiliar with. Odd.
A knock on her door caused her to jump. It was Brandi. "Morning, Doc," the brunette said with a smile. "Feels like snow, doesn't it?"
Scully nodded, once more caught between what she was beginning to think of as her two worlds. "Yes," she said softly. "Let's hope it doesn't interfere with the investigation."
"Ah, I'm sure Jake can handle any kind of weather."
Jake. Detective Lennox. Instinctively, Scully knew that Brandi had a crush on the Detective. The image of the man's face flashed through her mind's eye. He was tall, dark, handsome, with black hair and blue eyes, a wicked sense of humor and a love of the outdoors that bordered on obsession.
"Yes, I'm sure he can."
Scully heard the door to the outside open and saw Brandi turn to face the visitor. She smiled and moved away from Scully's line of sight. "Hi," Scully heard her say. "Can I help you?"
"I'm looking for Dr. Waterston."
Though she had been expecting him, the voice still caught Scully off guard. She tensed and started to rise from her seat.
"And you are?"
Scully headed for the door to her office.
"Agent Mulder from the FBI. Detective Lennox was going to meet me hear this morning."
Scully reached the door, paused, then walked out just as Brandi gushed, "Oh! You're here about the Wolf-man killings!"
Mulder didn't reply as his attention had turned toward Scully. She stopped, struck speechless by what she saw.
It was Mulder, no doubt about it, but he was different. He was too thin, his hair was longer and it appeared dull in the light of the front office. His suit was wrinkled ever so slightly and his sedate brown tie was askew. His shoulders seemed to droop, and he looked exhausted. In both appearance and manner, he was far different from the immaculate, confident Mulder she had known.
He seemed to stand a bit straighter at her entrance, and his eyes widened at her familiar usage of his name. Belatedly, she remembered Yasuo's warning that Mulder had never met her. 'This is just a dream,' she repeated to herself.
"Have we met?" Mulder asked. But before she could reply, he continued. "Because I'm sure I would have remembered you."
His pitiful attempt at flirting only saddened Scully, the words depressing her for no apparent reason. She took a deep breath and composed herself. "No, I'm sorry. I..." Think, Dana! "Jake told me you were coming, but I didn't expect you until later."
A sad smile appeared on his face. "Jake," he whispered. As if on cue, the outside door opened and Jake walked through. They all turned to face him. "Speak of the devil," Mulder said. "We were just talking about you."
Jake's eyes swept over Scully before meeting Mulder's. "Oh? Was Dana telling you stories of my incredible skills as an investigator?"
Scully couldn't help but respond to his playful boast. "Yeah, so incredible, you had to call in the FBI to help."
Brandi laughed as Jake scrunched up his face in reply. Scully smiled, and then noticed Mulder's discomfiture at the apparent familiarity between the three residents of Wolfcove. "So, Agent Mulder. Jake told me you were a profiler?"
Mulder looked up from the floor, his tired eyes meeting hers. "I used to be. Right now I'm working for the X-Files."
Right on cue, Brandi asked, "The X-Files?"
"It's a department in the Bureau that investigates unexplained events," Jake told her.
"Unexplained?" Scully pushed, keeping her attention on Mulder.
"The paranormal, mostly." His voice was rough and his gaze was unsteady, as if he was embarrassed. Mulder, embarrassed about the X-Files?
"Paranormal?" Brandi asked. "Like ghosts and things?"
"Yeah, like ghosts and things."
"But you don't think the killings here in Wolfcove are due to a ghost, do you?" Jake looked a little uncertain. "I mean, Moe told me that while you investigate the paranormal, you're damn good at catching earthly beings, too. You caught Donnie Pfaster."
"Hey, wasn't he the guy that killed all those women down in the Twin Cities?"
Jake nodded. "Moe Bocks called in Agent Mulder, and the two of them managed to track Pfaster down."
"Not before he killed the woman he was holding captive at the time," Mulder said softly.
'But you caught him, Mulder,' Scully thought. 'You caught the bastard.'
"So what do you think is killing our dogs, Agent Mulder?" Scully asked, breaking the silence that had descended after Mulder's terrible words.
He focused on her again. "Probably a man," he said. "Another nutcase like Pfaster."
Scully opened her mouth to argue, knowing from re-reading her files that it was unlikely that a human had killed the dogs and Gloria, but Jake spoke first. "Do you think he'll kill more people?"
"Not if we catch him first." The words were confident, and to someone who didn't know Mulder, his attitude might speak of experience and able ness. But Scully knew Mulder. He may be acting like he was interested, but she felt that he really didn't care.
It scared her.
"Well, let's take a look at the records on the dogs," Jake said, walking toward Scully and waving her back toward her office. "After the first two deaths, we asked Dana to take a look at the dogs and assess their wounds..."
"Which is why I know no human is doing this," she interrupted, facing Mulder.
"I don't know if you know of some of the horrible things men have been known to do, Doctor..."
"I do know, Agent Mulder," Scully interrupted yet again. "Believe me, I do."
An uncomfortable silence descended on the group until Jake once again herded them toward the office. "Hold all my calls, Brandi," Scully told her assistant. She glanced at Mulder, as if daring him.
And for the first time since the man had entered the building, his eyes flashed back, as if answering the dare.
'Who the hell is this woman?' Mulder asked himself.
Confident, smart, beautiful. Never in his life had he met someone like her. She was intriguing, and yet she scared him, too. It was almost as if she could read his mind, and she was definitely challenging him. He knew there was no way he was up to the challenge, but he would try. As he watched her state her argument about the identity of the killer, he found he couldn't dispute her facts. She was a doctor, and a damn good one by all accounts. She wasn't making any of this up.
Especially the tooth she had pulled from the body of the pit bull that had been killed two days ago.
Mulder stared at the large molar, safely encased in a plastic bag. It was definitely a tooth, from something large. Like a wolf. "So you think it was a wolf, then?"
For the first time, Dr. Waterston showed a bit of insecurity. She glanced at Lennox, who sat still, a grim look on his face. "I don't know if I think that," she said. "I know a little something about wolves, and Jake knows a lot." Mulder already knew that the Detective had studied wildlife biology as well as criminology. "For a wolf to attack a human, or even a large dog unprovoked, it would have to be either sick or injured. And a sick or injured wolf would have a hard time escaping notice around here."
"We have found tracks that appear to be wolf-like in the area," Lennox added. "But as you know, the ground at the crime scene was too disturbed to pinpoint any kind of tracks."
"So, it could be a wolf, but it's unlikely, is that what you're telling me?" Mulder was suddenly tired. He had had far too many cases recently that had appeared to be paranormal, but had turned out to be hoaxes. It was all he was ever sent on, anymore. He was tired of it. He would never have taken this case had it not been Agent Bocks, a man whom he had worked with and respected, who had asked him to help out.
Waterston seemed to take an uneasy breath. "Agent Mulder, have you ever heard of a Manitou?"
Amazed, Mulder didn't know whether he should laugh or cry. "Are you suggested that that is what is killing these dogs?"
"What's a Manitou?"
Lennox was ignored as Waterston continued. "This area was once populated by several Indian tribes, Agent Mulder. Legends persist."
"Why don't you just go all out and claim it's a werewolf, Dr. Waterston?" He couldn't help the sarcasm in his voice.
"Why do you think the people here have started calling it the Wolf-man Killer?"
He stared at her. She was serious. Absolutely, frigging serious. "Well, maybe the Detective here should start carrying silver bullets."
"Agent Mulder," Waterston continued, undaunted. "Can I ask you a personal question?"
Mulder shrugged, a bit nervous now. And completely aware that Lennox had become silent, watching the byplay between them nervously.
"How can you work for a department that investigates the paranormal when you don't believe in it?"
He clenched his teeth, angry with the redhead for no reason that he could fathom. "I was the only one qualified."
"I opened the X-Files several years ago, with a partner that believed, as I did." Memories of Diana left a bad taste in his mouth. "When she left, I went through a string of partners, but nobody would stay. I finally woke up and quit, too." He paused. "Last year, for some god-forsaken reason, they re-opened the X-Files and put me back on them."
Waterston looked sad. Hell, she looked like she was about to cry. "Hey," he continued. "Maybe you should join the Bureau and take over. You sound like you might like the work." Like he used to. Before...
The silence in the room was dreadful. Painful. Mulder was glad when Lennox broke it. "Whatever it is that's killing these people, man, beast, whatever, let's catch it before it kills again. Can we at least agree on that?"
Mulder nodded, as did the doctor.
Unnerved by what was occurring, Mulder asked to look at the medical records of the seven known mutilated dogs and the old woman. He managed to discuss the case as professionally as possible with his two companions.
Not once did he meet the eyes of the woman across the desk.
END PART 2
THAT'S ALL-PART 3
Dana Waterston's House Wolfcove, Minnesota
Scully sat down tiredly at the dinner table, staring down at the microwave dinner in front of her. She wasn't really hungry, but she knew she should eat. And while she was exhausted, she didn't think she would be able to sleep, either. Every time she closed her eyes, she kept seeing Mulder as he had looked when she had asked that ever-important question about believing. He had seemed angry, and even scared.
What had happened to him to make him this way? The man she had met today didn't believe in extreme possibilities, but he had once upon a time. Scully remembered a moment in their history when Mulder had stopped believing, all because some slick government people had led him to believe that he had been a major pawn in a giant hoax. He had regained his faith, though Scully wasn't quite sure how, and she had remembered how happy she had been to have 'her' Mulder back.
Had something similar happened in this world as well? Or was it something different? Even when he had stopped believing in aliens and UFO's, 'her' Mulder had still devoted himself to the X-Files, had still been determined to ferret out the truth from his government sources, had still enjoyed coming to work each day. What was different now?
"That's simple," a familiar voice said from across the room. "You're not a part of his life now."
Scully glared at Yasuo, resisting the urge to fling her cooling dinner at him. "Would you stop reading my mind." She stood, carrying her uneaten meal to the garbage. "You're not going to toy with my ego by making me think that Mulder needs me in his life to be happy."
"Why not if it's the truth?"
She spun around to face him. "What happened to him? Why is he falling apart like this?"
Yasuo seemed to consider the question for a while. "I think that is something you will have to ask him."
Scully crossed her arms under her breasts. "Do you really think he's going to be sticking around here long enough for me to do that?" She shook her head. "He doesn't want to be here. He doesn't want to be around me." It had been obvious all morning. Not once had the man looked directly at her after her interrogation, and when he left with Jake, he just about ran out the door.
"Are you so sure of that?"
"Why do you keep asking me that?" Scully practically shouted. "I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it!"
Yasuo just smiled, turned his head toward the door, and shrugged.
A knock sounded, startling Scully. With an exaggerated sigh, she marched across the room toward the front door. Standing on her tiptoes, she peeked through the peephole, and felt the ground drop out from under her feet. Figuratively, of course. She turned to glare at Yasuo, but he had disappeared. "Figures," she mumbled, the opened the door.
"Agent Mulder, what a surprise." She couldn't stop the sarcasm.
Hands in his coat pockets, Mulder looked at her grimly. "I want to hear your theory, and I want the truth."
Placing her free hand on her hip, Scully returned his stare. "I think you already know what my theory is."
"A werewolf?" Mulder let out a laugh with no humor behind it. "You know, if I were to judge you by what I've heard and read, and by the Detective's praise of you, I would have determined you were one level-headed, classy lady." He paused, tilting his head in feigned curiosity. "So what made you so...open-minded?"
She didn't say the word, but she felt it, and his narrowing eyes made it appear he had felt it, too.
He opened his mouth to say something, but he never got the chance as a loud scream ripped across the yard from the house next door.
Mulder immediately lost the lazy, haggard look and became alert and focused. He unholstered the gun on his hip and motioned to her with his left hand. "Stay here."
"Like hell I will!" Scully argued. She ducked off to the side, opening a drawer in the desk sitting there, and pulled out her own gun.
Frowning, Mulder eyed it. "Don't worry," Scully told him. "It's licensed and I do know how to use it." With that she headed out the door and toward Rose Reynolds' house, pausing as another scream rent the air. Mulder pushed past her and ran toward the sound, which was coming from the woman's back yard.
Lithely, he jumped the chain link fence, and Scully couldn't help but admire his agility. Then all thoughts of athletic men left her mind as a horrible growl echoed from beyond. She struggled over the fence after Mulder in time to see a dark shape take off toward the opposite side of the yard.
"I'll get him, you stay with her," Mulder yelled over his shoulder, pointing toward the still whimpering Rose, who was lying just past her back porch, bleeding. Her little poodle, Sam, was barking crazily from inside the house.
Scully ran to Rose, quickly finding the worst of the bleeding and trying desperately to slow it. She cast a glance toward the direction Mulder had run, but it was too dark beyond Rose's porch light to see anything.
Sirens began to wail, and Scully silently thanked whichever neighbor had called the police. Then she silently pleaded with God to take care of Mulder.
Mulder chased the dark shape, positive that it had to be a man, but as he closed the gap, he began to wonder. Maybe it was a man in a disguise, taking advantage of the wolf-man craze by dressing himself up as a hairy monster. But as the object of his pursuit ran underneath a streetlight, Mulder's certainties died. Men didn't run on four legs, not that fast anyway.
It was a wolf, and a big one. Skidding to a stop, Mulder aimed his weapon and fired. The animal jerked, indicated a direct hit, but didn't slow. It turned and jumped a fence into another yard. Determined now, Mulder followed, barely noticing the sound of sirens coming from behind him.
He jumped the fence, dismayed to see the thick vegetation the engulfed this particular yard. Maybe he should let it go for now, he thought. It was wounded; it shouldn't be hard to find tomorrow. He moved forward carefully, weapon at the ready, but his caution was for naught. The animal jumped out at him from its hiding place behind a large evergreen, knocking him off his feet. Somehow, he managed to keep a hold of his gun, and he rolled himself over, regaining his feet just as the wolf turned to face him once more.
The two stared at each other. The wolf appeared black, but it was hard to tell in the dim light coming from the house next to them. But even that dim light couldn't hide the deadly glare of the animal's teeth as he snarled. Nor could it hide the glare in the creature's eyes, eyes that looked...
'Just shoot,' Mulder told himself. 'Shoot, now!'
A shout from the back door of the house distracted Mulder for less than a second, but that second was all the wolf needed. On feet almost as large as Mulder's hand, it turned and raced into the night.
"What's going on out there?" demanded the owner of the house. The sound of sirens became louder as a cop car raced his way. Mulder stood silent, a slight shiver racing up his spine.
The wolf had looked him in the eye, and Mulder had looked back into eyes that were inexplicably... human.
"It was a wolf," Mulder said firmly. "I saw it. A big, black wolf."
Scully sat on the couch that was situated along the south wall of Jake's office, watching the two men sitting across the desk from each other. After ensuring Rose had arrived safely at the hospital, Scully had come straight here, only to find Mulder writing out a report at a borrowed desk just outside of Jake's office. Jake had seen her coming, asked about Rose, and then escorted both her and Mulder into his office, where he had proceeded to ask Mulder what he had seen.
"Do you know how rare black wolves are, Agent Mulder?" Jake asked him.
Mulder just shrugged. "That's what I saw," he told the Detective, his face devoid of expression. "Of course, it was night. It may not have been black, just dark."
His demeanor disturbed Scully. He carried a bruise on his left cheek from something that happened during the chase, but since she hadn't read the report, she didn't know what. And if she wasn't mistaken, he was hiding something.
"How did you get that bruise on your face?" she asked.
Mulder hesitated slightly. "It jumped me, in that last yard. Knocked me down. I must have hit it on a rock or something."
"It attacked you?" Jake was incredulous.
Mulder shrugged. "I don't know that it actually attacked me," he said. "He jumped at me and shoved me to the ground, but he didn't grab hold of me with his mouth or anything." He paused, looking off into space as if remembering back. "Then the old man came out of the house and called out. It turned and ran before I could do anything." He focused on Jake. "But I did hit him earlier. I know I did."
Jake nodded. "That's odd that it didn't grab you. Even more odd that it ran when it did." He glanced at Scully. "It must be sick. We better tell the hospital to start Rose on a rabies vaccination regimen."
"It does sound sick," Scully replied, but she wasn't necessarily agreeing with Jake. She looked at Mulder, who was eyeing her speculatively. Almost as if he knew she was holding back.
"We'll start tracking him in the morning," Jake continued, not even noticing the silent exchange between Mulder and Scully. "I'll call Clayton in; he's the best in the business." He stood, and Mulder stood with him. "Why don't you go and get some sleep, Agent Mulder. We'll meet you here at 7 AM. The sun will be up shortly after that and we can get to work."
Silently, Mulder nodded in assent, then turned to leave, giving Scully a small nod as he left.
Jake sat back down and looked at her. She looked back at him, knowing what was coming. Finally, he spoke.
"So what was Agent Mulder doing in your neighborhood when Rose was attacked?"
She thought for a moment, then decided that telling him as much of the truth as possible was the best thing to do. "He stopped by my house to ask about my werewolf theory."
"Ah, yes," Jake said as he stood again. He walked over to the couch and sat next to her. Despite her memories of pleasant dinners and quiet hikes through the woods with this man, Scully couldn't help but feel uncomfortable. "Exactly how did you get this theory, and why haven't I heard it before?"
Scully shrugged. "I just don't believe a wolf could be doing this, Jake," she told him. "Despite the evidence. Don't ask me why; it's just a feeling."
Jake stared at her for a while. "You know, in a way, I hope you're right."
Scully felt her eyes widen.
"I don't want wolves to get an even worse reputation than they already have," he told her quietly. "Not now, when they're finally gaining some ground in the Lower 48."
Scully nodded in agreement, and then sighed. "Whatever it is, we need to catch it, kill it." She sighed. "There's no guarantee Rose will ever be able to tell us what happened, even if she lives." The older woman had lost a lot of blood.
"We'll get it tomorrow," Jake said, and he sounded as confident as he ever had.
Scully wished she had that much confidence.
"And afterwards, I'll take you out to dinner."
She couldn't help but smile at his statement. "Maybe," she replied. He was a wonderful man, but while she was still in limbo between this world and the one she had left behind, she was making no commitments. She stood. "I need to get some sleep. Goodnight Jake."
"Goodnight," he said softly, and she could feel his eyes follow her as she left the room.
Wolfcove, Minnesota Halloween Night
Clayton may have been good, but he wasn't good enough, especially after the cold rain started around nine A.M. Scully knew of a few things worse than slogging around in 40 degree temperatures with rain and wind accompanying it, but as the day progressed, she couldn't think of any of them.
When nightfall came, the small party of searchers, which included Deputies, trackers and a couple of hunters, decided on a new course of action. A stakeout. Dividing in teams of two, the group split up in different vehicles and parked at various points around the edge of town, hoping that someone would get lucky and see the animal they were hunting come out of the woods.
Scully knew that Jake had wanted to pair up with Mulder, but he had been called in on another case, a robbery, at a home about four miles west of town. When he learned that Scully was determined to keep watch along with the others, he asked Mulder to pair up with her. Scully was surprised, but pleased, and began to wonder if her friend Yasuo was somewhere around working his 'magic.'
Mulder wasn't the best companion that night, but then, neither was she. They had both been out in the forest that day, though in separate groups, and though they were in dry clothing with hot food in their stomachs now, it was hard to forget the wet chill outside.
It was almost eight P.M. before Mulder spoke.
"There aren't any trick-or-treaters." They were parked near the entrance to the city park, which sat next to the lake. Several houses lined the road that let up to the park; their lights were on, but nobody was out and about.
"Do you blame them for staying home?" Scully responded.
"I suppose not," he replied. "When I was a kid, nothing could keep me from trick-or-treating."
Scully looked over at him as he took a sip of coffee. "Did you go with friends, or did you have siblings?"
He paused. "I had a little sister," he said quietly. "She was quite a bit younger than me, so I usually went with friends while my mom took her. When my dad decided I was too old for it, he made me take her."
Scully pushed at subtly as she could. "You 'had' a sister?"
Another pause. "She disappeared when I was twelve. I only got to take her trick-or-treating once."
"Disappeared?" Scully asked. She had always been amazed at the trust Mulder had put in her on their first case together when he told her about Samantha. Was that trust here in this world too?
Mulder shook his head. "It's a long story." Then he was silent.
Scully frowned. The Mulder she knew had never been this closed mouthed, especially with her. But how could she get him to open up to her? And why did she want him to? She knew the answer to the latter question: she wanted to help him, to make him happy, or at least relatively happy, like she remembered him. Even if she could never take a permanent place in his life.
"Any other siblings?" she asked, trying to open up conversation.
He shook his head, and for a moment Scully thought she had failed, but then he turned to her. "You?"
"Two brothers and a sister," she told him. A sudden wave of sadness flooded her. "My sister was killed," she continued. "Shot by an ex-boyfriend." She grimaced. Melissa would have died too young even if Scully had never been involved with the X-Files. The thought didn't make her guilt any less.
"I'm sorry," Mulder responded. "Your brothers?"
"Alive and well. Charlie is married and the father of two boys. He's an architect, and they live in London. Bill is in the Navy; he and his wife just had a baby boy two years ago."
"My mom lives in Gladstone, Virginia. My dad passed away almost seven years ago." She looked him, very curious now. "Yours?"
He frowned and seemed to hesitate, but decided since he had asked and she had answered, he better return the favor. "My parents are divorced. My dad lives in Massachusetts. My mom in Rhode Island."
His father was alive? Probably because he had never gotten enough guts to try and tell his son the truth about his history with CGB Spender and the others. Or he didn't think Mulder would believe him.
There was another silence as Scully tried to figure out a way to ask her next question, but Mulder beat her to it.
"Why do you believe in werewolves?"
"Why don't you?" she countered. "You're the one that investigates the paranormal."
He glanced out into the dark. "I've seen to many hoaxes to believe that anything like that can be real."
"I don't believe you."
He glared at her. "I don't know where you got the idea that you know me so well, Dr. Waterston, but you don't."
Scully wasn't daunted. "What happened? You once believed, now you don't. What happened?"
"Where's Mr. Waterston?" he countered.
She was startled. "How..?"
"I talked quite a bit with Jake on our hike today," he told her. "He mentioned that you came to Wolfcove after you left your husband."
Scully wasn't sure she was happy with the idea that they had been talking about her, but it wasn't really a bad thing, either.
"You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours."
"Fine. You first."
She sighed. "He left his first wife for me, a much younger woman. We married, I got pregnant, he started seeing his secretary, yada, yada, yada."
"You had a baby?"
Scully should have known he would focus on that part. "She died. Before she was born."
He swallowed, as if her words caused him physical pain. "I'm so sorry."
If he hadn't said anything, she would have been okay, but his quite sympathy was her undoing. She turned her face away and swiped at the tears suddenly scudding down her face. Taking a deep breath, she faced him again. "Your turn."
This time, Mulder was the one who took a deep breath. "There was a woman, Audra," he started. "A believer, like myself. She was partnered with me several years ago and we became very close."
Scully tried not to feel jealous. After all, she had married another man in this world.
"I thought we had it made, both in our professional as well as our personal lives." He paused, not looking at her.
"What happened?" Scully urged.
"She was spying on me," he told her. "Somehow, I had gotten too close to a few too many government secrets, and she had been sent in to make sure I didn't get any closer. When I found out, she proved to me everything I had ever believed in had been a hoax." He paused. "Including her."
Scully knew he was simplifying it all. What Kritschgau had done to him in the other world, this woman had done in this one. Kritschgau had been a stranger. This woman had been someone he trusted, someone he loved.
It was as if Scully herself had turned on him. It was what the powers-that-be had wanted Scully to do when they had sicced her on Mulder all those years ago. Only she hadn't done it; she had done the exact opposite.
Mulder laughed suddenly. "I supposed you're really confused now?" His forced smile faded. "Or else you think I'm crazy."
Smiling, she looked at him. "No. I don't think you're crazy at all."
She saw movement outside his window behind him and tilted her head to look past him. Seeing her movement, he turned to look. "What the hell is he doing?" he asked no one.
Scully, eyes wide, realized Mulder could see the man walking toward him. 'Well, why not?' She thought. 'This is a dream after all.' "Uhm, that's Mr. Yasuo," she said, opening the passenger side door of the car. "He lives in this neighborhood. Let me tell him to get back home." She got out and moved around the front of the car, not happy to be out in the rain again.
"What are you doing here?" she demanded.
The little man shrugged, looking absurd in a big overcoat and floppy hat. "I guessed you might be ready to go home now."
He nodded his head toward the car behind her, indicating Mulder. "Now you know why he is the way he is. And why you are so important to his life."
"Yeah, but..." she paused. "What about my life? What if I think this life is better for me?"
He smirked. "Do you?"
'Yes!' She wanted to shout, but she knew it would be a lie. Even here, in this little one horse town, on a cold rainy night in October, she didn't want to be anywhere else but with Mulder.
"No," she whispered.
"Okay, then..." Yasuo raised his arms in the air as if he was about to magically transport her back to reality as she remembered it, but Scully stopped him. "Wait!"
He paused, arms in the air, eyebrows almost as high.
"Not yet," she told him. "I want to catch this thing first."
Yasuo lowered his arms. "As you wish."
A loud howl sounded off to her left, toward the lake. She heard the car door opening behind her as Mulder rushed out to join her. She glanced at him and he met her nervous look with one of his own. "Let's go," she told him.
He nodded, and together they made their way toward the sound.
Neither noticed that Yasuo had once again disappeared.
END PART 3
THAT'S ALL-PART 4
Mulder was aware of the cold rain hitting his face, but its impact affected him a lot less than the simple presence of the woman running next to him. Why did she seem so familiar to him? Why did her presence comfort and yet excite him at the same time? And why had he opened up to her so easily tonight, telling her things he would rather forget ever happened?
All the questions running through his mind faded as he caught sight of the wolf, or what everyone presumed to be a wolf. A wolf with human eyes. For a quick second, Mulder wished he had told Waterston what he had seen last night; maybe she would have been able to give him a good scientifically acceptable reason for it.
They neared the lake, and Mulder realized his companion was breathing hard. For some reason, this bothered him. In his minds eye, she was in as good of shape as he was. He paused at the shore, looked left, then right. He glanced at Waterston. "You okay?"
She nodded, placing her hands on her knees and leaning over, gulping in the cold, wet air that surrounded them. "Guess I'm not in as great of shape as I thought I was." He thought she sounded amused. "Which way do you think it went?"
"You saw it?" he asked. "The wolf?"
"Sure looked like a wolf," she replied, not really agreeing with him.
"You still don't think it is a wolf, do you?"
She shrugged, and then pointed to the ground in front of them. Paw prints as large as a man's hand were imbedded in the mud along the lake's edge. They traveled off to their left. Without another word, Mulder set off to follow them. He heard Waterston following, but didn't turn to look at her.
"Wait a minute," she said suddenly.
He stopped and looked at her. She was pointing into the trees. "What's that?" Without waiting for him to answer, she headed away from the shore and into the forest.
Mulder felt his whole being tense. For some strange reason, he knew what she was doing wasn't safe, and he followed her, moving as quickly as he could through the muck.
Waterston stopped before the tree that bore the object she had seen. It was a shirt, its white fabric torn and muddy. She touched it briefly. "I don't see any blood," she told him.
"I guess that's a good thing," Mulder replied. He looked back at the lake, wishing more than anything that he had a flashlight. The illumination from town was being reflected well by the low clouds, but this far out, it wasn't helping much. "Let's call for backup," he told her. "Maybe we can get Clayton out here before those tracks wash away."
She eyed him speculatively, then slowly nodded. "Okay."
He turned and headed for the shore once more, intent on following it back to the park and their car. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of a large dark shape in the trees above, and he turned, directing both his gaze and his weapon upward.
Waterston gasped and turned to look up as well, but before she could even complete the move, a huge branch fell from the tree, the horrendous crack it made echoing over the lake. She screamed as it came down upon her, and Mulder felt his heart grow cold.
He began to rush forward, but the shape he had seen in the trees, the one that was responsible for the downed branch, launched itself at him. He ducked and rolled, feeling the heat of the creature as it soared over him, landing with a grunt and growl several feet away. Mulder rose to his knees, firing his weapon at the wolf. Three times he fired. Three times the animal jerked as if hit, but it didn't go down or even act affected at all.
Mulder turned toward his fallen companion. Though pinned by the large branch across her middle, she managed to toss her gun to him. Without stopping to think, he dropped his own weapon and reached for hers. The wolf was rushing towards him, its human eyes blazing, its teeth bared. Mulder fired once. Again, the creature jerked, but this time it also yelped. With a pitiful moan, it turned and ran off into the trees.
Breathing hard, Mulder kept the weapon up and ready, but the woods had become silent once more. He felt the rain hit his head, causing mud to dribble down his face, and he brought up one arm to wipe it of, stopping himself when he realized that his coat sleeve was even muddier than his face.
Taking a deep breath, Mulder picked up his fallen weapon and rose to his feet, then he stumbled over to Waterston. With her help, he lifted the heavy limb off of her, then kneeled down next to her, automatically touching her face as if to assure himself she was alive.
"I'm fine," she said softly, answering the question in his eyes.
Mulder handed her the gun she had tossed him. "Let me guess," he told her. "Silver bullets?"
She nodded. "I had Larry Reynolds, Rose's son, make them for me last week." She looked away, and then started to stand.
Mulder took a hold of her elbows and rose with her, bracing her. He let her go and was about to turn away when she stopped him, her own hands on his arms.
He looked at her curiously. "What?"
"You called me Scully," she told him. "Why?"
He vaguely remembered yelling that name out when the branch had fallen on her, but he didn't know why. "I don't know. Does it have some meaning for you?"
She paused. "It's my maiden name," she told him. "It's what you used to..."
Abruptly, she stopped, and Mulder knew his confusion was showing on his face.
A sharp yelp from the trees kept him from asking what she meant, and without another word, they both began to follow the sound.
They found him in a clearing not far from where Mulder had shot him. He was lying naked on the ground, his breathing shallow, his heart slow. Three small wounds on his chest were bleeding ever so slightly, and a much larger one in his shoulder was bleeding profusely.
Mulder stood in shock as Dana Waterston kneeled down next to the dying Jake Lennox. He watched as she gently brushed the hair away from the Detective's forehead. "Call the others," she said softly over her shoulder. Belatedly, he pulled out his cell phone, hoping it would find a signal out here. It did.
"I just wanted to be like them," Mulder heard Lennox whisper. "But I couldn't control myself." The man tried to smile. "Now I know why they are so much better than us."
Mulder managed to reach the Sheriff's Office, and they promised they would get as many people out to help as quickly as possible. But Mulder knew it would be too late for Lennox.
He was right, as the man died moments before the others made their way down the lakeshore and into the forest, and Dana Scully Waterston began to cry.
Wolfcove Sheriff's Office
Scully balanced herself carefully on the edge of the chair, trying her best not to get mud everywhere. The blanket over her shoulders helped, but it wasn't long enough to cover her back end, and she was reluctant to get the upholstery dirty. The people working here had enough of a mess to deal with already.
Wolfcove's best detective was dead, and nobody had a good explanation why. Mulder had admitted to shooting a wolf, and Scully had corroborated his story right down to the last detail. Finding the dying police officer had been the last thing either of them had expected.
Many were saying that Mulder had shot the man accidentally; it was dark and rainy and the FBI agent hadn't been able to see clearly. Others were saying the detective had jumped in front of the wolf Mulder had been shooting at, trying to protect it. Only a few whispered the word 'werewolf,' and then only to themselves.
Scully knew that Mulder would have a difficult time escaping charges, and he might even have to face a prison sentence. Even if Jake's death was labeled accidental, Mulder would most likely be fired. She watched as he stood in the corner of the room, hands cradling a Styrofoam cup of coffee, staring into the dark liquid as if he could find the answers to all life in the potent brew.
He looked absolutely devastated, and Scully's heart cried for him. She had stated over and over that Mulder had not intentionally shot Jake, but she didn't know if it would
do any good. There was nothing else she could do. Except...
She stood and walked across the room to stand in front of him. "Mulder..."
"Who are you?" he asked tiredly. "Who are you really? Someone else sent to play games with my mind?"
Scully looked into his eyes and wondered how she had ever entertained the thought that she could live without this man. She shook her head, and then she stood on tiptoe and kissed him softly on the lips. "In your heart, you know who I am. You told me so in the forest, when you called my name."
She smiled, thrilled to hear that name come from his lips. "Yes."
For a moment, his eyes brightened, but then they dimmed once more and the hopelessness returned. "It doesn't matter. Nothing matters anymore."
"What if I told you that we knew each other in another life," she said softly, not wanting the cops congregated just outside the open door to hear her. "What if I told you that we were partners? Best friends?"
He frowned. "I would say you were crazy," he said, but his voice lacked conviction.
Scully smiled again. "Maybe you'd be right," she told him. "Then again, maybe you haven't just killed a werewolf."
He closed his eyes, hiding his pain from her. "I killed a man," he told her. "A good man."
She pushed away from him, frustrated. She had hoped that by staying here and helping him stop the killings she would help him, but now she knew he was beyond her help. He had needed her long ago, and she hadn't been there. Well, that was about to change.
"Okay, Yasuo," she called out. "I guess I'm done here."
"Yes, indeed you are."
Scully spun around, unsurprised to see the little Asian man standing between herself and a shocked Mulder. What did surprise her is that they weren't in the little office at the Sheriff's department anymore.
They were in the basement office of the J. Edgar Hoover building.
Mulder looked around him. "What the hell?" He looked at Yasuo. "You're the guy from the park. How did we get here?" He frowned as he looked about the room. "This is my office, only it looks different."
Scully glared at Yasuo. "Why is he here?"
Yasuo shrugged. "I thought maybe you wanted to say goodbye."
"What do you..?" Scully paused, then realized this may indeed be her chance. If she was going back to 'her' Mulder, her partner and best friend, who she would never consider kissing for fear of changing the wonderful relationship they had, this was her chance to let her true feelings show.
Taking a deep breath, she rushed by Yasuo, wrapped her arms around a wide-eyed Mulder, and kissed him. At first, he was frozen in shock, but then his arms came around her and he opened his mouth, returning her kiss with a passion Scully had only dreamed about.
Then, everything went dark.
When Scully opened her eyes, she found herself in the X-files office once more, only this time she was alone. The building was quiet, and the clock on the desk in front of her told her it was still early morning, only a few minutes before 6. The only illumination in the office came from the small desk lamp.
She took a deep breath and walked behind the desk, sitting carefully in the chair, only then realizing that she was clean, in dry clothing, and that her body didn't ache as if she had spent part of the evening pinned underneath a fallen branch.
She reached for the phone, intent on calling Mulder, when it rang. Licking her lips nervously, she picked it up. "Yes?"
"There you are," said a well-loved voice on the other end of the line. "I tried your cell phone and your home phone, but you wouldn't answer."
"Are you okay, Mulder?" she asked, not even offering an explanation for being at the office this early in the morning.
There was a pause. "Yeah," he finally told her. "I'm okay. It looks like I'll be here for a while, though. It's kind of a mess up here right now."
"What happened?" Scully demanded.
"One of the deputies shot what he believed to be a wolf, only when he caught up to the animal, he found one of the detectives, naked and shot. He died shortly afterwards." He took a deep breath. "Nobody here wants to believe he and the wolf were one and the same."
"A werewolf," Scully responded. "How..?"
"Look, Scully, I know you don't believe either, but-"
"That's not what I was going to say," Scully interrupted him. "I was going to ask how the deputy killed a werewolf. Aren't they supposed to be hard to kill?"
There was silence for a moment. "Once I came here and proposed my theory, several of the men here started making and carrying silver bullets. This deputy was one of them."
A small smile formed on Scully's face. "Congratulations, Agent Mulder. Even if they never solve the mystery in their own minds, at least you stopped the killings."
Mulder huffed out a laugh. "I guess," he said. "It may be a while before I can get out of here. I was with the deputy when he fired, so I saw what he saw. I'm not going to let him be charged with murder."
Scully nodded. "Okay. Keep me updated, huh?"
"I will." He paused a moment. "Scully?"
"I wish you had come. We may have been able to solve this thing a lot sooner if you had been here."
"I don't think so, Mulder," she told him with a smile. "I think there are some things we can handle very well by ourselves." Mulder began to argue, but Scully stopped him. "But only some things. For everything else, I think I need you as much as you need me."
The silence this time was deafening, and Scully was sure she had shocked her partner into speechlessness, not something that happened very often. When he finally spoke, his voice was low, and it sent a shiver up her spine. The good kind of shiver.
"I'm gonna get out of here ASAP, Scully, and when I get back there, I'm going to make you repeat those words to my face."
Scully laughed. "You won't have to make me, Mulder. I'll do it more than willingly... after you make me dinner."
She heard the smile in his voice. "Deal. I'll call you and let you know when I'm getting out of here."
"Okay," she responded. There was another long silence as neither of them were willing to hang up first. Finally, she heard a resigned sigh and the line was disconnected. She hung up the phone and leaned back in her chair. She almost expected to see Yasuo standing on the other side of the room, a pleased smile on his wrinkled face, but she was alone in the office.
'But not for long,' she told herself. Mulder would be back soon, and then the two of them would continue on this amazing journey... together.
Author's Note: Once more, I found the title for this story with my favorite band, Genesis. Hey, it's only the fourth song of their self-titled album that I've used. Anyway, I always believed this song to be the perfect Scully song, and finally I was able to use it for this story. Thank you Phil, Mike and Tony. And thank you David and Gillian; hope to see you both together on the big screen some time soon!
Just as I thought it was going alright
I could leave but I won't go
Turning me on, turning me off
I could leave but I won't go
Truth is I love you
I could leave but I won't go
Just as I thought it was going alright