Title: Mulder's Creek: 08. Aftermath
Author: Neoxphile
Author Email: neoxphile@aol.com
Rated: PG
Category: C
Keywords: XF/Dawson's Creek crossover. Alternate universe.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to the characters, except those I've created, as they belong to Chris Carter and Kevin Williamson

Summary: Everyone deals with Fowley's sudden departure, and Mulder holds a dark theory about his drivers' ed teacher.


Opening Scene-

Mulder's room. Scully and Mulder are watching Urbania when Scully suddenly gets a serious look on her face.

"What?" Mulder asks.

"I can't believe there are still people with prejudices like that."

"Why not? You know there are...after what Skinner went through being harrassed about football, I think it'd be obvious there are."

"I didn't mean that it's literally unbelievable, but not something I'm capable of understanding," Scully says sighing deeply.

"Oh. I'm glad in that case, because it's the people who do understand, and even empathize with that point of view who are the dangerous ones."

"Mulder? When we do movie night, let's not show this one, ok? It's a great movie, but too depressing."

"You've got it. Shall we have people watch The Last Supper instead? At least it has a liberal bend to it."

"Sure, if you consider killing people because they're annoying liberal."

"Don't you?" Mulder asks, then smiles expectantly.

"Mulder!"



Theme song -"Stranded" by Plumb

New Years day, Leary home-

Mulder and Doggett are shoveling the Learys' driveway. Both are covered in a fine coat of snow, not because it's still snowing, but because they occasionally heave a shovelsful of snow at one another.

"This is good exercise, isn't it?" Doggett asks.

"Sure. Isn't that what our dads told us?"

"Yes...they've told us that for years, but a dawning cynicism makes me wonder if the 'it makes you develop strong muscles' spiel when we were 12 is just their way of making us want to do a chore."

"You think we've been duped?"

"Mulder, they may as well told us white-washing fences is fun," Doggett says ruefully.

"Oh well. At least we're nearly done. And, to tell you the truth, I think it might have made us stronger anyway."

"That sounds suspiciously like the 'it builds character' speeches in Calvin and Hobbes," Doggett says accusingly.

"I mean our bodies, you idiot," Mulder says grinning, then ducks the snow that is suddenly flung at him.

"I've been meaning to ask you, Mulder, are you looking forward to tomorrow night?"

Mulder leans on his shovel."I don't know if I'm ready for it."

"You've got to do it, Mulder. Every sixteen year old guy wants to."

"Not every guy," Mulder objects.

"Sure they do. Why else would they pour over the magazines? But you're right, not everyone wants to at sixteen. There are even people who never do, and they live limited boring lives."

"It's a big responsibility. I'm not sure I can handle it," Mulder insists.

"It's always scariest the first time. But look at me, I did it and I'm good at it now." Doggett brags.

"I wouldn't say you're exactly good at it...”

"I'm great. You'll see, it'll be fun. Besides, it's not as if the drivers' ed instructor won't be sitting beside you ready to use his brake if you screw up."

"Did that happen to you?" Mulder asks.

"Who me? No, I was a natural. 'Borrowing' dad's car to practice several months earlier didn't hurt though."

"Are you sure it didn't hurt? I seem to remember it causing some anguish during your many groundings over it."

"I try not to remember that," Doggett says, grinning."Anyway, how was your vacation? It's weird that we didn't see each other at all before the party last night, and we barely got to talk then, but such is life."

"It was...interesting. I finally got to meet my cousin Arden, which was nice. And something strange happened on Christmas eve...”

"What?"

"Scully...um...Scully kissed me," Mulder says, feeling a sudden rush of blood to his cheeks.

"She didn't!" Doggett exclaims.

"Yeah, she did."

"How was it?"

"Brief. She kissed me under the mistletoe right before I went home."

Doggett thinks for a moment before asking," So, does that mean you two are an item?"

"No. At least I don't think so. I mean, I've seen her since then, and it's been like nothing changed. Except..."

"Except what?"

"Except I found myself wishing I could kiss her at midnight last night."

"I knew it! I knew something would finally open your eyes. Good for Scully being the one to do it," Doggett says, laughing.

Mulder kicks the snow. "I think, unless she forces the issue, I'm going to take this slowly. See what happens."

"Well, that worked with Reyes and I, so..." Doggett just trails off, grinning.


Wednesday, Capeside High-

Mulder looks bored as he waits for the pile of papers to come around so he can turn in his English assignment. His thoughts vacillate between fresh indignation over the thought that this teacher actually assigned them a paper over break, and wondering where Fowley is. He thinks of how few days she's missed in the past two years, and wonders if it might be a good time to make Chicken soup and bring to her house. Just as the pile reaches him, and he thanks his classmate, his teacher clears his throat, which is his signal that he has an announcement to make. Mulder quickly passes the papers on and looks up, trying to appear interested.

As soon as the papers finish making the rounds, the teacher begins to speak."It's my regret to inform the class that I received word this morning that Miss Lindley will not be in this class for the remainder of the school year. Her parents have decided to take her to Europe with them for the semester." He waits for the unhappy sounds of the class to die down before saying,"Today we'll be reading from 'MacBeth' so if you will please turn to page 257...”

Mulder turns to the required page, but his mind isn't really on the play. He keeps thinking to himself that he can't believe that she'd leave without saying good-bye.


Scully is in class the next period when she hears the same announcement from her Math teacher. She's equally shocked, but her thoughts are more about how Mulder and Reyes are going to react to the news. Reyes is the only one of them to have ever gotten close to her with only platonic intentions in mind, so Scully wonders how she'll take the loss of her friend. For a moment Scully feels guilty that she herself isn't really Reyes friend, and silently vows to make more friendly overtures in the future.

It is, however, Mulder's reaction that she's most worried about. As much as she'd love to think otherwise, she knows that he still has feelings for Fowley, even though its been a while since he voiced them. Though she knows that it isn't Fowley's fault, but she fears that her disappearance is going to make feelings well up in him that she'd rather believe he wouldn't have. Fowley didn't want him, can't I have a turn at earning his affection? She thinks, before drifting off into another daydream that reenacts Christmas Eve.


Doggett sneaks up on Reyes and wraps his arm around her waist. Instead of looking pleased, she looks as though she'd just been ripped from deep thoughts. Doggett internally shrugs and asks,"Hey Cutie, would you like to go to the movies after school tonight? The Realto is finally showing Lord Of The Rings."

A worried look crosses her face."Um, tonight? I can't. I'm supposed to work with Spender on a project for our Science class. Could we do it tomorrow night or this weekend?"

"Sure," Doggett says, but is immediately suspicious of anything involving Spender. There's something about that guy I just don't trust, he thinks, then gives Reyes a hug before walking away.


After School, Morgan home-

Reyes stands on the steps of Spender's house, and debates with herself over whether or not she should actually knock. As much as she wanted to know what has happened with Fowley, she wasn't sure that Spender actually knew anything, or was just a raving paranoid. No one really knew what had happened to him during the months he was gone, he could have been one of Mom's floormates for all I know, she thought, and I'm really getting a complex about knocking on doors, so maybe I'm not too far behind. Before she made up her mind, the issue was resolved by Spender opening the door.

Spender's face is etched with anxiety, and Reyes can instantly tell he's been feeling as upset about Fowley as she has, which makes her relax somewhat."Come on in."Spender says, sounding tired. Reyes does."My parents are at a dinner party, as usual, so they won't be around at all tonight."

Reyes follows him up to his room, and wishes for a moment that she were more like Scully; able to do that without feeling odd about it. Once they're in his room he points to an easy chair, which looks out of place in a bedroom. She walks to it and sits, grateful that he's the one to sit on the bed. Spender looks at Reyes and asks, “Can I trust you?"

"Of course."

"I mean, really. Really trust you. If I put my trust in the wrong person, it might cost Fowley everything. How do I know you're the right person?" he demands.

Reyes shrugs helplessly."I'm her friend."

"I know. That's the only reason I'd even consider telling you these things." He says, which makes Reyes relax a little."You have to promise me that you won't tell anyone about Fowley's connection to these things. I know you might eventually be prompted to discuss some of it, but you'll leave her out of it. As far as we know she's in Europe with her parents. Right?" he presses.

"Right," Reyes says quickly, wondering why he thinks she'd share any of what he wants to reveal to anyone.

Spender folds his hands into his lap."I don't know if I expect you to believe me, because I'm not sure I fully believe myself. This is what I was told, though, and though some parts of it seem incredible, I don't suppose I really have a choice other than to think it's the truth...though I'd rather it wasn't because it involves me too. Are you ready to listen?" he asks.

Reyes nods, he begins, telling her a stranger story than she's ever heard. He doesn't really look at her as he speaks, as if making eye contact will make his tale too difficult to tell. “This spring," he begins softly."I started getting letters from someone who claimed to be my father. At first I didn't believe him, of course, since I live with both my parents. The letters, though, persisted. One after another they came, which struck me as insanely like the beginning of the first Harry Potter book. Though I didn't want to read them, something compelled me to, and...eventually I began to believe. I was desperate to prove this strange man wrong, so I looked at my parents blood donor cards, and when I did I knew. Theirs are A and B, and mine...is O. “

He stops for a moment to make sure that Reyes is paying attention." Once I believed his first claim, the explanations began, and the threats. He claims that I'm an early product of a genetics experiment that's still on going. Apparently they've spent nearly 20 years trying to create children with something special about them. The maddening thing is that he never said what. There doesn't seem to be anything unusual about me, so I assume I'm one of the failures. Frankly I prefer that, since God only knows what they've done with the successes. Not that I know for sure if there have been any, yet."

Reyes can't resist any longer, so she asks."What were the threats, and what does it have to do with Fowley?"

“I'm getting to that. Apparently whatever they're doing wasn't able to get approval by the medical community, so they're doing this stuff privately. In order to secure women to participate they blackmail them, and make various threats to them, and their loved ones, if they refuse. They're powerful people, so no doubt they are fully capable of carrying out those threats, and they have a way to make you believe them. I believed them. I guess someone found out that 'my father' was leaking information to me, or maybe he himself decided to play an even more twisted game, but I got a letter saying in no uncertain terms that if I didn't leave they were going to target Fowley for one of their experiments. I don't know if it was only because I loved her, or if they had more complicated reasons, but they said they'd use her."

"So you left," Reyes says.

"Not at first. First I...well, Fowley and I were dating, you know, and were intimate. You have to understand that I believed they'd harm her even if I did what they said. So, I...So, I...”

Reyes blinks in surprised understanding."You got her pregnant on purpose?"

Spender nods miserably."I figured that if she was already pregnant they'd leave her alone, so she'd be safe from them even with me being gone while I pretended to follow orders. I don't think even now I did the wrong thing, but it was wrong not to tell her. I don't know if she'll forgive me for that. I didn't know for sure if it worked until just last week...I guess it worked and didn't work, because Fowley said they started threatening her about her grandmother not three days after I 'drown.' She said she already knew that she was pregnant when they first got her to submit to the experiment. For some reason they didn't give her a pregnancy test first, isn't that unbelievable? You think that such a highly, though sinisterly, intelligent group would be smart enough to check something like that first. But they didn't. So Fowley began playing games with them, just like I did. I only hope that they don't take it out on her, or the baby, when they find out they've been had."

“What are they doing...to the women?" Reyes asks, unable to bear asking about Fowley specifically.

"Artificial insemination, from what Fowley told me on Christmas Eve. That's all. I don't have the slightest idea what their aim is, but from what that man told me, they found that this method is as effective as any other is. I shudder to think of what they did before now...what they might have done, to me. Right now, though, I'm more worried about her than me, since I seem fine."

"What are we going to do?" Reyes asks in almost a whisper.

"Nothing. We can't do anything to them. All we can do is hope."

Reyes almost retorts that isn't right, that there must be something they can do, but she thinks that he's probably right. They're just two kids, and no one will believe them."All right. But if things change...”

"If I can find a way to change anything, I'll count on you." Spender says with a weak smile.

"You'd better," Reyes says.


6pm-

Mulder hesitantly wraps his hand around the shifter, and throws a nervous look towards the driver's ed. instructor. The man has already proven to Mulder that he's not the most patient of souls, so it's not a surprise to him when the man snaps at him.

"Put it in drive, Mr. Leary. We're not going to get anywhere in park."

Mulder tries to keep his hands from shaking, and fails. He's used to being a passenger, and honestly doesn't mind leaving the driving to Scully and Doggett, which is why he's only going for his license now, at his parents insistence, three months after he first became eligible to. There reasoning is that once the baby is born they are going to have less time to drive him places he'd like to go. Why can't I wait until closer til he or she is born, Mulder thinks, putting the car into drive.

"Thank you for finally beginning. You'll note that the gas petal is the one on the right. If you'll step on that a little harder, we can get above 15 miles an hour." The instructor says, managing to sound only slightly sarcastic.

Mulder fights a rising panic, he thinks it can't be safe to travel at the speed suggested on the sign they quickly pass. I can't believe how fast 30 miles an hour feels from this seat, he thinks. Every day I ride in cars going this speed, or even twice it, and have never felt the danger. He is thankful that his instructor is not a complete sadist, and has him drive to the school via back ways rather than the highway. As soon as he gets out of the car he breathes a shaky sigh of relief; he got through his first driving experience without killing himself or anyone else.


Thursday night, Potter home-

Scully is restlessly wandering through the house. When Bessie notices her abandon the book she's reading for the third time in favor of walking around the room, she decides to ask what's up.

"Scully, sit down would you? You're making me nervous. What's on your mind?"

"Nothing."

"Liar. I know you, and I know there's something up. Spill it."

"I've just been thinking, that's all."

"Uh, huh. Thinking about what?"

Scully hesitates for a moment, unsure of how much she wants to tell her sister."I've been thinking of how a girl Mulder had a crush on left school this week without saying good-bye."

Bessie senses that she's leaving something out, but decides to play along instead of demand embarrassing confessions. I remember being 16, she thinks."And you're worried about he'll take it. You're a good friend, Scully."

"Thanks, but that's the thing, how will it make him feel? I haven't talked to him about it...”

"You said had a crush on, not has, right?"

"Yeah. I think it's mostly past tense since she rejected his offer of more than friendship," Scully says, unconsciously playing with her hair.

"In that case, I suspect that he won't feel as bad about it than he would if he still harbored active hopes of winning her over. He'll probably lament over what might have been for a few days, resent that she didn't say good-bye for a while longer, then move on with life," Bessie says, drawing on her own memories of high school almost-relationships.

"You think so?" Scully asks.

"Yup. He might be a bit temperamental for a few days, but you and Doggett will have the old Mulder back before you know it."

"Thanks, Bessie," Scully says, giving her a hug. Bessie smiles to herself over Scully's shoulder, glad to have said what her sister needed to hear, and even more glad that it is probably the truth.


Leary home-

Mulder and Doggett are in the basement, playing air hockey on a table preserved from the elder Learys' distant youth. I swear this table is warped with age, Mulder thinks furiously as Doggett sinks the puck for the 10th time. Doggett whoops with joy.

"Whoo yeah, ten to zip. I schooled you. Who's the man now?"

"You're the man now, Doggett," Mulder says listlessly.

"Awe, don't be bitter just because I've won every game of air hockey we've played in the past year." Doggett crows.

"Brag now, but just you wait until the spring. Once the snow thaws I'll whip your butt on the basketball court as usual."

Doggett yawns. "Sure, sure, once it gets close May I'll start worrying."

"Don't you mean March?" Mulder asks.

"Don't you remember this past winter?" Doggett counters.

"Good point."

"Besides, I need something to feel good about now."

"Why now?" Mulder asks.

"Do you have any idea where my girlfriend was last night?"

"I take it from your tone that she wasn't doing unspeakable things with you." Mulder quips.

"She was with Spender, working on a science project. Or so she says," Doggett says darkly.

"Are you jealous? You sound jealous."

"Did I really? I'm not, but I'm practicing sounding it. I figure it will come in handy one of these days.

Mulder rolls his eyes."Leave it to you to think that's the sort of thing that needs to be practiced...”

"You never know," Doggett says, reaching for the puck."What do you say to me letting you try to reclaim a bit of you dignity with a rematch?"

"Yeah, whatever," Mulder says, then begins to play.


Friday afternoon, Capeside High-

As Mulder gets out of his father's car, he notices that the driver ed teacher, Mr. Long, is putting crates into the back of the driver's ed car. He pops back out of the car when he sees that Mulder is almost to him.

Mr. Long gives him a pained grin. "I'm sorry to say, Mr. Leary, that since we're the last warm bodies at the school, the principal 'volunteered' us to bring some things to the school's remote storage unit. Sorry."

"No reason to be," Mulder says. "It'll be an adventure." Though, in truth he's nervous about driving to a stange place.

"That's the spirit. There isn't a lot of lifting to do, so that's a blessing anyway. Please put your bag in the trunk, there isn't a lot of room in the car as you can see," he says, pointing at the crates.

"Sure thing," Mulder says, slinging his backpack over one shoulder. He pops open the trunk and sees that most of it is taken up by a large cyndical bag. He shrugs and hopes he's not going to be the one to carry it. He puts it in the trunk, and right as he's about to close it, he notices something poking out of the bag- something that looks a lot like a human hand. Shaken, Mulder slams the trunk and gets in the car, casting a scared look at Mr. Long.

Mr. Long apparently misinterprets the look and says reassuringly, "It's not that far to the storage unit."

It doesn't help, because Mulder is now more worried about being there than getting there.


McPhee home-

Skinner opens the door, and is surprised to see Scully standing on the steps. He thinks hard for a moment, then gives up in confusion.

"I'm not supposed to be working now, am I? I wrote down the schedule..."

Scully smiles and pats his arm. " Don't worry, I'm here to see your sister."

"Oh, she didn't mention you were coming over."

"That's because she didn't know I was." Scully says, grinning.

Skinner shrugs. "I'll go get her."

Reyes is as surprised as Skinner is, but she tries not to show it. "Hi Scully, what's up?"

"I want to go to the mall, and I was wondering if you might like to go too."

"Sure. Do you have Mulder with you?" she asks, looking outside.

"Nope. He's taking driver's ed. So this will be a girls' night out sort of thing."

"Sounds fun," Reyes says, wondering why on earth Scully would come up with the idea.

"Great, let's go then," Scully says brightly.


Somewhere in Capeside-

Mulder tries to tell himself that the best thing he can do is to just take directions from Mr. Long, and not to panic.

Sure, don't panic, he thinks. How do I do that? There's a body in the trunk! Ok, ok, I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation. It was pretty dark in the trunk since there's no light, so maybe it wasn't a hand. Maybe it was just something shaped exactly like a hand. Oh, that's likely. Wait, maybe it was just a hand. Yeah, that's it. Why would it be better if there was a human hand in the trunk? There'd be a body missing one somewhere else. Maybe there's a not sinister reason for a body being in a trunk. Maybe, um....don't panic, don't panic!

Mulder jumps when Mr. Long speaks to him."You seem a little nervous, Mr. Leary."

"I am. I'm afraid of getting lost because I don't have a good sense of direction," Mulder says, making things up as he goes along.

"Don't worry, I'll make sure you get there without any problems." Mr. Long says.

But what about getting home? Mulder worries silently.


McPhee home-

Skinner is doing his homework in the kitchen when his father comes home. Skinner shuts his book and takes some of the bags of groceries from the older man.

"What, do you think I can't handle carrying in the bags?" Mr. McPhee asks, teasingly.

"Well dad, you are getting pretty old...” Skinner jokes, emptying a sack of potatoes into the vegetable bin.

"Funny. Where's your sister?"

"She and Scully went to the mall for some reason. I didn't ask why," Skinner says, shrugging.

"That's ok."Mr. McPhee says, putting away some boxes of cereal."I...I had something I wanted to talk to you about alone anyway."

"What, Dad?" Skinner asks, his face looking expectant.

"I was thinking about your, um, your...friend, Ethan. He's a nice young man, and we haven't had him around in a while...There's a long weekend coming up, and I was thinking that maybe you could ask him if he'd like to come for a visit." Mr. McPhee says, looking very nervous.

Skinner is touched that his father is able to make the offer."Thanks, Dad. I appreciate that a lot."

"Well good."

"Are we going to watch the Bruins game?" Skinner asks, shifting the subject to more comfortable territory.

Mr. McPhee looks relieved." Of course. Did you hear about the Baby B's? They've got a great lineup right now, and I heard something about them calling up someone who went to UNH to the majors...”


Capeside Mall-

Reyes laughs as she looks in the mirror, because Scully has just dropped silly looking hats on both their heads. An old woman gives them a dirty look, which makes Scully laugh too.

"I think," Scully says still giggling,"That madam disapproves of our capricious behavior. The fecklessness of youth these days, really," Scully says affecting a haughty tone, suddenly straight-faced. Reyes nods, trying not to laugh.

Reyes has been pleasantly surprised at how their excursion has turned out so far. To her surprise Scully isn't as serious as she had suspected, and has a fairly decent sense of humor. Since she feels comfortable talking to Scully, she decides to ask her what's been on her mind all along.

"Why me?"

"What?"

"Why did you ask me to come with you instead of Skinner?" she clarifies.

"Because a nice as being friends with boys is, some times it's nice to spend time with other girls. I love Bessie, but she's older and pre-occupied, so she's not a lot of fun most of the time. And...I sort of thought that maybe you needed to get out of the house," Scully finishes softly.

"I miss her," Reyes says simply.

"I...well, you know I don't, but I guess I understand why. Mulder misses her too, I think, but for different reasons. In a way I wish I'd been one of the people who'd gotten to know her for the person she must have been. But she'll be back this summer, right?"

"Right," Reyes says, keeping her private worries of that likelihood to herself.

"Maybe I'll get a chance to start over with her then," Scully says."But in the meantime, I'd like to see if maybe...maybe we could be friends too," Scully finishes, giving Reyes a hopeful look.

"I think I'd like that," Reyes says, grinning.

"What do you say to going to ogle the cute guys working the sunglasses display?"

"Sounds like a plan," Reyes says, forgetting to worry about Fowley for a moment.


Somewhere in Capeside-

Mulder is getting more nervous as his instructor commands him to pull onto a dirt road, and leave behind the last vestiges of civilization. The car rumbles ominously over the frozen dirt and rocks, the mere sound of which adds to his anxiety.

"Take a left here, Mr. Leary."

Mulder does what he's asked, and soon sees a small wooden structure not too much larger than a shed. It's getting very dark, so even though he strains his eyes, he can't see if the building has any signs on it or not. Being that the case, he's dismayed to realized he only has Mr. Long's word on it that it actually is owned by the school.

"Pull up close to the path, please, we don't want to have to carry this stuff too far."

"Yes, sir," Mulder says, inching his way forward, then turning off the engine.

"Do you think you can handle the crates in the back seat?" Mr. Long asks."I need to get something from the trunk."

"Yeah, sure," Mulder agrees quickly, momentarily happy not to be the one to get it, whatever it is, from the trunk.

Mulder cringes a bit when he sees Mr. Long sling the bag over his shoulder. It must not be a heavy...thing, he thinks. Keeping as much distance between them on the path as he can, he follows behind with the crate. Even though the moon is now all the light afforded by the night, it's well lit enough for him to an arm fall out of the bag. He nearly faints when Mr. Long nonchalantly stuffs it back into the bag and continues on as though nothing unusually has happened.


Capeside Mall-

Scully and Reyes are finishing their frappes while they sit at a table in the foodcourt and watch busy people pass them by.

"There's something to be said about ice cream on a cold day, but I'm not sure what it is." Scully remarks.

"Perhaps a statement on the inborn masocism of New Englanders?" Reyes suggests.

"You might be on to something there, but most people prefer the term 'stoic' to 'masocistic.' " Scully says, trying not to giggle. "You know, there was a paper a few years back on ice cream consumption in this country. In the majority of the country, ice cream is only popular in the summer. Here is different, not only do people consume ice cream year round, there's only a slight dip in sales during the winter months."

"My grandpa always said it took a special person to live here all their lives...but he used to call crazy people special too," Reyes says, then feels guilty for a moment. Scully nods in agreement, because she doesn't know much about Reyes' family history.

"We've bought a lot of things that we'll probably regret, had a fattening treat, and walked slowly by the sunglasses hut. Is there anything else we should do?" Scully asks.

"We could talk about boys," Reyes says.

"In general, or did you have any particular boys in mind?"

"Ones we know," Reyes says. "So, you've known Mulder and Doggett your whole life, right?"

"Pretty much. Since we were five."

"But you were always better friends with Mulder."

"Well yeah. I think it all goes back to our field trip to the farm when we were in first grade. Doggett and I got into an argument, and he pushed me into the duck pond. Things went down hill from there..." Scully says, grinning. "We get along better now, though. Sort of."

"I'm glad you don't get along too well, though," Reyes says.

"Oh?"

"I'm competive by nature."

Scully says nothing, but laughs so hard she stops breathing for a second. "I'm sorry, but he's the last person I would try to steal away from someone. Well, last after Krycek."

Reyes don't look offended. "He might be a nut, but he's my nut."

"And you're welcome to him."

"He told me something though, about you...." Reyes trails off.

"What?"

"He claims that you kissed Mulder."

"Um...yeah, I guess I did."

"Good for you! I bet that has made him think."

"I hope so... Are you ready to go home?" Scully asks.

"Ok. Sure you don't want to look at valentines' day cards first?" Reyes teases.

"No!" Scully says, much to Reyes amusement.


Capeside High remote storage-

Once they're inside the building, Mr. Long reaches up and pulls the string for the bare bulb dangling from the ceiling.

"You can see that the school spared no expense in constructing this place." Mr. Long says, sounding almost jolly.

Mulder quickly agrees, wondering if he's going to become victim number two, or an accessory after the fact.

"You can stack those crates over there." Mr. Long says, pointing to the far wall.

As Mulder does, he hears the sound he's been dreading- Mr. Long opening the bag. He freezes, and doesn't move until Mr. Long calls to him."Mulder, help me with this, would you?" He cringes to himself again and slowly turns around.

Mr. Long has pulled the body halfway out of the by the time Mulder has gotten back to him. The first impression Mulder has looking down at the body is that whoever the woman was, she had really bad hair. As he notes the waxy skin and looks for wounds that would indicate a cause of death, it all becomes clear to him...

"Have you had CPR in health yet?" Mr. Long asks, thumping the body."Poor Annie here has gotten clumsy attempts at resuscitation from more inept students than is bearable to think of. At least it gets to hang out in storage when not in use. Heck, this place is even heated."

"No, I haven't taken Health yet. Not until next year." Mulder says, trying to keep from laughing at himself.

"Maybe you'll be better at CPR than most of the kids. I want to thank you for helping me to bring this stuff here. Get in the passenger seat, I'll drive us back."

"Sure." Mulder says, thankful to have gotten everything wrong.

By the time he's gotten home he's no longer upset, so it seems more like a great joke than anything else, so he calls up Scully to share.

"Scully, you won't believe the night I've had...” he says, finally laughing.


Reyes turns on her computer and is about to log onto her e-mail when her brother knocks on the door.

"Hey, Skinner, what's up?"

"You won't believe this. Dad suggested that I have Ethan up next weekend!"

"Wow, that's great! I'm glad he's finally coming around," Reyes says, smiling.

"What did you and Scully do?"

"Oh, you know. Girl things."

"That sounds nice. Well, I just wanted to tell you about Dad and ask how your night was. I need to call Ethan now. See you later." Skinner says, bounding out of the room.

Reyes shrugs at his sudden exit, but thinks how nice it is that their father has made a willing step towards accepting her brother's boyfriend. She logs onto the Internet, and goes to look out the window while waiting for it to connect. The neighbors still have their Christmas lights up, which she thinks is oddly comforting. As soon as the computer exclaims,"You have new mail!" she returns to it. She sits down suddenly when she sees that the first e-mail in her in-box is from someone using the screen name FLindley.

Credits
Produced by CC, KW and Neoxphile

< Voice Over>
This episode of Mulder's Creek featured music from:

Powderfinger ("My Happiness”)

Ill Nino ("What Comes around”)

And

Unwritten Law ("Seeing Red”)

Stay tuned for scenes from the next Mulder's Creek

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