Title: Mulder's Creek: 33. Possession II
Note: this is the season finale. After this episode season three will begin five years from this point.
The look on Mrs. Graves face is in flux. She appears both frightened and pleased, not that the others notice any of this. The dancers whirl around her, to a song that she can't hear, but since their steps are all so precisely matched, it seems that all four of them do.
After a couple of moments it enters her mind that perhaps she ought to intervene, but the other two boys return, and she doesn't have to.
Skinner and Reed notice nothing unusual, since the others have all come to a graceful stop, and are standing with their hands by their sides.
"So...you guys like this place?" Skinner asks when no one says anything.
"It's great," Scully tells him, a dreamy look in her eyes.
"It really is," Reyes agrees. "We'd love to book this place for our prom, Mrs. Graves."
For just a fraction of a second the woman hesitates. "Yes, of course. May 30th, wasn't it?"
"Yes, it is," Reyes tells her happily.
"Good. I'll see you young people then," Mrs Graves says, bidding them farewell.
Looking out the back window, Skinner got a slight chill at the way she was staring at their car. He didn't like it at all.
During a lull in the dress shopping – Skinner has fled to get donuts, and they're still waiting for him- Scully gives Reyes a side-long glance.
"Okay, spill it," she demands.
"Spill what?" Reyes asks, still scanning the crowds for her twin.
"It's been days since I told you that Mulder and I are going to the prom, and I can't take the waiting any more. When are you going to ask if that means Mulder and I are back together or not?"
"I wasn't going to," Reyes says cheerfully, not looking her in the eye.
"Why?! I know you're dying to know, so why wouldn't you ask?"
"I assumed it meant you were."
"Try again," Scully tells her. "You wouldn't have unasked questions all over your face if you really thought we were back together."
"Doggett made me promise not to interfere."
"That I believe. At least him asking you to. The you actually honoring his wishes is harder to believe."
"Hey, sometimes you've got to do what the boys want. It keeps them happy if you throw them a bone now and then."
"What are you talking about?" Skinner asks, plopping down on the bench next to them.
They wait until he's handed out the donuts. "Throwing people bones."
"Ah." He glances at them, noting the lack of bags. "You're not going to pick your dresses today, are you."
"Nope," Scully agrees.
"Well, I think I've actually come to a decision." Reyes swats her brother when he gasps in amazement. "I think I like that dark blue one we saw."
"In the first store?" Skinner groans.
"It's better to shop around than to have to return something when you find another you like better, Skinner," Reyes tells him primly.
May 10th 2003
Mulder thinks that the blue and white streamers decorating the entire downstairs of the house are little disturbing. As happy as he is to have his little brother, he thinks it is more than a little silly to have birthday party for someone too young to even know what a birthday is. But it seems to make his parents happy to celebrate it, and Sam seems pretty happy about it too, so he keeps his mouth shut. It's safer that way. Besides, he thinks it would be hypocritical to fault someone else for doing something silly; he does silly things all the time, as people like to point out to him.
Since he's pretty much useless when it comes to decorating, he has been assigned the task of keeping the birthday boy entertained. Given Price is learning to walk, this task is not is easy as it once might have been. He might be wobbly on his feet, he's a speed demon on all fours.
"Hey kid, I hope that you enjoy this considering how much trouble everyone going through. Except me, of course. When you're bigger, you figure out how to get out of things too."
It's not clear if Price understands, but he does grin at Mulder. "At least I'm good entertainment," Mulder tells him grinning back.
Mrs. Leary and bustles in just then. She scoops Price out and talks to him in a high singy voice. "Birthday boy, you're going to love the cake. I have the bakery make it special."
"Mom, he'd love any cake that he can smear on himself."
"Cynic," his mother accuses, but still, she smiles.
"No, I just remember Alex's first birthday party. Bessie and Scully spent more time cleaning up than getting ready," Mulder warns.
Mrs. Leary just sighs dramatically.
Thirty minutes later
Although their parents and sister obviously mean well, the birthday boy seems bewildered by the hustle and bustle. Looking around, Mulder discovers that no one has been keeping an eye on Price, and no one bothered to ask him to keep an eye on him again after their mother picked him up earlier. Mulder finds him hiding in a corner of the room. Price is sucking a thumb and clutching something in his other fist.
Crouching down, Mulder addresses his brother. "Hey Price, what have you got there?"
"Bankie," Price replies waving it. It's the quilt that Scully helped Mulder make, and he wonders where it came from since he hasn't seen it in months. He has an idea of how Price got it, though.
"Can I have your blankie?"
Price looks reluctant, but hands over. Mulder opens the closet door at the other end of the room and tosses the quilt in.
By the time he turns around, the quilt is back on Price's lap. Even though Price had taken a few cautious steps the week before there's no way he could've gotten past Mulder and returned without Mulder having seen.
"Interesting," is all Mulder says.
"Happy birthday, dear Price..."
Mulder finds himself picturing a potential disaster: Price, enchanted by the candles, decides to bring them closer, which in turn sets the streamers they pass on fire. Much screaming and panic ensues.
Fortunately, Price doesn't seem to care about the candles that all, and they stay put until after Mitch blows them out for him.
The rest of the party is fairly uneventful, and more than a little typical. Price needs help opening his presents, which he promptly ignores in favor of the boxes they'd come in. Mitch snaps about 400 pictures and Gale looks all teary-eyed.
If Mulder hadn't seen his little brother transport an object from inside the closet without even opening the door, he might be tempted to think that it's just a typical birthday party for a typical baby. But he knows better.
Sam looks up when she hears a knock on the door. Usually her parents just come in, so it has to be her brother. "Come in, Mulder."
"How did you know it was me?" Mulder asks, with a puzzled grin.
"You are the only one who actually respects privacy around here. What have you got there?" she asks, eyeing the wrapped package in Mulder's hands. "Is it something you forgot to give Price? He won't know if it's late."
"Nope. It's something for you." He puts it in her hands.
"It's not my birthday. And Mulder, I don't want my next birthday to be as memorable as last year, okay? I'm still surprised Mom and Dad haven't figured out what we did."
"I know it's not your birthday. But today is a special day for you anyway. It's been exactly one year since you came home. I hope it's been a good year." When she doesn't say anything he does. "Go on, open it."
Inside is a framed picture, one taken exactly a year before. Mitch had insisted on taking a picture of them before they left the hospital, so a still shell-shocked Mulder was sitting in the hospital room's uncomfortable chair with Sam standing next to him, and their newborn brother in his arms. In the moment the picture captures neither of them are looking at the camera, but down at the baby.
Tears prick at the corners of Sam's eyes, and she puts the picture on the bed before flinging her arms around Mulder's neck. "The parts of the year that have been good have been because of you and Price. I didn't know if I would like having brothers, now I can't imagine life without you both."
"I can't speak for Price, but I'm so glad you got to know us," Mulder tells her, hugging her back. "Some day you'll have belonged to this family so long we won't even remember to count how many years it's been."
Reyes and Fowley are the first ones of their group of friends to get to the cafeteria, so they wander over to the hot lunch line while keeping an eye out for everyone else. Reyes has spent the first two minutes they've been in line talking about how cool it is that Prom is coming up. Fowley has politely nodded at appropriate times, but she doesn't seem excited about the idea.
"What about you, are you going?" Reyes finally asks.
Fowley wrinkles her nose. "The only person I'd want to go with is Zane, and he's not allowed to go since our school will not let anyone over twenty-one attend the prom. Not to mention he's on the middle school staff..."
"So go stag," Reyes commands.
"I don't know..."
"C'mon it'll be fun. Everyone thinks the you're really brave and they don't blame you or anything so you could sit at our table."
"at least let me show you where it's going to be held. To you say something about wanting to do a report on a historical building in Capeside?"
"Have to, not want to," Fowely says grumpily. "There's no way I would have come up with this paper topic on my own.
"You'll like this place. It's a real live castle."
"Castles are inanimate."
"Whatever. You know what I meant."
"Hey look, there's Doggett." Fowley points, obviously looking for something to distract Reyes. Luckily, it works.
As soon as she steps into the house, Fowley goes over to her grandmother and gives her a hand with the laundry she's folding. Grams is surrounded by laundry baskets, some of which look like they're threatening to fall over.
Fowley decides it must be her grandmother's turn to do the church linens and grabs a basket of freshly washed tablecloths. "You look like you could use some help."
"Thank you, dear. It's been a busy afternoon so I hadn't gotten around to this laundry until just a little while ago, so I appreciate the help. How was your day?" Grams asks.
Fowley gives her a frown. "Reyes is trying to make me say I'll go to the prom with them, even though I won't have a date."
Grams nods. "You should go."
"I should?" It's not what she expected to come out of her grandmother's mouth.
"Of course you should. You're only young once. Ten years from now, you want to be able to share from memories with other people, not just hear about theirs."
"Did you go to yours, Grams?"
"Yes, I did."
"What was like?" Fowley asks, suddenly curious. She can hardly imagine her grandmother with her hair down, never mind dancing.
"Oh, it was lovely," Grams says with a faraway look in her eyes. "Except for the flooding."
"The flooding?" Fowley drops the tablecloth she's folding into her lap and leans forward with interest.
"Our prom was during the rain storm, you see. It was one of the biggest storms in Capeside history. We didn't notice for the first half of the prom, but eventually the rain level got so high that the prom began to flood. Some of the crepe paper decorations got very soggy and peeled off the wall, leaving colored streaks."
"Did the venue charge you extra to clean it up?"
"No, dear. Back in my day proms were held right in the high schools. Going somewhere else to have a prom is a relatively new idea, and from what I hear some schools don't do that even today. They still do them right at the school's gyms."
"So did everyone have to go home of the water started to get it in?"
"That would have been the smart thing, but we were teenagers. And unlike proms, teenagers have not changed much in the past several decades. No, we just took off our fancy shoes and threw them up on the stage, and made sure that we lifted our skirts the when the water got too deep while we danced." Grams glances over at her, taking in her surprised expression. "I know it sounds the total disaster, but really, it's one of my most fond memories I have from when I was your age."
Grams pats her on the hand. "That's why I don't want you to miss out, Fowley."
"I guess if you think I should go..." Grams' encouraging look distracts her. " I'll go" she says resignedly.
"It'll be fun, just you watch."
She nods, but she finds it hard to believe. But going means is she won't have to listen to people complaining that she isn't going, so she supposes that that's reward enough.
For once, Krycek isn't swaggering as he approaches Scully. Since this is atypical of him around girls, it puts her on guard and she gives him a wary look. "What?"
"I was thinking about the play. It was fun. Besides that jerk pretending to be a ghost... I still think Skinner and I should have kicked his ass, but we didn't want to get suspended. Anyway, it was fun."
"It was kind of fun," Scully agrees. "Maybe we can do the new play in the fall."
"Yeah, maybe. I'd try out for if you did."
"If I did?" She raises an eyebrow.
"Acting with you was cool. I didn't know if we could pull the whole romantic interests thing off, but everyone said it was believable."
"Well, all Benedict and Beatrice do is argue. We argue too." A strange thing is happening to his face Scully observes. Is he blushing?
"They kiss too." He's definitely blushing. The warning bells sounds; two minutes before the next class starts. It's not the only warning bell she hears. "Would you... go to the prom with me?"
"I know you think I'm a jerk, but I can be nice too. If I was given the chance."
Scully gives him a look of pitying disbelief. "I'm going already, with-"
"Don't tell me," he says abruptly. Turning on his heel, he rushes off muttering, "gonna be late for class."
For a second Scully watches him, and then walks to her own class. Fortunately it's nearby. It's the first time she's ever seen Krycek upset before, and makes her feel a little the bad. Him seeming human is novel. Scully shrugs off her guilt; he should have known she turn him down
The Valentine's garage
I know a place where I can go when I'm alone
"Hey," Krycek interrupts before they practice the song again. Craig and Reed look up from drums and microphone. "I've got great news."
"What kind of news?" Craig asks.
"I've scored us the best gig. The prom."
Craig looks vaguely pleased, but Reed does not. "We can't play at the prom." Reed's voice is already slightly agitated.
"Because it kind of pisses off your date if you're playing Instead of paying attention to them, that's why. You should have asked us if we were going before volunteering us for that."
"It's not' volunteering,' we're getting paid!" Krycek protests.
"That doesn't matter! You shouldn't have assumed you weren't the only one who couldn't get a date."
"How was I supposed to know you were going?"
"Um, by asking?! I told you couldn't practice last week because I was drafted to be on the prom committee, did you think I was doing it for my health?"
"I kind of thought they asked you because well... there's that shown bravo..." he trails off when he notices that Reed and Craig are both shooting him daggers. "We can't back out of this, or will never get to play at dance again." Krycek looks mournful "I'm sorry, but..."
"You're always sorry when you sign us up for things without asking."
"Look, it won't be so bad. We're supposed to do like six songs, then there's a DJ to play requests the rest of the night."
"I guess that's not so bad," Reed says grudgingly. But he worries. Will Skinner feel the same?
The sun is slowly going down as Masoners get off their scaffolding and begin pacocking up for the day. It's hard to believe, but in a few short weeks, it'll say light out past nine.
"It's looking good," Mrs. Graves praises the foreman.
"Ayuh," the man, a Mainer by birth, agrees. "We ought to be done by the day after tomorrow. I figure we ought to finish it up Saturday instead of coming back on Monday."
"That'd be wonderful. There's going to be a prom here in a couple of weeks, so it should look nice for then."
"Oh, sure. We'll be out of your hair by then."
She waves goodbye and goes inside, not bothering to turn on lights.
"When?" a hissing voice asks. She thinks she sees a flicker of movement in the shadows.
"I've already told you," she complains.
"When?" a second voice demands.
"May 30th." She pauses knowing that their grasp of calendar dates is childlike at best. "Two weeks from now."
"You should make it sooner." The voice is petulant.
"I can't do that. They make the dates at their convenience."
"Liar. If you wanted to you could make them change to sooner."
"Or we could do hurting things. To make you make them." The second voice giggles evilly.
"Shut up," Mrs. Graves tells them sounding unafraid. "I won't be pushed around the ghosts."
"Ghost!" The voice is shrill with indignation. "You know we're not."
"You're just wish we were." The second voice adds.
"Yes. I know you're not," she agrees flatly.
"Good. Two weeks, then we'll have our playthings."
"But why?" Mrs. Graves asks, exasperated.
"Why not?" The voice sounds baffled.
Reed drops by but doesn't announce a reason why. Skinner can tell there;s something on his mind by his distracted expression. He's on the verge demanding to know what, but the other boy speaks first.
"I, uh, have some bad news about the prom... As usual, Krycek made decisions about the band without asking anyone, this one about the prom. He decided that we ought to be the band for it." He gives Skinner an apologetic look. "It's only six songs, but... I'm sorry. I wanted this be good time for both of us. And you watching us play with no one to dance with isn't what I had in mind."
"It's okay, I don't mind," Skinner tells him.
Reed blinks. "But you hate Krycek."
"I don't hate him, I just wish he'd move far far away. Maybe to another dimension. But I know that music is important to you, so I don't mind watching for little while. Besides, Fowley's coming without a date, so it's not like there's no one to hang out with during your set."
"I didn't know you knew her well."
Skinner shrugs. "I don't. My sister likes her though, and she's not a terrible judge of character, so why not hang out together instead of being alone?"
"Good thinking. You really not mad?" Reed's eyes are uncharacteristically puppy dog'd.
"Nah. I'd rather spend the whole dance with you, but this isn't the end of the world."
"Have I ever told you how sweet you can be?" Reed asks.
"No, but if you wanted gush over my virtues, I'm listening."
The castle is beautiful just as Reyes promised, but something about it makes Fowley shiver. Seeing it from the car didn't make her eager to ever go in it, so she's beginning to regret agreeing to go to the prom. It's not anyone's reactions to hearing that she's tagging along, since they seem to all be in a forgiving mood. It's the castle.
Later, when she's doing the research about the castle for her paper, she wonders if her reaction stems from some forgotten mention about the place. It certainly has a past according to things she dug up online and at the library.
Frowning slightly, Fowley re-reads part of her paper as she types. "Radford castle was one of several historical European castles that was purchased by wealthy Americans at the beginning of the 20th century and shipped from Europe to the US brick by brick and painstakingly rebuilt. Three masons lost their lives during the reconstruction of Radford castle, but the castle's dark history began centuries earlier.
Once the home of an eccentric Scottish lord, local legend held that it was a place of dark desires and that it held darker lords as well. Demons.
The demons, four of them, were rumored to have an eye for attractive humans. Perhaps unlike one would expect of demons, they were not cruel to their mortal victims for cruelty's sake alone. In fact, their particular cruelty was much like that of a child that never learns that others feel. Or perhaps the demons simply didn't care; "witnesses" never said one way or the other when describing the demons' actions.
What these actions were is something every account has in common - the demons would tire of their non-corporal existences and seek out humans who strayed to close to "borrow" their bodies for a taste of Earthly pleasures that being embodied could afford them.
Their unwitting hosts didn't seem to mind the invasions, but the demons were not the souls of moderation and restraint, so those who could not free themselves from the possessions died of exhaustion or misadventure. Or so those who repeated the tales would have the unsuspecting believe."
Although she knows that the legends ought to be taken with a shaker of salt, she can't help but shiver a little at the idea of a demonic castle. Living in Capeside has made her more open to extreme possibilities... the extremes have a way of becoming the plausible in a place like this.
Nothing she reads as she tries to finish the article melts the ice that's formed along her spine.
Doggett is wandering by the open bathroom door when Kersh sticks head out the door. "You get your tux yet?" Kersh asks.
For a moment Doggett considers pointing out to his brother that the shaving cream is sliding down his face and onto his collar, but decides against it. "I've reserved it, if that's what you mean."
"I remember when I picked up my tux for the prom-"
"You went to the prom?" Doggett asks. "Well, of course you did, Mom has pictures, but I don't really remember."
"You were in elementary school, I'm not surprised you don't remember. Just be glad you don't remember when our sisters went to their proms," Kersh says heavily.
"I remember Gretchen's prom," Doggett protests.
"Not one of the sisters I was talking about."
"Oh..." Doggett says with a shudder. He does find himself suddenly grateful. "Boys actually asked them?"
"I think Dad paid them off," Kersh said with a straight face. "He should have, anyway. Kerry was even worse than Anne. I thought her date was going to have a nervous break down because of all the screaming...before they even left for the prom. 'I told you my dress was purple! Does this corsage look purple to you?! No, it's a light lavender!' Yikes."
"Do you think dad paid Ryan to marry her?" Doggett asks.
"No. I think Ryan had a lobotomy a long time before he met Kerry. No amount of money would have been enough to compensate for having to live with her."
"Sometimes I wonder if we're too hard on her. Do you think we'd have gotten along with her better if she'd been our full sister?"
"Why? Anne doesn't."
"Good point. You and I get along better than she and Anne do, and we're half-siblings too."
"Yeah... I've always been surprised that a house never landed on either of them..." Kersh muses. "But we were talking about my prom, not monsters."
"It was a disaster."
"Did you ever hear about the kid who brought a gun to the prom?"
"I think so, yeah."
"That was my prom. Jason Kell was upset that his newly ex-girlfriend had the audacity to find someone to go to the prom with, so he showed up and decided that he'd 'teach her a lesson'."
"God. Was anyone hurt?"
"By the gun, no, but there were more than a few bumps and scrapes as people tried to run from the idiot waving the gun. Tripping over chairs, slipping on spilled drinks, things like that. The cops came pretty quick and took him away, but people didn't feel much like dancing after that."
"Well no wonder!"
Kersh thumps Doggett on the shoulder. "It was a fluke. I'm sure your prom will go much better."
"Yeah, thanks," Doggett says. The reassurance is anything but.
Without any preamble or even a knock as a by your leave, Bessie comes in and sits on Scully's bed.
"What's up?" Scully asks, putting aside The Scarlet Letter. She hates the book, so she doesn't mind the interruption. Why high schools still insist that people read it despite there being hundreds of years worth of books she doesn't know.
"I was wondering if you've found a prom dress you like yet?" Bessie asks.
Scully's nose wrinkles. "No, not yet. I'm planning to go to the mall after I get out of work tomorrow." Grinning, she adds," If you wanted to let me off early..."
Bessie doesn't seem in the mood to do favors. "You don't have much time to decide."
"Don't rub it in."
"I'm not. I just wanted to show you something," Bessie says, getting up.
"Just come on," Bessie says, putting on her hand until she stands up.
Their destination is apparently the attic. The stairs are already down and light shines down on them, so Scully knows that Bessie has already been up there. "The attic?" She can't keep the slight tremor out of her voice.
"C'mon. Dad was only kidding when he told us that there were bats up there." Bessie prods her towards the stairs. "Bats don't live in houses unless there's no place better around, and given we're in the woods, they've got a lot of better choices."
"Says you," Scully mutters. She was eight when her father told her that, but the idea of bats flying around the attic still freaks her out to this day. "Why would he tell us that if it wasn't true?"
Bessie laughs. "Don't you know that's where he used to hide all our Christmas presents when we were little? As a way of keeping us from going up there to find them, I'd say it worked pretty well."
Despite the heat, Scully shivers a little as she stands in the dusty attic. Even at mid-day the light is pretty dim, and it does nothing to make her feel better about being up there. She shoots her sister a 'can we get this over with?' look. "What did you want to show me?"
Instead of answering, Bessie walks towards on of the attic's two windows. "Come see."
Swallowing a sigh of frustration, Scully follows her sister. And sees what she has. "That's beautiful, where did it come from?"
"Back before mom got sick, she and Dad used to go to functions for her work. This was the dress from one of the last formals they went to." Bessie pauses, giving her an appraising look. "You're about Mom's size, so I thought that if you don't find something you like better, this might do with just a little bit of alteration."
"I love it," Scully tells her, reaching out a hand to touch the fabric.
"Then let's bring it downstairs and see how it looks on you," Bessie tells her, gathering up the dress. "If it needs to be taken in or something, I think my friend Stacey would do it for us."
The peace of making breakfast is disturbed when a voice shouts, "Mulder!"
He nearly drops his plate and stares at his mother. Thinking quickly he can't come up with anything he's done wrong. "What?"
"What color is Scully's dress for the prom?"
Price takes his mother's momentary distraction as an opportunity and clumsily lobs a spoonful of baby cereal at her. A frown creases her face as she reaches for a paper towel to clean off her pants. It amuses Mulder so much that Price still doesn't like being fed by her that he forgets the question. At least Price is sporting about it and only manually throws things at her.
"Oh. Um... She called last night and said she finally had one-"
"I can't believe she'd put it off this long. I know when I went to the junior prom I got my dress two months before the dance. It was red-"
"She's fussy. Do you want to know about her dress or not?" Mulder complains. He can feel his plate cooling as he holds it. It's not, in his opinion, the right time for a meander down memory lane.
"Sorry. You were saying?"
"What kind of green? Mint Green? Kelly Green? Forest green-"
"Dark green." Mulder remembers that the conversation the night before had wandered into crayon colors. "You know, I think she, or maybe Bessie knew you'd want to know. She said it was the color of a hunter green crayon."
Mrs Leary gets up and begins going through drawers, leaving Price to fend for himself. The baby starts to fuss for a second, before dropping his spoon on the floor. He's happy again as soon as he's gotten the first fistful of cereal to his mouth. Mulder starts to tell her, but shrugs. She finishes rummaging and comes up with a box of crayons that Mulder had forgotten about and a pad of paper. A few seconds later she has scribbled a patch of hunter green on the paper and is holding it up to the light.
"Yeah, that's it. So what does the color matter, anyway?" Mulder asks.
"Flowers, Mulder. You need to know what color dress to know what color flowers."
"They don't make green flowers, do they? I mean, they dye carnations green at Saint Patrick's day, but-"
"The flowers don't have to match, they just have to look good with the dress color. You don't want something that will clash."
"Oh." The thought of dress and flower color conflicts would never have occurred to him.
"After I get home on Monday, we'll go to the florists," his mother tells him. "And Mulder? Since you let your brother eat with his hands and didn't do anything to stop him, you can give him a bath. Now."
Mulder put his plate in the microwave with a sigh. The rumble in his stomach told him that maybe he ought to have picked up the spoon after all.
A vehicle pulls up along the curb, and Fowley glances over to see Reyes sticking her head out of the driver side window.
"Fowley, we've got to go to the hall early to decorate. Do you want to come with us? It might be fun," Reyes encourages. She's got her dad's SUV, and Mulder, Scully, Doggett and Skinner, plus all the supplies are already in it with room to spare. "We'll spend an hour or two there, then go home to change."
"I might as well," she agrees, but it makes her a little nervous to go their ahead of the crowd. The ride there doesn't take nearly as long as she wishes that it would.
Mrs Graves tried to ignore the excited chattering from the back hall as the prom committee arrives, but they're making quite a ruckus.
"I want the tall one."
"Quiet, I saw him first."
"Pretty...we'll be so pretty."
Mrs Graves is chewing on her lip when the kids start to enter with decorations. She makes a sudden decision. She'll keep them out of the dark, because the demons need for it to be dark in order to possess their victims.
"No don't go in there!" Mrs Gaves shouts, "Let me turn the lights on for you." But it's too late. All four victims have already walked onto the dance floor. They drop the boxes they're holding, and turn to look at her.
"We'll get you for that," Reyes warns her with flashing eyes. The voice is the same, but the look on her face isn't any that's ever been there before.
"Let's lock her up," Mulder suggests. "Then she can't cause any more problems."
"No no, don't. I'm sorry," Mrs Graves babbles. "You won't let them will you?" She turns to Scully and Doggett, who have watched impassively, but as soon as she sees their eyes she knows that she's wasting her breath. They've been taken too.
Doggett and Mulder reach her just as she's turned to run, but they grab her by the arms and tug on her. Her heels drag on the shiny dance floor as they pull her towards a door that one of the girls has opened. The woman is still protesting as they shove her into a storage closet.
"Be quiet and maybe we'll forgive you and let you out later," Scully hisses. "Otherwise we might forget to let you out at all."
The woman looks up at them with defeated eyes, then collapses onto the floor while they slam the door.
Fowley and Skinner come in just then, carrying the last of the decorations. Reaching out one hand, Fowley flicks on the lights. "Like it in the dark?"
The other four look at each other. "We love the dark," Reyes tells her.
"Okay...but it's hard to decorate in the dark," Skinner remarks.
"Yeah. Lights on are fine." Doggett tells him, but he's looking at Fowley when he says it.
As Fowley is arranging balloons in the corner of the room, she glances over her shoulder and nearly falls off the foot stool she's standing on. Reyes is leaning over Mulder, putting up decorations, her body pressed up against his back. That he doesn't seem to mind doesn't surprise her, but that Scully doesn't seem to care does.
"I guess she's gotten past being the jealous type," Fowley mutters under her breath, then wonders if what happened between Scully and Mulder only happened because it was her that kissed Mulder; Mulder has never shown any interest Reyes or vise versa, so perhaps that explains Scully's non-reaction.
At least that's what she tells herself until she sees Doggett walk behind Scully and goose her. Scully squeals and jumps, then turns and gives Doggett a playful smack. Mulder and Reyes don't notice because they're staring deeply into each other's eyes.
Fowley rubs her own eyes, wondering if she's landed in bizzaro world somehow, because anyone who didn't know the quartet would think that Doggett was dating Scully not Reyes. She wonders if Skinner notices this too, but wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't, because he's been working in the opposite corner of the room as everyone else, decorating the stage.
"Skinner, could you give me a hand?" she calls across the hall. He nods and goes over to her, and she doesn't catch his surprised look halfway there.
"I left something in the car, help me look for it, please?" When they get outside Fowley pulls Skinner aside. "Is it just me, or does everyone else seem to be acting a little strange."
He opens his mouth to say no, but then he thinks of his worry moments before that it looked like his sister had kissing Mulder in mind." Now that you mention it..."
"Do you believe in possession?"
Skinner drops the flashlight and jumper cable he was moving to get at the forgotten decorations and gives her a startled look. "Not you too. I thought my sister and Mulder were the town resident supernatural conspiracy theorists."
"Hello? While with my undead boyfriend, I saw ghosts in the high school. Later on I was with your sister when we discovered Spender's bones. I later thought that one of my grandmother's friends had purchased and used the fountain of youth. It's not as though they've cornered the market on open-mindedness." She pauses, noticing Skinner's utterly blank look. "We don't know each other very well, but I'm surprised that Reyes never mentioned any of this to you."
His look is sheepish. "My sister talks to me. A lot. A real lot. I know people are lead to believe that twins are always on the same wavelength... sometimes I wonder if we're even on the same planet.
"But you asked me about possession. I'm sure you had a reason."
"Um, yeah. Your sister suggested that this place would be a good building to do a report on, and brought me to see it. So I began to do research on this castle-"
Skinner scoffs. "This place, a castle? It's way too small for that."
Fowley shakes her head. "Over in Europe there were tons of castles. Practically every lord had one. Most of them were a lot smaller than the ones kings had. Anyway, this castle used to be in Europe, before someone dismantled it and shipped it here, and it was originally was owned by Lord MacLeod. He and his family were murdered by the people he governed."
"Why were they murdered? Or is it a mystery?"
"It's no mystery. The who family was cut down in their sleep when a member of the guard let armed men into the castle during the night. As for why, the common folk rose up against them and killed them for conjuring demons from the depth of hell."
"That's movie stuff," Skinner protests. "People can't really do that."
"Apparently some people can. The people had ample evidence before they took action."
"Evidence like what?"
"After being possessed the victims would engage in completely self destructive debauchery, that was completely out of character for them."
"So? Behaving a little wildly doesn't mean a person's been possessed."
"Most people don't self-indulge to death...Rock stars not withstanding."
"So if they are possessed, which I seriously doubt, what do you think we-" Skinner abruptly breaks off when they both hear a door.
Reed comes in carrying a mike stand. "Aww, man, you're not the rest of the band. I didn't recognize the car, did your dad get a new one?" before Skinner can even not Reed is talking again." I thought they were here. Dammit, why am I only one who's ever on time?" Reed stops his complaint to give them a bright smile. "How are you guys doing with setting up?"
"Everyone else is acting funny, so Fowley thinks everyone but she and I are possessed by demon." Skinner's tone is one of long suffering.
"But...!! But...!!" Skinner sputters. "You're the most skeptical person I know, how can you just say 'okay'?"
Reed shrugs. "There's some sort of a problem, right? I don't have to agree with what she thinks is the cause in order to help find a solution."
"I guess..." Skinner still sounds doubtful.
"So, what makes you think they're possessed?" Reed asks Fowley.
"Well, they're acting really strange, and there's a legend about this castle being inhabited by demons."
Reed ignores the second half of her statement. "Strange how?" As Fowley explains what's been going on, he smirks, obviously not believing for a second that her theory to explain the behavior is the right one.
"So what do you want us to do about all this?" Reed asks once she's paused to catch her breath.
Fowley's eyes suddenly look less worried. "I told you that I was doing a report about the history of this place, right?"
"Yeah, so?" Skinner asks impatiently. His eyes are scanning the area, watching to see if the others are coming in. So far they aren't.
"There was this legend I found online, something about one of the previous possessions. The author of the story said an old man told him how they were able to rescue some of the victims from these demons."
"How?" Reed asks eagerly. "Get a psychiatrist to talk to them?"
"Reed, they're possessed, not crazy," Fowley protests.
"The hero of the tale was supposed to have used fire to drive them out."
"Would a flashlight work?"
"I don't think so. I mean, they don't seem to like the lights overhead, but it's certainly not driving them out. I don't think an incandescent bulb is going to hack it. It has to be fire."
"Wouldn't that hurt them?" Skinner asks. "Besides the whole not wanting to hurt our friends thing, I'd hate to have to explain to Doggett's dad and brother if things didn't go well."
The three of them raced around the castle, looking for a source of fire. The others must have known where things were, because they found several hurricane lanterns shattered on the floor of a room upstairs. Disappointed, they went back to the kitchen, hoping that it was a gas range.
"The stove's electric." Fowley gives the offending appliance a kick. "Dammit, I wish I hadn't quit smoking – I'd have a lighter or matches if I hadn't."
"You smoked?" Skinner looks surprised. "Wow."
"Yeah, I had a bad habit, what of it? Look, as much as I'd like to stand around and continue discussing this, it's not getting us anywhere. We need to find a source of fire."
"And what will they be doing while we look for fire?" Reed asks.
"If we don't know, we can answer questions later," Skinner points out. "As long as whatever it is doesn't lead to me becoming an uncle this winter, I don't want to know, either."
Fowley gave him a stricken look. "You don't think they'd....do you?"
"Do you honestly think the people they possessed who died from overexertion 'danced' themselves to death?" Skinner asks.
"Oh god. Let's find fire, quickly."
"How come you care so much?" he asks curiously.
"Reyes is my best friend, and I've screwed so much up with Mulder and Scully...maybe fixing this is a way to make amends."
Pointing at a high shelf, Reed interrupts, "Behind that box of cake mix, doesn't that look like a candle?"
"It sure does. If there are matches with it, there is a God and I'll go to church on Sunday," Fowley says, trying to reach for the shelf.
Skinner, who is considerably taller than her, reaches for it instead. He turns around with a grin. "Your grandmother is going to be so happy."
They almost squeal in delight when the first match lights up, but they stifled themselves to keep the kids in the ball room from hearing them. "We can't just wave a candle at them all though," Fowley whispers.
"Divide and separate," Reed whispers back. "We'll lure them in one at a time. Skinner and I can hold them down, and you get the fire in their faces."
"Me? I hope I don't burn off anyone's eyelashes." She gives them both a weak smile. "Let's do this."
"Reyes, could you come here please? I need some help from my lovely sister," Skinner calls out loudly.
In the ballroom, the four demons look at each other. "They'll be suspicious if you don't go," the demon possessing Mulder points out.
"But I don't want to leave you," she says, running a finger down his jaw.
"I'll be here when you get back."
She nods, then wanders into the kitchen, where she sees the human's brother. "What did you need help with?"
Before she can shout, one human sneaks up behind her, and wraps one hand around her mouth while the brother pulls back her arms.
"Do it," the brother hisses, and she shakes her head back and forth when she sees the girl with the lit candle.
Despite her best efforts to keep her eyes closed and thrash away from the flames, she still manages to see it when she cracks her eyes to see what the human that just pinched her is doing. The flame is warm, and so bright. So very bright...
Then Reyes bites Reed's hand, making him pull it away with a strangled gasp. "What the hell are you doing to me, guys?"
Instead of answering her, they all peer into her eyes. "I think the demon's gone."
"Demon, what are you...oh my god, that was all real, not a dream, wasn't it." Reyes looks horrified, before she tries to get free. "The rest of them –"
"Wait, wait. We need help luring them in to fix them too," Reyes tells her, before whispering the outline to the plan to her.
Within 10 minutes all four demons are banished.
As they rid Doggett of his demon, the clock rings, and Reed turns to look at as soon as the other boy stops struggling." Good timing, I need to go home and get ready for our gig."
"Yeah, and we need to get dressed," Reyes points out. "I'm glad that's over with."
"Um...not quite," Mulder says suddenly thinking of something. "I think we locked Mrs Graves in a closet."
"Oh crap. Do you think we should let her out now or later?" Reyes asks. When they all stare at her, she shrugs. "I'm afraid she'll kick us out if we let her out early."
"It's a risk we'll have to take," Scully says resignedly." We can't leave the poor woman locked up."
Fortunately, Mrs Graves is so relieved that the demons are gone that she doesn't make them cancel the prom.
"Are they gone for good?" Doggett asks her as he helps her stand.
She shakes her head. "They'll be back. But it takes them years before they gain the strength to. Hopefully, by then I'll have someone raze this building before they can. I wanted to retire anyway." She too glances at a clock. "You'd better scoot! It's only an hour before your prom starts, and none of you are dressed for it."
They all apologize again, then rush out of the building.
An Hour Later
"Why is it the girls go to the bathroom groups?" Doggett asks, watching Fowley and Reyes as they make a hasty departure.
Scully shrugs. "It is probably going a talk some crap about you. Have you done anything to piss her off tonight?"
"I'm not kidding," Scully tells him.
"I'll go get us some punch, okay?" Mulder says hoping to head off an argument at the past. Or another one – Scully and Reyes have no idea that he and Doggett had a friendly dispute earlier over who's girlfriend looked better: Scully in her silky green dress or Reyes in her sparkly silver one. That argument concluded in a draw.
"Thanks Mulder," Scully says with an appreciative nod.
"Wait for me." Doggett tells him. "I wonder what the odds of someone having spiked it is. My brother said that he doesn't happen nearly as often in real life as it does on TV."
The boys have only been gone for about a minute when Scully feels a hand on her shoulder. Not liking the familiarity of the gesture, she whipped her head around, prepared to glare at whoever it is.
Standing behind her, Krycek's grin is wide. "Hey."
"What you want Krycek?"
"I signed the band up to play because I didn't have anything better to do tonight."
"What, you couldn't con Sandy into coming to another dance?" Her tone is snide.
If it sinks in, it doesn't show. "But if I did have something better to do, I'd say we couldn't perform. Something came up," he adds with a leer.
"I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at." The engine her voice suggests that this statement is not true one.
"I'm saying there's time needed to ditch that loser Mulder, can spend the dance with somebody better."
"So let me get this straight, you decided to ruin Skinner and Reed's, as well as Craig's, evening because you didn't have the spine to show up at the prom alone, but still wanted the chance to pester me. And if your ridiculous proposition sways me, you're willing to screw them again?"
Krycek shrugs. "Basically. Sooner or later I am going to wear you down, so I'll take every opportunity that arises."
Doggett reappears first, and is both confused and annoyed when he sees Krycek leaning over Scully. Her face is perfectly calm when she reaches out and takes a glass of punch from his hand. Before he can tell her that Mulder has her glass, she has empties the contents of the glass down the front of Krycek shirt.
"Tonight is not your night, Krycek," she says evenly, before placing the empty glass onto the table. "You probably want to get cleaned up before you take the stage."
His face as red as his shirt, Krycek stomps off without giving her a backwards glance.
"So, I'd guess out go get another glass of punch," Doggett says, leaving quickly so Krycek and Scully will both be out of earshot when he starts to laugh to himself.
He meets Mulder half way to the punch table. "You've got a helluva girlfriend Mulder," he tells him, refusing to elaborate.
Skinner and Fowley are sitting at their table, watching the others dance. Not that Mulder and Reyes hadn't tried to talk them into dancing too, but they'd eventually given up, and conceded that they were both happier where there were.
When a hand taps her on the shoulder, Fowley looks up in surprise since the people she knows are in sight. A waiter is looking at her. "Are you miss Lindley?"
"There's a gentleman asking for you at the door." The waiter's eyes glint with humor. "He described you perfectly."
"How about you describe him?" Skinner asks.
The waiter shrugs. "Tall, sandy blond hair...one of the waitresses said he's a hottie."
Fowley and Skinner exchange a look. "Zane."
"I should go talk to him, but..."
"Go talk to him. The band should be done soon, so I won't be alone long." Skinner tells her, giving her a nudge towards the door. She gives him a look of thanks and goes where the waiter pointed.
"You know, they won't let you into this place without a ticket," Zane says as soon as he sees her. "And I'm kind of old for a ticket."
"You're not terribly old, are you?" Fowley pats his arm.
"Well, I'm not old enough to run for president. Or rent a car for that matter." Zane holds the door open for her as she joins him outside.
"I guess that means we can't elope," she teases.
"Not until next year," he agrees sadly. "Since I'm sure your grandmother has the plate number for my car. But we could dance."
"Outside?" Fowley sounds surprised.
"Sure. I can hear the music just fine, can't you? Maybe we'll start a trend."
"A couple of trend-setters, that's us."
"I don't think you give us enough credit," he tells her, pulling her close.
"Why me?" she asks, looking into his eyes. They look dark in the moonlight, but an inviting darkness rather than a cold one.
"Why do you keep asking that?" He rests his chin on her head for a moment. "It makes people wonder if you've somehow got the idea that you don't deserve it."
"Maybe I don't. I've screwed up a lot-"
That gives her pause. "You think I'm too hard on myself."
He whirls, the swirl of her dark blue dress making the air around them sing. " Either that or you're not hard enough on everyone else. Look, I know you're not perfect. I don't mind, since neither am I."
"You keep saying things like that and I might give you the chance to regret it," she warns.
"Now that's the sort of challenge I live for," he tells her.
She would have replied, but she found his soft mouth over her own and forgot to.
An Hour Later
"Well, Beer Is Not a Sex Crime would like to thank you for your enthusiasm. It's time for us to go. Would any of you like to sing a song?" Krycek holds the microphone out to the audience.
"No!!" the audience roars back.
"Are you sure?" hy teases.
Standing near the stage, Reed's friends laugh. He sees them and makes a beckoning motion with his hand, and they all shake their heads. Looking disappointed he tries again, and they laugh harder.
Eventually Skinner nudges his sister in the ribs, "I think you should sing."
"You sing?" Doggett says looking surprised.
"She took lessons for years," Skinner says. "Our mom was big into that artistic stuff. Reyes took voice lessons, Tim painted and I took piano. Unfortunately, Reyes was the only one of us to have any talent whatsoever."
"I'm not that good," Reyes demurrers.
"You've got to be better than Krycek, Kitten," Doggett says with a gentle squeeze to her shoulder.
She glares at them. "I thought we said we weren't going to call me kitten anymore."
"No, that's what you said. I never agreed to that."
"You're living dangerously, Doggett."
Skinner isn't put off by the conversation's sudden derailment. "C'mon sis, show people what a real song sounds like."
Turning very red Reyes cups her hands around her mouth and yells to Krycek," Give me the microphone."
He looks a little surprised that someone is taking him up on the offer, but he bows flamboyantly and hands her the microphone.
Once it's into her hand she looks out of the audience, turns redder. "I just want you all to know that my brother and my boyfriend are making me do this... you probably don't know this song, but I hope you like it."
A whispered conversation confirms that the band, at least, does know the song. The audience falls quiet as the first few notes drift towards them. By the time Reyes opens her mouth to sing there's no other sound in the room but the music.
I love the time and in between
I know this love is passing time
Oh the quiet child awaits the day when she can break free
Would you try to understand...
Pulling his lips away from hers, Mulder looks down at Scully and grins. "You sure you don't wish I was Doggett?"
"Shut up, Mulder. Or I'll kick you in the shins."
"Okay, I'll be good. I'd hate to have to explain the scruff marks when I return the tux."
Scully just shakes her head and lets him lead.
Produced by CC, KW and Neoxphile
< Voice Over>
This episode of Mulder's Creek featured music from:
Lemonheads ("Into Your Arms")
Earlimart ("Heaven Adores You")
Papa Roach ("Between Angels and Insects")
Sarah McLachlan ("Elsewhere")
Stay tuned for scenes from the next season of Mulder's Creek
don't forget, in season 3 it's 2008
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