Written October 1998
Synopsis: Mulder and Scully are separated but find themselves working on a similar case…and falling in love.
Disclaimer: The characters you recognize belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Television. No infringement is intended. Some of the characters and situations are my own.
2:00 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Scully exited the gate, scanning the terminal for her ride. The flight had been long, and she was looking forward to settling in and calling Mulder. Now that she knew how he felt–and vice versa—-she wanted to speak to him about it. She wanted to actually say the words.
She spotted a man holding a sign with her name on it. I guess Agent Stevens couldn’t make it, and she sent this guy. She chuckled. The man looked truly bored. His green eyes drooped from behind wire-rimmed glasses. He had short, curly, blond hair. In all actuality, he looked like a computer nerd. She wouldn’t be surprised if he was wearing suspenders underneath his tweed suit with the forest green bow tie.
She approached him. “Hi.”
“Can I help you?” he drawled slowly.
“I’m Dana Scully.”
He nearly scoffed. “Really?”
She was taken aback momentarily. She showed him her badge. “Who are you?”
“I’m Terry Stevens.” He also produced his I.D. “I was under the impression that you were male.”
“Well, I was under the impression that you were female.”
They stared at each other for a while. He finally broke the silence. “Well, partner…”
She sighed. “Let’s go.”
He tucked the sign under his arm. “They really thought I was a girl?”
“I can’t believe they thought I was a guy.”
“Neither can I,” he answered almost dreamily. Dana Scully was an angel. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The way her rich autumn-colored hair crowned her face made him weak in the knees, and her clear sapphire eyes sent him into a diabetic coma.
He was the luckiest man on Earth.
Key West, Florida
Fox Mulder threw his suitcase onto the bed and quickly found his cellular phone. Scully’s number was on speed dial, but it wasn’t quick enough.
“Hello?” came her soft voice.
“God, I miss you!”
He could hear her laugh, and it made him smile broadly. “Well, hi, Mulder. I thought I was supposed to call you.”
“I couldn’t wait. How are you?”
“Well, Terry Stevens met me at the airport.”
“She can’t be that bad, can she?”
“Yeah. There seemed to be some mix-up regarding my gender. Unfortunately, I’m bound to these arrangements.”
“You mean you have to live with the guy?” He paused. “Is he handsome?”
“Mulder, he’s the fourth Lone Gunman! He’s a paranoid computer nerd.”
He was relieved. “I’ll tell Frohike you said that.”
“So how about your Floridian accommodations?”
“I have the penthouse suite in an apartment building on the beach.”
“Oh, I’m so jealous!”
“Yeah? Well, you can always fly down here and see it for yourself.”
“A tempting offer, Agent Mulder, but I have to decline.”
“Yeah, I know you do.”
“That doesn’t stop me from wishing I could be with you.”
He grinned. “Ditto.”
“Well, I hate to cut this short, but I have to make an appearance at the Spokane bureau.”
“Don’t have too much fun.”
“I won’t.” She paused. “Take care.”
“You, too. Listen, I’ll call you at ten your time.”
“That’s one o’clock in the morning in Key West!”
“I’d do anything for you.”
“Me, too. Bye.”
“Bye.” He stared at his phone. “I love you.” He laughed out loud. “Listen to me. I’m telling my cell phone ‘I love you.’ Crazy, Mulder. You’re crazy.”
9:49 P.M. PDT
Scully looked up at the knock on the door to see Terry Stevens watching her quietly. “Hi.”
“What are you doing?” he asked, casually entering her bedroom.
“I’m waiting for a call.” She had her cellular phone on the bed in front of her.
“Sounds pretty important.”
“I have to tell him I love him before I lose my courage, so I wish for once he’d be early.”
He chuckled softly. “Aren’t bureau relationships strictly taboo?”
“Stevens, have you ever felt so strongly for someone that…distance is as bad as losing a part of yourself? And you’d do anything for one tender glance, a soft word…a kiss?”
He was lost in her words. “Only recently.”
She almost blushed when she realized the comment was related to her; he was infatuated. “Well…Mulder is that someone. He’s been my stability, my faith…my life. And now that we’re apart, I feel the distance, threatening to rip away that sacred piece of me that is essentially him.”
“You are…amazing. Your partner is very lucky.”
He diverted his amorous glance, and his eyes rested on a photograph. “Is this him?”
“Yes, that’s Mulder.”
She nodded, smiling brightly. The telephone rang. She fumbled with it, finally succeeding. “I love you!” There was silence, and her face registered embarrassment. “Oh, I’m sorry…Yes, I’m fine.” She listened intently. “No. Did you forget to mention that I was female?…No matter. Thank you, sir.” She hung up.
“Who was it?”
She winced. “The assistant director, Walter Skinner.”
“Yeah. Ouch.” She put her face in her hands.
The phone rang again. She calmly answered it. “Hello?”
“Hi, Scully.” This time, it was Mulder.
“You don’t sound too cheerful.”
She shook her head. “No, I–I’m fine, Mulder. How are you?” Out of the corner of her eye, she watched Stevens leave the room.
“Well, I visited my new place of employment. Skinner gave me a call, apologized once more for making my life a living hell, and bid me farewell.”
“What is the old adage? ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder.'”
“Yeah, find me the guy who said that. I’d like to kick his ass.”
She chuckled. “So…”
“So.” He shrugged. “Hmm.”
“Tell me about Stevens.”
“Well…he has a crush on me.”
“Oh, is he in trouble.”
“No, no, he knows where my heart lies.”
“Uh huh, and where is that?”
He was quiet for a while, trying to get his mouth to do what his heart told it. “I…yeah.”
She saved him. “I feel the same way. Words can’t describe it.” Stevens knocked on the door. “Hold on, Mulder. Come in.”
He could barely hear the conversation. “What is it?”
“There’s been a strange murder, and we’ve been called out. Stevens gave me my new address, though.”
He grabbed some paper and a pen. “Shoot.”
“Okay…5683 Athena Court.”
He wrote it down. “Great. Hey, Scully, tell me something. The numbers in your address…when you take those numbers and replace them with the letters on the telephone pad, what do you get?”
“I don’t know. 5 is–what? J, K, and L?”
“And 6 would be M, N, O. 8 is…” She cheated, looking at the phone before her. “T, U, V. And 3…D, E, F.”
“Uh…jote. No…jove?” All of her words had long o sounds.
“Kote, kove, lote, love.” She realized the correct pronunciation. “Love.”
“That’s right. Love.” He smiled slightly. “I’ll call you tomorrow, Scully. Bye.”
Twenty minutes later
“Agent Stevens, glad you could make it. Follow me.” The coroner led him to the storage room. “I head that you have a gorgeous woman sleeping at your place for a month.”
“There was a gender mix-up, so she has to stay with me.” He chuckled. “But gorgeous is right. She’s…angelic.” Stevens thoroughly enjoyed the attention. Usually, no one spoke to him on a personal level. He suspected they all thought he was dull and anti-social. It was almost…spooky. But now, thanks to Dana Scully, he was a God among men.
When Scully began walking down the hallway, the world seemed to go in slow motion. Every man she passed did a double take. Her long, drab trench coat seemed to flow behind her like a silky dress. Her hair bounced lightly with each step. A bright aura of beauty seemed to emanate from her entire body.
Stevens somehow managed to remain calm as he waited–in anticipation–for her approach. “Agent Dana Scully, this is Doctor John Smith. He’s the bureau’s coroner.”
Doctor John Smith. Average height, average build, average looks, average name. Average. She smiled. “Hi.”
“Wow. Hi. You’re even more beautiful than the rumors about you led me to believe.”
She frowned. You’d think they’ve never seen a female before. “When can I see the body?”
“Whenever you’d like,” Smith replied. Stevens elbowed him. “Uh, right this way. Now, the cause of death was internal bleeding, but the circumstances leading up to it was bizarre.” He drew back the sheet, revealing the scarred body of a young black woman. “Her name was Rita Mae Udelle. Age 26. She was originally from Barbados. Widowed. She worked at home, giving piano lessons. She wasn’t very successful, though.”
“Why not?” Scully asked.
“People thought she was a witch.”
“Oh, yeah. She came from Barbados, famed by Miller’s The Crucible as the home of witches and devil worshippers.”
“Just because she was from Barbados, they assumed she was a witch?”
“No. She cast spells on some of the locals as well.”
“What happened to them?”
He lifted his hands in the air. “Voilà.”
“That’s right, gorgeous. She wasn’t arrested because the cursed victims died of natural causes.”
“That doesn’t explain how Rita Udelle died.”
“Car accident. Witnesses reported she drove right into a bus.”
“And you think there was foul play involved?”
“On what grounds?”
“Rita Udelle was blind.” He gestured to the corpse. “She doesn’t even own a car. So tell me, gorgeous. How did a blind woman get into somebody’s car, drive five miles without incident, then slam into a tour bus going to Las Vegas?”
Stevens headed back to the bureau while Scully and Smith began the autopsy. “Case number 33284U,” he began, watching Scully tie her hair back with a rubber band. “The victim’s name was Rita Mae Udelle. Age 26. Time of death…9:34 p.m. Examiners claimed death was due to internal bleeding. We’ll begin with the external cursory exam.” He glanced at his ‘partner.’ “Take it away, gorgeous.”
“Victim has prominent scarring from the accident,” she began while Smith took photographs. “Cuts are apparent on her face…neck…shoulders…” She noticed a red spot on the woman’s stomach. “What is this?”
Smith leaned over the body. “Looks like a birth mark.” He clicked the camera, saving the image to film.
She was hesitant to believe his suggestion but was unsure why. “I’ll begin by making the Y-incision down the chest cavity to expose the internal organs.” She sliced through the skin, the scalpel going through the red mark. “That’s strange.”
Smith, who was retrieving the rib splitters, frowned. “What is it?”
“When I made an incision through the red mark, there was no blood.”
“That is strange. What do you make of it?”
“I don’t know…but I know someone who will.”
End of Part 2