Separation Anxiety 4/7

Separation Anxiety
Written October 1998
Rated PG-13
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.


Spokane Bureau
Day 15 (August 27)
1:46 P.M. PST

Scully bit into her turkey sandwich, not taking her eyes off the newspaper. Hurricanes were headed toward Florida. She made it a point to know Mulder’s weather situation, even though he constantly reminded her of how hot it was.

“Hey, Scully, there’s some guy here to see you.” Stevens sank into his desk chair, blowing on his coffee.

“Me?” she questioned, her mouth full. She swallowed and headed out of the office. A young man stood nervously by the front desk. “Hi. I’m Dana Scully.”

“Sign here, please.” He handed her a clipboard.

She complied. “What’s this for?”

Another man came in, carrying a vase brimming with flowers. “Congratulations.” He gave it to her. “Have a rosy day.”

“Thank you,” she replied, her voice full of surprise. In her hands, she held a dozen red roses accented by baby’s breath, monte casinos, and fresh greens. She carried her gift back to her room and placed it delicately on her desk.

“Whoa, greenhouse alert.” Stevens diverted his eyes. “Let me guess–Mulder.”

She found the card. ‘We’re halfway there! I miss you.’ She grinned. “You’re correct.”

“I don’t even know him, and already I’m…insanely jealous of him,” he mumbled. He was still pining after her, even though she was clearly not interested.

No mention of the electronic greeting card or its contents was made after the fact. Scully had every intention of telling him how she felt, but she had chickened out again. She was very apprehensive. Would their relationship change when they got back to D.C.? Or would they continue being friends now that they were no longer apart? The distance made the relationship safer, she realized. And more difficult.

“Hey, gorgeous.” John Smith entered the office. “Somebody’s in love with somebody else!”

“What makes you say that?” she asked, clutching the card close to her heart.

“A dozen roses, an arrangement like that…sixty bucks at least. You know I love you, gorgeous, but…someone loves you a lot more.”

“Sixty dollars for something that’s going to die?” Stevens began in awe. “Amazing, the prices they charge nowadays.”

“Now you know what to do to attract a girl like me.” She glared at each of them in turn. She’d have to call Mulder later and thank him. “What do you want anyway?”

He waved a folder in front of her. “Lab results on Rita Udelle’s spot.”

“Finally!” She snatched the envelope from him. “That’s strange. Everything’s normal.”

“There’s an oxymoron you don’t hear everyday,” her partner mentioned. “Would you care to enlighten us?”

“I ordered some tests on that red blemish near Rita Udelle’s navel. I was expecting to see some abnormalities. However, this disproves my theory.”

“What kind of abnormalities?” Smith asked.

“Lack of pain receptors and blood vessels.”

“What was your theory?” Stevens wondered.

“It was Mulder’s theory, actually.”

“Mulder’s?”

“Yeah. He has a similar case in Florida. I’d better call him. Excuse me.” She walked away, still reading the file.

Smith glanced slyly at Stevens. “So have you asked her out yet?”

“Are you crazy? She’s obviously spoken for.”

“Well, if you don’t, then I will.”

He snorted. “You are crazy. She’s not going to accept.”

“Terry, Terry, Terry! You have a lot to learn about women. The most effective way to get a date is with a casual, business attitude. You approach her and say, ‘Why don’t we get together, talk about the case? That red blotch absolutely fascinates me. Why don’t we exchange theories?’ You show an interest in her and her work. Women can’t resist!”

“Right…”

“When she comes back, I’ll show you how it’s done.”

Meanwhile, Scully was seated in a quiet conference room, dialing Mulder on his cell phone.

He picked it up on the third ring. “Mulder.”

“Hey, you.”

“Scully! Hi!”

“You are so sweet. I got the flowers today.”

“Two weeks down, two weeks to go.”

“So how’s work?”

“Dull. I think paranormal figures rarely visit Florida. Must be the heat.”

“I got the results back from the lab on Rita Udelle’s spot.”

“And?”

“Nothing. No abnormalities, no strange oddities, nothing.”

“I had the same results on my victim.”

“What do you make of it?”

“There’s only one thing it can be: the devil’s mark.”

“Are you going to put that in my report?”

“Yes.”

“Mulder…”

“Maybe they’ll ship me back to D.C. early.”

“Do you really believe this witchcraft?”

“Yes, I do.”

She sighed. “Okay. Write your report. Good luck.”

“Look, Scully…let’s not fight. I don’t want to fight. You’ll win!”

Her expression lightened. “I agree. So tell me how much you miss me.”

“You think this is funny, huh?”

“Not at all. I just like to hear the sound of your voice.”

“I hope these two weeks fly by. I have something special planned for our reunion.”

“I can’t wait.”

He glanced up as his partner knocked on the window of their office. “I have to go. Primrose is sending me the Bat Signal.”

Scully laughed. “Okay. Bye, Flower Man.” She headed back to her room, considerably cheerful. Smith was still there.

“Hey, gorgeous. What are you doing tomorrow night?”

“Probably working on these lab results.”

“Why don’t I give you a hand? We could order a pizza or Chinese and break out the medical textbooks. What do you say?”

“Yeah, sure, sounds like fun.”

“Great! My place, sevenish?”

“Sure. I’ll pick up a pizza before I come. Supreme okay?”

“Sounds delicious. See you then.” He waggled his eyebrows as Stevens, who stared at him in awe, and left.

***

Key West, Florida
5:07 P.M. EST

“Mulder, who were you talking to?” Primrose asked when his partner finally hung up the phone.

“Scully.”

“Why do I even ask?”

“Cause you’re nosy, Aaron.”

“Thank you.” He held up a folder. “Guess what?”

“I give up.”

“You didn’t even guess! I’ll give you a hint. It’s related to our case.”

“Another victim?”

“Potential victim. Her name is Kallie Duran. 25. She’s doing some graduate work in marine biology here in the Keys. And she has a peculiar yet familiar red spot on her ankle.”

“How did you find her?”

“She found us actually. She knew Ellen Kero. They attended classes together at the University of West Florida. She says she’s afraid she’ll be killed like Ellen…and the others.”

“What others?”

“The others who were killed all over the U.S. … including Rita Udelle.”

“She knew Scully’s victim?”

“Apparently so. I didn’t get a chance to question her. We’re meeting on Saturday at two for lunch.”

“Okay. I’ve got to call Scully.”

“You’ve got to do something about this obsession.”

Mulder smiled. “I’ll email her. Deal?”

“That’s my boy.”

***

John Smith’s apartment
Spokane, Washington
Day 16 (August 29)
7:15 P.M. PDT

“Sorry I’m late,” Scully apologized, stepping inside. “It took them a while to make the pizza.”

“I’m glad you made it. You look wonderful.”

She glanced oddly at her jeans and New York Knicks sweatshirt that Mulder had given her. “Thanks…I think.”

Smith smiled. “I have the wine and all of the textbooks from storage. Let’s eat before we jump into work.”

“Okay. I hope you like onions; I ordered extra.”

“I love onions.” He gazed at her warmly.

“So stop staring and pass the wine.”

He grinned widely. “You’re the boss, gorgeous.” He headed to the kitchenette to retrieve the chilled wine and glasses. He continued to watch her over his shoulder. He didn’t care if she was spoken for; he had to try. “Do you want to put on a little mood music?”

“Sure.” She selected some light jazz. “I haven’t spent a Friday night like this in a long time.”

“Really? What did you and Mulder do?”

“Sometimes we’d argue over the phone for hours.”

“Argue?”

“Over cases. He has an interest in the paranormal.”

“I see.” He brought the wine into the living room and filled the two glasses.

“The best nights were spent curled up on the couch, watching old sci-fi movies.”

He smiled. “Sounds fun. You look tense. Let me massage your shoulders.”

“Okay.” She sat in front of him and sipped her wine. She glanced at the bottle. “1992. That’s the year I met Mulder.” She paused. “I really love him.”

Smith wasn’t really listening. His lips traced her neckline.

“John?”

“Hmm…”

“What part of ‘I really love him’ don’t you understand?”

“What’s that, gorgeous?” he murmured.

“John…stop.” She pushed him away. “I can’t do this.”

He sighed. “How do you do it?”

“What?”

“Keep up a long distance relationship when there are dozens of men who want you?”

“Dozens?”

“Every guy I know. I mean, you’re…gorgeous! How do you think I came up with the nickname in the first place?”

“John…you’re nice. But—”

“I know. I know. ‘I’m in love with someone else.’”

“Actually, I was going to say you’re not…spooky enough.”

He chuckled. “I guess in this case, that’s an acceptable answer.”

“Good. Now that we’ve settled this, we’re going to put it behind us, eat pizza, and attempt to find a logical explanation for this non-bleeding red spot.”

He took it well, chomping down on a slice of pizza.

Can’t wait until Mulder hears about this, she thought, smiling bemusedly.

***

Spokane, Washington
The next morning
9:00 A.M. PST

Scully yawned and walked into the kitchen, stretching. Stevens was sitting at the table, eating breakfast. “Good morning.”

“Hi,” she greeted groggily.

“You slept in this morning. I thought about asking you if you wanted to go for a jog.”

“I would have said no, anyway, but thanks.” She searched the cupboards for her favorite coffee mug, one that Mulder had given her. It had on it an alien spaceship that’s abduction beam came down when hot liquid was added.

“Uh, Dana,” Stevens began, standing up to be nearer to her. “I was wondering if maybe I could…see you…sometime.”

“There it is,” she said triumphantly, pulling her mug out of the dishwasher. “What are you talking about, Terry? You see me every day.”

He chuckled nervously. “You’re right. Here; let me pour your coffee.”

“Oh, thanks. Here you go. You know, Terry, you’re a great guy and an amazing partner. I really appreciate our friendship.”

“Yeah,” he mumbled under his breath. “I bet you wouldn’t say that if you knew I was in love with you.”

She hadn’t heard him; her back was turned to him as she sought a clean bowl for some Special K. “And another thing. You’d never make a play on me either.”

He froze. “What do you mean?”

“Well, last night, Smith tried to seduce me over a slice of pizza and glass of wine. How lame is that?”

He looked at the mug of coffee and box of cereal. “Very lame.”

“I put him in his place. I thought he, of all people, knew that I love Mulder. That’s also why I appreciate you; you know my feelings, and you have no interest in hitting on me.” She picked up her mug. “Thanks, Terry.”

He sighed. Stupid, Terry! he told himself. “So did you find anything?”

“No. We looked for three hours. Nothing. I’m beginning to think Mulder’s theory is right. That’s sad.”

“You never told me about any theory. Have you been holding out on me?”

She winced. “Well, I must warn you…it’s pretty strange.”

“Go ahead.”

“The red spot is a devil’s mark.” He didn’t say anything so she continued. “Satan marks his witches with a red or blue mark that doesn’t bleed and is insensitive to pain.”

“So Mulder thinks these women are witches?”

“Yes.”

He snickered at first then began to laugh out loud.

“Terry!” She shook her head. “I don’t know what else to believe.”

“There must be a rational, scientific explanation.”

“You sound just like me.” She sipped her coffee. “But Mulder’s crazy theories are always right.”

***

Key West, Florida
2:00 P.M. EST

Mulder and Primrose sat at Salty Joe’s, the designated meeting place with Kallie Duran.

“My wife and I went to the ob/gyn yesterday for an ultrasound.”

“How did it go?”

The excitement on Primrose’s face was catching. “Twins!”

“That’s great, Aaron, congratulations!”

“I’m thrilled. They’re so tiny!”

“Yeah. Babies are great.”

“You think you and Scully will ever have kids?”

“I’d kind of like to marry her first.”

“I have no doubt in my mind about that. No, really.”

“I…I don’t think so.” He glanced over Primrose’s shoulder. He knew Scully could never have children due to her abduction three years ago. She considered it a great loss and never spoke of it. He didn’t bring it up either. The pain was too great…for both of them.

“Aaron Primrose? Fox Mulder?”

They both looked up, and their jaws dropped. A goddess stood before them. Shining red hair curled softly around her shoulders. Sunglasses hid her eyes, so the men focused on her frosty pink lips. The sleeves of her white blouse were rolled up to her elbows, and the shirt itself was tied off beneath her breasts. Her long golden legs, fully visible below her short black skirt, seemed to go on forever. The Birkenstock sandals on her feel revealed the red spot on her left ankle.

“Hi. I’m Kallie Duran.”

“Have a seat, Miss Duran,” Primrose offered.

She sat down, giving Mulder an interested gaze. “Thank you for meeting with me.”

“It’s no problem,” Mulder said, having finally collected himself. “So, Miss Duran—”

“Kallie.”

“Kallie. Why did you contact us?”

“I found out that you were working on Ellen’s case. I knew I had to tell you the truth.”

“Did you know Ellen?”

“Yes. We were in classes together at UWF. I can’t believe this happened.”

“Kallie, when you spoke to Agent Primrose, you said you knew other victims.”

“Yes. Um…Sarah Peterson, Lorrie Anders, Rita Udelle, and Ellen.”

“How did you know them?”

“I don’t know if you’re aware of witchcraft in America today, but…we were all in the same coven. There were 13 of us, connected to other covens by the devil.”

“What happened?”

“We decided to split up. We didn’t want to be bad anymore. Satan wasn’t very happy—nobody breaks up a coven and gets away with it. Now he’s killing us one by one.”

“And the mark on your ankle?”

“Placed there by Satan so he can recognize me. All the other girls have them, too.”

“Do you think you’re going to be next?” Primrose asked, having remained silent up until that point.

“I know you don’t believe me,” she told him, “but you…you, Agent Mulder, believe me.”

“I believe your life may be in danger. We can take you to a safe house—”

She chuckled rudely. “You think a wall is going to stop the devil?”

“What if it’s not the devil?” questioned Primrose.

“It’s him. I can feel his presence.”

“Are you sure you don’t want protection?”

She turned to Mulder, even though it was Primrose who had spoken. “I want you to protect me.”

“Okay.” He nodded. “Okay, Kallie. I’m going to take you home, you’re going to pick up some clothes. We’ll go to my apartment, and you’ll be safe.”

She looked relieved. “Thank you, Agent Mulder.”

“Sure. Let’s go.”

Primrose walked alongside him while Kallie took the lead. “My, my, what will Scully say?”

“Aaron…don’t start with me.”

***

Mulder’s penthouse apartment
4:22 P.M. EST

“Wow, what a view of the sea!” Kallie pulled the curtains aside, letting the sunlight pour through. “Why do you keep it so dark in here?”

Mulder gestured to the chest of drawers. “You can put your things in there.”

She shrugged. “Where do I sleep?”

“On the bed.”

“I wouldn’t want to put you out.”

“You aren’t. I sleep on the couch.”

She frowned slightly. “That can’t be comfortable.”

“I’m used to it.”

She lazily strolled about the apartment, her eyes resting on a photograph on the desk. “This your girlfriend?”

Mulder glanced up. “Yes.” He liked the sound of it. Dana Scully, girlfriend. Dana Mulder, wife. Someday, he told himself, smiling.

“Hmm. What’s her name?”

“Dana Scully.”

“I see. So why am I sleeping over at your place instead of her?”

“She’s in Spokane right now.”

“Spokane.” She paused. “Rita…” She put her face in her hands and began to cry. “I can’t believe she’s dead!”

He put a hand on her shoulder, and she fell into his arms. “It’s going to be fine, Kallie. You’re safe now.”

“Please hold me…”

Uncomfortably, he remained in the same position. “Kallie–”

“Ssshh…don’t speak. Just…hold me.”

End of Part 4

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