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.
Two days later (September 1)
8:33 P.M. PST
Scully ran her fingers through her short auburn hair and sighed. It was Mulder’s turn to call, but she hadn’t heard from him yet. She was getting worried.
Stevens placed a cup of hot chocolate in front of her. “Here. Drink this.”
She gazed at the alien mug. The beam was already shooting down from the ship. “Mulder gave me this mug.”
“He’ll call, Dana.”
She heard the voice from behind her as if it was her own conscience. “This isn’t like him. Something must have happened to him.”
Stevens reached slowly for her, his fingertips brushing a lock of her hair. She made no movement. He withdrew his hand sadly. “It hasn’t been that long.”
“Two days. In his email, he said he’d call. He…promised.”
The telephone rang. She picked it up quickly. “Hello?”
“Scully? Are you okay?”
“Mulder! Oh, thank God you’re all right!”
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“You didn’t call like you said you would! I was so worried!”
She really was worried. “Scully, I…I’m sorry.” There was no response. “Scully?”
“Uh, hi, Mulder. This is Stevens.”
“Where is she?”
“She just made a run for the bathroom.” He neglected to tell him that she was crying.
His heart ached. “I didn’t…why didn’t she call?”
“She wanted to trust you.” He smiled. “You’re very lucky. Very lucky. I envy you.” There was another pause. “Here she is.”
“Yes?” Her voice was tiny.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, Mulder.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m fine, Mulder.”
He knew she was lying but also knew enough not to push the issue. ‘I’m fine’ was Scully’s theme song.
“Did you meet with the other woman?” she asked, changing the subject.
He looked over at Kallie, who was asleep on the bed. “Yeah…”
“She confirmed my theory. The mark is the devil’s mark. She and our victims, among others, were members of the same coven. They split up because they didn’t want to do Satan’s dirty work any more. Now he’s killing them.”
“Hmm?” he repeated. “Is that all you have to say? Hmm?”
“I’m not in the mood to refute your theory–or her claim.”
“Are…are you upset?”
“I’m tired, Mulder.”
“Listen to me, Scul—Dana. I’m sorry.”
“I have a lot of work to do, so I’ll talk to you later. Bye.”
“I love you.” He didn’t know if she had heard because the response he received was the dial tone in his ear. “Dammit!” He sighed heavily. Between Scully’s distance and Stevens’ compliments, he felt like a complete ass.
“She didn’t hear you, did she?”
He stared at Kallie, who was peering at him with dark blue eyes. “Were you listening the whole time?”
“Listen, Mulder, forget about it. Girls get angry, then they forgive you.”
He shook his head. “Please don’t analyze this. I don’t want or need your input.”
“You want me to cast a spell on her?”
Horrified, he responded, “I thought you were a good witch.”
“It was a joke!”
“Don’t joke about that.”
“Did I find a weak spot?”
“Kallie, that’s enough.”
She smiled viciously. “Sure. Whatever you say.”
2:22 P.M. PDT
She didn’t know who was yelling at her, but she didn’t answer. She didn’t want to wake up.
“Scully…” Stevens nudged her. “Telephone.”
“Hey, it’s me.”
He didn’t know if she was kidding or not. “Mulder.”
“I have to talk to you.”
“If it’s about the other day—”
“It is. I’m so sorry I hurt you.”
“Mulder, it’s fine. I had worried myself sick, and I…I don’t know. I think I missed you too much.”
He smiled. “I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry, too.”
“Can you forgive me?”
“Yes. At least I’d better. If word got out that I was single, I would be in trouble.”
“Oh, I didn’t tell you! Well, apparently, dozens of me are in love with me.”
“That’s what John said.”
“The coroner who keeps hitting on me.”
He couldn’t think of anything to say. “Well, well…” He didn’t know he could be so jealous of a man he hadn’t even met.
“He’s very average.”
Didn’t women like average? “It’s time for me to get home. Almost five-thirty here. I’ll call you when I find out more from…the witch.”
“Okay. Are you meeting with her today?”
“Great. Don’t let her poison your food,” she teased.
“I’ll keep an eye on her.”
“Take care of yourself. Bye.”
Key West, Florida
8:30 P.M. EDT
After dinner at Salty Joe’s, Mulder and Kallie took a walk on the beach, returning to his apartment.
“The shrimp tonight was wonderful,” Kallie stated gleefully.
“You’re a marine biologist. How can you eat your data?”
“There’s no law against that. Besides, when you live in Florida, there’s no escaping seafood.” She slipped her arm around his. “You didn’t sleep last night. Worried about your girlfriend?”
“I was. Not anymore.”
“Did you break up?” she asked, almost hopefully.
He stopped walking and looked at her curiously. “Kallie, I am in love with her. I wouldn’t give her up for anything.”
“I see. Is she worth it?”
“Yes.” He wasn’t sure where she was going with this.
“How do you know if you haven’t experienced…this.” She brought her lips to his softly.
He pushed her away as soon as he realized what was happening. “What are you doing?”
“Can’t you feel it? Maybe I should try it again.” She lunged at him, but he stepped aside. She fell into the sand. “Oh! So you want to play hard to get, huh?”
He sighed apologetically when he noticed that her ankle had caught a piece of a broken beer bottle. “Kallie, you’re bleeding.”
“What?” She sounded surprised.
He knelt down. “Yeah, your left…ankle.” He was silent for a moment. Blood ran from a cut that went right through the devil’s mark.
It wasn’t supposed to bleed.
Mulder could see the fear in her eyes, and he stood. “You’re not a witch. You’ve been lying all along.”
“Who are you working for?” he demanded loudly, catching the attention of some nearby people.
“Listen to me!”
“No! Everything about you is a lie!” He hurried for the boardwalk. He had to get away from her.
She made it exceedingly difficult, even with her injured foot. “Mulder!” She limped after him. “Face your fears!”
“What fears?” he shouted, turning around and nearly bumping into her.
“You’re afraid of me! You’re afraid of what I’ll do!”
“What you’ll…” he began, suddenly disgusted, looking away.
“To Agent Scully.”
His attention was seized. He spun around again, his eyes fiery with hatred. “Don’t you touch her!”
“But I thought you didn’t believe me,” Kallie declared casually, as if it didn’t matter.
He wanted to grab her and shake her. “Leave her alone!”
“Oh, come on, Mulder. You need a real woman, not some prissy bitch. She’s not even pretty, you know. I could fix that, get her out of the picture so that we can be together.”
“If you do anything to her, I’ll kill you!”
She raised an eyebrow. “You don’t have the guts.”
“If something happens to her so help me God…I will kill you.”
Primrose and his wife had heard the entire exchange. They were both stunned. “Mulder, what’s going on here?”
He kept his eyes on Kallie, who was calmer but just as angry. With a frustrated noise, he stormed off. Kallie pivoted defiantly on one heel and walked in the other direction. Primrose glanced at his wife worriedly but didn’t move.
Somewhere in Key West
An hour later
“Mission accomplished.” Kallie Duran reached for a cigarette. “Hey, Smokey, got a light?”
The older man glanced at his violated pack of Morleys then back at the red-haired woman. He held out a book of matches.
“Thanks. So, Strughold, where’s the rest of my money?”
Conrad Strughold sized her up with his steely grey eyes. His voice was gentle yet menacing. “Did you get him to say it?”
“Twice.” She was obviously impressed with her skills. “You were right. Mentioning Scully really riled him up! ‘Touch her, and I’ll kill you,’” she mocked, laughing.
The First Elder entered the office, placed a box in front of Strughold, and blocked the only exit.
Kallie looked at the case with disdain. “Unless that’s a check for my money, that box is pretty small.”
“It’s not a check,” Strughold replied, pulling something from the box with a delicate cloth. “It’s a gun. Smith and Wesson 1076. The weapon of choice of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mulder’s gun.”
He repackaged the weapon, giving it to the First Elder. “Take Miss Duran to the beach by Mulder’s apartment…and kill her.”
Kallie’s blue eyes grew wide with fear. “What?” Three men appeared behind her from the shadows, tying her up and gagging her.
“Thank you for your cooperation, Miss Duran,” the First Elder stated in monotone.
She tried to scream, but the cloth muffled her attempt. Strughold watched her kick at the henchmen in vain. As she was carried out of the office, he looked at the Cigarette Smoking Man. He merely blew out a puff of smoke.
Flight 5683 to Spokane, Washington
11:21 P.M. PDT
Mulder fidgeted in the seat. The airliner was ready to land, and he was more than happy to get off the plane with the coincidental number.
He had to see Scully. He had to tell her everything—about how he loved her and Kallie threatened her and dozens of men couldn’t have her and that he loved her…again. That coroner who hit on her wouldn’t stand a chance. John. What kind of name was John anyway? Dull, unimaginative. John and Dana. It wasn’t going to happen. No way, no how.
He hailed a cab. “5683 Athena Court.” No, no, no. Scully was his–she loved him, didn’t she? Of course she does, but I have to be sure.
Athena Court wasn’t far from the airport. 5683 was a ranch home, tucked away behind some oak trees. Mulder could see shadows in the window. “Wait here,” he told the driver as he ran through the rain up to the front door. He lifted his hand to knock and…
Nothing. He couldn’t bring his fist down.
A million phrases ran through his head as he stood there.
I miss you…I feel the same way. Words can’t describe it…Love. That’s right. Love…You can’t be Mrs. Spooky until I propose…She wanted to trust you…
He sighed. “I can’t do this,” he whispered. I have to trust her. He backed away from the door slowly before returning to the storm in the sky—and the one that prevailed in his heart.
End of Part 5