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cbfiles
18 June 2010 @ 02:46 pm

TITLE: A Flash of Hope

SUMMARY: A fanfic that answers the question of how Mulder could have reacted so calmly in the series finale. Told in three different POV's.

SPOILERS: The Truth

RATING: E for everyone (lol)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: There was a discussion on the Haven that involved the idea from the show "Flash Forward" about people getting a glimpse of the future and how it would shape their present. So here's my contribution :) 

WARNING: There is no beta for this because it's simply an exercise to keep my brain working creatively, lol. I put it on LJ as soon as I complete it.

 

 

 

May 23, 2002

Unknown Brig

 

He opened his eyes and panicked when he saw nothing but sheer darkness around him. Where was he now? Was he awake? Mulder blinked again to check, but the black image before him didn't change or give his brain any signal that qualified the reason for his sudden blindness. A split-second of sanity allowed him to process the texture of cement upon which he laid, the discomfort of his prone position reminding him of the cell where he had, for the moment, been mercifully left. The cell that possessed no windows and was barred by a steel door that blocked even the most infinitesimal ray of light.

 

"Shit," he cursed and pushed himself up to lean against the rough, cinder block wall. All that time away from Scully and William to search for answers...answers that were too horrific for him to share with anyone. Even Scully.

 

A harsh laugh escaped his lips as the irony of the situation washed over him anew: the truth he had searched for all these years, the truth -- so important that you walked away from the two most important things in his life, he thought resentfully -- that would die with him.

 

An impossibly loud clicking sound broke the silence and Mulder's body immediately went rigid in preparation for what it knew was coming.

 

A military guard -- the same one from the last interrogation, he noticed -- took two quick strides towards him and stuck his face so close to Mulder's that he was able to smell the stale tobacco and coffee on the behemoth's breathe.

 

"What are you thinking?" the guard shouted, just as before.

 

Mulder arrogantly turned his head toward the painfully bright light streaming in the doorway and could make out the silhouette of a second guard standing there just before stars exploded behind his eyes as his head was rammed into the wall behind him.

 

"Answer me now!"

 

He tried to focus through the intense pain radiating from the area around his skull. "I...I'm wondering why you haven't killed me yet."

 

"WRONG ANSWER!"

 

Another blow, this time to his abdomen. Mulder doubled over, trying desperately to breathe so he could speak. That damned nightstick again; he had forgotten how much that hurt.

 

"What are you thinking?"

 

"I'm wondering if it's worth it."

 

"WRONG ANSWER!"

 

The steel toe of the guard's boot met the soft area of his torso, just beneath his ribs and Mulder bit down on his tongue to keep from crying out in pain.

 

"No sleeping!" The guard ordered, marched to the door, and slammed it behind him.

 

Mulder curled in on himself, gasping for air. His head pounded behind his eyes, his lungs screamed for oxygen. Despite the protest from his abdominal muscles he tried to stretch out to draw more air, but the pain was too much for his nervous system and he was rewarded with blissful unconsciousness.

 

****

 

As I open my eyes, the agony of simply awakening makes it feel as though my entire skull is pulsating, so I quickly close them. I reach my hands up to massage my temples, but the movement is torture on my midsection. Where I am and how I came to be lying face down on the concrete in a puddle of my own drool is no longer hard for me to recall.

 

I hear the sounds of boots scuffling from somewhere outside the doorway. Drawing slow, shallow breaths through my nose w/minimal pain (not to mention the fact that I do not want to be found in this position), I decide I need to sit up. I mentally prepare myself for the darkness I will find and crack my eyelids just a touch so I can see my attacker in case he's early.

 

But something's different. There's a light! It's insane at how something like this renews my hope. The brainwashing must finally be taking effect.

 

Wait. What is that noise? I hear muffled voices...coming from the light. The light that seems to be growing wider.

 

What the fuck is happening here?

"Where's Dad?"

 

That voice sends chills down my spine. That's *my* voice -- except for the the fact that I sound about thirty years younger.

 

"That's weird....He was standing right next to me."

 

Scully. Scully, Scully, Scully. The sound is so sweet that I am moving without thought towards it, towards the light. And, as I move, it moves. It's white fingers reaching towards mine until it nips the end of them...

 

And I am swallowed by it.

 

"There he is! Still next to the car."

 

I watch in awe as the woman, whose voice I must have just heard, walks hurriedly toward me with an achingly familiar look of concern etched on her forehead. "Mulder?"

 

Who are you? I want to ask. This can't be Scully. Not *my* Scully.

 

"Are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost," she says with a crooked smile that disappears when I don't answer. "Mulder, you haven't *seen* a ghost, have you?"

 

"Possibly" I say, but only the "p" sound is audible, and the concerned look is back.  

 

"What's with him?" asks the boy who has my voice. My jaw goes slack as I watch him saunter towards me, dribbling the basketball with ease whilst switching from one hand to the other. He is tall, if I am guessing his age correctly, and skinny; with a nose and smart-ass expression that I would know anywhere. "C'mon, you promised me a rematch when you guys got back from the store. You scared I might actually win this time?"

 

"Course not." The words leave my mouth, but they are not mine. I didn't think to say them. And it's my hand that steals the ball in midair, taunting this boy -- William, a voice in my head screams out -- who is grinning like...like he has been waiting to see me for a very long time; but I didn't tell the hand to move.

 

The sound of a throat clearing catches my attention and I turn to stare at the small woman beside me; the woman who cannot be Scully. Her hair is so long that she is able to keep it in a loose knot at the base of her skull. Her skin is free of heavy makeup, the freckles prominent on her nose and cheeks, and she looks...well, she looks amazing. But she also looks older.

 

"Alright, guys, help bring in the groceries and then you can play until the sun goes down for all I care." She says this with a smile and William takes off towards the back of the red Explorer sitting in the drive. "Mulder? What is going on with you?"

 

God, I want to touch her so badly it hurts. But I'm also terrified. Is this real? "What do you mean?"

 

"You have been acting weird ever since we got home. Are you feeling alright?" She lays the back of her hand against my forehead, drawing it slowly down from temple to cheeks to jawline.

 

My eyes shut to keep from bursting into tears at the sensation. "I feel wonderful, Scully."

 

Her hand falls away and grips my wrist. I bring my arm up gently, her hand still attached, and place a kiss across her knuckles.

 

"Quit stalling, Dad!" William calls out as he hurries by, both arms filled with bags.

 

The intensity of the moment broken, my eye catches a glimpse of the face of the digital watch I didn't realize I was wearing.

 

And my heart nearly stops when I see the date.

 

 April 22, 2012. Two days after William's eleventh birthday. Eight months before the end of the world.

 

I look at Scully again, then at William's retreating backside. Then at Scully. Then at William. Then at the watch. Only now beneath the date, something has happened to the time because there is nothing but zeroes there, like on a stopwatch.

 

The once clear noises around me are suddenly muffled, as though I am underwater, and getting softer. I look at Scully again but she is walking away from me and fading into blurriness. "Scully, no!"

 

The light is coming back, but this time it is blinding everything from sight.

 

"William! WILLIAM, DON'T WALK AWAY! Don't leave me, Scully! SCULL-EE!"

 

And the light is gone.

 

In this new darkness, the shuffling of boots on cement echoes in my ears. And the harsh clicking of a padlock opening is like a slap in the face after the two minutes of heaven I just experienced.

 

What the hell just happened?

 

****

 

Two Days Later

 

"Did you hear what I said, Mulder?"

 

The man sitting across from me lets out a deep sigh, but other than that shows no sign of anger, confusion, or shock: the signs I expected to see when I told him the news about William.

 

"Yes. Yes, I heard you. Will" -- his voice cracks and he clears his throat-- "William is gone."

 

"You have no idea how hard the decision was for her," I begin, though defending her honor seems somewhat unnecessary now. "But she wanted him to have a better life than what she felt she could provide alone."

 

"She did the right thing."

 

What the hell is going on here? I mean, I know I agree with him but...but he just found out his child was given up for adoption. A normal person doesn't just accept that!

 

Prodding him on, trying to draw out the emotion now so that it won't simmer when I'm gone, I say, "Scully will probably be upset that I broke the news first...but I just didn't want your initial reaction to be in front of her. I wanted to give you some time to gather your thoughts."

 

"Thank you."

 

"I know this can't be easy for you, either."

 

Mulder swivels his head around to face me for the first time since I began my story. "No. But I have a feeling there will be a happy ending."

 

What? WHAT? He's sitting in a military prison on fucking death-row, he hasn't seen his wife-or-whatever-you-want-to-call-her or his son since the boy was two days old, he finds out that son is no longer in his mother's custody, and he's okay with that because of a sudden burst of optimism?

 

I open my mouth to speak, but what I want to say I have no idea. Relief washes over me when the guard opens the door to tell me my time with the prisoner is up. I reach out a hand and Mulder shakes it firmly. Not even a tremor from the guy as we part.

 

With one foot out the door, I glance back at Mulder to see him shaking his head from side-to-side, a grin tattooed on his face.

 

My heart breaks for Scully as I realize the man has officially lost it this time.

 
 
cbfiles
10 June 2010 @ 12:05 am

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 15/15)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors, I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :) This is the end of the journey, folks. Poorly written as usual but I am hoping not to leave a bitter taste in your mouths ;) THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STILL READING!!!




Thursday, April 17, 2008

 

3:21pm

 

"Who were you talking to?" Scully asked as Mulder slunk through the door frame, closing the door to the bedroom and facing her with an expression that struck her as too-blank. The heavy sigh, affirmed her suspicions. "Skinner?"

 

"Yeah," he answered, hesitant on how much he should add.

 

"You asked him to put the house back in order--"

 

He did a double-take as he sat across the room from her in the easy chair. "How did you--"

 

"Sixteen years together. And, I'm not mad." Mulder's eyebrows wrinkled together. "That you weren't going to tell me."

 

"Scully--"

 

"I told you I'm not mad. You were just..." Her words caught in her throat, and she swallowed painfully in an attempt to clear it. All that time over the last week to think about Mulder and what he went through was replaying at four times normal speed. What was his reaction to the letter? Did he, for a second, believe the lie? Had he shown it to anyone else? Did he find the necklace first? How did he track her down? Even with the German clue she had given...why did he come back after she told him to go?

 

She suddenly had trouble breathing.

 

"How did you do it?"

 

"How did I do what?" Mulder's voice was barely a whisper, his face so close that it blew the wisps of hairs that had fallen in front of her eyes. So overcome by her thoughts, she had not even noticed his panicked reaction to her own anxiety.

 

Scully forced herself to stare into his eyes and the emotions that overwhelmed her as she did were many years old. She could feel the tears burning as she looked at the man who had gone, literally, to the ends of the world for her. And she for him: this man who had given her life purpose and direction. This man who had given her a child. This man who had shown her the true meaning of forgiveness and everlasting love.

 

Her voice squeaked as she ignored his question, trying instead to convey everything she felt in one statement, "I love you...a lot." Scully's lower lip trembled, her chin quivered. She huffed a laugh. "Can you understand how much?"

 

Mulder's lips curled into a half-smile. "Can you?"

 

She nodded. "I think I'm beginning to, yeah."

 

"Good. Because...Jesus, we've been through a lot, but..." The psychologist in him screamed at him to stop realizing he was about to release his anxieties on her. That's the last thing she needs right now, he told himself.

 

"But this feels worse somehow," she finished for him.

 

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to--"

 

"No...don't." Her hand moved without conscious thought to his knee, and her eyes followed. Even through the layer of denim she could feel the warmth that radiated from his body, the muscles taught from surprise or just overall tension from the last few days. "I know that I'm not usually so verbose when it comes to what you mean to me, Mulder, but...but after..."

 

His stare moved from the fingers grasping his leg to Scully's face, seeing the pain and remembrance in her eyes even as she avoided his. He could see her fighting to come to terms with her attack, and it took everything he had not to run from the room back to Virginia and find a way to get to Patterson. Adrenaline coursed through his body at the idea of vengeance.

 

"When I thought I might die with you thinking that I was in love with someone else..." The tears that built at the thought choked the rest of her words and, knowing there were no words to convey the sheer agony that one thought had given her during her time away from him, she locked eyes with his.

 

His silence was a blessing, a jolt of strength that she needed to continue the purging of her demons. Her hands did not shake as she brought them up to take his face between them. The slight stubble of his cheeks was a comfort grown of immeasurable touches over the past fifteen years -- both platonic...and not. Mulder's lips parted just slightly, her name forming there in silence, and she leaned forward just enough to press hers against their heat.

 

And the kiss deepened. What her tongue couldn't produce in words it did in caresses, moving slowly, deliberately. His air was hers, and hers was his. Several long seconds later, she gently withdrew from his mouth to rest her forehead against his, relishing in the radiance of his breath against her face and the feel of his nose on her cheeks as he raked it back and forth in a hypnotic manner.

 

"You've known me a long time, Scully," he whispered and then leaned back just enough to look into her eyes. "And in all that time, when have you ever seen me give up on the truth?"

 

His comeback effectively stripped her of all arguments, as only Mulder had ever been able to do, and her shoulders shook slightly, the tiniest of smiles appearing on her lips.

 

"I, uh, I didn't know exactly how to bring this up, but..."

 

She raised an eyebrow at his sudden loss of confidence. "But what, Mulder?"

 

"When I was on the phone to Skinner...we were also talking about some of the legal actions that need to be taken."

 

Her head nodded. "We have to go back tonight."

 

"The house will be ready by tomorrow morning, so we can stay here and then drive back in the mor--"

 

"No."

 

"Scully, I don't think you want to see..." He stopped before he let out the truth of what he had done to the house himself. She had already put herself through enough torture.

 

"It's not that." Upon seeing his confusion, she continued, "I'm not going back to that house."

 

Illogical fear gripped him and her name came out in a gasp of confusion. Hadn't she just...?

 

Securing his hand in hers, she quickly amended, "That's one of the things I wanted to talk to you about. Do you remember when you told me the darkness finds us?" He nodded for her to continue. "Those words have haunted me since the morning you spoke them," she sighed, her eyes closing briefly as she shook her head. "And, I think I'm finally tired of trying to escape it."

 

"And the house...?"

 

"While I was gone," she continued, seemingly avoiding Mulder's question. "I thought a lot about that. And it seems, no matter what we try to do to keep ourselves 'safe', there's no way to escape the past. I've been kidding myself for a long time that I was  independently working towards finding the truth. Because the one truth I know is the one I've been foolishly and obsessively denying for a long time."

 

"Scully, listen, I'm not sure what you are referring to but I know I don't need to remind you what the amount of psychological turmoil you've been under can do to a person and--"



"I want to find William, Mulder."

 

 

 

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase meaning “things to be corrected” and is a title I chose because I knew how this would need to end. I apologize for posting such a short section/ending after such a long hiatus, but I wanted to stay true to the spirit of the show and that, for me, meant less inner-character dwelling and more truth-searching (no matter how maddening that was for me as a shipper). I know there will probably be flames or people upset (whether they voice it or not) that I didn't go more into Scully's healing process, but I mean good gosh the character was kidnapped, beaten, given cancer, infertility, then a child only to feel forced into giving him up and did the next episodes ever deal with her pain? Yeah, I think you ALL know the answer to THAT one ;) So to all of you guys who have stuck around to the end, you have my eternal gratitude for all the support. I hope some of you got a little bit of satisfaction from the ending. Feedback of any nature is, of course, welcome.

 
 
cbfiles
22 March 2010 @ 10:24 pm

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 14/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)




Thursday, April 17, 2008

 

7:45am

 

"Dana, what's happened? What's going on, Fox?" Maggie Scully's frantic questions fell upon deaf ears as her daughter embraced her in a hug so strong, that the first thing it reminded her mother of was an oncology ward hospital bed over a decade before. She said a quick prayer for her daughter and whatever her troubles were at that moment.

 

The sun was peeking out over the eastern horizon, white wooden porch around them now a haze of pink and orange. Mulder stood on the bottom step as Scully continued to hold on to her mother. And then, hesitantly, she pulled away.

 

Scully could see that her mother was still expecting an explanation that would hopefully erase the horrible visions she was creating in her mind. But Scully knew that truths were usually worse than what one's imagination provided; because the truth stripped away hope. So, it would be a half-truth then.

 

"Can we talk inside?"

 

Scully waited for her mother to sit before choosing the easy chair. She expected Mulder to take the spot next to Maggie on the couch or maybe by the fireplace; but, instead, he stood directly behind Scully's seat, placing his hands on its back.

 

"Mom," she began with her best attempt at a calming grin, "I, uh...what I have to tell you is not easy. And, I know that you and I have not always seen eye-to-eye since..."

 

"Dana, you're my daughter." Her pale blue eyes seemed to get darker as she spoke, and Mulder felt the goosebumps rise on his forearms. "The past is done. Something has obviously happened that affected you in such a way that you need your mother. I'm here, Dana."

 

Scully felt, instead of a metaphorical weight being lifted from her shoulders, like the past week -- the past eight years for that matter -- had suddenly crashed down on the crown of her head. The crushing blow ripped down her neck to her shoulders, her torso, her arms, her legs, her fingers, and her toes.

 

And she cried. God help her, she was sobbing harder than she had since the morning Skinner and the social services' worker drove away with William.

 

Maggie reached across the short distance and tugged her daughter over onto the sofa, rocking and whispering sweet words of reassurance into her ear. Mulder watched the display half in horror and half in utter astonishment. He took Scully's former spot in the chair so that he could be closer to them without interrupting the therapy that was going on right before his eyes.

 

Minutes passed, and then Scully suddenly sat up. Maggie yanked two tissues from the antique box on the coffee table at their knees and handed them to her.

 

"Thank you," she sniffled and dabbed at her eyes like it would do any good. "I'm sorry about that. I know it must seem...you don't know--"

 

"Shhh. It's alright baby." Maggie turned and looked briefly to Mulder as if to ask, "What in God's name is going on?"

 

"I was kidnapped."

 

Mulder's eyes squeezed shut at that moment, preventing him from having to see Mrs. Scully's jaw dropping or her eyes bugging out in horror and rage.

 

"What?"

 

Scully simply nodded, affirming her previous declaration.

 

"Who...How--"

 

Staring through leftover tears, she said, "Mulder found me. Tonight."

 

Maggie immediately shifted in her seat to face him, but before she could speak, he did.

 

"The kidnapper led us to believe that Scully had" -- his eyes narrowed and his Adam's apple bobbed, fighting the words that were attempting to form -- "left me. For someone else."

 

Mrs. Scully covered her eyes with both hands. "Oh my God..."

 

Scully gripped her mother's knee and looked at Mulder for the first time since they had entered the house. "But he didn't believe it."

 

"Of course not, Dana! Why would--"

 

"Not everyone held the same opinion as me, though, Mrs. Scully. It took me several days to track her down." Too many days, he thought to himself.

 

She turned back to her daughter. "Honey...are...are you hurt? Did they catch him?"

 

"Yes. He's being held in Richmond."

 

Maggie stared into her daughter's blotchy and tear-stained face sensing that there was something deeper, something terrifying that she wasn't being let in on. Would God ever leave these two in peace?

 

"And you are here," she stated.

 

Again, her daughter chose not to answer aloud and nodded.

 

"And you haven't slept."

 

"No. I, uh, I had to give a statement and," Scully paused briefly, wondering if she would ever be able to confess the horror of what had happened to her, before continuing, "and then I called you and asked Mulder to bring me here."

 

"Well, you know you two are welcome to stay as long as you like." Though it's never as long as I'd like it to be. "Why don't I go make up your room for you."

 

"Mom, you don't need--"

 

"I know what I do and don't need to do, Dana," she said sternly and pushed herself up to stand. "It will just take a couple of minutes. There's a fresh pot of coffee in the kitchen. You two help yourself to whatever you want."

 

When Mrs. Scully vanished halfway up the staircase, Mulder took her former spot beside Scully. She fiddled with the wad of tissue in her hand, looking everywhere it seemed but him and finally said, "Thank you for bringing me here, Mulder. I'm glad we came."

 

"So am I."

 

A long, awkward silence fell between them.

 

"Mulder," she sighed and then let her wandering eyes fall upon his face. The natural light that streamed in through her mother's front window curtains highlighted every tired line on his face. The dark stubble on his chin, his cheeks, his upper lip, his throat. The dark circles beneath his chameleon eyes that were, for now, a light greenish-grey.

 

She shook her head, adding, "I don't know what to say."

 

He took a leap of faith and placed his hand atop the two of hers, still clutching the tissues. Despite the sheer exhaustion he felt, at that moment he knew he could run a mile just from the high he experienced when she didn't flinch or pull away. Continuing the eye contact he had longed for, he whispered, "You don't have to say anything."

 

Her face crumpled and she broke their gaze. "Thank you."

 

"Can I...can I ask you something?"

 

She glanced up, a question apparent in the crinkle of her brow.

 

"Would it be alright...if I held you?"

 

Oh, God, Mulder...I thought you'd never ask...She immediately scooted forward and wrapped her arms around his back, cocooning herself in Mulder.

 

"I'm so sorry, Scully...so sorry..." He positioned himself back against the cushions so that he might hold her at an angle that was more comfortable for her. She was shaking her head furiously and he released her enough so that he could read her face.

 

"Don't...there's nothing to...you believed me...I couldn't...I don't know why you even came back--"

 

"Shhhh, shhh," he said softly, when she didn't fight him. "I'm here. You're here. That's what matters. That is why I came back."

 

Scully looked as if she had something to say but. just then, Maggie emerged from the staircase. "Okay, Dana," she said and smiled warmly at the scene before her. "It's ready, whenever you wanna go up."

 

"Thank you, Mom."

 

"Thanks, Mrs. Scully."

 

She waved off their unnecessary gratitude and stopped in front of the kitchen entrance. "I was just going to make myself some toast and eggs. Would you two like something?"

 

Scully was opening her mouth to decline but Mulder spoke too quickly. "That would be great. Would you like some help?"

 

"You are a guest in my house, Fox," she answered, shaking her head. "Just make yourself at home. I'll let you know when it's ready."

 

He smiled and nodded in response. Mrs. Scully's small form disappeared behind the narrow double doors and he felt Scully moving to stand.

 

"I'm going to take a shower."

 

"Okay." His heart began to race as he equated this to having to be further away from her than he wanted to permit.

 

Scully didn't miss his "panic face", but when she opened her mouth to tell him she would be fine the words locked up on her tongue. She chewed on her lower lip and headed towards the stairs; the heat of Mulder's stare seemed to burn the skin of her back as she ascended.

 

****

 

Mulder sat in the easy chair, catching up on current events courtesy of the Baltimore Sun, while Scully slept on the queen-size bed.

 

Earlier, when he insisted that he wasn't sleepy, she had all but demanded that he go downstairs and relax, watch television, do something besides baby-sit her. So he had gone out in the hallway and sat on the floor -- as close to the door as he could get without casting a shadow for her to see in the inch-wide crack below it.

 

Maggie Scully had come up the stairs an hour after cleaning up their breakfast dishes to find him sitting there with a worried expression. It quickly became one of embarrassment when he realized he'd been caught, but she didn't admonish him, instead continuing on her path to her own bedroom. She came out less than ten seconds later, that morning's edition of the paper in her hand.

 

Mulder wanted to hug her. But he simply accepted the token with a boyish grin.

 

Another thirty minutes passed before his tailbone started screaming at him. He heard a slight movement from the room behind him and decided it would be okay if he checked on her.

 

She was fine. And he ended up in the much more agreeable -- to his ass anyway -- padded chair.

 

He scanned the sports page and slowly, carefully turned the usually-noisy-but-now-silent page. A flash of movement caught his eye and he saw that Scully was twisting the comforter in her hands while her legs twitched beneath it. Mulder held his breath. And then she moved again. Only now the twisting and twitching became flailing and kicking. His jaw dropped in horror as she cried out "Please!"

 

The comforter had, in her nightmare, become an attacker and it was currently covering only the top portion of her tiny body and her head. Mulder acted quickly, shoving the covers from atop her, freeing her arms. As he did, one of her hands made sharp contact with the back of his head and he, instinctively, gripped her wrist to protect himself.

 

"NO! PLEASE, NO!"

 

"Scully, it's me," he said in a voice he hoped was loud enough to rouse her quickly. Every movement, every utterance was ripping him apart. "You're okay. No one's going to hurt you. You're okay, Scully."

 

Her eyes popped open and she gasped for air. Mulder immediately stepped away.

 

"Oh, God..." she moaned, pushing herself up to a sitting position and burying her face in her hands.

 

Mulder sat on the edge of the chair and alternated between looking at the floor and at the place in the mattress cushion that curved beneath Scully's weight. He concentrated on the gradual slowing of her breaths, debating about whether he should or shouldn't say something. It was completely unnecessary, however, because even as he decided he would let her break the silence, she did.

 

"Mulder?" she said, her voice muffled by her own hands.

 

"Yeah?"

 

Her next words flipped his world upside down.

 

"I'm scared."

 

*************

END PART 14/?

*************

 
 
cbfiles
19 March 2010 @ 10:20 pm

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 13/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)



St. Mary's Hospital

Richmond, VA

3:13am

 

Dana Scully stood, arms folded, dressed in the jeans and green sweater she had arrived at the Emergency Room in and listened politely to the nurse who was giving her a list of counselors located at the local YWCA. The nurse was a tall woman in her late-fifties with a very mellow, mothering quality about her that did nothing to ease the exhaustion of the tiny ginger charge before her.

 

Scully nodded, trying not to shiver as the cold seeped through the cotton layers she wore, and accepted the list with what she hoped was a heartfelt "thank you". The nurse, whose name she didn't care to learn for Scully wanted no memory of anything related to what had happened to her, smiled sympathetically.

 

"Your husband has taken care of your discharge, so you're free to leave as soon as you are ready." She paused, wishing as she always did when she was called in for such duty that there was something more she could say. But there wasn't. With another tight-lipped smile, she left Scully to her thoughts.

 

As the door clicked shut, Scully collapsed into the chair behind her. One thin hand reached up to pinch the bridge of her nose, warding off the tears that were screaming to burst free, and wrapped her other arm around her waist.

 

God, why do they keep hospitals so cold? she thought, rocking back and forth in the ghastly orange vinyl seat she had refused to sit in with the nurse there. She didn't want to feel any smaller or more vulnerable than she already did. She glanced at the door, ironically thankful that a room had been vacant for them to perform the invasive and humiliating tests that had to be done for legal purposes.

 

Mulder. Mulder's out there...waiting. Probably killing himself with worry and guilt. A maniacal, hard laugh sounded in the room occupied solely by herself and the tremors got stronger. With vicious ferocity she rubbed the heels of her hands into her closed eyes, the pain of the action glorious. How long am I going to make him wait? He loves me and God knows I love him...more than anything...but...but...but what? What do I do now? What is going to think of me now?

 

He thinks you were sexually assaulted, Dana, a voice in her head said absolutely. Mulder wants to comfort you. He's dealt with rape victims -- Scully shuddered at the term which now would forever apply to her -- before, but not one that he was this close to. He loves you. You can trust him. He won't hurt you.

 

Scully shivered. He's not going to hurt me.

 

But despite this realization, the tears that she had fought all night -- tears of anger, of loss, of horror, and even those of joy for being free -- exploded from her in sobs that racked her so violently that she slid off the chair and onto the floor to pull her legs into her chest.

 

****

 

Mulder looked at his watch for the tenth time since the nurse had left Scully's room. It had been ten minutes. He pushed himself off the wall and began pacing the same five feet of tile that he had off-and-on for the two hours. Every fiber of his being longed to open the heavy steel door, scoop her into his arms, and run like hell until they were in their car, racing towards home.

 

We're two people who come home at night. To a home. I don't want that darkness in my home.

 

Shit.Thinking of her words again brought into glaring focus what lay in wait at that "home". Darkness. Scully had been there with her kidnapper. The man who raped her, Mulder seethed, wishing for the thousandth time that he had shot the man when he'd had the chance. Oh, it wouldn't have killed him. No, death was too good for someone like him, Mulder mused. His shot would have been aimed lower...much lower--

 

His thoughts came to an abrupt end as the sound of the door handle turning caused him to jump. Mulder dug his hands into his pockets for what he hoped was a nonchalant pose.

 

Scully smiled weakly up at him. "They said I can go now."

 

He nodded and realized he had no earthly idea what to do next. Normally, he would have guided her down the hall and back to their car. But would she be put off by a man's -- even Mulder's -- touch so soon after? He was aware of how natural that reaction might be, but it still didn't mean he understood what was expected of him.

 

So he just stood there and waited for her to lead the way.

 

She wrapped her arms around herself more closely and glanced down at the floor. "I have a favor to ask."

 

Oh God, anything. Anything, Scully! He took a deep, shuddering breath. "Yeah?"

 

"Do you mind if I borrow your phone first?"

 

The question was not what he had been expecting and he stood there frozen for a half-second; long enough that she could see the confusion on his face and misinterpreted it as unwillingness. "Mine, uh, mine is back at..."

 

"Oh, no, no, Scully. It's not that...I just..." Get a grip, man. Give her the damn phone already. He pulled his hand from his pocket, producing the object she desired.

 

"Thanks," she said, taking the phone but making no move to do anything resembling a phone call with it. She did, however, raise her eyebrows, glimpse down at the disinfected tile floor and back up at him.

 

"Oh." So she wanted some privacy. That was a very easy and uncomplicated request, he reasoned. Except for the fact that he never wanted her further than arm's length away from him until the day he died. Very easy, indeed.

 

Maybe it could work like it did on television, when people would have what would appear like a very private, important conversation that no one else around them seemed to hear despite the fact that they were less than five feet away with nothing but dim background noises to keep them from supposedly hearing what was being said. Could he just turn around and pretend to busy himself with the lint in his pockets and hope that she would feel he was too involved in pocket cleaning to hear what apparently was going to be a very exclusive conversation?

 

Her expression held the answer. No.

 

Cursing inwardly, he looked over her shoulder and saw a small alcove. It wasn't far, but so much could happen...

 

Mulder gave her a nod and half of an understanding smile and headed for the small room.

 

Three of the longest, most panic-stricken minutes in his life passed before she found him, pressed to the very edge of the closest wall to where he'd left her.  

 

"We can go now."

 

"Okay," he said to her back as she was already three steps down the corridor that reeked of antiseptic.

 

When they arrived in the lobby of the emergency room, she froze two steps from the automatic doors and her whole body seemed to deflate. Mulder again suppressed the urge to touch her.

 

"God, I can't believe...I didn't even think..."

 

"Scully?"

 

He was alarmed when she finally took notice of his presence beside her. There were tears in her eyes.

 

"Your car," she began, her tone angry. Mulder was infinitely grateful that his ability to translate her body language told him that she was only frustrated with herself for being  what she -- not he -- perceived as weak. Crying was never easy for her. Even in -- no, Mulder thought, especially in -- a situation such as this.

 

"Uh, yeah. Skinner brought it by. Knew we'd need it."

 

"What about your keys?"

 

"I forgot to take them with me, actually."

 

Under normal circumstances she might have laughed or, at least, ribbed him about it. But nothing was normal at the moment. Mulder also noticed, as she continued out to the parking garage, that she didn't care to question him about why or how Skinner had been involved. And this was something of which Mulder was one-hundred percent relieved. Finally Mulder, having never taken his eyes from her face, saw with apprehension that her eyes darted non-stop around them in the early morning darkness of the concrete structure: a hospital parking garage.

 

Fucking Patterson. I fucking knew it.

 

Four steps out, Scully let him take the lead and they reached the spot where Skinner had told Mulder he'd left the car. He opened the door for her and loped quickly to the other side -- the arm's length thing again. He maneuvered them out of the lot and they idled at the stop light.

 

"Mulder," she said and cleared her throat. "That favor I asked you about before..."

 

"Mmm-hmm?"

 

"I know it's a three-hour drive, but I was hoping you wouldn't mind if we stayed with my mom tonight...well, this morning, today I guess."

 

Was that who you were on the phone with? "No, not at all. But are you sure you don't want to get a flight--"

 

Out of the corner of his eye he saw her head shaking back and forth as she pinched the bridge of her nose with between her thumb and forefinger and he dropped the end of his question. Mulder didn't even know why he suggested it. To make her more comfortable, he supposed. But, being in an airport with random crowds of people and then sitting with some of those people for an hour was probably not her idea of comfort, he gathered.

 

As he pulled onto the highway a short five minutes later, he smiled for the first time in over a week. For when Mulder passed under an overpass that read "I-95 Washington DC Baltimore next right", the demure woman beside him reached across the arm rest and took his hand in hers.

 

She didn't let go until he got out of the car in front of her mother's house.  

 

*************

END PART 13/?

*************

 
 
cbfiles
17 March 2010 @ 03:19 pm

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 12/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)

WARNING: THERE IS A PORTION OF THIS STORY THAT IS NC-17 FOR VIOLENCE AND ASSAULT. I HAVE MADE IT A DIFFERENT COLOR SO THAT THOSE WHO DON'T WISH TO READ IT, MAY SKIP PAST THE ORANGE PORTION.



12:41am

 

Tony sat in the basement, one eye on Wedding Crashers playing on his 20 inch computer monitor and the other on the video feedback monitor that currently showed Dana's sleeping form beneath the comforter. He laughed boisterously at Will Ferrell's loser character, Chaz, and tossed back another shot: the once three-quarters full bottle was now less than one-quarters full.

 

He had wanted to go back to the main house to sleep in his bed, but had known that wasn't a safe move with that asshole Mulder watching the ranch. Tony stroked his finger tenderly along the shaft of his gun from where it gleamed at him on the desk. It would be so easy to just go out there and put a bullet in the man's brain...but it was the after that was the problem. So, he had holed himself up in the stuffy basement, watching a comedy and Dana's room in nothing but his shorts while Jack Daniel's soothed his tensions.

 

There was a movement from the video monitor that correlated exactly with a scream from above. Shit. Now is not the time, Dana.

 

He watched as she struggled with the comforter, getting more deeply tangled with the material as she fought. Dana's legs kicked and thrashed as another bone-chilling scream echoed through the house. Tony, unable to stand it anymore, grabbed his gun and keychain and stumbled up the cement staircase to her room.

                                                                                           

Dana's screams became moans during the two minutes he spent just trying to fit the right key in the lock. Maybe the alcohol hadn't been the best idea, he considered while closing the door behind him.

 

He approached her bedside as quietly as he could, not wanting to wake her tonight of all nights. Not after what had happened outside. As carefully as he was able, he crawled onto the area of the bed beside her and began pulling the comforter off her. This was his usual routine, as it kept her from physically battling whatever demons her mind currently provided. Normally, tonight being no exception, she would continue to sob or scream or moan and throw the occasional elbow, but her legs would have stilled. The only solution Tony had found meant crawling on top of Dana to secure both of her arms, then rolling off to the side to hold her until the cries grew faint as a peaceful sleep would finally came over her.

 

And that is exactly what he did...until he heard the man's name.

****

 

Mulder sat in his car and cursed silently when, sifting blindly through the cellophane bag, he found he had gone through his entire stash of seeds. It had been over two hours since he had seen Patterson cross the dark ranch, presumably going back to watch over the woman he held captive. He grinded his teeth at the thought of what might be transcending behind closed doors.

 

 

 

Scully was a genius. There was no doubt about it: coming up with that clue in the insanely short amount of time she had to prepare it was nothing short of amazing. When he had googled a German to English translator site, he had only to try two different spellings of the word to see that it meant "do not surrender". Mulder looked at it once and though he understood the meaning, he wondered why she had chosen that particular phrase. So he turned the words around again and again, until growing so mad with frustration that he began laughing aloud at himself. And, then he pulled up the site Thesaurus.com and entered the word "surrender".

 

And all the oxygen in his lungs seemed to vanish. For under the verb entry the definition said "give up".

 

Nicht aufgeben: Don't give up.

 

Jesus, Scully.

 

 

 

Mulder stared out the windshield, concentrating on the pitch black air to keep from glancing -- again -- at the gun in the seat with the bag of what had contained his only source of protein in two days.

 

He sat, impotence overwhelming him again as the emotional cycle reached its beginning for at least the third time since he had left their home. What the hell am I doing just sitting here anyway? Waiting for Patterson to come out in animal skins, waving his club around the air, grunting and pointing? Do I call Skinner? And what do I tell him, "Hey Walt, I saw Scully today and...oh yeah, I followed Patterson out to the ranch he didn't tell you about and...what? Oh, well I waited for him to come home...what do you mean 'how did I know where he lived?' Haven't you ever heard of Google?" The cycle continued on and self-doubt renewed itself. What if Scully's clue was metaphorical? What if she's not being held prisoner, but rather just wants me to prove that I still love her? Shit, that's dumb...even for you, Fox. Why the hell would she...

 

As he glared, he could have sworn he saw something move in the darkness. The little hairs on the back of his neck stood at attention. Was it Patterson again? Would he really have left her unattended now that he knew -- and this much Mulder was sure of -- that he was being watched? He blinked, thinking maybe it had just been his tired eyes playing tricks on him. Nothing. Mulder let out a deep sigh of frustration and peeked instinctively at his Sig again. The edgy feeling settled further, charging down his spine, through his limbs, and out to the tips of his fingers and toes. He shuddered.

 

Something was not right.

 

It was one of those indescribable moments of hypersensitivity that had long ago earned him the nickname, Spooky. But clever monikers aside, the feeling had saved countless lives: his and the woman's inside being two of those.

 

He grabbed his gun and shoved the door open.

 

****

WARNING: The next part of this story is VERY NC-17 for graphic violence and explicit sexual assault. I have made this portion a different color, so that those inclined can skip past it.

 

 

TEN MINUTES EARLIER

 

He was combing his left hand through Dana's long, night-darkened hair while his right one kept her body cocooned tightly to his chest. As he shushed her and began humming a random melody in effort to soothe her, Dana sobbed, "Don't, Mulder" -- Tony froze -- "love you...don't...up on me."

 

"No," Tony growled. No, no, no! How can she still be hung-up on that asshole after he left her today! You're mine now, Dana, not his! I'll show you...I'll fucking show you...

 

He rolled on top of her -- the monster inside him clawing and scratching as it sensed that freedom was close now -- and attacked her throat.

 

"Wha?" Dana moaned, still half-asleep.

 

He nipped and sucked the soft flesh just below her chin down to where the plunging V-neck of her tank-top met the skin of her breasts. Holding her arms effectively out of the way with one hand, he squeezed the soft silk-covered mound.

 

And Scully screamed.

 

Re-securing her now thrashing body with his, he ripped the top down the middle and yanked it from her body in two quick motions.

 

"TONY, PLEASE! Don't do this! PLEASE! You promised, remember?" she squeaked, grasping for straws in which to break his focus. "You said you wouldn't hurt me!"

 

She could see the whites of his teeth in the darkness as he grinned down upon her in arousal.

 

"I'm not going to hurt you, Dana," he panted and attempted to place a kiss to her nose but she quickly averted her face. "Just love you. Love you so much."

 

Scully wrinkled her nose as the smell of alcohol spread through the air around her head. He'sdrunkhe'sdrunkhe'sdrunk...oh God, please no...

 

Dealing with a traumatized maniac was hard enough to reason with, but now he was in even less control of himself. In that same moment, she felt where the majority of his control lay and screamed out again.

 

"Dammit! You can't holler like that, Dana....shhh...just shhh...oh Jesus," he groaned as he grinded himself against her again.

 

"Tony, please--" She paused as he shifted his weight the slightest bit. He was searching with his free arm for something. When Scully began trying to reason with him again, she was immediately and forcibly silenced by the silk pajama top he had recently stripped from her. He shoved it so deep that when she tried to push it out with her tongue, she inadvertently caused herself to bring it deeper.

 

Her lungs burned as she fought against the obstruction until the only option she had was to surrender so that she could begin breathing through her nose.

 

Somewhere in the back of Tony's mind he demanded this to stop...whether it was the alcohol or the pure need to feel himself inside her he didn't know, but his body couldn't stop. He could feel her shoulders shaking as her arms continued to wriggle, but instead of feeling remorse he became even more intent on showing her how good he would make her feel.

 

The next part was difficult given his drink-addled sense of balance. He had to hold one of her legs still between both of his -- her free leg kicking wildly, obviously hoping to make contact with something that would bring him intense pain -- while he yanked and pulled at her pants and underwear until they, too, ripped down the middle.

 

"Shhh, baby," he cooed even though he had made very sure that she would no longer be able to verbalize her distaste for his idea of love-making. He positioned his lower body between her legs that were still trying to clench together and force him away. "This'll feel good," Tony slurred. "I promise, Dane...only hurt for a little."

 

Scully couldn't help it: she was crying. She had been trained for this exact type of situation many times, and all the experts said the same thing: let it happen. She knew it was inevitable. He would rape her and then maybe he would leave her alone for a while. It was all she could hope for now.

 

That's what all the experts said. But Dana Katherine Scully was nothing if she wasn't stubborn.

 

Tony reached between her legs and roughly began searching for an opening.

 

Scully wanted to leave her mind, imagine herself in a better place. A place with Mulder. Mulder. The tears burned furiously down her cheeks and she looked around the room desperate for something to lock onto. Something to fight for in this sudden hell.

 

"Oh...shit...yeah, that's it..." Tony whispered as he found what he was looking for and pulled his hand away. And then he was pressing himself into her.

 

Don't, Dana...Don't think about it...Find a way out...there has to...Oh God, it hurts! Stop! Stop!

 

And, as if her eyes had gained some sort of infrared capability, she saw it: lying right there beside her.

 

As Tony started moving faster, his grip on her arms loosened with sweat. If she pulled free, she would get less than a second to grab it. He moaned again, and she went completely limp. His hand slid slightly and she pushed with everything she had and freed her right arm. With speed that could only have come from pure adrenaline, she brought the butt of the gun crashing into his temple.

 

He landed with a thud on top of her.

 

****

 

As Mulder approached the gate, he thought he saw a flash of movement in the unlit kitchen. He heard the sound of a door being opened and froze as he waited expectantly for someone to come out of the house...but no one did. A few seconds later, the bay window was awash with light.

 

He crept up slowly to the house when the sounds of sirens sounded in the distance. Mulder interpreted this to mean he had less time to get inside so he sprinted up to the side of the small house, ducking beneath the bay window in effort to get to the door. The sirens grew louder and now he could make out the blur of blue and red lights flashing two hills down the road.

 

The front door was ajar. He straightened his gun arm so that it was even with his shoulder, prepared for the inevitable and immediate confrontation, and pushed his way inside.

 

But the room was empty.

 

He kept his gun trained as he surveyed the entire kitchen, adjacent living room, and the immediately visible area of the hallway. He noticed the wireless phone laying haphazardly beside the charger, but other than that, nothing out of place. Mulder walked toward the hallway to continue his search and the ceiling burst into red and blue flames; he watched in horror as two cruisers pulled into the drive in front of the ranch.

 

Shit! Patterson called the cops.

 

As he watched the policemen get out of their cars, he noticed an ambulance pulling up behind them.

 

What the hell? Why would they have sent an amb--u--his stomach dropped into his shoes-- Scully!

 

He raced down the hallway and came to a screeching halt two feet from the entrance of a doorway.

 

"Ungh..." a deep voice groaned. "Wharrrthefuuuck?"

 

Mulder pressed himself to the wall, gun tucked under his chin, as he heard heavy footsteps in the same room now just on the other side of the barrier.

 

"Dane? Daaaa-na?" There were more, quicker footfalls, followed by silence, and then, "Shiiiiiit!"

 

Around the corner emerged an irate-looking Tony Patterson -- dressed only in boxers and sporting a gash on the side of his head that oozed a dark red.

 

"Don't. Move."

 

The image that had replayed so sadistically in Mulder's mind for days rolled behind his eyes, but now with a fresh perspective. Scully had attacked Tony. Who was nearly nude. In the bedroom. His grip on the trigger tightened as his stomach heaved.

 

"WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?"

 

Tony glared in bewilderment at the man who was holding a gun in his face at arm's length, not seeing in the dim light the sheen that covered Mulder's forehead or how sickly green his skin had suddenly turned. "Do?"

 

"SCULLY!"

 

Just then, Mulder could hear the commotion of people entering the open door and, keeping his gun pointed at Tony's head, moved backwards into the bedroom and flipped on the light. The sounds of the cops were getting closer and he felt comfortable enough to leave Tony with them.

 

There was no one in the room. Had she fled to some other part of the house? It wasn't that large, the majority of it he had already searched before coming down the hall. He saw an entrance to a smaller room and ran towards it. Again, Mulder turned on the lights to find nothing there but a toilet, shower, sink, and a door that appeared to seal the closet.

 

He could hear Tony's loud and vulgar protests behind him as the cops yelled harsh commands for him to surrender. Mulder knew he had seconds at the most before he would be found and questioned. He darted for the closet door and threw it wide.

 

And his heart seemed to literally shred itself with the sight he was presented.

 

Scully, her shirt on backwards, nude below that, a pair of jeans clutched in one hand while the other pointed a gun straight into his face. Her eyes bugged wide as she realized who she was looking at. The gun dropped dangerously to the ground as she rushed head-long into his chest.

 

The sound of police bursting into the room, bellowing for Mulder to put his hands up was the only thing that could have kept him from enveloping her in his arms until the world stopped spinning.

 

"No" Scully choked. "No, it-it's okay. He's not th-the guy. He's okay."

 

"M'am?"

 

They both looked toward the sound on Mulder's right to see a young, female police officer eyeing them warily.

 

Scully held up her hand for a second before backing into the closet and closing it. She emerged less than ten seconds later with her jeans on.

 

The cop had moved close enough to Mulder that he was able to identify the name on her badge: Kennedy. "M'am, on the phone you said you'd--" she glanced from Scully to Mulder and back, "you'd been hurt."

 

Oh God, no. No, please, not this, he thought as the urge to wrap her up in himself heightened. Instead, Mulder looked down at Scully -- who had kept a good distance of over five feet after getting her pants on -- and saw her eyes squeeze shut: putting up the only wall she had for the moment.

 

"We have the paramedics here to attend to you."

 

Scully nodded and then her eyes flew open, darting past Mulder into the bedroom. "Did you find him?"

 

"Yes, m'am. He's being dealt with by my partner and two other officers at the moment." Officer Kennedy glanced again at Mulder.

 

"Sir, may I ask--"

 

"He's my husband," Scully interjected with a ferocity of which he didn't know she was currently capable.

 

"Ah. Well then, I will leave you two here while I go get you some help."

 

"Thank you," they both replied.

 

As Mulder stared at Scully in the silence, he was reminded of a moment so very long ago. He had tracked Donnie Pfaster down at Pfaster's mother's house, just in time to find him straddling a bound and gagged Scully. While he helped remove her restraints, he saw just how strong the woman before him was. The fact that she allowed herself some release, with him, in the moments afterward only amplified that observation.

 

"I'm okay," she spoke at last.

 

He thought about that. "Yeah, well, I'm not."

 

"Sorry about the husband thing, I thought that it would provide the best explanation given the situation."

 

Wait. She was apologizing to him? She had just been -- he skipped over the word, unable to face the horror that had happened on his watch -- and she was apologizing for claiming that he was something that he would give anything to be to her. She was worried about his uneasiness? This was insane!

 

He was about to express his opinion when she spoke again.

 

"Actually, I think it might be best if you wait outside--"

 

"Scully--"

 

Her pleading eyes stopped him cold.

 

"Okay, I'll be waiting in the ambulance."

 

She was looking at the floor as she nodded.

 

His right hand quivered as it longed to touch her again, but he doubted that was the best idea. Turning slowly, he began walking out of the room and missed the tear that ran down her cheek as she watched him go.

 

*************

END PART 12/?

*************

 
 
 
cbfiles
15 March 2010 @ 08:50 pm

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 11/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)




Wednesday, April 16, 2008

4:32pm

 

Scully was halfway up the steps to the house Tony had just informed her had been built by his late wife's father, admiring its beauty despite the disgust she felt at the circumstances in which she was being introduced, when a horrible screeching of rubber on asphalt sounded in her ears: The sound that was usually followed by a loud crash as two automobiles plowed into one another.

 

Tony's unyielding grip on her hand caused her to spin with him as they faced the offensive noise's origin, bringing into view the most awe-inspiring and glorious sight she had ever witnessed.

 

"Mulder!" she gasped at the same time Tony growled, "Motherfucker."

 

Instinct, combined with longing, had Scully desperately wrenching her hand from Tony's; a move that proved futile and extremely stupid. Tony tightened his hold exponentially and pulled her to him so roughly that she nearly face-planted into his chest. He let go of her hand only to grab her by the shoulders so rigidly it would leave finger-shaped bruises on her upper arms for the next week.

 

"Dana, if you don't do exactly as I say, then your 'Mulder' will not live to see another day. Do not forget just how strongly I feel about keeping you away from him. And that I know where he sleeps at night." The sound of the spoken subject's engine racing served to emphasize this point. "You have a home here...but so do I."  He grabbed her chin and forced her to see the intensity that burned behind his eyes. "And I am not above ending one man's life to preserve my family."

 

Scully's mind whirled, a million different tactics running through her head. There has to be a way out of this. A way that will keep Mulder safe while making him see that I am in danger. If I get the chance to slip away from Tony now while he is unarmed then I could escape with Mulder without--

 

It was at that moment, as the white sedan fishtailed into the driveway that would lead Mulder to the front property gate, that Tony pulled a switchblade from his pocket and held the icy blade against the skin of her neck.

 

"Don't force my hand, Dana." His voice was gentle and soothing as he pleaded, but his eyes were fierce with bubbling rage.

 

"You touch me and your cover is completely blown."

 

"I could never harm you that way." The smile he presented her with as he pulled his shoulders back to tower with intimidation over her could only be described as that of a madman. "But he doesn't know that, does he?"

 

The gears went into overdrive in her mind and Tony's intentions finally became clear: make it look as though she is in mortal danger to goad Mulder into getting close enough for Tony to attack. She nodded, sniffling as tears of anger and helplessness brimmed over her lids. A car door slammed.

 

"Scull-ee!"

 

Oh God...The dam broke inside her and she could feel her breathing hitch as the voice she had longed to hear called to her from a distance so close and yet impossibly too far away.

 

"Get your hands off her now!" Mulder hollered at the man who now trudged up to the gate with a smirk as he hugged Scully to his side.

 

"Mr. Mulder, I suggest you calm down unless you feel the need for the Richmond PD to join us."

 

"Scully?" he said, ignoring the man who had her pressed so closely to him. "What's going on here? Are you okay?"

 

Mulder's voice cracked on his last word and she looked into his face for the first time only to wish like hell that she hadn't. Standing less than twenty feet away – just on the other side of short, electronic gate – she could see the dark half-moons under his eyes, the stubble of his new beard, and the utter anguish over finding her seemingly safe – and in another man's arms, no less – in his hazel eyes. Looking into them she felt as though her heart had been lacerated by the bluntest instrument.  She averted her gaze down his body, the clouds overhead moving to throw the sun off the collar of his shirt causing her to take notice of a glint of gold there.

 

He found it.

 

"Obviously, she is not," Tony replied before Scully's brain could begin to move past this new revelation. "Which is exactly why you need to leave."

 

Mulder took a step forward and put both hands on the gate. "The only way I walk away is if she tells me to."

 

Tony rubbed her left arm in what she assumed was meant to look like a consoling gesture and Mulder all but growled at the man's presumptuousness. However, Scully was too far gone to notice as her mind racked itself for some clue to give Mulder. The last thing she wanted was for him to go. She wanted to scream at him to see that she was anything but fine. That she was being held here against her will. But everything she thought of would mean danger for Mulder and possibly for the innocent boy who was tucked away inside the house behind her.

 

Scully could feel Tony's eyes boring down upon her as she looked at the man who had been the only one to tether her to reality for the last decade. She knew Mulder meant exactly what he said and that it would take the Richmond PD SWAT team and the FBI combined to move him from that gate. Or, a blade to my throat, she thought miserably. Her mind recalled all the previous times Mulder had managed to somehow move Heaven and Earth to find her when she was so close to Death. Once, Mulder had saved her when had less than a second to spare. She shuddered as an image of Jerry Schnauz, poised inches from her nose with a metal pick to stab into her brain, flashed behind her eyes.

 

And an idea so ridiculous it could only make sense to Mulder hit her.

 

"Mulder," she managed to choke out finally. "You shouldn't have come here. This has been coming for a long time." Her words sounded hollow in her head and she swallowed down the bile that rose upon saying them. "'Nicht aufgeben'. You said it yourself. It's why we shouldn't be together--"

 

"Scully, don't--"

 

"Nicht aufgeben," she repeated, her voice louder and clearer as she pronounced the phrase carefully, while praying Tony had never taken German. "Remember? Mulder, please don't make this harder than it already is."

 

Mulder's face was still wrenched with heartbreak, but there was now a question there that made her hope that she had broken through. "I can't walk away now, Scully. I won't."

 

"I'm pretty sure she met your qualifications for doing just that," Tony chided in warning, pressing a kiss to the top of Scully's head for good measure.

 

Mulder looked like he was about to either throw up or start unloading a gun into something. Scully's hands shook as her muscles fought to keep her from lunging for him: to feel his arms around her, to make him see that she didn't want to be here, to make him understand how much she loved him for coming after her despite the horrible letter she left him.

 

"I love you, Scully."

 

And that was too much. She turned in to Tony's chest to keep anyone from seeing the torment on her face.

                                                                                  

The next sound she heard was that of Mulder's car door closing.

 

****


5:06pm

 

Mulder weaved down the familiar road impatiently, his home computer seemingly further away than it had ever been. "Nicht aufgeben, nicht aufgeben," he said for the two-hundredth time since he'd sped away from the sight of Scully finding solace in another man's arms. Why did Scully say that like it should mean something to him?

Something had been off about that whole horrible scene back there, he was sure. Patterson had let Dana speak. And he had let her see him. If she had been kidnapped, would Tony have played such a risky hand? Scully could have just blurted out the whole story and tried to get away from him...

 

Was the idea that Scully was with him voluntarily really worse than the idea that she had been kidnapped and, most likely, assaulted? Mulder shook his head violently to ward off the shudder that passed through him.

 

He had started profiling Patterson the second he found out who he was. But meeting him in person, seeing him with Scully, hearing him speak, watching his body language told him so much more than he could have ever guessed.

 

Tony was a big man, bigger than himself, Mulder realized with dismay. Probably weighed over two-twenty and was pure muscle. He tried not to think what that kind of physical advantage could mean to Scully's safety. And, Mulder thought bitterly, if Patterson felt that comfortable with physical affection in public, what the hell was possibly going on behind closed doors? Not one second had gone by during Mulder's visit to the ranch when Tony didn't have physical contact with Scully in some way: the hand-holding, gripping her around the waist, rubbing her arm, kissing the top of her head. Yes, Tony was a possessive man. And the voice Tony used was one of male intimidation: not irate or overly loud, but filled with enough bass and command to get the message across that he was not to be trifled with when it came to things that he deemed as "his". And Scully seemed to sit high up on that list.

 

Mulder's mind went back over the last words Scully spoke to him and the foreign phrase "nicht aufgeben" repeated in his head. He didn't know what language it was, though it sounded harsh like German...the language he suddenly remembered Scully had studied in college.

 

He raced up the steps to his empty house, fiddled with the key and lock, then burst through the room to make it to the machine he hoped would hold some answers.

 

****


10:39pm

 

It had all been coming together so perfectly. Tony could see it in Dana's posture as they walked hand-in-hand across the grounds: she was beginning to trust him. And then the metaphorical rug had been fucking yanked out from under him.

 

That fucking bastard!

 

Tony was walking back from the main house where he had just tucked his son in for bed after reading him three chapters of Gulliver's Travels, Jeffrey's new favorite book. A flash of light to his right caught his attention: his neighbors had just returned home and their headlights lit up the pitch black street. The light it cast brought a formerly invisible white Ford sedan into view. It sat, formerly hidden, beneath a tall hickory across the street from his neighbor's home but seeing the car for the second time that day ignited a new fury inside of Tony.

 

He should have called the cops. Tony had been toying with the idea all day, of course, but had hoped in vain that Mulder might have given up on Dana after seeing her safely in Tony's arms. If he didn't have to bring attention to the ranch, then it would be that much easier to carry on with his original plot: buying time to win Dana to his side. But that asshole hadn't taken the hint.

 

Tony wondered again about the story Dana had given him -- after demanding to be taken back to her room -- about the weird phrase she had said to Fox Mulder not once, but twice. He couldn't remember the exact words or pronunciation, having been too absorbed with malice over having his territory infiltrated to have paid it the proper attention. Dana had explained that it was the name of a dive where she and Mulder had an argument about choices and commitment. An argument she thought would make sense in context of her new "living arrangement".

 

So either she had been lying, though he seriously doubted it, or this Mulder dickhead was simply that glutton for punishment. Tony didn't look at the car again, instead quickening his pace for the guest house. His stomach growled, dinner long forgotten in the excitement of the day. He usually ate right before taking Dana her meal, but other things had been more important at the time and afterwards he had gone back to the main house to spend some overdue quality time with Jeffrey and Nana.

 

This was how, at nearly eleven o'clock in the evening he came to find a three-quarters full bottle of amber liquid taunting him from the back of the pantry. He licked his lips as the long-suppressed desire tingled from his head down to the tips of his fingers. Ten months, he mused, ten months since the last time I gave in.

 

With trembling hands he ignored the siren's song, grabbing instead the ingredients for a grilled cheese sandwich. As Tony swallowed down the last two bites of the buttery sandwich, staring out the bay window into near nothingness, the full moon came out from behind clouds to cast a silver glow upon the distant and formerly imperceptible Ford sedan. Something like a tiger roared inside him, demanding to be heard. Tony yanked his plate from the table and headed over to the sink to rinse. The creature within grew indignant at being ignored, longing for some kind of outlet. Tony put the plate into the dishwasher and gazed longingly at the pantry door.


He slammed the machine closed, turned on his heel, and reached into the cabinet for a glass.

 

 

****

 

THREE HOURS EARLIER

 

 

Scully lay in a crumpled ball on the floor of the closet that provided her the only privacy in the house. She had been there since Tony had left her still-untouched tray of food, maintaining the usual schedule. It had been hard to keep from losing it immediately after Mulder had gone, but she didn't know how long it would take for her to calm down so she willed herself to keep it together until after dinner time. Stripped of nearly everything else, her mourning would be on her terms.

 

Her mind cruelly replayed the look of betrayal on Mulder's face. The confusion. The desperation. And, finally, the resolution.

 

Did he actually believe that I would leave him that way?

 

She knew her German clue was a long shot, but she could think of no other way to get a message through to him with Tony standing right there, ready to attack if he was so fortunate.

 

The man she had come to know as gentle and caring in the last week had transformed into something entirely other when Mulder had burst into the picture. Seeing just how deadly serious Tony was about taking Mulder out of the picture for good brought on fresh waves of nausea and her throat convulsed in a preemptive strike against any liquid that might come its way.

 

She wondered what Mulder was doing right that moment. Had he translated her clue? Was he still profiling Tony the way Scully imagined he must have to have found her today? Had he called Skinner or the cops to do an investigation with the new information he had?

 

Or had he not understood the message and given up on her?

 

Tears streamed down her cheeks at the idea and she didn't attempt to brush them away as penance for not having been able to come up with anything resembling an escape plan in the seven days she had been here. After the sobs quieted, an intense exhaustion crept over her and she flirted with the idea of staying in the closet, but quickly discarded that notion when she imagined what kind of knee-jerk reaction Tony might have to her lack of video-monitored visibility. Instead, she used the darkness to change into her usual pajamas.

 

The digital clock read "9:26pm" when she crawled beneath the heavy down comforter. It read "9:30pm" when her eyes fluttered open and shut for the last time before sleep claimed her.

 

*************

END PART 11/?

*************
 
 
cbfiles
14 March 2010 @ 04:20 pm

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 10/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

 

SUMMARY:  see part I

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)




Patterson Residence

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

 

3:29pm

 

Twelve hours before Mulder had sat in the same exact spot as he was in now, just far enough away from the house to remain inconspicuous if the man drove up. And fifteen minutes ago, Mulder’s nails had drawn blood in his palms, when the “suspect” finally made an appearance. The voicemail Mulder had received from Skinner that morning "confirming" that Scully was safe became nothing more than a distant – though utterly distasteful – memory.

 

Tony had pulled up to the house – Mulder noticed he did not park in the garage, just as he had supposed – and got out with a small, dark haired boy…who was approximately William’s age. Oh God. Mulder had known about the child, but seeing him up close, knowing what kind of monster his father was…Unless the child was part of the reason he took Scully…Was it watching the boy – Jeffrey, he recalled from the file – get along so well with Scully, and her surely amazing bedside manner, that won Tony over? 

 

Tony was dressed in khakis and a short-sleeved polo, a combination that Mulder assumed was his work uniform. Computech. Wonder what that gives him access to…

 

There had been no apprehension in Tony’s movements, but Mulder kept waiting for the moment when cautious eyes would turn his direction. Bring it, motherfucker. Mulder had glanced down at the Sig in the seat beside him, but felt rather disappointed when the man and his son casually strolled inside.

 

Now, not even twenty minutes later, Mulder watched in shock as Jeffrey sprinted from the house, his backpack banging heavily against his back. He breathed a quick sigh of relief when it was obvious there was no danger to Jeffrey as he was pulling on the locked car door handle impatiently. Tony sauntered out a few seconds later, laughing in a smug way that made it hard for Mulder to stay put, and hit the keyfob button to allow Jeffrey passage inside.

 

Mulder couldn’t believe his luck as Tony backed out of the driveway and took off in the opposite direction, allowing Mulder an easy way to follow without making the dreaded and all too-conspicuous three-point turn.

 

****

 

Scully scrubbed her face with her hands, feeling the hot water run over and between her fingers, the near-scalding water rinsing away the day’s confusing feelings. It was the first time she had been fully nude in the shower since she got here. But Tony had told her he would be leaving at three to pick Jeffrey up from school and she for once trusted him enough to believe no one would be watching the monitors.

 

She was shocked at how easily Tony had worn down her walls of doubt and hatred towards him. Oh, she sure as hell knew that he was messed up – most likely because of losing his wife in such a tragic fashion – but was he truly dangerous? She was more sure than ever that the answer to that question was “no”. Kidnapping was one thing. Assaulting was another.

 

So Scully had come up with her own game plan: pretend to be his friend by acting less defensive and more open. The first step was to accept his invitation to leave the room. So she did her laundry. What she didn’t expect was the conversation that ensued.

 

It was amazingly easy to fall back into her role as an agent – picking apart every move he made, trying to find motives and explanations. So, as she sat there with him, listening, she began a mental-list:

 

1.      He still watches after his mother-in-law. He is caring.

2.      He seems to truly hold a lot of affection for his son. Witnessed from the peace he gets when talking about him and his time with him at the hospital.

3.      He is courteous and considerate. He goes out of his way not to look at me or make me feel awkward when he enters and leaves the room. Also witnessed by the privacy he afforded me doing the laundry and the ample amounts of non-drugged food he continues to supply me with.

4.      He is gentle. Even when he was coming after me when I tried to escape he did everything he could not to hurt or harm me.

5.      He has little to no interest (as far as I know) in other women. Proven by how much time he put into stalking me and with holding me here.

6.      He thinks I am the one who should be with him for the rest of “my” life.

7.      He respects every wish of mine (BUT ONE: FREEDOM).

 

She shivered under the water, thinking back to the last revelation she had discovered: the nightmares. It was strange to her that she didn’t remember them, though she could imagine that being kidnapped again would have traumatized her mind enough to produce them. But all that was beside the point: Tony was coming into her room at night. While the idea was disturbing, there was absolutely no indication that he was covering or being deceptive in his explanation about why. And he had done everything he could to keep her from being further torment by bolting before Scully knew he was there.

 

These thoughts had her so enraptured that it wasn’t until her chattering teeth caught her tongue in a painful clamp that she realized how long she had been in there.

 

*****

 

Mulder parked his white Ford sedan in front of a house conveniently located caddy corner from the large ranch that Patterson somehow had access to. He immediately committed the address of the home to memory so he could check it out as soon as he got back. He reached into the glove compartment for the binoculars he’d stashed there earlier and scooped up five loose sunflower seeds from where the bag had spilled out onto the passenger seat. Training the lenses on the silver car, he watched as it rolled to a stop in front of a large two-story dwelling that looked like something out of a classic movie. The beautiful frame house was painted a cream with dark brown trim. The wrap-around porch had a large stoop with two chocolate pillars welcoming Tony and Jeffrey as they made their way in with a key.

 

So this house either belongs to them, too, or Tony is involved deeply enough with someone that they would trust him with a key. Interesting. While the two were shielded from Mulder’s eyes behind the walls of the house, Mulder used that time to examine the rest of the property. There was a gate that he could easily jump – no taller than the gate he and Scully had in front of their own property – but he didn’t want to risk getting caught and having Skinner keeping an eye on him to keep him from the property. Not to mention the restraining order that would surely follow.

 

But seeing this ranch was so much more than Mulder dared to hope for, so the idea of blowing it by rash decisions was not an option. As soon as Tony put the key in the door, Mulder knew: Scully was here. He shifted his magnified gaze from the house to the parts of the ranch that were obscured by large hickory and cherry trees. Swinging the car door open, he crept out and moved to get a better angle on the brush.

 

There was some kind of tan colored building, like a shed or something behind the trees about a hundred yards from the back of the main house. Mulder darted across the street hoping to get a less obstructed view. As he did Mulder heard a door close and the sound of heavy footsteps on a wooden porch. He shifted to see Tony walking quickly from the main house to the building where Mulder was now positive Scully was being kept. His heart began racing, sweat forming on his brow, wishing to God that he had some kind of proof that Scully was okay. That letting Tony go on living another second did not equate to Scully being assaulted – again! Again you idiot! Are you really gonna let him hurt her again? Go after him! – and that he needed to stay put to gain more information and possibly have something to present Skinner.

 

If he hadn’t been holding the binoculars, his fingernails would surely have done further damage to his recently scabbed over palms. Everything inside Mulder screamed, go, but he remembered the last time he had done such a thing. And he knew Scully was in no position to save his ass if he got into trouble. The irony that swathed the fact that this was the very first time that Mulder chose not to throw caution to the wind in search of a truth that might save the only person who meant anything and everything to him was infuriating. And, as he watched Tony fumble with his key, he prayed to whatever benevolent God there might be to watch over Scully.

 

****

 

Tony closed the entry door behind him and relocked the double deadbolt. He had not looked forward to seeing Dana this much since back when she worked at the hospital. There was something new about her. Not that she was back to normal, but he had noticed how seeing the sun for the first time in so many days had lifted her shoulders. His mind replayed the image of her, the rays highlighting the blonde streaks in her mass of copper waves – she had not taken the effort to straighten it in the fashion he had always seen when was at the hospital – while she seemed to absorb every particle of sunlight that enriched the air around her, and it made his heart swell with hope. So occupied by the vision in his mind's eye he didn't see the piece of paper in the hallway before the sole of his loafer slipped on it. Catching himself on the door frame of Dana's room, he stooped down to pick up the folded sheet and opened it.

 

"I know you only come to my room based on those scheduled hours you told me about before, but I was wondering if that could change. Can I come out again?"

 

The joy he had felt after watching Dana eat now escalated into what he could only describe as a high. He hastily pocketed the note, pulled out his key (now kept with his others on his key chain since the incidence where Dana had slipped it away from him after rendering him unconscious) and knocked on the door three times.

 

"Dana?" he called noticing that the room was void of her presence. It was then that he realized he had forgotten to wait the usual time and knock again like the ritual he usually performed. Her note had clearly thrown him.

 

"One second," came a slightly panicked reply from the bathroom.

 

"No problem." Tony moved to sit on the chaise to wait, not wanting to alarm her further. She must have written the note much earlier, he surmised.

 

When she finally emerged, a long three minutes later, his eyes nearly shot out of his head, his gasp echoing off the walls before he could stop it. Her hair was slightly damp, waves of crimson falling over her shoulders leaving black drops on her fitted, brown scoopneck shirt. His eyes fell over her curves down to the khaki pedal pushers that left her pale feet obscenely exposed, tiny coral painted toes teasing him where he now shifted in his seat.

 

"Sorry," she said in a voice was hard to hear over the din caused by the roar of blood pounding in his head as it rushed in time with his racing heart. "I lost track of time. I thought I would be more presentable by the time you found my letter."

 

Presentable? You couldn't be more presentable if you had just spent five hours in the salon, he thought but was only able to smile like an idiot, mumbling, "S'okay."

 

"So," Scully said, pretending not to notice the effect she was having on him, "do you think we could work something out?"

 

Get your mind out of the fucking gutter, Tony! This is what you have been working for...don't blow it by being a pervert! "Yeah. Yes. Of course." Stop grinning, moron! "I mean...well, what did you have in mind exactly?"

 

Her brow furrowed. "I get to ask?"

 

"Of course," he replied instantly. Tony felt the urge to pull her into his lap and never let go. Deep breath, take it slow, one step at a time. "You know what my qualifications are, right?"

 

Her face remained expressionless as she nodded.

 

"So?"

 

"Can you show me around the ranch?"

 

He hesitated, thinking about what chances she would have to escape or cause some sort of scene. His neighbors weren't close but they were within hearing and viewing distance. This could prove tricky but...well, it would have to happen sooner or later. A thought popped into his head. "Jeffrey might see us."

 

Her head cocked to the side, a question etched on her forehead. "But I thought that was a good thing?"

 

He nodded emphatically in agreement before amending, "It will need to be worked out between us first as to what we will tell him."

 

"You mean why I'm here?"

 

He nodded again. "I don't like lying to him, but I obviously can't tell him the whole truth about how you came to be here."

 

"So how did I come to be here, then?"

 

Tony studied her for a second: There was no sarcasm or bitterness in her question which he found a little jarring. She simply wanted to know how this would be explained to his little boy.

 

"He's only six," he smirked, "so while his age holds the possibility of a million follow-up questions it also means he will probably be too excited by seeing you to care about much else. I think we should just tell him you're staying in the guest house for awhile because...well, because I asked you to."

 

"That's it?"

 

Tony laughed. "Yeah, I think so. Like I said, he's only six." He glanced down at her hand and then back up.

 

"What's wrong?"

 

Could she really read him that easily? he wondered. "Well, I...I haven't brought anyone else home since his mother..."

 

Dana moved to sit across him on the bed. He didn't miss the fact that it was the first time she had gotten close, let alone sit, upon it since the night she found him there beside her. "It will be confusing for him to see another female presence. He'll jump to conclusions."

 

"Yeah," he sighed. I just wish I could affirm those jumps. "How do I know that you won't do anything to try and free yourself? Obviously, if Jeffrey's there, I won't be able to restrain you in any way. Don't misunderstand me: I want this to happen. More than anything. But I also can't compromise my son's security and future by allowing you the opportunity to make a break for it."

 

"So what can I do to make you believe that I won't try something?"

 

Tony knew he couldn't use ties, handcuffs, or gags, but he did have a physical advantage. "I have an idea. But it will involve doing something that you have, so far, been deeply averse to."

 

"Mmm, hmm..."

 

"I will need to touch you..."

 

Dana's eyes dropped to the floor between them. "I thought you might say that."

 

"If it's too much, then we may have to put this off..."

 

"No," she said more calmly than he supposed Dana must feel. "I understand the necessity. It's a fair request considering what you are putting on the line so that I can get out of this room for a little while."

 

Wow.

 

They sat in silence for a few more seconds before Dana stood and moved towards the bathroom. "Can you give me five minutes to dry my hair?"

 

"Of course, Dana."

 

****

 

Mulder, having decided -- after nearly twenty minutes of self-loathing -- that sticking around would have been counterproductive, was picking up speed as the ranch moved into the Ford's rearview mirror. He glanced up to eye the beautiful abomination and felt his stomach lurch when he noticed two figures walking up the stoop of the main house: Tony and a petite woman who could be none other than his Scully. And they were holding hands.

 

The sound of Mulder's tires squealing and his engine revving as he spun the Ford around was enough to stop them in their tracks.

*************

END PART 10/?

*************


 

 
 
cbfiles
23 February 2010 @ 06:56 pm

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 9/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)




Patterson Residence

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

11:58pm

 

Mulder dug into the bag of sunflower seeds, which he had purchased at the twenty-four hour gas station when he finally made the turn off the freeway, and stared again at the night-darkened, split-level house. Separating the seed from the shell with his tongue, he spat the remains into the now-disgusting insides of a used Styrofoam cup -- something he only did when Scully wasn't around.  He felt safe enough in his spot, four houses down and across the street, but he knew that Skinner would blow a gasket if he somehow found out about Mulder's stakeout.

 

And, to be fair, Mulder hadn't planned on ending up here. He had collapsed on the old, beat-up leather couch in the living room around nine-forty-five. It was a place he hadn't slept -- overnight anyway -- in almost seven years. But there was no way in hell he could bring himself to sleep in that bed again. As he had lain there, staring up at the wood-paneled ceiling, the visions he had tried to escape by keeping his eyes open still tortured him: The bastard, Tony Patterson, with his hands gripping the headboard, Scully writhing beneath him...

 

He had pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes so hard he saw stars. And that was okay with him...anything was better than imagining...

 

Uuuhhh-aaaaauughhh!!! Shit. Shit, shit, SHIT! 

 

Mulder had rolled over, trying to push the obscene thoughts away by focusing on the facts:

Number One: Scully would not have left her cross there by accident.

Number Two: The cross meant that she had been in danger. Was still in danger.

Number Three: Tony's fingerprints had been on the headboard, which meant...

 

That motherfucking son-of-a-bitch raped her! Unbidden images of the hundreds of sexual assault victim photos he’d studied over the years had flashed through his mind. He couldn’t help the tears that had streamed down his face at the thought of her being violated in that way. Oh God, Scully… I will fucking rip every limb from his body...

 

Mulder had been hurt both for himself and for Scully when Skinner seemed to believe the lies so easily. But he knew evidence was always something his old friend had felt more comfortable with: Seeing is believing. And he wasn’t upset with the guy for buying Patterson’s story. The bastard had been very clever.

 

But Mulder knew clever wouldn’t keep him safe. Mulder would find the truth. And Mulder would save Scully.

 

And then he was off the couch and back in front of the computer screen: staring at the address he had found earlier for one Anthony Walker Patterson. The map had glowed, taunting him in the pitch black office and he had taken comfort in the cool touch of steel in his palm as he gripped the gun more firmly. Mulder had hit print then, secured the gun at the small of his back, grabbed the warm sheet of paper off the printer, and headed out into the night.

 

He glanced around the neighborhood streets, lined with dogwoods whose blooms were closing in the night, hoping that Patterson's silver 2007 Passat would pull around the corner at any second. But there was no sign of him. There was a chance, Mulder knew, that the car could be parked in the garage, but something told him that wasn't the case.

 

When three more hours passed with no sign of him, Mulder finally turned around and drove home. He would come back, though: Tomorrow, same time of day when Patterson was found to be here yesterday. Mulder would be waiting.

 

 

Anderton Residence

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

8:57am

 

Tony had just returned to his mother-in-law's ranch when the blue flip-phone began chirping. He saw the DC area code and took a deep breath, trying to decelerate his racing heart.

 

"Hello," he answered. Calm and cool, Tony. Calm and cool.

 

"Good morning," came the gruff, unfamiliar voice. "Is this Charles Scully?"

 

"It is."

 

"Charles, my name is Walter Skinner--"

 

"Ah, yes, Mr. Skinner. I was told you'd be calling."

 

There was a brief pause on the other end, and Tony suddenly wondered if that had been the right thing to say.

 

"Yes, well. I assume you know who I need to speak with?"

 

"Yes, I do." Tony pressed the play button on the miniature tape recorder, turned it up to full volume, and then walked to the other side of the basement room. The sounds of Dana and Jeffrey's laughter filled the cool room.

 

"Is she there?"

 

"Yes," he replied confidently, waiting for the dialogue he knew came next on his edited tape.

 

"I've already told you that story three times," Dana laughed, the sound slightly tinny through the speaker.

 

"She's here." Tony replied at the same time his son began talking on the tape.

 

"But I love the way you do the pig noises," Jeffrey's tinny voice pleaded. "Daddy does it all wrong. Tell her, Daddy!"

 

Tony moved his mouth away from the phone the tiniest bit. "Aunt Dana has a phone call."

 

"PLEASE!" the boy had all but screamed, pouting the way only a six-year-old can. "Just one more..."

 

"No, it's okay," Skinner said over the clamor; Tony raised his eyes to skyward, throwing up a silent prayer of thanks. "I don't want to cause a fight. It sounds like you've got a lot going on and I don't mean to intrude."

 

There was more of the purposely muffled conversation between Dana and Jeffrey playing in the background as Tony politely asked, "Are you sure? I mean--"

 

"No, I just wanted to check in and make sure she was okay. Please tell her I called. She knows where to reach me if she needs to."

 

"Okay, sure, no problem."

 

And the line went dead.

 

 

12:24pm

 

Tony performed the routine like he always did -- knock, count to ten, unlock the deadbolt, count to ten, open the door, try not to look at her -- and found a curious sight when he entered the room: Dana was sitting in the chaise, book open on its belly across her lap, a shy smile on her face. He suddenly felt like the nervous, pimply teenage geek who had wound up alone in a classroom with the most popular girl in school.

 

He quickly averted his eyes back to the tray of food -- spinach salad with balsamic dressing on the side, a small loaf of pumpernickel, a plastic container of goat cheese, red apple, sealed bottle of lemonade and one of water -- and set it carefully on the bed.

 

"Thank you," she said for the second time that day -- the first being when he brought breakfast.

 

Still feeling her eyes on him, but not wanting to push his luck, he turned as casually as possible and headed for the door. He stopped when he saw the white wicker hamper by the door.

 

“Uh, yeah, I am sort of running low.”

 

“No, that’s fine,” he said and looked down at the rug beneath his shoes. “I, uh, do you mind if I use Tide? You’re not allergic or anything—”

 

“That’s fine,” she answered, a smile in her voice making it impossible for him not to drink in the sight.

 

Dana and Tony faced off for the first time since he had stood over her with a knife over four days before.

 

“I was wondering if your offer still stood.” Tony’s brow furrowed in confusion. “I’d like to do my own laundry.”

 

“Oh. Oh! Oh yeah, sure that’s no problem.” He shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his navy blue jeans, as he suddenly had no idea what else to do with them. “I-uh…I’ll carry the basket, you grab your lunch and bring it with you. The laundry room is just off the side of the kitchen so you can eat in there while you wait.”

 

Scully sat in mild shock at his non-suspicious manner. She passed it off as self-confidence: After the knife incident, he probably removed any possible weapon. However, his generosity wasn’t lost on her. She placed a marker in the book, set it on the side table, rose, and retrieved the tray.

 

A stray lock of hair fell out of the band and, unable to move it with her hands full, she wrinkled her nose against the tickling sensation and tossed her head to knock it away.

 

God, she’s beautiful, Tony admired. Beautiful and deadly, though. He quickly moved in front of her to unlock the door. “I’ve locked all the exits, so please,” he whispered huskily, “don’t try anything.”

 

She managed an embarrassed grin and nodded her head.

 

****

 

“So what is this place?” she said, placing a delicate hand in front of her mouth while she ate a chunk of bread smeared with goat cheese. Scully looked out through the bay window of the breakfast nook and could see the distant mountains in the horizon.

 

“It’s my mother-in-law’s ranch. Jeffrey’s Nana.”

 

She waited, hoping he might supply a name, but he just sat there casting furtive glances when he thought she wasn’t paying attention. “It’s beautiful out here.”

 

He nodded his head in agreement, two locks of straight, dark hair falling in front of his eyes. “Since, Mary passed we stay here more than we do our house. It’s Jeffrey’s favorite place in the world. He thinks the world of his Nana.”

 

“I’m sure.”

 

“But she’s not doing so well lately,” he added as though it were an explanation for Dana’s “extended stay”.  “Mary’s death was hard on her, too. And her health just seems to continue deteriorating.”

“What’s wrong with her?”

 

“She broke her hip about eight or nine months ago doing some of her routine chores out in the barn. She went through rehab, she was better for awhile…but she seems to be in more pain lately.”

 

“Tony…” His eyes widened for a split second when she finally said his first name and she continued on, “None of this makes any sense. You keeping me here. It’s not -- you’re  not—”

 

“What?” he all but begged, soaking up every word she produced like it was water and he was lost in the desert.

 

“You’re a good guy.” Even with Tony’s tanned skin, the scarlet of his cheeks shown through. “I don’t understand why you wouldn’t rather try to find—”

 

“Someone else?” he finished for her and she nodded. He didn’t miss the fact that her body had seemed to move closer to his over the table as she spoke. “I’ve only felt this way about one other woman in my life, Dana. There’s no one else when you’re around.”

 

The two sat in a silent face-off, the silence becoming awkward as they waited for the other to speak. Then out of nowhere, Tony dropped his face into his hands over the table and his shoulders shook with what Scully could hear was laughter.

 

“Ummm…”

 

Tony rested his chin on the heel of his hand, blue eyes sparkling with moisture, and saw the utterly bemused look on Dana’s face. “I just…I wish I knew what you were thinking right now.”

 

Scully raised an eyebrow sarcastically and Tony grinned.

 

“Okay, maybe not.”

 

The buzzer on the washer made them both jump. With a sigh, Tony stood and led Dana into the laundry room again. He turned his back so that she wouldn’t have to handle her undergarments in front of him.

 

“I put a small shopping bag on the shelf over the washer so you could put the things you didn’t want to dry in there.” He thought of the bras and hose that used to hang over his and Mary’s shower, smiling. “You can take them back to your room easier that way.”

 

“Thank you,” she replied and opened the cabinet door to see the shelf he had spoken about.

 

“Sure.”

 

Scully stuffed the rest of her clothes into the dryer and closed the door. Once the machine hummed to life, Tony took her wrist – she didn’t cringe this time, though – and escorted her back to the kitchen table. She sat down, gazing again at the Virginia countryside  stretched out behind glass, wondering what Mulder was doing right that very second.

 

She wondered if he had given up on her yet.

 

Tony observed the relaxed, though still pensive, expression on Dana’s face and then let his eyes roam her over: the swell of her breasts beneath the green crew-neck tee, the way it shaped itself to her curves and the flat of the stomach, the faded denim that she had rolled up once to keep from tripping over the too-long ends, down to her feet clad only in plain, white socks. He couldn't help but remember the bliss it had been to touch her bare arms, to breathe her in, to taste her, to have her trust.... And then, it had all gone so, so fucking wrong, he reminded himself. But now...she looks almost happy.

 

"Dana, can I say something?"

 

She turned her face slowly away from the window to concentrate on him. "Okay."

 

"I am so happy you came out to do your laundry. Whether you believe it or not, I am one-hundred percent aware that I am keeping you here against your will. But I don't want it to be that way."

 

I know. That's what makes this so damn strange. But she merely nodded.

 

"So..." he trailed off shyly, biting his lower lip.

 

"Something's been bothering me."

 

A thousand possibilities ran through his head. "Yeah?"

 

"The other day, when..." she knew from his darkened expression that she didn't need to explain further so continued, "did you stay because I asked you to?"

 

Scully studied him then, the way she remembered Mulder doing when he interrogated a suspect -- or her. He had never missed a thing. And neither would she: Tony's eyes widened for just a fraction of a second, darting from her face to the left and back, his Adam's apple bobbed, his fingers balled up to get a firmer grip on his jeans, and his nostrils flared. "No."

 

She remained quiet, not releasing him from her gaze. Scully wanted to curse at him, to scream, draw some kind of normal, criminal response from him. "Kill 'em with kindness, Dana," her dad used to tell her when she would come home in tears over being bullied at school. Well, Tony had been killing her over the last few days...driving her mad with confusion. And now this...Why the hell should he lie about this? Why should he care about my personal integrity? It's not like I expect him to lose any sleep over--Oh my God.

 

"Have I had any more nightmares?" This time his reaction was slightly more pronounced, and he couldn't even look at her.

 

It was only when she gasped that he broke down, the truth flowing freely from his lips now. "Dana, I'm so sorry," he breathed, reaching for her hand and then curling his fingers up when he guessed what kind of reaction that would get from her. "I didn't--I know you didn't want me to---I just couldn't take seeing you---your screams---I'm sorry!"

 

Scully's next action was so unexpected that she was shocked when she saw her own hand resting over his, her fingers applying pressure across his, her smile reflecting back from his clear, blue eyes.

 

"Dana?"

 

And then the buzzer on the dryer went off and, feigning fright at the sound, Scully yanked her hand back.

 

*************

END PART 9/?

*************

 
 
cbfiles
21 February 2010 @ 07:33 pm
   

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 8/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)





Tuesday - April 15, 2008

Residence of Fox Mulder & Dana Scully               

Just Outside Richmond, VA

3:12pm

    

"We found a match--"

 

"Who? Why did it take so long--"

 

"He wasn't in the FBI database, Mulder, let me explain."

 

"I'm listening," he said and sucked in a lungful of air after the initial adrenaline rush.

 

"The guy is on file as working for a Richmond-based, technology retail corporation. They require all employees to have their prints taken for security purposes."

 

Mulder could hear the slight static and muffled noise of the air conditioner circulating recycled air. "You're in your car?"

 

There was no reply.

"Where is he--"

 

"Mulder--"

 

"You're bringing him in for questioning, right? Tell me where to meet--"

 

"I don't think that's a good idea."

 

"Why not?"

 

There was a rustling of fabric coming through the phone like Skinner was shifting around. A thousand questions demanded attention, but for some reason the one Mulder blurted was "What part of the house were his fingerprints pulled from?"

 

More silence. A long string of obscenities ran through Mulder's head and his eyes shot down to the bottom drawer where he kept his newly-licensed concealed handgun. "You can't expect me to just sit here now that we've got answers!"

 

"Yeah," Skinner admitted through gritted teeth. "I know. Look, I need you to promise me you will let us handle this the way we are authorized to...if you can't control yourself and the investigation is blown because of some legal slip-up--"

 

"I promise," Mulder said in as calm a voice as he could manage given the sprint his heart was doing. "I need to be there, Walter."

 

The use of his first name didn't surprise him as much as he would have thought: Mulder was reminding him of the personal cost this visit could hold for both of them.

 

Mulder could hear the heavy sigh through the phone and inwardly cheered at his victory.

 

"I'm only halfway between DC and Richmond. I'll pick you up in an hour."

 

****

 

4:22pm

 

Mulder answered the door feeling slightly foolish and heavily underdressed, in jeans and a henley, before an Armani-swathed FBI Deputy Director. He opened the door and stepped forward towards the stoop but Skinner's arm shot out to block him.

 

"There's been a change of plans," Skinner sighed, brushing by his utterly bewildered friend.

 

Mulder's eyes followed inquisitively as Skinner marched into his and Scully's living room. "What change? We aren't going to the Richmond Field Office?"

 

"No. He's no longer a suspect--"

 

"WHAT?"

 

"They arrived at his home thirty minutes ago. He was very cooperative and," Skinner swallowed, praying Mulder would miss the beads of sweat that were forming above his eyebrows, "they searched his property. There was no one there besides his young son."

 

"So what? That doesn't prove a fucking thing!"

 

"Mulder..." he implored, eyes closed, knowing this was about to get infinitely more heated. He gripped the "former" suspect's file in his hands with the extreme care a snake-handler would give a viper, knowing the deleterious power contained within.

 

"I want to--"

 

"MULDER!"

 

Daggers of fury flew from Mulder's eyes, his mouth falling open to protest, but before he could utter a word Skinner said, "You need to sit down."

 

A cold chill passed through Mulder's body and the room seemed to sway. "Sh-she-she's not..."

 

"No, Mulder, she's fine," Skinner quickly assured him and gestured to the couch. "But I do have some news. You need to take a seat."

 

Both men moved so that they faced one another on the couch. Skinner extended Mulder a thin manila file folder which he took with quivering fingers. Opening the file, his eyes immediately fell to the small ID picture at the top right corner of the opening page and he gasped.

 

"Mulder?" Confusion was clear in Skinner's voice, and Mulder's next words came as a complete shock.

 

"I know this man," he said without pulling his eyes from the photo. "His son was a recent patient of Scully's. The boy had been in a car crash. Drunk driver," he spouted off from memory of his and Scully's conversation at the grocery store. Alarms shrilled inside his head as he recalled with awful precision the admiring, almost-worshipful look in the man's -- he skimmed his eyes down the paper to confirm the man's name, Anthony Walker Patterson -- eyes as they lit upon Scully.

 

He jumped from the couch. "IT'S HIM! THIS IS THE GUY!" And then he remembered where he was currently and the news he had just received and glared at Skinner, voice full of indignation as he thundered, "You let him go?"

 

"Sit down, Mulder."

 

"The hell I will--"

 

Jesus, Mulder. Don't make me do this. "There's information you don't have."

 

"What are you talking about?" His voice was impatient, but he finally took Skinner's advice and sat gingerly on the edge of the couch cushion.

 

"Mulder, what I'm about to tell you...I don't relish being the one to bring you this news, but the last thing I want is for you to find out from someone else..." Well, besides the woman who owes him one hell of an explanation, he thought bitterly. Skinner looked around the room, straightened his tie, adjusted his blazer...anything to delay the inevitable.  With nothing else to be done, he fixed his eyes back on Mulder's narrowed ones. "Tony Patterson claims that he and Dana have been seeing each other in secret for several weeks."

 

The statement caught Mulder so off-guard he felt like he had just run into a plate glass window. The room vanished: all he could see was Scully's letter thrust before his eyes, the words fire as they leapt off the page to scorch him from head to toe.

 

I've met someone.

 

Skinner could do nothing to stop it happening. He watched as the whites around Mulder's eyes doubled in size. Watched as the blood drained from his face. Watched as his shoulders hitched from hyperventilation.

 

"WHAT? He-he's lying!"

 

"We suspected the same." Mulder's head jerked up at this bit of news. "But there is evidence. He showed us text messages, sent from her cell to his, that date back to March fifth."

 

Mulder doubled over, as if Skinner had physically punched him in the stomach; his fingers formed claws on his scalp, gripping the locks of hair between. "The fingerprints."

 

Fuck! Don't make me say this Mulder. Of all the things you could have thought of...

 

"Where?"

 

"Mulder..."

 

"WHERE?" He jumped to his feet, eyes blazing; Skinner expected steam to burst from his ears at any second.

 

"The doors, the bathroom...the headboard."

 

Mulder staggered backward a step, as though he'd been shot; his jaw dropped for less than a millisecond before it snapped shut like a steel trap. He glanced at the couch cushion, the far wall by the kitchen, the porch, his office...and then he clenched his eyelids shut. There wasn't anywhere in that room that didn't hold memories of her body pressed against his.

 

"What about her absence from work?"

 

Skinner sighed heavily. "She did that to avoid you...after you found the note."

 

"Wait, one of your agents spoke to her?"

 

"No. She is staying with a relative for a little while. We have her contact information to do a follow-up," he said, making it clear that he wasn't about to hand over that little nugget.

 

"And have you?"

 

"I'm waiting until I get back to the office."

 

He turned away from Skinner, eyes still closed.

 

"I'd like to be alone."

 

Skinner hesitated. Mulder was not in any shape to be by himself right now and he knew it. He'd seen the depths of the man's depression when Scully disappeared and, though this was a very different disappearance, he knew Mulder would try to secure answers. If someone interfered....

 

"I can't do that."

 

Mulder slowly turned back around, but couldn't find the strength to lift his head. "You don't need to worry about me, Walter. I just need some time..."

 

"Are you sure you can handle this on your own...it's been a rough few days. I don't know--"

 

"I don't want an audience for this."

 

Skinner had nothing to say to that.

 

"Look, do you want me to check in or something later? I know how suicide watches work. This ain't my first rodeo." Somehow the humor was lost on both of them.

 

"Yeah. If I don't hear from you by the time I make it to DC, I'm hauling my ass back out here." Mulder snorted sarcastically. "And then I'm hauling yours back with me."

 

"Message received."

 

****

Twenty minutes after Skinner left, Mulder was sitting in his office. The piece of paper in front of him was full of angry scrawls as his pen moved feverishly along the lines. There were two distinct columns made obvious only by the space between.

 

                                                           

 

Text Messages              She didn't text to                                                                 warn him we'd be at                                                                    the store

 

Fingerprints                   He came here to get                                                           her things

 

His home was empty              He's keeping her                                                                  somewhere else                                              (check for other                                              properties in his                                                       name or w/possible

                                           connection)

 

She's still gone               No one has talked to                                                                  her; could be a ruse                                                                              to buy time            

 

Last known contact: Thursday around 2pm 

 

Mulder looked at the list he had made and saw that he had left the most important thing off. The only thing that was keeping him sane.

In huge, bold print, he wrote:

 

THE CROSS

 

 

*************

END PART 8/?

*************
 
 
cbfiles
20 February 2010 @ 11:23 pm
 

TITLE:  Corrigenda (part 7/?)

GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTB

SUMMARY:  see part I

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)





Saturday - April 12, 2008

Residence of Fox Mulder & Dana Scully               

Just Outside Richmond, VA

9:57am

 

Mulder awoke to vivid bright light streaming through the window -- but at a very strange angle. He was on his bed, but now it wasn't in its frame. And then he remembered: searching the room, casting the mattress to the floor, finding Scully's cross.

 

"Shit!" he cursed, realizing he must have dozed off while processing this new information.

 

It had been a long three days and, with the jet-lag and the loneliness of a bed without Scully, insomnia had been a bitch. And he couldn't imagine how much of a nightmare the last three days had been for her...though, whether it was three days or simply 18 hours, he had no idea. He fingered the cross around his neck and pushed off the mattress like a man possessed -- there was no more time to waste.

 

 

2:21pm

 

Skinner pulled up to the house for the second time in twenty-four hours. He had been absolutely beside himself with shock as he drove home in the wee hours of the morning, not fully comprehending just what the hell he had left behind.

 

 

 

 

Mulder had told him the gate would be open for him, and Skinner pulled up their drive to find the man standing on the porch when his headlights descended upon the house. In the brightness, Mulder's skin had been washed out and ghostly pale -- except for two dark circles around eyes that were an angry scarlet -- against the edges of his dark sweatshirt. There was a piece of worn-looking paper clutched in his hand, but when Skinner asked about it Mulder had just ushered him inside without a word.

 

He had shown Skinner their bedroom -- outside of showing up, so many years ago, at Mulder's apartment in the early morning, greeted at the door by Scully who was wearing her partner's shirt and looking like she had just gotten out of bed, Skinner couldn't think of a less uncomfortable moment in his life. Mulder had moved with frantic steps, showing Skinner the closet and bathroom, completely empty of any clothing or items that would indicate a woman was living there.

 

"Mulder," he had begun, the sick feeling in his stomach having grown larger with every glance around the room.

 

But Mulder had continued on as though he hadn't heard. "We'll need a search team--I don't know how long she's been gone. We need to call her work. Check for fing--"

 

"Mulder, STOP!"

 

The man's eyes had been wild, nostrils flared as he turned on his burly friend.

 

"There's something you're not telling me," he had said in voice that was decidedly less harsh. It had been painful to even look upon Mulder when he knew the desperate hope to which the man had been clinging.

 

Mulder had shifted his weight from his left to his right, still unwilling to share.

 

"I need to know what you know."

 

His hazel eyes had darted to Skinner's shoes, then his own hand -- still holding the sheet of paper, before returning to Skinner's. "They, uh..." He had to clear his throat. "Whoever took her...they forced her to write this."

 

Skinner's eyebrow had risen upon the word "force" and he held his hand out for what he now assumed was a letter from Scully to Mulder. No wonder he had been reluctant to give it up.

 

As he studied her script, he couldn't imagine the utter agony that had ripped through Mulder's heart upon reading it. Hell, it was hard enough for him to do so. Skinner knew all the pair had been through over the last fifteen years...to be tossed aside for another man in a fucking note? He couldn't picture the Dana he knew doing something like this. It had only been weeks since he himself had driven her, nearly outside of her mind with worry, to save Mulder from being decapitated.

 

No, this couldn't be true. Unless...unless that worry had stemmed from her own guilt. Skinner still didn't believe she would have been so gutless to avoid breaking the news to Mulder in person.

 

No. Not after William.

 

He had glanced up at the man across from him, waiting with baited breath for Skinner to tell him that he was right: that it had to have been a kidnapping. But Skinner had simply been unable to string Mulder's hopes along that way. If harm had really fallen upon Scully, there would be other ways to take action: ones that Skinner would see to as soon as he got back to his office -- without having to shred an already fragile Mulder into pieces in the process.

 

 

 

 

But that was before Mulder had come up with the necklace. Scully's cross. Now they had something substantial to go on. And so, here he was, stepping into their home again; but now he brought reinforcements in the way of a search team. The first step was to try and lift fingerprints.

 

"Got in touch with the administrator who spoke to Scully," Mulder said, all standard greetings thrown out the window: he was in full, Special-Agent-mode now, and Skinner was hugely comforted by that familiar presence. "She called on Thursday afternoon, said she needed to put in for a leave of absence. Family emergency."

 

"How long?" Skinner asked.

 

Mulder's expression grew even more serious. "Indefinite."

 

"I'll have one of my men contact the hospital's phone service, see if we can pin down the location of her call." Mulder nodded. "In the meantime, I need you to direct Agents Parreli and Lauo to the best place to begin dusting this place down."

 

"What about--"

 

"Before you get too excited Mulder, just know that I can only do so much. I am pulling all the strings I can, but I am facing a couple of road blocks who are having a hard time qualifying this as 'Missing Persons'."

 

"How's that?" Mulder all but growled.

 

Skinner cleared his throat and gave him a knowing glance. "The only possessions taken were hers. There are absolutely no signs of struggle--"

 

"The cross is a sign of struggle. You know that. That's why you came back. Scully and I set up this system years ago. You're one of the few people still left who know about it. And there have to be more signs! We haven't looked hard enough," he interrupted, taking a step towards his former boss. "Maybe she wasn't abducted here--"

 

"But her car, her things, Mulder. What are you suggesting?"

 

"I don't know," he admitted and paced back and forth in front of the entrance to his office. "I think we need to start with the hospital. Maybe someone grabbed her in the parking lot. We can check the video, right? Surely we'll see something..."

 

Skinner shook his head. "That's--you're talking about searching three days worth of footage from God only knows how many cameras. I warned you that I don't have much manpower, Mulder. And we don't even know for sure that she was taken from the hospital. She could have been anywhere!"

 

Mulder's mouth was open and Skinner waited for his verbal assault. But nothing came.

 

"Mulder?" Skinner said when the silence from the broken man became too much for him to take.

 

"Hopefully something will turn up from the fingerprints then," he replied and turned to find the Agents he saw pulling out their equipment from the corner of his eye.

 

Skinner grabbed his elbow before he could take a step. Something else had been bothering him, too. He just hadn't wanted to be the one to voice it. He motioned for Mulder to follow him out to the front porch.

 

Mulder's patience was nonexistent -- every second that passed was one that could mean the difference between Scully living or dying. "What's wrong?"

 

"I just...Mulder do you think her disappearance could be tied to the X-Files?"

 

A bitter laugh escaped the taller man's lips.

 

"I don't really see the joke."

 

"Sorry, it's, uh...No. If I thought that then I wouldn't have let the enemies through the door."

 

Skinner glanced through to the entryway, affirming as much with a small, embarrassed smile. "Let's get to work then."

 

 

Anderton Residence

Richmond, VA

6:18pm

 

True to form, three knocks came from the door, signaling Tony's presence before he unlocked and entered Scully's quarters. She stood opposite the door on the far wall. When the situation originally presented itself at breakfast, she had briefly considered hiding in the restroom or closet until he was gone, but quickly dismissed that as cowardice. The idea also registered of sitting in the chair -- not the bed, never the bed -- while she pretended to be engrossed in one of the novels he had provided, ignoring him completely. However, she didn't like the idea of being in such a vulnerable state, as a seated position would offer her little in the way of bodily protection should the need present itself.

 

And, so far, it had not.

 

That morning, Tony had walked Scully back to "her" room and then left, only stepping across its threshold to close and lock the door. Two hours later, a note had been shoved through the miniscule air between the wood of the door and the floor. Nearly forty-five minutes passed before she could bring herself to fetch it, opening the letter warily, as though the paper itself could do harm. It had been typed, the only handwriting coming in the form of his scrawled signature at the bottom.


                       Dana-

           

I'm writing you this because I am more than certain that, after this morning's events, you would probably eat a bullet if it meant you never had to see or talk to me again. And I don't blame you. It even crossed my mind to take you back to your house so that you wouldn't feel the mental anguish your stay here (in a house with someone you think wants to rape you...God, just typing that word makes me want to die) has caused. But I can't go to jail for kidnapping. I won't let Jeffrey lose both his parents. The whole purpose of bringing you here, into our lives, was in hopes that he could grow up with two parents who loved him.

 

But I'm rambling now. The point of this is to let you know how it's going to be from now on, or until you tell me differently. I will knock on your door three times to give you time to gather yourself before letting myself in with your meal. Expect me at some point during the following times:

 

BREAKFAST: 7:30-7:45


Scully had glanced at the clock then, realizing he would be there any minute and moved as far from the door as she could manage without making it look like it was on purpose. She would not allow herself to show fear.


 

LUNCH: 12:15-12:30

DINNER: 6:15-6:30

 

I will place the tray of food on your bed and then leave immediately after. You can place the tray near the door when you finish and I will take it when I come back for the next meal. I will bring enough food and drink that you can save up some for snacks or whatever. I will never make you ask. I don't see you as being very comfortable with that -- hope you don't take that as arrogance on my part, I just remember when you tried to starve yourself. You seem like a proud person. On that note, I will also occasionally bring you things to help with the boredom I know you must be experiencing. If you don't want them, don't use them.

 

If you need to do laundry, you can fill the hamper in your closet and leave it by the door. Or, if you would rather do it yourself, I will walk you to the laundry room -- but I have to warn you that I will be there while you complete it. If you ever need more of anything -- toilet paper, toothpaste, etc. -- just place the item to be disposed of by the door and I will return with its replacement the next time I see you.

 

Finally, I just want to remind you that I do NOT want to keep you in that room forever. People aren't meant to be caged. You must be feeling more like a prisoner than ever before. But I don't WANT you in there, Dana. You can come out as soon as you realize that what you have here is a home. You can see Jeffrey and even go out in public by yourself.

 

But not until I know the threat against myself and Jeffrey are gone. When you can love us as much as we love you.

 

And then there were three raps on her door.

 

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END PART 7/?

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