Title: Mystery at St Mary Magdalene
Author: Mary
Feedback: fwerle@hotmail.com
Category: MSR, SA, H
Rating: PG13 (I guess, nothing graphic just discussion of sexual harassment)
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: Fox Mulder and Dana Scully belong to CC.

Summary: Mulder and Scully go undercover to an all girls school

Note: This is my first fanfic so be gentle with me. I'd appreciate your comments. I must thank my first beta reader, Evie Whiting, who has helped me a lot! Thanks Evie. Enjoy!


Mulder and Scully's office
Monday 8:00 a.m

Mulder was sitting at his desk when the love of his life walked in looking more tired than usual.

"What's up Scully? You don't look good today," he said walking straight to her.

"Thanks a lot," she replied sarcastically, trying to avoid Mulder's hand who deftly put it back again on her forehead to check her temperature.

"Mulder I said I'm..."

"Fine, yeah, I know, you're always fine wonder woman. Scully, Dammit! You still have a temperature. What are you doing here anyway? We agreed that if you still had a temperature you wouldn't come to work today."

"I know what we said but ..." Scully paused when the phone rang.

"I'll get it" She was glad to have an excuse to avoid Mulder's wrath a little bit longer. From the moment they decided to take the next step, which by the way had been a natural step in their relationship, he had turn even more possessive than before. She found it endearing but felt bad for Mulder who was anxious all the time.

"Yes, We'll be right there." She hung up and looked at him with a non-too happy expression.

"We have a case?" he asked.

"Yeah, that was Skinner. He wants to see us asap in his office." she said, not looking him in the eye.

"Look. I know you don't like to stay at home and rest but I think you should. And don't look at me that way!"

"I'm sorry" she said contritely. "Let's make a deal. We go to the meeting, see what this case is about and then you take me home. What do you say?" She had been getting closer little by little and now was in the process of bringing up the big guns, which she knew would melt him away. She started poking him in the ribs as the same time she was pouting and giving him one of her sweet looks, so precious to him.

"Uhhh..... Scully" he groaned. "You know what that look does to me and together with the pout is too much. You really do know when to bring up the big guns. OOOkay, let's go... But, remember we have a deal."

She stretched a little and kissed him on the lips. They left the office together and headed for Skinner's office. Once they got there Skinner's secretary let them trough. They both realized that their boss seemed a little bit tense. Well, more than usual. They were looking at each other, having one of their famous silent dialogues, when Skinner coughed in order to remind them of his presence. 'Those two...' he thought. 'How do they do it?'

"Let me tell you something first. I don't have to remind you that the relationship between the X-Files division and the rest of the bureau is quite tense, don't I?" he stared at them.

"No, sir," they both answered although Mulder was wondering 'what's new?'

"It has come to my attention a new case that has been sent directly from my superiors. They think that apparently due to your lack of effectiveness to close the last cases, you could be of help with this one."

He handed them a copy of the document. They were starting to go through the file when, suddenly, Scully asked, "What's this sir?" At the same time Mulder was whispering "Oh, Oh". He didn't want to look at Scully because he knew what he would see: fury. Yes, Scully would be furious at this undercover assignment.

"Sir, please, there must be some kind of confusion. I can't go undercover like a high school senior student. I don't look young enough."

When Mulder heard her he was sure he could not only detect anger in her voice but also sadness. 'Why would Scully be sad?' he wondered.

"Listen Agents, I know this is out of your league, but it should be fairly simple. Just a case of sexual harassment. You just have to find who the guy is, which won't be very difficult considering it's an all girls' school. You, Mulder, will be a PE teacher who's going to stand in for a Mrs Andrews. I want you to catch this guy fast. The faster you work, the faster you'll be back in the basement."

"Is that all sir?" Scully asked with a forlorn look on her face.

"Yes, agents, you're dismissed." Skinner didn't bother to look up.

Mulder put a hand on the small of Scully's back and guided her toward the elevators. As soon as the doors closed she rested against Mulder. "Mulder, I can't do this." He held her tightly and asked, "Why Scully, why are you so upset about this? Tell me."

"It's just..." she started saying when the elevator stopped and a couple of agents got in. Scully stood up straighter. Once in the basement, Mulder started again. "Scully please, can you talk to me?"

She was standing with her back to him. "Mulder, you have no idea what high school was like for me. You know that we used to move quite often because of my dad's duties and you also know it's not easy for me to get along with people just like that."

"Yeah, I know." Mulder interrupted. Scully gave him one of her I-don't-think-it's-time-to mock - looks, which made him look at her sheepishly.

"Sorry," he said.

"Cutting a long story short, everybody hated me Mulder. I was always the laughing stock, being red haired, geeky and everything. Please, Mulder don't make me do it, I'm begging you, please..."

Mulder couldn't decide between laughing at Scully's whining or comforting her. Seeing that she was really sad, he chose the latter. "Scully..." he said grabbing her in a bear hug. "I want you to listen to me, K?"

"K."

"I understand what you've told me and you know high school was not one of the happiest times of my life but this is work, we have to concentrate on catching that guy. The fastest we catch him, the fastest we come back. I know that you're also upset 'cause they chose you for your looks. Hey..." he added, looking at Scully in the eye and wagging his eyebrows, "I chose you for your looks too."

"Mulder!" she slapped him playfully on the arm. "Come on. You have to take me shopping." She started gathering her things.

"Shopping? Oh, I know, a cure for depression." he added picking up his coat.

"No, for the assignment. If I have to look like a seventeen year-old again, I need to renew my wardrobe."

Mulder had just finished locking the door when he leered at her and added, "I'm dying to see you wearing a uniform Scully."

"Ask my mom for a picture," she muttered. "On second thoughts, don't." She sneezed.


Shopping Mall
Monday 3:30 p.m

Scully had been sneezing and sniffing since they left the Hoover building. "Scully, you promised" Mulder said standing akimbo in the middle of 'Gappy', one of the most conservative stores in the mall. "And besides, why are we even looking here? What about the stores we saw before?"

Scully, who had been perusing the section of ruffle dresses, turned around, sneezed once more and answered, "I know, I know and as soon as we finish buying you can take me home, tuck me in bed and kiss me good night. Is that better?"

"No, but you're right. We have to fly tomorrow and we need to get everything ready today. Why are we buying here again?" he asked tickling her on the side.

"Mulder, stop. We are buying here because we are going to a nun's school. Girls there tend to be more traditional than in other schools. I can't go there looking like a......like a... a streetwalker," she whispered. "What about this one?" She kept looking through the dresses and skirts.

"Scully! some of those items of clothing you are referring to didn't look that bad to me. And, besides, I met a couple of girls from a nun's school and let me tell you, they were NOT traditional at all. Of course, being Phoebe's friends that's understandable."

"Of course" Scully said sarcastically walking toward the fitting rooms. A couple of minutes later she emerged looking rather disgusted at her appearance.

"Oh, Scully, you look adorable!" he was grinning like an idiot. "I hate being adorable."

"Look Scully, this one looks nice too, and what do you think about this one? Oh, look at that! A shirt with frills! Isn't it cute?"

She sighed, picked a couple of dresses ad skirts and went to the cashiers.

"Mulder, I need the... darn! where are you? Mulder!" At that moment she spotted him talking to an old lady with a pair of overalls in his hand. She couldn't believe her ears.

"You say she's blonde... Yeah, I think this will suit her."

Someone tapped him on the shoulder. "Hey Scully. Check these overalls." He was trying to imagine how they would look on her when she snatched them out of his hand and put them back on the shelf.

"Hey!"

"Mulder give me your credit card and let's get out of here."

"I'm paying?! Shouldn't the Bureau pay for these stuff?" Scully was dragging him toward the cashiers while ordering him to grab the bags.


Later
Scully's Apartment

Mulder was in the kitchen making Scully a sandwich for dinner. She had been sleeping since they arrived from the mall and he knew the flu had affected her stomach as well. She was eating less than before. He couldn't understand how she could be sated with just a slice of pizza when he could easily wolf down a whole one himself.

He was taking the sandwich out of the microwave when he heard her groaning. 'Probably dreaming' he thought. With the snack on a plate he walked to Scully's room, peeked through the door and saw her tossing and turning. He got closer and checked her temperature. 'Still too hot. Must take some medicine again.'

"Scully...Scully..." he shook her shoulder. "Scully wake up, I've brought you something to eat. Come on..."

"Mmmmm...Mldrrrr..." she slurred. "I don't wanna eat. Not hungry."

"Sorry, but you have to eat so you can take some medicine."

"K"

Mulder had to help her sit up. She was obviously too dazed to do it on her own. As she was nibbling her sandwich, he fetched the medicine from the bathroom cabinet.

"Take this."

"But Mulder, this'll knock me out."

"That's the idea. I want you rested for tomorrow. We have a long day ahead of us. Take It." he insisted.

"Ok.... Arrrg...I hate the flavor it has."

"Here, drink this to wash it down." She gulped it down greedily.

"Good girl" She looked at him out of the corner of her eye when he patted her head.

"Now, I want you to go back to sleep. Sweet dreams, Scully."

He gently tucked her in and kissed her on the forehead. She was almost asleep but she managed to raise a hand to beckon him and say one word: "Stay"

'As if I was going to leave you' he thought while retrieving his pajamas. After changing, he lay down spooned behind her and she immediately reached for him covering his body with hers.


Flight 205
10:30 a.m.

It was cold inside the plane. Scully had been sneezing for five minutes when she felt Mulder cover her up with a blanket.

"Thanks Mulder, I was freezing."

"Why didn't you say something?" She just shrugged.

"This medicine doesn't seem to be working, Scully. I think you should take something stronger."

He was about to go on ranting when he noticed she was still shivering.

"Still cold?" he asked her rechecking her temperature.

"Yeah" She was trying to get some sleep but, so far, had been unsuccessful.

"C'mere." She was half laying on him, tucked in a warm blanket and surrounded by Mulder smell. 'What else could I ask for?' she thought and made an encouraging sound.

"Mmmmmmm. Just a little TLC and I'll be fine. Stop worrying Mulder, you'll get wrinkles."

He chuckled. "Scully, you're delirious. Go to sleep."

With that, she closed her eyes and he watched her as she fell into a peaceful rest. 'It was about time' he thought.


Same Day
6:30 p.m.

Mulder had been driving around Hillsburg for almost twenty minutes trying to find the way to the hotel where they had made reservations the day before. He had been cursorily checking Scully for any sign of distress. He was shocked at how much she had been sleeping lately. 'Must be this flu.' he thought.

After spending ten more minutes navigating through the quaint little village, he found their hotel.

He parked the car and checked them in. When he got back, he noticed Scully was still sleeping so he decided to carry her to the room. Luckily for him, all the rooms were on the first floor. The hotel was actually like a row of wooden bungalows, all beautifully painted. The smell of the surrounding eucalyptus completed the perfect atmosphere.

He gently deposited Scully on the bed and proceeded to unpack both his and her luggage. Almost two hours later, he heard Scully tossing and turning on the bed. He turned the volume of the TV down and was about to check on her when she appeared in his room, all rumpled for bed and rubbing her eyes like a child.

"Feeling better, Scully?"

"Mmmmmhhhhh..." she nodded while sitting astride Mulder on the bed and putting her arms round him.

"You do look a little bit better. Your fever's lower. What time do you have to take the antibiotic?"

"At midnighhhhhh..." A yawn interrupted her. "What are you watching?"

"Nothing in particular. I was just channel-hopping."

"Oh, goody!" With that, she snatched the remote control and started switching channels until she found something she liked. 'Oh, no. The Sound of Music, Scully?'

"Oh, I love this movie." she exclaimed setting the remote control on the comforter. "Do you like it, Mulder?"

"Aaaa... well...it's a...a nice movie." he concluded. During the following hour nothing could be heard in the room, except the sounds of the television and Scully's yawning. In between 'DO-RE-MI', Mulder decided to check her temperature. 'Damn! She's still quite warm.

Well, my dear, no school for you tomorrow. I'll write a note to your teacher.' Chuckling at his own joke, he fell asleep.


Next Day
St. Mary Magdalene School
8:00 a.m.

It was a beautiful day. Neither too cold, nor too warm. When Mulder woke up that morning, he found that Scully was still running a fever.

Actually, she had been in and out of sleep all night so she obviously wasn't up and about to go to school. She had put up a small argument about that, which showed how tired she really was. After finally convincing her that staying at home one more day was for her benefit, he got ready himself and drove off.

Now that he was approaching the school, he started having second thoughts about this. 'Am I ready to do this? All those teenagers acting hormonal around you. I know how they act. Scully, you've obviously been out of contact with teenagers for a long time. What do I know about being a teacher anyway? Oooh, I should have brushed up on my self-defense for beginners. Oh well, everything is worth it just to see Scully wearing a uniform.'

The sight of an impressive building interrupted his musings. "Oh-My-God."

St. Mary Magdalene could have actually been described as a French Renaissance monument. It was huge. Everything was exquisite, from the French glass windows to the carved archways. The gardens seemed to stretch on forever. Pink roses, all in bloom delineated the main path.

'Enough gaping. I gotta see the inside of this monument.' He parked the car at the entrance and a man dressed like a valet, who was apparently in charge of welcoming people, drove it toward what looked like a parking area. When he got into the building he felt as if someone had knocked the air out of him. And that wasn't an easy task to be accomplished. He had visited Europe's finest buildings but this one was certainly among the finest ones he had ever seen.

He was examining a painting on a side wall when he heard someone calling him.

"Mister Mcleerry? Come this way, please." He heard a young nun say.

"It's Mcleary. I'm here to see..." The nun interrupted him.

"Yes, I know. You are the new PE teacher standing in for Mrs Andrews. The Mother Superior is waiting for you. If you will follow me." She led Mulder through a series of wide hallways. When they got to an impressive double wooden door, she stopped and knocked. Another nun, Sister Cecilia, asked them to come into a small foyer before the actual office. A moment later he heard another voice. "Do you like art Mr...?" He hadn't realized he was staring at the paintings. He turned around and, as they were left alone, introduced himself.

"I'm agent Mulder. And, yes, in fact I love art."

"Oh, how rude of me! I'm the Mother Superior. Thank you for being here. Please, come into my office." A moment later they were sitting comfortably in her office, just the two of them.

"I must say I don't know where to start." She started with an expression of concern.

"Why don't you start telling me what you know about this man that is harassing the girls? What have the girls told you?"

"Well, that's the problem. We don't know who is doing this, not even if it's a man." Mulder's interest resurfaced.

"What do you mean?"

"Two months ago, one of the senior students was found in the cellar of the building with her shirt off and in a state of daze. Our first suspicion was that she had been using drugs. But nothing could be ttracedin the medical exam."

"Had she been raped?"

"No. We feared for that but fortunately she wasn't."

"Did she say why she had been there or what she had been doing before?"

"No. That's also strange. She said she couldn't remember anything, not even how she had got there. Unfortunately, Claire was not the only one. A week later Mindy, another senior student, was found walking dazedly around the small chapel in the same state of undress. The same thing has happened three times already. To tell you the truth, I'm scared."

"It's understandable. How are the girls doing now?"

"They are strong girls, Mr.Mulder. They have the strength of the Lord."

"Yeah, but maybe they also need some help from the Earth." They both chuckled.

"They have been in, well I don't want to call it therapy but, sessions with Sister Sorrow."

"Sister Sorrow?" he asked with a grin on his face.

"Nuns can also study Mr.Mulder," she answered seriously.

He instantly regretted his bad timing.

"That's all I can tell you so far. You can talk to Sister Sorrow, of course. She is the only one who knows yours and your assistant's real identity."

"Partner." "Beg your pardon?"

"She is not my assistant. She is my partner." He emphasized the word word partner. "I'm sorry she is not here today. She is down with the flu. She'll be here first thing in the morning."

"That's Ok. It will give you one more day to prepare. Sister Cecilia will show you around and help you in every way she can."

"Thank you Mother Superior. Could you give me a list of the people that are actually working or living here? That would be very helpful."

"I'll ask Sister Cecilia to get it ready for you." Whispering close to him she added, "She can type too, you know."

Blushing, he let Sister Cecilia guide him toward the exercise room.

"Here's the key to the locker that contains all he stuff you're going to need for your classes." She produced a bronze key and opened the locker.

"Here." She gave him the key. "You think you know how to use all these stuff?" 'Are they mocking me or what?' he thought.

"Yeah, I do," he answered patiently.

With that, Sister Cecilia left him alone. "Ok. Let's see what we have here." No sooner had he taken the first thing in sight, a box, when everything that was behind it came tumbling down over him.

"F**K!" He could hear all the girls giggling behind him and a couple of nuns frowning. "Well done, Mulder," he muttered.

**

Back at the Hotel
Same Day 6:00 p.m.

When Mulder got back to the hotel, he found Scully getting her school clothes ready for the following day.

"Damn! I was hoping to find you trying on your uniform."

"Mulder! You scared me! Don't do that!" She looked at him accusingly while retrieving her clothes from the bed. "Hopefully, you won't see me in them until tomorrow."

"I guess I'll have to wait then." He sat on the bed and started removing his tie.

"Patience is a virtue Mulder. Although, in your case, I'm not sure."

"Scully, I'm offended." With that, he grabbed Scully from behind using his tie as a makeshift lasso and both fell on the bed.

"Well, Are you going to tell me what happened today or not?" she asked him resting her elbows on both sides of his head.

"A bunch of nuns kept making fun of me." He whined.

"What?!"

"Never mind. I talked to the Mother Superior and she told me more or less what we already knew. I also talked to Sister Sorrow an..." She interrupted him.

"Sister Sorrow?"

"Yeah, Strange name, isn't it? Well, She is the nun who knows our real identity and she is also in charge of the 'therapy sessions' with the girls according to the Mother Superior. I also got a list of the people working and living there. Scully you should see what the place is like. It's like a Renaissance monument. I couldn't believe my eyes! It's one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen." He took her head between his hands and full of adoration he told her, "Well, YOU are the most beautiful sight I've ever seen."

"Oh, Mulder." She took his lips in her own and began kissing him passionately. Every time she kissed this man, she felt as if she were practically melting. He had been able to fill every little bit of her heart.

"Mulder, I love you so much it hurts. So much, so much."

She repeated those words each time punctuating them with a kiss. After spending half an hour making out, they had a light dinner and went to bed.


It had been pelting down non-stop since the night before. Scully's spirit seemed to agree with this gloomy weather. Mulder had kissed her before leaving and assured her everything would be fine but she was still nervous. Now, as she was about to get to St. Mary Magdalene, her childhood insecurities were ready to resurface. 'Why do I have to go through this again after all these years?' She was in deep thought when, all of a sudden, the impressive building appeared standing among the trees. 'WOW! Mulder was right. It is beautiful.' Everything was exactly as Mulder had described to her. 'Oh, Mulder.' Her thoughts seemed to have a mind of their own and kept returning to Mulder. 'I have to restrain myself. I have to pull this off. Will I be able to do it? Of course I will. After all, I'm an utter professional.

No, I can't do it. It's too much!' A thousand thoughts were spinning in her mind out of control. She was getting frantic.

"Shut Up!" she shouted to no one.

After what seemed like an eternity, she calmed down, parked her car and got out. "St. Mary Magdalene, here I come."


St. Mary Magdalene Entrance Hall

The first thing Scully registered on entering the school was the sweet scent of flowers in bloom, roses to be precise. Dozens and dozens of pink roses filled vases strategically positioned around the main hall. Had she been asked to describe them, she would have said they looked as if they'd been chiseled by the hands of a genius. Such genius seemed to be none other than your run of the mill gardener, overalls and all, who was just picking a couple of rosebuds. Everything inside the building was equally tasteful. Mulder had been right on every account.

Scully's sight finally fell upon a bunch of girls who looked old enough to be at college. She took a glance at her watch and realized she was early. In that moment one of the girls approached her and started to ask personal questions while the others remained seizing her up from a distance. Ten minutes later the hall was full to the brim with girls of all ages shouting and hollering waiting for classes to begin. 'One more thirteen-year-old stupid brat pushing me and I'm out of here.' Scully was so lost in her ruminations that she failed to notice a pair of green eyes watching her intently from the teachers' meeting room.

At half past seven a loud bell ringing was heard. All the students were summoned to group according to age and subsequently stand in line from shortest to tallest.

Scully knew this ritual by heart. She hoped not to be among the first ones though, as she used to be in high school.

When everyone was set, she saw a nun motioning her to stand behind the second girl in her group. 'This must be among the most embarrassing experiences of my life.' She pretended to ignore some girls mocking her although she couldn't avoid hearing the snicker from the girl right behind her. Suddenly a deep voice was heard. It was the Mother Superior, who welcomed everybody and started with the morning prayers. Once done that, she proceeded to introduce the new PE teacher.

"Ladies, I would like to take a minute out of your time to introduce the new PE teacher. Mr. Mcleary will be standing in for Mrs Andrews who has suddenly fallen ill. I expect you to show Mr. Mcleary the same respect you show Mrs Andrews." At that, a soft murmur was heard in the hall.

"I welcome you to St. Mary Magdalene, Mr. Mcleary."

"Thank you Mother Superior." He found it extremely difficult to take his eyes out of Scully in a uniform. 'If only you knew what you're doing to me.' In that moment Scully heard the girl behind murmuring.

"Oh, You are very welcome Mister Mcleary." As soon as the words where out of the girl's mouth, Scully's blood started boiling. She felt like decking her but she had to restrain her impulses lest she would blow her cover.

'It's going to be a long day.'


Same Dday
Noon

After having lunch with Lucy, one of the girls in her class, she headed for the lockers. PE class was next in her schedule and she wanted to be the first in the gym. She hadn't been so absent minded as to not notice all the girls ogling the new teacher. Although she new Mulder would never betray her, she still felt insecure. It had more to do with her childhood complexes of being short and ugly and a feeling of being used by everybody. She didn't want to remember anymore. It was too painful and it had taken her a long time to recover. But she had been strong.

The sound of laughter brought her down to earth. It was time to meet Mr. Mcleary.

**

At the Gym

Mr. Mcleary was introducing himself to the class. Of course, Scully was not paying any attention; she already knew everything about him. Instead, she was watching closely his facial assets: those lips begging to be kissed, those beautiful eyes that could reach the bottom of her soul with just a look and that hair which was as fine as silk. Suddenly, the voice that belonged to the aforementioned features brought her out of her reverie.

"Yes?"

"Could you please come back to Earth and stop thinking about your boyfriend Miss...?" He was trying hard not to laugh.

"I'm sorry, sir. I am Daisy Mitchell." She was totally embarrassed he had caught her staring.

"A pleasure to meet you Miss Mitchell. Now, as I was saying, we are going to start warming up before you begin with your routines. Come on!"

No sooner had they began exercising when Scully heard Shirley Valentine, the fatty girl who had the hots for Mulder, saying: "I would warm up with him anytime." Scully's fury against this girl rose another notch. 'B**ch' she thought. Mulder followed her look and had to refrain from bursting out laughing at what he saw. His partner's eyes were spurting venom toward Valentine and she was making no effort to conceal her feelings. He had to put a stop to it.

"All right, everyone, I want you to start with your routines. I know there's a championship coming so you have to get ready. Some of you will take the...the..." 'Oh God, what's the name of that apparatus? Scully save me!'

"Do we all have to exercise in the balance beam or can we practice in the asymmetric bars too?" Scully's timing had saved him once more.

"Ahh...yeah, sure, you can take turns in each...apparatus." He flashed her a big smile. She didn't reciprocate. In fact, he noticed she was extremely tense. Everybody started to work out.

"Mr. Mcleary, could you show me the backward somersault? I still have some problems with it." He was trying to find an excuse when once again his savior butted in.

"I'll show you Mindy. Then you can help me in the balance beam." This would give her a great opportunity to befriend Mindy and see if she could find out anything else about the mysterious harasser. And seeing Mulder needed an outlet, she was killing two birds with one stone.

Mulder was in awe watching Scully doing somersaults and back flips as if it were second nature to her. He couldn't take his eyes off of her. That's how the gym class passed, with Mulder trying not to overtly ogle Scully and his partner trying to do her best not to strangle Shirley Valentine.

Five minutes before class break, Mulder was watching Scully on the asymmetric bars when he noticed she was lost in her own world staring ahead, grabbing the upper bar. All of a sudden she got pale and Mulder saw her drop the bar and fall backwards. She had fainted. He dashed toward her and kneeled by her side.

"Hey, you! Go get the nurse!" He instructed one of the girls and began shaking Scully's shoulders.

"Come on! Wake up Dan...Daisy." He had almost let it slip. "Come on. Hey, are you all right?" he asked as soon as he saw her looking at him. He released the breath he didn't know he was holding.

"I'm fine. Just dizzy, that's all." She was getting anxious by the minute and Mulder's questioning wasn't helping. She tood up and excused herself.

As soon as she left the gym she heard footsteps behind her. She knew it was Mulder.

"Scully, what happened?" He took her by the arm but she deftly released herself.

"Mulder, what do you think you're doing? Are you trying to blow our cover?" she whispered angrily.

"No. I was just trying to make sure you were fine." With that, he turned round and strode back to the gym.

"Dammit!" She felt like crying.


Back at the Hotel
That Evening

Scully was sitting at the table doing her homework. 'I cannot believe I'm doing homework at my age.' She muttered. She had been trying to concentrate for a while but her traitorous mind kept getting out of focus. Her thoughts were a jumble at the moment going from her own feelings to Mulder and vice versa. He hadn't returned from school and she was getting antsy.

"Where are you Mulder?" she wondered painfully.

"Here, Scully." She turned round so fast that she fell off the chair.

"Damn!" He rushed to help her.

"Are you OK? Did you hit your head?" He was checking her head for bumps.

She didn't answer him. Instead, she got up and started pacing.

"Second time you scare me today! Could you stop doing that?" "I'm sorry! All right? I didn't mean it." Neither of them realized that they were almost shouting. There was a long pause.

"I'm gonna make some dinner."

"I'm not hungry." She sat down with her homework again.

"You're gonna eat, anyway." He sounded determined. Twenty minutes later he got back to the table with a pot of steaming noodles. He served a big plate for Scully and another one for him. He hadn't look at her yet. When he did, he noticed dry tears in her eyes and her expression was so forlorn that it made him feel like crying.

"Eat some, please." This time it sounded like the Mulder she loved. Without noticing, they started discussing the case as if nothing had happened.

"Three male living there on a permanent basis; the valet, the gardener and the Chemistry teacher, one Friar Thomas."

"Mulder, I doubt Friar Thomas is responsible for this."

"We can not dismiss anybody on the grounds that he is a priest."

"You are right. What about the valet?" She was playing with her food.

"No previous record. He's clean. Although this could be just a juvenile prank for him. After all, he's just a teenager himself."

"And the gardener looks old enough to be my grandfather."

"Have you ever heard the expression 'dirty old man', Scully?" He was grinning and she offered him a small smile in return.

"Yes Mulder, I have. But that doesn't mean he is strong enough to subdue a young woman. Did you see what they look like? They..." She stopped to gauge his reaction and she noticed he was grinning.

"Of course you looked at them," she muttered. "Hey! What does that mean?" He got serious.

"Nothing Mulder. I'm sorry. It's just that... THIS CASE SUCKS!" She finished her tirade punching the table.

Mulder saw how tense she was again, stood up behind her and started massaging her shoulders.

"Scully, calm down. It's ok. You have to relax." He was kissing her neck.

"Besides, No one, and I repeat, no one will ever be any competition to you. You are not my number one." At that, she turned round. Taking her head in his hands he claimed, "You are the only one."

"Oh Mulder," she said kissing him. "I'm sorry. You are my only one too."

"She just kept pulling my chain and I..."

"She was not pulling your chain, Scully." She just nodded and hugged him.

"I'm sorry about today, I mean everything."

"What happened Scully, why did you faint?" He sat her in his lap.

"Low pressure Mulder. Nothing else."

He knew there was something she was not telling him but he decided not to push her.

"Where the heck did you learn to do that, Scully?! You were awesome!"

"I was three times junior champion in my school." She boasted.

"Well, It came in handy today. Thank you for saving my butt." He held her closer.

"You're very welcome Mister Mcleary." She was about to kiss him when she made a sour face, like tasting a lemon.

"Agrrrr. That reminds me of Shirley Valentine. Who would name their child with a name like that, Mulder?"

She was now walking toward the closet in the bedroom. "I really don't know." She began perusing her clothes.

"Going somewhere, Scully?"

"As a matter of fact, I am." His face fell.

"You're joking, right?"

"No, Mulder. The girls decided to go dancing tonight and I personally think it's a wonderful idea to see if I can learn anything new." She was checking a blue printed dress.

"Scully, You can't."

"Why not?"

"What if a guy makes a pass at you? What if...?" He was getting anxious.

"Muldeeeer." She took his head in her hands and kissed him. "I can take care of myself. Besides, Don't you trust me?"

"You know I trust you. I don't trust them. They are teenagers. They have only one thing in their heads."

"Oh. And what would that be?" she asked faking ignorance.

"Scullyyyy."

"Mulder, help me find something to wear, will you?"

"How about a habit?" He mumbled. He looked like a lost puppy. She couldn't help kissing him again.


It was too lonely without Scully. She had been gone no more than half an hour and he already missed her. Mulder had been sitting at the dining-room table trying to make head or tail of the case. So far, he'd been unsuccessful. That's why he decided to check with the Gunmen. 'Maybe they'll have more luck than me. Everything is better than thinking about Scully in that bar, probably being ogled by horny teenagers.'

A loud beep brought him out of his musings. The face of Frohike appeared on Mulder's laptop screen.

"Hiya, buddy. Long time no see. What's up?"

"Always the cheerful one, aren't you?"

"Hacking into the CDC always cheers me up."

"Been pretty bored lately?"

"Hey, I gotta do something with Byers and Langley out of town. Just keeping the seat warm for them. Speaking of 'heat'" he lowered his voice and wagging his eyebrows he asked, "Is the lovely agent Scully around?"

"Down, Frohike!" It'd sounded louder than he meant.

"Ok, buddy. Trouble on the land of Cupid?"

"Frohike, how many times do I have to remind you that our love life is not your business?" This time, he sounded more amicable.

"I got it. Lovers' spat."

Mulder chuckled. "You won't give up, will you?"

"I'm alive. There's still hope."

"In your dreams, Frohike." He made a pause. "She's out clubbing," he explained almost gloomily.

"You're kidding, right." It was more of a statement than a question.

"I thought you kept her on a leash." Frohike's eyes seemed to be popping out of the screen which made Mulder chuckle.

"She's not a dog, Frohike. Anyway, Can we get down to business?"

"All right, all right. What do you have for me?"

"I'm faxing you a list of names. I want you to find out everything you can about them, specially if they have any previous police records."

"It's incoming." Frohike's image went off screen and only his voice could be heard. "What's the case about?"

"Sexual harassment. We're working undercover in a nun's school." In a flash, Frohike's face came into view.

"Don't say it, Frohike." Mulder knew he was going to make some risqué comment about Scully in a uniform.

"Fine. I'll get back to you as soon as my magic fingers do the trick. Hey!" He added as an afterthought, "Don't get that sicko get close to our G-woman."

"Over my dead body, Frohike. Over my dead body." He logged off and got down to work. At least, that was what he expected. But thoughts of 'any Fabio' hitting on Scully kept popping in his mind. He could picture it clearly: blond hair, blue eyes, tall and brawny and, to top it all off, only twenty years old. The prime of his age.

He was too anxious to work. Besides, curiosity was eating him up. He had to do something.

'No one is going to check out My Scully.'


Blue Moon, Pub & Dance
10:00 p.m.

The Blue Moon was a regular kind of bar. Not too modern, not too old. Mulder couldn't remember the last time he'd been in a place like that just for fun. All in all, the atmosphere was the same: eager boys trying to pick up girls, who didn't want to seem too conspicuous checking out the boys. The only thing that was different was the music.

'I wonder were Scully is. She must be dancing with a hunk. God! I'm such a masochist! I should just leave.' It was in that moment when a vision in blue caught his eye. She was wearing the printed dress they had picked out before and which made her look like an angel, an eighteen-year-old angel. No wonder she had all the boys salivating. Her hair was swept backwards with a headband and she was sporting sandals with almost non-existent heels.

He was about to take a step forward when he saw her turning round. He couldn't be sure if she'd seen him, but just in case he hid behind a column. He saw her, then, approaching the bar counter. From his position, he could not only see her but also hear partially what they were saying.

"I'd like a beer, please." She asked the bartender.

'What is she doing? She doesn't even like beer.' Mulder thought. The bartender simply looked at her and asked something smiling smugly.

"Excuse me?!" She looked royally pissed now.

'What did that bastard ask you, Scully?' Mulder was perfunctorily balling his fists.

"Look, I know all yer tricks, gals. Just show me some ID, Ok?"

'Oh my God. This is too rich. Too bad I can't mock her about it.' Mulder snickered. He saw the bartender stretch his hand seemingly waiting for the ID.

Meanwhile, Scully was fuming. She knew her ID showed Daisy was only seventeen and she wasn't willing to be embarrassed any longer. So, she asked for a diet soda while the man behind the counter was doing his best not to burst out laughing. So was Mulder. He'd been so distracted watching Scully that he failed to notice a bunch of girls giggling and gossiping behind his back.

'Oh, Oh. I think I've been caught.'

"Mr. Mcleary?" asked one of them.

"Hi, girls." Luckily for him the place was dark enough to hide his embarrassment.

"What are you doing here, Mr. Mcleary?" "Ah...ah...I ah...I'm ah..."

"Isn't it a bit early for you to be here? People your age come after midnight or don't come at all." one of them mentioned.

"I'm glad you're here, Mr. Mcleary. Girls our age prefer mature men, you know." Shirley Valentine commented in a too sultry voice.

In that moment one of the bouncers he had seen at the door came to him and asked in a baritone voice, "Are you looking for your daughter?"

"Do you have a daughter, Mr. Mcleary?"

He was getting pissed. 'Do I look old enough to be the father of a teenager?' They were all waiting for his answer. "Yes. As a matter of fact, I am. She is somewhere here." He pretended to be looking for her.

"Well, there's a V.I.P room upstairs. You can wait there if you wish."

"Thanks, I will." The bouncer went on with his chores.

"What's your daughter's name?" The girls' curiosity seemed to be bottomless.

"Da... Dana." He stuttered nervously.

"What does she look like?"

"She's a...red-haired and short." His mind was congratulating him on his originality.

"Just like Daisy."

"Yeah...just like Daisy." He coughed. "Well, I'll see you at school, girls."

"Bye Mr. Mcleary."

'Busted by my good timing again.' He climbed upstairs trying to avoid being recognized by more people. When he got to the V.I.P room, he spotted an armchair by a balcony overlooking the dancing floor. 'Perfect. I'll be able to keep an eye on Scully without interruptions.' As if on cue, he was sidetracked by a woman in her fifties who began ranting about her baby daughter; according to her, a flesh and blood Barbie. On hearing her name, he almost spat his drink. Barbie girl turned out to be none other than Shirley Valentine. 'Scully must be thrilled.'

He had to bear twenty minutes of non-stop Barbie comments. He was about to throttle the woman when a man, apparently her husband, took her away. 'Thank God!' He spent the following thirty minutes watching Scully chat and dance with some geeky teenagers with dimples. 'Is that what I was so worried about?' His smile faded when he saw a Fabio looking guy trying to make Scully slow-dance with him. And apparently she was enjoying it!

'I swear if he lays one of his paws on her, I'm gonna... I'm...' He was speechless. Scully was having fun! He was debating whether or not to leave when he saw her turn around, look at him in the eye and wink.

'I don't believe it! She has been fooling with me . She wants me to raise to the bait. Forget it, Scully. You can go on dancing with Fabio all you wish. I'm outta here.'

She was still looking at him. So, he took the chance to wave and discreetly blow her a kiss. After that, he departed leaving behind an open mouthed Scully.


Hillsburg Inn
Same Night 1:00 a.m.

Mulder had been pacing for forty five minutes telling himself he was up just reviewing the case, when deep inside he knew he was waiting for Scully. He picked up her notebook where she kept all her case notes written in her neat lettering. He was scanning the pages when he saw a flicker of light reflecting on the window pane and heard the sound of an engine coming to a stop. 'Must be Scully. Gotta run.' He literally jumped into the bed and crawled under the covers. 'Good, Mulder. I don't think Scully's heard you. Why don't you make some more noise?'

A sudden draft signaled her presence in the room. A minute later he heard her locking the door.

'Pretend you're sleeping. Pretend you're sleeping.' Just then, he felt a dip in the mattress and two arms snaking around his neck brought the classic Scully smell up to his nostrils. He had to struggle hard to play possum, even more when her lips began caressing his ear. 'Keep still, Mulder. Play dumb.' He was trying to decide whether or not to pretend she had woken him up, when she whispered, "Mulderrrr?.....Are you awake?" She got no response.

"Mulderrrrr?...Oh well, I was planning to tell you all about Rob and maybe making out a little. Too bad. We'll do both things tomorrow." She turned around and counted up to three. 'One, two, thr...'

"Scully, Who's Rob?"

"Did I wake you? I'm sorry, Mulder." She wasn't sorry at all. In fact, she looked downright mad.

"I just lay down a couple of minutes ago. Now, Who's Rob?"

"A guy I met at the Blue Moon, Mulder. Want to know something funny? He looks exactly like you. He was even wearing the same clothes you own. Spooky, isn't it?" She was on the verge of blowing a gasket.

"What the hell were you doing there, Mulder?!!! You could have blown our cover and ruin everything!!!" She was pacing around the room looking somewhere past him to avoid being dragged into his puppy looking eyes.

He knew she was right but she was overdoing it a little.

"And What were you thinking when you blew me a kiss?!!! Anybody could have seen you!!!"

"What about you?" He sat up straight.

"What about me?"

"You winked at me, Scully! Have you forgotten about that? Besides, I think that's not the point here, is it?"

"No, You are right. It isn't. It all comes down to a matter of trust, again." She lowered her voice. "Mulder, why can't you trust me?"

He stretched his hand in invitation and when she took more than a second to comply, his heart almost broke. However, he felt relieved when she decided to sit on his lap, like they regularly did when they were in cuddly mood.

"I told you I trust you, Scully. Only you. But I have a problem when it comes to...the rest of the world, I guess." She smiled.

"I don't know why. Maybe it's because of my own insecurities. But when somebody looks at you or touches you like Fabio tonight, I..."

"Fabio?" she interrupted.

"Yeah, the guy you were dancing with, blond hair and blue eyes?"

"Ah, now I see." She was stroking his chest while he was doing the same with her hair.

"Anyway, It's like..." She raised her head from his chest and looked at him in the eye. Sometimes she felt she could get lost in them and at the same time she could get to the core of his soul. But this time, she saw sadness pouring out of them, so much so that she felt tears welling up in her own eyes.

"It's like you feel you are not enough for me; that I would be better with somebody else and you cannot understand why I stay with you."

He couldn't speak. He knew he would cry if he did so.

"Mulder, I'm going to tell you something and I want you to listen to me. I want you to imprint what I'm going to tell you in your soul." She held his face in her hand.

"What I feel for you cannot be put into words. What I feel is so deep that burns inside me. I cannot and do not want to live without you. You are my life, Mulder, my driving force. My light. My everything. I-am-you for I cannot-live-without-you."

When she finished talking she noticed the dampness in her cheeks and saw the same reflected in Mulder's. But she also saw the love in his face, which she knew mirrored her own.

"Scully, if my love for you were light, there would be no need of suns in the universe."

"Oh, Mulder." She was openly sobbing now. They were clinging to each other so tightly that nobody would have been able to place even a pin between them.

After a while, they both fell asleep in the same position.

**

Next Day
St. Mary Magdalene 12:30 p.m.

The bell had been ringing for a minute. The girls were streaming out of class heading for the lunchroom which was on the first floor. Scully was walking down the stairs when she heard a commotion coming from the floor below. Near an indoors patio a great bunch of girls were crammed in front of the restrooms door trying, unsuccessfully, to catch a glimpse of what was going on inside. What immediately caught Scully's eye was two officers keeping guard, hiding things from prying eyes. She could also hear some voices, one of which she could easily identify. She found herself rooted to the first rung of the stairs. A wave of panic took hold of her.

'This can't be happening. Not again. Not when I have finally put it behind.' So lost in thought was she that she failed to notice Mulder looking at her from the restrooms. When he saw her he realized something was wrong.

'Damn Scully, what's going on with you? Why can't you tell me?' Scully, meanwhile, was getting paler and nauseous. She managed to get out of her stupor and dashed toward the closest bathroom, determined not to make a fool of herself in front of everybody.

Mulder dashed behind and found her vomiting in a small restroom by the swimming pool.

"Scully, are you all right? And don't tell me you're fine." He kneeled by her side.

"No, I'm not fine. Mulder, I promise to let you know but not now. Anybody could see you."

"I don't care. One of my students was feeling bad and I decided to check up on her." He handed her some tissues.

"I feel better now, honest." She turned on the faucet and washed her face.

"Scully...please, tell me."

"It has nothing to do with being sick. It's about something that happened to me a long time ago. I promise to tell you everything tonight. Not here, Mulder." He didn't press the issue. He knew she was not ready to talk and, besides, she was right. If anybody saw them there, it would make matters worse.

"What happened, Mulder?" He made a pause, not sure if he should tell her.

"They found Shirley unconscious near the wash basins. Same MO as the others. Except this time they discovered something else."

"What, Mulder?"

"A puncture of some kind on her left palm."

"Is she OK?"

"She will be. They are taking her to the hospital now."

"Good."

"Scully, I gotta go." He was reluctant to leave her. "Are you sure you're ok?"

"Yeah, Mulder. I'm sure. Now, go. I'm gonna wait five more minutes after you leave."

"Ok" He was about to open the door when he turned around and give her a peck. After that he disappeared. "Mulder!" Deep inside she was smiling.


Hillsburg Inn
7:30 p.m.

This time when he opened the door he didn't find her amongst books or doing her homework. She was sprawled in bed, a quilt on her legs and remote control in hand. It was obvious she wasn't paying attention to what she was watching. She was gazing somewhere out of the window.

He always relished looking at her. She was a sight for his sore eyes, a beauty. 'My angel'

"Hey, angel," he whispered so as not to startle her.

"Mulder! Sorry, I didn't hear you." He saw she had been crying, her dry tears were like neon lights beckoning him. She sat still, silent. He lay down and engulfed her in his arms. She didn't resist. In fact, she sat on his lap without further persuasion. He knew she was ready to talk.

"It happened when I was in my senior year of High School. It was also a beautiful nun's school, like this one but not so big. Once, the Mother Superior told us that even though some nuns were strong, they didn't have men's strength.

They were in need of someone to help them with the rough physical work so they hired a young man. Mr.Rasser seemed to be a good man. He helped the nuns doing all kind of hard work they weren't able to do. Some of the girls had a crush on him, he was only 25 at the time...I guess." She made a pause. "After a while, he started flirting with the girls, specially with one of my friends: Lucy Mckintosh. He began with risqué comments and then, he got physical. He used to pat the girls in the butt and kiss them in the neck. Of course, for the girls he was completely charming and sold each of them a story about being in love with them. Lucy bought it. I finally talked her out of meeting him in the gym after hours and promised myself to talk to the Mother Superior. However..." He heard a sob. He imagined what he was going to tell him and knew she wouldn't be the only one sobbing soon.

"He...He found out somehow and got me when the gym class was over. He pushed me inside the gym room where they used to keep the equipment and kicked the door closed. Luckily, he failed but didn't notice it. I started punching and kicking but he was stronger than me. He looked at me and said: 'You are a bi**h, maybe you talked your friend out of it 'cause you wanted some for yourself. I'm going to give you something you won't forget.' After that he began fondling my breasts. He could only use one hand 'cause he was covering my mouth with the other; but that didn't stop him from grinding against me. I was so scared." She broke down and began crying in earnest. Mulder had began weeping too.

"Scully, tell me he didn't...he didn't..." He couldn't say it.

"He didn't, Mulder. A girl was walking by and heard me whimpering. Two minutes later a couple of nuns opened the door and found me on the floor in a similar state these girls were in. He fled as soon as he heard voices. I don't know how he got away. There must have been a window or another door in the room. They took me to the infirmary and called my mom."

"Did you tell them about Rasser?"

"I couldn't at first but then my mom persuaded me to do it. Besides, I didn't want any other girl to go through the same."

"Oh, Scully. You are so selfless."

"He told me he would come back and finish the job, Mulder. No matter what."

"Scully, you should have told me. I would have refused the assignment, made an excuse, I don't know, whatever."

"No, Mulder. This is my job. I knew I had to face this some day. I think it's an opportunity to find some closure and if I catch the one who's doing this, it'll give me some kind of justice."

"Now I see why you were reluctant to accept this case."

"Mulder, stop!" She knew he was feeling guilty. It was amazing how they could read each other's thoughts and feel each other's emotions.

"Mulder this is in no way your fault." She made him look at her.

"Mulder, No!"

"But Scully, I knew something was upsetting you, I knew something was wrong."

"Then, It's my fault for not telling you sooner."

"Promise me we'll tell each other everything Scully. Promise me!"

"Promise, Mulder." It was a promised sealed with a kiss.

**

Later That Night

Mulder was aware he was not going to be able to sleep. The fury he felt inside against the man who had tried to abuse Scully was consuming him. Someone had dared touch his Scully. And someone had to pay.

He sat at the table and switched on his computer. He wanted to check on any information Frohike could've found and it was also a good opportunity to find anything about this bastard Rasser. As soon as he logged in, he saw a message from Frohike. He had to wait a few minutes till the connection was successful and his friend's face appeared on screen.

"Hey Bro, I got the latest."

"Shh, Frohike. Try to keep it down. I don't wanna wake Scully."

"The babe taking the beauty sleep?"

"Give me what you have Fro. I'm not in the mood."

"I haven't got much buddy. Just a little something I rather you see for yourself. I'm sending you a copy of the report with the information as we talk."

"Got it. I need to ask you a favor."

"Shoot."

"I need you to see if you can find anything on a Mr.Rasser. R-A-S..." He was interrupted by Frohike.

"Mulder, Just check the information first." Something in his friend's voice told him he was going to find what he was looking for there.

"All right. Thanks, Frohike." With that, he logged off, too worried to think about his manners.

He hadn't even reached the tenth line of the document when he found what he was looking for. She had indeed reported Mr.Rasser. She had the right to know what he had found, specially after the promise. 'But I can't tell her. Not if I want her to concentrate on the case instead on that bastard. I'm sorry Scully.'


4:45 a.m.

He had dozed off a little after four but the sound of whimpering woke him up. It was Scully. She was apparently having a nightmare. It was easy to imagine what she was dreaming about.

"Shh, it's all right. Shhh." He stayed with her until she calmed down and slept until sunrise.


School Gym
2:00 p.m.

Mulder knew she was a nervous wreck. He had been catching glimpses of her between classes and what he saw was not good, not at all. She was completely absent minded in one moment and checking behind her back in the next. He felt relived he hadn't told her what he had found out about Mr. Vert. Now he watched her sitting on the mat forcing herself to concentrate.

"OK. We are going to continue with self defense techniques. As I commented before, self defense should be a very important aspect of any PE course. But remember that it is equally important to avoid violence. No matter what. Now, I want two of you to stand up and show me what you've learned so far." He pretended to be looking around just to pick someone when he had already selected his students. At least one of them. 'I hope this helps you clear your mind a little.' "O'Malley and Mitchell. Come on." Scully uncertainly stood up and took position. She noticed how her palms were sweating and willed herself to focus.

"Lucy, I want you to pretend you're about to attack her from behind her back. All right?" Both Lucy and Scully nodded although the latter was aware she couldn't remember a thing in that moment. Therefore, she failed miserably at accomplishing her goal: defend herself.

"It's ok. We're gonna do it again. Hey Mitchell..." He looked at her and forced a smile. "Try to relax. You're too tense." 'I wonder why.' Scully mumbled.

They tried the same over and over again, each time Scully forcing herself even to the point of exhaustion.

'Damn! This can't be happening. This is for babies. I should be able to do it with one hand and my eyes closed.' All of a sudden she realized everybody was watching her. She felt out of breath and Shirley's snigger was getting on her nerves so much so she was sure she was about to suffer a nervous breakdown. It was time to flee. She turned round and rushed out of the room.

"Practice the same routine in pairs. I'll be right back."

Mulder was already running behind her.

Meanwhile, Scully was heading for the gardens.

'I need some fresh air or I'm gonna lose it right here and now.' She left the building and dashed through the rose gardens. They were elaborated in the shape of an intricate labyrinth. Scully's eyes fell upon the pink roses, the same ones she'd admired when entering St Mary Magdalene for the first time. They seemed too perfect, if such thing existed. She stopped for a second to smell the roses. There was something special in the smell too; it was too sweet.

"Admiring my creation?" a rough voice asked her.

"I'm sorry. I kinda got lost."

"It's all right. I love it when you, girls, come visit my roses. Makes one feel appreciated." She forced a smile. There was something odd in Mr. Vert. His eyes seemed to shine with an evil glitter and with a single rose in his hand he looked more like an obscure character from a terror movie than a gardener. He was getting closer, offering the rose and smiling enigmatically.

"I have to go, Mr .Vert. I have a cl..."

"Just accept this as a token from a friend. Of course, In no way does it match your beauty."

"The way you talk, it's like...it's..." He put the rose in her hand and close her fist. In that same moment she heard his warning.

"Watch out for thorns on the roses, they might prick you." Indeed, she felt a small jab in her little finger and understood then that it was too late to get away. Despite being dizzy, she realized she'd been drugged. Unluckily, there was not much she could do. But she was a Scully; she would go down with a fight or die trying.

"You look pale. You'd better lie down. Let me help you." Scully felt a cold shiver in her spine.

"I-know-what-you're-doing." She wheezed.

"I don't know what you're talking about. Shhh. Relax, Mr. Vert will make you fell better."

With her last breath she whispered, "I'm...Fb..." and then passed out.

"Well, well, well. You are certainly a fine specimen. Don't worry, I just wanna look and touch a little."


Five minutes had passed and Mulder was frantic. He had seen her heading for the gardens but when he got there he had already lost her.

'Damn roses, I can't see a thing in this gard..." He stop short when he went over his words.

"Oh, SH*T!!! Vert must be there. If he finds you like that... No, no, no, no, no, Scully. I'm gonna find you."

He went into the labyrinth and soon got lost.

"F*ck! Think, think, think."

In that moment he felt as if she were calling him and he followed her voice. 'Mulder, Help!!!'

"Scully!!! Scully!!! I'm coming!!!" He didn't care about his cover any longer.


Mr. Vert had proceeded unbuttoning her shirt and was in the process of taking her jumper off when he heard someone shouting. 'Scully!!!'

"Damn!!! Well, I can't finish the job. Bye red, see you some other time."


When Mulder found Scully, Mr. Vert had already disappeared. He gently rearranged her clothes and picked her up.

"It's all right angel, you're gonna be fine."

**

At the Hospital
6:15 p.m.

Mulder was dutifully waiting by her wife's bed. She had been in and out of consciousness barely able to recognize him. The drug Vert had administered her was a concoction the doctors hadn't been able to identify yet. That's why, she had to be under observation for the next 24 hours.

He was eating sunflower seeds when he noticed her moaning. "Hey, Sweetheart."

"Mulder? Where am I?" He kissed her forehead.

"You're at the hospital. You were unconscious when I found you."

"Oh my G..." She was on the verge of crying.

"Shh, Scully, it's ok. He didn't touch you."

"Did you catch him?"

"No, he must've gotten away when he heard me calling for you."

He dried a lonely tear that was perched atop her lip but soon others followed. He rose from his chair and climbed into bed to hug her. After a while she lay back on the bed. "What aren't you telling me, Mulder?"

He was biting his lip as he always did when he was about to tell her something she most probably wouldn't like to hear.

"Mulder?"

"Scully, I know you won't like what I'm about to tell you. Two days ago Frohike faxed me some information I had asked him about our suspects. I learnt something interesting about Mr. Vert. By the way, did you know that Vert's first, middle and last name start with P, E and R respectively? Mr.P.E.R.Vert, pervert. Funny, isn't it?" He was trying to use humor to diffuse the tension in the room.

"Anyway, When he sent me Mr.Vert's records, I discovered his nephew had been charged with sexual harassment before but was now at large."

"What does this have to do with...?"

"I'm getting there, Scully. When you told me what had happened to you in High School you mentioned the guy's name: Rasser. That's the same name I found listed as Vert's nephew. H. A. Rasser, harasser. I think it runs in the family." She sat up straight.

"You knew this and you didn't tell me?" It sounded more like a statement instead of a question.

"I was trying to pro..."

"Save it, Mulder."

"But Scully, You know I wa..."

"Don't, Mulder!" She was gazing out of the window.

"Look at me, Scully!"

"How could you do it after what we promised?" She whispered and folded her hands on her lap.

It was he who couldn't look at her in the eye now. He knew he had hurt her and was determined to do anything to ingratiate himself with her.

"I need to be alone for a while." She shifted under the covers to find a comfortable position.

"Scully, please..." His voiced cracked with pain. She turned round and closed her eyes. The last thing she heard was the door being slammed.


Aboard Flight 502
Next Day 12:30 p.m.

They hadn't exchanged a word since yesterday when he told her about Rasser. He had tried to make her talk but had been unlucky. He could feel pain eating him inside. He hated when they fought. Fortunately, their rows had been few and scattered over the years. Now, flying home, Mulder prayed to be forgiven. He had tried to hold her hand during takeoff but she had simply kept her arms folded.

'Fine. Have it your way, Scully.' He knew he didn't have the right to be pissed but her stubbornness was out of proportion. After all, he had only concealed the information to protect her. When the plane touched down, they quickly claimed their bags and proceeded to the exit gate.

"I'm gonna call a cab and go home." It was easy to read between the lines. She was going home alone.

"Scully, come on! You can't..." The way she was looking at him he knew it was wiser not to push the issue.

"All right. I'll see you...sometime."

He flagged a cab down and opened the door for her. She got in and made the mistake of looking up. He looked totally devastated.

She spent the whole way home crying.


Georgetown
8:00 p.m.

After getting home, she soaked in a bubble bath hoping to relieve her tension. Having done that, she made herself a cup of tea and lay down on the sofa. It was useless, she wouldn't find peace unless she made up with Mulder.

'Damn, why can't I be without him for just a while?' She laughed humorlessly. 'I'm gonna pick you up, Mulder and this time, we're going to talk.'

She changed back into her low-slung jeans and chose one of Mulder's t-shirts from his drawer. She took her cellphone and some money and locked the door.


On route to Georgetown
8:35

'Damn, Scully. If you think for one minute I'm gonna leave you alone, then you don't know me at all.'

He sped through Georgetown streets till he got to her building. After parking the car, he hastily climbed the stairs, two steps at a time. He waited at the door for a full minute before gathering the courage to knock.

"Scully, it's me, Mulder." Nothing.

"Scully, are you there?" No reply. Fearing the worst, he used the key and let himself in.

"Scully, it's Mulder." He first checked the bathroom and then the bedroom. Nothing. Scully was nowhere to be seen. He took his cellphone from his jacket pocket and dialed her number.

"Come on, come on, pick up the phone..." On the fifth ring he heard her voice.

"Mulder?" Sniff.

"Scully, where are you?"

"I'm in Arlington, waiting for you. Where are you?"

"I'm in Georgetown, Scully. I...I wanted to talk to you."

"We are pathetic, Mulder." He chuckled.

"I'm on my way. Wait for me, Scully."

"Always," she whispered and hung up.


Arlington
9:05

Scully was sitting on the floor in front of Apartment 42 when she heard the characteristic bing of the elevator. In a flash he was by her side and he held her up as if he were carrying a child.

"I'm sorry, Mulder. I'm so stubborn sometimes that I let my pride get in the way between us."

"No, Scully, you were right. I did break our promise." They were both kissing and hugging each other at the same time.

"Can we discuss this inside?"

"Sure, but what are you doing outside?"

"I left my keys on the table," she muttered.

He unlocked the door and stepped in, still carrying Scully who was hugging him for dear life. After managing to lock again, he sat them down on the couch, Scully on his lap.

"Are we ok Scully?"

"Yes, Mulder. We're fine." " Thank God. I was worried you wouldn't talk to me again or leave me."

"Mulder, you know I would never do such thing."

"What, stop talking to me or leave me?"

"Mulder stop using humor as a shield!"

"I'm sorry."

They remained silent for a while.

"Mulder, I know you were trying to protect me. And I would be a hypocrite if I said I wouldn't do the same thing for you. But we have to try and not keep things from each other, no matter how much they may hurt. In the long run, learning about things afterwards is definitely going to hurt more."

"You're right, Scully. Let's change our promise then. Let's promise we'll try, ok?"

"OK" They finally kissed releasing all the pent-up anxiety and frustration.

"I missed you so much."

"Me too."

"Don't do that again to me, Scully. Don't shut me out."

"I won't, Mulder. Believe me."

"I do, I believe you." After dozing off for a while Scully asked, "Did you learn anything else about Vert?"

"Just that there's an APB out for him. They are gonna find him, sooner or later. You don't have to worry about a thing." He whispered.

"He did it good, didn't he?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, If not for the fact that you were following me, nobody would have ever found out. He was pretty ingenious after all. Stealing drugs from the school lab and preparing a concoction that he would eventually introduce in the roses and later pricking the girls. That way he made sure no one would know it had been him."

"Yeah, but the girls must have known he was the last person to be in contact with them."

"No, They didn't. He...he kind of hypnotized them using his voice. I could only get to hear his voice before fainting but I assure you that's what he was trying to do and I have no clue how."

"I've heard of hypnotists who used to administer drugs to some patients to make them more submissive. Maybe that was the case."

"Maybe. But we'll never know unless we find him." Sneeze.

"I thought you had gotten rid of that flu, Scully." "I thought so too. Apparently the virus has some other id...Atchoo! ...eas."

"Let me bring you the antibiotic. You put it in my bag, didn,t you?"

"Yeah, I think so."

He came back from the bedroom, pink bottle in hand. "Here, Scully. Why don't you...don't you..." He was trying hard not to sneeze.

ATCHOO!!!

"I think you should take it too, Mulder. Come on. Let's go to bed."

They had both taken the medicine and were now comfortably ensconced in bed facing each other.

"Mulder, There's something else I need to tell you."

"You brought back the uniform with you."

"No, Mulder. I didn't. I want you to come with me to the doctor's tomorrow."

"Sure, Scully. You don't have to ask. Anyway, I thought it was just the flu. If not that, then what?"

She made a pause a then grinned. "I think I might be pregnant."

The End (for now)


Wait for the sequel, Sir William, Lady Mommy and King Daddy. It's coming.
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