Summary: This time out our heroes are confronted with murder and witchcraft in the Bureau. And Mulder is confronted with someone from his past.
Thanks to my husband, Rick, for the technical help. He's a former cop who specialized in occult crimes. So if there are any errors, its my fault and not his.
Boomerang takes place in the second season, after Scully's return. So watch for spoilers, but I'm too lazy to watch the whole season again, so no specific dates :).
"It is never wise to seek or wish for another's misfortune. If malice or
The red message light was blinking on Caitlin Falconetti's answering machine when she walked in the door. She hit the play button as she clicked on the living room lights. Her own voice said," HI, this is 555-1395. Please leave a message at the beep!"
Caitlin idly flipped through the previous day's mail as she listened to the messages. "Caitlin, its your mother. I just wanted to talk to you. Call me, darling."
Her brother's voice. "Cait, its Joss. Where the hell are you? I've been calling everywhere for you. Give me a call, okay?"
The final voice was female, and vaguely familiar. "Caitlin? Its Camille Ewing. From the Bureau? I really need to talk to someone. Its urgent. Please call me at 555-8216 as soon as you get in! Please!"
<Camille Ewing?> Caitlin thought. Oh, yeah, the tall willowy blond in VCD. Caitlin knew her well enough to speak to in the hall but that's all. Why was Camille calling her? Picking up the phone she dialed Camille's number. The answering machine picked up and Caitlin left a short message.
She walked into the kitchen, tossing a frozen dinner into the microwave.
<This is really pathetic> she thought. I've lived in this place six months and haven't even finished unpacking. Of course, she had a dozen excuses for the boxes still stored in her bedroom. A full caseload, the fun of discovering New York for the first time, Kelson getting himself shot and needing her. She shuddered slightly, remembering the terror she had felt as Kelson fell wounded, two bullets imbedded in his upper thigh.
She had refused to be assigned a new partner while Kelly recuperated, and had thus taken on his cases as well as her own.
Joss was constantly telling her that she worked so hard because that meant she didn't have to think, to remember...
Turning away from that dangerous line of thought, she walked into the bedroom to change while waiting for the microwave to ding. Pulling a pair of sweats and a t-shirt out of the closet, she knocked a small floral box off the shelf. Cursing, she bent to pick it up and the contents scattered on eh closet floor. They were photos that she had forgotten she even possessed. Flipping through them, she found snapshots of Vince and Joss at the coast in Texas, a few of Kelly and Sheila. She froze as her eyes fell on the last few photos. They were of Fox Mulder, one in front of the gates at Graceland. He was wearing a goofy grin and a t-shirt that read "Elvis Lives." Another of the two of them in Bermuda, when she had convinced him to see the Bermuda Triangle for himself. Quickly, she put the photos away, pushing the box and the memories far, far into the back of the closet.
New York City FBI Offices
Kelson Ransome was already at his desk when Caitlin arrived. He was staring at the computer screen, chuckling and sipping coffee. "What?" she asked, placing her briefcase on the desk.
"Joss e-mailed me a Shakespeare Insult Kit. I can't wait to try this on some of the agents around here." Kelly grinned. "This is my favorite, and its reserved for Jameson. *Thou bawdy bat-fowling baggage.*"
"Our tax dollars at work," Caitlin said wryly. She glanced at him closely. He had one foot propped on an extra chair. "Are you still feeling okay?"
"For the millionth time, yes. The doc thinks I'm fit for active duty, and I think its way overdue. I think my mind is permanently rotted from watching day-time tv." He pushed a hand through his shaggy tobacco gold hair.
Caitlin tossed a couple of files on his desk. "Good, take a look at these. An you need a haircut."
"I always need a haircut." He was silent for maybe five seconds. "Hey, did you hear about Camille Ewing?"
Caitlin felt a shiver of dread skitter through her. "No, what?"
"She's dead. Happened sometime last night. Drowned in the shower. How do you drown in the shower?" Kelson flipped off the computer and began reading the files.
"I don't know. She called me yesterday, and I wasn't there." Caitlin was disturbed. This just didn't feel right.
Kelly looked up. "Why would she call you? You didn't even really know her."
"I know. That's what's so odd. Are they calling it an accident?"
"AS far as I know. But I ask you, how does one drown in the shower?"
Caitlin made a mental note to call for a copy of the report and then went on to brief Kelly on the cases they were currently assigned to. The NYPD had requested a profile on a possible serial killer, and they also had a series of minor bomb incidents in upstate New York. This was in addition to their normal caseload.
Caitlin was working on the requested profile, reviewing crime scene photos, autopsy reports and officer's case notes. Kelson had elected to handle the bombings and was currently catching up on what he had missed.
After several hours of reading and rereading reports, Kelly looked up, removing his reading glasses and rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Truth or dare?" he asked.
"What?" Caitlin asked absently before catching on. They often played the children's game to break the monotony. And she never, ever took a dare from Kelson Ransome. "Truth."
Kelson stretched. "What's the strangest place you've ever had sex?"
Caitlin turned back to the computer screen. "Basement of the Hoover building."
Kelson groaned. "I didn't need to know that."
Caitlin grinned. There was no great love lost between the two agents.
Kelson respected Mulder professionally, but Caitlin knew that her failed relationship with Mulder was the cause of the personal animosity between the two men. "Then why'd you ask?"
"Cause I thought it would be somewhere normal, like the kitchen table or the back of a pick-up." Kelson stretched, absently rubbing his upper leg where the scars were still an angry red. "Let's go get something to eat. Its after one, and I'm starved."
They went down to the cafeteria on the building's first floor. Kelson had only returned to duty the previous week, and several agents stopped by their table to welcome him back. Caitlin noted with amusement the speculative glances that many of the agents sent their way. They had been with the New York office for almost a year, and their close friendship was still fodder for the rumor mill. She had stopped explaining that they had grown up together, attended the sames schools, dated briefly in high school, and gone through their initial training at Quantico together. The gossips preferred to believe that they were romantically involved. It was a source of great amusement to them both.
They returned to their office a little over an hour later. An overnight package had been placed on Caitlin's desk.
Caitlin picked it up, idly glancing at the *from* address. Her breath caught uncomfortably. The package had gone out Saturday afternoon and was from Camille Ewing. Quickly, she ripped it open, the contents spilling out onto her desk. There were two books, one small and black, the other larger, older with a rich leather cover. Caitlin picked up the notepaper that had fluttered out also. The writing was feminine, almost Victorian in its flowing style.
I hope that I'm sending this in vain but I know that it is a futile hope. I am probably already dead as you read this. I know that you don't even know me, but I have heard that you are very serious about your profession and will bring my killer to justice. The items I have included should be helpful to you.
"Kelly," Caitlin whispered, "this is too weird for words."
She handed him the note, and picked up the small black book. It appeared at first glance to be an address book. It did contain some names and addresses, but Caitlin saw that it also had sections for notes and appointments. The second book was also handwritten. Caitlin glanced at it and looked up at Kelly. "Kelly, this is Camille's journal. But it's also her spellbook."
He looked at her, eyebrows raised, blue eyes incredulous. "What?"
"I'm serious. Its a book of incantations and spells."
Kelly continued to look disbelieving. "Let me see that." He glanced at several pages. "Oh, my God. I think you're right."
Caitlin's intuition was screaming. "I'm going up to talk to Davis."
She was gone barely twenty minutes before she returned. Kelson was still correlating bombing reports. He looked up as she entered the office.
"Well, I didn't show him the book. I really don't want him to think I'm insane. But after seeing the note, he agreed to change the case from *closed, accidental death* to *open, pending investigation.*"
"And who got the assignment?" Kelson asked, looking at his overflowing in-box with a sinking feeling.
"We did," Caitlin smiled.
"Of course," Kelson sighed. "I guess I can ship this case off on Parker. It's just research right now and he needs the experience."
Tuesday Morning 9:06am
Special Agent Fox Mulder was already at his desk when Dana Scully entered the office. "Good morning," he said, and Dana *knew* he was onto something. She had worked with him for almost two years and had learned to identify the signs that he was intrigued with a new case.
"What?" she asked, taking off her coat and setting her briefcase on her desk.
"We're going to New York, Scully," Mulder grinned.
Scully raised one eyebrow at him. "For dinner and a show?"
"No, something better. An X-File," Mulder answered, handing her the topmost folder on his desk.
She read through it quickly. "An X-File, Mulder? This is an accidental death."
"Maybe. But I don't think so. This is the third agent in the last year to have died under mysterious circumstances. Although this is the first to drown in the shower. The first was in Atlanta, the second here in Washington. And now Special Agent Camille Ewing of the New York City office."
Scully narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously. "Mulder, did Skinner assign us to this case?"
Mulder averted his eyes, suddenly busy shuffling papers at his desk. "Not exactly. I volunteered."
Scully sighed. "So when does our flight leave?"
"Three-forty this afternoon. That will give you time to go home and pack a bag."
The Three Witches Restaurant
The bell over the door tinkled lightly as Caitlin and Kelson entered the restaurant. The walls were covered floor-to-ceiling with built-in bookshelves which overflowed with leather-covered volumes. The atmosphere was intimate and soothing, with small tables and comfortable chairs scattered throughout the long, narrow room. Even this early in the day, candles flickered in hurricane globes on the tables. The soft sound of Chopin wafted through the room. A small bar with gleaming brass barstools stood at the back of the restaurant.
Caitlin and Kelson walked to the bar where Deena Morgan and Moira Denison were talking softly. Moira looked up as they approached. "Caitlin, please, you're shouting again."
"Excuse me?" Kelson asked.
"Its her aura,' Moira explained. "She really can't help it. She just has such a forceful personality that it screams sometimes."
"Right," Kelson said, settling on one of the stools.
Caitlin nudged him none too gently in the ribs. She handed Camille's leather book to Deena. "This is the book I was telling you about last night on the phone."
Deena flipped it open, bypassing the personal entries and looking at the supposed spells. She looked up quickly, her brown eyes disturbed. "This is scary."
Kelson sat up straight, suddenly interested. *Nothing* spooked Deena.
Deena placed the book on the bar. She pointed to a passage and the others looked over her shoulder. "See this? This is not a Wicca spell. This is something older, something more evil." She flipped through several pages. "Theses are all ancient spells. Some are curses. I would not want to be on the receiving end of any of these."
Kelson was trying to keep up. "And you practice Wicca?"
Deena grinned at him. "Honey, I don't practice anything any more. I accidentally called up an elemental once and that was it for me. I only do research now."
"An elemental?" Caitlin asked.
Moira grinned. "Trust me, you don't want to know."
Office of Agents Falconetti and Ransome
Kelson groaned and stretched, leaning back in his chair. They had been checking the names and addresses in Camille's appointment book since returning to the office after talking to Deena and Moira. So far they had found nothing. "Is Deena sure we'll find Camille's coven members in this book?"
Caitlin looked up from the computer screen. "Honestly? No."
"Great. I'm going for a cup of coffee. Want one?"
"Please." She watched as Kelson picked up his cane and went to the door. Opening it, he glanced into the hallway and just as quickly closed it. Caitlin looked at him, puzzled. "What's with you?"
"Did you call Mulder about this case?" he asked.
Caitlin answered him with a look that said <that question is so stupid that I won't even dignify it with an answer>. "Why?" she asked, a skinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
"Because he's walking down the hall, headed this way." Kelson grinned at her. "Well, I'm going for that cup of coffee now."
Ignoring her venomous look, Kelson opened the door just as Mulder raised
his hand to knock. He stepped out of the office, greeting Mulder, "Hey, long time no see."
Kelson disappeared down the hall, allowing Mulder and the petite redhead who accompanied him to enter the office. <Kelson Dines Ransome, I'm going to kill you> Caitlin thought as she smiled and rose from the chair. "Fox," she said deliberately, "what are you doing in New York?"
Mulder grimaced. "Checking out the Camille Ewing case. Your assistant Bureau chief tells me that you and Ransome are the agents in charge."
Caitlin quirked one elegant eyebrow. "Have we stumbled onto an X-File?"
"We're not sure," the redhead answered. She extended her hand. "I'm Special Agent Dana Scully. I believe I've already met your brother, Vince."
Caitlin shook the proferred hand. "Then you've had the experience of a lifetime. Vince is definitely one of a kind. I'm Caitlin Falconetti, and that coward who was leaving as you arrived was my partner, Special Agent Kelson Ransome."
Caitlin indicated the guest chairs as she again sat down at the desk. "Please, have a seat. How can we help you?"
Mulder looked at her appraisingly. She was mad or upset, and withdrawing behind a mask of professional courtesy. He straightened his tie, which was surprisingly conservative. "Agent Ewing's death may be related to two others. Agent Scully and I volunteered for the investigation. I was unaware that the case had already been assigned."
"Why do you think that Camille's death is related to the others?" Caitlin asked, not meeting his hazel eyes.
Scully answered. "Two other agents have died under similar circumstances recently. Agent Lee Glass of the Atlanta office was found in her bedroom, that apartment locked from the inside. She had died of asphysxiation but there was no sign of a struggle. Then a few months later, Agent Helen Faulkner of the the Washington office died. She was found in her car, also locked. The cause of death has remained undetermined."
"And Camille's apartment was also locked," Kelson said from the door. He placed a cup of coffee on Caitlin's desk before taking a seat at his own, elevating his leg once more.
"Right," Mulder said. "I thought is was worth checking out. If you don't mind our help?"
Caitlin knew the question was directed at her. "Of course not. We'll take any help we can get."
Caitlin began to fill them in on what they had found thus far, leaving out the books that she had received, and the information that Deena had given them. She wasn't ready to trust Mulder again just yet.
"I'd like to check out her apartment," Mulder said. "Would that be possible?"
"Sure," Kelson answered, producing the keys. "We have a few things to finish up here, but how about if we meet back here around nine tomorrow morning?"
He watched as Mulder and Scully left the office, then looked at Caitlin speculatively. "Basement of the Hoover building, huh?"
Caitlin smiled wearily. "Well, there's kinky and then there's Mulder."
She was looking through Camille's address book. "Kelson, the other two agents who died?"
"Yeah?" Kelson answered, knowing what she was going to tell him.
"They're in the book."
The apartment of Camille Ewing
Mulder was annoyed. First, their flight had been cancelled the day before because of thunderstorms. Then the airline had lost his luggage and he had had to track it down. And now Caitlin was lysing to him, something she had never done before. Okay, not actually lying, but lying by omission. He *knew* she was hiding something from him. He hated to admit that her lack of trust in him hurt. <Can you blame her?> his little voice asked. <After what happened?> But still, he thought, its not like I'm going to interfere with her investigation.
"Mulder?" Scully asked, startling him out of his reverie. From the way she was looking at him, he knew this was not the first time that she had called his name. "Are you okay?"
They stood in Camille Ewing living room, a bright, light-filled room with white couches and tons of plants. "Fine," he answered. "I was just thinking."
Scully wondered if he was thinking about Caitlin Falconetti. She refused to analyze why that possibility made her uneasy. Mulder had been acting strangely ever since Deputy Chief Davis had told them who was in charge of the case.
Mulder wandered into the bedroom while Scully looked over the items on Camille's desk. There were a few case files, nothing earth-shattering, some personal correspondence with her sisters and mother, and bills.
There was a phone number jotted down on the pad by the phone. Curious, Scully picked up the phone and dialed. After three rings, an answering machine picked up. Scully listened as Caitlin Falconetti's voice said, "Hi, this is 555-1395. Please leave a message at the beep!" Scully replaced the phone slowly. "Mulder," she called, going into the bedroom. He was in the closet. "What are you doing?" she asked.
"Investigating," he grinned. "Look at this."
Mulder was holding a small box. Inside the box were vials and bottles of all shapes and sizes. He unscrewed the top of a small brown vial. He sniffed at the contents and grimaced. "Ugh! Chanel #5 its not."
He was pulling down another box as Scully asked. "Mulder, didn't Agent Falconetti say that she didn't know Agent Ewing very well?"
Mulder pulled a couple of candles out of the box. "Yeah, why?"
"Because her personal number is written down by Ewing's phone. I bet if you checked the phone records, she called Falconetti shortly before she died."
Mulder frowned. "Scully, are you implying that Cait is involved in these deaths?"
"Not at all. I'm implying that she isn't telling us everything she knows."
Mulder sighed, crossing the the phone on the bedside table. "Let's find out." Picking up the phone he dialed Caitlin's office number, referring to her business card. After it rang several times, a secretary picked up. Mulder spoke with the woman briefly, slowly replacing the receiver.
He turned to Scully and she could read the repressed anger in his eyes. "It seems that Agents Ransome and Falconetti have left the office for the afternoon to work on a case and didn't leave a number where they could be reached."
Fox Mulder's Room
Mulder was fuming. He had called Caitlin's apartment countless times, and the damned answering machine had picked u each time. The more he speculated on her duplicity with him, the angrier he became. He had been unforgivably short with Scully at dinner, and finally she had retreated to her own room in stony silence. Grabbing the phone once more, Mulder dialed Caitlin's number again.
It rang twice before she picked up. "Hello?"
"Caitlin," Mulder ground out between his clenched teeth, "we need to talk."
"Okay," she said slowly. He could hear the uncertainty in her voice.
"I'll meet you at your hotel in about a half-hour." The phone clicked in his ear as she disconnected the conversation.
Less than twenty minutes later, Caitlin walked into the lobby of the Hilshire Hotel. There was no way she was going to have Mulder in her apartment. That was the last thing that she needed. She and Kelson had spent a mostly unproductive afternoon at The Three Witches with Deena, going over spellbook after spellbook, looking for something of importance. They had finally given up shortly after seven, Kelson swearing that Sheila would kill him if he missed dinner with her again. She had been home long enough to shower and change when Mulder called.
She had a sneaking suspicion that he was solely responsible for the twenty-eight hangups on her answering machine.
Nervously, she stepped off the elevator on the fourth floor. Going to room 401, she knocked softly on the door. The door immediately swung open, as if Mulder had been pacing in the entryway. He stepped back to allow her to enter the room. Mulder was radiating anger and that made her even more nervous. Mulder in an angry mood was unpredictable to a fault.
Refusing to be intimidated, she strode into the center of the room, tossing her purse onto a chair. Caitlin turned to face him. "Well, what's so important that it couldn't wait until tomorrow morning?"
"Did you lie to me about how well you knew Camille Ewing?" Mulder asked, watching her closely.
"No. Why?" Caitlin was watching him just as closely, wishing he would put some space between them. She felt like the very air around them was charged.
Mulder stabbed a finger at the phone records lying on the hotel desk.
"Because you were the last person she contacted before she died! What's going on, Cait?"
Caitlin sighed, pushing a hand through her dark hair. "Camille called and got my answering machine. She said it was urgent and I tried to return the call. I got her machine, and the next morning I found out she was dead." She glanced at him, wondering how much to tell him. Debating briefly, she gave in. "I received an overnight package from Camille on Monday. It contained her address book and her journal. The other two agents who died were listed in her book."
"So there is a connection," Mulder said. "Why didn't you tell me this sooner?"
"Because there's more. Camille's journal has, well, *spells* in it. I think that's related to her death."
"Spells," Mulder asked, intrigued.
"I took the book to a friend of mine who used to practice witchcraft. She says they're ancient spells, very evil spells. Deena thinks that Camille may have angered someone in her coven and they killed her."
"Murder by witchcraft?" Mulder asked. "Skinner's going to love this." He looked at her again. "Couldn't you trust me, Cait?"
The question made her angry. "On, you're a fine one to talk about trust, aren't you, Fox?"
She started to walk out of the room, but Mulder grabbed her by the upper arm as she passed him. He realised his mistake immediately. Buried feelings returned, hot and swift and powerful.
He was too close, Caitlin thought. His warm hazel eyes were only inches away from her own. Unnerved by the feelings blazing in his eyes, she drooped her gaze...to his mouth. He leaned closer and her own lips parted. Mulder's lips covered hers, and the kiss was warm and passionate as thought they had never been apart...
Fox Mulder's Room
It was still dark when Caitlin woke. She was momentarily disoriented.
Mulder still slept, one arm across her body. They had fallen asleep intertwined, then roused after midnight and made love again, slowly and sweetly. Mulder shifted restlessly in his sleep, drawing her closer.
His mouth close to her ear, he murmured, "Dana..."
Caitlin instantly recoiled, stricken. Carefully she slid out of the bed, gathering her clothes and retreating into the bathroom. Sagging against the door, she sank to the floor and cried.
Kelson slid into the booth across from Caitlin. He smiled at the waitress as she filled his coffee cup. "Why are we meeting for breakfast?"
Caitlin shrugged, not meeting his eyes. "We always meet for breakfast."
Kelson looked at her, a *you don't really expect me to buy this* look.
"Yeah, at my place or yours. Not at a nondescript diner that's twenty or thirty blocks from the office. So what's going on?"
Still avoiding his eyes, Caitlin added sugar to her coffee. Kelson raised his eyebrows. She always took her coffee black and straight. "Nothing's going on," she said. "I just needed a change of scenery."
Kelson glanced around the diner, which was a little on the dingy side.
The waitress brought their food. Kelson watched as Caitlin picked at her scrambled eggs. He carefully poured syrup over his pancakes. "You slept with him, didn't you?"
Caitlin had just taken a sip of coffee. She choked. "What?"
"That's why we're here. You went to bed with Mulder again and you're regretting it. You're avoiding him."
Caitlin stared at him, dumbstruck. "You're amazing. How do you do that?"
He smiled at her. "The same way you know when I've had a fight with Sheila." He paused, wondering whether to ask the obvious question. "So what happened?"
Caitlin threw her crumpled napkin on the table, pushing her food away untouched. "The same thing that always happens. He uses me for a stand-in for someone else and I get burned." She fiddled with the spoon lying on her saucer. She looked out the window at the early morning traffic. "He called me Dana."
Kelson looked away from the pain on her face, his anger growing. "What do you say we skip our meeting with them this morning and finish checking out the address book?"
Caitlin smiled at him, knowing he was trying to give her an out. "No, thanks. I'd rather just get it over with."
Kelson held the door for Caitlin as they left the diner. "He's not what I want out of life, Kelson. I want it all."
Kelson raised one eyebrow. "Marriage?"
"Not neccesarily. But what you and Sheila have would be nice. Love, passion, caring, companionship..."
"Two high-demand jobs, no time together," Kelson finished for her.
"Yeah, but at least you're around. Mulder never was before. And I'd like to have kids one day. Can you really imagine Fox Mulder changing diapers or having a baby spit up all over him?"
Kelson laughed. "No."
As they reached the car, Kelson flicked a minute particle of dust off of the hood. The red Jaguar had been his high-school graduation gift from his father, and he kept it in mint condition. Waiting for him to unlock the door, Caitlin asked absently, "Kelly, did you see my pearl earrings yesterday? I thought I left them on the desk but they weren't there yesterday afternoon."
"No," Kelson answered, looking up at her. He closed the door to the car,
coming around to her and pulling her aside to look in a jewelers window. "Do you think Sheila would like that one?"
Caitlin sighed. This was becoming a habit of his lately. "Why don't you let her pick out her own engagement ring?"
"I want to surprise her." They were crossing the sidewalk, going back to the car when Kelson suddenly pushed her down and aside. He followed her down, attempting to cover her body with his own. Caitlin heard a sickening thud as his head hit the sidewalk, at the same time the large truck crashed into his car, showering them with glass.
Kelson's body was a dead weight, and she pushed him aside, sitting up.
Pushing her hair out of her eyes, she saw that his face was pale and clenched in pain. Blood was spreading quickly from his thigh, where a shard of glass appeared to be imbedded. "Kelson, are you okay?" Caitlin asked, removing her jacket and trying to stop the blood flowing from his leg.
He opened his eyes groggily and glanced at the remains of his car.
"Damn, my car," he groaned, just before he passed out.
Fox Mulder's Room
Mulder's head was pounding. He'd had the strangest dream, even for him.
It had been shadowy and dark, with a feeling of dread pervading his sleep. He was back in that dark forest, searching desperately for Caitlin before it was too late. But this time it was too late. He pawed at the dirt frantically, pulling the lid off of the crude wooden coffin, expecting to find Caitlin's lifeless body. Only it wasn't Caitlin, but Scully in the narrow box, and he had screamed her name in his grief.
He stared at his reflection morosely, reaching for a towel to wipe away the remaining shaving cream. He glanced through the open door at the empty, rumpled bed. A small part of him was glad that Caitlin had gone before he awakened. His feelings were a confused tangle and he needed time to sort them out.
Mulder didn't know what he felt. He cared for Caitlin. For a brief moment of time, he had even considered spending the rest of his life with her. But then Fuller had taken everything away...
And then there was Scully. Oh, he was attracted to her, but she was his best friend. He didn't want to jeapordize their friendship.
And his track record with women was not that spectacular. Phoebe was living proof of that. He suddenly remembered that last terrible argument with Caitlin. He had only been working on the X-Files for a few months and had immersed himself in them. Caitlin had not complained, simply taken on a more demanding caseload herself.
He had returned from a particularly frustrating case to hear a rumor circulating around the Bureau that Cait had had a fling with another agent in his absence. He had gone into a cold rage, been unforgivably verbally savage with her. Phoebe's infidelity had make it too easy to doubt Caitlin's faithful nature. Never one to back down from a fight, Caitlin had stood her ground, proclaiming her innocence. Finally in frustration and hurt, she had yelled at him, "Who is she, Fox? Who's sins am I paying for?"
Stung by how close she had come to the truth, he had stalked out, leaving her alone and vulnerable...
"I think I'll strip naked and run through the lobby. What do you think, Mulder?" Scully asked, taking a sip of her coffee.
"Um? Sure, whatever you want, Scully," Mulder answered, absently stirring salt into his coffee. He took a swallow and grimace, then looked up as Scully laughed. "What?"
"You are really out of it this morning," Scully said. "Is something bothering you?"
Mulder momentarily envisioned himself telling her what was distracting him. <Gee, Scully, I just had the wildest sex of my life with my ex-lover who apparently hates my guts. When I woke up she was gone.
What do you think that means?> He shook his head slightly, as if by doing so he could clear his thoughts. "I talked to Caitlin last night," he said. <Boy, is that an understatement> he thought.
"And?" Scully asked, noticing the slight flush on his cheekbones.
Mulder filled her in about the phone call from Camille and the books that Caitlin had received. He watched as her eyebrows slowly rose with each word he said. "Witchcraft, Mulder? That's a little bizarre even for you."
"Scully, you know yourself that belief can be a powerful weapon. If Camille Ewing believed that someone had cursed her..."
"Mulder, I understand that. But scientifically that doesn't explain how Ewing died in her own shower."
Mulder pushed his plate away and leaned forward, face intense. "Scully, the ME found that Ewing's body had an elevated electrostatic charge, still present after death. That's consistent with some forms of telekinesis."
Scully opened her mouth to reply but the chirp of Mulder's cellular phone interrupted. "Mulder. What? Where are they now?" he paused, face grim.
"We'll be right there."
He clicked off the phone. Scully looked at him inquiringly. "What's wrong?"
Mulder looked at her, his eyes shadowed and thoughtful. "Caitlin and Ransome were almost run down by a truck."
Scully knew that look. "Mulder...this is just a coincidence."
"Is it?" he asked.
New York City General Hospital
<Damn rush hour traffic> Mulder thought as he and Scully strode into the emergency center waiting room. It had taken over an hour to reach the hospital and then he couldn't find a parking space. Finally, he had pulled the Taurus into a *Doctor's Only* spot. Let them argue with the Bureau, he'd told Scully. Besides, she was a doctor.
They stopped at the desk and Scully inquired about Ransome's condition.
The nurse consulted her computer screen. "He's been admitted for observation. Deep laceration tot the upper thigh, required fourteen stitches, slight concussion. He's in room 312."
"And Agent Falconetti?" Mulder asked. Scully was surprised at the level of concern in his voice.
"A few scrapes, bruises, nothing serious," the nurse answered. "I think she went up with Mr. Ransome."
They entered room 312 quietly. Kelson was sleeping, a dark bruise already spreading from his temple under his eye. Caitlin stood off to one side of the room, in deep discussion with two uniformed NYPD officers. Her suit jacket was gone and her ivory blouse was spotted with Kelson's blood. A long run had appeared in her stockings and a bruise was darkening on her cheek. AS he and Scully stepped further into the room, Mulder focused in on what she was saying. "Would you send me over a copy of the autopsy report on the truck driver please?"
"Sure, we're finished here. Hopefully the autopsy will be complete by this afternoon."
"Please, I know how backed up the ME's office get. But, thanks," Caitlin said, smiling. Mulder could have sworn that the young officer
practically blushed. He could understand, though. He'd been on the receiving end of that smile.
Mulder crossed over to her as the policemen left. Laying a hand on her arm, he asked, "Are you okay?"
The green eyes she turned in his direction were dark, shuttered, hiding her feelings from him. "I'm fine. However, Kelly and his car have both seen better days."
"What happened?" Scully asked.
Caitlin shrugged, stepping slightly away from Mulder so that his hand fell away. "I don't know. We were walking to the car and suddenly Kelly pushed me away. Then a large delivery truck plowed right into the car.
The driver is dead," she paused. "The weird thing is, when they were loading him into the ambulance for transport, the medics were getting shocked by the body."
"Electrostatic charge?" Mulder asked.
"I don't know."
"WAs the body brought here?" Scully asked.
"Yes, as far as I know." Caitlin answered.
"I'd like to take a look, maybe even perform the autopsy."
"It would probably speed things up if you could. The ME's office occasionally gets overwhelmed," Caitlin said. She glanced down at her ruined outfit. "I'm going home to change and then to the office to check on a few things."
Scully left, promising to call Mulder when she was done. Mulder looked at Caitlin. "I'll drive you home."
"You really don't have to do that. I can take a cab..."
Mulder sighed. "I know I don't have to. I want to. We need to talk."
Sheila Dolciani's entrance into the room saved Caitlin from having to reply. Caitlin gave her friend a brief hug, quickly telling her of Kelson's condition. "I'll be at home and then the office if you need me."
On the driver to her apartment, Caitlin rebuffed Mulder's attempts at conversation. He insisted on accompanying her up and Caitlin could almost feel the waves of frustration emanating from him.
Leaving Mulder wandering aimlessly around her living room, Caitlin hurried to shower and change. <It felt strange> Mulder thought. He was familiar with so many of the items in this room, and their presence was almost soothing. There were so many memories wrapped up in these things...
He was flipping through her collection of CDs when Caitlin returned, dressed in a black suit. "Diverse as ever," he quipped. "Orbison, Clapton, Garth," he paused, grinning, "Kinchafoonee Cowboys?"
"Its an acquired taste," Caitlin said tersely. "Can we go?"
Mulder glanced at her, stung by her tone. "No, not until we've talked about why I woke up alone this morning." He crossed the room to stand in front of her.
She was avoiding his gaze, glancing over his shoulder at the movie poster hanging on the wall. "Mulder, I really have things to do at the office."
He leaned even closer, whispering next to her ear. "You called me Fox last night."
The words rushed out before she could stop them. "And you called me Dana so that makes us just about even!"
Immediately she wished the words unsaid. Caitlin tried to pull away but he grasped her upper arms. "I did what?"
Caitlin sighed, knowing there was no way out of this confrontation. "You rolled over this morning and you called me Dana."
His hands tightened on her arms in his exasperation. "Caitlin, I was sleeping. I'm not responsible for what I say in my sleep."
She closed her eyes, to block out the sight of his face and the tears that threatened. "I know that. But its kind of telling, isn't it?"
"Caitlin..." he sighed.
"Mulder, last night was a mistake. It shouldn't have happened at all."
"But it did, and I'm not sorry," his voice lowered. "I've missed you, Cait. My God, you just left, without saying goodbye or even go to hell! You wouldn't talk to me, it was as if I never existed , as if we..."
Her green eyes narrowed. "Mulder, if you tell me that you slept with me just to gain a sense of closure, I swear to God I'll punch you." She sighed. "Its over, Fox."
He heard the finality in her voice. He released her, and turned away, confused, angry, hurt. Wordlessly, he walked out the door. Going to the door, she locked it, pressing her tearstained cheek against the cool wood. "I love you, Fox."
Office of Special Agents Falconetti and Ransome
Special Agent Tyler Ford was sitting in Caitlin's office when she arrived. She repressed a sudden shudder that she couldn't explain. Ford rose as she entered the room. "Caitlin! How are you?"
Caitlin suppressed an irrational irritation at his familiar use of her first name. She had taken an instant dislike to Ford, but made an effort to conceal it in the name of Bureau politics. "Fine, thank you. Can I help you, Agent Ford?"
Ford smiled, a strange tight smile. "Call me Tyler, please. Actually, I'm assisting parker with the bombing case and needed your files."
"Of course." Caitlin crossed to Kelson's desk and retrieved the files.
"I thought Kelly had already sent these down," she said absently. Turning from the desk, she found that he was standing uncomfortably close. She fought down a sharp panicky feeling of being trapped.
Ford raised one hand, almost as though he was going to brush a finger across her bruised cheek. His eyes were blazed momentarily and Caitlin was frightened by what she saw there. Then the mask slid into place once more and he moved away. "Thanks," he said, with that strange smile again. "And I'm glad you weren't hurt."
Caitlin nodded and held her breath until he left the office. Her hands were shaking and she sank down at the desk. The strange encounter, coupled with her earlier scene with Mulder, made her tense and edgy. She pulled out the address book, hoping no one else would venture in to check on her.
She and Kelson had narrowed the names into lists based on location, with the majority in the New York area. The difficulty came into deciding who was important and who was trivial. She tapped a pen absently on the desk blotter. Suddenly she accessed the Bureau directory.
Fifteen minutes later she was leaving eh office. Stopping at the general secretary's desk, she told Gina that she was leaving. Gina asked, "What do I tell Agent Mulder if he calls?"
"Tell him I was abducted by aliens."
The apartment of Special Agent Alisa Martin
"You have a lovely apartment, Agent Martin," Caitlin said, looking around.
"Please, call me Alisa," a voice called from the kitchen. "Would you like cream or sugar?"
"Black, please. And call me Caitlin."
"So what can I help you with?"
Caitlin wandered over to the bookshelves. "I', investigating Agent Ewing's death. Partners usually know a good deal about each other. I know this must be difficult for you..."
"Well, actually, Camille and I only worked together a couple of months. I'm sorry, of course, but we were still just getting to know each other."
Alisa entered the room carrying two cups of coffee. Caitlin was standing at a small table by the windows which stretched from floor to ceiling.
The table held several candles in delicate silver candlesticks and a beautifully ornate silver chalice. "This is very beautiful," she said, lifting it. "Is this inscription in Latin?"
"Possibly," Alisa answered. "It belonged to my great-great-grandmother.I've never had it translated."
Setting the chalice back in its place, Caitlin crossed to the couch, accepting her cup as she sat down. "Thanks. Alisa, were you aware that Camille was possibly practicing a form of witchcraft?"
Alisa raised her eyebrows, a surprised expression on her face, and laughed. "Witchcraft? You're kidding, right?"
"And you didn't know anything about her personal life? Who her friends were?'
Alisa shook her head. "No, I'm sorry. I just can't help you."
Caitlin placed her cup on the table and stood. "Thanks, anyway, Alisa."
In the car, she lifted the car phone and dialed Deena's number. "Hi, I need you to look something up for me." She repeated the transcription from the chalice. "Thanks, I'll check back with you later."
She turned out of the parking lot, in the direction of New York City General Hospital, unaware that Alisa Martin stood watching from the window above."
Three Witches Restaurant
<Nice> Mulder thought as he and Scully walked in. He had gotten the address from Kelson, who was fully awake and frustrated that the doctor would not release him until Thursday morning. Mulder wanted to talk to Caitlin's friend Deena himself.
Scully had confirmed that the truck driver, young and healthy, had died of a sudden massive heart attack for which she could find no physical cause. The body still contained an elevated electrostatic charge. In fact, Scully had informed him wryly, she had been shocked twice while performing the autopsy. They had spent the afternoon quibbling about whether the death was related to the others.
Mulder had tried to call Caitlin several times, each time getting the same answer. <Agent Falconetti was out of the office. No, she hadn't said where she was going> the secretary, Gina, had told him, a touch of repressed laughter in her voice. He had a feeling that the joke, whatever it was, was definitely on him.
Stopping at the hostess' station, Mulder asked if Deena Morgan was in.
The lovely blonde directed them to the bar area. He and Scully walked to the back of the restaurant amid muted dinner conversation and strains of Mozart.
The bar was empty except for a beautiful woman with long, curly red hair. She had several books scattered across the bar top. She looked up as they approached. "Ms. Morgan?" Mulder asked.
"Yes," she smiled.
"I'm Special Agent Fox Mulder and this is my partner, Agent Dana Scully. Caitlin told me that you were helping with the Camille Ewing case and..."
Deena smiled again and interrupted him. "You want to know what I've found out because Cait is being less that cooperative."
"Exactly," Mulder grinned and Deena could see why Caitlin was so susceptible to this man.
"She's a step ahead of you. She told me you'd probably want to know."
Deena pulled out one of the books. "I have located a few of Camille's spells. It looks like Agent Ewing was a second or third year iniate."
"Is there anything here that someone would want to kill Camille Ewing for?" Scully asked.
Deena shrugged. "No. Granted the spells are a little hard to find because they are so old, but they're not worth killing over." She pulled out a slip of paper. "However, this is a different story."
"What?" Mulder asked, intrigued.
"Caitlin talked to Agent Ewing's partner this afternoon. It seems that Agent Martin has a pewter chalice with this inscription on it. Cait wanted to know if I could translate it."
"And?" Mulder asked impatiently, a feeling of dread building inside him.
"Its an ancient invocation that calls upon an entity. The entity has to do the bidding of the one that controls it."
"Like drown someone in the shower," Scully mused, exchanging a glance with Mulder.
"Exactly," Deena said. "All you would need is something personal from the intended victim."
"A personal item that would be incredibly easy to obtain by someone's partner," Mulder said.
"But, Mulder, what about the deaths in Atlanta and Washington? This could still be completely coincidental," Scully pointed out, still truing to maintain a scientific view.
"I don't know, but I even gamble against Vince Falconetti that there's a connection here."
Deena spoke again, an uneasy look on her face. "Agent Mulder, this invocation...it hails from a very powerful, very ancient lineage of witches. If Agent Martin was trying to gain power in a coven, she could have used this entity to get rid of those she thought were in her way."
Alarm bells were ringing in Mulder's mind. "Does Caitlin know this yet?"
"No, she hasn't called yet."
They were interrupted by the arrival of Moira Denison from the kitchen.
"Deena, I'm telling you something's wrong. I've been calling for hours now and Cait still doesn't answer. The doorman says that he checked her in over an hour ago."
Mulder looked at Scully. "Let's go."
In the car, Scully tried to maintain the voice of reason. "Mulder, you might be overreacting."
"I'm not willing to take that chance with Caitlin again. Last time I did, she almost died." He hit the steering wheel in frustration as traffic snarled around them. "Agent Martin may be responsible for four deaths. If she thinks that Cait is on to her..."
Apartment of Caitlin Falconetti
God, she was tired. She stepped out of the shower and pulled on her thick white robe. She went into the bedroom, shivering. It was so cold. And that dank smell...The air in the room seemed oppressive. The hair began to tingle on the back of her neck as she realised that she wasn't alone. Her mind began to cloud, her limbs sluggish. Caitlin thought she saw the air ripple in front of her, before the room grew dark and she sank to the floor...
Wednesday 7:07 pm
Mulder pulled the car to a stop in the loading zone in front of Caitlin's building. "Hey, you can't park there!" the doorman called as Mulder and Scully exited the car. Mulder flashed his badge at him as he and Scully headed up the stairs.
He reached her door first, banging his fist on it and yelling her name.
"Caitlin! Open the door!" He felt a strange sense of deja vu. He had stood outside her door once before, just like this, with panic crawling beneath his skin. Mulder pushed the thought away, and backing up, kicked the door in. They entered, guns drawn, feeling the cold that still hung eerily in the air.
Scully ran for the kitchen and Mulder headed for the bedroom, afraid of what he might find there. The cold hit him like a fist to the gut as he entered the room. Caitlin was lying on the floor between the bed and the bathroom door. She was pale, eyes closed, not breathing. He dropped to his knees, frantically feeling for a pulse. It was weak, thready, as though her life was ebbing away. "Scully!" he screamed.
Mulder tilted Caitlin's head back, clearing her airway as Scully came running. Cupping her head, he puffed five quick breaths into her mouth.
Nothing. Scully grabbed the phone, ordering the doorman to get them an ambulance, now. After five more breaths, he lifted his head again, cursing savagely as Scully knelt beside him. "You're not taking her!" he raged, bending to breathe for her once more. He was still unsuccessful, and Scully saw the suspicious glitter of moisture in his hazel eyes.
"C'mon, Cait, don't leave me," he implored, as he bent to her mouth again Suddenly, she coughed slightly and began to breathe on her own, but did not waken.
Scully pulled him away as the medics entered the room, and knelt by her, checking for signs of life. They followed the stretcher down, until Mulder saw her safely in the ambulance. He strode purposefully towards the car, Scully right behind him. "Where are we going?" Scully called.
He turned to her, his face pale, eyes still blazing with rage. "After Martin."
Apartment of Alisa Martin
Mulder didn't bother to knock. He kicked the door in with no warning.
<This is becoming a habit> Scully thought as they entered, guns drawn.
The room was icy, permeated by a dank, musty smell. Alisa Martin was kneeling in front of a low table where candles flickered. She turned, unruffled by their presence or their guns. Her dark eyes glittered with malice. "You're dealing with a power you know nothing about, Agent Mulder!" She laughed, a low, rough sound. "You won't stop me."
"Alisa Martin," Scully said, "you're under arrest for the murders of Agents Glass, Faulkner, and Ewing, and the attempted murders of Agents Falconetti and Ransome."
Martin smiled coldly and Scully felt chilled by the pure evil in that smile. "I want to see you prove it." She turned back to the altar, speaking softly in Latin. A cold wind rose in the room, the candles flickering wildly, Mulder's and Scully's coats flapping. The door lammed shut and Martin looked up, alarmed. "No! What are you doing?" she cried into the rippling air. The disturbance moved closer and Martin backed away, towards the glass wall.
Mulder pulled Scully down, sheltering her as the wind and cold increased and the glass wall shattered inwards. He watched, horrified, as the rippling air forced Martin back, through the shattered window. The wind died away immediately and he ran to the window, glass crunching under his feet. He looked down at Martin's crumpled body on the concrete below, before glancing into Scully's shocked pale face. He picked up the silver chalice and Caitlin's pearl earrings, a gift from him, tumbled into his palm.
Office of Special Agents Falconetti and Ransome
"Well, if it isn't the walking wounded," Tyler Ford joked from the door.
Caitlin and Kelson exchanged a look. "What can we do for you, Ford?"
Kelson asked, shifting uncomfortably in his chair. He had insisted on coming in, despite having only just been released from the hospital that morning. Caitlin had been allowed to return home the night before.
"I need the bombing report from the thirteenth," Ford said.
Kelson was shuffling through his in-box when Mulder and Scully entered the office. He produced the report, handing it over to Ford. Ford left but Caitlin saw the look of carefully controlled hatred he flashed in Mulder's direction. <Odd> she thought.
"How are you," Scully asked. Mulder leaned against the door frame, silent, face impassive.
"Fine, thank you," Caitlin answered. "The doctor's can't tell me what happened, and all I remember is passing out."
Kelson spoke up. "What we do know is that Martin did her initial training after Quantico with Agent Glass in Atlanta. Her second partner was Agent Faulkner in DC."
"And the deaths were supposedly accidental so no one made the connection," Scully said.
"Right," Kelson answered. "Deena thinks that they were all members of the same coven. Martin discovered that she was of a long, powerful lineage..."
"And took out the others as a way of gaining power in the coven," Caitlin finished for him, avoiding Mulder's steady gaze. "She was using an entity to accomplish that. But the relationship with such an entity is a favor for a favor. They always ask for something in return, something precious, and it can escalate to the point that the entity takes the one controlling it as a sacrifice."
Kelson stretched his leg and grimaced. "I've got to have a couple of aspiring and a cup of coffee. Interested, Agent Scully?"
Scully glanced between Mulder and Caitlin. "Sure."
AS the door closed behind them, Caitlin looked down at her desk, suddenly busy organizing the files in her in-box.
Mulder placed his hand on her wrist. "Don't! Stop pretending that I don't even exist."
She looked up, eyes pained. "What do you want from me, Fox?"
He removed his hand, and sighed. "I don't know."
"Then let me go...at least until you do know." She glanced out the window, away from those penetrating eyes. "This isn't fair to either one of us."
"Caitlin, last night, when I thought you were gone..." he shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. "I don't want to lose you," he said.
"I know, but you can't reconcile your feelings for me to your feelings for your work," a tear slipped down the curve of her cheek, "But I can't live like that again. I'll always be your friend, if you want me to be. But I don't think I can handle being second best at any place in your life."
He took her hand, placing her earrings in the palm, before pressing his lips to the tears that glistened on her cheek. "I'm sorry," he whispered, "I never meant to hurt you."
He strode quickly out of the office.
Caitlin was still staring out the window when Scully returned, alone. "Where's Mulder?" she asked.
"I don't know," Caitlin answered, dashing her tears away and turning from the window.
"Agent Falconetti, I don't know what's between you and Mulder, but I do know that he's hurting," Scully said, feeling a need to plead Mulder's case.
Caitlin sighed, sitting down at her desk. "I know, and I'm sorry. But he isn't the only one." She closed her eyes briefly. "Competing with another woman is easy, Agent Scully. But an obsession? That's another story. Obsessions terrify me. And Mulder's obsession blocks out everything else." Caitlin looked at Scully, green eyes filed with pain and tears. "His obsession has shaped the man he is, a man I still care very deeply for. But I'm still fighting my own demons. I can't fight his too."
From the field journal of Special Agent Fox Mulder
"Its been said that evil acts like a metaphysical boomerang, returning to those who conceived it. I believe that whatever power Alisa Martin unleashed returned and consumed her, resulting in her death. However, evil continues to reverberate through the lives of those it touches. And tonight I wonder how long the evil that was Benjamin Fuller will continue to touch my life and that of Caitlin Falconetti..."
I hope ya'll (Souther Eccentricity!) liked this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I would really like to know what you thought, so please, please, please send me e-mail! I can't help it, I'm an e-mail addict :).