Title: The Case of the Haunted Basement
Summary: Six years of investigating the paranormal and Mulder and Scully thought they had seen everything. But who would’ve known that Halloween evening would hold the ultimate horror story for them?
A/N: I had an idea for a Halloween story in my pocket since this summer, and I'm not writing it until the 10th of October. Heh, meprocrastinator!
It had been almost six years since she had first ridden this elevator to the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover Building. Six years since her partner had shot his first remark of sarcasm at her, implying what his sense of humor was like right off the bat. And nearly six years since their hands had first connected in a firm handshake—the first indication that there was a unique chemistry between them that would enable them to work together as partners for a promising amount of years. Amazingly, the excitement was still there; like the rarity of a marriage that stayed alive even after the first couple years. And finally, Scully decided as she walked down the empty hallway, she had figured out why that was.
They always kept each other guessing.
And here she was—Agent Dana Scully—nearing the office door where inside every known (and unknown) X-File was stored within the boundaries of one file bin. As eager as she was to open the door and let the sight, scent, or touch of the daily paranormal surprise fill whatever sense nodule was necessary, just like any day she regretted it. The opening of that door could mean a trip half way across the world and she and her partner chasing after a non-existent serial killer. But it could also mean high-profile; maybe that one case she needed to boost her career reputation.
Drawing in a breath, Scully placed her hand over the door knob and readied herself for whatever she'd meet in the small office.
The door swung open, and to her surprise, the office was empty. Well, actually it wasn't. In fact, it was not the scene she expected her mind to déjà vu for her. As sharp as her investigating behavior was, it took her a few seconds to adjust and figure out what the hell was different. The clutter was still there, implying that it wasn't an atypical spring—or fall—cleaning job that had taken her off guard. And it wasn't an anti-perverse strike either, because Mulder's calendar girls were still hugging pumpkins on the bulletin board to emphasize the month of October.
Scully's jaw dropped as she scanned the office once more. She concentrated on the orange and black decorations that accentuated the office's normally unadorned colors. There was also a pumpkin so big on top of Mulder's desk that it practically took up all of his work area. Streamers found themselves wound around the fan, windows, book shelves, doorway, and every other square inch of the place. Aside from all the Halloween decorations, it didn't take Scully long to figure out what—or who—was missing.
She jumped. She had to admit it. In fact, she jumped so horrifically hard that her heart was beating profusely against the interior of her chest.
"Mulder…! What…the hell?"
Scully turned around, out of breath, hand over heart, glaring almost in a daze at her partner who stood behind her in the doorway. He wore the most mischievous grin that she could have sworn the man held no conscious; no guilt of scaring her whatsoever.
"Happy Halloween, Scully," Fox Mulder said, brushing past her into the office. "Admiring my decorations? Oh, mind you, it took me an hour for this place to look its prime." He removed his jacket and placed it over the back of his chair, then tugged at his neckline, loosening his tie. She was about to open her mouth and reply to an obviously rhetorical question, but his voice performed much faster than hers. "I hope you've picked out a costume for tonight's party." He looked up at her with the kind of smile he got when he was fantasizing…perhaps about the possibilities of her showing up at the FBI "Spooky" Fest in a tight leather outfit that hid nothing about her most intimate secrets. When she shot him a blank look, he frowned. "You do remember that the party is tonight. Right?"
She shrugged, finally recovering from her little scare.
"I'm not going," Scully replied, taking a seat across from him at the desk.
"Sure you are," he shot back, putting his feet up on his desk as he reclined in his chair. "You can't just not show up. I mean, you are Mrs. Spooky after all, and your partner is the namesake of this whole event!" He rummaged through the top drawer of his desk and pulled out a brochure. He tossed it at her. "Read up. The FBI "Spooky" Fest." Mulder grinned from ear to ear.
"Mulder, this event wasn't named for you," she began, studying the advertisement. But further investigation of the brochure and she began feeling the need to prove herself wrong. After all, Fox "Spooky" Mulder had always been a popular mockery of the FBI…
"Too bad you're not coming. I was really envisioning that moment that Mr. and Mrs. Spooky walk through the doors, hand in hand, smiling brightly as the crowd admires us dressed significantly remarkable in our costumes." He folded his arms behind his head and gave her another toothy grin. She wondered what kind of costume he was picturing her in now.
Scully sighed and rolled her blue eyes. "I'm not going to fall for that."
"Well…why not?" There was a long moment of silence before he leaned forward in his chair and stared at him intently. "I mean, why aren't you coming?"
"Because I have no reason to. No date, no costume, and therefore no reason to go. Besides, you couldn't pay me to dress up. I hardly did that when I was a kid," Scully explained to him. "And even if I was going to dress up, who would I be?"
Mulder couldn't hold back a chuckle. "Yourself. Mrs. Spooky."
"Oh shut up." She crossed her arms and sat back in her chair, looking up at the ceiling in thought. Mulder could've sworn a small smile found its way to her lips.
"I'd like to see you as a cat. In leather." He wiggled his eyebrows at her and smiled erotically. "Or maybe Morticia in a black, form-fitting dress."
"In your dreams, Mulder. I'm not going to strut around with fellow FBI agents—and not to mention my superiors!—in black leather," she said with a raised eyebrow. "Can you imagine Skinner's face if I walked through the door like that?"
Again, Mulder chuckled. "I'm not sure what you mean by that, but I definitely know what my face would look like. Okay, so why don't you dress up as a fairy or princess or something sweet?" He paused and suddenly jumped out of his seat. "Wait! I've got the perfect idea…"
"Oh brother," she mumbled as he rummaged through some case files.
"Here we go!" Mulder pulled out a manila folder and set it down in his desk, flipping through the pages before he came to a drawing of what, to Scully, appeared to be a vampire of some sort. He pointed towards the drawing. "She was involved in an X-File dating back nearly ten years ago."
"Involved, Mulder? She is a drawing."
"Well, yes, I know. Just let me talk. So ten years ago, an artist named Victor Wednesday became victim to the seducings of what folklores and legends say to be a vampirist. She's been around for centuries—there are records of men sighting her hundreds of years ago. She chooses her victims on Halloween night. Her plan of attack is simple. As a sort of warning for her victims, she first leaves black lace at their doorstep and—"
"Mulder," Scully said with a pointed look, "could you please just get to the point?"
"Okay, so long story short, this Victor Wednesday became a victim of the Vampirist on this exact day, ten years ago. But he escaped from her seductions because, for some reason, Victor figured out that it was her kiss that made her deadly."
"So he escaped and drew this picture of her?" Scully asked blatantly.
"Basically…yes. I tried for years to come in contact with this man, but I guess he died four years ago after being hospitalized for years with cancer." Mulder seated himself on the edge of the desk and thumbed some more through a folder. "His drawing is almost the same as a painting recorded all the way back to the 1800's in London." He flipped the paper over and read the name 'Charles Winthrop.'
"You're trying to tell me that this Vampirist, as you call her, has been around for hundreds of years? The same one? Not that she even existed to begin with." Mulder nodded. "Okay, so is this just one of your many unique ways of introducing a case to me?"
Mulder shook his head this time. "Ah, but you're forgetting the original point." He eyed her and smiled, nodding towards the brochure she still held in her hands. There was a moment of silence as he let it sink in on her.
"You. Are. Not. Serious." Scully peered up at him through an expression of disbelief. When his only reply was another one of those damn grins, she chuckled herself. "Mulder, I'm not going to be the Vampirist for Halloween!"
"And why not? Look at the picture. She even has red hair," he pointed out.
"How about we cut a deal about this party thing."
"What? You'd rather wear black leather…?"
Scully shook her head and stood up, pacing the office with her arms crossed over her chest. "How about I come, but dressed in a simple black dress? I mean, it doesn't say 'costume party' on the advertisement."
"Describe the dress first." He let his eyes roam up and down her body, imagining the possibilities and replaying them over and over in his mind.
"Since when do you have to approve my costume?" she joked, playfully hitting him on the shoulder. "Well…what are you dressing up as? And don't say Mr. Spooky?" She laughed.
"I was thinking Dracula. And then we could go together. As…"
"Vampires," she finished his sentence. A smirk crossed her face. "With all this talk of us going together, Mulder, are you asking me out on a date?"
"I'm asking you to…"
But before he could complete his sentence, the lights shut off, leaving the two of them in complete darkness among the now invisible streamers and pumpkins.
"Hold on, Scully. I'm going to find my flashlight. I think I set it somewhere over here—" His words were cut off by a large crash that Scully recognized as the trash can.
A smile crept onto her lips, and it was about then that she was thankful for the darkness and that their eyes had not adjusted yet. She reached under her blazer and found her flashlight looped to her belt. She detached it and flicked it on, her beam of light spilling over the form of a fallen Mulder.
He carefully stood up, mumbling something about being okay. "Damn trashcan," he continued before proceeding to kick the crap out of it—a habit he had picked up about a year ago. Once he had found his flashlight and had it in his possession, Scully announced that she was going to wander out into the hallway and try to figure out whether the entire building was undergoing this power outage, or if it was just the two of them and their basement.
Scully exited the office and shone her light down the long and dark hallway, letting the beam reflect against the elevator at the end of the corridor. She sighed, realizing that since the power was indeed out, she'd have to take the stairs.
She walked back towards the office and shone her light inside.
"Mulder, I'm going to take the stairs. You coming or staying?"
"I'll catch up with you. I'm going to check the backup. See if it's working," came the muffled call over his shoulder, fidgeting with the generator, flashlight in his mouth.
Scully was about to turn around when her flashlight glanced over an object in the doorway. She bent down and was a little startled to feel a soft but rough texture in the palm of her hand. Her heart began to race when she realized what the black fabric was that she was holding. Although her fear was irrational—as she often put it—it was only in her nature to swivel around and look for anybody in sight. She was technically expecting one of the MP agents, or maybe one of Mulder's old friends that had listened in on their conversation and was now playing a trick on them. But what the light of her mag-lite found was a pale face with bright blue eyes and lips as red as blood. Scully tried to scream, but her scream was caught somewhere inside her throat and all that escaped her lips was a small yelp.
Her flashlight fell to the ground and the batteries scattered over the ground. Also out of Scully's hand came a crumpled piece of black lace…
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