TITLE: Happy Halloween, Agent Scully
AUTHOR: Weirdspooky
RATING: PG-13 (language)
TIMEFRAME: Season 6 just before How the Ghosts stole Christmas
DISCLAIMERS: Not mine, not mine and that's just fine, D

SUMMARY: Just imagine how hard chasing after witches on Halloween night could be while baby-sitting your friend's five-year-old son...

OCTOBER 31st 1998 07, 07 PM

"Thanks and Happy Halloween, Miss Scully!"

"Have fun kids!"

Special Agent Dana Scully gave a last warm smile to the hundredth team of princesses and pirates that had rung her bell since the beginning of the afternoon and closed the door behind her with a sigh.

Why the Hell hadn't she decided to go out for the whole weekend? Just as if she hadn't enough with the X-Files and its own monsters and weirdoes, now she had to deal with dozen of witches and skeletons knocking on her front door and begging for candies... Scully headed to the kitchen and had a look at the candy jar on the table. It was dreadfully empty.

She felt her stomach tighten as the thought of disappointed and angry children crossed her mind and she really started to worry about the following evening.

Maybe she should hide herself in the bedroom and turn off all the lights and TV to make kids believe she was out. Or maybe she could go and spend the night in J. Edgar Hoover Building, no one would ever be searching for her in the dusty basement office.

Eventually she just picked up her wallet and decided to do the most reasonable thing a person could do when getting run out of sweets on such a night, hurrying to the closest store and buy enough candies not to get cursed for the rest of her life and the following one!

But before she could even grab her coat, the bell rang one more time making her start. Scully reluctantly unlocked the door, ready to explain the situation to a poor crying Pokémon. But the hallway was dark and empty, not even the tiniest trace of a plump Pikachu.

"Hello? " She asked reaching for the switch on the wall. "Alright kids," she added. "Just wait for a sec, I won't be long. Gotta get some treats at the store okay? "

No answer. Scully sighed and put on her jacket thinking it was nothing more than another joke. She was trying to find her keys in her messy purse as a thud noise made her look up.

She couldn't hold back a gasp of terror.

"BOOOOOOOH!!!!! " "AAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! " Special Agent Dana Scully screamed out as a six feet sharp-toothed bloody vampire entered her apartment followed by a tiny grey alien.

The threatening grin on the monster's face quickly changed into a wide happy smile and the extraterrestrial was laughing his ass off on the floor.

"F*CKINSUNOVAB*TCHMULDER!!!! " Before she could add anything else to express her feelings about her partner's tasty sense of humor, Scully felt his strong hand crashing against her mouth.

"Shhhhh! Agent Scully! There're kid's ears! Don't swear please, you're having me really shock... ouch!!!!" Mulder the vampire released her from his grip and shook his head in disbelief, "Hey! You bit me!" "And you scared me you moron!"

She really seemed out of her nerves, her cheeks had turned red and her blue eyes were shining with unhidden anger. Mulder couldn't remember the last time he had pissed her off that much.

The scene they were picturing was particularly hilarious to witness for those who only knew Dana Scully as a cold and analytical forensic expert and Fox Mulder as a phlegmatic crackpot profiler at the FBI, now they were only a man on his early forties acting like an unbearable kid and an exasperate red haired woman looking for an appropriate revenge to take on him.

Mulder was keeping on laughing and Scully pinched his arm furiously.

"If you ever have the idea of doing this again, I..." She threatened with a widening grin.

But he seized her wrists vividly and leant over her with an irresistible smile, "You what? " He asked innocently.

"Then I'll make sure no one would ever remember how Special Agent Fox Mulder looked like!" She breathed out between clenched teeth, her deep baby blue eyes glued to his amused hazel look. They were still staring at each other as the alien's voice suddenly filled the air, "She's funny your girlfriend Mulder!" The grey little face giggled, facing both of them with huge interest.

"And may I ask you what the Hell is THAT?" She pointed out with annoyance. Mulder cleared his throat and took the kid's little hand to make him stand up. Then he knelt beside him and started with a soft smile.

Scully had another heavy sigh.

"Jimmy, this is my friend Dana Scully. She's my partner at the FBI." The little boy nodded and placed his sticky hand in Scully's who squeezed it with surprise.

"Scully, this is Jimmy, Danny's son."

"Danny's...You mean our Danny at the Bureau?" Mulder nodded his head yes and went on embarrassed. "Well...Danny kinda asked me to look after Jim for the whole weekend and..." Scully couldn't help but laugh. "You're kidding me Mulder!" She cut and looked at him with amazement. "You are suggesting that someone's crazy enough for trusting you in that respect? What was Danny thinking about?"

Scully's angry look had definitely vanished and she was now giggling, picturing to herself Mulder as the perfect embodiment of Mister Education.

"Hey wait a second! Seems like you aren't particularly convinced of my abilities in keeping a kid happy and alive for more than five minutes..." He replied with a half offended pout.

"Well... I don't know how to say that, but... no, I'm sorry Mulder!" Scully stated and then she patted his arm motherly and nodded with an apologetic look.

The truth is that she was really wondering what her friend could imagine to entertain the five-year-old boy for about forty-eight hours! Apart from a basketball ball and maybe his gold fish, Mulder's apartment was the dullest place on Earth for a kid and even for everyone with the minimum of common sense on this planet. Besides, the chicks on his videos were no Walt Disney's Cinderella or Snow White at all, though they had poetics and evocative names too...

"Then you don't know everything about Fox Mulder!" Her friend retorted showing her both their costumes and the big Jack O'Lantern basket filled with sweets and candies he was carrying.

"And who's having the most fun? Jimmy or you?" Scully grinned gently.

"Hey guys! I'm here!" The boy noticed with a frown.

Dana pulled him closer and sat him on her lap. "Sorry Sweetie, she said softly. I'm really pleased to meet you Jimmy. I didn't even know that Danny had a son!" "I'm pleased to meet you too Scully." The five-year-old kid replied earnestly.

"You can call me Dana you know, she smiled amused. "So why Mulder's always talking about Scully? Scully this, Scully that... Why doesn't he call you Dana? I won't if he doesn't!" Jimmy stated with a pout. Scully gave a glance at Mulder, obviously pleased that her friend had mentioned her name several times in front of the child. He shrugged and made this innocent as a newborn face she knew too well so she went on, "Alright Jimmy. Call me whatever you want, it doesn't matter." Apparently Mulder had impressed the kid's mind and it seemed that Danny's son had found his brand new hero as Special Agent Fox Mulder.

Scully hesitated a little then she added, "By the way Jimmy... I'm NOT Mulder's girlfriend, right?" Danny's son looked up and gave her an insistent glance, "So why does he have a picture of you in his wallet?"

Mulder cleared his throat and stood up sharply from the couch, "Hey Jimmy buddy! Weren't we suppose to be trick or treating tonight? You didn't even ask Dana for candies!" He said quickly trying to get rid of such an embarrassing conversation.

Scully gave a thankful look to her partner and suddenly remembered she hadn't anything left to offer to the kid.

"Hey Jimmy," she said softly. "I was about to leave and buy some treats... What about you, going with me?" She eyed Mulder quickly and could swear she'd seen something like relief crossing his hazel look.

The little boy nodded and Scully helped him to stand up, then she took his hand and led him to the threshold.

"You comin' too Mulder, uh?" Jimmy asked with a fervor that surprised Scully at first. The little boy seemed to be truly fascinated by her friend. The way he was looking at him, with a mixture of respect and adoration, his eyes sparkling of excitement felt just like he had seen more than a simple baby-sitter in him. Mulder had a smile and reached for his vampire cloak he had taken off, then he picked up the candies basket and followed after them both in the hallway.

He couldn't help but feel his heart sinking a little when he noticed how tenderly and motherly Scully was acting with Danny's son. The little boy was still holding her hand and the way he was talking to her was truly hilarious. With all the seriousness of his five-year-old, he was holding a real conversation, nodding sometimes and obviously trying to convince her of something important.

Mulder couldn't hear what they were saying because he was lagging behind them, but he suddenly saw Scully burst into happy laughter as she opened the car door.

"What's up?" He asked with interest, wanting to know more about what could make Scully laugh that much.

"Nothing, Mulder," she simply answered, but she gave him a weird look that was reflecting everything but innocence. She tied the belt around Jimmy's small frame and shared a very special grin with him, then she slammed the door and sat on the driver seat next to Mulder.

Now they had to find a store that could be still open at almost 8:30 on a Saturday evening.

Maybe Alvin's, she thought, crossing fingers and hoping she wouldn't be the one disappointing a little boy on Halloween night by saying him she couldn't find anything for him.

There were a load of people hanging around in the streets, kids and their parents or older brothers and sisters, bunch of teenagers laughing and yelling, sometimes even grownups, knocking on the doors and asking for candies. A large majority of them was wearing costumes and Scully had to focus on the road to avoid a chick in the disguise of a Playboy Bunny crossing the street without paying the tiniest attention to her car.

The girl had a large smile and waved a little as Scully honked her angrily.

She eyed Mulder quickly, he had his eyes glued to the girl's butt and his face had suddenly brightened with interest, detailing every part of her provocative breasts and cleavage.

Scully cleared her throat and gave him a nudge.

""Hey! What's wrong with you?" Mulder asked rubbing his aching ribs. "Don't act like a stupid macho guy and be such an awful example for this kid," his friend replied with a pout of disapproval.

Mulder had an evil smile and turned over, "Hey Jimmy, buddy... Don't you think she's jealous?"

"You know Scully," he went on with a grin, "That's you I would be staring at if you were wearing such clothes!"

Scully started a little and couldn't help but feel her cheeks turning red and an embarrassing heat spreading all over her face. She tried hard not to catch his warm and teasing look because she had the intimate conviction that Mulder was speaking more seriously than ever and that he was clearly fantasizing on her at this very moment.

"In your dreams Mulder, in your dreams," she retorted dryly avoiding his insistent gaze one more time.

Her partner had a soft dreamy smile and leant back against the seat.

A heavy and uncomfortable silence filled Scully's car, but it was suddenly broken by a little voice chiming from the backseat,

"You can't go trick or treating with us Scully, you've got no costume at all!" Jimmy noticed just as if it was the most important thing on Earth.

"Well..." Dana started with amazement. "I never said I 'd go trick or treating Jimmy... Actually I just wanted to get some candies and then go back home and..."

"But Mulder told me you would!" The little boy cried, obviously close to tears. His lower lip started to shake and he looked down to express his disappointment. Scully knew too well what could happen when a kid was making such a face, she had experiment it plenty of times while looking after her nephew. And the only way to escape a crisis was giving him what he seemed to want so badly.

Scully had a heavy smile as she parked the car next to Alvin's grocery store. "Alright Jimmy..." she breathed out and tried to compose a calm face not to grip Mulder's throat and squeeze it to death. "What else did Mulder tell you about me?"

She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned over to see her friend's embarrassed face, his hazel look apparently begging mercy and understanding. She had another sigh and looked back to Jimmy,

"Would you wait in a car for a few seconds Sweetie? There are some things I would like to say to Count Dracula..." she said a hint of irony piercing through her apparent quietness.

Mulder got out without a word and came close to Scully who couldn't do anything but staring at him and nodding sometimes in disbelief.

"Listen Scully..." Mulder started, trying to find the words that were escaping him.

"No you listen to me!" Scully cut in sharply. "What kinda trap you led me in now? What's wrong with you Mulder? What are you telling him? I mean... Geez Mulder!" She was waving and shaking head as she couldn't find words either to express the way she was feeling concerning the weird situation they'd been brought in this night.

Mulder sighed softly, "Scully... I'm sorry," he said gently. You know...The fact is I really don't know how to manage with this kid around and... I thought you would have been more efficient than me in this kind of situation. Or at least the both of us would have done a better job than me on my own." He paused a few seconds and went on, "I know I should have asked you. You certainly do have projects for the weekend far more interesting than helping me to baby-sit a kid. I apologize Scully. Let's get your sweets and then I'm gonna bring him back home, okay?" Scully's anger has suddenly vanished as fast as it had appeared and she was now feeling bad for him. She thought that he was really brave to have dared telling her about his fears concerning his parenthood abilities. She was also thinking about her ' projects' for the weekend, some mail to do, some laundry too, maybe working on an autopsy report she had to finish... And she decided that spending the evening with Mulder and Jimmy couldn't be that bad. She liked the little boy so far. He was really amusing her with his far from unjustified statements. Plus there were some stuff she wanted to clear up about a certain photo in a certain wallet.

She looked up at her partner and smiled softly, "It's okay Mulder, she replied almost motherly. I'm gonna help you with the kid, you need my experience on this case!" She added with a grin.

Mulder had a sigh of relief but couldn't help but add, "You gotta get dressed for this then!" He grinned as her face flushed one more time.

She did not even try to give an answer and opened the door to unfasten Jimmy's belt and helped him to get out. There was still light in Alvin's small grocery store, some people were hanging around, searching for something to fill their kids' Halloween bags.

Scully grabbed the little boy's hand and once more Mulder was following after them without a word.

Scully felt a bit embarrassed as the three of them went into the shop, but no one seemed to mind when a red haired woman followed by a tiny grey alien and a tall pale vampire pulled the front door and greeted the owner with a quick nod.

Jimmy's face had suddenly brightened and he was staring at all the candies and sweets that were exposed to his eager and hungry look.

"So what do you want to buy Sweetie?" Scully asked softly as she was witnessing the kid's amazement with sheer delight.

"You mean... I can chose whatever I want?" Jimmy replied shyly. Dana knelt beside him and whispered to his ear just like it was the most important secret ever told, "Everything Jimmy! Just tell me and I'll get it for you." She looked up and crossed Mulder's thankful glance. He had a quick motion of the hand to indicate he would pay the bill, but Scully shook her head no with a soft smile.

"Hey Scully! What's this? Jimmy said pointing at a small orange packet with his left hand and pulling on Dana's jacket to catch her attention.

"Those are peanut butter cups Honey. Chocolate with some sweet peanut butter cream inside. Delicious!" "Can I have some?" "Of course you can, she laughed and kissed him on the cheek. By the way... Take a packet for me, I love them!" She added with a guilty look.

Mulder smiled and kept on watching the both of them laughing and joking just like they'd known each other for years.

He was really happy to see that his friend seemed to enjoy the kid's presence far more than he could have wished, and she was actually doing a great job!

Dana and Jimmy had finally got everything that they wanted, and the three of them headed to the pay desk. Jimmy was glancing at him with a widening grin and Mulder started to wonder what could be happening.

As they got out of the store, the little boy couldn't resist any longer,

"Mulder, say, Trick or Treats!" He chimes excited. "What?" "Oh please just say it!" Jimmy pouted, almost stamping his feet.

Mulder raised an eyebrow, "Alright Buddy. Trick or Treats?" He asked with a deep voice. Jimmy suddenly showed what he was hiding behind his back and handed it to an amazed Mulder. "Sunflower seeds..." he whispered with a soft smile. "Scully told me they were your favorites!" The kid added proudly. Maybe the expression on Mulder's face at this very moment was the sweetest thing Scully ever saw, how touching it was to see him kneeling beside the little boy, and kissing him softly on the cheek!

She'd never considered this part of her friend's character before and she felt her heart melting as she crossed his moved and thankful hazel eyes.

Mulder finally stood up, holding Jimmy in his arms and he turned over to Scully, "Seems like it's gonna be a nice Halloween party! Let's get you costumed now!" He grinned, obviously not giving up his idea.


"Are you done yet?" Mulder asked for the hundredth time, trying to unlock the bathroom door.

"Couldn't you just wait for a second?" Scully's annoyed voiced retorted from the depths of the room.

"Yeah, right... A second," Mulder mumbled. Then he added louder, "Considering the time you've been spending in there, I hope it's gonna be worth it! If you want I can get you a bunny tail to help!" "What? Mulder, I didn't get a word of what you said!" "Uh... Nothing Scully!" He coughed, hushing Jimmy with a finger on his lips.

"Alright guys! I'm coming!"

Mulder's look brightened and he started staring at the door just as he was expecting for some fascinating vision.

But the result happened to be much more amazing than everything he could have hoped, even in his most twisted fantasies!

As the door finally opened, he couldn't avoid a gasp of surprise and his mouth fell wide open as his eyes almost spurt out of his sockets.

"She's terrible, your girlfriend!" Jimmy chimed, and Mulder's approval was so obvious that he didn't even tried to explain to the kid one more time that she was NOT his gal! Even though he dreadfully wanted her to be right now!!

Some steam slowly escaped from the bathroom and Scully suddenly appeared for Mulder's ultimate pleasure.

The young and usually so cold and severe FBI agent was wearing a black leather boiler suit zipped up to her chin, matching every square inch of her perfect frame, making her even more attractive than ever to a poor drooling Mulder. She seemed to be a bit taller than usual and Mulder looked down to her amazing pair of high-heeled boots made of the same dark fabric as her clothes, laced up to her knees.

Her bright baby blue eyes were shining through the two holes cut into the soft material of the hood that was covering half her face, and she obviously was witnessing her partner's amazement with sheer delight.

"Ta da! So what do you think Mulder?" She teased with both hands on her hips, facing two bewildered guys with an unhidden amusement.

"Geeeez...... C'mon and spank me you Dominatrix!" Mulder finally laughed kneeling down to the floor, and he belted his arms around his friend's legs, smoothing his head against them as a gesture of perfect submission.

"Mulder, get up and stop this immediately!" Dana laughed, not really trying to pull away from his grip. "And may I let you notice that this is a Cat Woman costume, not S&M stuff or something!"

"Life's so unfair..." he grinned, winking at her. Mulder stood up and suddenly raised an eyebrow, "So tell me Cat Woman, I'm dying to know where you got such outfit! I'm pretty damn sure that Skinner would be more than happy to see you wearing them at work someday!"

"Never knows Mulder... Try and pray and maybe 'Skinner's' dreams will come true," she mumbled to herself. Then louder, "You know Mulder, there are some aspects of my life and personality you have absolutely no idea about!" "Well I'd pay everything you want to know more about Dana Scully's former loose life!! C'mon! I swear I won't reveal to anybody the evil and dark side of your so straight and virginal soul Kitty!" He teased her viciously.

Scully blinked twice and sighed, "Are you finished yet Mulder?" She asked half-annoyed by her partner's so silly but not that unjustified reaction. "If you want I can take the whole thing off and stay here! I wouldn't want you to be losing your whole senses for a bit of leather and satin..." she added innocently. A glimmer of fear crossed Mulder's hazel eyes for a few seconds and vanished as fast as it as appeared since he realized she was kidding him and that she was not planning at all to get rid of her costume.

"Sorry, he smiled apologetically. So now tell me why the Hell you are keeping this in your drawers!" His friend had a malicious pout, "Well... I know it's not really your idea of me having fun you have Mulder, but a few years ago I had a New Year's Eve party and we had to get dressed as a superhero..." "So you chose Cat Woman! Wow!" Mulder's whistled, amazed. He paused a few seconds and went on, "You know, you could have been Wonder Woman... But you wouldn't have been that hot!" Scully cleared her throat and turned over to Jimmy, "Since we're all ready guys, let's just get out and have some treats!" She said and took the boy's hand as he was hurrying in her arms.

Once more the three of them headed to the door, and as he was shutting it behind them, Mulder couldn't help but ask, "Scully?" "Yeah?" "Something's bothering me..." "What Mulder? "

He sighed and went on, "Did we know each other already when you wore this for the first time?" Scully shook her head with a throaty laugh. "Oh yes Mulder, we did!" She replied as her friend simply gasped before following her.

"Don't make such a face, Sweetheart." Scully said softly to an upset Jimmy as the old woman slammed the door right to his nose. "Some people don't like Halloween, you know, and there's nothing you can do to make them change their mind!" She rubbed his back motherly in comfort with a peaceful smile but when she was sure he wasn't seeing her anymore, she leant over to Mulder's ear and whispered angrily, "Or maybe some serious ass-kicking could be the right thing to do! That stupid old bitch almost made him cry!" Mulder couldn't help but grin, "Easy Kitty! She's not the first one and my long experience in that respect tells me that she won't be the last one tonight! So relax!" Scully raised an eyebrow and started to pout like a little girl, just as she was the one who'd been told to get stuffed.

Jimmy was happily walking in front of the both agents and they were keeping an eye on him while talking together.

It looked as if the whole neighborhood had gone totally out of control on this very special day of the year, dozen of kids were hanging around with their little bags and baskets, hysterical screams were piercing through the windows and sometimes they could see a bunch of teenagers running out from a garden where'd they'd made a dog getting pretty excited.

Scully took a deep breath and suddenly realized how much she was enjoying the situation. It was a brand new feeling for her for she hadn't acted that impulsively since her early twenties.

She was still amazed by her own reaction to Mulder's teasing, getting costumed and going trick or treating with them both was the last thing she could have thought about a few hours earlier.

Walking down the street with Mulder beside her was not that usual too. Well it was, but not dressed in black leather outfit with a Vampire on her side! And the weirdest was that she was really appreciating this, without any second thought and the tiniest ounce of embarrassment.

Mulder was feeling pretty satisfied too. He'd finally reached his goal and the result of his insistent requests had been the hell of a surprise! He still couldn't figure out why he hadn't be simply dumped out of her apartment with a good kick in his butt.

He couldn't take his eyes off of her so perfect body, her tiny ass slowly rolling under the thin material of her trousers, the motion of her hips...

Geez! This night was one of the most amazing he ever had, and somehow he felt like there were more and more unexpected things on the way!

Jimmy's basket was getting filled with so many treats that he could hardly carry it all by himself. Besides, the kid started to feel a bit tired, his little legs trying hard to follow the two grownups fast step.

Mulder noticed that the tiny grey alien was gasping and panting behind them and he stopped with a fatherly smile, "It's a real man's job, uh Jim? You tired already, Buddy?" He asked patting his arm.

The little boy shook his head yes, a candy bar stuck in his mouth and Mulder wiped up a stain of chocolate of his nose.

Then he grabbed the kid in his arms and raised him in the air to make him sit on his own shoulders. Jimmy was giggling of surprise and happiness as he felt the strong arms surrounding him whole and he grabbed Mulder's neck with both hands to remain straight. "Feelin' any better? You wouldn't wanna go to bed that early, would you young man!!??"

"That's pretty cool Mulder!" Jimmy laughed kicking the agent's chest with his tiny feet. "Let's say you're my horse, okay?" Mulder had a grin and replied, "Easy you Evil Rider! I may be tall and strong..." He paused a few seconds and went on with a deep and whispering voice, "But I'm just a poor Vampire, getting very very old... And hungry!!!" Jimmy was still laughing his ass off, obviously thinking that Mulder was the funniest guy ever.

"I need some fresh bloooooooood!!!" Mulder suddenly gasped and he started to run along the sidewalk, zigzagging and avoiding people who were staring at them with a mixture of amusement and bewilderness in their eyes. "Hey guys!! Just wait for me!" Scully called out and followed after them, swearing and cursing her damn high-heeled boots, almost spraining her ankle in the process. "Guys were are you???" She moaned as she realized that she had lost the sight of both of them. Dammit! She pulled off the silky hood that was covering her face and wiped out the droplets of sweat of her red warm cheeks. Then she started to look all around, trying to catch Mulder and his alien pal amongst the colorful crowd.

"C'mon Mulder!" She mumbled to herself between clenched teeth. I knew something like that had to happen! It couldn't be that easy... "Hey! Don't be so rude, you bitch!" She heard and she turned over to cross the angry look of the woman whose toes had been stamped on by her tough boots.

"Sorry," she grinned nervously and crawled back into the bunch of people that had gathered in front of a house. Screams of terror were ringing all around and she clearly heard a well-known voice trying to cover up the noise, "Calm down please! I'm an FBI agent! Stay quiet and tell me what the Hell is happening here!!"

"Thank God," Scully sighed and she roughly elbowed to reach Mulder's side.

Jimmy was still sitting on his shoulders and Scully couldn't hide a smile in front of such an unusual situation, a Vampire proclaiming himself an FBI agent, an alien his arms fastened around his neck, and the two of them trying to contain what could be described as massive panic attack.

"Geez Mulder! I thought I'd lost you two!" Scully started with relief. Then she had a look at the crowd and went on, "What's happening here?" She asked her friend and gave him an inquiring look.

"Dunno Scully... But it seems like they're afraid of something... If only they could shut up for a second!!!" Scully decided to take control of the situation, "Alright! She shouted with an imperious voice! Shut up! Please shut up!!" Dozen of amazed looks got stuck on the young woman and the murmur that was escaping the crowd started to lower gradually.

"Okay," she stated quietly. "Special agents Mulder and Scully with the FBI... I... well... We don't have our ID cards here, but I'm asking you to trust me! So now, tell us what's going on here!"

"That's the witch!! She's gone mad!!" A young man screamed out, his eyes reflecting absolute terror.

Scully could swear she'd seen Mulder's look brighten as the word 'witch' escaped the guy's mouth.

She was right, of course, and now her partner was obviously dying to know more about the situation.

The crowd had gone louder and the voices were increasing in a way that made Scully feel uncomfortable. She'd gone back to Earth right now and she wanted nothing else but a more suitable pair of trousers, a blouse and her goddamn badge to make them shut up at last!

Mulder wasn't no help at all by the way! He'd taken off Jimmy of his shoulders and was now trying to get some details from the man who'd seemed to be so scared.

Scully turned over to the front door of the building and she decided to have a look in the inside.

The hallway was dark and empty since all the people who were living here or being trick or treating had gathered outside to escape some kind of invisible threat.

Dana was following the wall cautiously and she finally found out a switch and turned on the lights. A bulb started to flick over her head and she had a heavy sigh.

Why the Hell was she doing such a silly thing? Giving credit to a rumor that had spread so fast amongst a bunch of people already prepared, even though unconsciously, and conditioned to be responsive to such a situation! The person that had started this brand new urban legend knew too well that it would work perfectly, especially on such a special night.

"Why the Hell couldn't I lead the life of normal people!!! She found herself moaning and complaining in the middle of a desert building.

Then she stopped and nodded twice before thinking that she wasn't the one yelling hysterically in the front yard at this very moment and she felt pretty happy to be the one to represent law and order at least! She had a sudden frown at the sight of fresh blood on the floor and she was bitterly thinking about her gun, peacefully resting in her nightstand drawer.

She started to follow the droplets that had fallen to the ground and she finally reached an open door.

Scully took a deep breath and stepped forward, trying to look as threatening as possible, "Freeze, FBI! Put your hands in the air where I can see them!" She yelled out loud. "I'm armed!!" **

"My Goodness, don't shoot please!" Scully put down her supposed-to-be-a-gun fingers and started to look all around, she was standing in the middle of a dusty apartment, kept in the dark ( apart from two miserable candles on the table) for God only knows what reason, smelling like something that must have been alive someday in the past had been rotting here for years.

And there was still blood on the floor. The same blood that had led her into this so strange place.

"Don't move." She repeated to keep control on the situation.

"What are you doing in my apartment?" The same throaty and whispering voice asked. Scully couldn't distinguish anything at all and she cautiously stepped forward to finally cross a piercing and inquiring look, that belonged to an old shivering woman, obviously scared to death by the sudden apparition of a feline FBI agent in the middle of her living room.

"Uh...oh..." Scully stammered at first, her wild determination seriously knocked down by her discovery of the owner of this place. "I'm really sorry to bother you..." She went on and she started to feel pretty embarrassed to have been the one to believe such a silly rumor.

"I just wanted to know whether you were right Ma'am... People are screaming out there and I found fresh blood coming from here..."

But before she could finish, the old lady burst into noisy laughter that rather sounded like chains and rattle.

"What's funny?" A puzzled Scully questioned almost shyly, wondering what could be causing such a demonstration of joy. The woman gasped for air and went on laughing, "They told you about the witch, didn't they?" Scully's bewilderment was raising every second and she couldn't find a proper answer to give to the woman. "Uh... Yeah..." She finally croaked. "Yeah, I've been told about some kinda witchcraft here..." "It's Halloween, Sweetheart!" The old lady said with a soft voice. "Don't tell me you believed them!"

She had another hoarse laugh. "They said I was a witch, didn't they?" She went on and shook her head in disbelief.

Scully nodded and started to feel a bit stupid. All the uncommon events that had happened this evening had made her lose her whole senses for a bit. Witches didn't exist, it was an established and well-grounded fact and she knew it. But she'd fallen into the trap she was dreadfully trying to avoid, being led into something that couldn't be proven or approved by her so sacred and precious science. And witchcraft was not really belonging to this category.

"They told you about human sacrifice and children ritual executions? They told you about some weird mumbles coming from my place?" Scully only wanted to run away and hide to escape this situation. She was feeling so bad now... The woman seemed to be having great fun, laughing about Scully's credulity.

"Those people hate me young lady... They would say anything to make me leave this place," she stated quietly with a hint of sadness in her voice. "But I'm not a murderer you know!"

Scully had heard enough to realize they've all been abused by the atmosphere that was filling the air. She was about to apologize and leave when she suddenly noticed the blood on the rug, "Sorry Ma'am, I do believe you of course, but I cannot help wondering why there's blood all around here! And as an FBI agent, I've got the right to know..." "That's chicken blood young lady. I'm breeding chickens here to eat them." To give a proof of what she was saying, she pointed at the sink were Scully could notice a decapitated fowl amongst a mixture of red feathers and almost coagulated blood. Her stomach leapt with disgust and she nodded in approval before leaving the small apartment and its strange owner, not without having apologized at first.

She found her way back along the hall in spite of the light that had been turned off and when she finally stepped outside of the building, she came to Mulder who was having an animated conversation with the same guy that had told her about the witch.

After a few words, he finally left and Mulder turned over to face Scully, "So have you found the witch?" He asked, his hazel eyes sparkling of excitement.

"Mulder there's no witch at all..." His partner sighed. "There's never had been one, and there never will. Just forget this crap!" "Hey! That's no crap!" Mulder retorted half-offended. "The guy here explained me the whole thing, it did not start tonight! She's practicing children ritual executions and..." "But he couldn't achieve." Scully cut him dryly, "Mulder, where is Jimmy?" "What?"

"Jimmy, Mulder! You know, the little boy you were supposed to be looking after!" She almost yelled.

"I thought you took him with you!" Mulder protested. "And I thought he was with you!!!" They both looked at each other.

"Goddammit..." Mulder swore between clenched teeth.

Scully was clearly losing her temper and Mulder vainly tried to plead his cause, "He can't have gone really far Scully, he just a kid and..."

"That's the point Mulder!!" She shouted angrily. "He IS a kid!! You've lost your friend's son in the middle of Georgetown on Halloween night, I can't believe this!!! You're so..." She paused a few seconds, cautiously searching for a word that would be perfectly describing her partner's behavior. "...careless! You're only going through things that you consider as important, just like this crappy senseless witch story and you don't even give a damn about what's worth it! You don't even care about the safety of a child for Christ's sake!" She concluded nodding in disbelief.

Mulder looked up and Scully could swear she'd seen pain in his eyes. Maybe she'd gone too far. Maybe she'd hurt him.

Her friend sighed sadly, "I'm sorry Dana... You're right," he said and nervously rubbed his hands one against another. "I'm gonna call the police and..." Scully couldn't help but grin in front of such a confession of weakness. Those three words, "you're right", wouldn't have meant anything for those who didn't know Mulder as well as she did. But now, he was admitting he was wrong, and that all that mattered to her.

She softened her expression and said gently, "We are the police Mulder, even dressed like this." She patted his arm motherly. "Let's find him now," she went on more calmly.

Mulder sighed in approval and Scully could notice a glint of fear shadowing his hazel look.

Both of them headed to the small yard in front of the building where people had gathered earlier, and they had now vanished and gone back to their own houses, reassured by Scully's calm and pragmatic words concerning the witch.

Scully wasn't that worried about Jimmy. He couldn't have gone that far, as tired as he was, with such small legs...

On the other hand, she couldn't help but think about all those crazy guys that were hanging around downtown, all those rapists and murderers, the kidnappers and all the people that could be able to hurt their little boy...

"Their little boy". She felt a weird sensation running all across her whole body has the thought of Jimmy as 'theirs' crossed her mind. She wouldn't have imagined she could ever share something as special as a child with her friend. Even though a colleague's kid. But the feeling wasn't that unpleasant, and besides, it was like the link between them both was tightening and growing stronger.

"Jimmy, where are you hiding buddy??" Mulder's worried voice raised through the darkness and coldness of the night.

He was trying to distinguish the frail body of the kid behind every trash can and mailbox of the street, hoping the boy would reappear as fast as he had gone, crossing fingers for it only being a joke or a bad dream.

He almost scared a woman quietly walking down the pavement as he went right straight to her in his vampire costume and asked vividly,

"'xcuse me but I'm looking for a child, you know, about 5, green eyes and brow hair, disguised as an alien the little grey ones I mean, a basket of candies in hands, cute smile and probably looking for me - Fox Mulder - too..." Mulder gasped for air and took a deep breath, realizing she obviously hadn't gotten a word of what he just spat.

The woman was staring at him in disbelief and was about to leave him when Sully came to the rescue, "Sorry M'am but what my partner is trying to say is that we lost a little boy in the middle of the crowd and we want to know whether you have noticed him!"

The woman slowly nodded and gave a weird look to Mulder. Then she turned back to Scully, "I actually saw a kid a little boy. Yes, about ten minutes ago... I'm pretty sure he entered the building – the one where people were screaming and everything... But that's all I can say. I can't swear it's your boy." She paused a few seconds then she went on, "Oh wait! I remember something he said, well he yelled actually... Something about an X-File and the FBI... I guess he was kinda playing." Scully and Mulder stared at each other.

"That's him, Mulder whispered and Scully nodded.

They both thanked the woman who gave them a last strange glimpse and the stepped back to the building.

As they reached the threshold still stained by blood that had started to dry, Mulder stopped and grabbed his friend's arm, "Scully..." "What?" "Don't you think it could be the witch?" "Oh geez Mulder." **

She didn't even have to express her feelings about her partner's last remark. He knew to well her opinion on the question.

They entered the hallway and Scully went straight to the switch, then she pointed towards the droplets of blood that were leading to the old woman's apartment.

Mulder nodded and he followed after her his eyes still glued to the floor.

"Jimmy? Are you here?" Scully asked cautiously, trying to notice every detail that could be a proof of the little boy's coming into the building.

"Jim? That's not funny at all, come on!"

Scully was still walking along the corridor when she noticed that Mulder had stopped and that he had knelt and was cautiously staring at something in his hands. But she had no clue what the Hell it could be.

"What is it?" She asked reluctantly. Mulder looked up at her and revealed what he was holding.

"Oh Dear Lord..." Scully breathed out as fear was gradually overwhelming her whole head and body.

"His shoe..." Mulder mumbled with a worried frown.

"He can't have only gone away... Someone took him Mulder, he's in danger we have to do something and quick!" Dana almost shouted, anxiously planting her nails in her friend's forearm.

Mulder saw the panic in her baby blue eyes and tried to be as comforting as he was able to in such a situation and replied calmly, "He's here at least, the shoe is a proof. We're gonna find him, don't worry. Whoever is having him kept is gonna regret it for awhile!"

He paused one more time and added almost shyly, "Scully..." "Yeah?" She sighed nervously.

"Sorry to insist but..." "What?" "Where does the witch live?" Scully raised an exasperate eyebrow and retorted dryly, "Mulder we don't have any time to waste with those craps! There isn't a witch at all, only an old crazy woman with weird habits and you know kinda well how people do hate what's not considered as standard ... and normal." She almost said ' Spooky' but finally shut her mouth and straightened out.

Mulder stood up, still holding the tiny trainer in his hand and started to look around. "Scully?" "Yes Mulder!" She snapped on the verge to explode.

"Which one is the wi... the woman's apartment?" He asked again. "I told you..." Scully started to shout angrily but Mulder cut her off before she could end up her sentence.

"I know, I know, she's no witch," he stated calmly. "But she may have seen Jimmy or heard him, it's worth the try Scully!...and I really would like to know what the Hell she's doing with dead chickens!" He mumbled to himself.

Scully had a last heavy sigh of desperation and groaned, "Apartment 16 B, first one on the left in the end of the corridor. But I'm not going with you Mulder. I've seen too much of this place and its owner so far. I'd rather go and look for him upstairs, asking the others." "Alright. D'you have your cell phone?" He asked checking his own in his pocket.

"Yep. Hurry up now!" She said dryly before turning her heels and walking away.

Mulder had a last glance at the back of his partner and sped along the hall eventually reaching number 16B. He checked the floor beneath his feet and noticed the very same stains of coagulated blood, but those were much larger than the droplets he'd seen earlier. A small dirty sign next to the ring read ' Herminia Zulestrovna'. Mulder felt his stomach tighten when he saw that the sign was bloodstained too. And that a fresh bloody fingerprint was dripping down the handle.

He rang twice and clearly heard the sound filling the entire place, but it seemed like nobody bothered with the very idea of opening the door.

Mulder sighed and rang one more time, trying to look through the spy hole in the same time.

Scully told him she hasn't left her apartment though. He checked the golden figures on the door to be sure he wasn't mistaking, 16 B. No, he was at the right place.

Since there was no one in the corridor to see what he was doing, Mulder decided to pay a little visit to Mrs. Zulestrovna. He shook the handle at first and appeared to been kind of taken aback when the old door squeaked open. It wasn't locked.

The place was as dark as Scully had told him and there was still a candle burning, but the other one seemed to have extinguished recently for he a thick ribbon of smoke was filling his nostrils almost making him sneeze and cough.

Mulder wished he had brought his flashlight and he was searching for something that could be a lamp or a switch next to the door.

He had a subtle frown and covered his nose with his left hand as the sour odor of the place started to overwhelm him whole, sticking to his clothes and body.

Whoever did live here, witch or not, hadn't seen the daylight for a long, long time. A thud noise made him start and he turned to the sink where something was obviously moving and struggling. But when he saw what was causing such trouble, Mulder had a gasp of disgust and quickly looked away to keep the handful of sunflower seeds he had just swallowed in his stomach, a nearly headless chicken was vainly shaking its wings and spreading blood everywhere as rats were running excitedly in their cage next to the dying bird.

But apart from those animals, there was no sign of someone alive here, though Scully told him the woman had gone back into her apartment after his colleague's departure. Trying to avoid the very thought about the bleeding chicken, Mulder kept on exploring the small place,

Books on the table, looking all dusty and old, strange paintings on the walls, representing imaginary animals, wild dragons and chimeras. There even was a gorgeous picture of a mandragora which silver frame was reading Latin inscriptions.

No need to wonder why the woman was called weird and loathed by the neighborhood! The very smell of her place was bad enough to kill an army...

There was a door and Mulder guessed it was leading to a bedroom. He cleared his throat, and his hand on the handle, he knocked twice and said, "Hello? Anybody here?"

No answer.

"Mrs. Zulestrovna?" He tried again. Silence.

Mulder finally pushed the door open, reluctantly looking into the room and wondering what else he could discover in the inside.

The bedroom was as empty as the rest of the apartment, not even the tiny trace of its owner. But the smell was getting worst at each step.

"Shit!" Mulder swore between clenched teeth, feeling his stomach leaping and distorting. And I was complaining about Scully's corpses during autopsies! That's pure heaven compared to this! He added for himself.

Mulder couldn't resist any longer. Obviously the woman had gone and there was no reason for him to stay. He had to admit that he was wrong about the witch and the only thing he had left to do now was to pick up Scully and call the police to find Jimmy. He stepped out of the place and closed the door behind him with a sigh of relief. Some fresh air at last!

He grabbed his cell phone and dialed Scully's number. It rang three times but she did not hang up.

Mulder tried again but the only answer he got was his friend's cold voice stating, "Here is Dana Scully, leave a message and I'll call you back."

Mulder had a nervous sigh, "C'mon Scully, what the hell are you doing?" He mumbled, looking all around to see if she was coming.

He felt a shiver of panic running down his back and he dialed the number for the third time. "... leave a message and I'll call you back. Scully said mechanically.

In the meantime, Scully had actually gone upstairs and nervously rung every bell on the first floor, asking for Jimmy or at least for someone who might have seen him.

With a heavy sigh, she knocked at another door and was ready for saying her little speech one more time, but as she looked up, she recognized the man who'd seemed to be so scared about the witch a few minutes earlier.

"So what? Caught her at last?" He quipped sharply.

Scully was kind of taken aback and didn't replied at first.

"You got the witch, didn't you?" The man went on, on the least friendly tone.

"Well, uh... No..." Scully started embarrassed. "Actually, I'm looking for the kid my partner and I were looking after... You know, 5 years old, grey costume and makeup, really chatty... His name is Jimmy and..." The man suddenly became more dry and angry.

"Haven't seen him," he retorted in a way that was implying that the discussion was over.

But Scully went on, "We found one of his shoes, a red trainer... You're sure you don't remember him?" He shook his head no and shrugged, "Be more careful next time." Scully was gradually losing her temper in front of this so peevish person and she was about to retort when a loud noise coming from the depths of the apartment caught her attention and, obviously, the man's too.

It sounded like a human voice and a few seconds later, there was another noise, just like something heavy was falling to the floor.

The man was now looking pretty nervous and Scully noticed his anxious glance to the inside of his place.

"What's happening here?" She asked suspiciously, trying to distinguish something through the half open door. But the scream that suddenly echoed through the corridor made her heart leap, "Scully!!! Don't trust him!!!!"

"What the..." She frowned and pushed the man out of her way to enter. "Jimmy!" She gasped as she saw the little boy tied to a kitchen chair, next to a frightened woman also stuck to a chair.

"Mrs. Zulestrovna..." She breathed out as everything was getting clear in her mind.

"He's a wizard, Scully, get out of here!" The little boy yelled.

But as Scully wanted to turn over, she felt strong hands grabbing her wrists and squeezing them so tightly that she felt they were about to break.

"I warned you it was none of your business, agent Scully," The man grinned in an evil way. "Now I'm sure you'll be pleased to assist me in our little ceremony," he added, pulling her closer to him.

She almost could feel his heartbeat and his green eyes were shining with feverish happiness.

Suddenly, his wrists went up her throat and her vision started to blur as he was tightening his grip around her neck. She vainly tried to yell, but weakness was overwhelming her whole body. First her legs, which slowly broke down, then her arms, getting as thick and useless as cotton, and finally she closed her eyes, unable to draw the tiniest motion anymore. The last thing she saw was the horrible smile on the man's face and then everything blackened.

When she woke up, she tried to gather her whole senses, but as she wanted to raise her hand, she noticed that something was keeping her glued to what seemed to be an armchair.

She blinked twice and stopped, eyes wide open, totally stunned.

The man was now wearing a red cloak and dark trousers. He was leaning over a small frame tied up to the living room table where candles had been lit all around.

She had a gasp of horror when she recognized Jimmy, lying here under the madman's fingers.

"Let's start the ceremony, since you're all awake now!" The wizard( or pretending to be so) said with a deep voice.

Scully glanced at the corner of the room and noticed Mrs. Zulestrovna also stuck in an armchair, looking so afraid that the agent thought she would break down in a second. The man's voice suddenly filled the room and he started to sing, low at first, then he raised his tone and his song became more throaty. Scully was trying to catch the words coming from his tight lips.

"Must be Latin," she nodded to herself while watching the wizard drawing his little magical dance around the table. She couldn't see Jimmy's face but she suddenly heard him yelling, "Don't worry Scully! Mulder's gonna come and kick his butt!" The man's features straightened with anger, "Shut up you stupid boy! Let the master fulfill the prophecy!"

"Stupid yourself!" Jimmy spat dryly. "You ain't no wizard at all, you suck!" Scully felt like her own heart had missed a beat and she opened her dry lips to say, "Jimmy... Don't..."

The man had a triumphant grin, "Listen to the redhead, you insignificant piece of crap! She's right. There's nothing you can do to stop me. You're all mine and you shall die, as sure as the sun shall raise every morning." And he suddenly unconcealed something bright and sharp from underneath his robe, A big butcher knife that was sparkling under the soft candlelight.

Jimmy closed his mouth in the second and stared at the wizard roughly, then he opened it wide and the scream that escaped his frail body rang through the whole place like a last call of despair and anger, "MULDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!!!!!!!!!!" Scully closed her eyes not to see what was about to happen.

She was expecting some kind of loud scream coming from the little boy as the sharp knife would have come deep into his frail chest, but she only heard scared to death Mrs. Zulestrovna moaning and sniffing next to her.

Scully cautiously glanced at the old woman and she noticed that she was rolling her eyes and desperately staring at the door. Dana suddenly saw the handle moving slowly up and down and she hardly contained the words in the back of her tightened throat.

She wanted so badly to scream for help, but she didn't even know whether the person who was playing with the handle, and with her nerves in the same time, was a friend or an accomplice of the wizard.

But Jimmy had filled up his lungs with fresh air and started to yell louder than ever, "MULDER!!!! COME ON AND KICK HIS Ass!!!!!!!!" Scully was mentally sending messages of appeasement and quietness to her little protégé, wanting him to stop immediately not to drive the man crazy. But as she was trying to catch his look to make him shut up, the door suddenly slammed open and a tall vampire rushed into the room holding a gun in his strong hands, "Freeze, FBI!" He yelled pointing his gun towards the man's chest.

Scully had a gasp of surprise when she heard the so well-known deep voice, and from the depths of her heart, she felt like everything was about to end up well, for Mulder was here to the rescue.

"Put down the knife," Mulder said sharply with a threatening voice.

But the man was holding his look and shook his head in disbelief, "You don't understand anything! He shall die! The boy shall die and save us all! That's what the prophecy says!"

"You know what you can do with your fucking prophecy?" Mulder groaned, losing his temper to his partner's amazement.

Mulder wasn't only not giving the tiniest ounce of credit to the man's beliefs, as weird as they were, but he was also getting wilder and scarier than ever just as Jimmy was the most important thing of his life, more important than a supposed to be X-File. He stepped forward, heading to the table where Jimmy was squirming and giggling, but before he could untie him, the man had reached Scully's armchair and she felt an ice-cold blade running down her throat.

"Alright then. You can have the boy," the wizard said quietly. "You can take him and go away. But I'm gonna take the redhead. She's the one who's gonna die for me." Scully's baby blue eyes widened with terror and Mulder gave her a desperate look. His friend felt himself trapped in a web he couldn't get off of. He couldn't do that. He wouldn't. But he wouldn't give up Jimmy too. Jimmy was just an innocent little boy and Scully...

Well... What Scully was, he couldn't tell exactly. He's known Jimmy for less than 24 hours, and Scully for more than 6 years. He was his colleague's son and she was his soul mate, the woman he worshiped the most, the one he ever wanted to kiss, the only one he could trust. She was his Love and no one had the right to ask him to make a choice. The look of pure terror on her face made his heart sink and he was reading so many contradictory feelings in those teary eyes, that he felt his own strength and determination breaking down slowly.

"Take Jimmy and go away Mulder," she whispered breathlessly.

But her eyes were imploring him not to abandon her.

"So what, son," the cold voice went on. "Make up your mind, quick. No time for sentimental considerations!" **

That was exactly the point, sentimental considerations. It was not the first time that he had to deal with this kind of situation. About 4 years earlier, he already had to choose between his partner and his sister Samantha. But now that he had learned to know Scully much better, and now that both their feelings towards each other had grown with their mutual affection, Mulder couldn't see nothing else but a twist of fate to save them all from this trap.

Scully's look had become more imploring than ever and he noticed droplets of sweat running down her forehead. The man was squeezing her arm so tight that her knuckles had turned white. Mulder was feeling so bad for her, that he only wanted to grab the wizard's throat and kill him.

Jimmy was still lying on the table, a look of sheer anger in his eyes,

"He's joking Muldah! Don't listen to him!"

"Shut the fuck up!" The man yelled pulling the knife closer to Scully's pale neck. Some blood started to run down her throat to her shoulder and Mulder felt a shiver of rage running down his spine.

The wizard's features contracted into an expression that frightened Mulder, he obviously was ready to do as he had told.

"Please, Mulder..." Scully murmured, her baby blue eyes filling with tears, and that was more than Mulder could handle.

"Alright," he said, finally giving up. "I'll take the boy."

And he grabbed Jimmy's wrist to undo the knot that was sticking him to the table. But as he reached his other arm, the miracle he was waiting for suddenly happened, Mrs. Zulestrovna had got free from her own handcuffs and stood up, holding up a heavy candle, and she broke it down to the head of the madman to the other's big amazement. The wizard collapsed on the floor with a thud noise. **

"What the Hell..." Mulder gasped, totally stunned and still staring at the old woman just like he wasn't really sure of what had happened.

Scully sighed heavily and closed her eyelids one more time, her heart racing in spite of the deep relief that had taken over her whole body as she had understood that she was safe at last.

Mrs. Zulestrovna straightened a little, and said softly, "You can all go now. Let's call the police."

"But..." Mulder faltered. "I... I don't understand! He said you were... and he..."

The woman had an indulgent and motherly look for the poor FBI agent, "As you can see, this man obviously was what he seemed to be so scared of," she stated calmly. "And he knew I knew his secret, so he wanted the others to believe I was the only one who had to be blamed and persecuted." "So you're no witch at all?" Mulder asked almost shyly.

Mrs. Zulestrovna had a throaty laugh that sounded like a goat bleat.

"I'm just killing chickens to eat them. I don't stab little boys to fulfill a so-called prophecy! I admit that I might look a bit weird, agent Mulder. But don't we all have our little bizarre sides? Don't tell me you never had been curiously watched, considering that you like wandering in a vampire suit..." "By the way," Scully's exhausted voice asked. "What was this prophecy about?" Mulder suddenly realized that she was still bleeding and hurried to his friend's knees."Oh Dana, how ya feelin'?" His voice was shaking as he unfastened herbonds. He held up her chin with his fingertip to catch her tired look.

"I'm fine Mulder, fine..." She breathed out, rubbing her aching wrists that had just been released.

She was trying to look unaffected by what had happened, but Mulder could see clearly that she had been really scared, for the first time since awhile. He squeezed her shaking hand warmly and touched her cheek, "Scully?" "Yeah..." "I wouldn't have let him hurt you. Never." She squeezed his hand back and smiled with tears in her eyes, "I know it Mulder." They were tenderly staring at each other, when a loud cough broke the harmony between them,

"Well, the prophecy?" Mrs. Zulestrovna said half-amused.

"Oh yeah!" Mulder blushed. "So, what was it?"

"Allen Wilson, that's his name, was convinced that he had to sacrifice a little boy on Halloween night according to a well established ceremonial to become the most powerful person on earth and to rule the world." Mulder had a loud whistle, "Wow! And why Jimmy?" The old woman shook her head, "Dunno. He might have been at the wrong place at the wrong time..." Scully had stood up and was now cradling Jimmy in her arms, "Whatever," she sighed. "Let's get done with all this crap and go back home. We all need some rest."


Scully came out of her bedroom and closed the door behind her. "He's sleeping?" Mulder asked from the couch where he was lazily lying.

His partner nodded and added, "He hadn't even the head on the pillow that he already had gone to Dreamland..." She was looking quite exhausted, but she was feeling much more comfortable in the sweatpants and T-shirt she had put on instead of the tight leather trousers.

Mulder patted the soft material of the couch, inviting her to sit next to him. She collapsed heavily and sighed, "Mulder?" She started.

"Hmm?" She looked at him straight in the eyes and stated, separating each word cautiously, "Don't even try and ask me to go trick or treating with you. Don't even mention Halloween day, or I think I will kill you." Mulder smiled at her and put his arms around her shoulder to pull her closer. Scully laid her head against his strong and reassuring chest. She closed her eyes to enjoy the moment more at ease as he was very softly caressing her hair, sometimes making her shiver under the pressure of his fingers against her face.

They kept embracing for a very long time, none of them willing to break it up. But Scully suddenly looked up at him, a strange light brightening her baby blue eyes, "One more thing Mulder..." "Yeah?" He replied, curious. She pulled away from him, "What's that picture of me you have in your wallet?" Mulder had a smile and laughed nervously, "An old one, nothing important..." "Show it to me," she insisted kindly.

Mulder reluctantly picked up his wallet from an inner pocket and took the photo. He handed it to Scully whose expression was reflecting nothing more than pleasure. This was actually no old picture. It had been taken a few months ago during a background check in some boring county of Kansas they'd been sent to. Mulder had taken her by surprise while she was sitting on her bed in the motel room and took her picture. She was really pretty on it, pouting like a little girl, eyes sparkling and cheeks bright pink.

She had a last look to the photo and she handed it back to her friend. "That's not nothing Mulder..." She whispered. "I... I am really touched." Mulder felt his face burning and couldn't answer.

She went back into his arms and he filled his nostrils with her so beloved odor, thinking he had been on the verge to lose her forever a few hours ago.

Scully yawned a little and Mulder said gently, "You're tired Dana. You need some sleep. Go to bed with Jimmy. I'll take the couch." He kissed her neck softly, on the small scratch left by the wizard's blade. But Scully did not stood up. On the contrary, she closed her eyes and murmured, "I want to stay here Mulder." "Don't you think you'd be better off in your bed?"

"No Mulder... I mean... I wanna stay with you." He smiled and kissed her forehead. She was so adorable. He grabbed the blanket and rested his head against the cushions, still holding her tight. Scully buried her face on his shoulder.

He wrapped her whole in the blanket and smoothed her hair absentmindly. She had fallen asleep in his arms and he couldn't take his eyes off of her. After awhile, he leant over her ear and whispered tenderly, "Dana... You've come to mean so much to me... Much more than I could ever express. But you have to know that I... I care about you." He paused and sighed sadly. He would never be able to tell her. Maybe it was better like this...

He kissed her on the cheek, a soft, tender kiss and said gently, "Hope you're having nice dreams, sweet little girl." Then he closed his eyes. Too fast to see a single tear running from Scully's lower lid down to the corner of her lips, which were drawing those words, "I care about you too Mulder..." THE END

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