Summary: Mulder and Scully investigate a haunted hotel.
Notes: This was my first story. The first I'd written since elementary school (I'm now in high school) so keep that in mind if you're thinking it sounds a bit cliche or something...
I open the door to my hotel room and toss my purse on the table inside the door. My husband comes in behind me, letting the door slam behind him.
"What the hell?" I hear my husband mutter behind me.
"What was that Tim?" I turn to face him, then follow his gaze to the window. There's a woman standing there, looking out the window. "What the hell?" I mimmic. I would swear she wasn't standing there two seconds ago when we came in.
The woman appears to have heard me and she turns around, her eyes looking past us with an expressionless face. She comes around from behind the bed where she'd been looking out the window. The first thing I notice is her height, she must be at least seven feet tall. Then I notice her feet, they aren't touching the ground but hovering about two feet above it.
"Tim," I whisper as I grasp his sleeve for support, "do something!" He appears frozen in place. His mouth is open and he stares at the woman. He just stares at her! I look again at her and she is approaching us, her hair flowing in wind only she must feel and I scream.
I bury my face into Tim's sleeve and wait. Nothing. I look up and she's gone.
Tim stares ahead into space. "She disappeared. She just disappeared."
Agent Scully sighs, dropping the folder on her partners desk.
"God, Mulder. You've got to be kidding me." Agent Mulder comes around from behind his desk, crossing his arms in front of him while Scully turns around to face him and leans herself against his desk, "An airplane goes down in the middle of Lake Huron, Canada, there are no survivors and the evidence gathered from the wreck indicates the crash was due to a loss of control."
"Scully, we've been over this. That plane went down to hide something."
"Mulder, that night there was an unexpected storm and the autopsy on the pilot showed a high level of alcohol in his system. If the pilot crashed that plane, it wasn't on purpose, it was due to a few too many Brewskey's before the flight and difficult flying conditions."
"Then how do you explain the wreckage? The plane was supposed to be carrying shipments of construction equipment but all that was found were crates of Mattel's PlayDoh."
Scully nervously licks her lips, "Mulder-"
"-Agents Mulder, Scully?"
A.D. Skinner's secretary pokes her head in the office's doorway. Mulder turns to face her.
"Assistant Director Skinner wants you in his office immediately."
Mulder begins to follow her lead while Scully steps away from the desk she was resting on. She hears a small clunk and turns around. The phone must have accidentally been knocked off the hook when she leaned against the desk. That would explain why Skinner didn't simply call instead of sending his secretary to summon them upstairs.
Mulder notices Scully's absence and comes back from the doorway he's made it to, to where she's standing.
Scully picks up the phone and rests it back in the receiver, "Yeah."
The two agents begin walking side by side out of their office. The secretary has gone on ahead and by now and is no longer in earshot, but regardless, they begin speaking in hushed tones. Mulder leans in closer to his partner.
"What do you think this is all about?"
"Do you think it was about that stolen-"
"No, no. I went over that with Skinner three days ago. I explained that it was completely necessary for the purposes of our investigation. He let it slide. Just barely."
"Mulder, how you pull these things off, I don't know."
Agent Scully follows Mulder inside the elevator and pushes the button. The conversation pauses, but resumes again when the elevator door is closed.
"What do you mean?"
Arms crossed, Scully leans against the back wall of the elevator.
"Mulder, we were on assignment in Texas and somehow you managed to explain your way out of stealing a snowmobile, of all things. Do you realize how that must have sounded?"
"I told you, Miller had taken-."
Mulder stops when the elevator door opens and three men enter. Mulder and Scully exit the elevator and begin walking towards Skinners office. Mulder begins again in a hushed tone.
"Miller had taken the-"
"Mulder, I don't want to hear it. We've had this conversation before and this time I don't think it's going to make any more sense than the last."
The two agents step into the waiting room where Skinners secretary is waiting for them.
"Sure, fine. Whatever."
"Agent Mulder, Agent Scully. You can go right on in. A.D. Skinner has been waiting for you."
"Well? What are you thinking?"
"Hmm? Oh," Agent Mulder looks up from the new case folder they'd received only a moment ago in Assistant Director Skinner's office, "Looks like a classic haunting." Scully leaves his side in their basement office and takes a seat behind her desk.
"Or maybe just a few paranoid hotel guests who've heard one too many ghost stories..."
"Scully, Sahony Inn is known for it's regular hauntings. There are stories dating back almost a hundred years, back to its construction, about ghosts who wander its halls-"
"Then what do you think about the eye witness accounts? More than seventy businessmen seated in the seminar room testified to seeing a flash of light coming from the center of the room followed by sounds of muffled voices and distant music."
"I think this case is even worse than that one about the mysterious crates of PlayDoh."
Scully smiles, "I aim to please."
"We can only hope that you bring that sense of humour of yours along with us tomorrow on that two hour plane trip. We'll need something to keep us amused."
Mulder's response is rewarded with one of his partners cold stares. Mulder checks his watch, crosses the room and heads for the door, grabbing his coat along the way.
"See you tomorrow Scully. Seven o'clock sharp."
Scully sighs. "Yeah. Fine."
"Exactly how much farther do we have to go?"
Scully adjusts herself in the passenger seat, trying to find a comfortable position.
"Shouldn't be much more than an hour now."
"Why does that sound familiar?" Scully speaks half to herself, turning to look out the window. There's a short pause and Scully watches out her window as tree after tree wisks by.
"If someone hadn't given me the wrong directions three hours ago, I'm sure we'd be there by now."
Scully looks away from the window to face Mulder, who's staring straight ahead at the road, "Mulder, you gave me the wrong map!"
"Scully, I-", Mulder turns his head briefly to meet her gaze but returns his eyes to the road when he sees the ever familiar 'look' coming from the other side of the car, "Never mind". Scully stares at him a moment longer then returns her attention to the scenery.
She looks away from the window. "Yes?"
Mulder looks over at Scully again then returns his gaze to the road. "I've heard Sahony Inn has had some pretty nasty ghosts, who don't just limit themselves to the hallways and seminar rooms. I know this goes against the rules about Federal employees and sleeping arrangements, but you're welcome to bunk with me if you want. That is, if you ever get too afraid to...", Mulder turns again and looks at Scully with an amused expression.
"Right, Mulder. I'll be sure to keep that in mind."
The two ride in near silence for nearly an hour and a half. Scully reaches over and turns off the radio that's playing. "Mulder..."
"Hey, don't look at me. That sign said-Oh, wait. There", Mulder points with one finger lifted from the steering wheel, "See? 'Sahony Inn. 10 Miles'."
Scully sighs, thank-you God. "No, Mulder. I meant to ask you about Satony Inn. What else, exactly have you heard about their 'ghosts', other than the fact that they like to walk the halls and play music in the seminar room?"
"Sahony. Apparently there've been a few poltergeists causing some trouble in the kitchens and dining halls, but the last report of a mischief making ghost was almost eleven years ago. Some guests have reported seeing apparitions in their hotel rooms, appearing at the foot of their bed at night while others have seen phantom bell boys bringing up their bags. It's not until later when a few of the guests have commented to the desk clerk about the quality of the bell boy's service that they get the story about the man who worked there which had passed away years ago, perfectly matching the description of the bell boy in question."
"Mulder, the story of the 'phantom bell boy' could simply be a case of mistaken identity or a story told by the employees for the purpose of publicity, which seems to be working. And the ghosts at the foot of the bed could be the result of a dreamlike state some people find themselves in when waking quickly from a dream. They sometimes see what they imagine to be ghosts or aliens at the foot of their bed which soon disappears while they wake fully."
Mulder looks briefly towards Scully, a slight smile across his face. "Yes, but few dreams are shared by more than one person at one time. A Mr. and Mrs. Habelton reported seeing a ghostly figure moving about their room in broad daylight about a month ago, after they returned from lunch. It turned to face them, headed straight for them and then vanished into thin air."
"And were Mr. and Mrs. Hebleton the only ones to see this 'ghostly figure'?
Mulder again looks briefly towards Scully. "Just what are you getting at?"
"That it's all a publicity stunt, Mulder. There's no actual evidence to show that Sahony Inn may actually be haunted," Scully leans back in her seat and sighs, "besides, who's to say after we pass on any one of us would want to spend eternity roaming the halls of an old hotel?"
"You're forgetting the businessmen. Seventy of them. You can't tell me that flash of light coming from the center of the room could be explained any other way, and what about the muffled voices and music?"
Scully sits up straighter. "Mulder; a flash of light doesn't necessairily indicate a ghostly presence. It could be anything. The muffled voices are probably just the voices of a crowd of people walking by the room and the distant music-"
"Scully, hold that thought for a second." Mulder pulls over to the shoulder of the road.
"Mulder, what are you doing?" He exits the car, leaving the door open and engine running, giving her a 'one second' gesture over his shoulder. By now it's getting dark and it's hard to make out what Mulder is doing. She can see what seems to be the beginning of a driveway and a gate, something she must've missed, being that it is well hidden in the trees. Mulder appears to be talking to someone on the other side of the gate. He stays there for a few minutes and the gate opens, Mulder heads back to the car.
"They keep the gates closed after hours."
Scully nods. Mulder seats himself in the car and begins the drive down the driveway.
Mulder puts his luggage down near the front desk.
"Hi. I'm Mr. Rotchesson, this," Mulder motions to Scully who is standing to his right, "is Ms. Fairwell. We'll be needing a place to hang our hats for the next few nights."
The tall, dark man behind the desk looks down at his computer and starts typing."Do you have a reservation?"
"No," Mulder looks at Scully, "We didn't think we'd need one."
Scully looks up at Mulder with a look of dissatisfaction. The desk clerk types at his computer a little more. "Well, I'll see what I can do. Will that be one room or two?"
The two agents look at each other and reply simultaneously.
The man stops typing and looks up from his computer. Scully looks at Mulder and then at the man behind the counter.
"Two. We're here on business. Would it be possible to get adjoining rooms?"
"Maybe if we put you on one of the top floors, they're not as nice, but there all we've got. What can I say, you should've made a reservation."
Scully thanks the desk clerk and she and Mulder take their keys. A young blonde man dressed in the traditional red bell boy suit, hat and all, who looks as if he can't be more than seventeen takes Mulder's and Scully's bags and leads the way to their rooms. Scully leans in to Mulder as they walk and whispers. Mulder leans slightly down to better hear what the little agent is saying. "Mulder, do you think this could be the 'phantom bell boy'?"
Scully smirks and Mulder smiles.
"It just may be Scully, you never know."
The three of them walk in silence down the halls. Mulder looks around as he walks. The theme of this place is definitely red, he thinks to himself. He admires the red velvet curtains draped across the large windows. He follows them with his eyes down to where it meets the red carpet. The halls are lined with various oil paintings of varying themes and small tables with flowers contained in none other than faded red glass vases. It's nice though.
"Well, here we are."
The bell boy puts down the luggage and opens the door with his key. Mulder turns to Scully who he notices is also admiring the decor. Realizing the bell boy had opened the door and is taking her bags inside, Scully averts her attention from the hallway and looks up at Mulder to meet his gaze. She smiles and turns to follow the bell boy into the room. She tips him and he leaves to take Mulder to the next room, closing the door behind him.
The halls were definitely better decorated than the inside of her room. It looked almost like one of the rooms she was accustomed to Mulder renting on their little field trips, only a little bigger and with a couch. The right wall has a double bed in the center with two night stands on either side. The end wall has a large window with closed curtains and at the left hand corner is a round table with two chairs. Along the left hand wall is an old love seat. If the theme outside seemed to be red, the definite theme in here is lime green. That included the bedspread, curtains, love seat and lampshades. The place looks as if it had been decorated in the early seventies. Lovely, she thinks sarcastically.
Mulder enters from the adjoining door next to the corner at her left. "I see your room is as nicely decorated as mine. Except mine's orange, not like this lovely green colour you have."
Scully follows Mulder into his room. His is an orange duplicate of hers, only reversed. "Mulder, why didn't you make any reservations?" She turns to face Mulder.
"Scully, look at the size of this place. I didn't exactly think everything would be taken."
"Mulder, it's august. Things are a little busier this time of year", Scully sighs and slumps down in the love seat, "I was looking forward to actually staying in a nice place this time and not one of your usual-"
Mulder rolls his eyes, "It's just a room, Scully. We'll probably be spending most of the time out ghost hunting anyway."
"Yes, undercover. Mulder, when did we decide that's how we were handling this, anyway?"
Mulder sits opposite her on the end of the orange bed, "About ten minutes ago in the lobby."
"Figures...." Scully says to herself and rests her head on the back of the love seat. Mulder pauses and rests his arms on his knees, leaning a little closer to Scully.
"Scully, is everything all right with you?"
Scully brings her head back up and sees the look of concern in his eyes. "What do you mean?"
"It's just that you've been a little...edgier than usual. Anything up?"
Scully rests her head back against the love seat and sighs, "No, Mulder. I'm fine."
Mulder contemplates her reaction for a moment and nods. Must be one of those monthly female situations, he thinks to himself. He sits up for a second, then relaxes and lays back on his bed, feet still on the floor.
Scully yawns and gets up from her seat. "I'm going to go unpack."
Eyes closed, Mulder makes a noise in acknowledgment and Scully turns and heads into her green room.
Scully lifts her empty suitcase off of the bed and leaves it by the door. She enters Mulder's room through the open connecting doorway, expecting to find him where she left him, passed out on the orange bed. "Mulder, I thought we'd go catch a late dinner...." Her words trail off when she sees he's nowhere to be found. She checks the bathroom, knocking on the door.
"Mulder?" No answer. She enters the bathroom and finds it empty. "Mulder?" Scully leaves the bathroom, a look of puzzlement across her face. That's odd, she thinks to herself, if he'd left I would've heard him. She crosses the room and exits through Mulder's door, leaving it open a crack. Scully looks down the hall, first right, then left.
She hears a noise to her right and turns. No one there. Scully pauses a moment and shrugs, turning to head back into the room. She hears the sound again. A sound of rustling, like the sound of a woman walking in a long dress, perhaps a wedding dress or something a wealthy woman of the eighteenth century would wear. The material rustling as she walks. She turns around again, more quickly this time. She searches the halls with her eyes, looking for who or what may be the cause of the sound. She finds nothing to give her the answer she's looking for.
Scully laughs out loud and brings her hand to cover her face. I need sleep, she thinks to herself. Her hand drops to her side and she again turns to head into his room. She hears another sound, but this time it resembles foot steps. She turns reluctantly and sees Mulder coming down the hall, one hand carrying a white plastic bucket.
"Hey, Scully. Just went to get some ice," he pauses, "Scully, what's wrong? You look as if you've seen a ghost."
"I'm fine. I'm just a little tired."
Mulder nods. "What do you say we go catch a bite to eat?" He squeezes past her and enters the hotel room. He disappears a moment into the bathroom and returns without the bucket of ice. He stops in the middle of the room to meet Scully halfway who has reentered the room and closed the door, a look of expectation on his face.
"Sure," Scully looks down at her outfit, crumpled from falling asleep in the car on the ride over, "Just let me go change first."
Mulder nods and watches as Scully leaves his room through the connecting door and closes it behind her. She emerges a few moments later in a pair of blue jeans and a grey T-shirt.
Scully walks briskly down the hall then begins to run. She exits through the emergency exit at the end of the hallway in a matter of seconds, frantically looking for Mulder. Then she sees him. He's lying in the alleyway behind the building, partially hidden by a few garbage cans. There's a man leaning over him who appears to be in his late fifties. He's well built for a man of his age with a shaved head and pale skin. The moonlight reflects off of something on the ground, surrounding the two men. A liquid. Blood. Scully reaches for her gun, but she is still in a groggy state from the drug she was injected with, and it clatters to the ground.
Realizing another presence, the man looks up. Although she cannot see him well in the dark, Scully can feel the mans eyes meeting hers and she shivers. She's paralyzed. The man rises and turns to Scully. With amazing speed he is on her, throwing her to the ground. Her body thumps against the ground and her head hits the pavement with a painful smack. He brings his mouth to her neck and she can feel his breath on her. The hairs on her neck stand on end with fear. She cries out as she feels the sharp points tear into her skin and the warm liquid running down her neck.
There is the sound of laughter outside the alleyway. Someone is coming. The man lifts his head with a start and gets up. Scully is unable to move, the pain is too great. She stares helplessly as the man looks down at her and then over at the entrance to the ally. She blinks and he is gone. Scully closes her eyes again. The throbbing in her neck is beginning to subside. She re-opens them. The man has just vanished. Where could he have gone?
Slowly, she lifts her head. The throbbing returns. Using her hand to brace herself, she stands. There is a wave of pain throughout her body as Scully attempts to take a step. She places one hand against the door for support and closes her eyes for a moment. When she opens them again, the world stops spinning, slightly anyway. She waits until she feels it's safe to try walking again and she takes a step. Scully winces but continues. She makes it to Mulder's side and falls to her knees next to him.
"Mulder?" No response.
Mulder lies next to her on the pavement, eyes closed. She can see where the man had attacked him, the two puncture wounds in his neck. There is a trickle of blood running down from those wounds, but they aren't what's worrying her the most. There is a dark stain on Mulder's shirt. She touches it. His shirt is completely drenched in blood.
With a closer look she can see the cause of the blood surrounding him. A bullet wound to the stomach.
Scully takes Mulder's wrist in her hands, checking for a pulse. It's faint, but it's there. With one hand she begins to put pressure on his wound and with the other, she places it on his cheek.
"Mulder, wake up." She says, but it's barely above a whisper. "Mulder." She repeats, this time a little louder and choked with emotion. "Mulder listen to me. I want you to open your eyes." Scully can feel herself losing control, the sobs raising in her throat. She struggles to keep herself from letting go, she needs to be strong now. Scully removes her hand from his face and brings it back to his wrist. His pulse is fading. "God damn it, Mulder! Stay with me."
His eyes flutter and he grunts. A sob escapes Scully's throat and she feels a tear slide down her face. "Mulder. Mulder, can you hear me?" She can see him struggling to come back to her. "Mulder?" His eyes open. Scully smiles down at him and her hand returns to touch his face.
He is obviously in unspeakable pain but appears to be doing his best to hide it.
"What happened?" Another tear escapes. His voice is not much more than a whisper and Scully has to lean in closer to hear him.
"You were attacked. There was a man and he-that's not important now, right now we need to worry about getting you to a hospital. Lie still."
"Scully-" He closes his eyes again and sighs. Mulder re-opens them. "I can't-"
"What?" She can see Mulder struggling with the pain. "What Mulder, what is it?" The tears are coming more freely now.
Mulder closes his eyes and sighs. The loss of blood from his body has made his skin slightly cold to the touch and even in the darkness, she can see the sickly pale tone his skin has taken.
"Mulder?" No answer. "Mulder? What is it? What are you trying to say?" Scully is frantic. She realizes Mulder's next heartbeat could be his last. They won't be making it to the hospital.
Again she checks his wrist for a pulse. Nothing. She checks again, looking for a sign of life, still nothing. She adjusts her fingers on his wrist and this time is able to find a hint of a pulse. She cries out.
Scully places her hand against his face once more, "Mulder, don't do this to me. Stay with me." She lifts her hand to brush the hair out of his face, "Mulder." She can feel the sobs raising from her throat again and this time she doesn't have the strength to stop them. She again brushes her hand through his hair and rests it against his cheek. She whispers "Please, God. Please."
Mulder opens his eyes once again and his eyes meet hers. He tries to speak but it's useless. His mouth forms the words, but the sound doesn't come.
"Mulder, everything's going to be all right." A promise they both know to be false, made as much for his benefit as hers. Mulder again tries to speak, his lips forming the words without the sound. He pauses and tries again, this time his attempt resulting in a soft whisper. Scully looks at him, from one eye to the next then lowers her head so she can better hear him.
"Scully, I-" He coughs, there is a short pause, "I...love you."
Scully is moved more than her emotions could show. The tears she is shedding are a mixture of relief and sadness. "I love you too."
Mulder coughs again. His coughs turn into an uncontrollable fit of coughing. Scully struggles to calm him, but her efforts prove useless. After a moment, Mulder's coughs cease. Mulder is too quiet. She checks his wrist once more and after repeated attempts, she finds nothing. Scully lowers her head to Mulder's chest, listening for a heart beat. Nothing.
The uncontrollable sobs that had overtaken her once before, come again. She sits there, leaning over Mulder, the tears falling from her face. He's gone.
Scully sits up with a start. Her face is wet with tears. She finds herself not in the alleyway behind a building, but in her hotel room. The room is dark and she can feel a chill.
She puts her hands to her face and wipes the tears from her eyes. It had been so real. Her hands are now covering her face and she is leaning forwards, trying to fight the sobs that threaten to come. It had only been a dream.
Scully shivers. She gets the feeling she isn't alone. Looking up, she makes out something in the dark. A face. With a start, she reaches her hand to the lamp next to the bed and turns it on. She is alone in the room. It must have been her imagination.
Pulling the covers off of her, she steps out of bed and heads for the connecting door. She knocks and there is no answer. She opens the door.
"Mulder, are you up?" Mulder sighs and rolls over in his bed.
"I am now." He reaches for the lamp and turns it on, "What's wrong?" He opens his eyes fully and sees Scully's tear stained face. He sits up in bed, worried now. "Scully, what is it?"
"Mulder, I think I'm going to take you up on that offer." She sighs, and runs her hand over her hair.
Mulder looks confused, "What offer?"
"...the sleeping arrangements..."
Mulder's expression shows his understanding. "Oh. Oh, yeah. Sure. Come on, you can have the bed. I'll go take the couch." Mulder begins to get out of bed.
"No. No, Mulder. It's your room. You take the bed, besides the couch is much too small for you anyway." Mulder and Scully's eyes meet and Scully sniffs.
"Well, we'll just share it then." There's a short moment of silence. "No funny stuff Scully, I swear." Another pause. "Come on Scully, it's a big bed."
Too tired to argue, Scully crosses to the other side of the bed and gets in.
"Scully, are you all right?" Scully lays down.
"I'm fine Mulder."
Mulder looks hurt by her response. He reaches up and turns off the light.
Mulder wakes the next morning to find her gone. Sitting up against the backboard, he brings his hand to his face as if to rub the sleepiness from his eyes. His left hand reaches over to the night stand next to him and picks up his watch. 6:57. Where could she be? He's never known her to be a morning person.
Checking to make sure the connecting door was closed, he gets up and dresses. Mulder knocks on the door.
"Scully?" He waits a moment and is about to knock again when he hears a voice from the other side.
Mulder enters the room to find Scully sitting cross-legged on her bed, bent forward over her computer. She pulls her glasses off using one hand and looks up. "Morning."
"Morning. What are you doing up so early?"
Scully looks down at her computer and closes it. "I couldn't sleep." Mulder leaves his spot by the door and sits down next to her on the bed. She looks up at him.
"Scully, is something wrong?" She looks down at her laptop again.
"No, Mulder. Nothing's wrong."
Mulder looks down at his lap and then again up at her. "Then why did you come to my room last night?"
"It was nothing, I...the heater in my room wasn't working, I couldn't sleep."
"That's fine, except for one thing." Scully looks up. "It's august...."
"Maybe so, but it was cold last night, so I turned it on."
Mulder pauses. She's really reaching with this one. "Scully..."
She looks up to meet his eyes, her expression telling him not to go there. "Mulder." She can see in his eyes that he's hurt, but it's too late, the damage is done. Why couldn't I have just told him I had a dream, no big deal. I wouldn't even have to say what about. He nods and gets up from the bed, crossing the room to the door.
He slowly turns, the expression on his face has turned from hurt to anger and he opens his mouth as if to speak. There is a brief pause as if he is changing his mind, but then he speaks.
"Scully-" He does change his mind and he shakes his head, turning to leave through the door. Scully watches him leave, her guilt now is almost overpowering, but not quite enough to overpower her stubbornness. It really is nothing. I'll be fine, she thinks to herself. It's just a dream. But she knows it all to be a lie, the dream had shaken her so much that she found herself unable to sleep all night. She finally gave up at 6:00 and left his room to go catch up on some work. Even with the comfort of knowing Mulder had been lying next to her, alive and well. Something that had been a comfort in more ways then one.
She takes the computer off of her lap and places it to her side, getting up from the bed and aiming herself for the bathroom. She sighs. It's time to get to work, there are many a 'ghosts' to be 'hunted'.
"So, Mr. Rotchesson, what's the plan for this evening?"
The two agents sit across from each other in the dining hall, enjoying an early dinner. It is a large room, filled with numerous round tables, all covered in a white table cloth and decorated with a vase of red carnations in the center. The curtains covering the large windows lining one side of the room are pulled back to let in the sunshine, making the room almost painfully bright. Mulder looks up from his chicken and potatoes. "Well, Ms. Fairwell, I was thinking we'd attend the 6:15 discussion in the seminar room down the hall. What do ya say? The topic is 'Music; Notes and their meanings'."
Scully sips her root beer. "I'd say it sounds boring."
Mulder acknowledges her statement with a shrug as he stuffs a piece of chicken in his mouth.
"I was thinking we could get there a little early, that way we'll have some time to look around."
Scully finishes off her salad. "And just what is it we'll be looking for?" She reaches for her root beer again.
Mouth full of potatoes, Mulder replies. "You know, hot or cold spots, mysterious markings, the usual."
With the glass brought nearly to her mouth, she pauses and speaks into the cup before taking a sip. "Ah, the usual."
The two finish up their meals and begin the walk to the seminar room down the hall, passing many doorways as they walk. "Ms. Fairwell, I'll catch up with you in a second." Mulder heads into the one with the little picture of a stick man on it. Scully nods and continues walking.
Approaching the seminar room, Mulder can hear the sound of a piano through the double wooden doors. He pauses, listening. Chopin. He assumes it to be one of the discussions hosts practicing but is taken aback when he enters.
Scully is sitting at the piano which is situated so that it is facing the far wall. Her small figure hunched over the keys, fingers racing over them rapidly. The notes are coming out perfectly, beautifully. Mulder finds himself haunted by the beautiful music; unable to move. The door he'd entered through closes behind him, making a sound that makes him jump as well as disrupting Scully. The music stops abruptly and neither move for a moment; the silence as disturbing as the music that had preceded.
Mulder breaks the silence. "Scully, I...I wasn't aware that you could play."
Scully remains seated at the piano, her hands raised in front of her face, her back to him. She doesn't move, she doesn't speak. Mulder crosses the room to meet her, stopping at her side by the piano. She looks up from her hands to meet his gaze, her eyes wide, an expression of sheer shock and terror across her face. After a moment she speaks.
"Neither was I."
Mulder's face shows his puzzlement. "What do you mean?"
Scully looks down at the piano keys, then returns her eyes to Mulder. "I mean, I took lessons when I was eight, but" She struggles a moment to find the words, "but I was never any good. I quit after only a few months." Scully looks down at her hands once more.
"Then how were you-" Scully looks up again at Mulder.
"I don't know." Her mind is foggy and her expression one of confusion. She can't remember anything before separating from Mulder in the hall on the way over. He'd headed into the restroom, she'd begun walking again and the next thing she knew, Mulder was entering the seminar room behind her and she was seated at the piano, her hands lifting off the keys, the notes recently played still lingering in the air.
Mulder looks disturbed. "Scully...."
The sound of the door closing interrupts them and the two look over to the source of the sound.
"Ah, I see we have a few early birds." A man in his early sixties enters the room, dressed in a dark suit and red tie. His still brown hair is balding and the light reflects off of his scalp. There is a hint of an English accent.
He smiles at the two agents and walks towards them. "Good morning. I'm Edward Wilmore." He extends his hand to shake Mulder's, does so and then shakes Scully's.
"I'm Will Rotchesson, this is Alexandria Fairwell." Mulder pauses and looks to Scully for a brief moment before returning his attention back to Mr. Wilmore. "I'm sorry, Mr. Wilmore, but I don't think we'll be attending the discussion after all. Something business related has come up and we really must be going." Scully looks up at Mulder.
"Of course." Mr. Wilmore replies and excuses the two of them.
Scully follows Mulder back to their rooms, still in the daze the recent incident left her in. Mulder unlocks the door and motions for her to enter before him. She does so. Mulder follows after her and the door shuts not too gently behind him.
"All right Scully, what the hell was that all about?" Scully turns to face him, the anger in his voice snapping her back to reality.
"Mulder?" She's not too sure how to respond to this or even why there is something to be responding to. Mulder takes a step closer.
"What is wrong Scully?" She looks down a moment, not quite sure herself.
"I'm fine Mulder." Scully judges by the look in his eyes that that was the wrong answer. "I haven't been myself lately, I've had some trouble sleeping."
"Why? Scully, talk to me. If there's something wrong, you can tell me, you know that." Mulder reaches out and guides Scully to the love seat, sitting opposite her on the bed. He is no longer angry, but concerned. "Scully, after all we've been through..."
Scully looks down and shakes her head. "Mulder, I..." she looks up, "I don't know what to tell you." Mulder stares at her a moment.
"Fine." He stands. "Fine. If that's the way you're going to play it...." He crosses to the door.
"Mulder, where are you going?" He doesn't answer. "Mulder?"
"Don't worry, I'll be back." He leaves the room, the door shutting behind him. Scully stands and stares a moment at the door. She then turns and crosses to enter her room, opening and then shutting the door behind her. There is a chill in her room and Scully shivers.
She looks around the room and discovers what she believes to be the cause of the cold, an open window. She walks to the window. There are puffy white clouds drifting across the sky and she can see some children playing on the grass below, dressed in
T-shirts and shorts. Aren't they cold, she thinks to herself. She closes the window.
Hearing a noise behind her, she turns, expecting to find Mulder. She assumes she must've not heard him come in, but when she turns she doesn't find Mulder. It is someone else.
There is a woman standing not more than three feet away from her. She is dressed in a light blue dress, reaching to the floor. It is elegant looking, like one only the wealthiest of women of the early nineteenth century could afford. She stares at Scully with a blank expression across her face, her eyes wide and her hair coming in curly brown locks beside her face. Her skin is deathly pale and she stands straight, with her arms to her side, her eyes locking with Scully's as she looks her in the eye.
Scully cries out.
Mulder knocks on the connecting doorway. "Scully?" There is no answer. He knocks again. "Scully, is it all right if I come in?" Again there is no answer so he enters.
He finds Scully laying on her bed. She is laying on top of the covers, half on her stomach and half on her side, in an unnatural position. He crosses to the side of her bed.
"Scully?" She doesn't answer. Mulder reaches his hand down to touch her shoulder. "Scully?" Still no response. He reaches his other hand down and takes hold of her shoulders, turning her over so that she is laying on her side, then turning a little farther so that she is resting on her back.
Her eyes snap open and she stares up at him, her eyes cold. Her hands reach up to grab hold of his wrists and she grasps them with surprising strength. "Let go of me."
Mulder stares at her in disbelief. His hands let go of her shoulders and she thrusts his wrists toward him, forcing him to stagger back a step. She gets up.
"What are you doing in my room?" She shouts this to him and he is unsure of how to react.
"I came to see how you were doing."
"Well, get the hell out!" She steps toward him, but Mulder is not threatened, he is too confused by his partners reaction to him. He stands his ground. Scully stands close to him and looks up at his face. Her eyes are cold and she glares at him. She speaks in a low tone.
"Did you not hear me?" Her voice raises "I said get the hell out! Get out of my room!"
Scully collapses on the floor of her hotel room. She is sobbing uncontrollably, her face buried in her hands and her shoulders shaking. Mulder sits against the wall in the corner of her room. His face is beaten and there is blood trickling down his chin from a cut on the side of his lip.
"Mulder..." She speaks after a few minutes, speaking between sobs and taking in gasps for breath, "Mulder I...I didn't mean-"
"Save it." He tries to get up, winces, and sits again.
"Mulder, I...did I do this to you?" She struggles to get up and takes a few steps to where Mulder is sitting. She falls to her knees in front of him and reaches a hand out to the cut on his face. She speaks between sobs.
"Mulder, I don't remember-" He bats her hand away from his face. He doesn't speak but just stares at her. His expression hard and unforgiving. Scully's sobs have resided and she has tears flowing freely from her face.
"Mulder, what happened?" His expression turns to disbelief.
"What happened? You beat the living shit out of me for checking up on you, that's what happened."
Mulder tries again to get up and succeeds. He passes her on the floor and limps in the direction of his room. "Mulder." She stands up and begins walking to meet him. He turns to face her.
"The last thing I remember is coming into my room after you left." She looks up at him. "I don't remember anything after that."
Mulder looks into her eyes. They are sad, desperate, questioning. They are not the same eyes he had seen a moment ago, so cold and hate filled. He believed her. Mulder's expression softens. He reaches with one hand and places it on her face, wiping the tear from her cheek with his thumb. Scully reaches her hand up and gently touches the bump that's beginning to form on his face. He winces and she pulls her hand away.
"Scully, It's okay." He leads her over to the bed and she sits down. He sits opposite her on the love seat.
"Scully, you have to tell me what's going on." Scully just stares at him a moment. She's not sure what to say. Mulder waits a moment for her to respond.
"God damn it, Scully! What is going on with you?" Scully stares at him. "Scully, let me help you."
Scully looks at her lap and Mulder reaches to take her hand. "Mulder, I...I don't know. I don't know what's going on." Scully begins to cry again and Mulder stands. He sits next to her on the bed and he embraces her with a hug, she hugs him back. "Scully, it'll be okay. It'll be okay."
Mulder is awakened that night by the shrill scream coming from Scully's room. He quickly rises and stumbles his way through the dark to the open entrance to her room.
"Scully, what is it?"
He fumbles his way to the side of her bed and turns on her light. What he sees terrifies him more than anything he'd seen in any one of his X-Files. Laying before him he sees Scully, not on her bed but hovering about three feet above it. She floats there, limp and lifeless, her arms hanging below her, swinging slightly.
"My God...." Mulder stands there, frozen to the ground. His features struck in an expression of sheer horror. He is unsure of what to do.
After a moment of silence, he moves. Mulder reaches with both hands to touch her shoulder. "Scully. Scully you've got to wake up." Nothing. "Scully, can you hear me?" Her eyes flutter. "Scully, wake up."
Scully's eyes open. She looks at him and Mulder can see the fear in her eyes. Either she is unable or she does not attempt to speak. Mulder reaches one hand from her shoulder and places it alongside her face. "Scully..." His voice displaying his emotions. Her eyes change and he sees the coldness that had been there earlier return. Her hand comes up from below her and she grasps the wrist of the hand which touches her face.
He cringes at the painful grip she has on his wrist. "What did I tell you about coming in here?" Her voice is low, threatening. Mulder is unable to answer, the grip on his hand so tight now that her nails are digging into his skin, his blood dripping steadily from them, leaving dark, wet stains on the carpet below.
"What did I tell you?" She shouts this to him and her grip on his wrist becomes even tighter. Mulder cringes and it is clear that no answer is coming.
Her eyes never leaving his face, Scully raises to a kneeling position. She slowly lowers herself to the bed, the expression of furry turning to a softer one. She smiles and looks up at him, her grip on his wrist softening but not letting go.
"Mulder, I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me." Her face is the perfect portrait of innocence. Mulder looks down at her, the blood running from his wrist connecting with her own skin as she grips him, running down the length of her arm and dripping onto the bedspread. He sees in her eyes the same coldness that had been present a moment ago.
"You're not Scully." His expression is no longer one of horror, but pure hatred. She blinks, seemingly baffled. "I'm not?" Mulder stares at her.
Scully's expression again turns cold, her grip on his wrist tightens. She stares at him and for a moment Mulder sees something in her eyes. They are terrified, pleading. But it is only a moment and they are again the cold, hateful eyes that had been there a moment before.
She stands, stepping off of the bed and pushing him backwards. He falls to the floor. His wrist now free, he gently holds it against himself protectively. The blood forming a red circle in the center of his grey T-shirt.
Mulder hurries to his feet, his wrist never leaving the protectiveness of his T-shirt.
"Why are you doing this? What do you want with her?" She begins to rise once more, lifting herself above him. Mulder steps back. His attention is temporarily directed towards the lamp, it begins to flicker and after a moment the light bulb pops, leaving them in near darkness. He staggers backwards blindly, stopping when he hits the wall. There is another shatter as the window is blown open, sending the curtains flying wildly in the wind.
The wind whistles through the broken remains of glass in the window and Mulder must yell to be heard above it. Scully slowly begins moving towards him. "What ever it is, what ever you want, I'll give it to you....Just give her back to me."
Even in the darkness, Mulder can see the change. Her eyes soften and her body limps, hanging in the air like a puppet.
For a moment the world around him is silent and he is aware only of the felt presence beside him. "Here you go." Mulder hears the whisper next to his ear, the cold breath causing him to shudder, sending the hairs on his neck on end.
The world is chaotic once again and Mulder looks up at Scully. He watches helplessly as her body is thrust forward by some unseen force, hitting the wall above him with a thud. She falls, her body landing next to an unsuspecting Mulder.
He turns and raises himself to his knees, leaning over Scully. His arms reach out to turn over her limp body, laying her on her back. She is unconscious.
"Scully!" He touches her face, hoping to wake her. She doesn't move. "Scully, wake up." His hand reaches down and finds her wrist, checking for a pulse. "Thank God."
Her eyes open and she calls to him. "Mulder." He looks up. "My God, Scully. Are you all right?" She closes her eyes and nods. "Do you think you can walk?"
She responds to him by beginning to sit up. She appears to be having troubles and Mulder offers his assistance with his good hand.
"We've got to get you out of here." Together they stand and turn for the door.
Making it to the lobby, the two agents sneak out the front door undetected. At this late hour, the halls are deserted, making it difficult to find any signs of life. Mulder lets her in the passenger seat of their rent-a-car. He crosses accross the front of car and enters himself, turning the key in the ignition and driving off. He looks over at Scully briefly as he drives. Her head is resting against the window, her eyes closed. Mulder can see the purple bruise forming across the left side of her face where she had hit the wall. There is a bump forming and he can see where her eye is beginning to swell. He slows as he arrives at the gate.
Scully opens her eyes, she sees Mulder running to the gate, leaving the car door open and engine running. He stands there a moment, his backside lit by the beams of the headlights. Mulder reaches to his side and pulls his gun, aiming at what she assumes to be the lock and fires. He reaches forward and pushes the gate wide open, giving them room to drive through.
He returns to the car, his face showing his relief to see that is Scully again awake.
The warm august air turns to a frosty chill. Recognizing the sign, Mulder puts his foot on the gas, thrusting them forward. He feels the familiar breath on his neck. "Ah, ah, ah. You're forgetting your promise." Scully gasps and the voice continues, changing from a light menacing, to a crueler tone. "I've decided what it is I want. I want you."
"Mulder!" Scully shouts when she sees the tree in front of them. It is falling from the left and Mulder has to swerve to avoid it.
The car comes to a stop at the side of the driveway, just missing one of the tall pines. "Hold on, Scully." He puts the car in reverse and reaches his arm over the back of her seat for support. Looking back, he guides the car backwards, then flips it back into neutral. With a start, the car is thrust forward and to the left. He guides the vehicle between two large trees and steers sharply to the right, aiming them for the gate.
Mulder awakes with a start. He is sitting upright and his hands are supporting himself behind him. He had the dream again. He's had it almost every night now, following their escape from the Inn.
Realizing a draft, Mulder gets up from his couch and crosses to his window. The September air has made things cooler and he reaches to shut the window that he expects to find open. He finds that it is not. Mulder turns, his breath now foggy from the cold. He feels the well remembered breath on his neck and he freezes.
"Why so surprised? Did you think I'd forgotten about your little promise?"
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