Subject: New! Missing Pieces by S.Proto
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999
Category: X-File (don't faint! <G>), M/S UST,
ANGST, MT-lite (ahh, now that's more like it!)

Rating: PG13 for language

Spoilers: through season six (but I always say that to be safe!)

Summary: Scully can't understand why she keeps misplacing things that are
only of value to her, or are they?

Archive: Yes

Disclaimer: Chris Carter owns the ones you recognize. I'm just borrowing
'em. I'll give 'em back. Later. I own the ones you don't. You can borrow
'em. Later.

The site addy for Susan's Garden (courtesy of the incredible Shirley
Smiley/Web Mistress Supreme of MTA) is:

Special thanks to Vickie Moseley who keeps reminding me to keep true to the

Thanks in advance for all of your feedback.

Please send e-mail comments to:

Missing Pieces
By Susan Proto (

Part 1/4

Dana Scully woke up to find the sun shining and the coffee perked, just as
she'd expected it to be having set the timer the night before. She wasn't
sure which pleased her more; the sunny weather after a few consecutive days
of inclement weather or the freshly brewed coffee. She took a deep breath.

Definitely the coffee.

After pouring herself a cup and stirring in a sweet and low, Scully headed
toward the bathroom and showered in the fifteen minutes she'd set aside for
just that task. Some days she set aside ten extra minutes, but she didn't
need to shave her legs or under her arms, so it would be a quick in and out

She climbed out of the tub and dried herself off with a huge bath towel and
then quickly put her terrycloth robe on so she wouldn't catch a chill. She
took out the blow dryer and quickly fluffed it dry for a minute or two, and
then took the extra fifteen minutes she needed to blow dry the curl out of
her naturally wavy hair.

One of these days, she thought to herself, she would let style be damned and
just let it dry naturally. So what if she'd look like Shirley Temple. Or
perhaps she should just cut it all off. Now that would get someone's
attention, wouldn't it? She just wasn't sure whose attention that would be,
or why she'd want it.

So, for now at least, she carefully sectioned each part of her red hair and
held it taut to blow it dry. A little styling spray, and that was done.

Next, Scully sat down at her make-up table, turned on the lights, and began
the next task. She had this one down to a science. It took her exactly ten
minutes to 'put her face on,' as her mom used to call it.

Scully reminisced briefly of the times she sat and watched first her mom and
then her older sister, Melissa, put on their make-up. It was fun to watch,
though she remembered thinking at the time that it seemed to be an awful lot
of bother.

Of course, Scully smiled to herself over that as she used her concealer stick
to hide the small mole above her lip. So much for too much bother.

Her hair was styled and make-up was done, so the next step in preparing for
the day was to get dressed. She went over to the hook behind the door and
pulled down the suit and blouse she had hanging there. Always one to save
time in the morning, it was Scully's habit to choose her next day's outfit
prior to going to bed. It was a habit her father had taught her when she was
a little girl, and it was one she'd never forgotten.

She loved making Ahab proud of her, and one of the ways to do that was to
always be dressed and on time for breakfast when he was on shore leave.
Dana, as a little girl, always tried to be the first of the four Scully
siblings down to breakfast, and she usually was. This gave her some extra
individual time with her dad, which she treasured to that day.

Scully finished the last of the coffee in her cup and put it in the sink.
Next, she smoothed out her suit jacket and grabbed her briefcases, one, which
contained reports and files, while the other held her laptop. She then
pulled out her ring of keys and opened her front door.


"Jesus Christ!" she screamed in terror as she first felt the heavy weight
fall on top of her feet, and then heard the loud thud. Milliseconds after
feeling threatened, Scully dropped her briefcase and pulled out her weapon.
She then managed to jump back out from under whatever it was that had fallen
on top of her.

She naturally looked to her left and right and then her eyes went downward to
the floor of her hallway. What she saw caused her to gasp.

"Mulder?" she finally asked, as she saw her partner was lying in a heap at
her feet. "Mulder," she called out again as she quickly knelt down to him to
check for a pulse. She was relieved to find he was indeed breathing.

She was surprised, however, to hear the very next sound that came out. A
snore. She was amazed to see her partner sawing wood with the best of them,
as well as shocked to see him dressed in what were obviously pajama bottoms,
no top, and bare feet. And he was sleeping like a baby.

"What the hell?" Scully couldn't help but ask out loud. Finally, she nudged
his shoulder and called out to him, "Mulder, wake up. Mulder, you've got to
wake up!" she said a little more urgently.

"What?" he startled awake. His entire body shuddered and as he tried to
focus his still heavily lidded eyes, he tried desperately to ascertain where
he was. He was definitely not home, and his body ached in places he didn't
know he even had, so it was obvious he hadn't slept in someone's comfortable

"Scully?" he said with surprise. "What's going on?" His expression was as
confused and bewildered as that of any toddler on their very first day of
nursery school. Mulder had no idea as to what the hell was going on.

"Mulder, what the hell is going on?" asked Scully a little too tersely. She
was disconcerted, to say the least, and she wanted to get her partner up and
out of the hallway. She knew some of her other neighbors would be leaving
their apartments very shortly.

"Oh, get up, Mulder," she directed, and when he demonstrated some difficulty
in rising, she offered her hand in support. He stood up, though he did sway
a little until he regained his sense of balance, and walked into her

"Okay, Mulder," she began, "why were you sleeping outside my door? What time
did you get here, and why aren't you dressed? Mulder, you're barefoot for
crying out loud!" she ranted.

Meanwhile, Mulder's mind was now going a mile a minute. He had no idea how
he even got to Scully's apartment in Georgetown, much less what time or why.
Why? When? He looked at his feet and saw they weren't too dirty, which told
him he probably hadn't walked all the way. He couldn't find his car keys, so
he wasn't sure if he'd driven himself over or not.

He moved silently over to Scully's window, which looked out onto the street.
He hadn't answered any of her questions yet, because he didn't know how to
answer them.

"Shit," he muttered out loud.


"My car," he muttered. She stood beside him and looked out the window, only
to see Mulder's car parked slightly askew on the street. It wasn't quite
double-parked, but both agents were quite certain the police would have no
problem coming up with a rationale for towing it away.

"When did you drive over here?" she asked with annoyance. She wanted a
straight answer and was getting more and more frustrated as time went by
without him giving her one.

"I don't know, Scully."

"You don't know," she echoed with disbelief.

"No, damn it, I don't know. I don't know what time I got here. Scully, I
don't remember driving over here, I don't remember walking into your
building, I don't remember coming to your door. I don't know what the hell
I'm doing here!" he responded angrily, though she was sure his anger wasn't
meant to be directed at her.

"How do you feel right now?" she asked as a way of deflecting his ire for the

"Okay, I think. I mean, my back hurts, but I think that's more from not
sleeping in a comfortable position. My head feels a little muzzy, but I
haven't had coffee yet, and I'm trying to hold a coherent dialogue with you.
I think I'm fine, Scully, with the exception of standing before you in
nothing more than my pajama bottoms.

"G-d, it's a good thing I didn't go to sleep au natural last night," he
muttered to himself.

"Damn," whispered Scully in response to words she knew hadn't been meant for

"What time is it?" he asked.

Scully looked at her watch and cried out, louder this time, "Damn it! We're
supposed to be meeting with Skinner in exactly thirty-five minutes, Mulder.
I don't think you're going to make it on time."

"My keys. I don't know where my damn car keys are," he ranted in frustration.

"I didn't see them on the floor in the hallway. You probably left them in
the car, no?" When she saw him shrug his shoulders, she became more
aggravated. "Look, Mulder, let's get out of here. We'll check your car for
the keys, and then proceed from there."

That was Scully for you; always the pragmatic, organized one. She took
things step by step by step. Everything was in order; everything had its
place. There was a time for everything as well. And Scully knew she was
supposed to be in the AD's office in less than thirty minutes now, and she
was pissed off that there was going to be yet another reason for Walter
Skinner to be pissed off with the X-Files division.

"Mulder, c'mon. I don't want to be late if I can help it; maybe I can stall
for you."

He followed her out the door, all the while praying he didn't run into any of
her neighbors. He was not only confused and worried, but he was, at that
moment, extremely embarrassed about his appearance. He didn't want to cause
Scully any undue embarrassment either, so it was with a great sigh of relief
that they'd arrived at his car unseen by the neighbors.

He looked inside the car, and sure enough, the keys were still in the
ignition. Unbelievably, no one stole the car even though it had an open
invitation for anyone to do so.

He quickly got into the car. He looked at Scully and wasn't sure what to
say. She asked him once again if he felt all right, to which he assured her
he did, and that he'd appreciate it if she had a cup of coffee ready for him
at the meeting with the AD.

"Right, Mulder. I'll be sure to be carrying a latte grande into the
Assistant Director's office and tell him I'm saving it for you," she said in
a peeved tone. "Just get your butt to work, Mulder, without taking out any
red lights on the way, okay?"

"Okay. Scully, I'm __." He didn't know what to say. Somehow, saying he was
sorry didn't quite seem right, since he wasn't sure what it was that he was
sorry for. Keeping her from getting her to the office on time seemed to be
the most immediate source of her agitation, so that's what he apologized for.
"I'm sorry I'm making you late. I'll get there as quickly as I can."

"Fine, Mulder." She began to walk away to her car, but then quickly turned
and called out, "Mulder!" When he looked directly at her, she said more
gently, "Please, drive carefully. I want you back at the office in one
piece, okay?"

He smiled, nodded, and drove off back to Alexandria.


Scully was already in the office when he'd called in to let Skinner know
there was a traffic delay, and that he was going to be a little late. He
apologized profusely, which everyone heard as Skinner had put the call on
speaker phone, and insisted that they begin without him, since Scully could
bring him up to speed when he arrived.

Skinner looked at Scully, as well as the other Division heads, to see if that
was okay with them. When they all nodded in agreement, Skinner informed
Mulder that they were indeed going on with the meeting and that he was to
arrive as quickly as he safely could. Skinner clicked off the phone and
called the meeting to order.

Mulder had somehow made it to the meeting only forty-five minutes late. Two
of the four other division heads had already made their monthly report, which
left only Agent Hendricks, Agent Stallworth, and Mulder to report. When he
saw he still had to sit through two other reports before he could make his
own, he wondered if there was a way to sneak out and come back later. There
was nothing duller than having to listen to other division heads give their

Scully had to smile to herself when she watched Mulder walk in and take his
seat by her side. The poor guy looked pretty good for someone who'd grabbed a
catnap on her hallway floor. She couldn't imagine what had gotten into him;
why he ended up by her front door was a real mystery. But with Mulder,
Scully had learned never to be surprised by anything.

Silently, she nudged a large Starbucks coffee cup over toward her partner.

If he could have kissed her right then and there, he would have, but somehow
he didn't think the AD would approve.


They'd all sat through the reports presented by Hendricks and Stallworth, as
well as Mulder's own report. He, at least, had learned what the other agents
would find helpful and interesting and cut most of the fat out of his report.
What took each of the other two agents forty minutes to report took Mulder
half that time, for which everyone was eternally grateful. The agents were
dismissed shortly after Mulder wrapped up and they all dispersed to their
respective offices.

Mulder sat down at his desk and pulled out a couple of files he'd wanted to
update. Scully, on the other hand, stood resolutely by his desk with her
arms crossed in front of her. When Mulder took a moment and looked up, he
saw his partner hadn't settled down to the day's business yet.

"What?" he asked confused. "Did I forget to thank you for the coffee? I
didn't mean to; I mean I don't remember the last time I was so grateful to
see a Starbucks container," he said innocently.

"Mulder, this isn't about the coffee for which you're welcome, by the way."

"Then what?"

"For crying out loud, Mulder," she admonished, "tell me you've forgotten
where I found you at seven-thirty this morning!"

At least he had the decency to blush, but in all honesty, he had forgotten,
just as he had no memory of what had precipitated his early morning journey
to Scully's apartment.

"Scully, I'm sorry. I honestly don't know what that was all about. I wish I
had an answer for you, but I don't."

Scully watched him carefully as he explained his ignorance of what had
transpired the night before. Mulder lied with the best of them; he lied
expertly to everyone, with the exception of one, and that was Scully.

So, when he finished his, albeit very sketchy, explanation, she felt she had
no recourse but to believe him. She sighed, told him to try and be more
aware with what was going on with his life, and got on with her work for the


Both agents had gone through a number of new possible cases for them to look
into, but by the time two-thirty rolled around, both of their stomachs
started growling and insisted they get some sustenance.

They decided to take their short lists of potential cases to the corner deli
and discuss which ones might have enough merit as an X-file.

"Let me have a corned beef and pastrami on rye, Samuel," ordered Mulder at
the little New York style Deli. "I want a knish too."

"Potato or Kasha?" the deli man asked.

"Potato, Samuel. Never could understand what anyone saw in kasha. Gives me
the heebee-jeebees just looking at it."

"Oh, c'mon, Agent Mulder. It's good stuff! Ya gotta try it again sometime;
taste buds change, ya know?"

"Yeah, sure," he agreed, but both men knew he had no intentions of ever
trying a kasha knish in his lifetime. "What do you want, Scully, and so help
me, if you order a corned beef on white with mayo again they will never allow
you back in here," he said, only half teasingly.

"Okay, okay," she responded to the teasing, but knew he was more serious than
either wanted to admit over something so minor," I'll have the corned beef on
rye, with mustard." She glared at him and said, "See? I learn, I learn."

Mulder caught the twinkle in her eyes and knew she wasn't really angry with
him. He grabbed their sandwiches while she took the bowl of pickles and sat
down at one of the booths in the back. They had their choice of seats as it
was late; the lunch crowd was long gone, and there was still a couple of
hours till the dinner crowd showed up.

Samuel brought over their drinks; he considered them part of his regulars now
and so he knew Mulder liked sweetened iced tea and the lovely red headed
Agent Scully enjoyed root beer. The agents thanked their server and
proceeded to both chow down and compare their case lists.

"Okay," mumbled Mulder in between bites of his sandwich, "I've got something
here that sounds promising." He then went on to talk about the possible
merits of a case in Mississippi where suspicious lights were seen on several
of riverbanks in the state.

"Mulder, is there anything unique about these lights?" asked Scully
impatiently. She was tired of the fact that every time a case of unknown
lights came to his attention, he assumed they were alien in nature and he was
willing to go traipsing off to investigate them.

"Well, no, not exactly__," he began.

"__Next," interrupted Scully. When he didn't argue, she knew even he wasn't
sure of the case's merit. "Okay, how about this one, and it's right here in
town. Apparently there's been some instances reported of women claiming some
of their personal effects have come up missing, but they swear there's no
sign of anyone in their home that doesn't belong there."

"What's missing?" Mulder asked, as he took a bite of the potato knish.

"Oh, things like hairbrushes and headbands, or favorite pieces of jewelry.
Nothing necessarily expensive; more priceless in terms of sentimental value,
you know?" Scully explained.

"So, how do you see this as an X-File? Sounds more like petty theft to me,"
Mulder observed.

"But the women have no clue as to how the person got in. The police were
called in and there were no signs of breaking and entering, doors and windows
remained locked from the inside__," she noted.

"I don't know; it sounds more like someone's acting out of petty jealousy or
something. Probably a family member exacting revenge over something or
other," he responded.

"But there were six victims noted, Mulder, and they claim they're strangers
to one another."

Mulder shrugged his shoulder and continued to eat. Scully took that as a
'no' and crossed it off her list.

They'd gone over three more cases each until they finally decided to go with
one Scully had unearthed from the local paper. There was a small article in
the local paper about a new antihistamine coming on the market that was being
produced by the Roush Corporation.

Neither Mulder nor Scully were sure if there was any connection to the Roush
Drug company the consortium had been dealing with, but they figured since it
was local it was economically worth looking into. They'd been consciously
trying to watch their expenditures and had even been commended by the AD for
their prudence of late.

Both agents figured it might help them in the long run to watch themselves
now. They never knew when they'd need the AD to be more than just
understanding when it came to Mulder's propensity for losing a cell phone or


They'd finished up their lunches, though Scully had half of her sandwich
wrapped to take home for a midnight snack. They'd gone back to the office
and set to work on gathering as much information as they could about the
local Roush Corporation.

By the time they'd finished their telephone inquiries and surfed the net to
find unusual links, the clock showed the afternoon as well as early evening
had passed.

"Mulder, it's going on seven o'clock and I'm going home."

"Um, did you still want your sandwich, Scully?" asked Mulder hopefully.

"Yes, Mulder, as a matter of fact I did," she said firmly, but with a smile.
"Good night. I'll see you tomorrow. Umm, let's make that I'll see you
tomorrow in the office, okay, Mulder?"

"Yeah, yeah," he said sheepishly, "in the office."


Scully arrived home and placed her laptop and brief case by her desk. She
then unwrapped the half a sandwich from the tin foil and rewrapped it in some
paper toweling. She popped it in the microwave for about three minutes on
low, and while it heated up, Scully went into her bedroom to change into more
comfortable clothes.

She hung up her suit jacket and slacks and tossed her silk shell into the
hamper. She realized she needed to make a trip to the dry cleaners soon, as
all of her favorite tops were just about used. She pulled up her favorite
jeans and searched for the NY Knicks tee shirt she'd secretly requisitioned
from Mulder one night.

She knew he'd have her head if he ever found out she'd taken the shirt, but
she really, really loved the softness of it. The fact that it had belonged
to him was not withstanding; she just loved having a part of him with her.

But now she couldn't find it and she was becoming ticked off. She was sure
it wasn't in the hamper, as she'd just done a regular wash. She looked
around for several more minutes but finally gave up. She figured he probably
discovered it one night and took it back as surreptitiously as she'd first
taken it. She pulled out another tee, one not nearly as comfortable, and
pulled it down over her head.

She then went into the kitchen, grabbed a root beer, and put her sandwich on
a paper plate. She sat down on her couch to relax for the rest of the
evening until she began her same routine all over again the next morning.

And it was.

It was exactly the same.

From waking up to the sunshine, to smelling the coffee, to hopping in the
shower, to using the hair dryer, to putting on the makeup, to getting
dressed, and to finding Mulder sound asleep outside her door in his yellow
pajama bottoms once again.


End of part 1/4


Missing Pieces
By Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part1

Part 2/4

Scully chose to simply ignore the situation. She decided if she didn't give
the incident any undue attention, it might help to resolve the problem before
it became more complicated to deal with.

Though Mulder tried to ingratiate himself back into Scully's heart, he knew
she was, if not totally pissed about the situation, certainly disturbed by
it. Quite frankly, so was he. Having nightmares was one thing to deal with;
even sleepwalking, though not a desirable trait, it was certainly not one
unique to him.

Driving in one's sleep was another story entirely. And the fact that he
hadn't killed anyone (or himself for that matter) was a miracle in and of
itself. Neither was sure how long his luck was going to hold.

Mulder knew Scully didn't want to talk about it, and he wasn't about to press
her. He wouldn't have known what to ask her or what to say in reply, so
Mulder almost breathed a sigh of relief when he realized she wasn't going to
delve into the matter.

However, there was this very pregnant pause that seemed to engulf the office,
since neither wanted to broach the subject. Mulder picked up the Roush file
and began skimming it yet again. It was a long, silent morning for both

The phone rang around one o'clock in the afternoon, and Scully picked up
while Mulder pretended to still be engrossed in the file. "Scully," she
answered. She heard the front security guard, Stanley, inform her that
Charlie, Samuel's son and chief delivery boy from the D.C. deli, was waiting
with a lunch order for them and would she confirm it.

"Mulder, did you order lunch?"

"Order? No, though I was thinking of ordering some sandwiches from the deli
a little while ago. Why?" he asked curiously.

"Because Stanley, at the front desk, says Charlie, from the deli, is waiting
with an order for us."

"Whoa, this is a little spooky even for me," he replied.

She wasn't sure if he was kidding her or not, though from his nonplussed
expression, she had to believe he was playing it straight with her.

"Maybe you did order it, but didn't realize it?" she asked.

"Scully, I've been sitting here with you the entire morning, haven't I?" he
asked incredulously. She had no choice but to nod in agreement. "Well,
hell," he continued, "I guess we shouldn't waste good food. Tell Stan to
send him up."

Charlie arrived a few minutes later. He nodded and smiled at both agents
when they greeted him. "How's your dad, Charlie?" Scully asked.

"Same old, same old," he replied, quietly but with a huge smile. In fact, he
seemed to blush slightly as well. To the young man in his early twenties,
everything his father did was the 'same old, same old.'

"Well, that's good," answered Mulder, oblivious to everyone except the food.
He pulled out a pastrami sandwich and slathered some mustard on it. "But,
Charlie, I don't understand. Neither Agent Scully nor I ordered these
sandwiches. How come you're here?" he asked as he pulled out his wallet to
retrieve some money to pay for the food.

"I don't know, Agent Mulder. Dad said to deliver the order, so I deliver the
order, ya know?" he explained. "Oh, Agent Scully," he began, his voice
softened, "Dad told me to tell you he added a little tub of mayo just for

"Damn straight, it's just for her. Nobody in their right mind puts mayo on
corned beef," Mulder groused.

"Tell your father thank you from me, okay?"

Charlie nodded in acknowledgment and said, "Sure Agent Scully. I'll be happy
to. You're one of his favorite customers, ya know?"

"Yeah, and I must be chopped liver," Mulder muttered in between bites of the
delicious corned beef on rye.

Scully didn't hear her partner's remark due to her busily crinkling aluminum
foil to unwrap her sandwich. Charlie heard him, but he apparently chose to
politely ignore the agent. Mulder finally took out a twenty and a few
singles and told the younger man to 'kill the change.' Charlie thanked
Mulder, and then smiled engagingly at Scully and wished each of them a good
day. He then left.

"I think someone has a crush on you, Agent Scully," teased an almost sated
Mulder. He was now taking a long swig on his iced tea and watched Scully's
face as she tried to both finish chewing a huge bite of her mayonnaise-laiden
corned beef sandwich and control her shocked expression.

She couldn't control the blushing though. "Oh, Mulder, for crying out loud,
the last time someone had a crush on me, it nearly cost me my heart.
Literally. So, let's not even go there, okay?" she replied with a hint of
annoyance, though both knew she wasn't really angry. Just uncomfortable.

Wisely, Mulder let it lay, and they both continued to eat.


"Damn it!," muttered Scully a little more loudly than she'd intended.

"What?" asked Mulder.

"Oh, it's nothing," she replied half-heartedly, but then added with
annoyance, "damn it, where the hell is it?"

"Where the hell is what?" asked Mulder with a bit of exasperation himself.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Mulder. It's stupid, that's all."

"Scully, what? What's stupid?"

"I chipped a nail," she replied.

"A nail? Scully, I've seen you break a nail before and not get all bent out
of shape like this," he noted.

"It's not the nail; I can't find my nail file. It was a really expensive
one, too. Mom bought it for me a few weeks back and I really liked it, and
now that I've chipped a nail and need it, I can't find it, damn it! This is
so frustrating!"

"Maybe you left it at home?" he asked hoping to be helpful.

"No! No, I didn't leave it at home. I don't put it back anywhere else
except in my purse. I know I didn't leave it at home, Mulder.

"Well, I have a file on my Swiss Army Knife, if you want to use it," he
offered earnestly.

"Thanks, Mulder," she answered gratefully, and decided she couldn't possibly
remain annoyed with him any longer.


When Scully returned home that evening she'd completely forgotten about the
missing nail file; that is until she discovered her tortoise shell handled
hair brush was missing. She was every bit as upset over that missing item as
she was over the missing nail file and tee shirt.

She'd had the hairbrush, as well as its matching wide-tooth comb, practically
forever. Her older sister, Melissa, had given it to her for Christmas when
Dana had turned eighteen. Melissa had received one for her birthday from
their grandmother some years before that, and Dana had always admired it.
Melissa knew her sister would love her own and she was right.

Dana couldn't understand where the brush had disappeared. The comb remained
sitting on her dressing table, but the brush was no where to be found.

"Damn it," she cried out loud. "First the shirt, then the file, and now my
brush? Shit! I can't possibly be that forgetful, can I?" she asked aloud to
herself in the semi-darkness of her bedroom. She finally couldn't stand it
any longer and thought of something that might help to make more sense of

Scully walked into the living and picked up her briefcase. Inside were the
case files Scully had tried to persuade Mulder to investigate. She pulled
out the file that involved the women and their missing treasured items. She
opened it up and read the file more carefully.

She took note of the details listed in the file more carefully and with some
surprise she realized she'd glossed over some very key information. The name
Amy Shea rang a bell, though she couldn't for the life of her remember from
where; at least not until Scully noted Amy Shea's job title.

Secretary to the Assistant Director of the FBI.

Scully felt foolish for not taking note of this information earlier. Ever
since Kim had left suddenly, the AD had a revolving door of temps working his
front office desk. Amy Shea only became his permanent secretary the last
month. Since Scully and Mulder had been out in the field a goodly portion of
that month, Amy's arrival kind of sneaked up on them.

Scully then looked over the names of the other victims more carefully and
realized she'd recognized another name. Bonnie Jenkins was an agent who had,
at one time, worked with Agent Pendrell. Scully remembered she'd assisted
him on a couple of occasions on certain rush requests she and Mulder had made.

The other four names didn't ring a bell with her, but since Scully knew two
of the victims worked at the Bureau, she couldn't help but wonder if any of
the others did too. She decided to take a chance and see if Mulder was still
at the office; he'd have easier access to the FBI database than she would.

"Mulder," he responded.

"I can't believe you're still there," she said.

"Obviously you had to have some belief in it, or you wouldn't be calling me
here, now would you?" he asked rhetorically.

"Touche, Mulder."

"What's up partner?" he asked now with concern. "Are you okay, Scully?"

"I'm fine," she responded automatically.

"Scully," he hissed.

"No, Mulder, really, I am fine; though I'm a little perturbed. I'm missing
another item, and well, it gave me the impetus to take another look at that
file we'd talked about earlier."

"And, you discovered something new," he stated rather than asked.

"They don't call you Spooky for nothing, Mulder," she retorted.

"Hey, that's why they put the 'I' in FBI," he teased kindly. "What did you

"Do the names Amy Shea and Bonnie Jenkins ring a bell?" she asked.

"Umm, not really," he replied hesitantly. He wasn't sure if this was some
kind of test or not.

"Amy is Skinner's new secretary and Bonnie is an agent who worked with Agent
Pendrell some time back," she explained.

"Okay,'' he acknowledged, "I recognize Amy now, but I don't know if I'd ever
had chance to run into Bonnie. Pendrell was kind of your insider; like I
have Danny."

"Right, well, I was wondering if you recognized any of the other victims'
names. I figured if we had connections with two of the six, I thought we
might have some knowledge of the other four," she elaborated.

"Okay, makes sense. Shoot."

"Umm, there's a Mary Fitzpatrick, Candace Phillips, Sandra O'Neil, and Peggy
Ortega," she listed.

"Peggy Ortega, I think used to work in VCU, and transferred over to DC a
couple of years after me. I remember her because she'd gotten married the
year I left. She was Peggy O'Connor before she got married to Jaime. Really
nice guy, as I recall, but the two of them made such an odd couple. Man,
talk about opposites attracting, Scully."

"How so?"

"Jaime was from Central America. Tall guy, very dark skin and jet black
hair. Very good looking. Peggy, on the other hand is this tiny, petite
little red head with very fair skin and lots of freckles. They were truly a
"Mutt and Jeff" couple," he said with a chuckle. "But they were so much in
love and really, really happy."

Scully imagined the small smile on her face was a direct reflection of
Mulder's at that moment. "How about the others?"

"I don't know, Scully. They don't let me come out and play with others as
often as you. I'm not sure; I mean, wait a minute. Mary Fitzpatrick. Does
it say what her job is?" he asked curiously.

"Um, housekeeping?" she responded.

"Scully, Mary works the nightshift. She cleans the office," he said.

"Yeah, well, you have more opportunities to meet her than I do," Scully said,
and then added, "I'm sure if you hold out a little longer you might run into
her tonight too."

Mulder smirked a bit on the other end, but he knew there was definitely a
ring of truth to what she said. "Look, I don't know the other names, but
I'll type 'em into the database and see what comes up, okay?"

She repeated their names and Mulder typed in 'Phillips, Candace' and 'O'Neil,
Sandra.' Both came up positive for working for the FBI in one capacity or
another. "Look, I'm going to print out information on the victims from the
database and come over. Maybe we can find a connection between them all,"
Mulder suggested.

Scully agreed and their phones clicked off. Mulder brought up the personnel
files of all six victims along with their photo I.D.s. He drew in a quick
breath when he printed and set the dossiers side by side. There was one
connection that became all too obvious.

He gathered his data and rushed out the door to go to Scully.

End of 2/4


Missing Pieces
By Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 3/4

He knocked on the door, and though Scully was expecting him, habit forced her
to look through the peephole to see Mulder's face. She was somewhat
surprised by the expression he wore; he seemed more upset than the situation
warranted, and she wondered why.

"Mulder?" she asked as she opened the door, "What's wrong?"

"I don't like what I found, Scully. Come here and take a look," he said as
he walked over to her couch and sat down. Next he spread the printouts on
her coffee table, so she was best able to see the identification photos that
were included in each of the bureau's staff data file.

Scully looked briefly at each of the photos, which lay before her. Then she
looked at Mulder, but eventually returned her gaze to the photos.

"Damn," he cursed softly, "this one could be mistaken for your twin sister."
He pointed to Candace Phillips whose hairstyle was even similar to Scully's.
"Scully, they all look just like you," he remarked with some sense of awe.

To which, Scully actually chuckled.

"What's so funny? This is serious! They're doing it to us again, damn it!"
he responded petulantly.

"Mulder, has it ever occurred to you that I might be the one to look like one
of these women?" she asked. When he looked back at her with an air of
puzzlement, she clarified by saying, "Isn't it possible that this isn't a
government conspiracy? I mean, maybe it's about one of these women, and not
me. Maybe it's because I look like one of them, that I've been targeted."

"So you _do_ think you've been singled out," he confirmed.

"Well, I guess the pictures and the fact that they all work for the bureau in
some capacity clinches it. I mean, _look_ at them, Mulder. Even I can see
the amazing resemblance."

"So, what were the other items?" he asked.

"What?" she reacted to the change of subject.

"You mentioned before another item was missing. I know about the nail file,
but you didn't mention what had gone missing tonight."

"My hair brush," she replied a little dejectedly.

"The fancy one?" When she nodded, he sympathized and said, "I'm sorry,
Scully. I know you really liked that brush." She nodded again, and then he
asked, "Was that it? Just the file and hairbrush?"

She felt her face begin to flush a bit involuntarily and didn't know if she
should admit to the missing tee shirt. But her Irish coloring didn't give
her much to hide behind, and he chided her to 'fess up on what she was

"It was just a tee-shirt, that's all," she said very softly.

"Tee-shirt? What's so special about a tee shirt?" he asked puzzled.

She almost laughed out loud at that question, because Scully knew perfectly
well that Mulder had been extremely attached to that particular Knicks tee
shirt before she'd confiscated it. "Well, if you must know it was a New York
Knicks tee shirt," she admitted a bit warily.

"Knicks? Scully, I didn't know you treasured the Knicks, too," he reacted
with some surprise.

Scully looked at him and didn't know whether to laugh or cry over his
naivete. "Oh, Mulder, you are priceless, you know that? It's not the Knicks
that I treasure!"

He looked totally confused over that last comment until it finally dawned
upon him what she was actually telling him.

"Scully! _You_ had my Knicks tee shirt?!"

Well, something had dawned on him, at any rate.

"Yes, Mulder," she answered honestly, "I had it, but now it's missing and I
am really, really pissed off about it." When he looked at her with sudden
warmth and affection, Scully responded in typical defensive mode,
Scully-fashion, "It was damned comfortable."

"Oh, of course, it's because the shirt was comfortable. C'mon Scully, admit
it. You just needed something to wash the windows with," he chided wryly.

She knew she couldn't leave it like that; Scully knew she had to tell him the
truth, but that would be going against the Scully rules and order of life.
Everything had its own place, including Mulder, who held a special place in
her heart. Problem was, she was the only one who knew for sure where that
place was.

She supposed it was time for that to change.

"Mulder, it smelled of you. Even after I washed it, it still had your scent
on it. That's why it's so comfortable to me. While I wear it, it feels like
you're with me, even when you're not," she admitted quietly.

He stared at her. Mulder was no idiot; he knew that was as close to a
declaration of love he was going to get, at least for the time being, and
that was fine by him.

For now.


The two partners spent the next thirty minutes or so perusing the files of
the other employees who had filed reports with the local PD over their
missing items. It did seem possible to Mulder that Scully was the actual
target, yet Scully's scenario wasn't unreasonable either. Then a thought
came to him.

"Scully, what if we're both wrong?" When she nodded to him as a
communication for him to continue, he did. "What if none of you were the
specific target, but just your look was. What if someone was looking to
replace someone that had looked just like you with one of you?"

"But why just take our things? Why not take us__?"

"__Bite your tongue, Scully!"

She smiled at his reaction to her suggestion that the UNSUB should prefer the
real thing to the objects that represent her. But maybe that was it?

"He's taking the objects to try replace her. He's trying to recreate the
essence of her; not necessarily the actual person," she murmured.

"Hey, Scully, when did you start profiling?" he asked with a smile. "I have
to concur with your hypothesis. It's possible, to take it a step further,
our UNSUB has already conjured up his ideal woman in his mind, and he's
bringing her presents."

"To make her happy?" she suggested.

"Or to _keep_ her happy," he said with a little more solemnity.

"I don't understand, Mulder. The articles he's stolen are mere trinkets that
have little monetary value. They're priceless only in the sentimentality the
owners feel toward them. Why would those objects keep anyone happy?" she
asked seriously.

He thought over her questions carefully, and finally stated, "To be honest,
I'm not sure. The only thing I could attribute to it is perhaps the UNSUB
knows how much importance you and the others ascribe to the objects and that
importance is what the UNSUB's woman needs to survive. She thrives on others
strong emotions; she lives through the vicarious feelings of others whom look
just like her."

"You know you're making me a little nervous here, Mulder."

"Well, then, I suppose I should just stay here and protect you my fair
maiden," he jested half seriously.

Scully's immediately blurted out, "No." She was damned if she was going to
admit just how anxious she really felt.

"I don't think so, Mulder," she responded slowly, "and in fact, I think it's
time for all good agents to go home to bed."

"Oh, c'mon, Scully," he urged, "the way things have been going, I'm only
going to end up here anyway. Besides, I'm sure we can both think of a whole
lot more comfortable place for me to sleep instead of outside your apartment
door," he leered slightly.

Perhaps it was the fact she didn't want to admit her discomfort to Mulder,
and the energy she expended in keeping her nervousness hidden was draining.
Or perhaps it was Scully's usual defensive reaction to one of Mulder's
innuendoes, but whatever the reason, her reaction was swift and cutting.

"Is this what all of this was all about?" she asked incredulously, all the
while giving him a look that could sear a steak.

Mulder's face held an equally disbelieving expression. "Scully, what the
hell are you talking about?"

"I'm getting tired of it, Mulder. When I leave for work tomorrow, I do not
want to find you outside my door. Do you understand me? I feel like I have
no privacy anymore, damn it! My things are being taken from right under my
nose, and you've apparently set up permanent camp outside my door. That's
it, Mulder, I want my life back. It's time for you to go home and stay
home," she declared sternly.

"Shit, it's not like I plan on coming here," he grumbled, "I mean, I'm
sleepwalking here for crying out loud! What do you want me to do?"

"I don't care. Don't sleep. Stay up all night, I don't give a damn. Just
make sure you don't show up here between now and tomorrow when I leave to go
to work. Now, goodnight, Mulder," she pronounced.

"Scully __."

"__Don't say another word, Mulder. Go home. I'm tired and I want to relax
without another thought about what's been going on. Please, leave."

Mulder stared at her for several seconds, not moving, and wondered what the
hell had just happened. One moment they were working in a collegial give and
take, not to mention the fact she'd finally admitted she had feelings for
him, and then the next moment Scully was essentially accusing him of sexual
harassment. He was about to ask her, when he watched her open the front door
and practically wave him out.

"Fine," he muttered. He quickly picked up the material spread out on her
coffee table, gathered and tamped it down, and placed it back in his
briefcase. He was so annoyed at that moment he simply walked out the door
without saying a word. If she didn't want his help on this, then so be it,
he thought.

She just wouldn't know about it, he thought to himself. He crossed the
street over to his car, and sat down in the driver's seat. Only he didn't
drive away. He turned on the portable radio he kept in the car for stakeout
purposes and kept the volume down low. Next, Mulder hunkered down for a
night of quiet surveillance. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was going on three o'clock in the morning. The first few hours home were
a piece of cake for Mulder, as he was usually a night owl. But as the hour
hand continued to creep forward later into the night, even Mulder had to
succumb to the fatigue he was feeling.

His eyelids felt heavier and heavier. He thought he'd be able to simply
close his eyes for a moment or two; forty winks would be just enough to
refresh him and allow him to continue his watchful eye on Scully's apartment.
Of course, within minutes of closing his eyes, Mulder fell into a deep, deep

It was then the visions played out in his mind; the drama that induced him to
risk his own life (and those of others, as well.)


She wore a blue flowing dress, and her red hair blew about her face in the
wind. Her mouth formed words, but no sound came out. Mulder found himself
watching the woman's mouth intensely, and he tried to read the lips that
spoke with such intensity.

The repetitions helped, and finally Mulder was able to hear the words that
were formed silently only moments before.

"I need more time," she said in a soft, lightly accented voice. "I need more
time with you."

Mulder knew she wasn't speaking to him; he could see her line of vision was
directed over towards another figure. The other person was obviously male,
and he thought there was something familiar about him, but he wasn't sure.

Finally he heard the other voice speak, though the sound of his voice was
distorted making it difficult to decipher just who it truly was. "I know,
I'm trying. I'm trying to do what you asked, but it's so hard. I'm afraid
they'll catch me, and then I'll lose you again, forever. What can I do? Oh,
God, what can I do?" he wept.

"Shhh, shhhh," she replied in a loving manner. She practically floated over
to where the male figure stood, hunched over. Mulder watched her reach out
and practically enveloped the other person into her arms. "It's time, my
sweet man, it's time," she whispered.

"Time?" he looked up.

Mulder couldn't tell whether the other man did not understand exactly what
the woman was declaring, or was not willing to believe what the woman was

"Yes, it is time, or I will be lost forever. I'd thought everything you'd
brought me would be enough, but alas, it is not. I need to become one with
another like me. I need to become the other. I need you to bring me one
last gift, to ensure my survival," she explained solemnly.

"Oh God, what you are asking of me, I do not know if I can do," the man said
in a tremulous voice.

"You must, or I will be lost forever, and it was not my time. It was too
soon," she said.

"I will try, because I love you. I love you, and I miss you so much," he

"Go. Go to her now, and prepare her for me," she commanded.

And as the figures began to fade before his eyes, Mulder saw himself begin to
move about as well. He clearly saw himself moving; it was as if he were
watching a movie of himself.

He calmly got out of the car and stood to check for his weapon. When he
confirmed he indeed had it holstered, he closed the car door and headed
toward Scully's apartment house.

And Mulder did all this while he remained sound asleep.


End of Part 3/4


Missing Pieces
By Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 4/4

Scully became restless and stirred in her sleep. She felt herself slowly
coming to wakefulness, when she sniffed something unusual in the air. Just
before she became totally awake, the mysterious odor became overpowering, and
Scully lost consciousness.

The stealth figure was dressed in black slacks and turtleneck along with
gloves and full hooded mask. He waited with mute patience outside her window
until the drug-induced fog did its job thoroughly. After several minutes
passed he entered her apartment building using the passkey he'd created from
an earlier mold.

Without drawing attention to himself, he quietly unlocked her front door and
let himself in. He entered the apartment cautiously, and carefully left the
front door open ever so slightly so as to make his departure that much
easier. He'd never had to worry about having his hands so full that he
couldn't get the door; this time was the exception.

He walked quickly toward Scully's bedroom and carefully cracked the door open
to take a peek inside. He was fairly certain the sweet smelling anesthesia
did its job, but he was always one to err on the side of caution. He saw her
laying totally still, with the exception of the rhythmical movement of her
chest which ensured his catch was breathing deeply and steadily in her
unconscious state.

This was a relief to him, as it was never his intent to harm her; in fact, he
could never allow any harm to come to her, or he'd have to search for yet
another surrogate to be the necessary host.

He lifted Scully up with great care, almost to the point of reverence. He
wanted to return back to his home as quickly as possible with her without her
regaining consciousness. He wasn't sure how much time he had to accomplish
that feat, as he'd always left the victims behind having gotten the object
his love desired.

He was grateful she was a petite woman, for he was not a very large man. He
hoisted her in the fireman's grasp, and started toward the apartment door.
It was there that he met his first obstacle.

Mulder stood in front of the door, silently, and immovable. Though it was
slightly ajar, he never made a move to go in. It was as if there were some
type of barrier erected that prevented him from entering.

The man looked at Mulder with amazement that the agent made no sound and
simply stood there, blocking his way. The man couldn't understand why Mulder
made no attempt to remove Scully from his arms. He couldn't grasp why Mulder
merely stood there; why didn't he attempt to stop him and take the small
woman from him.

Not knowing exactly what to do, the man attempted to move around Mulder.
Mulder simply stepped to that side. When the man attempted to go on the
other side of him, Mulder quietly sidestepped to block him again.

Finally, exasperation took over and a need to see this entire ordeal to its
conclusion, the man defied logic and attempted to barrel right through
Mulder. It was at this point that Mulder's affect began to change. He
suddenly appeared confused and disjointed.

He looked all around him and realized he was no longer in his apartment on
his couch dreaming the strangest dream he'd ever dreamt. He was no longer
watching a film, as it had appeared to him earlier. He was experiencing in
real time, in real life, with all of the real characters, the action he'd
just been dreaming about.

Only this wasn't an unknown woman; this was Scully. And this wasn't an
unknown man; this was __.

"Samuel?" Mulder gasped, as he was now more awake than asleep. "My God,
Samuel, what the hell are you doing?"

The little man looked totally mortified. He retained his firm hold on
Scully, but he was aghast that Mulder recognized him. How could he have
recognized him with the mask on?

"Get out of my way, Agent Mulder," he demanded.

"Put her down, Samuel. You haven't done anyone any real harm yet, so please,
before someone gets hurt, put her down," Mulder pleaded.

Somehow Mulder knew Samuel's real motivation was not meant to hurt Scully,
but something more personal, more deeply affecting the older man. Mulder
couldn't put his finger on what it was now that he was awake.

But Mulder also knew he couldn't allow Samuel to leave the premises with
Scully still in his arms. Mulder certainly didn't want to hurt the smaller
man, but he had to make it clear that he was not going to allow Samuel to
leave with his partner.

"Samuel, put her down, so we can end this amicably," Mulder warned.

"Or what, Agent Mulder? You'll arrest me? I'm already in a prison, young
man, and you couldn't possible imprison me any more than I already am," he
said with regret.

"Samuel, please. You can't take her from here. You can't take her from __,"
Mulder stopped as he realized what he was about to say, and instinctively
knew it was the wrong thing to say to that man. The only problem was,
Samuel's instincts were well honed as well, and he knew exactly what Mulder
stopped short of saying.

And Mulder was right. It was more than what the older man could deal with
and at that very moment, Samuel's persona changed before Mulder's eyes.

"GET OUT OF MY WAY. NOW!" he roared and with strength neither man realized
Samuel possessed, he pushed Mulder with his one free hand so hard he knocked
him against the wall, snapping his head back and forth like a toy doll.
Mulder was stunned momentarily and had to take a moment to shake off the pain
of hitting the wall as hard as he did.

Mulder tried to rear back and strike out at Samuel, but the older man had
suddenly developed superhuman strength and stamina. He threw a punch to
Mulder's midsection, which caused the younger man to retch in response.
Next, while Mulder was obviously still incapacitated, Samuel threw a final
blow to Mulder's jaw, stunning him into submission.

Samuel harshly pushed his obstacle down onto the hallway floor and stepped
over him. What was truly amazing about the entire episode was Samuel had
accomplished that feat while he held Scully over his shoulder the whole time.

Mulder felt ready to pass out until he remembered his partner was still in
the arms of her captor. When he looked up, he saw that Samuel was within
only a few steps of the small stairwell that led to the main entrance of
Scully's building.

Mulder quickly reached into his holster for his gun. He pulled it out and
held it shakily in front of him and shouted, "Samuel, FBI. Stop where you
are and put down my partner!"

"I can't, Agent Mulder. I'm so sorry, but I can't lose her again," he moaned.

Lose her again. How many times had Mulder thought those very same words, and
now it was happening to him all over again, in front of his very eyes. He
struggled to stand up and staggered out the front door. He could only
stumble down the steps to the sidewalk, and though his vision was blurred
from the blow to his head, Mulder still managed to hold the gun out in front
of him and maintain it on his target.

Samuel knew it was going to end here, but he knew he had to keep trying or he
wouldn't have accomplished anything. He had to see it to the end, and if it
meant his life was going to be taken then so be it. Perhaps then he could be
back with his Evie, his beautiful Evie, who had been taken away from him so
long ago on the day of his only son's birth.

"Stop, Samuel. Please, stop!" Mulder cried out. He didn't want to fire, but
he knew he would have to in order to save his partner.

He couldn't lose her again.

"I'm sorry," the older man whispered as he made his way to the driver's side
of the car.



It had only taken the one shot.

Samuel's body ceased to be when Mulder had taken the shot. By this time,
Scully had regained consciousness and moved immediately to check on the older
man. When she checked his vitals, she'd tried to institute CPR, but she soon
realized it was all for naught.

The old man died of cardiac arrest.

Mulder had shot out the tire.

Mulder's head continued to throb, and he felt himself sway from dizziness.
Scully helped him take a seat on the front stoop of her building and looked
up to one of the many neighbors whose heads were now poking out in curiosity.

"Please, call 911, and tell them we need an EMT unit here as soon as
possible." When she took another look at her partner, she realized he would
need to be checked out, so she put in an added request for a second ambulance.

"Scully, are you okay?" Mulder asked through chattering teeth.

"You're going into shock, Mulder," she said in non-response, "Let me check
your pulse."

"Damn it, Scully," he shouted as he angrily pulled his arm away from her
probing fingers, "just answer me for once. Are you okay?"

"Mulder, I'm not the one showing signs of shock. I'm not the one who is
squinting because the street light is reflecting in my eyes. I'm not the one
who is having trouble taking a breath, so I guess I'm the one who should be
worried and pissed off that you're refusing to allow me to check you out,"
she replied with equal ire.

"Aw, Scully, please," he responded breathily, and his entire body began to
shake as he looked out toward Samuel's body, as he lay dead in the street.

Scully realized Mulder was taking the entire blame for Samuel's death and
tried to dispel that misnomer immediately.

"Mulder, he died of a heart attack. It was not your fault." When he didn't
respond, she decided to take a different tack. "It was Samuel who took our
property?" she asked.

He nodded mutely as he continued to look out toward the fallen body.

"How did he get in? There was never any evidence of a break-in," she asked.

"Keys. He's made enough deliveries to have access to agents who live in the
area, so maybe he made molds of the locks. He drugged you before he came in,
so he had free reign of the apartment. I think he sprayed something through
your window," he replied tonelessly.

"Mulder, how? Why?"

"He loved her," he whispered. "He didn't want to lose her again, and you
were his chance to regain his lost love."

"But you weren't supposed to come over here tonight, so why __? "How did you
know?" she asked gently.

"I saw them," he replied. When she nodded he knew she meant for him to
continue, but he wasn't sure if he would be able to explain it to her. He
wasn't sure if he could explain it to himself.

"I saw it in my dreams, Scully. I saw the trinkets and treasures weren't
enough and she demanded he prepare you for her so she could become one with
you. She felt she'd been take from Samuel too soon, and she told him he
needed to bring you to her so she could come back to him.

"He was going to take you from me, Scully, so he could have his love with him
again," he said through quiet tears. He hung his head down with his chin on
his chest. "I didn't want to hurt him, Scully. He was hurting so much
already. I know how much he was hurting…"

"Oh, Mulder," she whispered and sat down next to him. She wrapped her arms
around him in a small attempt to comfort him, but she knew he'd most likely
have to work this one out for himself. All she could hope to do was remind
him over and over that she was there for him. She wanted so badly to be able
to soothe the hurt.

The EMTs and the ambulances showed up within ten minutes. One team checked
over Samuel, placed him in a body bag, and then readied him for transport to
the morgue. The second team gave Mulder a quick once-over, and told him they
were going to get him hooked up to an IV and readied for transport.

Of course, Mulder's first impulse was to refuse.

And it was Scully's immediate response to try and convince him otherwise.

"Mulder, you're torso is badly bruised, and you're still light sensitive.
Please, go to the hospital for some tests. If all they feel is warranted is
an overnight observation, I'll make sure we sign you out with an Against
Medical Advice form."

When he didn't look totally convinced she added, "You'll come back here under
my care. Mulder, I don't want to lose you either," she pleaded.

He nodded in agreement and went to the hospital without further argument.
When the tests came back negative the doctors had suggested an overnight stay
for observation. Scully kept her word and brought the AMA form for him to
sign, so he could release the hospital from any responsibility.

He then gingerly climbed into Scully's car and she drove back to her
apartment. The ride was silent, but neither was sure if it was due to any
discomfiture on their parts or the late hour. They suspected it was a
combination of the two.

They arrived and the gods were obviously with them as she found a parking
space right in front of the building. She got out of the car and came round
to the passenger side to open the door for Mulder. Instead of getting out of
the car, however, he remained seated looking straight ahead out the


"I think I should go home, Scully, to my own place."

"Mulder, the agreement was for you to come back here so I could keep an eye
on you. Otherwise you belong in the hospital, Mulder. Besides, we told the
Georgetown PD that we'd be there bright and early to make a statement. I
don't want to have to have drive all the way from Alexandria to the PD
tomorrow morning."

"I figured I'd meet you there. I have my car here already, so you wouldn't
have to drive me home," he offered.

"Mulder, are you crazy? And more to the point, do you think I'm crazy? Do
you really think I'd let you go off and drive by yourself back to your
apartment now?" she asked rhetorically. "Get out of the car, Mulder," she

"Scully, but I __," he began.

"__But what? What is your problem, Mulder?" she asked in frustration.

"Scully, you're the one who kicked me out of your apartment not four hours
ago with very specific orders not to grace your doorstop again," he said

"Oh, Mulder, that has nothing to do with now. Don't you understand me yet?
I couldn't admit my fear, my sense of helplessness to you; not then when I'd
just made myself so vulnerable and admitted my feelings for you. Mulder, I
stole your Knicks tee-shirt, for crying out loud," she admitted with a small

He didn't have a choice. He had to smile in return. He turned to face her,
finally, and saw the tears in her eyes, as she must have seen the tears in
his own. "Okay, Scully, if you're sure."

"I'm sure, Mulder. I'm sure." She helped him up out of the car and they
slowly walked up the steps together. "By the way, Mulder," she asked with a
small, shy smile, "Just how attached are you to this tee-shirt you're wearing

End of Part 4/4

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