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Assisted Suicide 2

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Title: Assisted Suicide 2

Assisted Suicide 2

Sara B. 10/05

 

Part Five: Getting to Know You Better

 

Mulder watched as Scully performed the autopsy.  He seemed to be endlessly fascinated by her movements.  She finished and turned to him and the look on her face told him there was nothing beyond the obvious.  “I’m going to go change and then I’ll buy us lunch.”  He opened his mouth to protest.  “Don’t say it.  I owe you.  Here I am stealing your Saturday when I’m sure there is some heartbroken woman out there cursing me.”

Mulder’s hand moved to her cheek.  “If I wasn’t here I’d be either with the Gunmen or at work.  I’d rather be here.”  Their eyes held for a moment, “I’ll tell you what, you buy lunch and I’ll buy dinner.”

“Think you can stand me for that much time?”

“I’ll manage.  Now go change.”

Scully started out the door then turned back.  “Are you as confused as I am?  I mean about,” her hand waved between them.

“I don’t have a clue what it is but I’m enjoying it.  You?”

“Very much so.”

 

-x-

 

After lunch, Mulder dropped her off at Grace’s to reclaim her car then headed home.  He was going to pick her up at seven and he needed to make a reservation. 

Scully went in and talked to Grace for an hour then headed home.  Grace had been shocked when Dana told her about their date.  Grace had been trying to fix up Dana ever since she dumped that jerk Jack.  That man gave assholes a bad name. 

Grace just stared at her friend with her hands on her generous hips.  “Next thing you’re going to invite him home for dinner.”  Dana’s eyes looked sideways.  “You did not!  You did not cook for him last night.”

“It was late and I’d made the lasagna and all it had to do was bake and he was helping me.”  Dana realized she was rambling and shut her mouth for a moment.  Then she burst out with, “and I sent home leftovers.”

Grace grabbed Dana and hugged her.  “I am so happy to finally see my ‘oh so logical’ girl just jump off the cliff without triangulating the trajectory or whatever the hell it is.”  She squeezed a little tighter.  “I talked to his friends last night,” she pulled back and looked at her friend.  “He’s a good man, Danes.  He’s been hurt, bad, same as you.”

“He hasn’t said anything but I kind of figured there was something.  He doesn’t know the details but I told him I’d broken an engagement.”  Dana glanced at the clock.  “I’d better get going.  I have no idea what to wear.  I haven’t bought anything date worthy in a long time.”

“That is why you have me.  You are going to wear that black sheath that you wore to the banquet last year.  But as for shoes, follow me.”  Dana followed dutifully and watched with rapt attention as Grace sorted through her shoes. 

“Here they are.  They’ve never been worn, hell; they are a size too small.  I only bought them because the clerk was a bastard.  I’ve been meaning to give them to you anyhow.”  Grace held up one of the shoes, black sling-back with a very high heel and open toe.  They were elegant but not over the top.  “Don’t forget to stop for stockings on the way home.  And remember, I said stockings not pantyhose.  Black with lace at the top.  While you’re at it check out the new shades of lipsticks.”

“Grace, stop; it may have been a while but I do have a vague recollection of what a date is supposed to be like.  Now, thanks for the shoes.  I love you and, before you ask, I will call you, tomorrow.”

“Okay, you get out of here because I have to get ready for my date too.”  Grace read the question in Dana’s eyes.  “Melvin Frohike, and don’t ask me why, I just like him.”

 

-x-

 

Scully stood in front of the mirror.  Grace had been right about everything, the outfit worked and the shoes were perfect.  “Well, kid this is about as good as it’s gonna get.”

She heard a knock and opened it to reveal a large bouquet of flowers with a man behind it.  “You in there somewhere, Mulder?”

Mulder lowered the flowers and gave a little gasp, “you clean up really well, Scully.”  He handed her the flowers and followed her to the kitchen as she got a vase.

“I have one thing to tell you about the case and that will be all the business talk for the night.  Okay?”  Scully just smiled and nodded as she filled the vase with water.   “All of the victims belonged to a lonely hearts internet club called Heartbreak Hotel.  The guys are trying to find out if they met the same guy.”

“I hope they find him and fast.”  She broke off one of the blooms and placed it in his lapel. 

She patted the lapel and Mulder snagged her wrist gently.  “One thing I really hate about first dates is never knowing if I can kiss the girl at the end.”  He snaked down and stopped a hairs breath from her lips and waited.

“By my calculations, and remember I am a scientist, this is our third date so that isn’t an issue.”  She said then leaned forward and kissed him tenderly.

“I really like the way you think.”  He leaned in for another kiss that was not so gentle.  “I think we need to get going because if this keeps up . . .”

“I think you’re right, Mulder.  Did Frohike tell you that he and Grace are going out tonight too?”  A surprised look was Mulder’s only response.

 

-x-

 

Mulder placed his hand at her back as they followed the maitre‘d to their table.  Once they were seated they just looked at each other for a moment.  The silence between them was neither awkward nor uncomfortable.  Minutes later Mulder broke the silence.  “I have never been this comfortable with anyone, let alone this fast.”  His eyes looked down.  “I have some trust issues.”

“I feel the same way and you are not the only one that has problems trusting someone.”  Scully took a deep breath and looked away for a moment.  When her eyes came back to him Mulder could tell she’d made a decision.  “I told you I had a broken engagement.  God, I can’t believe I’m about to tell you this.  Even Grace doesn’t know but I feel compelled to tell you.  I was engaged to Jack Willis, he is an Agent too.  I met him when I was guest lecturing at Quantico several years ago.  He seemed nice and we started dating.  After this and that happened we decided to get married.  He was almost living with me, just not officially if you know what I mean?”  She looked embarrassed and he nodded trying to encourage her to continue.  “I ended up pregnant.  I was thrilled and I thought he would be too; he wasn’t.”

“Did you have an abortion?”

“No, I don’t oppose abortion but it would never be an option for me, besides I wanted that child.  Jack hit me, punched me in the stomach.  I lost the baby and, according to my doctor, most likely my ability to have children.”

“I guess we’ll adopt.” Mulder said it as a way to lighten her mood but he realized that it was exactly how he felt.  Like it was a given.  “So, what happened to Willis?”

“I wanted to prosecute but my eldest brother talked me out of it.”

“You’re kidding, right?  If someone had done that to my sister, Samantha, I personally would have hauled his ass to jail.”

“Bill thought it would be more stressful on me to go through the whole court case.   I’m not usually easily led but I was vulnerable.  Looking back, I rather suspect Bill thought I deserved to be punished, that whole sex before marriage being a sin thing.”  Scully smiled ruefully.   “Though that didn’t seem to stop him from visiting a few professional women while in various ports before he got married.”

“I don’t think I like your brother much.”

“Not many do.  He’s a hard and rigid man.”

“Well, since you laid it out I suppose it’s my turn.”  Scully shook her head.  “No, I know I don’t have to but, like you, I have to tell you.  I was married.  It lasted three years, it was nice for a while but looking back I see that something was missing pretty much from the start.  She was also an agent.  We worked a couple cases together then we started seeing each other out of work then marriage seemed like the next logical move.  I was working for Bill Patterson at the time and he was kind of a slave driver.  I was in the field for at least three out of four weeks a month.  I was on a case in California and by happenstance we caught a break.  They brought in some new pathologist and he found something the local people didn’t.”

“Mulder, this wasn’t the Bristol case, little boys beaten, molested, branded and then their bodies were left in open fields?”

“Don’t tell me you were the one they brought in?”  She nodded. “I wish I met you back then.  You broke the case for me.”  He cleared his throat.  “Yeah, well because of that breakthrough I was able to go home a lot sooner than expected.  I knew Diana, that was my wife, was fed up with me being gone so much so I decided to surprise her.  I went the whole nine yards.  Reservations at her favorite restaurant, flowers and Champagne, I had it all planned.  I got home and quietly moved to our bedroom. . .”

“She wasn’t alone was she?”  Mulder shook his head.  “Did you know the man?”

“Her best friend, Liz Decker.”

“Oh, Mulder!”  She put her hand over his.  “Are we a pair or what?”

The duo noticed that someone had approached and was standing next to the table.  “Agent Mulder,” it was Skinner and his wife Sharon.

Mulder stood.  “Sir, Mrs. Skinner, let me introduce Dana Scully.  Dana this is my boss Walter Skinner and his wife Sharon.”

Sharon tapped Dana on the shoulder.  “Dana and I have worked on several charity events together.”

“Hello, Sharon, Mr. Skinner,” Scully took Skinner’s hand to shake.

“Call me Walter.  We were just leaving when we saw you so we just stopped to say hello.”

“Sir, would you like to sit.”

“No, thanks but we have to get going.  A friend of Sharon’s is having a showing of her sculptures.”

Walter and Sharon Skinner made their goodbyes and Mulder sat back.  “Alone at last.”

“Hardly alone, Mulder, we are sitting in the middle of a crowded restaurant.”

“As far as I can tell it’s just us.”

 

-x-

 

They exited the restaurant and, by silent mutual agreement, they headed back to Scully’s.   Mulder watched while Scully made coffee.  “Don’t just stand there; get the Tiramisu from the fridge.” Scully called over her shoulder.

“I wasn’t just standing here, I was watching you.  But, since you asked so nicely I’ll do as you asked.”  He touched her arm as he passed.  “And if you could manage that reach again I would be a very happy man.  I love lace topped stockings.”  Mulder whispered seductively.  Scully thought she should feel embarrassed or even put off, but she felt neither.  Instead she was a little intrigued tinged with the giddiness that comes with being desired.

They moved to her couch.  Conversation seemed unnecessary, intrusive even.  They were enjoying coffee and dessert but it was the company they most enjoyed.

Mulder saw the corners of her mouth turn up into a small smile.  “What?” Mulder asked gently.

“I don’t know.  I just can’t believe that we’ve only known each other for a day.  I feel I know you and that you know me.  This isn’t what I’m like.”  She shook her head but the smile remained.  “I think I like it, a lot.”

“I know what you mean.  We’ve been sitting here for what?  Nearly an hour, we aren’t talking, the stereo and TV are not on but I feel really comfortable.”

“The power of silence,” Scully said in a manner that reflected that it explained it all.

“The power of silence?”  Mulder repeated back her words as a question.

“I said that out loud?”  Mulder answered with a nod.  “I’ll explain if you promise not to bolt from fear.”  Mulder just laughed.  “It was something my dad once said to me.  I was ten or eleven, well pre-teen.  I asked him about his romance with my mom and how he knew that she was the one for him.” 

She stopped and Mulder really thought she wasn’t going to go on.  But she started again slowly.  There was a far away look in her eye as she remembered a long ago talk with her dad.  “He told me that he new he loved my mom was after they’d spent a day together and he realized they hadn’t said more than a couple dozen things to each other.  He said, ‘Starbuck,’ his nickname for me.  ‘Starbuck, anyone can talk.  People do it all the time just to fill the silences.  But it’s when you can be with someone and fill those silences with meaning and not just noise that really count.  It’s the power of silence.’” 

Mulder saw a little trepidation in her eyes.  He reached out and touched her cheek and just smiled.  “The power of silence, I like that.”  They leaned over and he whispered, “third date right?”  They’re lips collided in a none too chaste kiss.

There was no question about if he would spend the night, he wouldn’t.  It was too soon for both of them.  Even though their bodies protested they both felt the need to deal with their emotions and the quickness they were moving.

 

-x-

 

Sunday, Scully turned on her cell phone as she was leaving church and it immediately chimed.  It was Mulder.  Her observer was thrilled at the way her face lit up when she found out who called.  Mulder made her way across the street and walked up behind her. 

He pulled the phone from his ear and stage whispered, “hey, pretty lady.”

“Mulder,” she took him into a hug and kissed him lightly.

“Got any plans for the rest of the day?”  He asked as he was just realizing he’d taken for granted that she would want to spend the day with him.

“Oh, just spend time with this gorgeous man I just met.”  Her smile brightened.

“In that case I guess I’ll get going.”  Mulder started to turn around.

Scully followed and tapped his shoulder, “hello, gorgeous.”  She waited for him to stop.  “So what do you have in mind?”

His face went blank and he looked away in complete puzzlement.  “I have no idea.  I just, I don’t know.”  He was stumbling over his words.

“I know, I just want to spend time with you too.  How about we just hang?  Do errands together and so on.  I need to grocery shop and pick up my dry cleaning and I’m sure you have some things we need to do too.

 

-x-

 

They were back at Scully’s apartment putting away groceries and Mulder was initiating himself to the inner workings of her home.  When they finished she made lunch and he knew exactly where to get the flatware and plates. 

They were cleaning up from their meal when Scully asked, “so, if we were to go to your place what would I find?”

“A hovel.”  She looked at him with disbelief.  “No, I mean it.  I don’t spend much time there.  It is just the place I sleep, hang my clothes and keep my fish.”  He tucked some hair behind her ear.  “Give me a week to clean it up and you can visit.  Maybe you can make some decorating suggestions to lighten the joint up.  To make it into a place you want to spend some time in.”

“Mulder, if it has you in it that is enough inducement.”

 

Part Six: Unrequited Love Steals Life

 

Mulder, reluctantly, went home around ten.  The light on his answering machine was blinking as he entered his apartment. 

“Mulder, my man,” Langly answered, “we’ve been waiting for your call.”

“You have news?”

“Oh yeah.  Do you think you and the lady pathologist can meet us here tomorrow night?”

“I’m sure we can.  What did you find?”

“Tomorrow all will be revealed.”  Langly hung up.

Mulder called Scully and made arrangements to pick her up after her shift.

 

-x-

 

Mulder led Scully into the Gunmen’s lair with his hand at her back.  Langly and Byers greeted them warmly but Frohike held back.  Mulder didn’t seem to notice but Scully did and she was sure she knew why.  Mulder and she were not the only ones moving a bit fast in their relationship.

When the little man wasn’t paying attention she made her way to him and said, “you made Grace very happy.  Thank you.”  A wave of relief came over Frohike’s features and they moved toward the others.  “Remember, if you hurt her, I’m a pathologist and I know how to make it look like an accident.”  Frohike stopped dead in his tracks. 

Mulder caught the action and knew he needed to ask about it later.

Langly took the lead.  “Our boy is Richard Layton, goes by Richard never Dick or Rick or Rich, just Richard.  He’s twenty nine years old.  Richard’s life began the same day that one Richard Sexton walked away from Mt. Holyoke Asylum in Pennsylvania two years after he was placed there for murdering his fiancÚ when she broke off their engagement.”

“They only kept him two years?” Scully asked incredulously.

It was Byers who answered.  “When we say ‘walked away’ that is exactly what we mean.  Staff members went to get him and he wasn’t in his cell.  The door was locked and no one had seen anything.  All searches resulted in nothing.  The only thing they did find was a burglary of a nearby men’s clothing store.  They couldn’t find any evidence of forced entry.  The thief took several men’s outfits and there was cash missing from the safe.  The safe was on time lock and it hadn’t been tampered with.”

Mulder and Scully looked at each other.  Scully spoke first.  “That wall?”  Mulder nodded.  The three men watched as a complete silent conversation seemed to be occurring.

Mulder explained about the occurrence with the wall at the hotel.  When he finished he asked if they had an address.

“What can you pick him up on?  The deaths are all officially suicides.”  Asked Byers

“Suspicion of being an escapee from a mental institution.”

Frohike entered the conversation.  “What will stop him from escaping again?”

That stopped everyone for a moment.  Scully broke the silence, “glass maybe?  The wall was solid as, I’m sure, the walls, doors and fencing of the asylum.  There is a theory that glass is a highly dense liquid.  Its molecular structure would be different.”

Mulder broke away from the others; it was time to call Skinner.

 

-x-

 

Skinner, Mulder and Scully spoke with Dr. Anthony Hatch about Richard Sexton before they went in to question him.  Skinner arranged for Dana Scully to observe at Mulder’s request.  She had been the one person who recognized that there was something more than random suicides.

Dr. Hatch reported that Sexton had been an unremarkable patient, completely unrepentant about the murder of his ex-fiancÚ.  He always claimed that it was her own fault. 

Near the end, Mulder asked if there had been any unusual occurrences before Sexton escaped.  The doctor told them of a series of small incidences had happened.  Missing food, charts mixed up, equipment in the wrong place and that sort of thing; nothing major.  No one was ever held accountable and the incidents stopped once Sexton was gone.

Richard Sexton had been testing his ability.

 

-x-

 

Richard Sexton was being very cooperative; waiving his rights to an attorney and to remain silent.  He admitted his involvement with all of the suicides and a number of other cases from other cities.  “DC was a lovely city to die in, don’t you think?”

He explained how he found his victims, sought them out from the lonely hearts chat rooms.  “They claimed to be lonely and broken hearted but they all tossed love away.”

The man started a diatribe on the unfaithfulness of women.  How they manipulate men and cause pain.

Skinner let the man run on for a while hoping that Sexton would tell them how he virtually passed through walls.  Nothing of any worth came from him so Skinner shut him down but not before Mulder asked how he got the women to kill themselves.

“I was locked in this place for years and daily sessions with the crackpots they call psychiatrists.  I can’t tell you how many hypnosis sessions I’ve been subjected to.  Do you honestly think I didn’t pick up a trick or two?”  Sexton didn’t try masking his contempt.

“That brings up another question.  How did you manage to get out?”

Sexton sneered, “I walked.”  He was done answering questions.

 

-x-

 

The small parade marched through the corridors of the asylum.  Sexton and his two orderlies lead the procession, Skinner and Hatch following and Mulder and Scully pulled up the rear.

“I don’t understand why he was so open, Mulder.  He admitted to using hypnosis to induce those women to commit suicide.”

“He doesn’t think he can be held so he has nothing to lose.”  They reached Sexton’s new cell.  “Now we get to test your theory, Scully.  Skinner arranged for the cell to be lined with bullet resistant glass.”  He leaned down.  “I hope you’re right about this because that stuff is expensive and Skinner told me that if it doesn’t work it comes out of my salary.”

They heard Sexton say, “home, temporary home.”  Sexton entered the room and turned for the orderly to remove his straight jacket.  The door was closed and a moment later they heard Sexton yell.  “NO!  You can’t do this!”

They heard him slam his body into the walls.

Skinner turned to Mulder, “I guess it worked.”

 

Part Seven: To the Victor Go the Rewards

 

Dana pressed the buzzer and Mulder buzzed her in.  Like hers, the building was old but not as well maintained and didn’t have the charm her complex had.  The hallway floors were dusty and the elevator was slow.  She exited the elevator and saw that an apartment door was open about mid-way down the hall.  Mulder poked his head out and she was lost in his smile.

She handed him the parcels she was carrying.  Mulder sniffed.  “Smells wonderful.  What’d you get?”

“I stopped at China Delight.  I didn’t know what you would like so I just got a sampling from the left hand side of the menu.”

“Well, you certainly got enough.  We’ll be eating this for days.”  Mulder set the bags on his kitchen counter then took her in his arms.  “I’ve been dying to do this all day.”  They leaned in and kissed, then just stood holding each other.

“You promised me a look around, you want to play tour guide or should I just venture out on my own?”

“You lead, I’ll follow.  If anything scary attacks we can huddle together.”  He pulled her into a hug, “maybe we can huddle even if nothing scary attacks.”

“Count on it,” Scully reached up and kissed him lightly.  “Now show me around.”

“Well, I know this is a shock,” Mulder waived his hands around, “this is the kitchen.”

“Wow, I have one of these too.”  Scully responded sarcastically. 

Mulder turned her around by placing his hands on her shoulders and nudged her thru the archway.  He chuckled at her response to his coat rack.  “Billiard balls, interesting choice.”  Then she walked into the living room and he had to hold himself back as she said in awe, “leather.”  She looked around and added, “and a leather chair too.  Decadent, I like it.”

The bathroom went by without comment and that only left his bedroom.  Mulder opened the door and stepped back to let her go in first.  She walked around and took in the muted grays of the linens and the fine wood furnishings.  She turned and looked at him.  “Who decorated this room?”

“How do you know it wasn’t me?”

“This room is not my Mulder.”  The possessive term was not lost on him, and he liked it.  “My Mulder is reflected all over the place out there.  That shoe stretcher that you use as a paperweight, the coat rack, the mismatched leather chair and sofa, even the typewriter print, those are my Mulder.  This is someone else’s vision of who they think you are.”  She turned and looked into his eyes.  “My Mulder only seems dark on the surface but underneath he is a whole rainbow of color.  Gray is not your thing.”

“And ‘my Scully’ should be an investigator.”

“It was Diana wasn’t it?”  Her smile faded a little.

“Two years ago, we tried again.  Big mistake.  It lasted two weeks but it took me six months to end it.”  He didn’t look at her while he said it.

She walked over to him and cupped his cheek.  “That’s my Mulder, the eternal optimist.”  He had to chuckle at that.  He’d been called a lot of things but never an optimist before.

“You know, Scully, you keep saying ‘my Mulder;’ a guy could start getting ideas.”

“Really?  And just what kind of ideas would that be?”  Her eyes wide with innocence; Mulder was far from fooled.

“Ideas of midnight kisses, early morning snuggles and afternoon delights.”

“Hmm,” she pursed her lips and cocked her head then sat on his bed and scooted back to the headboard.  “I’m glad I’m not giving the wrong impression.”  She ventured a look at his alarm clock.  “Would those ideas possibly include an eight-twenty-seven interlude?”  Her eyebrow raised in challenge.

“Interludes at anytime are very much included.  I might even throw in some bundling and canoodling to boot.”

Mulder crawled up the bed and met her eye to eye.  “What about all that food you brought?”

Scully leaned forward and peppered him with small kisses.  “Oh, there is something you need to know about me, Mulder.  After a good round of ‘interluding’ I eat like a horse.”

“In that case, I hope you brought enough.” 

 

End Story  

 

Happy Birthday Kim - November 13

 

Assisted Suicide 3

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