Another Brick in
Sara B. 02/06
Another Brick in
the Wall Part One: Laying the Foundation
Scully eased her
body into the heated water of the hotel pool. Tonight she needed to work out
the aches in her abused body and abused psyche. Above all she needed to avoid
the ‘Siamese twins,’ Mulder and Diana Fowley. They’d been inseparable
during the entire case. Not only inseparable but no where to be found during
Over the last two
years eleven women had been kidnapped and kept for three months where they suffered repeated rapes and beatings. Then their battered emaciated bodies washed ashore at Lake Winter. The only reason that Mulder and Scully had been contacted was that each body had been branded with a pentagram.
Scully still wasn’t
sure why Fowley was there or how Mulder had cleared it with Skinner for her to accompany them.
Mulder didn’t even bother telling Scully until they were at the airport and Diana Fowley walked up and greeted
them. The two of them sat together while Scully was forgotten and relegated to
a seat seven rows back. Hell, Mulder almost drove off without her after they’d
take long to ascertain that there was no paranormal aspect to the case even though Mulder and Fowley kept insisting that it
was. Oh, there were monsters, yes, but they were the all too human kind.
Mulder and Fowley
ditched Scully on the second day and ran off investigating on their own while she stayed behind and did some background checking. Scully hadn’t seen the ‘Siamese twins’, as she nicknamed them, since
then. There had not even been so much as an accidental elevator ride shared. Scully’s hotel room was two floors and a whole wing away from the connected
ones that Mulder and Fowley occupied. She tried calling him on several occasions
but he was either out of the area or his phone was off, every time. She stopped
leaving messages after the seventh or eighth unreturned try.
Agent Aaron Anderson
of the local FBI office was aiding in the investigation. On the third day Scully
and Anderson decided to revisit the homes of the victims. All of the women had been
single and successful and their lifestyles reflected it. Affluent neighborhoods,
expensive autos, fine furnishings and closets full of designer clothing. These
women indulged in all the trappings of the rich and powerful.
They had gotten
to the home of the third victim, Jen Sanders, when they found the first real clue. Ms.
Sanders was the owner of a high end boutique. Scully was looking around when
she realized that all three of the homes they’d visited that morning had some expertly installed hand made cabinetry
by the same local artisan. She called Sheriff Krill and asked him to have deputies
check the other locations for hand crafted furnishings by River’s Edge Cabinetry.
That was a day earlier
and it took a lot to connect the dots, but today the case came to a head. She,
Agent Aaron Anderson and Sheriff Krill’s team apprehended Thomas Morton and Craig Hearn on charges of murder and assorted
arrest hadn’t gone down cleanly. Morton hit her with a two by four plank
and proceeded to beat her until Deputies Paul Longfellow and Mark Wells were able pull him off.
Mulder and Fowley
were not in on the arrest because they had not been located. That was something
the sheriff took particular notice of using very colorful and inventive language. Scully
suspected his report to Skinner would be less than sympathetic regarding those two and she’d be damned if she did anything
to justify their behavior.
Krill insisted Scully
be checked out at the clinic. She was treated for several lacerations; one deep
one was at her hairline, two blackened eyes, bruised ribs and a torn ligament in her left ankle. Scully was bruised from head to toe. The doctor insisted she
use a boot and a cane to help her walk.
Anderson gave Scully a lift back to her hotel. She checked for
messages; there were none. Scully called Skinner after she’d gotten settled. Skinner
already knew about the outcome of the case, Anderson had called him while he waited for her to be treated. She
heard hesitancy in Skinner’s voice and she knew there was something else he wanted to say or ask. She didn’t think he’d welcome any answers she could provide so she hurriedly ended the call
but not before Skinner said he’d have Kim arrange for her flight home and the ticket would be waiting for her at the
desk sometime later that night.
Scully argued that
she should stay and finish the final paperwork but Skinner assured her Anderson would take care of it and she could e-mail or fax
anything they might need.
She knew she was
too wound up and angry to get any rest so she decided to make use of the hotel’s indoor pool and whirlpool. She would have liked to use the exercise equipment but her battered body couldn’t take anymore abuse
Scully donned her
swimsuit and a cover-up then hobbled down to the spa area. Luck was with her
and no one else was in the place. She grabbed a couple of towels and put them
on a chair near the pool steps and removed her boot. She hopped the few feet
to the steps then gingerly entered the pool. The water enveloped her like velvet
and for a few moments she let herself revel in the feeling of weightlessness before she started doing laps.
Mulder trudged into
his hotel room exhausted. This week had been a complete and utter disaster. Not only did he re-learn why he and Diana made lousy partners, in every sense of the
word, he’d alienated Scully. He was sure she was justifiably royally pissed
off at him for inviting Diana along, ditching her and ignoring her many call attempts.
Skinner gave them
the casefile on Tuesday and, unbeknownst to Scully, Mulder arranged for Diana to accompany them, well, him. He still couldn’t really explain why he’d done it, maybe to piss Scully off so at least he
wouldn’t suffer anymore of her indifference. Getting anything from her
lately was worse than pulling teeth from cement. She’d completely shut
down from him; not that he could really blame her. Whatever made him do it he
was sure that Scully was less inclined to open up to him now.
what a huge mistake he’d made when Diana greeted them at the airport. The
look on Scully’s face burned him to his very being. He’d wanted a
reaction and he got one and now he had no idea what he’d been expecting. Her
face told the story, anger, hurt but worst of all was that there had been no sign of surprise, just a sad resignation. Scully expected that he would hurt her; he’d been doing it so much lately that
she’d become resigned to it.
The airport was
bad, the plane trip was worse and now he was at a point where he wondered if he would ever see light again.
Somehow Diana had
gotten Scully’s seat on the plane while Scully had to go somewhere near the back.
He was so concerned about Scully that he had no memory of the conversation he’d had with Diana during the flight. When they landed he’d been so distracted that he’d almost left Scully
stranded at the airport. It was only when he heard her scream after him that
he stopped the car and watched her running to catch them. God, she was actually
running in her high heels and lugging her medical kit and suitcase. When they reached the hotel he didn’t notice that
not only did Diana get the connected room next to his but Scully’s was not even on the same floor.
The second day,
Diana suggested they leave Scully at the sheriff’s office and the two of them would follow their own investigation. It sounded logical and Scully and he had done the same thing countless times; each
pursuing their own avenues to find the solution. Not three hours after dropping
Scully off Diana and he were at each other’s throats.
It was pretty clear
that there was no paranormal aspect to the case but Diana was relentless. She
kept insisting that they would find the right connections. He had been forced
into taking Scully’s position, to be the grounding factor; it wasn’t exactly a custom fit. He’d gained a new respect for the way Scully handled him. Mulder
couldn’t count the number of times he wanted to yell, ‘look at the damned facts.’ He knew that as strident as Diana had been it was no where near what he’d been known to put Scully
through and she never resorted to anything more than an exasperated raise of her voice.
The kicker came
the second night. They’d been fighting all day and he had just picked up
the phone to call Scully when Diana walked through the connecting door. She was
carrying a bottle of his favorite wine and wearing only a shear black lacy teddy. She
didn’t get the response she’d expected. The connecting door remained
closed and locked ever since.
Mulder knew that
Scully had tried on numerous occasions to call him but he was avoiding her and didn’t return any of her messages. What he needed to say to her had to be said in person.
He owed her some major apologies.
Mulder checked his
messages when he got to his room hoping at least one was from Scully. The first
message was from Sheriff Krill informing him that the case was closed and he would be sure to report his and Agent Fowley’s
actions to their superior. Mulder stared at the machine, the case was closed? He pulled out his cell but waited to listen to his other message, hoping it was from
Scully with details; it wasn’t. Skinner’s voice had that strained
tone that Mulder knew only too well; he was in deep crap. He and Diana were on
suspension pending investigation into their actions regarding this case. “Mulder,
let me just finish with, get your ass back here on the next available flight. Agent
Scully’s got a reservation on a flight that leaves tomorrow, do what ever you have to do, but be on it. But don’t try to join Scully in first class, she’s been wounded.
ran cold, Scully was wounded and he hadn’t been there. He needed to see
her. He grabbed his keys and ran into the hallway and was halfway to the elevator
before he remembered he didn’t know what room she was in.
He headed back to
his room and called the desk and asked to be connected to Scully’s room. The
pencil necked kid at the desk told that she wasn’t in her room but that he’d seen her headed toward the pool.
Mulder thanked the
guy then changed into his swimsuit and a shirt and went to find Scully.
Mulder opened the
door to the pool area and spotted her immediately. Her red hair spanned out as
she floated on her back. His eyes roamed her body; she was covered in bruises. He stealthily entered the water, trying not to cause too many ripples.
Mulder,” she said flatly.
“What? Why, Scully and what the hell happened to you?”
want to relax and you can read it in my report.” She got up and swam toward
the steps; resigned that he was not leaving. Mulder watched as she slowly got
out of the pool. The bruising seemed more lurid as she ascended the stair. He noticed that her movements were jerky and tentative; not her usual fluid motion. When she reached the top she hopped to the chair a few feet away and sat down before
trying to dry off.
her out, “Scully, don’t leave. Tell me what happened.”
Her movements stopped
and she looked over the towel she held to her face. “It isn’t like
you give a shit. Just leave me alone, Mulder.
I’m leaving tomorrow. You and Agent Wonderful can just hang out
and screw each other silly.” She started to hobble away.
take Mulder long to catch up with her and take her arm. Scully yanked away from
him and he heard her hiss with the pain. “Scully, talk to me, please. Come on.”
been so communicative. Just let me go, I swear I won’t tell Skinner about
your little escapade with Agent Fowley.”
“I think the
sheriff already keyed him in. Skinner left a message that Diana and I are suspended
pending an investigation.” She didn’t say anything nor did her features
soften and it angered him. “What, Scully, feeling a bit superior?” He snarled.
feeling a lot of pain. Pain that I may have been able to avoid if my partner
had been doing his job instead of gallivanting around the countryside with his lover.
Leaving his phone off while they looked for the paranormal activity that didn’t exist.” With that she turned and left as quickly as she could, leaving a stunned and guilty Mulder standing there
not knowing what to do.
End Part 1
Brick in the Wall Part Two: Mortar Setting
arrived early just to have a few more moments for herself. This was Mulder’s
first day back from his week long suspension. She’d been dodging his calls
since they returned. He’d even showed up at her apartment on Saturday but
she acted like she was just leaving so she wouldn’t have to talk to him. Her
defenses were down and if they talked she may have told him exactly what she thought of him right now; and it wasn’t
much. The chance of them recovering from this chasm between them was slim but
at least there was a chance. If she told him what was on her mind that chance
spent most of the week catching up on paperwork and writing an article for a medical journal on the musculature anomalies
of Edward H. Van Blundht; Eddie. In the last several years she’d written
papers on Eugene Victor Tooms, Samuel Aboah, Leonard Betts and now Van Blundht. Mulder
wasn’t the only one whose name was synonymous with strange in their chosen field.
The medical profession knew the name Dana Scully as a recognized expert in the weird and feared.
put her things away and checked the messages, dutifully writing them in the new phone log she’d gotten. In one weeks time she’d logged fifty seven messages for Mulder, and that didn’t include the
repeat callers. Repeat callers just got a check on the original message. Diana Fowley’s original message had seventeen checkmarks and she was adding
another one to it from this morning’s batch.
took her own messages and headed back to her area to start working. She sat at
the small table that served as her desk and tried to find room to put her notes on.
The laptop took up most of the tabletop. Last week she’d used Mulder’s
desk but today he would be back. The sadness that she’d been able to tamp
down came roaring back to the forefront.
years, she’d been part of the X-Files for six years and she still had to go begging for workspace just to do her damned job. Scully started packing up her computer and notes when the door opened.
nerves were out of control. He’d cut himself shaving twice and he couldn’t
seem to make his fingers function well enough to tie his necktie. It was his
first day back from suspension and he’d have to face Scully.
had refused to speak with him for the last week, even going so far as to fake an errand just to get away from him when he
dropped by after she’d ignored all of his calls. He was mad about that
but the words ‘paybacks are a bitch’ ran through his head. Besides
he’d been doing a little avoiding on his own. Diana called repeatedly and
she’d dropped by twice and he didn’t answer his door. She even went
so far as to try her key and Mulder thanked goodness his locks had been changed at least three times since she left in ’91.
reached the office door and was surprised to find that Scully was already there; so much for getting settled in. He crossed the threshold and watched her for a moment. Scully
was closing up her laptop and her briefcase.
I’m a lot later than I thought or you’re a little ahead of yourself, Scully.” Mulder hoped to see her usual ‘eye smile’ as he called it.
The one that never reached her lips but let him know that she actually thought something was funny; it didn’t
have to find someplace to work. I’m looking into a case for Phil Forman
and I need to spread out. Your messages are on your desk, along with a copy of
my report from the last case. I’ve turned my part into Skinner and he said
for you and Agent Fowley to attach your portion and get it to him first thing tomorrow.”
started to move past him and he gently grabbed her arm halting her exit. “Scully,
we haven’t spoken in over a week. We need to discuss this.”
you didn’t discuss having Fowley accompany us on that case. You didn’t
discuss running off with her to follow your own investigation and you didn’t discuss turning off your phone and being
completely unreachable. So why in the hell should I be inclined to discuss anything
removed his arm and stepped back. “I never knew you to hold a grudge before,
Scully.” He said accusingly.
was it. Scully put her things down; Mulder wanted a show down and he was about
to get it. “Don’t you DARE put this on me! I wasn’t the one who caused any of this, you did. You
and that woman you keep throwing in our path. It was your actions that got you
suspended because you let her blind you from the real evidence.” Scully’s
eyes closed for a moment. “Mulder, why is it you only need proof when it
is something from me?” Scully asked quietly. “Everyone else you just believe.”
it wasn’t like that. Diana had some legitimate ideas that I thought needed
to be pursued.”
look what it got us. You two were suspended and I have a torn ligament, lacerations and bruised ribs. It certainly didn’t help solve the case. No, it was
my ‘legitimate’ ideas that did that. So I really don’t see
what your investigation got us except what it has done to us.”
has it done to us, Scully?” Mulder’s tone was softer.
you can’t answer that yourself then you aren’t a tenth as smart as you think you are.” Scully started to pick up her things; she really needed to get some work done.
don’t you trust me anymore, Scully?” Mulder blurted out and he could
tell she was startled but she recovered quickly.
looked him directly in the eyes and squared her shoulders. “Because you've
given me no reason here to do otherwise.”
jaw dropped from hearing his own words thrown back at him.
Brick in the Wall Part Three: Scaling the Wall
and Scully were sitting in the airport waiting for their flight to Omaha. It had been a rough time and beyond work they really
weren’t functioning. Mulder sat across from Scully pretending to be reading
but he was really watching her over his magazine.
seemed content reading her latest copy of JAMA but inside she was a jumble of nerves.
shadow fell over her magazine and she looked up. “Paul, Paul Milton?” Mulder saw her stand and the two hugged. The
man moved to kiss her but Scully turned her head just enough for the kiss to land on her cheek.
“Hey! What kind of greeting is that?” The
man protested good naturedly.
always were one to take a mile when offered an inch. What are you doing here?”
have a client in Richardson. Seems she’s expecting these two FBI Agents to come visiting. Wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?”
representing Frieda Townsend?”
I am. We have her book in our fall catalog.
A haunted house with a history of murder and suicides, it’s sure to be a best seller. That is unless you debunk the whole thing.”
watched the exchange for as long as he could before traversing the short distance. “Scully?” He asked.
this is Paul Milton an old friend. Somehow our fathers shared, what was it, four
you always forget Pearl; we were packing to leave while your family was unpacking. It was short
but it still counts.” Milton held out his hand. “It’s nice to finally
meet you, Agent Mulder; Bill has some interesting things to say about you.” He
saw the look of Mulder’s face. “Don’t worry, Maggie and Dana tell me the complete opposite.”
is with Remington Publications. We’ve known each other a long time.”
should say we have. I knew Dana before she was a redhead.” Scully giggled and slapped his arm. “Okay, okay. When they brought her home our Dana was a bald little bundle of joy. I think I fell in love with her way back then.”
so that’s why you joined Bill and Charles in their tickle torture fests?”
a way, they were my idea. If you remember you were about fifteen when they started
and, well, your curves, even back then, have always been pretty spectacular.”
I was a hormonal teenager what do you expect? But I’m telling you now,
girl, you’re even better looking than you were then. I’ll bet Agent
Mulder here agrees with me when I say hubba hubba.”
sat on his bed steaming mad. They’d been here three days and Scully was
spending all her time with Paul Milton. How were they ever going to patch things
up if they never spent any time together? It didn’t help that Mulder was
the one who kept sending her Milton’s way.
heard the door to Scully room open and close. He was grateful that he didn’t
hear any voices. He looked at the clock, it was just after ten. He’d last seen Scully at six when she was leaving with Milton to go to dinner.
A knock on the connecting door startled him.
door on his side had not been latched so her knock dislodged it from the frame. “Mulder,
do you have a minute?” Scully asked timidly as she stood in the doorframe. She was backlit so her features were hidden in shadows.
was thrilled she’d finally come to him. “Come in, Scully.” She walked over and sat on the side of the bed.
I need a favor. I know with the way things are between us I don’t have
the right to ask but. . .”
all you ever have to do is ask. What is it?
You need a kidney or a heart? Whatever it is it’s yours.”
shouldn’t make promises until you know the terms; you never know what a desperate woman like me might ask.” Scully’s eyes flickered with mischief.
God, he’d missed this side of her; the playful, lusty side that he claimed as his own years ago.
do tell! Dare I hope,” he added as he patted the space on the bed next
to him. It almost felt normal.
need you to pull rank on me tomorrow and not let Paul drag me off.” Mulder’s
unspoken ‘say what,’ must have been written on his face because she laughed.
“This investigation is getting nowhere. He drags me off and works
his bag of tricks and misdirection and every time I try and protest you say, ‘no, go ahead, Scully, I’m fine on
my own.’” She moved slightly closer toward the headboard and tucked
her feet under her. “Not only am I not doing my job, a girl could get a
happened? Did Milton try something?” Mulder was ready to hurt the guy.
the way you think but he’s making ‘noises’ and I’d just rather not let things get too far off course.”
thought that, well, that maybe you kind of liked him.” Mulder’s voice
was quiet and he was holding his breath waiting for her answer.
do like Paul, I love him. In many ways he’s as close to me as Bill and
Charles but the way he’s acting is making me a little uncomfortable. It’s
better to stop things now.” She rose and started toward the door.
so he’s like a brother?” She nodded.
Mulder knew he shouldn’t ask but his tongue moved before he could stop himself.
“How do you see me?”
Scully was startled by the question she hid it well. “I see you so many
ways, Mulder. You are partner, friend, confidant, nurturer and many other things.”
in any romantic sense?” As soon as it left his mouth he saw her eyes dim
a little and he wished he could pull back his words.
know better than I why that would be. Goodnight, Mulder.”
was gone and the door was closed before he could reply. Part of him wanted to
finish this tonight but a wiser part decided he needed to think about what she’d said.
Brick in the Wall Part Four: The Wall Comes Tumbling Down
case had wrapped up without anything being answered. They found nothing that
either supported or discounted claims of the haunting. Mulder noticed that neither
of them saw much of Milton after they told his client their findings or lack of them as it turned out.
Milton did not return on the flight with
them, opting to book a flight straight to New York. Mulder wondered if Scully saw how suspicious that was.
gotten back in town two days earlier. They got their report ready to present
to Skinner at their ten-fifteen meeting. Despite the ease that Scully displayed
a few days earlier as she sat on his bed, things remained stilted between them.
the briefing with Skinner he told them that they were owed an apology. Skinner
told them they never should have been assigned the case. It had come down from
Deputy Director Chance. Chance owed a favor to his cousin who happened to be
Gloria Townsend; the mother of Frieda Townsend, the owner of the so called haunted house and author of A Haunting on the Prairie. The whole thing was a publicity stunt. Luckily,
since their findings were inconclusive, it wouldn’t be used in regard to the book or the subsequent TV Movie planned
for the Sci-Fi channel.
Mulder would notice the chink in Scully’s professional armor at Skinner’s information. He didn’t need to guess what was going through her mind; Scully felt used by someone she trusted. Paul Milton, someone she’d known and trusted, used her to get what he wanted.
parallels seemed to glare at him. The circumstances were completely different
but he too used Scully. He relied on her backing him up without question. The few times she wasn’t able to he’d pushed her away and trampled on
Mulder felt very small.
closed the door when they reached their office. Neither partner said anything
after leaving Skinner’s office. Mulder watched Scully sit on her chair. Her movements were leaden and lacked the grace he so admired.
used me, Mulder. Paul used me to get what he wanted. I thought it odd that he had to fly from New
York to here before going to Omaha but, hell, I don’t know. I didn’t really put much stake in it at the time. I hadn’t seen him in two or three years and it was good to meet up with someone from. . .” She broke off. “Someone who knew
me before I was just Scully. I guess I wanted to believe him. Like you and Agent Fowley. I owe you an apology, Mulder.”
didn’t know what to say, he was the one who owed her the apology. He waited
a few minutes but she didn’t continue. “Scully, I think I’m
the one who really owes you an apology. I realized today that I do the same thing
did to you but I do it all the time. I use your brilliance to get the results
that I want. I expect you to bend your science to meet my expectations and when
you won’t do that I brush you off.” He walked over to her and knelt
down. “I expect that just because I believe something you should too. I never gave you any reason to trust Diana, I just expected you to follow blindly.”
you, Mulder, for finally understanding. I think we both understand a little better
Brick in the Wall Part Five: Sorting Through the Rubble
Mister! I gotta get home or my ma will tan me but good. You and your girlfriend will have to pack it in.”
mumbled in Scully’s ear, “girlfriend,” and unconsciously pulled her tighter.
the kid, Mulder, while I start picking up the balls.” Mulder reluctantly
let her go and she started toward the field. He’d just gotten his wallet
out when she turned back and yelled, “don’t worry, I’ll hold your spot for you.”
jaw dropped as he handed the boy the money. “Mister, that ones a keeper. You’d better do right by her.”
finished picking up the equipment and storing it in the shed. Mulder locked the
door while Scully waited. “I’m not even going to ask how you got
into that.” Scully said laughingly.
to disappoint you, Scully, but I didn’t have to do any poaching this time. I
have the key. Frohike coaches little league here.” Mulder held up a key with a tag that said ‘Equipment Shed’.
“I was going to invite you for dinner but the kid tapped me out.”
how would you like to join me for dinner? How does a large pizza with all the
trimmings except pineapple and anchovies sound?” Scully said flirtatiously. “My treat.”
know what I like!” Mulder leered at her.
she responded as she opened her car door.
you know, it really is. Follow me.”
Scully said as she got in her car and closed the door.
I’d follow you anywhere.” Mulder said as he watched her pull out.