Acting on a Hunch.

by Pattie

Title: Acting on a Hunch...

Author: Pattie

Rated: PG-13

Summary: Mulder feels not all was done to solve the case of murdered police officers in Buffalo, New York. So, he and Scully go back on his hunch.

Category: X-File, MA.

Spoilers: Born Again, of course.

Archive: Gossamer, any other nice home. Please ASK me first, all right?

Feedback: Always welcome and especially advice!

Disclaimer: All characters and plot devices are the original property of Chris Carter, 1013 Productionss,and Fox Studios. No money is made from this little hobby, and I intend no copyright infringement. The first paragraph is a quote fronm the script of the original episode, Born Again.

Note: This story is a rise to the After The Fact Challenge, Born Again, for January, 2004.

"Closing entry, file number X-40271. Detective Anthony Fiore pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to charges of first-degree murder after the fact, grand larceny and obstruction of justice. The deaths of Detective Rudy Barbala and former police officer Leon Felder are being ruled as accidental, although their complicity in the murder of Officer Charlie Morris has been definitively established. No charges were brought against Michelle Bishop, who today took her first swimming lesson. She claims no memory of the preceding events and both her mother and Dr. Braun have denied my request for a second past-life regression.

End of field journal, April 19, 1994.

Agents of record: Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Status: Unexplained."

Mulder shut off the monitor, removed his reading glasses, elbows on desk. He rubbed his eyes and put his hands over them as Scully walked into the office.

"Mulder? Quitting time, at least for lunch. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, thanks Scully. The guys upstairs should be pleased with the ususal 'not-too-strange' report I just entered. Have you finished your part so we can just put this ting to rest?" The man looked tired, and he knew it. He was tired and frustrated.

"The autopsy reports are all entered and ready to be added to your part, and then we wait for another foray into the unexplained." She was smiling, but felt as if her remark was about to be taken as one of sarcasm. "Hey, it'sFriday, it's lunchtime. How about we grab a bite to eat? I'll buy."

"Nah, Scully. I think I'll pass. You go ahead and get some air. I just needsome time alone."

"I'll grab you a sandwhich. Anything you'd prefer?"

"Whatever. I mean, just pick up whatever looks good."

Scully stood in front of the desk and stared for a minute.

"I'm sorry, Scully. I guess I just can't see how someone can go through experiencing life througha grown policeman's eyes for so long, and still develop a personality of her own. That's all. This dissociative disorder, this reincarnation thing would have made better sense if it hadn't all been so out front and violent."

"That little girl," Scully said, as she took a seat. "Do you really think she's okay, Mulder? I think you're worried about her. This case has really affected you."

"Just go get something to eat, Scully. At least you get to see the sunshine, feel the wind in your hair... go on," he assured his partner. "I'm okay." He feigned a smile and she believed it.

After she had left the office, he placed a call to Dr. Braun, , the therapist who had seen Michelle Bishop. "Hello, Dr. Braun. It's Fox Mulder. We recently met when my partner and I were investigating a cop's homicide up there?"

"Yes. Agent Mulder. I remember you." The doctor sounded as if she had better things to do.

"Well, I think it's pretty mraculous that Michelle is a normal little girl, wouldn't you? I mean, right out of the blue--"

"Agent Mulder, I have a lot of other things to do, clients to see, and I really think YOU could benefit from some therapy yourself. So, if you'll excuse me... "

"Okay, okay. I think I get the message, Doctor. Ever think you might owe me one?"

Braun hissed. "OWE you one? No, I don't do adult consultations. And I don't owe you anything. Like many other clients, Michelle Bishop has resolved her own issues. Can't say being a child of divorce is easy." Click.

As he hung up the receiver, Mulder said to himself, "No, it isn't easy. But one doesn't go around throwing 200 pound men through windows or bust up fish tanks, either. And I never took up Origami... or anyone else's hobby because of any stinkin' divorce issues."

"Talking to yourself?" Scully had slipped back into the office. "Didn't think you had an invisible friend, or heard voices, so I just kind of let you go on. I got you a roast beef sub and a coffee."

"Thanks. Maybe I liked it in my other life."

"C'mon, it's over, Mulder. Michelle Bishop is fine."

"Is she? Scully, you can't just dismiss the effect this must have had on that little girl."

"I'm sure her doctor has it well taken care of," Scully said. "Besides, we were there to investigate, the case was closed, and the rest remains unexplained."

"That's what they want us to write."

"Look, I'm sure that little girl was traumatized by whatever was going on around her. I still don't believe what I saw, but I can't deny it either. Just let it alone."

"And can you?"

"Well, I have to admit I've been wondering about it, myself, Mulder. Aren't we supposed to stay somewhat detached, though?"

"Yeah. Protocol sucks," Mulder stared at the sub. "Let's shuffle off back to Buffalo."

"What for? We've just been through this, Mulder... "

"I just have to know. If you're worried about accounting giving us the gears, it's on me."

The first place they visited was the office of Dr. Spitz, the regression therapist.

"Why here, Mulder?" Scully and Mulder had just reached the door to the office.

"No interference from Dr. Braun. Besides, someday, he might come in handy for us on another case, or even for me." Mulder knocked and opened the door. The office seemed empty. There was no receptionist and the door to the inner office was ajar. Detective Sharon Lazard and a figerprint specialist were busy gathering evidence.

"What the he-- you two scared the heck outta me! I thought you'd gone back to the Bureau three days ago!!"

Scully looked at Mulder as if to say, "You're right. We should have come back."

"I--we wanted to talk to Doctor Spitz. I guess someone beat us to it."

"Someone beat the hell outta the guy and split," Lazard explained. "And I think this ain't the end of it."

"Michelle?" Scully had thought perhaps the girl was still, well, maybe still involved. Or she thought Mulder had that hunch. (She liked to beat the he-man to the punch once in a while.)

"Nah," Lazard replied. "She's doin' real good since whatever happened at Fiore's house. Even at school. I think there's someone else involved, here. And I think we didn't go through every possible name when we hit on the original case."

"Where's Dr. Spitz now?"

"The morgue, Dr. Scully. The preliminary exam showed he had high levels of barbiturates in his bloodstream. Sodium pentathol."

Mulder gave Scully a sideways glance.

"I'll get the gloves," she said on her way out of the office. "I know the drill, Mulder."

"She's a lot like you, Detective Lazard."

"Ya. And she'll have a great future if she stays that way. We're through here. C'mon, Dusty. His name's really Bill, but we call him that because..."

"Because he's always dusting for fingerprints," Mulder added.

Three hours later, Scully came out of the autopsy lab to find Mulder waiting in the hallway. "Well?"

"Well, Mulder, toxicology says there were high levels of sodium pentathol in his bloodstream. Very high levels. There were at least fifteen tablets still lying in his stomach, and puncture marks on his upper arm. I'd say Dr. Spitz didn't commit suicide. It was a hit, Mulder. So what next?"

"We find out who and why... "

"I'd say that's up to the Buffalo Police Department, Mulder. We came here to talk to Dr. Spitz, he's dead, and we have no business being here because we weren't assigned."

"You have much to learn Grasshopper."

"All right," Scully raised her voice as she grabbed her coat. "Make a joke of it. We've already broken the rules too many times, and frankly, I LIKE my pay check coming in every week--in the same amount." She saw nothing but a blank expression in her partner's face, and heard nothing but silence. "All right. let's go."

"You know, you're a lot like Lazard, Scully." He followed her to the down-bound elevator.

"I highly doubt it," Scully said with her trademark dead-pan look.

Mulder just smiled, and pressed the button for Lobby. "Who's still out there to get rid of the witnesses, Scully?"

"Well, no one, as far as we know. The police department thought they had all the men involved either in custody or that they were dead. Apparently, they were wrong. I doubt Michelle Bishop would know."

"But maybe Mrs. Fiore would."

"She said they didn't socialize with fellow officers, Mulder."

"And I don't associate with fellow UFO afficionados, either," he mused. He reached for his cell phone. "Just checking the address."

Anita Fiore had taken an apartment in Salamanca since the arrest of Tony Fiore. "I just couldn't take... the memories, you know?" She told Mulder and Scully. "I've got a job at a department store as a sales associate, and I just want to forget the whole thing about Charlie, Tony, and Buffalo." She had invited the Agents in for coffee.

Scully gently held her hand. "I know it wasn't easy, Mrs. Fiore. We need to wrap up this case further, Did Tony ever tell you anything at all about the money? Why Charlie wouldn't take it?"

"Well, we're divorcing, so... Charlie didn't want to be a dirty cop. He wanted out of it. Tony tried to look after me. I guess he felt he had to... for Charlie. Tony really kept to himself even after we were married, but he was real good to me... if you understand. And we fell in love after Charlie died."

"Mrs. Fiore, if you could just... "

"I know. I guess I'm just still shook up. I've got the house up for sale and with Tony in a cell... I guess it's been a big shock. If there was anyone else involved, and if there was anyone who wanted that Doctor Spitz dead, he could still be in the Department, right?"

"Well, that IS a posibility," Mulder admitted.

"So, who says it's a man?" Scully retorted.

"That's right, Scully. Who says?"

"MULDER: Addendum to closing entry, file no. X-40271. Upon further investigation into the murder of Dr. Spitz, the Buffalo Police found several vials of barbiturates, including sodium pentothol tablets and injectible sodium pentothol in Detective Sharon Lazard's desk a the precinct. She was arrested for the murder of Doctor Spitz and is currently undergoing further investigation for other matters such as accepting bribes, extortion from fellow officers, and misappropriation of evidence, namely, barbiturates.

End of field journal, April 26, 1994.

Agents of record: Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Status: Unexplained.

Personal Note: We were wrong not to investigate Lazard from the beginning of this case. That Charlie Morris, Felder, and Fiore died was, indeed tragic. We made an error of omission that cost the regression therapist his life, and my hunch about Michelle Bishop led us to aid the Buffalo Police Department in Lazard's arrest. In future, we will investigate more deeply and not rule out any suspects until proper profiles have been done. I resolve to follow up on my hunches more often."



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