AUTHOR: Callrachel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
KEYWORDS: V, A
SUMMARY: Musings of a gifted man.
ARCHIVING: Delighted; just let me know.
DISCLAIMER: The X-Files, Mulder, Scully and Skinner belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and Fox. No infringement is intended; no money is being made.
Notes: Heartfelt thanks to my super-beta, emerex. Any errors or omissions are my own. Written for the Mulder's Refuge August challenge.
The feet were grey, a peculiar greenish- grey that he wanted to believe was a trick of the light, here under the trees. The
calloused soles were cut and bruised, and a rime of blackened blood had settled into the fine cracks. There was a blue-black ligature mark on one knobbed ankle, like a poorlyexecuted jailhouse tattoo.
Mulder turned away abruptly, trying to find the sky among the shivering leaves overhead, shutting out the stupefied buzzing of the corpulent black flies and focusing in on birdsong and the distant whine of traffic on the freeway above. He couldn't hear Scully anymore, so she must have struggled up through the brush until she'd reached the car. She'd be making calls now: one to the local police department, reporting a
reasonably fresh corpse; one to the local Bureau office, explaining why they were late for their meeting with SAC Mitchell; one to Skinner, who hated to get word of these things from third parties. Maybe one to the men in white coats: *My partner has suddenly developed psychic powers...*
He smiled bitterly, remembering the
expression of amazement on her face when they'd come upon these feet, abruptly
silencing the bitching that had accompanied their skidding descent through the clutching shrubbery; the amazement at his prescience, tinged with horror at the sight of the corpse, so obviously not a natural death. It had taken no prescience to anticipate what her next question would be, and so he'd assumed the role of Senior Agent and sent her up to the car to make the calls. He hoped she'd stay up there a good, long time.
It just went to show: you could never tell when a pretty nice morning was going to devolve into a Bad Thing. Driving along, enjoying the sunshine, and then Mulder's spidey sense had started to prickle, and the hair on his nape had risen, and he'd pulled off the freeway in a skirl of dust and a howl of indignant horns honking, pulled off and got out of the car, pacing back and forth for a moment like a hound dog scenting the air, picking a direction and hopping over the pitted metal guardrail, Scully yapping at his heels as he charged and slid downslope. And he'd found it, gone straight to it, found the broken, bloody feet sticking out of the shrubbery and a brief glimpse of the broken, bloody body that still lay under the leaves. And he'd sent the grim and silent Scully away, playing the duty card that always, always worked with Scully, to give himself time to think of a plausible answer to the inevitable question, How did you know, Mulder?
Some men had a talent for finding gold, or diamonds. Some men could find water. Mulder's particular talent was for corpses. This was the fourth he had found this way. *They don't call me Spooky for nothin', Scully,* he thought without humour. His first had been when he was just out of Quantico. That time, he had explained helplessly to the suspicious detective that he 'just knew'. He already had a reputation by the time the second came along, and the third he was able to explain away because it was just off a popular jogging path. This one, though - and he knew Scully wouldn't let it go; she was like a dog with a bone.
So, you're psychic now, Mulder? she'd ask. He shut his eyes against the vision of her face when she asked it. *Not psychic, Scully. You wanna know how I know? How I always know where the bodies are? How I always know the shape of the mind that drives the hand that drags these poor broken pieces of meat into the shrubbery to rot? Because, Scully, if I was getting rid of a body, this is where I'd put it. This would be a good place, Scully. If a fucking spooky
sonofabitch hadn't come along, this one would be skeletonized in a couple of weeks. I know where he parked, how he got this one over his shoulder in a fireman's carry, how he picked his way down the slope in the dark. I know, Scully, 'cause that's how I'd do it. Not psychic, Scully. Psychotic.*
He shuddered. No, he couldn't say that. He couldn't look at her face when he said that. He'd have to fall back on, "I just knew". He'd give her some psychobabble bullshit about subliminal clues; she'd fall for that. Science was her god.
He was sure Scully knew all about the
geology that located gold and diamonds, and that she could give him a perfect explanation for how diviners could find water. He just wished he could find those things, instead of bodies. Because then he could let Scully explain him to himself. And that would be such a relief.
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