Title: The Quintessence of Evil
Category/key words: Mulder/Scully relationship, Gothic/Horror, Angst, Drama
Spoilers: "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"(sort of lol)
Dedication: To all X-Philes present and future as well as Mulder/Scully fans. To my online friends and fellow X-Philes: Jess, Jenn, Julie and Arls who read my chapters and encouraged me to continue. To my loving husband for listening to me read these chapters every night to see how they sounded and for also giving me ideas for the storyline as well. To my friend Arls for helping me come up with a title AND also the Latin included in this story! Couldn't have finished it without ya Arls! To all the messed up horror movies I saw that inspired me to write this fic.
Summary: Fox Mulder and Dana Scully end up out in the middle of nowhere while following a case on Halloween night. Getting a flat tire, they journey up to a mysterious mansion in hopes of getting help. Instead of getting help, they uncover something much more than either one of them could possibly imagine. An evil that could claim both of their souls.
Feedback: Please.....I love it!
Archive: Sure just please let me know where it's going!
Disclaimer: The characters of the X-Files do not belong to me but are the property of Chris Carter, 20th Century Fox and 1013 Productions. Any similarities to the names or places of the fictional aspects of this story are purely coincidental.
The full moon shone down on a lone country road where a car could be seen. Its headlights cut through the misty air, which clung to the knarled trees on the side. Inside the car, two figures could be seen in the front seat. One was a male who was driving and the female was a passenger, though not a satisfied one. She could be seen rummaging through a folded map.
"Mulder, are you sure that you took the right turn?" Dana Scully asked looking toward the driver.
Fox Mulder was staring straight ahead tapping the steering wheel. His head could be seen moving back and forth to the music on the car radio. "There's somethin' strange in the neighborhood. Who ya gonna call?"
"There's somethin' weird and it don't look good. Who ya gonna call?"
Scully bumped Mulder hard. "Mulder!"
Mulder jumped and turned the steering wheel slightly causing the car to veer. He quickly gained control of it. "Damn Scully! You trying to give me a heart attack or something?"
"Oh, well I'm sorry if I interrupted your jamming session." Scully replied sarcastically. "I was asking you if were sure you took the right turn back there?"
"What? Oh yeah. Of...of course I am." Mulder replied not meeting her eyes.
Scully sighed. "Dammit, Mulder! You told me you were sure where you were going!"
"I was....I mean I did..I mean I am."
"Great. We're lost!" She angrily threw the map to the floor. "This is just great!"
"Oh come on Scully. Will you just calm down?" He gestured to the outside." It's a full moon, we're out on a misty night." He raised his eyebrows. "Alone with nothing but music." He leaned toward her waggling his eyebrows. "Lots of potential here for romantic atmosphere. Anything could happen."
"I am not even going to dignify that remark with a response." She replied glaring back at him.
He pulled back from her frowning." You sure know how to break a mood, Scully."
"Aren't you even remotely worried about us being lost?"
"Should I be?" He asked putting his attention back to the road.
"Considering that we are out in the middle of nowhere and the only creature I've seen is a cat and a dead one at that. Yes, I think that is VERY good reason to worry."
"Scully, would you relax? Ok, yeah it's true that we don't know where we are but it's no big deal. All I need to do is follow this road until it meets up with the highway again. And...if for some strange reason it doesn't meet up with the highway, I'm sure there is someone who lives out here somewhere to give us directions."
"Do you mean the owner of Bate's Motel or someone at Camp Crystal Lake?"
"Ha, ha. Look don't worry, Scully ok? We've got a clear night, a warm car, some tunes. We're set." Just then a huge thud resounded followed by the car shaking, sending he and Scully forward. Mulder's arm instantly went across Scully's middle to protect her. His arm pushed her back to her seat as the car came to a stop. "Are you all right?"
"What the hell was that?"
"Maybe it was another cat." Mulder replied with a grin. He could tell that Scully was not amused from the look she was giving him. "Look, you stay in here and I'll go check it out. Probably just ran over a tree branch or something."
"Well, based on the way this car shook, that must be a HELL of a big tree branch!"
"I'll be right back." Mulder replied grabbing a tiny flashlight from under the seat. He opened the door and made his way outside into the chilly night. Closing the door behind him he began to walk around the car, flashing his tiny light. He examined the car for damage as well as the tires. Making his way to the passenger side he then saw the flat tire. "Ah, shit." He let out a sigh. "Scully! You'd better get out here!"
Scully was laying her head against the window when she heard Mulder's voice. She quickly opened the door and stepped out. "What is it, Mulder?"
"I found the source to our problem." He motioned to the back of the car.
Closing the door behind her, Scully made her way to where Mulder was. Her eyes then came to rest on the flat tire. "What the hell caused that?"
Mulder carefully examined the tire with his flashlight. "I don't know. But it definitely wasn't a cat or a tree branch based on the way its been shredded."
"I don't suppose there's a spare in the trunk?"
"Hmmmmm.....I knew I forgot to check something before we left the rental lot."
Scully let out a sigh. "Why doesn't that surprise me? Great, no spare. So now what?"
Mulder thought a minute. "Well, we could use our cells to call for help? I mean there has to be a gas station or tow truck service around here somewhere right?"
"That's the best idea you've had this entire night." Scully answered pulling out her cell from her pocket. She glanced at her cell and chuckled.
"What?" Mulder asked looking back at her.
Scully showed him her cell screen. "No service. Surprise, surprise."
Mulder pulled out his cell and looked at it. "Mine too. Is this not our night or what?"
"Ok, so we have no cellular service to call for help so now what, Sherlock?"
Mulder paused looking around and flashing his light. The light finally came to rest on what appeared to be another road. He rose up from the ground and walked toward it. "Hey, Scully check it out."
"What?" Scully asked walking up to him.
"Looks like another road." Mulder focused his flashlight further up. "And look what it leads to." He pointed to a large house in the distance.
"Great, a mansion. Out in the middle of nowhere. So we're....outside in the middle of the night on Halloween, with a flat tire and the only help we can hope to get is from a mansion in the woods? This all sounds like the beginning of a bad horror movie, Mulder."
"True but it's not. See if it was the beginning of a bad horror movie there would be a thunderstorm with...." As if almost on cue the sky began to rumble followed by a burst of lighting and a downpour of rain. He looked back at Scully as water dripped down his face and spat out his lips. "Ok, now it is."
"Remind me not to come out with you again on Halloween night." Scully muttered as the rain came down harder, stinging her eyes.
Mulder grabbed her hand. "Come on, Scully let's go see about making that phone call and getting directions!" He then started running up the road and toward the mansion with Scully at his heels.
It seemed like the rain was coming down harder with each step that they took. The mud splashed up onto their clothes as they ran through puddles of water.
Scully couldn't even see where she was going and had to rely on Mulder's navigation. "Are you sure you know where you're going?" She shouted through the torrents of rain.
"Of course! I have excellent vision, Scully!" Mulder yelled back. "This one time when I was kid, I was out with some friends and we got caught in this snow storm. And I was the only one who..." Mulder stopped dead in his tracks in front of an iron gate.
Scully bumped into Mulder not realizing he had stopped. "Ouch! Dammit, Mulder don't stop like that! You know I can't see!" She noticed Mulder's failure to respond. "Mulder? What is it?"
"I think you'd better take a look for yourself."
Scully struggled to look out but the rain coming down all around her blurred her vision. She could barely make out the form in front of her. "Yeah, it's a field so what?"
Mulder sighed and took his long coat, draping it over Scully's head to shield her from the rain. "Does that look like just a field to you?"
Scully blinked her eyes as her vision became clearer. She then saw her "field" littered with tombstones. Her eyes widened. "Oh my god, that's not a field. It's a..."
"Cemetery." Mulder finished. "You get a bonus, Scully."
"But what would a cemetery be doing out here in the middle of no where next to a mansion?"
"I don't know. Guess we have something else to ask the owner now huh?" Mulder paused. "Well, we have to pass through this cemetery to get to the mansion. You....don't have a problem doing that do you, Scully?"
"Of course not. Don't be silly. Let's get going. The sooner we do, the sooner we can get the hell out of this rain!"
"Careful where you step!" Mulder remarked as they slowly made their way through an iron gate and into the cemetery. A strange mist seemed to hover over the entire cemetery, coating it in a blanket. The leaves crunched under their feet as they made their way past the many different tombstones. Mulder made a mental note about how old some of the tombstones appeared to be as well as a few names here and there. This was definitely an old cemetery and most likely one that belonged to a family due to its close proximity to the mansion. He noticed Scully's apparent nervousness as they stepped together being shielded by Mulder's coat. He knew she would kill him but he couldn't resist. It was just too easy. And after all, it was Halloween. He put his hand up behind Scully slowly and then touched her shoulders, leaning into her ear. "They're coming to get you Barbara!" He replied in a creepy voice.
Scully instantly jumped proving that Mulder's theory on her being afraid was correct. "Dammit, Mulder! Knock it off!" She turned around and punched him in the shoulder.
"Ow!" Mulder yelled as he winced. "Damn, Scully it was just a joke!"
"Yeah, well it wasn't funny!"
Mulder attempted to move his shoulder. "Oh come on, Scully! It's Halloween night; we're going through a cemetery. That was perfect for "Night of the Living Dead!"
Scully turned to him. "One more move like that and I'll make YOU a permanent resident in this cemetery!" She angrily, pushed his coat off of her and began running through the rest of the cemetery and toward the mansion.
"Scully, you're gonna get soaked!" Mulder sighed before running after her. "Scully, wait up!"
From the cemetery, a figure watched as Mulder and Scully made their way up to the mansion. It watched them for a few minutes before disappearing into thin air.
Mulder was out of breath when he finally reached Scully. "Damn, Scully you've been practicing your running on the side!" He stepped up on the porch and began to wring himself out.
"The quicker, I get here, the quicker I can get help and get the hell out of here." Scully replied annoyingly. "Unlike you, I have better things to do on Halloween then...walk around a cemetery and try to act like a moron scaring people!"
"You're calling me a moron?" Mulder gave her a pouty look. "That really hurt, Scully."
"You figure it out." Scully replied before picking up the large knocker on the door and banging it.
"No door bell?"
"Guess these people don't believe in twentieth century technology." Scully answered before banging the doorknocker again.
Mulder leaned on the door. "Hey, Scully you know this reminds me of a movie I saw in which this couple..."
Scully put up her hand. "Don't say it, Mulder."
"Say what?" Mulder asked in an innocent voice.
"I know exactly what you're going to say. You saw this horror movie and what is happening now reminded you of it. There was a couple whose car broke down, and they go up through this cemetery to a mansion. They knock at the door and..." It was then that the door slowly creaked open. Scully looked back at Mulder. "Did you do that?"
"Open the door!" Scully snapped.
"Yeah, sure, Scully. I used my mind to open it." Mulder replied sarcastically.
"Well, I didn't do it. And you didn't do it." She paused. "Maybe the force of me knocking on the door forced it open."
"Scully, do you see how thick and heavy that door is? I mean you're strong but come on!" He pushed on the door.
"Mulder, what are you doing?"
"I'm heading inside where it's warm."
Scully put her hand on his shoulder. "Mulder, you can't just go into someone's house without their permission! There could be someone in there and you could give them a heart attack or they could shoot you!"
"Fine." Mulder pushed the door open and stepped in with his flashlight. "Hello? Is anyone here?" His voice echoed throughout the large building. "Hello?" He found the place surrounded in complete darkness with no indication of habitation. He then turned back to Scully. "There are you satisfied now? There's no one here."
"They could be in another part of the house."
Mulder sighed. "Oh for crying out loud, Scully! Look at the cobwebs in here! Not to mention there is no light anywhere! Who the hell do you think lives here? Bat people?" Mulder shook his head. "Ok, look if you want to stay out here and freeze to death, fine. But I'm going inside to attempt to get warm before I get pneumonia." He looked down at his mud-stained pants. "Not to mention try to get cleaned up." He glanced back at her. "You could use a little clean up too. Hope you weren't particularly attached to that suit."
Scully glanced down at her once grey suit that was now dark brown. "The only reason it got this way was because YOU made me run! You owe me a suit!"
"Ok, ok, ok. Fine, I'll get you a new suit all right? Now, would you get in here before you freeze to death?"
Mulder held out his hand. "Come on, Scully. I'll protect you from the boogy man."
Scully pushed his hand away. "Don't get too smart. And for your information I'm not scared about anything with this. I just don't like the idea of breaking and entering someone's home. It is against the law you know."
"Let 'em put it on my epitaph when they find my frozen, dead corpse on the porch!" Mulder answered back before stepping completely inside.
Scully sighed. "All I wanted was a normal night and what do I get? Halloween with my horror movie-obsessed partner in a mansion. What a great night, this will be!" She then entered inside the house. As soon as she was safely inside, the door slammed shut and locked behind her.
Scully turned around upon hearing the door slam and click. She hadn't seen an indication of any kind of lock on the door. She began to jiggle the doorknob and pull on the door. "It won't open!"
"What?" Mulder asked turning toward her.
Scully gestured to the door as she sighed. "I said that its locked and it won't open!"
"That's impossible." Mulder replied walking over to the door. "It may be an old door, Scully but that doesn't mean it would lock on its own."
"Fine." Scully took a step back before gesturing to the door. "Be my guest."
Mulder gave her a look before pulling on the door handle. It barely moved at his touch. He tried again. "It's just...stuck or something." He let out a grunt as he attempted to move the door handle again. "See, the door handle is...rusty. I just need to..." He then pulled back as his hand slipped and scraped something sharp on the door. "Ah, shit!" He yelled as he flung out his hand.
"Now do you believe me?"
Mulder reached into his holster and pulled out his gun. "No locked door is full proof against me!" He used his uninjured hand and pointed his gun at the door, firing at it.
"I almost got it, Scully! Let me just get one more shot!" He stopped firing as he once again took aim.
"Mulder, stop!" Scully yelled her ears still ringing from the gunshots at the door. "Just put the gun away!"
"What? Scully I can get this door. We can..."
"Look, it's obvious that the door is locked and we can't get it open. And you firing at it, is just giving me a headache!" Scully replied rubbing her temple. "So, PLEASE stop."
Mulder put his gun back in his holster. "So, now what? We just...wander around here in the dark and hope to god someone finds us?!"
"Now just hold on there." Scully replied taking her hand away from her forehead. She looked Mulder straight in the eye. "It was your idea to come in here in the first place! You were the one that wanted to get warm! You were so afraid of catching pneumonia outside! Don't forget that! And now thanks to that decision we are stuck here. So my advice to you is don't complain or you'll get another wound to match your shoulder!"
Mulder was completely amazed by Scully's voracity. He knew better than to push his luck at this point. After all, they said there was nothing worse than a woman who was scorned! And it was true that he had talked her into coming into the house in the first place. "Ok, fine. What do you suggest?"
"You mean you're actually going to listen to me?"
"I'll have to make sure to write that down in my book of thoughts when I get back." Scully smirked. "Dear, diary, today my partner Special Agent Fox Mulder actually listened to me!"
"Ha, ha, ha. So, seriously what are we going to do?"
Scully shined her flashlight around the room. She noticed there were several candelabras with candles unlit. She then noticed a large fireplace. "You want to ask me what I think we should do? I think we should light these candles and get a nice, warm, fire going. Then, when we get warmed up, I say we take a look at this place."
"Wait, you're suggesting that?"
"Well...yeah. I mean it's obvious we're going to be stuck here right? Might as well find out why this place is out in the middle of nowhere." She shined her flashlight on the walls which reflected several paintings." Why this place looks like it's out of the late 18th century."
"That sounds all good and all, Scully but there's one problem."
"And that would be?"
"Well, if this place is from the 18th century like you say it is....then how do you propose we light the candles? You don't happen to carry a rock and flint in your purse do you?"
"No." Scully replied going into her pocket. "But I have something better." She pulled out a thing of matches. "Ta da."
Mulder's eyes brightened. "You never cease to amaze me, Scully. Just too bad you didn't have a spare tire with you too."
"That's in my purse." She grinned before heading toward the candelabras. "Come on, Mulder. Let's shed some light in this place."
"So the easiest way to do this would be to light one candle and then use that one candle to light the rest, right?"
"Wow, that's pretty good, Mulder. No wonder you graduated top in your class at Quantico." She struck a match and watched as a flame resulted. "Ah, the wonders of the twentieth century." Taking the match, she placed the flame on the wick of a candle and watched as it lit. She then picked up the lit candle and used it to light the rest of the candelabras. She looked at Mulder as she blew out the match. "Not bad huh?" She threw him the matches. "Now, you go do some on your side. Just be careful that the wax doesn't drip down and burn you."
Mulder looked at the matches in his hand. "You remember how I feel about fire, right?"
"You want to be stuck in complete darkness all night? There's no telling what could be living in here over the past century or so. Rats....mice...cockroaches...spiders..."
Mulder swallowed. "I'll light the candles."
Scully couldn't help but grin as she watched Mulder head toward the other side with his flashlight. "Yeah, I kind of thought you might see it my way." Picking up a candle she went about lighting several other candles in the room. As the room became more lit, she noticed how elaborate some of the architecture was. Whoever had owned this mansion had obviously taken great detail in its dcor. Some of the faces in the stone on the fireplace seemed almost life like as the candles flickered on their shapes. They almost appeared to be smiling or even leering at her. Picking up a candle from its holder, she threw it into the fireplace onto the logs already in it. She was pretty sure that it would not light due to the age of the logs but was quite surprised when to her amazement it did. As the flames shot up into the fireplace emitting sparks, she noticed a large painting above it. It appeared to be an oil painting of a man and a young man by the looks of it. As the flames cast their light on it, she could see that the young man had dark hair and was wearing some kind of suit. Scully's eyes ran over the painting. "Boy, weren't you quite the looker back in the day. Hey there, handsome." As soon as she said that, the flames in the fireplace suddenly shot up to an unusual height. And as Scully looked, it appeared that the painting was smiling at her. She also felt a cold chill suddenly fill the room. She began to shiver as she rubbed her arms to keep warm. Even though she was standing in front of a fireplace, cold air came from her mouth as she breathed. She slowly started to back away as her heart beat rapidly. She then felt herself bump into something and turned around and screamed.
Mulder screamed back at her as he jumped.
Scully pushed him. "Dammit, Mulder! Don't do that to me again!" She closed her eyes as she tried to catch her breath.
"I'm sorry, Scully. I didn't mean to, I swear. I'm really...." He then noticed she was shaking. "Are you ok?"
"No, you're not." Mulder reached over and touched her. "Scully, you're freezing." He took her by the hand and led her over to the fire. "God, Scully your hands are like ice. What happened?"
"I...I don't know."
"What do you mean, you don't know?" He gently took her hands helping them to get warm by the fireplace. "Something must have happened?"
"Fine. I was....lighting the rest of the candles here in the room. I....went to light the fireplace when I noticed the painting above it."
Mulder glanced above the fireplace. "You mean this painting?"
Scully nodded as she continued to tremble. "And then...I was looking at it and the flames shot up really high in the fireplace. And then this....this strange chill started to fill the room. I got really cold and that's when I ran into you."
"Scully, you want my opinion on what I think happened?"
"Well, it was just a breeze from the outside that drifted in through a crack somewhere. This is an old place you know. It's bound to have plenty of holes and cracks. And it is windy outside."
"Right but if that were the case it would still be cold in here right now, right?"
"If the wind is blowing outside like you said and it came in through a crack or hole somewhere then this room would still be cold from it. It's not. Not to mention that there is no indication of any wind coming from anywhere. The candles aren't flickering."
"Well....maybe it paused or something?"
"Yeah, that's exactly what happened. Come on, Scully! Wind doesn't just pause. Did that storm we were traveling through seem like a calm one to you?"
"Ok, I know you don't want to hear my theory but here it is." Mulder put his hands on her shoulders. "I think...that while you were looking at the painting you were experiencing a supernatural presence. And that it's something that's linked to this house."
"So, you're basically telling me that I was visited by a ghost right?" Scully let out a chuckle. "Come on, Mulder! I mean I know it's Halloween but could you for once NOT think of anything in that realm?"
"The criteria were all there, Scully! The unexplainable burst of energy from the fireplace, the sudden drop of temperature in the room, the coldness you felt, the way you thought that the painting smiled at you."
"Wait, I didn't say that."
"Well, did it?"
"Well...maybe it did a little but my eyes could have been playing tricks."
Mulder sighed as he shook his head.
"And your....unexplainable burst of energy from the fireplace could just have easily been from the logs in it. I mean it's obvious that this fireplace has not been used in a long time."
"Why do I even try?"
"I'm sorry, Mulder. But I'm just trying to be rational here before I...start believing that that was a ghost! This is an old place and the human mind can play tricks. It can make us see or even feel things that aren't really there."
Mulder threw up his hands. "Oh here we go, again. Just like on Christmas Eve. After everything we experienced in that house you STILL refused to believe that they were ghosts!"
"Mulder that was never entirely proven. Neither one of us could explain what truly happened in there! Even you told me that!"
Mulder ran a hand through his hair. "Ok, fine. Look I don't want to argue about this ok? And aren't you even remotely interested to see what I came back here to tell you?"
Mulder handed her a candleholder. "Well, for one thing, I found these so if we need to hold a candle we won't burn ourselves."
Scully took the candleholder and placed a lit candle in it. "And the other thing?"
"While I was lighting some other candles around here, I found some rooms upstairs."
"And, I was thinking since we are going to be here for the rest of the night, we might as well take advantage of what we have here." He motioned to her with his head. "Come on, I'll show ya." He then started to walk out of the room.
Scully stood for a moment staring at the painting above the fireplace again. Had it all been in her imagination? Was she just being affected by it being Halloween night in a strange place?
"Hey, Scully!" Mulder whistled from across the room. "Ya comin' or what?"
Scully blinked her eyes before leaving the room and catching up to Mulder. "I'm not a dog you know!"
"I know that. I just wanted to make sure you heard me. You seemed absorbed in that painting again. Is that something you want to have in your apartment as a personal item or something?"
"No." Scully replied clearly annoyed. "Can we just forget about it please?"
"Sure thing." Mulder replied as he began leading them up the stairs slowly.
"Mulder, can I ask why you didn't just use your flashlight instead of a candle?"
"Sure, I can answer that easy. It's because for some strange reason, mine stopped working. That a good enough reason for you?"
"Yeah, I would say that just about covers it." Scully replied as she continued to follow Mulder up the winding stairs.
From below the staircase, the figure of a young woman watched as the two agents ventured up the stairs. Her eyes followed them until they were out of sight at the top of the stairs." Watch over and protect them from the evil in this house." She whispered before disappearing in a ball of light.
Scully impatiently walked behind Mulder as they made their way down what appeared to be an endless hallway. "Mulder, are you sure you know where you're going?"
Mulder continued walking ahead with his candle in front of him. "How many times have you asked me that tonight, Scully?"
"I keep asking you hoping you will actually get the answer RIGHT for a change." Scully replied sarcastically.
Mulder stopped and turned to her. "Boy, you really know how to hurt someone, Scully." He turned back around and tapped on a door. "THIS is what I wanted to show you." He put his hand on the door handle and slowly turned it causing the door to slowly creak open. He then turned and gestured to Scully. "After you."
Scully gave him a strange look before walking past him. "What are you up to, Mulder?" She stepped into the room with her candle lighting the way. As she made her way in, her eyes widened. The room she was standing in was elaborately decorated. A fireplace was in front of a canopy style bed with sheer curtains around it. "Oh, Mulder." She breathed. "This room it's...it's so beautiful."
Mulder smiled as he took a step inside. "You like it?"
Scully chuckled. "Like it? It's like....I've stepped back in time or something. As old as this place is...this room looks as if it has been untouched. I mean there are no dust....no cobwebs. It's perfectly intact. How is that possible?"
Mulder shrugged his shoulders. "There's more. Look on the bed."
Scully approached the bed and pulled the curtains aside. There lying on the bed was a beautiful blue nightgown with lace surrounding the bodice. And next to it was a long white, lacy robe to match. Her impulse too great, she reached over, picking up the nightgown. "It's...it's so lovely." She ran her hands over it. "So detailed and it doesn't even feel that it's ever been worn. But this nightgown is nothing from this century especially based on the fabric." She looked back at Mulder. "Just what exactly have we stumbled upon here, Mulder?"
"I don't know. But maybe this room and that nightgown belonged to her." Mulder answered pointing to a portrait on the wall above the fireplace.
Scully looked up to see the face of a beautiful lady with dark hair wearing a white dress with a blue ribbon around the middle. She had a slight smile on her face and long French ringlets cascading down her shoulders. "She looks like a lady of some kind. I mean...someone of distinction, don't you think?"
Mulder nodded as he gazed at the painting. "I think that's a distinct possibility." He then looked back at Scully. "But right now I think we both should change out of these muddy clothes and into something more comfortable."
"What do you mean?"
"What I mean is, you have a nightgown in here. And right next door there is another room with a man's night clothes in which I can change as well."
"You're suggesting that we wear a stranger's clothing?"
"You said it yourself, Scully. There's no one else around here and the clothes and rooms here are perfectly intact. What's it going to hurt for one night? I know I sure as hell don't want to sleep in muddy, wet clothes." He held up a finger. "Oh and I forgot to show you something else." He walked over to a door on the other side of the room and opened it. "Inside here, is what appears to be a deep tub." He waited as Scully walked in behind him. "And over to the side there appear to be different bottles of flowers or something for putting in the water. And..." Mulder pulled back a curtain to show a fountain with running water. "Can you believe it? Running water, HERE in this house!"
Scully stood completely enthralled by the tub and everything around it. She walked over and touched one of the bottles, letting her fingers run slowly over it. She closed her eyes as she felt the smoothness of the glass.
"So, anyway, I was thinking there's this library next door. It's right by my room. We get changed and then maybe we can talk about what to do next. Sound ok, Scully?" He looked over at her holding the bottle. "Scully?"
Scully blinked her eyes. "Hmmm? Oh...oh sure."
"Ok, so I'll see you in a few minutes then?"
Scully nodded. "A few minutes."
Mulder turned around and headed out of the bathroom, leaving Scully alone.
Scully put down the bottle she was holding and headed out of the bathroom and back to the bedroom. Placing the candle on a table, she walked over to the bed, picking up the nightgown and holding it to her. She felt a strange sensation overcome her as she touched it. The curtains in the room began to billow as a breeze filled the room.
"Try it on my lovely. It suits you." A voice whispered in her ear.
Putting down the nightgown on the bed, Scully slowly unbuttoned her blouse. The breeze ruffled her hair as the blouse fell to the floor. She reached down and unbuttoned her slacks and stepped out of them. She shivered as the breeze slowly traveled up her legs, thighs and to her chest. She reached up her hand, placing it on her face as she sighed and tilted her head to the side.
"Put it on." The voice whispered as the breeze moved up and down her body.
Inside of his room, Mulder went about getting out of his mud-stained, wet clothes. His room also had a nice bed and a portrait above the fireplace. The candles in the room were lit giving off faint shadows on the wall. "Boy, I'll have to remember this place in the future. Scully sure seems taken with it." He took off his tie and unbuttoned his shirt. Throwing the shirt to the ground, he started to unbutton his pants and let them slide to the floor. He then picked up the frilly white dress shirt and sighed. "Oh god, I hope this never reaches anyone at the FBI or I will NEVER be able to live it down." He picked up a pair of pants to go with the shirt. "Hopefully, Scully doesn't laugh." He muttered as he laced up the shirt. He looked into a mirror as he adjusted himself. "Well, here goes nothing." He turned away from the mirror just as the faint image of a young girl's face appeared.
Stepping out of the room he made his way over to Scully's door and knocked. "Scully?"
Scully's eyes shot open upon hearing Mulder's voice. She shook her head as she blinked her eyes.
Mulder knocked again. "Scully, are you ok in there?"
The breeze ceased in the room and Scully found herself aware of standing in her bra and panties. She placed her arms around herself self-consciously. "I'm...I'm ok. I'm just changing!" She called toward the door.
"Ok, well meet me in the library in a few minutes ok?"
"Oh...ok I'll be there."
Mulder moved away from the door and headed back down the hallway to the library.
Hearing him leave, Scully took off her bra and slipped the nightgown over herself. She then walked over to the mirror and placed her hand on her face. What had just happened to her? She ran her hand through her hair as she looked in the mirror. She then gasped as she saw a face peering back at her. Backing away from the mirror slowly, she could feel her heart beating faster.
"There's no reason to be afraid." A voice whispered.
Scully turned around to see a figure standing in front of her smiling. It then disappeared right before her eyes. She quickly reached over to the bed and grabbed the robe, wrapping it around her. Picking up her candle, she rushed out of the room and down the hallway. "Mulder?"
"I'm in here!" Mulder called back.
Scully followed his voice to a room. "Mulder, where are..." Her eyes widened as she saw thousands of books lining the walls. "Oh my god." She took a step inside the room. "This is incredible."
Mulder looked up from a chair he was sitting in by the fireplace. "Yeah isn't it really." He then looked at Scully. "Wow!"
"What?" Scully asked turning toward him.
"Scully, you look...beautiful."
Scully twirled in the robe. "You think so?"
Mulder nodded slowly. As he gazed at her, he found himself thinking things about his partner that he shouldn't. "You...you look so natural in it."
"Really?" She asked as she approached him slowly.
"Uh....uh-huh." Mulder answered swallowing. He then cleared his throat as he turned toward her. "Look, Scully I would appreciate it if you wouldn't laugh at me ok?"
Scully looked at Mulder and her eyes widened. "Oh, Mulder. You look great!"
Mulder blinked his eyes in disbelief. "I...I do?"
Scully nodded as she walked up him. "I think you look dashing dressed like that. It's very becoming."
"I...well....thanks." Mulder replied stuttering.
"So..." She asked looking up at him. "What did you want to show me?"
Mulder found himself looking deep into her eyes. "Hmmm?"
"You wanted to show me something?"
Mulder shook his head. "Oh, oh right. I did. Yeah, come over here by the fireplace." He led her over to a chair next to a table. "I found something interesting about this house." He opened up a book and turned to a picture. "Look familiar?" Scully stared at the picture of the young lady whose portrait was in her room. "That's the young lady whose portrait is in my room."
Mulder nodded. "Her name was Josephine Cornwall. She was betrothed to a man named Jonathan McBride." He turned another page. "And here is Jonathan McBride."
Scully felt her stomach tighten as she instantly recognized the man in the picture. It was the same man whose portrait was downstairs. The same man who she had seen in her room just moments before. "Who...who was he?" She whispered, as she turned pale.
"According to this book, he owned this house. Apparently he built it as a present to his bride. His family and he had quite a lot of money. Had a lot of influence in society. "
"Is...is there anything else about him?"
"There was some kind of tragedy here in which his bride was killed. Apparently she had a lover and he found out about them. I'm not sure about the specifics though. There's a page missing."
"Well, I'm sure it's nothing." Scully replied motioning with her hand. "After all, it's an old book and is bound to fall apart through the years.
"True." It was then that Mulder noticed her white face. "Scully are you ok?"
"I'm....I'm fine." Scully whispered.
"Scully, this is the second time you've been acting strangely involving the picture of that man. Is there something you want to tell me?"
"Mulder, it's just my imagination, I'm sure." Scully answered lowering her head.
Mulder reached over and placed his hand under her chin, lifting it gently. "Scully, please tell me. I'm concerned for you. Whatever you tell me, I promise I won't make fun of you."
Scully sighed. "All right. I...I think I saw that man in my room."
Mulder pulled back. "In your room? When?"
"When I was getting dressed. I was looking in the mirror and I..."
Mulder took her hand and squeezed it gently. "Tell me."
"I saw this face staring back at me." Scully finished. "It was probably just my imagination."
"No, I don't think it was Scully."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, the room you are staying in obviously belonged to Josephine who was his fiance or wife whichever she was. You're....wearing her nightgown."
Scully leaned away from him. "Just what are you implying?"
"I'm implying that Jonathan's spirit was in that room and was...drawn to you because of what you were wearing."
"A ghost? That's what you're saying right? That his ghost was in my room?" "Come on, Scully it makes sense."
Scully stood up from her chair. "No. No it doesn't make sense, Mulder."
"But Scully, you said you saw him in your room!"
"That's right, I THOUGHT I saw him in my room!"
"Did anything else happen? Did you feel a cold chill in the room or something?"
Scully started to walk from him. "I don't have time for this!"
"Scully!" Mulder walked after her, grabbing her arm. "Scully! Talk to me! What's wrong?"
"Let go of me." Scully replied in a firm voice.
"Why are you avoiding this?"
Scully looked back at him defiantly. "I'm not avoiding anything! You're the one that's choosing to make this house out to be haunted! That....that there are ghosts wandering around! You know what I want to do? I want to go take a bath and get some rest! YOU can do what you want! Stay inside this library and imagine ghosts or zombies walking or whatever! Now, LET GO."
Mulder looked back at her and sighed before letting go of her arm. "Fine. Enjoy your bath."
"Indeed I shall." Scully replied before storming out of the library and closing the door behind her.
Mulder sank back in the chair and gazed into the fireplace. "What the hell was that all about?" He whispered. He then picked up the book and gazed once again at the picture of Jonathan. "Who are you? What did you do in this house?"
Scully made her way down the hallway with her robe flowing behind her like a long cape. Candles that were lit began to flicker, as she brushed past. Reaching her door, she slammed it behind her. She then took off her robe and laid it on the bed. She stood catching her breath. "Just who did he think he was talking to back there anyway?! Trying to tell me what I did or didn't see!" She then paused remembering how handsome he had looked sitting by the fireplace in the men's nightshirt and pants. How he had gazed into her eyes and lightly touched her chin.
"Forget him." A voice whispered in her ear.
Scully gasped as she heard the voice in her ear she had previously. "Who...who are you?"
"Someone who is far better than he." The voice answered. "Who can give you anything you want. Anything your heart secretly desires."
"How...how can you do that?"
The figure of Jonathan then appeared in front of her. "Don't be afraid of me, Dana."
Scully jumped and took a step back. "How...how do you know my name?"
Jonathan took a step toward her. "I know everything about you, Dana. I know what lies deep within your heart. What you secretly long for. You wish to be treated like the lady you are. You wish to indulge yourself in pampering and delights." He placed his hand on the side of her face. "I can make all of that come true, Dana."
Scully began to tremble. "I...I..."
"Ssssh." Jonathan replied caressing her cheek. "Look into my eyes, Dana. Can you not see the love I share for you? You are far more beautiful than any lady who graced these halls. You should be treated as the lady you are."
Scully looked into Jonathan's eyes and found herself hypnotized by them. It was almost like they could see into her very soul. All thoughts of Mulder were leaving her as she lost herself in Jonathan's eyes. Her eyes began to take on a blank stance.
Jonathan leaned into her and whispered in her ear. "Your bath awaits you, my lady." He then gestured to the bathroom. Leading Scully to the room, he showed her the large tub, which was now completely full of water and suds. Flower petals also adorned the tub. His hands took a hold of Scully's nightgown and pulled it over her head. His hand then caressed her skin starting from the top of her neck and slowly down her chest. "Indulge in the mysteries of the water, Dana. Lose yourself in its warmth and peacefulness."
Staring straight ahead as if in a trance, Scully slowly stepped out of her panties and then into the tub. An overwhelming sensation over came her as she closed her eyes and took in all the smells of the flower petals and the warmness of the water.
"That's it. Your soul will be mine." Jonathan whispered before disappearing into thin air.
Mulder had fallen asleep next to the fireplace with the book still in his hand. His legs were outstretched and his head resting on the back of the chair. He then heard a strange voice.
Mulder's eyes halfway opened. There was only one person who called him by that name. "Samantha?" He whispered weakly. "You must wake up, Fox."
Mulder's eyes completely opened. As he focused he could see a young lady standing in front of him. His eyes widened as he realized it was the young lady from the portrait in Scully's room. "Ah!" Mulder cried out as he practically jumped out of the chair. He started backing toward the wall. "You're not real. You're just a figment of my imagination!"
Josephine advanced toward him. "You can't be afraid of me, Fox. I need your help. We all do." She reached out her hand toward him. "Please do not shun me."
Mulder found himself shaking as Josephine's hand came closer. "Keep....keep away from me! Scully!"
"She can't hear you. He already has her within his grasp."
"What...what are you talking about?"
"If you wish to save her then you must listen to me. Jonathan must be stopped before he is able to complete his task." Josephine moved her hand away from Mulder. "Do you know who I am?"
Mulder nodded. "Josephine, Josephine Cornwall. You were married to the owner of this house, Jonathan McBride."
"Engaged." Josephine corrected him. "I was engaged to Jonathan McBride and not happily. My father thought it a good match and Jonathan's family was very wealthy. My father obtained the resources he needed through Jonathan's ties. I was...promised to him against my wishes. Back at that time, a young girl did not question such arrangements."
"But....you loved someone else."
"Yes, a man named Anthony. He was...below my station but I didn't care. He was the only man I truly gave my heart to. He made me feel free and alive. When he found out that I was to be married to Jonathan it broke his heart. But we continued to carry on a secret love affair regardless until..."
"Until you were found out by Jonathan."
Josephine nodded. "Jonathan appeared to be everything a young girl could desire. He was handsome, had money, could get you anything you wished." She paused. "But beyond those eyes was something much more evil and sinister. He believed that once he had a woman he literally possessed her. He became this...horrible monster. And I was a victim of this. Anthony came here to try and rescue me from him." She closed her eyes tightly. "Jonathan murdered him in a fit of rage and then he...he killed me as well."
"That was the page that was missing from that book."
Josephine nodded. "That book...contained the mysteries of this house. It was no coincidence that you found it. But Jonathan tore that page from it. To prevent you from learning the truth of what happened here."
"But....why are you telling me all this? What is this house? What has all this to do with my partner?"
"This house...is pure evil, Fox. It harbors the souls of all those he has claimed long since me. Every Halloween this mansion appears in a different place. Places with fields, woods and other kinds of vacant areas. And it has just one purpose....to claim the souls of others. Those who wander into this place never return. The hapless victims are normally couples such as you and your partner who end up lost in the middle of nowhere."
"Wait a second. My partner and I are not a couple. We're only here because we got a flat tire just down the road and we couldn't call for help."
"Do you think it's a coincidence that you had that flat tire? That you are here now? Jonathan can hear a soul crying out for a need thousands of miles away. He feeds upon it."
"A need?" Mulder paused. "Wait, are you saying..."
"Your partner, she was seduced by this house. It all started when she looked into his eyes in the painting. He could sense her weakness, her longing and now he is preying on it. He will seduce her with gifts and promises. Anything that she secretly desires he will know and present to her. And once he seduces her...he will possess her soul. And she will be trapped here just like the others for eternity."
Scully lay in the tub with her eyes closed and head propped against the back. Her hands dipped into the suds as she rubbed them on her body. It literally felt like tiny breezes caressing her skin. She had taken many baths in the past before but never one quite like this. She felt as if she were lying in a field full of flowers wearing a white summer dress. She could feel the grasses tickling her feet. She could see a bird circling above her and coming to land on her finger. She brought the tiny bird to her lips and blew it a kiss before sending it back into the air. She then looked over to see Jonathan looming over her with his hand outstretched.
"Take my hand, Dana. "
Scully reached up her hand, taking Jonathan's and slowly rising to her feet. She looked into his eyes and felt a breeze going slowly up her body. It felt as if the breeze was composed of thousands of tiny tongues, lapping at her. She closed her eyes and moaned as Jonathan's hand caressed her face.
"Yes." Jonathan whispered. "The time is near. Give in to what your heart desires."
Mulder ran a hand through his hair. "I...I don't believe this. Scully? She has a need that's brought us here? But how? She's never come across to me that way."
"There are many things a woman can secretly harbor, Fox. Desires that are so deep that no one ever knows of their existence. Your partner has these needs and keeps them locked within her. But they are such in that they are like a beacon to someone like Jonathan. She is afraid to acknowledge these to anyone else and that is what makes them so dangerous."
Mulder gazed into the fire. "Is there anyway to save her?"
"Yes, there is. You must vanquish Jonathan from this house. Once you have achieved that you will save your partner's soul and release mine and all the other souls he has claimed here over the centuries."
"Vanquish? You mean as in exorcise?"
"There is an incantation that must be read. It is the only way to send him back to the damnation where he belongs."
"Where is this incantation?" Mulder asked turning back around.
"It is located somewhere inside this library."
Mulder glanced around at the huge room along with the books that lined the walls. "Well, that narrows it down. So, you're telling me that this house....called Scully? It caused the flat tire and for us to come in here?"
"And it compelled her to put on that nightgown and robe. Didn't you find it unusual that the rooms were perfectly intact complete with clothing? It was there because she secretly wanted it to be."
"Boy, this would share make a hell of an X-File."
"Nothing, nothing." Mulder cleared his throat. "So, I find this incantation, I read it, Scully is saved and so are the other souls?"
"I'm afraid tis not that easy, Fox. With every soul that Jonathan has acquired, he has become more powerful. The souls give him the energy he needs to sustain what he desires. There have been others to try and stop him for sure and they have all failed. Once Jonathan finds your weakness, he will use it to your advantage. And once he does that....he will destroy you and claim your soul as well."
"If you're so certain of what Jonathan will do to me, then why ask for my help?"
"You aren't like the others, Fox. You believe in everything you have seen here. You have an open mind unlike others. And...the bond between you and your partner is very strong. You have an advantage over Jonathan in that way. As long as you remain strong, you can't fail. You were sent here to free us, Fox. I believe in you."
"Can you help me defeat him?"
"I can't promise you anything, Fox. As I have said Jonathan has grown very powerful through the centuries. Once he finds out I am trying to help you, he will do whatever he can to prevent me from appearing to you again."
"Can he do that?"
Josephine nodded. "Alas he can since he owns my soul. But somehow...your presence has allowed me to stand up to his power. I only hope it will be enough as time is running out."
"What do you mean?"
"You only have until midnight in which to vanquish Jonathan. After midnight, you will both be trapped in this place forever and your souls will belong to him. And then....after acquiring your soul he will become even more powerful. And there will be no one to stop him from acquiring souls in the year to come."
"This house appears every Halloween because....that is the night that he committed his first murder. And it is the night..."
"That he has his most power." Mulder started toward the door. "Where is Scully?"
"There is nothing you can do for her now. She's distracting him which is precisely the chance you need."
"Distracting? What the hell is he doing to her?"
"Fox, stop! You must listen to me! He is too powerful for you now!"
"I can't just leave my partner to some maniac!" Mulder answered back heading toward the hallway.
Josephine suddenly reappeared in front of him. "Fox, listen to me. I know you are concerned for her and you have every right to be. But you must think rationally on this or you will give her to him!"
"I can't just leave her to him!"
"Fox, think about what Halloween is. Why would he be the most powerful then? It's the one time of the year when the veil between the spirit world and the physical is transparent. He has all the power he can possibly need."
Mulder raised his finger to her. "I will NOT sacrifice my partner for the needs of some evil spirit!"
"Don't you see? He is beyond being an evil spirit! That's why you can't face him this way!"
Mulder ignored her, passing right through her and into the hallway.
Josephine let out a sigh. "Impetuous man! He will use your emotions against you!" She then disappeared.
Mulder made his way to Scully's door and began pounding on it. "Scully! Scully open up!"
Scully opened the door dressed in her nightgown and robe. "Mulder? What is it? What's wrong?"
Mulder totally ignored her as he brushed past her and into the room. "Where is he?"
"Where's who?" Scully asked as she tied her robe around her waist.
Mulder began searching the room frantically. "You know damn well WHO I'm talking about!"
"Would you please stop assuming I know who you are talking about and answer me?!" Scully asked putting her hands on her waist.
Mulder stopped in front of her. "The ghost that was in your room, Scully. Jonathan McBride, tall, dark haired? Complete psycho? Ring a bell now?"
"I told you before, Mulder there are no such things as ghosts and there are none in my room!"
"That's EXACTLY what he wants you to think, Scully."
Scully tilted her head. "What are you talking about?"
Mulder sighed. "Ok, look I don't expect you to completely believe me but hear me out ok?" He paused. "This house is haunted, Scully. Jonathan McBride has possessed all the souls who inhabit this house."
Scully shook her head and closed her eyes. "Mulder..."
"This house appears every year on Halloween to capture more souls who enter this house. And the victims are drawn here."
Scully gave a chuckle. "Mulder, you are really letting Halloween get to you. And how can a house summon anyone? It's an inanimate object Mulder! It's not capable of achieving anything human-like! I'm going to take a nap." She turned away from him.
Mulder grabbed her and turned her around to face him. "You have to listen to me, Scully. Your own life depends on it. Both of our lives do!"
"What are you talking about?"
"You...brought us here, Scully."
"You drew us to this house. You're....need conjured up this house and everything in it. The nightgown on the bed, the bath tub and the bottles in the bathroom?"
"You're crazy." Scully answered turning away from him again.
Mulder grabbed her by the arm. "You may not realize you were doing it consciously but you were. This...Jonathan he feeds upon the needs deep within your soul. He seduces you by giving what you secretly desire and then....he will possess your soul forever."
"Let go of me!" Scully screamed back at him.
Mulder turned her around and then pulled her to him with this hand resting on her shoulders firmly. "Scully, look at me."
"Let me go!" Scully yelled as she struggled.
Mulder kept a firm hold on her. "Scully, he's trying to turn you against me. He's trying to not make you see what is happening to you! How long have we been partners? You've always trusted me haven't you? Please don't throw away everything that we've shared. Oh god, please don't do that, Scully. Don't let material possessions take the place of a close friendship." He looked deep into her eyes. "I...I don't know how else to say this but...I love you, Scully. I always have but I've been afraid to tell you. And now that this has happened I....I just don't want to lose you." He closed his eyes tightly.
Scully stopped struggling as she looked back into his eyes. She could feel her mind clearing. "Mulder?"
Mulder opened his eyes. "Scully?" He pulled her into an embrace. "Oh god, Scully!" He caressed her hair. "I thought I'd lost you!"
"I'm....I'm sorry." Scully replied tearfully. "I don't know what came over me, I..."
"Sssssh." Mulder replied as he rocked her in his arms. "It's ok, the important thing is you are back." He pulled back and looked at her. "We have to get out of here Scully. Once it reaches midnight you and I will be trapped in here forever."
At that moment, a large gust of wind came through the room. It picked up Mulder and forcefully pushed him out the door. Mulder rose up from the floor and shook his head. "Scully!" He yelled looking at her in the doorway.
"Mulder!" Scully yelled with her hand outstretched before the bedroom door slammed shut.
"No!" Mulder yelled as he slowly got to his feet. He ran at the door pulling at the handle. "Scully!" He pounded at the door. "Let her go you bastard!" He was then thrown against the back wall. He lay on the ground breathing heavily as he winced.
"Get up, Fox." A voice whispered in his ear. "If you wish to save her you must get up."
Mulder blinked his eyes as he tried desperately to focus. "Jos...Josephine?" He whispered weakly. His entire body was wracked with pain.
"The library, Fox. You must get to the library, now! It's the only way to stop him!" A candelabra began to sway on the other side of Mulder. "Go now!"
Gathering up all his strength, Mulder rose from the floor just as the candelabra came crashing down where he had been. Looking back, he then saw a huge black mist coming down the hallway. It took on the shape of a hooded figure with outstretched arms. It then let out a roar. "Oh shit!" He yelled before turning around and running. He didn't look back as he headed back toward the library. He could hear all the candelabras crashing behind him as he finally reached the door. He swung it open and ran inside quickly shutting and locking it behind him.
Scully found herself alone in her room once again. "Mulder!" She called out as she pounded on the door.
"He can't save you, now." Jonathan replied as he appeared once again in the middle of the room.
Scully turned around with her back pressed against the door. "Keep away from me!"
Jonathan advanced toward her. "You can't resist me, Dana. It's too late for that. You belong to me." He walked up and caressed her face. "You called out to me and I answered." He smiled as Scully trembled under his touch. "Oh but you are special, Dana. You aren't like the others. You have that special spark about you. Look into my eyes, Dana. Look deep into them and you will see what can not be denied."
Scully struggled against Jonathan but found herself losing. She gazed into his eyes and once again her stare clouded over into a catatonic state. Her eyes half-closed as Jonathan leaned more into her. She could feel her heart beating rapidly.
"You are now..." Jonathan perched his lips above hers. "Mine." He whispered before giving her a passionate kiss.
Mulder turned around and looked into the library. "Josephine! Where are you? "
Josephine appeared in front of Mulder. "I told you he was too powerful but you wouldn't listen. Now it may already be too late."
"It's NOT too late!"Mulder yelled. "You said there was an incantation!"
"It's too late! He's won! He has her now as we speak! I can't face him again! He's grown too powerful!"
"You want to be trapped here forever? Want to roam the earth eternally never knowing rest? If you let him win, Josephine then you will give him even more power. I...I can't let her die!" Mulder clenched his hands tightly as a tear trickled down his cheek. "I love her, Josephine. Do you remember what you felt for your lover? Please....please help me."
Josephine felt herself touched by Mulder's heartfelt emotion. She touched Mulder's cheek. "I will help you, Fox. Now let's find that incantation."
Scully stood standing in the room wearing a bridal gown. She wore a garland of flowers in her hair followed by a veil cascading down. She looked back at Jonathan with no emotion in her eyes. Her bluish green eyes had taken on a silvery tone.
"Yes, my bride." Jonathan whispered. "We are one now." He then began to pull a white type of smoke from Scully's mouth.
Mulder began pulling books off shelves and thumbing through them. "What the hell am I looking for?"
"It's an incantation used to banish evil. My lover Anthony wrote it before he was banished."
"Banished?" Mulder asked going through another book.
Josephine nodded. "Jonathan banished his spirit from this house shortly after he found out what he was. He was too weak to face him."
"I'm sorry." Mulder glanced at his watch. "Come on there isn't much time left!"
Josephine paused. "Fox, I know where it is!" She then started to fade.
"Josephine?" Mulder asked reaching out toward her. "What's happening?"
"Fox!" Josephine yelled. "It's Jonathan! He's..."
"Where is it, Josephine? Where's the incantation?!" Mulder then watched in horror as Josephine completely disappeared. "No! No, this isn't happening!" He then looked up toward the ceiling . "Damn you!" Jonathan's laugh then echoed in his ears as he fell to his knees. "I'm sorry, Scully. Oh god I'm so sorry." He whispered.
Just then, the entire library became filled with a bright light. The figure of a young man appeared in front of Mulder. He looked down at Mulder for a moment before heading over to a table. The table then levitated before turning over on its side.
Mulder wiped his eyes before making his way over to the table. He looked at the underside of the table and his eyes widened. "Oh my god." He traced his hands over the words carved into the wood. "This is it." He breathed. "Oh great, Latin. Hope I remember my course from college. Scully, think of Scully." He took a deep breath and began to recite the Latin.
Hic et nunc
Jonathan could feel Scully growing weaker by the minute. He had to admit that her soul was the tastiest he had felt in a long time. And the fact that she had elements of skepticism made it even savorier. He just loved it when they finally weakened to him. He had thought that her partner would give him a run for the money but he was just like all the rest. And he had taken Josephine away and locked her away from the physical world. Now there was no one to stop him. He then felt a strange energy within him. It was something he had never felt before. A clenching from deep inside. He stopped "feeding" from Scully and turned.
"The incantation." He whispered. "It can't be." He then closed his eyes in concentration.
Mulder continued to struggle with the Latin when he heard a voice.
Mulder stared in disbelief at the figure before him. "Oh my god...Samantha?"
"I need your help, Fox." Samantha called back to him.
Mulder slowly rose from the table. "Samantha....I'm here."
Josephine's voice could then be heard. "No, Fox! Don't listen! He is only trying to distract you from your purpose! Read the incantation! Time is running out!"
Mulder shook his head in his confusion.
"Look within Fox and you will know what is real and what isn't!"
Mulder looked at Samantha for a minute before heading back to the table.
Hunc tu cavetto
"Fox!" Samantha screamed before disappearing.
The figure of his father then appeared. "Fox..."
"Keep reading!" Josephine's voice yelled. "It's almost midnight!"
In articulo mortis
The legs of the table then came to life and tried to pin Mulder. He could feel it crushing his weight as he tried to breathe.
Requiescat in pace
He started to cough as he felt his ribs being squeezed. His eyes started to slowly close as the constriction continued. He could feel his life slipping away and Jonathan laughing at him. Suddenly he felt the constriction loosen allowing him to breathe again.
"Finish it quickly!"
"A....amen!" Mulder gasped before passing out.
A bright light filled the entire room spiraling into a vortex. The figure of Jonathan could then be seen being pulled into it several other transparent figures could be seen going into the vortex as well. A large roar could be heard before Jonathan and the other figures disappeared in a blinding white light.
The figure of Josephine once again appeared in front of Mulder. "Fox." She whispered.
Mulder's eyes slowly opened as he sat up from the table. "What....what happened? Where's Scully?"
"You saved her." Josephine answered. "You saved all of us. Jonathan is gone and our souls are free now."
"Then it's over."
"Not completely. It's true that you saved our souls but now you must take your partner far away from this place. Even though Jonathan is gone, he still has a hold on her. You must get her away from here. Now that Jonathan is gone, this place will cease to exist."
"What do you mean it will..." Mulder then noticed the walls beginning to shake. "Oh, I think I get your drift now."
"Save her." Josephine then placed a book in Mulder's hand. "Take this with you and never forget." She then disappeared.
Mulder rose from the ground. "Scully!" He ran out of the library, which was starting to collapse. Reaching Scully's room, he burst in and found her lying unconscious on the floor. "Scully?" He bent down and felt her face, which was ice cold. He then noticed her purple lips. "Oh god. Scully?" He then saw the walls beginning to crumble. He knew he had not much time to lose. He quickly scooped Scully into his arms and ran out of the room. As he ran down the hallway with Scully, walls were crumbling behind him and doors were exploding. Not looking back, he reached the stairwell. Steadying Scully and taking a deep breath he ran down the stairs as fast as he could. With every step he took he could hear the steps behind him crumbling. He finally reached the front door and went to open it but found it locked. "No! No, no, no!" He screamed as he tried desperately to open it. The entire house was falling apart right before his eyes. He then saw a large statute starting to tilt toward him. If this statue fell, it would crush both he and Scully in one blow. He continued pulling on the door handle. "Please....oh god...please." He whispered. The door suddenly gave way just as the statue fell missing he and Scully by inches. Shifting Scully in his arms, he ran down the porch and through the cemetery. Finally, not being able to run anymore, he fell to the ground from exhaustion. Behind him the house crumpled and then disappeared into a bright light. Several figures could be seen leaving the cemetery and also going into the light. Then there was a burst of light and all was still. All that remained was a large field.
On the other side of Mulder, Scully slowly stirred. "Mmmm..."
Mulder slowly opened his eyes. "Scully?" He bent down to her and cradled her.
"Mulder?What....what happened?" Scully asked looking down at what she was wearing. "Why...why am I wearing this bridal gown?"
"I...I don't know." Mulder answered back. "I...I don't even remember coming out here." He then looked down at his attire. "What the hell?" He then noticed Scully shivering. "Come on, let's get you someplace warm." He then picked her up and carried her back to the car.
From the field two lone figures could be seen coming together. Josephine and Anthony walked to each other and held hands, smiling. They then leaned toward one another and kissed before disappearing in a white ball of light.
Mulder had mysteriously found the flat tire normal when he had returned from the car. He had wasted no time in getting he and Scully on the road and away from where they had been. Without even thinking, he had taken Scully back to her apartment. He truly had no recollection of what had happened to them. Had no clue as to why they were dressed the way they were. He had carried Scully to her room and set her on the bed gently. He then fell collapsed on the floor next to the bed completely exhausted.
When morning came, Scully slowly opened her eyes and stretched. She noticed the attire she was wearing and gasped. So it hadn't been a dream? She put her hand to her forehead as she sat up quickly. "Mulder?"
Mulder slowly stirred from on the floor. "Ow, I feel like someone ran over me with a Mack truck." He moved his legs. "Twice." He then sat up. "You ok, Scully?"
"All things considered." She answered motioning to the bridal gown.
"I can honestly say I have no clue as to where that came from. But...if it's any consolation, you look great in it." Mulder slowly rose to his feet and took a seat on the bed next to her. "Ouch, that's going to hurt when I work out again."
"Mulder, what happened to us? I mean....I remember us in the car and the tire going flat. And there was this house....but I don't remember anything else."
"Ya got me. And these are definitely NOT my ordinary sleep clothes."
"What's that?" Scully asked pointing to a lump in his pants.
Mulder gave her a grin.
"That's NOT what I meant."
"Fine, fine." Mulder answered as he went into his pants and pulled out a book.
"Where did you get that?" Scully asked sitting on the edge of the bed.
"I don't know." Mulder then opened the book. "To Fox, thank you for setting us free. We will always remember you, Josephine." He paused. "Josephine?" He then turned to a picture of Josephine. He and Scully both exchanged glances.
"Oh my god." They responded in harmony.
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