FIC: The Truth (1/4)
"Hey Sandy, you did real good tonight! Well done!"
"Thanks Lin," Sandra beamed at her high school cheerleading captain. This was her first year at Senior High and she’d already been chosen for the cheerleading squad. As a starter no less.
And the other girls were just so nice. Ever since she could remember she’d been in awe of cheerleaders. They’d always seemed so poised, so elegant, almost as if they were from another planet. And now she was one. One of the elite. "I’ll see you tomorrow."
* * *
"Bye Sandy," Lin smiled at the rookie cheerleader as the younger girl raced away. She hadn’t expected the tryouts to yield any new talent but Sandra had real potential. Fresh blood was always welcome on the squad. And with Sandy’s addition, they might take the county title, maybe even the state.
Dreams still running through her head she hurried to the convertible Daddy had bought her. She stopped at the sound of a footfall behind her. Heart racing and mouth drying she turned around. "Sandy?" her voice shook slightly. "Is that you?" When there was no answer or further footfalls, she turned back towards her car. The blood drained from her face at the sight that greeted her. "NOOO!" she stumbled backwards then screamed as her attacker shoved a gnarled hand into her stomach.
* * *
"Five murders in small-town Wyoming," Dana commented as they drove into Durso. "What’s the interest for us?"
"Look at the last victim’s details," Fox instructed. "She’s the grand-niece of a Supreme Court judge who’s demanded the FBI be involved."
"Politics," the red-head sighed. "But why us in particular?"
"Actually I’m quite interested," he admitted. "There’s some discrepancies."
"Each murder was performed on the night of the full moon-."
Dana interrupted him with a groan. "Not the werewolf thing again!"
"No," hr replied patiently. "But the male bodies were stripped of testosterone and the female victims of oestrogen. I think some sort of cult is perhaps using the chemicals in a fertility ritual of some description."
Dana wrinkled her nose. "That’s quite a jump. Are there any bodies for me to examine?"
"Two were cremated but the others have been exhumed for you."
"Well that’s something," his partner said.
* * *
"Hey X," Faith squeezed his shoulder. "This ain’t your fault. You didn’t even know him for Christ’s sake!"
"I know," Xander didn’t shift his gaze from staring at the gravestone he was crouched before. "But three weeks Faith. He’s been dead less than a month." He glanced down at his clenched fists. Noting his whitened knuckles he forced himself to relax. "If only-."
"A…are we going to follow up on that serial-killing demon in Durso?"
Xander glanced over his shoulder to the pale-faced Wicca stood to his left and shrugged. "Might as well. There’s nothing we can do here now." He rose and walked back to their waiting SUV.
* * *
"Ah hell X," Faith muttered as she watched her friend walk back towards their car, his back hunched as if carrying a heavy weight.
It was four days since they’d arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming to find the renowned local vampire hunter, Damien Cruise, only to find him and his three men had been massacred three weeks earlier. They’d hunted down and killed the vampires who’d done it last night but that didn’t ease Xander’s guilt.
Faith sighed. He wouldn’t be the guy she was crazy about if she didn’t care like he did, but it tore her up seeing him all broken inside like this. "H…he’ll be alright."
Forcing a smile she turned to the gentle blonde. "We’ll make sure right?"
"Right," the Wicca nodded.
"Are you two coming?"
Faith raised an eyebrow at Xander’s impatient shout. "General Harris calls," her weak smile broadened at the New Mexican’s giggle.
* * *
"Hiya Jack, how ya doing?"
Jack smiled at the gorgeous brunette who’d frequented his confectionary shop for the past few days. She was a pretty little thing with a vivaciousness and enthusiasm for life that reminded him of his May when he’d first courted her in the early fifties. And she amazed him with the amounts of sweets she could eat without apparently putting an ounce on her lithe frame. "My day’s just a little better now I’ve seen you."
"You old charmer you," Faith winked at him. "Maybe you and me should run away together."
"If I was fifty years younger I’d jump at the chance, but now I think you’d break me."
"Yeah," the beautiful teen sighed theatrically. "I guess we weren’t meant to be."
"In that case," Jack struggled not to smile. "We’ll have to keep our relationship on a strictly business footing. I assume you’re here for some sweets?"
"Yeah." Already the teen’s liquid eyes were hungrily inspecting his well-stocked shelves. Within minutes the young woman had her arms full of a variety of sweet packets and tubes, and chocolate bars. She dropped them on top of the counter. "I’ll take all this."
"Faith," he reproved, not wanting to contribute to this young lady’s loss of health. "You do know the dangers of too much sugar?"
"Relax Jack," the girl winked. "I plan on dying young and leaving a hot corpse. Rack ‘em up. Say," the raven-haired beauty’s face crunched in thought. "Can you write down directions to Durso?"
Alarmed, Jack looked up from his till and at the teen. "Faith, Durso is a rough town," he warned. "There’s rumours about the town being run by a biker gang. Your young man shouldn’t be taking two pretty young things like you and your sister," he failed to see the family resemblance. "It’s really not safe."
The brunette smiled crookedly. "We can take care of ourselves. You gonna write those directions?"
After a second he nodded. "Very well." He scribbled a quick note and passed it over to the young woman. "Now be careful."
"Roger boss," the teen glanced down at the sweets. "How much do I owe you?"
Jack glanced down at the bill. It came to almost thirty dollars, but he and May had never been blessed with children of his own and so on occasion he’d let a youngster go without paying. But never for this much before. Finally he came to a decision. "It’s on me Faith."
Any misgivings he might have had about the amount he was giving away were swept away by the teen’s dazzling smile. "Really? Thanks Jack!"
* * *
Faith beamed as she hurried out of the shop. Meeting a sweet old guy like Jack reinforced the point that Slaying wasn’t just about the buzz she got from it, it was also about protecting the good guys. In her experience that weren’t that many nice people in the world but there were enough to make her Calling worthwhile.
Opening the SUV door she jumped in the back beside Tara. "Hey X," Faith passed some sweets over to her sis. "Jack says that Durso is kinda wild, run by a biker gang."
"Oh yeah?" Faith groaned inwardly at Xander’s hard tone. He was still in his pissed-off mode. Great, just fucking great. "They better stay the hell out of our way then."
FIC: The Truth (2/4)
"Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark," Mulder commented as they left the sheriff’s office.
"He wasn’t exactly helpful was he?" Scully glanced from left to right before joining Mulder in jogging across the busy main street.
"At best he’s incompetent," Mulder commented. "At worst he’s corrupt. The question is which." Her partner looked at her. "Where next, the Medical Examiner’s?"
"The ME’s," she confirmed. At least science didn’t lie. Her partner pulled out his mobile. "Who are you ringing?"
"I’m requesting a background check on Sheriff Milton," Spooky explained.
"Good idea," she nodded.
* * *
Mulder rose as she exited the heavily-disinfected autopsy room having completed all three examinations. "Anything?"
"Nothing that makes any sense," she shook her head before throwing her surgical mask, apron, and blood-splattered gloves into the medical waste bin. "Both girls and the boy had had holes driven through their stomachs with incredible force."
"Blunt instruments?" Mulder queried.
"Yes," Scully replied. "But not a fist, it would take more force than a human could muster."
"Perhaps a hammer or tyre iron was used?" her fellow agent suggested.
"Perhaps, but that wasn’t the strangest thing." At Mulder’s expectant expression she continued. "You mentioned that the male was stripped of testosterone and the girls of oestrogen?" Fox nodded. "What you didn’t know was that the bodies weren’t just stripped of the chemicals, there wasn’t any trace at all left." Seeing Mulder’s confused expression she clarified. "The chemicals weren’t just removed from the corpses, they were somehow leeched from the bodies to the extent that I could no longer detect they were ever there."
Mulder’s eyes gleamed. "So, a primeval method of murder mixed with a futuristic removal technology used for the chemicals the murderer was after. Fascinating!"
"Yes," Dana stared at her partner for a second. She occasionally wondered about him. He got so caught up with proving his outlandish theories that sometimes he forgot about the victims. "But other than the method of death and the presence of motor oil on the bodies none of the victims appear to have anything in common. How about your investigations into the sheriff?"
"My contact got back in touch with me. It would appear there’s suspicion about him being on the take from the local biker gang."
"Interesting but probably unrelated," she commented. "This doesn’t look to be gang-related. "What’s our next move? A background check on our victims."
"That seems to be our only avenue," Mulder agreed. "Shall we go?"
* * *
"You sure this is a good idea?" Faith commented as she watched the two feds they’d heard rumours about leaving the Durso’s Medical Examiner’s office. "I mean Tar says those autopsy reports will be in the computer system tomorrow and then Ang will be able to-."
"I’m not waiting," Xander interrupted, his eyes intense. "The killer might strike again."
"But I thought the killer only struck on the full moon," Faith argued.
"And if he changes his pattern?" Xander hissed, his eyes fixed on the squat building across the lamp-lit street. "What if he kills again before we’re got our hands on these reports?"
Faith resisted the urge to introduce Xander’s head to the car dashboard. She got where X’s impatience came from – Cruise’s death had really got to him. Didn’t the dumbass get he couldn’t save everyone? "Fine," she muttered through gritted teeth. If she thought this was reckless there was something seriously wrong. "What’s the plan?"
* * *
"You are loco!" Faith hissed as looked from Xander to the Medical Examiner’s building. They were on the flat roof of a taller building across the street from the coroner’s office. "Have you heard of front doors?"
"What? And there I was thinking you were a thrillseeker?" Xander needled. Faith was seconds from throwing Xan off the roof, future of the world be damned, when her companion continued, his tone more serious. "According to the plans Angela emailed me, the front and back doors, and first three floor windows are all alarmed, with security cameras on both doors."
"Oh." Faith looked across the street. X’s plan made slightly more sense now, but still… Shaking her head, she sighed and turned back to her friend. "Wanna run the plan past me again?"
"Sure," Xander looked towards their target. "I shoot a line across the street to the ME’s. When the hook," X lifted the four-pronged grappling hook, "is secured I fasten the rope," this time her companion lifted up the worryingly thing nylon line. "To the chimney and then we slide across. Then, you abseil down to the fourth window, break in, and we enter the building through there."
"You know," Faith glanced over the edge of the six storey building to the ground below and shuddered. "Just for the record this plan really blows. I mean," she pointed to the rope, "that’s wicked thin. You sure it can take our weight?"
"It can take five hundred pounds in weight," Xander assured her.
"Uh, uh," Faith stared doubtfully at the narrow line. "I just hope you haven’t been over-doing the Twinkies."
For the first time in days, a smile ghosted across her friend’s face. "I suppose this isn’t the time to mention your ass looks big in that cat-suit?"
Faith glared at Xander for a second before turning back to their target. "Let’s get on with this."
Xander nodded. He carefully loaded the grapple hook into his crossbow, sighted his weapon, and firing it at the building opposite. The improvised arrow flew true, speeding across the dark sky to land on the roof. "Great!" Xander exulted before pulling the hook to the edge of the roof where it caught on the ledge. Xander quickly fastened the rope around an air vent before glancing at her. "I’ll go first." Too nervous to speak, Faith just nodded.
She watched as Xander climbed hand over foot to the other side. After what seemed an eternity her friend reached the other side. "Fucking wonderful." Faith swallowed down the lump of fear rising in her throat. Forcing her shaking hands to steady, she gripped the line, and jumped gracefully on the rope. Her body sweating, not from any exertion but from nerves. If anything the slight breeze this high up was cooling, Faith climbed towards her target, her eyes fixed on her slowly nearing destination.
Eventually she reached the other side. "That was fun wasn’t it?" commented her partner in crime.
"Oh yeah," Faith raised an eyebrow. That was X’s idea of fun? Guy was fucking nuts. Taking a breath, she grabbed the other rope from Xand, quickly tied it around her waist. Once Xan had checked her knot and tied the other end around an air vent, Faith backed off the roof and leapt into the cold night sky.
In seconds she was at the fourth storey window. She leaned towards the padlock, uttered a silent prayer that she had enough leverage from her position, grabbed hold of it and pulled. The lock splintered away in her hand. Grinning triumphantly she forced the window open and leapt inside. Once she’d unfastened the rope around her waist, she whispered into her radio. "X, I’m in."
Seconds later, her friend was climbing through the window and greeting her with the goofy grin that for the last few months made her stomach flip flop. "Well done."
Faith ignored the praise. "Let’s get this over with right?"
"Sure," Xander followed her down to the office where they ransacked the desk and filing cabinets. "Got ‘em!" Xander hissed jubilantly. Her friend pulled a folder out of the in-tray.
"Wicked," Faith whispered. "What now?" she glanced to the photocopier. "Ya gonna copy it?"
"No need," Xander pulled out a mini-camera he’d purchased for Brill Lyle. "I’ll just photograph them. And then we’ll be off."
"Cool." Faith’s spirits rose momentarily only to drop again. And then they’d have to crawl across the horizontal line again. "Ah crap," she muttered
"This isn’t good."
She glanced towards her bud, worried at his tone. "What’s the sitch?"
"I recognise the name of the examiner who performed the autopsies from Mr. Stark’s files," Xander grimaced at her. "This makes things complicated."
FIC: The Truth (3/4)
"Yeah, here it is." Xander gleefully tapped the laptop screen over Tara’s shoulder. "I knew I recognised the name. Dr. Dana Scully was assigned to the X-Files in March ’92."
"T…the X-Files?" Tara queried.
"A two-man FBI unit under the command of Fox ‘Spooky’ Mulder and researches into the unexplained – crop circles, alien abductions, and the like," he explained.
"Aliens?" Faith snorted. "Ain’t no such thing!"
Xander stared steadily at the Slayer. "Most people think vampires don’t exist."
"Point," Faith admitted. "So we skipping out, ‘cause if this dude gets a sniff of us."
Xander pursed his lips in thought. His friend had a point. According to Mr. Stark’s records, Mulder had been on the FBI’s fast track before taking over the X-Files. And Dana Scully was considered a first-rate scientist who’d been pursued by a number of conglomerates including Stark Industries before deciding a career in law enforcement. Both agents had world-class intellects.
Finally he shook his head. They couldn’t leave whatever was out there was killing innocents. "No, you and I are going to track them." Ignoring Faith’s groans he turned to Tara. "I want you to search through the computer for any demon that kills in the method described in the autopsies. Use this," he passed the Wicca the Eternal Archive. He glanced towards a scowling Faith. "You ready?"
"Ready, but this is a dumb idea."
* * *
"Is this all feds do?" Faith demanded.
Xander glanced at his friend’s fuming face, patience had never been her speciality. "What did you expect, car chases and gunfight?" They’d been trailing the two agents across Durso all day, observing as the duo visited a number of residences and businesses.
"Bite me Harris," Faith glared at him. "What did you think they’re doing?"
"My guess would be they’re background checking the victims, trying to find a connection."
"Guess that makes sense," Faith nodded. "Suppose they’ve got to check out all angles. You figure they found anything?"
"I don’t know Faith, I haven’t got super-hearing."
* * *
"That’s four out of five victims with biker connections," Scully commented as she climbed into their car. "Throw in the motor oil and possibly corrupt sheriff…"
"And we have a winner," Mulder finished.
"A possibility at least," Scully replied. "Are we going to head to their chapterhouse?"
"Might as well." He couldn’t help but feel disappointed that this case wasn’t going to be an X-File, but the detective in him wouldn’t let it go. He looked around. "Our shadows still trailing us?"
His partner glanced over her shoulder to the black SUV parked across the street. "Yes. So nice of the locals to provide us with an escort."
Mulder chuckled as he started the car. "Makes you feel so special doesn’t it?"
* * *
"This is it."
"Yeah." Faith’s skin crawled as they pulled up down the road from the local biker den, unpleasant memories of her pre-Slayer days flooding back as she regarded the bar.
A score or so bikes were tethered to the rail outside the club-house standing beside half a dozen battered pick-ups. Raucous music blared out from inside the derelict and graffiti covered building, a dirty Confederate flag hanging down from over the door.
Faith’s brow furrowed as she realised that her best bud was climbing out of the car. "Where ya going?" she hissed.
"Inside, I might overhear something useful or be able to help the feds if they get into trouble."
"K," Faith sighed inwardly. This was crazy. "Give me a sec -."
"No way," Xander shook his head, his eyes alarmed. "Last bar like this we went into you started a riot in, remember. Besides," Xander paused. "I need you in the car ready to leave when the feds come out."
"But," Faith’s protests died as she realised what her companion had said. Her eyes sparkled and spirits rose. "You mean you want me to take over the driving? Wicked!"
* * *
"Yeah, wicked," Xander muttered as he crept towards the chapterhouse, using the trees that lined the road as cover. The idea of infiltrating the chapterhouse seemed somehow less daunting next to the thought of being driven by Faith ‘Evel Knievel’ Spenser. Deciding that a rear entry would be smarter than striding in through the front door, he hurried around the back of the building, forced open a window he found there and climbed inside.
* * *
Faith impatiently drummed her fingers on the car dashboard. The minutes were creeping by, every one taking an eternity to pass. "Damn it X!" She just wished the dumb ass had let her go with him. She started at her mobile’s distinctive ring. Snatching the phone up, she spoke. "Yo sis, got anything for us?"
* * *
Xander let out a relieved sighed as he hurried back to the car. Things had been real tense in the bar for a few seconds after the agents’ arrival. The bikers’ sexist attitude hadn’t helped matters either, throw in ‘Spooky’s’ wrecking-ball interrogation method, and he’d been sure the situation would inevitably escalate into violence.
Somehow though it hadn’t and now they were back at square one. Unless his instincts were out, the bikers didn’t know much if anything. He guessed that the feds were now going to check out all the dealerships and mechanics in the hope of finding the source of the motor oil discovered at the crime scene. Which was pretty weak in his opinion.
As he reached the car, the door flew open and a beaming Faith motioned him in. "Get your ass inside Xan," his friend ordered. "Tar’s found us a suspect."
"Oh yeah?" Xander winced as the car screeched off. He really was taking his life into his hands letting Faith drive. Anxious to take his mind off his impending doom he asked about their friend’s discovery. "What did Tara find?"
"Yeah," he closed his eyes as Faith tore around a corner with a chilling casualness. "She reckons it’s a Witherer." Xander whimpered as the car narrowly avoided flying over the gorge. "Don’t be a wuss," Faith cheerfully scolded before continuing her explanation. "Not sure about the science shit, but the demon needs to alternate sucking sexual chemicals from boys and girls to keep its own biology in sync. Tar," Faith’s face tightened. "Tar reckons this thing’s been prowling the U.S. for decades. There could be hundreds maybe thousands of dead kids."
"And we’ll stop it," Xander comforted his distraught friend, ignoring his own heart lodged in his throat. "Tara give you a description or a way to kill it?"
"Thing’s maybe eight feet tall, yellow-skinned, has six arms, and two heads. It has this tentacle that hangs from its stomach. That’s what it uses to punch holes into its victims and suck the hormones out of them." He swallowed as Faith took her eyes off the narrow road to stare at him. "Chop off the tentacle and it blows the monster’s system all to hell, kills it."
"That’s great Faith," he replied through gritted teeth. "But we can’t kill it wrapped around a tree."
* * *
"What I don’t get," Faith commented from her position in the passenger seat, Xander having forcibly taken charge of the driving seat – he was such a baby sometimes. "Is if we know what we’re hunting for why we’re still trailing the Nessies?"
"The Nessies?" After a second Xander’s confused expression cleared. "Oh right, Elliot Ness. Sometimes I think I need an Universal Translator to talk to you." She glared at her friend. He continued explaining, apparently unaffected by her glower. "There’s a ton of places the Witherer could be hiding, if we leave the feds behind to search for it -."
Faith nodded in understanding. "They might it find it first and -." Her head snapped towards the junkyard the agents had just entered. "Shit! Shots!" In an instant they were out of the car and racing towards the dump.
* * *
Mulder looked around the deserted junk yard, his patience fraying. They’d spent the afternoon searching the local dealerships, workshops, and auto shops but nothing. This was their last stop. There were some long shots, factories that used oil but this was it really it. Hearing a feminine grunt behind him and seeing Scully crumple to the ground out of the corner of his eye, he spun round. "Oh my god!" Eyes widening at the monster facing him he drew his gun and began shooting. The target roared and raced at him, his bullets bouncing off it.
And then it hit him.
FIC: The Truth (4\4)
"How we gonna handle this X?" Faith demanded as they raced towards the sound of the shooting.
"From the sound of things guns don’t do much against it, so it’ll have to be hack and slash." Xander threw Faith her favoured short sword as he pulled out his double-bladed axe.
"Wicked," Faith winked. "My speciality."
The Slayer reached the junkyard’s entrance just seconds before him. Flinging the rusted grille gate open, the Bostonian ran into the junkyard. And stopped dead. "Holy shit."
"Yeah." Xander agreed as he stared at the monster looming over the two crumpled agents.
As Tara had said the yellow-skinned gargantuan stood maybe eight feet tall. Its rail-thin body had six massively-muscled arms the match of any professional wrestler or bodybuilder. Its face was the thing of nightmares, with flapping ears, and two sets of fanged mouths one above and one below its single blood-red eye. Xander’s gaze dropped to its stomach. Sure enough, its rope-like tentacle was flapping menacingly in the air.
"Looks fun," Faith charged forward.
"Damn it Faith!" Xander cursed. He had intended to out-flank the creature. But no, Faith and plans didn’t mix. Still swearing, he hurried after his companion.
* * *
Mulder stared up in disbelief at the alien above him, his head aching from the thunderous blows he’d taken. Tearing his gaze away from the beast he looked towards his partner.
He was dismayed to see the red-head was unconscious. Groaning slightly with the effort, he rolled towards his gun only to be surprised when a lithe body came out of no-where to slam a drop-kick to the beast’s hairy chest, knocking it back a step. He could only stare in amazement as the figure, a raven-haired girl, landed in a crouch and ducked beneath the monster’s wildly-swinging claws. "Xan! Help would be real good right about now."
"Maybe if you’d waited." Hearing a man’s voice behind him, Mulder twisted his head to see the newcomer but the effort of moving caused him to pass out.
* * *
"Always complaining!" Faith commented before taking a back-handed blow to the face that knocked her to the ground, sending dust billowing up.
In an instant, Xander was between the lumbering monster and his fallen companion. "Damn it Faith!" he lunged forward; his axe arching downwards at the tentacle only to have to jump backwards to avoid the Witherer’s flailing claws. "I had a plan!"
"Fuck Xan," Faith snorted as she rolled to her feet before using the back of her hand to wipe blood away from the side of her mouth. "You know I hate plans!"
"But it was a good one!" he protested.
"Whatever." Faith darted forward, her sword stabbing at the monster. "Shit!" the Slayer leapt back, narrowly avoiding the Witherer’s claws from ripping her head off. "’Course if you’ve got a strategy."
"There’s a difference?" Xander risked the monster’s attack to glance incredulously at his lithe companion.
Faith shot him a scowl. "We gonna argue definitions or kill demons?"
Xander counted to five to calm himself. He sometimes wondered why he hadn’t strangled her already. Oh yeah, he was crazy in love with her. Gathering his thoughts, he nodded. "Fine. You get behind it, slice its hamstrings, and when it falls forward I’ll take its tentacle."
"That’s it?" Faith’s eyes widened in disbelief. "And you wonder why I hate plans!"
"If you’ve got any better ideas?"
"Oh shut up." Suddenly Faith darted forward before dropping into a forward roll that took her beneath the Witherer’s flailing claws. Once she was behind the demon, Faith leapt up, her sword flashing down to rip into the back of the Witherer’s tree-trunk thick leg.
Xander saw blood explode from the monster’s leg. The beast howled and stumbled forward. Xander leapt to meet it. Ducking inside the beast’s flailing reach, his axe flashed down, tearing through the tentacle. A half-second later and the shrieking monster exploded, showering them and the unconscious agents in a nauseating mess of blood, skin, and bone.
"Ugh gross!" Faith wrinkled her nose.
"It’ll be dissolved in a couple of minutes," he comforted before glancing down at the unconscious feds. "It’ll be night soon; best dump them in the car for safety."
* * *
Faith watched Xander out of the corner of her eye as they loaded the two Nessies into the car. She had hoped that killing the Witherer would help lift the cloud of depression that had consumed Xman since they’d found out about Cruise’s death, but no such luck.
Faith sighed, she hated doing the heart to heart shit but she loathed the way Xan was. Taking a breath she started to talk. "When my Watcher died," Faith barely managed to keep her voice under control. "I decided it hurt so much that I couldn’t allow myself to care for anyone again so I closed myself off." She smiled at her listening friend. "Only trouble was there was this bumbling jackass, the sort I just used and discarded. ‘Cept this guy wouldn’t let me just dump him and taught me that you’ve gotta care about people, that it’s part of being human. That people die and bad things happen to them, but you can’t stop caring. But now," she poked her friend in the chest. "That dumbass is forgetting his own lesson. I get you feel responsible for Cruise’s death, but you aren’t, and in the business we’re in we’re gonna lose people. But you can’t cut yourself off."
For a long second Xander stared at her. Then he began to smile and laugh. "You know for a Boston southie, you sure are wise." She was surprised when Xander pulled her into a hug. "I’m sorry for being such an ass these last few days."
Ignoring how pleasant it felt to be held by her heart’s desire she looked up into her friend’s eyes and grinned. "Used to it by now X," she declared. "Shall we go check on Tar?"
"Let’s," Xander groaned. "I’ll have to get the car plates changed. They’ve," her friend glanced towards the agents, "bound to have taken a note."
* * *
"Ooh my head," Mulder groaned. He blinked his way to consciousness, his head thumping as he looked around their car. He squinted as the memories of the past few hours came flooding back – the multi-limbed monster and the beautiful brunette.
He glanced to his right, relieved to see his partner stirring beside him. Had it all been a dream or hallucination? Mulder smiled as he remembered firing his gun. Pulling out his gun, he checked his magazine, five shots fired. It had really happened.
"Oow," he glanced across at his awakening friend. "What happened?" she asked.
"Don’t you remember?" In a few sentences he explained what had happened.
Scully stared incredulously at him. "I didn’t see any of that I was unconscious, I don’t suppose you have any evidence?"
"Nope," he shook his head as he climbed out of the car. "But I’m starting an X-File on that monster. And the girl," he added as an afterthought.
Scully rolled her eyes then winced. "Thought you might."
* * *
FBI Building, Record Office. 4 Days Later.
Leonard strode through the long basement, stopping occasionally to check which cluttered row of files he was at. Finally he smiled. "Got it." Opening a folder he slid its contents, eight neatly typed pages, into his jacket’s inside pocket. Mr Travers would be pleased.
* * *
Cancer-Man scowled as he read the copy of Mulder’s latest report, his contact having copied and sent it to him practically the moment Spooky had finished it. If not for Harris and his Slayer, Mulder would have been dealt with. "Those kids have got to go," he muttered.
* * *
"Bloody slapper!" Travers raged as he flung the stolen FBI report onto the floor. Rising, he walked to his office window and peered outside. Centuries of anonymity threatened by some yank trollop. Travers smiled. But soon her and Mithras would be knelt at his feet, grovelling for mercy. Soon.
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