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Murder in the Capital

Chapter Text

Part One.

 

Prologue

October 27, 1920. 

“Are you sure I’ll be out of harm?” she asked in a soft, throaty voice.

Instead of an answer, Mulder reached out, and tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear. He focused on that strand for a moment, his fingers still against her jaw, letting electricity ripple through his body before he could remind himself that this was neither the time nor the place.

“Detective Mulder?” she asked, sliding her hand over his free arm to get his attention. “This is safe?”

All he could do was swallow hard, and nod, before finally meeting her eyes. She couldn’t ignore it- there was a wall of doubt in them.

“You’ll be fine,” he whispered, dropping his hand to rest on her knee. “I’ll be right over there in the mens washroom if you need me. Detective Krycek will be on the door.”

“I don’t know about that man,” she confided, in a voice barely loud enough for him to hear. “He could be a mole or a spy…”

Mulder couldn’t help but smile at her. “Such the skeptic.”

She rolled those big, beautiful eyes. “What can I say?”

“If he is or if he isn’t, its a matter for another day. If anything happens with our man, I’ll be here in a moment. Alex is simply a precaution.”

She nodded, taking a deep breath.

“Hey,” he said. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah,” she forced a smile. “Just a little nervous.”

“You’ll be great,” Mulder encouraged. “All you have to do is talk to him a little. Flirt, just get him to invite you to a club and get the location.”

“Then we ambush him there? Tell me again why it can’t be here.”

“We need backup, and they won’t send anyone for the little information we have now. All we need is a location, then we can send word,” Mulder said. “Once we get him into custody, we can get the names of his bosses.”

“Alright,” she inhaled, deeply. “I can do that. Just need an invite to go with him somewhere, anywhere.”

“Right. When you give the signal, I’ll come back from the bathroom, as your husband and scare him off.”

Dana rolled her eyes. “Don’t let it go to your head, Mr. Mulder. We are conducting an investigation.” She raised an eyebrow. “What? Nothing to say to that?”

His eyes were locked on a man who’d just entered the room. “I’d ask to pursue you, yet again, Miss Scully, but it looks like our man is here.”

“Oh, shit,” she muttered, and flipped open her compact to check her appearance.

“You look beautiful,” Mulder assured her, leaning down to kiss her on the cheek.

She gave him a look.

“What? We’re supposed to be married.”

“Well, go before he sees you.”

Heart thudding in her chest, Dana approached the man who’d just entered and slipped onto the stool beside him.

“Hi,” she said, as seductively as she could muster.

He looked her up and down before answering. “Hello. Who might you be?”

“Dana,” she said.

“s a lovely name,’ he said, with a smile that caused something deep in Dana’s stomach to clench. “My name’s Barry,” he said, “Dua-“

He was interrupted by a crash coming from the men’s room. In the corner of her eye, Dana could see Alex Krycek emerge from the darkened corner. Her gut clenched again, sensing something was off, but before she could even act on it, Mr. Barry slid his hand over hers. 

“Dana,” he said, “I have somewhere to be, and I’d very much like to take you with me.”

 

 


Chapter One. 

May 15, 1918. 

Fox Mulder was being a nuisance. Even she couldn’t ignore the beauty of the blossoming world outside the windows of the makeshift hospital, but it didn’t mean it would have been, in any universe, a good idea to bring him outside. 

“Just ten minutes. I have a watch you could time it on,” he begged, as she made another round. “Fresh air, Dana. I could use it.”

“Mulder,” she began, sitting down beside him to take his pulse. “You and I both know you’re too sick to go outside.” 

“But the gardens outside are gated,” he protested. “And I wouldn’t be out there long. It’s not like I’d get anyone else sick-“

“Mulder,” she said, in a firm tone. “If you can stand up, right here, right now, no cringing in pain whatsoever, I will take you outside.“

He sighed, and laid his head back, knowing all along this was the outcome. She watched him, her heart sinking a bit, knowing how much he’d wanted to go. Dana had grown fond of this man and his simple desires. The other patients, despite their fevers and coughs, had distinctly other requests for her, but Mulder only desired a book. Weeks ago, she’d brought him a book from her own bookshelf. And then another when he’d finished that. By the time his fever broke (for an hour, but it was something), he’d made it through nearly all of her collection. He only began asking about the gardens again when he’d finished every last one she had. 

“Well,” she said, after taking his temperature. “Your fever’s down a degree.” 

“Call up the mayor, this deserves a parade,” he said, his voice hoarse and tired.

“It’s a start. You’ve been doing better, that’s something.” She tried to sound encouraging, but this was not a place that made it easy. 

He nodded slightly, staring wistfully out the windows. “The city’s beautiful this time of year. The park, with all the trees blossoming…” His voice trailed off.

“There’ll be other years to go out and see it,” she said, grabbing his attention back. That kind of talk was almost forbidden by an unspoken rule there. With too many people in and out, coughing and crying, the future was never a topic of discussion. But in a soft voice, muffled by her mask, just to him in their little cot-sized bubble, she wasn’t afraid to be optimistic. “I’m sure when we do get a chance, you’d prefer not to be aching in every limb and have a fever like a furnace.” 

For the first time in far too long, his reddened face cracked a weak smile. “If I didn’t know better, Miss Scully, I’d say you just invited me on a date.”

She rolled her eyes, only then realizing she’d said ‘we’. “In your dreams, Mulder.”

“Don’t I know.” From any other patient, she would have left immediately, restraining herself from slapping them. But with him, she simply looked down at her hands in her lap, and blushed. She was certain he could see it through her mask. 

“I better finish my rounds,” she said. 

“You’re not moving,” he noted, almost happy about that fact. 

She looked at him and hesitated. “There’s been some rumors.”

“Rumors?”

“Some talk about treatments up north that have had good results for influenza.” Dana’s voice was low, so no one would overhear her. 

His eyes grew wide. “What is it? I want to try it.”

“I don’t have any evidence that it works, Mulder.” 

“Please,” he begged.

She looked down at her hands, nervous. It wasn’t what she’d been trained to do. If it negatively affected him, she would be devastated. But before she could tell him any of this, a weak hand slid into hers and squeezed. She looked back up at him, before lacing their fingers together briefly, just to feel the warmth. 

“I’ll go get it,” she whispered, and squeezed his hand once more before dropping it. She couldn’t help but think about how intimate this gesture was as she walked back to her coat. How intimate they were. He was her patient. They’d known each other only a number of weeks. But they had seen each other every day of those. 

Dana pulled the small bottle out of her coat pocket. She gripped it for a moment, staring at it, as if wishing on its contents like a shooting star, for their ability to make him better. She took a deep breath, and moved back to his bedside, taking the glass of water off his nightstand to pour the liquid into. She swirled the glass around a bit, watching the amber solution mix into the water, before handing the glass to Mulder. 

“Drink it all,” she whispered. 

He took a sip, and nearly did a spit-take. “Is this-“

“Yeah. It’s vinegar.” 

Mulder opened his mouth to protest, but then glanced at the orderlies, striding to a man three beds away with a stretcher and a sheet. He pinched his nose and drank the entire glass, handing it back to Dana. 

“I’ll get you another,” she said, quietly. 

“I’m feeling better already,” he croaked, before launching into another coughing fit. 

She returned to his side with another glass, and a wet towel for his head. If her fingers lingered in his hair after pressing the towel over his burning forehead, she would have fervently denied it. “Get some sleep,” she said. 

He nodded, his eyes already slipping shut.