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Once upon a time

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On Mulder and Scully’s  way to the town, Scully made her last effort. “Really, you shouldn’t think every murder was supernaturally caused. Remember...”

“But my instinct’s always right, and a red hood. Worn by the victim. .. It ‘s totally symbolic.”

“Many old women wear hoods. Do you realize it?”

“Well, most of them don’t get killed.”

Butchered might be the better word. Scully saw the photoes of crime scene and despite her working experience, she still felt like vomiting. The blood all over the house, the body... Scully stopped herself thinking about it.

Mulder continued, “It was an unusual case. The murder seemed uncontrolled, but no fingerprints, no footprints, no any evidences. It showed a keen sense of mind and...”

“All right. We’ll go to the town, try to help the local police solve the crime. Remember we’re just consultants there.”

Mulder said “yes”, but Scully doubted his sincerity.

They were received by the sheriff in the town. The sheriff was blond, good looking and big-shouldered. He asked, “Do you want to rest first? Or do you want to go to the crime scene?”

“Go to the crime scene first,” Mulder replied immediately.

The sheriff nodded and walked them there. On their way people smiled and greeted the sheriff, and the sheriff greeted back.

“How do we address you?”

“Steve Rogers. You can call me Steve.”

Rogers led them to the house and even after all the days, Scully still smelt the smell of blood and dead flesh even from the outside. He showed them to the crime scene and advised them to watch their steps. Then Mulder had a discovery. He leaned down and said, “there was animal hair here.”

“Really? I must have missed it when collecting evidence,” Rogers said, with some interest.

“Did the victim keep any pets?” Scully asked.

“No,” Rogers said.

“I need to send it for analysis,” Mulder said.

Rogers said, “There isn’t a crime lab nearby, so...”

“I’ll send it to Washington.”

Mulder insisted on searching around for more hints, but Scully had enough with the smell and Rogers must have felt it too, so he politely led them out. “The crime scene’ll still be here the next day, and you two must be hungry and tired.”

Scully wasn’t sure if she wanted to eat, but she thought getting more information from the sheriff might be a good idea, so they went to the pub in town and ordered food.

“What can you tell us about the case?”

“Well, it’s already in the report. The victim was a quiet harmless old lady. Never had a bad word said about her. Nothing was stolen, either. I guessed that it might be a drug head. It must be an outsider’s job.”

It was obvious that Rogers felt protective toward the townsfolk, but Scully wasn’t quite sure about his assumption. Everyone had a dark secret. But she nodded anyway. “I heard that she had a grandson?”

“Yeah, it’s Tony. He’s quite still in a shock about it. Poor guy. Speaking of this, do you need me to take you to the motel or want to stay for awhile?”

“Motel first,” Scully said. She notice how Rogers so casually called the victim’s grandson Tony, and jotted it down in her memory.

Rogers led them to the motel, and they took a night of rest. The next day Scully woke up, refreshed and was surprised to see that Mulder wasn’t here. She went to the lobby for breakfast and chatted with the lady in charge of the motel about the crime. Nothing much new was known except that the lady mentioned that grandson was weird and aloof. He seldom went outside his house. It got interesting, Scully thought.

After asking for directions, Scully reached the grandson’s house and knocked. She was surprised to see that Rogers opened the door. He asked, “Are you looking for...”

“I’m looking for Tony Stark, the victim’s grandson.”
“Come with me,” Rogers said, and led her to the living room. Scully realized he deliberately slowed down for her and was a bit irritated. There a guy with messy black hair and blue eyes was sitting at the table, having his coffee. He looked up and when he saw her, he asked, “Who’re you?”

“Agent Scully, FBI.”

“I guess you come for my grandmother’s case? Never know that FBI has such a wide jurisdiction.”

“FBI’s acting as an advisory role here.”

“So how can I help you?”

“Do you know anything about your grandmother that may be useful? For example...”

“Truth be told, no. We don’t visit each other much recently. I’m busy. And then she was killed.” Despite the words, Stark had a sad glint in his eyes, or he was a good actor.

“Tony,” Rogers put a hand on his shoulder. Then he withdrew it when he noticed Scully.

“Where’re you at that night?”

“In the basement, working on my project. Alone.”

“So no one can prove it.”

“Right. And if you want to accuse me of something, I’d better have my lawyer.”

“Agent Scully?” Rogers asked, with a hint of anger.

Scully sensed that she wouldn’t get much more from directly confronting Stark with Rogers here, so she said, “Sorry, job habit.”

“I understand. Now if you don’t mind, I need to retreat,” Tony said, and then he left the table.

Rogers shook his head. Then he said to Scully, “Tony ‘s a bit... eccentric. Don’t mind him.”

“You’re a friend with him?”

“Yes. Tony’s a good guy underneath, once you spend more time with him.”

Scully decided that Rogers seemed to have a bias for Stark. It might affect his judgment, so she didn’t say more.
Rogers left to attend to his duty, and Scully finally found Mulder, talking to an old woman. Mulder then turned, saw Scully and waved her over. The old woman excused herself and left.

“What do you discover?”

“I had the hair sent for analysis. Although I don't have the report yet, I'm quite sure it's a wolf hair. Just then I talked to the lady here and she said that there have been no reports of wolves for decades.”

“So your conclusion’s...”

“Werewolf. Do you notice that the murder’s on full moon?”

“It’s jumping to conclusion. By the way, I find a lead.”

“It’s the grandson Stark, right? What if he were a werewolf?”

Scully sometimes thought she really didn’t understand her partner, but at least they agreed on investigating Stark further.

There was the money angle, but Scully checked at the court and found that the Mrs. Stark left nothing for her grandson in her will. Instead she gave them to some animal charity. She also discovered that Tony Stark practically owned the town’s land. So money was out.

Family feud? But they didn't even live in the same house and had not met each other for a long period.

Scully knew that only in the world of detective stories you'd find motivation, weapon and the method. But without evidence, though Stark seemed a likely target, they could do nothing against it.

Mulder insisted on visit Tony Stark, and Scully tagged along. During their conversation, Mulder threw out the words “silver” and “full moon”, but Stark’s expression didn’t change.

They stayed for several day but couldn’t make any progress. Rogers was still polite but acted colder toward them, probably for suspecting his friend. Scully seriously considered leaving.

Then another murder happened.

The murder’s style was just like the last, with the victim brutally killed. Rogers looked grim when they arrived. A doctor checked over the body and several people were weeping. Rogers later told them that the victim was the chairman of town council. He was well respected and there wasn’t apparent evidence why this murder happened.

The next night Scully and Mulder went to Stark’s house and found that Rogers was there, still wearing the previous day’s clothes. He blushed a bit when he saw them and Scully had a revelation. Stark and Rogers were...

Mulder was busily working on something and wouldn’t tell her, so Scully launched her investigation. She checked the record of Stark and Rogers, and had some unusual discovery that she doubted her own eyes at first.

Scully found Mulder confronting Rogers and Stark in the forest surrounding the town. Mulder was just saying to Rogers, “I checked over you. Your record has only come into existence  when you came to the town. You had no birth record, and it was a miracle that you were able to be hired.”

Rogers said, “I don’t believe you, and I...”

“It’s true. I've also checked over the records carefully,” Scully added

“So?” Stark asked

“I used a silver knife to cut your hand days ago, and your wound hasn’t healed yet,” Mulder ignored Stark and continue to talk to Rogers.

“It’s ridiculous.”

“It’s not. You’re a werewolf and killer.”

“Have you said enough?” Stark asked. “I think it's you who have a problem. Are these all Your evidences?”

“More, and we find your connection to the murder. We visited your doctor and she admitted that you bore marks regularly in childhood that was probably due to abuse. Did your grandmother do it, and...”

“Stop. So the doctor claimed I was abused, and possibly every supposed abused victim’s a murderer. Interesting presupposition.”

“We found blood that matched your blood type in the second home. You’ve a rare one so it’s a strongly evidence against you.

“Tony?” Rogers asked.

“I hate them. All of them, but I don’t want to kill them. I want them to have a fate worse than death. Death’s so easy for them.”

“Why?” Scully asked

“They killed my parents and put me into my grandmother’s hand. It’s enough to hate.”

Scully’s sympathy wasn’t enough to mask her responsibility. “So we’re here to arrest you. You can...”

“You won’t get us,” There was a silver glint in Tony’s eyes. Then a strong lightning made Scully can’t open her eyes. When she opened her eyes again, Rogers and Stark were missing. They launched a search, but never found them.

Even now Scully thought about them and wondered the whole truth behind it, but they had enough to close the case. Besides, another case was coming.