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Mulder Sees Red

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Mulder sees Red

Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully and Skinner are not my characters, they belong to 1013 Productions and the man behind the curtain—Chris Carter. If the Great and Powerful Oz saw fit, he could send David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi over to my place for a private audition—anytime. No money being made, but I might be willing to pay for the right services. Hehehehe

Spoilers/Warnings: Through Season 7 for story arc without Requiem. This is an explicit story. NC-17’s is virtually all I write, but I have original pieces that are tamer. I’d like to think I add smut to a story rather than a story to smut, but you be the judge. Crumb crunchers need not apply.

 

RED - the color of blood and fire, is associated with meanings of love, passion, desire, heat, longing, lust, sexuality, sensitivity, romance, joy, strength, leadership, courage, vigor, willpower, rage, anger, danger, malice, wrath, stress, action, vibrancy, radiance, and determination.

 

Prologue

J. Edgar Hoover Bldg.
Washington D.C
10:00 am

 

Mulder and Scully had just started their workday a few hours ago. Mulder thought that it seemed like any typical Monday until he opened the daily mail. Alone, in a plain envelope, was a copy of an obituary for an old friend. He quickly scanned the return address and saw it came from the city of Westmarin in the Shenandoah Valley, VA.

The notice didn’t state much aside from the name, date of death and that he was survived by a wife and one son. Joshua Hardcastle was only 40, the same age as him, but there was no mention of an illness or cause of death. Mulder was wondering what could have happened when he turned it over and saw a phone number with ‘Mary Hardcastle’ written above it. Mulder had only met her once, at the wedding, but it was plain Josh’s widow wanted him to call.

Mulder looked over at his partner that shared the basement office of the X-Files Division. Dana Scully was a fascinating woman, 4 years his junior, with a sharp mind and a medical degree. That, in combination with her thick red hair, brilliant blue eyes and rose petal lips, made for a stunning combination of brains and beauty. However, as his partner, she was also off limits. That never ceased to sadden him.

“Hey Scully, I’m going to step out and make a phone call. I should be back in a few minutes.”

Scully nodded absently and continued typing on her laptop. “Ok, Mulder.” She checked some papers and didn’t look up.

Mulder left, closing the door behind him. Their office was likely bugged as was the hallway and probably the restrooms, for that matter. The shadow government that had taken his sister, destroyed his parents and consumed his life was never very far away.

He walked down the hall and dialed the number on the notice. Being one of the FBI’s most UNwanted had its disadvantages. The basement walls caused echoes and getting a signal on a cell phone was difficult. After all these years Mulder knew the exact spot to stand to get a reliable connection. The phone rang when he reached the sweet spot and a woman’s voice answered.

“Hello?”

“Um...May I speak to Mary Hardcastle?”

“Speaking.”

“My name is Fox Mulder. I received an obituary for Joshua Hardcastle with this number on the back.

The voice on the other end brightened. “Yes! Mr. Mulder. You probably don’t remember me, we only met once and that was about 10 years ago. I’m Josh’s wife…” She left that trail off and the sadness bled through.

Mulder nodded even though she couldn’t see him. “I remember. Josh has died? I can’t believe it. I’m sorry that I missed his funeral. I would have come if I had known.” He could hear her catch her breath on the other end. The date of death was only two weeks ago. This must still be hard for her.

Mary’s voice hitched. “There hasn’t been a funeral, Mr. Mulder. Josh was having some trouble with some of the local…people and he said that if anything ever happened to him that I should contact you. It wasn’t until I went through his effects that I found your card and saw that you worked for the FBI. That’s why I sent the obituary to your office.”

“Can you tell me what happened?”

“Officially, he died of a heart attack. In reality, he was stabbed in a bar fight.”

“Why the discrepancy in the cause of death?”

“The country coroner and his family were threatened.”

“Is someone looking into that?

“No, that is partially why I called. His killer is still running loose.”

“Was this an accident or are you saying that Josh was murdered?”

“He was murdered, Mr. Mulder. It was quite deliberate. Please…I’m worried for my son. I’m afraid if I make too many waves that things will get worse. Is there anything you can do? Can you come?”

He and Josh were close friends when they were at Oxford together. Mulder was sad when he quit college and went back to the States. They lost touch for several years and then, out of the blue, he received an invitation to his wedding. At least once a year after that, they met for dinner and caught up on things. He had watched his son, Brian, grow through the stack of pictures he brought each time.

Mulder could hear the abject fear in her voice. She wasn’t just worried for her son, she was worried for herself too. He and Josh were inseparable in college. He owed it to the man to check into his death and help ease the fears of his family.

“I’m not sure what I can do, but I’ll come. Can you give me your address and tell what you know about his murder?” Mulder scratched for a pen.

“Our address is on the envelope, but the rest shouldn’t be discussed on the phone.” Mary Hardcastle said lowering her voice. “Just call when you are in town and I’ll make sure I’m there.”

“Will do.” Mulder said and they hung up. He couldn’t believe how angry he was that Josh was dead and his family threatened. Mulder had a ton of leave built up and now seemed like a good time to take some of it. Things were slow and he could use a break from staring at his beautiful partner for days on end.

Mulder walked back to the office to see Scully doing some filing. She turned around and her brow furrowed when she saw his face. “Is everything alright, Mulder?”

“No. An old friend of mine died and I have some things to take care of with his family. Do you think you can handle things here for a while?” Mulder found it hard to look Scully in the eye. He felt like he was ditching her again—well he was.

Scully stared at him. “I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Mulder shook his head. “I’ve got this. Will you be okay for a week…or two?”

“Two weeks?” Scully’s eyebrows were raised. “Um…I guess so. You go take care of your friends, Mulder. I’ll be here if you need me.”

Mulder felt like a heel. Over the last few years he had taken to ditching Scully when he felt that she wouldn’t understand his quest or it was too dangerous and now he was telegraphing that he didn’t need her. Sometimes, he was a jerk. However, he couldn't ask Scully to take vacation time for his issues. Whoever had enough power to successfully sway a coroner’s report had to be dangerous.

It was for the best anyway. She deserved to use her time to go someplace sunny and warm where she could lie around in a bikini… Damn, that was a visual. Mulder made a vow years ago to never let her know how he felt about her. He wanted her in every possible way, but she was the one woman he could not have. What was even worse is he tried to date, but no one measured up to her. He was doomed in the love department and he didn’t see a way out.

“Thanks, Scully. I’ll go talk to Skinner.” He left before his face revealed too much.