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Casefile. Humor. M/S friendship




“Agent Mulder, I’d like to see you in my office right now.”


Mulder cringed inwardly as he held the phone to his ear. Assistant Director Skinner’s tone was business-like and stern. Not a good sign.


“Should I bring Scully?”


“By all means.”




Mulder replaced the receiver.


Scully peered over the folder she was perusing, one eyebrow arched.




“Skinner wants to see us.”


“About what?”


“He didn’t say.”


“Should we bring our reports?”


“He didn’t say.”


“Do you think we should bring them anyway?


“I don’t know.”




Scully crossed her arms staring at Mulder as he proceeded to pull on his jacket. He stopped when he felt her eyes burning holes in his forehead.




“You’re not being much help.”


“What do you want me to tell you, Scully?”


“What did he say?”


“He said,” Mulder cleared his throat, lowering his voice, “Mulder, get your sorry ass in here now.”


Scully chuckled. She stood and reached for her own jacket from the back of her chair.


“He did not.”


“How do you know? Did you grow bionic ears overnight, Scully?”


“Skinner wouldn’t use the word ‘ass’.”


“Neither would you normally, but you just did then, and he has, I’ve heard him.”


“I was merely duplicating your word and maybe, but he wouldn’t say ‘sorry ass’.”


“And I was merely replicating Skinner.”


“And not very well.”


“Scully, you really know how to damage a guy’s ego.”


Mulder spread his hand over his chest, feigning an intensely hurt _expression. Scully exited their office door ahead of her partner.




Skinner sat back in his chair, locking his fingers together before him. His brow was creased and his jaw set, muscles twitching.


Mulder ushered Scully before him. They sat down before the Assistant Director, and waited for him to break the silence. Skinner leaned forward on his desk, pushing his glasses further up his nose. He nodded, clearing his throat. 




Mulder and Scully waited for more. None came.


“Sir?” Scully sat forward. “Did you need to see our reports?”


Skinner shook his head but did not speak. Mulder grew restless and shifted in his seat.


“Sir, have we – me in particular – done anything to piss you off lately?”


Skinner sighed heavily and sat back again.


“Agents, I have an assignment for you.”


“An assignment?”


“Yes, Mulder.” Skinner focused his attention on Mulder’s shifting form. “You do remember what they are, don’t you?”


“Well sir,” Mulder fiddled with his tie, “we’ve been doing so much paperwork lately, I’m not sure.”


Scully shot a scathing glance at Mulder. He shrugged his reply. Skinner grunted.


“Mulder, I’m sure this will be right up your alley.”


Mulder’s eyebrows shot up.


“Paranormal activities?”


“Not exactly.”


“Some inexplicable anomaly?”




“Manure that has no explicable source of origin?”


Scully stifled a laugh.


“Okay, Mulder, I know these last few assignments have not piqued your interest…”


“Just our sense of smell…”


“Agent Mulder…”


“Sorry, sir. Please continue.”


“As I was saying, this assignment that was placed on my desk this morning calls for your expertise. I’m actually reluctant to send you on this case though.”




“It’s in Roswell, New Mexico.”


“So it’s extraterrestrial?”


“Actually, no, Mulder.”


“But Roswell…”


“I knew you would take it that way, but this has nothing to do with extraterrestrials or U.F.O. sightings.” Skinner handed files to both Mulder and Scully. “However, there seems to be a paranormal aspect to this particular case.”


“Paranormal, sir?” Scully interrupted, pausing in her sifting of the file in her hands.


“Yes, it seems that there has been some kind of unidentifiable ‘happenings’ within one of the residents there.”


“I have pissed you off.” Mulder sat back, slapping his knee with his file.


“Mulder…” Scully began, but Mulder held up a hand.


“Sir, is this some kind of joke assignment for all the times I’ve deflected off a recent case? I mean, if that’s the case, I persuaded Scully…”


“Mulder, shut up.” Mulder’s mouth snapped closed. Skinner stood, moving around to lean against his desk in front of his agents. “This is not a vindictive motion on my part. It is an actual case, Mulder. It may not turn out to be bona fide, but it’s a small step back towards an X-File. Take it or leave it.”


Mulder stared at Skinner for some time before getting to his feet.


“Well sir, then I guess we’re off to Roswell.”




The house loomed before them, gloomy exterior, paint peeling from various parts of the weather-beaten walls. A large willow cast shadows over the front porch in the fading late afternoon light.


Scully stood by the front gate, looking up at the somber exterior. Mulder nudged her from behind.


“Are you just gonna stand there, or are you going in?”


“Doesn’t look like anyone’s lived here in years. It’s in such disrepair.”


“Well,” Mulder leaned down beside Scully and unlatched the gate, pushing it open, “this is the address we were given.” He nodded toward the front door, smiling. “Just gonna stand there?”


Scully stepped onto the porch. The gate screeched closed behind them, causing them to both jump and turn toward the noise. They faced back to each other, both producing smiles of relief and slight embarrassment, only to jump again as the door opened before them. A plump woman with rosy cheeks stood before them, wiping her hands on her apron. As she looked from one agent to the other, her smile grew in size.


“Are you the people from the police?”


Mulder produced his badge, Scully followed suit.


“Well,” the woman squinted at the objects flashing before her, “I can’t really read without my glasses, but you look like detectives.”


“We’re from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, ma’am. I’m Special Agent Mulder and this is my partner, Special Agent Scully.”


“My, my, my,” she opened the door wider, gesturing for them to enter, “so official. I had no idea there were ‘special agents’ for investigating hauntings.”


Scully raised an eyebrow in Mulder’s direction. Mulder grimaced but turned back toward the woman, a brilliant smile planted on his face.


“So, Mrs. Jennings, isn’t it?” Mulder kept the smile aimed at the woman.


“Oh, please call me Ruth.” She waved a hand in front of her. “Can I get you some coffee or tea? Perhaps something cold?”


“No thank you.” Scully offered her own smile. “Mrs. Jennings…Ruth…we’re here to…”


“To find out who my ghost is.” Ruth interrupted. “The police told me someone would come to help me find the rascal.”


“The ‘rascal’?” Mulder sighed and placed both hands on his hips as he searched the cluttered living room. “I’m not sure what you mean? You sound as if you like having these hauntings.”


“Doesn’t bother me. Causes me no harm but can be a bit messy sometimes.”


“’Messy’?” Scully glanced at Mulder who was scanning an assortment of books scattered on the coffee table in the middle of the room. “Could you please be more explicit?”


“Come see for yourself dear.”


Ruth led them through a narrow hallway to the right, stopping at the doorway of what appeared to be a study. Furniture was sparse with a single bed beside the wall and a wooden desk by the window. A splattering of children’s books layered the top of the desk.


Scully stepped into the room when she noticed the books were glistening. At a closer inspection, the glistening seemed to be caused by a green substance that coated the books. Mulder approached the desk, leaning down for a better view.




“Mulder, I need to get a sample of this and send it to the lab.”


“Mrs. Jennings, does this happen often?”


“Ruth dear.” Ruth smiled at the male agent from across the room. “Call me Ruth.”


“Ruth,” Mulder sighed, “does this happen often?”


“Happened just this morning. There’s always a noise and then when I get here, that green goop…” She pointed to the desk. “Never bothers me. Only in this room.”


“How long has this been occurring?”


“Oh just after I moved in.”


“And that was…?”


“About 3 months ago.”


“Mrs… Ruth, why didn’t you inform the authorities then?”


“As I said, it never bothered me then.”


“But it bothers you now?”


“Well, it gets a bit monotonous cleaning up after it all the time and I think perhaps it wants to tell me something. That’s why it persists in this mischievous stunt.”


“’Tell you something’? What do you mean?”


“I think it does this…” Ruth gestured with her hand toward the desk. “…because I’m not listening. Maybe it wants me to find out who it is.”


“So you think you have a poltergeist?” Scully turned, removing her latex glove. “Is that what you think, Ruth?”


Mulder grinned and leaned into Scully’s ear, whispering so Ruth couldn’t overhear.


“Scully, I just got so turned on then.”


Scully pushed past Mulder, ignoring his comment. She stood in front of Ruth, the glove still in her hand.


“Ruth, did you really think people would believe this?”


Ruth shuffled her feet and twisted her apron between her fingers nervously. Mulder noticed beads of sweat breaking out on her forehead.


“There *is* something in this house.”


“Ruth, this is dishwashing liquid.” Scully shook the latex in front of her. “Why? Surely you knew that you would be found out easily?”


Mulder scooped up a finger-full of the green substance and held it to his nose as the women spoke.


“I… I…” Ruth began, “I just wanted people to start coming back to Roswell. I moved here hoping to be a part of the tourist market and make this into a bed and breakfast. It wasn’t working so I thought that if the story that my house was haunted spread, maybe…”


“Maybe people would come back to Roswell and stay here to catch a glimpse of the specter.” Mulder finished.


Ruth nodded.


“Dishwashing liquid?” Mulder sniffed the matter covering his index finger.


“Yes. I needed something… something substantial to let people know that there *is* something in this house.” Ruth shrugged, then her smile returned. “Just the knowledge that someone was coming to investigate was enough to start the rumors. That was enough.”


Mulder sidled up beside Scully, wiping his finger on his handkerchief.


“Are you going to arrest me?” Ruth’s cheeks turned a brighter shade of red. “Should I pack some overnight things?”


Scully tilted her head up to see Mulder’s grin widen. She decided to allow him to answer Ruth. Just as she didn’t think he was ever going to reply, he spoke.


“Ruth, I don’t think this is even worth the paperwork. I think as long as you don’t waste the local authority’s or the Bureau’s time any more, we can let this slide.”


“Sorry for bringing you all the way out here. I can fix you that coffee now if you like?”


“Thank you, Ruth, but we have a flight to catch.” Scully passed back into the hallway, closely followed by Mulder. “We can see ourselves out.”


Mulder watched the petite redhead clicking her heels efficiently on the floorboards ahead of him with some amusement.


They stood just outside the front door, both looking back into the living room. Ruth had not followed them out, most probably cleaning up the mess in the study.


“Well Scully,” Mulder bent down to her ear, “that was certainly a waste of time. I guess Skinner really is pissed off at me.”


Scully folded her arms.




The door suddenly slammed shut behind them.


“Hey, Scully…” Mulder’s eyebrows shot up in question. “You think…?”


“No, Mulder.”


“Maybe we should check this out further. She said there was something in the house and she just wanted to bring attention to it.”


“No, Mulder.”




“It was the wind.”


“No wind today.”


“Then it was Ruth.”


“She wasn’t anywhere in sight and we would’ve heard her footsteps.”


“This is an old house, Mulder.”




“It was a hoax, Mulder. Plain and simple.”


“Maybe.” Mulder looked up to the shadows on the second floor. “Maybe not.”


Scully tugged on his sleeve, pulling him off the porch.


“No, Mulder. We are not going to investigate this further or I will personally kick your sorry ass!”


“Oooo! Scully! My sorry ass is yours!”


Scully sighed, returning through the gate back towards their rental car. Mulder lagged behind, taking one more look at the house. A shadow passed by the window on the second floor.



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