River of Tears

X files belongs to CC and Fox.

MT A MSR Casefile



Scully's Apartment.

4am Sunday. 

Dana Scully was not happy, it was early on Sunday morning, so early in fact that it was still dark outside. She and Mulder had finally managed to fall into bed sometime around midnight after working seemingly non-stop for over three weeks. Their last case been an elaborate hoax perpetrated by some very creative but exceedingly bored university students. A snap strike by airport staff had meant that instead of being able to fly home, they had spent the last fourteen hours driving. Then to top it all off, the weather had been absolutely miserable; unseasonably low temperatures accompanied by heavy rain and strong winds had dogged them as they tramped around the varied delights of Madison Wisconsin. They both had a suitcase full of saturated clothes and waterlogged footwear. The only thing that they had planned for today was a long leisurely sleep in. 

Therefore, finding herself lying in bed staring up at the ceiling trying to figure out what had woken her did not put Scully in a very good frame of mind.

She ran through a mental checklist; it was still raining heavily outside, but it had been doing that when they went to bed, so that was unlikely to have caused her sudden bout of sleeplessness. She did not think she had been woken by Mulder's nocturnal wanderings; he was curled up on his side facing away from her, and from the look of things, still soundly asleep. 

Wearily, Scully sighed and rolled closer to Mulder, she brushed her fingers lightly down the length of his torso until she came to the hem of his tee shirt. She remembered how tired they had both been; Mulder barely taking time to shuck his pants and shirt before collapsing into bed; she had paused long enough to snuggle into another of Mulder's well-worn tee shirts before following him into slumber. 

Smoothing her hand over Mulder's flat stomach, she stopped in sudden realization that his skin was warmer than usual. She pressed her lips to the back of his neck in the tried and true method and frowned, he did not have a fever, at least not yet, but it looked like he was well on his way.

She was not surprised, they had both spent more than their fair share of time in wringing wet clothes; it stood to reason that one if not both of them would come down with a cold.  

Scully moved her hand and absently counted his respirations while listening to him breathe; there was some congestion building already. She reached down and pulled the comforter further up over his shoulder. Closing her eyes, she began to prepare a mental checklist; the most important thing was to contact Skinner and arrange for a couple of days off for both of them. With any luck and a lot of co-operation from Mulder, they could nip this cold in the bud and prevent it from developing into anything more serious. Scully gave a soft snort; she had just included Mulder and co-operation in the same sentence. Mulder co-operative; that was an oxymoron if ever she had heard one. She drifted back to sleep, thoughts of how she was going to get her partner to take it easy whirling through her mind. 


Sunday Morning

5.20 am. 

Yet again, she was pulled unwillingly from the depths of dreamland; it took several seconds for her mind to register what had woken her this time; realizing that a phone was ringing had her instantly alert. It wasn't hers that was trilling madly, it was Mulder's, whom she noticed with some chagrin, was still soundly asleep. Clambering out of the snug nest of blankets, Scully stumbled over to the pile of clothes that Mulder had carelessly dropped on the floor. She dug through pockets until she found the device that had shattered her sleep. 

Prodding her somnolent partner none too gently, Scully held the phone out. The only reaction she received was an indistinct mumbling. 

"Mulder wake up!" She shook his shoulder again. 

"No, 'm sleepin'." 

Scully sighed, wondering how much patience the caller possessed. "Mulder, your phone's ringing."  

"Mmph." Without opening his eyes, Mulder reached out, Scully placed it in his hand, his fingers closing around the casing. 

"Mulder." His eyes remained closed but Scully could see his fingers tighten involuntarily. 

"Yes sir...umm when...today...yes sir...uh no...yes sir...yes sir." Mulder pressed the disconnect button with slightly more force than necessary and rolled over onto his back. "Shit!" 

"Skinner?" Scully enquired from where she was crouched on the floor. 

"Yeah." Mulder cracked his eyes open. "What's the time?" 

"5.23am, what did he want?" 

"We have a meeting with our esteemed A. D. in one hour and thirty seven minutes." Mulder groaned and rubbed his hand across his forehead. "God, I feel like something chewed me up and spat me out." 

Scully rolled her eyes. "Nice analogy Mulder, I hate to be the bearer of more bad news but it looks like you're coming down with a cold." She moved from the floor and sat next to Mulder pulling her knees up under her chin. 

"I don't wanna do this Scully." 

"You're not the only one, I was looking forward to a nice relaxing sleep in." 

"Oh were you now." Eyes crinkling with mischief, Mulder reached out and ran his fingers down Scully's bare leg. 

"Yes, doing nothing more than sleeping...stop that." 

"Are you sure that you just wanted to sleep?" 

Scully looked thoughtful. "Yes I think so, why did you have something planned." 

Mulder raised himself up on his elbow. "Oh nothing specific, but I'm sure I could've pulled something out of my hat." His fingers resumed their gentle exploration. 

Scully burst into giggles. "Your hat! Is that where you keep it Mulder?"  

Mulder reached out and pulled her down on top of him. "I'll show you where I keep it." He grinned, his long fingers tickling unmercifully. 

"No...don't...Mulder!" Scully squirmed breathlessly. 

"Why not?" 

"Because." Scully glanced over at the bedside clock. "We now have one hour and twenty six minutes before we have to meet Skinner." She twisted out of his loose embrace. "And I for one am not going to miss out on a nice warm shower." She scooted to the end of the bed before raising an eyebrow. "Besides I thought you said you weren't feeling the best." 

"There are certain things that a man is prepared to put before his health you know." 

"Well you're just going to have to tie a knot in it until we find out what Skinner wants us for." 

"Did you know that you're a spoilsport Scully?" Mulder griped. 

"You can blame that one on the boss." She tossed over her shoulder as she headed for the bathroom. 


A.D. Skinner's Office.

7am Sunday. 

"I apologize for dragging you both out on a Sunday." Skinner glanced across at the two agents seated in front of the desk. He cast a critical eye over them, noting how tired they both looked. He shifted his focus back to Mulder and gazed at him speculatively. The agent whose long lean body usually lounged in the chair with a recalcitrant petulance was instead sitting on the edge of the seat, his shoulders hunched and his hands deep inside the pockets of his leather jacket. 

"I have had a call from ASAC Logan from the Albany office." Skinner shuffled a few papers on his desk. "Six months ago the bodies of two women were found near the small town of Gilbert Corners in upstate New York, both had been strangled. In the last three weeks, another four bodies have been discovered; the cause of death again is strangulation. Unfortunately, no headway has been made in determining who is behind the murders or what their motive is. He has requested the services of a profiler." 

"Sir!" Scully began. 

"I know Agent Scully, believe me I know." Skinner put up a hand to stall the petite agent's protests. "Regrettably, neither Mulder nor yourself are currently involved in anything that cannot be shelved for the foreseeable future."  

"May I Sir?" Mulder pulled one hand out of a pocket and gestured to the file in Skinner's hands. 

Skinner passed the folder across before leaning both elbows on the top of his desk. "This file contains a cursory background on the murders, all material pertaining to the case will be available on your arrival. You will report to ASAC Ryan Logan at the Saratoga Springs field office as soon as possible."  

"We haven't had any down time in nearly three weeks." Scully pointed out. "I know that Agent." Skinner nodded. "I fully expect both of you to take some time off once Mulder's presence on this case is no longer warranted. 

"All the deceased were prostitutes." Mulder took his eyes off the papers in front of him and looked up, he squinted against the light coming in the window behind Skinner and raised a hand to his temple. 

The Assistant Director narrowed his gaze. "Are you feeling all right Agent Mulder?" 

"Sir, Agent Mulder is..."  

"...feeling quite well, thank you for asking sir." Mulder finished Scully's statement. 

Skinner's eyebrows drew together into a distinct frown as he leaned back in his chair and silently observed his two agents. A faint look of concern, directed at her partner marred Scully's delicate features. Mulder oblivious to anything other than the material in his hands was frowning as he read through the file. The circles under his eyes were like dark smudges and despite the comfortable temperature of the office; the agent was wearing a thick sweater under his jacket.  Scully on the other hand dressed in jeans and a light pullover had shed her outer jacket within minutes of entering the room. 

Mulder closed the file and wordlessly handed it to Scully, plunging his hand back into his pocket. He closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. 

Scully lifted her eyes from the Medical Examiner's report and glanced across at her partner, a small frown marking her forehead. She shifted her gaze to Skinner and silently shook her head as the Assistant Director opened his mouth. "Did you tell ASAC Logan when we would be arriving?" 

"No Agent Scully, unfortunately unlike us, Kim actually gets a day off or I would have her arrange a flight for you, I assume you will need to return home to pack, whether you manage to catch a flight today or tomorrow morning is up to you." 

"Today." Mulder's monotone voice startled them both. 

"Why Mulder?"  

"He's still killing." Hazel eyes opened and settled on blue ones. 

"What makes you say that?" Skinner enquired. 

"I'm not..." Mulder pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers before heaving a sigh. "I just know." He finished, dropping his chin to his chest. 

Scully closed the file and leaned over placing her hand on Mulder's arm, he lifted his head squinting slightly.  

Skinner leaned back and observed his favorite pair of agents; he knew they were exhausted, both physically and emotionally and yet he had no choice but to send them out into another situation. He cleared his throat. "That will be all agents, please make sure that you keep me updated on what progress you make." 

"Yes sir." Scully rose to her feet, still maintaining a physical connection with her partner. "Come on Mulder, I'll toss you to see who gets to choose the accommodation." 

Clumsily Mulder struggled to his feet, a frown etched itself into Skinner's forehead as he observed the lanky agent. Usually the man moved with an unconscious grace, today his movements were slow as if he suffered from joint pain. "Scully?" He questioned softly. 

Turning back to meet her superiors worried expression, Scully nodded. "I'll be keeping a very close eye on him sir." 

Grunting his approval, he dismissed them with a quick jerk of his head waiting until the door closed behind them to turn his attention to the work stacked on his desk.  

Brougham Arms Motel

Saratoga Springs.

5.30pm Sunday 

Mother Nature was conspiring against them; Scully had come to that conclusion as soon as she saw that the weather had not improved, if anything it was raining harder and the temperature seemed cooler, enough to make her pull her coat more snugly around herself as she and Mulder exited the cab in front of their motel. The weather and Mulder's condition had strengthened her argument for stopping at the motel before going to the field office.  

She waited whilst Mulder tipped the cab driver then preceded him into the office, the bag containing her laptop in one hand and pulling her suitcase along behind her with the other. In short order they had signed in and presented with their keys, they dashed quickly through the torrents of rain to their room. 

The cold wind triggered a bout of sneezing that literally shook Mulder to the core as he closed the door to their room, he rubbed his nose with the back of his hand then mopped the stray raindrops from his face; furtively he wiped his hand on his coat stilling as he heard an exasperated voice behind him. 

"Use your handkerchief Mulder." 

He turned just as Scully tossed a surprisingly thick towel at him. "Give me your coat and dry your hair." 

Mulder shrugged out of his coat and rubbed the towel quickly over his head; he threw it on the end of the bed before running one hand through his semi-dry hair leaving it standing up in uneven tufts. Scully surveyed him with a smile before pointing at the bed. "Sit down Mulder." Once he was seated, she finger combed his hair back into place. Brushing the back of her hand across his forehead, she placed two fingers under his chin and lifted it until he was looking into her eyes. 

"You're a little bit warmer Mulder, how are you feeling?" 

"Oh you know." He shrugged. "A little bit more chewed up and spat out than before." He flexed the muscles in his shoulders until a faint crack sounded and swallowed past his scratchy throat. 

Scully turned to her suitcase. "I want you to take a couple of aspirin, it'll help keep any fever in check." 

Mulder's hand on her arm halted Scully's progress. "Not yet." 

"Mulder." She began. " You know you are sick, I know you are sick, my aim is to stop you from getting any sicker." 

"I know Scully and I promise as soon as we contact Logan and let him know we are here, you can dose me up with whatever you want." Privately Mulder wanted nothing more than to climb into a nice warm bed and just sleep, his head had begun to pound and his nose would not stop running. 

"All right." She nodded reluctantly as Mulder took his cell phone from his pocket. Scully moved about the room emptying their suitcases listening with one ear to Mulder's conversation. A sudden defensive tone to his voice brought her back to his side. 

"We are at the motel sir...no sir we arrived about ten minutes ago...no sir A.D. Skinner did not impart that information to us...tonight sir?...yes sir...the Brougham Arms Motel sir...yes sir." Mulder folded his phone, placed it back into his pocket, and met his partner's eyes.

"What did he have to say Mulder?" 

"Apart from a seemingly limited range of expletives, ASAC Logan's conversation consisted basically of get your asses over here now, we've been waiting all day for you." 

"But Skinner said..." 

"Obviously Skinner's interpretation differs drastically from Logan's." Mulder shrugged. "He is sending a car for us, to make sure we get there this time." 

"Great." Scully brushed her limp hair off her forehead. "Well ASAC Logan is going to have to cool his heels, I'm not going anywhere until I've had a shower and changed clothes." She raised an eyebrow speculatively as she turned towards the bathroom. "Are you coming, the steam will do you good." 

"Uh no, I thought I might go over the file again while we're waiting." 

'Your loss Mulder, just make sure when you change that you also put some dry socks on okay." 

Mulder nodded absently, his mind already concentrating on the slender folder in his hands. 


Saratoga Springs Field Office.

6.45pm Sunday. 

Mulder paused before the double doors leading into the conference room; he swiped a well-used handkerchief over his slowly reddening nose and straightened his tie. He graced Scully with a small smile before pushing the door open, allowing his partner to move ahead of him, he followed closely behind, his hand hovering at her lower back. 

The voices that they had heard from inside the room fell silent as they entered. A broad-shouldered man broke away from the group and approached them. Eyeing them through gold-rimmed glasses, a disdainful expression crossed his face. 

"Nice that you eventually showed up Agents, I didn't realize the concept of 'as soon as possible' would be foreign to you." 

His sarcastic manner ruffled Scully's feathers immediately; she opened her mouth to respond but was halted by a firm pressure to her upper arm. 

"Our apologies Sir, I can assure you that we made every endeavor to ensure a prompt arrival, if you would care to check the airline schedules, you will see that we caught the first available flight from Washington." 

"Yeah, whatever." Logan turned back to the other agents gathered around a large table. "I suppose you want to know who everyone is." He gestured vaguely with one hand. "Agents Sam Britten, Lance Stott, Pamela Neal, Jim Wilson and Phillip Drew, these are Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. Agent Mulder is a profiler, Agent Scully a forensic pathologist." 

An occasional nod of confirmation from each agent as his or her name was mentioned was the only indication of which name belonged to whom. Scully shook her head at Logan's attitude surprised that Mulder had kept his temper under control. She turned her attention back to the ASAC as he continued.

"So, finally we can start the briefing, Agent Britten will you give a general overview." 

A short middle-aged man stood and moved to the head of the table as Mulder and Scully took their seats. He pointed to a map pinned to the wall.  

"So far six bodies have been recovered, the first one a Marie Ives aged twenty-eight was discovered partly submerged in Black River six months ago, two days later thirty year old Alice Gibson's semi-nude body was found by a hiker half a mile upstream from the first body. Both women are known prostitutes and there had been no missing persons report filed." As each name was mentioned, the woman's picture was pointed out from the half dozen that were pinned to the wall. Mulder eyes roamed over each picture committing the names to memory along with the photos of the sites where the bodies were found. 

Britten picked up several folders and placed them in front of the Washington agents. "This is the case report and these are the M.E's reports on the bodies found." He returned to the map. "In the last three weeks we have had a total of four bodies found, Catherine Walley, twenty-two found face down in Kelsey Creek. Angela Parker, eighteen located on an island in the middle of Blue Mountain Lake. Jade King, twenty-one was discovered by children near the eastern lip of the lake. Finally, three days ago, an angler stumbled on thirty-two year old Caroline Worthington caught in some reeds about midway between the first two bodies. Again all the women were known prostitutes." 

Mulder slipped his glasses on and focused on the papers in front of him. Apparently, the fact that there seemed to be a serial killer running amuck in the small town had escaped the police department. It was only with the body of the third woman found that someone had begun to put the pieces together. The Gilbert's Corner Police Department finally acknowledged publicly that there could be a serial killer preying upon women whose lifestyles exposed them to danger. The local P.D. had talked to some of the women who were in the trade but with the discovery of the fourth body, they realized that they were going to need the co-operation of every prostitute. 

The police had sat in unmarked cars watching them and allowing them to ply their trade. The women had been uncertain about this arrangement not fully trusting that the police were not going to just arrest them. The word spread among the women to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior in the men who approached them. They were still nervous but not so much that they didn't still get into cars with johns. 

Several women had mentioned a station wagon with a damaged front fender that repeatedly cruised the area but when the vehicle was found the driver was discovered to be totally innocent.

With the public announcement, calls offering advice and tips had begun to flood in. Of the many responses, over one hundred had been phony leads apparently motivated by spurned lovers and women who wanted to harass their boyfriends and spouses. All of them had to be followed up tying up detectives and hundreds of man-hours. One tip had come in from an anonymous caller who identified the killer as 'J', however when the detectives had tried to follow up the lead, lack of information had relegated it in with the other crank calls. 

A few customers were questioned but those enquiries also led nowhere. The police had checked the files of known sexual predators who had been paroled but found nothing to indicate that any were in the area.

It became clear that the killer was familiar with the areas in which he dumped the bodies leading to the conclusion that he either hunted or fished in the vicinity, he also owned a vehicle because the dump sites were too far away to be reached on foot.

It seemed likely that the killer was also someone the murdered women had felt comfortable with. They appeared to have gone with him willingly despite the fact that they knew someone was targeting prostitutes for murder. 

Mulder read through all the reports listening with one ear to Agent Britten's droning voice.

Upon the discovery of the third corpse, all areas around or in the general vicinity of bodies of water had been searched. Even so, it had been members of the public who had found the remaining three bodies and not the police. 

Mulder cast a sideways look at Scully who seemed engrossed in Britten's report. He scanned the ME's report for each woman; they all bore the same type of marks on their necks, without a doubt made by human intervention and not by a ligature. It was obvious that they were looking for a reasonably large man with a wide hand span. As he was looking for any other factor that might link the women apart from their race and profession, a detail jumped out at him and he nudged his partner.  

Scully tipped her head towards Mulder as he spoke in an undertone. "Did you see the ME's report on what substance was in each woman's mouth?" When she shook her head in the negative he continued. "Semen, each and every woman had the residue in her mouth." 

"Mulder, they were prostitutes, the odds of that occurring is moderately high." 

"Yes, but according to the ME, it wasn't present anywhere else." 

"Haven't you heard of condoms partner?" 

"Agents Mulder and Scully?" ASAC Logan's voice cut sharply across Britten's. "Do you have something you wish to share with the rest of us?" 

Mulder looked up at the other man. "No Sir." 

Logan's hostility flowed off him in palpable waves. "I beg your pardon Agent." 

"I said no sir, at least not at this point in time." 

A scowl crossed the ASAC's face. "Very well, play your games then, but do you think you could do Agent Britten the courtesy of at least listening to what he was saying."

Scully ducked her head and hid a smile, she knew exactly what was coming, ASAC Logan did not know who was up against. 

"Sir, I have heard every word of Agent Britten's report." 

"Indeed." The derision in the ASAC's voice was patent. "It looked to me like you and Agent Scully were having yourself a private little meeting." 

The attention of everyone present in the room was focused on the two men, one gruff and imposing, the other quiet and earnest. 

Mulder leaned forward in his seat and fixed his gaze upon the other man. "I regret that you doubt my veracity in this matter sir, would you like me to repeat verbatim, everything Agent Britten has said. Of course that will undoubtedly add a great deal of time to this meeting, perhaps it would be better if I just list the salient points." He challenged. 

Scully jabbed an elbow into his ribs whispering. "Mulder, play nice." 

Logan was astute enough to recognize when he was outclassed. He directed his attention back to Agent Britten and urged him to continue ignoring the two Washington agents for the rest of the meeting. Eventually, after everyone had given their report, Logan stood and addressed the assembled agents. 

"Right, that'll do for tonight, I want everyone back here for seven am tomorrow morning and I do mean everyone." He gave Mulder a pointed look before stalking out of the room. 

The atmosphere in the room was tense; slowly the other agents began to gather their belongings until an exclamation broke the silence. "Ah shit, I don't know what bug flew up Logan's butt, however I can assure you we weren't all cast from the same mould." 

Mulder and Scully turned back to face the agent whom had spoken, he was a fairly short man barely making it to five-foot-eight without shoes. Blond hair that looked permanently windblown topped a face with sober brown eyes. He held his hand out to Mulder. "Phillip Drew, sorry that Logan let you have it like that, he's had the press jumping all over him for a week now." 

Scully thought it was a fairly poor excuse for the ASAC's behavior, but kept her opinion to herself. Her main concern was Mulder's health and getting him back to their hotel was a top priority. "Thank you Agent Drew, Agent Mulder and I both appreciate your apology." She allowed a smile to cross her face. "Do you think we could impose on you to arrange for a ride back to our hotel, we haven't had time to rent a car yet." 

Agent Drew nodded. "No problem, you're staying at the Brougham Arms aren't you?" 

"Yes, that's correct." Scully nodded. 

"Okay, I can drop you both off on the way." 

Mulder began to voice his thanks, but his words were cut off by a bout of harsh coughing. The other occupants of the room looked on in concern as he leaned against a table for support. 

"That's it Mulder." Scully gripped his arm. "You need to get some rest." 

"You're not gonna get an argument from me about that partner." Mulder's head had begun to throb and the thought of getting off his feet was greatly appealing.


Brougham Arms Motel.



Mulder shivered and pulled the blanket further up around his ears, a fierce thirst had woken him sometime earlier but after crawling back into bed, he found himself unable to get comfortable. All his joints seemed to ache, no matter which way he laid in the bed.

Eventually, concern over disturbing Scully with his tossing and turning prompted him to get up; a bone deep feeling of coldness assailed him as he moved away from the bed, quickly pulling on a pair of sweatpants and a warm pullover he angled the desk lamp away from Scully's side of the room and began working on his profile. 

An hour or so later, he removed his glasses and winced at the headache that was rapidly building behind his eyes. He felt a light touch on his shoulder and turned his head to meet Scully's concerned face. 

"How long have you been up?" She asked. 

"Dunno, a little while, couldn't sleep." Mulder rubbed at his temples. 

"Head hurt?" 

"Yeah, and every other joint I own has gone out in sympathy." 

Scully walked over to her carry on bag and rummaged around before returning to Mulder's side. "Take these, they should help with your head."  

"What are they?" 

"Tylenol 3, you've had them before." 

Mulder sighed and took the tablets swallowing them with the aid of the water Scully placed in front of him. He closed his eyes and tipped his head back.  

Scully sat down in the chair next to him and waited, after several minutes with no movement from her partner, she reached out and brushed the hair away from his eyes.

"I'm not asleep." He murmured. 

"I know, your breathing was wrong." 

Mulder opened one eye and peered at his partner. "What do you mean it was wrong?" 

"When a person sleeps, their body adjusts the oxygen flow, they breathe deeper and slower. You were still breathing normally." 

"Your powers of observation never fail to amaze me Scully." 

"I've had plenty of practice Mulder." She chided. 

Ducking his head in discomfiture, Mulder shuffled the papers in front of him. "I was working on my profile but I need your medical expertise." 

"You should be trying to get some sleep." Scully covered his hand with her smaller one.  

"I will, these tablets are gonna knock me out before too long." 

Scully considered his statement before crossing her arms. "Okay, what do you need help with?" 

"Remember what I was telling you about the semen residue in the woman's mouths?" 

"Yes and I recall saying that they are prostitutes." 

"I know Scully, but as prostitutes, don't you think that they would be first and foremost concerned with protecting themselves from STD's. Not that I have had any experience personally, but I would imagine that the primary consideration of a professional woman would be that of her own safety. The fact that six murdered prostitutes in the same small town all had evidence of having had unprotected oral sex with someone defies the law of averages." Mulder's hoarse voice grew thoughtful. "Unless...." 

"What?" Scully pressed. 

"What if, he strangled them first and then had oral sex." 


Mulder turned away and coughed into his hand. "I know what it is Scully." He wheezed. "But it also explains why there were no traces of semen anywhere else." 

"So what you're saying is that the unsub has necrophiliac tendencies?" 

"It's possible, does the ME's report say anything about stomach contents?" 

Scully flipped to the appropriate page in the folder she was holding; quickly she perused the writing before laying the paper down and moving on to the next folder. She repeated the same action six times before looking across at her partner. "I think you're on to something Mulder, the report makes no mention of semen in the stomach of the bodies but there are small traces in the gullet of three of the women." She folded her hands over the report. "You know I can't believe that I dismissed your theory out of hand, I was typecasting those women because of their occupation." 

Mulder shook his head." It's easy enough to do Scully. I've done it before and I'll probably do it again, it's part of being human I guess." He referred back to his notes. "I'm thinking that the logical conclusion to this fact would be that after he strangled the women, he had oral sex." He peered over the top of his glasses. "Is there any way to confirm that they were dead before the act was performed?" 

"No I don't think so." Scully shook her head. 

Mulder sighed deeply, he felt a bead of perspiration trickle between his eyebrows and irritably he swiped it away. Pushing up the sleeves on his sweater, he leaned back in the chair and settled his eyes on Scully. "I'm tired." He announced pulling his glasses off and dropping them on the table. "And I'm hot." 

That declaration brought Scully to her feet, holding her hand against his forehead, she frowned at the heat emanating from his skin. "Your temperature is way up." Pursing her lips at the flush on his face and the dark shadows under his eyes, she instructed him to stay put while she retrieved a thermometer from her bag.

When Scully returned to Mulder's side, she found him sprawled over the table, his head resting on his arms. "Mulder, open up." 

"Aw, do I have to." A distinct whine had crept into his husky voice. 

"Yes you do." Quickly Scully slid the tube between his lips before pressing her fingertips to the pulse in his wrist. 

"I feel awful Scully."  

"Sshh, I know." She soothed softly. When the low beep of the thermometer sounded, Scully checked the readout. "101.7 Mulder, congratulations you officially have the flu." 

A series of muffled words that sounded conspicuously like cursing erupted from the man slouched on the table. After a moment he raised his head, bloodshot eyes squinting in the light. "Are you sure?" He mumbled. 

"Let's see, symptoms of the flu are a fever, check; headache, definitely; general aches and pains, I'd say that's a yes; exhaustion, unquestionably, cough and chest discomfort..." Scully paused as Mulder broke into a set of sharp coughs, his hand pressed to the middle of his chest. "...indisputably. Mulder, you need to be home in bed." 

"I agree Scully." Mulder panted between words. "But I can't."

"Consideration of your health should be paramount, if you're not very careful, this could develop into pneumonia. Mulder, the FBI can always find another profiler, but there's only one you." Scully crouched down beside her partner. "And I want to keep you." 

"I'm always gonna be yours Scully, but you know how it is, I have to finish this."  

Reluctantly Scully agreed with her partner. "All right, but I've got conditions." 

"Uh oh." 

"Well may you joke Mulder, but I am primarily concerned with the state of your health. Seeing as you insist on continuing to work on this case, I'm going to insist on being in charge of your day to day welfare." 

Mulder frowned. "I had a mother Scully, I don't need another one." 

"I know that sweetheart, and I'm not attempting to be your mother. What I am going to do however is keep a very close eye on you, if I think you are working too hard to the further detriment of your health, I reserve the right to pull you into line. If that means I think you need a rest, then you will have one." Scully held up her hand as Mulder opened his mouth to argue. "No, don't even try and push me on this, if I wanted to, as your primary physician, I could override your wishes and haul your ass back home." She smiled as a shocked look passed across his face. "I know what's going to happen, you'll get so deep into this profile, that you won't eat, you won't sleep unless you collapse from exhaustion and I get the feeling that ASAC Logan isn't going to give one damn what happens to you as long as you catch the unsub." Scully's torrent of words came to an end. 

Mulder stared open-mouthed at Scully for a moment before a smile lit his face. "Have I mentioned recently that I love you?" He took her small hand and pressed his lips against the knuckles. 

"Hmm, I believe I heard something like that not too long ago, I suppose it could have been you." She smiled.  

"It better not have been Frohike again." 

Scully's eyes twinkled. "You know, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that it was someone I'm on very familiar terms with." 

Mulder grinned and then yawned suddenly. "I think those pills are finally kicking in." 

"Good, you should have just enough time for a nice warm shower." 

"By myself?" Mulder arched an eyebrow. 

"Well I had one when we got back to the motel." Scully tried to hide a smile. 

"But, don't you think it would be a good idea to keep an eye on me, you know just in case I get really tired and fall asleep in the shower." Mulder suggested eagerly. 

"Mmm, good idea. Wouldn't want you getting all shriveled now." 

"I don't think I'm going to have a chance to get shriveled." Mulder climbed stiffly to his feet and held his hand out.  

Scully eyed him thoughtfully. "You know, I believe with certainty that in a little while there is going to be at least part of your anatomy that will be shriveled." 

"Oh really." Mulder lowered his head and nipped at her neck. "Which part would that be?" 

Pulling him along behind her, Scully smiled. "Follow me and I'll give you a hands on demonstration."  

Mulder moaned in anticipation as they reached the bathroom. "Oh Scully, you know what I like." 



Saratoga Springs Field Office.

Monday 10.15am 

The early morning briefing had provided negligible information for Mulder to add to his profile; both he and Scully had listened to the reports presented by the other agents without offering any comments. Currently, they were reviewing the statements of several other professional women in the hope that something more may come to light.  

Mulder had his elbows propped on the table, the fingers on his left hand rubbing unconsciously back and forth across his temple; his right hand occupied twirling a pencil in circles. If it had not been for the fact that he occasionally jotted things down on his notepad, the Saratoga Springs agents could have assumed that he was in a world of his own. 

ASAC Logan sat at the head of the table; glowering as each agent in turn reported their findings. As Agent Stott's narrative drew to a close, he focused his attention on the two from D.C.  "Do you have anything you want to say Agent Mulder?" 

Mulder's pencil twirling stopped, but he did not look up. "I want to view the dump sites."  

"What the hell for?" Logan growled in reply. "Everything has been photographed and documented, you've seen the files, I assume you've read the forensic reports. 

Mulder glanced up at the other man "I need to get a feeling of what the unsub was thinking when he dumped the bodies, why he chose those locations." 

"In case you hadn't noticed Agent Mulder, it's raining, heavily, it's been doing that for over a week now. Any evidence that might have been left, has undoubtedly been washed away by now. What on earth do you hope to find?" 

"I'm not interested in the evidence, I'm interested in the actual site itself. How difficult it was for him to dump the body, what access was like. Whether there are any commonalities between the sites." Mulder replied. 

"They're all located near bodies of water, that's the commonality that's staring you in the face." Logan sneered. 

Mulder took a deep breath. "I know that sir, but I still need to see them for myself." 

The ASAC waved his hand in dismissal. "Sure go ahead, knock yourself out, don't pay attention to the people who have been working their asses off on this case for weeks. You obviously know better than all of us." He climbed to his feet and stalked towards the door, stopping as he reached Mulder's seat. "I asked Washington for a profiler, I expected to get someone who would do a professional job. Instead I get you and your partner, she hardly says anything at all and you, you come in here, coughing and sneezing and acting like a prima donna. I don't like it but I'm stuck with you." He wrenched the door open and slammed it shut behind him. 

A shocked silence filled the room; the local agents had never seen their ASAC behave like this. Mulder stared down at his notepad in embarrassment only lifting his head when he felt Scully move beside him. "What are you doing?" He whispered. 

"I'm going to have a word with ASAC Logan." She replied tightly, anger plainly written across her face. 

"Please don't Scully, just leave it." He grabbed her hand to stop her from moving. 

"I can't Mulder, his attitude towards us is unfair to say the very least." Her voice rose slightly. 

"It's not our call to criticize a senior agent's attitude."  

"It may not be your call, but I sure as hell am going to do something about it." A tall stocky man Scully recognized as Jim Wilson pushed his chair noisily back. He moved swiftly to the door, his exit nowhere as near as forceful as the previous one. 

Mulder pressed both hands to his forehead; his head was thumping so loudly he thought it a wonder that no one else could hear it. A couple of the other agents noticed his actions and exchanged nervous glances with each other. Scully become aware of their attention and sank back into her seat. "Mulder are you okay?" 

"Headache." He grunted. 

She reached into her purse and extracted a foil packet of tablets. "Would someone get me some water please?" She asked. A few seconds later an unopened bottle of water was placed in front of her. Scully nodded her thanks and popped two tablets into her hand. "I want you to take these Mulder, they'll help your headache." She watched as he swallowed the medication and thirstily gulped more than half the bottle of water.  

Agent Pamela Neal crouched down beside Scully. "Is Agent Mulder all right?" She enquired. "He looks like he should be home in bed." 

Scully smiled at the soft voiced woman. "I totally agree with you, but unfortunately Agent Mulder has a different opinion." 

"I've got a cold and I've never heard of anyone being killed by one Scully." Mulder grouched in a rasping tone. 

"You've got the flu Mulder which is totally different from a cold." She corrected.  

"Cold, flu, they both make you feel like shit." His comment drew a smile from the others in the room. "I can do more here though than I can if I'm in bed." 

"What were you saying about viewing the dump sites Agent Mulder?" Philip Drew enquired. 

"I find it easier to get a feel for the unsub if I can view where the bodies were situated." Mulder paused at the looks of confusion. "It's hard to explain, but it's almost as if I'm putting a jigsaw together and I have to look at all the pieces. That consists of the victims, any commonalities, forensic evidence and the dumping sites."  

"Pam would probably be the best choice for showing you the sites in that case." Drew nodded at his fellow agent. "She was first on the scene in the majority of the incidents." 

Mulder seemed infused with a new supply of energy, his headache either relieved or forgotten. "We should head out now, is that okay?" 

"I'm coming with you Mulder." Scully announced. 

"Um, we need to make a detour past your motel first." Pam Neal, bit her bottom lip as she looked at Scully's tight skirt and high heels. "Those shoes won't last once we get to the river. In fact if you happened to pack boots and jeans, I'd suggest you both wear them, I will be." 

Mulder shrugged. "Suits me. Lead on Agent Neal."



Kelsey Creek.



The rain was coming down hard enough to soak everyone thoroughly. Reaching under the hood of her borrowed rain slicker, Scully pushed her limp hair back out of her eyes as she gamely tried to keep up with the other agents and their overlong strides. Mud stuck to the soles of her boots and had splashed up the legs of her jeans, which were soaking wet from her hips on down. Scully was determined to make this site the last for the day, Mulder looked to be in no better condition than she was and it occurred to her that he was probably running on pure stubbornness by now. 

They reached the lip of the creek bank and looked down to the water, normally Kelsey Creek was moderately shallow, however the past week of rain had swollen it until it now resembled a small river. Agent Neal pointed out the approximate area where Catherine Walley's body had been found. Mulder stood for a moment his hands on his hips and surveyed the area.  

"I'm going to get a closer look." He announced taking a cautious step down the muddy bank. Mulder's feet sank deeper into the mud the further down the slope he went, as he looked back over his shoulder at Scully standing at the top, he misplaced his left foot and it skated out from underneath him. He slid halfway down the hill, his arms whirling frantically as he tried to keep his balance.  

Scully stood at the top of the rise, she was so sick of the rain and being wet, her feet squished wetly inside her boots and all she wanted to do was go home, get dry and warm and curl up into bed, preferably with a dry and warm Mulder by her side.

She looked around heartily sick of the sight of dripping foliage, branches heavy with rain bowed down to the ground. Focusing her attention back on her partner, she gasped as she saw him sliding down the muddy bank.  

Mulder grasped recklessly at scanty clumps of grass trying to halt his inexorable slide down the hill, he jammed the heels of his boots into the mud, but all that did was shift his balance and he tumbled head over heels down the bank ending up laying flat on his back at the bottom, his arms flung out beside him. Looking up into the heavy gray overcast sky, he blinked as the rain smacked him in the face. 

"Mulder, don't move!" Scully's worried voice cried from above him. 

Don't move, who was she kidding? Mulder's heart beat madly in his chest as he concentrated on making sure all his limbs were still where they belonged. Over the top of the noise from the churning creek and the relentless slap of the rain on the ground he could hear movement behind him. "Mulder, are you okay?" Breathlessly Scully dropped to her knees beside him, the soft squelch of mud cushioning her hurried movements. 

"Yeah I think so." He responded, moving slightly in an attempt to sit up. 

"No, don't move. I want to check you out, you might have done some damage." She peered into both his eyes, satisfied with what she found she ran her hands firmly down his neck and over his ribs. 

"Scully, I'm fine." Mulder protested. "The only thing I damaged was my pride." He lifted his head and glanced down at his mud-encrusted clothing. "And my wardrobe." He sighed plaintively. 

Scully ignored his claim and continued her examination, first one arm then the other. Pressing her fingers lightly against his belly, she sighed in relief when he showed no signs of tenderness. Finally she quickly checked both his legs for broken bones before moving back up to his side. "I would have expected some injuries after that tumble you took." She eased a hand behind his neck as Mulder pushed himself to a sitting position. 

A sudden shiver rocked his frame as he lifted his hands and flicked the mud from them. "Soft landing I guess." Carefully he pushed himself to his feet, Scully supporting him from one side. The sound of splashing footsteps reached them over the background roar of the creek and the endless rain. 

"Agent Scully, Agent Mulder!" Pam Neal's voice carried through from the dense growth along the creek bank. She pushed her way through the heavy branches, a smile of relief lighting her face. The smile quickly gave way to an expression of dismay as she caught sight of the two mud-spattered agents. "Oh my, are you both okay?" 

"Just peachy." Mulder scratched at his cheek leaving a streak of dirt behind.  

Scully gave up her efforts at trying to scrape some of the muck off her clothes. "I think we both need a shower and a change of clothes." She sighed. 

"I'm not gonna argue with logic like that." Mulder added. 

They made their way back to their vehicle along the path that Agent Neal had found, it took them a little out of their way but at least they didn't have to try and clamber back up the embankment. Several moments were spent in determining the best way to keep as much mud as possible out of the car before Scully decided the best solution was to turn their rain jackets inside out.

They rode back to the hotel in silence; the only sounds were the squeak of the windshield wipers and the tires hissing on the wet road. Mulder stared out the window as the rain-drenched trees zipped past. Scully did not bother him, she could tell by the faraway look in his eyes that his mind was hard at work fitting pieces together. She just reached out and laid her hand on his. 

After thirty minutes, Agent Neal peered worriedly into the rear seat. "Everything okay back there?" 

Scully turned her gaze away from her contemplation of the gray skies and smiled at the younger woman. "We're fine thanks." 

Neal stole a slightly longer look at her unresponsive partner before turning her attention back to the road. "You're sure?" 

Scully caught the direction of the agent's look. "I know it doesn't seem like it, but believe me, Agent Mulder is very hard at work." 

"Okaay." Neal's drawn out response was swimming with disbelief.  

Scully smiled softly at the amount of skepticism that Neal had managed to infuse into that one word. She knew probably better than anyone else the amount of information that Mulder was working through as he sat there oblivious to anything or anyone around him.

Absently she began to stroke the back of his hand before returning to her study of the sky. 


Brougham Arms Motel




"No Mulder, not tonight." 

"But Scully..." A hint of peevishness colored his tone. 

Scully took a deep breath and moved across the room to sit next to the man who was her life and her love but at this particular moment reminded her of her nephew when he was about four years old. "No buts about it, you don't need to go back to the office tonight, you have files here if you absolutely have to work, although I wish you wouldn't." She reached over and brushed the hair from his eyes. "I'm going to pop down to the restaurant and order us some dinner, is there anything you feel like?" 

Mulder rolled his head on his shoulders and shrugged. "No, not really, whatever." 

"Hmm, I'm not sure if they serve whatever, but I'll see what I can do." She bestowed a quick kiss on his temple and grabbed the room keys from the table. "I'll be back as soon as I can." 

"I'll be here." Mulder mumbled as she left the room. The moment the door shut, he moved across to the small round table where the files had been placed, he glanced through a couple until he found what he wanted and without conscious thought began to pace as he reread the material inside. He had made a dozen or so laps of the room before he straightened and grabbed a notepad and pencil. He gave a moments thought to clearing away the files so he could spread his notes out at the table before the empty space of the bed caught his eye. Stretching out on the bed, he propped himself on one elbow and began to scrawl across the paper. It wasn't long before the days exertions caught up to him however and the words began to swim before his eyes. As his body began to shut down from fatigue, the pencil rolled out of his fingers, unable to summon the energy to pick it up again, Mulder laid his head down and dropped into a well-earned sleep. 

The heat built until it was all encompassing; feebly he tossed his head, searching for relief. Reaching deeply into a hidden reserve of strength, he forced his fingers to move, gripping weakly at his shirt pulling it up and away from his burning torso. Sudden blessed cool air assailed him, giving him an instants clarity, enough time to unzip and remove his trousers, exulting as he felt the sweat evaporate with each inch of skin that was revealed. 

"I can make you feel so much better." A light voice whispered from somewhere on his left. 

"Mmm...get Scully." His  words were hoarse and breathless. 

"Let me look after you." A face framed in curly dark hair swam into view. Brown eyes that were dull and lifeless stared at him. "I know what you want." 

"Want Scullee." Mulder moaned. 

The sweat that covered him had evaporated fully and he now felt uncomfortably cool. His fingers plucked uselessly at the sheet unable to draw any covering over his now shivering body. 

"Come now, this will warm you up." 

Mulder gasped as he felt movement around his groin, sudden moist warmth enveloped him and he threw his head back in surprise, his eyes fluttering shut. 

"See, I told you it would make you feel better." 

Mulder lifted his head, glancing down the length of his body to where a dark curly head was working over his crotch. 

"What...what..?" Blood rushed through his head rendering him incapable of completing the sentence. 

An incredible feeling blossomed from deep within and Mulder arched his back crying out. 

"You want more don't you? I can give you so much more."  The mouth was wrapped warmly around his penis, a tongue stroking him and a whimper left his lips. Then he could feel a long slow suction as she moved from base to tip and then back again. A hand cradled his testicles rubbing them slowly between two fingers and God yes, he wanted more. 

His hands moved of their own volition, past his waist, fingers brushing against skin and hair; and then he was moving, breath rasping thickly through his open mouth, his hips snapping up and down. 

"Scullee...." He groaned heavily, clenching his hands tightly, forcing himself deeper and deeper within the mouth giving him so much gratification. He dropped his hands lower, feeling them surround a slender neck and then as his ecstasy began to build to a crescendo, he began to squeeze. 

Mulder's fingers gripped tighter, forcing a sound of distress from the lips wrapped around him. His eyes snapped open and he stared coldly down as the woman lifted her dull heavy eyes to meet his. He could feel his fingers digging into the bones at the back of her neck and his vision blurred as his pleasure soared towards its culmination 

Eager to see her face as he spilled his release into her, Mulder blinked rapidly. His heart stuttered in horror as he found himself staring into blue eyes, not brown, his hands buried in rich red tresses. The blue eyes gazed miserably back at him, lips stretched obscenely around his cock. 

"No!" He gasped as everything shrank and narrowed around him. He pulled his knees up and thrust his hands out in front of him as a violent shudder spasmed through his body. 

"Wake up Mulder." A soft voice that he knew so well crooned in his ear. "Come on it's okay." 

But it was not okay, he had forced himself onto her, into her and then had tried to strangle her. It would never be okay. As another shudder coursed through him, he forced his eyes open meeting a pair of sympathetic blue ones. Revulsion at his actions overwhelmed Mulder and he jerked away as Scully reached out her hand. 

"I'm sorry...I didn't know." He choked hoarsely. "I'm so sorry..." 

"Mulder, you haven't done anything." Scully spoke quietly. 

He flinched sharply at her words and moved further across the bed widening the distance between them. "How can you say that..." His eyes sought hers and he stared into their blue depths waiting for her to admit that he had defiled her. 

"Because it's the truth." 

"But I saw you, my hands were..." His breath hitched as he verbalized his perceived assault. "I forced myself...into you and...I was squeezing..." Mulder's words came to a gasping halt, his chest heaving as he pressed both hands over his face. "Oh God Scully, what have I done?" 

"Mulder, listen to me, it was a bad dream, nothing more." She reached out and gently touched his arm. When he didn't shy away, she moved her fingers slowly up to his shoulder and across to where his hands covered his face. "Mulder, can you look at me?" 

Gradually he lowered his hands but turned his face away. Small shivers raced though his body and he felt heavy with lassitude.  

"Mulder, I need you to look at me." She took his chin and tenderly turned his face towards hers. "Look Mulder, you haven't hurt me." With one hand, Scully lifted her hair and turned her head to show him her neck. 

There were no marks, no finger shaped bruises, nothing at all. Mulder swallowed and hesitantly reached his hand out allowing Scully to press it against her neck. Wonderingly, Mulder smoothed his fingers around the slender column of flesh and then up until they rested across her smiling lips. An anguished cry escaped him and he flung himself into her arms.  

"Hush now." Scully soothed, running her hands lightly up and down his sweat dampened shirt. 

His words interspersed with sobs, Mulder choked out his distress. "I was him...I...I...she asked him if she could...and I...he didn't stop her but when he got...close, he put my...his fingers around her neck and I could feel...it was so good...I was so close to...but then when I looked it wasn't her anymore it was...it...her face was yours and I...I nearly..." His words trailed off into ragged breathing. 

Scully reached up and trailed her fingers through his thick hair, gradually with each caress; she could feel the taut muscles easing. She shifted her center of gravity and pushed Mulder back so he was laying on the bed, she leaned on an elbow and continued stroking the soft strands with a gentle intensity. Reddened eyes slid closed for a moment over tear-spiked eyelashes and he took a long breath.  "I was dreaming?"  

"Yes, you were." Scully answered.  

"More of a nightmare than a dream." He said softly moving closer until his body was pressed against hers. 

Scully gazed into Mulder's sleep-heavy eyes, she moved slightly pressing her lips softly to his forehead then to each temple. She moved down a little further, nuzzling his cheek, feeling the beginning rasp of his beard. She brushed her lips lightly over his chin and then finally settled against his lush full lips.

Their kiss was deep and full of promise. A promise that Scully knew would not be fulfilled tonight. She could feel Mulder slowly fading into sleep, a dreamless, healing sleep she prayed.

She reached up and gently stroked the hair at his temple, marveling at the texture as she watched his eyes slide shut and gradually the deep line between his eyebrows that had seemed to be a permanent fixture, faded and disappeared. 

She eased off the bed and carefully pulled the coverlet up over his shoulders. Turning away from the bed, she remembered the food she had placed on the table; she considered waking Mulder and getting some sustenance into him but then decided that he needed his sleep more. Besides she reminded herself, Mulder was the king of reheated takeaway and would no doubt enjoy it just as much in the morning as he would now. Feeling the weight of the day upon her shoulders, Scully settled herself with her own notes and a heaping plateful of mouth-watering mandarin chicken. 




The repetitive clink of cutlery against china woke Scully from a deep sleep; opening her eyes, she found the other side of the bed empty. She rolled over to find Mulder sitting at the table shoveling food into his mouth with one hand while making notes with the other.

Sensing movement he turned and graced Scully with a wide smile. "Mornin'."  

Leaning back against the headboard, she returned his greeting. "How are you feeling this morning?" 

"I'm fine." Mulder stopped scooping food into his mouth long enough to answer her question. "I feel good actually." He went back to his breakfast. "This is terrific Scully, what is it?"

Heartened to see her partner eating more food in one sitting than he had in the past two days, Scully forwent the urge to tell him not to talk with his mouth full. Instead she climbed out of bed and padded across the floor to his side. "You've got Cantonese Beef and Hokkien Noodles." She wrinkled her nose. "It was nice last night, how you can eat it for breakfast is beyond me." 

"You got to learn to expand your horizons, day after takeaway is one of man's greatest inventions." 

Scully felt a shudder ripple through her as she watched him eat. "I'll pass thanks Mulder." She reached out and touched her hand to his forehead. "Your temperature feels normal." 

"Told you, I feel good." 

"How long have you been up for." Scully stifled a yawn. 

"An hour or so I think, enough time to make some decent headway on my profile." 

"Did you see the notes I was working on last night?" 

"Mmm hmm, I never knew you were acquainted with so many facts about semen Scully." 

"Ugh Mulder, that is so not something I want to talk about before I've had coffee." 

Mulder looked up from chasing a stray noodle. "What do you want first, coffee or shower?" 

As tempted as she was by the thought of a caffeine hit, Scully decided on a shower first. She would have preferred a bath to soak away yesterdays mud but another shower this morning should go a long way to making her feel reasonably presentable again. 

"A hot shower I think." 

"Okay, don't be too long, we have a briefing in an hour." 



Saratoga Springs Field Office.




Mulder cleared his throat again as he swept his eyes over the assembled agents. His gaze rested on ASAC Logan for a fraction of a second longer than the others but apart from an unblinking stare, the man showed no reaction at all.

"I'm sure you realize that profiling is not an exact science, but it is a useful tool when used in conjunction with the more standard investigative techniques. Having said that I would also like to point out that the groundwork that every member of this team and the police department has put in has not only made my job easier, but I am hoping has also saved the lives of any future victims." Mulder paused and took several swallows from the bottle of water on the table behind him. 

"As you are all aware, prostitute murders are not unusual, a disgruntled john, a cheated pusher, an angry pimp, almost anyone could have committed these murders. Prostitution is a high-risk occupation with a low risk of discovery for whomever decides to target such women for murder.

"Prostitutes have always been a favorite among serial killers; Jack the Ripper is a prime example. Why? Prostitutes are easy prey, they are easily accessible, will talk to anyone who is a potential target and go with that person without knowing who he is. 

"What we are looking at is a man who has a hatred of prostitutes, where did this hatred come from? Several possibilities arise; he was involved with a woman who prostituted herself for some reason, maybe he believes that prostitutes are committing a sin by charging money for something that God has given freely to woman and man, perhaps it is displaced anger at his mother or his wife. 

"There are three base motives of the serial killer, domination, manipulation and control. The killer may have felt inadequate and inferior but when he was killing his victims, they were completely under his control. 

"What was his motivation, prostitutes are intrinsically connected to sex and they openly flaunt their sex which may somehow tie into the killers fantasies." 

While Mulder finished off his water, Scully took the opportunity to observe her fellow agents, they were all engrossed in what Mulder was saying, even ASAC Logan, she discovered when she covertly glanced his way. 

Mulder recommenced speaking, this time he began to pace back and forth in front of the long table where the evidence and photos were displayed. "I have a rudimentary profile, it is not complete but it may help us in looking at things in a new light." His voice had developed a distinctive husky sound but he continued on nevertheless. "Our unsub is male, obviously, he is between the ages of fifty and sixty-five years. I believe him to be unmarried but perhaps living in a de-facto relationship and I also believe that in his past, he did something or something was done to him involving water of some kind." Mulder's voice died on his last words and he began coughing. Scully moved to his side and placed a gentle hand on his back. 

"I'm okay." He rasped breathlessly, reaching for the empty water bottle. 

Scully flicked her eye across to the seated agents in an unspoken request; Jim Wilson was first to his feet. The other agents took his movement as a signal to start asking questions. 

"How did you work out the age of the unsub?" 

"I'll refer that question to Agent Scully, who knows much more about this subject than I do." Mulder croaked out. 

"Thank you Agent Mulder." Scully replied dryly. She collected her notes and waited until Agent Wilson had returned with some bottles of water before commencing. "As a forensic pathologist, I deal in the evidence side of crimes. A dead body can impart an absolutely astonishing amount of information if you look in the right places. In this case, after strangling his victims the unsub treated himself to oral sex." She smiled at the varied responses from around the table. "I know, I had the same reaction, however because of that particular deed we were able to extract from the evidence he left behind some interesting information." Scully paused and gave a small smile. "I apologize in advance for the subject matter." She took a deep breath before continuing. "A males ejaculate is made up of the fluid that supports the sperm. Besides sperm, semen is made up of fluids, sixty-five percent from the seminal vesicles, thirty to thirty-five percent from the prostate and five percent from the vasa. It contains citric acid, free amino acids, fructose, enzymes phosphorycholine, prostaglandin, potassium and zinc. The amount of ejaculate produced can vary from a few drops to a couple of teaspoons." There were a few mumbled comments at this revelation and Scully shot Mulder a quick glance. He was leaning back against the table, water bottle in hand and smiling widely. 

She cleared her throat and continued. "The volume of ejaculate can differ due to many things, low hydration, excessive ejaculation and age. However the production of sperm is governed by age. Sperm motility reduces by point zero seven percent every year; that means by age fifty; the motility has reduced by fifty percent. Our unsub has a sperm motility rate of forty-seven percent, which therefore puts him in an age bracket of over fifty and under sixty-five." 

Scully relinquished the floor and took her seat. Once again Mulder swept his gaze across the agents. "For the time being we can only continue to review all information pertaining to this case until it is solved. I need to be kept up to date with any new facts, no matter how trivial they may seem. With any luck we will get a break, remember more often than not it is something small and insignificant which can turn the tide in our favor. Your job is to find these pieces and my job is to put everything together into a cohesive report that will hopefully identify our killer. I thank you for your time and attention this morning." 

Several questions were immediately fired at the D.C. agents; they both answered the ones pertaining to their respective expertise until finally Mulder's voice gave out altogether. At that point, ASAC Logan stood up. 

"Thank you agents for your reports, everyone has their assignments, barring any breaks in the case, we will meet again tomorrow morning at seven-thirty." With that announcement, Logan turned on his heel and stalked out of the room.

Scully narrowed her eyes at the retreating ASAC before she turned to Mulder. The expressive shrug of his shoulders was all the answer she received until she heard someone clearing their throat. 

They both turned to see Jim Wilson behind them. His hands were shoved deep into his trouser pockets. "I've known Ryan for a while and if I've learned something about him, it's that he is extremely frank with his opinions, regardless of whether he is right of wrong, he says what he believes. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he was fair in his treatment of you, but he is a damn good ASAC." Wilson held up his hand to stem Scully's retort. "I'm sorry you both got the reception from him that you did."  

"You shouldn't be apologizing on his behalf." Scully declared. 

Wilson shrugged his shoulders in deprecation. "In all the time that I've known Ryan Logan, not once have I ever seen or heard of him apologizing to anyone." He met their eyes with a rueful look before turning and walking away. 





Scully pushed her sleeve back and peered tiredly at her watch; they had been in Saratoga Springs for a little over a week and the days had taken on a doleful air of repetition. She leaned back and looked at her partner across the room. His head was resting on one hand as he read over the hundreds of pages of reports that had been generated by the killer dubbed as The River Strangler by the towns press. As she watched his head slowly began to sink before he jerked himself upright again. Scully sighed in resignation and pushed herself away from the table as Mulder repeated the act. Making her way over to his side she braced herself for his inevitable reaction to the suggestion that he call it quits for the night. She knew what his response would be, somewhere in the paperwork that was spread out in front of him was the clue they were looking for and he knew he would find it if she would just let him be.

Frustration had made him moody and irritable. The tension in his bowed shoulders was noticeable. Scully knew his temperature would be on the rise again, he wasn't sleeping well, his appetite was virtually non-existent and he had also been afflicted by a nasty case of laryngitis. She suspected it was the latter that was generating his foul temper; Mulder was not as a rule a loquacious person but when confronted with the incapability of talking in anything more than a whisper, his patience had worn thin very quickly. 

The conference room door opened before she reached her partner, ASAC Logan stepped into the room, his eyes immediately going to where the agent sat hunched over the table.

Scully cursed under her breath and quickly completed the steps necessary to bring her to Mulder's side in moral support. Logan looked up as Scully drew near, he showed no reaction to her presence other than a slight narrowing of his eyes. Instead he focused his attention on the back of Mulder's head and cleared his throat. 

Mulder screwed his eyes shut as the words danced on the paper before him, he was tired, incredibly so and his head ached with a vengeance but he couldn't stop now. He knew the answer had to be here somewhere and the longer it took him the more possibility there was of another murder being committed. He was so deep in thought that he didn't notice Scully beside him nor did he hear the sound of a throat clearing behind him. 

Logan frowned as he cleared his throat again, he was not used to being ignored and he was determined not to let the D.C. agent get away with it. Just as he reached out to pull the agent around, Scully's hand shot across his. "Sir, let me."

Gently she laid her hand on Mulder's shoulder, a smile crinkling the corner of her mouth at his barely audible preoccupied response.

"Just a bit longer, please Scully." 

She stooped down and spoke in his ear. "Mulder, ASAC Logan wants you." 

Her words startled him, grabbing at his glasses as they slid down his nose, Mulder's head flew up. "What?" He whispered. 

"I want to know what you're doing Agent Mulder." Logan stated briskly. 

Mulder had learned within a day of contracting laryngitis to keep his words to a minimum. "Profile sir." 

Logan stared at him for a moment. "You look like shit, when did you last get some sleep." 

Cursing his pathetic excuse for a voice, Mulder replied. "Last night sir." 

"Not for long I'll warrant, am I correct Agent Scully?" 

"Sir, Agent Mulder doesn't sleep well at the best of times." 

Logan took his glasses off and polished the lenses with a handkerchief before speaking again. "Well I think it's about time you called it a night, both of you." His eyes included Scully. He stared impatiently at Mulder as the agent attempted a protest. "I could make that an order agent, I'd prefer not to however." 

Mulder's shoulders sagged as he reluctantly nodded his acquiescence. 

"Good, I'll see you in the morning, usual time." Logan swept out of the room, leaving two stunned agents in his wake. 


Brougham Arms Motel.




The telephones shrill ring cut through the darkness, startling both occupants of the room awake. Mulder reached out and grasped the receiver, stunned when his larynx refused to co-operate with even a whisper. The disembodied voice on the other end grew anxious when there was no response. 

"Hello, hello, Agent Mulder, are you there?" 

Grinding his teeth in aggravation, Mulder passed the phone across to Scully. "Hello, this is Agent Scully." 

"Agent Scully, I'm sorry, I was after Agent Mulder."

"That's all right, who is this?" 

"Oh sorry, it's Agent Stott, do you want me to try Agent Mulder again?" 

"No that's okay, what can I do for you Agent Stott." Scully held the phone so Mulder could listen at the same time. 

"Well, I remember that Agent Mulder said he wanted to be told about anything that might have a bearing on this case, so I thought, that is I found out tonight, oh, I apologize for ringing at this time..." 

Scully rolled her eyes at the young mans faltering explanation. "What is it, Agent Stott" She repeated. 

"Well, I was at the station earlier and there was a radio call about a guy they had booked for a traffic misdemeanor, which in itself is nothing much, you know maybe I should talk to Agent Mulder." 

Scully sighed in frustration. "Don't worry about it Agent Stott, Agent Mulder is here, he can hear every word you're saying." 

"He's there? I'm sorry Agent Scully, you confused me when you answered the phone..." The agent fell silent for a moment. "Um, Agent Scully, I did ring Agent Mulder's room, didn't I?" 

"Yes Agent Stott, you did." Scully sighed elbowing Mulder as he made a hurry up gesture. 

"Oh, that's okay then...I...um...oh...I see." 

Mulder smirked as he visualized the imaginary light bulb that had just blinked on over Stott's head. Scully simply shook her head. "Agent Stott, would you like to tell us why you're ringing at this time of the morning." She prompted gently. 

"Ah, yes, of course. Well, I was saying that there was a guy..." 

"Yes, we got that part, what was it that caught your interest?" 

"Um, well when they did a check on his name, it came up that um, he has a record." 

Mulder's expression hardened and he leapt off the bed and began grabbing his clothes. Scully continued to pry the information out of the stammering young agent.

"Agent Stott, what was his offence?" 

"Um, he was convicted of murdering two kids about fifteen years ago." 

Scully placed her hand across the mouthpiece. "Mulder, I don't think he's our guy, he's got a conviction for killing children." 

Stubbornly Mulder shook his head and continued to get dressed, Scully returned her attention to the phone. "Agent Stott are you still at the station? All right Agent Mulder and I are on our way." She covered the phone again. "Do you want to let Logan know?" At Mulder's emphatic nod, she instructed Stott to contact his superior and hung up. She dressed swiftly. "Mulder, it's a complete change of pattern, what's the likelihood of this man being the River Strangler?'' 

Again, Mulder's voice let him down, he clenched his teeth and looked around for something to write on, spying some napkins from one of their meals he quickly scrawled across one. 'I know, but it's our best lead yet'

Scully pulled her shoes on and pursed her lips as she joined her impatient partner at the door. "Mulder." The single world held a wealth of implication, skepticism, understanding, compassion and love. 

Mulder closed his eyes and basked in the feeling for a few seconds before straightening his shoulders and ushering Scully out the door. 


Saratoga Springs P.D.


Mulder leaned against the cold brick wall of the interview room; he kept his eyes fixed upon the grey-haired man sitting on one side of the long table in the centre of the room. ASAC Logan was sitting on the opposite side of the table, a file spread out in front of him. According to his criminal record Joseph Geiger was fifty-two years old and had resided in Gilbert Corners for a little under twelve months with his common law wife Patricia Meyer. They had located to the small town after several attempts by Geiger to blend back into society in other towns had gone seriously awry once the residents discovered whom he was. As a result of the difficulties he had experienced, someone had come up with the idea of suppressing his record, the parole board had decreed he was unlikely to offend again and psychiatric reports had backed up their findings. Their strategy had worked, so well in fact that the local police had been thoroughly amazed and considerably put out to discover that they had a former child killer in their back yard and no one had seen fit to inform them. 

Geiger had been very co-operative and had answered all the questions put to him willingly; at first he had been slightly defensive, wondering why the FBI had been called in when all he had done was run a stop sign. They had managed to placate him with assurances that they were merely updating their records. Logan's questioning had shifted to the details of the manslaughter offences and Geiger surprised everyone by how eagerly he had imparted details of his crimes. After two hours Logan had gestured to Mulder to talk outside the room.

"You're the profiler Mulder, what do you think?" 

"I'd like to ask him some more questions, but I believe the man in that room is the one we're looking for." Mulder replied in a gravelly voice. "We can't get DNA, but if we show a photo of him to some of the other women, one of them might remember him, once we place him in the area, we at least have grounds for questioning him."

Logan nodded in agreement. "I'll get the photo and have Stott and Britten show it around. We're gonna have to let him go but I've seen the Captain about keeping this guy under surveillance and he's organizing that as we speak."  




It came as no surprise to Mulder that Geiger was positively identified by several of the areas working women as a regular customer, his preference for oral attention was noted by more than one woman and even though another woman remembered him wanting to put his hands around her neck, they confirmed that he had never caused them trouble even when none of them had wanted to accede to his requests.

After consultation with Logan, a decision to bring Geiger back in for more questioning had been made. Surprisingly, he had been quite agreeable which gave rise to the theory that he was another john albeit one with a criminal record, who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mulder disagreed with this speculation and over some very vocal protests; Geiger was returned for another interview.  

The corridor outside the interview room was crowded in complete contrast to the inside, the only occupants being Geiger, Mulder and Logan. Scully had opposed Mulder's insistence on conducting the interview citing his illness as a principal reason. She was only partially swayed by the inclusion of Logan and currently had her eyes fixed to the one-way window, observing her partner's every movement. 

From the minute Geiger entered the room, Mulder had watched him carefully, his questions were cautiously worded in an attempt to get the man to volunteer information. Geiger denied ever frequenting the area where the prostitutes worked, his claim of not wanting to catch anything sounding hollow to Mulder. As soon as he was informed that several women had identified him, his shoulders slumped. 

"Well, I guess it over then isn't it." He asked for a map and quietly began pointing out the sites where he had dumped the women's bodies. He went on to calmly recite how he had murdered each woman. Mulder's stomach heaved as he described his actions right down to how their faces had looked as his fingers tightened around their throats and he had stolen their last breath. The illicit thrill he had experienced as his excitement overwhelmed him and he completed his ritual.  

Unable to disguise his disgust at the man's recitation, Mulder dropped his eyes to his hands clasped together across his notes. 

Geiger's monologue came to an abrupt halt, Mulder slid his gaze back to the man, taken aback at the simmering anger that had replaced the composed acceptance. "Mr. Geiger?" 

"You don't like me do you?" 

Mulder hesitated a moment as he desperately tried to work some moisture back into his throat. "Whether I do or not is immaterial, that's not why we are here."

"You think you're better than me." Geiger's eyes held his own in an intense stare. 

"Mr. Geiger, I...." 

"They did too you know, the women, and all they are is trash, walking the streets, putting out for any man who has enough money to pay for their favors. Not me though, I wasn't good enough for them, they wouldn't do what I wanted them to. Kept shaking their heads when I asked 'em... 'no we don't do that' they said." 

Mulder's eyes widened as Geiger vented his reasons for killing six women. He was aware of the heightened tension in the room, he noticed as Logan subtly altered his stance in response to the perp's condemnation of the women. Even so, he was unprepared for what happened next. 

"So I showed 'em." Geiger's final statement was punctuated by a swift move that took him around the table to Mulder's side in an instant. 

His reactions dulled by fatigue, Mulder registered the big man's actions and pushed his chair away from the table. The legs caught on the floor and he felt himself falling backwards as Geiger's hands closed around his throat.

Punishingly strong fingers began to squeeze his neck as he hit the floor, peripherally he was aware of other movement in the room and the sound of several voices, but the blood beating in his ears drowned out the words. Mulder forced his fingers around Geiger's strong digits trying to ease the excruciating pressure but his depleted physical reserves were no match. Slowly, he felt his vision darken as his lungs strained to pull in a breath of oxygen. 

As soon as Geiger lunged, Logan was in action, incapable of bodily prying the enormous man off the fallen agent, he drew his weapon and called out a warning as he angled for a clear shot. 

The door slammed open behind him and the room filled with agents, shouts of warning came in tandem with Scully's higher pitched calls to her partner. Logan's warnings went unheeded by Geiger as he continued to squeeze the breath from the limp man beneath him. Logan fired a warning shot into the wall and moved again endeavoring to position himself so that any shot he took would not injure Mulder as well. He was astonished when a small redheaded dynamo whirled past him and latched onto the behemoth crouched over her gasping partner.

Scully landed on Geiger's back and reached around digging her fingernails into his face. A roar of pain echoed her actions and Geiger shook himself throwing the petite agent off his back. Scully's tactic worked as Logan took advantage of the change of position and aimed a shot at his left shoulder. The bullet flew straight through the muscle impacting into the floor just inches away from Mulder's face. Geiger slapped a hand to his injury and collapsed on his side rolling away from the gray-faced agent. 

Scully crawled across the floor to where Mulder lay gasping like a fish out of water, large purple fingerprints marring the base of his neck.

"Take it easy." She soothed, gently caressing his cheek. Mulder's eyes were like saucers as he frenziedly tried to suck life-giving oxygen in through his badly bruised throat. Suddenly his body spasmed as a paroxysm of coughing broke free. Scully scooted around behind him, lifting and supporting his upper body against hers.   

It hurt to breathe, it hurt to swallow and he was damned sure it was going to hurt like blazes to talk, but he had to try. "Scul....Geiger..."  

"Logan shot him, but he's alive." 

The press of bodies standing around the fallen perp parted and two EMT's ran into the room, one stopped by Geiger and the other continued on dropping down by Mulder's side. 

"Sir, can you tell me your name?" 

Mulder's lips were turning blue as he tried to inhale air into his lungs but the attempt produced another outburst of coughing that made breathing nearly impossible. Tears squeezed out from behind his closed eyelids as his chest was squeezed with a band of pain. "Muh...der." He wheezed. 

"Agent Fox Mulder." Scully supplied. 

"Okay, Agent Mulder, my name is Brad, I'm just going to have a quick look at you." The EMT palpated around the enlarged veins on Mulder's neck, muttering a quick apology as his patient winced. "Marked tenderness of the larynx, evidence of petechial hemorrhage." He lifted one of Mulder's hands and inspected his fingers. "Discoloration of lips and extremities." Mulder felt fingers pulling at his shirt and then coldness placed against his chest. "Congestion and crackling in both lungs." 

"He's got the flu." Scully provided, she ran her forefinger up and down his cheek watching as he slowly moved his eyes back and forth.  

"Hey Gus." Brad twisted his upper body as he addressed his partner. "How's your guy?" 

Gus brushed his straw-colored hair off his forehead and smiled. "He's stable, he's not happy, but he'll live." He crawled across the floor dragging his equipment box with him. "How's things over here?" He took note of Mulder's rapid shallow breathing. "Sir, I'm going to put a mask over your face, I need you to take slow deep breaths."  

Scully lowered her head and spoke softly into his ear. "Breathe with me Mulder, in...out...in...that's it." She placed her hand on his chest. 

As the oxygen slowly permeated through his starving blood cells, Mulder's head began to clear. He opened his eyes and peered around him. Two paramedics were kneeling on his either side and ASAC Logan was crouched down by his feet a frown creasing his forehead.

Movement above him caught his eye and he peered up to see Scully pushing a lock of hair behind her ear. A brilliant smile lit her face. "Hey." 

Weakly Mulder lifted his hand, sighing contentedly as he felt small fingers clasp through his. He yearned to feel her lips against his but before he could act on his desire, he fell asleep.

Columbia Memorial Hospital



Voices were murmuring in low tones beside him but Mulder was not awake enough to hear what they were saying. He rolled his head sideways and felt something catch on his cheek, as he lifted his hand to move the offending object it was caught in a firm warm grip. Slowly he opened his eyes, blinking several times as a pair of bespectacled brown eyes gazed back at him.  

"Agent Mulder." Skinner's deep baritone greeted him.  

Subtly disengaging his hand, Mulder laid it back on the covers. His eyes roved about the room before settling on the small figure seated on his other side. A feeble smile lifted the corners of his mouth. "Hey." The single word was more like a heavy exhalation but it had the desired results. Scully leaned forward taking his hand in both of hers and pressing it to her lips. 

Mulder moved and stroked the tips of his fingers gently down her cheek watching as Scully closed her eyes and leaned into the caress. She claimed his hand again before lifting a glass of water from the bedside table turning the straw towards his mouth. He sipped the cool liquid slowly reveling as it slid slowly down his aching throat. After several swallows he nodded his fill and turned questioning eyes on his partner. 

She shifted in the low chair glancing at Skinner before beginning an explanation. "I suppose you want to know what the damage is?" 

Mulder nodded, he opened his mouth to speak and was surprised when Scully laid her fingers across his lips. "You're going to find it hard to speak for a few days, you've got severe bruising to your larynx cartilage." She pointed to the pulse oximeter on his forefinger and then ran her fingers along the nasal cannula. "Your oxygen levels were severely depleted, so you are going to have to put up with this for a couple of days." 

She pursed her lips at the expression on his face. "Don't use that look on me Mulder, it won't do you an ounce of good. You have to stay under observation for at least forty-eight hours to rule out any airway and pulmonary complications." Her roving fingers drew his attention to the IV in the back of his hand which up until that moment he had not noticed. "You have mild dehydration due to the flu and will be getting a top up for a few more hours."  

Mulder flicked his eyes across to Skinner and raised his eyebrows quizzically. Clearing his throat, Skinner rested a hand briefly on his agents shoulder. "ASAC Logan called me Mulder." He smiled briefly as surprise registered in the hazel eyes. "He has asked for an official commendation to be added to your file. He seems to have a very high opinion of your flair for profiling and added that you showed great dedication in working while you were ill."  

Mulder had trouble believing what Skinner was saying and tipped his head back to Scully who shrugged her shoulders in bemusement.  

Skinner continued. "It's my understanding that ASAC Logan wanted to be here to congratulate you in person, but he had other pressing demands, he asked me to convey his apologies." 

Mulder emitted a breathless gasp at the same time as Scully choked. "Sir, did you just say that ASAC Logan apologized?" 

"Yes Agent Scully, why do you have a problem with that?" 

"No sir, not at all." She grinned at her partner who was shaking his head in amazement. "There's only one explanation Mulder."  

Her partner raised his eyebrows as Scully's eyes shone with devilment. "It must be an X-File."


 The End.




Webdesign: JM web templates | web hosting guide
Design downloaded from FreeWebTemplates.com
Free web design, web templates, web layouts, and website resources!