Dungeons and Demons by Spooky’s Girl

Dungeons & Demons cover

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Title: Dungeons and Demons

Author: Spooky’s Girl

Category: MSR will be shippy, Halloween

Disclaimer: they’re not mine, they belong to Fox, Chris Carter and 1013 Productions.

So enjoy!!

Summary: Mulder, Scully and three others are invited to stay in a castle for one night. Can they survive the demon that’s inhabiting it?

Dungeons & Demons cover

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A zigzag of lightning flashed across the sky, illuminating an outline of a dark castle across the moors. A small shaggy man turned from the window of his small cabin, looking at the files that lay across his table.

SIDNEY KEATS: male, age 49, single, brown/gray short hair, brown eyes, 5′9″, 190lbs, Sergeant in Scotland Yard.

SAMUEL POUND: male, age 37, single, blonde short hair, brown eyes, 6′3″, 210lbs, Captain in the Canadian Navy.

NANCY PARKHILL: female, age 24, single, black long wavy hair, green eyes, 5′5″, 130lbs, firefighter.

FOX MULDER: male, age 39, single, brown short hair, green eyes, 6′1″, 195lbs, Special Agent in Federal Bureau of Investigation.

DANA SCULLY: female, age 34, single, shoulder length red hair, blue eyes, 5′2″, 110lbs, Special Agent in Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Next to each file sat a gold envelope with a red seal, addressed to each of the above. “So who do you think it will be Edward?”

The small shaggy man turned around at the voice of his female companion. “I don’t know. All I know is this has got to stop soon. We can’t let it go on much longer. I’m beginning to think it’s unbeatable.”

“Well you can’t keep bringing people over like you do. People are going to suspect something when they realize they aren’t returning.”

“I know, and that’s why I choose single people. At least they don’t have a spouse or child they’re leaving behind.”

“I don’t like it Edward, it’s got to stop and soon.”

“I know Kat. I think I picked out a good group of people this time. I think this will be the final time.” Edward held out his hand to his wife and walked back to the window looking out at the solitary castle again. It had better be the last time he thought. I don’t know how much longer I can go on.

J. Edgar Hoover Building

Friday October 16

8:30am

Fox Mulder sat at his desk staring at the gold envelope in front of him. He didn’t know what to make of it. Sure, he had received anonymous letters and information regarding cases before, but never packaged in a gold envelope. He lifted it off the desk and turned it around, focusing on the red was seal sealing the envelope shut. The only thing he knew about the sender was that either his surname or given name started with an ‘E’. Well no time like the present he thought and he lifted the seal to pull out the letter.

The letter itself was written on an old sheet of parchment paper, looking like it was preserved from the 17th century, and the writing looked like an old, fancy script, probably used with a quill and ink of some sort. Mulder was instantly intrigued and began to read on.

Special Agent Fox Mulder

You and four others have been specially chosen to go on the adventure of a lifetime. About 75 km north of Manchester, England, there lies an ancient castle, uninhabited by people for 400 years. Your role in this? You and the four others must survive one night inside. This is no easy feat however. Fifty people have tried it in the past, and all fifty have failed. There will be a grand reward at the end for the winner or winners if they survive. Listed below are your instructions for your trip.

You are to leave at 4:30pm Friday, October 16 from Dulles International Airport. Your ticket will be waiting at the British Airways counter. You will be landing in Manchester and a car will be there to greet you and the other four participants and they will take you to a house close to the castle where you will spend Friday night. At 8am the next morning you will be taken out to the castle, where you must stay until 8am Sunday morning.

Bring everything you think you are going to need in that 24-hour period. Plenty of matches and lighters would be an asset. The castle stands as built nearly 1000 years ago, with no electricity, heating or plumbing.

Good luck Mr. Mulder, and tell no one of this.

-Edward Blake

Scully’s Apartment

8:30am

Scully stared blankly at the gold envelope that had been slipped under her door sometime during the night. She had read it over several times and still didn’t know what to make of it, and if she could even ditch Mulder for a weekend without telling him. She remembered the last time she did that to him, taking off with Cancer man. He was very angry with her for that one. Very angry. He hadn’t let her out of his sight the entire weekend, yet never making eye contact either. It took him weeks to settle down and now that it seemed like things were back to normal between them, it looked like she had to leave him again. At least this time it wasn’t with cancer man. She placed a call into Skinner telling him that she wouldn’t be in during the day, it didn’t really matter anyway. It was a Friday and the caseload was light. The only thing she had to do was go over the expense accounts and her report wasn’t due till the end of the month.

She looked at the gold envelope again. She had to admit that she was intrigued by the situation and definitely curious about what could scare away fifty people. After all it couldn’t be that bad if the host kept inviting more people back. She placed the envelope down on her dining room table and headed to her bedroom to pack. She didn’t know what to bring, or what the English weather was like, but she thought it would an interesting trip.

She pulled out her overnight bag and threw in a couple pairs of jeans, sweaters and T-shirts, as well as her toiletries, first aid kit. She wasn’t going to be caught off guard with any sort of accidents, especially if the castle is as medieval as the letter says. She tossed her bag by the door, next to her bag with her freshly charged laptop and began to prepare lunch. She knew she was going to have fun trying to hide this trip from Mulder.

Mulder had found it strange that his partner hadn’t shown up to work, but one call to Skinner had confirmed that she took the day off. He didn’t blame her for taking it off either. It was a slow day and they were between cases. As much as he would have loved to see Scully this morning, seeing her walk in with a smile, glowing sapphire eyes, carrying two cups of coffee with her usual “Good morning Mulder”, he knew it was better she stayed home and relaxed. After all, he was about to ditch her again for another weekend.

The more he thought about it, the more he remembered never having been a real coffee drinker before she started working with him. At first he had only accepted the coffee because he didn’t have the heart to turn her down, but then it turned into a morning ritual from there, seeing her carry down two cups of coffee with either a ‘good morning’ or ‘hey Mulder’. He loved the sound of his name coming out of her mouth, and with a ‘good morning sunshine’ he gratefully accepts the cup from her hand.

The morning coffee was also just another excuse to make physical contact with her. When handing him the cup, he would allow himself the pleasure of grazing her hand with his. He would normally let it linger a few seconds longer than necessary, secretly enjoying the feel of her silk like skin under his callused hand, and he honestly wished there were other ways he could feel her skin under his, the ways he fantasized day in and day out about. The thing he wished for most though was not her bringing his coffee into the office for him every morning, but the two of them standing side by side in the kitchen every morning making coffee, or her bringing it back to bed for him. Those were the moments he had long dreamed about but he knew they wouldn’t happen, not in this lifetime. He wasn’t so lucky as to deserve the love from Scully with everything that he has done to her.

Dulles International Airport

3pm

Scully had to admit that she enjoyed arriving at the airport on time for her flight for a change. She sat at a little café with her mother just outside the terminal that she needed drinking a coffee, and taking her time about it too. “Dana, you never told me why you’re going to England for only one weekend? Isn’t it a little outside of American federal jurisdiction?”

“A friend of mine from the bureau moved there and asked me to visit for the weekend, even bought the ticket for me” she lied. Well she only lied partially. Her ticket was bought and paid for the weekend by somebody, he just wasn’t her friend. In all actuality, she had never met Edward Blake before, and didn’t even know how he got her name.

“You friends at work other than Fox who were close enough to buy you a plane ticket to England? Are you sure this isn’t Fox’s work? After all he did live in England for sometime.” She raised the famous Scully eyebrow to emphasize her statement, and Scully had to shake her head in amusement.

It never failed her, every time she’d try to have a decent conversation with her mother, her mother would always bring Mulder into it, normally in some sort of a romantic way, and Scully always spent her time trying to convince her mother that nothing was going on, and nothing will ever go on, that they’re just friends. Of course her mother never believed her, and Scully wasn’t quite so sure that she had convinced herself of the fact, on top of convincing her mother.

It was the little things that got to her, like the feel of his hand against hers when she handed him coffee every morning. It was one of the only reasons she insisted on being the one to bring it in, and the day they had actually got a coffee maker for the office, she had broken it so she could continue to bring in coffee for him, instead of him making it for himself. It was a selfish reason she knew for wasting money, but in her mind, it was definitely worth it.

“He only lived there for school mom, he hasn’t been back since then, at least 12 years I would think. Besides, Mulder’s probably got some big case to look at this weekend to keep him occupied, he won’t even miss me.” She glanced at her watch. “Speaking of which, I forgot to call him and tell him I was going to be out this weekend, I had better go do that.”

“Well while you’re doing that, I’m going to go take a look in the gift shop around the corner. I won’t be long.” She rose from her seat and left, leaving Scully alone with her phone, and Mulder’s answering machine.

“Mulder, it’s me. I’m just calling to tell you that I’m going to be out of state this weekend, visiting family in the country. If you need to get a hold of me, my cell phone will be turned on. I’ll be back Sunday night.” She placed her phone back inside of her blazer pocket and rose from her seat to follow her mother into the shop.

Mulder’s Apartment

Alexandria, VA

3:30pm

Mulder was running late. So what else was new? He had gotten stuck in traffic on his way home from work, and as it looked like, he was about to get stuck in traffic again on his way to the airport, and he hadn’t even started packing yet. It’s not like it takes long for him to put together an overnight bag anyway. He had received Scully’s phone call, noting that she was out of town so he hoped that she wouldn’t miss him and yell at him on Monday for ditching her yet again. He knew it was a habit he was going to be forced to break one day.

He threw a bunch of clothes into his bag, preparing for all sorts of English weather for this time of year, and a few toiletries such as his toothbrush, soap and his shaving kit. He topped it off with his gun and badge and flew right back out the door, ready to face the traffic and head back to England. He felt like he was going home again, even though it wasn’t to Oxford, or to meet any of his university friends, he was still looking forward to the weekend.

British Airways

Flight 1013

First Class

4:15pm

Scully sat in her seat, surprised that the ticket that was given to her was for first class. At least they’ll make this flight somewhat comfortable she thought. She had always hated flying, and flying without Mulder was going to be even worse. She couldn’t very well ask a stranger to hold her hand during take off or have a stranger allow her to sleep on their shoulder during the flight, it would be rude, and it wouldn’t have been the same as if she were with Mulder. She sighed and placed her purse under the seat in front of her to prepare for the take off about to occur in about 15 minutes.

“Now I wonder what I did so right as to be blessed with sitting next to a beautiful woman for 10 hours” came a voice from next to her. She looked up to see a tall blonde-haired man looking down at her. He extended his hand. “Captain Samuel Pound” he introduced himself.

“Well since we’re going with titles here, Special Agent Dana Scully” she reached out and shook his hand.

“Ah well I can certainly see why you’re so special Agent Scully.” He took his seat next to her and buckled himself in. “Special Agent, are you with the CIA or something like that?”

“FBI” she corrected him. “And being Captain I would assume you belong to the armed forces?”

“Navy, Canadian Navy actually.”

Scully raised her eyebrows. He was right, it must be a lucky day, something they had in common. “Really? My father was in the navy, Captain as well, grew up moving from city to city, state to state.”

“Ah, another navy brat, I followed in my father’s footsteps, I guess it looks like this is really going to be an enjoyable flight Agent Scully.”

“Dana” she corrected him yet again.

“Well then, just call me Sam.”

British Airways

Flight 1013

First Class

4:25pm

Mulder had managed to board the plane just in time, jumping into his seat near the front of first class, not bothering to take a look at the people around him. He normally would do that in the coach section, but he didn’t feel like looking at the rich people in first class. It would only remind him as to how little the government really paid him. Once he regained his senses and felt the plane moving, he realized he wasn’t sitting alone. He turned to the black-haired woman sitting next to him. “Fox Mulder” he introduced himself. He thought he may as well get to know the person he was going to be sitting next to for the next 10 hours.

“Nancy Parkhill” she responded quite confidently. With the way she dressed she almost looked like somebody you would see in a club, small T-shirt, hip hugger jeans. Something he could definitely dream of Scully wearing.

“So why are you heading out to Manchester?”

“I was invited out by somebody. They want me to see something this weekend.”

“Oh, are you in the investigative field?”

“Nope, I’m a firefighter, I save people from burning buildings and little kitties from trees.”

Mulder chuckled. He had a feeling that he was going to like sitting next to this woman. “That’s great Nancy, cause you know, I have this really big fear of fire. It’s nice to know somebody like you is going to be around.” He thought what the heck, Scully isn’t around, I can afford to flirt a little.

The flight itself was uneventful to Scully. True, sitting next to Sam had been interesting and fun, but he wasn’t Mulder, and because of that, she never felt truly at ease with him. “This is my ship” he pointed to the picture in his wallet. “The HMS Halifax, it’s not overly huge like the American ships, but it serves its purpose.” Scully started to chuckle. “What?” he asked, thinking he looked like a goof carrying around a picture of his ship.

“You remind me so much of my brothers and father that’s all. There’s always a photo of whatever ship they were on in their wallet. Never fails. I’ll see Bill at Christmas and he’ll show off his ship if he’s on a new one, and Charlie’s the same way.”

“Yep, we navy boys are all alike. Ships in one pocket of the wallet, and girlfriends in the other side. Any sailor can show you that.”

“I know, like I said, my brother’s are the same way, each of a picture of their wives in their wallets, and my father had a picture of his mother. On the backside too there was also a photo of the US president, a reminder of who they’re serving for. They’ve showed me their photos so many times it’s ridiculous.”

“Oh I’ve got that too, except ours is the Prime Minister and the Queen of England.” He held up a photo of Jean Chretien and Queen Elizabeth II. “I don’t think it matters what country you’re serving, everybody’s the same. Do you have a picture of your brothers at all? I’ve worked a couple of times with the American navy.”

“Sure” she pulled out both her photos of her brothers and passed them to Sam.

“Hey, now I recognize Charlie. Sorry, I’m horrible with names sometimes, but I always remember a face. Great guy, hard worker, yet knew how to have fun, and he can certainly out drink many of the people on both our ships without having a hangover the next day.”

“It’s the Irish in him, he’s always been like that. If you don’t mind though, might I ask where you met Charlie?”

The last Security Council meeting at the United Nations. Both his ship and my ship was watching the coast, and we met on a shore leave. Still keep in contact, although obviously classified information between the two ships can’t be exchanged.”

“Obviously.” She spied a last photo in his wallet, slightly hidden. “Who’s that?” she asked, pointing to the photo.

“Oh, that’s my girl, Carrie. We met while on shore leave in Australia about three years back. Instant attraction. She’s my Aussiegirl.”

Drat! Scully thought. All the decent guys are taken, well not all, as far as I know Mulder isn’t, but it won’t work out, I’m not his type.

It was the same old song and dance for Mulder, well not the same old, it’s been a while since he last flirted with anybody, well anybody other than Scully. “Is this your first time visiting England?”

“Yes, I’ve always wanted to go and visit the sites, see London, visit the different palaces, go to port, etc. I guess now is as good a time as any. I’m supposed to return Sunday night but I may extend the trip depending on how I feel. What about you, you ever been to England?”

“Yeah, I attended Oxford there for my university years. I know both Oxford and London very well. I can even pick out all the hot spots for you too.”

“Wow, smart, sexy and knows all the hot spots too, so do tell Fox, do you have a girlfriend or no?”

Mulder started to blush at the comment until he heard the work girlfriend. As much as he wanted Scully, he knew he couldn’t call her his girlfriend, she wasn’t, but she was so much more than a friend to him, it was a tough area to define. “No, I don’t, not currently anyway.”

“How is it I got so lucky to sit next to a guy like you? It’s too bad we really can’t spend the weekend together in Manchester, I think we would have a lot of fun.”

“Well, you never know how it will end up, I may suddenly become available Sunday before my flight if you want to get together for a drink or something, or if you need a tour guide, I can call in to work.”

“You’ll show me around London?”

“Fox Mulder, personal” and he raised his eyebrows in emphasis of the word “tour guide at your service.” He pulled out his notepad and wrote his cell phone number on it, thinking the business card looked too impersonal. “Just give me a call and I’ll be there.”

The beverage attendant came by with the cart offering drinks. “What’ll you have Nancy?”

“Something cold, do you have a beer here or something?” the flight attendant nodded and opened a bottle of corona.

“And you sir?”

“An iced tea please.” He handed the attendant the cash for the beer and looked back at Nancy who was ready to pay herself. “How can I not treat such a wonderful woman as you!” he answered in response.

Manchester Airport

2:30am American Time

7:30am British Time

The flight had landed safely onto the ground, despite Scully’s uneasiness with it all and everybody was filing slowly out. Sam had been kind enough to reach overhead and take her bag down with his and carry it out of the place, once again, despite her objections. It felt nice for a change having a man help her with things. Lord knows Mulder doesn’t help with the bags from the plane. She had always been the one to claim the luggage while he went to the rental car window. Well this time that wouldn’t happen. Both her and Sam headed over the luggage claim area oblivious to the tall dark haired man and shorter blacked haired woman a couple of feet ahead of them. Sam picked up her bags as well as his and put them in the same cart as his. “I hope you don’t mind my escorting you out Dana, it’s truly been a pleasure, so rare is it that I get to sit next to a fellow navy brat on the airplane. Do you need to call a cab?”

“Nope, somebody’s here to pick me up, although I don’t know who, I was told they’d give me some sort of sign.”

“A blind date, or relatives you’ve never met before?”

“No, I’ve been called to investigate something here.” She stared out at the many cars in front of them, and spots a long black limousine with a man holding a gold envelope. “Ah, I spot my ride now.”

Sam looked over the same way and spotted the gold envelope. “Well I think we’re heading in the same direction, I see my ride too, just point me your way and I’ll drop your things off, then I’ll be on my way.”

Both Scully and Sam walked about two minutes down the sidewalk and reached the black limousine. “Thanks very much for your help Sam, it’s really appreciated.” She went to lift her bags out of the cart but stopped when she saw the puzzled look he was giving her.

“This is your ride?”

“Yeah it is, why?”

“You must be one of the other four.” He pulled out his gold envelope from his carry on bag. Scully stood wide-eyed at the envelope and pulled hers from the inside of her coat pocket.

“Miss Scully, Mr. Pound, let Martin put your bags away and do take a seat please, everything will be explained in due time” came a voice from the open car window. The man known as Martin opened the door and let the both of them climb in, faces still looking puzzled.

Mulder stood in the small café ordering a coffee for both him and Nancy while she collected the bags. He didn’t know why, but he liked her, enough to let her get his bags without him worrying whether she would take off with them or not. She didn’t and he paid for the coffees and left. “So Nancy, whereabouts in Manchester are you staying, I could pick you up Sunday afternoon if you’d like.”

“Actually I’m not staying in the city itself, but a place about 90 km north of here.”

90 km of north of Manchester. Something clicked in Mulder’s head. The castle! She must be heading to the castle too! excitement surged through his body, nothing nearly as close as if it were Scully, but excitement none the less. He reached into his coat pocket and revealed a gold envelope and watched as her eyes opened wide.

“You’re going too?” she pulled her envelope from her purse. “I wonder what this is about as to bring five people in to stay overnight in a castle.”

“That’s not my question. My question is how did they get our names out of how many people in the world. I don’t remember adding my name to a mailing list that offers free trips to ancient castles.”

“Neither do I, but I think that now I know somebody there, it may be more interesting, especially if it’s you Fox.” She grabbed his hand and led him outside, dragging their luggage behind them. “Come on, I bet our car isn’t too far from here.”

It wasn’t too long before they spotted the chauffeur with a gold envelope in his hand. “Mr. Mulder, Miss. Parkhill, I’ll take your bags please. Mr. Blake is waiting for you inside the car.” The chauffeur opened the door and grabbed the bags, placing them in the trunk with the others.

“Wow,” breathed Nancy as she got a glimpse into the car.

“Ladies first,” Mulder offered and placed his hand out to help her in. She climbed in relatively safely and he almost had his head in when he heard a familiar voice.

“Mulder?”

Scully, and at the sound of her voice, he banged his head on the side of the car in shock.

“Ow” he started to rub his head with his hand and in an instant both Scully and Nancy were at their feet ready to help him. Scully glared at Nancy, but Nancy didn’t take notice to it, and reached Mulder before she could. Once seated she would give him the third degree. Nancy reached over and grabbed a cool cloth that the mysterious man was holding out and placed it against Mulder’s bruised head, sitting down next to him and across from Scully and Sam.

“Mulder, what are you doing here?” Scully finally asked him.

“What does it look like, I was invited here.”

“Really? I could swear you’re following me again. Can’t you trust me enough to let me take off one weekend or do you have to keep your eye on me. I mean since that trip with cancer man you haven’t let me out of your sight and dammit Mulder, I’m a big girl and can take care of myself.”

“Are you finished yet Scully?” She continued to glare at him, daring him to tell her otherwise. He pulled out the gold envelope from his pocket. “Does this look familiar?”

“You didn’t tell me? You were going to ditch me again weren’t you Mulder? Thought, oh may as well leave good ol’ Scully in the dark again, after all she must be used to it by now!”

“Well it’s not like you told me about your trip Scully, you lied to me over the phone, telling me you were going to visit family. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that you ditched me too.”

“Shut up Mulder.”

Nancy had about enough. “Excuse me you two, I don’t know how you two know each other, and quite frankly I don’t care. All four of us have to get along together on this trip so I suggest that you set aside your differences and Miss. Scully apologize to Fox for being rude. We do have an adventure to start and I think we should start it on the right foot.” She continued to tend to Mulder’s head, smiling a smug smile at her small victory.

The car drive was spent in relative silence, with the exception of quiet mumbling from Sam and Nancy introducing themselves and the instructions from the mysterious man. “You’re all probably wondering why I invited you out here.” At their nod he continued. “If you’ll allow you introduce myself, my name is Edward Blake and the owner of the castle you are about to stay at.” The once shaggy man who had shaved and dressed up extended his hand out to all of the passengers. “This lovely woman at my side is my wife, Kat.” He gestured to the young brown haired woman next to him. “You’re about to embark on an adventure that only fifty other people have gone on, and not one of them have succeeded. My great ancestors, last one being Thomas Blake, a duke covering this area owned the castle. Well one of his maidservants happened to practice the black arts at the time and conjured a demon into the castle, killing off everybody who lives there except for her direct descendants. The reason I have picked you is that you’re some of the strongest people I’ve seen in the past decade. Mr. Pound, your involvement in the Gulf War was incredible. If it wasn’t for your ship, the Iraqis may have won. Miss. Parkhill, the chemical plant explosion in Toronto you helped with, while all others gave up trying to put the fire out and just let it burn out, you continued and pursued. Mr. Mulder and Ms. Scully. While I have not personally seen what you have done, I do have contacts in the bureau who have told me what you have done, going to the end of the Earth to stop a viral expansion, and the last member of your team, whom you have yet to meet is Sidney Keats of Scotland Yard. He happens to have the highest conviction rate in all of Europe. Each and every one of you strong in your own way. Your task this weekend is survive in the castle for 24 hours. Only then can the demon be defeated. We really need your help.”

“So you’re saying we’re like your 5 in 6 billion here right?” piped in Nancy, hand still holding the cloth to Mulder’s bruised head.

“Yes you could say that. By accepting my invitations, you have all agreed to stay, and by agreeing, legally you can’t leave. While I cannot hold you against your will, I can take civil action regarding the breaking of a contractual agreement.”

“I don’t believe in no demons, but I think the weekend will be fun, and if anything does happen, Dana here is a doctor so I’m sure she can fix whatever gets broken” Sam added, placing his hand on Scully’s knee in support.

Mulder just glared at him, and although Sam hadn’t noticed, Scully did and placed her hand on Sam’s arm in encouragement. What Mulder? You think you can flirt and I can’t, well I’ve got news for you, everything goes full circle and she smiled a small smile.

The car soon pulled up to a large stone building, surrounded by a moat. It must be the castle. “I’m sorry to have brought you here right away, I was hoping to have you all at my place for a decent amount of time to get to know each other before you go in, but I forgot about the time difference between the US and here. There really is no time to head to the cabin first. You’ll find everything that you need inside, Lizzi, our maid has the pantries stocked full of food and coffee and drinks in case you need anything. I’ve kept the place relatively alcohol free, better to stay with your wits about you. All of the wings of the castle are open to you if you so choose to explore. There are about 10 bedrooms on the west side made up for you already so you may choose whatever room from there that you please. Mr. Keats will be waiting for you inside and I wish you a pleasant weekend.” Martin opened the door and helped each one of them out the car and placed their luggage in front of them. “I shall hopefully see you all on Sunday, or at least most of you” and with a laugh, the car pulled away.

“Well what now?” asked Nancy.

“We pick up our bags and go inside. Demons, give me a break.” Scully rolled her eyes and picked up both her overnight bag and carry on bag and walked ahead of the other four toward the castle to hopefully spend a relaxing weekend, well as relaxing as possible having to watch Mulder show off his manhood around her.

The castle looked as dreary on the inside as it did on the outside. The great hall was sparsely furnished, and the tapestries hanging on the walls were depressing, the growing signs of a madman living there at one point in time. The smiling face of the maid greeted the four of them. “Good day, I’m Lizzi, if you need anything just buzz. Rooms are up the stairs and to the left. Mr. Keats has already claimed the first on the right, but you’re welcome to the rest. Lunch will be served at noon in the parlor to your right. Until then you’re free to get settled and explore.” She turned on her heel and headed back out. Sam bent down to pick his bags off the ground again, and grabbed Scully’s along with his.

“Oh don’t worry about it Sam, I can carry them no problem.”

“Really, it’s no trouble Dana. Besides they’re a safety hazard on those stairs. I’m sure under most circumstances you can handle it, but those are slippery stone steps and in those shoes I wouldn’t want you to trip or anything” he said pointing to the 3 inch heels she was wearing.

“Thanks.” She really was appreciative. She never even took into consideration the floor they would be walking on when packing. Thank goodness she packed her runners.

“Hey Scully” Mulder called from behind her. She turned to see him carrying Nancy’s bags. “Do you think any of these rooms have connecting inside doors. I think I’d feel safer and more at home here if they do.”

“Why, so you have easier access to Nancy?”

“No, how can you even think that. I mean with you. I think it’ll be safer for us if we stick together this weekend.”

“I’m sure we can find some somewhere, if not, we’ll just get two rooms next to each other, no big deal. You’re a big boy, I’m sure you can sleep alone.”

“What are you going to do about navy boy there?”

“Who? Sam? Nothing, he’s just being nice that’s all, we grew up with the same lifestyle. He’s a navy brat too.” Her small smile turned into a full-fledged grin.

They silently made their way up the stairs to the west wing, and found a room with connecting doors, Scully ahead of Mulder, not seeing the scowl on his face.

They turned to the last two rooms at the end of the hall and found connecting doors, but the only problem was it was between three rooms. Well no problem in Scully’s mind, but Mulder definitely didn’t find it amusing. Scully had chosen the middle room and while Mulder took the room on one end, and Sam on the other. He dropped Nancy’s bags off in her room and slammed his bags on his bed in his room. “Dammit!” he yelled, looking for something to throw against the wall.

“Mulder? Are you okay?” Scully called through the door.

“Just peachy” he responded in a grimace. Do you expect me to be okay when that a** is sleeping right next to you he thought. Jealousy definitely wasn’t his strong suit, but at the moment, it suited him just fine. Well if Scully wants to continue to flirt with the navy jerk, then by all means let her, I’ve still got Nancy to speak to, and she’s willing to believe.

******

Sam gently placed Scully’s bags on the foot of her bed and left as quickly through the connecting door to organize his room. “Thanks Sam” she replied as he left, tipping his head to her in acknowledgment. She stood staring at the luggage, and realized how nice it was to have somebody carry them for her. Mulder never carried them for her. Mind you she never let him carry them for her either. She dug through one of her bags looking for a pair of sneakers to wear and a sweater to throw over her tank top to keep warm. The one thing she didn’t realize was how drafty a castle can be.

“Dammit!” She raised her head at Mulder’s loud voice coming through the door.

“Are you okay Mulder?” she called back.

“Just peachy” was his reply. She really didn’t know what had gotten into him. First not telling her where he was going, although she really couldn’t blame him for that much, she had lied to him, but flirting with that dark-haired dumbbell? She didn’t like that. She had witnessed much in her past eight years with Mulder, Phoebe Green, Detective White, Bambi, Diana Fowley, and he had told her about Kristen Kilar, the supposed vampire woman he had slept with. The more she thought about these women, the more she hated them, and it looked like it was time to add Nancy Parkhill to the list. Well Mulder, I hope you’re enjoying your Nancy, cause Sam and I have only just begun.

“Dana?” Sam knocked on the connecting door between the rooms.

“Yeah?” she called, walking over to unlock it.

“You want to go exploring? I heard the libraries were great during the time period of this castle, I want to see what sort of interesting information I can find.” Scully just looked at him in awe. Even Mulder refused to look at libraries for interest, relying mainly on those videos that don’t belong to him for interest and entertainment. “Dana? Is something wrong?” he looked genuinely concerned.

At the sound of his voice she returned to reality. “No, nothing’s wrong. Sorry you caught me off guard, normally the library is the last place people want to explore, but yeah, I’d love to go check it out with you.”

“You sure, if it’s the last place you want to explore I can check it out myself…”

His face looked really unsure at the moment, and Scully suddenly had this urge to rectify it. “Yeah, I’m sure, the library would be great, I’ve always loved library, but unfortunately Agent Mulder and I never get the chance to look around in them. I think it will be fun.”

“Great!” his face was alight with excitement. “Maybe you can help me then and find an interesting book on romance back from this time period, Carrie would love it, I think.”

“Any girl would love it, I think deep down inside, every female loves romance, whether they admit it or not.” She grabbed her blazer off the bed, attached her gun holster to the back of her jeans and walked out of her room, actually looking forward to spending time with somebody other than Mulder.

Mulder had his ear pressed against the connecting door listening to Scully and Sam’s conversation. He knew as a federal agent that it was invasion of privacy and illegal, and he knew morally that eavesdropping was wrong, but he couldn’t help himself. He didn’t like how close Scully was getting to Sam, even though she insisted it was just friendship. Yeah Mulder, like you don’t understand why, you may act like just a friend to her, but you think so much more of her, and it’s not uncommon for people to feel like that. Then a second big thought crossed his mind what if she feels like those toward Sam, acting like a friend, but liking him a whole lot more? He knew jealousy was going to get the better of him one of these days, he just had to make it through the weekend. He started to remove his T-shirt in exchange for the black ribbed sweater he had pulled from his bag.

“Yeah, I’m sure, the library would be great, I’ve always loved library, but unfortunately Agent Mulder and I never get the chance to look around in them. I think it will be fun” he heard her voice come through. He felt a pang of guilt at that jab. He knew he dragged her everywhere, not really letting her explore where she wants to, but he never thought she would take interest in a library.

“Fox?” knocking at the door interrupted his thoughts, and he quickly walked over to the door and opened it to see Nancy’s smiling face. It wasn’t the smiling face he had really wanted to see, but he knew that she would do. She seemed nice enough anyway. “Hi,” her eyes gazed briefly over his naked torso. “Since we have time to explore, I thought maybe you’d like to join me.”

A thought crossed his mind. “Sure, how about we hit the library, I hear it may have some interesting books of sorts.” He really wanted to keep an eye on Scully and Sam.

Nancy’s face wrinkled in disinterest. “The library sounds okay, but I was thinking more along the lines of the dungeon, if there is one here.” There was a glint of excitement in her eye that he found it was hard to refuse.

“Actually, you’re right, the dungeon does sound interesting” and he was telling the truth. He would honestly want to explore the dungeon any day before heading into the library, and even though he wanted to keep an eye on Scully and Sam, he really wanted to see the basement and towers of the castle. “Just give me a minute to put on a sweater.” He walked over to the bed, leaving the door open and slipped the sweater over his head, leaving Nancy gazing with approval at his muscles on his back. He placed his weapon on his belt and shut the door behind him, walking ahead of Nancy. “Alright, lets get this show on the road.”

“Yes, lets…” Nancy trailed off, following not to far behind, admiring his perfect jean clad butt. Sorry Miss. Scully, but your Fox has suddenly become mine, he’s way too good a catch to let go.

Sam and Scully entered a pair of large oak double doors and entered into a massive room. “Wow!” Scully was in awe, never had she seen a library so big, well not an old one anywise, she had seen the federal library many times and the bureau library was nothing to scoff at either.

“Look at all these old books, it’s amazing, I think I can spend the entire weekend in here reading.” Sam was equally in awe. He walked along a shelf on the wall closest to him, and pulled one out looking at the ancient cover. He held it up for Scully to see. “Poetry” he stated matter of factly.

Scully took the book from him and looked at the inside cover. “It’s Beowulf.”

“How can you tell?”

“‘So Hrothgar’s men lived happy in his hall

Till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend,

Grendal, who haunted the moors, the wild

Marshes, and made his home in hell

Not hell, but earth. He was spawned in that slime,

Conceived by a pair of those monsters born

Of Cain, punished forever for the crime

Of Abel’s death. The Almighty drove

Those demons out, and their exile was bitter,

Shut away from men; they split

Into a thousand forms of evil – spirits

And fiends, goblins, monsters, giants

A brood forever opposing the Lord’s

Will, and again and again defeated.’

We learned this in the English literature class I had to take in my first year of university. I never forgot it for some reason.”

“It seems extremely religious.”

“It is, Beowulf was a Christian, and the church was very important back then. I’ve never seen such an old manuscript of it though, although this isn’t the original, the original would be written in the Anglo-Saxon version of Old English. It was obviously bought sometime just before the castle was vacated.”

“You really know your books Dana.”

“Not really, I told you, I just happen to remember this one.” She turned to put the book back on the shelf and walked away. She walked over to the other side of the library, looking at more of the books when she felt a force penetrate at the back of her head. “Ow!” she moved her hand to rub the back of her head.

“You okay Dana?”

“Yeah, I think a book just fell off the shelf that’s all.” She turned around and bent down to pick up the fallen book. “What the hell?” Sam walked over.

“What is it?”

She held up the book for him to see. Beowulf, opened at the page that she had just read. She looked up at the spot where she had put the book earlier. She had a strange feeling that they weren’t alone anymore.

“Beowulf, you probably didn’t put it back up on the shelf properly that’s all.”

“No, it doesn’t even belong over here, I put it back up over there” she pointed to an empty spot on the bookshelf across the room.

“Are you sure Dana? I mean the book did hit you in the head.”

“I’m positive,” she glared at him. “I’m a medical doctor, the book didn’t do any damage to my brain. But the weird thing is it opened on the page that I had just read off of.”

“I’m sure that’s all just a coincidence.”

She looked at him, then back at the book. “You’re probably right, I don’t know, it was just a feeling I got.”

“Well if it was a feeling, then it’s different, just don’t toss it out. I’ve learned that intuition is your best ally in work. Even Charlie, agrees with me.”

“Well I don’t doubt Charlie agreeing with you. Of my two brothers, he’s the impetuous one. He almost reminds me of a younger version of Mulder.”

Sam grabbed the book and placed it on the shelf where it belonged. “You and Mulder are close aren’t you?”

“Not in the way you’re thinking. He’s my partner and friend, nothing more.”

“I didn’t think of it any other way, I mean he seems to have taken a fancy to Nancy there.”

“It seems like it…” she muttered, looking back at the books on the shelf.

“It’s funny how you both got paired up here, you know somebody right off the bat, somebody to talk to and hang around with.”

“Yet here I am talking to you” she smiled sweetly at him. She felt something slam into the back of her head again, and looked down at the ground. “Beowulf, I don’t get it.” She bent down to pick up the book when she heard a loud crash come from above.

“Dana!!!” Sam turned around at the crash, to see the entire wall of books fall, and pound on Scully.

Front Left Tower

Blake Castle

Mulder and Nancy had climbed up the steps in the East Side of the castle looking for some sort of dungeon. They were about to head in the basement, but Lizzi, the maid, had kindly pointed them in the right direction. “I can’t believe it, a demon haunting this castle!” she seemed really excited by the fact.

“You really believe the demon story?” Mulder asked her, refusing to get his hopes up at finding somebody who’s willing to believe.

“Yeah, it sounds really cool. I wonder what brought him around.”

“Edward Blake told us, he was conjured up by a maid in the time. Lizzi would probably know for sure, if she lives here full time, then she’s the direct descendant.”

“Hey, I never thought of that” her green eyes alight with delight at the thought. “I bet Lizzi would have tons of information. I say we talk to her after exploring the dungeon, I want to know what she knows.”

“Slowly Nancy, we’ve got 24 hours here, we don’t want to do everything in the first two, then we’ll have nothing left.” They entered a large chamber at the top of the stairs and felt instantly sickened by the atmosphere. It was dark and dingy, and smelled musky, like it hadn’t been aired out for a thousand years. It probably hadn’t. “I guess we’ve found it.”

The walls were made of a dark, slimy stone and attached in several different intervals were shackles, probably used to keep people in their place. The floor was covered in dried up and rotten stalks of hay, and every so often there would be some sort of human bone sticking out of a corner, nook or cranny. Rats crawled everywhere and flies haunted the place. It definitely looked and smelled of death. “I don’t think this could be any place other than the dungeon.” Nancy looked around the room in awe. “Look Fox, it’s an iron maiden.”

“Where?” Mulder started looking around for a statue of a woman.

“Over there.” Nancy pointed to a large box, shaped like some sort of a coffin, but filled with spikes. “Prisoners used to be put in the box and the lid would be clamped shut, driving a thousand different spikes into different places of their body.”

Mulder started to look down at the places on his body he didn’t like to think of spikes being driven into, “ouch” was all he could say.

“And over there, a Headcrusher.” A small metal helmet with a very large screw on top sat on table. “It’s used like a vice and obviously meant to crush the head.” Then she squealed in obvious delight. “Oh my God, I’ve read about those, but have never actually seen them before.” She pointed in the far corner.

“It’s a wheel,” Mulder said blandly.

“Well duh, of course it’s a wheel, but it was probably one of the most painful torture devices ever used in the medieval period. A person was stretched out on the ground, tied spread eagle with iron stakes. Under each joint in the wrist, elbow, knees, hips and ankles were wooden crosspieces. The executioner would then take the wheel and slam it into the joints, breaking all the joints in the body, then weave the body in and out of the wheel, like braiding. The bodies, still alive on the wheel are then hoisted onto a pole and set out so the crows flying above can pick at the victim alive.”

Mulder was disgusted, and shocked that Nancy had such knowledge of this. “Where may I ask did you learn this from?”

“I majored in medieval history in school, torture devices were part of the course.”

“Now I understand WHY you became a firefighter.” They continued throughout the dungeon, looking at the various devices used on people at the time.

Sam quickly rushed to Scully’s aid, pulling books off of her left right and centre, giving her space to breath and pull her out of the mess. “Dana, are you alright?” he managed to asked once she was given air.

“Yeah, I think so, no real permanent damage.”

His eyes started to rake over her body, seeing several bruises form on her face, and a sharp cut on her left cheek. “My God you’re bleeding.”

“It’s probably just a scratch, come on, help me put these books back up on the shelf, or at least stack them somewhere.” She started to bend down and pile the books in a corner.

“No, come on and sit down.” He pulled on the hem of the T-shirt he was wearing, ripping a piece off to use as a pressure bandage to stop the bleeding. “Here, hold this on your cheek and I’ll pick up the books.”

“Don’t worry, it’s just a scratch, I can help.”

“You probably could, but I would feel a lot better if you didn’t. Call me a chauvinist, but let me do the work and you take it easy and tend to your cut.” Scully just looked at him and sat back down on the couch, holding the cloth to his face and watching the muscles on his exposed abdomen go to work while he picked up the books. Keep this up Dana and you’re going to forget that he has a girlfriend. “Hey, check these out.” Scully rose from the couch and knelt next to him looking at the books. “A bunch of journals from the previous inhabitants of the castle. They might be interesting.”

“They would definitely give a little more insight into the history of this place. Let’s grab a couple take them back to the bedroom. It may be a little safer reading them in there instead of in here. I don’t know about this place, but I getting an eerie feeling about it.”

“I’m going to agree with you on that one, I’m starting not to like this place. Come on, let’s get reading before we go and meet this Sidney Keats fellow. I want a little bit of background history before we have our meeting with Lizzi.” He grabbed about six books off the ground and walked out the door, with Scully, her three books and the cloth on her cheek following behind.

Sam placed the journals on the desk in Scully’s room while she dug through her carry-on bag for her first aid kit and pulled out a large box. “Wow, that’s some first aid kit you’ve got there” Sam stood amazed at the size of it. “You must carry every supply imaginable in that baby.”

“Two reasons actually. First off, I’m a doctor, and my personal experience, doctors are always the worst patients, so I have to be prepared for everything, always fussing about, and secondly, with Mulder by my side I have to carry a kit this big. Guaranteed if I’m not prepared for it, it will happen to my partner. Never fails. But if you think this one is big, you should see the one I have at home underneath my sink. Invariably, most accidents seem to happen at my place.” She pulled out a sanitizer and a wipe to clean the cut and a large bandage to cover it.

“It looks like the bleeding has gone down on it.”

“Yeah, it has, I told you it wasn’t too bad.” She walked up to the large floor length mirror in her room and started to clean the cut, tossing the scrap of material from Sam’s shirt into a makeshift garbage can. “I’m sorry, I ruined your shirt.”

“It’s really no problem Dana. I go through more shirts on the ship working with the men than you can possible imagine, well maybe you can, after all you are a navy brat. This one shirt here was nothing, and I actually ruined it doing something useful, and helping a beautiful lady, not something I do everyday you know.”

“Except when you’re with Carrie.”

“Well I’ve never had to rip a shirt for Carrie for this purpose, so you could say it was a first.”

“Ripping your shirt for a lady or ripping a shirt for a lady for first aid?”

Sam chuckled. “You have a very dirty mind Miss. Scully, I plead the fifth!” His face broke out into a huge grin. “Actually I’m going to have to go with the latter.”

Scully laughed. It had been a long time since she had been able to laugh like that with somebody. She was enjoying herself for a change.

Mulder and Nancy had returned to wash off and change out of the musty smelling clothing after exploring the dungeon. He unconsciously shuddered remembering the different torture devices he had seen. He hated to think of the human brutality that occurred in the medieval ages, and learned everything he didn’t want to know about the machines that he had seen. The wheel is what really got to him though. As if being crushed wasn’t painful enough, but being pecked alive by crows, that was too much and he hated crows. Ever since the case he was sent to work on by himself last year he couldn’t stand to see them. Thinking about them was no different.

He peeled his shirt off and threw it in a corner and grabbed a face cloth, heading to the basin near the connecting door to Scully’s room. He stopped short however when he heard laughter coming from inside. Not just any laughter, but his laughter followed by hers. Rage flowed through him. Normally he would think that her laughter was the most beautiful sound in the world, but at the moment it was the last thing he wanted to hear, only because it wasn’t him who had caused it, but by the Canadian bastard who had picked the room next to hers. He threw the cloth in the water, violently splashing water out of the basin and onto the stone floor. He desperately wanted to know what that man had said to get his Scully laughing in just under a day when she could barely get her laughing in eight years. He had tried everything, joking around, humorous innuendoes, even making himself look pathetic, and he had succeeded in all of maybe two times, the last time being at the movie premiere of the “Lazarus Bowl”. After hearing her laugh this time, he was going to become more determined to make her laugh again, and again thereby removing the memory of the laugh that Sam had gotten out of her.

He managed to pry himself away from the door and donned on a black turtleneck sweater and a new pair of black jeans. He was thankful that he was prepared for all occasions had brought about five different sets of clothing with him. It wasn’t unusual on cases that either he or Scully got dirty and had to change. Although this wasn’t a case he was investigating, force of habit had made him pack extra. He heard another little giggle come from the next room, and his mind began to wander as to what might be happening next door. A knock interrupted his thoughts again.

“Hi” Nancy greeted him from the other side. “I heard our fifth counterpart Sidney is waiting for us in the salon now. How about we head out early to meet him.” Mulder couldn’t have been more thankful to leave his room than he did at that moment.

They managed to find the salon in no time at all and saw an older man, probably mid to late forties with grayish hair sitting on a high back chair drinking tea with Lizzi. “Good day sir, ma’am” he greeted them, tipping off the small hat he had on. “My name is Sidney Keats, I’m sure you two are some of the others sent here to spend the night.”

“Yes, we are, Fox Mulder” he extended his hand. “This is Nancy Parkhill” and she extended hers in greeting, to which he picked up and brought her knuckles to his lips.

“Well who says that all Englishmen aren’t gentlemanly” she started to blush slightly.

“You’re both American.” Sidney stated matter of factly.

“Actually no, I’m Canadian, he’s American.” Nancy pointed out. Sidney’s face lit up.

“Ah yes Canada, been there a couple of times, nice place if you like the wilderness and roughing it.”

“It’s not all wooded lands Mr. Keats. I’m from Toronto and Toronto is probably the furthest thing from wilderness there is.”

“Yes yes, I know” he waved an airy hand at Nancy, a silent gesture which told her he wasn’t interested anymore. “So Fox, what do you do for a life?”

“It’s Agent Mulder Mr. Keats, not Fox.” He didn’t like Sidney’s snobbish manner. “Special Agent Mulder for your information, top profiler at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

“Ah, the FBI. I remember you guys asking for our help about eight year’s back regarding a diplomatic family visiting the US, and the fires. It was a good thing you did too else that family might have been burned to death.”

It was the second time in the last fifteen minutes when he felt rage burning through him again. “We did NOT request Scotland Yard’s help, Scotland Yard requested us” he managed to spit out through clenched teeth. “And the way that I remember it, it was my partner who figured out who the arsonist was, and it us who solved it, NOT you!”

“That’s not the way Inspector Green told me.”

“Phoebe Green. Should have expected that. Well I don’t know how well you know her sergeant, but she’s lying.”

“Are you calling my fiancee a liar Agent Mulder?”

Fiancee. He should have realized that. The two of them seemed to go hand in hand, and she was probably the reason why he was such and arrogant bastard. “Phoebe Green is nothing but trouble in my books. Probably the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life.”

“Ah I see you really know her then. Well I’ll have you know that she’s the best thing that ever happened in my life.”

“Well I can certainly see that you two are made for each other.” He took a seat on the love seat next to Nancy and poured himself a cup of tea. As far as he was concerned, the conversation was over.

Scully and Sam didn’t follow too much behind Mulder. The silence filling the salon was broken with the sound of laughter coming through the halls. Two sets actually, one belong to Sam, and the other Scully. Mulder didn’t know how much more he could take. First hearing them upstairs then running into Sidney, who’s middle name happened to be arrogance, then hearing them again. His resolve had finally fallen apart when the entered the room, and the cup of tea which he thought he held securely in his hand crashed to ground at the sight of her. It definitely was not Mulder’s day. “Jesus Scully, what the he** happened to you?” He rushed to her side in a second closely examining the bruises on her face and the cut on her cheek.”

“It’s nothing, don’t worry about it Mulder.”

He turned to Sam, pure rage could be seen in his eyes. “YOU” he stated accusingly. “You did this her, I’ll kill you, you know!” He started to lunge at Sam, ready to knock him out cold but Scully jumped in the middle, instantly stopping him.

“Mulder, Sam didn’t do this, he was there when it happened yes, but he didn’t do it.”

Sam stood tall, but stepped back in case Mulder didn’t believe what he was saying. “We were exploring the library and a shelf of books fell on her. It was probably the shelf itself that cut her, but she’s right, it’s really nothing, no damage done.”

“No damage done? She looks like some sort of punching bag, I’d say there was a lot of damage done.”

“Seriously Mulder, Sam’s right, a shelf of books fell and hit me. They’re nothing more than bruises, and bruises heal and go away. I’ll be fine.” She and Sam crossed the room sitting in the love seat across from Nancy and focused on introducing themselves to Sidney.

Not with me they don’t Mulder thought. He could list off and remember every single bruise, cut and scrape she had ever had, and know exactly where they came from. This one would be no different.

Once the tea was poured, and Mulder’s broken mug cleaned up and replaced, they all took a seat to listen to Lizzi. “I guess now that you’ve all formally introduced, I guess we can get started. As some of you may have already figured out, my great ancestor, Megan, a maid during the final Duke Hank Blake III’s rule, practiced the black arts and released a non-stoppable demon loose in the castle, thereby destroying anybody who dares enters the castle, with the exception of the descendant’s of Megan. The only way we, that would be Edward and I, think the demon can be stopped is through people making it through the night here and withstanding the power of him. Only by withstanding his power can he be weakened and destroyed all together. Five people every decade for a century have stayed at this castle, and all fifty of them have failed. Edward is running out of time and we need somebody to succeed.”

“I’m up for the challenge” Nancy voiced, excitement surged through her at the thought of actually meeting a demon.

“Well if you need it to be stopped, I shall be the man to stop it.” Sidney spoke from his seat.

Mulder glared at him, not about to shown up by a snobbish Englishman, “I’ll help, I’m familiar with the paranormal.”

“I’ll help too, afterall, somebody has to be around to keep Mulder’s butt out of trouble.” Scully looked at him, and saw the goofy grin on his face.

“Well I’m not much into demons, but I love an adventure, I’m sure if we all work together we’ll get past whatever it is we’re facing.” Sam looked at the others while he spoke.

“Great, it’s settled then. Here are the ground rules. No leaving the castle perimeters at all tonight. Teatime is at 4:30pm, dinner at 7pm and the rest of the night is yours. Edward will be here to pick you up tomorrow at 8am, and take you to breakfast there. I wish you all good luck, and enjoy the rest of your lunch and tea in here.” Lizzi exited the double doors and headed down the spiral staircase to the servants quarters, and spotted her black box.

“Are they staying?”

“Yes, they’ve all agreed to stay.”

“This will make 55.”

“Please don’t do this, enough innocents have been harmed already, we don’t need to add them to the list, they’re all very nice people.”

“The first will be taken at tea time.”

“Please…” she started to tremble.

“It will be done.” The voice came, strong with finality.

The five of them seemed to have parted ways, Sidney heading up to his bedroom and the rest to theirs further down the corridor. Mulder couldn’t quite shake it; he didn’t really like the place anymore, especially since he didn’t trust Sidney as far as he could throw him. If he was in any way affiliated with Phoebe, than he was trouble. “Hey Mulder?” Scully’s voice came from next to his room. “Sam and I found a bunch of old journals from previous inhabitants of the castle earlier. Actually they were what fell on me. We’re going to go in my room and read them in a few. You and Nancy are welcome to join us if you like.”

Mulder nodded, trying not to look to eager. At this point he really didn’t care whether Nancy wanted to read them or not. He was going to be able to spend time in the same room as Scully; keeping an eye on every move Sam made her way. “I’ll go ask Nancy.” He proceeded past his door and knocked on hers.

“Hi” she said, a little surprised that it was him knocking on her door and not vice versa.

“Hey, Scully and Sam apparently found a bunch of old journals in the library and are in her room reading them now. Since you’re interested in the past, I figure we could join them.”

“Well I really don’t want to intrude on the two of them, I do want to read the journals, but not at the cost of embarrassing either one of them in case they’re busy.”

“Nonsense, I just spoke to Scully, we’re invited. Actually it was her who suggested that the both of us come.”

“Great!” she turned to shut her door when Mulder stopped her.

“Hold on.” He brushed his finger to her chin, just below her lip. “You forgot to wipe some of the jam off your mouth” he mumbled, mesmerized by the soft skin on her face. His caress was gentle, barely putting pressure on her, but as soon as the moment had started, it was over, the two of them were heading over to Scully’s room for some research.

Scully stood at the door waiting for Mulder and saw the whole thing. He was obviously entranced by Nancy, else he wouldn’t have touched her in that way, as innocent as it was. It was through between them then. Scully was ready to give up all hope of ever having him love her as she did him. It was true; she had finally admitted it to herself. She was in love with Fox Mulder, but he obviously does not feel the same way back, else he would be touching her like that, not Nancy.

She turned back inside her room dejected, feeling hopelessly alone. Well she had Sam waiting inside for her, but he didn’t really matter, he had his own girl. It seemed like everybody has somebody, Sidney has Phoebe, Nancy and Mulder, Sam and Carrie, Scully was the only one by herself. She sighed as she sat back down on the bed, picking up a journal.

“Dana? Are you alright?” Sam looked genuinely concerned. “Is it Mulder? Did he turn you down?”

“No, it’s not that, he and Nancy both accepted, they’ll be here within a few minutes.”

“Well then are you not looking forward to working with your own partner?”

How could Scully explain to him how she felt when she really couldn’t explain it to herself. “It’s complicated Sam, I really don’t want to go into it, it’ll only get that more depressing.”

“Well everybody needs to talk to somebody at sometime Dana. I’m a good listener and a better shoulder to cry on if need be, or at least Carrie tells me so. Come on, you know you can talk to me.”

Scully sighed again. He was right; she needed to lift this off her chest. She opened her mouth to begin to speak when she heard a knocking on the door. “Who is it?” she called out.

Mulder’s voice carried through the heavy thick wood. “It’s me.”

Scully looked back at Sam. “We’ll talk about this later. Come in” she called back to the door.

Mulder and Nancy entered the room and immediately picked up a book from the bed and sat on the floor to read it. “How did you find all these Scully?” he asked.

“These were the books that fell on me Mulder. If they hadn’t fallen, I probably wouldn’t have found them they were so high up.”

Mulder instantly didn’t like the books, or the way that Scully had found them. “So how far back do you think they go?”

“I’m not sure, we haven’t checked all the dates on them. Just start reading and I’m sure we’ll figure it out, hopefully one will let us know about that so called demon.”

They sat quietly for several hours, catching up on the journals when Nancy broke the silence. “I don’t think they spoke English way back when, it’s got all these weird symbols for letters I can’t understand.”

“What’s the date on it?” Scully was getting frustrated with the books. She had read three but they had nothing to do with the history of the castle. Somehow she had ended up with journals about rich girls’ love lives.

“1017 CE.”

“It’s old English, here hand that one to me, I remember how to read some of it from my English lit class in school.” She tossed Nancy another book, a little harder than she had to in hoping that her aim would be off and hit Nancy. Unfortunately it wasn’t. “Here, read this one, it’s a little more recent.”

Mulder saw what Scully had done, but didn’t comment in hoping to talk to her later about it. She had been acting weird all day and he didn’t know why. Scratch that, he did know why. She was attracted to the navy and sending him signals. That was the only thing he could think of cause she never acted that way around him, laughing and all. He spent a few more minutes reading his book and put it down picking up another one. He glanced at the date and the name at the end of the first entry. “Guys” he saw everybody look up at him. “I think I found something, it’s Megan’s journal.”

The other three quickly gathered around Mulder to hear what he had to say. “I haven’t read any yet, but she signed it so I hope it says something.”

“If it’s another romantic journal I think I’m going to be sick, I’ve read enough of those to last me a lifetime, and they were all depressing, we need one with a happy ending.” Scully commented.

“I don’t think this one is going to be a romantic one. It seems dark and depressing, she had married, had one child and her husband died a year later leaving her to raise her child by herself.” He scanned down the page further. “Apparently, our dear Mr. Blake’s ancestor Hank was none to nice with Megan and refused to help her care for her daughter, didn’t even increase her pay or anything. She had to work twice as hard to pay for her food and supplies.”

“He didn’t sound very nice. All the previous dukes of the castle seemed nice enough” Sam spoke up.

Mulder just glared at him, jealousy coursing through his veins. He was sure something was about to happen between Scully and Sam before he walked in. Whatever it was though, he was eternally grateful for his impeccable timing; he didn’t want to lose Scully to anybody, even if the navy boy had more things in common with her than he. “So one bad egg out of how many. Each family line has somebody who’s not very nice. I had my father, Scully’s got Bill, Sidney is probably the bad egg in his family and now there’s dear old duky Hank.”

“I’ll have you know Mulder that Bill is not the bad egg in my family. He may be a pompous a** to you, but now I’m thinking that you probably deserved it!” She slammed her book down and stormed out of her room, heading somewhere, anywhere where Mulder wouldn’t be around.

Both Mulder and Sam got up at the same time to chase after her, but Sam beat him to the door and looked back at him. “I suggest you stay where you are Mulder. You’re the cause of this and I highly doubt Dana wants to see you at the moment. You know, by that one remark, I don’t know how she’s put up with you for seven years. I wouldn’t have.” He turned back out the door leaving Mulder standing there with his mouth gaping open. He had to admit this time; he had crossed the line with that crack about Scully’s brother.

“I have to admit Fox, Sam’s right, that was a bit much.” Nancy came up and rested her hand on his shoulder.

“I know” Mulder placed his head in his hands in anguish. “I regretted it the minute I said it. Sometimes I just don’t know when to keep my mouth shut.” She gently pushed him back on the bed in a sitting position and sat next to him.

“You two are close aren’t you?”

“Somewhat, she’s been my partner for seven years. We trust each other, we have to, and therefore we have to know each other’s demons too.”

“Then why did you say that if you knew it was going to upset her. That’s not really working on the trust thing.”

“I didn’t mean for it to come out. Like I said, I said something before thinking about it. I didn’t mean it, and now it’s probably too late to take it back.”

“Don’t worry, the weekend will be over in a matter of 20 hours and then everything will return to the status quo, heck, stay the next couple of days and show me around like you said you would. What you probably need is a break from her anywise. I mean after working for eight or more hours a day, five days a week, a break is necessary.”

“Maybe I should do that, clear my head” he said aloud while thinking try to get over her as she’s clearly fallen head over heels for Sam. He just didn’t want Nancy to know the extent of his feelings for Scully.

She moved behind him and started to rub the back of his neck. “You’re tense Fox. Come on, relax, everything will pan over fine” and she continued to massage his taut muscles, hoping that Scully won’t return for at least an hour to give her some time alone with him.

Scully heard Sam enter the room behind her. She had decided to take refuge in an empty room at the end of the hall, somewhere she knew Mulder would never look for her. Why would he want to look for her anyway, he had Nancy around to keep him entertained.

“Dana, is everything alright between you and Mulder? You’ve both been acting kind of tense all day, mind you I don’t blame you for that last crack he made at you.”

She sighed. “The thing is he’s right. Bill has always tried to play the over protective older brother bit, but with Mulder, he just seems to play that role really really well. I don’t blame Mulder for what he said, and now because of what I said, he’s going to feel even more guilty about things than he needs to be.”

“Well what does he already feel guilty about if you don’t mind my asking?”

She looked up at him and sighed. He was really a nice guy, and she knew he really did want to help, but he wouldn’t be able to understand what she and Mulder had been through over the past years. “Six years ago I was abducted and tested on by men. The result of these tests left me infertile and gave me cancer about four years ago. Mulder believes all this has happened because of him, and Bill expressed his feelings over this when I was in the hospital undergoing treatment.”

“Cancer?” Sam looked absolutely stricken. “But everything is okay now right?”

“Yes, the cancer is in remission, has been for three years and it looks good. The thing is I don’t blame any of this on Mulder. I can’t really explain. Because of our job, the division we work in, we have powerful men who’ll do anything to stop us. I keep going because I believe in the work; in what we’re doing is right. Mulder thinks that it’s his fault that because I work with him these bad things happens. Now I’ve just given him more ammunition to feel guilty with.”

“I’m sure he’ll get over it. He hasn’t exactly been the nicest person around here either you know.”

“I know, and I don’t understand why. I’m sorry for him yelling at you like that earlier in the salon. Mulder can be a little possessive of me at times.”

“Possessive? He’s been watching me like a hawk since he first saw us. It’s like he’s afraid that I’ll take you away from him or something.”

“I know, but I don’t know why, he’s interested in Nancy. It’s obvious. He has no reason whatsoever to be possessive over me. It’s infuriating.”

Sam took one good hard look at her. “You love him” he stated matter of factly.

Scully blushed. “Well I wouldn’t go that far…”

“No, you do. I can tell, I used to feel the same way about Carrie. Then one day I realized that I love being infuriated with her. She made life interesting, that I love her. I can tell by the look on your face Dana.”

“Well yes, I do love him, but he obviously doesn’t reciprocate.”

“Well don’t give up on him yet, he’d be a fool to choose Nancy over you.”

Mulder sat there on the bed and accepted Nancy’s massage, dreaming that it was Scully’s hands on him, and not Nancy’s. She was right though, he was way to tense and needed to relax, but how could he when he had just lost the woman he loved. Nancy was wrong about one thing, everything wouldn’t pan out. The weekend would be over and Scully will go home in the arms of Sam, and live her life. Well he would see her everyday for work, but he didn’t know whether that would be enough, seeing the woman he loved day in day out with another man, just being her friend. At one point it was enough, a shoulder to lean on, somebody to talk to, but now he wanted so much more. At first it started with the physical fantasies. He would go to bed at night and dream of nothing but Scully, what she was wearing, and whatever flirtatious remark she had made during the day to him. He wasn’t even going to start thinking about the comment she made about it raining sleeping bags three years ago. That one remark alone gave him enough fantasies to last a lifetime, and it took him a good four months to calm down after hearing it.

Somehow though over the past years, his dreams transcended from the physical to the emotional, him spending a life with Scully. The two of them living side by side their house with their picket fence, 2.5 children and gold retriever following behind them. No shadowy conspiracy to worry about, no Skinner a** chewing, no nothing. The only thing they would have to worry about was who was going to drive little Jimmy to soccer and pick up little Suzie from ballet.

Of course he knew nothing would ever be that simple between the two of them. This was him and Scully they were talking about, not the Brady Bunch. He leaned back further into the massage and sighed. Although he felt terribly guilty for enjoying it from Nancy, he knew he needed it and it helped him think about things….like how he was going to get Scully back.

He wasn’t going to give up on her yet, not by a long shot.

Scully started pacing the empty room trying to compose herself. She wasn’t crying, but she was on the verge of. The thought of losing Mulder was too much for her.

“Dana, are you going to be okay? Do you need any help with anything, maybe I can talk to Mulder for you?”

“No” she didn’t take any time responding. “I don’t want him to know, I don’t need him to feel guilty about anything else, even if breaking my heart. I know he cares about me, just not like that. I don’t need a guilt ridden confession from him.”

“Well you said he’s possessive. Maybe I can help with that. I’m sure with no trouble we can make you irresistible to him. Dress you up, assuming you brought dressier clothes with you, and maybe I can even play along, like I said he’s been watching me like a hawk. Maybe if he thinks he’s losing you he might smarten up.”

“Thanks Sam, but I doubt Mulder’s like that. He was never like that with any of the other guys I’ve ever been around. He just looks at them and either seems shocked that I can get a date, or uninterested and leaves me alone.”

“Well he’s a stupid man then. Come on, it works, I’ve seen it work a million times. Hell it’s worked on me before…”

“With Carrie?”

“No, never with Carrie, she never needed to get me jealous to get me. I was always willing to go.”

“Then how do you expect it to work with Mulder?”

“Trust me, it’ll work. Besides I think it will be some fun. If it doesn’t work and doesn’t get the reaction I’ll be looking for from him we can stop it and go back to square one.”

“Well I guess it’s worth a try” Scully stood there thinking about the possibilities.

“Glad you’re thinking my way now. Come on. We have an hour and a half before teatime. We have to boot Mulder and Nancy out of your room and get dressed.”

“And if this doesn’t work?” Scully still had her doubts.

“Then I’ll distract Nancy and use my charm and wit on winning her over and you go after Mulder, plain and simple. Either way Dana, we’re going to make sure you win.”

“Thanks Sam, you’re such a good friend.”

“No problem. Come on, let’s get you all dolled up.” She followed him out the door.

Scully stood in the doorway of her room, watching Nancy rub Mulder’s back, and Mulder ENJOYING it. “Get out Mulder” she had a no nonsense tone in her voice.

Mulder, having just noticed her standing there scrambled up from his relaxed position on the bed and away from Nancy’s hands. “Thank God you’re alright Scully. I really didn’t mean what I said with Bill…”

“Save it Mulder. You said it, so you obviously meant it Mulder. I don’t recall you ever saying anything to me that you haven’t meant or at least thought true. Now get out. I need to freshen up before teatime. I’ve got a bath coming in here and I definitely don’t need you around for it.”

Mulder rose from the bed and exited with a hurt expression on his face. Truth was Scully was right, he really did think Bill to be a pompous ass, but she was also right when she said that he had given Bill lots of ammunition to be an a** toward him. I really am a jerk he thought, and headed down the hall to his room, not even giving Nancy a second glance as she passed by him.

Scully stood inside her doorway with Sam with a huge grin on her face. She had seen the hurt expression on him and was happy that she still at least had some sort of effect on him, that he wasn’t totally gone for Nancy yet, but the minute she realized she was happy about it, she instantly regretted it. Hurting him was not the way to keep her best friend. She saw Sam walk over to her bag and ruffle through it, looking for something for her to wear. He pulled out the perfect outfit and left her alone to enjoy her bath, while he went to his room and change and freshen up before escorting Dana downstairs and hopefully into the arms of the man she wanted to be with.

Blake Castle

4:30pm

Sam knocked on Scully’s door an hour and a half later to walk her down back to the salon and stood with his mouth gaping open at her. “I swear Dana if I wasn’t madly in love with Carrie I would be all over you at the moment. You look gorgeous. I’d say it was a very good idea you packed that dress.”

Scully blushed. “Well it’s not everyday I’m invited to go to England and I thought be prepared for everything.”

“Come on, your man awaits you..”

Mulder sat in the salon, waiting for Scully to down, and he hoped it was soon. He really wanted to apologize to her, he knew he shouldn’t have said what he did and he really needed to clear the air between them. They have never acted like this before, fighting and bickering like crazy, and he had never felt as jealous as he had seeing Sam and her together. It was unnerving that she could affect him that much. He also knew that none of this would be happening if he just spent as much time paying attention to Scully as Sam was. He sat in one of the empty love seats letting his mind wander and his mind immediately froze the minute he saw her enter. He had never seen her as beautiful as she was at the moment, scratch that, when she told him her cancer went into remission was when she looked most beautiful. This was a very close second.

She walked in wearing a short sleeved baby blue dress that matched her eyes and was free flowing to just above her knees. He never knew that she owned such a dress, but he knew the instant he saw it he would never forget it, and it became his new favourite outfit of hers. Her hair was naturally dried and curled around her eyes, providing her with a natural look. He had just fallen in love with her all over again.

Scully stood at the doorway in awe of her partner. He reminded her a lot of Rob Petrie wearing the black slacks and a black golf shirt, and his hair brushed neatly, and damn did she ever love the Rob Petrie look. “No Nancy Mulder?” D*** she thought, why couldn’t she keep her mouth shut.

Mulder looked at her strangely. “No, she didn’t come to get me and I left without her. For all I know maybe she fell asleep on her bed or something.” He gestured to the empty seat next to him. “Hey, come on Scully, sit a spell, I think you and I really need to talk, I haven’t seen much of you this weekend.”

Sam gave her a nudge forward and took a seat in the single chair in the room. He wasn’t about to sit on the other love seat. He didn’t want to give Scully an excuse to jump back next to him and he really didn’t want to sit next to Nancy. Heck, for the trouble that she’s caused she could sit next to Sidney for all he cared.

“You look nice Scully” Mulder stated nervously. He didn’t know why he was so nervous, it was stupid, he wasn’t an adolescent anymore and this sure as he** wasn’t a first date or anything.

She blushed and beamed at the comment. “Thanks Mulder, you don’t look so bad yourself.”

“Listen, I’m sorry for the comment earlier Scully, it was extremely rude and wrong of me, and I really am a jackass for speaking before thinking.”

“It’s alright Mulder. I kind of over reacted anyway. I didn’t mean any of what I said. I don’t know what it is about me, but I just don’t seem to be myself lately. Let’s call it even okay?’

He grabbed her hand and placed it in his, on his leg. “Yeah, I’m okay with that.” He stared over at Sam with a look of triumph in his eyes. This was exactly the start he needed to get back in Scully’s good books and win her over.

Nancy entered the room with Sidney following behind her, and she did not look amused at all. She was upset that Mulder hadn’t waited for her, then got annoyed when Sidney decided to brag about his exploits all the way down the stairs. What really got to her though was upon entering the room, seeing Scully sitting next to Mulder, with her hand in his lap of all things. The only seats left was the love seat across from Mulder and Scully, and worse yet, she was going to be forced to sit next to Sidney for the duration. She threw Scully a glare, in which Scully returned a grin and sat herself gracefully down on the seat directly across from Mulder, hoping to catch his attention somehow. Mulder meanwhile was on cloud nine having Scully choosing to sit next to him over Sam.

Lizzi entered the salon soon after, wheeling in trays of tea, biscuits, cakes, tarts and other various desserts. She lifted the carafe off the platter and poured each of them including herself a cup of tea. “Okay, ladies and gents. Help yourself to whatever you wish, seconds are welcomed and enjoy. The Blake castle always has a little tradition though during tea time when company’s around.” She pulled an ottoman up to the circle of people and sat down. “All guests are required to recite or sing something, it can be anything.”

“Hey Scully, how about Joy to the World” Mulder quipped. That in turn rewarded him with a nice nudge in the ribs discreetly telling him to be quiet.

“Good idea, Ms. Scully, you can go first.”

Scully’s face turned red and she stood in her place, thinking quickly of something she could recite. The only thing that came to mind was several pieces of an article she read from a medical journal, and the passage from Beowulf. “So Hrothgar’s men lived happy in his hall, Till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend, Grendal, who haunted the moors, the wild Marshes, and made his home in hell…”

All eyes were focused on Scully as she recited her bit from what she could remember, all except for Lizzi’s whose eyes bore into the depths of Sidney’s releasing an unknown power into his body, causing him to drop his tea to the floor and grab his throat in anguish.

Everybody turned back to him at the sound of his teacup shattering to see him clutching his throat, gagging and attempting to cough. “Oh my God” Scully got off the seat as fast as she could to get to his side. “Mr. Keats, can you breathe?” He shook his head no. “Can you cough?” He shook his head no again. “Can you try to speak?” At the third shake of his head no she immediately turned into doctor mode. She raised her hands to release the grip he had on his neck to free the air passage, but his hands wouldn’t move. “What the he**? Mr. Keats I need you to remove your hands, else we can’t help you.” She could see the struggle in his hands, but the continued to hold the death grip around his throat, his knuckles white and his face going black and blue.

Both Mulder and Sam rushed to his side, each grabbing an arm to pull away from his throat, but to each no avail. “Scully, his arm is not budging” Mulder managed to spit out through gritted teeth while using his strength to pull the one arm away.

“Mulder, we have to get the arm away else he’ll strangle to death.” It was too late however. Sidney’s face turned from blue to extremely pale gray, his eyes rolled to the back of his head and he fell lifeless onto the couch. Nancy immediately jumped off the couch, disgusted as to sitting next to a dead corpse.

“What the he** happened Scully? People just don’t strangle themselves for any good reason.

“I know Mulder, but I can’t tell you. All I know is he strangled himself.”

“Is there anyway you can do some sort of an autopsy or something. Maybe he was holding his neck to keep something in, to prevent it from breaking out. We’ve seen it happen before.”

“Mulder, where would I be able to perform an autopsy here? This is a castle, not a morgue. It doesn’t come equipped with the equipment I will need.”

“Come on, I know you carry your scalpel and thread everywhere. It’s in your first aid kit you carry around with you. We could move him somewhere, place him on a table, and just autopsy his neck.”

“And where are we going to place him?”

“The dungeon!” Nancy’s voice finally came to life. “It’s got a large wooden table on it we can work on, and it won’t matter whether we dirty it or not. It’s also the perfect place for him there considering it’s got the feel of death already there.” She bent over and picked Sidney up in a fireman’s lift. “Go to the front left tower and climb the stairs. You’ll find the dungeon at the top. Go get what you need and we’ll meet you up there with things already set up.” She turned to Mulder. “Come on, we may have to switch arms halfway up. I may be strong, but I don’t think I can carry the body all the way up by myself.” Nancy and Mulder left in one direction, and Sam and Scully left in the other.

“You carry a scalpel around with you Dana? Planning on emergency surgery sometime?” Sam was trying to make light of the situation, much to Scully’s appreciation. Death never bothered her much, but she wasn’t too keen on performing an autopsy in a dungeon that probably didn’t have much light in it.

“Not surgery. I specialize in forensic pathology, autopsying corpses. I work with the dead ones, the only live one I’ve ever had to tend to is my partner, and never with a scalpel. I only keep the scalpel around just in case. I told you, doctors are always prepared for everything. Did you happen to pack a flashlight at all for this weekend?”

“Nope, but I’m sure we can use lots of candles if you need light, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of them in this castle.” He grabbed a large torch off the wall of the hallway and carried it up along side of them. “Ever performed an autopsy in such a situation where you didn’t have a morgue to work with?”

“A couple of times yeah, once in a police station, once I had to necropsy an elephant. That was interesting, learned how to do it pretty fast.”

“An elephant? Are you serious? Wow, you must be talented. Well at least you have an idea of what to look for here.”

“Yeah, I don’t know why Mulder is insisting on an autopsy, it’s apparently obvious that he died of strangulation. We all saw it with our own eyes.”

“Well maybe he thinks it’s the so called demon?” Sam suggested.

“Please.” Scully rolled her eyes. “You know as well as I do that there are no such thing.” They rounded the corner on the stairs and opened the door. “All right Mulder” she shouted. “Let’s get this over with.”

“Strangulation” she announced after two hours cutting open the body.

“That’s it?” Mulder asked.

“That’s it. Look, there are bruises around his neck indicating pressure being placed on it, and the trachea has been crushed. No outside organism living inside, just a healthy normal human being until he decided to strangle himself.”

“Well why would he do that?”

“I don’t know, haven’t thought that far. I only cut them open and find out how they died. Usually you’re the one who figures out the why.”

“Correction Scully, WE figure out the why, I would never have gotten as far as I have if you weren’t around.”

“What are we going to do with the body?” Nancy interrupted, obviously displeased with the closeness between Mulder and Scully.

“We can’t just leave him here.”

“No, we can’t. I suggest somebody hikes out to the cabin to use the phone there.” Scully suggested.

“That’s a good place to start. I’ll go” Sam offered. He turned back to head down to the stairwell.

“Call for Scotland Yard and ask for Inspector Green. Tell Phoebe I think she’s lost her fiancé.” Mulder turned back to the corpse to take a closer look at the bruises.

Sam continued down the stairwell thinking about what had occurred up there, and what could drive a man toward self-strangulation. He paused by a window looking out of the tower to see the closest cabin. If people were dying, he didn’t want to leave Dana alone in there. Yes she had Mulder to protect her, but he seemed so into Nancy that he might not remember that she’s there. He chuckled at the thought. If there was one thing he learned in the few hours that he’s spent with Dana, it’s that she didn’t need protecting, she knew how to protect herself. He saw the sig and holster she attached to the back of her pants while she was grabbing her emergency gear. She was definitely not a woman to be messed with. I guess all Scully’s are alike he thought.

He remembered Charlie with his men. While Charlie knew how to have fun and enjoy himself, he was definitely not a captain to be messed with. His officers knew when he was serious and when he wasn’t, and when he was, nobody disobeyed a single word he said. He figured Dana was just like that. When she was serious, everybody listened to her; she probably wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Where are you going Mr. Pound?” a female voice behind him stopped him from opening the front gate.

Lizzi.

“I’m going to call help Lizzi. A man died and we can’t leave him here.”

“Nobody’s going to go anywhere. It’s in the rules, everybody must remain on castle property until tomorrow morning.”

“I don’t care for rules. All rules went into void the minute Mr. Keats decided to strangle himself to death. We need help and I’m going to get it.”

“It wouldn’t be a wise idea, you’re going upset somebody.”

“Your precious demon? I don’t think so lady, anybody with common sense knows there’s no such thing. I’m going, now I suggest you let me go.” He stormed off toward the front gate, holding his hand up ready to push it open.

“I warned you Mr. Pound” Lizzi stood there watching as he continued to lift his arm, and placed it on the gate to open. The skies opened up and a flash of light swung down and struck Sam, leaving him lying unconscious on the ground.

“Couldn’t you have done something not so harmful so he could have at least brought himself back into the castle instead of my dragging him?” She looked up at the sky while speaking and moved toward the still body.

The other three were just coming down the stairs when they saw Sam being dragged through the front door by the maid. Scully ran instantly to his side. “What happened to him?” she asked as she placed her fingers on his neck to feel a pulse. She breathed a sigh of relief, it was there, and it was still strong.

“I don’t know. He told me he was going to leave to get help and when he opened the front door, there was a bright flash of light and I found him lying on the ground. I rushed out and grabbed him as fast as I could.”

“A flash?” Mulder was instantly interested. “Where did it come from?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t see it the source, all I know is it flashed and lit up the entire lobby.”

“His hands look like they’ve been burned, maybe electrocuted.” Scully continued to examine the body on the ground.

“Well maybe Mr. Blake did something to the fence while I was away, other than that I don’t know.” Mulder focused on Lizzi. Something didn’t seem right about her, he could tell she was leaving something out, but he didn’t know what.

“Mulder?” Scully looked up at him. “We need to get him upstairs and into bed if we want to help him.”

Mulder nodded and bent down to grab his upper half of the body as Scully grabbed the feet.

“If you want, I can help carry him up” Nancy offered. It might be easier as I am trained in carrying people around.”

“You carried Mr. Keats up all those stairs and he’s no lightweight. Don’t worry about it Nancy, I’m sure Scully and I can carry him up, just stick by to spot us if necessary.”

They turned and trudged back up the main stairs toward Sam’s room.

“Nancy, run to the water basin please and get me a cool cloth, and Mulder? I need you to go into my room and grab my first aid kit.”

Scully barked out, ordering everybody to get busy before she loses the pulse of Sam. Nancy was over in the corner in a second and Mulder was back with her first aid kit in two. She threw on a pair of latex gloves and lifted Sam’s hands, taking a close look at the burnt tissue.

“Where do you want the cloth Dana?” Nancy stood next to her with the damp, cool cloth in hand.

“Place it on his forehead. Gently wipe his face with it every few minutes. Maybe the coolness will wake him up. The burns on his hands don’t look too bad. First degree probably, he’ll survive.” She turned to Mulder. “Can you pull out my burn cream please, a two rolls of gauze, some bandage tape and scissors.” Mulder handed the first of the three and Scully went to work on applying the cream to sooth the tissue while Nancy continued to wipe his face. She rolled the gauze on his hands and bandaged them tight enough to prevent bacteria from entering, but loose enough that they didn’t cut off circulation. She removed her gloves and tossed them in a bucket and walked up from Nancy and took over wiping his face.

“Do you need any other help?” Nancy asked her, walking to stand along side Mulder.

“No, why don’t you two get ready for dinner. After trudging Mr. Keats around and being in the dungeon all afternoon, you both may want to change your cloths again.”

“What about you Scully?” Mulder looked over her disheveled look. Hair mussed up, and dress wrinkled.

“I’ll be fine. I’m going to stick around till Sam wakes up, then I’ll join you guys in the dining hall. Lizzi may get upset if all us are late for dinner.”

“You sure you’re going to be okay Scully?” With a nod of his head he glanced over to Sam, sending a possessive look his way and left the room, behind Nancy.

As Scully had predicted, Sam was doing well, and it didn’t take him long to wake up. Although she had stayed by his bedside most of the time, she did take five minutes to herself, with the connecting doors open to change out of her clothes and straighten herself out for dinner.

“Dana?” She heard the weak voice calling her from the room over. She threw on her green shirt as fast as she could and ran next door.

“Sam, how do you feel? Are you in a lot of pain?”

“No, slightly dizzy from sitting up too fast, and my hands are sore, but that’s it.” He looked down at his hands to find them both wrapped up snuggly in gauze. “What happened to my hands?”

“You burned them. Nothing too serious, just enough to warrant some protection from germs and other bacteria.” She walked to his dresser and poured him a glass of water from the water jug. “Here, drink this, you’ve been out for about an hour and is probably thirsty.” She held the cup to his lips and let him take a couple sips before removing it.

“Thanks, what happened to me?”

“I don’t know, I was hoping you’d be able to tell us. We were coming down the stairs and saw Lizzi dragging you in unconscious.”

“I don’t remember. The only thing I know is I don’t like Lizzi. There’s something about her that I don’t like.”

“Don’t worry about it. Do you think you can walk?” He rose from his bed and took a few steps forward, slowly regaining his sense of balance. “Good. Lizzi’s got dinner ready for us now. Why don’t you change and I’ll help you down.”

He looked at her. “I have a slight problem.” She looked at him quizitively, with one eyebrow raised to show she was looking at him. He held up his hands, “I really can’t do much with my hands wrapped in gauze.”

She sighed and walked over to his bag to pull out another pair of pants and a shirt for him. “Come on, hands over head.” He raised his eyebrow in reaction to the suggestion, not really believing what was about to happen. “Well we have to get you changed somehow, you can’t eat dinner like that. Besides, I’m a doctor, I’ve done this a few times, especially with Mulder and nothing’s happened.” He consented and raised his arms up, allowing her to remove his shirt and place a new one on. Just as she was bending down to pull down his pants, a knock came at the door, interrupting her while his pants were mid-way down his thigh.

Mulder.

“I hope you’re only doing what I think you’re doing Scully? After all he is an ailing man here.” Mulder mentally slapped himself for saying such a thing to her, but when he came in and saw his pants coming down and her pulling on them, whatever he had come to say just slipped his mind and jealousy consumed him.

Scully blushed as she realized what he had walked into. “Mulder, if you look at his own hands, you’ll realize that he’s pretty limited in his abilities to change his clothes.”

“And I guess you’re only playing doctor and helping him.” He added sarcastically. “Can you play doctor on me sometime too, I mean if you can do that to a man you’d just met today, then I’m sure you’d have no trouble with me considering we’ve been partners for how long.” Mulder sat there stunned at hearing what he was saying. He knew she was only helping Sam, in fact she’s helped him like that several times too when he wasn’t well, but the fact that her hands were on another guys body just did him in. All rational thought left his mind.

“What do you want Mulder?” Scully was obviously annoyed with his comments and wanted him out. She continued to pull down the pants in front of, her gaze never leaving his taking satisfaction in the fact that she was pissing him off. She turned back to Sam, a teasing glint in her eye as she hoped he would catch her drift. “Sam, those boxers are a mess as well, you packed other pairs I hope.”

“Yeah, they’re in my bag,” totally getting the idea that she was trying to convey. Her hands reached to the elastic band when she heard Mulder turn around and leave.

“I’ll leave you two alone. I only came up to tell you dinner was ready and to see if you’ll be joining us.”

He was gone before Scully could respond.

“Thanks Sam” she removed her hands from his elastic band and picked up the pair of pants she placed next to him on the bed.

“Hey that’s no problem” he replied, following suit, lifting one leg up, then the other to get them in the pant legs. “He was way off line with that doctor comment. It’s only right that he was taught a lesson.”

“I apologize for that one too, I don’t think he’s been himself lately.”

“Don’t apologize for him Dana, it’s not your fault. We’ll show him what a fool he is by the end of the night, and if he doesn’t realize it then, well then he’s truly brain dead and doesn’t deserve you.”

“Yeah well I hope he realizes something soon because I have a life to live here and I can’t keep following him around like I do if he’s going to continue acting the way he is now. I don’t want to leave him, but if he makes working with him unbearable, then I won’t have any other choice. Unfortunately I can’t put my life on hold waiting for him to come around.”

“And you shouldn’t, there’s plenty of nice guys around. When we get back I should introduce you to a couple of my crewmembers. Decent lot, serious when it comes to work, goofy when it comes to play, and from what I hear from the girls they meet on shore leave…they’re not to bad in the sac either.” He raised his eyebrows in emphasis.

Scully blushed, “we’ll see.” She escorted him down the hall and to the dining hall, sitting him next to her and across from Mulder’s glaring eyes and Nancy so she could help him eat.

Dinner went uneventful except for a few glares given to Sam by Mulder as Scully was helping him eat. Lizzi went all out for dinner as she did for tea, preparing a pot roast surrounded with potatoes and carrots, different breads and other vegetables lined the table, and for dessert, a cheesecake, homemade. Wine was served with dinner and tea and coffee along with dessert.

“You went all out Lizzi, thanks” Nancy held up the potato she had at the end of her fork in appreciation and popped it into her mouth. The others remained cautious while eating, afraid that maybe Keats had been poisoned and one of them was next. Once they saw Lizzi eating her own food they had assumed it safe and dug right in.

The evening was spent in quiet discussion in the library, before Scully decided to take Sam back upstairs. “Well it was a good meal, thank you Lizzi, but I should put Sam back to bed, he hasn’t had a very good evening. She silently motioned Mulder to follow.

Mulder wasn’t too far behind, leaving Nancy behind speaking with Lizzi. “What’s up Scully?” he wasn’t in the mood.

“I think we should go over these journals again. Sam was mentioning something about not trusting Lizzi when he woke up. I’m not so sure I trust her either.”

“So I’m not the only one experiencing these seeds of doubt. I’m game, I want to find out what’s going on here, before the night is over and another one of us dies.”

“Hey Scully, do you think there would be a book in the library regarding family lineage for Lizzi?” Mulder was all business once they were parked in her room with the journals.

“I don’t know, she’s just the maid, there might not be, but there would be several on the Blakes I’m sure.”

“Well right up to Duke Hank, if he was the last Blake to live here then the lineage in the books wouldn’t extend past it.” Sam piped in.

“I guess the first place to start would be Megan’s journal, maybe that would explain why she set the demon into the castle” Mulder instantly picked up her journal and started flipping through it.

“Mulder, you don’t seriously believe that there’s a demon in here do you?”

“Let me guess what you’re about to say Scully, ‘Mulder, there’s got to be another explanation here, there’s no such thing as demons therefore there couldn’t be one in the castle’ I know the spiel Scully but tell me this Scully, if you believe so strongly in your faith, then how come you still don’t believe in demons. There are several instances in the bible regarding a demon.” He looked at her curiously, he didn’t mean for her to take offense, but she had enough with him.

“Give me the damn book Mulder.” She whipped it out of hand and began reading again. “Now this is interesting…”

“What?” The other two voices came in unison.

“It’s got the Beowulf passage written in here:

‘ So Hrothgar’s men lived happy in his hall
Till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend,
Grendal, who haunted the moors, the wild
Marshes, and made his home in hell
Not hell, but earth. He was spawned in that slime,
Conceived by a pair of those monsters born
Of Cain, punished forever for the crime
Of Abel’s death. The Almighty drove
Those demons out, and their exile was bitter,
Shut away from men; they split
Into a thousand forms of evil – spirits
And fiends, goblins, monsters, giants
A brood forever opposing the Lord’s
Will, and again and again defeated.’”

“That’s the second time I’ve heard it today” Mulder’s thought processes were at work.

“Third time” Sam added. “We found a copy of it in the library before Dana recited it, and now it’s here.”

“I wonder what’s up with it.” She looked over at Mulder. “I think Beowulf has something to do this. It was the first book I found in the library, and it fell off the shelf twice and hit me in the head. And the book was placed on a shelf across the library from me, not above me.”

“There’s something definitely up with that.” Mulder’s mind was really at work this time, but before he could offer up any suggestions, a blood-curling scream echoed throughout the castle and caused the three of them to jump from the bed and into the hall.

The three of them bolted down the hall and down the main stairs, trying to locate the source of the scream. “It’s Nancy.” Mulder stated matter of factly.

“You know how she sounds when screaming?” Scully raised an eyebrow at him, removing her gun from her holster just in case. Mulder followed suit.

Another scream echoed down the corridor bringing the two agents and Sam to a halt. “Left!” Mulder shouted and they turned down another corridor, leading to a side stairwell.

“I wonder where this leads?” Scully looked up at the winding case.

Sam was the first to be running up the steps. “Who cares, we just have to get up, if Nancy’s up there, she’s sounding like she’s in a lot of pain and we have to help her.”

They came up to a small door in the middle of the stairwell. “Mulder, I don’t suppose you have your flash light on you do you?”

“Yeah, always carry it around.” He pulled out his small flashlight and shone it into the doorway, revealing a small, sparsely furnished room. “It doesn’t look like anybody’s home here.” The scream came again, echoing through the stairwell.

“Higher” Sam was already on the run up, Mulder and Scully following close behind him.

A beam of light came through at the top and the tower opened up to a large balcony. “Over there!” Mulder was in a dead run for the far corner, but was stopped when a flock of crows swarmed at him and knocked him to the ground.

“Mulder?” Scully’s voice sounded urgent, and he fought off the crows as fast as he could. “I think I’ve found Nancy, or what’s left of her…” She pointed in the direction of the far corner.

There lay Nancy, bent out of shape and braided onto a wheel, with crows still sitting on her.

“God, Nancy!” Mulder pushed past the birds and removed the wheel from the pole. “Help me get her down from there Sam please.” Sam was over in an instant, lifting half of the heavy wheel as Mulder lifted the other half. “What do you think Scully, any chance of her surviving?”

Scully snapped the latex on her hands and gently placed her fingers on her neck, trying not to damage any more tissues. “Sorry Mulder, no pulse.”

“Well can we do CPR?”

“We could, but it won’t help. CPR isn’t designed to bring people back to life, only to keep them clinging to life until help arrives, and it usually doesn’t last very long. Besides that, even if she were alive, she’d be dead very soon. Some of the skin looks like it’s been picked to the bone. With unsanitary birds eating from her, chances of her not having some sort of infection would be slim to none.”

Mulder looked down at Nancy, seeing her eyes staring back at him wide in terror. He reached his hand out to Scully, receiving a glove and placing it on his hands. He lifted his hands gently over her eyes and closed the eyelids, not wanting to see the terror stricken look any longer than he had to. “We really are going to have to get help, but we got to bring Nancy back inside before the crows eat the rest of her. I don’t want to return bones to Toronto, I want to return as much of her as possible.”

Sam bent down and picked up the other half of the wheel and started to slowly move back inside. “We can forget about leaving the castle and finding help though. That’s how I was injured” he mentioned along the way.

“You remember what happened now?” Scully was instantly curious.

“Yeah, I was leaving when Lizzi stopped me at the door. She warned me not to go and she didn’t seem to understand the fact that we need help. She told me I’d be sorry if I left. I reached to leave and the next thing I remember was waking up in bed with burnt hands and you wiping a washcloth over my head.” He spotted Sidney on the table in the dungeon. “I think we’ve found another entrance to the dungeon. I suggest we place her down by Sidney, my back is starting to hurt.” They dropped her to the ground and turned back to Scully standing at the doorway.

“I think we ought to go back and look at the journal. Insight into Megan may help. One of us though needs to question Lizzi. She seems to be playing an important factor in this, and a good primary suspect.”

“Suspect?” Mulder asked.

“Yes, she was the one feeding Mr. Keats the tea, she stopped Sam at the door, and we left her alone with Nancy. She seems to be a good place to start.”

“I don’t think she’s a suspect, but I’ll question. You two try to figure out the book. We need to get this night over with and fast. I’m afraid as to what next might happen.”

Sam and Scully made a right down the corridor back to her room while Mulder made a left and headed toward Lizzi’s quarters. She had some serious explaining to do.

Lizzi opened her door before Mulder even had to knock. “Do you need something Mr. Mulder? I was just getting ready for some sleep.”

“Yeah, I need to ask you a few questions, mainly about this castle.”

“All information can be found in the library. On the third shelf on the left hand side there are a bunch of journals from the family’s ancestors.”

“I know, we have those. Do you mind if I come in to talk or we go somewhere else?” She stepped aside to let him in and he took a seat on the nearby chaise. “Nancy’s dead” he stated matter of factly.

Lizzi’s face revealed no surprise. “Is she? You must be devastated. You two looked pretty close. What happened?”

“I think you know what, my question is how, and why.”

“What makes you think I know?”

“Well my partner and Sam doesn’t exactly believe my theory, but I think it has something to do with your demon. I think you control him somehow, not wanting the Blakes to move back in again.”

“Why would you think that?”

“Well it’s no secret that your ancestor Megan hated Hank Blake, that she set the demon on to get rid of him, but why keep it around after all these years, why not get rid of it after it did it’s job?”

Lizzi sunk low in the foot of her bed. “You don’t understand. You have half of it right.”

“What part?”

“Megan did set the demon after him, but the demon was supposed to disappear after it got rid of Hank. It didn’t and Megan lost control. It killed the entire Blake family but the youngest son, who was off at school when the massacre happened. He never came home. Megan thought the power of good could weaken it, but that proved false as well. With the more people it killed over the years, the stronger it became, leaving only us ancestors of its creator living. All Blakes soon left and lived on the border on the property. Only Edward, the latest Blake decided it time to reclaim the castle, and now the demon’s back again.”

“I seem to think though that because of the hostility of the Blakes toward your ancestor you really don’t want the demon gone, else you would find a way.”

“I don’t know how you can think that Mr. Mulder, I want this demon gone more than anything. Two weeks ago he killed my lover. After reading up on the history of my family, I found out all husbands and lovers of my ancestors were killed. They were all left with-child however. I got word from the doctor three days ago, I’m two months with-child, and I know, like my ancestors, it will be a girl. I want this stopped. I loved the man and I never wanted to see him hurt. I want vengeance, and I want this demon gone.”

Mulder looked into her and realized that she was most likely telling the truth. “We’ll try our best ma’am, I think however our only goal right now is to survive the night, not get rid of it.”

“I understand.” She walked him to the door of her room and shut it after he left, falling to the ground, body shaking with heart quenching sobs.

Sam and Scully sat in the room looking over the journal, taking mental notes as they went along. “Look at this, it looks like Megan tried to get rid of the demon here. Her black magic failed.”

“Well I’m not surprised. It said in the previous journal that she learned from somebody in town only two years before, nobody could have perfected the black arts in two years time. Heck, it takes years for magicians to master their work.”

“I don’t know about that, I’ve seen some pretty amazing magicians in my time. Mulder and I were even fooled by a couple of them once.”

“Really, I thought nothing would have gotten by you.”

“He figured it out in the end, but it was good magic we saw. But you’re right on this one here. I don’t know how she expected to control a so-called demon if she was only learning herself. It takes some pretty powerful people to figure it out.”

Mulder knocked on the door before opening and flopped down on the bed before Scully. “So what did you find out?”

“Megan was only a beginner in the black arts, conjured the demon according to her but couldn’t control it like she thought she could. That’s where I figure Beowulf comes in. She read about the demon and thought that good can reign it in like in that part I read. It looks like she was wrong. What did you find out from Lizzi?”

“The same thing you told me. She hated Hank, conjured the demon and that was the last of the Blakes, except for the youngest who was away at school during the time. He would be Edward’s ancestor.”

“Why would Lizzi keep the demon around though, I’m sure that Megan could have taught her daughter and from there on have the knowledge passed on.”

“Lizzi has no choice in the matter, she wants the demon gone.”

“You believe her on that?”

“It killed her lover. I know I’d want the demon gone if it ever killed somebody I truly cared about.”

“You believe the story about her having a lover. Nobody can stay here more than one night apparently.”

“Well apparently they can cause she’s pregnant and she doesn’t seem the type to hop in bed with somebody they had just met.” He sent a glare to Sam, silently saying ‘try it and you’re dead’.

“It would make sense that she’s pregnant, she has to have some sort of heir to live in the castle, the lineage has to continue.” Sam was quickly putting two and two together.

“Yeah, and she knows it’s going to be a girl. Apparently there have been no boys in the family since Megan’s brother.”

“It seems as if this thing is planned, but a girl makes sense too, she’s the one who bears the children and raises them.”

“I still don’t like it. Time Scully?” Mulder had realized that he had forgotten his watch at home.

“1am, 7 hours till we leave.”

“Well it seems to be one person every few hours. I suggest we stick together tonight, take turns sleeping if you can’t stay awake. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want to end up as crow food.”

“I’m in agreement Mulder. I’m jetlagged myself, didn’t really sleep much on the plane” she sent a mischievous look to Sam, which didn’t go unnoticed by Mulder and Sam smiled back at her.

“I can go a night without sleep” Sam stated. “If you need sleep Mulder, I can stay awake.”

“I’m not really tired.” He reached into his bag, which he had moved into Scully’s room and pulled out a deck of cards. “You up for Blackjack?”

“Always am, money or no?”

“I didn’t bring much and it’s too much hassle to worry about Canadian/American exchange. How about we’ll bet drinks at a pub when we get out. I know a decent one in Manchester we can go to.”

“Sure, no problem. Why don’t you get some shuteye Dana. Mulder and I got things covered here.”

Scully padded off to the next room and changed into her navy silk pajamas before entering back in and climbed into bed. She knew already it was going be a rough sleep, but better a rough sleep then no sleep at all.

The time had passed by quickly enough with mindless chitchat and chatter about everything and nothing. Mulder had realized that despite his hatred toward Sam for being with Scully, he was actually a nice guy and found himself liking him more and more with each passing word. He had also found himself to be a poor blackjack player compared to Sam, having owed him 7 beers at the put compared to Sam’s 3. “Never play against a navy captain Mulder. We pass our free time on the ship gambling and some of the men know how to cheat good, so you have to know how to come out on top of cheaters.”

“Blackjack a big game there?”

“Not really, more like Euchre, you can win more on that, and it involves partners and people can cheat better in pairs.”

Their conversation and card game came to an abrupt halt when a loud bang came out from the hallway. “What was that?” Mulder was at attention instantly.

“I don’t know.” The banging continued to get louder. “I say we check it out.” He pulled out his switchblade he placed in his pocket after Nancy’s death and saw Mulder reach for his gun.

“How can we do that. Scully’s sleeping so peacefully I don’t want to wake her, but I don’t want to leave her alone, but we shouldn’t be separated either.”

“Stand at the door Mulder. That way you can keep an eye on Dana and watch my back, I won’t go too far.”

“Alright”

Sam made his way down the dark hall and grabbed one of the few-lit torches on the wall, following the loud sound of the banging. He came to a corridor and saw a moving light at the end of it. He gripped his switchblade even tighter, anticipating any sort of attack that may happen. The light continued down the hall, moving ahead of Sam faster than it was earlier. “Hello??” Sam called out. “Lizzi?” The light stopped for a moment before continuing around another corner.

“Sam!!” he heard Mulder shouting.

“Almost there Mulder, don’t worry about me.” He stopped at an entranceway, seeing the burning torch that was ahead of him lying on the ground. “What the hell, where did she go?” He walked over to the balcony, trying to get a good look for whoever might have been in front of him. “Hello?” He felt a cold chill crawl down his spine and spun around at the feel of somebody’s hand on his shoulder. He saw nobody. Realization dawned on him, but it was too late. “Oh shit”

His body lay sprawled on several rocks on the ground, four stories below the balcony.

“Sam!” Mulder stood at the door way and called him for the second time in the night. He hadn’t heard word of him or seen him for the last five minutes and he was beginning to worry. “Come on, you should be back here by now” he mumbled to himself. He took a quick glance in the room back at the sleeping and Scully and ran down the hall briefly, calling his name again.

No answer.

Shit. “SCULLY!” he called back running back down the hallway.

She bolted up in bed at the sound of his voice and was already reaching over to her desk grabbing her gun. “What’s up?”

“I can’t find Sam, he left the room to investigate a mysterious banging we were hearing, he was supposed to be back right away, but he didn’t come back, he’s not even answering my calls.”

She slipped on her slippers and grabbed Mulder’s flashlight and set out next to him in search of Sam. “Which way did he head out?”

“Down the corridor and to the left. I heard him calling out to somebody, but didn’t hear a response.” He ran ahead of Scully and led the way to the corridor he saw Sam turn down.

“Any idea as to how far he went?”

“Nope, too busy standing at the door watching you.”

“Jesus Mulder, why the hell didn’t you go with him? I can protect myself you know.”

“Not when you’re fast asleep. You were dead to the world Scully if you didn’t hear the banging. If you hadn’t noticed, bad things seem to happen to people when they were left alone, not when they were with somebody else. Look at Sam and how he got injured, Nancy was by herself when she was killed. I sure as he** wasn’t going to leave you alone. I should have been the one to go though and leave Sam back to watch over you.”

“What’s done is done Mulder. Now all we’ve got to do is find Sam.” She shone the flashlight down the hall, hoping to find some sort of clue. “Look” she pointed straight ahead.

“Burning embers, probably from his torch.” He raced past Scully and ran out to the balcony. “Two torches, but no Sam.”

Scully stood at the edge looking out at the view when something below caught her eye. “That’s cause he’s not on the balcony Mulder.” She pointed below.

Scully quickly turned around and dashed down the stairs as fast as she could with Mulder following behind her. “Scully! Where are you going?”

“To Sam” she called back.

“But he’s dead.”

“I have to check and make sure myself Mulder. He could only be passed out and have some broken bones. It wouldn’t the first time we’ve seen somebody survive a fall like that.”

“Scully” he caught up to her, grabbed her shoulder and spun her around to face him. “He’s dead. You know that, and I know that, there’s nothing we can do.”

“We’ve got to-”

“I know, we’ll go down and check, but he’s not going to be any more alive if you run to him like you are and slip on the stone and break your head open. Now take a deep breath and slow down.”

She leaned into him, resting her head on his chest. “Why Mulder? Why Sam, he was such a nice guy, didn’t want to harm anybody.”

“I don’t know Scully, I really don’t know. I mean why anybody? Innocents die all the time despite the injustice. We’ve just got to move on.” He held her in the protective embrace of his arms for another minute before letting go and guiding her to the front door with his hand on the small of her back.

Scully could feel the cold air seeping through her silk pajamas the minute she stepped outside and her slippers weren’t giving her enough protection from the ground. Including feeling the cold, she could name off every rock, pebble or stone that she stepped on while trying to reach Sam. “My God” she covered her mouth with her hand when she saw Sam lying sprawled out on the rocks. “You’re right Mulder, there’s no possible way for him to have survived that fall. Maybe if he landed on grass or something, but not rock.” She walked up to him to feel a pulse, just in case, but nothing.

“You okay Scully?” Mulder’s touch on her shoulder was feather light, but to her it felt strong, and good.

“It’s funny, I see death all the time and I am never affected by it, and Sam, I only knew him for a day, so it should be that much easier, but no, I’m not okay. He was a good guy, he doesn’t deserve to die.”

“Nobody does, what are we going to do about him? We can’t leave him out here as prey.”

“No, we can’t. There’s a blanket by the door Mulder, could you get that please and we’ll cover him and take him inside that way.” Mulder squeezed her shoulder once more in support, then quickly left to get the blanket. Scully bent down by the body and pulled his wallet from his pocket, the picture of Carrie was the first thing she saw, then another, a picture of a smiling Sam on the beach with a smiling Carrie, both looking carefree and ready to face the challenges of life together. She placed the wallet back in his pocket, sure that he would want those pictures with him for the rest of eternity. Unfortunately there was no number or address to reach her at. She would call Charlie to figure that one out. She did remove his dogtags however. She was absolutely positive that Carrie would want those, and she would make sure that she gets them.

Mulder returned quickly with the blanket and wrapped Sam in it before picking him up and carrying him inside. Scully could see that he was struggling with the body, but for some reason she couldn’t will herself to help him, her body and mind just refused to cooperate. He placed Sam gently in the front closet so nobody will find him and guided Scully back to her room. This shook her up, he could tell, and he wanted to shake her out of it.

“Scully, come on, you need to calm down. It isn’t as if you haven’t seen a dead person before, heck you autopsied Sidney Keats just earlier today.”

“I know Mulder,” she climbed into her bed and wrapped the covers around her, still feeling the chill from outside. “But it isn’t the same. Sam was a nice guy, he didn’t deserve to die.”

“You really liked him didn’t you?” Mulder mentally prepared himself for the answer. He really didn’t want to hear Scully profess her want of another man in front of him.

“Yeah I did, and I had just met him.” Mulder flinched inwardly. “But what’s bothering me more is how Carrie is going to take it. I’d only known him for one day but-”

“Carrie?” Mulder’s hopes rose, hoping that Carrie is who he thinks she is.

“Yes, Carrie, his girlfriend in Australia. I would have thought he would have mentioned her with you tonight when you guys were playing cards.”

“He mentioned no such person to me.”

“Well Carrie is his girlfriend. He told me on the plane that he planned on retiring from the navy in five years and move to Australia to be with her.”

Mulder was ready to kick himself in the butt. He had made a complete a$$ of himself all day just over being possessive with Scully when in fact he had no real competition. Now he really felt bad. “Come on Scully, stay here and I’ll get you a fresh glass of water.” He left the room mentally berating himself for his behaviour earlier, and seeing this as a chance to redeem himself.

He walked into the kitchen and pulled a large glass from a shelf and walked to the pump just outside of the door, filling the glass for him. He knew at this point Scully needed him, he hasn’t seen her this shaken by a death of somebody she knew since Emily, and before that, Melissa, both of which were his fault he knew. He climbed the stairs up the west wing when he stopped in midtracks and felt a cold chill run through his spine, but it was gone the instant that he had felt it. He shook his head trying to forget the feeling he had just had, muttering something about it being something about the castle. Lizzi stood in the corner glaring at him, seeing everything that had just transpired. “It’s done” she whispered. “Now I only hope you can control it before it’s too late Mr. Mulder.” She turned back to her room.

“Scully?” he knocked on the door before entering to see her sitting in the same position from when he left.

“Still cold”

He crossed the room in an instant and snuggled up next to her on the bed, wrapping his free arm around her and bringing the cup in his other hand to her lips. “Just rest Scully. Four and a half more hours and we’ll be gone. We’ll get the police out here to investigate this place and we’ll leave it behind us, another bad memory, and we’ll go back to DC and I think we should take a vacation, a real one, something to bring back good memories to replace these ones.”

“I know, I’d like that.” She rested her head on his shoulder, trying to lean in as close as she could.

Scully leaned into his warmth, feeling the beating of his heart and the rise and fall of his chest beneath him. She was amazed how this man could just go on even in the most unusual of situations. “Mulder, aren’t you even upset by Nancy’s death?” She looked up into his eyes. “You’ve been nothing but supportive to me, yet you haven’t shown any grief yet for Nancy?”

“Yes, it’s a same Nancy died, but no Scully, I can’t really sit there and say it’s shaken me. Nancy was a nice woman, but that’s it, an interesting person to talk to.”

“Nothing more? I got the feeling you two were interested in each other.”

“Nancy probably was for me, I’m not totally oblivious to that, but it wasn’t mutual.”

“Why not? She seemed nice, and like the same things you do, and drop dead gorgeous…”

“Why so insecure now Scully?”

“I don’t know, just am, must be the situation.”

“Feeling was never mutual, I wouldn’t allow it to be. Yes she was drop dead gorgeous, but in all honesty, she wasn’t what I wanted. Lately the only thing I want is a petit redhead who knows how to kick my a$$ if need be.” Scully looked at him, and instead of feeling the remorse she had felt all night, it turned into awareness. His hazel eyes were focused on hers, glaring deep inside hers trying to read her heart, her soul. She gently lifted her head and moved slowly toward his, lightly brushing her lips over his. He pulled back slightly, and somewhat reluctantly. “Are you sure you want this Scully, with everything that’s happened tonight?” She nodded against him and that was all the encouragement he needed to proceed and continue. He placed the cup on the bedside stand and lay her on the bed, gently moving over her, straddling his hips between hers. His mouth left hers and moved down her neck to the opening of her silk pajamas, and gently with his mouth and tongue, he undid each of the buttons revealing perfectly soft flesh. Scully’s hands were all over him, removing this top and feeling the hard muscle underneath her hands. She had always dreamed he would feel like this. He trailed kisses along her abdomen and back up and suddenly looked down at her face. Something changed in him, something became dark.

Scully looked back up at him, only to realize that it was not Mulder hovering above her. The body was Mulder’s yes, but not the eyes, which had turned jet black, not the smile which had turned evil, and not the soul which had turned dark.

Awareness came upon her and before she could scream or run, he had her pinned to the bed, eyes boring into hers, and a strength that no human being could ever have was placed all in his right hand as it moved to cover her mouth.

Scully struggled but the Mulderdemon was too strong, and the hand clamped her mouth, cutting off almost all air into the body. She continued to kick and swing her arms everywhere.

One of the kicks must have worked, he loosened his grip and she slipped out of his grasp and grabbed her gun. “Get out” she screamed. He kept one hand on her gun and used the other to button her silk top. With Mulder in the heat of the moment, having her shirt open was fine, but she felt self-conscious with the Mulderdemon here.

“You won’t shoot me.” The deep voice came matter of factly.

“The he** I won’t” she raised her gun even higher.

“You shoot me and you kill the vessel, yet I will survive. That’s all he is you know, a vessel, a human form to carry and hold my soul.”

“You have no soul” she clenched her teeth, trying not to believe that she’s speaking to a demon. He was right though. Shoot him, kill Mulder.

“Why are you doing this, why are you killing innocent people?”

“That’s what I was called to do, I have no other choice.” He started advancing toward her. “You see, at first it was because it was my job, get rid of the Blakes, make sure not another soul ever lives in this castle except for my master’s ancestors. That’s why Lizzi is still alive, I can’t touch her. She’s weak though; I’ve wanted to kill her a thousand times over. But because I haven’t had people in the castle for years, it’s become a game, I kill for fun now.” He continued to advance her. “You can’t stop me Red, nobody can.” He was a two feet away and kept coming closer.

Scully found herself backed into a corner, nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. The Mulderdemon was advancing on her and quickly and she didn’t have any clue as to how to stop it. When one doesn’t believe in that sort of stuff, one doesn’t prepare for it, and Catholic school sure as he** didn’t teach anything about demons except them being cast out of one person and into a pig. Well she wasn’t Jesus Christ and there were no pigs around to expel the demon into. He was inches from her face, but just when she thought all hope was lost, the Mulderdemon suddenly crumpled to the floor, and she looked up to see Lizzi standing behind him with a large wooden pole. She bent down and touched Mulder’s bruised forehead gingerly, “Mulder” she whimpered.

“Come on, we don’t have much time till he comes too.” Lizzi reached to pull her up but Scully refused.

“We can’t leave him here like this.”

“We have no other choice, if he comes to, it will kill us both. He doesn’t stand a chance as is.” She grabbed Scully’s wrist and with extreme strength, pulled her to her feet and dragged her out of the room. “Come with me, if you’re that intent on saving him, there might be a way. My great ancestor Megan purposely left him as is, despite what she states in her journals. She did leave us instructions as to how to stop it if necessary. Come on, we may be able to save Mr. Mulder yet.”

With that said, Scully caught up with Lizzi and followed her into a dark crevice of the castle. “Where are we, I’ve never seen this before.”

“This is my workshop. All of us were taught the dark arts when we were young. It’s partly what keeps us alive. If anything is going to stop the demon, it’s going to be in here. I’m not going to allow it to kill anymore”.

The room was filled with every artifact for the black arts imaginable. Shelves were filled with different jars containing small rodents and different mixes; books were lying around everywhere, chalk drawings on the wall and candles on the table. It was definitely something out of the medieval period.

“Well what do you have in here that will stop the demon?”

“This.” Lizzi held up an dust-covered book and opened it to the spot with a red tassel hanging out of it.

“Ingredients?”

“Yes, we make a drink.” She was running from her pantry back to her bowl with different things, mixing and stirring as she went along.

“The drink will get rid of the demon?” Scully, always being the scientist was skeptic about the whole thing.

“It will help get rid of the demon.” She poured the mixture into a large goblet and walked back toward the door. “It’ll only expel the demon and send him our way.”

“And how does one little drink expel a demon from a body?”

Lizzi looked at Scully directly in the eyes, “by killing the vessel.”

Scully could not believe what she had just heard. “Killing the vessel?” she questioned again hoping it didn’t mean what she thought it did.

“Yes, it’s got a strong toxin in it that will break down the body’s main defenses and kill it instantly.”

“You’re talking about killing Mulder.”

“Yes, it’s the only way it can be done.”

Scully took the cup from Lizzi’s hand and threw it against the wall. “It’s not the only way it can be done, it’s the only one you know. I won’t have Mulder die in the process, not when there’s a chance I can save him.”

“You just destroyed our only chance of defeating the demon Ms. Scully” Lizzi did not look amused.

“The way I look at it is I just saved a man’s life. There IS another way to save Mulder and expel the demon; we just have to figure it out. I won’t let you kill Mulder.” Scully stormed to the bookshelves and began pulling down books, hoping to find something in them. “Help me look. There’s always more than one way to get rid of a demon.”

Lizzi reluctantly left the contents of the goblet on the ground, allowing it to burn a hole through the stone and walked over to the table and started flipping through books. “I found one, but it requires a priest and we’ve tried it before. It didn’t work.”

“Why would Megan even try to conjure a demon she couldn’t control?”

“Because she hated the Blakes.”

“Hated them enough to kill them off and probably hundreds of innocents as well? If so that’s a lot of hate.”

“I never said she was brilliant, I just said she hated the Blakes.”

“Well it would have made it a lot easier on us if she didn’t conjure the demon.”

“You don’t think I don’t know that? Of course I know that, but it’s too late now, we’ve just got-” She was cut off by the sound of banging coming from down the hall. “Shit, it’s back, help me block the door” The two of them ran to the door and placed a large board of wood across it to prevent it from opening. “The table, help me push it” The banging at the door persisted and grew louder with every object they moved to block the way. “This should keep it at bay, afterall it only has human strength to rely on.”

“I don’t think so, Mulder’s pretty strong to begin with, but when I was wrestling around with it earlier, there was more strength there than just Mulder’s.”

“That means-” once again her comment went unfinished. Pieces of furniture flew across the room and the Mulderdemon was standing in the now open doorway.

“This is not good” Lizzi stood behind the main table, next to Scully, completely surprised about the strength the demon seemed to have. “I told you we should have gone with the drink.”

“No, I believe my partner is in there somewhere, we only have to find him.” She stood her ground. “Mulder?” Scully’s eyes were wide with question.

“He’s not home” the Mulderdemon spoke again.

“I refuse to believe that.” She took a step forward, gathering all of her courage possible.

The Mulderdemon took a quick glance at her and advanced on Lizzi, rendering her unconscious and crumpled on the floor. “Believe what you want Ms. Scully but he’s not in here anymore. His soul and fight is gone, he’s nothing more than an empty vessel, designed to carry me around.”

“The Mulder I know wouldn’t let an evil being possess his body, not without a good fight. He’d sooner die than let you use his body to hurt me. He’s alive in there somewhere, if he wasn’t; you wouldn’t be using his body. Come on Mulder, fight it!”

A flicker of confusion crossed the Mulderdemon’s face, revealing the part of Mulder she knew was inside and it renewed her strength and determination to win. “Come on Mulder, I know you’re inside, you’re not going to let such a simple thing as a demon destroy you are you? If it destroys you, I’m surely destroyed along side.”

The Mulderdemon stopped dead in its tracks, fighting to maintain control of Mulder’s body. “Don’t listen to her, she’s wrong” it said, obviously losing the battle.”

“You can do it Mulder, I know you can, don’t disappointment” The confusion on it’s face grew stronger and Scully knew the right side was winning.

“What makes you so sure I can’t beat him down?” the Mulderdemon asked.

“Because the man I love would never let me down like this, he would never let darkness overpower him completely.” Her eyes were bright with hope as the Mulderdemon’s resolve and broke. What she had said obviously was enough to have Mulder overpower the demon and the spirit flew out of his body and he crumpled to the floor.

Scully ran to the fallen body and gently checked to see if he was breathing. Relief fell over her as she saw the gentle rise and fall of his chest. “Mulder?” She gently shook him, trying to wake him to get him out. “Come on Mulder, I can’t carry you out, you’re too big and I can’t do the fireman’s lift like Nancy, so you’re going to have to help me and wake up.”

He stirred beneath her. “The demon?”

“Out of your body, but I don’t know where it went, we have to get out before it comes back.”

“It won’t come back, not unless somebody releases it.” Lizzi stood behind them, holding a large wooden box.

“It’s in there?” Mulder sat up carefully and pointed to the box.

“Yeah, my great grandmother had this box made by the Pope himself. It’ll trap him for the rest of eternity until it is opened again by somebody, God forbid”

“Wood will break down. Do you have a large metal case we can put that in as well, then I say bury it deep down somewhere, maybe we can put it with Nancy, I think it’s highly unlikely somebody will unearth the body of a fireman.” Scully suggested.

“Why Nancy?” Mulder asked.

“Because Sidney being part of Scotland Yard and Phoebe’s fiancé has a chance of being unearthed for whatever detective reason she wants to give, and I liked Sam, I don’t want his body near any evil spiritual entity.”

“Fair enough” he placed his hand over the bruise that Lizzi had given him while knocking him out and stood in his place. “I don’t know about you Scully, but I want to get out of here, and never return.”

“I’m for that Mulder, I don’t want to stick around any longer.”

Scully was just finishing up her packing when she heard Mulder knock on the door. She knew Mulder’s knock anywhere. “It’s open.”

“You ready to go?” he popped his head in.

“Almost, have a seat. Lizzi says Edward Blake is going to give us a ride back to Manchester when we’re ready. Apparently he and the Mrs. are already exploring the castle.”

“I know, I just ran into him. He says he figured it would be us who would free the castle. If we can save the world from alien colonization, then according to him, putting a demon to rest should be a cinch.”

“A cinch, yeah right” Scully rolled her eyes as she folded yet another shirt for her bag. She turned to look at him. “For a moment back there, just one moment, I thought you were gone, I didn’t think I could bring you back.”

“But you did Scully, didn’t I tell you once that you’ve saved me a thousand times, well make it a thousand and one now.” He grabbed her hand pulled her gently to him. “It wasn’t me that got the demon out of me Scully, it wasn’t my strength that overpowered him, it was yours. I was fighting for you. What you said gave me the strength I needed to fight back, else it would probably still be in my body instead of that damn box.” He lifted her chin so he could look into her eyes. “It was all you Scully, and I’m forever grateful for it.”

“You promised me a real vacation Mulder, since we’re here in England, I don’t think Skinner would mind if we took a couple of extra days off, how about you show me around Manchester, like you said you would with Nancy.”

“I’ve got an even better idea, I’ll take you to London, that’s where it’s really happening. A week, you, me, and the most romantic city, next to Paris of course, in Europe.”

“I do love you, you know that Mulder?”

“I know, I love you” he leaned touched his lips to hers. “How much time do we have left here Scully?” he mumbled against her mouth.

“Until whenever we’re ready to go.”

“Whenever we’re ready?”

“Yep.”

“Then where did we leave off earlier?”

“I believe you were undoing my buttons earlier.”

“Well then, it looks like I’m going to have to pick up from there.” His mouth left hers and he moved down her neck, pushing her backwards on the bed, making sure to pay extra attention to the curve where her neck met her shoulder, eliciting a small moan from her. She was so soft underneath him, so tiny; the moan sent shivers running through his spine, driving him crazy, and making him want to do it again. He ran his hands down her sides, stopping at her hips playing with the hem of her shirt. This one didn’t have buttons on it, but he was sure he could still pull it off no problem. He lowered his mouth to her navel and moved up as continued to raise her shirt up and over her head.

“Mulder?” her eyes were heavy lidded and dark with desire when he looked into them.

“Hmmm?” he took a quick look up to acknowledge he was listening then resumed focusing all of attention except for his ears on working his way back up to her neck again.

“I want to touch you.”

Those five words did him in and he grabbed her hands and placed them on his hips, allowing her easier access to whatever she wanted, and slammed his lips back against hers, passion and desire overwhelming the two of them. Her lips parted on contact letting him slip his tongue in, feeling his way around her mouth and exploring and wrestling with hers.

She ran her hands over his abdomen, feeling the muscles and lifted his shirt over his head, parting with him for just one second to slip the sweater over his head, and tossed it across the room with hers. She ran her hands over his chest, playfully pulling on the hairs and flicking his nipples, sending a dart of arousal into his already erect member and a groan into her mouth. “Sculleeee” he managed to spit out.

Encouraged even more by his response she lowered her hands down to the belt, deftly unclipping it and pulling it off of him with one quick flick of her wrist. “Mulder, stand up” he obeyed without question and allowed her to pull down his jeans and boxers all at once. He glanced at the door, and walked over; turning the lock, and answering Scully’s questioning gaze by pulling her off the bed and into another kiss while working with her pants. “You have far too much clothing on Scully.”

“Then deal with it” and the pants were gone instantly and he had her pinned back on the bed instantly, resuming the foreplay. He straddled her hips, parting her thighs with his legs while running one hand along her upper body and the other pulling her head closer to deepen a kiss. “Mulder? Now!” her hips arched against him, trying to get access.

“I want this to last Scully” Mulder was on cloud nine, having have dreamed a thousand dreams about being like this with her, but never once thought that any of them would become reality.

“We have time, why wait? I want this, you want this, and Edward Blake is probably wanting us out soon.”

She was right, they did have time and he had waited seven years for this, as far as he could see, they had waited long enough. He was about to make his move when he felt Scully’s hands wrap around his shaft, pulling him closer, and causing him to go even more rigid than he already was, if that was even possible. “Scully keep this up and I won’t last much longer” and she guided him deep inside her, filling her, both thinking they were going to explode at the contact. She wrapped her legs around him and started arching again, trying to get him deeper, and encouraging him to move along with her. All restraint to take it slow left him and he found himself losing control along with her. None of his fantasies were ever this good, and no other woman has ever driven him beyond control while he was with them, but with Scully, one smoldering look from her and he was gone, moving faster trying to keep up with her. He felt the heat rising inside of him and knew he didn’t have much longer to go, and judging by the look on Scully’s face, she didn’t either. He could definitely get used to seeing her faced clouded like it was, knowing that he was the cause, and would always be the only cause.

“I can’t hold on much long Mulder” her hips started to buck and at that movement Mulder lost all control and screamed his joy alongside with her.

They lay on the bed relaxing for five minutes before Scully rose to grab his boxer shorts and hand them to him. “I have a feeling Edward is probably waiting for us.”

“Off to London then?” he chuckled, separating his shirt from hers in the corner where the cloths were tossed.

“Off to London.”

“Don’t expect much sight seeing though, now that I have you, I don’t plan on letting you go.”

“I wasn’t up for sight seeing Mulder. The only sight I want to see once there is you in a bed. Got it?”

He saluted her, “yes ma’am” and grabbed her suitcase. “I’ll meet you downstairs Scully.”

THE END

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