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[fic] Case X-1743: Unresolved (2c/2/end) X-Men/X-Files, Mulder, Scully, Scott, Jean

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  • Minisinoo Girl
    Continuing directly from part 2b/2... ... As it turned out, Xavier had to show Mulder and Scully around his school, as Summers and Grey remained missing. The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 9, 2001
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      Continuing directly from part 2b/2...
      -----

      As it turned out, Xavier had to show Mulder and Scully
      around his school, as Summers and Grey remained
      missing. The professor brought the tour to a close at
      their guestroom. In the meantime, a pair of students
      had carried in their luggage, and parked their car.
      "Do I tip the valet?" Mulder asked the boy, who Xavier
      introduced as Bobby Drake, when Drake handed over
      Mulder's keys.

      "Only if you don't want me to freeze your underwear,"
      Drake replied, grinning.

      "Master Drake is our resident ice man," Xavier
      explained as Drake turned to Scully and gestured for
      her to hold out her hand. She did so and he placed
      his over it. Mulder watched Scully's eyes go wide and
      her mouth open in surprise. When Drake took his hand
      away, there was a single, perfect ice rosette nestled
      in the cup of her palm.

      "It's beautiful," Scully said.

      "It's how I welcome all the girls." He was still
      grinning. "Even the married ones. Enjoy your visit,
      Dr. Scully, Mr. Mulder." He nodded to them both and
      took off down the hall to join the other student, a
      young Indian named Neal Sharra.

      "I'll leave you both to rest. Dinner is at seven
      o'clock, and after that, I believe Jean will have time
      to show you around her lab, Dana."

      "I look forward to it," Scully said, still holding the
      rose, which had begun to melt from the heat of her
      skin. Xavier motored out and Scully shut the door
      behind him, smiled down at the rosette and then went
      to lay it in the bathroom sink. When she came back
      out, Mulder asked, "Well, what do you think, Scully?"

      "That we walked into a permanent X-File? Or no, if
      this were an X-File, they'd be disappearing into the
      woodwork without an explanation, not giving me ice
      roses, parking our car, or making us cappuccino in
      their kitchen."

      "Yeah." He turned around in place and studied the
      room. Very nice. Very Victorian. And very expensive
      decor.

      "How do you feel about it, Mulder? This must be like
      a dream come true for you. The X-File you got to
      solve."

      He shook his head. "We've solved a lot of X-Files,
      just not with reports that the directors wanted to
      read. This is more up your alley: scientific
      explanation and documentation for the apparently
      impossible. Human beings really can shoot force beams
      out of their eyes, at least if their bodies absorb
      solar energy. He sounds like a plant �- mutant
      photosynthesis."

      She took off her suit jacket and sat down on the bed,
      patted the cover. He sat beside her and she rested
      her palm on his knee. It was, Mulder thought, an
      unconscious repeat of Grey's earlier gesture with
      Summers. "So what do think of Jean and Scott?" she
      asked.

      "He's younger than her. By more than a few years,
      too."

      "Don't be archaic, Mulder. And y'know, he reminds me
      a lot of you."

      "He does?"

      "Mmm, yes."

      "Like?"

      "Oh, little things. I get the feeling he might chew
      the erasers off his pencils, too."

      "So I should worry about Mr. Ultrabright Smile, huh?"
      He was only half-joking.

      She just laughed at him. "You don't need to worry
      about anything, Mulder."





      When he and Scully arrived in the mansion dining hall
      for supper, they were introduced to more students and
      a teacher named Ororo Munroe -� a black woman with
      spectacular white hair and an even more spectacular
      bust line that she didn't seem to mind showing off
      with a push-up bra. Scully caught Mulder eying the
      woman's cleavage and glared. The two of them then ate
      dinner at a table with Munroe and Xavier while the
      professor explained his hope that one day, mutants and
      non-mutants would be able to live together peaceably.
      Xavier had clearly taken a page from MLK, but Mulder
      found himself nodding along. Neither Summers nor Grey
      turned up until supper was almost over, when Grey came
      in looking miffed. She helped herself to some garlic
      bread and a cup of coffee, and joined them. "Don't
      tell me," Xavier said by way of greeting, "Scott is
      being stubborn."

      "Completely unreasonable." She sat down, a little
      bonelessly, between Xavier and Munroe. "I need some
      aspirin."

      Scully fished in her purse and pulled out a bottle,
      set it in front of Grey. "Here. I always carry
      some." She thumbed at Mulder. "He's no better."

      Mulder wisely kept his mouth shut as Grey sighed and
      poured out three white tabs into her hand. "Scott can
      be the king of angst, sometimes."

      "He would not be Cyclops, otherwise," Munroe said
      enigmatically from Grey's other side. She had a
      slight African accent.

      "Cyclops?" Mulder asked.

      "Cyclops is his nickname," Xavier explained. Then, to
      Grey, "I take it that he is still refusing to call the
      Franklins?"

      "Yes. He's convinced they won't want anything to do
      with him, since he's a mutant. The letter was written
      nine years ago, he says."

      "But he's been writing to them himself in the
      meantime," Scully said.

      "Yes. Scott's like that. He writes so they know he's
      okay -� just in case they're worried -� but then
      convinces himself that they don't want anything to do
      with him. Classic double-think. He's very good at
      it, at least when it comes to his own
      irrationalities."

      "Most men are," Scully muttered with a sidewise glance
      at Mulder.

      Munroe put a hand over her mouth to hide her smile,
      and rose. "Please excuse me. It was nice to meet you
      both, but I promised to chaperone some of the students
      to a movie, and we must depart soon. So until
      tomorrow . . . ." She glided off, gathering students
      in her wake with a few glances, as serene as a
      goddess.

      Jean pushed away her uneaten garlic bread and rose,
      too, coffee in hand. "Dana? Shall we go deal with
      rational DNA instead of irrational males? At least
      DNA behaves in *consistent* fashion."

      "The males don't get any better, either, the longer
      you know them," Scully said, also getting to her feet.
      "You just get used to their own unique brands of
      irrationality."

      Mulder glanced at Xavier. "Isn't this supposed to be
      *our* conversation about the opposite gender?" Then,
      to Grey, he asked, "Where *is* Scott?"

      "He went jogging down by the lake." She turned away.
      "See if you can talk some sense into him, Fox." And
      she left with Scully.

      "Do you mind?" Mulder asked Xavier, who made a gesture
      of gracious assent.

      "By all means. You do remember how to get to the lake
      trail? Or never mind, how foolish of me. Fox Mulder
      forgets very little, I think." He winked. "We all
      have our own unique gifts, don't we? Mutant and
      non-mutant alike."

      Going back to his room, Mulder changed into his
      jogging sweats, then headed outside. It was almost
      dark, despite the fact that the time had recently
      changed over to Daylight Savings. The lake wasn't
      big, but the trail around it measured about a mile.
      Mulder stretched out while he waited for Summers to
      approach in the distance, then jogged out to meet the
      younger man. Summers was sweating under his baseball
      cap, but a long way from worn out. Even in his preppy
      clothes earlier, it had been clear he was in good
      shape -� better shape than Mulder these days. "You
      run, too?" he asked as Mulder caught up to him. "Or
      did Jean send you to chastise me?"

      "Yes."

      "To which?"

      "Both."

      Summers laughed and didn't reply further. They
      circuited the lake twice before stopping. Summers had
      brought water, which Mulder had forgotten, and they
      shared it. "I usually only do five miles," he said as
      he stretched to cool down. "That was five for me.
      You can go on if you want."

      "I usually run in the morning," Mulder told him, "so
      I've already done mine for the day."

      "In short, I'm not getting away from you that easily."

      Mulder just put the cap back on the water bottle and
      handed it to him.

      "Charles said you have a psych degree from Oxford,"
      Summers went on. "I should probably run screaming
      into the hills before you psychoanalyze me." But he
      just collapsed in the grass.

      Mulder collapsed across from him. "I have a B.A. in
      psych, which is generic enough to mean nothing at all.
      My masters is in criminal justice. So unless you're
      a serial killer in disguise, I'm not going to play
      counselor."

      "And if I were a serial killer?"

      "I'd just recite you your rights and arrest you."

      Summers didn't reply to that, grinned faintly and
      looked off. His glasses had been replaced by a
      funny-looking contraption that strapped over both ears
      and across his nose, but appeared to fit more securely
      on his face. It had one long, narrow aperture of red
      quartz instead of dual lenses. Mulder pointed to it.
      "Is that why they call you Cyclops?"

      "Wha�?" He appeared startled. "Who told you that?"

      "Ororo Munroe called you Cyclops; Xavier explained it
      was your nickname."

      "Oh. Yes." He tapped the right ear-piece. "The
      glasses just stop my power. This allows me to control
      it. The visor also has less of a tendency to come
      off, when I'm doing anything active. So I wear it, or
      goggles."

      Mulder gestured towards the visor. "Will you show me
      what you can do? I confess, I've been curious ever
      since I first saw the wall in your high school
      bathroom."

      Summers' infectious grin had come back. "Sure."
      Getting up, he looked around. "Let me find something
      . . . " He came back with a couple of fallen tree
      branches of differing sizes. They were almost rotted
      from the passage of winter. "Here. And, um, you
      might want to move back behind me so I don't hit you
      with splinters."

      Then he showed Mulder just how he'd blasted a hole
      through a concrete wall -� only with a good deal more
      control and precision. He cut up the branches into
      little pieces with red beams ranging in size from the
      width of a straw to the size of Mulder's thumb.
      "Maybe I'm the one who should run screaming into the
      hills," Mulder said when he was done, and realized
      immediately that it was the wrong thing to say.
      Summers had turned away, his face coloring slightly.

      "I won't hurt you, Fox. I've spent nine years of my
      life, learning how to avoid hurting anyone."

      Mulder set a hand on his shoulder. "Sorry. Sometimes
      my mouth gets ahead of my brain." He wasn't normally
      good at apologizing, but felt it was crucial here for
      a variety of reasons ranging from Summers' obvious
      insecurity to Xavier's earlier expressed hope that
      non-mutants could learn not to fear mutants. 'Most
      people,' Xavier had said, 'want to do the right thing,
      want to be good people � regardless of their DNA
      makeup. Most people are not monsters, and power need
      not corrupt, unless it's feared.'

      God knew, Mulder had seen his share of monsters down
      the years, seen enough of them to know that it didn't
      take a mutation to make one, and seen enough of them
      to know that Summers was about as far from a monster
      as it was possible to get. But a simple apology
      wasn't going to cut it. "Hey, at least 'Cyclops' is
      better than 'Spooky,'" Mulder said.

      "Spooky?"

      "It's what they used to call me at the Bureau. Spooky
      Mulder."

      "Why?"

      "My penchant for chasing little gray men from outer
      space." He waved a hand dismissively. "Well, not at
      first." Then he pointed to the dock. "You want to go
      out there?"

      Summers shrugged. "Sure." They grabbed towels and
      water and went to sit on the dock, watch the stars
      blooming now that the sun had set. "So why Spooky?"

      "When I first started at the Bureau, I worked in
      Violent Crimes, profiling."

      "Ah �- the serial killer crack."

      "Yeah. I did that for a couple years, till I burned
      out. I can take a lot of diverse information, let it
      stew in my head, and something pops out that's usually
      right. I make unconscious analogies and connections
      that don't make sense to most people. But they make
      sense to me. It's the weird way my brain works."

      "So they called you Spooky."

      "So they called me Spooky. I didn't exactly make
      friends. I was a little too good, a little too young,
      and a little too cocky about it all."

      Summers snorted but didn't reply immediately, slapped
      away a bug. "I can do that, with tactics. Well, I do
      it with trigonometry, too, but that's related to the
      mutation. My ability with tactics isn't. I think it
      runs in the family. I come from a long line of
      military officers, and inherited whatever they had. I
      didn't realize it until college, when I kept beating
      the pants off my friends at war games."

      "You do war games?"

      "Yup. You?"

      "Occasionally. You want to play, later?"

      He grinned. "Sure. Jean'll make fun of us, though,
      for playing with action figures."

      Mulder chuckled. "So will Scully."

      "What is it about red-headed women?"

      "Red-headed *doctor* women."

      "Red-headed doctor women with tempers who swear up and
      down they don't have one."

      "Exactly."

      "*'You can't live with 'em, you can't live without
      'em,'*" Summers sang in a fair Kermit imitation.
      "*'There's just something irresistible-ish about
      'em.'*"

      Which laid out Mulder on the dock, laughing. After a
      while he sat back up. Summers was drinking from the
      water bottle, passed it over. Somewhere out in the
      lake, a fish jumped in the dark. "Y'know," Mulder
      began, "this is really none of my business, but I
      think you should call Elizabeth Franklin."

      "I had a feeling you weren't really going to let me
      get out of this conversation. So I'll tell you the
      same thing I told Jean. It was nine years ago.
      Whatever Beth thought then is a lot different from me
      calling her now. I'm a mutant �- one who can't pass.
      Not for long. This" - he tapped the visor again -�
      "pretty much guarantees me my own seat on the subway.
      Even at rush hour."

      "Not all people are fools."

      "Maybe not. But a lot are." It was very bitter, and
      Mulder could hear an embryo of his own highly
      developed sarcasm in Summers' young voice. And Mulder
      wanted to abort it.

      "One thing I've seen, over and over," he told Summers,
      "is that when people lose something they care about,
      they start reviewing what's really important." He
      hesitated, then went on, "We didn't think Scully would
      ever be able to have a baby." He didn't bother to
      explain why; it was too weird, too convoluted, and
      wasn't important to his point. "When she did get
      pregnant, it was . . . a miracle. Plain and simple.
      But it was also completely unplanned for. When Billy
      was born, it meant she had to give up a lot of what
      she did for the Bureau. The section we worked
      together for seven years -� the X-Files -� is being
      run by different people these days. But that doesn't
      matter. Billy's worth it. He's worth everything. If
      getting pregnant hadn't been an issue, though, we
      might have been a little less sanguine about an
      unexpected pregnancy that threw our lives into
      disorder, made me lose my badge, and changed both our
      jobs."

      Summers had turned his head to listen, but it was hard
      to tell what he was thinking -� and not just because
      of the visor. He had a good poker face. "You're
      saying that a brush with tragedy rearranges our
      priorities."

      "Something like that. Not exactly an original
      insight, but true enough."

      "That still doesn't mean the Franklins are going to
      want to hear from me."

      "I think they will. Remember, I have this 'spooky'
      ability to profile people. Trust me on this one,
      Summers. The people I talked to in San Diego aren't
      going to give a damn if you're a mutant or a little
      gray alien. They'll want to hear from you."

      With a small smile, Summers turned away to stare out
      across the lake. "I'll consider it."

      "You do that."





      Mulder enjoyed his visit more than he'd thought he
      would, but couldn't escape the feeling that he was
      being sized-up by Xavier. And he came away convinced
      there was a hell of a lot more going on at that school
      than teaching mutant kids a bit of history, math,
      grammar, and how to control their sometimes
      catastrophic powers. Yet his suspicions gave him none
      of that hair-raised-at-the-nape-of-the-neck feel that
      Consortium business always did. Whatever Xavier and
      his teachers were hiding, it wasn't sinister. And
      Mulder was content to play their game a bit �- bide
      his time -� in part because he was fairly sure that
      Xavier knew he'd put two and two together and come up
      with six . . . and had gone poking around the mansion
      after dark on Saturday night before they left on
      Sunday. He still hadn't found anything. And he was
      sure Xavier knew that, too. The man was uncanny. But
      not creepy. Quite.

      It annoyed Mulder nonetheless. There was something
      here to be found. For instance, the little
      sub-basement infirmary where Scully and Jean Grey had
      whiled away most of the weekend was too suspicious.
      And Mulder had caught Summers coming up from the
      sub-basement once with grease all over his hands -�
      and Mulder was pretty damn sure he hadn't gotten that
      from fixing medical equipment, whatever his lame
      excuse. One didn't use engine grease on CAT scanners,
      and besides, according to Scully, everything ran
      perfectly. When Summers had said he'd been fixing
      broken equipment, Mulder had simply looked him in the
      eye (behind the glasses) and replied, "Of course you
      were," then walked away. He'd heard Summers chuckle
      behind him.

      So nobody really fooled anyone, but everyone politely
      pretended that they had. For the time being. On
      Sunday, Mulder and Scully packed their bags, loaded
      their Honda, and prepared to go rescue Margaret Scully
      from an energetic pre-schooler. "We hope that you
      will return soon," Xavier said to them as Summers
      shook Mulder's hand and Grey leaned against Summers'
      shoulder -� one of the more open displays of affection
      that Mulder had yet witnessed between them. Like he
      and Scully, they didn't need to touch to convey that
      they came as a unit. It was in their posture, in the
      way they leaned a little towards each other, or were
      always aware of the other's placement in a room. They
      didn't need to touch any more to claim ownership.

      "Bring your son next time, too," Grey said. "We'd
      like to meet him." Summers nodded.

      "We will," Scully said, and hugged Grey, though she
      had to reach up and Grey had to bend down. The woman
      wasn't that much shorter than Mulder.

      And Mulder and Scully went home. They agreed,
      privately, that they would be back to snoop out
      whatever was going on up there.

      It was a few weeks later that Mulder was once again
      watching television from his black couch in the rec
      room. The incident at Ellis and Liberty Islands was
      all over the news. "A mutant attack on world
      leaders!" was the New Special Headline, with looping
      repeat footage of the bizarre white light that had
      spread out across the bay towards New York City and
      Ellis Island from Liberty Island �- but had never
      reached its targets. There were also half-baked
      analyses to fill up air-space and conceal the fact
      that nobody really knew what the hell had happened.
      Scully was in the kitchen on the phone with John
      Doggett, who'd been called in to assist with
      evacuation and mop-up -� not as head of the X-Files,
      just as a warm body because they'd needed a lot of
      them. After a while, she moseyed back into the rec
      room and sat down beside him on the couch.

      "So what'd John say?" he asked.

      "They still don't know what happened, exactly. John's
      old friend Craig Downer led the securing of Liberty
      Island. The statue is missing her torch and some
      peculiar machine was put up in its place. The inside
      of the head is trashed, too, metal all bent up, and
      there are three huge gauges in one of the statue's
      headdress spikes. Very bizarre. A man was left
      behind, unconscious �- an elderly man, apparently a
      mutant �- and some rather peculiar orders came down
      the pike to Downer not long after they found him. The
      man should not be permitted to wake until he was
      secured in a cell made entirely of *plastic*. No
      metal within some given amount of distance, I don't
      remember how much. Now, I wonder -- from where did
      those orders originate?"

      "His name begins with X?"

      "Mmm. No one's saying, but I bet Skinner knows. In
      any case, the real question is -� who left Metal-head
      conveniently unconscious and all trussed up like a
      Christmas turkey, for the FBI? Downer is as curious
      as a cat who smells tuna. And now John's suspicious,
      too. But I don't think Xavier could get to the top of
      the Statue of Liberty, do you Mulder?"

      "I'm not putting any limits on what that guy can get
      to."

      "Well, let me give you the last interesting tidbit.
      This mysterious machine that had been installed where
      the torch had been? It was blasted apart. Downer
      described it -� and I quote John �- 'It looked like a
      cannon had hit it. But no evidence of burning.' And
      witnesses said that they saw a 'red blast' coming out
      of the statue. Sound familiar, Mulder?"

      "Scott Summers."

      "My thought exactly. Just *what* are they doing up
      there, at Westchester?"

      "Playing mutant vigilantes, it sounds like."

      "Maybe it is time to visit them again. But should we
      warn them about John, or take him along, do you
      think?"

      "Maybe we should ask Xavier first."

      But when Mulder tried to call, all he got was the
      school answering machine. For three days. And no
      reply to his several phone messages. On the fourth
      day, Ororo Munroe answered finally. "The professor is
      currently unavailable," she said. "But we do have
      your messages and shall have him call you as soon as
      he is able."

      "Let me talk to Scott," he said.

      "Scott is currently unavailable, as well. But I can
      have him return your call."

      Frustrated, Mulder just hung up. "Dammit. Prep
      schools aren't supposed to give you the run-around."

      When he'd waited three more days with no return call,
      he tried again. This time, he got Jean Grey. "I
      thought Scott was supposed to call me? Or doesn't
      anybody get his messages up there?"

      "Hello, Fox," Grey said, amusement edging her voice.
      "It's nice to hear from you, too."

      "Don't hand me that. I've been trying to get in touch
      with Xavier, or Summers, for days. Where's Scott?"

      "He's in San Diego."

      That stopped Mulder cold. "*San Diego?* How long has
      he been in San Diego?"

      "Since yesterday."

      "So he called his foster parents finally."

      "Yes. We had . . . a little excitement here. He
      decided it was time to quit putting it off before he
      didn't have a second chance. They were tickled pink,
      and wanted to see him immediately. Of course."

      "Of course. And as for the 'excitement' �- Scott blew
      up a machine on the Statue of Liberty, didn't he? And
      then left a fellow named Erik Lehnsherr for the FBI to
      find."

      Complete silence for a good ten beats. Finally Grey
      said �- clearly shaken -� "Scott didn't exaggerate.
      You do put puzzles together on spit and a shoestring.
      But it's a little more complicated than that."

      "Yeah? Well, tell Scott that he has some explaining
      to do, when he gets back from California. Or I'll sic
      John Doggett on him and he'll wind up as another
      X-File."

      A tinge of amusement again. "I shall tell him."

      "Tell him, too, that I'm glad he called the
      Franklins."

      "So am I, Fox. So am I. Good-night."

      "Jean -� "

      "Yes?"

      "It's Mulder. Nobody calls me 'Fox' except for
      Scully's mother."

      A laugh over the phone line. "Noted. Mulder.
      Good-night."

      --------

      Yes, obviously, I would like to write another
      cross-over story at some time. I'd love to do a
      Scully-Jean Grey X-File. But I won't do it just yet.
      :) Feedback is always welcome and greeted with
      ecstatic squeals of glee.


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