[fic] Case X-1743: Unresolved (2c/2/end) X-Men/X-Files, Mulder, Scully, Scott, Jean
- 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
"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
"Yeah." He turned around in place and studied the
room. Very nice. Very Victorian. And very expensive
"How do you feel about it, Mulder? This must be like
a dream come true for you. The X-File you got to
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
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
"He's younger than her. By more than a few years,
"Don't be archaic, Mulder. And y'know, he reminds me
a lot of you."
"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
"Completely unreasonable." She sat down, a little
bonelessly, between Xavier and Munroe. "I need some
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
"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
"Most men are," Scully muttered with a sidewise glance
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
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
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
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?"
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
"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
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
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
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.
"It's what they used to call me at the Bureau. Spooky
"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
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?"
"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."
"*'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
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
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
"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
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
"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?"
"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
"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?"
"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
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
A tinge of amusement again. "I shall tell him."
"Tell him, too, that I'm glad he called the
"So am I, Fox. So am I. Good-night."
"Jean -� "
"It's Mulder. Nobody calls me 'Fox' except for
A laugh over the phone line. "Noted. Mulder.
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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