Stella rushed in the hospital to verify what Anderson had told her. Of course, he did not suspect him of lying as he does not have any reason to do so but she wanted to make sure and see it for herself. The nurses rolled out his dead body after the doctors failed to revive him. She saw the dark bruises around his neck indicating what he did in order to escape his fate. He was going to prison for the rest of his life. He couldn’t bear the fact that there’s nothing else for him after he was found guilty. The high he kept on chasing, the power he got from killing, will just be a memory for his sick brain and he couldn’t live with that. Moreover, he couldn’t live with the fact that he lost.
It was a shock to everyone but Spector did not get any sympathy from the public. To them, a monster just died and they felt a sense of relief. Peace has been restored in their neighborhood. To Spector’s family, it’s another story. In a matter of three days, Sally Ann Spector thought she and her children will be better off to join their father in the afterlife. She couldn’t live with the shame Spector put them through. Her kids had to stop going to school after being bullied by the other kids when they learned what kind of man their father was. Sally Ann lost her job too so they had to move back to her mother. It was the shame, the shock, the anger of being made a fool of that drove a mother to take her two children in her car and drove all the way to the ocean so they can all die together.
“You sent these to her?” she muttered when she saw the summons sent to Sally Ann prior to the incident.
Apparently, she was being charged as an accessory to Paul Spector’s crimes. The police wanted to drag her to court since her husband got away easily.
“She’s been married to the man for years. It’s impossible for her not to know of his activities”, Jim explained.
“I’m sorry but that is subject to prove, sir. Just because she’s married to him does not mean she was aware of his activities at night. Spector got an alibi”, Mulder interrupted.
Jim glared at him but Mulder was not bothered by the man’s jealousy.
“It was not just me. It was the entire board”, Stella pinched the top of her nose bridge and took a deep breath, “We’re not throwing her to prison right away. It was a summon so she could explain herself”, he went on.
“She just learned that the father of her children killed three women, attempted to murder another two and hid a bag full of evidence at the top of the ceiling of her daughter’s bedroom. That husband was found guilty and committed murder by hanging himself. She miscarried. She lost her job, her kids dropped out of school. She’s been put to shame and other hateful treatment and you served her with summon for a crime charge as accessory to her husband’s crime…and here I wonder what drove her into sinking her car into the ocean”,
“Stella…it’s not just me”, Jim tried to absolve himself.
“Well, you can now add attempted murder to her list of charges”, she snapped and walked away from him.
Mulder stumbled walking after her. In the time he’s been with her throughout the case, this is the first time he saw her cry. She’s been beaten up by Spector and she did not shed a single tear from the pain. When he saw her eyes water, he knew where that pain was coming from.
“Scully…are you alright?” he asked even though he already knew the answer.
“A mother just tried to kill her two children. They are two young children, Mulder. She’s so down that she thought they’re better off dead”, now, she’s sobbing, “Spector has been dead for days now and he’s still ruining lives of the people who he came across with. Those children will be forever scarred and I don’t think their mother will ever recover”, she expressed.
He did not respond. There’s nothing else for me to say. Everything she just uttered was true. The whole scandal was too much to bear for Spector’s family and they’re the ones who suffered the consequences of his actions, not him. He got off easy but his family did not. Instead, he held her arms and pulled her into his. He does not care if they’re in the office. Let them see, he thought. Scully is hurting right now and they’re not helping. All he cares about is making her feel better. He hates seeing her cry.
She did not protest. She usually does not want any display of affection at a workplace but it’s Mulder, and frankly, she needs him right now. She had met Spector’s daughter once and she reminded her of Emily. She imagined her daughter suffering the same fate as Olivia Spector. Her brother is even younger than her. They were innocent. Sally Ann was innocent. They shouldn’t be the ones suffering because of Spector’s sins. It frustrates her to the core that Jim couldn’t see that. The PSNI is turning this whole thing into a political game. They made a spectacle in putting Spector to jail but then he got off easy so they turned their heads to his family. For them, someone has to pay the price even though they’re innocent. Just because his blood runs on them, just because she married him…it’s not fair.
“Can you come with me, Mulder? I need to see someone”, she muttered and she felt him nod.
“Anywhere, Scully…anywhere…” he answered.
Stella and Mulder walked into the hospital. She’s been familiarized with every corner of the place since she started working on the case. Even the nurses already knew her.
“I’m here to see Olivia Spector”, she said at the front desk.
Mulder already knew who she’s going to see in there. He guessed when he realized they’re going to the hospital. She needed to see her in person, for her peace of mind, or rather lack thereof. He did not say anything. He let her.
The nurse ushered them to where Olivia and Liam are and the sight almost breaks Stella’s heart right there. Olivia is awake but she got a vacant look in her eyes. Liam, on the other hand, is still unconscious like his mother. The nurse explained to her that due to lack of oxygen to their brain after being underwater for so long, the two went into a coma. Stella is familiar with the condition as she is a medical doctor herself but she did not say anything. She just stared at the poor boy connected to all apparatuses bigger than him while his sister is watching over him, helpless to save her brother. Sally Ann is in the ICU.
“Olivia”, she called as she walked towards her.
She stopped few steps away from the girl just to provide adequate distance. She does not want to startle her or make her feel agitated. Olivia did not respond but she did turn to Stella. She saw the sadness and complete sense of loss in her eyes. For such a young age, she should not be going through this situation. She should be enjoying her life as a kid, making friends, learning at school, creating memories, not sitting on a hospital bed waiting for her mother and brother to wake up.
“I’m sorry”, is all she can ever say to her.
It’s not her fault, of course, but if she did not come into their lives, her father would still be alive, her mother and brother would be talking to her right now. She would have her life back. Stella expected for the girl to be mad at her. Olivia was aware of her involvement in her father’s arrest. She was there when she visited Spector but instead of lashing out, the young girl stretched out her arms towards her asking for some comfort her family couldn’t give her right now.
Her feet moved involuntarily towards her and wrapped the young girl into her arms. As Olivia held on tighter, Stella controlled her emotions harder. The dam is threatening to break. It is too much. Mulder stayed behind her, keeping his distance from the girls. The whole picture reminded him of Scully watching over Emily while she was on her hospital bed. She was desperate at the time for a daughter she just met. She fought the hospital doctors and even the Social Services for Emily. She tried to fight for her life but in the end, she died. Olivia is not dying, not physically at the very least, but her childhood is. It is certain that she cannot continue being young girl that she was anymore. Life has forced her to mature quickly. She’s been robbed.
“Your mother will wake up, sweetie, as well as your brother”, Olivia looked up at her, “You wanna know why?” she nodded, “…because they’re strong just like you and because they love you. They would not want you to be alone. They will miss you so much so they will wake up”, she said.
It’s a tough promise but it’s the only thing she can say to her to keep her hopes up. She has to have something to live for. She is already fragile. She needs something to motivate her.
“Will you stay?” she finally spoke.
“I wish I can, darling. Your grandmother will be here this afternoon. I called her on the way here and she’s going to stay with you until your mother and brother wake up”,
Olivia’s eyes returned to being sad again. Stella took something from her pocket and handed it to her.
“That’s my number. If you ever feel sad or wanting to talk to someone, call me anytime of the day and I mean it. Call me. If you need help, I’m here. Don’t keep it all inside. If you can’t share it with your family then share it to me. It is important for you to remember that you’re not alone, Olivia. There are people in this world that still care about you and you can include me on that list”, she said.
The girl smiled briefly, comforted by the thought that there’s someone she can talk to in case she needed one.
They did not come back to the station. Stella insisted on leaving. He knows she couldn’t bear talking to ACC Burns anymore because of the charges they put on Sally Anne. They packed up their things at the hotel before hopping on his rental and drove to the airport. She did not ask him again about his decision to stay with her in London. It’s decided.
The flight was quiet. She fell asleep on his shoulder and he did not try to disturb her sleep. The hunt for the killer is over but the toll it had on her is not. She’s going to be haunted by the whole experience, but Mulder is going to be there for her as she goes through it. He’s not going to leave her. He will help her. When they’re nearing the airport, he gently ran his fingers on her face. She looks so peaceful and if he can prolong the flight so she can rest, he would. Slowly, she opened her eyes and found his.
“I fell asleep. I’m sorry”, she muttered as she straightens herself up.
“It’s alright. We’re almost landing”, he replied.
“Finally”, she sighed.
Mulder was surprised to see that her apartment bigger than what she used to have in Washington. Upon walking inside, he noticed a huge difference between her former place and her current one. Her apartment in D.C. was lighter. The one she has in London is enclosed, dark, silent. A pool of her mail greeted them. It’s a testament on how long she’s been away. He helped her gathering them and she asked him to put on the table at the kitchen.
She immediately opened her cupboards and took out a bottle of wine and poured on two glasses.
“Thanks”, he said when she handed him his glass.
“I’m afraid I don’t have anything on the fridge”, she said and took the seat next to his.
“Pretty sure London offers variety of pizza delivery”, he teased.
Her mind took her back to the time when they would just sit by his couch and they would watch old movies and eat pizza. Simpler times.
“That sounds great. My television is so much better than yours”, she teased back.
They both laughed. His hand founds hers above the table and he gave it a gentle squeeze.
“I’m here, Scully. I’m not leaving you”, he said.
“I know and I don’t want you to leave either”, she replied.
Later that day, he called for pizza while she set up her entertainment room and together, they fell back to their routine sitting side by side with her head resting on his shoulder until she fell asleep in his arms.