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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND

Things had been rocky between Scully and Mulder for reasons she cannot understand. They used to understand each other in a snap but their partnership is drifting off. It started with the whole fiasco in Philadelphia. She had suspected that there’s something wrong with her health the moment Leonard Betts tried to kill her when he usually went after people with cancerous tumors. That prompted her to get checked. As she waited for the result, she began exploring deep realization about the life she chosen. Her attention focused on their office and she started noticing things for the first time. Things she had not cared for in years like her name not being posted alongside Mulder’s at the door, like she had never gotten her own desk, a nameplate on her own desk. They sounded petty and Mulder did not hesitate in expressing that but it added to her dreadful conclusion that since she entered the bureau, nothing has ever happen in her life other than near death experiences and abductions.

Scully wanted to get away for a while and figure out what she wants to do with what’s left of her life in case the result came back positive, enter Ed Jerse. She would not normally go for Ed Jerse. Her standards are pretty high but the out-of-the-box idea of going out with someone who saw her as a woman, as Dana, intrigued her. When he grabbed her arms to stop her from touching his tattoo, the thrill of danger got her. He was the perfect escape from her impending doom. He was the perfect distraction she’s looking for from Mulder, from the X Files, from everything. So, she spent the night with Ed Jerse in his cramped apartment after getting her own tattoo.

Calling Mulder to come get her at the hospital was the most embarrassing thing she has ever done. She figured it was way better than calling Skinner to sign her release considering the doctors wouldn’t let her due to the hallucinogen mixed into the ink of her tattoo. Mulder did sign and drive her to the airport. They sat next to each other on the plane and remained quiet the whole time. Skinner had reprimanded her actions and was asked to take three days off to recover. She had not realized she was pretty beaten up. By the time she got back to work, something has shifted between her and Mulder. He was distant and cold. He was upset of her behavior at Philadelphia. She could argue that she’s not being unprofessional. She had wrapped up what he had asked her to do out there but there’s no use convincing Mulder when he has made up his mind. Of course, he thought it’s retaliation because of the desk. It was not.

The rift between them temporarily healed when the result came back positive. She had cancer and Mulder stuck by her side. Thinking about it now, she realized that it might have been out of obligation. He felt guilty about the cancer because it was resulted from her abduction. She became a burden. She had not thought of that at the time because her head was wrapped around the fact that she’s going to die but now, she can take a step back and review that time of her life. They had forgotten the whole Ed Jerse thing because of the cancer and for a moment, she thought they’re back to normal.

Until Diana Fowley came along…

Scully had recovered from cancer and hoping for things to get back to what they used to be but no, life has another plan. Mulder’s former partner returned and the whole plate shifted. Her mistrust on Agent Fowley was so huge she couldn’t see past it. Her guts are telling her she’s bad news but Mulder wouldn’t listen even with facts slammed on his face. He’s completely blinded by their history. At some point, Scully has to take a step back and allow him to do things his way. He is a big man. He knows what he’s doing. Besides, pushing it will only make it look so personal as what he pointed out.

When the invite to a medical conference in Baltimore arrived, she jumped on it in a flash. Maybe it’s what she needs, a fresh air from everything. It’s been a while since she attended a medical conference. She’s always been busy with cases that she neglected her doctor side. Skinner was gracious enough to allow her to take a leave for the conference. Mulder was couldn’t be bothered with. He was busy with some lead with Agent Fowley so Scully took off without telling him. He wouldn’t notice anyway.

She found a whole new appreciation for the field of medicine. It’s like she’s looking at it with fresh pair of eyes. How much did she miss anyway? For some reason, she’s itching to get back into surgery and cut open living people for once and not corpses for autopsies. She allowed herself to unwind after the conference by indulging on spa massages. She even visited the salon. At some point, she thought about doing something drastic like bleaching her hair but she does not want it to look like a cry for help so she settled with a nice hair treatment.

“Whisky, please”, she ordered when the night comes.

The bar at the hotel she’s staying at is nice and cozy. It has good music and a perfect place to end the day. Tomorrow, she needs to go back to D.C. so she wants to make the most out of her time away from her life as much as possible.

“I’ll have what the lady is having”, someone said beside her.

Her eyes glanced sideways and found a handsome sitting on the chair next to hers. He’s dressed casually smart, ragged looking but she can tell he’s the intellectual type, professional. He looked back at her and smiled.

“Good evening”, he greeted.

“Good evening”, she found herself responding.

Who is this guy? She asked herself. There is something about his whole vibe that’s sending her senses haywire. The mere drinking next to him is thrilling for her.

“I hope this seat is not taken”, he said as his glass was served.

“No, it was not”, she said and took a sip on hers.

Already, she can feel warm down her belly. Of course, she had heard about sex appeal and this man clearly has abundant of it. She just did not expect to be affected by it this much.

“Good, because I really want to be near you”, he replied.

How they ended up in her hotel room is a mystery that needs to be investigated at the X Files. He is strong, incredibly strong. He hovered over her as he pinned her against the wall and ravaged her all over. She had been with men for years, not much lately, but she’s no prude. No one has ever touched her like this man is touching her. Wait. What’s his name again?

She heard fabric being ripped apart, buttons flying, before she landed back first onto the bed. The stranger attacked her lips again and then her neck until he found her pulse point.

“Oh god…” she sighed.

It did not even occur to her that she’s already naked. He fumbled on her breasts, giving each his full attention, sending her whimpering. When his tongue met the spot where she needs him the most, she moaned like there’s no tomorrow. The stranger is skilled. He knows how to work her up, sends her on the edge but not enough for her to trip over. He kept her hanging only to build her up again and again. She’s already sweating from getting too worked up. When he entered her with two expert fingers, she shamelessly bucked against them.

“Remain still”, he ordered in a low voice.

As frustrating and hard as that were, she obeyed like a good girl. He curled them up and hit her G-spot.

“Fuck!” she exclaimed with a gasp.

He started pumping into her as he played with her clit again and again. Scully gripped the sheets as the pleasure broke in her, sending her almost screaming. Her climax was so intense after all the buildup and she’s certain it was the stranger’s intention.

She still has not recovered from the high when he thrusted into her, buried himself to hilt. Scully does not know whether to scream, moan, curse. Instead, she ended up with a mouth rounded in O and eyes opened wide looking at the man on top of her. His eyes are filled with lust that sends tingling sensations inside her…again. She tasted herself in his mouth and he began thrusting hard, punishing into her. She was filled completely. The position normally does not offer stimulation to get her to come but his force is getting there again. She grasped at his muscular arms which he clearly shrugged off. He trapped hers over her head and began a faster pace.

“Oh my god…” she shook underneath him and he released himself into her with a groan.

After catching their breaths, the stranger went to the bathroom to get a warm cloth and cleaned her up. He then put the blanket over her body to keep her warm. There’s almost an affectionate note to how he does it. She felt touched.

“I guess this is the part where you’re going to leave and thank me for a nice night”, she muttered.

He sat by the bed, still naked as the day he was born.

“I can stay, if you ask me to”, he responded with utmost sincerity.

She contemplated. It’s not how this setup works.

“Stay. I don’t want to wake up alone tomorrow”, she said.

He smiled and got in the bed with her. He put his arms around her, comforting her with his warmth. Are they cuddling?

“Are you really not going to tell me your name?” she asked.

She remembers now. They did not get a chance to introduce themselves to one another after she invited him up to her room.

“…and take away the mystery of this night?” he asked her back.

She almost laughed to that.

“I think I have enough of mysteries for one lifetime”, of course he will not understand that. He does not know her life.

“Do you want me to tell you who I am?” he asked.

She shook her head, deciding against it.

“I think I can use one good mystery. Let’s not ruin it”, she answered and together they fell asleep.

When the morning comes, she did not wake up alone. She can already smell coffee and the stranger is still next to her.

“Good morning, I already ordered coffee”, he greeted.

“Good morning and thank you”, she reached for the cup as she sat up, “What time is it?” she then asked.

“Five to seven”, he answered.

Scully groaned and drank her coffee.

“I have a flight to catch and I don’t want to leave this bed”, she complained.

The man laughed at her protest.

“Staying in this room is quite expensive. I don’t think you will like it very much in the long run”, he commented.

She smiled and turned to him. His face is so much lighter than last night. He looks at peace, calmer.

“I am really glad I met you before I leave”, she said and she meant every word of it.

“Likewise…at least let me drive you to the airport. Allow me to spend time with you before you leave Baltimore”, he offered.

She can say no and tell him she can call a cab but what will be the use? She wants to spend more time with him despite not knowing his name.

“Alright, give me few minutes to get ready”, she accepted.

“Take all the time you need”, he replied.

They had nice talk in the car as he drove her to the airport. She discovered he has knowledge about medicine and science and her guess is that he’s also a doctor although she did not ask because that will ruin the mystery they agreed to preserve. Perhaps, he also attended the conference. If so, she’s really glad she attended that conference.

“This is it”, she muttered when they got to the airport.

“Yes”, he simply said.

“Goodbye and thank you again…Mr. Stranger”, she replied as he put a kiss at the back of her hand.

She got out of the car and went inside the airport, aware that he did not left until he saw her got inside. A smile did not dissipate from her lips until she boarded the plane. She really wishes she got his name and number but he’s right about the mystery. It’s keeping her guessing, speculating. It is keeping her wanting more and she cannot wait for another medical conference in Baltimore just to see him again.

For now, she must endure going back to her life at the bureau and her tumultuous relationship with Mulder. It’s going to be tough but having a nice getaway helped to charge her stamina to deal with the tough times ahead.

Chapter Text

WASHINGTON D.C.

Scully spent the entire weekends catching up with her reports. She knows that she can trust Mulder with her life but she cannot trust him in doing the paperwork himself. Her mother had called a few times trying to schedule a lunch date with her and she had agreed some time this week. It’s not like Mulder has been dragging her across the country for a case recently. He got someone else for that. She scoffed at the idea that she had become his secretary, running lab tests for him, doing the reports, covering his ass. Her grip on the pen became tighter. She is a medical doctor and a scientist for goodness’ sake. She did not endure years of study to become a secretary.

Once she’s done with all the paperwork, she poured herself a fine wine and settled on her sofa to watch an old movie that Mulder had left for her. It will be a lie if she said she does not miss hanging around with him. She does. She misses their late nights movie fest with cold box of pizza and beers. She misses their banters, the cheap motel rooms, the long drive, the outrageous cases. She misses it all. She also knows that everything has changed now. There is another person in the scene. He got himself his original X Files partner back. Scully suddenly felt out of place. Where does she fit in now?

Out of the blue, the thought of the stranger she met in Baltimore popped in her mind. A smile immediately formed upon her lips. That beautiful, gentleman, who, in a matter of one night, made her feel so pampered, appreciated, and well-taken care of. Despite his aggressive ravaging of her flesh, there was a tenderness in his touch. A mixture of passion and roughness that sent her into oblivion. She recalled how he cleaned her up without asking, how he put covers on her body to keep her warm, how he held her until she fell asleep. In the morning, he ordered coffee for her, offered to drive her to the airport when he did not have to. It was a one-night stand and nothing more but it was the best one-night stand she ever had. Somehow, that handsome stranger is still able to make her feel better and put a smile on her face as the thought of Mulder diminished in her head and her night ended with a happy memory playing in her brain.

 

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HOOVER BUILDING, FBI

She got an early appointment at Kersh’s office so she decided to go there first before going to the basement. She also took the opportunity to submit the reports they got behind of to save time.

“I know you’ve been assigned at the X Files for years now, Agent Scully”, she held her breath. It’s not a good thing to start that way and she can read Skinner’s face informing her it’s not something she would like, “Honestly, I think you’re overqualified for that department but I can understand your choice but we need your expertise on a particular case, Agent Scully, not just an FBI agent but also as a medical doctor and a scientist”,

Just her? No Mulder and Agent Fowley?

“For the last two weeks, there had been three murders around D.C. It could be random but the display of corpses is what linked them”,

Kersh handed her a file which she willingly accepted. It contained images of skinned flesh carefully reconstructed to mimic art structures and sculptures, some of which she can recognized. Scully navigates each picture with keen eyes, studying the way the bodies were morphed.

“Any thoughts?” Kersh asked.

“A lot to be honest, sir, but whoever did this got a lot of patience and precision. Maneuvering limbs and bones are not so easy to do and the way these bodies were crafted, it was done to almost perfection”, she answered.

It felt wrong to describe the images almost akin to art but she’s approaching it as a doctor and she was in awe of the precision of the images she’s seeing.

“This is going to be huge once the media gets involved. I have direct orders from high up who wants this to be dealt with before the whole fiasco starts. I want you on the team, Agent Scully”, Kersh said.

She turned to him and then to Skinner who remains silent the whole time.

“I appreciate the trust, sir, but what about Agent Mulder? I think it’s only proper that I let him in on this. He’s my partner, sir”, she explained.

It’s the proper thing to do despite the fact that Mulder has repeatedly ditched her in the past.

“Of course, you can tell him about the assignment but he’s not going to be part of this. As I understood it, he’s on pursuit of some amazing lead about his sister’s disappearance whatever that may be, him and Agent Fowley, traveling the country on government’s dime for personal mission. It’s your discretion to inform him but if you’re suggestion is to tag him along to the investigation, the answer is no”, Kersh said.

Of course, Mulder is in pursuit of something. She had known it all along that he and Agent Fowley are up to something. She just did not expect it’s about Samantha. He usually shares that kind of thing to her but why would he now when he got Diana Fowley by his side? Scully bit her tongue. Her superiors don’t need to know her issues.

“In that case, sir, I accept the assignment”, she agreed.

She has to keep herself occupied. She cannot be stuck in the basement while Mulder and Fowley are running around investigating X Files. That will only break her heart.

“Great. This case is primarily being handled by the VCU and I am aware of the history between them and the X Files but don’t worry, Agent Doggett is a nice fella. You will have no trouble working with him. You can expect to meet a forensic psychiatrist later from Quantico who had previous experience with a case like this to help with the investigation”, Kersh informed her.

“Thank you, sir”, she replied and left.

Outside, Skinner had followed Scully to the elevator.

“Are you sure you want to take this assignment, Agent Scully?” he asked.

“Why not, sir?” she asked him back.

“I know things are not good between you and your partner at the moment but it’s not an enough reason to rush into a case as dangerous as this one”, he answered.

Of course, he is aware of what’s going on between her and Mulder. Skinner is very observant and as much as she hates prying eyes, she appreciates his concern for the both of them.

“It has nothing to do with Agent Mulder, sir. I believe I will be more helpful to the bureau by solving cases than sitting down the basement doing paperwork”, she said.

 

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At the X Files office, she can already hear Mulder and Diana talking and laughing inside. Scully braced herself and then opened the door. The laughter stopped like the two had seen a ghost.

“Good morning”, Scully greeted stoically.

“Good morning, Agent Scully”, Diana greeted back.

“Ah, glad you still remember this office, Agent Scully”, Mulder started.

He received an elbow from Diana for that. Scully raised a brow at his remark. He does not know that she’s been gone.

“Oh, sorry…I forgot to tell you. I attended a medical conference in Baltimore last week. I thought A.D. Skinner would have told you but clearly he forgot as well”, she simply said and went to her ‘new desk’ and settled her things. She passed all of their pending reports so her table is now clean of piles of paperwork.

Mulder was silent for a moment. He hadn’t known she’s been gone that long. He hadn’t asked Skinner as to where she was. He just knew that she’s not there in the office each time he and Diana returned from following a lead that resulted to another lead and then another. He stared at her a little longer and noticed how she had lost weight a little. Her hair is redder than usual. Her skin looks paler. She got white varnish now on her nails. Things had changed with her and he is now noticing it. He had been so carried away by his desire to find Samantha that he forgot about her. His leads were dangerous ones so he opted on not taking her because she had been through enough already. Diana insisted on coming and since she’s the one who discovered those leads, he agreed on coming with her.

“Medical conference…sounds boring”, he commented.

“Actually, it was great”, not the answer he’s hoping for, “They discussed a lot of new studies this year and innovative medical procedures. It’s enlightening”, she explained.

“Oh, I missed attending those conferences. Aside from socializing and free hotel accommodations, it’s way better than reading journals and articles about new studies”, Diana cut in.

Scully smiled genuinely at her, which would be the first. She’s just glad that she can understand her point of view. Mulder does not appreciate those kinds of events. He finds them boring but not her. She likes it.

“Exactly”, she agreed to Diana.

It surprises Mulder. He knows how Scully felt towards Diana but for some reason, she seems at ease now with her around. Something definitely has changed.

“By the way, I had been assigned to work on a case with VCU. I am telling you this so you are aware that I will not down here often but I already finished the pending reports and submitted them earlier upstairs so you don’t have to worry about paperwork”, Scully mentioned.

He sat up, completely awoke by the news.

“What case?” he asked.

“Series of murders here in D.C. the killer seemed to have penchant for arts and he likes to pose the bodies of his victims as art sculptures. The bodies were skinned, morphed, well-crafted. Actually, it was fascinating. Just the amount of work done in perfecting the form was astounding but it’s not a nice thing to say”, she answered, head completely wrapped around the case.

Mulder felt offended he did not get ask to handle the case. On top of that, he felt alarmed that they got Scully. His brain is working the conspiracy game. What if it was deliberate to separate them?

“Did you say yes?” he asked again.

“Of course, I did. There were three dead in two weeks, Mulder. Someone has to catch this guy before he kills again and display it for everyone to see”, she answered like it’s no brainer.

He shrugged and leaned back.

“…and by someone, you mean you?” he snapped.

Her good mood was instantly shattered. Did he just say that to her face? She is aware of her background but she has been working on the field for years and she had managed to solve cases based on her skills. To be openly belittled by Mulder, no less, felt like a slap on her face. Diana saw her expression changed as her hands clenched. She cleared her throat to break the tension.

“Agent Scully is very capable in solving mulders, Fox. You know there is a study that women tend to have higher instinctive skills than men”, she said but it did not help in alleviating the pain in Scully’s heart.

She expected that kind of remark from the people at the VCU, not from Mulder.

He knew he shouldn’t have said that. He was being an ass because she will be working with other people. His territorial bs kicked in and he said things he shouldn’t have and it’s too late to take it back.

“Excuse me?” heads turned to the door, “I am looking for Special Agent Dana Scully. Deputy Director Kersh said I can find her here”, a man said by the door.

Scully followed Mulder and Diana’s gazes and her jaw almost hit the floor when she saw him. It’s him, the stranger from Baltimore. He’s standing right there. He also seemed surprise to see her. She quickly got on her feet and worked towards him.

“I’m Special Agent Dana Scully”, she introduced herself.

The stranger smiled.

“I’m Dr. Hannibal Lecter. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you”, he offered his hand.

“Pleasure is all mine, Dr. Lecter”, she replied taking his hand.

Now, the mystery has been solved…or has it?

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry, who are you again?” Hannibal turned to look at a very puzzled Mulder, “I’m Special Agent Fox Mulder, partner of Agent Scully. This is Special Agent Diana Fowley”, he said as he got on his feet and walked next to Scully in a very territorial manner.

Hannibal suppressed a grin as he noticed his reaction to his arrival.

“My apologies, Dr. Lecter. I work with the Behavioral Science Unit at Quantico. I was sent here to help on the investigation regarding the three murders. I was not informed though that there will be more agents assigned to the case”, he said.

Scully cleared her throat to regain her composure.

“No, there wouldn’t be more other than what Deputy Director Kersh had informed you. Agent Mulder and Agent Fowley work at the X Files”, she cut in to which Mulder turned to her with a frown.

“You work here too”, he corrected her.

“Yes, but for the time being, I am assigned to handle another case that’s not part of the X Files, Agent Mulder”, they locked eyes for a moment before she broke it and turned to Hannibal, “Well, I was instructed once you arrived to go upstairs and meet the rest of the team. Shall we?” she said gesturing towards the exit.

“Of course, pleasure meeting you, Agent Mulder, Agent Fowley”, Hannibal bid them goodbye and walked out of the office.

Scully was about to follow him when Mulder stopped her by holding on to her arm.

“Are you seriously going to work with the VCU guys on this?” he asked guessing that the rest of the team are from VCU.

She pulled her arm back and glared at him.

“I work with whoever is needed in order to solve a case, Mulder. Besides, it was made clear to me that my expertise is needed in this assignment. I trust that they saw something in me to entrust me with a case like this contrary to whatever you might think”, she answered and left.

Mulder was left with the sting of her words. He does deserve that after snapping at her earlier. He is getting a taste of what he’s been doing to her the past few weeks. He felt left out, ditched, and abandoned. He benched her before and she’s benching him now.

“Are you alright, Fox? I am pretty sure Agent Scully can handle herself around the boys upstairs”, Diana said.

He does not doubt that. Scully is tough. He’s worried what this will do to their relationship. Perhaps, he made the wrong call when he kept her in the dark about the leads he was following. His intention was good. He wanted to keep her out of danger but it backfired all because he went behind her back and shut her out. Now, she had not kept him in the dark but she had shut him out. She found herself other people to work with because he pushed her away. Earlier was the first time they talked to each other and he snapped at her. Is it possible for him to screw up their relationship even further?

“Yeah, Scully is a big girl”, he responded in a detached manner.

 

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Walking at the hallway, a different kind of tension is present between Scully and Hannibal. None of them has brought up what happened in Baltimore. Somehow, they both understood that the Hoover Building is not the proper place for that talk.

Once they reached the VCU area, Hannibal noticed how the other agents followed Scully with their eyes. He can tell that she has quite a reputation at the bureau. They are also surprised to see her there. He glanced over at her and saw how confident she looks. Their attention does not bother her at all. She’s poised, in control, authoritative, and powerful. For a small woman like her, she exudes huge amount of command in her and it radiates to everyone. The way her heels clicked against the floor calls the attention of everyone that she’s fast approaching.

“Hi, I’m looking for Special Agent John Doggett”, she said to the lady at the desk who looks stunned to see her too.

Not far from them, Hannibal’s ears caught two male agents whispering about Scully.

“Is she going to be working here now?”

“I got no clue. It’s very unlikely that Mr. Spooky lets Mrs. Spooky out of their house”,

“Maybe the Ice Queen finally had enough of Spooky”,

His curiosity is peaked with the labels. He believed the Mr. Spooky they were referring at is Agent Mulder and they had labelled Scully as Mrs. Spooky and Ice Queen. Hannibal wanted to know the reason behind to those labels. He can understand Mrs. Spooky but Ice Queen…she’s never cold when he met her that night. She’s the complete opposite of ice.

The night he saw her at the bar, he was looking for a good and respectable place to have a drink after the conference when his eyes got drawn to her red hair. She was sitting by herself at the bar, nursing a drink in one hand. For a moment, he thought she might be lonely but when he got a glimpse of her face, she looked at peace, content. He was caught by the fire in her eyes, her sense of independence, her guts to sit there by herself without a need for a man to accompany her. He took it as a challenge. A woman like her shouldn’t be alone. So he took the seat next to hers and made the first move. When her eyes met his, he felt a connection he couldn’t explain. He was intrigued. When she invited him to her room, he could not help himself but touch her. It was an impulse and the fear of being rejected was pushed away from his brain. When she returned the gesture with eagerness, he made her his for the night. He strived to send her to heaven. He marveled at her beauty.

‘Stay. I don’t want to wake up alone tomorrow’ she said.

The whole idea of one-night stand became different. He felt a deep sense of longing in her. Despite her strong exterior, the independence, he could feel her craving for someone to be there for her and so he held her until she fell asleep. He had never done that before with anyone. He was about to move to Washington to work on a case or rather play with it and forming an attachment was not on his list. He was about to dance with a bigger audience. He could not let himself be distracted so he refused to give her his name and to get hers. He should have left when the morning came but he did not. He offered to drive her to the airport. When they parted, he couldn’t stop thinking about the red-headed woman he met at the bar.

He did not expect that he will see her again. He did not expect that she will be the agent in charge of the case he’ll be working at. Now, he does not know how to talk to her about Baltimore. He got so many plans but there’s a hesitation now in him. Scully is right in the middle of it. A part of him wondered how it will play out, how she will keep up with all of it. It will be a delight to see her capacity, her limitations. He wants to explore her darkness. He suspects she got so much history and seeing her now in full control of herself, he couldn’t help but compare her to the woman he met that night, the woman who allowed control to left her body for the night. What else is she capable of without her sense of control?

“Agent Scully, I’m Agent Doggett. Welcome to VCU”, a man said that pulled him out of his thoughts.

“Thank you. This is Dr. Hannibal Lecter from Quantico. He’ll be working with us on the case”, she replied.

“Pleasure to meet you”, Hannibal said while shaking Agent Doggett’s hand.

“Likewise. Well, let’s head in and get started”, Agent Doggett said.

 

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Meanwhile, Mulder bursts in Skinner’s office much to Skinner’s secretary’s protest. Skinner sighed, half expecting for Mulder to do what he just did and waved at his secretary who reluctantly left and closed the door.

“You know my office is not for public use, Agent Mulder. I would appreciate it if you can treat my secretary with respect and learn how to knock”, he complained as he removed his glasses.

Mulder was not fazed by that. He’s there on a mission.

“VCU? You let Scully worked with the VCU?” he asked like it’s the most horrifying X File he had encountered.

“Agent Mulder, I am aware of your history with VCU but she will be working with Agent Doggett and he’s a straight agent. He’s not going to abuse your partner or treat her with disrespect”, Skinner answered.

Mulder had heard the name and he heard nothing but praises for him but still, he does not trust him. He does not trust anyone when it comes to Scully’s welfare.

“Put me on the case”, he demanded.

Deep down, Skinner had a feeling he will made such demand. From the moment Scully accepted the assignment, he knew Mulder will not let her go alone just like that.

“It’s not up to me, Agent Mulder, and as you well know, things don’t go that way. You can’t just demand to be assigned to a case. You handle the X Files. The murder case is not an X File. Agent Scully was assigned to it due to her medical background”, he explained but he’s unsure if that will sink into Mulder’s head.

Mulder exhaled and shook his head.

“It’s Kersh, isn’t it? He was the one who put Scully to that assignment”, he guessed.

It’s got to be him. Skinner wouldn’t do that without him. He will not risk Scully’s safety by sending her by herself, don’t mind the other agents from VCU, in a dangerous assignment without him.

“Agent Scully had a choice. She was not forced to accept it. She hesitated at first, unwilling to jump in without you but Deputy Director Kersh informed her of your unavailability. She was informed of your recent activities to other states following leads regarding your sister’s disappearance. She was also made aware that you were out there with Agent Fowley. After learning that, she accepted the assignment but insisted to let you know about the case as courtesy”, Skinner revealed.

He knew it. Scully felt out of place at their office. It was obvious when Diana arrived. She always stuck by her desk and her area, never meddled between the case discussions. She used to give her input on their cases but she stopped doing that after he shut down her opinion about Diana. That night when she tried to present information for him about Diana’s activities years ago along with the Gunmen, she told him that she can no longer help him after he dismissed her efforts. He had said things he shouldn’t have said. He told her that to not make it personal. The Gunmen shamelessly expressed their disappointment on him. He kicked himself for telling Scully the things he said. Of course, it’s personal for her. Her life had been screwed up by the X Files. She’s only looking after him and his life’s work. He tried reaching her to explain and apologized but she was not answering and then things came up and the whole thing was swept under the rug.

“I did not ditch her for the kick of it, sir. I was only trying to protect her. Those leads I was following, I was not sure of the danger and I did not want to put her at risk again after everything, not for my own benefit. That’s why I did not tell her. I only agreed for Agent Fowley to come with me because I got the first lead from her”,

Skinner feel for him. He can understand his desire to protect Scully, to shield her from the dangers of their world but he also knows Scully. She wouldn’t want to be treated like she’s made of glass. She wouldn’t want to be ditched and kept in the dark. If there’s a risk, she would want to be the one to decide whether she can take it or not. Mulder took away that chance to decide from her and it drove her away despite Mulder’s clean intention.

“I handled it badly, haven’t I?” Mulder asked.

“I hate to say this to you but yes, you have. Agent Scully is a grown woman, an independent one. Most of all, she’s an accomplished medical doctor and a scientist. She hates being treated like less than equal of others and I think she felt that way”, he rubbed his forehead with his fingers, trying to think, “I don’t like sending her to that case as much as you do. I’ve seen the pictures of what the killer does to his victims. It’s inhumane, but I got no choice. I couldn’t put you on the case by myself either but if someone is to recommend you to be part of the team then, it’s Director Kersh’s call”, Skinner hinted.

Mulder caught it fast. A glimmer of hope lit up in him.

“Understood, sir. Thank you”, he replied and left.

Chapter Text

The introduction was brief. Agent Doggett kept it short, only stayed on the facts about the case which Scully appreciated. He is truly different than the other agents at VCU who kept their attentions to her. She’s used to it, of course. Being assigned to be Mulder’s partner has its cons as well as its pros. It labeled her names she does not want to hear. They call Mulder a lunatic and her a devotee for indulging him despite being a woman of science. It was not the truth. She and Mulder know the truth but the others don’t want to believe it. Her reputation as being part of the X Files clouded the others’ perception of her skills and that’s what got to her the most.

“We got an area here that Dr. Lecter can use. I assume that you would still want to use your office downstairs, Agent Scully? If not, the room we have is big enough. Honestly, I would prefer you staying up here for the meantime. It would be easier for us to keep in touch”, Doggett said.

Hannibal is only waiting for her response. She had become such an entertainment for him. It’s like he’s been thrown into her world and he’s now discovering things about her.

“Right here is fine. The basement is too far for you to go to whenever something happens”, she said.

“Well, it’s settled then. I will see to the arrangement of your temporary spaces. We start tomorrow”, Doggett said.

 

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Hannibal has offered to take Scully out for lunch and she accepted. They must talk at some point about what happened at Baltimore now that they’re going to work together.

“Okay, stop staring at me. Did you know I am with the FBI when we met at the bar?” she asked.

“No. I was as clueless as you were but I am glad to see you again”, he answered.

Damn, that smile.

The amount of appeal the guy has should have been an X File. He’s not doing anything and yet, he’s already making her excited. She’s pretty sure that he can see that in her eyes and she felt completely embarrassed. She’s not usually like this when it comes to a guy but with Hannibal, she felt enticed, spiraling out of control. He presents a sense of danger she very much craves. Yes, a side of Dana Scully that she keeps under locking key. It is a side of her that whenever comes out, causes trouble like the time she went to Philadelphia and met Ed Jerse. It was one time, one night, and she almost died because of it. Now, she’s going at it again but this time, with a guy who’s complete opposite of Ed Jerse. Hannibal is well-composed, intelligent, a doctor like her. So, why does he presents danger towards her?

“Listen, I don’t want what happened to us in Baltimore to get in the way of our work here in this case. I want you to know that I take my job seriously and I want to catch this killer more than anything else”, she said.

Hannibal looked at her curiously. He believes what she says but her body says another. He is completely aware of his effect on her and he can feel the same attraction towards her. She’s a woman filled with so much mystery. Mysteries that he wants to uncover.

“I can respect that, if that’s what you wish. I can act professional and finish this case”, he replied.

He saw her flushed. It’s not what she wants. He knows what she wants, how she wants it. He saw her swallow a lump on her throat as her fingers ran slightly on the strands of her red hair then down at the back of her neck.

“Thank you”, she replied.

 

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Meanwhile, Mulder carefully enacted his plan to get into Scully’s new circle. He’s not stalking her but he wants to look out of her. He cannot do that if he’s not going to be part of the case so he worked his butt of or rather put the Gunmen at work by doing research on anything that could be linked to the murders. After gathering a bit of information, he made sure to be close to Doggett at the cafeteria and started the show.

“Good morning”, Mulder greeted as he made himself a cup of coffee.

“Good morning”, Doggett blinked a few times trying to recall him, “You’re Agent Mulder, right?” Mulder nodded, “Agent Doggett, heard so much about you”, Doggett introduced himself.

“All good I hope but I doubt that”, Mulder replied while taking his offered hand.

“Oh, people talk. It’s what they do but I only listen to the good bits like how amazing of a profiler you are”, Doggett said.

Mulder shrugged and pretended to be casual.

“It’s a long time ago, back when cases were interesting enough”, he muttered.

Doggett thought about it for a few seconds before giving it a try.

“I don’t know if you heard of the case we’re handling at the moment about three murders that happened here in D.C. it’s quite interesting and I think it might get your attention. To be honest, we need all the help we can get. I hope you don’t mind checking it for me just a few minutes? Any input will be deeply appreciated”, Doggett asked.

“Well, if you put it that way, yes, I would like to”, Mulder answered with a grin.

Doggett showed him the facts they have so far so he can try and create a profile for them. Of course, Mulder already knew all of the things he presented to him. The Gunmen already hacked the FBI database and informed him of what they have.

“You know, that reminds me of that Chesapeake Ripper who killed a lot of people couple of years ago. He was quite famous because he kills his victims, mutilated them, and then carefully removed their organs, surgically I presumed, so he can eat them. He’s cannibalistic killer. He was never caught too but I don’t think your victims got missing organs”, Mulder said.

He knows the victims got missing organs. It was confidential information that Doggett left out to tell him because he’s not part of the investigating team but the Gunmen was able to pull up that file.

Of course, Doggett looked thoroughly impressed.

“Tell me more of that Chesapeake Ripper, Agent Mulder”, he urges.

“Well, aside from being a cannibal, he was known to displaying the bodies of his victims after he was done mutilating them and harvesting their organs. He had killed in Minneapolis, Essex, and Baltimore but then he suddenly stopped killing until eighteen months later. The last victim’s severed arm or at least, what was known so far, was recovered two years afterwards. That victim was also an FBI trainee. After that, nothing was heard of him again”, Mulder went on.

Doggett’s mind connected the dots. Those areas he mentioned were close to D.C. It is possible that the Chesapeake Ripper moved to their state and resumed his activities. In that moment, he made a decision.

“Agent Mulder, I know you work at the X Files and that you’re probably busy but if it’s alright with you, do you mind helping us with this case? I will personally make the request for you to be part of the team and besides, Agent Scully is already in the team. We can have the best team even to catch this killer if he’s the Chesapeake Ripper”, Doggett offered.

It is exactly what Mulder is gearing for. Skinner was right. Someone has to be the one to want him to be part of the investigative team if he wants to be there with Scully and Doggett is that guy.

“Oh, if this is the Chesapeake Ripper, I am very much interested. Yeah, I would like to help. Well, if Deputy Director Kersh would agree. I’m not his favorite person in the world right now”, Mulder said.

Doggett scoffed.

“Leave that to me. I’ll talk to Deputy Director Kersh. Thank you for agreeing. Now, I finally feel like we’re on the right track”, Doggett expressed.

 

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Mulder left the VCU floor happy. He got what he wanted. He now needs to tell Scully about it so she would be warned in advance. It’s only proper after all. Doggett told him that they will resume the next day so she must have gone home to prepare. He’s at the parking lot on the way to his car when he heard something that stopped him on his tracks. He looked around trying to find where the sounds are coming from when his eyes fell on a black car by the corner and saw Scully…and Dr. Lecter.

His jaw almost hit the floor at the sight. Scully is straddling Dr. Lecter at the driver’s seat in his car. Her coat has been removed, her blouse ripped open, sliding on her shoulder while Dr. Lecter’s face is buried on her chest. He can see her face with her eyes closed, mouth hanged open in pleasure as she continues to move, riding him with such pace. It felt wrong to stand there and watch but he also couldn’t bring himself to move. He was frozen. Dr. Lecter’s hand found her hair and pulled it back, Mulder almost ran there to get her away from him but he’s clearly not hurting her. She looks like she likes it very much. Dr. Lecter devoured her neck and she gripped his arm as she went faster and faster on him.

Mulder turned away. He couldn’t watch. No. It’s wrong. It’s her life. He has to remind himself that it’s her life. Him and Scully are separate entity. Mulder got in his car, knuckles white from gripping the wheel so hard and drove away.

 

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It’s hard to pinpoint how they ended up fucking in his car. After lunch, they stayed few more minutes to talk and all throughout that talk, the anticipation only grew bigger. He’s literally undressing her with his eyes and she was hot all over. When they got in his car to return to work, she’s pretty sure he can smell her arousal because she can. They parked the car and she was certain he chose that spot on purpose, away from camera, away from sight of other people who might be present.

“Thank you for the lunch”, she said.

“Any time…” he replied.

She should get out of the car but she couldn’t bring herself to do so. Her body won’t. Her breathing is becoming rapid and when she felt his hand on her thigh, an involuntary whimper came out of her lips.

“Do you want to stop?” he asked in a dangerous tone.

Lust is all she saw in his eyes and she bit her lower lip at the sight.

“No”, she answered.

His hand disappeared underneath her skirt and worked her with his expert fingers while he watches her reaction. It was a sight for him, the way she licked and bit her lips. The sounds she’s making is giving him pleasure. She’s a perfection and he just want more, to hear more of her moaning. He wants all of her.

“Pants. Off”, she ordered in urgency.

Doing it in the car is reckless and impulsive. Once again, her dark side coming out wanting to be indulged and spoiled. He smiled and did as ask. Scully was on top of him in a flash. The setting is challenging but she can manage. When she sunk down on him, they both let out a deep moan of pleasure.

“Isn’t this professionally unethical, Agent Scully?” he teased.

“Shut up. I don’t care about that now. I want you to fuck me”, she replied and began moving.

He undid the buttons of her blazer and removed it from her. He then proceeded to the buttons of her shirt and when he saw her laced bra, he slid it on one of her shoulder so he can bury his head on her breasts. Scully tossed her head back. All common sense left her brain now. All she can think about is her body and what it wants. His hands grabbed her waist and pulled her down. Her mouth hanged open as he penetrated her deep. He’s buried to hilt in her.

“Oh god…” she breathed out.

“Stay with me at the hotel. Let me do this to you every night”, he offered.

She opened her eyes and met his. It is a tempting offer. She should say no. It’s unprofessional. They have a case to work on. He’s not there to fool around with her but…

“I don’t want to stay at the hotel”, he looked disappointed. “Stay with me at my apartment. You can still do this to me every night if you like”, she said instead.

A smile formed on his lips and he began meeting her movements until both of them reached their peaks.