Author: Angela W.
Category: MSR/Crossover/Actual XF-type case
Timespan/Relationship Status/Spoilers: Mulder and
Scully are married in this; I got tired of waiting for
Chris Carter to get them together and just did it
myself! If you've read any of my other fanfic, which
is more linear than most people's, this one comes
after "Movie Night". As far as the real show,
I'd put the timespan between Seasons Six and Seven,
since that is when this is being written. Small
spoilers for "Kill Switch" , "The
End" and "Detour".
Summary: Mulder and Scully investigate a case of
computer-generated killings in Texas.
Disclaimer: The characters of Fox Mulder, Dana
and anybody else related to "The X-Files" are
property of Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. The
characters of Michelle and Austin James are the
property of Isaac Asimov.
Archive: Feel free to archive anywhere!
Feedback: Only if it's nice! If you don't like
idea of Mulder and Scully being married and doing
married-type things, don't read it!
Part 1 of 5
characters of Michelle and Austin are from a VERY
shortlived TV show of the late 80s called
"Probe". I may have been the only person who
watched it! They weren't married in the show, but they
got further with each other in six weeks than Mulder and
Scully have gotten in six years, so I have them married
in this. I'd especially appreciate feedback from anybody
who actually saw the show.
Special Agent Fox
Mulder stretched as he surveyed the
files piled on the desk in his basement office at
F.B.I. headquarters. The reports of random deaths
throughout the Southwest might be an X-File. On the
other hand, they could turn out to be nothing more
than a waste of time.
"So, what do you think, Scully?" he asked his
- and wife - who was sitting on the other side of
Special Agent Dana Scully raised her head and smiled
at him. Just a little smile, the kind she could get
away with at the office without blowing their cover.
"I don't know, Mulder. The victims were of
ages, races and genders and found in three
"Each one found in front of a computer
screen," Mulder reminded her.
"Well, there have been documented cases of
programs inducing epileptic attacks by the frequency
of light pulses. Maybe something similar happened
here. Of course, all the victims would have to share
some sort of underlying medical condition. Television
can't cause epilepsy, just trigger the seizures in
someone who already has the disease," she stated.
"What I'd really like to know is why we got this
"Why not? Mysterious deaths are what the
"Yeah, but these killer computer things aren't
our area of expertise. I know we've dealt with them
before, a couple of times actually, but I just don't
know why Skinner assigns them to us. I mean, you're a
psychologist and I'm a medical doctor. Mutants,
aliens, serial killers. . .those we understand, at
least as well as anybody can. But the bureau has
dozens of agents more technologically savvy than we
are when it comes to computers."
"I think you've been hanging out with me too long,
Scully," he said with a smile. "What you're
that you'd rather have a nice case involving alien
vampires or psychic mutant clones than a case in which
it might actually be possible to find a rational,
scientific answer that will hold up to scrutiny by the
F.B.I. oversight committee."
"Well. . ." Scullly had the good grace to look
"Honestly, I think that's exaclty why Skinner
us these cases once in a while. He's on our side, as
much as he possibly can be given bureau regulations,
but he has his own superiors to answer to. The fact
that he can point to the occasional non-mutant serial
killer we've captured or malfunctioning computer
program we've disarmed gives him some sort of
credibility when he argues for the continuing
existence of the X-Files."
"So, where do we go from here?" she asked.
"Well, we could go home and. . ." he let his
trail off with a smile.
"Don't even start, Mulder," she said. Then,
catching a glimpse at the look on his face, she added,
"And quit looking at me like that!"
"Come on, Scully. I never promised not to LOOK at
when we were in the office. Just to keep my hands to
"Well, you never looked at me like that before we
"Sure I did. I was just damned careful not to let
CATCH me looking at you like this," he said with a
Their banter was interrupted by a soft knock on the
door. Holly Patterson, the researcher who often
assisted them in their cases, peered around the door.
"Hey, Dana. Hey, Mulder," she said with a
small smile. "I brought you another file. Assistant
Director Skinner said for you two to look it over and
see if it matches the criteria in the other ones."
"Thanks, Holly," Scully said with a
smile. "You know, I haven't really mentioned it
since we've been back, but we do appreciate all your
"Sure, anytime," Holly answered.
As Holly walked back upstairs, she pondered the
relationship between the two agents she'd just left.
The exact nature of what went on between Scully and
Mulder when the two of them were alone together had
been the source of much bureau gossip and speculation
for years. Most people thought they slept together,
but a small, vocal minority insisted they were just
good friends and dedicated partners.
Since Holly worked more closely with them than just
about anyone else at the bureau, she was often pumped
for her insight. For years, she'd been in the camp
that held there was nothing sexual going on between
the two agents, but just recently she'd begun to have
her doubts. There had always been a great deal of
tenderness, respect and affection between them, as
well as absolute trust in each other. Lately, though,
a new element had been added. There was a. . .heat, an
intensity in the way they looked at each other that had
been absent before. She'd first noticed it after they
came back from an assignment in Nevada that had led to
the capture of a rogue agent named Krycek.
Shortly after that, the agents had been away from
Washington for almost two months, working on an an
assignment where only Skinner knew their whereabouts.
Now they were back, and the way Mulder had been
looking at Scully when she opened the door. . .
Mulder flipped through the file Holly had left and
said, "I think we need to go out there, Scully. We
can swing by Skinner's office and let him know where
we'll be, then get the travel office to get us tickets
on an early morning flight to. . .well, Austin, Texas, I
guess. That's where the most recent death occurred and
it would probably be easier to jump into an ongoing
investigation than reopen one that's already been
closed. Besides, if you look at all the deaths, Austin
is more or less in the epicenter of them. Also, it's
supposed to be a really high-tech, happening kind of
town - sort of the Texas version of Seattle - so we
ought to be able to hook up with some sort of computer
hotshot down there without too much trouble."
"Maybe be we could catch a redeye instead,"
suggested. "It's only 4 p.m. and that would still
leave us plenty of time to get packed. That way, we'd
be in Austin first thing in the morning instead of
wasting half of tomorrow on travel."
"Two reasons. First, I think we need to talk with
Lone Gunmen tonight, see what insight they can give us
into these killings. You were right when you said
these sort of cases really aren't our area of
"And the second reason?"
"Because," he said, lowering his voice as he
mouth to her ear, "unless you've recently developed
streak of exhibitionism of which I'm unaware, you
don't want me attempting what I've got in mind for
tonight on an airplane."
Mulder laughed as she blushed and rolled her eyes.
He'd always enjoyed flirting with her, teasing her,
making an occasional innuendo when he felt he could
get away with it. But ever since their marriage, he'd
practically become addicted to it. Scully was such a
contrast! When he said anything even faintly
suggestive while they were at work, she acted as if
she were offended. But this was the same woman who had
been known to literally rip his clothes off when they
were at home. The same one who had dragged him down on
top of her in beds, bathtubs and beaches and begged - or
demanded - that he do to her what he was dying to do
As the agents entered Skinner's office, Scully felt
Mulder's hand resting lightly against the small of her
back. Okay, that's allowed, she thought. Even before we
were married, long before we'd ever even kissed, he used
to put his hand there. It was a gesture that managed to
be polite and, at the same time, vaguely possessive. She
"Sit down, agents," Skinner said. "So you
can get to the bottom of these deaths out in Texas and
the surrounding states?"
"Yes, sir," Scully answered. She quickly gave
brief overview of her theory.
"Do you have a conflicting theory, Agent
"Not at this time, no sir," Mulder replied.
"Okay, get out there, let me know what you find
Skinner replied, shooing them out of his office.
An hour later, Scully and Mulder entered the
headquarters of the Lone Gunmen, also known as
Frohike, Langley and Byers. Or, as Scully was prone to
refer to them as, the three most paranoid individuals on
the face of the planet. Mulder had seen them since their
marriage, but she hadn't. She was actually slightly
nervous about facing Frohike. The diminutive man had
always let it be known that he had a crush on her and
had asked more than once if Mulder was the reason she
refused to go out with him. She'd denied her attraction
to her partner several times - mainly because she wasn't
sure her feelings were reciprocated - and now here they
were, married to each other. She honestly liked Frohike
and was afraid the news of their marriage had hurt him.
Her fears proved unfounded. Frohike opened the door
with a smile on his face and said, "Hey, if it
my favorite couple! How you doing, guys?"
"We're fine, Frohike," Scully answered with a
"Do I get to kiss the bride?" Frohike asked.
"Only if you remember that the groom is right here
watching and that I'm armed," Mulder replied.
Scully smiled as Frohike brushed her cheek lightly
with his lips. Then he said, "Hey, we got you a
wedding present! Hold on."
"I wonder what they got us?" Scully murmured
Frohike disappeared into the back of the building.
"Depends on who picked it out," Mulder
deadpanned. "If Byers chose, it's probably a
blender. If Frohike did, it's an illustrated version of
"The Kama Sutra". And I don't even want to
contemplate what they got if
Langley did the shopping."
Frohike returned in a minute. He was carrying a small,
flat box and was followed by Langley and Byers.
"Hey, congratulations, Scully," said Byers.
condolences, as the case may be."
"Watch it," said Mulder with a smile.
"Um, yeah, we're happy for you guys," Langley
interjected. "Go ahead and open your present."
Scully smiled and reached for the box. Undoing the
paper, she lifted out a heavy silver frame. Inside was a
picture of herself and her husband, smiling into each
. .it's beautiful guys, it really is!" Scully
said. She was amazed that they had found such a
thoughtful gift. "But when. . .?" She didn't
ever posing for the picture.
"A couple of years ago," Langley answered.
trying out some new surveillance equipment and caught
you guys when you weren't watching. We kept it as a
memento of our two favorite F.B.I. agents. Frohike
kept wanting to airbrush Mulder out of the photo and
digitalize an image of himself in, but Byers and I
wouldn't let him."
"Thank you," Mulder said.
"Okay, enough chitchat," Langley said.
"What do you
"Do you know anybody computer savvy in Austin who
might be willing to talk to us about a possible X-File
in that area?" Mulder asked.
"Austin?" Byers repeated. "I know exactly
who you need to talk to. Have a seat."
Byers sat down in front of the computer and pushed a
couple of keys. The large screen showed the image of a
pretty woman in her early thirties.
"This is Michelle James," Byers said.
"She works - or
rather, used to work - for a company down there called
"And she knows a lot about computers?" Scully
"Actually, no," Byers replied. "In fact,
I'm not sure
that Michelle is capable of successfully programming a
VCR. She's the single most technologically
incompetent person I've ever encountered in my entire
"Then why. . .?" Mulder asked.
"Because," Byers said, "contacting
Michelle is the
only way you get to speak with her former boss -
current husband - Austin James. He IS a computer
genius. In my opinion, he's right up there with Bill
Gates and Steve Apple, although he's so publicity shy
only a handful of people have ever heard of him."
"His name is Austin AND he lives in Austin?"
"Hey, I've got an Aunt Virginia who lives in
Virginia," Frohikie answered. "It
Byers hit a couple more keys and another picture
showed up. This one had obviously been taken from a
distance. It showed Michelle again, this time with an
attractive man in his mid-40s.
"That's him?" Scully asked.
"The one and only," Byers replied. "The
man has such a thing for privacy, he makes the three of
us look like exhibitionists!"
Scully jumped slightly as Mulder poked her gently in
the ribs. She knew that word had triggered his memory
of their earlier discussion about which flight to
take. She rolled her eyes at him.
"You mean he's paranoid, too?" Mulder asked.
"Actually, no," Byers answered. "He just
people. Except for Michelle. And Parker, I
"Who's Parker?" Scully inquired.
"They seem like sort of an odd couple," Scully
"In some ways, they remind me a little bit of the
of you," Byers said. "Except that the roles
reversed. Michelle believes anything is possible -
telepathy, direct intervention in human lives by
angels, UFOs - for all I know, the woman believes
the Easter Bunny! Austin, on the other hand, has never
yet met a bizarre occurrence he couldn't come up with an
underlying scientific base to attribute it to."
"Sounds like my kind of guy," Scully said.
"Watch it, sweetheart," Mulder growled into
"or I'll go into my cave man mode right here and
Scully leaned up to kiss him lightly on the jaw, then
turned back to Byers.
"You know how they got together?" she asked.
"Actually, yeah, I do, more or less," Byers
"Hey, you never told us," Frohike said.
"Everybody get comfortable; I'll explain how they
ended up together," Byers said.
"See, Austin was one of the founders of Serendip,
he never wanted to actually come into the office. He
preferred working out of his. . .well, it was sort of
a place like we've got here, actually. Combination
home, office and lab. Others at the company dubbed it
the bat cave. Company execs kept assigning him
secretaries and research assistants and stuff like
that, and he kept firing them. Said he preferred to
work alone. Until about eight years ago, when Michelle
was assigned to him. He tried to fire her, too, at
first, but she was tenacious. Not to mention a big help
to him. Austin is brilliant, but his people skills leave
a little to be desired. . .in the sense that he makes
Frohike look like Mr. Popularity!"
"Hey, I resemble that remark," Frohike said.
"Anyway, the two of them ended up working
well together. . .almost as well as the two of
Byers said, with a glance at Mulder and Scully. "He
had the genius and she had the common sense and
politeness. Although, I must admit, they were never
particularly polite to each other."
"What do you mean?"
"They argued all the time. I don't mean just about
cases, like you two do sometimes. About everything!
Austin was always hollering at Michelle that if she'd
think with her brain instead of her pulse points, she
might make sense. She was always screaming back at him
that he didn't have pulse points, because he didn't have
a heart! It was like watching a Hepburn-Tracy
"She stayed with a man who treated her like
"Austin's bark was worse than his bite. I just
Michelle was the only person who ever realized it. The
funny thing was, despite the fact that he was always
yelling at her, Austin could be amazingly tender with
her, too. Just not very often."
"Well, Michelle has this thing about thunderstorms.
They terrify her. I don't mean just unnerve her, I
mean truly freak her out. Austin understood that and
whenever one rolled through, he'd hold her hand. I've
heard that he once left a business conference
involving a multimillion dollar deal because he head
thunder and knew Michelle would be in the outer
officer cowering. Once, I was at the bat cave with
them when a truly hellacious storm rolled over. It
pretty much scared me, too. Austin held Michelle in
his lap the whole time it was going on. She buried her
face in his shoulder and he stroked her back,
murmuring to her that it was going to be okay. Then,
the minute it stopped raining, he pushed her off his
lap and started demanding she make sense out of some
theory she'd propounded just before the storm began.
It was just plain weird!"
"So, how did they end up getting marred?"
"Well, eventually Serendip assigned this other,
younger computer tech to work with them. He was close
to Michelle's age and kept flirting with her. Austin
hated having the guy around. I suggested he was
jealous, and he admitted that was exactly his problem. I
meant professional jealousy, of another genius taking
over his boy wonder mantle, but that's not what Austin
meant. He was sexually jealous; he didn't like the way
this guy flirted with Michelle, complimented her, things
like that. It turned out that in this one instance,
Austin's instincts were right. The guy was an industrial
spy. He worked for a a rival company and was trying to
steal an encryption code Austin was in the process of
designing. He ended up kidnapping Michelle and demanding
the disk with the code on it as ransom."
"What happened?" Scully asked.
"Austin gave him the disk. I went with him to make
Was he mad? At Michelle, I mean?" Scully asked.
"No. I thought he would be. I watched as he handed
the disk over to the guy and reached for Michelle. I
expected fireworks, yelling, him berating her for
being so stupid as to trust the guy. . .the whole
works. You have to understand, this was a project
Austin has spent years working on and just as it
reached the point of commercial viability, he had to
let someone else get both the profit and the
"I can see where he might be somewhat
"He didn't say a word," Byers continued.
walked her back to the car. Then he tossed me the keys
and got in the back seat with Michelle. He was holding
her on his lap again, like he had during the storm. For
the longest time, nobody said anything. Finally,
Michelle said, 'I was so scared.' and Austin answered,
'I know. I was, too.' . Then, after another long
silence, Michelle said, 'I want to go home.' . Austin
asked if she meant home to her mother; she lived with
her mother. Michelle said, 'No, with you.' So, I
took them home. To the bat cave. I left and I think
maybe after that there might have been fireworks of a
sort, just not the kind I had been expecting, because a
couple of months later I got an invitation to their
"Did you go?"
"Yes, I went. It was amazing. Michelle has
friends and this huge extended family and she'd
invited all of them, plus most of the employees of
Serendip. I didn't think Austin would ever agree to
such a lavish production, but he showed up. Now that I
think about it, he must have footed the bill, too,
because Michelle's Dad was dead and there's no way she
and her mother could have afforded such a splash.
Anyway, I've never seen a man so in love with his wife -
at least not until just now," Byers said with a
smile at Mulder and Scully.
"So," Byers continued, "he came for the
and Michelle stayed for about thirty minutes of the
reception, then they left. The rest of us partied for
half the night."
"His dislike of people was so intense he wouldn't
even stick around for his own wedding reception?"
Langle asked. "Even I'm not that weird!"
"Actually, I don't think that's the reason he left
such a hurry," Byers replied. "Michelle's an
extremely devout Catholic. My bet is that their wedding
night was the first time they were going to. . ."
"What is it about you Catholic women?" Mulder
murmured in Scully's ear. "That's the exact same
reason I sprinted out of the Little Chapel of Eternal
Love in Las Vegas so quickly."
"Hey, I'm not the one who insisted we get married
right then and there," she whispered back.
"Sweetheart, you offered to do ANYTHING I wanted
evening. Did you really think I was so stupid I was
going to waste an opportunity like that on just making
love with you for one night? I wanted you legally
obligated to keep showing up every night," he said
"Uh, do you two need some privacy?" Frohike
"This is our place, but I suppose we could
Mulder laughed and pulled Scully closer to him,
resting his chin on top of her head.
"Okay, okay, we'll stop flirting. Do you have a way
we can contact Michelle and thereby Austin?"
"Let me run it for a minute," Byers said.
doesn't like anybody contacting him and he has the
computer savvy to set up a pretty complex code.
However, since Michelle keeps giving out their
passwords to her mother, her grandmother, her aunts,
all nineteen of her cousins and her two dozen best
friends, I should be able to tap into somebody's data
base and. . .here it is! This is their home telephone
number and e-mail address. I'll give you the main
number at Serendip, too, but it's honestly not going
to do you much good. Now that Michelle doesn't
actually work for the company anymore, I'm betting
Austin only checks his messages about once a month. If
"Why doesn't she work there anymore?" Mulder
"Michelle's a pretty traditional kind of
replied. "She quit her job right before Parker was
born in order to be a full-time mother. Really, I
can't see that it makes much difference to them either
way. Austin's a millionaire several times over from all
his patents and stock options, so they've got plenty of
money. On the other hand, he works almost completely out
of their home and he still bounces his theories off
Michelle all day long, which is the exact same thing he
did when she worked for him, so I guess a pretty good
argument could be made that she's still doing the same
job, just not getting paid for it."
"Do they still live in the bat cave?" Scully
"No, they moved. It's still sort of isolated, but
it's a brand new house. They designed it together, with
Austin having say-so on his lab area and Michelle making
choices about the rest of the house. Anyway, I'll e-mail
Michelle and tell her you're on the way. Here's
directions to the house, too, and the password to their
gate. Just let them know I sent you, and don't be put
off too much by Austin. Convince Michelle he has to help
you and leave it to her. That man would do anything for
"Sounds like somebody I know," Scully
"Are you guys going to start that again?"
asked. "Don't you run out of stuff to say, being
each other all the time?"
"Nope," Mulder replied.
"Hey, you sleeping okay?" Langley asked
"I'm sleeping fine. Never better. Why do you
"Well, I just wondered. I know you sometimes have
problems with insomnia and now that you're married. .
.I mean, I remember that Diane use to complain that
you. . ." Langley noticed that Byers, Frohike and
especially Mulder were glaring at him, while Scully
was watching him with an amused, quizzical expression
on her face. "I think I'll shut up now," he
As they left the Lone Gunmen's place, carrying their
present and the information Byers had supplied them
with, Scully shot an amused glance at her husband. She
knew how much he hated her bringing up any of his past
romances, but this was too good to pass up.
"Okay, Mulder, out with it. What did Diane complain
"Listen, Scully, I don't want to talk about
"I know, but I do. What was it? If I have to spend
all night getting it out of you, I will. And that would
be a shame, because I had so many better ideas of what
we could do tonight. If you really want me to spend all
night long repeating the same question over and over
again - while remaining fully clothed, of course - I can
do that. But if you'd rather. . ."
"Okay, okay," said Mulder as they got in the
"It's not really that big a deal, anyway. She just
used to complain that I wouldn't actually sleep over
at her place. After we had, uh, finished, I'd get up
and go back to my own place to sleep. Not immediately; I
did have the good manners to stay for a little while,
but then I'd leave."
"So I could sleep! That's what I'm trying to
I can't - well, that is to say, I couldn't - actually
sleep in the same bed with another person! If I tried
- and I honestly made the attempt several times, both
with Phoebe and Diane - I just ended up lying awake
staring at the ceiling. Or wandering around the
apartment all night. I was working violent crimes, for
God's sake! I needed a good night's rest so I wouldn't
shoot somebody by accident the next day!"
"But you don't have that problem with me,"
said. "In fact, I think you sleep better with me
you did before we were married. You used to call me in
the middle of the night or show up at the door at all
hours to discuss cases!"
"Of course I sleep better with you in my arms than
did before we were married! I'm not worried that
somebody's trying to take you away from me!"
"Is that what kept you awake all those
"It used to be Samantha," he said. "I
because of her. Then, after the Duane Barry incident,
it began to be you and her both, mixed up together.
After you got cancer, it was just you."
"Do you know why this kept you from sleeping?"
"Yeah, I think so. See, when Samantha and I were
little we used to sleep in the same bed sometimes. Mom
made us stop that a couple of years before she was
taken, when I turned 10. But I think, subconsciously, I
always felt that if we had been sleeping together, she
would have been okay. I could have protected her. Later,
I felt the same way about you. If I'd been with you when
Duane Barry came that time. . ."
"Mulder, you saved me," she put in softly.
"Want to know the first time since I was a
pre-adolescent kid that I actually spent the whole
night sleeping in close proximity to another human
"That time we were in Florida on the trail of the
mothmen. I was cold, I was hurt and and I was lying on
the ground with my head in your lap. It should have been
impossible for anybody to sleep under those
conditions! But I zonked out completely and had
wonderful, sweet dreams about singing bullfrogs and
raining sleeping bags and getting lucky with a
beautiful woman who came into my hotel room carrying a
bottle of wine."
smiled at her husband. Lord, how she loved
this man! It made her feel so special to know that,
while other women may have had the benefit of his
considerable sexual skill, none of them had had the
pleasure of having him fall asleep next to them night
When they got back to their apartment, Scully headed
for the kitchen. "What did you want for dinner? I
can," she was stopped by her husband's hands around
her waist, turning her to face him.
"Wrong room, Dana. That is, unless you wanted to
something really innovative involving the kitchen
"Mulder, I'm hungry!"
"Me, too. For you."
Scully smiled. There was no way she was going to win
this argument and, to tell the truth, she didn't
really want to. It was obvious how much he needed her.
"Well," she purred, rubbing up against him,
"since you obviously have a more, er, pressing
need. . ."
He scooped her up and quickly transverse the short
hallway to their bedroom. "You wanna undress
growled into her ear as he lowered her to the bed.
"Might be quicker if you did it yourself."