|Title: "The Fake
Author: Angela W.
Category: MSR/Crossover/Actual XF-type case
Summary: A serial killer is on the loose in Los
Angeles; a man named Jake - who just happens to bear a
startling physical resemblance to Mulder - may
hold the clue to the killer's identity.
Timespan/Spoilers: I'd put it somewhere between
Season Six and Seven in the "real" X-Files
universe; in my fanfic world, which is more linear than
most, this comes after "Thanksgiving with the
Mothers". One small spoiler for the
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me.
Characters associated with "The X-Files" are
property of Chris Carter and 1013 Productions.
Characters associated with "Red Shoe Diaries"
property of Zalman King.
Archive: Feel free to archive anywhere!
Feedback: Feedback of a positive nature,
*constructive* criticism, is welcome. If you just
don't like the idea of Mulder and Scully being
married, don't read this!
Part 1 of 3
Special Agents Dana
Scully and Fox Mulder stepped into the office of their
boss, Assistant F.B.I. Director Walter Skinner.
"You said you had a case you wanted us to look
sir?" Scully asked.
"A new X-file?" Mulder inquired.
"It's not an X-file, agents. But before you start
raving that your talents will be wasted on something
so mundane as plain, old-fashioned serial killing, let
me assure you there are reasons why we need you two -
and only you two - on this case," Skinner replied.
"Of course, sir," Scully murmured.
"You want me to work up a profile on the
Mulder asked. He was a good - damned good - criminal
profiler. Although he preferred investigating
paranormal phenomena, an occasional profiling
assignment wasn't without a certain amount of allure.
"That will be part of your assignment, yes.
Especially considering that the original suspect we had
under investigation now seems not to be our killer but
more like a secondary victim," Skinner replied.
"Did you want to give us the case file, sir?"
"Let me explain it to you first; that will save
Then you can read the file on the plane out to Los
Angeles," Skinner said.
"We're all ears," Mulder answered.
For the past eighteen months, there has been a string
of killings in the Los Angeles area. All the victims
were attractive women in their 20s and 30s; half a
dozen victims in all."
"What else did they have in common?" Mulder
"Well, for one thing, all of them had, within the
year prior to their death, experienced either a divorce
or the break-up of a long-term, intimate relationship.
Most of them were also women who liked to frequent the
"Prostitutes?" Scully asked.
"No. One was a college student. The others had
legitimate jobs. But they weren't candidates for
sainthood, either. Several of them had had multiple
one-night stands in the months prior to their murders.
The most telling thing they had in common was that all
of them had left the same club, within a week before
their murder, with a man fitting the same general
"Well, I don't want to jump to conclusions, but it
would seem he'd be our prime suspect," Mulder said.
"That's what the Los Angeles agents originally
assumed. And they found him. A Los Angeles area
architect by the name of Jake. He admitted to having
picked up at least five of the six women, and having
sex with four of them. But the vehemently denies
having killed any of them. In at least two of the
cases, he has a solid alibi for the time of the
murder. In one case, he was clear on the other side of
the country, attending a business conference.
"Is it possible he's working with an
"It's possible, but the local agents are beginning
doubt it. Whereas Jake first looked like our killer,
it now looks like he's the object of somebody else's
sick, psycho-sexual fantasies. That's one of the
reasons we want you out there, Agent Mulder. We need
you to talk to Jake, make a psychological evaluation
as to whether or not you think he's capable of these
killings. If you think he is, we need you to work up a
possible profile for his accomplice. If you think he
isn't, we'll need a profile on the type of person who
would fixate on Jake and kill any woman he had sex
"You said he admitted to picking up five of the six
women?" Mulder asked. "But only having sex
"He positively identified five of the six. The
sixth - who was actually the first victim - he couldn't
identify. He didn't deny that he might have picked her
up; he started frequenting the club a couple of weeks
before her murder and even agreed she was the type who
appealed to him. But, as he pointed out, one-night
stands are inherently forgettable encounters and, over a
year later, he couldn't be sure if she were someone he
had sex with or not."
"Sounds like he's a bit of a sleazebag,"
"Like the women he picks up, Jake's no candidate
sainthood," Skinner agreed. "But there's no
against multiple sex partners, as long as everybody's
agreeable and over the age of consent; and it's out
job to enforce the laws, not play morality police. To
give the man a little credit, he's agreed to drop the
club scene until we apprehend a killer. He said he
didn't want to be the cause, even indirectly, of any
"Why didn't he have sex with the fifth woman?"
inquired. "The one he positively identified as
picked up at the club, but says he didn't have sex
Skinner flipped through the file on his desk.
Yes. That would be the youngest and next-to-last
victim. She was a 21-year-old college undergraduate
student. Name of Tiffany. A week before she met Jake,
or approximately ten days before she was killed, she
broke up with the boyfriend she'd been going steady
with ever since she was sixteen. According to Jake,
after they got back to his place, she decided she
wasn't really the one-night-stand type. That's borne
out by the interviews with her family and friends;
apparently the boyfriend was the only sex partner
she'd ever had and going to a club and letting a
stranger pick her up was a totally out-of-character
act for her."
"So this Jake didn't. . .push it?" Scully
"He says not," Skinner replied. "Says
he's not the
date-rape type. Honestly, agents, there's no reason
for him to lie about it. The woman is dead. If he said
they'd had consensual sex, she could hardly contradict
him. Since he says they didn't, presumably they
"She did go back to his apartment with him, though,
right?" Mulder inquired.
"How long did she stay?"
"I don't know. Why?"
"Well," Mulder said, "if we're operating
premise that someone is killing these women because
they've had sex with Jake - and if that person is
shadowing him or staking out his apartment - it makes
sense for her to be a victim only if she stayed long
enough for the killer to assume she had sex with
"Well, you can ask him when you see him. Possibly,
however, these women signed their death warrants
simply by leaving the club with Jake. It would be
easier for a non-professional to keep tabs on someone
in a crowded club than by hanging around outside a
residence," Skinner pointed out.
"I'm still not sure exactly why you feel it's so
important to have the two of us on this case, sir,"
Scully said. "I'm not objecting, I just have the
feeling there's more going on here than you're telling
Skinner offered the agents one of his rare, small
smiles. "You're right, Agent Scully. There is.
Several things. To begin with, Agent Mulder bears a
strong physical resemblance to Jake. We were looking for
someone who could conceivably, in the low lighting of a
club, pass for Jake. The idea is to have an agent go
undercover as Jake at the club. One of the L.A. agents
went through the academy with you, Mulder, and seemed to
think you'd fit the bill. I've got a description here of
Jake and the basics are remarkably similar. He's a few
years older than you, a few pounds heavier and an inch
shorter. But hair color, eye color and overall general
appearance seem to be in your favor. Going to the club
he frequents, dressed like he dresses, and we can be
reasonably hopeful that our killer will assume you ARE
"Where do I fit in?" Scully asked.
"As a potential victim. You're the same age as the
oldest of the women who were killed. Two of the
victims were redheads and all their heights varied
between 5'1" and 5'5"," Skinner said.
"I don't like the idea of setting Scully up as a
potential victim for some madman," Mulder said.
"I'm sure you don't," Skinner replied.
"But she'll be
under surveillance from the time she enters the club
until we catch the killer. Or until such time as the
bureau determines that we're not going to catch the
killer via that method. And there may be a way to
speed things up."
"How?" Mulder inquired.
"Well, these women had all gone to bed - or were
presumed to have gone to bed - with Jake once and have
been killed within a week or two of doing so. When you
assume Jake's identity, Agent Scully can assume the
role, not of a casual one-night stand, but as of a woman
Jake is getting serious with. That should speed the
process up a bit, work the killer into a frenzy. And
that's the final reason I felt you two would be the best
agents to assign to this case. Asking a pair of male and
female partners to assume the lovers is, in most cases,
a potential land mine. Some of the women assigned to
such cases have objected, perhaps not without merit,
that such assignments are tantamount to requiring them
to grant sexual favors to their partners. In your case,
since you're married to each other, I can't see that
either one of you could have reasonable
"In other words," Scully said, "if we
favors from the bureau - such as being allowed to
remain partners despite our marriage - then
occasionally we may be required to take on assignments
that are suitable only for married couples."
"That's about the size of it, agents," Skinner
Mulder sighed. He admitted the logic of the A.D.'s
arguments, but he still didn't like the idea of
setting up Scully as the potential victim of a
homicidal maniac. "Give us the file," he
The next morning, in Los Angeles, Mulder and Scully
met with Jake in a location of his choosing. It turned
out to be a diner that he frequented. The agents agreed
that a neutral site was better than meeting at Jake's
home or office or at the federal building.
Mulder and Scully had been there for several minutes
and were each on their second cup of coffee when he
walked in. Both agents stared. They'd been told there
was a resemblance between Mulder and Jake, but this
"Mulder, look! He could be your twin," Scully
"The word that pops into my mind is 'clone',"
replied. "I'm beginning to wonder if there's more
this case than we've been led to believe."
Jake walked slowly over to the back booth where the
agents were seated. "A redheaded woman and a man
looks like me," he said. "I guess that makes
Agents Mulder and Scully."
"I'm Mulder, she's Scully."
"This is weird," Jake said. "It's almost
in a mirror."
"That's the main reason I was assigned to this
Mulder said. "So I can pass for you in a
"Yeah, the other agents filled me in on the plan.
seems odd to me, but I'm an architect. This
cops-and-robbers stuff is beyond me."
"You didn't kill those women?" Mulder asked.
have no idea who did?"
"I've answered this before, several times,"
replied a bit tersely. "No. To both questions. I
somewhat guilty anyway, though. However inadvertently, I
was apparently the catalyst that led to their
"You have no idea why someone would single you out
this way?" Mulder asked. "No known
"Enemies?" Jake asked. "That's such a
word. I don't think I have any enemies, certainly none
that are homicidal maniacs. I mean, I've got business
rivals. Other architects I've beat out for lucrative
assignments - things like that. But someone with an
intense, personal vendetta against me? No. At least not
that I'm aware of."
"Do you have a brother?" Mulder suddenly
"No. Not unless you're wondering if you and I were
separated at birth. Because you've got to admit, our
resemblance is uncanny."
"Why did you ask, Mulder?" Scully inquired.
"Just a theory. Right now, I'm operating under the
assumption that the killer is obsessed with - and
jealous of - Jake's sexual success with women. A
younger brother, someone you've always outshone, would
be an ideal candidate."
"No brothers. One older sister, married and living
with her husband and two kids in Santa Barbara."
"Anyone like that?" Mulder continued. "A
childhood friend, somebody you've stolen a girlfriend
"Not that I can think of. I suppose it's possible.
I'm successful in my career. I'm successful, at least on
a superficial level, with women. So I suppose it's
possible that some other men might envy me. But if
you're asking for a specific person, someone whose
nose I've rubbed in it. . .I can't think of anyone. As
for stealing someone else's girlfriend - no. When it
comes to love triangles, I always end up losing out. One
way or the other," Jake said.
"Why do you do it?" Scully asked.
"Do what?" Jake responded.
"The club scene, the one-night stands. Why not a
relationship, one where you actually get to know the
woman as a human being? You're successful,
good-looking and intelligent. Do you simply lack the
emotional stability to form a truly intimate
relationship?" she inquired.
"I don't think your pretty partner approves of my
lifestyle," Jake said to Mulder.
"Whether she approves or not is hardly the issue.
are our only link to a killer. To find out more about
him, we have to find out more about you. It is unusual
for a man of you age and education to have sexual
relationships exclusively in the form of one-night
stands," Mulder replied.
"You've never done it?" Jake asked.
"You're also a
well-educated professional, about my age. I'd have to
say we're equal on the attractiveness scale, since we
look so much alike. Are you saying you've never gone
to a club and picked up a woman just to screw her?"
Shit, thought Mulder. This is exactly the sort of
conversation no man EVER wants to have in front of his
wife! "A few times, when I was younger," he
muttered. "But not frequently and certainly not
recently. I grew up and learned the difference between
loving someone and simply looking to get lucky."
"Yeah, well, the women I love tend not to love me
back. At least, not exclusively," Jake replied.
"Yes, you said something a few minutes ago about
always losing out when it comes to love triangles,"
Scully said. "Care to elaborate on that?"
"Is this really necessary, agents?" Jake
"I'm afraid it is," Mulder replied. "You
don't have to answer our questions, of course, at least
not without a lawyer present. May I remind you, again,
that you are our only link to a serial killer? While
it's clear that you could not have personally committed
the murders - at least not all of them - the possibility
still remains that you know who did. Accessory to murder
- before or after the fact - is a serious charge."
"I didn't kill anybody and I have no idea who
Jake repeated. "However, if you really feel this is
going to help with your investigation, fine. Ask any
intimate, personal questions you want!"
"Let's start with the love triangles, since you
brought them up," Mulder said. "You made the
plural, so I assume it's happened more than once?"
"Twice," Jake answered. "Both within the
years. Which is why I've pretty much given up on the
idea of having an intimate, loving one-on-one
relationship with a woman and settle for cheap
thrills with anonymous partners."
"We'll need a few more details," Scully said,
voice was gentler than it had been.
Jake sighed. "The first time was a woman named
Alexis. We were living together, engaged to be married,
when she decided to have one last fling with some guy
she met at a store. Only thing is, he didn't want to be
just a one-night stand. He started stalking her,
threatening to tell me that she'd been unfaithful.
Alexis. . .was never the most stable person in the
world. She'd had an odd upbringing, her mother was a
real dragon lady. Finally, Alexis reached the point
where she felt trapped. So she took what seemed, to her,
to be the only way out of the mess she'd created of her
life. She committed suicide. I found her diary
afterwards. That's how I pieced together the reason
"That must have been tough on you," Scully
"It was hell," Jake agreed. "For several
her death, I was teetering right on the edge of a
nervous breakdown. I finally managed to get myself
back together, at least as far as the professional
side of my life was concerned. I went back to work
with a vengeance, but for over a year after her death I
was completely celibate. I didn't even look at another
"Then what happened?" Mulder asked.
"Then Kate happened," Jake answered. "I
met here here, at this diner. It's always kind of been a
hang-out of mine. She used to come by a lot, too, and
sometimes we'd get to talking. I'm not trying to be
egotistical when I say she picked me up. I'm just
stating a fact. I would have been happy simply maintaining
a casual acquaintanceship with her, but she pushed me to
begin going out with and, eventually, sleeping with her.
After a while, the pain of Alexis' betrayal and death
did begin to lessen when I was in Kate's company. Unlike
the women I pick up in clubs, I actually wanted to get
to know her. I told Kate about Alexis, about my career,
about my childhood. She told me things about her career
and childhood, too. It had reached the point where I was
going to suggest we move in together, maybe ask her if
she'd like to go up to my sister's place with me one
weekend, when I found out that Kate had left out one
small detail about her life."
Jake sighed. "She was married. Said she actually
considered leaving her husband for me, but in the end
decided to dump me, instead, and try to patch up her
"Ouch!" Scully said. She had come into this
a preconceived notion of Jake as, at best, some sort
of slime ball and, at worst, a killer. His first few
comments hadn't done much to improve her opinion of
him, but she was undergoing a change of heart as he
told the stories of his failed loves. This was a man
"Yeah. Ouch," Jake agreed with an ironic smile
face. "A few months after Kate stopped seeing me, I
began. . .doing what I do. After two messy endings to
two love affairs in a row, I decided I wasn't cut out
for the happily-ever-after type endings. My emotional
commitments - such as they are - are to my career, my
elderly parents, my sister and her family. . .heck,
even my dog, I guess. The women I pick up in the clubs
are just for sex. I figure it's easier that way. Nobody
Mulder nodded. "Okay. But, as I understand it,
was one woman you left the club with but did not have
"Oh. Yeah. Her name was Tiffany. Ironically enough,
remember her better than the ones I actually did sleep
"Why didn't you have sex with her?" Scully
"Because," Jake said, "once we got back
to my place,
she decided she didn't want to."
"And you were. . .okay with that?" Mulder
didn't feel like she was being a tease?"
Jake sighed. "Look, she was just a mixed-up kid.
was only 21; I'm 39, as you probably know from my
file. I didn't realize quite how young and naive she
was when I picked her up. Generally speaking, I don't
go in for cradle-robbing. She wasn't, really, the kind
of girl who frequents bars and goes in for one-night
stands. She'd just been dumped by the boyfriend she'd
been with ever since they were high school sweethearts;
he'd left her for another woman. Being in the bar,
coming home with me, was her somewhat pathetic attempt
to prove to herself, or to him, or to the world in
general, that she wasn't an unattractive loser."
"So when she decided she didn't want to have sex
you, she just left?" Mulder asked.
"Actually, we talked for a while. I don't expect
to believe this but. . .I felt sort of protective of
her. My sister has a teenage daughter and, in a way,
Tiffany reminded me of my niece. I wanted to make sure
she understood that, whatever pain she might be in,
going to a bar and having sex with strangers was not the
way to handle it! After a couple of hours, I drove her
back to campus and dropped her off right outside the
"A few days after that, she was dead," Scully
"I know," replied Jake. "Believe me, I
had no idea
that these women were ending up dead as a result of
their encounters with me."
"I believe you, Jake," Scully said. " But
I think the
only way to catch the killer is for you to allow
Agent Mulder to take over your life, at least
"I realize that's the plan that's been decided on.
I'm going into my office for a few hours this morning,
trying to wrap things up," Jake said. "If
you'll let me know where I can contact you, I'll give
you the keys and directions to my apartment. Then I'll
take my dog and go up to the mountains and lie low for a
week or two."
"This is where
we are," Mulder said, sliding one of
his business cards, with their hotel name and room
number scribbled on the back, to Jake.
"See you this
afternoon, then," Jake said.
"Where to now, Mulder?" Scully asked.
"The local F.B.I. office, for a start," Mulder
replied. "I want to know everything about Jake that
they know. Then back to our hotel for a while, to work
up a profile."
As they walked into the Los Angeles federal building,
the agents were amazed by its size. Generally
speaking, their work took them to remote areas when it
didn't kept them at bureau headquarters in
Washington. Mulder remembered that this was the
third-largest bureau installation in the world; only
headquarters and Quantico were larger. The L.A. office
handled federal crimes not only in southern
California, but in most of the rest of the Mountain
and Pacific time zones as well.
Eventually, they were ensconced in a meeting room with
Agents Landers and Vandergriff. Both these agents were
men and, by a strange coincidence, Landers had gone
through the academy with Mulder and Vandergriff with
Scully, so introductions were brief.
"Whew," Landers said. "At first I thought
Jake, coming in to let me know he'd picked up a new
girlfriend. I suggested that you might be able to pass
for Jake, Agent Mulder, but even I didn't realize the resemblance
was so strong. You two could be brothers."
"Yes, Scully and I have met Jake," Mulder
"All of us admit the likeness is uncanny."
"That makes our job easier," Landers said.
"I don't know," Vandergriff drawled.
suggesting is that Spooky Mulder and the Ice Queen
pose as a pair of potential lovers, picking each other
up in a happening club. Neither of them has done much
undercover work. From what I've heard, the only thing
that turns Spooky on is little green men. And Agent
Scully. . .well, to the best of my knowledge, she just
doesn't get turned on."
"Just because I didn't get turned on by YOU, and
pathetic attempts to score with me when we went
through the academy together, doesn't mean it can't
happen," Scully responded.
Mulder shot Vandergriff a dirty look, then said
any case , I presume Scully and I aren't expected to
actually copulate on the dance floor. As I understand
the assignment, I go to the club alone. A little while
later, Scully comes in. We drink, we dance; maybe we
smooch a little. I'll have to talk to Jake, find out
exactly how friendly he gets with these women in public.
You two, or other agents from this office, get to watch
that part. Then Scully and I leave. Other agents follow.
We return to Jake's place, while the other agents try to
determine if we're being followed or are otherwise under
"That's the plan," Landers agreed shooting a
look of his own at his partner.
"I just want to make sure Scully is under constant
surveillance, every time she's out in public alone,
from the minute she walks into that club until we
apprehend the killer o get on the plane back to
Washington," Mulder said.
"She will be," Landers stated. "We've got
six teams of agents assigned to the case. The cover
story, Agent Scully, is that you work here in the
federal building as a secretary in the HUD offices. One
of our female agents, Dorothy Li, recently had her
roommate move out and she's agreed to let you sleep over
at her place; you two can meet later today, so you can
go ahead and bring some of your things over to her place
and leave from there when you head for the club.
Mulder and Scully glanced at each other. The didn't
like the idea of sleeping even in separate rooms, much
less separate building on opposite sides of the city.
Mulder cleared his throat. "I thought the idea was
for Agent Scully and I both to sleep over at Jake's
place. We can probably flush the killer out faster if
"Jake" seems to be getting serious about this
"We'll have to play it by ear," Landers said.
tonight, at least, that's the plan. Then we figured
maybe the two of you could meet for lunch or drinks
sometime tomorrow. But we can't have you constantly
together; that would sort of defeat the whole purpose.
After all, none of the women were killed while they were
actually with Jake, or even within a few hours of
leaving him. It's a little hard to be absolutely
certain, but the time range seems to be anywhere from 18
hours to about six days from the time he's with them to
the time of the attack."
"I just want to make sure she's covered,"
"Mulder, I'll be fine," Scully said, touching
his hand gently. "After all, I'll be on my guard.
None of these other women even knew they were targets.
I'm armed and trained for this sort of situation. From
what I've read, none of the other victims were even
After several more hours at the federal building,
including a meeting with Dorothy Li and a few other
agents, Scully and Mulder returned to the hotel. Since
they were working closely with other agents, they'd gone
ahead and taken the precaution of registering in
separate rooms with adjoining doors. This arrangement
had the added bonus of giving them one room to work in
while the other was strewn with their personal items.
"So, what do you think?" Scully asked.
"Is Jake in
league with the killer, or merely a hapless catalyst
"My gut instinct is: hapless catalyst. Someone has
fixated on him for some reason. Maybe out of some sort
of homoerotic impulse, I don't know," Mulder
"Mulder, I've got a question or a theory or
something," Scully said slowly. "But you may
it's kind of offbeat."
"Don't tell me you think these murders are the
of alien intervention or paranormal phenomena?"
"No, I don't think it's anything like that,"
replied. "It's just that. . .I've read the autopsy
reports. None of the victims were particularly tall or
particularly athletic. I do think you're onto
something with the idea of the killer being jealous of
Jake, but what if it's not in the sense that you
"I'm listening, Scully."
"What if the killer is a woman? A reasonably strong
woman, one who was fairly tall and worked out
regularly, could have overpowered any of those
victims, especially if she caught them by surprise.
After all, Jake isn't the one who has been attacked;
he wasn't even aware the killings were occurring until a
few weeks ago. If the killer was a heterosexual man who
was jealous of Jake, it seems it would make more sense
for him to kill Jake, not the women. If he was a
homosexual man who'd fixated on Jake, you'd think he'd
realize that, no matter how many women he killed, it
wouldn't change Jake's orientation."
"But if it were were a woman?" Mulder asked.
"If it's a woman, I'm betting she's someone Jake
knows, but has never thought of in a sexual sense.
Someone right near his own age, or maybe even a few
years older," Scully said. "A woman who can't
the thought of the man she loves - with what she
undoubtedly believes is a pure, unselfish love
- picking up what she probably thinks of as 'tramps'
and who are younger and better-looking than she is and
doing with them what he'd never dream of doing with
"I'm impressed, Scully," Mulder said.
"You may be onto something here. The majority of
serial killers are men, but female serial killers, while
rare, are not unheard of. So what sort of relationship
would you picture this woman having with Jake?"
"My first guess would be someone he works with. A
co-worker or employee in her late 30s or 40s; maybe
never married, maybe divorced. But it could be anyone
like that. A woman he grew up with, but always
regarded as more like 'one of the guys' than a
potential girlfriend. Maybe a friend or sister of one
of those women - Alexis or Kate - he was seriously
involved with; a woman who might have thought he'd
turn to her after his affair with her friend or
relative turned sour," Scully suggested.
"I definitely think you're onto something here,