|What's Done is Done
Author: AmandaFaye PM
Sarah William's disappeared in the captain and the king. Now, her godfather in the FBI sends two friends to Gull cottage to find the truth.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 4,780 - Reviews: 4 - Published: 08-18-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2017870
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
What's done is done
Note, nothing belongs to me. Sequel to Captain and King in which Sarah's family tries to find out what happened, with help from our favorite FBI agents, the spook squad. M/S implied J/S cameo C/D PG for safety.
For at least the fifth time in a week, Carolyn Muir hung up on her cousin, Richard, after making rather weak excuses for why his daughter could not come to the phone. Her lying ability was - well it stunk. Proving that point was the fact that Richard had called Claymore to ask why said daughter, Sarah, wasn't talking, had he seen her, was she well... and so on. Not knowing what had taken place, Claymore had bubbled on about how sweet and pretty Sarah was on her ride to Gull Cottage and he was sure she was happy. Carolyn had been in Claymore's office to warn him about such a call when it came and heard it all. Fortunately, Daniel had been with her, invisibly at first, along to provide "muscle" should Claymore need encouragement to do whatever she wished. The ghost could hear both ends of the conversation, and what happened next was almost humorous. Emphasis on almost. With a bellow, Daniel Gregg materialized, ordering, "Pipe down you miserable miserly oaf!" and yanked the phone cord from the wall. It had taken a while to calm Claymore after that, then explain the whys. It surprised no one when, once the phone was reconnected, Richard had called back, but this time, the human jellyfish had stammered and if anything made things worse, dropping clues about a "him not wanting Claymore to say anything" before slamming down the phone.
Daniel appeared at her side as Carolyn sighed. "Tell me again that we did the right thing," she softly asked.
He would have pointed out that it was his doing, but that was not what she needed. Softly giving her a ghostly kiss that satisfied neither of them, he whispered, "That we did, madam."
Washington DC, FBI basement
"May I come in?"
Mulder pushed back his glasses. "Of course, sir. You're the boss."
Walter Skinner raised one eyebrow. "You remembered? What's on the expense report this time, Mulder?"
Fox Mulder did his best to look innocent, but before he could reply, Skinner went on, "Later. I need a favor from you and Scully."
Dana had stopped what she was doing to pay attention and it was she who asked, "What?"
"My goddaughter went to see her older cousin for her college break. She's not been seen in weeks. No one will tell her dad anything, but there is no evidence of foul play, so officially, no investigation is warranted. But I'm worried. I'd like you two to go to Maine and look around, unofficially. You're both on vacation for however long it takes- if you agree to help. " The last was almost an afterthought. "I'm afraid Cancerman might be in this."
Mulder raised one brow- wondering if Skinner really was worried or knew that he & Scully couldn't refuse under those conditions. As if hearing the thought, Skinner sighed, "Wouldn't be the first time an innocent was in the line of fire." Yes, there were plenty of others who'd gotten in the consortium's way; Melissa, Emily, Samantha...
Emotional blackmail or not, Scully was already on the phone arranging for a flight, as Mulder asked if the AD knew anything else. "Yeah. Reason I didn't just call you two up to my office is her dad and step mother are up there- "
"You were escaping," Mulder lightly accused.
"Once you meet Karen, you'll understand why. Anyhow, they raided Sarah's old room before heading up here, and brought a couple of past diaries "
"Already read," Mulder guessed.
"Naturally. We don't have her current one, presumably it's with her or she stopped keeping one. Anyway, Karen had already highlighted some parts that she felt were - relevant. I really can't stand the witch, but she's right. Either of you ever hear of a cult with a leader named Jareth or goblin king?"
The agents looked at each other with frowns, but neither had. "Hang on," Mulder said, then got out his cell phone. "Langley, Mulder here. Yeah, yeah, I'll give you an interview for the next Lone Gunmen issue- no I won't give Scully a message from Frohke. Shut up - I need to talk to Byrnes. Byrnes, know any Jareth or Goblin King?" Mulder's cool in not giggling over the ridiculous title had to be admired. "Yeah, I was afraid of that. Thanks." Hanging up, he shook his head. "Nope, nothing on the lunatic fringe. What is Jareth?" He would not deign to ask about a goblin king. Bursting into laughter would shoot down his cool g man image.
Skinner pitched the book to Scully. "Name that starts cropping up in Sarah's diary a few years back. She writes about meeting him in a labyrinth, then mentions dancing, masks, goblins, and 'the world falling down'. Then, there are references over the years to dreams of him, or perhaps hallucinations. I can't make heads or tails of it, but this Jareth is the dominant theme of her writing. "
"And she is how old, Sir?" Scully asked, thumbing through it.
"Drugs?" Scully suggested, tentatively.
"Not likely, but it is concievable. Would you just come up to my office and see if Richard or Karen can give you any clues? Something my mind, not geared to the weird stuff, might miss?"
An hour later, Mulder and Scully were on their way to the airport, Scully driving and Mulder trying to decide how to pad an expense report to cover combat pay for dealing with raving bitches like the wicked step mother. The most helpful one had been the five year old boy, Toby. Scully had taken charge of him, leaving Mulder to handle the parents. He'd told her Sarah was always sad. She had asked if he thought it was because of Jareth, and the tyke solemly shook his head. "No, ma'am. When she talks about him, she's happy. I wish she could talk about him all the time. " Dana hadn't decided how to interpret this information. She had heard of religious ectasy, so the cult idea was still possible. Surely Mulder's three stooges couldn't know about every strange idea in the world... okay, maybe they could, but still... She had not mentioned this conversation to Fox yet.
The flight was fairly uneventful. On separate laptops, she and Mulder surfed the net, finding nothing about Jareth or goblins tied to a cult.
According to the Williams' information, Claymore Gregg had picked up Sarah from the airport, so he was the one they headed to first. As the two entered his office, the rattish little man looked up, appraising them with beady eyes. "Hello, hello. You're new in town, aren't you? I'm Claymore Gregg, but I'm sure you know that, it's on the door. What capacity do you need to see me in? Banker, realtor, jp, tax collector, ..."
Before he could rattle off more, Mulder flashed his badge. "Federal agents. Fox Mulder, my partner, Dana Scully. We're investigating the disappearance of a young woman who recently came to your town, Sarah Williams. We were told you picked her up at the airport and took her to Gull Cottage, which you happen to own." Fox fell silent, seeing how much rope Claymore would take.
"Sarah...Sarah.. hmm. don't remember that name. But I'm with so many lovely young ladies, how can one keep track of them all. While I am the landlord of Gull Cottage, my uncle left it to me, " he paused. No thunder. Spooky must be elsewhere. "I rent it out, and don't go there often. Can't recall being there in ages."
Dana raised a brow. "Really? Have you tried Gingko pillls? Your memory must be failing, because you were seen driving there with her on the day of her arrival and leaving like a bat out of hell. You often leave Gull Cottage like a bat out of hell. I will remind you the fines for perjury are steep."
"Fines? Steep?" he twittered, flustered. "Ah- ah, " under his breath, Claymore exclaimed, "Spooky's not going to like this....oh.."
However, the agents' had excellent hearing and caught that. Fox, aka "spooky'' Mulder grinned. "What I won't like is being lied to. So, I suggest you tell me, now."
"Huh? I wasn't talking to you. "
"Talking to oneself is a clear sign of schizophrenia," Dr. Scully added with a smile. "Perhaps an evaluation would be in order?"
While Mr Gregg was off balance, Mulder took out two pictures and showed them to him.
"Recognize either of these two?" One was Krycek, the other Cancer Man.
Claymore peered at them. "No. I don't know anything. Just ask anyone, they'll tell you that. Especially- HIM. I know nothing. Go, go. get out. Please."
They were unmoved. "Him?" it was Dana's turn. "You mean Jareth?"
"Who? No, no, no I mean HIM. "
Finally, realizing the twit would be no help at all, the FBI agents left. "That was productive," Mulder noted ironically.
"I think he was right, he knows nothing, " Scully agreed, "but there is something going on, something bigger than Jareth."
Fox opened the car door for her. "Next stop, Gull Cottage."
"Which is probably already waiting for us," Dana sighed, picturing Claymore on the phone dialing rapidly.
Dana Scully's esp was right on target. Carolyn hung up the phone, silently wondering if Captain Gregg could find the ghost of Alexander G Bell and choke him to death. Every ring brought bad news. No help for it, she summoned her family.
"Your cousin?" Daniel asked, mentally lining up his scare the hell out of them plans.
"No," Carolyn grimaced. "Federal agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully."
Jonathan beamed, "Cool. I saw them on tv last week. They investigate weird stuff. .."
"Yeah," Candy chimed in. "Aliens and vampires and ghooosts." the last word trailed off as it hit her what she said.
"How did they find out about the captain?" Martha frowned.
"No, it's about Sarah, they already grilled Claymore," Carolyn sighed. "You said they investigate out of the ordinary things?"
Jonathan jumped up. "It's on the tivo still. Hang on."
The family watched the digital recording silently. Mulder and Scully fielded Peter Jennings' questions, never actually saying anything, but it was clear from non verbal clues that they were open to possibilites beyond down to earth things. When the questions got too close, Scully would automatically say, "I'm sorry, Peter, that would be classified." or Mulder would make a quip - "Aliens? Shouldn't you be calling the immigration department, not the spook squad?"
"Claymore sank us," Martha moaned as it finished.
"This could work either to our benefit or against us, " Carolyn mused. "They might be more open to Jareth's story, to the truth, but on the other hand..."
"I'd rather not have an FBI file," Captain Gregg grimly finished. "Shall I delay them?" No one missed the wicked gleam in his eyes.
"It might make more trouble. Let's play it by ear, and captain, be very very quiet."
He did not like it, but could see the sense of her words.
The Muir family had barely gotten their ducks in a row before a blue Taurus pulled up at the base of the driveway.
"Showtime," Daniel intoned as he faded out. Carolyn was comforted by his silent, unseen closeness, but only slightly.
The agents sat in the car for a few minutes, looking up at the imposing structure. "Wow, looks slightly eerie, " Mulder finally commented.
"And it should be different from any other place you've taken me why?"
Mulder ignored her. "I did some research on Gull Cottage - it has a whole page in the Haunted America archives."
Dana's hand went to her head. "No, no, no. No more ghosts. The last time almost got us both killed for Christmas. "
"Duty impels us this time. I'm not just being well, me."
This was true. Switching subjects. "While you were trying to find ways to freak me out, I was reading Sarah's diaries, unethical as that may be. She's truly obsessed with this Jareth, no mention of ghosts, however. Apparently, she, in this story of hers in the diary, wished her brother to the goblins, but regretted it. Jareth, the king, offered her her dreams or a chance to save Toby-"
"The brother. Did you ever think of wishing Bill away to goblins? It would be a great idea, y'know."
"Shut up, spooky." Not missing a beat, she went on, " by running the labyrinth. If she failed in 13 hours, all was lost. When she was almost at the end, he sent her a dream, of them in a Cinderella type story, which he induced with a poison peach-"
"Wrong story, Mulder. She began to love him as they danced, but it was doomed. She had to save Toby, met Jareth in an Escher room, defied him, despite being sung to-"
"Must sing like me."
She was going to wish HIM away to someone if he didn't shut his mouth. "And was sent home, baby and all. But she still dreamed of him. I suspect drug abuse, lsd, perhaps peyote."
"Can't you just admit there are some things that are weird in life?"
"Yes, I work with you. C'mon, Mulder, let's get this over with."
The door opened on the first knock. Martha glared at them as the two trespassers flashed their badges. Before she could protest, Scully said, "We're investigating the Sarah Williams disappearance. She was last seen at this house. "
"Is she wanted for anything?" Martha did not budge.
"No," Mulder interjected. "Her godfather is worried about her, and well, he's the boss. We kind of owe him, at least I do."
Carolyn appeared at Martha's side. "Walter sent you?"
"You know AD Skinner?" Scully asked, though it did make sense.
"I knew him when he had hair," she smoothly replied.
Though thrown off a bit, Mulder and Scully recovered well. "We'd just like to talk. No handcuffs or warrants." Scully looked like she wanted to make a catty remark to Mulder over that statement, but held her tongue.
Carolyn sighed. "Fine."
"Is that a female thing?" Mulder asked.
All three looked at him. "The 'fine.' Scully answers half the questions with that word."
A hearty, very male laugh resonated around them. Martha quickly covered her mouth and attempted to mimic the captain while Mrs. Muir glared at the ceiling. Their guests shot suspicious looks at each other.
Sitting in the living room, with Captain Gregg's painting scowling down at them all, the question and non answer session began.
"Look, Skinner's really worried about Sarah, " Mulder began, trying to project a good ol' boy aura. "He's convinced she's off with some guy or in a cult of some kind. I told him he's being a jerk, worrying way too much, but --" he carefully watched for reactions.
Carolyn smiled, graciously. "I'm sure Sarah is fine, and happy." She stressed the last word.
"Did she mention Jareth?" Scully shot out.
Carolyn's face flickered for a moment of surprise, but she was used to quick recoveries. "Jared? Mmm. No, she didn't mention a Jared to me. Martha?"
"No, never heard that name, except the last romance book I got - hero's name was Jared. You know, all those books have names like that - Rolf, Jared, Gareth..." oops, too close.
"No, not Gareth, not Jared, JarEth, " Scully said. "Her diary is almost all about him."
Thunder rattled the windows. Carolyn agreed mutely. "Well, she must have wanted to keep him private."
Mulder heard the steel in her tone. "Mrs. Muir, it was unorthodox, but we do what we have to. You must admit, stories about goblins and mystery men are kind of - worrisome."
Carolyn and Martha were silent. "Could you just tell us what state she's in- ? Country? Continent?" Mulder prodded. The captain, uneseen by all by his family, stood behind Mulder, as if considering how best to strangle him.
"If we see Sarah, we'll be sure and tell her you asked about her, " Carolyn finally said.
"I"m sorry, ma'am, " Scully said, not sorry at all, "but we have to investigate. Please, make this easy on all of us."
Mulder could tell they were getting no where, and picking up speed in that direction. He rose. "We'll go - for now. I'd suggest deciding what to tell us, because we will be back, and less nicely."
As the two left, Carolyn placed her head in her hands. Daniel materialized beside her. "My dear, I think we are in deep waters."
She laughed drily. "Really, captain. What do you suggest we do?"
"Call in a favor."
Back on the road to the B and B that was as close as Schooner Bay came to Holiday Inn, Scully announced, "Well, that was - I'm not sure what that was, besides unproductive. Mulder, you said Gull Cottage was listed on the Haunted America site?"
"Yeah," he hid a grin. "That painting Ms. M was standing under is the first owner, Daniel Gregg, sea captain. Allegedly committed suicide, but a few years ago the lovely widow moved in and cleared his name. She's the first renter in decades. He scared off all priors. I guess somethings don't change after death- gives a man hope."
Scully rolled her eyes. "Stay on target, Mulder. "
"Gotta think about something, doubt there's a decent triple X store hereabouts."
"Somehow, decent and triple X don't go together. I'll have to go to confession just for listening to you. Back on target, now."
"Not much to tell. I guess that laugh was the old guy trying to scare us. Maybe he did Sarah in."
"I don't believe in ghosts."
"Everytime you say that, a ghost dies, you know."
Scully sealed her lips. She wasn't going to be baited, again anyway. "Mulder, whether or not Carolyn Muir and Daniel Gregg are truly, madly deeply in love or not does not help us solve the case."
"So you admit he's there."
"One more word, and I'll try that sentence Sarah wrote in her diary, and I will not run the labyrinth for you, if it's real."
Mulder's lips twitched, giving Dana a few ideas of her own, but he was quiet, momentarily. "If I talk about Sarah, may I speak?"
She nodded. "Okay, here's what we'll do..."
The next day, Dana and Fox arrived near breakfast time, hoping to catch the Muir family, and its ghost, off guard.
Daniel, however, had seen them coming, predicted it even. He was down from the widow's walk to the kitchen in moments. "Are they coming, Cap'n?" Jonathan asked.
"Aye, lad." He glanced at the children's mother.
She nodded. "You two, I know you're going to peek, but stay out of sight. " The children scurried off to the hiding place Captain Gregg showed them.
Martha, on cue, led their guests into the sunroom to await Carolyn. Daniel faded until only she could see him. He would appear if needed.
"Well, Mrs. Muir," Fox launched right in, "have you decided to tell us where the body is hidden?" His grin softened the words.
She gave him a queenly stare, perfected with hours of practice. "Might as well, since it will do you absalutely no good. Sarah is gone, and won't be back."
Instinctively, Scully shifted so that the gun was easier to reach. Daniel's hidden face hardened.
"You read Sarah's diary." It was not a question.
"She appears to get her talent from your side of the family, " Fox said, attempting to charm.
"Well, we both write reality." A heart beat passed.
"Reality?" Dana's voice was choked, yet still skeptical.
"Yes. She fell in love with Jareth, the Goblin King. Dreams of him haunted her, and she did not want to believe, but could not help it when she learned the truth. So, she married him and they are in the midst of happily ever after. And I do mean ever." The story sounded at once both too fanciful and too bare. Without Jareth's music and Sarah's eyes moving from sorrow to joy in a moment, it was just words. She could see that in the less than satisfied looks Mulder and Scully exchanged. Had she just signed her own commitment papers, sending her children to her inlaws?
Heart sinking, she listened distantly to the conversation. "Mrs. Muir, we understand, Sarah is young," Mulder began earnestly, leaning forward. "And whoever this Jar Jar guy is, she thinks she loves him. Cult leaders inspire that kind of passionate delusion. She convinced you she was in love and you're covering for her to escape to him, but I'm sure you read about Jonestown, or Heaven's Gate. Do you want Sarah to be a victim of that kind of sickness?"
Jar Jar? Carolyn blinked, then remembered a dvd Jonathan had brought home. Now, did she hope Jareth heard Mulder and took appropriate action, like sending him to the bog or down an oubliette, or not? How insulting.
Well, no help for it. "Would you like to speak to Sarah?" she asked, too nicely.
Now it was Scully's turn to be discomobulated. "I thought she was .... gone."
Carolyn nodded, and whispered, "Now."
Captain Gregg, still invisible, pulled something from the folds of his coat anything he held was kept unseen. Concentrating, he sent the crystal baseball floating towards the center of the room. At first, only Martha and Carolyn saw it, exchanging knowing glances as it sparkled in the morning light. It drifted to float above the agents. Mulder rose, waving his hands around it looking for some kind of wire or signal he could interupt and send it crashing to the ground. No matter how he circlced, it hung there.
Finally, Scully licked her lips and asked the ten million dollar question. "What is it?"
Prompted by her words, the ball glowed, and inside it, two people appeared, seeming much taller than the small space should allow. Mulder, still on his Star Wars kick, could not repress the mutter, "Help me Obi Wan Kenobi." This time, a well aimed kick in the ankle was his reward. Scully pulled a picture out of her pocket, comparing it to one of the images.
"The brunette is Sarah."
"So, the other one, " Mulder seemed at a slight loss for words, " is Jar Jar?"
The "other one's" head turned. "Agent Mulder, it would take absalutely nothing to convince someone to wish you away, and I guarantee, my Labyrinth would not be beaten this time. The only deterrance would be, I really would not want to keep you."
"It talks!" Mulder gaped. Scully kicked him again, harder. She had read about the bog of eternal stench in Sarah's diary, and if Jareth was real, then it might be, and she did not want to have to bail Mulder out of that.
"Would you quit kicking me?"
"Only if you shut up," she hissed.
Jareth spoke again, not liking to be ignored. "Would you both shut up, now? Sarah wishes to speak, and my wife will be respected."
The girl, never moving from his side, said, "I am Sarah, really. And I'm happy, for the first time in my life. I'm where I was born to be, and I'm not coming back. Carolyn did help me find my way here, but I was dying in your world. If anything, she saved my life. She and Jareth. I'm in love, and I'm where I belong, forever. Please, tell Uncle Walter and Toby that I miss them, but I can't live there anymore. " A brilliant smile lit her face. "I'm only a dream away, afterall."
Mulder was rubbing his bruised ankle and ego, but the foot shaped mouth opened one more time. "Excuse me, sir. But exactly how are we supposed to write this up in a report? If we tell Skinner or well anyone-"
"The Three Stooges would believe us," Scully noted drily in reference to the Lone Gunmen.
"They don't count, or if they do, it's in a different math system, where two and two is seven, - " then back on track, " we'll be locked up in a rubber room."
Jareth's brows raised. "You make oubliette's of rubber there? Doesn't seem efficient to me. But it's your world to live in, not mine. And not Sarah's. Do not look for her again. " He looked over at the captain, who he could see, and Carolyn. "But I don't want my friends bothered anymore, so I will give you an acceptable explanation." Fondly, he looked down at his wife, "The things I do for you, Sarah."
In the globe, he plucked a smaller crystal from the air then tossed it through the ball's surface. Once in the mortal realm, it became large as the first, landing in Scully's lap.
"When you arrive back home, and make it soon, " Jareth ordered, testily, "shatter it. When the dream sphere breaks, everyone who knew Sarah, except for the members of this family, will believe she has moved far far away. Eventually, they will cease to wonder about her. She can't be forgotten, but the desire to know the particulars will be abated."
Mulder was about to start asking more questions, but suddenly, the orb was gone, leaving them all sitting in silence. Daniel stood there, one hand on Carolyn's shoulder, and mouthed a thanks to Jareth for coming through after their long conversation last night. Then, he waited. The agents had five minutes to collect their thoughts before he gave them another X file.
Finally, Scully rose, dragging Mulder to his feet. "I apologize for bothering you all. We'll file a report, procedure, but it will not be investigated further. " Firmly, the little red head dragged her lanky partner out the door, saving the ghost the trouble and the fun.
As they climbed in the car, Scully driving since Mulder was still in an idiotic state, Spooky snatched one of the diaries from where it rested on the seat. Despite what Scully said, he was determined to save the proof of another world. But as he opened the volume, all the words began to fade.
Unbelievable. How many times had he had proof of another reality, only to have it trashed? "Scully, wait here, I'm going back, " he suddenly declared. "There's got to be some proof we can save."
The v sound had barely faded before a snow white owl swooped down and hovered menacingly just outside Mulder's door, daring him with mismatched eyes to get out. Reinforcing the tacit message was a roar of thunder in the cloudless sky. Just to be sure they got the message, an unseen hand reached out and started the car, sending it careening down the road. As it raced away, the thunder turned into an exuberant laugh.