This, my lovelies, is a wonderful fic that I stumbled upon on one of the old Mulder/Scully websites that hasn't been updated since MAYBE the end of the show. I sent out an appeal to the author to let me repost and I am sorry to say that I think her email address is no longer used. So if she tells me later that she wants me to take it down, I certainly will without hesitation. So here it is: Haunted Moon. One of the few fics that has ever sent me screaming like a raving lunatic.
Rating: For now it isn't much but a T for language but it will very soon be turned to an M for adult situations and violence. (They don't appear in that order, by the way.)
Spoilers: Not really...?
Disclaimer: Again: I do not own the characters or the story although I DEARLY wish that I did. Live would be so much better... (And I don't know the author's name...sad.)
Note to Readers: I did tamper a bit with the wording, a bit with the language, and the ending to make it more suitable for our finicky readers. Had to lower it to an M from an NC-17. Not much was changed though. Just wording, mostly.
ENJOY THE RIDE.
She probably would have been more amused by this whole situation but her ass was really starting to hurt. They had spent two and a half hours on an airplane and the past three hours driving around, in her opinion, aimlessly on the back roads somewhere in Wisconsin.
Sometimes Scully really wondered why she was always so willing to pack a bag and chase all over the country with her partner. Her partner. She turned her head and studied Mulder's profile. A familiar sense of warmth spread through her, beginning in her heart and surging throughout her body. Then she remembered why.
He felt her eyes on him. He was always amazed at how physically aware they were of each other. All she had to do was enter a room and he instantly knew she was there. Professionally, it had saved their lives on many different occasions. Personally, he sometimes wished that every part of his body wasn't so responsive to her. Evidence of her effect on him was beginning to manifest, and he was quickly becoming physically aroused. He took a deep breath and readjusted his position in the seat, trying not to further draw her attention.
Mulder shifted in his seat and she turned to face the window, trying to hide the smile forming on her lips. His ass hurt too. Good. He was lost. He hadn't admitted it yet, but he was lost. It wasn't that Mulder never did anything wrong -- he did. It was just that usually, when Mulder screwed up, her fierce sense of loyalty usually prevented her from rubbing it in. Tonight, they were alone, he was lost, and she was going to enjoy it. She just wished her own stubborn streak would allow her to get more comfortable.
He wasn't oblivious to her. He knew she was growing impatient. He had pushed his luck as far as he thought he was able too. It was time to admit defeat. Scully turned her attention back to Mulder as he slowed the car and pulled to the side of the road. He put the car in park, his eyes purposely staying forward.
"Go ahead Scully."
"Go ahead what?" She asked innocently. "Go ahead and maybe point out that you have no idea where we are going and haven't for the last hour."
"And...?" He might as well let her get it completely out of her system.
"And...If you had listened to me forty minutes ago we probably wouldn't be lost." She stated, crossing her arms smugly and leaning back into her seat
"Not right now," she began, seriously considering his question, "but I reserve the right to comment on the subject later."
"I'm disappointed in you Scully. You forgot to mention that not only did I get us lost, but I've been driving in circles."
"Circles?" Scully looked out the car window at the surrounding area. They were on a dirt road surrounded by fences, trees, and fields.
It had all begun to look the same to her. "How can you tell?"
"I recognize that cow," he said dryly, pointing out her passenger window at the cow standing behind the fence next to the road.
"Mulder," she sighed, shaking her head. She reached forward to open the glove box. Pulling out the map, she unfolded it and spread it out across the dash board in front of them. "What was the last main road you remember seeing?"
"County W, but that was over an hour ago."
Scully studied him for a moment becoming slightly suspicious as Mulder leaned forward to study the map. She pulled the paper away from his gaze.
"Well this isn't going to help." She said answering the questioning look on his face. "If we've been lost for over an hour, a map isn't going to do us any good. It's getting dark. We need to drive toward lights."
"Lights? Have you been hanging around me too long Scully?" He said with a touch of humor.
"Not lights in the sky, Mulder. Town or city lights, on the ground. My roommate in med school grew up in the Midwest and she had no sense of direction. When she would get lost, she would drive toward lights, figure out what town she was in and go on from there."
Mulder hesitated for a moment before putting the car in gear and driving forward.
"Lights it is. This roommate of yours Scully...don't tell me she became a surgeon."
"She's a brilliant neurosurgeon, just don't ask her which way is north."
"So, if we've been driving in circles the logical thing to do would be to turn off on a road we haven't been on before."
"Pick a road, any road."
An unfamiliar uneasiness briefly spread through her and again she closely scrutinized her partner.
"I'm just trying to help you out Scully. Imagine how much you'll be able to gloat if you're the one that figures out where we are."
"Are you feeling all right, Mulder?"
"Just tired of driving in circles. What road should I turn onto?"
She watched him for a moment and then turned her attention to the problem at hand. There was a road coming up on the left that appeared to be well marked, at this point that was a good sign. She pointed ahead.
"Try that one: it looks like it climbs that hill. We'll be able to get a better idea of where we need to head."
Mulder slowed the car and turned onto the road Scully had indicated. Their silence became comfortable again and she leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
His voice was soft, soothing. She nodded.
"Maybe you should..."
Mulder's voice was cut short by two violent hissing explosions. Scully was thrown forward in her seat, the seatbelt snapping her back forcefully. She could barely hear herself think above the noise of splaying gravel as Mulder fought to control the spin of the car and bring it to a stop.
When the car was no longer in motion, Scully let out a long deep breath as she pulled the taut seatbelt away from her body. Mulder turned to her in concern, seeing her massage her shoulder where the seatbelt had restrained her.
"Are you all right, Scully?"
She turned her head and met the worry in his eyes. She nodded. Mulder tilted his head and glanced at her shoulder and then back to her eyes. She nodded her head again slowly. Their eyes held onto one another until she looked away and fumbled to remove her seatbelt.
"What the hell happened, Mulder?"
"I don't know."
Mulder was out of the car first and saw that the front driver's side tire was blown. A jagged tear separated the rubber.
"Flat tire." He reported to Scully as she stepped out of the car.
"Two flat tires." She corrected viewing the front tire on herside of the vehicle.
Mulder walked to her side of the car and examined the tire that appeared to be identical to the one on the left side. He crouched down and explored the damaged surface of the tire with his hands. Before long he stood to face her, triumphantly holding a small but effective metal spike. Scully took the spike from him and watched as he moved back to the driver's side of the car. He began to examine that tire and within minutes he produced another metal spike.
"Someone around here is certainly friendly."
Mulder handed her the other spike, he began to walk back to where the car's skid marks started. Scully followed him and watched him push the gravel around with his foot.
"Do you think that someone did this on purpose?"
"I don't know that much about farm equipment but I somehow doubt that metal spikes would fall freely from a tractor." He bent down and ran his fingers over the dirt and pulled up two more spikes that had been hidden among the gravel. Mulder handed the spikes to Scully and pulled his cell phone out of his jacket pocket. He pushed a few buttons and studied it for a moment before shoving it back into his pocket.
"Damn. No signal." Mulder walked back to the car and opened the rear door and grabbed their coats and a flashlight. Slamming the car door he tossed her the jacket.
"I hope you're in the mood for a romantic moonlit stroll." He pulled his jacket on and stopped to help her on with her coat. "Do you have your gun?"
She nodded silently and took her place next to him as he began to walk down the road in the direction that they had been heading.
It was a beautiful night, a bit chilly though. Scully kept her hands snugly in the pockets of her coat, trying to protect them from the briskness of the air. A full moon hung low in the sky and seemed to illuminate all that it touched. Night had completely fallen, yet Mulder hadn't needed to turn on the flashlight. Moonlight guided their journey. A gentle wind directed nature's symphony, supplying a constant rustling of dried leaves, the sound of rippling water from a nearby pond and the occasional howling of the moving air itself.
Something wasn't right. It had begun to bother her in the car, and she just hadn't been able to put her finger on the source of her uneasiness. She thought back to what had prompted her suspicion and began to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
"Mulder?" She looked over at the man walking next to her, making sure she had eye contact before she continued. "You don't get lost. We've been partners for five years and you've never gotten us lost."
"There's a first time for everything. Sorry my ability to detect which way is north failed us in the middle of nowhere."
She tried to read the expression in his eyes and on his face but found herself unable to. Damn, sometimes she wished this man had come with instructions.
She stopped walking and watched as Mulder took two steps forward and then turned to face her.
"I don't think so." She hesitated until she saw a faint trace of
Mulder-guilt pass over his face. "I'm not saying we're not lost. It was obvious by the way you were looking at the map that you don't know where we are. Every time we go out in the field, you've always been very meticulous about where we're going and how we're going to get there. The first time I even attempted to make the travel arrangements, you changed them."
"Are you saying I have control issues, Scully?" His voice betrayed the humor he was finding in her dissection of his character.
"I'm saying, you usually don't leave a lot to chance. So, that means--you turned off the main road and set about getting us lost on purpose."
He walked toward her and put his hand on the small of her back, gently propelling her forward to fall into step next to him again.
"Would I do something like that?" He asked feigning innocence.
"In a minute, if it somehow served your purpose."
"Scully, you wound me."
"Not in the last few hours, but the night's still young. Mulder, what are we doing here? What about this latest case requires that we get lost in Wisconsin?"
"Nothing specifically." He answered almost sheepishly. "I was following up on a hunch."
"A hunch? You told me we were investigating a missing persons case."
"I did some digging and contacted the sheriff who requested the help of the bureau. It turns out that multiple people traveling through this area have been reported missing in the last two months."
"Sixteen people? In two months? Why wasn't the bureau notified before this?"
"No one's proven that this is the exact area where they've disappeared. It's only been verified that they would have passed through here."
"Why did we have to get lost?"
"The last couple that disappeared had a cell phone that worked. They called the local authorities asking for help because they were unfamiliar with the area and needed directions. That was the last time anyone heard from them. Did you notice, Scully? We really are in the middle of nowhere. There are no houses, we hadn't passed another car since we turned off the main road and no one has driven by since we started walking. None of these roads are marked. The only road that had a sign was the one we turned onto."
"A road with metal spikes hidden on it."
"Why didn't you tell me this earlier? Why didn't you just tell
me your theory?"
"You think I have control issues?" This time Mulder was the one
to stop walking. He stood in front of her, forcing her to stop also.
"Chance isn't exactly your middle name either. It's why we work so well together."
He quickly turned and began walking again before she could reply. Before long he heard her footsteps behind him. He slowed his pace, letting her catch up.
"That's your theory on why we work so well together?"
He looked over at her and smiled devilishly.
"I thought it would sound sexist if I said it was because you looked a lot better in a skirt than my last partner."
Scully turned her face and pointedly stared into his eyes, dropping her chin and conveying directly with her eyes exactly what she thought of his attempt at humor. He grinned at her glare and chuckled softly under his breath. Silently he picked up his pace. Silently she stayed by his side.
Over the last five years they had developed their own specialized vocabulary. A raised eyebrow had become their noun, a simple touch replaced a verb and there wasn't an adjective in the world that could compete with a glance into one another's eyes. This language wasn't always effective, but it was theirs.
Scully hugged her arms around her waist and scanned the area, it still looked the same as it had when they had started walking. Even after discovering that Mulder's failed sense of direction was purposeful, the earlier sense of uneasiness still plagued her.
"Something still doesn't feel right."
"It's that time of the month."
Scully looked at him in disbelief, her steps slowing and her hands moving to rest on her hips. Mulder stopped and turned to face her, slightly confused for a moment at her obvious irritation, before a slow, full grin spread across his face.
"No. I was referring to the moon, Scully." He pointed directly ahead of them into the sky. "It's a full moon. People have been known to experience strange or abnormal feelings and behavior when the moon is full."
"A haunted moon." She stated reflectively as she began walking along the road again.
"What?" Mulder asked falling into step with her.
"When we were little my brother used to try and scare Melissa and
I on nights there was a full moon. He used to tell us that when the moon was full all the evil of the world was unleashed to haunt the earth. He called it a haunted moon."
"You believed him?"
"I was six." She justified. "It was about six months before I would go outside on a night when there was a haunted moon."
"Are you trying to tell me that if your brother hadn't scared you as a child you would be more open to my ideas?"
"Mulder, I've always been very open to your ideas."
Mulder stopped walking and raised his eyebrow questioningly at her.
"Must be an example of that abnormal behavior you were telling me
about earlier." She smiled.
"If you begin to experience any other impulses to behave in an abnormal fashion, let me know."
"You'll be the first," she promised.
They continued to walk. The wind was beginning to grow much stronger and clouds began to swirl menacingly in the sky. Mulder turned on the flashlight to light the road they walked. Occasional bursts of lightning assaulted the sky.
"Scully, I think we're about to get very wet."
"There has to be a house or a barn around here somewhere."
They reached the top of the hill they were climbing when another flash of lightning illuminated the area.
"Did you see that?" She asked walking rapidly forward.
"I think there's a house, down there on the left."
The clouds that had been hiding the moon separated and the valley below was temporarily visible. Mulder and Scully scanned the area, both coming to realize that the only shelter available was a large, dark, rundown farm house looming at the bottom of the hill. The moon disappeared again behind the clouds. The wind began to howl and Mulder was forced to yell above the sound to be heard.
"What do you think?"
"I don't think we have another choice. We'll never make it back to the car before the storm hits."
Mulder reached out, taking Scully's hand. They began to run down the hill. Large droplets of rain fell from the sky and deafening booms of thunder threatened from above. Scully ran blindly, trusting Mulder's lead as she did her best to shield her face from the shards of rain that beat against her skin. She felt herself being led from the road and she looked up to see where they were. The sight in front of her stopped her cold in her tracks.
The house that they had gotten a glimpse of from the top of the hill now towered above her. The house emitted an impression of foreboding ruin. Melissa had always told her that certain places or objects could give off an essence. She hadn't believed her, until now.
The structure stood two stories high and was encompassed in darkness. Its windows were boarded, as if to keep whatever was contained within from escape. Twisted, tangled vines clung to the exterior, the wind seeming to bring them to life as they reached out from the walls. Dead trees stood guard, launching their own attack against the outer surface of the wooden frame. A broken sidewalk crawled to the sagging porch that sat in wait for them.
Mulder felt the tug on his arm and turned to see why she had stopped. Noticing that the color had drained from her face, he took a step closer, trying to guard her from the pelting storm.
"We're almost there. What's wrong?"
She shook her head, indicating nothing. Taking the lead, she followed the shattered trail of cement toward the abandoned house.
Hope that you like it so far. If I remember correctly the next chapter has fluff. Then angst. Then more angst. And even more angst. Then fluff is to follow, of course. Please review. And tell me if you want the web-address for the origional story. I will send it.