Case X-1743: Unresolved, Part II
II - Washington, DC, 2005
X-Files / X-Men Movie Crossover
See Notes please, but
a few additions.... X-Men fans, I couldn't resist a few puns and obscure
references, including the 'very big truck.' And although we didn't see
it in the film, I've assumed here that there is more than one way down
to the infirmary in the X-Mansion sub-basement, and Jean would not take
Scully in through the hall that opens on Cerebro and the X-Men uniforms,
etc. Agent Craig Downer was mentioned in the X-Men: The Movie novelization;
John Doggett, of course, was not.
of the US Senate, Washington, DC, Spring, 2005
On the television, a theater-sized
screen slid closed silently behind the speaker, a pretty woman in a fire-engine
red suit and hair that glowed soft auburn under the high, bright lights.
She concluded her presentation:
'. . . . We are seeing
the beginnings of another stage of human evolution. These mutations manifest
at puberty and are often triggered by periods of heightened emotional stress.'
'Thank you, Ms. Grey. It was .
. . quite educational. However, it fails to address the larger issue, which
is the focus of this hearing. Three words: Are mutants dangerous?'
'I'm afraid that's unfair question,
Senator Kelly. After all, the wrong person behind the wheel of a car can
'Well, we do license people to
'Yes, but not to live.
It is a fact that mutants who have come forward and revealed themselves
publicly have been met with fear, hostility, even violence. It is because
of that ever-present hostility that I am urging the Senate to vote
against Mutant Registration. To force mutants to expose themselves --'
'Expose themselves? What is it
that the mutant community has to hide, I wonder, that makes them so afraid
to identify themselves?'
'I didn't say they were hiding.'
'Well let me show you what is
being hidden, Ms. Grey. . . . '
Mulder sighed and got up off
the couch - his old black leather couch, which he'd insisted on bringing
to their new home along with his fish. Scully hadn't quibbled. Much. "He's
eating her alive," he muttered to his wife, as he passed behind Scully's
chair to get cold pizza out of the fridge. Married three years and he still
hadn't changed his eating habits.
Seeing the pizza box, Billy chanted,
"Pizza, pizza, pizza!" from where he was playing with a wooden Brilo train
set in the rec room.
"He's definitely your son, Mulder,"
Scully said without looking up from the paperwork she was doing at the
"Was there any doubt?"
Scully just grinned. These days,
it was a joke. Once, it had been anything but.
"And," Scully went on, "I think Dr.
Grey is doing quite well, considering."
"Considering what? That Kelly is
"That, among other things. Her position
may be reasonable and perfectly scientific" - high praise from Scully
- "but it's hardly popular. People are easily frightened, Mulder.
As we both know."
Sighing, Mulder got out two slices
of Little Caesar's Italian sausage for himself and one for his son, heated
them in the microwave and brought them into the rec room where the television
had been set up. The nice couch was in the living room. His couch
was in the rec room. He never spent time in the living room anyway. "Pizza,"
he said, and set down Billy's plate beside him, along with a tippy cup
full of "green juice" - that is, Tropicana kiwi/white grape flavor.
How the kid drank that stuff escaped Mulder. It looked vile. But he'd long
ago concluded that child taste buds were a true X-File.
"Mulder!" Scully said from the kitchen
table. "Did you get napkins?"
"Yes, ma'am." And, in a stage whisper
to Billy, "Be careful or Mom'll skin us both."
Billy just blinked up at Mulder,
then took plate, tippy cup and paper towel and - with exaggerated
care brought them in to the coffee table so he could join his father
on the big black leather couch. Watching him, Mulder wondered idly if their
miracle baby would turn out to have this mutant X-gene. And if he did?
It wouldn't matter to Mulder, but it wasn't something he'd wish on anyone,
especially his own child, in the current socio-political climate. There
were always reasonable people, but fear made a ready weapon for the hate-mongers.
Given the peculiar circumstances of Billy's conception and birth, Mulder
had no idea what to expect as his son aged. Already, the boy showed signs
of advanced talents - better than average fine-motor skills for a
four-year-old, especially a boy; better than average verbal skills, especially
for a boy. But neither Mulder nor Scully were average, so why should it
surprise if their son was exceptional, as well? Who needed mutant genes
for that? Or alien DNA, for that matter.
He returned his attention to the
television. The Senate hearings had fast devolved into a rhetoric platform
for Senator Robert Kelly. Dr. Grey had been silenced, and stood, frustrated,
on the speaker's bema, the podium. She couldn't get a word in edge-wise.
There was much shouting from the floor. "Bastard," Mulder whispered under
his breath, then, louder, "You just know that jerk is going to run
"Probably," Scully replied from the
kitchen table, but her voice held no interest in pursuing it.
Mulder crossed his arms and sulked
in front of the television. Kelly annoyed him, and he needed a good argument
to release the tension. Scully wasn't giving him one, and Billy was too
young. Mulder sighed loudly and flipped the channel, listened to Cokie
Roberts analyze first Dr. Grey's points, then Senator Kelly's points. She
was perceptive as always, but it still bored him because he didn't get
to participate. He flipped to another channel. It showed Dr. Grey leaving
the platform, disgust written all over her fine features as she exited
into the hallway. Outside, she was assaulted by reporters but turned her
head down and pushed through. There was a young man waiting to help her
keep the reporters at bay. A pretty boy with model looks and a pair of
stylish red-mirrored sunglasses. Seemed odd for a genetics researcher to
have a bodyguard dressed in GQ-casual.
Abruptly Mulder sat up while his
brain did one of its famed abstract tap-dances across the synapses of his
memory. He knew that face, dammit. He knew that face. Not Grey's. The man's.
From where did he know that face?
It hit him full on just a few moments
later when the good doctor and her companion were met outside at their
limousine by a balding man in a wheelchair.
"Oh, my God . . . ." Mulder said.
"You want what?" said the gravelly
voice on the other end of the phone line.
Mulder switched his cell phone from
one shoulder to the other while he sorted laundry. "X-File number one-seven-four-three.
There's a letter in it. I need that letter."
"Mulder, you know that releasing
material from a federal case file - "
"Shove it, John. The letter doesn't
belong to the government. It belongs to Scott Summers. I put it there for
"Fine. But you wanna tell me why
you're so sure a guy you saw for - what, a minute? - on C-SPAN
this morning is the same kid who went missing nine years ago?"
"It's the same kid. I'm sure of it."
A heavy breath from John Doggett
on the other end. "Okay. I'll release the letter. But I'm giving it to
"Doggett - "
"Don't push me, Mulder. The letter
goes to Agent Scully. You do this her way. You can't just go busting into
these people's lives. If it's been nine years, don't you think he's contacted
his family if he wanted to?"
"Maybe. Maybe not. Consider the current
climate for mutants. If he is a mutant - and that'd explain a hell
of a lot - he might not want to have run the risk. Some kids are getting
kicked out by their natural parents. He was a foster kid."
"So what makes you think his foster
parents would want to talk to him now, if he is a mutant? It was nine years
ago, and as you said, some natural parents are rejecting their own kids.
Myself, I don't get that, but I know it happens. Wouldn't it be cruel to
set him up to get hurt?"
"It's not going to happen. Trust
"Mulder, it really worries me when
you say that. 'Trust me' is usually followed by some hare-brained stunt
that gets somebody hurt or almost killed."
"This isn't that kind of situation
"Maybe not. But I'm still giving
the letter to Dana. She's the one with the badge."
"Mulder, please relax. You're twitching
like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs."
Mulder tried to glare at his wife
but couldn't suppress a grin. After nine years, the hunt was back on and
he stood the width of a single door from his quarry. He might not have
the badge any more, but he could still feel the thrill. "Knock, Scully."
She sighed and did so. There was
a long pause. No doubt the people beyond weren't expecting visitors. They
counted on hotel security and privacy acts to protect them from intrepid
reporters. And normally, such things would. Scully's badge jumped a lot
The door opened. It was Dr. Jean
Grey looking a bit dazed, as if she'd just woken up from a nap. Her auburn
hair was mussed in a tracery of fine webbing around her face. "Yes?" she
asked, cautious. "How may I help you?"
Scully flipped open her badge. "I'm
Special Agent Dana Scully. This is my husband, and former partner, Fox
Mulder. Could we have a few words with you, Dr. Grey?"
Grey looked shaken, but opened the
door to let them enter one of the more ritzy suits at the downtown Hyatt.
Thick carpet and forest green curtains. Decor in tasteful wood. "Of course."
Mulder grinned at her as he passed.
She was a stately woman, pretty in a dignified way, mouth and eyebrows
distinctive and well formed. Maybe a little stubbornness about the chin.
"What is this about?" she asked as she closed the door.
The best defense is a good offense.
Mulder admired that. "We're here on some very old business," Mulder said.
"A case from nine years ago, in fact."
Grey had tipped her head sideways.
"I can't imagine what that would be."
Scully sighed grandly and elbowed
Mulder. "Ignore him, please. Dr. Grey, this isn't an official investigation,
and we haven't reopened the case. We've come only because we have some
information that may be of interest to one of your associates. I also want
to say - while I have the opportunity - that I found your presentation
this morning quite fascinating. I'd love to talk to you some other time
about your research."
"Talk to me about it?" Grey was still
"I'm a medical examiner, and I've
worked with some . . . unusual cases . . . for the Bureau. I'd love to
discuss your research into mutant chromosomes and the possible ranges of
"Ah." Grey was relaxing a little.
Trust Scully to know how to put another woman scientist at ease -
compliment her research, not her dress. Mulder grinned.
"For seven years, my husband and
I worked together in a section of the FBI called the X-Files," Scully continued.
"We dealt primarily with cases concerning unexplained phenomena."
"And you've come to talk to me about
one of those cases? You think it might have involved a mutant?"
Mulder's grin widened. "We're fairly
sure it involved a mutant, but actually - "
"Mulder!" Scully snapped.
He ignored her, " - we've come
to talk to the young man I saw you with outside the Senate house the morning.
A guy in glasses? Kind of clean-cut? Is he here?"
Grey's face blanched. "Scott? What
do you want with Scott?"
It took every ounce of Mulder's control
not to crow in victory. After nine years, he'd finally tracked down Scott
Summers. And right under his nose in Washington, too. Beside him, Scully
hastened to assure Grey, "He's not in trouble, doctor. But we think he
may have been involved in an old case file, and my husband has some information
Grey sat down on the hotel suite's
couch as an older man in a wheelchair motored out of one of the ante-rooms.
"Agents, please," he said with a faint smile. "I'm afraid you're alarming
Dr. Grey. Jean, they mean us no harm."
Mulder narrowed his eyes at the man.
"Who are you?"
"Mulder!" Scully snapped again. She
had a way of making him feel like an errant child at times.
But the older man just came further
into the room, joining the three of them by the couch. The faint smile
had grown to one of genuine pleasure. "I'm very pleased to meet you at
last, Mr. Mulder. Assistant Director Skinner has told me a great deal about
you. My name is Charles Xavier, though most of my students call me Professor
X. You've come looking for Scott Summers, I believe. You have a letter
"How do you know that?" Mulder snapped.
Then, "You were in Omaha, nine years ago, weren't you?"
"Indeed, I was. I apologize, Mr.
Mulder, Dr. Scully. But at the time, it was imperative that I make contact
with Scott without outside interference. He was . . . in a delicate frame
"What did you do to me that evening?"
Scully asked, frowning. Mulder knew that look and usually sought cover
when it showed up.
"Absolutely nothing permanent, I
assure you. It would be very much against my ethics. But I was born with
certain gifts." Then, continuing in Mulder and Scully's heads, Like
Scott Summers, I, too, am a mutant.
"My God - " Mulder muttered,
unsure if he was more alarmed, or more delighted. After all, he'd been
briefly telepathic himself, even if it had nearly fried his synapses. Whatever
the case, he found himself grinning at full wattage.
"So you were the one who had Skinner
call us off the case and close it down."
"Yes," said Xavier, "I am sorry but
it was critical that the case be closed and left unresolved. There were
entirely too many people interested in you at the time, Mr. Mulder. I had
to deflect any attention from Scott. He was already being pursued by a
man named Jack Winters, another mutant - but one inclined to use his
mutation for harm. He had read about Scott's mutation manifestation and
was on the hunt to use him for his own criminal purposes."
"You realize his foster parents were
worried - "
"Scott writes to them once a month,"
Jean Grey interrupted. "They know he's fine."
"So he doesn't need this." Mulder
fished out Elizabeth Franklin's old letter - a little yellowed now-
from his raincoat and held it up.
"Ah, but he does, Mr. Mulder," Xavier
said, smiling a bit enigmatically. That smile could start to get on a guy's
nerves, Mulder decided, even as the letter lifted itself out of Mulder's
fingers and floated across to the hand of Jean Grey.
She was smiling, too. "My mutation."
"I should have guessed," Mulder said.
"Or guessed that you were all mutants, in any case."
"Does that bother you?"
"No," Scully said firmly from Mulder's
side. She'd been keeping mostly silent, observing. "But if Scott keeps
in touch with his family - "
"- why would he need the letter?"
Xavier completed her question. He glanced at Grey, who'd risen to take
the letter over to her briefcase - "Jean, a moment" - then his
eyes flicked back to Scully. "Because while he writes to them faithfully,
he refuses to put a return address on the envelope. I think it time for
Scott to quit running from his past." Mulder could see that Grey's back
had stiffened. She clearly wasn't comfortable talking about Summers this
way behind his back. From that, and a few other clues - not to mention
the diamond on her finger - Mulder was fairly sure that Scott Summers
was more to her than a sometimes bodyguard and fellow staff member at this
private prep school that Xavier had told them about and which he directed.
It was a subtle affection, but Mulder knew personally just how deep that
kind could run. Grey would protect Summers by choosing the time and place
to give him the letter.
And Xavier was not going to let her
get away with it. "Please bring that back, Jean. It's not yours to deliver.
Mrs. Franklin entrusted it to Mr. Mulder, and I think he should be the
one to give it to Scott."
Grey spun around. "Professor -
" But she didn't go further. The two of them stared hard at one another
a few minutes, and Mulder exchanged a glance with Scully. Was Xavier speaking
to Grey telepathically? Mulder could see that Scully was wondering the
same thing. Then again, maybe they didn't need telepathy. Maybe they simply
knew one another very well, the same way Mulder knew Scully.
In any case, Grey's lips had gone
thin in annoyance, but she brought the letter back to Mulder and handed
it over without any display of mutant abilities. A mark of her reluctance
to let go of it.
"When will Mr. Summers be back?"
Mulder asked as he took it.
"He won't," Xavier said, and Mulder
jerked his head up.
"Scott went back to Westchester,"
Grey said, sitting down. "He drove to DC last night, so he could be with
me this morning, but he can't leave the school for long and he went back
right after we had lunch."
Xavier had been resting elbows on
the arms of his wheelchair, and now folded his hands in front of him. "Scott
runs the school in my absence, you see - although in truth, he runs
it most of the time." He smiled faintly, a smile that Grey echoed more
fully. "Forgive me, a slight private joke. Scott's organizational talents
are famous - or infamous, depending on whom you ask. But the school
simply would not function without him. I am too often occupied with other
matters, and he is effectively our headmaster even though my name is still
on the school brochure. I should probably change that one of these days."
"You should," Grey said and Mulder
had the impression that she was using his and Scully's presence as covert
cover to deliver an overdue nudge.
"So," Mulder said, holding up the
envelope and getting back around to the main point. "If you want me to
deliver this, just how am I supposed to do so if he's not here?" But truth
was, he wanted to deliver it, wanted finally to meet the elusive Scott
"By coming to Westchester, Mr. Mulder.
Jean and I shall ourselves return tomorrow morning - I fear that we
have accomplished all here that we currently can. It would be my pleasure
to show you both around Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, if you and
Agent Scully would care to accompany us back to New York. Given your interests,
I believe you would find it quite . . . educational. And," he added, glancing
at Scully, "it would give Dr. Scully a chance to discuss research with
Dr. Grey." He smiled warmly. "The two of them can cloister themselves in
the basement with the microscopes while the rest of us enjoy the sun, tulips,
and hyacinth in the garden."
Mulder chuckled, because Scully and
Grey had each turned beet red, and in both cases, it clashed with their
Despite the invitation, Mulder and
Scully couldn't simply pack their bags and go, as they might once have
done. That was the flip side of having a child; they needed Margaret Scully
to take Billy for the weekend. And both agreed even without discussing
it that - as benign as Xavier might seem - they were not about
to take Billy to Westchester without knowing a good deal more about the
mysterious professor. Undue suspicion perhaps, but it was a suspicion dearly
bought. Xavier had not quarreled at all, simply given that annoying enigmatic
smile of his and said that they were welcome any time. Mulder was sure
the man knew why they weren't bringing their son, and equally sure that
he was amused by it. But the mutant community tended to be wary, too, as
witnessed by Grey's public concealment of her own mutation.
"Dammit," Scully had said later that
same evening while crawling up on the kitchen counter to reach a Corning
dish on a top shelf. "I want that woman's gift! She's tall. What does she
need telekinesis for? She can reach her dishes!"
"I'm sure she finds a use for it,"
Mulder had replied, slipping a hand past Scully's shoulder to nab the out-of-reach
cookware even while he'd swung her down off the counter. "And I saw her
eying your red hair. Jealousy, thy name is woman."
She'd popped him - hard -
with the back of her hand.
So it wasn't until Friday that they
were able to leave for Westchester County, New York. Before departing,
Mulder made a visit to Skinner's office. For someone no longer an active
agent, he still spent a god-awful amount of time in the Hoover building.
Skinner returned from a meeting to find Mulder waiting in his outer office.
He raised an eyebrow. "Can I help you, Mulder?"
"Mulder, I - "
"Charles Xavier has invited Scully
and I to Westchester."
Breathing out sharply, Skinner made
a gesture for Mulder to follow him into his inner office, then shut the
door behind. Mulder sauntered over to lean insolently against Skinner's
desk. "So what do you know about Xavier?"
Skinner didn't reply immediately,
then grunted, "Not a lot," and came over to take his seat behind his desk,
pushing files around. "You're in my way, Mulder."
Mulder turned and bent over the desk,
placing one palm on top of whatever file Skinner was trying to hide in,
forcing the AD to look up. "Then how long have you known him?"
"I'm not sure I'd say that I 'know'
him now. More know of him. He has a great deal of influence."
"Like Cancer Man did."
"No, Mulder, like a man with money
does. I've never seen anything that would lead me to believe that Charles
Xavier is dangerous in the same way as the Consortium. Rather the reverse."
"He's a mutant telepath. That's not
Skinner dropped his pen, or really,
threw it down, and gave up on trying to work. "Don't tell me that you,
of all people, buy into the current mutant hysteria."
Straightening up, Mulder crossed
his arms and glared absently at the couch on the far side of Skinner's
office. "Of course not. But I dislike secrets."
"Tell me something I don't know,
Mulder. As for Xavier, the few times he's had dealings with the FBI, it's
been to assist in the apprehension of criminals with mutant capabilities."
"And sometimes, to protect them -
like Scott Summers nine years ago in Omaha, Nebraska."
Leaning back in his chair, Skinner
just studied Mulder a minute. "Xavier has occasionally asked that we deep-six
certain cases involving mutant teens and the unintentional accidents
arising from the manifestation of their powers. As with Mr. Summers. Sometimes,
those have been X-File cases. More often, they haven't. But I've never
heard of Xavier interfering in a true criminal investigation in order to
protect a mutant who was using his powers for harm. Remember Robert Modell?
The Pusher? He was a mutant, Mulder, had the gift of autosuggestion.
I hadn't met Xavier the first time Modell showed up, but the second, in
'98, I did know Xavier. In retrospect, I should have called him in on it
immediately, but I didn't fully realize, at the time, what that man can
do. When I told him later about Modell and Linda Bowman, he wanted absolutely
nothing to do Bowman, was glad to see her put away. Charles Xavier, Scott
Summers and others like them are not Robert Modell and his sister."
"Can you be certain of that, sir?"
"Go to Westchester and meet Summers
for yourself. You ought to like him. He's a Knicks fan."
"Of course he doesn't, Mom. You have
to make him go sit on the potty or he'll forget and wet his pants." Pause.
"Yes, Mom, I know. We'll be back Sunday, or maybe Monday. Love you, too.
Scully snapped closed her cell and
slipped it back into her purse, looked out the car window at the passing
Maryland countryside: leaves budding again on oak and maple after winter
hibernation, and dogwood and cherry in bloom - brilliant white and
pink - on the little square lawns of little square suburban houses.
"If she tells me one more time how all four of us were toilet trained by
the time we were two, I think I'll scream."
"Billy's toilet trained," Mulder
said, defensively. He didn't like it when anyone criticized his son, even
"Billy is likely to use the toilet
if someone catches him in time and makes him try. That's not quite the
same as toilet trained, Mulder. He just wet my mother's good couch." She
looked off out the window. "Mom's right. He should be better trained by
now. He'll be four in a month. This is ridiculous. We've been lazy. We
let him use diapers too long because it was easier and we were busy. Toilet
training takes a concerted effort." She sighed.
Mulder didn't reply immediately,
just hunched his shoulders and kept his eyes on the road. "Well, this is
a vacation. You don't need to be calling your mom every few hours about
She smiled faintly. "Only you, Mulder,
would consider a trip to visit Mutant High a 'vacation.'"
"Don't tell me you're not looking
forward to getting your hands on Jean Grey's research."
Her smile deepened. "Oh, I am. But
that doesn't make this a vacation. If it were a vacation, I'd be wearing
jeans and a t-shirt, not gray wool Amanda Smith with matching heels."
Grinning, Mulder popped a sunflower
seed into his mouth and bit down on the salty shell, said around it, "Your
choice, Scully." He wiped salt off his fingers onto his blue jeans, pushed
up the long sleeves of his t-shirt and adjusted the New York Knicks cap
on his head. He glanced behind him as he swung off the access ramp onto
I-70, accelerating to match traffic. "Feels like old times, doesn't it?"
"Yes, it does. Except we only need
one room now."
"Wow," Mulder said, at their first
sight of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, off in the distance down
a little private roadway.
"Mmm," Scully agreed. "Wonder who
mows their lawn?"
The 'school' was actually a mansion
on an extensive estate not far outside Salem Center, New York. 1407 Greymalkin
Lane. He and Scully pulled up on the main drive circle in their Honda Pathfinder
and just stared at the front for a bit. "I think we're under-dressed and
"You're under-dressed, Mulder. I
told you to wear a suit." She popped her door. "Let's go." And she was
out before he'd turned off the engine. She seemed eager. But then, once
they'd all gotten past the initial shock and wariness in the hotel earlier
that week, Scully and Jean Grey had hit it off like a pair of long lost
fraternal twins. They'd sat on the couch and chatted in medicalese for
an hour until Mulder's eyes had crossed. Himself, he felt a bit more ambivalence.
He couldn't shake a lingering annoyance at Xavier's long-ago interference
in his case.