Part 9

January 1998 - Two Months Later

Mulder ran his hand through his hair and let out a low cry of disbelief as he read and reread the email.

"What's wrong, Mulder," Scully said draping her arms around his neck, kissing the side of it. Mulder reached back with his hand, skimming her bare hip. His fingers focused for a moment on the tattoo he had become very familiar with over the past two months, letting the information he had just read digest and take form in his mind. It was Saturday morning and the two agents had plans to stay in for the morning and most of the afternoon. Dinner out was a possibility, but now Mulder was not sure he was in the mood for that.

"It seems our suspicions were more accurate than we thought, Scully," he said mutely.

"Mulder, what is it? You're scaring me."

"It's Buffy."

"What? What about her?" Mulder smiled slightly, though Buffy was only a - now - seventeen year old girl Scully was still a little jealous of the girl. Buffy had made quite an impression on Fox Mulder. He had gathered what information he could when he had returned to DC on cases she had been involved with that had actually been investigated.

Some, like the fraternity house had made national headlines. Some, though, had not and had been, as Buffy mentioned, buried or dismissed as gangs, drugs or gangs on drugs. He had been enthralled with the unsolved murders and disappearances he was able to pull up that occurred in Sunnydale, California. It was still amazing to him that he and Scully, or any other agents in the Bureau, had never been sent there to investigate.

"Well, remember when we left Sunnydale? You and I just couldn't shake the feeling that she was going to get hurt by Angel. We assumed, I think both of us did, that it would be a broken heart type thing. I mean, he was turned in the middle seventeen hundreds, so it stands to reason that he'd grow bored after a while with a sixteen year old high school student."

"Right."

"Well, it appears we were wrong as to the type of hurt she would be experiencing."

"Mulder, just tell me already."

"Angel has lost his soul," Mulder said simply, knowing his voice sounded as haunted as he felt.

"What are you talking about?"

"Read for yourself. It's from her friend, Willow, the redhead Wiccan."

"Yes, I remember Willow," Scully said as Mulder stood from the computer chair letting Scully sit and read the lengthy email describing the recent events in Sunnydale.

Mulder walked to the window and glanced outside. It was a beautiful day for the middle of winter. Why did he feel like he had somehow disappointed the girl? She was in no way his responsibility, but he could not help but think he and Scully should have done something more to interfere with the blossoming relationship between the vampire with a soul and a Slayer.

He had told the Gunmen everything, knowing the trio was trustworthy. They had been more than envious of Mulder that he had not only met Buffy 'the Slayer' Summers but had patrolled with her and seen her take on eight vampires at once. He had told them about Angel, leaving out the fact he was the girl's boyfriend, but knowing they would find his particular situation interesting, a vampire who had a soul.

"Mulder," Scully said as she walked to him. Her hands went to his shoulders, her head rested against his back. "This is not your fault. From what Willow writes no one knew, no one could have known."

"I know," Mulder said hoarsely.

"She'll get through this."

"If she gets out of it alive you mean."

"Well, yeah, but Mulder you said it yourself when we left there her job does not come with a lengthy life expectancy. In fact, from what the Gunmen said, it's like a fine print clause in the contract of her calling."

"I know, Scully. I know that. That's not it."

"Then what, Mulder?"

"I just hate that someone she loves was taken from her," he admitted as he turned to face Scully.

Their eyes met and nothing was said for a while. Mulder was aware that Scully knew he was talking about Samantha and his endless search for his sister that still went on today. Sometimes it was the hope of finding Samantha that drove him when nothing else could.

"There are some attachments with the email Willow sent. Did you read them?"

"No," Scully admitted.

"They are scans from some of Mr. Giles' books about Angel's behaviors pre-soul days."

"Is it bad?"

"Yeah," Mulder said softly.

"Mulder, don't do this to yourself. We did not know. We could not have known."

"Don't you think I know that?"

"No, I don't. I think you see another girl who you've failed to save and you're going to punish yourself. Why don't we see what we can do to help her instead of talking about what we should have done or might have prevented two months ago?"

"You're right."

"Of course I am," she said and Mulder laughed, shaking his head slightly.

"I just," he looked away, turning his back to her again and looking out the window of her apartment once more. "I just remember the look in their eyes, both of them."

"I do, too. Maybe he won't be so bad because of that, their feelings," Scully said hopefully.

"No, from what I read in those files, loving him makes it worse."

"Okay, well, let's call Willow and see if we can do anything. Maybe the Gunmen could help them. You know they'd love to."

"Yeah, they would."

"Even from DC, Mulder we could help."

"I'm not sure how. But all right, I'm game."

"And with all this snow on the ground, I can't say I'd be averse to making a trip to sunny LA."

"You'd go," he asked turning to face her once more.

"Yes, Mulder. You care for the girl and I know you've gotten more attached to her during the past couple of months from the emails you've exchanged."

"She hates computers."

Scully leaned forward and kissed him. "Which just proves my point that you care for her and obviously you made some sort of impression on her."

"I think it's just the fact another adult, someone - anyone - knows her secret and thinks it's cool. And I don't want anything from her."

"It might have something to do with that, too. That and your sources," she said teasingly.

"Yeah, she likes the idea I have sources," he said with a wide grin. "Okay, let's call Willow and see what we can do then."

"It will work out, Mulder."

"I just hope it doesn't cost her something huge."

"Me, too," she said simply.

The End