So this is it. The end. I can finally exercise Dodge Howard and all his ugliness from my brain. Though, I will warn you all, I was running out of steam at this point. Thank you all so much for reading this, and for the people that commented that means the world to me. I was very insecure about this piece, for a few different reasons, and those reviews quieted the fears in my mind. Thanks again, and I hope this end didn't disappoint.


April 17, 2000 (the Goodnight Kiss)

JTVCC Private Meeting Room

"This is the last one, aren't you a little sad, Puss?" Dodge leaned toward her, almost innocent smile on his face.

Nine days wasn't bad. He wished it could be longer, but she kept threatening to leave every time he dawdled and he knew this girl meant it. She was stronger and smarter than she looked--it got him more than a little hot. FBI Special Agent Dana Scully was the lady of his dreams, and his nightly jerk-offs in his cell.

"Sure, it's breaking my heart." It was early in the morning, and in only a few hours, Scully would be finished with Dodge Howard forever.

He chuckled. "We did some courting, some driving, some dancing, and now it's time for a Goodnight Kiss. You ready for it, Puss?"

"Probably not, but go ahead."

"Bessie D'Angelo. 31 years of age, with a wicked case of asthma. She was my favorite, as far as dying goes. When I took her, I made sure she had her purse with her, so she'd have her inhaler. I didn't want her to check-out before I was ready. I also--and you'll appreciate this--made sure she didn't have her kids with her. A little boy and a baby girl, don't remember their names. I don't kill kids though, it does nothing for me, though now when I think back, I almost regret that. Can you imagine the look on her face as she watched me kill her kids? But, anyway, I decided to leave them out of it."

"Very considerate of you."

"I try, Puss." His thick lips twisted into a proud grin. "So, I played with her awhile, always careful to give her, her inhaler if she started to have an attack, which she did several times. I think it confused her though, like she figured I'd let her die, or was surprised that I knew what to do, or something. After awhile, I was ready to end our little date the proper way. I shoved my cock in her mouth, and pounded the back of her throat. I think she enjoyed it a little, least until the attack set in. Then I flipped her on her belly, and tore open her back door. She was laying wriggling around, and trying to scream, even though she could barely breathe. Kinda reminded me of a fish on dry land, you know? I enjoyed myself so much I left her have a puff, so it would last longer. I don't think she appreciated it much though."

"And where did you bury her?" Scully swallowed, breathing in deeply through her nose.

"She lived with her husband and kids in a suburb outside Wilmington. I figured her kids would appreciate having her close, so I waited until they were all asleep, and buried her in the backyard. It was fall, so I just covered it with some leaves, and they didn't know the difference. They visited their mama's grave every day." Dodge rubbed at his stubbled chin thoughtfully, chubby fingers distorting the lines in his face.

Scully repressed a shudder, and jotted down the information. "Great. We'll confirm that, and then we're done." She pushed her chair away from the table, and got up, turning toward the door, thrilled to be leaving.

"That's not it, Puss."

She froze, heart suddenly thudding in her ears. What did he mean? She counted the names a hundred times, Bessie made 29. "You said 29, Dodge, and you gave me 29."

"Bodies, Puss. 29 bodies. There's one that I didn't kill."

Three hours later

Darby, PA

"This file doesn't mention anything about her being raped." Scully commented, as she flipped through it on their drive to Janine Carlisle's last known address.

"It was 1952 Scully, they pretended that sort of thing didn't happen back then. And, she was his wife. They most definitely didn't recognize spousal rape. I'm surprised she wasn't institutionalized, after what he claims to have done to her." Mulder had been as surprised as she was to hear about a wife, none was mentioned in the file.

They were driving into PA, just outside Philadelphia, to speak to the woman, and determine if what Dodge told them was true at all. It seemed promising, as the local PD had faxed them an old, barely readable file on a domestic violence call that came in spring of 1952.

"At least, with the bodies unearthed, we can tell her he's going to be executed at some point."

Mulder nodded in agreement. "Uh, what's the number of the house?"

Scully glanced at the post-it she'd stuck to the file. "137, so left side of the road."

"Yeah, looks like it's this white one." He leaned over, and gestured to a small two story house, as he parallel parked on the street.

It was a well-maintained property, with a clean stone pathway, green trim, and a simple brass knocker on the front door. A teenager with an infant on her hip answered, blonde hair pouring over her back, and eyes almost as blue as Scully's.

"Hi, I'm Fox Mulder, this is Dana Scully, we're with the FBI. We're looking for Janine Carlisle?" They pulled out their badges in tandem, as Mulder introduced them.

"Uh, that's my grandmother. Why don't you come in, I'll go get her." Her smile had fallen into a concerned frown.

A few minutes passed while they waited on a beige sofa, before a petite older woman came out beside the girl, wiping her hands on an apron. Her hair had grayed, and her face was well-lined, blue eyes much like the girls looked only the slightest bit subdued. She might be old, but the woman hadn't given up yet.

"How can I help the FBI?" She sat across from them, her granddaughter beside them.

"We're investigating your ex-husband ma'am. Dodge Howard?"

She instantly tensed.

"Gran?" The girl's eyes were darting back and forward, her mouth set in a frown.

"Abby, please take the baby and go up to the nursery," she instructed, patting the girl's hand. She obeyed, though hesitantly.

"My granddaughter lives with me. Her parents were furious when she got pregnant, so she came to stay with me. She's going to college now in Philadelphia, at the University of Pennsylvania. She's good girl."

"That's a good school, almost Ivy League," Mulder commented.

"Ma'am, we pulled the domestic violence report from 1952, when your husband was on leave before his next tour in Korea. Can you tell us about that?" Scully asked, leaning forward, her voice soft.

"Everything is in that report. Nothing came of it, Dodge shipped out two days later."

"He told us he raped you, but we don't see mention of it in the report."

"You wouldn't. Not back then. But, I got pregnant from that night, had a son, Abby's father. He's a good boy, doesn't remember much of Dodge, thank god. My Henry did most of the raising, and he was a good man, helped me bring up my boy and our two daughters right."

"When did you divorce, Dodge?" Scully asked.

"Um, November 1955. He was a miserable bastard, and hated having a crying kid around, Davey was only a toddler then. I told him one day, that if he was unhappy that we should just get a divorce, and he could live the life he really wanted. I expected to beat half out of my mind for that comment, but he only nodded. I moved back in with my parents the next day, and Dodge signed the papers without a fight."

"Mrs. Carlisle, are you aware your ex-husband spent the last 17 years incarcerated in Delaware?" Mulder questioned.

"Yes. I saw the coverage on TV, didn't doubt he was guilty for a second...Why? They aren't thinking of letting him out are they?" Suddenly, she was very nervous, her eyes wide and frightened.

"No," Scully assured her quickly. "He was given a life sentence, but he recently confessed to several more murders, so he'll likely be tried again and transferred to death row."

"Oh, thank the lord! I never understood why they didn't execute him straight away." She shook her head, and blew into her hands.

"The evidence wasn't as damning as they would have liked, so the prosecutor cut a deal. No death penalty."

"Is this you're wedding photo, Mrs. Carlisle?" Mulder held a photo out to her.

"Yes, when I married Henry." She smiled, eyes growing glassy. It was pretty clear Henry had died not too long ago.

Mulder turned the photo toward Scully to show her. Janine Carlise, a foot shorter than her new husband, smiled at the camera, her cheeks flushed, her blue eyes sparking, and her red hair cascading down her back.

Scully's eyes darted up to her partner's hazel ones, her mouth open in surprise.

Motor Lodge - Smyrna, DE

Later that evening

"Do you think he loved her?" The files were packed away, the case done as far as they were concerned, and a little over half a cheese pizza consumed. Mulder was scrolling through the pay-per-view choices, and both were leaning back on his bed.

"No."

Her eyebrows rose at his very quick, simple answer.

Mulder sighed. "Don't kid yourself, Scully. He can't feel. Not love, not fear, not pain, not joy, nothing."

"Then why leave her? It doesn't fit the profile, Mulder. He's a possessive, controlling son of a bitch, he wouldn't give her up that easily."

He nodded. "You're right, he wouldn't. But, he didn't leave because of, or for her. It was the boy. Every time he saw his son, terrified, cowering in a corner, crying for his mother, he saw himself. He saw the weak little boy he once was, and couldn't stand it. He couldn't bear to be in the same room as that kid, because it reminded him that he's weak and pathetic. He couldn't handle that."

"Then why not kill the boy?" She wondered.

"That would be like killing himself."

Scully shook her head back and forth. Criminology, profiling, just was not her forte. She would be very happy to go back to slicing up bodies. It was far less soul-crushing.

Mulder watched her for several minutes, wondering what was going on in her head. Then he sighed. "So, what do you think, 'Cider House Rules' or 'Dogma', which I'll warn you, is very likely to make fun of your religion."

"It's supposed to be funny though, right?"

"Yes, so I'm told."

"Then go with that."

Mulder nodded and started the movie. They spent the roughly two hours, commenting and debating Christian mythology, and the concept of ideas versus beliefs. Scully was actually quite tickled by the idea of a thirteenth apostle, especially one name Rufus. Mulder found the Twilight Zone on, and they continued their debate through that.

It was during the second episode with the infamous 'Talking Tina' doll that Scully's eyes began to drift shut, and her head tilt slightly toward Mulder's. By the end she was completely passed out on his shoulder. But, tonight she didn't wake up and shuffle back to her own room.

Tonight, she didn't really care. And, Mulder was perfectly content.