Alone in his apartment, Mulder stared blankly at his coffee table which was covered in a mixture of documents and photographs related to his case. In the middle of the table was a still shot of the red headed woman that had been pulled from the club's CCTV footage. The picture was blurred and grainy showing only her back, but Mulder had spent the past hour staring at it; as if by sheer willpower he would be able to make her turn around to reveal her face and true identity to him. He was startled slightly by the knock on his door, tearing his eyes away from the picture in order to answer it. The Gunmen were stood in the corridor, Langley holding a bag of Chinese food.
"I believe you require our consulting expertise?" Frohike asked, Mulder grinned at him.
"Get in here before my neighbours see the kind of weirdos I associate with," Mulder replied, stepping back to allow the guys to pass him. Langley headed straight to the kitchen and began pulling the food cartons out of the bag whilst Frohike and Byers made themselves comfortable on the couch. Mulder closed the door and went to the fridge to pull out four beers which he passed around before helping Langley bring the cartons and some plates into the living room; for a few minutes the room was quiet with just the sounds of eating and drinking to break the silence. Byers was first to finish and began rifling through the documents on the table, pulling out a folder which contained more still shots from the CCTV footage including the best profile shots that Photographic Operations had managed to pull of everyone in the attacking group.
"They didn't get a single full on facial shot?" he queried, Mulder shook his head mutely as his mouth was stuffed with food and reached over to thumb through the pictures until he found one of a young looking dark haired man who was looking down the hallway in the rough direction of the camera. He swallowed his mouthful.
"This was the only one," he told them, "Violent Crimes ran it through the photo recognition system but there were no close matches, they've got a team manually checking against the catalogues now but they haven't turned up anything so far."
"How can that many people, working that fast to kill such a large number of victims not leave a single print or fibre?" Frohike questioned aloud as he dumped his now clean plate on the floor by the coffee table. Mulder shrugged.
"Perhaps they don't have fingerprints?" he suggested.
"You believe all the members of this group are vampires?" Byers asked.
"I don't know," Mulder said slowly, but there's something I want you guys to see. He pulled out a copy of the CCTV footage and loaded it onto his TV, quickly locating the timestamp he wanted his friends to watch. He heard the audible gasp from Byers as the redhead walked onto the screen.
"Scully? But, no, I..." Byers stuttered to silence. Frohike and Langley were both sat frozen staring at the screen.
"You think it's her too?" Mulder asked them quietly. All three sets of eyes turned to him, Byers was the only one to nod slightly.
"It's her walk, a bit more graceful perhaps but it's hers and her way of holding herself. We've seen enough CCTV footage of the pair of you over the years, I'd recognise her anywhere, even with that new hairstyle."
"I don't understand," Frohike half whispered. "How can she..?"
"You know what I think this group is," Mulder said flatly, "if she was..."
"But this is Dana," Byers said quietly, "she would never, I mean, how would this have happened?"
"I have a theory," Mulder told him, the guys were silent. "Just before she died that new doctor appeared. I guess I didn't think much about it at the time but that description you guys gave me of a vampire the other day, the pale cool skin, the good looks. This guy fits the profile and he never did tell us anything about this mysterious treatment he was going to give her. What if he lied? What if he attacked her in that room? What if this is all another plan by that cigarette smoking bastard? You said yourselves that the government use vampires to carry out some of their dirty work? What if he gave her cancer back then had his doctor change her - it all makes sense, destroy my life and my resolve and get a new recruit at the same time. One who's already trained in law enforcement and knows how to handle herself. But they underestimated her and she's turned on them."
"OK, let's assume the doctor was a vampire," Byers replied slowly, obviously unconvinced. "What if he didn't lie? What if Scully knew what he was and she made the choice to..." He couldn't finish the sentence. Mulder shook his head violently.
"No, she would have told me. She would have stayed with me."
"Maybe it wasn't safe?"
"No," Mulder shouted, making the other three jump. "I refuse to believe that Scully would allow herself to become this, that she wouldn't tell me about something like this. We told each other everything, we loved each other!" The room went silent.
"What about her note?" Byers asked quietly. Mulder felt slightly cold as he recalled what she had written, her final words to him: "I know what's about to happen. Trust me." The vitriol that had been building in him all day since he had first seen the video and convinced himself that Scully had been lied to and used, even after her death, had made him forget about the note.
"Maybe they told her something else, told her..." he couldn't think of anything. Frohike shifted over and clapped Mulder on the back in a comforting gesture.
"I think we need to investigate both possibilities," Byers said. "We have a few contacts who claim some knowledge of the vampire community, we can speak to them, see if they've heard anything." Mulder nodded dumbly.
"We'll get right on it, as soon as we're home," Frohike told Mulder in a surprisingly gentle voice. "If she's out there, we'll find her." Mulder looked up at him and nodded. He felt drained, emotional, and confused. He had been so convinced that Scully had been betrayed that he hadn't even considered another option, that she might somehow have chosen this. His mind replayed the conversations they'd shared in her finals days. The way she had wanted to stay and fight against the men who had given her cancer and taken away her chance to be a mother. Her fear at what she had termed "side effects" of the mysterious treatment Doctor Carlisle had discussed with her, how she had claimed it would change her whole life. It all made a worrying sort of sense in his mind and the more he thought about it, the more logical the Gunmen's interpretation seemed to be.
"We'll call as soon as we've found anything," Byers said, making him jump slightly; he'd been so lost in his thoughts he had somehow forgotten that he wasn't alone. He thanked the guys for coming over and saw them out of his apartment, locking the door after them. The he collapsed back onto his sofa and stared at the photograph of Scully, stroking his finger down the grainy image of her hair. If she was really out there somewhere, then maybe, just maybe he'd get to hold her again someday.
So I finally have a new beta, many thanks to cock-blocking bee for taking me up on my request! How are you guys liking the story so far? Anything you're looking hoping to see in the future? Let me know, you might give me some inspiration!