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Mulder and Scully prepare to guard a key witness to an organized crime murder.

Rated: PG-13, V.

Category: Casefile, UST

Spoilers: None. Season 7 is the setting.

Feedback: patfiler2016@outlook

Archive: Gossamer, Ephemeral. Others please ask.

Author's Note: Whether the Director of the FBI has
a summer house in the Adirondacks or not, this is only
fiction, and I have taken poetic license by saying he
does. The use of his name was to add a touch of
authenticity to the story, and nothing more.

SEPTEMBER 13. 1998
10:00 AM.

The drive to the Adirondacks had been somewhat rough. It
was hurricane season, and although the roads were flooding
in places, trees were uprooted, wires down, there was a job
to be done by the FBI. Agents Mulder and Scully had been
assigned to guard a murder witness, and that would be done
come hell or high water.

Upon arrival at the safe house, Mulder and Scully surveilled the
place before entering the house. The case was very high profile
and dangerous.

Scully marvelled at the splendor of the mountains, the trees, still
fully in leaf, preparing to change color, and the hot tub.

"Hot tub, Mulder? Since when did the FBI have a safe house
equipped with a hot tub, change house, and a huge main house?

Scully touched the edge of the hot tub as if to check that it was

Mulder smiled warmly. "Well, it belongs to the Director. It's his
summer retreat." Scully stared at him incredulously.

"What?" He looked liked the cat who had caught the canary.

"Mulder, since when did we get Director Mueller's resort for a safe
house Mueller's Resort for a safe house for Mrs. Kelly, and when
is she arriving?"

"Mrs. Kelly? Oh, yeah. We promised to protect her until the trial.
Well, after I fixed Kersh's flat tire, I told him to put in a really good
word for us, or I'd tell the guys he's a pantywaist who can't even
change a tire, and then... " Scully began to laugh. "Blackmailing,
Mulder, is so illegal yet so appropriate in his case!"

"I'm so glad you agree! Oh, and Mrs. Kelly arrives the day after
tomorrow. That gives us plenty of time to get to know the place,
and check for any holes the murderer's people may find."

Scully turned to stare at the house. "You don't think they'd come
this far... "

"Scully, we did, and through sheets of rain, around blocked roads,
and we're here. We should check the inside of the house. I want to
know all the ins and outs of the place. Anna Kelly is the only one
who can testify and we will keep her safe."

"Then let's get started. Wouldn't want mobsters knowing this house
better than we do."

Mulder rang the doorbell. A uniformed elderly woman opened the
door. "Fox Mulder, FBI, and my partner, Dana Scully."

"Oh, yes. We've been waiting for you. I'm Mrs. Blanchard,
housekeeper. Come in!" The woman paused, smiling wwarmly.
"We'll do the tour."

Scully was surprised. "Do the tour?"

"You need to know where everything is, where every hallway leads.
This is the foyer. Behind those two hardwood doors is the parlor.
Down the hall here, the dining room." She opened the doors to a
huge room with twenty chairs neatly surrounding an long dining table.
"Those French doors. We keep them locked with the curtains drawn
whenever we need a little extra -- you know."

Yes," Mulder smiled. "No sense being sitting ducks. Are there French
doors from the parlor as well?"

"Yes, and by the way, you'll want to check around outside the house, so
after we go upstairs, you can look for any vulnerabilities."

Scully was amazed at this woman's familiarity with security measures.
"You're an FBI agent, aren't you, Mrs. Blanchard?"

"Retired. But I do like to keep the old skills active." The woman was
charming and serious at the same time, but she grinned slyly, adding,
"I even profiled the cook."

Scully smiled and whispered, "Better behave, Mulder. She knows her

"Now, if you'll follow me upstairs, you'll find six bedrooms, three

Before dinner, the agents scouted around the exterior of the hideaway,
making note of all ground floor windows and entrances. The wooded
area around the back and sides of the building had Mulder most

"We'd better take a look past those maples and fir trees. Scully. When
the other agents get here tomorrow, they'll be assigned to the perimeter,
changing watch."

"Just like the good old days," Scully reminded him. "I'm glad we're not
going to be our there."

"What? You don't like the woodsy smell in the air, the birds twittering,
the... "

"The comfort of chairs and a lit environment are a lot nore appealing to
me, Mulder. We may have spent a few cases out in the middle of
nowhere, and yes, I did camp out when I was a kid, but I'd be happier
not being in the woods."

As they walked through the wooded area, they went over the facts of
the assignment. "Okay. Anna Kelly, age 35, widow of James Kelly.
Key wirness to the murder of her husband. No children. Farentino family
put a contract out on Mr. Kelly, murdered in his home office as his wife
was coming home from a neighbor's house. Anna Kelly has identified
Benny Falco as the murderer."

"Okay, Mulder. I've read the file, and the trial is three days from now.
Anna Kelly will be flown out to Albany the day of the trial. The Farentinos
have already sent threats through everyone from the neighborhood
grocer to the street cleaners."

"Perfect. Now, I guess it's back to the house. Do you have a TV in your
room, Scully?"

"No, Mulder. Why?"

"Because I do, and Night of the 'Living Dead' is on tonight. I was hoping
you might want to watch it."

"Mulder, all I want is a nice, hot bath, and time to go over the file again."
"We can have the cook make popcorn."

"Ohay. But no butter, and I'm still going to my room early. We may just
have our work cut out for us."

Mulder opened the front door for her."Okay. But no butter, and I'm still
going to my room early. We may just have our work cut out for us."

Mulder opened the door for her. "Think I'll grab a shower before dinner."

"While you're doing that, I'll unpack and let Kersh know we've arrived."

Mulder took a look out the door and glanced at the hot tub. "Have we

8:30 PM

The sun had set, and darkness surrounded the FBI Director's summer
retreat. All the lights were on inside just for security's sake. Mulder
decided to give the property one last check before heading to his room.
Scully had already gone to her room to study the profile they had been
given pertaining to the Farentino 'family'. There were actually only five
Farentinos in the family, and many other men were involved in the
'family business'. Scully became so engrossed in the file, she almost forgot
about her hot bath.

By the time she looked up to check the time, it was 10:34.

She put the file in her brief case for the night, and ran her bath. She smiled
as the fragrance of red roses made its way up from the water. "This is the
life." she mused.

Mulder had had a good, long walk around the grounds. One thing that kept
entering his mind was the hot tub. There was a small house near it where
guests could change into bathing suits, so Mulder decided to relax while
he had the time. "After all." he reasoned, "Mrs. Kelly isn't due here until the
day after tomorrow." Just to be on the safe side, his gun was on a table
beside the hot tub if he needed it.

He found a pair of blue trunks that fit him nicely, and warmed up the hot tub.
Water jets would soothe his weary muscles. As he was leaning back with his
eyes closed, he heard rustling in some nearby bushes. Instinctively, he
reached for his gun, and climbed out of the water.

"Anybody there identify yourself!" A raccoon ran past him from under a
nearby shrub. He put the gun back and immersed himself once again in
the swirling waters. Just as he had become thoroughly relaxed, the bushes
rustled again. Mulder climbed out and grabbed his gun. "Okay! I know you're
in there, rodent! C'mon... "

The next rustling sounds he heard sounded more like a much larger animal,
but Mulder could not afford to take a chance that it might be a member of the
crime family waiting to greet the murder witness, "Who's in there? Come out
with your hands up! Then, he knew there had been someone, not something,
behind the bushes, He gave chase through thick shrubbery, his eyes catching
the moonlight reflecting off of a man's shirt. "Freeze!" FBI!" The man kept
running. Mulder knew someone was in front of him, likely a Farentino. What he
had not counted on was right behind him. There wa a burning pain that could
only mean one thing: He had been shot. He turned in the direction of the
shooter, and managed to killl hin. He felt weak, and leaned against a tree.

Scully was just getting out of the bathtub when she heard the shots. Quickly,
she grabbed a white terry cloth robe, put on some shoes, and ran down the
stairs. "Mulder!? Mulder!"

Mrs. Blanchard came running our of the kitchen. What's going on?"

"Mulder. Have you seen Mulder? There's been gunfire!"

"I haven't seen Agent Mulder since he went out to look the place over. I suggest
you get out there and see what's happened!"

"Damn right I will." Scully ran out the door with gun and cell phone. She saw that
the hot tub was running, but there was no one there. "Mulder?"

"Out here, Scully!" After he called out, Mulder slumped to the ground, leaning
on his right hip.

Scully saw the man who had shot Mulder, and he was unconscious. She
checked for a pulse. There was none. "Mulder?"

"Over here." He didn't really want her to know where he had been shot. He
imagined the ribbing he'd get every time they chased after some other
criminal. Then he pictured himself walking down the hallway of the Bureau,
hearing "Spooky... shot in the keester... "

Scully scurried into a clearing, and found Mulder. "He's dead. What happened
to you?"

"Well, the man I was chasing got away. The dead man shot me in... "

"On where, Mulder?" Let's see..."

"No. Call the EMS and get some back-up here from the regional office, Call
Mrs. Blanchard and tell her more agents are coming in."

"Yeah. I'll do that after you let me know where you've been shot!"

"Don't laugh."

"I won't laugh, Mulder! Quick! Tell me!"

"My ass... left side. And yes, I'm bleeding a lot."

"All the more reason to call the EMS." Scully remained calm and made her
calls, as she looked around the area for anyone else. Then she turned to her
partner, doing the best she could to hide a smirk. "Okay. I guess you're off
of this case. An ambulance is on its way. Don't worry, I won't tell Mrs. Blanchard
a thing about this. I just told her you were going to hospital."
"Thank God for small mercies. Scully, looks like they really want to get this

"I'm afraid so, Mulder. When she arrives here, she probably won't be going
outside until they fly her to Albany for the trial."

"Yeah, Well just remember to send my clothes to the hospital. I think this little
number has had its day."

"Yeah, but you look kind of... athletic, in a boyish way."

"Oh. Okay."

At that point, the paramedics arrived and lifted Mulder onto a stretcher, while
others, along with the coroner, examined the dead man.

Scully identified herself, gave a brief summary of the evening's events, then
headed for the house.

Mrs. Blanchard had been waiting in the foyer. "What's happened" Was
someone shot" Now I hear we've got four more men coming tomorrow... "

"Yes, someone going after Mulder was shot, Mulder killed another man. Four
more agents arrive in the morning . I need to get dressed. Can you do me a


"Pack some clothes for Agent Mulder, while I get ready. Then, lock all the
doors and don't pick up the phone till I get back here."

"Certainly, Agent Scully. There's some hot coffee in the kitchen if you need it."

"No, thank you. There's no time for that. But I'll call you when I'm coming back,
so you can make me one then. It looks like an all-nighter."

11:15 PM

By the time Scully arrived, Mulder was anaesthetized and the bullet was being
removed. Scully paced the waiting room floor waiting for word of his condition.

"Agent Scully?"

She turned to see a red-haired gentleman in scrubs. "How's Mulder?"

"He should be awake in a couple of hours. We want to keep him overnight for

"I'll stick around, just the same. We'll need the bullet for evidence, Doctor... "

"Graham. Vic Graham."

"Do you have any information on the man he killed?"

"No. There was nothing on that man. He's in the morgue. He's a John Doe, for
the time being."

"We can find out. I'll go down, get the medical examiner to sent the Bureau his
photo and fingerprints. We pretty well know where he's from. Thanks, Doctor

"All in a night's work." The man could see the weary look on Scully's face.
"Agent Mulder can be released tomorrow if he has somehwere to recuperate."

"I'll make arrangements, then. Well, I hope this is the only problem we have.
I'll be here when he wakes up."

2:08 AM

Mulder awoke to see Scully nodding off in a chair.

"Scully... " he whispered.

Scully awoke and stretched as she stood. "Well, so far so good. You'll be
released later today. I called Kersh, we have the bullet, and the hitman's photo
and prints were faxed to the Bureau. What were you thinking getting into that
hot tub?"

"I thought it would... never mind. I know I should have just made my rounds then
headed for the house. It's bad enough I was shot in the... "

"Well, you won't be sleeping on your back for a while. The doctor says it was a
relatively clean wound, but he's prescribed some antibiotics as a precaution,
along with the painkillers."

"You need to get a replacement for me, Scully."

"They're sending four more agents later today. It's after 2:00 am. Get some

"What about Mrs. Kelly?"

"She arrives tomorrow, as planned. Don't worry, Mulder. There's going to be
so much surveillance, not even a flea could get by this time." Scully pulled
the blanket up to Mulder's shoulders. "Get some sleep."

8:00 AM

This was the day Anna Kelly was scheduled to arrive. As Mulder lay awake on
his side, he could see that the sky was clear, no sign of clouds. While he looked
out the window at the cloudless sky, Scully knocked and entered his room,
carrying a breakfast tray.

"Good morning, Mulder. I thought you might want some company with breakfast."

"Scully, you know how I hate being laid up."

"Well, you need to be resting for a few days, so rest up. Mrs. Kelly arrives at noon,
and I expect you to be here in bed. Really, Mulder. We're all just as capable as
you. The trial's tomorrow, and the Bureau has a helicopter scanning the area several
times a day. As soom as she's flown to Albany, We are off the hook and back to
Washington. So, pancakes, Mulder?"

"Yeah, why not."

"They're really good. Made from scratch."



"Where's my gun?" Mulder dug into the pancakes. When Scully hadn't answered
his question, he repeated it. "My gun, Scully?"

"I don't think you'll need it, Mulder. Why?"

"I think I might need it."

"If you insist. It's on the dresser. You don't think... "

"No, Scully, I don't think I'll be walking around the grounds. But I think it's a good
idea to have it close just in case someone gets in when they're not supposed to."

"All right. Tell you what, if you eat what's on your plate, and I know you will, I'll
bring your gun over beside your bed."

"So, what's the plan for today?"

"Mrs. Kelly arrives around noon, and tomorrow morning she flies to Albany at
seven in the morning. Kersh wants us back in Washington the day after tomorrow.
Have you tried the coffee?"

"Yeah. It's passable. I hear something, Scully."

"I think you're right, Mulder. Stay in bed." Scully drew her gun and carefully made
her way to the window. From there, she saw a man on his way up a tree near the
window. "FBI! Freeze!"

The man jumped to the ground, but was caught by a male and female agent
before he was able to get away.

"This Farentino family is really something, Mulder. If I hadn't been here, you would
have been shot again."

"Now you know I need that gun, Scully. Try the toast. It tastes like homemade

"Mulder! How can you just carry on as if nothing has happened?" Scully
walked back to his bedside and sat down. "You could have been killed."

"You were here, Scully. I trust you with my life. I'm not so sure this is the place
to bring a key witness, now that the Farentinos obviously know that she'll be

"Well, I have to agree, Mulder."

Just then, Mulder's cell phone rang. "Mulder. Yes? All right. He was? Okay.
Yes, We will. Good bye, Sir."

"That was Kersh. It seems our charming friends, the Farentino mob, have
known for quite some about the plan. Mrs. Kelly will not be staying here, and as
this was not a secure connection, he couldn't tell me where she would
be staying. Our job here is done. We go home today, and the other agents stay
as planned, just to see that and the other agents stay as planned, just to see that
the 'family' thinks she's still here or about to be here."

"Did Kersh say anything about the man who just tried to get in here?"

"Yeah, he said he was one of Farentino's key hit men. See? We were decoys."

"Sitting ducks," Scully agreed. "So, that's why we were out here?"

"Yeah, back to the salt mines. Fertilizer detail and background checks."

"Well, I guess after this, you'll learn not to go climbing into other people's hot
tubs. Once again, he's got us right where he can see us." Scully stood. She
had a look of resignation on her face. "I know, get out the toilet brushes. I'll pack
our bags and we're gone. This time, I'm driving."


Disclaimer:  Mulder, Scully, Kersh, and The X-Files are owned by Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Studios. These characters are begging to be kept alive, and no one gives me money to do that. It just wouldn't be the thing to do. Bah!