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Discounts Are for the Brave

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"Scully, you're not gonna believe this."

"Half-off coupon for Scare-a-lot?"

Scully reflexively looked away from the flyer and back down at her paperwork. Then she paused and slowly, reluctantly, raised her eyes again. Mulder was standing in the doorway with a huge grin on his face.

"Please don't tell me you want more decorations for the office."

He'd covered the door with orange paper, taped a black border around it, and attached such an alarming amount of cut-outs that she kept waiting for the department admin to rip it all down and stick a fire hazard warning poster in its place. The worst part was, Halloween was still twenty-eight days away.

Mulder's face creased, and he shook his head. "No, no, Scare-a-lot is a haunted house."

"Oh. Then, no."


"I have actual work to do."


"I am not going to a haunted house with you, Mulder."


"I still can't believe I'm at a haunted house with you, Mulder."

"I can't believe they're charging us full admission."

She looked at him without turning her head, and he raised his shoulders a little, not all apologetically. She sighed and blew a lock of hair out of her face.

The parking lot that served as the entrance for Scare-a-lot had been dark as a suburban parking lot could be when they'd walked up. Now it was lit up with every spare lamp the haunted house could find, plus the lights of three local police cars and a truck from the morgue.

"The coupon was for people who didn't scream."

"An actual skeleton fell on me, Scully."

The three cop cars were probably overkill. After Mulder had screamed and fallen over the railing into a pit with the smoke machine, the haunted house had stopped everyone currently in the room to turn the lights on and get him out. Which had given Scully enough time to stare at the fake skeleton that had swung down on a wire and into Mulder's face. Enough time to realize it was a real skeleton.

The manager had bought it for cash off craigslist.

"You screamed before the skeleton fell on you." Sure, she'd let this go.


Twenty-eight - or, was it past midnight already? Twenty-seven days from now.

After she found a cardboard skeleton to stick in Mulder's desk chair on Halloween morning.