It was damp and dark when Mulder arrived at the address that Linda Bowman had left for him. He didn’t know what would be waiting for him as he walked through the building, flashlight shining dimly in front of him. And everything was quiet until he heard a voice, but it wasn’t Linda Bowman’s voice.
“Mulder?” His eyes widened when he heard her, and he took off running in the direction that it was coming from.
She was right there when he rounded the corner, but something didn’t seem right. He knew what Modell could do, and what Linda Bowman could as well, and the red flags went off in his mind. “Scully, what are you doing here?”
He slowed the speed of his steps, and stopped in front of her. “You were right about her, Mulder,” she said, and just as he clicked his flashlight off, she raised her gun at him.
“Scully,” he said as he stepped forward, but she didn’t lower the weapon.
“She’s making me do this.”
But Mulder stood and continued to face her. “Where is she?”
“She’s here.” Scully’s voice was shaky. “Mulder make her stop! I can’t help myself.”
The fear in her voice is what set him off. “Linda Bowman!” he shouted at the top of his lungs, face contorting in anger.
The entire time, Scully still had her gun pointed at him. “Mulder, make her stop.”
“Show yourself!” he roared.
“Mulder!” Scully said urgently, and he watched as she stopped pointing the gun at him, only to turn it towards the side of her head.
“No!”he shouted as he ran towards her, but he was too late. The sound of a gunshot rang in his ears as Scully crumpled to the ground in front of him. He dropped down in front of her, but there was no use. The only audible sounds were his panting breaths, until he heard footsteps behind him. He tore his eyes away from Scully’s body on the ground to look at the newcomer: Linda Bowman. He didn’t even bother to think before he had grabbed Scully’s gun and stood up, pointing it at her. “I’m going to kill you.”
Linda pointed the gun she was holding at him, and they were in a standoff. “Don’t listen to her Mulder,” she said.
“What?” he asked angrily.
“It’s me,” she said, not lowering the gun. “You were right about her. Linda Bowman is pushing you.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“I’m Scully,” the woman who looked like Linda said. “Linda’s right behind you, she’s telling you I’m her.”
Mulder looked back down at Scully’s body on the ground, blood pooling around her head from the fatal gunshot. “You’re not Scully, you killed her,” he said angrily, looking Linda dead in the eyes.
She stared right back. “Mulder, I’m Scully,” she said, and he didn’t know what to think. He knew what Linda was capable of, but if Linda was really the one laying dead on the ground, how could she still be having an effect on his perception? “I’m not dead,” Linda continued. “She wants you to shoot me. She knows you’ll never forgive yourself.”
He couldn’t keep calm anymore, because he was sure that Scully was already dead. “Shut up!” he yelled.
“Listen to me!” she yelled back, and he yelled again. “I’ve been your partner for five years. People at work sometimes call you “Spooky Mulder,” because they don’t understand your theories.”
“Shut up!” he yelled once more. His brain was starting to shut down, and he was questioning everything.
“Our first case together was in Bellefleur, Oregon,” she continued. “I knocked on your door when we came back from the woods because I thought I had these marks on my back, but you told me they were just bug bites. You told me about your sister, and how she disappeared.”
“Stop,” he said softly.
“I just recovered from cancer,” she continued, and Mulder’s hand shook slightly. “You told me to say a few ‘hail Mulders’ when the priest came to pray with me. You met my brother, who vehemently dislikes you for reasons I don’t understand.”
“Stop!” he said again, louder this time.
“Modell warned you,” she said, looking him straight in the eyes. “Don’t play her game.”
He hesitated for a moment, and then a gunshot rang out, but he wasn’t the one who had fired. He could hear the sound of a body fall to the ground behind him, and he tore his eyes away from the woman who looked like Linda Bowman to see who had been shot. But it only added to his confusion to see her on the ground, not Scully. And when he looked back again, Scully was the one standing behind him, her gun still raised for a moment. “Mulder,” she said as she walked over to him and placed her hand on his arm, but he didn’t respond. He didn’t know what to say.
Scully leaned down and placed her fingers to Bowman’s neck, and she was still alive, despite the pool of blood she was laying in. “You think you can hold me?” she said, pride oozing from her voice.
Scully didn’t even grace her with an answer as she stepped away, pulling out her phone and dialing. “Yes, we’d like an ambulance to 214 Channel Avenue,” Mulder heard her say, but his mind was still elsewhere.
The ambulance came, and then the FBI, and Mulder answered more questions than he could count, but it still felt like he wasn’t there. He had almost killed Scully, and he didn’t know if he was going to be able to forgive himself for that. When he finally did get home, he laid on the couch and closed his eyes, but no sleep came to him that night.
- the end -