Justice For All

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

Dec 28, 1996

Rating: PG for some mild violence and swearing

Disclaimer (and all you lawyers at FOX take note): The X-Files as well as the characters portrayed therein are property of C. Carter, FOX Broadcasting & 1013 Prod. and they don't belong to me.

Spoiler warning: This is set before the fourth season.

Relationship: Friendship and UST up until the end. Then it's full blown MSR!!

Summary: Scully ditches Mulder when she's offered a chance to find some justice for herself and Mulder.

Hi All! Of all the things that bother me, the fact that Mulder has a habit of taking off and leaving Scully behind is at the top of my list. So I decided to turn the tables, and see how he would like it. Don't worry, he catches up to her, and not just geographically either. <g> Now, on to the story . . .

It was late in the evening when Mulder dropped Scully off at her parked car in the Bureau's underground garage. They'd had dinner earlier, talking about the case they'd just closed as they ate. He'd offered to drive, so they had left her car at the office.

As she got out of the passenger side door, he'd promised to check in with her later. Then he was quickly off, assured in the knowledge that she would be safe in the secure garage.

As she stood at her door looking for her car keys, she heard the sound of footsteps behind her. Instantly reached for her Sig and she turned, the weapon flying automatically from it's place at her back to hover steadily on her would-be assailant.

There before her was the man responsible for more villainy and deception than she wanted to think about. A traitor to his country, and most of all to Mulder: Alex Krycek.

"Krycek," she breathed with astonishment, the barrel of the gun pointed determinedly at his chest. "I ought to kill you right now for everything you've done to me and to Mulder."

He stood there, his hands empty and a look of fear flitting across his features. Obviously her holding him at gun point wasn't the reception he'd expected.

"Agent Scully, I know you don't have any reason to trust me, but I'm here to help you. I have something for you. I have information that can help you bring to justice the men who were responsible for ordering your death, killing Mulder's father, for abducting you. that's something you want, isn't it?"

She stared at him with a look of utter contempt. Of course she wanted those things. What a stupid question to ask her, she thought. But after all she'd seen, she knew the men she wanted brought to justice in the courts were untouchable.

"You're offering me something you can't give. Why?"

"I can. I know where to find someone who can get us in to meet them. The only question that remains is whether or not you want them bad enough to go where they are. To get your hands a little dirty," he spat back, irritated by her continuing to point her weapon at him. "Put away the gun and let's talk."

Her mind spun, and she seriously considered exactly what Krycek was proposing: a way to find and bring to justice the men responsible for Missy's death, and so many other heinous crimes. Perhaps this time, she could accomplish what she'd wished for so many times. To make them accountable for their actions.

"Alright," she said with a lethal tone, lowering the weapon to her side but not holstering it. She might be willing to hear him out, but not trust him. She only trusted one person . . . "Well, let's hear it."

"How do you feel about Connecticut this time of year?"

When Mulder arrived at the office, he headed straight for his desk, and warmed up his computer, sipping on his fresh coffee. Once it was running, he logged into his e-mail, hoping to find news from the Gunmen on their newest issue. Instead he found a message from Scully's home account. Puzzled, he quickly opened up the message, and began to read.

"Mulder, I've been offered a chance to find some justice for a lot of people, and I'm going to take it. You've always made a point of drawing the line for me, well now it's my turn. I'm going somewhere I can't ask you to go, and don't really want you to follow, but knowing you, you probably will. I just hope you can understand why I needed to do this by myself. Scully."

As he read the last line, he slammed his fist into his desk. Dammit, he thought, how could she be so reckless as to go running off on her own. After all the times she'd lectured him about leaving her behind, he'd have thought she'd have more sense.

Well, now he knew how she felt when he did it to her. He'd been *ditched*. And in being on the receiving end for a change, he realized why she hated it with a passion. He felt powerless. As he turned off his computer he knew had to find out where she had gone and catch up with her. There was no telling what she was walking into.

Without a second thought he was at the window with his roll of tape. Maybe his shadowy contact could help.

Scully had been on a plane for longer than she would have liked. The turbulence had been lousy and the company not much better. She glanced at Krycek out of the corner of her eye, watching him ask the flight attendant for another drink.

What the hell am I thinking, she wondered to herself. This man has done everything but openly attack Mulder and me, and here I am, trusting him enough to follow him to Hartford, Connecticut, looking for some elusive shadow figure. Then she reminded herself about her motivation. This wasn't just about her. There were others involved, debts these men had to pay for, deaths that needed to be avenged.

Missy had been gone for a year and Mulder's father as well. The gunman who had pulled the trigger and killed Missy had been murdered to protect his bosses. With that death, the men or man who had ordered those murders, who had wanted her dead, were safe. That single thought still infuriated her.

She'd been skeptical when Krycek had approached her, but as he continued to offer her information on his ability to get her in contact with the men she wanted, she found her Irish temper taking over her rational thought. He wasn't the one she wanted, but she was more than determined to make sure that if no one else was brought to justice, he would be. It would leave one less conspirator to deal with.

The whole thing was going to be messy. That was a given. She knew there really wasn't a way she could just walk in, slap on the handcuffs and read them their rights. No, she had fully prepared herself to get down and dirty with these men, and if it came down to it, she wouldn't hesitate to kill them to keep them from avoiding some form of retribution for their crimes.

On top of everything, she'd had to figure out how she was going to do this and not involve Mulder or the Bureau. She'd had enough forethought to call and ask Skinner for a few days personal leave, claiming that her mother was ill. Once that was done, she'd gone off on this manhunt without compromising her job.

God, why can't Mulder do that, she wondered. If he could just think for a minute before he ran off, I'd only have to save *him* instead of having to save both his life *and* his job.

That one thing had always annoyed her. He always seemed to have enough time to leave her e-mail messages or to book his flights, but never enough to cover his ass so he could keep his job. If it hadn't been for her he would have been tossed out of the Bureau and on his ear long ago.

But that was just Mulder's way she reminded herself with a slight upturn of her mouth. And this little jaunt for parts unknown certainly was starting to feel like one of his wild goose chases, complete with questionable informant.

She missed Mulder already, she realized with a sigh. It was as if half of her mind was lost. Half of herself. But she couldn't risk this by bringing him into it. Hell, he would have shot Krycek first and asked questions later. What with him holding all the cards, she couldn't afford Mulder's personal vendetta against his former partner.

At least this whole thing would be over soon she thought as the flight attendants began asking everyone to prepare for landing. Yes, it would be over soon, no matter how it turned out.

They'd checked in to a motel room to use as a base of operations until Krycek could set up the meeting he claimed he could make. As he the receiver back into the cradle, Scully questioned him about the man he said could connect them with the Consortium again.

"Who is this man we're meeting with?"

"A member of the circle. He's not the most evil of the group, but he's done his fair share of underhanded and nasty things."

"Like?" she asked, wanting to know exactly what this one man was guilty of. Where his deeds landed him in the grand scheme of things.

The question shut up Krycek quickly, and she could tell he knew something that he didn't want to share. Angered, she stalked over to his position and stared him straight in the face.

"What did he do?" she demanded, her voice low.

He paused, then acquiesced when he realized she wasn't moving until she had an answer.

"He . . . ordered Mulder's death in New Mexico."

"Wha . . ." she nearly blurted out, the color draining from her face.

Suddenly nothing else mattered anymore. With an uncharacteristic display of raw anger, she slammed Krycek's shoulder back against the wall with one hand, and reached for her weapon at the same time. In a split second the barrel of the weapon hovered under his chin.

"I don't care *what* else you do, *who* else you contact, but I *want* this man," she growled, eyes glaring at him. Krycek attempted to gulp down the lump that had just appeared in his throat. He'd never realized how deadly Agent Dana Scully could be. Now that he'd seen . . . he decided that it probably wouldn't be a wise

thing to cross her. Abruptly the phone rang, and he broke free of her grasp to run for it. He said nothing to the person on the other end, but wrote down an address on a notepad and then hung up.

Without saying a word, Scully took the paper from his hand, read the location and dropped it back on the bed. Moments later she was out the door, with Krycek trailing behind her.

Finding them had been absurdly simple. Scully hadn't even bothered to cover her tracks in her determination to do whatever it was that had sent her to Connecticut. Mulder wondered more times than he could count if he was as bad at hiding his tracks. It so, it made perfect sense how she always found him.

Once he discovered what flight they'd been on, he'd hopped the next available flight. At the airport, he'd gotten a rental car and looked at the available hotels and motels around the metropolitan area of Hartford. He'd gotten her spoiled in regards to shabby motels, he thought with a grin, so he'd memorized a list to check out in the hopes of finding her in one of them. He'd gotten lucky and found the motel she'd checked into at his second try.

After making a convincing case, and showing his credentials, Mulder got the manager to open her room door. Inside he searched around, looking for anything that might clue him in to where she'd gone. Finally he lucked upon the notepad with the address on it. Ripping it loose, he headed for his rental car, jumped in and was on his way. It wasn't that far, and he navigated his way through the city, checking his rear view mirror for any signs of trouble.

Darkness had fallen on the city by the time he had left the motel, and he just hoped that wherever Scully was going would be bright. He knew from experience that the worst place to be was in a dark place, surrounded by your enemies. He pushed his foot a little harder on the accelerator and hoped he could get there soon. He needed to be at her side, guarding her back. Because he was sure no one else was going to.

Mulder arrived across the street from the address that had been on the paper. He climbed out of the car and began to cross the street to where Krycek and Scully were standing at the opening of an alleyway. Before he got halfway across the dark lit up in flashed of light, as he watched them go down in a hail of gunfire. The sound of her Sig falling from her hand and clattering to the ground seemed abnormally loud to his ears. And the dull thud as her body hit the pavement nearly turned his stomach.

"Scully!!" he yelled, firing towards the assassin in the shadowed alleyway. A loud groan and a heavy thump in the distance told him he'd hit his target.

Without another thought to the assailant, he focused his attention towards Scully. Her body had fallen in a circle of light from the streetlight, and he could see her clearly even as far away as he was. With a twinge of fear he bolted to her side.

"Dana!" he said sternly, trying to get her attention. Ignoring her Sig near her open hand, he knelt beside her and saw her eyes struggle to stay open, but then fall shut. With a sudden clarity he realized she was slipping into shock.

Soon he found the reasons why, as his hands found warm, sticky blood at her waist and also at her shoulder. Quickly he tore off his coat and pressed it against the wound at her waist. Holding it down with one hand, he checked her shoulder. After a cursory look, he felt confident that it wasn't too bad.

The stomach wound was more serious, and his concern grew as his mind imagined what the bullet could have hit when it had impacted. He ran his other hand across her cheek and her eyes opened and focus on him, although it seemed she did so with difficulty.

"Mulder . . ." she breathed, then coughed, her eyes starting to slip shut again.

"Come on Dana, stay with me!" he said forcefully, his hand slipping back to hold her head up towards him. "Now you remember why you don't want me running off without you, don't you? It's because the partner who gets left behind ends up having to save the idiot partner who ditched them."

"You . . . admit . . . it then," she said raspily, a thin line of crimson threading its way from the corner of her mouth and down her chin.

"Yes, I admit it. I know I'm usually the idiot that runs off without you. So now that I realize this, you have to stick around to make sure I never do it again, alright?" he said with conviction and a little fear.

She looked so pale. He hoped that all the gunfire would have caused someone to call in the disturbance, and that help would be soon in coming. If not, he would have to take his hands off of her long enough to call for assistance. And he wasn't sure he could do that.

She marginally nodded her head and a slight tremor ran through her body, and she coughed for a minute. All the while Mulder held her tightly, as if that simple act was keeping her with him. Then he heard the ambulance and the police sirens somewhere nearby, and silently thanked the person who had called the police.

With difficulty he tore his gaze away from Scully's face for just a moment and looked over at where Krycek had fallen. No one lay there now, and he scanned around the area, but the slime was no where to be seen. Mulder made a mental note to add this fiasco to the list of things that he was going to make sure Krycek paid for.

Then he turned to see the ambulance and police cars pull up to the alleyway. He suddenly breathed a sigh of relief. As the medics and police officers converged on them, he scrambled for his credentials in his pocket, and pulled them out, waving them around.

"FBI! I've got an officer down! The shooter's down too, over in the alley and there's another man on the loose with a probable gunshot wound as well," Mulder fired off, and then moved away from Scully just enough for the paramedics to start working on her. He wasn't going to let her out of his sight until he was certain she was going to be alright.

Only when they had her stabilized and on a gurney headed for the ambulance did Mulder leave her side. Running back to his car, he turned over the engine so he could follow the ambulance to the hospital. At this point, he didn't even care that they both were going to have a lot of questions to answer before the local police finished their investigation.

It had been touch and go, but two days later Scully was awake and talking to Mulder again. The relief that brought him was nearly physical, as if a huge weight had been pulled from his chest. Only one thing still bothered him.

"Why'd you do it Scully?" Mulder asked her, as he sat on the edge of her hospital bed.

"I knew that I was taking a risk, especially in trusting Krycek, but I didn't see any other choice. What he told me he could help me find, achieve . . ." she replied with a tired voice. He wasn't sure if it was from disuse or from regret.

"What was it? Your sister's killer? The men who held you for those months? What would tempt you to do this?" he questioned intently, laying his hand on hers where it sat on the mattress.

She looked at him long and hard, trying to decide what to tell him. How to tell him. She wondered what would be better, a lie or the truth. Somehow she knew that when it came down to it, she'd tell him the truth if he asked her to. No matter how bad it sounded. No matter how much it might hurt. No matter how much she was afraid of it, and what it might do to him, to them.

"He originally said he could give me the man who ordered the attempt on my life which ultimately ended with Melissa's death. He said he was the man who had your father killed too," Scully began, and breathed in heavily as her eyes closed with the memory. Then she looked up again into his shifting hazel, and told him the rest. "But I found out as soon as we were in the hotel that the man we were meeting was more important. I only learned of one of the things he'd done, but it was enough for me to want him dead."

"What did he do?" Mulder quietly asked in surprise. That his compassionate partner would loathe someone she'd never met enough to kill them was beyond his comprehension. He sat there and watched her grave face, searching for some clue as to why. He was certain it must have something to do with her abduction, what she'd suffered. A long silence followed before she answered him.

"He had the boxcar in New Mexico torched. Cancerman was only following this man's orders," she whispered, the words nearly inaudible to him.

The blood in his veins froze the second he heard them. It meant she'd. . .

"Scully . . ." he began, then wordlessly let his voice trail off. Dozens of thoughts and images flashed through his mind as the reality struck home for him. She had gone to that alleyway to bring to justice the man responsible for the attempt on his life. She'd planned, if nothing else, that the man would die at her hands. His *partner* had planed on killing this man for trying to kill *him*. The very thought scared him to death.

At the same time though he felt something leap in his heart with a fervor beyond anything he'd ever felt. This woman; this strong, independent, resourceful, intelligent, and desirable woman had done it all *for* him. She had been proving to him for the last four years the depths of her dedication to him. Proving her love for him.

He realized that she had proven it to him without a doubt. She'd walked through the most hellish things at his side. Had endured hardships, pain and fear for his cause. She'd followed him time and again, tracking him across the country to save his live and heal his wounds.

Every day that she had stayed with him when she didn't have to, the fact that she'd continued with him in his search for the truth *had* been her proving it to him. She was his friend, confidant, advocate, motivator, and partner. It wasn't until just now that he realized how much she meant to him. How much she was to him. And the answer was *everything*.

And now that he'd faced the reality of her love for him, seen its depths, he could only do one thing. Return it.

"Dana," he said with a serious tone, and waited until she brought her crystal blue eyes up to meet his before he continued. "I've always wondered what someone who said they loved me would be willing to do for me. You know what my childhood was like. And you know that I've had a long line of failed attempts at finding someone to spend my life with, from Phoebe to Bambi. But not one of them could show me, really prove to me that they loved me. None of them were willing to sacrifice anything for me. In short, none of them really cared for me, loved me."

"Mulder . . ." Scully began hesitantly, starting to wonder where this long speech was going. Suddenly he reached over and pressed his long, unyielding fingers against her mouth, silencing her. Her eyes widened in shock, and stared at him as he seemed to move closer to her on the bed.

"Of all the women in my life, the *only* one who has ever proven to me that she loved me enough to walk through hell and back with me and for me, who has been willing to kill anyone to protect and avenge me, who loved me even more than her own life is *you*. And I'm just so sorry it took me so long to figure it out," Mulder explained, with all the passion and love he felt in his eyes and his voice. "I love you Dana Katherine Scully, and I want to spend the rest of my life proving it to you."

Her mouth nearly fell open, except he still held his hand to her lips. She'd never allowed herself to consciously admit that the reasons she followed Mulder, had gone through the hell she had for the last four years was because she loved him. But in her heart she'd always known that it was true. Now, here he sat, the man she loved more than anything, telling her he was in love with her, and was willing to prove it. The mere thought of it took her breath away.

"Mulder," she began, her lips vibrating against his fingers, and he pulled them back so she could speak. He watched her as the color drained from her face, and he began to worry. Had he been wrong? No, he was sure he was right. But then, the way she was looking at him . . . it was almost as if she was looking right into him, into his soul. He held his breath as he waited for her to speak.

"I have spent the last four years defending and supporting you against the persecution and disbelief of the Bureau not for your praise, or for your trust or your love," she said, her voice deadly serious. "I did it, because it was the *only* thing that I could do. I did it because I love you, more than my own life Fox William Mulder."

Mulder was certain that his heart had stopped, and that her words had restarted it. He had been right, she did love him. In a moment of pure inspiration, he reached for her shoulders, and pulled her towards him in the bed, letting his lips descend to hers in a searing kiss. Without hesitation, she threw her arms around his neck and returned it, proving with it the depths of their love and dedication to each other.

Only when he pulled back after a long minute did their lips part. They sat there and looked at one another as if for the first time, content in just being with each other, knowing there was so much more in store for them now that the truth was out.

"Scully, just promise me one thing. That next time you feel the need to avenge me that you bring me along, ok?" he said jokingly as he broke the silence.

"Sure. Next time you can get shot," she threw back, matching the smile on his face with one of her own.

"Nope, sorry. Skinner will kill me if I spend any more time in the hospital this year," he replied, running his hand lovingly across her cheek.

"Well then, if acts of heroism are out for ways for you to prove that you love me, you'll have to come up with something else," she suggested with a wink.

"Oh, I have some ideas, believe me," he answered with his famous leer. "And I promise to show you *all* of them."

"I'll hold you to that Mulder."

-End-

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