Hi All! Now, for my next trick . . . Sorry, wrong intro. [g] This is a story I've wanted to do for a long while now: a Sherlock Holmes/X-Files crossover. I know most of you associate my name with MSR's, but I ask that you give this piece a chance. I hope you enjoy . . .
gents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully walked down the silent hallway, her heels making the majority of the noise in the enclosed area.
They were checking out a lead that had been given to them in the form of the address of one professor Dr. Matthew Marcus at the Science Institute in D.C. It had come to them through somewhat mysterious channels. The fact that they both had gotten a copy of the newspaper clipping discussing the professor's grant and listing his address separately led them to question what exactly they were walking into.
Mulder glanced around the place, noting that for a scientific institution, it was too quiet. It was almost as if no one else was using the facility. He turned to visually verify his partner's presence beside him. It was an automatic reaction created from years of their working together. And even though he could 'sense' she was there, it was always a good idea just to look over and confirm it.
"Well Scully, according to the paper, Marcus is working on a practical application for space and time travel calculations. Figure if he does it he'll check out if he won the Nobel prize a couple of years from now?" Mulder quipped as they walked down the corridor of the research facility.
Fighting the smile that tried to break loose at his words, Scully glanced over at him.
"Mulder, it's a scientific fact that time travel is impossible," Scully replied decisively, as Mulder stopped before a door and she was forced to stop or walk into him. It had Dr. Marcus' name emblazoned on it.
He couldn't help but inwardly grin. Would she ever believe in the extreme possibilities that they saw?
"Yeah, but that's the same thing they say about life on other planets Scully. Science just can't explain everything."
She simply sighed quietly in response. With that, they opened the laboratory door and found a disaster. Equipment was everywhere, some of the machinery smashed. There was a desk on the far side of the room, along with a chair that were overturned and papers were everywhere. Obviously from the looks of the place, someone had been looking for something. The questions left now were who had done it, what had they been looking for and had they found it?
"God, it looks like your apartment Mulder," Scully joked half-heartedly as they picked their way through the mess.
"Maybe it's the janitor's week off," he threw back as he dropped down to a crouch to inspect a large piece of equipment smashed on the tile floor.
Scully found a file cabinet in one corner, the drawers from a few spots removed, others hanging open. There were empty file folders and some papers, but nothing in order any more.
The sound of a click, then a humming caught Scully's attention, and she moved away from the cabinet to see if she could locate the source of the sound. She'd barely gotten two feet away before a high pitched whining sound split the air. Mulder looked up at the sound, shoving his hands over his ears in a vain attempt to shut out the whine. Less than a couple of feet away, he saw Scully doing the same, her eyes searching around for the cause of the noise.
Suddenly there was a burst of bright light and they both staggered with the blinding intensity of it. Mulder and Scully tightly closed their eyes, but to no avail. The light had burned bright enough to leave spots, and was still too bright to be closed out with just their eyelids. And what with the sound, they couldn't shield their eyes with their hands without possibly sacrificing their hearing.
Then the floor felt like it was going to split apart, rolling beneath their feet and they began to loose their balance. The last thing Mulder remembered before he began to fall was the faint sound of Scully calling out his name and then the brightness turned into rainbows of colors and abruptly faded into black as he lost consciousness.
cully struggled back to consciousness, realizing that she'd never felt so bone-weary tired in her life. Her head pounded and she struggled to open her eyes. She found that moving was a painful endeavor, and she simply stopped for a moment, trying to get the throbbing of her head to lessen before she tried it again. All in all, she felt like hell.
Mulder would have subconsciously agreed with her if he had been awake enough to acknowledge the ache in his body where it was sprawled across the floor and half on a chair. When he finally did open his eyes, it was to see the fuzzy form of his partner lying across from him and even blurrier surroundings.
"Ok Mulder, what just happened?" Scully groaned as she fought to push herself up from the floor.
"I don't know Scully. Maybe there was a power surge or something," he replied as he pushed himself into a more upright position to look around. It hurt to move, but his curiosity would not be denied because of a headache and a bunch of aches and pains. He'd been through much worse and had still kept going. He blinked a couple more times and the room began to come into focus.
There was a fireplace. There hadn't been a fireplace in Marcus' office he recalled foggily. He stood gingerly and looked around the room with some concern. Where were they?
"Uh, Scully . . ." he began as he continued to quickly take in their surroundings. The Oriental rug; the settee; the wing back chairs . . .
He held his head in his hands for a long minute, the ache there receding finally. This could not be real, he thought dazedly. You just couldn't jump from the 1900's in Washington D.C. to the 1800's in England. Or could you?
Then there were other things that caught his attention. First was the table full of antiquated scientific equipment. Resting on it was a violin. Along the wall there was a bookcase full of medical, scientific and historical texts, information on everything imaginable. By the entryway there was a coat rack with a plaid hunter's cap, cape and red and black smoking jacket draped over it. On the mantle of the fireplace was a tobacco box with a pipe rest beside it.
No. It couldn't . . .
He's fictional, Mulder thought to himself as he moved closer to the table near the windows. Even his extreme possibilities didn't have anything to cover this. He wandered, taking in the items littered across the table. The intricate chemistry set-up was crude compared to the labs in the Bureau, but if he was where he thought he was, when he thought he was, then this was more up-to-date than many police labs had at the time.
He just wasn't sure if he was dreaming or not. And if he wasn't . . .
"Where the hell are we Mulder?" Scully asked as she pushed herself into a more vertical position using the arm of the chair she'd nearly landed on top of. She was slowly beginning to look around and her concern was evident in her tone of voice.
There had been two seconds when Scully was sure that she wasn't seeing things right. Maybe I've got a concussion she thought as she continued to look around the room. But as time dragged on, she was quickly realizing that she wasn't seeing things. Or at least, she wasn't seeing something that wasn't there.
She glanced over to where Mulder was. At this moment, she was at a loss for how and where they were. If anyone had an illogical theory as to what had happened, it would be him.
"I've got a theory Scully, but I don't think you're going to like it . . ."
Mulder started, and walked to the windows to see if he was right, his mind trying to grasp some semblance of reason for how they came to be where it seemed that they were.
As he headed over to the window, Scully fully got to her feet, walking around a bit. After scanning the room for a fourth time, she began to come to the same conclusion as Mulder had already made. Even if it was an impossible one.
"Mulder, we're not where I think we are," she breathed, resting her hands against the back of a chair. "I mean, this place, it has to be a dream or one of those tricks that They like to play. We're really in a cell somewhere, doped up on hallucinogens. Or they put us in a room with these furnishings to mess with our heads. Right?!?"
He would have been inclined to agree with her when they'd first woken up. But now, after staring out the window . . . well, he didn't know how They could have created this illusion. If They had, then they never had a chance in hell of beating Them, and that was something that Mulder was unwilling to believe.
"Scully, I think you'd better come over here and take a look at this," Mulder mumbled almost inaudibly. She walked to where he stood by the window and pushed the curtain back.
Through the window they could see the street below. And it looked nothing like it should. The old Victorian store fronts; the gas lanterns high atop the street lamp poles along the street; the roughly paved road; the horse drawn carriages and people in full dress regalia of a time period almost a century before their time.
Mulder turned from the view to look at his partner, waiting for her rational explanation for what they were seeing. Needing to hear her reason why what they were seeing wasn't real. She suddenly felt like her throat was bone dry as she looked up at him and lost her usually calm mask for just a moment. His face mirrored her own astonishment and confusion.
"Ok," she said tensely, "so I can't explain this."
Their eyes stayed locked for a little longer, the wordless communication passing between them. Questions and assurances about their predicament and that they were going to get out of it. Somehow.
"Let's think about this for a minute," Mulder finally said, walking away from the window to pace to the fireplace. Then he turned and regarded both her and their surroundings. "We were investigating a scientist who was researching time travel theory and who had his lab trashed. Why would someone do that? Maybe to find and destroy research that They couldn't risk being discovered?"
Scully rested up against the wall, listening intently to Mulder's comments. If what he was saying was true, then it was a very good possibility that they had been victims of some sort of time travel experiment.
"If that seriously was the case, then why would they have left all that evidence of a break-in? That seems very sloppy, even for Them. And that still doesn't explain how we got where we are, and I'm still not sure where that is exactly," she pointed out, locking gazes with him in their traditional stare contest.
"Think about it Scully," Mulder said loudly, breaking the contact and beginning to pace on the carpet. "They got the research and the doctor and destroyed the evidence. And if we can't find a way back, They've gotten rid of us too!"
"You're saying that they knew that they had a time travel 'device' and lured us into that room? For what Mulder? The express purpose of getting rid of us? That's hard to believe," she retorted, crossing her arms over her chest in disbelief.
"Maybe it was deliberate. They wanted us gone and they needed test subjects to see if the thing worked. Either way they would get what they wanted. And it would explain the tips. Everything points to a conspiracy."
"But why here? And how did we end up here?"
Before Mulder could answer with his guess on the matter, the door swung open and in stepped a pair of men.
The first one was Mulder's height and build, with dark, receding hair. He had a narrow look to his face, but bright, intelligent dark colored eyes. His clothes were tailored, and obviously he wore them as a statement of his character, which seemed almost egocentric. He stared at them with a measuring gaze, hand on a wood and ivory pipe that partially hung from his drooping lips.
The other man was a little shorter, heavier set and with grayish white hair and a mustache. While his companion was dressed impeccably, this man was more disheveled in his appearance, his image almost an afterthought. He had a dark wood cane in hand, and seemed very comfortable coming into the flat, even as he looked in shock at the unexpected visitors that greeted them.
As soon as Mulder and Scully saw them, their lingering doubts as to their location began to dissipate rapidly.
The men stopped and looked at the couple before them, both a little shocked. To tell the truth, neither Mulder or Scully could really blame them. The older gentleman began to turn for the door again when the younger and taller of the two put a hand to his arm to stop him. Slowly they made their way farther into the room.
"Excuse me, sir, madam, could you please tell me how you arrived at my flat without my knowledge?" the taller man asked, stepping closer to get a better look at his mysterious guests.
The arrival into his own home to find intruders normally would have concerned him. There had been a split second when he was more than willing to let his associate call for a constable, but there was something odd, and almost lost about these two. . .
After trading a look with Scully, Mulder went ahead and asked the pivotal question.
"I apologize for our intrusion sir, but well," Mulder began, then just launched into it. "Are you Sherlock Holmes?"
"Yes. I would think you would be aware of that fact since you found your way here. Any you are?" Holmes responded with some curiosity edged with suspicion that paled in comparison to Scully's disbelief at his announcement.
With a wave of a hand he offered them a seat, waiting until they had both been seated before he and Watson sat down as well. They didn't have to wait long.
Mulder and Scully had sat down quickly and shakily, finding their seats with their hands before they'd fell into the chairs. Mulder was unnerved by Holmes' announcement more than he thought he would be. Even if he was more willing to believe the situation than Scully was, whom he knew intuitively would be denying the reality of this all, it still was a surprise to have someone confirm your craziest speculation yet - that they were in Sherlock Holmes' nineteenth century England.
Finally Mulder's brain came back to the situation. Holmes had asked who they were and he'd been so wrapped up in his inner thoughts that he hadn't answered the question. Well, how do I answer that one, he thought reproachfully. If I tell him the truth, he'll think we're crazy,but I don't know if I can come up with a convincing enough lie that he'll buy.
"My name is Fox Mulder, and this is Dana Scully. We're, well . . ."
"You're American I believe," Holmes pointed out, getting up and walking to the fireplace where his tobacco canister sat on the mantle.
Scully and Mulder watched him with curiosity as he stuffed the pipe that he'd had and then struck a match, lighting the tobacco. Puffing a few times, he pulled the pipe from his mouth and looked at the strange couple sitting in his living room again.
Scully chanced a look at Mulder. She knew that if she'd been in "Holmes'" shoes, she wouldn't believe that they were from the late twentieth century. She still wasn't sure if she believed that they were here herself, and she knew that they belonged in another time. But if they wanted to figure out a way to get home, they needed this man's help to do it. Even if they had to lie about where they came from.
"Yes. We're . . . traveling at the moment and had some problems after we arrived in England. We came here as a last resort, hoping you might be able to help us," she suggested hesitantly, and noticed Mulder nodding his approval of her story.
Holmes had begun to take another puff of his pipe, but stopped what he was doing. He looked at them, this time with closer attention to the little details that were his clues to deciphering the enigma that were his uninvited guests. Something about the way the woman, Dana Scully had said the word "traveler" had set off something. These two were more than they appeared to be at first glance.
The man, Fox Mulder he'd said, seemed very intelligent and intuitive. His eyes had taken note of everything in the room, and continued to scrutinize himself and Watson. That in itself wasn't anything that he could discount their story with. It was by looking at both of them that he could tell that they were something he had not encountered before. They were 'partners' of a sort, some kind of connection between them visible to his scrutiny. In some way, these two worked together, which in itself was strange enough to make him consider their claim. A woman working, and with a man . . . it was so unconventional as to be the truth.
Again he looked them over, studying the clues available to him. There was something to their posture, verbalization and demeanor. It reminded him of something, then he put his finger on it. Abruptly he deduced that they worked for a governmental organization, perhaps constables of some sort. And obviously not any one he was familiar with.
"I realize that you feel untrusting of myself, but I can assure you, I cannot help you if you don't tell me everything there is to know about your situation," Holmes informed them, walking to sit before them, resting back in the high back of the chair.
Mulder let his eyes dart from Holmes to Watson, and then to Scully, who met his gaze with questions of her own visible there. If Holmes wasn't buying the cover story, would he believe the truth? There was only one way to find out, Mulder thought.
"This is going to sound a little crazy but, we're from the future you could say. Although I'm not sure if that's really correct because they've never been able to prove or disprove whether or not you even existed," Mulder tried to explain, but felt like he was failing miserably. At the glances from the two men before them, he was sure he'd just signed Scully and his' commitment papers.
"I'm not sure I quite follow you young man," Watson said, looking at the pair with astonishment and disbelief. "You say that you're from the future, and that we aren't actually real?"
"You're fictional characters in a series of British mystery novels set in the eighteen hundreds," Scully said matter of factly.
Holmes looked at them both. There was no seeming deception in their voices or faces. They believed what they were saying was the truth. But some lunatics believed their truth for reality. But something about these two had him nearly convinced that their words were true.
Just from their sheer appearance he was almost willing to accept their story. Mr. Mulder's suit was cut in a very different style, his tie very unorthodox and the shoes and haircut totally unfamiliar. All in all, it was a very progressive look, compared to the coat tails and Ascots that were the common rage of the day.
But it was Miss Scully who clinched the decision for him. The pants for one. No self respecting woman would wear men's trousers. Then there was the short hair, not even to her shoulders. All spoke of some kind of liberation that was far and beyond the modern day he was living in. On top of it all was the fact that she seemed to be the man's equal, not subservient to him. A force in her own right. All of those things, spoke to him of something ahead of his own knowledge. Even their accents, while similar to the accents of many of the American's he knew, were still foreign and lent credence to their claims.
"Fascinating . . . so you say that you're from the future," Holmes stated with some lingering doubt. "You said something earlier about needing help. Am I assume that your arrival here was not a conscious decision on your parts?"
"You could say that," Mulder remarked, surprised by Holmes' seemingly open mindedness.
"Holmes, you can't possibly think . . ." Watson remarked, astonished. He had listened in awe to the story that these two people had spun. It was impossible to even fathom that they could be telling the truth, and the thought that Holmes was even considering it, or even playing along to find out the validity of their comments shocked him.
"Believe me Dr. Watson, I hardly believe it myself," Scully tossed in candidly, feeling a bit left out by the male club surrounding her. "But we seem to actually be here, so there's not much question on if but more on how it happened."
"Quite so," Holmes offered, his mind continuing to evaluate his strange guests.
With that there was a knock at the door, and Holmes strolled over to answer it.
Mulder and Scully watched and strained to listen to the one sided conversation taking place at the doorway. Scully let her eyes break from the man that could be no one else but Sherlock Holmes and studied the older man, who could only be Dr. John Watson. She had been resistant through it all to believe the reality that was facing, her, but the proof that was continuing to assail her was becoming overwhelming.
"I apologize, but we'll have to continue this later," Holmes said, returning from the entryway. "I've been called upon to look over a curious murder. Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard seems to think there's something unusual about it."
Scully couldn't help but give a wane smile and shake her head. Even in nineteenth century England bizarre cases seemed to follow Mulder. She knew what he was going to ask before the words came out of his mouth.
"Would you mind if I . . . I mean we tagged along. We sort of have some experience with things like this."
"If you'd like Mr. Mulder, but I doubt that it would be wise for the lady to accompany us. It might be a grizzly sight," Holmes commented brusquely, his tone colored by his questioning of this man's motives.
Mulder stifled a chuckle at the comment, ignoring the disbelief he heard in Holmes' voice. He didn't really expect Holmes or Watson to believe them. But the passing insult to Scully and her ability to handle a murder scene . . . pre-women's lib or not, he knew that she wasn't going to take it lightly.
"I'm certain it will be, but I've seen much worse. I know you'll be rather disbelieving, but where we come from, I am a trained and certified medical doctor. So if anyone here is eminently qualified, it's myself."
"Well, uh, yes, of course, if you'd like to accompany . . ." stammered Watson, taken aback by her announcement. Then he pointed out something neither of the agents or Holmes had thought of yet. "Unfortunately neither of you are properly attired for out of doors."
Looking down at themselves, they realized that the stylish fashions of the late twentieth century were a little too modern for the eighteen hundreds. Mulder's suit could possibly pass, but Scully was out of it till they could get her something else to wear. Mulder glanced up at Holmes and Watson with disappointment.
At that gaze, Holmes realized how important their coming along was to the man. No matter if he was still slightly disbelieving of their story,these two seemed to genuinely want to help, and needed his as well. Plus he would rather have them where he could keep an eye on them, and observe them some more. And to do that, they would need to come with them to the scene.
"Mr. Mulder seems to be the same size as myself. I should have a suit you can borrow, perhaps shoes as well. As for Miss Scully, the lady below us might be able to help us," Holmes announced.
"Thank you," Mulder offered politely before turning to Scully with his ever favorite lopsided smile.
She simply sighed and rolled her eyes. Another Mulder goose chase she thought. And in another time to top it off.
inding a suit for Mulder was a simple task. Holmes had been right about their heights being the same, and had found him a pair of shoes as well. When he emerged, Scully couldn't do anything but smile.
The jacket was double breasted, with tails and a vest underneath. A style that Mulder would never have chosen to wear on his own. The starch white shirt beneath had a high collar and Mulder had attempted to tie an Ascot around his throat. She did her best to stifle a giggle with her hand. Even here, a century back, Mulder had somehow found the most hideous looking tie he could find in Holmes' closet no doubt. Then she looked down at his shoes and the pants, noting the styles that were long out of date.
Well she thought conspiratorially, it had been his idea to go out in this era. He might as well feel as silly as she was going to. Looking back up to his face, she noticed him glaring at her, and realized he'd noticed her attempt to squelch her chuckling.
"Don't laugh Scully. Wait your turn," Mulder admonished her.
She didn't need Mulder to remind her. She knew that she was in for it. The torture of running around in three inch heels was going to be a picnic next to the skirts she knew she was going to have to wear while they were here. Even if she was still trying to believe exactly where they were. Just then Dr. Watson returned from the flat downstairs with a bundle of cloth in his arms. Scully got up and met him halfway.
"Here you are my dear. Hopefully something here will fit you," he said brightly, seemingly happy to help.
"How did you explain to her about needing all these clothes?" she asked, taking the mess of clothes and accessories from him.
"I explained that my niece had arrived unexpectedly, but that her cases had been lost. So she was more than happy to help."
From behind her Mulder's voice rumbled I her ear. "If you need any help getting dressed Scully . . ." he remarked with his usual suggestive banter. Even during this whole incident, he was continuing their regular banter and connection. In a sense, keeping 'them' the same in the midst of a totally different situation.
"I'll be right back," she said, and proceeded to the spare room to change.
Five or ten minutes later she emerged, looking decidedly more lady like, and less Scully like. Except for the attitude, Mulder found out quickly. He had whistled at her appearance, taking in the white button down blouse with the high lace collar and the full, floor length blue skirt and had received a death glare from her. Holmes and Watson also seemed appalled at his behavior, and gave him a reprimanding look.
"You look splendid," Watson informed her, succeeding in making her smile for a moment.
She slowly walked over to Mulder's side, getting used to the feel of all the fabric constricting her movements and the lace up boots on her feet. Once she was next to him, he gave her another once over, this time with more humor than innuendo. He knew that the repressive nature of the clothes were going to wear on her, and felt that he needed to help her to keep her perspective on the situation.
"I like it Scully. Maybe you should keep the look when we get back."
"Don't start with me Mulder," she sighed, already missing her suit. Then she turned to Holmes and Watson with her regular politeness. "Well, shall we go?"
Going to the entryway, Holmes and Watson picked up their appropriate out of doors clothes, including a 'dapper' looking bowler for Watson.
With Holmes taking the lead, Mulder escorted Scully out the door of the flat, leaving Dr. Watson to close up behind them. They navigated the stairs with care, especially Scully, as she tugged up her skirts a bit to see where she was walking.
It was strange enough to be in another time let alone be dressed to the point where she couldn't even see where she was going. She sighed and followed along, Mulder at her side.
As they exited onto the street, any leftover doubts Mulder and Scully still had about where they were dissolved. In front of them was the roughly paved streets, little store fronts and the horse and buggies going up and down the lane that they'd seen from the upper flat's window. It was just too elaborate a facade for Them to have made up to keep them guessing about their sanity.
While they locked eyes and communicated their astonishment and awe, Holmes hailed them a cab.
"Miss Scully," Holmes said, turning back to her with an outstretched hand.
Only when she heard her name did she break contact with Mulder's gaze, and she found that there was a dark wood carriage sitting at the curb. Still surprised, she set her hand in Holmes' and let him help her into the cab, sitting down on the obviously leather seats. Next up was Mulder, who came and sat beside her. After that, Watson climbed in with difficulty and then Holmes, who paused at the door momentarily to give the address to the driver.
They rode in stunned silence, and their hosts seemed content to let them do so. When the cab finally came to a stop several bone jarring miles later, it was a reverse situation getting out. But this time Mulder waited to give Scully a hand out, even while making sure that he knew where their 'guardians' were.
Within moments they had walked over to the scene of the evident crime, a side street off a main road in what seemed to be a nice section of town. Heck, Mulder thought with a second of deja vu, it felt just like normal: him and Scully walking to a crime scene. Except for the clothes, he might have even bought it. Coming within the protective circle of constables and other assembled authority figures, Mulder and Scully tried to size up the situation.
"Holmes, Dr. Watson," said the tough looking man in the three piece suit near the body. He looked distinguished enough to be a member of high society, but his clothes were rumpled looking and he seemed too relaxed at the sight of a body to be anything other than a seasoned peace officer.
"Inspector," offered Holmes in return, identifying the man for the edification of his guests, then introduced them to the Inspector. "May I introduce some recent acquaintances of mine? Mr. Fox Mulder and Miss Dana Scully of the United States, Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard."
Lestrade took Mulder's hand and shook it politely, then nodded with a slight bow to Scully. Then he launched into the situation, focusing his words towards Holmes and Watson.
"The woman is a young socialite, tentatively identified as Miss Constance Aredale of London," Lestrade spoke clearly, allowing everyone within the circle of information to hear him, but no one else. "She was found here in the side street an hour or more ago by some passerbys. And from the looks of it, I would have to say that she was left here after she died."
Scully and Mulder looked down as did Watson and Holmes to note the covered body. Beneath the tarp, Scully could see the outline of the body. There was a hand barely visible at the edge of the cloth where it hadn't quite gotten covered. She nudged Mulder in the arm, and once she caught his eyes, she let her gaze flicker from him, to the hand and back again. He finally picked up the clue, and focused in on the sight.
On the woman's fingers, Mulder could see a white dusting, like a fine powder. Intrigued, he bent closer to find traces of it on the ground as well.
But before he could do anything more, a couple of constables passed him, picked up the body up and placed it on a stretcher, carrying it to a waiting wagon.
"Inspector Lestrade wants to ship the body back to the local morgue. Watson will be going to oversee the examination while I stay here and investigate the matter further," Holmes announced, talking about Watson's role as if it was a given fact that he'd do whatever Holmes wanted him to.
"I'd like to go along with him, if no one minds," Scully spoke up, moving over to where Watson was standing, near the wagon bound for the morgue.
Suddenly Scully's eyes turned to face Mulder's piercing gaze. She'd said it before she'd discussed it with him, and it was only after the words had left her mouth that she realized that her going to the autopsy would more than likely split them up. Mulder gave her a reassuring look, and moved to lay a hand on her arm.
"Sounds like a good idea Scully. I think I'll stay here and look over the crime scene evidence with Holmes," Mulder told her. Scully gave him a light squeeze of his hand and then climbed in after Watson into a waiting cab to follow the constables and the medical wagon. "I guess its time to do what we do best."
Then the carriage pulled away, and Mulder watched Scully and Watson leave. Turning back to the crime scene, he suddenly realized that he was about to do something than no one could ever say that they'd done. Investigate a crime with Sherlock Holmes.
With a new perspective on the situation, he headed back over to see what he could help Holmes find in the way of clues.
cully had barely gotten in the door of the examination room. Dr. Watson's insistence had been the only thing that had moved the guard at the door.
Once they'd gotten inside the cold room, she decided she wasn't sure that she actually wanted to be there.
Taking one of the white smocks from a rung, she quickly donned it. She felt more like a butcher than a medical doctor in the get up. And the surroundings did nothing to help alleviate that feeling. Ruthlessly she shoved the feelings aside. There was a crime to solve no matter how she looked or felt.
She had to defer to Watson and the other 'male' doctor that was conducting the autopsy, but she was making an attempt to watch everything carefully and take mental notes in her head. God, she'd been here less than a day and she already missed not having her micro recorder to keep her notes with.
The medical examiner began the autopsy, taking one of a half dozen scalpels on the side table and moving to the woman's body. Before he made the first cut, he looked at Scully with a look she'd grown accustomed to from the male doctors and agents back in the academy: reproach.
She glared back at him, her eyes saying in now uncertain terms that she belonged there, no matter what he felt. With a visible gesture of defeat, the man dropped his gaze and went to work.
It wasn't until the physician had finished his highly incomplete investigation of that Scully was really allowed a chance to examine the body herself.
"What's that," Scully commented, reaching over and taking a blunt instrument from the table. With a practiced move, she nudged the shoulder of the body, revealing a small puncture wound.
"It looks like a needle mark," Watson said, shocked.
"But are there any signs of poisoning or the like that would have caused her death?" she questioned.
Without her lab, she was depending on Watson's practical experience to point out things she might not recognize. Enlarged organs, discoloration and the like. She had looked for some signs herself, but hadn't detected anything significant.
"No. Not any visible signs at least."
Sighing, she let the shoulder of the body slip back. Until she could do some chemical analysis, she was back to square one, she thought to herself. There were no evident reasons that the woman on the table was dead. That in itself was enough to frustrate her.
It's a damn X-File, she thought with an inward moan of exasperation.
With a sudden flash, she thought of Holmes' lab set up, and decided that perhaps she could put it to some use. Looking around, she found an empty vial and stopper.
With the blood-filled vial tucked in her pocket, she and Watson made their way out the door.
ulder had taken to the footwork with Holmes like it was second nature. Which it was, but it still felt weird investigating a case without Scully next to him.
Of course, the truth was that it was like working with himself to some degree. Holmes seemed focused, obsessive almost. And prone to making leaps of his own logic that would probably send Scully into fits.
"There was some powder here, near where the body was," Mulder pointed out, bringing Holmes' attention to the dust as his memory allowed him to visualize the body as he'd seen it earlier, letting his mind see the details of the scene.
There wasn't much left, but Holmes fingered what was there, as if he could identify it by touch. He was surprised to find out moments later that Holmes could.
"It's cement powder, from a manufacturing plant or warehouse. Its' an acceptable grade by the texture, but not high quality," Holmes informed him, still hunched over the location of the evidence as Mulder's jaw struggled not to drop.
Looking around, Mulder decided to get up and walk around the area, to get a feel for the place, his profiling skills kicking in as he judged the place and type of crime they were dealing with. As he did, Holmes continued to search the ground for clues. He picked up a small chunk of what looked like ordinary earth and rubbed it between his fingers.
"There's some dirt here as well. From the coloration and texture, I would say it is from the south side of London. A few miles from here, and not the kind of place a lady of Miss Aredale's caliber would frequent."
In a near imitation of his partner, Mulder's eyebrows raised. All that information from just the look and feel of some dirt? Hell, Holmes might just classify as an X-File himself.
"This looks like murder," Mulder commented simply as he continued looking around the alley way.
"Any medical evidence Dr. Watson and Miss Scully find may help us determine the exact cause of death," Holmes suggested as he let his eyes sweep over the scene as he stood, finding nothing else of interest to him.
As they finished up, Mulder kept running the clues and impressions he'd gotten in his head, looking for a correlation between a young socialite, the lower south side and cement dust.
Once they caught what passed for a cab in this era, he and Holmes started back for the flat to meet up with Scully and Watson again. Mulder rested in the carriage, his mind whirling. All he wanted to do was get back to Baker Street, sit down with Scully and go over the facts. The fact that he couldn't just call her up on his cel phone and discuss his findings was frustrating. Maybe she was right in thinking he was addicted to his cel phone, he thought with a small grin.
The truth of the matter was that he'd learned to rely on her as his sounding board. And he knew that he needed her input if he was going to make any sense out of this puzzle. And maybe with Holmes and Dr. Watson's two cents, they might actually figure this mystery out.
And if they were lucky, they might even be able to find a way to get home.
"So, you didn't go catatonic without your cel phone, huh?" she smiled, easing into the inevitable conversation.
"Nope, but I did find it extremely hard to do an investigation without being able to call you and bounce my crazy theories off of your logical skepticism," he replied with a lopsided grin of his own.
They sat there in a companionable silence, reconnecting with one another. It was essential to their survival this time around. For they only had each other to keep them tethered.
"Well?" Mulder asked her, confiding in her counsel as usual.
"Mulder . . . what is it about you?" she said almost bitterly with a glint in her eye that assured him that she was being sarcastic. "At this point in time, I can't give you a good reason as to why this woman is dead."
Mulder looked at her with astonishment, then understanding. He couldn't help but grin at the implications. He began to open his mouth to say it, but she beat him to it.
"It 'looks' like an X-File."
Mulder started laughing.
It started of as a chuckle, then got rolling and he couldn't stop. Scully just stood there, watching her partner break into hysterics. It took him a while, but he finally got his laughter under control, and then looked at her with an indefinable expression on his face.
"You've got to admit Scully, that even in another century that it's pretty funny to have an X-File drop into our laps."
She shook her head. It was just like Mulder to see the humor in all this. They were stuck in another century and now were embroiled in a local murder investigation that had overtones of the paranormal.
"They follow you wherever you go, I guess," she tossed back.
Suddenly the partners realized that they were being stared at. Turning, the found Watson and Holmes standing across the room and looking at them with scrutiny.
"Excuse me, you mentioned something called an 'X-file'? What is that?" Watson asked suddenly. His admiration for Dana's skills had increased since the autopsy, and he was eager to find out what she'd done to gain such knowledge.
Scully threw a hand over her mouth to hide the grin that had appeared there. She wasn't about to explain it to them. Leave that to Mulder, she thought. He always made it sound weirder than she could. She shot him a look that said, 'you explain it hotshot'.
Thanks Scully, Mulder thought as he tried to come up with a way of explaining the X-Files without sounding crazier than they had when they'd said they were from the future. At this rate, they'll think we're escaped mental patients.
"The X-Files are the cases that we work on in our field. They're usually cases that have to do with unexplainable or supernatural phenomena."
Holmes' eyebrows furrowed at this, imagining what Mulder was trying to suggest.
"That sounds like a particularly interesting field of investigation," Holmes responded finally. He couldn't help but feel some kind of kinship to this younger man, who seemed to have such a drive to finding the answers as he did himself. "I would assume that means you might have seen something similar in your previous cases that would correlate with the situation we have now. Perhaps you could share your findings?"
"I think pooling our knowledge would be a great help," Mulder replied, glancing at Scully for confirmation.
Scully shrugged and sat back, watching Mulder get up and move about. Mulder thinking mode, she thought sarcastically.
"I don't know about you Holmes, but I didn't find too much at the scene. The information that the powder substance was cement and the dirt's location didn't help clue us into who did the murder, just gave us a place to start looking," Mulder said as he paced the room.
"Well, I have something I want to do some analysis on," Scully announced, producing the vial from her pocket. "This is some of the victims' blood, and I had hoped that something in Mr. Holmes' lab here would be able to help me pinpoint a cause of death."
Mulder and Holmes both looked at her with stunned expressions. With a slightly cautious look, Holmes waved her to his chemistry set up, and she moved to meet him there, vial in hand.
With Holmes distinguishing different chemicals for her, Scully had been able to identify a large concentration of digitalis in Constance Aredale's blood within half an hour of starting. With that information, the needle mark that Scully and Watson had found made more sense. The drug had obviously been injected into her system, causing her death.
"The question isn't if it killed her, but rather why," Scully commented, looking at the slide in her hand with the blood smear that she'd removed from Holmes' microscope.
"An allergic reaction perhaps," Watson suggested helpfully, and Scully arched an eyebrow at him as she considered it.
"But that would mean that the person who killed her knew that she was allergic, or it was an accidental discovery," Holmes added, moving to his chair from the table.
"From the scene and the impressions I got of the perpetrator, he must have had an intimate knowledge of her. I think he knew what he was doing and wanted to make it look as little like a murder as possible," Mulder commented as he continued to wander about the room.
With the pieces of information they'd gathered, everyone seemed content to mull over the clues that had been presented to them so far. Mulder plopped down in the settee again, with Scully coming back to sit next to him. Holmes had lit up his pipe in his seat near the fireplace with Watson sitting across from him.
"So then Mulder, would you classify this mystery as a three pipe problem?" she asked quietly with a smile.
"You could say that," he said, glowering at her, a definite groan in his voice.
Then Holmes' voice cut through their conversation.
"Well, it has been a rather long day. I think dinner is in order."
inner was an adventure.
Holmes had enough of a reputation to get them into the dinner club on an hour's notice. Obviously his status as a world famous sleuth had not hurt his ability to get into places.
They were shown past other elegantly dressed guests to a table by a dance floor. The china looked unused, and the crystal and silver was spotless. Mulder started past Scully, then saw the reproachful look from Watson and Holmes, and instead pulled out her chair.
"It's not often that I'm entertaining guests," Holmes admitted, taking a menu from the tuxedoed waiter's hands.
"Neither are we," Mulder admitted, removing his gaze from his menu to regard his host. "Scully and I are usually too busy chasing down the bad guys that we don't have much of a social life."
Watson dropped his menu, and stared at them, a bewildered look on his face.
"I've been wondering about that," Watson spoke up. "I understand how Holmes and I use our last names, but why do you refer to such a charming woman by her surname?"
That got a look of surprise out of Mulder. Scully smiled and answered.
"Well Mulder doesn't much care for his given name, and so I call him by his surname, as he requested I do many years ago. As to why he calls me by mine," she said jovially, "I don't know."
All eyes then turned on Mulder, and he got the distinct feeling that he was trapped. Without batting an eye, he gave them all a grin and came up with the first answer that came to mind.
"Well, she always struck me as a 'Scully' rather than a 'Dana'," he joked, picking up the glass of water and taking a gulp to keep from having to explain any further.
Instead, the group simply dropped the issue and concentrated in engaging in light social banter that ended up focusing on the X-Files cases and Holmes and Watson's investigations and eating their dinner.
As soon as they'd finished their meal, wrapping up with some cups of coffee that Mulder and Scully had been missing, Holmes paid the bill and the foursome got up to leave. Another carriage ride later and they were back at 221b Baker Street.
By the time they arrived at the flat again, Mulder and Scully were exhausted and more than ready for bed. Except that they didn't exactly know where they were going to be able to sleep. With that concern, they hesitantly walked into the common room of Holmes' flat.
"I had the serving woman come in and make up the spare room. I'm sorry Mr. Mulder, but I can only offer you the sofa in the study," Holmes said, walking in from his bedroom as he tied a smoking jacket in place.
Scully flashed her partner an unusually bright smile. If Holmes only knew, she thought wickedly.
"I'm certain Mulder will be fine with that arrangement," she replied with a grin, and glanced over at Mulder as he shot her a sheepish look
he next morning Mulder awoke to the smell of tea and fresh baked bread.
Mulder had to admit that he'd slept fitfully. Not like that was uncommon, even when he wasn't without his couch and a television set, but it was more pronounced without anything to keep his attention. As it was, he'd ended up staying up late reading, as the walls were lined with plenty of books for him to peruse. He'd awoken only a few minutes ago to hear the door shutting in the hallway.
He opened the drapes to let in the morning sun, then he redressed in the suit Holmes had lent him, slipping on a new shirt. Dressed, he then walked out of the small, study into the main common room of the flat. Holmes was already up, like Mulder had expected. The excess energy he'd seen in him yesterday, the same energy he's expected to see had gotten Holmes up early to ponder the case.
Scully was out ten minutes after the waiting woman who'd brought in the breakfast trays left. She'd dressed in a different outfit today. Obviously there had been two sets of clothes in the bundle that Watson had brought up the day before, and she now had a red skirt and another white blouse. She moved from her bedroom doorway to the table and sat in the vacant chair next to Mulder.
Once everyone was seated, Watson poured tea for everyone, and they began eating breakfast.
"This morning I believe we may need to split our attention again to research the limited information we have at our disposal," Holmes said, then sipped his tea. "There are two places to go today. The Brighton Gentleman's Club and Scotland Yard Headquarters."
Scully frowned around her mouthful of biscuit. Something told her that neither she or Mulder were going to like what Holmes had in mind for their 'assignments' today.
"Mr. Mulder, I think you and Dr. Watson would be better suited for speaking with the members of the Gentleman's club, as they would not admit Miss Scully and I am persona non grata at the moment. I will take the opportunity to speak with the constable handling the matter, as well as Inspector Lestrade again, with Miss Scully accompanying me."
Mulder scowled a little, got up from the table and walked to the window. He had a hard enough time being teamed up with Holmes the day before, and now he was going to be babysat by the good 'doctor'. He just didn't like being split up from Scully. They worked better together than separately. He'd learned that the hard way.
Scully got up from her seat, prompting looks to be directed her way as she came over to where Mulder was standing. She'd seen in that frown his disquiet about being split up again.
"Mulder, we don't know the city and we're not known to anyone here. We need their help," she said as she lightly touched his arm, trying to placate his uneasy feelings regarding the situation.
"But I don't have to like it," he mumbled as his annoyance began to fade a little.
She gave him a smile, just the corners of her mouth turning up. He was so contradictory some days.
"I see. You can ditch me but I can't ditch you, huh?"
That got a lopsided grin out of him, and the sparkle came back into his eyes.
"Aw Scully, I only ditch you when I'm going after morphing bounty hunters and UFO wrecks. Besides, you never like going on my wild goose chases with me anyhow."
That got a smile out of both of them, and she could tell that he was in a much better frame of mind about getting split up now.
"Ok. Just keep Holmes out of trouble, alright?" he smirked as they returned to the table.
ulder followed Dr. Watson into the posh club late that morning. The distinguished man was greeted warmly by the gentlemen walking out of the club, shaking hands and trading hellos.
Well, Mulder thought, if Holmes is the pariah, Watson doesn't seem to suffer for it. Unlike me and Scully. That little thought jabbed at his soul for a moment, but he pushed the pang of guilt away so he could concentrate on the case at hand.
His eyes scanned the room quickly, taking in the atmosphere of old money and opulence. It was all old, polished oak and functionally elegant furniture. The air wreaked of cigar smoke, expensive liquor and after shave. And around the large sitting room were men of all ages, but with one thing in common. They were the elite of society here in England, and they didn't care who knew it.
"Can you point out anyone here who knew the woman who was killed?" Mulder asked Watson quietly.
"We can try Lord Malcolm over there," Watson said politely, pointing to the tall, slightly graying man with the impeccable clothing speaking with a few other men. "His daughter was friends with Miss Aredale."
Watson took the lead again, ushering them through the crowds and introduced him to Lord Malcolm. Politely shaking hands, Mulder then began asking simple questions, hoping to gain the man's trust. Within minutes Lord Malcolm was divulging the secrets of Constance Aredale's life, including her intended, a Scott Worthington who was a college professor and their planned nuptials.
As Mulder was about to walk away, another gentleman walked up to them, insinuating himself into the conversation.
"I heard my name being mentioned," he said simply, his tone irritated. "I'm Scott Worthington. You were asking questions about Constance?"
Surprised at the sudden appearance of Constances' fiancé, Mulder quickly tried to catch his mental balance and see what he could gain from the man.
"Yes, we're assisting the constabulary with the investigation," Mulder began, and got a sad shake of the head from Worthington. "I'm sorry for your loss. I'm certain Miss Aredale loved you very much."
At that, the man's face fell. Obviously there was more to the engagement than he'd heard. Mulder wondered if he should ask about the reasons for his reaction, but Worthington beat him to it, volunteering the information.
"My marriage to Constance had been arranged several years ago, but last year, while I was overseas studying, she had sent me word that she wanted to break off the engagement. She'd said that she'd met another man, a Michael Cliffton. One from the lower class, the love of her life she claimed," Worthington choked out. "She wrote that she was willing to deny her own station to be with him. At that, I returned home and convinced her that I loved her. With her family's help, we persuaded her to not see him any more. He was supposedly very upset when she stopped meeting him, or receiving his letters."
"So your engagement was still on," Mulder asked.
"Yes. But in the last week Constance had received several threatening letters from him, telling her that she had to come back to him or he'd kill her. She was very afraid of what might happen. I guess that she was right to be afraid," Worthington explained.
"Do you know anything about this man?"
"Just that he worked somewhere in a factory on the lower, south side of town."
Feeling like he'd gotten all he could from them, Mulder and Watson thanked them and left Lord Malcolm and Worthington's company.
As they headed towards the door, he felt like the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place. A crime of passion. It fit his emerging profile. And Mulder was hoping that once they helped Holmes solve the crime, that he might be able to assist he and Scully in finding a way back home.
"I think we can assume that none of these men committed the murder. I doubt any of them would dirty their hands with it. With the information about this other man, it seems likely that he would be the main suspect. Whomever did this seemed so consumed by his need for killing her, they didn't consider the evidence they were leaving at the scene, hence the cement dust."
"Indeed," Watson replied, more of a statement than a question.
Mulder looked up from his contemplation to regard Watson. He stood there, hat in his hands and seemingly waiting on Mulder's next words. It was like a puppy waiting on his master.
He was waiting on Mulder to come up with the theory to solve the crime, he suddenly realized.
God, he disliked this, he mentally groaned. Watson was so used to accepting Holmes' comments, he was equally hesitant to challenge Mulder's theories. And without someone to question him, his mind couldn't focus on just one possibility. He had to try and sift through the thoughts and ideas he had on his own, discarding one possibility after another in favor of something more realistic and practical.
After all the years of working with Scully and being irritated by her skepticism, he found that he missed being questioned. Missed being challenged.
He missed her.
olmes was a very brilliant man, but still had the mind-set of the middle ages Scully realized as they walked though the halls of Scotland Yard to their, no, his meeting with Lestrade at Scotland Yard Headquarters.
Scully had tried, rather unsuccessfully to make him consider several other options in regards to the investigation when they had seen the constable at the police station, but to no avail. He was rather opinionated about his ability to deduce the circumstances and perpetrators of any crime, and she'd found him to be very resistant to her ideas.
Just the thought of how he'd almost neglected to introduce her to the constable in charge of the case at the police station infuriated her.
She felt rather like a fifth wheel. But she wasn't going to let him stop her from making her own observations and asking questions of him. Or challenging his answers, much to his obvious displeasure. It was becoming very evident that he was less than thrilled with her determination to be part of the investigation rather than sit back while he made his own conclusions.
God, she thought as they approached Inspector Lestrade's office, she'd rather have Mulder any day of the week complaining about her logical skepticism over being ignored outright.
Then as they walked in the door, and Lestrade gave her a shocked and irritated look, she knew that Holmes wasn't alone in his blatant disregard for her presence.
"Miss Scully, Inspector Lestrade," Holmes introduced them again, and the Inspector took her hand in a gentlemanly fashion, but with some reservation.
"Inspector. We thought we'd come speak with you in regards to the investigation into Miss Aredale's death," Scully said, hoping her formality would sway the man to take her seriously.
It did not.
The rest of the discussion as to suspects and evidence was done with a flurry of male voices, and when her opinion was given, she was looked at for a moment, then they went on as if she had never spoken. By the time thy had left, she was fuming inwardly. The feminist within her wanted to tell them both off, but she realized that in this day and age, she would never have been taken seriously, and Holmes' willingness to even take her with him spoke on his belief about her being from another time. And in that she found a little solace.
Now, sitting in the cab returning to the flat, she found herself longing for the days of the Academy and the Bureau. When the sexist attitude of the male population could be fought with business suits and slacks.
She missed her clothes. She missed her job. She missed her freedom. And she missed having a partner next to her that valued her opinion, even when it clashed with his own.
She couldn't wait to get back to the flat.
eturning from another long day of seemingly fruitless investigating, Mulder walked into the flat and tiredly fell onto the settee. He felt as if he'd spent another day in the basement doing paperwork. It wasn't so much that they'd done a lot. More the fact that it seemed like they weren't getting anywhere.
Watson had left to attend to some of his own, personal affairs, and had told Mulder he'd return shortly. Until then, he was stuck waiting for Holmes to return with Scully.
While he waited, he ended up looking around, curiosity about the rest of the flat getting the better of him. It wasn't more than half an hour later when Holmes and Scully walked in. Mulder found a similar look on her face as she approached him. He patted the space beside him in invitation for her to sit, and she did so, almost gratefully. She gave him a quick glance, then her eyes darted over to where Holmes had wandered over to his chemistry set-up, taking the samples that they'd been able to get from the constables. She watched him moving vials of liquids as he began to mix them.
Only then did she turn her attention back to Mulder. And she looked at him with an open expression on her face that he hadn't seen in a long time.
"Remind me to thank you in the future for actually listening to me. I swear, I thought I was part of the decoration. Or was the decoration. I don't think he even considered one of my suggestions. And if he did, he sure didn't acknowledge it."
He stared at her with a dazed look as her words sunk in. That fact that even though he ditched her, that her opinion often was contradictory to his and they fought on occasion over the validity of their theories, she still appreciated that he respected her touched him deeply.
"Only if you let me thank you at the end of every long speech you give about how something isn't possible from now on Scully. I've finally gained an appreciation for having you keep me on track."
She raised an eyebrow at him in response. Obviously his outing with Watson had left him with a bitter taste to sleuthing without her. Well, I guess that makes the feeling mutual she thought with some brightness. Somehow it didn't surprise her.
It was now fairly obvious to her, and probably Mulder too that for all the similarities that they shared with the famous investigator and his assistant, there were a lot of differences as well. Ones that both Mulder and Scully had just realized the magnitude of. And also how those differences had made them such a cohesive team, rather than a loosely put together partnership like their current benefactors.
And they knew now that they wouldn't trade their partnership for anything in the world.
fter Holmes had completed his analysis of the evidence, he and Mulder began discussing the clues they had in regards to the murder.
Mulder had divulged what he'd learned from the Gentleman's Club, including the impressions he'd gotten from Worthington, the name of Michael Cliffton as the lower class lover that Constance had been seeing and shared his profile on the murderer. At that, Holmes gave Mulder a pointed stare.
"Profile?" Holmes asked, intrigued.
"Uh, yeah," Mulder said, realizing that in this day and age, he didn't think anyone had ever heard of profiling criminals. So he went on to explain the process, much to Holmes' interest. When he was done, it seemed that Holmes had a greater understanding and respect for the process, and maybe even for him and his talents as well.
Holmes got up and filled his pipe, striking a match and lighting the tobacco. After a few puffs, he turned and regarded Mulder, who had come into the sitting room and ended up sprawled in a chair, his mind obviously struggling for the elusive answer.
"You're missing something," Holmes announced as he walked to his study in the other room, smoke trailing behind him.
Scully traded questioning looks with Mulder before Holmes returned with a polished wood pipe, similar to the one he had in his mouth. Walking over to where Mulder was sitting, he handed the pipe to him.
"What's this for?" Mulder stammered as he held the pipe gingerly in his hands.
"Every good investigator should have one," Holmes said, pulling his own pipe from his mouth as he talked. "Besides, it assists your thought processes."
Scully just smiled politely as Mulder grinned like a little boy. What a present: a pipe from Sherlock Holmes.
"Thanks," Mulder replied, then looked down at his clothes. Except that they weren't his clothes. They were Holmes'.
He had Holmes' clothing on and was holding his pipe. It was disconcerting, and he was filled with a urge to connect with his own reality. Be himself again before he started being a copy of the man before him. Getting up in a swift move, he started for the study he'd been using to sleep in. Watson, Holmes and Scully's eyes all followed him as he walked away from them.
"I'm just going to change. I think for right now, since we're indoors and all, I'd feel more comfortable in my own clothes."
And he didn't think it would be a bad thing to have his gun at his back either, he thought with a pang of sudden concern. Something was about to happen, they were on the edge of a breakthrough with the case and he felt like he needed to be dressed in his own clothes when it occurred.
As he left, Holmes headed to his desk and wrote out a letter, and walked out the door for a moment, returning before Mulder emerged.
A while later Mulder came back out, looking again like a federal agent of the FBI and feeling more like himself. He glanced around and noticed that Scully was missing. He started for the closed guest room door when Watson met him halfway.
"Miss Scully decided she'd join you in changing into your eras' clothes. She should be out in a minute or so." Mulder nodded, knowing that if he'd been feeling uncomfortable in this time's clothes, she was having a worse time of it.
Then there was a knock on the door, and Watson went to answer it. As he spoke to the person, Mulder went over and sat beside Holmes. As they sat there, Holmes began to speak aloud about the crime, almost sounding like he was writing a case report. A wrap-up case report.
"Miss Aredale was murdered with a dose of digitalis. There was a high concentration of digitalis in her blood, which Miss Scully was able to find because she was looking for something fairly simple but undetectable. The cement dust was on the murderer, probably his clothes and where he worked in a factory on the lower south side. His shoes left both the cement dust and the dirt," Holmes said slowly, puffing on his pipe at intervals.
"But the man who killed her had to have been more than an acquaintance," Mulder added quickly, wanting to make sure Holmes understood the importance of fact. "When I spoke with Worthington at the Gentleman's Club, he said that she had been seeing a lower class man, yes, but that she'd rejected him in favor of him."
"It seemed obvious that this jilted lover, Michael Cliffton is the murderer. The evidence all points to him, and I've contacted the local constables go investigate him, and most likely arrest him for the murder," Holmes informed Mulder.
At that Mulder was shocked. He hadn't realized that Holmes had decided already who had done the crime, and sent the police off to arrest the main suspect. It concerned him because there was just something about this all that didn't fit.
"But I don't think that he did it. This whole thing seems very well thought out. The murderer knew that the digitalis would be fatal, and I don't see anyone besides her close family that would know that," Mulder pressed. "How would he get the digitalis? And besides, if he'd been sending her threatening letters, wouldn't he know that he'd be a suspect? It seems very convenient."
Mulder sat there and pondered the situation, and Holmes began to consider Mulder's words. There was too much coincidence. It was almost as if Cliffton was supposed to be the murderer . . .
Suddenly they both came to the same conclusion.
"The fiancé!" they exclaimed at the same time.
"He's the murderer! He knew about Cliffton and arranged it so that he'd be the suspect," Mulder announced excitedly, getting up in one bound.
"And he knew exactly how to kill Miss Aredale and how to frame Cliffton," Holmes said with stunned understanding.
The shouts sent Watson scurrying into the main room, and Scully raced in from the bedroom. At the sight of her back in her suit, Mulder had to repress a silly grin. It was almost like being back again. She approached him with what he had termed the "What's going on now Mulder" look.
"We think it was her fiancé," Mulder announced as Scully walked up to stand next to his chair.
She looked around to see Holmes at his desk, writing up something while Watson was heading hurriedly out the door. Moments later, Holmes was at the door as well, handing a young man who'd accompanied Watson back a letter which she was certain contained Holmes and Mulder's findings.
"And how exactly did you two come up with this theory?" she asked, sitting down in the chair beside his and leaning forward to gaze at him while he sat back in his chair, crossing his legs luxuriously.
"Elementary my dear Scully," Mulder joked, stuffing the tip of his new pipe into his mouth. "The whole thing had 'frame-up' written all over it. the convenient evidence pointing to the factory and then the 'tip' from the fiancé leading us to Cliffton, who worked in the part of town that the cement dust and dirt was from. But the digitalis was something only intimate members of the family would know, and I doubt that Cliffton knew about it. But Worthington would."
It all fit in a strange way, she realized. Worthington was probably going to be dumped again, or felt shamed by Constance's infidelity, and her death would rid him of that. And by placing the blame on Cliffton, he would throw any suspicion off of himself. There only concern was evidence to prove it all.
"I guess that Holmes is sending the new information to the authorities as we speak. With all the evidence, they should be able to find and convict the guy. I guess the X-Files team finally is going to get a chance to send someone to court," he grinned, recalling how he'd mentioned the benefits of chasing mutants and ghosts as 'rarely pressing charges'.
"That's great news," she said simply, but her tone was less than happy. "But what about us?"
There was a long pause, and Mulder turned away from her piercing stare. He knew what she was asking about. They still didn't have a way home yet. Hell, he hadn't even figured out how they'd gotten there in the first place, let alone figured out a way to get them back. And as much as he hated to admit it, he'd been so wrapped up in helping Holmes solve his murder case, he hadn't spent the time to formulate any theories as to how they were getting back. He finally turned back to meet her gaze, and saw the hope die in her eyes.
"You don't know, do you?" she said lightly, knowing what it would cost him to admit that he didn't have a theory, any idea as to how they were going to get home.
She was at a loss for an answer herself. Since they'd arrived, she'd been pinning her hopes on Mulder coming up with some wild concept of how they'd gotten to nineteenth century England. And if he had an idea as to how they got there, then they could figure out a way to get back.
But he didn't know.
"Scully," he began, but then stopped. He wasn't going to offer her any false hope. Or himself any either. The truth was he didn't have a clue.
There was a long pause of silence before Holmes's voice broke through the lack of sound.
"Mr. Mulder, Miss Scully," Holmes said, reaching for his hat and cape. "I think we should head down to the factory. I suggested to the Inspector that he should investigate there for any evidence of Worthington committing the crime. And if Worthington realizes that we're on to him, he might be there, and Lestrade might be in need of assistance."
Looking at one another, they nodded, and started for the door. Maybe when they got back they could get Holmes and Watson to help them figure out how to get home, Mulder thought as he ushered Scully to the doorway.
When Watson turned to close the door, he noted the agents attire. They'd forgotten that they were wearing their twentieth century clothes again. They didn't have time to change though, if they wanted to keep up with Holmes. With some quick thinking, Watson raced back inside, found a pair of theater cloaks that he and Holmes wore to the opera and quickly emerged with them. Handing them over, he latched the door and headed down the stairs, leaving Mulder and Scully to catch up.
Downstairs Holmes and Watson had already caught a cab, and Mulder and Scully were the last to climb in. Once they had all taken their seats, the carriage headed off for the factory across town.
At their arrival, they found Inspector Lestrade and some of his men just heading into the factory. They stood there, waiting for them to emerge. After ten minutes or so, a few of the constables exited with Worthington, and a bundle of clothes, covered in cement dust, which he must have worn when he'd committed the crime. It looked like he'd hidden them in the factory, not expecting anyone to suspect him, and once he'd thought Mulder and Holmes were on to him, he returned to destroy the evidence. Scotland Yard had gotten their man.
Holmes and Watson were being congratulated for their deductive work by the Inspector, who had seemed to have forgotten that Scully and Mulder existed. She crossed her arms over herself and the cloak. If it hadn't been for her and Mulder, they would have taken twice the time to solve the crime. If they'd solved it at all. She sighed as the X-Files team was once again being shunned. She glanced over at Mulder, who had a disappointed look pasted on his face.
There was a sound that caught Mulder's attention, and he turned away from the discussion to try and identify it.
There was a humming coming from inside the factory. A sound that was very familiar. Mulder motioned to Scully and she immediately noticed the sound as well. It sounded like it was coming from somewhere in the back of the factory. It could be their way back, he realized, and he wasn't about to miss the opportunity to get home by not investigating.
"Holmes, Watson," he called out as Scully started in the direction he'd indicated. "We heard something back there. We're going to check it out."
The sleuth tipped his cap in their direction and then returned his attention to the Inspector's questions about the criminal they were packing off into the constable wagon.
Turning, Mulder hurried to catch up with Scully. They wove their way through the substandard conditions of the factory before they found a small room in the back where the sound was much louder. Discarding the flowing cloaks that had concealed their clothes, they reached for their weapons in their usual places. Bringing the guns up and at the ready, they moved slowly to the door.
Forcing the door open, they found another room of machinery. At first glance it seemed fairly ordinary. But as they took a few steps inside and looked closer, they could see the that there was much more to it than just simple equipment. There was once piece of machinery that just didn't fit. It was dented and there were rows of lights and buttons and the humming noise was coming from it . . .
My God, its' the time machine Mulder thought. Somehow Mulder knew that this machine had been in Dr. Marcus' lab, and had escaped being destroyed. It had flung them, and itself into this era, most likely by accident, its' setting screwed up, resulting in it arriving here and them at Holmes'.
Suddenly the humming turned blaring, and they realized that they'd inadvertently set into motion the same sequence of events that had sent them here in the first place. It was only a matter of seconds before they were repeating their actions from Dr. Marcus' lab and were spinning and falling into darkness.
t was excruciating to move. So Mulder didn't try to do it again. It wasn't until he heard a low groan that he remembered what had happened and a sense of urgency to move hit him. His eyes flew open and he blinked rapidly to clear his vision.
Instead of trying to get up, he rolled to his side, towards the noise. There lay Scully, body sprawled in an odd angle across the remnants of the left over machinery.
Machinery, Mulder thought suddenly. Without pausing to give his aching and burning muscles a chance to rebel, he shoved himself to his feet. Then with tentative steps he made his way to Scully, kneeling beside her.
They were in the lab again. Somehow, amazingly they'd found their way back.
"Hey Scully. You ok?" he asked, taking her shoulder lightly in his hands and easing her upwards.
She opened her eyes at the sound of his voice, and once she'd taken mental inventory of her condition, she nodded slightly. He helped her up, ignoring her token protests at his doing so. From the way he'd found her, he felt that she was lucky not to have broken or sprained anything. Hell, he knew that he was.
Scully scanned the room once she was standing, taking in the familiar sight of the research lab in D.C. When her attention returned to her partner, he could see the skepticism returning to her. He could see the disbelief and the logical thinking inside her head trying to formulate some explanation as to what had happened to them.
"Were we ever really there Mulder?" she said with some doubt.
There was a look of pure resentment that crossed his face at her disbelief. After everything they'd seen, done, heard . . . for her to still not believe.
"Scully . . ."
But then again, he realized, there was no physical evidence to prove that they'd been gone, or had been where they thought they had been.
Unconsciously Mulder started to stuff his hands in his pockets, wishing that his partner wasn't so damn logical sometimes. Then his hand hit something hard in his pocket. Frowning, he grasped it in his hand and pulled it out.
It was Holmes' pipe. One he didn't use and had given Mulder as a present before they'd figured out who'd killed Constance Aredale, saying that every fine investigator should have one.
And he had it in his hand.
He had proof.
He was about to call Scully's attention to it, but he looked up to find her eyes riveted to the pipe, remembering the incident as well. Her eyes then came up to meet his and the silent shock was visible there.
And she didn't have to put it into words.
They had been there.
Author's Note: Many, many thanks to the SOCAL WIP readers who saw the 18K “Holmes & Watson” and gave me a resounding "finish it!"; Wendy-bird for her beta-reading and Gil Trevizo for telling me to just do it, and then reading one of the later drafts and helping me find where to fine-tune this thing. You're all great.
Jeannine Ackerson is a 27 year old, former journalism major. You can email Jeannine with your comments or questions. You can also visit Jeannines' WebSite. This work is copyrighted © 1997-1999 by Jeannine Ackerson. My deep thanks to Jeannine for allowing me to post this work on Yoxley Old Place.
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