Go mBeir an Taibhse

Title: Go mBeir an Taibhse

Author: Skinfull

Rating: PG

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, no harm.

Summary: St Patrick’s Day, Ireland and

leprechauns…it’s gotta be an Xfile. Originally to

be submitted to IMTP for VS11 St Patrick’s Day

Special.

Feedback: skin_full@yahoo.ie Love all feedback.

Thanks in Advance!

Author’s notes: My dad is from Killarney so every

summer for two weeks we all packed into the car to

head south like a flock of ducks. With usually about

8 of us traveling in a small car with a dog it was

never much fun until we got to Torc Waterfall. My

dad told us horror stories about banshees and

leprechauns so it was always the highlight of the

trip.

*The title of this fic roughly translates “To Catch

the Ghost” It’s one of my favorite Irish poems and my

dad used to recite it as we climbed the waterfall to

scare us. Go mBeir an Taibhse. (Pronounced “Guh Mare

awn Tie-v-shuh”) Other Gaelic words in the fic are

Bodhrán (bow-rawn) which is a drum held in the hand

and hit with a wee stick, Poul an Ifrinn (Pool awn

If-reen) The Devils Bowl and Scéalta (sch-k-ale-ta)

that is Irish for Stories. Oh and of course Sláinte

but then when your holding a pint of Guinness in your

hand and you say Sláinte…I don’t need to write a

meaning do I.

**You really can climb up and behind Torc. To view

pictures of Torc Waterfall go here:

http://www.irlgov.ie/aboutireland/eng/photogallery/14

.asp

Go mBeir an Taibhse

By Skinfull

Torc Waterfall

Killarney

Ireland.

March 8th

The waterfall stood impressively in front of them

spilling a continuous flow of heavy water over its

sheer drop onto the rocks below. The rain that

dropped heavily from the sky did nothing to diminish

the view as they sauntered up the sandy path to the

bottom of the falls.

Patrick Murphy took the lead and leapt over the small

brick wall to land on a wide flat rock. The water

flowed quickly beneath the rock but would only wet

his ankles if he fell in.

“Keep close lads, it’s not too tricky until we get to

the pool that’s about half way but to climb in behind

it we’ll need to keep focused.” Patrick looked back

at the two men that followed him. When they arrived

at his tourist office three days ago he spotted their

American enthusiasm immediately and dollar signs rang

up in his mind. Then when they explained what they

were researching he knew only the personal touch

would do. He offered to take them up to the top of

the waterfall through the caves that sprawled out

behind it, and told them the tales that he’d heard

from his father about the folklore of these ancient

caves. With every tale their eyes lit up and when he

picked them up at the hotel this morning, they could

barely contain their excitement.

He had instructed them to wrap up warm and bring rain

gear. Paddy supplied the food and they had backpacks

full of equipment that he didn’t think they’d really

need.

“Is it much further Mr. Murphy?” the tall one said.

Paddy glanced back and looked between them both. One

named Charles Parsons and the other Frank Gellar but

he couldn’t tell which was which.

“Call me Paddy…and no, once we get to the pool it

will only be a little further.”

He jumped up to another flat rock and turned back to

help the others over. He’d been climbing this route

since he was a kid and knew every loose rock and

stone in the place. As he circled the wide natural

pool he told them to be careful, as it was deeper

than it seemed.

“This is the skinny dip pool you mentioned?” Frank

said smiling through his thick beard.

“Yeah and it wasn’t raining we’d probably have to

sidestep a few lovely maidens!”

“Damn this Irish rain,” Charles laughed as Frank

helped him onto the next rock.

They managed to get around the pool and climb up to a

table like rock that was big enough to hold all three

men. Paddy rubbed his hand over his face to wipe it

free of the rainwater and took a deep breath. He

pointed up to a cave opening that stood behind the

fast falling water and showed them their destination.

“Stick close lads and follow me. Stand where I stand

and yell out if you need me to slow down.”

The two men nodded and Paddy took off at a moderate

pace, climbing up the side of the waterfall to a

ledge that stood eight feet above the pool and a foot

wide. Pressing his back to the rocky wall Paddy

inched his way behind the water, ignoring the mist in

his eyes, he carefully moved past it and finally made

it to the cave entrance. He remembered it being a

lot easier when he was a kid, Paddy mused with a

smile. Shortly afterwards the tall American, Frank,

with the backpack now resting on his chest walked in

his smile wide and elated. Charles finally made it

through, his face more panicked than elated but his

smile was present.

“Right so lads. This is where it gets tricky…these

caves are like mazes. Don’t wander off. We each got

our own torches but if you want to see what you came

looking for keep them off.”

The cave was all but pitch black with little or no

light to follow their leader but they held their

torches off in their hands as instructed, the hopes

of maybe finding what they came all this way for out

weighing the need for light. Paddy’s footsteps

stopped and Frank and Charles bumped into the back of

him.

“Shhh…did you hear that?”

“No…what did you hear?”

“They are a tricky folk…they can make a man think

he’s seeing things that aren’t really there.” Paddy’s

voice was hushed and he bent low to the ground. He

flicked on a small penlight and Frank knelt next to

him.

“Where’s yer man?” Paddy said nodding his head behind

Frank to the empty space where Charles should be

standing. Frank glanced round and was surprised not

to see Charles kneeling next to him.

“Charlie? Hey Charlie?” He switched on his torch and

shone it round the empty cave way. Standing, he took

a few paces back the way they came calling his name,

but a loud scream from ahead in the cave startled

both of them.

“What the hell was that?” Frank came back to Paddy’s

side and searched the cave again with his torch.

“They’re here,” Paddy, sounded almost surprised. He

glanced back to his anxious partner and waved him on

to follow him. “C’mon this way, it came from over

here.”

“What about Charlie?”

“Hurry…”

Keeping their torches on, Paddy rushed ahead racing

around the stalactites with a surefootedness Frank

wished he possessed. They reached an opening with a

blowhole on the top letting the light from outside

stream in. They stilled in the sunrays and held

their breath for another clue, but as Paddy turned

around to speak to Frank he found he was alone.

“Hello? Mr…Eh…Parsons? Gellar?” Going back the

way he came he took slower steps, retracing his track

all the way back to the cave entrance. “Hello?”

Stepping away from the misty falls outside, he went

back into the caves slipping on the wet rocks and

falling hard onto his knees and hands. He looked up

wanting to see the two men standing over him but all

he heard was their screaming voices filling the air,

that shook him to his bones. Scrambling to his feet,

Paddy backed away from the cave and jumped over the

edge through the falling water, landing in the deep

pool below.

Gasping for air he resurfaced and swam to the rim to

climb out. He rushed down the rocks with little

care, falling several times. The path was empty as

he barreled down calling for help all the way. He ran

straight out of the park entrance and onto the road

without looking. The lorry couldn’t stop in time and

it crushed him to the fender, dragging him for three

hundred yards before it finally stopped.

The rain kept falling and the roar from the falls

disguised the screams as the driver called the police

and turned from the gruesome sight under his wheels.

***

FBI Basement Office

March 14th

7.12am

“Top of the morning to you Scully?” Dana Scully

halted in her tracks half way across the office and

spun on her heel to face her smiling partner. His

grin was suspiciously wide, spanning his whole face

even reaching his eyes making them twinkle wickedly.

“What?”

“Skinner just approved our next case.” Mulder sat

back into his chair enjoying the satisfying creak as

it moaned under his weight and propped his feet on

the desk.

“What case?” She approached his desk and placed her

case on the chair in front of it, dropping her coat

down too.

“I thought we were desk bound for the next couple of

weeks?”

“Well I submitted a few cases for Skinner to look

over and he approved one. I guess we get a pardon

this time Scully.”

“So what is the case?”

“Missing persons.”

“Missing person? Who?”

“No missing persons. A government funded team who

were researching…for purely scientific reasons…”

“What were they researching Mulder?”

“Folklore.” He sat forward and rummaged through a

pile of papers on his desk, avoiding her eyes.

“Folklore?”

“It began five years ago. In different parts of the

country and was so successful in debunking local

folklore that it has expanded worldwide. They

traveled to Scotland to-”

“No don’t tell me…The Loch Ness Monster?”

“Correct. Then to Ireland at the beginning of this

year…January 15th to…” He glanced up at her to

see if she would pre-empt his answer. She was half

smiling looking down at him shaking her head.

Finally his exploring fingers found the elusive file.

“To search for Leprechauns.”

“Leprechauns? Oh come on Mulder give me a break.” She

collected her case and went over to her desk.

“Skinner approved this investigation?”

“Well in essence we’re searching for the team not the

leprechauns.” He followed her to her desk where she

was booting up her PC. He dropped the file in front

of her and perched himself on the corner.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were submitting cases to

Skinner?” she glanced up at him with more than a

little annoyance.

“To be honest I didn’t think we’d get approval for

any of them.” She took the file he left down,

opening it. Reading through the personnel data of

the missing team, she noted they both had scientific

doctorates and published works in many magazines.

“But it seems that without this team a lot of the

research will be wasted.”

“So when do we leave?”

“This evening. Flight is direct to Shannon and

leaves Dulles at six thirty. Check in is at four.”

He stood away from the desk and straightened his tie

but leaned down closer to her, resting one hand on

the desk and the other on the back of her chair.

“Wrap up warm Scully, it’s cold over there at this

time of year.”

***

Killarney

Ireland

March 15th

10.34am

It was raining. It was raining heavily. And it was

cold. Mulder stood beside her with the keys to the

rental car jingling in his hand merrily. She glanced

up to see him smiling and pulled the collar to her

coat higher around her neck. Pulling her bag from

the boot she dropped her bag to the ground and jammed

her hands in her pockets.

“Cold Scully?”

“Freezing.”

“Well it’s just after nine so after we check in we’ll

get some food.”

“Breakfast…doesn’t feel like breakfast time.”

Mulder locked the car and caught up with her as she

went in through the large ornate hotel entrance.

Gold trimmed door handles and a marble tiled floor

pleasantly surprised her as she stepped up to the

reception desk.

The receptionist spotted them walking in and smiled

as Scully approached the desk. Her weariness was

obvious and she could tell she was just off a

transatlantic flight so she softened her smile a

little.

“Hello. Welcome to Jury’s Inn Killarney.”

“Hi. We have a reservation for two rooms.” Scully

put her bag on the ground and turned to see Mulder

join her dropping his bag too.

“Under Fox Mulder,” he said.

“Ah I see. Rooms 213 and 214.” The receptionist

busied herself for a moment setting up their card

keys as Mulder fished out his credit card and signed

the check in receipt. “There will be food served all

day in the restaurant and of course room service is

available.”

“Thank you.”

“The elevators are through those doors and your rooms

are on the second floor. If you have any questions

dial zero for reception.”

“Thanks.”

After unpacking her clothes Scully stepped into the

bathroom and turned on the shower. Looking down at

her watch she saw it was just after eight in the

evening but the room clock told her otherwise.

Resetting it to local time she left it on the bedside

locker and undressed. The hot water poured some

vitality into her weary body and she basked in it for

a moment longer than necessary. Finally stepping

out, she wrapped up in a large soft towel and

returned to her room. Mulder lay stretched out on

her bed, the case file in his hands and a frown on

his face. He had removed his tie and shirt and his

shoes were trailing from the door.

“What?” she asked sitting down on the edge of the

mattress.

“Just some of these things don’t add up.”

“Well isn’t that why we’re here?” she chided over her

shoulder making him smile.

“Partially.”

Rolling onto his side, he slipped an arm around her

waist and pulled her down next to him to kiss her.

She let him for a moment then pushed him away to sit

up.

“C’mon. The sooner we get out in that rain the

sooner we can get back in here.”

“And finish up the real work.” Laughing she walked

over to her wardrobe and pulled out some fresh

clothes.

***

Laurel’s Pub,

Main Street Killarney

March 15th

“Mister Patrick Murphy was seen speaking to them in

the lobby of Ryan’s hotel on the morning of the

22nd.”

“That’s doesn’t mean he killed them.”

Mulder glanced at Scully as she took a step forward,

drawing the attention of the bartender. He continued

to wipe the glass clean with a well-worn cloth. The

pub was small and smoky but he didn’t seem too

interested in cleaning anything but the glass in his

hand. Scully let her eyes wander briefly around the

room at the three other patrons that nursed pints

even at this early hour.

“We’re not here to accuse Mr Murphy-” she began but

the bartender shook his head with a frown as he

blessed himself.

“God rest his soul.” He put the glass down, leaning

over the bar towards the two agents as if he was

about to impart with some secret wisdom. “Something

frightened him up there. He saw something that

scared the bejeezus out of him.”

“What do you think he saw Mr Reilly?” Mulder asked

leaning on the bar too.

“Not what…who…” Reilly tapped the side of his

nose, turning away to serve a customer. Scully

turned on her heel and walked swiftly out of the bar,

not waiting to see if Mulder followed.

“Mulder…we checked out the tourist office…Patrick

Murphy’s brother and now the bartender at his

favorite watering hole,” she said when she heard his

quick footfall behind her.

“You don’t think he’s a suspect do you Scully? That’s

a bit easy. He’s dead.” Mulder was walking behind

her, yearning to turn her round to face him but he

knew better than to stop her when she was in this

mood.

“He was killed on the N71…a main road outside the

gates of a national park. The path from that park

has quite a steep incline leading to that road. If

he was coming down that hill he could have lost his

footing and raced out in front of the truck that hit

him.”

“He was running…running from something Scully…I’d

like to know what. A horseman at the park gate who

saw Murphy and two other men that have been

identified as Parsons and Gellar entering the park,

said Mr Murphy came racing down that hill, soaked to

the skin and screaming for help.”

“We’re here to look for Professor Frank Gellar and

Doctor Charles Parsons. Patrick Murphy’s death-”

“Patrick Murphy was the last man to see these two

alive.”

“He’s dead!”

“So we’ll work from there.”

“We’re going to the waterfall aren’t we?” she knew

his answer before he spoke.

“It’s supposed to be a beautiful view.”

She didn’t reply but she didn’t argue. Her pace

slowed and her eyes finally took in some of the

sights in the streets. Flags and banners were being

hung up all over the place with huge inflatable

shamrocks and leprechauns joining them on rooftops.

Bunting criss-crossed the streets, hanging from shop

to shop with green white and gold colors everywhere.

“It’s St Patrick’s day.”

“Well not till the 17th.”

“We’re in Ireland on St Patrick’s day…searching for

leprechauns…oh god Mulder!” She was laughing with

a rueful smile.

“Oh come one Scully, everyone’s looking for

leprechauns this time of year.”

“My Dad loved it this time of year. He was in

Ireland once for St Patrick’s Day when his ship

docked in Dublin and he told us about it over and

over…”

“Your family is of Irish decent isn’t it Scully?” he

asked as they ambled down the street turning towards

a trio of musicians who started up an old Irish tune

on a bench outside a crowded pub. One of the played

a guitar, one a tin whistle and the last beat on a

hand drum Mulder remember being called the bodhrán.

“Yeah. It goes way back but a few Scullys moved back

here in the 70’s.”

“Never been tempted? With your hair you’d fit right

in.”

“No not me. My dad talked about it a lot but, well,

he never did.”

They walked on in silence for a few minutes enjoying

the music and the party atmosphere in the street.

Spotting an advertisement that was bragging the best

guides to Torc Waterfall in town he took her arm,

leading her towards the tourist office. A small

jingle alerted the receptionist as they entered and

they both produced their badges as they approached

the desk with perfunctory smiles.

“Agent Mulder FBI.”

“Oh sure aren’t you the ones investigating Paddy’s

death?” the small receptionist asked as she blessed

herself.

“Well not exactly…” Scully slipped her badge back

into her pocket. “We need to get to Torc waterfall.”

She tried a different approach.

“Well you’ve come to the right place.” She switched

immediately to business mode and slid a few brochures

across the table. “We’re quite busy at this time of

year as you can understand.”

“Of course but we need a guide who would have known

where Patrick Murphy was taking the two tourists that

morning.”

“They were going into the living caves that run

beneath the Devils Punch Bowl.” The receptionist

blessed herself again at the mention of Murphy’s

name. “John will take you. No man knows those caves

better than John Byrne.”

“Great.” Mulder’s eyes lit up at the mention of the

caves and the name of the area.

“When can we leave?” he asked, reading through the

brochures with restrained enthusiasm.

“Sure he wont be ready to go until tomorrow morning.

He’s out at The Gap today,” she said with an air of

incredulity as if the guides schedule was common

knowledge.

“There’s a Gap in town?” Mulder looked up in

surprise.

“Yeah the Gap of Dunloe.” Her gaze turned to one of

amazement at Mulder’s ignorance of the land.

“It’s a mountain pass Mulder, not a clothing store.”

“So should I get him to meet you at your hotel?” The

receptionist asked pulling out a copybook to jot down

their appointment.

“Please. Jury’s Inn.” Mulder passed her his business

card and turned to Scully smiling. “Call me if there

is any problem.”

“Rightso. He’ll be calling at around nine-ish. Have

a good breakfast and wrap up warm.”

***

Jury’s Inn Lobby.

March 16th

10.21am

“Maybe he couldn’t come.” Scully sipped her coffee,

looking out the window at the pelting rain. People

rushed by with umbrellas, coats and scarves pulled

around their necks tightly protecting them against

the wind.

“They would have called, I left my card.” Shifting

uneasily on the soft leather chairs, Mulder strained

his neck to see the door as the swoosh of it opening

reached his ears.

“Maybe the little people got him!” she jibed over the

rim of her cup.

“Maybe Scully maybe!”

“Agent Mulder?” A soft-spoken voice called his name

making him turn to see a tall brown haired man

walking over from the check in desk. “My name is

Jack. Jack Byrne.”

“We were expecting a John.” Mulder stood to shake

his hand.

“Jack or John…it’s all me. I understand you want

to go up to the Devils Punch Bowl on Torc.” He

glanced at Scully as she drained her coffee and

stepped round the table to join Mulder’s side.

“We wanted to go on the route that Patrick Murphy may

have taken two American researchers.”

“Paddy took them up to the falls and then on the path

that leads behind it into the caves.”

“Well then that’s where we want to go.” Mulder

smiled and looked down to Scully who was standing

quietly by.

“Rightso. Follow me. We’ll take my truck.”

Jack turned round and walked out into the heavy rain

without a second thought. He crossed the road with a

lazy gait and started to climb into a dark blue pick

up.

“You going up to Torc today Jackie?”

They all turned to see an old man approaching the

truck; one hand swinging before him as he walked the

other one nestled in the small of his back. He wore

a tattered pair of trousers that were tucked into a

green pair of wellies and a tweed suit jacket. On

his head he rested a threadbare cap that had seen

better days but he didn’t seem to notice or care.

“Yeah Míchál I’m taking these on a trip up to Poul an

Ifrinn.”

“Well you be careful up there. I can feel it today,

the mountains are close.”

“Don’t worry Míchál. I’ll catch you later in

McClusky’s.”

“Rightso Jackie, I’ll have a pint of the black stuff

waiting for ya!”

Jack smiled and sat into the truck closing the door

behind him. Mulder climbed in beside him, while

Scully got in the back, and with a quick glance over

his shoulder at the traffic he pulled out into the

road.

“So you’re from the FBI?”

“Yeah. Agent Fox Mulder and that’s my partner Agent

Dana Scully.”

“How are you doing ma’am?” John gave her a warm smile

through the rear-view mirror and she could do nothing

but return it.

“Did you know Patrick Murphy?” Scully asked leaning

forward.

“Yes. We were good friends. Terrible shame what

happened to him.”

“What do you think he was running from?”

“The caves.” Jack said it without question as if he

thought there could be no other answer.

“What’s in the caves that made him so scared?” Scully

asked trying not to meet Mulder’s excited eyes.

“Well Torc Waterfall is a very enchanted place. It

has a lot of history.”

“Enchanted?” As if sensing her cynicism Jack glanced

round at her with a wide smile.

“This is Ireland Agent Scully…the whole place is

enchanted.” He turned back to the road and drove away

from the town. Soon they were driving through tree-

lined roads with glimpses of the lakes to their left

and mountains all around. “Torc Wood was once home

to the Pookas and Fairies, but a man named Larry

Hayes owned a farm that bordered it. He was a good

honest man but every morning when he came out to tend

to his stock, he found they’d been hocked, hipped or

even missing. Sometimes dead.”

“Sounds like a case for you Mulder.”

“Cattle Mutilation is a common phenomena in the

United States.”

“Well I don’t think Larry was afraid of aliens,” Jack

replied, surprising Scully with his perception.

The rain hadn’t eased up by the time Jack pulled in

to a space by the park entrance. He jumped out of

the car and zipped up his raincoat, pulling the hood

up over his head. The agents joined him, each

pulling up their hoods too.

“Anyone who’s not wearing a coat today doesn’t own

one!” Jack smiled at Scully as she shoved her hands

in her pockets to protect them against the cold wet

wind.

“So what happened with Larry?” Mulder asked glancing

between them both and catching the smile on Jack’s

lips as he winked at Scully.

“A long time ago…” Jack began, walking up the

incline that led to the waterfall.”

“In a galaxy far far away?” Scully suggested, her

voice dripping with sarcasm.

“No not quite…” Jack looked back at her with

laughing eyes. “Larry was wondering who would hold a

grudge against him to hurt his livestock. But he

couldn’t think of anyone.” As he spoke he walked on

the gravely sandy path away from the car park and up

towards the waterfall. The closer they got the

louder he had to speak, as the roar of the water was

tremendous. “So even though he was afraid of the

good people of the forest, he stayed up one night to

see if he could catch the culprit. He walked the

fields over and over and suddenly before him appeared

a large boar.”

“A boar?” Scully asked but both men ignored her

exclamation.

“He was afraid but he asked the boar what he was

doing in the forest. And the boar admitted it was he

who killed his animals, but promised to make it up to

him if he followed him to the caves.”

“A talking boar no less,” Scully added but again to

no reception.

“So Larry followed the boar into the forest,” Jack

continued chuckling at her reaction. “So they walked

through Torc Wood and came to a large rock. The boar

opened a door in the middle of it and walked in.

Carefully Larry followed only to find himself

standing in the finest room he had ever seen. He

turned to speak to the boar but standing in his place

was a handsome young man.”

The path became steeper and Mulder reached back to

take Scully’s hand but she batted his offer away,

passing him out instead. If Jack noticed the

altercation he didn’t comment, only continued with

his story.

“In less time than it takes to tell, he had treated

Larry to a fine meal of beef and mutton and a large

jug of whiskey punch, then from nowhere, he produced

a bag of gold and handed it to Larry. He then told

him that he could have as much gold as he liked but

he couldn’t utter one word of this place to another

soul.”

“Uh oh…here it comes.” Mulder glanced around him

and took in the beautiful sights of the forest and

the river that flowed beside them over soft rocks and

pebbles.

“Larry vowed he would never tell, hocked the bag over

his shoulder and made his way home. Soon the

neighbors not to mention his wife became curious how

he’d become so suddenly rich. But Larry never said a

word. Then one night his wife followed him into the

forest and watched him enter the rock. When he came

out she taunted him to tell her his secret and she

berated him so much he finally gave in and told her

everything.”

“Women!” Mulder joked rolling his eyes to heaven.

“Shut up Mulder.”

“Then the boar appeared on the top of the rock and

yelled out to Larry so loud that the mountain on

which they were standing rocked again and again. And

he was whipped up into a sheet of flame to Poul an

Ifrinn where no sooner had he plunged into the Devils

Punch bowl the water spilled out and became Torc

Waterfall ever since protecting the rock.”

“That’s some story,” Scully said emphasizing the word

story.

“What about Larry?” Mulder asked always wanting to

take it a little further.

“Larry is said to roam this forest protecting the

rock for eternity.” Scully let out a small laugh and

Jack turned to face her, an exaggerated frown on his

face.

“Well let’s just get up here and see what we can then

we’ll know who’s skeptical?”

As they turned a corner in the small path the

waterfall came into view. They all looked up at the

magnificent sight of the pristine water spilling over

the many rocks in its path. Jack reached the small

brick wall and rested one foot one it. His hands

slapped his knee and he pointed up to the waterfall.

“See that ledge up there jutting out from behind the

falls? It leads to the cave entrance.”

“We have to climb up there?” Scully pulled her hood

back to get a better view. The rain had eased down

but the crashing water at the bottom of the falls was

wafting a fine mist over them.

“Yeah.” Jack hoisted himself over the wall onto a

flat rock and Mulder followed. As they bounded onto

the next one Scully followed. “They are supposed to

live in these caves. But you can’t just walk in and

see them.”

“Walk in and see who? The boar?”

Both men stopped and turned to face Scully who was

jumping one rock behind them.

“Na Fír Beag,” Jack answered in his native tongue.

“Who?” Scully asked unaware of the scrutiny she was

receiving from both men as she jumped onto the next

flat rock.

“Leprechauns.” Jacks voice was so matter of fact

that she found it hard not to expect to see them.

“Agent Scully is part Irish,” Mulder offered

helpfully.

“Oh so she knows all about them then.”

Scully pursed her lips, jumping over to the rock

where Mulder was standing. He steadied her with an

arm around her waist and smiled at her ruffled hair.

“C’mon Scully we’re nearly there.”

“This pool is a lot deeper than it looks do be

careful.” Jack called out to them. “It’s also a

skinny dippers haven so try to keep your clothes on.”

“Pity it’s raining,” Mulder muttered earning him a

jab in ribs from Scully.

Jack had climbed up onto the small ledge and was

inching his way behind the powerful water. Scully

followed, and with a quick glance back to see if

Mulder was behind him, she carefully stepped behind

the water and met Jack in the cave.

What little sunlight managed to shine through the

water was refracted around the cave. Jack was

pulling a torch from his jacket pocket but he didn’t

switch it on. As Scully went to turn hers on; he put

his hand over hers to stop her. Without a word he

shook his head, putting a finger to his lips.

Mulder stepped in and looked between them both. He

resisted the urge to turn on his own torch as stepped

protectively up to Scully, placing a possessive hand

on her elbow.

“We can’t use the torches,” Jack whispered. “They

hide from the light.”

“We’re here to examine a crime scene Mr Byrne. That

can’t be done in the dark.” Scully’s voice was a

little higher than a whisper but her frown added all

the volume it needed.

“I understand that, but if you don’t keep your torch

off we wont get much time to examine it.”

“What do you mean?” Mulder asked.

“They’re here.” Jack walked on and slowly made his

way deeper into the darkness.

“I don’t like this Mulder.”

“We’re both armed Scully. And besides…I could do

with a pot of gold.”

“You’ll need more than lucky charms if something goes

wrong here.”

Chuckling Mulder looked up to find Jack. Barely able

to make out his shadow he walked on, dodging the low

cave roof in a few places. He felt Scully’s hand

gripping the back of his jacket as she followed

closely behind.

“Hey! Jack! Wait up!” Mulder called ahead not able to

see Jack’s shadow any more. When no one replied he

looked back at Scully who without hesitation flicked

on her torch and shone it ahead.

“Where did he go?”

A loud scream startled them both and Mulder reached

for his gun. Scully kept the torch steady as they

walked on, holding her gun rigidly by her side.

“Hello?” Mulder called out. “Yell if you can hear

me!”

Another scream from behind made them spin round to

see where it came from. Scully took a few steps back

and reached a hand out to the cave wall. It was wet

and cold beneath her fingers but it glistened beneath

her torch light with an unnatural sheen.

“Come here Mulder look at this?” He walked over and

she held the light up closer to give them a better

view.

“What is that?”

“I dunno…it looks like…it looks like gold.”

“It’s not in a pot though.”

Mulder stood away from the wall and spotted small

stream of water running on the floor but disappearing

behind a rock. He knelt lower to the ground and ran

his fingers along the streams trail feeling a breeze

as they brushed against the bottom of the rock.

Calling Scully over with her torch, he holstered his

gun and tried to move the rock but it wouldn’t budge.

Sitting back and leaning on his hands he ignored the

freezing cold water that soaked through his jeans and

levered his feet onto it to push it away. It moved a

little then with a grunt he pushed harder and it

moved away. Scrambling to his knees he followed the

water with his fingers again and found the hole that

it was flowing down.

“There is something down there. I can feel the air

rising.”

“The must be another entrance.”

Scully locked her torch onto the stream and followed

it in the other direction. Mulder was behind her

fumbling in his pocket for his own torch, but as he

pulled it free of his pocket it fell to the floor

with a splashing clatter. Following it to a curve in

the wall he grabbed it and was relieved to see it

switch on.

“I see the light Scully!” he mused, turning to follow

her, but as he swung his torch around the cave he saw

she was gone. “Scully?”

Her scream shook him right down to his bones and he

rushed forward to chase it. The ground was wet and

he fell to the floor scraping his palms but his

momentum kept him moving and with some difficulty he

got back on his feet and scrambled further into the

cave.

“Scully!” he called again louder this time and more

urgently, his heart ramming in his chest so hard he

was sure if she couldn’t hear his voice shouting she

would hear his heart calling out to her.

“Mulder…I’m down here!” he heard faintly. Stopping

all movement and even holding his breath he waited

for her to call out again. “Mulder.”

Running forward he noticed a slip in the ground where

a tunnel ran under the wall. It was pretty well

hidden but he figured she must have fallen in.

Getting down onto his chest, he got as close as he

dared to the tunnel noticing how it went into a sharp

decline.

“Scully…can you hear me?”

“Yeah Mulder. We’re down here…call the paramedics

and get help out here quickly.”

“We? Did you find Jack?”

“And the researchers. But get help Mulder…quick.”

Her voice sounded urgent so he jumped up and rushed

out to the cave entrance. Pulling his mobile phone

out he checked it for a signal but there was none.

He edged his way out onto the ledge but lost his

footing and fell down into the pool.

Splashing his way to the edge he raced down the

rocks, bouncing form surface to surface with an

agility that belied his stiff cold wet limbs. He

reached the path, watching his mobile until finally

the signal lit up. Mulder dialed the 911 emergency

services and stared in confusion as it dinged funny

noises at him, flashing a message of no such number.

“What the hell…” he tried again but it failed a

second time and then it dawned on him where he was.

“Shit…” He reset the phone and dialed 999 rejoicing

in the instant connection.

“Killarney Emergency how can I help?” the clear voice

answered.

“This is special Agent Fox Mulder with the FBI. I

need all available emergency vehicles down at Torc

Waterfall.”

“Wait hold on a sec there boy…FBI?”

“Agent Fox Mulder…with the FBI!”

“Is this you Brian?” the voice came back laughing.

“You gotta stop calling here like this. You’ll get me

in trouble.”

“Sorry this isn’t Brian look, I’m at Torc Waterfall.

Some people are trapped in the caves…they need

help.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes!” Mulder couldn’t believe what he had to go

through to call the ambulance. “Hurry!”

“I’ll send two units straight out.”

“Thank you!”

Already running up the hill, Mulder pocketed the

phone and climbed back in to the cave. He was

freezing cold and shivering from the wet clothes but

he made his way back to the tunnel entrance and

called out to Scully.

“Can you hear me Scully?”

“Yeah Mulder.”

“You okay?”

“Yeah…a bit bumped and bruised but I’m okay.”

Scully shone the light around the small cave and held

it over Jack’s pained face. He was holding his leg

at his knee and wincing at the pain he was obviously

feeling from the bloody wound. The researchers were

unconscious but she could feel slight pulses.

Removing her coat she draped it over Parsons who

seemed to be slightly worse off then Gellar.

“You okay?” Scully asked Jack as she crawled over

towards him seemingly oblivious to the small bloody

wound over her left eye.

“My knee. I think it’s broken.”

“I’m a doctor…let me see.”

Reluctantly he released his grip on the leg and tried

not to wince too much as Scully probed his knee with

her fingers. She refrained from rolling up his

trousers and pulled the scarf from his neck. Binding

it tightly in place she rested it back on the ground

and told him help would be there soon.

“It shouldn’t be long now. I can’t believe no one

checked the caves for the researchers,” she mused as

she looked them over again checking and rechecking

their pulses.

“A lot of people are afraid of these caves.”

“Because of that story?”

“You don’t put much weight into stories like that do

you?” Jack was watching her from under hooded eyes

and she wasn’t sure if he was in pain or trying to

add an air of mystery to the cave.

“No. I’m a scientist,” she replied matter of factly.

“Maybe you shouldn’t disregard everything without

proof.”

As he spoke Jack’s eyes lifted to an area behind her,

towards the tunnel they had fallen through. Scully

whipped her head around and in a flash the ghostly

outline of a young man shabbily dressed disappeared

in a cloud of mist. She blinked a few times and

shook her head but the sight was gone, replaced only

by two boot-clad feet as the rescue worker jumped

through the tunnel and landed in the middle of the

small cave.

“What have we got here then…” The seriousness of

the situation seemed to dissolve under the soft Irish

brogue of the rescue worker who was already assessing

his options.

When the emergency team arrived they went down the

tunnel with an efficiency Mulder was afraid they

wouldn’t possess. The bodies were lifted out and

carried down the waterfall to waiting ambulances.

Scully was the last to be lifted out, having waited

for all the others to go first. Jack smiled ruefully

at him as he was winched down. The waterfall did

nothing to help their decline to the path but the

rescue team didn’t even seem to notice it was there.

Finally when Scully crawled out, he helped her out of

the cave and they made their way down the waterfall

hand in hand carefully stepping from rock to rock

until the steadiness of the gravel path was beneath

their feet. Sitting on the ambulance bed in the back

of the truck, Scully let the technician sew up her

small wound and place a light bandage over it. She

still hadn’t said a word as they took Jack’s car back

into town. Leaving the keys at reception as Jack had

asked him to do, Mulder walked beside her to the

room.

“You okay Scully? You seem very quiet.”

“I’m eh, I’m fine Mulder. Just tired.”

“Well have a rest. I’m going to go to the hospital

to find out about Gellar and Parsons.”

“Okay.” He helped her out of her wet clothes and into

the bed. She had fallen asleep almost as soon as her

head touched the pillow so with a soft kiss he left

her alone and walked out.

It was some time later when Scully woke with a start.

The room was dark but it was a fading darkness that

barely shadowed the shapes and contents of the

unfamiliar surroundings. It took a moment to realize

where she was and spied Mulder laying next to her; a

warm protective arm draped over her waist. She

smiled. Rising from the bed she slowly made her way

to the bathroom and it all came flooding back.

She cupped her hands under the running taps and let

the cold-water spill over the uneven edges of her

palms for a moment before splashing the cold liquid

over her face. The immediate shock stung her temple

and she reached up and carefully padded the small

bandage. It came off easily and she cringed at the

sight of the jagged stitches over her eyebrow.

Back in her room she fumbled in her case for the

first aid kit to replace the dressing as Mulder’s

warm arms embraced her from behind. She leaned back

against his bare chest and he kissed her head.

“How are you feeling?” he asked as he loosed his grip

and let her continue search for the kit.

“Much better. What happened at the hospital yesterday

evening?” she replied immediately taking the focus

off her and into the case.

“Parsons is still in a coma but Gellar woke up this

morning. He said that he fell down into the cave and

found Charles Parsons lying there unconscious. He

yelled out for help but nobody answered.”

“How did they survive?” Scully asked sitting in front

of the mirror to apply the thin dressing over her

stitches. He stood behind her his fingers rubbing

gentle circles into her shoulders.

“Until the day before yesterday he was okay. He was

able to keep them both alive by feeding them water

from the falls that trickled down the walls.”

“Then he passed out,” she summarized turning as she

stood into the circle of his arms.

“Yeah. If we didn’t find them when we did.” Scully

didn’t reply but her arms snaked around his waist and

she held him close. “You okay?”

“Yeah.”

“I spoke to Jack. He said you got a bit of a fright

down in the cave…did something happen?”

“Happen? No nothing happened.” Mulder didn’t believe

her but her words seemed to close off any more

questions.

“So shall we go into town an see the parade?”

“It’s St Patrick’s Day today?”

“Yeah and the parade kicks off in about an hour.”

“Sure but I’d like to go into the hospital first and

see them.”

“I thought you would. Well lets get dressed and go.”

It seemed that at least one thing in this world was

universal, Dana Scully thought as she walked swiftly

through the hospital corridors. No matter which

country she was in a hospital still smelt like a

hospital. The sound of bedpans clattering to the

floor sent a nauseating shiver up her spine and old

men didn’t know how to tie robes. Mulder knew where

the rooms were so they didn’t need to ask for

directions. He led them to the researchers room

first and they were pleased to see both men awake.

“Doctor Parsons. My name is Fox Mulder.”

“Ahhh the FBI Agent who saved us.” His voice was

raspy and soft and Mulder could barely make out what

he was saying.

“Well that accolade should probably go to my partner

Dana Scully.” Mulder waved towards Scully who was

examining the chart at the end of his bed.

“Thank you very much,” he managed to say too weak to

sit up but too grateful not to smile in her

direction.

“Do you remember anything from your time down there

Dr Parsons?” Scully asked coming around to the side

of the bed and taking a closer look at his pallor.

“Nothing at all. I remember falling and a flash…I

guess that was when I banged my head.”

“What about you Professor Gellar?” Scully turned to

face the other bed and faced the other patient. His

eyes seemed to shift between the two agents but he

said remained silent, “Nothing?” Scully persisted.

“Just worrying about being found.”

Scully stared at him for a moment and Mulder almost

called her away, but it seemed she finally accepted

his answer and walked out of the room with a brief

wave. Mulder wished them well and followed her into

the corridor.

“What was all that about Scully?”

“What?”

“The third degree…what did they see? What did you

see?” he persisted taking hold of her arm.

“Nothing Mulder. Where is Jack?”

“He’s in orthopedics. This way.” They took the

elevator to the next floor and found Jack in the

communal room sitting by the window.

“Jack?” Mulder said softly not wanting to disturb the

other patients.

“Ah Mr Mulder. You’re back.”

“Agent Scully wanted to make sure everything was

okay.”

Jack’s eyes lit up at the sight of Scully walking

towards him a careful smile on her lips.

“How are you doing Jack?”

“It’s just a twisted knee. I’m going home tomorrow.”

“That’s good.” She glanced over her shoulder at

Mulder who was keeping one eye on the TV sport’s

channel. She didn’t recognize the game but it looked

like soccer. A local sport she presumed, as she

turned back to Jack grateful for Mulder’s

distraction. She stepped closer to him and rested a

hand on the table beside him “I was wondering if you

could tell me…”

“It’s not my story to tell Dana.”

“Sorry?”

“It’s not my story.” He covered her hand with one of

his own and squeezed it gently. “We both saw the same

thing so we both have to tell our own stories.”

“What did you see?” she asked tying to keep the plea

out of her voice.

“Scéalta. Scéalta Taibhse.” At her frown he smiled

a little and turned back to the window but not before

she heard his faint whisper. “Ghost stories.”

Scully stood away from the table and touched Mulder’s

elbow to let him know they were leaving. He smiled

at Jack whose focus was on the scenery out the

window. Following Scully out to the car they drove

back to the hotel and parked the rental car back in

the garage.

“What did he say?” Mulder asked unable to take the

silence any longer.

“Ghost Stories Mulder, he was talking about Ghost

stories.”

They climbed out of the car and turned walked out

onto the street in time to see a large paper maché St

Patrick drive by on the top of a lorry. Mulder

smiled and even Scully’s reverie seemed to have

melted. Taking her hand he pulled her over to the

side of the road where they could watch the rest of

the parade go by. With an arm over her shoulder he

pointed out the various floats that caught his eye.

They ate green candy floss and watched as the teams

of Irish Dancers danced by, oblivious to the wind and

light rain in their short skirts and curly hair.

“I’d really love a pint of Guinness,” Mulder muttered

as he spied the doorway to a pub behind them,

littered with parade watchers who didn’t seem to want

to commit to the rain fully.

“Guinness Mulder?”

“When in Ireland…” he said smiling as he took her

hand and led her over to the pub. Fighting his was

to the bar he ordered two pints of Guinness and

smiled at Scully as the bartender left two half full

glasses on the bar to settle. After taking the money

from Mulder, he bent lower to the glasses as if

evaluating their status then arched them under the

tap to fill them to the brim. Grabbing what looked

like a small jam jar lid from a shelf behind them he

pressed it onto the top of the creamy pint head and

gave them to Mulder.

Mulder took them and held them high above his head as

he fought his way back onto the street again. They

managed to reclaim a spot near the curb again and

Mulder handed her a pint, grinning like a fool.

Scully took it with trepidation and realized that now

they were out in the sunlight the stout wasn’t black

as she expected, but a dark green color and had a

shamrock stamped carefully onto the head in the

cream. Her eyebrow went up in surprise as she looked

to Mulder in surprise.

“Sláinte!” Mulder said clinking his glass to the side

of hers before taking a deep breath and tasting his

drink. Scully watched him swallow a big portion and

grimace at the sour taste. “Oh that’s good

Guinness…”

“Try telling your face…” she said joking before

taking her own taste. The dark green liquid was ice

cold and the taste exploded on her tongue and buzzed

all the way down to her stomach. Once the initial

surprise dissolved she was left with a cold trail of

stout that begged to be filled. Mulder watched in

amazement as she took another swallow and another

licking her lips free of the creamy residue.

“You like it Scully?”

“Oh yes. But sure Mulder I’m practically Irish, of

course I like it.” He laughed out loud delighted to

see the dark clouds of wonder had disappeared from

her eyes replaced by the now familiar twinkle of joy

that escaped when she smiled. Especially the smile he

brought out in her when he looked at her with all

that charm and love. He clinked their glasses

together again and slipped an arm around her shoulder

to hold her close as they watched the rest of the

parade. She felt a strong urge to lick the Guinness

froth from those gorgeous lips of his, but what her

mouth didn’t say her eyes made up for. Nothing in her

gaze was lost on Mulder.

Soon they too didn’t seem to notice the misty rain

that came down from the mountains and covered the

town in a damp sheen as the festivities went on

around them.

“Happy St Patrick’s Day Scully.” He bent to kiss her

and nuzzled her lips, tasting her.

“You too Mulder.”

The End.

Skinfull.

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