One Good Turn

This story is based on characters created by Chris

Carter and Ten Thirteen Productions. Characters

used without permission. No infringement

intended.

TITLE: One Good Turn…

AUTHOR: Jo-Ann Lassiter

EMAIL ADDRESS: Jolassi555@cs.com

DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Two weeks

exclusive on VS10. Then post anywhere. Thanks.

RATING: PG-13

CLASSIFICATION: S, R

SUMMARY: Scully is nice to a little old man, and

he decides to reward her.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Written for VS11 St. Patrick’s

Day Challenge. M&S are a couple, but only

Skinner is aware of their relationship. Both live at

Scully’s apartment.

AUTHOR’S NOTE 2: I’ve tailored leprechaun

folklore a bit to more suit my needs. Just go with

the flow.

THANKS: To Gerry, for being so picky. 🙂

March 17

Convenience Store

Georgetown

3:14 p.m.

“Be right back,” Scully told Mulder as she exited

the car. “Are you sure we don’t need anything

else?”

Mulder shook his head. “Unless you think we

should have something more than ice cream for

dessert?”

She thought a minute, then shrugged. “I don’t

know. I’ll see what they have.”

“Okay,” Mulder said, nodding. “But hurry. We have

to get cooking.” He gave her a big grin, and she

laughed. Gone were the days when his sexual

innuendoes were a source of frustration for her.

The thought that he could, and would, make good

on them kept the smile on her face all the way to

the door of the market.

Entering the store, she found the freezer section

and grabbed up the four different flavors she had

decided upon in the car. On impulse, she

snatched up a package of Hostess cupcakes and

a package of Twinkies. She was pretty sure that

Matthew liked ice cream, but it wouldn’t hurt to be

over-prepared.

She trudged to the register with her 60,000

calories and stood behind the smallest man she

had ever seen. Not more than three feet tall, he

barely reached the counter. When he went to pay

for the wrapped sandwich and apple, he handed

what looked like a gold coin to the clerk.

“What’s this?” The young man examined it for a

few seconds, then handed it back to the customer.

“Sorry, we can only accept U.S. funds.”

“But I’ve only the one coin,” the man said in what

Scully thought was an Irish brogue. “Can ye not

take the gold, man? T’is worth a far lot more than

this fare, I’ll grant ye.”

“Sorry, sir,” the youngster said, shaking his head.

“I don’t make the rules.” The clerk moved the

sandwich and apple to one side, clearly finished

with the customer.

When the man turned around to leave, Scully was

surprised by the long white beard, nearly as long

as the man was short. It was neatly trimmed, and

complemented the leather vest he wore over his

gray suit, which was clean, but threadbare.

As the clerk added up Scully’s purchases, she

indicated the man’s items he’d set aside. “Ring

those up, too, would you, and put them in a

separate bag.”

With only the briefest shrug, he did as she asked,

then Scully paid and strode quickly to the door.

She spotted the old man about half a block away.

“Wait!” she called.

The man stopped and looked around, and Scully

caught up to him. She handed the bag with the

sandwich and apple to him. “I, um… hope you

don’t mind that I bought these for you.”

Confusion gradually gave way to delight as the

old-timer accepted the food. “Why, thank ye, lass.

You’ll be wantin’ a wish then, will ye?”

The smile Scully had been wearing faded a little.

Oh, lord, was he an escaped mental patient? “Er,

no. No, thank you.” She so wanted to just walk

away, but her sense of duty prompted her to ask

him, “Is there someone I can call for you? Do you

have a place to stay tonight?”

The man chuckled. “Don’t you be worryin’ about

Macauley O’Callahan, darlin’. I’ll find me way back

in no time at all.”

“But–”

“Are ye sure about that wish, lass? Ye are entitled

to it, ye know.”

As she shook her head, Scully glanced down the

street to the car, trying to catch Mulder’s eye. He

was up and out of the car in under a second.

“What are you doing?” he asked, when he

reached her.

“Mulder, I think–” When she turned back to the old

man, he was no longer there; he hadn’t merely

continued on his way, he was completely and

totally gone from sight. She turned back to her

partner. “Where did he go?”

Dutifully, Mulder made a show of looking up and

down the street. “Who?”

She was growing exasperated. “The old man. I

was standing here talking to him not more than a

minute ago.”

Mulder’s eyebrows furrowed in puzzlement. “There

was no one here, Scully,” he said gently. “You

came out of the store, walked down the block,

then stopped here. When you asked me to, I

came.” He laid a hand upon her arm. “There was

no one else here.”

What in hell was he talking about? “The old man

who came out of the store. I followed him.” She

looked up at him. “Handed him a bag.” She

mimicked her actions. “He thanked me.” She

laughed. “Wanted to grant me a wish.”

Mulder’s face came alive at this. “Is that what he

said?”

She nodded. “I figured he escaped from a nursing

home or a mental hospital, so I signaled you to

come help me.”

Mulder sighed. “No one came out of that store

before you. I watched you the whole time. Up until

I joined you, you were alone.”

She shook her head. “No. He was here. A little old

man, about three feet tall, with a long white beard.

Surely you couldn’t miss someone who looked like

that?”

He nodded, agreeing with her. “But I didn’t see

him, Scully,” he said quietly.

“But you had to, Mulder,” she insisted. “He was

here. He was in there. The kid in the store saw

him.” Looking toward the store, she took hold of

Mulder’s sleeve. “Come on. We’ll ask him.”

Mulder allowed her to pull him along until they

reached the entrance, then he shook free and

followed her inside.

“Excuse me,” she said to the young man. “Do you

remember me?”

The clerk smiled. “Sure. You bought all that ice

cream.”

Scully returned the smile. “Do you remember the

old man who was in line before me? He had a long

white beard? He tried to buy a sandwich and an

apple with a foreign coin?”

The clerk seemed to revise his opinion of her,

studying her cautiously. “There wasn’t anyone in

line before you, ma’am. I didn’t see any old man.”

Shocked, Scully nodded. First Mulder, and now

the clerk didn’t see him. “You’re sure?” she tried

one last time.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said. “It’s been a pretty slow day,

so I’d have remembered someone like that.”

“All right,” she said, sighing. “Thank you.”

After they’d gotten in the car and had driven for a

few minutes, Mulder asked her, “Can you tell me

what he was wearing?”

“Gray wool suit, with a leather vest on top,” she

said dully.

“Was he wearing a hat?

“Yeah, it was some kind of stocking cap, one of

those long floppy ones.”

“Anything else?” he asked. “Why did you chase

him down the street?”

“He tried to pay for something with a foreign coin.

The clerk wouldn’t take it. After he left, I paid for it

and gave it to him.”

“Ahhh…” Mulder said, as if he’d just unearthed

buried treasure. “*That’s* why he offered to give

you a wish.”

She stared at him as he drove; his eyes were

alight with animation. “Why?” she asked, warily.

“Because, my darling, generous, soft-hearted

Scully, you did something nice for him, and he

wanted to pay you back.”

She continued to stare at him, flabbergasted.

“Yeah, but he couldn’t really…” At Mulder’s grin,

she broke off, not wanting to hear it. “No, Mulder.

He wasn’t some magic genie or fairy god… father.

He was just a nice little old man.” She winced as

she recalled something else. “With an Irish

accent.”

Mulder banged his fist on the steering wheel. “I

knew it!”

Scully sighed; she always got a little afraid when

Mulder got too excited. “What?” she asked with

trepidation.

“Do you know what today is, me lass?”

She looked at him quickly. “Stop that,” she said.

“That’s what he called me.”

This revelation only caused Mulder’s head to bob

up and down. “Scully! Do you know what today

is?”

She thought a moment. It was Wednesday, March

17… “Oh,” she said, a sinking feeling in the pit of

her stomach. “St. Patrick’s Day?”

“Yes!” Mulder exclaimed, as though she’d just won

a million dollars in the lottery. “A leprechaun,

Scully! You were talking to an honest-to-God

leprechaun.”

She sighed. Didn’t she see *that* one coming. “I

highly doubt that, Mulder.”

“Can you explain it, then? Huh? Why can only you

see him?”

“The clerk saw him,” she started, then faltered.

“The first time, anyway.”

“But he didn’t remember! Don’t you see? The

leprechaun didn’t want anyone to remember him.”

He took his eyes off the road to give her a smile.

“Except you. He didn’t mind that you saw him.

Because he owes you.”

Her eyes widened. “What are you talking about? I

didn’t ask him for any money.”

He shook his head at her as if she was a

recalcitrant child. “Scully, Scully, Scully. He owes

you a wish, a favor, something to pay you back for

what you did for him.”

“No.” She shook her head. “No, he doesn’t. I didn’t

ask for anything, and I don’t want anything.”

“Ah, but he has to give you something in return.”

Mulder’s eyes twinkled. Actually twinkled. “It’s in

the rules.”

She stared at him. “There are rules for

leprechauns?”

“Well, sure,” he said, and she felt like an idiot for

even questioning it. She knew that the next logical

question would be, ‘Gee, Mulder. Could you tell

me what they are?’ but she refused to ask it. She’d

seen a man, not a leprechaun, and no amount of

evidence was going to convince her otherwise.

Apparently deciding that she needed to be

enlightened, Mulder ploughed on ahead. “If you

don’t take a wish, it’s his obligation to pay you

back by another method, possibly perform some

act of kindness for you.”

She chuffed out a laugh, finding that picture highly

amusing. “Mulder, he’s an old man. What could he

possibly do for me? Besides,” she said, waving

away what he was about to say, “he doesn’t even

know who I am or where I live.”

Her partner smirked at this. “He doesn’t have to

know.”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Why?”

He turned his gaze to her. “Magic, Scully.”

**

Scully’s and Mulder’s Apartment (aka Scully’s

Apartment)

Georgetown

8:23 p.m.

Whose bright idea was this? she wondered for

about the fiftieth time, even as she knew very well

it was hers. Dinner had been tolerable at best, with

little Matthew the only one at the table who

seemed to be, if not enjoying himself, then not

wishing that he was anywhere but where he was.

Bill and Tara and her mother and Mulder looked

every inch like death row inmates partaking of

their last meal before the switch was pulled. Or the

pill was dropped. Whatever.

They looked like they’d rather be taken out and

horse-whipped rather than spend another minute

in each other’s company. And hers. Couldn’t forget

that she was very much a part of this gruesome

tableau.

“So,” she asked as brightly as she could to her

guests now relocated in the living room. She stood

up. “Coffee, anyone?”

Bill looked at Tara, and Mulder looked at Scully,

and everyone looked at Maggie. Her mother tried

not to squirm, but Scully saw it.

“Sure,” she answered in her ‘I’m-being-cheerful-

goddammit (her mother would probably use

another term, but Scully was too tired to think of

one at the moment)-so-you’d-better-be-too’ voice.

“Uh, sure,” the others parroted in their own

versions of forced ‘cheery.’

As Scully nodded and turned to leave the room,

twin echoes of “I’ll help you,” followed her, as

Maggie and Tara hurried into the kitchen. A few

seconds later, Matthew trailed after them, the pout

on his face an indication that it was not of his

choosing.

Uh, oh, Scully thought. Bill wanted Mulder to

himself. That couldn’t be a good thing. She took

out the coffee items, then left it to her guests to do

the actual coffee-making. She had a war to

prevent.

She arrived on the scene just in time to witness

the utterly surprised look on Mulder’s face when

Bill punched him in the eye. Mulder had been

perched on the arm of the wing chair she had

vacated to make coffee, and the momentum of

Bill’s blow caused him to topple off. Fortunately,

his fall was broken by his chin slamming into the

end table.

“Bill!” she screamed, a second before the sound of

breaking glass in the kitchen reached her ears. As

she tried to remember if she’d taken down the

good China, she strode across the room, brushing

aside her five foot eleven, one hundred eighty-

pound brother like he was a speck of dust. When

she leaned toward her dazed partner, she was

shocked to find herself being dragged back

upward.

“What the hell are you doing?” She struggled to

free herself, but he held her in an iron grip. “Let go

of me!”

He didn’t, and so Scully’s training kicked in, and

she kicked out, catching him high in the leg, but

not as high as she’d intended.

“Ow! Fuck, Dana, watch it!” Bill cried, as she

landed another one a little closer to the mark,

“Let me go, Bill,” she seethed, “or you know where

the next one’s going.”

Instead, he adjusted his grip so that she was

caught flush against him, unable to get any

leverage. The worst part was, she could no longer

see Mulder. “Let me go!” she screeched as loudly

as she could.

Out the corner of her brain that was locked on

Mulder and Bill, she could see Tara and her

mother, staring at them in shocked silence. “Mom!”

she called, exasperated and angry. “Do

something. Tell him to let me go.”

That seemed to snap her out of it. “Bill, Let your

sister go!”

Bill shook his head and held fast. “Let me go, you

bastard. I need to see how badly you hurt him.”

The asshole actually laughed at this. “You’re

sleeping with him!” He said it like an accusation

and the worst thing in the world she could ever

have done.

She renewed her attempt to free herself, finally

sagging in exhaustion. “You son of a bitch,” she

said softly.

“How could you do it, Dana?” he asked. “How

could you sleep with a fucked-up loser like him?

You deserve better!”

She shook her head. “You’re such a bastard, Bill. I

wish you were half the man he is; it’d be such an

improvement!”

In the quarter second it took her to blink her eyes,

Bill’s grip on her upper torso had moved to her

legs, and she didn’t feel his bulk behind her any

longer.

Not caring what had caused the change, she

ripped herself free and ran to Mulder. He was just

coming around, and her mother and Tara hastily

backed away when she barreled in.

“Mulder?” she asked at the same moment she

heard Tara gasp and Matthew call out, “Cool.”

Not overly concerned about whatever the hell had

happened to her brother, she helped a groggy

Mulder to his feet. “What happened?” she asked

him.

“I dunno,” he answered, still dazed-looking. “He

asked me where I was sleeping while I stayed

here. I wasn’t thinking, and I told him.” He looked

down guiltily. “I’m sorry, Scully. My mind was on

other things.”

“Like what?” she asked softly.

He grimaced. “Like what he punched me for.”

She laughed. If Bill knew where that mind had

*really* been, he would have done more than

punch Mulder in the eye.

Finally becoming aware of the squawking behind

her, she turned around to see what the ruckus was

about.

She took in the four people standing there, and

she blinked. The she looked at Mulder. He was

already gaping at her. “Uh, Scully…”

She looked back at the two women, one little boy,

and… her three foot tall brother. There was no

mistaking it was him. He had the same face, but

he was about the same size as his son. Maybe

smaller.

Mulder tugged on her arm. “While I was… out…”

He gave her an incredulous look. “You didn’t

happen to make a wish, did you?”

That came from so far out of left field that she

couldn’t even wrap her mind around it. “What?”

“You were angry. He was provoking you. Or…” He

threw up his hands. “I don’t know. Did he do

something to make you wish him like…” He

indicated Bill with a tilt of his head. “…that?”

Scully thought over her altercation with her

brother. When she got up to the part where she

knew it happened, she nodded in disbelief. “He

said… some things about you, and I…” She

swallowed hard. “I told him I wished he was…” She

couldn’t help it: she started laughing.

Mulder smiled uncertainly, waiting.

“I told him…” She tried to stop laughing, and it

ended up coming out as a snort. “I told him I

wished he was half the man you are!” She erupted

in laughter once more, then found herself being

dragged out of the room. “What are you doing?”

she asked indignantly.

“Getting you out of there before they kill you.”

She covered her mouth with her hand. “Oh,” she

snickered.

“Scully,” Mulder said sternly, but his own laughter

bubbled up and out, then cut short with an “Ow!”

and a hand to his bruised jaw. He held it fast,

while she saw him trying to get himself back in

control.

The sight only made her laugh harder, and she

turned away so she wouldn’t have to look at him.

“You have to…” he sputtered out. “You have to get

that wish reversed.”

She shook her head. “I don’t want to.” Peering out

into the other room, her eyes found her ‘big’

brother, and she felt the power he must feel when

he towered over her. “I want to keep him like that.”

Mulder looked at her like he wasn’t sure she was

serious or not and, to tell the truth, she wasn’t

quite sure herself. She sighed. As much as she’d

love it, she couldn’t leave him like that. “Mr.

O’Callahan,” she called to the air, feeling more

than a little ridiculous about it. “Mr. O’Callahan,

that wasn’t a real wish. Please take it back, and

we’ll call it a debt paid.”

Mulder took a look out into the living room, then

shook his head.

“Oh, come on, Mr. O’Callahan, surely something

said in anger couldn’t possibly fulfill an act of

kindness.”

When Mulder nodded his approval, Scully realized

how much more like him she was becoming with

every growing day, and the thought made her

smile.

An instant later, she found herself alone in her

kitchen, making coffee. Looking out in the living

room, she saw her mother and Tara chatting, and

Bill helping his son open the package of Twinkies.

Mulder still sat perched on the arm of his chair,

looking lost in his own home. Everyone just as

she’d left them before ‘the incident.’

“Drat,” she thought.

**

Mulder and Scully’s Apartment

11:13 p.m.

“Wow,” Mulder said, climbing into bed and

snuggling up to Scully’s backside. “I am *so* sorry

I missed that.” She felt him shrug, then, “Well, not

the part about me getting injured, but all the rest.”

He let out a breath, a wistful sigh if she’d ever

heard one.

His hold on her tightened. “Thank you for

defending me to your brother.” He kissed her neck

in what she knew signified that he loved her, not

as a prelude to sex. “Why did he put everything

back to a few minutes before he changed Bill?

Why not back to the second you said, ‘I wish’?”

She thought about it a moment. “I think because I

would only have said it again. He had to alter the

setting. Tara and Mom followed me into the

kitchen, yet I was alone. That was probably the

key. Bill couldn’t be left alone with you.”

Mulder nodded behind her, the closeness of his

head making hers nod, too. “You’re right,” he said

a little too quietly for her liking.

“It’s not your fault that Bill doesn’t like you,” she

told him gently.

“I know,” he said. “But…” He stopped.

“But what?”

“But I wish he would.”

She turned around in his arms to face him. “Am I

allowed to give my wish away?”

He looked a little off balance by the abrupt change

of subject. “What?”

“My wish,” she repeated. “Can I give it to someone

else?”

She watched as comprehension dawned. He

shook his head. “Non transferable,” he said,

kissing the tip of her nose. “But thank you for

trying.”

Suddenly, she sat up. “Why don’t I wish it for

you?”

Reaching up, he gently drew her back down to

him. “If it’s going to happen, I’d rather it happen

honestly. I’d rather earn it.”

“And if you never do?”

He shrugged. “Then I don’t. Let whatever’s going

to happen, happen, Scully. Use your wish for

something silly, something fun. Being too serious

with a wish only leads to trouble anyway.

She looked at him sharply, then remembered his

little run-in with that genie. “Yeah, I suppose,” she

muttered, hardly able to believe she was taking

this whole wish thing seriously.

“Tha’s good, Scully,” Mulder mumbled, and when

she looked at him, he was almost asleep.

‘If I didn’t already have you, you would have been

my wish,’ she thought as she joined him in

slumberland.

**

March 18

FBI Headquarters

10:16 a.m.

Scully stopped short right in the middle of the

bullpen. On her way back from the lab, she had to

cut across her old stomping grounds. No fond

memories there, no one she would stop and chat

with, yet she nonetheless stopped at this desk.

For there sat Macauley O’Callahan, beard and all,

wearing a three-piece standard issue suck-up suit.

“Mr. O’Callahan,” she whispered. “What are you

doing?”

He stroked his beard for a moment before

replying. “I’m sorta stuck here, lass, until ye use

your wish.”

She looked at the man kindly. “Please, Mr.

O’Callahan, I’m not holding you to that wish. I don’t

need it.” Leaning in a little closer, she told him,

“I’m releasing you from that obligation. Please go

home.”

He shook his head sadly. “I canna do that, lass.

Ye did me a kindness, now I’ve got to do one for

ye.”

“Take me to lunch then,” Scully said. “I bought you

lunch, you can buy me lunch.”

Macauley shook his head sadly. “I possess none

of your money. Remember?”

“Oh, yes,” she said, frowning.

“Then…” She had a brilliant idea. “Conjure

something up. How about a turkey on pita, with

lettuce?”

Again, he shook his head. “I canna let you let me

off that easy. It must be a deed of some sort.

Not…” He wrinkled his nose. “…lunch.”

Sighing, she nodded her head and proceeded on

her way. When she reached the exit, she glanced

back.

As she knew it would be, Macauley O’Callahan

was no longer sitting at Agent Shaughnessy’s

desk.

Shaughnessy, however, who always treated her

and Mulder like second-class citizens, appeared

rather flustered as he looked around for the source

of the white hairs that had come out of nowhere

and settled on his nice new three-piece standard

issue FBI suck-up suit.

Scully smiled. She was beginning to enjoy having

Mr. O’Callahan around.

**

March 18

Basement Office

12:34 p.m.

Scully sat at her desk, daydreaming of what she

might wish for. Her sister? Her father? World

peace?

She shuddered at that one, remembering Mulder’s

description of how his wish for ‘world peace’ had

turned into his being the only person left in an

unpopulated world. Maybe he was right, and

frivolous was the way to go. The trouble was, she

couldn’t think of one single solitary thing that she

wanted.

“Having trouble deciding?” Mulder’s soft question

was a welcome interruption.

“I just can’t think of anything Macauley would

consider a good enough deed. He already turned

me down for lunch.”

Mulder chortled. “You wanted to use your wish for

lunch?” He chuckled. “That must have gone over

big.”

She frowned. Why should he know so much about

leprechauns when she was the one with the wish?

Then she perked up. *She* was the one with the

wish, not Mr. ‘I-know-everything-there-is-to-know-

about-leprechauns-except-how-to-get-a-wish.’

“How about a pay raise?” he suggested. “You

could always use the extra money. Or what about

a vacation, all expenses paid?”

“I don’t know…” she said, thinking it over. “I don’t

want to ask for too much.”

“Well, whatever you choose, I’m sure you’ll select

wisely. Only don’t take too long. Poor Macauley’s

stuck here until you decide.”

She sighed. “I know. If he’d only accept that I don’t

want anything…” Another sigh.

Mulder rose and stood before her desk, arm

stretched toward her. “Come on,” he said.

“Pretend I’m the type of leprechaun who *does* do

lunch, and join me for a fine dining experience at

the Hard Rock.”

Looking at him dubiously, she shook her head, but

let him help her up to her feet. “The Hard Rock,

Mulder? At lunch time? Unh, uh. Let’s just go to

the caf.”

He smiled. “Ah, Scully, you really know how to get

my taste buds a-waterin’.”

When they arrived, the lunch room was brimming

with employees. “Oh, great,” Scully murmured

when she found herself face to breast with Marilyn

‘Monroe’ Russell, the former Miss Georgia Peach

who’d just about knocked Scully down so she

could talk to Mulder.

“Hello, Fox,” she said in her breathy ‘Marilyn’ voice

that all the males seemed to find so alluring.

“Hello, Marilyn,” he said, frowning. Then he guided

Scully so that they both could bypass the

roadblock she’d thrown up.

The woman planted herself in front of them again.

“Care to join me for lunch?” she asked.

This time Mulder stayed put, his hand still on her

back. “Thanks, but no. We’ve got a case to

discuss.” Scully didn’t even blink at the lie.

When the woman laid a hand on his arm, Scully

felt his fingers dig into her back. “Oh, you can

spare ten minutes, can’t you?” The viper started

pulling him away from Scully’s side. “I’m sure your

partner can let you out of her sight for that long,

can’t she?” She smiled sweetly at Mulder, and

deigned to throw a patronizing glance Scully’s

way.

“Oh, I’m sure she could,” Mulder said,

disentangling himself from her hold. “Except that I

don’t want to.” He started them walking toward the

food area. “Excuse us.”

As he led her away, Scully heard Marilyn

muttering to anyone who’d listen how ‘poor Fox

was afraid to cross his scary little troll of a partner.’

Scully continued on to the salad bar, taking a plate

and indiscriminately filling it with lettuce. Suddenly,

a loud crash caused her–and everyone else in

the cafeteria–to look for the source. It was then

that she saw Marilyn Russell laying splayed out on

her stomach, just beyond Agent Nick Quintero’s

outstretched legs, a look of pure horror on his

face.

Almost immediately, whistles, catcalls and cheers

were heard, from both the male and female

occupants of the room. Try as she might, Scully

couldn’t feel one iota of sympathy for the woman

whose bare rear end was exposed to all gathered.

No one offered her a hand up, too shocked, Scully

imagined, from the sight that they had just

witnessed.

As Russell picked herself up and stormed from the

room, the agent whose legs had tripped her up

kept saying, “But I was facing the other way. I

don’t know how it happened. I…”

Whatever he said was swallowed up by the voices

of almost everyone else talking at once,

exclamations of lust, amusement or disgust being

bandied about.

Scully wasn’t surprised when she saw Macauley

O’Callahan sitting at Agent Quintero’s table,

doffing his stocking cap to her. Nudging her

partner, she directed his attention to the small

man. “Mulder,” she whispered.

“I see him,” he returned, winking at the

leprechaun. “Oh, man, I hope he lets me

remember this.”

When Scully turned back to the salad bar,

everything looked a hell of a lot more appetizing

than it did a mere few seconds ago.

**

March 18

Basement Office

12:57 p.m.

Because of all the hubbub still going on in the

cafeteria, Mulder and Scully decided to take their

food back to the office to eat. Plus, Mulder was

tickled pink that after Macaulay had disappeared,

he could still remember seeing the leprechaun,

and she could tell he needed to talk about it.

“This is so cool, Scully,” he said the second he’d

closed the door. “Why do you suppose he allowed

me to remember him?”

Scully shrugged, removing the cover from her

salad. “I don’t know. Maybe he likes you.”

Although she hadn’t thought it possible, Mulder

perked up. “D’you think so?”

She smiled. He was so cute like this. “Maybe he

heard you trying to help me so he could go home.”

He became thoughtful, and finally sat in his chair,

unwrapping his sandwich. “Maybe that was his

good deed for you. Maybe he let me see him

because he’s no longer here.”

“Maybe,” Scully agreed, hoping he was right.

But she’d miss the little guy.

**

March 21

Stakeout

Mulder’s Car

10:21 p.m.

They hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Macauley

O’Callahan in three days, so Scully thought it safe

to assume that he’d considered his debt paid and

gone home.

“What time’s our relief supposed to be here?”

Mulder asked.

Scully didn’t even have to look at her watch.

“Twenty minutes ago.”

“Dammit,” Mulder swore, and she knew exactly

how he felt. “What–”

“Mulder,” Scully interrupted him when she saw

their suspect leaving the building on foot.

“Jensen.”

Mulder nodded; he reached to open his door,

waiting for the man to go around the corner. “Call

for back-up, Scully. I’m going to follow him.”

Phone already to her ear, she reported what was

happening and ended the call. “Done. I’m coming

with you.”

They both exited as silently as they could, running

to the corner, peering around it carefully. Jensen

was still in view, but turned abruptly down a side

street.

“Do you think he made us?” she asked.

“I don’t know. We didn’t do anything to give

ourselves away.” He started walking toward the

street where the suspect vanished. “Let’s be

careful anyway.”

She nodded her agreement, and followed behind

him. The street was deserted when they turned

down it.

“Damn,” Mulder said. “He must have seen us.”

A second later, a muzzle flash registered just

before Scully felt the white-hot pain that only came

from a bullet wound. She found herself being

dragged into a doorway, while her partner fired at

their assailant. Darting a glance at her, he asked,

“How bad is it?”

The pain in her chest was so great that she could

hardly talk. “Bad,” she managed to gasp out.

She heard Mulder’s weapon clatter to the ground

as he gave her his full attention. “Scully?” He

sounded so lost, and she wished she could tell

him that everything would be okay, but she knew

that this time it wouldn’t.

“Love… you… Mulder,” she whispered, and then

she died.

**

March 21

Side Street

10:46 p.m.

Scully was being crushed. She couldn’t breathe,

and her whole body was shaking.

“No, Scully! No no no no no…” It was Mulder. He

was the reason she couldn’t breathe, and he was

the one crushing her, and it was his trembling that

made it feel like she was shaking. “Oh, God. Oh,

no. Oh, God, Scully, no…” He was crying, and

hugging her to him so hard that she couldn’t move.

“Please. Oh, God, please, don’t take her away

from me. Don’t do this. Oh, God, please…”

He sounded so devastated that it was breaking

her heart. What the hell was the matter with him?

Except for his trying to squeeze the life out of her,

she felt fine.

“Don’t die, Scully. Please don’t die.” His tears were

soaking into the shoulder of her blouse, and she

could tell how distraught he was, but she couldn’t

do a thing about it, his hold on her was so tight.

“Mulder… Hey, come on, man, let her go.” People

kept trying to pry her out of his arms, but it only

caused him to cling to her all the harder.

“No!” he snarled.

“Agent Mulder.” She recognized A.D. Skinner’s

voice. “What happened?” he asked softly.

His voice sounded dead when he spoke. “We

followed the suspect down here. We were careful,

but he must have seen us. He ambushed us, and

shot Scully.” He took a hitching breath, and

sobbed out, “She’s dead, sir.” Clutching her to

him, he whispered, “She’s dead.”

“Let the paramedics look at her, Mulder,” Skinner

said gently.

Mulder sniffled. “Okay,” he said, loosening his grip.

Scully felt herself being removed from her love’s

arms and laid carefully on something soft. It was

then that she realized that it wasn’t because of

Mulder that she couldn’t breathe, or move, or…

anything. She just wasn’t alive any longer.

Hands began touching her. Examining her, she

knew. After a few moments, the paramedic

stopped. “I’m sorry,” she heard the man say.

Then she was back in Mulder’s arms again. “No,”

he moaned. “Please don’t…” He buried his face in

the crook of her neck. “Don’t do this to me, Scully.

Please… Oh, God. I wish we were never assigned

to this fucking stakeout–”

And she found she could breathe. She was still in

Mulder’s arms, but they were on her couch, in her

living room. She heard Mulder gasp, then loosen

his death grip on her. “Scully?” he asked fearfully.

Finding she could move, she threw her arms

around him. “I’m here. I’m here, love. I’m alive!”

Instead of his hugging her back, Mulder ripped her

from his body, holding her out at arm’s length. His

breathing was shallow and hitching; he looked like

he was having a heart attack. “You’re…” He tried

to draw enough breath to talk. “You’re not…”

She shook her head. “I’m not.” Not anymore, she

thought.

“But you…” His face crumbled, and he gathered

her in close, tight but not as bruisingly hard as

before. He didn’t say anything more, just held her

close and wept. She hugged him back, and let him

get it all out of his system.

After a few minutes, he took several deep breaths

and released her–not letting go of her, but moving

her out to where he could see her face. “Do you

remember…” he asked.

She did, and she nodded that she did.

“How?” he asked, his hands still touching her all

over, reassuring himself, she knew, that she was

real and alive.

“I don’t–”

“With me finest compliments, laddie.” At the

accented voice behind her, Scully turned around

to face Macauley O’Callahan, perched on the back

of her armchair.

“Mr. O’Callahan!” she cried, genuinely surprised to

see the little man. “I thought you’d repaid me

already.”

“Aye, lass,” he said. “This was for your laddie

there.”

“For me?” Mulder squeaked. “Not that I’m

complaining, but why?

The leprechaun smiled. “Ye tried to help the

lassie. Not out of greed, but to help an old

leprechaun get home.”

“But…” Her poor Mulder looked so confused. “You

kept bugging Scully, but you didn’t bug me at all.”

The leprechaun’s eyes twinkled mischievously.

“Aye, laddie. A lass ye are not. Me need to see ye

wasn’t as great as me need was to see the lovely

lass.” When he winked at her, Scully blushed.

“Mr. O’Callahan…” Mulder started. Scully saw that

he was having trouble getting a handle on his

emotions once again. “I can’t tell you…” He

swallowed. “What you did I can never repay you

for.”

The little man hopped down to the seat cushion

and, with a bounce, landed nimbly on the floor.

Stepping closer to Mulder, he touched a finger to

her partner’s knee. “Did ye not understand,

laddie? I was merely returning a kindness.”

Mulder shook his head. His voice was very quiet

when he spoke. “You did more than that, Mr.

O’Callahan. You gave me back my life.”

The old man looked at him for a moment, then

nodded his head. “I know that, laddie.”

“Thank you,” Mulder said, his voice hoarse.

“Thank you for giving her back to me.”

“Right welcome, ye are,” Macauley said jovially.

“Now see that ye don’t go believin’ all those tales

you hear about the wee folk. Mind you,” he said in

a conspiratorial tone, “most of them are true, but

we’ve our good sides as well.”

“Well, you’ve got two people who’ll vouch for you,”

Mulder said, gazing at her like he still couldn’t

believe she was back. “If there’s ever anything we

can do for you, just ask,” he told the leprechaun,

finally breaking eye contact with her.

Scully reached out and took the old man’s hand in

hers. “Anything, Macauley. If it’s within our power

to help you, we will.”

The leprechaun seemed to consider how these

two mortals could ever help him, then he smiled.

“I’ll keep that in mind, darlin’,” he said, giving her

another wink. “And now I’ll be takin’ me leave.” He

looked at Mulder. “See that ye take care of the

lass.”

Mulder nodded earnestly.

Macauley turned to Scully. “And ye take care of

the poor laddie, me fine lass. I think he needs it

more than ye!”

Then he plucked his cap from his head, revealing

that shocking cap of bright orange hair, and with a

‘pop’, vanished into thin air.

They stared at the empty space for a minute, and

then Mulder scooped Scully off her feet and fell

onto the couch with her on his lap. She didn’t say

a word; she knew he needed to reassure himself

of her presence. She suspected he would for a

few weeks to come.

Making herself comfortable, she laid her head on

his chest and snuggled in.

Mulder’s sigh was a little unsteady still. “I’m going

to be overbearing for the next few days,” he said.

“I expect so,” she agreed. “Probably longer.”

He nodded. “Probably.”

She hugged him to let him know she understood,

and that it would be okay. “Mulder?”

“Yeah?” His voice was muffled; she felt his chin

resting on her head.

“What do you think happened with Jensen? Do

you think anyone got… hurt… in my place?”

He was still for a moment, then asked, “Do you

want me to find out?”

“Yeah. I think I need to know.”

With barely a movement, Mulder had his cell

phone to his ear. “Sir?” he said after dialing

Skinner’s number. “I was wondering if you could

give us any information on Alfred Jensen? There

was a stakeout tonight– No, sir, I didn’t. I just had

a feeling. … Oh. Well, that’s great, sir. I’m glad no

one was hurt. … No, no. Like I said, it was just a

feeling. … Yes, sir. Good night.”

Scully felt like a weight had been lifted off her

chest. “So no one was hurt or… killed?”

Mulder drew in a breath, and let it out shakily.

“Other than Jensen, no. When the agents ran

down that side street, one of them tripped over his

own feet, and the bullet missed him.” He squeezed

her to him. “You’ve got to start being more clumsy,

Scully.”

Before she could reply to that, her phone rang. Not

willing to relinquish her spot on Mulder’s lap, she

stretched toward the phone. Mulder plucked it

from the cradle and handed it to her. “Hello?” she

said into the mouthpiece.

She listened to her mother’s frantic ravings,

inserting an occasional comment when

appropriate until, “It sounds like an allergic

reaction to something he ate. It should go away on

its own, but he should see his doctor when he gets

home.” Then she said her goodbye’s.

Passing Mulder the phone, she waited until it was

safely back on the hook before bursting into

laughter.

“What is it?” Mulder asked.

She pushed off until she could see his face. “It

seems that Mr. O’Callahan left us a parting gift.”

She waited a second while Mulder brought himself

up to speed with the clues she’d provided thus far.

“What did he do to Bill?”

She snickered, then snorted. “Bill’s hair turned

orange.”

Mulder grinned. “Really?”

She locked eyes with him, hers barely able to

contain her glee. “Everywhere.”

Now his eyes widened. “Everywhere?”

“That’s what Tara said.”

Mulder threw his hands up in front of his eyes.

“TMI, Scully! Do you want me to go blind?”

She started laughing again. “You think it’s too

much information for you, you should have heard

Mom trying to tell it to me!”

Mulder was holding his sides. The sight of him

laughing after his horrible evening made her feel

happy. “Let’s go to bed, partner. I need to see if

Macauley left any other little surprises.”

Mulder looked horrified. “What? You don’t

suppose…”

Scully squirmed around on a certain part of his

anatomy. “Well, my favorite parts appear to be

working okay.”

Mulder jumped up, catching her before she could

hit the floor. He pulled her toward the bedroom.

“You never know with leprechauns, though. We’d

better get in there and make sure.”

She swatted him on the behind. “Hm. You’re right.

Magic and a warped sense of humor. There’s no

telling what we might find.”

After giving her a pained look, Mulder walked a

little funny to the bedroom.

And Scully laughed.

And Mulder was glad she could.

The End

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