A Dirty Little Secret - Part 1 (R)


Scully looked around for Mulder.  She had stopped to get the local paper before following him to the squad room.  This case was getting play throughout the state and she wanted to see how the local ‘media’ was handling it.

She spotted Mulder talking to a well-dressed older man on the far side of the room and moved in that direction.  Mulder had his back to her but his companion was facing her and stopped speaking when he saw her approaching.  His appraising look was insulting and she immediately felt her hackles rise.  She had been ogled in her time, but she had never gotten used to it and this man was particularly unpleasant.

Mulder turned to see what had stopped the conversation and saw Scully.  She didn't look happy but he hadn't realized what was happening, his mind was on the case. 

He stepped slightly toward her.  "This is Chief Backus.  He's handling the case.  Chief, this is Special Agent Scully."

Scully didn't extend her hand to shake with him.  The older man’s eyes had widened at the knowledge that this diminutive and attractive woman was an FBI agent. 

Rather than speak to Scully directly, he turned back to Mulder, "Agent Mulder, I think I would feel more comfortable . . . " 

Mulder's eyes narrowed as he finally caught on.  "Chief Backus, Agent Scully is my partner and one of the best agents the Bureau is privileged to have." 

"I'm sure you're correct; however this case - " 

"Agent Mulder, may I speak with you?" 

Mulder looked startled that she had interrupted the man, but turned to her regardless.  She stepped away to ensure their privacy.   Backus' eyes narrowed dangerously when he saw that the male agent had walked away from him.  He had no use for female agents, or policewomen for that matter.  There were none in his squad, which was as it should be. 

Her rudeness only added to his confidence that she would be unable to handle this investigation.  The victims were women, and they had been sexually molested.  They had, no doubt, asked for it, but he wasn't going to state that, especially if one of the agents 'working' on the case was a female.    

"Mulder, what is it with this man?"  Even with the distance she had put between them, she was whispering. 

"He's the chief honcho around here.  Look, maybe he's a pig but he is in charge of this case.  You've handled chauvinists before.  Come on Scully; don't let him get to you.  You haven't even really met him yet." 

She couldn't say that she didn't want to meet him.  That wasn't professional and that would be the key to working with him.  Besides, Mulder was now aware of this man's attitude, which might make things a little easier. 

She took a deep breath and squared her shoulders.  Mulder nodded, a smile in his eyes that didn't reach his lips.  She moved back over to the chief and Mulder followed.  "While you and Agent Mulder discuss the evidence, I would like to see the bodies of the last two victims." 

"I'm sure it won't be necessary for you to subject yourself to such a terrible sight.  Our coroner has done a thorough autopsy.  Maybe you could read that." 

Mulder shook his head slightly.  Oh this was going to be a fun case. 

"I will be redoing the autopsies on these two women, Chief Backus.  If you would please inform the coroner I am on my way."  Before he could speak, she had turned and was moving toward the door. 

His mouth opened for an instant and his face hardened.  Mulder watched and his own jaw tightened. 

“If you have any doubts about Agent Scully’s abilities - “ 

“I’m sure her ‘abilities’ are not subject to doubt; however, I see no reason for her to bother with a second autopsy.  My men did a very thorough job.” 

The man’s inflection on ‘abilities’ had caused Mulder to stiffen.  Just what the hell was he implying?  When he landed on the word men, Mulder’s understanding was complete. 

“Dr. Scully likes to be thorough.  I’d like to see the files, please.”  He maintained his manners but his respect for the man had plummeted.  He had classified Scully as “woman, inferior”.  Mulder couldn’t wait to see what she would find that would no doubt blow this case out of the water.  And he enjoyed the surprise in the man’s face when he had referred to her as ‘doctor’. 


This monster had done everything imaginable to these women.  The overkill spoke of a rage she couldn't imagine.  He'd snatched hair from their heads; the bodies were covered with small, but painful cuts.  The sexual abuse . . . that wasn't what killed them.  They had died of blood loss from the cuts, but if they had lived, they would never have been able to bear children.  He'd performed object rape as well.  Peritonitis would have been a major problem, if only they'd been given a chance to suffer from it. 

She looked up as the door opened and saw Mulder approaching her.  At the look on her face his pace increased. 

"You okay?" 

"God, what he did to these women, Mulder.  I don't see an X-File here, but I want to catch this guy." 

"What did you find?" 

"I don't think I've ever seen a man more full of rage." 

"We're definitely looking for a man?" 

She nodded.  "Do the police have any suspects?" 

"They've talked to the husbands of the victims, some co-workers, but since the attacks have continued, that's pretty much been blown.  These women didn't work together; I haven't been able to find any link between them, except the superficial physical appearance.  I mean, they were all blond, 5'7" or more, married and mothers." 

"The schools?  Church?" 

Mulder shook his head.  "The children were spread out over three elementary schools, nothing in common for church, community works, little league, nothing." 

Scully sighed, "I'd say this guy is not finished; not when he's this angry." 

Mulder nodded, "We'll work up a profile.  Are you through here?" 

"Not quite.  Where's the chief?" 

"In a meeting.  This isn't his only case." 

"He should hand this one over." 

"I don't disagree Scully, but I know you can handle him.  And he's not going to give this one away.  Too much publicity." 

Scully nodded.  "Give me another half hour." 

"Sure.  You okay?" 

"I want to catch this guy." 

Mulder wanted to reassure her, even hug her, but she wouldn't appreciate it and when she was covered in blood, like now . . . 

"Mulder, look at this."  He moved closer.  "Their faces,” her brow was furrowed.  "All the damage he did to their bodies; but not their faces, except for right here."  She pointed to the lips of the victim in front of her.  "The lower lip, it's been . . . bitten?" 

"How about the other one?" 

She stripped off her gloves and pulled on fresh ones as she moved toward the cooling unit.  Mulder followed, and watched her uncover the face of the second victim.  She leaned in for a closer look at the mouth of the victim, then looked up at Mulder.  She nodded and he stepped closer. 

"I need to see the photos of the previous victims." 

Mulder nodded, "I'll get them." 

"I almost missed it." 

"But you didn't.  I'll go get the pictures and come back to pick you up."   

She nodded, still staring down at the body.  He watched her for a moment, then let himself out. 

She was waiting outside for him when he returned and let herself into the car.  "You got it Scully."  He handed her a folder.  She opened it and held up the top photo.  "See, there in the corner.  It's not mentioned in the report.  The coroner missed it." 

"Because of the over kill.  This is probably the smallest wound on the body and it's the only one on the face." 

"I didn't say anything when I picked these up.  Let's get something to eat, then get back to the room.  I want to make some notes." 

"I'm not really hungry, Mulder." 

"I knew you were going to say that.  You should eat something anyway, step away for a minute." 

She glanced over at him and finally nodded. 


She tapped on the connecting door following her shower.  "It's open."  She came on in as he looked up and grinned.  "You look more relaxed." 

She brushed her still damp hair back and gave him a rueful smile.  "I am.  How's the profile going?" 

He handed her the pad and made himself more comfortable on the bed.  She sat on the side and looked at his notes.  White male, twenty to thirty-five, unmarried.  "That's it?" 

"He's angry at women, his mother, his ex-wife.  It's a work in progress.  This guy started months ago, it's taken them this long to realize it's serial.  Now he's escalating.  What I don't understand is why we're on the case.  This is not an X-File that I can see." 

Scully looked down at her hands, "That's . . . that's my fault Mulder." 

He looked up at her and settled back against the headboard of the bed.  "Go on." 

"The, uh, the last victim.  She's the cousin of a good friend of mine from undergraduate school.  She called me at home; told me what she knew." 

"Why didn't you say something?" 

"I wanted to see the evidence first." 

"Have I ever refused to work on a case you wanted to take?"  He was watching her now. 

She wouldn't meet his eyes, "No." 

"I don't understand." 

She sighed, "I'm sorry." 

"I'm not asking for an apology, Scully.  I just want to know why you didn't trust me with this." 

She looked startled.  "I do trust you." 

"It doesn't feel like it." 

"What do you want me to say?" 

"Why don't you tell me what your friend told you?" 

She nodded; knowing this part of the conversation wasn't over, but more than willing to postpone it for now. 


The next morning he followed her into the station.  She didn't want to talk about anything personal and he wasn't sure what that was about, but if she wanted to work on this case, he was going to be here for her.  Maybe it was nothing more than helping out an old friend, but for some reason that didn't feel like a complete explanation. 

They headed toward the chief's office and he knocked on the door.  He took in her expression and grinned.  This guy had really made an impression on her in a short time. 

The chief answered the door quickly.  "Agent Mulder, good to see you.  Agent Scully."  He nodded slightly in her direction.  "I'd like you to meet my wife, Brenda." 

A younger woman appeared in the door.  Scully's eyes flicked over her and she squared her shoulders. 

Mulder's reaction was quite predictable and she held herself in check from punching him in the ribs.  "Agent Mulder," she held her hand out to him.  ‘Brenda’ was giving him a thorough once over herself and Scully felt a definite sense of unease. 

"Mrs. Backus."  He was still holding her hand and the chief was nodding, with understanding, and was actually smiling. 

"I'll probably be late this evening, Darling.  I'll try to give you a call." 

"Okay, I'll fix something that will keep.  Have a good day."  She kissed his cheek; nodded at Scully, and let her eyes caress Mulder one more time, then left the station. 

Scully rolled her eyes, then turned back to the men.  At least Mulder's tongue was back in his mouth.  He looked down at her, apparently feeling her gaze and the smile slipped from his face. 

"Uh, Chief Backus, we've worked up a partial profile and wanted to bring it to you." 

"Of course, come in, come in."  He opened the door to his office a little wider and beckoned them in. 

Scully accepted the seat that he indicated, but before Mulder could begin, turned to the chief.  "How long have you two been married?" 

He blinked as though he'd forgotten she knew how to speak, "Mrs. Backus and I have been together for nearly a year." 

She nodded and fell silent at that, letting Mulder present their information. 

When they left the office, Mulder's hand came up to her back.  "Why so interested in his wife?" 

"You the only one that can be interested?"  She glanced up at him, and saw the flush of embarrassment. 

"Scully, I was just - " 

"Undressing her with your eyes?" 

He looked away then, and didn't bother to respond. 

"While you were ogling her, did you happen to notice how closely she resembled the profile of the victims?" 

Mulder stopped then and Scully turned back to look at him, her eyebrow high.  After a moment he nodded and they continued on toward the car. 

"Let's talk to the families, Mulder.  See what we can learn." 

He followed her on to the car.  Well, he certainly hadn't improved their communication this morning.  Hell, he hadn't known the man had a trophy wife, or that she would be at the station.  There was nothing wrong with looking, was there?  Surely she knew where his interest really lay. 

They met with two of the families that morning and ended up with nothing but frustration.  When they returned to the car, Mulder slid in behind the wheel.  “This guy is taking a specific type of woman.  Maybe he stalked them, but it’s obvious his victims have to fit a certain type, a certain look.” 

“I think we should warn Mrs. Backus.” 

Mulder nodded.  “Maybe this is someone who’s incredibly ticked off at Backus and . . . Maybe we ought to interview him.” 

Her eyebrow rose.  “He certainly has the attitude toward women.  I’m sure he has only one idea of what women are for.” 

“You want me to handle this.” 

She nodded, “He wouldn’t be very forthcoming if I was asking questions.” 

Mulder had to agree there.  “I’ll go ask him some questions.  Not sure I could get a full interview, but give me a couple of minutes.” 

“Fine, I’ll go get the car and meet you out front.” 

He nodded and turned back to the office. 

She let herself out the back door.  Being around the chief was wearing and she knew she was letting it get to her, but it had been a long time since she’d spent time with a man so blatantly backward in his thinking.  She glanced down at the keys in her hand.  She had to put this aside.  It was more important to find the killer, which was what she needed to concentrate on. 

She’d been surprised when her friend had called.  They hadn’t stayed in close contact, but Claire knew what she did.  Well, she knew she worked for the FBI.  Not many people knew what she did, sometimes not even her. 

But Claire had remembered her feminist views from college.  Claire had shared those views.  She’d been adamant that Dana would be able to find out something.  Claire’s opinion of the police work had been as low as Scully’s had sunk.  She was deep in thought as she approached the car. 

The hand over her mouth and the blade against her throat shocked her.  The position of the knife was perfect.  If he applied pressure, she’d be dead in minutes.  They wouldn’t be able to save her. 

“Don’t look around.”  He took his hand from her mouth, but increased the pressure at her throat.  Her own hand came up involuntarily to her neck. 

“I . . . I won’t.  You’re in charge.”   

“I sure am.”  He took the keys from her hand and moved her toward his car.  With his free hand he opened the trunk and shoved her toward it.  He didn’t bother trying to bind her, his superior size giving him the assurance he needed. 

“Stay quiet.” 

She nodded with her eyes, willing to obey him, for now. 

“Come on.” 

As she brought her hand down she pulled the cross with it, allowing it to fall to the ground at her feet. 

“Where are you taking me?”  Her voice was steady, which surprised her a little.  The “Ice Queen” had asserted herself. 

“My house.” 

“Why me?”  There was no answer to that one.  She became aware, or let herself become aware, that she was being driven to her death.  There had been no attempt to hide his identity, no attempt to hide their destination.  He had no intention of letting her go.  Mulder, get out here!  Hurry!  How long did he usually keep his victims alive?  There had been a lot of questions about that. 

She needed to think, she had to get into his head.  How long before Mulder spotted her necklace?  He would see it, he had to. 

“What did she do to you to make you hate women?” 

He glanced over at her and managed to hide his surprise quickly, but not before she saw it. 


“The woman you’re trying to hurt.  It’s not going to help; killing me won’t make it better.  Has it helped with any of the others?” 

“Be quiet.”  He slammed the trunk shut and she was alone in the dark.  She closed her eyes in despair. 


The car had stopped; she heard the rumble of a garage closing and then the trunk opened.  The light was dim inside the garage, the only light coming through the small windows in the automatic door. 

He took hold of her arm and pulled her from the car, then forcing her in front of him, took her into the house and down into the basement.   

She was led into a room to one side and he shoved her down on the cot in the room.  He turned then and left the room without a word.  She heard the padlock click into place. 


Mulder looked down the street once again, then started walking around toward the back of the building.  Maybe the car wouldn’t start.  But she hadn’t come back inside.  He knew she was avoiding the chief, and he couldn’t really blame her. 

He turned into the parking lot and saw that the car was where he had parked it.  But where was she?  He headed over to the space.  Where had she gotten to? 

Something caught his eye and he bent to get a closer look.  A jolt of adrenaline coursed through him.  Scully’s cross.  Was that blood on the chain?  Oh shit.  He seemed to be paralyzed.  He needed to find her, gather whatever evidence was here.  Come on Mulder!   

He turned toward the door leading back into the station.  He needed help and fast!  A few short sentences had things in motion.  At least a couple of the officers actually looked relieved that someone else was in charge.     

Damnit!  Scully didn't fit the profile - she wasn't tall or blond, she wasn't married and she had no children.  And . . . and she was his


He had joined her again and brought her a bottle of water.  “Thanks.” 

“You talk like a man.” 

“A man?”  She was watching him closely.  He didn’t seem . . . all there. 

“Yeah, not like a girl.” 

“Do you mean I sound . . . smart?” 

His eyes narrowed, but after a moment he nodded.  He looked familiar.  Had she seen him during the investigation?  She was searching her mind for memories of everyone she had been in contact with since arriving. 

“I’m a doctor.” 

“Girls can’t be doctors.” 

That caught her attention.  Did everyone in this whole town have that attitude?” 

“I went to medical school.  I really am a doctor.”  She nodded reassuringly. 

“You can write prescriptions?” 

“Yes.  Have you never been to see a woman doctor?” 


She needed to form a relationship with him.  He had to see her as a person, not a victim.  “What’s your name?  I should call you something.” 

He hesitated and she watched him trying to make up his mind.  She realized then that he was slow, mildly retarded at least.  How could she use that? 


“Hello Fred, I’m Dana.” 

“Da . . . Dana.” 

“Fred, I need to leave here.” 

“You can’t.” 

“Fred, I don’t think you want to hurt me.” 

He shook his head reluctantly.  “I can’t let you go.” 

“You hurt those other women, didn’t you?” 

Again his eyes narrowed, but she still didn’t see the rage.  This didn’t seem like the same man.  The killer had been so angry, but Fred . . . Fred seemed almost mild in comparison, sorry even that he had her here.  Yes, he had kidnapped her, held a knife to her throat, why wasn’t she seeing that now? 

“I had to.”  He looked down, not apologizing exactly, but he seemed almost embarrassed. 

“Why did you have to, Fred?” 

He rose to his feet abruptly and she startled back.  He didn’t touch her, leaving the room quickly.  She heard the lock snick into place again. 

She collapsed back against the wall, and gave into the shaking that had taken control of her body. 

It was several hours before he returned.  It had gotten awfully hot and stuffy down here.  Fred had propped the door open and there was more air now.  He had a burger and fries for both of them and he sat in the only chair to eat, while she sat on the cot.  He allowed her to choose the sandwich she wanted and took the other.  It occurred to her then that the idea of poison hasn’t entered his head.  She was relieved, because the drink was more than appreciated. 

After a few bites he spoke again.  “Did you make good grades in school?” 

“Yes, I did.  How about you?” 

He looked down and shook his head.  “They said I was stupid.” 

“I don’t think that, Fred.  And I don’t think grades in school are the only measure of intelligence.” 

He looked at her puzzled.  “You’re not dumb Fred.  You managed to take these women and . . . and hurt them. And you weren’t caught.  Why those women, Fred?  You haven’t hurt me.” 

“You don’t look like her.” 

“Like who, Fred?” 

“Like his wife.”  He was beginning to get angry just thinking about it. 

Scully blinked, understanding now.  “You’re Fred Backus, aren’t you?” 

He nodded miserably. 

“You want to hurt women who look like your stepmother?” 

“She’s not my stepmother!”  He slammed his fist down on the table and she jumped.  It was the most violence she’d seen. 

“I’m . . . I’m sorry Fred.  Where . . . where’s your mother?” 

Tears formed in his eyes then.  “His wife killed her.  Brenda killed her.” 

“What do you mean?”  Keep it calm, Dana.  You’re on thin ice here. 

“Mom stayed with Dad all these years.  Even when he hurt her, she never left him.  He was her whole world.” 

“Did your Dad hit your mom?”  This was falling into place. 

“Well, sure.”  He looked up at her, confused. 

This boy had murdered those women; she knew that now.  He’d caused them incredible pain while doing it, but she found herself blaming his father.  This man in front of her didn’t even seem to comprehend what he had done. 

“When did your mother die?” 

A tear fell from his eye then, “Six months ago.  After Dad divorced her, she got sick.  She didn’t go to the doctor right away.  She thought she was just sad, but then she went and . . . and they said she had cancer.  He didn’t even come to see her in the hospital.” 

“I’m sorry Fred.” 

He wiped his eyes.  “I miss her.” 

“I know, but Fred, you killed those women.  They didn’t do anything to you.  Do you understand that?” 

He hung his head.  “When I see a woman that looks like her, I . . . I just get angry.” 

“Then you should talk to someone about that, but not hurt the woman just because she looks like someone you hate.” 

He rose abruptly and left the room, locking it behind him.  Her shoulders sagged and she closed her eyes.  When she opened them she looked down at her watch.  She’d been missing for six hours.  Mulder must be going out of his mind.


A Dirty Little Secret  2

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