Title: The Abuse Stops Here
Author: XScout
Classification: VA
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Demons
Summary: Mulder reveals events from the past that led to his attack on a man and his subsequent arrest.

Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, and the SOB known as William Mulder are all owned by Chris Carter and 10-13. I would just borrow them but I use them so much, why bother returning them? It would save us all a lot of trouble. Then I wouldn't have to say, no infringement intended.

Author's Note: This is a child abuse story, so if you are disturbed by the idea (as you rightly should be), I caution you. Don't worry, nothing in much detail, just vague descriptions. If you thought it was worth reading, e-mail me. If you don't think it was, then it's not worth e-mailing me. But hopefully it was. XScout@hotmail.com


The Abuse Stops Here


Dana Scully's Apartment


She turned her head to peer sleepily at the blurry numbers glowing red in the darkness.

1:08 a.m.

Only one person would call at this god-forsaken hour. She reached over and grabbed the phone, nearly knocking it off the end table. "What do you want, Mulder?"

A hesitant chuckle on the other side. "How'd you know it was me?"

"Only two people are courageous enough to call me this early. You and Skinner. Since Skinner is on vacation until next Monday I concluded that it was you." She closed her eyes and laid her arm across them in an effort to quell her fatigue. "So what do you want?"

"Um. Well, I have a little problem."

"Oh, I'm shocked." Scully sighed in feigned exasperation.

"Hah hah." His tone became serious. "Actually it is a rather large problem."

She sat up in her bed, all concern. "What's the matter? Are you all right?"

"Yes, I'm fine. It's just that I'm in...I mean, I was wondering if you would..." he trailed off.

"You know I would do anything I could," she assured him

"I know," she could hear the smile when he said that, "but this is..." he mumbled.

"Mulder, just tell me." She was starting to worry, he usually wasn't this tongue tied.

He took a deep breath and let it out in a whoosh. "I'm being held at the Forty-eighth Precinct and I was wondering if you could come down and bail me out."

It took a moment to sink in. When it did, all vestiges of sleep melted away and was replaced by a cold, hard knot in her stomach. What could have happened? Had he gone off on a case and ruffled the locals' feathers? Had he broken in to another government facility? No, he had promised not to ditch her ever again since the incident with Dr. Goldstein. Maybe he... She shook her head, there was no time for this, Mulder needed her now, no matter how he got himself arrested.

"I'll be right down," she said in a far steadier voice than she could have hoped.

"Scully, I...thank you." With that, he hung up.

48th Precinct
Alexandria, Virginia
1:32 a.m.

It had taken her longer than she had expected to reach the police station since she had to wait for an accident to be cleared up. Damn drunk drivers. She maneuvered her way through the maze of desks and cubicle walls until she found the counter she was looking for.

She stepped up to the desk and nodded politely to the man sitting behind it. "Excuse me, I'm here about someone they just brought in, Fox Mulder?"

The man creased his brow in concentration before shaking his head. "Don't recognize the name, let me check." He swiveled around in his chair and waved across the room to another man standing by the wall. "Hey, Gary! Do we have a guy by the name of Mulder in the back?"

Gary didn't move from his position against the wall. "Yeah, he's the assault that arrived 'bout forty-five minutes ago!" he shouted back.

Scully's mouth dropped open. Arrested for assault?? Mulder?? What had happened? Throwing the other questions aside she opted for the most logical one. "What is his bail?" she managed to ask.

The man looked down at his desk, rummaging through creased papers and crumpled tissues. "Ah, here we go. It's set at five hundred bucks. Usually it's more but the guy he assaulted is a regular down here."

"Fine," she said absently, pulling out her checkbook.

The man grunted. "Cash only."

Scully pursed her lips. "You have an ATM machine around here?"

He smiled greasily. "Yeah, sure. Go outside, turn left and it's a few feet down. We get a lot of calls for it so we had one installed a few years back."

"How convenient," she grumbled. Following his instructions she was soon back, crisp bills in hand.

"Thank you." He took the money and wrote down something in the mess on his desk. Without turning around this time he bellowed, "Gary! Go get the assault, time to let him loose!"

Gary finally moved, pushing himself from the wall and disappearing down the corridor on the right. A few moments later and he reappeared, an indignant Mulder in tow. "Hope you enjoyed your stay with us. Please come again," Gary intoned while holding open the swinging door, allowing Mulder to pass.

Mulder shot him a disgusted look before joining Scully. She was staring at him, a mixed look of confusion and concern on her face. He could understand why, he looked like he'd been attacked by a bear. Come to think of it, that description was quite apt.

His left eye was swollen halfway shut, several cuts adorning his face, black and blue splotches scattered among them. Nobody had bothered to let him clean himself up so there was dried blood encrusted along his right temple and a smudge of the reddish brown under his nose.

Attempting to ease the tension in his partner he stood up as straight as his sore body would allow and declared, "You should see the other guy."

Fox Mulder's Apartment
2:11 a.m.

The ride back to his apartment was in silence, Scully too shocked to say anything and Mulder too ashamed at putting her through this. Now he was sitting on his couch and she was searching his cupboard for the first-aid kit she made him keep. Upon finding it she returned to the living room and began ministering to Mulder's hurts.

He hissed as the antiseptic seeped into the cut on his forehead.

"Sorry," she mumbled.

"That's okay." He directed his gaze to her face, catching her eyes. "Scully?"

"Hmm?" She dabbed some ointment over the cut.

"Thank you." He paused, gathering his thoughts. "I'm sorry for making you do this."

Finishing her doctoring, Scully put all the supplies back in the kit and leaned back beside him. "What are friends for? Now, are you going to tell me what happened?"

He sighed, nodding. "I was working on a few case files, trying to decide what needed our attention most, when-"

"What time was this?"

"Just before midnight I think." He grinned sheepishly when she gave him a reproachful look. "Anyway, I was up when I heard someone crying out. It sounded like it was coming from next door so I went over to see what was wrong. I-"

"Where was your weapon?"

"Left it on the coffee table." Another grin. "Don't give me that look, I know who my neighbors are and whether they're dangerous. Besides, a kid lives next to me. Him and his dad. Jason and Dean Allen, respectively. I knocked on the door only to be answered by another shout and then a crash, like something breaking. So, I kicked open the door and went in. I saw-"

"Did you identify yourself as a federal agent?"

"No, I was too busy ducking flying objects." He was about to go on when he stopped. "Are you going to interrupt me again?" He continued after she gave him an apologetic shake of her head. "As I was saying, I saw Jason on the floor, broken glass around him and he had a bloody nose, among other various bruises. He didn't even notice me, he was terrified of the other man in the room. His father. The guy was beating the shit out of this kid, if you'll pardon the expression, and if I didn't intervene he might have killed the boy."

Mulder took a deep breath. "Jason is only ten years old, Scully, what could he possibly have done to deserve that? I saw him, scared and hurt, huddled into himself, wishing that he could disappear and I remembered how it felt. Wondering what he had done this time, why he couldn't seem to please his dad, why he hadn't obeyed fast enough. Trying not to cry, knowing that it would just make Dad angrier, apologizing over and over for everything, begging him to stop. I looked into those eyes and I saw myself."

Scully's hand flew to her mouth, her eyes wide in shock. She knew Mulder had difficult a family life but she had never suspected the depth of problems he had faced. Or maybe she had but never wanted to admit it. The more she thought about it the more she realized that the signs had always been there, she had just refused to see them. "Mulder." She didn't know what else to say.

He didn't hear her, he just kept talking. "I looked at Dean Allen and saw my dad, yelling and hitting, and I just snapped. I barreled right into him, knocking over a lamp and breaking the stand. I didn't care that the guy was twice my size or that he was drunk, all I knew was that he was hurting an innocent little boy. I remembered seeing Jason every now and then with a cast or a black eye but he told me that he had just fallen. I should have known, I used the same excuse myself so many times.

"Allen started yelling at me, claiming that this was how he was brought up and that it was how he was going to raise his son. God, I was so angry and that pushed me over the edge. Being abused is no excuse for abusing others. My father may have put me in the hospital on more than one occasion, but I will never, *never* raise a hand to any children of my own should I ever have them. The abuse stops here."

Scully laid her hands on his forearm, reminding him that she was there, was ready to offer comfort. That this information in no way made her look at him as though he was lacking in any way. If anything, she had more respect for the strength and determination that allowed him to become the man he was, despite the wreck of his childhood. He smiled down at her and covered her small hands with his own.

"When he said that, I started pounding on him, so blinded by rage I didn't notice that he had stopped fighting back. The woman across the hall heard the racket and called the police, they showed up and pulled me off Allen, cuffed me and read me my rights. Allen was put in the drunk tank and I got tossed in a cell. You know the rest."

Tears had sprung to Scully's eyes unnoticed and she flinched slightly when Mulder reached over and wiped one away gently with his thumb. "I'm going to make sure Dean Allen is never allowed to touch his son again. Tomorrow I am going to Child Welfare and reporting the entire incident. Jason is staying at a friend's house for the night so he'll be okay until then." He glanced at his watch, it was slightly after 2:30 in the morning. "I guess I meant today."

"I'll go with you," Scully said softly.

"You don't have to."

"I know, but I want to. Mulder, you did the right thing. You stopped a child from becoming scarred for life, you gave him hope for a happy and healthy future. As soon as the details are out I'm sure the charges will be dropped and the police will be thanking you instead." She grinned then. "They are going to piss their pants when they find out they arrested an FBI agent."

He burst out laughing, the tension seeping away. "I can't wait to see their faces." He chuckled a bit more before drawing in a deep breath and becoming serious once again. "Scully, I...You don't...I mean, do you think..."

"No Mulder, I do not think any less of you. I don't think you deserved to be beaten by your father. I don't think it was your fault Samantha was taken. I do not think anyone will blame you for what you did.

"But I do think you are the most amazing person I have ever known. As much as I wish that I could have saved you from that horror, I wouldn't want you any different than you are today. Your passion, your strength, your willpower, your stubbornness, and your beliefs are what make you who you are. And if some of that is because of your experiences as a child then I am glad it happened."

At some point during her speech, Mulder had begun to cry silently, tears of relief and a past pain mixed together to rain down his cheeks. He brought her hands up to his mouth and kissed them softly. "And if it is because of those experiences that I have come to be here with you, neither would I."

Scully smiled and drew him into an embrace. They remained that way until the sun woke up their part of the world.