Disclaimer: I own nothing I just use the characters to my amusement. Don't sue because I have nothing of value anyway.

This story is set after "Fight the Future". After that it spins off into my own universe. MSR for sure. The way it should have been.

Prologue:

Somewhere off the coast of Maine

He could hear her singing in the fever of the night. It was a high pitched song that filled his head and consumed him with lust and need. He needed to get to her. He needed to find her. Everything he ever wanted was waiting right out there for him, if he'd only heed the call. Before he knew it, he was in the water. It was cold and the waves crashed against his body as he waded out, desperate to follow the sound of the music. Desperate to have all his dreams fulfilled. It was like being in a trance. A sweet, beautiful trance. Without even thinking about it, he was swimming. The rough waves pounding over his head as he swam and swam. He was so close now. The singing got louder. And then he saw her. A beautiful red haired goddess sitting on the banks of a small rocky island. She was nude and had her arms outstretched towards him, beckoning him to come closer. So he swam harder, ignoring the chill in his body from the water because he felt hot on the inside at the sight of her. She was his everything. As he approached the island her arms reached down towards him. He was mumbling something about not believing his luck and how beautiful she was. She placed a finger to his cold lips and shushed him. He felt her hands on his shoulders in what he thought was an effort to help him up. But in reality she had grabbed him and was pushing him down under the water. The sounds of her singing got louder and louder in his ears as the water rushed over his face. He was drowning and he didn't even care. He could still see her long red hair shining in the moonlight through the murky water. He struggled for breath but she pushed him down harder with a supernatural strength that belied her petite figure. The song started fading in his ears and soon everything grew dark. His lifeless body sunk down beneath the surface of the water and the music stopped. The red head smiled to herself and leapt into the water hurriedly and swam away.

Washington DC

Mulder sat behind his cramped desk shuffling paperwork around when Scully entered the room. He jumped up and smiled as he greeted her.

"Morning Scully. Don't you look lovely today," he grinned at her.

She sighed. "Thank you." Then she eyed him suspiciously. "Why are you buttering me up, Mulder?"

"No reason. Can't a man simply make a compliment without it meaning I'm buttering you up?"

"I know you too well though. What kind of crazy caper do you have planned for us now?" she asked as she plopped herself down in a chair across from him.

"I'm glad you asked," he smiled. "I think I have a really good X-file here and I'm sure you're going to agree once you hear what I have to say."

"Okay, what is it?"

"Off the coast of Maine they found a drowned man yesterday," he began to explain.

"A drowning? That hardly sounds like a case for us," she protested.

"Would you let me finish? You never let me get to the good parts before you interrupt me," he scolded her.

Scully sighed and held up her hand. "Sorry. I'll be quiet. Keep going."

"Where was I? Oh yeah, drowned man. But see, he's the 6th drowning victim in two months. The bodies always wash up in the same spots and the victims are all men. And in all the cases the men seem to have just stopped whatever they were doing and walked into the ocean. They even left their TV's on and one of them had a full dinner sitting on the table when he just vanished into the water."

"Could be suicide," she offered.

"Six suicides in two months in the same tiny little town?"

"It could happen."

"Yeah but none of these men had any history of depression. In fact they all couldn't be more different. The only thing they had in common was they were all single and living alone."

"And don't you think that might make them more depressed than the average individual?" she wondered.

"Well we're both single and live alone and we haven't thrown ourselves into the ocean yet," he smirked at her.

"Point taken," she relented. "But maybe it's all just accidental. Sometimes that water seems calm to swim in and then it gets really rough. They might have just gotten in over their heads."

"What would possess six men to go swimming, all in the same spot mind you, in the middle of winter in Maine? It's not exactly Tahiti where you'd take a quick dip in the ocean after dinner."

"Alright, you do make a good point. No one would likely be going swimming at this time of year. But what do you think it is that's causing this?" she asked him curiously.

"I think it might be a Siren."

"A Siren? You mean like a mermaid?" she asked incredulously.

"Yeah, exactly like that. The mythology of a Siren is varied on what she actually is, or whether or not they're mermaids or something else. But it fits. They lure unsuspecting men into their clutches with a song. Then they kill them. It's usually just sailors, but what if they were working closer to shore? These men could have been called by the song and met their untimely deaths."

"Lured to their deaths with a song? Sounds a bit crazy to me."

"Of course it's crazy. That's why it's an X-file."

"When do we leave?" she asked with a sigh.

"Right now. We can make it to Maine before nightfall."

They rode in the car silently. Scully wasn't sold on the whole Siren/mermaid idea. But when Mulder had something set in his mind, it was best to just follow along and see what happened. It's not like he's never been right before. In fact, he'd been right more times than she'd care to admit. But each and every time she couldn't help but think his ideas were far fetched and implausible. It's just her nature to question everything, even when she herself had seen some seriously unexplainable things. Sometimes she found herself thinking she was just as crazy as Mulder was to believe in the things she'd seen. But what else could she do? She had to face the cold hard fact that sometimes there was no logical scientific explanation for things. But she'd be hard pressed to let go of her science without a fight.

"Whatcha thinking about, Scully?" Mulder asked to break the silence that had settled over them on the long car ride.

"I was just thinking how I wasn't sure I was buying this whole Siren idea thing."

"Well I'm not saying that's what it is for sure yet. But it's an idea. I can't think of anything else that would cause those men to jump into the ocean like that," he told her.

"But what would be the purpose? I don't understand how she lures them. With a song? How can a song make someone do something crazy like that?"

"It's hypnotic, Scully. It's more than a song. It's like a burning need inside these men and the song pulls them towards the source. They used to say that sailors were so lonely on their long journeys that just the thought of a woman out there was enough to make them do anything to find her," he explained.

"So it's about horny old sailors desperate for some female company?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.

"It's not just about being horny. It's about being lonely. And a Siren song promises you that you'll have everything you ever wanted and won't ever be lonely again."

Scully rubbed her temples and leaned back in her seat. "I'm just not sure I get how it works."

Mulder looked over at her for a moment. "Haven't you ever been lonely before?" he wondered.

She let out a deep breath and faced him. "Of course I have. Sometimes."

"And what if something came along and assured you that you'd never have to feel that way again? Wouldn't you be compelled to follow it?" he asked her curiously.

She thought about what he was saying. She knew only too well what it was like to feel lonely. She never liked to admit it, but her loneliness at times ran so deep she felt like she was drowning in it. But she also knew that she was never really alone. She had Mulder. He always seemed to be there when she needed someone. With him by her side she was never alone. But it was all so complicated that sometimes even when she was with him, she still felt the loneliness creep up. They were so close, yet so far apart sometimes. There were things she wanted from him that she wasn't sure she could ever have. And living with that knowledge wasn't always easy.

"I suppose it would be tempting to follow something that promised you'd never be lonely and always have what you wanted. But I think I'm strong enough to know it's got to be a trap," she explained.

He shook his head. "I don't think anyone is strong enough to realize it's a trap when the Siren sings. It's like being in a trance. Besides why would it always have to be a trap? Maybe there is such a thing as never being lonely and having everything you wanted?" he said with a shrug.

"I don't know if I believe there is such a thing in the real world," she told him with a far away look on her face.

"Sure there is. Sometimes you just have to open your eyes and see it and not be afraid of it," he said as he looked at her seriously.

She glanced over at him and their eyes locked. Volumes of unspoken words went between them when they looked at each other this way. It was almost too much to bear and Mulder looked away first to keep his eyes on the road. He meant what he said though. Sometimes everything you needed was right in front of you and you were just too afraid to see it. But he wasn't afraid. He hadn't been afraid for a long time. He knew that Scully was his entire world and he was pretty damn sure she knew it too. He'd be nothing without her and had told her almost as much not too long ago. In fact he'd finally been ready to kiss her and just get it all out in the open for once and for all but that stupid bee ruined the moment. They'd never spoken of it again, but it never left Mulder's mind. And he was pretty sure that every once in awhile it crossed her mind too because she was definitely not going to stop the kiss. He could tell that from the way she responded to him. But for some reason, he just hadn't tried again. There was never a right moment. But that didn't mean there never would be. And then everything he wanted would be right in front of him. So he believed that it was possible to have that. He didn't however believe that a Siren could offer that. That was a trick. But the concept of the happy ending is exactly what led those men to their deaths. At least in theory. He wasn't sure yet what they were dealing with. It was all just conjecture and his imagination at this point.

She finally spoke. "I don't think I'd be afraid of it really if I had everything right in front of me. It's just that sometimes things aren't so cut and dried or easy. Just because you find something doesn't mean life becomes perfect."

"No it doesn't become perfect. There is no such thing as that. But I think with the right person by your side it feels perfect sometimes," he explained to her.

She looked over at him and he glanced back at her. They just looked at each other for a moment and then Mulder smiled.

"Someday maybe you'll believe," he told her.

She smiled back at him. "Yeah, maybe someday."

The rest of the trip was made in relative silence. They were both lost in their own thoughts. But when they finally reached their destination they were both more than glad to get out and stretch their legs. It had been a long drive and they'd only stopped once along the way. They were eager to get checked into their motel. As always, they had two rooms right next to each other and they both grabbed their bags and headed in. It wasn't long before Mulder was knocking on the door and ready to get down to business.

"I spoke to the sheriff in town and she said we could come down any time and she'd fill us in. They still have the body of the latest victim so maybe you could take a look at that and see what you come up with there," he told her.

They got back into the car and drove the short distance to the police station. In a town like this you could probably cross the entire thing in five minutes. It was not a big city by any means which made the deaths seem even more suspicious to Mulder. When they got to the station they went inside and a pretty woman with long red hair pulled back into a braid greeted them.

"You must be Agent Mulder. We spoke on the phone. I'm Sheriff Dunbar."

She held her hand out to him. He shook it and then motioned towards Scully.

"This is my partner Agent Scully."

The two women shook hands and Scully sized her up. She was not at all like any sheriff she had ever seen. She looked more like a model in a police uniform.

"So why don't you tell us what's been happening here, Sheriff Dunbar?" Mulder asked. "You said on the phone that there have been six drownings?"

She nodded her head. "Yes, six. This latest one came as the biggest shock. I knew Patrick Harrison personally. I just have no idea why he would have been out in the water in this cold weather."

"Have there been any signs of foul play in any of the cases?"

"No. We've just been chalking them up to accidents. It was pretty hard to tell what happened because the bodies were pretty beat up by the rocks," the sheriff explained.

Mulder shook his head. "This many accidents seems like a lot, don't you think?"

"Well yeah, it does. But we didn't know what else to think."

"Can we see the latest body?" Scully interjected.

The sheriff nodded. "Of course. I'll show you back to the morgue area."

They went down a corridor and into a back room. Inside lay the body of Patrick Harrison covered by a sheet. Scully went over and pulled it back. Immediately she saw bruising and small cuts and scrapes all over the body. But it was impossible to tell without a thorough examination whether these marks were made pre or post mortem.

"Scully why don't you work your magic here and I'll go with the sheriff to discuss the cases more thoroughly," Mulder told her as he indicated the body on the table.

"Sure. I'll work my magic. But I'm not sure if I'll be able to tell you anything other than the obvious. He drowned. Nothing I find is going to tell you why he went in the water."

"Just do your best and see if you find any signs of foul play."

Mulder turned around and left the room with the sheriff and Scully watched them walk away. Something inside her felt a pang of jealousy seeing them together. Why couldn't the sheriff be ugly? Scully knew it was irrational but she hated it when other women paid attention to Mulder. Especially if they looked like supermodel police women. Here she was stuck with a rotting corpse and god only knew what they were going to do. Have coffee and donuts and get cozy over the case files? She shook the thoughts out of her brain.

"Don't be stupid," she muttered under her breath. "Just do your job, Dana."

And that she did. She got her gear on and went to work examining the body.

Mulder and Sheriff Dunbar sat together in her office going through the files.

"None of these men had any history of depression or any reason to take their own lives?" Mulder asked her.

She shook her head. "Not as far as I know. They were all decent normal guys. No one in their families seemed to think they'd try to kill themselves."

Mulder nodded. "They all washed up around the same area too. Where exactly is that?"

"They were all found in Breakers Cove. Two of them were found by fishermen and the other four washed up on shore."

"I'm gonna want to see this place. Is it far?"

"No, we can go right now if you want," she told him.

He agreed and they went outside to get in her squad car. They drove down to the beach area and she pulled up alongside a pier that went out into the ocean where fishermen often docked their boats. The sun was gone now so it was dark and damp and cold outside. Mulder wished he'd brought a better jacket with him, he thought to himself as they walked down towards the shoreline.

"So this is the place, huh?" he asked her.

"This is it. The latest victim washed up right over there on those rocks." She pointed to a spot to the right of the pier.

Mulder looked around and noticed a small island just past the pier. There was a lighthouse to the left of it on another smaller outlet of land.

"Is there anything on that island?" he asked curiously.

"No, it's just a piece of land. You can't really get to it by boat because it's too rocky," she told him.

"But someone might try to swim there," he said gazing off into the distance.

"I can't imagine why anyone would want to swim there. There's nothing there."

Mulder turned to face her. "Have you ever heard of a Siren before?" he asked.

"A Siren?" she laughed. "Oh sure, the legends of the fishermen run deep out here. But that's all it is. Just a legend."

"Maybe. Maybe not. Stranger things have been known to happen," he smiled at her.

"Well I remember my grandfather telling stories of the Siren's song and how sailors were deceived into thinking they'd found a beautiful woman when in reality she was just a killer. But I never really believed the stories were true," she told him pointedly.

"Legends usually have some basis in facts, it's just in the retelling of those facts the stories get a little fantastical."

"Well I'd believe most anything right about now because I have no other explanation for why these men died," she admitted with a small sigh.

"Let's get out of here. It's too dark to see much of anything right now. Plus it's freezing out here," Mulder said with a shiver.

"Exactly. Which is why it makes no sense anyone would go swimming out here."

"Agreed. Now let's get back to the station and see if Scully figured anything out with the body."

Scully was finishing up her work when Mulder and the sheriff walked into the room. She looked up at them and noticed they were laughing quietly and standing just a little too close for Scully's comfort. She cleared her throat.

"Where did you guys go off to?" she asked inquisitively.

"We went to the beach. Liz wanted to show me where the bodies washed up," Mulder told her.

"Liz?" Scully raised her eyebrow.

"Oh yeah, I told Fox he could call me Liz. We're not too formal around these parts," the sheriff smiled at her.

Fox? Liz? Nice to see them so familiar with each other, Scully thought to herself bitterly.

"So did you find anything with the body?" Mulder asked.

Scully bit back her jealousy and nodded her head. "I found signs of handprints on the shoulders indicating this man was held under the water. The bruising was different than all the rest of the post mortem damage."

"Held under the water? My god…" Liz rushed over to see for herself. "So you're saying someone killed Patrick and that it wasn't an accident?"

"That's exactly what I'm saying," Scully told her. "Without seeing the other bodies I can't tell you if it's the same thing. But this man was indeed murdered."

"I don't even know what to say. We've never had a murder before since I've been sheriff."

"Well count this as your first. Or possibly sixth. I can't say for certain."

"A serial killer?" Liz asked curiously.

"Looks like," Scully nodded.

"Fox, do you think this fits with your idea about the Siren?" Liz asked him.

"Well it certainly makes me wonder."

"I thought Sirens crept on boats and killed sleeping sailors. I don't think they drown them," Liz told him.

"There are several theories actually. Some say that, some also say they pull them ashore and eat them. Another part of the mythology is drowning. All the myths say one thing for certain though. They're deadly. So it fits."

"Wait a minute, you actually told her about the Siren and she believes it?" Scully asked confusedly.

"She didn't think it was entirely crazy, like some people I know," Mulder smirked at her.

"I told Fox I'd believe just about anything at this point. All I know is we need to get to the bottom of it before any more men die."

"We'll definitely take care of this, Liz. Don't worry," Mulder told her assuredly.

Scully just stood there staring at both of them. She was uneasy with the friendliness between the two of them and the way Mulder was portraying himself as some kind of hero to save the day. The truth was they were no closer to solving this than when they first arrived. Maybe Mulder's crazy idea was true, but where was the proof? And how would they ever get it? She still felt like they were looking for a serial killer, most likely another man. And definitely not some Siren or whatever the two of them conjured up together. She had no idea who would drown these men, but she did not believe it was some killer mermaid, that's for sure.

"Look, it's late. I'm going back to the motel. We can discuss this in the morning," Scully told them both.

She just wanted to get into her pajamas and sleep this night away.

"Scully's right. There's nothing we can do now. But tomorrow I wanna check out the area where they all washed up more thoroughly," Mulder said.

"Okay. Goodnight Fox. It was a pleasure to meet you," Liz said as she extended her hand to him again.

"Likewise," he smiled at her.

"Yeah, huge pleasure. Now let's get back to the motel," Scully said more harshly than she intended.

Mulder looked at her with an amused and astonished expression.

"Scully get's cranky when she's tired," he explained. "We better get back, but we'll see you in the morning."

"See you then," Liz smiled.

"I can't wait," Scully said with the fakest smile ever.

Once they got into the car Mulder laughed slightly as he looked over at Scully.

"What's funny?" Scully asked.

"You. I do believe you're jealous Ms. Scully."

"Jealous? Are you crazy? I just think it's inappropriate to be on a first name basis with the sheriff," she scoffed.

"Why? She insisted. What else was I supposed to do?"

"Insist back that Sheriff Dunbar was more appropriate. I mean, you never call me Dana. It's weird."

"I never call you Dana because you never call me Fox."

"Right. And that's how it's supposed to be because we're partners not friends," she insisted.

Mulder looked at her with a hurt expression. "We're not friends?"

Scully looked back over at him and sighed. "We're friends. I just meant that we keep it professional. The way it's meant to be."

"Yeah, well sometimes it doesn't always have to be so professional, Dana."

"Yes it does, Fox," she shot back.

They both stared at each other and realized how awkward it felt using their given names. It just wasn't in them. He was Mulder and she was Scully and that was that.

"Fine, I won't call her Liz anymore if it breaks some huge moral code you have," he relented.

"I don't care what you call her," she said picking lint off her shirt.

"Well obviously you do."

"This whole thing is just stupid. Just take us back to the motel."

"Alright," Mulder said as he put the car into drive. "But just so you know, there's only one red head to capture my attention and it isn't Sheriff Dunbar," he said softly.

Scully sat there silently for a moment, taking his words in. "That's good to know, Agent Mulder."

"Yeah, it is, Agent Scully."

They both just sat there in silence until Mulder finally decided to drive away. Scully had no idea why she was so jealous. And she had no idea why Mulder was putting her at ease that way. But it worked. She liked hearing that from him. She wanted to know that she was the only one. But she could never just come right out and say that. And she didn't think he was ready to tell her that either, but she was wrong. He did tell her. In fact, he'd told her a lot recently. She was important to him. Much more than just a partner. Much more than just his Agent Scully. She was something else. And she knew it. Which made her jealousy all the more stupid. But she couldn't help it. He belonged to her. It was never said, but it was understood, she felt. Just as she belonged to him. After all, he had declared to her that he didn't think he could even move on in his work without her. Plus he was going to kiss her. And she was going to let him. She was dying to let him. But the stupid bee ruined all of that. She didn't know why he never tried again. Maybe he changed his mind? She didn't know. And the fact that she didn't know made her more jealous of this other woman. She was very territorial. And no one was going to encroach on HER Mulder. That much she knew with all her heart. He belonged to her and no one else. And maybe someday that would be more well known than just her fevered fantasies. She could only hope.

To be continued...