Title: After 1 -The Morning After
Author: Joey R.
Written: July 1999
Rating: PG. / PG-13 for suggested adult situations.
Category: Major MSR/fluff. Very, very short.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Wish they were, wish Mulder's waterbed and non-existent fish were mine but they're not. They all belong to the very rich and very talented CC. (No, I'm not sucking up.) He created them and he earns all the money from them, I earn nothing. At all.
Spoilers: None at all.
Archive: Please do. Let me know where, though.
Feedback: feedback cherished and will be rewarded with a yummy Mulder clone. Flames: If you can find the time to write them, I'll try to find the time to read them.
Dedication: Tanja, Lisa M, Mary, Kimi, Lyndsey, Lisa D

Summary: The morning after the night before. Mulder and Scully wake up in each other's arms. Their thoughts and feelings about that.

Note: This story has nothing to do with any other stories written by me.
Visit my fic@ www.reocities.com/Hollywood/Park/1240/

Dreams can become a reality
If you want them badly enough.

Fox Mulder stirred and opened his eyes slowly. A boyish grin flirted with his lips as he recognized his surroundings. The grin widened as he tried to take his gaze off the woman curled up beside him but failed.

He remembered their night together and gently snuggled even closer to her, being careful not to wake her.

It was amazing, she was amazing. So beautiful, so intelligent, so incredible. He knew that there was no going back and he was glad. He had confessed to her how deeply he loved her and only her and he didn't regret it.

How could he when she felt the same way?

Mulder wanted to be with her. Eternally, forever. Nothing would stand in their was, he wouldn't let it. They were going to be together. He'd make sure of that.

Mulder was, by no means, possessive of the woman in his arms. He just loved her. It was as simple as that. He always would. She was special, what they had wasn' t special. Amazingly special.

"I love you," he murmured to his sleeping companion. His hazel eyes took in her innocent appearance. " And I swear, nothing will ever stop me from loving you."

Mulder sighed contentedly and closed his eyes. It was perfect. At that moment, life was perfect. If only they could stay like that.

His arms tightened around her. Dana Scully smiled sleepily and opened her eyes. She moved closer and pressed a kiss to his bare shoulder.

There was no way she could put the night they'd just shared behind her, she didn't want to and she knew she'd remember it for the rest of her life.

It had been something they'd both dreamt about for years and it had finally happened. Neither of them were disappointed.

She had thought, she had been afraid, that their move in to uncharted territory would end in disaster. That everything would be perfect for the first few months, the 'honeymoon period' as it was called. And then, in her deepest and darkest doubts, she'd been afraid that they would end up ruining their friendship and their partnership.

All doubts had been erased from her mind and her heart last night. Mulder had taken care of it. He had had the same doubts and they'd managed, together, to erase them.

Scully was certain as she lay in Mulder's arms that she would wake up in his arms every morning for the rest of her life.

She loved him. She loved him in a way she had never loved anyone before. And the thing that filled her heart with most joy was that she knew he loved her back in such a way that she had only imagined.

She lifted a hand to touch his cheek and his eyes opened. He grinned at her.

"Morning, Beautiful," he greeted her.

"Morning." She smiled back and leaned in to kiss him.

As they kissed, the birds outside the window sung. A new day had begun as had a new life and a new beginning.

The End.

Title: After 2 - After The Beginning.
Author: Joey R.
Rating: PG-13 for sensitive and mature topics.
Category: MSR, angst - couldn't resist.
Disclaimer: These characters aren't mine. I wish they were but they're not. If I were you, I wouldn't waste your money suing me because I've spent all my money on X-File merchandise.
Spoilers: Emily.
Archive: Please do. Let me know where, though.

Summary: Sequel to 'The Morning After'.

Dedication: Fanfic writers and readers.

Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself
~ Jean Anounilth.

Their morning ritual of waking up together was still going strong, even after three months of being together. There had not been one morning where they had woken up in separate beds, which they were happy about - even though they'd come close to being caught out once or twice. Their relationship was almost discovered by both Mrs. Scully and Skinner when they happened to call one apartment and the wrong person had picked up and answered the phone.

On this Friday morning, however, things were a little different. Mulder, not Scully, woke up first and decided to treat her to breakfast in bed.

They had a meeting with AD Skinner scheduled at ten o'clock. The meeting was to involve them, the X-Files and Special Agent Diana Fowley. Scully was nervous and worrying about whether or not they'd been found out and how Diana Fowley was concerned.

Mulder knew she was more upset about Fowley being involved than the threat of them being found out. They both knew they would manage to stay together, even if they were found out. They had all ready discussed it. If the worst came to the worst, Mulder would stay with the X-Files and Scully would either be reassigned to Quantico or go back to practicing medicine at the local hospital. He was even prepared, if it came down to it and if it meant they could stay together, to leave the X-Files and investigate the paranormal without the Bureau's resources.

He fixed her some toast, tea and orange juice and carried it through to the bedroom. She was still sleeping, finally managing to stop tossing and turning and having nightmares.

"Dana, Sweetheart," he murmured softly, settling the tray down on the bedside table and climbing on the bed beside her. " Dana, Honey. It's morning."

"Mmm," Scully stirred when he rested a hand on the small of her back. She opened one eye and looked at him. " I don't want to wake up."

"I'm afraid you have to," he sighed, lying down beside her and lovingly nuzzling her neck. " We've got a meeting."

"I know but it's nice here," she protested sleepily. " It's just the two of us for ever and ever and ever and it's fun."

"I bet it is," he chuckled. " But we have to go to work and the real world."

"No," she shook her head and turned so she was on her back. " I want to stay here, I don't want to leave the apartment. I don't want you too, either." Her blue eyes were beginning to clear from the sleepy mist that had clouded them. She gave him an innocent look. " Stay with me. Here, all day, every day."

"You know that's a very tempting offer," he grinned down at her. " But how about we compromise," Mulder suggested. " You wake up, eat the breakfast I painstakingly prepared for you and then come to work with me. The I'll spend the whole weekend together in this room if that's what you want."

"I guess it'll have to do," she sighed, closing her eyes. Moments later, she opened her eyes again. " Did you just say you made breakfast?"

"Don't look so surprised." He acted insulted. " I can make breakfast when I want."

"Yes, when you want," Scully sat up and he wrapped an arm around her, pulling her into his embrace. " But usually all you want to do in the morning is try to prevent me from making breakfast."

"I just think you're tastier," he kissed her quickly but gently before picking up the tray and putting it down on the bed.

She rolled her eyes and bit into a slice of toast. He grinned triumphantly at the lack of response and bit into his own piece of toast.

A few hours later, Mulder and Scully had showered and dressed and were waiting to be called into AD Skinner's office.

Mulder felt her tense as soon as Diana Fowley entered and placed a hand on her arm, trying to reassure her. Scully looked down at his hand and then up into his eyes, warning him about the physical contact.

Mulder didn't reply. He just moved his hand from her arm to her hand. He squeezed it lovingly, ignoring Fowley's presence completely.

Scully stifled a smile at the annoyed expression Agent Fowley wore but her relief was short lived. The door to the office opened and AD Skinner appeared.

"Agents." It wasn't what he said, it was the way he said it. Mulder and Scully stood, letting go of each other's hands as they did so and followed Skinner and Fowley into the office.

They sat down when Skinner told them, with Scully nearest the door and Mulder in the middle. Skinner looked from one to the other and back again.

"Do any of you know why you're here?" Skinner asked with an expressionless face.

"No, Sir," Mulder and Scully answered.

"I believe it has something to do with a reassignment," Fowley commented with a smug smile in Mulder and Scully's direction.

The partners traded worried glances before turning their attention back to their superior.

"It may involve reassignment," Skinner nodded, noticing Mulder and Scully's looks. " Agents Mulder and Scully, I know what you're thinking but you're wrong. You aren't going to be separated. Agent Fowley, however, may be reassigned to the X-Files division, temporarily."

"You mean all three of us?" Mulder spoke up, his brow furrowing as he thought of the tension it would cause - at work and out of it. He didn't want trust Fowley and he knew if they were put in a situation where there was the three of them in one office, she would try to come between Scully and himself - especially if she found out about their personal relationship. " Sir, I don't think that situation would work out, for any of us."

"I wasn't aware that was the situation, Sir," Fowley chimed in, looking even more annoyed than she had in the waiting room.

"There's a change in plan, Agent Fowley," Skinner explained, with a slight edge to his voice. He was about to continue when Scully's appearance caught his attention. " Agent Scully? Are you all right?"

Scully looked up. Her eyes were slightly dazed and she found it hard to breathe. She kept feeling sharp pains in her stomach and her vision had blurred but she had tried to hide it since it had started before the meeting and she hadn't mentioned it then, not wanting to cause a fuss. <Breathe, Dana,> she told herself. <Calm down and leave until you've composed yourself.>

"I...Excuse me," Scully stood up and started walking as quickly as she could to the door. She didn't make it that far, though. She became too dizzy and collapsed.

Luckily for her, Mulder was right behind her and he caught her in his arms before she fell to the ground. He lowered her to the ground, cradling her head as Skinner called for an ambulance.

"Come on, Dana. Stay with me," he encouraged, feeling desperately for her pulse. He found it but it was irregular and getting weaker. His heart skipped a beat when she closed her eyes. " Sweetheart, please."

"Mulder," Scully' eyes opened at the term of endearment. "You...You just blew it."

"I don't care anymore," he whispered, meaning it.

"I don't...I can't breathe properly..." She felt her eyelids growing heavy and tried to fight it. " Mulder..."

"Shh," Mulder blinked back tears of fear. " Just hang on, we're gonna get you to a hospital and find out what's wrong, okay? Just hold on?"

"No." Her voice grew weak and Mulder had to strain to hear her words. He noticed a very faint, very forced smile playing with her lips. "I.. You' re..never...making breakfast....not again."

Mulder grinned despite his worry. She was trying to be strong, trying to be teasing and reassuring despite her growing weakness. He watched her close her eyes and time slowed, almost to a halt, whilst they waited helplessly for the ambulance to get there. He felt a tear stream down his cheek, his eyes and his throat stinging as he let stubbornly to her.

"No.." He bent down and kissed her forehead, a fear of losing her painfully gripping his heart. " Hold on, Dana. Please."

{Author's note: Sensitive material ahead - talk of pregnancy and miscarriage. I also have no medical background so the story may not be accurate, details and realistically wise.}

In Mulder's eyes, it had taken a decade, if not longer, for the ambulance to get there. He held Scully tightly, crying silently and not caring who saw. She was his life, he'd built his future around her. And here she was. Lying unconscious, half on the floor and half in his arms, with some mysterious illness.

Remembering Diana was in the room, he looked up and glared at her. " If I find out that you and the smoking bastard had anything to do with this, I'll kill you," he vowed before turning his attention back to Scully.

Diana looked shocked for a moment, than she muttered an excuse and left the office. Skinner was about to follow her when the paramedics finally arrived. He held Mulder at bay, giving them room to check her for any sign of injuries. The head paramedic looked up.

"What's her name?" He - identified by his name tag as Anderson - asked as his colleague took a pulse reading.

"Dana, Dana Scully," Skinner answered, knowing Mulder was in no state to answer as he couldn't concentrate enough to remember his own name, never mind someone else's. " I'm her boss, do you know what's wrong?"

"I can't be sure..." Anderson responded. "Has her next of kin been notified?"

"Her mother's been called and Agent Mulder is her partner," Skinner replied again. " Professionally and personally."

"Okay, we're going to have to take her to the hospital immediately. Mr. Mulder, would you like to accompany her to the hospital?" Anderson asked as they lifted Scully onto a stretcher.

"Yeah," Mulder nodded, the shock obviously catching up with him. " Do you..Do you know what's wrong with her?"

"I suspect she's having a miscarriage," Anderson answered calmly.

"What?" Mulder's eyes widened. "That's not possible, she can't have children. She's sterile."

"Well, that's the only explanation I can come up to until we reach the hospital," was the reply. Mulder followed and climbed in the ambulance beside her. He sat opposite her and held her hand tightly.

"It's going to be okay, Dana," he whispered to her, fighting back tears. He turned his attention to Anderson. " Is there..Is there any chance, if she is pregnant, that you can save the baby?"

"If she is pregnant, which is the only explanation I can come up with, than I can promise you we'll try everything we can to save the baby. We might not be able to save the child but we'll try." Anderson looked at him sympathetically. "I take it you want children."

"We never thought it was possible, we never... we never spoke about it. I know she'd love to be a mother, though," Mulder looked at her, his expression pained. She's already lost one child. I don't think she could cope if she lost another."

"Did she miscarry before?" Anderson asked.

"No. Her daughter was three. She'd been adopted at birth and was dying when we found her," Mulder closed his eyes and tightened her grip on her hand. " I can't lose her and I will if she loses this child."

"We'll do everything we can," Anderson checked Scully's vitals.

"Do you have any idea what could have caused it?" Mulder asked.

"It may just be that she's stressed and has high blood pressure and needs sedating. It may be that the fetus is in an awkward position and is putting pressure on an artery which would require surgery. I think it's most likely the later since there hasn't been any sign of blood loss, that and your partner has been under stress which hasn't helped ease the situation," Anderson answered. " I won't be sure until we've got her to the hospital and have done a scan."

"Okay." Mulder stayed silent for the rest of the ride. He held Scully's hand, refusing to let go, until they reached the hospital and she was whisked away from him in to A

Mulder wasn't alone for long, though. Margaret Scully rushed into the reception area, her brown eyes wide with worry and concern for her daughter. She rushed immediately to Mulder, her eyes searching his.

"Fox? What is it? Is Dana okay?" Maggie demanded frantically.

"I don't know." He shook his head. " They think she might be having a miscarriage or that the baby's position could be putting tension on an artery or something. They're doing tests..."

"Miscarriage? Baby?" Maggie's eyes narrowed. "She can't have children. And then who's the father?"

"I am." He moved slowly over to the chairs and sat down, his shoulders slumped and his head in his hands. " We... We've been together for a while, three months. Maybe, maybe that's why this happened, because she was under pressure to keep us quiet. It's my fault."

"I don't believe that for a moment, Fox." Maggie sat beside him and her voice softened on seeing how distraught he was. " You were under pressure to keep your relationship silent too, weren't you? And if it's been going on for three months, she would have mentioned if she was uncomfortable with it."

"I asked her about it a while ago. She said she wanted to keep us secret so we could stay with the X-Files and stay together at work. She didn't believe I want to be with her more than I want the X-Files, I guess." He lifted his head at the sound of footsteps approaching and was on his feet as soon as he recognized the approaching person to be Anderson, the paramedic who had brought her in. " Is she okay?"

"Mr. Mulder, I'm guessing this is Mrs. Scully?" Anderson looked to the nervous woman beside Mulder.

"Yeah. Is she going to be okay?" Mulder pressed.

"It is what I suspected, she is pregnant. It's not a miscarriage, though. I t is the position of the fetus putting pressure on a main artery. She's being taken to the operating theater now and I suspect it'll take around an hour. A doctor will be out to talk to you soon, I have to go back out, I'm on duty," Anderson explained. I hope everything goes okay for you."

"Thank you," Mulder shook his outstretched hand. "And thank you for helping her."

"It comes with the job," Anderson grinned charmingly before leaving Mulder and Mrs. Scully to a long and intense wait.

Three hours later, Mulder and Mrs. Scully were approached by a young doctor who introduced herself as Dr. Morrison.

"Mr. Mulder and Mrs. Scully? I'm Dr. Morrison, I was in the theater with Dana." Dr. Morrison shook their hands.

"Is Dana okay?" Maggie asked, her heart pounding in her chest. " And the baby?"

"They're both fine," Dr. Morrison smiled. "Your daughter is in recovery and we're going to keep her there for tonight, just to make sure her condition is stable. In a few days, we'll move her to a private room where she will be able to rest for a few days until she can go home."

"Can we see her?" Mulder asked, beating Maggie to the punch.

"Only for a little while. She's still under the anesthetic we gave her during surgery," Dr. Morrison explained. "She probably won't regain consciousness until tomorrow but I see no reason why you shouldn't say goodbye to her."

Mulder and Mrs. Scully followed Dr. Morrison to the recovery unit where they saw Scully, lying motionless on the standardized hospital bed.

Dr. Morrison left them alone and they each took a side.

"She looks so peaceful," Maggie sighed.

"Like she's sleeping," Mulder agreed, taking her hand. " You think she can hear us?"

"I think so," Maggie looked up at him and smiled encouragingly. " Why don't you break the news?"

"You don't want to?" He looked at her, confused. Maggie shook her head, indicating that he should tell her before their time was up. " Dana, Sweetheart. I've got something to tell you. It's gonna be a shock, I know but you're pregnant. There's no other way of saying it. We're going to have a baby." He paused before looking back to Mrs. Scully. " You think she'll be happy about it?"

"I'm sure she'll be as thrilled as we are, Fox," Maggie smiled. "And I'm thrilled that the two of you finally got together. It's about time."

"Thank you," Mulder smiled at her, obviously relieved and delighted that she approved of his relationship with her daughter.

They left when they were approached by Dr. Morrison, with both of them kissing Scully and promising to be back soon.


It was finally here. The day they'd been waiting for. The day Scully was allowed to go home.

A lot had happened since she was taken in to hospital and had come round after surgery. She'd talked with her mother and Mulder and they'd decided to stop even trying to hide their relationship and were going to go house hunting as soon as she was strong enough. Until then, they were going to stay at Mrs. Scully's house so they could be together and there was someone to look after her whilst Mulder was at work.

Mulder and Mrs. Scully came to the hospital to take her home and help carry the cards they'd gotten from Skinner and The Lone Gunmen and other friends and family. Everyone had been surprised but thrilled for the couple, knowing that they were very much in love.

How Scully was able to have a child was still a mystery to them all, including the doctors who reported no sighs of Scully being sterile, except for in her medical records. Mulder and Scully didn't really want to know how, though. All they cared about was their future together, with their child, their miracle.

The End.

Title: After 3 - After The Miracle.
Author: Joey R.
Rating: PG.
Category: MSR\fluff, baby fic.
Disclaimer: These characters aren't mine. I wish they were but they're not. If I were you, I wouldn't waste your money suing me because I've spent all my money on X-File merchandise.
Spoilers: The Host, Tooms, Detour, Humbug, Teso dos Bichos, FTF.
Archive: Please do. Let me know where, though. Feedback: All welcome at Joey@Ram32.freeserve.co.uk or Joey_r83@yahoo.com -

Summary: Third in 'After' series. Sequel to After The Beginning. First story in series is called The Morning After.

Dedication: Fanfic writers and readers.

Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself
~ Jean Anounilth.

Scully was now seven months pregnant and she was feeling it. She had started working from home, trying to avoid the stares and the stress of moving around at work. Luckily for her, Mulder had started sticking to desk work only so she wouldn't have to worry about nobody being there to watch his back if he was on a stakeout or whether he was injured during an investigation on a case no one else knew about.

They had managed to keep their jobs in the X-Files division with Skinner's help and Diana Fowley's request for reassignment had been denied - much to her surprise. It was obvious she had no interest in the X-Files, other than using them to get Mulder and Scully to separate. Now they were having a child together and living together, there was no way Fowley could get between them. It seemed to Mulder and Scully that coming between them, or trying to, was Fowley's only use to the consortium - at least where they were concerned. Fowley had been reassigned to the Dallas Field Offices and was now reportedly working on terrorism cases.

Still, there was the worry that the consortium could be planning to do something to Scully and the baby, or just the baby once it was born, so Mulder called her on the hour, every hour and either a member of the Lone Gunmen or Mrs. Scully would come round to the house and spend some time with her.

She missed Mulder, though. She was used to being with him all day in their office and then all night in their home. She told herself she was being pathetic by pining after him when he wasn't there but when she told Mulder, he replied that he lusted after her when she wasn't with him and that it was perfectly natural. They were in love, after all.

Scully stifled a sigh and pushed her chair back form the desk. Her hand instinctively went down to rest on her swollen abdomen where her baby, hers and Mulder, grew inside her. She felt a kick and rubbed her stomach softly, slowly in small circles.

They still didn't know for certain how she had managed to conceive a child of their own. It baffled her doctors, although they plenty of theories. One was that the injection given to her in Antarctica cured more than just the alien virus invading her body. Another, the one they both felt more comfortable with, was that it was a natural occurrence. The problem the doctors had told her about had taken care of it' s self and whatever had been wrong or damaged had healed by itself. They preferred to think that the doctors had been wrong when they said the problem was permanent and their being able to have a child, to have children, was a miracle.

"Daddy will be home soon," she told the 'bump', feeling a wave of affection for both father and child wash over her. "I can't wait for you to be born, I can't wait to be able to hold you in my arms and see what you look like."

"Neither can I," a voice from the doorway startled her. She looked up and saw Mulder standing there, leaning against the door frame with a tender look and a grin on his face - a grin that could only be classed as goofy.

"How long have you been standing there? I didn't hear you come in." She smiled as he planted a kiss on the tip of her nose. He pulled her up and into his embrace, his hand resting on her protruding abdomen, tenderly.

Scully looked at him as he knelt to talk directly to her stomach. Mulder had changed a lot since they'd found out about their miracle. It was more than him just becoming more protective of her and preparing to be a doting father. He was more loving, more committed. He seemed happier, more contented and satisfied. She wasn't used to the attention he was lavishing on her but she wasn't complaining. He was also more grounded, no longer running off on wild and dangerous goose chases and almost getting himself killed which she was grateful for. She just didn't want him to go back to his wild, risk-taking and dangerous ways once their baby was born. She knew in her heart that he would most likely be just as cautious once the baby was born as he was being during her pregnancy.

"Hey in there," Mulder was saying softly, talking directly to her stomach. She absently ran her fingers through his hair as he spoke, wondering what he would be like when the baby was born. "Your mom and I love you very much and we can't wait to meet you, Honey. And I hope you're as beautiful as your mother."

"Or as handsome as your father," she added with a smile. He looked up and then stood and kissed her softly.

"Thank you," he murmured between kisses. "For giving me this...."

"This? As in our baby? That's just as much a result of your doing as it is mine," she wrapped her arms around his neck and stood on her tiptoes, kissing him sweetly. "So I should be thanking you, too."

"True but I wasn't just talking about our miracle," he agreed. "I was talking about us, everything us involves. This baby, this house, this everything...."

"Well you're just as responsible," she rolled her eyes at him. "Now I'm hungry and the 'bump' is hungry so it's time to eat."

"Not ice cream and gherkins again," he groaned, just the thought making him feel queasy.

"With chocolate sauce," Scully's eyes sparkled mischievously. "You should try some, it's nicer than you think."

Mulder gave her a doubtful look and shook his head as he followed her to the kitchen. " I am never ever going to eat something as disgusting as that."

"Okay, let me get this straight. You'll go through sewers searching for giant fluke worms and killer cats and you'll go after bile-covered mutants and moth men and men who eat raw fish with the skins and heads left on but you go pale and won't even try your pregnant lover's favorite craving?" She smiled teasingly. "And here I was thinking you were some brave and macho man who was willing to try anything."

"Mmm. I want to talk about that," he leaned against the counter and watched as she prepared a salad for dinner. It was then he noticed the oven was on. " What' s cooking? Besides you?"

She gave him a patented look at his last comment before answering his question. "There's a pie my mother brought over in the oven, you can help make the salad. Ice cream, gherkins and chocolate sauce is for dessert," she answered. " So what is it you want to talk about?"

"You being my lover or my girlfriend, as the Gunmen put it," he responded.

"What about it?" She turned to face him, slightly confused.

"I want you to be more." He moved over to her and hugged her before kneeling on the floor in front of her. " I want you to be my wife."

"What? Mulder, you ca....?" Her voice trailed off as he pulled a velvet box out of his pocket.

"Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?" He opened the box and revealed a diamond and gold engagement ring.

"Of course I will!" She smiled as he slid the ring on her finger. " It's beautiful, thank you."

"No, thank you," he stood and kissed her passionately. "I love you." They kissed again until Scully remembered the pie in the oven and pulled away.

She turned her back on him and continued to prepare their dinner with him silently watching, They ate, talking about their baby and their day at work and then settled down in front of the television to unwind.

Before long, they turned off the lights and tuned in for the night, both wondering and dreaming about their future together.

It had been a few days since Mulder proposed and they'd talked very little about their plans for the wedding. Mulder was already planning it and she was too busy planning for the baby's arrival, assuming that their child would be born before their wedding. Mulder had other ideas.

It was early Saturday morning when Mulder decided it was time to tell her his plan. He propped himself up on one elbow and watched her as she slept on unknowingly, a hand resting protectively on the 'bump' and her face turned up towards his, even in sleep.

"Hey," he whispered softly. "Wake up, Darling." He touched her face gently, startling her in consciousness.

"Mulder, what? What time is it?" She mumbled sleepily.

"It's almost six, I have to ask you something," he grinned at her sleepy expression.

"So ask," she grumbled, burying her head in the pillow. "And then let me go back to sleep."

"Will you marry me?" He bit back a grin. She lifted her head from the pillow and opened one eye.

"You already asked me that, I said yes," she rolled her eyes but then caught the funny expression in his eyes and became concerned. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. And I know you already agreed to marry me, I'm asking if you'll marry me today." He wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close. "So, what do you say? Marry me today?"

"What?! Mulder, you're insane. We can't get married today! There's so much to organize and I haven't had time with the baby coming and...What?" She broke off when she noticed his sneaky, sly-fox grin.

"It's all taken care of. Your Mom's even got you a dress that will fit over the bump." His grin widened. "I want us to be married before the baby's born, I want us to be together in every way possible before we become parents together."

"You sneak!" she exclaimed, wide awake now. "I can't believe you did this."

"Will you?" he pressed her for an answer. "The church is already booked."

"How can I say no?" She smiled and rolled her eyes. "I love you."

"I love you, too." He leaned in and kissed her long, hard and hungrily. Now get up, get dressed and go over to your mother's to get ready."

She did as she was told and at nine o'clock, their wedding ceremony began. Scully was wearing a cream skirt and blouse and Mulder was wearing a tuxedo. There were few guests - Mrs. Scully, AD Skinner, The Lone Gunmen and a few other friends of theirs.

It was a small but beautiful wedding and Mulder and Scully were happy with it. After the actual ceremony, they went back to Mrs. Scully's for the reception before Mulder took his wife home to rest.

The day had worn her out and she fell asleep almost as soon as she climbed into bed. Mulder grinned to himself at the sight of his pregnant wife curled up asleep and climbed in beside her. Scully turned to him in her sleep and he wrapped his arms around her, falling asleep with the two most important people in his life in his arms.


It was a few days late but their baby finally made it's appearance. Samuel Fox Mulder was born early on Saturday morning. It was a tiring but unique and special experience for both Mulder and Scully when they welcomed their miracle into the world.

Scully was tired after being in labor for five hours but stayed awake long enough to hold her son and feed him for the first time. Mulder held him whilst she was sleeping and eventually ended up falling asleep in the chair next to his wife's bed and his son's crib.

A few days later, Sam was allowed to be taken home. Scully was also looking forward to being home as it meant she could be in her own bed with her husband beside her and her son just down the hall where she could keep an eye on him.

As the new and loving parents doted on their new arrival, they talked through their fears. They had both admitted to being afraid and excited by the prospect of parenthood before their son had been born but now, when they could hold him in their arms, they knew their was nothing to be scared of. They would learn how to be the best parents they could, together.

The End

Title: After 4 - After The Arrival.
Author: Joey R.
Rating: PG for part one, PG-13 for pt.2, slightly higher for pt.3.
Category: MSR\ MSmarried, baby fic, angst.
Disclaimer: These characters aren't mine. I wish they were but they're not. If I were you, I wouldn't waste your money suing me because I've spent all my money on X-File merchandise.
Spoilers: Ascension
Archive: Please do. Let me know where, though.

Summary: Fourth in 'After' series. Sequel to After The Miracle.

Dedication: Tanja, Lisa, Lyndsey, Helena, Ashley, Rotem,

Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself
~ Jean Anounilth.

The first few months of parenthood had seemed daunting but they'd survived. Sam was a handful at first, he'd cry whenever Scully and Mulder left the room which made the prospect of both of them going back to work in the X-Files division seem impossible. Luckily, after the first month, Sam began to trust his grandmother and was soon comfortable being left alone with her.

Scully still spent the next month at home with their son and Mulder stuck to desk work, neither of them willing to leave their son just yet, not when he was so young and so dependent and their first child.

The day soon came when Scully went back to work and the day was approaching when they'd have to go out and get involved in a field investigation.

Mulder wanted to ease his wife into the work routine slowly so he was surprisingly reluctant to take a case of suspected vampirism in California. Still, work was work and they needed the money so they agreed to take the case.

Mulder and Scully took their baby boy to Mrs. Scully's house early on Tuesday morning, before they had to leave to catch their plane.

"Here you go, Honey," Scully murmured to her son as she carried him into to his grandmother's house. "Grandma's going to look after you why Mommy and Daddy are away but she'll call us the moment you need us."

"Dana, I have raised four children, I can look after my Grandson," Mrs. Scully shared an amused look with her son-in-law. "And I thought you were the over-protective one in this marriage, Fox."

"Sorry to disappoint you, Mrs...Maggie but Dana's become a lot more over-protective since Sam was born. I think she's won the Title off me," Mulder grinned teasingly.

"I think she has," Mrs. Scully's eyes sparkled mischievously.

"Hey!" Scully looked up from gazing at Sam. "I am here, you know. Besides, I have plenty of reasons to be protective and I have no doubt that as soon as we get back to work, Mulder will be just as over-protective as he was before if not more so because of Sam."

"I can't believe you still call him Mulder," Mrs. Scully rolled her eyes.

"He won't let me call him Fox," Scully shrugged and then turned her attention back to Sam. Mulder took Mrs. Scully's arm gently and they moved away so they were out of earshot.

"Fox? Is something wrong?" Mrs. Scully was instantly concerned, seeing a shadow passing over his face. "You're okay, aren't you?"

"I'm fine. I'm just a little worried about Sam and Dana," Mulder murmured lowly. "Dana's been having nightmares, about something happening to Sam while we're away and I know she's really worrying about it. I'm not sure if she's just anxious about leaving him for the first time or if they mean something, like your dreams about her abduction. So, here's the number of the hotel we're staying at." He passed her a piece of paper. "Call me if anything happens, she won't be able to get any rest at all otherwise."

"What are her dreams about, Fox?" Mrs. Scully looked even more worried than she had before.

"She dreams that someone comes and takes Sam away. I think maybe calling him Sam was a bad idea," Mulder sighed.

"She would have called him Sam even if you'd disagreed. It was important to her, to name him after your sister," Mrs. Scully put a hand on his arm. "Try not to worry, I'll call if there's the slightest thing wrong."

"Thank you," Mulder smiled and kissed her cheek. "It's probably just nerves."

"Probably," Mrs. Scully nodded in agreement.

They moved back over to Scully and Sam and Mulder put a hand on her shoulder, telling her it was time to leave. Mulder and Mrs. Scully traded worried looks as Scully looked at Sam sorrowfully and kissed him on the forehead tenderly before carefully passing him to his grandmother.

"We'll be home before you know it, Darling," Scully whispered. "Remember we love you and your Grandma's going to look after you."

Mulder led Scully out of the house after he'd kissed his son and said his own good-byes. Scully looked back over her shoulder and her mother forced a reassuring smile and waved. Scully bit her lip and got into the car, with Mulder getting in on the driver's side.

They drove to the airport in silence, with Scully biting the inside of her mouth, then her lip and then her finger nails. She was nervous, more so than she had been the night before. Something was going to happen, she knew it was. In her heart, she knew that something was going to happen.

Mulder reached across and took her hand in his as they stopped outside the airport. "It's going to be okay, Sweetheart. Everything's going to be okay."

"Then why does it feel like it isn't?" She looked down at their entwined fingers and then she gazed up at him with big, tearful blue eyes. "Something's wrong, Mulder. Something is going to happen."

With a sigh and a kiss, he got out of the car and got their bags out of the boot. He opened her door and took her hand, leading her into the busy airport and hoping her instincts were the only thing wrong.

She watched them leave, a grin spreading across her face. She was back in town and she was going to get what she came for.

Mulder and Scully had been celebrating the arrival of their baby son, what they hadn't been celebrating was the arrival of Diana Fowley. And if they knew what she was planning, they wouldn't have left their beloved son behind.

Fowley turned the car round and drove towards the home of Mrs. Scully and the temporary - very temporary - home of Samuel Mulder.


Mrs. Scully changed Samuel's diaper and settled him in his playpen whilst she tidied her living room up, thinking about the day's events.

After his parents had driven away, Sam had started crying, sensing his parents presence was no longer there. Mrs. Scully had comforted him and spoken soothingly until he'd fallen asleep in her arms. She remembered thinking that Scully was like him as a child, she'd cry whenever one of her parents left the room.

Mrs. Scully's thoughts turned to her daughter and son-in-law. They were brilliant parents although they'd both confided in her that they weren't sure they could do it. They had, though. Mulder was a doting father and a wonderful husband - perfect for Scully, in Mrs. Scully's opinion. Scully was also a wonderful mother, in her mother's unbiased view. She was so loving and tender towards her son and Mrs. Scully knew she'd put her family - her husband and her son - before herself and her work. Mrs. Scully wondered how Scully was going to manage being without her son since she had become so devoted to him and spending time with him.

As she watched her Grandson pulling faces in his sleep, she smiled. The smile faded when she thought about what Mulder had said. A chill worked it's way up her spine and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up.

She told herself she was being silly, that she was just letting her daughter 's nightmares get to her which was stupid. Scully didn't have premonitions, she never had. But then she'd never been a mother before, she'd never had the connection of mother to child before. What it Scully's nightmare had been a warning? What if something happened to Sam while he was in Mrs. Scully's care? Scully would never forgive herself for leaving, Mulder would never forgive himself for brushing aside her worries and Mrs. Scully would never be able to forgive herself period.

Mrs. Scully shook her head, trying to shake the thoughts away. She picked up Sam and hugged him close, sitting down and cradling him in her arms. Sam stirred and blinked up at her sleepily with his mother's blue eyes. She smiled down on him and an her fingers through the tuft of brown, silky hair on the top of his head.

"You're so special. You know that, don't you?" Mrs. Scully whispered lovingly. "A lot of people love you, your Mommy and Daddy love you a lot. They're going to look after you and love you and they're always going to be there for you." Mrs. Scully sighed, content at last to have her baby girl's much longed for son in her arms. "You really are a beautiful baby, Sam. And very important to a lot of people. I bet you're going to be just as handsome as your father and just as caring as your mother."

Mrs. Scully heard a noise outside on the front porch and settled Sam in his playpen again. She slowly made her way to the front door, careful not to make too much noise and trying to ignore her pounding heart beat.

She looked through the spy-hole and saw no one there so, with shaking hands, she opened the door and looked cautiously outside.

She saw nothing. The rustle of some bushed in the breeze, some tree branches tapping against the side of her house and then....darkness.


Scully was sleeping. Mulder sat on the edge of their bed watching her. She seemed peaceful enough until her expression changed from being one of contentment to being one of fear.

Mulder was about to wake her when tears began streaming down her cheeks and she clung onto his hand, the one that was resting of her hip.

"No!" she wept, her body now wracked with sobs. "No, please, no."

"Dana," Mulder shook her gently by her shoulders. "Wake up, it's just a dream. It's just a bad dream."

Scully woke up and sat up in his arms, clinging onto him as she wept. Mulder kissed her neck and held her close, rocking her soothingly in his arms as she cried. He was surprised at how cold she was, she hadn't been shivering. She pulled away, her face pale and full of devastation.

"Sam's gone, Mulder. He's gone." She felt sick to her stomach and there was a dull but constant ache in her chest as Mulder reached for the phone and dialed his mother-in-laws number.

She watched with a sinking heart as her husband's face paled and then he hung up the phone and took her hand.

"Sweetheart," he tried to tell her but his voice cracked.

"It's Sam, isn't it? He's been taken," she bit her lip, another single tear running down her already tear-streaked face.

"Partly," Mulder answered, his voice hoarse from holding back tears of his own. "It gets worse...."

"How can it get worse?" Scully snapped, standing and grabbing her bag.

"Your mother...." His voice trailed off as he stood and embraced her.

"What about her?" She immediately became concerned. "Oh, my God. She was with Sam.... She's okay, isn't she? Mulder, please. What aren't you telling me?"

"She..." He swallowed the lump in his throat and put his hands firmly on her shoulders, steadying her for the news. "She's in hospital, Dana. She was hit pretty hard over the head and... and she's still unconscious."

"No," she shook her head in a weak protest, not wanting to believe she'd heard what he'd said.

"I'm sorry," the tears fell freely for them both as they held each other close, tightly. " I'm so sorry, Dana. I should have listened to you....I..."

"It's not your fault," she told him, her voice muffled by his chest. "We have to go home, we have to find him."

Mulder nodded his agreement and they made arrangements to go home as soon as possible.

The plane ride home had been almost unbearable. Scully hadn't been able to get any sleep and Mulder had been fighting his guilt at having not taken much notice of his wife's warnings. They didn't speak, until they were in their car and driving towards the hospital.

"I don't blame you, Mulder, so there's no point in you blaming yourself," she told him honestly.

"But you should blame me, I was the one who forced you into leaving," Mulder protested. "I should have trusted your instincts, I didn't and now look what's happened. I wouldn't blame you if you hated me."

"I don't hate you, I love you," she looked at him when he pulled over in a lay-by. " I really don't hate you, I love you. And we're going to need each other to get through this. Please, look at me." Her voice was becoming to shake and crack.

"Dana, don't cry," he turned to her and tenderly wiped another tear from the corner of her eye. "Please."

"Then don't turn your back on me and blame yourself," she reasoned.

"You're right, as usual," he smiled weakly. "I love you, no matter what."

"No matter what," she took his hand and leaned over to kiss him softy. Let's go see my Mom. And then we can go and find our son."

Mulder turned the key in the ignition and the engine started. They finished the journey in silence, both unsure of how they would cope, alone and together, if they never saw their son alive again.

Mrs. Scully regained consciousness briefly whilst Scully and Mulder were in with her. She weakly squeezed her daughter's hand, signaling she was awake.

"Mom!" Scully leaned in, straining to hear her Mother's words.

"I'm...sorry...I...I....didn't...see...who...it...was......" Mrs. Scully whispered weakly.

"It's okay, Mom. Don't worry, just concentrate on getting better," Scully assured her Mom, giving her hand a reassuring squeeze. "Everything's going to be okay."

"I...I....love...you, Honey...." Mrs. Scully whispered. "I....I'm....sorry..."

"Don't talk like that, Mom," Scully's eyes welled with tears as Mulder hovered behind her with an arm around her waist.

"Take care...of her, Fox," Mrs. Scully's eyes closed. "Take...care."

Mrs. Scully lost consciousness again but the Doctors thought it was only temporarily. Until she regained some more strength, she would be too weak to stay awake for more than a few minutes.

Mulder and Scully left her hospital room and bumped into AD Skinner. He greeted them both rather grimly.

"Agents," Skinner noticed their pale complexions and his heart went out to them.

"Do you have any news, Sir? About who took Sam?" Mulder demanded as Scully looked at him anxiously.

"Yes. We found several sets of fingerprints and ran them through the database. Unless your mother is a friend of Agent Fowley's, she's our suspect," Skinner answered.

"Diana Fowley was at my mother's house?" Scully's eyebrows raised and she felt herself grow angry at the woman she thought she couldn't possibly hate any more than she already did. "She's got my son?"

"Dana, calm down," Mulder spoke soothingly, fighting his own anger and fear at what that could mean. "We have to stay calm otherwise we won't be able to think straight. We're going to find them, we're going to get our son back."

"We're doing everything we can, Dana," Skinner assured the younger Agent as she let Mulder hold her comfortingly.

"I know," she said softly, quietly, on the verge of tears. "But it doesn't seem like enough. That's our son out there, we don't even know if...if he's still..."

"He'll be okay, Dana," Mulder rested his chin on the top of her head as he held her against him. " We'll find her, alive, and we'll give her what she wants."

"What if she wants you?" Scully asked suddenly.

"What?" Mulder frowned at her, looking doubtful.

"It's a possibility," she insisted. "She wanted you back, what if she's flipped and is keeping Sam to get you?"

"I doubt it, she knows we wouldn't deal. Either we, as in me and you, get our son back by giving her what she wants or we, again the two of us, take him back. Hopefully, it won't come to that."

"What if They have him? CGB Spender? What if he...?" She was stopped from continuing by Mulder silencing her with a kiss.

"No more 'what if's'," Mulder told her firmly. "Not until we know what has happened for certain."

Skinner nodded in agreement and Scully went into her mother's hospital room. That left Mulder and Skinner out in the hallway, both who were concerned.

"How are you holding up?" Skinner asked as Mulder slumped against the wall.

"I'm okay." Mulder shrugged. "Just worried about Sam and Dana and Maggie."

"From what I can tell, Dana's just as worried about you." Skinner responded. "And losing you."

"She won't lose me," Mulder sighed. "I won't leave her."

"What are you going to do?" Skinner asked.

"There's not much to do except wait." Mulder closed his eyes wearily. "She knew it was going to happen, I should have listened."

"Who?" Skinner frowned. "Dana?"

"Yeah, she had a dream a few nights ago, about Sam being taken. I just told her it was nerves and that she'd feel better after we'd been away and come home," Mulder sighed. "I should have listened."

"Maybe it was just a coincidence," Skinner suggested.

"I don't believe in coincidences, Sir," Mulder smiled a little. "You should know that by now."

"I guess," Skinner returned the grin with a weak one of his own. "Well, I should go. I'll keep you informed. If anything comes up, you'll be the first to know."

With that, Skinner left the hospital and Mulder went to his wife's side, trying to offer her what comfort and strength he could.

As Skinner drove, he kept remembering the distraught expressions on his favorite Agent's faces.

There was Agent Scully - Mrs. Mulder outside of work hours - who was obviously suffering from the kidnapping of her son and the condition of her mother as well as how her husband was coping. Skinner thought of Scully as a daughter and he'd become fond of her over the years he'd known her. He had also grown to admire and respect her strength and her intelligence. He hated seeing her go through this, he knew how important Sam was to her, especially since she'd almost miscarried. As Skinner tried to imagine the pain she was going through, his hatred of Diana Fowley raised a notch.

Then there was Mulder, who was worried for his son, his wife and his mother-in-law. Skinner also saw Mulder as a son, he had grown to admire, respect and care for Mulder, even though he acted as though Mulder was the thorn in his side. Skinner knew Mulder must be feeling terrible, guilty at to trusting his wife's instincts, guilty and disappointed with himself for not being able to stop his son from being taken - the same guilt he felt when he failed to stop his sister being taken as a child. Skinner also knew Mulder was fond of Mrs. Scully and knew he must be worried and concerned for her. Again, his hatred for Diana Fowley raised a few more notches.

There was also Mrs. Scully, who Skinner felt for and was fond of. He knew she would feel guilty for letting her Grandson be taken although there was nothing she could have done. And then there was Sam himself, Skinner's God-son. Skinner knew wherever he was, he wouldn't be being treated with the same love, tenderness and devotion he would be receiving if he was with his parents. Skinner's anger and hatred raised again, almost to the maximum level.

It seemed to Skinner that this was the worst thing to happen at the worst time. Mulder and Scully had been through a lot - together and apart. Their lives were finally happy, they were finally truly happy and truly loved and then this had to happen and ruin it all. Some would say maybe they weren't supposed to be happy but Skinner disagreed. If any two people in the whole world deserved to have love and happiness, it was Mulder and Scully.

He gripped his steering wheel as his hatred and anger reached the top notch. He was determined to make sure that Mulder and Scully got the happiness they deserved - and that the people responsible for putting them through hell would get what they, too, deserved.

Skinner did a U-turn and headed in another direction. He'd get to the bottom of it and then he'd return Sam to his parents, where he belonged.

Skinner broke through the door of an apartment he'd been to only once before. He was met by a startled look and then a puff of smoke.

"Mr. Skinner," CGB Spender greeted him. "What can I do for you?"

"Tell me where they are," Skinner spat out.

"Who?" CGB looked slightly confused but Skinner couldn't be sure if his surprise was genuine or fake. Skinner pulled out his gun and aimed it directly at CGB's forehead.

"Where's Fowley and what the hell is she doing with Samuel Mulder?" Skinner demanded. This time, at the look that flashed in CGB's eyes, Skinner knew the smoking man was genuine. He withdrew his gun and held it by his side, ready and prepared to use it if necessary. "Fowley stole Samuel Mulder from Mrs. Scully's house late last night."

"Is Mrs. Scully okay?" For some reason, CGB seemed genuinely concerned.

"No, she's in hospital. She was hit pretty bad. It's Mulder and Scully that I'm worried about." Skinner answered. "Do you have any idea where she could have taken him?"

"Yes, I think I might know where they are. You'll have to tell Mulder, though," CGB stood up, putting out his cigarette as he did so. "We'll need his help."

After The Arrival (3b/3)*PG-13/slightly higher for dark tones*

Mulder was getting anxious, more so than he was before. So was Scully. They both felt helpless, useless. Just sitting around and waiting for something, anything, anyone had on their son and wondering whether he was okay, whether he was being treated right and was being fed and kept warm but not too warm.

They were both imagining the worst case scenarios, both of them scared and fearing the worst. They had spoken very little but that was one of the reason's they worked together so well. They didn't need to talk to communicate, they could tell what the other was thinking and feeling, as if it was a sixth sense they alone shared.

Mulder sat with his arm around her shoulders and her head resting on his shoulder. Scully was finally asleep, after two hours of her falling asleep and then waking up with a nightmare. He pulled her as close as he could with them sitting on plastic chairs and kissed her forehead softly.

He wanted to tell her he was going to make sure Sam was returned to them safely, that Fowley would get what was coming to her and that they'd be a happy family again - him, her, Sam and her mother. He wanted to tell her these sweet lies so badly but he couldn't. He couldn't lie to her. His hope was rapidly fading, he'd thought they would have heard something by now if they were going to and they hadn't. He couldn 't honestly tell her that he thought everything would be okay and that scared him, it scared him more than anything else in the whole world.

Mulder and Scully had worked on cases where they'd come across parents who had lost a child or were missing a child and they'd sympathized with them, they' d felt bad for them and felt their pain. But they hadn't know, not really.

No one knew what it was really like to have a child go missing unless it had happened to them. The mixture of different feelings that washed over a parent who was missing a child was dizzying. There was guilty, regret, fear, depression, confusion, disbelief, denial, pain - unbearable pain.... And they were just the feelings a parent felt when a child was missing. Mulder hated to think of how he and Scully would feel if news reached them that Sam was dead, that he'd never come back.

They'd be devastated. Their marriage would get through it, he was certain of that, but they would have a hard time getting through it. He couldn't bare the thought of not being able to hold Sam again, or never seeing Scully hold him or never feeding him and watching him sleep or giving him a new toy or celebrating a birthday.... Sam hadn't even had his first birthday, they didn't have any memories of celebrating a birthday or a Christmas with their son yet and although they had lots more memories of him, it wouldn't be enough. It could never be enough.

Mulder was brought out of him musings by the arrival of AD Skinner. His superior wore an anxious expression so Mulder gently eased himself away from Scully and followed him out into the hallway where he found CGB Spender looking determined.

"What's he doing here?" Mulder demanded, his voice low and dangerous.

"He can help us find your son," Skinner responded simply.

"How?" Mulder's voice changed instantly, thoughts of Sam flooding him mind.

"I might know where Diana has taken him, I can't be certain it's the right place, though," CGB warned.

"Did you tell her to take him or is it all her own doing?" Mulder asked, suddenly curious as to why CGB Spender, of all people, was prepared to help him find his son.

"I didn't know she was planning on taking your son but I have an idea why she did it," CGB Spender answered.

"He can tell you on the way there, we have to leave now," Skinner cut in. Mulder nodded his agreement.

"Just give me a minute." Mulder disappeared for a few moments and Skinner watched him quickly scribble a note for his wife, telling her what he was doing and why he wasn't with her when she awoke. He also grabbed a bag of Sam's things, just in case.

Mulder then left with Skinner and CGB Spender, determined not to come back without his son.

The drive was long and tedious. Especially when CGB Spender revealed the only two possible motives for Fowley's kidnapping of Samuel Mulder.

"One of the two reasons I can think of is that she's trying to make sure she has a purpose. When it became clear there was no use in trying to get her to gain your trust, she was given new orders and new responsibilities. She thought they were just errands to keep her busy until we decided how to dispose of her. She was never going to be killed, she just was never going to be involved in the X-Files section of the project which was a blow to her ego. She thought that she could waltz into your life, gain your trust and your devotion and discreetly get Agent Scully out of the picture. We knew she'd failed before we discovered your relationship with Agent Scully was definitely more than professional. It was clear to us but not to her that you weren't as involved with her as she'd assumed you were. I think she might have taken your son to raise him as her own and then gain your loyalty, a plan which would never work. I told her it wouldn't but she insisted you weren't in love with Agent Scully, that you were in love with the child she was carrying," CGB Spender sighed heavily. "I'm afraid Diana might have been planning to use your son as a way of making herself and the prospect of a relationship with her more appealing to you and if that happened, she thought we'd find a new use for her, a way for her to control you."

"You said there were two motives," Mulder responded after a few moments, allowing himself some time to take it all in. So Fowley might have taken Sam to save her own life, what was the other motive?

"If you didn't like the first one, you're going to like this one even less," Skinner interjected from the drivers seat. "Dana was partly right, if this one's true."

"The only other thing I can think of is that Diana wants you to herself and that she'll do anything to get it. I'm not sure how she was planning on doing it but I think she could ultimately be trying to get you to stay with her - because she wants to be with you this time, not to save herself. That's really the only difference between them. I think she might have taken your son with the delusional hope that you'll allow her to help you raise him - as hers and yours. Either that or she wants to trade, you for your son. That seems most probable," CGB Spender remarked.

"Why does it seem more probable?" Mulder asked, confusion showing on his handsome features.

"Because it's obvious how much you love Agent Scully and it's easy to believe that you'd be willing to be without her in order to make sure that your wife and child were safe and together," CGB Spender answered with a hint of a smile playing on his lips.

Think about it, if you were given the choice. Either Diana keeps and hurts your son and you and your wife are hurt by it or Diana keeps you, you're safe but unwillingly there and you know your son is being looked after by his mother who loves him and loves you."

"I'd chose for me to stay with Diana and for Sam to be with Dana until I can escape and be with them both somewhere Diana wouldn't find us," Mulder answered, agreeing with CGB Spender for possibly the first time. "So that's her most likely motive?"

"It's all I can come up with," CGB Spender nodded.

"Why? Why are you doing this? Why are you helping?" Mulder looked at CGB Spender, desperate to understand this man's motives. "What are you getting from it?"

"Nothing except the satisfaction that two people who's lives have been ruined by a project that is going to end soon will finally be as they should be," CGB Spender answered smoothly, a sigh of guilt escaping his lips. "My life has been...very unhappy because of my work on the project. And it turns out, I gave up any chance of happiness for no reason. As we speak, the project is being abolished and vaccinations are being prepared and distributed against the alien virus you encountered in Antarctica. It was all for nothing. I'm sorry to say that I played a big part in disrupting yours and your wife's lives for nothing. And I think it's time to make amends for that. Mr. Skinner here agrees."

"It's about time you and Dana had something go right for once, Mulder," Skinner spoke up again. "That's why I contacted Mr. Spender and asked him what he knew."

"Well then, I guess I should be thanking you," Mulder frowned, trying to take everything he'd been told it and that was pretty hard for someone who'd gone for much longer than twenty-four hours without sleep.

"Don't thank us yet," Skinner objected as he pulled up outside a wooded area. "Thank us when your back with your wife and your son. And when Mr. Spender gets you the files he's promised."

The three men got out of the car and walked on foot up to a small wooden cabin where the sound of a baby crying could be clearly heard.

Inside the cabin, Diana Fowley's face was almost as red as the screaming child lying on the cold floor.

Sam kicked wildly and thrashed his legs about, screaming and crying, his face bright red and his throat almost raw with the exertion. He obviously wanted his parents, he was cold and he was hungry. He hadn't slept at all since he'd been taken from the warm and loving environment that was all he knew. This was unfamiliar to him, she was unfamiliar to him.

But Fowley knew nothing about babies or how to look after one. She'd made no effort to comfort him and stop him crying, she hadn't changed his diaper which was smelling badly and very unhygienic and unhealthy.

All Fowley had done to stop him from crying was yell and scream back at him. Her face was red with frustration. In her eyes, Sam was a little brat who wouldn 't do as he was told. She was even starting to think that it wasn't worth it, securing her life and her future with Mulder wasn't worth having to put up with a screaming, smelling brat.

She was too busy yelling at Sam and was too deafened by his screams and cries to hear the front door of the cabin open.

"Shut up! For God's sakes, just shut up! You little brat!" Fowley screamed. She raised her hand, about to hit him for the second time, when she sensed she was no longer alone with the child.

"Don't you dare hit my son or I'll kill you," it was Mulder, gun drawn and pointing at her head.

Fowley cocked her head to one side. From what she could see, there was no one else behind him. Mulder was alone. A crooked smile played across her lips.

"He's just as bad as his mother, I don't know why you're so interested in him," she taunted. "Is she as pathetic and weak as him? Is that why you're with her? Because you feel a duty to protect her?" Fowley took a step closer, giving Sam who had quieted a little - possibly because he sensed his father's presence - a surprised look. "You don't have to protect her, Fox. You could be with me. I'm sure Dana's capable of raising her son by herself."

"My son," Mulder corrected her. "Mine and Dana's. Now don't move."

"You wouldn't shoot me, I have your son..." She took another step closer.

"No, you haven't, Diana. Samuel's quite safe." The voice came from behind her. She was surprised to see her former lover, CGB Spender, holding a gun pointed at her and AD Skinner holding Sam in his arms. Sam stopped crying, he was just sniffing.

"I'll take him to the car if you want, Mulder," Skinner offered. " There's some diapers and blankets and the things you brought. He needs changing and feeding."

"I'll be there in a minute," Mulder nodded, his gun still trained on Fowley.

Skinner left Fowley standing in the middle of the room, with CGB Spender on one side and Mulder on the other, both with guns aimed at her. He was half way to the car with Sam in his arms when he heard the gun shot. There was only one of them. He stopped and turned round to see Mulder and CGB Spender leave the cabin, both wearing grim but relieved expressions.

Mulder took Sam in his arms and carried him back to the car where he changed him and fed him and cleaned him up as much as he could. They then drove in silence back into Washington D.C and to the hospital.

Sam was also silent. He fell asleep, safe in his father's arms.

He'd been gone for four hours and she was beginning to worry about him and their son even more. Scully paced her mother's hospital room as Mrs. Scully sat up in bed and watched her.

"Dana, he'll be okay. They'll be okay," Mrs. Scully spoke softly from her bed. "You look exhausted, you only had an hour maximum sleep according to the nurse. You need some rest."

"I'm fine, Mom. Besides, Mulder had even less sleep than I did," Scully responded, resuming her pacing.

"Dana, do you even know what time it is?" Mrs. Scully asked with a sigh, concerned for her daughter, son-in-law and Grandson.

"Mom, I don't even know what day it is! I haven't had time, I've been so worried about you and Sam and Mulder..." Her voice trailed off as she stifled a sigh.

"Maybe you should take some advice from your son and get some sleep." It was Mulder's voice, wasn't it? Turning to the doorway, Scully closed her eyes briefly and prayed she wasn't imagining things.

"Mulder!" She moved over to him and he wrapped one arm round her, his other holding their son against his chest. He grinned at Mrs. Scully as his wife hugged him tightly, warmly before turning her attention to the precious bundle in his arms.

Scully had been so relieved to see him, she had almost not noticed Sam in his arms. She took him into her embrace and studied him before pulling him close to her and hugging him, her eyes filling with tears.

"Where did you find him? What happened?" She had a thousand questions but was suddenly feeling tired.

"It's a long story, I'll tell you about it sometime," Mulder promised before moving over to his mother-in-law and kissing her on the cheek. " It's nice to see you awake, Maggie."

"It's nice to see you ,too, Fox. With no new injuries, I see," Mrs. Scully teased. "And how's my Grandson?"

"He's perfect," Scully answered. "Absolutely perfect."

At that moment, Skinner entered the room, smiling at the sight of the family reunion. He shared a look with Mulder and felt his heart swell at how happy Mulder and Scully were now that they were both reunited with each other and their son. He walked over to Mrs. Scully once Mulder had joined his wife and had embraced her, gazing at his son with a tenderness Skinner had only seen him use on his wife in years before. Skinner smiled at Mrs. Scully and kissed her cheek in a friendly manner.

"I'm glad you're okay, Maggie," Skinner greeted her.

"Thank you, Walter," Mrs. Scully smiled and then raised her voice to talk to her daughter. "Dana, you were just saying how tired you were. Why don't you three go home and get some rest?"

"Are you sure you'll be okay?" Scully looked up from Sam for the first time since she'd taken him in her arms.

"I'll be fine, dear," Mrs. Scully smiled. "Go home."

"I'll keep an eye on your Mom, Dana," Skinner volunteered.

"Thank you," Scully smiled, sharing a secret look with her husband.

They said their good-byes and then left the hospital, with their son and with each other. Mrs. Scully heard most of the story from Skinner, a story Mulder would tell his wife as soon as they had both had a decent night's sleep.

Title: After 5 - After The Retreat
Author: Joey R.
Rating: PG-13.
Category: MSR\ MSmarried, fluff.
Disclaimer: These characters aren't mine. I wish they were but they're not. If I were you, I wouldn't waste your money suing me because I've spent all my money on X-File merchandise. Spoilers: None, except for the other stories in this series.
Archive: Please do. Let me know where, though.

Summary: Fifth in 'After' series. Sequel to After The Arrival.

Dedication: Exfilia, Lyndsey, Tanja, Lisa, Erin, Ashley, Rotem.

Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself
~ Jean Anounilth.

It was four months since Sam had been kidnapped. He had stopped having nightmares and so had Scully which was a huge relief to Mulder who had grown worried about both his wife and his son when they both couldn't sleep. The lack of nightmares also meant there was a relative calm in the Mulder household, something of which all three member of the family were pleased and satisfied with.

Mulder and Scully had also been away on several cases since the whole fiasco had happened so they were both more confident when it came to leaving Sam behind with Mrs. Scully.

It hadn't been easy. Both Mulder and Scully had been reluctant to leave Sam, sharing the fear that their tiny and defenseless son wouldn't be there when they got home. Once they'd got on the plane and arrived at their hotel, they were slightly calmer. After a night in their hotel room with no interruptions or nightmares, they were ready to accept that this was their job and it needed to be done.

They weren't completely pleased with leaving Sam, though. They knew they probably never would be. After all, he was their son and they loved him. He was their only child and they wanted to protect him and keep him safe, that was one of the natural instincts parents had for their children. Well, maybe they were a little over-protective but that was understandable given the horrors they saw almost daily at work.

Now they were getting ready to leave him again only work was not involved. Mrs. Scully had pointed out they hadn't yet had a honeymoon and Mulder, having become a true romantic where his wife was concerned, was determined not to let the subject drop until his Scully had the honeymoon he thought she deserved.

So that was where they were now. On their way to a location that was a mystery to Scully, which meant she was sitting in the passengers seat, waiting and trying to guess where her husband was taking her. They'd already been on a plane but he had refused to tell her where it was going and had done his best to make sure she couldn 't find out.

"This isn't fair," she spoke up after an hour of silence had gone by. "My mother, Skinner and the Gunmen know where you're taking me. I wouldn't be surprised if Sam knew. Can't you give me a little hint?"

"Nope," he grinned and shook his head. " It's a surprise, giving you a hint would take a little bit of the element of surprise away from it."

"You said that to deliberately confuse me, didn't you?" She shook her head, sighing when he only grinned back at her. " Okay, how about I guess and you give me a hint when I'm getting close?"

"Maybe," was all he said. He bit back a grin and pretended to be concentrating on the road ahead.

"Okay, I'll take that as a no," she sighed again. "I'll kill you if we end up at some UFO convention, you know that, don't you?"

"I had the slightest of suspicions that that would happen if I were to take you to a convention on our honeymoon," he laughed. " So I decided to save till our anniversary."

"Mulder, tell me you're kidding," Scully looked into his boyish expression and rolled her eyes. "That would be typical of you."

"The old me, Dana," he corrected. " The me who was obsessed with work and government conspiracies."

"As opposed to....? What? What is your obsession now?" she asked, almost fearing the answer.

"You, my love. And our son," he grinned sweetly.

"Oh, please. I think I'm going to throw up. You promised you wouldn't go overboard on the mushiness," she closed her eyes and leaned her head back on the head rest. "I liked the old Mulder."

"Aw, I'm hurt," he pretended to be offended. "Besides, it's only because we're on our honeymoon, finally, and I want it to be one you remember."

"I'm sure I will if you just be yourself," she opened one eye and looked at him. "You're sweet enough at home. I hope whatever you've got up your sleeve isn 't overtly romantic."

"You'll like it," he assured her. "I promise, you'll like it."

It was another two hours before Mulder and Scully finally reached their destination. Scully was sleeping when they got there so Mulder leaned across and woke her up - by kissing her softly.

"Mmm," she opened her eyes and found him barely an inch away from her. "I take it we're either there or you've got us lost and want to break it to me gently."

"We're there," he leaned in and kissed her again, with more pressure and more hunger than before. "Good job, too."

"Yeah," she accepted another kiss and then put her hand on his shoulder, keeping him at a distance. "We're there, wherever there is, so why are we sitting making out in our car? Wouldn't it make more sense if we went somewhere more comfortable?"

"Good idea," he grinned. "That's why I married you. You're full of good ideas."

Mulder opened his car door and got out before walking round to her side of the car and opened her door for her. She got out, took his hand and he led her up the steps of a fairly big house after shouldering their bags.

Scully stopped him on he porch. "Where are we? It's so dark I can't see what this place looks like. And all I can hear is the sea."

"This is our summerhouse," he announced proudly. "We're in Florida."

"Florida? A summerhouse? Mulder, we can't afford...." He cut her off with another kiss.

"I saw this place when we were here on a case. It's beautiful, you'll fall in love with it when you can see it properly. And it's got an open fire so it's not really a summerhouse," he quickly explained. "And your Mom, Skinner and even the Gunmen contributed to it. And since they didn't get us wedding presents, this is it."

"You're even more devious and sneaky than I thought you were," she narrowed her eyes but had to laugh at his little boy expression, which was clear despite the darkness. "So this is your wedding present to me?"

"Yeah. You gave me your hand in marriage, I'm giving you this," he pulled her closer.

"It still seems to me that I owe you....a little something more." She smiled.

"You gave me Sam, that's more than I can give you," he retorted.

"You participated in that, too," she objected. "Don't worry, I'll make the score even sooner or later. For now, let's go inside. It's getting cold."

Mulder unlocked the door and reached for the light switch. He flicked it on with his thumb and it was revealed that they were standing in a hallway, a nicely decorated hallway which was also already furnished.

Scully moved away from him and walked over to the small table where the telephone was. It wasn't the telephone that caught her attention. It was a fairly large silver photo frame with three photographs in it. One of them was of Sam, one of them was of Mulder and Scully on their wedding day and the other was one of Mulder and Scully, before they were married, just standing close and gaze into each other's eyes.

She turned to him, a question in her eyes. Mulder actually blushed in spite of himself.

"The Gunmen came up to get things ready. I gave them something's to give the place a personal touch. They also brought some toys of Sam's and clothes and a bed for him, so we can bring him here on holidays." He moved over to her and wrapped his arms around her in a loving embrace. "So, what do you think so far? You like it?"

"Yes, I love it." She smiled up at him. "Why don't you go and light a fire? I'm going to go look around and freshen up. I'll be with you in a few minutes, okay?"

"Okay." He kissed her forehead and then her nose before his lips finally settled on hers. "But don't be too long."

"I won't be," she gave him a smile before taking their bags upstairs with her.

It was ten minutes before she reappeared. She stood in the doorway of the living room, watching him sip a glass of red wine and gaze into the fire. She looked down at herself, feeling a little subconscious in her fitted black dress. She pushed the feeling aside and cleared her throat.

Mulder turned and looked at her, his eyes widening at the sight of her. He looked her up and down, an approving look on his face. " You didn't have to get dressed up, Dana. I feel under-dressed now."

She gave him a devious look before moving to sit with him beside the fire. "I promised I'd even the score and I am. And we've only got the weekend."

"We could have stayed for a week," he protested, wrapping an arm round her waist and pulling her close as they lay down in front of the fire. "But you couldn't bear to be away from Sam for so long when we didn't have to be."

"You weren't that eager to leave him, if I remember it right," she murmured, snuggling up against him. A few moments of silence passed between them before she spoke again. "Are we actually going to leave the house while we're here?"

"Well," he kissed the top of her head. " My original plan was to bring you here and enjoy the scenery and all that but it's since changed. Now I wouldn't mind staying inside all weekend so I can take advantage and enjoy having you all to myself. It's been a while since we've been alone together, like this, without the risk of being interrupted."

"We're alone when we go away on cases. There's no one else in our hotel rooms, Mulder," she replied softly, closing her eyes and enjoying the heat of the fire and the feel of her husband so close.

"It's not the same." She felt Mulder's sigh on the back off her neck as he placed a kiss there. " We're always too wound up or too tired."

"So what do you suggest we do?" Scully moved and rolled over so she was on her back and he was looking down on her. He leaned in and kissed her loving.

"For now, we enjoy this," he murmured in between long and tender kisses. And when we get home, we get your Mom to baby-sit more often. She loves having Sam over, she could look after him occasionally. One night a week or something. And we can spend that night alone, together, at home."

"Sounds like a good idea to me." They kissed again, with more passion and more urgency. " But I'd feel guilty, about not seeing enough of Sam."

"Me, too." She felt rather than heard his sigh. "I guess I can't blame him for wanting to spend as much time as possible with his mother, like father like son."

"He want's to spend time with you, too. He's growing up, I don't think either of us wants to miss out on that," she opened her eyes and gazed up into his. Maybe he'll stop interrupting us when he's a little older and can sleep better."

"I suppose we can wait till then," he agreed. "It's not as if we don't get any quality time together, is it?"

"No and speaking of quality time, we're missing out on some because of all the talking." She smiled and wound her arms around his neck.

Mulder didn't answer her, she didn't expect him to. They kissed softly at first but their kisses grew more intense and more urgent as the night went on. Unsurprisingly, neither Mulder nor Scully noticed when the fire burnt out.

Before they knew it, the weekend came and went. They spent Saturday and Sunday at the beach which was fairly deserted. They only met one or two people and that was only if they ventured further than on the bay their house over-looked.

Now it was Sunday night and the last night they had at the house until they were able to come back - with Sam or by themselves.

Mulder and Scully were again by the fire. Scully was lying down, her head in Mulder's lap who was sitting up. Scully looked up at Mulder as he gazed into the flickering flames.

"What are you thinking?" she asked suddenly, startling him out of his thoughts.

"What?" He looked at her quizzically for a moment before her words sunk in. "I was thinking about Sam and you."

"What about us?" She sat up and moved closer, resting her head on his shoulder.

"Just how lucky I am to have you," he kissed her forehead. " Don't look so worried."

"I wasn't worried," she protested. They lapsed into silence and all that could be heard was the crackling of the fire burning the wood and their rhythmic breathing. " Mulder? Can I ask you something? Something you have to answer truthfully?"

"Sure, Sweetheart." He shifted so he could look into her eyes. "What is it?"

"Do you want more children?" she asked quietly, not taking her gaze from the fire. " I'm asking because....Well, we haven't exactly been careful and I was thinking that... I'd like more children. I want Sam to have a brother or sister or two and I'm not getting any younger and we don't even know if I can have more children so I thought...."

"I'd love to have more children," he answered, cutting her off. He touched her cheek with his hand softly. "And there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to. The doctor said...."

"I know what the doctor said." She leaned into his hand, kissing his palm as she did so. "But I don't entirely believe it. I don't think I can. It's a strange feeling, being told you can't have kids and then having one. Maybe it was a one-off."

"It wasn't a one-off, we will have more children," Mulder told her firmly. "I promise, we will be parents again. And we'll even have fun trying, if we need to."

"You sound so sure," Scully sighed heavily. "How can you be so sure all the time?"

"Because I know," he murmured. "I know we're going to have more children. Don't ask me how because that's the one thing I don't know. But we are going to have another child, Dana. More than one more. I'm certain of it."

"I hope you're right," she whispered as he lowered her down. "I really do."

"I am, I am." Mulder's answer marked the end of all conversation between them for the night.

The honeymoon, as short as it was, had been a memorable one. They were in the car outside of Mrs. Scully's house, looking forward to seeing their son but sad that their honeymoon had to end. Mulder gave Scully a quick kiss before they got out of the car and walked to the front door.

Almost as soon as they knocked, the door opened and Mrs. Scully welcomed them in.

"How was the honeymoon?" she asked, hugging them both enthusiastically. Did you enjoy the peace and quiet?"

"Yeah, we had a great time," Mulder answered. He smiled as he watched his son raise his arms as soon as he saw them. Scully obliged and lifted Sam into her arms.

She kissed him softly on the forehead and earned a big baby-kiss back. She hugged him tighter and smiled, carrying him over to his father. Mulder took him off her and also got a baby-kiss and was almost strangled by his son hugging his neck.

"He missed you," Mrs. Scully commented after watching the three greet each other in their own way.

"Did he behave himself? He didn't play up at all?" Scully asked her Mom as she helped collect her son's toys and clothes and various other belongings.

"He was as good as gold," Mrs. Scully replied with a typical note of pride most Grandmother's spoke with. " He's such a sweet child. Would it be too much for me to hope there'll be another on the way soon?"

"I don't think that would be too much to hope, do you, Dana?" Mulder grinned, sharing a look with his wife.

"I don't think so," Scully smiled back as she zipped up Sam's bag.

"What's going on?" Mrs. Scully looked from one to the other.

"Let's just say we're hoping Dana's next medical confirms our hopes," Mulder responded.

"And when will that be?" Mrs. Scully asked, her eyes shining.

"Soon," Mulder and Scully spoke in unison.

"We'll let you know, Mom," Scully added. " Thanks for looking after Sam for us."

"It was a pleasure, as always," Mrs. Scully answered. They all walked to the door and said goodbye. Before Scully got into the car, she hugged her mother.

"Keep your fingers crossed, Mom," she whispered as she did so. Mrs. Scully nodded and let her daughter go.

She watched them drive away with a hope-filled heart, hoping everything was going to go the way her daughter and son-in-law wanted it.

End of Story.


Title: After: 06. The Return
Author: Joey R.
Written: August 1999
Rating: PG in parts, from PG-13 to R in others.
Category: MSR\ MSmarried, baby fic, angst.
Disclaimer: These characters aren't mine. I wish they were but they're not. If I were you, I wouldn't waste your money suing me because I've spent all my money on X-File merchandise.
Spoilers: Various spoliers from all six seasons. Read at own risk. No major spoilers, especially not for S6
Archive: Please do. Let me know where, though.
Dedication: Tanja, Lisa, Lyndsey, Erin, Ashley, Rotem, Exfilia, Caroline, Mary.

Summary: Sixth in 'After' series. Follows on from After The Retreat. Hint: It's not who you think.............

Note: This story has nothing to do with any other stories written by me except others in the 'After' series - The Morning After, After The Beginning, After The Miracle, After The Arrival, After The Retreat, All available on my website or I'll send them to you via e-mail. Visit my fic@ www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Park/1240/

Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself
~ Jean Anounilth.
Mulder and Scully were still in the happy moods their honeymoon had created. Even though it had ended a few weeks ago, it was still very fresh in their minds and hearts. They were also planning on going back to Florida sometime soon - this time with Sam.

They had originally planned on inviting Mrs. Scully to join them but she seemed to have already made plans - with none other that AD Skinner. Something, according to Scully, was brewing between the two and she had actually put a bet on it with her husband that sooner or later, Mrs. Scully and Skinner would let them know they were involved.

Mulder was doubtful but went along with his wife, teasing her about taking over his role as the most romantic one in their relationship. She just laughed his comment off, claiming that she was a hidden and more subtle romantic, unlike him. They'd eventually ended up in a pillow fight and had agreed that they were equally as romantic as each other.

Scully had also decided she wanted to spend some more time with Sam, whilst Mrs. Scully was away 'visiting friends' in Chicago and Sam's Godfather was also taking personal leave from work so she'd taken two weeks off work. Mulder was going to take some time off after her first week at home so the family could go to Florida.

Everything seemed perfect. Too perfect.

Mulder and Scully were unaware that they were being watched. It was a Saturday and it was surprisingly sunny, so they took Sam to the park. They were being watched the whole time, Scully in particular.

The stranger hid in the shadows, watching Scully and Mulder play with their son. They stayed at the park most of the day. They were watched all the time. During their picnic and whilst they fed the ducks in the pond.

The stranger watched as Scully touched her husband's arm softly in a gesture of silent communication. A wave of envy swept over the stranger. They were so close, all three of them. Sam was as devoted to his mother as she was to him and Mulder obviously loved her as much as she loved him.

It wouldn't be like that for much longer. Soon the three before the stranger wouldn't be a happy family. The stranger would see to it that they were apart, Mulder and Scully. And Scully would have to have Sam, to keep her happy. Mulder, however, would be out of the picture.

The stranger watched as Scully made her way back to their picnic spot and watched as she lay down, stifling a yawn with her hand. The stranger then watched with even more interest as her hand drifted instinctively and rested on her flat abdomen.

The stranger smiled. Scully and Mulder would soon be at their most vulnerable, their weakest. They would soon be too distracted to see the storm coming before it was too late.

Mulder grinned as he carried Sam back up to where Scully was. She was half asleep, looking peaceful and content. He set Sam down next to her and knelt on the blanket, waiting for Sam to wake his Mom.

Sam climbed over on to his Mom's lap and peered over at her, a huge grin on his face. The grin widened when she opened one eye and looked at him. He giggled in the way a nine-month-old would and opened his chubby arms, signaling that he wanted a hug. Scully sat up and hugged him to her, leaning against Mulder. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her neck.

"You know I'm holding the two most precious things in my life right now?" he murmured. " It feels good."

"Well, you might be holding the three most precious and important things," Scully smiled softly as Sam pulled away and tried to climb away. She held him tightly, though. Not letting him get too far away.

"Three? Really?" Mulder looked at her profile and then she turned to face him, trying - and failing - to keep a smile from her lips.

"I think I'm pregnant, Mulder. I'm not certain which is why I didn't want you or anyone else knowing but.... I'm fairly confident. It's hard to explain, I just feel pregnant, it feels like there's something inside me," she bit her lip. " We can stop off at the pharmacist on the way home, get a home pregnancy test. If you want."

"Of course I want to," he grinned, his hand moving to her abdomen. " It would be the perfect end to a perfect day."

"Mmm," she allowed him to kiss her quickly before she broke away and pulled Sam back onto her knee. " I think Sam takes after you, he's into exploring which would most likely get him into trouble. Just like you."

"Maybe," he agreed, watching Sam pout and try to get away again. " I think it's time to go home, don't you?"

"You just want to know if you're going to be a father again," she murmured. " But it's near Sam's bedtime and it takes forever to get him in the bath."

"Doesn't take after me there," Mulder interjected. " I'd get into a bath with you anytime or I'd let you bath me anytime."

"You're incorrigible!" She rolled her eyes. " Sam better not get that from you."

"Or what?" Mulder asked curiously, wanting to know what his wife was going to say.

"Never mind," Scully shook her head as she began to pack their things away, holding on to Sam at the same time.

"I want to know," Mulder protested, wrapping an arm around her and nuzzling her neck, making her laugh. " Sounded as though it was going to get interesting.."

"Mulder!" She exclaimed, pushing him away. " Quit it. We're in public and we've got to keep an eye on Sam."

"Promise you'll tell me when we get home and Sam's in bed?" He pressed, helping her pack up.

"I promise I'll tell you whether you're going to be a father again or not," she answered with a smile. Mulder grinned and let the subject drop. He'd rather find out if he was going to be a father again, anyway.

They stopped off at a pharmacists on the way home and bought a home pregnancy test that Mulder insisted Scully do as soon as they got home.

She did and she was bathing Sam when the timer went off, letting them know it was time to see if Sam was going to get a baby brother or sister. Scully was busy so Mulder got the results and stood leaning against the bathroom door, watching her as she tenderly cleaned their son. Sam played with his toys and with the bubbles as Scully stood and went over to where he was.

"So, are you going to tell me or not?" she asked, biting her lip nervously.

"Yeah," Mulder answered breezily.

"Yeah? What does that mean? That you're going to tell me?" She looked at him disapprovingly. " Quit it, Mulder. I want to know."

"I already told you," he grinned.

"All you said was 'yeah'." She paused, considering it. Then her eyes widened. "You mean, yeah we are."

"Well, you're the one who's pregnant but we're gonna be parents," he teased her lovingly. She hit him playfully.

"I.. We're really going to be parents again," Scully sounded as though she couldn't believe it. In a way, she couldn't. She was pregnant, again. Another miracle. Her hand went to her stomach and Mulder's followed, resting on top of hers. He squeezed her fingers and leaned forwards to kiss her.

"I think Sam needs us, Mom," he whispered before he gave her a quick kiss. Scully turned round and went to tend to their son whilst Mulder continued watching her. He could tell she was thrilled but still in shock. He just hoped everyone else was as happy for them. He saw no reason why they shouldn't, he was just a little worried about what the Bureau would do if they found out. Skinner had already covered for them with their marriage and with Sam. He wondered how far Skinner would and could go to protect them and keep them together.

Mulder shook his head to clear his thoughts and handed Scully a towel. He watched her towel dry Sam and then he picked up his son and carried him through to his bedroom. Scully would follow after she tied the bathroom a little. It was part of their routine. She'd bathe Sam, then he'd get him ready for bed whilst she cleaned up. Then they'd both say goodnight.

Mulder briefly wondered how another child would fit into the routine but thought no more about it as soon as his wife joined him in their son's room and he saw her radiant smile. They'd cope, it was what they wanted. Of that, he was certain.

The stranger had watched Mulder leave for work and debated whether to follow or whether to stay and watch Scully and Sam. Eventually, the stranger decided to follow Mulder but not before letting Scully know she wasn't alone.

The stranger walked quickly and quietly up to the gate. The gate opened easily and soundlessly. The stranger moved up the path to the front door and slipped a pre-prepared package through the mail box before slipping down the path equally as quickly.

By the time Scully found the letter and read it and saw what else was in it, there would be no evidence that anyone had ever been there.

Mulder was hard at work when he got the call. He was putting the finishing touches to an expense report form his last case with Scully, which he was finding very tedious. Usually, he sweet talked Scully into doing the report or promised to treat her to something when she got home. With her staying off work, he had to do it himself.

When the phone rang, he didn't think much of it. He just picked up the receiver ad greeted whoever was on the other end in the way he always did.

"Mulder." He paused, waiting for the expected response. When he didn't get one, he stopped writing what he was and looked up from the report. " Hello? Is anyone there?"

Again, silence as the only answer he got until he heard a click and then a dialing tone. He hung up the receiver at his end and was about to pick it up and press re-dial to see who'd called him when it rang again.

"Hello?" he asked uncertainly. " Is there anyone there?"

"Mulder, can you come home?" It was Scully and she sounded worried. Instantly, Mulder was alert and concerned.

"Dana, Sweetheart? Are you okay? Is Sam okay?" Mulder heard the panic in his voice.

"Sam's fine, I'm fine. I just..I.." Her voice trailed off and Mulder heard a faint rustling sound. " I need you to come home and take a look at something."

"Are you sure you're both okay?" His voice sounded calmer but he was still worried about his wife and son and unborn child. She sounded so upset. " You don't sound it."

"I'm fine, really. I'm just a little..disturbed by something," she answered, sounding a little less frantic herself.

"Was it a phone call?" Mulder asked curiously, getting up out of his chair and beginning to pack some files in his brief case. He wasn't going to leave her by herself when she was upset, he'd just work form home for the rest of the day.

"No, why?" Now it was Scully's turn to sound intrigued.

"I got a hang up call just before you called," he explained. Sensing her worry, he added quickly. " It was probably just a wrong number." She didn't respond. Dana?"

"I'm here," she murmured into the phone. " I...I have a feeling it's more than a wrong number."

"I' on my way, Sweetheart. Don't worry, okay? Call me on my cell phone if anything else happen," he told her before they said quick good-byes and he made his way out of the office, heading towards home.

The stranger grinned, watching as Mulder's car sped out of the car lot. Scully was shaken by the letter and the things revealed in it and the nicely selected pictures. Now Mulder would get a chance to react and then the stranger could make the next move on the plan.

Getting into the car, the stranger started driving towards the Mulder residence. The plan was taking shape, they knew there was a new danger looming but they didn't know from which direction it was going to come.

As soon as Mulder got home, he practically ran to his wife who was sitting in the living room, with a surprisingly quiet Sam on the floor by her feet. Sam was watching some cartoons on television whilst Scully was holding a big brown envelope and staring at it.

"Sweetheart," Mulder sat beside her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. He pulled her towards him when he felt she was shaking. " Dana, what is it?"

Wordlessly, she handed him the envelope and he spilt the contents on his lap. He read the letter first, looking up at her occasionally, understanding why she was so shaken. It was a love letter but it was addressed. It could have been to either one of them. It was the note at the bottom that Mulder suspected had shaken his wife most:

JuSt To LeT yOu KnOw, I'm WaTcHiNg YoU sO wAtCh OuT, tHeRe'S a StRaNgEr ThErE's A sTrAnGeR aBoUt................ And I'm after YOU..................... They DiE if they get in the way. PrOmIsE yOu ThAt.

Mulder put the letter down and pulled her into his arms. She leaned into his embrace for a few moments until the rest of the envelopes contents fell to the floor. She immediately leapt up and collected them together, a warm flush creeping over her cheeks. Mulder looked at her quizzically until she handed him the photographs that had slipped out of their plastic folder.

"They're not suitable for Sam to see," she whispered.

Mulder looked through them and his eyes widened. The first few were fine. There were a few of Scully by herself, watching Sam and Mulder at the park. There were some of Mulder holding Sam. Then there were pictures of Mulder and Scully on their honeymoon. Mainly pictures of them on the beach, kissing and holding each other in a way Scully definitely didn't want Sam to see. The most disturbing ones were pictures of them at their home, in their home, with Sam. Each picture had been taken through a window in their house and they'd been ripped up - Mulder had been torn out of most of them, or a cross had been drawn through his face. What possibly disturbed Scully more is that in some pictures, so had Sam. In one picture, one of them at the park, there was a target drawn on Scully's stomach, where they unborn child was.

"Dana..." His voice trailed off, he pulled her into his arms and held her close as silent tears ran down her cheeks. He only moved away when Sam turned and looked at them, his big blue eyes tearing up. Mulder quickly hid the photo's and pulled Sam up onto his knee when he lifted his arms.

Sam looked at his parents, knowing something was wrong but not understanding what. He looked at his Mom and climbed over to sit in-between them. He felt safe with his parents, they were always there when he needed them. He snuggled down between them, grinning a toothless grin when they shifted to give him more room.

Mulder wrapped an arm around Scully's shoulder and looked at her over Sam's head. He mouthed the words 'I love you, it'll be all right' and she forced a weak smile in response. It amazed her how he could always at least pretend to be optimistic, just to try and reassure her.

With a sigh, Scully kissed her son on the crown of his head and leaned into the back of the couch. She closed her eyes. Just when things were going right again, something always had to happen. As she felt herself drift off to sleep - a sure sign of her pregnancy - she made a silent wish. She wished that her family would come out of this latest situation safe and, most importantly, together.

The stranger watched, as usual. The first mission had been accomplished. Now Mulder and Scully were so worried about each other and their children, they wouldn' t be worried about themselves.

Now all the stranger had to do was wait, wait for Mulder and Scully to be apart again and then the next stage of the plan could be put in motion. The plan had changed, in the months the stranger had concocted it. Originally, one of them would die and the other would live in pain after witnessing it. That was before the stranger had began watching them and had decided only that only one of them was to suffer and both of them were going to live.

Mulder would live as opposed to dying like the stranger had originally planned but Dana..... She would no longer be a Mulder, they'd still be apart. And now the stranger had the perfect motive and the perfect bribe to keep them that way.

Later that evening, after calling both AD Skinner and Mrs. Scully and assuring them they were going to be okay and that there was no need for them t come home early and once Sam had been put to bed and told a bedtime story, Mulder and Scully sat in their dining room trying to figure out who the 'stalker' could be.

Mulder was certain that the stalker was someone after Scully, perhaps someone who'd taken a shine to her during one of their cases. Scully wasn't sure, she didn 't think they'd met anyone who would go as far as threatening her son and her husband just to be with her.

"Seriously, Mulder. Who do you think would go that far?" she asked as they looked -pointlessly, in her opinion - through dozens of files that Mulder had made copies of and kept in their loft. " There's no one, it seems a little farfetched that someone who wants to be with me would do this."

"Then who do you think it is?" Mulder shot back, feeling angry but not as his wife. He was angry because it was frustrating staring at a list of names and not knowing which person was responsible for the letter and pictures that had been hand delivered through their front door. It was....unnerving, to say the least, that someone this intent on causing their family distress had been so close to his wife and Sam.

"I don't know," she admitted, putting a soft hand on his arms to stop him from looking through another file. " But it seems more likely to me that whoever this is is trying to get us to panic, someone who we've upset or put away along the line and now they want revenge. I think this person is most likely angry at both of us than being someone...someone who wants me. Whoever it is might just have written the letter to get to you, to make you think I'm the one in trouble so you let your guard down and then....." She stopped as she fought a shiver. " I just want you to be open to the fact that you're most likely in the same, if not more, amount of danger as I am. I don't want you putting yourself at risk."

"I won't, I promise," he sighed. Then he looked down at his list.. " You make a list of people you think it could be trying to hurt us both and then we'll see if we 've got any names that appear on both lists. And tomorrow, you and Sam can come into work with me and we'll run a check to see if anyone we know has been released or have escaped from prison, okay?"

"Okay," Scully sighed and sat up straight before looking at the pile of files in front of her and sighing heavily. Somehow, she got the feeling it was going to be a long night.

It was nearing two in the morning when Mulder finally looked up from his scribbled notes and found that his wife was no longer sitting at the table next to him. His mind processed the possibilities, slow from lack of sleep. Then he stood, alarm coursing through his veins as he started to search the house for her.

He hadn't heard her get up, she hadn't said anything. Thinking about it, she could have said something but he was too engrossed in the task at hand. Fear swept over him as he thought that what if, somehow, the person behind the love letter and photographs had got into the house and had done something to her? Mulder quickly shook that thought from his mind, telling himself he would have heard something if that had happened but he couldn't dismiss the thought entirely. He had been pretty wrapped up in his work, what if something had happened to her? What if she'd fallen and hurt the unborn baby?

Mulder's pace quickened as he ran upstairs with no consideration for his sleeping son. He was too worried to think about waking Sam - and the hassle of trying to get Sam back to sleep again.

Luckily, when he found Scully, he had no reason to worry about getting Sam back to sleep. He was asleep. The only unusual thing about it was that Sam was asleep in Mulder's bed, with Scully, where Mulder should be. It was a sweet sight, though. Scully was asleep with Sam in her arms and Sam was snuggling closer to his mother's stomach as he slept. Mulder grinned at the picture, knowing they'd fallen asleep like that before. His grin faltered slightly. Usually, he was with them.

His wife was also sleeping but she stirred when he walked up to her and sat on the edge of the bed carefully. He touched her cheek tenderly as she looked at him and then at the clock.

"It's two in the morning, Mulder. When are you coming to bed?" She stifled a yawn as Sam moved closer and let out a small grunt of disapproval at her moving to make room for Mulder.

"How can I refuse an offer like that?" He grinned, taking off his shirt and trousers before climbing into bed with her after making sure all the lights were off in the rest of the house. " I didn't expect to find my wife in bed with another man."

"That's what you get for staying up so late," Scully retorted as he wrapped an arm around her. There was a moment's silence as they shifted to get comfortable. Then, once she was sure Sam was sound asleep, she spoke. " Do you regret us getting together?"

The question took Mulder by surprise. He had been about to fall asleep when she'd asked it, now he was wide awake. " What? How can you even say that? You're not regretting it, are you?"

"No, I couldn't be happier but you....Tonight, when you were looking through those files, you went back to being what you were like before. Obsessed, with your work," she sighed. " I'm probably being stupid. It's just...You seemed like there was nothing else, like no one else mattered. That scared me. And you totally ignored me when I said goodnight.....I don't want to lose you to your work, Mulder. I've been competing with it for too long and I finally thought I'd won."

"You have won!" He insisted. " You know I love you and I'll never leave you. I was only caught up in what I was doing because this person is threatening you, threatening us!" He tried to see her expression but it was too dark and she'd turned away form him.

"Fine, Mulder," she sighed. " But promise me you'll tell me if you ever begin to wish you hadn't made a commitment to this family. I don't want you to hate me in a few years when Sam and this kid are grown up with their own lives and for you to feel resentment towards me for making you give up the freedom you have before when we were just partners investigating the X-Files. I really don't want to lose you."

"You never will," he whispered as she fell asleep. He felt slightly guilty. He had recently been wondering what things would be like if he could go off and investigate any case he liked in any state he liked without having to worry about where Sam would stay or what would happen to his family if something happened to him. He now, in the moments before he fell asleep, accepted the commitment and responsibility he'd taken on when they'd become involved and married and started a family. He realized, as he held his whole world in his arms, that his life would be worthless and meaningless without the woman he loved and their children. And he had realized this because of the threat that they could be taken from him which was why he was even more determined, now more so than ever before, to keep Scully and Sam and their unborn child safe, no matter what he had to sacrifice, no matter what the cost.

Scully woke to find she was alone. Sam was no longer snuggled up to her side and Mulder was no longer holding her. She stretched, taking advantage of the space and the peace and then the door opened. Mulder walked in, carrying Sam whilst balancing a tray on one hand.

She sat up and smiled as Mulder let Sam go and her so climbed towards her. She scooped him up in her arms and hugged him tightly as Mulder sat down next to her and set the tray down.

"What's all this for?" she asked with a teasing glint in her eyes. " You didn't break the vase Mom got me for Christmas, did you?"

"No," Mulder grinned, swooping down to steal a quick kiss before answering her. " I was just thinking about what you said last night.."

She cut him off before he could say anything else. " Mulder, I didn't mean it. I was just tired and I was being selfish, I wanted you to spend the time you were spending working with me."

"I can't blame you for that. I am your husband and I'm a Dad, too. I have been thinking what it would be like if we hadn't become involved and hadn't started a family but last night, I realized that I love this. I love being part of a family and I wouldn't change that for anything. I just..." He looked down at his hand which she took in hers and saw their matching wedding bands shine in the stream of sunlight coming through the crack in the curtains. " I've never had a real family, I've never been part of one. Not since Samantha was taken. I wasn't used to it, I guess. I didn't know how much of a commitment and responsibility it was. Now I do and I'm ready to accept it. I love you, I love Sam....I don't want to do anything to risk losing this."

"What is it exactly you're trying to say? It might be because I'm pregnant, but all of t hat just went over my head," she gave him a weary smile.

"What I'm saying is that if I ever get too involved with my work, I give you permission to yell at me. The only thing I want to get too involved in is you and our family," he explained, kissing her softly as if to prove it.

"Well, I'm glad to hear it but.." her voice trailed off as she looked at the breakfast he'd prepared. " Last time you made me breakfast, I almost miscarried. Mind if I skip it?"

"Yes, I do mind!" He grinned at her teasing. " It's probably the one of the last time's you can stomach your breakfast so eat. Besides, it wasn't my cooking that caused the problem, it was stress and Sam's position."

"I'm still not convinced," she murmured as she bit into a slice of toast with jam. " But since I'm starving and I don't want to hurt your feelings, I'll eat it."

Mulder rolled his eyes at her before leaning in and taking a bite of her toast, earning a mock punch. They ate their breakfast as Sam fell asleep played an imaginary game by himself.

As planned, Scully and Sam went to work with Mulder, despite Scully's protests that it was very unprofessional. Mulder didn't care, he wasn't going to take any risks as far as his wife and son were concerned and they needed to cross-reference the names on their lists with the Bureau's database to see if anyone had escaped or been released from prison in the last few months.

The first name on both lists was Donnie Pfaster. Mulder typed the name in and waited for the computer to find a match. When Pfaster's records came up, both were relieved to find he was still in prison and wasn't going to be released for a long time.

Then Mulder and Scully came to a problem. None of the other names on their list matched so they went through them, trying to find out if there were any names they could eliminate.

"Cecil L'Ively," Scully read out from her list. " Do a search for him and see if he's still locked up." At Mulder's doubtful look, she shrugged. " It's a possibility. I know he would have set our house on fire or something but it's possible."

"Okay," Mulder sighed, typing in the name. Again, the computer searched and then beeped and displayed all the information it had on Cecil L'Ively. He scanned the screen and then looked up. " Still in his special cell, will be for a few years yet."

"Okay, Bill Patterson," she read. " And don't give me that look. It's a possibility. He tried to kill you once, even if he did claim to be insane."

"Bill Patterson, ex-FBI Agent," he typed it in and waited. Again. The computer searched and it was revealed Bill Patterson was still in jail.

They spent their morning like this and eventually crossed off every name on Scully's list with the exception of one - Alex Krycek. Even Scully was doubtful about that but it was better to be careful than dead.

"I also wrote John Barnett but he's dead, isn't he?" Scully looked up, a sigh escaping her lips. " He better be dead."

"He is, I shot him after he shot you," Mulder reassured her, taking her hand over the desk.

"And you're absolutely sure Diana Fowley is dead?" she asked, feeling cold at the thought of that woman who'd taken their son coming back from the grave. Sam also reacted which was surprising. He started crying and Scully pulled him into her arms and hugged him. " Shh, it's okay, baby." She spoke soothingly. " Mommy's here."

"She's gone, she isn't coming back," Mulder sighed and moved round to hug his son. He took him from his wife and watched as Scully leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes. " You okay?"

"I'm fine," she stifled a yawn. " I just wish this was over already."

"Me, too," he agreed. " Why don't you look over my list and tell me who to cross off and then we'll do a search for whoever's left."

"Okay," she shrugged listlessly and reached over for the piece of paper with his list of names on. She scanned the list and arched a doubtful eyebrow. " Mulder, you' re nuts."

"Hey, I resent that!" He protested. " They're all possibilities!"

"Philip Padgett is dead," she told him. " Jack Willis is dead."

"Jack came back once before," he was quick to point out as Sam chewed on his finger with the beginnings of his first tooth. " So it is a possibility, kinda." Scully continued to look at him until he relented. " Okay, cross Jack off. Who's next?"

"I thought you were the one with the photographic memory," she teased. Someone called Rob. Who's Rob?"

"You don't remember him? He was the guy you went out with that you met at your God-Son's birthday party," Mulder told her with a sly grin. " You mustn't have had that good a time if you've forgotten who he was."

"I can't believe you remembered him!" Scully smiled. " Don't tell me you were jealous of him? That was a few months into our partnership, Mulder. You didn't even know me."

"I was being territorial," he defended himself. " Besides, you're mine. Cross him off if you don't think it's likely."

"Whatever you say," she bit back another smile and looked down at the list. " Ethan Minette? How did you know about him? I never mentioned him to you."

"He was your boyfriend when we met. He called the hotel on our first case together, t he receptionist gave me the message," he shrugged and feigned an apologetic look, a hand going playfully to his heart. " Don't tell me I forgot to pass the message on. Poor Ethan, waiting at home for his sweetheart to call. Bet he wasn't too happy when you got home."

"No, I broke up with him before he had the chance to mention it," she threw a crumpled up piece of paper at him. " I cannot believe you did that! You really didn't trust me, did you?"

"Well, partly. I was being typically male, a hot woman I was working with had a boyfriend and I was just being openly hostile. It's a male thing," he shrugged. " If I hadn't done that, you might still be together and we wouldn't be together."

"I doubt that and I doubt Ethan is behind this," she shook her head. Ethan isn't one to waste his time going after someone he can't have when he's got his career to think of."

"Cross him off," he sighed. " Next."

"Agent Kingston and Agent Beckett," Scully rolled her eyes. " You're more possessive than I thought."

"Hey, they both have crushes on you!" Mulder protested. " Even more so now we're married."

"They wouldn't do something so foolish like this," she argued. " So they're off the list. And the last one is Ed Jerse. What a surprise."

"He's a murderer and you had a one night stand with him!" He quickly defended himself. " He might have come back for more."

"Firstly, I didn't sleep with him. Secondly, check the computer and I bet you'll find he's still in prison," she answered.

Mulder typed in the name and the computer searched again. Ed Jerse was still in prison, still receiving counseling. He sighed and then looked at her. " Why didn't you sleep with him?

"Not that it matters now, I couldn't get you out of my mind," she admitted. " Now, is he in prison?"

"Yes," he sighed again. " Back to square one."

"So we know who it isn't but we're still at a loss for who it is," she let her shoulders slump as Sam climbed off Mulder's knee and explored the office floor.

At that moment, there was a knock on the door and a timid looking female Agent entered with a nicely wrapped box.

"This package came for you, Agent Scully," the Agent handed Scully the box and fled before Scully could even thank her. Mulder and Scully exchanged glances, recognizing the hand writing as being the same writing that matched the stranger's letter.

Mulder picked Sam up and carried him round to Scully's side of the desk. He watched as she tore the paper from the medium-sized box. She inhaled deeply, calming herself down, before she lifted the lid of the box.

Inside were two smaller boxes. She let out the breath she'd been holding and sighed. She took one of the small boxes out and set it aside on the desk. Then she picked up the second box and untied the red ribbon from around it. Cautiously, she opened it and felt her stomach lurch at the sight. Mulder turned Sam away and closed his eyes.

Lying on a quilt of satin was what Scully guessed to be a pig's heart, with a bloody note attached to it by a nail that went through the heart. It read:

This is what you will feel like, Agent Mulder. My heart is hers and hers will be mine.

Scully quickly closed the box and pushed it aside. She closed her eyes and rested her hands on the desk in front of her, holding on for support as a wave of nausea hit her. Usually, during a routine case with Mulder, she saw much worse sights that a pigs heart. The thing that made her feel sick was that this was sent to her and her husband, it held a personal threat to them. That and she was pregnant.

She opened her eyes when Mulder wrapped an arm around her waist and Sam pulled on her leg. She looked down on Sam lovingly and picked him up when he indicated for her to by raising his chubby arms. He nestled his head on her shoulder and she felt his warm breath on her neck, comforting her.

"Dee, are you going to open the other box?" Mulder asked softly.

"No, you do it," she shook her head. " I think Sam needs changing, it's about time he did, anyway. I'll take him to the bathroom rather than stink out the office."

With that, Scully picked up a bag and took her son out of the office and down the hall. Mulder watched her go before reaching for the other box and opening it. He was pleasantly surprised to find something nicer than the pigs heart - obviously something meant for his wife and not him.

He gently took the delicate gold bracelet from on top of the satin lining and looked at it closely. It was beautiful. In fact, it reminded him of the bracelet he'd been thinking about getting for Scully for their anniversary in three months time.

He was still looking at the bracelet when she came back, with a clean Sam. She sat Sam down on her knee as she sat in her chair looking at him expectantly.

"So what was in the box?" she asked with a noncommittal look.

"This," he handed her the bracelet and she raised a quizzical eyebrow.

"It's nice," she sounded surprised.

"The pigs heart was meant for me, this was meant for you. The guy's just to tight with his money to send them separately," Mulder tried to lighten the mood by joking with her. The worried expression in Scully's eyes told him that it wasn't working.

"This guy's serious, isn't he?" she asked quietly, her gaze lowering to their son.

"I think so," he sighed and reached out to touch her shoulder. " I think you and Sam should go to Florida early, get out of D.C and away from me as soon as you can. I get the impression the more time we spend together, the angrier he gets."

"I can't leave you, Mulder," she argued. " Not when this..this person wants to get rid of you."

"You're the one he wants, he won't hurt me if I know where you are," Mulder reasoned. " Take Sam, go to Florida."

"He knows we have a house in Florida. He took pictures of us there. What if he comes looking for us?" She decided to use another approach.

"He won't, I promise. I'll get the Gunmen and some guys in forensics working on finding some finger prints or DNA and we'll book you on the plane under a different name. We'll even make a couple of bookings, going to different places so he won't know where exactly you're going." He ran a hand through his hair, trying to convince her it was for the best. " I'll be fine. I'll call you every morning and every night and if anything wrong, you can call me instantly. If you'd feel better about it with someone else with you, one of the Gunmen can go with you or we'll call your Mom and Skinner."

"I'll be fine," she sighed. " I'll just worry about you but I'll be fine and so will Sam."

"Good," he grinned and kissed both his wife and his son before taking Sam and helping her to her feet. " let's go home and get packed up."

The three went home, with Scully reluctantly preparing herself to leave D.C and her husband behind.

He watched them leave and discreetly followed them home. The stranger lurked in the front yard and watched them look around uncomfortably.

He grinned. They knew he was there but they didn't know where he was or who he was. Everything was going perfectly. They looked like they were disagreeing over something too, which only served to double his joy. Things were going better than he planned. Scully was holding Sam close to her and was giving Mulder a hard look whilst Mulder was looking stubborn about something.

He watched go into the house and quietly crept closer, watching them through the window. He watched as Scully settled Sam in his playpen and then left the room and headed to the stairs. He grinned and waited, knowing she would soon find another gift from him and knowing Mulder would soon find another reason to be afraid. Very afraid.

Mulder was downstairs fixing a light meal for them to eat before going to the airport. He fixed a salad and some sandwiches and set them on the table before going to check on Sam.

He pulled Sam into his arms and held him close.

"Hey there, Buddy," he whispered softly. " You're gonna look after your Mommy for me, aren't you?" Sam, predictably, didn't respond. He just put his fingers in his mouth and tried to grin, looking at his father. Mulder continued anyway. " You know she's gonna look after you and I'm going to do my best to look after the two of you and your little brother or sister but I'm going to need your help, okay?"

Sam gurgled in response, making Mulder grin despite the grim situation.

"Mulder!" It was Scully and she sounded upset. Mulder carried Sam upstairs to their bedroom and found her staring at the bed in horror. She turned when she heard him enter the room. " He's been in our house."

Mulder looked to where she was staring and felt sick. Even though what lay on the bed was not as repulsive as the pigs heart, the thoughts connected to the 'gift' repulsed Mulder more and he knew it had shaken Scully.

The 'gift' was a black silky night dress. It was very short and very revealing - and Scully's size. Pinned to it was yet another note.

She was mine first and she will be again. Her body first, then I'll win her heart and soul. ~ Dana's love.

Scully closed her eyes and leaned against the wall, sliding down against it to the floor. Mulder took Sam through to his room and made sure the windows in the room were locked before going back to his wife, concerned at how pale she looked and how her brow was creased, with either worry, pain or both.

"Dana?" He knelt down and touched her cheek tenderly. She looked up into his eyes and he noticed her eyes had lost their usual radiance. " Sweetheart, are you okay?"

"No," she shook her head, her eyes filling with tears. " No, I'm not okay. There's some sick freak after me who's threatening you and was threatening Sam and now he's been in our home and left that which means...I don't like the idea of you staying here alone, Mulder. Please come to Florida with us. Or even better, lets not go to Florida, let's go somewhere else."

"Shh," he pulled her into his arms and rocked her soothingly. " I'll follow you tomorrow, okay? Is that better? I'll see you off at the airport tonight and Byers can go with you. Then tomorrow morning, I'll go into work and see if they've come up with any matches and even if they haven't, I'll fly out to Florida and we'll be together again. Would that make you any happier?"

"A little," she murmured, her reply muffled by his shoulder. " As long as you promise not to stay here alone tonight. Spend the night at the Gunmen office with Frohike and Langly."

"Fine, I promise," he mumbled into her neck. " I love you, Dana. I promise I'll try to protect you and Sam from this maniac."

"Don't forget to protect yourself, Mulder," she sighed, pulling away. That seems to be your problem most of the time."

"Yes, Ma'am," he teasingly saluted her and they stood. " let's go get Sam and get some food before we say goodbye."

"Don't say that," she objected. " I don't want to think of this as being goodbye. It isn't, we'll see each other tomorrow."

"Okay, so it's a see you, not goodbye," he amended, opening the door to Sam 's room.

They found him sitting on the floor, pouting at being left alone. Scully smiled and scooped him up in her arms.

"He takes after you," she told Mulder. " Leave him alone with nothing to do for a few minutes and then he's in a sulk for the rest of the day."

Mulder gave her an offended look before following them downstairs, praying to a God he still wasn't sure he believed in that everything would be okay, that his wife and son would be fine.

Before they knew it, time flew by and they were saying 'see you' at the airport. Byers held Sam and stood a few meters away with the other Gunmen, wanting to give them some privacy.

Mulder hugged his wife tightly and buried his head in her neck and hair. " I love you."

"I love you too," she whispered back, pulling away slightly. " Promise you' ll look after yourself and you'll call me tomorrow morning."

"As long as you call me tonight as soon as you get there," he grinned, trying to lighten the mood. " Byers is going to take good care of you and Sam till I get there so don't worry. And Frohike and Langly are afraid of you so they won't dare let anything happen to me."

"They better not." She smiled slightly. The smile faded. " We should go."

"Yeah," he bit his lip and hugged her again, pulling away only to kiss her lovingly and passionately. " I'll miss you."

"One night, Mulder," she sighed. " It's only one night."

"But I'm betting it's going to be a long night," he responded. " See you tomorrow."

"Yeah, we'll see you then." She smiled weakly and they walked hand-in-hand over to the Lone Gunmen. Mulder took Sam from Byers, giving his son a hug and a kiss before passing him to his mother.

"I'll take care of them, Mulder," Byers assured his friend, shaking his hand.

"I know you will," Mulder nodded and watched as Scully began to walk away with Sam in her arms. Byers followed and he sighed heavily. Frohike put an understanding hand on his arm.

"They'll be all right," Langly spoke up. Mulder looked at him and nodded.

"Yeah, I know," he agreed half-heartedly. The three started walking away and Mulder cast a glance over his shoulder at the retreating form of his wife.

It felt so wrong to be going separate ways. He hoped this was the last time because he knew if Scully ever walked away from him with the intention of staying away for ever, he wouldn't be able to cope and he'd do anything within his power to get her to stay.

With a sigh, Mulder tensed his shoulders and set his mind on the task at hand - finding his wife's stalker before he found her.

Scully was silent for the whole plane ride. She just held Sam when he wanted to be held, changed him when he wanted to be changed and fed him when he wanted to be fed.

Byers was relieved when she fell asleep as it meant she would stop worrying for a while. He could tell she was worried, for her son and for her husband and his heart went out for her. He knew what it was like to be worried about someone you loved and he couldn't imagine what it must be like to fear for the person you love and your child. He knew Mulder and Scully had been through a lot together too but they'd never been threatened in this way before, never had someone decided to take them away from each other just to make them suffer.

Byers watched as Scully and Sam slept, with Sam in Scully's protective embrace. His thoughts turned to Mulder and he wondered how Mulder was coping knowing his wife and his son were heading to a different state and that there might actually be a stalker following her. Byers knew they'd taken all the appropriate security measures but he knew there was still a slim chance Scully was being followed, that the stalker hadn't stayed in D.C like they'd planned.

He sighed and settled back into his seat. At least this time tomorrow, Mulder and Scully would be back together, ready to face whatever the world was going to throw at them.

He had watched the tearful farewell and was forced to make a decision. Was he going to stay in Washington D.C and torment Mulder or would he find out where Scully was going and follow her?

He'd watched Mulder leave the airport after looking back and made his decision. He shouldered the bag lying by his feet and headed to the reception desk. It was time to use his clearance and find out where Mrs. Mulder, soon to be ex-Mrs. Mulder, went.

It was time to say hello to an old friend. And to make sure Mulder and Scully's goodbye had been their last.

The office of the Lone Gunmen was quiet as Mulder waited for the all important phone call from Scully telling him they'd made it to Florida safe and sound. Langly and Frohike kept looking at him and giving him sympathetic looks.

Mulder spend an hour reading back issues of the Gunmen's magazine and then another hour pacing the small office. Just as he was falling asleep, the phone rang and he practically leapt to his feet. grabbing for the phone before the two remaining Gunmen had a chance to react.

"Hello?" he asked breathlessly.

"Mulder? Is that you?" The sound of her voice made him smile.

"Yeah, it's me. How was the flight?" Mulder sat down and Langly and Frohike left the room, giving them some privacy. " How was Sam?"

"The flight was fine and so was Sam. He must have inherited that from you but I think this other kid's gonna be like me and hate flying," she answered and he could tell she was smiling. Or, at the very least, trying to sound as if she was for his sake.

"And how do you work that one out?" Mulder asked curiously.

"Just a feeling," she replied. " I miss you already."

"I miss you too but we're gonna have to keep it down, the guy's will think I've gone soft," he teased, softening his voice.

"You went soft when Sam was born," she told him. " I think your reputation is pretty much ruined by now."

"Maybe," he agreed with a sigh. " I wish I was there."

"I wish you were here, too," Scully closed her eyes, enjoying the sound of his voice. " I've got that feeling again, Mulder. The one I got when Sam was taken. Promise me you're taking care of yourself?"

"I promise. Now you promise me you'll stay with Byers until I get there," Mulder promised.

"I will." She smiled into the phone - a genuine smile this time. " Just get here as soon as you can."

"I will, I will," he chuckled. " This whole thing has made you a lot less independent."

"Am I being too clingy?" She questioned. " I'm sorry if I am, I thought I got out of them phase when I was five."

"You're not being clingy," he assured her. " You're just letting me in. And I'm glad."

"Good," Scully sighed. " We have to hang up soon."

"Why?" Mulder was suddenly desperate to hear her voice, not wanting to hang up and not caring about how much it was going to cost. " It's our telephone bill."

"Precisely. Besides, we'll see each other tomorrow and we just said goodbye a few hours ago," she grinned at his desperate tone. " We're being pathetically dependent and needy, Mulder."

"Don't care." Now Mulder sounded as stubborn as she imagined Sam being in a few more months time. " You're my wife and there's some maniac who seems to be obsessed with you on the lose. I am allowed to worry."

"Then why didn't you come with us?" Scully asked quietly. " You could have done and had the findings faxed or even e-mailed to us here. You didn't have to stay there."

"We're straying from the issue at hand," he told her in a monotone voice, a voice he used to talk to green agents that got in his way at the Bureau. A voice that got on her nerves and sounded so condescending.....

"Goodnight, Mulder," she responded coolly. " I'll see you in the morning."

With that she hung up, leaving Mulder feeling angry and annoyed - at himself, mainly. He knew she hated that voice, he knew it was condescending but he'd slipped into it automatically. He was scared and angry at the person doing this to them and he'd taken that out on Scully. He sighed and tried to dial the number of their house in Florida but the line was engaged.

Mulder shook his head, telling himself she was either just upset and had done it on purpose to stop him from calling or she'd accidentally put the receiver down on an angle so no in-coming calls could be accepted.

He told himself this over and over again as he fell asleep, ignoring the little voice inside his heart that told him something was wrong.

He'd watched her hang up the phone and storm out of the room, into the back garden where her son was with a man he recognized from the airport.

The stranger sneaked into the house and used his forefinger to turn the receiver so it was off the hook. He grinned. He'd wait until the perfect opportunity arose and he'd make his move.

And he'd let Scully know he'd never disappoint her. And that she had no say in what the future held for her.

It was getting late and cold so Scully and Byers took Sam inside. They sat in the living room and Scully put on one of Sam's favorite cartoon videos. For some reason, her son wasn't showing any signs of being tired whilst she was exhausted.

"Are you okay, Scull-- Dana?" Byers asked as they sat on the couch in relative silence.

"I'm fine, thank you." She smiled weakly. " Just a little tired."

"Are you sure? You look upset, you have done since you came off the phone with Mulder," he pressed gently. " It won't be doing you or the baby any good if you're upset. If you want to talk about it..."

"Thank you." She smiled softly. " It's nothing, Mulder and I are just a little uptight at the moment with all that's going on...We'll be fine, I'll be fine."

"Well, if you do need to talk about it.." Byers let his voice trail off as she leaned over and kissed his cheek softly.

"I know," Scully murmured. " Thank you, for being here and for helping Mulder and me over the years. We both really appreciate everything you and the others have done, even if we don't say it."

"We know," he found himself grinning. " You know, I don't think Frohike's over you yet."

"Better not tell him I kissed your cheek then," she laughed for what felt like the first time in days.

"Don't worry, I won't," Byers agreed and they settled into a friendly silence as Sam sat and watched his cartoons.

Scully slipped into a world of thought, wondering when it was exactly that she became friends with the Lone Gunmen and started seeing them as being her friends and not just Mulder's. It was strange, at first she'd felt like an outsider. Mulder and the Lone Gunmen had known each other for years and she knew they were probably the only genuine friends Mulder felt he had for a long time. But gradually, she'd started going to them or help, without Mulder and she'd began to trust them and they had began to trust her. She guessed she'd realized they were just as much her friends as Mulder's when they stuck up for her over the whole 'Diana Fowley can't be trusted' argument. She knew they were her friends after the Las Vegas incident, even if they did still owe her for that.

Scully smiled and looked at Sam and then at her watch. It was getting late. She uncurled her legs from sitting position and stood, deciding Sam was going to bed whether he was tired or not.

She was about to lean down and pick him up when the floor boards above her creaked. Her heart began pounding in her chest and she looked to Byers, who also wore an expression of alarm. With blood pounding through her veins, she picked Sam up and handed him to Byers before going to get the gun she and Mulder kept on top of the cabinets in the kitchen, just in case.

She felt slightly calmer and more confident as her fingers wrapped around the gun and she took off the safety latch. She bit her lip and walked back through to the living room.

"If you hear signs of a struggle, take Sam to the car and leave," she instructed Byers as she moved towards the door.

"Mulder made me promise..." Byers started to protest but he quickly stopped at the look she gave him.

"Mulder isn't here. Take Sam and leave if you hear more than me up there, okay?" She ordered.

"Okay," Byers nodded and stood, with Sam. Sam's bottom lip was quivering as if he sensed the presence of fear and danger in the house.

Scully stopped at the bottom of the stairs and listened. For a few moments, there was silence. Then another floorboard creaked and she started up the stairs, casting a glance over her shoulder at Byers and Sam, who were standing by the front door and prepared to leave as soon as they had to.

She slowly made her way up the stairs and neared the landing. Now all she could hear was the sound of her own breathing and of her racing heart. She looked along the landing for any sign of movement and then heard the sound of a door open down the hall. It came from Sam's bedroom, the one next to her own bedroom.

Trying to steady her breathing, she edged closer to the bedroom. She had got half way towards it when she heard it.

"Hello, Dana," the voice sounded familiar but she couldn't place it. " If they leave, they die. There's a bomb on the bottom of your car."

"You're bluffing," she retorted, her eyes struggling to focus in the darkness and see who the voice belonged to.

"You wouldn't risk your son, would you?" The voice taunted. It was definitely male but she was struggling to remember who's it was. It was definitely someone she knew or had known, someone she used to talk to a lot. " Tell them to sit down in the living room, I won't hurt them."

"Who are you?" she demanded, tilting her head to one side once she saw the outline of a man's figure approaching. " What do you want?"

"You," was the whispered reply. " It's always been you."

That was the last thing she heard before she was hit over the head with something - most likely a gun - and then she blacked out. The stranger grinned and picked her up.

"If you leave, I'll kill her," he called downstairs to her companion and son, knowing they wouldn't risk Scully in that way. He walked down the stairs, carrying her unconscious form and grinned at the sight of the Byers holding Sam protectively.

"What do you want?" Byers asked as the stranger gently placed Scully on the couch.

"I want Dana," the stranger replied.

"Then why don't you take her?" Byers challenged, holding onto Sam who was now crying at the sight of a thin trickle of blood streaming form a cut on Scully's forehead.

"It'll be much more fun and much sweeter when Mulder's here, don't you think?" The stranger laughed. " I want to see him suffer, he deserves it."

Mulder couldn't sleep. He had woke up five times already and the sixth time was the last straw. He was exhausted but his mind kept replaying his conversation with Scully and kept reminding him the phone was off the hook. He got up and the makeshift bed - an old couch - groaned, the springs being very old and very uncomfortable. Langly and Frohike also woke.

"Ring her already!" Frohike grumbled. " Then maybe we can get some sleep."

"Fine," Mulder responded, searching for the phone in the darkness. Eventually, he turned on a lamp, making Frohike and Langly groan at him. He reached for the phone and dialed in the familiar number and waited. He slammed it down when he heard the engaged tone.

"Damn," he muttered.

"Still off the hook?" Frohike asked.

"Yeah, it's not like her," Mulder answered. " She would have replaced it before she went to bed in case I needed to get through."

"She probably just forgot," Langly supplied helpfully. " Now go to sleep."

"You're probably right," Mulder sighed and turned off the lamp before stumbling to his 'bed'. It was a lot more comfortable when Scully was sleeping on it with him.

A few minutes later, Mulder listened to the voice. He threw the blanket off him and turned on the light.

"What now?" Langly asked.

"They're in trouble, I can feel it," Mulder explained, knowing his answer sounded crazy but knowing it was true. " I have to go to Florida tonight."

"They would have called if something was wrong," Frohike argued sleepily. Just go to sleep."

"I can't and I can't explain it. I just know something's wrong," Mulder insisted, dressing as quickly as he could. " Dana wouldn't leave the phone off the hook all night and if I'm right and something is wrong, maybe they didn't have time to call."

"You feel guilty for letting her take Sam and leave without you. That's all that's wrong, that and you're argument over whatever it was you argued about. They' ll be fine, you're just over-reacting because you feel guilty," Langly yawned loudly.

"If you are going to go, turn the light off and call us when you get there," Frohike added, already half-asleep again.

"I will," Mulder nodded, picking up his bag and leaving the office come home of the Gunmen. In his haste to leave, he forgot to turn the light off, earning another groan from Frohike.

The first thing Scully was aware of when she came round early in the morning was Sam's crying. The second thing was that her head was pounding and felt like it was going to explode. She sat up and gingerly lifted her hand to where she felt the most pain. She drew her hand back and saw flakes of dry blood on her fingers.

"Dana!" Byers was at her side as soon as he saw she was awake. " How are you feeling? Are you okay?"

"Mmm," she briefly closed her eyes. Then she opened them and lifted Sam onto her lap, ignoring the dull thud that accompanied the movement. " Please tell me I'm suffering from a hangover and not from being hit over the head?"

"Sorry," Byers had to smile at her attempt at humor. " Mulder would kill me if I let you drink in your condition."

"I was afraid of that," she murmured, hugging Sam close. Sam had stopped crying and was now just sniffing, something she was relieved about. She looked around the living room and saw no sign of the stranger who'd broke into the house and hit her on the head the night before. " Where's he gone?"

"I think he's in the kitchen. Do you know who he is?" Byers answered.

"No, I recognized his voice but it was too dark to see who he was," Scully sighed. " I don't suppose you know who he is?"

"I've got no idea," he sighed too. " Only thing I've managed to pick up is that he's been keeping an eye on you for a long time. He knows about some of your cases, he was talking about the X-Files last night."

"Well, that would kind of explain the pigs heart," she wondered aloud. " If this guy knew about the case with Padgett. But then how would he know about the case? How would he know about the X-Files?" Light dawned in her eyes. " Unless he's either linked to the conspiracy or is someone within the Bureau."

"Any idea on who it could be, then?" Byers looked to her for an answer but she shook her head- and instantly regretted it. " How badly does your head hurt?"

"Very badly," she grumbled. " Like I head-butted a wall a couple of million times."

"How's the baby? You weren't hit anywhere else?" Byers asked, concerned for both her and her unborn child.

"I think it's okay," she murmured, a hand instinctively going to rest on her abdomen. " Could have done without the extra stress, though," she added grimly, shifting Sam into a more comfortable position. On seeing his concern turn to worry, she continued. " We're fine, Byers. How are you and Sam? He didn't do anything, did he?"

"No," Byers shook his head. " I get the impression he wanted to wait till Mulder got here and even then, he isn't going to hurt us."

"Then what does he want?" Scully frowned slightly. " Last night, he said he wouldn't hurt you. That all he wanted was me. I don't get that. Why didn't he just kidnap me, then?"

"I think he wants Mulder to be here," Byers frowned also. " Which confuses me because anyone who's been watching you two will know he isn't going to let you be taken."

"Maybe that's the point," she bit her lip. " Maybe Mulder's being led into a trap."

"Looks like we'll find out soon enough," Byers stood suddenly. Scully listened and heard the sound of a car pulling onto the drive.

Scully felt the cold hand of dread grip her heart. Mulder was here. It had to be the first time in her life she actually wished he wasn't. At that moment, the stranger who was orchestrating the whole thing came into the room. Scully gasped in recognition, seeing a face she never in her wildest and darkest dreams imagined would do this to her, a man she hadn't seen in over five years.

"Shh," he put a finger to his lips and grabbed her arm roughly, pulling her to her feet and barely giving her enough time to steady her hold on Sam. He pulled her close and kept a tight hold on her, pointing a gun at her head.

The front door burst open and Mulder entered the house. Scully felt her heart break as he walked into the living room and froze on seeing her and Sam locked in the threatening embrace of Tom Colton.

Mulder stared in shock into Tom Colton's smug expression.

"Let them go," Mulder eventually spoke up, aiming his gun.

Colton knew he would never shoot. He wouldn't risk Scully and their son in that way. " I don't think so, Agent Mulder," Colton grinned. " You're just like Dana, you won't risk your son. I'll kill him if you try anything."

"What do you want, Colton?" Mulder asked.

"Put the gun down and sit on the couch with your friend," Colton ordered. Without hesitating, Mulder did as he was told. Then Colton's grin widened as he loosened his grip on Scully. " Good. Dana, put the kid down. Make one false move and I'll kill your husband."

Scully did as she was told and Sam began crawling across to Mulder. Colton immediately pulled Scully back, pointing the gun at her head.

"What are you doing, Tom?" Scully eventually spoke. " Why..?"

"We haven't got long, Sweetheart," Colton answered. " We're leaving, you and me."

"What?" Mulder looked outraged as Sam climbed onto his knee, tears running down his already tear-stained cheeks. " You can't take her."

"I'm not," Colton grinned again. " She'll leave with me. Willingly."

"She'll never do that," Mulder retorted.

"She will unless she wants to see you and your son killed in which case I' ll take her anyway," Colton's grin widened. " I deserve this, Mulder. I'm not letting a spook like you take everything away from me. You've destroyed everything else, I won't let you destroy Dana. You've put her through too much as it is. I've been following, keeping track of every time you've hurt her or caused her to be hurt."

"Tom, what are you talking about? What did Mulder destroy?" Scully sounded calm and curious even though she was really terrified. " At least give him that, before we leave."

"Dana..." Mulder warned but she silenced him with a look.

"If that's what you want, my dearest," Colton murmured, close to Scully's ear, sending a shiver of disgust down her spine. " He ruined my career, he turned you against me, on that Tooms case. Do you have any idea how badly I wanted a promotion? You ruined any chance of that! You made me look like a fool and got me transferred and basically destroyed my career with the Bureau. But it hurt more when you turned Dana against me." Colton's grip on Scully tightened until she winced in pain and he loosened it slightly. " Sorry, Dana. It's just that he's put you through hell, him and the X-Files. I have to take you away from it all, Dana. Before he destroys you. I was joking about you being Mrs. Spooky. You know I've always liked you. Why did you have to get involved with him? It would have been a lot easier if you hadn't. "

"You mean you'd just kill him?" Scully guessed. " That would pretty much take care of your career, Tom."

"It's already over," Colton muttered. " You're all I've got."

"She's not interested in you. Doesn't that make you more angry?" Mulder taunted, seeing his wife wince in pain yet again. " Why don't you let her leave with the others and kill me if you're so angry at me?"

"Then Dana would hate me," Colton answered. " I'd rather have her beside me for every day for the rest of my life and know you're suffering and missing her than to know she hates me. So you see, I had to have you and your son here to tell you she's going to be with me for the rest of her life. That's why I lied about the bomb under the car."

"Let her go you, sick bastard!" Mulder gritted his teeth as he moved Sam off his knee and onto the couch.

"Please, not in front of the little one," Colton retorted sarcastically. He moved his hand and rested it on Scully's stomach. " Enjoy looking after your son, Mulder. He's the only child you're going to have."

"What are you going to do?" It was Scully, not fearing for her own safety, fearing for that her unborn child's.

"Don't worry, honey," Colton grinned and planted a kiss that she couldn't avoid, although she did try, on her cheek. " I've decided to leave that up to you. You can either agree to let me raise the child as my own or you can terminate the pregnancy and we can start planning for a child of our own."

Both of the suggestions repulsed Mulder and Scully but they both knew if forced to make a decision, Scully would chose the first option, rather than kill her unborn child that she was already so attached to.

"Time to go," Colton grinned triumphantly at Mulder. " Say goodbye, Dana. Or I kill them both, your husband and your son and that bodyguard, too."

"I'm sorry, Mulder," she whispered, fighting back tears. " I have to go with him."

Mulder nodded, staying silent. He pulled Sam onto his knee and held him close, not wanting him to see his mother so upset -and scared.

"You'll hear from our lawyers soon," Colton told him, edging Scully to the door. " If I were you, I'd sign the divorce papers. Or I'll come back and kill you."

With that, Colton and Scully left the house. Mulder stood, leaving Sam with Byers and walked to the front door in time to see Colton drive off. He felt a tear run down his cheek and closed his eyes, leaning against the door frame for support before composing himself.

He had to be strong, he had to find out where Colton was taking her and he had to get her back. For her sake, for Sam's sake, for his sake and for their unborn child's sake.

Scully was silent in the car ride. She stared out the window, fighting back tears and trying to stay calm for her baby. She wasn't surprised when Colton pulled up in the airport car park.

"Come on, Dana," Colton grinned suggestively at her, making her feel sick to her stomach. " We've got to get home and sort out the divorce. The sooner you're free of the Mrs. Spooky Title, the better."

"Why? Does that mean I get to marry you?" she asked sourly, determined not to co-operate now she knew Sam and Mulder were safe. " Lucky me."

Colton grabbed her arm once she was out of the car and pulled her to him roughly. He kissed her hard, forcefully and she pushed him away, disgust evident in her flashing eyes.

"Don't you dare talk to me like that again, Dana," he warned. " Not if you don't want anything to happen to your child."

"You can't do anything," she spat. " You can make me stay for now but I won 't be here forever. You'll end up in a cell all alone with no one to blame but yourself."

"I won't, Sweetheart," he shook his head and grinned, a manic sparkle in his greeny-grey eyes. He continued to drag her into the airport and through the crowds of people there. " I'll kill us both before I let them take you away from me. And then Spooky will forever blame himself."

"You think you've got it all worked out, don't you?" Scully's tone was sharp her body tensed, making it clear she wasn't going to make keeping her with him against her will easy, she was going to make it as hard as possible.

"Of course I do," Colton beamed proudly, ignoring her sharp tone and scathing looks. " You're going to live like a princess, Dana. You and me and our baby."

"It's not your baby, Tom," she hissed. Suddenly he stopped and she realized they were at one of the terminals and had already been through the metal detectors - she had been too deeply buried in her thoughts to realize it and she cursed herself for it. He smiled politely at the woman behind the desk and handed her two passports and two tickets. Scully scowled at the sight of the fake passport, trying not to let her anxiousness show on her face.

Colton had planned everything. She cast a look back over her shoulder and scanned the sea of faces desperately, searching for Mulder. She didn't find him, he wasn't following. She bit her lip and was about to turn her attention back to Colton and what Colton was doing when she caught a glimpse of something familiar.

She felt a surge of hope as she saw the forms of AD Skinner and her mother. Mrs. Scully was walking towards the airport entrance, Skinner was walking towards where she was with Colton.

Unfortunately, Colton saw him too and tightened her grip on her arm, holding her so tight she was certain her arm would be bruised for weeks by his fingers. He pulled on her arm and sped up his pace, heading towards the boarding area. He pushed her ahead of him and gave the waiting assistant their tickets before following her.

Skinner saw and started running towards them. He got by security by showing his ID but by the time he got to the right terminal, the plane had been boarded and was in the process of taking off. He cursed under his breath before composing himself. He sighed heavily and set about finding where that plane was going and under what false identity Colton had boarded it, hoping to have some answers to the questions Mulder was sure to ask.

Scully was silent throughout the whole plane ride. She blocked out Colton's voice when he was telling her all about his plans and their future together and she refused to answer him or even talk to him. She wanted to make it clear she hated him and she was doing a good job.

She let him lead her to a waiting car once their plane landed but she avoided participating in a conversation with him. She concentrated her thoughts on Mulder and her baby and Sam and told herself that everything would be okay, Skinner would help Mulder find her and they'd come and get her before Colton had a chance to hurt her.

Scully also tried to find out where she was. She only found out where they were once they were in the car and heading towards Colton's 'dream home'. They were in California, somewhere in California.

"Dana, I know you're upset," Colton sighed and looked at her. Her jaw was set and she had her gaze fixed on the window. It wasn't how he imagined she'd react. He honestly thought, in some twisted part of his mind, that she'd be happy to be with him, That she'd be relieved that he'd taken her from Spooky Mulder. " But it's for the best, Honey. You're free, you can do what you want. He isn't good enough for you, you deserve much better. You can have what you want."

"And you're much better?" Scully finally spoke, her tone sarcastic. " You can't tell me what I want and what I deserve. And as for me being free, I hardly call being forced to be with you against my will freedom."

"You can't honestly tell me you want to be with Spooky, that you want to be with him more than you want to be with me," Colton shook his head as he pulled up outside a big house. To Scully's dismay, it looked like there was no one else around for miles. He got out of the car and moved around to her side of the car. He opened the door and pulled her out of the car, still looking doubtful.

"Believe it or not, I love him," she answered simply. Colton stared at her for a few moments in silence, searching her eyes. When he found nothing but the truth there, he raised his hand and struck her across the face. Hard. Scully almost lost her balance with the force and unexpected nature of the blow. She put a hand to her cheek and glared at him. It stung already and she felt the warmth radiate from it against her palm.

Colton didn't look at all as though he regretted it. His eyes were flashing as he put his arms around her waist and pulled her closer, despite her protests and attempts to break free.

"You will not say that again. Ever," he ordered her firmly, menacingly. " I 'll make sure of it."

With that, he proceeded to pull her up the stairs of the house and into the house. Once the door was shut behind them, he threw her to the ground and loomed over her.

"You will learn to love me and no one else, Dana. Or that child dies," he threatened before locking the door and leaving her alone on the floor of the hallway. Tonight, I will show you how much I love you."

Scully felt a tear run down her cheek, quickly followed by more as she felt a pain in her heart and her stomach. She buried her head in her hands and cried, her body wracking with the force of her sobs and she prayed. She prayed Mulder would find her before Colton had a chance to show her how much he loved her.

The journey seemed to last forever. Mulder sat on the plane, next to Skinner, fidgeting with paper napkins, the foldable table and his fingers. He wanted the plane ride to be over, he wanted to track Colton down and kill him. He wanted Scully, he wanted her safe.

He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the head rest. He needed to know Scully was all right, he needed to know Colton wouldn't hurt her.

At the moment, he had no idea whether Scully was safe with Colton or not. He had never even imagined Colton could be the one responsible for putting them through hell for the last few weeks and he had no idea what Colton would do to her if she rejected his advances, which she was sure to do.

Colton had hurt her when he was holding her. His grip was sure to have left bruises on Scully's arms but would that be the extent of her injuries? Mulder wasn't sure. He wished he knew for certain, but he didn't. What he did know was that Scully wasn't as strong as she used to be because of the baby. She wouldn't risk the baby's life so it was possible she would go along with some of Colton's ideas and suggestions. But Mulder was certain she'd draw the line at leaving with him and maybe a kiss or two. Then what would happen if they didn't get there before Colton decided to do more?

Mulder shivered at the thought, dread gripping his heart. What if they were too late? What if Colton had already made him move and Scully tried to fight against him? She was in no condition, she was eating and sleeping and living for two. She would be no match for Colton at this moment in her life. So would Colton hurt her? Would he hurt the baby? Would he deliberately do something to harm the baby?

Mulder shook his head. He couldn't think like this, he couldn't allow his fears to take over his imagination. It wasn't doing him any good and it certainly wasn't doing Scully any good. He couldn't - shouldn't - waste his time fearing the worst when he was on his way to California to save her and their child.

Mulder instead tried to get his mind on Sam. He wondered how Mrs. Scully was coping with him. When he'd left, Sam was in tears and wouldn't calm down. Then again, he had every reason to be upset. Mrs. Scully and Mulder were also near tears, distraught at the thought of Scully being in the hands of a man who was clearly insane. Not insane for being attracted to Scully and for believing himself to be in love with her, Mulder couldn't blame Colton for that. Colton was insane for thinking kidnapping her and threatening her would keep her with him.

Mulder shook his head and sighed heavily. He had to stop thinking, he had to concentrate on the task at hand. Something that was hard to do when the woman he loved was being held captive somewhere and both her life and their unborn baby's life were in danger.

AD Walter Skinner watched Mulder sigh again and close his eyes again. He felt his heart go out to the younger agent and felt his own fears and worry build up inside him.

Scully had to be okay, there was no doubt about it. If something happened to her or the child she was carrying, Skinner knew a lot of people would be devastated. She'd touched a lot of lives and was important to so many people.

Her mother wouldn't be able to cope if something bad happened. Skinner knew because Mrs. Scully had told him during their vacation. That was why they'd decided to go to Florida and make sure everything was okay. Mrs. Scully had had a nightmare, a premonition, just like Scully had when Sam had been kidnapped. Unfortunately, the warning came too late. Scully was gone by the time they got there.

Mulder and Sam would also be unable to cope if something happened. In fact, Skinner feared that Mulder would be inconsolable if something did happen to her. He would be lost without her, he wouldn't know where to start. Skinner was amazed at the closeness of Mulder and Scully. It was hard to know where one of them ended and the other began, they were so close. They had been for years, before they'd began dating. They needed each other, they were two halves of the same soul, the same person. And if Mulder couldn't cope, what would that mean for Sam? He needed both of his parents, not just his father. Sam had proved time and time again that Mulder and Scully worked better together than they did apart but what would happen to him if Scully didn't come back? How would Sam grow up with a father who couldn't get over the loss of his mother?

Skinner shook his head. He couldn't let himself think like that. He had no way of knowing she was in any danger at all so there was no point in worrying, was there? He stifled a sigh and glanced at his watch. They'd only been on the plane for ten minutes, it felt like a lot longer to him and he was certain it felt like a decade to Mulder.

He sighed again and took a sip of water. Scully would be okay. She had no say in the matter, she had to be okay. Too many people would be hurt if she wasn't. Himself included.

After all, she was more than an agent under his charge. She and Mulder were friends, like his own children. And if things between Maggie and himself went the way they were heading, they'd become his family.

Since Colton hadn't returned to the hallway, Scully decided to get as far away from him as possible and to try and find a possible weapon in the house to use against him.

She knew nothing she could find would be a match for his gun but she had to try. She couldn't sit by and let him get away with whatever it was he was planing, she had to fight back. That was part of who she was and who she would always be.

She slowly made her way up the stairs of the sparsely furnished house. There wasn't much of anything. There were carpets and wallpaper but that was it for the upstairs. Apart from the bedroom.

Scully felt sick as she opened the door to the bedroom and found it was fully decorated and furnished. And there wasn't just the expected furniture, there were candles and satin sheets......Scully felt her stomach lurched and spun on her heel. She headed to the bathroom and threw up. Feeling sick at the thought of sharing that bed with Colton and feeling sick at the thought that he might force her to.

She sat on the floor in the bathroom and buried her head in her hands. There wasn't even a lock on the door. She couldn't even hide from him for a few minutes. Another flood of tears washed over as she felt helpless, hopeless. There was no way she could get out of this alone. She needed help, she needed and wanted her husband.

"Dana!" It was Colton. She heard his footsteps as he got closer and she was unable to fight a shudder. " Honey, I think it's time we made our being together official. It's about time we celebrate."

She felt her eyes and her throat sting as she stood on shaky legs, her eyes glued to the door handle as she walked backwards into the wall of the bathroom. He was coming for her, it was time. And there was nothing she could do about it.

Eventually, the plane ride ended. Mulder was sure it had been the longest plane ride of his life. He was also sure that the flight from Florida to California had never taken that long before.

Skinner took care of their transportation, both desperate to check out the two properties that Tom Colton could have taken Scully to.

After a few minutes, Mulder and Skinner were heading towards the houses. Things finally seemed to be looking up until they came to a folk in the road. One of the houses was on the left, one of them was on the right. Skinner looked to Mulder for guidance.

"Which one first?" Skinner asked, aware that night was falling and that they probably didn't have much time left.

"I don't know," Mulder hit the dashboard in frustration. He closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. <Where are you, Dana?> In that second, he remembered a conversation they'd once had at a crossroads similar to this one. And in that spilt-second, Mulder followed his heart and chose which direction to go it. " Go right."

"Are you sure?" Skinner raised an eyebrow.

"I'm certain, that's where she is," Mulder nodded.

With no more hesitation, going with Mulder's hunch, Skinner turned and started going right, praying they were going in the right direction. And praying they had enough time left.

She was no longer in the bathroom. That was the first thing she was aware of when she came round. At first, she thought she'd passed out but then she felt her head pound and realized she must have been hit on the head again. She didn't remember it, though. And that was worrying.

She tried to move but found she couldn't. She was tied down, to the bed. She felt the bile rising in her throat as she realized what that meant. Lifting her head, despite the pounding, she was relieved to find she was still fully dressed. Obviously Colton hadn't taken advantage of her unconsciousness.

The door opened and she managed to turn her head enough to see Colton grinning at her. He shut the door behind him and lit the candles, one by one. Scully felt a wave of nausea wash over and felt her stomach churn - and then she felt it.

She couldn't explain it, she just felt it. Hope. She felt Mulder's presence near. She didn't know if she was imagining it or not but at that moment, she didn't care. The thought, the feeling, was comforting her.

"You won't get away with this, Tom," she spoke up as he got nearer, trying to stall him for as long as she could.

"Did I tell you you could speak?" Colton leaned over her, a controlling look in his eyes. " I don't think I did. From now on, you speak only when I tell you to speak."

"You can't tell me what to do. And they're going to find you and arrest you," she carried on talking, hiding the fear rising up inside her.

"I warned you!" he shouted, his eyes angry as he hit her again. Hard, very hard. " Do as I say."

"I'll never do what you tell me to." Her voice was weaker but low and determined. It only served to make Colton's anger flare up. He raised his hand and hit her again and again. By this time, Scully felt a trickle of blood run down her cheek and she tasted blood inside her mouth.

"It's his influence, Dana," he muttered. " He's made you like this, you were never like this before." Colton climbed on the bed beside her and she edged away from him as much as she could with the ropes tightly wrapped around her wrists and ankles. " It's time to change that. I won't let him ruin you."

"Get away from me!" she shouted as he leaned in and kissed her. She tried to turn her face and avoid the kiss but he grabbed her cheek and held her face firmly in place and kissed her hard. She tried to move away and got a slap for her troubles. A tear streamed down her cheek ands he bit the inside of her mouth to stop herself from crying again.

Colton moved his hand to her stomach and grinned down at her. " I've changed my mind about the baby, Dana. We'll have our own, we'll have to get rid of his. I'll get him out of your mind and heart and body and soul, Dana. Don't you worry."

"No!" She protested through gritted teeth. " You will not hurt this child, I'll kill you if you do."

"You're in no position to threaten me, Darling," he laughed wickedly.

"But I am," the voice took Colton by surprise.

Skinner and Mulder pulled up outside the house and saw a car. Relief flooded Mulder's senses as he realized they had the right house.

Without hesitating and without giving Skinner time to unbuckle his own seat belt, Mulder was out of the car and was quietly but quickly making his way to the house. The door was locked but he had been prepared for that. He took his faithful lock-pick from his pocket and set about on opening the door.

In a few seconds, the door was open and Mulder was in. By this time, Skinner had joined him. Mulder stepped into the hallway and motioned for Skinner to follow him.

Quietly, they started up the stairs. They started going up slowly but they heard a shout. A shout Mulder knew came from Scully.

"Get away from me!" It fueled Mulder's determination and he sprinted up the stairs. He looked along the hall and saw only one closed door. Nodding to Skinner, they made their way down the hall, towards the door.

Both men were relieved. Hearing Scully shouting meant she was alive and relatively safe, for now. Mulder put his hand on the door handle and opened the door in time to hear Colton's threat that Scully was in no position to stop him from hurting the baby inside her. He took the safety latch off his gun and made his presence known.

Colton jumped off the bed and reached for his gun. Mulder fired a warning shot just inches from Colton's hand and he froze.

"Get away from her," Mulder ordered, his voice trained on Colton and his voice controlled and strong.

Colton, hanging his head and knowing there was nothing he could do to gain the upper hand, stepped away. Skinner entered the room and kept his gun trained on him as Mulder untied his wife.

Scully allowed herself to cry in Mulder's arms and held onto him tightly. She buried her head in his chest as he held her after looking over her injuries. Skinner handcuffed Colton who was watching the tow hold each other in silence.

Eventually, Mulder and Scully pulled away and Mulder took her hand. They could hear the sirens in the distance, the sirens of an ambulance and a police car. Mulder tenderly and gently touched Scully's face, trying not to make her wince in pain. She had a black eyes and a horrible dark bruise was in the process of coloring her left cheek. There was also a nasty cut on her right cheek, made by either one of Colton's slaps or by when she was pushed to the floor. Scully couldn't remember when it had happened but she didn't care. She was safe.

Mulder glared at Colton as he was led passed them by Skinner and gave him a look that clearly warned him away from Scully and their family. A look that said the only reason Mulder hadn't shot Colton and killed him was because Scully had seen and been through enough.

"I was so scared," Scully murmured to Mulder as they sat in the back of the ambulance on their way to the hospital. " I was beginning to think you weren 't going to make it."

Mulder wrapped his arms around her and hugged her lovingly. " Wherever you are, I am," he told her. " Nothing will ever change that."

"I'm glad," she whispered, feeling sleepy. " I can't wait to go home to Sam."

"I know," he agreed. " We can start decorating the nursery."

"Mmm," she mumbled. " I love you."

"I love you too," he kissed the top of her head. " Go to sleep. You need your rest."

Scully needed no further encouragement. She fell asleep in his arms and he vowed to keep her safe.

Although they came across many dangerous things in their line of work, Mulder was determined to make sure that at least during her pregnancy, whilst she was eating and resting and living for two, he'd fight her every step of the way to make sure she was looking after herself and she was safe.

Mulder grinned slightly at that thought. She was living for more than two, she was living for him and their family and their future. And as long as they were both breathing, the world would be a bearable place to live.

The End


Read More Like This Write One Like This
Pregnant Scully
Alternate Returns
Pregnancy/Baby/Kidfic plot Generator
Lamaze Class challenge
Return to The Nursery Files home