TITLE: "Coming Home"

AUTHOR: a.k.a. Kennedy

DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, don't want to make any money off this. No infringement is intended. They belong to CC, 1013 productions and Fox Broadcasting.

RATING: Strong R.

CLASSIFICATION: MSR\Alternate Universe.

KEYWORDS: MSR, Pre-XF continuing until the X-Files.

SUMMARY: A teenage Dana and a twenty-year-old Mulder meet the summer before Dana starts college. Romance ensues, but alas, ANGST rears its ugly head.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story came to me in an instant, and I just had to write it. Just hang with it. Special thanks to Chelsea, Glad to have met you. Also, to Ilana, who whined until I mentioned her in the credits. Well, she also edited this for me. p>I originally posted this story while in LA in Feburary. This was the first fanfic I ever posted and during the posting process some minor things, like the disclaimer and archive info, got lost. Recently I had the lack of disclaimer pointed out to me by someone who had their site shut down by you know who, and they suggested I might want to remedy that. Or at least be able to say I posted with a disclaimer in tow at some point. So, here we are.

ARCHIVE: Gossamer and Xemplary are fine. Others please ask first.


March 6, 1992
Office of Section Chief Blevins

"Agent Scully, while we recognize and value your work at Quantico, we also appreciate your desire for field experience. For this reason, we are assigning you to a division known as the X-Files. Your purpose will be to use science to debunk the work of agent Fox Mulder." Dana Scully sat stunned as Section Chief Blevins continued explaining her assignment to her. "Agent Scully, are you alright? By the look on your face, I take it you're familiar with Agent Mulder?"

"Uh-yes sir. They used to call him Spooky at the academy." *Not to mention he's the only man I've ever loved* "Agent Scully? I said you're dismissed." A dazed Dana mumbled , "Oh, thank-you sir."

As she made her way down to the basement, her mind drifted back to that fateful day so long ago.


June 4, 1980
Martha's Vineyard

"But I don't even like ice cream. It's not healthy for you." Grabbing her sister's arm and dragging her to the sidewalk, Melissa Scully replied "Don't be such a tight-ass Dana. I want to see Chuck, and you know this is the only way I can."

"Well if you hadn't got caught with his hand down your pants, you wouldn't have to sneak!"

Waving the ice cream truck over, Melissa hissed "How was I supposed to know Mom and Dad would come home early? Besides, if some people had been paying attention, we wouldn't have gotten caught." Before Dana could reply, the ice cream truck came to a stop right in front of them. Grabbing Melissa by the waist, Chuck O'Neil kissed her deeply. "Missy, Dana, this is my newest trainee, Fox Mulder. Fox, this is my girlfriend Melissa Scully and her bratty kid sister Dana."

Shaking his hand, Dana noticed how cute he was. She took in his long, lean body, hazel eyes, and the shock of hair that hung stubbornly over his forehead. Fox was having similar thoughts about her. He noticed her petite form, creamy complexion, and her ocean blue eyes. He particularly liked her red hair. Dana and Fox were starring at each other when Missy motioned for Dana to come over to her.

"Dana, would you mind going with Fox for the afternoon? I want to be alone with Chuck." Dana shot her sister a warning look.

"What if you get caught?"

"Dad's out to sea, Bill's on field training, and Mom and Charlie won't be back until tonight. Besides you owe me. Now go keep that cutie Fox company."

"OK, but be careful."

Chuck had had a similar conversation with Fox. As Dana climbed in the truck, Missy and Chuck disappeared into the house.

"Look, I'm sorry you got stuck with me. You can let me off two streets over, and I'll go to the library."

"Uh, if you don't mind, would you stay with me until I finish my route? I don't know my way around this area very well. Besides, Maybe I like being stuck with you."

Dana sighed. "Well, ok, but then you have to take me to the library."

Fox smiled at her. "What's so important at the library? Some cute guy meeting you there?"

"Hmphf. I wish." *Why did I say that? Now he thinks I'm desperate* "I mean, there aren't that many guys around here that go to the library. Especially in the summer."

"So why do 'you' go to the library in the summer?"

"Today's the day the latest issue of JAMA come out. You know, the Journal of the American Medical Association."

"Yes, I know what JAMA is. So I'm in the presence of a doctor? And here I thought you were all of fifteen or sixteen."

Dana shot him an icy glare. "Correction. You are in the presence of a seventeen-year-old future doctor, who starts UC-Berkeley in the fall after graduating a year early. I plan on majoring in physics. 'I' have no intentions of driving an ice cream truck the rest of my life."

Mulder smiled at her. "For your information, I also have no intentions of driving an ice cream truck the rest of my life. This is just a summer job until I return to Oxford for my junior year. 'I' am majoring in psychology."

They sat in silence for the next few minutes. Finally Dana spoke.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply there was anything wrong with driving an ice cream truck. That was snobbish of me. It's just, well, most of the guys around here have no ambition. Some don't even finish high school. I just assumed you were like the rest."

Fox gave her a genuine smile. "I didn't mean to over re-act. I sort of have the same problem as you. There aren't alot of interesting and intelligent girls around here." *And none as pretty as you*

Dana returned his smile. "So. You're an Oxford man , huh? Why there?"

"Easy. I'm on scholarship. Why UC-Berkeley?"

"Same reason as you. I'll be on scholarship. Plus, Missy also goes to Berkeley. And in October, my dad will be transferred to Miramar Naval Base. Of course, they also have an outstanding physics program."

Fox brought the truck to a stop in front of a group of kids waiting for ice cream. Dana helped him distribute the ice creams and collect the money. As they got ready to resume their journey, Fox noticed a little girl standing behind a tree.

"Do you want some ice cream?"

The little dark hairdo girl shook her head no.

"Why not?"

She mumbled "I don't have any money."

Fox looked at her for a moment. "Here. I just happen to have an extra fudge sickle. Will you eat it before it melts?"

Shaking her head yes, she took the ice cream and ran.

"That was really nice of you Fox." Fox just shrugged his shoulders.

"Sh-she reminded me of my sister Samantha." Dana noticed his expression clouded as he spoke of her.

"I didn't know you had a sister. How old is she?" Fox looked away before answering.

"She's sixteen. I haven't seen her since she was eight. Someone abducted her."

Dana sat shocked for a few minutes before finding her voice. "I had no idea. I'm sorry."

They rode the rest of the route in silence. Dana could sense that Fox was upset. She was surprised when he insisted on driving her to the library. "Hello Mrs. Jenkins. Do you have the latest JAMA?" As Mrs. Jenkins handed her the Journal, Dana turned to see Fox coming up behind her. "Mrs. Jenkins, this is my friend...." Before she could finish, Mrs. Jenkins finished for her. "Fox, hello. I see you've met Dana. I put your newspapers in the usual spot." Fox grinned before thanking her. Retrieving his newspapers, he pulled Dana to a corner of the library.

"What are you doing?"

"I believe I'm reading the London Times. Is that alright?" Dana just stared at him. Two hours later Dana looked at her watch and gasped. "It's after five o'clock! Mom and Charlie will be home soon. I have to warn Missy and Chuck!" Fox followed her out of the library, and directed her to his car. "It'll save time if you let me drive you."

Dana and Fox ran into the house calling for Chuck and Missy. Dana ran down the hall and threw the door to their bedroom open. She shrieked at the site of her sister and her boyfriend right in the middle of having sex. At hearing Dana shriek, Fox came running down the hall. Seeing the site before him, he quickly shut the door. "Come on Dana, Let's go wait outside." Dana felt herself blushing, but didn't mind because Fox was blushing too. Once outside, Fox attempted to speak. "Do they. I mean...are they...is it...." Composing himself, Fox spoke. "Are they always so prolific? I mean, we've been gone for hours!" Dana gave a short laugh. "You mean do they always go at it like dogs in heat? Yes, I'm afraid they do." Just then Melissa and Chuck emerged from the house. They had their hands all over each other, and Dana and Fox looked away.

"When can I see you again Mis?" Melissa Scully gave him her best 'come hither' smile. "Well, Mom's got to take Charlie down to Providence for summer camp tomorrow. She'll be gone until late tomorrow night. So, if we can get rid of these two...." They both looked at Fox and Dana. "Fox ol' buddy, can you help a friend out?" Fox glanced at Dana who was rolling her eyes at Missy. "Melissa Scully I'm telling you right now, I am not responsible if you get caught. In more ways than one."

"Thanks sis! Chuck, come over about ten." Chuck and Missy finished saying good-bye as Fox and Dana looked on. "Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow Dana." He gave her an apologetic smile. "Yeah Fox, I'll see you tomorrow."

Dana didn't speak to her sister again until she heard her mother and Charlie leave. Missy was fixing her hair as Dana came into their room. "I don't know why you're even bothering. You're only going to be in bed all day. Speaking of which, I hope you changed the sheets." Missy shook her head. "Only you would worry about clean sheets at a time like this. No I haven't changed them, and half the fun of fixing my hair is getting to mess it up."

They finished changing the sheets just as the doorbell rang. Dana let Chuck in, and went out to where Fox was waiting. "Hi. Did Chuck make it in o.k." She snorted. "Yeah. Romeo and Juliet are probably doing it right now. How are you?" Fox laughed at her analogy. "I'm good actually. I packed us a picnic lunch. Hope you don't mind." Dana turned to find a picnic basket and blanket in the corner of the truck. "I look forward to eating it."

They rode most of the morning in companionable silence. On the rare occasion when they did talk, conversation came easily for them. Right before lunch they spotted the same group of kids from the day before. Dana saw Fox's eyes light up when he saw the same little dark haired girl. "Hi. What'll it be today?" The little girl shyly replied, "The same as yesterday." As she handed Fox her money, he asked, "What's your name?"

"Sarah Grace Roberts. What's yours?" Sticking his hand out he proclaimed "Fox William Mulder. And let me just say it's a pleasure to meet you Sarah Grace." The little girl giggled as she shook his hand, and then ran off. Dana noticed the sadness in Fox's eyes as he returned to the truck.

"How about we find a nice shady spot, and have lunch?" They ended up in the local park. Fox was unusually quiet as Dana ate the tuna fish he had prepared.

"You're thinking about her aren't you?"

"Who?" Dana placed her hand on top of his. "Your sister. Samantha. You must miss her alot." Fox glanced down at her hand atop his. Turning his hand over and entwining their fingers, he spoke. "Yes I do. She was always there for me. When she was there, I never felt alone. I have to find her. I will find her." Dana felt an intense wave of compassion for him at that moment. "That little girl looks like her, doesn't she?" Fox withdrew his hand from hers and looked away. "Yeah. She does. Are you ready to go?" Dana knew that meant discussion over.

They finished the route in peaceful silence. "I wonder if it's safe for you to go home? Do you think your sister and Chuck are-uh-satisfied(?) yet?" Dana shook her head. "My sister and her Neanderthal boyfriend will never be satisfied. It's only two o'clock. They'll be at it until at least seven or eight. I'll just have to find something to keep me busy until then."

Fox checked his cash supply. Having enough he asked Dana, "Do you want to go see a movie? You shouldn't have to wonder around town for five or six hours. Besides, I don't have anything else to do. What'd ya' say?"

*Oh my God! Did he really just say that?* "Well, if you don't have anything else to do, I suppose. What do you want to see?" *She said yes! Holy shit. Calm down and compose yourself.* Fox was using the toe of his shoe to kick at a rock while he considered what to see. Then it came to him in an instant. Giving her a devilish grin he answered "The Rialto is showing 'It Came From Mars.' How about that?" Dana looked at him with one eyebrow raised.*Is he serious? God I hate that movie.* "Uh-ok. Great. Let's go. If we leave right now, we can make the three o'clock."

Fox could hardly contain his excitement. "You'll love the movie Dana. It's a cult classic. I've seen it twenty-three times!" Inwardly, Dana grimaced. "Great. I can hardly wait." *He looks like a little boy in a candy store.* Fox stopped at the concession stand, but told Dana to go get their seats. As instructed, she sat down near the front. Fox made his way to her carrying two large drinks, a jumbo popcorn, a bag of sunflower seeds, and a box of snow caps. Fox handed her the popcorn and her drink before starting in on his sunflower seeds. After a few minutes of Fox cracking the seeds, and spitting the shells out, Dana couldn't stand it anymore. "Fox, will you please stop cracking those seeds? It's not good for your teeth." Fox gave her an offended look. Putting the seeds away, he took the jumbo popcorn from her.

"Hey! Give that back."

"No. I have to have something to keep my mouth occupied." *Of course, you could keep my lips busy.*

Before Dana could reply, the movie started. Fox was totally engrossed in the movie. Dana was totally engrossed in studying Fox. Especially his full lower lip. As she studied his mouth she reached in for some popcorn. Fox was reaching in at the same time, and their fingers touched. Both jerked back, but neither could deny the spark flowing between them. For the rest of the movie they stole glances at one another.

* "Well I have tomorrow off." A hopeful Dana spoke up. "Oh? What are you going to do?"

"I'm afraid I have to spend the day with my father. He wants me to accompany him to his lawyers office." Dana tried to hide the disappointment in her voice. "Oh. I guess I'll see you sometime next week then."

Fox looked at her shyly. "Uh- well if, I mean, I was wondering if you...uh." Taking a deep breath he started over. "I have two tickets to the Red Sox's-Yankees game on Saturday afternoon. I'm going to Boston early Saturday morning. Thought I'd take in the New England Aquarium before the game. Then afterwards I'm going to the Boston Observatory. You're supposed to be able to see the rings of Saturn. Anyway, I was wondering if you wanted to go with me?" Fox had said all of that in such a rush, she wasn't sure she had heard him correctly.

"Yes. I'd love to." She and Fox were smiling at each other as he took her hand and kissed it. Dana floated in the house and went straight to bed. "I hope you changed the sheets Missy. And could you open the window a bit? The smell of sweat is stifling." She was asleep before Melissa made it back to bed.

Dana slept late the next morning. She had dreamed of Fox all night, and was slightly embarrassed by her dreams. She was thinking about one dream in particular as she made her way to the kitchen.

"Good morning sleepy-head." Dana was startled by her mother's voice. "Good morning Mom. Did you get Charlie off to camp ok?" They passed a few minutes with idle chit-chat. "Mom, I was wondering about some- thing. A friend of mine has tickets to Saturday's Red Sox-Yankees game. They've asked me to go." She told her mother the plans for the day. "We'd be home late. I just wanted to make sure it was ok to go."

"I don't see why not. It would do you good to get out and about. Which friend is this, Amy?"

Dana bit her lip. "No. His name is Fox Mulder, and he's working with Chuck for the summer. I met him a few days ago." Maggie Scully sat her coffee mug down, and thought for a moment. "Ok, but he has to come in and meet me first. How old is he?" Dana sighed. "He's twenty, a psychology major at Oxford, he's never been arrested, and he even has all of his teeth. Happy?"

"That's enough young lady. I don't want what happened to Missy, to happen to you. You tell him to keep his hands to himself!" With that, Dana went upstairs to get dressed. *Mom, if you only knew where all Chuck has had his hands, Fox Mulder would be the least of your worries.* Dana spent the day at the library trying not to think about Fox.

Fox spent his day being ignored. His father was going over his estate with his lawyer, and discussing Fox's trust fund. His thought's often strayed to Dana. He wondered what she was doing, what she was wearing, how she smelled.

That evening his father took him out to dinner. All was well until Mr. Mulder started drinking. His father was hammered even before dessert. Fox knew it was going to be one of THOSE nights. He drove his father home and tried to put him to bed. That's when it started.

"Damn you Fox, it's all your fault! If you'd been a man instead of a cowardly bastard, your sister would still be here. Do you hear me?" When Fox didn't answer, his father grew more agitated. "I asked you a question you little pussy. Your damn mother coddled you. Your probably queer." Fox just sighed and tried to put his father to bed. That's when he felt it. His dad was hitting him with a belt across his back. Next came the punches to his face and body.

"I'm sorry Daddy. I'm sorry I lost Sammi. Please believe me! Don't hit me please!" Bill Mulder suddenly passed out. Fox finished putting his father to bed, and went to get an ice pack for his face. Thinking of Dana helped him fall asleep.

The blaring of his alarm clock drug him from his peaceful slumber. He'd completely forgotten about his bruised cheek until he went to shave. *God Dad, did you have to hit me in the face?* Having decided what to wear, he headed over to the Scully house. He waited nervously after ringing the bell.

"Fox! What happened to you?"

Lightly touching the bruise he stammered, "Oh...you mean this? I-uh, was in the bathroom in the middle of the night, and tripped into the door. You ready to go?" Dana pulled him into the house. "You have to meet my mother first." She drug him into the kitchen, where Mrs. Scully was having coffee. "Mrs. Scully. It is a pleasure to meet you." Fox offered his hand to her. "Mom this is my friend Fox Mulder." She regarded him with a look of neutrality, bordering on icy.

"Fox? It's nice to meet you. Please have Dana home by eleven." It's not that she didn't like this Fox person, but she'd learned the hard way with her eldest daughter. She wasn't about to let some overzealous hormonal boy lead Dana astray the way that Chuck had almost gotten to Missy. She cringed every time she remembered walking into the house that night to find Missy and Chuck prone on the couch. Even worse was when she realized he had his hand down her unbuttoned pants. *He took advantage of my Missy. Dana won't let that happen. She's my innocent daughter.*

"I'm sorry you had to go through that."

"It's ok. She's your mother, and she loves you," he answered shyly.

They made their way through the aquarium, and ate lunch at a pool hall across the street from Fenway Park. They ate burgers and fries, and then shot a few games of pool. About thirty minutes before game time, they made their way to the stadium. In honor of it being her first major league game, Fox bought her a Red Sox pennat.

"Look at it this way, the Red Sox may have lost, but at least you got to see Carl Yazstremski play Fox!"

Fox let out a dejected sigh. "I guess. Let's get going to the observatory."

They got there about seven-thirty, and took in the planetarium show. After the show they went out to the observation deck. There was a full moon and the moonlight danced off Dana's hair. Fox took her face in his hands. *God I want to kiss her.* Dana could smell him, his scent. It was clean with a hint of muskiness. Hazel eyes bore into Dana with such intensity she thought he could read her thoughts. *Kiss me. Please kiss me.* Slowly he leaned forward and placed a kiss on her forehead. Dana shivered at the contact.

"We better go if I'm going to get you home on time."

The drive home was quiet, with each stealing glances at the other. Fox walked her to the door and said goodnight. As he turned to leave, Dana put her hand out to stop him. As he turned to face her, she stood on her tip-toes and lightly brushed her lips to his. It was a quick, tentative kiss, and she could feel herself blushing. Never had she been so aggressive. A blushing Fox said, "I'll see you tomorrow." Dana went in and said goodnight to all.

The next morning she was up bright and early getting ready for church. "Come on Missy, you'll be late for church, and you certainly need forgiveness." Melissa Scully pulled the covers over her head. "Just wait, you and Fox'll be the ones needing forgiveness."

Dana got up from the kneeling board to go to the restroom. As she was coming out a familiar hand grabbed her. "Shhh. It's me, Fox." Dana turned to face him, and realized he wasn't dressed for church. Reading her expression, he offered "No, I'm not here for church. I came to see you." Before she could respond, he pulled her into an embrace and lightly kissed her lips. "Meet me later in the park, down by the duck pond. Around one o'clock." A stunned Dana stood staring after an already retreating Fox. She brought her fingers to her lips. *I wonder what it would be like to really kiss him? Stop that thought. In church none the less. Keep it up, and you'll be back in confession.*

She managed to make it through the rest of the service, and then hurried home to change. She found Fox feeding the ducks. He greeted her with a warm embrace. "I wasn't sure you'd come. I'm glad you did though." He looked at her shyly, and then gave her a smile that radiated through his eyes. He sat down on his blanket, and patted the spot next to him. They sat and talked for hours. Conversation flowed easily between them as they discussed everything from religion, to favorite foods, and rock bands. Fox had never felt as comfortable around anyone, especially a female, as he did with Dana. Dana didn't have much experience with guys, but she felt drawn to Fox. He was different from most guys.

*He treats me with respect, listens to me and values my opinion. And those eyes. They seem haunted, but there's also a warmth in them.*

*She's intelligent, but not boring. She listens to me, and my weird view of the world. I could loose myself in those baby blues. It's like she can see my soul.*

The sun was beginning to set when Dana realized how late it had gotten. As she rose to leave, Fox scrambled to his feet.

"Will you ride with me tomorrow?"

"No. I mean, I can't. On Monday's and Tuesday's I baby-sit the McKinnon kids. I have them from eight until five."

Fox looked flustered. "Would you like to go bowling tomorrow night? Maybe even do dinner?" *Dork! You just asked her to go BOWLING!? Loser.*

"Sure! I love to bowl. I must warn you though, I'm pretty good." *Did I just say that? Real smooth Dana. Loser.* "You can come to my house for dinner. We eat at six sharp."

"Uh-ok. You're sure your mom won't mind?" She nodded yes.

The next morning Dana informed her mother that Fox would be joining them for dinner. Through out the day Dana's thought's wandered to Fox. Fox fought the same kind of thoughts about Dana.

Fox arrived a few minutes before six with a bouquet of fresh flowers for Mrs. Scully. "Why thank-you Fox. Let's put them on the table." *Well that gets you a few points, but I've still got my eye on you. * They had pot roast and vegetables, mashed potato's for dinner. Cherry pie was for dessert. "That was a very good meal, Mrs. Scully. Thank-you."

They went bowling, and sure enough, Dana beat him, 220-171. Fox didn't mind though, because he got a nice view of her butt. On the way home Fox pulled the car over to the shoulder of the road. "Fox? What are you doing?" Licking his lips, he began to speak. "Dana, I really like you. I mean alot. I know this is sudden, but would you mind if I kissed you? I mean really kiss you?" Dana was taken aback by this. One part of her thought that was the sweetest thing she'd ever heard, and the other part wished he'd just do it. "I think I'd like that." Fox leaned across the seat and pulled her head toward him. Their lips met tentatively at first, but grew more insistent each minute. She opened her mouth to give his tongue free access. Soon their tongues were dueling with each other. When Fox moved his hands down to her shoulders, Dana immediately broke the kiss.

"Fox no! I can't. I'm not that kind of girl. I'm sorry."

A confused Fox tried to gather his thoughts. "Dana? Did I do something wrong? I didn't mean to upset you."

"I-I thought you were going to try and get me to sleep with you," she said shyly.

"Dana Scully. You offend me. I am, as you put it, 'not that kind of ' guy." They both chuckled at that.

"With looks like yours, I bet you have a harem at Oxford!" Fox snorted.

"Hardly. I've never had a real girlfriend. All the girls at Oxford think I'm strange. Well, except for that slut Phoebe Green. She's been trying to get in my bed for two years now." Dana stared at him slack-jawed. "You mean you haven't taken her up on it? I thought all you guys had to have it?"

"I'm not like other guys. I want it to be special when I finally do, do the deed." She couldn't believe her ears.

"Are you saying...I mean..are you..., you mean you haven't?" Dana and Fox were both blushing furiously. In a voice barely above a whisper he confided,"No, I-I haven't." *I can't believe I just told her that! Real smooth Exlax!* Dana started laughing, until she noticed the look on his face. "No! I'm not laughing at you. It's just ironic. "I have no...well...experience either. Like the old saying 'Pure as the fallen snow.' I think it's great!" Fox released a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. He leaned over and gave her the most loving kiss he could. Their admissions to each other brought them to a new level of trust.

They made plans for the next night, and almost every night for the next three weeks. They saw each other almost everyday. Either Dana would ride with Fox on his ice cream route, or he would keep her company while she babysat. They went to the library, went swimming and on picnic's. They would spend hours at the park just talking, and making out. Fox frequently had dinner at the Scully house. Most nights they would go for ice cream, or take in a movie, or prowl old bookstores.

In those three weeks, the number of bruises on Fox's body increased dramatically, Captain Scully wired to say he would be home in time for the Fourth of July, and Dana and Fox fell in love. Their physical relationship had, by unspoken agreement, not progressed beyond making out. However, their making out had gotten so intense, they both realized subconsciously, the next step was inevitable.

The window's of the midnight blue Chevy Nova had long been steamed up by the making out of the cars two occupants. Dana moaned as Fox's lips found a particularly sensitive spot on her neck. "Mmmm...Fox. That feels so good. Please don't stop." Dana ran her hands down his rib cage, and tentatively ran her hand underneath his shirt. She began making slow circles up his back, but stopped as her fingers came across a welt. She felt around and found his back was covered in them. "Fox? How did you get all those marks? And don't tell me you fell." Fox jerked as though he'd been burnt.

"It's nothing. Don't worry about it." He turned around, and went to start the car. Dana's hand stopped him.

"Tell me. Who did this to you? It's your father, isn't it?" With haunted eyes he faced her.

"He doesn't mean it. He just drinks too much." She scooted across the bench seat of the car, and held him. She kissed his cheek. He started the car and drove her home. Saying good-bye, she entered the house. To her surprise, Ahab was waiting for her. "Ahab! You're home! When did you get here?" Breaking the bear hug he had her in, he looked down at her. "Got home five days early Starbuck. Your mother tells me you have a boyfriend? She said his name was Fox?" Dana blushed.

"His name is Fox, for real, he's a student majoring in psychology at Oxford. He's really intelligent, and he treats me well. He respects me, and likes the fact that I'm smart. He's wonderful." Capt. Scully looked at his daughter for a long moment. He wasn't used to his tomboy daughter gushing about a boy.

"You will invite him over for dinner tomorrow night. That shouldn't be hard, since I hear he eats here almost every night anyway. I want to meet this young man." *I hope your not falling in love Starbuck. You have much to do without letting a case of puppy love get in your way.*

Dana hugged him goodnight, and watched as he made his way to bed. She raced up the stairs to call Fox, and invite him to dinner. The next day was spent together as a family. It was an unwritten rule in the Scully house that whenever Ahab came in from the sea, the next day was always spent with the family.

Fox arrived a bit early for dinner, wanting to make a good impression on Capt. Scully. He brought Mrs. Scully a bouquet of carnations, and a single rose for Dana. *Please don't let me screw this up.* "Good evening Capt. Scully, sir. It is a pleasure to meet you." Fox extended his hand to the Captain. Bill Scully eyed Fox skeptically before shaking the offered hand.

1/7

"What is your name again, son?"

"Fox. Fox Mulder."

"Mulder. Hmmm. That's Eastern European isn't it?"

"Yes sir."

"Am I correct in assuming that you're either Jewish or Catholic?"

"Well, yes. The name Mulder is Jewish, but my mother is Catholic."

"So you're Catholic? Isn't it the mother who decides the religion of the child in the Jewish faith?"

"Yes. I was Baptized in the Catholic Church, but I also had a pseudo bar mitzvah when I was twelve. I am familiar with both religions, but practice neither. I have a hard time believing in God."

Dana winced as Fox said this. She didn't have a problem with Fox's lack of religion, but she knew Ahab would. Mr. and Mrs. Scully both stopped eating and looked at each other. Dana held her breath and waited for the explosion. Fox was oblivious, and continued to eat. Ahab decided to let the issue slide for now. *Atheist. He's a damn Atheist. God help us. Well, at least it's just a summer romance. It can't hurt anything.*

After dinner, Fox and Dana went to see a movie. The theater was deserted except for the young couple. They never even saw the movie; they just made out. Fox was lost in the warmth of her mouth. His tongue dueled with hers, tasted the inside of her lips, and grazed the sensitive spot right behind her front teeth. That made Dana groan. For her part, she began nibbling on his neck and lightly sucking on his Adam's apple. She ran her tongue the length of his neck, and tasted the salt of his skin. Fox was already rock hard, but when she did that, he got even harder if possible. The absence of release became un- bareably painful for Fox. He had to pull away from Dana.

"Wh-what's wrong Fox?" Fighting to regain control, he turned to look at her. Even in the darkness of the theater, he could tell she was flushed.

"I need a minute to regain control."

"Oh. Yeah."

As he moved to put his arm around her, he grazed the side of her breast. Jerking back his hand, he began apologizing.

"Oh God, I'm sorry. That was an accident. I swear!"

Dana placed her finger to his lips. "It's ok. I know you weren't trying anything. But you know, it did feel pretty good. Y-You can touch me there again. If you want." The last part came out in a shy voice.

Fox pulled her into his lap and began kissing her again. Slowly, tentatively, he ran his hand up her rib cage. He paused at her breast, seeking approval. She gave it by kissing him harder. Fox brought his long fingers around, and gently grasped her breast. He thumbed over nipple until it became a tightened peak. Even through the material of her shirt, his touch was like fire. Dana could feel his own tightened peak pressing into her behind. She sought out his nipples and rubbed them until they too became hardened. Dana could feel the beginning of moisture between her legs. Coming up for air, they rested their foreheads against each other.

"I think I should take you home Dana," a breathless Fox choked out.

They took a minute to compose themselves before leaving the theater. Fox walked her to her door and said good night. He placed a chaste kiss on her cheek.

As Dana entered the house, she found Ahab and her mother waiting up for her. "Mom, Ahab, what's up?" They motioned for her to sit down. Her father was the first to speak. "Did you have a nice time on your date?"

"Yes. We saw a movie." *Well, we were in a movie theater, but I don't know what the movie was about.* "This Fox, he seems like a nice young man. He's very polite, courteous, and well mannered. *Probably a serial killer. Makes a good impression with flowers and all, then breaks some young girls heart. I'm on to him.* However, I am concerned about his lack of belief in God. A man needs something to believe in. Without that, he's nothing. Just be careful Starbuck. I don't want to see you get hurt."

"Dana, your father and I are going away for ten days. We're going down to see Charlie at camp, and then on to New Haven. We want you to keep an eye on Missy. Chuck is not to be in this house. Period." Dana nodded in understanding. Mrs. Scully went to bed after that. Ahab motioned for Dana to follow him outside.

"Now Starbuck, you and I both know that Chuck's hand isn't the only thing he's had in her pants. Now don't look so surprised. I try to keep an eye on my kids, even from the sea. Your mother doesn't suspect a thing, and I want to keep it that way. Missy is a grown woman. I respect that, but she's not going to bed down under my roof. So keep an eye on her." Dana nodded, and turned to go back into the house. Ahab stopped her. "Dana I'm concerned about this Fox person. He looks so....troubled. Almost as if he has a dark side. I don't want you getting serious with him. You're going to be a doctor one day, and you don't need any distractions. Now go to bed."

Dana went to bed, but sleep never really came. She stayed awake all night thinking about what her father had said. The next morning the girls got up to see their parents off. After they left, Missy announced that she was going to New York with Chuck for the weekend. "Missy!" It was a warning. "Oh relax Dana. Mom and Dad'll never know. Just cover for me." Dana sighed.

"Well answer on question for me please."

"Shoot."

"How do you know when you're in love?"

"Is this about you and Fox?" Dana just looked away. "You'll just know. You'll think about him all the time, you can't imagine life without him, you want to make mad passionate love to him, and want to have his children."

"Is that what it's like with Chuck?"

Melissa thought about this. "No. I love Chuck, but I'm not in love with him. We just have great sex, and lots of fun. Are you in love with Fox?" Dana thought about this.

"Yes. I guess I am."

"Have you and he...?"

"That is none of your business!"

"Look, just be careful, ok? Do you want to go on the Pill? I can take you to a free clinic in Boston."

"I can't use birth control. It goes against the Church! Besides, we aren't -you know."

"Dana, you won't go to Hell for using birth control. I just don't want to see you get hurt. Now, I have to go. I'll see you Monday morning." Melissa kissed her sister good bye, and went off to meet Chuck.

Dana was glad for the time alone. It gave her time to sort through her feelings for Fox. She came to the conclusion that she was in deed in love with him. Looking at the clock she realized that it was after two o'clock, and she hadn't heard from. *He always calls after he gets done with his route if I'm not with him.* She called the ice cream company, and found out he didn't show up for work. Thinking he might be sick, she called his house, but got the answering machine. She didn't know of any friends he might have, and started calling all of the hospitals on the Vineyard, and even in Boston. Having no luck with that, she started calling police stations thinking he might have gotten arrested. By eight o'clock she was about to go crazy. She was considering what to do next when the doorbell rang. Hoping it was Fox, she opened the door.

"Fox!? What happened to you?" The man standing before her was bloody and bruised, and looked like he was about to pass out. "Dana. I. Need. Help. M-my father did this." Dana helped him into the house. Getting her first-aid kit she began cleaning the cuts and abrasions on his face and neck. "You have a cut on your scalp. How is your back?" Lifting his T-shirt, she gasped. "Fox your back is a mess. Take your shirt off." Cleaning his cuts, she examined the large bruise near his kidney. "Have you had any blood in your urine?" He shook his head 'no'. She got an ice pack for his black eye. "We need to get you to the hospital for stitches. Let's go."

"No. No hospital." Dana thought a few minutes before calling the naval base. "Medic corps please. Yes, is ensign Bivens on duty tonight? I need to speak with him. Chad? Dana Scully. I need a favor." She told him what to bring, and returned to Fox. "When did this happen?"

"I-I think last night. I remember getting home from our date and going to bed. Sometime later my father came stumbling into my room, and yanked me out of bed. He started cursing at me and kicking me. He told me it was my fault Sammi was gone, and that my mother divorced him. It was the same as always, only this time he hit harder. It was the anniversary of their divorce." Dana put her arms around his sobbing shoulders.

"Shh. It's ok. You're safe now. Did you fight back?"

"No. I mean, he's my father. You don't hit your father!" Before Dana could reply, Chad Bivens arrived to stitch up Fox.

"My God Dana. What happened to him?" Dana quietly explained the circumstances, and ask him not to say anything. Chad nodded in understanding and left.

Dana led him to her room and put him in Missy's bed. "Thank-you Dana." He kissed her hand and immediately went to sleep. Dana got ready for bed. Before turning in, she went over to check on Fox. Brushing the hair off his forehead, she bent and kissed his swollen lip. Fox stirred in his sleep, and pulled her down next to him. He was mumbling something. "....mmm Love you. I love you Dana." He put his arms around her and held her tight.

Fox awoke in a strange place, with a strange person wrapped around his body, and someone's hand resting on his most private parts. Slowly he realized where he was, and who was wrapped around him. "Dana," he whispered. Gently he shook her awake. Realizing where her hand was, she yanked it back, and blushed. "You didn't have to move your hand. I rather enjoyed where it was." Dana pulled herself up to his face and kissed him on the lips. Fox deepened the kiss, and cupped her breast. Dana pulled back.

"Doesn't that hurt your lip?"

"Nothing hurts when I'm with you." She resumed the kiss, and began rubbing his erection through his boxers.

"Dana!...Oh Dana. You don't...God that feels good...have to do this."

"I'm in love with you Fox Mulder. I want to." Fox immediately stopped her hand.

"Do you mean that?" Dana got very serious. "Yes I do." She held her breath, not entirely sure the feelings would be returned.

"Dana I'm in love with you too. You're all I think about." Dana felt tears stabbing at her eyes. "That's the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me." They continued to kiss for a long time. Dana again let her hand find his erection. She resumed stroking him again, and he began rubbing her through her silk pajama shorts. As Fox found the right spot she started to squirm. Growing bolder, Dana slipped her hand inside his boxers. She could feel his hot, throbbing manhood. Taking his cue from her, he slipped his hand inside her panties. His hand was cool against her swollen nub. Dana started feeling the most incredible sensations. Her body jerked, and she cried out as her orgasm overtook her. She continued stroking Fox, until he exploded in her hand. Dana felt the warm, sticky substance covers her hand.

"Oh God Dana, I'm sorry. Let me go get you a wash cloth." Dana removed her hand from his boxers, and stared at his essence in her hand. Fox returned with a damp cloth, and cleaned her hand for her. "Let me get you a pair of my brother Bill's sweat pants."

"I think I'll take a shower, if it's ok." Dana took a quick shower in her parents bathroom, and was waiting on Fox when he finished his shower. "Let me clean your cuts while your shirt is off." When she finished, he got up to leave. "I better go home." An alarmed Dana shouted, "No! He may kill you next time!"

"And just where do you suggest I sleep tonight?" Dana thought a moment. "You'll stay right here with me."

"What about your parents?"

"They'll be gone for nine more days. You'll stay here until they get back. Maybe your father will have calmed down by then." Fox had to agree that he liked the idea of staying with her and being safe.

"O.k., but I'll need some clothing. I have to go get them. I'll be back in about an hour." Dana started to protest, but he kissed her quiet.

Dana anxiously awaited his return. She glanced at the clock every five minutes. When he finally did return, she threw her arms around him. "I was afraid something had happened to you! I'd die if something happened to you. I love you sooo much." Fox kicked the door shut, as she pulled him into a deep kiss. Breaking the kiss, she informed him dinner was almost ready. "We're having Irish Stew."

After dinner they laid on the couch and cuddled. Fox bent his head down and kissed Dana. It was a slow, sensual kiss, that soon had Dana turning in his arms to face him. Fox moved his hand to her breast, and caressed her through the material of her shirt. Breathless, she asked him, "Touch me please. I need to feel your skin on mine." Fox went about trying to undo her bra. Seeing that he was having trouble with it, she told him,"It's front clasp."

Discarding her shirt and bra, he touched her with a sense of awe. Hesitantly, he took her nipple in his mouth. Her moan told him she was enjoying it. Wanting to feel more of his skin, she took his shirt off. She ran her hands over his broad chest, and played with one of his nipples. Fox stilled her hand and took possession of her lips. Never breaking the kiss, they shifted so Fox was on top of Dana. She could feel his erection pressing into the apex of her center. Fox placed a trail of kisses along her shoulder, and slid his hands down her stomach. Dana moaned, and shifted under him. Fox was now painfully erect. His erection was making contact with her enflamed clit, making her even wetter.

"Fox...please..." Breathless and dazed, he pulled back.

"You're right, we should stop." Dana wrapped her arms around him to prevent him from moving off of her. Looking confused, Fox said "What?" Flushed, Dana replied "Don't stop. Please." He regarded her for a minute.

"Not here. The bed." She nodded. Fox scooped her up and carried her to the bedroom. Placing her feet on the floor, he set about undoing her shorts. In one motion he managed to remove them and her panties. He took in the sight of her, and she blushed. *She is beautiful. * Dana managed to get his shorts and boxers off, and then stared at his erection.

"Th-th-that's awfully big." Fox tipped her chin up, and looked in her eyes. He saw fear, lust, anticipation, trust, and love.

"We don't have to do this." She hugged him around the waist, pressing his erection between them. Standing on her tip-toes, she kissed him.

"I want to. It's just...I'm scared." He reached out and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.

"I'll be as gentle as possible. I promise." Taking his hand she smiled, and turned down the bed. Climbing on the bed she said, "I know. I trust you. I love you." Fox eased on top of her, as she shifted her legs to cradle his weight.

"You are so beautiful." With that he kissed her deeply, and eased his tongue into her mouth. Dana ran her hands through his silky hair. Fox moaned at the sensation of her hands in his hair. Reaching down, he touched the dampness between her legs. He guided himself to her opening, and looked into her eyes, giving her a chance to stop him. Seeing only desire, he eased forward. Meeting resistance as he touched her maidenhead, he pushed forward with more force. Dana gasped and clutched his shoulders as he pushed through her maidenhead. Fox stopped to give her time to adjust to him. Tears trickled down her cheeks.

"Are you ok?" She nodded yes and whimpered.

"It burns, but please don't stop." He kissed away her tears, and began to move slowly within her. Fox continued to watch her face for any signs of distress. After a little while she relaxed, and her face softened.

"Faster Fox, please," she whispered. She began to meet him thrust for thrust. Seeing and believing she was ok, he allowed himself to relax, and bury his face in her shoulder. Dana began to moan and thrust her hips wildly. Fox was nearing his own climax and went faster.

"Can't wait m-much long-"

"Fox-oh God!" Feeling her tighten around him, he lost himself in her essence.

"Dana!" His orgasm seemed to go on forever, and when it finally ended, he collapsed on top of her. Dana made circular patterns on his back, and whispered words of love. Fox raised himself up on his elbows, and gave her the most exquisite kiss.

"How do you feel?"

"I feel ok. It only hurt for a little bit, and it actually felt pretty good there at the end," she answered blushing.

Fox smiled down at her. "I really tried not to hurt you. I'd never hurt you intentionally. I love you." Dana stroked his face.

"It did hurt, but not as much as it would have with someone I didn't love. Besides you're just too big," she giggled. Now Fox blushed.

"I'm glad I waited for love, for you-Dana." Fox gently removed himself from her, and pulled her into an embrace. Dana got up to go to the bathroom, and realized she was still bleeding some. Fox got out of bed and looked from the bright red stain on the sheets, to her. "Are you ok? Is that normal?" Proceeding to the bathroom, she called back to him "According to Missy it is." *She should be an authority on that. *

After finishing up in the bathroom, she came back out to find Fox sitting on Missy's bed. She noticed he'd put his boxers back on. "We actually did it! We actually made love!" Pulling the sheets off the twin bed she replied "Yes we did. And now we're going to change my sheets, but first hand me my pajama bottoms."

They quickly changed the sheets, and put the 'soiled' set in the washer. That night they lay spooned together, and slept peacefully.

Dana awoke feeling safe and warm in Fox's arms. He was looking down at her. "Good morning. How do you feel?"

"Umm. Happy and sore. But a good sore."

"Do you regret what we did last night?"

Without hesitation she responded, "No!" They began kissing and exploring when suddenly Fox pulled away.

"Oh my God! Dana we didn't use anything! You could be-oh shit!"

"Hand me my calendar off the desk." She began counting days. "It's ok. I'm not ovulating." Fox was pacing the room.

"I didn't think that was a very reliable form of birth control? I mean, how can you be sure?" Dana sighed.

"Ever since I started my period I've been on a strict 28 day cycle. No matter how stressed I get, it's 28 days." Fox relaxed visibly. Dana pulled him back to bed. "Now where were we?" As Dana began kissing his neck and chest, he pulled away again.

"Stop. We don't have anything, and I don't trust the rhythm method. We'll have to decide on something. You could go on the Pill?"

"No! That goes against God and the Church! It's immoral. I will not use birth control at all." Fox was now up pacing and ranting.

"IMMORAL! I'll tell you what's immoral. According to your God and church what we did last night was immoral! So quit being a hypocrite, and take the damn Pill or use a diaphragm! I don't need a baby. In fact, I don't think I even need you!" The moments the words left his mouth, he regretted them. Before he could apologize, Dana screamed, "Get out! I'm sorry I slept with you! Now leave!!" Stunned, Fox quickly dressed and left. Dana collapsed on the bed and let the tears fall.

*I thought he understood how much my religion means to me. He is right though. It was wrong to have sex outside marriage. But is love wrong? Is expressing that love wrong? I don't think it is, but should you compound those wrongs by using birth control?* Without answering those questions, she fell into a fitful sleep.

*I shouldn't have yelled at her. I understand about her religion, I respect that. Really I do. But why complicate things even more? I don't want to hurt her, or cause her pain. That's exactly what it would be if I got her pregnant. She wouldn't want a child with me anyway. That'd be a joke. The spawn of Fox Mulder. I'll give her time to cool off, and then apologize,* Hearing a car horn, he realized how long he'd been driving. Seeing a drugstore that had a grill in it, he went in to get something to eat.

After picking at his food, he got up to leave. He went to get a new stick of deodorant, and that's when he saw it. Quickly a plan formed in his mind, and he raced to checkout.

Coming to a screeching stop, he ran to her door and knocked. Dana came to the door wearing her robe, with her hair hanging damp. Seeing it was Fox she collapsed in his arms.

"I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I-I can go on the Pill or get a diaphragm if you want." She looked at him hesitantly. Fox saw the tears in her eyes, and heard the pleading in her voice.

"I'm the one who's sorry. I know what your religion means to you. You will not use birth control, understand?" He held her face in his hands. "But...you're right. We don't want to be foolish. We're not ready to be parents. Besides, I want to make love to you. I refuse to give that up." Fox kissed her.

"I have a solution." He pulled out the box of condoms. "But that's birth control." Fox smiled. "Yes, but not for you. These can only be used by me. Since you have no control over what I do, and I'm not Catholic..."

"Then I'm not going against the Church! Well, except for the sex part," she bubbled. "Wanna give it a try?," Fox leered.

Since Melissa decided to spend the rest of the week at Chuck's, Fox and Dana continued to, as Fox put it, "play house." They made love as often as possible, always-using protection. Dana continued to ride with Fox in his ice cream truck whenever she could. They even found some creative uses for the truck.

All to soon Mr. and Mrs. Scully returned home, and "playing house" was over. They continued to see each other as often as possible, and made love whenever possible. They had been "sleeping" together for about a three weeks when Missy cornered her sister.

"So, what's Fox like in bed?" she asked Dana casually.

"H-how...how did you know we were...you know?" Melissa smiled at her blushing sister.

"I didn't until just now. So when did it happen?" Dana couldn't look at her sister.

"The fourth of July. When you were in New York with Chuck."

"Why do you think I went to New York? I'm happy for you. It's time you got your nose out of a book, and started living. Just tell me you're using birth control?"

"I'm not...but Fox is."

"I see. Getting around the Church huh? You are so Catholic, kid! Speaking of which, have you been to confession?"

"As a matter of fact I have. *Of course I didn't confess anything beyond touchy-feely. * Oh Mis, we are so in love. He's even talking about transferring to Berkeley! Wouldn't that be great? I love him. I think he's the one."

Melissa regarded her sister, and decided she really was in love. She just hoped her sister wasn't going to get hurt.

That night at dinner the phone rang. Dana answered.

"Scully residence."

"Don't say a word just listen."

"Ok."

"My dad's out of town tonight. Can you s-spend the night? I-I really need to see you."

Dana thought Fox was on the verge of tears. "Let me just check with my parents Amy. Mom, Dad? Amy's parents are out of town, and she wants to know if I'll come stay with her? Is it ok?" *Please don't let them know I'm lying. *

"Sure Starbuck. Just finish your dinner first." *It'll do you good to spend some time away from Fox. *

"I'll be over as soon as I'm done with dinner."

Dana hurried through dinner, and went to pack. Missy followed her into the bedroom.

"You're going to be with Fox, aren't you?" she whispered to Dana.

"Something's wrong. He needs me." Melissa looked at her sister and got a really bad feeling.

"Dana? Be careful, ok? And don't sleep with him tonight. I have a bad feeling." Dana rolled her eyes at her sister.

"You are just being paranoid! See ya."

2/7

Arriving at the house she found the door slightly ajar. Pushing it open she yelled "Fox? It's me. It's Dana." She waited for a reply, but found none. Shutting the door, she made her way up the steps. That's when she heard what sounded like someone crying. She followed the sound down the hall to a bedroom. She had never been in his house so she hoped it was Fox's bedroom. Opening the door she found him in a fetal position facing her.

"Fox. What's wrong? Are you hurt? Did your father hurt you again?" She saw a small cut on his cheek, but didn't think that would cause him to cry.

"He-He hit me Dana. I-I just lo-lost it, and punched him. Who beats their own kids Dana? Especially one that's twenty fucking years old?! I may have broken his jaw. He was in alot of pain. You're not supposed to hit your parents. He's right. I am worthless. I'm just a sorry piece of shit. Everything he said was true." Dana sat on the bed and cradled his head in her lap.

"Is that what he said to you?" Fox nodded.

"He also said he didn't love me. That he never loved me. I was just an awful mistake, a problem."

Dana's heart shattered into a million pieces. She moved behind him on the bed and held him. She whispered in his ear, "You are not an awful accident Fox. I love you. As for hitting your father, you were only defending yourself."

Fox turned to face Dana. "Do you really believe all of that? I mean, how can you love me?" Dana kissed him deeply. "Let me just show you how much I love you." She rolled him on his back, and straddled his hips. She could feel the beginnings of an erection as she removed her shirt and bra. He became fully aroused at the sight of her perfectly round breast. He reached up to touch them, and she leaned down to kiss him. In one fluid movement, Fox had her on her back and was frantically kissing her. Quickly they discarded the rest of their clothing, and continued to kiss. Fox reached between them and stroked her swollen nub. Dana bucked her hips into his hand. She groaned. Fox took one nipple in his mouth and sucked mercilessly.

"Fox...p-please! Now!"

"C-C-Condom." He reached into the nightstand and found what he was looking for. Hurriedly he ripped open the package with his teeth, and shoved it on his throbbing erection. Entering her in one fluid motion, he let the ecstasy over take him. Dana felt complete, whole. Their lovemaking was frenzied, yet sensual. As they climaxed together, Dana felt as though she had left her body, and Fox felt like his body was on fire. Coming down from his orgasm, Fox said "Mine. Only mine." A breathless Dana answered "Yours. Only yours." They lay connected for a long time while whispering words of love, and promises of forever.

Regaining the strength to move, Fox pulled out of her. As he went to remove the condom, he realized there was a gaping hole in the tip. Dana's eyes went wide as she realized what had happened. Fox went to dispose of it, and she started looking around for a calendar. Walking back into the room, Fox handed her what she was looking for.

"I thought you might need this." She smiled at his ability to read her mind. She did the calculations in her head, and realized it was possible.

"We might have a problem." Fox was up pacing when he heard her say that.

"Don't say that! Don't ever say that! If there is a child, it won't be an 'awful mistake or problem.' Do you understand?" Fox was yelling by now. Seeing what his outburst was doing to Dana, he calmed down almost immediately. He pulled her into his arms and held her. Kissing her hair he murmured "We'll be fine. No matter what." Spooned together, they drifted off to sleep.

During the next three weeks, they almost forgot about what might happen. They kept themselves busy doing what they had always done: riding the ice cream route, going to the library, and going to the movies. They hadn't made love since that night. It was almost as if they were afraid to tempt fate.

In preparation for the worst, Fox started the process of transferring to Berkeley, and Dana started eating even healthier than normal. Melissa found her sister standing sideways, looking at herself in the mirror."

"Trying to see if your chest is growing?" When Dana just looked at her with a forlorn expression, Melissa put it all together.

"Dana? Are you-" Before she could finish, Dana started crying.

"I should have started my period three days ago. You know I'm never late. Never." She told her sister what had happened, and waited. "Have you taken a test? I mean, it could be stress. *Though I doubt it. You're the most regular person I know. * Have you told Fox?" Dana shook her head no. "Ok, here's what we'll do. I'll go get a test, and you can take it tomorrow morning. If it's positive, I know a clinic you could go to for-."

"No! Don't even suggest that! If I am, this baby is a part of Fox. I could never kill it!" Before Melissa could answer, Ahab was knocking on the door. "Girls? I thought I heard yelling. Is something wrong?" Melissa opened the door and answered, "It's my fault Dad. I started a silly argument with Dana, and it upset her. I think I should leave her alone for a while. Melissa hurried out the door in search of a test.

"I'm ok Ahab. Really. I think I'll just go on to bed. Goodnight."

"Dana? Dana are you asleep?" Dana sat up in bed.

"No. I can't sleep. Did you get it?" Missy gave her a hug.

"It will be all right. I promise."

Dana suffered through a fitful night of sleep.

"How much longer?" Missy looked at her watch. "About another minute." The girls were trying to get done with the test before their mother came back from her morning walk. "It's time."

Melissa watched her sister for any sign of the answer. The look on Dana's face was neutral as she studied the results. Walking over to the phone, she dialed Fox's number. "Fox. We need to talk. Tonight is my parents bridge night. They should be gone by seven. Come over after that. Love you too. Bye." She turned to face her sister. Missy simply held her arms open and embraced her. "I'm pregnant. What am I going to do?"

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

"Dana, Fox just pulled into the driveway." Dana was curled up on her bed. "Just send him in here please." Melissa directed Fox down the hall before leaving. Fox knelt by the bed and brushed a few wisps of hair from her face.

"Hey there. You're pregnant aren't you?" Dana nodded yes.

"I'm sorry I did this to you." Fox kissed her gently.

"I think I was there too you know. We'll be fine. As long as we have each other, we'll be fine." Dana held out her arms to Fox, who embraced her. "We're having a baby Fox. Can you believe it?" She put his hand on her abdomen. "Is that where my baby is?" Dana nodded. Fox placed a tender kiss on her lips. Dana opened her mouth and deepened the kiss.

"I need you Fox. Please." Fox pulled back.

"It won't hurt anything?"

"No silly. I'm only pregnant, not made of glass!" Discarding their clothes, they made love. Dana noticed Fox seemed to have a special reverence for her body. Their lovemaking was slow and tender. They were unhurried, content to enjoy each other.

Afterwards they lay in the security of each other's arms. They began sorting through everything, and forming a plan. "I've already started the process of transferring to Berkeley. I also spoke with me father's attorney about my trust fund. I have access to it when I turn twenty-one in October. It might be tight at times, but we'll get by." For the first time all day, she felt hopeful. Feeling at peace, they drifted off to sleep.

"What the hell!? Get the fuck away from my sister!" Dana awoke to find her brother Bill yelling at Fox. Reaching over his sister, Bill tried to pull Fox from the bed. "My God! Put some damn clothes on!" Fox hurriedly put his boxers on. Dana managed to find her underwear and T-shirt.

"What are you doing home?"

"We finished maneuvers early. Did he hurt you? Did he force himself on you?" Bill was moving toward Fox with his fist clenched. Bill threw a punch that connected squarely with his jaw. "Bill stop it! He didn't force me to do anything!" Bill looked at his sister. "Oh I see. He took advantage of you, huh?" Fox used this distraction to land a punch to his midsection. Bill doubled over and Fox rushed him. Before she knew what happened, they were in an all out war on the floor. Dana stepped in to try and separate them, but got pushed into the wall by Bill. She hit with a thud. This caused Fox to go ballistic.

"You son-of-a-bitch, don't you ever touch her again! She's pregnant for God's sake!" The room fell silent, save for a startled gasp by Mrs. Scully. "Dana! Is that true?" Bill sat stunned, while Fox went to tend to Dana.

"Dana? Are you ok? Please answer me!" Fox was starting to panic when Dana started speaking.

"Fox? Fox it hurts." Fox bent and picked her up, and placed her on the bed. "Mrs. Scully please call an ambulance. Please!" Mrs. Scully went to do that, while Bill Scully Sr. went to see what all the commotion was about.

"What in the name of God is going on here?" Bill Jr. had finally gotten up. "This piece of shit got Dana pregnant. I found them in bed together." Captain Scully glared at Fox. "Is that true?" Without taking his eyes off Dana, he nodded his head. Captain Scully stood speechless as the paramedics came in.

"She's pregnant. About a month. Her brother and I were fighting, and she got knocked into the wall. She said it hurt." The paramedics began checking Dana. Putting her on the stretcher, they asked who would accompany her to the hospital. When Fox said he would Bill Jr. protested. "Look, that's my child, and I love Dana. I'm going with her." The look on Fox's face was enough to end the discussion.

She was taken to the Naval hospital, and a battery of tests was run. Fox paced the waiting room, while the Scully family sat huddled together. After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor came out. "Dana and the baby are going to be fine. She has some bruised ribs, but that's all. Is there someone here named Fox?" Fox spoke up.

"That's me. I'm the father." The doctor nodded. "She's been asking for you. You may go in." As he started for the door, Bill jr. blocked his path. "You're not family. We should go before you." The Captain spoke up. "Let him go. We'll straighten all of this out later."

"Dana? Honey, can you hear me?" Dana stirred and opened her eyes.

"The baby? How's our baby?" Fox grasped her hand and kissed her fingers.

"The baby's fine. Now go to sleep." Fox reluctantly left the room so her family could see her. Capt. Scully stayed behind to talk to Fox.

"Son, I am very displeased with you. However, I realize it takes two. You and Dana are both young, but you can overcome this. The Scully family handles their own problems. We will expect nothing from you." Fox couldn't believe his ears.

"Captain Scully, with all due respect, I intend to take responsibility for my child and Dana. I have already started the process of transferring to Berkeley from Oxford. I have a trust fund I can access in roughly two months. We can live on that. It might be tight sometimes but we'll get by. I'd like to marry her. Since she's seventeen we'd need your and Mrs. Scully's permission. I love her sir."

"Son your resolve is admirable. However, I'm not going to further let Dana ruin her life by marrying you. You have nothing to offer her. Marrying you would only cause her more pain. You two only think you're in love. It was just a case of hormones gone bad. You'll both get over this and go on to happy lives. Now I suggest you go home, and get some rest." Stunned, Fox did as he was told.

Missy stayed with her sister at the hospital that night, so their parents could discuss the situation.

"Bill, what are we going to do? How do we help her through this?" Capt. Scully took his wife's hand.

"Maggie, I spoke with Fox tonight. He wants to do right by Dana, which I respect him for, but I can't allow it. They're young. They think they're in love. They don't realize what this is, what it means. And for God's sake Maggie, he's not Catholic, he isn't anything! I don't want my grandchild raised by an atheist. We'll take care of Dana and the baby. That's what I told Fox." Maggie Scully regarded her husband. She'd never seen him react this way before. Of course she reasoned, his baby girl had never gotten pregnant before.

"You can't keep them apart. He has rights to his baby Bill." He bristled at this.

"She is seventeen years old Maggie! He is twenty. Do you realize he could be arrested for statutory rape? If he doesn't co-operate, I *will* have him arrested." With that he turned out the light and tried to sleep.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Fox was trying to figure out what to do. *I could go to Dad for help. No, he'd probably hurt me again. Maybe I could call Mom. No, she's in Acapulco on vacation. She probably couldn't help anyway. Why would she? I'll just go see Dana tomorrow and then try to talk to her father again. Yes, that's what I'll do. * Fox tried to go to sleep, but it did not come.

He arrived at the hospital around seven the next morning to find Dana awake. Missy went to get breakfast, giving them some time alone. Fox sat on the edge of her bed, and took her in his arms. "I was so afraid of loosing you and our baby. I love you." He bent and kissed her on the forehead. "I spoke to your father last night. It didn't go too well. I'm going to try again." Dana pulled his head down to meet hers and kissed him deeply. Fox responded in kind.

"Can't you even leave her alone for a minute?! Isn't it bad enough you got her pregnant? Are you trying to screw her in the hospital too?!" Shocked, Fox and Dana broke apart. Before anyone could say anything, Capt. and Mrs. Scully came into the room. "William Scully Jr. control yourself, and show some respect for your sister!" Maggie Scully was livid. Capy. Scully motioned for the younger Scully to leave. "Dana how are you?" Fox moved out of the way for Mrs. Scully.

Capt. Scully took Fox aside. "Son, I thought we understood each other last night? I asked you to stay away from her. I called your father, and the three of us will be meeting later today. Now, if you'll excuse us, we have to get ready to take Dana home." Fox turned and left for home. His father was, as expected, waiting for him.

"Fox, is it true you got that girl Dana pregnant?" Fox nodded his bowed head. "My God son! Didn't you know to use something?" Fox mumbled, "We did. The condom broke." Mr. Mulder continued to rant and rave. "Can't you even fuck right? Didn't you know how to put the damn thing on? The only good thing to come from this is at least I know you're not gay." At Fox's shocked expression, his father replied, "What? You do attend Oxford." Before he could reply, the door bell rang. It was Capt. Scully. After the introductions were made, they went into the living room.

"Mr. Scully, my son says this child is his. I believe he believes that, but I'll need proof myself. You understand of course?" Capt. Scully bristled at the notion his daughter was loose, but before he could say anything, Fox intervened.

"That child is mine! I'm the only one she's ever been with, and she is the only one I've ever been with!" Turning to face his father, he continued. "Furthermore, I can tell you exactly when this child was conceived. Remember when you went out of town?" Looking now at Capt. Scully he proceeded. "Sir, we took precautions. Or should I say, I took them. I chose to because I know she's Catholic, and I know what her religion means to her. Now if you'll both excuse me, I'm going to see Dana." Fox stormed out of the house leaving the two men discussing the 'situation.'

They decided it would be best if Fox and Dana were separated. "From what I know, your son has a brilliant career ahead of him, as does my Dana. I don't think one indiscretion should change that." Bill Mulder readily agreed with that. They agreed to tell Fox and Dana, that he would be arrested for statutory rape, if they didn't stay apart. Capt. Scully informed Bill Mulder of his plan to keep them apart.

Fox had gone over to the Scully house to see Dana, only to be told by Bill Jr. that she was resting. "You can't keep me away from her. I'll just come back later." Bill sneered at him. "We'll just see about that. Just leave her alone Mulder." As Fox was leaving, Melissa came running out of the house. "Fox!" He turned to face her. "I'll tell Dana you stopped by. Just give it a little while to calm down. It will all work out. Don't worry." Fox thought that was unlikely, but headed for home anyway. *Time to face the music Fox. *

"What!? That's blackmail!" Fox was enraged when he found out he couldn't see Dana again without fear of arrest. "You can't do this! I have rights." Bill Mulder shook his head. "Not in this you don't. Do you want to go to jail? She was your first piece; there'll be others. In time you'll see this as a blessing." Bill Mulder left his son standing in the den, as he went out the door.

It had been two days since he'd seen Dana, and Fox was going crazy. Finally, he had Chuck arrange a meeting with Missy. "Melissa, how is she? How is the baby?" Melissa gave him a sad look. "Fox, she and the baby are fine, but you can't risk seeing her. My dad is serious. I've never seen him like this. Just lay low until she turns eighteen, Or until the baby is born. Then you can come back for her. You can't get into trouble then. Dana loves you, but this is how it has to be right now. She doesn't need all this stress. Ok?"

Fox thought. He didn't want to do anything to cause her more pain so he agreed. "Ok, but she'll come with me after the baby is born?" Melissa nodded. "Tell her I'm going back to Oxford, and as soon as the baby is born, I'll come get them. I promise. Waiting until after the baby is born is probably best. She can get better medical care here. Tell her I love her. Both of them." Melissa noticed he had tears in his eyes as he turned to leave.

Fox returned to Oxford within the week. He had tried to reach Dana before he left, but Bill Jr. had always answered the phone, so he hung-up. Dana moped around for a few days after getting out of the hospital. Her thoughts of fox were the only thing keeping her sane.

That Friday evening the Scully's had a guest for dinner. He was the son of an old naval buddy of Capt. Scully's. He was also an officer in the Navy. Since Missy was off with Chuck, it was just Dana, her parents and Ryan O'Malley at dinner. Dana thought he was cute with his blond hair, and green eyes. He was tall, but not as tall as Fox. Dana found herself comparing him to Fox all night. Her father suggested Ryan take her to the Officer's Club for dancing. Dana thought this was odd of her father, but welcomed the chance to escape the house.

At the club they danced until well in the evening. Ryan escorted her home and said good evening to her. As Dana entered the house, she found her father waiting for her. In the days since he discovered she was pregnant, Dana felt as if he were avoiding her.

"Dad. I-I didn't expect to find you up so late."

"Dana we need to talk. Sit down." She did as she was told.

"I won't tell you I'm not disappointed in you, because I am. Regardless, you're still my daughter, and I love you. That will never change. You're going to have a baby, and you'll come to understand that kind of love. I don't resent the child you're carrying, in fact I already love this baby. This baby needs a father, and it doesn't have one." Dana tried to protest, but was silenced by a look from her father. "Dana, the young man you met tonight needs a wife. He's twenty-five, a naval officer, and getting pressure from the higher ups to take a wife. It's an unwritten rule that officers have wives. For whatever reason, he hasn't found one yet. He is aware of your condition, but he doesn't mind. Dana, you'll turn eighteen before this baby is born. You will no longer be considered a dependent at that time. All benefits cease to exist for you." Dana sat stunned. She hadn't thought of all of this. "Dana, Ryan is going to ask you to marry him, and you will accept." Dana was outraged.

"Do you expect me to marry someone I don't love or even know? I'll either be a single mother, or go to England and marry Fox!" Bill Scully gave his daughter a look that would have melted steel. "As for having this child alone, that is not an option. You will not ruin this family's name with an illegitimate child. This doesn't just reflect on you, it also reflects on me and my career. And as for Fox Mulder, if you have any contact with him, I'll have him up on rape charges faster than you can say 'hello.'" Dana turned and ran into her room.

her sudden arrival woke her sister. "Dana? Dana what's wrong?" Dana collapsed on her bed and tried not to cry. In a voice choked with unshed tears she wailed "Oh Missy, it's awful! Dad told me I have to marry this Ryan O'Malley. He threatened to have Fox thrown in jail if I try to contact him!" Dana explained what all her father had told her to Missy. "What are you going to do Dana?" She moved to console her sister.

"Missy, I love Fox and our baby, but I can't afford medical care for us. I have to do what's best for this baby, Fox's baby. I need to talk to Fox."

"Dana, you can't contact him. Dad's serious! All I can say is do what's best for the baby. Only you can make that decision." The next morning Dana had made her decision. "Missy, I'm going to marry this Ryan person. As soon as the baby is born, I'll file for divorce or get an annulment. Then we can go be with Fox."

"Dana are you sure? Isn't there some other way?"

"I wish. I thought about it all night. I can't provide for my baby alone, Fox can't be a part of my life right now, and I can't stay here with mom and dad looking at me with disgust in their eyes." Missy nodded in understanding.

Before dinner that evening Dana took her parent's aside, and informed them of her decision to marry Ryan. Her father breathed a sigh of relief, and her mother wore a mask of resignation.

Ryan joined them for dinner, and afterwards he and Dana went dancing again. On the way home he brought up the 'arrangement' as Dana had come to think of it. "Ryan, I know you are aware of my pregnancy, and because I have no choice, I will marry you. I'd like to get married as soon as possible." Ryan pulled the car into an empty parking lot. Shutting off the motor, he turned to Dana. "Dana, I know this is rough for you, but I want to thank-you for agreeing to marry me. I sense that you love the father of your baby a great deal. I'm sorry you can't be with him."

*Well I certainly wasn't expecting that! * Dana looked at him, and felt that for the first time she was really seeing him. "Thank-you for understanding. In the short time I've known you, you seem like a warm and caring person. How come some girl hasn't snagged you yet?" Ryan shifted uncomfortably and looked away. Sighing, he looked back at Dana for a long time. "Can I tell you something in confidence?" She nodded. "I come from a Navy family. My dad just made admiral, my oldest brother is in the JAG Corp, my next brother is a lieutenant, and even my sister is joining after she graduates from UC-San Diego. I like the Navy, but I don't love the Navy. It was just expected of me, you know?" Dana nodded. *I know how you feel. I was always expected to be the good girl, the smartest.*

"I'm different Dana. I-um...I'm-ah-gay." Dana's mouth dropped open.

"...Uh...I-a-I guess your parents don't know?" Ryan shook his head no. "Do you...I mean...are you involved with someone?"

"Not at this time. There was someone in college, but I knew I had to join the Navy. I miss him."

"So, you and he...I mean...you uh..." Ryan finished for her. "Had sex? Yes we did. Does that bother you?"

Dana answered honestly. "I don't know." They sat in silence for a while. "Ryan, I'm curious, have you ever had sex with a woman?" Ryan chuckled. "Yes I have. Quite a few as a matter of fact. I guess I was trying to prove something to myself. To me the act of sex is the same, it's the emotions that make it different for me." Again they sat in silence.

"What happens of you meet someone while we're married?" Ryan touched her face.

"Dana, I'm Catholic like you. My sexual preference may go against the Church, but my beliefs and morals don't. I will not betray my marriage vows. I don't believe in divorce, but I thought after a year or so, we could get it annulled. If you want. If not, I'm in it for the long haul. We both are in a position to help each other. I can give you what you need during your pregnancy, you can give me the marriage that will make me more credible to my Commanding Officer." Dana smiled at him.

"I must admit, I plan on leaving you after the baby is born. I *will* be with Fox."

"Sounds like a plan." Ryan started the car and drove them to her house. He accompanied her in to talk with her parents. By the time he left that night, many things had been decided. Ryan said he had been transferred to the Naval base in San Francisco, so Dana would still be able to attend Berkeley. Mrs. Scully was relieved, because Missy would be there for Dana. Ryan informed them that he had put in for a two-bedroom house, so Missy could live with them. He reasoned Dana would need someone as the pregnancy progressed, and he would probably be out to sea. He was leaving for a three-month cruise in five days, so they were going to be married in three days. That would give them two days two catch a military flight to San Francisco.

The next two days passed quickly, and on the night before the wedding Mrs. Scully had a talk with Dana. "Missy will you excuse us?" After Missy left, she began talking to Dana.

"Dana, I know your heart is with Fox, but you are going to marry Ryan. It may not seem like it now, but it is for the best.* At least I hope.* You will have to be a wife to Ryan. That means you'll have to have sex with him." She stopped as Dana let out a disgusted laugh.

"Well *Mother* I'm glad to see you're not above selling your daughter like a common whore."

"Dana Katherine Scully! Take that back!"

"It's the truth. I'm being forced to marry someone I don't love to save the family name, and provide for my baby! By the way, I don't want you or the Captain there tomorrow. Missy will be my witness, and Ryan is asking a friend to be his." Mrs. Scully sat stunned.

"I thought you wanted your father to walk you down the aisle?"

"That was for a real wedding, not this. Now if you don't mind, I'd like to go to bed. We're tired." Mrs. Scully paused at the door. "I love you Dana. Please remember that." Missy came into the room and hugged her sister.

"I heard what you said. I'm sorry this is happening to you." Dana gave a small smile.

"The only thing good to come out of this is our baby. We'll be fine. In about eight months we'll be with Fox, you're to be with me, and I'll have my baby. I better go to bed."

The next morning Dana awoke before anyone else and finished packing her stuff. As she finished packing she went to the kitchen for breakfast. it was here that she found her father. She didn't speak, but merely ate her cereal in silence. As she was putting her bowl in the sink, her father spoke.

"Dana, sit down, we need to talk." Dana turned to face her father, but didn't sit down.

"The time to talk was ten days ago when I needed my father. Not now. Not when I'm being forced into a marriage. Not when you've separated my baby from its father. Not now that you can't stand to look at me. The way I see it, we have nothing to discuss. I assume mother told you I don't want either of you there?" Captain Scully merely nodded. Dana went to her room.

Dana looked at herself in the mirror. She had chosen a light blue dress for the wedding.

"You look nice Dana."

"Thanks Mis. You know this is going to be just fine. Thoughts of having my baby, and being with Fox will pull me through." The doorbell rang, and she knew it would be Ryan. "You ready to go Missy?" Dana gave Ryan a kiss on the cheek. "We'll come back after the ceremony to get my stuff."

The ceremony itself was uneventful, and lasted less than ten minutes. The Naval Chaplain married them. Upon returning home, Mrs. Scully had prepared a lunch for them. Ushering them into the dining room, they joined Capt. Scully, Bill Jr., and a newly returned Charlie for lunch. Bill Jr. stood and shook Ryan's hand. "Welcome to the family Ryan. I know you'll take good care of my sister." Dana shot her brother a cold look.

Small talk was made, but lunch was a tension filled event. Finally Capt. Scully spoke directly to Dana.

"You look lovely in that dress Dana. Light blue is a good color for you. I'm curious though why you chose that color?"

"Well, I couldn't very well wear white now could I? Being a tainted woman and all." Capt. Scully was furious.

"Watch your mouth young lady! You will show respect in this house; is that clear Dana Katherine Scully?"

"O'Malley. It's Dana O'Malley now. I'm married, remember? Ryan are you ready to go?" Ryan nodded and they went to get her stuff. Melissa followed to check on her sister. "Dana are you ok? Please don't leave like this." As Dana turned to answer her, Missy could see the tears in her eyes. She refused to let them fall. "I'll be fine. It just... well it hurts that they'd treat me and my baby this way. This is their grandchild after all. Even if they don't like Fox, it's still a part of me! None of that really matters now though. I have done what is best for my baby. You know, everything changes when you get pregnant. You can't just think about yourself anymore. You're carrying a little life in you. Everything from now on will revolve around my baby. And there's nothing I won't do for this child." Melissa hugged her sister.

"I'll see you in two weeks. Let me know if you forgot anything, and I'll bring it with me."

Ryan came back in to get the last of Dana's things, and she followed him back out to the car. She said good by to her family from the car. As they drove away, Maggie Scully let the tears fall.

"Bill, what have we done?" Still looking for the car that had long since disappeared, he answered, "I'm not sure, but I think it was a mistake."

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

"Dana are you ok?" Ryan glanced at her as he drove. She nodded. "Thank-you Ryan. You are very kind."

At the airbase they boarded their military flight for San Francisco. Once airborne, Dana drifted off to sleep, and dreams of Fox. She was oddly comforted by her dreams. Retrieving their bags and boxes, they headed for the naval base. Ryan checked in with his Commanding Officer, and then drove them to their house.

Ryan stopped Dana from entering the house. He scooped her up and carried her across the threshold. "What was that for?" Ryan shut the door and pulled the blinds.

"Dana we have to make this look real. Remember that we're young newlyweds on our wedding day. People have to believe I got you pregnant on our wedding day. You know Military housing isn't any different from any other neighborhood. Prying eyes, gossip, etc. Understand?" Dana looked at him. "We'll have to make this look good." She started unpacking, and Ryan began sorting through the boxes she had brought with her. Together they put the sheets on the queen sized bed. Dana changed into something more comfortable, while Ryan went next door to order Chinese food. After making the introductions and ordering their food, he called her parents.

"Hello? Dana?" It was Mrs. Scully.

"Mrs. Scully , this is Ryan. I just wanted to let you know we made it here safely. Dana will call as soon as our phone is connected." He quickly gave her their address and ended the call. Returning to their house, he found Dana in her pajamas reading a book.

"Hi. I called your parents and gave them our address." Dana pinned him with a look of hate.

"Why?"

"Dana no matter how you feel right now, they're still your parents. This rift will heal eventually. Besides, it's not good for you to carry anger around while you're pregnant. Think of your baby."

"I always think of my baby. That is why I married you after all."

"I didn't mean to imply you didn't. Just think about it ok?"

After eating they decided to go to bed. Ryan climbed into bed next to Dana.

"What are you doing?!

"Going to bed, Dana. You didn't expect me to sleep on the couch did you?" Turning over he said, "Besides, you're not my type anyway."

The next day they didn't leave the house at all. The next afternoon they ventured out to go grocery shopping, and to the bank. Ryan insisted on having Dana's name added to his saving's account and checking accounts. Dana had protested at first, but relented when Ryan pointed out she would need things her scholarship stipend wouldn't cover. Especially as the pregnancy progressed.

"Dana, I trusted you with my secret, and I trust you with my money."

The next day Dana drove him to his ship, and acted like any other Navy newlywed seeing their husband off for three months. She pulled Ryan's head down to meet hers, and gave him a long kiss. When he pulled back he whispered "Thank-you" in her ear. As he turned and walked up the ramp, his C.O. nodded his head approvingly.

The next two weeks passed by in a blur. Dana went to orientation at Berkeley, and went about fixing up their house. She had called her parents' house only once to give their phone number to Missy. She had purposely called when she knew her parents wouldn't be home.

"Missy! It's so good to see you. I'm glad you're here." Once they brought her things in, they had dinner and began to talk. "How are you doing Dana?"

3/7

"I'm fine. I have a roof over our head's, food in our belly, a clean place to live. I miss Fox, but I can't do anything about that right now. Under the circumstances this is all I can ask for. What about you?"

"Well, Chuck and I broke-up. He wanted to get serious, and I didn't. The house was strange after you left. Mom and Dad weren't really speaking all that much, Charlie was confused, and Bill was being a dick as usual. I'd sometimes hear Mom crying at night. Dad has been spending alot of time at the Officer's Club. Other than that, all is fine. I do need to call and let them know I made it here. Do you want to talk to them?"

"No. Not yet." Dana left her sister to make the call, and went to put her pajama's on. Having changed, she began writing in her journal. "Whatcha doing Dana?" Dana took her glasses off before answering. "I've been keeping a journal of my pregnancy for Fox. I write in it every day so he'll have an idea what this pregnancy was like." Melissa gave her a sad smile. "So, how's Ryan with all of this?"

"He's been really understanding, and supportive of me. He has a kind heart. He knows what my plans are, and he doesn't mind."

"I take it you and he didn't do it?"

"Missy! Of course not. I can't just have sex with someone I don't love. Besides, I am committed to Fox. Now I'm going to bed." Melissa left to get ready for bed.

The next four weeks passed rather quickly. Both Dana and Missy settled into school, and Dana began having terrible morning sickness. She finally went to the base doctor to get the 'official' news. Melissa went with her. "Come on Missy, I need to send Ryan a telegram." Melissa looked confused. Dana whispered "We have to make this look good. Remember, I'm just now finding out I'm pregnant, and we're newlywed's." She sent the telegram to Ryan, and then they went shopping.

"Oh Missy, look. Isn't this just precious?" Dana was holding a tiny pair of pajama's. They were white foot with a collar trimmed in mint green. Dana rubbed the terry cloth fabric to her cheek. "Why don't you buy that Dana?" She thought about it only a moment before making the purchase.

Later that night

Dear Fox, Sept. 5, 1980 Today I bought the baby's first outfit. It's the most adorable pair of pajamas! It's a white terry cloth footy pj's with a little collar trimmed in mint green. I want to bring our baby home in this outfit. I have started having morning sickness, and I've gained three pounds! We miss you. We love you.

Dana and Baby Mulder

Feeling exhausted she went to bed. Life proceeded this way for the next six weeks. Dana went to school, threw-up, and slept alot. Missy cooked for them and acted as a go between for Dana and their parents. She also insisted on taking Dana's picture once a week. "Don't you want Fox to see what you look like carrying his child?"

A few days before Ryan's ship was due in, Dana received a letter from her mother.

My Dearest Dana, Oct. 17, 1980

It has been roughly two months since I have seen or heard from you. It's been the longest two months of my life. I know you're angry with us, and you have every right to be. I could never admit this to your father, but he was wrong. I think he was blinded by his fury that someone had touched his Starbuck. He loves you Dana, please don't shut him out. I love you.

Mom

Dana was crying as she finished reading the letter. She started as Missy came into the room.

"Dana? What's wrong?" Dana tried to catch her breath before answering.

"It's this letter from Mom. I want to forgive them, but I can't. It hurts too much. I feel like they turned their backs on us." Missy read the letter then sat rubbing her sister's back. "Shhh-it'll be ok. Everything will work out as it should. Why don't you write her back, and tell her what you told me?"

"...Mmmh. Maybe."

She turned that thought over in her head until days became weeks, and eventually a month had passed. Ryan had been home for three weeks, and they had played the part of happy newlyweds. They dined with his C.O. and his wife, and made all the socially acceptable rounds. Dana was now four and a half months pregnant, but because of her size, she looked as if she had only gained a few pounds. Even Missy had managed to be discrete with her paramours. Life was almost normal. Almost.

Having finished her lab, Dana headed home. As she entered the house she heard Missy on the phone. "Ryan, who is she talking to?" Ryan looked up from the newspaper and mouthed, "Your parents." Dana just shook her head and waited for her sister to finish. A few minutes later, Missy came in the room. Sensing the sister's needed privacy he went to the Officer's Club.

"Out with it Missy. What did they want?" Missy began to pace. "Thanksgiving is in a week. They wanted to know if we were all coming home. Mom's beside herself Dana. Please say you'll come?" Dana went into the bedroom and shut the door. She took an unfinished letter from her backpack and studied it.

"Missy, I can't, I won't go to their house. But, I will have a letter finished for you to give to Mom. If you would?" Missy hugged her sister. "Of course I will. I just wish you'd come with me, but I understand."

As they went to bed that night, Ryan asked about the call. She explained it to him, and asked if he wanted to go to his parents for Thanksgiving. "If it's alright with you, I'd like to stay here. You don't have to cook or anything." Dana turned to face him. "Nonsense. I can cook us a Thanksgiving meal." With that they slept.

The next few days passed quickly, and on the night before Missy was to leave for San Diego, Dana handed her the letter she'd written for their Mother. "I know you're leaving after class tomorrow, so I'll give it to you now."

Dana and Ryan had a small dinner, and drove across the bridge into Oakland. Sitting at the foot of the bridge, they looked out at the bay. "How are you? Really?"

"I'm fine. Really. The baby's well, school is challenging, and Missy hasn't been too wild." Ryan just gave her a knowing look. "Yeah, and I didn't want to go home for Thanksgiving because I was tired. Be honest Dana." She averted her gaze. "Ok, I miss Fox terribly, I'm still having morning sickness, I'm still angry with my parents, and any day I'll have to start wearing maternity clothes. Is that what you wanted to hear?" Ryan gave a short laugh. "Well, it's a start. Look Dana, we both have issues with our families. I'm not comfortable around mine. I'm afraid if they ever found out about me, they'd disown me. At least your parents won't hate you after the baby's born. I'm not saying forgive them, ....you need to have a relationship with them for the baby."

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Scully House

"Mom, Dana asked me to give this to you." Maggie Scully took the letter and read it.

Dear Mom, Nov. 20, 1980

It has taken me a month to write this letter. I need to tell you how I feel. You and Dad turned your back on me and my baby. We are your flesh and blood, yet you turned us away. Fox would have been there for me and our child, but Daddy threatened him. Why? Because he dared to make love to his Starbuck? I'm a woman. I have been for a while now. Please see me as such. I don't like being separated from you. It hurts. I need you now Mom more than ever, but I can't forgive you yet. Just know all is well.

Love, Dana

Margaret Scully teared up after reading the letter. She handed it to Capt. Scully to read. "Oh Starbuck."

"At least it's a start Bill."

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O'Malley House

As Dana was going to bed, she let out a swift "Ohmph!"

"What is it Dana? Are you alright? When she looked at him she had unshed tears in her eyes, but was smiling. Grabbing Ryan's hand, she placed it on her stomach. "Do you feel that? It's the baby moving. That's the first time I've felt it!" Ryan smiled. "Wow. It's real, isn't it?

As she lay there trying to sleep, her thoughts drifted to Fox. *You should have been here with me, not Ryan. I know you would have been if you could.* She tried to keep the tears from coming, but failed miserably. Ryan wrapped his arms around her, and she didn't resist. "It's ok Dana. You'll be with him soon." Dana drifted off to sleep.

The next day she wrote in her journal.

Dear Fox, Nov. 23, 1980

Yesterday I felt our child move for the first time! It was incredible. It made this baby feel real. I just wish you could have been here to share this moment with me. I'm counting the days until you come for us!

Love, Dana and Baby Mulder

The next month passed by in a blur. Dana was busy with final exams, Christmas preparations, and she was still throwing-up alot. She was also constantly battling fatigue. It was all she could do to make it through the day.

The day Missy finished her last exam, she returned home to find Dana retching in the bathroom. "Dana? Are you alright?" She took in her sister's flush face, sweaty hair, and dark circles under her eyes. All Dana could manage was a feeble "s' Ok. I think I must have a virus." Missy put her sister to bed and then called their mother. "Mom! It's Missy. I think something's wrong with Dana. She's been throwing-up alot the last few days, and she won't take anything. She's afraid it will hurt the baby."

"Missy, get her to the hospital on base. She could be dehydrated. Call Ryan, and have him meet you there. I'm on my way."

Naval Hospital

Missy and Ryan waited in the waiting room for news about Dana. "Mr. O'Malley?" Ryan recognized the man as Dr. Hagood, her OBGYN. "Your wife is suffering from severe dehydration, fever, and extreme exhaustion. The fever is undoubtedly due to her loss of fluids. The body is trying to cool itself down. I've started her on IV fluids, and given her a mild sedative. I've also prescribed some anti-nausea medicine. It won't hurt the baby. I'd like to keep her for forty-eight hours. Don't worry though, she'll be home in time for Christmas. I've also ordered an ultra-sound for tomorrow morning, just as a precaution. I understand you are to leave for a three month cruise the day after Christmas. Is their anyone who could stay with her for a few days after you leave?" Melissa Scully spoke up. "I'm her sister, and our mother is on the way here. We can stay with her." The doctor nodded. "You may both go in to see her, but please be brief. She'll probably sleep through the night. I suggest the two of you go home and get some rest."

The doctor had been right. Dana was in a deep sleep, and never knew they were there. Ryan and Missy went home.

Sometime during the night Maggie Scully arrived at the hospital. "I need to know what room Dana O'Malley is in please?" Easing into Dana's room, she realized Dana was in the middle of a nightmare.

"...No. Don't make him go. Please! Daddy no. The baby...Fox...save the baby. I love you Fox." Maggie stroked her daughter's forehead, and she settled into a peaceful sleep. *My God, what have we done? Oh Dana.* Mrs. Scully spent the rest of the night at the hospital.

Dana awakened the next morning to her mother's face. "Mom? Wh-What are you doing here? The baby! Is the baby ok?" Dana started frantically tossing the covers aside to see her belly. "Dana stop, or you'll pull out your IV. The baby's fine. You're dehydrated, and exhausted. Your sister called me yesterday frantic about what to do. I drove up last night. Your father and Charlie are coming tomorrow." Dana looked at her mother and tried to absorb everything. Before she could say anything, the orderly came to take her down for the ultra-sound.

Dana lay there with her stomach exposed to the cold air. *God it's cold in here. * The tech came in and explained everything to her, and then spread the gel on her belly. *That. Is. Cold. You'd think they could warm the stuff up. * "Mrs. O'Malley, do you want to know the sex of the baby?" Dana shook her head no. "Do you want to at least see the baby?" She nodded her head. Seeing the image on the screen she reached out and touched it. Tears stabbed at the back of her eyes. "Let me print you out a picture so you can show the father." *Unless you can get me to Oxford, that's not likely.*

When she returned to her room, she found Ryan and Missy waiting for her. "Where's Mom?"

"We sent her back to the house for some much needed rest. Missy brought you some things." Dana showed them the ultra-sound picture. "The doctor said everything was ok. The baby is a good size, and appears to be developing normally." Ryan left to return to the base.

"Here Dana, I brought you this." Missy handed her the journal she was keeping for Fox. "I'm going to get lunch, and then run some errands. After you finish that, please get some rest." Dana smiled at her sister. "Thanks." She opened the journal and began to write.

Dear Fox, Dec. 23, 1980

Well, I'm in the hospital, suffering, from de- hydration and exhaustion. I saw our child for the first time today. I had an ultra-sound, and got a picture of the baby. The tech asked me if I wanted to know the sex of the baby. I said no. If you can't know the sex, then neither will I. Mom came up from San Diego. This should be interesting.

Love, Dana and Baby Mulder

Dana closed the journal, and drifted off to sleep. When she woke up, it was dark outside. As she strained to make her eyes adjust, she caught the outline of a form in the corner of the room. *Fox!?* "Dana. It's Mom. Go back to sleep."

The next time she woke up, it was Christmas Eve morning. "Good morning Dana. Are you ready to go home?" Dr. Hagood was smiling at her. "Uh-yeah. I mean yes."

"Your family is waiting outside. I'll go sign your discharge papers, and I'll have my office call you with an appointment for next week."

"Thank-you doctor."

Ryan and Missy had come to pick her up. "Where's Mom?

"She went to get your father and Charlie a room. They should be here by eight tonight. Do you feel like going to midnight mass?"

"I'm really tired Ryan. I don't think I'll make it. Will you stay with me tonight Missy?"

"Sure." Dana rode the rest of the way in silence. *Great. I'm spending Christmas with my parents, who basically sold me into bondage. Well, maybe not bondage, but still. *

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Oxford, England Fox Mulder's Apartment

Fox Mulder was trying to wrap the silver piggy bank he'd bought for the baby. He'd had it engraved 'Baby Mulder.' He'd bought Dana a sterling mother and child pendant. *Next year. Next year we will be together. * He was struggling with the tape when there was a knock on the door. "Who is it?"

"Foxy! It's Phoebe. I've come to make your Christmas merry. Now open up." *What part of 'no' doesn't she get? * Fox made his way to the door carrying the piggy bank. "Phoebe, go home, or where ever it is you dwell. This isn't a good time." Phoebe waltzed her way into his apartment, and took off her long coat. He almost choked when he saw she was wearing a red teddy-and nothing else.

"Put your coat on! And you can leave!"

"Why Foxy, if I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to get rid of me." She leaned up and kissed him. Fox pulled away.

"Stop it!" Phoebe saw what he was holding and looked at him expectantly. "Something you want to share with me?"

"Not really."

"Is there a little Fox or ...Samantha on the way? I never knew you had it in you." She ran her hand up his crotch. Reflexively his body responded. *Dead nuns. Dead nuns. Think of dead nuns. It's been so long. She's not Dana. Not even close. Exactly. *

"Get. Out. Now."

"Am I doing something wrong?"

"Yes you are. I am committed to the mother of my child. Sorry."

"And just where is the little mother to be?" She began looking around the apartment. "Or has she left you? Not surprising really. Too much emotional baggage. Women don't like men who are damaged. At least, not for long. And you Foxy boy, are damaged. Are you even sure the baby's yours?"

"The mother of my child, and I know for a fact it is my child, is in the states. Not that it's any of your business." She gave him a coy smile. "Oh, I get it now. You deflowered her. Or should I say you deflowered each other?" Fox couldn't help but blush. Phoebe found the pendant he had bought Dana. "How...quaint. I'd have thought you'd give her an engagement ring. Unless you....Never mind." Phoebe ran her hand back over his crotch and gave a squeeze. "Call me if you ever want a real woman. I can take you places a virgin never could. Merry Christmas." And just like she was gone. *Damn her. She doesn't know a thing about Dana and me. I'm not damaged. Well, maybe a little, but she still loves me. And there is nothing wrong with my choice of Christmas gifts for them. Nothing at all. I hope. * "Merry Christmas Dana, and my little baby Mulder." He had tears streaming down his face.

O'Malley House

Dana arrived home and went straight to bed. She hadn't realized how tired she was until her head hit the pillow. When she next awoke, her mother was in the room with her. "Hello sleepy-head. Welcome back to the world of the living. I brought you some soup." Dana sat up in bed and began to eat. "What time is it?"

"It's just after ten."

"Oh. Are Dad and Charlie here yet?"

"They're in the living room with Ryan and Missy. Do you want me to get them?"

"No. Not tonight. What time are you guys leaving for Midnight Mass?"

"They're going to leave around eleven o'clock. I'm going to stay with you if that's alright?"

"You never miss Midnight Mass! Besides, I'd prefer Missy stayed with me." Dana couldn't help but notice the look of hurt that crossed her mother's face. "Oh, ok. I just thought...maybe...we could talk?"

"I'm not ready for that yet. It's still too painful." Finishing her soup, she went back to sleep. She awakened the next morning to see her father standing over her.

"Merry Christmas Starbuck."

"Father. Where is Missy? Please go get her for me."

*Father? What happened to Ahab?* "Just a minute. I'd like to talk to you. Your mother has been so upset since you left, and especially since you refuse to talk to us. It wasn't her doing Starbuck. It was mine. She needs you, and you need her. I'll go get Missy."

"No, what I need is Fox. Now give me a few minutes, and I'll be out." Through out the day her thoughts often went to Fox. As the evening came to a close, she said good-bye to her father. He had to make the long drive to San Diego. He was scheduled to leave on a three month cruise the twenty-seventh. Her mother and Charlie stayed behind.

Dear Fox, Dec. 25, 1980

Merry Christmas! We are well. I have been sleeping alot, and having dreams of you. Some are quite embarrassing! This time next year, we'll be celebrating our baby's first Christmas. I can't wait.

Love, Dana and Baby Mulder

Missy had taken Charlie into San Francisco to see the Christmas lights. Dana made her way into the kitchen to take her prenatal vitamins. Her mother was having a cup of coffee. "I remember having to take those. Do they still taste terrible?" Dana nodded. "How long do you plan on staying?"

"Two weeks. I'm sending Charlie and Missy back to San Diego the day after tomorrow. I think we need to spend some time together." Dana simply nodded. "I'm going back to bed."

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

After seeing Ryan off on his cruise, Dana spent the next week basically sleeping and eating. She tried to avoid her mother as much as possible. On New Year's Eve her mother came into her bedroom. "Dana let's watch the ball drop in Time's Square with Dick Clark."

"I'm really tired. I think I'll go to bed."

"Stop it. Just stop it. Do you think you're the only one suffering here? I regret not standing up to your father on this. I know what it feels like to be separated from the father of your child. When I was pregnant with Bill Jr., your father was gone for six months. It was my first baby, and I was miles from my mother. Please let me be here for you."

"You got to be with daddy. At least you knew he was coming back. I love Fox. He is my world. You helped take that away from me. How could you?" Maggie Scully took her daughter in her arms. "I'm sorry. I should have been stronger. You've always been your father's favorite. This just threw him for a loop. He thought he was doing the right thing. I love you Dana." Mrs. Scully was crying. Dana laid her head on her mother's shoulder. They stayed like that until the baby kicked. "Oh! Was that the baby?" Dana nodded. "This baby has the strongest kicks. It doesn't like not being the center of attention. It's ok little baby." Dana ran her hand over her stomach soothingly. Feeling the baby move again, she grabbed her mother's hand. "My grandchild." She smiled at Dana. "I love you Mom. I-I can't forgive you, but I'm willing to try."

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

New Year's Eve Oxford, England

Fox Mulder sat in his darkened apartment listening to the couple next door have sex. He could hear the moans and the headboard hitting the wall, as well as the sound of bodies slapping together. *Damn, how long can they go at it.* His thoughts drifted to Dana, and eventually to the night their child was conceived. The memory sent a burning sensation to his crotch. He began rubbing his growing erection through his boxers. Images of Dana filled his mind. Some how, this made him feel dirty. *Stop it. You shouldn't be thinking of Dana while you're doing this. Don't taint the memory of your lovemaking with her. Those memories are special. Find something else to see in your mind. * His erection began to wane. He glanced over at the movie projector his old roommate had left behind when he moved. He went to the closet and started digging around looking for the 16mm copy of "Deep Throat" that had belonged to his roommate. Setting up the projector he began to watch the movie, and started masturbating. He climaxed with Dana's name on his lips. Cleaning up the mess he'd made, he went to take a shower. *At least that was better than drawing on past experience. That was special. She is special. I could never think of the night we made our baby, and jerk off. I'll just imagine its Dana doing these things to me. *

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Dana and her mother spent the next week trying to repair their relationship. They shopped, went to movies, and they talked. By the end of the week they had made much progress toward repairing their relationship. By the time Mrs. Scully left, they were almost back to normal. Dana had even agreed to trying to forgive her father.

Soon the new semester of school started, and Dana was now six -and-a-half months pregnant.

"Do I look huge Missy?" Missy rolled her eyes.

"You are the smallest pregnant woman I've ever seen. You just look like you have a little pouch."

"Promise?"

"Yes."

"Do you think Fox would find me attractive?"

"He would find you attractive no matter what. He loves you, and you're carrying his child." Dana sighed.

"He's all I think about it seems. I even have conversations with him in my mind." Missy patted her sister's back.

"It won't be much longer." Dana smiled.

Time seemed to creep by to Dana. Finally, January gave way to February. It was around the first of February that Dana started writing her father a letter. By the time Valentine's Day rolled around, she was half-way finished with the letter. That night in bed her thoughts were of Fox. *Happy Valentine's Day Fox. If you were here I'd make love to you. I long to feel your body against mine, your mouth on my breasts and to feel you buried deep within me. * She felt herself getting wet, and began to stroke herself until she came. Hard. "Fox. I love you." She drifted off to sleep with sweet dreams. It wasn't long until her birthday rolled around. Her eighteenth birthday.

O'Malley House Feburary 23, 1981

"...Happy Birthday dear Dana. Happy Birthday to you!"

"Happy birthday sweetheart."

"Thanks Mom. I'm glad you and Charlie could come." Missy was cutting the cake.

"How big of a piece do you want Dana?"

"Not too big Missy." Charlie handed her his gift. It was a package of baby booties.

"I wasn't sure what to get, but Mom said you could use them. Anyway, I hope it's a boy." Dana hugged him.

"I'm sure I can use them. Next!" Missy handed her a good size box.

"What in the world?" She gasped as she looked inside the box. She found diapers, sleepers, bibs, bottles, and a rattle. "You shouldn't have. I'm glad you did, but this must have cost you a fortune. Thank-you."

"I intend on spoiling my niece or nephew." Mrs. Scully was next.

"I have two gifts. One for you Dana, and one for the baby." Dana opened the box carefully to find her baby afghan, and a jewelry box. Opening the smaller box she found a mother's ring. It contained an amethyst for her birthstone; an opal for Fox's birthstone; and an empty setting for the baby's birthstone. Tears spilled down her cheeks. Sniff. "Thanks Mom. I-I love it. It means alot to me." Her mother motioned for Missy to take Charlie and leave. They left under the guise of going to get ice cream. "Mom, why...." Mrs. Scully put a finger to her mouth. "The afghan should be handed down, and your father suggested the ring. And no, he doesn't know I put Fox's birthstone in the ring."

"But...."

"No buts. He is the baby's father, no matter who you are married to."

"Thank-you." Dana went in to go to bed. As she was about to drift off, she heard the phone ring, and her mother answer.

"Hello?...Hello?" Getting no reply she hung up.

"Wrong number?"

"Yes Missy. Well, I suppose, they never said anything."

Dana awoke the next morning feeling refreshed. "Mom, did I hear the phone last night?"

"Yes. It must have been a wrong number, they hung up."

"That's strange. Oh well." Dana proceeded to go take a shower, and then she and Missy saw their mother and Charlie off.


Oxford, England February 24, 1981

Fox Mulder was pacing. He was angry with himself, and his life. * I should have asked to speak to her. Dammit. She's eighteen now. What are they going to do to me? Besides, I went to alot of trouble to get that number. Speaking of which, where is she living? Damn registrar's office. Wouldn't give me her address. Only her phone number. I should go get her. Just go and camp out at UC-Berkeley asking if anyone has seen a very pregnant, petite, redhead. Yeah, right. You can't fly a pregnant woman halfway around the world. It's only another month-and-a-half. IF she still wants me. I mean, maybe she's changed her mind. No, she wouldn't. Would she? I gotta quit thinking about this. I need something to distract me. * Walking over to the package wrapped in brown paper from Sweden, he tore it open. Out tumbled three movie reels. "Sticky Fingers,"

"Inner Sanctum," and "Oral Encounters of the Threesome Kind." Fox picked up "Inner Sanctum," and moved to the projector.

As the images and moans filled the room, he began to stroke himself. As the last of the film wound through the projector, and he'd climaxed; he cried. *I'm sorry Dana. God I need you. Not much longer. * He was filled with self-loathing. He was ashamed of what he'd done. Stripping off his clothes, he stood under the near scalding shower, and tried to get clean. He scrubbed his skin raw with soap. Crying, he stayed in the shower until the water ran cold. Shivering, he trudged out to the couch and collapsed into a fitful sleep. "Dana...."

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Berkeley, CA Early March 1981

"Come on Missy. You promised." Begrudgingly she followed her sister into the community center.

"I can't believe you want to do this naturally. I can't believe I agreed to be your coach." Dana arched her eyebrow, and glared at her sister.

"Alot of people are doing it this way now. It's what our forefather's did."

"Don't you mean our foremother's? Besides, alot of them died in childbirth. Natural childbirth."

"This is much better for the baby. I don't want my child to enter the world all doped up." Missy smiled thoughtfully at her sister. "You are going to make a great mother. Let's go." Midway through the childbirth movie, Missy left the room looking rather green. She didn't return until the class was over. "Are you ok?"

"Yeah. I can handle all the breathing and stuff, just not...that. How many more classes?"

"Just five." They headed home.

"Missy? Can you come in here?" Her sister appeared at the bedroom door.

"Yeah?"

"When it's time, promise me you'll call Fox. Do you still have his mother's number?"

"I have it memorized. I'm going to call a few days before your due date. Just to be safe." Dana smiled at her sister as she picked up her journal.

Dear Fox, March 13, 1981

Today I started my Lamaze classes. Missy is going to be my coach. I wish you were here. Maybe the next one. No, definitely the next one. I'm already planning the next one, and I haven't even had this one! I feel like a house. I hope the baby has your eyes. We're tired, so I'll go now.

Love, Dana and Baby Mulder

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

By the fifth class, Melissa had gotten used to the thought of what she was going to see. She didn't even flinch (Well, not noticeably anyway) when they watched another birthing film. "I'm proud of you Mis! Now I don't have to worry about you fainting on me when the time comes." Missy rolled her eyes.

The next couple of weeks passed by quickly, and Dana started nesting. She had washed all of the baby's sleepers, repeatedly sterilized the bottles, and packed her bag for the hospital. She continued with her studies, and had to contend with swollen ankles. And she loved every minute of it. All she had left to do was wait.

Ryan's ship was due in April second, and her father's ship was due in April fifth. Her brother Bill was going to spend the entire month of April on Temporary Additional Duty at Hunter's Point Shipyard, in San Francisco. It was the thirty-first of March, and Dana's due date was April eighth. Things were getting close. Very close, and Dana still hadn't finished the letter to her father. She was working on the letter that night when Missy came bounding into Dana's bedroom.

"Watcha' doing?"

"Trying to finish this letter to Dad. I want it done by tomorrow morning. That way I can mail it, and it will be waiting on him when he gets home."

"Oh, ok. What time does dillweed get in tomorrow?"

"I assume you mean Bill? His plane is supposed to land around seven p.m. I'm fixing dinner for us all."

"Dana! You know the doctor said to stay off your feet as much as possible. Besides, why do you want to cook for that moron?"

"I'm fine. I'll be fine. Besides, I refuse to stoop to his level."

"Whatever."

The next night Dana was just about to put the bread in the oven, when she heard the door open. "Missy?" There was no answer. "Missy, that you?" Still no answer. Dana began to feel uneasy. *Oh no. What if it's an intruder? Please God, don't let it be. Keep my baby safe. Please. I need a weapon. * Dana got the biggest butcher knife she could find, and eased toward the living room. As she tried to make her way to the phone, she was startled by her brother Bill.

"Boo! Gotcha'!" he yelled before collapsing into a fit of laughter. An angry Dana lashed out at Bill with venom in her voice; "What the hell do you think you're doing? Sneaking around my house, you scared me! You could have been an intruder. I could have killed you with this." She was waving the butcher knife around in the air.

"Oh, come on Dana. Can't you even take a joke? Don't be such a tight-ass. I thought you might have loosened up since you got some." Dana slapped him as hard as she could.

"You apologize to her right now Bill!" Melissa had walked in the house in time to hear his comment. Bill simply asked, "when's dinner?" He then flopped down on the couch and started watching television.

"Come help me in the kitchen Missy." Dinner was a subdued affair. Missy glared at Bill, who was sulking, and Dana was just trying to ignore the situation. Bill was the first to break the silence. "How about I take you two out to dinner tomorrow night?"

"Thanks, but we have my last Lamaze class tomorrow night."

"Oh. Well, how about I pick-up dinner and have it waiting for when you all get back?" Dana and Missy exchanged glances. Missy shrugged her shoulders, and Dana thought for a moment. "Alright Bill. We should be home by eight-thirty." Bill made a hasty retreat after dinner, pausing only long enough to get the spare key from Missy.

"I can't believe he said that to you! I'm glad you slapped him."

"It was rather low, but it'll only be a little while longer. I guess that's why it doesn't bother me too much."

After doing the dishes, Missy settled in to watch television, and Dana went to finish her letter. Finishing it didn't take as long as she thought it would. Afterwards, she wrote in her journal.

Dear Fox, March 31, 1981

I have my last Lamaze class tomorrow night. I guess that's good because my due date is April eighth. Mom was afraid I might go into labor early, but it doesn't look like it. Only one more week, unless I'm late (yuk), then we can be together. Missy has already called your mom and gotten your phone number. I'm just awaiting our child's entrance into the world. I have such plans for our child! I want this child so much! I hope you'll still find me attractive, I've gained twenty- seven pounds. But it's all worth it. I'm very tired so we're going to bed now.

Love, Dana and Baby Mulder

The next morning, Dana waddled out to the mailbox to mail the letter to her father. She then eased into the car where Missy was waiting. "You look lower, Dana."

"Lower?...Do you mean I've dropped?"

"Uh...I guess."

"Yes, the baby has definitely dropped. That just means it's getting into position for birth. Won't be long now."

"Oh. Great." They rode the rest of the way to Berkeley in silence.

After having lunch together, they went their separate ways. For Dana, the rest of the day was miserable. Her ankles were swollen, she was sweaty, and she didn't feel too well. After her last class, she made her back to the car to wait on Missy. They headed home to deposit their books and change clothes, then left for Lamaze class.

While Dana and Missy were reviewing how to breathe, brother Bill was letting himself into their house. After putting the prime rib in the oven on warm, he wandered around the house idly picking up the trinkets and things. He wandered into Ryan and Dana's bedroom. Making his way over to her desk, he picked up her journal. Reading the first entry, he sat on the edge of the bed.

Dear Fox, Sept. 1, 1981

I am keeping this journal for you. Though we are apart, I know we will be together after the baby is born. You will miss out on so much, but hopefully this will let you know what the pregnancy of our little baby was like. It will be a long seven-and-a-half months, but we will be together. As a family.

Love, Dana and Baby Mulder

Bill was so engrossed in the journal, and it's meaning, that he didn't hear his sister's come in.

"Missy. I didn't hear you guys come in. Let's eat."

"Not so fast mister. What are you doing in Dana's things? What gives you the right to invade her privacy?" Missy's voice had gotten louder.

"I wasn't invading anything. I was just looking...well somebody has to look out for her. It's bad enough she got knocked up by the likes of that idiot, but to find out she's planning on running away with him? God help us."

"What are you two yelling about?" Dana became livid when she saw her journal on the bed. "Did you read that? Did you?" Bill just lowered his head. "You bastard! How could you? That wasn't meant for you. You are a low life, son-of-a-bitch!" She hurled a book at him that just missed his head. "It's your fault things turned out this way. You and your macho marine routine. Gotta protect Dana. Gotta protect her virtue. Don't you realize I have needs, wants, and desires? Don't you?" Bill Scully was now angry with his sister.

"Wants? Desires? We all have those Dana, but not everybody acts like a whore! Not everybody acts like Missy. You're both used, dirty. I don't know who'll want either of you now. The only difference in the two of you, is that Missy was smart enough not to get knocked up. Not to bring a bastard into the world." Hearing her child called a bastard, caused something to snap in Dana.

"You're right Bill. I am a slut and whore. I like it when Fox stuffs his ten-inch dick into my hot, wet pussy! I love it when he rides me hard and long, and I especially like watching his face contort just before his balls explode. I love the way he makes me come. But I really love it when he is slow and gentle, and showers me with kisses. My favorite is when he calls my name as he empties into me. You see, sometimes we have sex, but most of the time we make love. If something so natural, and God given makes me dirty and unclean, then so be it. I'm a whore. Now, if you'll please leave, I don't feel so well." Bill Scully stood stunned, ashamed, and angry. "Bill, she doesn't look so good. I think you should leave." Defeated, he turned and left the house. Dana was trying not to cry, but wasn't having much luck.

"How could he say that about my baby? Why is he so mean?" She was sobbing now.

"I don't know. He's an ass. Why don't you lay down, and I'll bring you some soup." Dana nodded weakly. By the time Missy brought her the soup, Dana had managed to compose herself.

"He brought prime rib, if you'd rather have that."

"I don't want anything from him. Get rid of it." By the time she finished her soup, it was close to ten o'clock. "I'm still not feeling well, so I'm going to bed Missy." Dana was so exhausted, that she fell right to sleep. She awakened around two a.m. with some back spasms. They were infrequent at first, and she continued to doze off and on until four a.m. It was then that she was awakened by a searing pain. She cried out, and called for Missy.

"Dana! Are you...oh God...oh God...uh?" Seeing Dana's face twisted in pain, and realizing the front of her gown was wet, she knew it was time.


 

"Mis-Missy...get...ow...um my bag. C-Call Fox, and Mom!" Dana screamed out as another contraction swept through her.

"Breath Dana. Just like in class. Let's get you changed." That proved to be a difficult task, as Dana found it more comfortable to bend over. Missy finally got her in the car, and they made it to the hospital by five a.m. Her contractions were coming about eight minutes apart and she was dilated four centimeters. The ER nurse was hesitant to admit her, not sure if her labor would progress or not. Dana screamed out in agony.

"Look, Nurse Hacker, my sister is in labor. She's tough, and we wouldn't be here if she didn't think it was time." Missy pinned the nurse with her stare. Seeing the look of determination on the woman's face, she compromised. "I will not admit her right now, but she can stay in Triage until we see if her labor progresses. I'll call for an orderly."

"Thank-you." Dana had a death grip on Missy's hand. She smoothed the sweat-dampened hair off Dana's forehead.

"Please go call Fox and Mom. I'll be fine."

"I'll see you in Triage then." Missy quickly called her mother, and then placed a call to Oxford.


Oxford, England Fox Mulder's Apartment

"Phoebe, will you stop it. I'm not interested. You came here so we could work on this abnormal pysch clinical analysis we have to do." *How did I get stuck with her as a partner? If I didn't know better...* Phoebe removed herself from his lap, and came to stand behind him. She purred in his ear, "What's the matter Foxy? Can't handle a 'real' woman? Oh that's right. You only like virgins, women with less experience than you. If it'll make you feel better, I'll whimper and cry; tell you it hurts. I may even be able to come up with some chicken blood. Just to make it realistic. I won't even be offended if you call out her name. The first time." Fox was struggling to keep calm, but desperately wanted to throttle her.

"Phoebe-" he growled through gritted teeth.

"Speaking of which, how is the little mother-to-be? Hasn't she dropped that thing yet?" The last of Fox's control crumbled. As he jumped up from the table, he knocked his glass of ice tea over onto his leg. "I have had enough of you Phoebe! You will not talk about my child or Dana in that manner. Do you understand?" Realizing he was soaked in the general area of his crotch, he went into the bathroom to change. As he stripped from the waist down, the phone rang. He started to go answer it, but considering his state of undress and the barracuda in the living room, he thought better of it.

"Phoebe? Could you answer that?"

"Sure Foxy." She picked up the phone and answered. "Hello?"

"Uh...yes, is this Fox Mulder's residence?"

"Yes, this is Foxy's den. Do you need to speak to him?"

"Yes please."

"Well, he's in the bathroom cleaning up the mess we made. I'll get him for you."

Melissa Scully was taken aback by this conversation. *Who in the hell was that? And what does she mean cleaning up?*

"Foxy, telephone. Sounds like some American woman." Phoebe hadn't bothered to cover the mouthpiece of the phone, so Melissa heard the entire conversation. "Tell her to hang on Phoebe, I have to put my pants on." Finally getting decent he answered the phone.

"Hello? Dana?"

"Not quite. It's Melissa. She's in labor. We're at the Naval hospital in San Francisco. Hunter's Point Shipyard." Phoebe noticed Fox turn chalk white.

"Is she alright? Is the baby ok?" Before Melissa could answer, Fox continued on. "Tell her I'm on my way. I'll catch the next flight out. As soon as I can, I'll be there. And Melissa?"

"Yes?"

"Tell her I love her." Before she could reply, the line went dead. Fox hurried around the apartment getting the backpack he'd packed for this occasion over two weeks ago. Checking to make sure his passport was inside, he made his way to his desk. He pulled out a wad of cash he'd been squirreling away since October. He was totally oblivious to Phoebe sitting there watching him. He cut the lights out and slammed the door behind him. After waiting two torturous hours for the next flight, he finally began his journey back to Dana.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Naval Hospital Hunter's Point Shipyard

Feeling a bit confused, Melissa made her way to Triage. Dana had managed to drift off to sleep. Missy sat beside the bed, and thought about the phone call. *Who is Phoebe, and why did he have to put his pants on? Unless....no, not Fox. I'm sure there is a logical explanation for this. Yes, that's it. * A moaning Dana shook her from her thoughts.

"Ow! Oh God. Mmmm." Dana was gripping the sides of the bed so hard her knuckles turned white.

"Breath Dana. Come on. He He He-Ho Ho-He He He." Dana made it through the contraction.

"Did you call Fox?"

"Yes. He's on his way, and said to tell you he loves you." Dana visibly relaxed at that. "Did you call mom?"

"Yes, she and Charlie are their way. Now, how are you?"

"It hurts, but I'll make it."


Ryan arrived at the hospital around eight o'clock that morning. "Ryan? How did you know I was here?"

"The support staff at the hospital radioed the ship just before we docked. My CO informed me, and here I am."

"Thanks for coming. I-Ow... He He He-Ho Ho-He He He." Melissa was at her sister's side in an instant. "Ryan, stay with her. I'll go get the nurse. The contractions are coming closer." Ryan took a hold of Dana's hand and smiled. "Guess you're going to be a mommy soon, huh?"

"Yes I am." She was glowing.

"Has anyone called Fox yet?"

"Missy did. He's on his way. So are Mom and Charlie."

"I just want you to know, I'm here for you for however long you need me." Before Dana could answer, Missy and the nurse came in. Pulling the curtain, Dana was examined. "She's dilated to seven, and her contractions are now six minutes apart. It's time to admit you Dana." The nurse went to make the arrangements, as Ryan and Missy waited in the hall.

"She said you'd called the father, Fox?"

"Yes. He's on his way." Ryan noted the change in Missy's face.

"Is something wrong?"

"No. Not yet anyway. I'll let you know." Ryan was a bit confused but let it pass.

"Let me go get us something to eat. You must be starved." Melissa glanced at her watch, and realized it was after ten a.m.

"I'd like that Ryan. Thank-you." Dana was being settled into her birthing room when Missy found her.

"How are you?" Dana grimaced. "Pretty good. Where's Ryan?"

"He went to find us some food. Mom and Charlie should be here in a few hours. Now, I need to know, do you want Ryan in here when you give birth?" Dana thought for a moment.

"Yes...unless Fox makes it here in time. I doubt he will though, and Ryan has been so supportive. That is, if he wants to be."

Dana's labor continued to progress rather slowly. By the time her mother and Charlie arrived around three o'clock, she had been in labor for almost twelve hours.


LaGuardia Airport New York City

Fox Mulder had just spent seven long hours on an airplane, and was in no mood for a difficult ticket agent.

"Look lady, I don't care how I get there, just get me to San Francisco ASAP!!"

"Sir, the direct flight is full, as are the last two flights to San Francisco. I can try to redirect you, but it may be costly."

"I don't give a damn how much it costs. I have money. My child is being born for God's sake! Just get me there."

The weary agent began typing furiously. "The best I can do is New York to Dallas-Fort Worth, then on to Salt Lake City. From there you can catch a flight to Reno that continues on to San Francisco. The best I can do is coach all the way."

"I'll take it!" Fox paid for the ticket in cash, and sprinted to his gate. He had to go to the other end of the airport, and the flight left in fifteen minutes. Having just made the flight, he settled in his seat, and willed the plane to go faster.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Naval Hospital San Francisco

Dana had been in the final stages of labor for the last two hours. Missy was trying to cheer her on, but Dana was exhausted. All she wanted was Fox. "I can't do this Missy. God it hurts. Where is Fox? Why isn't he here yet?" Ryan gave her hand a squeeze. "You're doing fine Dana. You can make it. Just focus." Dana's eyes searched for the small stuffed fox she had brought as her focus object. Her contractions were less than two minutes apart.

Mrs. Scully and Charlie were waiting in the lounge are when Bill Jr. showed up. "Has she had it yet?" Startled, Mrs. Scully looked up at her eldest. "How did you know we were here?"

"I stopped by to see her, and the neighbors said they left early this morning and hadn't been back all day. I just took a guess she was in labor."

"She's been in labor almost fifteen hours. Ryan and Missy are in there with her." Bill jerked his head up.

"Just Missy and Ryan? Nobody else?" Mrs. Scully looked puzzled.

"Who else would there be?"

"Uh-nobody I guess. Except for the doctor's. I wasn't thinking." He started pacing and thinking. *I wonder if they've called that bastard yet? I'll just have to wait and see. If I see him, so help me.... No, I'll just make sure he stays out of her life for good. He had no right to touch her in the first place. She's better off with Ryan anyway. * "Mom, Charlie, let's go get something to eat."

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Somewhere between Dallas and Salt Lake City

Fox was deep in thought as the stewardess offered him a soft drink. "Coke please." Taking the drink, he looked around the cabin of the plane. His eyes settled on a little dark haired baby girl sitting in her father's lap. She was drooling, and had animal crackers all over her face. Fox started thinking again. *God. What if I'm not a good father? What if I beat my child? What if I beat Dana? No, I wouldn't do that. Would I? Can I give them a stable life? God, a life I helped create is about to, or maybe already has come into this world. All I can do is try. * He smiled at the little girl and drifted off to sleep.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Naval Hospital Hunter's Point Shipyard

"One more push Dana. Come on. You can do it."

"That's easy for you to say Missy! You are not having your insides ripped out!" Dana was hot, sweaty, tired and in pain. The doctor was looking a bit concerned. "Dana, I think it would help if you'd let me do an episiotomy."

"No, dammit! Owwwwwww!" As Dana gave one final push, the baby's head emerged. Ryan and Missy stood staring in amazement. Dana pushed enough to get the rest of the baby out. "I-Is it ok? Wh-What is it?" Ryan peered at the baby. "It's a girl! It's a baby girl! She's perfect. Absolutely perfect. Doctor?"

"She looks good to me. Would you like to cut the cord, Ryan?" Ryan was surprised, and looked at Dana. She nodded. With slightly trembling hands, Ryan cut the cord. The nurse took the baby to get cleaned up. Dana tried to catch a glimpse of the baby, but couldn't. "What does she look like Ryan?"

"She has wisps of red hair, and greenish-hazel eyes. She's beautiful!" Dana smiled and thought of Fox. *We did it Fox. Our baby is here!* The doctor finished examining Dana. "Dana, we're going to run some routine tests on the baby, and then we'll bring her down to you and Ryan." The doctor smiled at her.

Ryan and Missy went to the waiting room to tell Mrs. Scully and Charlie that Dana had given birth. Mrs. Scully looked up anxiously as they approached. "Well? Is it over? Are Dana and the baby all right? What was it?" Mrs. Scully was excited, and spewed questions faster than they could be answered.

"Calm down Mom. We can only answer one question at a time! Dana and her daughter are fine. She weighs six pounds, six ounces, has red hair, and greenish hazel eyes. She is a small baby at eighteen and a half inches long. Dana's tired, but beaming. They're moving her to a room, and running the standard tests on the baby. After that, she'll be brought in for Dana to see and feed." Mrs. Scully teared up. "My granddaughter." Charlie sat in the corner pouting. "A girl? Just what we need." Mrs. Scully scowled at him. "Charles Scully, that is your niece, and you'll treat her with respect!"

It was then that Bill Jr. came walking up. "Is it over already?" Missy glared at him, not having forgotten his remarks from the day before. "Already? She's 'only' been in labor for over fifteen hours!"

"Well, what was it?" Missy smirked at him.

"A baby. More specifically a baby girl." Bill scowled at his sister.

After what seemed like an eternity, they were finally allowed to see Dana. "Mom, have you seen her yet?" Smoothing back her daughter's sweat dampened hair, she replied, "No." Kissing Dana's forehead, she asked, "How are you, baby girl?"

"I'm tired, and I hurt. Other than that, I'm great. I just want to see her." Dana's face darkened as Bill Jr. entered the room. She was still stung by his harsh words of the day before. She gave him a "What are you doing here look?" Mrs. Scully noticed the tension in the room, but decided that was neither the time nor the place for an inquisition.

"Uh-congratulations, Dana and Ryan. I understand I have a niece?" Shooting him a hard look, she replied, "Yes. ' I ' have a daughter." Before he could reply, the doctor entered the room, and asked to speak to Dana and Ryan alone. Dana was alarmed.

"I-Is something wrong?" Dr. Hagood adjusted his glasses before speaking.

"She's basically in good health. However, she does have a slight heart murmur. Nothing too serious, just something we'll have to keep a check on. She could out grow it. If not, it shouldn't hinder her life. Now, I'll tell the nurse to bring her in. It looks as if she has a welcoming committee waiting for her." Dana was a bit stunned by what the doctor said, but took his re-assurance to heart. A little while later the nurse brought the baby in to Dana. Missy took her picture holding the baby. For posterity's sake she claimed. Soon, the baby was hungry, and letting everyone know that. Dana didn't feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of everyone, so she asked them to leave. After they left, she peered down at her daughter.

"Oh little one. You are so beautiful. I love you, and so does your daddy. He'll be here soon. I do believe you are going to have his eyes. The window's to the soul." The baby began to breastfeed as Dana kissed her forehead. Afterwards, the nurse came to take the baby back to the nursery. It was going on ten p.m., and Ryan offered to stay with Dana. She told him, and everyone else to go home and get some rest. Dana was exhausted, and fell asleep before everyone left. Mrs. Scully kissed her daughter's forehead and left with Charlie, Missy, and Ryan. Bill Jr. stayed behind, saying he would be leaving soon.

*Just as soon as that piece of shit Fox Mulder shows his face. I've got something to tell him. Maybe even show him, if he doesn't want to listen.* Figuring Fox would stop by the nursery first, Bill went to lay in wait.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

San Francisco International Airport 10:15 PM

Fox waited impatiently to deplane. He'd been traveling for the last eighteen hours, and only wanted to see Dana and their child. He'd done alot of thinking during his journey about being a father. Thought he was scared, he thought he'd do ok. After all, he reasoned, he had Dana. As long as he had her, everything would be all right. The one thought that continued to bother Fox was his fear of losing his child. As he drove the rental car to the Naval base, he was lost in thought. *What if I can't take care of them? What if I lose my child like I lost Sam? What if I can't protect either one of them? I couldn't keep Sam safe. Stop it. Just stop.* Fox pulled the car into the hospital parking lot. Looking at the hospital directory, he found the maternity ward.

Bill Scully had gone to relieve himself, and missed Fox making his way to the nursery. Fox found the viewing window and pushed the intercom button. The night nurse came to the window, and eyed him suspiciously when he asked to see the newborns. "Can I help you?"

"I'd like to see the newborns please."

"Which baby did you want to see?" The nurse took in his disheveled appearance, and wondered if she should call the police.

"Mul-Scully. Dana Scully's baby." The nurse scowled.

"I don't have a baby Scully. Are you sure that's the name?" Fox was annoyed.

"Uh-Mulder, maybe?"

"No. No Mulder either. Are you sure you're in the right hospital?"

"Is this the only Naval hospital in San Francisco?" The nurse answered dryly "Yes." Fox was at a loss for words.

"Can I at least see the babies?" Reluctantly she pulled the curtain back. Fox quickly scanned the nursery, and stopped when he saw the tufts of red hair on a tiny baby swathed in pink.

"Right there she is! That's baby Scully."

"I'm sorry, but that is baby O'Malley." Fox would know that red hair anywhere.

"Are you sure the mother's not Scully? Dana Scully?" She checked for the birth card.

"No, it's O'Malley. Wait...the mother's name is Dana S. O'Malley. Is that who you're talking about?" Before Fox could answer, Bill Jr. answered for him.

"Yes, that's who he's talking about. My sister and her 'husband.' That's 'their' daughter." Fox turned quickly to face Bill.

"Wh-What do you mean 'husband'?" Fox was stunned.

"That's right Mr. Mulder, Dana's married. She's happy, and she never wants to see you again."

"But...she had Melissa call me. She loves me. She wouldn't marry someone else. 'Would she?' I don't believe you."

"Dana wanted to tell you in person. She doesn't believe in Dear John letters. She's moved on with her life, and wants you to do the same. She's asleep right now. If you'll excuse me, I'd like to go see my niece." Fox grabbed him by the arm.

"Not so fast. How do I know you're not lying? You could be just trying to keep us apart. I'm going to see Dana." Bill slammed him up against the wall.

"Can't you just leave her alone? She can trust Ryan. He's there for her, and takes care of her. He gives her stability. What can you give her? Seventeen hours of labor for a child you forced on her. You and your damn hormones. That's probably the real reason you want to see her. Just go. It's not like you can fuck her anyway." Fox tried in vain to break free of Bill's hold, but the other man had two inches, and a good fifty pounds on him.

"Don't you ever talk about her like that again!" Bill sneered at him.

"Or what? You're in no position for threats. You're not even a real man. From what I hear, you couldn't even keep your sister safe. What makes you think you could keep a baby safe? Ryan can give her that. Has given her that. They're happy. You have caused her enough pain. Just leave." Seeing the defeat creep into Fox's eyes, Bill released him, and entered the nursery. Fox watched as Bill held his daughter. He turned and left the hospital.

Fox was sitting in the car thinking about what Bill had said. The two halves of his brain were doing battle with each other. *He's right. No he's not. I have nothing to offer her but pain. You have your love. Can't live on love, or raise a child on love. My parents raised me on a lot less. ..... Ha! I'll just go see Dana later, and this will all be straightened out. She wants me. * He slipped into a fitful sleep. He dreamed of a little red haired girl, and her mother. Dana. They were laughing and happy. He was smiling at them, but they were looking past him to another man. They ran to the other man. Dana called him Ryan, and the little girl called him daddy. They never saw Fox. He'd been replaced. Fox awoke with tears streaming down his face. Coming to his senses, he grabbed his shaving kit, and went to the hospital bathroom. After freshening up, he headed back up to maternity. Checking his watch he saw that it was just before six am. He found Dana's room with the intentions of talking to her. He knew she'd have an explanation for all of this.

Easing the door open, he found her deep in sleep and alone. Placing a kiss on her forehead, he decided to go meet his daughter. Telling the nurse he was a distant cousin of the family, he held his daughter for the first time. Fox was amazed at how tiny she was. He was afraid he would hurt her. Carefully he held her tiny hand up for inspection. "Looks like you're going to have Mommy's hands. Yes you are." As he kissed her forehead, he drank in her sweet baby smell. She lazily opened one, then two eyes to look at him. In that moment, Fox Mulder felt an overwhelming sense of love. And in that instant, he knew he'd do whatever it took to keep her safe. In her eyes, he saw himself, his love for Dana, and what their love had produced. "You have my eyes. And luckily, your Mommy's nose. I love you baby girl. I promise to always do what's best for you." Placing her in the crib, he pulled the stuffed silver fox from his backpack. He placed it next to her, and headed for Dana's room.

As he stood outside Dana's room he heard soft laughter. "That's really not funny Ryan. She really is a beautiful baby."

"She's beautiful like her mother. Thank-you for letting me cut the cord. It meant alot to me. I-I really do love this baby. Thanks for all you've done for me." Ryan placed a chaste kiss on Dana's cheek.

"No, thank-you Ryan. I don't know what we'd have done without you. You've taken such good care of us." Fox couldn't bare to hear anymore. With tears in his eyes he ran for the nursery. Looking through the window at his daughter one last time, he said good-bye. From a distance, Bill Jr. silently wished good riddance to Fox Mulder. He then went into the nursery to retrieve the small stuffed fox.

Had Fox stayed outside Dana's room for another moment, he would have heard the rest of the conversation. "I'm going to miss you two when you go to Oxford. Fox Mulder is a lucky man." Dana took his hand before speaking. "You'll make some gu-'one' a great partner. I hope you find the kind of love Fox and I have. I can't wait for him to get here!"

"It shouldn't be much longer."

Fox could barely see through the tears in his eyes. He still couldn't believe what he'd heard. *I knew she could never love me. I was stupid to think that. She'll be better off without me. Both of them will be.* He found himself at the airport, and decided to go home. Alone. He managed to get a direct flight from San Francisco to New York, then onto London. On the plane Fox decided to get royally drunk.

As the day wore on, Dana was totally immersed in her daughter. Ryan and Bill had gone back to the base, and Mrs. Scully and Charlie were having lunch when Missy broached the subject of Fox. "Uh, Dana? What do you think you'll name her?" Dana had just finished breastfeeding when she replied, "I'm waiting on Fox to get here. We'll name her together."

"When do you think he'll get here? It's been over twenty-four hours since I called him." Dana looked at her somewhat defensively. "Are you trying to imply something? He said he'd be here, and he will." Missy was afraid of upsetting her sister. "Easy Dana. I didn't mean anything by it." Secretly she wondered if Fox was really coming.

When night came and there still was no sign of Fox, Ryan took Missy aside. "Do you think he's coming Missy?" Missy bit her lower lip. "I-I'm not sure. He said he was, but...." Seeing her hesitation, Ryan prodded her for more information. "What is it? What do you know?" Missy sighed, then told him what she had overheard during the phone call. "Oh. Maybe you misunderstood?" Missy looked at him doubtfully. Ryan rubbed the back of his neck. "I won't abandon them. They have a home for as long as they need one." Missy half smiled at him. "You need to tell her that, not me." They headed back to Dana's room.

The doctor had finished examining her and the baby. "Now Dana, what are you and your husband going to name her?" Ryan and Missy entered the room just in time to bail her out. Ryan answered the doctor. "We haven't decided just yet, but we have narrowed the choices down." Dana looked thankful. "Just don't take too long. You know how red tape is, especially in the military."

"Thanks Ryan. I wanted to wait on Fox, but that may not be possible. I wish he'd get here." Missy made an excuse to leave the room so Ryan could talk to Dana. "Dana...what...what if he doesn't come?" Defiantly, Dana responded, "He will be here. He promised."

"Ok, ok. I just wanted you to know I'm here, and you both have a home for as long as you need it." Having calmed down, Dana sent Ryan home. She needed to think. *Where are you Fox? Are you hurt? Dead? Or...no. You haven't abandoned us. It's just taking longer than you thought. We can wait. *

The next morning Dana asked to speak to Missy alone. "Missy, I know in my heart that he is coming. Could you please call him again? Maybe something's happened. Now, can you please send Ryan in?" Missy nodded. "Ryan, it looks like we maybe staying with you a while longer. Obviously Fox has been detained. I've decided what to name her. I'll have to put you on the birth certificate, I suppose." Ryan nodded, and went to get the nurse.

Dana named the baby Sarah Grace Mulder O'Malley. She easily filled in "Mother's Name," but hesitated at "Father's Name." She desparately wanted to put in Fox's name, but didn't want to call attention to herself or the baby. *Please forgive me Fox. We'll change it when you get here. * She showed Ryan the certificate, then handed it back to the nurse. "Uh-Dana, I know you won't be staying in San Francisco that much longer, but you're being released today and Sarah doesn't have a crib. Should I go get one?"

"I hadn't thought of that. C-Could you get one? I hate to ask, but...."

"Of course I'll get one. If you don't mind, I'll take your Mom and Charlie with me. I'm not sure what to get. Is that all you'll need?" Dana took a mental inventory of Sarah's things. "Uhm. No, I think we've got everything else." Ryan left to go get Mrs. Scully, and a crib. Dana started gathering her things to go home. Just as she was about to get in the shower, Missy came in. Dana looked expectantly at her sister. "Sorry, there was no answer." Dana smiled. "Told you he was on his way." Missy gave a small smile. *I hope so.* After you shower, I can take you both home." Dana thought for a moment. "I can't leave without leaving directions for Fox."

"Dana? Who are you going to leave them with? This is a hospital, not AAA." Dana thought.

"I'll just leave them at the nurses station." Before Melissa could reply, Dana jumped in the shower.

When they got home, Ryan and Charlie was putting the crib together. Mrs. Scully was waiting in the living room. She went to take Sarah from Dana, but she resisted. "Dana you can't hold her forever! Now give me that precious girl, and go lie down." Dana started to protest, but Mrs. Scully silenced her. "Dana, I can't stay forever. Take advantage of the rest while you can. Now shoo!" Dana did as she was told, and fell into a deep sleep.

She awoke to the sounds of a crying baby. Her mother brought the baby in to be fed. Dana was still self-conscious about breast- feeding, so Mrs. Scully left her alone. When she finished feeding her, she made her way into the living room. "Are they finished with the crib yet?" Charlie came out of Missy's room with a triumphant smile on his face. "We just finished! Come give'er a try."

Everyone crowded into the room to see the crib. Dana hesitantly placed her in the crib, and held her breath. Realizing that the crib wasn't going to fall through, she began to breathe again. Sarah fell right back to sleep.

When a week had passed, and Dana hadn't heard from Fox, Missy tried to broach the subject. Dana held fast to her belief that he would still come for them. Missy and Ryan were growing ever doubtful. It wasn't until six weeks had passed, and there was no word from Fox, that Dana even considered he wasn't coming. To make matters worse, their six-week check-up didn't go well. Doctor Hagood informed Dana, that Sarah's heart murmur had gotten worse. He scheduled some tests for Sarah's heart. Dana was concerned for her child, and all thought's of Fox became secondary.


NC-17 WARNING @@@@@@@ GRAPHIC SCENES AHEAD

Oxford, England Beefeater Pub

"Ok Mulder, that's it. I'm cuttin' ya off. You've had more than your share." Fox scowled, but got up to stagger home. Or somewhere. "Thanks Paddy. Jush putt'er on my tab." Paddy shook his head as Fox left the bar. Speaking to one of the regulars he lamented, "Dunno what's happened to him. Used to come in and not drink a drop. Now he comes in everyday for the last six weeks gettin' slobbered. Hell, a few times he's slept it off in the back room. Supposed to be a student at Oxford, but I don't think he finished his last term. Damn waste."

Fox stumbled back to his apartment for the first time in two weeks. He'd been sleeping where ever. The park, the bar, the back alley's, even the graveyard. He just couldn't bare to be in his apartment. It reminded him of her. Both hers. He felt foolish for ever thinking he could have love, or a family, or...anything good. As he stumbled to the couch, he passed out. When he came to, he was naked on his bathroom floor. He vaguely remembered relieving himself at some point. Dragging himself up from the floor, he stared at himself. "You look like shit Mulder." He took in his stubbled face, blood-shot eyes, and pasty skin. He eased himself into the shower, and let the hot water cascade over him. He managed to shave and dress. Fixing some coffee and toast, he went through the mail. The letter from the dean of the psychology department caught his eye, and he knew he was in trouble. He was ordered to attend a meeting in one week to discuss his final project. It was incomplete at best, and he anticipated having to revise some of it. He threw the letter in the trash, and sank into the couch.

*Get a grip Mulder. It's been seven weeks, and you're flushing your life. What life? My life is in San Francisco. Correction buddy- 'was' in San Francisco.* Pulling himself up off the couch, he headed to the library to work on his project. He'd been working steadily for the past three hours when Phoebe came in.

"Why Foxy! What a delight to my eyes. How is fatherhood? Fox's eyes darkened, and he glared at her.

"What do you want?" Phoebe feigned surprise.

"What makes you think I want something? Besides you?" Fox sighed.

"Look, just leave me alone. I have alot of work to catch up on. I-I've been away." Phoebe smiled.

"Oh, that's right. You were off becoming a father. How are the mommy and child? Are they here with you?" She began looking around the library innocently.

"Dammit Phoebe! She's not here, so just drop it." Phoebe smiled like a Cheshire cat.

"She didn't come with you. I warned you about those virgins Fox. Let me know when you're ready."

"Drop dead Phoebe."

"I'm sorry Fox. I really am." For a moment he almost believed her. "Let me buy you a drink." Fox eyed her suspiciously.

"A drink, and nothing more?" She nodded. They proceeded to go to the Beefeater Pub, and had a drink. Much to his surprise, he actually had a decent time. For the next week they met at the pub, having a few drinks. Fox was careful not to drink too much, he still didn't trust Phoebe. He was feeling better, and after he'd screwed his head back on straight, he decided to call Dana. If for no other reason, than to see how his daughter was. He called on the day he was to meet with the dean. He waited anxiously for his call to go through. On the third ring a man answered.

"O'Malley residence." Hearing that greeting stung Fox, but he tried to put those feelings aside.

"Uh...yes, could I speak to..." Before he could finish, he heard someone in the background. "Ryan, its bath time, care to join me?" Fox would know that voice anywhere, and the last of his heart shattered. Abruptly he hung up the phone and stormed out of the apartment to his meeting.


O'Malley House

Ryan turned his attention back to the phone. "Hello?" Hearing only a dialtone he hung up, and went to help Dana give Sarah a bath. Dana didn't like to give Sarah a bath by herself now that the baby had been wearing a portable heart monitor for the last week. "What time is her doctor's appointment?"

"It's not until three, but I wanted to get her ready while I had help. You know it takes a bit longer with this monitor and all." Dana's eyes teared up briefly. "No matter what the Doctor says Dana, we'll get through this. Now let's get her clean."


Oxford

"Yes sir. I understand, but...."

"Mr. Mulder, I can appreciate the strain you've been under, but it is not this institutions place to clean up our students messes. Let alone their mistakes. I am sorry your hormones ruled you, but it doesn't excuse late, incomplete, and frankly sloppy work. You will receive no credit until you redo this project. You will start from scratch with a new topic, and it must be completed within six weeks." @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ NC-17 WARNING!!!!

Fox was seething as he stormed out of the office. *How dare he call my child a mistake! Bastard. And six weeks to do an eighteen week project in? Prick. Motherfucker. * He stalked into the Beefeater, and found his usual bar stool. He began chugging back beer. He was hurt, frustrated, angry, and worst of all he felt helpless. Phoebe found him at the bar and joined him.

"Hello Phoebe. If you don't mind, I'd like to be alone. I really don't feel like company." Phoebe saw this as 'the' opportunity she'd been waiting for. She could tell he was about to snap, and she intended to be there to pick up the pieces.

"Let me take you home Fox. You shouldn't be alone like this." Fox laughed bitterly. "I'm always alone. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go be alone." Phoebe discreetly placed her hand on his crotch, and rubbed him. His reply was to slide off the bar stool, and leave the bar. Alone. Phoebe followed him at a safe distance. She watched him enter a liquor store and purchase a bottle of scotch. He then continued on to the graveyard, plopping down on top of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tomb. Phoebe laid in wait until she thought he'd consumed just enough scotch. She then crawled atop his sprawled body and kissed him. Fox responded until he opened his eyes, and realized it wasn't her. Dana. Violently he shoved her off of him.

"Dammit. Don't you take no for an answer? I'm not interested." Phoebe went back on the attack, ripping his shirt open.

"I'll let you give me a baby Fox. I won't leave you. I'm not like her." *You sure as hell aren't. You're not even in the same league.* Fox grabbed her wrist in a crushing grip. His mind was reeling with a lifetime of hurt and pain. He felt hate at the world for taking his one chance at happiness. He hated his father, Bill Scully Jr., Captain Scully, and Ryan O'Malley for taking a bath with his Dana. He hated that she wasn't 'his' Dana anymore. He hated himself for not going after what were his-Dana and their child. He especially hated Phoebe for trying to seduce him, and hold a baby before him like a carrot before a rabbit. The one thing he hated the most was his lack of control over anything. It was in this moment that he realized he had control of Phoebe right then. He slapped her across the face, and pushed her down to her knees.

"You fucking bitch! You want Fox Mulder? Take him, and don't even think of biting." He unzipped his pants and pulled out his semi-erect cock. Grabbing her by the back of the head, he shoved it in her mouth. Phoebe looked up at him with desire in her eyes. This was a complete turn on for her. Fox began thrusting in and out of her mouth trying to get fully aroused. Phoebe managed to pull back enough to speak. "You seem to be having a little problem there Foxy." Fox grabbed her hair, and pulled her back to his cock. "Deal with it cunt!" He slapped her again. He was thrusting so hard, he almost choked her. With one final thrust he gave a primal scream and came. Phoebe barely had time to recover until he was hard again. She began to suck him again, but Fox pulled her up to face him. Phoebe bent in to kiss him, and snaked her tongue between his lips. Fox bit down on her tongue, drawing blood. Phoebe gasped in surprise. Fox pulled back.

"Not so fast you cunt. I'm not done with you yet." He could feel the rage building in him again. He ripped the front of her blouse open, and tore her bra off. Visciously he bit her breast then yanked her pants and panties off. Phoebe was wet with anticipation.

"You want me, don't you Phoebe?" She nodded and licked her lips in anticipation. Fox laughed.

"Bend over and put your hands on the tomb bitch." Phoebe willingly complied.

"I never figured you for a doggie-style kind of man Fox." Fox gripped the cheeks of her ass, and pulled them apart.

"You know what Phoebe? I'm not!" With that he rammed his cock into her ass. Phoebe tightened around him, and moaned.

"Yes Fox. Oh God." Fox pulled her hair back and bit her shoulder, as he pumped in and out of her.

"Don't ever call me Fox again." He was pumping in and out with ease, and vaguely he wondered about that. He was surprised that she seemed to be enjoying it. *It figures this cunt would enjoy this. I can't even degrade her right. * Fox reached around and squeezed her swollen numb, with what was meant to be painful force. At his touch, Phoebe tightened around him causing him to come. Feeling him empty into her, pushed Phoebe over the edge with her own climax. They fell on top of the tomb, and Fox pulled out of her. It began to rain as they lay there. *How appropriate. Maybe the rain will wash away my 'sin.'* He helped Phoebe get dressed, and then offered to walk her home. She knew he felt guilty, so she played on it, asking to come home with him. Reluctantly he agreed.

When they got there he went straight to the shower. It was just after two a.m., and all he wanted to do was forget the entire day.


O'Malley House

Ryan, Dana, and the baby had been home for almost an hour. "Ryan, how is she doing?" Ryan shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. Ever since the doctor spoke to us, she's been quiet. All she's done is hold Sarah. Can you talk to her?" Missy knelt by her sister. "How about I take Sarah, and you go lie down?" Missy cringed inside at the look of sadness in her sister's eyes.

"Missy, I-I need to call Fox. He has a right to know. Will you give me the number?" Missy wasn't sure what to do.

"Dana-."

"It's his child. He may want to see her." Missy looked at her watch.

"It's-after two a.m. in Oxford! Why don't you call him tomorrow?" Dana shook her head. Missy gave her the number, and held her breath. Dana went in the bedroom to make the call.


Oxford, England

Phoebe sat on the couch waiting for Fox to finish his shower. The phone rang twice before Phoebe decided to answer it.

"Hello?" Dana was stunned to hear a female voice answer.

"Is this Fox Mulder's residence?" The voice was distinctly American.

"Yes it is. Foxy's in the shower. Can I give him a message?" Dana had to know whom she was talking to.

"Why, it's Phoebe of course. And who are you?" Dana felt sick. Her worst fear was coming true. Quickly, she hung-up. Phoebe had an idea who the caller was, but decided it didn't really matter.


San Francisco

Dana felt numb. Up until this point, she had held out a tiny hope he would still come for them. The practical side of her had known he wasn't coming, but she never thought he'd replace her so quickly. And especially not with 'that slut Phoebe Green.' Although she was angry with him and the situation, she decided to focus on her daughter. When she went into the living room, Ryan and Missy were waiting on her. Both refused to meet her eyes.

"Apparently Fox has moved on with his life. H-He had a woman at his apartment." She choked back a sob as she continued. "We have been replaced." Dana realized this wasn't coming as a shock to Ryan and Missy. "You-you knew! You both knew and didn't tell me! How did you know?" Neither one spoke. "Answer me dammit! If not for me then for my sick daughter." Dana finally lost the battle against her tears. Missy finally told her what she knew, and tried to console her.

Dana withdrew into herself. She took Sarah and locked them in the bedroom. Around ten o'clock Missy knocked on the door seeking entrance. "Go away Missy. I need to be alone with Sarah." Missy decided it was time to call their mother. Ryan suggested not telling her about Fox, only about Sarah. Missy made the call, and informed Ryan their mother, father, and Charlie was coming the next day. Missy went to tell Dana. Finally emerging, she asked Ryan and Missy to move the crib into the master bedroom.

"I want her close." Ryan nodded. That night in bed, Dana made a request of Ryan.

"Ryan I need to have her Christened. I've waited too long as it is now. I want Missy to be the Godmother, but I don't have anyone to be the Godfather. Do you have any ideas?" Ryan thought for a moment.

"What about Charlie? I know it's unusual, but they seem to be the best choice." Dana agreed.

"Ryan? Would you mind holding me? It's just been an overwhelming day." Ryan wrapped his arms around her, and held her all night. When she awoke the next morning, Ryan was gone. He'd left a note saying he was going to see his CO. She checked on Sarah, who as usual, was asleep. Still feeling tired, she decided to go back to bed. The next time she awoke, her mother was sitting on the bed stroking her hair.

"Mom!? Where's Sarah? Is she ok? She's probably starving!" Dana was trying to get out of bed when Mrs. Scully stopped her.

"She's fine. Your father is giving her a bottle of your breast milk right now. Ryan told us what the doctor said." She held her daughter.

"Will you send Daddy and Sarah in please?" She nodded. Captain Scully went to see his daughter. He placed a sleeping Sarah in the crib, and then sat on the edge of the bed. He was still unsure how to act around his daughter. Her letter had been harsh, but he knew there was a truth to her words. But dammit, she was his baby girl. He couldn't bare the thought of some man touching her in that way. In his eyes, she was forever a little girl in pigtails waving bye-bye as he left for the sea. Dana grabbed him and buried her head in his chest. She was on the verge of tears.

"Oh Daddy! I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for disappointing you. Can you forgive me? I really need you." Ahab stroked her hair.

"Shh. You haven't disappointed anyone. I'm proud of you, of the way you've handled yourself during this. I'm the one who is sorry. I was wrong, but I couldn't see past my anger. I love you Starbuck, and I love Sarah. We'll get through this. Together, as a family." She felt better after talking to Ahab.

Her parents stayed a week, and Dana felt that her relationship with them was back on track. Life around the house got back to some sense of normalcy. Sarah had a doctor's appointment in three weeks, and Dana held out hope that the news would be good.


Oxford, England The Morning After

Fox was awakened to the sight of a nude Phoebe standing before him. He quickly averted his eyes.

"Why Foxy, first you don't come to bed, now you won't look at me. That could hurt me, you know. So you better do something about that." Fox turned completely away from her.

"Phoebe, I'm sorry about last night. I should not have done that. I was hurt and angry. I don't want a relationship with you. Let's just take it for what it was- a youthful indiscretion. Please leave. I'll give you money for car fare." As he reached for his wallet, Phoebe was already getting dressed.

"Don't bother Fox. I'm not your whore. Call me when you're ready to quit being a monk." She left his apartment quietly. As she walked down the street she had one thought on her mind. *One day Fox, one day. *

Fox threw himself into his studies, making up for lost time. He completed his project in three weeks, but continued studying at an obsessive rate. Dana and the baby were never far from his thoughts, but the pain gradually lessened. On the rare occasions when he felt a sexual urge, he turned to his movies.


5/7

Dr. Hagood's Office San Francisco

"Mrs. O'Malley, I'm sorry, but Sarah's heart is not getting better. The murmur is due to a defective aortic valve. The latest test show the left chamber of the heart is dying. Her best bet is a heart transplant. I've already added her name to the registry, and I'll increase her meds, but I am not optimistic. I'm sorry." Dana was stunned. She'd come to the appointment alone, because Missy had to work and Ryan was still in a Naval class. Rising to leave, she took the appointment card, and left the office. Instead of going home, she took Sarah to Fisherman's Wharf. She held Sarah close as she stared out at the water. *She's sick Fox. Real sick. I wish you were here, I wish you could see her.*

She sat there thinking until Sarah let her know it was time to eat. She waited until she got back to the car before breastfeeding. She finally got home after nine. Missy and Ryan were frantic until they saw how lost she looked. She put Sarah to bed before telling them the grim news. Dana went to be with Sarah, Ryan followed to console her, and Missy went to call their parents. Dana would remember that day for the rest of her life.


March 6, 1992 Basement of J. Edgar Hoover Building

*Stop it Dana. That was in the past. This is now. You must be controlled, precise, professional. You can do this.* She knocked on the office door and waited.

"Nobody down here but the F.B.I.'s most unwanted," called the familiar voice. Dana Scully stepped through the door to face the man she hadn't seen in almost eleven years. He had changed her life then, would he change her life now?

"Agent Mulder? I'm Dana Scully, your new partner." She extended her hand to him, and he shook it. Even after all these years, his touch was electric. He regarded her a moment before he spoke.

"Agent 'Scully?'....Or is it Agent 'O'Malley'?" He took in her expressionless face, and gauged her reaction. To the casual observer, it would seem she didn't give one; but he read the surprise in her eyes. She coolly replied, "Scully. Ryan and I had the marriage annulled." Mulder nodded slowly.

"I see. So, tell me, how's 'my' daughter?" Scully stifled a gasp. *How the hell does he know that? Focus Dana. Be calm. *

"I wasn't aware you had a daughter Agent Mulder."

*Bitch. * Mulder's anger was beginning to rise. "You know damn well I have a daughter! Now where is she? I deserve to know."

*Don't let him do this to you Dana. Ignore him. * "Do you have a case for us Agent Mulder?" He could see he wasn't getting anywhere, so he let it drop.

"Mulder. Just call me Mulder. And as a matter of fact, I do have a case." Walking over to the slide projector, he began to click on pictures of teenagers with two small lesions on their backs. Mulder rattled off a theory of alien abduction, and Scully countered with possible scientific explanations. The discussion ended with him telling her to pack a bag for Oregon.

Dana went home, and took a long bubble bath. She had a cup of orange tea as she soaked. *God he looks better now than he did then. If possible, his lower lip has gotten fuller. And those hands. * As she remembered his touch, she began stroking herself. Slowly she moved her finger in and out of her swollen opening, increasing the speed as she remembered their last time together. She shuddered as an intense orgasm overtook her. Having come back to her senses, she dried off and got out of the tub. Looking at herself in the mirror she sighed, "Face it Dana. You want him. Still." It had been a long time since any sexual experience had given her that intense of an orgasm; and she'd done that herself. Well, with memories of him.

*You're pathetic Dana. No, I'm still in love. Don't go there. * She finished packing, and went to bed. As she drifted to sleep, her last thought was of Fox and what he was doing.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Fox Mulder's Apartment

Fox Mulder lay sprawled across his couch in nothing but his boxer's. Tossing the half-eaten piece of pizza on the coffee table, he pushed play on the vcr. The screen flickered to life as "Lethal Red Head's" began playing. Mulder's hand moved to his groing, and he began to message his cock. Having achieved a full blown erection, he pumped his hand in time with the moans on screen. His mind drifted to the last night he and Dana were together. He began to pump his hand vigorously, and came with an earth shattering orgasm. He cleaned himself and the couch off, then got in the shower. Standing under the hot water, he cried silently. Finally getting out, he returned to the couch and tried to sleep.


In the Skies Above America

The ride to the airport had been quiet, with each one stealing glances at the other. On the plane they had assigned seats together, but as soon as he could, Mulder moved to the vacant seats across the aisle. Scully was surprised that she felt a little hurt. It didn't help that she was terrified of flying. Midway through the flight they hit turbulence. Scully gripped the armrest tightly. When the plane hit an airpocket and dropped a few hundred feet, she let out a yelp. Her eyes had been tightly shut, but when she opened them, two green eyes were staring back.

"Fox? What...." Before she could finish, he admonished her.

"Mulder. I told you to call me Mulder. Never Fox." Inwardly he winced at the look of hurt that briefly flicked across her face. She refused to meet his eyes.

"Mulder what are you doing?" Touching her hand he sighed, "Just making sure you're ok."

"I'm fine Mulder." She had thought he would go back to his seat, but he didn't. Meekly she ventured. "Why not 'Fox'?" He glanced out the window.

"Fox is dead. He died a long time ago. So did Dana." They sat in silence the rest of the flight. Each lost in their thoughts. Having collected their luggage, they moved to the rental car agency to pick-up the blue Ford Taurus.

After a long day of interviewing witnesses, and exhuming 'bodies,' they returned to the motel. Scully started going through the evidence, and started her report. Mulder had gone for a jog, and asked if she wanted to join him. She'd declined because of a threatening thunderstorm. The storm came to fruition, and knocked the power out.

Dana was getting ready to take a shower by candlelight, when she noticed the small lesions on her back. Throwing on her robe, she ran to Mulder's room. As he cracked the door open, she pushed on into his room. Asking him to look at her back, she removed her robe. Mulder was a bit shocked to have her standing before him in nothing but her underwear, but looked at the marks anyway. After telling her they were mosquito bites, she collapsed into him.

*My God, she's in her underwear. I could take her right now. Stop. Down boy.* Suddenly feeling self-conscious, she put her robe back on, and turned to leave. "Wait. It's messy out there. Why don't you wait out the storm in here?"

Great. Now he thinks I'm coming on to him. Maybe...Stop. * She looked hesitant. "I won't bite. I promise." Pulling her robe around her tightly, she lay down on his bed, and he sat in the floor. He told her about undergoing regression hypnosis, and about his contacts in Washington. He also questioned her role in 'their' agenda. After denying she was a part of any agenda, they sat in silence for a few moments.

"Where is my daughter, Scully? I have a right to know." Scully steeled herself for the conversation to come.

"Why do you care? You didn't even come for us!"

"You're the one who got married! Tell me, was he good in bed?" Dana felt as though she had been slapped.

"Only because I had to!" Fox was confused. *Had to what? Sleep with him? Did he force her?*

"Did he force himself on you?" Scully had an epiphany at that moment.

"You honestly think I married him out of love, don't you? How could you be so stupid? How could you ever doubt my love for you?" He was really confused now.

"You married him for christsake! If not for love, then why?!"

"I was going to turn eighteen before she was born. I was no longer a Naval dependant, which meant no healthcare. I was seventeen, what the hell was I to do? My father arranged the 'marriage,' and threatened to have you thrown in jail if I went to you! I didn't have the support of my parents, so you tell me what you would have done." Fox sat stunned. He'd never imagined all of that.

"I'm...sorry. I had no idea. So you never loved him?" She sighed.

"No. I-I was waiting for you. Ryan knew I was going to leave as soon as the baby was born. Not that it mattered, you never came. Speaking of which, how did you know I had a girl? Your 'connections' find that out for you, when you learned I was to be your partner?" Mulder was getting angry.

"You know damn well I came! Or did you think the hospital gave all the babies a stuffed silver fox?" This took Dana by surprise.

"What silver fox? There was no silver fox in her crib. And if you came, why didn't I see you?" Mulder began to realize what had happened. Letting out a breath, he chewed on his lower lip. He sat on the bed and turned to face her.

"I got to the hospital around eleven the night she was born. I stopped by the nursery first, looking for baby Scully. Of course there wasn't one, only a baby O'Malley. That's when the welcoming party of Bill Scully Jr. appeared. He said you were happily married, and didn't want to see me."

"You believed him? Without talking to me?" She was outraged.

"No. I slept in the car, and came back in the morning to see you. You were asleep, so I went to meet my daughter. I held her, kissed her, and gave her the stuffed fox. I went back to your room, but Ryan was there. I heard you talking to him. He was saying she was beautiful like you, that he loved her, and you were saying you didn't know what you would have done without him. So I left. I couldn't hear more."

"Well, if you had stuck around, you'd have heard him say he'd miss us when we left!" Fox put his head in his hands.

"How could I be so stupid? I've missed almost eleven years of my daughter's life, because I was stupid. Please let me see her." Dana was trying to process this information. *He came for us. Wait until I get my hands on Bill. I still have to tell him. Give me strength.*

"Mulder? Uhm...You, you haven't missed out on her life. I mean..." He was looking at her bowed head, and realized she was trembling.

"Scully?" He placed his hands on hers. "What is it? I know you didn't put her up for adoption, I used my contacts to check. Is-is she with your parents or family? I mean, you didn't give her to Bill Jr. did you?" She shook her head vigorously.

"Oh Mulder, she, well she...." Mulder was uneasy.

"Scully just tell me!"

Her words came out in a rush, "You can't see her because she's dead." She looked at Mulder whose face had gone pale. He could see the unshed tears in her eyes, but was too numb to offer comfort.

"Wh-what," before he could finish the phone rang. Running on autopilot, he answered it. Scully used the moment to compose herself for the inevitable conversation ahead.

"Scully, one of the kids is missing. We have to go."

*Thank God. A reprieve. * She went to dress, and then they went to the woods. After finding the kids, they headed back to the motel, only to find their rooms in flames. Realizing all of their evidence was lost, they settled into new rooms for the night. With the X-File pretty much closed, they would be leaving the next morning.

The drive to the airport, and subsequent flight home was silent. It wasn't until he was driving her home that he spoke. "Uh, Scully, could we talk somewhere?" She was looking out the window.

"Ok." She was still looking out the window as she answered. As he pulled into the coffee shop she shook her head. "Not in a public place. I mean not in a coffee shop, ok?" Pulling the car back into traffic, he headed for the waterfront. They sat on a bench overlooking the Potomac. Without preamble she started.

"She had a heart murmur caused by a defective aortic valve. They thought it would get better, but it didn't. In fact it got worse. Real fast. The tissue of the left chamber of her heart started dying, and the doctors put her on the list for a heart transplant. It wasn't like it is now. The chances for finding a donor were nil, and the meds back then weren't as good as they are now. She died at six months." Mulder took her hand in his and wiped at his tears. "Would you take me home now?" He held her hand as they walked back to the car.

He walked her to her apartment door, and stood outside for an awkward moment. "Would you like some tea or coffee? If you're not busy." He nodded and followed her inside. As she busied herself with getting the tea fixed, he resumed their conversation.

"Did she suffer?" Dana sighed as she sat next to him. "Let me tell you what happened."


Annapolis, MD
October 6, 1981

"Ryan, Missy, I'm going to breatfeed Sarah before Mom gets here, and we go shopping. I'll just be a few minutes." Dana walked into the bedroom to get Sarah. She was lying on her stomach in the baby bed. "Come on sweetie, it's time for your feeding." Dana placed a hand on her daughter's back and gasped. She felt cold. Too cold, and her fingers were turning blue. "Someone call 911! Sarah's not breathing!" Ryan rushed to call 911, and Missy raced to the bedroom. Dana was already performing CPR when Missy got there. The paramedics got there fairly quickly, and began working on Sarah. Dana went with her in the ambulance, followed by Ryan in the car, and Missy was left to wait on their mother.

Arriving at the hospital, Dana was pushed aside as they frantically worked on Sarah. After thirty minutes, they finally pronounced her dead. Dana was fighting to maintain control, and asked to hold her daughter. As she sat rocking her, she whispered to her daughter.

"I love you Sarah. You mean more to me than anything in the world, even your daddy. I wish you could have met him. Where- ever he is, I know he loves you. Oh Sarah, please come back. You haven't lived long enough baby. You're too tiny. Don't leave me. Not yet. Please," Dana knew her plea was futile, but begged anyway. Still fighting to maintain control, she swiped at the one errant tear falling down her face. The nurse came in to take Sarah from Dana.

"Mrs. O'Malley, we really need to get her to the morgue. I'm sorry." The nurse reached for the baby, and Dana stopped her. "Do you have a blanket I could wrap her in? I-I don't want her to get cold." The nurse nodded, and went to retrieve a blanket. Dana lay Sarah down, and swaddled her in the soft pink baby blanket. She kissed her on the forehead, and then handed her to the nurse. Dana was numb as she walked out to the waiting area. Seeing her family she merely shook her head. Mrs. Scully moved to comfort her daughter, but Dana stepped away.

"Can someone call Father McCue? Mom, please? Missy I'll need for you to speak with my professors tomorrow, and let them know what is going on. Ryan, I want you to check on getting a plot at Old Grey Cemetery. Daddy, could you please call funeral services on base. I want to use them. Tell them I'll be down tomorrow morning to pick everything out. And ask them to keep her wrapped in the blanket. I don't want her to get cold, ok? I don't want to leave her alone, and I need to go home and take care of some stuff. Will you wait here until they pick her up Charlie? Ok, everybody?"

They all stared at her before beginning to tackle the tasks at hand. Missy took Dana home. When she walked into the bedroom, she shut and locked the door. She sat going through Sarah's things, trying to decide what to bury her in. She chose a mint green knit suit, with matching bonnet and shoes. Missy was knocking on the door, trying to get in. Dana slowly made her way to the door and opened it. "Dana are you alright?" As if running on auto-pilot she answered, "I need to iron this for her, ok?" Dana moved passed her sister to go iron the suit. Eventually members of the family came straggling in, and Dana went to bed. The funeral was held two days later. Dana was still running on autopilot as she said a final good-bye to her daughter. She would be for awhile.


Dana Scully's Apartment

Dana had moved in front of her window sometime during the conversation. She was looking out the window, but not really seeing anything. She felt Mulder's arms encircle her from behind. He buried his face in her shoulder. Dana could feel the wetness of his tears through her shirt, and the slight tremble in his body. She turned in his arms and held him.

"I'm so sorry. If I'd been stronger, I could have been with both of you. You shouldn't have had to go through that all-alone. Please forgive me, I was stupid." He was holding her so tight it hurt.

"Mulder please. I can't breathe. Lets go sit down." As they settled on the couch, he put his head in her lap. He fell asleep to the feel of her fingers in his hair. Scully was to wired to sleep. She thought back over the last few hours, and tried to process everything.

*Lets see: He came for us, but Bill lied to him. And stole Sarah's fox. Idiot. He overheard part of a conversation, and jumped to the wrong conclusion. He actually thought I married for love. Well, if this isn't screwed up. Of course, he could have stood up to Bill, and confronted me before running off half-cocked. And let's not forget Phoebe. Where did she fit in all of this? Oh hell. Well the first thing I'm going to do is deball Bill. Actually, I need to talk to Mom first, then get out my scalpel. *

Easing out from under Mulder, she covered him with an afghan, and went to call her mother.

The next morning Fox awoke with a severe crick in his neck, and not quite sure where he was. Rubbing his neck, he sat up and remembered the night before. "Scully? Scully, you here?" He tiptoed to her bed and peeked in. The bed was made, so he knocked on the bathroom door. Still no answer. Moving to the kitchen, he found a note on the fridge.

"Mulder, have something important to do today. Won't be in the office at all. Towels are in the closet. I laid you out a disposable razor. Sorry, but Lady Daisy's are all I have. Make yourself at home. See you tomorrow, Dana."

*Ohhhhkaaaaay. Just what kind of errand does she have? Probably just trying to avoid me. * With those thoughts, he went to shower.


Scully House

"Now Dana, what's so important you called me after midnight? And why didn't you want your father here?" They sat down at the kitchen table, and Dana told her mother everything. "You mean your brother did that? If he were here, I'd put him over my knee. To think he caused you both so much pain. And poor little Sarah deprived of her father. How's Fox taking all of this?" Taking a drink of coffee, she started, "I left him asleep at my apartment." Dana didn't realize what it sounded like, until she saw her mother's raised eyebrow. "On the couch Mom." Mrs. Scully gave her an innocent smile. "I wasn't implying anything." Dana rolled her eyes. "But since you brought it up, why not? I know you still love him. I see it in your eyes."

Suddenly feeling uncomfortable, Dana stood to leave. "Will you please tell Ahab? I have another errand to run." She quickly left the house. Dana was lost in thought as she passed through the gates of the cemetery. She didn't come here often, but she could have made the drive in her sleep. She parked the car, and made her way to the tiny above ground tombstone. It was black marble stone with a small statue of St. Jude adorning the top of the stone. She sat down next to the grave, and leaned her head against the stone. "Sarah, mommy's here. I'm right here baby." Dana shut her eyes and thought back on those six short months, she gently sang "Hush Little Baby." After a couple of hours she collected herself, and left the cemetary. When she finally got home that night, there was a message from her father and Mulder.

"Starbuck? This is Ahab. Your mother just told me. I'm sorry. I-I'm going to speak to your brother. I'll handle this. Bye." *You better hope you get to him before I do. *

"Scully? Scully, it's Mulder, pick-up if you're there. Look, uhm...just call me. Please?" *Not tonight Mulder.*

Going to the kitchen, she pulled out her bottle of Irish Whiskey, and downed two slugs quickly. She then turned off her phones and answering machine, and climbed into bed. When sleep finally came, she had the dream again. It was the one she always had after visiting the grave. Sarah was calling out to her, but someone was taking her away. Dana would chase the figure down, but when she caught up to them, the baby was gone. Usually, she never saw the figure's face, but tonight she did. It was Mulder. Dana jerked awake with a gasp. Catching her breath, she went to the bathroom. She tried to go back to sleep, but that was useless. It was just after three a.m., and she decided to call Mulder.

"H-Hello?" Mulder was slightly out of breath when he answered.

"Mulder, It's me. I hope I didn't wake you?"

"No. Not at all." In the background a loud moan echoed.

"I didn't realize you were...uh...busy. I'll let you go."

"NO! That's the ah...TV. Let me turn it off." Mulder searched around for the remote, finding it under the couch. He quickly silenced "The Big Easy Blonde," but not before several loud moans and screams filled the room.

*What the hell is that? * "Mulder? Just what are you watching?"

"A...uhm, a...Oh it's a documentary on wild animal sounds. You know lions, tigers, and elephants. Stuff like that." *Smooth Mulder. *

"Right. Anyway, you called?" He wondered if she had just gotten home.

"Uh yeah. Just get home?" He felt panicked as he realized she might have had a date.

"N- well, a little bit ago. Did you need something?"

"I just wanted to make sure you were-uh-coming in tomorrow. You know, since you weren't in today. Nothing's wrong I hope?"

*I just had a nightmare you stole my daughter. She was his daughter too. Shut-up. * "Just had some personal things to do today. I guess I'll let you get back to your documentary." She hung-up and thought about Fox. *Mulder* she reminded herself. She rolled over, and tried to go back to sleep.

Mulder looked down at his now limp dick and sighed. He vaguely considered starting over, but gave up. It just seemed hollow, and he was distracted that she'd been out until three a.m. He brooded over the idea of her with another man the rest of the night.

Next Morning Basement Office

Scully immediately went for the coffeepot upon entering the office the next morning. "Good morning Agent Scully. Nice to see you could join us." Mulder recognized the harshness of his words, but dammitt, he was angry. How dare she go out with another man! She was his. *Get a grip Mulder. She hasn't been yours for a while now. You gave her up. But you'd like to change that, wouldn't you?* Staring at her butt as she bent over the filing cabinet, he had decidedly unpure thoughts. *Down Boy. * "Well Scully, there isn't a new case for us just yet, so I thought we could catch up on paperwork." She nodded.

"Sounds fine to me." *Even if it's YOUR paperwork that needs catching up. *

They spent the next three days plowing through paperwork quietly, until finally it was Friday. Mulder had finally snapped out of his pity-party, and decided to reclaim what was his. Figuratively speaking of course.

"Uh, Scully?" Before he could ask her out to dinner, the phone rang. "Hello? Just a moment. Scully?" He handed her the phone. *A man is calling her. Probably the same one she was with last night. Damn. Bet he wouldn't abandon her Mulder, not while she's pregnant. It was all a misunderstanding! Keep telling yourself that. * Mulder seriously hated the voice in his head.

"Hello? Hi! How are you? Really? How about I fix you dinner, around eight? Great, see you then." She hung-up and turned to Mulder. "I'm sorry Mulder. Were you about to ask me something?"

"Yeah, do you have any-ah-paperclips?" She eyed him strangely before tossing a box of paperclips on his desk. *Real smooth ass wipe. I wonder what she's cooking for 'Romeo?'* He recalled the time she had fixed him Irish Stew. She had cooked for 'him.' "So, Scully, any big plans for the weekend?" She was bent over her paperwork when she answered.

"Just having a friend over for dinner tonight. What about you?"

"Me? No, nothing major. So, whatcha fixing for dinner?"

"Oh, just some Irish stew." Mulder, who had been leaning back in his chair, fell over.

"Ouch! Damn!" Scully went to help him up, but he jerked away from her. "I can do it! Leave me alone." Scully was shocked and hurt by his words. *Way to go big guy. Haven't you hurt her enough? You get her pregnant, let her brother intimidate you, abandon her and your child, and then said child dies.* It dawned on him that he didn't even know his daughter's name. "Scully, what was her name?" His voice was a hoarse whisper. She jerked her head up and saw her pain mirrored in his eyes.

"Sarah. Sarah Grace." He repeated her words with one exception.

"Sarah Grace O'Malley." He was deep in thought, and almost missed her next words.

"Mulder-O'Malley." At his confused expression she repeated, "Sarah Grace Mulder-O'Malley." Mulder absently nodded. Dana had to get out of the office.

"It's almost five, so I'm going to leave now." As she was about to leave, she stopped at the door. "Mulder, I-I kept some of her things, if you'd like to see them sometime." He was surprised.

"Really? When?" She considered it for a moment.

"I can't tonight, but how about tomorrow night?" He nodded, and she left.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Mulder got home around seven and changed into his running clothes. He had too much energy, and started to bounce a basketball. As he walked and bounced, one person stayed on his mind-Scully. Glancing at the clock he saw that it was seven thirty. Tossing the ball aside, he hurried out the door heading toward Scully's. The jog to her apartment building didn't take too long, and he got there a few minutes before seven. He was busy trying to look non-descript while casing the building out. A car pulled up in front of her building, and a man of medium build got out and headed up the steps. He was carrying a boquet of pink roses. *That must be 'Romeo.' Certainly All-American looking. Kinda short though, I could take him. Easily. Get real, this is Scully, not some fight on the playground.* He turned and jogged back to his apartment.

He considered calling her around mid-night, but thought better of it. His mind was assailed by visions of her in'Romeo's' arms. Her making love to him, writhing under him, calling out his name in ecstasy, and cuddling with him afterwards. "Damn!" Checking the time, he saw that it was after two a.m. Scooping up his keys, he headed out the door. *I'll just drive by there. Make sure she's ok. Come on Mulder, you just want to know if he's still there. She might need my help. Wrong! She needed you eleven years ago, and where were you? Loser. *

As he drove passed the building, he noticed 'Romeo's' car was still there, and there were no lights on in her apartment. "Fuck!" He hit the steering wheel, and sped away. He eventually wound up in a seedier part of Arlington. Finding the first prostitute he could, he pulled over. She was a tall leggy blond. "Whatcha need sugar?," she purred through the open window. "I need to fuck your lights out. Get in." She hesitated. "Look, I have money. If you're willing, let's go." She got in the car, and he pulled away from the curb. "Do you have a place for us to go, or will we need a room?" He considered taking her back to his place, but decided against that. "We'll get a room. Do you have condoms?" She nodded and directed him to the Lancelot Motor Court.

Once in the room, which they'd gotten at a special rate because she was a 'regular,' he allowed her to undress him. He promptly stripped her, and devoured her mouth. She tasted of stale coffee and cigarettes, but he didn't care. She reached down to cup him, and gave a squeeze. Mulder stood waiting for the blood to rush to his groin. Nothing happened. Somewhat embarrassed, he mumbled, "Give me a minute." He began to stroke himself. After a few minutes with nothing happening, he pulled back. "Damn! Could you suck it?" She shrugged and got on her knees. "You're paying." She began to suckle him into a pretty good size erection. "Put the condom on me." She complied, and moved him to the bed. He was still hard, but as he went to enter her, he lost the erection. After a few more attempts, he swore in frustration. "Just suck the damn thing, ok?" She went to work, and he had a mild orgasm. Quickly cleaning himself off, he gave her a ride back o her 'corner.' As she went to get out, she spoke to him, "Go to her. Whoever she is, she can help you take care of your problem." Mulder barely nodded, and pulled into traffic.

He went straight to the shower when he got home, and stood under the hot water, until it ran cold. He collapsed on his couch, and went to sleep.

Scull was awakened to the sound of a ringing telephone at seven a.m. The phone was answered in the kitchen. "Hello?" Mulder felt sick to his stomach. In a cold voice he responded, "Agent Scully please."

"Let me see if she's awake yet." He walked to her room. "Dana? The phone's for you." She picked up.

"Hello?"

"Scully, it's Mulder. I'm going to be out today, but wanted to make sure we were still on for tonight?"

"Of course. Why don't you stop by around seven?"

"See you then." He hung-up and tried not to think about the man in her apartment.


"I take it that was Mulder?" Dana was a bit surprised.

"Yes. How'd you know?" He shrugged.

"Call it guys intuition. How is he these days?" Dana considered for a moment.

"He's...Mulder. He's coming over tonight to go through Sarah's things. Which reminds me, Mom and Ahab are expecting us for dinner tonight. Mom is dying to see you. Ahab too." He laughed.

"Your mom maybe, your dad never. I think it crushed him to find out I was gay." Dana laughed.

"He doesn't hate you Ryan, it was just a shock. Speaking of which, how is Zane? With everything last night, I forgot to ask about him." Ryan smiled, "He's fine. His ship docks in a week, and then we each have a year of enlistment left. After that, we're getting out and moving back to San Francisco. Settling down. What about you and 'Mulder'?" She shifted uncomfortably. "He's my partner, and I like to think my friend, but that's all." Ryan looked doubtful.

"And a former lover, father of Sarah, and the only man you will ever love. If you'll admit it to yourself." Her voice was a warning.

"Ryan."

"What? Just admit it. Dana, you are a one timer. One man for you, one lover. You've been alone for too long, give into love. It won't make you look weak." Dana was annoyed.

"Just what makes 'you' so sure he's been my only lover? After all, it's been over ten years. I'm not a saint you know."

Ryan chuckled. "Same old Dana. Always have to be in control. Remember whom your talking to. 'I' know you are no saint, remember?" Dana blushed. "But, I also know how you are, and what you are willing to give of yourself. Remember Jack, and Ethan, and that other guy. Jake? Yes, Jake." He looked at her expectantly. "Let's just go to the zoo, ok?" She wanted to wipe that smirk off of his face.


Mulder spent the day going over the files for their next case. At least that's what he told himself he was doing. In reality he was far away. *What were you think last night? A prostitute? You are in serious trouble. I wonder what they're doing right now? It's going to be a long day.* Giving up on the files, he turned on the television, idly flipping channels. He finally settled on some basketball game. After the game, he glanced at the clock. It was a couple of minutes before six o'clock. *Time to get ready Mulder.* He showered, shaved, and finally got dressed. He'd changed clothes eight times. He decided that since it was still chilly for late March, he could get by with a black turtleneck, and tight jeans. Besides, he looked good in black.

He arrived just before seven and decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator. If he'd taken the elevator, he'd have bumped right into Ryan. He wondered if 'Romeo' would be with Scully. He decided probably not because this was a personal thing, and Scully was certainly private. He knocked on the door. His mouth gaped at the sight before him. She was wearing a simple sapphire blue dress that hit just above the knee, and matching pumps. God was she hot. Mulder seriously considered grabbing her and taking her to bed right then. Ohhh, that mouth!

Dana was having some very un-partnerly thoughts of her own. They mainly included ripping that black turtleneck off his body, and impaling herself on his cock. The thought sent a shiver down her spine. She finally found her voice. "Come in Mulder." As he stepped inside his eyes fell on a large box on the coffee table.

"Is that her stuff?" Dana could only nod.

"Look, I have dinner plans tonight, so just make yourself at home. I'll probably be late, so just lock-up after you leave. I'll call you tomorrow. I have somebody special I want you to meet, so keep dinner free, ok?" Mulder nodded. She gently kissed him on the cheek, and left. Mulder went to the window to watch her leave, and was furious when he saw her get in the car with 'Romeo.'

"Son-of-a-Bitch! Fuck! That's who she's going to introduce me to." He managed to compose himself, and sat on the couch. He opened the box and began learning about his daughter. He marveled at the tiny size of her sleepers. He particularly found a white terry cloth sleeper with a collar trimmed in mint green appealing. He held the garment under his nose, and could faintly smell the sweet baby scent. It comforted him. He looked through the photo album of Sarah's life, and Dana's pregnancy. She had documented each week of her pregnancy with pictures. He thought she was beautiful with her round belly, and his heart ached that he wasn't there while she was pregnant. His heart nearly stopped as he came to the last photo in the book. It was turned over, and as he flipped it; he knew why. It was Sarah in a coffin. He choked back a sob at her still form. He closed the photo album, and put it back in the box. He pulled out something that looked like a journal. He settled back and started reading. As he read the first entry, he was over come with emotion. He couldn't believe Scully cared enough to keep a journal for his benefit. Her words were so real, he felt like he'd been there. He continued to read, and was thankful she had recorded all of the important moments. It also filled him with great sorrow. Tears spilled down his face as he realized just how much she must have loved him.

On especially difficult passage was where she talked of having more children with him. *I love this woman. If she'll have me, I'm hers. I had to have hurt her terribly. Never again.* He expected the journal to end with Sarah's birth, but found that it continued throughout her life.

Dear Fox, April 3, 1981

Yesterday I gave birth to our daughter. She is so tiny, and perfect. Well, she does have a heart mur- mur, but the doctor's assure me it won't cause problems. She has little red fuzz for hair, and your greenish-brown eyes. She can't wait for you to get here. She sure took her time in getting here. Seventeen hours. All natural! I'm exhausted, so off to sleep I go.

Love, Dana and Baby Girl Mulder

She waited for me to come. I let them down.

********************************************

Dear Fox, April 4, 1981

We're waiting for you Fox! Please hurry. She needs a name, but I want to wait for you. She weighs 6lbs 8oz! I think she has my nose. Not that yours is ugly, but it's big, and she is little. Time to breastfeed! She eats like you!

Love, Dana and Baby Girl Mulder

I failed them. I'm such a fuck-up.

********************************************

Dear Fox, April 5, 1981

We go home today. I had to name her, so I chose Sarah Grace Mulder-O'Malley. I considered Samantha, but didn't know how you'd feel. I chose this after the little dark haired girl from your ice cream route. You said she reminded you of Sam, so I thought it was close.

Love,

Dana and Sarah

***************************************

Dear Fox, May 16, 1981

We went for our six-week check-up. I'm fine, but Sarah's heart murmur has gotten worse. I want to believe you are still coming, but it's getting hard to believe. I still have faith though.

Love, Dana and Sarah

She still held out hope. She believed in me.

****************************************

Dear Fox, May 30, 1981

The doctor isn't hopeful for Sarah. Her heart is dying. She needs a transplant, but that's not likely. Hearts are hard to come by, especially baby hearts. I don't think you're coming, but I wish you would. She needs her daddy.

Love,

Dana and Sarah

I failed them.

**************************************

Dear Fox, August 1, 1981

Sarah's not doing well. She has trouble breathing sometimes. Ryan has been transferred to Annap- olis as an instructor. We're actually glad, because the medical facilities are better. Not to mention we'll be close to Johns Hopkins. She's a fighter Fox.

Love,

Dana and Sarah

'We're' Who's 'we're'? Her and Ryan? The Scully's? Who?

***************************************

Dear Fox, Sept. 15, 1981

They've put her on some experimental drugs to slow down the deterioration of her heart. I'm scared for her Fox. I don't think she's going to make it. You've really missed out on a lot. I'm sorry for you and her. She needs you. I need you. Dad just got new orders. He's stationed here in Annapolis. I have Mom, Missy, Charlie, and Ryan to lean on if I need to. Missy and I are enrolled at the U of Maryland now.

Love, Dana and Sarah

I should have been there for her.

****************************************

Dear Fox, Oct. 6, 1981

Tonight our daughter died. Her heart just gave out. I tried to do CPR, but it didn't work. I really tried. I don't think she suffered. I have to go pick out something to bury her in.

Love, Dana

My God.

****************************************

Dear Fox, Oct. 8, 1981

I buried our daughter today. She wore a mint green knit suit. She was so small. I said good-bye for you. I don't think I'll be writing to you anymore.

Good-bye,

Dana

***************************************

Mulder was sobbing. He physically hurt from the pain her words inflicted. He lay down on the couch clutching the journal, and cried himself to sleep.


Scully's Apartment 1:00 A.M.

Scully fumbled with her keys before getting the door unlocked. "Thanks for the coffee, Ryan. And the talk. I'll speak to him tomorrow. I asked him to have dinner with us tomorrow night. I want him to meet you." Ryan noticed the body asleep on the couch. "Dana, I think you have another guest," he said pointing at Mulder's prone body. Dana knelt to look at him, and noticed the tear tracks down his face. She also noticed the death grip he had on the journal. Her heart broke. She pushed the unruly lock of hair off of his forehead, and kissed his lips gently. Mulder didn't stir, so she covered him with an afghan. "Let's go to bed Ryan."

Ryan and Dana lay in bed talking for a long time. "You know, Mulder should be in here, and me on the couch."

"You are impossible! Besides, maybe I like sleeping with you. Well, every now and then. Seriously, thanks for everything. You've helped me see that I do still have feelings for Mulder. And, I think he still has feelings for me."

"Oh really? I'd never guess the two of you were hung-up on each other. You'll talk to him tomorrow, and all will be right in the universe. That in mind, could I have the honor of holding my former wife on last night."

"What makes you think this is the last time? You're in town for another week and a half."

"If all goes well with Mulder, I assume he'll be sleeping here. I really don't think he'll want to share!"

Dana giggled, "You're probably right. But Ryan, I'm scared of....you know. What if I can't? What's he going to think?"

Ryan wrapped her in his embrace. "He'll wait. He'd do anything for you, and he'll understand your fears, and where they come from. He is a psychologist after all. Now go to sleep."


6/7

he rubbed his neck. *I've gotta quit sleeping on her couch. * He wasn't sure what had awakened him, but was glad something had. Stretching, he thought about what he was going to do. Rehearsing what he was going to say, he paused outside her bedroom door. Mulder awakened to a familiar crick in his neck, and an ache in his fingers. He realized he was still holding the journal. Sitting up Tentatively he pushed the door open, to reveal a still sleeping Scully. Scully amidst rumpled sheets that revealed a great amount of upper thigh. He paused to look at her. *Maybe I'll get lucky!* He knelt by the bed and pushed an errent lock of hair off of her face. She stirred and opened her eyes. She gave him her "Mona Lisa" smile. Mulder smiled back, and touched her face.

"Good morning."

She rolled more on her side and greeted him, "Morning Mulder."

Mulder began nervously, "I've got something to tell you, Dana. I really appreciate your letting me see Sarah's things. I only wish I could have been there for you. And her. I let my own stupidity, and insecurities misguide me. I don't know if you can ever forgive me, but if you can and will, then I'd like to try again. Please." Scully saw the raw emotion in his eyes, and her heart leapt. She was ready to declare her love for him right there.

She took his hand and kissed the tips of his fingers. "Mulder, I-."

"Dana, did you wash my boxers...." Ryan stopped mid-sentence as he stood in the doorway of the bedroom wearing only a towel. Mulder, who was now standing, looked from Ryan to Scully, and back again. *'Romeo' spent the night here. In her bed. She was screwing him with me asleep on the couch! I just made the biggest fool out of myself.*

"I'm sorry, 'Scully', I didn't realize you had a playmate. Forget what I just said. You've obviously moved on, as should I. Oh, thanks for leaving me to go through my daughter's things last night, while you were sneaking around with 'Romeo' here. Don't worry though, I didn't hear anything. I'll leave you two to resume fucking. I'll see you at the office tomorrow 'Agent' Scully." Venom dripped from his words. Mulder pushed by Ryan, and stalked down the hall. Scully hurried to get out of bed.

"Mulder wait! It's not li-." Before she even got to the living room the door shut with a resounding thud. Ryan, who'd gone to get dressed, found Dana slumped against the door. "I have lousy timing, don't I?" Dana gave a sad smile. "Yes you do. I'll give him time to cool off, and then call him." Ryan gave her a reassuring hug.


*Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! You're just a piece of shit Mulder. She doesn't belong to you, never could have been yours. You just made a very big ass out of yourself. Just be happy for her and let her go. Shut-up.* Mulder drove to the "Headless Woman Pub," which had just opened, and occupied a barstool for the rest of the day. He did shots of tequila, and then whiskey with beer as a chaser. His intentions were to get slobbering drunk, and he was well on his way to accomplishing that. So close was he that the bartender cut him off, and called a cab.

Dana Scully slammed the phone down in frustration. "Damn!" She had been calling him for three hours, and had already left several messages on his machine. She was beginning to get a bit frantic. "Did it occur to you he may be screening calls?" Scully considered this. "You're probably right. I'll see him at work tomorrow. Let's go eat. They ended up in a Tai restaurant in Georgetown.

"He loves you Dana." She looked doubtful.

"I don't know Ryan. Maybe. Before you came in he said he wanted to 'try again.' I don't know what he meant. Us, a baby, what? I'm sure it's all just an emotional response to last night. I've had ten years to deal with it, he just found out. He feels guilty, that's all."

"Dana, what were you going to tell him this morning? Something about still loving him?"

Dana was annoyed, "That would have been a mistake. I'm sure of it now, more than ever. I'll just let him go on thinking we're an item."

Ryan sighed, "Why are you so afraid? Why can't you just love and be loved?" Dana waved her hand in the air dismissively. "Let it go Ryan." *You just don't understand. Love equals hurt. I loved him once, and it almost destroyed me. I loved my Sarah, and I lost her. Why bother with emotional attachments? Because you need him.* When he tried to persist, she gave him an icy glare. Ryan just shook his head.


Scully entered the office Monday morning to find a rather disheveled Mulder sitting at his desk. He didn't acknowledge her prescence, so she went about her daily tasks. Every now and then she'd chance a glance at Mulder. She noticed his eyes were bloodshot, face unshaven, and his hair was less than tidy. Finally taking pity on him, she plopped two aspirin down in front of him. He glanced up at her, and then back down at the pills. Without saying a word he scooped them up, and took them. Scully was content to let him brood. They continued to work quietly until the phone rang.

"Mulder. Just a moment." He held the phone out to Scully.

"Hello?" She was surprised to hear Ryan's voice on the other end. She was also keenly aware of Mulder's eyes on her. "Lunch sounds great. See you there." She hung-up the phone and turned to Mulder, "If there isn't anything pressing, I'm going to lunch." Mulder nodded. He watched her leave, savoring the nice view of her ass. *Yeah, the ass that's probably going to be pressed into the mattress as 'Romeo' has his way with her. On her lunch hour none the less! I'll kill him. No you won't. Obviously she's happy with him. Shut-up. * The thought of Scully being with someone besides him tore at his heart. Mulder continued to stew over Scully and 'Romeo' to the point of almost going mad. By the time she returned from lunch, his anger was at the boiling point. His imagination had gotten the best of him.

Scully breezed back into the office with a smile on her face. Lunch with Ryan had gone very well, and she was ready to talk to Mulder. Really talk. Mulder stared intensely at Scully for any tale-tell signs of sexual gratification. Taking in her good mood, he decided she was in the throes of afterglow. *Is that sick or what? You just wish it was you who'd put the smile on her face. Shut-up.* "Mulder? Hello? You there Mulder?" Mulder snapped out of his trance, and realized Scully was standing before him. "What?"

"I said, I need to talk to you. It's important. And there is still somebody I want you to meet. I thought maybe you'd be available for dinner...." Mulder jumped up and subjected Scully to a litany of callous remarks.

"You've got some nerve, 'Agent' Scully. Waltzing in here after having a 'nooner' with 'Romeo'. I thought you had more class than that. Of course, I am talking to the woman I used to do in a damn ice cream truck! Did you even bother to wash- up? You disgust me!" Scully stood dumbstruck, wanting to defend herself, but taken aback by his remarks. Mulder continued his tirade, "And one more thing; I hope to hell you're using birth control. The X-Files aren't equipped for an agent with an unplanned pregnancy." Scully felt as if she'd been sucker-punched. Her blue eyes blazed with her anger.

"Whoever I am or am not sleeping with is none of your business. It ceased to be of your concern when you abandoned your daughter for 'that slut Phoebe Green.' And you don't need to worry about my getting pregnant. That's all taken care of!" Mulder leaned into her personal space, and spoke in a cold voice, "Well, I'm glad to see you finally cut the sanctimonious bull shit, and decided you wouldn't go to hell for taking the Pill." He sneered at her, "I'm glad my daughter isn't around to se the slut her mother has become." As soon as the words left his mouth, he was deeply sorry. Scully slapped him, for of all the insults he could have hurled at her, that one cut the deepest. "You bastard! Go to hell." Mulder suddenly felt ill for the things he had said and the obvious pain they had caused her. Scully turned on her heel, and stormed out of the office. Mulder placed a hand on his stinging cheek. *What have I done?* He slumped down in his chair, and put his head in his hands.


Scully was speeding toward her apartment and trying not to cry at the same time. She parked haphazzardly, and ran into the building. Ryan was surprised to see her home so soon, but became concerned upon seeing her appearance.

"Dana? What's wrong?" Scully was violently shaking, and finally allowed herself to collapse in his arms. An hour later she was calm enough to tell him what had happened. Ryan stroked her back. *Ok Mulder, it's time you heard from me.*

Dana called her mother, who invited her over for dinner. She gladly accepted, figuring she could use the distraction. She asked Ryan to come, but he declined. She changed her clothes, washed her face, and left for her parents house.

Mulder tried to resume working after he realized she wasn't coming back, but found it to be pointless. He was overcome with guilt, and trying to figure out how to make things right with her. In frustration, he left for home.

Ryan decided to pay Mulder a visit. He went to Mulder's apartment building, and waited. Two and a half hours later he saw him enter the building. Ryan waited a while before going in. Finding Mulder's apartment number, he ascended the stairs for apartment 42. Mulder had ordered a pizza, so when he heard the knock on the door he assumed it was the pizza guy. He threw open the door, but was surprised to find 'Romeo' standing there.

"What do you want?" Ryan met Mulder's hostility with ease.

"To talk to you. About Dana." Mulder's eyes darkened, "Then we have nothing to talk about." Mulder was shutting the door when Ryan stuck his foot in the door. Mulder was surprised. "Look, you're fucking her, I'm not. She chose you. What's to talk about?" Ryan glared at Mulder. "Plenty. Now if you don't mind, I don't care to discuss this in the hall." Ryan looked at him expectantly. Mulder sighed, and allowed him to enter the apartment. "So, talk."

"Allow me to introduce myself; Ryan O'Malley." Mulder's knees almost buckled. "That's right, her ex-husband. My relationship with Dana is very special. Unique actually. We share a bond because of Sarah. See, I was there when she was born. I rocked her at night, bathed her, fed her, loved her. I couldn't have loved her more if she'd been mine. I was there for all the milestones of the pregnancy, and Sarah's life. Dana and I went through alot when Sarah was sick and dying. Basically I did everything you should have done." Catching Mulder's questioning gaze, he continued. "Mr. Mulder, Dana is an attractive woman, but you are more my type. If you get my drift. So, you see, I never had intercourse with her. Now, Mr. Mulder, let me give you one piece of advice; she loves you. You love her. Make the most of that. You've both wasted too much time as it is."

At first Mulder couldn't speak, but gaped at Ryan. Finding his voice, he spoke, "I hurt her. Just this morning. What do I do?" Ryan shook his head. "Yes, you did a number on her. How you fix that is up to you. I can't help you; but understand this, if you hurt her again, I'll hurt you." Ryan's voice was hard as steel. Mulder nodded his head. "One more thing Mr. Mulder, Dana has been true to you." Ryan walked out of the apartment.


Mulder sat down and thought about what Ryan had said. *How could I be so stupid? How do I fix this?* Mulder actually considered praying to a deity he didn't quite believe in. Deciding to let her cool off, he lay on the couch trying to plan what to do. He hadn't a clue where to start.

Dana sat in the den with her father drinking coffee. "Starbuck you're awfully quiet tonight. Everything ok?" She smiled. "Just thinking about work." *Well sort of. More like who I work with.* As if reading her mind, "How's working with Fox? Is it hard?" Dana lied, "No. I enjoy working with him. We're fine actually." Ahab nodded. "If it's ok, I'd like to spend the night? It's late and I'm tired."

"You don't have to ask Dana! Maggie, make-up Dana's old room! She's staying the night." Dana excused herself to call Ryan so he wouldn't worry. Getting no answer, she left a message on the machine. Dana felt strange, yet oddly comforted being in her old bed. She drifted off into a deep slumber, and didn't wake-up until morning. Deciding she wasn't ready to face Mulder, she went home and called in sick. Changing into her pajamas she went back to bed. She shut off the phone, and answering machine. Lying in bed, she considered requesting a transfer. However, she didn't want to look like a quitter to the higher-ups. She was also afraid it would effect her career. She tossed scenarios around in her mind, but finally gave in to sleep.

Mulder arrived in the basement office with no idea what he was going to say to her. He'd been in all of ten minutes when the phone rang. It was the A.D.'s office telling him Scully was taking a sick day. Hanging-up, he decided to give her a couple of hours and then call her.

Around lunch he reached for the phone and dialed her number. It rang and rang without being answered. He then tried paging her, but still no answer. This continued for thirty minutes, until he finally decided she wasn't going to answer. He hurried out the door rushing to her apartment. Scully was just getting out of the shower when the knocking started. Wrapping her robe around her, she looked out the peep-hole. "Go away Mulder."

"Open up Scully, I need to talk to you!"

"Just go away! I don't want to talk to you right now!" Scully went to get dressed, figuring Mulder would leave. He had stopped pounding on the door. He had his ear pressed to the door listening for Scully. He started banging again. "Dammitt Scully! Open the door!"

"If you don't go away, I'll call the police!"

"We are the police!"

"Then I'll shoot you!" Mulder didn't really believe she would shoot him, so he raised his leg and kicked the door just under the door knob. The door swung open as the lock gave way. Scully stood stunned looking at her busted door. In three strides, Mulder was standing in front of her. Without hesitation he took her face in his hands, and claimed her lips with his own. Dana was dazed at first, then tried to pull away; but Mulder finally forced her mouth open, and she kissed him back. Breaking the kiss, Mulder took in her dialated pupils, flushed cheeks, and swollen lips. She was torn from her dazed state by his deep chuckle. She jerked away. "What are you laughing at? You're the one who broke in here and forced yourself on me! By the way, you will pay for a new door." Mulder grabbed her in a hug. *God how I've missed this.*

"Scully-Dana, I'm so sorry. I've been nothing but a selfish bastard the last two weeks. No, the last ten years. I only considered my pain and anguish, and how to lessen my suffering. I never considered yours or Sarah's. I didn't stand-up to Bill because I was afraid he was right; you would be better off without me. I didn't put faith in your love for me. I failed you. Both of you. Then I thought you were sleeping with Ryan, and it tore me up. Again, I didn't have faith in you. If he hadn't come to see me last night, I'd still be being a dick. Can you forgive me? His eyes were pleading. Scully stood before him with her arms crossed over her chest, and biting on her lower lip. "So Ryan came to see you? That's the only reason you came?"

"Yes. No. Yes I came because of Ryan, but that's not the only reason. I wanted to apologize, beg for forgiveness, and to say 'I love you.' I always have. Can we try this again?" Dana was shaking her head in disbelief. "Mulder...wh-...oh Mulder." She went and sat on the couch hugging a cushion to her chest. Mulder shut the door as best he could, then joined her on the couch. They sat in silent communion for a while.

"What did you mean 'try again'? That's the second time you've said that to me. Us? A baby? What?" Mulder hadn't thought about a baby, but the idea was suddenly appealing to him. "Us. A baby. All of it, part of it, just as long as you're in my life."

"Mulder, that was a long time ago. I don't know if we can go back."

"Then let's don't. Let's move forward. We've both changed, but I still believe we were meant to be together." He looked at her hopefully. "I don't know Mulder, I need time. This is overwhelming."

"Take all the time you need, I'll be here." He got up, and Scully panicked, "You don't have to leave. That's not what I meant." Mulder smiled. "I'm going to get a new set of locks for the door. Unless, you want to stay here without any locks?"

"Oh. No, please go get them." Mulder left for the nearest Lowe's or Home Depot. Scully went to make tea. She had a feeling it was going to be a long night. An hour later Mulder returned with a bag of locks. Sheepishly Mulder answered her question, "I didn't measure the size of the lock. To save time, I bought one of every kind. *Yep, it's going to be a long night.*

Mulder was on his fourth lock when he asked, "Where's Ryan?"

"I found a note from him this morning saying he'd taken a room at the Drake. You didn't have anything to do with that did you?" Mulder, who was now on his fifth lock, replied, "Nope. I swear." Discarding lock number five, he picked up number six. Scully peered into the bag. "Mulder, you only have three locks left." In frustration, Mulder answered, "I know that Scully."

Scully sat on the couch reading a magazine. Every now and then, she'd glance in his direction. *Very long night.* In frustration, Mulder threw the last lock back into the bag, and cursed. Going into the kitchen, he brought out a dining room chair, and slid it under the old door knob. "What are you doing?"

"Lowe's is closed at this time of night, so I rigged up a lock!" Scully looked unconvinced.

"That doesn't look very secure to me."

"Well then, come stay at my place tonight. Or, I'll just stay here." Mulder looked pleased with himself. Dana went and got a blanket and pillow. "Knock yourself out Mulder. Goodnight." He stared after her retreating form. "Your couch is too small, can't we share the bed?" Dana walked back into the living room. "Then sleep on the floor, because you're not sleeping in my bed." Again he watched her retreating form, and sighed. Stretching out on the couch as best he could, he thought about the days events. *She didn't say no. She didn't yes either. She will. At least I'm on her couch. Only because you broke her door. Shut-up.* Dana was also thinking about the days events. *He's willing to take whatever I can give. What do I want to give? What can I give? I can't even fathom having another baby. He ripped my heart out last time, I won't go through that again.* Long night indeed.


Scully heard Mulder on the phone the next morning. "Thank-you."

"Who was that?"

"I called A-1 Lock Company. There sending someone over within the hour. I requested an additional dead bolt lock." At her 'Oh please' look he defended himself, "Scully, you're working with the X-Files now. Your association with me could put you at an increased level of danger. This is just to be safe."

"You are paranoid! Besides, I went through the same training as you at the academy. I can take care of myself."

"Scully, you will come to see the truth to my words. Just trust me please. Anyway, what's one more lock?"

"Fine."

"One more thing; we leave this afternoon for Idaho. Ellens Air Base. I got a tip from a good source about pilots disappearing for months, then mysteriously reappearing. With no memory of where they were, or what happened to them. Definite X-File."

"You better hope my door is fixed before we leave!" Dana turned and stormed into the bathroom. Hearing the shower start, he decided to stay. For her safety of course. After showering, a fully dressed Agent Scully entered the living room to see Mulder scrutinizing the lock guys work. "You're sure these are the best locks? I mean, I don't care to pay more for better locks."

"Buddy, these are the best there is! Now if you don't mind, I'm trying to work here." Mulder moved back a little bit, and caught Scully out of the corner of his eye. "Hey! He should be done soon. While I'm thinking of it, here is a spare key to my apartment. You never know when I might take off unexpectedly." She placed the key on her key ring. When the repairman was done, Scully gave him a key to her place. "Mulder, this is only for emergencies. I better not find you sneaking in here in the middle of the night!" Mulder saluted, "Yes Ma'am!"


Somewhere over the Midwest

"So, Scully, you and Ryan still keep in touch?" Looking up from her magazine she responded, "Yes. I see him usually once a year. He's been a good friend to me. Does that bother you?"

"Why should it? He took care of you and Sarah. He did what I should have been there to do. I'm greatful." Dana sighed.

"Will you ever stop blaming yourself? It's not your fault she died." Mulder turned to face her.

"Maybe it was. I mean, my father has heart problems. Maybe...."

"Mulder, stop it. Her heart problem wasn't genetic. It was just a rare defect; it wasn't anyones fault, ok?" He still didn't look completely convinced, but let it go. "How is your father?" Mulder shuddered at the thought of his father. Scully placed her hand on his arm and gave a compassionate squeeze.

"I-I've only seen him a handful of times since that summer. He didn't support me when I needed him, and he said some rotten things about you and our child. I couldn't tolerate that. Besides, I was tired of being a punching bag for him. I guess he's ok." Scully could feel him withdraw into himself. He was silent the rest of the plane ride.


Col. Budahas' House

On the way to Col. Budahas' house, Mulder told Scully that the case had a certain 'paranormal bouquet.' "We'll just see about that Mulder." Mrs. Budahas was waiting on them when they got to the house. She told them of the strange rash her husband had developed two years ago, and his increasingly erratic behavior. This led to him stealing a military vehicle, which landed him in a military prison. She hadn't seen her husband since the day he was taken away. She then told them of another pilot who suffered the same symptoms as her husband. She took them to Col. McLennen's house. They were mortified to see him pulling his own hair out of his head.

"Well Scully? Do you think alien abduction is such a far fetched idea now?" Scully rolled her eyes.

"Mulder, that man is suffering from a condition called stereotopy. It's a stress related condition, accompanied by obsessive- compulsive behavior. No aliens." They had been walking to their car and hadn't noticed the man approaching them.

"You two the FBI agents? My name is Paul Mossinger, and I'm a local newspaper reporter. I heard you were looking into Col. Budahas' disappearance?"

Mulder and Scully looked at each other. "We're just looking around."

"Thought maybe you two were looking for UFO's like some of the other nuts running around here." Scully was straining not to laugh.

"No, but if I was looking for UFO nuts, where would I go to find them?" Mossinger told them of the 'Flying Saucer Diner,' and pointed them in the direction of the diner.

As they were finishing up their lunch, Mulder spotted a photograph of a flying saucer. "Hey Scully, look at that!" Mulder began chatting it up to the 'photographer' of the picture, LaDonna. She was also their waitress. Scully was surprised to find herself a little bit jealous of the attention Mulder gave the older woman. She was drug from her thoughts by the sight of Mulder purchasing a copy of the photo.

"This is gonna look real good on my field report," Scully called on her way out the door. Mulder smiled at LaDonna, "She loves me!"

Getting in the car, Scully told Mulder that Ellen's Air Base wasn't listed on her map. He smiled triumphantly as he waved the map LaDonna had drawn for him in front of Scully. "See what a little flirting will get you Scully?" She snorted.


Ellen's Air Base

Mulder and Scully sat at the end of the runway that night, looking for...something. Mulder was intensely staring at the sky. Scully was intensely studying Mulder. She noticed the lines in his face that hadn't been there all those years ago; and it wasn't from aging. Scully sensed the years hadn't been particularly kind to him.

*What happened to you Mulder? Where is the gentle soul I fell in love with? I trusted you then, can I trust you now?* Scully was beginning to become aroused just looking at Mulder, but then remembered an unpleasant thought. *Phoebe Green. How could you? While I was giving birth no less!*

Mulder caught her staring, and gave her a quizzical look. Before she could answer, the area was descended upon by a military helicopter chasing two kids off the base. Mulder and Scully helped the kids escape, and then fed them. They told Mulder all about the lights in the sky and how they'd snuck into the base several times. They eventually took the kids home.


After that the investigation went down hill fast. Col. Budahas had mysteriously reappeared, but could recall nothing of how to pilot an aircraft, and his wife insisted he wasn't the same man. A car load of Men in Black had run them off the road, and politely informed them to leave town. Scully had thought they were going to leave while they still had jobs, but Mulder had taken off without her. Now he was missing.

Scully sat waiting and thinking. *Damn you Mulder! Where the hell are you? Is this what you meant by taking off unexpectedly?* Not being able to sit any longer she was up pacing; waiting, hoping, and praying. *Please God, please let him be ok. Please bring him back to me. Give us one more chance.* Scully realized that she loved Mulder just as much as she always had, and now that he was back in her life, she wasn't about to loose him again. She finally fell asleep in a chair by the window.


Somewhere at Ellen's Air Base

Mulder had been captured by the military, and was being strapped to a gurney. They where getting ready to give him a shot of something, and had placed an air mask over his face. He felt the sting of the needle, and whatever was in the syringe. *Scully! Help me! Save me like you used to with my father. Scully!* It took a few minutes for the drug to kick in, and Mulder felt something cold and slick on him. Then everything went black.


Heavenly Galaxy Inn

Scully was up early the next morning, and went to try and make a phone call. As she was returning to her room, she saw Paul Mossinger coming out of her room. Her suspicion piqued, she went for her gun, but realized she'd left it in the room. Scully and Mossinger had a brief struggle, before Scully held him at gun point. He knew where Mulder was, and she wanted him back. Alive. Believing her to be serious, Mossinger arranged for Mulder's return. At the exchange, a dazed and wobbly Mulder got in the car.

Driving back to the motel, she asked, "Mulder? What did they do to you? Did they hurt you?" Mulder couldn't get his head cleared, but did manage to hold up his right arm for her to examine. Pulling into the motel parking lot, she took a close look at the raised area on his arm. "Looks like they've injected you with something Mulder. I'll take a blood sample once we get inside." Taking a vial from her autopsy kit, she drew his blood, and checked his vitals. "Mulder? Do you want to take a shower before we leave?" He numbly nodded. "Can you manage by yourself?" Again he nodded.

She went about making reservations for them, when Mulder yelled for her. "Sc-ully! Come here!" She rushed into the bathroom to find a naked Mulder standing there.

"What? And why are you standing here naked?" *Not that I really mind.*

"My boxers are gone."

"What!?"

"My boxers are gone, and look in my jeans." Scully did, and was surprised to find some creamy white liquid in the crotch.

"What the hell?"

"Scully? Is that-you know?" *My God, what have they done to you Mulder?*

"I don't know Mulder, but I'll bag it and do some test on it when we get back. Now let me examine the rest of you for anything else. She inspected him everywhere, even his rectum.

"Is that really necessary?"

"Afraid so." She then left him to shower.


Mulder slept the entire flight home, and when they got back to D.C., she made him stay with her for a couple of days. She gave him the bed, and she took the couch. Even though they both would have preferred to be in bed together.

It had been a week since they'd returned, and Mulder was now fully recovered. The tests on his blood were inconclusive, but they tests on his jeans showed a DNA match to Mulder. The substance was positively identified as ejaculate. This sent Mulder over the edge.

"What the hell happened to me?! How'd they get my sperm?!" Mulder was now pacing the floor, and Scully was glad she hadn't shared the rest of what she found. She knew how they'd gotten that sample, but thought Mulder would blow a gasket if he knew.

"Mulder, calm down. It'll be ok, I promise. Do you trust me?" Mulder gave a half smile.

"You know you're the only one I trust. Sorry about losing it like that."

"How about I fix you dinner tonight? I want to talk to you anyway." Mulder's internal alarms went off.

"Uh-ok. Is everything ok?" Scully sighed.

"Just be at my place at seven, ok?" *This is it. She's going to dump me. Not that we actually have a relationship right now. And by the looks of it, we won't be having one.* Scully left soon after the invite to go home and cook. She had planned the night all week, and had waited for Mulder to fully recover, so he'd be coherent.


Scully went home and changed into a pair of jeans and her favorite gray sweater. She then put the Irish Stew on. She felt it would be symbolic to serve that. At exactly one minute until seven, Mulder rang her door bell. His heart leapt at the sight of Scully in casual clothing. Casual never looked so good.

"Hi Mulder, come on in." He managed to walk in and sit at the table.

"I hope you don't mind, but I fixed Irish Stew."

"I haven't had that since you last fixed it for me. Remember, the night before we...." Mulder caught himself, and immediately shut-up.

"The night before we made love for the first time. You can talk about it Mulder. It's one of my most cherished memories." She blushed slightly, as did Mulder. He was beginning to feel hopeful.

Dinner was a comfortably silent affair. Afterwards they had coffee while sitting on her couch. Mulder was getting impatient.

"Scully-"

She cut him off. "Mulder, I've been thinking about what you asked me about 'us,' and I've come to a decision. Actually, I came to a decision while we were at Ellen's Air Base. I realized how much I love you, need you, and...want you. So, what I'm trying to say is, well, if you still want me, I'd like us to try again." Mulder was overjoyed, and engulfed her in a hug. He captured her lips in a deep kiss. Their kissing continued and became more frantic. Mulder suddenly felt alive again. Other parts of him were coming to life as well. He eased Scully back on the couch, and stretched out on top of her. As soon as she felt his ever growing bulge, she broke the kiss.

"Mulder stop! I can't." A dazed Mulder was only capable of noises.

"Unh?"

"Mulder, I need to finish please. I want to take this slow. I'm not ready or able to give all of myself to you just yet. I need time. Ok?" Mulder nodded.

"I understand. Take all the time you need. I'll be here waiting, anxiously, when you're ready." Scully smiled.

"Thank-you." Mulder understood and respected her wishes, but had to at least touch her.

"Scully? I understand about wanting to take it slow, and I can live without making love to you; for a while. But could I at least hold and kiss you?" Scully eased into his embrace.

"I think that can be arranged." They sat like that until Scully fell asleep. Mulder put her to bed, and stared at her from the door. *I'll wait for you until forever Scully. I haven't had sex for this long, what's a little longer?* Mulder stretched out on the couch, and fell into a deep slumber. With a smile on his face. For Fox Mulder knew he was coming home. This time for good.

END


The entire "Coming Home" universe is now a series. Currently there are 6 stories posted and a seventh on the way. I have a "bible" for the series (for those unfamiliar with the term, most television shows have a 'bible' which contains the entire history of the show. It is used to maintain continuity within the series. For the record, the X-Files has no bible.) and the first 10 stories are already written, just not yet typed in. I like to use yellow legal pads like David E. Kelley. Now if only I could write like him. You may find the stories already archived at Xemplary, and the Annex and Pre-Excursions site. And coming soon to my own web site, www.im-not-worthy.com NO, I do NOT have self esteem issues. This is the title of my short film script about the trials and tribulations of trying to get an interview with the GOD-DESS. That'd be Gillian.

After the original post I got some really great responses to the story. I wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to all who gave their thoughts.

http://fluky.gossamer.org/author/14011-1.html Sequels


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