Title: Eloin
Author: Annette Gisby
Written:October 27, 1999

Rating: R
Category: MSR/Adventure/Alternate Universe
Archive: yes

Summary: The voices faded until there was only the sound of her heartbeat to keep her company. A sob erupted somewhere nearby. "Dana, you've got to wake up! You don't know what they'll do to you if they ever find out who you are."

"Dana, wake up," a voice clear and somehow familiar urged her back from the dark place. She struggled to open her eyes, but it was as though someone had glued them shut. They couldn't open and she faded away again. It was a nightmarish place filled with black flowers and purple grass. The sky was black with only a few stars to brighten it. She knew she had to get away, but where could she go?

The voices faded until there was only the sound of her heartbeat to keep her company. A sob erupted somewhere nearby. "Dana, you've got to wake up! You don't know what they'll do to you if they ever find out who you are."

The sobs were so violent that his shoulders shook. She could see his shoulders! She tried to talk but there was something in her throat. A tube of some kind. It was suffocating her. She tried to scream but the sound was in her mind. He couldn't hear her.

She went to that dark place again.

How could she tell how long she lay there before her eyes opened again? There was no clock in her field of vision, just white. Stark walls and ceiling. A fluorescent light shone directly above her, making her eyes hurt. Mulder was no longer there. She closed her eyes briefly. Whether it was from the pain of the light or disappointment, she didn't know.

There were footsteps, but she couldn't move her head to see who it was. Trying to talk, she felt the tube again. She gagged trying to dislodge it. A wave of nausea rose up from the pit of her stomach.

"Easy, Dana. That's the girl. We'll soon have that tube out. Just relax, everything's going to be fine."

It was a soothing voice, female and Scully felt she could trust it.

"Now I want you to blow as hard as you can while I pull."

An arm reached across her and she blew as hard as she could as the tube was pulled. It was out in a matter of seconds. It was like a long snake.

How could they ever have gotten a breathing tube down without her noticing? It was then that she noticed the silence. Previously there had been a background humming, almost like a heartbeat. Now there was nothing except her own breathing, and the woman's.

"Well, Dana, it looks like you're back with us," said the woman. "I'm Dr. Hartley," she said as Scully struggled to get up. "You just lie there Miss Scully. You're in no fit state to get up yet. I'll get someone to bring you something to eat. I bet you're hungry?" she smiled down at her. Scully didn't feel anything except confused.

"What happened?" she croaked. her throat felt as though she'd swallowed half a ton of gravel.

"You've been in a coma, Dana. Almost nine weeks. When you were attacked, you hit your head. You were unconscious before you got here. We couldn't revive you. Dr. Haroldson didn't think you would recover, but you proved him wrong, didn't you?"

Haroldson. That name sounded familiar. Where had she heard it before?

"Well, at least your legs have healed since you were in the coma. We removed the plaster last week. Lying flat on your back was probably the best thing for your legs, if not the rest of you. Right, I'll go and see about some breakfast, shall I?"

Breakfast. So it was morning. Scully heard Dr. Hartley's footsteps die away and was left to wonder on her own. Attacked? Who had attacked her? And what was this about her legs? They were fine, at least she thought they were.

She couldn't feel anything much, except an occasional twinge of pins and needles. That gradually went away and she could move her feet. The bedclothes twitched and she could feel her feet getting tangled up in them. If only she could sit up.

When she heard footsteps, she turned her head. It moved jerkily as though she was a puppet being operated by hidden strings. Dr. Hartley was coming towards her wheeling a trolley laden with food. Her face loomed over Scully.

"Now, Dana, we've got to get you sitting up. You've been lying on your back for quite some time. You'll feel rather dizzy and sick, but don't worry. It happens all the time. Just take it nice and slow."

Dr. Hartley leaned over her and grabbed her around the waist, pushing her up from behind. At first it was fine, but as soon as Scully moved her head, she wanted to throw up. She retched for ages, but nothing came out. There was just a sour taste in her mouth.

"Why don't we start with the toast," said Dr. Hartley, indicating the brown lumps on the tray. They didn't look very appetising. Scully took a nibble from the first one. It tasted better than it looked.

"Was Agent Mulder in today?" asked Scully. "I thought I saw him."

"No, he hasn't been in for two weeks. You saw him, did you?"

"Well, it was more heard than saw. He was asking me to wake up."

Somewhere in the back of her mind she could sense his urgency and a thought came unbidden. She was in danger. But from who - or what?

"Do you think you could manage some lunch today?" asked the doctor. "I'll have to tell the kitchens."

"Yes," replied Scully, having devoured the four slices of toast. She must have been hungrier than she thought.

"Okay, I'll check in on you later," said Dr. Hartley as she left. Briefly, Scully wondered what sort of hospital this was that the doctors were so concerned about her lunch. The doctor had said something about her legs. Shouldn't she have examined them or something?

There was something odd about the room and at first Scully didn't realise what it was. It was an enormous room, like an ice covered cavern, but there was only one bed. Hers. But that wasn't what was so odd. The room was bright, very bright. It was the windows. Or rather the lack of them. In a room this size, surely there would be at least one? Scully looked around her.

Everything was white. The floor, the walls, the ceiling, the door. The door? There must be a door! But no matter how hard she looked, she could find nothing that broke up the whiteness. Nothing that looked like a doorknob or hinge.

How did the doctor get in if there wasn't a door? Just as she was contemplating this, a door shaped hole appeared in the wall. Two people stood there. Mulder and Dr. Hartley.

"You know the routine," she said. "Just knock when you want out."

This sounded more like a prison than a hospital. Why were they keeping her locked up?

"I think you should leave the door open today. She needs some fresh air, said Mulder.

"That isn't hospital policy, and you know it."

"Would you like me to tell Dr. Haroldson that she's been awake and you haven't told him yet?"

"You wouldn't!"

"Just try me," said Mulder

"Okay, but just this once. But if anyone asks, I know nothing about it," Dr. Hartley walked towards the door, her shoes making clip clop noises on the floor. Scully was surprised that she was glad to see her go. She had thought of her as something as a friend, but not now that she knew. It was Dr. Hartley who had been keeping her locked up.

Mulder rushed towards the bed and hugged her.

"Scully! Thank God you're all right! How do you feel?"

Safe, that's how she felt, there in his arms, but she didn't tell him that.

"I'm still a bit woozy. As if I'm dreaming. Nothing seems quite real. Are you really here?"

"Yes, I'm here and I'll always be here for you," he paused as he looked at her, his eyes glassy with unshed tears.

"You've got to get away from here, Scully. There's danger."

"I know, I've felt it."

She had , but at the moment it was nameless, faceless and she wanted it to stay that way. Somehow that made it seem less real. But it was real all right.

She only had to look at the expression on Murder's face to see that.

"What's in the bag?" asked Scully, on seeing the sports hag he was carrying.

"A present for you." He delved into the bag and brought out an ivory lace dress, a pair of cream shoes and a cream wide brimmed hat.

"Here, put these on and then we can go. No-one will suspect that the woman who's been unconscious for nine weeks and this well dressed young lady are one and the same."

Scully stared at him for a little while, not understanding. Then she realised.

They were escaping. She could hardly escape dressed in a hospital gown, now could she? Mulder turned away before she had to ask him so that she could get dressed. The room was so large that they were far enough away from the door so no-one could see anything.

Scully slipped the dress over her head while she sat on the edge of the bed. Her feet just about reached the floor, but it was a bit disconcerting not knowing where the floor ended and the wall began. Hesitantly she edged off the bed and held onto it to steady herself. The room was doing somersaults around her. She couldn't let go of the bed to do up the buttons of her dress.

"Mulder, can you help me with the buttons, please?"

He turned around and did them so quickly and deftly that Scully thought he would have made a good ladies' maid in a previous life. Briefly she wondered how he had known her size. Even the shoes fitted her perfectly. She was feeling very wobbly and didn't want to let go of the bed.

"Can you help me to walk?" she asked him, feeling awkward that she couldn't manage herself.

"First the hat," he said and placed it reverently on her head as though it was a crown.

She let go of the bed and was rather unsteady on her feet, but Mulder was there in an instant. He put his arm through hers and they walked out the door.

They walked along corridors that were reminiscent of the room they just left. Nothing but white everywhere. Mulder seemed to know his way about. Every time she saw a white coated figure, she leaned even closer to Mulder, if that were possible. But they didn't pay any attention to them. Scully couldn't shake off the dreaded feeling that Dr. Hartley would find them and drag her bag to that room. That locked room.

Suddenly they were outside, where everything looked normal. There were extensive grounds around the hospital. Dappled sunlight filtered through the many trees and a small path led down to a miniature lake. There was a small fountain in the middle, but it wasn't working. Figures in white wheeled patients in wheelchairs or steadied those walking, with their arms, much like Mulder was doing with her. There was one thing the patients had in common. They didn't care what they were doing because they didn't know. Their faces were blank. A blankness that Scully thought might be induced by drugs.

She was right. There, at the side of the unkempt lawn was an elaborate carved sign. The gothic lettering proclaimed it to be 'Roseberry Hill.' Scully had heard of it, it was the nearest mental hospital, but what was she doing there?

"Why?" she asked out loud. Mulder seemed to know what she was talking about.

"Because it's the only place where they could keep you locked up and no one would complain. It's not as if it's a prison."

Scully stared at him. Locked doors and no windows? Did he think all prisons were metal cages?

They turned away from the sign and towards the car park She couldn't see Mulder's car there.

"Where's your car?" she asked.

"I've got a new one," he said as they stopped beside a red hatch back. "One they don't know about."

Scully didn't ask who 'they' were. She wasn't sure she wanted to know. Mulder gently let go of her arm and she leant against the car for support while he opened the doors.

She wasn't prepared for how tired she'd be. Her breath came in gasps and she felt light headed. Was she going to faint right here in the car park? Mulder pushed open the passenger door and she sank gratefully into the seat. As he drove off, he turned towards her.

"You don't look well," he said it with such concern that she felt tears welling in her eyes. Scully glanced in the rearview mirror and tried to smile.

"I look like I'm going to a wedding!"

"You are," he replied in all seriousness. "Ours."

"You're joking!" protested Scully.

"It's not a joke, Scully."

She stared at him, this man who wanted her to be his wife. Yes she liked him, yes she wanted to be with him, but was that love? Was it love when he looked at her and her knees went weak? Or was there something more, something that she wasn't aware of? She looked at his hands on the steering wheel and remembered them fastening the buttons on her dress.

Another memory came unbidden of other hands holding her down and crushing her, breaking her legs. Mulder was there again, he'd saved her. Didn't she owe him something for that, but was it marriage? Wasn't that what you did for partners? You saved each other?

"Scully. Do you trust me?"


"By marrying you I can keep you safe."

"How?" she asked, although she felt she knew the answer.

"That's the thing you'll have to trust me on." He stared out the windscreen and Scully was feeling rather like a shipwreck survivor. What could she cling to?

It was all so sudden and unexpected. No, not unexpected. A secret part of her was hoping for this. Married to Mulder! The irrational part. The rational part of her was arguing inside her head.

Are you mad, Dana? You don't seriously think that being married to him is going to make you any safer? And safe from what? There is no danger. It's your imagination.

Oh, but there was a danger, she could feel it. She didn't know who or what the danger was but she could feel as surely as she felt the sun on her face. Who could she trust? Mulder? How would she know? Would she know in a year's time? In twenty? Could you ever really know another person? It was all a matter of faith. Right now, she only had faith in Mulder.

It was him who had taken her out of that awful hospital.

"Mulder, why was I in a mental hospital if I was in a coma? It seems a strange place to be."

"You haven't been in a coma. They kept you sedated. Did you think you would have been able to get out of bed this quickly if you'd been in a coma? You're a doctor, Scully, think about it."

Scully had to admit that her seemingly rapid recovery had worried

her. But it didn't worry her as much as the knowledge that someone had deliberately kept her unconscious.

"Do you know why I was sedated?"

He stared at her and she knew that he knew, but wasn't going to tell her.

Another thing she was going to have to trust him on. That was the whole point.

Did she trust him? Could she trust him? She felt the danger was close, but it wasn't sitting in the car next to her. Mulder wasn't the danger.

She felt something else, fear and pain. Coming from Mulder? Where were all these sensations coming from?

"Look," he said. "I know this is probably a big shock for you. The marriage will be just that. We don't have to sleep together or anything. But the only way I can protect you is by becoming your husband."

Scully looked into his eyes and saw the awful truth there. How could she know something like that?

"How can you protect me," she demanded. "When you're dying?"

"How on earth...Of course. That's the reason you need protecting. And anyway I'm not dying right away. We all die. I've got leukaemia but I've been in remission for ten years. Other than that I'm healthy. I could get run over by a bus tomorrow and then it wouldn't matter."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I didn't want you to worry. But you're right, I should have told you. It's not something you should keep secret from your prospective wife. If you say no, I'll go in and call the whole thing off."

Scully hadn't realised they'd reached the car park for the City Hall.

She had been too intent on Mulder. They were both dying from the same disease. Cancer. How could she say no to a dying man?

Especially since she was in love with him?

"Yes," she said. "Yes, I'll marry you."

"I was hoping you'd say that."

They walked up the steps to the office hand in hand, Mulder's one concession to onlookers. Mulder stopped at the door.

"It has to seem like a real marriage, do you understand me? We're getting married because we're in love, we don't want them to find out we got married for any other reason, okay?" he asked.

Scully nodded her head. He didn't know that for her it was the truth. She was getting married because she was in love.

And so that was how they ended up getting married in a draughty office with two strangers for witnesses. It wasn't how she'd imagined her wedding to be.

She'd always wanted the traditional affair with a white dress and bridesmaids. She wanted to feel like a princess. After the registrar pronounced them husband and wife, she felt as if she'd just been to the dentist. She didn't feel any different. She didn't feel married.

Mulder was smiling when they left.

"How does it fell to be Mrs. Mulder?"

"Strange. I don't feel married."

"Well, we are. This piece of paper proves it," he tapped the pocket in his jacket.

"Now we'd better hurry or we'll miss the flight."

"What flight? Where are we going?"

"Where do people normally go when they've just got married?"

"Honeymoon? We're going on our honeymoon?" Scully couldn't believe it. This was all some crazy dream. She'd just married her partner and best friend and now they were going on honeymoon?

"Lead on, Mulder I'm right behind you."

"I'm your husband now, you can call me Fox."

Those words meant more to her than a thousand wedding ceremonies. But she knew in her heart that he would always be Mulder to her.

"Yes, Fox." There was a lump in her throat the size of a golf ball.

Scully had never seen so many people in the one place before. The airport was packed. She must have been invisible, if the amount of people who bumped into her was anything to go by. She clung to Mulder's arm, not willing to let him out of her sight.

She should have been surprised that Mulder had bought a whole new wardrobe for her and their two suitcases were now on a trolley waiting to be checked in. As the couple in front of them handed over their passports, Scully gasped.

"I forgot my passport!" she whispered urgently in his ear. Mulder turned around and smiled at her.

"No you haven't," he said and waved the two books at her. But she'd never applied for a passport in her new name. They wouldn't get away with it, surely?

"Next please," said the stewardess whose smile seemed in danger of cracking.

She was dressed in a navy blue suit with red diamonds on it and she looked utterly fed up. Mulder handed over the tickets and passports.

"Just the two cases is it?" she asked in a bored voice. Scully wondered how many times a day she had to say the same thing over and over again.

"Would you like a window seat, sir?" she asked.

"Yes please, my wife's never been to Europe before." The stewardess looked up at Scully and smiled. A real smile this time.

"Congratulations. I hope you enjoy your honeymoon," she winked at Scully making her blush.

"Row 8, seats A and B," said the stewardess. "The best in the house."

"Thank you," said Scully and Mulder together.

"Would you like something to eat before we board? We've got about an hour," said Mulder looking at his watch.

"No thanks, I'm too nervous to eat. It's not every day you get married." If the truth was told it wasn't that which worried Scully. It was what people were going to say when they got back. She had never done anything remotely crazy in her life. What would her mother say?

She was nervous about the flight too. Mulder was right in that. She'd never been on such a long plane journey before. Mulder glanced at one of the many monitors above their heads and tugged her along with him.

"Our plane's ready to board." Scully broke out in a cold sweat. She couldn't go up in the plane. Think of those heights. And what if it crashed? There was nothing between them and the ground.

"I can't Mulder, I'm terrified of heights. I never used to be. I can't go," she burst into tears.

Mulder put his arms around her. "Ssh. It's all right. We don't have to go. I'm not going to force you to get on a plane if you don't want to."

"But I'm being silly. I know the statistics, I just can't go up there."

"No you're not. Lots of people are scared of flying. We can go somewhere else."

Scully rubbed her eyes. What was wrong with her? She wasn't very keen on planes, but she could normally put up with them. Planes had never worried her before. Just thinking of the money Mulder probably spent made her want to cry again.

"It's the safest method of transport," said an elderly lady who appeared beside them. "You're more likely to die in a car crash than in a plane. It's just that if a plane does go down more people die at once. I used to be frightened too, until my son emigrated to Australia. I went over to visit my first grandchild. It was the best thing I ever did."

"But weren't you scared?" asked Scully.

"Of course I was, but if you want something enough, you just have to get over the fear. Do you know some people are so afraid of dying that they're scared to live. That's sad, isn't it? I'm ninety. I could die in a plane crash or I could die in my sleep. But I haven't stopped sleeping and I'm not going to stop flying either." She walked off, her back ramrod straight and hardly a totter. It was hard to believe she was ninety.

Scully looked at Mulder. She wanted to make him happy. They were both dying.

What was there to lose?

"I've made up my mind, I want to live. Let's go on that plane."

It wasn't as bad as she thought it was going to be. The worst part was as they took off. She grabbed the armrest unaware that Mulder's hand was already there. She clung to it like a drowning man might cling to a lifebelt. The meal was delicious and Scully was surprised to find how hungry she was. When the duty free trolley came round Mulder bought her a teddy bear with a little leather jacket and aviator goggles. She cuddled it the rest of the way and wished it was Mulder she was cuddling.

As they began their descent, Scully looked out the window. Everything was so small, so insignificant from up there.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Majorca," said the captain. Scully hadn't really thought of Majorca as a honeymoon destination, but what did it matter as long she was with Mulder? That was the important bit.

After they had retrieved their luggage they went through passport control and into the foyer. Mulder was looking for the yellow and blue uniform of their rep. He spotted one waving and walked over.

"Mr. and Mrs. Mulder? Ah, yes, here we are. Your taxi's outside. Have a nice time! I wish it was me," the girl turned to the next couple.

"Why have we got a taxi?" asked Scully. She heard everyone else being directed to a coach. "Are we going to a different hotel than everybody else?"

"You could say that," smiled Mulder as he carried the suitcases outside.

The first thing Scully noticed was the heat. She was glad she still had on the cream dress. Anything darker and she would have boiled. There was a man with a black suit and chauffeur's cap standing beside a white limousine.

Scully wondered if there was a film star somewhere in the airport. He walked up to them.

"Senor y Senora Mulder? Bienvenido a Majorca! Me llama Pedro. Como esta?"

"Muy bien, gracias."

Pedro held the door open for them and they got in. Scully was in a daze. The limousine wasn't for a film star, it was for them.

"Was it a nice surprise?" asked Mulder. He absently patted her hand as though she were a child. Scully wondered if he knew he was doing it.

"It's lovely," said Scully. The windows were tinted so they could see out but no one could see in.

"I fell like a movie star!" she laughed.

"But much prettier," he said and she was rewarded with one of his rare smiles.

"Where are we going?" she asked as the car slowly made its way to the harbour. Yachts bobbed up and down on the water like toys. They turned a corner and there she saw it. The whiteness dazzled her eyes despite the tinted windows.

"A cruise? We're going on a cruise?" she sat up and looked out the window, holding this moment in her memory as long as she could.

"We are," said Mulder.

"What if I get seasick?"

"You'll be too excited to get sick. And anyway, how can a member of the Scully clan get seasick? I thought you were born on the ocean?"

Scully didn't want to contradict him, but a lot of the time it was excitement which made her sick. She just hoped it wouldn't be true in this case. Pedro helped them with the cases to board the ship, even though a porter was ready to do it. Scully caught the name as they boarded. The 'Island Breeze'. Oh, it was going to be wonderful! And how did Mulder know that she had always wanted to go on a cruise? She would never have plucked up the courage to go on her own.

"Hello, I'm the maitre d'. Would you like an early or late sitting for dinner? Early is seven p.m. Late nine p.m."

"Early, if that's all right with you, Scully?"

"Yes, that sounds fine," she replied a little awed by the splendour she could see on the ship. Glass and brass gleamed like a thousand jewels and the carpets looked brand new.

"Ah, here's the purser now," said the matre d' and hurried to greet the next passengers. The purser took their passports and embarkation form and called to a steward.

"This is Alex, he will be your steward for the whole cruise. Any problems and you speak to him first. He'll look after you. Alex show Mr. and Mrs. Mulder to their cabin and let them get settled in. I hope you enjoy your cruise."

"Thank you," said Mulder and Scully in unison. They followed Alex while a porter followed behind with their luggage. The cabin was small but it was decorated well. There was a small porthole as well. Scully was glad of that.

As long as she could get some fresh air, she might not feel sick. Alex left and they started to unpack.

Scully could hardly believe that Mulder knew her size and everything was to her taste. Did he go through her closet before shopping? Except the shorts.

She'd never worn shorts in her life, not even as a child.

"Will everyone be wearing shorts?" she asked.

"Yes, except for dinner. Everyone dresses up. But don't worry. I've brought plenty of dresses." Mulder went to the bathroom and Scully took the opportunity to change into a pair of navy shorts and a white baggy tee-shirt.

Her legs looked like two thin milk bottles. They'd never seen the sun. It was a good job that Mulder remembered the sun cream as well. She never tanned. She burned, except for her face which came out in a mass of freckles at the first hint of sunlight.

Mulder came out of the bathroom looking rather pale and worn.

"I think I'll have a lie down for a while. Why don't you go and explore the ship?"

"I don't want to leave you on your own if you're not feeling well."

"I'll be fine. I just need a rest, and I'd rest better on my own."

"Oh," said Scully. Was this their first of many disagreements? Her husband of a few hours would rest better if she wasn't there. Well, she'd just have to go and do something else, wouldn't she?

"There's a library, I think," said Mulder and collapsed on the bed with his shoes on. Scully left him to it. She wasn't going to stay where she wasn't wanted.

The ship had just started to sail and she grabbed on of the handrails along the corridor for support. Hopefully she would get her sea legs eventually.

It was such a long time since she'd sailed. It always reminded her of her father. She went up on deck to watch as people waved off their friends and families. Scully scanned the crowd for something to do. Had she really expected someone to wave them off when they didn't even know where they were?

People were throwing streamers at the ship and Scully turned away, her eyes wet for no reason that she could fathom.

She strolled along the deck feeling the wind in her hair and the waves beneath her feet. She stood looking over the rail at the Mediterranean, sparkling blue green and gold in the sunlight. She wandered over to the open air cafe and ordered an orange juice. The waiter brought her a glass with a long straw and a little parasol in the top. Scully thanked him and wished Mulder would tell her what was wrong.

They were married now. Why did he still insist on keeping secrets? If he was ill again she wanted to know. She didn't want him to suffer in silence.

Right, Dana. Like you always tell him everything about you?

"Mind if I join you?" asked a voice. Scully looked up, shading her eyes from the sun with her hand. A woman stood there. She was dressed all in white.

White shorts, white top and a white jumper thrown casually over her shoulders and the arms tied loosely at her chest. Her long blonde hair was held back by a pair of expensive looking sunglasses. For one horrible moment Scully thought it was Suzanne, Mulder's most recent ex.

"If you like," said Scully although she was in no mood for company. She had never learned the art of saying no gracefully, so she hardly

ever said it at all.

"I'm Lucy," said the woman extending a finely manicured hand. The nails were painted a very light pink, hardly noticeable. She wore no rings, wedding or otherwise.

"I do hate travelling alone, don't you?" asked Lucy.

"I'm with my husband," said Scully and then added in a whisper, "We're on our honeymoon."

"Oh? Where is he then?" asked Lucy with a grin.

"He's having a lie down."

"You've worn him out already!" laughed Lucy.

Scully got up from her chair, the blush reaching from her toes right up to her hair.

"Excuse me. I don't know you and I don't think I'd be friends with anyone who teases someone they hardly know."

"But we can be friends," said Lucy and Scully watched in fascinated horror as Lucy moved her hair aside and showed Scully the scar on her neck. She concentrated on the chair digging into her back and not on what was embedded in Lucy's neck.

"See, we have something in common."

"We don't."

"Why deny it? We both know it's true. I was there too. I saw you."

It didn't help that Lucy looked remarkably like Suzanne. Scully couldn't help comparing the two of them, even though she knew it was wrong.

She'd hated Suzanne, how could she be friends with someone who constantly reminded her of how Mulder had once loved someone else?

"Oh, please!" gasped Lucy. "I'm nothing like Suzanne."

"You can read minds too?" asked Scully, wondering why this conversation didn't feel as strange as it should.

"Of course. Can't you?" Lucy said it as though it was as natural as eating or breathing. Maybe it was natural to her, but Scully still found it difficult to feel at ease with it. Lucy looked beyond Scully at someone walking towards them.

Scully turned around and felt her heart lurch. It was Mulder.

He was wearing a pair of blue shorts and a navy tee shirt. Scully thought he looked fantastic, but then she always thought that. She'd seen him naked a few times to know. But that was in her capacity as a doctor. This was very different. She couldn't stop looking at his legs. Mulder was smiling and her heart lifted. It sank again when she realised the smile wasn't for her, but for Lucy. Lucy!

Lucy jumped up from the chair and hugged him. Scully felt her chest constrict, as though an invisible hand was squeezing her heart. She wouldn't cry. She wouldn't.

"Lucy! What on earth are you doing here?" asked Mulder

"Following you, of course. Someone has to keep an eye on you."

"Oh, Scully. Where are my manners, this is my cousin, Lucy. Lucy, this is Dana, my wife." Mulder smiled at her, a smile that made her insides turn to jelly and made her heart beat even faster. Lucy was his cousin. And to think that she thought - well, never mind what she thought. Yes, she and Lucy could be friends, would be friends.

"I wish I'd been at the wedding," sighed Lucy.

"I know, but it couldn't be helped. It was a bit rushed."

"Yes, Mum told me. But at least you got Dana out of there. That's the main thing." Lucy glanced at her watch. "I'm meeting someone for lunch. I'll leave you two lovebirds on your own." With that, Lucy left them, wobbling a bit as she walked along the deck.

Scully hoped Mulder hadn't seen her blush. If only Lucy knew! They were the least like lovebirds. It was difficult to tell how Mulder felt about her. He'd never said anything other than to indicate that he liked her and wanted to protect her.

There was the time he'd tried to kiss her, before the bee so rudely interrupted, but he'd said that was a momentary lapse and he promised it wouldn't happen again.

How was she to tell him that she wished it would? She just hadn't been ready before. She was ready now, but how did you go about seducing your own husband?

"Would you like to go on the trip to Pompeii tomorrow?" he asked, bringing her out of her reverie.

"Yes, I'd love to," she replied. They were acting like polite strangers, but how could that be when they knew so much about each other? She was sure that Mulder knew more than he was saying about why they had to run away. Maybe he didn't trust her enough to tell her the truth or maybe the truth was so awful that he couldn't bear to tell her. Somehow, she preferred the second version. It showed that he cared about her feelings.

Even if it wasn't love, it was something.

Scully couldn't sleep. Perhaps it was the large dinner or the midnight chocolate buffet. She'd never eaten so much in all her life and she knew she would regret it if the churning in her stomach was anything to go by. Then again that might be caused by the constant rocking of the boat.

There might be another reason for her insomnia. At present, it was snoring on the floor. She hadn't really thought of him as a snorer. He'd insisted on sleeping on the floor. Didn't he trust himself if he slept in the same bed?

She wanted him beside her, to put his arms around her and tell her everything was going to be all right, even if it wasn't.

The sunlight streaming in through the porthole woke her. Had she fallen asleep after all? Someone was whistling in the broom cupboard that served as a shower room. The voice was deeper than Mulder's, more gravely. The bathroom door opened and she pulled the bedclothes up to her chin, as if they were going to protect her.

A figure stood in the doorway, wearing only a pair of boxer shorts. Scully didn't know where to look.

"What's the matter? haven't you seen a man before?" The figure was Mulder, yet not Mulder. It was difficult to explain. Scully turned away and wondered if she screamed would anybody come. He came and stood by the side of the bed, facing her.

"Well, look then." But she didn't want to. This wasn't Mulder, this was some nightmare. There was something odd about the way he was standing, his hands clasped behind his back.

"Have you hurt your hands?" she asked. Maybe if she kept talking he wouldn't do anything.

"There's nothing wrong with me!" he said and the angry voice did not belong to Mulder.

"Who are you?" demanded Scully, more frightened than she cared to admit.

Before he had time to reply, the cabin door opened and Mulder stood there holding a breakfast tray.

"Who the hell are you?" shrieked Mulder, the real Mulder. It was like Eddie van Blundht all over again.

"You know who I am. You won't be able to keep her from me. I'll find her wherever you go," and suddenly, as if he'd never been there, he vanished.

Scully stared at the space where he'd been. She should feel like screaming, but all she felt was numb.

"I brought you some breakfast," said Mulder, at least she hoped it was Mulder. How was she to be sure of anything ever again?

"Thanks," she said as he set the tray down on the bed. Neither of them referred to what had just happened.

Had she imagined it? She did have a vivid imagination, but it had felt real, nothing like a daydream. There was a difference between fantasy and reality and no matter how much she wished it hadn't happened, she knew it had.

Mulder poured her a cup of strong black coffee and put lots of sugar in it.

"Here, drink this," he said as he handed her the cup. She drank it and felt a little better, even though she didn't like sugar. For the shock, she realised. He'd given it to her to help the shock. So he hadn'timagined it either. A man the exact double of Mulder had somehow got into their cabin and then had disappeared into thin air.

It should have been impossible, but they'd both seen it happen. What on earth was going on?

"I've left some clothes in the bathroom, if you want to get dressed before breakfast," said Mulder, averting his eyes from Scully.

"Oh, thanks," she said. She paused at the door. "Can you whistle?" she asked.

"Whistle? No, I've never been able to." Mulder began to butter some toast and she left him to it. At least she knew the man in the bathroom had never been Mulder.

Mulder was behaving like a perfect gentleman and she wasn't sure she wanted him to. She wanted him to kiss her, kiss her so forcefully that he'd take her breath away and then he'd lift her up in his arms and lay her down on the bed and then... her thoughts stopped there. It made her go weak at the knees just thinking about it. She knew what would happen next, but the thought of actually doing it filled her with a nameless terror.

Nameless but not faceless, a man had tried to rape her, the man who broke her legs, and she had forgotten. How could she have forgotten something like that? And Mulder was there. Mulder had stopped him.

Mulder had finished his toast and was starting on some cereal when she finally emerged from the bathroom. She wanted to rant and rage at him because he was sitting there so calmly. How could he be so calm when she was in turmoil?

"I've asked Lucy to come to Pompeii with us, is that all right?" he asked as Scully helped herself to the last few slices of toast.

"Of course," she replied, politeness winning out over her true feelings.

She didn't want anyone to go with them.

Was it too much to ask that she was alone with her husband on their honeymoon?

Obviously it was. Was Mulder afraid of being alone with her? Afraid he might not be able to resist her if there was no one else around? She smiled a secret smile. Maybe there was hope for her and Mulder after all. If only she could forget about what had happened.

They docked at Naples shortly after nine and Scully couldn't help but feel a frission of excitement as they disembarked. Pompeii. To think she'd actually see the place where such a tragic thing had happened. All those people buried by the volcanic ash that fell from Vesuvius. She was glad that it had happened long ago and wasn't likely to happen again, at least she hoped it wouldn't.

Mulder sat beside her on the coach and she was grateful for that, at least. Lucy sat in front of them, but spent most of the journey turning around to talk to them. Scully was glad of the distraction.

The nearer she got to Pompeii, the sicker she was feeling. She'd be glad when this journey was over and she could get off this bus. Looking out the window didn't help, as it usually did. She caught glimpses of olive groves and orange and lemon trees growing everywhere, even in the towns.

At last they arrived. Vesuvius was a dark blob in the distance, the summit wreathed in cloud. Other than that the sky was a clear ocean blue with no clouds to break up the expanse. There was a large queue forming at the entrance to the ruins and Scully dreaded the thought of standing out here in the sun for any length of time.

Her head was beginning to ache already. She needn't have worried. Their excursion organiser had bought their tickets in advance and went around handing them out.

"Now remember everyone, the coach leaves at four, so please be back here by three forty five at the latest. Have a nice time and I'll see you all later. Those of you who have booked the guided tour, meet me inside the gates in fifteen minutes."

About half the people on the coach followed the guide into the ruins.

"I didn't book the tour," said Mulder. "I thought we could explore on our own. That way we can do it at our own pace."

"What a good idea," said Lucy.

There was a stall outside the gate selling guidebooks and souvenirs. Mulder bought a guidebook while Lucy and Scully went in.

Scully wasn't prepared for the wave of nausea which hit her as soon as she entered the gates. Surely she shouldn't feel ill now? Not now she was off the coach? She swallowed and took a deep breath to try and stop herself from throwing up.

The tree of them wandered first to the forum, passing almost intact buildings on the way. Scully was surprised how much of it remained standing. She thought all they'd see would be the remains of buildings, ankle high walls and no roofs. But no, most of the buildings remained and some even had a roof and wooden doors.

And the mosaics! Such colours that could still be seen. In one of the bath houses there was a black and white mosaic with dolphins on the floor. She could almost hear the people laughing and talking. It was that sort of place.

Echoing. And all the echoes were echoes of the past.

As they went into the sunlight again, Scully shielded her eyes with her hand.

Was she seeing things? There were chariots going up and down the road and men wandering about in togas and tunics. She blinked, but when she opened her eyes they were still there. Perhaps there was a re-enactment of some sort? A day in the life of Pompeii?

Scully noticed a little girl standing on her own across the road from her, looking lost. The sleeveless tunic she wore was far too long for her and Scully thought if the child moved she would trip. The girl turned her blue eyes on Scully and she felt herself grow weak.

The girl looked like Emily.

Suddenly she felt everything. Everything these people had gone through. Their joy at a wedding, at the birth of a baby. Their sorrow at death. And their horror. The horror of the knowledge that they were going to die, and die horribly. It felt like a bitter taste in her mouth. A taste that would never go away. A taste of ashes.

Scully tried to block all of it out, but it was impossible. Her mind was like a radio picking up thousands of signals, but she didn't know where the off switch was.

"No!" shrieked Scully and thrust her hands over her ears as if that would stop the voices. No, for they were in her mind but they were real. She heard the screams of them all as they realised the volcano was erupting and there was no time for escape. And then the silence. As if the world no longer existed.

She felt the taste of death in her mouth.

"Scully! Are you all right?" she didn't know who asked the question, whether it was Mulder or Lucy who spoke. She didn't care. She was unable to reply as she was violently sick.

It was Mulder who held her and pushed her hair away from her face. Scully just couldn't stop throwing up. She wanted to purge every feeling away from her, the horrible taste away from her mouth and throat.

"Come on, I'll take you back to the coach," said Lucy. But that just made it worse. The thought of that journey made Scully sick again. Eventually there was nothing left to bring up except sour bile, but still she couldn't stop retching. She sank to her knees, pulling Mulder with her.

"It's all right, it's all right," soothed Mulder holding Scully in his arms.

Eventually Scully had calmed down enough to move. Lucy and Mulder supported her between them as they walked back to the coach. They shouldn't have come here. They shouldn't. How was she to bear it? How could she bear the pain of so many people? And that little girl. The look of absolute terror on her face. That image would haunt her for the rest of her life.

"I'm sorry, Scully. I should never have brought you here. What with you being a sensitive," Mulder scuffed his shoes along the gravel in the coach park.

"What!" burst out Lucy. "Dana's a sensitive and you brought her here? Here! How could you have been so stupid?"

Scully wasn't sure that she wanted them to be arguing, especially over her.

She felt too weak to prevent it.

"What's a sensitive?" she asked quietly. Lucy stared at her and then at Mulder.

"She doesn't know? You haven't told her? What have you told her, Fox?"

"Nothing, I didn't think she needed to know."

"How's she supposed to protect herself if she doesn't know how? Tell her then. NOW!"

"Not here. When we're back on the ship. We need some privacy, Lucy, you should know that."

"Yes, I'm sorry. I just got so angry with you. I thought you had more sense. Dana's a grown woman, not a child. You can't just keep her in the dark forever, you know. I can't believe she's survived this long without knowing what to do."

Lucy seemed to have calmed down somewhat.

The same could not be said for Scully. What were they talking about?

And did she really want to find out?

The journey back on the coach wasn't as bad as Scully had feared. In fact, the further they got from Pompeii, the more the sickness receded. Lucy sat beside her on the coach, Mulder a few seats behind.

"Fox must have told you something, surely," said Lucy.

"Not really. All he said was that he could protect me if we were married."

"Yes, that's true. There's power in the joining of two bodies. Fox knows that."

Scully shifted in her seat. How could she tell Lucy, that Mulder did not seem at all interested in the consummation of their marriage?

"I'm a- I mean we haven't - er -" Scully's face got redder as she tried to explain. Lucy raised an enquiring eyebrow.

"Can't he even get that right?"

They were silent for the rest of the journey. Scully wished now that she'd never fallen in love with him, that she'd never married him, that they'd never gone on this stupid cruise! The tears rolled silently down her cheek.

Lucy squeezed her hand in comfort, as if she knew words weren't needed.

Scully wished Mulder would offer her comfort, but all he seemed to do was cause her pain. Pain as raw as an open wound. The worst pain in the world.

Unrequited love. How could you love someone and they not love you back?

Scully was glad when they were back aboard ship, away from Pompeii and all that horror. She never wanted to go through something like that ever again. Lucy walked them to their cabin and left them standing in the corridor unsure of what to say to each other.

They were like two strangers. After all they'd been through together, what had gone wrong?

Scully looked up at him from beneath lowered lashes and her breath caught in her throat. He was looking at her with so much tenderness and dare she hope - love?

"I'm sorry, Scully. I should never have taken you there. I knew what might happen, and I never told you how to prevent it."

Suddenly the ship lurched and Scully was thrown into his arms. They stayed there in silence for what seemed like eternity. Mulder broke the spell.

"We'd better go in and I'll try and explain. I hardly know where to begin."

Scully knew how she wanted him to begin - with a kiss, but that wasn't what he was talking about. She followed him reluctantly into the cabin. He sat down on the dressing table stool, Scully sat down on the edge of the bed directly opposite him.

"Since in a way, this is a story, I'll tell it like one. How about if I start it with once upon a time?"

"Is it a fairy story, then?" asked Scully, raising her eyebrow.

"You'll see. Once upon a time and far away there lived two races of people. One of these races were called human, the other were the Eloin. The Eloin looked like humans but they were very different, their women especially.

"When an Eloin girl reached puberty, she came into her powers, powers that only rarely were bestowed on Eloin males. The Eloin females could read minds, they could heal, they could transport from one place to the other by just thinking about where they wanted to go.

"It was a matriarchal society. It had to be for the women usually had these special powers. Occasionally a boy would be born with the powers and then there would be a war over who should rule, the men or the women.

"They lived quite peacefully alongside the humans, they helped them with their illnesses and diseases, cured people and helped people find lost objects, things like that. The Eloin were also psychic to a certain degree and knew when storms were coming or when there was going to be an eclipse.

"At first the humans relied on the Eloin to foretell such events, but gradually they became afraid and blamed the Eloin for causing the storms or the crops to rot. There was another reason the humans became afraid. The Eloin reached thirty or so, but after that they didn't age-"

"You mean they were immortal?" asked Scully.

"No, they could die. Very easily, in fact, but never from old age. They just didn't get any older. They realised this was frightening their neighbors so they made it appear as though they looked the right age. The Eloin now began to look like people in their sixties and their eighties, but in reality they still looked about thirty."

"A fairy glamour?" asked Scully, trying not to laugh.

"Something like that. Gradually the Eloin began to hide away from humans, afraid of what they might do to them. They had seen the wars of the humans, the slaughter.

"When they had a war, no one was killed. It was a war of the mind and the strongest mind won and they ruled a tribe until they were challenged in their turn. But then something happened to the Eloin. Maybe because they had been living near humans too long. They became violent, especially the men. They had seen how the human men ruled the human women and they wanted to do that too, even though very few men had the Eloin power.

"The only way they could do it was by force, by killing the women. After they'd butchered half their number, they realised that if they kept killingall the women, there wouldn't be any more Eloin, they would die out.

"So they kept the remaining women as brood mares, keeping them pregnant hoping that they would be so exhausted that they could never escape from them. Some of the Eloin women did escape and lived on their own, not as a group anymore. They were too afraid of the violence recurring. They were considered odd by their human neighbors, but were accepted as humans for the most part.

"Rumours spread however, of their powers, although they tried to keep them hidden. They knew that humans would no longer accept these strange powers without question. They wanted to know how they got them and came up with outlandish explanations. They were fairies or the little people, but the most dangerous rumour of all was that they had sold their soul to the devil and were witches. Even an accusation of witchcraft was enough to get people killed in the past."

"How awful! You mean the Eloin were what we might call witches?"

"I don't know if there are such things as witches, Scully. I do know lots of people were killed accused of being one, the Eloin making up a large proportion of that number. Maybe being an Eloin is the same as being a witch, I just don't know."

"But what has all this got to do with what happened at Pompeii?" asked Scully.

Mulder shook his head. "I thought you'd have realised by now, Scully."

She looked blankly at him.

"You're an Eloin."

"No!" screamed Scully. "I don't believe you! You've made that up!" It couldn't be true. She couldn't be part of some lost race. She was human, wasn't she?

"But I'm not a devil worshipper," protested Scully

"I didn't say you were. The Eloin were accused of it, I didn't say they actually were devil worshippers. You must have realised you were different. That's why you were abducted. That's why all the women were abducted."

Scully's hand went to the back of her neck, the site of her implant.


"They were all Eloin women, Scully, but very few of them know it."

"But why abduct us?"

"Why else? Power. The Eloin women have it and They want it. Why do you think all your eggs were removed? They want to create an army with all these powers, an army of men. But the powers are only normally passed through the female line. They're still experimenting, trying to get the perfect male soldier."

Scully got up from the bed and then sat back down again. It was all so much to take in. And what were the Eloin anyway? Witches? Fairies? Or something so strange that they were totally unknown?

"Is that why you need to protect me? Because I'm Eloin?" asked Scully and then realised. She'd called herself Eloin. Was she beginning to accept this strange tale as the truth?

"Who was that man?" she asked, trying to change the subject.

"What man?"

"The one who appeared and then disappeared in our cabin?"

"Oh. That was Dr. Haroldson. He's the one you need protecting from."

"What does he want me for?" Scully had a feeling that whatever it was, it wouldn't be pleasant.

"Sometimes a male Eloin is born who has stronger powers than some of the women. Haroldson is one. He is ruthless and wants no one to stand in the way of his grand plan."

"Which is?"

"To create a race of Eloin soldiers. Male soldiers."

Scully didn't laugh, even though the idea sounded preposterous.

"But what does he want me for?"

"He's dying. He wants you to cure him. He thinks you're the only one who can. You've healed before, haven't you?" he asked.

Scully nodded, it was one of the reasons she became a doctor, but it didn't always work, and it was something she found hard to admit. That it wasn't always science which cured her patients. It was just too scary.

"Mulder, I think I'd like to be alone for a while."

"Yes of, course, it's a lot to think about."

But when he left, that wasn't what Scully thought about. She thought about Mulder and how she was going to get him to make love to her. She didn't think about Dr. Haroldson wanting to keep her powers all for himself. The idea seemed so far fetched that she didn't feel it was a threat to her. Not then.

She thought a bit about the Eloin but that was too confusing. She was a scientist and wasn't even sure that science could explain this. She had heard of identical twins who could communicate telepathically. So maybe the idea of a race of people who could do that were something she could learn to accept.

Was that what Gibson Praise was? One of the few male Eloin with these powers?

What she couldn't accept was the fact that Mulder had hidden this from her.

Why hadn't he told her before? Why hadn't anyone told her? Her parents must have known, yet they told her nothing. She didn't feel different in herself. She always thought she felt human, but if she wasn't human maybe what she thought of as feeling human, was actually feeling Eloin.

She had the impression that Mulder was still hiding something from her. Well, if he wouldn't tell her, maybe Lucy would.

Lucy's cabin was on the deck below theirs and Scully had the feeling that if she just kept going down, she would never find her way back up again. The engine noise was more noticeable here and Scully was glad their cabin was on one of the higher decks.

She knocked on the door and Lucy answered, wrapped in a bathrobe.

Scully just caught a glimpse of dark hair in the bed. Scully wished the floor would open up and swallow her where she stood.

"I'm sorry, Lucy, I shouldn't have come." She turned to go.

"No, wait!" called Lucy. "Give me five minutes and I'll meet you up on deck."

Those were the longest five minutes of Scully's life. She watched the people strolling along the deck. Most of them were couples holding hands or with their arms around each other. That's how she wanted it for her and Mulder.

Not this polite care. She didn't need to be looked after. She needed to be loved. Why couldn't Mulder see that? Was she that unattractive to him? Did he only go for girls like Suzanne? Lucy joined her by the ship's railing.

"It's about Fox, isn't it? Did he tell you about the Eloin?"

"Oh, yes. He told me. I just get the feeling he's holding something back. I'm fed up playing guessing games. I want to know what else he hasn't told me."

"We should continue this in our mind. Walls have ears."

Have you made love?

Not yet. I don't think he finds me attractive.

That's what he hasn't told you. He's afraid.

Of what?

Of you.

Me? Why?

You've only just found out what you are. Your powers are small compared to what they could be. Fox is afraid of what he might unleash in you, that you won't be able to control it.

I don't understand

Once you have made love, your powers will increase enormously. If someone forces you, then they will be destructive powers, usually against that person. You have the power to kill with a thought, Fox knows that.

But I wouldn't kill him! I love him!

Would you accept him willingly?

Of course

Then you must tell him.

I can't!

It's the only way.

Lucy's thoughts ended abruptly and Scully staggered against the railing. She had a throbbing headache.

"I'm sorry," said Lucy. "I was in your mind too long. You're not used to it yet. Look, Dana, I know my cousin and I know he's in love with you. He's scared that you don't feel the same way and if he presses his attentions too far, you'll destroy him."

"But he already knows I love him! I've told him." But what if he didn't believe her? He had a problem with trust, and who could blame him?

"I'm sorry if I disturbed you," said Scully, remembering the dark-haired bundle on the bed. She would have been so embarrassed if someone had come to the cabin and she and Mulder had been making love.

"That's quite all right," said Lucy. "David will just have to get used to the fact that we're a close family if he wants to marry me."

"Marry?" asked Scully.

"Yes, he proposed to me last night, but I haven't made up my mind yet."

Scully blushed, wondering if she should say what was on her mind, but then realised that Lucy probably knew anyway. Lucy laughed.

"Come on, Dana! We're not in the dark ages any more. Just because I've slept with a man doesn't necessarily mean I want to marry him. He's a good lover, but will he make a good husband? Eloin men rarely do. They're too frightened. They know what we're capable of if they displease us. I've yet to be displeased with David, but who knows?"

Scully didn't know whether Lucy was joking or not. Would she really destroy a man who displeased her? At the moment Mulder wasn't pleasing her, but Scully had no intention of destroying him.

"I'd better get back to David before he starts to panic. Good luck with Fox. You'll need it."

"Thanks," said Scully.

What else was there to say?

Scully and Mulder spent the rest of the cruise avoiding each other. Mulder soon began not coming back to the cabin to sleep. After the first time Scully gave up worrying where he slept. She saw him at mealtimes when he gave her a curt nod in acknowledgement, as though they were merely polite strangers.

One of the dinner waitresses was very attentive to Mulder and Scully felt a knife twist in her heart, for he paid as much attention to the waitress.

How could he not know how Scully felt? Wasn't it written in every look she gave him? Wasn't it written in her face, her heart, her soul?

She would be glad when this charade of a honeymoon would be over but what then? She couldn't go home, not if her Dr. Haroldson still wanted to kidnap her. That would be the first place he'd look. He gave every indication that he wouldn't give up. Scully couldn't believe that the doctor thought that she could cure him. She wasn't a miracle worker, no matter what Mulder had said about the Eloin.

"NO!" screamed Scully and woke herself up. She was in the cabin, the bedclothes a sweaty tangle around her. A nightmare, just a nightmare, but she couldn't shake off the ugly feeling that she tried to put to the back of her mind when a voice came over the tannoy to announce that they would be disembarking after breakfast. At last, the cruise was over.

She washed and dressed in record time when Mulder appeared, reeking of someone else's perfume. It was as though someone had punched her in the stomach and she almost doubled over from the pain of his betrayal. He must have seen something in her eyes because he tried to justify himself.

"Scully. let me explain..."

"I don't need any explanations from you. We never had a marriage. As soon as we get back home, we'll get it annulled. There shouldn't be a problem as I'm still a -!" she cut the sentence off, hoping to make him see, to make him say, 'No don't go, I love you too much for that.'

But no, he stared at the two packed suitcases on the floor between them, as though they were a barrier he couldn't or wouldn't cross.

"If that's what you want," he said.

"Yes it is." Oh, liar liar, but what else could she say? She wasn't going to admit she loved him, not while he had the smell of another woman on him.

How could he have done it? How?

"You can't go home, " said Mulder suddenly.

"I know. I'll find somewhere."

"I'll take you to my aunt's. You'll be safe there."

"Will I, Mulder?" she asked, but what she meant to say would she be safe from him, from his memories?

"Of course you will. You trust her don't you?"

"I don't know her, but I don't seem to have much choice, do I?"

The flight back was even worse than the cruise. The plane was crowded and Mulder was separated from her by an aisle. Scully was sitting beside a rather tall man, even taller than Mulder, who took up most of the leg room, including hers, so she had to sit with her legs turned towards the aisle.

There was a lot of turbulence and she was sick three times.

Mulder was fast asleep and didn't seem to care what was happening to her. Good for him, thought Scully bitterly. Here she was being sick and he wasn't even awake!

She was so glad when they touched down and she got off the plane that she forgot to be angry with him.

"Where does your aunt live?" asked Scully while they waited for their bags by to appear on the carousel.

"Vermont" said Mulder.

"I've always wanted to go to Vermont," said Scully.

"Well, now you can," said Mulder just as Lucy appeared beside them with a dark-haired young man in tow.

"David, I'd like you to meet my cousin, Fox and his wife, Dana."

"Pleased to meet you," said David as he shook both their hands. He squeezed Scully's hand too hard for her liking. There was something about this David that she didn't trust.

"Fox you'd better leave now," said Lucy. "I overheard a policeman talking into his radio. They're looking for you and Dana. I'll bring your cases to Mum's when the coast is clear."

What did the police want them for?

Oh, God was it the forged passports? Her passport must have been forged, she hadn't got it, Mulder had. But why had no one mentioned it before? They were allowed on the plane without any trouble.

"Come on, Scully, we have to go," said Mulder picking up their hand luggage and heading towards the green nothing to declare channel.

"There they are!" rang out a shrill voice. A voice she failed to recognise at first.

She was rooted to the spot by that voice, as she so often was. It had the same tone her father used when she had been caught at some mischief. Was this the infamous Dr. Haroldson? He was sandwiched between two police officers, but they didn't seem to be detaining him in any way.

"I want that man arrested on kidnapping charges, officer. He kidnapped my patient from hospital and I want him arrested!" roared the man, and Scully felt as though every person in the airport was staring at her. Dr. Haroldson was mad, he must be!

Mulder had rescued her. Who knew how long she would have spent in Roseberry Hill if Mulder hadn't got her out of there? Mulder put his arm around her, as though to protect her from blows and she was glad of his support.

"Let's just see what the young lady has to say, shall we?" asked the younger of the two policeman. "Did this man abduct you?"

"No," replied Scully firmly. "We eloped. We thought it would be romantic. I have no idea who this man is or why he is harassing us."

"Do you have your marriage certificate with you?" asked the first policeman.

"Yes," said Mulder as he reached into his trouser pocket.

The policemen perused it for what seemed like hours before handing it back to Mulder. "It all seems perfectly legal to me. You can both go," said one of them, addressing them with a bemused smile, as though to say, 'Nutters, the world's full of them.'

"You can't just let them go! He's a kidnapper!" protested Haroldson, a purple vein throbbing on his forehead.

"I'm sorry, sir, elopement isn't a crime. If she'd been under age then we could do something about it. This woman is an adult and as such is perfectly within her rights to marry whoever she likes. It doesn't matter whether you approve of the choice or not. There's nothing anyone can do."

"There must be!" shrieked Haroldson as he stared at Mulder and Scully.

"If you've laid a finger on her I'll kill you!" he lunged towards

Mulder and then the policemen restrained him. The policeman nodded for them to go.

They didn't need telling a second time and hurried out to the car park.

It was only after they'd reached the relative safety of the car did Scully wonder if Haroldson might have been arrested for threatening Mulder. She was hoping that he had and would be put in prison. If he was in prison he couldn't hurt her.

"What?" asked Scully. She was miles away, thinking of what might have happened if she hadn't been married to Mulder. Haroldson would have taken her in his car. Alone. No witnesses. Just a quiet country lane somewhere where no one would be able to disturb them. She shuddered at the thought.

"I'm glad you were there," said Scully and wished she could say more, but didn't know how to put it into words. She was glad that nothing had been said about the annulment, because she was hoping that before they went through with it, Mulder would change his mind and want to stay married to her.

They stopped for lunch at a roadside diner where the food was surprisingly good, although Scully didn't eat much of it. Mulder didn't seem to notice as he wolfed down his portion of shepherd's pie, closely followed by most of Scully's. He even had room left for dessert, apple pie and ice cream. Scully was glad when they were on their way again. The further away from Haroldson they got, the better.

Scully sat bolt upright in the seat. "I can smell water," she said.

"Yes, we're nearly there. She lives by a lake," replied Mulder turning off into a winding side road. Rain had started, sounding like pebbles hitting the windscreen. The wipers squeaked like an unoiled door as they swept the water away, only for the windscreen to be awash once more.

Mulder slowed right down as it was getting more and more difficult to see the road ahead.

He stopped as a two storey cottage came into view. As soon as he switched off the windscreen wipers, all Scully could see was water. It was as though they were in a submarine.

Mulder's aunt, Edith, was at the door, ready to welcome them, a broad smile on her face. "Welcome home, both of you!" She kissed them both on the cheek.

"How did you know we were coming?" asked Scully, although as soon as she said it, she realised it was a silly question. Lucy had probably l et her mother know using telepathy.

"Lucy telephoned from the airport," replied Edith. Oh well, bang goes my theory, thought Scully. "Come in, come in, You'll get soaked through standing out here," she grabbed Scully's arm leaving Mulder to get their sports bag from the car. At least they'd both had the presence of mind to pack some underwear and toiletries in their hand luggage. They would manage until Lucy arrived with their suitcases.

The front door led directly to a sitting room where there was a fire blazing in the hearth, even though it was August. It made the place seem cosy after being in the rain and she felt like curling up by the fire with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate until the chill had left her.

Mulder came in with a bag in each hand and a weird expression on his face.

"I've put you both in your old room, Fox. I remember how you used to love staying here as a child. Your cases arrived safe and sound about an hour ago. I'm not sure I would have let Lucy do that, you know teleportation isn't one of her strong points."

Scully felt as though a rug had been pulled from under her. Teleportation?

Did that mean what she thought it meant? Lucy could move objects with her mind? Move them to a different place?

"Why don't you show Dana your room so you can both freshen up before dinner? It shouldn't be too long now." Before either of them had a chance to reply, Edith had disappeared into the kitchen, a small room leading off the sitting room.

"It's upstairs," said Mulder, as though Scully hadn't figured that bit out by herself.

Scully followed behind him. "Do you want me to carry one of those bags?" asked Scully.

"No, I can manage," replied Mulder gruffly, and put them both in front of him so Scully couldn't reach either of them.

There was a small landing with four doors leading off it. Mulder opened the second door on the right. "You can sleep here. I'll take Lucy's room since she's not here. You don't have to worry about the sleeping arrangements." He set down her bag.

"The bathroom's the door opposite this one. I'll see you later."

"Mulder I-" said Scully but was unsure how to continue. What could she say?

"Don't worry. I'll explain everything to my aunt about the annulment. She'll understand," said Mulder as he left.

Scully sighed. Edith may understand, but could she?

Scully changed out of her wet clothes and had a quick shower before venturing downstairs again. As she came onto the landing she heard Mulder and his aunt talking. About her. Instead of going back to her room, she stayed where she was, one leg in the bathroom and one on the landing.

"An annulment! I won't hear of it! You two were meant to be together," said Edith.

"But, it's what Scully wants. I can't say I blame her. Things haven't exactly gone smoothly so far."

"Then make them smooth! A blind man can see you're both in love with each other. You've got to make Dana realise that."

"How? She must hate me for what I've put her through. How do I keep her?"

Scully moved closer to the top of the stairs so that she could hear better.

Mulder loved her! That was all that mattered. If they had problems, they'd work them out. Mulder wanted to stay married to her. With him by her side she could face anything, even a crazy Dr. Haroldson.

"You've got to woo her," said Edith.

"Woo her?"

"Yes, flowers , chocolates, candlelit dinners, moonlit walks. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you do it to please her. To show her that you're sincere."

"But what if she doesn't like any of that?"

"I've yet to discover a woman who doesn't like a bit of romance. But if Dana doesn't like that, find something that she does like. Haven't you talked to the girl at all?"

"Of course I've talked to her! I've explained what we are and why Dr. Haroldson is after her."

"I don't mean about that! Haven't you talked to her about her dreams, her aspirations? What's her favourite book? Does she like music?"

"We never seem to get around to any of that."

"Well, it's about time you did."

Scully chose that moment to go downstairs. She knew she shouldn't have been eavesdropping, but if she hadn't she would never have known how Mulder felt about her. Would he ever have told her himself? Mulder was sitting in an armchair staring at the fire. He looked up as she approached.

"Hi, Scully. Felling better?"

"Much," she replied with a smile. Oh, much much better! Outside the rain had cleared, giving way to a bright blue sky, unbroken by any clouds. It was hard to believe that they'd arrived in the middle of a downpour.

"I hope it stays clear tomorrow," mumbled Mulder, almost to himself. "I was wondering if you'd like to go on a picnic with me tomorrow? We can have a walk along the lake. What do you think?"

"It sounds wonderful, Mulder. I'm looking forward to it."

"You are?" he sounded so surprised that Scully had to stop herself from bursting out laughing. Just then Edith came in from the kitchen with a tray laden with mugs of hot chocolate, home-made soda bread and cakes and cookies. There was a china pot of blackberry jam and a jar of honey.

"I hope you're both hungry. there's plenty more in the kitchen."

Scully hadn't realised how hungry she was until she and Mulder both reached for the last piece of soda bread at the same time.

"You have it," said Mulder.

"No, you," replied Scully. They both carried on in the same vein until Edith took the last slice, broke it in two and handed them a piece each.

"Fox, I'm going to visit with your aunt Millie for a while. I thought it would be nice if you could have the place to yourselves. That way the honeymoon isn't over yet, is it?"

Scully wondered what Edith would say if she knew that the honeymoon hadn't even started yet!

"How long for?" asked Mulder

"A week or so. You're both welcome to stay here as long as you like."

Scully hoped no one noticed how badly her cup was shaking. Alone with Mulder. She was to be alone with Mulder. What was that old saying, 'Be careful what you wish for, it might come true?' And now that her wish had come true, she wasn't sure she wanted it. Did Mulder want it?

He looked pleased, but maybe that was an act for his aunt's benefit.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur. The three of them played cards by the fire, but all Scully could think about was Mulder and how soon she was going to be alone with him. She wondered if they could hear how loudly her heart was thumping at the prospect. Just as they finished the last round of cards, Edith yawned and stretched.

"Well, I'm off to bed. I have an early start in the morning." She gave both of them a peck on the cheek and headed upstairs. After she was gone the only sound were the two of them breathing and the crackle of logs on the fire. Scully gathered up the cards and put them back in their box.

"I think I'll go up to bed too," she said, wondering if Mulder would take it as an invitation.

"What? Oh, yes, goodnight then." He kissed her on the cheek and she felt as though she had been branded by a hot iron. She hardly slept at all that night, tossing and turning in the double bed. It didn't help that the room had once been Mulder's.

Just thinking about that made her want Mulder to be in the room, but she was afraid to make the first move. She still hadn't forgotten his rejection of their kiss.

He was her husband now, didn't that make a difference? She hoped so.

She hugged a pillow to her, pretending it was Mulder. She couldn't stop thinking about the fact that that Mulder once slept in this bed, and how much she wanted him in it right now, kissing her, caressing her, touching her in all her secret places. Scully had never felt as aroused as this before, not once. What would Mulder say if she went across the hall right now and got into bed with him? Would he send her away? In the end that was what decided her, not the fact that Edith might hear them.

She couldn't bear his rejection a second time.

She threw the covers from her, was it suddenly getting hot? The pillow she kept clutched to her chest, and when she woke in the morning, it was still there.

She eased herself out of bed, not willing to relinquish the wonderful dream she had. A dream where everything was going the way she wanted it to. Unlike reality, but today she planned to change all that. With a broad smile on her face she rummaged in the suitcase for something to wear that wasn't too creased. The only thing that wasn't was a dress in navy chiffon with a contrasting white collar and pearl buttons. She supposed she should really choose something more practical if they were going walking, but she wasn't in a practical mood.

She was in a frilly flouncy mood, which was most unlike her, and the dress would have to do. Her underwear,(bought by Mulder for their disastrous cruise), she chose with more care than usual, deciding on matching white satin bra and pants set. She wore stockings for the first time in her life, and they felt wonderful against her skin. Everything had been chosen by Mulder. Did he guess her taste, or was this what he wanted to see her in? The shoes were the worst problem.

She couldn't very well go walking in high heels, not that she had any, but sneakers would spoil the look of her dress. She settled on a pair of flat white pumps, which were practical for walking and set off her dress perfectly. Looking in the mirror, she despaired.

What was she going to do with her hair? Her restless night had taken its toll on her locks. It looked as though she'd slept in a hedge. Trying to comb out the knots was nearly impossible, but she persevered until there was some semblance of hair, as opposed to hay. She braided it and tied it with a navy ribbon, which Mulder had kindly left in the case. How did he know she would need it?

Mulder was already up and in the kitchen making breakfast, his back to her. The smell of burnt toast was prevalent.

"I burnt the first lot. Edith got a new toaster. It seems to have two settings. Burnt, or even more burnt. Would you like some cereal instead?"

"Please," said Scully and sat down. As he turned around, he almost dropped the bowls he was carrying. "Wow, you look wonderful!" Scully wasn't sure whether to feel flattered or insulted. Was it such a surprise that she could look beautiful?

Mulder was wearing a pair of jeans and a white shirt, with the top button undone. A wisp of his chest hair was visible and Scully had a very pleasant daydream of slowly undoing all his buttons one by one.

Scully ate the bowl of cornflakes in silence, her eyes on the dish and not on Mulder. She wished she wasn't feeling so nervous. Did Mulder feel it too, she wondered?

"I thought we could make a start after breakfast. The path goes on for miles. We can stop somewhere for lunch. There's bound to be somewhere."

"It sounds great," said Scully, although she wasn't thinking about lunch.

After they'd both washed up, they set off. Mulder had a picnic basket in one hand and Scully's hand in the other. Her hand kept sweating so much that she had to keep wiping it on her dress. Occasionally, Mulder looked at her and smiled. Her heart soared.

The view from the lake path was breathtaking. Sunlight glittered on the water like a thousand lamps. A few yachts bobbed in the water, looking like toys. As Scully watched, a windsurfer fell into the water with an audible splash.

"I wish I could do that," said Scully.

"What? Fall in?" laughed Mulder.

"No, surf."

"Why don't you, then?"

"I think I should be able to swim first."

"You can't swim?" asked Mulder, sounding as surprised as if she'd said she couldn't walk.

"Is that a crime?" asked Scully, sulkily.

"No, I was just surprised, that's all. I thought all your family could swim."

They fell into an awkward silence, and Scully wished they could feel more at ease with each other. He loved her, she loved him, so what was the problem?

The sun was gradually getting warmer and Scully wished for a hat. She felt her scalp burning and knew that soon she was going to get a headache. Wasps and butterflies hovered around the wild flowers on either side of the path.

They didn't seem interested in the human invaders. Thankfully, there didn't seem to be any bees. Scully couldn't abide bees, not since she'd been stung. She panicked at the mere thought of them now.

The path began a steep descent and she had to hold onto Mulder for support. Sand and stones made the going slippery and she didn't want to fall flat on her face. At this moment in time, something more undignified she couldn't imagine.

"Hang on, we're nearly there," said Mulder as he slowed on the final few steps and they were on the beach. It was even more difficult to walk along the beach than it had been on the path. It felt like wading through treacle.

Eventually they walked around the lake until they came to a copse of trees. They could see people walking by, but no-one could see them. This section of the lake's beach was deserted, except for a man walking his dog. The dog seemed more interested in running through the water, than obeying any instruction his master gave him.

Mulder took out the blanket he'd packed in the basket and laid it beneath the trees. He lay down, resting his head on his hand, his elbow sticking out to support it.

Scully sat down, with her legs tucked beneath her. The man and his dog were soon out of sight.

"Are you hungry yet?" asked Mulder.

"Not really," said Scully. He got up and sat beside her, as close as he could.

"Mulder, there's something I've got to tell you."

He frowned at her. "I don't think I'm going to like it."

"I think you will," she smiled at him. "I overheard you talking to your aunt. I know I shouldn't have been listening, but I couldn't help it. I had to find out how you felt about me."

"Why didn't you ask me?"

"I wasn't sure whether you'd tell me the truth, or what you think I wanted to hear. I love you, Mulder, and I don't want an annulment. You're aunt's right. We were meant to be together."

The relief on his face was a joy to see. At last, how they felt about each other was out in the open.

"Before you agree to stay married to me, there's something I have to tell you," began Mulder. Scully felt the colour drain from her face. She didn't want to know anything about the woman who Mulder spent some of their honeymoon with. She would rather pretend it hadn't happened. She didn't want to have to admit that he'd betrayed her.

"When you were gone. When you were abducted that first time. I got involved with someone on a case. I slept with her. I can't give you an excuse or an explanation, because there isn't one. I'm sorry, I was weak. I'm always weak without you."

"What about on the cruise? Who was she? Was it the waitress?" They might as well get everything out in the open now. Then they could move on.

"What do you mean?"

"You came back reeking of perfume and it wasn't mine. So who was she?"

"Oh, Scully!" he laughed. "Is that what you thought? I was sleeping in the gift shop and a box of perfume fell on me! We were married, I would never have gone with anyone else then."

Scully was trembling, a mix of desire and fear. To be so close to him. He bent his head forward as his lips sought hers. The kiss began tentatively at first, as if they were both unsure of what to do. Gradually his kiss became stronger and more passionate. Scully felt as though she was falling backwards.

She sank to the ground pulling Mulder with her. She lay on the sand as he kissed her over and over again. His fingers began to entwine themselves in her hair, sending shivers up and down her spine.

His other hand began caressing her leg, reaching up to her thigh. It felt like an electric shock. Scully gasped in surprise and Mulder pulled away.

"I'm sorry. If you're not ready, we don't have to do this."

"No, don't stop," whispered Scully, and was ashamed of the thought. But it quickly passed. She couldn't stop now even if she wanted to. But she didn't.

She wanted Mulder. He leaned over and began unbuttoning her dress, kissing her between buttons. As he eased it off her shoulders, he kissed her skin with a touch as light as a feather.

He began to suck on her nipple, sending shockwaves straight to her groin. A groan escaped her mouth as she stoked his hair. His mouth moved lower, tracing fire wherever he kissed her. He gently nudged her thighs apart with his nose and began to kiss the length of her thighs. She was trembling so much, she felt weak.

Mulder's tongue found her centre and began to lick her, gently at first, and then harder as the sensations increased. She was going to die. He was going to kill her.

" OH GOD!" she sobbed as the first waves of orgasm threatened to overwhelm her. When the ebb had subsided somewhat, Mulder crawled up so that he was level with her and hugged her until she calmed down, placing kisses on her forehead. Scully could hardly breathe, she felt as though she might faint.

She found herself undoing the button's of Mulder's shirt, as if she couldn't bear to have anything between their skin for any longer. Mulder took her hand and placed it over his pounding heart.

"It feels just like mine," said Scully.

"I love you," said Mulder and kissed her on the tip of her nose. She hugged him as tight as she could. As the moment drew ever nearer, she tensed beneath him.

He looked down at her, the love in his eyes so obvious that she wondered why she'd never seen it this clearly before.

"I won't hurt you, Scully, I promise. All you have to do is relax."

He gently parted her legs with his hand and began to explore her with his fingers. He opened her up as though he was unfolding the petals of a delicate flower. Soon she could hardly bear it for much longer.

"Please, Mulder!" she groaned in anticipation

He held her by the hips as he drove into her, so slowly and gently that she thought she would die of frustration.

"Faster, Mulder! Harder!"

He stopped and looked down at her. "I don't want to hurt you."

"Don't stop! Please!" There had been a little pain at first, but she was beyond that now. "Faster, Mulder, please! I need it like that."

He obeyed and thrust into her. It was the most incredible sensation she had ever experienced. Mulder. She was with Mulder. Soon, he thrust even faster and she suddenly felt the warmth of his essence inside her, which made her come so strongly, that she wondered if she really was going to die.

He collapsed on top of her, spent.

They lay in each other's arms, dressed again in case someone walked along the beach. A few minutes ago, Scully wouldn't have cared. All she could think of was Mulder.

"Did I hurt you?" asked Mulder.


"Are you sure?"

"Well, just a little."

"You should have told me you were still a virgin."

"It didn't seem - appropriate," laughed Scully and kissed him. Something strange had happened after they'd made love. She wasn't sure if it was supposed to happen or if it was her imagination. An elderly couple walked along the sand, hand in hand. She could see it round them too.

"Mulder," she began.

"Yes?" he mumbled sleepily.

"Can you see something round people?"

"What do you mean?"

"I'm not sure. It's like a-well it's like a sort of glow."

"Oh, that. I'm surprised Lucy didn't mention it to you. Because you're no longer a virgin, you powers have increased. What you can see is people's auras."

"I suppose next you'll tell me that I can douse for water with two sticks!"

"No, you don't need the sticks."

Scully found it hard to believe in all these so called powers that everyone kept telling her she had. None of it made any sense, but then her life never had. She always felt as though she was the odd one out.

"I'm getting a headache. Can we go back?" she asked.

"Eat something first. That's maybe why you've got a headache," said Mulder and handed her a sandwich. Scully complied unwillingly. She just didn't feel hungry. A sandwich and a quiche later they packed up the picnic basket and headed back. As they got nearer to the house, Scully's headache increased, like what had happened at Pompeii.

"Something's wrong," she said to Mulder and put a hand on his arm to keep him from going any further. He didn't ask how she knew.

"We'll be careful," he said and continued up the path. Scully followed him.

She wanted to be with him, even if there was a danger. As they neared the cottage, they saw the reason for Scully's uneasiness. Something was huddled in the doorway. It looked like a bundle of rags, but on closer inspection proved to be a person.

"Oh my God! It's him!" exclaimed Scully, but not as they'd last seen Dr. Haroldson. He was dressed like a tramp, with filthy hair and dirty clothes. As Scully bent down to see if he was all right, a hand jerked out from the bundle of rags and grabbed her wrist.

Too late she felt the needle prick her arm.

After that, there was only pain and darkness.

When she came to, she was in some sort of basement. It was cold and she shivered violently. Water dripped from the walls and she could smell damp earth. She was completely naked and vulnerable.

What was it Dr. Haroldson wanted of her?

Leather restraints pinned her wrists and ankles to the bed she was lying on, some sort of hospital bed. What was it doing in the basement? But that wasn't what was worrying her. The sight of Dr. Haroldson bending over her with a syringe in his hand was what was worrying her. She saw him raise it and expel the air, a few drops of liquid escaping from the tip of the needle.

"What are you doing?" demanded Scully.

"It's only a sedative. To relax you. Then I have to take some blood. Just to make sure."

"Make sure of what?"

"That you are what I think you are. A pure-bred Eloin. Imagine it, Dana. With you and me, we can bring our race back! Our children will rule the world! Do you know how long it's taken me to find another pure Eloin, like me?"

"You're mad!" said Scully and she began to struggle against the restraints which held her, but it was no use. The needle came down and she was welcomed into oblivion once more.

She dreamed of Mulder. A frantic Mulder, looking for her, searching for her.

(Where are you?)

(I'm here Mulder)

(You left me again)

(I'll never leave you)

(You always leave me)

She woke up choking on her own sobs. Scully lifted her hand to wipe away the tears, but couldn't. The restraints were still there. The only sound was her breath and the drip-drip of water down the walls.

Someone had dressed her when she was unconscious. Some sort of white nightgown, from what she could see of it.

She didn't know how long she waited there before Haroldson re-appeared. He smiled down at her, so she was totally unprepared for what happened next.

His hand caught her on the side of the cheek, a stinging blow which made her ears ring and her eyes hurt. Her cheek felt as though it had swelled to twice its normal size.

"You bitch!" raged Haroldson as he hit her again and again and again. She thought she might lose consciousness again, but she wasn't permitted that relief. Her teeth felt loose and her nose was bleeding, a metallic taste going down her throat. She almost choked on her blood and still the assault continued.

"You were supposed to be a virgin!" growled Haroldson as he yanked the nightgown away from her bare legs. He thrust his hand between her legs and opened her up.

She squirmed trying to get away from his probing hands, but the restraints held her fast.

"Was it good? Did you enjoy it? You whore! You're blood is no longer pure. You have the seed of that human in you now. And his brat!" He thrust a finger into her as far as it would go and she screamed in agony, trying to dislodge him only made the pain worse.

"Let's see how you feel with a pure Eloin inside you!" The sound of his zipper was very loud in the silent basement. This wasn't going to happen. She was not going to allow herself to be raped by this madman, but how could she prevent it?

"If you touch me, I'll kill you," she said it so quietly, he struggled to hear.

"Yeah, right! Do you think you know how?"

"There's one way to find out. Are you willing to risk it?"

He withdrew his hand and stared down at her. He raised his arm as if to strike her again, but thought better of it. He left her alone to her pain and misery. She wasn't sure she would know how to kill him with her powers, she just hope the threat was enough to keep him away from her so that she could figure out what to do.

What was it Mulder had said? That the Eloin could simply go from one place to another simply by thinking about it? She closed her eyes, trying to ignore the pain in her face and thought of Mulder's apartment. Concentrated so hard that herhead hurt. But nothing happened. She could visualise his couch, the fishtank, Mulder sprawled on the couch, his head in his hands. But when she opened her eyes she was still stuck in the basement.

Why wasn't it working? Maybe her powers weren't up to speed yet. She turned her head when she heard footsteps.

"That won't work," said Haroldson. "You can only teleport if you aren't physically restrained. Why do you think I kept you like that?"

"What do you want from me?" demanded Scully.

"Haven't you figured it out yet, Dr. Scully? You're one of the few pure Eloin left. Everyone else has been polluted by the alien blood, human blood. It's the humans who are the aliens. The Eloin have been here long before the humans arrived in their millions."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm surprised that partner of yours hasn't told you. Humans arrived here millions of years ago. The Eloin are the earth's original inhabitants. Your partner seems to know a lot about us for a human."

"So Mulder isn't Eloin?" asked Scully. She thought he was from all the information he was giving her.

"He's half Eloin. His sister was pure Eloin. They have different fathers."

Scully had suspected as much, and so had Mulder if what he told her was true. They were only abducting Eloin women. If that was the case why did Haroldson want her? Weren't there any others?

"Of course there are others, but not like you. You're the only one who holds the cure for our illness. There was one other, but she died." He could read her thoughts, she remembered belatedly and tried to guard them from his probing mind.

"Who?" demanded Scully and then hated herself for even carrying on a conversation with this lunatic.

"Melissa. Your sister."

Scully felt as though he had just punched her in the stomach and she willed him to feel some of the pain she was feeling. He staggered back, away from her, holding his head as though it hurt.

"Preventing me from reading your thoughts won't help you. Nothing will help you. Even if you do manage to escape, I'll find you. I'll always be able to find you."

"How?" asked Scully and then answered her own question. "The implant?"

He didn't answer, just continued to stare at her, as though he were a biologist and had just discovered an interesting new species, and was deciding what to do with it. Study or destroy?

He walked away from her without saying another word. When she was sure he was gone, Scully tried to think of some way out of her predicament. If she couldn't do anything while she was restrained, maybe she could somehow magic the restraints away. She smiled inwardly. Dana Scully, scientist, was relying on some sort of magic to help her. Was it any different to praying, she wondered? And she'd also done a fair amount of that in the past few days.

She closed her eyes, imagining the leather strap becoming unbuckled, just from the force of her will. She concentrated hard, repeating the image over and over in her mind until she could feel the straps loosen about her arms and legs. Once that was done, she concentrated hard on Mulder's apartment, stifling a giggle. Would she materialise in Mulder's apartment like something out of Star Trek?

A few moments, she was there, in Mulder's apartment. He looked up from his couch and stared.

"Scully? Is it really you?"

"For heaven's sake, Mulder! Don't just stand there! Help me!" She could feel her strength failing. Mulder's apartment was being superimposed by the basement. Mulder grabbed her hand and the basement disappeared completely. She was left trembling in his arms. Mulder tilted her chin up to face him.

"My God! What happened to you?"

"There's no time. The implant. Cut it out. Cut out the implant." She headed towards the kitchen to hunt for a knife, anything that would get the damn thing out of her neck. Haroldson wasn't going to find her again. Ever.

She thrust the knife into Mulder's hand.

"But it's not sterile!" protested Mulder.

"I don't care. Just get it out of me. Now."

"But the cancer, Scully. It'll come back."

"Please, Mulder. Just do it. If you love me, do it."

She could almost see his hands shaking as he positioned himself behind her. He gently lifted her hair out of the way before he began to make the incision. It hurt, but not as much as what she'd already been through because of the implant. She stayed as still as she could while she felt Mulder's fingers gently extract it from her neck. Such gentle fingers for such a big man.

"What shall I do with it?"

"Get rid of it. It's a tracking device. It's how Haroldson found me. Did you know that's what it was, Mulder?" She turned to face him, suddenly feeling very angry with him. His silence was all she needed to confirm her suspicions.

Mulder knew what it was and still he insisted it be put in her neck. She wanted to throw up. Scully ran to the bathroom, only just making it in time.

She threw up until there was noting left only sour spittle. The front door slammed. Mulder. Leaving.

How could he have let her put that implant in her neck when he knew what it was? Or was he so naive that he thought he could protect her from Haroldson, from all of Them? No wonder the CSM had been so keen to get Mulder to give Scully a 'cure'. But if the implant wasn't a cure for her cancer, then how was she cured? It didn't make any sense.

But then, when did her life ever make any sense?

Mulder returned around midnight. Scully was curled up on his couch, a blanket wrapped around her. She pretended to be asleep. She wasn't sure that she could talk to him without screaming at him, at what she saw as his ultimate betrayal. He might as well have delivered her into Haroldson's hands himself.

"I know you're awake, Scully. I thought it was for the best. I suspected the implant might be a tracking device, but I never knew. I hoped it wasn't."

"And you were prepared to put me in danger?"

"I thought I was taking you out of danger. The cancer. I wanted to cure you."

"Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease."

He knelt down beside her and began to stoke her hair.

"Don't," said Scully and tried to move away from him. She sat up and folded her arms across her chest, as though to ward him off. Her face was beginning to ache again. "What did you do with it?"

"It's in the river. They won't find you."

"They won't stop looking though, will they?"

"No. We'll have to go on the run. Hide. The boys made these for us."

Mulder handed her a padded brown envelope. Inside were passports, credit cards, driving licences, bank accounts, all in the name of Mr and Mrs Fletcher. But the photos were of Mulder and Scully. Mulder had thought of everything, hadn't he? Did he know this was going to happen?

"This isn't entirely legal, is it?" asked Scully.

"Do you want legal or do you want to survive?"

"I want to survive. But we can't hide forever, Mulder."

"We can try."

They drove all night, in a hire car rented under the assumed names.

Mulder wanted to take her to a hospital, but Scully refused. There was no way of telling which hospital had spies working for Dr. Haroldson. Scully didn't want to take any chances that he could find her again.

"Where are we going, Mulder?"

"I don't know. But we can't stay in Washington. It's probably best if we leave the country altogether, but they'll be watching the airports for us. We'll have to go by sea. They'll probably have people covering the ports as well, but I don't think that's what they expect us to do."

Scully didn't care what they expected them to do, she just hoped they wouldn't be caught. It all seemed so surreal. Any moment now she would wake up in her own bed, an none of this would have happened. She would be Dana Scully, special agent, not some member of a lost race. And she wouldn't be married to Mulder. She wouldn't have cancer. She would never have been abducted. And pigs would fly.

She knew it was real. It was just so hard to accept. They made the rest of the journey in silence. Not their normal comfortable silences, one that the longer it went on, the more difficult it was to break. Scully felt silent tears slide down her cheek, making her face sting even more. She turned away from Mulder so that he wouldn't see, she couldn't bear his pity.

They arrived at the docks just before dawn, the sky just beginning to lighten with streaks of orange. The docks were already busy with bustling sailors. There didn't seem to be any passenger ships. From what Scully could see, they were all carrying cargo of some sort or another. It slowly dawned on her what Mulder had in mind. They *were* the cargo.

Mulder took her arm as he helped her up the gang plank of one of the ships. The ship was filthy and full of rust. Would it even last long enough to take them where they were going? Wherever that might be. An unkempt sailor met them on board and showed them to a dingy cabin with no window or porthole. There were two bunks with dirty mattresses, but no blankets or pillows.

"I don't feel well," said Scully, but she knew that lying down on the dirty bunks wouldn't make her feel any better. She hadn't felt well ever since she escaped from Haroldson's basement. What drugs had he given her?

"You should have let me take you to a hospital," said Mulder giving her a hug. She flinched and backed away from him.

"Scully? What is it? Why don't you want me to touch you? Did he do something to you? Did he - did he rape you?" His voice broke on the last word.

"Is that what you want to hear, Mulder?"

"God no! If anything like that ever happened to you..."

"What? You'd leave me? Because I was soiled goods? You wouldn't want me anymore?"

"Of course not! What sort of man do you take me for?"

"That's just it, Mulder. I don't know. Not anymore."

They were both silent, staring at each other as though they were both strangers. Scully didn't know what to feel. Did she really know Mulder? How could she know Mulder when she didn't even know herself?

"No, Mulder. He didn't rape me. But he did - other things." She hoped he wouldn't want any further explanation than that. She wasn't sure she could give him one without breaking down completely.

They heard the engines start up as the ship began to move slowly and noisily out of the dock. Scully didn't feel safe. She used to feel safe with Mulder, but not now. Not after what he'd done.

Mulder had been lying to her all along.

The journey was uneventful for the most part, but Scully was seasick almost the entire time. She wouldn't let Mulder comfort her, even though she knew that he wanted to. He tried to talk to her, about anything, but she just wasn't interested in anything he had to say to her now. Why had he waited six years before telling her that she was Eloin? Had her parents been Eloin and not known it? It was possible, after all she didn't know until Mulder had told her. But why hadn't he told her before?

They ship landed in Ireland about two weeks after it had set sail Scully was glad to get off. She Mulder had been together 24 hours a day for the past few weeks and she needed her own space back. She felt suffocated.

"Where are we going?" she asked Mulder, as they made their way from the docks at Rosslare. Mulder hired a car, but didn't speak to her until they were inside and the windows safely locked.

"I have a farm." Scully burst out laughing.

"You have a farm? This I've got to see!"

"Why is it so surprising?"

"I just never figured you as the farming type, that's all."

"Well, I don't actually farm it myself. I have a manager and his wife to run things for me."

"An absentee landlord?" admonished Scully.

"Not really. It's run on a profit share basis. Angela and Pat get paid well and they also get a share of any money the farm makes. They have all the benefits of running a farm, but none of the risks. I've got all the risks." He was quiet again, staring out at the road ahead of them.

Scully sank back in her seat and closed her eyes. It would be dark soon and she felt so tired. The seasickness didn't seem to be clearing up. Maybe she was just worried. No-one knew where they were. Her mother would be frantic. Not to mention Bill. It was best not to think of Bill. And their jobs. My God, what were they going to tell Skinner?

She was drifting off to a sort of half sleep when Mulder cut the engine and put on the handbrake.

"We're here," he said quietly.

As soon as they got out of the car, two dogs rushed up to greet them, yapping excitedly and trying to jump up on their chests. Scully patted the one nearest her, feeling a lump in her throat. Sometimes she missed Queequaq more than she would admit. He made her feel less lonely.

Pat and Angela followed the dogs outside to see what the commotion was. It was just about dark, but Scully could make out a very tall older man with greying hair and his arms around the shorter, rounder woman by his side. She looked homely.

"Fox!" exclaimed Angela and rushed to hug him, as though he was her long lost son. Scully had never seen Mulder's real mother greet him with such affection, and she felt sad for him that he hadn't known that type of unconditional love from his parents. Pat hung back by the door, giving Scully the once over.

"And who might this be?" asked Angela, releasing a very embarrassed looking Mulder from her embrace.

"This is Dana, my wife," said Mulder and put his arms around her. Scully didn't move away, not wanting to embarrass him in front of his

friends, but she felt like a trophy, only there so that he could show her off.

"Where are my manners, come in, come in! I hope you're hungry. There's Irish stew tonight." Angela ushered them into the house, while Pat watched silently. Scully wondered if he could talk at all.

The door led into a kitchen with a large fireplace and around the fire were three children of various ages, playing and arguing.

"Ma, Tommy hit Kate and he pulled my hair!" The little girl looked up at her mother and her eyes went wide.

"Uncle Fox! Uncle Fox!" she shrieked delightedly and flung herself onto his legs, nearly knocking Mulder down.

Soon two other little people were upon him like miniature torpedoes, there was no way of stopping them. Three pairs of curious eyes looked from Mulder to Scully and she couldn't help smiling.

"I'm Dana," she said.

"I'm Tommy," said the only boy.

"And I'm Siobhan," said the eldest girl, about eight or nine.

"And that's Kate," she pointed to her sister, who had shyly buried her face against Mulder's leg.

"Kate's the baby," said Tommy.

"I'm not! I'm big! I'm four!"

"Now that's enough!" roared Angela. All three were quiet, as though a switch had been turned off. She turned to Mulder and Scully, a smile on her face.

"Why don't you two get freshened up and then we can have dinner? Fox will show you around," said Angela. "Though why you didn't let us know you were coming and married! I'm disappointed in you, Fox," she softened her words with a smile.

"It's complicated," said Mulder.

"It always is, isn't it? Now get up those stairs, there's plenty of hot water."

"Thanks," said Scully, feeling as if she'd just stepped into an alternate universe and this was Mulder's *real* family.

Mulder led her upstairs, first to a bedroom and then showed her the bathroom. There was only one double bed in the room. She looked at it and then at Mulder. They hadn't shared the same bed since she had escaped from Haroldson. Did Mulder feel as uncomfortable as her?

After they'd both freshened up, they went downstairs to join the rest of the Malone clan and have dinner with them. The Irish stew was delicious. It was followed by home made rhubarb crumble and custard, and the portions were enough to feed a small army.

The dinner over and dishes washed, Mulder joined the children on the floor, playing 'snakes & ladders' with them. Scully looked at him, a sad smile playing on her lips. She had never seen him this happy, this carefree. It seemed as though he belonged there, with children crowded round him, laughing at his jokes and gazing adoringly at him. She remembered how good he'd been with Emily as well, and felt the familiar ache tug at her chest. An ache that would never be healed.

It was soon time for the children to go to bed, but they refused to be parted from their 'uncle' Fox. After all, he'd only just got here and they were determined to spend every minute with him if they could.

"Will you read me a bedtime story, uncle Fox?" asked Siobhan.

"Me too!" piped up Tommy.

There was no request from Kate, she just sat hugging her little rag doll and staring at the fire.

"Would you like a story too?" asked Scully, holding out her hand. To her surprise, Kate reached out and held it firmly.

"Well, that's a first!" exclaimed Angela. "She's normally so shy with strangers."

"She's not strange," said Kate quietly. "She's Auntie Dana."

And Scully had to admit, she liked the sound of that.

Once the children were safely tucked up and asleep, Mulder and Scully decided it was time for them to head for bed too. It had been a long journey and they both could do with the rest.

"Don't worry, Scully. I'll take the floor."

"Nonsense, Mulder! We're both two adults. We can still share the same bed. You look exhausted and you need a good night's rest, and you won't get it on the floor!"

"Always the doctor, Scully?" he asked, before heading for the bathroom. When he returned, Scully was already in bed wearing a pair of red pyjamas and had the covers tucked up almost to her chin. She felt the bed dip as Mulder got in, but he stayed as far away from her as possible, not an inch of their bodies touching. It was as though she was alone.

Was this what their life had become? Strange beds in strange houses? Alone in strange beds? Always looking over their shoulder, trying to avoid Haroldson?

Always running but never escaping.

Mulder fell asleep first, his breathing becoming slow and even. She wished it was as easy for her to fall asleep. It seemed hours before she finally drifted off into a fitful sleep. Something woke her before it was light, but she wasn't sure what. She lay still, listening. Mulder's breathing was rapid and erratic, and he began to thrash about on the bed.

"Sculleee!" he screamed. Another nightmare. She had her arms around him in an instant, rocking him back and forth like a child.

"Ssh, it's okay. I'm here," she soothed, kissing his hair. His head was clasped against the valley of her breasts, when his head moved and he began to search out her left breast and began to nuzzle it through the fabric of her pyjama top. Scully froze, what should she do? He seemed to be asleep, not aware of what he was doing, but her body was. Very, very aware. She felt an ache in the juncture of her thighs and a rush of moisture there.

She tried not to moan, but it was no use, Mulder's mouth was causing the most delicious sensations in her, but it wasn't right. She couldn't let him continue, knowing he was asleep and might not know what he was doing.

"Mulder," she whispered gently.

"Huh?" he asked groggily, looking up at her. He jumped away from her as fast as he could, realisation in his eyes.

"I'm sorry, Scully. I knew we shouldn't be in the same bed." He got off the bed and headed for the door.

"Wait," said Scully, louder than she intended.

"Why? So you can tell me what a pervert I am? That I can't keep my hands to myself even when I'm a sleep? I know all that already, Scully. You don't need to tell me!"

"Mulder, will you just listen to me for once?" asked Scully, getting up and following him to the door. She got as close to him as she could without actually touching him. Mulder waited, a curious look in his eyes when she didn't say anything straight away.

Instead she took his hand and placed it firmly on her breast, using her hand to guide his hand to squeeze it. He had no choice but to obey. He groaned and tried to pull his hand away, but Scully was stronger than she looked and his hand remained a prisoner.

"Scully! Ahh...you don't know what that's doing to me!"

"Yes I do, Mulder," she said and her other hand reached out and stoked his hardness through his boxers. Finding strength from somewhere, he released his hand and then grabbed both her wrists, holding them high above her head, while his mouth crushed hers in a passionate kiss.

"Is this what you want?" he asked breathlessly, pulling her towards the bed. Scully could only nod in reply. She felt weak, a heady mix of desire and fear. She had seen the anger in Mulder's eyes and knew he could hurt her if he wanted to.

But once they were on the bed, he was gentle and his lips travelled across her body into all her secret places and she thought she might die from the pleasure of it. It was Mulder and she was his *wife* and he was making love to her as though she was the only woman in the world and nothing else existed except them and this room and this bed and she was soaring, soaring, soaring.

Mulder was there too, and they came together in a chorus of moans and Mulder lay on top of her, spent and exhausted.

"God, Scully! I love you so much!" and she felt his tears against her chest, mingling with the sweat of their lovemaking.

"Mulder, I love you too. I always have and I always will."

"Even after everything? After I've lied to you?" He looked up at her. Scully reached out her hand, wiping his tears away.

"I know you must have had your reasons. I realise that now. You were only trying to protect me. No matter what you've done, or will do, I know that you love me. And I will love you. Forever."

"But I don't deserve you, Scully! Look at what's happened to you because of me? Why do you love me Scully?"

"Because you're the one. I can't love anyone else."

The next few weeks passed by in a blur, with both of them helping out at the farm. Mulder spent all day in the fields with Pat, while Angela taught Scully how to make cheese and butter in the dairy.

She was surprised how much she enjoyed the physical work. On Mondays, it was market day and Angela would take in their milk, cheese and butter to be sold. At night they would make love, like the newly-weds they were, and it was like each time was the first time and better than the last.

Scully wanted the distraction, of going to the market with Angela but Mulder didn't want them to go where anyone could see them other than the Malone family.

So that's how she ended up on her own baby-sitting Kate. The little girl was fascinated by Scully's red hair. She was staring at Scully and holding her rag doll against her chest like a baby, rocking it and cooing to it.

"Would you like to hold Emily?" asked Kate.

Scully felt her chest constrict. She wouldn't cry. She wouldn't.

"Emily?" she whispered.

"My doll," said Kate and thrust it out in front of her like an offering.

No, Scully didn't want to hold a doll. She wanted to hold a flesh and blood child. Her own child. A child who wouldn't die on her. Her child. And Mulder's. She cried then, trying to hide it from Kate.

She was crying for herself, but most of all for Mulder. She'd seen the way he was around kids. She could never give him a family, and she knew it was what he wanted. A happy family to take away the memories of his unhappy one. She wanted to give him that. She ached to give him that. And it had been robbed from her. Ripped from her body like they stole her memories, her identity.

"Auntie Dana!" Kate's cry reached through her tears. Scully glanced up from the table and felt her insides turn to rubber. There was a shadow by Kate's shoulder, almost reaching out to the little girl.

"NO!" screamed Scully and shot up from the chair. "Run Kate! Run!"

But Kate stood there, motionless. Not even her eyes were moving. The shadow coalesced into something solid, something evil.


His hand reached out to touch the little girl, who was like a statue.

"NO!!" shrieked Scully again, and Haroldson turned to her.

"Well, well, if it isn't Dr. Scully. I didn't expect to find you here, though I should have guessed, really. It's a wise child who knows its father, but an even wiser one knows its mother."

"What do you mean?" demanded Scully, terribly afraid that she already knew the answer.

"Come now, don't tell me you haven't noticed a certain resemblance? The red hair, the blue eyes? Did you think we only created one? I didn't think you were that naive, Dana," he smiled evilly at her.

"You mean Kate? Kate is my daughter?" She wanted to faint, she wanted to hide, to wake up from this horrible dream.

"We need her, if all our plans are to come to fruition. And you can't stop me from taking her."

"NO! I'll do anything, just leave her alone!"

"It's too late for that, but maybe there is something..."

And suddenly Scully wasn't seeing the farmhouse anymore, she was seeing the field where Pat and Mulder were ploughing. Pat was driving the tractor pulling the plough, and Mulder was following behind him planting potatoes. Suddenly there was a screech as the tractor began to move backwards.

Scully watched in fascinated horror, she knew what was about to happen and even tried to scream a warning to Mulder. But it was no use. No sound escaped from her locked throat and she had to watch as Mulder stumbled and fell, his feet slipping in the mud. There was an agonising scream from Mulder as the plough severed his arm at the elbow, a crimson arc of blood shooting into the sky.

Scully sank to her knees on the farmhouse floor, bile rising in her throat. She was aware of Haroldson's presence like a mouse is aware of a cat and the danger it poses.

"What's it to be, Dana? Mulder's life for Kate's?"

"I can't make that choice!" she yelled, tears flowing freely.

"No? What about the child in your womb? His life for Kate's?"

She stared at him and then Special Agent Scully of the FBI did something she had never done before.

She fainted.

When she came too, she was lying on the sofa, Mulder hovering anxiously over her.

"Mulder!" she sat up too quick, feeling dizzy again.

"It's okay, Scully. Ssh." He held her in his arms while she just cried and cried. She didn't think she'd ever stop. Poor Kate! There would be nothing but experiments for her and she dreaded to think what would happen to her when she became child-bearing age.

"We've got to find Kate! Haroldson took her!"

"Kate's fine. She's outside playing."

"But Haroldson? He was here? Or did I dream it?" The memory was just a blur now.

"Yes, he was here."

"Why didn't he take Kate? I fainted, I couldn't help her!"

"Kate helped herself. Haroldson's dead, Scully. I shot him."

"But how did you know he was here?"

"You and Kate must share a link. I heard both of your minds when I was out in the field, it was jumbled, but there was something about 'help' and 'danger'. I knew it must be something to do with Haroldson, so I rushed back. I saw you on the floor and Haroldson was just about to pick up Kate. He looked straight at me, and I swear it was like looking into the eyes of pure evil. He can't hurt anyone again."

"What about the police?" asked Scully. She didn't think the shooting of an unarmed man would just be hushed up, even if Mulder was in the FBI.

"The gardai have been and gone. As far as they're concerned, the case is closed. Haroldson had a string of aliases, he was wanted here in Ireland, in Europe and America for countless kidnappings, all young girls. I've saved them a trial, and stopped him from taking Kate. I'm a local hero, Scully! What does it feel like to be married to a hero, Scully?"

She smiled weakly at him. "It feels wonderful, Mulder. So, can we go home now?"

"Yes, we can go home," he kissed her forehead and left her to rest.


"Where the hell is he?!" shrieked Scully as another wave of pain washed over her. He should be here, with her, not chasing after little green men. God, the pain! How could something supposedly so natural be so painful?

"He'll be here, Dana, don't worry," soothed her mother, as she wiped Scully's brow with a cold cloth. "Think of the baby. Don't upset yourself."

Think of the baby? Think of the baby? She'd been in labour for eighteen hours, that was all she was thinking about! And Mulder. Why wasn't he here with her, seeing her through this?

The doctors came in to check on her every fifteen minutes, but they left again, after informing her that she was making no further progress. She was still only five centimetres dilated. How could there be no progress? She was in agony! She gripped the bedsheet so tight her knuckles turned white. It was as though she was being sawn in half, the contractions a tight band of pain around her abdomen. She hadn't thought it would be like this.

At first she hadn't believed she was pregnant, that Haroldson had been lying. It took a few months of morning sickness to finally convince her.

The doctors didn't know why she'd become pregnant, when they'd already told her she was sterile. Mulder thought she'd cured herself. It was as good as explanation as any, but at the moment, all Scully wanted to know was where was Mulder?

She panted, trying to ride the wave of pain which threatened to engulf her. The world shrunk till all there was, was pain. She didn't know how much more she could take. She thought she might have been embarrassed to be screaming in agony in front of everyone, her mother, the nurses and doctors, but by now she didn't care. She just wanted this baby out now!

"I want Mulder!" she sobbed as the contractions gave her a brief respite. She saw visions of him getting himself killed and she would be left to bring up their child on her own. It was a thought she didn't relish.

"I'm here, Scully," said a voice. Her head shot up.

"YOU BASTARD!" she screamed at him. Her mother looked shocked, but didn't say anything, just quietly went out the door. "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?" demanded Scully.

"You're not going to believe this, I was stuck in an elevator."

"An elevator?" gasped Scully as she felt another contraction coming on. She reached for Mulder's hand and squeezed as tight as she could. She felt his knuckles crack but he didn't complain that she was hurting him.

"God, Mulder! I want to push!"

"Not yet. I'll go get the doctor."

"Don't you dare leave me again!"

"Okay. Okay. Breathe, Scully, breathe."

Scully glared at him, arching an eyebrow. Did he think she didn't know how to breathe properly? She'd been to all the classes, unlike someone else she could mention. Mulder pressed the call button by her bed, but no-one seemed to be answering. Was everyone having their babies at the same time as hers?

"Mulder," she panted at him. "You're going to have to help."

"Me? But I don't know anything about babies!"

"Just help it out. My body knows how to do the rest. Mulder, quick!"

The urge to push was overwhelming, she just wanted it all over. She was tired and hungry and in pain and she wanted to go home. Mulder knelt between her legs and then he looked up at her and smiled. "I can see the head, Scully! Our baby!"

"Right, Scully, push!"

"I am pushing!" It was exhausting, and she had to have frequent rests between contractions. The sweat was dripping off her and she couldn't wait to have a shower after this was all over. Suddenly she felt the head being born followed shortly by the rest of her baby. Mulder lifted the baby onto her stomach, with tears in his eyes. "It's a girl, Scully. A beautiful baby girl!" The baby's first cry was the most wonderful sound in the world.

"I think she's hungry!" laughed Scully. She was euphoric.

"Well, well," said the nurse coming in. "I see baby Mulder wasn't going to wait for the doctor before her entrance into the world!" She smiled as she took the baby away from Scully.

"Where are you taking her?" asked Scully, panicking.

"Just so the doctor can check her and clean her up. Why don't you get freshened up and then you can give her her first feed?"

"Okay," mumbled Scully. "Mulder, can you help me to the shower?"


Washed and dressed and in a clean nightie, with a well fed baby in the crook of her arm, Scully felt up to having her visitors. Mulder hadn't left her side since their daughter was born, and she was glad of that.

They all crowded into the room, her mother, Bill and Tara, Skinner, Langly, Byers and Frohike.

"So, have you thought of a name yet?" asked Skinner.

Mulder and Scully looked at each other, smiling secretly.

"Yes, we have."

"Well?" demanded everyone at once.

"Verity," they said together. "Her name is Verity."


Comments, questions, anything? The name Verity means truth, I just thought it would be an appropriate name for a child of Mulder and Scully's. Thanks for reading!

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