Title: Holding the Pieces
Author: Georgina M
Written: August 2000
Spoilers: Post requiem.
Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully and all other characters are not owned by me, no infringement is intended and no profit is being made from me playing with them.

Summary: Scully breaks the news of her pregnancy and Mulder's disappearance to her mother, Margaret Scully POV.


As I approach my daughter's apartment building I feel my anxiety level rising. I haven't heard from Dana in two weeks, despite numerous telephone messages at three different numbers, each one left with increasing concern for her safety. I finally heard from her late last night, I was reading in bed and half asleep otherwise I would have paid more attention. She sounded exhausted and like she had been crying I realised when we hung up after a brief conversation. She asked me to come around this morning, said she needs to talk to me. That phrase, it always means trouble, especially coming from Dana. In the back of my mind is her cancer, has it returned? Who am I kidding, that thought is foremost in my mind right now, she sounded, well, defeated. Like that day in the hospital she said she thought she had lost her faith in God. Surely I would have noticed if she was sick again, but then again I haven't seen much of her lately. She's been spending a lot of her spare time with Mulder, not that that's anything different, I guess I'm just beginning to hear about it. At least she was calling herself; it wasn't some doctor whose name I instantly forget calling me to her side in a hospital bed. That scenario is familiar by now, though I don't think I'll ever get used to it. Still, that has to be a good indication, they don't let people who are sick go home, not unless there's nothing else...

I dare not finish the thought. Dana's fine, I'm sure, it has been two years since her cancer went into remission, surely by now we can start relaxing? No, I know I will never be able to relax again where Dana is concerned. After she disappeared and after Melissa died I had to fight the urge to call her every half an hour to see where she was. I was only partially successful in that, I ended up called her at least three times every day, but that has eased off and now I generally only call when I have some legitimate reason to. Or when she doesn't return my calls fast enough to head off my paranoia over her safety.

Damn, I'm here already, facing her door. I should knock, she probably saw me get out of the car, she probably knows I'm just standing here on the other side. I need a moment to compose myself, prepare myself for what ever she is going to tell me. I take a deep breath and let it go, and finally knock.

The door opens slowly enough for me to paint a smile on my face as a greeting, "Hi honey." I say, good it sounded light, cheerful, she's fine, you're fine.

She's not fine. I can see that immediately. She's white as a sheet, she has dark circles under her eyes. Please God no, she's not sick again. Dana flashes a quick weak smile at me, then pulls me into a hug. She's hugging me like she hasn't seen me for years. I hug her back, but I'm wondering if she's doing this so I can't see her face, can't see how sick she looks. She's crying, I can feel her tears landing warm on my shoulder and neck.

With a great feat of will power I pull away from her and move into her apartment and shut the door. I immediately wonder why I did that. Why can't you enjoy your ignorance Margaret? Do you really want to know what has driven your daughter to tears?

I can feel tears of my own welling up in anticipation of what she's going to say. I want to know, but I don't want to know if she's going to confirm my worst fears, am I going to lose my daughter again?

Somehow I find a way to speak to her, "Dana, what's the matter?" I'm careful not to let my voice reflect the panic and dread I am feeling. I lead her to her sofa and sit perched beside her. I can't sit back against the cushions, my muscles are too tense, I am a captive on the edge waiting for her to speak, literally sitting on the edge of my seat.

She tries to wipe her tears away, but more are falling to take their place, she gives up and clears her throat. She finally raises her head to look at me, the first time she's given me eye contact since I arrived. Her eyes are full of pain and she drops them back down quickly to examine her hands as they lie on her lap. I reach across and take her hand.

"Dana?"

She clears her throat again and takes a deep breath in, "I'm sorry," she sobs out.

I lean over and hug her, "What for? Don't apologise until you tell me what's going Dana." I stroke her hair, tell me for goodness sake before the suspense and my own anxieties kill me.

"I'm sorry I didn't return your calls, I just... didn't know what I was doing..." she takes a shuddering breath in.

"What's going on, Dana?" I'm in automatic mother mode now, I can tell, in one way I would like to preserve my own ignorance, but my need to comfort my daughter is over ridding that.

"Mulder and I were on a case in Oregon..." She pauses, that would explain why I haven't been able to reach her, "-he thought I was in danger so he brought me back to DC and went back with Skinner."

She pauses again, I'm following so far, surely she isn't this upset because Fox has ditched her on a case?

"He disappeared, Mom, just like I did, right in front of Skinner. He's been gone almost two weeks, we haven't found any trace of him. I just don't know what to do next, I have to find him, mom."

She dissolves into tears again and I feel my muscles relaxing as I let out a breath I didn't realise I was holding, my daughter's not sick. I immediately feel guilty for thinking something so selfish. She isn't sick but she's distraught at losing her partner, and poor Fox, what could be happening to him? An image of Dana when she was returned after her abduction flashes through my mind, the state she was in the doctors told us she would die, the thought of seeing Fox in that state, or worse, makes me feel sick. What on earth have these two got themselves involved in that would seem to bring out the most vengeful aspects of people they meet?

I rock Dana until her tears slow down, at first I don't even realise I'm doing it. It's a very instinctual thing to do when you have a crying person wrapped in your arms. I remember when the children were young I would unconsciously start rocking everytime I had something in my arms, whether that be a child or not. The most bizarre example was a small sack of charcoal I was holding for Bill while he tried to light a barbecue. The terrace was wet for some reason so he didn't want to put it on the ground. I stood there rocking it until Bill asked me what in the hell I was doing.

Dana pulls away from me and looks into my eyes, she not finished, she has s omething else to say. I feel myself tense up again.

"Mom, there's something else I have to tell you."

I stroke her cheek and smile softly at her, "Whatever it is, you can tell me, Dana." Just please don't tell me you're sick.

"I... um,..... I don't know how to say this."

"It's ok, just say it, Dana." Just please don't include the word cancer.

She looks down at her hands again, when she raises her head back to meet my gaze her eyes are still wet, but I see something else in them now, I don't know what it is.

"I'm pregnant."

For a moment I think I have misheard. Perhaps I am hallucinating so I don't hear the bad news. Maybe I'm dreaming, but I think my daughter, who has known for years she can't bare children has just told me she's pregnant. She's looking at me, she's waiting for a response. My mouth drops open, but I can't seem to form any coherent words on my lips.

"Mom?"

I'm scaring her now I think. Say something Maggie, say something before she throws you out. In my shocked state my usual tact and delicacy escapes me, "It's Fox's isn't?"

I hear the words escape me and cringe. I hope I didn't sound accusing, I didn't mean to be, I like Fox, I just didn't realise they had that kind of relationship. So my daughter has obviously been more secretive than I gave her credit for.

She doesn't flinch at my question, I'm glad, "Yes." She replies simply, good she's not ashamed or embarrassed. She's pregnant to a man she loves, and whom I know loves her a great deal. Except he isn't here.

But I am.

I pull her into an embrace, she's crying again, but it's OK because I'm not going anywhere. Not until Fox Mulder is here to take my place anyway.

"Dana, that's amazing," I manage to choke out, I'm crying too now.

"I need him so much and he's not here, Mom."

I rock her gently again, I better not do this too much or I'll probably make her sick.

"It's OK," I whisper into her hair, "Everything's going to be fine. I'll help you with whatever you need me to do, ok?"

"Just be here." She sobs.

I will be. I will be here; holding the pieces of my daughter together until the man glues them in place returns.

FIN.


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