Title: Loss
Author: Melissa C
Written: April 1995
Rating: PG
Category: SA
Spoilers: One Breath
(Typical disclaimer) All characters and places and names and so on and so forth have been created by Chris Carter. Sue me if I didn't do this right, I've got nothing to lose.

Summary: Scully's recent illness gives a clue of what happened to her while she was missing, and Mulder decides that things would be best if they were to escape the scrutiny of whoever might be watching.

Notes: So far I have been a lurker around these parts, only posting when I needed information or wanted to comment about something I've read.

Well, I'm trying to get over my shyness and am about to post my very first story in this forum. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed the things I have written here.

Here goes! *gulp*

Mulder looked at the note for the umpteenth time as he sat in the waiting room of Holy Family Hospital. He looked around again, methodically folding the small yellow piece of paper. He got up and walked to the water fountain. His mouth wasn't dry and he wasn't thirsty, but it was something that occupied a few moments of his worrying. He sat and his thoughts wandered to earlier that morning when he walked into his office. After a few minutes of looking for files he took off his jacket and sat at his desk. He turned on his computer and, as he did every morning, glanced at the picture of his sister. Instead of her smiling face, the yellow piece of paper was there. He took the paper off and read it. He read it once, and then again before grabbing his jacket and running out of the building. He had been in the waiting room since then. He glanced at the nurse and she gave him the same smile that he had gotten for the past two hours.

After what seemed like an eternity, Scully emerged from the swinging door, being led by a nurse. He got up and ran over to her. On closer examination he could see the streaks from the tears that had run down her face. She was on the verge of tears again. The nurse smiled at him before saying good-bye and disappearing through the swinging door.

Mulder gently took her arm and led her to the street. He helped her into the car before going to the driver's side. He got in and turned to face her. She was still struggling to hold back her tears.

"What's going on? What's wrong?" he asked softly. Her face crumpled and the tears overflowed. He slid closer and gently pulled her into his arms. She gripped the front of his shirt as she sobbed into his chest. He smoothed her hair down and let her vent her emotions. After a few minutes she quieted down and was able to talk.

"I've been feeling weird the past few weeks. I'd get sick in the morning and be exhausted all day. I wasn't eating but gaining weight anyways. I thought it might be mono, but...." she trailed off. He pulled away and looked down at her incredulously. Then it softened.

"How far along are you?" he asked gently.

"About four months." He did some quick calculations in his head and looked at her in shock.

"Four months? Isn't that when... Do you know if...?"

"Yes and..."

Without thinking Mulder guided the car through downtown Washington, pulling up at the Jefferson Memorial. Without speaking he got out and opened her door for her. She took his arm as they walked slowly towards the reflecting pool and Mulder's park bench. They sat in silence for a few minutes. It was Scully who finally broke it.

"I'm scared, Fox. I don't know what to do," she said quietly.

He looked down at her when she called him Fox and took her hand.

"I'll be here, Dana. Whenever you need me." She gratefully squeezed his hand.

"I know. I don't know if...." she started, but the tears overtook her again. He slipped his arm around her and gave her his shoulder to cry on.

It was dusk as he pulled the car up in front of her apartment.

"Come in for dinner?" He shut the car off and they went inside.

They cooked dinner together and talked about what was going on in the news, staying on neutral subjects. They listened to some music before he grabbed his jacket.

"I'll get going now," he said.

"Fox," she started and he turned. She was blushing furiously.

"Could you stay? The night?" He hung up his jacket.

"I thought you'd never ask, Scully," he said in his usual joking monotone and she smiled for the first time that day.

It was business as usual the next morning when they arrived at the office. Skinner, their immediate supervisor, was the first person they ran into.

"So, where have you been, Agent Scully?" he asked, sarcasm dripping from his voice.

"Something personal came up, sir. It was somewhat of an emergency and in the process I didn't get a chance to call in. I'm sorry," she said. She had rehearsed what she would say to him with Mulder on the way in.

"And you disappeared pretty quickly too, Agent Mulder."

"Sorry, sir. I had a lead on a case, but it turned up nothing."

"Never let it happen again," Skinner ordered before stalking away. Mulder shook his head and they walked down to his office. Mulder made them coffee as she read and reread the copy of the file he had on her. In it were the details of her disappearance, her reappearance and some things that Mulder had added that weren't in her first file; the one that had been stolen.

"Anything?" he asked as he handed her a mug and sat behind his desk. She took a sip and shook her head.

"Nothing. Are you sure this is it?" she asked. She watched him write a note. 'They may be listening.' She nodded and looked around.

"That's it. That's all I had," he said as he handed her a walkman. She looked at him quizzically but put the earphones on when he nodded. She pressed play and heard Mulder's voice.

"I'm at a total loss. I can't find her. What if I never find her?" She could hear the despair in his voice. There was a pause and he continued.

"I just got back from a visit with the 'boys'. I gave them a sample of Dana's blood. Incidentally, it was the one the agent tried to steal from the hospital. They are running tests on it and should be done tomorrow." There was another pause.

"Another visit with the boys. They ran all the tests they know how and have found a strange strand of DNA in her. They think it keeps changing to destroy her systems. They said it will keep changing until she is dead. They said said that I have to let go of her, that she will not make it. I say she will and I will not let go of her. I refuse to."

She stopped the tape and looked at him. The note he had written said, 'Lunch at the Memorial'. She nodded and they moved on to another case.

At twelve thirty they walked to the Memorial, making sure they weren't followed. They found Mulder's bench on the outskirts of the park, away from everyone else. They sat and ate in silence.

"What are you going to do?" he asked, breaking the silence. The sun glinted off her coppery red hair as she shook her head.

"I don't know. I'm still shocked and haven't even thought about it," he hesitated.

"I think you should undergo some tests," he blurted out. She turned on him in anger and was about to speak when he held up his hand to stop her. "Think about it, Scully. We know nothing about that thing.

How it got there. What if it's hurting you?"

"Mulder, I refuse to be a guinea pig for this damn department.

If you think I'm going to let one of those agency doctors do-" she was saying when he cut her off.

"Not the agency, Scully. I never said anything about them. I was talking about the boys. They have all the equipment and know what they're doing. It will be quick, easy, painless, and most of all, we'll know what's going on inside you. Know if you're getting hurt or not.

Will you at least consider it?" he pleaded. She consented, "I'll think about it, but no promises." He nodded and they continued lunch. Mulder's ears perked up when he heard the bell of the nearest church ring three times. He looked at his watch before packing up his lunch.

"C'mon, Scully, let's go into the Memorial," he said.

"Mulder, the one time this past week I'm actually enjoying eating and you want to go? What is it?"

"I have someone I want you to meet."

His urgency compelled her to throw the rest of her lunch out and follow him into the cool shadows of the Memorial. Mulder led her around around a maze of hallways until he opened a door marked STAFF ONLY. He waited for her to enter before turning on the light. As their eyes readjusted to the light, the man sitting at the table spoke.

"You weren't followed?" he asked in a gravelly voice.He lit a cigarette "No. What is this about?" Mulder asked. The man waved them to sit down at two chairs he had set out.

"Calm down. I don't think I've yet been introduced to the beautiful lady. I know who you are, Miss, but you don't know me. I am the new, as you so elegantly put it, Deep Throat."

"What is this about?" Mulder repeated. The man smiled at him and then studied Scully.

"It's true how they say pregnancy brightens a woman's being. But not this pregnancy, I assume." Scully stared in shock at the man. She had been sure she wasn't followed to the hospital and had used one of her aliases when she checked in. He saw her shock and smiled. "Don't ask."

"Do they know?" Mulder asked. Scully studied the man who sat behind the cloud of smoke.

"Yes, they do. I suggest being especially careful in the near future. Agent Scully, try not to go anywhere alone, or where there aren't a lot of people. The Agency wants that fetus and will do anything to get it. If you can, I suggest you disappear. Very soon and very quietly."

"Did they do this to me?" Scully asked and the man shook his head.

"I can't answer that. I don't know. I would assume they did and that they want it back, mainly for study. It may be hurting you, Agent Scully. It may be helping you, I don't know for sure. I know you two know some people who can do tests, and I advise you to participate in those tests. When you know what's going on you can decide. My one suggestion is to find out whether aborting the fetus will hurt you or not. If I find anything else, I'll contact by paper." Mulder and Scully took this as a cue to leave and got up.

Just as they reached the door, Deep Throat spoke. "Be extra careful when you discuss this topic. They're watching and they're listening." With a nod Mulder shut the light off and opened the door.

They walked slowly back through the building in silence, Scully thinking about what Deep Throat had said about aborting the fetus while Mulder planned out a few different escape routes. They stopped in front of the building.

"I'll meet you at you're desk at six, okay?" he asked and she nodded. They separated, Scully going to her desk, Mulder going back to his basement office. He worked on some mindless cases, in the back of his mind thinking about how to get away. He worked until the phone rang.

"Mulder," he said as he picked it up.

"It's Grant. I have an assignment for you."

"Fifteen minutes," Mulder said and hung up the phone.

He arrived at the senators office and was led in by the secretary. The white haired man was sitting at his desk, listening to Bach.

"Sit down, Agent Mulder," he said and Mulder sat. They chatted mindlessly as the senator wrote on a piece of paper and handed it to Mulder. Mulder nodded and they talked for a little while longer before Mulder said good-bye. The time flew by and he went up to Scully's desk.

His heart skipped a beat when he saw her empty chair. He casually looked around, his stomach tying itself in knots, until he saw her emerge from the ladies room. He sighed in relief.

"Hey Mulder," she said as she grabbed her coat and briefcase.

"We have an assignment," he replied as they headed for his car.

"What, no hello?" she joked and he gave her his familiar smirk.

"Hello. We have an assignment," he said and handed her the file.

"Well, that's a little better. Needs some work though," she said as she glanced through the file. "Where is this town?"

"I'll explain later," he said. "We leave tonight."

They were in the air within forty five minutes. The flight was short, they got off in Hartford, Connecticut. Mulder immediately found a restaurant and they had dinner.

"So, when does our flight leave?" she asked as she took a bite of her soup.

"At three this morning. We have to drive to Moodis to catch the flight though. It's about two hours away, so we'll leave when we're done here so we'll have plenty of time," he told her, adding in his mind 'to lose any tails'. He paid for dinner and they set out.

"Why are we here if we're going out to Montana? Why didn't we just fly straight out there?" she asked as they got on the highway.

"We needed to leave right away and the next direct flight out wasn't until tomorrow morning. This will get us there quicker," he explained and she yawned. "It's been a long day, why don't you get some sleep?"

"Do you mind?" she asked.

"No problem. I'll wake you when we get there." He made sure she was sound asleep before he started taking back roads and paths through small towns, making sure he lost any tail. He woke her when they got to the airport and they boarded the plane. He didn't see anyone he recognized get on the plane and allowed himself an hour of sleep as they flew to Chicago International Airport.

They rescued their luggage when they arrived and sat down to wait for their plane. As Scully sat and waited, Mulder went to pick up the tickets at the counter. After a few minutes she got up and wandered to the juice machine to get a drink. The machine was close enough to the ticket counter for her to overhear the woman and Mulder talking.

"Here are you're tickets, Mr. Stevens, and have a nice flight," the woman said and he thanked her. Scully got her drink and sat down until Mulder got there.

"What was that all about?" she asked, jerking her head in the direction of the ticket counter and he knew she had overheard him.

"We're following direct orders. I can explain later, but not now," he said as his eyes darted watchfully around. She looked at him questioningly and he nodded, knowing she was wondering about a tail.

After a little while they got up and wandered around, heading for a gate. They stayed there and blended into the crowd. As the flight boarded they slipped into another group going the opposite way. They wandered around for over an hour, getting on and off planes and going from gate to gate. They got to their gate just as the plane boarded.

They were the last ones on and the stewardess shut the doors after them.

They made their way to the back of the plane, their seats right next to the engine. They studied the passengers on the plane and both were satisfied that they hadn't been followed. They waited until they were in the air to talk.

"What's going on?" she asked.

"I'm following some advice," he replied. She looked at him and realized he was talking about Deep Throat and what he had said. She turned away, not wanting him to see the emotions she was feeling, knowing he could tell by her eyes. He was risking his career and possibly his lifew to make sure she was safe and she knew she couldn't repay that debt. He gave her time to regain her composure and waited for her to turn back to him.

"With the help of a friend, a very powerful friend, I was able to swing a little 'vacation' for us," he started as he smiled slightly, "to Montana."

"Who's your friend?" she asked but he shook his head.

"I can't tell you that, but I can tell you he's been a guardian angel for both of us. He has been for awhile now."

"I understand. What's our cover?" she asked her and he handed her a few credit cards and ids. They all had a name and her picture on it.

"Pleased to meet you, Michelle. I'm Patrick, your husband," he said and stuck out his hand. She looked down at it and then at him before they both laughed. It felt good to laugh, for both of them. She shook his hand and smiled.

"Nice to finally meet you," she said. They talked back and forth, creating personalities for their new names and before they knew it they touched down in Montana. They collected their luggage and looked around for the car that was to be sent to get them. A man was waiting just outside the door with a sign saying 'Circle K Dude Ranch.' A couple was already standing with the man. Scully looked up at him.

"That's our cover." He smirked and she gave him a disbelieving look.

"And this is my wife, Michelle," Mulder said as she joined him.

"Pleased to meet you, ma'am," the man said and took their bags.

They all piled into the truck and set out. Mulder and Scully made inane chit-chat with the other couple and the driver as they traveled. An hour later they turned down a dirt road on the outskirts of the city.

After unpacking their things they met the whole group on the front porch of the house for an orientation. The director explained the schedule for the week, including the barbecue and dance scheduled for later that evening.

Dinner was over quickly, the guests discussing the upcoming week of events. The workers had cleared a space in the yard and put up lights. As the sun slowly lowered in the sky the music started. Mulder and Scully stumbled through square dancing and line dancing lessons before finally moving to the side of the floor to watch. A couple sat with them, striking up conversation.

"So, what made you decide to come out here for this?" the man asked. Mulder and Scully looked at each other before he spoke.

"We both have high pressure jobs and really needed a form of stress relief. We've always wanted to try this, so we said what the heck," Mulder said and they all laughed. "What about you two?"

"We did this on our first honeymoon. By the way, you two look awfully familiar. Do we know you from somewhere?" the man, Mike Adams, asked.

"I don't believe so. Where are you from?" Scully asked.

"We're from the D.C. area. And you?" Shelly, Mike's wife, asked.

"Connecticut. I guess you're thinking of someone else," Mulder said and they all laughed. As they announced the last dance Mulder took Scully's hand.

"Would you like to dance, hon?" he asked her and she did all she could not to burst out laughing.

"Of course, dear," she replied and let him lead her to the dance floor. As the music started they looked at each other and smiled, trying not to laugh. He took her hand and pulled her to him, slipping his other hand around her waist. She put her arm around his neck and buried her face in his chest as she laughed.

"Are you okay, dear?" he whispered and she laughed even harder.

"Of course, sweetheart, how about you?" she replied and he had to bury his face in her hair to hide his laughter. As the music died down the owner spoke to them all about the morning wake up call and said goodnight.

They said goodnight to Mike and Shelly before reluctantly walking towards their cabin to retire for the night.

"So, Mulder, have you ever actually ridden a horse before?" she asked as she brushed her hair. He pulled off his shirt and looked at her.

"Well, not exactly, but how hard can it be?" he replied and she laughed.

"Have you ever slept with a pregnant woman?" she asked and he glanced up at her.

"Of course, hasn't everyone?" he asked with his usual smirk. She smiled and got up.

"We'd better get some sleep so we can make that wake up call."

she said and got into bed. He went into the bathroom to brush his teeth before coming out and climbing into bed next to her. He was so exhausted that he fell asleep the moment after Scully and didn't dream.

They were both up and showered before the wake up call the next morning. Scully taught Mulder the basics of horseback riding before he actually got on the horse. He, as usual, learned quickly and before long he was able to participate in the herding. Scully actually looked like she was made to be gracefully moving on the back of the horse. The morning passed quickly and before they knew it the lunch bell was being rung.

The next few days passed as the first had, quickly and fun filled, the only dark point being the constant questions about themselves from Mike Adams. Mulder and Scully avoided him and his prying questions as much as they could.

By Wednesday, Adams was making long distance phone calls to Washington, specifically to the desk of Andrew Skinner, Mulder and Scully's supervisor. Agent Adams had finally recognized who they were and made a call in to the Bureau, just asking some basic questions. When he heard that they were *missing*, his first call was to Skinner, who made some calls of his own.

They got up early Thursday morning and had breakfast before going to the stable. Mulder was leading his horse out when he saw Scully double over in pain as she tried to get on her horse. He dropped his reins and ran to her.

"What's wrong? Are you okay?" he asked urgently. She slowly straightened up.

"Nothing," she answered too quickly. He took her arm and led her aside, reading what was going on from her face.

"We're going to the hospital," Mulder said and called to the owner. He explained the basics and the man got the truck.

Mulder stared at the picture on the wall for almost six hours before the doctor came out.

"Mr. Stevens, you're wife is about five months premature with this birth. Her water broke and she's been having contractions.

However, the contractions aren't strong enough to push the baby out. The truth is, even if she could go through with this, the baby would have little or no chance of surviving. I've given her medication to stop the contractions. Hopefully the medicine will work and we can wait some time for this baby."

"Is she in pain?" Mulder asked. The doctor shook her head.

"No, she's not. We've given her a mild pain killer that's taken that away. We'd like to wait another two months, at least, before taking her off the medicine to see what happens. That way the baby will have a fighting chance. If you'd like to arrange to go home, we'll help with the transportation."

"Is she in danger? Is this hurting her physically?" he asked.

"No. Right now, she's not in any danger. I have to say though, she's really scared. Having something like this happen with a first birth is scary." Mulder then asked her the question that left her wondering for the rest of the day.

"Could you abort the fetus without hurting her?" he asked. She was shocked into silence but quickly regained her composure.

"It's too late to abort. There's no way I could do it without losing my license." He nodded.

"I understand. Can I see her?" She gave him the room number and watched as he moved to the room. She walked to her office with his face in her mind as he asked about the abortion. It was the first time an expecting father had ever asked her that, no matter how bleak the situation looked.

Mulder entered the room and quietly shut the door behind himself.

He silently sat in the chair next to her bed and watched her sleep. He sat there until she woke up an hour later.

"Hey, Mulder," she said groggily and he took her hand.

"How are you feeling?" he asked and she gave him a smile.

"Okay. I have so many drugs in my system that I can't really feel anything. They gave me edetate disodium to stop the contractions."

"I know. Dana, I think we should go back to Washington," he started. He held up his hand to silence her protests. "Just listen.

These people don't have the capacity to deal with something like this.

Washington knows what was put into you and have the facilities to deal with it. This could be hurting you someway, someway that these doctors don't know about."

"But what about our little talk with our friend at the Memorial?" Scully asked.

"Right now, I don't really care what he said. It's you I care about," he answered angrily. It brought tears to her eyes. His face softened when he looked at her. "I keep forgetting that you damn pregnant woman get so emotional."

"Shut up, Mulder," she countered, smiling.

"I'm being serious about this, Dana. Your safety is far more important than anything the government does. They do what they want, when they want, and don't care who it affects. And without having to explain. I don't want that to happen to you." She looked up at him with a grin.

"Now who's getting emotional?" she joked and he gave her his familiar smirk.

"Nah, I'd just hate to have to train a new partner," he said and took a seat next to her bed. "So, what are we going to do?"

"I don't have much of a choice, do I?" she asked and he shook his head.

"No, you don't. I booked a flight back to D.C. We leave tomorrow morning," he said.

"Damn, you don't waste any time, do you?"

"Not where your safety is concerned. Why don't you try to get some rest?" he suggested and she smiled.

"You trying to take my job? Remember, I'm the doctor of this comedy act."

"Who, me?" he asked, giving her his most innocent, sincere look.

All she could do was smile.

"Sleep, Dana," he said and she closed her eyes. When he was sure she was asleep he got up and walked to the window, looking out at the lights of the city.

What Mulder did not know, what he could not have known, when he looked out the window was that two of those moving sets of lights were headed for the hospital to collect Dana Scully and her unborn child in the name of the FBI.

Mulder turned away from the window and attempted to get comfortable in the chair next to Scully's bed. He eventually fell asleep, only to be confronted by a nightmare, one he had no control over.

He was awoken a few hours later when a group of people barged into the room, led by an official looking man in a suit.

"We're here for her, Mulder," the man said, flashing his badge and identification. Mulder stepped in front of the man before he could reach her. He glanced back and saw that she was slowly waking to what was going on.

"I want to see your authorization, notarized and signed, before you get within two feet of her," Mulder demanded.

"We don't need authorization," the man sneered. "We were sent by the Director."

"And unless he was a complete idiot, he would've sent you with papers. He's not stupid, and I know you have papers. Let me have them," he snapped. He was not really interested in whether or not they had papers, but it was giving him time to think of what to do. The man angrily dug through his pockets and produced the papers. Mulder made a show of studying them, glancing at the six men that had piled into the room. There was no way he could get around them, not without leaving Scully behind, which was not something he was about to do.

Just as he handed the man back the papers, Scully groaned behind him. He understood at once. The stress of the situation was more powerful than the medicine that was just wearing off.

"She's in labor," Mulder told the man unnecessarily. The man smiled arrogantly.

"Good thing we brought two doctors along for the ride," he said and ordered his men to get the doctors and cordon off the section they were in. One of the agents took Mulder to the door.

"NO!" Scully yelled.

"Let him stay. It will help calm her down," the doctor interrupted. The agents looked at their fearless leader and he nodded.

They let Mulder go and he rushed to her side.

Within hours the agents had what they wanted, but not in the condition they had hoped for. One of the doctors produced a small black bag from his jacket and placed the stillborn corpse into it. It disappeared, along with the room full of agents.

When Scully came to hours later, Mulder was sitting in the chair, staring at her with his intense brown eyes.

"It's over, isn't it?" she asked and he nodded. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply as he sat on the edge of the bed next to her.

She opened her eyes and looked up at him.

"I'll never see it again, will I?" she asked and he slowly shook his head.

"You know the answer to that as well as I do, Dana," he said softly, taking her into his arms, smoothing her hair as she cried into his chest.

The man ran his card through the scanner and placed his hand on the identification plate. The light turned green and the door opened for him. He picked up the glass bottle and passed through the doorway. He walked quickly, the only sound the echo of his shoes on the cement. When he came to an empty space he placed the jar on the shelf. He left as quickly as he could, not wanting to spend any longer than necessary in the full aisles. the end

Well, there it is, my first attempt at this.

Any criticism, comments, praise, etc. can be sent to me at mc3@monadnock.keene.edu

Thanks for reading and keep up the good work.

"There's something out there, Mulder."

"Oohh, Scully, I've been saying that the whole time."

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