Title: Missing the Gaze
Author: mercury_999
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: This Is Not Happening and a *tiny* reference to One Breath. Category: Romance/Angst; Post-ep
Keywords: Mulder/Scully Romance Disclaimer: Characters belong to CC, Fox and 1013 . . .
Distribution: Please ask me first

Summary: Scully struggles against the reality she's facing, with hope that things really aren't as they seem.

Author's Note: There are no spoilers to any eps after 'This Is Not Happening.' More author's notes at the end.

Author's website: http://www.reocities.com/thetruthandlies/

"THIS IS NOT HAPPENING," I yell frantically, dropping to my knees in the small room, with my head tilted upward. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-" My voice stops; nothing more can come out. My body shakes violently as I sob, and I stare with blind eyes at the floor. My cries ring through the chaos all around me. Slowly, I slip away from consciousness. I bring my hands to my face, then fall forward in defeat.

"Scully?" a familiar voice asks. I open my eyes and see the starry sky. Skinner is running along the side of the stretcher that is carrying me from the house.

"Stop," I cry. The paramedics keep moving me further and further away from the house. "I said stop," I repeat sternly, sitting up and swinging my legs off the stretcher. Before they can do anything, I push myself off it and onto the ground.

"Scully, what the Hell are you trying to do?" Skinner asks, kneeling down beside me. My eyes cloud with tears, and I awkwardly get to my feet. I can't assemble the words I want to say, so my shoulders heave as I gasp for breath. Hands clasp my shoulders, and violently drag me back to the stretcher.

"Let me go!" I yell, swinging my arms frantically as they lift me back up on it. "I need to . . . I need to . . . get to him . . . " I stare into the dark eyes of the first paramedic, then a wave of fear washes over me. Black oil swims over his eyes slightly. My hands begin to tremble and fear is evident in my voice. "Skinner!" I cry. "Don't let them take me!"

"Scully, you've been through a lot. Please, just go and rest," he replies, putting his hand over mine.

"No! You don't understand! What's happened to Mulder?" I beg, grabbing his hand tightly. John Doggett and Monica Reyes were approaching us from behind Skinner.

"Scully . . . he's dead," Skinner whispers. "I'm sorry, but it's over." My heart drops to my stomach, and I throw my head back and squeeze my eyes shut in pain. He can't be. Mulder wouldn't let this happen.

"AGENT DOGGETT! HELP ME!" I yell. Skinner pries his hand free from my grip. I kick out my legs in another vain attempt to escape. I slide off the stretcher and sprint for the woods, leaving Skinner, Doggett and Reyes standing by the ambulance.

I could hear the paramedics thrashing through the woods behind me. I pant wildly and run blindly deeper into the woods. Tears begin to fall down my cheeks and I can hear them gaining on me. Beams of light from flashlights scan the woods, and men yelling fills my ears.

My foot hits something, and I fall forward onto my stomach. I lift my face from the dirt, clutching my stomach with one hand. I'm sprawled on top of something, and I realize in horror that it's a body.

I turn on my hands and knees and shed the blanket that covers its face. It's Mulder. A scream bubbles from deep inside my lungs. This is Mulder. A beam of light darts near me. New tears stream down my face, as I run my fingers down his cheeks. I caress his face tenderly, avoiding the bloody welts and scars. I bring my lips to his forehead, squeezing my eyes shut tightly. I press my lips against him for a long time, allowing my tears to cleanse his face. When I finally lift my face from his forehead, I look at his body one more time.

His beautiful face isn't ruined by the pain inflicted upon him. His eyes are closed, and he looks . . . peaceful. I haven't seen him look like this in a long, long time. His hair sweeps across his forehead, and I bring my shaky hand to brush it away. This is Mulder. This is my child's father who has died while being tortured by Them. Anger rips through my body and I silently vow I'll do everything in my power to make them pay.

"Oh Mulder," I whisper, cupping his face with my hands. Another soft sob escapes my lips. I brush his eyelids with my fingertips, then trace a path to his lips. "I love you, so much . . . " I add. "And I can't accept the fact that . . . " my voice breaks. I can't finish what I am trying to say. Instead, I bring my lips to his for one last kiss. "Good bye, Mulder."

It is almost as if I am expecting him to wake up and take me in his arms, then carry me off into the night. 'This isn't a dream, this is real,' I tell myself, still unconvinced. Oh Mulder, please wake up. Reluctantly, I lift my head from his and gaze at his body.

A beam of light flashes by us, and I see his left shoulder that is exposed. It takes me a few seconds to realize why there is something unfamiliar about it. It hits me suddenly, as one of the paramedics tackle me to the ground. There is no scar where I shot him six years ago. My heart pounds sharply inside my chest. This isn't Mulder. The flashlight rolls away from us, and I can hear the other paramedic approaching us in the darkness.

This isn't Mulder.

"No! Please, no," I beg. The man struggles to keep me pinned on the ground beneath him. He roughly pulls my arms so they stretch out above my head, then pushes my face into the dirt. He rips my blazer open and grabs my gun from its holster. I struggle to free my arms from his grasp, but it's impossible. As a reflex to my sudden movement, he hits me on the back of my head with my gun. A grunt emerges from my chest and I feel my mind drifting from consciousness again. I stop struggling physically and concentrate on staying awake. He shifts his weight on top of me, as the second paramedic reaches us.

This isn't Mulder.

"Sedate her," the first one barks. The second one nods and takes a large needle from his pocket. Spitting out the cap, he walks menacingly toward me. From the light of the flashlight I see a clear, green liquid inside the needle.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" I scream, praying that someone will come to save me. He reaches down and rips my blouse to expose my shoulder, then plunges the needle into my upper arm. Immediately, my arm goes numb, and it quickly spreads to the rest of my body. 'This isn't Mulder' passes through my mind moments before I slump to the cold ground.

I open my eyes and blink slowly at the bright light above me. It's so bright it's causing a sharp pain to emerge in my mind. I can make out vague silhouettes that circle the table I'm laying on. Once my eyes adjust to the blinding light, I can see that I'm in a room, on a cold metal table. The room is empty now, and I begin to wonder if I imagined being in the presence of another being. My head is slightly elevated and my temples are attached to some pieces of metal, preventing me from moving. My cheeks are pulled taught, just like the wounds Teresa Hoese and Mulder had returned with. I can see the rest of my body now, and I realize I'm naked. My wrists and ankles are bound to the table with thick metal clasps inserted into them. I can feel the warm trail of blood that seeps down my hands and feet. My abdomen bulges slightly and I feel tears in the corner of my eyes. I silently wonder if it'll all be over now.

The loud whir of machinery booms in the thick silence. A blade descends from the ceiling and settles above my stomach. The mechanical blade starts spinning slowly with increasing speed. I can't peel my eyes from the hypnotic spinning as it slowly lowers to my abdomen. My scream pierces the air, although I can't feel any thing. As the blade penetrates my abdomen, I squeeze my eyes shut. I feel the warm spray of blood over my face and body.

After an eternity, I finally open my eyes and realize I'm not alone in the room anymore. A dark silhouette is standing by my waist and is pulling my baby from my womb. Tears slide down my cheeks and protests scream inside me. My heart almost stops and everything suspends in air.

I wake up with a jump. I'm bathed in a sweat and my chest is heaving violently. Struggling to sit up, pain shoots through my right arm. I grab frantically at my blouse. I pull it out of the waistband of my pants and sigh with relief upon seeing the bulge of my abdomen. My left hand rubs it slowly, and I lay back down to catch my breath.

I'm alone in a dark room. The only light is that which shines around the door. My skin looks light grey in the scarce light of the room. My heart continues hammering in my chest and I try to figure out what is real and what is my imagination. My baby is here. I attempt to bring my fingers to my face to see if there is any tissue damage, but my right arm is numb and I cry out as I move it.

In curiosity I use my left hand to pull my blouse down over my right shoulder. I feel a puncture on it and try to examine it closer in the dark. The skin around it is crusty, and I guess it is dry blood. The hole itself is about a quarter of an inch around and every time I try to move my shoulder it sends waves of pain through my body.

It strikes me that I don't know where I am. The dark room could be anywhere, and I don't know if what I could remember was real or not. I know for sure that it wasn't Mulder lying in the woods. I also know that those paramedics were infected with the black oil virus and it was really important to them that I go with them. 'Where am I?' I wondered in confusion.

A blinding pain shoots through my temples. Tears form in my eyes and panic lurches in my chest. I clench my fists tightly, piercing my palms with my fingernails. A low groan escapes my throat, which turns into a wail of agony. I squeeze my eyes shut, and tears begin to fall down my cheeks. I throw my head back and let out a scream.

When I open my eyes, everything is a blur. I become aware that there is a person kneeling beside me. I blink slowly and try to lift my head.

"Don't move," the man says calmly, placing a hand on my good shoulder. I obey him and let my head sink back to the floor. I blink my eyes a few more times before I notice it is Jeremiah who is with me. As I open my mouth to ask him where I am and what had happened, he squints at me, then answers my questions. "You're in the ship. The people who brought you here were following orders to have you eliminated. They're going to frame your death to make it look like a suicide while you're supposedly at the hospital . . . " he trailed off. I stared at him. "They're picking up the final pieces, and not coming back. They took you because you know too much. You know it wasn't Mulder in those woods and you're trying to figure out how to get him back."

My jaw dropped. He had read my mind. "You know what I'm thinking," I said, it was a statement, not a question.

"Yes, and I'm going to help you. I can read their minds, too. They don't know that you are pregnant. Otherwise, they would have had you killed by now. You are merely a threat to them, and that is why you're here."

"Where's Mulder?" I blurt out.

"Here," he said simply. "But he's in grave danger."

A lump forms in my throat. "What's going to happen to him?"

"He's one of the test subjects for a new set of experiments. Awful, disfiguring tests that one would hope to die during-" he started, but he must have watched my face because he stopped then.

"Tests for what?" I whispered. He shook his head sadly at me. "Why are you telling me this?"

"I'm going to help you get him out of here," he replied, then quickly added, "it's what I do."

"I don't understand," I pleaded.

"I worked on this ship once, performing tests on the abductees. Then I realized that they aren't all like me; the others cannot read each other's minds. This gave me an upper hand and I began to work against them. I sabotaged some experiments and saved lives. Then, I performed an experiment on myself. Through brain channeling, I realized that I had the ability to 'heal' people. I used this against them, and they realized I was helping abductees to get well and escape. That is why they 'banished' me to Earth," Jeremiah explained. "I picked up the pieces they left behind. I cleaned up after them. I. . . did the dirty work. I tried to heal what they had classified as 'useless' and disposed on Earth. I followed their path, picking up the abductees as they dropped them off. As a matter of fact, I healed you."

My eyes widened. "You're the one who brought me to the hospital?" I asked with a shaky breath. Jeremiah nodded.

"I'm saving Mulder now, because he is the father of your baby. Together with your altered DNA this child will become Their most important asset should they learn about it. They will try to take it at all costs." I try to sit up again, but a pain shoots through my right arm when I move it and I fall back to the ground crying out.

"The poison you were injected with is mild, and the reaction shouldn't last long," Jeremiah said. He has a healing ability, so why doesn't he get rid of the poison from my body? I ask myself silently. "I can't heal you, because I'm trying to gain enough energy to heal Mulder," he explained. Uh oh. My heart sank to my stomach. How bad could he be hurt? "Just take it easy, and you'll be fine," he said.

I nodd, then make another attempt to sit up, leaning on my left arm this time. He helps me to my feet and I walk unsteadily to the door with him. "We've got to hurry, there is no time to lose," Jeremiah says, opening the door.

We walk down an endless stretch of hallways. I note that this ship is more sophisticated than the one we saw in Antarctica.

"This ship was designed and is run by clones and advanced grey aliens. The ship you saw was more of a storage place for incubating aliens. It's on these types of ships that the tests are performed," Jeremiah explains.

We continue walking until Jeremiah freezes. "They're coming toward us," he states and I peer down the long hallway. There is no one in sight. "Hurry, get in here." He opens a door to our left and ushers me inside. It is a room full of testing equipment, with a metal table at it's center. "They're coming to check on you." My heart skips a beat.

"But they don't know I'm in here with you," I whisper.

"No, but they'll find you quickly," he points to the table. "Get up here and remove your clothing." I stare at him. "Do it. Now. If they find you like that it's the end for you, your baby and Mulder." I nod then pulled off my blouse, trying not to move my arm.

Jeremiah closes his eyes, then shifts his face to turn into someone I don't recognize. He puts on a white lab coat and pushs a tray covered with needles, scalpels and various medical equipment over to the table.

"You've got to hurry," he says, walking behind me and unclasping my bra. I shrug it off, pull my slacks and underwear down to the floor and stepped out of them. Then, I take off my socks and shoes and Jeremiah grabbed all of my clothing to get it out of the way. "They're almost here."

I get on to the cold metal table and lay down. Goose bumps cover my skin and my nipples are hard peaks on my rapidly rising and falling chest. He moves the tray so it is suspended over my mid-section, strategically hiding my abdomen.

"You've got to remain calm. They're going to open this door and then they're going to talk to me. Take long, slow breaths and keep your eyes shut until I tell you it's okay to open them," he tells me, and I nod numbly, then close my eyes.

I feel him push my jaw open and use some medical instruments in my mouth. I concentrate on my breathing, wondering if they can 'see' how fast my heart is hammering inside my chest. The door opens and two voices fill the room.

"Ah, Doctor Reinfield who have you got there?" One voice asks.

"This is Dana Scully, Master. I found her in room 1129 and thought I should perform some basic tests on her," Jeremiah replies, putting the instruments back on the tray.

"We just came to check on her, might we stay and watch these tests?" The second voice asks. I almost shake in fear.

"Well, I've almost finished my work on her for the time being. I didn't know your long term plans for her, so I decided the physical exam should be enough for now," Jeremiah says, fidgeting with something on the tray.

"We're not sure what we're going to do with her yet," the first says. I feel Jeremiah's hand run across my right shoulder toward the wound. He inserts a needle into it and I don't know how I manage to keep my cry of pain inside me. Tears form inside my eyes, and I try not to squeeze them shut. I can feel a warm liquid entering my shoulder and quickly spreading to the rest of my body. Idly I wondered if I will die from whatever he had just injected me with. "Carry on Doctor, but next time you go to perform tests on a subject, notify me first."

I hear the door open and close, and I feel Jeremiah freeze. He slowly puts down the needle, then brings his fingers to my shoulder. The door opens again and the voices float in.

"Oh and Doctor Reinfield?" the second voice asks.

"Yes?" Jeremiah replies.

"Take her back to her room and make sure the door is locked when you are finished."

"Of course," Jeremiah says. The door closes again and Jeremiah is silent for a long time. "Okay, they're off this floor now. You can open your eyes." I do and blink the tears out of them. "I'm sorry I couldn't warn you that I was going to do that. They were doubting the fact that I was experimenting on you, so I had to do something. The liquid I injected you with should counteract the poison you were given." I nod and Jeremiah crosses the room to where he had hidden my clothes. I wipe the tears from my eyes and sit up on the table. There isn't a shock of pain when I move my shoulder anymore.

"They lied. They know what they're going to do with you. You're going to be another subject in the same experiments that Mulder is undergoing." Jeremiah hands me my clothes and I quickly dress myself. "We've got to get to Mulder right now. His time is running out." My heart dropps to my stomach and I feel a bit faint. Mulder is going to die if we don't get there on time. Jeremiah leads me into the hallway and we proceed at a jog down almost to the end. He punches in a code on the elevator and the door opens. He pushes another series of buttons and the elevator begins to descend.

"Are you sure you know where he is?" I whisper. Jeremiah nods. We stand in an awkward silence. I wonder nervously about Mulder, finally admitting to myself that I am terrified to find him.

"It'll be okay," Jeremiah whispers. I nod numbly, and the elevator doors open.

We are in a different part of the ship. Instead of long, white corridors, the walls are all metal. The doors are more like portals and key codes have to be pushed to gain access. Wiring lines all the walls, and there is a single row of lights over head.

Suddenly, a blinding pain overtakes my body. I drop down to my knees, then slide to the floor. My breath comes out in gasps, and I push my finger tips against my temples. Squeezing my eyes shut, I am nearly ready to give up. Dizziness overwhelms me, and I moan in pain.

"You've got to get up," Jeremiah cries, grabbing me by the shoulders and lifting me to my feet again. I wobble against him, as the threat of fainting seems like a credible possibility. "You've got to be strong. We have no time!" I nod, then walk forward with him.

He pauses at each door and closes his eyes. "His thoughts are getting weaker now, I can't tell exactly which room he's in," Jeremiah says. Finally, we reach the door where Jeremiah gives a brief nod. "He's in here."

Punching in the code to open Mulder's chamber, we both hurry inside. The room is almost empty. Mulder is sitting in a chair-like structure with equipment suspended over his head. On the far left there is a control panel.

"Mulder!" I cry, stumbling to his side, brushing my fingers across his face. He looks awful, ten times worse than what I had seen in the woods. Only wearing boxers, his flesh is completely exposed. The skin around his eyes is dark with bruises, along with most of his body. His cheeks are being held taught by metal clips, stretching them in a linear pattern. His chest has a large gash down the front of it, and blood covers most of his chest. Trails of blood run down his sides, and legs and pool on the floor beneath him. Metal bolts go through his wrists and ankles to hold them in place. He isn't breathing, and I can't find a pulse.

I bend over him, and start to sob. "Oh . . . Mulder," I whisper. Jeremiah is over at the control panel and in a moment the bindings that hold Mulder release him.

Jeremiah walks over to me and clears his throat.

"He's dead," I whisper, tears fall down my cheeks.

"Not yet," Jeremiah replies. "He's in a super-conscious state, which is hardly ever detectable in patients." He pauses for a moment, then adds, "He knows he's going to die soon. He's thinking of you."

More tears spring to my eyes, but I manage to shakily ask, "What can I do to help you?"

He doesn't say anything, instead he puts his hands on Mulder's forehead and closes his eyes. After ten seconds he removes his hands, then says, "He's worse than I thought he was. We've got to get him to a different area of the ship, right now." I nod again, stroking Mulder's hand. Jeremiah spies a lab table on wheels against a wall and brings it over to Mulder. Together we transfer him from the chair to the table and rush out the door.

We run down the hall, Jeremiah is in the lead pulling the foot of the table. I push from behind, staring at Mulder's face. Mulder, please hold on. Help is coming. Please stay with me. We reach the same elevator we had come from and board it again. Jeremiah enters another code and the elevator immediately drops sharply.

I suck air in, as the elevator descends several floors in a few seconds. We halt abruptly and the doors open. We are in an entirely new area of the ship. It is only one room, filled with equipment and in the center there is a large circle. Above the circle there is a clear, glass light which is glowing a pale yellow. Jeremiah jogs into the room and stops near the big circle.

Without pausing, he begins to bark out instructions. "Get him off the stretcher and lay him on the floor beside that machine," he points to a large metal structure. I nod, and manage to get him off the table. I half-carry, half-drag him to the machine. "I'm going to program the ship to open the portal ten seconds after we overload this machine. If you don't make it over to that circle on the floor in those two seconds, then you'll be stuck here forever. I can't make it any longer then ten seconds, because the others will have found you by then."

"What about you?" I ask. He finishes with the main controls and the yellow light brightens slowly.

"I'm going to be hooked up to the machine with Mulder," he replies. Confusion crosses my face. He approaches the machine and hooks two cables to Mulder's temples. The cables runs through the large machine, then Jeremiah attaches another set of cables to his own temples. I entwine my fingers with Mulder's.

"Won't you be caught?" I ask.

"No," he replies, flicking the switch. A low whirring noise starts in the machine.

"Will this work?" I almost yell over the machine.

"I hope so," Jeremiah replies. "This machine is magnifying my healing ability, then passing it onto Mulder. It will overload near the end, and you *must* get Mulder up and over there in ten seconds." Buttons begin to flash and the noise settles back down to a low hum. With one last glance at me, Jeremiah places both his palms on Mulder's forehead and closes his eyes. I let go of Mulder's hand and watch in horrifying silence.

As soon as Jeremiah touches Mulder, several lights light up. The needle in a dial jumps forward, and Jeremiah begins to tremble. My breath comes out in small pants, as I watch the scene unfold. Jeremiah's whole body starts to shake violently, and his head thrashes around. I clench my fists and bite my lower lip. 'This is not happening' I tell myself. The wounds on Mulder's flesh disappear.

The needle pushes into the warning zone, and the lights blare continuously. Jeremiah's body shakes uncontrollably, but his palms remain glued to Mulder's forehead. I stand in silence. Suddenly, everything just stops and Jeremiah collapses beside Mulder. The lights all shut off and the hum vanishes. The machine stops completely.

Ten seconds.

Oh God.

Mulder blinks his eyes. My jaw drops and I half-laugh and half-sob. Happiness wells up inside me. "Mulder!" I exclaim.

"Scully?" he slurs.

Eight seconds.

Panic grips my chest. We have to get out of here, we can talk later. "We've got to go!" I yell, removing the cables from his temples roughly. "Come on!" I put my hands behind his chest and help him get to his feet. He sways violently and we both almost go crashing to the floor. "Come on Mulder! We've got to get out of here, RIGHT NOW!" I shout, tears of frustration coming to my eyes. I take a step toward the circle in the floor. It is only fifteen feet away from us. The light above it is glowing bright yellow now.

Five seconds.

Mulder stumbles, but we manage to take another step. He seems to be getting more coordinated, but I fear it is almost too late. I begin to take longer strides, pulling him behind me.

Four seconds.

We're almost there, only ten feet to go. Sweat glistens on both of our bodies. We're both out of breath.

Three seconds.

I wrap my arm around his waist and roughly haul him forward. We stumble, but manage to catch ourselves before we hit the ground. We're only five feet from the circle.

Two seconds.

The door of the room opens and aliens pour into the room. My heart in my throat, I realize we just might make it. Mulder is panting heavily beside me, and with each step he takes he grows weaker.

One second.

This is it. "JUMP!" I yell, still holding on to him. I throw my body into the air, and it seems like forever before I hit the floor sharply on my left side. The light is glowing white and the circle beneath us begins to open from the center.

The aliens in the room run for the controls. Mulder lay beside me, reaching out to grasp my body. I watch the portal open with relief. Then, we both see it freeze at the same time. It's almost in our reach. Immediately, we both get to our hands and knees and crawl desperately for the opening in the floor. It begins to close.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" I scream. I'm crawling ahead of Mulder, and the opening is quickly diminishing in size. With his last ounce of strength, Mulder throws his body on top of mine and we roll the few feet to the opening.

The last thing I remember is looking up and seeing the bright light, then falling backward. Mulder's arms are still wrapped around me, and I can feel his face in the back of my neck. I bring my hands down to hold his arms around my waist.

I open my eyes to see that we are laying on the damp ground in the woods. There's a blanket of stars in the sky above us. I'm laying on my back, and Mulder's on his side next to me. One of his arms is draped across my waist. Immediately, I sit up and touch his face. He's shivering, and I realize I am too.

"Mulder?" I whisper, crawling around behind him and lifting his head into my lap. With one hand I cradle his head, and with the other I stroke his cheek. He opens his eyes. Relief rushes through my body, and my tears fall. I feel so happy when he is around me, and I am so happy he is back. It strikes me that I have only told him that I love him once. He begins to cry, then tries to reach up to hold me. His arms can't make it, he's so weak. I entwine my hand with his fingers, and place both of our hands on his chest. "Oh God Mulder," I cry, leaning down and kissing his forehead. "I love you."

"Scully-" Mulder gasps, but can't finish what he is trying to say. He stares straight at me, and squeezes my hand tightly. I want to tell him that I'm pregnant, but I realize now isn't the time.

"They're over here!" A familiar voice shouts from the woods near us. A flashlight focuses on us, and Skinner comes into sight. Seeing both of us, he runs over while taking off his trench coat. "Mulder?" he asks in confusion, covering his body with the jacket. Mulder turns his head so he is staring at the black velvet sky. "Are you guys okay?"

Voices throughout the woods call to each other. I nod and smiles at Skinner. In a few moments, the search crew begins seeping into the clearing where I sit and hold Mulder. He is intently staring at the sky over Skinner's shoulder, so I follow his gaze. Thousands of stars scatter across the sky, and I feel his grip tighten on my hand once again. It's all over. Everything. The tests. The pain. It's over. I follow Mulder's gaze to a specific cluster of stars. A tiny white light moves through the sky, hovers for a moment, then disappears.


More Author's Notes: Thanks for editing this monster, Frohike. ;-) ::whew:: boy am I glad this is done! Thanks for the Title Ally!

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